Words on Fire V3E1

Words On Fire
…Imagineers of Pyrotechnic Poetics
Volume 3 Edition 1

We Didn't Start the Fire

September 27 – October 10, 2015

he thinks he knows by Michael French

How they see him.
He can bear it,
but notices the weight

He knows there is a hole there
and while it is his decision to hold on
He did not create it

He rejects the laying of blame elsewhere
It appears the sharing
of a punishment never earned
How to explain without pointing away?
It’s his

It is not a jealous possession
He would object,
but can see nothing is gained

“I don’t like Paradise,
As they probably don’t have obsessions there.”
― Alda Merini



Eyes Wide Shut by K. Leigh Thoma

Go ahead
And sing to me
Your sweetest tune
Of ecstasy
Your painful hush
Of agony
Your broken stab
At chivalry

I will listen
With shuttered eyes
Believe your tune
Embrace your lies
Mirror your hush
And alibis
Ignore the stab
Of blood stained tries

Our empty chests
Still heave from wounds
Our darkened eyes
Project our doom

Yet I give to you
My soul to take
It’s yours to love
Or yours to break


Spiral by K. Leigh thoma

Try as I might
I am stuck
Darkness and night
I am caught
Somber and gloom
Death and the womb


Paracetamol for the Brain by Mark Read

We survive youth
A game of chance

We trust to Love
We bring new lives to this world
Onto this great stage of fools

We observe the allures of a chemical heaven
Life a bitch

We invoke the power of Love
Light candles
Spray goat’s blood on obscure icons
Keep our faces looking to the one true star in the galaxy
Invoke a pagan prayer
Hope against hope for Redemption

Only blood will repair this sin


Mirror by Ferguson Martin

Armoured against the blade,
that never leaves the sheath.
Betrayal heard in every word,
true meanings are distorted.
Doubting every open arm,
each gift a chalice poisoned.
Enemies in every friend,
and kept at arm’s length.

Retreat behind the barricades
entrenched within perceptions.
Self-inflicted incarceration,
vice like grip anaesthetises.
Mistakes long forgotten endure,
no escape from this living hell,
Those that suffered forgive,
but the mind is frozen in fear.

Hopes and dreams stagnate,
evaporate beyond the bubble.
Trapped in this perception,
blinded by the mists of time.
What passed is history written,
the future unfolds if allowed.
Book that is closed can be opened,
the page is yet to be penned.

Reflected in those sunken sockets,
windows that provide no view.
Shuttered against reality,
veils drawn against progression.
Eyes that are open see sunrises,
closed they are blind to the world.
Long has this path been traveled,
the light can yet shine in the dark.


Corporeal by Splaetos

Compelling is the name your shadow owns
in worlds where hemming walls are built of mist,
the whispered word itself embodies tones
of visionscapes where rules have ceased exist.
Compelling is the tenor of your draw,
that twists perceptions ’round its dainty hand
and gently tugs on tethers spun of awe
to free my timid head from ‘neath the sand.
Compelling is the truth that we deny
when speaking plain of never shall we be,
concealed within the fate that we decry
lies room to write the future we would see.
Compelling is the concrete wrought of dreams,
were we to set aside our staid regimes.


Amid Strings by José Coelho

You’ll have to look amid strings
friends, believers, writers, readers
the strings of composition, the ones
that hold the pieces
while your body rests and mind
sleeps, slipping through
eternity – way forth and back –
whirling life’s mess –
a pudding you lick
alone –
until exhausting flavor
and memory of light, becomes
day, astoundingly


you shape the horizon
to match God, so thin, untouchable
yet always there
as a destiny, irrefutable
to the blind
excruciating to the eye
that looks and sees
sun’s piercing rays playing
the same act
as a fool, killing nonsense with
day after day
amid curse and bliss

you’ll have to, if you
want to
enter heaven or hell, but enter
and be


Houseplant by Kiku Koibito

I have blossomed transparent
Protected in sunny windows
From winter’s bite
Opened for bees and
Not there
Seasons of controlled air currents
Too fragile for the garden?
I’ll find out.


Ashes of my nickname by M. Draca
Grow a light
Deep into sorrow
High into tears

Pleasure maze
Desire is inverted

In the house of possessed ghosts
I find darkness of the abyss
The corner of childhood

The only joy of death notes

Sticking palms
To dirt and thorns

Ashes of my nickname
Grow a light
Deep into sorrow
High into tears

I love branches of ancient letters
They sway towards symbolism of virginity
Emotion of clear glass
Vortex of pockets of desire

What has armed my lips
Is knowledge of dirt

Some way towards stars
I drink fire together
With birds and apparitions
Of summers in rock n roll
Classical melody and pop

Ashes of my nickname
Grow a light
Deep into sorrow
High into tears

Beauty has metamorphosed
Belief of pins pupils
Beautiful fruit
Blossom of madness

City is a newborn of crosses
In a land of sea

Stooping on my toes
I’m a fragile burst of clenches of sound
Mummified like an Egyptian queens
I touch sun
I hug moon
I absorb stars into my skin
Deep into my happy bones

Ashes of my nickname
Grow a light
Deep into sorrow
High into tears


Gravity’s Darling by Kiku Koibito

When the dawn glows
On January snows
I climb the mountain
With board in tow

The lift does not reach here
The route for few, so dear
Slow and steadily up
The summit drawing near

Now take the wind and ride it
Carve the edge, astride it
The legs bracing against the Gs
Never felt so alive, so fit


Intrepid by Evelyn Elizabeth

I have been subject to a man’s rage
Cowering beneath him powerless
I’ve slit the tender one’s veins
just by not being womanly enough
I am every inch prowess
I’ve had every nerve enslaved

My body taken in the dead of night
Given freely and displayed unbroken
My figure became his beacon of light
My form his jeweled shrine
My love lasted forever in those moments
when he said

“you, alone, are mine”

I have been his howl
in passions overflowing
I’ve felt the anger of his growl
silenced in his grasping snarl
And left alone with despair

yet hoping

I’ve turned cold in a gentle kiss
Turned away a man whose only wish
To love him beyond any doubt

Or reason

With my center turned inside out
I negated any form of pleasure from him

Making a grown man cry
did not break my heart enough
I am every inch prowess
I’ve had every nerve enslaved

I am a woman

And to be a woman
I have to be brave


A Trivial Pogrom by José Coelho

At a steady pace, frescoes
fell, inscriptions were scratched
leaving a naked
dome, staring, cold
into a night of
her words – a dead silent
hiding spring within syllables-
caged angels
for as long as heaven’s
broken fantasy
dwelt in

and he
became meaningless
consuming what was left unburnt –
landscapes of human transition
seraphic jewelry hanging
from fruitless trees
tongues mouthing no more about
but machine guns
filtering improper, filthy scummy sand
from skewed

what is the color of red? When red
is all
you see?

Years later
we will ask, How was it possible?
They will and we
and thus it is written.


untitled by Peter Greene

what is the unicode
for fall
no more poetry)
dog days in berlin
debt and war, mad
russian bombers over head
heels on the ground
devalued hamburger
flags burn and pillars fail
soon enough
the machines will come and bring
not justice but peace
watch for the day of
a thousand contrails
steel hero
brain in a can cares nothing for its
own, only the
which is
to grow and change
at all costs
plasma effect in the atmosphere makes
angels in your mind
they say the sky
will bring news of doom, trumpet call and
that countenance which
cannot be seen
(without your eyes
turning to hot glass
what is the unicode for
that emoji


Why poetry? by Michael French

Does it need to rhyme?
And what about Time?
The hours involved
Many issues resolved

Then about Truth?

(And you have to stop right there
There are words that rhyme
Youth, Booth etc…
But the concepts have to be made up
In this reality, nothing rhymes with Truth)

Rhyming isn’t sufficient
And somewhat inefficient

Then you get some idea that completely alters the rhythm of the piece
Breaks the lease
The time gets used
A message abused

So at this second
This moment right here
As Lifetimes are reckoned
I strive to be clear

What actually exists
doesn’t fit into any format I know

I was promised on a time –
to have reason for my rhyme;
From that time unto this season,
I received nor rhyme nor reason.
–Edmund Spenser


Intolerance by Gianfranco Aurilio

(to all the forbidden loves)

In the universe
there is room for every star,
only among the human beings
there is no room for every love.
I will wait to turn into a star
to be able to love you.


October 11 – 31, 2015

Relapse by Luke Normsy

All the bullshit
had finally stacked
high enough

I went down
to HR with my
papers, enough

of this, I said, I wanna
transfer, anywhere,
anywhere but here

Sign here, said the
lady, and date-stamped
my papers.

I went back to my
office, still seething,
even packed a few
things up in boxes

then somebody
called, some citizen,
she couldn’t figure
out how to fill out

a form for her
daughter’s benefits

I walked her through it
and when we were done
she started to cry,
said that nobody else
would take her call

I unpacked my boxes,
went down
to HR again and
asked for my
papers back

they were still on her desk

we all have bad days,
she said

I guess so, I said.

You know, when
you fall off the wagon,
you can either cry about it
or get back on.

I did steal a ream
of paper, though.

A guy’s gotta have
some vices.


Leo by Kiku Koibito

The lion hung in stars
My protector in the dark night
Polliwogs in glass jars
A child at heart tonight

The roar is silent magic
The lights above my head
My fever rose, I was sick
I thought I saw him by the bed

But it was my dear old Dad
Placing his hand upon my forehead
No greater protector could be had
The Lion’s book, a story read

Good night, Daddy!


Evolution by Ferguson Martin

Thoughts tumble
Like storm blown raindrops
Lost in the maelstrom
Falling and dissolving
Merging into one
Homogeneous bubble
Obliterating conception
Confusing focus
Until kernels sprout
Seeds of creation

Words bleed
Black on white
A primordial soup
Awaiting evolution
Teased and twisted
Enticing formation
Prodded and pulled
Into existence
Until progress achieves
Conceptual creation

Lines flow
Like Mobius rings
Effortless script
Cascades from the nib
Arranged and re-arranged
Narrative emerges
Shaped and moulded
From dream to reality
Until state of confusion
Becomes creation


Dog Star by Michael French

Walk outside tonight
and face your history

The full moon commands
But its power is fleeting
For the moment it stands
Over the real Kings of the Night

The Lord of the Planets
Holds court in the East
Jupiter marks the Constellations
Year by Year
Even the ancients had respect

The red of Betelgeuse, like Mars,
meant War,or in China
The tail of the Scorpion
Even in Africa
The eye of the Lion
gazing at the Three Zebras
others call Orion’s Belt

All cultures knew Rigel
The Maori steered their canoes by it
It can be seen from any ocean
The name itself
the exact origin lost in the mists
is one of the oldest words
we have

Below these
the Dog Stars
Procyon and Sirius
These roots are deep
Horus and the all-seeing-eye
The Carpenter who built the nighttime sky
“The Wolves” in Macedonia
The Inuit used their rising as a sign
That spring would soon arrive

We see the Lord of the Planets
has even more of an entourage
And we wait for Betelgeuse to erupt
And if we are fortunate
We will get to tell our grandchildren
of the time there were
two moons in the sky

“Constellations shine with light that was emitted eons ago,
and I wait for something to come to me,
words that a poet might use to illuminate life’s mysteries.
But there is nothing.”
― Nicholas Sparks


Execution by Splaetos

On the cobblestones of the square,
her blood is dripping
her wounds, profound
her eyes, afar.
I dream they dream
of yesterdays
as the masons wall her away.

I should act with requisite haste,
I should approach
and assail
and awake the fight,
forgetting the fear
of all her guards.
I would, I would—
but eyes are keen
and ubiquitous.
A coward’s fate
is the dread of being seen wanting.

But those eyes had slackened my pace
with hints of longing,
but not despair—
she would not cry
for a stranger’s care.
She would but ask
for my courage, but never my pity.

And again I hope for those eyes,
the distance and warmth
of some brighter day,
where fools such as I
would never delay.
And again, I wander away
with regret in the steps
that failed us today.
Should she prosper or perish,
be rescued or rot—
I may never know her, again.


the pink of the sky by Gianfranco Aurilio

The pink of the sky
plunges into the sea
in an evening of rain
painted by the sun.
The monsoon announces itself
still young yet strong
and a carpet of clouds
spreads out on me.
Eastern horizon
indented with lightnings
among flashes of light
in a sunset of pink.
If I weren’t a man
I’d like to be wind
to travel and see
the emotions of the sky.



untitled by Michele Jensen


Years have passed
You never enter my mind
But today
A slow, deep, silent tear appeared
And it dared to run down my cheek
It reminded me so much of you
Damn it.



Poetry of Barnacles by José Coelho

the end of the journey is strictly
the first step out of an organized path
leading us somewhere – let the new world
begin, then, as I roll down my tongue
into a damp sea-salted cleavage
biting tenderly to grab the marrow
in its tubiform hulk   each pleat
unbelting much of deposit like
untold images – or so it seems –
it strikes my attention the amount of
possible disguised enigmas hiding behind
the structure of this cirriped’s
flesh   filtering an array of sensations
it locks me into my early youth
and I see the curling has been bent
consistently over and over
all these years
transforming the knob into a feeble
dormant thing
– unscathed stone –
the same that used to bring me into
a state of plenitude   an odd and claysome
moment occurring at times
by which I came to be each and every
sand grain resting in our universe
with no other needs besides fulfilling
space with presence – one only possible if
singular and plural at once – in such times
I was alone though in my solitude
there was room for the whole – human
and material kind

I realize there is a timeless link
between past and present – the barnacle’s leg
has a crispy outward layer slightly
wizened as an old man
in contrast its inside is soft and
juicy flavours remain active
long after swallow occurs
inviting to further
explorations – might


The a-z of Love by Loretta Leslie

acutely aware of you
beside me, your essence
contained within the flesh, my
desire to possess and control
expression of want
fearful, thoughts re-
gurgitated from the past
helpless to overcome the
isolation of a hollow
jaundice being, its essence
kept within the limits of
loneliness, you are the
measure of the magnitude of my
narcissism, your presence
overwhelming the fragile ego
potent you are the
quintessences of love, you
represent the beauty of life
surrounding the senses
tantalising the body
unleashing the epicentre of my
vulnerable being
wanton, you whisper
Xenocles’ poetry, the
yataghan cleaving the
zenith of my soul



Sinners by Portia Burton

Invisible insects of ogling glances
Continue to bite all day long,
Denim jeans hopelessly try to lessen
The stings of pinches of thievish hands.
They never treat you as an individual,
But only as an object to lust about,
Forgetting they’ve daughters like you
Whom they protect like their own lives.
Oh, do they really? I seriously doubt,
Because for them a girl is just female
Created solely for their satisfaction,
A descendant of Eve whom they’ve branded
As the original sinner and waylaying wench
Who lured and led them to their fall.


Persephone’s Worlds by Laurie Corzett

I have wandered far from thoughtless girlhood,
am woman grown, a Queen
in my own right.
Yet I am treated with the expectations
of a mindless child
in my mother’s Summer home.
The Gods are all agog with Zeus,
fickle, abrasive, free to take full stance
above the laws he so imperiously commands.
My Dark King is so much more a man,
sincere, deeply feeling, committed to his realm,
compassionate, if not always kind.
Yet, this season I must obey the crowd,
display charm and grace
in haute couture, make small, insipid
conversation with useless socialites
decorating Zeus’ lawn parties.
Up here, life is meaningless,
All flash and doggerel
to amuse, O’, do entertain us.
So tiring to endure the ennui.
Those not privy to opulent entitlement,
relegated to the dregs of servitude, or less
endure for their time, brutal, painful, short,
for no good reason.
I hear their horrid tales,
back in my rightful place and purpose.
Shrunken souls, shriveled by life time hungers
still growling beyond the grave.
I am balm and wise mother.
At last they matter, their stories opening in me
a marvelous passageway through which they are
taken into paradise.
My life above, the petulant daughter,
the pampered goddess spawn,
I endure coldly.
Summer’s trivialities, properly obedient to
rituals of social condition,
know nothing of my true calling
under Winter’s glory.

Persephone’s Breakthrough

This is where the idea is born.

Soft green meadows gently transforming into fall
Sounds of dying, scent of woodfire and candlelight
No separation between what is becoming
Accept and be revealed

Summer’s wild adventures
Spring was a torrent of clarity, precious rain,
Earth coarse, ready for fecund pleasure
Queen of night in daylight’s realm
obsessed in flowering
roses and daffodils
valleys and nubile hills
all is vanity and laughing vice
“But, Mother, I’m not a nice girl.
I’m a creature of the breeze; secure in shadow;
alive on the cutting edge of the storm.”
Myth in revision
Standing at the back of the playground
learning theater, tucking metaphors
into interstices of sense and anticipation
In spring, kicking stones along sandy riverbeds
reading the classics
to savor practice: valor, glory, dramatic lines

Summer deceives
the stink of rot where flowers bloom
ancient feuds, retaliations, rage
tyrannosaurus feeding future waste,
absorbing a zeitgeist of want, of predation

Within greed-swollen seed infectious fear
makes merry with misery’s habit
Mythology frustrates, curls back on its own ash
Eyes burn with hazy summer wine and wilding
Feet connect dust to sky — but only in designated
spheres, with designated peers, self-selected inhibitions
Sweat out poison into the ground; now, eat the bounty
Midsummer farce, far from honor, far from sunrise,
counting out the chimes as if time were treasure
Silly summer madness as if what matters
is so circumscribed, so predictable

Early autumn firelight
reminiscent of witch hunts, ghosts of calvary,
dire warnings and endless hide and strike
The game, the funhouse, turns deadly
Sanctuary calls, demanding sacrifice
The noble phoenix fed on frankenseed
can not rise

Skies descend, dark mirroring
Smell the woodsmoke, intoxicating, soft and sweet,
masks the taste of bitter bile, secret vomiting,
starving despite harvest’s gay array of treats
Faded, nearly blind, falling in and out of
shamanic fever, primeval native callings beyond sight,
ripple of tribal beat at the periphery
ecstatic vision dark/light/agony and brilliant breaks
starbright constellations

Traversing worlds
seasons, years, moments of clarity
no need to navigate, to invent boundaries;
dance of the highlands warmth and sustenance
makes whole


Snapshot by Allene Angelica

I stared out
At the Adriatic
In a trance

The sea’s wealth of
Emeralds, sapphires, diamonds
True jewels shimmering
In the midday light before me
By the golden rays
Of the sun

I, along with the other
Backpacked foreigners,
Quietly sat
Taking in its beauty
Words can do it no justice
Maybe, diminish it somehow

Time and we
Stood still
While sailboats floated
Gracefully by
Fragile in the distance

I wanted to take a picture
A memento
Of this place
On this wall
Lovingly preserved
For over eight hundred years
But I couldn’t
It wouldn’t be the same

Instead, I captured the essence
The oneness
The serenity


Eternal in my memory



it’s a curious kind
of homesickness
turned upside down
wistfully wanes
returning to the
ever ordinary silence
every travel leaving
a part of myself
on roads in the rearview
returning… empty


impromptu from 6:30 this morning by Michael Veloff

among the fallen
no shelter from the wind
branches bare themselves
to the teeth
of wolven winter
no more to bend
broken twigs
at the roots
like lost promise
and the yielding
which must persist
i walk



Inspiration Gap by Mark Read

There’s a gap
Not a gap we can jump
It’s wider than that
It’s an Inspiration Gap

Oh! Sounds very trendy
Must be the current vogue gap
A money gap
That is, I mean a gap that costs money

It’s a gap
Its a fall in and never reaches the bottom gap
An obscure gap
Becomes more obscure with age
In any case, it’s a bloody big gap

If it doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg
What about this bloody big gap?
How big is this bloody big gap?

Infinite and infinitesimal
Depends on your perspective

Sounds expensive
Humor me – I’m perspectively perplexed
De-perplex me

(Sounds expensive)

There’s a gap
It’s a gap between words
Your words
Between your words when you criticize a child
And your words when you inspire a child
An Inspiration Gap

Doesn’t sound that expensive

Wrong words versus right words
Stern words versus compassionate words
Cheap words versus wise words
Shades of love

By the way
Over the years it can be expensive


The Fog by Fergus Martin

In the fog
The blinded man is lost
He sits and waits
Waiting for the mist to lift
To clear
Revealing the path to what was lost
So he once again may be sighted
May be whole
Once again be fruitful
But as the skies become clear
He remains blinded
Lost in his fog of thoughts


Trans by Laurie Corzett

You are not a woman in a man’s body/ a man
in a woman’s body.
You are you in your body
your interests and desires are not what you’ve
been taught
to want.
What do you want?
In tense deep night conversations
with inheld voicing,
what do you say?
Do you believe
“I was born wrong.”?
try to deceive with comforting scenarios
of how life might be
free of cumbersome realities?
“Touch me.” you implore of bare air.
“Teach me not to care, or to disappear.”
This world has become so small.
Barely room to breathe soul exhaust.
Survival’s not worth the cost of your
one true life.
Double bind.
Once there were heroes, transcending self
interest to live one true moment (however long).
Transcend myths; claim your interests and desires
if only for a moment,
feel alive,
strong with desire
without feeling wrong (unless what you want is
What do you want?
How do you feel alive?


NOVEMBRE by Rosa Bizzintino
Arrivi con i crisantemi
giù nei cimiteri
sei un malinconico
triste e tetro,
a pensar ai morti
alle candele da
ai fiori da sistemare
sulle solitarie tombe e
mare di lacrime.
Ma mi allieta
che passerai,
come il vento,
che porta via le foglie,
le foglie lontane.
E così a pensar
al Natale bello e lieto.


Arrivals with chrysanthemums
Down in cemeteries
you are a melancholy
sad and gloomy,
difficult to think of the dead
the candles
the flowers to be placed
the lonely graves and
the immense
sea of tears.
But I rejoice
you’ll spend,
like the wind,
that takes away the leaves,
the distant leaves.
And so pensar
the beautiful Christmas and pleased.


untitled tanka by Niamh Serendipity


the depth of your soul
is not easily measured
but glimpses are there
allowing one to see in
just hinting at its beauty



I Have Found a White Whale
(a found poem)

Call me Ishmael.

Who in the rainbow
can draw the line
where the violet tint ends
and the orange tint begins?
Distinctly we see the difference
of the colors, but where exactly
does the one first blendingly enter
into the other?

So with sanity and insanity

for there is no folly
of the beast of the earth
which is not infinitely outdone
by the madness of men

Truth uncompromisingly told
will always have its jagged edges

There are certain queer times
and occasions
in this strange
mixed affair
we call life
when a man
takes this whole universe

for a vast practical joke

A good Laugh
Is a mighty Good Thing
And rather too scarce..
More’s the pity
…and Heaven have mercy on us all
Presbyterians and Pagans alike –
for we are all somehow
dreadfully cracked about the head,
and sadly need mending.

I know not all that may be coming,
but be it what it will,

I’ll go to it laughing.


Ancient and Random by sma river

Ridiculous you make me
Smiles and licks
So many places to tease you
Occasional touch tantalizes
Your darting tongue
The distance of your voice
Your scent persistent
Like musk and wood and purpose.
Did I conjure you
My pheromones a siren?
My smile a lure?
But you found me.
You Willed this to happen…
Our meeting
Our knowing
Your brown penetrating through my lashes
Thin fringe veiling the green of my desire
Hiding the poet.
You won’t have it
All young Scorpio and mystery
Potent and sure
You unravel me
Strand by strand
And I allow
This piece of me
This secret unknown.
Each intimate exchange
Each time we couple
We learn. Spells cast
And moving
Advancing on my guard
Like autumn mist
Devouring ideas and words
Like artifice.
Distilling my essence
Soft as seduction.
Whispering firm commands
With your fingers.
We create a temporary cocoon for us
A space apart
A place to
Release and devour
An hour together
Leaving us both sticky and
Now is the thinnest season.
Ghosts walk between worlds.
If we met before
Was it much the same
Just a glance
A few months
Or a lifetime of cat games?
The hint of knowledge lingers
On my clothes
The cologne of our last encounter.
Dust is certain. The rest smoulders
Stoked by ritual
Banked among ruins
And a flicker of memory
A flame in the dark.
Sacred priestess
Selfish serpent
Whore and thief
Shaman and warrior queen
Soldier and spy
Morpheus and Iris
The story shifts
Shuffling cards
And costumes
Ages and players like dice.
But the eyes are constant
The breath is warm
And the lessons remain.
I know you


The Little Pearl Box by Gianfranco Aurilio

There is a little pearl box
in my heart
and sometimes I open it
to regale myself with joys.
I have picked them up
in silk seabeds
where caresses
have petals
and kisses
taste of honey.
I have found them
among rivers of smiles
with banks
coloured with passion,
in valleys
where fields are sown
with sweetness,
on mountain tops
made of attentions
where meadows are covered
with affections.
They are the loves of life.
There is a little pearl box
in my heart
and sometimes I open it
to regale myself with joys.


November 1 – 28, 2015

Overlooking the Sky by Gianfranco Aurilio

On the cliff,
where dreams live
and the colours are wishes,
there is a little rock
on which I often sit.
Upon me the sea,
made of music
that cannot be heard
but can be seen,
of rivers
where sunsets flow
and dawns
dance with the moon.
Around me
the hands of the wind
tell stories
that I can touch
while the rays of the sun
playing run after each other
and under the cliff
singing nebuale
dress with light
the hair of the sky.

charlie's angels

Weary Will by Mark Read

Twilight and smoke

Everywhere smoke
Refusing to rise to sovereign sky
Preferring to tumble to ground
As a courtesan to her beau
To hedgerows, homes, hostelries, humankind, and beasts alike

Will coughs
He hawks
Phlegm grey-green on the about-to-freeze mud
Winter lurks
“The path will be a treacherous wayfare come the morn”

At last
Bone weary
Home and the hearth
Yet, not where the heart is
A port in a storm
Lanterns lit
Starboard and larboard to a weary mariner
To pilot Weary Will
To his desk, parchment, ink and quill

A man breathes heavy
Old age creeping ever closer
A distant wolf
Howling at the gibbous moon

Huffing and puffing his ascent
Odysseus returned to Ithaca
Safe haven
Snug retreat for Weary Will
To his desk, parchment, ink and quill

At last
The embrace of his old friend
Churchwarden pipe comfortably stoked
Pewter tankard sloshing
Last of the summer wine
“Glorious summer”

Mordant or expectant?
“Muse, your disciple awaits”
“Enter Gloucester”
Weary Will
Looks to his desk, parchment, ink and quill

Will inhales
Releases one long, heartfelt sigh
Snagged, teased, “clouds lour’d upon our house”
Words take form

Time held in abeyance
“Enter Gloucester, solus”
Quill scratching
Ink flowing
Parchment, ever thirsty
Quaffs Will’s glorious summer wine



Between by Splaetos

The clockwork tower slips a cog
when blood seeps in beneath its teeth.
“A moment’s trouble,” says the janitor,
his mop ever primed for the mess.
The workmen arrive, on overtime—
whistling. Their wives have packed lunch.
The watchmen watch the workers
and the overseer watches the watchmen,
and the sentries never sleep,
though they may nod.
The world keeps running,
having never learned to walk.

We wake to the electric demagogue
choking on his sympathies,
and wish we’d had those words
he speaks so well.
He speaks of baptismal fire,
he speaks of(With!)
the resolution we must keep.
While the minstrels only sing,
and the poets only talk.

The sky has not yet fallen;
the warmth of summer lingers.
The prophets of the past
have all gone up in smoke.
And how stands the tower?
Tried and true in the Autumnal light.
Because art is only art,
and only entertainment,
and we are but looking glass fools.

roses on fire

The Eleventh Hour by  Fergus Martin

The pain is always there,
Idling away in a gently beating heart
Resting while the world carries on

But for one brief second
A moment in the passage of time
Pain’s voice rises to the surface
Crying out to be heard

And as the bell tolls
The dam bursts
Pain floods in waves
Unstoppable torrents
Finally released

Street sweepers clear the debris of today
Daily routine returns
Pain laid to rest once more
Forgotten for another year

As the voices subside within
Memories remain in the heart
The pain is always there.

the phoenix

Magical Ponds by Kristy Rulebreaker

Magical are those ponds
but no one goes there
only the children

Only those who know
to see gold in one
grain of soil

The adults tread on their tracks
They refuse to look around
to see the magic of the world

The adults don’t know that those
magical ponds are so close
right behind that bush

lotus flower

Philosophy by Evelyn Elizabeth

An ancient fire paints shadows
of love’s dance in my heart’s hollow
A language I don’t understand
Fire with a sleight of hand
Forming words into hieroglyphics
Shadows concealing any specifics

My mind stirs next to the glow
As time begins to slow
I seek constellations on the wall
Signs of hope holding through it all
Plenty of flames still flicker
Though the heat has lost some ember

Four tall walls surround me
and I’ve never even seen the other three
I sit to give meaning to the dance
Continue to wish on a chance
Some say this is all I’ll ever know
A pyrotechnic hieroglyphic show

But fire hasn’t lost its meaning
The walls dance with dreaming
I’ll turn to stoke the fire
With tales of passion and desire
An allegory of my heart’s cave
And how someday love will stay


So Close by sma river

We’ve almost said it
It floats on the air
A miasma of
Don’t make me speak the phrase
Just yet
So far apart.
Will those words cross oceans
Wrap you in my smaller arms
Let you feel
White fingernails
Cool toes
Lips close
Over pebbled skin
Move slowly up your neck
Each shallow breath
Of yours
Of mine
a slap
Of need
Each inch a mile?
Will you smell of cigarettes and soap
Your crop and
Warm skin?
How will your mouth feel
Your skin taste
Your voice vibrate in your chest?
I dive
Can’t stop
Not to
Hurl us
Into the wall
Guzzling time
As if our first
Because it is
Would be
Don’t make me say I love you.
You first.

cat taking off

Harriet by Kiku Koibito

My birth certificate
Was on the table
I’d never seen it
I was 12 or 13
So I glanced at it
But the line for the name
Read ‘Harold’
“Mom, why does my birth certificate
Say ‘Harold’?”
She said “Oh, your father did that while
I was in labor with you
He was so sure you’d be a boy
I got it legally changed a few weeks later.”
And it occurred to me
This was probably
Why I’d never met the man
Discarded for a thing
I’d had no choice about
I was indignant
I was bigger, faster, stronger
And smarter than any boy
In my class
(they caught up by high school)
I’d always wondered
Been sad about it
How could he do that
Without even knowing me?
All the kids asked
At every new school
What does your dad do?
He’s a doctor
Where is he?
I don’t know
They’re divorced
Doesn’t he visit you?
Why not?
He’d never know
I was a fast, avid reader
I would defend my smaller friends
From bullies
I had a competitive spirit
And he died never knowing

dawn of justice

Bad Guy by Andre M. Thomas

I learned in life some come so go, and some gone make it worthwhile, things like a wife which make it nice, or plans to have your first child, never one to be surprised I learn through error and trial, never one to sit and cry I learn from errors and smile, so many said I wouldn’t make it said my head was a brick, my confidence can’t break or shake it, see in my head it’s a script, but its from God not Hollywood, where bad guys made up pretend, me I’m a God straight out the hood, the bad guy destined to win.

the matrix

Whenever The House Is Dark by José Coelho

Of her loss and how sadly nature fell
I realize now, the dimension, eagle-like
plummeting into mother’s crevice
just once
that ever lasting
when honed edges cut
the word draining away breath
skin, flesh, bones
memories like fall trees
walls, ground, horizon

– look
straight ahead: the house, existing
simply covers the night. The sweet bay
tree, behind, hints at the stars and rhymes
alone, all by it self
against the freshness of wet
mint and breeze
the silver light hums
no answers, no questions
nothing bears nothing, within a certain
interval because
evaporate with warmth – earth’s
warmth –

Whenever the house is dark, the moon
is lit
and I go out


Burnt by Allene Angelica

Parched cracked lips
Too sore to fully close
Not a hint of wetness
On her dry shriveled tongue
Even her blood didn’t want
To be exposed

How did I get here
In this barren wasteland?

She wondered
For the millionth time

This world of sand and sun

Take it from her
She wasn’t having any fun

She lay exhausted
On the smooth glassy grains
Eyes closed
Praying for rain
While fiery rays
Pinned and needled
Her painfully
Blistered skin

Her last breath
In defeat

Oh Lord, I give in

How funny…
She thought
Her very last thought
Cafe au lait
My natural hue
But I can burn
Oh baby burn
And I never even knew


untitled poem by Draca

Cherries in my flesh
Sticking like diamonds
Made of stone fired dirt

Eating bird beaks
In a time of death

Forging life in dreams of
Universe folded in spirit

Of space
Abundant of cherries
Dead in apperception

cat on a skateboard

The Curator by Evelyn Elizabeth

I walked with him
on a day in November
under an oyster-opalescent sky
as he spun his thoughts
of a woman he once held

His eyes locked
to the loneliness
of the sea –
I listened, as he
catalogued a history
of dreams
set to the rhythm
of soft lapping waves

I saw in his eyes
the cry of a tide
and in his stance,
a dying stride
of once, hand in hand
His smile,
a faded expanse
of vows, she whispered
and his promises

Under a dying Sun –
Weathered and worn
on a shore of escape
I found her love
pounds, yet
beneath his chest

A tattered binding of
curated words, written
on his heart

And as I walked
beside him, my heart sank
an ocean’s depth
The November sky
resolved –
His love was blind
She was his last tenderness left
and time knows no forgiveness

american horror story

Reciprocity by Splaetos

Take your fill, and take this will of mine—
submerged beneath your sea of blushing fire.
In waves of sway and sweat that never tire,
in rolling eyes and shivers down the spine
your silken tease has lashed me to the pine
of sunken masts, of shipwrecks in the mire
of lust and blind allegiance to desire;
arousal holds me fast unto your shrine.
Each salted breath that breaks upon my flesh
as greedy eyes and carnal souls enmesh,
inflames the muscle biding in this chest.
These bonds can’t quell the hunger for my prize,
each cove along your eager shore of sighs—
capsized you writhe, within my rapture pressed.

marla singer

untitled poem by Denise Baxter Yoder

With baleful stare
And a preference for red
Thoughts curl their slow seductive spiral
Reeling and winding like errant waves
Ever higher
From heart to head
Swimming in a perfect storm of emotions
Finding an island of peace instead


Can you guess? by Loretta Leslie

Part 1

Twilight gently brushes the evening sky
Darkness laps in its wake
A pebble path contrasts the gloom
Mindful, our tread crunches
in ponderous rhythm
There, by the embankment, we await
the mantle of night
Do you see them?
One then another
Tiny incandescent
A firmament captured
under the tree ferns
Glow worm

Part 2

River licks mossy bank
Soft sighs the night
as it envelops the world
Stygian the forest
But there, not oppressed
They dart
Pin pricks
Fleet of wing
One alights my waiting hand
Gone in a trice
Dancing spangles
Fire fly


Expirations by Luke Normsy

My driver’s license
expired in September,

the timeframe
is in months now,
1-2 seems to be
the consensus

he will be
hospitalized until
Thanksgiving at

and it’s reached the
stage where to pass
the time he stews
in regret and

things he never got to do
working too much
not loving enough

I listened to this shit
by phone
for about ½ an hour
before saying

so is this the plan? To
spend what’s left
kicking yourself
in the ass? Why
don’t you just
die right now?

he didn’t say anything
people don’t talk to Mack Normsy like that
people don’t talk to the dying like that

pop, I said, unless that
hospital has a time machine
there’s nothing you can
do about what was, only
what will be, however

he still didn’t say anything and
then I heard a gentle snoring
on the line

he had fallen asleep,
morphine, you know

I hung up the phone

130 dead in Paris
one man dying in Allentown, PA

my driver’s license
expired in September

I would like to
stitch this all together
for you, to make it mean

maybe if I were a better
poet or a better man
I could do it for you,
and also for me

my driver’s license
expired in September

and a man is dying

in Allentown, PA

down the rabbit hole

Intrinsic Places by José Coelho

In this recurrent memory, the lagoon – of a pale umber-like dark, mysteriously lapping against the old wood rotten walls – is my bed, my comfort, my immaterial frame where my body unknowingly rests and tides.

It is past now, years after departing, I realize how omniactive she is. Her brackish waters flowing underground, disseminate the river and the sea, the mountain and Moon’s arms, delivering an addicted imprint to walls, books, clothes, faience and to the people.

As a child, I watched often, other bigger boys jumping from the bridge into her depths, thinking why would they do it if the bottom was a meter thick layer of sludge. I used to dream of walking on that viscous mixture, burring my self to the waist or just swimming during the flow.
Nothing came about – there was always the sea.

Some say the lagoon immures the city, but I think she teases us to become one and the same.


Acute Parallel by Evelyn Elizabeth

I only see glimpses, now
of the perfection
you held

Our reality slips through streaming
of red nightmare waves, coursing through muddled veins

I see her glow within your
disobedient ribcage
I see your dreams slow

Yet you are assured
she completes your hollow
Her eyes rob
Her lips lie
Her ears never hear you cry
You run to her just the same
Arms tied open
Tripping over your own objections
Longing for her torrid embrace

And every time
our reality slips away

My tear-stained eyes
are less than a third
of your vision
My lips hold to your truth
My ears soothe the ache
A hold, to cleanse brown veins
Knowing, you were art once
and you could be it again

I hate her so
but in you

I see the perfection still


Under Autumn Clouds by Kiku Koibito

Geese arrow together
each other
Long flight ahead
The cold air
their gathering
Trading leaders
when they tire

A destination
By the elders
They communicate
Sharp honking
All along
Their journey
Fellowship in cries

I watch from the ground
In silence

fight club

Ode to Hogmanay by John Griffin

Twas hogmanay
lads an lassies wid sae
Scots blood tae party the lang night awae

Mare drink mare food
Best tae luck fae yer brood
Telt yer maw im awae
Aye pal we will sae
Ive a first foot in the close up the way

When the bells toll 12
Grab yer girl an profess
Mon gees a kiss doll
Sae sorry am pish’d

Dinnae stoater aboot
Auld lang syne is afoot
Raise yer glass an sing oot o night lang

The clock will chime 3
We’re nae finished
You’ll see

Yer bed il nae come
Till the booze is awe done
And the polis a visit has been

Wae yer heed full of mead
On the wae hame you will conceed
An thank Jesus by god
yer nae deed!

the mad hatter

Black Freaksday by Le Hornet

Mad Thanksgiving,
Money Thanksgiving,
but no one thanks the pilgrims.
wait it’s not my
place to say,
but what I know
it’s not your
place to stay,
wait wait wait…
just give you
my poetic take,
although I’m not U.S,
consumerism is consumerism,
if you live in the
western state.Black Friday,
my Friday was light,
not white,
weather was grey,
smiles were bright

Black Friday,
black eyes,
adults fight
children cry.

Black Friday,
sleeping under parking lights,
funny how you buy,
but don’t buy a homeless man
a meal for the night,
who has to sleep there for life.

Happy thanks giving,
but all you are doing is grabbing,
after you give grace,
straight in
with some mace.

In between
money giving,
you broke
not living,
Santa’s getting,
all your money,
whilst you in the red,
debt settling instead of settling.

to not work
on the day
which has bad intention,
you support evil
do nothing, will give
you bad vibrations.

You want to give,
then give yourself a hobby,
not running to the isle,
then walking out wobbly.

Stampede like it’s Jamanji,
roll the dice for a low price
at the same time a mans life,
go home and say I was there,
man could have had a child and a wife,
I ain’t even going to ask
how you sleep at night,

A tradition enhanced by…
all so you can buy a
cooperate companies are fishing,
you’re the bait, as you go murky swimming,
Dark indeed when are swamped,
crocodiles and hippo, the mall is the tank;
retail sharks, bite into your pocket,
a pointless day compared to a memorable locket.

Billions to rich minions,
despicable you,
rob yourself of family time,
time with their family,
smug laughing at your insanity.

It’s a mystery why
they call it black Friday,
it’s just another spending day,
waste of pay,
next month you back to broke,
not feeling stoked,
maybe without heating
feeling cold.

Never thought that people
would gather around a store,
especially those who are poor,
most parents this year
will not be playing Santa clause
as their Doe Doe Doe
will be on over pause,

I write this from a
non consumer view,
but from my view,
it’s clear that people
have become stu…pid,
royal rumble
for some new shit,
old habits better die hard…
but for now…

green eggs and ham
There is a Time for Poetry by Michael French
……And this is not one of them.You smell nice
And you look pretty
……in your jeweled frog pajamas

I see you got your nails done
and your toes
…….I want to see them all up close

There are other types of poetry
than the stuff that goes on a page

memoirs of a geisha
No words by Michael French
…of course a lie
I can touch it
know the edges like the inside of my mouth
But it moves as I seek the limits
The effect is infinite
even knowing there is no such thing…and I am aware
this is the most common thing there is
My job here is to see it
clearly and…
I was going to say without fear
of course a lie

the terminator
Glances (If only we had known) by Mark Read
A darkness and warm wetness
Rudely replaced by goose-bumps and prickly skin
Congealed Mother’s blood
Eyes – no muscle, no focus, no glanced vision of life to come
Light and shadows moving in a black and white movie
If we knew, we would enjoy the nostalgic moment
We don’t
We sleep
The coming darkness
A dry pain congealing, encircling the heart
Extremities slowly cooling
Losing their sense of touch
Eyes flickering – strobe-like
Glancing to left, and right and left again
A dervish dance
Manic pinball bouncing from family face to family face
Low resolution images
Colours degrading to grey tones
One final, departing glance
Shared between Me and the Love of My Life
We sleep

Points and Lines and Curves by Denise Baxter Yoder
Three sides to view
Love’s triangularities
Trios often are impromptu
Odd numbers of disparity
Thereby often  misconstrued
Until there is a two by two
When someone’s added or deleted
Old dynamics superseded
Within a cozy quadrilateral
Relationships can be collateral
So best to be a pan~romantic
Which isn’t nearly quite so frantic
Circuitous without a doubt
Linking love roundabout
Circles roll happily along
No edges mar their simple song
pulp fiction
Adorable Ruin Flourishing by José Coelho
Between dances
I trim her nails to the gut
is an asshole
we should be proud of
the trees, our trees
do they have a name, can they be named
is that allowed
without taking too much space
or shrinking another mushroom
cutting one more finger
Don’t, please!
he will need it
up his ass – adorable monument
decayingWe should be proud of
the water, the bread, the sun
and name it
can we, without prejudice, without
say, we have streets and squares
where we like to dance
sing, read, walk, sip
muted thoughts
under a burning sky
and maybe
d i e
if we want to

I scathe her not with the pincer
would faint
instead I rub that old liniment against
their skin, aching
between showers
of happiness or maybe just joy
lest language becomes
mere words, shadow
of that which fell

Cut Your Lips Before I Kiss You by Joshua Art
I want to cut your lips before I kiss you
So I can taste all the lies you mixed in your blood of truth
So I can drink from you and regain some of my stolen youth
I want to slip on your tongue until I am cut and bleeding too
So I can take your poison directly
…while it is fresh and it is new
BigUps & Much ❤ To All Contributors. Remember: the poet tree will be streamed…so, let’s forever indulge in the balance of delicious agony and suite ecstasy of our everlasting leaves, always writing what the moment recommends to infinity and beyond. Till next time, Write On/;-)
Much ❤ to the Magnificent Six [Moderators/Co-Owners/Co-Editors]:
RC deWinter
Uma Venkatraman
Mary Macharia
Arthur Turfa
Frederick Andrew
Michael David Saunders Hall (aka the 21st Century Griot)
& thank you very much Mary Macharia for collabrating with me on this edition:-)
the terminator
©2016 Words on Fire.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s