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Coffee House Poet by Lisa Tate

A grey haired artist bares
His soul as he shares
Emotional words
From that stage up there.
Afterwards he can be seen
Moonwalking towards his
Cup of dreams
A mug of steamed coffee doused in
Amaretto cream.
Ripples caused from his
Shaking hand
Give away to nerves unplanned.
Yet he never walks away
He’ll face that bright
Sunshiny day.
And he’ll face that slow-cooked
Blackened night
Head on, face looking at the stars
The bars, the speeding cars.
He’ll sit on the scarred stone walls
Outside the performance hall.
Writing down thoughts,
Writing down rhymes,
Writing down poems and finds,
Because that’s what he’s supposed to do.
He’s meant to tattoo his words
Onto peoples hearts.
To make his audience stew
Over what’s true
And the facts they thought they knew.
He’s meant to pursue emotions
To color devotions
To knock down promotions,
To tie back hair and watch people stare
At the worlds he’s discovered,
Created, uncovered.
And he does his job,
Pulling back the curtains to reveal
Stories that are fiction
And those that are real.
He designs his own world
In which he’s learned to ignore
How he feels
How it hurts when he’s torn
From pedestals, from stages,
From miles of blank pages.
And he’s stuck in their cages,
Putting pen to the paper,
He writes it all down,
All the smiles and frowns,
His observations of the street
Beats of yellows and browns.
It’s all there, colored in on the page
Outside the lines
Like he was half his age.
He’s bent on breaking through
This world tinted with
Rage.
He desires to
Peel back the pavement
And find something better underneath.
A place that circumvents reality,
Fatality, normality.
Where he can be whoever,
Go wherever.
A tangible universe
In which he can endeavor
To maybe for once,
Stop asking for permission
And produce his own definitions.

 

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He fell to His Knees by Sean Hisaka

He fell to his knees

Not with the violent force of a quake,

Nor the explosiveness of a building quickly crumbling.

It was silent,

In the hallway,

Face diving into his hands

Like a swallow to the sea.

He begged,

Like a man praying to God,

But his plea was much more simple.

She stood,

Surrounded in the darkness by the feeling.

Not a single drop of salt rolled down her face.

This violence,

Motionless in the silence,

Was more profound than his voice.

She saw his placating shadow,

A silhouette on the wall,

Illuminated by the streetlamp,

Striated by the shutters.

There was no anger in her voice,

No sadness to accompany the orchestra

Of his breaking heart.

Out of his mouth and into the carpet,

A flood of unworldly proportions came.

Fish flopped around like fops frothing from the mouth,

Admonishing astonishing accusations of adultery,

Begging and beguiling his beauty to begin beckoning him to bed.

His words made no dent.

Caressing hands reached to hold-

Reached for her hair-

Coming up short every time.

Maybe it was his vision,

The darkness-

Banal apologies rushed to her like stampeding bulls.

No longer enamored with his voice

She turned to the door

Pivoting on the balls of her bare feet.

Forever she shall be chased

By the heart of man.

 

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Love Letters by Lisa Tate

I wrote seven love letters,

One for every day of the week

Haphazardly written to express

The childish mess weighing down my mind.

Each one addressed my insatiable desire

To lay you down on my floor

And adore your body with my tongue,

You’re the one who would never let me touch you.

It was too perplexing, too confusing,

So complex that I’m surprised

You never had me sign a consent form

For simply warming my hands on your skin.

You won’t let me in, acting as if

My begging and pleading don’t bruise your grin,

As if it’s a sin for me to want to kiss

The dimple on your chin.

But I can’t begin to even reach in your direction,

To breach that imaginary barrier

Between my lips and your expression,

This is as close to a confession

That I’ll give you.

 

I’m living in what I hope to be fiction,

You are just one more addiction

That I can add to my list of bad habits

And unnecessary afflictions.

It’s as if my heart’s depiction of you

Has my organs dancing ballroom,

My veins come dressed in costume

But nothing can hide that they keep me alive

So that I can breathe next to you.

We’re overdue, and I wish I could glue

Your body to mine, intertwined

But you shake me off, the San Andres fault line

Could never compare to the force of you pushing me away.

But I’ll stay.

I’ll stay even if it means my heart succumbing to decay

Because I’m simply a display

With my story framed between headlines on page twenty-eight.

I can’t help who I love,

And you can’t help you are afraid.

 

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10 Haikus -William Ellers

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Beautiful Japan.
Tragedy struck you today.
I pray for the dead.

Sweet sister Japan
The heart aches for you, eyes weeping
We feel your sadness.

Reactors shut down
Japan plunged into darkness
Refineries burn.

Earthquake strikes Japan
Tsunami devestates land
Japan will survive.

No warning, Japan.
Tsunami rushes in.
Houses gone, fields flooded.

Ground shakes, buildings sway
Engineer designs are good
Few buildings are lost.

Recover, rebuild
Japan’s resiliance prevails
The world is ready to help.

Japan’s candle dimmed
Quake and tsunami destroy
Japan’s light still shines

Relief efforts come
The world unites in Japan’s pain
We are all human.

Japan, warm embrace
10 haiku, a gift for you
Not a wealthy man.

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