Weekly Write: “Growth” by Daniel Perez

Growth

The sun doesn’t kiss my lips anymore
The breeze does not say hello
when it walks by on its way
to wherever it goes when it’s missed

The things I felt would never leave,
a stroke of the hand
on the small of my back,
a head of hair
splayed across my stomach,
have roots in the earth
Their stems have grown past me
into the sky and toward every star

And as those stems burn,
turning to white ash,
I dig microscopic graves
for every piece that falls back down

Stay with me in the black dirt
Stay with me and dig holes
Don’t grow,
so I can feel beautiful again.

Daniel Perez writes poetry, short stories, and plays. He currently lives and writes in Boston, where he enjoys hearing the shrill scream of the Green Line from his bedroom.

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Weekly Write: “through the cracks” by Kat Heatherington

through the cracks

once on impulse, i planted a hollyhock seed
in a crack between flagstones
near the spigot, where the swamp cooler
dripped erratically in the summer.
the first spring, it put up
four small sturdy leaves,
and i watered it whenever i remembered.
that winter came new love and large changes,
and what with it all, i moved away
leaving the hollyhock to live or die in that crack.
most of the rest of the garden
died of inattention.
two years later, i drive down that street
and glance by reflex toward my old front door,
and i can’t even see it
for the height of that deep green hollyhock,
big leaves bushing up from the flagstones,
not just alive,
but thriving.

 

Kat Heatherington is a queer ecofeminist poet, sometime artist, pagan, and organic gardener. She lives south of Albuquerque, NM in Sunflower River intentional community, sunflowerriver.org. Kat’s work primarily addresses the interstices of human relationships and the natural world. Her work can be read at https://sometimesaparticle.org.

Weekly Write: “Birth Mother” by Michelle Dobbs

Birth, Mother

“I drew my first breath,
went back to work the next day,
walked through the threshold,
and never came back.”

– A Figment Of My Imagination
 

Wednesday
September 19th, 1990
2am,
I drew my first breath,
in a room full of strangers.
No one there wanted me.

I was purged,
as if my mother was absolved from me,
as if one night stand was rewritten to just one night,
as if she was pure again,
after the umbilical was severed.

My mother,
went back to work the next day,
I was hours old.
She left,
and never came back,
for me.
I rendered her breathless.
I knew nothing,
of breathing,
just that it had to be done.

I dreamt of it as if I remember
seeing her
get out of the hospital bed,
put clothes on,
tie shoes,
kiss my forehead goodbye,
she                  walked through the threshold
not my mother,
just a passerby.

That day,
I breathed in all the goodbyes I could ever need.

 

Michelle Dodd is a spoken word artist based out of Richmond, Virginia. She has performed for TedxWomenRVA in 2016. She is a fellow of The Watering Hole Writing Retreat. She was a member of The Writer’s Den Slam Team in 2016 and 2017; a team placing among the top teams in the USA. Dodd has been published in Whurk Magazine, K’in Literary Journal, The Scene and Heard Journal, SWWIM, and Wusgood online magazine. She has self published two chapbooks of poetry in 2017. She is one of the coaches, for the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) CUPSI slam team for 2018, that placed 3rd internationally.

 

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2019 Anthology.

Click here check out Parade: Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018 available for only $10.95.

Weekly Write: “From Certain Distances In Space I Still See My Brother” by Gary Beaumier

From Certain Distances In Space I Still See My Brother

Somewhere mother holds you against her breasts in a Chicago flat
— the war winding down —
while she warms a bottle and tests the milk on the tender of her wrist;
“you are my sunshine,” she sings.

Somewhere you sit in a quilted coat
upon a tricycle in front of a red house,
and later still your fastball hisses over
home plate into the strike zone.

Somewhere a man says we all derive from stars,
while a holy person declares we will live forever.

You still succor your fractious babies as you pace a midnight floor.

Only just now a distant planet watches you bend to help a student
or soften your embrace to your wife in the utter dark.

Somehow you glide out of a fifth floor hospital room into a painted twilight,
into streams of cars and trucks and exhaust
as your family holds your emancipated body and rides with you to the edge of life

and somewhere a medical student
peels back what remains of you
to learn the human clockwork.

 

Previously published in Third Wednesday and also The Esthetic Apostle.

In his later years Gary Beaumier has become something of a beachcomber and has self diagnosed with “compulsive walking disorder.” On a number of occasions he has cobbled together wooden sailboats. He is a finalist and semi finalist for the Luminaire Award for several of his poems. He has had three poems published in Flumes Winter 2017 and one poem in Third Wednesday as well as one poem in Chaleur Magazine, The Piltdown Review, The Esthetic Apostle, The Internet Void, an upcoming issue of Raw Arts Review and a recording in Lit_Tapes. He taught poetry in a women’s prison.

 

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2019 Anthology.

Click here check out Parade: Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018 available for only $10.95.

Weekly Write: “Leavened Bread” by Katie Barnes

Leavened Bread

Under the fog of mountains high and cold
My mom decided we would go to mass.
We drove far up the well beaten path of old
To the stone church above the rocky pass.
The congregation stared as we walked in
And lit our melting candles for the dead
Just in time for the service to begin.
The priest screamed out that we were beloved;
Men in the chorus wailed to God their prayer
While folk in the pews tried to reach His ear.
White smoke from the incense strangled the air;
All of us were struck dumb with holy fear.
The priest brought out the icon and I bent
But did not want to take the sacrament.

 

Katie Barnes is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at Boston University. She splits her time between Boston and New York, but her family is from Greece.

 

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2019 Anthology.

Click here check out Parade: Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018 available for only $10.95.