Weekly Write: “What is Precious is Never to Forget” by Bill Nevins

Publisher Note:

The team at Swimming with Elephants Publications was greatly saddened to hear of the passing of one our authors, Bob Warren. We are dedicating this week’s Weekly Write to a poem by Bill Nevins which honors him.

To learn more about Bob and his poetry, head over to: https://swimmingwithelephants.com/2019/12/18/r-b-warren/

What is Precious is Never to Forget

Eulogy or Elegy for the Living Poet, Ever Near this Poor Man’s Ear

Dear teacher Stephen Spender taught me long ago
“Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields . . .
The names of those who in their lives fought for life . . .
And left the vivid air signed with their honor.”
Soour poet of Litanies Not Adopted singed and signed the air here with his fierce honor
His love of life, of even poor Christ
Whom he saw in every parched or vibrant face he found
In this weary land, in Detroit City, and in this dry desert town.

As Donne told us the toll sounds for each however mean
SoBob preached love too would ring in us every one
If we found that buried note that stream
It might be blood of the lamb, flowing free in our deeds
It might be only buried deep in our unborn seeds
It might need be wrested forth
By words of fire, touch of light, fury, oh cold star- light.

Bob wrestled with God, he did, and surely still does,
and no holds barred.
When and where none but angels saw.
No one won. None lost. The Holy Ghost, Bob’s second, called a draw.
“Why dost thou hide thyself in clouds
From every searching Eye?”
With Blake, Bob challenged the coy deity to Be HERE Now!

I think the sky god only laughed and saw itself in the house of store among the lost,
In the mirror of Bob, son of man, and knew revelation needed no more
Knew no airy sky god need be found when Bob and such walk solid ground.

But that’s just me, agnostic mystic disrespectful American rebel son.
I would not mess with Bob nor Barbara, armed lovers ever, love in arms.
And that warning applies to the god of grief, that holy thief-
-Don’t mess. Best, just bless.
And move along, now, Daddy-O. You done your best and worst.
Bob abides. Bob never hides.
Bob may go, but Bob is here, right here. We know.

Ah won’t Detroit howl and mourn when they hear?
Ah won’t Sonny that strong hero of Motor City laugh and cry for the tall brave man called Whitey X—who knew Black Lives Matter deep in his heart and needed no one to tell him so?
And won’t this second tier rhymester raise his beer, shed a tear?
And won’t sweet Jesus smile to know that Bob is near? Always near.

Bill Nevins grew up Irish Catholic near and in New York City in the 1950’s and 60’s. He moved to northern New England and raised his three children, one of whom, Special Forces SFC Liam Nevins, died in combat in Afghanistan in 2013. Bill has lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico since 1996.



Weekly Write: “The Sunflower Song” by KilhaPoetry

The Sunflower Song

I dreamed that I stumbled upon a field full of giant sunflowers
And lay my head there down to die.
While the heavens gathered up all their stormiest rain clouds
That fell from the tubular sky’s.
Too great was my sadness to fight.
Too lost to the tragedy now begun.
Alone in my field full of sunflowers
With no life to wish to carry on.

I dreamed that the earth consumed me.
My wretched body decaying outwardly in.
Until there was no memory of my presence or being
And no one could remember even who I had been.

I dreamed that sunflowers grew wilder and strong,
Their mighty stalks growing thicker with height.
They grew into the horizon and up into the sky’s,
There petals looming with grandiose might.

Cocooned in my deathly slumber,
From the peace in which I now lay.
A curiosity stirred awaking a part of me,
A part no earthly death could just wash away.
And deep in that place of unexistance,
deep in my transient state,
I felt such heavenly beauty
Breath new life into the loneliness place.

Adrift on the wings of salvation,
With courage retuning and restored.
I marvelled at the world so vivid and true
With enough beauty and love for us all.
Now in my field full of sunflowers
that mourned for the life I couldn’t save,
I dreamed of a love to unfold without tragedy.
Without fearing loss or fear itself to be the reason for blame.

I dreamed that I died in a field full of sunflowers,
With such beauty that I had never seen.
And deep in my field full of awesome giant sunflowers,
I’m rebirthed each night in my dreams.


MMKilha is a London born poet with Egyptian and English/Irish heritage. She started writing when she was very young as a way of processing and surviving an abusive environment. She says, “I started writing because I couldn’t talk about what was going on. I wasn’t trying to be creative, I just needed a way to communicate”.

She has continued to use it as a method of reflection ever since. 

With a back catalogue of work big enough to fill her garage, she only became public in 2017 after a friend encouraged her to overcome her insecurities being dyslexic and having ADHD.

She says the impact of writing means she no longer feels the need to apologise for herself; “If people like the work that’s great. I’m over the moon when my words speak to another person but if they don’t, that’s fine too. Since being open about these issues I have received so much support from other dyslexic writers who tell me how much my honesty has meant to them.”

MMKilha is currently in her final year of her Masters in Childhood and Adolescent

Psychotherapy working with children from abusive backgrounds to help them make sense of their own stories though creative interventions. 

MMKilha performs independently on the London spoken word scene as well as with the @Poetical_Word collective  poeticalword.org providing them with a vital Therapist in Residence service for their outreach programmes.

For a selection of her work or to get in contact she can be found on Instagram @kilhapoetry. 

Please feel free to get in touch.



“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.

Weekly Write: “Habitual Healing” by Timothy Kelly

Habitual Healing

The body has a way of remembering
the habits that we create.

Some call it muscle memory,
While others say they are instinctual,

Like the way I hold her hand:
With mine covering her thumb and index finger

Because my hand is so much larger.
We can’t hold them any other way,

It doesn’t feel right otherwise.
One day, I drove the streets I knew

Remembering the charred house
That has been replaced.

I can still feel the dresser, the carpet,
And the heat on my back

As I searched the way since I was taught:
Crawl, Reach, Sweep. Crawl, Reach, Sweep.

Habits are created because they’re obvious
And they are easy.

The dishes are easier to place in the sink
Rather than wash them right away

And laundry is best left in the basket
Because who actually has time to fold it?

Flaws are simple to infuse into my thoughts
because they stare me in the face

Who wants to have a scavenger hunt
For the things they like about themselves?

Habits are a thought process
Built over time, cues and triggers

A call for help, is a call for help,
No matter where you are.

Which is why “off duty” does not exist
And work does not stay at the office.

The back of a plane simply
becomes a much smaller ambulance

The whining engines now sirens
Descending upon our destination

This does not mean that you cannot change
But that it needs to become more obvious.

Gradual steps create new patterns
on a journey to a reward:

Acceptance, that overflowing dishes are okay
Laundry will be folded in time

That you are okay the way you are
And you will become who you need to be


Tim is a Healing Artist, social worker and volunteer Firefighter/EMT. As an Introvert trained to appear extroverted, he creates to share in the human experience with you and is always interested in hearing your story.



“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.

Weekly Write: 2.0 by Sahar Fathi


Today, midday
While walking down the street
I inhaled and smelled Iran
And for a moment
I forgot my people were
Banned 2.0
Travel restricted
With bills pending for
And preemptive force
To rain bombs
On my cousins
For a moment
I forgot the hate and
I smelled the honeysuckle
In my grandmother’s front yard
And I was
Transported to the bazaars
Filled with people
Who look like me
Who tweeze one eyebrow
Into two
Like me
Who can pronounce my name
People descended
From poets like Rumi
And super hero attorneys
Like Shirin Ebadi
For a moment I forgot
My blood shot eyes
And my pounding headache
From restless nights
And aggressive headlines
Spewing lies
For a moment
I was just me
Bound between two countries

Previously published in ‘ARTS by the People’ on March 21.

Sahar graduated from the University of Washington Law School and is a member of the New York bar. She also earned a Masters in International Studies from the University of Washington, and graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California with a dual Bachelor of Arts in French and International Relations. Additionally, Sahar attended the Sorbonne Université in Paris, France from 2003-2004 and received a diploma in International and European Law from the Université Jean-Moulin in Lyon, France in 2008. She has served as adjunct faculty at both Seattle University and the University of Washington School of Law. Sahar is a past president and co-founder of the Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington, as well as the founder of its Legal Clinic – the first Middle Eastern Legal Clinic in the country. She is a past board member for the ACLU, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the UNA – USA. She is a current board member for One America Votes. She has been published in the Seattle Journal for Social Justice, the Seattle Journal of Environmental Law, and the Gonzaga Law Review. Her poetry has been printed in ‘Writers Resist’ and the ‘Writers Resist: Anthology (2018).’ It has also been featured in the Feelings journal and Not Your Mother’s Breastmilk. Her favorite Persian dish is Fesenjoon, and in 2016 she finally mastered her Tadiq technique.



“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.

Weekly Write: “Predicated” by M. Eileen


now I sit
with eyes on my wrists
thinking they’re real
thinking they’ll heal
protect and deflect all
ill will, thinking
they’re true, swallowing
pieces of light, staining my smile
and I have to fight battles
that are not easily won.
I fight. and I win.
repeat. repeat. repeat again.
and I do not rest.

so the words bursting from my mouth
volcanic with syllables
and traceable soundwaves
heavy vowels and consonants
slipped and hissed are
suitable signs of a life that’s alive
slightly displeased with boundaries.
blanched like a cloud,
stained with scars of blood vessels, ruptured,
raw my voice creases like
fistfuls of paper
I am swallowing sobs and
choking in the process
my timing precise
I don’t desire condolences while
wishing the guilty the worst

nothing protects against villainy
stomach revolts from hypocrisy


“Predicated” was previously published in S/tick.

M. Eileen writes near water. Her work has been featured in Hanging Loose, Monkeybicycle, and others. She can be found @m_e_g_writes.



“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.

Weekly Write: “Brown’s Legacy” by Amoja Sumler

Brown’s Legacy

“Fouding Fathers” are the school lunch
today. The patriotism was a bit salty
but the homies were bred on fatback
so we just added hot sauce
and slurped it down anyway.
John took eight years of spoonfuls and walked away hungry
for the flash of the D-boys,
’cause they were ’bout dat ‘rithmetic,
and a little homie had to get paid. He lurks late.

The rest of us stayed
juxtaposed between firm expectations and indoctrination,
Between “I can not tell a lie”, and “I have a dream”
between uniform day and my brother’s passed down shoes.
High I.Q.’s mean little to attention starved kids on test day.
The homie Rob is an alarm startled eye. I am an empty belly.
Mike is field tripping acid,
We are a collective: failing.

Teacher does what she can
a mumble of breath & disappointment.
We bring her apples anyway,
(by way of confiscated smart phones).
The science lesson today was “matter”.

We learned.
We don’t.

A current resident of Washington, DC. Amoja Sumler is a nationally celebrated poet and social activist known for fusing the art of the intellectual into the familiar. As “The Mo-Man,” he has headlined spoken word festivals such as the Austin International Poetry Festival, the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, Write NOLA in New Orleans and Rock the Republic in Texas. A member of Arts in Education rosters all over the South for over a decade has seen Amoja serve as a 5 time Poetry Out Loud final judge and an artist in residence to universities and literacy nonprofits across the country. Amoja has also presented at social advocacy conferences like Long Beach Indie Film Pedagogy Conference and Furious Flower as a panelist with The Watering Hole.

Currently pursuing an MFA at the University of Baltimore, he graduated from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock with a Bachelor of Arts in English/Creative Writing a William G. Coopers English Scholar and a Ronald McNair Fellow. H has dedicated himself to the concepts of knowledge, action, and voice.



“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.