Poetry Online Anthology “The Artist Never Sleeps”

all artwork sent in by Pasithea Chan for these amazing artists.

“i was a thin sea of blue” by Paula Hayes

didn't you know,  love, i was a thin sea of blue
        waiting for you to come along
                       and fill yourself
                               inside my creases
                                      to drink me in between your restless

wade inward
                   i asked you to come closer
                         so i could please you
                                but you ignored my pleas
                                       and left like some tug of gravity
                                                                    was waiting for
                                                                           to carry you

where are the gods, now, to bring the waters back
                up to my lips
                         to give a little salt in return
                                 for all i've lost; is that too much to
                         ask?   just a little salt to take down
                                          even if there is no quenching
                                                               in hapless mornings

there is sky and sea and sun
        all making for soft horizons
              pretending these natural elements
                     are some kind of boundary
                            sealing off what was meant to hurt me
                                            from where i stand now

sucker-punched and drunk in the orange of waves
	light, all light, radiant and forgotten 
while two birds, lovers no less, fly by me
		certain that they are far away 
			from what they once knew
				and even more certain
					they have nowhere left to go 

Bio: Paula Hayes is a poet who lives in Memphis, Tennessee, the same place where rock and roll was birthed and where the ghost of Elvis still hangs around Beale Street. She finds the presence of such a rich musical history in the town she lives in to be right on track with transforming one as a poet into a bard. 

Alice Checks the Queen by Lynn White
in response to Anita Arbidane artwork

‘Your time is up’ said Alice.
She knew it didn’t matter
how big she was
or how small
in the end.
She knew it didn’t matter 
in the end
whether the queen was red or white,
whether time moved backwards or forwards.
In the end
there was still no stopping it, 
still no changing it
however many time-pieces the Queen owned,
however many times she moved the hands
on or back on the clock-face.
It made no difference.
‘You’re just a pawn
on the wheel of time’
said Alice,
‘No wonder you look glum’

Bio: Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and a Rhysling Award. Find Lynn at: https://lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com and https://www.facebook.com/Lynn-White-Poetry-1603675983213077/

"October Hardcover" by James Schwartz

Shifting season of melancholy, 

                            Dark bark decay,

Lighting of lamps,

In the v




                         Against frosted fog,

Shorn corn stalks,

                         Lost leaden leaves,

Cafe au lait, 

Notes of nutmeg,

                Window seat, 

Victor Hugo hardcover.

Bio: James Schwartz is a poet, slam performer and author of various collections including "The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay & Amish in America" (available on Kindle 2011), PUnatic (Writing Knights Press, 2019) & Motor City Mix (Alien Buddha Press 2022). on twitter James can be found under @queeraspoetry for a follow.

Art inspired by Clive Gresswell

life’s ballet cycle
causes me to pause
in the twinkling of a romantic pose
inherited by nature’s mystique
the floral fauna and reddening leaves
flutter inside my mind’s eye
caught in the season’s harsh mirror
light infernal, light eternal
rays of the insect fanning down
the earth’s delightful eternal gown.

Bio: Clive Gresswell is a 64-year-old innovative writer and poet who has appeared in many mags from BlazeVOX to Poetry Wars and Tears in the Fence. He is the author of five poetry books the last two being ‘Strings’ and ‘Atoms’ from erbacce-press (see their website for more details).

An October 2022 Poetry Showcase Part 2 for Pasithea Chan

Masks Off

She stood there, huddled in the center
a sun stripped naked amidst clouds.
Her make up had melted like cares
that faded into a wound facing crowds.
Suddenly hurt was someone right there
with the loudest sounds and fastest hounds.

It chased her down the hills with quills
spilling bills like fair jills coming from mills.
And as all things began to settle,
reality cooled its kettle
like all the mettle
had left its warriors in a battle.

She was a knight in shining armor
a soul with great ardor
a feat for those who seek valor
and a treat for those who savor
love above all things one should favor.

To many she was just a player
with too many strings.
And so she drowned in lies
from loved ones who knew better.
Little did she knew they came for her
to make her pay for things
she’d done to put fear in those eyes
of hers for thinking she was someone.

And so she fell to her knees
muttering oh please but those bees
had nothing but honey on their minds.
No money no honey, no maybes.
First they took away her armor
then they stripped her of her dignity
And finally stabbed her heart
with her soul to remind her no one can be your all.

Loyalty is a sun for those who endeavor
to uphold love and trust, with fervor
Yet it dies when lies pull the trigger
in the name of gain, a bitter
grain sheathed in pride’s splendor
to crush souls with trust’s clamor
and kick gratitude like a meek vole
leaving those who stole
victorious and glorious.

There is no one who can be someone
when hurt is everyone and love is no one.
There is no one who can be your one
when loyalty is dead because of someone.
The masks are off but there’s no one
behind those masks just everyone else.

Author’s Notes:

In a world where betrayal and treachery are the banners of the winners while loyalty is the coat of arms of losers; the need to drop masks or unmask people is so urgent. We can live for years giving our backs to so called loved ones and friends, until the time comes and their interests no longer intersect with ours and that’s the time we see where we truly stand and who they truly are. This piece is a saga about loyalty’s sad martyrdom. Thank you for reading.

Extremes & Balance

From a distance, we hover over life’s water
zigzagging between dark & light lanes
traced in laughs & complaints.

We bathe in closeness’ lights
and play with no cares until time runs
out as our laughs do, so we switch lanes
and lurk in shadows where only our eyes
glisten with tears as our silhouettes
fumble the dark like tumbling dice.

Finding one’s path shows closeness’ fading light
but makes loneliness’ darkness a real fight.
Both paths’ blocks vary in gradation & grain
but ingrain choice like a viral strain
overcoming a body’s immune system.

In the end choice is a graduation
from light & darkness’ gradation
to forsake extremes for balance
to stream one’s path for a chance
in life across blues, hues, and cues.

inspired by: Theory of a Deadman’s Angel: https://youtu.be/thfpVOAC-y0

Tears of Sand

When you have nothing at hand
you have no home or land.
You lose your stand
in life to time’s sand.

Peace leaves you in pieces
worry gives you creases.
Your self worth decreases
as your sorrow increases.

When you have nothing at hand
loved ones disband
failing to understand
that you need their helping hand.

Destiny spits in your face
leaving you to wipe your disgrace.
Dignity rests its case
as chance looses its place.

When you have nothing at hand
dreams hang from hope’s strand
crushing everything grand
as trouble makes its first demand.

Happiness is a game of catch and release
where catch is a lease
that makes you please
and release is a pain that takes away peace.

When you have nothing at hand
you cry tears of sand as you are panned
with life’s brutal hand
to obey circumstances’ command.

Raging Bees

Right and wrong are two queens
dividing a hive upon a spring of lies.
They send swarms of raging bees
out of their hives to build new lives.

Filled with rage, these bees
sting in spite until each bee dies.
Rage is a wild flame that burns lives
with hurtful words to break hearts.

No smoke can ward these angry bees
for their rage burns with lies and maybes.
Instead of flying away from the flames
they fall into them burning with lies.

Pride makes them fall without cries
for presumed rights in wrong ways.
Alas now there are two beehives
but there are no bees just goodbyes.

Rage easily starts wars with maybes
but ends such wars in real tragedies.
Rage knows no age or sage
just blame’s mage taking the stage.

Moving Forward

You have two choices they said:
read one page at a time
or put the book down.
I tried both and found
each hurt differently.

Take a chance they said;
Give yourself time
Everyone is a clown
when they hit the ground.
So I waited patiently.

I waited to see what I read
fade away like every dime
I’ve spent and only found
fear roaming around
haunting me eternally.

I tried writing instead
of moping, a crime
that made my family a crowd
that was too loud;
I guess am used to being lonely.

Take the journey they said
it won’t buy you back the time
you’ve lost but you wont be bound
to the past but don’t stay down
cause only you understands you fully.

So I laid pages I’ve read
on my bed hoping to mine
hope from sorrow like a cloud
masking the sun like a shroud.
And so I roam aimlessly.

Hurt is a book that can’t be closed
in time because it’s just a dime
that hits the ground
so hard when you are down
that moving forward is costly.

When Daffodils Crash Lily Weddings

When daffodils act silly
defying a member of their family
living in the valley under the name lily;
nature shakes its belly with hybrids for glory!
That’s when lilies put on their scaly
bulby slippers to show off their dainty
stems for feet sporting twenty two jolly
skirts in colors fit for a spring baby
wedding his betrothed Lily beauty!

They rock designer brands like a galley
swerving over waters in a windy valley.
There you will see Reverend Lily of the Valley
lead the prayer in the valley as Tiger Lily
holds hands with stargazer lily and Backhouse Lily
walks down the aisle showing off Casablanca Lily
his lovely bride, followed by Tinybee Lily
and Lollipop Lily their flower girls and Easter Lily with Regal Lily
as ring bearers ushered by Acapulco Lily and Elodie Lily
as bride’s maids walking next to Robert Swanson Lily
and Luxor Lily as best men chosen by the Lily
couple while Tiny Double You Lily,
Matrix Lily, Candidum Lily, Madonna Lily Sunray Lily,
Dreamland Lily, sing in a choir lead by Turk Cap Lily
while Symphony Lily, Orange Pixie, Nellie White Lily,
dance for the young couple lead by Panther Lily.

All is well as every single Lily
takes a seat on one side of the valley.
Just then the daffodils clan arrives
with their big mama sporting her
singular stem bulb surrounded
by her twenty seven Narcissus sons
along with her Plumeria daughters in law
To crash her Lily cousin’s kids’ wedding

Jetfire walked in holding hands with Aztec Gold
followed by Sentinel smiling at Candy Stripe.
Thaleo was still kissing Celadine when
Narcissus Quail whistled at Pudica.
Hungry as always, Sorbet dripped some
ice cream on Singapore Obtusa who lost her cool
left his arm and stood next to Barret Browning
who was starry eyed with Dwarf Pink Obtusa.
Jack Snipe wore a smokey suit to impress
Vera Cruze Rose who had eyes for
Narcissus Tahiti who was with Vishanu Gold then.
Sovereign was head over heels for Intense
Rainbow who seemed to favor Narcissus Romance
over him who was sadly seeing Riviera Rainbow.
Canaliculatus felt proud walking illustrious Kaneohe Sunburst.
Petit Four found balance with Rubra Confetti
whose little sister Duvauchelle Special tiptoed
gracefully next to Cheerfulness who was right
behind Hawera & his partner Penang Peach.
Merlin on the other hand had an issue showing up
with Daisy Wilcox, he called her condescending
but that was because she wanted to make White
Lion jealous but the lad had eyes only for Thailand Red.
Meanwhile February Gold found warmth in the arms
of Toba’s Fire and Large cup found
his fill of wine with Lucky Star!
Trumpet was always loud and being deaf,
Stenopetala had no issues listening to him all day,
after all, she’s safe from the noise pollution!
Jonquilla saw in Mele Pa Bowman his world
and that’s why he got his younger brother Poeticus
to go out with her younger sister Barbados Showgirl!
Miniature on the other hand found his other half
with Dwarf Watermelon who was so grateful.
Narcissus Tazetta however was still not over B052
Rubra who accepted to give them a second chance.
Split Corona was calm and was at home with poise
Makaha Sunn just as Triandrus found
meaning with Elizabeth Thornton.
Cyclamineus thought Stenophylla
was phenomenal in her duet with her
sister Carcasana who was seeing Bulbocodium.

You could feel the tension rise in the winds
as the daffodil, Narcissus boys & Plumeria girls
waltzed into the valley, but luckily both families
had two wise boys and a generous hostess.
Within a split of a second, Narcissus Einstein
began to do an entertaining Futterwacken
followed by his male cousin Black Lily
who was serving the guests Rice Root pudding
while his generous hostess sister Grape Lily
poured the finest wine grown in that valley.

At last the wedding went on, Lily Bride & groom
were made to bloom in a kiss watched by both
daffodil and lily in colors brought down from shrubs
with Plumerian girls bearing hybrid babies
that will forever offer shade to their daffodil beaus
and Lily foes, and the story goes
that everyone is still on their toes!

Author’s Notes:
I love Lilies, Daffodils & Plumerias and not many people can tell the difference between both or have heard about Plumerias, so I thought to myself I will write a tale that will showcase their types and I hope I succeeded. thanks for reading!


Submerged in doubt one floats carefree
in aimless waters without hope of touching land.

Tethered with guilt and regrets one tows
his/her soul to a destiny of penance.

Overt or clandestine, pain is no one’s gain
if one can grasp what it means to be humane.

Nipped with the present’s pressing matters
leave one to drown in what one can’t take back.

Encroached with advances to redress damage
only to be rejected, leaves one distraught.

Wailing hearts are as silent as wailing babies in
the womb only heard with the right probe.

Amadou from souls yearning for forgiveness
is the best torch one ignites in tragedy’s darkness.

Leveling up in the hurt game for victims
or doers is the first step to total destruction.

Lauding indifference and isolation
instead of forgiveness is pure malice.

Ignoring a wailing heart happens when one
allocates blame in the name of being fair.

Neverland is a place where sorrow is the fairy dust
by which lost souls take a flight into oblivion.

Gone are the days when to err was humane
and to forgive is divine.. such is our sad world.

Author’s Note: Acrostic Couplet spelling Stonewalling.

Bio: Pasithea is an impressionist poet who dabbles in art and poetry. She enjoys writing about life and her experiences from different perspectives. She believes in art in poetry as in exploring art to emphasize its role in juicing creativity out of a quill. She enjoys writing poetry in symbolism laced with philosophy and psychology.  Combined with varied styles and topics, her motto will always be: poetry is a passionate expression kindled by an impression unlimited by public conviction. To catch more of her work follow her on Instagram @pasitheachan or twitter @pasitheachan and on Ello @ello.co/pasitheaanimalibera where you can find more of her historical fiction and mythological or cultural short stories.

Poetry Inspired by Art from Alexander Bolotov (Mo Schoenfeld, James Penha, Ivor Daniel, Pasithea Chan)

(c)Alexander Bolotov

art photo sent by Pasithea Chan for writing prompt

Untitled by Mo Schoenfeld

memory, dry, cracked.
silent shivering, slick streets,
puddles like mirage.

Twitter @MoSchoenfeld 
A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Mo Schoenfeld

Promenade by James Penha

The rain drizzles like paint on a canvas 
but I am safe under cover of night when
lamplit colors melt this great city I own
on my way.

Expat New Yorker James Penha  (he/him🌈) has lived for the past three decades in Indonesia. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in fiction and poetry, his work is widely published in journals and anthologies. His newest chapbook of poems, American Daguerreotypes, is available for Kindle. His essays have appeared in The New York Daily News and The New York Times. Penha edits The New Verse News, an online journal of current-events poetry. Twitter: @JamesPenha

Light by Ivor Daniel

(And then the lighting of the lamps. T S Eliot - Prelude).
We shall overcome. (Pete Seeger et al)

And then the lighting of the lamps
And then the lighting of the
And then the lighting
And then the
And then

We shall
We shall overcome
We shall overcome, some
We shall overcome, some day

A Poetry Showcase for Ivor Daniel *Updated 9/23/22* with Plath haiku

A Painter's Umbrella by Pasithea Chan

I set my canvas in swirly wrinkles
hoping my brush makes ripples 
in my lover's heart for all onlookers
etching my pain in colorful grain
to relieve longing's strain & stay sane.

I'm neither a cane for her to lean on nor a window pane
to entertain an agonized soul sedating his pain.
I am an umbrella held for shelter from weather.
Never a stage for soulful blues under red hues.
To me you are both the same:
hiding your agony in a canvas colorfully
as she hides under me indifferently.

All I have is a love story that's now a memory
captured in a silhouette of her figure.
Blue is all the affection left behind love's rapture.
I am a picture hanging on by a fixture 
trying to mend my heart's fracture.

Like rain's pitter patter hearts often scatter 
taking apart lives that were once together.
Take it from me, there's no  warmth in being of use.
Sometimes the end can be your muse
even when your hues become forgotten clues.

Pain is my eye and hope my sky
Blue is my welcome made to qualm
A broken heart looking for a fresh start
Raindrops my fingertips turning colorful drips
into benches to sit through a goodbye.
Author's Notes: 
The piece is inspired by Alexander  Bolotov's  painting of a girl walking holding an umbrella under the rain fading into the blue evening sky and red street lamps. The poem is an imaginary conversation between a painter and an umbrella he painted. 

An October 2022 Poetry Showcase Pt. 1 from Pasithea Chan

What’s What

When right is wrong’s end of the straw
it mixes interests like colors for show.
It doesn’t matter what you intend
because it’s so easy to contend
right isn’t right without a fight

wrong isn’t wrong if you go with the flow.

After all, they are one straw
but each on an opposite end
And so it will all depend
on which end you choose to contend.
No need to pretend it will all end
but the question is will you bend?

Will you bend

When right gets a blow
from wrong having a go
because easy is ego’s trend
humanity’s best friend
that lets us forgo
what we choose not to know.

Will you try to comprehend:

When what’s what is squat
because tragedy is a sour tart
baked by greed’s cunning thwart
thrown as good for pretend
and mastered in the art
of condescend to defend
those we choose to know.

Will you dare to offend:

When tragedy becomes a show
and injustice its common law;
because death is a premium blend
humanity chooses to recommend
when saving lives, is a default
we all learned to stow.

Will you choose to portend:

When why and why not
define a not from a nut;
When care becomes a bile spat
on truth’s vile scat
to comprehend lies and expend
lives of crowds that wend
victory from humanity’s new low.

Will you commend those who chose:

When care became a bow
and hurt its sharpest arrow;
because truth became a dividend
that shoved us to fend
insignificance and indignity by law.

My good friend,

How do we tell what’s what?
Why are why and why not
out of the question when we are in a rut?
Do we know when to stop using but
or do we have to wait for our butt
to be where all is lost?
I don’t know what’s next
or how to live on the pretext
of low is the new law.
But I do know am not okay with that
because I still want to know what’s what!

*Author’s Notes:

It’s hard to think when your mind is screaming what’s going on, what’s happening with humans, I don’t understand. On one end you see suffering, on the other you see people marketing this suffering as a demise of their own devise. So you stick around trying to know what’s what and think hard with your heart and mind but in the end you shove your opinion and your findings in a corner with a tight lid. It’s easy to think right and think you can say what’s right but thinking, saying and doing are three different stages in an age where sages are long gone mages because we are just pages in another’s agenda put on display in stages. What’s What is a shout out for those who dare to think, speak, and take a stand for humanity. Thank you for reading.

Into You

If profound were a pair of eyes
distance would be a guise
concealing your eyes.
If depth wore mellow
and allure were to tiptoe
your voice would make souls hollow.
If mystery were a pair of lips
yours would be a honey that drips
from a spoon twirling like pulsating hips.
If cahoot were a tribute
your nose would define cute
in astute wrinkles for a salute.
If gin were a sin
your chin would be a jinn
enticing with a grin.
If chocolate were a linen
your skin would be a bodkin
piercing red tones deeply within.
If wit were to wear a slit
your mind would fit
sexy like gloves on a bandit.
If souls were a cresol
yours would be a fireball
burning every eyeball.
If attraction were a hue
made in love to hew
a heart with a look at you
then I’m into you.

*Author's Note: Dedicated to E.E.

Rainbow Souls

I live under a golden sky
covering berry hills.
Though my shores are pale
I doll up in a palette of waves.

From a distance you can see
my smoky hood like a turban.
So tilt your head slightly to see
my curves swirling in azul blues.

I can be a calm sea on a stormy day;
a calamity for those who isolate me.
I am your shelter and shrine.
I am both divine and humane.

I am the rainbow that strikes you
with truth flowing and ebbing in you.
Never grey or laid in black & white.
I am you in colors beneath the horizon.

I am you in motion consecrated in devotion.
I bear your reflection and consideration.
I am your soul I dwell on imperfection
to carry you through changes with conviction.

Be the change but don’t try to change me
for a rainbow needs both the sun and rain
to shine & over-arch all that is above and beneath.
Treasure me, and life will be your prize.

Bream Lines

In the dark a pair of lips draw
a smoky line marking a dream
gone dark and no longer divine.
Love had broken its final straw
on hope’s back waiting for steam
to blow diverging stars to align.

There a pen drops lines from a
soul that pines to recall images
once sublime now tumbling in a
darkness like fallen leaves
stuck in a whirlwind dancing a
hurtful decline on open grounds.

Love is a light shining like a halo
beaming two souls upstream
like breams sporting lights that shine
beneath a stream as they grow.
Sadly circumstances always scheme
to fish them out and drown them in brine.

Hello and goodbye are a
straight line broken into ups
and downs that get caught in a
spiral of good and bad moments
building or breaking dreams in a
matter of seconds, losing lives to lines.

Snagged with hooks with nowhere to go
the breams fade to loss’s bleak theme.
Their lives drain on a line, blood for wine.
But the stream continues to flow.
There, reality stitches truth to tragedy’s seam
to fasten the breams to death’s neckline.

Author's Notes:
Bream: A kind of fish. Breams here are a metaphor of two lovers facing life's mishaps on circumstances' various lines.

Bio: Pasithea is an impressionist poet who dabbles in art and poetry. She enjoys writing about life and her experiences from different perspectives. She believes in art in poetry as in exploring art to emphasize its role in juicing creativity out of a quill. She enjoys writing poetry in symbolism laced with philosophy and psychology.  Combined with varied styles and topics, her motto will always be: poetry is a passionate expression kindled by an impression unlimited by public conviction.   To catch more of her work follow her on Instagram @pasitheachan or twitter @pasitheachan and on Ello @ello.co/pasitheaanimalibera where you can find more of her historical fiction and mythological or cultural short stories.

Poetry Inspired by Art from Rene Magritte a Belgian Surrealist Painter

(c) Rene Magritte

Heels & Caged Minds by Pasithea Chan

You don’t have to wear my heels to know how it feels-
to walk in my shoes and be unable to choose.
Yet you choose to keep your distance and use-
all that I see to maroon me in your desolate sea.
I look into your eyes and feel them slice
through my heart as you take me apart.
I give you my back, but you keep track
of all that I despise spicing them with lies.
You wear your ambitions like a hat
cutting through clouds as you tread my grounds.
I collide into you trying to get to you
only to realize I’ve lost you not to you.
You’ve lost all expression as I have no intention-
to change your opinion or seek your affirmation.
I’ve made my decision; you are not my redemption.
Thank you for your manipulation and oppression.
I now follow my passion not your obsession.
In your eyes, my kind wear heels to experience
your passion as a privilege of being conquered.
Today, I wear heels to remind myself how it feels
to be happy tipping over your entitled kind.
It is my right to live a free life with a free mind 
free of caged mentalities and cagey personalities.  

A Poetry Showcase with Pasithea Chan (September 2022)

Clouded Vision by Lynn White

I knew you were there,
out here
I tried to find you
but my vision clouded.
With my head in the clouds
I could only dream.

Now I know
I must let you go
Free with the birds. 

Poetry Showcase from Lynn White