2 New Poems by Elizabeth Castillo : New Start & Black Dolls for Christmas

New Start

In all my languages, I have found there is no word for you. Although most vowels are the same, no matter where they sit on your tongue,
and life goes on, I’ve noticed, and tries to drag one along with it. But my bags are not packed. This time I do not travel light, or alone.
You’re mistaken if you think I’ve folded all this up neatly behind me.
You’re an idiot if you think I don’t know your twitter feed by heart.
I want to be like that crab that builds itself from bits of detritus- that decorates its shell with rubble from the sea floor. To feel and not feel, and breathe while underwater, to be a hundred people, a hundred creatures, and not be anyone at all. 
Who said that healing from mishap and mischief is linear? Who gets to decide the shape of my bruises but me? 
Such a tiny thing! Such small, such humdrum hours- all rolled up together into a quiet avalanche. Like a leech, I can’t shake this nuisance from my ankle, beneath each stone, battalions of fire ants advance. If I can’t carry this on board, I will sew it to my ribcage: (I’d like to see them try and prise it off me then!) Dawn is just the start of another day, when the
aircraft shudders, then dips, then plunges into the horizon. Down below, in the cargo hold, I’ve packed most of myself safely away.
You’re deluded if you think I’m not taking you with me. You’re a fool if you think I’m ever leaving this alone.

Black dolls for Christmas

A pair of black dolls sit under the tree,
waiting for my girls,
with a gripe about how hard they were to find.
And this is veal. Do you know veal?
Oh look! Another book,
Collected short stories from West Africa.
And… is that… a pot of shea butter?
Oh no, false alarm. It’s body cream.
A fruit-based concoction of some kind.
Smells like that pineapple I’ve been asked to carve.
They mean well, his family,
(although their ancestors didn’t.)
It’s the thought that counts
What thought was that exactly?
(I know what their ancestors thought.)
They don’t mean anything by it,
they want you to feel at home.

Home, my home?
(I thought they’d taken my home.)
In the lift, I nudge, and nod towards them,
the mixed-race couple, she- brown, he- white.
He- a tourist, she- a local delight.
“Do you see us?” I ask. You shake your head
and pull me close. I believe you.
But this is what they all see.
They mean well, these people,
when they called me bold. Exotic. “Audace!”
When their eyes snap to you for confirmation
as if you speak for both of us.
They mean well, these people,
with their books and black dolls
and explanations, and pineapples.
They mean well, these people,
But their ancestors didn’t.
Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Elizabeth M. Castillo 

 6 Micropoems from “Cajoncito: Poems on Love, Loss, y Otras Locuras” by Elizabeth M Castillo

photo by Elian Jushari on Unsplash.com

4 Poems by R.D. Johnson : Malcolm & Martin, Angels, Dr. King’s Dream & February 1st (re-post)

Malcolm & Martin

Built like Malcolm, that’s the X in me
Think we just in the middle, the thought perplexes me
Built like Martin Luther, no wonder my name mean king
And continue one day at a time
Walking in his dream

Angels

Angels watch over me
And don’t let the devil get up under me
A lot of evil planning they six feet so they can put me under see
Six feet has become the socially acceptable distance
I have people farther away taken from me in an instance
Thinking about the circumstances got me withdrawing my defenses
See the pain through my lenses
Lather all my feelings, watch it repeat as it rinses

I got angels over me
Waiting to give my wings
I still gotta do a few more things
Reach a few more dreams
Right now things don’t look like what it seems
Feel like we’re in a balancing act
Keeping it together on the beams
Right now the world is holding it together
But trying to bust at the seams

I got angels over me
Watching over ensure I’m blessed
Diminishing my stress
Monitoring my success
Always hungry for more
Never settling for less

Angels watching over me
Since they were taken from me too soon
I wish I could sit and chat with them all
In the same room
Wish I could see my cousin one more time
Call me RJ one, my favorite nickname of mine
Wish I could visit my grandpa like I used to
I hope you proud of me for the things I did do
Wish I was I can see my uncle now
And create my own stories
I want all of them to say in unison to me not to worry
Tell me this world is a scary place at times and that things will get better
And that they’ll be with me all the way no matter the storm to weather

Dr. King’s Dream

If Martin Luther King’s dream became reality
Ope there goes gravity
Or whatever Eminem said
People would lose themselves
Over the realization
That this is not the equality that he spoke of all these years ago
This currently is not the peace he spoke of
People would rather take a piece of justice into their own hands rather than make peace
Because between their two fingers is all the peace some need
Versus putting an index and middle finger up any day to actually stand for peace
If Dr King’s dream became a reality
We could stop living in this nightmare
Maybe the majority could be woke like some of us
To the point that they really open their eyes
See their actions over years have led to this demise
As it come to no surprise
In order for one side to win over the other
There must be an eye on the prize
And look at the fucking trophy they want
A country in shambles
If Dr. King’s dream became a reality
Then none of this strife would currently be happening

February 1st

If you think that February 1st
Is just a recognition of my melanin
Then you would be the first to be mistaken
This is not meant to awaken
Unnerving thoughts but to serve as a reminder
That if last year was any indicator
That Black Lives Have. Will. And Always. Matter
Time has shown only distorted views
Where you see only pigments of achievements
Because the rest of light is darkened by bloodshed and destruction
We have fought so many years just to have a seat at the table
Look these people in the eye
And tell them I have something to say
My voice matters
My being matters
My representation matters
I am more than entertainment
I am more than your fool
I am more than your jester
I am more
Countless movements
And we’re keep walking until we stampede over the divide and minimize the cracks in society
Mother earth’s backbone is aching from the humans stepping on us
We’re not roaches
We’re not pesticides
You’re going to sit and listen to my inner voice
As it resides in the emotions of these lines
I will tell you this
Black isn’t history
History is Black
And when we can see the distinction
Maybe both sides can finally relax

Bio: Follow R.D. Johnson on twitter @r_d_Johnson R.D. Johnson is a pushcart nominee, a best of the net nominee for Fevers of the Mind “(Not Just On) Juneteenth” Reggie is an author reigning out of Cincinnati, Ohio. At the age of 9, he found a love for writing while on summer vacation. With influences from music, Reggie has created a rhythmic style of writing to tell his personal experiences and beyond. Reggie has several books available on all major online retailers and his work can be seen in various literary magazines. He currently has two columns, Drunken Karaoke featured on Daily Drunk Magazine & REPLAYS featured on The Poetry Question. https://thepoetryquestion.com/category/replay-rdj/

A Review from “Thank You For the Content III” by R.D. Johnson (Reggie D. Johnson)

Poem by R.D. Johnson: “Just a Scratch” (new poetry)

Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Reggie D. Johnson (aka R.D. Johnson)

Valentine’s Poetry by Akhila Siva : Lemme Melt Into You

A cradle of uncertainties
are stretching out it’s limbs
to enwrap my futile heart
Embrace me
No..not enough..
Just squeeze me
Lemme melt into you
until there is no space between
this moment and the ensuing

In you
the heart perceives
it’s euphony of love
In you
the poetry finds
it’s crowning asylum
In you
the drizzle rain unfurls
and undresses its ego

You let me float in the waves,
curl up with a book and
follow by crazy beats
You ensured my own space
Now take my breath with you
Press yourself on my wilderness
Make me aware of the worth of my soul
Rhyming with the beats lemme melt into you
like a free falling never ending rain!

Bio: Akhila Siva is the founder and sole contributor of wordsandnotion and qualitynotion. She is a self motivated life long learner who believes in signs from the universe. When it comes to writing, she says “I’m flying across the space between words and whipping up whimsical waves of notion to discern the quantum code of my soul.” She is the author of “Know them, One answer to many questions” (a General Knowledge book) and “I Had a Crush – The 17 Kinks” (A free e-book of 17 short stories). Her works have been featured in several online publications including Fevers of The mind, Opal Writers’ Magazine, Indian Periodical, iwriteher, Spillwords Press and Puzha as well as in The Sound of Brilliance, an anthology. Akhila lives in India with her family and a house full of plants. She is a plants-woman breathing poetries and bleeding out all the intoxicated imperfections of her soul through her blog and twitter handle @wordsandnotion.

“I certify that the given poems are original in its content and doesn’t violate any copyright of any author. ”

Photo from Robert Zunikoff on Unsplash.com

3 new Valentine’s Day poems by Lynne Schmidt : When I Say I Want You to Love Me, Rush, & Awaiting Further Instruction

When I Say I Want You to Love Me


what I mean is –                                                                                      I want you be reckless.


I want you to throw rocks through windows of abandoned buildings,
and make love on the shattered glass
just so we have a story of how these scars covered our bodies.


I want us to spend months creating a garden,
only to rip it the heads from the flowers
uproot tomatoes and leave them to rot
and start over because we got bored.


I want you to buy me every flavor of cotton candy
because you weren’t sure that I’d like it,
but knew I’d like one.


I want you to dance with me
on top of a mountain top
in the middle of a wildfire
until smoke fills our lungs
with no guarantee the firefighters
will be able to save us.


I want to swim out so far,
my arms grow tired and sink under the waves.
And I want you beside me.


I want you to dye my hair
a different color every week of the year
until we have created a palate
with every color ever known.


I want you to sit in the audience 
mouthing the words to all my poems
the way you’d sing along to the radio.


I want a road trip with no destination,
just a hand on the wheel, and your hand in mine.


I want coffee dates that change with the season,
and you to always remember my order.


I want you to say yes to every idea I’ve ever had,                                to be first in line for the roller coaster,
hands in the air, hair free flowing in the wind. 


When I say I want you to love me,
I want you to make the entire universe revolve around me.


Which means —


I do not want you to be gentle with my heart.
I want you to make it burst.

Rush

He tells me as the bleach bleeds out of my hair
as the roots become more exposed by the hour,
that I am gorgeous.


When he pulls me into him,
I feel his heartbeat hammer against my face.


He tells me later,
he wanted to kiss me.


He says, we can wait we can wait we can wait,
and for the first time
I do not rush.

Awaiting Further Instruction


He tells me he is a blank page
waiting for me to scribble on,
he asks me what I want next.


I want to say,
my the inside of my thighs,
my hips, my collarbone…


Want to peel off my skin
and offer it as an instruction
manual that reads everywhere, everything.

His chuckle is an electric cord
and I am water,
begging him to touch me.

Lynne Schmidt is the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, and mental health professional with a focus in trauma and healing. She is the winner of the 2020 New Women’s Voices Contest and author of the chapbooks, Dead Dog Poems (forthcoming from Finishing Line Press), Gravity (Nightingale and Sparrow Press) which was listed as one of the 17 Best Breakup Books to Read in 2020, and On Becoming a Role Model (Thirty West), which was featured on The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed for PTSD Awareness Week. Her work has received the Maine Nonfiction Award, Editor’s Choice Award, and was a 2018 and 2019 PNWA finalist for memoir and poetry respectively. Lynne was a five time 2019 and 2020 Best of the Net Nominee, and an honorable mention for the Charles Bukowski and Doug Draime Poetry Awards. In 2012 she started the project, AbortionChat, which aims to lessen the stigma around abortion. When given the choice, Lynne prefers the company of her three dogs and one cat to humans.

feature photo by Shaira Dela Pena by Unsplash.com

2 new love poems by Neel Trivedi : Then Aroused, Now Devoted & Casket to Universe

THEN AROUSED, NOW DEVOTED


All dreams lie shackled in my fist
When nestled up in your arms
on a cot of supple grass blades


Goosebumps of exultation
being my sole attire
Serene under a luminous blanket
Stars apprenticed by your eyes


Paying no heed to the absence of breasts
For inside the wall that hung them
lies your most intoxicating & attractive organ your heart

Casket to Universe

A body that’s been breathing for 30+ years is only now infused with life
with your acknowledgement


My heart that was just an ash of a wing is a vibrant bird again
with your head nestled against it

Once the waterfalls that overflowed from the eyes are now priceless pearls
when brushed against your fingers


I steal a glance of your coruscating eyes & see myself more limpid
than in any mirror

Locutions like “love” & “romance”
are innominate to my soul


All I perceive…
Is that you complete me
Without you, I am a casket
With you, I am a universe

Bio: Neel Trivedi is a writer, editor and artist and in the advertising business in Dallas, TX. He was a Pushcart Nominee for 2020 and has been published in several online magazines as well as several print anthologies. He can be reached on Twitter @Neelt2001.