Poetry: Psalm 46 Haze by David L O’Nan from the Cartoon Diaries (2019)

In mornings when most kings dine
In a sweat of night, the heat clutched
To the skin
In mighty robes
Yet, like a wet mop
A tide of anger
A misguided dreamer
Of thievery, wanted all the treasures
All the lucid wanderings
Gold coin eyeballs
Designed in statuesque build
Shallow, there will not be any crumbling
in my march through civil breakdowns
One king, death on rapid waters
The rocks like the clouds,
depends on powers of the wind
To move us from the heat
Like a Psalm 46 haze
He breaks the bows and shatters the spears
And cartoon kings start to smear
Paint begins to clump, like a clogged artery
Stains through to the canvas,
Blasphemy blankets purity
And in oceans and rivers
There isn’t any fresh fish
Smudges of floating ink, like blood
Ships keep moving in the night
The lighthouse light reflects only former royal shadows

You forget false righteousness
And you brand in the tattooed crimson to sea bottoms.

Time Dilation by Saba Zahoor

Memory is water.
So she takes care lest it takes
to turbulence in her warped soul
or flow heedlessly through,
and flood
the pathways of her body.
Maybe it is just a dream:
Her childhood prancing around,
with the attention span of butterflies,
flitting about from one flower to another
in her grandfather’s garden of origami.
Where gnomes would appear
from behind the rose bushes
and slip into her pockets,
manuscripts of much importance.
They always read the same:
‘Catch the fugitive. Don’t let it go.’
But it fled,
fled from her grandfather’s house
of clockworks, up through
the staircase of geodesics
onto the terrace of wormholes
and up and away.
It escaped at the speed of light,
sapping the soul out of her body.

Memory is water.
It freezes at the touch of her fingertips, and turns into
a wisp of tendrils
as she attempts to clasp it tight.
Time had slowed down;
the garden left untended.
The all too familiar landscape,
the stern and the rigid birch trees,
the solitary mulberry tree,
had all been stirred giddy
as into the melting broth
of a witch’s cauldron.
But it was as she had
long since suspected:
Time Dilation.
Everything had been bargained
for the wondrous journey
of her stellar childhood.
In a multiverse of possibilities,
pining for the comet of childhood
that comes but once in a lifetime,
she had descended
into declining years
seamlessly, indiscernibly
till it was said of her
‘Could it be she too had been a child once?’

Memory is water.
It changes its form every time
she looks back on it;
reshapes itself with every container that tries to hold it-
overflowing in the heart,
firing lightening bolts through the mind.
Your life
skips like a stone over a lake:
now like a child playing in the water,
now like an old woman grown weary of it;
never feeling like an adult
(Your adulthood as if skimmed out.)
You witness the hands of the clock
convulsing with hysteria:
How does one recover from that?
How does one wind that clock?
How does one count afresh;
mark the days again, after
the summers and the winters
of one’s convalescence?
What does one do when one is
done dusting and sorting, ironing
out all the wrinkles, she wondered.
Gardening, perhaps?
Yes, life could be perfect again
as she imagined her kids,
with the attention span of butterflies,
flitting about from one flower to another
in her garden of origami.

Saba Zahoor is from Kashmir

selective focus photo of brown and blue hourglass on stones
photo from Unsplash by Aron Visuals

Poetry: wave is a circular motion by Peach Delphine

Out of the wound
we come singing
a chorus of wings
swallowed by daylight.

Hand that balances wind
waiting on the surface,
out from the creek, free diving,
descending from surface warmth,
gathering shells,
ascending in one long exhalation,
leaving the squeeze of depth
and coldness behind.

There is a voice in lightless sea,
entering through eye,
answering voice of shadow
buried beneath sternum
coiled about spine, always
we feel the vibrations
in our feet and hands
always we feel the wire
of edge, the burnished arc
of time.

This form has become shadow
of cloud, darkening shallows
for a moment, turtle grass,
blue crabs, bonnethead sharks,
ponderous and seeking tongue
of horse conch, the sea is indifferent
to this body, the multiplicity of forms
has buoyed me out past the Key of memory
into the open Gulf of sapphire
reflected in your eyes.

Surfacing breathless, unfolded

from palms the optic remains unspoken,
fronds shimmering with morning,
a spent shell lifted from shallows,
empty of body,
my own emptiness filled with sea
restlessly seeking reunification
with the greater body
an ebb and flow of so many small voices
in the roots of mangrove,
a clinging of barnacles
to our mothering wood,
leaves of voices lifting
to azure, a different blue
than your eyes reflecting
sea and horizon.

from palms the optic remains unspoken,
fronds shimmering with morning,
a spent shell lifted from shallows,
empty of body,
my own emptiness filled with sea
restlessly seeking reunification
with the greater body
an ebb and flow of so many small voices
in the roots of mangrove,
a clinging of barnacles
to our mothering wood,
leaves of voices lifting
to azure, a different blue
than your eyes reflecting
sea and horizon.

Peach Delphine is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast.

white clouds

Poetry: Cartoon by David L O’Nan (from the Cartoon Diaries)


I am a cartoon
Spawned out of sedatives,
And the undressing of social ghosts

From another era,
A misplaced shadow
Picked up by his brain
And placed into the grey
The black and white mingling
With the coolers of evergreen grass,
And sunshine
Only on days beyond the pale


The programmed moments
To feel human
Soon the eclipsing,
Back to the litter
The polluting of liar’s kisses


The youth that have regressed
From freedom to greed
I am a cartoon
All eyes wanting a joke,
You have become the joke
Smiles are for the pretty,
The handsome


The crooked money ticklers &
The sensual succubus
Teasing you into a melting,
Staining thought


Restraint, your control
Faceless,
Soul non-existent
Your mouth dry,
Drawn on
By the hedonistic mystery of power


You are tattooed in –
The rust of their hearts
All eyes are fake, to you
Their spinning, dancing words –
Are dreams, to you
When they move b y you
Fast like a motor’s hum
Trying to inject their life,
Inside your bubble
Puncturing the ink from my skin


They are annoying, to you


I am a cartoon
Murdered from the loving,
Peaceful world we knew –
Many vastly shaded moons ago –
And placed into this,
Whatever this is?


The unknowing,
The apprehension,
The reality
Placed into the soil to resurrect mania
Buried into this soil
To alleviate trusting


A cartoon always wonders
If they’ll make it –
To the next page

This poem is from my book “The Cartoon Diaries” (2019) found at this link tinyurl.com/v2pg5nrv Follow me on twitter @davidlonan1 and @feversof

Re-post Poetry: The Healer by Robert Frede Kenter (in Avalanches in Poetry)

I am a healer

I have healed many wounds in my time

with a magic wand

and a black Stetson hat

I healed

the wounds of poets and statesmen

with dark amber potions and herbs

I healed the painters of houses

with canvas bags of secret wines

I healed the scars of hatred

on the back of Montgomery street

with a needle and thread and scissors

I starved the healer

whose cane was crooked

and dropped him into a pit

I filled the abyss with dirt

and stitched it up with rain

I walked along the avenue

and was prayed to

Robert Frede Kenter is a writer, visual artist, editor and publisher. Recently guest editor of Burning House Press (July, 2019). Work also in Anti Heroin Chic, Mookychick, New Quarterly, Grain, cough, Dandelion etc. His new book,  Audacity of Form, is available at Ice Floe Press (2019). Tweets at @frede_kenter

@icefloep for IceFloe Press

*This was first published in Avalanches in Poetry: Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen*