Sunday, 19 January 2014

Transhumagoria James WF Roberts

James WF Roberts
(c) 2014
what is a poem?
what is art?
What is sex and death
and liberation—what is mind
and hope?

Cow goes moo
scatological poetry
is still shit no matter
what way you try to dress
it up.                                                  With mundane
mediocrity iambic pentameter
and four beats in the bar.
Just because IT RHYMES
doesn’t   make it poetry
literary and intellectual CRIMES
seems like nothing more than Signs O
da times.
Rites of spring
burn in the season
of death. 

                                                                                       Burning in colours
of scarlet—ultra violet—ultra violence
Sun Goddess—man in the moon masturbating
over the metaphors that I’m wasting on the page.
                                                                            Cut it down. Burn adjectives.

poetry for the masses? Just as egotistical
elitist ideal as En changeant en fran├žais seulement pour l'audace de tout cela. je ne suis pas juste masturber chroniques sur la page?
what is the voice now?
what is the throat?
puppet on a string?
or am I totally in control of these songs I sing?zingzingzingzingzing

                                errrr   rie
of L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E
just another dodge—post mortem poetry –post modernity



                                               ANGEL HEADED HIPSTERS
all lost in the hAZe
a womb and a phallus—our metaphysics
our new paradigm—just another man-made myth
of sex and stagnation—impaling and birth?
Where is the hyperlinked Christ-child now?
Heaven is just a click and download away.
all experiences up for grabs now
virtual reality—reality’s virtue?

                                                        Hell is losing WiFi on the train goin thru a tunnel
trans gender
          --humanist futurist orgiastic
 excesses far too heavy cost to deal with.
but where is the new divine feminie spirit?
sacred earth mother? Virgin and pure?
no such thing as a virgin on chat roulette
so many girls in the real world brainwashed
into false ideology ‘gotta be a slut’ or no-one
will want ya.

We have the machines
but nothing ever comes with an instruction

      desires but no direction.
                                                  ability but lacking wisdom.

The shy young man, too afraid to talk
to girls at school—retreating into the world
dancing on his screens—one extreme to the next
what does it matter voyeuristic obsession.
barely legal—to Japanese incest family game
shows—guess the genitalia—what does your
mother or daughter taste like?

Your body is your living work of art?
when is it going on permanent display?
do you peel layers of skin if  the critics
give you a bad review? Is this art because I say it is?
or is self-indulgent bullshit,
still self-indulgent bullshit?
if I have a message is it flawed?
or pretentious or am I just preaching,
ranting and waving?
where will this ennui lead us?
where does  Transhumagoria


(an experiment in automatic writing and L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E and sound poetry forms)

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Dublin Magic By Greg Patrick

Dublin Magic
By Greg Patrick

The trees had shed their leaves..the boulevard seems haunted..

It was Easter..he strolled by the Liffey kicking empty
bottles in his path..

The theater is closed for the holiday..

A solitary walk by the Liffey ..his sigh as one with the
wind rippling it’s dark surface..


A familiar face then in a city of strangers..

a familiar race then..

for life..for desires..some desires in windows..some that
money can’t buy that make one pause..

He never thought to run for something..he could always
make something appear..anything..

it was his trademark..what he did..None did it better..

A creative soul he knew not the desire to destroy..

but to imagine and then create..The trees by whose red
falling leaves like red debris of dreams broken,
he first saw her.. caught fire then like great torches..and he
remembered her as a nomad’s gaze would be haunted by a
mirage..he stood motionless as burning leaves fell around
him like a tribute to a sad dark prince returned.
A moment of startling recognition in someone’s eyes, a former audience member he had once called onto the stage, now fell face-forward to stray bullets with a last cry and another collapsed to their knees by their side, cradling the head and sobbing..He didn’t feel like a magician then..didn’t feel like anyone..powerless..helpless..There was almost an expectant hush as he rolled up his sleeves in his way, as he did on the stage at a challenge from the crowd, from a heckler..”Now let’s see some real magic!” There was something ancient in the gesture as if a druid of a clan being massacred was looked to for some trick he could conjure..”anything wizard..just save us..You’re a magician aren’t you..?”  He strode then, not fit to appear on the stage, haggard, disheveled. He looked beyond her..”You’re a magician aren’t you..?” The phantom words seemed to echo in the alleyways like gunshots..”aren’t you..? Do something..”

He ran then..limbs ungainly, unathletic to her..

He fell to his knees to her..


Through the lantern-illuminated rain, red streaks of volleys appeared..

He held her protectively as if to render her invisible to
their aim, dissolve form and face to their guns..Felt her
heart beat in synchrony with his own against the rhythym
of marching drums..her sides heaving..”What’s your name lass?.” “What?”..”Your name..Please..I must now..” When she answered he repeated it like the title of a song requested to a soloist busker on a long walk home from the theartre as the bell tolls..He repeated it like an incantation..

The mist came as if if conjured protectively..He
raised a warding palm in slow-motion as if in the act of
keeping that abattoir of fire at bay..The embrace like the
frail bastion of a sandcastle against a rising tide..his
untrembling hand like the gauntlet and sword-armed
fist of a knight confronting a dragon for a last battle..

as if he had now mastery of another magic among magics..

He had felt the concealed revolvers holstered at her sides..

Knew why she ran..knew what would happen if they found
her today with them..

The shadows of the pursuing Blacks and Tans loomed over..

His last magic trick..

Dumb-witted audience of simpletons he sneered..eyes accustomed and trained, like the surgeons

in the audience…never to miss a detail..they were schooled for years and years..not to miss anything..

likewise to men who were drilled and drilled to never miss a detail or move..

in searches..

A look of wonder on her face..Unarmed?..How..? Then at his reassuring smile..a familiar face of posters hastened past in the rain..a comprehension..I know your face..Magician..
How? I never tell anyone how..
Never..But a truth behind deception was betrayed in a look that said why he did it..
How..? I’m a magician..I take that secret to my my grave..
“Nothing on her..This isn’t the one” Their eyes glared at him..

They shoved her aside roughly..

“Get up..We’re going to search you”
Behind the looming figures he heard a single shot and the one kneeling mourning the fallen ceased their crying..And a mind brooding over a spell, like one scanning over an arsenal of strategy made a final choice for a last stand..His face betrayed no emotion, no guile..
“Hey, he looks familiar..I think I saw his face on a poster..”  “A wanted poster..?” “I don’t think so..for a show maybe..?”

He soundlessly mouthed “run” to her...Their eyes met...He knew magic then...He felt awkward when their eyes first met…he cursed himself later that he hadn’t conjured some rose or some gift when he paused mid-stride at first sight…Now he smiled...”A last enchantment lass…then...farewell”..

there was truth to it...Everything seemed magic...the city seemed a beautiful and enigmatic wonder..

cast in resplendent crimson light by artillery rounds...and the Liffey itself seemed to burn, like liquid flame…His breath steamed in valediction like a smoking gun in the chill air...It’s tone of a man in love..

A city of dreams..

of magic..

How he would miss it..

He knew it was over…as if by a ventriloquist’s art the statues of warriors and orators seemed to chant his an audience before the curtain falls...pleading for a last trick...”One more!” “One more!” He rose as if in reply to the chanting...his hands were deceptively languid as he raised them from his sides..

The hands of the others were accustomed to the quick draw of firearms in the urban warzone..

But he was a magician…a conjurer..

Their eyes never followed..

The act was perfect..

There was no applause..

For once he didn’t need it..
He seemed to hear in ghostly echo the words he often heard in awe-inspired tones..the question he was asked again and again..”
How did you do that..” ..”How did you do that..?”  after his silhouette in the stage light was like a dark question mark as he bowed to the applause..

A vulpine smile tugged at his lips at the memory..”
Now for my last act..”
The eyes that looked beyond the fallen soldiers into her eyes had the same look of wonder that he saw

mirrored in his own eyes as he stood before the crowd after a trick..

a poem written on the city skyline, against a burning dawn, she seemed crowned in fire..He closes his eyes as he does when reaching into his hat on stage..
he envisions himself like a ghost approaching his poster before the closed theartre and tracing a heart in blood before and the words the “great” as the rain washes it away distorting the colours and image too like a carnival fun house image..then it appears again like a painting in fastforward and he sees her picture next to his on the poster..the letters reform at his beckoning..He turns away and his eyes open to the present..

Sharpshooters on the rooftop aim at him as he stands with smoking gun..

He turns to his “assistant…”I am  a the magician of Dublin.
I can make anything disappear..
 He shoves her away into the mist..”Run”..”Disappear!”
He turns to the men of the roof smiles and bows..

A smile that said “you’ll never know how I did it..”

The Lupines Song Siddartha Pierce

The Lupines Song

I love you at least
Seven fathoms deep

Within range of the jellyfish
Swim with me my dear

Upon the dolphins fin
Waves united as Beauty requited

The moonlight beams down
I accept your crown

On top of the Spirit's brow
It has been written

Within the ages
Sages say

Let one become One
Once again United
As the two souls howl
The moon bows.

Siddartha Pierce

Penned January 3, 2014 with Garth Foster, copyrighted

Saturday, 11 January 2014


By James Downs

(for Amiri Baraka:  10-07-34 to 1-09-14)

if I hold in      the truth
I will burst      a bubble
of thought    exploding
upon the    high upper
I spent the 60s   finding the right combination of   talk and listen   move and be still   and I will
always be known for speaking my mind   telling it like it is   “layin’ the truth on ya baby”   no one
can put one over on me   I’m strong and powerful   moss does not grow on  me   they thought my
play was a controversy because a black man and a white woman on a subway go to war on each
other   isn’t that how it is   you tell the truth and they slam you for it   don’t they see it  don’t they
see how it has been for 200 years.   oppression is invisible   the oppressed become invisible   Ralph
said it best   Invisible Man   when a society finds the suppression   of truth is the daily grinding
way of doing their business   how could they see what they have become   the jazz is what is
true   the jazz is what skitters you across all the potholes in the road   the jazz is Jazz   no other
sounds come so sweet to my ears   not even my baby’s healthy crying voice   it is the voice of
a people   crying out of Egypt   begging to be freed   the world is a world   there is a third world
that is ignored   there is a world where all may strive for freedom from the others     Kawaida
covers it all   liberation of the mind as well as body   my teaching   my poetry   are me   some
in my State knew the value of my words and I became a Laureate of Poetry   teaching    I can
certainly bring my years to that    they got mad and took the job away from me   I said  you
knew my thoughts and words before   then why did you pick me and reject me   I’ve gotten my
balance of   talk and listen   .move and be still   I will be here with my truth the rest of my days

if I hold in      the truth
I will burst      a bubble
of thought    exploding
upon the  high   upper

Amiri Baraka:  10-07-34 to 1-09-14


James Downs lives in Yosemite National Park, California.  A native Texan, James moved to the Golden State in 1993 and happily calls himself a "permanent Californian."  James produced a twice yearly onstage writers’ night, WORDS, which lasted eleven years.  James has a chapbook WHERE MANZANITA (2000) and a full-length volume MERGE WITH THE RIVER (2004), both published by Poetic Matrix Press (, and will have a chapbook in 2014 and his third full volume soon.  In 2010, James became the Associate Editor of Poetic Matrix Press.  In his spare time, he writes lyrics with a musician friend for SAWHORSE. Most importantly, James wants you to know that he married his love of ten years, Joy, in the summer of 2007 on his publisher’s land by a creek under a willow tree. Best decision of his life.  James retired and they now have their second home in Sonora, California, as well.

Five Short Poems from James Downs

Leaf floats down cool

leaf floats down cool
             still river water     I drink
from small fruit juice jar 


Six word story

Find cat
     call me
            he’s drunk


Vigorous cacaphony

Vigorous cacophony made me
investigate   it was weird birds

flying with vertigo through the
calm light   I searched for relief

from a deadly rash   I bore it well
through ravish of the neon breast



Blue heron

neck stretched seeking height
         settles down between blue reeds
and light and water

James Downs


Gertrude Stein:  a response

a bicycle is a bicycle is a bicycle




James Downs lives in Yosemite National Park, California.  A native Texan, James moved to the Golden State in 1993 and happily calls himself a "permanent Californian."  James produced a twice yearly onstage writers’ night, WORDS, which lasted eleven years.  James has a chapbook WHERE MANZANITA (2000) and a full-length volume MERGE WITH THE RIVER (2004), both published by Poetic Matrix Press (, and will have a chapbook in 2014 and his third full volume soon.  In 2010, James became the Associate Editor of Poetic Matrix Press.  In his spare time, he writes lyrics with a musician friend for SAWHORSE. Most importantly, James wants you to know that he married his love of ten years, Joy, in the summer of 2007 on his publisher’s land by a creek under a willow tree. Best decision of his life.  James retired and they now have their second home in Sonora, California, as well. 

Friday, 10 January 2014

Letting Go - A New Year’s Reflection Cynthia Sharp

Letting Go - A New Year’s Reflection

This year I’ve learned that
poets do not follow instructions
and it turns out better that way.

A film set does not belong in the living room.
There is no amount of broken machinery
you ever need to keep.

Anything that’s been through a flood
was compost a long time ago.
You really can live without your third year essays,
even if they mention U2.
If you quit the job, you don’t need the manual.
Get enough sleep. The mess will still be here.

The computer is doing it’s best.
Don’t ask it to open attachments.
Facebook is not for all day.
If he doesn’t friend you back,
 throw out the love letters.
Having more than one blog
does qualify you as a geek.

But most importantly,
 one should walk daily at the ocean
and not take it all so seriously.


Cynthia Sharp edits and writes poetry, short stories and novels.

 She has been published in Toasted Cheese & Haiku Journal.

Green Ithaka The Islands Before By Greg Patrick

Green Ithaka
 The Islands Before
 By Greg Patrick

An illuminated lyre formed centre-piece of a dark 
room in solitary splendour
awaiting the bard’s words and touch..

Though blind he had vision…
remembered it for in another writer’s words:
 “even were he blind he would know her for what she was”
Even in perpetual dark he knew light once and it would not be unsung
centuries before a man who cured the blind was hung
Nailed to a tree he sang songs of a fair face over the vast sea..

The smile that was like a song one could
not get out of one’s head as fine
a poetry as ever read like a poetry from lips read by the deaf.

A smile that was silence set to music
so that of an eve without her the night itself sang.

Like waves of night to a distant shore.
How many nights more  between waves…
are we kept apart…?

Ulysses paces the shore with a lion’s heart.
So many wakes behind and dividing seas between.
Too many battles fought to lose a queen.

Two unfulfilled chairs by a silver screen.
 Like two empty thrones before the sea waiting
for the quiet bard to sing after a phone that will never ring.

Raise the shell to hear the sea.
Look to the muse-blinded eyes to behold the sea’s
voluminous depth in the imagery of song,
even if my star-crossed way was wrong.

The artist walks away for another inspiration to find
but it was always a
dream and image sought by the blind.

Muse smoldering red into dreams searingly
 like that of a warrior’s nightmares.
Like the pollen of a tropical flower that haunts with
beatific dream the warrior and
explorer’s bower, vexes the composer in his tower.

Makes astrologer out of astronomer.
Believer of the faithless.
Infected by it’s dulcet fever and for nights
 after it’s thrall and dreamer.

Away from tired desks lined in a row
 as the desire for quest grow and Arthur calls
for his sword and Ulysses at last returns to his bow.
The suitors see the storm of sea in his eye
and against dream-differed nightmares die,
gods hear at last an exiled voyager’s cry
and recited words not my own
and to speak my words is to know no home.

Gladiator at heart before there was a Rome.

I don’t leave you on voyages of a restless heart
 and defiant soul must make but it’s their
spell and wonder that I take as far as
the horizon goes, the sigh is a wordless expression of
one name, on horizon’s
verge where the seas break over the heart
of the castaway, gone overboard,
swept away once and never

I remember that name to the stars
 let the sea wash away with
 purging salt so many scars,
of tropic nights when sigh
 is all that is left of battle cry,
the waves it’s distant echo
 of so many nights and aimless fights.

The moonlight’s flame has dwindled
 the tide has gone yet I linger
 like Yeats thinking of Maud Gonne.

The tides rise and fall.
There the ghost of a never child holding a
doll as we are playthings to as many shores and closed doors.
 Her hand extends like past to present…
So many presents..

‘Daddy will you walk the night shore with me
was it really Santa or you who left the doll by the tree..?

Do reindeer fly daddy
Tell me honestly…?”

He smiles in that dreamy way he so often
 looked to the stars as a rebel would through the bars
In answer he lifts her up suddenly high…”I’ll make you fly..”

The way she made me feel walking in air…You have her hair..
Making her entrance like the dawn..
I know it’s not polite to stare
but the moment was ours and even
if the gods warned I hadn't cared…

Now the horizon awaits to be dared.
Why do you go it is asked.
 Dangers await in the depths and in the sky.

A sigh to the east that doesn't lie.
There’s no reason to stay and cry.

The traveler will stand the
stones and hearts of stone only when he dies.
The horizon beckons and so too the skies.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

WAYNE by Mary Jones


by Mary Jones

WAYNE by Mary Jones
If you ever think of Angels,
that bright band of heavenly brothers,
you may not know,
 some angels are more heavenly than others.
There's a certain pecking
 order in the Lord's celestial choir,
for though all angels sit on high,
a few sit even higher.
Archangels get the highest
billing in the heavenly show,
and after them the Seraphim,
 in order high to low;
below them are the common Angels;
under them again
come the smallest of the Cherubim;
and under them—there's Wayne!
Now Wayne is an apprentice on an
 Angel Training Scheme.
He's spotty, small, and none too bright,
but still he has a dream:
he wants to bring to
humankind the news of peace and joy.
He's in Gabriel's department,
 as a junior errand boy.

One Christmas, Gabriel said to Wayne,

"It's time you had a try
at bearing tidings by yourself,
 so come on, don't be shy.
I know you're not too confident,
but why not have a shot?
Just go for it, my lad,
and give it everything you've got!"

"I will," said Wayne, and flew to earth,
 determined to do well,
and overjoyed to have the
chance God's messages to tell.

Alas for Wayne! The world has changed
a lot since Gabriel's day.
No simple shepherds in the fields
Wayne found upon his way,
but crowded cities,
packed with people suffering from stress
who wouldn't hear Wayne's voice –
 in fact they couldn't listen less.

So when he hovered in the sky and sang,
"Good news I bring!"
he soon felt rather foolish; no one saw or heard a thing.
"O.K.", he thought, 

"My first mistake. I see I've aimed too high.
I'm really not high-powered enough to try to fill the sky.
I'll need to set my sights a little lower, I suppose;
I'll pick a smaller group of people first, see how that goes."

He focused on one household,
and he really tried his best.
He sang outside their door for hours,
without a stop for rest.

He shouted through the letter box;
 he tapped the window pane;
then paused for thought,
and soared up to the roof to try again.
He tumbled down the chimney,
and with soot upon his wings
he fluttered round their living room
and sang of wondrous things.

But no one even noticed him,
 as round their heads he flew;
they were all glued to the telly, watching "Terminator 2".

A sadly disappointed
Wayne next tried the Christmas shops,
but there he fared no better,
though he pulled out all the stops.
The more he tried to broadcast
 joyful tidings far and wide,
the more the hurrying shoppers
pushed him callously aside.

He was muddy and bedraggled,
with his wings still stained with soot,
and he only just avoided getting trampled underfoot.
Twice people poked him
in the eye with sprigs of festive holly,
and once he got bowled
over by a charging Coles's trolley.
At last he found his
way inside a massive Superstore,
and suddenly he knew
he couldn't stand it anymore.
He perched upon a
high shelf where the
tinsel balls were kept
and, cold and tired and miserable,
he hung his head and wept.

Then, as he sat and sobbed
until his wingtips gently shook,
he heard a gasp of wonder,
and a voice said, "Mummy, LOOK!"

An angel! It's an angel."
 and a child stood there before him.
Wayne's heart leapt up;
his sobbing stopped - at last, somebody saw him.
Her mother said,
"Oh no, my dear, it's very plain to me,
it's just a rather scruffy ornament
 to hang upon the tree."

The little girl looked up at Wayne;
her wide eyes never blinked,
and then he slowly raised his head,
 and looked at her, and winked.
She clapped her hands with joy,
 and cried, "Oh Mummy, can't you see?
He's a really truly angel,
 and he's looking straight at me!"
The mother smiled indulgently,
and turned her daughter round,
but not before the child
 saw something floating to the ground.
The girl bent down and picked it up,
and as they left together,
her fingers clutched one single,
shining, slightly sooty feather.

When Wayne reported back,
 the Angel Gabriel said, "Well done!
We'll make an angel of you yet -
 you're getting there, my son."

So if one day you hear the message
that the angel brings
from a rather spotty messenger
with slightly grubby wings,
please listen to him carefully,
then as he flies away
just give the lad a friendly wave -
you'll really make his day!

I’m a writer and performance poet living in Mornington,
having migrated from England in 2008.
I’m a member of  FAW and Peninsula Poets.
I’ve had poems published in ‘The Australian Writer’, ‘Pearl Magazine’
and two anthologies, won competitions and slams,
and had a commissioned poem set to music for choral performance.
I’ve just had a poem accepted for ‘Quadrant’ magazine,
and I have a sonnet due for publication in an
anthology to be launched in London in April 2014.
My first collection, ‘Lines Dancing’ came out in 2012,
and is available through Lulu and Amazon.
I blog at