Phoenix new life poetry

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After a storm
the heart is soft for a while, is tender.
Weathering toughens the outside
as it softens the inside—
is this paradox created by love
to improve our tolerance?

We weather the crisis,
the suicide,
the long dying
the loss of love,
the doom of expectations
and we grow more patient and more kind
because we know how it feels, how it all feels.

We discover compassion
and the love that keeps on giving;
when we don't feel sorry for ourselves
we discover a well
that draws not from self,
but from never ending Source
and slakes the thirst of those who come to drink

Those who have weathered many storms
do not need a safe harbor.
They face wind and rain
with the knowledge that all is well.
In some way that cannot logically be explained,
they know life will go on,
grief dwindle with time;
and the sorrow that does not pass
becomes more tolerable
as it becomes a source of strength.

The Slow Plow

The slow plow

turns a deep furrow.

Cracked earth gives way

to sharpened edge.
Old weeds decay
rotting within heaped earth.

I am slower now to move.

My hand steady on the plow,
I see more clearly,
respond more authentically.

The furrowing

helps me accept
whatever truth I uncover
within the turned earth.

Time's edge

grows keener with years.
Turn on the Light

When the skies are dark and gloomy

And the path is dim and drear,

turn on the light.

The light will show your feet the way to go.
When you can't see a solution

There is one thing you can do,

turn on the light.
The light will show your mind the way to go.
When your poor heart has been broken

And you're filled with sad regret,

turn on the light.
The light will show your heart the way to go.
The light of truth shines bright within

It will illuminate your way,

Turn on the light.

The light will guide you true.

Tasha Halpert Email:


turns out


does not have a mansion after all

but only a modest bungalow

3/2 with a porch

Craftsman style

there is a room upstairs

with a window

where the Holy Ghost stays

there is a dish drainer

and a kitchen table

where god likes to sit

and write out his daily schedule

he says it's all he needs

just a place to sleep

and catch up on some reading

it's comfortable enough

when you're God

you already have everything you need

and there is no point in

flaunting your Godliness.


Kids go to school

and spend thousands of dollars

to get that precious diploma

the holy grail

they take along their

phones because it is

the only life they have

they cannot function

without a phone and earplugs

they study hard

and put in many hours


how to drink


and use profanity

then in the end

they end up with the prize

a PHD in RenaIssance Drama

which guarantees them

a lifetime of debt

a job at the local McDonalds

and a room

in their parents basement.

Armies Of The Fall
The wind calls
leaves from trees
to muster in their ranks
of thousand

(continued over page)

(continued from previous page)

then down the street they charge

armies of mute soldiers
pushed onward
by the commanding wind

in the swirl of swift battle

some dash ahead
some tumble in the fray
some fall by the wayside

straggling to the curb

huddled in their drab uniforms
they rest
to plot their next attack

comrades in arms

in pursuit of something
they do not know or understand
they only know there is
no retreat

this endless army of leaves

awaits the next signal to advance
silently listening for
the bugle call of the wind.

beer bottles and cans

litter the lot

the waste of our throwaway society

our civilization gone mad

with the ease of litter

tossing anything and everything

out the window

so cans and bottles

pile up here

a procession of glass and aluminum

strewn upon this good earth

a field of trash

instead of grass

and the sad scene weeps

for what used to be

an unpolluted Eden

where rain would fall

upon good clean soil

and flowers grew

instead of cans.

There is no toy that

can satisfy a kid's heart

like a cardboard box

all kids are happy to get one

big enough to crawl into

to make cut out windows in

to close the flaps

of secret worlds and wild geography

to play fort

to play pirate

to make a car or bus

all their wishes and ideas

and wild imagination

rolled up into a cardboard box
somehow an ordinary box

fires make believe

and kids become all

they ever wanted to be

as they tumble in and out

and fight over whose box it is

and who had it first
years from now

they will talk about

the box they played in

and all they fun they had

still ingrained upon their memories
parents will hurumph

and act insulted

give them expensive fancy toys

and what do they do

play with the box
all the while remembering

their own childhoods

and secretly wishing

they could be kids again

having fun inside a cardboard box.

Since naive youth

we have a sense of guilt

bestowed on us by mothers

who instilled in us fear

of the big bad wolf

too many sins

not enough pleasure

shame on you

god knows

kneel down 


be a good boy

pray for forgiveness

the finger pointed

the voice still heard

deep in the psyche

we carry the burden

as heavy as a boulder

the sins of a lifetime

weigh upon us

you cannot argue

with God or mother.

I hear America texting

her constant tap tapping

from sea to shining sea

every street and highway

all atwitter

men and women

on the way to work

behind the wheel

sending their messages

of love and nonsense

crashing into guard rails

rear ending each other

still typing away

on tiny keyboards

their small thoughts of the day

emoji emotions

miles of pings

responding with happy faces

merrily they roll along

on their new gadgets

speaking of lost causes

lost language

less eye to eye

it's a brave new world

driving while texting

our evolution

from climbing trees and artful cursive

to blanking screens

held precariously beside steering wheels

thumbs numb from texting.

we know less than before.

I was having a good time
in the sea
just being me
then along came a boat
and a wise guy fisherman
who set his traps
and sealed my doom
now I am a sad lobster
imprisoned in a tiny tank
with my pincers tied up
I flail about
trying to find a way out
people with no mercy
stare at me
and lick their lips
there is no getting out of
this glass chamber
unless it's on a plate
then on top of that
the final insult
they have the nerve
to call this place
"Red Lobster".

Homes without people

are no homes at all

just boards and nails

doors and windows

it takes people and table talk

to make a house a home

to give it life

and sound and spirit
how sad are the houses

that sit vacant in darkness

with no one to care

eventually they will crumble

there is no happiness behind

locked doors and empty closets

with no one home

a house is just a house

sitting lonely and neglected

a house without voices

to stir the dust

push open the windows

deprived of a family

it cannot be a home

the sign should say

House for Sale

bring all offers

of love.

The landscape fades away

grass turns from green to solemn yellow

trees drop their leaves

to message the passing

of yet another season

the video of our neighborhood

now shows a scraggly look

unkempt and disheveled

as if nature gave up the ghost

and slowly walked away

yet there in the alley

grows a persistent Lantana

a bush so wild and weedy

it looks sickly

scrawny as a stick

it is almost leafless

yet in its bareness

still blossoms forth with flowers

bright displays of brilliant orange and gold

cheerful in parenthesis

weaving thru the chain-link fence
we are amazed at its resistance

how it stubbornly refuses to go along

the wild Lantana shows its mettle

defies the norm of giving up

and even in its sad condition

issues forth in courage

gives us its unspoken message

of enduring happiness.

David Knape


I can see my breath, white wisps escape with eac


Fingers and toes feel the bite of sharp frost.

Trees are dressed in white crystals, natures fairy


The sun is weak and shares little warmth.

We walk briskly to heat our cold bodies.

On our return, it's hot tea and buttered toast.

Winter is reaching out it's freezing fingers.

Warmth becomes a savoured indulgence.

We are all seasons and as darkness falls early,

We know the Solstice will soon be calling here

Our colours change with mood and outer influence.

Our auras change with healing and damage.

On the rare moments I can see them,

they leave me transfixed by their beauty.

I see people in their multi energetic fullness.

Those moments do not last long for me.

I wish all my moments were in such full colour.

It's when I truly know we are so much more than the

often believe.

We are all rainbows after the rain.

It began on cave walls.

Sketches of animals and humans.

Painting with my fingers still takes me back to tribal,

childhood times.

It feels good, close to the mark.

I remember my art teacher smiling as I ignored instructions and covered the paper in daubed finger and hand prints.

He got my need to feel the paint

though my teenage counterparts did not.

He never reprimanded my need to do what I wanted and not what was asked.

My English teacher was the same, I was blessed with teachers who encouraged my explorations.

We all make marks, some on paper, some on canvass, some on hearts, some on flesh and some on cave


My heArt is still primal, still free to express, whether or not there is an audience of acceptance.


What is reality in a plastic, virtual world?

Do we transcend or descend into the pretence.

Take my hand, feel my heart beat.

Is that my breath on your face or a chill wind.

Fencing around Stone Henge, souvenirs galore.

Plastic in lips and hips and fish.

God and trolls resides on the internet.

Buy your medium ship for $29.

Be verbally abused for free.

We can copy virtually anything.

Create something that is newborn.

I can paint you and myself any colour.

Instead we click smiley face or like.

Do not click on tears, mine are made of salt.

My smile is not perfect but it's real.

The grass beneath my feet, the fallen leaves,

provided by nature not 3D printers.

And when we kill the world for our children,

try and explain that it's ok, we have a fake


The last bee will be our last breath.

I am not a robot but that's what they all say.

How many full moons and tide turns have women

been abused?

Look at HisStory, women maligned, burned at the


We have been undervalued, traded, raped and


Behind the mask of political correctness, nothing


Until the feminine is valued, respected and equally represented, nothing will change.

 Masculinity, power and misogamy, has brought us to


Balance must be seen as a priority for our survival.

Wars, slavery, displacement created by men.

We need to grow nurture, care, and feminine


It is time to hear and respond positively to HerStory.

It's time for men to tell men that patriarchy has run

it's course.

The way forward is balance, for all our sakes.

Alexandria Krysinski



Message me,

Messiah legacy,

Context highly suspect,

This theft of language,

Forgiveness as a concept,

Not easy when tongues slip,

Like serpents constrict,

All your prayers submit,

Sins nodded through,

By those asleep at Karmic wheel!
Powerful predatory beasts,

Pardoned dinosaur priests,

In candle-lit crypt caves,

Pulpit puppets strung along slaves,

Massed marionettes jerk and spasm,

In thrall to unholy phantom,

Black box recorder never recovered,

Drowned conspiracy softly smothered,

Choir-boys sing for last suppers,

Find silence answers those who suffer.

The wealthy and privileged,

Make of forgiveness a derelict,

Their only duty to stamp tramps,

With holy writs demanding obedience,

Bury your shame take their blame,

Through supplication you are both redeemed!

Torch burning lynchers,

In search of sinners,

Could do no worse,

Than begin with their local church!


“Do you know why?

You need to know,

Jesus before you die?”

Mercy street dealers,

Push their own unique,

Systems of belief,

One Almighty addiction,

Choose your dogma,

On a string of convictions!

Spread the fear,

Forget any joy,

Which might await,

When you’re swept aside,

From God’s grate,

Recognise with rueful laugh,

There may be no pilgrim’s path,

Just broken bones and crushed egg-shells,

Blistering soles down each circle of hell!
Trust in the frailty of your deity,

As you prepare to anoint another brow,

Can’t but fail to disappoint you,

Dozens of disciples,

Turned to mere trifles,

By those bearing rifles,

‘Neath their stolen crowns.
Should a redeemer deliver from evil?

With such a lack of grace?

Using squeaky felt tips,

His crude hieroglyphics,

Draw crowds in,

Sketchy sermons on sin,

How about a saviour of a different flavour?

Not just another post-mortem jailor,

Heaven as a wild child meadow,

Where we can only continue to grow,

So keep your mantra musty with grief,

Your sales pitch forks the road to deceit,

To journey beyond trade in your own faith!

Mark Laing

13 Ethelbert Road, Canterbury Kent CT1 3ND


Mark Writes: “The second poem, "Hawker" relates to someone I have observed peddling their highly dubious spiritual wares in our local high street ! The first poem "Faltered" was written before the latest scandals to rock Hollywood and Westminster but now seems highly prescient! It was really my intention to write a treatise on the idea of forgiveness and its limitations when applied to situations when anyone one of us has endured suffering at the behest of the powerful.”

The Sandman

The Sandman snores on Xmas Say,

For then his dreams are all spent,

He can rest awhile and sleep with a smile,

A wonderful yearly event!

For every boy and girl they have

Sweet dreams on Xmas Eve,

And then they wake and find they make

The dreams that he did leave.

The Sandman is dreaming of sleeping,

For one night his own eyes be kissed;

For all through the year there is many a tear

When the dreams that are wished for are missed.

But on Xmas day all the children

Are beaming and happy and free,

Their dreams are fulfilled just as he had willed,

And now he’s asleep – so is he!
On Being Born Again

All nature feels a fleeting force;

A primal push of birth; a pain

Of being born; life takes its course

And dies, but then is born again!
And so the seasons spin in space,

Each life a world of woe and waste;

Or so would seem this endless race

Of cosmic, comic, cruel bad taste!

Each native pinned to this mad wheel

Of time that turns like wound-up toy,

Is born to fail and born to feel

The joke of life – the loss of joy!

And so each life is born then dies;

And nothing new is known or lost

For all is but a sea of sighs

That every sailor-soul has crossed!

But please excuse such sinking tones;

This meaningless and morbid mope;

It is but creaking of old bones –

Born from body, bereft of hope!

As I lie dying in my bed,

And all is dark and dimmed with doom;

Please then forget these things I’ve said;

They too should lie within a tomb!

For these weak words are only dust,

And have no life if they but curse

The fact of life in which we trust,

To seek to save our souls from worse!

(continued over page)

(continued from previous page)

The song-bird sings, the spider weaves;

The mother loves, the baby grins;

The pope and pauper, each believes

That there is hope when life begins!

For while there’s life in human flesh;

There’s also spirit set to guide

That speck of soul, caught in the mesh;

A faith that they can turn the tide!

All nature feels a fleeting force;

A primal push of birth; a pain

Of being born; life takes its course

And dies, but then is born again!

On Leprechauns

The Leprechauns laugh and leap over the moon,

And show off the shimmering shine of their shoon,

While Apollo appeases the play of old Puck,

Lighting all lives by the law of good luck;

And Luck be the Leprechaun God living over

The land of the legendary four-leaf clover!
The Leprechauns fiddle and dance and hey-diddle

And rhyme all the time and tell a tall riddle

And tales of ol’ Tara when time was as tender

As a maid in the morning all sylvan and slender

Dancing her daydreams as day dawns all over

The land of the legendary four-leaf clover!

The Leprechauns sing a sing that’s stammering

Akin to the clamour of a cobbler’s hammering

About on their business on battering brogues,

These faerie-folk rascals and we Irish rogues

Who run around Ireland unseen but all over

The land of the legendary four-leaf clover!

Eulogy for Agatha & Hercule

The Adventure of a Clapham Cook

Or a Murder in the Mews;

The Queen of Crime in every book,

She took us where she’d choose,

As freely as she felt, she took

Us out for a Death on the Nile,

And Poirot, he would catch the crook

And always with some style!
A Mysterious Affair at Styles

Or just a problem at Sea;

The Queen of Crime was best by miles

At solving every mystery,

Because of course of the guiles and whiles

Of Poirot, who would always win,

As per Miss Lemon’s copious files,

A Double Clue or a Double Sin!

For any Evil under the Sun,

Even for a Death in the Clouds;

The Queen of Crime was number one

At lifting murderers’ shrouds,

And showing Japp just who had done

Incredible Theft or callous crime,

With Poirot, finding with much fun,

The Disappearing Davenheim!

Whether a Third Floor Flat or a dream

Or whether a Chocolate Box,

The Queen of Crime could make us scream

In surprise at the twists and shocks

That she could weave or make it seem

That Poirot, who with simple ease,

Could solve what we could clearly deem

To be unsolvable mysteries.

The Million Dollar Bond Robbery

Or the Case of the Missing Will;

The Queen of Crime could always be

Counted on for a killing thrill;

She covered all Murders, A,B.C,

In her stories, like sinister odes,

And Poirot would play her symphony,

Even a Triangle at Rhodes!

Whether Four and Twenty Black-birds,

Or the Theft of a Royal Ruby,

The Queen of Crime, with winging words,

Could plan a Cornish Mystery,

And fly afar from the common herds,

To pen a plot, to tease and test

Poor Poirot, who would mouth his “merde’s”,

If far too near a Wasp’s Nest!

Tales are told of the Mine that was lost

And the Murder on the Links;

The Queen of Crime, she knew the cost,

Of doing what a murderer thinks;

How After the Funeral, fingers were crossed,

From Poirot, keeping them going free

Though in their sleep they turned and tossed,

Like a Marsden Manor Tragedy!

In the Adventure of Johnnie Waverly,

Or in the Peril at End House;

The Queen of Crime is boldly free

In her telling of a lying louse;

She does not speak all daintily

About the evil, villainous gang,

That Poirot catches continually,

As the criminals that must hang!

But this Veiled Lady is not vain,

She puts her Cards on the Table:

The Queen of Crime, never prof ane,

Made our Belgium a bit of a Gable;

Ever a gentleman, without a stain,

Though Poirot – always dapper in dress

Is mainly famous for his mighty brain

Quicker than the Plymouth Express!

And on Hercule Poirot’s Christmass,

Still, she gives no sign of rest;

The Queen of Crime, with a Sad Cypress,

Creates more crime, for him to test;

An Underdog or a Dumb Witness,

Or any clue that she can connive;

Her Poirot, even with a Yellow Iris,

Solves them all, and so does thrive!

A Cat among the pigeons knows no thrift;

Thus, with Hercule, he’ll follow the scent,

The Queen of Crime, who by her gift,

Has already written where Hercule went,

Leading him on through clues to sift;

Thus Poirot knows where to follow,

And bring to conclusion, sudden and swift,

Affairs of the Victory Ball or Hollow.

A Dead Man’s Mirror shows no morrow,

For many a victim of these crimes;

The Queen of Crime, she’ll show no sorrow

For evil ways of these evil times!

Rather do battle, with brains of her Poirot

As weapon, against the mud and the blood

That Poirot must wage his war on and borrow

A time that’s taken at the Flood!

Thus even the King of Clubs will be floored,

As the Five Little Pigs will be killed!

The Queen of Crime, she will never be bored,

Not while Hercule and her are so skilled

At catching the culprits so needing the sword,

Brave Poirot, for Justice, does brandish:

The Mysterious Spanish Chest will be gored

And others even more outlandish!

Adventure of the Western Star with dash;

Adventure of the Cheap Flat with dare;

The Queen of Crime will always smash

Any Criminal’s crime with such flair,

Because of course, she had the cash

She earned from the brilliant brain of Poirot,

Being brave but not brash,

As in the Mystery of the Blue Train.

A Kidnapped Prime Minister might complain

As he watches the hands of the clock:

The Queen of Crime knows time will remain

For more “Hickory Dickory Dock!”

And Scotland Yard may murmur in vain

At Poirot and his strange point of view,

But in the end, it all becomes plain

As One, Two, Buckle my Shoe!

A Halloween Party is such a good show

Of horrors and monsters and witches;

The Queen of Crime, has better ones though;

Murderers, poisoners and bitches!

Ask her, “How Does Your Garden Grow?”

And you will get far more than shells

For Poirot to puzzle, like maids in a row

And all solved by those little grey cells!

Mrs McGinty’s dead, and the sighs

Of the many murdered are haunting

The Queen of Crime, in many a guise

As her characters, endlessly taunting!

The Third Girl’s whispering wanton lies

To Poirot, who knows that she’s lying;

While repeatedly Lord Edgeware Dies

And the Italian Nobleman’s dying!

Murder in Mesopotamia is as daring,

As the Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb!

The Queen of Crime and Poirot both sharing

The curse of the detective’s doom –

To always find a body that’s staring

Lifelessly, needing redemption;

And Poirot and Christie together are caring

For Justice without exemption!

The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge was a mission,

Of great discomfort for Poirot to bear,

The Queen of Crime, in her usual rendition,

Had him preened to perfection with care;

With his hat, cane and spats, though condition

Of Poirot was not suited for the land,

More for the Metropolitan tradition,

As in Jewel Robbery at the Grand!

And the Murder of Roger Ackroyd,

Agatha, with a most gruesome end;

The Queen of Crime, there would not avoid

The extinction of a trusted friend!

But Hastings, “mon ami” was employed,

As a friend somewhat simple but certain;

And Poirot’s Twelve Labours we enjoyed

Right up to Poirot’s last Curtain!

Words of Wisdom or Whatever - -

If there are such words of wisdom

This may help you in your strife

Of living in this country

This thing some call a life,

Then these few words are for you

With their meaning quite concise

And you’ll find them true

As a piece of sound advice;
To just do your best with what you’ve got.”

As advice I hope you heed it,

For “experience” is what you only get

Just after you really need it!

Steve Langley

100 Colne Street, Castleton, Rochdale GMC OL11 UK Email:


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