Free Verse & Prose Poetry 

Page 5.

We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.
William Butler Yeats - (1865- 1939)
      Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine © 2007-2019


Yesterday’s Newspaper     by Yuan Changming

Like a small leaf
Rolling along
From curb to curb
Beside or behind
Each running wheel
You have become
Heavy, even heavier
Than the headline
Of the front page
Once the wind stops, you
Will get stuck right here
Among all the forlorn
Pieces of history

Spring Greeting: for Liu Yu     by Yuan Changming

Rather than composing poetry
To commemorate you after you are gone
I am now writing, dear Mom
To pay my highest tribute to you
As one of the hardest-fated on earth
Yes, among the many death experiences you’ve had
The most significant one for me (and my sons)
Was your sickness you suffered at two, which was so
Severe that your poor and ignorant foster mother
Could do nothing but put you on a flat basket
And return your living corpse to your bio-creator
But for your stepfather, who used his shamanic skills
To contain the evil spirit and drive it to an unknown
Corner, you would have died like a doomed sapling
(That’s why your name is changed to ‘Refound’)
So, stay well, Mom, and remain hardy for us!

Into my Little Town    by Daniel J. Flore III

For awhile, I didn't
really leave my chair
at my favorite window
by my cigarettes
and glass ashtray

I stayed puffing
around my little apartment
with the cars passing
outside on rt.309

but today, I wanted to see
if anything had changed...

the sky was still marshmallow fluff
and the people were still peanut butter

when I got to the grocery store

I learned-

that I still feel bad
for the old ladies bending
over into the frozen foods

that Carly Simon still
makes me sad, and think of my mother even if I hear her music while
I'm staring at a shelf full of paprikas

and that I wanted to suck on
the wet,  black, squirt bottle top
with the woman
squeezing it
in line behind me

In my little town,
the birds chirp
even if there isn't all that much to eat around
the Coke machines

the people smile and nod if you happen to pass them
on your walk home

and the air smells exceptionally sweet after an afternoon shower
almost like it's glad
just to be hangin' around

If Tracy Chapman was my Aunt  by Daniel J. Flore III

after my parent's divorce
9 years old
driving in a fast car with my mom
listening to the radio
black nights and streetlights
leaving another strange family's house
that had taken us in

mom doesn't smile in
the rear view mirror anymore
when she fixes her hair
and we like sharing boxes of cheez-itz
and her boyfriends don't
rub witch hazel on her
but I do it

and I wish Tracy Chapman was my aunt
and we were going to her house
her smile would be so white
when she met us at the door
and she could talk with my mom about:

all natural bubble baths
fruit smoothies at the mall
outfits at The Limited
diet coke
and how men had done them wrong

and her house would smell like rainwater incense
and she'd make us the best banana splits
with exotic walnuts on top

and at the end of the night
Tracy Chapman would say
"so nephew Danny,
sounds like you've been doing a good job takin' care of your mom."

and lead me up the stairs
to put all of my tears
in her guitar case

The Five Senses And The Fled Fish    by Pijush Kanti Deb

Assuming the golden sunrise
and the colorful rainbow
standing in the sky
against the invasion of black clouds
with the flying colors
as the beginning of a good day
a mysterious hand
blooms the five senses together
saying, ‘’Enjoy my greatness,
I’m caught in your net”
and makes the five senses curious
to look here and there
by their naked eyes,
through the restless machines
and by peaceful meditation by turns.
They find nothing fantastic or celestial
except a big hole
in their net to kill their curiosity
and give birth to a popular conclusion
‘’The fled fish is always colossal’’.

Dry Heat  by Helen Ditouras

Sizzling sweat-beads lace my arms
Impatience heats my sweltering chest
Too bourgeois for blazing sun
And premature aged sunspot skin

But long ago I was that girl
In dry heat village barren-square
Burning sun upon my back
Only brimming cold-tap water well

Where afternoons were marked by sleep
Or hazy heat-filled posturing
With no escape of ice-cold dreams
To slowly melt oppressive heat

Mama I miss those yesteryears
So very very far-removed
From all I feel upon my skin
To ache dry heat within my soul

Baba meet me if you can
In Yiayia's pebbled-dirt courtyard
But only with the sun aflame
Beneath her shaded ripe fig tree


Chinatown Nights   by Helen Ditouras

I know these years have weighed you down
I am shackled all the same
But take a moment, close your eyes
Imagine through this dusty frame
Think back when we dreamed so free
With coffee, strolls, and midnight speak
My endless search for one pipe-dream
And all our secrets slow-drip leak
But if my end should come early
Please old girl just promise me
Neon lights and Chinatown nights

I always knew your trauma deep
So kept you close right by my side
And never could no one replace
Your floating raft for my riptide
No big hurry, you and I
Just endless walks down Wyandotte street
A newborn minute pocket-watch
One balmy breeze-kissed virgin sheet
So if my end should come early
Please old girl just promise me
Neon lights and Chinatown nights

Fuck it pal let's get some smokes
And have a drink for old time's sake
Sit with me on Riverside
On moonlit bench I'll post a stake
So no one claims our reverie
Let's just draw one small last dream
May I remind you my fantasies
Cheongsam in dragon-boat stream
Just join me one last time again
In case my end should come early
Please old girl just promise me
Neon lights and Chinatown nights

Cadillac Street  by Helen Ditouras

Not quite sure
Can't figure how
They did something to your house
That rendered it invisible
Obsolete, ethereal
Makes me think you've gone away

Still confused
A bit unhinged
They did something to your house
That stripped the smell
Of jasmine rice and cigarettes
Makes me feel you've disappeared

Pondering upon repeat
Trying to wrap my head around
They did something to your house
They colored it with pastel paint
Save for the ratty front porch stairs
Makes me know you're out of sight

Out the window of my car
I gaze with utmost certainty
They did something to your house
Evicted all who lived inside
A subterranean sentiment
Makes me speculate your dead

A Stranger on the #43 Bus         by Robert Daseler

A man reading a folded newspaper
Was sitting on the bus across from me.
I thought his face almost familiar,
Like someone in a movie I had seen
A year or more ago, and he had been
A minor character whom memory
Would ordinarily have buried deep,
Unearthed, if at all, only in sleep.
My eyes kept turning back to him, as if
To search his features for a hidden trace
Of somebody I might have hated once,
And, if so, I needed to forgive
Myself.  Apparently I can't erase
The once identity I would renounce. 


Where the roadway of
constellations intersects
sky’s equator here
is found the exact
location of Spring
(mislaid for a year) Vernal
equinox. Solar beams
can wake the almost
dead roots after
the deep winter fast.
Frost still bites the
air, yet it is now
when tender tips
of newly sprouted
leaves, and swelling buds
aggressively jab
at air, hungrily stretch
to touch saffron sun-rays.
The command rises
from newly sprouted
pale root hairs
echoes heard by the
apical meristem
at the very top
of renewing
apple, peach, pear trees,
all blossoming cousins in
the rose family, Rosaceae.
Now they must take in
their first dawn meal—
our own close starlight
washed down with
last year’s stockpiled sap.

Occultation of Venus
Cold dawn draws
our bodies together
as one we watch
the new moon’s outline
Sheer-pale toenail clipping
scratches the half-lit sky
Venus enters the moon.
Hypnotic beauty
postpones caution
for the rising sun
crematory for prying eyes
seeming inches away
from our phenomenon
Venus slides
behind the moon.

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