Spring thaw melts hard hearts
Exposing lost summer love
Wilted on the vine



Caught in his eyes

With every breath

We fell in love

In a moment of the sweetest

Most pleasurable was his rapture upon me

A breathtaking beauty



Taken in by his kiss


In his raptured moment

Beauty in his eyes

Adoration on his face

A love of mine


Beauty of breathlessness

In his kiss

































Don't I feel like a loser when I learn you're through with me.
It was news to everyone, especially to me.
Don't I feel pathetic, like there's something wrong with me.
She is far more beautiful than I could ever be.
I stand here null and solemn, though it must be written on my face,
that I've found before the world what you couldn't say to my face.
You blow right on by me with your new love, hand in hand.
So smug, haughty, and thoughtless.  You are not much of a man.
Filled with anger, through and through, I feel like I could drown.
I lift my glass and drink fast to chase the feeling down.
I close my eyes.  I still see your face.  Somehow I should have known.
You kill me inside with a passing glance, and now my heart grows cold.
So much time spent in a one sided love was wasted all on you.
Don't I feel like a loser for ever caring about you.

By Anne Rasico (Joyce)


One Day we will understand this question known as why.
Like all that we must wait for, it will come to us in time.
Then, we can tell our children why a stranger bombed our home.
But, now all that we can say is "Dad's not coming home."
We fall down to our knees and anxiously we pray
that they will find another trapped beneath the stones today.
Frantically we searched for friends who aren't accounted for.
And now, we must accept that we won't see them anymore.
When all the dust had settled, we searched for what we couldn't find,
the answer we all needed to the question known as why.
This question still rings in my ears as I stare up at the sky.
How could this have happened?  I never got to say goodbye.
There's nothing I know now to ease the pain inside.
So, full of hope, I wait for the answer as to why.

dedicated to all lost in the September 11th tragedies


By Anne Rasico (Joyce)


You sit there proud and mighty, judging me from your throne.

Telling all my secrets while forgetting all of your own.

You twirl around and wear that crown.  It shines so beautifully.

Polished by a veil of righteous purity.

You no longer need my loyalty

When you view yourself as royalty.

Your star glows brightest of us all, a phony painting of morality.

Illuminating everything I'm not and never hope to be.

But I'll sit here like a silent jester. I won't let the truth be known.

I won't tarnish your snow white reputation. One day you'll do that on your own.



By Anne Rasico (Joyce)

She didn't take her car.  She said she'd walk instead. 
She needed to leave the house.  She needed to clear her head.
She didn't take a friend.  She left the house alone.
We waited up all night, but she did not come home.
And, how we looked for her.  We searched the entire town.
We combed the city day and night, but she could not be found.
Why did I let her go alone?  Did I make a big mistake?
Is she in a jail?  On a bus?  At the bottom of a lake?
We lost a special person.  We lost our dearest friend.
We lost the one we love.  Things won't be the same again.
As the gray moon casts its shadow, I think of her tonight.
And so, I wish her well, wherever she is tonight

By Anne Rasico (Joyce)



By D.M. McGowan 2018


They taught us many things in school and some of us where fine

At following the words and rules along a designated line

A few were branded trouble when they left the proven trail

And popped the system bubble when they just refused to fail


“If you do exactly what we say you’re sure to get an “A”

Though you may not learn very much to help you through the day

But you’ll get the all important grade and be every politician’s dupe

For if you follow where you’re lead you’ll think they speak the truth”


What many didn’t see both students and the staff

It isn’t learning simple facts but how to love and laugh

Edison, Curie, Gates and Einstein they all had imagination

They didn’t follow another’s path or stay locked within their station.


Sure there is knowledge we all need in writing, science and math

Some we need more than others depending on our chosen path

And if you intend to just get along to do only as you’re told

What need for any new idea? What need to be so bold?


But if you intend to make a mark to be a Gates, or Jobs or Woz

You’ll need some imagination to be anywhere near the top

How do you exercise imagination, build its strength and survival?

Understand poetry, fiction and music to rise above any rival.



“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” Marie Curie.


“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”  Jane Austen


“Study the past and you’ll know your mistakes aren’t unique.” Dave McGowan




By D.M. McGowan 2018


We spend a lot of time now

And the effort is immense,

Ensuring everyone’s included

And not left outside the fence


But this feeling of exclusion

It isn’t something real

It’s part of hearts and minds

What some people simply feel


But they were not really walled off

Or blocked by some social shield

The door was always open

Not locked, barred or sealed


If you want inside the herd

Say hello now and then

Start a conversation

With those inside the pen


Learn what the herd does

How they live their lives

What they think is moral

Their view of wrong or right


You don’t have to do things

The way that they all do

But remember if you’re different

Majority still set the rules


Nothin’ wrong with being different

Even if some think you strange

But don’t expect to see big smiles

When you demand others change.




The most sensitive, yet, most supportive,
The most foolish, yet, inseparable;
Makes you know your feelings and motive,
Never lets you lose the confidence of being viable.

That is our heart. Being the central part of our blood
circulation system with arteries and veins coming in and out from the system, it is having an invaluable and infallible integral role in the literary and spiritual phases of one’s life.

I watch the glow of my joint burn out

As I find a new way of dreaming

Beneath the stairs.

I keep the jester’s hand on the end of a chain

Around my neck

And strangle the promises made by the heavens

And I the buffoon bought.

Now I just stare outside the window

Through the eyes of a cold

as ghosts

Drift down river

Then are gone.

Maybe it was the Nyquil


Somewhere down the avenue of memories

Where SROs still stand

 one can hear




Shouted from a window.

Just goes to show that love is a speckled egg

That doesn’t hatch angels or devils

But ordinary voices

Of unordinary men

Or women.

It’s the voice of the

Naked heart.



by Larry Yoakum III

(Currently published in 'Yoakum's Collection of Poems and Blurbs'


Up the escalator I went as any other time

Up and up, simple with no reason or rhyme.

Up the escalator I went and very much enjoyed

Until it vanished from under me and sent me into a black void.


I fell and I fell into a big black pit

Falling and falling, surprised me a bit

I fell and I fell into nothingness below

Faster and faster refusing to slow.


I screamed and I screamed as I fell into dark

Screaming and screaming sounding a bit like a bark

I screamed and I screamed as I ever fell in   

This dark nothingness of an endless black bin.


I woke in a start covered in sweat

Pillows and sheets soaked and coldly wet

What sort of a nightmare had just forced me to wake?

I better calm myself for my own bloody sake.


To go back to sleep again would now be my goal

If I could only calm my shuddering soul.

My eyes closed and my breath I forced to control

And I dreaded again falling into that black hole.


Third Eye Awakening 

I was never told but I always new
I was put here for a purpose not just for you
I'm always at the helm of my destiny 
See you at another time in another realm
I'm miss Emmy
Back to the future present, past
I know this reality will never last
To all my ancestors watching over me
All I can say is Ase' and peace
While I awaken my subconscious mind
I give praises to all that's Devine
I now remove this generational karma
Mama Daddy nothing else can harm us
I call out to Lord Ganesha my protector and savior 
Thank you, thank you, thank you
Three times the favor 
By Empress Emma

Where are your bones, I wonder?

Your dust, your last breath?

I see you queued with your mates

In your final military assembly:

            Bates next to Beasley

            Gillum next to Green

            And so on.

It is a moment captured forever in brass letters,

The year scuffed and barely legible.

How does a hero sleep?  Do you dream of past valor?

Or soft shoulders and tender kisses lost forever?

This once hallowed ground is swathed in weeds,

Cannons and missiles rusted and impotent,

The fence sagging with age.

People pass by, but nobody sees.

Even the names have become ghosts.

John W. Bebout  2018


I seen rain drops on a rose today 
I paid no attention to it as  I went on my way. 
A reminder to stop and smell the roses each day

 The shiny raindrops fell like tears 
A glimpse of how quickly days become years

Merely existing but never living 
Always taking but never giving. 

I seen raindrops on a rose today 
I stopped to look at it as I went on my way
But Life consumed me when I started my day

In a second, in a blink of an eye, 
life become memories as it quickly pass us by

Month after month feels like days 
Heartbreak and death consume us in every way
Raindrops are God's teardrops that are not meant to stay

I seen raindrops on a rose today
When I stopped to smell the Rose, the raindrops went away

2017copyrights Anna C. Bradford

Dedicated to Sheila Theriot  who reminded me to,
“Stop and smell the roses.”

Our untold story waits for its explosion

As our love ages more than we know.

The first time I saw you under a peepal tree

With your hair flowing in the air like

It has escaped all the aches and your lips

Weaving stories of a fairytale, I knew

It was you who warmed all my particles of heart

And now they are restless for an explosion;

An explosion of vigorous love, care and bond.

Everytime I sublime myself in the sweet essence of you,

I can feel the explosion of eternity occuring in my skin.

~ ©storytellersuchismita

How foolish do you have to be to fall so completely?
Thinking we were lovers,
Now realizing it was nothing.
Forgetting the simple rule,
To look before you leap, 
And living a fool's paradise.
Falling in love with such a mystery,
But having no one to pick you up.
Being led on and on a foolish dream,
Thinking about what may be.
Now realizing your love was fake
And your heart was black.
Confined between hell and paradise in
A vicious cycle.
Bound from aspiration
To a masquerade act.
Clinging to salvation with
Seeds of self-destruction.
Laughter shifts to whispers,
Blinded from illumination.
Revenge forgoes redemption.
This is a fool's paradise.
Lil Dixie want'cha come out an play,
Come out an play?
Boy I gotta work all day.
All day you gotta work you say?
All day that's what I say,
I gotta pluck them weeds afta i peel these peas,
Then on my knees i gotta milk that cow,
Ya can't do that later?
Nah, I gotta do that now.
Why Now?
Momma say it's milk ah turn sour,
Dixie Lilly I'll come back in ah few hours,
Ah few hours?! By then I'll be out back helping momma plant ah few flowers,
Dixie you ain't got no time to play so i best be on my way,
Didn't i say I'll be working all day?!,
Dixie, ya been talking to that lil nappy headed boy from across the way,
So just what you and him had to say?!
Nothing momma he just asked if i could come out an play,
Play?!! Child it ain't no time to play,
He can help feed them horses over there that there bale of hay!
I told him momma, I gotta work all day and I ain't got no time to play!...
Where are the traffic lights and street signs?

Water buffalo, cows, dogs, goats, roosters, and chickens wander across and sleep in the streets.

Masses of people – women in beautiful flowing saris with dabs of paint on their foreheads and men wearing clothes of every conceivable style from leather biker-jackets to loin cloths – walk, run, push carts loaded with lumber, bricks, or raw meat.

Street vendors point at their goods and shout as we pass by.

Shop owners gesture enthusiastically or doze, and beggars hold up withered limbs or a malnourished child.

We pass men shaving and women washing their long black-hair in buckets of water right beside the street.

Cars, busses, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, rickshaws, tuk-tuks, and animal-drawn carts flow chaotically by.

Road surfaces vary from stone, brick, pock-marked pavement, or rutted dirt.

Odors of incense, spicy foods, diesel and auto exhaust, sewage, and body odor assault us. Horn blasts, shouts, conversations and arguments in a polyglot of languages, bleats, barks, bellows and clucks of animals, and the grinding gears and strain of rickety vehicles on the verge of collapse create a surround sound you’d never hear in Indiana.

Our car pauses beside a bright red rickshaw. Its driver stares at us with dark perplexed eyes, then opens his almost toothless mouth and laughs as we pull away.

Jeff Rasley


He rode an old McClellan that had seen better days

But he sat up there like a king who controlled all he surveyed

His mount a buckskin mare as pretty as you’ve seen

With legs meant for working and eyes bright and clean

Behind him trailed a mule, a fine example of the breed

A pack piled high with goods but no halter or a lead


I asked him where he’s headed and where he might have been

The reason for his travel and what he might have seen

“I’ve seen the greatest country that God ever made

Sometimes mountain vistas, sometimes a grassy plain.

I’ve seen family members who make me feel ashamed

And many fellow workers who lie their way to fame


I’ve seen herds of caribou clicking cross the plain

Massive Mountain Grizzlies, great horses wild and tame.

I’ve seen massive progress ended by greedy fools

Or by those who need control and impose silly rules

And others stopping growth by thinking with their heart

When simple logic tells ‘em the horse is behind the cart.


We all get our little chance but others need a turn

The younger need some room to grow to build to learn

When I’ve done my time, my life here is thru

I don’t want my final vision to be only gloom and fools.

I’ll be free of all that as will the mule and mare

We’ve trod the greatest land, together scenery shared


It all makes my former life shallow and pale

And now where I travel nothing is ever stale

I’ve had my days of wealth measured in dollars and cents

With days, weeks and years surrounded by wall and fence

But now I have much more, a far greater treasure

Surrounded by natures wonders, beauty that can’t be measured



Any measure of success may not be right for all

The test that has some rise up will make others fall

I hope the path I travel and the message that I preach

Will be heard and understood by people that I meet

No one has the right to say that my view is wrong

Nor do I have the right to condemn another’s song


But enjoy the journey and help your fellow man

Have a laugh and learn, and make a proper stand

For something you believe, give it a proper fight

And if you should lose and you know you might

Within your heart you’ll know you did your very best

And did what you thought right when put to the test.


The ranch is lonely this time of year

Now that my sweetheart‘s gone

We hadn’t planned for either one

To leave for the great beyond


Hitched in harness, a team we where

Going the same direction

Pulling together we made a pair

But now it’s all reflection


Daughter found herself a man

And they’re off chasing the dollar

The boys the same, all working lives

But their kids pleasing grandfather


They don’t listen much to me

That life ain’t about the buck

I think you need beauty and humor

Or you’re just plain out of luck


That no one listens to me

Well I’ve got used to that

Horses usually take instruction

But cows no more than a cat


Always have to repeat myself

And some folks have to be led

Just like a pig I once had

Didn’t hear a word I said.


But the daughter called today

She’d been talking to her brothers

Said them and her husband agreed

And they’d talked some to others


They want to come back to the ranch

Her call gave me quite a lift

As the year rolls up to Christmas                

I couldn’t get a better gift.

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