They Say He Was a Carpenter | Poem

They say He was a carpenter.
I can only say,
I have known carpenters.
They don’t seemed to have been trained.
They seem to have always known boards
and decks
and floors
and walls
and square, always square
like a flag their square
like Plato’s perfect order,
Shakespeare’s law,
their square.
I wonder if He was on a roof
hoisting rafters without a shirt
driving ancient nails into ancient boards,
glistening in the summer sun,
smiling at the ladies
with the work of His hands.
My friend the carpenter has given me a deck,
a porch
to watch His birds
take joy in building nests.

by David Michael Jackson
First Published as Carpenter Poem

For deck builders in Murfreesboro, Tn try  ZZConstruction

The Kingdom of Chaos Poems by Scott Thomas Outlar

Silver Primroses & Golden Strigiformes Planted by the Curb

Carrying your own 
          dead body
                back to its grave
      in a dream
                 then happening upon
          an expired owl
                              stricken & smashed
                        in the street

Ominous signs
        along Five Forks Trickum
            birth into
                patterns of indigo 
                                  & scarlet wildflowers
Spirit animals
             taking a dive
       before rush hour fevers
    learn to sip
              from the parched throat
        of roadkill brunch

eating the 
   of our own

Stomach Lining

I came to eat the lies you coin

and serve them back half bitter
across the divide of tables turned

I didn’t ask for this evil eye

it was forced down my throat from the jump
been begging for a bulimic leap ever since

Spells of the Stoic Pewter 

& I will
        set you (free) here
    to be made safe by the wizard / window
                                                 (fly, birdie)
               black obsidian
                     gray of mind & beard
             wise & dangerous
                     streaked/laced down the middle
                                    balanced of accord
                                                  & likewise

you are the melody of a soft glow

Lament of Prey

Hello to all the hawks
who have yet to have their fill,
& the vultures, too,
waiting for what’s left over.

Spoiled minds & spoiled hearts
lead to spoiled guts,
but it seems to be
that’s what nature intended
in this twisted realm
of divided time & space.

Dog eat dog
isn’t even the worst part;
it’s flesh unto flesh
in the fire.

Goodbye to all the dreams
that forgot how to conquer,
& the visions still
yet to crystallize in cancer.

Rotten bones & rotten marrow
flow in rotten rivers,
but that’s the taste
acidic blood delivers
when signs of sickness
flash neon & electric in the night.

Tail chase tail
isn’t the end of the story;
it’s a snake that never sheds
the fade to black.

Kingdom of Chaos

We don’t want your money,
just your soul
on a silver platter
served to order
for our warm feast
while we spit out your raw famine.

We don’t want your respect,
just your energy and time,
just your mind
to the frequency
of propagandized pestilence.

We don’t want your love,
just your heart
bled dry
as every vein
withers in the winter wind
while our chalice remains
ever full to the point of overflowing.

We don’t want your vote,
just your faith
that such a course of action
can actually influence
the order in which our puppets
dance to a song of chaos
upon the public stage.

We don’t want your salute,
just your obedience,
just your hands
kept where we can see them
while your feet continue marching
to the drumbeat of our wars.

We don’t want your laws,
just your land,
just your culture,
just your customs,
just your heritage,
just your traditions
snuffed out
beneath the global kingdom
at our command. 


Scott Thomas Outlar is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. He now lives and writes in Frederick, Maryland. His work has been nominated multiple times for both the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He guest-edited the Hope Anthology of Poetry from CultureCult Press as well as the 2019-2023 Western Voices editions of Setu Mag. He is the author of seven books, including Songs of a Dissident (2015), Abstract Visions of Light (2018), Of Sand and Sugar (2019), and Evermore (2021 – written with co-author Mihaela Melnic). Selections of his poetry have been translated and published in 14 languages. He has been a weekly contributor at Dissident Voice for the past nine years. More about Outlar’s work can be found at

Mapplethorpe, Lethe, via crucis, Poems by Krystle Eilen


after Robert Mapplethorpe’s Self Portrait, 1980

half youthful, half emaciated,

he reflects the epicene
and the languishing.

his head is all shock and flurry;
his mouth a toothless brevity.

half Madonna, half Antinous,

he reflects a decadent flower
both wilting and transcendent.

his eyes suggest a having seen,
two eternally startled interims.

a princely pauper
whose aspect reflects that of
a parched orchid culled
too soon.

published in Hive Avenue Literary Journal


i am a winged thing flailing,
driven into my bovine body, and
back into my savage infant soul.

in the beginning, nature
conceived another deadweight,
and i find myself stillborn.

i am forever waiting to
open my welkin eyes
and outwit the brute.

i want the earth wrested from me;
i want no longer to acquiesce to
the stranglehold of gravity.

i am forever looking forward to
eclipsing the round
seared by fantasy.

published in Hive Avenue Literary Journal 

via crucis


to behold paradise
god must be heaved up,—
for to become seraph
is to gouge the eye out.


always at one remove
is to be found divinity,
otherwise effaced
by twin identity.


riven apart
by mimetic sparagmos,
man is condemned
to die on the cross.


to shed the serpent’s skin
is but to reiterate its meander,
for conquest precedes
the bind of surrender. 


Krystle Eilen is a 22-year-old poet who is currently attending university. Her works have been featured in Dipity Literary Magazine, BlazeVOX, and Hive Avenue Literary Journal, and are soon to be published in The Orchards Poetry Journal and Young Ravens Literary Review. During her spare time, she enjoys reading and making art.

House Passes Bill to Expel Tennessee From the Union: “Enough is Enough!” Declare Blue States – Satire

In a groundbreaking and unprecedented move, a consortium of blue states led by California and New York have banded together to pass a bill that would expel Tennessee from the United States of America. Citing the recent expulsion of two Democratic members from the Tennessee House of Representatives, the blue state alliance declared that they are “tired of funding ignorance, tired of paying the bills for the red states while they misuse their power in the Senate and in the states to undermine freedom and equality.”

The bill, which has been humorously nicknamed the “Bye, Felicia Act,” received overwhelming support from the blue states, who are determined to show that they will no longer tolerate what they perceive as racially motivated and oppressive actions taken by Republican-controlled states like Tennessee. The expulsion of Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson have been seen as the tipping point in a long-standing battle between the political ideologies of red and blue states.

In a statement released by the consortium, they explained their rationale: “It’s time for states like Tennessee to stand on their own two feet and stop leeching off the hard work and progressive values of their fellow Americans. If they want to undermine democracy, they can do it on their own dime.”

The bill’s passage has sent shockwaves through the nation, as states scramble to determine how such a drastic move could be implemented. Legal scholars and constitutional experts are already debating whether the bill would hold up in court, while logistical concerns abound about how to manage state borders and shared resources if Tennessee were to be removed from the Union.

In a surprising turn of events, several other red states have expressed interest in joining Tennessee in secession, with the Texas Governor suggesting that “maybe it’s time for another Confederacy, but this time without all the slavery stuff.”

Meanwhile, Tennessee residents are divided on the issue. Some see this as a wake-up call to reconsider the actions of their state legislature, while others feel emboldened by the challenge and are rallying around the idea of forming a separate nation. “If they don’t want us, we don’t want them,” declared a local business owner, as he proudly hoisted a new “Tennessee Republic” flag above his store.

As the nation grapples with this unexpected development, it remains to be seen how the federal government will respond to the blue states’ bold gambit. Will Tennessee remain part of the United States, or are we witnessing the beginning of a new era in American politics? Only time will tell.

The Great Satirical Divide

In a land where freedom’s flag does sway,
A curious scene did unfold one day.
The blue states, tired of the red states’ games,
Decided they’d had enough of their claims.

A bill was brought forth with a name so sly,
The “Bye, Felicia Act” did signify,
To expel Tennessee from the Union with cheer,
And rid themselves of the burden they bear.

The red states, they cried, “We’re misunderstood!
We’re patriots too, we just want what’s good.”
But the blue states replied, “Enough of your lies,
You undermine freedom with a skillful disguise.”

Tennessee’s lawmakers in a quandary,
Expelling their own in a manner quite arbitrary.
Two Democrats ousted for taking a stand,
Against the gun violence plaguing this land.

The blue states united, a consortium they formed,
To drive home their message, their anger transformed.
“Tired of funding ignorance, it’s time for a change,
The red states’ priorities we must rearrange.”

In jest, this tale was spun, it’s true,
But it highlights a problem we mustn’t eschew.
A divided nation, a house against itself,
Must come together to restore its health.

For satire, my friend, can reveal the truth,
A lesson to ponder, from elders to youth.
So let us unite, and let reason prevail,
As we walk together on democracy’s trail.

Gestation. A Poem by Bonnie Bostrom


I want to capture a poem;
                   There are thousands swirling
				In my midnight room.

I stalked one into the kitchen
	Where it joined me for a graham cracker
And peanut butter sandwich (crunchy style)
		Along with a fistful of Fritos.

Back in bed,

One shared my pillow and asked ridiculous questions like—
		What is the first name of Aristotle?
			Why the hell do you keep doing this?
		I am in deep desire for the orgasmic climax
Of a poem sought and seduced
			I		nto a stand still
While these dervish lines flying 
			Around my room avoid me, yet tease with 
Flash glimpsed images. 

There is no satiety without the sentences lying
		Layer by layer on a page
				Like the blankets on this bed of torture
Where the very best my mind can muster
				Before congealing into meaning.

I sift through a thousand partial pictures looking
			 		For that nascent combination of words
	That will condense, make sense and lead to

Bonnie Bostrom has been writing poetry since she mastered cursive. She has published eight books, both solo and in collaboration: The WayShowers, Women Facing Retirement: A Time For Self-Reflection, Quicksilver Dreams, Buddha Nature of the Soutwest, Image & Word: A Dialectic, Born Crazy, Love, Always Love, and Duet. Born Crazy, a memoir, received an Eric Hoffer Finalist Award. She lives in New Mexico with her husband, Jim. Her website is

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Mountain Bird and Loquat. A Poem by Richard L. Weissman

Mountain Bird and Loquat

Chinese mountain bird's white belly hungers for sweet,
the fragrant yellow loquat magnets him.
Steady perched midst fragile gnarled branches,
near enough to feed,
yet he wavers uncertain,
black eyes quick dart all round
ever mindful,
ever searching
lest he fall prey.
He longs for safety of nest
but loquat's aroma and sun-yellowed color again call.
Bravely he beaks through downy, red-blushed skin
emboldened by succulent, tangy sweet white-yellow flesh
he repeats until full.
Now soars skyward to home
readies for night
while broken, sun-yellowed loquat remains
exposed brown seeds weep ever earthward
sacrificial in dimmed light. 


Richard L Weissman has written fiction since 1987.
In 2000, his theatrical play, “The Healing” was selected by Abdingdon Theatre for a staged reading Off-Broadway.
Richard is the author of two Wiley Trading titles. His second book, Trade Like a Casino was selected as a Finalist for the 2012 Technical Analyst Book of the Year Award.
In 2016, Mr. Weissman completed his historical novel in the tradition of magical realism, “Generations”.
In 2020 his poem, “Mountain Bird and Loquat” was selected as the grand prize winner of the Florida Loquat Literary Festival.
In addition to hosting, “In Our Craft or Sullen Art” – a biweekly poetry radio talk show, Richard participates in live spoken word events throughout the U.S.
on Facebook: @magicalrealismnovels
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

To Purusha, The Little Homunculus in My Hand/Heart. A Poem by Kalpita Pathak

To Purusha, The Little Homunculus in My Hand/Heart

My left hand is the holder. Mascara
tube, apple on the cutting
board, paper while my right
hand writes. 
            A buttress. 	
                       Not strong

but not weak, either. My left hand holds
a palmful of peace. The velvet 
pouch of small rocks      
by ancient waters, rubbed 

between thumb 
and forefinger.        Aaaaah. 
Or the bottle of pills to unclench
my gut. Lines overlay

veins overlay muscles 
overlay bones. A palmful 
of bones, held out
in supplication, in valor, in terrible

loneliness, delicate 
and powerful as the pale 
wing of a dove seeking 
a place to finally rest.

Kalpita Pathak is an autistic poet, novelist, and advocate with a passion for research and sensory-rich details. Her work tends to explore the perseverance of hope in a sometimes despairing world, with a little dark humor and magic added to the mix. She received the James Michener Fellowship for her MFA in creative writing and has taught at both the college level and in school programs for kids from three to eighteen. She has recently been published in Mediterranean Poetry.  


Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Tattoos and Unwelcome Guest. 2 Poems by Christiana Sasa


She was a witch
burnt alive 
only to raise 
from the ashes
to start playing 
again with fire

She was a nymph
mud thrown at her
face in disgust
She reshaped her
cloudy dreams
out of that thick mud

She is the woman
next door
beaten blue
thick makeup
barely covering up
fossils of last night

She is the man 
in the gym
stuffing pain 
mixed with pride
down his throat
numb with power

She is the child
with vacant eyes
mute questions
monsters eating 
fairies at night
sand castles smashed

She is you
and them 
scratching tattoos 
trapped between blind walls 
of our own Auschwitz

unwelcome guest 

she meets this man
in her city 

an unwelcome guest

a few days left
before he leaves again
for another city
or a tempest-tossed shore

smoke-stained lips
long-forgotten dreams
walk like shadows
in quickly-smudged tears
worn-out coast
piercing out of jaws
jewels of freedom
or hidden somewhere in 
unwashed hair

words exchanged
sighs shared
two pairs of eyelashes
greeting each other

a butchered sun 
trapped between barbed wire 

Bio: Christiana Sasa has been writing poetry for a little more than four years. Her work has been published in the literary magazines Poetry Life and Times, Literary Heist, Eskimo Pie, Rye Whiskey Review etc. 
Besides poetry, she is interested in painting and music. 


Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)