As The World Burns – Out Now!

Now available! So honored and so excited about the work in this anthology.

TheFeatheredSleep

Indie Blu(e) Publishing are very proud to announce the publication of As The World Burns. Our third socially-aware anthology. As The World Burns is available via all good book stores in Kindle and softback NOW. It is an incredible collection of writers, many of whom are from WordPress and are in our writing groups, writing some of our favorite work. We hope you will support them and our efforts to spread awareness of socially vital subjects. If you have felt frustrated with politics, Covid-19, Black Lives Matter, Homophobia or any of the things happening ‘as the world burns’ this is the collection for you.

We dedicate this anthology to those who have bravely fought the  encroaching darkness in 2020 with their writing and their art,  and who insist that racism, sexism, homophobia, and war are  not inevitable, or acceptable, facets of the human condition.  As The World Burns is a story of…

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Autumn Dawn

Image is my own
https://freeverserevolution.wordpress.com/2020/10/19/oct-4-ripples/

Ignoring the ripples doesn’t work,

Beautiful though they may be

In the early light of an autumn dawn.

 

The ripples return.

Their warmth long gone,

Drained of blood.

 

Injected with colors of autumn’s dawn,

They look full, alive with mysterious meaning.

 

But cold these ripples remain

In their return to me.

 

Time shifts,

Tilting beneath my feet.

 

I shutter and stare, a moment only—

I cannot weave these cold things

Into a useful thing, resembling you.

For The Boy Who Would Not Stay – Annette Kalandros

I am honored to have my poem, “The Boy Who Would Not Stay,” featured on Free Verse Revolution.

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

I hold your reflection close,

But it slides, evaporating from my grasp,

While dripping condensation.

My heart stutters with if only’s.

My soul begs, pleads, bargains

With you to stay.

My mind whispers your name,

Calling after you,

Asking why you are leaving,

If you are angry I had told no one

Of your blessed presence here

Since I was afraid I’d jinx it?

Somehow I knew-

Knew you wouldn’t stay-

I felt it from the start.

A few weeks-

And you’d go away.

My lips whisper

My soul begs

My heart stutters

My body cramps,

Clamping down once again.

My brain knows it is time.

Time to wash the blood and gore away-

Time to let your reflection fade


You can read and follow Annette Kalandros’ work at Hearing The Mermaids Sing: http://aikalandros.com

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The Last Supper

Image courtesy of Wikipedia: Leonardo Da Vinci, The Last Supper

Lives ruined in place–

ego upon a pedestal

basks in sunshine

yet never feels

unless destroying green things

in the softness of evening

when moon and sun fill

the evening skies

of shorter days–

time no longer

a forgotten toy

thrown by the wayside

but an ornament of luxury

I wish I could hold close

within my hands without

it leaks between my fingers

marking any signs of reverence

as if with blood irony–

all the while the rest cough

green phlegm of ill regard.

 

On the walls fling the words of meaning,

clichés all—of love and family,

of time so very treasured,

the welcome of strangers

without the pillar of salt,

the love of neighbors in a city quest,

and asking, pleading how have we hid

the monsters we do hide within our homes,

within our churches,

within our souls and hearts–

the monsters, the demons we cannot exorcise

since we cannot stand to see our own

face within our reflections upon time,

creation, connections to the past—

when we cannot acknowledge

the face of God hidden away

from the reflection of our own faces,

in the faces of others, the face of God

hidden away, void of the divine,

as are we consumed with consuming

vitriol for anything, for everything

remotely resembling the other.

 

 

 

Mad World Creativity Prompt Challenge: A White Mad World – Annette Kalandros

I am honored to be featured on braveandreckless.com as part of the Creativity Challenge: Mad World.

Brave & Reckless

The number of our destruction smacked us in the face,

But too many didn’t want to see.

They liked the words they heard,

Shrinking their ever-enlarging world:

–Where you walk is holy

(as long as you got thousand-dollar shoes)

–We don’t care! Just wanna keep up with a Kardashian or two.

–I ain’t wearin’ no mask. Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to do!

–Who the hell cares if a black man can’t breathe? Cuz he shouldn’t

give a cop a reason to put a knee on his neck!

The seven tentacles touched us to the core

Long, long before:

–It’s all you can eat!

–Trade in that old husband or wife for a new, sexier model!

–Who wants to work that hard! Buy college scores!

–We’re so much better than those Mexicans, Blacks, Queers, Muslims,

those shithole countries.

–Drop a bomb! Just drop the fuckin’ bomb on the bastards!

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Submit to The Kali Project

A wonderful project

TheFeatheredSleep

I am editing another Anthology in collaboration with CrossTree Press called The Kali Project.

If you are an Indian woman Poet/Artist (or you know of one who may be interested, either in India or internationally) please consider submitting work to The Kali Project. This anthology is a collection of poetry, prosetry, and artwork from women of Indian heritage, in response to the courageous determination of Indian women to gain full equality in India.

Subjects to consider writing about include but are not limited to: Feminism, equality, political upheaval, women’s-rights, sexual violence, LGBTQ rights, gender identity, violence, marriage, concepts of Indian female identity, inequality at the workplace. Change.

The Kali Project is open for submissions until October 22, 2020.

You can submit up to THREE poems and THREE pieces of artwork.

Please submit poems with your full name as the title in Word.

If you are interested in submitting for the…

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Stars and Blackness

What We Were

Restless emptiness

Of all the concave blackness

Between the stars–

I remember, think upon

Dwell for a moment in

All the perfection–imperfections

Of you and me and us,

Counting our flaws,

Irritating grains of sand become

A time worn comfortable effortlessness

In our bruising brutality

Of what we were and were not,

Wanted to be and dreamed,

Taking for granted

A rarity of feathered softness

We barely recognized

Was there–

Until now.

Wait for me

In the place

Where we are washed clean

Of anger for what we

Never were nor could be,

Strived to be, wanted to be.

One day I will join you there,

And we, not storybook characters of dreams,

Breathing in the sweetness of air,

Admit, knowing what we truly were

Mattered—

Sweet and real,

Stars and the concave blackness.

Until the End, Serenity Rests

Image courtesy of Sue Vincent
https://scvincent.com/2020/09/03/thursday-photo-prompt-serenity-writephoto/

 

A moment–

Serenity–

When you let go

Falling to the end

Where I cannot follow

Yet—

 

Then everything clenched

Tighter, taut dreams

Serenity became snatched

Moments of candy orange sunrises

And bruised sunsets

Snatched moments I had

To unfeel everything felt

For a time,

A pretense—

 

And now,

In this life

Until the end—

In my daughter’s laughter,

My daughter’s voice

My daughter’s face

In everything

My daughter does,

The deepest part

Of my eternal serenity

Does rest.

Thoughts on a Stone Fairy

Photo from social media attributed to Jean-Michel Bihorel

I started to write this one when I first saw this photo on Facebook.  I did some research to find the true name of the mountain and then wrote down a few lines. Then I saw Eugenia’s weekly prompt was “fairy” and things took off from there.

UPDATE– However, the fact checkers did not have all the facts when I checked, and it seems I was duped.  Fact checkers I used (and I used several) only had the name of the mountain as being incorrect, and they all agreed that this was a drone image.  However, it seems they have been updated and the image is really the digital work of an artist named Jean-Michel Bihorel.  Thank you to Susi Blocks who brought this to my attention.  I may remove the post entirely but I will take a minute to think about that.

https://amanpan.com/2020/08/10/eugis-weekly-word-prompt-fairy-august-10-2020/

She rests now,

              Snowbound,

              ‘Sleeping,

Some giant stone fairy of another land,

Another time, when fantastic creatures

Walked with us.

There is in me

Awe, admiration of her peace—

Thinking wistfully of what if’s—

Had I been born a giantess of stone

Or one with fairy blood of snow—

I could have loved her,

              Curled behind her,

              Spooned for centuries.

              No one to care,

              Know,

              Disturb the peace

              We shared—

              Till seen from above

              By a modern drone—

Then perhaps humanity might again know

Fantastical creatures once roamed,

Possessing magic.

But I am no fantastic being.

Possessing no magic,

I am no match for a mythic wonder.

My blood, without a drop of the fairy kind,

Destine for warmer, ordinary climes.

Lessons in Listening

image courtesy of Dreamtime.com

 

https://onewomansquest.org/2020/08/03/vjs-weekly-challenge-107-listen/

My lessons in listening:
To a mother’s final words—
Always remember I loved you and was proud
Tossed off, too rushed to leave work
To get to the hospital, to see her,
Always thinking of more days, time.
Not thinking all I’d see,
Her dead eyes.

To all my dogs– little tells
Of cocked heads, whines, barks,
The ways of wagging tails,
To know what meant what–
Hunger, pain, desire to play,
A need for love or to go outside.
Those I’ve always learned well.

To students, the teens I taught,
A puzzle to figure of pieces and placement
What each meant for each—
The lift of a shoulder, how the eyes met or did not meet mine,
The head upon the desk, the work done or not,
The things said, not said—
To figure needs-
Some basic, some not so,
Requiring other safety nets,
Bruised and broken,
Some I could help repair.
I knew what to listen for,
Almost by instinct,
Since I had not been listened to
When I was one of them.

To my child, a whirlwind of cries,
Hunger, diaper, cold, hot, sick—
Each cry different
A knowing, animal instinct,
Some primal thing beating
Inside knew the way
Of my infant’s need.
When a teen—
A different thing,
A new species of need,
My animal and her animal
Had no common language
Of smells, signals, or cries
In the darkened tunnels
We went through.

To my dying wife, my dying wife—
So hard to listen to, to understand
a language no longer including
My daughter or me.
Never knowing for whom
The last coma spoken words–
I’m sorry, so sorry—
Were spoken.

Now, I learn the final lesson of listening,
A lesson sixty years in the learning, 

To myself, my own heart, my own soul.