Open-Source Poetry Four #4

Our Dearest Readers,

Who are we to stand in the way of progress? Yes, this poem seems to be very much progressing in a certain direction. We don’t quite know where it will end up, but at least it’s moving forward…

Still, this scares us a little. We were determined to complete the poem with today’s post, but it looks like it has other plans about its existence, and doesn’t want to be completed now. The poem has taken on a life of its own! Oh, freaking my!

Perhaps we could blame Munira Ezzi for this turn of events. It is, after all, the second contribution of hers to make it into our communal masterpiece. This is something that has never happened before! We cannot predict how this is going to end now, so strap yourselves in, Dearest Readers. It’s about to get bumpy!

So, anyway, it’s with trembling voices that we remind you of the following rules:

1) Read the current version of this communal poem below, and shake in your boots at all the different directions it could go. Then submit your own line or two for our consideration.
2) If we like your line (or two) the most, we’ll add it to this runaway railcar of a poem, and publish it in a follow-up post.
3) And so finally the whole process of submission and rejection will be done, and we’ll have the conclusion to this terrifying monstrosity!


hm, what should I draw?
maybe a hairy monster with a furry claw
or a demon crow that sticks in the craw
or a huge bloodstained saw

hm, what should I write?
maybe a slow growl will stir up a fright
or a girl will be twirled by a meat-eating kite
or grandma pole-dances in a bikini too tight

hm, what is that?
the words have disappeared, the pictures aren’t flat
they’ve come to life like a cockroach cravat
crawling helter-skelter ’til i scream like a prat



© All rights reserved 2020

EARS WIDE OPEN // the ley of three (a firefly’s monologue)

Valentine’s Day is upon us again—a happy time for some, but not so much for others. It has been said that love makes the world go round, but what happens when love leaves? The world stops, and you wonder if you’ll ever get out of bed again. Your precious heart goes dark.

When I lost my faith, I thought I had lost the love of my life. I was wrong. I hadn’t. You cannot lose what was never real to begin with. Nowadays, I am able to see and feel more clearly. I can breathe without the crushing weight of dogma on my chest. The people I now know, I can love wholeheartedly. Of course, I try not to hurt them, but I don’t always succeed, and I am thankful that they can look past my failings. I know for a fact that I am nothing without their kindness and patience.

This poem is an ode of sorts. Yes, it’s for the ones I love. It’s also for the strangers I may never meet. It’s for those of you who have suffered on Valentine’s Day because love left. Perhaps you’ve felt despair within an inch of hope. Perhaps you’ve sensed pain waiting patiently at the door for vows to break. Perhaps old age or ill health robbed you of someone, just when you’d finally learned to forgive and accept. It’s fair to say that love is not for the faint of heart.

This reading was recorded with the accompaniment of a wonderful track by Kai Engel of the Free Music Archive. I hope it can help you in some way. I hope it can bring you some small measure of clarity. And I dearly hope love will find you again, that in the meantime you won’t let your heart go dark.




the ley of three (a firefly’s monologue)

i’ve been ghosting in and out of life
for a good long while now
your life, her life, and my own
i’m the conjuring lost at life’s murky end
and i no longer wish to delay
for night threatens to subsume we three

lone perforations in the dark are we
we’ve tarried here, for hope’s shape to beam
behind us and through
to propel us to… something
but it seems we’re not the stars we prayed for
nor the burning triptych others dismayed for

there’s a fallen saviour, dead in the night sky
and i think we know it
it could have clapped hands over us mankind
but chose not to
us mankind that had pledged not to lose our way
back in the good old days

so, what are we
a chorus of one, or are we not
are we some kind of earthen trinity
go on, you can answer me
are we a three-in-one rumbling spark
that shall never let the heart go dark

i’ve been ghosting in and out of life
for a good long while now
pulsing across the ley lines of our heart
linking the terrain ’til death do us part
mapping the terrain ’til death do impart
a silencing hand for all that lies below and aught above

and i said to myself, ‘if i don’t gain the world
then perhaps i might not lose my soul’
but do i have a soul, and i’ll die anyway
without faint recall to when and from
when and from we three embarked
when and from our heart sank dismally dark

there’s a saviour, dead in the sky
gone to be with a dead god
it could have clapped hands and sung over us
but chose not to
it chose not to reunite us in love, us mankind
at the cusp of a new day that was promised us

so, what are we
a chorus of one, or are we not
are we some kind of earthen trinity
go on, you can answer me
are we a three-in-one thunderous spark
that can never let the heart go dark

i’ve been ghosting in and out of life
for a good long while now
pulsing across the grey lines of our heart
without faint recall to when and from
when and from we three embarked
on our search for the day line of our heart

each day has been eclipsed by the day before
the past has been banished to the past
and mortality’s ephemeral scream
lost yonders have faded us beyond recognition
but who says we can only be here for a short while
yet the stars remain impossibly high (and we cannot be them)

there’s a fallen saviour in the sky tonight
at the right hand of a small god that won’t let us in
it could have clapped hands and brung us over once
but chose not to
we’re blood and bone, us mankind, the earth to till
until judgement day, these are the rules

so, what are we really
a chorus of one, or are we not
are we some kind of earthen trinity
go on, please answer me
the three-in-one continuous spark
we must never let our heart go dark



© All rights reserved 2020

GUEST POST // Memories from the dead by Richard Green

On these damp and grey November days I think
Of things that should have happened but never did.
Of conversations that were never spoken
Afraid to raise the memories from the dead.

Of the questions that were formed but never asked.
Of the the horrors that were felt but never breathed.
Of carefully made plans that never began.
Of the dreams discarded like old newspapers.

I never finished that book, that course that day.
I never figured out what I was feeling.
I never found all the words I tried to speak.
I never look back, never ever look back.

I should’ve told her how he was hurting me.
I should’ve screamed and kicked and made him stop it.
I should’ve bit down hard when I had the chance.
I should have cut his throat as he slept at night.

I could’ve been anything I wanted to.
I could’ve worked harder, been more compliant.
I could’ve been less terrified of success.
I could’ve done better, could’ve done much better.

I never developed a strong sense of self.
I never knew who I was supposed to be.
I never learned to trust my intuition.
I never really understood my feelings.

I learned to switch off and disassociate.
I learned that alcohol kept the pain at bay.
I learned that I was damaged, unloveable.
I earned not to trust people, they would hurt me.

All the wasted time of wishing I was dead
All the years never truly daring to live.
All the hurt I’ve done to others in my rage.
All this time I’ve let you walk around unharmed.

Now here I am still broken but not giving up.
Now I know my childhood was stolen from me.
Now I can survey the damage done to me.
Now I’m going to take the final fight to

On these damp and grey November days I know
The things that should have never happened, but did.
Of the revelations that were never heard
It’s time to raise the memories from the dead.


© All rights reserved 2019

puddle patter cha cha

that day was raining from bottom to top
the one and only greyface brandished her mop
the clouds were slick and so easy to slip on
which added to her task a certain frisson

and there she was, dancing above the rain
slide to the side, knee drop, choo choo train
bottoming the streets was so much fun
every nook and cranny was scoured on the run

the silly, silly people sheltering from the weather
peered from drab windows at her breaking her tether
they kept wondering if they’d need to call a head doctor
or get for the wild girl the school’s strictest proctor

they did not understand what was going on
why she was having fun to-ing and fro-ing on
and how a whole life could fit into a single rain drop
that day when it was raining from bottom to top


© All rights reserved 2020