ARTEMISpoetry, issue 19 has landed in the U.S.


ARTEMISpoetry’s (U.K.) nineteenth issue landed in my mailbox this evening. Yes! It’s always a good day when a fave poetry magazine arrives, especially good on a day like today that was grueling. Once I finish reading this issue, I’ll write the editors and get permissions to bring you some samplings. Meanwhile, I encourage you to explore Second Light Network (SLN) of Women Poets. As I say, probably ad nauseum, the poetry is by women but it is for everyone.

I’m pleased to see this issue is focused on accessibility, an important concern for poets and poetry lovers.  The editors are Katherine Gallagher (Katherine Gallager’s Website), Dilys Wood (Dilys page on SLN), and Anne Stewart (poetry p f).

Myra Schneider (Myra Schneider’s Poetry Website) gifts us with a fine interview of Deborah Alma the “Emergency Poet,” who was also interviewed by Mendes Biondo (Ramingo’s Blog), one of the founding editors of Ramingo’s Porch, in The BeZine – The Healing Adventures of Poemedic, Deborah Alma. We love Deborah’s idea/ideal of bringing poetry to people in need. Talk about accessibility.

In the opening editorial, Katherine and Dilys write:

“Selling poetry as the provision of life-belts for deep distress is a good play but can’t be the whole story. Poets are ‘servants of the Muse.’ ‘Inspiration’ can mean having no choice in what we write when impelled towards a certain form or subject matter.  Though some poets place serious reliance on ‘first readers’ (often fellow-poets), poetry is by no means necessarily driven by out-reach. A poet may be concerned with the ‘great issues of the day’ or not. This reflects the person – active citizen or primarily concerned with inner life?  Poets must also grapple with their demanding medium.”

You can purchase ARTEMISpoetry through Anne Stewart’s poetry p f and sign-up for membership in SLN as well, if so inclined. There are demographic restrictions on membership (age, gender) and its most productive for those living in the London area, but membership is open to women poets anywhere in the world.

Second Light offers workshops including remote (distance) learning, poetry reading events, competitions and publication of anthologies as well as the magazine. Info on Calls for Submissions for Issue 20 is HERE

If you live in the UK, you’ll want to reserve these dates (details on the site) in 2018:

  • Friday 25th & Saturday 26th May, Spring Festival
  • Monday 30th July to Friday 3rd August, Holland House Residential
  •  Friday 16th & Saturday 17th November, Autumn Festival

This year has been a physically challenging year but I hope in February 2018 to start catch-up on reviews for you of collections from SLN members Myra Schneider, Anne Stewart and few others and to restart the Celebrating American She-Poets series, something I look forward to and hope you do as well.

Meanwhile, my friends, poem on … and come out to play for Wednesday Writing Prompt tomorrow, a poem on Thursday, and an introduction to the Israeli Diaphanous Press written by Krysia Jopek, poet, artist and publisher on Friday.


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“Playing for the Win”… and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt


Here today are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, No Baloney Sandwiches about being true to self, November 29. That’s something with which everyone struggles. After all, first we have to discover who we are. Each of these poems is moving in its own way.

Welcome and thanks to Short-Prose-Fiction, new to our pages, and many thanks to these talents: bogpan, Sonja Bensking Mesher, Gary W. Bowers, Ginny Brannan, Paul Brookes, Kakali Das Ghosh and our old friend, Lady Nimue. Enjoy! … and please join us tomorrow for the next prompt. All are invited to take part: beginning poet, emerging and pro. This is about exercising your imagination and your writing muscle and getting to know other poets.


*Fated to Love*

Destiny thought I was born under the brightest star
Thought I would conquer worlds from near or afar
But he miscalculated by one grade
And fated me to love you till the end.

© 2017, Short-Prose-Fiction (Short Prose, Fiction, Poetry)

SHORT-PROSE-FICTION: “I am a published author, and an academic. However, here I am just a humble blogger, a voice among billions of others. None of my friends or acquaintances know that I created this blog. Every post that I write is for you. I do not seek accolades. All I seek is to touch your hearts.”


White shirt

I am passing by at dusk
in a white shirt.
I am looking sidelong
in the boiled soil
the growth so wild
of yellow flowers.
I do not know
what Evil is
(“Flowers of Evil” –
how did you guess which ones they were?
Oh, Baudelaire!) .
I do not know,
what Good is
(in His name
I swear) .
And I am passing on again so distant,
again in a white shirt…

In an endless sorrow.

© 2017, bogpan (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия)

I just found out about Bozhidar Pangelov’s (bogpan) collection, A Feather of Fujiyama (2013, Hammer & Anvil Books), which is illustrated by his daughter and available on Amazon in a bilingual English/ Bulgarian.  All proceeds from the sale of this collection go to the Bulgarian Integrated Education Foundation, working to improve the lives of children and youth with special health and educational needs (including mild Down syndrome, autism / autistic spectrum, cerebral palsy, language-speech disorders, and hyperactivity) and their families.

Bozhidar “has been present among contemporary Bulgarian poets for some time, a long time. He is a poet who manages to disorder the order of the usual in order to breach a material world for a more human world of ideas and feelings. Using dramatic tensions within the poetic and semantic, Pangelov’s spare yet verdant imagery evokes the sound of bamboo sticks and Zen Buddhist monks, poem after poem.

Writer and poet Palmi Ranchev says, ‘Pangelov will enrich the palette of world poetry with new colors and nuances.’

“With a light melancholy of something desired but not known to the end, forgotten but endlessly close, no lover of international verse will go unmoved by Bozhidar Pangelov’s A FEATHER OF FUJIYAMA.”


boy howdy

his pockets are lumpy. heavy. marbles
and a little money, a golf pencil,
bent feathers, string,
something for luck, something
metal lying on a canal bank,
and much more
he cannot remember
fifty-eight years later.
what he does remember
is emptying those pockets,
marveling at the quantity
and variety of that boystuff,
and gloating over it.

some went into a drawer of treasure,
some got thrown out,
some got spent,
and one thing was held up to the light
and found miraculous.

remembering, the man
looks at the surface of his drawing table,
so cluttered, so discoverable,
and knows the boy
abides.

© 2017, Gary W. Bowers (One With Clay, Image and Test)


. admission of guilt .

perhaps it was the weakness,
brought on with aspic jelly,
perhaps the truthfulness
that lives inside me.

i admitted it was me, and in
the confusion babbled and fought
embarassment. it is truthful
and honest work i do each day,
yet i am discovered now.

secrets will come out, lies will catch
you some day, they do say.

he was a nice man, who explained,
who takes photographs. I will leave
him gifts.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Kudos to Sonja. Her artwork has been getting featured, awarded and displayed so much I can’t keep track. Check out her visual art:


Ever Themsens

EVER Themsens
Tow their own barra.

Have no truck wi anyone elses.
Not beholden to no one.

Learnt early only themsens
Is reliable, can be trusted.

If they ever do ought for free
It’s allus for themsens.

Keep their own counsel.
Quiet as a muffler with a flat cap on it.

© 2017, Paul Brookes  (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

Paul’s newest collection, She Needs That Edge, isn’t out yet. We’ll announce when it is. Meanwhile this is the cover design:


#The Little Insane Atin#

Tramping the earthen road in a rainy morning
through the brimming field
walked the little insane Atin

Kissing a puzzled infant snake in a rainy morning
In the brimming field
smiled the saviour little insane Atin

Reposing the baby snake on his lap
fetching it to home
cherished it the little insane Atin

Being a snake rescuer
With painted snake tattoos over the whole body
grew up the little insane Atin

Making abode in the snake kingdom with hissing sounds
playing with snakes
rejoiced the little insane Atin

Abiding in a world beyond our sense
trampling an way isolated
could love selflessly
the little insane Atin

© 2017, Kakali Das Ghosh


The Void Now Left

Some years back,
I packed a part (major one) of me;
The void now left
To fill with whatever flowed.

Some years since,
I let distances grow between
parts I missed and the ones new;
The mirror mocked,”is that really you?”

Some months past,
The bells rang loud and clear
I sacrificed my self and peace some,
To chase the dreams of someone else.

Went back searching what was locked away,
The yellowed photos,the dusty hopes,
Fixed them,framed them,gave new light
And yet the person I seeked, refused to step out.

Neither here, nor there I feel
Yet I like this person – mix of old and new;
Maybe this is how it has to ideally be,
Or perhaps I the transition is our true being.

© 2017, Lady Nimue (Prats Corner, Pages of my mind: collecting words, experiences and memories …)


Playing for the Win

I’ve never been good at playing games—
I can’t bluff to save my life
all that I feel is written across my face,
so cards are out.
And chess would not be my forte;
I barely have the ability to see one move ahead
much less twelve to the win.
Monopoly, like poker, and chess,
requires certain skills,
none of which I possess.
No, my life is more like Snakes and Ladders
a mix of skill and chance, good and bad,
of climbing and slipping back again.
How many times have I ended up where I’ve begun
—falling back to square one?
I can only hope when the game is complete
that the good will outweigh the bad
that I will find the salvation that awaits
those who persist.

© 2017, Ginny Brannan (Inside Out Poetry, From the inside-out, the inner poet escapes, needing to express …)

Ginny Brannon’s poetry has been included in four anthologies: Poetry as a Spritual Practice: Illuminating the Awakened Woman; Where Journeys Meet: The Voice of Women’s Poetry; Journey of the Heart: An Anthology of Spiritual Poetry by Women; and, The dVerse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry.


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