Rainy Day Blues

Lee Edwards, Mt. McConnell CO 2012

It is my pleasure to introduce Lee Edwards from Land O’Lakes Florida. His love of nature and demand for social change shines through in his poetry and oil paintings.
I hope you enjoy this artists’ showcase. Please check out his bio below and follow him on twitter @Backpackertrail.


Rainy-Day2

The Rainy Day Blues

It’s another rainy day outside; it’s a good day to have the blues.
I can’t find my debit card; so, I can’t buy some freedom.
We see food in pretty packages; please free us from the
invisible shackles as we still hunger stuck in the hood!

In the cities of anger, it’s just another night, drug dealers black and white
for street gangs, it’s just another fight- put down the crack pipe!
Didn’t you see the warning signs on your damn T.V.
Or had you gone to the refrigerator for another beer?

As the acid rain blinds my eyes I can’t sees’ ya just yet
because it’s raining in my head. No nuke is good news
in the nuclear winter it will be 23 below in July, lie, lie, lie.
Haven’t we slaved away long enough paying our dues?

So, I went downtown looking for a good deal;
Should have bought a good meal.
I got no score, got no high, got no good smoke.
Looking for good drugs on the street what a joke!

So, remember what the cymbal vision said,
don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t sit in the sun
because you might ruin the economy of the nation.
And I ain’t saying, go get your gun, just looking for some new direction!

I crossed the Sea of Cars, and I saw numerous crosses along the way.
But, there was no one to bear them.
So, we don’t want to sit in the turn lane no longer waiting for the green light.
We don’t want to go to the mall no more!

It’s another rainy day outside; it’s a good day to have the blues.
I can’t find my debit card; so, I can’t buy some freedom.
We see food in pretty packages; please free us from the
invisible shackles as we still hunger stuck in the hood!

Fisherman's Dream (2)

Fisherman’s Dream

Moons of Saturn (2)

Moons of Saturn

The Prophet's Dream (2)

The Prophet’s Dream


Quell the Deforestation

Would you please stop the deforestation?
Or, would you be the last generation?
I realize the distrustful disposition that exist amongst
The natives of the rain forest consider the Brazilian.

We read the distorted version of the great white institution,
When we were only children, remember the Indian?
So, I’m the unknown element according to the government,
until taxes are due. Spread the word all across the nation, nation.

So you better make your contribution to society.
Cause one day there will be no society,
if we continue the deforestation.
Can’t you hear the chopping, chop chopping?

Can you disavow, or disapprove of my speculation,
That we are headed for desolation.
In the name of freedom, did we really civilize a backward nation?
Do we need to do the disintegration? We can’t even handle Integration.

Please, protect the environment. That’s all we got baby, that’s all we got!
So, roll one for me, and I’ll roll one for you.
Cause I’m not to blitzed to party!!
Put down the chainsaw boys!! Chop, chop.

 

Mother Earth is Mad!

Circle Of Blame

*Thoughts from a jam session

In the assembly line of guilt is the circle of blame
when held to the past forever, now you can’t get a job.
Change is impossible when others have the power
to determine your path- the hypercritical snobs!

The car lots are full, but the houses lay empty.
The credit lines are open, but many can’t pay the bill
the TV ads say take this side effect ridden pill
It will abate all your fucking ills.

While we are freaking, fracking and car jacking
the cops are profiling and defiling
the politicians are lying for personal gain
no longer is there any shame!

In the circle of blame who points the finger first,
or shoots the bird while we hunger and thirst
searching for the truth toiling in the daily sun
only to sweat and find regret until the day is done.

The temperatures are climbing; the ice caps are melting
the tides are rising day by day
is this the peak of the homosapien?
Armageddon and the judgment day?

 


I was raised in Richmond, Virginia and currently live in Land O’ Lakes, Florida where I write song lyrics and express these creations on drums and vocals with the Stay Cool Rain band as well as enjoy oil painting having studied in the School of Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. These expressions allow me to relate my feelings regarding the preservation of our endangered natural environment and our interactions in our personal and community lives, and our responsibilities to each and all.


In my second life, having survived employment in civil engineering, I canoe the rivers, hike the trails, bang the drums and weld a paint brush in order to further gather inspiration to help preserve the beauty of nature and mankind somehow working together as one unit through my art and music.

Guardian of the Canyons,

Lee Edwards

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To a Stranger at the Philly Airport

Image by Ryan McGuire

Image by Ryan McGuire

I sat with a book to my nose waiting for my dog to arrive from California. My ex’s newly found bachelorhood could not accommodate the attention our Jack Russell required and my new apartment did not allow pets. I was there to deliver her to her new forever human…the woman who would’ve been my mother-in-law.

You were waiting for your wife and who I assume was your mother-in-law. We smiled at each other and I couldn’t help but adore your two daughters playing at your feet.

While I sat waiting for my pup, I wondered to myself if life would ever be as complete as yours seemed. I could tell how proud you were of your girls by the way you smiled and played with them. It was distracting and I know you caught me spying.

When your family reunited, you turned to smile and nod as your were leaving. That small gesture said so much…

                                                Don’t just hope…decide 

You had no way of knowing how my heart would sink when I retrieved my dog from the baggage claim office. How excited she was to see me again, the way dogs do no matter how familiar you are or how long it’s been. Man’s best friend.

You didn’t know that I would drive her to her new home, tearfully apologize to my ex’s mother for breaking his heart, and watch her care for his oldest brother whose health was deteriorating from a severe seizure disorder.

I was reminded that by accepting his ring, I signed on to care for his brother when his mother passes. I know…it’s a bit maudlin but I still care for these people like family.

It’s been four years now and that moment stays with me. I’m in a happier place. I think back to your family walking out of the airport; so complete and in love. I think back to your gesture and how you seemed to know that I was at a crossroad.

They say the grass is always greener on the other side and that you never really know what happens in another’s life, but your kindness gave me hope.

And for that, I thank you.

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Fate of a Dream Keeper

It is an honor to feature poet, Clifford Brooks and graphic artist, Holly Holt, who beautifully crafted the following images that ornament his words. Please check out their bios below. There you shall find a link to her Pinterest page with more of these artistic snippets.

It was a pleasure working with these talented artists and I hope to showcase more of their work in the future.


Hit play and scroll :)

 

Fate of a Dream Keeper
for me at 23

Photo of Clifford Brooks by Mary Judkins

Photo of Clifford Brooks by Mary Judkins

At thirty-seven,
I stumbled upon a wistful fairy
wilting in the sun.
Her sapphires, her pearls, her buttons
worn out and come undone.

That’s it!  That does it!
She twisted up her face,
My heart has turned to ash,
and I loathe this awful place!

She went on,
The world doesn’t care.
Little girls stopped wishing.
This witless youth never go outside.
The wild boys all went missing.

I understood completely.
We shared the same, prophetic sight.
I agreed today’s innocents came jaded,
the need for fancy long taken flight.

A shame her velvet dress
was shaken free of magic.
Such a mess from so much sorrow,
sobbing more than tragic.

I held her to my heart,
wrapped safely in my palm.
I whispered to the precious orphan,
Hush now, dear.  Be calm.

I loved her, choked her,
in the coarseness of my hand.
She welcomed it, she acquiesced
into a crypt of glass and sand.

The fairy, to this very day,
is safe within a locket.
She’s with a grocery list and car keys,
nestled in my pocket.

 

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Image by Holly Holt

 

 

Our Shower

Photo of Clifford Brooks by The Wispy Gypsy

Photo of Clifford Brooks by The Wispy Gypsy

This shower’s always warm,
so wash off who came before.
My water is yours.
In here you’ll never stand
behind me,
that cold tile at your back.

I think, like love,
wanting is eternal.
Seldom found in one,
both
are born in you.

I adore your honest hips,
your bad habits,
the midnight romps
that get the neighbors
riled up.
You’re always cute enough
to keep the cops
from coming inside.

 

Image by Holly Holt

Image by Holly Holt

 

And now for the musical styling of Alex Clare…

 


Artist Holly Holt

Artist Holly Holt

Since August of 2013, H. Holt has been published by various magazines and blogs. She has recently been accepted by Negative Capability Press, who will be including her in their Anthology of Georgia Poetry in 2015. She intends to start a business dedicated to artistic renderings, where she takes works from other poets and puts them to digital art. This business will be called Southern Muse Services. She lives in the luscious mountains of North Georgia, where she spends her time helping students achieve their dreams of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Photo of Clifford Brooks by Matthew Polsfuss

Photo of Clifford Brooks by Matthew Polsfuss


Clifford Brooks is a teacher, freelance writer, and poet living in North Georgia.  He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and Georgia Author of the Year for his first book of verse, The Draw of Broken Eyes & Whirling Metaphysics.  Clifford’s next book of poetry, Athena Departs, is currently in the last stages of editing.  His newest accomplishment, with the help of many brilliant artists, is the creation of The Southern Collective Experience (found on Facebook under this name), who will soon have a website of their own.

Photo of Clifford Brooks by Matthew Polsfuss

Photo of Clifford Brooks by Matthew Polsfuss

His online presence includes
Twitter (@CliffBrooks3);
Instagram (CliffBrooks3);
Facebook (www.facebook.com/charles.c.brooks.777);
and his personal website (www.cliffbrooks.com).

Artistic snippets of his work (as created by Holly Holt, a member of The Collective) can be found on Pinterest at the following addresses: www.pinterest.com/poetnpractice/athena-departs/ and The Salvation of Cowboy Blue Crawford

 

 

 

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Whole Love

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Bastards

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Dreams

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Bromance Cookies

Bromance Cookies

I like to call these “boyfriend” or “bromance” cookies because they have everything my guys loves; bourbon, pecans and bacon…WHO DOESN’T LOVE BACON?!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon…I chose Wild Turkey American Honey (leave some for the cookies!)
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup crispy bacon pieces (approx 8 ounces cookies to crispy)

While you’re gathering the ingredients, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prep two sheet pans w/parchment or silpats.

With a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and combine well, then add the maple extract and wrestle the bourbon away from grandma.

Your butter and sugar should be fluffy like this

Your butter and sugar should be fluffy like this

In a separate bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until you have a sticky dough.

Add the pecan bits and bacon and mix well.

Scoop the cookie dough by the spoon full onto your sheet pans and bake for 12 minutes.

 

VIOLA! You just made some yummy cookies…forget milkshakes. These cookies bring all the boys to the yard.IMG_2277 (2)

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The Death Train

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Photo by Sean Santiago

The Death Train

by Seth Greenwood

That red that soon bled

The word into my head

SO U 1342 came into view

SO U 1342 is stuck, what to do?

And the train it won’t leave

No matter how much I grieve

I still just cannot see

Why it is doing this to me

I want to see out

See light before I shout

And tell me dear God

Why can’t I be without

-written in memoriam of the Holocaust 

“Even in darkness,
it is possible
to create light”
– Elie Wiesel


Seth Greenwood is a Comic Book writer, collaborator, and aspiring screenwriter. He lives near Savannah, GA and while he would rather be running the trails of western NC, he will settle for an ice cold beer on a Tybee Island pier.

You can read more from Seth here, Like him on facebook here, & follow him on twitter @attricks_jerry.

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Hard Wisdom

Sunrise in Ithaca

Photo by Heather Serra

HARD WISDOM

by Andrei Guruianu

First day of spring
it snowed
and what little dry ground
there was
there wasn’t any longer
everything turned white
and almost beautiful
almost mad in its beauty

In the lull
between waves
a cat moved through the drifts
the geese returned
and in the back yard
deer tore through the bushes
their eating mechanical
their movements
dulled from the leash of habit
dumb eyes captive
in their skin

I’m able
to think about this
to endure this
as if it were
the heaviest of burdens
which, of course, it isn’t

so instead I think
about luck
about how lucky are the few
with a glass in one hand
and a cigarette in the other
no other plans or
grand schemes
no what ifs or if thens

and that, too,
is a life that
must be endured
a simple wisdom
monotony
dead flowers and trees
the almost dead
the almost strange to be alive
taking breath
just to push it
back out
with a sound
of the heaviest burden
which, of course,
it is.


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Andrei Guruianu was born in 1979 in Bucharest, Romania. He is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry and prose, and currently teaches in the Expository Writing Program at New York University. www.andreiguruianu.com

 

 

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Things My Father Gave Me

Photo by Sean Santiago; Santa Monica, California

Photo by Sean Santiago; Santa Monica, California

Things My Father Gave Me

By Heather Serra

Carnival lights made a halo around his head.
He stood with patient hands in pockets in front of a plush zoo
Glow from the tent cut through like refrigerator light.
He picked a pair of flamingos; one orange, one purple.
They were sewn at the hip.
I want to hold them in my hands and examine every stitch
The way I long to look in his face and study ever feature.

I stretched to see the tallest shelf.
He reached for a doll praying in her box
Her hair was dark like mine
“How about her?”
I would not answer but
He bought her anyway
And I remember now
How he taught me to pray.

It was a flee market where he bought me that Mini Mouse.
Her body, so black. Her dress, red with white polka dots.
The woman he bought her from knelt down
“Is that your new baby?”
My father watched for an answer
The way you look for fireworks
When you can only hear the sound.

I kept that doll for years after we left him
But lost it somewhere
Near the end of my childhood.
I suppose it is better there.

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