Daily Archives: January 29, 2016

“Observation” by Yusef Tahir

defined by reputations and reality shows
is the essence of why
as a nation of black people we
can’t grow
almost like we need ignorance to be relevant
socially accepted negligence
by standards unprecedented
selling our story for small profit gains
numb to the internal pain
because within reach
is fortune and fame
force-fed propaganda walking down unattainable roads
only to react with shame
to see for what our dignity was sold
see, when brothas claim pimp, playa, thug, and killer
and shout that they spill more blood
than that of a river
imagine what these kids visualize
to be when they get bigger
misconception and misguided direction
mentally we have no protection
from psychological irrespective devastation
arguments over who we are and are not
verbal death sparring
dwelling in the enemy’s plot
instead of fighting against the problems
that affect everyday existence
we pull guns on
the next man for the simplistic
desensitized to violence
foreign and domestic







Yusef Tahir was born and raised in Massillon, Ohio.  He began writing poetry as an outlet to express his thoughts in a creative way and has been writing for over 10 years.  He loves the idea of putting words together to paint pictures.  Yusef hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Kent State University.

“Birds at the End of Summer” by Miki Byrne

Broad acres. Green, shimmering.
A nap of waves ruffled. Gusting winds huff.
Race in cold tumbles over open ground.
Grass raises moist silvered tips, patches clumped
in congealed wads—detritus from the last mowing.
Compacted like chewed cud, bleeding sap.
Mayflies hover, flip-flap in dark thousands.
Buzz like bees in a jar. Snatched from the air
by dipping swallows that swoop with eye-blinking speed.
Dives drop from cloud-shadow’s morphing camouflage.
Unending gyres twist the air, white bellies flash
against grey sky.
At ground-level a flock of starlings feed.
Rise in one great cloud. Settle like smoke solidified.
Roll in a great curl as those at the back feed
then flow to the front. Continuous motion,
smooth compaction of a thousand parts.
Suddenly they lift. Soar like handfuls of pepper grains
hurled skywards. To group, zoom, swoop.
Off to further feeding grounds.
Past the shadowed horizon.








Miki Byrne has written three poetry collections, had work included in over 160 poetry magazines and anthologies, and won a few poetry competitions. She has read on both radio and TV, judged poetry competitions, and was a finalist for Poet Laureate of Gloucestershire. Miki is disabled and lives near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, UK.

“New Year’s” by Richard Hartwell

Cats cuddle closer, fur fluffed
preventing heat loss, wintry
revelers toast in a new year.







Richard Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember the hormonally-challenged?) teacher living in Moreno Valley, CA. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing, Rick would rather be still tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.