Night Ocean

A Haibun submitted by Jane Dougherty

Water glitters, silver as molten moonlight beneath the trees. I stand, carrying darkness on my shoulders and listen to the waves of wind in the poplars, hissing with the foam memory of the primal sea. Bird voices carry, bloodless and disembodied, on the billows, and all things connect in the rain of sound, pouring into the eternal racing of the river.
Night is an ocean,
crashing on reefs of treetops,
I am drenched in stars.


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Photo Credit: Starry Nigth over the Rhone by Vincent van Gogh


All That’s Left

Submitted by Ronald E. Shields

Your friends are gone,
your lover too.
For now the house is quiet.
Your mind will turn to sleep.
Your dreams will take you
back to the beginning,
back before it all went bad.

No matter –
Your heart is a house with paper walls,
they will collapse if you move too fast.
So you learn the ancient art of breathing
and how to feel for your Qi in the veins of your neck.

What if you could recreate the beginning?
If they all return tomorrow will you burst into bloom?
Perhaps everything will turn out right.
Though you may wake from your dream
to find the sun has yet to bring an end to the night.


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Photo Credit: Edward Hopper – Pennsylvania Coal Town

Week Ten in Review: Statistics, Call for Submissions, Competitions, and More!

We had some fantastic poems this week–and quite a bit of reader activity! Let’s see how we did:


We reached 6,800 all-time views this week (2100 WP visitors) compared to last week’s 6,300 (2000 visitors)–that means we brought in 500 views this week and 100 unique visitors (about five poem-views a visitor). We pulled in over 120 likes this week from WP users, and over 150 unique visitors from Google and other search engines, not including the WP visitors listed above.

We didn’t outperform last week, but these are healthy numbers!


In my opinion, this was one of the strongest weeks yet as far as sheer quality of our published work is concerned. You have to give these a look!


Our Monthly Paid Competition is coming to a close on the 30th of this month! There’s a lot of competition, so send in your best work. We’re excited to have the ability to pay you for your poems in a world that seldom can, and we hope this contest drives traffic to our site, thus to our talented submitters’ work! You can find more information here.


Donations: Due to our incredibly generous readers and poets and their Ko-fi contributions, we have just enough money left over (since our Plan upgrade, Google advertisement launch, and first paid competition) to start up a second paid poetry competition! We’ll announce it on February 10th, once winners of the January competition are announced. We’re so grateful for your support!

Ad Revenue: The beauty of holding advertisements on this site is not only that they can inform you of publishing opportunities, poetry workshops, anthologies, and the like (with Google’s ad targeting, I presume they will change based on your common searches)–but by merely interacting with them, we get a few cents! Last month we made 74 cents, and I’m pretty proud of it–that’s almost a dollar toward the next competition payout, and it will increase with our readership.

That’s all for this week–stay tuned!



Submitted by Edward Lee

Knowing what would happen
she still bit
into the apple,
wanting some peace
from this world
where fairy tales
were simply the skin
that covered the hardness of life,
something to break your teeth
and bones upon
while unable to savour more,


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Photo Credit: Jan Brueghel – The Original Sin

Night Watch

Submitted by Ann Christine Tabaka

The night dances in on a purple sunset
edged in radiant streams of gold.
The evening star winks seductively
at the shy rising moon
The sound of the surf’s eternal march
echoes across the dunes,
carried on a salt breeze.
Castles and footprints forgotten,
soon to be washed away.
Sea oats wave adieu to the light,
as sand crabs scurry home
to their sandy dens.
Silhouettes of egrets flock overhead,
marsh-bound for the night.
Signaling the time for
Night watch


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Photo Credit: Outlet of a Mountain Lake – Ralph Albert Blakelock


Submitted by Jill C. Lyman

We come to the place
we call Silent
to forget the sound
of cars on the highway
setting up our camp chairs
with an eye toward
the water
where a heron fishes
squirrels tatter over territory
The wide hand of a sycamore leaf
drops from the tree
lands at my feet.
Its scent lingers—
summer’s green spills
on my hands
as I peel the flesh
along the veins, pouring
its dust onto the breeze.
Only the thin bone
of a stem remains.
A new breeze gallops
before the cold front, rustles through
Silent —
a frantic four or five fallen
leaves mount the wind,
crossing the grass.
They gather at my feet


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Photo Credit: Sycamore Hill, Winterthur – Geraldine McKeown

White Roads Sunday

Submitted by Barry Fentiman Hall

High above the white roads
Hawks dance and screech
Breaking cover over poets
Lost in a stew of rubble
Where the memories of childhood
When we became girls and boys
Are obscured by 
Squashed tomatoes and 
Spent ammo from Friday nights
We go to tend the gardens
Through fire damage
And fading ribbons
The ways are not clear
Where the weeds hide the barriers
They dig for victory here
Over what I cannot say
The corn is eight feet high
And love and light fades on the old school ties
These are the only certainties
As the hawks court ever higher
And pass through Sunday clouds
Out of reach


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Photo Credit: Charles Courtney Curran – The Lanterns