Tag Archives: Poetry Week

Poetry Week welcomes Shirani Rajapakse

Saturday Afternoon

Webster perches on the table
by my side and waits

ever patient. Spell check is
sometimes negligent. I think he

gets into moods. He takes his own
version, tries to impress.

Tells me I am wrong and he’s
right. He never

admits he’s wrong. Not even
once. How like a man. Spell check’s

a young punk with his
pants hanging down to his knees.

“Wassup?” he calls to
the air as he struts around in designer

shoes. Not much help there. So
old Webster hangs out by my side in

dignity. Ever patient. Old is gold they say,
while the newness is oblivious to it all.


Inside the Old Room

What would the wallsDSC01711
say if only they
could speak? Would they

tell you of the dreams
I dream when I am
not with you, or my thoughts

that I speak out
for no one to hear
lest hearing

make real? What would they
say, those walls, if they
could converse with

you and me?
Would they ask me
to leave for daring to do that

which I should not. For
I am a mere thing to please.
Nothing more to you.


Late Evening

The wind rustled through
the trees, moving this
way and that
and the leaves began to
gossip. What did they speak
of I do not know. I wish
I knew as I sat in
my room
looking out of the window
at the trees bending
in agreement with the weight
of secrets that moved
through their being.


SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAShirani Rajapakse is a Sri Lankan poet and author. She earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and a MA in International Relations from the Jawaharlal Nehru University India. Her book of short stories, Breaking News (Vijitha Yapa 2011) was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award. Shirani’s work has appeared in, or is forthcoming from, Dove Tales, About Place Journal, Skylight 47, The Smoking Poet, New Verse News, and The Occupy Poetry Project. Anthologies featuring her work include Voices Israel Poetry Anthology 2012, Song of Sahel, Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, World Healing World Peace, and Every Child Is Entitled to Innocence. Her poetry was featured on Verses in Motion radio. Connect with Shirani at her blog.

Note: Shirani is in Sri Lanka and may not see comments until the next day. While it may be noon central time here in the U.S., it’s nearly midnight in Sri Lanka.

sri lanka


Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Prose & Poetry, Special Events

Poetry Week welcomes Beverley A. Hoyles

Beverley Hoyles CVR and spine

Across the bridge

beat of my heart
like rock n roll band
plummet to acute silent
moment in time
before the scream
a split second
multiple scenarios
the mind have crossed,
penalty weight heavy
tempo and meter
dark in my head
do I dare demand
it’s been a long time coming
cannot go gently,
walking across
tears stream down
know first hand
the loud cries
of anguish
truth and substance
haunting deja vu beckon
you hear but not listening
my pleas unheard
secrets disguised
I pound my chest
agony of soul
of futility
devoured by darkness,
travel twisted veins
bleed vestige of hope
jagged rock of defeat
grounding grinding growls
earth bowls of rumble
forever lost,
it’s mad absurd
my wails of why
I yearn for freedom
how can you pretend
scum of sum prevailed
captive between
shiver and shook
the loss of light and focus
your audacious laughter
vibrate my soul
twisted loathsome
desolation fill
mock my
shred of hope
dungeon of horror
terror feel
inevitable defeat
yield or not
don’t make a sound
no longer coming
but here
is there a
glimmer of care
in this stare
only one word

My Friend

my friend indeed
upon her pretty face
a mysterious smile
it’s real and true agreed
dark countenance cover
with many veils and tales compile
i see past your smile
affection for you remains forever,

past the facade
of potential flaws
i’m here for you
just because
to face the changes
true to God’s best for you,

though miles apart
i send my smiles
love and hugs
with heart
and stand applause,

friend i will strengthen
you with prayers
for God to keep you strong
bless you with love
encourage you with hope,

yes you may
hide among
the tallest of these
you do not grasp
dear friend, you
stand out amid the rest
with grace,

you are the rare and delicate
surprise diversity of life
and light
resident in the forest deep
with gentile petite stride
steps out
a secret to unfold


Lake of Feeling

Somewhere beyond
now and then
here and there
between sleep and wake
lies a river
entrance to a lake
where all
feelings reside,

on secret
glistening light beams
into a magical lake
an array of

at first glance
a magical place
sandy beaches
in crescent bay
lofty mountains
iridescent light,

closer inspection
fakes, mistakes, discoveries
reveal tragedy,
a castaway on the
grains of sands
of abrasion
mixture of heaviness
bitterness and yearning
anger, guilt and suspicion,
envelope, capture into
depths, a darkest prison,
Beneath skies lurk
demons of despair
shadows of once was,
stark aloneness
empty of life,

each deposit
in the mix
a stench
reflux of the soul
nightmares emerge
like the after affects
of a dark magical potion

surely the lake
of feelings
has good,
I remember good,
once upon a time,

swim the dangerous
infested waters, my god
why have you forsaken me?

finally the solution
examine, embrace, accept
and cast the unacceptable
picking up the pieces of lies
refined by fire of truth
all bitterness destroyed,
surrender to reveal
pure gold of
feelings cast
its beautiful bow
to uncover once concealed
love, hope, comfort
and peace
‘it is not my fauth’
separation of memory
and healing
at last!

This is dedicated to friends who have suffered abuse and its secondary effects…here’s to you and your continued healing.

gown so sheik and sheer
sleek with splendor
move so smooth with sway
syncopation and symmetry
viewers delight
in all her array,

the aged dancer
it’s envy i fear
my ankles are weak
unraptured feet
crumpled defeat
strength has disappeared
not as lithe
don’t have form,

but in the heart
it’s fred astaire
how amazing
to choose to respond
not react
to the tragedy
varied disappointment
underlay of apathy
take the abysmal
to profound
change the world
take away injustice
a crippled heart astound
soothe a frightened child
comprehend the bad and good
that’s what happens
when you dance
from a youthful heart,

in the heat of day
smells and sounds
like the discovery of
peppermint, eucalyptus
and camphor
to revitalize its magic
to the agonized weary soul
memories unblock
where shadows weep
freed to unlock
rhythm and tales
of the past
change the austere
to radiate poise contrast,

how others see
at first sight
when they see the stance
inside the frame
of frustration and pain
wails of anguish have danced
battered and bruised
senseless days of panic
nightmares claim
secret chamber
now unlocked
not foreboding
prepared for love
can you hear the music
in my heart.


??????????????????????????Beverley is the recently published author of “Feet First” – Steps to Survival, Forgiveness & Triumph. “Feet First” is the autobiographical story of a woman [Beverley] whose future was adversely impacted by her formative years.

Beverley is a wife, mother and grandmother; born and spent most of her life in Newfoundland and Labrador; now living in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.

She admits to the bumps (and washed out bridges) on the road of her true life journey where she worked the hardest for God and others; entertained her greatest fears and doubts while confronting, tackling and battling her addiction to guilt and shame, all amidst a pastoral ministry. A survivor of child abuse, she continues to campaign for the advocacy of putting a stop to all forms of abuse. Her desire is to be a vessel of honor for God who wishes to speak for those who can’t speak about their traumatic pasts.

Connect with Beverley on her Feet First book site, Facebook, Feet First Facebook page, blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Feet First is available as paperback or ebook, via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters Indigo, or Essence Publishing.


Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Prose & Poetry, Special Events

It’s Poetry Week!

img005I kick off Poetry Week with what I refer to as my signature piece, Mom and Bocelli. Today is Mom’s birthday, so I thought it fitting.

Mom was born Lois Jane Holmes in Lansford, PA, February 18, 1921. She loved her family and instilled “loving family” in all of us. She was a seamstress, a crossword and quote-acrostic puzzler, a meatloaf to beef bourguignon chef. She could jitterbug and waltz; she liked the classics and opera and big bands. She studied French and Welsh and could pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (it’s a town in Wales and if you don’t believe me, here’s a YouTube pronunciation). And she loved Phillies baseball – she took notes and could discuss trades and stats with anybody.

I miss her awful.


Mom and Bocelli

Mom introduced me to Andrea Bocelli several years before she died,
And he comforted her throughout her final days.
He’s blind, you know. I did not.
I loved to watch her, sitting in her favorite chair, body rocking, eyes closed.
I imagine her still, mouthing words she could not pronounce,
Italian opera coming through the speakers of her silver boom box.
Before I left the coast, before she died,
I bought two tickets instead of paying several overdue bills.
She said, Dear, I haven’t been to a concert since the Dorseys.
And I said, Well, we’re going.
We drove to Philly and talked about mother-daughter stuff,
And listened to his tender voice melt through the speakers of the silver sedan.
We had two tickets and two tuna sandwiches.
At the over-under bridge, there was a back-up,
and we started to laugh about needing a bathroom,
and we agreed that you should not laugh when you need a bathroom.
Then we laughed harder still.
Inside, we sat above,
And there he was.
We were close enough to see the grizzle in his beard.
Before long, Mom and I cried and held hands.
Near the end he sang our favorite, “Nessun Dorma.”
We squeezed hands and sobbed and soaked a pile of tissues.
Through those tear-stained eyes, I will always see my mother.


Andrea Bocelli, Nessun Dorma, YouTube

Stay tuned, please. Poetry Week will continue with Beverley Hoyles, Shirani Rajapakse, Mairi McCloud, Pamela Wight, and then a few more selections by me next weekend here and as a guest on Heartspoken with Elizabeth H. Cottrell.


Filed under Prose & Poetry, Special Events