Day 24: Pōhutukawa

Sarah writes poems

On the downslope from solstice
our true December trees

are brazen, bloody-bright. You can keep
your dark, doomed pines, all smooth tradition

for the baubles – sadness-
-in-waiting beneath fake snow –

that never worked out here
on the edge. Our festive day is gaudy

with the tinsel-glare of sun, we grew up ripe
to glut ourselves on light this time

of year. The young, the old, they really crave
the exact same simple gift. And pōhutukawa,

she shows you every year how to age
shamelessly. Carried on her auntie’s back

toward the squalling new year, you’ll hear
her last dirty old laugh with your eyes

open (none of your damn grace required), flinging
all that made the new gods whisper scarlet wanton

to the hot south wind, spreading fierce
naked claim and delight. Every path,

every last road out of here, it pants
with spent red. It’s so easy

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Winter night

Sarah writes poems

Light’s spilling from the window,
warm as gingerbread,
sticky as love.
Light’s spilling from the window
and I pause here for a moment,
between the dark blue night and
the light spilling from the window,
warm as gingerbread.

In December, we triolet. Another triolet, unrhymed, unrhythmed, stretched and bent, but still recognisable.

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A Reunion Or A Resurrection – A Poem and Three Images by Kushal Poddar

IceFloe Press

A Reunion Or A Resurrection

The man, falling into a seabed of high,
looks like Jesus, or so I
think, picking up his limp needle-marked limbs
the way a fisherman gathers his net –
this has been his empty day.

A van ferries the drunken sailors
to a place not better than this gutter.
It is a Saturday. Not that the fact matters.
I stare at the friggin big clock at the steeple.
Nighttime. Sleep o’clock. Air bears peat,
brine, waxed leather and something crossed
the threshold of death.

“Look, who’s here!” Says one drunkard
pointing to the passed out Jesus.
Three policemen shuts down the voices.
Inside flesh becomes one. Bodies, identity-less.

Kushal Poddar @Kushalpoe is a writer and visual artist and is the author of The Circus Came To My Island, A Place For Your Ghost Animals, Understanding The Neighborhood, Scratches Within, Kleptomaniac’s Book…

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#AlrightPal? Mental health and suicide prevention artwork and writing challenge. Have you made artworks about mental health? Have you written published/unpublished about mental health? In these days of increased restrictions, and especially in this season to highlight this issue. Please DM me, or tweet me so I can DM you if you wish to contribute. Also, you can send a message via my WordPress site.

“Talking about mental health doesn’t have to be scary; it’s simply our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It’s really important to understand and manage it as it affects how we think, feel and act.

It’s a myth that talking about suicide is a bad idea as it will give somebody the idea to do it. In reality, people at crisis point often feel as though they don’t want to burden people with their problems, so they don’t discuss it. Asking somebody a simple question to check they’re alright offers support from friends and family, and an opportunity for early referrals for specialist help.” from

Winter black and white

Photo by Paul Brookes (remembering a close relative who was also a keen sailor who took his own life)

Sorry, Mate…#poetry

sorry mate poem by ingrid

Sorry, Mate

-Poem and comment by Ingrid (

Morning, Just Like Any Other

I have just awakened.
My mind hangs
somewhere between
life and death;
lost and lingers
in a purgatory
of consciousness.

That I dreamed,
I’m certain.
Sweet or bitter,

I have just awakened.
For the moment
I have forgotten
the name
of my insanity,
along with the pills
I take
to mitigate it.

-Karlo Sevilla

To Be, or Not to Be Medicated

To burst unfettered in the manic way,
The talking mouth that cannot stop to rest,
Are you to say I should not be this way,
My fast brain bursting full of better, best?

I sing, I write, I make—but can these be
If creativity is dulled inside of me?
If sentience devolves to reticence,
To fit the current psychopharma sense,
How can I make the songs I sing so deeply
Or make the heart that hears it cry so sweetly?

I burn with heat as my pen works the page.
How can a dullard bring the sage words of a sage?
If neurons fire, then why misfire mine?
My flame will burn right out, without a rhyme!

You seek to keep the highs and lows at bay.
You wish to even out the peaks and pits:
But how can trees wave branches in the air
If they become attenuated bits?

My burst is lost! I love to burst!
I love to bear a child in a poem!
I love to work twelve hours at a thrust
To give in words a newly-labored tome!
I love to touch! I love to feel!
I love the sounds and hues of silk and steel!
If diamonds and rust escape the censoree,
Why do you seek to take it all from me?

“Ah yes, but see, you are complex:
Your mind is broke and needs a kind of fix.
We cannot have you run abouting—
Living, breathing, singing, shouting—
And thinking toomuchtoomuch, too—
So this is why these meds are good for you!”

Ah yes, I know!
The points on a momentary snowflake sparkle so!
And yet, if you were to smooth it smoothingly,
What shape would then the perfect snowflake be?

In fairness, I do go low to the abyss.
This pit is not when twirling my skirts
But rather when I’d render splits
Into my skin until it hurts.

I can make tombs of closets or my bed.
For sleeping hard and long can make you dead.
(But to a point) because I wake again.
‘Tis true this ebb can flow out in the end.

Ah, to straddle polar poles and not to sway!

Healers of neuron makers and transmitters,
Give me back my brain’s peculiar fritters!
Pharma, grant no side-affected me,
And Psyche will dance in manic reverie!

-Theresa Rodriquez

Bios And Links

-Theresa Rodriguez

is the author of three books of poetry, including Sonnets, a collection of sixty-five sonnets (Shanti Arts, 2020). You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @thesonnetqueen. Her website is

-Karlo Sevilla,

from Quezon City, Philippines, is the author of the full-length poetry collection, “Metro Manila Mammal” (Some Publishing, 2018), and the chapbook, “You” (Origami Poems Project, 2017). Recognized among the Best of Kitaab 2018 and twice nominated for the Best of the Net, his poems appear or are forthcoming in Philippines Graphic, Small Orange, DIAGRAM, Black Bough Poetry, Eclectica, Radius, Matter, Word Doodles Lit Mag, Thimble, Months To Years, 3 Moon Magazine, and elsewhere.

More on Light — Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

Listento the laughter,chocolate-chased giggling andbageled love feasts. Sweet echoes thatlinger in light,flickering flames,as stars glow from afarwith ghost motes that dust our beings,always. A double cinquain for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. Colleen asked us to write about holiday traditions. Our family holidays always revolve around food and include lots of laughter. My mom had the best […]

More on Light — Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

Day 23: Peering into the Kitchen

Sarah writes poems

It’s Christmas Eve and the kitchen is a mess
everything crusted with flour as more pastry is made
because someone has eaten all the mince pies already.

The jelly stuffed full of rum soaked sponges has finally set
providing a foundation for our Christmas Trifle
and the Christmas Cake has been iced
with red rocketships rather than holly.

Meanwhile someone is melting dark chocolate
to make a Yule Log the way Grandad used to
and not looking guilty at all.

I smile and close the door on my adult sons as
their chocolate fuelled laughter resounds in my ears.
Christmas is finally here!

I think we all know that feeling. The moment when Christmas really starts! This is from Kim.. Kim Whysall-Hammond is a Londoner living in a small country town in Southern England. An expert in obsolete telecommunications, Kim believes, against all evidence, that she is a good dancer…

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My Poem on Sarah Connor’s Poetry Advent

Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

I’m honored and thrilled that Sarah Connor asked me to take part in her poetry advent calendar this year–along with so many stellar poets! Every morning, I wake up and check for the day’s poem. Today, it’s my poem, “Remembering the Light.” Thank you so much, Sarah, for making this holiday season a little bit brighter. ❤️

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