#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? Day 38

Another erasure poem.

©David Siller – 2021

*****

For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021. Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? Day 37

Rafal  Borynski, the author of today’s poem, is a teacher, artist, and metaphor developer based in Queens, New York. He introduces his work for us today.

Haikus are traditionally meant to be self-standing pieces of poetry that express a single thought, not parts within a larger poem, as is the case here. However, this pandemic has significantly blurred the notion of breaks between phases. Everyday, news stories go something along the lines of “We were in Phase 3, but we’re moving back to Phase 2B, except for this and this, which we’re expediting to Phase 4(assuming this and this continue to be this). In other news, this other state is already in Phase 5, but Phase 5 is different for them.” Just as the phases to curtail this pandemic have leaked into one another, so do the haikus about the vaccine(s) to curtail this pandemic. 

Haikus Between Vaccines

in Staten Island
the only appointment was
ferries in cold, nope!

the ferry was cold
the uber back, expensive
“it’s worth it,” I hoped

“left shoulder hurts” was
my one short-term side effect.
long-term, who does know?

that was the first dose
my second is coming up
“it’s worth it,” I hope

“the government lies”
they say, “how can you trust it”
I can’t dispute this

It misleads often,
yet is truthful other times
hope it is on this

“Have you had Covid”
the nurse giving the first asked
“it’s fine if you have”

I looked back at him
and gave an honest answer
“not that I know of “

“a large elephant,
sitting on your chest for days”
survivors have said

some hesitation
fades as I think of such pain
waiting for Dose 2

©Rafal Borynski – 2021

*****

For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021.

Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? Day 36

It is with great sadness that Waxy & Poetic has learned of the death of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He once said, “The state of the world calls out for poetry to save it.” Most days #100Days100Poems calls out more overtly, but today, in honor of him, the call is more intimate.

Thank you, Mr. Ferlinghetti, for your influence and inspiration.

©David Siller – 2021

*****

For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021.

Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? Day 35

We have surpassed a milestone that is unfathomable.

By The Number

By the time you read this
the shimmer and shake of ancient light
from the Fornax Dwarf Galaxy
will have shimmied its ways across 
almost 500,000 light years,
a squiggle unseen that echoed the first doodle
a bored Homo Erectus (name and occupation unknown)
etched on a shell 
at around the same time
500,000 years ago.
That would place archaic him -- or archaic her, 
the doodling habits of Homo Erectus 
far beyond the knowledge of this poet--
squarely in the Pleistocene Epoch
of the Quaternary Period
of the Cenozoic Era,
       only slightly predating our current
Holocene Epoch,
       where we have seen
the invention of the wheel
and fire and saddles and stirrups
and aeroplanes and electric cars
and the departure and arrival of lunar modules
and the one-way journeys of 
       Cassini and Voyagers the First and Second
and Juno and New Horizons seeking same
but this digression has zigged too far.

500,000 hours is about 57 years
& 500,000 seconds is about 139 hours
& 500,000 is the TV screen snow plastered graphic
across the front page of the New York Times
& 500K air miles is enough to brag about rewards
       in your wallet
& $500,000 is a terrible NBA salary 
but suits the MLB, minimally
and 500,000 is half a million
and Half a Million is a song by The Shins
and of that half a million things you’re supposed to be
       dead is not one of them.

©David Siller – 2021

*****

For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021.

Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? Day 33

Today’s poem is presented without commentary.

The Cacophony Subsides

While the Capitol Rotunda echoes
the new beeps of metal detectors
& the gavel cracks of failure to convict
  he quietly goes about the work of governing;

while pundits screech their latest fabricated insinuations
& newsreaders shout their weightiest insinuated fabrications,
his pen opens all volunteers to volunteer to serve openly
  he quietly goes about the work of governing;

Returning to accords & allies & agendas,
reprising briefings & readouts & pressers,
he has traded chaos & commotion & clamor
  in order to quietly go about the work of governing;

Consulting in private with parents in need,
away from the cameras and spotlight,
away from the hubbub and townhall activity,
  he quietly goes about the work of governing;

And over the cancerous rants of alt-right radio
no more silent with one less cad about
over the durm and strang of hypocritical opposition 
  he quietly goes about the work of governing;

And when the Lone Star State,
frozen in its unregulated splendor,
makes its call for socialistic savior,
  he quietly goes about the work of governing;

And when the windbags wag the dog,
scandalizing about the presidential nature of domesticated canines,
rescued or not, 
and stay mum about purebred snowflakes, abandoned in heatless
& waterless abodes, while owners seek warmer, southern climes,
  he quietly goes about the work of governing;

And when the windmills wind still
and when the pipelines pipe nothing
and the water that trickles can’t be boiled
  he quietly goes about the work of governing

And amidst national theme songs
and anthemic chants,
behind the announcements for departure
and the ouches announcing vaccine jabs,
without the headlines trumpeting his name
and the groans and moans and signs
 of exasperation and fatigue and
 bewildered wonder

   he quietly goes about the work of governing.

©David Siller – 2021

*****

For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021.

Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? Day 31

It’s nice to see the current administration taking the COVID-19 crisis seriously. Imagine where we would be if it had happened sooner. In the meantime, in anticipation of what will surely be a new normal…

Unlearning the Lessons We’ve Learned

When the masks come off, stretch your lips up and out
remember that the seats on the R and the F are not sofa-soft and not for spreading or lounging

at your first happy hour, lock eyes at the clink of glasses, hoist your arm high
    your HUZZAH! must be higher
hugs, handshakes should be firm and warm
    allow them to linger as long as needed

buy a normal amount of toilet paper

take a slice to go
    take two, take a whole pie

browse for books--the TBR most certainly needs reinforcements after such an   assault
buy tickets to the show your friend adored, see the midnight screening of the  premier
    long delayed

race the Grand Staircase, pant and wheeze as if you’re as out of shape as the peasants in
    the pastoral you passed, as you linger to catch your breath before the first canvas that
    caught your eye, speaking to you in an ancient tongue

and, if, hope beyond hope, you have match-made, or swiped correctly,
    when your hands meet halfway across the table, avoiding wine glasses & tapas plates,
    relish the first fingertip-to-fingertip freeze
    in your new moment

©David Siller – 2021

*****

For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021.

Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? Day 30

Do you find your Twitter experience changed since Jan 20, 2021?

When the President’s Twitter is More
Robin’s Song and Less
Screech Owl or Mockingbird

Once,
there were battalions of superlatives 
& platoons of exclamation points,
lined up in their wars with words
on reality,
the Attack of the Alternative Facts
the Battle of the Bulging Lie
but these days
the animosity and hypocrisy
have melted away
like Witch’s Words
to the poetry of 
I see enormous pain
in this country.
A lot of folks are out of work.
A lot of folks are going hungry
staring at the ceiling at night,
wondering

No child should grow up in poverty

The risk isn’t that we do too much --
it’s that we don’t do enough.

We have to go big
for your family
for your neighbors
for your country.
Wear a mask.
No, really,
Mask up, America.

And yes, with the tasks ahead
My whole soul is in 
the work ahead of us.
If we do it together 
as one nation
we will not fail*.

*In the spirit of a cento, all italics in this poem are lines lifted from the official POTUS Twitter account.

©David Siller – 2021

*****

For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021.

Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? Day 29

What kind of impact did 2020 have you? What obstacles did the pandemic or unemployment or [insert any 2020 craziness here] put in your path? Spoken word artist Lloyd Garrison returns with a twist on how adversity might affect you, and how you might deal with it.

Chip In My Shoulder

I’ve had a pain in my shoulder for as long as I can remember…
and until now
I haven’t been able 
to figure out why

Several trips to the doctor revealed a slight sprain
and no other issues.
But it takes more than a medical degree 
and a white lab coat to diagnose 
something not even the world can predict. 
Ever since, I’ve self-diagnosed with
a chip in my shoulder 
and never prescribed any medicine.
I’ve used that pain,
which won’t show up on any X-Rays, 
for personal gain.
That pain has given me
strength, courage, and wisdom 
to make it through 
hurt, despair, and pain.  

The chip in my shoulder kept me going 
even when I wanted to give up: 
It motivated me 
to achieve what they said was
impossible, 
to dream what they said was 
foolish, 
to travel to places in my mind where 
only the strong survive. 

And what the hell is wrong with dreaming?  
Nothing. 
Yet some would rather smother your dreams with 
doubt than ignite them with
hope. 

This chip tells me,
whether I am waiting 
in line for food stamps 
or the new J’s at Champs, 
that
I have purpose;
whether I am a passenger in an Uber or 
driving a beat up Chevy, 
that
I have worth; 
whether I have one kid that gets straight As,
or three that keep me up at night with migraines, 
that
I have value. 
The chip in my shoulder
confirms the greatness in front of me
not behind. 
It shows me that no matter the difficulty du jour,
struggles don’t last.
It reminds me that all I need is a chance--
I can handle the rest.  

Listen to the chip 
not the outside world. 
Pursue everything and
take the chip in your shoulder with you. 

That degree you always wanted? 
Go get it no matter 
how long it takes; you 
won’t be the first or last to graduate 
from the Univ. of Adversity. 

That business you’ve wanted to start? 
Start it.
Timing isn’t the only thing,
it’s everything when you’ve waited so long for
everything to be perfect. 
That person you always wanted to give you closure?
Go get it.
Closing doors only leaves room for knocks.
 
When operating with a chip in your shoulder, 
overcoming obstacles 
comes with the territory. 
So,walk with your head held high…
embrace the chip, 
sleep with the chip, 
live with the chip, 

use the chip in your shoulder 
to motivate you 
to turn your hopes, dreams, and wishes into 
REALITY.

©Lloyd Garrison – 2021

*****

Mr. Lloyd L. Garrison is the CEO of Hidden G.E.M.S. by LG. Lloyd received his Bachelor of Arts (2001) and Master of Arts (2005) degrees in English from Miami University in Oxford, Oh. LLoyd’s goal is to spread messages of hope, love, peace, and truth through the power of the spoken word.  

*****

For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021.

Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? Day 28

A list poem, presented without commentary.

The Collective States of America

an aurora of gaslighting
a klan of cops
an array of blue states
a caravan of kids in cages
a route of step forward, two leaps back
a flink of fevers, fires, & fright-mongering
a cloud of undetermined direction
a grist of history
a bed of same-sect theocrats
a peep of hope
a murder of senators
a parliament of funky relics and rituals
a lounge of spineless pachyderms
a fever of racists
a waddle of ranch-addicted snackers
a sneak of rule- and norm-breaking
a sneak of dishonor
a parcel of postal delays
a bank of capitalists
a durante of taco Tuesdays
a flutter of better angels
a bazaar of guns
a muddle of historical revision
a loveliness of protests
a prickle of power-mad octogenarians
a consortium of big and bigger businesses
a barrel of youthful exuberance
a smack of five-fingered, opened-palm reality
a gaggle of journalists
a puddle of fear of the enfranchised and informed
a cackle of pundits, screeching and screaming
a shiver of voting booths
a romp of national parks and the Capitol
a skulk of red states
a cling of white racist power structures
a leap of progressive values
a pitying of those cleaving to the what-was
 and what-never-was
 or things that can never be

©David Siller – 2021

*****

For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021. Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? Day 27

Dr. Faizan Syed offers another poignant reminder of the police problem we have.

Self-Arrest

 They say the world is burning. When
 they see us, don't run. Fly. They want us
 to turn a blind eye followed by our other 
 cheek. They tell us we don't deserve to be 
 saved. As if that explains everything.
 They spill the words easily, like blood:
 Raise your hands where we can see them.
 Where, allegedly, did the bloodstains fade?
 For every gunshot there's another excuse.
 For every crime, a suspect. For every sin
 another sin must be committed, or else
 how can we call it justice? Fair is fair. Lay
 your body on the ground face-down, kid.
 Who are you tonight? You're faceless
 under the knee of self-proclaimed angels
 whose mother tongue is violence. Your
 bruises just as blue as midnight, just as black.
  
 They say you have the right to remain silent. 
 Who exactly, then, holds the wrong?
 Nations glance askance, crowds divided
 like so many Red Seas. Yet no one passes
 through the line of fire. Because after
 all, anything you say can & will be used 
 against you in court. So when 
 your dream wakes up in Riker's 
 Island, you can thank yourself. 
 They said the prisons are hemorrhaging money
 & the spilled oil rises where tornadoes dance
 as droughts embrace our need. They said
 world hunger is sated by blood. Shoot those guns
 out of the terrorists' hands and hallelujah, we're 
 saved. But don't be a hero
 unless you're invincible, 
 or ready to give up all
 those years you couldn’t 
 see yourself inside
 anyways. File a plea
 of "lost." So many feathers
 lay scattered across the floor.
 You've been collecting them
 one by one. You're Icarus.
 You're Hawkgirl. You're
 as blind as Daredevil, your
 faith just as strong. Pray
 for the rest of us now.
 For when we prove 
 them all 
 dead wrong. 

©Faizan Syed – 2021

*****

Faizan Syed, MD is a writer, musician, and psychiatrist based in Queens, NY and is a member of the Queens Poetic Alchemy Collective. He was awarded the Folger Adams Jr. Prize for 1st place in Poetry and the Graduating Poet’s Award from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been featured on Humans of New York. Faizan’s work has appeared in Montage Literary Arts Journal, Newtown Literary, Cosmonauts Ave, & Empty Mirror. Poems he’s written in collaboration with Matthew DeMarco have been published in Jet Fuel Review, Dogbird Journal, and “They Said,” an anthology of collaborative writing from Black Lawrence Press. One can find him on Instagram @docfaizan or on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/docfaizan.

*****

For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021.

Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !