There Is No Place In Virginia by Phibby Venable

I am not a silent poet

There is no place in Virginia to dance –
my hair is too dark, my eyes too brown,
and I am a loose woman spilling
independent thoughts on sacred ground
I am uneasily free and footloose,
but when I dance I feel the breath
of rage roaring through dangerous engines
I am nervous and tense in movement,
and dread saying I am afraid
How can I dance when the music beats
in such a way, and my feet dodge bullets
and blood, until I try to hide in mountains
of purple majesty from the crazed crosses
that have nothing to do with Christ,
and everything to do with man made placards
on who and what to hate

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Conservatives in crisis by Judith Taylor

I am not a silent poet

Brexit vote sees highest spike in religious and racial hate crimes ever recorded (Independent, 7th July 2017)


Parasite turns wasp into zombie then drills through its head (New Scientist, 25th January 2017)


Bassettia pallida – the crypt

gall wasp, as it’s commonly known –

is parasitic on oak trees: under its influence

the tree makes hollow galls

in which the young of the wasp develop

till they’re ready

to eat their way out

and find their prey in the world.

But there is a smaller wasp

Euderus set – that manipulates

the manipulator. Gall wasps it infects

chew out an exit they’re not ready for;

die blocking it. And inside

the Euderus grub

whose jaws are rarely tough

enough for oak-bark, eats its host

grows strong, and when it senses spring

chews its way out to freedom

and other hosts, through a neat hole


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Questions for the sky-watcher by Judith Taylor

I am not a silent poet

What lightning strike
what fireball, what catastrophe
are you scanning for so avidly
in these bad times?
What part of yourself

you’re afraid even to speak of
goes muttering under the surface of your mind
how some apocalypse
would be kinder than this slow choking
in our own stupidity?

And what will we leave? – another
comforting question. What far future
archaeologist from a new star
will extrapolate our culture from these
ski boots and coffee-capsules and

wonder at our poisoning
the very waters under the earth?
Or ask why it consoles us less
to believe we will have cancelled ourselves
at present rates

before the atmosphere boils away
and into space: that rainfall
will continue, plate tectonics will continue
to grid us away, and cover up
our isotope trace.

That something
– some bacterium in a cockroach gut
possibly – will grow up to be
Life on Earth in…

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Hallowed Be Our Names by Terri Greco

I am not a silent poet

A tribute to the victims of sex abuse in the Catholic Church

Hail Mary, full of grace,

Blessed are you among us women,

men, and children.

Pray for us,

for we are not the sinners,

but a million enduring votives

aflame at your feet.

Holy Mary,

Mother of God,

Be more than an idol—

a hollow shrine to pray to.

Reach us with your outstretched arms;

Hold us while we weep.


Terri Greco is a poet and psychotherapist. Her poems have also appeared in Forage Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, and The Gambler. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with her husband and her son.

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Tainted with Love by Ananya S Guha

I am not a silent poet

Whither the dead
ha’ penny thoughts
the tortoise and the hare
run, in this impending fun
Brown soldiers black
black, brown
their shirts are shrivelled
into guns they hold
Terrorists come and go
the common man might
know, who the soldier
who the terrorist
the police arrive to gun
it is mayhem
and the gaping wound
that tells all the sorrow.
At crack of dawn
a son is born
father murdered
mother prepares
three coffins
for father, son and
I say my prayers quietly
what do soldiers want?
where is the brave war
and what are suicide squads?
the rose buds faint in red
tulips open into gaping wound
my praying beads are tainted
with love.

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North of November by Neeli Cherkovski

I am not a silent poet

Sometimes the days stretch
Over the grim machines
Larger than memory
Should allow
And I just have to go there
Because it is no use
To resist the power of the forces
That have come together

I may balk and complain
To others but the fact is
Memory is difficult
Fraught with danger
Capable of driving you mad
Old bolted doors
And narrow windows
Of downtown office buildings

I have to go north of November
In order to forget
Even then it’s difficult
Rising over the Cascades
Cruising an open road
Buying an Amtrak ticket
And lying in bed

Well the train cuts across
Stern barriers in old growth forests
And the breakfast is served
It’s perfect and the coffee
Strong enough

Sometimes wolves come leaping
Down the hallway
Books collapse
As I try to empty
Random spikes of trouble
Snagged on barbed wire
In my brain

A pale green…

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