Events

Velvet by Will Collins

At work
The phone rings.
I have an ache in my head,
18 patients asking for pain pills
and solutions.
I’m only 25
What do you want?

“How’s William?”
she asks on the other end.
I’m fine,
But she doesn’t mean me.
It’s William down the
Hall room 124,
His heart is weakening, fingers and toes
Cold,
Breaths choppy and sometimes don’t come at all
With a gurgle in his chest
Of what end of life
Sounds like.

I tell her in fewer words
“No change in condition,”
I say,
“We are managing his pain,
His anxiety.”

The voice on the phone thanks me,
“He’s a very distinguished man,”
she says.

I pause,
What to say,
How to respond,
What does a textbook say about it?
Just comfort her?
But I want to know
What he did,
What he made with his life.

“I don’t know why I said that,”
she cuts in.
“Just wanted you to know”
We end the conversation.

Later,
I walk into 124.
He’s pale, lifeless.
You can tell he’s gone
“It’s expected they say,
It’s hospice.”

The supervisor
calls it at 1:38PM.
I put a glove on to close his eyes to sleep,
Use a stethoscope to hear what nothing sounds like
On the other side,
Remove the catheter,
Open his mouth to check for dentures to make note of.

He’s so cold.
Gums like ice.
No dentures,
Teeth straight, white, well kept,
No jagged edges or chips,
All his own.
“He was a distinguished man,”
I mutter to myself.

I wish I could have asked
The voice on the phone about him.
A stretcher takes William away
Under a red velvet blanket.

 

About Will Collins

Will Collins is currently a nurse in Toms River, NJ, living with his three dogs who are a handful.  He graduated Richard Stockton University of NJ before becoming a nurse with a major in Spanish language and culture and writing.  When not at work, he can be found writing, skateboarding, and hiking or bird watching. His poetry is currently not published, so he says this is an exclusive treat!

Corporate Yin Yang by Will Collins

I breathe like the spring time.

Inhale like a lion,
Exhale like a lamb.

I talk big of my dreams,
I act small from my cubicle.

So juxtaposed,

Like taking Ambien
With a gulp of espresso.

 

About Will Collins

Will Collins is currently a nurse in Toms River, NJ, living with his three dogs who are a handful.  He graduated Richard Stockton University of NJ before becoming a nurse with a major in Spanish language and culture and writing.  When not at work, he can be found writing, skateboarding, and hiking or bird watching. His poetry is currently not published, so he says this is an exclusive treat!

She’s Dying by Will Collins

She always lies in the dark
Skin that once fit her like a beautiful mask
And protected her like armour
Is giving way to bruises,
And holes gape from her skin
Down to the bone

Her eyes closed but
She was still in there.
Her chest moved with each breath
Shallow but quick
As she began to slip away.

Morphine in the corner pocket
Of her mouth helps ease her into
Vast nothingness or somethingness
Whichever,
Depending what you
think.

I told my manager I couldn’t make the call
Because I might cry.
I went into her room and opened the curtains for once
But of all days it was gray.

I don’t know what crossed my mind–
Even the most radiant sun’s rays
Cant ressurect a dying flower.

I was hoping,
Just thought for once,
The answer didn’t have to be in a pill
Which came from a textbook–
Standard operating procedure–
‘This is How You Help Them Die.’

 

 

About Will Collins

Will Collins is currently a nurse in Toms River, NJ, living with his three dogs who are a handful.  He graduated Richard Stockton University of NJ before becoming a nurse with a major in Spanish language and culture and writing.  When not at work, he can be found writing, skateboarding, and hiking or bird watching. His poetry is currently not published, so he says this is an exclusive treat!

Water by Will Collins

As a nurse
I learned that amongst the bone scaffolding
And water balloon organ mechanics
We are mostly water

I have been so fluid in my life.
A chameleon drowning who’s
His own worst enemy

Writer turned estimator turned mailman,
Turned nurse turned cubicle dweller,
Riding a bank account too weak for
More student loans
And a resume too broad to
Fit the next mold
While searching for greener pastures

I’ve always been the stream
That flows effortlessly through
A keyhole to grass greener
Only to be the same shade of
Jaded when I step foot on
The dew soaked lawn of another
Early morning prospect

I am made of water,
But even so,
there may never be a day’s work
I find that doesn’t feel like work
And quenches the thirst of this
Dripping mess body

 

 

About Will Collins

Will Collins is currently a nurse in Toms River, NJ, living with his three dogs who are a handful.  He graduated Richard Stockton University of NJ before becoming a nurse with a major in Spanish language and culture and writing.  When not at work, he can be found writing, skateboarding, and hiking or bird watching. His poetry is currently not published, so he says this is an exclusive treat!

How I Finally Became a Mom by Jennifer Carr

Seasons came and went
As did 15 years of my life
During that time I was told
Some people are not born to be a mo
That I was not born to be a mother
I heard that lie so many times
I convinced myself of that truth
Like inmates convicted for crimes
They believed they didn’t commit
I was not better than those convicted
Those convicted in her eyes
Incarcerated in her crippling care
The cage that clipped my wings
The yard I yearned to feel the sun
Stopped my dreams in mid flight
No longer was the sky the limit
I could not see pas the bars
She enslaved me in
And yet, I loved her
And would have died for her
In fact, I almost did several times
After death comes rebirth
Then comes that newfound hope
Hope which brought courage
Suddenly I had not fear
It took me 6 months
Of carefully laid out plans
To plan my escape route
But it paid off
It all paid off
I broke free from that cage
And learned to fly once again
No more solitary confinement
Today, 7 years have passed
And the greatest gift
Besides my freedom
Is the sounds of small fee
Running around
With their blessed hearts
Because they have made me a mom
That’s right, I was born to be a mom
God knew all along
He would bless upon me 2 children
When the time was right
After I was able to leave
My jail cell behind me
Because the sentence time
Wasn’t mine to have to serve

 

 

About Jennifer Carr

Poetry written by Jennifer Carr. Jennifer lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and enjoys spending time with her partner and two children. She is an EMT and firefighter. When she is not working at the local hospital, she spends way too much time writing poetry. Her poetry has been published by Triumph House Poetry with a Purpose. Her poetry has also been recognized by ZenUnleashed, Fanstory, as well as several newspapers. She loves flying by her own wings and looks for any opportunity to soar to new heights. Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter, @PoetryHaiku13.

Shorts by Jennifer Carr

The Volunteer Firefighter

Tones awaken my ears
Dreams on hold at 3 a.m.
Dispatch gives the details
On the next call as
I kiss my wife goodbye

 

The Matador

Tired of fighting
life’s bulls
one after another
please
take this red cape
away from me

 

Breaking Free

Years passed
till one day –
courage found
to break free
from the cage
Now a backbone
with wings

 

Feeling the Heat

Her touch
Shows no mercy
Just like an arsonist
It only takes striking one match
The orange glow of gluttony in her eyes
Setting my whole world on fire
The flames dance in delight
Burnt in my mind
Her touch

 

About Jennifer Carr

Poetry written by Jennifer Carr. Jennifer lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and enjoys spending time with her partner and two children. She is an EMT and firefighter. When she is not working at the local hospital, she spends way too much time writing poetry. Her poetry has been published by Triumph House Poetry with a Purpose. Her poetry has also been recognized by ZenUnleashed, Fanstory, as well as several newspapers. She loves flying by her own wings and looks for any opportunity to soar to new heights. Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter, @PoetryHaiku13.

 

Young Warrior by Grant Elliot Smith

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Sections of time melting away,

Tearless eyes seeming to say

I cannot be hurt, I will not bleed

Although the truth is easy to read

Once a fierce warrior, now fallen

The only rule to battle, not all can win

His mighty sword, broken and lost

Once he possessed a heart of fire, now frost

Broken will, shattered dreams

All is lost, so it seems

On the darkest of nights, hallowest of eves,

Visitors seek the warrior rustling the leaves

The warrior stands up unwilling to fight

Outside stand three warriors in the misty night

One calls his name but he shows no fear

“If you are expecting a challenge, you will not find it here,

I am not the warrior I was in the past,

My courage and strength, for long, did not last”

One calls to him, “if your spirit is lost you will surely die”

The three warriors look fierce, unbeatable to his eye

Fear and envy rage, he wishes he could be more like them

Beaten before starting, this night, to him, looks grim

A wolf cries in the distance, the wind wildly shrieks

To him, he is sure it is death now he greets

Raising his guard, lowering his head, he steps out

The night is cold against his skin, he starts the bout

His quickness is slow, but he knocks one to the ground

He follows him down and snaps his neck with a cracking sound

With swords not yet drawn, the other two attack with might

Blows exchange blows, these warriors are too strong to fight

The last two warriors he will kill, this in his mind he sets

Beaten badly he still stands, the sword of the dead warrior he gets

The warriors pull their swords and engage him

Their skill is great, he will need more strength to win

He summons all his strength, the fire inside burns bright

He strikes one to the chest, only one more to fight

The one left is the strongest of all three

His skills and strength are great, damn, I wish I were he

Blood spills on both sides, but no one gives in

Both giving their best, for only one will win

Blade meets blade, as iron meets stone

The night turns red, as the final blow is thrown

The last warrior falls, losing this fight

The once fallen warrior’s spirit is rekindled this night

Battle beaten and tired he sits down in the grass

Now he has regained his self, this time it will last

He sees with his eyes the three dead warriors start to rise

He stands quickly, what black magic has kept them from their demise?

Healed, without wounds, the three walk closer to him

He pulls his sword, stands his ground, fear spreads within

He beat them once, he feels that he will beat them again

The three dead warrior, swords sheathed, they too know he would win

They stand before him, they speak his name once more

“We are ancient warriors of an ancient Lore,

We died in battle long ago, our fires bright until the end

Your fire would have died before its time, it, we had to mend”

He asked the three, “why my fire to mend from beyond the grave?”

“Young warrior” one replied, “it is our family honor we save,

For I am your grandfather’s grandfather, young warrior you see,

This is my grandfather’s grandfather, and so on is he”

He sees the oldest ancestor was the strongest of all three

Twelve generations back his family was strong indeed

The young warrior descends to his knees in respect of ancestors of his

“Great now is your strength young warrior, greater than ours, it is

We leave this earth once more, keep our family strong

It is your responsibility now, bear us no wrong

You will too leave this earth one day, honor you will earn

If another member falters, to this earth you will return”

He watches as his ancestors disappear into the mist, out of sight

The young warrior lays back to gaze at the stars, again alone with the night

 

 

About Grant Elliot Smith

Grant Smith 2Originally from Pendleton, Indiana, Grant loved to read from an early age. Saving up his allowance, he spent it all at the local bookstore buying up as much as he could from the fantasy section. Writing has always been a passion of his. His first interest was poetry, which he wrote voraciously. Some of his early work from as far back as the 1980’s can be found in various poetry anthologies.

Completing four university degrees, including a Masters in Sociology from the University of Essex in Colchester, England, Grant has lived and worked around the world, spending a number of those years in Japan. The sights and sounds from the various cultures he has seen help to fuel his imagination for writing. A corporate attorney by trade, Grant has published various legal articles and papers. However, when not working, he loves to escape in the world of fantasy and the paranormal.

Visit Grant at his website www.grantelliotsmith.com!

 

 

Poets.org: 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month, April 2019

Poets.org has posted 30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month this year. This list was created by Poets.org and is a suggestion of different activities writers, readers, and educators can celebrate the written word. For more information regarding National Poetry Month, or Poets.org, please visit their website!

  1. Request a free copy of the National Poetry Month poster until mid-April; posters can be purchased for $5.00 each in our Poets shop thereafter (while supplies list).
  2. Sign up for Poem-a-Day and read a poem each morning.
  3. Sign up for Teach This Poem, a weekly series for teachers.
  4. Memorize a poem.
  5. Create an anthology of your favorite poems on Poets.org.
  6. Encourage a young person to participate in the Dear Poet project.
  7. Buy a book of poetry from your local bookstore.
  8. Review these concrete examples of how poetry matters in the United States today.
  9. Learn more about poets and poetry events in your state.
  10. Ask your governor or mayor for a proclamation in support of National Poetry Month.
  11. Attend a poetry reading at a local university, bookstore, cafe, or library.
  12. Read a poem at an open mic. It’s a great way to meet other writers in your area and find out about your local poetry writing community.
  13. Start a poetry reading group.
  14. Write an exquisite corpse poem with friends.
  15. Chalk a poem on the sidewalk.
  16. Deepen your daily experience by reading Edward Hirsch’s essay “How to Read a Poem.”
  17. Ask the United States Post Office to issue more stamps celebrating poets.
  18. Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day today! The idea is simple: select a poem you love, carry it with you, then share it with coworkers, family, and friends.
  19. Read about different poetic forms.
  20. Read about poems titled “poem.”
  21. Watch a poetry movie.
  22. Subscribe to American Poets magazine or a small press poetry journal.
  23. Watch Rachel Eliza Griffiths’s P.O.P (Poets on Poetry) videos.
  24. Watch or read Carolyn Forche’s talk “Not Persuasion, But Transport: The Poetry of Witness.”
  25. Recreate a poet’s favorite food or drink by following his or her recipe.
  26. Read or listen to Mark Doty’s talk “Tide of Voices: Why Poetry Matters Now.”
  27. Read Allen Ginsberg’s classic essay about Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.”
  28. Sign up for a poetry class or workshop.
  29. Get ready for Mother’s Day by making a card featuring a line of poetry.
  30. Read the first chapter of Muriel Rukeyer’s inspiring book The Life of Poetry.

 

 

This post was originally posted on poets.org.

Poetry Takeover Submissions Extended!

Submissions deadline has been EXTENDED to March 25, 2019, 11:59PM EST. 

National Poetry Month is Coming! 

In honor of Poetry Month this year, Ink Smith Publishing will be accepting poetry submissions to feature on our blog! All genres are being accepted, no restrictions on length, and there is no need to be a previously published author. If you would like to participate in our takeover please follow the guidelines below.

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Poems should be formatted in .doc, .rxt, or .pdf format.
  2. Submissions should be emailed to: editorinksmithpublishing@gmail.com. APRIL POETRY SUBMISSION should be utilized in the subject line of the email.
  3. Please include a short bio (no more than 200 words) about yourself and where to find your poetry. You may include social media handles as well, we’d love to be able to link to you when we post!
  4. You may also include a head shot, but it is not required. Please make sure if you do include a head shot it is in .jpeg or .png format, and is a business professional photo.
  5. While there are no restrictions on length, topic, or content, we do ask that the poetry be tasteful and tactful. Ink Smith reserves the right to reject any poetry that is unnecessarily vulgar or offensive.
  6. Ink Smith plans to post as many poems as possible, but do not promise that your submission will be posted on the site.
  7. There is no fee associated with this takeover and poets are encouraged to submit multiple works.

 

Submissions Open for April 2019 Poetry Takeover

National Poetry Month is Coming! 

In honor of Poetry Month this year, Ink Smith Publishing will be accepting poetry submissions to feature on our blog! All genres are being accepted, no restrictions on length, and there is no need to be a previously published author. If you would like to participate in our takeover please follow the guidelines below.

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Poems should be formatted in .doc, .rxt, or .pdf format.
  2. Submissions should be emailed to: editorinksmithpublishing@gmail.com. APRIL POETRY SUBMISSION should be utilized in the subject line of the email.
  3. Please include a short bio (no more than 200 words) about yourself and where to find your poetry. You may include social media handles as well, we’d love to be able to link to you when we post!
  4. You may also include a head shot, but it is not required. Please make sure if you do include a head shot it is in .jpeg or .png format, and is a business professional photo.
  5. While there are no restrictions on length, topic, or content, we do ask that the poetry be tasteful and tactful.
  6. Ink Smith plans to post as many poems as possible, but do not promise that your submission will be posted on the site.
  7. There is no fee associated with this takeover and poets are encouraged to submit multiple works.

Deadline to submit poetry is March 15th.