PoetryGSO Home

Previously featured poems on POETRYGSO.org...

Age in Love by Jorge Maturino

Hashem (The Name)  By Leah Green 

To Honor You by Danisha Whitaker

Untitled by Jessica Anderson

After Two Years' Invasion of the Parasite by Stephanie Ficshetti

Verse 8  Oh I Don’t Know  by John P. Cock

Untitled poem by Albert Smith III

The Spirit by Shyamalee Murugesu

Escape by Marcus Whitaker

She by Louise A. Perkins

Silence of Escape by Cory Lietz

The Creature that Ate Alotaus by Billy Jones

Untitled poem by Jonathan Davis

Spoken Words by Gregory Bryant

Get Yo Hand Out My Pocket by LMH

Stephen Looks at Mari by CM Holstag

A Turn Past Midnight by gingerivers

Baghdad Ghazal by Valentina Gnup

Una Mosca Muerte by max socol

Ask Her by John Blackard

Age in Love
by Jorge Maturino

Does age create borders for love?
Spirits hold not; just maturity.
I see yours as that of a dove,
glowing with absolute purity.

Your rays burn like the sun above,
melting away any obscurity.
Two hearts fit like a pair of gloves.
Protecting each other with security.

Yet not imprisoning the other,
from their heart's freedom.
Caging another can only smother.
My love wants to be your kingdom.

Aging priceless as an antique,
beautiful, precious and unique.


(The Name) 

“When a person contemplates great and wonderous works and creatures, and from them obtains a glimpse of wisdom which is incomprable and infinite, he will straight away love, praise, and long with an exceeding longing to know that great name.”                 --Maimonides

October came and the air lifted up,
Unstuck itself from our roads, our backs,
and came in 
in gulps.

They collected the corn, and I saw the land for the first time,
saw it breathe without weight
rising and falling
skin to skin with sunlight.

I watched a leaf disappear
eight thousand times on its glistening fall,
leaving the air cooler,
more bright for being nudged 
by the small descent.

Though I saw no good in its coming, Winter came,
held my own air out for me to see
that this whole time,
I have been breathing.

Scattered and small, that is the miracle we carry with us.
We lay our lives out flat like corn husks in the sun.
We weave small bowls 
to balance on our heads while we walk.

But The Name, like breath, finds gaps
that even light cannot
and whistles through the spaces of our days,
our porous words.

So, I cup my hands in the shape of it
reach with short arms.
All there is to do is offer our own dust,
held together in the holding,
and, small lunged,
live our lives breathing.

By Leah Green 

Green is Greensboro resident and student at Earlham College  in Indiana.  This poem is the winner of the Earlham College Poetry Award.   



You are in the red flesh of the spiced apple rings.
You are the bite at the back of the peppermint Certs.
The blue shirt is now gone,
the softness of it, the small buttons are only in my memory,
stored slightly before the way its sleeves began to hit above my elbows with
the cuff and the tightness across my back and chest
You are not gone.
There you are-
on that street
in that house
stretched carefree along the stairs
hands clasped together.

In your room, upstairs or down, making time for me. In the chair facing the front door in the living room, the ripe apples of your cheeks pulling at your smile.
See, I have made a place
to honor you

Uncle Teddy

for sitting on the stairs with me
chiding me for wondering why your walk
was so stiff, for calling me "Ziese"
and letting me call you it back, for the smile always under your moustache.


for teaching me to hammer a nail
without splitting the wood
for showing me how the honeysuckle
got its name, for never letting on
if you knew I knew beneath the bears
and the bucks were the bare books.


for staying up late watching television with me for telling me before pads had wings they had belts and before that it was a mess for your beauty and dignity and grace and love.
I thought I might build you a place
to honor you
in case no one could see you
here in my heart.

Danisha Whitaker


Oh! The soothing balm of your words!
You voice: magical music heard;
Let it assuage my tearstained heart.

And the sweetness of your smile!
Let it warm the cold, charred pith;
All that's left of the rooms
burnt out so long ago.
Oh Saviour! Oh Stranger!
You blew life into cold embers
Now set my heart aflame.

by Jessica Anderson


After Two Years' Invasion of the Parasite

The more I fight, the fiercer this obsession grows.
As speedy and consuming as a malignant tumor,
Puffing and bulging, ugly and degrading,
It spreads its persistent tendrils,
Sucking the energy of my soul,
Choking my mind's logic,
Invading my dreams to wake me at mid-dawn,
With heavy breathing startled.

Work lies undone as I stare plotting.
There must be a road to peace,
An escape from this sinking idleness.
I have set my mind against you and failed.
I have set my mind with you,
Only to find a mountain as distant as ice.
In passion's white heat you sparkle like divinity,
Scorching my most alive depths.
And the filthy leech thrives.

--This poem was written in 1992 by me, Stephanie Fischetti. I have lived in Greensboro since 1996 and currently teach composition at Greensboro College.  


Verse 8    Oh I Don’t Know

Two lonely leaves hanging from a limb
tossed in the early winter wind
considering the day of their fall
What will happen after we descend

Said one to the other: What if
when we land there is nothing more
nothing except we rot away
Wouldn’t that be an awful shame

Said the other: Oh I don’t know
From dust to dust is the promise
and I’m sort of fascinated
by the process of changing form

The first: Isn’t transformation
a word for raving romantics
who believe in happy endings
We’re about to experience death

Said the second: Oh I don’t know
The way the word death comes to me
is something like what happened when
dinosaurs died in the 60s

and vegetation really thrived
That is the big picture on death
I guess it all makes sense to me
thinking of what comes after us

The first: Maybe the universe
and the earth will figure it out
All we have to do is be blown
And soon they did float to the ground

The second: That was sort of neat
an experience we’ve not had
First: Yea here we are yet alive
Is death only a metaphor

Oh I don’t know said the second
I’m sort of enjoying the view
From down here it does give us a
new perspective on everything

Then asked the first: Do humans think
about what happens after death
Oh I don’t know said the second
But they don’t need to be afraid

Two lonely leaves hanging from a limb
tossed in the early winter wind
considering the day of their fall
What will happen after we descend

~december 14, 2002

(from latest book, At One With the Heart of Creation: Reflection and Verse on the Spirit Journey, 2003, by John P. Cock, with Lynda L. Cock)  


Life dared me and I took my chances
Through tears, laughter and romances
I've stumbled, fallen and gotten back up
Only to fall again
One of life's setups
I was down for the count in my mind it was over
And life dared me again
Through it all I found a shoulder
Confidence and determination filled my soul
My eyes on the prize and I caught hold
Life dared me and I'm determined to win
tumbling. Falling. Standing. Again.

By Albert Smith III  


The spirit 

A native drum beat along the whistling white waters
Grey mountains roaring waterfalls whispering the native song

Ottawa river to lake Nippising Lake Ontario to Mississippi my Canoes moved
Trading fur and holy books divided barriers

War drums and hatred grows intense
They called themselves friends to the Indians but exterminated our children

Silently I closed my eyes to pray for my great spirit

Gone was my dance
Gone was my song
Gone was my language
Gone were my warriors
Gone were my totem poles
Gone forever my land

I smile no more I speak no more

Hiding behind anothers shadow I grapple for identity

By Shyamalee Murugesu
This poem was written by a recent visitor to Greensboro from Sri Lanka.  It is dedicated to the native Americans and their identity crisis.



Shadow, shadows
Hug me round
So that I shall not be found
By Sorrow:
She pursues me
I can’t lose her

Fold me in your black
She will never look
In these
Shadows, Shadows
Hug me round
In your solitude

By Marcus Whitaker, Age 13



Now is the time to ponder,
To put other things aside
To fight the battle with my True Self,
The one from which I hide.

 Long ago She lost her spark
But it's She that I must fight
Shut away, deep in the dark,
I keep her locked up tight.

 I cannot let her out,
For fear that She will reign
And the dream will be forgotten,
Lost unto the pain.

Her suffering is great,
Her worries piled high.
She holds onto my secrets,
And won't let me deny.

She reminds me every day
Of the tears that I have shed
Of the ones still left inside,
Of the memories I've fled.

It's She who makes me weep
For it's She who won't forget
The torments of my youth
And the fate that I then met.

 She cries too, this little girl
It's me that she clings to.
All She wants is justice,
She asks me what to do.

If She wasn't such a part of me
I would have it done this day
I would tell her to let go of me
And send her or her way.

But in my heart and in my mind
She will forever dwell
For I cannot let these secrets out,
I can't find the strength to tell.

 Who will believe me if I do?
My family, my friends?
I know where their loyalty lies,
She will be with me 'til
The End

  Written by: Louise A. Perkins


Silence of Escape

The red canoe says and kisses
Black still waters that wink blue
In the midnight moon, only

Two size seven and one half foot-
Prints are left on shore, the
Rest of the girl, wrapped in
Red lips like those of a peeking
Face as the Lady of the Lake
Rises to the surface,
The moon reflected in Her eye.

Wafts of boy climbing in
Trees high above come over
And around her, claiming
The heights as belonging to
The Blue-eyed,
The Bushy-tailed.

In between trees of the lake
The canoe sashays, slithers the
Girl while kneeling on her
Moving carpet and looks upward
Like a prayer breathed for
Blue-eyed boys to "come

Down" he falls, dives
Into the silver
Apple of Her eye.

--By Cory Lietz



In the far away land of Alotaus
lived a creature folks called Trashapotamas,
who ate all their trash, ate their garbage up too,
so Alotaus, it always was shiny and new.

All the people who lived in Alotaus
were happy to feed Trashapotamas.
They tossed out their trash where they used it last,
on the streets and the yards of Alotaus.

The creature they called Trashapotamas,
he ate all the trash of Alotaus,
but as he ate the trash he grew big so fast
that he smelled up the streets of a few of us.

The fine folks who lived in Alotaus,
screamed, "Someone, run off Trashapotamas,
for he's covered the streets, stepped on our feets,
and generally annoyed the whole lot of us!"

It was then they ran off Trashapotamas
saying, "We don't need him in Alotaus,
for he's just in the way, he annoys us today,
and the smell, well it just cannot stay..."

But as is always bound to happen when people make hasty decisions based on opinion rather than fact, then apply their tiny decisions to monumental problems as if they were small, and fail to take into account their own responsibilities or attempt to appease a few who are simply louder than the silent majority, problems come back to haunt them in much bigger proportion than the problem was when it left, thus bringing us to the moral of the story...

Well it didn't take long 'fore Alotaus
was covered in trash, the whole lot of us,
and the people did scream, "Bring back that big thing
before we're awash in Alotaus!"

But alas, the Trashapotamas was never to be seen again...

(c) 2003 Billy Jones
2509 Textile Drive
Greensboro, NC., 27405


When we were young our shadows played together while we slept
They jumped and ran, playing hide and seek among the darkness of the night
Together they bonded long before we had yet to lay eyes upon the other
Lying on grassy hills they told stories to each other, laughing at what we did not know
They shared out secrets among themselves knowing one day we would thank them
When we woke they whispered in our ears the stories of the other
A smiling girl with an imagination full of wild horses
A young boy running wild through the mountains
On and on they schemed as they played
Knowing what would come and how it would happen
When finally we met in the corner of the room we shook hands
But our shadows gave each other high fives and sat back to watch
They watched as the ball started its slow descent down the hill they had so carefully built
Whispering to each other as we talked over the phone they continued their planning
And when it was us who met late to play in the darkness of night
They sat in the grass sipping sloe gin and eating the delicacies of victory

Jonathan Davis



I spit fire from the mountaintops.
I spew venom from the valley
below.  I touch many hearts
with soft sweet words.  I will
heighten your mind with 
wonderment and thoughts.  
I can reach into your soul
without physically touching
you.  I can feed your conscience
with elements of a brighter day.
I will clear your mind of everything
that cloud your thought process.
I will help restore your faith in the
power of love.  I can revive your
dieing belief in humanity.  All these
things I can do, if you open your
heart, free your mind, and listen
to the spoken words. 

Gregory Bryant(Visions)  


Get Yo Hand Out My Pocket

Get yo hand out my pocket! I said get yo hand out my pocket.
U always wanting something from me, think’n I owe U something.
But U want something for nothing.
Nah, C it don’t work like that!
I work hard 4 mine, ain’t nobody giving me Jack!
U think cause we the same color U can come to me all the time and I’ma cut U some slack,
Nah C cause I gotta eat too and life just don’t work like that!
Don’t get me wrong now, I know we N this struggle together
But dam! I’m try’n to get ahead like the next fella!
I’m down w/helping U, but U gotta help me too
I think U and I both have walked N the same pair of shoes.
Now don’t get me wrong its not just U,
I got issues w/the government 2!
Yeah that’s right they dig’n N my pocket and ain’t got no shame,
I believe they think its some kind of game.
Yeah I’m single and I don’t have any dependents,
but I depend on ME to pay the rent.
They don’t look @ that though, they think its an incentive; more kids more money
And then the more they can control, now ain’t that funny!
Y do I get penalized for being single only to pay the most tax?
U try’n to break my bank, and a sista’s back!
It’s all a vicious cycle to hold me down, 
but where there’s a will there’s a way and I’ma turn things around.
So keep dig’n N my pocket U may draw back some lint
b/c what I’ve worked 4 has already been spent.
Let me dig my hand N your pocket and take from your mouth
and then U’ll really C what the struggle is all about.
I’ma tell U again to get yo hand out my pocket b/c it won’t be long;
U gonna be humming the tune to this very same song.
U 4-get that what goes around does come back,
and that’s not just a myth, that’s a fact.
So if U wanna continue to B greedy, go ‘head help yourself
but remember U’re taking from your own wealth.
So think about the next time U expect a hook up jus’ cause we peoples;
remember we all in the same game striving to be seen as equals.
We need to wise up and help each other out
and show the gov’t what we as a people R really about.
Reach into your own pocket and C what U can find,
contribute what U can b/c we all we got to help our own kind.



Stephen Looks at Mari

she is sleeping now
my lady fair, tangled in the coverlets,
dark hair falling half across her face.
rescued initially, I attempt to
rescue and re-rescue her from the impossible,
standing in the dark of that
descending tunnel, remembering
the dragons’ voices.
she is there tonight.
I can read it on her face, the path that
she has taken,
she seems younger somehow and the
shadows on her face are their wings.

lady, I wish ever to be of service to you,
so the guard at your door looks after you
and wishes he were in a different tale altogether
and when you reached the bottom of that
descending tunnel you would find him there
still and wide, always gently moving, the clean damp smell
of nothing and comfort
that you would dip your arms into my coolness and be home.

I wish my hands now were the tides of lethe
that I could pass them over your face and make you forget
ever being younger than you are
and any shadows not made by my shoulders or the blinds.
I could wash my hands over you, your arms and breast and back,
your hips and legs, forget, forget everything but your weight on
this bed, the blanket around you, the walls that protect you,
the river beneath you, the guard at your door.
I would cool your small hands and take their memory
of being smaller than they are and pale
against the rough of a dragon’s skin

make them forget and sleep and reawaken
with me, my familiar carpenter’s hands
the fading gold of my skin, the scars you know every corner of somehow
(from years of kissing the salt out of them)
although you don’t remember
love, there are no dragons tonight
their wings are dust or lying dark against the hills
far away

you are here with me
and the only thing that stirs is my constant memory of you
held beneath these water which take your memory away
it is why a river is restless
because I who am the river
cannot forget you

C M Holtslag
1511 Kay St
Greensboro NC 27405  


a turn past midnight


     on her fine limbs,
day arrives as morning sings,
scattering ruby dawn
as a barn swallow's voice rises.


     her sculpted face on
morning's green expanse of meadow 
spread golden, day opens afternoon's invitation
to lazily reside.


     remaining minutes deep in purple harvest,
her warmth cloaked hills wrapped 
in shadow's garment, day retires to silver 
     evening's crescent moon.



Baghdad Ghazal

If hope were a tree, it would offer light like this one
A wild choir of yellow leaves bright as noonday sun.

Planes circle above Baghdad, a thousand cunning crows
Leave the country, take flight, protect your only sons.

A red-crowned woodpecker plays the wall by your window
Over and over quiet drumming awakens last night's sun.

War burns inside you, though peace is on your lips
You will learn the climate of passion, all its hot white suns.

Veils of dust caress the ancient towers of the city
Ashes and tears tarnish the frightened desert sun.

A storm blows over the landscape, its tongues spit and coil
Clouds rub belly to belly, still you sight rays of sun.

You work alone, woman, writing poems for your love
While the cursed and holy world fights to feel the sun.

Valentina Gnup  
1608 St. Francis Road  
Greensboro, NC 27408


Una Mosca Muerte

I. Fondo
They are shouting,
"Jamàs! Jamàs!"
They are florid under red/green
As the Madonna of Seville
drifts through the streets,
god of the horrified, god of
the chaste, crying less for the
reeking filth of her people than for
her own open mouth, blood-drenched tulip held skyward
in perpetual death-rattle.

II. Un ritmo corto
They are dancing la bamba
despite all expectations.
In the shadow of mountains,
Great miscolored mountains,
Despite all expectations,
They are dancing lambada.
In a sea of
carrion and wanton,
by the shores of the Atlantic
they are forging a separation
born of infected womb.

III. Una mosca muerte
It is the Irony Epic,
The apex of irony,
It is la mañana de la boda
(do you listen Mr. Lorca)
It is dìa de la morìa.
Tapa mi copa.

IV. Elogio
He spun in his grave
like a jet turbine,
but we couldn't see
because the world spun also.

-max socol
 5912 Ballinger Rd
 Greensboro 27410

Ask her

Ask her what holds her world together
And she will tell you this heart-shaped marble paperweight

Ask her what truth the moonlight reveals
And she will tell you the kind of wolves moving under the trees

Ask her how she likes living in a foreign land
And she will tell you the garden spider rebuilds its web nightly

Ask her where the river wastes its chances to become a song
And she will tell you about a man who drowns in a whiskey glass

Ask her how to handle losses too great to understand
And she will tell you to count the seconds between thunder and lightning

Ask me what ordinary human thing I did to deserve her love
And I will tell you nothing that will save you from such sweet heartache

John Blackard
711 Percy Street
Greensboro, NC 27405




Hit Counter