Poetry Breakfast

Serving a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry book reviews to feed poets' and poetry lovers' souls.


creative writing

Bells Palsy – A Poem by Ingrid Bruck

Bells Palsy
by Ingrid Bruck

To smile is natural until you can’t. It happens fast as a hummingbird. Nerves on one side of the face stop working. Can’t lift the left eye brow. Can’t wink the left eye. You use a finger to open or shut the eyelid. Wear a black patch over that eye to protect it. Can’t drink from a glass. To hold in a straw, you pinch your lips around it. Face and mouth sags, food and drink dribbles. People startle on meeting. You feel like a freak. Understand the Phantom of the Opera wearing a mask, want to join him in the cellar. If you could catch the thief who stole your whistle, you’d spit in his face but can’t. The not bad news is that nerves heal – you recover with gratitude at your good luck.



About the Poet:
Ingrid Bruck grows wildflowers, makes jam and writes short form poetry and haiku. She’s a retired library director living in the Amish country of Pennsylvania in the US, spends time with grandchildren and writes very day. Her first chapbook, Finding Stella Maris, was released by Flutter Press this past winter. Current works appears in Between These Shores Literary and Arts Annual, Halcyon Days, The Song Is… and Nature writing. Poetry website:

College – A Poem by Max Reif

by Max Reif

When I think of how ignorant my parents and I were
about what college was for, I shake my head.

That was after the war
between “The-State-U-Was-Good-Enough-
For-Me-And-It’s-Good-Enough-For-You” (Dad)
and “Ivy-League-Bound-Or-If-Not-
Somewhere-Just-As-Expensive” (Mom & me)
(won by the latter)

& paid for by Dad




About the Poet Max Reif:
Somewhere after my breakdown from psychedelics as I turned 21, and my first book, I had a spiritual experience, which turned a key to Poetry! My insides, my formerly Verboten insides, had opened up, opened to the sky, and there seemed no limit to joy, both in expressing my own heart’s perceptions and longings, and in taking in the miracles of what others hearts had penned. In the nearly 1/2 century since then, the “limit” seems to be reached at times, the motherlode dry. But as a friend of mine, a great singer-songwriter named Jim Meyer, has written, “Life has its ups and downs./ Love sinks, and sometimes drowns./ But though the heart feels out of bounds/ within it love is flowing.” The infinite depths of the human heart, it seems, can never be exhausted. Nor can Poetry.

A Thank You to June’s Supporters of Poetry Breakfast and Other News

A special thank you goes out to the following patrons for helping support and fund Poetry Breakfast:

  • Judith Carroll
  • Rose Amato

Poetry Breakfast is now ad free which means our web costs have significantly increased. Since the beginning of Poetry Breakfast, the editor and found, Ann Kestner, has covered all costs associated with running the journal.

You can help offset those costs by becoming a Poetry Breakfast Patron at

It’s simple. Basically, you voluntarily “subscribe” to Poetry Breakfast. These voluntary subscriptions start at just $2 a month.

Poetry Breakfast does NOT charge reading fees and is FREE  to read. So, there is no source of revenue other than the kindness of Poetry Breakfast Patrons.

Find out more about being a Poetry Breakfast Patron at


A comment section will appear under all poems published from here out. The hope is that poets will have a chance to see how their poems are being received via actual words and not just number of likes.

Plus, it will give readers a way to reach out and let poets know how much they like a poem.

We have five new poems coming this week from: Faye Nunez, Max Reif, Mark J. Mitchell, Ingrid Bruck, and Gabriel Muoio.

That’s all for now. Here’s wishing everyone has a wonderful week.

Best Wishes,
Ann Kestner, Editor

has it ever touched you? – A Poem by Linda M. Crate

has it ever touched you?
by Linda M. Crate

even daffodils
with their yellow yawn
cannot subdue this beast
of sadness in me,
and i wish i could say
your neglect doesn’t bother me—
but it is the white elephant
in my heart,
the empty tea cup sitting
in the corner gathering dust;
the face of a saint’s cupped hands
reaching for heaven—
yet i wonder if you notice all this aching
in my soul, has it ever touched you?



About the Poet:  Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. She is a two-time Pushcart nominee. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has six published chapbooks: A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017),  splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018), More Than Bone Music (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, March 2019), and one micro-chapbook Heaven Instead (Origami Poems Project, May 2018). She is also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018).

Kill Your Darlings – A Poem by Kirsty A. Niven

Kill Your Darlings
by Kirsty A. Niven

The page rejects my words,
aborting them from papery wombs,
spilling them onto the floor.

Their inky fingers claw at the air,
begging to be saved, to survive;
pointing out that I’m to blame.

Malformed and disjointed,
I couldn’t nurture them properly
in such a hostile environment.

I try, in vain, to resuscitate them;
the pen puffing more oxygen
into their iambic lungs.

The darling words die.



About the Poet:  Kirsty A. Niven lives in Dundee, Scotland. Her writing has appeared in anthologies such as Landfall, A Prince Tribute and Of Burgers and Barrooms. She has also featured in several journals and magazines, including The Dawntreader, Cicada Magazine, Dundee Writes and Word Fountain. Kirsty’s work can also be found online on sites such as Cultured Vultures, Atrium Poetry and Nine Muses Poetry.

Unwanting – A Poem by Rupert Loydell

By Rupert Loydell

I carried the doll’s house from the junk shop
along the promenade to where I’d parked.
You have to rescue what you can or make do
with cardboard versions of boats, treehouses
and camper vans. It is hard to let things go,
to turn them out, easier if you can sell
and top up bank accounts. My car is full
of toy rabbits, a doll’s pushchair, and bears
with their own clothes. We’ve tried boot fairs
and adverts in the paper; now charity shops call.
Someone else will find a bargain, love them,
pass them on, and we will fill the space with
something else we do not need but have found
cheap and for a moment desired. It is hard to
unwant things, to be content, to say goodbye.


About the Poet: Rupert Loydell is Senior Lecturer in English with Creative Writing at Falmouth University, the editor of Stride magazine, and a contributing editor to International Times. He is the author of many collections of poetry, including Dear Mary, The Return of the Man Who Has Everything, Wildlife and Ballads of the Alone, all published by Shearsman Books. He edited Smartarse and co-edited Yesterday’s Music Today for Knives Forks & Spoons Press, From Hepworth’s Garden Out: poems about painters and St. Ives for Shearsman, and Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh, an anthology of manifestos and unmanifestos, for Salt. He lives with his family in a creekside village in Cornwall.

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