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.


poetry blog

Letting Go – A Poem by Doug Bolling

Letting Go
by Doug Bolling

Rather the flight of the bird passing and leaving no trace. . . .
–The Keeper of Sheep XLIII, Fernando Pessoa

Sudden a winging in of sea gulls
Out of the blue early evening clouds.

They land on the beach, peck among
The sea spawned wrack as sun and shadow
Weave their stories of this hour brief,
Subject to sea’s roil and music roughened
By a moon’s long distance wooing.

I have come here to heal and begin
Again, whatever selfhood of me
Left after so much loss and words
That were aimed and found
Their target.

To disappear from yourself is the
Gateway to wisdom the Zen master
Had whispered on that long ago
Mountain top in its largesse
Of snow.

Now the gulls are lofting toward
deep sky, their erudite wings
brilliant in the billowing air.

The tide drifts out and I
With it, mind numbed
In such silence, this
Vastness, this
Beautiful nothingness.



About the Poet:  Doug Bolling lives in the greater Chicago area after teaching At academic institutions in his native Kentucky and the midwest.  He has Been published in many reviews including Posit, The Aurorean, Albatross, Earthshine, Illya’s Honey, The Missing Slate (with interview), and Birmingham Arts Journal among others. His poetry has received Best of The Net and Pushcart nominations and several awards, most recently the Mathiasen Award for his poem “Body and Soul” published by the University of Arizona’s Harmony Magazine.

Perfect – A Poem by Karlo Sevilla

by Karlo Sevilla

There’ll be a hypothetically perfect
children’s birthday party one day.

There’ll be a hypothetically perfect
child’s birthday party somewhere soon.

Or hypothetically…always.

I spent the years
with neither time nor money
to spend for such birthday party.

(And there were even years
without any party at all.)

Now all I have is this,
something that will never be his:

My fault, my fault, my most grievous

And he, a child no more.



About the Poet: Karlo Sevilla writes from Quezon City, Philippines. His poems have appeared in Philippines Graphic, Indiana Voice Journal, Radius, Matter, Bombinate, an Origami Poems Project microchap, in the respective first anthologies of Riverfeet Press, Peacock Journal, and Eternal Remedy, and elsewhere. He is active in the online poetry workshop of Rat’s Ass Review. He also coaches wrestling and Brazilian Luta Livre, and does volunteer work for the labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Solidarity of Filipino Workers).

His twitter account is @KarloSevilla, Instagram’s @karlosilveriolagmansevilla, and Facebook name is Karlo Silverio Lagman Sevilla III.

An Old Song – A Poem by Mara Buck

An Old Song
by Mara Buck

First they came for the scorpions and we said, fine,
Dangerous creepy bastards, squirt em, better off without em,
But the birds that ate the carcasses didn’t agree as they died.
Then they came for the clothes moths, vermin, destructive bitches
Ate my cashmere sweater, but the child who played
Dressup in the closet and ended her life in ICU was
Unsure of the relative importance of her years to cashmere.
Then they came for the wasps, stinging hateful enemies of
Unprotected skin in the summer. Nuked em with everything
In the arsenal and our barbeques were safer.
Then they came for the honeybees (well we do like honey) but
Hey there are so many dandy substitutes, we can certainly do without.
Still, we noticed the produce and the flowers in our Valentine bouquets
Looked less and less vibrant, the oranges smaller and less juicy
And most importantly, cost more—and we frowned.
But now, they’re coming for the butterflies, beautiful flying gems
Glinting storybook splendor, poetry on the wing, and we say,
Wait just a damn minute, but that minute is ticking away, and
So are we.



About the Poet:  Mara Buck writes and paints in a self-constructed hideaway in the Maine woods. Winner of the 2019 Raven Prize, Scottish Arts Club Prize, F. Scott Fitzgerald Poetry Prize, Binnacle International Prize. Awarded/short-listed by the Faulkner/Wisdom Society, Hackney Awards, Balticon, Confluence, and others, with work in numerous literary magazines and print anthologies.

Recalling Alcohol at the Wharf – A Poem by Mark J. Mitchell

Recalling Alcohol at the Wharf
by Mark J. Mitchell

A bite of whisky in the iodine air.
That glass-eyed stare and slow sigh
of a last sip. The short lie.

Fog over a calm bay. A burdened ship
splitting water. Your unlearned
lessons and that refreshing burn.

It comes home some mornings, like soft, cool fog.
Note in your mind’s log. A jeweled
sunrise calls you back. Old fool.


About the Poet:
Mark J. Mitchell’s latest novel, The Magic War just appeared from Loose Leaves Publishing. A Full-length collection of poems will released next year by Encircle Publications.  He studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver and George Hitchcock. His work has appeared in the several anthologies and hundreds of periodicals. Three of his chapbooks— Three Visitors,Lent, 1999, and Artifacts and Relics—and the novel, Knight Prisoner are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  He lives with his wife the activist and documentarian, Joan Juster and makes a living pointing out pretty things in San Francisco.

A meager online presence can be found at

The Sandwich – A Poem by Maggie Rosen

The Sandwich
by Maggie Rosen

I ask my daughter if she likes
her peanut butter sandwich.
She says, “kindof,”
which, it turns out,
means “my throat is swelling
and hives are marching across my chest.”

I remember a copperhead grazing my shin in a stream.
One time I leaned on grass
to reach a tennis ball
and the yellow jackets inflamed my hand.
A black widow spider lived
quietly, alone
under a stool at the nursery playground.

Now I carry antidote
for my daughter’s venom, poised at all times
to stab her to save her.
This river will bathe her
in breaths, or send her down.
The eye of this needle
zooms in on the point of my life and hers,
cinched between antibody and antigen,
I do not like this sandwich.



About the Poet:  Maggie Rosen lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her poems have been published in Little Patuxent Review, Waccamaw, Cider Press Review, RiverLit, Blood Lotus, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Barely South, and Conclave, among other publications. Her chapbook, The Deliberate Speed of Ghosts, was published in 2016 by Red Bird Chapbooks. See more at

What’s Still Remembered Somewhere Lying Around as Shades of April Finds Broken Bones – A Poem by Ariana D. Den Bleyker

What’s Still Remembered Somewhere Lying Around
as Shades of April Finds Broken Bones

by Ariana D. Den Bleyker

We set out naked on the street,
jumped fences into a pair of outstretched arms—

two to embrace; two to push away—
& fell halfway through, guided

by a sky stuffed wet with pitch,
the rain small tears needling

against a mysterious, endless tune
of winds discovering faith, shivering,

groping conflict, history collecting dirt, fear—
silence the only answer. We, all red inside,

move in uncomfortable skin,
poking it to reach bone, biting

into a sky already bitten by God
in times of famine. The rain spreads mirrors

across the road, & we make faces
as to not recognize ourselves.



About the Poet: Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in New York’s Hudson Valley where she is a wife and mother of two. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and every once in a while sleeps. She is the author of three collections, eighteen chapbooks, three crime novellas, a novelette, and an experimental memoir. She hopes you’ll fall in love with her words.

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