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 journal

Influencer – A Poem by Chris Jansen

by Chris Jansen

Like a car wreck with a plastic sheet.
Like the place to go where we might meet.
Like a bloody bandaid in the street

next to a penny,
two feathers,
a yellow burrette,
my mother’s unlived life,

I see,
I glow,
I go around.
I run.

And I derive my power from nothing.

Like the sun.



About the Poet: Chris Jansen is a recovering heroin addict. He lives in Athens, Georgia, where he teaches boxing and cares for a disinterested guinea pig named Poozybear.

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.

Tethered – A Poem by Saheli Khastagir

by Saheli Khastagir 

I am tethered to your brokenness.

These times are so hard,
Every “breaking news”
like a blow my phone hands to my gut
in small indifferent doses.
Each blow spreads my ribs to make room for

The splinter on his back
-the slow breaking of bones and spirits
cleared small rooms for each of us in fit in
to his embrace.

In these scars on our bodies,
the blood dried into soil
to nurture new lives, new loves.

{Is that why childbirth is so painful?}

The gravel in his throat
-like the skinned knee that puberty hands them-
helped sculpt that voice that crashes onto my name,
“Sahe-li”…just so. Perfect.

We plant our hearts in wounds shaped like us,
our hearts- the only muscle that grows and grows
into light-beams guiding our feet towards brokenness
that mirror us.



About the Poet:  Saheli Khastagir is a self-taught painter, writer and development professional. Her work spans development issues like gender, education, health, sanitation and others across South Asia. Her poems have appeared in or will soon appear publications like The Bombay Review, Guftugu Kitaab, papercuts, and anthologies “Map Called Home” and “Ultimate APM Anthology”. You can find her art on her website; she is currently creating 26portraits of writerly women for 26 letters of the alphabet.

Links to social media pages: Facebook and Instagram

About the Weather – A Poem by Wendy Taylor Carlisle

About the Weather
by Wendy Taylor Carlisle

An Island guards its residue of damage, sidewalks wet with toys and soggy pants,

alleys colonized by garbage bags and junk, refrigerators lining the sidewalk,

doors jawed wide, stinking in the sun, the broke-in stores, the boarded banks,

the mud and broken slats that sifts through cars and boats, the beached plastic

bags that waver on the verges. This island resembles other islands but is only like itself— 

its memories of Colombus, and the Taìnon, flor de maga and kapok, El Yunke,

its palm and sea breeze, turquoise, lemon and rojo intenso. Wherever water lashed,

people share the vernacular of make-do, and hand-in-hand, a new set of stubbornness

in folk who weathered it out— the tobacco-stained tooth, the stringy bicep,

the wrecked kids, hungry, jacked up, half-wild, running the alleys.

What humans did in other weathers is what they do next—stand in the food line,

stand at the back of a truck full of supplies, pray for clean water,

wait for the FEMA to come to the mountains, call the relatives to say “we’re alive,”

listen for the cries of saws and hammers to lift, too late, over the island.



About the Poet:  Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of three books, Reading Berryman to the Dog, Discount Fireworks, The Mercy of Traffic, (Unlikely Books, 2019) and five chapbooks, most recently They Went Down to the Beach to Play (2017.) Her work appears in Persimmon Tree, pacificREVIEW, 2RiverView, Artemis, barzakh, Right Hand Pointing, Cider Press Review, Unlikely Stories and others and in a dozen anthologies including, Untold Arkansas (etAlia Press, 2018) and 50/50:  (Quill’s Edge Press, 2018). For more information, check her Facebook pages, Wendy Taylor Carlisle and The Mercy of Traffic and her website at

Caught – A Poem by Nynke Salverda Passi

by Nynke Salverda Passi

A moth’s tetrapterous body is impaled—
++++++as if by the pins of its eyes—

on the green screen door of my kitchen.
++++++The powdered edges of its wings

pulsate with the calm of death
++++++upon the faint extinction of its breath.

It is early fall, the air paper-thin
++++++as if it could tear. I can’t tell apart

the squares of mesh from the moth’s
++++++nacreous skin. My mind tries

to capture this scene in luminous words
++++++and turn this ordinary door

that needs a coat of paint and a new knob
++++++into relic or shrine.

Then the barest flutter of pensive,
++++++passive rage trembles through the moth’s

caviling frame. It dies so young, so
++++++surely, and it has no name.

Now I’m awake it dies, and as I slept
++++++last night, its life had just begun.



About the Poet:
Nynke Salverda Passi was born and raised in the Netherlands. Her work has been published in CALYX, Gulf Coast, Red River Review, Illya’s Honey, and The Anthology of New England Writers, among other places. Her poetry has been anthologized in Carrying the Branch (Glass Lyre Press) and River of Earth and Sky (Blue Light Press). Together with Rustin Larson and Christine Schrum, she edited the poetry anthology Leaves by Night, Flowers by Day. Her story “The Kiss” was nominated for a Pushcart, and her essay “Oom Ealse and the Swan” was one of the finalists in the 2014 Editor’s Prize of The Missouri Review. Nynke has 20 years of college teaching experience in creative writing and is director of The Soul Ajar, a writing center offering workshops and collaborations exploring the relationship between writing, creativity, and healing.

Find her website here:

Tides of Change – A Poem by Michelle Gregory

Tides of Change
by Michelle Gregory

Like magic you arrive and disappear.
Salt water stings my open wounds.
Broken pieces of the unfortunate—nature’s reminder.
Waves pound down.

The moment has arrived.
The power underneath pulls and crashes back down.
Washing away all signs of life and death.
Seeping back in to make everything whole.
I await your next arrival.



About the Poet:
Michelle Gregory is a Canadian writer who enjoys reading and writing poetry. She loves to travel and enjoys spending time in nature with her two dogs. She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and is currently writing her first novel.
Instagram: @iam_michelle_gregory
Twitter: @michellemgreg

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