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.


writing blogs

Assertion – A Poem by Pamela Joyce Shapiro

—after Ben Lerner
by Pamela Joyce Shapiro

Sometimes, I lose my pronouns pondering the possibilities of we.
Your she, diffident among peacocks and catastrophes, must
always please. Pinned beneath the weight of verbs, she asks if you recall
her noun, the long nights reading blind, some meaning in the hours of our.
Yours is a possessive without apostrophe. Fractured lines
blossoming across limb and mind, cloying adverbs in search of
passive phrases. Are you you outside of me? Persuasive verse
unravels uniformly, a fallen nest of morphemes like
promises forgotten. Syntax deceives, meter is faulty.
If it is any consolation, the reader never tires.


About the Poet: Pamela Joyce Shapiro is a cognitive psychologist intrigued by memory and language. She teaches psychology in Philadelphia and writes poetry to capture thoughts and moments otherwise forgotten. Her work has appeared in Poetry Breakfast, Better Than Starbucks, The Ekphrastic Review, Unlost, and One Sentence Poems.

America Lies Across the Rio Grande Reading Frost While They Seek Funding on Border Security – A Poem by Ariana D. Den Bleyker

America Lies Across the Rio Grande Reading Frost
While They Seek Funding on Border Security

by Ariana D. Den Bleyker

They build to exclude—
the unwelcome, unwanted, uninvited—
bodies scaling over it.

What it is to love the gray morning, sky muddled overhead,
shimmering across a fence dressed in mirrors:

shadows pitch dark on the brink of catastrophe, looming
against the hillside—nothing stirred or measured

by the miles of space from one side to the other
but height of the fence

or the thickness,
or the presence
or absence of barbed wire,
or the silence on top.

Look closer: here she is, sharing
the same space, sleeping
in the same bed, separated

only by distance
& a formidable fence between.



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.

Have Mercy on the Homeless Man – A Poem by Laurie Kolp

Have Mercy on the Homeless Man
by Laurie Kolp

A backpacked waxen-skinned man
walks down the aisle in the middle of mass

a disheveled mess with hair unkempt
like a kid coming in on a hot summer day.

All heads turn to the man with the backpack,
all eyes watch him bump into an usher

who passes the basket from pew to pew
collecting money. All see him take a seat and reach

for his bag, all eyes are wide. He takes out
a Kleenex, cleans his face and places it atop his head.

The choir sings a psalm of love while others
stare at the man who now talks out loud

and points to the priest on the altar. I witness
parishioners leave, police arrive. I see

the man refused communion two times
the man begging for a wafer turned down

as people filter out before the final prayer.



About the Poet: Laurie Kolp’s poems have appeared in the Southern Poetry Anthology VIII: Texas, Stirring, Whale Road Review, Pith, Rust + Moth, and more. Her poetry books include the full-length Upon the Blue Couch and chapbook Hello, It’s Your Mother. An avid runner and lover of nature, Laurie lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, three children, and two dogs. @KolpLaurie

River Fable – A Poem by Daniel Pravda

River Fable
by Daniel Pravda

Along the shoreline strewn with the ruins of a school:
cement blocks, bergs of mortar and brick, and rusty pipe daggers,
the human heron pecks for pieces of seaglass.

No Trespassing, it says along the edge of the road broken
by the tide and falling stone by stone into the invisibility of time.
The human heron pours water down its beak.

The scene seems bleak to the mice of the moment,
a school bulldozed and a beach buried by trash and debris.
Turkey vultures circling high above see

the value of vampires and the price of the inevitable.
The human heron fishes a perfect jewel from a crack in the galaxy.
Discrete and incomplete, the human heron rests, takes a breath.

An owl teaches a dragonfly a final lesson in the air. The heron
resumes working west, as high tide climbs toward the road again.


About the Poet: Daniel Pravda is a teacher, explorer and wannabe rockstar whose work has recently appeared in Aji, Apricity, Cedar Creek Review, Dead Mule, Hamilton Stone Review, Jazz Cigarette, Light, The Meadow, Oyster River Pages, and Poetry Quarterly. He teaches English at Tidewater Community College in Chesapeake, VA and, when possible, searches for humanless beaches.

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