Social Justice Inks – Anthology of Poetry is LIVE

I’m honored to report that some of my poems have been included in this latest anthology by Prolific Pulse Press, Social Justice Inks. Thanks, Lisa!

cover art by Kay Payne

We are beyond excited to announce that Social Justice Inks – Anthology of Poetry is available on Amazon and many other online stores, there is also an ePub available via Lulu. Here are the Links:


Lulu ePub

On June 20 at 7 p.m. EST there will be a Book Launch to celebrate with the participating poets. We hope you will join us.

This all started from this session:

You see, I was planning to do another anthology for 2022, following the Heart Beats anthology of 2021. It seemed most appropriate to go to these most important topics. And, before we knew it, it became real.

A special shout out to Zaneta Varnado Johns for her dedication as Co-Editor for this anthology. It made a huge difference to have this assistance.

We hope to see you on June 20, the dedicated date to recognize…

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Fraiku: Booster

More puddle than person
drowsed and draped on a couch
fever builds antibodies

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When We Were Puppies

When We Were Puppies

We’d play Ball in the Hall
where I’d throw down the corridor
and he’d run full blast
catch it on the bounce
claws skittering against hardwood
then slam into the closet
at the far end and trot
back proud and joyful

He bit me once but it was my fault
after a Sunday dinner of steak
and potatoes we were in the backyard
he was working a t-bone
freeing the last molecules of fat
I was looking for my pocketknife
then I saw it open and near his paw
I reached in— not wanting him to get cut

With barely a snarl
his canines broke the thin skin
on the back of my hand
it hurt — in every way
disbelief at the blood
anger following pain
but he didn’t hold a grudge
something I still envy

We played Ball in the Hall that very evening
my hand bandaged— his tongue loose and panting
the tennis ball soaked

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Fraiku: Gridlock

When corporations
profit more off the problem
than the solution

Continue reading

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May is Full of Hope

I visited Charles House today and we talked about gardening poems like Blake’s The Garden of Love, Frost’s Lodged and a lesser know gem My Garden is a Pleasant Place by Louise Driscoll. Then we wrote a little poem while our phones were buzzing with Severe Thunderstorm and Flash Flood warnings.

May is Full of Hope
-or- In the Weeds

Rosemary’s perfume still casts
her sticky summer spell
on Lt. Dandy Lion
or maybe Lord Catnip—
she only remembers
the whiskers.

But come June,
she will swoon
over Ruby Red Clover
under the Honey Moon.


(This also counts for today’s Living Poetry Prompt but since I wrote the prompt knowing I’d be talking about gardening, I also cheated. Fortunately, there are no rules in poetry.)

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Fraiku: Ahnentafel

Genealogy is arrogance
filling out a tournament bracket
with me the champion

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Feathers at Spillwords

I’m pleased to announce that an old poem of mine was just published on Spillwords. It’s called Feathers and that’s the only place you’ll find it so give it some love.

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How to Create a Killer

How to Create a Killer

It’s easy
subtract kindness
add grievance
leave a trail of blood
in the television spotlight
red as maple leaves
in autumn

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Fraiku: Supreme Court

How many maidens
must we sacrifice
to satisfy your dogma?

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Things Fall Apart by Bartholomew Barker

I’m proud to announce that North of Oxford has published one of my poems. Check it out!

North of Oxford

Things Fall Apart
I’d rather watch the vanities of man
sag and collapse under the weight
of years than to spend my weekends
trimming hedges, touching up paint
or soothing hinges with an oil can.
Let these walls tumble down in a lovely heap
and the floor rot out beneath. If a storm
brings an oak through the roof, I won’t abandon
the place, I’ll revel among the leaves.
I’m ready to observe its final decay,
keep the images in my pocket
like an apocalyptic prophet
or derelict poet who failed
the American dream.
Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. His first poetry collection, Wednesday Night Regular, written in and about strip clubs, was published in 2013. His second, Milkshakes and Chilidogs, a chapbook of food inspired poetry…

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