Flowers & Vortexes Online

Welcome to 

Flowers & Vortexes Online
A Vortex of Creativity

website for all things Flowers & Vortexes, Creative Magazine
print edition and a place to feature our best poetry and photography. 


There is an open call for previously published (in a print journal or magazine) poems, some of which I will feature here at Flowers & Vortexes Online as soon as possible. Go: vortexeditor@yahoo.com

   Editor, James Eric Watkins

   Without further interruptions our first featured photo by Mikey Webb:




© 2020 Mikey Webb






And now here comes Dave, Brooksy as it were, and is:




© 2020 David Brooks






And now, Poet, Erin Monahan:



On Grief 

 
August slips cool into a September porch swing.
Come sit with me and have coffee at 3am.

We'll speak without shame,
for we've been intimate for years -
since you found your place
between my husband's hips and mine.

We are one another's quiet addiction, each
the other's lingering suicide. I recognize
pain, my reflection, in your eyes,
and yet I draw you in.

You are my Marlboro man, here to save me,
but there is too much smoke -
summer stinking and thick with kudzu vows.

Autumn rings on some distant curve,
and with this dreaded friend, I pray.

Together we mourn midnights into dawn
on the whispered tune of our blessings:

Hurry, on the west wind to the seas, move them
with the tarnished arc of the harvest moon.


© 2006 Erin Monahan 

*This poem was previously published in Flowers & Vortexes, Issue I (2006). 





Next up, Poet, Jendi Reiter:

                        


Self-Portrait as Pastry Box

 

Under my roof, cathedrals of piped
icing breathe out the sacred stale
sweetness of cream and cardboard
white as a right-hand man's
final satin bed.
Under my roof we pay our respects.
The family is a thin shelter, soon wet.
If you don't believe me, open
and see the red smash where tiered berries kissed
the jostled lid. No shifting
the ingredients. No loose knots in the string.
Under my roof I'll thank you
not to take knives in vain.
Remember him who was lifted
from the river, from the box he was sealed in.
The snapped wafer laid on your tongue like a secret
recipe. Religion's root means to tie
string round the wrists, the trash
bag sinking, the harbor's surface restored.
Under my roof the family's bound
to gasp, glorying in the sugared name
I display to be sliced after the blown-out wish.
Take the cannoli, broken for you.


© 2020 Jendi Reiter

*This poem was previously published: Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Vol. 5 (2020).

 


And now, Poet, Dr. Thomas Davison:




Taking a Walk in My Yard This Morning



Taking a walk in my Yard this morning. 
My Yard isn’t anything like your yard. 
My Yard has no trees or flowers.
Only an occasional greenish-brown stain of trampled grass. 
The early morning sun exposes the points of the barbwire that surround my Yard. 
It glitters  
Yet somehow looks beautiful.
Which terrifies me. 
My Yard is two football fields squared.
I share it this morning with 800 other men. 
 
Taking a walk in my Yard this morning.
Where I have acquired a unique – and special gift. 
The ability to perceive all the men in my Yard.
From 360 degrees. 
I can sense who is following me without turning my head. 
Approaching from my left is the Con Man. 
His pockets bulging.
Full of broken promises and unfulfillable schemes. 
His eyes darting from face-to-face.
Never still.
Just like his mouth. 
He makes me feel drained and weary. 

Taking a walk in my Yard this morning.
Approaching from my right is the Strong Man. 
The one who never ceases lifting things.

He is forever pushing, pulling, and twisting his muscles.
Struggling to exercise away his demons. 
But no matter how huge his muscles become -
It doesn’t alter the fact – 
He is still inside.

Taking a walk in my Yard this morning.
Approaching too fast from behind me is the Baby Man.
He hasn’t discovered the rhythm of my Yard yet.
He was delivered here direct from Juvey. 
He strains to be a tough guy.
But his eyes give him away. 
I can smell the fear on him.
He wears it like a strong cologne.

Taking a walk in my Yard this morning.
There is a swelling crowd. 
Striding on the blacktop and the concrete pathways 
Alongside and all around me.
Like a stream of angry ants in blue denim.
They are all present now.
I can sense them all.
With my special gift.
The Always Angry Man.
The Fighting Man.
The Stoned Man.
The I Am Innocent Man.
The Religious Man – and all the others.

Taking a walk in my Yard this morning.
I utilize my special ability.
I can feel him now.
He is coming slowly.
Straight at me.
The one they call the Old Man.

Also known as the Lifer Man.
Shuffling his feet.
Rarely gazing upward.
Instead - staring downward at the top of his scruffy prison shoes. 
Mumbling to himself continuously 
About the poor decisions that brought him here. 

He is so near to me now.
Coming closer and closer.
With each step I take.

He matches my pace.
Step for step.
He should break away.
He is too close.
Now he is just inches from my face.
I could reach out and touch him. 
No wait – it is only my reflection in the glass. 


 
© 2020 Thomas Davison

*Previously published: Teach. Write. A Writing Teachers’ Literary Journal Spring/Summer (2020). 




Hold On 



I pierce the gates, I see the sun rising on walls, fences, and dying dreams.                      
I know these men now and I can perceive this place clearly through eyes wide open.
The effects of the broken long arm of the law - suffocates this place.

I know these men now and can attend their cry - how long must I abide in this place?        
And I respond to them calmly declaring – hold on - nothing lasts forever!
As I tread through the yard - a maze of anger, waste, and deceptive schemes.

I know these men now and can attend their cry -  I am so alone I do not feel like myself?
And I respond to them calmly declaring – hold on - there is still much good in the world!
It constantly feels cold in this place, it permanently smells of piss and dead passions.

I know these men now and attend their cry – can I watch it all burn?
And I respond to them calmly declaring – hold on - do not surrender - hope is eternal!
I leave this place at the end of my brief day, while others must remain bound.

I know these men now; I attend the untold places in my heart where sincerity persists.
My dread - all is only a shell of hollow platitudes - tomorrow it will start over again?
And I respond to myself calmly declaring - hold on – for one more day!



© 2019 Thomas Davison

*Previously published in the Taj Mahal Review, Vol. 18 #1 (2019).

 





Comments

  1. Replies
    1. The old man in front of the liquor store says so much.

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  2. I agree with you, James. Great work guys!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks again James, for including me. It's a timely piece under current circumstances. Love the photography as well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jendi. Thank you for your contribution.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Replies
    1. Thank you so much James.

      I sincerely appreciate this exposure. I struggle to be a voice for my incarcerated students. I have been very fortunate and given permission to start two 'Writing Clubs" inside the prisons. My students will be thrilled when they view this post. Seeing that their old professor can do it - will help me to keep them motivated and writing.

      ~ Dr. D

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