5 poems from featured poet, John Thompson

i have 2 books published. trainride elsewhere is traditionally published through pressed wafer august 2016. that moan like a saxophone is self published because it’s a story in poem form and short. a third book, ampersand, will be published through plan b press. release date currently unknown. you can find both on amazon. i reside in kentucky.  i’ve been writing for 16 years. my lack of capitalization comes from bullying. no one letter is better than another. my punctuation comes as needed. it places itself on its own.



“i went to the ocean and read his poem”

light breaks

shadows go behind the horizon
to escape, to hide from

war developing in his eyes
knowing bombs will be what they dream of
and what they wake from

each explosion creating a new sun.

he sleeps in the glass bed
of rebellion; believing becomes
defiance, a weapon.


he lies under the unknown,
pulling it to his chin.
cold beneath the weight,
it makes him feel like smoke.

one day he will understand
when fire burns his skin
that life now is how tomorrow grows.


“as i become a man”

the cave drew in coolness.
my lungs opened –
air exploring the dwelling.

the wet walls reminded it of mother,
how she held me close
inside her womb and sang lullabies
as though she heard me cry.

i pushed and rebelled,
one day escaping but returning.
i sought refuge in arms
that i knew but were new.

the outside came to me
with its knowledge
and my mother touched my lips
to silence and listen.

the cave is my mother.
it quiets me and i hear
the lullabies that sweep
off her walls.


“the season that preys”

cold froze
the veins in my house &

it sits, skeleton
bare to the elements.

i lie inside it’s battered skin
digested by the chill.

weather knocks on its eyes
waiting to come in, wanting

to feel the heat
from its heart pumping

trying to keep up.


my feet burn
in the 14 degree air.

i exchange promises
to keep from hypothermia.

even in my blankets
i feel i am not safe

from the black discoloration
of dying flesh


“milk and honey”

you make me what i thought
i’d never become
2 a.m. and you climb my body
can you smell my fear
or is the dripping alcohol
strong enough
to cover my scent


you push into my body
shoveling what love means
and depositing it
all over sheets
it puddles under me like poison


you leave me
there, left filled
with your trash

i blackout
from your intoxication

knowing sobriety
is that pain
of remembering you
breaking me


i hear your stumbling
and the final thud
as walls finally
let go

i will find you
in the morning
swimming in vomit
gurgling for air

i pretend
you’re finally dead
but i know
from experience

this is how you sleep
and i know you’ll wake
two faced: one side
the man from yesteryear

the other side coated
with last night



when i die
i am not dead

all my poetry
will recite me

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Delighted to see you selected as Featured Poet John Thompson. Love the grit in all of these pieces.