AFABW Int Poetry Selections for 2021 Printed Anthology

Worldwide Call for Poetry

November 6, 2020 – Los Angeles: The following selected poems will be featured in the next Artists For A Better World International printed poetry anthology, to be published in 2021.

The next phase of book production is receiving sketch illustrations. After the sketches are received and selected, the book will be printed and made available in 2021.

AFABW Int thanks all the poets who submitted work from around the globe in the past year.

The poem sequence in the book will be different than listed below. The final poetry sequence will be partially informed by the visual artist sketches that will accompany some of the poems.

AFABW Int challenged global poets to submit poetry influenced by a theme of “creating a better world” and/or inspiring readers. For additional insight, poets were encouraged to review the purpose of the group, as delineated in the AFABW Int Mission Statement.

Be sure to click “READ MORE” after each poetry excerpt below.

All works copyrighted to each poet with all rights reserved.


Dean Blehert: All the Lonely People

Dean resides in the state of Virginia.

It seems like last year, but probably it was
last decade or two that AT&T filled magazines
with ads that covered two pages.

READ MORE

Hiba Ayshabi Babu Rasheed: I Wish I Can Show You My Face

Hiba resides in Doha, Qatar.

I wish I can show you my face.
Show you the dark purple eye-shadow I am wearing
Oh, not for an evening of fun out with the girls
It’s from the sleepless nights I spend crying on the memory of my dead son’s little baby fingers

READ MORE

Rodney Johnson: Calamity

Rodney resides in Washington, D.C.

Moving out is a calamity
Going from a warm bed to a yoga mat is a tragedy
Replacing chicken wings and collard greens with rice and random veggies is challenging
My hard head doesn’t allow for softening

READ MORE

Richard Rensberry: Invitation

Richard resides in Michigan.

May your heart sing like the mockingbird, lilting
bright as the monarch in the marigolds, red
as the blood of the Indian paintbrush
flourishing at the orchard gate, happy
as the pears and the Sweet-Dutch apple, purple
as the sunburnt peach.

May your feet dance like the breeze
through the copses of oak and maple, waltz
like the rain through the roses and rhumba
up the walk to our back porch, shuffle
to the susurrus of crickets and cicadas
‘neath the stair where floorboards creak.

May the door open wide with a smile,
a hug and an ice cold drink.

Fini

Hanna Lynn Roth: On a Hill in Hollywood

Hanna resides in California.

Helmet on, brake check
Red light, slow down
I smell my leather jacket
The tires are spinnin’ round

READ MORE

Richard Rensberry: The Ire of God

Richard resides in Michigan.

Earl’s heart
like the rabbits and deer
gets its tides from the phases
of moon. As it wanes
all is quiet in the woods
and furrows.

READ MORE

Richard Rensberry: Mother and Father

Richard resides in Michigan.

If I were the rain,
I would be less begrudging.

READ MORE

Millicent Segwane: The Streets

Millicent resides in Gauteng, South Africa.

The streets that I walk… Doesn’t that sound so unoriginal? Which great artist has not yet said those words?
The streets of a place that I call home remind me of a place that I call hell, wouldn’t you at least walk the streets with me?

READ MORE

Rodney Johnson: Face to Face

Rodney resides in Washington, D.C.

The water feels like champagne chains
As beautiful as it is intoxicating
Ready to pull you in for a voyage
Or a passage

READ MORE

Rory Jackson: Our Isolated Place

Rory resides in the United Kingdom.

it’s Kafkaesque
Masquerades and fancy dress
Method for the madness
Is it working? How can they tell?

READ MORE (and view video poem)

Kay D. Weeks: My Love Letter

Kay resides in the state of Maryland.

Earth love,
I never have to ask you to touch me:
Hovering storm-cloud embrace
with white hair like wind-riffled sand

READ MORE

Diego Bonilla & Rodolfo Mata: Big Data

Diego and Rodolfo reside in the United States and Mexico.

We do not know you, but we know you quite well
we have come to know you through the millions of people
who, like you,
have left their digital footprints here in the database. 

Based on our statistical data, we can tell you that you follow the standard pattern

READ MORE

Angelica Poversky: ANGELIQUOI? – To The Colours I Cannot Name

Angelica resides in Canada.

I know the ocean is vast and vital- a massive part untouched
a small part, taken for its resources and magic
But like all water
The ocean recalls the bath of dissolution
The way waves can turn an ox into sugar.

READ MORE (and view video poem)

Kunle Okesipe: Tell Her

Kunle resides in Nigeria.

Tell her that sheds a tributary of tears in the rain,
That mates her salt with silt,
In a jailbreak of feelings like funerary volcanoes:
There is a hyperlink of sorrow between her cheeks and a distant wood.

READ MORE

Kunle Okesipe: The Journey of the Magi

Kunle resides in Nigeria.

On our way to planting an orchard in Mars,
To turn its meteorites to cuisines for breakfast,
And gift the lilies of earth to woo its desert,
To lure its canyons back to the lineage of water,

READ MORE

TahLeeTah Jhen Kuom: What If?

TahLeeTah resides in Hong Kong.

What if your past disaster is someone else’s present,
Could you bear to see without lending a hand?
What if your hands are full and your purse is tight,
How could you be of help, what is your essence?

READ MORE

Fabiyas M V: The Tomb

Fabiyas resides in India.

Though building his own tomb,
he’s not insane.

READ MORE

Fabienne: When We Have A Choice

Fabienne resides in the United Kingdom.

What will you do my friend, once the storm is over
Where will you go neighbour, to now discover
Who will you see cousin, when you can have a choice?

READ MORE

Neal Fox: Truth Matters

Neal resides in Florida.

I took a walk through the Promised Land
I saw the signs. Tried to understand
The broken glass beneath my feet
The broken hearts lying in the street

READ MORE

George Alger: An Airport Soiree

George Alger resides in the United States.

On we paraded to and fro,
ten thousand souls a day.

To just as many fates and fortunes,
processions for meaning, hope or play.

READ MORE (and view video poem)

Erenestina: Father

Erenestina resides in Albania.

Once you told me that the heart doesnt beat in the heart,
now that I understand where it does,
the wind beats to you somewhere,

READ MORE

Dean Blehert: Giving

Dean resides in the state of Virginia.

The featherbed, we say, “gives,” meaning
it accepts one’s shape. Water gives (ice doesn’t).

READ MORE

Hiba Ayshabi Babu Rasheed: Qatar

Hiba resides in Doha, Qatar.

Beautiful houses, neatly arranged
Tall date palm trees, what a wonderful exchange
Little rain during the months of winter
O land you give us back so much better

READ MORE

Malcolm Aslett: A Complicated Misunderstanding

Malcolm resides in Virginia.

It was a complicated misunderstanding
And all happened because I don’t understand
How a time machine works under the hood

READ MORE

Kevin Taylor: Peace

Kevin resides in Canada.

Peace
Is not withdrawal
Peace is the surge
The urge

READ MORE

Gerald Jatzek: Mycelia

Gerald resides in Vienna, Austria.

What if thoughts take time?
We are born. We plant a tree.
We plan. Trees grow. We die.

READ MORE

Rodney Johnson: Stuck

Rodney resides in Washington, D.C.

If I had to describe 24 in one word it would be stuck!
Can see where I want to be and where I am all at once
Pleased with where I am but not satisfied enough

READ MORE

Fabiyas M V: Nimisha

Fabiyas resides in India.

In her layette, she looked fair.
‘Nimisha’, the parents called her.
When aged five, the polio plucked
the strings that her legs moved.

READ MORE

Shawn Schoeller: Before The Rise of Man

Shawn resides in the state of Florida.

Do you happen to recall
The way we were before the fall?
Us before Time began
Before the awful rise of man?

READ MORE

Hiba Ayshabi Babu Rasheed: Surveillance

Hiba resides in Doha, Qatar.

His eyes blinked twice, maybe thrice
With a somber gloom, they ate
dare not spilling the stale rice.

READ MORE

Silykane Watomassyane: Fragile Flowers

Silykane resides in Mozambique.

Souls of tiny trees give birth to flowers,
Nevertheless the absence of the spring
In the land of dilemmas rooted in my heart,
Where shame welcomes me every
Unwished but deserved daybreak…

READ MORE

Silykane Watomassyane: Fraternity Beyond

Silykane resides in Mozambique.

I close my eyes for not to see the world
In a protest, I deny to behold its beauty
Adorned with indifference to others pain:
Not being noticed is the major pain to me…

READ MORE

Antonio Baptista Magaia Júnior: The Symphony of Revolution

Antonio resides in Mozambique.

These are the verses that the symphony never wrote
The mission that the world few understood
The loan of geniality that the talent did propose
The mad astuteness of the artist of the land

READ MORE

Kevin Taylor: Hello for the Earth

Kevin resides in Canada.

Hello for the earth
Hello for the moon
Hello from the sky
Hello from a room

Hello my new friend
Hello little brown bird
Hello trees
Hello clouds
Hello thoughts
Hello words

Hello joy
Hello breeze
Hello life
Hello me

Hello you
Hello all
Hello we

Fini

Jeevan Bhagwat: Tomorrow’s Child

Jeevan resides in Canada.

Come child
let me teach you peace
for you know too much
of war and despair,
too much
of hunger and pain.

READ MORE

Gerald Jatzek: Understanding

Gerald resides in Vienna, Austria.

I am a man of roads.

I could stay in your house
forever. Still

I’d be a man of roads.

Still I’d stay.

Fini

Aadya Sharma: Thinking Out Loud

Aadya resides in India.

O Butterfly!
Sitting on a flower in the tree
So beautiful and yet so free

READ MORE

Mehak Shaikh: Muffled Summer

Mehak resides in Pakistan.

Summer has come to bring warmness
Marine indulged floret outfit
inhaled the fragrance in calmness
Mesmerized much

READ MORE

Silykane Watomassyane: In Green I Shall Rest

Silykane resides in Mozambique.

In my dream there will be no drought
That will decimate these superb landscapes…
With green trees, the world is a journey –
And is sad to see handicapped its branches…

READ MORE

Mark Andrew Heathcote: We Could Be Eco-Lovers

Mark resides in the United Kingdom.

We could be eco-lovers
Adopt a ‘hands-on’ approach
We could be gentle sisters & brothers

READ MORE

Mark Andrew Heathcote: Primal Instincts

Mark resides in the United Kingdom.

Is this why we are ripping-
Each other limb from limb
So, primal instincts live again.
Can we not be brothers in arms?

READ MORE

Kathryn Sadakierski: Ellipses

Kathryn resides in Massachusetts.

Did you ever notice
That when the wind spins
It brings leaves and twigs
With it?

READ MORE

Antonio Baptista Magaia Júnior: Love, Sun of Humanity

Antonio resides in Mozambique.

With the creator born the creation
Each creature, miniature of its distinction
With the word we adorn emotion

READ MORE

Kathryn Sadakierski: Cycle

Kathryn resides in Massachusetts.

The circles we move in
Fuse,
Unbroken,
Like Monet’s water lilies,
Floating eternally,
In rotations like the planets
Orbiting around the sun

READ MORE

Nikhil Parekh: A Child Smiles

Nikhil resides in India.

Only in a world of freedom,
Can a child unfold and bloom.
Only with the Sun piercing right through the dark hut,
Can a child see the wonderful sights of this world.

READ MORE

Kathryn Sadakierski: Layers

Kathryn resides in Massachusetts.

Let go of misconceptions,
Let slip away stereotypes, striated by
Preconceived notions,

READ MORE

Mehak Shaikh: Her Crafted Moments

Mehak resides in Pakistan.

She cannot forget those moments
That was the cause to let her live
Warmth affection rises the spirits
To encourage the blossom in life

READ MORE

Jessica O. Osburn: Smile

Jessica resides in Arkansas.

I smiled at an old man today.
And much to my surprise he smiled back.
His kindness caught me a little off guard, kinda knocked me off track.

READ MORE

Mary Rensberry: Man and Beast

Mary resides in Michigan.

it is all too well known
that together at this ending feast
most man and beast have grown
in love, at the very least.

the beasts and lilies of the field
indeed have emancipated man
their pure spirit sought has healed
where sometimes no language can.

Fini

Dr. Srilakshmi: A Requiem to a Gentle Soul

Dr. Srilakshmi resides in India.

An edifice massive, its stones grey gleam,
Gilded golden, by the Sun’s Midas beam.
An edifice of learning, through its portals streamed,
Many a waif, of great healers dreamed.

READ MORE

Dr. Srilakshmi: A Magical Refraction

Dr. Srilakshmi resides in India.

Clouds dark so ominous seem,
Rent apart on the heavenly screen.
On the azure blue, a wand magical,
Creates a wonder, a celestial spectacle.
A bow massive spanning the horizon,
Heralding the end of a stormy clarion.
Of hues so pure but ephemeral,
A refraction into colors seven of light eternal.

Fini

Jeevan Bhagwat: The Song of Peace

Jeevan resides in Canada.

Once, you were a pretty bird
With the rainbow’s colours in your mouth,
Singing hallelujahs that were heard
From east to west, and north to south.

READ MORE

Rebecca L. Mate: A Better World

Rebecca resides in California.

Not pie in the sky
Nor idealistic try,

READ MORE

Mary Rensberry: Said a Little Bird

Mary resides in Michigan.

said a little bird
step into my shoes

READ MORE

Anika Anderson: Still

Anika resides in Canada.

Quiet stillness
Moments of reflection and relaxation
Blue skies, starry nights
Barely noticeable before in life’s business

READ MORE

Mary Rensberry: Practice Each Moment

Mary resides in Michigan.

When you are tired, sit down and rest. When you are hungry, eat.
When you need a hug, give one.

Life is full of challenges and if it’s not, you’re not living!

Listening to yourSelf is an art.
Practice each moment.

Fini

Dean Blehert: A Sea Gull, Two Crows and an Egret on Duty

Dean resides in the state of Virginia.

I sat in the café looking out
at a few half-occupied tables
and just beyond, a railing where perched
a sea gull and an egret and (on and off)
two crows, one, always, with beak open,
though I heard nothing through the glass,

READ MORE