Madness Deepens

“It Is Not Over Yet”

Today was a day when rain poured against shattered hearts

Breaking pieces like a drumroll, sinking droplets upon surrender

Thickening air against chest conpressions, loss of breath

Gasping for relief from this winding road, where footprints are lost


Gathering the strength to be strong for the battle

Yet tears flood palms, black stained cheeks of sorrow

Screams fill the mind of weakened prosperity

This load to carry, being pulled down by gravity


Now that the storm has passed, I look up

As night pushes up the day, I will take you by the hand

I will hold with all I have, here where we stand

I will not let you die, and be left there


Where God knows where…..


If I could, I would, wish it be me

To take it all away, to take this pain

Give it to my body – oh Lord – hear my plea

I will sacrifice myself for her to be free….


Burden of shifting cells, ripping away the soul

Making the thoughts become uncertain

Shaken, taken, and left out to dry

Just don’t close the curtain


Red velvet strands, dripping from incision

Tubes of filtered forgiveness, clotting memories

The great depression, lies upon whispering winds

The storm is here, pouring out clouds of confusion


There will come a time,

When the storm brings it’s rainbow

Across your heart,

Bringing sunshine, from above


On my knees, without a word from silent lips

But a loud scream, against my soul

Tears falling upon the floor, puddling

Then I saw you, there, a shining light


Sigh no more, mother, cry not a tear

For God is there to make your dreams better than hopes

He has his arms around you, tightly

Sigh no more, mother, he will help you cope…


– Madness Deepens

© 2013

“WHO GIVES A SHIT!” by Vicki Batkin


Elizabeth Edwards looses her battle
“The Big C”
Cut to
Angelina and Brad
At the premiere of her new movie
She’s wearing a sweater dress
Cut to her thigh
Cut to Mark Wahlberg
Christian Bale
At the premiere
The Fighter
Cut to
Looking for elder care facilities
For my elderly parents
They boast
“Celebrity parents reside here”
“Who gives a shit?”
Says, my husband
Does anyone really care about Elizabeth Edwards?
Does anyone really care about the elderly, if they don’t have a famous child?
Does anyone care that I’ve had a headache for two days?
Does anyone care that I was three pounds thinner
Last week
I am
This week?
Does anyone care
That Obama
Will wave the Estate Tax
To gain
Political ground???
Three kids lost their mother today
Angelina and Brad
At her premiere

Vicki Batkin

L. K. Thayer’s Foto Fetish

© 2010

“$55.00 Parking Ticket” by Roz Levine

"Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!!"

Beware of $55.00 traffic tickets
They’ll break the bank
If your funds are down low
They can bring on bull rage
Raise your pressure
Cause hyperventilation
Introduce sweat bullets
On your forehead and armpits
Brings forth curses and foul mutter
About authorities and officers
Rules and regulations
With your breath
On gulp gulp gulp
With your stomach
On a roller coaster ride
With your head
Ripe for an explosion
Beware of chalk lines
On car tires at curbsides
But calm down, my friend
You don’t have cancer
You don’t have AIDS
You don’t have MS
It’s just a traffic ticket
Not a fucked up life.

Roz Levine

Photo by L. K. Thayer

© 2010

“Heart Of My Heart” by Roz Levine

Jubilation heralding
hear ye hear ye news
spermatozoa and ova
bang bang banged
and great god almighty
beneath swirls
of my finger tips
in the belly of my baby
is embryonic grandchild
rising in the oven
ripening to whisper
that holy word
and me with a prayer
on my bottom flank
to keep phoenix rising
from knock outs
slice ups
medical mishaps
praying to eyeball
such a miracle
with a rip and stitch history
across my lifeline
a ruptured appendix
non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
breast cancer
I need to hold
real tight to
shake and brake rafters
survive LA temblors
picture baby of my baby
curled against my heart
had to ride a rainbow
of yes I can
find an arc
to glide over
hurricane falls
live to cocoon
sweet pumpkin
to the ancestral pool
of her grandma’s heart
had to glory
in this new DNA
feel the shine
the joy of it all
on the rag tag
of my landscape
had to feel
grandma ecstasy
in the heart of my heart
just this once
dear god
just this once







Roz Levine

Photo by VC Ferry

All Rights Reserved

© 2010

“Thud” by Mark McNease

Mark McNease

Mark McNease

You called out my name

and fell, a thud sounding

down the hall. That’s what I recall.

A moment. A pained expression.

An outcry.

I have cried out since when possible,

stone-faced, taking it on the chin.

Your good boy, referring to you

as My dead mother when telling a story.

A sister’s call came

on an otherwise repetitive day,

working away, as we work our lives

away, telling me results had come back.

Two round circles in the left lung

keeping each other company,

a cancerous, prospering community

of cells gone mad, fruitful and multiplying.

I dropped the phone and cried.

This was a well-worn path, I had a map.

Time would accelerate.

The life expectancy offered would be

on the mark, and I wanted to do it right

this time, to have nothing left to haunt me

with what I hadn’t done or said.

I asked if I should come home.

You said maybe later, “You know,

when the time comes.” But the time

had come, becoming now with that call.

Waiting was too risky, the morphine was

just around the corner and I knew

when we turned it you would be gone.

It was a long awful summer.

I listened through the wall

in the blue bedroom, Father talking

as if you could help it, furious, why

were you doing this to him?

Incoherent conversation

broken by long silence at the dinner table,

you staring into nothingness, unable to swallow.

Father telling anecdotes about the neighbor

who had a lung transplant, goddamn the doctors

for saying you wouldn’t live through it,

they must be wrong, young and uncaring.

Back and forth from New York

knowing what was coming, I quit

my job, life was so short, I had

the evidence, dreams expired with time.

Autumn and your 50th anniversary, the last

good night you had, pretty and poised.

And from there a quick good-bye.

You’d done your utmost, you’d held on.

Christmas morning, comatose, your breathing

labored, and I said, She won’t last long.

I knew, I was familiar with a last day.

Dinner that evening, my sister coming

to the table as we finished, saying

it was over. Dead mother, stiff, sunken

between the bedrails, you’d gone.

Goddamn it, I thought, late again.

I never saw the last breath, I only guessed

you’d left with a sigh and in the time it took

to hurry to the bedroom you’d flown far away,

leaving behind snapshots and a son.

Mark McNease

All Rights Reserved

© 2009