Churchless SundaySotero Rivera AvilésTranslated from the Spanish by Raquel Salas Rivera My artificial arm,carelessly tossed on some couch,can laugh like an aimless shoe,destroyed,thrown to nights and rainin what was once my yard. I understand its ironyand have thought of old almanacs,of dark towels,of whiffs of incense when nuns pass beneath my sweltry window.…You see my artificial armunderstands—it has that supreme ability to laugh when it thinks of the priest and the old womenthat raise their rage and destroy pulpits if they see too few sinners.

Tectonic Plates

Tectonic plates move

Under my feet

Erie sounds of the ground shifting

Shifting my soul and my

sense of self

Hope eludes me as the root cause of my uneven understanding of self


Swimming in a sea fog and black suns

A mile deep

into the earths core

Magma is bubbling over

my heart

An electric jolt hits my mouth

the black sun rises

No moral compass found

Inertia in this deep canyon

As feelings of hurt spread and drip down to my purpling heart

I can’t hide the sadness it fills my eyes

It drips down to my mouth where I taste salty tears disguised as stars of hope

As the earth shakes I run to grab tree branches, but I float by in a sludge of my life in words and desolate scenarios

Joann cohen. My poem was originally published at Olive Skins 07/2019


I long to help you

My spirit is trying to break free from these chains

I made you a Warrior

And your strength is amazing

You yell, “ I don’t need your help.”

You fly with your wings in any direction you point to

Conquista! you live and fight for your own life

And nothing will stop you

Live for us all!!

My Fire

You are the blanket that I weave

You are the song that I sing

You make your mark and mark your goal

And I on the high wire

cheer for you

One day I’m at peace with the thousand lives you live

The next I’m warped and wrapped up like a tin foil ball

I’m in a race to save you… when no one is at the track

And there will never be a finish line

This all continues until the day I die

Joann Cohen June 2020

From unsplash

Holding On

I have four sisters two brothers. One brother has passed, two years ago of natural causes. My sisters and brother are very close. Since this pandemic started, we call each other everyday. We end up talking about mundane things in our daily lives. We know that today or tomorrow could quite possibly be the last time we talk, in regards to this virus being so prolific. We are all shocked at the severity of Covid-19. We admit, we are frightened at the thought of one of us or our children succumbing to this virus. It breaks my heart that so many people have lost loved ones. If I were to lose one of my sisters, brother or friends, it would hurt so much. They are my best friends. In the past years, we had our disagreements and arguments but that only made our bond stronger.

We haven’t seen each other for a few months. We are all self quarantined.

My girlfriends and I haven’t seen each other since February due to this virus. I miss them dearly. We have so much fun together.

Where am I going with all this. Well, I think many people have come realize how precious life is. And how fragile we are. And although we are waiting to go back to a normal society, normal may never come again. Some of the states are opening up. Businesses are being open. What I hope will stay with society is our tenacious way to stay six feet apart, wear masks and wash our hands and surfaces often. The wait for a vaccine will be months away. If not a couple of years

So my wish to you is, to enjoy each moment. Say I love you to your loved ones, as often as possible. And practice gratitude once a day. May all of us cherish life and practice love every minute of the day.

Thank you and stay safe. ❤️


Quiet the busy mind,

who stays up till 5:00a.m.

Quiet the busy mind,

who’s thoughts are swinging with the stars and singing with the sage

Quiet the busy mind,

whose monsters are not only imaginary, but so loud, she can hear them in the darkness

Quiet the busy mind,

whose sensual appetite seeks and slithers to reflections of sultry danger

Quiet the busy mind,

who prays and pleads with every God to make the voices disappear

Quiet the busy mind,

by any means necessary, so that life will continue for the next 50 years uninterrupted

Joann cohen

May 2020


“Hoax!” It will disappear like magic!”

How orange can a man be?

Crooked mouth

Magical thinking


While our lungs fill up with water

We swim in confusion

All while stuck in four walls

We are the sun and moon

Star dust and star light

Swollen was our belly

In the midst of malnutrition

Paralyzed at the thought of hugging my own child who lives 10 minutes away

When will this end

so many lives lost due to your Orange incompetence, vindictive hatred and ego We will never forget!

Joann cohen April 2020