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Poets Corner

Spring is supposed to be in the air in Australia, but we’re wondering if it forgot to turn up? We are truly enjoying these near-winter temperatures at the moment ... not ... but I predict we’ll be sweating in our socks next week. Hopefully, all other parts of the world are treating their inhabitants well, or at least more consistently than our fair country at the moment!


We have a fine example of the sadness experienced by every parent when they witness their child or children growing up right before their eyes, penned by Michael Lee Johnson. I feel he conveys this sentiment beautifully in his poem “Cheeks Shining, Mine So Wet”, and fits into our themes of love in all its forms and human weakness to a small degree: While we bring our children up so they can face the world, not many parents are happy to see their chicks really fly the coop. It is a very gut-wrenching time, and I think it’s fair to say that each parent who faces this separation, does feel weakness battling with the need to let go. I hope you enjoy!



Cheeks Shining, Mine So Wet


by Michael Lee Johnson


Shining, wet

my son's peachy cheeks

have turned to beard and stubbles.

The turning of age stings.

As a mother I'm not allowed

anymore to kiss this now

complicated face.

His teen years stalked my doors

with sticky-eyes and frightening nights

the ghostly memories, splinters, tiny bruises,

his boastful nature after the last date and conquest,

make me ache at my breasts.

He dances with twisted metal, reflecting,

the slight pause, flashing lights surrounding his room.

The room, his room.

He searches for a wisp of what was,

he holds thoughtless the intruding demons.

I wonder and dream, phantasm, partitions

all at arm’s length, my son.

His cheeks shining, mine so very wet.


Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois. He has been published in over 23 countries. He is also editor/publisher of four poetry sites, all open for submission, which can be found at his website: His books are now available on





I’m off to Tasmania for a week or so, and I’m looking forward to it, as I haven’t been there before! So bon voyage ... or should that just be “see you later”? I sure hope all of you enjoy this fine (?) month of October, and let’s look forward to a more weather-reliable November, followed by Christmas ... had to mention that, didn’t I?



Chris Ivins

October 2009





We aim to bring you quality poetry each month. I will be delving into various types of poetry in the future, giving insights into many, many forms. And I'm open to suggestions and would love to hear from anyone who has a new poetry form they've discovered, or even created themselves, along with an example poem.


We can't publish every poem we receive, due to space restrictions and also depending on the standard of your work. So please, pay attention to grammar, form, emotional delivery, and message. All these things are vital in producing fine poetry. If you submit a poem and it is not accepted, please take a look at ones which have been; they will give you ideas on the standard we expect.


Variety is the spice of life, and my aim is to present poetry in all its beautiful forms. Humour, love, anger, sorrow; all these, and other emotions inspire the greatest poetry. Regardless of how a poem is structured, if it moves readers to tears, laughter, or some other deep emotional reaction, then it has achieved its goal. Let's make sure we are reading poetry at The Muse Marquee that makes readers think, plus entertains them. Poetry doesn't always have to be heavy stuff!


I look forward to talking to you all next month! And remember: Poetry Rules!



Chris Ivins




*Send poetry submissions to

Please include the words “Muse Marquee Poetry Submission” in the subject line. Special themes for 2009 are nature, romance, and human failings.