Open Call for Artists, Poets, Writers, and Creatives!

Hello Beautiful Creatives,

I need you! I need your talent!

The world needs you! The world needs your talent!

We Creatives share a cutting-edge vision, a specific energy and enthusiasm, and a way of seeing the world and life that is desperately needed during these difficult times. I would like to give you a sacred space to speak in and the opportunity to speak — in whatever medium you call your own; be it art, poetry, writing, music — and so here we go … it’s an Open Call!

If you’d like to know who in the world I am – check out my artist bio above for all those official details. Or, read through some of these blog posts if you just want to get a feel for me.  If you’d like to see other artists and writers and work I like– go check out poetryisaverb.wordpress.com. I post occasionally on here and I read and select pieces off the web at random and by my gut — if I like it, on it goes!

Currently, I’m working on a slick-glossy style lit mag/art mag/mindfulness style quarterly. This will be a print publication and I hope to have the first print run ready to go by Winter 2020. I’d like to invite you to join me!

If you have an interest in further details, or in being included or having your work included on Poetry is a Verb (also on Facebook as Poetry is a Verb!), then simply drop me a note on here or you can email me at Marissamullinsphotography@gmail.com for more details and so we can chat!

I look forward to hearing from you and to our Co-Creative efforts!!

Much Love & Blessings to All,

~Marissa

Sparrow

brown small beak bird

He came to land
so gingerly and brave
on the chair-back
beside me (reading Rumi) —
at a table near the fountain.

Then,
hopping down and around
the edge of the table,
a hand-length
beside me
as if
he knew there was
an uneaten cookie
inside my book-bag  —
and asking
so sweetly and gently —

What could I do?
But
reach into the bag,
pull the cookie out, and
crumble it across the table
as a sacred offering
for this invitation
to love.

 

~March 2020, Market Common, Myrtle Beach, SC

~Photo Credit: Flickr on Pexels.com

day of miracles 3/20/20

Beach3620

The sandy beach gave me heart tokens
in stone and shell.

The sea gulls paraded their young before me
training flight as I gazed on the becoming.

The ocean washed sand away to show me
a giant shark tooth for my hand.

There was love and light and poetry flowing,
new books of beautiful verse for my heart,
a picnic lunch with my lover in the park.

There was a painted rock
in a flower pot with a painted heart and my
initial that was waiting for me to walk by.

There was a brave bird that introduced himself
and asked to share my cookie, and at my acquiescence,
he and his friends sang me love songs while they ate.

There was water rushing in the fountain
and a pen filling notebooks with poems.
There was sunshine and shade and shadow —

A breeze carrying the scent of blossoms my way
and a bench held me lovingly in sacred space.

There was love and life and flowing in me, around me,
with me. Leaves fell as Shams sang and Rumi danced.

There was a day of miracles … what more could I want?

 

 

~Photo Credit: Blue Ocean, Myrtle Beach State Park; (c)2019 Marissa Mullins 

the only way Home

OceanGreen

I am neck-deep in this wave-water of You.
That, all my life before
I only could stick my toe in –
or, sometimes
there was loud-splash and timid-step, You
surging up around my ankles –
or, other times
in the bravest neurotic mad-laced hours,
I would close my eyes and run barreling
into deep-dark-swirling waters up to my waist.
But — Always,
as the sand ripped away beneath my feet,
the dizziness spun and fear gripped me,
out and back to the safety of shore I ran.

Now,
no solid ground-safety-land beneath my feet.
Your waves flow-wash-lap at my throat –
Your water forces–kisses-enters my mouth –
I rock-surrender-float, two toes touching bottom,
in this bliss of dissolving into You —
My soul begs You — fill me, immerse me, consume me.
My Mind cannot understand this madness.
My Heart knows insanity in love with the Beloved
is the only way Home.

 

~Photo Credit: (c)2019 Marissa Mullins

you were always becoming poems

time lapse photography of flame

~For Joey, April 2019

 

Oh, that sparkle of mischief
and laughter and child
that jumped out of your eyes
and decked me,
knocking the breath from me
as I sat across the room!

Boy that I loved
with deep heat longing,
held close to my breast, a child-man
I could not help heal save reach trust.

“Beautiful”
and you were the most beautiful boy
on earth to me —

your eyes your lips your face your hair
your heart
your hands your chest your belly your legs
your manhood
your fight your laughter your demons your smile
your soul

“Beautiful Destruction”
running through my heart – life – soul.

“I ruined you,”
you used to say.

“No, Beautiful,”
you were the match I used for flame.

To love beyond all aspects of self
brings the burning of purification.

You were always becoming poems
in the Seeing Eyes of a Poet.

“I ruined you.”

“No, Beautiful.”
You were my chosen suicide.

 

 

~Photo by Igor Haritanovich on Pexels.com

 

Vibration

 

scenic view of night sky

~July 2019

 

Gulp the words down like bits of sushi.
They swim – gather – coalesce – become fish.
Drown the fish-words in wine and bourbon.
They grow mouths – whimper like babies –
mutate into screams.

Starve the words screaming.
No pens – no paper – no ink.
They transform    become heartbeat, sweat,
blood – They cocoon into
emotions – fears – paranoia –
Ooze out of dark places in wrong moments.

Beat the words back like fire, with a blanket.
They burn deeper into the molecules of being
and merge with the soul of the mouth.
Speak the words that grow in your infinite silence.
They transform into vibration of echo and return —

AUM — OM

 

~Photo by Philippe Donn on Pexels.com

Desolation

woman s lips

~July 2019

 

There were a thousand lies on each side.
No one —
Won the war
Turned out to be right
Gained the spoils.
There was no trophy given.

The soul whispers for Desolation
and he comes when called.

It starts as one Want above all
in a fresh grass field
populated by children, flowers, butterflies and

wishes
become want
and want
becomes all
and all
becomes darkness and fire
becomes burning and ice
becomes a ravaged field.

Only space, emptiness, openness remains
after Desolation does his job.

When the lies have spoken their spark
When the fires have burned their burning
When the rain has gone away, the river receded
When the sun drops from the sky
When fear drives the chariot of victory
And his kingdom reigns supreme in your mind
When mercy closes her eyes and her voice grows faint
When the storm is unceasing and the flames of
Self-devouring grow higher than flight

There —
you are reborn.

 

~Photo by Jessica Gaudioso on Pexels.com

Drops

DSC_0565

~September 2019

 

Your voice drops
into my tired tattered soul
like the soft drizzle of Autumn rain
drops across the withering leaves
in a dry dying orchard after harvest.

Your voice drops
into my shaky shattered spirit
like the wash of deep hard rain
drops across fire-cracked earth
filling the deep-graven lines of desert.

Your voice drops
into my fragile frail heart
like the splashing plops of Spring rain
drops across fresh-born flower petals
newly breathing in the bright light of a garden.

 

~Photography Marissa Mullins (c)2019

Drift

white and black moon with black skies and body of water photography during night time

~September 2019

Drift = a continuous slow movement from one place to another.

 

Drift me toward the Shore of Surrender
on the wave of a sweetly sung lullaby.

Cradle me in Imagination and Intuition
with hands of intimate caring caresses.

Float me across the Ocean of New Hope
in the arms of fantasy and prayer.

Speak me a distant Day of Devotion
where flowers and fortune and future exist.

Courage me toward the silent Strength of Unity
with whispered words of sacrifice.

Drift me into the new living Light of Life
on the sound of a sweetly sung lullaby.

Sing me through these dark Lone Days
where the heart wills but the spirit is broken.

 

~Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com

 

 

Solace in September

DSC_0563

~September 2019

 

You are a gift given without your knowing —
God’s mysterious hand
using you
to bring me solace in September.

How can your love sing
this strange strong song  —
your voice whispering healing
into my shattered spirit?

Drowning
in the tones and waves and
whispers of lullaby —
I ask myself —

How does love
grow a heart that strong —
Strong enough to send strangers
solace in September?

Happenstance and miracles
grow from the same garden.
I am content to see the orchard —
to know it exists.

 

~Photography Marissa Mullins (c) 2019

Teach Me

woman s face with light reflections

What has been taken from me — only illusion!
This vast fountain-spring, life giving water,
knows no lacking, loss, diminishment.

THIS living flow cannot be left —
only momentarily forgotten.   It rises
again and again, THIS powerful water!

I will allow myself this floating; Drowning
in a mystic bliss of Other, One, Only.
Where will you take me, Jewel of my Heart?

I will not fear the journey of Unbecoming!
Loosen the chords, rip the ties that bind me,
Strip the person-flesh mind-voice away —

Breathe me into You; Breathe me into Life.
Let your Breath of Love sustain my heart!
Teach me this Dying Surrender into Home.

 

Photo by Eugene Golovesov on Pexels.com

Humming

 

Christ comes as a dirty, broken beggar.

Buddha comes as a sick bird that needs tending.

Shiva comes as an enemy desiring your destruction.

Atman dances at the Center Expanding.

 

God shows up as a crying child

asking you to bandage His cut knee.

Ram plays hide-and-seek with

Loki and Odin in the Garden.

 

A whisper flutters on the wind,

tells you that you are standing

in the Navel of Creation where

Vishnu is dreaming.

 

Rumi and his Dervishes are dancing in and out

beside you.

As you waver and stumble, watch, go back to standing.

Grace masquerades in all these guises

playing a game of charades with your mind.

 

Don’t fear, dear one, your Soul sees clearly.

Reach out — offer the poor beggar food and water.

Reach out — tend to the sick, bandage the wounds.

Reach out — stroll in the Garden, Dance a new song.

 

Growing into ever deeper circles of Knowing —

you are humming in the breath of Brahma.

do you See?

 

All that God wants

is to be Seen —

 

Like that distant adoring Lover

seeks a glance from the adored Beloved.

 

Look! Here I Am in a bluebird sitting on a branch!

Look! Here I Am in the ocean wave roaring in your ear!

Look! Here I Am in the sand caressing your feet!

Look! Here I Am in the sweet-voiced song of a friend!

Do you See me? All around you in this Living

my Joy and Love for you pours forth —

 

You are Dreaming — Condemnation is a child’s nightmare.

Wake Up!   Look!   Do you See me …

your Beloved always trying to get your Attention.

Do you See?

Siva Refrain

 

Siva calls —

speaks the Fire of Loving Destruction.

The Phoenix becomes flame.

 

Siva calls —

His voice hollowing out the I of I.

The Phoenix becomes ash.

 

Siva calls —

There is nothing but the Nothingness of Siva.

The Phoenix becomes emptiness.

 

Siva calls —

It is time to dance the living.

The Phoenix becomes song.

 

Siva calls —

Siva answers.

 

Sent Out

I Am that Lamb sent out

into dark groves of Shadow

searching for the Wolves —

 

Each Step, walking with the Shepherd of Love,

Standing Staff of Love, directing movement.

The Lamb goes nowhere without the Shepherd.

 

The Wolves, eyes glittering in Forgetfulness,

seek blood — but this Blood, this Vein

pours forth Eternally — Drink Here, it cries out!

 

Laying down and down and down — Deeper into

the Bliss of Dying to Union with the One.

 

I Am that Lamb, that Shepherd, that Blood,

that River of Life Flowing Eternally —

 

The Lamb bleating to the wolves,

as teeth clamp down around the throat —

Drink —

You are that I Am too, my brothers.

You are this same I Am sent out.

 

 

 

 

Dance the Questions

Did I Call you

or did You Call me?

 

If our past Loves

were the Greatest Loves,

then we must Live There.

 

But, what of this Flesh

still Breathing Fire Energy?

It is Now and Alive —

 

What if we were Both

Simply Singing Love Expanding?

 

Can a Larger Human Love

than we have Lived Before

BE?

 

Or, are you My Shams —

Calling me to Union

then disappearing into the Mist?

 

Like the Sufi’s —

I will Dance the Questions

In the Music of the Beloved

Until the Answers Come —

 

This is how Love Plays.

 

 

Please, Hurry!

I asked Shiva and Christ

to have a chat with you —

that if Their Will is This —

they need to be quite clear with You

about It!

 

I Know You breathe Them.

Their voices whispering

cyclonic Peace, twirling winds

across your Soulscape. I will wait.

 

The god’s have Their own Timing.

But, so You Know, I giggled with Joy

when I asked Them to Speak with You!

Only Wanting what is Destined for me —

 

Asking They send you to me Soon!

I Am laughing in Joy at my own Request,

In This vast open non-time Ocean of Love —

Still, Something inside me begs —

Please, Hurry!

the One

 

A man tells me (he is a guru) — you must stop

being a mirror to others — I try — He asks

to see inside me and I agree and open.

Rage boils in him as Reflection stares back

and he battles the Shadows of Self on the wall.

I sit down — he is not the One for whom I am waiting.

 

A man says he loves me (above all else) — that Light

in my eyes ignites his passion and captures his heart — I try

to explain Reflection and Mirrors and Truth, opening into

voice, teaching — but determination breeds deafness

and he sets Fire to his Life with my eyes.

I sit down — he is not the One for whom I am waiting.

 

A man sings me sweet songs (and begs me) — save me

from myself, help me find my way — I try — I open

the melodies and lyrics of No Fear to reflect his Beauty,

but the fear in his heart is a Monster well-fed, and roars to life,

and he turns and runs away.

I sit down — he is not the One for whom I am waiting.

 

A man tells me he loves me and sees my shimmer of Light.

I call him Guru and he Humbles from the Title — Tells me, No,

you are your own Guru. You are a Mirror and we are One.

I Am meeting my Reflection — Naked in the Space of Sacred Being

with My Heart, My Courage, My Suffering, My Love — I open.

I stand up — he is the One on whom I have been waiting.

 

 

 

 

Come

“Do you know what I want?” Form asked the Heart.

A Prince of Peace.

 

In the fairy-tale, the Princes come,

line up to kiss her sleeping form —

lips to lips — they try — waiting.

(The Body on the Pyre of Burning

All the Impurities turning to Ash

as the Soul Energy — grows, rises.)

 

When the Prince of Peace comes

He Speaks into her as lips brush —

Spark! Light! That Surge of Fresh Life!

Communion — wakes the True Self,

Love leads the Body follows,

eyes opening voice speaking —

 

To be worthy of my Body, you must first be worthy of my Soul :

A Kiss that caresses that deepest Pearl of White Light,

polished, gleaming — waiting in the depths. Your hand

on my heart in the Fiery Vision of Reflection and Being.

 

“I know what I want,” said the Heart to the Beloved.

“Come. Sit beside me, stand within me for a time. Come.”

 

 

 

 

Interview: 7 Questions with Poet Robert Tustin

DSC_0838 (1)

Poet Robert Tustin reads at Barnes & Noble Open Mic Night in Myrtle Beach, SC. October 2019

 

I meet poet Robert Tustin in the coffee shop at Barnes & Noble as agreed. I am early. He is earlier. He is waiting for me at a side table with several poetry books and a yellow notepad with a list of poetic influences written in neat, concise print.  We are friends immediately, talking as if we’ve known each other for years —  an easy sing-song conversation about our shared love of words, lines, and stanzas.

Robert speaks in soft, quiet tones with an open and deliberate demeanor. He is invitingly eager to discuss his passion for poetry and his earnest desire to see poetry become a “connective” experience; one which brings the people of his community into a deeper conversation with themselves and helps them to create a stronger connection with others in the world.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview. Can you give the readers some information on your background and explain how you came to write poetry?

I was born in College Point, Queens, New York to a working class mother and father, a Catholic and an Episcopalian respectively — parents who saw fit to send me and my two brothers to a private evangelical Lutheran school up until eight grade. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! We come by our eccentricities, as they are, quite honestly. Following that, I attended the local public high school in Flushing. It was a rude awakening and I was a quiet, awkward, and shy C student.

Everything changed when I was a Junior in high school and took Mrs. Aronaeur’s English class. She was a very patient, enthusiastic, and caring instructor. I was introduced to Shakespeare, and Macbeth in particular. I was hooked and my C’s became A’s seemingly overnight. By and large it was Shakespeare and his poetic use of language in his plays that brought me to write my first poems at the age of sixteen.

What three poets do you consider most influential to your growth as a poet?

Obviously Shakespeare was my earliest poetic influence in my late teens. In my early twenties I experienced my first breakup with a girlfriend. Almost immediately after that I borrowed (stole may be a better word for it), Bukowski’s book, Love Is A Dog From Hell, from my older brother, John. It ushered in my second phase of poetry, which sought to use free verse to subvert romance. The influence of Shakespeare was still there but to it I added a more contemporary voice.

For the third influence I went back a bit to William Carlos Williams and his little polished gems. In my thirties my poetry took on the quality of a passive observer recording seemingly mundane experiences and through language transforming them into something, at least for me in writing them, approaching the Divine. I sought to capture moments in time and by doing so, claim them and whatever wisdom the held as my own.

What other disciplines, beside literature, or areas of interest inform your writing?

I have always been a student of history and mythology.  Classical and Medieval history along with Greek and Norse mythology frequently find their way into my poetry. Art, particularly sculpture, is also an area of interest that informs my poetry. I always try to convey history and mythology through a very contemporary lens to show that times may change but people, by and large, remain the same. People like to think, even in their lifetime, that the kids coming up are somehow different, less civil, more this, less that … The ancient Greek had the same sentiment three thousand years ago.

At what age, during what period of your life, did you first know you wanted to  be a poet?

I knew I wanted to be a poet when I was sixteen. At first my poems, like many young aspiring poets, resembled song lyrics. As I progressed and the influences  began to truly impact me and inform my writing I dabbled in writing sonnets (a form I still love to write in) and, of course, free verse.

What are your thoughts on the current poetry scene and the utilization of poetry in our country?

Poetry on social media is encouraging more young people to put their poetry out there. I think this is a good thing. I see young teens devouring the latest books by R.L. Sin, Rupi Kaur, and Lang Leav. If this inspires them to go home and write poetry this is a good thing. I also hope this sparks in them an interest in and appreciation for the poets of the past.

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing? Is there an objective?

I think poets write with the expectation of someone else seeing their work, whether or not they actively seek formal publication. I believe, even in writing for ourselves, we are writing for an audience. I hope to always write to the best of my ability and to create art every single time I type words on a screen or put pen to paper. My objective is always to create a thing of beauty for the eyes and ears.

I wanted to do an Open Mic because I think people need to hear poetry read aloud and not just see it on their computer screen or on a page. Poetry should be a live experience. The process of writing it can often be a very lonely endeavor. Poetry is a living thing and needs to be given breath.

What does the term poetry “in everyday life” mean to you? 

I think most, if not all, poets are passive viewers of the goings on of their contemporaries. Watching a young girl sobbing on a rusty swing, a black and white terrier chase a yellow leaf swirling in the wind — There is poetry everywhere waiting to be captured by a poet’s imagination. The poet also has an inner landscape they often love to share. Poets are sometimes at their best when they look critically at their own inner workings.

We all share the same emotions as human beings. Read a poet like the Roman, Martial. Most of his epigrams seem like they could have been written yesterday. He was a Roman citizen writing very raw little epigrams about everyday life in Rome. His poems display humanity in all its beauty and ugliness too. His writing takes what might have seemed ugly at first and makes it something quite beautiful. Language has the power to do that. There is poetry absolutely everywhere for the poet willing to look.

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If you are in the Myrtle Beach, SC area, please come out and share your poetry or support local poets by listening to them read. Robert hosts the Poet-To-Poet Open Mic Poetry Experience the second Thursday of every month at 7 pm, at the Barnes & Noble in The Market Common. For further information, or if you have questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below. Your feedback and participation are greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

 

Unsaid

I almost said,

Promise me, if something

takes me away, Promise me

you won’t blame yourself, you

will understand — Promise me

if the dark clouds outrun the light

and I have to go away — you will

understand and forgive me for

leaving, I almost said, Promise me

you will not carry that hurt in your heart,

Promise me you will understand

it wasn’t your job to save me, I almost said, Promise

me —

(Ahhh the love glinting in your eyes that day…)

I knew it was a Promise you

would never be able to keep,

a Promise I could not ask you to make

because

love can’t make

a Promise like that.

 

Favor

I need a favor

from a friend, my friend.

Take my hand-hold me

while I turn inside-out

carve my soul from my body

with a spoon. Don’t let go

when it gets messy. Surgery

is always bloody. I need a favor

from a friend, my friend.

Just keep my fingers

held tight in yours.

I need a favor from a friend,

my friend. Hold my heart —

hold it safe while I crawl

deep down the esophagus

into the red-heat-valley

or as I crawl

up into the veins

of temple, brain, grey matter

with pitchforks and plows

to furrow rows and seek — I need

a favor from a friend, my friend.

Don’t let go when it gets messy.

Surgery takes time, bleeds the infection

clean over time. I need

a favor from a friend, my friend. Just

stand my sweet Angel. I need a warrior —

I need a favor

from a friend,

my friend. Battle-worthy, unafraid

hold my soul — hold it safe.

Don’t let go when it gets messy.

The grave is a a deep-trench journey

marching through demons,

memories, devils, monsters —

but I will return. Hold my soul —

Hold it safe. Don’t let go.

I need a favor

from a friend

my friend

Love me through the dark

hours, deep days,

as I bleed away the night.

Don’t let go —

when it gets messy —

Don’t let go —

 

 

 

Watcher in me

I write poems — Re-read them

Internalize the Realization

That I speak of me as Dead.

 

I worked a long hard life to build Me

Into some Barbie Doll Mother Theresa

mixed canvass image of what I thought

was the right thing to grow up to Be.

 

The doll murdered

with malicious cruel stabs of a knife

this utter evisceration and defacement bleeding

into this horror that only belongs to the Heart

of an angry hurt Child in Raging Tantrum.

 

Built her — an elegant Malibu House

Tomb

with the perfect beautiful Ken Doll

to wield the blade, light the flame.

 

And the Watcher in me took in the show

from a plush velvet chair high up in the balcony —

clapping, coercing, applauding, tsk-tsk-tsking

as the Show played to a packed house

and garnered bittersweet reviews from the Critics.

 

 

Want Explained

freya-wave-laurie-behnen.jpg

Want Explained     ~for Rob

 

I do not want to be on a pedestal

to fall from

my feet slipping

into stepping on your heart.

 

I do not want to be a muse

adored and believed

to hold magic answers to questions

my answers

can never satisfy.

 

I do not want to be a fever

of passion that burns in you

the flame dying down, flickering out

as time — age passes

leaving only embers of a dying fire.

 

I do not want to be a need

only to fill you for a time

the stomach, once full,

unable to hold more

is satisfied and the plate pushed away.

 

I want to be a river

you fish in, wade in, wash in, travel down —

I would be water that carries you with it,

moving forward

toward a never-ending sea.

 

 

One Step

 

 

lightening1

One Step    ~ for Rob

 

One Step

Away

from playing it

Safe —–

Never my game.

 

Enough deep-soul losses

Tempt Us to comfort-rest in

Strange Fantasies of no more

Wasted Efforts. Stop and allow

Someone Else to carry the

Weight of us for a time.

 

One Step

Away

from playing it

Safe —–

Never my game.

 

I Turn —-

run to Free-fall, Deep-breath, Jump

into the Danger of Air,

No Ground, The Abyss —-

Leap Into the Blue-eyed

Beauty of You —-

Fiat Lux!