Thursday, December 1, 2016


“There is no greater weapon
than knowledge
and no greater source of knowledge
than the written word.”
~Malala Yousafzai~

The written word has been redefined in the 21st century. Millennialist or the “I Generation,” has taken the written word into a new context, with various meanings. Those who have grown up in this generation, have limited language skills; verbally, and/or the ability to write effectively; they speak in code. The number one form of communication is texting, which consists of abbreviated words and emoji’s. This form of communication goes beyond sending a quick message to another, there is also: Facebook posts, short Twitter messages called “Tweets,” Snap Chats; etc. The list of social media communication is endless. Besides having poor interpersonal communication skills, the ability to communicate on paper is almost next to none. Normal vocabulary is mixed with the abbreviated words used to text others. Those of us who delight, are devoted and stand on the utmost belief, of the power, of the written word, need to reclaim written communication, reconnect and restore the importance of, the written word.

If we are to have an advanced and educated society, mankind must move beyond short excerpts of uttered transmissions, of abbreviations and emoji’s, and reclaim civilized communication. I do not belief that text messages are bad per se; they can be a useful and fast way to communicate with another person. Though, this form of writing cannot be the only form of written expression; which seems apparent, with the I Generation, along with some adults, in the 21st century. The world of technology: phones, tablets, computers etc., has resulted in poor communication, along with no apparent handwriting skills. The youth of today do not have the knowledge, the art, or the appreciation of the written word. For example, I have kept cards, and/or short notes, from my children, my family and friends, throughout the years. I appreciate the thoughtfulness of another who has taken the time to express how they feel, with the art of their own handwriting. The personal words of someone can be etched onto a piece of paper, and etched into the mind of the receiver. The difference between receiving a handwritten letter and a text message is the enlightenment received. When we pass on words, in our handwriting, we are passing on our personal intellect; imparting a spiritual connection of knowledge to another. This, in my opinion, is civilized communication. Do I believe this is the only way to communicate effectively, in a civilized manner; no. There are other ways to intelligently connect to others by written word.

Currently, we rely on reaching others, in a way, the world could not in the past. We keep in close contact via email, Messenger, etc. If we did not have these avenues, for example: the OPA editorial team would be unable to quickly communicate, due to the various continents in which we reside; Military men and women would not be able to keep in touch with their loved ones; college students would be unable to stay in contact with their friends and family. These are only a few examples of the advantages, of communication, we have in this century. These forms of communication can be used to our advantage but; how can we reconnect the importance of the written word? First, people in the world need to recall and recognize what has been lost in print, and consumed by social networking. Christina Maness was quoted, “The power of the written word can bring even the largest of us to our knees.” This is a magnificent statement! The question is; how long has it been since one has been consumed by the powerful words of an ancient poet or writer, such as Homer; absorbed themselves in the spiritual words of Rumi, or have been captivated by the words of a Renaissance poet, such as Shakespeare or Sir Thomas More? The power of the written word, has carried on through centuries and passed down from generation to generation. Mankind needs to be awakened by these masterpieces, and strive toward composing pieces of master work that will make an impact on generations that follow behind us today, in the 21st century.

Quick communication is important, but we need to restore the power of the written word. The world must go beyond abbreviated messages, and emoji’s, which, in that moment of time, explain to another how they are feeling. Write thoughts in a journal as you are musing over your life. Compose poetry, essays, an autobiography, or a memoir. The power of these words will be much more appreciated than a text message which is only deleted in time. Restoring the power of the written word will broaden the mind, and close the chasm of useless words which only fade. When mankind brings back, to existence, the importance of the written word, true intellect will be renewed, enlightenment of the mind will expand beyond our phones and tablets, advancement of an educated society will continue to climb the mountain of greatness.

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his words.”
~Virginia Woolf~

Our Poetry Archive has seen the need to reclaim the power of the written word. We have expanded the horizon of greatness, by connecting poets from around the world, which in return, has restored and closed the gap of prejudice; we all witness in the world today. Every reader and writer of this blog has come together, and found appreciation for cultural and ethnicity difference. We do not see one another as asymmetry, but alike; conforming ourselves upon the acknowledgment, of significance, everyone obtains within themselves. We stand on the prominence of every writer; projecting the power of their own written word, to all the world. We truly appreciate each contributor of this blog, whether you are a reader or a writer. Your words and/or support is not overlooked. Our Poetry Archive has the utmost respect of every writer. One thing I ask, do not lose your words in the endless space of the computer era; print your words out, write in a journal, document your life’s dreams and heartaches, and treasure them as gold. Allow the generations, which follow you, the ability to absorb themselves in your mind and thoughts. You are important, your words are important, and can make a difference in the world.

Our Poetry Archive has broadened the gap, by publishing continental poets and poetess from every corner of the world. We have pursued this project, so readers of this blog may grasp the literary forms of poets from each continent, and find appreciation in each writer. In the October 2016 Edition, we featured poems from 48 European poets. This month, December 2016, we have published the continental edition, which features poets from North America. We are also pleased to announce our Featured Poet of the Month, Michael Garland, who resides in Hawaii, United States of America, for the North American Special Edition!  We encourage everyone to read his insightful words, found in his personal responses given, in our interview with him. Michael has also contributed five personal poems for all to read.

Please take time and enjoy the talent Our Poetry Archive has added to the December 2016 North American Special Continental Edition. Those who would like to participate in our upcoming editions, please send three poems and a profile picture, along with the explicit confirmation, of your permission, for publication in OPA well before the 21st of every month. The January Edition, of Our Poetry Archive, will be a General Edition. We are also extending an open invitation for our next Continental Edition, which will feature poets from Africa. Please send 3 poems, both in English and your native language. As with the General Editions, please send a profile picture and the explicit confirmation, of your permission, to publish your copyrighted materials to Our Poetry Archive. Please specify, in the subject line of your email, which edition you are submitting to, to avoid any confusion, and to assure your poems are published in the correct edition. Those who are submitting to the Special Continental Edition, please state your country of origin, mother language, nationality, and where you reside. Thank you! Our Poetry Archive’s email address is:

Author Stacia Lynn Reynolds, editor, sincerely thanks each poet, poetess and reader who is actively involved in this wonderful blog and continued support of Our Poetry Archive.
From The Editorial Desk




email us to:





OPA How long have you been writing Poetry? We would like to know the early stories about your growing up as a poet or writer in general. Who are your favorite Poets? What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write? Had they inspired you a lot, do you believe in inspiration as a guiding force behind writings at all?

MICHAEL:I have been writing poetry for two years. I grew up in a musical household so the importance of song writing was always evident as a child. I have spent countless hours watching my father word craft in lyrical format. Songs and a love of reading was my childhood experience.

OPA What has been the toughest criticism given to you as a writer? What was the biggest compliment? Did that change how or what you write?  What has been the strangest thing that a reader has asked you?

MICHAEL: I have found a nurturing poetic family in the online G+ and Facebook communities.  My critiques have always been positive and encouraging concerning form, dynamics, visualization, flow and content and to not be afraid to use names and places to personalize the poem, this, I am still working on.  I am my toughest critic. I will never be completely satisfied with my writing and will always seek to improve my word craft. I seek to capture the reader and radiate in an emotional explosion or inspire readers to think about ideas and concepts and knowing when less is more. The best compliment is when I am called a great was   The strangest request of readers has been multiple offers of marriage. 

OPA What is your favorite poem you have ever written? Compared to when you first started writing, have you notice any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now?

MICHAEL Quite honestly the most favorite poem I have ever written has not been crafted yet. Will I ever? I hope to one day lay claim to such a poem. My first poems were clumsy collections of statements. Simple rhymes without form or cadence. My poetry today makes extensive use synonyms and I have a theme that I stick with. I try to allow the reader insight into a scenario they can relate with on different levels allowing them to peer more effectively into my window of life even if they have not experienced it.

OPA   What has been your favorite part of being a poet or and author? What has been your least favorite?

 MICHAEL: My favorite part of being poet is the wonderful writers and artist I have met as well as when I can move someone to tears, laughter, anger, longing…. the whole range of human emotions and let the reader know that we all share a commonality of these same feelings no matter where you come from. The least favorite part of being a poet is that for every bit of notoriety gained some privacy is lost and one becomes the focus of many confused and unstable souls.

OPA Did you get to quit your day job and become a writer and/or author, or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it?

MICHAEL: You can say I am in a transitional period at present. My eventual goal is to focus entirely on writing and music, but I won’t quit my day job just yet.

 OPA Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? What genre are you most looking forward to explore during your writing career? Why?

MICHAEL: I love playing my musical instruments with friends in a casual setting like the beach or a backyard BBQ or being the focus of many at a concert venue. I would eventually like to successfully combine my writing with my musical ideas. I also want to explore more avenues of writing; be it a novel or freelance writing. I simply love the creative process.

OPA: Do you think literature or poetry is essential in our life? If so why? How does it relate to the general history of mankind?

MICHAEL Oh what can be more necessary especially in these days of efficient but minimalist business based writing. Our young people are in danger of diminished imagination because emotive elements are not encouraged properly in educational institutions or at home. 
Edward Bulwer-Lytton; 1839 said,
“True, This! —
Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanter’s wand! — Itself is nothing! —
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyze the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! — Take away the sword —
States can be saved without it!”
 Poetry and literature are responsible for more sweeping political and cultural change than any military effort by far.  We owe are present freedoms to words not swords.   

OPA Our readers would like to know your own personal experience regarding the importance of literature and poetry in your life.

MICHAEL: Literature has been my friend, my savior, my love and my inspiration. I write because there is nothing else I’d rather do. Often I write because I must express myself through literature. I had my first full time musical job in 1981. My life has been all about learning poetry. Literature has shaped who I am so very much I would not be able to do without words I would soon perish. Literature and poetry have become my identity to such a large degree I can’t imagine any other option.  

OPA Do you think people in general bother about literature in general?  Do you think this consumerist world is turning the average man away from serious literature?

MICHAEL: That is a very interesting question.  At first glance the online explosion of information may lead people to think we are becoming a shallow society. I think that humanity is merely experiencing growing pains. It is my opinion that the free exchange of information today will lead to a new renaissance and people will turn once again to the humanities as the highest measure of cultural expression.  

OPA If humanity tries to understand tradition and modernism, do you think literature can play a pivotal role in obtaining understanding?  If so, how? Again, how can an individual writer relate himself or herself with the tradition and modernism?

MICHAEL: Words are but an expression of ideals be it fashioned in the dawn of civilization or yesterday but even more so they express the human factor in a way a history books never will. It represents the very core of who are where we came from and where we are going. Literature absolutely is vital to understanding the human experience.

OPA Do you think society has a factor in shaping you as a poet, or your poetry altogether?

MICHAEL: If I am writing a pop based lyrical poem people must be able to relate in today's world, in such ways society dictates the availability of readers for modern based genre. If I am writing of love, then I listen to the echoes of the romantic eras and it is reflected in my writing style and vocabulary.

OPA We would like to know about any influences that has inspired your poetry and writings.

 MICHAEL: By far William Shakespeare is my biggest influence. Why? he thought outside the box and was not afraid to play with words even if it flouted the convention of the day. In this way English progressed beyond the spoken language of the common man into a vehicle of expression celebrated the world over. Secondly Robert Frost has shown the world of the deceptively gentle understatement of American literature. I’d like to think they influence my writing style. I am not a bold in your face writer I love the subtle innuendoes and wonderment of higher language versus vulgarity and shock value.

OPA We would also like to know; How do you relate the present literary trends with the literary heritage of your country? 

MICHAEL: English has become the new Latin. People the world over regularly use English and American dialects when they wished to show a worldly sophistication much as we (American and English) quote French or Latin in higher social circles. This is a great time for English based writers if Americans have a penchant for expression they should try their hand at it. This is truly a unique time in American literature.

OPA Do you believe that all writers are the product of their nationality? Is it an incentive or an obstacle in becoming an international writer?

MICHAEL: Hmmm? In many cases nationality is a factor when it comes to subject matter and opportunity. Writing in a second language can be challenging but more and more the barriers are being broken,  Poets tend to disregard borders because we know that feelings are the same everywhere. There has never been a better time for becoming an international writer and opportunities will only increase in the future. I say go for it.

OPA What 7 words would you use to describe yourself?

MICHAEL: Romantic, humanist, roguish, unconventional, non-materialistic, empowering and humorous.

OPA   Is there anything else that you would like to share or say to those who will read this interview?

MICHAEL Believe and be true to yourself. We are all amazing in one way or another. Celebrate the differences and see the love in all things.

The editorial staff of this project: Stacia Lynn Reynolds and Deborah Brooks Langford; sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.




Like a river of gold I exhale in the twilight pause,
How strange, the beauty unknown in mundane concerns
rushing to greet those that cast about in final merit.
Oh grim is this contemplation poised on this bridge of sighs,
The abode of lovers and those wishing final flight,
Would motorist think me an odd contemplation in this pedestrian extreme?
Why would they,
They hasten to that, which they would claim,
Bonds deeply shared in a more perfect world.
Ties that buffer the madness that now claims my fervent disregard.
But still.
Tired eyes look anew at beauty long since forgotten
I will simply go home and find merit in the small things,
Maybe I will greet the river below
Today… I think, golden rays will bleed me to another morrow.
Another sorrow.

©2016 Michael J Garland


Where is the gardener of wondrous stories?
I would know more of his loves and many past glories.
His body is worn but spirit is strong.
I would hear of his tales in exchange for a song.
I call out “Old man ! where then have you gone”
Only buzzing of wings on the manicured lawn
The silver comfort of the fountain is lacking
At once on the chair the old man sits laughing
“ It seems but an age since you’ve come to my home.
I fear I must travel but I’ll not walk alone.
I go with my loves my friends and family,
And youth has returned, I’m once more the dandy.
I must ride the train to a faraway station.
I travel so grand I’m filled with elation.
But I fear my dear friend are parting is nigh
I have only tarried to wish you goodbye
Yet to say goodbye seems such a sin
Instead I will say until we meet again.”
I turned for a moment and my dear friend was gone
Fading away was a heavenly song.
I cried at his absence as I stumbled alone
Then spied a star that flew from his home
I new all at once he was where he belonged
I shall treasure my friend his stories and songs.

© 2016 Michael James Garland


I am lost in a certainty,
A moment when I know,
Life’s epiphany,
In a single embers glow,

Enlightenment affords,
A glance at the book,
Eden begrudges a drop from the brook,
When Everest crown seems not so high,
When the bitter cold not so cruel

I see your glow in a radiant sigh,
The colored hues in dappled eyes,
Where disheartenment a rumor,
Content in your arms I would lie.

Thus, then the solvent of love,
Flows as wine melding our souls,
And for a passion in time we are one,
In an instant divine we are whole.

© Photo and poem 2016 Michael Garland


Undo the twist so lost as I scream
Bend the light with morphine and ephedrine
Catatonic dissertations take on meaning
Something dark and demeaning
See my smile thumbs up I’m screaming
Orate the nonsense of man
Kick about the alley the bitter tin can
What I am is what I am
I’ve nothing more to offer
The next moves your coffer
Dig it up in the down and low
Don’t see me or I’ll know
Twist my words like a noose at flight
Run away survive the night
No bravery just flight

© 2016 Michael Garland


Tick tock the ancient timepiece, steady as she goes.
Sun rising low slanted towards Spartan eventualities.
Death a cloying specter standing sentinel on the other side of realty.
Thin veil of change, a promised kiss in the dance of life.
Then let us waltz in caricature of the tangible.
Let us sing in tones of whispered remembrance
Let us tarry and wish again for senses taken
Let us feed off lovers embraced and the despair of the lost
We want
We are here
Can you not hear us?
Can you not?

© 2016
Michael Garland




Longing mitigates
the drunken night,
treasuring the imprint
abolished by desire
that breaks us
and brings together,
intrinsic fire
of profane verses
under the intrigue
of shadows.

Materiality keeps
our bodies tied up to
the lunar instant
of balsamic ether,
burning desires
falling apart
the mossy seduction
of having the absolute void.

You’re dust in the breeze
of my conscious being,
bringing delightful
and melodic essences

inside hollow fruit trees
of worn out headings.
Imprecise and sharp legend
of upcoming evenings,
barking at the sap sight.

Derange me, seduce me, drive me.
Like a consonant plunging
upon the rhetorical memory,
dialect upsetting and chaining us up
beyond our hands.

dementia without sanity
defining my earthly Nirvana,
meanwhile, I belong to you
under the remote
silence glass…
By rubbing your timely

Translation:  Alaric Gutiérrez


La añoranza  mitiga
la ebriedad  de la  noche,
atesora  la  impronta
abolida  del deseo
que  nos  quebranta
y acerca,
hoguera  intrínseca
de  profanos  versos
en  la intriga
de  las  sombras.

La  materialidad
de  nuestros  cuerpos
nos  ciñe  al instante  lunar
balsámico  del  éter,
anhelos  que  arden
y  se  precipitan
la  musgosa  seducción
de  poseer  la  absoluta  nada.
Eres  polvo  en  la  brisa
de  mi  ser  consciente,
deleite  que suscita
esencias  melódicas
en  los  huecos  frutales
de  epígrafes  gastadas.
Leyenda  imprecisa   y nítida
de  anocheceres  venideros,
ladrándole  a  la savia  del  suspiro.

Desquíciame,  sedúceme,  condúceme.
Cual  consonante  que  se  abisma
en  la  retórica  de la memoria,
dialecto  que trastoca y encadena
más  allá  de  las  manos.
de  la  demencia  sin  cordura
lapida  mi  nirvana  terrenal,
entretanto  te  pertenezco
bajo  el  recóndito
vidrio  del  silencio…
Al  rozar  la  espiga
de tu tiempo.

© Alicia Minjarez Ramírez


Redemptive breeze
imprisons my space,
like raining stars
as fragrant words
at the crescent moon,
salt conspires about
your shooting and lasting

Blue air flutter about
your wet
vertices notes,
the tree’s essence.
Guttural sounds
the horizon.

I sense you
among murmurs
of leaves
liquid shadows,
pigeon’s pieces,
luminance music

of the dreams
we forge.

I find you,
wrong or right,
in haste;
in the rain’s
incessant voice.
Beautiful traveler
of dreamed steps
and arms of fire.

Drowned in
desire-scented steam
I dusk upon
foreign oaks,
as touch produced by
your path;
dark moor
of an old sky
your word of light,
the illusory
of language.

Translation:    Alaric Gutiérrez


Aprisiona  mi espacio
la  brisa  redentora,
llueven  estrellas
en  palabras  olorosas,
en  la  media  luna
la  sal  conspira
tu  existencia
fugaz  y  duradera.

El  aire  azul  revolotea
las  húmedas  notas
de  tus vértices,
que  ascienden
por  la esencia
de  los  árboles.
Sonidos guturales
en la mancha
del horizonte.

Te intuyo
en  el  murmullo
de  las  hojas
que  diluyen
líquidas  sombras,
trozos  imaginarios
de  palomas,
música  lumínica
en  el  sueño  que  forjamos.

Te encuentro
en  la  premura
errada  o  acertada,
en  la  voz  incesante
de  la  lluvia,
hermoso  viajero
de  pasos  oníricos
y  brazos  de  fuego.
Ahogada  en  el  vapor
perfumado  del  deseo
en  encinos  forasteros,
cual  tacto  que  produce
tu  sendero,
páramo  oscuro
del  antiguo  cielo
tu  vocablo  de  luz,
en  la  cópula
del  lenguaje.

© Alicia Minjarez Ramírez

A longing breeze
tries to show itself,
like nostalgia
up in the air.

Water permeates
my body.
Your breath
fills in
the context.

Longing secrets
that the wind
shakes up in the offing,
then nothingness.

I walk behind
upon the moisture
left by the drops
under the branches.

Birds get detached
from their nests,
looking for
the promised shelter.

Church bells ring,
the night

I long to dry off
the rain,
like those birds
park trees
in the evening.

The stillness of your eyes
invades me…
Ecstatic wings,
paralyzing their flight.
At my silence’s feet.

Translator:   Alaric  Gutiérrez

Un  dejo  de  nostalgia
pretende  anunciarse,
como  esa  brisa
que  emigra
en  el  aire.

El  agua  impregna
mi  cuerpo
tu  aliento  inunda
el contexto.

Largos  secretos
que  el  viento
sacude  en  lontananzas,
después  la  nada.

Camino  rezagada
en  la  humedad
que  dejaron  las gotas
debajo  de  las  ramas.

Las  aves  se  desprenden
de  sus  nidos,
¡el  refugio  prometido!

Repican las campanas
de la iglesia,
afuera  interrumpe
la  noche.

Ansío secarme la lluvia,
como  esos  pájaros
que  agobian
los  árboles
en  el  atardecer
de  los parques.

Me invade
la  quietud  de tus ojos,
¡alas  extasiadas
inmovilizando  su  vuelo!
Al  pie  de  mi  silencio.


ALICIA  MINJAREZ  RAMÍREZ:  Poet, Translator,  Singer,   Broadcast locution Radio and T.V. She was born in Tijuana Baja California, Mexico.  Winner of a special mention at the International Poetry Prize NOSSIDE Italy 2015, recognized by UNESCO.  Awarded with the International Inspirational Poetry Prize, Pentasi B. World Ghana 2016. Winner of a mention at the NOSSIDE Poetry Prize 2016  Italy 2016. She was considered among the International Poets published  on the XXI Century World Literature Book released at New Delhi, India, 2016.  Her poems have been translated into English,  Albanian, Cameroonian,  Arabic, Chinese,  Portuguese and French.  Have been published in more than 30 International Anthologies, journals and magazines around the world.  Her poems  have had read on  International  Poetry  Recitals  in several  Countries and transmitted in National and International  Radio programs.