[Mike Porter’s “Moments”] provided the impetus for this, our fifth Poets Collective anthology. While previous volumes have dipped into the “well of cultivated moments” through contests and submission calls, this is the first that evolved as a team project, and that’s why readers will sense a more palpable aura of camaraderie between the lines. Poets have a way of connecting that is like no other.

Write, Share, Discuss (WSD) is one of the myriad special interest enclaves that feels like home within the vast domain of AllPoetry.com. We acknowledge with gratitude that bustling website’s founder, Kevin Watt, for implementing and maintaining the world’s largest poetry venue since 2001. While the site’s instructional focus promotes contemporary “image without context” trends over preserving traditional forms of poetic expression, almost any writer can find an audience by exploring its less-traveled corridors. In WSD, facilitated by Mary and Lily, all are encouraged to exchange honest, useful feedback in a mutually respectful manner, fostering an environment in which friendships can flourish while we all strive to hone our skills. (“All are teachers; all are learners.”)

The authors in this collection introduce themselves in their own way and offer you a personal sampling. Representing a cross-section of poetic disciplines, walks of life, cultures, nationalities, belief systems, and various demographics that too often have trouble finding common ground in society at large, our lively discussions are fueled by shared love of the craft that emboldens authenticity. When judgment is suspended and human vulnerabilities are exposed, bonding cannot help but occur.

Within these pages are family-friendly examples of flowing free verse (p. 92), classical rhyme & meter (p. 14), innovative formatting (p. 70), confessional verse (p. 62), poetic prose (p. 56), light verse (p. 86), brevity (p. 23), and others stylistic choices that contribute to the rich tapestry of creative thinking and writing that makes our Moments worth sharing. We invite you to linger often and intently over each.

-Mary Boren
March, 2019

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Fifth in the Poets Collective Anthology Series

18 poets joined in the bonds of friendship to share from the “cultivated well of moments” of their lives, experienced and imagined through a variety of lenses, for a uniquely cohesive collection.

Compiled and edited by Mary Boren
Cover design by Dan Erickson

Poets: Barbara Wood, Mark Vincent, Sarah Van der Pas, Jonathan Topazian, Michael Thomas, Gavin Quinn, Mike Porter, Jim Loft, G. Eve Kaye, Tabitha Isbell, Thomas Horton, Kenn Henry, Dan Erickson, Susanne Donoghue, Lily Colbin, Susan Chambers, Maggie Brown, Mary Boren

Since 2019, anthology submissions and most of the poems on the Poets Collective website come from Write, Share, Discuss, a small group of poets on allpoetry.com who are engaged with one another in genuine camaraderie and the thoughtful exchange of in-depth critique. Participants pay no fee for inclusion. All PoCo Publications projects are profanity-free.


by Mike Porter

My pen works its will 
within the bounds of lines and leaves, 
transforming disconnected memories 
to gently flowing verse between …

… my hands, 
cherub cheeks beaming above me
as the halo of her hair
shines in the sunlight. 
I know that the next drawn breath
will release a squealing, 
“Again daddy, again …”

… comes the tock. 
An echo begins the solemn pursuit 
of its fleeing tick, 
clattering down the hallway 
toward an empty bed 
to slide beneath and await the next …

… hesitation just before our lips touch, 
suspended over this 
tiny chasm of separation. 
A final breath before the plunge, 
savoring the electric anticipation 
before it’s drowned in realization and …

… violet-white lines throb as my eyes insist 
the darkness hasn’t returned.
Raindrops chatter of trivialities and 
run down my face in search‚Äč of shelter 
from the coming thunder. The night …

… blue eyes with hints of woven gold. 
An ocean illusion, 
waves to the shining horizon 
with tips breaking in captured light
from a slowly sinking sun. 
I smile and touch …

… the pages as I close my notebook, 
binding the spell for the night.
Perhaps tomorrow 
will draw more words from the 
well of cultivated moments.

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