Poetry of Ted Hughes

In honor of Ted Hughes Birthday, I share with you a few poems from “Birthday Letters.” The Birthday letters are addressed to literary giant, sylvia Plath, his love and first wife before her untimely death. Ted Hughes (1930-98)   was poet laureate to the queen Elizabeth II. 

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“Grievous, Sour Teeth” a Poem by Matt ‘Loveit or’ Leavitt

I couldn’t tell you who’s screaming from the apartment next door. A woman lives there.

These are the screams of a man.

Mom said I should be more quiet when I come home late at night. She hears me make my way upstairs or to the kitchen. Fumbling like rats. There’s venom in her voice. I see the body sit up from the sheets in the dark. It’s absurd, its mother, but im afraid.

Young and in the way. Like a butterfly frozen to the 3rd rail. All lit up. Somewhere miles down those rails is the leviathan. God of the tracks, indiscriminate and certain. Metal ghoul, bigger than death. It’s coming now. And all the beauty in those iridescent wings couldn’t possess the small creature to just fly away. All the color in this colorless world could not move her from harms way.

Can you fill in the blanks? Accept the ______. Release _______. Never once did I get the chance to _______ you. These ______ don’t leave me alone. I saw it again last night. I came to tell you because I’m certain I saw it. It was ____________________. Loss Loss Loss Loss.

Entombed chicken, inside you is all I need to know. Your being is worthless. Your cadaver is so delicious, so much more interesting than you.

There is a fog here. It smells like pines and dirt. I shouldn’t be here. I feel the dirt on my feet. Wait I shouldn’t be here right now. It’s cold and I can’t see. Trapped under ice. This isn’t a dream, I’m really awake I’m not in my bed. There’s fog everywhere and suffocation. I want to close my eyes but I cant. I cant move. Dirt beneath my feet. Dirt and wood. Wood and metal. Bright lights in the mist. Its coming.

Oceans deep in memories. I can never touch you again, so leave my fucking bed.  Leave this fucking place. Leave my fucking head.

In Salem they took mothers and made them chickens.

In Salem they put women to fire.

In Salem all the mothers were dragged into sunlight. Man has been on a power trip ever since.

Devastation and mayhem. It’s what all the kids are into nowadays. It’s in the milk. It’s in the cans. You can never get far enough away.

In Sodom, they wandered the streets like ______.

In Sodom they saw a little light in that small window.

In Sodom, man found angels. 

And integrity became king.

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This poem was written by Matt Leavitt. He holds all copyright to this work, nothing may be borrowed or manipulated without his full consent.


If you have any questions, email our Publisher, Willy Martinez at martinez@mindonfirebooks.com

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“Pacman” a Poem by Matt ‘Loveit or’ Leavitt

I’m down to the wire with just one life left and every morning it starts anew, asking me if I’m ready. I never had a choice. I’ve been here before. I’m stuck in a maze and every time I think I found my way out, I open the front door into my own living room. Just like I left it. Do you ever get the feeling that someone is watching you? That this is all some sort of game, that nothing really means anything? It’s habit now, keeping me alive, muscle memory and a pocket of coins, I slide my hand along the wall to find my way back. Extinguishing lights till all routes are black. I’m chased by the ghosts of my past, locked in a cell with these demons and masks, pink like the flesh, gold like the flask, I should’ve have asked, a blue in her eyes  and red wrists in her lap, I’m so sorry…

I’m trying to keep it together,but I’ve pulled out all your feathers, my flightless angel moonlight sonata forever.

I think you were here, but all I have to show for it is 3 small letters, an alphabet signature just boasting how long you could play me.

 “Please make it stop” I begged as you fed me a coin.

A ghost in a machine, a ghost of a ghost, my branches are empty, all the fruit that you’ve took, I’m dying on repeat, just some eyes forced to look.

This poem was written by Matt Leavitt. He holds all copyright to this work, nothing may be borrowed or manipulated without his full consent.

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Pacman by Matt Leavitt. Photo by Barbara Zandoval on Unsplash. Poetry, Poem. mind on fire books

If you have any questions, email our Publisher, Willy Martinez at martinez@mindonfirebooks.com

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“The Cold” a Poem by Matt ‘Loveit or’ Leavitt

Surrounded by snow, they developed a poetry for their world. To understand.

The Eskaleutic languages are said to have many words for “Snow”. As many as 50 to the English 4. And in much the same way a fish develops intricate gills to decipher its experience, these people of the Arctic developed their own.

An Aleut man makes his way back home from the sea and on his climb, feels the snow escape his fingers. This snow will not stay. This snow is unstable and young. He can try to hold it, but it is pointless. This snow is different.

A Yupik woman looks out over the taiga and sees that it is good. It is new and untouched. Her travel will be safe and her journey will be short.

The Inuit enters his home and beats the remaining snow from his clothes. This snow was able to cling. It was stubborn and it followed him home. It would rather melt and die in his warmth then let go into the vastness of its own world.

Now, I wonder if we’ve missed something. Something fundamental. I wonder if we’re swimming without our gills.

It would appear we find ourselves in a world of Cold all our own. And it would seem that when we first discovered The Cold, we ran. We built homes of warmth and tools of forgetting and we have been running ever since.

I was a young boy when I first fell off my bike. I wasn’t paying attention and I hit a pothole that sent me flying over myself. I was scraped and cut and bloody and I remember it blinking all over me. “This is pain.”

I was a young man in college when I remember looking through that screen at your eyes. You knew we had gone too far, made a mockery of the whole thing. I knew you loved me and you were sorry. You knew the same. And when I hung up, I remember it blinking all over me. “This is Pain.”

And but two years later, when it came from the far and changed me completely, I screamed and begged. I was muffled under snow so heavy and fought for every breath. And no matter how many times, countless times, I climbed for escape, the snow rained down on my head. And no one could reach to help me out. I looked up at their faces, all trying, and I thought to myself, under the blinking, “This…this is Pain.”

Igadug- A violent snowstorm.

Ever since that day, I cannot ignore The Cold. To ignore it is only to walk outside one day and get trapped beneath it. So I respect The Cold. I thank The Cold for making me see. I thank The Cold when I hold my loved ones a little tighter for warmth. I celebrate in The Cold, because it means I’m still here. I dance in The Cold, to show others that it isn’t so scary. And when The Cold comes, I smile, because I know what The Cold implies.

There are some things that no one has a word for. There is a beauty hidden behind the wordless. There is an understanding and deep down, in the deepest love, there is a blinking.

Poem by Matt Leavitt. Photo by Gabriel Garcia Marengo. Poetry. Video by Mind on Fire Books

Poem by Matt Leavitt. Matt holds all copyright; nothing can be copied or duplicated without his permission.


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“Gutpunch” a Poem by Matt ‘Loveit or’ Leavitt

You write “Anxiety” like a necessary side-effect. Like it’s some throwaway. Like it’s a symptom. And the family is always smiling. Show them. Show the shivering, the thousand mile stare. Show the despair and embarrassment. Hiding yourself from the one you love because you don’t want them to hate you the way you hate you. Looking at something, but not really looking, eating but not really eating, fucking but not really fucking, always a step removed, screaming from behind a film.

You write “Anxiety” like it’s a symptom, you forgot to bold the font and write it twice, write it twice, write it again and again and again, in between words like a misshapen apostrophe, you forgot to tell them about the hesitation before leaving the house, the checking in locked bathroom doors, the 2:00 a.m. prayers on the kitchen floor; you forgot to tell about the forums and the unanswered questions, you forgot to tell them that they may not be entitled to any form of compensation for the people and places they’ll lose; you forgot to tell them Anxiety is a fucking tumor.

I know my panic for what it was, a writhing pile of manic wolves all hopped on top of one another, making the ball all the more violent by the second. It was the true terror of Derry, lurking in the sewers and beckoning me into the current below my life, becoming whatever the hell it wanted to, just to scare me shitless. It was the sudden realization that I was going to die one day. Me. I was going to be dead and all the looming discomfort of this fact. It was the approaching marching band of my heart and issues and sinew and thoughts all collectively pulsating wildly out of my control and the accompanying thought that this was all I was. It was one hit off the bong too many, a weight of dumb washing over all of my senses and locking me into complete and utter stone. Unable to move, unable to think a single thought my own, just the discordant barks of the pile blocking out all intelligible sound. This was panic, this was the villain, not a clown or a mask, but a closet mirror that reflected nothing back but the screams of a 300,000 year old Amygdala.

Death before death. Your fine print could not scroll over the seconds I’ve felt.

This poem was written by Matt Leavitt. Video by MInd on Fire Books. Photo by Žygimantas Dukauskas on Unsplash

This poem was written by Matt Leavitt. He holds all copyright to this work, nothing may be borrowed or manipulated without his full consent.


If you have any questions, email our Publisher, Willy Martinez at martinez@mindonfirebooks.com

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