In the ataxia of lunacy
A ghost landscape stands sentinel
Like a portrait painted
From the inside out.
The image of you
Forlorn and forgotten,
in that melancholy day
abolishing the morning stars.
Hybrid stasis of emotions
Signals an imaginary border
Of self-invention on
The wrong side of life.
While the hidden paradigm
Reaches towards itself
And asks— will you be
Unremembered in your death?
A lonely starling ensnared
By an evening phantom tree
Forfeited in the twilight of
Celestial awakening and synergy.
Her blood polluted with
pharmaceutical rivers of
denial and hopelessness
beholden to fentanyl.
Future new-age Eden awaits
In a dilapidated strip mall.
The walls white and peeling
Humanity held hostage.
The serpent in a white coat
Dispenses your savior.
Sins of addiction and the
resurrection of enslavement.
I wanted to save you
In a time where nothing happens,
No decisions are shared
For what we cared for.
Will the past and the future
Ignite into the present?
Absorbing in the transferal imminence
Of our first and last love.
Carl Scharwath has appeared globally with 150+ journals selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays, plays or art photography.Two poetry books ‘Journey To Become Forgotten’ (Kind of a Hurricane Press).and ‘Abandoned’ (ScarsTv) have been published. Carl is the art editor for Minute Magazine, a dedicated runner and 2nd degree black- belt in Taekwondo.
Towards the autumn sky
I make a shape of heart
With my clumsy hands
This is the feel of life
I tell the cloud
This is to illuminate the dark
Dreamland like a search light
I tell the crow stalking behind
Like the spirit of my late
Father. This is to gather all
The positive energy in the world &
Send it to the future. I tell my
Unborn grandson. This is the cycle
Of life & the philosopher’s stone
I tell the skeletal copse. This is
The circle to fill in with cries
I tell my other self
Beyond cosmic wall, as if
To balance yin and yang
In the whole universe
You & Me
Each time you fall asleep
In the depth
Don’t fear, my dear
I will stay close on guard
Like the sun on the other
Side of the world, keeping
Your dream warm, &
When you rise with a morning
Glow, my light will cast a shadow
Always ready to follow you
Preventing your soul from lagging behind
Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.
The Pendulum Swings
Rip the clock off the wall
and fling it onto the snowy lawn.
Carry your big screen TV
upstairs and let it fall
out the window. Smash your cell phone
with a hammer until any resemblance is gone.
Set your computer on fire and sing
farewell to Facebook and Twitter.
From now on, you’ll listen to people talk,
study their noses and jaw lines, admire the spring
in their step, their eye color and smiles.
You’ll read and exercise, meditate and write.
You’ll stare at the face of your lover and bring
your very best to the table.
The world will slow to a snail’s
pace and the snow will look whiter, the bare trees,
beautiful in their finished bark,
the sky, crystal clear blue for miles
in every direction.
It was the great Mahatma Gandhi
who said, “There’s more to life than increasing its speed.”
Take a deep breath, smell the wood burning
in fireplaces, hear the church bells ringing three
blocks over, and watch as the moon comes out and dances
just for you.
A Good Part
I spend a good part of my day
commit suicide, jumping off branches
thirty, forty, even sixty feet up under a gray
There’s a good part of my belief
system that tries to understand
should mean to me as a sixty-three
year old white male
born to privilege, a metal spoon in my hand,
to good parents who loved me
and did their best.
The trees shake and undress, take their stand
against winter who stops by
for three or four months to see
how much snow and cold I can take.
The allusions are obvious: I need
to let go; change will come, tomorrow’s freeze
can slow the world to a snail’s
pace. Nothing I do or say can make
the fall longer, the winter shorter.
Nothing can slow down the hands
of any clock, for me or anyone’s sake.
I spend a good part of my life wondering why.
David James’ third book, MY TORN DANCE CARD, was a finalist in the 2017 Book Excellence Awards. In addition to publishing six chapbooks, he’s had over thirty one-act plays produced. James teaches at Oakland Community College in Michigan. email@example.com
You Cannot Always Find Your Way
Patches of a swath of snow
blur either side of the walk
under an arbor of white grapes
where a tree’s canopy occludes
The niece of Sylvia Beach fills
biomorphic outlines with white paint
on a cardboard mottled, no direct route
from corner to corner of the bookstore
not far from the Seine.
That year I fell too, off the curb
in front of the theatre where Colette
performed nights, trysts during the day
in rooms dusty with velvet drapes.
I compose well when infirm,
when I sit in cafes because I cannot
climb stairs, cannot stand at Picasso’s
paintings in a museum named for him
or in front of Impressionists in the station
where trains no longer roll.
White is blinding in a winter sun,
pupils so small that if there were a path
through the garden in Paris,
I could not see that two lovers
within the frame each hold out a grape.
Tango, a sculpture that twists up from grass,
wild morning glory of rusting reds that leaves
a clasp of hands where corn once stalked
this garden for an arch of back, a curve to cheek.
A dove wings from the perch of metal shed,
walks the lip of bath to watch steel form and shape.
Nothing interferes with the plane of grace,
even lilacs have gone away, the elms have faded.
Bundled in a plaid shirt on a back porch chair,
feet remember each dip and curve of the dance,
the sweat of salt down margarita glasses,
how everyone leaned to walls to give us space.
Kyle Laws is based out of the Arts Alliance Studios Community in Pueblo, CO where she directs Line/Circle: Women Poets in Performance. Her collections include Faces of Fishing Creek (Middle Creek Publishing), So Bright to Blind (Five Oaks Press), and Wildwood (Lummox Press). Ride the Pink Horse is forthcoming from Spartan Press. With six nominations for a Pushcart Prize, her poems and essays have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. She is the editor and publisher of Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press.
My love is like that fresh produce
in the market place
at the time of noon.
Failed at the day’s fondles
anxious and dwindled
tired and swooned.
Am I a freak pluck?
Can’t I adorn a porcelain bowl?
Be a jewel in the korma,
jalfrezi or ethereal jhol.
Its past noon!
I assume I can’t even decorate
A poor man’s plate: Panta- Bhat:
Thought my woe betide soul.
I wish I could speak to my Master!
Convince Him, or His wife
to take me home, they could have
shredded me off, severed my rot
and added me to their broth.
But they did not do so.
They dumped me beside
the sewage gutter.
in filthy stench, murky litter.
I wailed at my predicament!
Wallowing in my woe.
Past the noon and the afternoon.
My putrefying ridges saw
A limp goat wobbling forth.
Thus finding some purpose
in being its nourishment.
It gobbled me whole.
Om Mani Padme Hum!
Om Mani Padme Hum!
My love is like that ridged gourd
at the marketplace
ravished by the goon noon.
Romancing with my
Limp Goat until he becomes
The Day of Ochre Sun
When the python coils five spins
To raise her hood from her beauty sleep.
When the turtles become carnivorous
And rise against their predatory masters.
When the dogs howl in wolfish ululation
Responding to their perennial instincts.
When engulfed by the mighty waves
The ark sinks.
Men; what would you do then?
Pray or preserve? Or take up arms?
Where would you hide your dirty faces?
When the woods would refuse to provide shelter.
The seas have already been poisoned,
You won’t be able to wash hands either.
As our earth picks up inspiration from fiction
Ominous to some fateful chapter;
The sky sprinkles waters from Lithe.
Aunties blow conch shells to make truce.
When clairvoyant creatures run away
Godmen try to sanctify God’s whims.
And scientists play God to preserve .
let us stay close to one another
Beholding our memories in silent prayers.
For when we are carried away, scattered again
We may fix the jig-saw-puzzle
Of our broken lives
Meandering through another lost era.
Anupama Bhattacharya is a teacher by profession. She calls herself an aspiring poet because she thinks there’s always so much to learn. Her poems have found place in platforms like The Time of India, Ceasurae Literary Magazine and Ethos Literary Magazine. Many other Kolkata based little magazines like The Beacon Kolkata have also published her work. With specialization in kathak and Rabindranritya she tries to find immanence in dance as well. An ardent lover of music, literature and poetry she believes in healing the world with words and rhythm. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goddess Of Death
Am appealing to your gentle side
as your strikes to the living
are creating anger and outrage
to those of us amongst the living.
Not positive of what you are
attempting to do with your efforts
but to bring u loss and sorrow.
Your victims are so young
and full of potential.
The bricks of our future
crumbled to blowing dust.
The lessons you are trying to teach
have been now engrained.
Fear who may be next
at an unexpected time.
The power and sorrow
that you yield is intense.
You are taking pieces of us all
as your venom is dealt.
We appeal to you, Goddess of Death.
Let us heal.
Should Have Seen It
I blame only myself for the end result.
I should have seen it
the moment we shook hands
and decided trust was our only path.
We were young when we first met.
Sharing the trials of being friends
in an ever-changing youth.
That is where a life long bond started.
Shut my eyes to the little substances
that entered your body and mind.
May have been that I thought
we both knew better.
There was all the time spent apart
with different people
as we grew older
so I never saw all you were doing.
It was like you moved away
as time went on.
I was not perfect
as I had many demons
to battle and slay.
Focus was completely gone.
I realized that I was not
playing close attention
when I saw you again.
Haggard and worn,
older looking than your years.
I blame me for not seeing
and being around.
I heard rumours but ignored
and that is my fault.
I should have seen it.
Andrew Scott is a native of Fredericton, NB. During his time as an active poet, Andrew Scott has taken the time to speak in front of a classrooms, judge poetry competitions as well as be published worldwide in such publications as The Art of Being Human, Battered Shadows and The Broken Ones. His books, Snake With A Flower, The Phoenix Has Risen, The Path, The Storm Is Coming and Through My Eyes are available now. Searching is his fifth poetry collection.
The weary dossier slams upon the desk
Xenophobic clichés come home to roost
Made happy by margins too close to call.
Buffoons rejoicing at lights going out
All over Europe, a slapdash victory.
Packaged delirium frames a decision
Room for reversal no longer there
Heeding to get the country back
A bijou position, beauty contest
All having prizes having won so far.
Morphing into concern over markets
General well-being a glorious past
Where none existed, nostalgia aside
A perennial disease speaking tomes
Propaganda on the cloak of respectability.
Leaving London, at Greenwich Mean Time
Equal pay for equal work a recent memory
Bonuses exploding where breached
Independence day screeched far and wide
Passports flying on both wings.
Spot the Ball
Dropping the liathróid is cause for effect
Closed-circuit judgement too close to call
Incrimentable leanings call for judgement
The disappointed diaspora follows home.
Curry chips burning your tongue
Sponsored alcohol coming a close first
The extended youth bays for recall
Boiling resignation spotlights defeat.
Seated, catching breath, news sinking in,
Being sent to domestic exile a just game
Shedding tears at the worst possible outcome
Flat whites the last comfort before home.
Not even the Eurovision can help us now.
Exiting ridicule repeating its miserable self
Acrobatics and cheese bouncing off each other
Redeeming some decorum once considered naff.
Sink the ball into the back of the net, and
We’ll discuss your option afterwards
Sacrificing lifeblood for a few weeks’ joy
Trampling glory into the streets of derision.
Patricia Walsh was born and raised in the parish of Mourneabbey, Co Cork, Ireland. To date, she has published one novel, titled The Quest for Lost Eire, in 2014, and has published one collection of poetry, titled Continuity Errors, with Lapwing Publications in 2010. She has since been published in a variety of print and online journals. These include: The Lake; Seventh Quarry Press; Marble Journal; New Binary Press; Stanzas; Crossways; Ygdrasil; Seventh Quarry; The Fractured Nuance; Revival Magazine; Ink Sweat and Tears; Drunk Monkeys; Hesterglock Press; Linnet’s Wing, Narrator International, The Galway Review; Poethead and The Evening Echo.
Language Bridge Fridge
I love language.
Language loves me.
We float on a sea of words:
Sciatica, formaldehyde, miasma,
The, a, with, in spite of.
I-you connect with words but not touch, not face, not smell, not voice,
and certainly not taste.
What do you think is the purpose of the universe?
Does it have a purpose?
Whatz the afterlife like,
tunnel to light,
Great-Aunt Charlotte coming to lead me on,
fading senses then dark then no consciousness then bugs eating our body, then skeleton
You-me, we are the same in a billion ways,
different in a billion ways.
We both have zillions of microbes in our gut to digest our food.
We both speak English,
and not Urdu,
or shrieks, usually,
or body language,
or chemical deposits,
or ultrasound beeps,
or tears, usually.
Are you crying?
Can’t see you.
Am I grinning diabolically?
Can’t see me.
What we do have is words and grammar.
Ain’t no nother type of communication,
here at least.
Ads, now there’s another English.
And English. There are many Englishes:
legal English, business English, hip hop English, rural Mississippi English,
Bronx English, India English, Cockney, Elizabethan, Old, Japanglish,
Blah blah blah.
Freak, semidemiquaver, rip rap, romcom, fabulosity.
Choose your own words, the ones that just pop into your mind right now.
Can’t hear you.
So I’ll just blabber on myself for a bit.
Blabber, gibber, –ber.
In the fridge.
We connotate the universe.
Instead of solid objects, dining table, we produce a glow of associations, family, food, togetherness,
I would take you in my arms, stroke your long red hair, kiss your lips like drinking cabernet, like . . .
You left me on the floor, stomach tangled into a painful knot, the future a cold bleak field.
So it is with light.
The universe is all light. Matter is a form of light. Light moves. We are light. We absorb light
like plants absorb light. In fact, we live on light, the light from animals, the light from plants,
the light from the sun. We in turn glow with light. We emanate.
Isn’t that a warm concept? Light connotates with beauty, cheer, joy.
But light also can be ugliness, disaster, death.
We see everything through light that arrives at the iris, is processed through the brain.
If we are light then our tumors are light, as are our highest thoughts.
As is God.
Free as a bird. Going to fly now.
Birds connotate as winged freedom, as nice, as chirping happiness.
But birds in the sky are at work. They hunt for creatures to kill with their beaks and claws.
They defend territory, whacking into pelicans which fall in the sea broken.
Brown birds peck at black birds to defend a lawn of food;
black birds swarm over the bald eagle to drive it away.
Try holding a falcon, try kissing a falcon, try looking a falcon in its sharp eye,
and telling it you love it.
A bloody mess is what you’ll be.
I mentioned God.
We connotate God.
We connotate sin.
We connotate grace.
An object, in this case an object made of plastic.
I connotate desk to be happiness, writing, communicating online, savings photos,
a pile of bills, a pile of pens and two scissors.
A good thing.
But a thing.
There is the desk and there is me, seated before it.
Such it is with all things, all thoughts, all concepts, all theories, all.
Denotation is as hard to get to as a nut would be inside a foot-thick shell.
We live in connotation.
We ache for denotation.
Our world is our own glow.
Every word of this poem is a lie.
Every word you use, I use, they use, they used, they will use
is a lie.
Every word is connotation,
A lifetime of accretions.
This poem is the shell.
Within it is the meaning,
which is beyond our grasp.
Which becomes real although it isn’t,
just as a belief becomes real because we act on it,
kneeling on the kneeler,
putting a five dollar bill in the collection basket,
becoming a monk,
hating a woman in a hijab at the grocery store.
And vice versa.
David Flynn was born in the textile mill company town of Bemis, TN. His jobs have included newspaper reporter, magazine editor and university teacher. He has five degrees and is both a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Specialist with a recent grant in Indonesia. His literary publications total more than two hundred. He currently lives in Nashville, TN, where he is director of the Musicians Reunion, an annual blues festival now in its 36th year. He also teaches at Belmont University in the English and Asian Studies programs.
Skies were pinked eternally,
Man and his strong will,
It’s not supposed to waver,
Nineteen forty five.
Like the butterfly
Violence was metamorphosed,
Into something beautiful.
Casualties of war,
Waterless lands I suppose,
I did not see it.
But I imagine
If there is no heaven
It has been made easy.
But change shan’t exist?
Since reality is concrete?
Human heart is violent?
The end of story,
A Spit worthy history
Etched with dried throats on waterless land.
How did violence change
In something so colorless,
Wasn’t it supposed to be red?
A little less grotesque,
A little bit like our old Hamlet’s fantasy?
A little bit of aggression,
A little like our man Hitler?
A man up to put on stake?
Would it make things any better?
See the beauty of it.
A canvas pinked to start anew,
At least not white.
These schemes of language,
The Web of our demise,
The grammar of our prisoned minds,
From where shall the thread be pulled?
Let’s watch the skies again
Though it will remain pink forever,
The everlasting sunset.
Will it remain pink forever?
Shan’t change that brings forth differences
Be more waterlike than watery.
Nineteen fourty five
So many of us died,
So many die everyday
When did violence became the truth
Invocation of a pupil
Some sure men in their toughened demeanour,
And stark icy cold weather about them,
So seem in their design a vile creature,
A mass of thick blunt adamantine phlegm,
Oft their decisions rave in finality,
Sometimes stretched in similar fashion,
For years in age add fear for frailty,
This world is of survived so they mention.
They believe we are species so rational,
We could dream but not of rills and magic.
Could they be challenged for winters are seasonal,
And fight against valid history and logic.
These sure men all roughened by life,
Where dreamers are killed and romantics despised,
For them toil has meaning and winning in strife;
For they know life’s politics and it’s advice.
One surer man, brewed in fumes of sublime;
Who swelled in lakes of tranquil mystery
And pondering minds of olden times,
While savouring leaves of one golden tree.
Flowed in a vale so deep and dark beneath,
Streaming o’er memories, eyeing sky for hours,
Raking through many a decaying wreaths,
Said he “life that we live is never ours.”
“We are forged by life we fallen into,
All engineered by several algorithms,
Our thoughts are designed complex simply to”
Meet acceptance to worldly tunes and rhythms.
What we believe is not what we believe,
But made to believe in decisive manner,
Our thoughts seep through an invisible sieve,
Enslaved by patterns so mundane forever
Sanghpriya Gautam is a seeker of truth, poet and writer.
Translated by Artur Komoter
Music of the Word
Beautiful is the world
painted with the music of the word.
a butterfly passing by,
who for a moment
intoxicates with the colouring of its body,
the breath of those thirsty for beauty.
Its sensual dance
is freedom of imagination.
And the word?
The word can be
that can be heard
when it is quiet,
and yet silent.
Gardens of Silence
In the gardens of silence
the words sound silence.
Those longing, desiring
do not whisper even from afar
It’s good that they scream within it.
Maybe it heard them before,
maybe it dreamed about them before?
Eliza Segiet is Jagiellonian University graduate with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. She completed postgraduate studies in Cultural Knowledge, Philosophy, Penal Fiscal and Economic Law, and Creative Writing at Jagiellonian University, as well as Film and Television Production in Łódź. She has published three poetry collections and two monodramas.