PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 8; September 2019

v3i8

 

 

Poet of the Month: Glory Sasikala
The Final Snowflake: A Contrapuntal Poem by Troy DeFrates
My Hurry by Edilson Afonso Ferreira
Ruthless Ruin by Ndaba Sibanda
Love between the Seasons by Ahmad Al-Khatat
For your heart redefined by Jayanta Bhaumik
Moon Dust by CL Bledsoe
This Love by Edward Lee
In The Depths of Your Voice by Uma Venkatraman
The Search For Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Glory Sasikala

Office Blues

In the stillness
Someone coughed
Someone yawned
Boss on phone

He –
Control A
Control C
Control V
Copy-pasting
My thoughts
In his diary.

The whirring fan
My ice-cold
stare
Blank at screen

Her tinkling laughter
jarrs on my tired brain

Switch off.
Time to go home…

Just Friendship?

He called it ‘just friendship’
She said I agree with you
They hung around together
All the time and time just flew

He styled his hair the way she liked
‘Twas for her that he wore that shirt
And when she fell in love
With someone else
He wondered why it hurt?

Erotica

Darkness merging with light
The blue opalescence of fear
Giving way to crimson blush…
Droplets of perspiration
On velvet soft skin….
Swirling skirts
And sidelong glances.

The comforting warmth
Of cupped palms
Fingers in feather-light strokes
On strands…….skimming curved surfaces.
A thousand ripples
Of electrified response…

All is still
In heated response
Beating down, cruel and crushing
Draining, draining…..
Not a thought left
In those heated senses.

Flying Home,
A descending peace
A settling down
In the crook of the arm
In an aftermath
Of complete satisfaction.

The continuity
Of dreamless darkness
Where two souls
Merge as one
Neverendingly
In ecstasy…

Glory Sasikala is a poet and writer currently residing in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. She is the Editor and Publisher of the Monthly Online Prose and Poetry magazine, ‘GloMag’ and is the administrator of the group of the same name on Facebook. She is a language editor and quality analyst by profession.

The Final Snowflake: A Contrapuntal Poem by Troy DeFrates

Transitions:
Transitions in life are often followed with pain
There is pain that is already there or you would not be changing
Washing away the past in the cold driven rain
Feeling alone as the seasons exchange
Never again to exist the same
Accept what is coming there is nothing to blame

A Dying Breed:
Leaving you here as the last of your kind
A singular existence passing with time
In your mind you cannot find
Your time is brief, what a crime
Uniqueness is part of nature’s game
The last of your kind you should have no shame

The Final Snowfalke

Transitions in life are often followed with pain
leaving you here as the last of your kind
there is pain that is already there or you would not be changing
a singular existence passing with time.
Washing away the past in the cold driven rain
in your mind you cannot find
feeling alone as the seasons change
your time is brief, what a crime.
Never again to exist the same
uniqueness is part of nature’s game
accept what is coming there is nothing to blame
the last of your kind you should have no shame.

Troy lives in the Great Woods of Northern Wisconsin, U.S.A., And has been published 25 times in the last year in various magazines and periodicals. He loves to share his art and hopefully inspires others to share theirs in kind.  

My Hurry by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

They do not know that I am in a hurry.
A hurry to love this world even more,
with all people destiny has given to me,
fellow travelers in the common journey.
A hurry to instill and teach my children
the art of goodwill and mutual respect,
pillars that bring us closer to the Creator.
A hurry to fight the good fight, wielding
my sword, my mind and my will
against hopeless and unfaithful brothers,
acolytes of those fallen angels who envy,
hate and despise happiness, love and
the common good.
A hurry that before the end of my days,
may I help us to be closer to the promised land,
where milk and honey flow and evil ever hides,
defeated, disoriented, humiliated.
.

Edilson Afonso Ferreira, 75 years, is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than in Portuguese. Largely published in international journals in print and online, he began writing at age 67, after retirement as a bank employee. Nominated for The Pushcart Prize 2017, his first Poetry Collection, Lonely Sailor, One Hundred Poems, was launched in London, November 2018. He is always updating his works at http://www.edilsonmeloferreira.com.

Ruthless Ruin by Ndaba Sibanda

There was
A menace.
A genocidist.
A gukurahundist.
A wrecker of life itself.
He possessed oppression.
Brutality. Immunity. Iniquity.
A real wrecker of a rich nation.
What a life and a foul lie he lived.
His legacy is not only a disgrace
But also a wreck and a hellhole.
Dissent he couldn’t stomach. No.
High was his heartlessness. Ego.
It knew no apologies but orgies.
For all his vile, selfish decisions–
His failures, his sellout actions
He had scapegoats, sycophants
There was shamelessness in it
In his blame game: be it critics,
The opposition or the West or all
Sadly some fell victim to his foolery
He was a cunning and cruel tragedy.
Never frank. No. Ever power-hungry.
He sang of unity as a phony unifier.
He was no panAfricanist. Not at all.
He was a schemer and a divisionist.
The great grandstanding and bashing
Of the West and ‘detractors’ didn’t
Translate into either a total of patriotism
Nor an epitome of panAfricanism. Fallacy.
Surely he was one of the foulest violators
Of rights and dictators of modern times.
Sanctity of life he disrespected stoically.
The history books must be exorcised
Of lies and dishonesties otherwise history
Will not only judge a bunch of pretenders
And confusionists and denialists severely
But as facts` rapists and insensitive loyalists
Who ignore the reality of shallow mass graves
Whose orphaned tears continue to seek justice.

Ndaba Sibanda has contributed to the following anthologies: Its Time, Poems For Haiti- a South African anthology, Snippets ,Voices For Peace and Black Communion. He edited Free Fall (2017). The recipient of a Starry Night ART School scholarship in 2015, Sibanda is the author of Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing and Football of Fools. His work is featured in The New Shoots Anthology, The Van Gogh Anthology edited by Catfish McDaris and Dr. Marc Pietrzykowski, Eternal Snow, A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma scheduled for publication in Spring/Summer 2017 by Nirala Press and Seeing Beyond the Surface Volume II.

Love between the Seasons by Ahmad Al-Khatat

I see
you in
the blue sky,
you
became
a dark cloud
I dream
of you in
a rainbow,
you dream
of me in
autumn

Ahmad Al-Khatat was born in Baghdad, Iraq. His work has appeared in print and online journals globally and has poems translated into several languages. He has been nominated for Best of the Net 2018. He is the author of The Bleeding Heart Poet, Love On The War’s Frontline, Gas Chamber, Wounds from Iraq, and Roofs of Dreams all of which are available from Amazon. He lives in Montreal, Canada.

For your heart redefined by Jayanta Bhaumik
if you have ever seen it remapped again
the world of your heart

arcs of continents curled to lonely beats,
rhizomes faded through
dreams walled along atriums
there are mica hills beside aorta
It is always trillions of people every moment
serving with furores and lengthier cannons
at the insides of bloodlines,
sleepless, calling to the answers
splashed through the secret of ventricles

a country there waiting for your boat

a terrific king is loving the oxygenic moments
blue icicles to question your
footprints in capillaries
a new kind of wisteria open to pulmonic valve
agony of undersea in every breath taken
besides, sad birds of the drift flapping at your skin,
right where, a happy moth-grey tree
enjoys your ribcage –
as you halt your trip once, and you begin
thinking over the surface of your heart

if there is another life buried beneath the soil
if there is someone’s love cast inside its mine

Jayanta Bhaumik is currently based in Kolkata, India. Basically from the field of Metaphysics and Astrology (a Research Member of American Federation of Astrologers Inc.), he finds Poetry as his world of Quest. He finds a period in Singapore and other south-east Asian countries every year for his professional assignments. His works can be found in the recent issues of Poetry Super Highway, Zombie Logic Review, Merak Magazine, The Pangolin Review, Pif Magazine, Better Than Starbucks. He is on Facebook and Twitter @BhaumikJayanta.

Moon Dust by CL Bledsoe

You learned love from the moon’s attentions
to the sea. When light strikes,
it leaves fire and pain, rot replaces vibrancy.
Best to sing from a distance
and hope you aren’t heard. When they learn
someone has survived, they’ll
do their best to eat you in hopes of tasting
regret. Hire the greatest
marketing firm known to America,
and you won’t change
a single heart. (Also, keep an eye on your
vintage tie collection.)
Hatred is a waste of time, but that doesn’t
mean you should ever trust
those who carry ketchup in their chest
pockets. If they get too close,
show your teeth. You’ve spent a lot
to reveal the bone in them.

CL Bledsoe’s latest poetry collection is Trashcans in Love. His latest short story collection is The Shower Fixture Played the Blues. His latest novel is The Funny Thing About… Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter and blogs, with Michael Gushue, at https://medium.com/@howtoeven.

This Love by Edward Lee

I enclose my hand
around the blade of you,
your serrated edge slicing flesh,
releasing blood
to flow from my hard palm
to my already scarred wrists.

But I refuse to let go,
my love for you
compelling me to endure your edge,
no matter the cost,
no matter the pain;

I already know
I cannot live
without you, just as I know
I cannot exist
without the scars that tattoo my body
and my being.

.
Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll. His debut poetry collection “Playing Poohsticks On Ha’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection. He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy. His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com
In The Depths of Your Voice by Uma Venkatraman

I see a world
beyond my reach

I hesitate to step into
this ocean of emotions
in which I know
I will drown

But my feet
respond to the lilt
of your words,

I drift deeper into
the abyss of your
silken syllables

and in the crevasses
of your silence
I stumble into love

Living in Singapore, India-born Uma Venkatraman is a journalist with a passion for poetry. She has been published in anthologies such as Good Morning Justice, Along The Shore and Beyond The Hill, and online in Pink Panther Magazine, The Rising Phoenix Review, L’Ephemere Review and Plath Poetry Project.

The Search For Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

It’s out there, somewhere,
freewheeling and coy,
tugging on the beard of gravity,
on the path of least resistance.
You can’t see it, but listen –
the sound of a bottle
rolling across a table.
The tattle of mice scurrying.
Sounds of light rain
making its way in the dark.
Planet X, feeling the cold.
Feeling its age.
The sun’s secret servant,
wise men sieving night from day,
weighing circumstance
like bettors chasing fortune.
They realize, once a thing is
hidden it has to be found.
It has to be hard to find.
It’s next to impossible.

.

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with over 1,400 poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are ‘The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press), ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy’ (Cawing Crow Press) and ‘Like As If” (Pski’s Porch), Hearsay (The Poet’s Haven).

 

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PPP Ezine Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 7; August 2019

v3i7

 

Poet of the Month: Grant Guy

Life-scale by Jayanta Bhaumik

I feel like a morning star by Milton P. Ehrlich

Rode into the mountains by Daniel de Culla

Poems by Michael Koran

Alone With the Memories by Wayne Russell

All the Axes are Stupid by Fethi Sassi

Tug of War by Yuan Changming

Sing emptiness for me by Brian Rihlmann

PTSD by Carl Scharwath

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Grant Guy

 

 

 

He Was the TOWN DRUNK

 

 

He wasn’t just a drunk.

 

He was THE TOWN DRUNK.

 

He wasn’t always THE TOWN DRUNK.

 

One time he was just a drunk – a five & dime drunk.

 

 

 

What made him THE TOWN DRUNK.

 

He was the drunk who convinced Townes Van Zandt

 

To give up horse for alcohol.

 

     “Townes, give up junk.

 

      Booze won’t kill you

 

      Like that shit you’re putting in your arm.”

 

Townes Van Zandt said,

 

     ‘You cheap old drunk.

 

      What do you know?’

 

Townes Van Zandt did give up smack for the bottle

 

And dropped dead.

 

 

 

THE TOWN DRUNK

 

Had no regrets.

 

 

 

a new orleans poem

 

 

the blues musician

 

sat outside of the jax brewing company

 

he had a drum rollie in his hand

 

he was talking himself into a funk

 

for 8 years we had a black president

 

in return we got a white supremacist in the white house

 

we take two steps forward

 

& get shit thrown in our faces

 

i am glad i live new Orleans

 

& not in the united states

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And You Need to Ask

 

 

She could beat me at strip poker

Without losing a fingernail

She could put the fear of

The Lord in God

She could turn Lucifer

Into a blithering alcoholic angel

She was the Eve of Eden

The Lilith of Heaven

 

 

But she pulled up stakes

And moved to Colorado

And was never seen again

Except for the boys at

Red Dog Pool Hall

 

 

 

And you need to ask why I love her

 

 

 

 

Grant Guy is a Canadian puppeteer, writer and illustrator. Currently he is the artistic director of the object theatre The Circus of Objects. His poems, stories and illustrations have appeared in over 100 journals and reviews in North America, Europe and Africa. He has five books published, including OPEN FRAGMENTS, and his most recent publication, a children’s illustrated book THERE WAS A FARMER’S WIFE. He was the 2004 recipient of the Manitoba Arts Council’s Award of Distinction and the 2017 recipient of the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Making A Difference Award.

 

 

Life-scale by Jayanta Bhaumik

 

Is it only a grain of sand?

Have you ever seen its beautiful shell?

Its history is as weird as a life scaled on life

Infinitesimal, silicon-point, only an existence freak

its birth can speak of an indecipherable dot

carried once through an uneventful trace, nonchalant

a nexus with a hundred scenes, with a lazy dale

sunlit steeps, and farmland, beyond a cityscape,

and anonymous village roads, jagged, below a coral reef

maybe miles after miles with your body or by a car

you lastly find it in the corner of your eye

pick it out then

keeping it away from every web, throw it, that

one grain of sand, nibbled, removed off your qualm

 

that one is you, waiting to be lost in the course

across the wall, beyond the mess of each flow

across the quicksand or the mystery of the massive

all the truths, untold, mistakes mingled into lies

the raindrops then, the bluest of rimes

across all fire

 

it is you, as obvious as your life scaled on life

 

 

 

 

Jayanta Bhaumik is currently based in Kolkata, India. Basically from the field of Metaphysics and Astrology (a Research Member of American Federation of Astrologers Inc.), he finds Poetry as his world of Quest. He finds a period in Singapore and other south-east Asian countries every year for his professional assignments. His works can be found in the recent issues of Poetry Super Highway, Zombie Logic Review, Merak Magazine, The Pangolin Review, Pif Magazine, Better Than Starbucks. He is on Facebook and Twitter @BhaumikJayanta.    

 

 

I feel like a morning star by Milton P. Ehrlich

 

 

When I’m overwhelmed at sunrise

by the planetary pulsations of Venus

embracing me with the light of love,

I’m ready to leap out of bed

and run though the nearest field

of wildflowers like Elvira Madigan.

Eureka! I exclaim, as I run around naked

like Archimedes discovering the purity of gold.

I find enough orchids, marigolds and sunflowers

to make a bouquet that will surprise my sleeping wife.

 

                 

 

 

Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 87- year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published many poems in periodicals such as the London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.

 

  

Rode into the mountains by Daniel de Culla

 

 

In the middle of Spain

Yin Yang in a Journey in Spring

The sun with ist tide home going

Over ground with seed and hands.

This is a place where we must stop:

Ears to earth under frosty

Rotating nebulae, seeing

Old women, Young girls

Babies crying and a few men.

All is unintelligible inside the ground

That yearn for eyes a heart in the center

Aflame with smoke and desire.

Clouds, clouds, clouds

Hazes of the eternal

And ephemeral beyond

Over imposible but almost feasible

Zigzag up never abandoned cliffs

Where the rivers  began

Roading toward blank areas of stark madness

Suddenly realizing its freedom.      

 

 

 

Daniel de Culla is a writer, poet, and photographer. He’s member of the Spanish Writers Association, Earthly Writers International Caucus, Poets of the World, (IA) International Authors, Surrealism Art, Friends of The Blake Society, and others. Director of Gallo Tricolor Review, and Robespierre Review. He participated in many Festivals of Poetry, and Theater in Madrid, Burgos, Berlin, Minden, Hannover and Genève .He has exposed in many galleries from Madrid, Burgos, London, and Amsterdam. He is moving between North Hollywood, Madrid and Burgos; e-mail: gallotricolor@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poems by Michael Koran 

 

In the Midst of the Garden

 

 

 

when breeze blows out of trees

 

rain drops on me

 

                           I’m baptized

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbowing

 

 

 

always in between

 

who I’d like to be and am

 

enjoying the span

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infinity

 

 

 

the diff’rence between

 

giving ninety-nine

 

                            and

 

one-hundred percent

 

 

 

Under Cover

 

 

 

saying how much I

 

love you

 

             might be hiding from

 

how much

 

             I love you

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sky Cries

 

 

 

what seems like screams

 

might well be means

 

to sing

 

            our dreams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Koran teaches courses in writing, literature, and religion at Massachusetts institutions including the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. He holds an MA from the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought and a BA from Queen’s College.

 

 

Alone With the Memories by Wayne Russell

 

Crumpled bits of paper, victims

of the throes of vindictive time.

 

Hands that craft the simple

lyric, wither and fade as the

days escape weary mind.

 

The old man’s alone, with walls

that peel and floors that creak,

speaking to himself, because

there’s no one else.

 

Voices that echo, voices echo,

through a myriad of doors

refract and lamenting windows,

spilling secrets of fading corridors.

 

Alone with memories, like fading

photos of black and white and sepia.

 

The color drain from the present day,

no life left behind these hollowed eyes,

I am the old man, seeping into the past,

where happiness once dwelled.

 

 

 

Wayne Russell is or has been many things in his 49 years on this planet, he has been a creative writer, world traveler, graphic designer, former soldier, and former sailor. Wayne has been widely published in both online and hard copy creative writing magazines. From 2016-17 he also founded and edited Degenerate Literature. In late 2018, the kind editors at Ariel Chart  nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. “Where Angels Fear” was his debut e-book, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it was pulled from the publishers’ list of titles recently.

 

 

All the Axes are Stupid by Fethi Sassi

 

In front of the mirror…,

An ax is looking at its face admiringly,

He said : …………………

A lot of axes in the garden are competing for

A piece of the willow tree with the beautiful waist.

Or the pomegranate tree for instance,

The stunning tree with its luscious heavy breasts.

That’s why I reckon that all axes are stupid.

How does this all happen

When all the branches flirt with me and

All the roses secretly kiss me

As they get drunk from the grape leaves.

 

 

Fethi Sassi is a writer of prose poetry and short poems and haiku and the translator of all his poems to English. He is a member of the Tunisian Writers’ Union and of the Literature Club at the cultural center of Sousse. His first book A Seed of Love was published in 2010. After that he has published many original and translated books of poems.

 

 

Tug of War by Yuan Changming  

 

      

Closely set                                         At a tug of war

   Was our body                             (& spirit as well?)

 

    Between yin                              & yang

 

 Then                                               Between white & black

  & now is                                      Between 0 & 1

 

 

.

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.

Sing emptiness for me by Brian Rihlmann

 

Though we’re just friends

—mostly online—

and have never been more,

I think what put me here

was seeing you, yesterday,

beautiful and dark haired,

but attached, and

traveling the world

with your man—

India, England,

Ireland, next on the list.

 

You asked how I’d been,

if I had a girlfriend

and why not, as i squirmed,

and mumbled, while staring

at the dirt on your shoes,

stumbling through ad-libbed lines

that explained nothing.

 

If I could paint,

or sculpt, or sing,

maybe then I could

paint, sculpt, or sing

emptiness…express it

in some way better

than these dark squiggles,

looking this morning

like desiccated earthworms,

sunbaked and dead

on a concrete slab.

 

Or I could stare at the blank page

and sit in silence, write nothing.

Let the mourning dove cooing outside

under last night’s lingering rain clouds

express it for me.

 

 

 

Brian Rihlmann was born in NJ, and currently lives in Reno, NV. He writes mostly semi autobiographical, confessional free verse. Folk poetry…for folks. He has been published in The Rye Whiskey Review, Cajun Mutt Press, Alien Buddha Zine, Synchronized Chaos, Madness Muse Press and The American Journal Of Poetry.

 

 

PTSD by Carl Scharwath

 

 

Hot black asphalt

impregnated and marked

with the tires of a

spinning coffin box.

 

Pieces of cold medal violently envelope around your warm skin. Glass rains down in tiny fragments of snow mixed in the creation of shards stained in blood and sunshine. Falling asleep in a gyration of a vertigo vortex. Morning will awaken you with the chance to hold life again in your fingers.

 

Florescent sun slants

Upon a new genesis

The inspiration is here

Seized in understanding.

.

 

 

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.

 

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 6; July 2019

p6

 

Poet of the Month: Shola Balogun

By Myself by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Vanishing Time by Ann Christine Tabaka

Fall of the Party Girl by David James

Late Harvest Moon by Eadbhard McGowan

His Love by Edward Lee

Endless Nights by Kelli J Gavin

Flames by CL Bledsoe

A Freeform Poem by Troy DeFrates

Poetry by Lynn Long

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Shola Balogun

 

.

Lament

 

 

As ill-clad Zlelponith bemoaning

The mangled body of her son tempered

Beneath the hewn stones of Dagan,

Reached deeply into her grief

And beheld in that frozen hour

Some human shadow of God,

The pierced side, the battered frail form,

The head smitten with a vile slat,

A woman’s heavy eyes over the earth

Folded in beating scalpels

Seek deeper into the human misery

And into the drama of the silence of God.

 

 

 

 

 

Night

 

Rain on my tongue.

 

Threshing floor of pebbled camwood,

Then hidden faces and strange footsteps

On slaughter slabs, eyes swirling

Across the uncharted silence.

 

Thrust of faltering lips-Now,

I could hear the whispers

Of the dark hour

And I taste this mint of my tears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shola Balogun, poet,playwright and filmmaker has been featured as a guest writer and contributor,especially in the areas of poetry, post colonial studies and dramatic criticism to various magazines,anthologies and journals. He studied Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan. Balogun lives in Lagos,Nigeria.

 

 

By Myself by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

I will survive by myself, and

everything beyond my limits 

away from desires, and choices 

 

I will enjoy seesaw by myself

with sorrows on my side, and

happiness by itself on the side   

 

I will play

Cricket

Badminton

Basketball

by myself

 

I will talk very loud on the phone

gossiping to nobody but myself

texting myself hateful messages

 

I will always miss you by myself

your love was the joys I lived for

now, I’m a mirror with falling tears 

 

 

 

Ahmad Al-Khatat, was born in Baghdad, Iraq on May 8th. He has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world and has poems translated in several languages. He has published two poetry books “The Bleeding Heart Poet” and “Love On The War’s Frontline” which are available on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet on Facebook.   

 

 

                      Vanishing Time by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

Sometimes life goes thundering

past at a blinding speed, loosing

 

all concept of time. The tasks and

chores that fill our lives seem an

 

unending litany of busyness.

Missing the sweetness that a

 

moment allows, the day rushes

by in breaths and sighs. Stop,

 

step back, open your eyes. Wrap

yourself in the wonder of now,

 

for in a moment it will be gone.

vanished with a whisper, like the

 

morning mist evaporating in the

warmth of the newly risen sun.

 

Hold on to each instant and allow

it to fill you with the beauty that is

 

before you. We are only here for

an instant, then we fade along

 

with lost memories hidden among

the cobwebs of space and time.

.

 

 

Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and three cats. Her most recent credits are: Ethos Literary Journal, North of Oxford, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Synchronized Chaos, Pangolin Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, The McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore.

 

  

Fall of the Party Girl by David James

 

 

Fall arrives with a pony keg and six fifths

of Kentucky bourbon,

her face painted in orange, yellow and red.

She screams into the cool sky

ready to party into a myth

and vanish before the first snowfall.

 

Someone said

she’d try any drug, sleep with any guy,

spend the night in a garbage bin.

And that’s not all:

she has Daddy issues.

The old man didn’t hug her enough; didn’t look her in the eye;

never took her by the chin

and said she was beautiful with those baby blues

and long hair.           So, today,

if you pay her any attention,

she’ll jump your bones, ravage your bed,

tear you to pieces and leave without saying goodbye.

 

When you get up, look out the window: it’ll be cold, white and gray..      

 

 

 

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. dljames@oaklandcc.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late Harvest Moon by Eadbhard McGowan 

 

Through greenish curtain shot a spark.

Now it is gone. What’s bothering my heart?

Colourful summer burned to the ground,

sun-kissed in golden deaths.

Withered mound of humus found

to pave the path for flora’s birth.

 

How may we walk so lost in thoughts

through tawny meadows’ band?

Over us, free, untamed across

wide clouds of light expand.

 

And all around the pale, discoloured world

in a contemplative farewell stillness,

as if in every leaf impressed

a holy fate is silently fulfilled.

 

Footsteps sound through silent hours,

breathless, anxious. Moon stands bright.

Above us, waving, longing, drunken,

aurora borealis sheds its northern light.

 

 

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is an artist and a translator and writer of poetry and short stories. He writes haibun and poetry in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry. He is a member of four writer groups in Ireland. He lives in County Kerry, Ireland, since more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. He was published in 29 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in UK, Ireland and USA. Writes also under his pen name: Eadbhard McGowan.

 

 

His Love by Edward Lee

I enclose my hand

around the blade of you,

your serrated edge slicing flesh,

releasing blood

to flow from my hard palm

to my already scarred wrists.

 

But I refuse to let go,

my love for you

compelling me to endure your edge,

no matter the cost,

no matter the pain;

 

I already know

I cannot live

without you, just as I know

I cannot exist

without the scars that tattoo my body

and my being.

 

 

Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  His debut poetry collection “Playing Poohsticks On Ha’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection.

He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.

His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com

 

 

Endless Nights by Kelli J Gavin

 

I hate it

Every minute

Every last second

The nights last forever

I know I should be asleep

I pray for sleep to overtake me

Yet it rarely does

I lie awake restless

Turning side to side

Getting up

And then lying down again

Sometimes reading a book

Or drinking tea

Nothing helps me

Can not find anything to cure me

The endless nights are just that

Endless

Night after night

I will beg if I have to

Please

Sleep

Overtake me

Shut off my mind

Calm my heart

Bring me to a state where I don’t care

Because being awake is too hard right now

It always will be

 

 

 

Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company.  Look for Kelli’s first book of short stories and poems in 2019. You can find her work with The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, Writing In a Woman’s Voice, The Writers Newsletter,  Writer’s Unite!, Academy of the Heart and Mind, The Rye Whiskey Review, Spillwords, Mercurial Stories, 121 Words, Hickory Stump, Rabid Oak, HerStry, Ariel Chart, The Basil O’Flaherty, PPP Ezine, Southwest Media, Otherwise Engaged, Pleather Skin, Paper.Li, The New Ink Review, and among others.

Flames by CL Bledsoe  

 

For the last three days, I haven’t

slept. Each night, I lie

in bed, closed eyes studying

the mystery of my father’s hatred.

 

I don’t know what he wanted.

A man in boy form, perhaps.

Someone too mean to cry

for such little things as pets’ lives

 

bashed out against brick walls,

a mother lost in the transformation

to wraith. Once, he came

into my room without something

 

to yell about, found me burning

a candle. “Who’s that for?”

He asked. I couldn’t pick just one

person. 

 

.

CL Bledsoe’s latest poetry collection is Trashcans in Love. His latest short story collection is The Shower Fixture Played the Blues. His latest novel is The Funny Thing About… Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter and blogs, with Michael Gushue, at https://medium.com/@howtoeven.

A Freeform Poem by Troy DeFrates

 

Awake in the dark

With nothing to see

It was always about you

Never about me

 

I write with black ink

In the night

Not knowing, not seeing, not feeling

I just have to write

 

The blank haze of dawn

Whispers upon my words

Revealing how I feel

And what I am moving towards

 

As the dawn approaches

I hide in the shadows

Feeling my script

Pondering on death laden hallows

 

As the shadows twist

Exposing what I wrote

The truth from the blackness

Chokes in my throat

 

Lost in a world without any dreams

Watching the sun rise in the East

Nowhere to hide, nowhere to run

Now I must face my own inner beast.

 

 

 

Troy lives in the Great Woods of Northern Wisconsin, U.S.A., And has been published 25 times in the last year in various magazines and periodicals.  He loves to share his art and hopefully inspires others to share theirs in kind.

 

 

Poetry by Lynn Long

 

As I gaze upon the dusky sky,

pondering dreams…

vowed never- to leave behind

A melancholy fills my heart,

knowing still- that we must part

For life moves ever forward

and the journey home-

takes me onward…

.

 

 

Lynn Long- https://zolanymph1.blogspot.com/

Poet, writer, aspiring novelist, daydreamer and believer in the impossible. Artist @hitRECord.org and Scriggler.com. Published in the following Ezines, Publications and Online Journals: https://academyoftheheartandmind.wordpress.com/, Antarctica Journal, Duane’s PoeTree, In Between Hangovers and many more.

 

PPP Ezine Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Second Anniversary Issue Volume 3; Issue 5; May-June 2019

p6

 

Carl Scharwath

Yuan Changming

David James

Kyle Laws

Anupama Bhattacharya

Andrew Scott

Patricia Walsh

David Flynn

Sanghpriya Gautam

Eliza Segiet

 

 

 

Carl Scharwath

 

 

Quest

 

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?

 

 

 

 

Subjection

 

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.

 

 

Yuan Changming

 

Re-Creation 

 

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

& laughs.

      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

Of darkness

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, &

Fully illuminated

 

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.  

 

 

David James

 

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

watching leaves

commit suicide, jumping off branches

thirty, forty, even sixty feet up under a gray

sky.

There’s a good part of my belief

system that tries to understand

what fall

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. dljames@oaklandcc.edu

 

 

  

Kyle Laws

 

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 sun.

 

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                                                                                   

                      

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anupama Bhattacharya  

 

Pankaja

 

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

Rogan josh.     

 

 

 

 

 

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 .

 

Beloved,

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 anu14bhatta@gmail.com.

 

 

Andrew Scott

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.

 

 

Patricia Walsh

 

Hiraeth

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.

 

 

 

David Flynn

 

 

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.

Words.

Hiya.

Howztricks?

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

for awhile?

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.

Go:

 

Can’t hear you.

 

So I’ll just blabber on myself for a bit.

Blabber, gibber, –ber.

 

In the fridge.

Save. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connotations

 

Light.  Birds. 

 

We connotate the universe. 

Instead of solid objects, dining table, we produce a glow of associations, family, food, togetherness,

love.

Wife.

I would take you in my arms, stroke your long red hair, kiss your lips like drinking cabernet, like . . .

Everything.

Wife.

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.

 

Birds.

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.

 

Desk.

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.

 

Light.  Birds. 

Religion.   Life.

No meanings.

Connotations. 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Sanghpriya Gautam

 

Nineteen forty-five

 

Nineteen forty-five,

Skies were pinked eternally,

Beautiful fireworks.

 

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.

 

 

Eliza Segiet

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

Music of the Word

 

Beautiful is the world

painted with the music of the word.

Like

a butterfly passing by,

who for a moment

intoxicates with the colouring of its body,

stopping

the breath of those thirsty for beauty.

Its sensual dance

is freedom of imagination.

 

And the word?

The word can be

the music

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.

 

PPP Ezine Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 4; April 2019

Poet of the Month: Glen Armstrong

Permutations of Getting Wet by Linda Imbler

I Think The Words by Uma Venkatraman

Rocketboy by Bruce McRae

Enter Into the Earth by Paula Hackett

Everyone Goes by Wayne Russell

The Blessing of Forgetting by Eadbhard McGowan

The Writer by Mark Kodama

The Rabbit of Good Luck by Daniel de Culla

Passage to Paradise by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Glen Armstrong  

 

Bruegel Bruegel #3

 

 

We were famous once for keeping

barrel hoops upright

 

and flashing bare leg

to boys in red trousers.

 

There were towers

of Babel and towers of song.

 

Each hour of the day

had an animal

 

designation: hour

of the three-legged goat,

 

the sheep, the serpent

and so on . . .

 

We cowered at dusk,

the hour of the bat.

 

We were not afraid.

It was not what the boys wanted

 

to see.

We were tearing

 

through the dirt

like golden chariots.

 

 

The Bedside Book of Melancholy

 

 

A thoughtful shade, a thinking person’s blue

had me paralyzed last night.

 

Instead of answering your call, I sat wishing

I was listening

to Miles Davis,

 

thinking that philosophers

in similar states of mind

before I was born called

 

this melancholy.

 

I keep heating and folding and heating

and folding again

 

what you told me

 

like a blacksmith

strengthening a blade.

 

Surely, I am not the first to feel

like a doll’s head

 

tossed out because my eyes

no longer blink.

 

I need no pill, no empathy, no talk,

no therapy.

 

Give me time.

 

I will break

this blue truce.

                                                                                                    

I will do

what must be done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eternal Signs

 

 

A chicken wing-

shaped

 

piece of tofu

fails to destroy

 

the chicken

wing restaurant.

 

An image of Egyptian

columns

 

on the internet

as they may have been

 

fails to destroy

their ruin.

 

 

 

 

 

Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He has two chapbooks forthcoming: Simpler Times and Staring Down Miracles. His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cloudbank.

 

 

 

 

Permutations of Getting Wet by Linda Imbler

 

When rain and fate are intertwined,

some will get wet and never dry,

submerged in guilt that amplifies,

much moisture causes them to die.

 

Wily folks hidden by deep fog,

it dampens them and only blurs

their truth they claim as demagogue,

their crimes and sins always obscured.

 

Splashing through pools of enmity,

saturated with pelting rain,

a bright sun shower quickly forms,

bathed in sunshine, these dry again.

 

Some survive a spate and torrent.

They turn deluge into drizzle.

These then convince the clouds to form

only mist, soft dew does fizzle.

 

The cold disdain of those in sleet,

icy crystals freeze their numb hearts.

They never care for others’ pleas.

They simply choose to live apart.

 

Through hail and snow and pouring rain,

we walk the earth and live our lives,

through haze and spray we must maintain

lasting existence of all types.

 

 

 

 

Linda Imbler’s poetry collections include “Big Questions, Little Sleep,”  “Lost and Found,”  “The Sea’s Secret Song,” and “Pairings,” a hybrid ebook of short fiction and poetry.  She is a Kansas-based Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee.  Linda’s poetry and a listing of publications can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com.

 

 

I Think The Words by Uma Venkatraman

 

I think the words. I place them on the edge of my tongue. I hope they will tumble into being.

 

I want to die

 

They shock me. They shouldn’t. I gave birth to them. Four Words. They ripped through flesh, sinew and bone. They fought through tissue and muscle and nerve. They have lived forever in me, defying death and time. Now they want to live.

 

I am happy to die.

 

Death. It heals. What time cannot.  Time doesn’t heal. It ravages. It gobbles happiness like a starving lion, excreting sorrow. Layer by layer, it builds a wall within. Everything turns to stone.

 

I taste the dust. Scattered on the tip of my tongue. Crumbling, like words. Falling petal-soft on the earth. Unsaid.

 

 

 

 

 

Uma Venkatraman was born in India and lives in Singapore. She is a journalist with a passion for poetry. She has been published in anthologies such as Good Morning Justice, Along The Shore and Beyond The Hill, and online in Pink Panther Magazine, The Rising Phoenix Review, L’Ephemere Review  and Plath Poetry Project.

 

 

 

Rocketboy by Bruce McRae

 

And then there’s the night sky,

a vasty char peppered with stars.

Heavenly light show. Home of the gods.

A fairground of satellites and meteor showers.

We used to lie out on summery lawns

and lose count of ourselves.

The first astronomers on the block.

Child-astronauts charmed by gravity.

Darlings with their eyes plucked out

so they wouldn’t see the horrors.

When once we heard a star that moved,

our senses abandoned by reason.

Until our planet shriveled

to the size of a cherry pit

and life beckoned with a crooked finger.

With the cold hand of an image beheld.

 

 

 

 

Bruce McRae is a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC. He is a multiple Pushcart nominee with over 1,400 poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are ‘The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press), ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy’ (Cawing Crow Press) and ‘Like As If” (Pski’s Porch), Hearsay (The Poet’s Haven).

 

 

  

Enter Into the Earth by Paula Hackett

 

 

Enter into to the earth                 

again                 

The middle of rhythm                 

A pounding sound                 

in the back of life                 

It keeps me alive                

 Almost a feeling                 

A whisper of memory                 

A thought somewhere                

in a mind that                 

has no substance                

 A rite of fancy                 

a clinging right                 

To exist beyond hope

 

 

 

 

 

Paula Hackett’s poetry is influenced by her life experiences growing up in Berkeley during the vibrant and explosive 60’s. The daughter of novelist Paul Hackett, she studied under John Beecher, Angela Davis and Grover Sales. She has written lyrics in collaboration with her brother John Hackett, for many great jazz composers including Teddy Edwards, John Handy, Ivan Lins, Joe Sample, Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson, and Cedar Walton. Her life long love of jazz is reflected in her many poems about musicians and in her CDs with pianists Rudi Wongozi and Connie Crothers. Her discography is represented in the images and links below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone Goes by Wayne Russell

 

She said that she’ll always be my friend,

said that she would stay no matter what.

 

But as the years became a blur, we watched

as the wheels of our romance fall off.

 

The flowers that I brought her died in a vase,

the children grew so fast and started a new life.

 

Everything changes, the season’s dance in a cycle.

The snow melts away when the sun rises and the

grass springs forward giving new life.

 

Everything changes, everyone goes, but me I am

here, always here and alone.

 

 

 

 

 

Wayne Russell is or has been many things in his 48 years on this planet, he has been a creative writer, world traveler, graphic designer, former soldier, and former sailor. Wayne has been widely published in both online and hard copy creative writing magazines. From 2016-17 he also founded and edited Degenerate Literature. Just recently, the kind editors at Ariel Chart has nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. Where Angels Fear is his debut e-book.

 

 

 

 

The Blessing of Forgetting by Eadbhard McGowan

 

Burned into the ridges of the human brain,

this centre of emotions, memory, and pictures.

Data coming up like on a computer screen,

fragments imprinted in the mind, agglutinated pain,

distressing recollections or a pleasant rhyme;

some come to the surface, spring to mind,

stay monolithic, overshadow, influence the time,

those, mercifully submerged in oblivion, left behind.

 

Forgetting belongs to dough like yeast.

If we could not forget, we would be slaves of the past.

Some of my mementos are an ice-cold winter night

over dark steel factory outlines, a full moon – bright;

hand in hand with mother on empty streets,

destroyed houses, after a hellish rain of bombs

in war nights, only left as crater chains,

a smell of decay, time-dust washed into the drains.

 

Living in ruins, streets like dentures with missing teeth,

my parents, and me as an additional package,

unborn, duty unpaid, to be delivered in the coldest month of the year.

Poverty unfelt, did not know anything else for two decades.

An empty tin as birthday present, a wooden stick,

the little drummer, pa rum pum pum pum.

Dead hare on a balcony wall, from which blood dripped,

eyes staring, a questioning glance at the sound of the drum.

 

Rubble pouring out of a collapsed building

like the guts spilling out of the dead cat on the debris,

lying on top of the broken bricks like a warning;

like a mourning of the dead, buried underneath, reduced to ash:

People who never came back to the light of the day.

Messed-up childhood, disturbed, until the end of my time.

We never forget wounds, exposed to a haunting memory

which never fades away.

 

 

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is an artist and a translator and writer of poetry and short stories. He is writing haibun and poetry in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry. He is a member of four writer groups in Ireland. He lives in County Kerry, Ireland, since more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. He was published in 29 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in UK, Ireland and USA. Writes also under his pen name: Eadbhard McGowan

The Writer by Mark Kodama

 

We must see life unflinchingly with all its beauty,

Power and roughness and then tell about it

Vividly, painting pictures with words,

For the varied minds of our listeners,

In the form of our common experiences.

Letters and words scatter like bugs

Under a rock exposed to sunlight

For the first time.

 

We must gather, tame, and organize

These wild words, bringing joy to the sad,

Hope to the downtrodden and

Meaning to the dispossessed.

We are writers.

 

 

 

 

Mark Kodama is a trial attorney and former newspaper reporter who lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two sons.  He is currently working on Las Vegas Tales, a work of philosophy, sugar-coated with meter and rhyme and told through stories.  His short stories and poems have been published in anthologies, on-line magazines and on-line blogs.

The Rabbit of Good Luck by Daniel de Culla

 

In the Moor’ Field

Next to the green  olive

There captivated me

Those three girls

-What were their names

Of the three girls?

-The biggest, Constance

The youngest, Lucia

And the smallest

Her name was Marie

Constance scrubbed

Lucia swept

And the smallest

Brought us water.

In a children’s circle

We were happy playing

With a rabbit and a chicken

In the midst

Next to a cold fountain

While the rabbit

Rodes the hen

As if she were his captive

While we  were singing

Pointing one of us

Before elected from each other

Touching one of us

When we finished

The childrens’ song:

“The rabbit is not here

He left this morning

But at bedtime

Pum! It’s here

Doing the reverence

With a face of shame

You, the choosed,  will kiss

To whom do You like the most”

Addressing

The boy or girl touched

To the girl or the boy

Who one most wanted

Giving he or she

A kiss on the cheek

Choosing me, almost always

The younger, Lucia

That was vey good

So much

Children  calling her

The “Good Natured”.

 

 

Daniel de Culla is a writer, poet, and photographer. He’s member of the Spanish Writers Association, Earthly Writers International Caucus, Poets of the World, (IA) International Authors, Surrealism Art, Friends of The Blake Society, and others. Director of Gallo Tricolor Review, and Robespierre Review. He participated in many Festivals of Poetry, and Theater in Madrid, Burgos, Berlin, Minden, Hannover and Genève .He has exposed in many galleries from Madrid, Burgos, London, and Amsterdam. He is moving between North Hollywood, Madrid and Burgos; e-mail: gallotricolor@yahoo.com 

 

 

Passage to Paradise by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

 

The emotion that lies at the heart,

not shown in gestures and words,

cannot be measured or felt,

but for myself.

Disillusionment, sadness and despair,

even rejoicing and pleasure,

have created tears, salty and hot ones,

which have leavened the soil where I live,  

bringing forth flowers, fruits, children.

Have nourished and ennobled my spirit,

paying the toll I owe to the lord of the fief.

I am sure they are leading me to Canaan,

the promised land where evil finds no shelter 

and milk and honey flow abundantly.

Where the woman I desire is waiting for me,

at the door of my house, longing and needy,

wife and lover.

 

 

 

A Brazilian poet, Mr. Ferreira, 75 year-old, writes in English rather than in Portuguese. Largely published in international journals in print and online, he began writing at age 67. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2016. His first Poetry Collection – Lonely Sailor – has been launched in London, November 2018, with one hundred poems. Read more of his work at http://www.edilsonmeloferreira.com.

 

 

 

Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 3; March 2019

p5

Poet of the Month: Heath Brougher

Poem by Sunil Sharma

No one ever knows by Gary Lawrence Ingram

Meditation on Poetry by Shalom Aranas

Summer Escapades by Joanne Olivieri

A Place by Lynn Long

The Blessing of Forgetting by Eadbhard McGowan

A Feeling of Worthlessness by Eric Golden

I Am Recovering by Jack M Freedman

My New Life As A Hobo by Noelle Kukenas

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Heath Brougher  

 

Be Like the Creek Water

 

You will get nowhere standing

in the silly Manmade circles

which unfortunately encompass

most people’s lives.

 

You must live like the creek nearby

your living room with its worn-out recliner—

the same water never running through

the same area in its eternal flowing—

the same water never rippling

the same way it did during its previous ripple.

 

For the loops you live within

usually come with their own cubicle

and a line drawn in the land

to demarcate what is yours

and what is theirs

as you’ve become a tool

for the Controllers of this feudal era.

 

It is a lie and it persists

because you let it persist.

You were taught to let it persist.

Be like the creek water, never flowing

the same. For that creek water

is the cousin of The Great Spiral.

 

The reigning tedium can be quit by tapping into this mindset.

 

 

 

 

 

Indoor Rain

 

Every night it begins

to rain in my bedroom.

It’s clockwork to the utmost

as that cold stir is born

with the sound of droplets falling

onto my life ring out, not loudly,

but predictably. I don’t know why

it rains in my bedroom at the stroke of midnight.

Maybe it’s an omen since midnight

is technically the beginning of a new day.

Maybe it is a warning

of the awful things yet is to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Read

 

I try to read

in between the lines

and skies of lies; I try

to pull Truth from the reflection

of its pages to shine upon my mind;

for, if you do not

read between the lines,

you will likely end up

with a headful of false ties

to the pages that tried

to coax you into a false lullaby. 

 

 

 

 

 

Heath Brougher is the poetry editor of Into the Void, winner of the 2017 and 2018 Saboteur Award for Best Magazine. He is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee as well the winner of The Taj Mahal Review’s 2018 Poet of the Year Award. His work has been translated into several languages other than English. His newest books are To Burn in Torturous Algorithms (Weasel Press, 2018) and The Ethnosphere’s Duality(Cyberwit.Net, 2018).

 

 

 

 

 

Poem by Sunil Sharma

 

Winged visitors

 

Red-vented bulbul

 

joined by another

 

a noisy pair

 

dark and handsome.

 

 

 

Swinging on the cable

 

delighting the home-alone

 

prisoner

 

 

 

their crested heads

 

kissed by the rough winds of summer

 

 

 

mouths—open

 

waiting for the rains

 

to arrive on the Mumbai skyline.

 

 

 

Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 19 published books: Six collections of poetry; two of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015. Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA:  http://www.setumag.com/p/setu-home.html For more details, please visit the blog: http://www.drsunilsharma.blogspot.in/.

No one ever knows by Gary Lawrence Ingram

 

It’s now that time of year which has  become hot enough to watch the silhouettes dance above the blistering asphalt rising

 

As I sit here on the patio that isn’t mine watching the rain that’s badly needed dripping from the roof tops all around me

 

There is no better sounds than the rain on a tin roof as the rolling thunder bellows far off in the distance

 

Or the lonely sound of the whippoorwills embracing the forest before it sleeps in the mountains I come from

 

Time has never changed ,but the places and the faces in a life time has

 

I often wander into a future I cannot see but God already has and I’ve never been right about any of it

 

I only do my best and hold all of my desire inside while I wait for the days to unfold like a new page written in the heavens

 

Catastrophe can happen to anyone but the Lord will rebuild lives lost as long as hope survives

 

I once seen a man walking a dog at the end of an old rope that the old fella must have found on the side of the road

 

In one hand he held a sign that said could you help me please I’m hungry but feed my dog if that’s all you have

 

Each day I passed this man thinking the worst ,today I parked my car under the shade of an old oak tree not too far from him

 

watching as cars rolled by staring at this man with a sign

 

Once in a while someone would toss him a dime or two and a few dollars as he always thanked them with a God bless you

 

I sat there almost the whole day or until he got too hot to continue his plight flying his sign of hope

 

As the elderly man stood up I noticed he almost fainted and watched with fear as he recovered

 

About a hundred yards away was a sonic drive in

 

I continued peeking into someone else’s life kinda like God does ours

 

The car hop brought out a small bag and a cup of water and some fries which the old gent gobbled down without breathing ,after he was finished he took a silver bowl from an old wadded blanket and unwrapped a hamburger and placed it in the bowl so lovingly for his little dog and gave it the rest of the water he had saved for it

 

I never seen him go to any store to buy any beer or cigarettes but I did watch him disappear into the woods just down the street

 

With all of the love inside me I just had to see for myself where he was headed

 

It was an old makeshift covering with a sheet n some bags over it to protect him and his companion from the rain and some old boxes made the flooring

 

I couldn’t take what I was seeing so I went and bought imperishable items

and went to the atm machine and took them through the woods on a walk God sent me on

 

I’ll never forget the surprise or the look on that old mans face when I gave him and his little dog what I called his package from heaven

 

The last thing the old man said was God bless you ,as I said to him back

 

He already has

 

 

Gary Lawrence Ingram is an Oklahoma based writer. His paperback book “Shadows of the Past” is available at amazon.com. Gary has recently been published in The Secret Life of Poets Magazine, at youtube.com, and in the anthology Dandelion in a Vase of Roses. His newest book, One Thousand Love Poems is the latest flow of words from this poet.

 

 

 

Meditation on Poetry by Shalom Aranas

 

 

You study poetry

by writing someone else’s

word per word

on paper

as though you could

grasp its essence

through the physicality

of the Rs and the Ts.

I say

an apple is never known

until you have eaten

it to its rotten core.

You only see the flesh

of its rind, bright and green

 

gleaming back at you

not knowing why

or how it tastes

acrid to your tongue,

after all.

 

 

 

 

Shalom Aranas has always been in love with the power words have on heart and mind and writes to weave the same magic over that of others.  

Summer Escapades by Joanne Olivieri

 

 

A Summer affair

on foreign shores

warm days, hot air balloons rise

to the occasion

exotic nights, your alcohol breath

fuels the flames.

 

A tequila sunrise at last call

and crickets scatting jazz tunes

a midsummer’s dream

erotic fantasies

in high definition.

 

 

Joanne has been writing for 50 years. She is a published poet and photographer. Her works have appeared in numerous in print and online publications such as The Parnassus Literary Journal, Westward Quarterly, The San Diego Arts and Poets Magazine, Nomads Choir, SP Quill, just to name a few. She was awarded a round-trip ticket to Hong Kong in 2007 by Cathay Pacific Airways for her winning entry in their poetry contest. Joanne is the founder and editor of Stanzaic Stylings Literary Ezine.

 

Joanne enjoys reading, writing, collecting old poetry books, live music concerts, roaming art galleries and museums, leisurely lunches with friends in diners, getting out in nature with her camera and making toys for and playing with her feathered companion, Sammers You can learn all there is to know about her by visiting her website/blog at http://poeticshutterbug.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Place by Lynn Long

 

There is a place deep within-

where love never dies and rainbows never end.

There upon a river flowing to the sea,

my heart drifts along in wistful reverie.

For this place is home, the place where I belong;

floating endlessly, as I hum a little song.

Marveling at the wonder, to do such a thing,

I dream upon the stars, and all the love they bring…

 

 

 

 

 

Lynn Long- https://zolanymph1.blogspot.com/

Poet, writer, aspiring novelist, daydreamer and believer in the impossible

Artist @hitRECord.org and Scriggler.com

Published in the following Ezines, Publications and Online Journals:

https://academyoftheheartandmind.wordpress.com/

Antarctica Journal

Duane’s PoeTree

In Between Hangovers

http://ryethewhiskeyreview.blogspot.com/

http://theconclusionmagazine.blogspot.com/2018/12/issue-02-conclusion-magazine.html

https://thepangolinreview.wixsite.com/mypoetrysite

Poetry Poetics Pleasure

https://stanzaicstylings.blogspot.com/

Whispers

 

 

The Blessing of Forgetting by Eadbhard McGowan

 

Burned into the ridges of the human brain,

this centre of emotions, memory, and pictures.

Data coming up like on a computer screen,

fragments imprinted in the mind, agglutinated pain,

distressing recollections or a pleasant rhyme;

some come to the surface, spring to mind,

stay monolithic, overshadow, influence the time,

those, mercifully submerged in oblivion, left behind.

 

Forgetting belongs to dough like yeast.

If we could not forget, we would be slaves of the past.

Some of my mementos are an ice-cold winter night

over dark steel factory outlines, a full moon – bright;

hand in hand with mother on empty streets,

destroyed houses, after a hellish rain of bombs

in war nights, only left as crater chains,

a smell of decay, time-dust washed into the drains.

 

Living in ruins, streets like dentures with missing teeth,

my parents, and me as an additional package,

unborn, duty unpaid, to be delivered in the coldest month of the year.

Poverty unfelt, did not know anything else for two decades.

An empty tin as birthday present, a wooden stick,

the little drummer, pa rum pum pum pum.

Dead hare on a balcony wall, from which blood dripped,

eyes staring, a questioning glance at the sound of the drum.

 

Rubble pouring out of a collapsed building

like the guts spilling out of the dead cat on the debris,

lying on top of the broken bricks like a warning;

like a mourning of the dead, buried underneath, reduced to ash:

People who never came back to the light of the day.

Messed-up childhood, disturbed, until the end of my time.

We never forget wounds, exposed to a haunting memory

which never fades away.

 

 

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is an artist and a translator and writer of poetry and short stories. He is writing haibun and poetry in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry. He is a member of four writer groups in Ireland. He lives in County Kerry, Ireland, since more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. He was published in 29 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in UK, Ireland and USA. Writes also under his pen name: Eadbhard McGowan

A Feeling of Worthlessness by Eric Golden

 

As I lay here alone thinking

I feel like I’m totally sinking

I feel worthless

I feel imperfect

I’m craving a woman’s love

I’m craving a woman’s touch

The urgency of filling thee,

Void is killing me

So the world turns without me

And my tears flow undoubtedly

Although it may seem very scary

I must remember this is only temporary

I can’t act on impulse

And jump into a love that may be false

And I see so much Facebook monogamy

And it personally starts to bother me

I can’t have sex on the random

In hopes that a woman will find me handsome

I’m so self conscious & I can’t rely on a woman to make me feel better

In the end the only one I have is me & that’s forever

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He graduated from Boys Town high school and went on to get a degree in Social Work. He married at 19 but later got divorced and has raised two children alone. His love for music and arts has led him to his writing. Much of his poetry and writings come from experiences and love of life. He often adds humor to enlighten and has been writing for over 20 years.

I Am Recovering by Jack M Freedman

 

I

I am

I am recovering

I am recovering myself

I am recovering myself instead.

I am recovering myself. Instead…enjoyment

I am recovering myself, Instead, enjoyment reigns

I am recovering myself, Instead, enjoyment reigns triumphant

I am recovering myself, Instead, enjoyment reigns triumphant again.

I am recovering myself, Instead, enjoyment reigns triumphant again. Seriously!

I am recovering myself. Instead, enjoyment reigns triumphant again; seriously envisioning.

I am recovering myself. Instead. enjoyment reigns triumphant again; seriously envisioning myself.

I am recovering myself. Instead, enjoyment reigns triumphant again; seriously envisioning myself alive. 

 

 

 

Jack M Freedman is a poet of heart and mind and creates his verse in both traditional and free forms.

 

 

My New Life As A Hobo by Noelle Kukenas

 

My farm is now dust

So travel I must

Everything went bust

My new life as a hobo

 

Riding the rails

Walking dirt trails

Washing up in pails

My new life as a hobo

 

Working for dinner

I’m getting thinner

Not much of a winner

My new life as a hobo

 

An Okie by birth

I still have self-worth

Sleeping on the bare earth

My new life as a hobo

 

 

Noelle Kukenas began writing around the age of nine and continues to this day. She enjoyed working in several career fields, many which allowed her to contribute as a technical writer in some capacity. Her published works include a short story in Scraps To Scribes and poetry in Sisterhood 4: We Are Women. Recently retired from the nonprofit sector, Noelle enjoys spending her free time traveling with her husband, creating havoc with her grandchildren, and enjoying the California sunshine!

 

 

 

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 2; February 2019

v3i2

Poet of the Month: Ken Allan Dronsfield

In the Cemetery by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Prayers in the kitchen by Gary Lawrence Ingram

Are We? by Glory Sasikala

This Moment by Eliza Segiet

Cigarette Burns in the Sleeveless Shirt of the Universe by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

No Turning Back by Ann Christine Tabaka

So Long by Kelli J Gavin

Duplicity by Guy Farmer

The White Stone and Dreams by James G. Piatt

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Ken Allan Dronsfield  

 

 

Arbor of Wisteria and Clematis

 

 

 

I reflect upon the lavender Wisteria;

 

the lilacs and lonely gardenias.

 

I uncover the grand butterfly bush

 

Quoth the Nepeta, ‘keep to the path’.

 

Those shrubby pussy willows bloom,

 

a burning felt deep within the Clematis.

 

What could be more purely aglow?

 

Only this and a Thimble-berry pie.

 

There perched, a crow upon the arbor

 

craving the bi-colored, brag bonnet.

 

A harlequin colored sky now aflame

 

The rooster never asked for the time.

 

Orange bells fall from the trumpet vine,

 

first touch of frost kisses a naked leaf.

 

leaves soar and spin in the north winds.

 

 

 

 

Of Time Slowly Passing

 

 

 

Of shallow labored breaths

 

a lone kiss in the of predawn,

 

rattle and hum whispers within,

 

wish only sleep during cold times.

 

Yellowish orbs dart all about trees,

 

kisses spread from the tip of sprigs

 

spiraling down into the old garden

 

I try to reach out and touch them.

 

My ride takes us through the gates

 

grass glistens in the carriage-lights

 

touch of frost left upon a naked leaf

 

skies of yesterday; dreams of today.

 

Albino raven’s roost in the old cedar

 

pious penance delivered by rosary.

 

Moldy smell of freshly shoveled earth

 

thoughts linger within lofty reflections;

 

the things that can never be unseen

 

a taste of solace within old memories.

 

Prayers answered with a lilac scent

 

I feel small in this time of my passing

 

Resurrection Lilies sprouting nearby

 

fragrant Red Roses whisper to me. 

 

 

 

 

Into the Burning Man

 

 

 

Blasphemy courted with anecdotal perversity

 

limitless chatter echoes through the canyon

 

all now weeping at the sight of blind hypocrisy

 

catching the dancing orbs with a butterfly net

 

seeking a peace but tripping through garbage

 

sands stained with the blood from star shards

 

music calms the beast, but on the jungle roars

 

pinnacle of life, enchanted in an icy cold desert.

 

tutelage from shamans; swaying to a spirit drum

 

casting of vows into pious devotional candlelight

 

earthy spirited flutes touch the heart and soul

 

bodies float down into the heart of white flames

 

albino raven’s perch upon high sandstone glyph’s

 

my vision now doubling objects indiscriminately to

 

the many I wish to see, and those which I do not.

 

The images are now imprinted upon my eyelids

 

overlap, confusing, awkwardly, as a child’s collage.

 

Yet, I can now see beyond the darkness, beyond

 

the terrors, beyond the bright white crystal sparks

 

a burning man now tosses ink onto the parchment..

 

 

 

 

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran, prize winning poet and fabulist from New Hampshire, now residing on the plains of Oklahoma. He is published in magazines, journals, reviews and anthologies throughout the US and abroad. Ken has three poetry collections, “The Cellaring”, 80 poems of light horror, paranormal, weird and wonderful work. His second book, “A Taint of Pity”, contains 52 Life Poems Written with a Cracked Inflection. Ken’s third poetry collection, “Zephyr’s Whisper”, 64 Poems and Parables of a Seasonal Pretense, and includes his poem, “With Charcoal Black, Version III”, selected as the First Prize Winner in Realistic Poetry International’s recent Nature Poem Contest. Ken won First Prize for his Haiku on the Southern Collective Experience Haiku Contest. He’s been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and six times for the Best of the Net for 2016-2018. Ken loves writing, hiking, thunderstorms, and spending time with his cats Willa and Yumpy.

 

 

 

 

 

In the Cemetery by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

In the cemetery, I was standing on my knees,

reading verses of the holy book to the tombs

I was praying with tears on my cheeks

until the graveyard stopped me and asked me if

I was reading verses or reading sorrows

with an emotionless face, he asked to repeat

I started reading again and, his face was getting

red as his eyes were dropping my unrhymed tears

he stopped me with anger and screamed out

why more grieves, why more death, and less peace

I responded to him, why did hope sold us to traitors

why life is struggling with us, why did the wars rape us shamelessly

we cried together as he was saying that he’s listening to

spirits weeping with us, as the clouds will rain again

he asked me again, why our world is no longer bright

instead, it’s full of darkness and lots of bloody cuts

our grandparents were the farmers, who lift the sunshine

and brunt themselves to death, just to protect the seeds

our mothers stole the moon from the wall of the night

they hid in their coffins and the stars after our fathers

turned the rainbow into a solider in the zone of death

and made the snow into a drinkable water to survive

 

 

 

Ahmad Al-Khatat, was born in Baghdad, Iraq on May 8th. He has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world and has poems translated in several languages. He has published two poetry books “The Bleeding Heart Poet” and “Love On The War’s Frontline” which are available on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet on Facebook.  

 

 

Prayers in the kitchen by Gary Lawrence Ingram

 

The smell of smoke from the fireplace and the bacon cooking on the cast iron skillet was my alarm each day

 

My mornings to me at that time we’re just ordinary I never knew any better until now as I look back listening to my memories speaking to me from another time

 

Granny was always standing there wearing her apron and a smile waiting for me to wander in rubbing my eyes as I staggered to the table

 

Homemade biscuits and gravy were always steaming beneath the tea towel that granny always placed there to keep everything fresh and warm for me

 

The humming coming from the kitchen was something that always told me granny was happy and she loved what she did for me grandad

 

Sometimes on those rainy days which I called them I could hear her saying prayers with a soft sobbing sound that made me sit still and think about things myself or those in need or in a bad way

 

Grandpa was always gone when I’d get up he was a busy man and spent most of his time taking from the forest to keep us alive but he always gave back by planting new saplings ,he taught me that God put the trees and the animals here for us to use but we must respect the things He’s given us just like life and the home we lived in

 

That slow moving stream that came down out of the mountains with its silver hair tangling here and there still remains beside the house that held so much love and reason for living

 

  I can still hear granny praying in the kitchen and smell the bacon swirling in the cool winters air just like then I’m sitting still and remembering why I’m praying now

 

 

Gary Lawrence Ingram is an Oklahoma based writer. His paperback book “Shadows of the Past” is available at amazon.com. Gary has recently been published in The Secret Life of Poets Magazine, at youtube.com, and in the anthology Dandelion in a Vase of Roses. His newest book, One Thousand Love Poems is the latest flow of words from this poet.

 

 

 

Are We? by Glory Sasikala

 

not that i want answers

to a relationship

that seems to flex

to meet our erratic selves

so moody and unpredictable

so based on imperfection

but our sidelong glances ask

are we the ones?

are we cosy bed and pillows ad sheets?

are we cuddle, kiss, curl and sleep?

will you wipe the dishes while i wash

roll out the dough while i flip?

peeping over shoulders quadrupled vision

is it our laughter that will break the silence

of a dark night, startling the owl

and drawing stars closer?

i did not let the outside world in

did you?

i can walk away, can you?

at will, i ask you –

will we be the ones –

our fingers barely touching

a relationship on a shoestring budget

of superficial small talk

barely skimming the surface…

how far must we go before we know

we’re forever?

 

 

 

 

Glory Sasikala is a poet and writer currently residing in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. She is the Editor and Publisher of the Monthly Online Prose and Poetry magazine, ‘GloMag’ and is the administrator of the group of the same name on Facebook. She is a language editor and quality analyst by profession.  

This Moment by Eliza Segiet

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

Ready for happiness,

we greedily go towards it.

And when it opens like a

dawn-awakened nenuphar,

it is not because

it will always be so,

but in order to enjoy

this moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cigarette Burns in the Sleeveless Shirt of the Universe by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

 

 

There are bullfrogs

 

and there are screwdrivers

 

and there were knickknacks

 

and fireflies over Oregon

 

like cigarette burns

 

in the sleeveless shirt

 

of the universe.

 

And there are carnivorous plants

 

and chilled salad forks

 

and bathroom stall etchings

 

like a Rosetta stone

 

for the disinherited.

 

There are colonoscopies

 

and pay stubs

 

and grey owls

 

and grey hairs

 

and more colours to a windswept

 

rainbow

 

than toes on the clubbed foot

 

of Eternity…

 

 

 

I am not a very good noise maker.

 

I take it on the chin

 

and move on.

 

I am the milk-white muted womb

 

of no comment.

 

The toe jam regular of sand crabs

 

and Danish kings.

 

When I speak it is barely audible,

 

more mumble and grunts

 

than true syllables –

 

an economy of word

 

and meaning.

 

When I eat pea soup,

 

it is understated.

 

When I defecate I never push.

 

I just sit there and let it slide out

 

at its own pace

 

like faith in an old jalopy

 

 

you trust

 

will get there

 

someday.

 

I stand in a room

 

like a hat rack

 

stands in a room.

 

I love like gift cards

 

love,

 

all sentiment

 

and distance

 

and general penmanship.

 

My dress

 

and overall existence

 

is low key.

 

I am a ghost

 

where there are no ghosts;

 

in the tilted can opener wisdom

 

of Transparency.

 

 

 

There is a picture on my bedroom wall

 

of me

 

many years younger

 

not smiling.

 

Surrounded by birthday goers

 

wearing birthday hats,

 

I am neither happy

 

or wearing a hat.

 

And I know that face I am wearing

 

just like I know there are shallots

 

in the crisper.

 

When I get mad

 

or upset

 

I don’t explode like some horny John

 

all over the blotchy face

 

of Reason.

 

I get quiet and frustrated instead

 

and internalise

 

everything.

 

And then I drink more

 

(much more)

 

than I’ve drank to this point

 

tonight.

 

 

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, PPP Ezine, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

 

 

No Turning Back by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

 

Parting rivers.

Parting ways.

The truth laid bare

at my feet

 

Deep dark secrets hide

within converging storms.

A cadence of emotions

marching by.

 

My words are not your words.

We speak in different tongues.

It is as if you know the answer

before the question is posed.

 

You know me so well

yet not at all.

Fragments of life

falling into oblivion.

 

Forlorn and forgotten,

forsaken and lost.

Death closes the door

that love once opened.

 

Parting ways,

there is no turning back.

Time does not allow

such luxuries as that.

 

 

 

Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and three cats. Her most recent credits are: Ethos Literary Journal, North of Oxford, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Synchronized Chaos, Pangolin Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, The McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore.

 

 

So Long by Kelli J Gavin

 

 

I will not say goodbye to you.

I won’t do it.

I will say so long.

In hopes of seeing you again.

I will not say goodbye to you.

Good bye always seems so final.

And saying goodbye to you isn’t possible.

I will always want you.

I will always need you.

So long.

I will see you soon.

I will see you again.

Because I will not say goodbye to you.

 

 

 

 

Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company.  Look for Kelli’s first book of short stories and poems in 2019. You can find her work with The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, Writing In a Woman’s Voice among others. Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin  Blog found at kellijgavin.blogspot.com

Duplicity by Guy Farmer

 

Nothing can

Stop their agenda,

Broken people

Trying to feel

More secure in

A world made

Dangerous by them.

 

Self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Duplicity,

Incompetence,

Cowardice.

 

 

 

Guy Farmer writes evocative, minimalist, modern poetry about the human condition. Visit him online at https://www.unconventionalbeing.com/.

 

 

The White Stone and Dreams by James G. Piatt

 

 

Echoes in my mind carrying my

 

Idle thoughts swirled around the

 

Burnished edges of eternity as I

 

Meandered through memories

 

Inside my dreams. I remembered

 

It was near a bark-covered path

 

Where I found the white stone

 

Hidden among beautiful flowers

 

In a meadow. I gave it to a lady

 

I Did not know, but recognized

 

From one of my dreams.

 

 

 

Old memories released visions

 

Where nothing existed except

 

Objects that emitted pleasant

 

Fragrances, and as I followed the

 

Aroma of red roses, Jasmine,

 

And lilacs, which floated up stairs

 

To an ancient clock, which had

 

Secrets hidden inside its golden

 

Works, I saw the lady siting in a

 

Rocking chair weaving dreams

 

Out of the white stone.

 

 

 

Dr. Piatt’s poetry collections include “The Silent Pond,” “Ancient Rhythms,” and “Light.” His poem “Teach Me,” was the poem of the year at Long Story Short, and many of his poems have been featured as ‘poems of the month’ in numerous magazines, including Poetry Poetics Pleasure.  Several of his poems were nominated for both Pushcart, and Best of Web awards. He has published over 1130 poems.  He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU.

 

 

 

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 1; January 2019

Poet of the Month: James G Piatt

Windows of Dreams by Mary Bone

Pyre by David Estringel

Crème Brûlée by Jack M. Freedman

Healing by Eduard Schmidt-Zorner

Exiled by Sunil Sharma

Old by Noelle Kukenas

Fits in Nicely by Patricia Walsh

I’m Just Trying To Be Comfortable by Eric Golden

Poetry by Lynn Long

 

v3i1

 

Poet of the Month: James G Piatt

 

Time & Memories

 

 

Time is fading away inside clocks, which

 

Count the passing of countless hours in

 

Rusting minutes. The enigmatic

 

Shadows of the vanishing past intrude

 

Into memories as time hidden inside

 

Obscurity continually ticks away into

 

Infinity.

 

 

 

The conscious journey of life ends in the

 

Scarlet seconds of wordless flight, but

 

Time continues forever. When the

 

Ocean’s waves of ephemeral moments

 

Pass over our graves of earth and

 

Wood, and our lifeless flesh remembers

 

Not, time still exists for those with future

 

Dreams and golden memories,

 

 

 

As countless seasons come and go, and

 

Precious hours have long departed this

 

Life of mine, and as luminescent clouds

 

Wander freely over my marble

 

Tombstone, someone may still have

 

Memories of me, and will visit my

 

Tombstone in the early hours of a foggy

 

Morn.

 

 

 

Yearning for Summer

 

 

 

As clouds gather, I find

 

There is little to remember

 

As rain washes away

 

Memories, and builds

 

Upon darkness. I move

 

About the grayness

 

Without exactness, frozen

 

Thoughts bend images in

 

My mind. Puddles in the

 

Muddy rutted country road

 

Reflect things to be

 

Learned about winter

 

Winds, and moisture.

 

Barren trees with boughs

 

Searching for sky watch

 

For a sense of sun in the

 

Quivering silence of the

 

Day’s frozen hours, and I

 

Yearn for summer’s heat

 

To warm my weary bones.

 

 

 

The Lost

 

 

 

 

 

Scattered among the corroded

 

Debris of ruins and

 

Lost dreams

 

Are shattered

 

Hopes of a

 

Thousand traumatized souls.

 

 

 

Helplessness,

 

Caused by the spewing of hate filled

 

Bullets and bombs

 

Onto burning sand,

 

Covered the last hopes

 

Of those who have, nothing left

 

Except, their souls:

 

 

 

Men/women/children

 

Trudge helplessly

 

On jagged blood laced paths

 

And, crimson tinted sand,

 

Away from devastated homes

 

To anywhere,

 

Even death’s door:

 

 

 

The weary refugees continue

 

Running, running, running

 

To escape the tyranny of a

 

Despot, and

 

The blades of extreme

 

Insane Ideologists

 

 

 

Dr. Piatt’s poetry collections include “The Silent Pond,” “Ancient Rhythms,” and “Light.” His poem “Teach Me,” was the poem of the year at Long Story Short, and many of his poems have been featured as ‘poems of the month’ in numerous magazines, including Poetry Poetics Pleasure.  Several of his poems were nominated for both Pushcart, and Best of Web awards. He has published over 1130 poems.  He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU.

 

 

 

 

 

Windows of Dreams by Mary Bone

 

A beautiful mind meditates,

 

Waterfalls are cascading

 

In a myriad of colors.

 

Watercolors fragment

 

Into exploded color.

 

Brushstrokes splash paint

 

With scenic views that my mind sees-

 

Illuminating brightness,

 

With thought and memory.

 

There is gold horizons and misty mountains.

 

Such truth of beauty,

 

I can’t put on paper.

 

 

Mary Bone has been writing poetry since the age of twelve. Her poems have been published at Kritya, Poetry Pacific, The Oklahoma Today Magazine, Spillwords and forthcoming poetry from Digging Through The Fat/Digging, January 25th online issue. Some recent published poetry can be found at, ”The Song Is,” Blogspot online.  

 

 

Pyre by David Estringel

 

 

Let hungry flames lick.

 

Devour this flesh that binds

 

and let me be free.

 

 

 

 

David Estringel is an avid reader, poet, and writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, & essays. His work has been accepted and/or published by Specter Magazine, Literary Juice, Foliate Oak Magazine, Indiana Review, Terror House Magazine, Expat Press, 50 Haikus, littledeathlit, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Route 7, Setu Bilingual Journal, Paper Trains, The Elixir Magazine, Soft Cartel, and The Good Men Project. He is currently a Contributing Editor (fiction) at Red Fez, editor/columnist at The Good Men Project, and an editor/writer at The Elixir Magazine. David Estringel can be found on Twitter (@The_Booky_Man) and his blog “The Booky Man” at thebookyman.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

Crème Brûlée by Jack M. Freedman

 

Thin veil of sugar covering the gold within

          this soul.

Crystals solidified and etched with fire

          upon the surface of this heart

Dare to crack the surface of this top layer

          of treasure?

Find the wealth within and know this

          facade is temporary.

Chances are there are one or more

          tongues left to arouse.

Embodiment of mirth realized through

          long lingual spasms

Birth of dessert which always wants to

          touch a lover’s lips.

Wholeness of dairy and the code

          embedded within a tongue.

Abundance in a shallow dish holding the

          depths of kindness and sincerity.  .

 

 

Jack M. Freedman is a poet of heart and of the modern cities.  

 

 

Healing by Eduard Schmidt-Zorner

 

I grew up amidst ruins,

remember a dead cat, exposed

on the debris pouring out of a

lonely porch of a destroyed house.

Destruction everywhere, also in my heart

I had no toys, no space to play,

refugees we were, displaced people.

In a box, I found two tiny wooden blocks,

unfinished.

And I found a thimble.

And a wooden mushroom,

which my mother used to darn the socks.

I placed the blocks on top of one another,

and added the thimble as turret,

gave the mushroom next to it

the order to stand straight

to serve as umbrella to keep me safe

in the house, which I constructed..

 

 

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is an artist and a translator and writer of poetry and short stories. He is writing haibun and poetry in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry. He is a member of four writer groups in Ireland. He lives in County Kerry, Ireland, since more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. He was published in 29 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in UK, Ireland and USA. Writes also under his pen name: Eadbhard McGowan.

 

 

 

Exiled by Sunil Sharma

 

 

The old bed

 

frayed sheet and blanket

 

 

 

the frail being

 

sotto voce

 

talks

 

to an airy

 

presence.

 

 

 

A hand towel

 

vials, medicines, water

 

bottle,

 

dentures and bifocals

 

on the

 

crowded table

 

 

 

near the yellow pillow

 

an old cell-phone 

 

 

 

the most cherished

 

item

 

in that small

 

Gulag

 

 

 

created exclusively

 

in an urban home

 

for a dying

 

parent in a liberal

 

India chasing brands.

 

 

Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 19 published books: Six collections of poetry; two of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015. Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA:  http://www.setumag.com/p/setu-home.html For more details, please visit the blog: http://www.drsunilsharma.blogspot.in/.

 

 

Old by Noelle Kukenas

 

“I look old,” said the woman, as she glanced in the mirror, trying to cover the wrinkles with make-up.

 

“You’re not old, Mama,” said the younger woman, “those lines represent all the times you have laughed and smiled.”

 

 

 

“I feel old,” said the woman, as she struggled to lift herself out of the chair.

 

“You’re not old, Grandma,” said the child, “you’re just tired after playing tag with me today – and you won!”

 

 

 

“I sound old,” said the woman, as her voice shook when she spoke.

 

“You’re not old, GG,” said the young teenager, “none of my friends’ great-grandparents know the lyrics to all the latest songs like you do!”

 

 

 

“I AM old!” exclaimed the woman, as she gazed at the candles blazing atop the cake in front of her.

 

“Yes! You are 100years old! Happy Birthday to you…” sang four generations of the woman’s family.

 

 

 

Noelle Kukenas began writing around the age of nine and continues to this day. She enjoyed working in several career fields, many which allowed her to contribute as a technical writer in some capacity. Her published works include a short story in Scraps To Scribes and poetry in Sisterhood 4: We Are Women. Recently retired from the nonprofit sector, Noelle enjoys spending her free time traveling with her husband, creating havoc with her grandchildren, and enjoying the California sunshine!

 

 

Fits in Nicely by Patricia Walsh

 

Grating at extremeties, like the sheer cold

Over winter blanketed, a part to play

Traitored, or otherwise, importance  to call

The basic ingredient is the willing heart.

 

Life-partners to the fore, smugly congregating

In enclosed spaces not for the rest of us.

Brusquely rebuffing attempts at conversation

About their situation, intrusive, thanks.

 

I remain a stand-alone, despite predictions

Of a collective over summer, look out or not

Several broken hearts liter the roadway

To an earlier heaven, fitting in nicely.

 

No problem with insanity, broadcast over coffee

Not in any company should these jokes be shared

Strictly smoking in confined spaces, to mockery

Counting in times it hits you in the face.

 

Concerned, perhaps?  Preserving acquaintance

For merriment alone, cussing the depressed.

Parallels with Ballymun hit the wrong spot

Reading comfort but kicked in the teeth.

 

Relaxing at its peak, reading the irrelevant

Taking notice of sorrow for once in a life

Conspicuous by absence, still overlooked

Gambolling from drink to drink a speciality.

 

 

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.

 

 

I’m Just Trying To Be Comfortable by Eric Golden

 

 

I’m just trying to be comfortable in my own skin

At the same time looking for that companionship

 

 

Someone that completes me & looks out for my well being

Looks for the positives & through all the tough times they’re not leaving

 

 

The one who never cheats

That one who is never full of deceit

 

 

I’m trying to cope with being single & I’m not ready for commitment

But I’m ready to open up as much as I don’t want to admit it

 

 

One night stands aren’t cutting it & I’m looking for something deeper

Something more fulfilling, emotional & sweeter

 

 

The shining jewel in my crown

& that woman who is 10 toes down

 

 

A lot of women have caused me pain & grief

Some have stole my heart like a thief

 

 

But i need that special girl

Who can rotate my lonely world

 

 

Love is something I don’t take lightly

I just want someone to hold me down daily & nightly.

 

 

 

Eric was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He graduated from Boys Town high school and went on to get a degree in Social Work. He married at 19 but later got divorced and has raised two children alone. His love for music and arts has led him to his writing. Much of his poetry and writings come from experiences and love of life. He often adds humor to enlighten and has been writing for over 20 years.

 

 

Poetry by Lynn Long

 

Floating on a nebulous

 

Adrift in contemplation

 

Teetering at the precipice

 

I wander the constellations

 

 

Surfing celestial infinity

 

Riding waves of euphoria

 

Swimming in sublimity

 

No longer lost in moria

 

 

I’m chillin with the hatter

 

Sipping tea with honey

 

Where nothing really matters-

 

Unless you ask the bunny

 

 

Lynn Long is a poet, writer, aspiring novelist, as well as a daydreamer and firm believer in the impossible. She has been published in the following ezines, journals and online publications: Stanzaic Stylings, PPP Ezine, Antarctica Journal, Contributing artist at HitRECord.org and Scriggler.com.

 

 

 

Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 2; Issue 11; December 2018

Poet of the Month: Joan McNerney

My Surname is The Night by Ahmad Al-Khatat

The Christmas prayer by Gary Lawrence Ingram

Where did the Lake Go? by Glory Sasikala

Easel by Eliza Segiet

Haikus by David Estringel

Massage by Ann Christine Tabaka

Above it All by Kelli J Gavin

At Home by Guy Farmer

Memories of Rain (haiku Sequence) by James G. Piatt

 

 

Poet of the Month: Joan McNerney

 

I Believe in Trees

 

Those silent citadels

standing against long

nights of wind and cold.

 

Broken willow bramble

scratches a pale sky after

yesterday’s ice storm.

 

Each spring small buds

blossom as bugs and

butterflies orbit boughs.

 

Green new leaf fits

your hand so perfectly.

The future lies in your palm.

 

 

Birds reciting litany in woods.

Each rainfall the forest

grows taller, more verdant.

 

 

Summer afternoons…trees

sashay in sunshine showing

off their emerald gowns.

 

 

Winds sway maple branches.

Leaves drop like butterflies

falling to the warm earth.

 

 

Red yellow brown carpets

of crunchy foliage spread

over roads welcoming us.

 

 

 

 

Live Oak Boughs

 

Boughs build archways as tips

of trees touch each other.  What

was shaded green becomes

nocturnal shadow.  A

crescent moon hangs from

heaven.  Light tracing

foliage falls dropping

dusty deep upon ground.

 

Secrets lie inside the

edged shadow.  Animals

hide under darkness

resounding through night

as leaves rustle.

All changing except         

this pattern of what

is now formed.

 

 

 

Wildflowers

 

Bobbing in open fields.

Two fabulous daffodils sprout

from your eyes. Falling dizzy in

love as o so lackadaisical

breeze tugs at shirt sleeves.

 

Again we are flushed in

warm love caress.  Solar

energy orbiting billions of

grass blades.  Hum hum

hummingbirds hurry hurry

pass us tripping giddy

in love.

 

 

 

Effective Immediately

 

I want to become an

Ambassador for Rain!

 

Why the bad image?

Birds love rain.

 

Tweeting through

dry spells for water.

 

They flutter from leaf

to bud for a sip.

 

It’s super creative…

feeding tree roots, wild flowers.

 

Without rain…no blessed

blue lakes, rivers, streams.

 

Open your eyes.  Rain clings

to window panes, miniature globes

 

of splendor.  Listen as pitter

pattering skips over rooftops.

 

Consider your thirst for

liquid pleasures. Gather up

 

in green reverie. Dance

barefoot on this emerald earth

 

joining me in jubilant chorus.

 

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary zines such as Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Halcyon Days and included in Bright Hills Press, Kind of A Hurricane Press and Poppy Road Review anthologies. She has been nominated four times for Best of the Net.

 

 

 

 

 

My Surname is The Night by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

I once applied to work for a company,

the manager saw my surname and asked

the meaning behind my first name

I answered him that it means that during the

night I live as a joyful person in the rain,

and realize that I am not lonely when I cry

nowadays, my name is the night itself,

due to my daily sorrows that rise with

the presence of the moon along with the stars

my spirit becomes the star that lights

my path to a broken heart, walking back home,

my eyes become the autumn season that rains

yet, nobody has a moment to listen to me,

the sightless flowers whisper to the deaf branches

as I want to wipe my falling tears, but I have failed

I see death play as the responsible adult

As we low human being’s, destroy

each other’s bodies to mangled beings

the reason that holds the night as my name

is to rest the children’s mind of poverty, the

river of blood, and the imaginary of an endless war

 

 

Ahmad Al-Khatat, was born in Baghdad, Iraq on May 8th. He has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world and has poems translated in several languages. He has published two poetry books “The Bleeding Heart Poet” and “Love On The War’s Frontline” which are available on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet on Facebook.  

 

 

The Christmas prayer by Gary Lawrence Ingram

 

The church bells near the town square were ringing to the sounds of Christmas music

The wind had turned a bit brisk and the cool of the season had just begun the splashing of the tires from cars made me feel much colder than it really was but when you don’t have a home the smell of ham and the heat of an old fashioned wall heater warming the back of your pants was all I could think of

All of the years I never knew what I wanted for Christmas but this year I did because as I found a dry bench sitting out under an old oak tree I sat there watching families coming in and out of the little shops around the square wearing their holiday smiles and laughing together

For once I knew what I wanted and that night as the mist from the rain began covering my face I prayed I prayed all night

Now life is much better and I’m wearing a Christmas smile this year

 

 

Gary Lawrence Ingram is an Oklahoma based writer. His paperback book “Shadows of the Past” is available at amazon.com. Gary has recently been published in The Secret Life of Poets Magazine, at youtube.com, and in the anthology Dandelion in a Vase of Roses. His newest book, One Thousand Love Poems is the latest flow of words from this poet.

 

 

 

Where did the Lake Go? by Glory Sasikala

 

Bulrushes by the lake

What are you?

Tiny bird on bulrush, where did you come from?

Sunrise, Sunset, all shimmering ripples now

that my feet send out swinging as I sit

on the dhobi-stone.

He washes clothes, he beats them

He stomps on them for hours

Varicose veins bulging

He, the lake, the clothes

and the expanse of sky.

He has forgotten how to speak

I try to teach him as he stomps.

How long? Where is your house? Does your leg ache?

He does not answer

But he is not there now –

gone to eat silently the food his wife has prepared

and black out in bed.

And I swing my legs in the water

seated on the dhobi-stone.

Little fish kiss my feet

A little hanky thrown in

yields a small fish-fortune.

But slowly, slowly the glorious Sunset

overwhelms me as I watch the grand show

so taken for granted because it is free,

because it is there.

As clouds turn light pink, dark pink, then roll and fade away,

rays disbanding in a fire play.

The trees, their branches reaching out to the waters

their leaves closing.

Birds that hurry home, the incessant chatter

as they settle down.

Now silence prevails

In a dark night.

The lights from the hangars reflect in the lake.

Far away, on the island, the old man and his son swing a lantern

and lo! it is the Smiling Moon herself!

I see all these things in my mind’s eyes

as I stand where the lake was,

trying to reconcile the multi-storey apartments now

that have replaced the irreplaceable.

 

 

Glory Sasikala is a poet and writer currently residing in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. She is the Editor and Publisher of the Monthly Online Prose and Poetry magazine, ‘GloMag’ and is the administrator of the group of the same name on Facebook. She is a language editor and quality analyst by profession.  

Easel by Eliza Segiet

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

If you

kept me forever

in the clouds of pastels.

My body would seduce

with the smell of memories.

 

I would have dreamed

on the stone wall,

on the canvas.

I want to, on an easel,

invite to my sleep.

 

If you

kept me forever

in the smell of print.

 

Or maybe,

just keep me in the heart.

 

I know,

you won’t do that, because it died.

 

And I,

my Abelard,

am still headed for the love.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

   

 

 

Haikus by David Estringel

 

 

Epiphanies

 

  

White bolts from above

Rain cuts on kitchen tables,

releasing bad blood.

 

 

 

Verse

 

 

Words collapse on tongues–

wicker baskets of water–

without poetry.

 

David Estringel is an avid reader, poet, and writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, & essays. His work has been accepted and/or published by Specter Magazine, Literary Juice, Foliate Oak Magazine, Indiana Review, Terror House Magazine, and many more. He is currently a Contributing Editor (fiction) at Red Fez, editor/columnist at The Good Men Project, and an editor/writer at The Elixir Magazine. David Estringel can be found on Twitter (@The_Booky_Man) and his blog “The Booky Man” at thebookyman.wordpress.com.

 

 

Massage by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

Navigating fingers

work their way over

the aches and pains

that invade my body.

 

Pressing deep into

knotted muscle,

releasing fascia,

easing tension.

Waves of pleasure

sweep over me.

 

Soothing music,

soft candle glow,

gifted hands

bestow relaxation.

The raging beast,

my body,

begins to purr.

 

Hour over,

I yearn for more,

as I lay there in

some universe

far away,

dreaming of the next time.

 

Candles extinguished,

music quieted,

life returns, but …

oh, just a little sweeter!

 

 

Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and three cats. Her most recent credits are: Ethos Literary Journal, North of Oxford, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Synchronized Chaos, Pangolin Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, The McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore.

 

 

Above it All by Kelli J Gavin

 

You’ve been elevated

 

Above it all

 

You have been placed

 

In a position

 

Above it all

 

The rest doesn’t matter

 

It is just background noise

 

I may have placed you there

 

To protect you

 

To make sure no one else

 

Could ever touch you

 

Hurt You

 

Take you

 

From Me

 

Above It all

 

Stay there

 

You’ve been elevated

 

Above it all

 

Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company.  Look for Kelli’s first book of short stories and poems in 2019. You can find her work with The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, Writing In a Woman’s Voice among others. Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin  Blog found at kellijgavin.blogspot.com

At Home by Guy Farmer

 

Anytime she meets

Someone in public,

She’s quick to smile

And assure them

That everything is

All right.

 

Her eyes dart around,

Worried that someone

Will see the secret

She thinks she’s hiding

But is abundantly apparent

To everyone else.

 

He awaits at home,

Permeated with

Unresolved anger,

Pacing back and forth,

A sordid creature

Guarding its lair.

 

 

Guy Farmer writes evocative, minimalist, modern poetry about the human condition. Visit him online at https://www.unconventionalbeing.com/.

 

 

Memories of Rain (haiku Sequence) by James G. Piatt

 

 

Rainy night appears

 

Bringing twilight’s mist to us

 

Moisture laden clouds

 

 

 

Cover the dry land

 

Memories of rain awaken

 

In our yearning souls

 

 

Dr. Piatt’s poetry collections include “The Silent Pond,” “Ancient Rhythms,” and “Light.” His poem “Teach Me,” was the poem of the year at Long Story Short, and many of his poems have been featured as ‘poems of the month’ in numerous magazines, including Poetry Poetics Pleasure.  Several of his poems were nominated for both Pushcart, and Best of Web awards. He has published over 1130 poems.  He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU.

Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 2; Issue 10; November 2018 (Special Issue)

Poet of the Month: Glory Sasikala

2 Poems by Gary Lawrence Ingram

2 Poems by Sanghpriya Gautam

2 Poems by Ken Allan Dronsfield

2 Poems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Glory Sasikala

 

Buy a Ticket

 

at the doorway

you will have to leave

your control issues

and possessiveness

your idiosyncrasies

and mood swings

your petty games

of yes and no

your see-saws

of love and hate

and mainly,

those three-petalled clovers

of ‘i love you’

‘i love you not’

along with your shoes

to enter my world

 

 

 

 

I am Ganga!

 

Where Ganga meets Yamuna

Confluence or conflict?

Conflict I say, Yamuna so calm

And Ganga – raging!

I am Ganga.

Sunlight and breeze

and tornado at times.

Don’t try to own me

Just feel…enjoy…

Till I decide to whip you along

Into my whirlpool –

Your calm, meditative ways

And common sense

And cool demeanour

A part now

Of the raging, rolling torrent

That I am!

 

 

Dance of the Possessed

 

my feet moved on their own

to the beat of the music

the drums beat a slow beat

then faster, faster

and faster and faster

and my body swayed

to the rhythm

my feet out of control

my head rotated

hair flying

i threw my hands in the air

and danced with abandon

hopping from one feet to another

faster and faster

till i was nothing but a blur

the drums paused

and started a slower

rhythmic tatoo

and i fell forward and backward

in keeping

forward and backward

forward and backward

and then the drums went still

and i stopped

then started a slow beat

and i swirled and swirled

and swirled

till i fell

the drums picked up speed

moving through to the next

faster and faster

faster and faster

but i lay there

motionless and still.

 

 

Their Cities

 

Their cities appeared on the map

 

She looked at his forehead and said

“The people in your city are intelligent.”

He looked at her hands and said,

“Your city is clean and small!”

She looked in his eyes and said,

“A fresh breeze blows through your city”

He looked at her hair and said,

“There’s a lovely river in yours.”

She drew in her breath at his smile and asked,

“Why are the people in your city so happy?”

He watched her as she walked and said,

“Deer prance in your city.”

She walked into his arms and said,

“Your city is very warm.”

He held her close and said,

“There are flowers in your city.”

She closed her eyes and said,

“Evenings come too soon in your city.”

He closed his eyes and said,

“There’s a lullaby in yours.”

When it was time to leave, she said,

“I wish I could come to your city.”

And he replied,

“I wish I could come to yours.”

 

Their cities disappeared from the map.

 

Glory Sasikala is a poet and writer currently residing in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. She is the Editor and Publisher of the Monthly Online Prose and Poetry magazine, ‘GloMag’ and is the administrator of the group of the same name on Facebook. She is a language editor and quality analyst by profession.

 

2 Poems by Gary Lawrence Ingram

 

 

Christmas with mother

 

The house we lived in had a fire place,

and the house smelled of burnt logs most of the time until it was time for spring cleaning

 

I’ll remember those days for the rest of my life

 

Grandad was in his nineties on his last legs I prefer to say,

he was a good man full of stories and loved to make everyone laugh

 

In grandads days he made a bit of moonshine,

no one ever knew it we just kept it to ourselves

 

Growing up came too soon,

before I knew it I had moved away but came back for my family my mother and grandfather R.J Rankin

 

Some of us never really grew up when all we ever knew was hell raising and having a good time  

 

“Me”, I could have been anything at the time but I had a job that could pay the bills,

I kinda figured that’s all it was to being a man

 

So many mistakes and so many bad lifestyle choices ended on the last Christmas with mother

 

It snowed that Christmas year and mom still made me hang my stockings by the fire that crackled and popped into midnight

 

It’s now many years later beyond the ham on the table and the fresh rolls that filled the house with such an aroma

 

I find myself looking back wishing my gift to mom coulda been better

 

Granddad still asked for a snoot or a shot most of you may say, I never turned him down even though he was close to meeting Jesus

 

The burdens that a man keeps inside for a lifetime often finds ways to track him down after many years when he has more to give and filled with a love inside that only God could have put there

 

My stair way to heaven was every step I made and every battle I fought trying to find a better me and a better life ,it was the mountain I climbed

 

Now, I’ve reached the top of that ole mountain but Ive found myself alone looking down on the other side, wishing mother and granddad could see me now I think they’d be proud

 

Whenever you reach the top of wherever you’re headed in life

take the time to look back at all of your memories,

never leave them behind ,remember your roots and where you came from as you strive to make not only your dreams come alive but those dreams others had for themselves as they lie somewhere lost in time saying prayers for you

 

Hello ,to my family somewhere up in heaven

and mom your prayers for your son have finally been answered

 

Thinking of you on every Christmas with tears

 

Dad’s advice

Dad was a quiet man that worked hard from dark to dark,

he never had a bad word to say about anyone he just kept it to himself

 

I’ll always remember none of us kids ever done without in fact he gave us his all

 

Dad was the kind of man who enjoyed surprising mom,

sometimes a new dress or something she could use in the kitchen

 

Each year and every occasion dad often sat me down in quiet places telling me what is to be a man and how important it is to love God and all of his creatures

 

Dad if you’re up there looking down,

 

sir I remember everything you ever told me

and I may not be perfect or half the man you were

but I’ll try my best just like the day I told you that before I went to college  

 

Gary Lawrence Ingram is an Oklahoma based writer. His paperback book “Shadows of the Past” is available at amazon.com. Gary has recently been published in The Secret Life of Poets Magazine, at youtube.com, and in the anthology Dandelion in a Vase of Roses. His newest book, One Thousand Love Poems is the latest flow of words from this poet.  

 

 

2 Poems by Sanghpriya Gautam

 

Listen pale child

 

Listen pale child before your bones are weary,

Born blue you were, cradled beneath the grey sky,

Still can breathe, though coughs are dreary,

And still sail amidst the sea of deafening sighs.

 

You who were born blue beneath the grey sky,

Are blessed with a chance, can hear the breath of winds

And still sail amidst the sea of deafening sighs,

Learn from those who have and yet not sinned;

 

Are blessed with a chance, hear the breath of winds,

Light up that undying soul which persist,

Learn from those who have and yet not sinned

Be the hope of this dying world and resist.

 

Light up that undying soul which persist,

Stretch arms to the stranded who are left to die,

Be the hope of this dying world and resist

Your tears will melt away the desolate sky.

 

Stretch arms to the stranded who are left to die,

They still can breathe, though coughs are dreary.

Your tears will melt away the desolate sky,

Listen pale child before your bones are weary.

 

 

I saw a crooked little boy

 

I saw a crooked little boy.

Sitting with his fingers interdigitated,

Looking at several cars that hurried by,

And buses that stopped every moment that flitted,

In front of our eyes.

 

I wondered if we looked at the same world,

With him, all young, tired and perhaps hungry,

His eyes were staring at every movement

That went by with winds howling

And horns blaring.

 

I wondered for a little while

And then drifted in a grim dream.

.

There no movement passed by

And no sound swirled about.

 

Suddenly the green warped around

And near-far-away a crystalline sound

Was heard where thick fragrant rainbow sheen slime

Curls in circles, twirling in a dark pool.

 

And all weird sweet smells wafted in the winds

From gaudy pink and red unnatural flowers

And sky appeared in a dangerous blue colour,

In between the dappled sky and golden showers.

 

Crass cacophony of weird animate objects…

That fluttered like command prompts on a computer screen

From one brown pole, through one green to another,

Out of order, unconcerned and disrespecting.

 

I shouted! when I saw at him, Absolute Anarchy!

His eyes were drenched weak, his clothes poor,

His heart I could hear, oh so deafening,

The hair glowed on his head against gravity,

His Face stubborn, What blasphemy!

 

Child! I shouted! You are a piece of vile vermin,

Of degenerates who filled people with dreams

How dare you-you little– gave me once again,

Such unnerving sight of peace in this darkling rain.

 

Oh! The smoke once again filled my senses

The soot drew me black once again

I called the executioners at once,

My countrymen, the holy men!

For whom I will gladly live.

 

Sanghpriya Gautam is an Indian poet. He is a busy student in daylight but when the sun sets, the poet rises, and then his imagination paints a world with words on pages.

 

 

 

2 Poems by Ken Allan Dronsfield

 

 

Arbor of Wisteria and Clematis

 

I reflect upon the lavender Wisteria;

 

the lilacs and lonely gardenias.

 

I uncover the grand butterfly bush

 

Quoth the Nepeta, ‘keep to the path’.

 

Those shrubby pussy willows bloom,

 

a burning felt deep within the Clematis.

 

What could be more purely aglow?

 

Only this and a Thimble-berry pie.

 

There perched, a crow upon the arbor

 

craving the bi-colored, brag bonnet.

 

A harlequin colored sky now aflame

 

The rooster never asked for the time.

 

Orange bells fall from the trumpet vine,

 

first touch of frost kisses a naked leaf.

 

leaves soar and spin in the north winds.

 

 

 

Of Time Slowly Passing

 

Of shallow labored breaths

 

a lone kiss in the of predawn,

 

rattle and hum whispers within,

 

wish only sleep during cold times.

 

Yellowish orbs dart all about trees,

 

kisses spread from the tip of sprigs

 

spiraling down into the old garden

 

I try to reach out and touch them.

 

My ride takes us through the gates

 

grass glistens in the carriage-lights

 

touch of frost left upon a naked leaf

 

skies of yesterday; dreams of today.

 

Albino raven’s roost in the old cedar

 

pious penance delivered by rosary.

 

Moldy smell of freshly shoveled earth

 

thoughts linger within lofty reflections;

 

the things that can never be unseen

 

a taste of solace within old memories.

 

Prayers answered with a lilac scent

 

I feel small in this time of my passing

 

Resurrection Lilies sprouting nearby

 

fragrant Red Roses whisper to me. 

 

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran, prize winning poet and fabulist from New Hampshire, now residing on the plains of Oklahoma. He is published in magazines, journals, reviews and anthologies throughout the US and abroad. Ken has three poetry collections, “The Cellaring”, 80 poems of light horror, paranormal, weird and wonderful work. His second book, “A Taint of Pity”, contains 52 Life Poems Written with a Cracked Inflection. Ken’s third poetry collection, “Zephyr’s Whisper”, 64 Poems and Parables of a Seasonal Pretense, and includes his poem, “With Charcoal Black, Version III”, selected as the First Prize Winner in Realistic Poetry International’s recent Nature Poem Contest. Ken won First Prize for his Haiku on the Southern Collective Experience Haiku Contest. He’s been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and six times for the Best of the Net for 2016-2018. Ken loves writing, hiking, thunderstorms, and spending time with his cats Willa and Yumpy.  

2 Poems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

 

Weaving Between Convictions like a Late Model Four Door in Traffic

 

It takes a wise man

 

to show restraint.

 

 

 

Jackson Pollock

 

used to get drunk

 

and start arguments

 

at the Cedar Bar,

 

then leave suddenly

 

while others were left to

 

continue the argument

 

he had started.

 

 

 

Imagine the discipline it takes

 

to convince others

 

of the sincerity of your argument,

 

only to leave without notice

 

and not care in the least

 

about a resolution

 

 

 

either way.

 

 

 

There will always be takers

 

on every side

 

of the argument,

 

but wise is he who has no stake

 

in the matter.

 

 

 

Weaving between convictions

 

like a late model four door

 

in traffic.

 

 

 

With Mozart on the radio

 

and the top down.

 

 

 

And an odometer that looks

 

like a speedometer

 

 

 

in the right

 

light.

 

 

 

Journalists are a Prison Break with Credentials

 

The temperature never falls for you.

This is a love of outside motivations.

Fisherman gutting the daily catch

on tiny wood blocks

along the pier.

And to get to the bottom of anything

is to have your glass topped up again.

Journalists are a prison break

with credentials.

That perilous way your knuckle cracks

like a stoolie under hard questions.

State secrets

and the broken telephone

game.

Old movie posters

you think of while sitting

up in bed.

Running your nails over strange blankets

like a human record player.

The window opened up

for circulation.

 

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, PPP Ezine, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.