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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PPP Ezine Poetrypoeticspleasure; Volume 2; Issue 9; October 2018

Poet of the Month: Linda M. Crate

The Writer by Eric Robert Nolan

Empty Star by Gopal Lahiri

Moon Nostalgia by Eliza Segiet

Please? By Wayne Russell

Desert of love by Meekha Singh

Pumpkin by Neil Ellman

The Devil is Fine by Sudeep Adhiari

Dry Tears by Daginne Aignend

I am in a Print by Hiroshige by John Grey

Having Mercy on Injustice by Ndaba Sibanda

 

ppp9

 

Poet of the Month: Linda M. Crate

 

constellation of my name

 

there are songs sang for kings and queens, but not you and i; so i have found a magic deeper than their meaningless existence—once you find your voice and reclaim it from all those who say it doesn’t matter you feel the true weakness of others because they become ugly to quiet you, but i will not silence myself again; once was enough—sewn so deep in the stars of my wounds, i forgot i was part of the constellations, but when i remembered to shine again i lit up the night so brightly that i knew i could not stay quiet again; and some will tell you that i speak too loudly or too proudly but they do not know me fully just as i will never fully know them so take their judgments with a grain of salt—people are people, they will say what they want to say, but i am who i am; and i will not let the monsters that broke and break me to make me into a monster and i will be who i am without being abashed—for there is no shame sewn into the constellation of my name.

 

 

 

 

 

 

love isn’t to be earned

 

everything was always about you: your pain, your eyelashes, how you were a good man; but you never had time or affection to dedicate to me only offense at anything i did—you never took into account why or how i came to be, only what happened; instead of trying to figure it out, you would get annoyed and offended at everything—one of my exes joked that you would punish me for breathing, if my mother let you, i don’t doubt the reality of that statement; you were mean, and you were cruel; and i don’t care about your misery because of all the hell you gave me—i have and always love you as i refuse to become the nightmares that have brought me to my knees, but don’t expect me to say that the past is in the past because i am not past the pain; and i am still trying to piece back together my ego after years of insecurities, doubts, and self-loathing—love is nothing you’re supposed to earn, but i still tied; but i don’t think you could respect me even if i were dead so i’ve stopped trying—i care, i love you, but i don’t expect you’ll ever feel the same about me.

 

 

don’t spread the magic thin

 

 

don’t spread the magic thin

 

the sun

 

bathed me in the midas touch

 

even my eyes

 

turned to gold

 

everything around me

 

danced and shimmered in the light

 

even shadow

 

did not seem so ominous

 

in this gaze

 

of pure pirouetting light

 

savoring me

 

with a soft embrace,

 

and i felt if i was caught in the web

 

of this moment forever;

 

i wouldn’t mind

 

being felled by this spider because

 

the warmth and the magic were near me

 

majestic crows flitted and flew

 

by singing their song—

 

i felt a perfect peace

 

that i wish i could’ve spread over more moments,

but i have come to learn to appreciate

 

the calm tranquility of the wood when and where i can;

 

perhaps if i had it all the time it would spread

 

the magic thin.

 

 

 

 

 

get out of my dreams

 

 

get out of my dreams

 

you are the nightmare

 

sucker punching me

 

awake in tears or fury,

 

and i have but one humble request:

 

GET OUT OF MY DREAMS!

 

there’s a time and place for everything,

 

but i don’t need everyone who has hurt me

 

to haunt in the recesses of my brain;

 

my heart remembers

 

everything—

 

i don’t need your hand stretching

 

across the fruited plains of my dreams

 

turning the fruit rotten

 

it’s bad enough you stole years of my youth away

 

riddled me with insecurities and doubts

 

that steal across my mind sometimes today

 

you took away my past, but you won’t take away

 

my future, too;

 

i refuse to give it to you—

 

get out of my dreams

 

my dreams will be mine, and my truth will be spoken;

 

and nothing you say or do will stop me

 

from shining and becoming the woman i am meant to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

gift of the future

 

 

gift of the future

 

beneath the gilded psalm

 

of dreams

 

i uncover pieces of me

 

you never stole away

 

nor will i ever

 

let you

 

take from me

 

you took enough as it is:

 

my mother, my childhood, my family;

 

leaving me bereft of anyone

 

i was left to my

 

own devices—

 

you didn’t like that i could be comfortable

 

in my own dreaming skin

 

without you,

 

and i’ll admit it was painful and lonely at first;

 

but i’ve since learned

 

it is better to be alone than lone in a crowded room—

 

so go ahead and judge me

 

you’ve never known me and never will,

 

i was given years of hell and misery so you’ll only

 

be left to wither in the wings of the past;

 

as i put it behind me

 

the sun will kiss you into shadow as i gaze into

 

my present, the gift of the future.

 

 

 

 

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has five published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017), and splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018).

The Writer by Eric Robert Nolan

 

At night he dreamt of birds, thou­sands of them,

impris­oned in his house.

 

Ravens screamed in the attic.

Spar­rows pan­icked in the hall.

He sat at his desk.   A Jay pecked

Fran­ti­cally at his shirt sleeve.

 

The base­ment door revealed

Tor­rents of finches, erupt­ing in the dark

A loud gray storm

Of beaks and tiny claws.

 

Seag­ulls suf­fered in the cup­boards.

Para­keets in the rafters, trapped,

Raged in Etruscan.

 

He crossed the room.

Owls

Moaned under the floorboards.

 

Twelve red car­di­nals

Lined his kitchen shelves –

A dis­cor­dant jury.

 

Pea­cocks plead in the oven.

In a jar of sugar

Tit­mice strug­gled for air.

 

At his desk were

Pho­tographs, let­ters

Pens and a half dead Marten.

 

He reached for his old brown afghan but felt

Bone and feather

The heav­ing brown breast

Of a starv­ing eagle.

 

Some­times the scratch

Of pen against paper brought

Respite from birdsong:

 

Two less wings against the silence

One less voice in that

Trou­bled aviary.

 

A par­rot perched

On his paper stacks.

“Remorse,” it offered fee­bly.

“Regret,” he answered back.

 

 

Eric’s poetry and short stories have been featured by publications throughout the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia.  These include Quail Bell Magazine, Dagda Publishing, Every Day Poets, Every Day Fiction, Illumen, Under The Bed, Dead Beats Literary Blog, Microfiction Monday Magazine, Dead Snakes, UFO Gigolo, Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, The Bright Light Cafe, Aphelion, Tales of the Zombie War, Haikuniverse, The Bees Are Dead, Poems-for-All, Poetry Pacific, The International War Veterans’ Poetry Archive, and elsewhere. His poems and short stories were also included in five anthologies: Dagda Publishing’s “Threads” in 2013, Dagda Publishing’s “All Hail the New Flesh” in 2014, and Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine’s 2016 Anthology, 2017 Anthology and 2018 Anthology.  Eric’s science fiction/horror story, “At the End of the World, My Daughter Wept Metal,” was nominated for the Sundress Publications 2018 Best of the Net Anthology.

 

 

Empty Star by Gopal Lahiri

 

 

Behind the long granite steps

 

The mellow sun is fading, slowly,

 

Clutching a bucket of clouds,

 

 

 

The lights go out one by one

 

in the narrow, dark alley.

 

Leaving the courtyard open to the sky.

 

 

 

Shadows are carpeted as if with water hyacinths

 

No light on the corner of the room

 

Except for the lit brass lamp,

 

 

 

A lonesome bird lurks under the guava tree

 

and then settles over the parapet

 

ready to listen to the sound of his sleep.

 

 

 

The luminous moon light is leaning

 

over the glass windows, along with

 

the fragrances of flower floating in,

 

 

 

The evening is waiting for the twin planets

 

Glistening with sweat, which might perhaps

 

Tanned their bodies from the sun,

 

 

 

In the blue light of night stifling with pain

 

Empty stars are falling in silence and

 

Empty life in the pure silver of darkness.

 

 

 

Gopal Lahiri was born and grew up in Kolkata, India. He is a bilingual poet, writer, editor, critic and translator and published in Bengali and English language. He has had seven collections of poems in Bengali and eight collections in English and jointly edited one anthology of poems. His translation work from English to Bengali of the short stories of Israel ‘Not Just Sweet and Honey’, published by National Book Trust is widely acclaimed. His poetry is also published across various anthologies as well as in eminent journals of India and abroad. He is the recipient of the Poet of the Year Award in Destiny Poets, UK, 2016. He can be reached at glahiri@gmail.com and gopallahiri.blogspot.com

 

 

 

Moon Nostalgia by Eliza Segiet

 

 

The blue sky

spoke with a brush.

Painted stars said,

it’s already evening.

The moon, curled up like a cat,

was playing with imagination.

He did not dance,

it was the hand of the artist

that turned the clouds

into a soaring

moon nostalgia.

 

 

 

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.

Please? By Wayne Russell

 

 

Reflective muse,

thoughts cast out,

a catalyst of eternity.

 

Loneliness ensues,

when the clouds lose

their hue.

 

Fading with thoughts

and with dreams, grow

old and leave no blemish,

|upon this mortal coil.

 

Ashes tossed down wind,

at the stroke of midnight,

intermingling with dreams.

 

A ravens caw caught in the

balance of moonbeams and

memories of you.

 

Riding the crest of waves,

knocking at the doors of

bedlam.

 

The impoverished voice cries

 

Set me free! Set me free! From

this one life! This one prison, I

am ready to venture on into the

echelon of the next realm.

 

 

Wayne Russell is a creative writer that was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. Wayne is the founder and former editor and chief of Degenerate Literature. Sadly, due to unforeseen circumstances and time restraints, DL closed in late 2017. Wayne’s poetry, short stories, and photography have been widely published both online and in print.

 

 

 

Desert of love by Meekha Singh

 

 

I pause amidst sandy storms on deserts laden in sorrow’s grey. I look unto a hazy mirage where your face shimmers in smiling curves. I would walk through a billion scorching grains of sand to reach out a listless hand to graze the illusions that form your smile. You fear I would walk away and yet here I stay trusting in a love with a heart that had long lost it’s gleam. You fear, whilst I, I love as I breathe. In and out, as organic as the lungs that take in air, my soul takes in invisible hopes and reluctant dreams. You fear, while I know love is pain and yet I know I would walk through the greys and the blacks to be bathed in your hues for the pause of a breath. It is you I love, in and out, as organic as the air we breathe.

 

 

Meekha Singh is an IT professional from Southern India. He has been writing poems for past few years and has been self-published in various poetic communities under the pen name Kali (short for Kaleidoscope).

 

Pumpkin by Neil Ellman

 

(after the painting by Yayoi Kusama)

 

 

If time had a shape

 

it  would be that of a pumpkin

 

round, ripe,

 

not flattened by the ground

 

and perfect in its way.

 

 

If space had shape

 

it would be a pumpkin’s as well

 

proud and indifferent

 

defiant to the knife

 

with vines extending

 

like tentacles of light.

 

 

If the universe had any shape

 

it could only wish

 

it were a pumpkin’s

 

and forever expand

 

through its eternal patch

 

of time and space.

 

 

Neil Ellman is a poet from New Jersey.  He has published more than 1,500 poems, 1,200 of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern art, in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.  He has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net.

The Devil is Fine by Sudeep Adhiari

 

The night is you. The darkness is yours

 

where is to find the difference,

 

when everything is just one?

 

 

 

It is strange, but the light comes

 

as the great divide, and I miss getting

 

monolithic with the entire world.

 

 

 

The monochrome of despair and dreams,

 

it is beautiful. And the black

 

painted by absence and moans.

 

 

 

Turn off the light. Now you can

 

find my pieces falling everywhere, there

 

are no photons to separate my skin from yours.

 

 

 

Let there be dark, the devil said. And the devil is fine.

 

 

Sudeep Adhikari is a structural engineer/Lecturer from Kathmandu, Nepal. His poems have appeared in more than eighty literary magazines, online/print. His recent publications were with Beatnik Cowboys, Zombie Logic Review, The Bees Are Dead, Silver Birch Press and Eunoia Review. He digs beat poetry, punk rock, hip-hop, science and good beer.

 

 

Dry Tears by Daginne Aignend

 

 

They say it will become less

 

the cramping pain

 

The suffering, apathy, a lead weight

 

on the chest, is this a heartache?

 

Not being able to get through

 

my daily routine, I sit and stare

 

I want to scream in grief

 

but my voice has fallen silent

 

I want to run and hide

 

but my body doesn’t respond anymore

 

Slowly I wither, excruciated by numbness,

 

as I drown in a pool of dry tears

 

 

Daginne Aignend is a pseudonym for the Dutch poetess and photographic artist Inge Wesdijk. She likes hard rock music and fantasy books. She is a vegetarian and spends a lot of time with her animals. She’s the co-editor of Degenerate Literature, a poetry, flash fiction, and arts E-zine. She has been published in several Poetry Review Magazines, in the bilingual anthology (English/Farsi), ‘Where Are You From?’ and in the Contemporary Poet’s Group anthology ‘Dandelion in a Vase of Roses’. Her website is http://www.daginne.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am in a Print by Hiroshige by John Grey

 

 

I am one of many snowflakes

 

suspended in mid-air.

 

This is good for me,

 

being singular and yet

 

in the good company of so many

 

of my kind.

 

Sure crystals of ice

 

suggest coldness.

 

I prefer magic, even beauty.

 

 

 

While some may wish to

 

blanket the earth,

 

I am free, forever falling.

 

Besides, light is always

 

on the lookout for me.

 

I can surprise you

 

with my glitter.

 

 

 

It may seem as if

 

I’m a lonely prisoner of the winter sky.

 

But the Inuit have fifty ways

 

of describing me.

 

And only one of describing love –

 

warm.

 

 

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly.

 

 

 

Having Mercy on Injustice by Ndaba Sibanda

 

Mhlophe heard the relative of the murdered victim

ask the peace-preaching relative of the murderer

“What qualifies you to pardon the murderer besides

your relationship to him and the associated benefits?”

 

Indeed the peace advocate had decided to unilaterally

forgive the murderer, to absolve him of the heinous crime

 

But how did you forgive someone who was unrepentant and unconcerned?

Did that action of forgiving honestly tie up with the tenets of justice and empathy?

 

 

 

 

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.

PPP Ezine Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 2; Issue 8; September 2018

Poet of the Month: Moinak Dutta

Dad by Jimmy Sharma

Finding My Way Through This Life by Wayne Russell

Will Be Quiet by Ahmad Al-khatat

He Falls More and Smiles Less by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Flowers in Stone by Neil Ellman

my sister: the sea by linda m. crate

Full Moon by Steve Klepetar

Homage to John Logan by Stefanie Bennett

Odd Species by Grant Guy

Slate by Scott Thomas Outlar

 

ppp8

 

Poet of the Month: Moinak Dutta

 

Places and vignettes, (travel poetry )

 

 

At Attari

————

Should’ve brought that lavender scented prickly heat powder

Was the first thing Labanya thought

Coming out of the car

Which had brought her to the hotel gate of Singh International,

 

Garment market was nearby

That was a relief,

But this Amitava,

When will he learn proper how to arrange for a tour itinerary

Keeping in mind the health and mind?

 

Has anyone ever made a journey from soothing relaxing luxurious clime to the horrid, sultry, sweating one?

 

Attari

 

It reminded her of bollywood

The hunks  in olive uniforms

Singing letters coming from home,

 

 

Border,

 

How romantic the flick was!

How much filled with chivalry!

 

The car again started

After Labanya added a patch on her face,

Powder flakes were running down her cheek

Like disobedient crowd of truant school boys,

 

The stadium ,

 

It looked like a grand occasion

Flags got hoisted,

Women danced,

Children clapped,

 

Patriotism

Came like several rounds of applause

Thundering shouts,

 

Gates on both sides

Started to close,

 

The show was over.

 

 

 

That fruit juice seller at Kufri

———————————————-

 

A meandering road lied upfront

Like a virgin spreading her charms,

The warmth of the day brought smell of

Cherries, apples and a lot of candy floss;

 

Hiking a few kilometres when thought to rest

The vendor selling juice appeared

I must have been thirsty

For took only few minutes

To empty the steel tumbler,

‘ want another?’

The vendor asked, business like his tone,

‘ yes, one more please’

I had been the most agreeable thing,

Docile, modest, too gentlemanly,

 

He smiled,

An all knowing smile,

‘ Kufri leaves no one thirsty’

He said.

I agreed not to disagree.

 

 

3.

Letter from Solan

————————————-

How many times have I thought to write

 

A letter to you,

 

A really long one filled with all the flavours and smell

 

That came one after another to me

 

As I went touring from one place to another,

 

Time,

 

it seemed speeding  like trains

 

Hurrying , having its own rhythm;

 

I peered out of the windows of flowing time,

 

like a wonder struck one,

 

Trees went past,

 

So also hills and valleys,

 

And rivers too,

 

I found them all singing for me

 

And for you too;

 

At that little station of Solan

 

When we stopped for awhile,

 

Got down with what desire know not I,

 

But those sights,

 

They wrapped me with curious blessed feel,

 

At one point thought

 

I should leave all my bags and baggage there on the loco

 

And just stay back,

 

Right there,

 

But you,

 

Your face came like call of home.

 

 

 

4.

At that little station where the train stopped for awhile

—————————————————————————

It had been that kind of a day

When you would remain the most blessed one

You would get  a seat by the window of a toy train

And watch how it chugged along the narrow gauge

Making whistle now and then which went away

Waning from a shrill pitch to a song

Quite soothing,

Or was it that those children with bright and happy faces

 Akin to newly woken flowers, who  giggled and laughed aloud

Which made everything so enchanting?

May be,

I looked at my partner of everything,

My lover for fifteen years,

My mate for twenty,

My friend for thirty,

 

She looked like a queen of hearts,

Radiating splendour,

Her lips had caught the hues of roses,

Beside her sat her soulmate

Her childhood bud

In whom I found my sister’s image-

Daring, tomboyish and rebellious;

Beside them, sat a local couple,

Returning from Delhi,

– A Delhite woman and her man from the hills;

 

The train moved like a happy go lucky kind of a kid,

Whistling and singing,

Then that kid stopped,

As if he had thought to take rest for a few minutes-

To drink water, to have a plate of paneer tikka masala;

My better half  and  sister  got down,

Asking me to join them,

 I got down ,

My wife and my sister went to the only shop on the station

Selling pakoras and coffee,

I stood on the platform,

The kid like toy train waited beside me,

 

The station looked like the sweetest place on earth-

Surrounded by hills overlooking it like guardians,

And those trees-

they were like angels dressed for the spring festival

– flowers all over their bodies,

Flowers on their arms,

Their ears,

Their heads;

I thought I should never try to write poems

For they never express a day like that

Or a station like that where the kid like train stopped,

Or trees like those which were no less than fairies.

 

 

 

 

Moinak Dutta’s poems and stories are published in national and international anthologies and magazines and also dailies including World Peace Poetry Anthology ‘ ( United Nations),  ‘Setu’ ‘ The Indian Periodical’ ‘ Pangolin Review’ ‘ Tuck Magazine’ ‘ Duane’s Poetree’, ‘ Tell me your story’ etc.

His first full length fiction Online@Offline was published in 2014,  by Lifi Publications. His second fiction In search of la radice was published in 2017 by Xpress Publications.

 

 

Dad by Jimmy Sharma

 

 

You taught me all wrong, Dad

 

You told me that my smiles brought you joy

 

But my smiles made me look a flirt, an enchantress.

 

 

 

This is what they tell me with their eyes full of lust

 

You told me to be straight forward and transparent as water

 

But my outlook is questioned every now and then.

 

 

 

You taught me to be humble

 

But they think I am timid

 

You taught me values

 

But my politeness is misunderstood

 

Dad, could everyone become as simple as you were?

 

Or I’d become mad one day

 

Correcting and explaining.

 

 

 

Jimmy Sharma teaches English Literature and Communicative English at Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana (India). She read for a Ph D on the writings of Amitav Ghosh from Panjab University, Chandigarh. She is the author of four books: Communicative English, Communicative English-I, Nayantara Sahgal: A Critical Study and a book of poems Echoes Within. Her work has appeared in various national and international journals. She can be contacted at echoeswithin82@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Finding My Way Through This Life by Wayne Russell

 

 

Finding my way through this life

and into the next has been catastrophic.

 

 

Along this gnarled path, strewn with

broken hearts, and twisted psyche’s,

I have bare witness, to madness and love.

 

 

Sifting through grains of translucent sand,

watching loved ones fade away, gnarled

in the coldest grip of deaths stalemate,

checkmate.

 

 

Waves of lost opportunity washed over the

drowning man, perplexed by evil hiss, Lucifer

shuffle and stamp me out.

 

 

Reborn and rise! The Phoenix! Soaring spirits,

higher towards golden medallion sun!

 

Do not fade like Icarus onto that tear stained

midday sun, do not perish like a dream that

never came to fruition.

 

Find your way through this life…..

 

 

 

Wayne Russell is a creative writer that was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. Wayne is the founder and former editor and chief of Degenerate Literature. Sadly, due to unforeseen circumstances and time restraints, DL closed in late 2017. Wayne’s poetry, short stories, and photography have been widely published both online and in print.

Will Be Quiet by Ahmad Al-khatat

 

 

I’m seeking a land, and not a homeland

Without the aid of Google maps, instead

 

I will discover a new land with a loyal pet as

I gave up from my friends a long time ago

 

I want to work like a bee, and fly with

the birds by the beautiful blue skies

 

I create a family of different plants

with seeds of my own, and rain from God

 

being a writer is being a father of grieves, and

writing about what the city lights hid from me

 

the rain drops wash the rooves of leaders

and damage the shelters of few believers

 

with my eyes I see, while nothing stops me from 

crying when I hear my adopted brother’s dying

 

I jump into the dead sea to cure my wounds

as I will have new cuts with no pain as long as

 

I will be drinking whiskey, and creating an unhealthy

cloud from the smoke of my addiction to cigarettes

 

being happy doesn’t mean I’m sleeping without

counting the stars, instead it’s another way to

 

forget that I am actually being hanged to death

since the day, I decided to own a colour of the rainbow

 

I will be quite with the mirror, and hold 

The candle dropping more wax in my throat

 

 

Ahmad Al-Khatat was born in Baghdad on May 8th. From Iraq, he came to Canada at the age of 10, the same age when he wrote my very first poem back in the year 2000. He also Ahmad has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world. And he currently studies Political Sciences, at the Concordia University in Montreal. He recently have published his two chapbooks “The Bleeding Heart Poet” and “Love On The War’s Frontline” with Alien Buddha Press. It is available for sale on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet Copyright on Facebook.

He Falls More and Smiles Less by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

 

This is a geological survey.

 

This is rum-runners attempting a half marathon.

 

This is all that can be said holding back.

 

I do not believe anything that smells like pepperoni.

 

                    

 

The butcher has a knife and therefore my attention.

 

I would rather be guilty of something than innocent.

 

The way you hold your tea cup is a geological survey.

 

The old wise man is a lie.

 

 

 

He falls more and smiles less.

 

Break a hip and you are goners.

 

This is candy wrappers in flooded culverts.

 

This is free shipping.

 

 

 

Take it up with the city planners.

 

You are a town because they didn’t think big enough.

 

I am a worm in the wriggling hopscotch mouth of good graces.

 

This is witness testimony.

 

 

 

This is sensory deprivation tanks on the battlefield.

 

Smog is environmental hazing.

 

Pepperoni does not believe in the butcher.

 

Walk away and you are goners.

 

 

 

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.


Flowers in Stone by Neil Ellman

 

(after the painting by Paul Klee)

 

 

Flowers will grow

 

wherever they will

 

in gardens and glens

 

graveyards and streets

 

wherever their seeds

 

dropped by the wind

 

determine to live

 

as if they could share

 

their souls

 

with they who inhabit

 

the earth

 

and welcome them

 

to the hardness

 

of eternal stone.

 

 

Neil Ellman is a poet from New Jersey.  He has published more than 1,500 poems, 1,200 of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern art, in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.  He has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net.

my sister: the sea by linda m. crate

 

singing in the ocean, i forgot my place was on land; they’ve always called me mermaid—the sea is my sister, and i am a daughter of the moon and sun; shimmering and glimmering tongues of truth and relief wash away my pain—here, i can be wild as fierce as i know myself to be, because the ocean understands; she does not judge me as people do just erodes away all the things i need to forget—the ocean is a place of hope and dreaming, a place that takes me out of the empty and broken promises people have given me that still cut into my flesh and heart like barbed wire;  here my heart is still and knows peace—the ocean knows i won’t beg on my knees, she knows that i will always fiercely fight for all my light and my dreams—she washes away the nightmares and the monsters so i can be freed of the darkness that foolishly believes it has any dominion over me.

 

 

 

 

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has five published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017), and splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018).

Full Moon by Steve Klepetar

 

 

They say the moon is full tonight,

 

but I can’t see it.

 

The air is filled with rain,

 

which falls out of darkness

 

past the streetlights shining

 

in puddles below.

 

When my mother was dying,

 

she forgot about the moon,

 

how it sometimes resembled an eye.

 

When she was younger,

 

she would point to the moon

 

on cloudless nights,

 

or on nights when clouds

 

drifted over the moon’s face,

 

leaving smoky shadows in the sky.

 

Steve Klepetar lives and writes in the Berkshires, in western Massachusetts. His work has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including three in 2017. Recent collections include “A Landscape in Hell,” “How Fascism Comes to America,” and “Why Glass Shatters.”

 

 

Homage to John Logan by Stefanie Bennett

 

 

The dark has a door

All of its own

Through which

Shines

The begotten

Love-light

Of sorrow.

 

To name it – you

Claim it.

That

Argus Eye

… The high road

So faithfully

Trampled.

 

 

Stefanie Bennett has published several volumes of poetry, a novel and a libretto and is of mixed ancestry – Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee; she was born in Queensland, Australia. Her recent poetry collection ‘The Vanishing’ is published by Walleah Press – available from Walleah and Amazon. “Blanks From The Other World” will be launched later this year.

 

 

 

Odd Species by Grant Guy

 

 

We are an odd species

Who pass on our darkest recesses onto others

We blames our homegrown sins onto the child

The housewife the construction worker the whore

The cop and the outlaw

We believe that is what God expects of us

Why else would it have given us

The accusing pointing finger

 

 

 

 

 

Grant Guy is a Canadian poet, writer and playwright. He has over one hundred poems and short stories published in internationally. He has three books published: Open Fragments, On the Bright Side of Down and Bus Stop Bus Stop His plays include an adaptation of Paradise Lost and the Grand Inquisitor. He was the 2004 recipient of the MAC’s 2004 Award of Distinction and the 2017 recipient of the WAC Making A Difference Award. 

 

 

 

Slate by Scott Thomas Outlar

 

Wipe me clean

 

without Clorox or bleach

 

just simple honesty

 

 

 

Sanitation is next to salvation

 

in some circles

 

 

 

Sacred vowels

 

squeak

 

ooh and ah

 

before sighing

 

 

 

Little spaces in the corner

 

dusted off

 

brought to surface

 

made to shine

 

 

 

Lord, help me find

 

the right words

 

to tithe

 

 

 

All I have

 

left to offer

 

are my dreams

 

 

Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.wordpress.com where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, live events, and books can be found. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Scott was a recipient of the 2017 Setu Magazine Award for Excellence in the field of literature. His words have been translated into Albanian, Afrikaans, Persian, French, and Italian.

PPP Ezine Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 2; Issue 7; August 2018

Poet of the Month: James G Piatt

Seaview by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Once I was lost (And then you came around) by Lynn Long

Do Not Piss off the Locals, that is How Human Sacrifice Happens by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

ALLTHERAGE by Keli J. Gavin

Plastic by Janette Schafer

Invitation by Joan McNerney

Persons by William C. Blome

You Take Me Somewhere by Joanne Olivieri

Somewhere in Kitale by Wafula p’Khisa

Buy a Ticket by Glory Sasikala

 

pv2i7

 

Poet of the Month: James G Piatt

 

 

Winter is Here

 

 

Winter is here,

 

Brisk chilly winds abound,

 

Dark clouds forming…

 

Bits of moisture

 

Search for parched earth.

 

Birds quiet…

 

A cold silence echoes

 

In hollows,

 

The season is changing,

 

And life…

 

Searching for a new beginning…

 

 

 

Haiku Sequence IV

 

Dark winds gust through our

 

Minds in sad contemplation

 

Of our fading years

 

 

 

Twisting in our souls

 

And coloring present hours

 

With melancholy

 

 

 

Dear John

 

As the quilted snow crunched under his

 

Army boots, he walked in cheerless silence,

 

With tearful eyes as a lonely paleness

 

Entered into his warrior’s battered mind:

 

 

 

The wrinkled writing paper by his side, in its

 

Bleak whiteness, unfolded words penned in

 

Bitter faded ink, written with inelegance

 

Of soul:

 

 

 

He read the note with a cold sadness, and

 

His brain strived to contradict the explicit note

 

That shattered compassion Into an incoherent

 

Profanity:

 

 

 

As he continued walking, with rifle in hand,

 

He pined for spring again, when the sounds of

 

Guns would diminish and green leaves would

 

Begin to cover the hurtful message of such letters,

 

And, the downy vapor expanding from the damp

 

Sand would hide the reality of the bitter ink.

 

James G. Piatt has published 4 novels, “The Ideal Society,” (2012), “The Monk,” (2013),  “The Nostradamus Conspiracy,” (2015), and Archibald McDougle PI: An Archie McDougle Mystery (2017), 3 collections of poetry, “The Silent Pond,” (2012), “Ancient Rhythms,” (2014), and “Light” (2016), and over 1,000 poems, 35 short stories, and 7 essays. His poems have been nominated for pushcart and best of web awards, and many were published in The Top 100 Poems of 2016, 2015, & 2014 Anthologies, and the 2017 Poet’s Showcase and Yearbook.

 

 

 

Seaview by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

 

Since the time

I built my first

sand castle

and the waves

damaged it

I knew that

temptation was

not fancy in

my small home

nor in the castle of my princess

The thieves

are well trained

to play with them

meanwhile, tears

are falling hopelessly

Different drugs

are no longer bad

as alcohol is dripping

above the thirst

to arise silent pain

I live once and

not twice with a

doctor coming to

me to say that

I will die within seconds

The sea view is

the only view

that reminds me

of times when we

were innocent and not miserable

 

 

Ahmad Al-Khatat was born in Baghdad on May 8th. From Iraq, he came to Canada at the age of 10, the same age when he wrote my very first poem back in the year 2000. He also Ahmad has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world. And he currently studies Political Sciences, at the Concordia University in Montreal. He recently have published his two chapbooks “The Bleeding Heart Poet” and “Love On The War’s Frontline” with Alien Buddha Press. It is available for sale on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet Copyright on Facebook.

 

 

 

Once I was lost (And then you came around) by Lynn Long

 

I was seeking

to be found…

But, no one was searching

And then you came around

 

Why did you do that?

Awaken my soul

Why did you do that?

To only let go…

 

I was content to

simply just be…

And then you came around

You set my heart free

 

Filling my world in hope

with your words

At last, someone got me

I was finally heard

 

Why did you do that?

Make me believe

Were you seeking too?

Were you searching

for me?

 

Perhaps, all a moment

A dream never true

Maybe real is the dream

As we now bid adieu

 

For finally I see

your truth at last

You awakened my soul

To find my path

 

Once I was lost

I prayed to be found

Once I was seeking

And then you came around

 Thank you…

 

Do Not Piss off the Locals, that is How Human Sacrifice Happens by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

Our rental car

 

has California plates

 

even though we are Canadians

 

in Nevada

 

for the first time

 

and I tell her it is probably a tax thing

 

and to go with it

 

 

 

do not piss off the locals,

 

that is how human sacrifice

 

happens

 

 

 

and she asks me if the air

 

doesn’t feel different?

 

 

 

I tell her it does.

 

Like walking into the same old bathroom

 

and finding a pterodactyl pie

 

after 60 million years

 

of backrubs.

 

 

 

Waving my arms

 

like that makes anything

 

better.

 

 

 

I just meant it’s dry.

 

Doesn’t everything feel dry?,

 

she asks.

 

 

 

Suddenly my lips are chapped

 

and I am aware that I am

 

in the desert.

 

 

 

Devoid of water

 

and surrounded by lights.

 

 

 

Humping bags

 

through underground

 

parking at 3 in the morning

 

 

 

like some idiot capitalist

 

army.

 

 

 

She is right.

 

It is dry.

 

 

 

And we are here

 

in the desert

 

for the next seven

 

days.    

 

 

 

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.

ALLTHERAGE by Keli J. Gavin

 

ALLTHERAGE

 

FULLOFIT
ME
IAMFULLOFIT

RAGETHATIS

IDIDNOTKNOW

UNTILHESAID

YOUAREFULLOFIT

 

FROMHEADTOTOE
FULLOFFEAR

FULLOFREGRET
FULLOFJEALOUSY
FULLOFRAGE

FULLOFIT

ME

 

NOTPOPULAR
NOTSOMETHINGCOOL

NOTTHEINCROWD
JUSTTHEPOSSESSOR

IKEEPITALL
ALLTHERAGE
IAMFULLOFIT

 

IAMGIVINGITBACK
IDONOTWANTIT
RAGEISNOTFORME
NOTNEEDED
DOESNOTHINGFORME
MAKESMESICK
ADDSLINESTOMYEYES

 

ALLTHATRAGE
GIFTEDTOME
FORTHEASKING
ALLTHATRAGE
COULDHAVERUINEDME
RIDDINGMYSELFTODAY

NOLONGERFULLOFIT

 

 

 

Kelli 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. She enjoys writing, reading, swimming, and spending time with family and friends. She abhors walks on the beach (sand in places no one wishes sand to be), candle lit dinners, (can’t see) and the idea of cooking two nights in a row (no thank you). Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin Blog found at kellijgavin@blogspot.com

 

 

Plastic by Janette Schafer

 

She pulls a wig cap

over my giant Irish head,

tells me that hair plugs

are more permanent,

will look more natural,

 

that the pain is worth it.

I make little horns

where my scalp and hairline meet.

She hooks the wig on my fingers,

 

pulls it like a sheathe

over my thinning red hair.

I feel like a Barbie doll,

a marionette, a ventriloquist’s

 

dummy.  I grab a handful

of the fibrous synthetic locks,

pull it off my head,

run a hand over the

 

lamb’s wool of hair

that remains.  I scrunch,

fuss, but it is mine

and I will wear it.

 

 

Janette Schafer is a freelance writer, photographer, and opera singer living in Pittsburgh.  She is a 2017 Maenad Fellowship Awardee through Chatham University.  Recent and upcoming publications include Eyedrum Periodically, PublicSource, Chatham University broadsides, The Woman Inc., and Nasty Women and Bad Hombres Anthology.  A collection of her poems entitled “Other Names and Places” was published by LBF Books in 2004.

Invitation by Joan McNerney

 

Would you like to unwind

 

an afternoon at the lake?

 

 

 

Solar sparks spilling over us

 

in showers of golden sizzle.

 

 

 

Put on short shorts, skimpy tops,

 

stick our toes into oozy mud.

 

 

 

Breezes will shake treetops

 

while we listen to birdsongs.

 

 

 

Why not float on new grass

 

facing an Alice blue sky?

 

 

 

Read celestial comic strips

 

from mounds of clouds.

 

 

 

We can count sunbeams,

 

chase yellow butterflies.

 

 

 

Devour bowls of cherries

 

painting our lips crimson.

 

 

 

This noontime is perfumed

 

with illions of wild flowers.

 

 

 

Let’s go away all day…be

 

embraced by the goddess.

 

 

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.

Persons by William C. Blome

 

 

My raucous neighbor asks me why

 

I never carry an ocean-green tambourine

 

or a long-handled hoe on my person,

 

and I tell him his wife prefers  I come and go

 

like mute September wind

 

shoving its way through bowed-down willow branches.

 

He scowls broadly and bids me come and look

 

at the side of a tree I’ve never touched,

 

the side up against the house.

 

There he’s notched the trunk each time

 

I came to see you; there he’s run up a lofty count,

 

and he starts to shout out our jumbo numbers.

 

But a lie from me not to forget

 

a tambourine and hoe from here on out

 

brings calm over his foaming person,

 

and then I promise him his wife and I

 

won’t be so very careful anymore.

 

 

William C. Blome writes poetry and short fiction. He lives in the ‘States, wedged between Baltimore and Washington, DC, and he is a master’s degree graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. His work has previously seen the light of day in such fine little mags as Poetry London, PRISM International, Phenomenal Literature, Fiction Southeast, and The California Quarterly.

 

 

You Take Me Somewhere by Joanne Olivieri

 

 

Where trees shimmer

 

In the morning mist

 

And my body shivers

 

Beneath your touch.

 

 

 

Where the sun rises

 

Slowly, sensually

 

Coveting the Eastern sky

 

With warm kisses.

 

 

 

Where dewdrops

 

Caress my skin

 

And take me where

 

I’ve never been.

 

 

 

Where the wind howls

 

A rock n roll ballad

 

And our bodies dance

 

A frenzied climax.

 

 

Joanne Olivieri is a published author and poet who is the editor of Stanzaic Stylings ezine. She has been writing for 50 years and has been published in numerous online and hard copy magazines to include Jerry Jazz Musician, Parnassus Literary Journal, Black Poppy Review and many more. Her poem “Symphony Of Lights” was chosen as one of the 300 Short Listed Entries in the initial round of the Cathay Pacific Airways – 100 Reasons We Love Hong Kong contest for July 2007. As a result, Joanne was awarded a round trip ticket to Hong Kong for her winning entry. You can find out more about Joanne on her website at http://joanneolivieri.weebly.com

 

 

 

Somewhere in Kitale by Wafula p’Khisa

 

Everyone thinks fortune lies quietly herein, completely untouched

by the hands that tear our basket, and stick their nails down our throats

for something to quench the fire of appetite roasting their insides;

whoever dines and drinks from the spring herein thus, must grow fat and tall

for a man, bathing in abundance, needs not be sad.

 

But I’m yet to feel the gentle touch of blessings, rolling off saintly tongues

like water on leaves of grass

I shelved dreams, strained muscles, and bled to my last drop of blood

only to grow thin and weak instead

Isn’t man supposed to fatten on his sweat?

 

I’ve watched wild, tidal waves come — in the open eye of a storm

to drift some into the troubled sea of oblivion

who came dreaming, but leave holding their hearts, bleeding.

I’ve watched green ideas stumble and fall, because embracing them we refuse

Giants of dismissal threaten to devour us, verily

but we refuse to leave, for our clouded eyes fail to trace moonlit paths out of this jungle.

 

 

Wafula p’Khisa is a poet, writer and teacher from Kenya. He studiedEnglish, Literature & Education at Moi University. His work has been published in The Seattle Star, The Legendary (issue 48), The Beacon, Scarlet Leaf Review, Antarctica Journal, PoemHunter.com, Aubade Magazine (issue 1), NYSAI Press, AfricanWriter.com, Best ‘New’ African Poets 2015 Anthology, VoicesNet.com, The Pendulum, Mgv2 Magazine and the Best ‘New’ African Poets 2016 Anthology.   

 

 

 

Buy a Ticket by Glory Sasikala

 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

 

 

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.

Poet of the Month: Ahmad Al-Khatat

Fake Calls by John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller

I Live by Glory Sasikala

Dandelion Wine by Keli J. Gavin

Love Fades Away (a Villanelle ) by James G. Piatt

Pumpkin by Neil Ellman

you gifted me with whispered void by linda m. crate

Death by Meekha Singh

Invective by Linda Imbler

Insignia by Stefanie Bennett

p6

Poet of the Month: Ahmad Al-khatat

Season of Tears

I cry for you a river in a unique season

with no seeds growing hope; nor leaves

flying over my journey without you

I walk with sword tagging on my neck

‘till I feel comfortable to slaughter myself

with no doubts, and dreams to come true

As my head walks away to the

unknown, as my body falls by the dead

roots, as my flesh looks like a branch

A hunter sees my head bleeding and

goes after to chase it with no mercy

he eats it, with tears of lifetime grieves

While my body stays still with the animals

respecting the science of God as well as my

religion for treating everyone with love

The clouds rain above my bones slowly

As my skeleton breaks into flammable

ashes, and the forest weeps

me another river

Smoke

I adore the smoke of a cigar

with a cup of expensive liquor

to relax my mind and spirit down

from over thinking without an end

I follow the smoke of a hot bath

when I see the hot water slide off

her bare flesh slides down the tub

with worries, that I will miss her one day

I get scared from watching

black smoke in my homeland

because I know that people die

below and it creates a funeral in a feast

Tired

I am tired of being tired

from people with fake

smiles and real tears

falling from my eyes

I remember the days

where a long and

happy life we had

when we were kids

God sent us rain

to grew the seeds

to bloom flowers

now, nothing arises

hungry and thirsty

spirit died with a joy

we break bone to walk

we cut flesh to breath

A bite to recall the

days of starvation

a sip to forget the

bitterness of war

Kids cannot find

the moon to sleep

below the sunlight

they sleep with fears

the dawn’s witness

either born while death

and fire the stars in blaze

the sun rises toward the ashes

Hope is not at the

airport to travel to

exile, perhaps he’s

burying himself a tomb

Since the dust filled

my path to go forward

or backward years ago

I am waiting to die before you

kill me with no noise

my voice is no longer

important to be heard

stab me without sympathy

Ahmad Al-Khatat was born in Baghdad on May 8th. From Iraq, he came to Canada at the age of 10, the same age when he wrote my very first poem back in the year 2000. He also Ahmad has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world. And he currently studies Political Sciences, at the Concordia University in Montreal. He recently have published his two chapbooks “The Bleeding Heart Poet” and “Love On The War’s Frontline” with Alien Buddha Press. It is available for sale on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet Copyright on Facebook.

Fake Calls by John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller

Every day I get woken up

As the sun comes up

By my phone ringing

With a fake call

It seems that the only people

Who ever bother to call me

Are the fake call people

Who all call me

With fake sincerity

Offering me a great deal

On this and that scam

I curse at them

Yell at them

Mutter obscenities in foreign tongues

And block their calls

Yet it does not seem to matter

The next call will be

Yet another fake call

Am I doomed to receive

Fake calls until I day I die

I turn on my computer

And read my fake news accounts

And watch TV for the latest fake news

And the politicians lying

And the criminals scheming

To take my money

The Zappa song comes to mind

You will obey me while I lead you

And eat the garbage that I feed you

Until the day that we don’t need you

Don’t go for help . . . no one will heed you

Your mind is totally controlled

It has been stuffed into my mold

And you will do as you are told

Until the rights to you are sold

That’s right, folks . . .

Don’t touch that dial

And I scream to the universe

Just leave me alone

Then the phone rings…..

John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller is a novelist, poet, and former Foreign Service officer having served 27 years with the U.S. State Department serving in ten countries (Korea, Thailand, India, the Eastern Caribbean (lived in Barbados but covering Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts, St Lucia, and St Vincent) and Spain. Prior to joining the U.S. State Department, Jake taught overseas for eight years. Jake served in the Peace Corps in Korea. He grew up in Berkeley but has lived in Seattle, Stockton, Washington DC, Alexandria, Virginia and Medford, Oregon. He has traveled to over 45 countries and 49 states. He has been writing poetry, fiction, and novels for years. He has completed four SF novels and is seeking publication. His work has appeared in numerous literary magazines online. His poetry blog can be found at https://theworldaccordingtocosmos.com

I Live by Glory Sasikala

In just outside the clock

along the periphery of your dreams

an invisible line in picture frames

as a criss-cross in your hand

in a story never to be told

in just an intake of breath

in fading ink of yellow parchment paper

in a fleeting knowledge of your soul

in the realms of the Universe

where I am with God

looking down upon you

in a dream

that vanishes like mist with the dawn

in a sudden lightening moment of truth

in the knowing smile with which I left you

once again to your mundane existence

I Live

 

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. She is a language editor and quality analyst by profession.

Dandelion Wine by Keli J. Gavin

Dad said we should pick them all.

Every last dandelion we could find in the yard.

And when our baskets were full, go next door.

Pull all the neighbors dandelions too.

The grapes tasted horrible.

We were told to help rip down all the vines.

But dad had wine on the mind.

All those dandelions.

I was so proud with my baskets full.

He worked in his shop cleaning all the vessels.

All the hoses were dried in the sun.

Did he really know what he was doing?

I didn’t know much of wine.

I didn’t know much of anything.

I wondered how Dad knew so much.

He worked on that wine day and night.

Dad used every dandelion.

He sent us out to hunt for more.

He told us to check the fields just in case.

Just in case there was a patch we had missed. 

He would have to wait another week.

The dandelions would surely grow back by then. 

He continued to futz with the batch he had made.

Trying everything to concoct the perfect taste.

My dad’s dandelion wine tasted like grass.

Very similar to the taste of a dandelion weed.

It was almost as horrible as the grapes,

We were no longer told to pick dandelions.

That bottle of Whiskey lasted maybe two days.

I wasn’t sure if he was drowning his sorrows.

It must have tasted better than the grapes and dandelions.

He washed  those horrible tastes from his mouth.

 

 

Kelli 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. She enjoys writing, reading, swimming, and spending time with family and friends. She abhors walks on the beach (sand in places no one wishes sand to be), candle lit dinners, (can’t see) and the idea of cooking two nights in a row (no thank you). Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin. Blog found at kellijgavin@blogspot.com

 

Love Fades Away (a Villanelle ) by James G. Piatt

My love is not here again today

Her image lives only in my slumber,

Her living essence has faded away.

My memory’s paths are a dull gray

My reminiscences do encumber:

My love is not here again today.

In the midst of a gloomy day

Bleak footsteps increase in number:

Her living essence has faded away.

Sad visions are those that stay

Sad hours the days do cumber,

My love is not here again today.

When I smell a roses’ bouquet

Her images will awake from slumber:

My love is not here again today,

Her living essence has faded away.

James, a retired professor and octogenarian has published, 3 collections of poetry, “The Silent Pond,” (2012), “Ancient Rhythms,” (2014), and “Light” (2016), 4 novels, over 1,050 poems, and 35 short stories. His poems have been nominated for pushcart and best of web awards, and many were published in the The 100 Best Poems Anthologies of the past 4 years. His fourth collection of poetry, “Memories and Musings,” is scheduled for release in 2018. He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU.

Pumpkin by Neil Ellman

(after the painting by Yayoi Kusama)

If time had a shape

it  would be that of a pumpkin

round, ripe,

not flattened by the ground

and perfect in its way.

If space had shape

it would be a pumpkin’s as well

proud and indifferent

defiant to the knife

with vines extending

like tentacles of light.

If the universe had any shape

it could only wish

it were a pumpkin’s

and forever expand

through its eternal patch    

of time and space.

Neil Ellman is a poet from New Jersey.  He has published more than 1,500 poems, 1,200 of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern art, in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.  He has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net.

you gifted me with whispered void by linda m. crate

you broke open my heart,

what did you find?

pomegranate skies fluting with

black ravens,

golden sunsets kissed by carnelian and crimson rubies;

perhaps even a rose garden full of black roses

dancing among the white and red?

maybe you just found a girl interrupted,

and decided that you needed to paint her eyes

red as her heart;

you painted me in every shade of melancholy

because you wanted to create a piece of art that resembled you—

yet you forgot my light, my strength, my ferocity;

i was never the chickadee you claimed i was

but a valkyrie of love and light

full of dreams, whimsy, imagination

whose wings

refused to stop flying even when you broke them;

i fell so hard and fast that i was blind to the flaws

everyone else so could easily see and say to me after you

abandoned me in the green house of my sorrows—

funny how everyone has an opinion

when sometimes all you need is a listening ear

not unwanted advice,

but at least their intentions aren’t as cruel as the whisper

of void you gave me.

 

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has three published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), and If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016).

 

Death by Meekha Singh

Death comes knocking at the door with an ice box to freeze your time. Death still, last to abandon you, is the throb of the pulse. The face now holds a pitiful blankness and all that was once vital is now irrelevant. Irrelevant is now you. Your body cleaned and washed and donned in clothes you never chose. You are wrapped up tight and dead weight is always oh so heavy. Heaving and sighing are the men who carry you to the hole six feet dug. Flowers surround you, cloyingly sweet, like the tears of your loved ones. The thud of the hammer driving the lid shut and there, it’s done. Loved ones wash their hands off you with some soil and reminisce your antics over a sad meal and it’s done. Left on it’s own the coffin sinks and the maggots are well pleased.

 

Meekha Singh is an IT professional from Southern India. He has been writing poems for past few years and has been self-published in various poetic communities under the pen name Kali (short for Kaleidoscope).

Invective by Linda Imbler

Behind the scenes

some clusters of stars shimmer.

We reap what we sow.

Front and center stage purposeful.

Gratitude lost in a haze

of classic human maneuvers to bend the will.

The construct of self transparent.

See through these actors.

What creatures they have become.

A de-evolution, madness disguised as moral principle.

Our fathers in their ancient halls weep

for the ragged connection lost.

Our mothers walking through the night

bow their heads, tears falling from urgent eyes

as they wonder where their children went.

Into the dark we tell them.

There is no reason in hate.

There is no reason to hate.

Behind the scenes

some clusters of stars implode.

Linda Imbler is the author of the published poetry collection “Big Questions, Little Sleep.”  She has had her work published in numerous journals. She has new poems forthcoming at Halcyon Days, Leaves of Ink, The Moon Magazine and Bindweed.  She can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com. She lives in Wichita, Kansas.   

 

 

 

Insignia by Stefanie Bennett

 

The Beloved’s                                                

Passing

Glance

Is all

You need

To know of

A soaring

Radiance…

Stefanie Bennett has published several volumes of poetry, a novel and a libretto and is of mixed ancestry – Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee; she was born in Queensland, Australia. Her recent poetry collection ‘The Vanishing’ is published by Walleah Press – available from Walleah and Amazon. “Blanks From The Other World” will be launched later this year.

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 2; Issue 5; June 2018

Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine

Volume 2; Issue 5; June 2018


Poet of the Month: Lynn Long
Poems by Margarita Serafimova
Commitment by Allison Grayhurst
Freedom by Antony King
Exchanges by Darrell Herbert
Trying too Hard by Steve Klepetar
I am… by Meekha Singh
Veil of the Moon by Ahmad Al-khatat
More In Common Than Not by Kelli Gavin
To the Cobbler Who Took My Shoes by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

Poet of the Month: Lynn Long

 

Her canvas

 

His words

Together

come to

life in the

silence

heard…

Painted

in loves

true rarity

Alive with

vibrant

clarity

Her canvas

His words

resound

in the

silence

heard…

 

In a dream

In a dream

I see my destiny

A love so real

I wake anew,

but daylight is

my harsh reality

and I struggle

to get through

The morning after

is my only clue..

 

In a parallel universe

In a parallel universe

where day is night,

exists a world of

my own device

Where reality is

never sure, for

the road ahead

is often blurred

And, perception

once perceived,

is now deception

masked in dream

Both worlds must

collide, yet, only

one shall survive

Which one will

I choose, knowing

either way, I

lose…

 

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

Poems by Margarita Serafimova

God-coloured sea,

I was having you,

and not having you.

*

Bodies of birds are shining in your sky,

and winter forests are overflowing.

Air, air and truth.

*

A brown little fish

in the sun.

Your eye in my desire.

*

One is the true place, said the food.

The moment, said the lights and the sounds.

One only, confirmed my great I.

*

The Sea of Dimitris

There it is,

beautifully dark like eternity,

and ever lighter like a coming day.

Margarita Serafimova was shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize 2017. She has two collections in the Bulgarian: “Animals and Other Gods” (2016), “Demons and World” (2017). Some of her work: https://www.facebook.com/MargaritaISerafimova/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel.

Commitment by Allison Grayhurst

Take the end of the root and

squeeze. Air is not wind or

a wave. Gazing into the darkest of eyes,

needs forgotten in the tale

of becoming something more than shape,

someone more than someone who rocks

in despair or madness.

I held you with my

mind and in my arms, held you broken and stoic

as all dangerous dreams. I was afraid to tell you

but I told you anyway and the song grew into a sunset.

Eaten by gravity, blurring in potency as it traveled

past the horizon. I saw

you were the willow tree, the pine tree and the birch

that scattered leaves and seeds throughout the large acreage yard.

I was a raccoon, a beetle bug and a tiny bird.

I moved through you, across you,

made my home inside of you. Can you see

how much of what was mine depended on yours?

When the yard caught on fire,

the fire seeped into my joints, extending into my aura

and all your seeds around me of brown and green.

Not a single day when I did not fight to keep your will and commands,

not a day without struggle to keep afloat, keep at bay the urge to

sink or draw the ravenous sharks near and nearer until

they touched – fin against my flesh and then something

sharper.

You love me you say, but it is a love

I cannot understand. I know it is a love, colossal, ruthless

in its perfection but it hurts like withholding, hurts

as I try to adore you and be absolved by a mutual tenderness.

You are final and in this I have no say. I love you, but we are not

dancing. I trust you, but we are not

sharing with ease. I am left aching, in sharp

icicle-tip-pounding-lack, struggling to make sense and find “the law”

if there is no mercy to be seen.

I should be lucky to know you even as I do, as most

walk the Earth without discovering a trace of your existence.

But is there something new for us?

Is there a bouquet around the corner? A line we can cross and keep

on the other side? I give you my wings, my prints

and all of my sacred stones. Take me

into your softness or leave me here

on these barren sharp ridges. Between us,

there are no secrets, even my children

are freely yours.

 

 

Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Four times nominated for “Best of the Net”, 2015/2017, she has over 1125 poems published in over 450 international journals and anthologies. She has 21 published books of poetry, six collections and six chapbooks. She lives in Toronto with her family. She is a vegan. She also sculpts, working with clay; http://www.allisongrayhurst.com


Freedom by Antony King

Tears for the forgotten

The ones that stay behind

Ones that have abandoned

The peace that love provides.

Those who stand on different lines

And rally for their cause…

Leaving hatred in the hearts of some

Causing some.. to rebuild walls.

But is passion for the weak of heart

The quiet timid souls…

Or do we roar like lions

As poetic warrior foes.

For the heart it knows no boundary

Its choice we can’t deny

The bonds that join two heart alike..

Can never be untied.

Antony King is a writer/Poet from Eastern Kentucky. His formal years were spent in Cleveland Ohio were he was privately educated in The Arts, Music and Literature. Antony is an active member in several poetry societies and his works have been read in the UK. He is currently working on the first of two poetry offerings that will be available soon.

Exchanges by Darrell Herbert

Betrayal comes from those who we least expect

Well, if that’s the case then I encounter neglect

Well, if that’s the case then I decline accept

Please give me what I need

A love that I’ve not received

In exchange for you and me

Exchanges, we’re only humans going through changes

Now we’re just strangers who are the strangest

Laziest, no, the craziest

Rejection comes from those who we want the most

Ignoring phone calls to avoid the toast

We’d do anything for the host

Yet we hate when they go ghost

Please give me what I need

A love that I’ve not received

In exchange for you and me

Please give me what I need

A love that I’ve not received

In exchange for you and me

I want to OD on my DOB

Darrell Herbert is a recipient of the 5 American Visions and 5 American Voices Award, as well as a national silver medal in the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. He is a gold key recipient of poetry, presented by Casita Maria Center for the Arts & Education. He has been featured on the 2016 November issue of Not Only Street Magazine. He is also a recipient of the 2016 Scythe Prize, and the 2017 Scythe Prize. He was one of the winners in the second North Street Book Prize competition. He is a recipient of NY Literary Magazine’s 5 Star Writer Award and the Best Story Award. He was named a winner in the Fall 2017 Writing and Art Contest. His fiction and non-fiction has appeared in the Utica College Ampersand. His poetry has been featured in the likes of “The Best Teen Writing of 2014,” by Hannah Jones, HangTime Magazine, UC English Corner etc.

Trying too Hard by Steve Klepetar

Rain all day, and orioles spin

from branch to branch in this

sudden cold. October Mountain

shrugs off the last snow.

Pines stand tall among birches.

We have been trying too hard,

washing windows, scrubbing floors.

Our hands have turned red,

our mops worn to ragged threads.

Outside the rain thickens.

It glistens on the long grass.

Past the pond, mountains

disappear behind a scrim of cloud.

Frogs cry as if their voices

would be lost without this mourning din,

these sharp sobs breaking new spring air.

 

Steve Klepetar lives and writes in the Berkshires, in western Massachusetts. His work has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including three in 2017. Recent collections include “A Landscape in Hell,” “How Fascism Comes to America,” and “Why Glass Shatters.”

 

I am… by Meekha Singh

I am the dream that never dreams

I search life’s intricacies inside a dewy petal

A life is a gasp of breath as quick as death

I know and I see and yet I persist

Beneath the muscles of a reflexive living

I seek passion’s evanescent touch

I know fear as I walk into the eye of the storm

I sew my gaping wounds with a needle overused

I breathe a smile onto the air that is free

I am

Wholesome

 

Meekha Singh is an IT professional from Southern India. He has been writing poems for past few years and has been self-published in various poetic communities under the pen name Kali (short for Kaleidoscope).


 

Veil of the Moon by Ahmad Al-khatat

My heart has many doors for you tonight

Many candles I have for our anniversary

But no more wishes are worth asking for,

When everything is falling apart ‘tween us

I miss listening to the music of my homeland

Where I see myself as lucky or even a loser

I’m a happy being dancing by the flowers

Stepping on the leaves that will hide my grave

I just want to go back and fix the damages

I tried to fold my mistakes from the past

While love letters and roses bloom under the rain

But you ignore my tears and miserable smile

My grandma died before Mother’s Day

She’s away and unseen, unheard, and unsure

If she will understand the reason why is her

Veil is now worn by the moon in the early dawn

Nobody wants to remember me anymore

Nobody cares if I will live for today or not

So many pictures taken and familiar faces,

Unfortunately, those faces are no longer the same

I’m sorry for being who I am to you all

Maybe I should let my heart break slowly to

Feel the distance between life and death

The veil of the moon is my grandma’s face waiting on me

Ahmad Al-Khatat was born in Baghdad on May 8th. From Iraq, he came to Canada at the age of 10, the same age when he wrote his very first poem back in the year 2000. He also has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world and currently studies Political Sciences, at the Concordia University in Montreal. He has recently published his first chapbook “The Bleeding Heart Poet” with Alien Buddha Press. It is available for sale on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet on Facebook.   

More in Common Than Not by Kelli Gavin

When I admire the rolling hills,

you believe they are only more mountains to climb.

When I am inspired by a new challenge,

you are overwhelmed by the simple aspects of each day.

When your heart becomes heavy and your breathing labored,

take a deep breath, and begin to hold every thought captive.

When I am surrounded by others and thrive on the company,

you often retreat and are invigorated by the solace.

When I am delighted at the idea of travel and exploring,

you find the only outings necessary are for groceries or work.

I wonder if you and I will ever meet in between.

If we will ever have more in common than not.

When I am enthralled by an audience and take the stage,

you explore the back recesses of a coffee shop no one frequents.

When my mind wanders and I brainstorm about the future,

you find ways to dive into bed just so each day will end.

When your heart becomes heavy and your breath labored,

take a deep breath, and begin to hold every thought captive. 

When I find myself enjoying friendships I never thought possible,

you draw your select few closer and avoid anyone new.

When I am filled with uncontainable joy and laugh freely,

you find unrestrained displays of emotion embarrassing.

I wonder if you and I will ever met in between.

If we will ever have more in common than not.

 

Kelli 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. She enjoys writing, reading, swimming, and spending time with family and friends. She abhors walks on the beach (sand in places no one wishes sand to be), candle lit dinners, (can’t see) and the idea of cooking two nights in a row (no thank you). Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin. Blog found at kellijgavin@blogspot.com

 

 

To the Cobbler Who Took My Shoes by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

                             

We had an understanding –

that means something to me

the way you put on wire spectacles

to examine my shoes

 

myself, certain of their fatal disrepair,

the way the flaps had come loose

and hung down over the lip like the

dulap of wild moose

 

and your assurances

hot chocolate to warm cracking bones,

that thick industrial glue smell that hung

over everything like distant jungle

canopy

 

that kind of thickness, your wife having bore

nine children with those hips,

and now this sign:

Closed Until Further Notice!

 

the exclamation point only adding

to my worry

and this very simple question:

when will I get my shoes back, good sir?

I realize I did not pay in full, but a certain

amount of professionalism is expected

 

perhaps my shoes could not be salvaged,

just tell me, I will not embrace such news

as I would a lover, but I will accept it because there

is nothing else to do.

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.

                            

PPP Ezine: Annual Issue; April-May 2018

Poet of the Issue Eliza Segiet

It is Only When I am Underground that I Think of Other’s Damnation by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Carelessness can be a Censor by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Conflict City by Ana Torres

Life by Ana Torres

Summer Solstice by Joan McNerney

Fall Equinox by Joan McNerney

Chilika by Pitambar Naik

The Kolab by Pitambar Naik

the echo of the boy the abyss of the man by Grant Guy

Home Fires Burning by Grant Guy

Down to the Last Drop by Scott Thomas Outlar

Slate by Scott Thomas Outlar

Welcome Home by Kelli J Gavin

Smile by Kelli J Gavin

Metallic Air by Heath Brougher

In Krakow by Heath Brougher

The One Who Wields the Sword by Ann Christine Tabaka

Empty Lives by Ann Christine Tabaka

Working by Mysti S. Milwee

The Glare and the White Hare  by Mysti S. Milwee

 

 

 

Poet of the Issue Eliza Segiet

 

 

for professor Piotr Mroz

Agave

 

Life is always a debut.

Like an agave–

only once

does it tempt with its blossoming beauty.

We learn words,

to be able to talk

and to try to understand the world.

We learn about life,

so with dignity

and our heads raised

we can say:

I don’t regret.

 

 

Translated by Artur Komoter


 

Clock

 

Tick tock, tick tock,

tick tock of the clock

for everyone sounds differently.

Measures the past,

the future.

Yet there is no present –

it’s just a moment,

a speck,

that ends something,

or maybe

begins?

 

 

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

 

Drops

 

Stroking a rock

waterfall drops

excite the imagination of the poet,

magic of the light

animates the painter’s hand.

A woman –

the helmsman of fantasy

moors on the canvas stretchers

and filled with words pages.

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

It is Only When I am Underground that I Think of Other’s Damnation by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

a man can disappear

by simply moving to a large city

 

that healthy cauliflower ear of living

drained like lakes with rotting artifacts

in them

 

floating temples

to gods with pimples

 

everything garage sale lost

for a pittance

 

and it is only when I am underground

that I think of other’s damnation

 

waiting for the train

behind a long yellow line

watching the rats

 

a man can disappear completely

 

into the greasy spoon jowls

of this hungry concrete

metropolis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carelessness can be a Censor by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

Fog mistress, your shavings are those of a single no. 2 pencil filed down

to near absentia.  The many show trials of the Coliseum rolled up into

a single lumpy sleeping bag of hate.  I have always wanted to get away from things,

but forsaken the idea of camping.  First, there is the reinvention of fire, and if you

can swing it, bugs that take chunks of your face and harry them off to nests

of waiting and spittle.  The city has its affronts as well, but they can be easily managed.

This is not Damocles or Icarus or Abbot without Costello.  When I lay on top of bed sheets

it is less about conquest and more about bodily expiration.  Some would say

that is the same bag of nuts, but they would be wrong.  Don’t let the relativists fool you, everyone is a relativist until it comes down to himself.  Then he is jobsite absolute, once the walls have gone up you will never find him.  Bog mistress, with a face only carbon-dating could love.  Wanting to hold hands in a horse-carriage with a bum wheel.  Old do wop records scratched out of their only endearing harmonies, yes, carelessness can be a censor.  That dark clumsy Neatherlandishness of one, Hieronymus Bosch.  A ship of fools, with none of the bloody water.

 

 

 

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, Piker Press, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

Conflict City by Ana Torres

 

 

New York City;

City of my birth,

your beauty spellbound,

my life has been here.

 

Losing so much

stores have closed down,

where will it end?

what have we left?

 

The opulent town

it’s rents are so high,

some forced to run

most want to hide.

 

Holding my heart

my childhood long gone,

the echoes cry on

it pains me to see.

 

One day towers fell

and stadiums replaced,

the city I’ve known

forever gone.

 

New York dear

skyline endearing,

never the same

my city remains.

 

Lost in its shuffle

not fitting in,

everyone rushed

but I’m falling in.

 

Falling and lost

city take heart,

my love may be here

but I don’t belong.

 

Stronger than I

Broadway I’m here,

through morning mist

dreams that have died.

 

In Times Square I walk

neon lights blink,

memories link

I try not to sink.

 

Raised here I was

New York for years,

to love for so long

but I don’t belong.

 

 

 

 

Life by Ana Torres

 

Out in the world

where life is going on,

life being lived

nothing going wrong.

I could only dream

unable to see

I could only hear,

watch youth go free.

 

Day after day

domestic confine,

a kitchen at war

the sink piled up high.

A full moon outside

revealing itself,

life being lived

I contemplate where.

 

Pampers in soil

cats running loose,

toys scattered there

exhaustion wears thin.

Watching youth flee

departing from me,

In groups I observe

so different today.

 

Frustration within

watching youth play,

with nothing to do

and nothing to hold.

Noisy they are

time to clean up

noisy cats here

dinner is late.

 

 

A.M. Torres is the author of the Child Series beginning with Love Child which was published in 2011. It’s followed by its sequels Child No More, and Child Scorned.. She has also published her annual J and K Christmas, and her two poetry books Shadowed Tears, and Turmoil. She currently lives in New York City with her sons Jason, Kristofer and their father Walter Lewis.

Summer Solstice by Joan McNerney

 

Trees outline the

horizon in green lace.

Beneath boughs float

galaxies of blue bugs.

 

Listen to swish of

branches as cicada

swell and swarm.

Hiding under shadow

beating their wings,

hissing their mating calls.

 

Evening is coming…

the dawn of darkness.

We are suspended now

between light and shade.

 

Clouds rushing over heaven.

Sun drops from sky.

The air is fragrant with

sweet blooming jasmine

as star after star

sets nighttime on fire.

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Equinox by Joan McNerney

 

 

Morning light reveals

silhouettes of branches

against a dove grey sky.

 

Wearing layers of red, orange,

yellow…trees begin dancing,

sashaying in the wind.

 

Now it’s time to pick gardens of

bright vegetables.  Let’s cook

pots of soup, yeasty breads.

 

Children come from school

jumping in piles of foliage

shouting with delight.

 

Countless shades of leaves,

shapes of leaves spreading

over a lingering sunset.

 

Flying carpets of sugar maple

foliage unfurl across our roads

as frost draws closer.

 

Amazing how many stars

fit inside my windowpane

when the moon is new.

 

 

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.

 


 

Chilika by Pitambar Naik

 

If you want to pluck

Pluck and take a palm full of mirth

Even more than

That has been caught on your camera till now

Take

The shivering vulnerability of a few sighs of mine.

 

Gather and take away my restive anxieties

Which I’m not able to hide

In the backdrop of the receding sun

After escaping the death from a hunter

I’m that terrified short flight

Then the Nalabana saturated with blood

Wounded and fallen birds there in!

 

Take a glance of my tears of the lost opulence

The trade of care and pain

Worn out and tattered nets

And the helplessness of fisher folk.

 

I’m imprisoned in the puzzling swarms of nets of the mafias

If you can, click and take away

The picture of my suffocating breath

The composition my pain and afflictions.

 

 

(Translated from Chilika by Debendra Kumar Bauri)

 

 

Glossary

Nalabana is the birds’ sanctuary in Chilika

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kolab by Pitambar Naik

 

 

In the middle the Kolab, feasting on this edge of the river

Get-together of songs and dances on the other edge

Laced with rhapsodies of ailments and weaknesses of life

The Kolab sings in unison with the kendara of Dom Jani

And the twirling smoke engulfs the sky

You can smell the festivities in the burning flesh and bones.

 

One day Dom Jani had a village, a house there at

And a world intertwined with the tempos of the dhemsa

At the time of siesta were there peacocks

Danced unfurling their green and sepia plumage

When a dam was built on the Kolab

He lost his house, golden crop fields and the livelihood

Like the mayflies do lose their wings

Since then he forgot the plough and embraced the boat

To fish on the waters of the Kolab for a living.

 

After he lost his wife and daughter to cholera

Moving a round of a wheel

Was like moving twelve yards ahead

Eventually the Kolab came in between his life and death

One day while fishing

His young son was drowned right in front of him

His stomach doubled his tragedy

Thenceforth, Dom Jani has hugged the Kendara

He keeps harping, not the songs of the Kolab

But the elegies of the tears reserved in the Kolab dam.

 

 

(Translated from Kolab by Debendra Kumar Bauri)

 

Glossary

Kendara is a stringed instrument used by the tribal in Koraput of Odisha

Dhemsa is the dance of the Paraja tribe of Koraput

 

 

 

Pitambar Naik is an Indian poet. Odisha is the state where he was born and grew up amidst paddy fields hearing heartrending folk songs and playing kabbadi. He toils hard and sweats in an advertising studio as a creative writer for a living and writes poetry and short fiction to live his passion. His works have appeared in Literary Orphans, Occulum, Moonchild Magazine, Bhashabandhan Review, HEArt Online,

Coldnoon Travel Poetics, Spark Magazine, and The New Indian Express and PPP Ezine among others. He can be reached at pitambarnaikwriter@gmail.com


 

Chilika by Debendra Kumar Bauri

 

 

Toli nebata nia

Bandhiurakah tama kemerare

E jain dharirakhi thiba muthae uchhwasha

Thara thara asahayata ku mora

 

Goteinia

Asta surjyara jhalar adhualare

Luchi parunathiba

Akula chhatapata ku mora

 

Muta sei shiuakri guliru

Alpake bartithiba

Chadheira trasta udana

 

Puni tali padithiba

Chadheira raktare pacha pacha kadua

Palate thiba bidirna nalabana

 

Dekha mora hajila aiswarjyara

Talamala luhabundaku

Chhindajala o bhanga dangare

Bhari hoi jaithiba kasta gujurana

Puni sanjare khalihatare pheruthiba

Matsay jibira hatasa pana

 

Mun bhoguchhi karabasa

Daladala maphianka chingudi gherare

Paribata uthaa

Mon rundhi hoijauthiba

niswasara pratichhabiku

Mora kastaku.

 

 

 

 

Kolab by Debendra Kumar Bauri

 

 

Majhare Kolab

Kolaba e pakhare bhoki bhata

Nacha geetara dhum asara

 

Sepakhare roga bairaga

Abhaba jeebanara dhoon

 

Dam Janira kenderare kolab gauchhi geeta

Kundulimari dhuan uthuchhi akasa

Naka bari paruchhi

Gandi podi jauthibara gandha

 

Dine Dam Janira nijara boli ghara thila

Gan thila, dhemsa nachara tale tale chhndayita thila

Tara hasa khusira sansara

Chari ekara jamire sunara phasala

Laudi bhangialabele ta bhitare puchha melei nachuthila

Gote ullasita mayura

Jebe bandha padila Kolabre ghara gala gan gala

Suna phalanti jami gala

Jhadipokara dena pari aklesare chhindipadila ta pari

Kete gan lokara jibika

 

Langalara kanti chhadi hulidangara kata dharila

Kolab panire machha marij jinbara bata khokila

Chake gale barahata pari

Stree gala, jhia gala haijare jeebana o mruthyu majhire

Prati bandhaka hoi thia hela Kolab

 

Dine machha maru maru ta agare

Ta jaban pua padigala Kolabre

Alpa tikie asabadhanatare je

Au uthiparilani jamaru

 

Sei dinathu kendera dharichhi Dam jani

Gai chalichhi jenderare Kolab nuhan

Jala bhandara re thula hoithiba luha kaha kahara

 

 

 

 

 

Debendra Kumar Bauri was born and brought in Gunpur in the state of Odisha in India. He’s published 5 books of poetry namely Belabhumi, Priyapatni O AnyanaKabita, Swapna Darshira Pruthivi, Indradanura Ranga and Riots and Other Poems an anthology translated into English. Poetry is that intimate and secret place where his beautiful heart pulsates. His verses are also translated into various Indian languages. He’s a banker (Chief Manager) by profession (with State Bank of India), who deals with finance from morning to evening and a prolific poet at night; who always dreams of a society without inequality, disparity and pain.

 

 

the echo of the boy the abyss of the man by Grant Guy

 

the echo of a boy i was is the abyss of the man i am

 

 

i have more empathy for the hitchhiker on the no. 1

than i do for those who love me

 

ask any of them

 

 

 

hitchhiker is anonymous

 

 

 

all the love i need can be found the hum of the tires

 

in the drone of radio static

in the diners and dives of lost ambition

 

 

 

i hit out to the highway

surfing across the highways of the betweens

 

 like the black angel

 

 

 

this is where people truly live

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Fires Burning by Grant Guy

 

 

One brother awoke around the homeless campfire north of Dauphin

The other brother awoke by his fireplace in his River Heights home

They were brothers once brothers of blood

 

The blood has dried up

 

A two decades have passed since the brothers last spoke

And neither regretted the years of silence

 

Mental illness was the axe that tore the brothers apart

Thought the brother who awake by his fireplace

 

Cognac in hand

 

The brother at the fireplace was dying

 

When he was stabbed in La Pas his brother

Did not seek him out  

 

Never went to see him

 

 

The brother who sat around the homeless campfire

Weighed his option

 

Should he be a prick like his brother

 

Sipping on cheap rye couldn’t give a damn

 

He watched as the fire diminish to embers

 

 

 

Grant Guy is a Winnipeg, Canada, poet, writer and playwright. His poems and short stories have been published in Canada and Internationally. He has three books published: Open Fragments (Lives of Dogs), On the Bright Side of Down and Bus Stop Bus Stop (Red Dashboard). His plays include an adaptation of Paradise Lost and the Grand Inquisitor. He was the 2004 recipient of the Manitoba Arts Council’s 2004 Award of Distinction and the 2017 recipient of the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Making A Difference Award.   

 

 

Down to the Last Drop by Scott Thomas Outlar

 

 

If there were no poem in this pen,

I would never blame the problem

on a lack of ink

or a blunted point

that failed to leave its mark upon the page,

 

but lay the shame instead

squarely upon these shoulders;

and if they break

from the weight

that’d be great

because sometimes

blood and tears

wind up as words.

 

If there were no poem in this pen,

I couldn’t even begin

to describe

just how it feels

when the tank runs dry.

 

 

 

 

 

Slate by Scott Thomas Outlar

 

 

Wipe me clean

without Clorox or bleach

just simple honesty

 

Sanitation is next to salvation

in some circles

 

Sacred vowels

squeak

ooh and ah

before sighing

 

Little spaces in the corner

dusted off

brought to surface

made to shine

 

Lord, help me find

the right words

to tithe

 

All I have

left to offer

are my dreams

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.wordpress.com where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, live events, and books can be found. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Scott was a recipient of the 2017 Setu Magazine Award for Excellence in the field of literature. His words have been translated into Albanian, Afrikaans, Persian, French, and Italian.

Welcome Home by Kelli J Gavin

 

 

You got up to leave

I sat down to show you I would stay

You can’t leave

I am not sure I should stay

 

We have been here before

More times than I care to admit

You pretending

Me perfecting

 

I am not doing this anymore

You can’t make me

You come and you go

I watch you -always in motion

 

It is time

Grow up

Figure it out

Figure you out

 

I won’t be waiting

I won’t sit still

I won’t be welcoming

I won’t, I tell you

 

Welcome Home

Sit down for awhile

I’ve missed you

Let’s try again

 

 

 

 

 

Smile by Kelli J Gavin

 

I love your smile.

No, not your smile.

That moment before you smile.

That moment when your eyes light up.

When your eyes shine.

When your eyes glint as if at a moments notice, they will fill with tears.

When the small lines by your eyes squint ever so slightly.

That knowing look.

That look of amusement.

That look of recognition of what is yet to come.

Your lip twitches as if preparing to ask me something.

Maybe ask why it has been so long since you have felt the joy sweep over you.

When your shoulders relax.

When the corners of your mouth turn upwards.

When you make real eye contact.

When you look at me.

When you look into me.

Into my heart.

Your lips begin to part and you breathe in.

Not a full breath, just enough to fuel your response. 

You enjoy this.

Me watching you.

I smile because of that moment before your smile

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, MN with Josh, her husband and two crazy kids.  She is a Professional Organizer, owns two small companies, and is a Writer.  She is a blogger, writes for newspapers and for online sites as a guest columnist.  Her focus is special needs parenting, non-fiction stories from her own life and poetry that often can’t be contained.

 

 

Metallic Air by Heath Brougher

 

I can taste the metal in the air,

the days of simple nature are over, for now;

 

of course one day Mother will take all this human poison

and be rid of it; She’ll wonder how such a strange

little mutation occurred in her immense history;

 

She’ll wonder how her own children

could so viciously betray her.

 

 

 

In Krakow by Heath Brougher

 

In Krakow, a murder

of white ravens

flap off a building-top

in the late October dusk

and early darkness as two men

hammer at a wall

down on the sidewalk

as car lights flash by on the street.

 

 

 

 

Heath Brougher is the co-poetry editor of Into the Void Magazine, winner of the 2017 Saboteur Award for Best Magazine. He is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Award Nominee and his work has been translated into journals and anthologies in Albania and Kosovo. He was the judge of Into the Void’s 2016 Poetry Competition and edited the anthology Luminous Echoes, the proceeds of which were all donated to an organization which helps prevent suicide/self-harm. He published three chapbooks in 2016, two full-length collections About Consciousness (Alien Buddha Press 2017), To Burn in Torturous Algorithms (Weasel Press 2018), and has 3 collections forthcoming in 2018. His work has appeared in Taj Mahal Review, Chiron Review, MiPOesias, Blue Mountain Review, Main Street Rag, eFiction India, Loch Raven Review, Boston Poetry Magazine, Setu Bilingual, BlazeVOX, and elsewhere.


 

The One Who Wields the Sword by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

Oh you who came before

walking in the silver door.

Who held the sword for you,

when battles fought were through?

 

You walked on air so high,

the gods opened up the sky

Daybreak before you bowed,

as you stood among the proud.

 

Your winged carriage does await

to fly you past the gilded gate.

From your throat a baleful war cry,

meant to bleed the heavens dry.

 

Now the time draws near.

You again will thrust your spear

into the longing hearts of men,

who follow you to the very end.

 

 


 

Empty Lives by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

 

Hunger

A hunger so deep it devours its host.

eating away at self-worth,

sucking out the spirit,

starving the mind.

A pain so intense that it defies explanation.

The want of food,

goes deeper than just the physical pangs.

It grows into an emotional hunger,

that wraps itself around its prey

strangling the life out of it,

leaving an empty shell.

A hollow aching is all that is left. 

 

 

 

Ann Christine Tabaka is a nominee for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry.

She placed Third in Vita Brevis Best Poem Contest January 2018.  She was selected as Poet of the Month for January 2018 and interviewed by Kingdoms in the Wild. She lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and two cats. Her most recent credits are Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, Oddball Magazine, The Paragon Journal, The Literary Hatchet, The Stray Branch, Trigger Fish Critical Review, Foliate Oak Review, Bindweed Magazine, The Metaworker, Raven, RavensPerch, Anapest Journal, Mused, Apricity Magazine, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, Scryptic Magazine, Ann Arbor Review, The McKinley Review.


 

Working by Mysti S. Milwee

 

Drawers open –

sifting through

papers;

Ouch!

Sliced open finger –

paper-cut.

Bleeding thoughts

on wide-ruled

lines.

Static cling hair

and post-it notes

cling on, waiting

for it to organize

itself in the

sticky mess;

File drawers

fly open –

papers fly out.

Oh what a mess!

God bless the 

worker working

under stress.

 

 

 

 

The Glare and the White Hare  by Mysti S. Milwee

 

 

Fire in the cauldron

painted pretty poison

seeps and her cries

weep; mascara runs

down cheeks with a

breath of emotion;

tainted love meets

toxic waves of 

imperfections; see

her glare of a mad 

hatter stare, oh but

do you dare? She

carries a white hare;

aces wild, enter her

mind if you dare 

you may be in for 

a scare.

 

 

Mysti S Milwee is an award winning artist, digital artist photographer, and published poet from Southside, Alabama. Her poetry has been published in the PPP E-Zine (India)-Poetics Interview-October- Volume 1: Issue 5-2017; The Alabama Baptist-”Beyond The Veil”-March 30,2017; The Mountain Press- “Gatlinburg Strong”-December 11,2016. Her poetry has been used in academic studies and ministries across the US and abroad. Her art was published in the GloMag (India) in an ekphrastic collaboration with Scott Thomas Outlar.

 

Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine: Annual Issue; April – May 2018

Poet of the Issue Eliza Segiet

It is Only When I am Underground that I Think of Other’s Damnation by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Carelessness can be a Censor by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Conflict City by Ana Torres

Life by Ana Torres

Summer Solstice by Joan McNerney

Fall Equinox by Joan McNerney

Chilika by Pitambar Naik

The Kolab by Pitambar Naik

the echo of the boy the abyss of the man by Grant Guy

Home Fires Burning by Grant Guy

Down to the Last Drop by Scott Thomas Outlar

Slate by Scott Thomas Outlar

Welcome Home by Kelli J Gavin

Smile by Kelli J Gavin

Metallic Air by Heath Brougher

In Krakow by Heath Brougher

 

 

 

Poet of the Issue Eliza Segiet

 

 

for professor Piotr Mroz

Agave

 

Life is always a debut.

Like an agave–

only once

does it tempt with its blossoming beauty.

We learn words,

to be able to talk

and to try to understand the world.

We learn about life,

so with dignity

and our heads raised

we can say:

I don’t regret.

 

 

Translated by Artur Komoter


 

Clock

 

Tick tock, tick tock,

tick tock of the clock

for everyone sounds differently.

Measures the past,

the future.

Yet there is no present –

it’s just a moment,

a speck,

that ends something,

or maybe

begins?

 

 

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

 

Drops

 

Stroking a rock

waterfall drops

excite the imagination of the poet,

magic of the light

animates the painter’s hand.

A woman –

the helmsman of fantasy

moors on the canvas stretchers

and filled with words pages.

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

It is Only When I am Underground that I Think of Other’s Damnation by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

a man can disappear

by simply moving to a large city

 

that healthy cauliflower ear of living

drained like lakes with rotting artifacts

in them

 

floating temples

to gods with pimples

 

everything garage sale lost

for a pittance

 

and it is only when I am underground

that I think of other’s damnation

 

waiting for the train

behind a long yellow line

watching the rats

 

a man can disappear completely

 

into the greasy spoon jowls

of this hungry concrete

metropolis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carelessness can be a Censor by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

Fog mistress, your shavings are those of a single no. 2 pencil filed down

to near absentia.  The many show trials of the Coliseum rolled up into

a single lumpy sleeping bag of hate.  I have always wanted to get away from things,

but forsaken the idea of camping.  First, there is the reinvention of fire, and if you

can swing it, bugs that take chunks of your face and harry them off to nests

of waiting and spittle.  The city has its affronts as well, but they can be easily managed.

This is not Damocles or Icarus or Abbot without Costello.  When I lay on top of bed sheets

it is less about conquest and more about bodily expiration.  Some would say

that is the same bag of nuts, but they would be wrong.  Don’t let the relativists fool you, everyone is a relativist until it comes down to himself.  Then he is jobsite absolute, once the walls have gone up you will never find him.  Bog mistress, with a face only carbon-dating could love.  Wanting to hold hands in a horse-carriage with a bum wheel.  Old do wop records scratched out of their only endearing harmonies, yes, carelessness can be a censor.  That dark clumsy Neatherlandishness of one, Hieronymus Bosch.  A ship of fools, with none of the bloody water.

 

 

 

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, Piker Press, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

Conflict City by Ana Torres

 

 

New York City;

City of my birth,

your beauty spellbound,

my life has been here.

 

Losing so much

stores have closed down,

where will it end?

what have we left?

 

The opulent town

it’s rents are so high,

some forced to run

most want to hide.

 

Holding my heart

my childhood long gone,

the echoes cry on

it pains me to see.

 

One day towers fell

and stadiums replaced,

the city I’ve known

forever gone.

 

New York dear

skyline endearing,

never the same

my city remains.

 

Lost in its shuffle

not fitting in,

everyone rushed

but I’m falling in.

 

Falling and lost

city take heart,

my love may be here

but I don’t belong.

 

Stronger than I

Broadway I’m here,

through morning mist

dreams that have died.

 

In Times Square I walk

neon lights blink,

memories link

I try not to sink.

 

Raised here I was

New York for years,

to love for so long

but I don’t belong.

 

 

 

 

Life by Ana Torres

 

Out in the world

where life is going on,

life being lived

nothing going wrong.

I could only dream

unable to see

I could only hear,

watch youth go free.

 

Day after day

domestic confine,

a kitchen at war

the sink piled up high.

A full moon outside

revealing itself,

life being lived

I contemplate where.

 

Pampers in soil

cats running loose,

toys scattered there

exhaustion wears thin.

Watching youth flee

departing from me,

In groups I observe

so different today.

 

Frustration within

watching youth play,

with nothing to do

and nothing to hold.

Noisy they are

time to clean up

noisy cats here

dinner is late.

 

 

A.M. Torres is the author of the Child Series beginning with Love Child which was published in 2011. It’s followed by its sequels Child No More, and Child Scorned.. She has also published her annual J and K Christmas, and her two poetry books Shadowed Tears, and Turmoil. She currently lives in New York City with her sons Jason, Kristofer and their father Walter Lewis.

Summer Solstice by Joan McNerney

 

Trees outline the

horizon in green lace.

Beneath boughs float

galaxies of blue bugs.

 

Listen to swish of

branches as cicada

swell and swarm.

Hiding under shadow

beating their wings,

hissing their mating calls.

 

Evening is coming…

the dawn of darkness.

We are suspended now

between light and shade.

 

Clouds rushing over heaven.

Sun drops from sky.

The air is fragrant with

sweet blooming jasmine

as star after star

sets nighttime on fire.

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Equinox by Joan McNerney

 

 

Morning light reveals

silhouettes of branches

against a dove grey sky.

 

Wearing layers of red, orange,

yellow…trees begin dancing,

sashaying in the wind.

 

Now it’s time to pick gardens of

bright vegetables.  Let’s cook

pots of soup, yeasty breads.

 

Children come from school

jumping in piles of foliage

shouting with delight.

 

Countless shades of leaves,

shapes of leaves spreading

over a lingering sunset.

 

Flying carpets of sugar maple

foliage unfurl across our roads

as frost draws closer.

 

Amazing how many stars

fit inside my windowpane

when the moon is new.

 

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.

 


 

Chilika by Pitambar Naik

 

If you want to pluck

Pluck and take a palm full of mirth

Even more than

That has been caught on your camera till now

Take

The shivering vulnerability of a few sighs of mine.

 

Gather and take away my restive anxieties

Which I’m not able to hide

In the backdrop of the receding sun

After escaping the death from a hunter

I’m that terrified short flight

Then the Nalabana saturated with blood

Wounded and fallen birds there in!

 

Take a glance of my tears of the lost opulence

The trade of care and pain

Worn out and tattered nets

And the helplessness of fisher folk.

 

I’m imprisoned in the puzzling swarms of nets of the mafias

If you can, click and take away

The picture of my suffocating breath

The composition my pain and afflictions.

 

 

(Translated from Chilika by Debendra Kumar Bauri)

 

 

Glossary

Nalabana is the birds’ sanctuary in Chilika

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kolab by Pitambar Naik

 

 

In the middle the Kolab, feasting on this edge of the river

Get-together of songs and dances on the other edge

Laced with rhapsodies of ailments and weaknesses of life

The Kolab sings in unison with the kendara of Dom Jani

And the twirling smoke engulfs the sky

You can smell the festivities in the burning flesh and bones.

 

One day Dom Jani had a village, a house there at

And a world intertwined with the tempos of the dhemsa

At the time of siesta were there peacocks

Danced unfurling their green and sepia plumage

When a dam was built on the Kolab

He lost his house, golden crop fields and the livelihood

Like the mayflies do lose their wings

Since then he forgot the plough and embraced the boat

To fish on the waters of the Kolab for a living.

 

After he lost his wife and daughter to cholera

Moving a round of a wheel

Was like moving twelve yards ahead

Eventually the Kolab came in between his life and death

One day while fishing

His young son was drowned right in front of him

His stomach doubled his tragedy

Thenceforth, Dom Jani has hugged the Kendara

He keeps harping, not the songs of the Kolab

But the elegies of the tears reserved in the Kolab dam.

 

 

(Translated from Kolab by Debendra Kumar Bauri)

 

Glossary

Kendara is a stringed instrument used by the tribal in Koraput of Odisha

Dhemsa is the dance of the Paraja tribe of Koraput

 

 

 

Pitambar Naik is an Indian poet. Odisha is the state where he was born and grew up amidst paddy fields hearing heartrending folk songs and playing kabbadi. He toils hard and sweats in an advertising studio as a creative writer for a living and writes poetry and short fiction to live his passion. His works have appeared in Literary Orphans, Occulum, Moonchild Magazine, Bhashabandhan Review, HEArt Online,

Coldnoon Travel Poetics, Spark Magazine, and The New Indian Express and PPP Ezine among others. He can be reached at pitambarnaikwriter@gmail.com


 

Chilika by Debendra Kumar Bauri

 

 

Toli nebata nia

Bandhiurakah tama kemerare

E jain dharirakhi thiba muthae uchhwasha

Thara thara asahayata ku mora

 

Goteinia

Asta surjyara jhalar adhualare

Luchi parunathiba

Akula chhatapata ku mora

 

Muta sei shiuakri guliru

Alpake bartithiba

Chadheira trasta udana

 

Puni tali padithiba

Chadheira raktare pacha pacha kadua

Palate thiba bidirna nalabana

 

Dekha mora hajila aiswarjyara

Talamala luhabundaku

Chhindajala o bhanga dangare

Bhari hoi jaithiba kasta gujurana

Puni sanjare khalihatare pheruthiba

Matsay jibira hatasa pana

 

Mun bhoguchhi karabasa

Daladala maphianka chingudi gherare

Paribata uthaa

Mon rundhi hoijauthiba

niswasara pratichhabiku

Mora kastaku.

 

 

 

 

Kolab by Debendra Kumar Bauri

 

 

Majhare Kolab

Kolaba e pakhare bhoki bhata

Nacha geetara dhum asara

 

Sepakhare roga bairaga

Abhaba jeebanara dhoon

 

Dam Janira kenderare kolab gauchhi geeta

Kundulimari dhuan uthuchhi akasa

Naka bari paruchhi

Gandi podi jauthibara gandha

 

Dine Dam Janira nijara boli ghara thila

Gan thila, dhemsa nachara tale tale chhndayita thila

Tara hasa khusira sansara

Chari ekara jamire sunara phasala

Laudi bhangialabele ta bhitare puchha melei nachuthila

Gote ullasita mayura

Jebe bandha padila Kolabre ghara gala gan gala

Suna phalanti jami gala

Jhadipokara dena pari aklesare chhindipadila ta pari

Kete gan lokara jibika

 

Langalara kanti chhadi hulidangara kata dharila

Kolab panire machha marij jinbara bata khokila

Chake gale barahata pari

Stree gala, jhia gala haijare jeebana o mruthyu majhire

Prati bandhaka hoi thia hela Kolab

 

Dine machha maru maru ta agare

Ta jaban pua padigala Kolabre

Alpa tikie asabadhanatare je

Au uthiparilani jamaru

 

Sei dinathu kendera dharichhi Dam jani

Gai chalichhi jenderare Kolab nuhan

Jala bhandara re thula hoithiba luha kaha kahara

 

 

 

 

 

Debendra Kumar Bauri was born and brought in Gunpur in the state of Odisha in India. He’s published 5 books of poetry namely Belabhumi, Priyapatni O AnyanaKabita, Swapna Darshira Pruthivi, Indradanura Ranga and Riots and Other Poems an anthology translated into English. Poetry is that intimate and secret place where his beautiful heart pulsates. His verses are also translated into various Indian languages. He’s a banker (Chief Manager) by profession (with State Bank of India), who deals with finance from morning to evening and a prolific poet at night; who always dreams of a society without inequality, disparity and pain.

 

 

the echo of the boy the abyss of the man by Grant Guy

 

the echo of a boy i was is the abyss of the man i am

 

 

i have more empathy for the hitchhiker on the no. 1

than i do for those who love me

 

ask any of them

 

 

 

hitchhiker is anonymous

 

 

 

all the love i need can be found the hum of the tires

 

in the drone of radio static

in the diners and dives of lost ambition

 

 

 

i hit out to the highway

surfing across the highways of the betweens

 

like the black angel

 

 

 

this is where people truly live

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Fires Burning by Grant Guy

 

 

One brother awoke around the homeless campfire north of Dauphin

The other brother awoke by his fireplace in his River Heights home

They were brothers once brothers of blood

 

The blood has dried up

 

A two decades have passed since the brothers last spoke

And neither regretted the years of silence

 

Mental illness was the axe that tore the brothers apart

Thought the brother who awake by his fireplace

 

Cognac in hand

 

The brother at the fireplace was dying

 

When he was stabbed in La Pas his brother

Did not seek him out

 

Never went to see him

 

 

The brother who sat around the homeless campfire

Weighed his option

 

Should he be a prick like his brother

 

Sipping on cheap rye couldn’t give a damn

 

He watched as the fire diminish to embers

 

 

 

Grant Guy is a Winnipeg, Canada, poet, writer and playwright. His poems and short stories have been published in Canada and Internationally. He has three books published: Open Fragments (Lives of Dogs), On the Bright Side of Down and Bus Stop Bus Stop (Red Dashboard). His plays include an adaptation of Paradise Lost and the Grand Inquisitor. He was the 2004 recipient of the Manitoba Arts Council’s 2004 Award of Distinction and the 2017 recipient of the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Making A Difference Award.   

 

 

Down to the Last Drop by Scott Thomas Outlar

 

 

If there were no poem in this pen,

I would never blame the problem

on a lack of ink

or a blunted point

that failed to leave its mark upon the page,

 

but lay the shame instead

squarely upon these shoulders;

and if they break

from the weight

that’d be great

because sometimes

blood and tears

wind up as words.

 

If there were no poem in this pen,

I couldn’t even begin

to describe

just how it feels

when the tank runs dry.

 

 

 

 

 

Slate by Scott Thomas Outlar

 

 

Wipe me clean

without Clorox or bleach

just simple honesty

 

Sanitation is next to salvation

in some circles

 

Sacred vowels

squeak

ooh and ah

before sighing

 

Little spaces in the corner

dusted off

brought to surface

made to shine

 

Lord, help me find

the right words

to tithe

 

All I have

left to offer

are my dreams

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.wordpress.com where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, live events, and books can be found. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Scott was a recipient of the 2017 Setu Magazine Award for Excellence in the field of literature. His words have been translated into Albanian, Afrikaans, Persian, French, and Italian.

Welcome Home by Kelli J Gavin

 

 

You got up to leave

I sat down to show you I would stay

You can’t leave

I am not sure I should stay

 

We have been here before

More times than I care to admit

You pretending

Me perfecting

 

I am not doing this anymore

You can’t make me

You come and you go

I watch you -always in motion

 

It is time

Grow up

Figure it out

Figure you out

 

I won’t be waiting

I won’t sit still

I won’t be welcoming

I won’t, I tell you

 

Welcome Home

Sit down for awhile

I’ve missed you

Let’s try again

 

 

 

 

 

Smile by Kelli J Gavin

 

I love your smile.

No, not your smile.

That moment before you smile.

That moment when your eyes light up.

When your eyes shine.

When your eyes glint as if at a moments notice, they will fill with tears.

When the small lines by your eyes squint ever so slightly.

That knowing look.

That look of amusement.

That look of recognition of what is yet to come.

Your lip twitches as if preparing to ask me something.

Maybe ask why it has been so long since you have felt the joy sweep over you.

When your shoulders relax.

When the corners of your mouth turn upwards.

When you make real eye contact.

When you look at me.

When you look into me.

Into my heart.

Your lips begin to part and you breathe in.

Not a full breath, just enough to fuel your response.

You enjoy this.

Me watching you.

I smile because of that moment before your smile

 

 

 

 

 

Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, MN with Josh, her husband and two crazy kids.  She is a Professional Organizer, owns two small companies, and is a Writer.  She is a blogger, writes for newspapers and for online sites as a guest columnist.  Her focus is special needs parenting, non-fiction stories from her own life and poetry that often can’t be contained.

 

 

Metallic Air by Heath Brougher

 

I can taste the metal in the air,

the days of simple nature are over, for now;

 

of course one day Mother will take all this human poison

and be rid of it; She’ll wonder how such a strange

little mutation occurred in her immense history;

 

She’ll wonder how her own children

could so viciously betray her.

 

 

 

In Krakow by Heath Brougher

 

In Krakow, a murder

of white ravens

flap off a building-top

in the late October dusk

and early darkness as two men

hammer at a wall

down on the sidewalk

as car lights flash by on the street.

 

 

 

 

Heath Brougher is the co-poetry editor of Into the Void Magazine, winner of the 2017 Saboteur Award for Best Magazine. He is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Award Nominee and his work has been translated into journals and anthologies in Albania and Kosovo. He was the judge of Into the Void’s 2016 Poetry Competition and edited the anthology Luminous Echoes, the proceeds of which were all donated to an organization which helps prevent suicide/self-harm. He published three chapbooks in 2016, two full-length collections About Consciousness (Alien Buddha Press 2017), To Burn in Torturous Algorithms (Weasel Press 2018), and has 3 collections forthcoming in 2018. His work has appeared in Taj Mahal Review, Chiron Review, MiPOesias, Blue Mountain Review, Main Street Rag, eFiction India, Loch Raven Review, Boston Poetry Magazine, Setu Bilingual, BlazeVOX, and elsewhere.


 

The One Who Wields the Sword by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

Oh you who came before

walking in the silver door.

Who held the sword for you,

when battles fought were through?

 

You walked on air so high,

the gods opened up the sky

Daybreak before you bowed,

as you stood among the proud.

 

Your winged carriage does await

to fly you past the gilded gate.

From your throat a baleful war cry,

meant to bleed the heavens dry.

 

Now the time draws near.

You again will thrust your spear

into the longing hearts of men,

who follow you to the very end.

 

 


 

Empty Lives by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

 

Hunger

A hunger so deep it devours its host.

eating away at self-worth,

sucking out the spirit,

starving the mind.

A pain so intense that it defies explanation.

The want of food,

goes deeper than just the physical pangs.

It grows into an emotional hunger,

that wraps itself around its prey

strangling the life out of it,

leaving an empty shell.

A hollow aching is all that is left.

 

 

 

Ann Christine Tabaka is a nominee for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry.

She placed Third in Vita Brevis Best Poem Contest January 2018.  She was selected as Poet of the Month for January 2018 and interviewed by Kingdoms in the Wild. She lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and two cats. Her most recent credits are Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, Oddball Magazine, The Paragon Journal, The Literary Hatchet, The Stray Branch, Trigger Fish Critical Review, Foliate Oak Review, Bindweed Magazine, The Metaworker, Raven, RavensPerch, Anapest Journal, Mused, Apricity Magazine, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, Scryptic Magazine, Ann Arbor Review, The McKinley Review.


 

Working by Mysti S. Milwee

 

Drawers open –

sifting through

papers;

Ouch!

Sliced open finger –

paper-cut.

Bleeding thoughts

on wide-ruled

lines.

Static cling hair

and post-it notes

cling on, waiting

for it to organize

itself in the

sticky mess;

File drawers

fly open –

papers fly out.

Oh what a mess!

God bless the

worker working

under stress.

 

 

 

 

The Glare and the White Hare  by Mysti S. Milwee

 

 

Fire in the cauldron

painted pretty poison

seeps and her cries

weep; mascara runs

down cheeks with a

breath of emotion;

tainted love meets

toxic waves of

imperfections; see

her glare of a mad

hatter stare, oh but

do you dare? She

carries a white hare;

aces wild, enter her

mind if you dare

you may be in for

a scare.

 

 

Mysti S Milwee is an award winning artist, digital artist photographer, and published poet from Southside, Alabama. Her poetry has been published in the PPP E-Zine (India)-Poetics Interview-October- Volume 1: Issue 5-2017; The Alabama Baptist-”Beyond The Veil”-March 30,2017; The Mountain Press- “Gatlinburg Strong”-December 11,2016. Her poetry has been used in academic studies and ministries across the US and abroad. Her art was published in the GloMag (India) in an ekphrastic collaboration with Scott Thomas Outlar.

 

PPP Ezine; Volume 2, Issue 3, March 2018

Titanic by Author Renee’ Drummond-Brown

 

Tired is as tired does. She floats on

carless streams; who knows no love. She floats on river-banks

giving her all to the poor. She floats on oceanic “blues”

of a dark history’s past

“SEEshores” + “SEEshells” – white beaches = black quicksand. She’s

not built to last. Duracell, ALKALINE and Energizer

keeps her going and going and going. CHARGE-she’s gone!

 

 

Can’t you “sea?” The saltwater pressures her blood

greater than the strength of them waterfalling hearts. She boils!

She boils!! She boils!!! And can’t hide!

But why?

Ain’t no pearls clamed inside. Can’t you “sea?”

Her lake’s shallow and parliament knee deep. They can’t

swim like she

and never did they learn. Can’t you “sea?”

Her army, her navy, her coastguard are the few, were the proud,

but in no way can withstand alone without THE marine!

 

 

Walking by faith

gets momma utterly exhausted for which she terminates

the struggle for them quote-un-quote

un-grates.

Forevermore, can she no longer float on

sureSEEs and/or SEEshores; whichever!

 

 

BUT

when them momma’s give up; WATCH IT NOW

EVERYONE DROWNS

and i mean everyone; FOR “SHORE!”

“Their” life jackets will forever work

no-more.

 

 

Sending out an’ SOS

can’t help the raging of an angry battered sea.

Nothin’ like a shipwreck

that gets tossed

AND

turns.

 

Dedicated to: The heart of the ocean!

 

A B.A.D. RocDeeRay poem

 

 

 

 

Renee’ B. Drummond is a renowned poetria and artist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the author of: The Power of the Pen, SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, Renee’s Poems with Wings are Words in Flight-I’ll Write Our Wrongs, and Renee’s Poems with Wings are Words in Flight. Her work is viewed on a global scale and solidifies her as a force to be reckoned with in the literary world of poetry. Renee’ is inspired by non-other than Dr. Maya Angelou, because of her, Renee’ posits “Still I write, I write, and I’ll write!”

 

No, I will not buy you an aardvark by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

No, I will not buy you an aardvark.

You are not Noah, and there are monetary constraints.

Just like they use at the asylum, but without all that tussle.

I haven’t screamed in decades.

I should get paid for that if it makes me half-professional.

Conformity is simple as waiting on steeping tea.

Removing the bag, we all have our rituals.

Or standing in an elevator watching the bright red numbers of gravity prove themselves indoors.

In a controlled environment. Large oak desks and uniforms to give the impression of permanence.

And grazing upon the avenues, I stumble upon a new pair of eyes; 3 pairs for $5 the sign reads, as though anyone requires three pairs of eyes.

I left abundance with the bill seven rentals ago.

In a room with vaulted ceilings so shut-ins could enjoy the sky.

Have you seen the 8 tonne Henry Moore sculpture outside the AGO?

Large Two Forms they plan on moving to a park.  It always made me think of fat sex if I am honest.

 

No, I will not buy you a tree sloth either.

There are speed limits to follow, and you must make your own way now.

To Nirvana or Tallahassee.

Who can tell one from the other?

 

 

 

 

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, Piker Press, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

Love is our master by Allison Grayhurst

 

The tone resonated the red heat

of a sea of lava burning away the dead cells,

activating a living substance. We held

hands, walking in the deserted late-December streets.

Ours is nobody’s but ours – broken train tracks carried,

dropped, put back together. The lapping wind of the spirit

like a bell in the far distance, calling us here, there

and always home.

 

Your pockets are full of roots, ones

you chopped from the ground, left there with no tree

or shrub to source its life out to. But those roots still thirst,

so you place them in a high jar in our bedroom, tend to them,

give them the attention of your brilliant mind, hurting

for their inadequacies. I love you deep in the hole and in

the twilight of an open summoning space or when locked

in desire, the two of us, giants without chains – the illusion of

isolation shed, heroes to each other’s loneliness, and the rising

of our blood that has no ancestry, no pastlives or this life before.

 

We are the keepers of this conversation. You are the place where

all my ships land, in the infinity of your eyes, a strong arrow spark

of awe-striking connection, where underground tunnels are excavated.

We are a perfect rub and flow, and we flow, fingers

over the tender inner thigh, mouths

braving more than kisses. We built a bridge and we crossed it,

holding hands, watching each other’s back. We take off our shoes,

a field is before us.

 

All animals are gorgeous, each with a full and necessary soul.

Animals peer out from behind the curtain of high trees

lining the field, waiting for us to run. We run

and twirl and lay down in laughter, like we once did long ago.

We are good just as we are. We are one at the knees and at the core.

Hell and the moaning of withheld mercy is far behind us,

we have been devoured and we dissolve –

our shells and our centers, seasoned, spring-woven,

what is ours, what is God’s, combined, surrendered.

 

 

Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Four times nominated for “Best of the Net”, 2015/2017, she has over 1125 poems published in over 450 international journals and anthologies. She has 21 published books of poetry, six collections and six chapbooks. She lives in Toronto with her family. She is a vegan. She also sculpts, working with clay; http://www.allisongrayhurst.com

 

Exploring silence by Reena Prasad

 

The sound stills itself at times

waiting for cleverer ones to have their say

In that brief interlude, I search

for a reverberation of my thoughts

in this orb of acoustic mazes

Drop a silent sigh here

It rebounds back the next moment

its echoes lingering, feeling, exploring the twilight zones

hanging like bats in unseen crooks

to come flying back

and swat me into stillness

 

In the dissonance of lively voices

talking themselves hoarse to keep out milder ones,

the rustles, the sighs, the whispers, the hums

make me marvel at their innate softness

but my silence

kept out of the picture for too long

envies these mellow beauties

and longs to make itself heard too

It thunders, it yells, it roars, it wails

There is no respite ever.

 

 

 

Reena Prasad is a poet from India, currently living in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates). Her poems have been published in several anthologies. She is the Destiny Poets UK’s, Poet of the year for 2014 and co-editor of The Significant Anthology & Silhouette I & 2. She is the winner of the Reuel international prize for Poetry, 2018.

A  Lonely Tree and A Longing, Sharp as Knife by Asha Viswas

 

A  Lonely Tree

 

Autumn leaves

A calligraphy in ochre

On a blanket of sighs :

A sea of sibilance .

 

The wind whipped tree

Holding a single leaf

The next gust signs it off ,

Like the trace of a dream.

 

The shadow of the tree

Rests in the backyard-

Loneliness- bleak and nameless,

Fear howls in the silent house.

 

 

A Longing, Sharp as Knife

 

I walk through the rooms

Nothing is lost, not even the sounds.

I rummage through the many cupboards

Where dream and memory live together.

 

As I open the door, another dream sprouts

An old, gentle but sad face

That still waits for a fistful of light

Through the darkened road .

 

The dream stops at the edge of a thought-

A paradigm for a few question marks.

Realizing that I am encroaching

On somebody else’s dream, I shut the door.

 

Slowly the house turns into an allegory of words

Without a future, without a past

syllables, and not a trace of you.

I wish the ghosts could sleep forever in peace.

 

Asha Viswas is a much awarded Indian poet whose poems have been published, praised and liked all over the world.

 

Rhapsodies of the East by Pitambar Naik

 

 

I enameled those whom I love

With the green pride

And those of the up-shoots of the green coppice.

 

Dreams which needed to be freed

I let them fly as birds in the deep blue sky

I let them sing the song of liberty.

 

Along the bank of my fickle mind

I let blossom a lot many divine lotuses

To carve the eternal pride

The words which appealed me

I let them be enlivened with the life of my life

To hear the rhapsodies

Of the new stanzas of the east.

 


 

Translated from Purbaraga by Debendra Kumar Bauri

 

 

Mora antahina bhalapaiba mananku

pingheideli patrapari kanluthiba

gachhara sabuja spardhaku

 

Mukti loduthiba swapnamanku

Chadheikari udeideli

Nila akashare

Purnaswadhinatara geeta gaibaku

 

Mora chapalakhialara kule kule

Mun phuteideli

Aneka brahma kamala

Nashwara pkhudare

Rachibaku shashwata garimaku

 

Mote jeevana maguthiba shabdamanku

Mun pranaru prana deli

Sunibaku nuaeka panktire

Kabitara purbaraga

 

 

 

 Pitambar Naik is an Indian poet. Odisha is the state where he was born and grew up amidst paddy fields hearing heartrending folk songs and playing kabbadi. He toils hard and sweats in an advertising studio as a creative writer for a living and writes poetry and short fiction to live his passion. His works have appeared in Literary Orphans, Occulum, Moonchild Magazine, Bhashabandhan Review, HEArt Online,

Coldnoon Travel Poetics, Spark Magazine, and The New Indian Express and PPP Ezine among others. He can be reached at pitambarnaikwriter@gmail.com

 

 

Poem #5 by Grant Guy

 

He flipped hamburgers

He flipped her heart

She worked the counter

At the A&W in Transcona

 

That was enough of a common ground

To base their 35 year marriage on

 

Their three children

And their eight grandchildren

All worked at the A&W in Transcona

 

For three generations they were the Burger Family

 

They called their marriage a success

 

 

 

 

Grant Guy is a Winnipeg, Canada, poet, writer and playwright. His poems and short stories have been published in Canada and Internationally. He has three books published: Open Fragments (Lives of Dogs), On the Bright Side of Down and Bus Stop Bus Stop (Red Dashboard). His plays include an adaptation of Paradise Lost and the Grand Inquisitor. He was the 2004 recipient of the Manitoba Arts Council’s 2004 Award of Distinction and the 2017 recipient of the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Making A Difference Award.   

 

 

Chickens Hatching by Scott Thomas Outlar

 

Even when there remains

nothing left to say,

our silence can prove to be

the weapon of gold

that helps to save

lost souls in the end.

 

There is no war

righteous enough

to convince me

to flick my tongue

in anger

or pick up a sword

in disgust

this time.

 

All of my dragons

lay out slain

behind me

on the path;

their bones buried

beneath the ash.

 

We breathe this sacrament

of sacred fire

into our lungs

together as One;

 

and now only

parasitic mosquitos

remain

to be slaughtered

until we have recovered

all of the blood

from generations

they’ve tried

their damnedest

to taint.

 

 

Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.wordpress.com where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, live events, and books can be found. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Scott was a recipient of the 2017 Setu Magazine Award for Excellence in the field of literature. His words have been translated into Albanian, Afrikaans, Persian, French, and Italian.

Regrets Nothing by Kelli J Gavin

 

The moments I have lived

The times I have treasured

The words left unspoken

The conversations I have entered

 

I Regret Nothing

 

Nurturing

Growing

Molding

Perfecting

Each instance serving a purpose

 

I Regret Nothing

 

The heartache that breaks me

The joy that rebuilds me

The children that fulfil me

The husband that completes me

 

I Regret Nothing

 

The days I have conquered

The illness that consumed me

The lessons learned over

the excessive passage of time

The light bulb moments now gone dim

 

I Regret Nothing

 

A life well lived

Not a moment wasted

Each day grasped

and fully experienced

The nights that restore and quench

and motivate

 

Because

 

I Regret Nothing

 

Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, MN with Josh, her husband and two crazy kids.  She is a Professional Organizer, owns two small companies, and is a Writer.  She is a blogger, writes for newspapers and for online sites as a guest columnist.  Her focus is special needs parenting, non-fiction stories from her own life and poetry that often can’t be contained.

 

 

Remolded by Heath Brougher

 

The reflex

of the reverberation

reflected and refracted

down the rectangular roads

ravaging a reality recently revived

and repaired and repaved

counterbalanced concrete

in real time.

Reassured no one was relinquished from the realm

of reamed recognition.

Everyone regarded

the ravage of the repulsive ravines

now reigning and running randomly

throughout the rent ruins we pretended not to see.

 

 

Heath Brougher is the co-poetry editor of Into the Void Magazine, winner of the 2017 Saboteur Award for Best Magazine. He is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Award Nominee and his work has been translated into journals and anthologies in Albania and Kosovo. He was the judge of Into the Void’s 2016 Poetry Competition and edited the anthology Luminous Echoes, the proceeds of which were all donated to an organization which helps prevent suicide/self-harm. He published three chapbooks in 2016, two full-length collections About Consciousness (Alien Buddha Press 2017), To Burn in Torturous Algorithms (Weasel Press 2018), and has 3 collections forthcoming in 2018. His work has appeared in Taj Mahal Review, Chiron Review, MiPOesias, Blue Mountain Review, Main Street Rag, eFiction India, Loch Raven Review, Boston Poetry Magazine, Setu Bilingual, BlazeVOX, and elsewhere.

Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 2; Issue 2; February 2018

Preface

The poems for this issue started pouring in after an emergency help mail I sent to my friends: poets, editors and poetry lovers. I had a few poems with me but their number filled me with doubts regarding the future of this little ezine. I took my chance and sent an invitation to my friends all over the world (the last four words are not there to brag, they highlight the focus of this ezine: bringing poets from various continents together). They came to my rescue and sent me wonderful nuggets of gold, some of which can be seen in this issue. I have stored many more for the issues to come. not surprisingly then, I dedicate this issue to the poets published in it:

To you, my friends. 

 

 

Preface

Poet of the Month: Michael Griffith

Spirit in the Album by Ken Allan Dronsfield

Reasons by Edianna Reyes Ovalle

Spring Equinox by Joan McNerney

Two Parts by Darrell Herbert

orders and wounds by linda m. crate

Desiderata by Sergio A. Ortiz

Ma`s Maize Meal by Ndaba Sibanda

Everyday by Eliza Segiet

The Ticking of Winter’s Clock by Linda Imbler

Layers of Winter by Mysti S. Milwee

The Hole by Ann Christine Tabaka

Memos by Daginne Aignend

Serenade: A Moment by Glory Sasikala

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Michael Griffith

 

Her Savior

 

She savored a savior as she tried to repent.

Spent time on her knees, spent time in retreat.

Entreatments for forgiveness, entreatments for relief.

Belief sometimes came hard, belief and faith would flee.

Bleed upon the cross, breed sorrow and sin.

In rapture, in stigmata, in tongues not her own,

she savored her savior, but she could never atone.

 

 

Glass Woman’s House

 

The glass woman,

seen whole only in reflections of others,

 

there in her glass house of shrinking windows

and growing shoulds,

a stone’s throw away from being revealed.

 

Shines in her sorrows,

shimmers in her fears,

shakes in her solitude.

 

Throw that stone, boy,

hurl the brick,

but aim away from the glass woman.

 

Hit her sorrows and fears,

strike the solitude and break those panes of should;

take up a mallet and ruin her house of oughts and wishes.   

 

Let her shimmer in the light shining from strength she never knew she had.

Then help her build a new house that’s not so fragile.

 


 

Twilight Cowboy

 

His sad, hoarse opera remains

long after he leaves the stage.

He doesn’t even know

what to cry about anymore,

 

but still he cries.

 

The plains his home,

his rope and rifle his two best friends,

history and change his two worst enemies.

He’s running out of places to be,

 

but still he rides.

 

The things he could fight

are now long gone;

the things he could love are dying off, too.

The things he could keep no longer exist,

 

but still he tries.

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Griffith began writing poetry to help his mind and spirit heal as his body recovered from a life-changing injury. Recent work appears online and in print in such outlets as The Blue Nib, Nostalgia Digest, The Wild Word and Poetry24. He resides and teaches near Princeton, NJ.

Spirit in the Album by Ken Allan Dronsfield

 

 

Like spider silk woven into human form.

grasping at air as it moves and beckons.

glides around the metal of an old light pole.

Head turning and seeming to look at me.

I ask, if you ever came back to us again,

how annoyed would you be at the traffic?

Would you enjoy computers or cellphones,

or perhaps find them an abomination?

Smiles shining like noon if you returned;

our eyes would twinkle like a winter star

excitement would make the heart flutter;

but you’re only a crispy voice of whispers

indifferent to feeling, or even to breathing

whether lost kindred fallen in a great war

ghost of the battlement, forever on guard

or kept alive by the memories and pictures

there in the album, on grandmother’s shelf.

 

 

 

 

 

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a poet who was nominated for The Best of the Net and 2 Pushcart Awards for Poetry in 2016. Originally from New Hampshire, he now resides in Oklahoma with his cats Willa, Turbo and Hemi. His poetry has been published world-wide in various publications throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. His work has appeared in The Burningword Journal, Belle Reve Journal, SETU Magazine, The Literary Hatchet, The Stray Branch, Now/Then Manchester Magazine UK, Bewildering Stories, Scarlet Leaf Review, PPP E-Zine, EMBOSS Magazine, and many more. His book, “The Cellaring”, a collection of haunting, paranormal, weird, wonderful and odd poems, has been released and is available through Amazon.com. He is the co-editor of two poetry anthologies, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze and Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available from Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons by Edianna Reyes Ovalle

 

So many reasons to love me

So many reasons to hate me

So many reasons to hate them

So many reasons to love him

I have so many reasons, I collect them

Every season, every year, every decade

I collect, collect them

I regret, no regrets, I haven’t forgotten

In my head, they take up space

Right there in that space with every situation I face

In my memory, these reasons are kept inactive

In my solitude, these reasons are enlightening

They make me feel satanic

My reasons, my reasons

This is not a thought all of a sudden

My reasons are my logic

My reasons have been kept inactive

For my reasons aren’t always pleasant in action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edianna Reyes Ovalle evokes vital emotions, knowledge, morals, truths, and values, through writing. She loves being outspoken because it has helped her to freely express her opinions of the world and its people. Her work has been featured in the likes of HangTime Magazine, PPP Ezine, NOTLA Digital, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Trópica Laced Magazine.

Spring Equinox by Joan McNerney

 

This is when we search for

color to transform cold grey.

Rainfall begins its magic

high lighting sky blue.

 

We see stacks of luminous clouds

as plants pop out emerald buds

and forsythia busts open with

sparkling yellow stalks.

 

Trees dressed up in chic green

boogie through noon breezes.

 

Aromatic lilac bushes cluster

in soft bunches. Just today a

breath of warmth brought alive

pink crepe myrtle branches.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Two Parts by Darrell Herbert

Coming to terms with insignificance

Trying times, more or less, dying times

 

In terms of our relationship, this shit is so one-sided

Drunk off of love, hate ignited

You’re not satisfied, I’m not excited

Should I leave or should I go?

Or, should I try to connect with your soul?

Why am I so unable?

A psychotic who’s mentally unstable

But, they hate my decreasing health

Or, maybe I just need help

Turn me on, turn me out

Turning the gun on myself.

 

 

 

Darrell Herbert is a recipient of the 5 American Visions and 5 American Voices Award, as well as a national silver medal in the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. He is a gold key recipient of poetry, presented by Casita Maria Center for the Arts & Education. He has been featured on the 2016 November issue of Not Only Street Magazine. He is also a recipient of the 2016 Scythe Prize, and the 2017 Scythe Prize. He was one of the winners in the second North Street Book Prize competition. He is a recipient of NY Literary Magazine’s 5 Star Writer Award. He was named a winner in the Fall 2017 Writing and Art Contest. His fiction and non-fiction has appeared in the Utica College Ampersand. His poetry has been featured in the likes of “The Best Teen Writing of 2014,” by Hannah Jones, HangTime Magazine, UC English Corner, The Lemonade Stand Magazine and many more magazines all over the world.

orders and wounds by linda m. crate

 

you still haunt me

in nightmares

 

kindness now

doesn’t erase or diminish

 

the unkindness

i received as a child

 

needed a father to love me

gave me a bully that cursed my name

 

belittled and wounded me

just because you could

 

insisted father knew best,

but i don’t think you did;

 

cried once when my mother

wouldn’t let you punish me

 

only taught me my value was in my

beauty

 

neglected to give me anything

other than orders and wounds

 

my only shelters and comforts

were books and nature

 

the soft needled pines embraced me

in comfort i never found in your arms.

 

 

 

 

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has five published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017), and splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018).

Desiderata by Sergio A. Ortiz

 

 

There are days

you walk around dazed
and you’re not very friendly.
Minutes, even hours,

find you lost and I know

my presence confounds you.
That’s when you start talking

in whispers. It’s your way

of asserting the strands

of silver on your head,
your Lord of the Flies dance

around my campfire.

Don’t let it blind you. Virtues

abound in everyday heroes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a six-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016/17 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal. His chapbook, An Animal Resembling Desire, will be published by Finishing Line Press.  He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.

 

 

Ma`s Maize Meal by Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

She brought in

 

with her  a silver pot

 

into which she discharged

 

water before assigning the vessel

 

to sit silently  on the warming  plate

 

 

 

When the silver pot was steaming

 

the water inside it was screaming

 

emotive gurgles  that got her

 

toting guarded quantities   

 

of mealie-meal and stirring

 

 

 

She left the porridge to simmer

 

and thicken for some time–

 

the aroma emanating

 

from the bubbling

 

was mouth-watering.

 

 

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.   

 

 

Every day by Eliza Segiet

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

When

you leave everyday life far behind,

so you can wait out the bad times here,

comes alive in you

the memory:

of the cloudy sky

and beautiful moments of forgetfulness.

 

Although memories and plans

cross with each other –

you know

that nothing will be like

it was yesterday.

 

Always repeat:

it was good that I was here.

 

Tomorrow, it may surprise you.

 

 

 

 

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.

The Ticking of Winter’s Clock by Linda Imbler

 

 

My mother died in winter.

My mother far away.

 

Spring was to rise in only a few weeks.

 

It was the fourth of March.

Brown grass and leafless trees

were in endless array outside.

 

I could hear

the ticking of the clock

 

as I waited

for the phone to ring.

 

I have my father,

I told myself.

 

My father died in winter.

My father far away.

 

It was the seventh of March

and again, the green was still to come.

 

And again,

I could hear

the ticking of the clock

 

as I waited

for the phone to ring.

 

Then, I was alone.

 

 

Linda Imbler is a poet, music afficionado and lover of art.

Layers of Winter by Mysti S. Milwee

 

The bitter cold leaves me bundled

up in layers; two pairs of thick

wool socks that make me itch –

cuddle duds that cling trapping

in the heat to stay warm;

Ski pants that snap but all I want

is a long winter’s nap and roasting

marshmallows by an open fire;

Smoke signals cling to the air and

drift within my every breath that

I expel from my lungs and with

every breath I take a breath of

dry air shadows the moisture –

and every tear that leaks from the

corner of my eye will freeze an

emotion of freedom longing

for springtime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mysti S Milwee is an award winning artist, digital artist photographer, and published poet from Southside, Alabama. Her poetry has been published in the PPP E-Zine (India)-Poetics Interview-October- Volume 1: Issue 5-2017; The Alabama Baptist-”Beyond The Veil”-March 30,2017; The Mountain Press- “Gatlinburg Strong”-December 11,2016. Her poetry has been used in academic studies and ministries across the US and abroad. Her art was published in the GloMag (India) in an ekphrastic collaboration with Scott Thomas Outlar.


The Hole by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

A hole

there is a hole

there is a hole

            in everyone

 

it cannot be filled

with wealth

with things

with busyness

 

those who say      –      NO

deny themselves

deny the truth             there is no truth

 

the hole only   g r o w s

wider

            deeper

                        darker

 

until we find

what we have lost

truth

hope

love

 

love fills the hole

 

 

 

 

Ann Christine Tabaka is a nominee for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry.

She placed Third in Vita Brevis Best Poem Contest January 2018.  She was selected as Poet of the Month for January 2018 and interviewed by Kingdoms in the Wild. She lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and two cats. Her most recent credits are Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, Oddball Magazine, The Paragon Journal, The Literary Hatchet, The Stray Branch, Trigger Fish Critical Review, Foliate Oak Review, Bindweed Magazine, The Metaworker, Raven, RavensPerch, Anapest Journal, Mused, Apricity Magazine, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, Scryptic Magazine, Ann Arbor Review, The McKinley Review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God-coloured sea,

I was having you,

and not having you.

 

 

Margarita Serafimova was shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize 2017. She has two collections in the Bulgarian: “Animals and Other Gods” (2016), “Demons and World” (2017). Her work is forthcomingin Creative Process, Antinarrative, Aji Magazine, Lunaris, New Poetry, Subterranean Blue, Pangolin, and appears in Agenda Poetry, London Grip New Poetry, Trafika Europe, European Literature Network, The Journal, A-Minor, Waxwing, Nixes Mate Review, StepAway, Ink, Sweat and Tears, HeadStuff, Minor Literatures, The Writing Disorder, The Birds We Piled Loosely, Noble/ Gas Quarterly, miller’s pond, Obra/ Artifact, TAYO, Shot Glass Journal, Poetic Diversity, Pure Slush, Harbinger Asylum, Punch, Tuck, Futures Trading, Ginosko, Peacock Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, and many other places.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memos by Daginne Aignend

 

I have too many thoughts in my head

No wonder that some of them slip away

It happens oft that I was about to do

or about to say something, and

suddenly another thought enters my mind.

Don’t even recall what I wanted

in the first place

These days, I have to put notes everywhere

to remember what is really important

I think, my thoughts are an ongoing

stream overflowing my brain basin

Need some more structure in my head,

starting tomorrow

I better hang a memo on the fridge,

so I won’t forget

 

 

 

Daginne Aignend is a pseudonym for the Dutch writer, poetess, photographic artist Inge Wesdijk. She likes hardrock music, fantasy books, is a vegetarian who loves her animals. She’s the Poetry Editor of Whispers and has been published in many poetry journals, magazines and anthologies, in the ‘Tears’ Anthology of the The New York Literary Magazine’ to name one. She has a fun project website www.daginne.com

 

 

 

Serenade: A Moment by Glory Sasikala

 

 

He wove dreams with and around me

 

I will take you to the river

and make you a raft

You can lie there and float

with the current.

I’ll lift you up by a rope to our own tree house

We will watch the blue moon together

and hear the owl hoot.

I will send you love letters on lotus leaves

down the river.

I will weave you flower garlands made of buttercups.

There are open spaces in the forest

where the bamboo bloomed and died

We will go to the stream where the wild animals drink.

I will show you how the cheetah’s eyes

shine in the dark jungle

I will show you how to make baskets

out of palm leaves

And I will make love to you

among the flowers in the hillside

where the birds sing.

 

 

 

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.