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

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Poet of the Month: Ken Allan Dronsfield

In the Cemetery by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Prayers in the kitchen by Gary Lawrence Ingram

Are We? by Glory Sasikala

This Moment by Eliza Segiet

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

No Turning Back by Ann Christine Tabaka

So Long by Kelli J Gavin

Duplicity by Guy Farmer

The White Stone and Dreams by James G. Piatt

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Ken Allan Dronsfield  

 

 

Arbor of Wisteria and Clematis

 

 

 

I reflect upon the lavender Wisteria;

 

the lilacs and lonely gardenias.

 

I uncover the grand butterfly bush

 

Quoth the Nepeta, ‘keep to the path’.

 

Those shrubby pussy willows bloom,

 

a burning felt deep within the Clematis.

 

What could be more purely aglow?

 

Only this and a Thimble-berry pie.

 

There perched, a crow upon the arbor

 

craving the bi-colored, brag bonnet.

 

A harlequin colored sky now aflame

 

The rooster never asked for the time.

 

Orange bells fall from the trumpet vine,

 

first touch of frost kisses a naked leaf.

 

leaves soar and spin in the north winds.

 

 

 

 

Of Time Slowly Passing

 

 

 

Of shallow labored breaths

 

a lone kiss in the of predawn,

 

rattle and hum whispers within,

 

wish only sleep during cold times.

 

Yellowish orbs dart all about trees,

 

kisses spread from the tip of sprigs

 

spiraling down into the old garden

 

I try to reach out and touch them.

 

My ride takes us through the gates

 

grass glistens in the carriage-lights

 

touch of frost left upon a naked leaf

 

skies of yesterday; dreams of today.

 

Albino raven’s roost in the old cedar

 

pious penance delivered by rosary.

 

Moldy smell of freshly shoveled earth

 

thoughts linger within lofty reflections;

 

the things that can never be unseen

 

a taste of solace within old memories.

 

Prayers answered with a lilac scent

 

I feel small in this time of my passing

 

Resurrection Lilies sprouting nearby

 

fragrant Red Roses whisper to me. 

 

 

 

 

Into the Burning Man

 

 

 

Blasphemy courted with anecdotal perversity

 

limitless chatter echoes through the canyon

 

all now weeping at the sight of blind hypocrisy

 

catching the dancing orbs with a butterfly net

 

seeking a peace but tripping through garbage

 

sands stained with the blood from star shards

 

music calms the beast, but on the jungle roars

 

pinnacle of life, enchanted in an icy cold desert.

 

tutelage from shamans; swaying to a spirit drum

 

casting of vows into pious devotional candlelight

 

earthy spirited flutes touch the heart and soul

 

bodies float down into the heart of white flames

 

albino raven’s perch upon high sandstone glyph’s

 

my vision now doubling objects indiscriminately to

 

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

 

The images are now imprinted upon my eyelids

 

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

 

Yet, I can now see beyond the darkness, beyond

 

the terrors, beyond the bright white crystal sparks

 

a burning man now tosses ink onto the parchment..

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

In the Cemetery by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

In the cemetery, I was standing on my knees,

reading verses of the holy book to the tombs

I was praying with tears on my cheeks

until the graveyard stopped me and asked me if

I was reading verses or reading sorrows

with an emotionless face, he asked to repeat

I started reading again and, his face was getting

red as his eyes were dropping my unrhymed tears

he stopped me with anger and screamed out

why more grieves, why more death, and less peace

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

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

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

spirits weeping with us, as the clouds will rain again

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

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

our grandparents were the farmers, who lift the sunshine

and brunt themselves to death, just to protect the seeds

our mothers stole the moon from the wall of the night

they hid in their coffins and the stars after our fathers

turned the rainbow into a solider in the zone of death

and made the snow into a drinkable water to survive

 

 

 

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

 

 

Prayers in the kitchen by Gary Lawrence Ingram

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Are We? by Glory Sasikala

 

not that i want answers

to a relationship

that seems to flex

to meet our erratic selves

so moody and unpredictable

so based on imperfection

but our sidelong glances ask

are we the ones?

are we cosy bed and pillows ad sheets?

are we cuddle, kiss, curl and sleep?

will you wipe the dishes while i wash

roll out the dough while i flip?

peeping over shoulders quadrupled vision

is it our laughter that will break the silence

of a dark night, startling the owl

and drawing stars closer?

i did not let the outside world in

did you?

i can walk away, can you?

at will, i ask you –

will we be the ones –

our fingers barely touching

a relationship on a shoestring budget

of superficial small talk

barely skimming the surface…

how far must we go before we know

we’re forever?

 

 

 

 

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

This Moment by Eliza Segiet

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

Ready for happiness,

we greedily go towards it.

And when it opens like a

dawn-awakened nenuphar,

it is not because

it will always be so,

but in order to enjoy

this moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eliza Segiet is Jagiellonian University graduate with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. She completed postgraduate studies in Cultural Knowledge, Philosophy, Penal Fiscal and Economic Law, and Creative Writing at Jagiellonian University, as well as Film and Television Production in Łódź. She has published three poetry collections and two monodramas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

There are bullfrogs

 

and there are screwdrivers

 

and there were knickknacks

 

and fireflies over Oregon

 

like cigarette burns

 

in the sleeveless shirt

 

of the universe.

 

And there are carnivorous plants

 

and chilled salad forks

 

and bathroom stall etchings

 

like a Rosetta stone

 

for the disinherited.

 

There are colonoscopies

 

and pay stubs

 

and grey owls

 

and grey hairs

 

and more colours to a windswept

 

rainbow

 

than toes on the clubbed foot

 

of Eternity…

 

 

 

I am not a very good noise maker.

 

I take it on the chin

 

and move on.

 

I am the milk-white muted womb

 

of no comment.

 

The toe jam regular of sand crabs

 

and Danish kings.

 

When I speak it is barely audible,

 

more mumble and grunts

 

than true syllables –

 

an economy of word

 

and meaning.

 

When I eat pea soup,

 

it is understated.

 

When I defecate I never push.

 

I just sit there and let it slide out

 

at its own pace

 

like faith in an old jalopy

 

 

you trust

 

will get there

 

someday.

 

I stand in a room

 

like a hat rack

 

stands in a room.

 

I love like gift cards

 

love,

 

all sentiment

 

and distance

 

and general penmanship.

 

My dress

 

and overall existence

 

is low key.

 

I am a ghost

 

where there are no ghosts;

 

in the tilted can opener wisdom

 

of Transparency.

 

 

 

There is a picture on my bedroom wall

 

of me

 

many years younger

 

not smiling.

 

Surrounded by birthday goers

 

wearing birthday hats,

 

I am neither happy

 

or wearing a hat.

 

And I know that face I am wearing

 

just like I know there are shallots

 

in the crisper.

 

When I get mad

 

or upset

 

I don’t explode like some horny John

 

all over the blotchy face

 

of Reason.

 

I get quiet and frustrated instead

 

and internalise

 

everything.

 

And then I drink more

 

(much more)

 

than I’ve drank to this point

 

tonight.

 

 

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

 

 

No Turning Back by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

 

Parting rivers.

Parting ways.

The truth laid bare

at my feet

 

Deep dark secrets hide

within converging storms.

A cadence of emotions

marching by.

 

My words are not your words.

We speak in different tongues.

It is as if you know the answer

before the question is posed.

 

You know me so well

yet not at all.

Fragments of life

falling into oblivion.

 

Forlorn and forgotten,

forsaken and lost.

Death closes the door

that love once opened.

 

Parting ways,

there is no turning back.

Time does not allow

such luxuries as that.

 

 

 

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

 

 

So Long by Kelli J Gavin

 

 

I will not say goodbye to you.

I won’t do it.

I will say so long.

In hopes of seeing you again.

I will not say goodbye to you.

Good bye always seems so final.

And saying goodbye to you isn’t possible.

I will always want you.

I will always need you.

So long.

I will see you soon.

I will see you again.

Because I will not say goodbye to you.

 

 

 

 

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

Duplicity by Guy Farmer

 

Nothing can

Stop their agenda,

Broken people

Trying to feel

More secure in

A world made

Dangerous by them.

 

Self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Duplicity,

Incompetence,

Cowardice.

 

 

 

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

 

 

The White Stone and Dreams by James G. Piatt

 

 

Echoes in my mind carrying my

 

Idle thoughts swirled around the

 

Burnished edges of eternity as I

 

Meandered through memories

 

Inside my dreams. I remembered

 

It was near a bark-covered path

 

Where I found the white stone

 

Hidden among beautiful flowers

 

In a meadow. I gave it to a lady

 

I Did not know, but recognized

 

From one of my dreams.

 

 

 

Old memories released visions

 

Where nothing existed except

 

Objects that emitted pleasant

 

Fragrances, and as I followed the

 

Aroma of red roses, Jasmine,

 

And lilacs, which floated up stairs

 

To an ancient clock, which had

 

Secrets hidden inside its golden

 

Works, I saw the lady siting in a

 

Rocking chair weaving dreams

 

Out of the white stone.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

Poet of the Month: James G Piatt

Windows of Dreams by Mary Bone

Pyre by David Estringel

Crème Brûlée by Jack M. Freedman

Healing by Eduard Schmidt-Zorner

Exiled by Sunil Sharma

Old by Noelle Kukenas

Fits in Nicely by Patricia Walsh

I’m Just Trying To Be Comfortable by Eric Golden

Poetry by Lynn Long

 

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Poet of the Month: James G Piatt

 

Time & Memories

 

 

Time is fading away inside clocks, which

 

Count the passing of countless hours in

 

Rusting minutes. The enigmatic

 

Shadows of the vanishing past intrude

 

Into memories as time hidden inside

 

Obscurity continually ticks away into

 

Infinity.

 

 

 

The conscious journey of life ends in the

 

Scarlet seconds of wordless flight, but

 

Time continues forever. When the

 

Ocean’s waves of ephemeral moments

 

Pass over our graves of earth and

 

Wood, and our lifeless flesh remembers

 

Not, time still exists for those with future

 

Dreams and golden memories,

 

 

 

As countless seasons come and go, and

 

Precious hours have long departed this

 

Life of mine, and as luminescent clouds

 

Wander freely over my marble

 

Tombstone, someone may still have

 

Memories of me, and will visit my

 

Tombstone in the early hours of a foggy

 

Morn.

 

 

 

Yearning for Summer

 

 

 

As clouds gather, I find

 

There is little to remember

 

As rain washes away

 

Memories, and builds

 

Upon darkness. I move

 

About the grayness

 

Without exactness, frozen

 

Thoughts bend images in

 

My mind. Puddles in the

 

Muddy rutted country road

 

Reflect things to be

 

Learned about winter

 

Winds, and moisture.

 

Barren trees with boughs

 

Searching for sky watch

 

For a sense of sun in the

 

Quivering silence of the

 

Day’s frozen hours, and I

 

Yearn for summer’s heat

 

To warm my weary bones.

 

 

 

The Lost

 

 

 

 

 

Scattered among the corroded

 

Debris of ruins and

 

Lost dreams

 

Are shattered

 

Hopes of a

 

Thousand traumatized souls.

 

 

 

Helplessness,

 

Caused by the spewing of hate filled

 

Bullets and bombs

 

Onto burning sand,

 

Covered the last hopes

 

Of those who have, nothing left

 

Except, their souls:

 

 

 

Men/women/children

 

Trudge helplessly

 

On jagged blood laced paths

 

And, crimson tinted sand,

 

Away from devastated homes

 

To anywhere,

 

Even death’s door:

 

 

 

The weary refugees continue

 

Running, running, running

 

To escape the tyranny of a

 

Despot, and

 

The blades of extreme

 

Insane Ideologists

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Windows of Dreams by Mary Bone

 

A beautiful mind meditates,

 

Waterfalls are cascading

 

In a myriad of colors.

 

Watercolors fragment

 

Into exploded color.

 

Brushstrokes splash paint

 

With scenic views that my mind sees-

 

Illuminating brightness,

 

With thought and memory.

 

There is gold horizons and misty mountains.

 

Such truth of beauty,

 

I can’t put on paper.

 

 

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

 

 

Pyre by David Estringel

 

 

Let hungry flames lick.

 

Devour this flesh that binds

 

and let me be free.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Crème Brûlée by Jack M. Freedman

 

Thin veil of sugar covering the gold within

          this soul.

Crystals solidified and etched with fire

          upon the surface of this heart

Dare to crack the surface of this top layer

          of treasure?

Find the wealth within and know this

          facade is temporary.

Chances are there are one or more

          tongues left to arouse.

Embodiment of mirth realized through

          long lingual spasms

Birth of dessert which always wants to

          touch a lover’s lips.

Wholeness of dairy and the code

          embedded within a tongue.

Abundance in a shallow dish holding the

          depths of kindness and sincerity.  .

 

 

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

 

 

Healing by Eduard Schmidt-Zorner

 

I grew up amidst ruins,

remember a dead cat, exposed

on the debris pouring out of a

lonely porch of a destroyed house.

Destruction everywhere, also in my heart

I had no toys, no space to play,

refugees we were, displaced people.

In a box, I found two tiny wooden blocks,

unfinished.

And I found a thimble.

And a wooden mushroom,

which my mother used to darn the socks.

I placed the blocks on top of one another,

and added the thimble as turret,

gave the mushroom next to it

the order to stand straight

to serve as umbrella to keep me safe

in the house, which I constructed..

 

 

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

 

 

 

Exiled by Sunil Sharma

 

 

The old bed

 

frayed sheet and blanket

 

 

 

the frail being

 

sotto voce

 

talks

 

to an airy

 

presence.

 

 

 

A hand towel

 

vials, medicines, water

 

bottle,

 

dentures and bifocals

 

on the

 

crowded table

 

 

 

near the yellow pillow

 

an old cell-phone 

 

 

 

the most cherished

 

item

 

in that small

 

Gulag

 

 

 

created exclusively

 

in an urban home

 

for a dying

 

parent in a liberal

 

India chasing brands.

 

 

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

 

 

Old by Noelle Kukenas

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

Fits in Nicely by Patricia Walsh

 

Grating at extremeties, like the sheer cold

Over winter blanketed, a part to play

Traitored, or otherwise, importance  to call

The basic ingredient is the willing heart.

 

Life-partners to the fore, smugly congregating

In enclosed spaces not for the rest of us.

Brusquely rebuffing attempts at conversation

About their situation, intrusive, thanks.

 

I remain a stand-alone, despite predictions

Of a collective over summer, look out or not

Several broken hearts liter the roadway

To an earlier heaven, fitting in nicely.

 

No problem with insanity, broadcast over coffee

Not in any company should these jokes be shared

Strictly smoking in confined spaces, to mockery

Counting in times it hits you in the face.

 

Concerned, perhaps?  Preserving acquaintance

For merriment alone, cussing the depressed.

Parallels with Ballymun hit the wrong spot

Reading comfort but kicked in the teeth.

 

Relaxing at its peak, reading the irrelevant

Taking notice of sorrow for once in a life

Conspicuous by absence, still overlooked

Gambolling from drink to drink a speciality.

 

 

Patricia Walsh was born and raised in the parish of Mourneabbey, Co Cork, Ireland.  To date, she has published one novel, titled The Quest for Lost Eire, in 2014, and has published one collection of poetry, titled Continuity Errors, with Lapwing Publications in 2010. She has since been published in a variety of print and online journals.  These include: The Lake; Seventh Quarry Press; Marble Journal; New Binary Press; Stanzas; Crossways; Ygdrasil; Seventh Quarry; The Fractured Nuance; Revival Magazine; Ink Sweat and Tears; Drunk Monkeys; Hesterglock Press; Linnet’s Wing, Narrator International, The Galway Review; Poethead and The Evening Echo.

 

 

I’m Just Trying To Be Comfortable by Eric Golden

 

 

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

At the same time looking for that companionship

 

 

Someone that completes me & looks out for my well being

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

 

 

The one who never cheats

That one who is never full of deceit

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

Something more fulfilling, emotional & sweeter

 

 

The shining jewel in my crown

& that woman who is 10 toes down

 

 

A lot of women have caused me pain & grief

Some have stole my heart like a thief

 

 

But i need that special girl

Who can rotate my lonely world

 

 

Love is something I don’t take lightly

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

Poetry by Lynn Long

 

Floating on a nebulous

 

Adrift in contemplation

 

Teetering at the precipice

 

I wander the constellations

 

 

Surfing celestial infinity

 

Riding waves of euphoria

 

Swimming in sublimity

 

No longer lost in moria

 

 

I’m chillin with the hatter

 

Sipping tea with honey

 

Where nothing really matters-

 

Unless you ask the bunny

 

 

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

 

 

 

Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 2; Issue 11; December 2018

Poet of the Month: Joan McNerney

My Surname is The Night by Ahmad Al-Khatat

The Christmas prayer by Gary Lawrence Ingram

Where did the Lake Go? by Glory Sasikala

Easel by Eliza Segiet

Haikus by David Estringel

Massage by Ann Christine Tabaka

Above it All by Kelli J Gavin

At Home by Guy Farmer

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

 

 

Poet of the Month: Joan McNerney

 

I Believe in Trees

 

Those silent citadels

standing against long

nights of wind and cold.

 

Broken willow bramble

scratches a pale sky after

yesterday’s ice storm.

 

Each spring small buds

blossom as bugs and

butterflies orbit boughs.

 

Green new leaf fits

your hand so perfectly.

The future lies in your palm.

 

 

Birds reciting litany in woods.

Each rainfall the forest

grows taller, more verdant.

 

 

Summer afternoons…trees

sashay in sunshine showing

off their emerald gowns.

 

 

Winds sway maple branches.

Leaves drop like butterflies

falling to the warm earth.

 

 

Red yellow brown carpets

of crunchy foliage spread

over roads welcoming us.

 

 

 

 

Live Oak Boughs

 

Boughs build archways as tips

of trees touch each other.  What

was shaded green becomes

nocturnal shadow.  A

crescent moon hangs from

heaven.  Light tracing

foliage falls dropping

dusty deep upon ground.

 

Secrets lie inside the

edged shadow.  Animals

hide under darkness

resounding through night

as leaves rustle.

All changing except         

this pattern of what

is now formed.

 

 

 

Wildflowers

 

Bobbing in open fields.

Two fabulous daffodils sprout

from your eyes. Falling dizzy in

love as o so lackadaisical

breeze tugs at shirt sleeves.

 

Again we are flushed in

warm love caress.  Solar

energy orbiting billions of

grass blades.  Hum hum

hummingbirds hurry hurry

pass us tripping giddy

in love.

 

 

 

Effective Immediately

 

I want to become an

Ambassador for Rain!

 

Why the bad image?

Birds love rain.

 

Tweeting through

dry spells for water.

 

They flutter from leaf

to bud for a sip.

 

It’s super creative…

feeding tree roots, wild flowers.

 

Without rain…no blessed

blue lakes, rivers, streams.

 

Open your eyes.  Rain clings

to window panes, miniature globes

 

of splendor.  Listen as pitter

pattering skips over rooftops.

 

Consider your thirst for

liquid pleasures. Gather up

 

in green reverie. Dance

barefoot on this emerald earth

 

joining me in jubilant chorus.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

My Surname is The Night by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

I once applied to work for a company,

the manager saw my surname and asked

the meaning behind my first name

I answered him that it means that during the

night I live as a joyful person in the rain,

and realize that I am not lonely when I cry

nowadays, my name is the night itself,

due to my daily sorrows that rise with

the presence of the moon along with the stars

my spirit becomes the star that lights

my path to a broken heart, walking back home,

my eyes become the autumn season that rains

yet, nobody has a moment to listen to me,

the sightless flowers whisper to the deaf branches

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

I see death play as the responsible adult

As we low human being’s, destroy

each other’s bodies to mangled beings

the reason that holds the night as my name

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

river of blood, and the imaginary of an endless war

 

 

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

 

 

The Christmas prayer by Gary Lawrence Ingram

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Where did the Lake Go? by Glory Sasikala

 

Bulrushes by the lake

What are you?

Tiny bird on bulrush, where did you come from?

Sunrise, Sunset, all shimmering ripples now

that my feet send out swinging as I sit

on the dhobi-stone.

He washes clothes, he beats them

He stomps on them for hours

Varicose veins bulging

He, the lake, the clothes

and the expanse of sky.

He has forgotten how to speak

I try to teach him as he stomps.

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

He does not answer

But he is not there now –

gone to eat silently the food his wife has prepared

and black out in bed.

And I swing my legs in the water

seated on the dhobi-stone.

Little fish kiss my feet

A little hanky thrown in

yields a small fish-fortune.

But slowly, slowly the glorious Sunset

overwhelms me as I watch the grand show

so taken for granted because it is free,

because it is there.

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

rays disbanding in a fire play.

The trees, their branches reaching out to the waters

their leaves closing.

Birds that hurry home, the incessant chatter

as they settle down.

Now silence prevails

In a dark night.

The lights from the hangars reflect in the lake.

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

and lo! it is the Smiling Moon herself!

I see all these things in my mind’s eyes

as I stand where the lake was,

trying to reconcile the multi-storey apartments now

that have replaced the irreplaceable.

 

 

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

Easel by Eliza Segiet

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

If you

kept me forever

in the clouds of pastels.

My body would seduce

with the smell of memories.

 

I would have dreamed

on the stone wall,

on the canvas.

I want to, on an easel,

invite to my sleep.

 

If you

kept me forever

in the smell of print.

 

Or maybe,

just keep me in the heart.

 

I know,

you won’t do that, because it died.

 

And I,

my Abelard,

am still headed for the love.

 

 

 

 

 

Eliza Segiet is Jagiellonian University graduate with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. She completed postgraduate studies in Cultural Knowledge, Philosophy, Penal Fiscal and Economic Law, and Creative Writing at Jagiellonian University, as well as Film and Television Production in Łódź. She has published three poetry collections and two monodramas.

   

 

 

Haikus by David Estringel

 

 

Epiphanies

 

  

White bolts from above

Rain cuts on kitchen tables,

releasing bad blood.

 

 

 

Verse

 

 

Words collapse on tongues–

wicker baskets of water–

without poetry.

 

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

 

 

Massage by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

Navigating fingers

work their way over

the aches and pains

that invade my body.

 

Pressing deep into

knotted muscle,

releasing fascia,

easing tension.

Waves of pleasure

sweep over me.

 

Soothing music,

soft candle glow,

gifted hands

bestow relaxation.

The raging beast,

my body,

begins to purr.

 

Hour over,

I yearn for more,

as I lay there in

some universe

far away,

dreaming of the next time.

 

Candles extinguished,

music quieted,

life returns, but …

oh, just a little sweeter!

 

 

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

 

 

Above it All by Kelli J Gavin

 

You’ve been elevated

 

Above it all

 

You have been placed

 

In a position

 

Above it all

 

The rest doesn’t matter

 

It is just background noise

 

I may have placed you there

 

To protect you

 

To make sure no one else

 

Could ever touch you

 

Hurt You

 

Take you

 

From Me

 

Above It all

 

Stay there

 

You’ve been elevated

 

Above it all

 

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

At Home by Guy Farmer

 

Anytime she meets

Someone in public,

She’s quick to smile

And assure them

That everything is

All right.

 

Her eyes dart around,

Worried that someone

Will see the secret

She thinks she’s hiding

But is abundantly apparent

To everyone else.

 

He awaits at home,

Permeated with

Unresolved anger,

Pacing back and forth,

A sordid creature

Guarding its lair.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Rainy night appears

 

Bringing twilight’s mist to us

 

Moisture laden clouds

 

 

 

Cover the dry land

 

Memories of rain awaken

 

In our yearning souls

 

 

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

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

Poet of the Month: Glory Sasikala

2 Poems by Gary Lawrence Ingram

2 Poems by Sanghpriya Gautam

2 Poems by Ken Allan Dronsfield

2 Poems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Glory Sasikala

 

Buy a Ticket

 

at the doorway

you will have to leave

your control issues

and possessiveness

your idiosyncrasies

and mood swings

your petty games

of yes and no

your see-saws

of love and hate

and mainly,

those three-petalled clovers

of ‘i love you’

‘i love you not’

along with your shoes

to enter my world

 

 

 

 

I am Ganga!

 

Where Ganga meets Yamuna

Confluence or conflict?

Conflict I say, Yamuna so calm

And Ganga – raging!

I am Ganga.

Sunlight and breeze

and tornado at times.

Don’t try to own me

Just feel…enjoy…

Till I decide to whip you along

Into my whirlpool –

Your calm, meditative ways

And common sense

And cool demeanour

A part now

Of the raging, rolling torrent

That I am!

 

 

Dance of the Possessed

 

my feet moved on their own

to the beat of the music

the drums beat a slow beat

then faster, faster

and faster and faster

and my body swayed

to the rhythm

my feet out of control

my head rotated

hair flying

i threw my hands in the air

and danced with abandon

hopping from one feet to another

faster and faster

till i was nothing but a blur

the drums paused

and started a slower

rhythmic tatoo

and i fell forward and backward

in keeping

forward and backward

forward and backward

and then the drums went still

and i stopped

then started a slow beat

and i swirled and swirled

and swirled

till i fell

the drums picked up speed

moving through to the next

faster and faster

faster and faster

but i lay there

motionless and still.

 

 

Their Cities

 

Their cities appeared on the map

 

She looked at his forehead and said

“The people in your city are intelligent.”

He looked at her hands and said,

“Your city is clean and small!”

She looked in his eyes and said,

“A fresh breeze blows through your city”

He looked at her hair and said,

“There’s a lovely river in yours.”

She drew in her breath at his smile and asked,

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

He watched her as she walked and said,

“Deer prance in your city.”

She walked into his arms and said,

“Your city is very warm.”

He held her close and said,

“There are flowers in your city.”

She closed her eyes and said,

“Evenings come too soon in your city.”

He closed his eyes and said,

“There’s a lullaby in yours.”

When it was time to leave, she said,

“I wish I could come to your city.”

And he replied,

“I wish I could come to yours.”

 

Their cities disappeared from the map.

 

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

 

2 Poems by Gary Lawrence Ingram

 

 

Christmas with mother

 

The house we lived in had a fire place,

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

In grandads days he made a bit of moonshine,

no one ever knew it we just kept it to ourselves

 

Growing up came too soon,

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

Hello ,to my family somewhere up in heaven

and mom your prayers for your son have finally been answered

 

Thinking of you on every Christmas with tears

 

Dad’s advice

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

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

 

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

 

Dad was the kind of man who enjoyed surprising mom,

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

 

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

 

Dad if you’re up there looking down,

 

sir I remember everything you ever told me

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

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

 

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

 

 

2 Poems by Sanghpriya Gautam

 

Listen pale child

 

Listen pale child before your bones are weary,

Born blue you were, cradled beneath the grey sky,

Still can breathe, though coughs are dreary,

And still sail amidst the sea of deafening sighs.

 

You who were born blue beneath the grey sky,

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

And still sail amidst the sea of deafening sighs,

Learn from those who have and yet not sinned;

 

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

Light up that undying soul which persist,

Learn from those who have and yet not sinned

Be the hope of this dying world and resist.

 

Light up that undying soul which persist,

Stretch arms to the stranded who are left to die,

Be the hope of this dying world and resist

Your tears will melt away the desolate sky.

 

Stretch arms to the stranded who are left to die,

They still can breathe, though coughs are dreary.

Your tears will melt away the desolate sky,

Listen pale child before your bones are weary.

 

 

I saw a crooked little boy

 

I saw a crooked little boy.

Sitting with his fingers interdigitated,

Looking at several cars that hurried by,

And buses that stopped every moment that flitted,

In front of our eyes.

 

I wondered if we looked at the same world,

With him, all young, tired and perhaps hungry,

His eyes were staring at every movement

That went by with winds howling

And horns blaring.

 

I wondered for a little while

And then drifted in a grim dream.

.

There no movement passed by

And no sound swirled about.

 

Suddenly the green warped around

And near-far-away a crystalline sound

Was heard where thick fragrant rainbow sheen slime

Curls in circles, twirling in a dark pool.

 

And all weird sweet smells wafted in the winds

From gaudy pink and red unnatural flowers

And sky appeared in a dangerous blue colour,

In between the dappled sky and golden showers.

 

Crass cacophony of weird animate objects…

That fluttered like command prompts on a computer screen

From one brown pole, through one green to another,

Out of order, unconcerned and disrespecting.

 

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

His eyes were drenched weak, his clothes poor,

His heart I could hear, oh so deafening,

The hair glowed on his head against gravity,

His Face stubborn, What blasphemy!

 

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

Of degenerates who filled people with dreams

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

Such unnerving sight of peace in this darkling rain.

 

Oh! The smoke once again filled my senses

The soot drew me black once again

I called the executioners at once,

My countrymen, the holy men!

For whom I will gladly live.

 

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

 

 

 

2 Poems by Ken Allan Dronsfield

 

 

Arbor of Wisteria and Clematis

 

I reflect upon the lavender Wisteria;

 

the lilacs and lonely gardenias.

 

I uncover the grand butterfly bush

 

Quoth the Nepeta, ‘keep to the path’.

 

Those shrubby pussy willows bloom,

 

a burning felt deep within the Clematis.

 

What could be more purely aglow?

 

Only this and a Thimble-berry pie.

 

There perched, a crow upon the arbor

 

craving the bi-colored, brag bonnet.

 

A harlequin colored sky now aflame

 

The rooster never asked for the time.

 

Orange bells fall from the trumpet vine,

 

first touch of frost kisses a naked leaf.

 

leaves soar and spin in the north winds.

 

 

 

Of Time Slowly Passing

 

Of shallow labored breaths

 

a lone kiss in the of predawn,

 

rattle and hum whispers within,

 

wish only sleep during cold times.

 

Yellowish orbs dart all about trees,

 

kisses spread from the tip of sprigs

 

spiraling down into the old garden

 

I try to reach out and touch them.

 

My ride takes us through the gates

 

grass glistens in the carriage-lights

 

touch of frost left upon a naked leaf

 

skies of yesterday; dreams of today.

 

Albino raven’s roost in the old cedar

 

pious penance delivered by rosary.

 

Moldy smell of freshly shoveled earth

 

thoughts linger within lofty reflections;

 

the things that can never be unseen

 

a taste of solace within old memories.

 

Prayers answered with a lilac scent

 

I feel small in this time of my passing

 

Resurrection Lilies sprouting nearby

 

fragrant Red Roses whisper to me. 

 

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

2 Poems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

 

Weaving Between Convictions like a Late Model Four Door in Traffic

 

It takes a wise man

 

to show restraint.

 

 

 

Jackson Pollock

 

used to get drunk

 

and start arguments

 

at the Cedar Bar,

 

then leave suddenly

 

while others were left to

 

continue the argument

 

he had started.

 

 

 

Imagine the discipline it takes

 

to convince others

 

of the sincerity of your argument,

 

only to leave without notice

 

and not care in the least

 

about a resolution

 

 

 

either way.

 

 

 

There will always be takers

 

on every side

 

of the argument,

 

but wise is he who has no stake

 

in the matter.

 

 

 

Weaving between convictions

 

like a late model four door

 

in traffic.

 

 

 

With Mozart on the radio

 

and the top down.

 

 

 

And an odometer that looks

 

like a speedometer

 

 

 

in the right

 

light.

 

 

 

Journalists are a Prison Break with Credentials

 

The temperature never falls for you.

This is a love of outside motivations.

Fisherman gutting the daily catch

on tiny wood blocks

along the pier.

And to get to the bottom of anything

is to have your glass topped up again.

Journalists are a prison break

with credentials.

That perilous way your knuckle cracks

like a stoolie under hard questions.

State secrets

and the broken telephone

game.

Old movie posters

you think of while sitting

up in bed.

Running your nails over strange blankets

like a human record player.

The window opened up

for circulation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.