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.

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Poet of the Month: Ahmad Al-Khatat

Fake Calls by John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller

I Live by Glory Sasikala

Dandelion Wine by Keli J. Gavin

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

Pumpkin by Neil Ellman

you gifted me with whispered void by linda m. crate

Death by Meekha Singh

Invective by Linda Imbler

Insignia by Stefanie Bennett

p6

Poet of the Month: Ahmad Al-khatat

Season of Tears

I cry for you a river in a unique season

with no seeds growing hope; nor leaves

flying over my journey without you

I walk with sword tagging on my neck

‘till I feel comfortable to slaughter myself

with no doubts, and dreams to come true

As my head walks away to the

unknown, as my body falls by the dead

roots, as my flesh looks like a branch

A hunter sees my head bleeding and

goes after to chase it with no mercy

he eats it, with tears of lifetime grieves

While my body stays still with the animals

respecting the science of God as well as my

religion for treating everyone with love

The clouds rain above my bones slowly

As my skeleton breaks into flammable

ashes, and the forest weeps

me another river

Smoke

I adore the smoke of a cigar

with a cup of expensive liquor

to relax my mind and spirit down

from over thinking without an end

I follow the smoke of a hot bath

when I see the hot water slide off

her bare flesh slides down the tub

with worries, that I will miss her one day

I get scared from watching

black smoke in my homeland

because I know that people die

below and it creates a funeral in a feast

Tired

I am tired of being tired

from people with fake

smiles and real tears

falling from my eyes

I remember the days

where a long and

happy life we had

when we were kids

God sent us rain

to grew the seeds

to bloom flowers

now, nothing arises

hungry and thirsty

spirit died with a joy

we break bone to walk

we cut flesh to breath

A bite to recall the

days of starvation

a sip to forget the

bitterness of war

Kids cannot find

the moon to sleep

below the sunlight

they sleep with fears

the dawn’s witness

either born while death

and fire the stars in blaze

the sun rises toward the ashes

Hope is not at the

airport to travel to

exile, perhaps he’s

burying himself a tomb

Since the dust filled

my path to go forward

or backward years ago

I am waiting to die before you

kill me with no noise

my voice is no longer

important to be heard

stab me without sympathy

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

Fake Calls by John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller

Every day I get woken up

As the sun comes up

By my phone ringing

With a fake call

It seems that the only people

Who ever bother to call me

Are the fake call people

Who all call me

With fake sincerity

Offering me a great deal

On this and that scam

I curse at them

Yell at them

Mutter obscenities in foreign tongues

And block their calls

Yet it does not seem to matter

The next call will be

Yet another fake call

Am I doomed to receive

Fake calls until I day I die

I turn on my computer

And read my fake news accounts

And watch TV for the latest fake news

And the politicians lying

And the criminals scheming

To take my money

The Zappa song comes to mind

You will obey me while I lead you

And eat the garbage that I feed you

Until the day that we don’t need you

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

Your mind is totally controlled

It has been stuffed into my mold

And you will do as you are told

Until the rights to you are sold

That’s right, folks . . .

Don’t touch that dial

And I scream to the universe

Just leave me alone

Then the phone rings…..

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

I Live by Glory Sasikala

In just outside the clock

along the periphery of your dreams

an invisible line in picture frames

as a criss-cross in your hand

in a story never to be told

in just an intake of breath

in fading ink of yellow parchment paper

in a fleeting knowledge of your soul

in the realms of the Universe

where I am with God

looking down upon you

in a dream

that vanishes like mist with the dawn

in a sudden lightening moment of truth

in the knowing smile with which I left you

once again to your mundane existence

I Live

 

Glory Sasikala is a poet and writer currently residing in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. She is the Editor and Publisher of the Monthly Online Prose and Poetry magazine. She is a language editor and quality analyst by profession.

Dandelion Wine by Keli J. Gavin

Dad said we should pick them all.

Every last dandelion we could find in the yard.

And when our baskets were full, go next door.

Pull all the neighbors dandelions too.

The grapes tasted horrible.

We were told to help rip down all the vines.

But dad had wine on the mind.

All those dandelions.

I was so proud with my baskets full.

He worked in his shop cleaning all the vessels.

All the hoses were dried in the sun.

Did he really know what he was doing?

I didn’t know much of wine.

I didn’t know much of anything.

I wondered how Dad knew so much.

He worked on that wine day and night.

Dad used every dandelion.

He sent us out to hunt for more.

He told us to check the fields just in case.

Just in case there was a patch we had missed. 

He would have to wait another week.

The dandelions would surely grow back by then. 

He continued to futz with the batch he had made.

Trying everything to concoct the perfect taste.

My dad’s dandelion wine tasted like grass.

Very similar to the taste of a dandelion weed.

It was almost as horrible as the grapes,

We were no longer told to pick dandelions.

That bottle of Whiskey lasted maybe two days.

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

It must have tasted better than the grapes and dandelions.

He washed  those horrible tastes from his mouth.

 

 

Kelli Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company. She enjoys writing, reading, swimming, and spending time with family and friends. She abhors walks on the beach (sand in places no one wishes sand to be), candle lit dinners, (can’t see) and the idea of cooking two nights in a row (no thank you). Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin. Blog found at kellijgavin@blogspot.com

 

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

My love is not here again today

Her image lives only in my slumber,

Her living essence has faded away.

My memory’s paths are a dull gray

My reminiscences do encumber:

My love is not here again today.

In the midst of a gloomy day

Bleak footsteps increase in number:

Her living essence has faded away.

Sad visions are those that stay

Sad hours the days do cumber,

My love is not here again today.

When I smell a roses’ bouquet

Her images will awake from slumber:

My love is not here again today,

Her living essence has faded away.

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

Pumpkin by Neil Ellman

(after the painting by Yayoi Kusama)

If time had a shape

it  would be that of a pumpkin

round, ripe,

not flattened by the ground

and perfect in its way.

If space had shape

it would be a pumpkin’s as well

proud and indifferent

defiant to the knife

with vines extending

like tentacles of light.

If the universe had any shape

it could only wish

it were a pumpkin’s

and forever expand

through its eternal patch    

of time and space.

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

you gifted me with whispered void by linda m. crate

you broke open my heart,

what did you find?

pomegranate skies fluting with

black ravens,

golden sunsets kissed by carnelian and crimson rubies;

perhaps even a rose garden full of black roses

dancing among the white and red?

maybe you just found a girl interrupted,

and decided that you needed to paint her eyes

red as her heart;

you painted me in every shade of melancholy

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

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

i was never the chickadee you claimed i was

but a valkyrie of love and light

full of dreams, whimsy, imagination

whose wings

refused to stop flying even when you broke them;

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

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

abandoned me in the green house of my sorrows—

funny how everyone has an opinion

when sometimes all you need is a listening ear

not unwanted advice,

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

of void you gave me.

 

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

 

Death by Meekha Singh

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

 

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

Invective by Linda Imbler

Behind the scenes

some clusters of stars shimmer.

We reap what we sow.

Front and center stage purposeful.

Gratitude lost in a haze

of classic human maneuvers to bend the will.

The construct of self transparent.

See through these actors.

What creatures they have become.

A de-evolution, madness disguised as moral principle.

Our fathers in their ancient halls weep

for the ragged connection lost.

Our mothers walking through the night

bow their heads, tears falling from urgent eyes

as they wonder where their children went.

Into the dark we tell them.

There is no reason in hate.

There is no reason to hate.

Behind the scenes

some clusters of stars implode.

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

 

 

 

Insignia by Stefanie Bennett

 

The Beloved’s                                                

Passing

Glance

Is all

You need

To know of

A soaring

Radiance…

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

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

Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine

Volume 2; Issue 5; June 2018


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

 

Poet of the Month: Lynn Long

 

Her canvas

 

His words

Together

come to

life in the

silence

heard…

Painted

in loves

true rarity

Alive with

vibrant

clarity

Her canvas

His words

resound

in the

silence

heard…

 

In a dream

In a dream

I see my destiny

A love so real

I wake anew,

but daylight is

my harsh reality

and I struggle

to get through

The morning after

is my only clue..

 

In a parallel universe

In a parallel universe

where day is night,

exists a world of

my own device

Where reality is

never sure, for

the road ahead

is often blurred

And, perception

once perceived,

is now deception

masked in dream

Both worlds must

collide, yet, only

one shall survive

Which one will

I choose, knowing

either way, I

lose…

 

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

Poems by Margarita Serafimova

God-coloured sea,

I was having you,

and not having you.

*

Bodies of birds are shining in your sky,

and winter forests are overflowing.

Air, air and truth.

*

A brown little fish

in the sun.

Your eye in my desire.

*

One is the true place, said the food.

The moment, said the lights and the sounds.

One only, confirmed my great I.

*

The Sea of Dimitris

There it is,

beautifully dark like eternity,

and ever lighter like a coming day.

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

Commitment by Allison Grayhurst

Take the end of the root and

squeeze. Air is not wind or

a wave. Gazing into the darkest of eyes,

needs forgotten in the tale

of becoming something more than shape,

someone more than someone who rocks

in despair or madness.

I held you with my

mind and in my arms, held you broken and stoic

as all dangerous dreams. I was afraid to tell you

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

Eaten by gravity, blurring in potency as it traveled

past the horizon. I saw

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

that scattered leaves and seeds throughout the large acreage yard.

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

I moved through you, across you,

made my home inside of you. Can you see

how much of what was mine depended on yours?

When the yard caught on fire,

the fire seeped into my joints, extending into my aura

and all your seeds around me of brown and green.

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

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

sink or draw the ravenous sharks near and nearer until

they touched – fin against my flesh and then something

sharper.

You love me you say, but it is a love

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

in its perfection but it hurts like withholding, hurts

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

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

dancing. I trust you, but we are not

sharing with ease. I am left aching, in sharp

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

if there is no mercy to be seen.

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

walk the Earth without discovering a trace of your existence.

But is there something new for us?

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

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

and all of my sacred stones. Take me

into your softness or leave me here

on these barren sharp ridges. Between us,

there are no secrets, even my children

are freely yours.

 

 

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


Freedom by Antony King

Tears for the forgotten

The ones that stay behind

Ones that have abandoned

The peace that love provides.

Those who stand on different lines

And rally for their cause…

Leaving hatred in the hearts of some

Causing some.. to rebuild walls.

But is passion for the weak of heart

The quiet timid souls…

Or do we roar like lions

As poetic warrior foes.

For the heart it knows no boundary

Its choice we can’t deny

The bonds that join two heart alike..

Can never be untied.

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

Exchanges by Darrell Herbert

Betrayal comes from those who we least expect

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

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

Please give me what I need

A love that I’ve not received

In exchange for you and me

Exchanges, we’re only humans going through changes

Now we’re just strangers who are the strangest

Laziest, no, the craziest

Rejection comes from those who we want the most

Ignoring phone calls to avoid the toast

We’d do anything for the host

Yet we hate when they go ghost

Please give me what I need

A love that I’ve not received

In exchange for you and me

Please give me what I need

A love that I’ve not received

In exchange for you and me

I want to OD on my DOB

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

Trying too Hard by Steve Klepetar

Rain all day, and orioles spin

from branch to branch in this

sudden cold. October Mountain

shrugs off the last snow.

Pines stand tall among birches.

We have been trying too hard,

washing windows, scrubbing floors.

Our hands have turned red,

our mops worn to ragged threads.

Outside the rain thickens.

It glistens on the long grass.

Past the pond, mountains

disappear behind a scrim of cloud.

Frogs cry as if their voices

would be lost without this mourning din,

these sharp sobs breaking new spring air.

 

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

 

I am… by Meekha Singh

I am the dream that never dreams

I search life’s intricacies inside a dewy petal

A life is a gasp of breath as quick as death

I know and I see and yet I persist

Beneath the muscles of a reflexive living

I seek passion’s evanescent touch

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

I sew my gaping wounds with a needle overused

I breathe a smile onto the air that is free

I am

Wholesome

 

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


 

Veil of the Moon by Ahmad Al-khatat

My heart has many doors for you tonight

Many candles I have for our anniversary

But no more wishes are worth asking for,

When everything is falling apart ‘tween us

I miss listening to the music of my homeland

Where I see myself as lucky or even a loser

I’m a happy being dancing by the flowers

Stepping on the leaves that will hide my grave

I just want to go back and fix the damages

I tried to fold my mistakes from the past

While love letters and roses bloom under the rain

But you ignore my tears and miserable smile

My grandma died before Mother’s Day

She’s away and unseen, unheard, and unsure

If she will understand the reason why is her

Veil is now worn by the moon in the early dawn

Nobody wants to remember me anymore

Nobody cares if I will live for today or not

So many pictures taken and familiar faces,

Unfortunately, those faces are no longer the same

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

Maybe I should let my heart break slowly to

Feel the distance between life and death

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

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

More in Common Than Not by Kelli Gavin

When I admire the rolling hills,

you believe they are only more mountains to climb.

When I am inspired by a new challenge,

you are overwhelmed by the simple aspects of each day.

When your heart becomes heavy and your breathing labored,

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

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

you often retreat and are invigorated by the solace.

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

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

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

If we will ever have more in common than not.

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

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

When my mind wanders and I brainstorm about the future,

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

When your heart becomes heavy and your breath labored,

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

When I find myself enjoying friendships I never thought possible,

you draw your select few closer and avoid anyone new.

When I am filled with uncontainable joy and laugh freely,

you find unrestrained displays of emotion embarrassing.

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

If we will ever have more in common than not.

 

Kelli Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company. She enjoys writing, reading, swimming, and spending time with family and friends. She abhors walks on the beach (sand in places no one wishes sand to be), candle lit dinners, (can’t see) and the idea of cooking two nights in a row (no thank you). Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin. Blog found at kellijgavin@blogspot.com

 

 

To the Cobbler Who Took My Shoes by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

                             

We had an understanding –

that means something to me

the way you put on wire spectacles

to examine my shoes

 

myself, certain of their fatal disrepair,

the way the flaps had come loose

and hung down over the lip like the

dulap of wild moose

 

and your assurances

hot chocolate to warm cracking bones,

that thick industrial glue smell that hung

over everything like distant jungle

canopy

 

that kind of thickness, your wife having bore

nine children with those hips,

and now this sign:

Closed Until Further Notice!

 

the exclamation point only adding

to my worry

and this very simple question:

when will I get my shoes back, good sir?

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

amount of professionalism is expected

 

perhaps my shoes could not be salvaged,

just tell me, I will not embrace such news

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

is nothing else to do.

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

                            

PPP Ezine: Annual Issue; April-May 2018

Poet of the Issue Eliza Segiet

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

Carelessness can be a Censor by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Conflict City by Ana Torres

Life by Ana Torres

Summer Solstice by Joan McNerney

Fall Equinox by Joan McNerney

Chilika by Pitambar Naik

The Kolab by Pitambar Naik

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

Home Fires Burning by Grant Guy

Down to the Last Drop by Scott Thomas Outlar

Slate by Scott Thomas Outlar

Welcome Home by Kelli J Gavin

Smile by Kelli J Gavin

Metallic Air by Heath Brougher

In Krakow by Heath Brougher

The One Who Wields the Sword by Ann Christine Tabaka

Empty Lives by Ann Christine Tabaka

Working by Mysti S. Milwee

The Glare and the White Hare  by Mysti S. Milwee

 

 

 

Poet of the Issue Eliza Segiet

 

 

for professor Piotr Mroz

Agave

 

Life is always a debut.

Like an agave–

only once

does it tempt with its blossoming beauty.

We learn words,

to be able to talk

and to try to understand the world.

We learn about life,

so with dignity

and our heads raised

we can say:

I don’t regret.

 

 

Translated by Artur Komoter


 

Clock

 

Tick tock, tick tock,

tick tock of the clock

for everyone sounds differently.

Measures the past,

the future.

Yet there is no present –

it’s just a moment,

a speck,

that ends something,

or maybe

begins?

 

 

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

 

Drops

 

Stroking a rock

waterfall drops

excite the imagination of the poet,

magic of the light

animates the painter’s hand.

A woman –

the helmsman of fantasy

moors on the canvas stretchers

and filled with words pages.

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

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

 

a man can disappear

by simply moving to a large city

 

that healthy cauliflower ear of living

drained like lakes with rotting artifacts

in them

 

floating temples

to gods with pimples

 

everything garage sale lost

for a pittance

 

and it is only when I am underground

that I think of other’s damnation

 

waiting for the train

behind a long yellow line

watching the rats

 

a man can disappear completely

 

into the greasy spoon jowls

of this hungry concrete

metropolis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carelessness can be a Censor by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

Conflict City by Ana Torres

 

 

New York City;

City of my birth,

your beauty spellbound,

my life has been here.

 

Losing so much

stores have closed down,

where will it end?

what have we left?

 

The opulent town

it’s rents are so high,

some forced to run

most want to hide.

 

Holding my heart

my childhood long gone,

the echoes cry on

it pains me to see.

 

One day towers fell

and stadiums replaced,

the city I’ve known

forever gone.

 

New York dear

skyline endearing,

never the same

my city remains.

 

Lost in its shuffle

not fitting in,

everyone rushed

but I’m falling in.

 

Falling and lost

city take heart,

my love may be here

but I don’t belong.

 

Stronger than I

Broadway I’m here,

through morning mist

dreams that have died.

 

In Times Square I walk

neon lights blink,

memories link

I try not to sink.

 

Raised here I was

New York for years,

to love for so long

but I don’t belong.

 

 

 

 

Life by Ana Torres

 

Out in the world

where life is going on,

life being lived

nothing going wrong.

I could only dream

unable to see

I could only hear,

watch youth go free.

 

Day after day

domestic confine,

a kitchen at war

the sink piled up high.

A full moon outside

revealing itself,

life being lived

I contemplate where.

 

Pampers in soil

cats running loose,

toys scattered there

exhaustion wears thin.

Watching youth flee

departing from me,

In groups I observe

so different today.

 

Frustration within

watching youth play,

with nothing to do

and nothing to hold.

Noisy they are

time to clean up

noisy cats here

dinner is late.

 

 

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

Summer Solstice by Joan McNerney

 

Trees outline the

horizon in green lace.

Beneath boughs float

galaxies of blue bugs.

 

Listen to swish of

branches as cicada

swell and swarm.

Hiding under shadow

beating their wings,

hissing their mating calls.

 

Evening is coming…

the dawn of darkness.

We are suspended now

between light and shade.

 

Clouds rushing over heaven.

Sun drops from sky.

The air is fragrant with

sweet blooming jasmine

as star after star

sets nighttime on fire.

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Equinox by Joan McNerney

 

 

Morning light reveals

silhouettes of branches

against a dove grey sky.

 

Wearing layers of red, orange,

yellow…trees begin dancing,

sashaying in the wind.

 

Now it’s time to pick gardens of

bright vegetables.  Let’s cook

pots of soup, yeasty breads.

 

Children come from school

jumping in piles of foliage

shouting with delight.

 

Countless shades of leaves,

shapes of leaves spreading

over a lingering sunset.

 

Flying carpets of sugar maple

foliage unfurl across our roads

as frost draws closer.

 

Amazing how many stars

fit inside my windowpane

when the moon is new.

 

 

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

 


 

Chilika by Pitambar Naik

 

If you want to pluck

Pluck and take a palm full of mirth

Even more than

That has been caught on your camera till now

Take

The shivering vulnerability of a few sighs of mine.

 

Gather and take away my restive anxieties

Which I’m not able to hide

In the backdrop of the receding sun

After escaping the death from a hunter

I’m that terrified short flight

Then the Nalabana saturated with blood

Wounded and fallen birds there in!

 

Take a glance of my tears of the lost opulence

The trade of care and pain

Worn out and tattered nets

And the helplessness of fisher folk.

 

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

If you can, click and take away

The picture of my suffocating breath

The composition my pain and afflictions.

 

 

(Translated from Chilika by Debendra Kumar Bauri)

 

 

Glossary

Nalabana is the birds’ sanctuary in Chilika

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kolab by Pitambar Naik

 

 

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

Get-together of songs and dances on the other edge

Laced with rhapsodies of ailments and weaknesses of life

The Kolab sings in unison with the kendara of Dom Jani

And the twirling smoke engulfs the sky

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

 

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

And a world intertwined with the tempos of the dhemsa

At the time of siesta were there peacocks

Danced unfurling their green and sepia plumage

When a dam was built on the Kolab

He lost his house, golden crop fields and the livelihood

Like the mayflies do lose their wings

Since then he forgot the plough and embraced the boat

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

 

After he lost his wife and daughter to cholera

Moving a round of a wheel

Was like moving twelve yards ahead

Eventually the Kolab came in between his life and death

One day while fishing

His young son was drowned right in front of him

His stomach doubled his tragedy

Thenceforth, Dom Jani has hugged the Kendara

He keeps harping, not the songs of the Kolab

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

 

 

(Translated from Kolab by Debendra Kumar Bauri)

 

Glossary

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

Dhemsa is the dance of the Paraja tribe of Koraput

 

 

 

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

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


 

Chilika by Debendra Kumar Bauri

 

 

Toli nebata nia

Bandhiurakah tama kemerare

E jain dharirakhi thiba muthae uchhwasha

Thara thara asahayata ku mora

 

Goteinia

Asta surjyara jhalar adhualare

Luchi parunathiba

Akula chhatapata ku mora

 

Muta sei shiuakri guliru

Alpake bartithiba

Chadheira trasta udana

 

Puni tali padithiba

Chadheira raktare pacha pacha kadua

Palate thiba bidirna nalabana

 

Dekha mora hajila aiswarjyara

Talamala luhabundaku

Chhindajala o bhanga dangare

Bhari hoi jaithiba kasta gujurana

Puni sanjare khalihatare pheruthiba

Matsay jibira hatasa pana

 

Mun bhoguchhi karabasa

Daladala maphianka chingudi gherare

Paribata uthaa

Mon rundhi hoijauthiba

niswasara pratichhabiku

Mora kastaku.

 

 

 

 

Kolab by Debendra Kumar Bauri

 

 

Majhare Kolab

Kolaba e pakhare bhoki bhata

Nacha geetara dhum asara

 

Sepakhare roga bairaga

Abhaba jeebanara dhoon

 

Dam Janira kenderare kolab gauchhi geeta

Kundulimari dhuan uthuchhi akasa

Naka bari paruchhi

Gandi podi jauthibara gandha

 

Dine Dam Janira nijara boli ghara thila

Gan thila, dhemsa nachara tale tale chhndayita thila

Tara hasa khusira sansara

Chari ekara jamire sunara phasala

Laudi bhangialabele ta bhitare puchha melei nachuthila

Gote ullasita mayura

Jebe bandha padila Kolabre ghara gala gan gala

Suna phalanti jami gala

Jhadipokara dena pari aklesare chhindipadila ta pari

Kete gan lokara jibika

 

Langalara kanti chhadi hulidangara kata dharila

Kolab panire machha marij jinbara bata khokila

Chake gale barahata pari

Stree gala, jhia gala haijare jeebana o mruthyu majhire

Prati bandhaka hoi thia hela Kolab

 

Dine machha maru maru ta agare

Ta jaban pua padigala Kolabre

Alpa tikie asabadhanatare je

Au uthiparilani jamaru

 

Sei dinathu kendera dharichhi Dam jani

Gai chalichhi jenderare Kolab nuhan

Jala bhandara re thula hoithiba luha kaha kahara

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

than i do for those who love me

 

ask any of them

 

 

 

hitchhiker is anonymous

 

 

 

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

 

in the drone of radio static

in the diners and dives of lost ambition

 

 

 

i hit out to the highway

surfing across the highways of the betweens

 

 like the black angel

 

 

 

this is where people truly live

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Fires Burning by Grant Guy

 

 

One brother awoke around the homeless campfire north of Dauphin

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

They were brothers once brothers of blood

 

The blood has dried up

 

A two decades have passed since the brothers last spoke

And neither regretted the years of silence

 

Mental illness was the axe that tore the brothers apart

Thought the brother who awake by his fireplace

 

Cognac in hand

 

The brother at the fireplace was dying

 

When he was stabbed in La Pas his brother

Did not seek him out  

 

Never went to see him

 

 

The brother who sat around the homeless campfire

Weighed his option

 

Should he be a prick like his brother

 

Sipping on cheap rye couldn’t give a damn

 

He watched as the fire diminish to embers

 

 

 

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

 

 

Down to the Last Drop by Scott Thomas Outlar

 

 

If there were no poem in this pen,

I would never blame the problem

on a lack of ink

or a blunted point

that failed to leave its mark upon the page,

 

but lay the shame instead

squarely upon these shoulders;

and if they break

from the weight

that’d be great

because sometimes

blood and tears

wind up as words.

 

If there were no poem in this pen,

I couldn’t even begin

to describe

just how it feels

when the tank runs dry.

 

 

 

 

 

Slate by Scott Thomas Outlar

 

 

Wipe me clean

without Clorox or bleach

just simple honesty

 

Sanitation is next to salvation

in some circles

 

Sacred vowels

squeak

ooh and ah

before sighing

 

Little spaces in the corner

dusted off

brought to surface

made to shine

 

Lord, help me find

the right words

to tithe

 

All I have

left to offer

are my dreams

 

 

 

 

 

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

Welcome Home by Kelli J Gavin

 

 

You got up to leave

I sat down to show you I would stay

You can’t leave

I am not sure I should stay

 

We have been here before

More times than I care to admit

You pretending

Me perfecting

 

I am not doing this anymore

You can’t make me

You come and you go

I watch you -always in motion

 

It is time

Grow up

Figure it out

Figure you out

 

I won’t be waiting

I won’t sit still

I won’t be welcoming

I won’t, I tell you

 

Welcome Home

Sit down for awhile

I’ve missed you

Let’s try again

 

 

 

 

 

Smile by Kelli J Gavin

 

I love your smile.

No, not your smile.

That moment before you smile.

That moment when your eyes light up.

When your eyes shine.

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

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

That knowing look.

That look of amusement.

That look of recognition of what is yet to come.

Your lip twitches as if preparing to ask me something.

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

When your shoulders relax.

When the corners of your mouth turn upwards.

When you make real eye contact.

When you look at me.

When you look into me.

Into my heart.

Your lips begin to part and you breathe in.

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

You enjoy this.

Me watching you.

I smile because of that moment before your smile

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Metallic Air by Heath Brougher

 

I can taste the metal in the air,

the days of simple nature are over, for now;

 

of course one day Mother will take all this human poison

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

little mutation occurred in her immense history;

 

She’ll wonder how her own children

could so viciously betray her.

 

 

 

In Krakow by Heath Brougher

 

In Krakow, a murder

of white ravens

flap off a building-top

in the late October dusk

and early darkness as two men

hammer at a wall

down on the sidewalk

as car lights flash by on the street.

 

 

 

 

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


 

The One Who Wields the Sword by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

Oh you who came before

walking in the silver door.

Who held the sword for you,

when battles fought were through?

 

You walked on air so high,

the gods opened up the sky

Daybreak before you bowed,

as you stood among the proud.

 

Your winged carriage does await

to fly you past the gilded gate.

From your throat a baleful war cry,

meant to bleed the heavens dry.

 

Now the time draws near.

You again will thrust your spear

into the longing hearts of men,

who follow you to the very end.

 

 


 

Empty Lives by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

 

Hunger

A hunger so deep it devours its host.

eating away at self-worth,

sucking out the spirit,

starving the mind.

A pain so intense that it defies explanation.

The want of food,

goes deeper than just the physical pangs.

It grows into an emotional hunger,

that wraps itself around its prey

strangling the life out of it,

leaving an empty shell.

A hollow aching is all that is left. 

 

 

 

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

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


 

Working by Mysti S. Milwee

 

Drawers open –

sifting through

papers;

Ouch!

Sliced open finger –

paper-cut.

Bleeding thoughts

on wide-ruled

lines.

Static cling hair

and post-it notes

cling on, waiting

for it to organize

itself in the

sticky mess;

File drawers

fly open –

papers fly out.

Oh what a mess!

God bless the 

worker working

under stress.

 

 

 

 

The Glare and the White Hare  by Mysti S. Milwee

 

 

Fire in the cauldron

painted pretty poison

seeps and her cries

weep; mascara runs

down cheeks with a

breath of emotion;

tainted love meets

toxic waves of 

imperfections; see

her glare of a mad 

hatter stare, oh but

do you dare? She

carries a white hare;

aces wild, enter her

mind if you dare 

you may be in for 

a scare.

 

 

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

 

Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine: Annual Issue; April – May 2018

Poet of the Issue Eliza Segiet

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

Carelessness can be a Censor by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Conflict City by Ana Torres

Life by Ana Torres

Summer Solstice by Joan McNerney

Fall Equinox by Joan McNerney

Chilika by Pitambar Naik

The Kolab by Pitambar Naik

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

Home Fires Burning by Grant Guy

Down to the Last Drop by Scott Thomas Outlar

Slate by Scott Thomas Outlar

Welcome Home by Kelli J Gavin

Smile by Kelli J Gavin

Metallic Air by Heath Brougher

In Krakow by Heath Brougher

 

 

 

Poet of the Issue Eliza Segiet

 

 

for professor Piotr Mroz

Agave

 

Life is always a debut.

Like an agave–

only once

does it tempt with its blossoming beauty.

We learn words,

to be able to talk

and to try to understand the world.

We learn about life,

so with dignity

and our heads raised

we can say:

I don’t regret.

 

 

Translated by Artur Komoter


 

Clock

 

Tick tock, tick tock,

tick tock of the clock

for everyone sounds differently.

Measures the past,

the future.

Yet there is no present –

it’s just a moment,

a speck,

that ends something,

or maybe

begins?

 

 

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

 

Drops

 

Stroking a rock

waterfall drops

excite the imagination of the poet,

magic of the light

animates the painter’s hand.

A woman –

the helmsman of fantasy

moors on the canvas stretchers

and filled with words pages.

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

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

 

a man can disappear

by simply moving to a large city

 

that healthy cauliflower ear of living

drained like lakes with rotting artifacts

in them

 

floating temples

to gods with pimples

 

everything garage sale lost

for a pittance

 

and it is only when I am underground

that I think of other’s damnation

 

waiting for the train

behind a long yellow line

watching the rats

 

a man can disappear completely

 

into the greasy spoon jowls

of this hungry concrete

metropolis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carelessness can be a Censor by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

Conflict City by Ana Torres

 

 

New York City;

City of my birth,

your beauty spellbound,

my life has been here.

 

Losing so much

stores have closed down,

where will it end?

what have we left?

 

The opulent town

it’s rents are so high,

some forced to run

most want to hide.

 

Holding my heart

my childhood long gone,

the echoes cry on

it pains me to see.

 

One day towers fell

and stadiums replaced,

the city I’ve known

forever gone.

 

New York dear

skyline endearing,

never the same

my city remains.

 

Lost in its shuffle

not fitting in,

everyone rushed

but I’m falling in.

 

Falling and lost

city take heart,

my love may be here

but I don’t belong.

 

Stronger than I

Broadway I’m here,

through morning mist

dreams that have died.

 

In Times Square I walk

neon lights blink,

memories link

I try not to sink.

 

Raised here I was

New York for years,

to love for so long

but I don’t belong.

 

 

 

 

Life by Ana Torres

 

Out in the world

where life is going on,

life being lived

nothing going wrong.

I could only dream

unable to see

I could only hear,

watch youth go free.

 

Day after day

domestic confine,

a kitchen at war

the sink piled up high.

A full moon outside

revealing itself,

life being lived

I contemplate where.

 

Pampers in soil

cats running loose,

toys scattered there

exhaustion wears thin.

Watching youth flee

departing from me,

In groups I observe

so different today.

 

Frustration within

watching youth play,

with nothing to do

and nothing to hold.

Noisy they are

time to clean up

noisy cats here

dinner is late.

 

 

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

Summer Solstice by Joan McNerney

 

Trees outline the

horizon in green lace.

Beneath boughs float

galaxies of blue bugs.

 

Listen to swish of

branches as cicada

swell and swarm.

Hiding under shadow

beating their wings,

hissing their mating calls.

 

Evening is coming…

the dawn of darkness.

We are suspended now

between light and shade.

 

Clouds rushing over heaven.

Sun drops from sky.

The air is fragrant with

sweet blooming jasmine

as star after star

sets nighttime on fire.

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Equinox by Joan McNerney

 

 

Morning light reveals

silhouettes of branches

against a dove grey sky.

 

Wearing layers of red, orange,

yellow…trees begin dancing,

sashaying in the wind.

 

Now it’s time to pick gardens of

bright vegetables.  Let’s cook

pots of soup, yeasty breads.

 

Children come from school

jumping in piles of foliage

shouting with delight.

 

Countless shades of leaves,

shapes of leaves spreading

over a lingering sunset.

 

Flying carpets of sugar maple

foliage unfurl across our roads

as frost draws closer.

 

Amazing how many stars

fit inside my windowpane

when the moon is new.

 

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

 


 

Chilika by Pitambar Naik

 

If you want to pluck

Pluck and take a palm full of mirth

Even more than

That has been caught on your camera till now

Take

The shivering vulnerability of a few sighs of mine.

 

Gather and take away my restive anxieties

Which I’m not able to hide

In the backdrop of the receding sun

After escaping the death from a hunter

I’m that terrified short flight

Then the Nalabana saturated with blood

Wounded and fallen birds there in!

 

Take a glance of my tears of the lost opulence

The trade of care and pain

Worn out and tattered nets

And the helplessness of fisher folk.

 

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

If you can, click and take away

The picture of my suffocating breath

The composition my pain and afflictions.

 

 

(Translated from Chilika by Debendra Kumar Bauri)

 

 

Glossary

Nalabana is the birds’ sanctuary in Chilika

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kolab by Pitambar Naik

 

 

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

Get-together of songs and dances on the other edge

Laced with rhapsodies of ailments and weaknesses of life

The Kolab sings in unison with the kendara of Dom Jani

And the twirling smoke engulfs the sky

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

 

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

And a world intertwined with the tempos of the dhemsa

At the time of siesta were there peacocks

Danced unfurling their green and sepia plumage

When a dam was built on the Kolab

He lost his house, golden crop fields and the livelihood

Like the mayflies do lose their wings

Since then he forgot the plough and embraced the boat

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

 

After he lost his wife and daughter to cholera

Moving a round of a wheel

Was like moving twelve yards ahead

Eventually the Kolab came in between his life and death

One day while fishing

His young son was drowned right in front of him

His stomach doubled his tragedy

Thenceforth, Dom Jani has hugged the Kendara

He keeps harping, not the songs of the Kolab

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

 

 

(Translated from Kolab by Debendra Kumar Bauri)

 

Glossary

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

Dhemsa is the dance of the Paraja tribe of Koraput

 

 

 

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

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


 

Chilika by Debendra Kumar Bauri

 

 

Toli nebata nia

Bandhiurakah tama kemerare

E jain dharirakhi thiba muthae uchhwasha

Thara thara asahayata ku mora

 

Goteinia

Asta surjyara jhalar adhualare

Luchi parunathiba

Akula chhatapata ku mora

 

Muta sei shiuakri guliru

Alpake bartithiba

Chadheira trasta udana

 

Puni tali padithiba

Chadheira raktare pacha pacha kadua

Palate thiba bidirna nalabana

 

Dekha mora hajila aiswarjyara

Talamala luhabundaku

Chhindajala o bhanga dangare

Bhari hoi jaithiba kasta gujurana

Puni sanjare khalihatare pheruthiba

Matsay jibira hatasa pana

 

Mun bhoguchhi karabasa

Daladala maphianka chingudi gherare

Paribata uthaa

Mon rundhi hoijauthiba

niswasara pratichhabiku

Mora kastaku.

 

 

 

 

Kolab by Debendra Kumar Bauri

 

 

Majhare Kolab

Kolaba e pakhare bhoki bhata

Nacha geetara dhum asara

 

Sepakhare roga bairaga

Abhaba jeebanara dhoon

 

Dam Janira kenderare kolab gauchhi geeta

Kundulimari dhuan uthuchhi akasa

Naka bari paruchhi

Gandi podi jauthibara gandha

 

Dine Dam Janira nijara boli ghara thila

Gan thila, dhemsa nachara tale tale chhndayita thila

Tara hasa khusira sansara

Chari ekara jamire sunara phasala

Laudi bhangialabele ta bhitare puchha melei nachuthila

Gote ullasita mayura

Jebe bandha padila Kolabre ghara gala gan gala

Suna phalanti jami gala

Jhadipokara dena pari aklesare chhindipadila ta pari

Kete gan lokara jibika

 

Langalara kanti chhadi hulidangara kata dharila

Kolab panire machha marij jinbara bata khokila

Chake gale barahata pari

Stree gala, jhia gala haijare jeebana o mruthyu majhire

Prati bandhaka hoi thia hela Kolab

 

Dine machha maru maru ta agare

Ta jaban pua padigala Kolabre

Alpa tikie asabadhanatare je

Au uthiparilani jamaru

 

Sei dinathu kendera dharichhi Dam jani

Gai chalichhi jenderare Kolab nuhan

Jala bhandara re thula hoithiba luha kaha kahara

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

than i do for those who love me

 

ask any of them

 

 

 

hitchhiker is anonymous

 

 

 

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

 

in the drone of radio static

in the diners and dives of lost ambition

 

 

 

i hit out to the highway

surfing across the highways of the betweens

 

like the black angel

 

 

 

this is where people truly live

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Fires Burning by Grant Guy

 

 

One brother awoke around the homeless campfire north of Dauphin

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

They were brothers once brothers of blood

 

The blood has dried up

 

A two decades have passed since the brothers last spoke

And neither regretted the years of silence

 

Mental illness was the axe that tore the brothers apart

Thought the brother who awake by his fireplace

 

Cognac in hand

 

The brother at the fireplace was dying

 

When he was stabbed in La Pas his brother

Did not seek him out

 

Never went to see him

 

 

The brother who sat around the homeless campfire

Weighed his option

 

Should he be a prick like his brother

 

Sipping on cheap rye couldn’t give a damn

 

He watched as the fire diminish to embers

 

 

 

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

 

 

Down to the Last Drop by Scott Thomas Outlar

 

 

If there were no poem in this pen,

I would never blame the problem

on a lack of ink

or a blunted point

that failed to leave its mark upon the page,

 

but lay the shame instead

squarely upon these shoulders;

and if they break

from the weight

that’d be great

because sometimes

blood and tears

wind up as words.

 

If there were no poem in this pen,

I couldn’t even begin

to describe

just how it feels

when the tank runs dry.

 

 

 

 

 

Slate by Scott Thomas Outlar

 

 

Wipe me clean

without Clorox or bleach

just simple honesty

 

Sanitation is next to salvation

in some circles

 

Sacred vowels

squeak

ooh and ah

before sighing

 

Little spaces in the corner

dusted off

brought to surface

made to shine

 

Lord, help me find

the right words

to tithe

 

All I have

left to offer

are my dreams

 

 

 

 

 

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

Welcome Home by Kelli J Gavin

 

 

You got up to leave

I sat down to show you I would stay

You can’t leave

I am not sure I should stay

 

We have been here before

More times than I care to admit

You pretending

Me perfecting

 

I am not doing this anymore

You can’t make me

You come and you go

I watch you -always in motion

 

It is time

Grow up

Figure it out

Figure you out

 

I won’t be waiting

I won’t sit still

I won’t be welcoming

I won’t, I tell you

 

Welcome Home

Sit down for awhile

I’ve missed you

Let’s try again

 

 

 

 

 

Smile by Kelli J Gavin

 

I love your smile.

No, not your smile.

That moment before you smile.

That moment when your eyes light up.

When your eyes shine.

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

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

That knowing look.

That look of amusement.

That look of recognition of what is yet to come.

Your lip twitches as if preparing to ask me something.

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

When your shoulders relax.

When the corners of your mouth turn upwards.

When you make real eye contact.

When you look at me.

When you look into me.

Into my heart.

Your lips begin to part and you breathe in.

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

You enjoy this.

Me watching you.

I smile because of that moment before your smile

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Metallic Air by Heath Brougher

 

I can taste the metal in the air,

the days of simple nature are over, for now;

 

of course one day Mother will take all this human poison

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

little mutation occurred in her immense history;

 

She’ll wonder how her own children

could so viciously betray her.

 

 

 

In Krakow by Heath Brougher

 

In Krakow, a murder

of white ravens

flap off a building-top

in the late October dusk

and early darkness as two men

hammer at a wall

down on the sidewalk

as car lights flash by on the street.

 

 

 

 

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


 

The One Who Wields the Sword by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

Oh you who came before

walking in the silver door.

Who held the sword for you,

when battles fought were through?

 

You walked on air so high,

the gods opened up the sky

Daybreak before you bowed,

as you stood among the proud.

 

Your winged carriage does await

to fly you past the gilded gate.

From your throat a baleful war cry,

meant to bleed the heavens dry.

 

Now the time draws near.

You again will thrust your spear

into the longing hearts of men,

who follow you to the very end.

 

 


 

Empty Lives by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

 

Hunger

A hunger so deep it devours its host.

eating away at self-worth,

sucking out the spirit,

starving the mind.

A pain so intense that it defies explanation.

The want of food,

goes deeper than just the physical pangs.

It grows into an emotional hunger,

that wraps itself around its prey

strangling the life out of it,

leaving an empty shell.

A hollow aching is all that is left.

 

 

 

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

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


 

Working by Mysti S. Milwee

 

Drawers open –

sifting through

papers;

Ouch!

Sliced open finger –

paper-cut.

Bleeding thoughts

on wide-ruled

lines.

Static cling hair

and post-it notes

cling on, waiting

for it to organize

itself in the

sticky mess;

File drawers

fly open –

papers fly out.

Oh what a mess!

God bless the

worker working

under stress.

 

 

 

 

The Glare and the White Hare  by Mysti S. Milwee

 

 

Fire in the cauldron

painted pretty poison

seeps and her cries

weep; mascara runs

down cheeks with a

breath of emotion;

tainted love meets

toxic waves of

imperfections; see

her glare of a mad

hatter stare, oh but

do you dare? She

carries a white hare;

aces wild, enter her

mind if you dare

you may be in for

a scare.

 

 

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

 

PPP Ezine; Volume 2, Issue 3, March 2018

Titanic by Author Renee’ Drummond-Brown

 

Tired is as tired does. She floats on

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

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

of a dark history’s past

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

not built to last. Duracell, ALKALINE and Energizer

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

 

 

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

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

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

But why?

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

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

swim like she

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

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

but in no way can withstand alone without THE marine!

 

 

Walking by faith

gets momma utterly exhausted for which she terminates

the struggle for them quote-un-quote

un-grates.

Forevermore, can she no longer float on

sureSEEs and/or SEEshores; whichever!

 

 

BUT

when them momma’s give up; WATCH IT NOW

EVERYONE DROWNS

and i mean everyone; FOR “SHORE!”

“Their” life jackets will forever work

no-more.

 

 

Sending out an’ SOS

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

Nothin’ like a shipwreck

that gets tossed

AND

turns.

 

Dedicated to: The heart of the ocean!

 

A B.A.D. RocDeeRay poem

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

No, I will not buy you an aardvark.

You are not Noah, and there are monetary constraints.

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

I haven’t screamed in decades.

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

Conformity is simple as waiting on steeping tea.

Removing the bag, we all have our rituals.

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

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

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

I left abundance with the bill seven rentals ago.

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

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

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

 

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

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

To Nirvana or Tallahassee.

Who can tell one from the other?

 

 

 

 

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

Love is our master by Allison Grayhurst

 

The tone resonated the red heat

of a sea of lava burning away the dead cells,

activating a living substance. We held

hands, walking in the deserted late-December streets.

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

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

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

and always home.

 

Your pockets are full of roots, ones

you chopped from the ground, left there with no tree

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

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

give them the attention of your brilliant mind, hurting

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

the twilight of an open summoning space or when locked

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

over the tender inner thigh, mouths

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

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

a field is before us.

 

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

Animals peer out from behind the curtain of high trees

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

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

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

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

we have been devoured and we dissolve –

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

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

 

 

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

 

Exploring silence by Reena Prasad

 

The sound stills itself at times

waiting for cleverer ones to have their say

In that brief interlude, I search

for a reverberation of my thoughts

in this orb of acoustic mazes

Drop a silent sigh here

It rebounds back the next moment

its echoes lingering, feeling, exploring the twilight zones

hanging like bats in unseen crooks

to come flying back

and swat me into stillness

 

In the dissonance of lively voices

talking themselves hoarse to keep out milder ones,

the rustles, the sighs, the whispers, the hums

make me marvel at their innate softness

but my silence

kept out of the picture for too long

envies these mellow beauties

and longs to make itself heard too

It thunders, it yells, it roars, it wails

There is no respite ever.

 

 

 

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

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

 

A  Lonely Tree

 

Autumn leaves

A calligraphy in ochre

On a blanket of sighs :

A sea of sibilance .

 

The wind whipped tree

Holding a single leaf

The next gust signs it off ,

Like the trace of a dream.

 

The shadow of the tree

Rests in the backyard-

Loneliness- bleak and nameless,

Fear howls in the silent house.

 

 

A Longing, Sharp as Knife

 

I walk through the rooms

Nothing is lost, not even the sounds.

I rummage through the many cupboards

Where dream and memory live together.

 

As I open the door, another dream sprouts

An old, gentle but sad face

That still waits for a fistful of light

Through the darkened road .

 

The dream stops at the edge of a thought-

A paradigm for a few question marks.

Realizing that I am encroaching

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

 

Slowly the house turns into an allegory of words

Without a future, without a past

syllables, and not a trace of you.

I wish the ghosts could sleep forever in peace.

 

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

 

Rhapsodies of the East by Pitambar Naik

 

 

I enameled those whom I love

With the green pride

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

 

Dreams which needed to be freed

I let them fly as birds in the deep blue sky

I let them sing the song of liberty.

 

Along the bank of my fickle mind

I let blossom a lot many divine lotuses

To carve the eternal pride

The words which appealed me

I let them be enlivened with the life of my life

To hear the rhapsodies

Of the new stanzas of the east.

 


 

Translated from Purbaraga by Debendra Kumar Bauri

 

 

Mora antahina bhalapaiba mananku

pingheideli patrapari kanluthiba

gachhara sabuja spardhaku

 

Mukti loduthiba swapnamanku

Chadheikari udeideli

Nila akashare

Purnaswadhinatara geeta gaibaku

 

Mora chapalakhialara kule kule

Mun phuteideli

Aneka brahma kamala

Nashwara pkhudare

Rachibaku shashwata garimaku

 

Mote jeevana maguthiba shabdamanku

Mun pranaru prana deli

Sunibaku nuaeka panktire

Kabitara purbaraga

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Poem #5 by Grant Guy

 

He flipped hamburgers

He flipped her heart

She worked the counter

At the A&W in Transcona

 

That was enough of a common ground

To base their 35 year marriage on

 

Their three children

And their eight grandchildren

All worked at the A&W in Transcona

 

For three generations they were the Burger Family

 

They called their marriage a success

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Chickens Hatching by Scott Thomas Outlar

 

Even when there remains

nothing left to say,

our silence can prove to be

the weapon of gold

that helps to save

lost souls in the end.

 

There is no war

righteous enough

to convince me

to flick my tongue

in anger

or pick up a sword

in disgust

this time.

 

All of my dragons

lay out slain

behind me

on the path;

their bones buried

beneath the ash.

 

We breathe this sacrament

of sacred fire

into our lungs

together as One;

 

and now only

parasitic mosquitos

remain

to be slaughtered

until we have recovered

all of the blood

from generations

they’ve tried

their damnedest

to taint.

 

 

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

Regrets Nothing by Kelli J Gavin

 

The moments I have lived

The times I have treasured

The words left unspoken

The conversations I have entered

 

I Regret Nothing

 

Nurturing

Growing

Molding

Perfecting

Each instance serving a purpose

 

I Regret Nothing

 

The heartache that breaks me

The joy that rebuilds me

The children that fulfil me

The husband that completes me

 

I Regret Nothing

 

The days I have conquered

The illness that consumed me

The lessons learned over

the excessive passage of time

The light bulb moments now gone dim

 

I Regret Nothing

 

A life well lived

Not a moment wasted

Each day grasped

and fully experienced

The nights that restore and quench

and motivate

 

Because

 

I Regret Nothing

 

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

 

 

Remolded by Heath Brougher

 

The reflex

of the reverberation

reflected and refracted

down the rectangular roads

ravaging a reality recently revived

and repaired and repaved

counterbalanced concrete

in real time.

Reassured no one was relinquished from the realm

of reamed recognition.

Everyone regarded

the ravage of the repulsive ravines

now reigning and running randomly

throughout the rent ruins we pretended not to see.

 

 

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

Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 2; Issue 2; February 2018

Preface

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

To you, my friends. 

 

 

Preface

Poet of the Month: Michael Griffith

Spirit in the Album by Ken Allan Dronsfield

Reasons by Edianna Reyes Ovalle

Spring Equinox by Joan McNerney

Two Parts by Darrell Herbert

orders and wounds by linda m. crate

Desiderata by Sergio A. Ortiz

Ma`s Maize Meal by Ndaba Sibanda

Everyday by Eliza Segiet

The Ticking of Winter’s Clock by Linda Imbler

Layers of Winter by Mysti S. Milwee

The Hole by Ann Christine Tabaka

Memos by Daginne Aignend

Serenade: A Moment by Glory Sasikala

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Michael Griffith

 

Her Savior

 

She savored a savior as she tried to repent.

Spent time on her knees, spent time in retreat.

Entreatments for forgiveness, entreatments for relief.

Belief sometimes came hard, belief and faith would flee.

Bleed upon the cross, breed sorrow and sin.

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

she savored her savior, but she could never atone.

 

 

Glass Woman’s House

 

The glass woman,

seen whole only in reflections of others,

 

there in her glass house of shrinking windows

and growing shoulds,

a stone’s throw away from being revealed.

 

Shines in her sorrows,

shimmers in her fears,

shakes in her solitude.

 

Throw that stone, boy,

hurl the brick,

but aim away from the glass woman.

 

Hit her sorrows and fears,

strike the solitude and break those panes of should;

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

 

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

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

 


 

Twilight Cowboy

 

His sad, hoarse opera remains

long after he leaves the stage.

He doesn’t even know

what to cry about anymore,

 

but still he cries.

 

The plains his home,

his rope and rifle his two best friends,

history and change his two worst enemies.

He’s running out of places to be,

 

but still he rides.

 

The things he could fight

are now long gone;

the things he could love are dying off, too.

The things he could keep no longer exist,

 

but still he tries.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Spirit in the Album by Ken Allan Dronsfield

 

 

Like spider silk woven into human form.

grasping at air as it moves and beckons.

glides around the metal of an old light pole.

Head turning and seeming to look at me.

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

how annoyed would you be at the traffic?

Would you enjoy computers or cellphones,

or perhaps find them an abomination?

Smiles shining like noon if you returned;

our eyes would twinkle like a winter star

excitement would make the heart flutter;

but you’re only a crispy voice of whispers

indifferent to feeling, or even to breathing

whether lost kindred fallen in a great war

ghost of the battlement, forever on guard

or kept alive by the memories and pictures

there in the album, on grandmother’s shelf.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons by Edianna Reyes Ovalle

 

So many reasons to love me

So many reasons to hate me

So many reasons to hate them

So many reasons to love him

I have so many reasons, I collect them

Every season, every year, every decade

I collect, collect them

I regret, no regrets, I haven’t forgotten

In my head, they take up space

Right there in that space with every situation I face

In my memory, these reasons are kept inactive

In my solitude, these reasons are enlightening

They make me feel satanic

My reasons, my reasons

This is not a thought all of a sudden

My reasons are my logic

My reasons have been kept inactive

For my reasons aren’t always pleasant in action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Spring Equinox by Joan McNerney

 

This is when we search for

color to transform cold grey.

Rainfall begins its magic

high lighting sky blue.

 

We see stacks of luminous clouds

as plants pop out emerald buds

and forsythia busts open with

sparkling yellow stalks.

 

Trees dressed up in chic green

boogie through noon breezes.

 

Aromatic lilac bushes cluster

in soft bunches. Just today a

breath of warmth brought alive

pink crepe myrtle branches.

 

 

 

 

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

 

Two Parts by Darrell Herbert

Coming to terms with insignificance

Trying times, more or less, dying times

 

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

Drunk off of love, hate ignited

You’re not satisfied, I’m not excited

Should I leave or should I go?

Or, should I try to connect with your soul?

Why am I so unable?

A psychotic who’s mentally unstable

But, they hate my decreasing health

Or, maybe I just need help

Turn me on, turn me out

Turning the gun on myself.

 

 

 

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

orders and wounds by linda m. crate

 

you still haunt me

in nightmares

 

kindness now

doesn’t erase or diminish

 

the unkindness

i received as a child

 

needed a father to love me

gave me a bully that cursed my name

 

belittled and wounded me

just because you could

 

insisted father knew best,

but i don’t think you did;

 

cried once when my mother

wouldn’t let you punish me

 

only taught me my value was in my

beauty

 

neglected to give me anything

other than orders and wounds

 

my only shelters and comforts

were books and nature

 

the soft needled pines embraced me

in comfort i never found in your arms.

 

 

 

 

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

Desiderata by Sergio A. Ortiz

 

 

There are days

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

find you lost and I know

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

in whispers. It’s your way

of asserting the strands

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

around my campfire.

Don’t let it blind you. Virtues

abound in everyday heroes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Ma`s Maize Meal by Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

She brought in

 

with her  a silver pot

 

into which she discharged

 

water before assigning the vessel

 

to sit silently  on the warming  plate

 

 

 

When the silver pot was steaming

 

the water inside it was screaming

 

emotive gurgles  that got her

 

toting guarded quantities   

 

of mealie-meal and stirring

 

 

 

She left the porridge to simmer

 

and thicken for some time–

 

the aroma emanating

 

from the bubbling

 

was mouth-watering.

 

 

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

 

 

Every day by Eliza Segiet

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

When

you leave everyday life far behind,

so you can wait out the bad times here,

comes alive in you

the memory:

of the cloudy sky

and beautiful moments of forgetfulness.

 

Although memories and plans

cross with each other –

you know

that nothing will be like

it was yesterday.

 

Always repeat:

it was good that I was here.

 

Tomorrow, it may surprise you.

 

 

 

 

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

The Ticking of Winter’s Clock by Linda Imbler

 

 

My mother died in winter.

My mother far away.

 

Spring was to rise in only a few weeks.

 

It was the fourth of March.

Brown grass and leafless trees

were in endless array outside.

 

I could hear

the ticking of the clock

 

as I waited

for the phone to ring.

 

I have my father,

I told myself.

 

My father died in winter.

My father far away.

 

It was the seventh of March

and again, the green was still to come.

 

And again,

I could hear

the ticking of the clock

 

as I waited

for the phone to ring.

 

Then, I was alone.

 

 

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

Layers of Winter by Mysti S. Milwee

 

The bitter cold leaves me bundled

up in layers; two pairs of thick

wool socks that make me itch –

cuddle duds that cling trapping

in the heat to stay warm;

Ski pants that snap but all I want

is a long winter’s nap and roasting

marshmallows by an open fire;

Smoke signals cling to the air and

drift within my every breath that

I expel from my lungs and with

every breath I take a breath of

dry air shadows the moisture –

and every tear that leaks from the

corner of my eye will freeze an

emotion of freedom longing

for springtime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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


The Hole by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

A hole

there is a hole

there is a hole

            in everyone

 

it cannot be filled

with wealth

with things

with busyness

 

those who say      –      NO

deny themselves

deny the truth             there is no truth

 

the hole only   g r o w s

wider

            deeper

                        darker

 

until we find

what we have lost

truth

hope

love

 

love fills the hole

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God-coloured sea,

I was having you,

and not having you.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memos by Daginne Aignend

 

I have too many thoughts in my head

No wonder that some of them slip away

It happens oft that I was about to do

or about to say something, and

suddenly another thought enters my mind.

Don’t even recall what I wanted

in the first place

These days, I have to put notes everywhere

to remember what is really important

I think, my thoughts are an ongoing

stream overflowing my brain basin

Need some more structure in my head,

starting tomorrow

I better hang a memo on the fridge,

so I won’t forget

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Serenade: A Moment by Glory Sasikala

 

 

He wove dreams with and around me

 

I will take you to the river

and make you a raft

You can lie there and float

with the current.

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

We will watch the blue moon together

and hear the owl hoot.

I will send you love letters on lotus leaves

down the river.

I will weave you flower garlands made of buttercups.

There are open spaces in the forest

where the bamboo bloomed and died

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

I will show you how the cheetah’s eyes

shine in the dark jungle

I will show you how to make baskets

out of palm leaves

And I will make love to you

among the flowers in the hillside

where the birds sing.

 

 

 

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

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 2; Issue 1; January 2018

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

The Swing by Renee’ Drummond-Brown

In My Memories by Nandini Srivastava

Refugees by James G. Piatt

The Fractal Maze by Sudip Adhikari

Sonnet VI : Sonnets by Aminul Islam

You Must Have Heard Me by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Five AM by Jake Cosmos Aller

Dry Tears by Daginne Aignend

I am in a Print by Hiroshige by John Grey

About the Poets

 

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

I hear A Nearness   

 

I listen

I listen to the silence of her storms

I listen to its close remoteness

 

I listen

I listen to the loudness of her whispers

I listen to its near aloofness

 

I listen

I hear a heart heaving for some healing

However I hear without a hearing aid

 

I listen

I hear a song sung in silences and storms

However its remoteness is near and dear

 

 

 

 

 


 

New Phenomena 

 

 

Official for what? The only happiness I seem to get from your ministry

Is an outburst of laughter. Some people watching us are unhappy!

 

They say either that ministry should be called psychiatry

Or a nullity.  I know you are saying less stress to our uncles,

 

Our dear sisters, our cousins.  Who says poverty

Or indeed stupidity runs deep in our lineage?

 

Happy we are in Africa! In our state…

Happiness has finally been invented!

 

Who said we cannot be the first?

Our taxpayers cannot be sad!!

 

 

On Bumping Into Her 

 

She told me about it. The story of guests

who rent cars or a bunch of bunk beds.

 

I didn’t know what a backpacker hotel

was. She told me she was a backpacker.

 

No wonder she had her little supplies,

her personal belongings. Her things.

 

At one time I know she stuttered:

I didn’t catch some words she uttered.

 

Did she belong to who? I didn’t get it?

Did she talk of her things or her thighs?

 

 

Then there was a lesson on travelling,

travelling on budgeted accommodation.

 

On a backpack being smaller

than a rucksack, on getting  a pack.

 

I said ok: sackpack ,backsack,

or knapsack or whatever. Bye!

 

 

 

 

That is Where My Umbilical Cord Is

 

Today you stand tall in defiance of all the challenges

Right in the southern ­western part of the country

 

Just like in the year 1893 when a Union Flag was raised

As the huts of King Lobengula’s capital were up in flames

 

Did Dr Leander Starr Jameson not congratulate himself

For scoring a British South Africa Company`s victory?

 

In the first place why did King Lobengula say: “I’m he who is”

“Persecuted and rejected” if his ascension had been bloodless?

These days some young folk affectionately call you Skies

I prefer to call you Ntuthuziyathunqa or Ntuthu in short

 

A nickname which speaks volumes

About you being an industrial hub

 

Or so you used to be a habitation

Where industrial smoke abounded

 

Bulawayo my majestic city

Bulawayo what a stunning city

 

Bulawayo rich in cultural history

Were you not the commercial capital?

 

A great gateway to Southern Africa?

Were you not our transport nucleus?

 

For you provided rail links between

Botswana and South Africa and Zambia

 

They can do or say whatever they want

But Bulawayo you are my umbilical cord

 

You are my pride and in my heart forever

Bulawayo City of Kings and Queens

 

Located within the vicinity of the Matobo Hills

And the Victoria Falls and the Hwange National Park

 

The Swing by Renee’ Drummond-Brown

 

His mansion has

oak stairs. A southern

flare. The ghost of my past also

resides here.

 

The sounds of torture echoes like

plantation shutters swinging em’

to N’ fro.

As I polish his silverware. The floors

crack. The walls

speak; who lives here? Certainly

not me!

 

THAT dirt driveway houses

my DNA. The open door is locked. I enter

from the back to cook

his menus plus

add me some fat-back. My minds

on that auction block. Those slave ships. Moses

parting THAT Red Sea for me. Gotta’ get back

to work; cause, I don’t wanna’ swing. No!

Not on this day.  No! Not me. All

my clean windows see

“THAT”

infamous SHOW tree. Reminding us

O’

that swings plea. To make sure

you hang-em’ on high for

Massa’s sake and the picture-perfect imagery. I’m jus’

a passer by; til’ my turn to swing. Until then,

I’ll jus’ keep on telling; while keeping it clean.

 

 

Dedicated to: Self Preservation is the law of the land

 

A B.A.D. poem

 

 

In My Memories by Nandini Srivastava

 

Shall I tuck you or let you fly in the wind?

Fly like an insane kite

Shall I stop you or let you swim in the river?

Swim like a naughty shellfish

Shall I find you or let you be in my memories?

To be like an unforgettable dream in my life.

 

 

Refugees by James G. Piatt

 

 

Shattered bits of terror like rusted razor edged tears, pierce hope in the minds of war weary souls, knives of fear splinter hope, leaving only an aching grayness: Weary women with covered heads, tired old men with shaggy beards, sobbing children hungry and afraid, all trudging through rocks and burning sand hoping to escape from chaos and death to a safe refuge in a foreign land. The cold seeps through tents and bones, but they still pray during special hours each day, hoping for an answer in the icy winds of the dark night, while obscure politicians form committees to decide, which poor souls will be sent back to their war torn nations to die. Where is mercy?

 

The Fractal Maze by Sudip Adhikari

 

 

The splattered fuzz converges

like a chiaroscuro, to tell the stories

of becoming and noise.

I am lost in a fractal maze,

but I don’t regret.

 

We think we are too small

to be the infinity, too frail to dwell

in the folds of a dreamscape.

we think we are the limited hues

of color, caught within the

perimeter of a white canvass.

 

I keep zooming into myself

and all I can find is me.

I am everywhere. I am the only one

I am the God, whom no religion teaches.

Sonnet VI : Sonnets by Aminul Islam

 

The sonneteer pens sonnets immaculate

Readers go astounded at his calibre :

Engrossing rhyming scheme,dulcet metre

No prominence find we there inexistent

Critical acclamations formidably flood in

He wins awards national and international

Students around the globe study his sonnets

Many are also doing research on his work

His sonnets have sheerly been a trademark

Since they’re incontrovertibly pure sonnets

Many poets become his followers assiduous

They also earn renown sonneting like him

 

Thousands of people are still famished

No sonnet could even once them feast!

You Must Have Heard Me by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

skiing the alpine victory

vociferous as a pack of wildebeest

throwing magazines in the air

because the unchecked throne of gravity should

not go unchallenged

my hair parted down the middle

like a true centrist, flakes of dandruff

to announced an unplanned winter

lipstick scrawls over the bathroom mirror

as the throat of my voice belts out

the last dry dregs of Top 40 radio

the hair of my naked legs so numerous

with age that gurus working in teams

could not find me, but you must have heard me

just down the hall, schooling Wagner in spilt pantomime

another horse meat racket busted in the South of Spain

I wonder how many vegetarians are moonlighting

for Interpol, selling bottles of avocado shellac

to foodies with nails under the table

as I sit cross-legged on the floor

cooling down like a bowl of soup,

a spent fire extinguisher in my hands

so that I know the gulag Fascists

have won.

 

 

 

Five AM by Jake Cosmos Aller

 

In the midst

Of a dismal night

When all about me seem

Somehow affright

 

When my multitude of friends

Have fled into the ever deepening

Righteous night

 

Leaving me alone

To face the shitty sun

 

To race for the phone

And have some fun

 

Alas I have constipated diarrhea blues

The sky is puke green

 

My wallet has lost its last green

I have seen a dawning of the blues

 

I sing to express

My feelings

So somber and depressed

 

Some day

My world will exist

For now

All that is

Or seemed to be

Is merely a stoned dream

Of burning licorice trees

 

 

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

 

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.


 

About the Poets

 

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.

 

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

Nandini Srivastava is 20 and was born and raised in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh in India. She studies her Pharmacy and Computer Science in her home town and is an avid reader of English Literature. Her works have appeared in Tuck Magazine. Poetry is next to her heart to express the deeper feelings and poignant chronicle of life. Her frolicking mind longs to hang out with North Indian chat and pani poori. She is an emerging poet and short fiction writer and can be contacted at nandinisrivastava1997@gmail.com.

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. His fourth collection of poetry will be released this year.

 

Sudeep Adhikari is a structural engineer/Lecturer  from Kathmandu, Nepal.   His poetry has 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.

Aminool Islam is a bilingual poet who weaves poetry in Bengali, his mother tongue, and English. He also weaves English sonnets. He did his M.A in English literature from National University,Bangladesh. He’s currently the sub-editor at a literary magazine named Neeharika.

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, Setu, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

Jake Cosmos Aller has completed 10 volumes of poetry, three SF novels, and an unpublished collection of short stories.  After retirement he began submitting to various publishers and contests, and has been published in many literary magazines and online poetry sites such as “Poetry Soup”, “All Poetry”, “Moon Café”, “Duane’s Poetree”, “Eskimo Pie Net”, “Creativity Webzine”, “Writer’s Newsletter”, “Down in the Dirt”, and Facebook poetry sites.

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. Daginne posted some of her poems on her Facebook page and on her fun project website http://www.daginne.com, she’s also 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’.

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.

Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 1; Issue 7; December 2017

Poet of the Month: Wayne Russell
Me, Myself, and Solitaire by Christine Tabaka
Shangrila by Daniel de Culla
His Soul was Operated on in1998 by Grant Guy
Onika by Gary Ingram
Impersonations by Chad M. Horn
A Time of Night by Steve Klepetar
Flight by Dev Dutt
Waiting Time by Marc Carver
About the Poets


Poet of the Month: Wayne Russell

Still Life

I reached out across the miles, flesh, and blood stretching.
I cried out from the mountain tops and moonlit shorelines.
You abandon me, never once looking back, to say farewell.
Still life in my eyes, it comes out in twinkles and brief flashes.
Still, life in the bottom of my neurotic soul, though it never feels
that way.

 

Age is a Beast

The sparkle in my eyes may have dimmed with the cruel passing of time.
Yes, the flesh of my body now creaks, knees and hips moan, as I struggle
up the stairs; in Winter the scream loudest.

I have my daemons, we all have them, I like the pint a bit too much, and
for that, the weight seems to stick around, like a lover that won’t leave after
the act is done and the words hover over our heads like apparitions.

To age is the thorny crown of cruelty, thrust down upon our imperfect souls,
flesh and blood weeping, fragmented in uncleansed streets and moaning; howling
at the spontaneous stars, stars that gallop across virgin skies, luminous!

Age is a beast, slow hands of time are the enemy, we all march along this
dusty path of our mission; merely actors that enter and exit right on cue,
when the time is right, we take our bow, thank you and good night.

the loner

the eccentric loner stalks these streets
back at what he knows best
scrubbing the backside of society
in old folks homes and madhouses
in supermarkets
and war machine
makers of death
planes hovering
cloaked in the plague of observing humanity
basking in these isles run by
the vagrant dogs of greed and pestilence
the nights
where we roam and we wish that we were no more
and we just wish that he could push this broom aside
and elope with them
the free
the dead of reckoning
calculating our next
move

self-destruction

when sweet dreams faze into nightmares
when happiness metamorphizes into melancholic
symphonies of the damned

when the innocence of childhood is replaced by
the status quo of a bloodletting that plunges rusted
daggers into stone hearts

when agape love that we thought that was here
to cradle us into the grave yet abandon us
into marching relics of the sweet nectar jaded vine

golden circles of infinite promise wedding vows cast
aside into the abyss of an evil world transfixed into
the choking cosmos regurgitating the loss now so

abundantly clear leave us then like this onslaught of
reds oranges yellows and browns a kaleidoscope of
death and of dying

innocent tears of wretched globes tribal hemispheres
have ceased to be love a noose around the inhabited
neck of avalanche frozen in the sick moment of black
plague death

narcissist ego left on the epoch of Bedlam

down by the sea

down by the sea
we toppled
excited
entranced with intellect
and souls that confused
the stars
galloping in their
complacent gaze
Charleston beach dreams
unfolding and submissive
jasmine hair
raven
and death coal black eyes
upturned nose
and we kissed and held hands
two skeletons stuck in between
mirrors of early 90’s sway
in the moment
oblivious to life
far removed from shadow claws
of raven infinite slumber
i hold onto our moment
a relic now lost
in the ambiance
of time

Me, Myself, and Solitaire by Christine Tabaka

Playing solitaire on a lazy afternoon
as a patch of sunlight
moves slowly across the floor,
the cat follows it stretched out,
and belly up.

In the monotonous rhythm
of turning over cards in threes,
I catch myself cheating.
I discover the red queen and yell
“off with her head.”
The cat looks up at me and blinks.
She knows that I am mad.

The sunlight begins to fade.
I tire of shuffling cards.
We both become bored
with the mundane.
Cards scatter on the floor with a flourish,
as the cat runs off to hide
under the bed.

I am now left all alone
with me, myself, and I.
Shangrila by Daniel de Culla

-¿Dónde vas, James Hilton
Dónde vas, triste de ti?

-Voy en busca de mis Horizontes Perdidos
En la gran montaña azulada del Karakal

En Baskul, Afganistán.
-Si Tomás Moro ya se ha muerto
En su Utopía, que yo le vi
Escondido en una Shamballa
Más allá de las montañas nevadas
De la cordillera del Himalaya.
Su cadáver le velaba el cónsul británico
Hufg Conway, su asistente Charles Mallinson
La misionera cristiana Roberta Brinklow
Y el comerciante estadounidense
Henry D. Barnard.
También estaba King Kong
Que murió por nuestros pecados
Guardián de Shangrila
Que a las parejas de novios que vienen
Nos les deja entrar entre semana
Y al caballero lozano, que se le enfrenta
Porque quiere meterse para adentro

Le grita:

-Tú, no. Primero, la bella dama.
Y él le responde:
-Pero si usted es mi padre

Y yo soy su hijo, ¡Viejo¡
Como dice Charles Darwin.
Shangrila (English)

-Where are you going, James Hilton?
Where are you going, sad about you?
-I’m looking for my Lost Horizons
On the great bluish mountain of the Karakal

In Baskul, Afghanistan.
-If Tomás Moro is already dead
In his Utopia, I saw him
Hidden in a Shamballa
Beyond the snowy mountains
From the Himalayas range.
His body was guarded by the British consul
Hufg Conway, his assistant Charles Mallinson
Christian missionary Roberta Brinklow
And the American merchant
Henry D. Barnard.
There was also King Kong
Who died for our sins
Guardian of Shangrila

That to the bridal couples that are coming
He don’t let in, only between week
And to the lusty gentleman, who faces him
Because he wants to get inside

He kick up a great fuss:
-You, not. The beautiful lady, first¡

He answering:
-But if you are my father
And I am Your son, Viejo [Old man]¡
As Charles Darwin says.

 

Translation -Daniel de Culla

His Soul was Operated on in 1998 by Grant Guy
His soul was operated on in 1998
He no longer needed and had it extracted
Since he had not loved since 1971 what good is a soul
He gave up on man and the world in 1972

Things went down hill after that
Until God’s roof caved in on him
That was the final straw
Since he gave up on God in 1963

Sure he could have ended it all
Jumping on the Disraeli Bridge
Stealing his brother’s gun
Falling in front of an oncoming bus like his friend in 1958

None of that was good enough

No
He was going to be a useless thorn
In the side of the world’s declining humanity

Rose by any other name is a prick
Onika by Gary Ingram

Placid lakes,winds blow her name ,
Onika

From the mountain tops , across the plains to the seas ,and far beyond

Troubled times, I think not, the spirit of the mountain is my name I once belonged to the world of man but now I’ve come to all as a friend

Like roaring rivers buried in hidden forests, all the trees that live there know my name

I whispered the name of my fathers into the mountain air

Let swirling winds and memories end, bound by heaven a child did descend

Let all your troubled pain within the life you lead
Rest in but a single tear
Knowing that Onika is near,

Let the breath of heaven swirl and sway all around you

I am here now, and she is with me, a hand so precious, Onika, she says is her name

I’ll guard her from fire ,as angels eyes and mine will be the veil that covers you

Until. Your daylights no more, till the joining of two

.I must go now, for the winds call me home

Onika and I, say farewell, we’ll see you on the other side

Hold your chin up n smile with joy, a blessing you made, to play with the other girls and boys

Life’s sometimes a tragic thing, but remember my voice ,as u will know I’m near

It whispers, I’m here

 

Impersonations by Chad M. Horn

Imitated by poet dead-panners
Manipulated musings compromised
Penetrated prose-like penning matters
Eliminated strict-form formalized
Radiated rigidness improvised
Simulated soliloquy outlined
Overstated and overemphasized
Narrated neurosis of mastermind
Animated mimicking much maligned
Titillated sonnet-shaping aping
Inflated ego? my bylines unsigned
Opinionated critique escaping
Negated need for muse-juice battery
Sophisticated form of flattery

A Time of Night by Steve Klepetar

“I have seen the building drift moonlight through geraniums
late at night when trucks were few”

W. S Merwin

There’s a time of night when bricks and steel
shimmer into pools: absent,
iridescent, insubstantial, cold.
Were you awake then,
or was it your shadow prowling the ledge,
looking down at trash cans and cats?
I felt you move along the walls,
and I shuddered in my bed, as if a northern wind
blew down the avenue.
I thought I wrapped myself in furs,
but that was a dream, where snow piled up
almost to the windows.
Tonight the trucks have gone, their groaning
like a silence in the street.
I thought I saw you in moonlight,
your silver hair burning in the dark.
I thought you reached for me, long fingers
stretching across a universe of years.
You were mirrored by snow, and around your feet
cats spun and fought for scraps of food.
Fur and blood, night noises to wake the neighborhood.
I search, but you are gone, and again the seasons change.
At the window my eyes sting in gray dawn.
Buildings melt, slowly drizzling in the grainy light.
Flight by Dev Dutt

Your migration
to another tree
beyond my fencing
was not unusual,
you saw rainbows
on hanging creepers
with wild passion,
against my dark
shadowed moribund
branches,
fruits I bear
no more sweeten
your tongue
since you tasted
fruits beyond my fencing…
Waiting Time by Marc Carver

I wait
then wait some more
sometimes it is hard to wait.
You have to stop yourself,
take a deep breath
know that it is not quite the right time.

You have to look at it from the other side
You can look into the window
and you see something totally different from when you look out
but still
it is the same window.

So still I am here
and the wait goes on
as it may forever.

He never finished anything, they may say about me
he said it was never the right time
but they don’t understand
the waiting
is the most important part.
Wild Was the Wind by John Robbins

Nothing smells like the wind that blows across the dessert at night.

Nothing looms heavier than bad choices and burnt out lives .
She always liked my hands between her thighs as we drove at night.

She laid her head on my shoulder as the wind through the window was are music, And the miles seemed endless.

That feeling can haunt a man’s
Soul when its gone .

She clung to me a pillar within the darkness.
Straddled me as we parked and released her passions with the nights embrace .

I have forgotten much in my time but I have never forgotten her or that moment .

Sunrise was magic but so was all I experienced with you.

I left a rose upon your headstone,
Not all things stay buried with the past.
Wild is the wind that blows across the dessert tonight.

It haunts me as do you .

Somewhere else sweetheart .
I will know you again .

 

Wild was the wind that drove you from my side .

About the Poets

Wayne Russell is a creative writer and amateur photographer, that was born and raised in Florida, he has traveled the world and has resided in Dunoon, Scotland, and Wellington, New Zealand, currently resides in Columbus, Ohio. Waynes writing and photography dwell upon the more painful events that have shaped his life and shape the world around him. Whether it be issues of social justice, homelessness, governmental corruption, depression, autism, abandonment, alcohol abuse, and isolation; he is musing about it and churning out the poems, songs, and short fiction stories. Waynes has been published in Poets Espresso Review, Nomadic Voices Magazine, Zaira Journal, Danse Macabre, The Bitchin’ Kitschs’ and the Rolling Thunder Press.

Ann Christine Tabaka lives in Delaware, USA. She is a published poet and artist. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and two cats. Her most recent credits are The Paragon Journal, The Literary Hatchet, The Metaworker, Raven Cage Ezine, RavensPerch, Anapest Journal, Mused, Apricity Magazine, Longshot Island, Indiana Voice Journal, Halcyon Days Magazine, The Society of Classical Poets, and BSU’s Celestial Musings Anthology.

Daniel de Culla is a writer, poet, and photographer. He’s member of the Spanish Writers Association, Earthly Writers International Caucus, Poets of the World, (IA) International Authors, Surrealism Art, and others. Director of Gallo Tricolor Review, and Robespierre Review. He participated in many Festivals of Poetry, and Theater in Madrid, Burgos, Berlin, Minden, Hannover and Genève. 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.

Grant Guy is a Winnipeg, Canada, poet, writer and playwright. Former artistic director of Adhere + Deny. His writings have been published in Canada, the United States, Wales, India and England. He has three books published. He was the 2004 recipient of the MAC’s 2004 Award of Distinction and the 2017 recipient of the WAC’s Making A Difference Award.

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 for whom writing is a nece

Chad M. Horn has served as emcee for numerous poetry events over the year; including annual Kentucky Writer’s Day programs and readings. He is an honorary Lifetime Member of the Elizabeth Madox Roberts Society.

Steve Klepetar lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. His work has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including four in 2016. Recent collections include Family Reunion (Big Table), A Landscape in Hell (Flutter Press), and How Fascism Comes to America (Locofo Chaps).

Dev Dutt is a Banker,writing is his passion and poetry his breath. He has many published poems to his credit in anthologies and periodicals in India and abroad. He was nominated in finalist list of Poetry contest conducted by American Poetry Society and won prize for his poem ” Confessions of a dying man” by The Quest, Ranchi.

Marc Carver is a lover of poetry and a practitioner of the mysterious art of poetry writing.

John Patrick Robbins is a barroom poet who’s work has Appeared in In between Hangover’s, Your One Phone Call, The Outlaw Poetry Network, and The Poets Community. His words, like his work are always unfiltered.

The pdf can be downloaded here:

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PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine. Volume 1; Issue 6; November 2017

Poet of the Month: Linda Imbler
Rollercoasters to Nowhere Always Threatening to Derail by Ryan Quinn Flanagan
God by Sanghapriya Gautam
Somewhere by Lynn Long
Rejection Slip by Steve Carter
Peregrinations by Sanjeev Sethi
Fathers by Grant Guy
Gray? by Joan Leotta
About the Poets
Memories: A griot born out of the wind of the village drumbeat by Mbizo Chirasha

Untitled
Poet of the Month: Linda Imbler

What’s not to Believe?

 

In time

Man will find his wings

In time

Woman will exorcise the moon from her womb

In time

The child will smooth the rough edges of the psyche

In the nick of time

A hero will shift the world

Back onto its feet again

Before it

Stumbling

Shatters its bones.

 
The Heart Shoppe

I walk and examine all the shelves of the Heart Shoppe, and peer into all containers and crates.

I hear owners discussing needs of young men, sadly weakened by the poverty of loneliness after love fails.

The proprietors know what to stock, what dear things to show upon these shelves; staunch friends, truth in speech, peace, children’s laughter.

I’ve seen ladies bankrupt in chasms of sorrow, anguished women whose bodies betrayed them while birthing.

I’ve viewed hopeful eyes, scanning within, of those whose choice went wrong, sighting that second chance, only to be found cash poor.

Cures are sought here for envy, suicide, racism, all at a cost few here can pay.

I’ve seen souls wage horrific war, seen commanders decide which side shall lose the least, they now search for atonement here.

I postpone my own heart’s desires, use my full purse to make true the dreams of those betrayed: the ill, the brokenhearted, and old ones; all those, shopping for cures for grief or adversity.

I fill carts, buy them hope, their redemption, my peace.

 
Strum

Speak to us
At vibrantly hued close of day,
Tremoloed soft notes filter through clear air
Ending with a fade.

Speak to us
By means of the young,
Where a thrum of vibrating hearts are the warmest,
And compassion for those smaller and weaker
Is so freely expressed.

Speak to us
As we hear waves lapping the shore,
The crush of rock created by time,
Crescendoes echoing the heights
To which man’s soul can soar.

Speak to us by using photographic portraits,
Faces laden with all manner of emotion,
A totality of feelings captured,
Everything reflected in the shutterbug’s lens
No visage invisible or unattainable.

Speak through us,
Goodness, greatness
Lightening of hearts
Yours, theirs.
Let us be reminded
That soft notes still beckon,
Warmth towards others still stirs the heart,
Our time is so limited,
Every face holds a story of a life lived
Whether short or long.
Our history heard in the strum
Of the cosmic musician’s performance.
The omniscient hum is there
For us to discover.
Lightning

Lightning on earth, seen from space,
Transmitting messages as Morse code,
To express to them out there
What we are doing, what seeds we’ve sown.

Satellite machines and brave man in sleek airtight suits
Have seen these flashing missives leave Earth,
Flow into ether and be processed by other eyes
We’ve yet to meet as they gauge our worth.

 

What is being told and being imaged is unclear,
What we think, what we do, how we feel,
Are these postings representing us as we would wish
Or perhaps we could be more genteel?

 
Heaven’s Last Wish

Celestial space, within its infinite realm,
the prayers so distinct, constant, not weakened nor turned aside,
the wish for clean links, for reconnection.
This satisfied, long sought gift one day will come,
heartache diminished, then once and for all wounds healed.
You went to your grave, your song not yet done;
Grim future partings, no longer hold us bound.
We, no longer hostage, the universe has listened.
We can tell each other words learned, from the sky song
or we’ll sing to each other our own lyrics.
Love once deferred, once stayed, by death’s divide,
replaced, renewed, reflected.
We meet as once agreed, a promise made while living,
having wished true, and for time lost, be forgiving.

Roller coasters to Nowhere Always Threatening to Derail by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

No one starts at the same place.
There is hope in that lone arena.
The nature and nurture of it.
Variations in a silk bag of marbles.

The twin foibles of chance and upset.
Rollercoasters to nowhere always threatening to derail.
To leave the tracks and set out on their own.
Shady landlords lying in wait.

Life will go on because the impulse is always there.
The push and pull of stubborn turnstiles.
Do not mistake this for idiot optimism.
This is merely an acknowledgment of continuance.

But there must be more than that.
An escape plan hidden away.
The human heart demands it.
God by Sanghapriya Gautam

What burns deep burns deeper in burning eyes.

Their skin veils the sky like night, the darkly plume

When set on fire all dreary past Illumes,

The empty sky lits in kerosene blue,

And Gold spreads across its enlightening view,

And where the Death spreads it’s arms in comfort,

Jolts he the weary sinews. The dead who simpered

 

Watch with their hollow sockets drenched in fire,

Their mocking failure blesses he, for him

Exist nothing, he creates out of his burning ire;

Ripples run across the earthly skin, the sleepy dim

Spirits look heavenwards where stands he

Like words as silent as they could ever be;

 

Spirit that breaths him with unworldly words,

Grabs ahold in its secret tranquility,

What flees the mind in heartless plains curds

At sight of his conviction and virility.

He fathers the seed of fire and buries deep,

She mothers the future in a hopeful keep.

What burns deep burns deeper in burning eyes.

 

Somewhere by Lynn Long

Somewhere …
Already we’ve begun
for I feel your caress
in the warm summer
sun

Somewhere …
I hear you whisper
upon a winter wind
I taste your lips
in dreams with no
end

Somewhere …
Exists a place
beyond time
Where two hearts
beat steady
Two souls entwine

Somewhere …
I miss you …

 
Rejection Slip by Steve Carter

don’t waste time
rewriting or even
writing just
get it done even if it’s not right
noone cares noone’s going to
read it anyway
and certainly not
think about it never
read it twice impossible
it just isn’t done

what really matters is
you see having your name
on the cover or at least
in the table of contents
and your witty denials
of any knowledge or technique under
notes on contributors
in the back

 

no one after all
wants your poem
Peregrinations by Sanjeev Sethi

For years it has
been raining.
I’ve moved often.
Each site
I made mine
it seemed,
I had serried
the rain with me.

Valises aren’t meant
to shoulder
mobility of showers.
Though mine
is a unique holdall:
swaddled in scone
it compels me
to carry my case.
Fathers by Grant Guy

he a taxi drive applied all his talents to the job
he knew every brothel bootlegger and bookie joint in town
he knew every street every avenue back alley
like his name and the back of his hand

but he could never remember his son’s birthday
nor had he met any of his son’s friend

the son put distance between himself and his father

the day his grade 8 teacher told him
don’t aspire beyond what your parents
that is the place where God meant you to be

that was the day the son lost faith
in all fathers real or imagined

Gray? by Joan Leotta

My hair proclaims to all, it’s

evidence my years are mounting up.

Many think gray

means my cerebral stuff

has leaked out,

swathing once shiny slim

chestnut strands

with diminishing gray matter.

Perhaps. However,

to keep them guessing,

I consult with a local wise woman,

who engages in a monthly ritual

to camoflague gray in its former

brunette majesty
Fatigued by Renee’ Drummond-Brown

All our lives us colored gals been attacked, raped, an hacked. Been called
ev’rythang, BUT… the child of God:
Negro, black, napped, ugly, bald and fat. And you know this;
this is fact! So.
What do you thank’ we care bout’ lil’ ol’ you
doin’ us in too? Never forget this…
When we are weak,
we are mightier than you!

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong”
(2 Corinthians 12:10 KJV.)
About the Poets

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

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.

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.

Lynn Long loves, reads and writes poems.

Steve Carter is a jazz guitarist and writer. He has been playing music and writing for more than a half a century. You can read about his music available at frogstoryrecords.com, and his writing at maatpublishing.net/steve/writers_journal.php.

Sanjeev Sethi is the author of three well-received books of poetry. His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015). His poems are in venues around the world: Mad Swirl, Empty Mirror, Olentangy Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, Peacock Journal, Modern Poets Magazine, Faith Hope & Fiction, New Mystics, Yellow Mama, London Grip, 3:AM Magazine, Communicators League, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.

T Grant Guy is a Winnipeg, Canada, poet, writer and playwright. Former artistic director of Adhere + Deny. His writings have been published in Canada, the United States and England. He has three books published; Open Fragments, On the Bright Side of Down and Bus Stop Bus Stop. 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.

Joan Leotta is an author and story performer. Her work includes: Giulia Goes to War, Letters from Korea, A Bowl of Rice, Secrets of the Heart. historical fiction in Legacy of Honor Series; Simply a Smile–collection of Short Stories; WHOOSH! Picture book from THEAQ. You can download a mini-chapbook of her poems at
https://www.origamipoems.com/files/Books%20/2016/Joan_Leotta_-_Dancing_Under_The_Moon_2016R.pdf
Find out more about her work at http://www.joanleotta.wordpress.com and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joan-Leotta-Author-and-Story-Performer/188479350973

Renee’ B. Drummond is a poet and artist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the author of: The Power of the Pen, SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, Renee’s Poems with Wings are Words in Flight-I’ll Write Our Wrongs, and Renee’s Poems with Wings are Words in Flight. Renee’ is inspired by Dr. Maya Angelou, because of her, Renee’ posits “Still I write, I write, and I’ll write!”

Fiction


Memories: A griot born out of the wind of the village drumbeat by Mbizo Chirasha

The name Zvagona is popular like wind. I loved my school and I still love it. The name of the school is derived from local red hills of home known of their usual stunning dresses of mist during mornings and during evenings. The mountain is beautiful with a blue tinge of color in the afternoon a grey tinge at night. Birds sing beautiful songs and at dawn, the striking rays of the sun become part of the village rhythm, while tamed dogs bark vivaciously to the shadows of the night and the dramas of the day. The sound of beating drums from red hills resonate with the howling laughter of lone hyenas as their lone laughter echo through the mountain caves .In Zvagona , sunrise to beautiful sound of jingles ,drumbeat ,voices ,laughter and song .
It’s a Monday, early in the morning. We are singing the national anthem under a big baobab tree. A baby parrot above us is chirruping in response to our teenage but tenor voices. Our school head is the one leading the anthem in baritone, while we all follow suit in proud voices cherishing our five year old country, Zimbabwe born in 1980. We are arranged in straight rows according to our classes and ages. The country is still young, free and virgin. She strutted with zeal and confidence of a new dawn, Zimbabwe in 1980, the virgin youthful, virgin of Africa.
I grew up in this land, the land of red hills dressed in gowns of mist like disciples in a prayer session at dawn, the red hills were also pruned to nakedness as the sunrays beat over the rim of hills and arouse cicadas and birds deep in sleeping valleys to sing their morning hymns . The night song, morning songs and the throb of drumbeats became the word, the word became the Voice- the voice that become the griot, the poet that sang verses , verses that itched under my crude , sun smitten peasant skin. Yes I a the griot born out of the wind of the drum beat.
I began to love books, pastures and rain was my favorite. Rain is still my heroine. When rain visits us stolen life is raised again, forests strut in new floral garments, the earth is donned in a long stunning green jacket, frogs sing incessantly with their baritone echoing through the ever giggling streams. I loved and I still love rain.
The griot in me persisted as hours became days, days become weeks and weeks become month and month become years. I failed to calm the itch, this sting under my skin, that itch became a village voice, a voice of reason, a voice of the people .I learnt rhymes from yap yelping baboons, laughing hyenas and claps of thunder, all these sounds resonated with village drumbeats to form a rhythm, a rhythm that became a fever like a seizure, when I resurrected from the fever, the fever became words. I became a word slinger, a festival of words and a beat that resonated with songs of the village(panda!, pangu! , panda panda! pangu pangu! ,pangu!, pa pa!), sounds of the forests, the roar of violent rivers and the pounding drums. All these repented me into poetry, I became a village GRIOT, a revered orator inspired by the sound of the wind of the drumbeat. Hamutyineyi Chimombe of Zimbabwe( a Karanga lyricist/WRITER) and Wole Soyinka of Nigeria( a global poet/THESPIAN) initiated me and I became a spirit of verse . I cooked metaphors in the pots of my mind, I roasted imagery in the pans of my inspiration, I boiled assonance for in my dreams and snores. . I caressed pages with passion. I read everything that met the eye with profound zeal.
I fulfilled the dreams of my father, a culturist and traditional dancer, a self-styled orator; he told me that my great grandfather RATSAUKA was a talented poet and singer. At home we were taught to cuddle books than young clueless virgins .We learnt life the hard way. During rainy seasons, we planted our fields under the veil of early morning dawn until later in the when afternoons began to roast our threadbare skin. We got our food from the fields, we were taught to work hard to feed ourselves, and we carried that legacy until later years of our lives. The beat of days and the mass of nights (moon, shadows, sun, stars, stories and songs) shaped the imagery of my poetry. I liked trips to the pastures to heard cattle, eating wild fruits and chasing after wild insects. The earth would beautifully dress in new lemon green apparel. Our cows would feast on the rich greenness, their fat rich udders oozed with fresh milk; the dripping drops of milk quenched our dry throats in hot afternoons. The passion of stories grew in me like baobab. I baked life experiences into poems, stories, essays or opinions. The sun and drums push years and the village became history .I left the red hills of home , the fields , the village , mist , the dew and my people . I went to concrete jungle .The urban jungle introduced me to political history, slogan and more books. The urban media popularized my poetry, I became popular. I became both an artificial griot and a natural poet. I sing of Africa, I sing for my country and my people. The village griot born out of the sound of the wind of the village drum beat (panda, panda pangu, pangu panda pa!)

Mbizo Chirasha (Widely Published Poet, Writer- in -Residence, Publisher and Social Justice Activist- http://www.wikipedia.com/mbizochirasha)

 

 

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