PPP Ezine Vol 1, Issue 5, October 2017

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Preface

Poet of the Month: Ken Allan Dronsfield

Déjà vu by Linda Imbler

Ethiopia by Mbizo Chirasha

I Believe in Trees by Joan McNerney

Never Say a Poet is Ugly! by Wafula p’Khisa

Come On Board The Sierra Leonean Plane by Ndaba Sibanda

Letter #51 by Sergio A. Ortiz

Little Nuances by Glory Sasikala

Sweet Hush by Deborah Anne Shepard

My curses on you by Asha Viswas

About the Poets

Interview: Mysti Milwee

 

 

 

Preface

 

 

Now I know how poetry ezines die.

Every month is the last it seems, and then,

It’s not. The end is postponed.

So, here we are, with the fifth issue.

Who has seen tomorrow?

 

 

Poet of the Month: Ken Allan Dronsfield

 

Mourning of Fading Bones

 

Cold windswept beaches

feelings of an icy sentiment

forgive my hapless misdeeds

hide behind my raised brow.

Starlight of reflecting twinkles

diamond chips in cool sands;

set of waves roll shore bound

ocean spray refreshes the soul.

The white clouds billowing fully

while town people now waltzing

carols of colored lights erupting

a flagrant truth on lost holiday’s.

The lonely seek pious isolation

free of separated generations.

I pray for today’s young children

as my dusty old bones fade away.

 

 

 

The Ebb and Flow

 

From atop the great stone pine trees

dragonflies fantasize of summertime;

of warmer mornings, balmy winds,

dodging flycatchers and bullfrogs.

The grass still green beside the pond

wolves howl and worship a full moon

barn owls love a nightly stellar show

young geese enjoy a fresh new sunrise.

Beating hearts strong by creek or marsh

deep rivers and great bays ebb and flow

large animals enjoy the salty-sweet grass

beautiful wildflowers grace rolling hills.

As the sun now rises in the eastern sky,

from within that great awakening forest

a lone cicada sings his mating sonnet

within the ebb and flow is life’s circle.

 

 

 

 

 

A Stellar Ballet (Villanelle Poetry Format)

 

Time’s not sleeping but forever creeping

Breathe to live while the blood is steeping,

in shadow dreams lies incessant weeping.

Heart beats as a clock, a tick and the talk

love burns with a flame in an all night stalk

Time’s not sleeping but forever creeping.

a moon rising high in this fleeting twilight.

in a teary haze, whilst affixing my sight

in shadow dreams lies incessant weeping.

Love kind and true, now absent and ablaze,

the full moon exhales within a lunar phase

Time’s not sleeping but forever creeping.

unto a midnight waltz, as feelings decay

stars twinkle and whisper in a stellar ballet

in shadow dreams lies incessant weeping.

How starved your wicked ego has been,

to devour my heart with a treacherous grin.

Time’s not sleeping but forever creeping

in shadow dreams lies incessant weeping.

 

 

 

Solstice of Pretense

 

Journey over time

end of a rainbow, end of a branch

plying of rhyme.

 

Clouds float by

adrift in a breeze, adrift through life

coursing onward.

 

Rainbow sleeps

edge of the day, edge of the night

now twilight time.

 

Full Moon rises

reddish pallor, reddish haze

a kiss to the solstice.

 

Summer has gone

cool is the sun, warm is the heart

upon blooming smiles.

 

Colors of My Mind

 

Contempt in a shaded gray

virtuous omnipotent pinks

rally through the green ivy

vines of a feted conscience.

Vanilla violet paths follow

the blood red rivers while

blue black chambers ignite

white flying herds of nerds.

Chartreuse nerves on fire,

graciously curtsy as a queen

tangerine smiles all the while

kicking a fantasized yellow ball.

I’m a bright silver starlight orb

bouncing through the galaxy

purple frock mocked by Odin;

righteous blame and blue again.

Chagrin on a mountain of shame,

the Colors of my Mind proclaim,

flickering candle on golden sand,

violet silence upon wings of gold.

 

 

Déjà vu by Linda Imbler

 

 

The sensation of returning,

To a place you’ve never been,

Runs cold in your veins.

What clues still lie in wait,

You help remind you,

Of when you had been here,

And what you had done whilst?

 

Such a common, human experience,

Unexplained.

A slippage of the mind?

Or in the fabric of the cosmos?

Too prevalent to be coincidence,

But its purpose still left unfolded.

A call back or forward?

If so, to where?

We do not know,

For now.

Ethiopia by Mbizo Chirasha

see talking slums

silenced tongues

freedom silenced

hope killed

a bling of ghettos

collapsed humanity

Mothers weeping,

under the compression of religion

trees dripping tears

Ethiopia your festering open wounds

you are my anger!

children burn in smoldering canisters of hunger

time opened new wounds of memories of old scars

chained on rocks of ignorance

you need a compass of decency

my poetry is a catalyst fermenting your injustices

into beverages of justice

you are my sadness!

your heartbeat bleached in political fermentation

rhythm galvanized in furnaces of cultural myth

laughter imbibed by the rude stomach of the gun

culture crushing under the weight

 

 

 

 

I Believe in Trees by Joan McNerney

 

Those silent citadels

standing against long

nights of wind and cold.

 

Broken willow bramble

scratches a pale sky after

yesterday’s ice storm.

 

Each spring small buds

blossom as bugs and

butterflies orbit boughs.

 

Green new leaf fits

your hand so perfectly.

The future lies in your palm.

 

Birds reciting litany in woods.

Each rainfall the forest

grows taller, more verdant.

 

Summer afternoons…trees

sashay in sunshine showing

off their emerald gowns.

 

Winds sway maple branches.

Leaves drop like butterflies

falling to the warm earth.

 

Red yellow brown carpets

of crunchy foliage spread

over roads welcoming us.

 

 


 

Never Say a Poet is Ugly! by Wafula p’Khisa

 

A poet is an imperial prophet, anointed by the gods

to interpret their divine tongue to the ordinary mortal

secluded; he’s confined on mountain tops, in caves, and quiet rivers

communing with his ancestors for peace, fertility, love & good harvest

of the land.

 

But nobody listens to his cry, echoed from one town to another

they ignore him as a common minstrel, and listen only to

the delicious concoction of lies; vomited by tribal demigods, thieves & pastorpreneurs

and shout obscenities at his devotion to truth and philosophy

which flush through his veins like the fluid of life.

 

With the nation burning inside, he wanders; hiding behind the palm–

afraid of the saintly eyes questioning the strange marks on his body

With the nation bleeding inside, he wanders: weeping silently

as the cry of minors tears into bits his eardrums

How then, would he surrender to the barber’s blade

or soak his face in a beautician’s creams?

A society’s image is the glory of a poet, than self

a call so divine that he defies death to honour!

 

 


 

Come On Board The Sierra Leonean Plane by Ndaba Sibanda

Where is the outcry or the urgent assistance from Africa?

Are the Sierra Leoneans not dealing with a massive mudslide?

Where is the outpouring support from the international community?

 

Torrential rains gave birth to flooding and a colossal mudslide,

A patter of heavy rain reigned a trail and a terror of devastation,

People lost everything: lives and limbs and property and possessions.

 

Where is the outcry or the urgent assistance from Africa?

Are the Sierra Leoneans not dealing with a massive mudslide?

Where is the outpouring support from the international community?

 

Remember Sierra Leone has had her fair share of challenges,

Recall she grappled with a stubborn civil war, then the Ebola crisis,

Now vulnerability is taking a toll on homeless mothers and children.

 

Where is the tangible solidarity and the spirit of unity from Africa?

Are the Sierra Leoneans not dealing with a massive mudslide?

Where is the oneness of humanity from the global community?

 

People had the nightmare of wading through muddy waters,

They were submerged, buried under mud with their houses;

The survivors sought to dig up with their bare hands.

 

Where is the tangible solidarity and the spirit of unity from Africa?

Are the Sierra Leoneans not dealing with a massive mudslide?

Where is the oneness of humanity from the global community?

 

Sierra Leonean survivors and rescue workers and others

Who have risen to the call of duty are overwhelmed,

It`s time for the world to show greater solidarity.

 

 

 

Letter #51 by Sergio A. Ortiz

 

Today there’s a self-drawn sketch

of rice on my forehead, a tiny sorrow.

This mourning is the unhappy reward

of what we never talk about.

 

Today I tire of birds,

I cut off my wings. A tiger

devoured my legs,

an old disgruntled tiger.

 

He drank my blood,

disappeared like smoke

resembling the roar

of an insomniac ocean.

 

Today I walked into the surf

with my pockets full of rocks.

 

 

Little Nuances by Glory Sasikala

 

how

with little nuances you own me!

with a wave of your hand –

‘let’s go!’

with your eyes –

‘there’s place besides me’

i laugh, you revel

i win –

you swell with pride

i cough, you turn

i give up –

you advance

 

little nuances

that confuse me

how can this be

that no one else can see

the storm you rake up

with a glance


 

Sweet Hush by Deborah Anne Shepard

 

Sweet hush as sweet butterflies

Wings flowing gently in the wind

Silhouetted  jasmine rays

Laid in pearl rows, towards Gods sky

 

Sweet hush as dragonflies

Lighted candle peering gently through

Soft illuminated moonlight

Bouquets of memories

 

 

Sweet hush as Ashton shores

Sands with shells along the surf side

Deep aquamarine colors  cliff seas

Silent creatures roam the beachside

 


 

My curses on you by Asha Viswas

 

It is fine. I agree that you were terribly homesick

But why? Why do you pick a vulnerable woman

on a lonely road or a four year old daughter of

your neighbor? and why do you kill her after the dirty act?

And as if killing is not enough, you fill her inside

With pieces of stone, steel rods and empty bottles. Why?

As compared to you Tereus of Thrace was a gentleman

He left Philomela alive to take her revenge.

Perseus who decapitated Medusa

[a male reaction to a fear of female power , the Gorgon

With her direct gaze was a threat to male ego ]

Was not as monstrous as you.

even the animals are  innocent angels beside you.

Were you really born of a woman ?

Did you really suck your mother’s milk?

If you  kill a woman to make her passive

If you Kill a five or fifty year old woman

Do not disrespect the womb from whence you came.

 

 

About the Poets

 

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.

 

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

 

Mbizo Chirasha is a Zimbabwean poet. He has been published in more than 60 journals, various anthologies, newspapers, blogs and poetry collections. Thus he was among the poets selected by Diké Okoro when Okoro edited the notable anthology We Have Crossed Many Rivers: New Poetry From Africa. His poetry has also been featured in such renowned literary journals as Moto magazine.

www.facebook.com/mbizochirasha

 

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Three Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work.  Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations.

 

Wafula p’Khisa is a poet, writer and teacher from Kenya. He studied English, 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.

 

 

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.

 

Sergio A. Ortiz is a poet, a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 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.
Glory Sasikala is a poet, editor and lover of poetry. She edits and publishes GloMag: A Monthly Online Poetry and Prose Magazine. https://www.facebook.com/glory.sasikala

 

Deborah Anne Shepard is a published author and poet.

 

Asha Viswas is a former Professor of English, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi ,India. She has also taught at Aligarh and at the University of Calabar, Nigeria. She has published three collections of poems. The first collection Melting Memories was published in 1996 [Delhi]. For this she was awarded Michael Madhusudan Academy Award [Kolkata] in 1997.  Her second collection Mortgaged Moorings [writers workshop, Kolkata] was published in 2001. For this she was given the Editors’ Choice Award by the International Library of Poetry , U.S.A. IN 2003.Her third collection of poems was published in 2011 [Kolkata].

 

Her poems have featured in the shortlist anthology of all India poetry competition organized by the British council and the poetry Society India, Slug fest [U.S.A.], The Mawaheb International [Canada] ,The Brob Times [ Ireland] , Jalons [France] and various other journals and anthologies in India. Some of her poems have been translated into French. She has read her poems in Western Europe, the U.S.A. and African universities. She had a fan club of her poetry in the U.S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetics


 

Interview: Mysti Milwee

PPP E-Zine: Who are your favorite poets, if possible, also tell us what makes them your favorite?

MM: Some of my favorite poets are Emily Dickinson; Maya Angelou; William Wordsworth; and Edgar Allan Poe are a few of my favorites, as each one has had an influence on my life as a poet.

Emily Dickinson helped me search deeper into my soul and spirit. Maya Angelou put me in touch with my feelings to help release my emotions, “to come out of my shell” and to feel beautiful in my own skin, like her poem “Phenomenal Woman”, but to also accept myself and stop silencing my own voice but to find my voice, not to become a “caged bird”. William Wordsworth helped me find the truth of love, even when love was hard to find and my heart just wanted to shine and give love from the voice of my heart instead of a silent cry of emotion. Edgar Allan Poe is my vision, where I constantly read

“A Dream Within A Dream”, it made me see my own visions and dreams more vividly and even put my senses in touch with a grasp of my past, my inner secrets, balancing my writings with an edge of darkness. These poets have influenced me to find my own unique voice.

 

PPP E-Zine: This one is a direct descendant of Matthew Arnold’s Touchstone Method: “They say that there are lines in a poem that make its heart. You may call them the poetry of poetry.” Do you remember some such lines of yours or from some of your favorite poets that will help us understand your vision of poetry? If yes, please do give us some of those lines.

MM: Yes I do.

For example: Emily Dickinson her poem “Hope” was what first gave me a vision and voice to write.

In her lines:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

 

(Through Dickinson’s lines I found hope to not be afraid of my own voice, just being myself and putting heart into my own poetry. Therefore, it is a beating rhythm into the depths of the soul.)

Through Emily Dickinson, I found my heart, my voice that beats with emotion and spirit.

For example: The voice in my poem “Beyond the Veil”, Lines 9 through 12:

 

9) “Removing the dark draped cloak that hanged

10) with fear that weighed me down where doubts

11) and despair dove deep within my skin that

12) wept for the light of heaven.”

 

(It goes beyond seeking existence, peace of mind, crying out of the darkness and pushing through the pain.) The focus of the poem was unveiling a woman that was lost, that just wanted to be accepted and not rejected because of her insecurities. After revealing herself to the light, the weight lifted off of her and she became the light to others.

 

PPP E-Zine: There has been a debate raging among the lovers of free verse and formal verse. Where do you stand in this debate? Why?

MM: I suppose I would be quite borderline because in this century I have written both free verse and formal verse poetry even though free verse seems to be more predominate, however formal verse is more structured with rhythm, rhyme and meter which takes more crafting and skill. Where I stand I tend to write almost an equal amount of both free verse and formal verse. Though I typically write more free verse because I am a visual artist who paints and writes ekphrastic poetry (art informing art) most of the time which means that my thoughts are mostly free verse and creative. I find free verse easier to write with being an artist. Rhyme is one of my stronger points in formal verse because I enjoy writing lyrical ballads that project rhythm, beats, and emotion with the lift, rifts and fluid flow, often whimsical.

 

PPP E-Zine: You have been writing for a long time. If you could tell us something about what inspired you to write poems in the first place, and then what kept you going, it’d be inspiring for the new poets.

MM: I was first inspired to write poetry when I was age 13, when I wrote my 1st poem “Teen Violence”. After the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado, it inspired me to write about it because I was so emotionally attached to it. I wanted to give young people my age a voice to speak out and encourage them to seek peace and not war. This poem was a voice to many. It has received global exposure, publication and awards.

I knew after that I couldn’t stop writing because it was my purpose to become a voice to those unable to speak out. I had to give others hope, love, strength and perseverance in light and darkness. Being able to speak out through poetry is rewarding, especially when it touches lives.

 

PPP E-Zine: Give our new poets a few tips (3 or more) for composing well.

MM: When composing the first thing I tell poets and emerging poets is:

Find what you are passionate about, what makes your heart sing. Without this there will be no heart or heartbeat in the poem.

Other tips for composing:

  1. Remember while your writing who your audience is that you are speaking to. Find your audience. The vocabulary you use will define your target age group. Remember this when writing. This will help in marketing your work in age groups and genres.
  2. Remember to make your work flow and be unique in your style.
  3. Be persistent in your writing. If it isn’t coming together leave it alone and just let it simmer, regain your thoughts. Meditate on them if you have to, then come back to it.
  4. Write, write, write. Even if your lines are just cluster words or thoughts. There is plenty of room for editing. (The most I have ever edited on one poem was 25 edits.)
  5. Read other poets work. Study it! This is one of the best ways to composing well written poems.

 

PPP E-Zine: Rejection is a life-long friend or enemy of a poet. Please tell us how you responded/respond to your rejections in the past, and now?

MM: In past rejections I honestly didn’t handle it well, I felt I wasn’t good enough and that I had failed. It frustrated me and I often felt I was never going to be good enough. At that time it was my worst enemy. As time passed, the here and now of being rejected is my friend and my enemy. But as poets we must take each rejection with a grain of salt, because even if we are rejected it will make us stronger in the long run. It shapes us to be more dedicated and persistent to achieve results, therefore publication.

As poets we really benefit from rejections.

 

PPP E-Zine: A poet has a cultivated mind. Give us some pointers to cultivate the poetic faculties/genius.

MM: Read! Write! Repeat!

Focus on the subject matter/genre that interests you the most. Read books, magazines, journals, ect., or listen to music. Let your thoughts simmer then write what you feel, even if it looks like chicken scratch. There is room for editing.

Write what you love, and showcase your voice. Be unique and not to be compared to. Cultivate your creativity, explore new words, analogies, symbolism, metaphors, etc. Accept new challenges for example: Write a villanelle; prose; free verse; reflective/mirrored poem; etc..

Craft your words through repetition.

 

PPP E-Zine: You have been published and read widely. Please give some tips on submission that increases the chances for publication.

MM:

1) Read the most recent issues of the magazine, e-zine, or journal you are submitting to. Reading the material beforehand and knowing what they look for will increase your chance for submission.

2) Know your audience and age group.

3) Find your niche and your strong points. Edit your weak spots and better craft your poem.

Don’t rush to finish it. Edit…Edit…Edit! Last but not least polish it!

4) Craft your poem well. There is always room for improvement. A well written poem will be successful for publication.

Some presses and magazine publishers sometimes give critiques which are very helpful because we can learn from them by studying our faults and flaws and make ourselves better poets. We may not see the big picture clearly at times but we must respond openly to them. We write for a reason and a purpose. Just be prepared and study your market and who you are submitting to, read the guidelines carefully. Submit to where your niche is, for instance if you write a poem pertaining to cultural heritage and history, don’t submit it to a magazine like the New Yorker that is based on satirical and political game. You will be rejected. Reminder again, know your audience. Purchase the magazine or read the E-Zine carefully. Know what they are looking for before submitting. If you want acceptance know your voice and market it carefully. Learn to market yourself.

Mysti Milwee thinks, composes and writes, not in the exact order mentioned here. She theorizes about poetry to help other poets in their quest.

You can download the pdf here:

PPP v1i5

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