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)

 

 

You can Download the pdf here:

PPP v1i6

 

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