for professor Piotr Mroz
Life is always a debut.
Like an agave–
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
Tick tock, tick tock,
tick tock of the clock
for everyone sounds differently.
Measures the past,
Yet there is no present –
it’s just a moment,
that ends something,
Translated by Artur Komoter
Stroking a rock
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
a man can disappear
by simply moving to a large city
that healthy cauliflower ear of living
drained like lakes with rotting artifacts
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
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.
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
New York dear
never the same
my city remains.
Lost in its shuffle
not fitting in,
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,
I try not to sink.
Raised here I was
New York for years,
to love for so long
but I don’t belong.
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
a kitchen at war
the sink piled up high.
A full moon outside
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
Nalabana is the birds’ sanctuary in Chilika
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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chilika by Debendra Kumar Bauri
Toli nebata nia
Bandhiurakah tama kemerare
E jain dharirakhi thiba muthae uchhwasha
Thara thara asahayata ku mora
Asta surjyara jhalar adhualare
Akula chhatapata ku mora
Muta sei shiuakri guliru
Chadheira trasta udana
Puni tali padithiba
Chadheira raktare pacha pacha kadua
Palate thiba bidirna nalabana
Dekha mora hajila aiswarjyara
Chhindajala o bhanga dangare
Bhari hoi jaithiba kasta gujurana
Puni sanjare khalihatare pheruthiba
Matsay jibira hatasa pana
Mun bhoguchhi karabasa
Daladala maphianka chingudi gherare
Mon rundhi hoijauthiba
Kolab by Debendra Kumar Bauri
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 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
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.
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
blood and tears
wind up as words.
If there were no poem in this pen,
I couldn’t even begin
just how it feels
when the tank runs dry.
Wipe me clean
without Clorox or bleach
just simple honesty
Sanitation is next to salvation
in some circles
ooh and ah
Little spaces in the corner
brought to surface
made to shine
Lord, help me find
the right words
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.
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
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
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
Sit down for awhile
I’ve missed you
Let’s try again
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.
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, 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
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 –
Sliced open finger –
Static cling hair
and post-it notes
cling on, waiting
for it to organize
itself in the
fly open –
papers fly out.
Oh what a mess!
God bless the
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
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
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.