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.

 

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