PPP Ezine Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 2; Issue 8; September 2018

Poet of the Month: Moinak Dutta

Dad by Jimmy Sharma

Finding My Way Through This Life by Wayne Russell

Will Be Quiet by Ahmad Al-khatat

He Falls More and Smiles Less by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Flowers in Stone by Neil Ellman

my sister: the sea by linda m. crate

Full Moon by Steve Klepetar

Homage to John Logan by Stefanie Bennett

Odd Species by Grant Guy

Slate by Scott Thomas Outlar

 

ppp8

 

Poet of the Month: Moinak Dutta

 

Places and vignettes, (travel poetry )

 

 

At Attari

————

Should’ve brought that lavender scented prickly heat powder

Was the first thing Labanya thought

Coming out of the car

Which had brought her to the hotel gate of Singh International,

 

Garment market was nearby

That was a relief,

But this Amitava,

When will he learn proper how to arrange for a tour itinerary

Keeping in mind the health and mind?

 

Has anyone ever made a journey from soothing relaxing luxurious clime to the horrid, sultry, sweating one?

 

Attari

 

It reminded her of bollywood

The hunks  in olive uniforms

Singing letters coming from home,

 

 

Border,

 

How romantic the flick was!

How much filled with chivalry!

 

The car again started

After Labanya added a patch on her face,

Powder flakes were running down her cheek

Like disobedient crowd of truant school boys,

 

The stadium ,

 

It looked like a grand occasion

Flags got hoisted,

Women danced,

Children clapped,

 

Patriotism

Came like several rounds of applause

Thundering shouts,

 

Gates on both sides

Started to close,

 

The show was over.

 

 

 

That fruit juice seller at Kufri

———————————————-

 

A meandering road lied upfront

Like a virgin spreading her charms,

The warmth of the day brought smell of

Cherries, apples and a lot of candy floss;

 

Hiking a few kilometres when thought to rest

The vendor selling juice appeared

I must have been thirsty

For took only few minutes

To empty the steel tumbler,

‘ want another?’

The vendor asked, business like his tone,

‘ yes, one more please’

I had been the most agreeable thing,

Docile, modest, too gentlemanly,

 

He smiled,

An all knowing smile,

‘ Kufri leaves no one thirsty’

He said.

I agreed not to disagree.

 

 

3.

Letter from Solan

————————————-

How many times have I thought to write

 

A letter to you,

 

A really long one filled with all the flavours and smell

 

That came one after another to me

 

As I went touring from one place to another,

 

Time,

 

it seemed speeding  like trains

 

Hurrying , having its own rhythm;

 

I peered out of the windows of flowing time,

 

like a wonder struck one,

 

Trees went past,

 

So also hills and valleys,

 

And rivers too,

 

I found them all singing for me

 

And for you too;

 

At that little station of Solan

 

When we stopped for awhile,

 

Got down with what desire know not I,

 

But those sights,

 

They wrapped me with curious blessed feel,

 

At one point thought

 

I should leave all my bags and baggage there on the loco

 

And just stay back,

 

Right there,

 

But you,

 

Your face came like call of home.

 

 

 

4.

At that little station where the train stopped for awhile

—————————————————————————

It had been that kind of a day

When you would remain the most blessed one

You would get  a seat by the window of a toy train

And watch how it chugged along the narrow gauge

Making whistle now and then which went away

Waning from a shrill pitch to a song

Quite soothing,

Or was it that those children with bright and happy faces

 Akin to newly woken flowers, who  giggled and laughed aloud

Which made everything so enchanting?

May be,

I looked at my partner of everything,

My lover for fifteen years,

My mate for twenty,

My friend for thirty,

 

She looked like a queen of hearts,

Radiating splendour,

Her lips had caught the hues of roses,

Beside her sat her soulmate

Her childhood bud

In whom I found my sister’s image-

Daring, tomboyish and rebellious;

Beside them, sat a local couple,

Returning from Delhi,

– A Delhite woman and her man from the hills;

 

The train moved like a happy go lucky kind of a kid,

Whistling and singing,

Then that kid stopped,

As if he had thought to take rest for a few minutes-

To drink water, to have a plate of paneer tikka masala;

My better half  and  sister  got down,

Asking me to join them,

 I got down ,

My wife and my sister went to the only shop on the station

Selling pakoras and coffee,

I stood on the platform,

The kid like toy train waited beside me,

 

The station looked like the sweetest place on earth-

Surrounded by hills overlooking it like guardians,

And those trees-

they were like angels dressed for the spring festival

– flowers all over their bodies,

Flowers on their arms,

Their ears,

Their heads;

I thought I should never try to write poems

For they never express a day like that

Or a station like that where the kid like train stopped,

Or trees like those which were no less than fairies.

 

 

 

 

Moinak Dutta’s poems and stories are published in national and international anthologies and magazines and also dailies including World Peace Poetry Anthology ‘ ( United Nations),  ‘Setu’ ‘ The Indian Periodical’ ‘ Pangolin Review’ ‘ Tuck Magazine’ ‘ Duane’s Poetree’, ‘ Tell me your story’ etc.

His first full length fiction Online@Offline was published in 2014,  by Lifi Publications. His second fiction In search of la radice was published in 2017 by Xpress Publications.

 

 

Dad by Jimmy Sharma

 

 

You taught me all wrong, Dad

 

You told me that my smiles brought you joy

 

But my smiles made me look a flirt, an enchantress.

 

 

 

This is what they tell me with their eyes full of lust

 

You told me to be straight forward and transparent as water

 

But my outlook is questioned every now and then.

 

 

 

You taught me to be humble

 

But they think I am timid

 

You taught me values

 

But my politeness is misunderstood

 

Dad, could everyone become as simple as you were?

 

Or I’d become mad one day

 

Correcting and explaining.

 

 

 

Jimmy Sharma teaches English Literature and Communicative English at Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana (India). She read for a Ph D on the writings of Amitav Ghosh from Panjab University, Chandigarh. She is the author of four books: Communicative English, Communicative English-I, Nayantara Sahgal: A Critical Study and a book of poems Echoes Within. Her work has appeared in various national and international journals. She can be contacted at echoeswithin82@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Finding My Way Through This Life by Wayne Russell

 

 

Finding my way through this life

and into the next has been catastrophic.

 

 

Along this gnarled path, strewn with

broken hearts, and twisted psyche’s,

I have bare witness, to madness and love.

 

 

Sifting through grains of translucent sand,

watching loved ones fade away, gnarled

in the coldest grip of deaths stalemate,

checkmate.

 

 

Waves of lost opportunity washed over the

drowning man, perplexed by evil hiss, Lucifer

shuffle and stamp me out.

 

 

Reborn and rise! The Phoenix! Soaring spirits,

higher towards golden medallion sun!

 

Do not fade like Icarus onto that tear stained

midday sun, do not perish like a dream that

never came to fruition.

 

Find your way through this life…..

 

 

 

Wayne Russell is a creative writer that was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. Wayne is the founder and former editor and chief of Degenerate Literature. Sadly, due to unforeseen circumstances and time restraints, DL closed in late 2017. Wayne’s poetry, short stories, and photography have been widely published both online and in print.

Will Be Quiet by Ahmad Al-khatat

 

 

I’m seeking a land, and not a homeland

Without the aid of Google maps, instead

 

I will discover a new land with a loyal pet as

I gave up from my friends a long time ago

 

I want to work like a bee, and fly with

the birds by the beautiful blue skies

 

I create a family of different plants

with seeds of my own, and rain from God

 

being a writer is being a father of grieves, and

writing about what the city lights hid from me

 

the rain drops wash the rooves of leaders

and damage the shelters of few believers

 

with my eyes I see, while nothing stops me from 

crying when I hear my adopted brother’s dying

 

I jump into the dead sea to cure my wounds

as I will have new cuts with no pain as long as

 

I will be drinking whiskey, and creating an unhealthy

cloud from the smoke of my addiction to cigarettes

 

being happy doesn’t mean I’m sleeping without

counting the stars, instead it’s another way to

 

forget that I am actually being hanged to death

since the day, I decided to own a colour of the rainbow

 

I will be quite with the mirror, and hold 

The candle dropping more wax in my throat

 

 

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.

He Falls More and Smiles Less by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

 

This is a geological survey.

 

This is rum-runners attempting a half marathon.

 

This is all that can be said holding back.

 

I do not believe anything that smells like pepperoni.

 

                    

 

The butcher has a knife and therefore my attention.

 

I would rather be guilty of something than innocent.

 

The way you hold your tea cup is a geological survey.

 

The old wise man is a lie.

 

 

 

He falls more and smiles less.

 

Break a hip and you are goners.

 

This is candy wrappers in flooded culverts.

 

This is free shipping.

 

 

 

Take it up with the city planners.

 

You are a town because they didn’t think big enough.

 

I am a worm in the wriggling hopscotch mouth of good graces.

 

This is witness testimony.

 

 

 

This is sensory deprivation tanks on the battlefield.

 

Smog is environmental hazing.

 

Pepperoni does not believe in the butcher.

 

Walk away and you are goners.

 

 

 

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.


Flowers in Stone by Neil Ellman

 

(after the painting by Paul Klee)

 

 

Flowers will grow

 

wherever they will

 

in gardens and glens

 

graveyards and streets

 

wherever their seeds

 

dropped by the wind

 

determine to live

 

as if they could share

 

their souls

 

with they who inhabit

 

the earth

 

and welcome them

 

to the hardness

 

of eternal stone.

 

 

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.

my sister: the sea by linda m. crate

 

singing in the ocean, i forgot my place was on land; they’ve always called me mermaid—the sea is my sister, and i am a daughter of the moon and sun; shimmering and glimmering tongues of truth and relief wash away my pain—here, i can be wild as fierce as i know myself to be, because the ocean understands; she does not judge me as people do just erodes away all the things i need to forget—the ocean is a place of hope and dreaming, a place that takes me out of the empty and broken promises people have given me that still cut into my flesh and heart like barbed wire;  here my heart is still and knows peace—the ocean knows i won’t beg on my knees, she knows that i will always fiercely fight for all my light and my dreams—she washes away the nightmares and the monsters so i can be freed of the darkness that foolishly believes it has any dominion over 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 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).

Full Moon by Steve Klepetar

 

 

They say the moon is full tonight,

 

but I can’t see it.

 

The air is filled with rain,

 

which falls out of darkness

 

past the streetlights shining

 

in puddles below.

 

When my mother was dying,

 

she forgot about the moon,

 

how it sometimes resembled an eye.

 

When she was younger,

 

she would point to the moon

 

on cloudless nights,

 

or on nights when clouds

 

drifted over the moon’s face,

 

leaving smoky shadows in the sky.

 

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.”

 

 

Homage to John Logan by Stefanie Bennett

 

 

The dark has a door

All of its own

Through which

Shines

The begotten

Love-light

Of sorrow.

 

To name it – you

Claim it.

That

Argus Eye

… The high road

So faithfully

Trampled.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Odd Species by Grant Guy

 

 

We are an odd species

Who pass on our darkest recesses onto others

We blames our homegrown sins onto the child

The housewife the construction worker the whore

The cop and the outlaw

We believe that is what God expects of us

Why else would it have given us

The accusing pointing finger

 

 

 

 

 

Grant Guy is a Canadian poet, writer and playwright. He has over one hundred poems and short stories published in internationally. He has three books published: Open Fragments, On the Bright Side of Down and Bus Stop Bus Stop His plays include an adaptation of Paradise Lost and the Grand Inquisitor. He was the 2004 recipient of the MAC’s 2004 Award of Distinction and the 2017 recipient of the WAC Making A Difference Award. 

 

 

 

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.

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