Places and vignettes, (travel poetry )
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?
It reminded her of bollywood
The hunks in olive uniforms
Singing letters coming from home,
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,
Came like several rounds of applause
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,
An all knowing smile,
‘ Kufri leaves no one thirsty’
I agreed not to disagree.
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,
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,
Your face came like call of home.
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
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?
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,
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,
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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,
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.
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.
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.
(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
with they who inhabit
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.
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).
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.”
The dark has a door
All of its own
To name it – you
… The high road
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.
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.
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.