Bruegel Bruegel #3
We were famous once for keeping
barrel hoops upright
and flashing bare leg
to boys in red trousers.
There were towers
of Babel and towers of song.
Each hour of the day
had an animal
of the three-legged goat,
the sheep, the serpent
and so on . . .
We cowered at dusk,
the hour of the bat.
We were not afraid.
It was not what the boys wanted
We were tearing
through the dirt
like golden chariots.
The Bedside Book of Melancholy
A thoughtful shade, a thinking person’s blue
had me paralyzed last night.
Instead of answering your call, I sat wishing
I was listening
to Miles Davis,
thinking that philosophers
in similar states of mind
before I was born called
I keep heating and folding and heating
and folding again
what you told me
like a blacksmith
strengthening a blade.
Surely, I am not the first to feel
like a doll’s head
tossed out because my eyes
no longer blink.
I need no pill, no empathy, no talk,
Give me time.
I will break
this blue truce.
I will do
what must be done.
A chicken wing-
piece of tofu
fails to destroy
An image of Egyptian
on the internet
as they may have been
fails to destroy
Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He has two chapbooks forthcoming: Simpler Times and Staring Down Miracles. His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cloudbank.
When rain and fate are intertwined,
some will get wet and never dry,
submerged in guilt that amplifies,
much moisture causes them to die.
Wily folks hidden by deep fog,
it dampens them and only blurs
their truth they claim as demagogue,
their crimes and sins always obscured.
Splashing through pools of enmity,
saturated with pelting rain,
a bright sun shower quickly forms,
bathed in sunshine, these dry again.
Some survive a spate and torrent.
They turn deluge into drizzle.
These then convince the clouds to form
only mist, soft dew does fizzle.
The cold disdain of those in sleet,
icy crystals freeze their numb hearts.
They never care for others’ pleas.
They simply choose to live apart.
Through hail and snow and pouring rain,
we walk the earth and live our lives,
through haze and spray we must maintain
lasting existence of all types.
Linda Imbler’s poetry collections include “Big Questions, Little Sleep,” “Lost and Found,” “The Sea’s Secret Song,” and “Pairings,” a hybrid ebook of short fiction and poetry. She is a Kansas-based Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee. Linda’s poetry and a listing of publications can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com.
I think the words. I place them on the edge of my tongue. I hope they will tumble into being.
I want to die
They shock me. They shouldn’t. I gave birth to them. Four Words. They ripped through flesh, sinew and bone. They fought through tissue and muscle and nerve. They have lived forever in me, defying death and time. Now they want to live.
I am happy to die.
Death. It heals. What time cannot. Time doesn’t heal. It ravages. It gobbles happiness like a starving lion, excreting sorrow. Layer by layer, it builds a wall within. Everything turns to stone.
I taste the dust. Scattered on the tip of my tongue. Crumbling, like words. Falling petal-soft on the earth. Unsaid.
Uma Venkatraman was born in India and lives in Singapore. She is a journalist with a passion for poetry. She has been published in anthologies such as Good Morning Justice, Along The Shore and Beyond The Hill, and online in Pink Panther Magazine, The Rising Phoenix Review, L’Ephemere Review and Plath Poetry Project.
And then there’s the night sky,
a vasty char peppered with stars.
Heavenly light show. Home of the gods.
A fairground of satellites and meteor showers.
We used to lie out on summery lawns
and lose count of ourselves.
The first astronomers on the block.
Child-astronauts charmed by gravity.
Darlings with their eyes plucked out
so they wouldn’t see the horrors.
When once we heard a star that moved,
our senses abandoned by reason.
Until our planet shriveled
to the size of a cherry pit
and life beckoned with a crooked finger.
With the cold hand of an image beheld.
Bruce McRae is a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC. He is a multiple Pushcart nominee with over 1,400 poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are ‘The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press), ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy’ (Cawing Crow Press) and ‘Like As If” (Pski’s Porch), Hearsay (The Poet’s Haven).
Enter into to the earth
The middle of rhythm
A pounding sound
in the back of life
It keeps me alive
Almost a feeling
A whisper of memory
A thought somewhere
in a mind that
has no substance
A rite of fancy
a clinging right
To exist beyond hope
Paula Hackett’s poetry is influenced by her life experiences growing up in Berkeley during the vibrant and explosive 60’s. The daughter of novelist Paul Hackett, she studied under John Beecher, Angela Davis and Grover Sales. She has written lyrics in collaboration with her brother John Hackett, for many great jazz composers including Teddy Edwards, John Handy, Ivan Lins, Joe Sample, Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson, and Cedar Walton. Her life long love of jazz is reflected in her many poems about musicians and in her CDs with pianists Rudi Wongozi and Connie Crothers. Her discography is represented in the images and links below.
She said that she’ll always be my friend,
said that she would stay no matter what.
But as the years became a blur, we watched
as the wheels of our romance fall off.
The flowers that I brought her died in a vase,
the children grew so fast and started a new life.
Everything changes, the season’s dance in a cycle.
The snow melts away when the sun rises and the
grass springs forward giving new life.
Everything changes, everyone goes, but me I am
here, always here and alone.
Wayne Russell is or has been many things in his 48 years on this planet, he has been a creative writer, world traveler, graphic designer, former soldier, and former sailor. Wayne has been widely published in both online and hard copy creative writing magazines. From 2016-17 he also founded and edited Degenerate Literature. Just recently, the kind editors at Ariel Chart has nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. Where Angels Fear is his debut e-book.
Burned into the ridges of the human brain,
this centre of emotions, memory, and pictures.
Data coming up like on a computer screen,
fragments imprinted in the mind, agglutinated pain,
distressing recollections or a pleasant rhyme;
some come to the surface, spring to mind,
stay monolithic, overshadow, influence the time,
those, mercifully submerged in oblivion, left behind.
Forgetting belongs to dough like yeast.
If we could not forget, we would be slaves of the past.
Some of my mementos are an ice-cold winter night
over dark steel factory outlines, a full moon – bright;
hand in hand with mother on empty streets,
destroyed houses, after a hellish rain of bombs
in war nights, only left as crater chains,
a smell of decay, time-dust washed into the drains.
Living in ruins, streets like dentures with missing teeth,
my parents, and me as an additional package,
unborn, duty unpaid, to be delivered in the coldest month of the year.
Poverty unfelt, did not know anything else for two decades.
An empty tin as birthday present, a wooden stick,
the little drummer, pa rum pum pum pum.
Dead hare on a balcony wall, from which blood dripped,
eyes staring, a questioning glance at the sound of the drum.
Rubble pouring out of a collapsed building
like the guts spilling out of the dead cat on the debris,
lying on top of the broken bricks like a warning;
like a mourning of the dead, buried underneath, reduced to ash:
People who never came back to the light of the day.
Messed-up childhood, disturbed, until the end of my time.
We never forget wounds, exposed to a haunting memory
which never fades away.
Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is an artist and a translator and writer of poetry and short stories. He is writing haibun and poetry in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry. He is a member of four writer groups in Ireland. He lives in County Kerry, Ireland, since more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. He was published in 29 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in UK, Ireland and USA. Writes also under his pen name: Eadbhard McGowan
We must see life unflinchingly with all its beauty,
Power and roughness and then tell about it
Vividly, painting pictures with words,
For the varied minds of our listeners,
In the form of our common experiences.
Letters and words scatter like bugs
Under a rock exposed to sunlight
For the first time.
We must gather, tame, and organize
These wild words, bringing joy to the sad,
Hope to the downtrodden and
Meaning to the dispossessed.
We are writers.
Mark Kodama is a trial attorney and former newspaper reporter who lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two sons. He is currently working on Las Vegas Tales, a work of philosophy, sugar-coated with meter and rhyme and told through stories. His short stories and poems have been published in anthologies, on-line magazines and on-line blogs.
In the Moor’ Field
Next to the green olive
There captivated me
Those three girls
-What were their names
Of the three girls?
-The biggest, Constance
The youngest, Lucia
And the smallest
Her name was Marie
And the smallest
Brought us water.
In a children’s circle
We were happy playing
With a rabbit and a chicken
In the midst
Next to a cold fountain
While the rabbit
Rodes the hen
As if she were his captive
While we were singing
Pointing one of us
Before elected from each other
Touching one of us
When we finished
The childrens’ song:
“The rabbit is not here
He left this morning
But at bedtime
Pum! It’s here
Doing the reverence
With a face of shame
You, the choosed, will kiss
To whom do You like the most”
The boy or girl touched
To the girl or the boy
Who one most wanted
Giving he or she
A kiss on the cheek
Choosing me, almost always
The younger, Lucia
That was vey good
Children calling her
The “Good Natured”.
Daniel de Culla is a writer, poet, and photographer. He’s member of the Spanish Writers Association, Earthly Writers International Caucus, Poets of the World, (IA) International Authors, Surrealism Art, Friends of The Blake Society, and others. Director of Gallo Tricolor Review, and Robespierre Review. He participated in many Festivals of Poetry, and Theater in Madrid, Burgos, Berlin, Minden, Hannover and Genève .He has exposed in many galleries from Madrid, Burgos, London, and Amsterdam. He is moving between North Hollywood, Madrid and Burgos; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The emotion that lies at the heart,
not shown in gestures and words,
cannot be measured or felt,
but for myself.
Disillusionment, sadness and despair,
even rejoicing and pleasure,
have created tears, salty and hot ones,
which have leavened the soil where I live,
bringing forth flowers, fruits, children.
Have nourished and ennobled my spirit,
paying the toll I owe to the lord of the fief.
I am sure they are leading me to Canaan,
the promised land where evil finds no shelter
and milk and honey flow abundantly.
Where the woman I desire is waiting for me,
at the door of my house, longing and needy,
wife and lover.
A Brazilian poet, Mr. Ferreira, 75 year-old, writes in English rather than in Portuguese. Largely published in international journals in print and online, he began writing at age 67. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2016. His first Poetry Collection – Lonely Sailor – has been launched in London, November 2018, with one hundred poems. Read more of his work at http://www.edilsonmeloferreira.com.