PPP Ezine – Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 4; Issue 1; January 2020

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Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

Mirror by Guna Moran

I am trying to find out by JayantaBhaumik

An End by Edward Lee

What survives by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Maimonides by Shola Balogun

Stamford, Connecticut to Grand Central Terminal by Thomas M. McDade

Connotations by David Flynn

The Search for Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

Six Haikus Explaining Life by Mark Kodama

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

An Apocalypse They Toyed with

 

The players touched the crumpled plastic ball

They used to kick every day with full might

There was neither a sign of light nor delight

They felt an air of airlessness, shapelessness

They drowned in a bloodbath of emotions

It left them feeling deflated and defeated 

Empty of air, it sucked them of coolness

For it was a little more than the ruins

It was static but a grieving upheaval

Its tears swept away their survival.

 

 

 

Her Tree

 

The houses were a rubble, the yard grassy and shrubby.

Yet her tree stood in defiance. As she touched it she felt

A potent sense of nourishment, security and continuity.      

Alone, she breathed anew as if reconnected to her mama.    

Though it was deserted, it was sacred, magnetic, eccentric. 

Once it was their homestead. Her birthplace. A remembrance.

 Her umbilical cord was buried under a tree there. Her tree. 

 

 

 

 

 

An Economic Meltdown Looms Large

 

Is it not experiencing a sudden downturn?

This is a country bleeding & long run down

 

Prices don’t lie, pretend as much as you want

It can’t be rigged, deny as much as you wish, saint

 

Austerity is felt just like the drying up of liquidity

To pretend that poverty is shrinking is stupidity 

 

The frequent rising of prices due to inflation

Screams of a crisis, a cancer, an implosion! 

 

 

 

 

 

Ndaba Sibanda has contributed to the following anthologies: Its Time, Poems For Haiti- a South African anthology, Snippets ,Voices For Peace and Black Communion. He edited Free Fall (2017). The recipient of a Starry Night ART School scholarship in 2015, Sibanda is the author of Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing and Football of Fools. His work is featured in The New Shoots Anthology, The Van Gogh Anthology edited by Catfish McDaris and Dr. Marc Pietrzykowski, Eternal Snow, A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma scheduled for publication in Spring/Summer 2017 by Nirala Press and Seeing Beyond the Surface Volume II.

 

 

 

Mirror by Guna Moran

 

Translated from Assamese – Bibekananda Choudhury

 

One image

Two persons

 

Both the persons appear clearly

So I do not even look

 

Deck up to make the outward person

Praiseworthy

Feel good when people say good

 

At that very moment

The inner person shines up

Feel like shattering the mirror to pieces

It is for it only

My inner self is exposed

 

Everyone can be angry at everyone

Everyone cannot be angry with oneself

Everyone can try to dupe everyone

Everyone cannot dupe oneself

 

The day I broke the mirror

The lightened mind was wafting like cotton

Today as I perceive my reflection in water

I get angry with water

 

Oh! Can’t cover the reflection anywhere

Shook up the water in anger

My image was lost instantly

The wild character started hopped up again

 

A passerby was watching my antics with a smile

I asked him the cause of the smile

He did not say anything

But handed me a slip of paper

I read to understand

My face is your mirror

Yours is mine

Can read the heart

By reading the face.

 

 

Guna Moran is an Assamese poet and critic. His poems and literary pieces are published in national and international magazines, journals, webzines, newspapers and anthologies. Apart from this, his poems have been translated into Italian and French, Bangla language.

 

 

Bibekananda Choudhury, an electrical engineer by profession working with the State Government of Assam has completed his Masters from BITS-Pilani. He has also earned a diploma in French language from Gauhati University. He has got published works (both original and translated) in Assamese, Bengali & English in popular periodicals and newspapers. His translated poems have been published in ‘Indian Literature’, the bi-monthly journal of sahitya akademy. ‘Suryakatha’, the Bengali adaptation done by him of the is being taught in the undergraduate Courses of Banglore University and Post graduate Courses of Gauhati University.

    

 

 

                    I am trying to find out by JayantaBhaumik

 

 

I am still in the search 

I’m journeying into tears of the stone

its depth, my bias so strong

something tries always to tell me,

from the course of its hard heaven,

that I’m nice between all right and wrong

I can be the absurd of the being

my imagination is an expanding

war between fire and its flame

like a combined wave of

deep sleep and regular insomnia

the fair odd of the auburn flower

Come, you pluck it from

the fine blade of understanding

here goes another expressway made of moments,

and I write you this travelogue with love –  

I’m still in the search of

the navel of time.

             

 

 

JayantaBhaumik is currently based in Kolkata, India. Basically from the field of Metaphysics and Astrology (a Research Member of American Federation of Astrologers Inc.), he finds Poetry as his world of Quest. He finds a period in Singapore and other south-east Asian countries every year for his professional assignments. His works can be found in the recent issues of Poetry Super Highway, Zombie Logic Review, Merak Magazine, The Pangolin Review, Pif Magazine, Better Than Starbucks. He is on Facebook and Twitter @BhaumikJayanta.

 

 

An End by Edward Lee

 

        for PW

 

And that is it,

isn’t it, your life ends,

but our lives continue on,

days falling into nights,

nights renewing into days,

always, even as we wish

for time to slow, stop,

for just a moment, an hour,

a day, some amount

of time so we might catch our breath,

hold it, fall into senselessness,

that the pain of your absence

might recede from our hearts,

that we might know some of the peace

you now know, pain no longer curling

your being, your very soul,

that we might think of you

without tears staining our breath,

 

that we might grief

without grieving, and smile

without guilt, or regret.

 

 

     

 

 

 

Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  His debut poetry collection “Playing PoohsticksOnHa’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection.

He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.

His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com

 

 

What survives by Edilson Afonso Ferreira 

 

There are still marks on the ground

where I kneeled and cried in despair.

The tears I poured in it have been exhaled

and are lost forever.

My screams startled the birds that took,  

around the skies, news of dread and fear,

also entirely lost.

However, the laughter once I launched,

also recorded by the birds,

so gladly had been welcomed that echoes 

by this very day.    

There were also some triumph yells

and some love whispers, which, along

all the rest, have been made worthwhile

this life of quite unnoted a human’s soul.

 

  

 

 

Edilson Afonso Ferreira, 75 years, is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than in Portuguese. Largely published in international journals in print and online, he began writing at age 67, after retirement as a bank employee. Nominated for The Pushcart Prize 2017, his first Poetry Collection, Lonely Sailor, One Hundred Poems, was launched in London, November 2018.  He is always updating his works at http://www.edilsonmeloferreira.com.

 

 

Maimonides by Shola Balogun

 

Tilted boulders, the expanse of cloud,

A swirling scent of grains.

 

I bid you come forth, bird’s flight

In this apocalyptic dream

And gird my descent into frozen rivers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shola Balogun, poet,playwright and filmmaker has been featured as a guest writer and contributor,especially in the areas of poetry, post colonial studies and dramatic criticism to various magazines,anthologies and journals. He studied Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan. Balogun lives in Lagos,Nigeria.

 

 

Stamford, Connecticut to Grand Central Terminal by Thomas M. McDade

 

A breezy walk to the train station and I’m thinking

Of a live chicken store that was once on Richmond Hill

I sit in a seat facing a passenger taking up

Two seats with the help of an NPR donor tote

A retro man wears cuff links and a monogrammed shirt

An Asian woman, long hair, green coat, black Wellingtons,

Lime turtleneck, has her ear glued to a pink

Cased phone the entire trip

Conductor warns once this is a quiet car

(Tell it to the wheels and tracks)

She whispers, listening not talking

Does he move on because she is so attractive?

Is a man she ditched pleading for another chance?

A hefty man corrects student papers, makes many comments

Does he grade tough?

Reads a poetry magazine after finishing

Is he a poet himself?

A young fellow sits on the floor near a door, types on a computer

His Boston College ball cap is faded

He sneaks peeks at the good listener

The lights blink on and off

The Woman exiting the train in front of me

Pulls a side-wheeled rolling suitcase

Is she thinking of motherhood

Powering a red wagon full of child?

A sign in the Grand Central Men’s Room reads:

No Smoking – No Bathing or Laundering –

No Drinking of Alcoholic Beverages

How many are plotting?

In the Concourse, some travelers look

At the blue-green Ceiling

For their Zodiac sign or firmament inaccuracies

If this were China, might have featured a rooster

I play back to Richmond Hill, and youth and forty years ago anyway

A beggar on Lexington chants, “Today is my Birthday”

He’s a one-buck richer Scorpio

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas M. McDade is a 73 year-old resident of Fredericksburg, VA. He is a graduate of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT. McDade is twice a U.S. Navy Veteran.

 

 

Connotations by David Flynn 

 

Light.  Birds. 

 

We connotate the universe. 

Instead of solid objects, dining table, we produce a glow of associations, family, food, togetherness,

love.

Wife.

I would take you in my arms, stroke your long red hair, kiss your lips like drinking cabernet, like . . .

Everything.

Wife.

You left me on the floor, stomach tangled into a painful knot, the future a cold bleak field.

 

So it is with light.

The universe is all light.  Matter is a form of light.  Light moves.  We are light.  We absorb light

like plants absorb light.  In fact, we live on light, the light from animals, the light from plants,

the light from the sun.  We in turn glow with light.  We emanate. 

Isn’t that a warm concept?  Light connotates with beauty, cheer, joy. 

But light also can be ugliness, disaster, death.

We see everything through light that arrives at the iris, is processed through the brain.

If we are light then our tumors are light, as are our highest thoughts.

As is God.

 

Birds.

Free as a bird.  Going to fly now. 

Birdsconnotate as winged freedom, as nice, as chirping happiness.

But birds in the sky are at work.  They hunt for creatures to kill with their beaks and claws.

They defend territory, whacking into pelicans which fall in the sea broken.

Brown birds peck at black birds to defend a lawn of food;

black birds swarm over the bald eagle to drive it away.

Try holding a falcon, try kissing a falcon, try looking a falcon in its sharp eye,

and telling it you love it.

A bloody mess is what you’ll be.

 

I mentioned God.

We connotate God.

We connotate sin.

We connotate grace.

 

Desk.

An object, in this case an object made of plastic.

I connotate desk to be happiness, writing, communicating online, savings photos,

a pile of bills, a pile of pens and two scissors.

A good thing.

But a thing.

There is the desk and there is me, seated before it.

Such it is with all things, all thoughts, all concepts, all theories, all.

Denotation is as hard to get to as a nut would be inside a foot-thick shell.

We live in connotation.

We ache for denotation.

Our world is our own glow.

Every word of this poem is a lie.

Every word you use, I use, they use, they used, they will use

is a lie.

Every word is connotation,

A lifetime of accretions.

This poem is the shell. 

Within it is the meaning,

which is beyond our grasp. 

 

Which becomes real although it isn’t,

just as a belief becomes real because we act on it,

kneeling on the kneeler,

putting a five dollar bill in the collection basket,

becoming a monk,

hating a woman in a hijab at the grocery store.

And vice versa.

 

Light.  Birds. 

Religion.   Life.

No meanings.

Connotations. 

 

 

David Flynn was born in the textile mill company town of Bemis, TN.  His jobs have included newspaper reporter, magazine editor and university teacher.  He has five degrees and is both a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Specialist with a recent grant in Indonesia.  His literary publications total more than two hundred.  He currently lives in Nashville, TN, where he is director of the Musicians Reunion, an annual blues festival now in its 36th year.  He also teaches at Belmont University in the English and Asian Studies programs.

The Search for Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

 

 

It’s out there, somewhere,

freewheeling and coy,

tugging on the beard of gravity,

on the path of least resistance.

You can’t see it, but listen –

the sound of a bottle

rolling across a table.

The tattle of mice scurrying.

Sounds of light rain

making its way in the dark.

Planet X, feeling the cold.

Feeling its age.

The sun’s secret servant,

wise men sieving night from day,

weighing circumstance

like bettors chasing fortune.

They realize, once a thing is

hidden it has to be found.

It has to be hard to find.

It’s next to impossible.

 

 

 

 

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, 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).

 

 

   Six Haikus Explaining Life by Mark Kodama

 

The Fly

The noise of the fly,

Shattered quiet of the shade,

On a summer’s day.

Undocumented,

But history nonetheless,

Etched in the

Memory of a mortal man.

 

The Frog

 

The frog eyes its prey.

A dragonfly hovers near.

Thwaak!  Mmmm. Delicious.

 

The Dying Coyote

 

The coyote cries,

As death patiently calls him.

The fate of living things.

 

Bones of the hominid

 

Bones of the hominid,

That no longer walks the earth

Extinct for years past.

 

The Tree Snail

 

The tree snail dies,

Its kind forever extinct,

2019.

 

 

.

 

Mark Kodama is a trial attorney and former newspaper reporter who lives in Washington, D.C.    His short stories and poems have been published in anthologies, newspapers, journals, magazines and on-line blogs.

 

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