PPP Ezine: PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 4; April 2020

v4i4

 

Poet of the Month: Wayne Russell

Tequila (V5) by Michael Lee Johnson

The Big Band by Paula Hackett

The Search for Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

Birds by David Flynn

Passion by Edward Lee

Oceans of lessons by Lynn Long

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

What survives by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Kiss of Lavender by Shola Balogun

Hidden in a Small Town by Ferris E Jones

I will stop loving you by Walid Abdallah

 

 

 

 Poet of the Month: Wayne Russell

 

 

Lyric

 

Alone at the end of the day, 
souls depart from barren room, 
lonely breath, slow decay; blue 
city groans, like a wilderness child. 
 

Swirling lights dance, intermingling 
with ocean waves and incense. 
 
I could just lose myself in those golden 
eyes for an eternity.  
 

A sheltered tapestry of phosphorus 
stars and dandelion dreams, drifting  
down into my realm; this is the complexity, 
of new emotion, a resurrection kiss.  
 
For the first time in years, I’m alive again! 
 
Never happier than now, sleep brings me 
visions of her, for once I know peace, dreams 
never better.

 

 

 

Inside Out

I am the dead inside out, more alone than you
could possibly imagine.

Underneath kaleidoscope skies, trees sway in
the sorrowful breeze, loneliness has a hold on
the stranglehold cool of day.

I lit a match and the world imploded, sat outside
and watched people passing by in subtle sway.

She and me equaled = ‘ed she and he, and now
my universal meanderings have taken a dark turn.

Nosedive, like a suicide mission, Icarus winged god?
Lights out splash!

Dead goldfish in a bowl full of bleeding hearts, a
downward spiral, snap fell the trap on my hat.

I gave up the booze and the smokes oh great, now
I’ll have to stick around a while longer.

More alone than you could possibly imagine, but
I truly know that no one cares, as I do not care.

 

 

Loneliness Makes For a Long Long Day  


Sitting here talking to myself

sometimes I answer back, sun
sinking low, another day gone.

Without you or anyone else,
so lonely, doesn’t have to be
this way, why did it have to

end?

Alone again, an inhabitable fate
that transpired from out of the
shadows, will of design, leave me.

Papers scattered around this
room, poems, songs, thoughts,
echoing in the corrosive breeze,
window’s open and it’s freezing.

Nothing makes sense in this space
and time, the rain’s back again and
so are these tears of solitude.

 

 

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 nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. Where Angels Fear is his debut e-book.

 

Tequila (V5) by Michael Lee Johnson

 

 

Single life is Tequila with a slice of lime,

Shots offered my traveling strangers.

Play them all deal them jacks, some diamonds

then spades, hold back aces play hardball,

mock the jokers.

Paraplegic aging tumblers toss rocks,

Their dice go for the one-night stand.

Poltergeist fluid define another frame.

Female dancers in the corner

Crooked smiles in shadows.

Single ladies don’t eat that tequila worm

dangle down the real story beneath their belts.

Men bashful, yet loud on sounds, but right times soft spoken.

Ladies men lack caring verbs, traitors to your skin.

Ladies if you really want the worm, Mescal,

don’t be confused after midnight.

 

 

 

 

Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson published in more than 1072 new publications, his poems have appeared in 38 countries, he edits, publishes 10 poetry sites.  Michael Lee Johnson, has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018.  204 poetry videos are now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos.  

 

Editor-in-chief: Poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses and Warriors with Wings:  The Best in Contemporary Poetry.

The Big Band by Paula Hackett

 

 

Two trumpets fell in love

and their music showed it.

Not a wasted note.

They joined a big band

and were proud to be

such beautiful instruments.

Playing or waiting their turn,

they were never out of reach.

And together they made

the heavens dance.

 

 

 

 

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. 

 

 

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).

 

 

 

Birds by David Flynn

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.

 

 

 

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 230. Among the eight writing residencies he has been awarded are five at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, NM, and stays in Ireland and Israel. He spent a year in Japan as a member of the Japan Exchange and Teaching program. He currently lives in Nashville, TN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passion by Edward Lee

Your beauty shattered
the air in my lungs,
leaving me speechless,
forced to communicate
with my fingers
on your pale skin;

you answered me,
your breath drawing deeply,
repeatedly, with a song silently,
endlessly sung.

 

 

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

 

 

Oceans of lessons by Lynn Long

 

 

Oceans of lessons

Mountains to climb

Oh, my dear heart

Now is the time…

For once- 

I knew my path

Seen so clearly

I needed no map

A foolish quest

I endeavored

Believing myself

Oh so clever

Alas, life-

Showed roads

unseen

Took my hand,

led blindly

in dream

Now…

I follow a path 

seen less clear

As I listen to 

the beat

of my heart 

so dear…

 

 

Lynn Long- https://zolanymph1.blogspot.com/

Poet, writer, aspiring novelist, daydreamer and believer in the impossible. Artist @hitRECord.org and Scriggler.com Published in the following Ezines, Publications and Online Journals.

 

 

 

 

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.

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 is a Brazilian poet. He is 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 www.edilsonmeloferreira.com.

 

 

 

Kiss of Lavender by Shola Balogun

 

 

 

                                                       

The rose whispers

Your name to me

In the new

And beautiful colours

Of a rainbow,

Distinct in beauty

And elegance of forms!

 

When I see

Your sweet gentle eyes,

I see the sun shine.

 

 

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.

Hidden in a Small Town by Ferris E Jones

 

 

I put on a really old pair of shoes,

Which lets me walk chronologically.

I passed a ten-year-old, reading

Chariots of the Gods, in bright sun,

Then put the book down, he was done.

 

I witnessed an enchanted young girl’s shadow

Wither in a churchyard, contemplating

When she would tell of her new love

And how purgatory would start,

Shouldering what hid in her heart.

 

I watched a cruel man weep as a woman

Smiling tossed his dark cloud into thin air,

Making time for her children’s tears

To be felt, to be written down,

To be hidden in a small town.

 

 
Ferris E Jones is an internationally published poet and screenwritercurrently residing in Puyallup Washington. His work has appeared in both print and online magazines including as the featured poet for Creative Talents Unleashed. Other magazines include: Glo Mag, Piker Press, Se La Vie Writers Journal, Write on Magazine, Outlaw Poetry, Degenerate Literature 17, Tuck Magazine, The Literary Hatchet, Warriors with Wings, In Between Hangovers,and many other literary publications. He is the recipient of two grants from the Nevada Arts Council and the Editor and Publisher of Nevada Poets2009. Ferris has twice received honorable mention awards from Writers Digest annual screenwriting contest. Ferris is also the Author / Editor of seven collections of poetry.You can learn more about Ferris E. Jones by visiting www.inquisitionpoetry.com where each monthhe features the work of other poets.The goal of this site is to spread the word of poetry throughout the world.

 

 

 

I will stop loving you by Walid Abdallah

 

 

I will stop loving you

When the sun doesn’t shine

And dreams are no longer mine

When hopes run out

And volcanoes no longer shout

When all the oceans become dry

And you count all the stars in the sky

When all the trees’ leaves wither

And the earth has only one weather

When deserts blossom and flower

And waters of rivers become sour

When the colors of nature fade

And all trees lose their shade

When we have eternal day or night

And all people lose their sight

When the trees stop dancing in the wind

And the mountains collapse and bend

When rocks and stones cry

And cats and rabbits fly

When winds no longer blow

And waters in rivers and seas no longer flow

When ice and snow in the poles melt

And all living things become mud or silt

When I no longer breathe

And life has no air or breeze

I will stop loving you

When I am chosen by death

And your love gives me a new birth

 

 

Walid Abdallah is an Egyptian poet and author. He is a visiting professor of English language and literature in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany and the USA, his poetry includes “Go Ye Moon”, ” Dream” and “My heart still beats” And has several translated poems which won prestigious prizes in the USA like “Cause”, “Egypt’s Grief”, and “Strangers’ Cross”, his books include Shout of Silence, Escape to the Realm of Imagination, and Man Domination and Woman Emancipation.

PPP Ezine PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 3; March 2020

v4i3

 

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

Cold by Ivan Peledov

Forbidden Topics by Seth Brown

Team Players by Tim Kahl

The Field Animal’s Dream by Richard Oyama

Cleaning Shoes of my Daughter by Abu Siddik

Survived another Day by Andrew Scott

Class Photo by Brian Rihlmann

Elephant and Castle Underground Station by Eduard Schmidt-Zorner

What Will We Do? by Eric Golden

One Single Kiss by Fethi Sassi

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

 

Looking Up

 

As the drunk teacher was saying:

The hum of the computer

Was a common feature 

In 5 BC one student

Was looking up:  

Anachronism 

 

 

 

 

Her Finest Chef Ever

 

His fiancée was on the edge

Of starvation, or that`s what

She disclosed as she entered

It was a windy and dusty day

Of his food—cockerel and rice–

His beautiful black bride tasted, 

Exclaimed: oh as sweet as ginger!

The stove regretfully watches

The real rooster that looks alive

And ready to crow as if to mark

The break of dawn…it has dawned

On me that my groom is one

Of the best chefs on this Earth!   

This must be sweet, sweet medicine! 

Its pleasantness has slain my starvation

Thanks, just perfect for this beautiful day!

 

 

 

 

 

Ahead Of Themselves 

 

They came along dressed in joy  

Their national flags set to decoy

 

They drummed, drank, sang, danced 

Till time tottered, tilted, talked, tranced      

 

They got ahead of themselves with delight 

They stole a hive of hearts into the night    

 

 

 

 

Ndaba Sibanda is a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee. His poems have been widely anthologised. Sibanda is the author of The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache: Unsympathetic Untruth, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence and Poetry Pharmacy. His work is featured in The Anthology House, in The New Shoots Anthology, and in The Van Gogh Anthology, and A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Poetic Intersections. Some of Ndaba`s works are found or forthcoming in  Page & Spine,  Peeking Cat, Piker Press , SCARLET LEAF REVIEW , Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Pangolin Review, Kalahari Review ,Botsotso, The Ofi Press Magazine, Hawaii Pacific Review, Deltona Howl, The song is, Indian Review, Eunoia Review, JONAH magazine, Saraba Magazine, Poetry Potion, Saraba Magazine,  The Borfski Press, Snippets, East Coast Literary Review, Random Poem Tree, festival-of-language and Whispering Prairie Press. 

 

 

 

 

Cold by Ivan Peledov

 

Oars smell funny in the middle of winter.

The peasants slowly burn the snow

and force the ice of the lakes to reflect

cardboard aircraft that threaten emaciated divinities.

You must have six arms and two noses

to be able to enter their hallways.

You must lose your mother tongue 

to remain below, to listen unceasingly,

like a wingless, colorless bird,

to stones, trains and shivering beasts

tired of measuring the clouds.

 
Ivan Peledov lives in Colorado. He loves to travel and to forget the places he has visited. He has been recently published in Goat’s Milk Magazine, The Collidescope, iō Literary Journal, and Wend Poetry.

Forbidden Topics by Seth Brown

 

Politics and Religion.

Those are the two subjects you’re not supposed to talk about

On a first date

Or in the office

Or when meeting the parents

Or most other times.

 

The risk is that the other person

Might think something

Different

From you.

 

At which point, you have no choice.

You each must draw your blade,

Swear the ancient blood-oaths,

And attack your opponent until either they or their ideas

Are destroyed.

 

The world is not large enough

For two opposing viewpoints

To co-exist peacefully, respecting each other.

Apparently.

 

 

 

 

Seth Brown is a freelance writer and poet based in the beautiful Berkshires in Massachusetts, where he can frequently be found performing poetry. His poetry has appeared in the Washington Post, Moral Relativism Magazine, and Indiefeed Performance Poetry, among others. He is the author of six books, and consumes an inordinate amount of sushi. His website is RisingPun.com. 

 

 

Team Players by Tim Kahl

 

The whole work force is on Prozac

   Dynamism is self-subdued.

Good team players can tone it down.

   They fit into marching orders.

My oh my. They’re tracking your movement.

 

   Remember when there were no phones.

 

 

 

Tim Kahl [ http://www.timkahl.com] is the author of  Possessing YourselfThe Century of TravelThe String of Islands, and Omnishambles. His work has been published in  Prairie Schooner, Drunken Boat, Mad Hatters’ Review, Indiana Review, Metazen, Ninth Letter, Sein und Werden, Notre Dame Review, The Really System, Konundrum Engine Literary Magazine, The Journal, The Volta, Parthenon West Review, Caliban and many other journals in the U.S. He is also editor of Clade Song [ http://www.cladesong.com]. He is the vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center. He also has a public installation in Sacramento {In Scarcity We Bare The Teeth}. He plays flutes, guitars, ukuleles, charangos and cavaquinhos. He currently teaches at California State University, Sacramento, where he sings lieder while walking on campus between classes.

 

 

 

 

 

The Field Animal’s Dream by Richard Oyama

 

What is the field animal’s dream?

It does not think of the boy’s bird screech and water pistol, the girl’s pas de deux and pursed lips.

They batter each other’s head with flattened palms. A grandmother peers between the crack in

red Naugahyde seats, wizened as in a fairy tale as if something in the children’s play is wrong,

illicit, something to be rebuked.

Buried in a shell of sand, a girl is a gorgeous tortoise like the first photograph made in historical

time before the ceremony of innocence is drowned.

What is the field animal’s dream? Is it me, a cud in a cow’s teeth? Behind the limestone karst,

another and another and another.

Is this the limestone’s dream, sediment and solidity outlasting us, as though it is the body’s doors

of dan tien through which chi flows as the sea is artificer of ephemeral sand-glyphs?

The string of green lights glimmer in a pre-dawn republic of dark grain. The karsts, the squid

boats, have not emerged. The sun has not birthed them. If all is flux, I am a fish disguised as

stone.

The field animal is dreaming. It will dream us into the next sleep. Eyelids of morning flutter. The

silver bells of the flowers ring.

 

 

 

Richard Oyama’s work has appeared in Premonitions: The Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry, The Nuyorasian Anthology, Breaking Silence, Dissident Song, A Gift of Tongues, Malpais Review, Mas Tequila Review and other literary journals. The Country They Know (Neuma Books 2005) is his first collection of poetry. He has a M.A. in English: Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Oyama taught at California College of Arts in Oakland, University of California at Berkeley and University of New Mexico. His first novel in a trilogy, A Riot Goin’ On, is forthcoming.

 

 

 

 

Cleaning Shoes of my Daughter by Abu Siddik

Every morning

From Monday to Friday

I clean with caress

My daughter’s shoes

And brighten her day.

 

I brush away dirt

And shine to their sheen.

 

My daughter first squints

Seconds later she smiles,

My room is perfumed

And my soul shines.

 

 

Abu Siddik is a writer from Berhampore, Murshidabad, India. He has contributed to various e-journals and anthologies and has published three books. Website: www.abusiddik.com

 

 

Survived another Day by Andrew Scott

 

Seems the day is crumbling

before the sunrise even starts

and the motivational coffee is brewed.

Smiling perseverance to hold the glow

of believing in the kind goodness.

 

Walking to a destination

not sure now of arrival

due to unexpected barricades

that may end it all.

Chipper steps need to be taken

to sit comfortably

and breath in the air of delight.

 

Being led down a road

by other’s greedy agendas

just to make a living

where family exists

not knowing when it may

seize to being.

 

The worries of the home

collapsing from the hidden

lives of the unpredictable young.

Still there is love

in the hugs and kisses good night.

 

As we lay in bed after

and go to sleep at the

end of each peaceful night

we dream in celebration

as another day was survived.

 

Andrew Scott is a native of Fredericton, NB. During his time as an active poet, Andrew Scott has taken the time to speak in front of a classrooms, judge poetry competitions as well as be published worldwide in such publications as The Art of Being Human, Battered Shadows and The Broken Ones. His books, Snake With A Flower, The Phoenix Has Risen, The Path, The Storm Is Coming and Through My Eyes  are available now.  Searching is his fifth poetry collection. 

 

 

 

 

Class Photo by Brian Rihlmann

 

I look at that class photo, Kindergarten
and wonder what is left
of those faces and bodies and souls
as we, now nearing mid life
are awakened by harsh alarm bells
on the east or west coast
or somewhere in between
and we swarm out into the streets, 
down into subway tunnels or onto buses
or hop in our cars and brave freeway madness,
faces now lined and wrinkled
like clocks and dollar bills.
I wonder if anything at all is left,
or if there’s anything sacred
in this routine. It’s hard to see, but
I still look for it, as I weave
among cars on the freeway, 70 plus, 
toward someplace I’d rather not be.

 

Brian Rihlmann was born in NJ, and currently lives in Reno, NV. He writes mostly semi autobiographical, confessional free verse. Folk poetry…for folks. He has been published in The Rye Whiskey Review, Cajun Mutt Press, Alien Buddha Zine, Synchronized Chaos, Madness Muse Press and The American Journal Of Poetry.

 

 

My Crows by

 

1/

Each time I run short of inspirations

I would try to fold the dull season

Not into a decoration

But into a bird

 

I always hang it high

Above my head

Like my own spirit

Like my white crow, where I

Can hear the droning complaints of

Each creature over its pain

 

The pity is, my senses are often too soft

To hold the shape firm

 

2/

After so many years

            The white crow

    I had been keeping as a pet

            Finally flew away

Without a single moment

                        Of hesitation

Through the back window

            Blown open

By a gust of sun wind

                        Last night

 

Into the storm of

            Black snowflakes

    Falling down

            Right from heaven 

 

 

Yuan Changming  published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline, among others. 

 

 

Elephant and Castle Underground Station by Eduard Schmidt-Zorner

 

 

Waiting in the dark, we dream of light;

deep, underground, we hear detonations,

vibrations of bombing causing fright,

impact of loads dropped on a town.

 

What awaits us outside is unknown,

when we inch to daylight with we desire:

a day darkened by smoke

or a night glowing with fire?

 

Grasped by fear and helplessness,

by air raids and trembling walls,

recognising nightmare’s relentlessness

in the horror of today’s sundown

when night falls like a gown

and sirens sound the all-clear,

in these days of war and fear,

in shelters with neighbours and strangers.

 

Wherever we look into dark future’s night,

far from the here and now, flickering light,

far from home, hoping, and hearing

the word without knowing its meaning.

 

Did we see warnings looming up?

Signs on the wall, in Belshazzar’s hall?

Did we anticipate tyrants, invasion, depravity?

Victims, the dead, the bombs on Coventry?

 

Sons of the land clothe themselves with death,

arm themselves to kill their own kind

in the places of horror, up and down the land.

Dream weavers weave a wreath,

money counters count and pay in kind;

armourers forge, steel unsheathed;

soldiers kill; leave thousands bereaved:

we are all led like puppets on a string.

 

In the city of lost angels,

a masked man sharpens his black scythe,

saddles his mighty horse

for the very last fight.

Burn, Phoenix, that your ashes bear fruit,

keep your heart’s blood, Pelican, to feed us.

Grim Reaper has his harvest time.

We hear graveyard bells chime.

 

Almost filled is the hour-counting shadow glass;

nearly faded, are pottery shards with your name,

the Tree of Life, standing pale in the rain;

wilted, the rosebush that lived your love,

windblown breath that carries your words,

naked, featherless- lonely peace dove.

Go where you have never been before,

where yet so many wait.

 

 

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is an artist and a translator and writer of poetry, crime novels and short stories. He writes haibun, tanka, haiku and poetry in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry and prose. Member of four writer groups in Ireland and lives in County Kerry, Ireland, for more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. Published in 60 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in UK, Ireland, Canada and USA. Writes also under his pen name: Eadbhard McGowan.

What Will We Do? by Eric Golden

 

What will we do when the newness wears off? The laughter is silenced, but at what cost

 

The tears fall, the hearts break

I know I’ve had about enough of all I can take

 

Push came to shove & I got shoved over the edge

But now were both going down cuz I’ve pulled you off the ledge

 

This is the point where emotions have gone astray

When kissing your mouth is like kissing a dirty ashtray

 

I’m not attracted to you anymore either

What you say fucked that up long ago & the knife just got deeper

 

This is the point where hopelessness had made it’s way in 

There’s no turning back now, nowhere to begin

 

Words have lost their effectiveness actions no longer count

The only thing that I feel is the numbness of emotions & constant doubt

 

Too scared to leave, yet too hurt to stay         

We repeat the process day after day

 

Misery loves company, I guess that’s true what they say

A glutton for punishment & sometimes I like it that way

 

Because I get to at least feel something instead Of being dead inside

I’m sorry things couldn’t be different, I apologize for the tears you’ve cried

 

I guess my love wasn’t enough, I guess I couldn’t step up to the plate

Couldn’t do what needed to be done & I’m sorry for my mistakes

 

I really hate the fact that you’re never satisfied

I’m trying as hard as I can, but this is it…end of the ride

 

Why can’t you get over your insecurities?

This fighting is just killing me….

The nagging is too much

Can’t you just be nice for once? I thought we were In love

 

Let go of the past & don’t bring up things from 5 years ago

It’s time to end it & I’m sorry I couldn’t play the part in the show

 

So now when I touch you it’s like there’s something different

You’re randomly leaving w/o my permission

 

When you breathe I can tell that things aren’t right

When I lay next to you I cant stop thinking through the night

 

You’re isolating more & more & you don’t take my suggestions

You think I’m trying to boss you around when I want this marriage to have a resurrection

 

It’s dead & cold

What happened to the days where it was warm & bold?

 

Quit acting like you wanna be single

I can’t keep doing this cause I’m slowly starting to dwindle

 

Off into the darkness

I can’t lie because I’ve also been heartless

 

I’ve called you names, I cut you down

enough games, enough smashing each other into the ground

 

The guilt is all over my face

My pride is in the trash

Now we’re never gonna finish the race, were gonna finish last

 

You wanna fight in public, you wanna call me names

You wanna talk shit & I don’t have time for these games

 

You wanna talk shit on my family & fight in front of my kids

You’re a crazy ass bitch & so now I’ve flipped MY lid

 

You wanna hold resentments & grudges

Living in misery & I’m sick of your judgments

 

If you want a divorce fine, if you wanna leave then go

Yah it’s gonna hurt, but Ill get over it you know

 

Your lips are cold & your touch is hollow

What’s going on? Is there more misery to follow?

 
Eric was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He graduated from Boys Town high school and went on to get a degree in Social Work. He married at 19 but later got divorced and has raised two children alone. His love for music and arts has led him to his writing. Much of his poetry and writings come from experiences and love of life. He often adds humor to enlighten and has been writing for over 20 years.

 

 

One Single Kiss by Fethi Sassi

 

I still lick my fingers every morning,

I play with my neighbors in front of the next door girl.

I hesitate a thousand times…

How can I sink my fingers in her hand?

And kiss the moon dangling on her braids?

She keeps looking at my hand, wet by the sand.

But…

 Is it enough for one kiss to determine the moon’s orbit in her hair?

This moon can’t lure me.

I was always biting my poem

When I wrote about a girl who lost her kiss on the sand…

 

 

 

Fethi Sassi is a writer of prose poetry and short poems and haiku ; translator of all his poems to English . A member in the Tunisian Writers’ Union ; and in the Literature club at the cultural center of Sousse . 1- first book entitled “A Seed of Love” was published in 2010. 2- ) I dream …. and I sign on birds the last words ) in 2013 . 3- ” A sky for a strange bird “ first edition in Egypt in 2016. Second edition in September 2018 in Tunisia . 4- published in Egypt in march 2017(As lonely rose ..one a chair)- Poetic book in 2018 Egypt ( I used to hang my face behind the door).