PPP Ezine PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 9; September 2020

Dream Cadence by Wayne Russell

Moment by Eliza Segiet

Lullaby for a Politician by Jennifer Bradpiece

Fits in Nicely by Patricia Walsh

Both Sides by Noelle Kukenas

He Called Himself Giraffe by Ndaba Sibanda

Endless Options by Milton P. Ehrlich

Flower Girl by Michael Lee Johnson

Not Enough Maps by Kyle Laws

Don’t Quit by Kelli J Gavin

When Love has Ended by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

Book Review: Death is my only Beloved

 

 

 

Dream Cadence by Wayne Russell

 

A sparrow whistled a song into my ear last night.

 

Death is always a heartbeat away, life is an echo,

snuffed out all too soon.

 

The grass sings a serenade, soothing natures fleeting

breath.

 

While an ancient lullaby reaches its crescendo, she

dances upon this midnight dream cadence.

 

Peering through tear stained windows, outside where

innuendos swirl in vacant breeze.

 

We were here, do you remember?

 

Yes, it was we, when we were one and not two,

cascading and thus sealed over, simplified by

the finality, reaching its terminus point.

 

Life plays the sad song so out of tune, death stares

us down like a red-tailed hawk in the midday heat.

 

Wayne Russell is or has been many things in his 49 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. In late 2018, the kind editors at Ariel Chart  nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. “Where Angels Fear” was his debut e-book, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it was pulled from the publishers’ list of titles recently.   

 

 

Moment by Eliza Segiet

 

 

Translsted by Artur Komoter

 

 

I do not remember yesterday,

I do not know what will be tomorrow,

but I know

I’m only here

for a moment.

Everything

is a continuous moment.

The substitute of all

is love.

 

 

Eliza Segiet is Jagiellonian University graduate with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. She completed postgraduate studies in Cultural Knowledge, Philosophy, Penal Fiscal and Economic Law, and Creative Writing at Jagiellonian University, as well as Film and Television Production in Łódź. She has published three poetry collections and two monodramas.

Lullaby for a Politician by Jennifer Bradpiece

 

for dad

 

When I say, “I knew this would happen,”

my mother looks like she wants to slap me.

 

And who could blame her.

 

I’m portending my father

landing in the emergency room

the very day the old dog passed

with the same certainty one might lament

a full glass toppling off a table’s edge.

 

Where were my minders?

I had nearly misplaced an entire continent.

 

I turn on the television to keep the younger dog company.

 

Ernest Cossart’s Irish brogue gently chastises,

“Ah, there’s a real piece of idiocy—woman’s instinct—

every slab-sided female in the world is a crystal gazer—

she’s magic. She can fore-tell the future—like a politician.”

 

Flustered, I grab my water bottle, recheck the emergency number.

 

As I wheel around before closing the door,

I see Ginger Rogers, black and white in soft focus.

She spins around at her door, facing me

and an off-camera Cossart.

 

All the way down the hall her plucky voice follows me,

“And don’t you worry about me pop, cause I can take care

of myself alright! Goodbye pop!”

 

 

 

Jennifer Bradpiece was born and raised in the multifaceted muse, Los Angeles, where she still resides. She tries to remain active in the Los Angeles writing and art scene. Jennifer has interned at Beyond Baroque and often collaborates with multi-media artists on projects. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in various anthologies, journals, and online zines, including RedactionsThe Common Ground Review, and The Bacopa Literary Review . She has poetry forthcoming in Breath & Shadows among others. Jennifer’s manuscript, Lullabies for End Times will be available in early 2020 by Moon Tide Press.

 

 

 

 

Fits in Nicely by Patricia Walsh

 

Grating at extremeties, like the sheer cold

Over winter blanketed, a part to play

Traitored, or otherwise, importance  to call

The basic ingredient is the willing heart.

 

Life-partners to the fore, smugly congregating

In enclosed spaces not for the rest of us.

Brusquely rebuffing attempts at conversation

About their situation, intrusive, thanks.

 

I remain a stand-alone, despite predictions

Of a collective over summer, look out or not

Several broken hearts liter the roadway

To an earlier heaven, fitting in nicely.

 

No problem with insanity, broadcast over coffee

Not in any company should these jokes be shared

Strictly smoking in confined spaces, to mockery

Counting in times it hits you in the face.

 

Concerned, perhaps?  Preserving acquaintance

For merriment alone, cussing the depressed.

Parallels with Ballymun hit the wrong spot

Reading comfort but kicked in the teeth.

 

Relaxing at its peak, reading the irrelevant

Taking notice of sorrow for once in a life

Conspicuous by absence, still overlooked

Gambolling from drink to drink a speciality.

 

 

 

Patricia Walsh was born and raised in the parish of Mourneabbey, Co Cork, Ireland.  To date, she has published one novel, titled The Quest for Lost Eire, in 2014, and has published one collection of poetry, titled Continuity Errors, with Lapwing Publications in 2010. She has since been published in a variety of print and online journals.  These include: The Lake; Seventh Quarry Press; Marble Journal; New Binary Press; Stanzas; Crossways; Ygdrasil; Seventh Quarry; The Fractured Nuance; Revival Magazine; Ink Sweat and Tears; Drunk Monkeys; Hesterglock Press; Linnet’s Wing, Narrator International, The Galway Review; Poethead and The Evening Echo.

 

 

 

 Both Sides by Noelle Kukenas

 

 

Rushing up the escalator from the subway to the street

“Move to the right, people!”

Darting into the crosswalk while the ‘walk’ sign blinks yellow

Pushing the heavy glass door open and sprinting across the lobby

Catching my breath, impatiently shifting my weight from one foot to the other, waiting in line

Damn security protocol!

Speed walking to the elevators, ducking inside the closest one, willing the doors to close

Finally, the doors open! Making a mad dash out of the elevator and down the hall

Trying not to trip over myself

The guard nods and opens the door for me

I rapidly walk down the aisle to the table, thankful I made it on time

 

Moving slowly through the doorway and down the hall

Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle

Nodding when I pass by the others as they call out encouragement

The line of passengers winds slowly out of the building to the bus

Carefully navigating each step onto the bus and finding my seat

Absorbing the scenery outside the window, grateful for the slow crawl of the morning commute

Descending the bus as carefully as I boarded it

Joining another slow but steady line to enter the building

Security check, escort to the elevator, escort off the elevator, down the narrow hall, no rush

Through the side door, past the bailiff, to the table

Wondering if my public defender is going to be late – agai.

  

Noelle Kukenas began writing around the age of nine and continues to this day. She enjoyed working in several career fields, many which allowed her to contribute as a technical writer in some capacity. Her published works include a short story in Scraps To Scribes and poetry in Sisterhood 4: We Are Women. Recently retired from the nonprofit sector, Noelle enjoys spending her free time traveling with her husband, creating havoc with her grandchildren, and enjoying the California sunshine!

 

 

He Called Himself Giraffe by Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

That he was a towering figure was no debate

That he was a ‘giraffe’ was a rarity to celebrate

He called himself a giraffe, though some found it odd

He found it a tall order why they would fuss or be sad

Numerous souls on the streets raised eyebrows

Each time he appeared they gave him stares 

Not that he was a superstar by any measure 

 Out of courtesy, they would say it was a pleasure   

Oddly their gentility made him feel like an idol of sorts!

Behind his back they said he had a habit of saying truths 

Which meant that possibly he was economical with the truth! 

Maybe people didn’t understand his register, he was no youth

I`ll die if I don’t read a book week in week out, he would say

Liar or a bookworm? Did his hyperbole get other people astray? 

In the face of other people`s incompetence, he said: great job!

Was that a lie or a piece irony? When they said liar he didn’t sob

One analyst said anyone who called himself a giraffe had an idiolect  

Which could confuse people, and on how to say things he had to select 

       

 

Ndaba Sibanda is the author of Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things, The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence, The Way Forward, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, As If They Minded:The Loudness Of Whispers, This Cannot Be Happening :Speaking Truth To Power, The Dangers  Of Child Marriages:Billions Of Dollars Lost In Earnings And Human Capital, The Ndaba Jamela and Collections and Poetry Pharmacy.  Sibanda’s work has received Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. Some of his work has been translated into Serbian.

 

 

Endless Options by Milton P. Ehrlich

 

  

Are you awake

to what you 

choose to do

with the rest 

of your life?

 

Sit, stand, walk 

or mark time.

Swim in an ocean,

hang from a tree,

or bury yourself 

deep in the ground. 

 

Cry about the past 

or be a circus clown

without a frown

about the future.

 

Doing nothing 

can sometimes be

a necessary time out.

 

Try being present 

for the present,

and, you can fly 

with one wing.

 

Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 87- year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published many poems in periodicals such as the London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flower Girl by Michael Lee Johnson

 

 

Poems are hard to create

they live, then die, walk alone in tears,

resurrect in family mausoleums.

They walk with you alone in ghostly patterns,

memories they deliver feeling unexpectedly

through the open windows of strangers.

Silk roses lie in a potted bowl

memories seven days before Mother’s Day.

Soak those tears, patience is the poetry of love.

Plant your memories, your seeds, your passion,

once a year, maybe twice.

Jesus knows we all need more

then a vase filled with silk flowers,

poems on paper from a poet sacred,

the mystery, the love of a caretaker−

multicolored silk flowers in a basket

handed out by the flower girl.

 

 

 

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 39 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.  210 poetry videos are now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos.  Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762; editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available here   https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089.  Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings:  The Best in Contemporary Poetry, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1722130717.

https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Lee-Johnson/e/B0055HTMBQ%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

https://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=Michael+Lee+Johnson&type=  Member Illinois State Poetry Society:  http://www.illinoispoets.org/.

 

 

 

Not Enough Maps by Kyle Laws

 

 

As if with GPS you don’t have to know

how to find your way down a mountain

 

after you’ve taken a wrong turn

after it’s too late to go back

 

when you’re losing light

and if you don’t get off the peak

 

you will spend the night with no blanket

hardly any food

 

the water mostly gone

and bears sighted on the slope.

 

 

 

Kyle Laws is based out of the Arts Alliance Studios Community in Pueblo, CO where she directs Line/Circle: Women Poets in Performance. Her collections include Faces of Fishing Creek (Middle Creek Publishing), So Bright to Blind (Five Oaks Press), and Wildwood (Lummox Press). Ride the Pink Horse is forthcoming from Spartan Press. With six nominations for a Pushcart Prize, her poems and essays have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. She is the editor and publisher of Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press.  

 

 

 

Don’t Quit by Kelli J Gavin

 

 

I love you

More than I care to admit

It hurts sometimes

How much I love you

My love is jagged

It is fierce

It is loyal

Often overwhelming

But it is love

The truest form

Do not not quit on me

Because I will never quit you.

 

 

Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company.  Look for Kelli’s first book of short stories and poems in 2019. You can find her work with The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, Writing In a Woman’s Voice among others. Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram@KelliJGavin  Blog found at kellijgavin.blogspot.com

When Love has Ended by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

 

 

When you feel that you feel nothing, 

When you feel nothing, when he loves the other one. 

When you feel numb at his pain

When his joy doesn’t transpire into you, 

You know then. 

When you are insensitive to his other women, 

When you stop to pretend to be happy, 

When you stop posting pics in Facebook, 

Trying to convince others all is well, 

When you are not scared of people gossip, 

Then ask yourself. 

When you feel that relationship is just a contract

Merely debit and credit, 

When you consider that relationship has become just a piece of paper, 

Then ask yourself. 

When you stop trying to win him back, 

When you two are together for benefits, 

When you know anger towards him has left you, 

And the hatred and jealousy are gone, 

Then you are just a room mate under the same roof. 

And then, you know the love has ended, 

And the relationship of convenience has began. 

 

 

 

Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein is an aesthete from Dhaka, Bangladesh & MA holder in British&American Literature.Now a Free-lance writer. She writes weekly column for Different Truths Publications, India  featuring humanitarian to diverse issues. She has contributed to other news portals.  Her poems appeared in literary magazines. She has contributed to five Anthologies so far. She loves travelling and participates in recitals She seeks beauty from the blade of grass to twinkling stars. She Aestheticism and humanism  are the essence of her existence.She is the International Fellow 2020 of International Human Rights Arts Festival.  She can be reached at tts.hussein@gmail.com.

 

 

Book Review: Death is my only Beloved

 

Singh, Laudeep. Death is my Only Beloved.  Gurugram: Invincible, 2020. Print.

 

“Poetry”, one that has a long and hallowed tradition, is not everyone’s cup of tea anymore. It was that, in the beginning, even long after it was born, even in its Romatic youth and its later adult age. That was because it belonged to everyone, was written with Everman in mind by Everman’s pen. With increasing ratiocination and cerebralness entering it, it was divorced from Everyman’s life and its concerns. Laudeep Singh’s poems take you back to that long forgotten past when poetry did not belong to ivory towers. In his debut collection Death is my Only Beloved he succeeds in bringing together themes that rise from the soil of life and go back to it. In nearly a hundred poems Singh has touched life and death in so many ways and from so many angles that one finds something or other to connect with with every turn off page.

Although Singh declares “I do not know where to start”, he chooses the right piece to start his collection with. “Conked out” juxtaposes images with a shocking virtuosity. Bringing together broken dreams with malnourished babies is possible only in a consciousness that has place for both of them, probably having lived in a subjective reality shaped by them. It is this very beginning that unfurls the standard of death, the beloved that will be visible from nearly everywhere in the demesne of Singh’s mental landscape. It’s not that he writes only of death.  He writes intimately of life too. What else could he do, having lived it at least once? In “Flux” he brings life and death, lie and truth together and melds them into one inseparable whole. Although not “born blind”, the poet worked towards acquiring that selective blindness to the binaries that he so well portrays in his poem “The seers of the world”. The choice of the term “seer”, the tone of the poem and its theme bind it to the age when poetry used to be in its Romantic youth.

Although it’s been declared fallacious, and has been cautioned against by all modern critics, let me bring in the personal-subjective here. Singh’s uncanny take on death and his close relationship with it may have something to do with how he has lived his life and how life has lived with and around him. When he writes of “the demise/ of a loved one” in “Purgatory”, his tone reflects on his personal quest for the discovery of the truth of life-death too. Death is his constant companion, the burning flame of his muse, and his metaphor-moths come flying to burn in it. How else can one explain the juxtaposition of a “stillborn baby”, a “destroyed nest” and a “plucked flower” at the end of his poem “Incarceration”?

“There is no art of living” takes a slanting and successful jibe at the eponymous multinational franchisee, although there’s no way it can be proven in a court of law. The pathological need of the popular brand to limit life only to “the so called ‘goodness’”, and to miss its “totality” binds it to failure. There are pieces like “I drink to exist” that project the poet’s persona, as mentioned in the preface, on to the poem. It is where these obvious shadows fall the most that the intensity of Singh’s poetry is sometimes less, for his muse is not Baudelairean, as he declares through his poem “Consciousness”.

Although the poet tries to negate the binaries in some of his poems, his poems tend to affirm them, the central binary being death-life. He adds to it me-you, sin-innocence, today-tomorrow, good-bad, intentionally-unintentionally etc. in his poem “We all die in sin”. Add those binaries to “Our sleeping bed is our grave” and what we get is that Singh writes invoking the memento mori tradition. There are shades of the themes of the Graveyard School in many of his poems, albeit the tone is unquestionably his own. The antepenultimate stanza even indulges in a playful sophistry with the sleep-rest-life-death axis upon which this poetic tradition revolves. The philosopher-poet goes against the spirit of Aristophanes’ comic creation myth in his own comic manner in the poem “Now I know”. In fact he affirms the very opposite of what Aristophanes claimed: “no two individuals in this world/ are made for each other”. He goes on to deliver a message that no ardent supporter of monogamy would like to be read and spread. The most natural question on the theme of death is “where do dead people go?” Myths were woven to answer that question. Religion and theology worked overtime to conceptualize heaven, hell, purgatory and limbo to give a theoretically sound reply to that question. Singh’s reply is simple. They go to the place “where all people meet/ after death”.

If pain can ever be clothed in indifference that is translucent at places, but never transparent, then Singh’s “Marriage” shows how to do that. The father-son binary is the most central binary of the collection, probably even more central than the life-death binary. It is definitely more potent and gives power to the lines it appears in. “Dirge” posits “the art of crying” as the one essential art to be learnt in this life. The poet’s strain of the postmodern relishing of deconstruction appears time and again in a line here or a poem there. “Freedom is bondage” takes the loose thread in the narrative of the desirability of concepts like freedom and choice, pulls at it line after line, and reveals the naked truth in all its simplicity at the end.                 

   

   

 

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