PPP Ezine: PoetryPoeticsPleasure Ezine. Volume 5; Issue 1, January 2021

Write Where You Know by Marianne Szlyk

Missing Feeding of the Birds by Michael Lee Johnson

Delusioner by Richard Oyama

An End by Edward Lee

Maimonides by Shola Balogun

From the Origin of Things by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Connotations by Eric Golden

His Handiwork by Thomas M. McDade

Madman by David Estringel

Death of Pericles by Mark Kodama

My Heart Oasis by Walid Abdallah

Write Where You Know by Marianne Szlyk

In the distance, reeds
preen and freshen,
moving in and out of
Russian green
shadows, in and out

of light.  Last bees
light on yellow sneezeweed.
No milkweed
this summer.  Birds hide
in tulip trees.

On this brilliant day, birds
speak.  Really,
really, one calls.  Doves
coo.  Red-winged black-
bird lands on nearby reed,

coming out
of hiding.  It is
the only bird I
know here, the only bird
that does not

hide from morning heat.
Water glistens.
Yellow sheen floats above
bronze water.

Turtles walk below.

Marianne Szlyk’s poems have appeared in of/with, bird’s thumb, Cactifur, Mad Swirl, Setu, Solidago, Ramingo’s Porch, Bourgeon, Bradlaugh’s Finger, the Loch Raven Review, Epiphanies and Late Realizations of Love, and Resurrection of a Sunflower, an anthology of work responding to Vincent Van Gogh’s art. Her full-length book, On the Other Side of the Window, is now available from Pski’s Porch and Amazon. She also edits the blog-zine The Song Is…, a summer-only publication: http://thesongis.blogspot.com

Missing Feeding of the Birds by Michael Lee Johnson

Keeping my daily journal diary short

these sweet bird sounds lost-

reviews January through March.

Joy a dig deep snow on top of my sorrows.

Skinny naked bones sparrows these doves

beneath my balcony window,

lie lifeless without tweet

no melody lost their sounds.

These few survivors huddle in scruffy bushes.

Gone that plastic outdoor kitchen bowl that held the seeds.

I drink dated milk, distraught rehearse nightmares of childhood.

Sip Mogen David Concord Wine with diet 7Up.

Down sweet molasses and pancake butter.

I miss the feeding of the birds, these condominiums regulations,

callous neighbors below me, Polish complaints.

Their parties, foul language, Polish songs late at night,

these Vodka mornings-no one likes my feeding of birds.

I feel weak and Jesus poor, starving, I can’t feed the birds.

I dry thoughts merge day with night, ZzzQuil, seldom sleep.

Guilt I cover my thoughts of empty shell spotted snow

these fragments, bone parts and my prayers-

Jesus dwelling in my brain cells, dead birds outside.

I miss feeding of the birds.

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

Delusioner by Richard Oyama

For Matthew J. Wells

Invisible Man meets Portnoy, the blurb raves.

My property would be a multi-book deal, exclusive cable rights,

Translation into 26 languages, Bridget Jones hosting the launch,

Airport racks chock-a-block.

On Shinkansen and D train, every passenger

A-swim in my masterpiece—

Brilliant mash-up of Shakespeare & Pryor. I close on

A Bel-Air mansion and don’t give out the address.

My new friends are gorgeous in

The exact same way. We lounge around the pool, talking

High concept and weekend grosses.

Mazzy Star’s on the box: dream-pop for end-times.

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.

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 

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.


From the Origin of Things by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

I keep always in a secret oak chest,

invisible, safe and inviolable,

all my prayers and hopes, loves and troubles,

triumphs and defeats, hugs, dismay and discomfort.

They are a mosaic of the days I have lived, witnesses

of laughter and affection, tears and sobs, which show

that I didn’t run away from life, having lived it honoring

the sacredness with which it was once conceived.

They will be the passport for my re-entry into the fellowship

to the one who sent us to this common arena of smuggles,

afflictions and despairs and, from time to time,

happiness, fearlessness, even a certain human pride.

Sometimes this chest becomes heavy and unbearable,

and I need to empty it, because other days and passions

are waiting to be cloistered.

Hidden from human eyes, I open it and its content is burned;

emanations are mixed with the indecipherable clouds above us, 

and, like an old Pandora’s box, gives rise to bonanzas, lulls, and, 

above all, storms and thunders.

Luckily, to date, tornadoes and hurricanes have not appeared.        

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.

Connotations by Eric Golden

Light.  Birds.  

We connotate the universe.  
Instead of solid objects, dining table, we produce a glow of associations, family, food, togetherness, 
I would take you in my arms, stroke your long red hair, kiss your lips like drinking cabernet, like . . .
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.

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.

His Handiwork by Thomas M. McDade

Just 17, never drove a car

He’s steering a destroyer

Caressing this helm as if

Hooked up to fortune

Ringing up RPMs like pinball,

Enchanted by the dreamy sonar

Pinging and ponging mandolins

His fingers tapping the wheel

Anxious to work the fancy

Knots that lurk in their tips

Turk’s Heads, double crowns

Matthew Walkers, et cetera

He carries a line everywhere

To practice and the very first

Time ashore he shows off

For a French girl who’s duly

Impressed and in fair

English she adds one

More in a dark

USO corner where

She teaches him how

To braid her hair

He stutters to explain

How good knots loosen

As easily as they’re tied

She repeats his words

In her native tongue

And holds up her palm

To his and their fingers

Twine before a toss

Of her mane breaks

His handiwork free

 (Published in 2008 in The Peripheral Vision – Portugal – and translated)

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.

Madman by David Estringel

The heart is a madman when it comes to you.
Deliriously murmuring your name
Like an unhinged melodic mantra. 
Deranged mind of mine melts 
Into your fireplace like, fervent arms.
The piano tune within my chest,
Hysterically pleads for your fingers to touch the keys.
A psychotic addiction lingers inside of me
And the heart is a madman when it comes to you.

David Estringel is an avid reader, poet, and writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, & essays. His work has been accepted and/or published by Specter MagazineLiterary JuiceFoliate Oak Magazine,Terror House MagazineExpat Press50 HaikuslittledeathlitDown in the Dirt MagazineRoute 7 ReviewSetu Bilingual JournalPaper Trains Literary JournalThe Elixir MagazineSoft Cartel,Harbinger AsylumBriars LitOpen Arts ForumCajun Mutt PressFormer People JournalThe Ugly WritersWrit in DustCephalopressTwist in TimeMerak MagazineSalt Water SoulCherry House PressSubterranean Blue PoetryPrinted WordsSunflower SutrasTulip Tree PublishingSaltPPP EzineDigging through the FatHaiku Journal, and The Good Men Project. He is currently a Contributing Editor (fiction) at Red Fez, Lead Editor/columnist at The Good Men Project, and an editor/writer at The Elixir Magazine. David can be found on Twitter (@The_Booky_Man) and his website at http://davidaestringel.com.

Death of Pericles by Mark Kodama

Pericles lay on his sweat soaked back in bed, his head propped up by pillows,

Listless, with pale skin and dark circles ringing his eyes,

A shadow of his former self.  He vainly hoped the amulet hung

By a string around his neck would save him from the plague,

Sweeping through walled Athens now under siege

By the Spartans and their allies in a fight to the death.

The god-like Pericles, with his oversized head and

Oversized confidence, dominated his enemies

And built the Parthenon.  The nobleman who led

The commoners just a few years ago distained

Superstition as the absurd fear of the ignorant.

But outrageous fortune has a way of humbling

Even the most prideful of men.  War and plague

Had taken Pericles’s two adult sons and many

Of his closest friends.             Pericles, who once could do no wrong,

Was blamed by the people and stripped of his power.

Pericles – burning with fever – weakly raised right hand,

Asking for water in the same baritone voice

That once reverberated through the Assembly,

The Thracian slave girl – immune from plague –

Brought him water and changed his bedpan

And soiled bed clothes.  She sponged his fevered body.

Aspasia – his hetarai wife – cried in the adjoining room

As her young son Pericles the younger clung to her.

Pericles the elder, the former giant of Athens, the builder

Of cities, closed his eyes and slipped away.

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.

My Heart Oasis by Walid Abdallah

You are the oasis in my desert life

A ray of light in my eternal strife

The sun that always gives me hope and light

The dawn that finally shone after a long night

You grow dewy roses in my heart garden

You always lighten my heart heavy burden

You always give me a cause to live for

I promise I will love you more and more

You are the shade and shadow in my heart garden

You always give life to my feelings after they harden

Your smile cools and relieves my pain

You are my garden water and rain

You are the tree that protects me from life heat

You are the happy fate I always long to meet

Your touch gives me the breath I take

I enjoy the life you always make

You are the dream of my life as a whole

You are the leaves in my life that never fall

The flowers in my heart blossom on being together

Lilies grow on my heart wall and never wither

Water them with your true love that lasts forever

Dive deep in my heart, there is true love to discover

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.