Poet of the Month: Ahmad Al-Khatat
Weak am I,
no longer am I the knight of a stranger’s dark dream
sad am I,
with a thirsty spirit seeking for a bloody river
lost am I,
I cannot find a way to heal my wounds during the day
drunk am I,
running away from people’s hateful judgments
sick am I,
waiting on the bullet to end my miserable hope
fool am I,
for believing in tears, and ignoring the mouths of lies
who am I,
today I am miserable for writing on the city walls
who will I be,
nothing but a drunk writer in a forgotten cemetery
Writing a Letter
I will be writing a letter
to nobody brave or I know
I want to say I am sorry
for the ones, who hurts me before
I know that life is more
than one locked door
perhaps, my heart is the
house with broken lock to protect me
yet, my enemy win over my
innocent moves, his words
are sharp knives, and my answers
are the seeds of the plants in heaven
being blind means, you are
gifted, you just believe in the
ones who wishes you death
and nothing else of good in darkness
I am not Alone
O people, I am not alone in this world
my spirit may be tired of my wounds
I’m seldom hopeless to find the door
to knock on, to open and, forgive me
they say that love comes very softly
under the stars, in front of my sight
she will be beautifully hostage on the
one-way bridge to the blinding light
up in the smoke of my cigarettes
I taste her lips, when I add a teaspoon
of earth and sea, in my cup of
nostalgia, of her body and scent
the bitter flavour of lonesome
it’s the time, I draw her on the mist
a stranger is watching me in tears
even though he doesn’t know me
I am not alone, but you are alone
you will miss me, when my blood
will be the cut of a sacred river,
Ahmad Al-Khatat, was born in Baghdad, Iraq on May 8th. He has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world and has poems translated in several languages. He has published two poetry books “The Bleeding Heart Poet” and “Love On The War’s Frontline” which are available on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet on Facebook.
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.
The rhyming and the not,
as if I had forgot,
my words of many years,
embedded in my tears.
Days of youth have passed.
The die has long been cast.
Pieces of my life
still wading through pained strife.
Time has come and gone.
I waited far too long.
My words have all grown stale,
now lost beyond the pale.
A fire that once burned,
has long ago been spurned.
My passions all I gave,
lie cold beyond the grave.
Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and three cats. Her most recent credits are: Ethos Literary Journal, North of Oxford, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Synchronized Chaos, Pangolin Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, The McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore.
In the graveyard of the buried alive
she screamed and groaned…
and they sighed…
to tell a story
It was the best day of my life (she said)
there from my coffin
in my best clothes
mascara, rouge and lipstick –
I could hear them praise me soft and low
twas pure bliss!
people in black and mourning
with nothing but good to say of me
highlighting my achievements
played down my bad
and I had been waiting
my whole life for this!
and then they were there
these people in black
my friends, foes
and I don’t knows
kissing me on my forehead
bidding me goodbye
hardly aware that i was screaming
silently – no one heard my cry
my mind registered bouquets
a malicious eye or two
some tears spilt to wet my face
a whispered word from you
and then they gently closed the lid
and nailed it into place
and lowered me down by ropes
down into the hole
and threw mud upon my face.
hey! ‘don’t do that!’ i cried from where within
i could hear the muddy rain
but bury me they did and an epitaph –
“Buried alive – never to be heard of again!”
Glory Sasikala is a poet and writer currently residing in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. She is the Editor and Publisher of the Monthly Online Prose and Poetry magazine, ‘GloMag’ and is the administrator of the group of the same name on Facebook. She is a language editor and quality analyst by profession.
Translated by Yuanbing zhang
Who is sitting in the heavens and staring at me?
Who is sitting in the golden palace of tomorrow?
Who is smiling?
Golden staff in his hand
flashes a dazzling light.
Ah, the flashes of lightning-
interweave over my head…
I walked into the crystalline corridor of the time-
I want to open
the doors of gold.
Lines of words in the sun-
Singing to me in the sky-
I want to find
the volumes of gold poems
on the shores of the new century
to build the city of gold.
Laozi with rosy cheek and white hair-
Smiles at me in the clouds,
A phoenix dances trippingly
and carries with it, a book of gold.
Lines of mysterious words
made my eyes drunken,
countless giant figures
came towards me from the clouds.
Ages through seventy million years
emerged leisurely before my eyes,
the cities of gold
surrounded with crystalline gardens.
A sky of sapphire
sent out a colorful miraculous brightness,
onto green hills of jasper,
dragons and phoenixes were flying
with majestical palace of gold,
the airy pavilions and pagodas
stood within the purple-red clouds
riding the colorful husbands and wives,
sprinkling the colorful flowers.
I opened the door to a golden palace,
saw the rows of scrolls of gold,
a giant who had the haloes all over his body-
there was a golden sun over his head.
Smiling, he picked up the books of gold
recited the sacred verses-
Intoxicated with the miraculous wonderful words
I was enveloped with purple-gold flames.
A golden lotus
bloomed beneath my feet,
lifted up my body,
wafting it up out of the golden palace
The red clouds
drifted by my side,
in the far distance I saw
another golden paradise
the leisurely bells
calling to me.
There- countless giants
roamed in a golden garden,
with skies of ruby,
rounds of sun
like the golden lotus
blooming in the sky,
intoxicating fragrances of flowers
like sweet good wine,
laden with the dazzling diamonds,
in bloom for a thousand years,
this land of gold
inlaid with the gems.
The pavilions of gold were
strewn at random, clustered in multitude.
Someone was playing chess
Someone was chatting…
happy and comfortable.
flying in the sky,
husbands and wives
Beside an old man I approached
as if he were waiting for me
in this golden pavilion.
He opened an ancient sword casket-
A glittering ancient sword
engraved with abstruse words and expressions,
which were clear and transparent, like lightning,
dimly glowed with purplish-red patterns.
He told me a metaphysical epic:
The sword came from nine billions years ago,
made from hundreds of millions of suns.
It was a sacred sword of the sun-
It could pierce the rocks of time,
open layer after layer of skies,
let the sacred fires forge the heaven and the earth
into golden paradises.
The old man’s eyes were deep, archaic, difficult to discern-
Dimly showing the joyful flames.
He let me take this sword
to fly towards a new golden paradise:
The huge golden lotus floated leisurely-
I flew among the skies, for a thousand miles.
loomed impressively in front of my eyes
Mountainous figures of giants
walked about in front of the pyramid,
the huge pyramids of gold
far taller than the mountains.
The giant trees of gold
like a forest
stood in the sky
laden with the stars.
The multi-colored propitious clouds
were like a colossal bird
in a silvery sky,
I came to the front of a pyramid-
a door was opening wide for me,
a group of blond giants
sat with smiles in the grand palace.
An old and great holy man
recited in monotone.
The temple was painted with the magical symbols
and giant portraits of Gods.
The palace was full of silvery white light
blooming with magnificent flowers,
a peal of wonderful mellifluous bells
that made one suddenly forget all time.
I heard an immemorial verse
that was written hundreds of millions of years past,
relating countless eras of giants,
the creation of the holy kingdoms of heaven.
Their wisdom was sacred and great
knowing, omniscently, the past and the future of the universe.
They flew freely among the skies
landed on the millions of planets in the universe.
They altered time per one’s pleasure,
encompassed other powers, such as-
turning stone into gold,
making gold bloom into flowers.
They were like the bulbous sun,
which could erupt with sacred flames
let all things blaze in raging flames..
Manifest imagination into reality..
They landed on planets
establishing golden paradises
and with their magical, cryptic wisdom
built platinum cities.
I saw the splendid words
spied from the volume of gold
and the magical wonderful halos
rotating like colorful lightning in the sky.
I came to another wonderful planet,
saw a massive monumental edifice of platinum,
the whole city, an intricate work of art
emanating, softly, a brilliant white light.
A huge round square
encased unearthly works.
Giants of great stature
came and went leisurely in the street.
They wore spartan, common clothing
covering their bodies,
all with smiles upon their faces,
both men and women looked beautiful.
They spoke a wonderful language
intriguing and pleasant as welcome music.
Some of them travelled by spaceship
flying around silently in the sky.
I walked into a towering edifice of platinum-
saw a magnificent hall,
its platinum walls were inlaid with gems,
among which was a row of unusual instruments.
Their eyes were like bright springs
and they wore multi-colored clothes.
Some were operating the instruments.
Some were talking softly among themselves.
I saw a fascinating picture, a simulacrum that
drew giant planets,
arranged cities on those planets,
with crystal gardens.
I opened a crystal door-
noticed a group of men and women, who were happily,
with glittering books of gold in their hands.
Arrangements of flowers and glasses filled of golden wine
sat on the huge round table.
Golden walls were sparkling
carved with all kinds of wonderful images.
I saw a demure girl,
with sparkling golden halo above her head,
adorned in a lengthy purple-gold dress
peerless in its quality.
Pages- were marked with cryptic glyphs
or lines of ancient magic words or symbols,
each of their books were made of gold
inexplicably constructed in golden crystal.
I understood their euphonious songs-
They were singing the sacred love
They were singing great ancestors
They were recounting the civilization of the universe
Gardens filled their city, everywhere,
surrounded with the sweet rivers.
The whole earth was a piece of jade,
the clay, a translucent layer of golden sands.
I saw enormous bright, white spheres
suspended high above the city,
emanating outwards a dazzling light-
illuminating the skies and earth- bright as the crystal
The towering, great buildings stood in great numbers
As if carved by a singular piece of platinum.
Doves and colorful birds
were flying among the heavens.
A mono-train was
flying swiftly through the sky,
the streets were illuminated in bright white,
and any moving vehicle could not have been seen.
These people’s bodies were unusually strong.
Playing a wonderful game-
they piled up the pieces of great stones
arranging into grotesque works.
Similar to giant eyes
and ancient totems,
there were strange birds
covered with lightning feathers.
I saw a couple of tall lovers-
aviators, riding in their spaceship.
Their eyes were quiet and bright,
colorful halo around their bodies.
This wonderful space was gyrating leisurely
like a huge, resplendent crystal.
I said goodbye to the unusual city,
towards a space of golden light.
The cities flashed in the sky.
I flew over the layers of the sky again
and I saw a new-fangled world:
the multi-colored city of crystal.
The high towers were exquisitely carved
displaying multi-colored pearls,
layers of its eave painted with dragon and phoenix,
hung with singing golden bells.
The earth was a crystal garden,
the palaces were limpid and crystal,
huge mountains were like a transparent gems
lined with the golden trees.
I saw the tall giants-
who wore their purple clothes,
with heads of round suns,
bodies enshrined with halos.
They sat up in the main halls
singing a mellifluous song.
Some were roaming leisurely in the garden.
Some were summoning the birds in the sky.
The crystalline airy pavilions and pagodas
were beset with jewels and agates,
a huge jewel on the spire,
shining golden lights.
I saw a holy giant
sitting in the middle of a main hall
the purple-gold flame, flashed around his body,
which filled with the whole majestic main hall.
Full-bodied fragrance filled the hall
like a cup of refreshing wine.
Solemn expression was merciful and joyful,
a huge book was in his hand.
The hall was full of men and women
listening quietly to the psalms of the saints,
the lotuses were floating in the sky
where the smiling giants sat.
The golden light poured down from the sky
bathing the whole of this crystal kingdom.
The jewels above the giant towers-
the golden suns.
The golden walls of a golden tower
were carved with the lines of golden words I had glimpsed-
hovering around the dragons and phoenixes,
as if they were intonating the inspiring poems.
The smiling giants in the sky-
With wide halo flashing around their bodies,
were each dignified and tranquil,
floating in the golden translucent sky.
I flew over this crystal kingdom,
saw a vast golden mountain in the distance
sending out the brilliant lights in the sky
where the propitious clouds were blossoming.
This was a golden giant
sitting in the golden translucent sky
his body composed of thousands of millions of constellations
the golden sun rotating on his forehead.
He lit up the whole marvellous universe-
the kingdoms of heaven shone in the sky.
Here there was no the sky nor earth,
lights of pure gold emanated in every direction.
The smiling giants were sitting
on the gold-engraved pavilions.
The pavilions levitated in the translucent sky
shining the layers of purple-gold light.
A scene of multi-colored translucent mountains,
propitious clouds floating in the heavens,
large wonderful flowers blooming in the mountain peaks,
trees of pure light.
A river flowed from the sky
and with river bottom reflecting a layer of golden sand.
There were strange and beautiful birds and beasts
some like aerial phantoms.
This was a world of light.
Everything was made of light.
The divine light formed all things
and the golden paradises.
The golden giant-
shines the kingdoms of heaven within his body.
The cities of gold-
brilliant and fascinating in his bones.
I observed lines, words of incredible profundity
arranged into a huge book in the sky.
It seemed as if they were the bright stars
constituting a wonderous drawing.
There was a golden pavilion in the sky
guarded with behemoth dragons and phoenixes.
An old man with a whisk
waved to me and smiled in the pavilion,
I seem to be attracted by some sort of magic-
leisurely came to his side.
He told me the golden giant
was namely my great ancestor
This was an eternal palace-
There’s no concept of time here.
Holy light- was exactly the God.
What I witnessed was better than the heavens.
He pointed to the huge book in the sky
told me that it was the mystery of the universe.
The book contained magical wisdom,
created the countless worlds of gold.
He pointed to a pagoda in the sky,
told me that it was the temple of words.
The light turned into the sacred words,
and the words created the time of gold.
He held up a very large pearl
in which flashed the pictures (and all images).
He told me that it was the future time-
the embodiment of all the wonderful worlds.
He told me that it was another universe.
Still desiring to go to these paradises,
he gave me the magical pearl,
to let it be my future guide.
I said goodbye to the old holy man,
set afoot onto a new road towards the heavens again.
I sat in a golden pavilion-
lightly flew to the distant outer space…
Yuan Hongri (born 1962) is a renowned Chinese mystic, poet, and philosopher. His work has been published in the UK, USA, India, New Zealand, Canada, and Nigeria; his poems have appeared in Poet’s Espresso Review, Orbis, Tipton Poetry Journal, Harbinger Asylum, The Stray Branch, Acumen, Pinyon Review, Taj Mahal Review, Madswirl, Shot Glass Journal, Amethyst Review, The Poetry Village, and other e-zines, anthologies, and journals. His best known works are Platinum City and Golden Giant. His works explore themes of prehistoric and future civilization.
Yuanbing Zhang (b. 1974), is Mr.Yuan Hongi’s assiastant and translator.He is a Chinese poet and translator, works in a Middle School, Yanzhou District , Jining City, Shandong Province, China. He can be contacted through his firstname.lastname@example.org.