PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine. Volume 6; Issue 7; July 2022

Weather by Jerome Berglund

Poet of the Month: James G Piatt

Frogs by Michael Lee Johnson

Eyes flash and blood by DS Maolalai

Walking to many beats by Heather Sager

storing bad news in knuckle salad bowl by Joshua Martin

Heart Weeps Unafraid by Sanghpriya Gautam

Snow Clams: for Li Lan by Yuan Changming

Sojourn by Lorraine Caputo

Poets and Their Planet by Ndaba Sibanda

This Sky Traveler by John Grey

                     

Jerome Berglund is an author and fine artist who cowrote a television pilot which at a festival for them received numerous accolades including best in show. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California’s Cinema-Television Production program, with emphases in screenwriting and philosophy. Berglund is author to the novel Havenauts and the story collection Dick Jokes. His short fiction has been exhibited by the Watershed Review, Paragon Press, and the Stardust Review. His poetry appears in Abstract Magazine, Bangalore Review, Barstow & Grand, and most recently O:JA&L. A drama he penned was published in Iris Literary Journal. Berglund is furthermore an established, award-winning fine art photographer, whose black and white pictures have been exhibited in galleries across New York, Minneapolis, and Santa Monica. In another life he worked as a visual effects artist for Lucasfilm and Dreamworks, and assisted on set at Lifetime and Comedy Central. He has the unique privilege of being able to say he was once Minnie Driver’s driver. Berglund is a committed activist as well, and has been actively involved in the Occupy, Standing Rock, and Black Lives Matter movements, and supported grassroots efforts promoting the Green Party.

Poet of the Month: James G Piatt

Something Stirring

In my mind the ocean’s curling tide washed onto shore, 

And the roar descended like a waterfall of tears 

Carrying  waves of sorrow. I sensed, in the shadows in 

My mind, plumes of bluish-green moisture soaring into 

The air, then falling, and shattering against sharp, 

Ebony-colored visions, visions that caused a sadness to 

Enter my lonely mind, a mind that held dark memories, 

Memories that smoldered in the silence of ancient fears, 

Fears like ebony worms crawling through shadows 

In my mind, that echoed all the dark moments of my life.

I sensed a sound unknown except in the darkness of 

Yesterdays, a whisper traveling from a place called 

Nowhere, a voice that said nothing, yet hung inside my 

Mind, like dark tears. The briny wind forced old images 

Of dreaded things remembered into my consciousness, 

Causing a cold weariness, a weariness carried in by the 

Whispers of the dead hiding inside my nightmares, 

Nightmares created by sonorous pulses that molded sad 

Thoughts into dreadful shapes in my weary brain.

Sadness abounded alongside the stark and lonely 

Images of yesterday, twisting in and out of constantly 

Moving emotions. Like eyes of stone that see nothing, 

Yet allow scarlet tears to fall into the ebony hours. my 

Emotional-road spun its tale, as grief became part of the 

Mystic rhythms of my nighttime dreams. The visions 

Appeared over and over, then disappeared into a tilted 

Reality, and then upon seeing something stirring… I 

Wept in dread.

The New Day

The land is different now, even the back roads, and mountain passes that journey 

like frightened deer across the valley, are different. The air bereft of planes is 

immobile, soundless. We seem to exist between walls; and our vision is limited 

by the width of windows. Through the thickness of the questionable haze, we 

feel gravity pulling us down, down into scattered bits of fear that lingers from 

morn to dusk, if only in our subconsciousness. Our worries dance under the beams 

of light that filters into our minds from windows. Our yearnings fall from us as an

unreality causes an emerging apprehension. Our aging hearts furrow into the 

rusting hours of the day, and the sun seems to lack its brilliance, while the moon 

is but a dull mist of silver as indistinct as future plans. There is nothing that can 

be done about the past, no road back to the beginning, seemingly, no framework 

for the future for us of countless years. Our shadows make questions without the 

music of hope, and the day’s hours seem to be sliding away, only silence exists in 

the emptiness of the night. The drama’s stage encompassed by uncommon men 

and women, dressed in masks and the breath of people passing in white corridors, lingers 

momentarily in the third act, death.  I long for the yellow dawn with its welcoming 

hours of brightness, flowing down verdant mountains into valleys below, a day 

where thoughts of death do not intrude upon my mind, a time when the answers to 

life was simple and predictable again, without the constant threat of loss. But, alas the 

white ash of my burned and scattered optimism lay barren as the thing that intrudes, 

and secretly resides deep in the air I breathe; can destroy anything that it touches. 

Sad Unwritten Poems

Beyond the crimson-tinted horizon, 

Beyond the last light of the sun, beyond 

Vanishing time, beyond symbols, even 

Beyond the sleepless hours of a 

Caffeine-laced night, church bells 

Resonated in a poet’s mind, stopping 

Him from writing sad poems with briny 

Tears on tissue paper. 

James, a Best of Web nominee and three time Pushcart nominee, has had four collections of poetry; “Solace Between the Lines,” “Light,” “Ancient Rhythms,” and “The Silent Pond,” over 1525 poems, five novels and 35 short stories published worldwide.  He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, SLO, and his doctorate from BYU.

Frogs by Michael Lee Johnson

“Grow grass,

stone frogs,”

written on bathroom walls.

Hippie beads, oodles

colorful acid pills

in dresser drawers

no clothes,

kaleidoscope condoms,

ostentatious sex.

No Bibles or Sundays

that anyone remembers.

Rochdale College,

Toronto, Ontario 1972,

freedom school, free education.

Makes no sense,

when you’re high on a song

“American Women” blasting

eardrums and police sirens come on.

(Note: Rochdale College was patterned after Summerhill School-Democratic “freedom school” in England founded in 1921 by Alexander Sutherland Neill with the belief that the school should be made to fit the child, rather than the other way around.)

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada, Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in the greater Chicagoland area, IL.  He has 259 YouTube poetry videos. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet in 44 countries, several published poetry books, nominated for 4 Pushcart Prize awards and 5 Best of the Net nominations. He is editor-in-chief of 3 poetry anthologies, all available on Amazon, and has several poetry books and chapbooks. He has over 443 published poems. Michael is the administrator of 6 Facebook Poetry groups. Member Illinois State Poetry Society: http://www.illinoispoets.org/.

Eyes flash and blood by DS Maolalai

explaining to my boss 

that I think I’m not suited  

to the job, if I’m honest.  

rising like an eagle 

from in front of his desk.  

like a falcon. sky burning.  

words coming  

out cannon-blasts. I’ve cost 

the company money. been late 

very often. hungover. uninterested 

in canteen-room gossip. no –  

I agree – I am not  

what they’re looking for.  

go to hell, the flags signal,  

go bloody to hell.  

eyes flash and blood 

is rich wine in gold goblets.  

I get up, we shake hands 

and I leave quite politely.  

later he gives me a reference.  

DS Maolalai has been nominated nine times for Best of the Net and seven times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016) and “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019)

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Walking to many beats by Heather Sager

To dream colors when music is played.

To walk for hours,

listening

or with quiet thoughts.

The calluses of feet,

let them be

beloved.

Behind the breastbone

beats an invisible sun.

One day the pond and sky/clouds

are pastels that glow bright

as peacocks, tinted unicorns, oceans.

One day

the gritty air

blankets the neighborhood in smog.

Curse the damn asthma

and yet hope

one day, morning breaks…

Heather Sager lives in Illinois, USA. Her most recent poetry appears in Fahmidan Journal, Magma Poetry, Version (9) Magazine, The Orchards Poetry Journal, Red Wolf, Trouvaille Review, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, and more. Recent fiction appears in The Fabulist and elsewhere.   

storing bad news in knuckle salad bowl by Joshua Martin

Eating // roaring teenies // released

     recent in bone marrow

     cupcake running psychotic

               // bored negotiating

         make believe shoulder

         holster // buddy // buddy //

     victorious supper club

// boisterous feedback

                      loop

            stunted       giant

growth              crustacean

     musical                  interlude

//             added               w/o

   absolute            dental

surgery                     proof

Joshua Martin is a Philadelphia based writer and filmmaker, who currently works in a library. He is the author of the books combustible panoramic twists (Trainwreck Press), Pointillistic Venetian Blinds (Alien Buddha Press) and Vagabond fragments of a hole (Schism Neuronics). He has had numerous pieces published in various journals including Otoliths, M58, The Sparrow’s Trombone, Coven, Scud, Ygdrasil, RASPUTIN, Ink Pantry, and Synchronized Chaos. You can find links to his published work at joshuamartinwriting.blogspot.com.

 


Heart Weeps Unafraid by Sanghpriya Gautam

What life could not fill anymore

Words desire to replace

The memories entangle with imagination

The heart weeps unafraid

Sanghpriya Gautam is an aspiring poet who is trying to find life’s meaning in between the leaves through the busyness of life. He has done his MPhil in English Literature and is currently pursuing Ph.D in English Literature.

Snow Clams: for Li Lan by Yuan Changming

When I spotted your papaya steamed

With snow clams upon returning

From my night shift at Choices Market

I felt like stumbling happily into

Some heavenly fairy tale. It was real

On weixin, though I can neither smell

Nor taste it. How cozy our home is

On the screen: every day I eat, sleep

Talk with you. Our feels are as fresh

As the fruit flesh, as we enjoy our

Privacy of love as if within the shell

Of the snow clam. We kiss good night

Good morning; I work outside to make

A few bucks while you learn drawing

At home. What a virtual housewife! &

Me? I like all your artworks

Yuan Changming hails with Allen Yuan from poetrypacific.blogspot.ca. Credits include Pushcart nominations besides appearances in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) & BestNewPoemsOnline, among others. Recently, Yuan published his eleventh chapbook Limerence, and served on the jury for Canada’s 44th National Magazine Awards (poetry category).

Sojourn by Lorraine Caputo

In mountain nightfall

            we traverse a ghostly world.

Pine & banana 

            trees are ragged silhouettes

in the fog. Mist & cold seep.

Lorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator and travel writer. Her works appear in over 250 journals on six continents; and 18 collections of poetry – including On Galápagos Shores (dancing girl press, 2019) and Escape to the Sea (Origami Poems Project, 2021). She also authors travel narratives, articles and guidebooks. In 2011, the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada honored her verse. Caputo has done literary readings from Alaska to the Patagonia. She journeys through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth. 

  Poets and Their Planet by Ndaba Sibanda

The avid reader wanted to read,

Perhaps to read between the lines

She had various unrequited questions

Are they aliens? Where do they come from? 

Where do they get their graceful language from?  

As she read and read between the lines she concluded

That the profoundest emotions they excavate from within

On a given subject or area or their experiences and visions 

Are their magic and engine that propel them to another planet

Whose words can move mountains, whose waters flow with flair. 

Ndaba has authored 24 published books and coauthored more than 100 published books. Sibanda is the author of Cabinet Meetings, The Immigrant With A Difference, 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. 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.

Sibanda has received the following nominations: the national arts merit awards (NAMA), 2016 Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize, The Best of the Net Prose and the Pushcart Prize.

Links:

https://www.pagespineficshowcase.com/ndaba-sibanda.html.

This Sky Traveler by John Grey

The sky is wilderness.

No trees but mountains of cloud

and vast plains of blue.

Occasional hawks and crows

and jays oblige the landscape

with brief flight

but my eyes are

the true explorers here,

brown prospectors,

curious mapmakers,

compulsive seekers of life

where there is none.

I stalk the strata of these heavens,

one moment

stumbling through desert,

the next, immersed in deep forest.

Even stormy sky,

steel gray nimbus,

is my stomping grounds.

My eyes are up there

streaked with lightning,

rumbled with thunder.

And clouds break,

heavy rain falls,

but you won’t catch me

coming down

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Ellipsis, Blueline and International Poetry Review.

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