True, Blue Or What He Flew
Like a chick
That will grow into a cock
Qhawe was spotted the day
He was born. Elders had a way
Of sniffing at a child`s greatness
They said he had a rare alertness
As legend would have it, Qhawe grew
You`ve no clue, how blue it was but he flew!.
The Magic Of The Rainbow
There is something intriguing
about a rainbow of nationalities
and a kaleidoscope of ethnicities
not only about their various cultures,
their colours, creeds and languages,
their interests, hobbies and visions
their food, farming and fooling ways,
their menus, mannerisms and music,
but also, about their understanding
of the sense of humanity and history
rooted in their many traditional stories,
imbedded and loud in their ethnic clothing,
their lives rich in colour, diversity & detail,
teaching us about our diverse walks in life
and the need to embrace the human race
in its diversity and depth as it is both a unit
and a badge of beauty, ability and creativity
Just Her Opinions and Beliefs
She doesn’t intend to be offensively offside,
yet you don’t need to be on Sithabile`s side,
She says: you may flag, scare, scold or strangle me,
A mother`s love is a mirror of care, agree to disagree.
Sithabile doesn’t always believe that Love and Sex
are synonymous in spite of that the worldly souls
seem to have applauded, attended and endorsed
their choreographed but contentious wedding.
She doesn’t believe that Holiday always
depends on Hotel for business or survival
but that Hotel eats, breathes and dreams Holiday.
She thinks Holy Day is petulant, precious and personal.
She believes that Good Health and Happiness
are good bedfellows we should invite always
on our dear friends` wedding anniversaries
or birthdays. Please make a date with them.
She doesn’t think that Money and Happiness are one
and the same, either. She believes that if she were to choose
between the two, Happiness would be the ultimate choice,
only if the absence of Money won’t be the absence of Happiness!
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.
Poetry Man by Michael Lee Johnson
I’m the poetry man, understand?
Dance, dance, dance to the crystals of night,
healing crystals detox nightmares, night tremors.
Death still comes in the shadow of grief,
hides beneath this blanket of time,
in the heat, in the cold.
Hold my hand on this journey
you won’t be the first, but
you may be the last.
You and I so many avenues,
ventures & turns, so many years together
one bad incident, violence, unexpected,
one punch, all lights dim out.
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/.
The sandwich by DS Maolalai
a thick white
slice and butter. I bite
the soft brick
and feel the evening
clearer. such flavour –
the filling. this flatness
salt bread – 60c
at lidl. who wants
all we need
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)
Why Would I Quit? by Heather Sager
until I couldn’t laugh
I wanted to be pulled
into the cosmic singularity
Running in between buildings,
Why should I quit when
the vortex—the nothing,
hovers, it’s waiting for me,
above the crumbling street?
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.
New fuels see in the dark by Joshua Martin
Future bacteria saturate evolving skies
revival pig brains a theory of obesity
awkward forelimbs work the torso
through extra openings. Neck propulsion
disproportionate as tissue catapult
dazzling in its stance. An array into
bygone asteroid electric cortex box
locking fetus bookends between recoiled
medical calamity irrigation missile.
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.
The Splinter by Sanghpriya Gautam
one which was once chipped
breaches when it again finds its chipped off space!
The blood whistles and chatters
as it drops
from the edge of the splinter–
unusually thick it appears
for it enters headstrong
in the numb flesh
craving for its split soul.
In not a linear trajectory.
It springs forth with a curve
attempting to circumscribe
the prelapsarian feeling.
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.
Gift Shoes from Qi Hong by Yuan Changming
I believe the pair of shoes you sent me as a
Birthday gift is made of genuine leather, but
It needs a pair of socks & even a pair of
Trousers made of natural, not artificial wool
To go with it, which in turn requires an
Equally authentic leather belt to tie my
No less faithful lower body, including my
Penis that has become softened with age
As with my mind & heart, but despite all
My bona fides, my upper body is clothed
With manmade or fake fibres, especially
My face masks, or faces per se, not only to
Protect me against covid-19, 22, or anything
Else like that, but to cover my mouth
& nose in case I should inhale false air
& spit out some hardened spittle of truth
About life, about the real world. Indeed
I am never sure if that’s your original in-
Tention, but I do like whatever is actually
Genuine, real, true, natural or authentic
While I keep walking along, or alone
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).
Homeward Bound by Lorraine Caputo
Lightning pulses greyed
twilight. Trees sway, loosening
leaves twirling to earth.
A horse clops down this
lane, its driver’s legs dangling
o’er the wagon side.
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.
That fall day we raked leaves from behind the shed.
Smell of earth and wet decay rose in the cold air.
We could see our breath.
Worms and beetles scattered through a fence.
I saw dirt and thought we had finished.
“Not yet,” you said.
The gray sky grew darker and the wind chilled.
When your flashlight showed not a speck of leaf,
you said, “We’re done.”
Today I look at the wet leaves below.
I kneel and clear your grave.
Again, I smell the earth and feel the biting cold.
The damp leaves shimmer like tears, not many,
that drop on the yellowed grass.
“We’re done,” I hear you say.
I say a prayer, cross myself, and rise.
I see my breath and imagine I see yours.
I should leave, I think, but not yet.
James Mulhern’s writing has appeared in literary journals over two hundred times and has received many awards. In 2015, Mr. Mulhern was granted a writing fellowship to Oxford University. That same year, a story was longlisted for the Fish Short Story Prize. In 2017, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His novel, Give Them Unquiet Dreams, is a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year. He was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2021 for his poetry.
No Deer by John Grey
He’s hunkered down in a deer stand,
gun raised, listening for the crack
of hoof on twig, the fawn coat
passed between gaps in. brush,
jewel eyes peering through
the morning fog.
There’s life all around,
ferns and insects,
wildflowers and grasses,
even a possum
clawing up a tree.
But all are trophy free.
It’s getting later and later.
Nothing shows up.
All he wants is
one decent buck,
one shot piercing the heart,
and it’s meat strapped to the icar roof,
one more rack up on the wall.
It’s the ancient integral,
natural law of kill or be killed,
the chain of life,
hunter and prey,
need and needed.
How can the deer not know this?
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.