PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine. Volume 6; Issue 8; Ausgust 2022

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

Poetry Man by Michael Lee Johnson

The sandwich by DS Maolalai

Why Would I Quit? by Heather Sager

New fuels see in the dark by Joshua Martin

The Splinter by Sanghpriya Gautam

Gift Shoes from Qi Hong by Yuan Changming

Homeward Bound by Lorraine Caputo

Leaves by James Mulhern

No Deer by John Grey

                      Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

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

some ham,

a thick white 

slice and butter. I bite

the soft brick

and feel the evening

clearer. such flavour – 

even without 

the filling. this flatness

of cheap

salt bread – 60c

at lidl. who wants


all we need

are loaves.

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

I touched

the glass

of alcohol—


sweet escape—

To laugh—

until I couldn’t laugh


I wanted to be pulled

into the cosmic singularity

Running in between buildings,

I thought,

Why should I quit when

the vortex—the nothing,

event horizon—

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

The splinter

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.

The splinter

reaches deep



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. 

Leaves by James Mulhern

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,

jittery chipmunks,

acrobatic squirrel,

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.


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