PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine. Volume 6; Issue 10; October 2022

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

Morning Escapade by Joanne Olivieri

Decomposing Reality by James G Piatt

Keyboard by Michael Lee Johnson

 Tomcat by DS Maolalai

planted feet invest the obvious by Joshua Martin

Rise and Fall by Sanghpriya Gautam

Mucuchies by Lorraine Caputo

Piano by James Mulhern

Forest Fires by Peter Mladinic

Direction by Mark Young

                           Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

Ready To Take Off For What?

The race for space

Shouldn’t be a costly disgrace,

To cruise to the moon, to Mars

Should be more decent than a gaze,

Satellites launched or put into orbit

Should be for growth, security and what?   

Seeking New Solutions and Visions 

She claimed that her life

was deprived of livelihood,

that pay never paid her a visit,

that delight was a dim delusion,

that lying love made her unwell,  

and that her existence was a shell 

hard-pressed for optimism and drive 

to impact change , to make sense of a life

of senselessness, that she sought the thrills

and skills of parenting her boorish pair of eyes

of hills and frills with new solutions and visions.

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.

Morning Escapade by Joanne Olivieri

Behind fog

the sea plays hide n seek

where sea meets land


our bodies touch

in sweet passion

Gentle breeze

warm kisses

delicately caress

our morning escapade.

Joanne has been writing for 50 years. She is a published poet and photographer. Her works have appeared in numerous in print and online publications such as The Parnassus Literary Journal, Westward Quarterly, The San Diego Arts and Poets Magazine, Nomads Choir, SP Quill, just to name a few. She was awarded a round-trip ticket to Hong Kong in 2007 by Cathay Pacific Airways for her winning entry in their poetry contest. Joanne is the founder and editor of Stanzaic Stylings Literary Ezine.

Joanne enjoys reading, writing, collecting old poetry books, live music concerts, roaming art galleries and museums, leisurely lunches with friends in diners, getting out in nature with her camera and making toys for and playing with her feathered companion, Sammers. You can learn all there is to know about her by visiting her website/blog at http://poeticshutterbug.blogspot.com

Decomposing Reality by James G Piatt

Arriving in the late hours of

an iron colored and eerie night,

rusting symbols

covered with an aging patina of dark contradictions

whispered across forgotten memories

causing screams of agony:

My crystal poems

written in scarlet ink,

were shattered by metamorphic hammers

pounding words of grief

into shattered synonyms,

causing dark allegories to become lost

inside the cold weariness of my aging bones.

While walking in a cemetery,

images of broken tombstones

in a field of unknown graves

entered my consciousness

and trails of tears melted into the cemetery’s soil

filling it with sorrow.

I sensed once forgotten memories

being awakened in my brain,

and sharp pangs of grief 

started piercing my collapsing mind

in a fit of decomposing reality.

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.

Keyboard by Michael Lee Johnson

Keyboard dancing, poet-writer,

old bold, ribbons are worn out,

type keys bent out of shape.

40 wpm, high school,

Smith Corona 220 electric ultimately

gave out, carrying case, lost key.

No typewriter repairman anymore.

It is this media, new age apps,

for internet dreams, forged nightmares,

nothing can go wrong, right?

Cagey, I prefer my Covid-19 shots

completed one at a time.

Unfinished poems can wait,

hang start-up like Jesus

ragged on that wooden cross,

revise a few lines at a time;

near the end, complete to finish.

I will touch my way out of this life;

as Elton John says,

“like a candle in the wind.”

I will be at my keyboard late at night

that moment I pass, my fingertips stop.

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.


Tomcat by DS Maolalai

stylish as a tomcat 

walking, I tell her. thorny

as a tomcat, wild as a tomcat,

beautiful and permanent

and always falling over

as walls where tom-

cats walk. you are all

these things, I tell her,

and a boy also, if you like, which is like 

a tomcat also. and more than me

a tomcat, and more a girl

as well. you are all these things,

it’s wonderful – I’m in love (my god)

with everything! I lie about,

we lie about, her legs

on mine and bent a little

like broken gutters 

hanging from a wall and creaking. 

that’s the thing – I can pull

the words sometimes. 

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).   

planted feet invest the obvious by Joshua Martin

that’s 11 months’ worth of

spin class vibrating throat

muscle defended parabola

plenty the dagger of a horse

head planted feet first

16 going on hydroelectric

through last worded sushi

bar way out in space station

weighing head holding starfish

interviewing presidential hairpiece

lusty rug clipped to back

shaping leopard chinstrap

approaching physical barrier

withering park ranger willful

eponymous zoning code violation  

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


Rise and Fall by Sanghpriya Gautam

I wake as from a sleep


weaved in the rise and fall.

I rise and I fall

I sleep and I wake

I dream

but dream constantly…

Do I weave the dream

or the dream weaves me?

Does it hold dearly

the death of me?

and apocryphal me at sunset?

Like a wind that rise and fall with every breath

the sun’s loop of moodiness,

snowy light from stars glittering in the night’s eyes,

endlessly I wake and I sleep

in dreams.

In my dreams or the new one weaved


How much of it is me?

The discovery in freezing droplets

of a mountaineer’s breath,

sinking in the williwaw

treading from eastern summit;

The drops gleam

and last as long as the memory of the thought,

of the moments,

its beginning.

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.

Mucuchies by Lorraine Caputo

Golden grasses &

soft-leaf frailejones patch

the high páramo.

On scarce-tree mountains

stone walls undulate with the

earth, parceling her

into farms. Campesinos

plow fields with oxen.

Early afternoon

clouds float low, disappearing

the world in their swirl..

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. 

Piano by James Mulhern

On that gray day, you chopped the Steinway piano with an ax.

Surrounded by yellow and red leaves on the hard earth,

you raised your arm to smash it all apart.

I could only wonder. You were a man raised to think

crying was weak. Strength and power should define you.

Men like you couldn’t voice their secrets or despair.

You shattered the instrument, exorcising its shiny veneer.

Resin-impregnated paper, dovetail joints, wooden ribs,

and polished mahogany scattered around you.

Slowly the curved outline of the piano became a ragged mess.

The soundboard heart cracked. Small planks of air-dried wood

joined the miscellany of strings, keys, and padded hammers.

I thought of my mother, the day she moved out,

how you changed the locks and emptied every closet,

destroying each vestige of your shared lives.

If I had left the window to join you outside,

I would have seen your tears,

glistening strings on the soundboard of a broken soul.

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. 

Forest Fires by Peter Mladinic

Forest fires are good,

a man explained, in gym’s locker room

ten years ago. A cleansing

that makes possible the growth of new

plants, bushes, trees.

I’m not sure how that works.

It seems ironic that fire, what destroys

inadvertently creates.

I can’t look down at a tiny bush and hear

it say, Out of flames I was born.

He explained, I didn’t doubt him.

He knew fire firsthand, I gathered

from how he spoke.

I could ask my retired fire chief neighbor

How is a forest fire good?

Homes in or near one burn

to the ground. Squirrels, rabbits, deer

and birds die.

A forest fire is good.

With only a towel around him,

he sat near an open locker.

I didn’t know his name. I only saw him

a few afternoons.  He talked

about fire.

Different just watching, not being in it.

Peter Mladinic’s fourth book of poems, Knives on a Table is available from Better Than Starbucks Publications. An animal rights advocate, he lives in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Direction by Mark Young

Specificity is

not required.

          Vague words,

          curtailed gest-

ures, the new

moon pregnant

          with the old.

          Enough to

point a rough

but ready way.

Mark Young was born in New Zealand but now lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia. He has been publishing poetry for over sixty years, & is the author of around sixty books, primarily text poetry but also including speculative fiction, vispo, creative nonfiction, & art history. His most recent book is Songs to Come for the Salamander, Poems 2013-2021, selected & introduced by Thomas Fink, co-published by Meritage Press & Sandy Press.


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