PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine. Volume 7; Issue 1; January 2023

PPP Ezine welcomes all poetry lovers to this new year of new dreams, hopes and poems. Happy reading and happy writing to all our poet-friends and poetry lovers. May this year bring you more beauty, more joy and more poetry.

Poet of the Month: Michael Lee Johnson

Love Symbiosis by Petrouchka Alexieva

Whisper and Shouts by Sanghpriya Gautam

For Qi Hong: The Darkest Energy in the Universe by Yuan Changming

Twix by James Croal Jackson

Micropoetry by Lynn Long

Friction Fiction by Mark Young

Woman by Mykyta Ryzhykh

God (Part 3) by Robert Beveridge

While the Young Sunbathed in Silence by Heath Brougher

It’s So Quiet by Strider Marcus Jones

celestial crow woman by Joan McNerney

Poet of the Month: Michael Lee Johnson

My Life

My life began with a skeleton 

with a smile and bubbling eyes

in my garden of dandelions.

Everything else fell off the edge,

a jigsaw puzzle piece cut in half.

When young, I pressed

against my mother’s breast,

but youthful memories fell short.

I tried at 8 to kiss my father, 

but he was a welder, fox hunter,

coon hunter, and voyeuristic man.

My young life was a mixture

of black, white, dark dreams,

and mellow yellow sun bright hopes.

Rewind, sunshine was a stranger

in dandelion fields,

shadows in my eyes.

I grabbed my injured legs

leap forward into the future.

I’m now a vitamin C boy

it keeps me immured

from catching colds or Covid-19.

Everything now still leaks, in parts,

but I press forward.

Jesus and How He Must Have Felt 

Staggering out Wee-Willy’s

dumpy dive bar, droopy eyes,

my feelings desensitizing,

confusing my avocado fart,

at 3:20 a.m., with last night

splash on Brut aftershave.

Whispering to my outcast

self-sounding is more like pending death.

My body detaching from myself,

numbed by winter’s fingers.

I creak up these outside stairs

to my apartment after an all-night drunk,

cheap Tesco’s Windsor Castle

London Dry Gin—on the rocks.

I thought of Jesus

how He must have felt

during His resurrection

dragging His holy body

up that endless stairwell

spiraling toward heaven.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in the greater Chicagoland area, IL.  He has 272 YouTube poetry videos. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet in 44 countries, has several published poetry books, has been nominated for 5 Pushcart Prize awards, and 6 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/

Love Symbiosis by Petrouchka Alexieva

I am the grain in your shoe

That bothers you all the time.

Maybe, I cost some pain, some issues,

But you still walk with me around.

In the mornig, I’m your little excuse

to be clamsy and a little bit late

When  everything  is suddenly wrong

Or you just need to wait.

You told me you love me, I know,

There is no other way around.

I am your little regret and joy

When at night, you are awfully stumbled.

You wanted me as a glove on your hand.

I am still not that soft and cushy,

I am rough and tough, but you are afraid

to throw me away because

I am the only one to blame

When you are backwardly and  go

Through a hormonal metamorphosis.

We both know the name of this game –

It is called LOVE SYMBIOSIS.

Ms. Petrouchka Alexieva is well-known as a feminist and a LOVE poet, scholar and TV persona. She is a life-time member of four Distinguished Scholar Societies; a Cum Laude graduate at CSULA (2009) and “All American Scholar Award” recipient (2008). For her outstanding life-long achievements, Ms. Alexieva’s name was included two times among the most distinguished Earth’s citizens list of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover (2003) capsule and Science Laboratory Rover (2011) list, for which she has been awarded with honorable certificates.

Whisper and Shouts by Sanghpriya Gautam

Whispers in the crowd

Shout in absolute silence;

Thick desperation clouds

The other side of violence.

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.

For Qi Hong: The Darkest Energy in the Universe by Yuan Changming

Is no other than fear, I well know that, but just

Cannot help feeling afraid you would turn away

From me the next moment, or become upset

With what I have to say, or refuse to answer my

Call, or remove me from your weixin list, or

Cut off all my links to your world before I

Weave your being into the fabric of my love, or 

Show no more initiative in contacting me, or lose

Interest in me & my life, or become really fed up

With my word-service, or stop missing me

As your old flame, or fail to pass the secular tests

Of time, or withdraw your affection under

The pressure of guilt or gossip, or lock your

Self up suddenly within the cage of traditional

Values & moral concerns… yes,

    I fear you

Would do all such things, one or another, for

Some or no reason at all; I fear you would not

Hold your love for long; I fear you would change

Your heart (again as about half a century ago

On the other side of this world); indeed, I fear

My ugly wrinkled face, shrunk statue &

Softened manhood would disappoint you; in

Particular, I fear you would stamp out my

Inspirations before I burn them into poetry; above

All, I fear you are never afraid of my fears about you

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).


Twix by James Croal Jackson

If there is a bowl

of Twix at work,

I will act apathetic

when others are

around. Alone I will

bury open wrappers

tenfold in the trash.

Perhaps I have been

watching too much

true crime television,

or lived in the U.S.

too long– standing

over candy, ripping open

Twix after inadequate

Twix, I find the initial

bite of chocolate

caramel into biscuit

enough to make me

want the whole stick,

the whole candy bowl,

everything I can have

that’s for the taking,

like anything has ever

been entitled to me.

James Croal Jackson is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. He has three chapbooks: Count Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022), Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, 2021), and The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights, 2017). He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, PA. (jamescroaljackson.com).

Micropoetry by Lynn Long

A gentle zephyr

Honeybees and painted blooms

The promise of spring

Raindrops dancing on sunbeams

A summer shower

Amid the flowers and trees

The ocean touched the sea

And in perfect symphony

Waves crashed blissfully

Lynn Long

Poet, writer, dreamer

And believer in the impossible…

Residing somewhere in time

Artist at https://hitrecord.org/


With published pieces in various

online publications, journals, E-zines and anthologies

Friction Fiction by Mark Young

We lean out of the window

as the car goes

round the corner. Too fast

but we don’t care. It’s

life, it’s sun, it’s something

to do as the car

leans out the window as

the world goes round

the corner.

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.

Woman by Mykyta Ryzhykh

a woman
with tears instead of a body
digs her own grave and becomes
a small insect for big husband

Mykyta Ryzhykh is the winner of the international competition Art Against Drugs and some Ukrainian awards; laureate of the literary competition named after Tyutyunnik, Lyceum, Twelve, and has been Nominated for Pushcart Prize. He has been published many times in the journals Dzvin, Dnipro, Bukovinian magazine, Polutona, Rechport, Topos, Articulation, Formaslov, Literature Factory, Literary Chernihiv, Tipton Poetry Journal, Stone Poetry Journal, Divot journal , dyst journal, Superpresent Magazine, Allegro Poetry Magazine,  Alternate Route , Better Than Starbucks Poetry & Fiction Journal, Littoral Press , Book of Matches, on the portals Litсenter, Ice Floe Press and Soloneba, in the Ukrainian literary newspaper

God (Part 3) by Robert Beveridge

they say
to make the earth
god pulled
an allnighter
and celebrated
by conjuring up
a fluted
glass of dom

i say
after the day
it took to make you
god went
on a three-day

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Of Rust and Glass, The Museum of Americana, and Quill and Parchment, among others.

While the Young Sunbathed in Silence by Heath Brougher

It isn’t being punched in the jaw by death

or a headlock from god-

no, it’s all those wasted moments:

goodbyes that were never said,

unused hellos practised in front of a mirror,

complaints about the weather

among bus stop strangers.

Those moments are plentiful

as sand on a beach

that gets in your shoes,

under socks,

makes you swear at the blue sky,

until a high blood pressure nosebleed

wins the argument you were having with yourself,

as your own blood smells cheaper

than your grandmother’s jar of pennies,

smashed open after the funeral

because what else could you do?

Richard LeDue (he/him) currently lives in Norway House, Manitoba. He has been published in various places online and in print. He is the author of six books of poetry. His sixth book, “A Hard Homecoming,” is forthcoming in July 2022 from Alien Buddha Press.

It’s So Quiet by Strider Marcus Jones

It’s so quiet

our eloquent words dying on a diet

of midnight toast

with Orwell’s ghost-

looking so tubercular in a tweed jacket

pencilling notes on a lung black cigarette packet-

our Winston, wronged for a woman and sin

re-wrote history on scrolls thought down tubes

that came to him

in the Ministry Of Truth Of Fools

where conscience learns to lie within.

not like today

the smug-sly haves say and look away

so sure

there’s nothing wrong with wanting more,

or drown their sorrows

downing bootleg gin

knowing tomorrows

truth is paper thin


at home

in sensory


with tapped and tracked phone

the Thought Police arrest me

in the corridors of affection-

where dictators wear, red then blue, reversible coats

in collapsing houses, all self-made

and self-paid

smarmy scrotes-

now the Round Table

of real red politics

is only fable

on the pyre of ghostly heretics.

they are rubbing out

all the contusions

and solitary doubt,

with confusions

and illusions

through wired media

defined in their secret encyclopedia-

where summit and boardroom and conclave

engineer us from birth to grave.

like the birds,

i will have to eat

the firethorn

berries that ripen but sleep

to keep

the words

of revolution

alive and warm

this winter, with resolution

gathering us, to its lantern in the bleak,

to be reborn and speak.

Strider Marcus Jones is a poet, law graduate and former civil servant from Salford, England with proud Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. He is the editor and publisher of Lothlorien Poetry Journal https://lothlorienpoetryjournal.blogspot.com/. A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry  https://stridermarcusjonespoetry.wordpress.com/ reveal a maverick, moving between cities, playing his saxophone in smoky rooms.  His poetry has been published in numerous publications including: Dreich Magazine; The Racket Journal; Trouvaille Review; dyst Literary Journal; Impspired Magazine

celestial crow woman by Joan McNerney

they tried to tame me,

fight the monsters out of 


take my wilds and cut them

out of me—

it didn’t work,

my heart and soul

are both wild things;

my heart resents being

caged by my ribs

wants to fly free to where the wild things are—

my soul wearies of people

committed to misunderstanding 

or using me,

so don’t be surprised if one day i sprout wings

and fly away to live with the clouds and the moon;

becoming a celestial crow woman instead of human

playing with my inner fire, whilst dancing in the

ocean of the sky.

Linda M. Crate (she/her) is a Pennsylvanian writer whose poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has eleven published chapbooks the latest being: fat & pretty (Dancing Girl Press, June 2022). She is also the author of the novella Mates (Alien Buddha Publishing, March 2022).