PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine. Volume 6; Issue 9; September 2022

Poet of the Month: Lynn Long

97, Coming to Terms & Goodbye by Michael Lee Johnson

As Cold as She is Beautiful by Robert Beveridge

 L’Avventura by Mark Young

After the Zoo by James Croal Jackson

The Bubble by Peter Mladinic

The Guard by James Mulhern

Good Morning by Ahmad Al-Khatat

What Will We Do? By Eric Golden

Progressive Education by Gary Beck

                      Poet of the Month: Lynn Long

Reflections

Familiar feelings

Adrift on the fallen leaves

Chasing summer winds

Ever the student

Still learning to embrace change

I wander the path

Time ever keeping

I’ve traveled the road before

Present entwines past

Amid Autumn woes

Melancholy paints the sky

Crimson shades of blue

 And I am here once more

I thought I’d write a poem

I thought I’d write a poem,

perhaps about the moon

lulling me to sleep

Or the stars in which I dream

upon from afar

But the morning sun took my

words- its beauty a silence

…only my soul heard

Sunset

And she whispers goodbye

to amber hues in a painted sky

To feelings long held, no longer

the same…

For she is twilight

And he … the setting of day

Lynn Long

Poet, writer, dreamer

And believer in the impossible…

Residing somewhere in time

Artist at https://hitrecord.org/

https://linktr.ee/lunadeity

With published pieces in various

online publications, journals, E-zines and anthologies

https://www.elephantjournal.com/profile/zolanymph1/

http://www.arielchart.com/

http://duanespoetree.blogspot.com/

http://stanzaicstylings.blogspot.com/search?q=lynn+long

https://www.localgemspoetrypress.com/florida-bards-west-tampa-preorders.html

https://yasouezine.blogspot.com/

97, Coming to Terms & Goodbye by Michael Lee Johnson

(An atheist faces his own death)

By Michael Lee Johnson

Wait until I have to say goodbye,

don’t rush; I’m a philosophical professor

facing my own death on my own time.

It takes longer to rise to kick the blankets back.

I take my pills with water and slowly lift

myself out of bed to the edge of my walker.

Living to age 97 is an experience I share

with my caretaker and so hard to accept.

It’s hard for youngsters who have not experienced

old age to know the psychology of pain

that you can’t put your socks on or pull

your own pants up without help anymore—

thank God for suspenders.

“At a certain point, there’s no reason

to be concerned about death, when you die,

no problem, there’s nothing.”

But why in my loneness, teeth stuck

in with denture glue, my daily pillbox complete,

and my wife, Leslie Josephine, gone for years,

why does it haunt me?

I can’t orchestrate, play Ph.D. anymore,

my song lyrics is running out, my personality

framed in a gentler state of mind.

I still think it necessary to figure out

the patterns of death; I just don’t know why.

“There must be something missing

from this argument; I wish I knew.

Don’t push me, please wait; soon

is enough to say goodbye.

My theater life, now shared, my last play,

coming to this final curtain, I give you

grace, “the king of swing,” the voice of

Benny Goodman is silent now,

an act of humanity passes, no applause.

*Dedicated to the memory of Herbert Fingarette, November 2, 2018 (aged 97).  Berkeley, California, U.S.A. Video credit and photo credits:     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX6NztnPU-4.

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/.

As Cold as She is Beautiful by Robert Beveridge

… fallen avatar,

visiting hours are over

take me to your cell

shake the frost from your blanket

and cover us

your lips to mine this kiss

warms us,

warms the bars,

the walls,

melts the mahogany of your hair,

the clouds your areolae,

the frost on the ceiling

the wet tick of droplets on melting ice

take me into you and let me feel

how the connection closed radiates,

and the walls, the floor, the writing desk

bloom, saturate.

The water closes over us

outside the glass

your lips to mine this kiss

share my breath

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.

 

 L’Avventura by Mark Young

& then he

made, or jotted

down, or

maybe just

thought, a few

words about

this movie

in which the

leading lady

vanishes part

way through

with the rest

of the film

given over

to the search

but when he

left the cinema

he found all

his words had

disappeared.

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.   

After the Zoo by James Croal Jackson

the offense was claws in which I tore

the seams of treaded jeans we admired

                of hornbills suspended in the space

between freedom and constriction

and contrails the zest of the situation

lingered in halves the happening and aftermath

a baptismal drizzle of your departing hatchback

entirely left to the discretion of satellites

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).

 


The Bubble by Peter Mladinic

The bubble in the shield of my iPhone

is flat, silver as spittle,

shaped like candy wax soda bottles

sold in the 1950s, a bottle you’d eat

not drink from, pure sugar parents

let their kids to buy.

Some got allowances, lucky brats!

That laminate bubble bothered me

but now it’s just part of my life,

unlike my parents, both dead before data

was stored in the cloud. Bluetooth:

That the Everly Brothers’ “Birddog”

comes through my sunglasses

would thrill them. They’d be amazed.

On walkie-talkie banana portables

with antennas God told them:

Your day is coming. Phil and Don sang

“Wake Up, Little Susie.” One night

I lost it, with a brick cracked my Sony

46 inch screen which I then had to dump.

Today I hear my mother,

“Bet you’ll never do that again!”

I remember rainbow colors,

wax soda bottles I broke my teeth.

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.

The Guard by James Mulhern

I sit in the pew next to the stained glass

of Veronica wiping the face of Jesus.

I enjoy the play of light—

red, gold, and green illuminations.

Jesus, a wooden cross covering

his cream tunic and carmine cape,

bends down and speaks to Veronica,

who kneels, veiled in blue and white.

She holds a cloth to wipe his face.

What does Jesus say to her?

Thank you, I suppose.

The guard behind them watches.

Is he a sad witness?

Does he have doubts like me?

Perhaps he listens, as I do, for an illumination.

Or maybe he just wants to escape the searing sun.

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.

Good Morning by Ahmad Al-Khatat

I wake up on my alarm clock,

It doesn’t say to me good morning

I drink my first cup of coffee,

It doesn’t say to me good morning

I eat my first bites of bacon,

It doesn’t say to me good morning

I see my same old neighbour,

he doesn’t say to me good morning

I take the bus to go to work

Nobody says to me good morning

I arrive at work, my coworkers

and customers don’t say good morning

I am so lonely that I forget to say

to the photos in my office good morning

Ahmad Al-Khatat was born in Baghdad, Iraq. His work has appeared in print and online journals globally and has poems translated into several languages. He has been nominated for Best of the Net 2018. He is the author of The Bleeding Heart Poet, Love On The War’s Frontline, Gas Chamber, Wounds from Iraq, and Roofs of Dreams all of which are available from Amazon. He lives in Montreal, Canada. 

What Will We Do? By Eric Golden

What will we do when the newness wears off?

The laughter is silenced, but at what cost

The tears fall, the hearts break

I know I’ve had about enough of all I can take

Push came to shove & I got shoved over the edge

But now were both going down cuz I’ve pulled you off the ledge

This is the point where emotions have gone astray

When kissing your mouth is like kissing a dirty ashtray

I’m not attracted to you anymore either

What you say fucked that up long ago & the knife just got deeper

This is the point where hopelessness had made it’s way in

There’s no turning back now, nowhere to begin

Words have lost their effectiveness actions no longer count

The only thing that I feel is the numbness of emotions & constant doubt

Too scared to leave, yet too hurt to stay        

We repeat the process day after day

Misery loves company, I guess that’s true what they say

A glutton for punishment & sometimes I like it that way

Because I get to at least feel something instead Of being dead inside

I’m sorry things couldn’t be different, I apologize for the tears you’ve cried

I guess my love wasn’t enough, I guess I couldn’t step up to the plate

Couldn’t do what needed to be done & I’m sorry for my mistakes

I really hate the fact that you’re never satisfied

I’m trying as hard as I can, but this is it…end of the ride

Why can’t you get over your insecurities?

This fighting is just killing me….

The nagging is too much

Can’t you just be nice for once? I thought we were In love

Let go of the past & don’t bring up things from 5 years ago

It’s time to end it & I’m sorry I couldn’t play the part in the show

So now when I touch you it’s like there’s something different

You’re randomly leaving w/o my permission

When you breathe I can tell that things aren’t right

When I lay next to you I cant stop thinking through the night

You’re isolating more & more & you don’t take my suggestions

You think I’m trying to boss you around when I want this marriage to have a resurrection

It’s dead & cold

What happened to the days where it was warm & bold?

Quit acting like you wanna be single

I can’t keep doing this cause I’m slowly starting to dwindle

Off into the darkness

I can’t lie because I’ve also been heartless

I’ve called you names, I cut you down

enough games, enough smashing each other into the ground

The guilt is all over my face

My pride is in the trash

Now we’re never gonna finish the race, were gonna finish last

You wanna fight in public, you wanna call me names

You wanna talk shit & I don’t have time for these games

You wanna talk shit on my family & fight in front of my kids

You’re a crazy ass bitch & so now I’ve flipped MY lid

You wanna hold resentments & grudges

Living in misery & I’m sick of your judgments

If you want a divorce fine, if you wanna leave then go

Yah it’s gonna hurt, but Ill get over it you know

Your lips are cold & your touch is hollow

What’s going on? Is there more misery to follow?

Eric was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He graduated from Boys Town high school and went on to get a degree in Social Work. He married at 19 but later got divorced and has raised two children alone. His love for music and arts has led him to his writing. Much of his poetry and writings come from experiences and love of life. He often adds humor to enlighten and has been writing for over 20 years.

Progressive Education by Gary Beck

Walter Lancaster’s parents died in an automobile accident when he was 3 years old. The drunken driver rammed into them after crossing the divider leaving the infant the only survivor. His father’s brother, Donald Lancaster, took him in and raised him in the family mansion with home schooling.

By the time Walter was 5, he was deeply immersed in Spanish, Chinese, Tae Kwon Do, classical music, and other subjects, taught by tutors. Uncle Donald told him about his father’s work as an nuclear engineer and his mother’s work as a physicist when he was 6. From that day on math and physics were priority studies.

Uncle Donald arranged visits to other homes with children and occasional children’s parties at home. As Walter got older he seemed to have little in common with the other kids and mostly observed their behavior, trying to understand what other kids were like. Exercise, training and diet stimulated his growth and at age 10 was big and confident beyond his years. Tutors started history, economics and literature and he was fascinated by great battles. When he was 12, Uncle Donald introduced him to politics, epeé fencing and shooting. He enjoyed everything he did, but fell in love with epeé fencing. He worked diligently with his instructors, already imagining fighting a duel someday. He listened intently to the admonition: ‘Control of your emotions is mandatory for a good fencer’.

At age 14, Walter was 5’10”. 165 lbs, and completely self-possessed. That summer, Uncle Donald took him on a wonderful trip to Spain, where he spoke to all classes of people, comfortable with all of them. The last stage of their trip was to Barcelona, where Uncle Donald told him about the Catalonian struggle for independence. They discussed the issues at length and Walter was inclined to side with the Catalans.

“If they become independent,” Uncle Donald said, “they’ll fracture Spain, which will become impoverished causing much suffering.”

“So it’s more complicated than a people wanting independence,” Walter responded.

“You should do some reading about it, then decide for yourself,” Donald suggested.

They got home in early August and Donald called Walter into his study for an important communication.

“I think you should go to a good private school to prepare you for college. If this appeals to you we’ll go to Creighton, in Connecticut and see if you like it.”

Walter was more than willing. They went to the posh old school where they met with the Headmaster, who was very eager to enroll the scion of a noted family. After the tour, they met in his office and he told Walter:

“If you decide to attend, you will be enrolled as a junior. That means many of the boys will be older and bigger then you. Will that be a problem?”

“No.”

“Also the school is sports oriented. Do you play any sports?”

“Tae Kwan Do and fencing.”

“Well we do have a fencing team.”

“What weapons do they use?”

“Foils.”

“I don’t fence foil.”

“Why not?”

“It’s too artificial for me.”

“Would you do it for the sake of the team?”

“No, sir. But I’ll teach epeé to anyone who wants to learn.”

“Some of the boys may think you lack school spirit.”

“Is that a problem for you, sir?”

“Not as long as you can deal with them.”

“Then I would like to attend Creighton, sir.”

“Welcome, Walter. I’ll send you an information packet that will prepare you for classes and life here. I’ll see you September 3rd.”

“I look forward to it, sir.”

They spent the night at a luxury resort not too far away, in an exclusive suite. Later that evening Walter was reading online about the school when there was a knock on the door.

“Come in, Uncle Donald.”

He looked around and a gorgeous redhead was standing in the doorway.

“I’m not Uncle Donald,” she murmured in the sexiest voice he ever heard.

She was tall, slim, shapely, wearing a short sleeveless dress, posed alluringly. He looked her up and down and knew he would fight a duel to the death for her.

“No. You’re not.”

She waited for him to say more, but when he didn’t:

“Who do you think I am?” In a voice that matched her body.

“The assistant hotel manager?”

She glared at him for a moment, then burst out laughing.

“I’m here to add to your education. Do you know what that means?”

“No. But I want to find out.”

She shut the door and walked towards him. He got an erection and his whole body started trembling. She noticed and said:

:”Are you nervous?”

“No. Excited.”

“Good. Then you’ll like this.” She slipped off her dress and was only wearing tiny black panties. She reached for him, pulling him to his feet, saw his excitation, whispered: “someone’s glad to see me,” took out his penis, put her mouth on it and he ejaculated. “Aren’t we eager.” She slowly undressed him, caressing him, and whispering erotic comments, until he was erect again. “I’m going to show you all kinds of things tonight. Am I welcome?”

“Oh, yes.”

It was a memorable night. By the time he fell asleep, sated with pleasure, he had learned where everything could go and how to do things with a woman. When he awoke in the morning she was gone. Part of him wanted to rush out and find her, keep her captive, bargain with her, not let her go. But he didn’t even know her name. He realized that she was a gift from Uncle Donald and maybe he could ask for her again sometime. Right now he had to wonder if a girl could ever feel as delicious as his beautiful instructor. He suddenly felt ravenously hungry, dressed, went into the living room where a huge room service breakfast was waiting.

“Morning, Uncle Donald. Thanks.”

“You’re welcome, Walt.”

As he started preparing a mindset for school, a thought popped into his head that made him smile. ‘I’m sure glad it wasn’t Uncle Donald’.

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn’t earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 34 poetry collections, 14 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 5 books of plays. Published poetry books include:  Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings, The Remission of Order, Contusions, Desperate Seeker, Learning Curve and : State of the Union (Winter Goose Publishing). Earth Links, Too Harsh For Pastels, Severance, Redemption Value, Fractional Disorder, Disruptions, Ignition Point, Resonance, Turbulence and Lacerations (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Double Envelopment). Motifs (Adelaide Books). His novels include Extreme Change (Winter Goose Publishing). State of Rage, Wavelength, Protective Agency, Obsess, Flawed Connections and Still Obsessed (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Call to Valor). His short story collections include: A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing). Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Essays of Gary Beck (Cyberwit Publishing). The Big Match and other one act plays (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume 1 and Plays of Aristophanes translated, then directed by Gary Beck, Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume II and Four Plays by Moliere translated then directed by Gary Beck (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume III). Gary lives in New York City.

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.

Links:

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

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

fishes?

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—

looking—for

sweet escape—

To laugh—

until I couldn’t laugh

anymore

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

oozing

expression

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.

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)

.

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.

.

 

 

 PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine. Volume 6; Issue 6; June 2022

6.6

Your Smiles Melt My Raindrops by Shola Balogun

Robin, Robin! by David Estringel

Death of Pericles by Mark Kodama

Four Years of Service by Noelle Kukenas

Endless Options by Milton P. Ehrlich

                      Your Smiles Melt My Raindrops by Shola Balogun

The kiss of your lips

Is like the scent of lavender

In a garden after rain

Shola Balogun, poet,playwright and filmmaker has been featured as a guest writer and contributor,especially in the areas of poetry, post colonial studies and dramatic criticism to various magazines,anthologies and journals. He studied Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan. Balogun lives in Lagos,Nigeria.

Robin, Robin! by David Estringel

Robin, Robin!

The feathery creature

Who takes only one mate.

A bloody Robin upon my palm.

Robin, Robin!

A dead heartbeat that belonged to my mate.

Mate: a lullaby at my tongue,

Saliva of crimson regret.

Robin, Robin!

Listen, but my mate still breathes,

Just the air of some other species: betrayal.

A renegade, unruly bird.

Robin, Robin!

My carcass may take a mate

But my spirit is forever yours.

I, the Robin who takes only one mate.

Robin, Robin!

You’ve failed as a Robin

Yet I will ne’er.

My soul will mate with mere loneliness.

David Estringel is an avid reader, poet, and writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, & essays. His work has been accepted and/or published by Specter Magazine, Literary Juice, Foliate Oak Magazine,Terror House Magazine, Expat Press, 50 Haikus, littledeathlit, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Route 7 Review, Setu Bilingual Journal, Paper Trains Literary Journal, The Elixir Magazine, Soft Cartel,Harbinger Asylum, Briars Lit, Open Arts Forum, Cajun Mutt Press, Former People Journal, The Ugly Writers, Writ in Dust, Cephalopress, Twist in Time, Merak Magazine, Salt Water Soul, Cherry House Press, Subterranean Blue Poetry, Printed Words, Sunflower Sutras, Tulip Tree Publishing, Salt, PPP Ezine, Digging through the Fat, Haiku Journal, and The Good Men Project. He is currently a Contributing Editor (fiction) at Red Fez, Lead Editor/columnist at The Good Men Project, and an editor/writer at The Elixir Magazine. David can be found on Twitter (@The_Booky_Man) and his website at http://davidaestringel.com.

Death of Pericles by Mark Kodama

Pericles lay on his sweat soaked back in bed, his head propped up by pillows,

Listless, with pale skin and dark circles ringing his eyes,

A shadow of his former self.  He vainly hoped the amulet hung

By a string around his neck would save him from the plague,

Sweeping through walled Athens now under siege

By the Spartans and their allies in a fight to the death.

The god-like Pericles, with his oversized head and

Oversized confidence, dominated his enemies

And built the Parthenon.  The nobleman who led

The commoners just a few years ago distained

Superstition as the absurd fear of the ignorant.

But outrageous fortune has a way of humbling

Even the most prideful of men.  War and plague

Had taken Pericles’s two adult sons and many

Of his closest friends.             Pericles, who once could do no wrong,

Was blamed by the people and stripped of his power.

Pericles – burning with fever – weakly raised right hand,

Asking for water in the same baritone voice

That once reverberated through the Assembly,

The Thracian slave girl – immune from plague –

Brought him water and changed his bedpan

And soiled bed clothes.  She sponged his fevered body.

Aspasia – his hetarai wife – cried in the adjoining room

As her young son Pericles the younger clung to her.

Pericles the elder, the former giant of Athens, the builder

Of cities, closed his eyes and slipped away.

Mark Kodama is a trial attorney and former newspaper reporter who lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two sons.  He is currently working on Las Vegas Tales, a work of philosophy, sugar-coated with meter and rhyme and told through stories.  His short stories and poems have been published in anthologies, on-line magazines and on-line blogs.

Four Years of Service by Noelle Kukenas

Memories stretched across time and space

San Antonio, Denver, Anchorage, Mountain Home

Mountain Home??? Yes…..it isn’t hell but you can see hell from here

That’s what they said

Lackland AFB – San Antonio TX

Lining up for chow – breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Lining up to march – to class, to get fitted for uniforms, to be physically examined

Lining up for mail – precious connections to my former life and those who love me

Lining up to leave – goodbye basic training

Lowery AFB – Denver CO

Grabbing a bite in the cafeteria before rushing to class

Getting to know my roommate and dorm mates

Going out with new friends to explore a new city

Gosh, this feels just like college – except for the uniforms

Elmendorf AFB – Anchorage AK

Taking the time and effort to form friendships that will last a lifetime and span the globe

Tearfully meeting the President and remembering why I serve

Testing my boundaries with authority – I should know better

Training for Arctic warfare – is this why it’s called the Cold War

Mountain Home AFB – Mountain Home ID

Finally adapting to married life, pregnancy, and the desert

Figuring out how to be a mother while still serving as a soldier

Fighting discrimination from all directions

Finding support from my sisters in uniform – and some of the men

Four years, four bases, four promotions

Many challenges, many friendships, many rewards

Glorious scenery, glorious experiences, glorious personal triumphs

Sisterhood at its best

Noelle Kukenas began writing around the age of nine and continues to this day. She enjoyed working in several career fields, many which allowed her to contribute as a technical writer in some capacity. Her published works include a short story in Scraps To Scribes and poetry in Sisterhood 4: We Are Women. Recently retired from the nonprofit sector, Noelle enjoys spending her free time traveling with her husband, creating havoc with her grandchildren, and enjoying the California sunshine!   

Endless Options by Milton P. Ehrlich

Are you awake

to what you

choose to do

with the rest

of your life?

Sit, stand, walk

or mark time.

Swim in an ocean,

hang from a tree,

or bury yourself

deep in the ground.

Cry about the past

or be a circus clown

without a frown

about the future.

Doing nothing

can sometimes be

a necessary time out.

Try being present

for the present,

and, you can fly

with one wing.

Follow the North Star.

Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 87- year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published many poems in periodicals such as the London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.

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PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine. Volume 6; Issue 5; May 2022

6.5

Lullaby for a Politician by Jennifer Bradpiece

Self-possessed by Guna Moran

Start reading again by David Flynn

Imprint by Joanne Olivieri

DonkeyWork by Patricia Walsh

                      Lullaby for a Politician by Jennifer Bradpiece

for dad

When I say, “I knew this would happen,”

my mother looks like she wants to slap me.

And who could blame her.

I’m portending my father

landing in the emergency room

the very day the old dog passed

with the same certainty one might lament

a full glass toppling off a table’s edge.

Where were my minders?

I had nearly misplaced an entire continent.

I turn on the television to keep the younger dog company.

Ernest Cossart’s Irish brogue gently chastises,

“Ah, there’s a real piece of idiocy—woman’s instinct—

every slab-sided female in the world is a crystal gazer—

she’s magic. She can fore-tell the future—like a politician.”

Flustered, I grab my water bottle, recheck the emergency number.

As I wheel around before closing the door,

I see Ginger Rogers, black and white in soft focus.

She spins around at her door, facing me

and an off-camera Cossart.

All the way down the hall her plucky voice follows me,

“And don’t you worry about me pop, cause I can take care

of myself alright! Goodbye pop!”

Jennifer Bradpiece was born and raised in the multifaceted muse, Los Angeles, where she still resides. She tries to remain active in the Los Angeles writing and art scene. Jennifer has interned at Beyond Baroque and often collaborates with multi-media artists on projects. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in various anthologies, journals, and online zines, including Redactions, The Common Ground Review, and The Bacopa Literary Review . She has poetry forthcoming in Breath & Shadows among others. Jennifer’s manuscript, Lullabies for End Times will be available in early 2020 by Moon Tide Press.

Self-possessed by Guna Moran

Joy flee at the first opportunity

It does not give company always

Like sorrow

Sorrow is the true friend

It is not ethereal like happiness

Whose life partner is sorrow

Sorrow is one’s happiness

Happiness is dream

Sorrow is reality

Absurd dream is not my longing in reality

So I do not say myself to be unhappy

Even if I’m not happy

Translation : Bibekananda Choudhury

Guna Moran is an assamese poet and critic.His poems are being published in various international magazines,journals and anthologies.Apart from this,his poems have already been translated into more than twenty foreign languages.

Start reading again by David Flynn

Start writing again.

But why?  No one hears.  No one

notices my words.

So wake up there, you.

Slap.  Pay attention.  Love.  Care.

React.  Now you stare.

Rise from the sofa.

Scream.  It’s a start.  Now sit down

again.  You have changed a bit.

.

David Flynn was born in the textile mill company town of Bemis, TN.  His jobs have included newspaper reporter, magazine editor and university teacher.  He has five degrees and is both a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Specialist with a recent grant in Indonesia.  His literary publications total more than two hundred.  He lives in Nashville, TN, where he is director of the Musicians Reunion, an annual blues music festival now in its 37th year.  He currently teaches at Tennessee State University.

Imprint by Joanne Olivieri

At dusk

a quiet silence rests

sipping merlot

on white sands

Sunset minuet

permeates the sky

cotton candy clouds

pattern a natural masterpiece

You tell me you love me

as the moon debuts

we jazz it up

leaving imprints

Along the shore.

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  

DonkeyWork by Patricia Walsh

The rotten learning code of excavation

Becomes your physique in spite of joy

Muscles where hidden comes to the fore

Sacrilegious sunscreen carving the timeline

Pain where deserved, a lesson interrogated.

Like a maniac, proving my ability

Digging nails into warmest flesh

Covering sins with the neatness of dalliances

Truth of love covering over sins,

Dedication on the outskirts of learned ridicule.

Full-on assault to shore up an acquaintance

Kissing for propriety a singular aim,

To charm back affection is no good

Eventual distance rests its case

Smirking over your beverage is some defence.

God, cold as ice, diverges our paths.

How can somethig so good turn out so badly

Swallowing pills en masse to knock consciousness

Where it hurts, naming the unnameable

Explaining away your part in the affair.

Staring at the four walls, illiness redeemed

Catching attention is not all it seemed.

Nor right to depression callled out of bounds

Sinking into clay a luxury

Roulette of medicine coming into play.

Some death wish sizes me and you

An unholy mantra pervades my being

Mercy on real terms is the way do go

But I cannot see past my guilty hands

Nor time the assault to a tee.

A lonely pedigree is all that is left

Counting backwards is the sin making graves

The local diaspora baying for blood

You leading the way, spotless in in your prime

Choosing your collective makes it worse.

Sleeping at midday, tears on the sheets

Love denied slices my very innards

A raw ecstasy parcelling my zeitgeist

Evaporating sympathy from all concerned

God being silent when it’s too late.

Slitting myself into a box too small to count

Demanding apologies from everyone around

Too late of course, tracks being covered

Theories of disappearance wash the night away

Under cover of free alcohol, and food.

Consumed under dark, a quota of kisses,

Cruelly denied, or taken up, as for sure

Prime position for  loyalty cards

Laughing at my tawdry arguments

In the same place where I left it.

Patricia Walsh was born and raised in the parish of Mourneabbey, Co Cork, Ireland.  To date, she has published one novel, titled The Quest for Lost Eire, in 2014, and has published one collection of poetry, titled Continuity Errors, with Lapwing Publications in 2010. She has since been published in a variety of print and online journals.  These include: The Lake; Seventh Quarry Press; Marble Journal; New Binary Press; Stanzas; Crossways; Ygdrasil; Seventh Quarry; The Fractured Nuance; Revival Magazine; Ink Sweat and Tears; Drunk Monkeys; Hesterglock Press; Linnet’s Wing, Narrator International, The Galway Review; Poethead and The Evening Echo.

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PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine. Volume 6; Issue 4; April 2022

6.4

Poets Die by Michael Lee Johnson

Low Tide by John Grey

Cloudiness by Eliza Segiet

Dream Cadence by Wayne Russell

Enabling Cookies by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

                      Poets Die by Michael Lee Johnson

Why do poets die;

linger in youth

addicted to death.

They create culture

but so crippled.

They seldom harm

except themselves—

why not let them live?

Their only crime is words

they shout them out in anger

cry out loud, vulgar in private

places like Indiana cornfields.

In fall, poets stretch arms out

their spines the centerpiece

on crosses on scarecrows,

they only frighten themselves.

They travel in their minds,

or watch from condo windows,

the mirage, these changing colors,

those leaves; they harm no one.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada, Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in the greater Chicagoland area, IL.  He has 244 YouTube poetry videos. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet 43 countries, several published poetry books, nominated for 3 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 536 published poems. Michael is the administrator of 6 Facebook Poetry groups. Member Illinois State Poetry Society: http://www.illinoispoets.org/.

Low Tide by John Grey

The sand’s as gray

as the low sky.

It’s not smooth

but a series of gutters

in which tiny creatures

grapple for what they can live with.

Exposed rocks seem proud

of their slimy skin.

Abandoned sea-weed stinks

like a brothel

at the end of the midnight shift.

Some mottled shells.

Bubbles of sour foam.

Once, this was where life began.

It remains, to this day,

the inspiration.

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.

Cloudiness by Eliza Segiet

I hide

in the silence

of uncertainty of tomorrow,

I am glad,

that today the sky is

above me.

I tell a tale from the clouds,

although I do not know

how it ends.

The wind gives an ending,

until the sky does not open

– I look,

because I see shapes in the sky from down below.

Beautiful are cloudy travels

and cloudiness of the sky

is beautiful.

[Translated by Artur Komoter]


Chmurność

Chowam się

w ciszy

niepewności jutra,

cieszę się,

że dzisiaj nade mną jest

niebo.

Opowiadam bajkę z chmur,

choć nie wiem

jak się skończy.

Wiatr daje zakończenie,

póki niebo się nie otworzy

– patrzę,

bo w niebie widzę kształty z ziemi.

Piękne są chmurne podróże

i chmurność nieba

jest piękna.

Eliza Segiet is Jagiellonian University graduate with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. She completed postgraduate studies in Cultural Knowledge, Philosophy, Penal Fiscal and Economic Law, and Creative Writing at Jagiellonian University, as well as Film and Television Production in Łódź. She has published three poetry collections and two monodramas.

Dream Cadence by Wayne Russell

A sparrow whistled a song into my ear last night.

Death is always a heartbeat away, life is an echo,

snuffed out all too soon.

The grass sings a serenade, soothing natures fleeting

breath.

While an ancient lullaby reaches its crescendo, she

dances upon this midnight dream cadence.

Peering through tear stained windows, outside where

innuendos swirl in vacant breeze.

We were here, do you remember?

Yes, it was we, when we were one and not two,

cascading and thus sealed over, simplified by

the finality, reaching its terminus point.

Life plays the sad song so out of tune, death stares

us down like a red-tailed hawk in the midday heat. 

Wayne Russell is or has been many things in his 49 years on this planet, he has been a creative writer, world traveler, graphic designer, former soldier, and former sailor. Wayne has been widely published in both online and hard copy creative writing magazines. From 2016-17 he also founded and edited Degenerate Literature. In late 2018, the kind editors at Ariel Chart  nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. “Where Angels Fear” was his debut e-book, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it was pulled from the publishers’ list of titles recently.    

Enabling Cookies by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

She bakes them on a tray

in the oven

gets antsy when they are not ready

when she thinks they should

be.       

It is her grandmother’s recipe.

Handwritten on a single yellow old cue card

passed down through the family.

And I try one while they are still hot,

this woman who loves to bake.

Her grandmother returned to dust.

We eat an entire tray in one sitting.

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, PPP Ezine, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

 

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine. Volume 6; Issue 3; March 2022

Poet of the Month: Noelle Kukenas

The Unrealized Dreams of the Night by Edward Lee

Earth Poems by Shola Balogun

Wicked Resuscitation by Thomas M. McDade

Someone loved me once by David Estringel

A Quiet Place to Think By Mark Kodama

From Beginnibg to End Liao by Daniel de Culla

Adoption by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Elephant and Castle Underground Station by Eadbhard McGowan

My Heart Beats For You…. by Eric Golden

Poet of the Month: Noelle Kukenas

Still I Believe

The door slams shut

Opportunities denied

No (fill in the blank) Allowed

Still I Believe.

The money has run out

No way to provide

The cupboards are bare

Still I Believe.

The pain is too great

My strength is diminished

Memories are blurred

Still I Believe.

There’s nothing left

Even the ashes drift away

Leaving only scarred earth

Still I Believe.

The final call sounds

I’m taken away

Never to return

But – Still I Believe.

The Kingdom

This makes no sense

trapped inside an unexpected and unexplained mess

created from what madness?

what illness?

or sheer indifference?

The Caustic Queen

perched upon a throne

grins like a Cheshire Cat

watching the struggle with evil glee

greedily consuming the entire kingdom.

The Kingdom?!

Once an admirable work of financial art, prudence, and discipline

shining in splendid glory

an example to emulate

carefully crafted and created with intention to care for others.

Now a burned-out shell of its former self

an unrecognizable wasteland

littered with broken promises

sucking the life out of the remnants of prior greatness.

Starving children dig through the ruins

searching for any scraps or crumbs

of the future once promised them.

While the One who-should-have-gone-first

feasts upon the riches of others

tossing aside the bones

to be scattered

among the chaos.

Noelle Kukenas began writing around the age of nine and continues to this day. She enjoyed working in several career fields, many which allowed her to contribute as a technical writer in some capacity. Her published works include a short story in Scraps To Scribes and poetry in Sisterhood 4: We Are Women. Recently retired from the nonprofit sector, Noelle enjoys spending her free time traveling with her husband, creating havoc with her grandchildren, and enjoying the California sunshine!

The Unrealized Dreams of the Night by Edward Lee  

In the centre of the night

there was a crescent of light

which was not the moon

nor some distant and dying star;

something was about to begin,

something previously unknown,

with no one

to witness

in these hours when time

exists outside of existence,

only lazily destined to hear, after,

its echo as it faded from sound

into a crescent of light,

the remains of possibilities

and wishes unmade.

Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  His debut poetry collection “Playing PoohsticksOnHa’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection.

He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.

His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com.  

Earth Poems by Shola Balogun

Wine for your thoughts.

Raft of corn seeds,

Whispers in the attic,

The locked eyes in the helve,

The treading of the sole of the foot

In the winepress. You heard tell

That trampling tongues

Birth Belial roots

In the dark pool of rushes?

Child, meddle not with the shadows.

Stones tasted wine in time past.

Shola Balogun, poet,playwright and filmmaker has been featured as a guest writer and contributor,especially in the areas of poetry, post colonial studies and dramatic criticism to various magazines,anthologies and journals. He studied Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan. Balogun lives in Lagos,Nigeria.

Wicked Resuscitation by Thomas M. McDade 

I knew a woman

who lived in an old

apartment complex.

Once when we stopped

at her place after partying

she snapped

the light on and it was

as if we’d interrupted a

cockroach Mardi Gras

and I didn’t pick that

event out of the blue—

it was precisely that

time of the year.

My friend didn’t panic,

said those insects

were preferable to mice.

The bugs quickly scattered

and I wished they’d remained

a minute or so longer

to deep freeze in my mind:

a paper was soon due

on Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

I planned to argue

metaphor vs. reality.

Visiting next,

after the monthly

pesticide application.

I picked up five victims

expired in a kitchen corner

closed a fist around them

as if administering some sort

of wicked resuscitation.

Closing my eyes, I imagined

Kafka high on something

better than pesticide doing the same

telling his partying friends

just watch my burdens

someday turn me into one.

Thomas M. McDade is a 73 year-old resident of Fredericksburg, VA. He is a graduate of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT. McDade is twice a U.S. Navy Veteran.

Someone loved me once by David Estringel


Buoyant hustle emerging from smokey  fields,
It is his voice that sings me to peace.
Capacious affection  breathing down my neck
Like sun rays warming my skin.
I have been the metaphor of destruction
And he, the metaphor of revival. 
Feral detest bubbling within the cauldron of my chest
But overridden by his sweet summer scent.
Someone loved me once;
He loved me enough to make me love myself.

David Estringel is an avid reader, poet, and writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, & essays. His work has been accepted and/or published by Specter Magazine, Literary Juice, Foliate Oak Magazine,Terror House Magazine, Expat Press, 50 Haikus, littledeathlit, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Route 7 Review, Setu Bilingual Journal, Paper Trains Literary Journal, The Elixir Magazine, Soft Cartel,Harbinger Asylum, Briars Lit, Open Arts Forum, Cajun Mutt Press, Former People Journal, The Ugly Writers, Writ in Dust, Cephalopress, Twist in Time, Merak Magazine, Salt Water Soul, Cherry House Press, Subterranean Blue Poetry, Printed Words, Sunflower Sutras, Tulip Tree Publishing, Salt, PPP Ezine, Digging through the Fat, Haiku Journal, and The Good Men Project. He is currently a Contributing Editor (fiction) at Red Fez, Lead Editor/columnist at The Good Men Project, and an editor/writer at The Elixir Magazine. David can be found on Twitter (@The_Booky_Man) and his website at http://davidaestringel.com.

A Quiet Place to Think By Mark Kodama

I need a quiet place to think,

A shaded spot beneath the pomegranate tree,

Isolated from man and beast,

A platonic spring from which to drink,

Stillwaters for reflection

On all of life’s imperfections

In an ugly and chaotic world

Full of beautiful contradictions.

I need a quiet place to think,

A safe harbor to hear my inner voice

Whispering its truths to me

In all the colors of the rainbow.

A spot in the shade to meditate,

For ideas to gestate.  A place

For the butterfly to nourish itself,

Before taking winged flight.

Mark Kodama is a trial attorney and former newspaper reporter who lives in Washington, D.C.    His short stories and poems have been published in anthologies, newspapers, journals, magazines and on-line blogs.

From Beginnibg to End Liao by Daniel de Culla

From beginning to end

is explained absolutely everything worth knowing

about absolutely nothing.

Why not’?

We felt that the Beginning is a true leaf

of the inmortal literature

as a side of bacon changing the pig

discovering the best way to keep its legend alive

encouragingmytology

and the controversy about it:

Sun wil have its tide spreading over our maps

Moon remembering us we were gone

and we still sing everything waiting

for birth, death

inside this den of us.

Spring, Summer, Autum, Winter

coming with feelings of love, radiance

quiet and delight

As ever.

Daniel de Culla is a writer, poet, and photographer. He’s member of the Spanish Writers Association, Earthly Writers International Caucus, Poets of the World, (IA) International Authors, Surrealism Art, Friends of The Blake Society, and others. Director of Gallo Tricolor Review, and Robespierre Review. He participated in many Festivals of Poetry, and Theater in Madrid, Burgos, Berlin, Minden, Hannover and Genève .He has exposed in many galleries from Madrid, Burgos, London, and Amsterdam. He is moving between North Hollywood, Madrid and Burgos; e-mail: gallotricolor@yahoo.com

Adoption by Ahmad Al-Khatat

When I was a teenager
I donated to a little orphan
since then I made a vow that 
I would adopt her, and marry her

Days go by and nights come 
I learned how to hurt myself 
by doing bad habits that will 
guide me to die below the bridge

I lost count of my harmful cuts 
I lost all the joyful memories and 
moments from weeping beneath 
the lights of the miserable bar

My mother thought that I was well,
As my smile hid the tears that 
damaged my physical therapist 
within minutes after hearing me

I lost many chances and luck
until I met a broken heart,
she cried when she knew that I 
found what was missing of me

I found her 
between all of my poetry
between all of my cigarette smoke 
I tried to lose her
as I saw my shadow following her

Ann you didn’t adopted a regular girl
you have definitely raised one angel
that showed me life with colours
From your love and care for my princess

the grief inside of me has smiled when
your daughter kissed my salty lips and 
wiped my tears, hopefully she will
close my eyes after my smiling face rests

Ahmad Al-Khatat was born in Baghdad, Iraq. His work has appeared in print and online journals globally and has poems translated into several languages. He has been nominated for Best of the Net 2018. He is the author of The Bleeding Heart Poet, Love On The War’s Frontline, Gas Chamber, Wounds from Iraq, and Roofs of Dreams all of which are available from Amazon. He lives in Montreal, Canada.

Elephant and Castle Underground Station by Eadbhard McGowan

Waiting in the dark, we dream of light;

deep, underground, we hear detonations,

vibrations of bombing causing fright,

impact of loads dropped on a town.

What awaits us outside is unknown,

when we inch to daylight with we desire:

a day darkened by smoke

or a night glowing with fire?

Grasped by fear and helplessness,

by air raids and trembling walls,

recognising nightmare’s relentlessness

in the horror of today’s sundown

when night falls like a gown

and sirens sound the all-clear,

in these days of war and fear,

in shelters with neighbours and strangers.

Wherever we look into dark future’s night,

far from the here and now, flickering light,

far from home, hoping, and hearing

the word without knowing its meaning.

Did we see warnings looming up?

Signs on the wall, in Belshazzar’s hall?

Did we anticipate tyrants, invasion, depravity?

Victims, the dead, the bombs on Coventry?

Sons of the land clothe themselves with death,

arm themselves to kill their own kind

in the places of horror, up and down the land.

Dream weavers weave a wreath,

money counters count and pay in kind;

armourers forge, steel unsheathed;

soldiers kill; leave thousands bereaved:

we are all led like puppets on a string.

In the city of lost angels,

a masked man sharpens his black scythe,

saddles his mighty horse

for the very last fight.

Burn, Phoenix, that your ashes bear fruit,

keep your heart’s blood, Pelican, to feed us.

Grim Reaper has his harvest time.

We hear graveyard bells chime.

Almost filled is the hour-counting shadow glass;

nearly faded, are pottery shards with your name,

the Tree of Life, standing pale in the rain;

wilted, the rosebush that lived your love,

windblown breath that carries your words,

naked, featherless- lonely peace dove.

Go where you have never been before,

where yet so many wait.

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is an artist and a translator and writer of poetry, crime novels and short stories. He writes haibun, tanka, haiku and poetry in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry and prose. Member of four writer groups in Ireland and lives in County Kerry, Ireland, for more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. Published in 60 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in UK, Ireland, Canada and USA. Writes also under his pen name: Eadbhard McGowan 

My Heart Beats For You…. by Eric Golden

Let me touch your beautiful soul

Don’t you know I need someone to hold

To fill me up until I overflow

Brimming with happiness & never wanna let it go

You walk thru my door bringing in rays of sunshine behind you

Your presence is soothing & relaxing & yes this is true

You have handfuls of peacefulness & you come over with a heart full of content

The moment you walk thru the door I’m hoping the opposite way you will have never ever went

A smile full of beauty, a soft gentle touch to warm the heart

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, this wasn’t how it was supposed to start

But now it is & were trapped in each others ideas of what could be

We want to take it to the next level, to see what it is it should be

So what feels like years, has only been days

I can’t help myself cuz u got me feelin like I’m in a daze

& what feels like days feels like years

I’m ready to let you in, so please help me walk thru these fears

I told you that you’re at the top of my list, so there’s no one else above you

& it’s getting to the point where I want to tell you _ ____ ___

& our souls braid together in order to become one

& when we make love it’s like the rising of the sun

I gotta make sure the timing is correct

Don’t want to let you down, truly out of respect

But I’m willing to take a chance & risk it all for the thought of us

It’s going to take a lot of respect, honesty, love, & trust

Soft touches that make us blush

Take your time so we don’t have to rush

But now it’s time for you to go & I’m not sure when I will see you again,

But the more were together the more I like you for more than just a friend

If I get the chance I’m gonna keep you all to myself

I’m willing to let my guard down but please be careful nursing my heart back to health

I need you to support me in my goals & dreams

I need you to never leave

I need your nurturing touch

You see, I need you so much

Our hearts best in tandem

We both breathe in unison

I’m hoping that when my phone goes off that it will be you again

So never despair My love because I will be your hero

Even when we’re apart I promise I’m still here though

Your voice sounds so at ease

Like on a bright sunny day w the wind blowing thru the trees

It soothes me, comforts me, & heals me

I want to love the real you & you to love the real me

So let us not get lost or caught up in doing the wrong thing

Because if we allow love to flow, then happiness it will bring

______, my heart beats for you…..

Eric was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He graduated from Boys Town high school and went on to get a degree in Social Work. He married at 19 but later got divorced and has raised two children alone. His love for music and arts has led him to his writing. Much of his poetry and writings come from experiences and love of life. He often adds humor to enlighten and has been writing for over 20 years.

 

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine. Volume 6; Issue 2; February 2022

Poet of the Month: Ahmad Al-Khatat

Class Photo by Brian Rihlmann

Unraveling Rhyme by Ann Christine Tabaka

Buried Alive by Glory Sasikala

Golden Giant by Hongri Yuan

Poet of the Month: Ahmad Al-Khatat

Am I

Weak am I,

no longer am I the knight of a stranger’s dark dream

sad am I,

with a thirsty spirit seeking for a bloody river

lost am I,

I cannot find a way to heal my wounds during the day

drunk am I,

running away from people’s hateful judgments

sick am I,

waiting on the bullet to end my miserable hope

fool am I,

for believing in tears, and ignoring the mouths of lies

who am I,

today I am miserable for writing on the city walls

who will I be,

nothing but a drunk writer in a forgotten cemetery

Writing a Letter

I will be writing a letter

to nobody brave or I know

I want to say I am sorry

for the ones, who hurts me before

I know that life is more

than one locked door

perhaps, my heart is the

house with broken lock to protect me

yet, my enemy win over my

innocent moves, his words

are sharp knives, and my answers

are the seeds of the plants in heaven

being blind means, you are

gifted, you just believe in the

ones who wishes you death

and nothing else of good in darkness

I am not Alone

O people, I am not alone in this world

my spirit may be tired of my wounds

I’m seldom hopeless to find the door

to knock on, to open and, forgive me

they say that love comes very softly

under the stars, in front of my sight

she will be beautifully hostage on the

one-way bridge to the blinding light

up in the smoke of my cigarettes

I taste her lips, when I add a teaspoon

of earth and sea, in my cup of

nostalgia, of her body and scent

the bitter flavour of lonesome

it’s the time, I draw her on the mist

a stranger is watching me in tears

even though he doesn’t know me

I am not alone, but you are alone

you will miss me, when my blood

will be the cut of a sacred river,

Ahmad Al-Khatat, was born in Baghdad, Iraq on May 8th. He has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world and has poems translated in several languages. He has published two poetry books “The Bleeding Heart Poet” and “Love On The War’s Frontline” which are available on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet on Facebook.

Class Photo by Brian Rihlmann  

I look at that class photo, Kindergarten

and wonder what is left

of those faces and bodies and souls

as we, now nearing mid life

are awakened by harsh alarm bells

on the east or west coast

or somewhere in between

and we swarm out into the streets,

down into subway tunnels or onto buses

or hop in our cars and brave freeway madness,

faces now lined and wrinkled

like clocks and dollar bills.

I wonder if anything at all is left,

or if there’s anything sacred

in this routine. It’s hard to see, but

I still look for it, as I weave

among cars on the freeway, 70 plus,

toward someplace I’d rather not be.

Brian Rihlmann was born in NJ, and currently lives in Reno, NV. He writes mostly semi autobiographical, confessional free verse. Folk poetry…for folks. He has been published in The Rye Whiskey Review, Cajun Mutt Press, Alien Buddha Zine, Synchronized Chaos, Madness Muse Press and The American Journal Of Poetry.  

Unraveling Rhyme by Ann Christine Tabaka

The rhyming and the not,

as if I had forgot,

my words of many years,

embedded in my tears.

Days of youth have passed.

The die has long been cast.

Pieces of my life

still wading through pained strife.

Time has come and gone.

I waited far too long.

My words have all grown stale,

now lost beyond the pale.

A fire that once burned,

has long ago been spurned.

My passions all I gave,

lie cold beyond the grave.

Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and three cats. Her most recent credits are: Ethos Literary Journal, North of Oxford, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Synchronized Chaos, Pangolin Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, The McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore.

Buried Alive by Glory Sasikala

In the graveyard of the buried alive

she screamed and groaned…

moaned

and they sighed…

another one

to tell a story

It was the best day of my life (she said)

there from my coffin

in my best clothes

mascara, rouge and lipstick –

I could hear them praise me soft and low

twas pure bliss!

people in black and mourning

with nothing but good to say of me

highlighting my achievements

played down my bad

and I had been waiting

my whole life for this!

and then they were there

these people in black

my friends, foes

and I don’t knows

kissing me on my forehead

bidding me goodbye

hardly aware that i was screaming

silently – no one heard my cry

my mind registered bouquets

a malicious eye or two

some tears spilt to wet my face

a whispered word from you

and then they gently closed the lid

and nailed it into place

and lowered me down by ropes

down into the hole

and threw mud upon my face.

hey! ‘don’t do that!’ i cried from where within

i could hear the muddy rain

but bury me they did and an epitaph –

“Buried alive – never to be heard of again!”

Glory Sasikala is a poet and writer currently residing in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. She is the Editor and Publisher of the Monthly Online Prose and Poetry magazine, ‘GloMag’ and is the administrator of the group of the same name on Facebook. She is a language editor and quality analyst by profession.

Golden Giant by Hongri Yuan

Translated by Yuanbing zhang

Who is sitting in the heavens and staring at me?

Who is sitting in the golden palace of tomorrow?

Who is smiling?

Golden staff in his hand

flashes a dazzling light.

Ah, the flashes of lightning-

interweave over my head…

I walked into the crystalline corridor of the time-

I want to open

the doors of gold.

Lines of words in the sun-

Singing to me in the sky-

I want to find

the volumes of gold poems

on the shores of the new century

to build the city of gold.

Laozi with rosy cheek and white hair-

Smiles at me in the clouds,

A phoenix dances trippingly

and carries with it, a book of gold.

Lines of mysterious words

made my eyes drunken,

countless giant figures

came towards me from the clouds.

Ages through seventy million years

emerged leisurely before my eyes,

the cities of gold

surrounded with crystalline gardens.

A sky of sapphire

sent out a colorful miraculous brightness,

onto green hills of jasper,

dragons and phoenixes were flying

Exquisite pagoda-

with majestical palace of gold,

the airy pavilions and pagodas

stood within the purple-red clouds

Laughing girls

riding the colorful husbands and wives,

propitious clouds

sprinkling the colorful flowers.

I opened the door to a golden palace,

saw the rows of scrolls of gold,

a giant who had the haloes all over his body-

there was a golden sun over his head.

Smiling, he picked up the books of gold

recited the sacred verses-

Intoxicated with the miraculous wonderful words

I was enveloped with purple-gold flames.

A golden lotus

bloomed beneath my feet,

lifted up my body,

wafting it up out of the golden palace

The red clouds

drifted by my side,

in the far distance I saw

another golden paradise

the leisurely bells

calling to me.

There- countless giants

roamed in a golden garden,

with skies of ruby,

rounds of sun

like the golden lotus

blooming in the sky,

intoxicating fragrances of flowers

like sweet good wine,

golden trees

laden with the dazzling diamonds,

wonderful flowers

in bloom for a thousand years,

this land of gold

inlaid with the gems.

The pavilions of gold were

strewn at random, clustered in multitude.

Someone was playing chess

Someone was chatting…

Quaint clothes

colossal statures

miraculous eyes-

happy and comfortable.

White cranes

flying in the sky,

husbands and wives

crowing leisurely.

Beside an old man I approached

as if he were waiting for me

in this golden pavilion.

He opened an ancient sword casket-

A glittering ancient sword

engraved with abstruse words and expressions,

which were clear and transparent, like lightning,

dimly glowed with purplish-red patterns.

He told me a metaphysical epic:

The sword came from nine billions years ago,

made from hundreds of millions of suns.

It was a sacred sword of the sun-

It could pierce the rocks of time,

open layer after layer of skies,

let the sacred fires forge the heaven and the earth

into golden paradises.

The old man’s eyes were deep, archaic, difficult to discern-

Dimly showing the joyful flames.

He let me take this sword

to fly towards a new golden paradise:

The huge golden lotus floated leisurely-

I flew among the skies, for a thousand miles.

Huge pyramids

loomed impressively in front of my eyes

Mountainous figures of giants

walked about in front of the pyramid,

the huge pyramids of gold

far taller than the mountains.

The giant trees of gold

like a forest

stood in the sky

laden with the stars.

The multi-colored propitious clouds

were like a colossal bird

in a silvery sky,

crowing joyfully.

I came to the front of a pyramid-

a door was opening wide for me,

a group of blond giants

sat with smiles in the grand palace.

An old and great holy man

recited in monotone.

The temple was painted with the magical symbols

and giant portraits of Gods.

The palace was full of silvery white light

blooming with magnificent flowers,

a peal of wonderful mellifluous bells

that made one suddenly forget all time.

I heard an immemorial verse

that was written hundreds of millions of years past,

relating countless eras of giants,

the creation of the holy kingdoms of heaven.

Their wisdom was sacred and great

knowing, omniscently, the past and the future of the universe.

They flew freely among the skies

landed on the millions of planets in the universe.

They altered time per one’s pleasure,

encompassed other powers, such as-

turning stone into gold,

making gold bloom into flowers.

They were like the bulbous sun,

which could erupt with sacred flames

let all things blaze in raging flames..

Manifest imagination into reality..

They landed on planets

establishing golden paradises

and with their magical, cryptic wisdom

built platinum cities.

I saw the splendid words

spied from the volume of gold

and the magical wonderful halos

rotating like colorful lightning in the sky.

I came to another wonderful planet,

saw a massive monumental edifice of platinum,

the whole city, an intricate work of art

emanating, softly, a brilliant white light.

A huge round square

encased unearthly works.

Giants of great stature

came and went leisurely in the street.

They wore spartan, common clothing

covering their bodies,

all with smiles upon their faces,

both men and women looked beautiful.  

They spoke a wonderful language

intriguing and pleasant as welcome music.

Some of them travelled by spaceship

flying around silently in the sky.

I walked into a towering edifice of platinum-

saw a magnificent hall,

its platinum walls were inlaid with gems,

among which was a row of unusual instruments.

Their eyes were like bright springs

and they wore multi-colored clothes.

Some were operating the instruments.

Some were talking softly among themselves.

I saw a fascinating picture, a simulacrum that

drew giant planets,

arranged cities on those planets,

with crystal gardens.

I opened a crystal door-

noticed a group of men and women, who were happily,

singing softly,

with glittering books of gold in their hands.

Arrangements of flowers and glasses filled of golden wine

sat on the huge round table.

Golden walls were sparkling

carved with all kinds of wonderful images.

I saw a demure girl,

with sparkling golden halo above her head,

adorned in a lengthy purple-gold dress

peerless in its quality.

Pages- were marked with cryptic glyphs

or lines of ancient magic words or symbols,

each of their books were made of gold

inexplicably constructed in golden crystal.

I understood their euphonious songs-

They were singing the sacred love

They were singing great ancestors

They were recounting the civilization of the universe

Gardens filled their city, everywhere,

surrounded with the sweet rivers.

The whole earth was a piece of jade,

the clay, a translucent layer of golden sands.

I saw enormous bright, white spheres

suspended high above the city,

emanating outwards a dazzling light-

illuminating the skies and earth- bright as the crystal

The towering, great buildings stood in great numbers

As if carved by a singular piece of platinum.

Doves and colorful birds

were flying among the heavens.

A mono-train was

flying swiftly through the sky,

the streets were illuminated in bright white,

and any moving vehicle could not have been seen.

These people’s bodies were unusually strong.

Playing a wonderful game-

they piled up the pieces of great stones

arranging into grotesque works.

Similar to giant eyes

and ancient totems,

there were strange birds

covered with lightning feathers.

I saw a couple of tall lovers-

aviators, riding in their spaceship.

Their eyes were quiet and bright,

colorful halo around their bodies.

This wonderful space was gyrating leisurely

like a huge, resplendent crystal.

I said goodbye to the unusual city,

towards a space of golden light.

The cities flashed in the sky.

I flew over the layers of the sky again

and I saw a new-fangled world:

the multi-colored city of crystal.

The high towers were exquisitely carved

displaying multi-colored pearls,

layers of its eave painted with dragon and phoenix,

hung with singing golden bells.

The earth was a crystal garden,

the palaces were limpid and crystal,    

huge mountains were like a transparent gems

lined with the golden trees.

I saw the tall giants-

who wore their purple clothes,

with heads of round suns,

bodies enshrined with halos.

They sat up in the main halls  

singing a mellifluous song.

Some were roaming leisurely in the garden.

Some were summoning the birds in the sky.

The crystalline airy pavilions and pagodas

were beset with jewels and agates,

a huge jewel on the spire,

shining golden lights.

I saw a holy giant

sitting in the middle of a main hall

the purple-gold flame, flashed around his body,

which filled with the whole majestic main hall.

Full-bodied fragrance filled the hall

like a cup of refreshing wine.

Solemn expression was merciful and joyful,

a huge book was in his hand.

The hall was full of men and women

listening quietly to the psalms of the saints,

the lotuses were floating in the sky

where the smiling giants sat.

The golden light poured down from the sky

bathing the whole of this crystal kingdom.

The jewels above the giant towers-

the golden suns.

The golden walls of a golden tower

were carved with the lines of golden words I had glimpsed-

hovering around the dragons and phoenixes,

as if they were intonating the inspiring poems.

The smiling giants in the sky-

With wide halo flashing around their bodies,

were each dignified and tranquil,

floating in the golden translucent sky.

I flew over this crystal kingdom,

saw a vast golden mountain in the distance

sending out the brilliant lights in the sky

where the propitious clouds were blossoming.

This was a golden giant

sitting in the golden translucent sky

his body composed of thousands of millions of constellations

the golden sun rotating on his forehead.

He lit up the whole marvellous universe-

the kingdoms of heaven shone in the sky.

Here there was no the sky nor earth,

lights of pure gold emanated in every direction.

The smiling giants were sitting

on the gold-engraved pavilions.

The pavilions levitated in the translucent sky

shining the layers of purple-gold light.

A scene of multi-colored translucent mountains,

propitious clouds floating in the heavens,

large wonderful flowers blooming in the mountain peaks,

trees of pure light.

A river flowed from the sky

and with river bottom reflecting a layer of golden sand.

There were strange and beautiful birds and beasts

some like aerial phantoms.

This was a world of light.

Everything was made of light.

The divine light formed all things

and the golden paradises.

The golden giant-

shines the kingdoms of heaven within his body.

The cities of gold-

brilliant and fascinating in his bones.

I observed lines, words of incredible profundity

arranged into a huge book in the sky.

It seemed as if they were the bright stars

constituting a wonderous drawing.

There was a golden pavilion in the sky

guarded with behemoth dragons and phoenixes.

An old man with a whisk

waved to me and smiled in the pavilion,

I seem to be attracted by some sort of magic-

leisurely came to his side.

He told me the golden giant

was namely my great ancestor

This was an eternal palace-

There’s no concept of time here.

Holy light- was exactly the God.

What I witnessed was better than the heavens.

He pointed to the huge book in the sky

told me that it was the mystery of the universe.

The book contained magical wisdom,

created the countless worlds of gold.

He pointed to a pagoda in the sky,

told me that it was the temple of words.

The light turned into the sacred words,

and the words created the time of gold.

He held up a very large pearl

in which flashed the pictures (and all images).

He told me that it was the future time-

the embodiment of all the wonderful worlds.

He told me that it was another universe.

Still desiring to go to these paradises,

he gave me the magical pearl,

to let it be my future guide.

I said goodbye to the old holy man,

set afoot onto a new road towards the heavens again.

I sat in a golden pavilion-

lightly flew to the distant outer space…

02.09.1998

Yuan Hongri (born 1962) is a renowned Chinese mystic, poet, and philosopher. His work has been published in the UK, USA, India, New Zealand, Canada, and Nigeria; his poems have appeared in Poet’s Espresso Review, Orbis, Tipton Poetry Journal, Harbinger Asylum, The Stray Branch, Acumen, Pinyon Review, Taj Mahal Review, Madswirl, Shot Glass Journal, Amethyst Review, The Poetry Village, and other e-zines, anthologies, and journals. His best known works are Platinum City and Golden Giant. His works explore themes of prehistoric and future civilization.  

Yuanbing Zhang (b. 1974), is Mr.Yuan Hongi’s  assiastant and translator.He is a Chinese poet and translator, works in a Middle School, Yanzhou District , Jining City, Shandong Province, China. He can be contacted through his email-3112362909@qq.com.

黄金巨人

远红日

谁 坐在天上向我凝望

谁 坐在明天的黄金殿堂

谁 微笑着

手中的金杖

闪出耀眼的光芒

一道道闪电啊

在我头顶上交织

我走进了一座

时间的水晶长廊

我要打开

一扇扇黄金的大门

一行行太阳的词语

在空中向我歌唱

我要找到

那一部部黄金的诗卷

在新世纪的海岸

把黄金之城建造

白发红颜的老子

在云端向我微笑

一只翩翩的凤凰

衔来了一部金书

一行行玄妙的词语

迷醉了我的眼睛

一个个巨人的身影

从云中向我走来

七千万年的时光

在眼前悠悠浮现

一座座黄金的城市

簇拥着水晶的花园

蓝宝石的天空

闪出七彩的灵光

一座座碧玉的青山

飞翔着龙和凤凰

玲珑的宝塔

宏伟的金殿

一座座亭台楼阁

矗立紫红的云间

欢笑的少女

跨着七彩的鸾凤

一朵朵祥云

洒下缤纷的花朵

我打开一座金殿的大门

看到一排排黄金的书卷

一个周身光环的巨人

头顶一轮金色的太阳

他微笑着拿起一部部金书

朗诵了一首首神圣的诗篇

我陶醉于神奇美妙的词语

周身环绕起紫金的火焰

一朵金莲

在我脚下盛开

托起我的身体

飘出了金殿

一朵朵红云

在我身边飘过

我看到了天外

又一座黄金乐园

悠悠的钟声

向我召唤

一个个巨人

漫步在黄金花园

红宝石的天空

一轮轮太阳

像一朵朵金莲

开放在天上

醉人的花香

像甘醇的美酒

一棵棵黄金树

结满耀眼的钻石

一朵朵奇葩

盛开了千年

黄金的土地

嵌满了宝石

黄金的楼台

错落重叠

有人在对弈

有人在闲谈

古雅的衣裳

巨大的身材

神奇的眸子

欢喜自在

一只只白鹤

飞翔空中

一只只鸾凤

悠然啼鸣

我来到了一位老者身旁

他仿佛正在把我等待

在那黄金的楼阁之上

他打开了一只古老的剑匣

一柄闪闪发光的古剑

镌刻一些玄古的词语

清澈透明像一道闪电

隐隐泛出紫红的花纹

他告诉我一部玄奥的史诗

这柄剑来自九亿万年

亿万颗太阳把它炼成

它是一把太阳的神剑

他能穿透时间的岩石

打开一层又一层云天

让神圣之火熔炼天地

化成一座座黄金乐园

老者的双眸古奥深沉

隐隐闪耀欢喜的光焰

他让我带上这把神剑

飞向新的黄金乐园

巨大的金莲悠悠飘荡

我又飞过了万里云天

一座座巨大的金字塔

赫然出现在我的眼前

山岳般的巨人

在塔前走动

那黄金的巨塔

比山岳更高大

黄金的巨树

像一座森林

矗立在空中

结满了星辰

五彩的祥云

是巨大的鸟儿

在白银的天空

欢喜地啼鸣

我来到了一座金塔之前

一扇大门向我敞开

一群金发碧眼的巨人

微笑着坐在宏大的殿堂

一位神圣巨大的老者

口中念诵奇特的语言

这圣殿画满了神奇的符号

还有一幅幅巨大的神像

殿内充满银白的光明

盛开一朵朵巨大的古葩

一阵阵奇妙动听的钟声

让人把时间顿然全忘

我听到了一部远古的诗篇

它们写自亿万年前

讲述一个个巨人时代

创造了一个个圣洁的天国

他们的智慧神圣伟大

洞明宇宙的过去未来

他们在空中自由飞行

登上宇宙的亿万星球

他们让时间随心变化

可以通达另外的空间

让一块石头化成黄金

让黄金盛开朵朵鲜花

他们像是一轮轮太阳

可以喷发神圣的火焰

让火焰熊熊燃烧万物

化成他们想象的作品

他们登上一颗颗星球

创建了一座座黄金乐园

用那神奇古奥的智慧

建起了一座座白金城市

我看见一个个华丽的词语

在黄金的书卷上闪过

一团团神奇美妙的光环

在空中旋转像彩色的闪电

我来到另一个奇妙的天地

看到一座白金的巨厦

整个城市像一幅作品

静静地发出灿烂的白光

一座巨大的圆形广场

雕塑着一些奇异的作品

一个个身形高大的巨人

在街上悠然地来来去去

他们穿着奇特的服装

全身上下闪闪发光

他们脸上都含着微笑

男男女女都容貌姣好

他们说着奇妙的语言

像音乐一般迷人动听

他们有的乘着飞船

在天空无声地飞去飞来

我走进一座白金的巨厦

看到一座华丽的大厅

白金的墙壁镶嵌宝石

还有一排奇异的仪器

他们的眼睛像明亮的甘泉

穿着五光十色的衣裳

有的在那儿操纵仪器

有的在那儿轻声交谈

我看到一幅神奇的画儿

画着一颗颗巨大的星球

星球上矗立一座座城市

还有一座座水晶的花园

我打开一座水晶的大门

看到一群快乐的男女

他们轻声地唱着歌儿

手中一部部闪光的金书

巨大的圆桌上一簇簇鲜花

还有一杯杯金色的美酒

黄金的四壁闪闪发光

雕刻着各种奇妙的画图

我看到一位端庄的少女

她头上闪耀金色的光环

她穿着一件紫金的长裙

像一座雕塑美妙绝伦

书页上镌刻着古怪的词语

像一行行古老神奇的符号

每一本书都由黄金制成

又像是一块金色的水晶

我听懂了他们悦耳的歌声

他们在唱着神圣的爱情

他们在咏歌伟大的祖先

他们在述说宇宙的文明

他们的城市处处是花园

环绕一条条甘美的河流

整个大地是一块玉石

泥土是一层透明的金沙

我看到一些白亮的巨球

高高地悬浮在城市上空

那巨球发出耀眼的光明

把天地照得明亮如水晶

一座座高耸林立的巨厦

仿佛一整块白金雕成

空中飞翔着一只只鸽子

还有一些七彩的鸟儿

我看到一种奇特的列车

在空中神速地向前飞驰

一条条大街洁白明亮

看不见任何行驶的车辆

他们的身体异常强壮

做着一种奇妙的游戏

他们叠起一块块巨石

化成一些怪异的作品

仿佛一些巨大的眼睛

又像是一些古老的图腾

还有一些奇怪的飞鸟

浑身长满闪电的羽毛

我看到一对高大的恋人

他们乘着一只飞船

他们的目光宁静明亮

周身闪出七彩的光环

美妙的太空悠悠旋转

像一座巨大璀璨的水晶

我告别这座奇异的城市

奔向了一片金色的光明

一座座城市从空中闪过

我又飞过了一层层云天

我看到一个新奇的世界

五光十色的水晶之城

一座座高塔玲珑剔透

闪耀一颗颗五彩的明珠

一层层飞檐画满了龙凤

悬挂着一只只歌唱的金玲

大地是一座水晶的花园

一座座宫殿明澈晶莹

巨大的山峰像透明的宝石

林立着一棵棵金色的树木

我看到一个个高大的巨人

穿着一件件紫红的衣裳

他们头上都有一轮太阳

身体也闪耀一层层光环

他们端坐在一座座大殿

唱着一种动听的歌曲

有的在花园里悠悠漫步

有的在召唤空中的飞鸟

一座座水晶的亭台楼阁

镶嵌着宝石和玛瑙

那塔尖上一颗巨大的明珠

闪耀出一道道金色的光明

我看到一位神圣的巨人

坐在一座大殿的中央

他身上闪放紫金的火焰

充满了整座宏伟的大殿

浓郁的芳香飘满殿堂

像一杯沁人肺腑的美酒

庄严的表情慈悲欢喜

手上托着一部巨书

殿内坐满了男男女女

静静聆听圣者的诗篇

一朵朵莲花在天空漂浮

端坐一个个微笑的巨人

金色的光明从天空洒下

沐浴着整个水晶王国

那一座座巨塔之上的明珠

就是一轮轮金色的太阳

我看到一行行闪光的词语

刻满了一座金塔的金壁

周围环飞着一只只龙凤

仿佛在吟唱动人的诗篇

那空中微笑的一个个巨人

身体也闪放巨大的光环

他们一个个端庄宁静

漂浮在金色透明的天空

我飞越了这座水晶王国

看到了远方巨大的金山

在天空发出夺目的光芒

周围有一朵朵祥云绽放

那是一个金色的巨人

端坐在金色透明的天空

他的身体是亿万个星座

额头旋转着金色的太阳

他照亮了整个奇妙的宇宙

一座座天国闪耀空中

在这儿没有天空与大地

上下四方是纯金的光明

一座座黄金镌雕的楼阁

端坐一个个微笑的巨人

那楼阁悬浮透明的空中

闪耀一层层紫金的光明

一座座五彩透明的山峰

像一朵朵祥云漂浮天上

山峰上盛开巨大的奇葩

还有一颗颗光芒的树木

一条河流从空中流过

河底闪映出一层金沙

一些奇丽的飞禽走兽

也像是一些空中幻影

这是一个光的世界

一切都有光芒形成

神圣的光芒形成万物

和一座座黄金乐园

我看到的那个金色的巨人

体内闪耀一个个天国

我看到一座座黄金之城

在他的骨骼中灿烂迷人

我看到一行行巨形的词语

在天空排列成一部巨书

仿佛一颗颗明亮的星辰

构成了一个奇妙的画图

天空中一座黄金的楼阁

环飞一只只巨大的龙凤

一位手持拂尘的老者

在楼阁内向我招手微笑

我仿佛受到神奇的引力

悠然来到了他的身边

他告诉我那位金色的巨人

就是我的伟大的祖先

这是一座永恒的殿堂

在这儿没有所谓的时间

圣洁的光芒就是上帝

我看到的一切胜过天堂

他指着天空的那部巨书

告诉我那是宇宙的奥秘

那书中蕴含神奇的智慧

创造一个个黄金的世界

他指着天空的一座宝塔

告诉我那是词语的圣殿

光芒化成了神圣的词语

词语创造了黄金的时间

他托起一颗硕大的明珠

里面闪映一幅幅画图

他告诉我这是未来的时间

都是一个个奇妙的世界

他告诉我这是另一个宇宙

我还要去那一座座乐园

他送给我这颗神奇的明珠

让它做我未来的导游

我告别这位神圣的老人

我又踏上一条新的天路

我坐上一座黄金的楼阁

飘飘飞向了遥远的天外

  1998.2.9于北京

  1998.2.11抄改

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine. Volume 6; Issue 1; January 2022

Poet of the Month: Wayne Russell

Summer Lies by DS Maolalai

The Fisherman by Heather Sager

Solitude by Kenneth Vincent Walker

Possum brain stew by Joshua Martin

Towering Twilight by Sanghpriya Gautam

Features; for Helen Hengxiang Liao by Yuam Changming

Of Their Noises And Vocalisations by Ndaba Sibanda

Tiger Island by Lorraine Caputo

Is the Poet Obsolete? The Role of the Artist in Society by Gary Beck

Poet of the Month: Wayne Russell

When We Surrender

Beneath the severed sky,

and where this will end

this gentle parade?

This sudden collapse of

humanity, this saddened

fade from view.

Those stars that have

shown for eons, only to

fade out at dawn.

Can you cast your fear of

the end into the beckoning

sea?

Oh that salty grave, that

soft mortal veil!

Closing, in mock surrender,

venturing into the unknown.

In Exile

Falling to the dirt

majestic sway and

ramble of bones.

We have loved all and

now it’s time to bid our

final farewells.

A wolf can be heard

howling in lonesome

forest and though we

could never hear that

plea, that cry for help

we stood and watched

while nothing happened

in our meager existence

within our collected

genius, with our guns

ablaze and scholars

peering icy down the

barrels of superior

intellect

nothing happened and

probably never will until

permanent silence erases

our stains away from this

wounded soil of tattered

earth.

Where The Blues Live

I can feel the emptiness within,

cascading into the pit of my soul.

Sometimes it fades for a while,

when I hear the sounds of the

peaceful arrival of nightfall.

Just know that she is there, to

share what is left of this life,

the blues subside and move

out for a while, but they are

never very far off, when a new

day dawns, and the madness

begins with the drudgery of

traffic and work and so many

people that are so angry;

at everyone and everything. 

Wayne Russell is or has been many things during his lifetime, he has been a creative writer, world traveler, graphic designer, former soldier, and former sailor. Wayne has been widely published in both online and hard copy creative writing magazines. From 2016-17 he also founded and edited Degenerate Literature. In late 2018, the editors at Ariel Chart nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. In addition; he was nominated for Best of the Net via the editor at The Abyss. “Where Angels Fear” is his debut poetry book published by Guerrilla Genesis Press.

Summer Lies by DS Maolalai  

on the city  

like a saucer,  

and a sliced pile  

of browning- 

and clammy- 

skinned apples. heat;  

this shifting miasma  

of a shit-thick  

and biteable air.  

flies hum, and I 

get up from my desk 

and walk to the corner, 

turning the plastic  

of fanblades.  

the air shifts,  

mixes itself, 

makes a hot soup 

of horseshit 

and pours it  

to texture, 

like kicking  

about on a bed 

of wild apples 

and making  

the cold earth 

uncomfortable. 

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).  

The Fisherman by Heather Sager

The man

with the gaunt, wind-burnt face

Head bowed down

Head of curls

Wrists wrinkled by sun

The time he spent

manning his boat

on the churlish sea

off the rocky California coast

I visited his house in the hills

Yard with chickens

The small house

with the tin roof,

the rain buckets

The green hills echoed around us

like an ocean

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.

Solitude by Kenneth Vincent Walker

It takes fortitude to

Endure such solitude.

I’ve grown accustomed

To its long dogged face.

Though I’ve never been

Here before, I have been

Here before. It’s become

My home, my silent place.

The bustle of the world

Has no bearing here and

Neither do the wiles of,

So-called, civilized man.

I hold the sand in my hand

Releasing it into the breeze

Just to watch it swirl from

My grasp into the expanse

And beyond into eternity.

Kenneth Vincent Walker is a “New Formalist” poet, spoken word artist, performer and author of Borderline Absurd (An Exercise in Rhyme and Reason), published by Poem Sugar Press 2015.

Possum brain stew by Joshua Martin

Needle neck          time worn

     down to nub          stalled out

glacial ingestion               digestion

resisting arrest:::

                       heartburn

                       as you turn

, to shatter old age record book ,

          stubbing hook

          knees up & above

          rows of possum [brain stew];;;

stumbl,ing accusation mansion

               disapproved meltdown canister

, before long ,                accumulation uttered

                                      merciful prospects to

                                            [it]self,,, then

banish,ed bag[ful] of hiding.

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.

Towering Twilight by Sanghpriya Gautam

The colors and the spread,

Melancholy and the rest,

Sighs make notes of every flickering coil.

The wind is subtle,

It shall remain subtle,

Make the music box play it’s vital tune.

The harping melody

Shades towers, the twilight.

The eyes smothers in vacuum

Rising towers.

Towering twilight.

No wind to tumult.

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.

Features; for Helen Hengxiang Liao by Yuam Changming

Not coincidentally, I have met many a person

With a strong appearance of a lower species

For instance, one school mate of mine carries

The features of a rabbit, another close relative

Those of a horse, a colleague of a familiar dog

An acquaintance of a hedgehog, a fifth of a

Snake, a sixth of a pig, a rooster, a rat, a water

Buffalo, a donkey, a goat or chimpanzee &

Each seems fated to fall within or without some

Chinese zodiac year

  While my wife often

Looks like a nasty cat, she says my face oftener

shows all the hideousness of a demon, as if to re-

Mind her like every other fellow human, I was

Born in an extra year of Satan though we were

All created equal in His image

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).

Of Their Noises And Vocalisations by Ndaba Sibanda

a parrot is pretty, 

and probably prudent &

peculiar because it talks!

come to think of it,

the above stanza has five Ps,

perhaps a parrot says: I`m a person?

I wonder why a swan cries

while a snail munches & maybe…

maybe that`s why a linnet chuckles?

How I wish I could see a rooster`s

internal clock that makes it envision

sunrise, a day-to-day hunt for food

and of course, territorial  protection!

a rooster crows a wake-up in the morn,

& the vim for its day & nightly crows?

a kangaroo chortles, as if to say,

your hearing ,sight & hopping abilities

are not a patch on mine, you`re game!

The other day I heard a kangaroo boast:

I can hop 25 feet, come in several sizes

& shapes, use my tail as my fifth leg!!  

I guess it`s not a wise idea to sneak

into a hideout with a flashy frog since

it croaks, & a petty pig that snarls,

but call to mind, it can tell you

how it is smarter than a dog

that barks, that it can’t sweat!

why does a hyena laugh?

strange as it may sound, by virtue

of a sense of frustration & insecurity,

One day I said: enough of domestic noises

and vocalisations, because  a horse was

neighing ,a donkey braying, a cow mooing:moo!

a goat lowing:maa! , a dog howling: owooooooo!

a content cat purring, meowing, a duck quaking,

a cackling chicken after laying an egg, what a tune,  

after saying enough of the egg song, I headed

for the forest, a mannerless mosquito tingled

me before buzzing & whining away, damn!,

evading my swat by  the skin of its proboscis,

how could it bite me to obtain protein that

it needs in order to lay its eggs? more what?

that meant more mosquito bites in the future,  

in the wilderness a quail called, a lion roared, 

a hapless hare squeaked , a cricket chirped,

a monkey chattered like a tireless gossip,

so much so that an okapi let out  ….yes

a mocking, maddening cough while,

a giant alligator appeared & bellowed,

& if that did not get me crying & cringing,

the elephant`s trumpeting saw my feet fly away!        

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.

https://ndabasibanda.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/first-blog-post/.

Tiger Island by Lorraine Caputo

In the bright afternoon sun 

            cormorants swoop above 

                        the silver-lamé water 

The tide washes high 

            swirling away from the base 

                        of a red lava cliff 

A magnolia clings to its face 

            digging its gnarled roots deep 

                        into the black-streaked rock 

The white flowers scatter the 

            slope & beige sand 

                        with a sweet perfume 

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.   

Is the Poet Obsolete? The Role of the Artist in Society by Gary Beck

The role of the artist in society has changed dramatically at various times in recorded western history. One of the earliest notable exemplars of the reputable place that a poet occupied in society is Aeschylus, who did his public duty in 490 b.c., when he fought against the Persians at the battle of Marathon, participating in the struggle for survival of the democratic polis, Athens.

The options of the artist diminished rapidly with the growth of empires, since the role of the artist is not vital to the existence of the state. For almost two millennia, the normal pattern of life for the artist was dependency on patrons, sponsors, or commissions. The exceptions were the select few born to privilege, for example, Byron, who gave his life for Greek freedom, perishing in 1824 at Missolongi, during the Ottoman siege. During this span, the artists outside the system led difficult lives and were fortunate to practice their art, however difficult the conditions.

The Industrial Revolution diversified the control of wealth by the lords of power, bringing forth a new class of financial barons, who turned to the arts in imitation of their betters. Suddenly artists were able to create their work without it being pre-sold, consequently they were no longer mere craft-persons. Many became personages of some stature in the eyes of the new prosperous middle-class society.

From the 1870’s on, some artists had a world view that allowed them to look beyond their individual discipline, as they searched for a more significant role in the life around them. Poets patriotically enlisted in World War I, and the British poets in particular wrote about the horror they experienced. The poets who dutifully went to war in World War II returned quietly and never really developed a public identity. The crisis for American poets began in the early stages of the Cold War. American painters skyrocketed to world acclaim, fame, fortune, while the poets composed in relative obscurity. More and more poets sought a modicum of security, finding shelter in universities far from public recognition and reward.

In a dynamic American cultural revolution, every art form from the 1960’s on, offered the possibility of wealth and status to the artist, except poetry. Poetry had no opera houses, concert halls, museums, galleries, or mass-market publishers to attract large audiences. But the poets now were college-educated and with a few exceptions, such as the Beats, led obscure lives in colleges. The artificial atmosphere comforted the isolated wordsmiths with the illusion of accomplishment, reaching small groups of students, readers of poetry periodicals, and miniscule audiences attending poetry readings.

Poetry in America experienced an identity crisis. The anti-Vietnam war movement in the late 1960’s firmly closed the portals on the topic of war, mankind’s most consequential activity, as a suitable subject. Virtually all American poets were liberals and in all good conscience opposed war, so the government became the enemy.  Since the poets mostly could not identify the capitalist owners of America, they scorned the system of flawed representative government and retreated further into safe niches.  Internal revelations and lurid exposés of parental abuse became valid subject matter, transforming the nature of poetry into microcosmic excursions, rather then explorations of big issues.

In an era of uncertainties and dangerous conflicts, domestic and foreign, there is no designated role for the artist in American society. The very concept of training poets in college, an environment that discourages extremes and negates any natural inclination to action, leaves the poet adrift in a world that dismisses the practitioners of passivity.

The poet travels towards his or her destination, a journey of creation of what should be a meaningful body of work, through a haphazard combination of education, exposure and personal preferences. This occurs in an unstructured process that makes the accomplishments fortuitous. In medicine or engineering, students are taught and trained by measurable standards and the results are assessable. Even acting, the most superficial of the performing arts, which lacks the stringent requirements of music or dance, has more predictable goals than poetry. The poet’s path could be adventurous, since it explores an uncharted wilderness without landmarks or traveler’s aids, but it will be a dismal voyage for the timid.

Poetry, once the preeminent literary art, has been supplanted by mass market commercial fiction. The authors of novels have become far more prominent than any poet, whose limited possibilities of achievements are determined by effort, talent, and coincidence. Rarely is anything meaningful achieved without a mentor, the sponsorship of a like-minded network, or a supportive artistic community. The poet can be susceptible to a stifling tendency to huddle together in protective enclaves, rather than move in the sphere of the world at large.

The poet must learn to expand his or her perception of existence and enlarge their scope of interest, or risk becoming inconsequential in this demanding life. There is an urgent need to reach out to diverse audiences, prisoners, seniors, the culturally underserved, and most important, to youth, not to make them poets, but to introduce them to a broader view of life. With proper instruction, poetry is the most accessible and cost-effective way to reach large numbers of youth. The constriction of the classroom rarely develops confidence in youth, the quality that allows them to choose who they will grow up to be. The poet can help launch venturesome journeys for youth that will promote their contribution to the future of our society.

It is implausible that America will produce warrior-poets who will fight on tomorrow’s battlefields of freedom. But those poets who wish to participate in the life of their times, participate in a grander arena of creativity, design a meaningful role for themselves in their society, must outreach to needy and deprived audiences.  The poet’s efforts will enrich their audiences, who in turn will reward those poets who are receptive with the great satisfaction derived from serving humanity.

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn’t earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 28 poetry collections, 11 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 2 books of plays. Published poetry books include:  Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings, The Remission of Order, Contusions and Desperate Seeker (Winter Goose Publishing. Forthcoming: Learning Curve and Ignition Point). Earth Links, Too Harsh For Pastels, Severance, Redemption Value and Fractional Disorder (Cyberwit Publishing). His novels include Extreme Change (Winter Goose Publishing). and Wavelength (Cyberwit Publishing). His short story collections include: A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing) and Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Essays of Gary Beck (Cyberwit Publishing). The Big Match and other one act plays (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume 1 and Three Comedies by Aristophanes translated, then directed by Gary Beck (Cyberwit Publishing). Gary lives in New York City.

 

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine; Volume 5; Issue 12; December 2021

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

Spoons by CL Bledsoe

Passion by Edward Lee

An End by Edward Lee

A Dangerous Journey by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

I Return Always to Taste it Always by Shola Balogun

The Trinity by Thomas M. McDade

Phantom by David Estringel

High on Orion by Bruce McRae

The Cookie Crumbles by Paula Hackett

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

A Dance With Nature And Life

They thirsted for a touch of freshness

A touch to wash away their dryness  

A new week ushered in: Sunday morning greeted them in style

A pleased pair of ears received pattering sounds: a dream shower

It poured down and enriched the land. Nature`s love was live!

Land was quenched of thirst, plants healed of pangs of dehydration 

Rivers roared in celebration, dams hugged inflows in humming ways

Farmers were ready to farm, fauna and flora flourished as if feted  

Cut Down

They bought lawn mower after lawn mower

as if they had lots of cash or they had grassland  

yet they wanted to bid on government contracts

to cut the unkempt hair of government officials!

They brought razor blade after razor blade 

as if they wanted to cut the long nails of officials

yet all they sought to do was to move from shop

to shop in order to cut down the prices of goods! 

An Orgy Of Bondage And Plundering  

He had an insatiable hunger for all things

That clanked like capitals and cartels  

He had the disorder of grabbing all—

And a compulsion to cheap labor 

His cluster, his colony and all

Were founded on captivity

Oh Africa, oh dear Africa

You surely don’t want

 Or warrant any pain

And a rain of drain

Anymore, anytime 

For an official’s gain  

Ndaba Sibanda has contributed to the following anthologies: Its Time, Poems For Haiti- a South African anthology, Snippets ,Voices For Peace and Black Communion. He edited Free Fall (2017). The recipient of a Starry Night ART School scholarship in 2015, Sibanda is the author of Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing and Football of Fools. His work is featured in The New Shoots Anthology, The Van Gogh Anthology edited by Catfish McDaris and Dr. Marc Pietrzykowski, Eternal Snow, A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma scheduled for publication in Spring/Summer 2017 by Nirala Press and Seeing Beyond the Surface Volume II.

Spoons by CL Bledsoe

A fuzzy-headed daisy, shocking the humus

of my little life, the eye is drawn and can’t

help but delight in your color.

I set down the corpse of my long-dead world,

to better see you tumble across the living

room. Your wrists are thinner

than my hopes. I hope you never understand

any of this. Just know that when you wake,

it’s enough, and when you sleep,

the quiet holds its breath so as not to disturb. 

You say, “I don’t want to learn right now!”

When I try to tell you stories

of the dead, though living. Later, you settle

into the back seat and say, “Tell me a story

about the time Aunt Cookie

dug a pool in the yard with spoons.” I dodge

potholes, interjecting plot points with curses

and tell a story about the woods

I used to cry in. You deserve more than the dying

world I’ve given you. But it’s all we have.

Let’s make a new one.

CL Bledsoe’s latest poetry collection is Trashcans in Love. His latest short story collection is The Shower Fixture Played the Blues. His latest novel is The Funny Thing About… Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter and blogs, with Michael Gushue, at https://medium.com/@howtoeven.

   

                                                    Passion by Edward Lee


Your beauty shattered
the air in my lungs,
leaving me speechless,
forced to communicate
with my fingers
on your pale skin;

you answered me,
your breath drawing deeply,
repeatedly, with a song silently,
endlessly sung.



Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  His debut poetry collection “Playing PoohsticksOnHa’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection.

He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.

His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com.

An End by Edward Lee

        for PW

And that is it,

isn’t it, your life ends,

but our lives continue on,

days falling into nights,

nights renewing into days,

always, even as we wish

for time to slow, stop,

for just a moment, an hour,

a day, some amount

of time so we might catch our breath,

hold it, fall into senselessness,

that the pain of your absence

might recede from our hearts,

that we might know some of the peace

you now know, pain no longer curling

your being, your very soul,

that we might think of you

without tears staining our breath,

that we might grief

without grieving, and smile

without guilt, or regret.

Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  His debut poetry collection “Playing PoohsticksOnHa’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection.

He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.

His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com

A Dangerous Journey by Edilson Afonso Ferreira 

Sometimes I venture to make a risky journey.

I go to the past, long ago, distant and perilous.

The road I take has been built entirely by me,   

in very hard a way no one at least dreams of.

Rough a path and full of so many deviations,

that even me, well used to, I go so timorous.  

Now, I see that there were no other choices,

for only this way would lead me where I am.  

Where and what I must be ever since I was.

In this visit, I see friends, lovers, enemies,

grandfathers and cousins, see also myself.

Then, undoubted alive, they talk to me,

ask for news and soon we are laughing,  

like old comrades absent for so long. 

On leaving, one or other intend to follow me,

but I don’t feel confident and go home alone. 

I suspect that past is jealous of its deeds

and always hides how has weaved them. 

I think it must be visited as few times

as one is capable of.

Edilson Afonso Ferreira, 75 years, is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than in Portuguese. Largely published in international journals in print and online, he began writing at age 67, after retirement as a bank employee. Nominated for The Pushcart Prize 2017, his first Poetry Collection, Lonely Sailor, One Hundred Poems, was launched in London, November 2018.  He is always updating his works at http://www.edilsonmeloferreira.com.

I Return Always to Taste it Always by Shola Balogun

You are the muse ink of my poem song.

Let me be your poet prophet to tell

The glorious coming of your glorious laughter.

Shola Balogun, poet,playwright and filmmaker has been featured as a guest writer and contributor,especially in the areas of poetry, post colonial studies and dramatic criticism to various magazines,anthologies and journals. He studied Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan. Balogun lives in Lagos,Nigeria.

The Trinity by Thomas M. McDade

A cap and tweed coated, wiry gent boards the train

nose bleeding, hand over a blackened eye he holds

out an empty coffee cup to catch contributions

no words accompany phlegmy volleys of “Ahem”   

smiling as coins drop, he tilts and bobbles thanks


A gum-chewing troubadour strums an electric guitar

that’s the tint of the panhandler’s blot, a tad shinier

a Yank in a yachting lid and a mismatched suit

pumps his cane as if once the song and dance kind

is the pretty, pixie-headed arm jewelry a stowaway?

She looks more mistress than daughter or wife

her breathy accent conjures a quaint crepe shop

close your eyes and poof: breathe Left Bank air

as they dawdle along navigating the crosswalks

the crowded sidewalks she’s nearly carrying him

Leaning against a wall by a fragrant flower stall

she holds a lacy handkerchief to his allergy flow

his boating cap drops top first attracting a medley

of coins and himself, mistress, wife or daughter

slide warily down to share laughs bawdy or not

Thomas M. McDade is a 73 year-old resident of Fredericksburg, VA. He is a graduate of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT. McDade is twice a U.S. Navy Veteran.

Phantom by David Estringel 


On eery nights as tonight,
Your phantom plagues me.
A scintilla of buried delight
That only the graves see.
Your eyes beset my soul
As if to a beast I’ve been sold.
You’ve become a raucous ghoul,
And I find an abode in your cold. 
A haughty banshee’s rage resides in you,
But how oblivious you are.
Cadaverous face and feral shadow too,
And a glimmer of purity shrieks from afar.

David Estringel is an avid reader, poet, and writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, & essays. His work has been accepted and/or published by Specter Magazine, Literary Juice, Foliate Oak Magazine,Terror House Magazine, Expat Press, 50 Haikus, littledeathlit, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Route 7 Review, Setu Bilingual Journal, Paper Trains Literary Journal, The Elixir Magazine, Soft Cartel,Harbinger Asylum, Briars Lit, Open Arts Forum, Cajun Mutt Press, Former People Journal, The Ugly Writers, Writ in Dust, Cephalopress, Twist in Time, Merak Magazine, Salt Water Soul, Cherry House Press, Subterranean Blue Poetry, Printed Words, Sunflower Sutras, Tulip Tree Publishing, Salt, PPP Ezine, Digging through the Fat, Haiku Journal, and The Good Men Project. He is currently a Contributing Editor (fiction) at Red Fez, Lead Editor/columnist at The Good Men Project, and an editor/writer at The Elixir Magazine. David can be found on Twitter (@The_Booky_Man) and his website at http://davidaestringel.com.

High on Orion by Bruce McRae

November’s darkened star,

winter threatening violence,

winds playing with knives,

floods coming to cleanse the soil,

another cord of wood stacked

and windows shuttered,

hunger unsettling the animals.

Once a year the world turns,

leaning back, slanting west.

Once a year Orion rises.

His stars bloodied.

His belt loosened.

The disgraced hunter come

to slaughter the beasts of the Earth.

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with over 1,400 poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are ‘The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press), ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy’ (Cawing Crow Press) and ‘Like As If” (Pski’s Porch), Hearsay (The Poet’s Haven).

The Cookie Crumbles by Paula Hackett

Fragrant, beautiful,

with secret ingredients

that make her a wonder.

But then there’s a wearing away,

not like a precious stone

that time embraces,

but with rodents carrying her away on their backs. At times whole families

taking slivers, chunks, slices,

or a crumb for the rogue insect.

The cookie crumbles

as the strangers feast.

.

Paula Hackett’s poetry is influenced by her life experiences growing up in Berkeley during the vibrant and explosive 60’s. The daughter of novelist Paul Hackett, she studied under John Beecher, Angela Davis and Grover Sales. She has written lyrics in collaboration with her brother John Hackett, for many great jazz composers including Teddy Edwards, John Handy, Ivan Lins, Joe Sample, Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson, and Cedar Walton. Her life long love of jazz is reflected in her many poems about musicians and in her CDs with pianists Rudi Wongozi and Connie Crothers. Her discography is represented in the images and links below.