PPP Ezine PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 7; July 2020

v4i7

 

 

Poet of the Month: Joanne Olivieri

Formulae. not Thoughts and Ideas by Ben Nardolilli

When All of the World is Asleep by Wayne Russell

Horsehair by DS Maolalai

Metropolis by R. Gerry Fabian

Regarding your future romantic life by John Grey

To Lhasa And Back by Gerard Sarnat

Acab by Robert Beveridge

Jealousy by Louis Faber

A Million and a Half Guests by Fabrice Poussin

I Cannot Stop the World by James Croal Jackson

The Limits of the Sun by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Joanne Olivieri

 

 

 

If I were

 

If I were a leaf

clinging to your branches

I would embrace your twigs

caress your trunk

and bury myself in your roots

never to let go.

 

If I were soft petals

displaying my finery

around your heart

I would kiss your stems

with scented dew drops.

 

 

 

Inner Beauty

 

Beauty

with age remains

a solitary inner peace

 

A mask

revealed in vain

yet, to be set free

 

As wine

grows sweeter with age

preserved as a rarity

 

Age

with peace sustains

a spiritual beauty

 

 

Imprint

 

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

 

 

 

 

Formulae. not Thoughts and Ideas by Ben Nardolilli

 

 
Idea development killers, come to me,
There’s too many suggestions, hints, and nodes
Of things I could do,
Temptations to put my current work aside
And go off chasing another poem, another play,
Another novel that captures
What’s new in my life and the zeitgeist, updated
 
It doesn’t matter how the block happens,
As long as my old ideas remain,
Smother the new ones, scare them away with fire,
Then spread a circle of salt, or blood
To keep seeds of notions from germinating in me,
I’ve got enough outlines to follow for now,
All I need is the time to fill them

 

Ben Nardolilli currently lives in New York City. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, The Northampton Review, Local Train Magazine, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He blogs at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is trying to publish a novel.

When All of the World is Asleep by Wayne Russell



Left drifting, on the unpredictable tide,
of sleep and dreams, once again we are
notoriously vindictive, warm cocoon of
sheets and slumber.

Alone, we can face the treacherous night,
when all of the world is asleep, we too
now, ride these envisioned waves of stark
unconsciousness, an inaccessible realm. 

When all of the world is asleep, and we
are left unto our own devices, events all
lucid, and the pains of life melt away, we
are concurrent, our missions are aligned. 
.   

 

 

Wayne Russell is or has been many things in his time upon 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 editors at Ariel Chart nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. “Where Angels Fear” is his debut poetry book published by Guerrilla Genesis Press.

 

 

 

Horsehair by DS Maolalai

 

 

the painter takes horsehair,

and scratches

a canvas.

 

there’s something

behind it

to see.

 

 

 

DS Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three 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).

 

 

 

 

 Metropolis by R. Gerry Fabian

 

In the northwest,

the talk is about

huge mountains and deep lakes

and trout that jump so high

you need a shotgun to bring them down.

Those folks deal in envy.

 

I’m the city

and the media ain’t kind to me.

They see my energy level

in terms of sensationalism,

but I overcome them.

 

Damn few lakes have to hustle

to keep their landlord in Florida.

I’ve never seen a mountain

that knew where to go “after hours”.

And those trout can’t swim faster

than the El at rush hour.

 

I’m the city.

I breathe heavily.

I perspire honestly.

I promise no favors

and wipe my denim

with the entrails of creatures

that will soon be soaked in spring water

and garnished with parsley.

 

I cleave the dreams

and wash down the blood

with high pressure hoses.

 

The blast of my furnaces

embarrasses any mountain campfire.

I employ sunrise as a time clock

and long after the meadow petals

have folded for the night,

I generate enough lights

to rival the stars.
  

  1. Gerry Fabian is a retired English instructor.  He has been publishing poetry since 1972 in various poetry magazines. His web page is https://rgerryfabian.wordpress.com He has published two books of his published poems, Parallels and Coming Out Of The Atlantic. His novels, Memphis Masquerade, Getting Lucky (The Story) and Seventh Sense are available at all ebook publishers including Amazon, Apple Books and Barnes and Noble. His third book of published poems, Electronic Forecast ,was published 4/2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regarding your future romantic life by John Grey

 

Maria will say “No.”

Angelica will totally ignore you.

The eyes of the three young women

huddled over the bar’s corner table

will fall on the guy in the tweed jacket

or the one in the muscle shirt

but not you.

Joanne will say,

let’s just be friends.

Sue will stop short of even that.

You’ll be slapped by Rosa,

figuratively stomped on by Jean,

dissed by Ruth

(for whom the word ‘dissed’

is front and center in her vocabulary)

and then Marcia,

always honest Marcia,

will blurt out, “You’ve got to be kidding.”

Your best chance will be Kimberly

and even she will weigh her options

(limited though they may be)

before giving you an answer.

The future, when it comes to the opposite sex,

will be disappointment times a million,

I’d suggest a hobby.

Or a job that satisfies.

Or a weekly game of poker with the guys.

These are not so harrowing fields of endeavor.

‘Despite yourself is less of a headwind.

                    

 

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Sin Fronteras, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Plainsongs, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.

 

 

 

To Lhasa And Back by Gerard Sarnat  

 

 

 

Silk Road millennia

trade foreign lands, fourteen days 

quarantine when home

purification ritual

to quench pandemic.

 

 

 

Gerard Sarnat won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for a handful of recent Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published in academic-related journals (e.g., Universities of Chicago/ Maine/ San Francisco/Toronto, Stanford, Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Pomona, Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan, Penn, Dartmouth, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Baltimore) plus national (e.g., Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, MiPOesias, American Journal Of Poetry, Parhelion, Clementine, pamplemousse, Red Wheelbarrow, Deluge, Poetry Quarterly, poetica, Tipton Journal, Hypnopomp, Free State Review, Poetry Circle, Buddhist Poetry Review, Poets And War, Thank You For Your Service Anthology, Wordpeace, Cliterature, Qommunicate, Indolent Books, Snapdragon, Pandemonium Press, Boston Literary Magazine, Montana Mouthful, Arkansas Review, Texas Review, San Antonio Review, Brooklyn Review, pacificREVIEW, San Francisco Magazine, The Los Angeles Review, Fiction Southeast and The New York Times) and international publications (e.g., Review Berlin, Voices Israel, Foreign Lit, New Ulster, Transnational, Southbank, Wellington Street Review). He’s authored the collections Homeless Chronicles: From Abraham to Burning Man (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), Melting the Ice King (2016). Gerry is a physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalized as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/ resources to deal with climate change justice. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with three kids plus six grandsons, and is looking forward to future granddaughters.

 

 

 

 

Acab by Robert Beveridge

 
Sand blows across the rocks
that prop up his cross
changes the outcomes
of the dice the cops throw
for his personal effects.

“The robe looks good on you,”
one rock-thrower says
as he eyes the cop who couldn’t wait
don’t box it I’ll wear it home
proud of the various stripes
blood wine vomit tears
down the front.

Three days later
when he pulled the trick
with the stone
he crushed the same cop

took a moment
from his quest to find Thomas
and looked down
at crushed stool
splintered bones
jelly of eyes and brain
and who-knows-what
and picked up his robe
“It fits me better anyway,”
he said.

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Red Coyote Review, Deep South Magazine, and Aromatica Poetica, among others.

 

 

Jealousy by Louis Faber

 

On this night, the clouds grow jealous,

and unable to release their burden, opt

to capture the moon and stars and

withdraw them from our view.

 

They would willingly punish us

with snow, but that, here is

forbidden, and so they slowly move

along, wondering when they too

will be released from their

all too dark captivity in the heart

of a night drenched sky.

 

We want the stars back, want

the moon’s return, but not

at the cost of the rain of which

we have had more than our need,

so we urge the clouds to move

to places they are dearly needed

and where the flames of the land

would be slowly sated by their gifts.

 

.

 Louis Faber’s work has previously appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Rattle, Eureka Literary Magazine, Borderlands: the Texas Poetry Review, Midnight Mind, Pearl, Midstream, European Judaism, Greens Magazine, The Amethyst Review, Afterthoughts, The South Carolina Review and Worcester Review, among many others, and he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

 

 

 

A Million and a Half Guests by Fabrice Poussin

It the depth of the alcove

they came in great numbers visiting

in the thickness of the night

they rapped against his door.

 

There was a note in the morning papers

somewhere beneath the substance

of another close out sale

in ink invisible as he had ever been.

 

Mondays had followed Sundays

regular as always unstoppable

and no one had remarked a change

next door in another secret alleyway.

 

It was said that it just happened

natural as clockwork on the implacable wheel

the fates had fulfilled their obligation

everything else fell into place.

 

A million little souls arrived at their appointed hour

to feed on the memories of this forgotten self

floating in perfumes made for other lands

like so many waves in the purplish veins.

 

Into a grey cloud of infinite storms

they move to hide a manic frenzy

and leave behind them but a broken frame

too frail for the image of the man he once was.

 

No one knew that something was different

a million miles away a butterfly expired

but those who call themselves his kin

went on with their eternal oblivious laughter.

.

 

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications. 

 

 

I Cannot Stop the World by James Croal Jackson

a strawberry

on the last day

 

I hope to believe

in other things about God

 

because the Temple’s sharp

eye had a sudden appearance

 

What is the cause?

I have no answer

 

Tonight I’ll give my eye

to the Temple

 

when the angels descend

from heaven

 

In this blindness

I can rest the world

 .

James Croal Jackson (he/him/his) is a Filipino-American poet. He has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and recent poems in DASH, Sampsonia Way, and Jam & Sand. He edits The Mantle (themantlepoetry.com). He works in film production in Pittsburgh, PA. (jamescroaljackson.com)

 

 

The Limits of the Sun by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

Take me to the limits of the sun
Away from the miserable nest
-of skeletons, simply because
they remind me of my thirty-five years

 

Take me back in your warm dream
Where life’s bitterness appears more
like a blooming rose in the direction
of the cemetery, in which we can smile

 

Take me to the sorrows of our home
To learn how to love without weeping
To learn how to raise you to the rainbow
And learn about each other as we are one heart

 

Take me somewhere far away so
You and I we are one route to the darkness
Nobody can get in our way, nor damage us
The ones who are in, they will win and the

 

-ones who escape will die for being lonely
If you cannot take me anywhere near you
Then allow me to sip on some of the best
-poison, since I am weak to go on my own

to the limits of the sun…

 

 

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 theNet 2018. He is the author of The Bleeding Heart Poet, Love On The War’s Frontline, Gas Chamber, Wounds from Iraq, Roofs of Dreams, The Grey Revolution, and Noemi & Lips of Sweetness. He lives in Montreal, Canada.e great satisfaction derived from serving humanity.

PPP Ezine PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine (Third Anniversary Issue) Volume 4; Issue 5; May 2020

v4i6

 

A Walk Bright and Bold by Ndaba Sibanda

Nonsense by Eliza Segiet

No Time by Wayne Russell

Odisha by Connor Orrico

Enabling Cookies by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Expensive Prayer by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Negative Space by Ann Christine Tabaka

Serenade a Moment by Glory Sasikala

SeaScape  III by Joan McNerney

Forgive Me by Kelli J Gavin

The Storyteller by Brian Rihlmann

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

 

 

 

 A Walk Bright and Bold by Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

Uncertainty rules 

like never before,  

the new normal 

is the abnormal,

the unheard-of state 

of affairs is our new,

there was the past

before the present

whose presence 

virtually signifies 

a virtual existence

if one cannot be 

cybernetic or dynamic, 

it seems fully frenetic! 

though the human race

must always run a race

that is optimistic & civic

a walk , bright and bold  

  

 

Ndaba Sibanda is a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee, Ndaba`s poems have been widely anthologised. Sibanda is the author of The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache: Unsympathetic Untruth, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence 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`s forthcoming book Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things: Confronting Controversies ,Contradictions And Indoctrinations   was considered for The 2019 Restless Book Prize for New Immigrant Writing in Nonfiction. Ndaba`s other forthcoming book Cabinet Meetings: Of Big And Small Preys was considered for The Graywolf Press Africa Prize 2018.

Sibanda`s other forthcoming books include Timbomb, Dear Dawn And Daylight, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, A Different Ballgame and The Way Forward. 

Ndaba blogs here: Let`s Get Cracking! – Ndaba Sibanda – WordPress.com.

 

 

Nonsense by Eliza Segiet

 

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

I cannot overpower time,

now lasts extremely long,

I will not have good memories.

 

Before and after it

there were,

there are,

there will be.

 

From the continuous nonsense

that destroys faith in the human

 we will get out.

 

I know,

in some

remained

 

a bit of humanity.

 

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.

 

 

 

No Time by Wayne Russell



I cast my net into the metaphoric divide,
slowly it unfurls, always like dreams, a flag
of revelation, cast into the uncharted sea.

From the pier, I am safe, the last of my tribe,
the coda of a song; the sea birds release their
souls into the gentle breeze one keow at a time.

There is no tomorrow, for the day’s march in
perfect unison and blend in the stratosphere of
silence, from the pier, I witness their mystery.

Tomorrow has no dominion, those creatures of
the sea and of the ocean know the souls that swim
for all eternity are truly free, held for ransom to
no time.   

 

 

Wayne Russell is or has been many things in his time upon 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 editors at Ariel Chart nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. “Where Angels Fear” is his debut poetry book published by Guerrilla Genesis Press.

 

 

 

Odisha by Connor Orrico

 

 

Odisha I

saffron shaded shrines
by ivory white clinics
on green grass of Odisha

Odisha II

in evening paramedics
rejuvenate themselves

in the vibrant colors
of their favorite sari shop

Odisha III

beside swift

highway traffic
an elephant 
proudly ambles

 

 

Connor Orrico is a medical student with interests in global health, mental health, and how we make meaning from the stories we share with each other, themes which were recently explored in his publications in Headline Poetry & Press, Detritus, and PPP Ezine.

 

 

 

 

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

         

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.

 

 

 

 

Expensive Prayer by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

 

I wish I had more mistakes than sins
I want to have my brain cells fully damaged
as the friend I always trusted before is
now a dark cloud in my miserable season

Love is blind more than love is happiness
as it is an expensive prayer for me 
even my siblings are deaf to hear the beats
of my broken heart from the liquor I drink

Grains of salt are above the roof of my mouth
meanwhile, I never swam in a salty ocean 
nor; added salt on my tasteless plates of food 
I just lick salt off my hand after I drink a few shots

I respect more faces then they deserve 
only death is the path to end my anxieties 
dark poems won’t solve anything about life 
those tears will later fall along with ruby blood.

                     

 

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, Roofs of Dreams, and The Grey Revolution. He lives in Montreal, Canada.

 

 

 

Negative Space by Ann Christine Tabaka  

 

 

Humming a tune,

the song is never sung.

 

Strumming the cords,

a melody is lost.

 

Counting minutes,

hours turn to days.

 

Seeking direction,

a course is all but set.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Serenade a Moment by Glory Sasikala

 

 

He wove dreams with and around me

 

I will take you to the river

and make you a raft

You can lie there and float

with the current.

I’ll lift you up by a rope to our own tree house

We will watch the blue moon together

and hear the owl hoot.

I will send you love letters on lotus leaves

down the river.

I will weave you flower garlands made of buttercups.

There are open spaces in the forest

where the bamboo bloomed and died

We will go to the stream where the wild animals drink.

I will show you how the cheetah’s eyes

shine in the dark jungle

I will show you how to make baskets

out of palm leaves

And I will make love to you

among the flowers in the hillside

where the birds sing.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

SeaScape  III by Joan McNerney

 

 

 

My mind is an ocean

where swimmers, surfers,

sun worshippers cavort.

 

Long salty hair

held between

their teeth.

Flourishing

wild flowered gowns

…streams of silk

waves of taffeta

splashy lace.

 

They sail through

my watery face

combing my eyes

whispering in my ears.

 

Alone, under a pointillist sky.

Gulls flying around me.

Black waters touched by

moon of vague prophecy.

 

 

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary zines such as Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Halcyon Days and included in Bright Hills Press, Kind of A Hurricane Press and Poppy Road Review anthologies. She has been nominated four times for Best of the Net.

 

 

 

Forgive Me by Kelli J Gavin 

 

What?

What did you say?

Forgive me.

I am not sure what you are asking me.

Could you please repeat?

Could you please tell me again?

What are you trying to say?

I want to respond to you.

Yet I don’t know where to begin.

I will wait.

I will be patient.

Forgive me.

I don’t know where to start.

 

 

 

 

Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company.  Look for Kelli’s first book of short stories and poems in 2019. You can find her work with The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, Writing In a Woman’s Voice, The Writers Newsletter,  Writer’s Unite!, Academy of the Heart and Mind, The Rye Whiskey Review, Spillwords, Mercurial Stories, 121 Words, Hickory Stump, Rabid Oak, HerStry, Ariel Chart, The Basil O’Flaherty, PPP Ezine, Southwest Media, Otherwise Engaged, Pleather Skin, Paper.Li, The New Ink Review, and among others.                                                                                                                                                                                         

Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin

Blog found at kellijgavin.blogspot.com

 

 

The Storyteller by Brian Rihlmann

Old man at the bar
with a protruding nose
and leathery face
brags about building this city.

He drove trucks, bulldozers,
wielded hammers, saws,
and to hear him tell it,
he did it all by himself,
as a young man. 

A few of us sit
on our barstools 
half listening, as he 
drones on, not looking at us,
just staring at the wall.

The bartender grabs a towel,
goes and wipes down
the other end of the bar,
he’s heard this story 
a hundred times.

The old man stops talking,
picks up his shot
with trembling fingers,
drains it, takes a swig of beer,
then stands and shuffles to the can.

We look at one another, grin,
shake our heads.
I feel sorry for him, I think, 
but then who am I
to feel sorry for him.

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.

 

 

 

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 craftpersons. 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 26 poetry collections, 10 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 1 collection of one-act 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 and Severance (Cyberwit Publishing: Forthcoming Redemption Value). His novels include a series ‘Stand to Arms, Marines’: Call to Valor, Crumbling Ramparts and Raise High the Walls (Gnome on Pig Productions) and Extreme Change (Winter Goose 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). The Republic of Dreams and other essays (Gnome on Pig Productions). 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 will be published by Cyberwit Publishing. Gary lives in New York City.

PPP Ezine: PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 5; May 2020

 

v4i5

 

Poet of the Month: Glory Sasikala

I remember by Gary Lawrence Ingram

Carpe Diem by Ermelinda Makkimane

your clear water is a hydro night shape to sear the steak by J. D. Nelson

Love Metamorphosed by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

Poem for a Woman who Dances When There is No Music by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Small Prayers by Connor Orrico

Am I by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Eyes by Alexis Ogunmokun

Holy Spur by Anupama Bhattacharya

Class Photo by Brian Rihlmann

One Single Kiss by Fethi Sassi

 

 

 

 Poet of the Month: Glory Sasikala

 

 

 

I must go

 

 

The seconds hand ticks

Each heartbeat.

 

Each heartbeat

A hope.

 

Each hope

A prayer.

 

 

Each prayer

A promise.

 

Each promise

A raindrop.

 

Each raindrop

A prism.

 

Each prism

The colors of my dreams.

 

Each dream

My smile.

 

Each smile

A knowledge.

 

 

 

That some day

It will all fall into place.

 

But for now

I must go.

 

 

 

 

 

Let me in…

 

 

Let me into the realm of your thoughts

Beyond the spoken

And the felt

Till I merge into the magnitude of your silence.

 

Let me into the coolness of your touch

A thousand births and deaths

Being baptized again and again

Till my name is lost in yours.

 

Let me into your songs of triumph

And your dirges of sorrow

Looking at the world from a cliff

Till I laugh and cry only with you.

 

Let me into the beat of your heart

Your breath, your warmth

Your proof of a life lived

Till my river of thoughts flow into your ocean.

Let me in on that spark in your being

That exists in no-man’s land

That ignites a spark in mine

Let me into your soul…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are we?

 

not that i want answers

to a relationship

that seems to flex

to meet our erratic selves

so moody and unpredictable

so based on imperfection

but our sidelong glances ask

are we the ones?

are we cosy bed and pillows ad sheets?

are we cuddle, kiss, curl and sleep?

will you wipe the dishes while i wash

roll out the dough while i flip?

peeping over shoulders quadrupled vision

is it our laughter that will break the silence

of a dark night, startling the owl

and drawing stars closer?

i did not let the outside world in

did you?

i can walk away, can you?

at will, i ask you –

will we be the ones –

our fingers barely touching

a relationship on a shoestring budget

of superficial small talk

barely skimming the surface…

how far must we go before we know

we’re forever?

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

I remember by Gary Lawrence Ingram

 

 

I remember the days when running around care free never needing anyone no one but me

 

So simple never feeling I needed anyone ,but now as time has gone by those days of playful thinking have gone

 

Before I picked up my first bible I never knew it was wrong in Gods eyes to go out with a lot women sinning

 

Now ,I look back at everything I missed out on like love and a companion joined at hand by the words of God

 

No wonder most every young man and woman thinks that they are ten foot tall and bullet proof ,they think they have plenty of time to get life right

 

I just want to say stop looking at life that way one day you’ll find yourself old and looking back wishing things would have been different

 

Find that special one and adore it ,him or her

 

Take long walks in the park and go fishing but always pray together before you eat now that’s living

 

Cast away all your childish ways and become responsible without worries and save for rainy days

 

Remember others needs and care for them as you teach by being living examples

 

The simple part is thinking about it ,the hard part is being about it

.

 

 

Gary Lawrence Ingram is an Oklahoma based writer. His paperback book “Shadows of the Past” is available at amazon.com. Gary has recently been published in The Secret Life of Poets Magazine, at youtube.com, and in the anthology Dandelion in a Vase of Roses. His newest book, One Thousand Love Poems is the latest flow of words from this poet.

Carpe Diem by Ermelinda Makkimane

 

The nightly orb simply stares at me

Through the glass window pane.

 

Beauty in borrowed feathers,

I mutter, disdainful.

 

No, carpe diem, she says,

Seize beauty from wherever you get it. 

 

 

 

 

 

Ermelinda Makkimane loves thinking poetry. Sometimes she writes down those words. Her work has been chosen for digital publication by Lucky Jefferson and the Other Worldly Women Press. She currently lives and works from her village in Divar, Goa. 

 

 

your clear water is a hydro night shape to sear the steak by J. D. Nelson

 

 

work was a better pumpkin

was that a reynolds fish

 

why is there a world in the sink

the miracle of sawdust

 

we shine thru the wall together

the saint of the bees

 

the best answer in the world book encyclopedia

would you like the moon to stare more

 

stereo police feature not in the milk

as long as there is a sink to spit in

 

J. D. Nelson (b. 1971) experiments with words and sound in his subterranean laboratory. More than 1,500 of his poems have appeared in many small press publications, in print and online. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Cinderella City (The Red Ceilings Press, 2012). Visit www.MadVerse.comfor more information and links to his published work. Nelson lives in Colorado.

 

.

 

 

 

 

Love Metamorphosed by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

 

In what name shall I call you? 

Your gaze has made me intoxicated. 

Your eyes colour melt into blue rays, circle to a blue moon. 

I am allured by your eyes. 

Now I am like the drunk wind, 

I look at you without fear and shame. 

Let the people say whatever they want to. 

Your eyes have hypnotised me, 

I couldn’t escape the sight of you, 

I am lost and I am at a loss. 

Your eyes are watching me. 

I can’t escape. 

Do you know I have entrapped myself into you? 

I don’t know if you have so much love in your heart. 

Tell me, you love me. 

Let the critics say whatever they like. 

Love has Metamorphosed me into a bewildered love.

 

 

 

Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein is an aesthete from Dhaka, Bangladesh & MA holder in British&American Literature.Now a Free-lance writer. She writes weekly column for Different Truths Publications, India  featuring humanitarian to diverse issues. She is a regular contributor to Our Daily Times, Bangladesh. Her poems appeared in literary magazines.  She loves travelling and participates in recitals She seeks beauty from the blade of grass to twinkling stars. She Aestheticism and humanism  are the essence of her existence.She is the International Fellow 2020 of International Human Rights Arts Festival.  She can be reached at tts.hussein@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poem for a Woman who Dances When There is No Music by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

The surprise is in the way you never stop

letting yourself come to things.

 

Sitting cross-legged on the bed.

Clapping along.

Ignoring noise complaints like chatterboxes 

from the cosmos.

 

And later leaning over the lip of the tub.

Scrawling this poem for a woman who dances

when there is no music.

 

Both my feet asleep

and much of the known world too.

 

Half a pack of chewing gum seated

on the back of a sweating summer toilet.

 

The way the hard light levels glorious accusations.

And many cords to nowhere, where does anything go?

 

This room has been with me

since hoteliers started handing

out extra towels.

 

The smell of alcoholics on my breath

like confusing a service elevator              

for a streetwalker brought indoors.

                     

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Small Prayers by Connor Orrico

 

 
sleep, sleep,
please take me,
life, life,
please make me,
dreams, dreams,
please keep me,
love, love,
please reap me

 

 

Connor Orrico is a medical student with interests in global health, mental health, and how we make meaning from the stories we share with each other, themes which were recently explored in his publications in Headline Poetry & Press, Detritus, and Dreich Magazine.

 

 

 

 

Am I by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

 

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

 

 

 

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, Roofs of Dreams, and The Grey Revolution. He lives in Montreal, Canada..

 

 

 

Eyes by Alexis Ogunmokun

 

 

I temporary or permanently
Blur your eyesight
I am simile to describe eye sight
In the dark
You can’t see clearly and completely
You have to rely on a seeing eye dog
As your eyes
I heightened your hearing, taste, smell and touch
Who am I?

.

 

 

Alexis Ogunmokun resides in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. She works at Hy-Vee. She writes poetry and short fiction. She is an introvert with a dream to publish her poems. She has one brother and one sister. She loves to live life to the fullest.

 

 

 

Holy Spur by Anupama Bhattacharya

 

 

My morning awakes to a holy spur

Leaving behind the smells of petrol

As my faith rides me home

Far away from the madding crowd.

 

Through the  pane I gaze and wonder

Cocooned in childhood nostalgia:

Vitality of the plains. Pondering on
the secrets of simple living
so much do I miss to capture.
En route my station.

 

Yet I come back every time

Waving past the beckoning paddy fields

And Kans grass like fairy’s wings.

To my vapmire’s lair.

To the taste of urban malls.

 

Could Eve and Adam settle in Eden

after tasting the forbidden fruit?

How could I?

 

With an M.A in English literature Anupama Bhattacharya is a teacher by profession. Her poems have found place in platforms like The Time of India, Ceasurae Literary Magazine and Ethos Literary Magazine. She calls herself an aspiring poet because she thinks there’s always so much to learn. Many other Kolkata based little magazines like The Beacon Kolkata have also published her work. With specialization inkathak and Rabindranritya she tries to find immanence in dance as well. An ardent lover of music, literature and poetry she believes in healing the world with words and rhythm. She can be contacted at anu14bhatta@gmail.com.

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.

 

 

 

One Single Kiss by Fethi Sassi

 

 

I still lick my fingers every morning,

I play with my neighbors in front of the next door girl.

I hesitate a thousand times…

How can I sink my fingers in her hand?

And kiss the moon dangling on her braids?

She keeps looking at my hand, wet by the sand.

But…

 Is it enough for one kiss to determine the moon’s orbit in her hair?

This moon can’t lure me.

I was always biting my poem

When I wrote about a girl who lost her kiss on the sand…

 

 

 

 

Fethi Sassi is a writer of prose poetry and short poems and haiku ; translator of all his poems to English . A member in the Tunisian Writers’ Union ; and in the Literature club at the cultural center of Sousse . 1- first book entitled “A Seed of Love” was published in 2010. 2- ) I dream …. and I sign on birds the last words ) in 2013 . 3- ” A sky for a strange bird “ first edition in Egypt in 2016. Second edition in September 2018 in Tunisia . 4- published in Egypt in march 2017(As lonely rose ..one a chair)- Poetic book in 2018 Egypt ( I used to hang my face behind the door).

PPP Ezine: PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 4; April 2020

v4i4

 

Poet of the Month: Wayne Russell

Tequila (V5) by Michael Lee Johnson

The Big Band by Paula Hackett

The Search for Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

Birds by David Flynn

Passion by Edward Lee

Oceans of lessons by Lynn Long

Stamford, Connecticut to Grand Central Terminal by Thomas M. McDade

What survives by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Kiss of Lavender by Shola Balogun

Hidden in a Small Town by Ferris E Jones

I will stop loving you by Walid Abdallah

 

 

 

 Poet of the Month: Wayne Russell

 

 

Lyric

 

Alone at the end of the day, 
souls depart from barren room, 
lonely breath, slow decay; blue 
city groans, like a wilderness child. 
 

Swirling lights dance, intermingling 
with ocean waves and incense. 
 
I could just lose myself in those golden 
eyes for an eternity.  
 

A sheltered tapestry of phosphorus 
stars and dandelion dreams, drifting  
down into my realm; this is the complexity, 
of new emotion, a resurrection kiss.  
 
For the first time in years, I’m alive again! 
 
Never happier than now, sleep brings me 
visions of her, for once I know peace, dreams 
never better.

 

 

 

Inside Out

I am the dead inside out, more alone than you
could possibly imagine.

Underneath kaleidoscope skies, trees sway in
the sorrowful breeze, loneliness has a hold on
the stranglehold cool of day.

I lit a match and the world imploded, sat outside
and watched people passing by in subtle sway.

She and me equaled = ‘ed she and he, and now
my universal meanderings have taken a dark turn.

Nosedive, like a suicide mission, Icarus winged god?
Lights out splash!

Dead goldfish in a bowl full of bleeding hearts, a
downward spiral, snap fell the trap on my hat.

I gave up the booze and the smokes oh great, now
I’ll have to stick around a while longer.

More alone than you could possibly imagine, but
I truly know that no one cares, as I do not care.

 

 

Loneliness Makes For a Long Long Day  


Sitting here talking to myself

sometimes I answer back, sun
sinking low, another day gone.

Without you or anyone else,
so lonely, doesn’t have to be
this way, why did it have to

end?

Alone again, an inhabitable fate
that transpired from out of the
shadows, will of design, leave me.

Papers scattered around this
room, poems, songs, thoughts,
echoing in the corrosive breeze,
window’s open and it’s freezing.

Nothing makes sense in this space
and time, the rain’s back again and
so are these tears of solitude.

 

 

Wayne Russell is, or has been, many things in his 48 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. Just recently, the kind editors at Ariel Chart nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. Where Angels Fear is his debut e-book.

 

Tequila (V5) by Michael Lee Johnson

 

 

Single life is Tequila with a slice of lime,

Shots offered my traveling strangers.

Play them all deal them jacks, some diamonds

then spades, hold back aces play hardball,

mock the jokers.

Paraplegic aging tumblers toss rocks,

Their dice go for the one-night stand.

Poltergeist fluid define another frame.

Female dancers in the corner

Crooked smiles in shadows.

Single ladies don’t eat that tequila worm

dangle down the real story beneath their belts.

Men bashful, yet loud on sounds, but right times soft spoken.

Ladies men lack caring verbs, traitors to your skin.

Ladies if you really want the worm, Mescal,

don’t be confused after midnight.

 

 

 

 

Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson published in more than 1072 new publications, his poems have appeared in 38 countries, he edits, publishes 10 poetry sites.  Michael Lee Johnson, has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018.  204 poetry videos are now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos.  

 

Editor-in-chief: Poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses and Warriors with Wings:  The Best in Contemporary Poetry.

The Big Band by Paula Hackett

 

 

Two trumpets fell in love

and their music showed it.

Not a wasted note.

They joined a big band

and were proud to be

such beautiful instruments.

Playing or waiting their turn,

they were never out of reach.

And together they made

the heavens dance.

 

 

 

 

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. 

 

 

The Search for Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

 

It’s out there, somewhere,

freewheeling and coy,

tugging on the beard of gravity,

on the path of least resistance.

You can’t see it, but listen –

the sound of a bottle

rolling across a table.

The tattle of mice scurrying.

Sounds of light rain

making its way in the dark.

Planet X, feeling the cold.

Feeling its age.

The sun’s secret servant,

wise men sieving night from day,

weighing circumstance

like bettors chasing fortune.

They realize, once a thing is

hidden it has to be found.

It has to be hard to find.

It’s next to impossible.

 

 

 

 

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).

 

 

 

Birds by David Flynn

Free as a bird.  Going to fly now.  
Birdsconnotate as winged freedom, as nice, as chirping happiness.
But birds in the sky are at work.  They hunt for creatures to kill with their beaks and claws.
They defend territory, whacking into pelicans which fall in the sea broken.
Brown birds peck at black birds to defend a lawn of food;
black birds swarm over the bald eagle to drive it away.
Try holding a falcon, try kissing a falcon, try looking a falcon in its sharp eye,
and telling it you love it.
A bloody mess is what you’ll be.

I mentioned God.
We connotate God.
We connotate sin.
We connotate grace.

 

 

 

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 230. Among the eight writing residencies he has been awarded are five at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, NM, and stays in Ireland and Israel. He spent a year in Japan as a member of the Japan Exchange and Teaching program. He currently lives in Nashville, TN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Oceans of lessons by Lynn Long

 

 

Oceans of lessons

Mountains to climb

Oh, my dear heart

Now is the time…

For once- 

I knew my path

Seen so clearly

I needed no map

A foolish quest

I endeavored

Believing myself

Oh so clever

Alas, life-

Showed roads

unseen

Took my hand,

led blindly

in dream

Now…

I follow a path 

seen less clear

As I listen to 

the beat

of my heart 

so dear…

 

 

Lynn Long- https://zolanymph1.blogspot.com/

Poet, writer, aspiring novelist, daydreamer and believer in the impossible. Artist @hitRECord.org and Scriggler.com Published in the following Ezines, Publications and Online Journals.

 

 

 

 

Stamford, Connecticut to Grand Central Terminal by Thomas M. McDade

 

A breezy walk to the train station and I’m thinking

Of a live chicken store that was once on Richmond Hill

I sit in a seat facing a passenger taking up

Two seats with the help of an NPR donor tote

A retro man wears cuff links and a monogrammed shirt

An Asian woman, long hair, green coat, black Wellingtons,

Lime turtleneck, has her ear glued to a pink

Cased phone the entire trip

Conductor warns once this is a quiet car

(Tell it to the wheels and tracks)

She whispers, listening not talking

Does he move on because she is so attractive?

Is a man she ditched pleading for another chance?

A hefty man corrects student papers, makes many comments

Does he grade tough?

Reads a poetry magazine after finishing

Is he a poet himself?

A young fellow sits on the floor near a door, types on a computer

His Boston College ball cap is faded

He sneaks peeks at the good listener

The lights blink on and off

The Woman exiting the train in front of me

Pulls a side-wheeled rolling suitcase

Is she thinking of motherhood

Powering a red wagon full of child?

A sign in the Grand Central Men’s Room reads:

No Smoking – No Bathing or Laundering –

No Drinking of Alcoholic Beverages

How many are plotting?

In the Concourse, some travelers look

At the blue-green Ceiling

For their Zodiac sign or firmament inaccuracies

If this were China, might have featured a rooster

I play back to Richmond Hill, and youth and forty years ago anyway

A beggar on Lexington chants, “Today is my Birthday”

He’s a one-buck richer Scorpio

 

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.

What survives by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

 

There are still marks on the ground

where I kneeled and cried in despair.

The tears I poured in it have been exhaled

and are lost forever.

My screams startled the birds that took,   

around the skies, news of dread and fear,

also entirely lost.

However, the laughter once I launched,

also recorded by the birds,

so gladly had been welcomed that echoes  

by this very day.     

There were also some triumph yells

and some love whispers, which, along

all the rest, have been made worthwhile

this life of quite unnoted a human’s soul.

 

 

Edilson Afonso Ferreira is a Brazilian poet. He is 75 year-old, writes in English rather than in Portuguese. Largely published in international journals in print and online, he began writing at age 67. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2016. His first Poetry Collection – Lonely Sailor – has been launched in London, November 2018, with one hundred poems. Read more of his work at www.edilsonmeloferreira.com.

 

 

 

Kiss of Lavender by Shola Balogun

 

 

 

                                                       

The rose whispers

Your name to me

In the new

And beautiful colours

Of a rainbow,

Distinct in beauty

And elegance of forms!

 

When I see

Your sweet gentle eyes,

I see the sun shine.

 

 

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.

Hidden in a Small Town by Ferris E Jones

 

 

I put on a really old pair of shoes,

Which lets me walk chronologically.

I passed a ten-year-old, reading

Chariots of the Gods, in bright sun,

Then put the book down, he was done.

 

I witnessed an enchanted young girl’s shadow

Wither in a churchyard, contemplating

When she would tell of her new love

And how purgatory would start,

Shouldering what hid in her heart.

 

I watched a cruel man weep as a woman

Smiling tossed his dark cloud into thin air,

Making time for her children’s tears

To be felt, to be written down,

To be hidden in a small town.

 

 
Ferris E Jones is an internationally published poet and screenwritercurrently residing in Puyallup Washington. His work has appeared in both print and online magazines including as the featured poet for Creative Talents Unleashed. Other magazines include: Glo Mag, Piker Press, Se La Vie Writers Journal, Write on Magazine, Outlaw Poetry, Degenerate Literature 17, Tuck Magazine, The Literary Hatchet, Warriors with Wings, In Between Hangovers,and many other literary publications. He is the recipient of two grants from the Nevada Arts Council and the Editor and Publisher of Nevada Poets2009. Ferris has twice received honorable mention awards from Writers Digest annual screenwriting contest. Ferris is also the Author / Editor of seven collections of poetry.You can learn more about Ferris E. Jones by visiting www.inquisitionpoetry.com where each monthhe features the work of other poets.The goal of this site is to spread the word of poetry throughout the world.

 

 

 

I will stop loving you by Walid Abdallah

 

 

I will stop loving you

When the sun doesn’t shine

And dreams are no longer mine

When hopes run out

And volcanoes no longer shout

When all the oceans become dry

And you count all the stars in the sky

When all the trees’ leaves wither

And the earth has only one weather

When deserts blossom and flower

And waters of rivers become sour

When the colors of nature fade

And all trees lose their shade

When we have eternal day or night

And all people lose their sight

When the trees stop dancing in the wind

And the mountains collapse and bend

When rocks and stones cry

And cats and rabbits fly

When winds no longer blow

And waters in rivers and seas no longer flow

When ice and snow in the poles melt

And all living things become mud or silt

When I no longer breathe

And life has no air or breeze

I will stop loving you

When I am chosen by death

And your love gives me a new birth

 

 

Walid Abdallah is an Egyptian poet and author. He is a visiting professor of English language and literature in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany and the USA, his poetry includes “Go Ye Moon”, ” Dream” and “My heart still beats” And has several translated poems which won prestigious prizes in the USA like “Cause”, “Egypt’s Grief”, and “Strangers’ Cross”, his books include Shout of Silence, Escape to the Realm of Imagination, and Man Domination and Woman Emancipation.

PPP Ezine PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 3; March 2020

v4i3

 

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

Cold by Ivan Peledov

Forbidden Topics by Seth Brown

Team Players by Tim Kahl

The Field Animal’s Dream by Richard Oyama

Cleaning Shoes of my Daughter by Abu Siddik

Survived another Day by Andrew Scott

Class Photo by Brian Rihlmann

Elephant and Castle Underground Station by Eduard Schmidt-Zorner

What Will We Do? by Eric Golden

One Single Kiss by Fethi Sassi

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

 

Looking Up

 

As the drunk teacher was saying:

The hum of the computer

Was a common feature 

In 5 BC one student

Was looking up:  

Anachronism 

 

 

 

 

Her Finest Chef Ever

 

His fiancée was on the edge

Of starvation, or that`s what

She disclosed as she entered

It was a windy and dusty day

Of his food—cockerel and rice–

His beautiful black bride tasted, 

Exclaimed: oh as sweet as ginger!

The stove regretfully watches

The real rooster that looks alive

And ready to crow as if to mark

The break of dawn…it has dawned

On me that my groom is one

Of the best chefs on this Earth!   

This must be sweet, sweet medicine! 

Its pleasantness has slain my starvation

Thanks, just perfect for this beautiful day!

 

 

 

 

 

Ahead Of Themselves 

 

They came along dressed in joy  

Their national flags set to decoy

 

They drummed, drank, sang, danced 

Till time tottered, tilted, talked, tranced      

 

They got ahead of themselves with delight 

They stole a hive of hearts into the night    

 

 

 

 

Ndaba Sibanda is a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee. His poems have been widely anthologised. Sibanda is the author of The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache: Unsympathetic Untruth, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence 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. 

 

 

 

 

Cold by Ivan Peledov

 

Oars smell funny in the middle of winter.

The peasants slowly burn the snow

and force the ice of the lakes to reflect

cardboard aircraft that threaten emaciated divinities.

You must have six arms and two noses

to be able to enter their hallways.

You must lose your mother tongue 

to remain below, to listen unceasingly,

like a wingless, colorless bird,

to stones, trains and shivering beasts

tired of measuring the clouds.

 
Ivan Peledov lives in Colorado. He loves to travel and to forget the places he has visited. He has been recently published in Goat’s Milk Magazine, The Collidescope, iō Literary Journal, and Wend Poetry.

Forbidden Topics by Seth Brown

 

Politics and Religion.

Those are the two subjects you’re not supposed to talk about

On a first date

Or in the office

Or when meeting the parents

Or most other times.

 

The risk is that the other person

Might think something

Different

From you.

 

At which point, you have no choice.

You each must draw your blade,

Swear the ancient blood-oaths,

And attack your opponent until either they or their ideas

Are destroyed.

 

The world is not large enough

For two opposing viewpoints

To co-exist peacefully, respecting each other.

Apparently.

 

 

 

 

Seth Brown is a freelance writer and poet based in the beautiful Berkshires in Massachusetts, where he can frequently be found performing poetry. His poetry has appeared in the Washington Post, Moral Relativism Magazine, and Indiefeed Performance Poetry, among others. He is the author of six books, and consumes an inordinate amount of sushi. His website is RisingPun.com. 

 

 

Team Players by Tim Kahl

 

The whole work force is on Prozac

   Dynamism is self-subdued.

Good team players can tone it down.

   They fit into marching orders.

My oh my. They’re tracking your movement.

 

   Remember when there were no phones.

 

 

 

Tim Kahl [ http://www.timkahl.com] is the author of  Possessing YourselfThe Century of TravelThe String of Islands, and Omnishambles. His work has been published in  Prairie Schooner, Drunken Boat, Mad Hatters’ Review, Indiana Review, Metazen, Ninth Letter, Sein und Werden, Notre Dame Review, The Really System, Konundrum Engine Literary Magazine, The Journal, The Volta, Parthenon West Review, Caliban and many other journals in the U.S. He is also editor of Clade Song [ http://www.cladesong.com]. He is the vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center. He also has a public installation in Sacramento {In Scarcity We Bare The Teeth}. He plays flutes, guitars, ukuleles, charangos and cavaquinhos. He currently teaches at California State University, Sacramento, where he sings lieder while walking on campus between classes.

 

 

 

 

 

The Field Animal’s Dream by Richard Oyama

 

What is the field animal’s dream?

It does not think of the boy’s bird screech and water pistol, the girl’s pas de deux and pursed lips.

They batter each other’s head with flattened palms. A grandmother peers between the crack in

red Naugahyde seats, wizened as in a fairy tale as if something in the children’s play is wrong,

illicit, something to be rebuked.

Buried in a shell of sand, a girl is a gorgeous tortoise like the first photograph made in historical

time before the ceremony of innocence is drowned.

What is the field animal’s dream? Is it me, a cud in a cow’s teeth? Behind the limestone karst,

another and another and another.

Is this the limestone’s dream, sediment and solidity outlasting us, as though it is the body’s doors

of dan tien through which chi flows as the sea is artificer of ephemeral sand-glyphs?

The string of green lights glimmer in a pre-dawn republic of dark grain. The karsts, the squid

boats, have not emerged. The sun has not birthed them. If all is flux, I am a fish disguised as

stone.

The field animal is dreaming. It will dream us into the next sleep. Eyelids of morning flutter. The

silver bells of the flowers ring.

 

 

 

Richard Oyama’s work has appeared in Premonitions: The Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry, The Nuyorasian Anthology, Breaking Silence, Dissident Song, A Gift of Tongues, Malpais Review, Mas Tequila Review and other literary journals. The Country They Know (Neuma Books 2005) is his first collection of poetry. He has a M.A. in English: Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Oyama taught at California College of Arts in Oakland, University of California at Berkeley and University of New Mexico. His first novel in a trilogy, A Riot Goin’ On, is forthcoming.

 

 

 

 

Cleaning Shoes of my Daughter by Abu Siddik

Every morning

From Monday to Friday

I clean with caress

My daughter’s shoes

And brighten her day.

 

I brush away dirt

And shine to their sheen.

 

My daughter first squints

Seconds later she smiles,

My room is perfumed

And my soul shines.

 

 

Abu Siddik is a writer from Berhampore, Murshidabad, India. He has contributed to various e-journals and anthologies and has published three books. Website: www.abusiddik.com

 

 

Survived another Day by Andrew Scott

 

Seems the day is crumbling

before the sunrise even starts

and the motivational coffee is brewed.

Smiling perseverance to hold the glow

of believing in the kind goodness.

 

Walking to a destination

not sure now of arrival

due to unexpected barricades

that may end it all.

Chipper steps need to be taken

to sit comfortably

and breath in the air of delight.

 

Being led down a road

by other’s greedy agendas

just to make a living

where family exists

not knowing when it may

seize to being.

 

The worries of the home

collapsing from the hidden

lives of the unpredictable young.

Still there is love

in the hugs and kisses good night.

 

As we lay in bed after

and go to sleep at the

end of each peaceful night

we dream in celebration

as another day was survived.

 

Andrew Scott is a native of Fredericton, NB. During his time as an active poet, Andrew Scott has taken the time to speak in front of a classrooms, judge poetry competitions as well as be published worldwide in such publications as The Art of Being Human, Battered Shadows and The Broken Ones. His books, Snake With A Flower, The Phoenix Has Risen, The Path, The Storm Is Coming and Through My Eyes  are available now.  Searching is his fifth poetry collection. 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

My Crows by

 

1/

Each time I run short of inspirations

I would try to fold the dull season

Not into a decoration

But into a bird

 

I always hang it high

Above my head

Like my own spirit

Like my white crow, where I

Can hear the droning complaints of

Each creature over its pain

 

The pity is, my senses are often too soft

To hold the shape firm

 

2/

After so many years

            The white crow

    I had been keeping as a pet

            Finally flew away

Without a single moment

                        Of hesitation

Through the back window

            Blown open

By a gust of sun wind

                        Last night

 

Into the storm of

            Black snowflakes

    Falling down

            Right from heaven 

 

 

Yuan Changming  published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline, among others. 

 

 

Elephant and Castle Underground Station by Eduard Schmidt-Zorner

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

One Single Kiss by Fethi Sassi

 

I still lick my fingers every morning,

I play with my neighbors in front of the next door girl.

I hesitate a thousand times…

How can I sink my fingers in her hand?

And kiss the moon dangling on her braids?

She keeps looking at my hand, wet by the sand.

But…

 Is it enough for one kiss to determine the moon’s orbit in her hair?

This moon can’t lure me.

I was always biting my poem

When I wrote about a girl who lost her kiss on the sand…

 

 

 

Fethi Sassi is a writer of prose poetry and short poems and haiku ; translator of all his poems to English . A member in the Tunisian Writers’ Union ; and in the Literature club at the cultural center of Sousse . 1- first book entitled “A Seed of Love” was published in 2010. 2- ) I dream …. and I sign on birds the last words ) in 2013 . 3- ” A sky for a strange bird “ first edition in Egypt in 2016. Second edition in September 2018 in Tunisia . 4- published in Egypt in march 2017(As lonely rose ..one a chair)- Poetic book in 2018 Egypt ( I used to hang my face behind the door).

PPP Ezine PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 2; February 2020

v4i2

 

Poet of the Month: Jim Piatt

Poem by Lynn Long

Forget-Me-Not by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

Poetica Couture by Jennifer Bradpiece

Winged visitors by Sunil Sharma

I Am Human by Ahmad Al-Khatat

The Union in Hindsight by Wayne Russell

The Curtains Pulled over like a Failed State by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

July by Joan McNerney

Morning Escapade by Joanne Olivieri

On Time by Kelli J Gavin

 

Poet of the Month: Jim Piatt

 

Too Late

 

Arriving too late

The sun covered with a gray haze

Met the screaming hour

 

My glass nerves shattered

In the jangle of broken

Poems of hopelessness

 

And died for lack of

Sweet rhyming allegories

Buried too deeply in my soul.

 

 

 

The Final Curtain

 

When the final curtain is drawn,

And my existence unfolds into eternity,

I breathe a final breath, and

The things I savored in my life,

The multitude of happy times,

Fade into winter’s white coldness:

But as the light drips from the sun

Into the horizon’s endless fire, and

My short time on this planet is gone.

Memories continue in others even as

The reflexes known as my life, expire…

 

 

 

Poor Decisions

 

 

Promises, discarded, broken, lie beside

Dusty laws of the past, trampled

Under the grime of ideology: Hopes,

Shattered, lives thrown into the pit of

Indifference born of greed…ignorance,

Untried principles: Compassion wilting

In the darkness of shattered dreams,

Kindness melted into fiscal indifference

Of our time, all under the weight of

Poor decisions.

 

 

 

 

Der Nicht-Nietzsche-Mann

 

 

He is the non-Nietzsche man

A feeling amorphous shape in the

World of fiscal nothingness…a

Caring mind in the world of insensitivity,

Lost in un-noted worthiness…

 

He is the non-Nietzsche man

A gentle soul among the

Multitude of avaricious plastic people…

A man of integrity, honest and sane,

A petal to a sepal…

 

He is the non-Nietzsche man

A thinking mind in the

Torpid emptiness of man’s banality…

A man of truth and virtue, filled with

Intelligence without cupidity…

 

He is the non-Nietzsche man

And like Nietzsche’s god…

He too is dead…

 

 

 

 

James is the author of four collections of poems, “Solace Between the Lines,” (2019), “Light” (2016), “Ancient Rhythms,” (2014),” and “The Silent Pond,” (2012). He has had over 1,400 poems, four novels, seven essays, and thirty-five short stories published in over 200 different national and international, books, anthologies, and magazines, including Penwood. He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU. A review of his newest collection of poems, “Solace Between the Lines,” can be found on Cyberwit.com.

 

 

 

Poem by Lynn Long

 

IMG_20200123_071549_836 (1)

Lynn Long- https://zolanymph1.blogspot.com/. Poet, writer, aspiring novelist, daydreamer and believer in the impossible. Artist @hitRECord.org and Scriggler.com. Published in the following Ezines, Publications and Online Journals:

 https://academyoftheheartandmind.wordpress.com/ Antarctica Journal, Duane’s PoeTree and In Between Hangovers etc.

 

 

Forget-Me-Not by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

 

I am the blue flower in the garden of Eden,

Once God came and walking by.

He looked pondering in thoughts,

Suddenly He saw me, and asked,

“Oh little beauty! What’s your name?

Struck by his presence, I forgot my name.

I murmured.

He smiled. “Oh pretty little thing! I name you Forget-Me-Not

And you shall be now reside on Earth, as long as the creation will exsist”.

I wanted to say out loud that I don’t want to go.

What a dreadful place.

But my inner words came back as echo.

Since then I keep saying to God, forget me not

Take me back to your Eden.

There is no reply from God.

So I wait and wait.

In between, I smile at love couples passing by,

And whisper gently, Forget-Me-Not.

They give me to one another with promises to remember each other till eternity.

Some are kept, some are broken and some become bitter and sour.

And I remain as witness of the countless promises.

But, I keep my promise to myself to not to forget me not.

My true identity.

That I came from Eden.

And I keep saying, Forget-Me-Not,

Take me back to Eden.

I can’t take the more and more pretentious promises in the name of me.

I am tired of watching hypocrisy in love.

But I must not forget me not,

I came from Eden

With all that holds holy and sacred.

Oh fake lovers, don’t violate my name.

Stop your deceiving.

Forget-Me-Not, that I am from Eden.

I continue to not to forget myself.

I sing my song and wait.

Alas! I am destined to stay here,

And I fear.

I fear, with all false promises in my name,

I will forget myself.

I will loose my name,

The name given to me by God.

People will soon call me,

“Forget Me” Flower.

I see the day, It is near.

And now I sing for myself

Forget-Me-Not, Forget-Me-Not,

Once I symbolized, love, loyalty and promise.

And Longing to go back to Eden.

So I keep saying Forget-Me-Not,

And I wait and wait.

And my waiting goes on.

 

 

 

Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein is an aesthete from Dhaka, Bangladesh & MA holder in British&American Literature.Now a Free-lance writer . She writes weekly column featuring humanitarian to diverse issues. Her poems appeared in literary magazines.  She loves travelling and participates in recitals.Her hobby is making DIY  jewellery for near and dear ones.  She seeks beauty from the blade of grass to twinkling stars. Aestheticism and humanism  are the essence of her existence. She can be reached at tts.hussein@gmail.com

 

 

 

Poetica Couture by Jennifer Bradpiece

 

 

Its that hot bath sink

into brain suds.

 

That half past two AM

hunger.

 

That trying on,

ripping off.

Trading buttons

for boning.

 

And in the end,

selling:

 

Hoping some piece of you

fits

some part of them.

 

 

 

 

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 RedactionsThe 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.

 

 

 

Winged visitors by Sunil Sharma

 

 

Red-vented bulbul

 

joined by another

 

a noisy pair

 

dark and handsome.

 

 

 

Swinging on the cable

 

delighting the home-alone

 

prisoner

 

 

 

their crested heads

 

kissed by the rough winds of summer

 

 

 

mouths—open

 

waiting for the rains

 

to arrive on the Mumbai skyline.

 

 

 

Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 19 published books: Six collections of poetry; two of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015. Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA:  http://www.setumag.com/p/setu-home.html For more details, please visit the blog: http://www.drsunilsharma.blogspot.in/.

 

It is Blind, It is Deserved and It is Denied by Alexis Ogunmokun

 

I am the reason
Why the court system exists
Superheroes live by my code
She wears a blindfold
While holding a sword in one hand
And a balance scales in the other hand
I am the reason

Why the bad guys are
In prisons or on death row
I am the opposite of injustice
Who am I?

 

 

Alexis Ogunmokun resides in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. She works at Hy-Vee. She writes poetry and short fiction. She is an introvert with a dream to publish her poems. She has one brother and one sister. She loves to live life to the fullest. 

 

 

I Am Human by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

I am human
from all races
I am looking
for respect,
condition
-attitude
and good
behaviours

I am human
dancing with
no silky touch
but on my own
for no reason
sometimes,I
am trying to
live like a human

My name is
human being
My age is the
numbers of
days of the
dead fighter
My soul is
already taken

Another human
I once met her;
she is the reason
why the night is
sad, no matter
what I do aside
from writing a
poem or a song

Can someone
walk me home
I am blind to
trust strangers
I am a silent
human listening
to dreamers talking
to machine believers

 

 

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, Roofs of Dreams, and The Grey Revolution. He lives in Montreal, Canada.

 

 

The Union in Hindsight by Wayne Russell

 

Shimmering skull, trodden down
the impervious path, I was happy
before I met you, now damned
that we have parted company.

My life was spent in exile, you would
have gladly destroyed me, naked upon
the lovers cross, given half the chance.

The word love never existed, it was a
facade on all sides of the fence, barbed
and harsh like a nuclear funeral.

I forced all those smiles in those grainy
snapshots, those damned family functions,
your tribe of self-righteous hypocrites,
of the martyred and pure.

I had to make light of my transitions,
over the past twenty years, the prison
cell reeked of the terror of our loneliness.

Rivers of translucent tears, self-pollinated
mirrors of scorching bay wilderness, I was
always at fault and always drunk, that neurosis
almost killed me; like father like mother, dead
in their pickled coffins, brains petrified, souls
frozen, mummified.

 

 

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.

 

 

The Curtains Pulled over like a Failed State by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

You will not see me for a full trimester,

my water has broken so that I am left with

a leaky faucet for a kitchen, that slow plodding way

treachery soaks through everything, the curtains

pulled over like a failed state, summary executions

in the bedroom, a simple black blindfold over the eyes

like the power gone out, bodies limp against the wall

when all the rest has left; rumours of a coup, that’s

what I hear anyways, the nails get together and imagine

themselves hammers so that the hammer comes down

to remind them, this is wild speculation of course,

the government mouthpiece is tonguing the roof

of its own mouth and pronouncing strange brutal loves,

my bedsheets are a lake of disguises, the outside world

just someone else’s fun house; the graves so fresh

you’d think they came from a farmer’s market

and the intelligence services devoid of all intelligence

so that the baton becomes the shower water

and the whipping boy forgets to scream.

 

 

 

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.

July by Joan McNerney

 

 

The sun is a giant beach ball.

See it splashing through

waves all red violet blue.

 

Waters creep over my feet.

Should I stand shivering

or go swim?  Lose my footprint?

 

Off I run, falling over myself,

a mug of salty cider.  This

wave an insecure bed.  Seaweed

pillow.  Carried by moon to

an abyss.

 

The floor of my mansion is

not tidy. I shall have sponges

for lunch.  Ride with seahorses

perhaps.

 

On the far shore, my lover

smiles, kiss of surf.

 

 

 

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary zines such as Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Halcyon Days and included in Bright Hills Press, Kind of A Hurricane Press and Poppy Road Review anthologies. She has been nominated four times for Best of the Net.

Morning Escapade by Joanne Olivieri

 

 

 

Behind fog

the sea plays hide n seek

where sea meets land

Commingling

our bodies touch

in sweet passion

Gentle breeze

warm kisses

delicately caress

our morning escapade.

 

 

.

 

Joanne has been writing for 50 years. She is a published poet and photographer. Her works have appeared in numerous in print and onlinepublications 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 HongKong in 2007 by Cathay Pacific Airways for her winning entry in their poetry contest. Joanne is the founder and editor of StanzaicStylings Literary Ezine.

 

Joanne enjoys reading, writing, collecting old poetry books, live music concerts, roaming art galleries and museums, leisurely lunches withfriends 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/blogat http://poeticshutterbug.blogspot.com

 

 

On Time by Kelli J Gavin

 

 

Thank you for being you

For arriving in my life

Not a moment too soon

But right on time

For loving me right

For encouraging me always

For inspiring me each day

Thank you for paying attention

For being dependable

For always being right on time

 

 

 

Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company.  Look for Kelli’s first book of short stories and poems in 2019. You can find her work with The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, Writing In a Woman’s Voice, The Writers Newsletter,  Writer’s Unite!, Academy of the Heart and Mind, The Rye Whiskey Review, Spillwords, Mercurial Stories, 121 Words, Hickory Stump, Rabid Oak, HerStry, Ariel Chart, The Basil O’Flaherty, PPP Ezine, Southwest Media, Otherwise Engaged, Pleather Skin, Paper.Li, The New Ink Review, and among others. Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin   Blog found at kellijgavin.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PPP Ezine – Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 4; Issue 1; January 2020

v4i1

 

 

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

Mirror by Guna Moran

I am trying to find out by JayantaBhaumik

An End by Edward Lee

What survives by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Maimonides by Shola Balogun

Stamford, Connecticut to Grand Central Terminal by Thomas M. McDade

Connotations by David Flynn

The Search for Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

Six Haikus Explaining Life by Mark Kodama

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

An Apocalypse They Toyed with

 

The players touched the crumpled plastic ball

They used to kick every day with full might

There was neither a sign of light nor delight

They felt an air of airlessness, shapelessness

They drowned in a bloodbath of emotions

It left them feeling deflated and defeated 

Empty of air, it sucked them of coolness

For it was a little more than the ruins

It was static but a grieving upheaval

Its tears swept away their survival.

 

 

 

Her Tree

 

The houses were a rubble, the yard grassy and shrubby.

Yet her tree stood in defiance. As she touched it she felt

A potent sense of nourishment, security and continuity.      

Alone, she breathed anew as if reconnected to her mama.    

Though it was deserted, it was sacred, magnetic, eccentric. 

Once it was their homestead. Her birthplace. A remembrance.

 Her umbilical cord was buried under a tree there. Her tree. 

 

 

 

 

 

An Economic Meltdown Looms Large

 

Is it not experiencing a sudden downturn?

This is a country bleeding & long run down

 

Prices don’t lie, pretend as much as you want

It can’t be rigged, deny as much as you wish, saint

 

Austerity is felt just like the drying up of liquidity

To pretend that poverty is shrinking is stupidity 

 

The frequent rising of prices due to inflation

Screams of a crisis, a cancer, an implosion! 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Mirror by Guna Moran

 

Translated from Assamese – Bibekananda Choudhury

 

One image

Two persons

 

Both the persons appear clearly

So I do not even look

 

Deck up to make the outward person

Praiseworthy

Feel good when people say good

 

At that very moment

The inner person shines up

Feel like shattering the mirror to pieces

It is for it only

My inner self is exposed

 

Everyone can be angry at everyone

Everyone cannot be angry with oneself

Everyone can try to dupe everyone

Everyone cannot dupe oneself

 

The day I broke the mirror

The lightened mind was wafting like cotton

Today as I perceive my reflection in water

I get angry with water

 

Oh! Can’t cover the reflection anywhere

Shook up the water in anger

My image was lost instantly

The wild character started hopped up again

 

A passerby was watching my antics with a smile

I asked him the cause of the smile

He did not say anything

But handed me a slip of paper

I read to understand

My face is your mirror

Yours is mine

Can read the heart

By reading the face.

 

 

Guna Moran is an Assamese poet and critic. His poems and literary pieces are published in national and international magazines, journals, webzines, newspapers and anthologies. Apart from this, his poems have been translated into Italian and French, Bangla language.

 

 

Bibekananda Choudhury, an electrical engineer by profession working with the State Government of Assam has completed his Masters from BITS-Pilani. He has also earned a diploma in French language from Gauhati University. He has got published works (both original and translated) in Assamese, Bengali & English in popular periodicals and newspapers. His translated poems have been published in ‘Indian Literature’, the bi-monthly journal of sahitya akademy. ‘Suryakatha’, the Bengali adaptation done by him of the is being taught in the undergraduate Courses of Banglore University and Post graduate Courses of Gauhati University.

    

 

 

                    I am trying to find out by JayantaBhaumik

 

 

I am still in the search 

I’m journeying into tears of the stone

its depth, my bias so strong

something tries always to tell me,

from the course of its hard heaven,

that I’m nice between all right and wrong

I can be the absurd of the being

my imagination is an expanding

war between fire and its flame

like a combined wave of

deep sleep and regular insomnia

the fair odd of the auburn flower

Come, you pluck it from

the fine blade of understanding

here goes another expressway made of moments,

and I write you this travelogue with love –  

I’m still in the search of

the navel of time.

             

 

 

JayantaBhaumik is currently based in Kolkata, India. Basically from the field of Metaphysics and Astrology (a Research Member of American Federation of Astrologers Inc.), he finds Poetry as his world of Quest. He finds a period in Singapore and other south-east Asian countries every year for his professional assignments. His works can be found in the recent issues of Poetry Super Highway, Zombie Logic Review, Merak Magazine, The Pangolin Review, Pif Magazine, Better Than Starbucks. He is on Facebook and Twitter @BhaumikJayanta.

 

 

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

 

 

What survives by Edilson Afonso Ferreira 

 

There are still marks on the ground

where I kneeled and cried in despair.

The tears I poured in it have been exhaled

and are lost forever.

My screams startled the birds that took,  

around the skies, news of dread and fear,

also entirely lost.

However, the laughter once I launched,

also recorded by the birds,

so gladly had been welcomed that echoes 

by this very day.    

There were also some triumph yells

and some love whispers, which, along

all the rest, have been made worthwhile

this life of quite unnoted a human’s soul.

 

  

 

 

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.

 

 

Maimonides by Shola Balogun

 

Tilted boulders, the expanse of cloud,

A swirling scent of grains.

 

I bid you come forth, bird’s flight

In this apocalyptic dream

And gird my descent into frozen rivers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Stamford, Connecticut to Grand Central Terminal by Thomas M. McDade

 

A breezy walk to the train station and I’m thinking

Of a live chicken store that was once on Richmond Hill

I sit in a seat facing a passenger taking up

Two seats with the help of an NPR donor tote

A retro man wears cuff links and a monogrammed shirt

An Asian woman, long hair, green coat, black Wellingtons,

Lime turtleneck, has her ear glued to a pink

Cased phone the entire trip

Conductor warns once this is a quiet car

(Tell it to the wheels and tracks)

She whispers, listening not talking

Does he move on because she is so attractive?

Is a man she ditched pleading for another chance?

A hefty man corrects student papers, makes many comments

Does he grade tough?

Reads a poetry magazine after finishing

Is he a poet himself?

A young fellow sits on the floor near a door, types on a computer

His Boston College ball cap is faded

He sneaks peeks at the good listener

The lights blink on and off

The Woman exiting the train in front of me

Pulls a side-wheeled rolling suitcase

Is she thinking of motherhood

Powering a red wagon full of child?

A sign in the Grand Central Men’s Room reads:

No Smoking – No Bathing or Laundering –

No Drinking of Alcoholic Beverages

How many are plotting?

In the Concourse, some travelers look

At the blue-green Ceiling

For their Zodiac sign or firmament inaccuracies

If this were China, might have featured a rooster

I play back to Richmond Hill, and youth and forty years ago anyway

A beggar on Lexington chants, “Today is my Birthday”

He’s a one-buck richer Scorpio

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Connotations by David Flynn 

 

Light.  Birds. 

 

We connotate the universe. 

Instead of solid objects, dining table, we produce a glow of associations, family, food, togetherness,

love.

Wife.

I would take you in my arms, stroke your long red hair, kiss your lips like drinking cabernet, like . . .

Everything.

Wife.

You left me on the floor, stomach tangled into a painful knot, the future a cold bleak field.

 

So it is with light.

The universe is all light.  Matter is a form of light.  Light moves.  We are light.  We absorb light

like plants absorb light.  In fact, we live on light, the light from animals, the light from plants,

the light from the sun.  We in turn glow with light.  We emanate. 

Isn’t that a warm concept?  Light connotates with beauty, cheer, joy. 

But light also can be ugliness, disaster, death.

We see everything through light that arrives at the iris, is processed through the brain.

If we are light then our tumors are light, as are our highest thoughts.

As is God.

 

Birds.

Free as a bird.  Going to fly now. 

Birdsconnotate as winged freedom, as nice, as chirping happiness.

But birds in the sky are at work.  They hunt for creatures to kill with their beaks and claws.

They defend territory, whacking into pelicans which fall in the sea broken.

Brown birds peck at black birds to defend a lawn of food;

black birds swarm over the bald eagle to drive it away.

Try holding a falcon, try kissing a falcon, try looking a falcon in its sharp eye,

and telling it you love it.

A bloody mess is what you’ll be.

 

I mentioned God.

We connotate God.

We connotate sin.

We connotate grace.

 

Desk.

An object, in this case an object made of plastic.

I connotate desk to be happiness, writing, communicating online, savings photos,

a pile of bills, a pile of pens and two scissors.

A good thing.

But a thing.

There is the desk and there is me, seated before it.

Such it is with all things, all thoughts, all concepts, all theories, all.

Denotation is as hard to get to as a nut would be inside a foot-thick shell.

We live in connotation.

We ache for denotation.

Our world is our own glow.

Every word of this poem is a lie.

Every word you use, I use, they use, they used, they will use

is a lie.

Every word is connotation,

A lifetime of accretions.

This poem is the shell. 

Within it is the meaning,

which is beyond our grasp. 

 

Which becomes real although it isn’t,

just as a belief becomes real because we act on it,

kneeling on the kneeler,

putting a five dollar bill in the collection basket,

becoming a monk,

hating a woman in a hijab at the grocery store.

And vice versa.

 

Light.  Birds. 

Religion.   Life.

No meanings.

Connotations. 

 

 

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 currently lives in Nashville, TN, where he is director of the Musicians Reunion, an annual blues festival now in its 36th year.  He also teaches at Belmont University in the English and Asian Studies programs.

The Search for Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

 

 

It’s out there, somewhere,

freewheeling and coy,

tugging on the beard of gravity,

on the path of least resistance.

You can’t see it, but listen –

the sound of a bottle

rolling across a table.

The tattle of mice scurrying.

Sounds of light rain

making its way in the dark.

Planet X, feeling the cold.

Feeling its age.

The sun’s secret servant,

wise men sieving night from day,

weighing circumstance

like bettors chasing fortune.

They realize, once a thing is

hidden it has to be found.

It has to be hard to find.

It’s next to impossible.

 

 

 

 

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).

 

 

   Six Haikus Explaining Life by Mark Kodama

 

The Fly

The noise of the fly,

Shattered quiet of the shade,

On a summer’s day.

Undocumented,

But history nonetheless,

Etched in the

Memory of a mortal man.

 

The Frog

 

The frog eyes its prey.

A dragonfly hovers near.

Thwaak!  Mmmm. Delicious.

 

The Dying Coyote

 

The coyote cries,

As death patiently calls him.

The fate of living things.

 

Bones of the hominid

 

Bones of the hominid,

That no longer walks the earth

Extinct for years past.

 

The Tree Snail

 

The tree snail dies,

Its kind forever extinct,

2019.

 

 

.

 

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.

 

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 10 Special Issue November-December 2019

v3i10

Jennifer Bradpiece

Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

Glory Sasikala

Joan McNerney

Kelli J Gavin

Joanne Olivieri

Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Wayne Russell

Eliza Segiet

Brian Rihlmann

Lynn Long

Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

 

 

Jennifer Bradpiece

 

 

The Task at Hand

 

Exhume the roses only

if they have meaning left to you.

I’ve hardly use for them myself.

Take the leg of the chair

to the vanity mirror.

Gather only the brutal shards.

If these split your toughest skin,

I’ll need what bleeds

collected in a cut crystal bowl

to re-examine the facets through.

If the small hairs on your

left arm lift, take the nail scissors

to them, let them fall into the bowl.

This is vital.

Rearrange every painting, the drapes,

the way the light pierces each window.

I will hate whatever you choose to change.

This is of little consequence.

Hide my favorite tweezers in the planter

or between the dusty stacks of journals

by the bed—don’t tell me!

Find my make up drawer of tricks.

There will be body bags of excess glitter.

Leave them curbside on trash day.

Any tears go in that bowl.

Amusement too.

Box each flat iron word or phrase

and store in the attic until

their re-animation dates.

As to editing these poems,

when I insist, “Poetry is

the sharpest knife

seeking the deepest cut,”

refute this.

 

 

 

 

The Strangeness of Poetry

 

The deranged tingling of

broken air.

The weather that sneaks into

the veins.

The deferential tone

of a tongue-pressed night.

The diagnostic range

of a calculus equation illuminated

in a mercury filled

glass eye.

The speed at which

time cycles,

how the laundry

gets dizzy,

and the frying pan holds

what won’t be

washed away.

The TV is jealous.

The refrain is not

repeated once.

No foundation.

A hologram from

an 8-track.

A twelve-story window,

no glass.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

 

The show must go on

 

Nayeemul, a boy of 15 years, 

his eyes are full of full of dreams. 

Smiling, 

Listens to music. 

Excited about Kishor Alo concert, 

Mom, I need to hurry. 

Nayeemul says good bye to Mom. 

It was a hot afternoon. 

I need a ice cream, 

Nayeemul thought. 

No, he was electrocuted. 

It was 3pm afternoon. 

Volunteers come in hurry. 

Nobody notices. 

All other are singing and dancing, 

Enjoying the concert. 

Sneaky volunteers ask

The doctors, What’s now? 

One doctor says, he is Dead. 

Another says, take him to a hospital now. 

A junior volunteer says, let him take us 

To the opposite hospital. 

No, the senior volunteer shouted. 

We must take him to our sponsor hospital. 

The organizer says, Stop being stupid. 

Who is Nayeemul? 

Be aware Volunteers, 

Do not utter a word 

Of the incident. 

The show must continue. 

The organizers, pray

Oh, let not our sponsors be angry 

We don’t want to loose them. 

The boy is Dead. 

Doctors declared at the hospital 

The sponsor hospital. 

The organizers whispered. 

Among themselves. 

We won’t tell anyone. 

He is Dead. 

The concert must continue. 

Who is Nayeemul.? 

He is nobody. 

He is son of nobody. 

Let us conceal the dead news. 

When the concert is over. 

We will inform. 

Nobody will care about his death. 

Our sponsors give us money and status. 

Let us wait till 7pm.

Beware boys, not a word. 

We must not tell anyone. 

Not even his parents. 

If you say a word, 

You will kicked out. 

The volunteers thought, 

Who is Nayeemul. 

We need to stay in Kishor Alo. 

Forget Nayeemul. 

We need sponsorship, 

We need sponsors. 

The organisers come, 

Patted the volunteers. 

You have done brilliant job. 

You didn’t share this death news. 

The concert is continuing. 

Sponsors won’t be disappointed. 

We will take you to the 

Sponsors big corporate house.

 You might work there one day. 

We will tell them, 

You helped to the show 

To continue. 

Nayeemul is nothing. 

Our sponsors that all matters. 

The whole country knows us 

And our sponsors. 

Let the boys enjoy concert. 

Dance and sing. 

What’s in a death of Nayeemul, 

A commoner ‘s son. 

Our loyalty is to our sponsors. 

With a sense of relief, 

The organisers left the room. 

While Nayeemul ‘s lifeless body 

Lay in a room with no one around. 

The organisers are relieved 

For their sponsors sake 

THE SHOW MUST GO ON. 

Nayeemul lifeless body lied in 

Cold, lifeless in a dark room

Two hours. 

While the show goes on. 

 

 

 

Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein is an aesthete from Dhaka, Bangladesh & MA holder in British&American Literature.Now a Free-lance writer . She writes weekly column featuring humanitarian to diverse issues. Her poems appeared in literary magazines.  She loves travelling and participates in recitals.Her hobby is making DIY  jewellery for near and dear ones.  She seeks beauty from the blade of grass to twinkling stars. Aestheticism and humanism  are the essence of her existence. She can be reached at tts.hussein@gmail.com

 

 

 

Glory Sasikala

 

I must go

 

The seconds hand ticks

Each heartbeat.

 

Each heartbeat

A hope.

 

Each hope

A prayer.

 

 

Each prayer

A promise.

 

Each promise

A raindrop.

 

Each raindrop

A prism.

 

Each prism

The colors of my dreams.

 

Each dream

My smile.

 

Each smile

A knowledge.

 

 

Let me in

 

Let me into the realm of your thoughts

Beyond the spoken

And the felt

Till I merge into the magnitude of your silence.

 

Let me into the coolness of your touch

A thousand births and deaths

Being baptized again and again

Till my name is lost in yours.

 

Let me into your songs of triumph

And your dirges of sorrow

Looking at the world from a cliff

Till I laugh and cry only with you.

 

Let me into the beat of your heart

Your breath, your warmth

Your proof of a life lived

Till my river of thoughts flow into your ocean.

Let me in on that spark in your being

That exists in no-man’s land

That ignites a spark in mine

Let me into your soul…

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Joan McNerney

 

SeaScape I

 

Hearing waves from a distance and

feeling sea breezes brush our faces,

it seemed a century before we

came to the ocean.

 

So blue and bright to our eyes

its rhythm broke chains of

unremarkable days.

 

Over cool sand we ran and you picked

three perfect shells which fit

inside each other.  Swimming away in

that moving expanse below kiss

of fine spray and splashes.

 

With clouds cumulus we drifted while

gulls circled the island.  Together we

discovered beds of morning glories

climbing soft dunes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SeaScape II

 

 

Let’s dive in ocean hiss swish

riding with bluewhales, bluewaves.

Brush of foam and windy ripples

sunbeams chasing quicksilver fish.

 

 

Floating through our shining world

fragrant clouds, feathery clouds.

We weave one arm after another

wearing bracelets of salt pearl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SeaScape  III

 

My mind is an ocean

where swimmers, surfers,

sun worshippers cavort.

 

Long salty hair

held between

their teeth.

Flourishing

wild flowered gowns

…streams of silk

waves of taffeta

splashy lace.

 

They sail through

my watery face

combing my eyes

whispering in my ears.

 

Alone, under a pointillist sky.

Gulls flying around me.

Black waters touched by

moon of vague prophecy.

 

 

 

 

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary zines such as Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Halcyon Days and included in Bright Hills Press, Kind of A Hurricane Press and Poppy Road Review anthologies. She has been nominated four times for Best of the Net.

 

 

                                              Kelli J Gavin

 

 

 

On Time

 

Thank you for being you

For arriving in my life

Not a moment too soon

But right on time

For loving me right

For encouraging me always

For inspiring me each day

Thank you for paying attention

For being dependable

For always being right on time

 

 

 

 

Forgive Me

 

What?

What did you say?

Forgive me.

I am not sure what you are asking me.

Could you please repeat?

Could you please tell me again?

What are you trying to say?

I want to respond to you.

Yet I don’t know where to begin.

I will wait.

I will be patient.

Forgive me.

I don’t know where to start.

 

 

              

 

 

Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company.  Look for Kelli’s first book of short stories and poems in 2019. You can find her work with The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, Writing In a Woman’s Voice, The Writers Newsletter,  Writer’s Unite!, Academy of the Heart and Mind, The Rye Whiskey Review, Spillwords, Mercurial Stories, 121 Words, Hickory Stump, Rabid Oak, HerStry, Ariel Chart, The Basil O’Flaherty, PPP Ezine, Southwest Media, Otherwise Engaged, Pleather Skin, Paper.Li, The New Ink Review, and among others. Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin

Blog found at kellijgavin.blogspot.com

 

 

Joanne Olivieri

 

 

If I were

 

If I were a leaf

clinging to your branches

I would embrace your twigs

caress your trunk

and bury myself in your roots

never to let go.

 

If I were soft petals

displaying my finery

around your heart

I would kiss your stems

with scented dew drops.

 

 

 

 

 

Inner Beauty

 

Beauty

with age remains

a solitary inner peace

 

A mask

revealed in vain

yet, to be set free

 

As wine

grows sweeter with age

preserved as a rarity

 

Age

with peace sustains

a spiritual beauty

 

 

 

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     

 

 

Ryan Quinn Flanagan 

 

The Curtains Pulled Over like a Failed State

 

You will not see me for a full trimester,

my water has broken so that I am left with

a leaky faucet for a kitchen, that slow plodding way

treachery soaks through everything, the curtains

pulled over like a failed state, summary executions

in the bedroom, a simple black blindfold over the eyes

like the power gone out, bodies limp against the wall

when all the rest has left; rumours of a coup, that’s

what I hear anyways, the nails get together and imagine

themselves hammers so that the hammer comes down

to remind them, this is wild speculation of course,

the government mouthpiece is tonguing the roof

of its own mouth and pronouncing strange brutal loves,

my bedsheets are a lake of disguises, the outside world

just someone else’s fun house; the graves so fresh

you’d think they came from a farmer’s market

and the intelligence services devoid of all intelligence

so that the baton becomes the shower water

and the whipping boy forgets to scream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poem for a Woman who Dances When There is No Music

 

The surprise is in the way you never stop

letting yourself come to things.

 

Sitting cross-legged on the bed.

Clapping along.

Ignoring noise complaints like chatterboxes

from the cosmos.

 

And later leaning over the lip of the tub.

Scrawling this poem for a woman who dances

when there is no music.

 

Both my feet asleep

and much of the known world too.

 

Half a pack of chewing gum seated

on the back of a sweating summer toilet.

 

The way the hard light levels glorious accusations.

And many cords to nowhere, where does anything go?

 

This room has been with me

since hoteliers started handing

out extra towels.

 

The smell of alcoholics on my breath

like confusing a service elevator             

for a streetwalker brought indoors.

                    

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Wayne Russell

 

Enigmatic Dream

 

The pain only subsides

in this dream-like state,

comatose eyes glazed

over, spider weaving

dreams of complacency.

 

The world is numb, irrelevant

to starvation, greed, suffering,

shallow superficial thorns

in my side plucked and set

alight.

 

Touched alongside the

benevolent passing of time.

 

Rhythm spheres clutch at straws,

as the continuum shrugs off another

paradigm shift, society wields the

collapse of all relevant thought.

 

I am the raven of an afterlife

catalyst of the hereafter.

 

 

 

 

Alone Against the World

 

Out on his own,

ravaged like a

weathered ship

that washed ashore

a millennium ago.

 

Awoken one morning

by lone seagulls cry,

the world seems so

very cold now, not

knowing love.

 

It’s frightening growing

old, out on your own

listening to seagulls cry,

and shy away from looming

thunderstorm, that lashes out

for all the broken hearted

down below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Eliza Segiet

 

Breath

 

Where is life?

Where the love is?

Or maybe

where

the hate is?

I know –

breath is the life.

Trees also breathe,

though they cannot love.

And people…?

 

 

 

 

Streak of Silence

 

She embellished with love.

She dressed her feelings in music.

She thought she would hear.

 

She embellished with love,

but the streak of silence does not allow

to talk about them.

Too far to exist

too close

to forget.

 

 

 

 

 

Eliza Segiet graduated with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, completed postgraduate studies in Cultural Knowledge, Philosophy, Arts and Literature at Jagiellonian University. Author’s poem Questions won the title of the International Publication of the Year (2017) in Spillwords Press. Author’s poem Sea of Mists won the title of the International Publication of the Year (2018) in Spillwords Press. Author’s works can be found in anthologies and literary magazines worldwide.

 

 

Brian Rihlmann 

 

 

The Storyteller

 

Old man at the bar

with a protruding nose

and leathery face

brags about building this city.

 

He drove trucks, bulldozers,

wielded hammers, saws,

and to hear him tell it,

he did it all by himself,

as a young man.

 

A few of us sit

on our barstools

half listening, as he

drones on, not looking at us,

just staring at the wall.

 

The bartender grabs a towel,

goes and wipes down

the other end of the bar,

he’s heard this story

a hundred times.

 

The old man stops talking,

picks up his shot

with trembling fingers,

drains it, takes a swig of beer,

then stands and shuffles to the can.

 

We look at one another, grin,

shake our heads.

I feel sorry for him, I think,

but then who am I

to feel sorry for him.

 

 

 

 

Never mine

 

I renewed my license last week,

and checked yes to donate my organs.

Then I thought about the person

who might get my heart…

 

It might whisper secrets

to its new owner, about

the times it had galloped in

a strange woman’s bed,

or limped along after a breakup,

or fluttered on a blind date,

or stumbled and fell,

when I saw an old girlfriend

with someone new.

 

And what of the times

it had stomped in rage,

tiptoed in contentment,

palpitated with fear,

or thrummed with hope?

 

Maybe it should be burned

with the rest of my flesh, rise

to become ash, vapor, and cloud,

falling again as white snow

on lonely mountains

I used to climb, and it pumping

faster with each breath

as I reached the summit, gasping.

 

But no, take it, it’s yours.

It beats raw and red in me,

but with a will of its own.

A stranger, never mine

from the beginning…

never mine.

 

 

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.

Lynn Long

 

 

As I wander in dream

 

As I wander in dream

Searching for you

Often I’m lost

Between real and truth

For there lies a space

in which my heart

resides…

A place of longing-

deep inside

And, I wonder as

I wander- who will

be found-

The soul ever seeking

or the heart ever

bound…

 

 

 

 

Moonlight Musings

 

Lying in the shadows

of a world lost in dream

I gaze at the moon and

his light amid the trees

And I wonder- as flecks

of silver and gold

flit to and fro…

What it would be

like- to get lost in

his soul…

 

 

 

 

Oceans of lessons

 

Oceans of lessons

Mountains to climb

Oh, my dear heart

Now is the time…

For once-

I knew my path

Seen so clearly

I needed no map

A foolish quest

I endeavored

Believing myself

Oh so clever

Alas, life-

Showed roads

unseen

Took my hand,

led blindly

in dream

Now…

I follow a path

seen less clear

As I listen to

the beat

of my heart

so dear…

 

 

 

Lynn Long- https://zolanymph1.blogspot.com/. Poet, writer, aspiring novelist, daydreamer and believer in the impossible. Artist @hitRECord.org and Scriggler.com. Published in the following Ezines, Publications and Online Journals:

https://academyoftheheartandmind.wordpress.com/

Antarctica Journal

Duane’s PoeTree

In Between Hangovers and many more

  

 

 

Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

In the Cemetery

 

 

In the cemetery, I was standing on my knees,

reading verses of the holy book to the tombs

I was praying with tears on my cheeks

until the graveyard stopped me and asked me if

I was reading verses or reading sorrows

with an emotionless face, he asked to repeat

I started reading again and, his face was getting

red as his eyes were dropping my unrhymed tears

he stopped me with anger and screamed out

why more grieves, why more death, and less peace

I responded to him, why did hope sold us to traitors

why life is struggling with us, why did the wars rape us shamelessly

we cried together as he was saying that he’s listening to

spirits weeping with us, as the clouds will rain again

he asked me again, why our world is no longer bright

instead, it’s full of darkness and lots of bloody cuts

our grandparents were the farmers, who lift the sunshine

and brunt themselves to death, just to protect the seeds

our mothers stole the moon from the wall of the night

they hid in their coffins and the stars after our fathers

turned the rainbow into a solider in the zone of death

and made the snow into a drinkable water to survive

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside of My Dream

 

Inside of my dream

there’s a bird flying

from one nest to an-

-other, without wings

Inside of my dream

there’s a man holding

a sign that says, I

have serious cancer

Inside of my dream

there’s one refugee

with tears of grief

because he lost hope

Inside of my dream

there’s a young lady

smoking, and waiting

for the train to suicide

Inside of my dream

there’s a black cat

staring at me, and

waiting to the end of my dream

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 9; October 2019

pppv3i9

 

Poet of the Month: Michael Lee Johnson

Decomposing & Forgotten by Jim Piatt

Survived Another Day by Andrew Scott

Mlobikazi Of Mzilikazi along Vithikazi by Ndaba Sibanda

Another Play Word by Yuan Changming

Holy Spur by Anupama Bhattacharya

Unraveling Rhyme by Ann Christine Tabaka

Waffles by David Flynn

History of Russian Theatre by David James

Summer Escapades by Joanne Olivieri

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Michael Lee Johnson

 

 

Michelangelo: Painter and Poet

 

 

Michelangelo

 

with steel balls

 

and a wire brush

 

wishing he was

 

wearing motorcycle leathers,

 

going wild and crazy,

 

stares cross-eyed at the

 

Sistine Chapel ceiling-

 

nose touching moist paint,

 

body stretch out on a plank,

 

bones held by ropes from falling-

 

delirious, painting that face of Jesus

 

and the Prophets

 

with a camel hair brush;

 

in such a position, transition

 

a genie emerges as a poet-

 

words not paint

 

start writing his sonnets,

 

a second career is born-

 

nails and thorns

 

digging at his words,

 

flashing red paint:

 

it’s finished.

 

 

 

 

 

Rose Petals in a Dark Room

 

 

 

I walk through this poem one step at a time.

 

I walk in a mastery of this night and light

 

my money changers walk behind me

 

they’re fools like clowns in a shadow of sin,

 

they’re busy as bees as drunken lovers,

 

Sodom and Gomorrah before this salt pillar falls.

 

 

 

In a shadow of red rose pedals

 

drunken lovers walk changing Greek and Roman

 

currency to Jewish money or Tyrian shekels-

 

they’re fools, all fools, at what they do.

 

Everyone’s life is a conflict.

 

They’re my lovers and my sinners

 

I can’t sleep at night without them

 

by my bed grass near that sea of Galilee.

 

Fish in my cloth nets beget my friends, my converts.

 

I pray in this garden alone sweat

 

while my disciples whitewash their dreams.

 

 

 

The rose has a tender thorn compared to my arrest,

 

and soon crucifixion.

 

 

 

It’s here this morning and this night come together,

 

where this sea and this land depart,

 

where these villages stone and mortar crumble.

 

 

 

I’m but a poet of this ministry,

 

rose petals in a dark room fall.

 

Everyone’s life is a conflict.

 

But mine is mastery of light and neon night

 

and I walk behind these footsteps of no one.

 

 

 

 

 

Rain

 

 

 

In the rain,

 

this thunder

 

on his way home

 

he rebelled.

 

He a disco dancer,

 

single Friday night award winner

 

on the floor.  High school dropout.

 

He drove off the road edge.

 

He was drunk, Jack Daniel’s

 

was his driving instructor.

 

Jack Daniel bottle left at grave.

 

It never rains in a dry casket.

 

Shelter under this roof,

 

no worries about cops-

 

anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

Waltz, Footprints in Snow

 

 

 

December 24th, I find footprints in this snow, yours frozen, our broken dreams.

 

Will your lawyer Grinch my wallet, fleece me while I pray to Jesus Christ tonight?

 

Even the devil stoked in flames has standards, jukebox baby.

 

Even Jesus suffers with the poor, feels lonely on winter moon distant planets.

 

Don’t torture me, let me drive you home in our old Mack dump truck.

 

Hear these sounds, new records on this old radio.

 

Care to dance a new waltz

 

renew, no mirages just free no chains−

 

or drift back to those old vintage footprints−

 

fog covering over old snow?

 

  

 

Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson published in more than 1072 new publications, his poems have appeared in 38 countries, he edits, publishes 10 poetry sites.  Michael Lee Johnson, has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018.  192 poetry videos are now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos.  Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762; editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available here   https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089.  Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings:  the Best in Contemporary Poetry, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1722130717.

 

 

 

Decomposing & Forgotten by Jim Piatt

 

 

In an ancient abandoned farmhouse,

A beautiful white dove was dying,

Dry shingles rotting, life

Decomposing, beauty diverted…

 

A furrowed road, holes filled with

Agony from rain. A man going

Nowhere in circles, church bells

Pealing a sorrowful lament, and my

Eyes filed with sorrow from salty

Tears…

 

The old farmhouse, falling into ruin,

Ghosts of the past dancing to the

Music of despair. Life’s memories,

Which once abounded inside its

Walls, now forgotten …

 

Sighs of sadness rose up from a

Barren meadow, dry from the lack of

Moisture, filled with mourning,

Breeding an eerie uneasiness across

My lonely mind …

 

 

 

James is the author of four collections of poetry, “Solace Between the Lines,” (2019), “Light” (2016), “Ancient Rhythms,” (2014),” and “The Silent Pond,” (2012). He has had over 1,400 poems, four novels, seven essays, and thirty-five short stories published in over 200 different national and international, books, anthologies, and magazines, including Penwood. He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU. A review of his newest collection of poems, “Solace Between the Lines,” can be found on Cyberwit.com.    

 

 

                       Survived Another Day by Andrew Scott

 

 

Seems the day is crumbling

before the sunrise even starts

and the motivational coffee is brewed.

Smiling perseverance to hold the glow

of believing in the kind goodness.

 

Walking to a destination

not sure now of arrival

due to unexpected barricades

that may end it all.

Chipper steps need to be taken

to sit comfortably

and breath in the air of delight.

 

Being led down a road

by other’s greedy agendas

just to make a living

where family exists

not knowing when it may

seize to being.

 

The worries of the home

collapsing from the hidden

lives of the unpredictable young.

Still there is love

in the hugs and kisses good night.

 

As we lay in bed after

and go to sleep at the

end of each peaceful night

we dream in celebration

as another day was survived.

 

              

 

 

 

Andrew Scott is a native of Fredericton, NB. During his time as an active poet, Andrew Scott has taken the time to speak in front of a classrooms, judge poetry competitions as well as be published worldwide in such publications as The Art of Being Human, Battered Shadows and The Broken Ones. His books, Snake With A Flower, The Phoenix Has Risen, The Path, The Storm Is Coming and Through My Eyes  are available now.  Searching is his fifth poetry collection..

Mlobikazi Of Mzilikazi along Vithikazi by Ndaba Sibanda

 

Few people knew she had lived in Soweto

Not only had she resided in that township

Of the city of Jo’burg,Mlobikazi of Mzilikazi

Had lived in the core of greatness on Vilakazi

Street, for Soweto is historic by virtue of heroic

Struggles against apartheid that ensued there

 

There was Mlobikazi from Bulawayo’s Mzilikazi

Suburb with a painting that told of a great story–

Titled Vilakazi, the pretty princess from Mzilikazi

Not only exhibited the literary artistry of Dr Vilakazi

It also captured how Vilakazi  is the only street

In the world where two Nobel Laureates once lived

 

 

Perseverance, painting, passion, her mantra

None could see, hear ,smell, taste or touch it

A breakthrough, a beauty’s brilliance and dance

Mlobikazi of Mzilikazi lived on Vithikazi Street

Her grit galvanized admirers to nickname her

Mzilikazi’s Qhawekazi or  Mzilikazi’s Heroine!

 

They roared Mlobikazi of Mzilikazi, Qhawekazi!

Mlobikazi of Mzilikazi had an awesome  passion

Her loyalty to her profession paid off  in profusion

And precision when her painting proudly propelled her 

Into prominence:they crowned her a prizewinning painter

A sea of attendees ,her mates, all they could see  was glee!     

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Another Play Word by Yuan Changming 

 

      If you could

Which word

Would you become? Which?

 

I would as lief

Be ‘life’:

 

 I may well turn out a ‘lie’

Without f–, but possessed in this word

My spelling contains many an ‘if’

 

            Yes, to live a life is to

Go through as many an if

       As you might wish to wish

 

 

 

 

Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.

 

 

Holy Spur by Anupama Bhattacharya

 

My morning awakes to a holy spur

Leaving behind the smells of petrol

As my faith rides me home

Far away from the madding crowd.

 

Through the  pane I gaze and wonder

Cocooned in childhood nostalgia:

Vitality of the plains. Pondering on

the secrets of simple living

so much do I miss to capture.

En route my station.

 

Yet I come back every time

Waving past the beckoning paddy fields

And Kans grass like fairy’s wings.

To my vapmire’s lair.

To the taste of urban malls.

 

Could Eve and Adam settle in Eden

after tasting the forbidden fruit?

How could I?

 

 

 

 

 

 

With an M.A in English literature Anupama Bhattacharya is a teacher by profession. Her poems have found place in platforms like The Time of India, Ceasurae Literary Magazine and Ethos Literary Magazine. She calls herself an aspiring poet because she thinks there’s always so much to learn. Many other Kolkata based little magazines like The Beacon Kolkata have also published her work. With specialization in kathak and Rabindranritya she tries to find immanence in dance as well. An ardent lover of music, literature and poetry she believes in healing the world with words and rhythm. She can be contacted at anu14bhatta@gmail.com

 

 

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.

 

 

Waffles by David Flynn 

 

Make magic.

Twist your hand and point to the plate.

There wait waffles,

Cold.  Tough .  Dried.

Now pour maple syrup

from a spout,

tapped from a tree

a thousand miles away.

Fill the squares with brownness,

sugar and sap.

Add cherries from the frig.

Cold.  Without the twig.  Red.

Sit in the chair.

Stare at the magic,

a square of squares filled with commerce and crunch.

Brown.  Brown.  Red.

This sorcery will keep you alive,

and even more

will fill you with feeling,

taste, pleasure and patience.

A reason to live: 

Waffles.

 

 

.

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 currently lives in Nashville, TN, where he is director of the Musicians Reunion, an annual blues festival now in its 36th year.  He also teaches at Belmont University in the English and Asian Studies programs.

History of Russian Theatre by David James

 

 

There’s a husband and a wife

and an older doctor who forgets

he was once married to a famous actress

who died of TB. With the widowed mother,

they live in a house in the country,

a gentle, simple life,

that is, until the husband’s twin brother

arrives, the handsome image of Satan himself.

 

Of course, we know

what’s in store: past grievances, arguments, adultery,

deceit, gun shots, secrets, the last words

out of a dying woman’s mouth.

 

The doctor will do his very best;

they’ll discover a problem with cash flow;

a war will be eminent with calls for enlistment

and hardship.

Desperate, lonely people will plod ahead.

 

The third act will rise up and you know the rest:

the confession and hidden truth

appearing to redeem

the doctor’s reputation, forgive the errant brother,

save both the marriage and homestead

and send the audience back to their quiet lives

with just a thin splinter

of hope.

 

 

 

 

David James’ third book, MY TORN DANCE CARD, was a finalist in the 2017 Book Excellence Awards. In addition to publishing six chapbooks, he’s had over thirty one-act plays produced. James teaches at Oakland Community College in Michigan. dljames@oaklandcc.edu

 

 

   Summer Escapades by Joanne Olivieri

 

A Summer affair

on foreign shores

warm days, hot air balloons rise

to the occasion

exotic nights, your alcohol breath

fuels the flames.

 

A tequila sunrise at last call

and crickets scatting jazz tunes

a midsummer’s dream

erotic fantasies

in high definition.

 

 

.

 

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

 

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 8; September 2019

v3i8

 

 

Poet of the Month: Glory Sasikala
The Final Snowflake: A Contrapuntal Poem by Troy DeFrates
My Hurry by Edilson Afonso Ferreira
Ruthless Ruin by Ndaba Sibanda
Love between the Seasons by Ahmad Al-Khatat
For your heart redefined by Jayanta Bhaumik
Moon Dust by CL Bledsoe
This Love by Edward Lee
In The Depths of Your Voice by Uma Venkatraman
The Search For Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Glory Sasikala

Office Blues

In the stillness
Someone coughed
Someone yawned
Boss on phone

He –
Control A
Control C
Control V
Copy-pasting
My thoughts
In his diary.

The whirring fan
My ice-cold
stare
Blank at screen

Her tinkling laughter
jarrs on my tired brain

Switch off.
Time to go home…

Just Friendship?

He called it ‘just friendship’
She said I agree with you
They hung around together
All the time and time just flew

He styled his hair the way she liked
‘Twas for her that he wore that shirt
And when she fell in love
With someone else
He wondered why it hurt?

Erotica

Darkness merging with light
The blue opalescence of fear
Giving way to crimson blush…
Droplets of perspiration
On velvet soft skin….
Swirling skirts
And sidelong glances.

The comforting warmth
Of cupped palms
Fingers in feather-light strokes
On strands…….skimming curved surfaces.
A thousand ripples
Of electrified response…

All is still
In heated response
Beating down, cruel and crushing
Draining, draining…..
Not a thought left
In those heated senses.

Flying Home,
A descending peace
A settling down
In the crook of the arm
In an aftermath
Of complete satisfaction.

The continuity
Of dreamless darkness
Where two souls
Merge as one
Neverendingly
In ecstasy…

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.

The Final Snowflake: A Contrapuntal Poem by Troy DeFrates

Transitions:
Transitions in life are often followed with pain
There is pain that is already there or you would not be changing
Washing away the past in the cold driven rain
Feeling alone as the seasons exchange
Never again to exist the same
Accept what is coming there is nothing to blame

A Dying Breed:
Leaving you here as the last of your kind
A singular existence passing with time
In your mind you cannot find
Your time is brief, what a crime
Uniqueness is part of nature’s game
The last of your kind you should have no shame

The Final Snowfalke

Transitions in life are often followed with pain
leaving you here as the last of your kind
there is pain that is already there or you would not be changing
a singular existence passing with time.
Washing away the past in the cold driven rain
in your mind you cannot find
feeling alone as the seasons change
your time is brief, what a crime.
Never again to exist the same
uniqueness is part of nature’s game
accept what is coming there is nothing to blame
the last of your kind you should have no shame.

Troy lives in the Great Woods of Northern Wisconsin, U.S.A., And has been published 25 times in the last year in various magazines and periodicals. He loves to share his art and hopefully inspires others to share theirs in kind.  

My Hurry by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

They do not know that I am in a hurry.
A hurry to love this world even more,
with all people destiny has given to me,
fellow travelers in the common journey.
A hurry to instill and teach my children
the art of goodwill and mutual respect,
pillars that bring us closer to the Creator.
A hurry to fight the good fight, wielding
my sword, my mind and my will
against hopeless and unfaithful brothers,
acolytes of those fallen angels who envy,
hate and despise happiness, love and
the common good.
A hurry that before the end of my days,
may I help us to be closer to the promised land,
where milk and honey flow and evil ever hides,
defeated, disoriented, humiliated.
.

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.

Ruthless Ruin by Ndaba Sibanda

There was
A menace.
A genocidist.
A gukurahundist.
A wrecker of life itself.
He possessed oppression.
Brutality. Immunity. Iniquity.
A real wrecker of a rich nation.
What a life and a foul lie he lived.
His legacy is not only a disgrace
But also a wreck and a hellhole.
Dissent he couldn’t stomach. No.
High was his heartlessness. Ego.
It knew no apologies but orgies.
For all his vile, selfish decisions–
His failures, his sellout actions
He had scapegoats, sycophants
There was shamelessness in it
In his blame game: be it critics,
The opposition or the West or all
Sadly some fell victim to his foolery
He was a cunning and cruel tragedy.
Never frank. No. Ever power-hungry.
He sang of unity as a phony unifier.
He was no panAfricanist. Not at all.
He was a schemer and a divisionist.
The great grandstanding and bashing
Of the West and ‘detractors’ didn’t
Translate into either a total of patriotism
Nor an epitome of panAfricanism. Fallacy.
Surely he was one of the foulest violators
Of rights and dictators of modern times.
Sanctity of life he disrespected stoically.
The history books must be exorcised
Of lies and dishonesties otherwise history
Will not only judge a bunch of pretenders
And confusionists and denialists severely
But as facts` rapists and insensitive loyalists
Who ignore the reality of shallow mass graves
Whose orphaned tears continue to seek justice.

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.

Love between the Seasons by Ahmad Al-Khatat

I see
you in
the blue sky,
you
became
a dark cloud
I dream
of you in
a rainbow,
you dream
of me in
autumn

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.

For your heart redefined by Jayanta Bhaumik
if you have ever seen it remapped again
the world of your heart

arcs of continents curled to lonely beats,
rhizomes faded through
dreams walled along atriums
there are mica hills beside aorta
It is always trillions of people every moment
serving with furores and lengthier cannons
at the insides of bloodlines,
sleepless, calling to the answers
splashed through the secret of ventricles

a country there waiting for your boat

a terrific king is loving the oxygenic moments
blue icicles to question your
footprints in capillaries
a new kind of wisteria open to pulmonic valve
agony of undersea in every breath taken
besides, sad birds of the drift flapping at your skin,
right where, a happy moth-grey tree
enjoys your ribcage –
as you halt your trip once, and you begin
thinking over the surface of your heart

if there is another life buried beneath the soil
if there is someone’s love cast inside its mine

Jayanta Bhaumik is currently based in Kolkata, India. Basically from the field of Metaphysics and Astrology (a Research Member of American Federation of Astrologers Inc.), he finds Poetry as his world of Quest. He finds a period in Singapore and other south-east Asian countries every year for his professional assignments. His works can be found in the recent issues of Poetry Super Highway, Zombie Logic Review, Merak Magazine, The Pangolin Review, Pif Magazine, Better Than Starbucks. He is on Facebook and Twitter @BhaumikJayanta.

Moon Dust by CL Bledsoe

You learned love from the moon’s attentions
to the sea. When light strikes,
it leaves fire and pain, rot replaces vibrancy.
Best to sing from a distance
and hope you aren’t heard. When they learn
someone has survived, they’ll
do their best to eat you in hopes of tasting
regret. Hire the greatest
marketing firm known to America,
and you won’t change
a single heart. (Also, keep an eye on your
vintage tie collection.)
Hatred is a waste of time, but that doesn’t
mean you should ever trust
those who carry ketchup in their chest
pockets. If they get too close,
show your teeth. You’ve spent a lot
to reveal the bone in them.

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.

This Love by Edward Lee

I enclose my hand
around the blade of you,
your serrated edge slicing flesh,
releasing blood
to flow from my hard palm
to my already scarred wrists.

But I refuse to let go,
my love for you
compelling me to endure your edge,
no matter the cost,
no matter the pain;

I already know
I cannot live
without you, just as I know
I cannot exist
without the scars that tattoo my body
and my being.

.
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 Poohsticks On Ha’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
In The Depths of Your Voice by Uma Venkatraman

I see a world
beyond my reach

I hesitate to step into
this ocean of emotions
in which I know
I will drown

But my feet
respond to the lilt
of your words,

I drift deeper into
the abyss of your
silken syllables

and in the crevasses
of your silence
I stumble into love

Living in Singapore, India-born Uma Venkatraman is a journalist with a passion for poetry. She has been published in anthologies such as Good Morning Justice, Along The Shore and Beyond The Hill, and online in Pink Panther Magazine, The Rising Phoenix Review, L’Ephemere Review and Plath Poetry Project.

The Search For Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

It’s out there, somewhere,
freewheeling and coy,
tugging on the beard of gravity,
on the path of least resistance.
You can’t see it, but listen –
the sound of a bottle
rolling across a table.
The tattle of mice scurrying.
Sounds of light rain
making its way in the dark.
Planet X, feeling the cold.
Feeling its age.
The sun’s secret servant,
wise men sieving night from day,
weighing circumstance
like bettors chasing fortune.
They realize, once a thing is
hidden it has to be found.
It has to be hard to find.
It’s next to impossible.

.

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).