PPP Ezine: PoetryPoeticsPleasure Ezine. Volume 5; Issue 1, January 2021

Write Where You Know by Marianne Szlyk

Missing Feeding of the Birds by Michael Lee Johnson

Delusioner by Richard Oyama

An End by Edward Lee

Maimonides by Shola Balogun

From the Origin of Things by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Connotations by Eric Golden

His Handiwork by Thomas M. McDade

Madman by David Estringel

Death of Pericles by Mark Kodama

My Heart Oasis by Walid Abdallah

Write Where You Know by Marianne Szlyk

In the distance, reeds
preen and freshen,
moving in and out of
Russian green
shadows, in and out

of light.  Last bees
light on yellow sneezeweed.
No milkweed
this summer.  Birds hide
in tulip trees.

On this brilliant day, birds
speak.  Really,
really, one calls.  Doves
coo.  Red-winged black-
bird lands on nearby reed,

coming out
of hiding.  It is
the only bird I
know here, the only bird
that does not

hide from morning heat.
Water glistens.
Yellow sheen floats above
bronze water.

Turtles walk below.

Marianne Szlyk’s poems have appeared in of/with, bird’s thumb, Cactifur, Mad Swirl, Setu, Solidago, Ramingo’s Porch, Bourgeon, Bradlaugh’s Finger, the Loch Raven Review, Epiphanies and Late Realizations of Love, and Resurrection of a Sunflower, an anthology of work responding to Vincent Van Gogh’s art. Her full-length book, On the Other Side of the Window, is now available from Pski’s Porch and Amazon. She also edits the blog-zine The Song Is…, a summer-only publication: http://thesongis.blogspot.com

Missing Feeding of the Birds by Michael Lee Johnson

Keeping my daily journal diary short

these sweet bird sounds lost-

reviews January through March.

Joy a dig deep snow on top of my sorrows.

Skinny naked bones sparrows these doves

beneath my balcony window,

lie lifeless without tweet

no melody lost their sounds.

These few survivors huddle in scruffy bushes.

Gone that plastic outdoor kitchen bowl that held the seeds.

I drink dated milk, distraught rehearse nightmares of childhood.

Sip Mogen David Concord Wine with diet 7Up.

Down sweet molasses and pancake butter.

I miss the feeding of the birds, these condominiums regulations,

callous neighbors below me, Polish complaints.

Their parties, foul language, Polish songs late at night,

these Vodka mornings-no one likes my feeding of birds.

I feel weak and Jesus poor, starving, I can’t feed the birds.

I dry thoughts merge day with night, ZzzQuil, seldom sleep.

Guilt I cover my thoughts of empty shell spotted snow

these fragments, bone parts and my prayers-

Jesus dwelling in my brain cells, dead birds outside.

I miss feeding of the birds.

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

Delusioner by Richard Oyama

For Matthew J. Wells

Invisible Man meets Portnoy, the blurb raves.

My property would be a multi-book deal, exclusive cable rights,

Translation into 26 languages, Bridget Jones hosting the launch,

Airport racks chock-a-block.

On Shinkansen and D train, every passenger

A-swim in my masterpiece—

Brilliant mash-up of Shakespeare & Pryor. I close on

A Bel-Air mansion and don’t give out the address.

My new friends are gorgeous in

The exact same way. We lounge around the pool, talking

High concept and weekend grosses.

Mazzy Star’s on the box: dream-pop for end-times.

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.

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

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.

 

From the Origin of Things by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

I keep always in a secret oak chest,

invisible, safe and inviolable,

all my prayers and hopes, loves and troubles,

triumphs and defeats, hugs, dismay and discomfort.

They are a mosaic of the days I have lived, witnesses

of laughter and affection, tears and sobs, which show

that I didn’t run away from life, having lived it honoring

the sacredness with which it was once conceived.

They will be the passport for my re-entry into the fellowship

to the one who sent us to this common arena of smuggles,

afflictions and despairs and, from time to time,

happiness, fearlessness, even a certain human pride.

Sometimes this chest becomes heavy and unbearable,

and I need to empty it, because other days and passions

are waiting to be cloistered.

Hidden from human eyes, I open it and its content is burned;

emanations are mixed with the indecipherable clouds above us, 

and, like an old Pandora’s box, gives rise to bonanzas, lulls, and, 

above all, storms and thunders.

Luckily, to date, tornadoes and hurricanes have not appeared.        

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.

Connotations by Eric Golden



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.

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.



His Handiwork by Thomas M. McDade

Just 17, never drove a car

He’s steering a destroyer

Caressing this helm as if

Hooked up to fortune

Ringing up RPMs like pinball,

Enchanted by the dreamy sonar

Pinging and ponging mandolins

His fingers tapping the wheel

Anxious to work the fancy

Knots that lurk in their tips

Turk’s Heads, double crowns

Matthew Walkers, et cetera

He carries a line everywhere

To practice and the very first

Time ashore he shows off

For a French girl who’s duly

Impressed and in fair

English she adds one

More in a dark

USO corner where

She teaches him how

To braid her hair

He stutters to explain

How good knots loosen

As easily as they’re tied

She repeats his words

In her native tongue

And holds up her palm

To his and their fingers

Twine before a toss

Of her mane breaks

His handiwork free

 (Published in 2008 in The Peripheral Vision – Portugal – and translated)

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.

Madman by David Estringel

 
The heart is a madman when it comes to you.
Deliriously murmuring your name
Like an unhinged melodic mantra. 
Deranged mind of mine melts 
Into your fireplace like, fervent arms.
The piano tune within my chest,
Hysterically pleads for your fingers to touch the keys.
A psychotic addiction lingers inside of me
And the heart is a madman when it comes to you.

David Estringel is an avid reader, poet, and writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, & essays. His work has been accepted and/or published by Specter MagazineLiterary JuiceFoliate Oak Magazine,Terror House MagazineExpat Press50 HaikuslittledeathlitDown in the Dirt MagazineRoute 7 ReviewSetu Bilingual JournalPaper Trains Literary JournalThe Elixir MagazineSoft Cartel,Harbinger AsylumBriars LitOpen Arts ForumCajun Mutt PressFormer People JournalThe Ugly WritersWrit in DustCephalopressTwist in TimeMerak MagazineSalt Water SoulCherry House PressSubterranean Blue PoetryPrinted WordsSunflower SutrasTulip Tree PublishingSaltPPP EzineDigging through the FatHaiku Journal, and The Good Men Project. He is currently a Contributing Editor (fiction) at Red Fez, Lead Editor/columnist at The Good Men Project, and an editor/writer at The Elixir Magazine. David can be found on Twitter (@The_Booky_Man) and his website at http://davidaestringel.com.

Death of Pericles by Mark Kodama

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

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

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

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

Sweeping through walled Athens now under siege

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

The god-like Pericles, with his oversized head and

Oversized confidence, dominated his enemies

And built the Parthenon.  The nobleman who led

The commoners just a few years ago distained

Superstition as the absurd fear of the ignorant.

But outrageous fortune has a way of humbling

Even the most prideful of men.  War and plague

Had taken Pericles’s two adult sons and many

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

Was blamed by the people and stripped of his power.

Pericles – burning with fever – weakly raised right hand,

Asking for water in the same baritone voice

That once reverberated through the Assembly,

The Thracian slave girl – immune from plague –

Brought him water and changed his bedpan

And soiled bed clothes.  She sponged his fevered body.

Aspasia – his hetarai wife – cried in the adjoining room

As her young son Pericles the younger clung to her.

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

Of cities, closed his eyes and slipped away.

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

My Heart Oasis by Walid Abdallah

You are the oasis in my desert life

A ray of light in my eternal strife

The sun that always gives me hope and light

The dawn that finally shone after a long night

You grow dewy roses in my heart garden

You always lighten my heart heavy burden

You always give me a cause to live for

I promise I will love you more and more

You are the shade and shadow in my heart garden

You always give life to my feelings after they harden

Your smile cools and relieves my pain

You are my garden water and rain

You are the tree that protects me from life heat

You are the happy fate I always long to meet

Your touch gives me the breath I take

I enjoy the life you always make

You are the dream of my life as a whole

You are the leaves in my life that never fall

The flowers in my heart blossom on being together

Lilies grow on my heart wall and never wither

Water them with your true love that lasts forever

Dive deep in my heart, there is true love to discover

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

Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine

Volume 4; Issue 12; December 2020

Farewell Messenger by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

Read my Wounds by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Loving yourself too much by Alexis Ogunmokun

Forelone by Anupama Bhattacharya

High School Love by Brian Rihlmann

Sample by Charles Leggett

My Heart beats for You by Eric Golden

Someone’s Living in my purse by Glory Sasikala

Betwixt by Heath Brougher

Lullaby for an American Ex-Pat by Jennifer Bradpiece

O’ to Be Whole by James G. Piatt

Farewell Messenger by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

Oh dear Butterfly, be my farewell messenger to him.

The separation burns me up,

Wherever I go.

Where is he?

Where? Where?

Tell him, my farewell messenger,

That I will perish, separated from him,

Wherever I go.

Oh butterfly, tell him,

If only I had known,

When we separated, there is no me in me.

I would have never let him go.

Oh my farewell messenger, go and tell him.

My mind ponders and feels

He didn’t put off my heart ‘s fire.

Now, I burn eternally.

Oh butterfly, my farewell messenger,

Go and tell him my farewell words.

Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein is an aesthete from Dhaka, Bangladesh & MA holder in British &American Literature. Now a Free-lance writer, she is a Contributor for Different Truths Publications, India,  featuring humanitarian to diverse issues. She is the weekly Translator for, Point Edition, ITHACA Foundation, Spain.  She has contributed to other news portals.  Her poems appeared in literary magazines. She has contributed to five Anthologies so far. 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   

Read my Wounds by Ahmad Al-Khatat

I don’t deserve to live in this world
mainly, because my dreams are hidden 
from me as my bare feet are chained

Maybe my time should have ended as 
every night, my eyes begin to cry,
she disappeared from my cigarette
smoke and was harder to drink just water

My hopes are the graffiti on the walls 
after the fire, nothing stays but my ashes.
keep my story away from your loving ones
just remember that you have read my wounds

Make peace with love from the body 
of someone you trust, to share more than a 
lips kiss, as my mistakes are my everyday lies 
to hide my death on my last birthday

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

Loving yourself too much by Alexis Ogunmokun

.

I never loved others
But I loved myself
I am named after a man
Who loved himself too much
When he rejected Echo’s love
For him
That condemned him to love his reflection
As much as he loved himself
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 .

Forelone by Anupama Bhattacharya

What is the word for

in English? The language of my choice.

What is the name for its dance

that we caper in  a procession

in the language of your land?

What is the rhythm called

or the incantation of its track?


How is that emotion spelled

which rattles by an eruption from

the deepest caverns of my heart?

When I see strange hands

beating a strange drum

to some strange tunes

in a strange land

bemused by a strange dance.

Although we worship the same gods

The workmanship looks distant.


What is the word for that

throbbinglongingness

in that language of my choice?

When I frisk through multitudes;

In order to find one

In this unfamiliar land.

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

High School Love by Brian Rihlmann



Not the cheerleaders
or the popular girls
or the pretty ones
but anyone who
showed interest,
smiled at me, 
asked “how are you?”
They were the ones.

I remember one,
a dark haired girl
at a house party,
my senior year.
We fooled around
my hand under her bra
kissing in a dark bedroom.

Later we argued
in front of everyone,
she laughed at me.
I was drunk, blurted out:
“But…I love you!”
Until the owner of the house
bigger, stronger, older,
grabbed my shirt front
walked me, stumbling backward
toward the door and shoved
and I landed outside
on the sidewalk.

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.

 

Sample by Charles Leggett

Think of sky. Then think of being shown

A carpet sample dyed the eldritch mauve

This layer, pressing, darkened from above,

Of cloud and fog assumes, lit from below.

As I fight hiccups and these drivers vie

For curb space, it can seem even the streetlamps

Struggle. Would a person, shown the sample,

Believe it could be an entire sky?

.

Charles Leggett is a professional actor based in Seattle, WA, USA. His poetry has been published in the US, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Recent/forthcoming publications include Sublevel, As Above So Below, Automatic Pilot, Volney Road Review, Ocotillo Review, and Heirlock Magazine.

My Heart beats for You by Eric Golden

Let me touch your beautiful soul

Don’t you know I need someone to hold

To fill me up until I overflow

Brimming with happiness & never wanna let it go

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

Your presence is soothing & relaxing & yes this is true

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what feels like years, has only been days

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

& what feels like days feels like years

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

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

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

& our souls braid together in order to become one

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

I gotta make sure the timing is correct

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

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

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

Soft touches that make us blush

Take your time so we don’t have to rush

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

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

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

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

I need you to support me in my goals & dreams

I need you to never leave

I need your nurturing touch

You see, I need you so much

Our hearts best in tandem

We both breathe in unison

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

So never despair My love because I will be your hero

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

Your voice sounds so at ease

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

It soothes me, comforts me, & heals me

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

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

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

______, my heart beats for you…..

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

Someone’s Living in my purse by Glory Sasikala

someone slipped into my handbag

i knew then sadness

a wet hanky

my bad hair day

they handed me a comb

they exchanged chocolates

i’d sprayed into the bag

i found the wrappers in a corner

the tissue papers had messages in them

someone had drawn a moustache

on my pics

my credit cards were overdrawn

i swear i did not see them leave

but i found a new diamond ring

it lay beneath the wet hanky

i was washing clothes when i should have been jogging

my day list was all screwed up

someone’s living in my purse

someone and someone and someone

and they’re living me my life.

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.

Betwixt by Heath Brougher

We retain the ruins

and cosmology alight

a light in the darkness

at the noon of night

huddled starry pinholes

a vast space

and a gaping view

of almost nothing

stretches stretchingly away

in that longstretching heather

of pitch, of heath.

[does other Sentience curiously perceive these very things as well?]

[will they find our ruins first

or will we find theirs?]

maybe we’re not looking for extra-terrestrial life

maybe we’re looking for extra-terrestrial vestiges.  

Heath Brougher is the poetry editor of Into the Void, winner of the 2017 and 2018 Saboteur Award for Best Magazine. He is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee as well the winner of The Taj Mahal Review’s 2018 Poet of the Year Award. His work has been translated into several languages other than English. His newest books are To Burn in Torturous Algorithms (Weasel Press, 2018) and The Ethnosphere’s Duality(Cyberwit.Net, 2018).

Lullaby for an American Ex-Pat by Jennifer Bradpiece

The city is a woman.

Her eyes are Absinthe.

Her voice is ice.

When she speaks,

smoke pours from her nostrils

and floats up toward the diffusion

of starlight.

Her name could be Ashill

or Siena or Lyon.

But she is not merely quaint,

historic or scenic.

She is Praha. Timeless and ravaged,

dripping with garnets.

Her cobblestone legs open

Here your losses are

crumbling stone steps

you navigate slowly.

you catch your reflection in the water

as you stroll past the Vltava.

You see scaffolding, think “skeleton.”

The word “excavate” seems like flesh

you might penetrate. These words

become more intimate than

“hearth” or “home.”

You love her because you find her less foreign

than your room back home, saturated

by the scent of musty words and turpentine.

She is a canvas,

a blank gessoed stare you recognize

in relief at her skyline.

You toast her with Becherovka, soda water,

and lime, watching jazz cabaret

alone at U Maleho Glena.

The black and white image

on the matchbooks reminds you

of Dietrich.

December brings less devoted tourists

They flirt with her at the Christmas fair

in Old Town Square, sip her hot mulled wine

from paper cups, but you forgive her anything.

A new year marks the anniversary

of when she took you in, a refugee

of loss with a need to lose yourself

in something other.

You sit down at a café near the

Mala Strana. Sketch a man with a thick

beard who sits alone in a corner,

a couple whispering into each others’ ears

a girl with sad eyes who keeps

resting her head on the heel of her hand.

You place the mug back on the saucer,

pick up your book and read afternoon straight

into evening. Years later you will swear

it was a book of poems by Lawrence,

but it may have been Rilke or Gilbert or a story by Kafka.

You tip an undetermined amount of Koruna,

nod at the waiter, slide a packet of sugar

between the pages to hold your place

and walk out into the night.

Behind your back, the city raises

one ironic eyebrow,

winks, and turns away.

Jennifer Bradpiece was born and raised in the multifaceted muse, Los Angeles, where she still resides. She remains 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 published in various anthologies, journals, and online zines, including RedactionsMush Mum, and The Common Ground Review. She has poetry forthcoming in The Ekphrastic ReviewStimulus Respond, and The Bacopa Literary Review among others. In 2016, Jennifer’s manuscript, Lullabies for End Times, was acknowledged as one the final ten favorites in the Paper Nautilus Debut Series Chapbook Contest.

O’ to Be Whole by James G. Piatt

There is a chasm, between 

Reality and unreality, 

A detachment that I cannot 

Fathom, 

I thirst to know the difference 

between to exist, and not to exist,

To understand 

That which is…  Indecipherable.

I condemn the shadows 

In my mind, containing 

Unreality…I eschew 

The dark ambiguities, 

Which perplex the

Philosopher’s pursuit for 

Certainty. 

I pine for predictability,

Which my mind, can understand 

Without weakening the 

Fragile strands of my sanity… 

I hunger for all that is clear and true:

As I submerge my emotions into

The motionlessness of time,

My soul becomes lost  

In the elusiveness of truth:

With my human predilections

I cannot but listen to the sirens 

Wailing in my churning mind, 

Confusing the meaning of that,

Which I seek:

I need the certainty 

Of genuineness, so I can l

Feel assured and sense 

The unblemished hours of truth;

I require the vast calmness 

Of a verdant forest so that  

I can understand the essence of reality, 

And be whole

James G. Piatt is a Best of Web nominee and three time Pushcart nominee, has had four collections of poetry; “Solace Between the Lines,” “Light,” “Ancient Rhythms,” and “The Silent Pond,” as well as over 1480 poems, five novels and 35 short stories, published worldwide. He is now looking for a publisher for his fifth collection of poems which he has just completed.  He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine. Volume 4; Issue 11; November 2020

Alone Against the World by Wayne Russell

Thunderbolt and Lightning by Yash Seyedbagheri

Immodest by John Grey

Paradox by Mohammad Saif

Lullaby for a Politician by Jennifer Bradpiece

Asking for It by Patricia Walsh

Four Years of Service by Noelle Kukenas

Fall Thunder by Michael Lee Johnson

The Unreadable Dictionaries of Our Actions by Ndaba Sibanda

I Dream of My Hiking Boots by Milton P Ehrlich

Raw Realism, a Poetry Manifesto by Gary Beck

 

Alone Against the World by Wayne Russell

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.   

 

Thunderbolt and Lightning by Yash Seyedbagheri

lightning jumps jagged

flickering fingers through a window

the thunder unleashes booming tongues

I sharpen tridents of verbs and adjectives

trek into booming tongues taunting

you’re weak, you’re sensitive, you’re not American enough,

make something great,

take something to make someone else great, preferably someone not swarthy

I raise verbs and invectives, trident falls

flailing in fleeting motherfuckers, cocksuckers, assholes, douchewaffles, fascists.

only in my room

do I weep

cue the white wine, a whispering Pinot

which waterboards my wailing

in a hangover

cue another thunderbolt and lightning

more jagged and more heightening

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His story, “Soon,” was nominated for a Pushcart. A native of Idaho, Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Write City Magazine, and Ariel Chart, among others. 

 

 

Immodest by John Grey

Grass thrives after a week of rain.
Cormorants dry feathers.
Herons flaunt theirs.
I have nothing to parade before the sun.
A thought takes hold.
My body is a willing servant
to why not this or why not that.
It’s a volley fired against an army of instinct.

It’s July. Trees are flush.
They don’t celebrate their cycles,
merely occupy them.
I am linear so I need feelings.
That’s why I love and don’t just breed.
My heart pumps for a cause.
Yes, tears are tears but my blood is likewise.

Dead raccoon in the slow lane.
Crows can now be crows.
A school offish floats into a sperm whale’s maw.
No one writes their eulogy.
I suffer that human twinge on their behalf.
They may even haunt me.
For all its hoots, no owl has ever seen
a phantom mouse.

I have my own problems.
Birds may sing but not at my bequest.
My actual sphere is smaller
than even I imagine.
At the end, flora, fauna,
give up themselves, their atoms,
to make more of what they are,
and some of what they’re not.

I grab hold of this identity
and try to steer it through life
and then out the other side.
Everything else has this world.
But I’m all I got.
Sensitivity, bravado and brain –
I don’t want to hear
that they’d be better served elsewhere.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

Paradox by Mohammad Saif

Disbelief, is it or inability? 
A conundrum? 
Endeavours to resolve, 
with given complexity, 
the intricacy 
of this universe.
Is it then sardonic? 
These pursuits and
unevenly matched failures, 
to fathom 
the depths of, simple, 
docile emotions pressed 
against absolute perplexity. 

They wonder should they ever strive?

Mohammad Saif is currently working as a Visiting Faculty with Amity Institute of English Studies and Research, Amity University, and teaches English and Communication skills at undergraduate and postgraduate level. He earned Distinction in M.Phil. for his dissertation ‘A Study of Selected Narratives on the Tradition and Practice of Al-Hijama’. Driven by sheer alacrity and insatiable thirst for knowledge he seeks growth in the field of academia.

 

 

 

 

Lullaby for a Politician by Jennifer Bradpiece

 

for dad

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

my mother looks like she wants to slap me.

And who could blame her.

I’m portending my father

landing in the emergency room

the very day the old dog passed

with the same certainty one might lament

a full glass toppling off a table’s edge.

Where were my minders?

I had nearly misplaced an entire continent.

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

Ernest Cossart’s Irish brogue gently chastises,

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

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

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

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

As I wheel around before closing the door,

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

She spins around at her door, facing me

and an off-camera Cossart.

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

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

of myself alright! Goodbye pop!”

Jennifer Bradpiece was born and raised in the multifaceted muse, Los Angeles, where she still resides. She tries to remain active in the Los Angeles writing and art scene. Jennifer has interned at Beyond Baroque and often collaborates with multi-media artists on projects. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in various anthologies, journals, and online zines, including 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.

 

 Asking for It by Patricia Walsh

It’s my own fault for not laughing

Seeing the gibe through a pain darkly

Flavour of the month being an easy target

Asking for ridicule is my monumental sin.

It’s my own fault for not standing up

Standing ground where none is intended

Being stolen from, getting off my case

A small fee for leaving in peace.

It’s my own fault for stating hard facts

Nobody associates with me now

For fear of congregating with damaged goods

It’s my own fault, just keep quiet.

It’s my own fault, for not being cool enough

Clothes, hair, makeup, beloved to a tee

Sufficient to impress the boys down the road

Five minutes before the buses leave.

It’s my own fault, for being silent.

Bleeding alone through sorry eyes

Scrutinised through the weight of inaction

People knowing my sins before I do.

It’s my own fault, conversing with the unknown

Attempts at decipherment running dry

Fear at what’s not understood, laughed at

In time for me to join in the fun.

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

 

 

Four Years of Service by Noelle Kukenas

Memories stretched across time and space

San Antonio, Denver, Anchorage, Mountain Home

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

That’s what they said

Lackland AFB – San Antonio TX

Lining up for chow – breakfast, lunch, and dinner

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

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

Lining up to leave – goodbye basic training

Lowery AFB – Denver CO

Grabbing a bite in the cafeteria before rushing to class

Getting to know my roommate and dorm mates

Going out with new friends to explore a new city

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

Elmendorf AFB – Anchorage AK

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

Tearfully meeting the President and remembering why I serve

Testing my boundaries with authority – I should know better

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

Mountain Home AFB – Mountain Home ID

Finally adapting to married life, pregnancy, and the desert

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

Fighting discrimination from all directions

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

Four years, four bases, four promotions

Many challenges, many friendships, many rewards

Glorious scenery, glorious experiences, glorious personal triumphs

Sisterhood at its best

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

 

Fall Thunder by Michael Lee Johnson

There is power in the thunder tonight, kettledrums.

There is thunder in this power,

the powder blends white lightening 

flour sifters in masks toss it around.

Rain plunges October night; dancers

crisscross night sky in white gowns.

Tumble, turning, swirl the night away, around,

leaves tape-record over, over, then, pound,

pound repeat falling to the ground.

Halloween falls to the children’s

knees and imaginations.

Kettledrums.

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 39 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.  210 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.

https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Lee-Johnson/e/B0055HTMBQ%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

https://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=Michael+Lee+Johnson&type=  Member Illinois State Poetry Society:  http://www.illinoispoets.org/.

 

 

The Unreadable Dictionaries of Our Actions by Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

We are the idioms of our time, our sphere 

for we belong to the same era, ecosphere, 

yet, we are like measly words whose ovaries 

and gist no soul can establish from the glossaries 

of our shady actions. A life whose paths lead to ruin 

as the world struggles with floods or lack of rain. 

Our consumption patterns, our careless lifestyles,

our previous actions and decisions are our dirty files

that should be our proverbs for posterity and stability

yet we fail to infer from the lessons of our stupidity,

from wise sayings. A life whose paths lead to ruin 

as the world struggles with floods or lack of rain. 

 

Ndaba Sibanda is the author of Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things, The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence, The Way Forward, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, As If They Minded:The Loudness Of Whispers, This Cannot Be Happening :Speaking Truth To Power, The Dangers  Of Child Marriages:Billions Of Dollars Lost In Earnings And Human Capital, The Ndaba Jamela and Collections and Poetry Pharmacy.  Sibanda’s work has received Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. Some of his work has been translated into Serbian.

  

I Dream of My Hiking Boots by Milton P Ehrlich

                               

(I dream my paintings, and then I paint my dreams.)

                                                                                                    Vincent Van Gogh

I look down at my old hiking boots and see 

the Hogencamp Mountain trail that I hiked with my friend, Jack.

He loved to sing as we climbed to the pinnacle of this mountain.

He sang to the open valley bellow, belting out,

“Ol ’Man River,” in a deep bass voice

in memory of our fallen comrade, Al Schwartz.

It never failed to bring tears to our eyes. 

We roasted Shish-kebob in a red wine marinade, 

skewered with onions, peppers and cherry tomatoes. 

The spicy aroma is locked into my senses, 

as does the chocolate-covered halvah 

for dessert—always de-rigueur with a jigger of schnapps.

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

Raw Realism, a Poetry Manifesto by Gary Beck

The nature of poetry has evolved since the innovation of free verse and now should allow vast latitude of expression. Too many self-appointed guardians of the realm of poetry presume to righteously define the boundaries valid for exploration, arbitrarily excluding what may not appeal to their particular sensibilities. When some of the French Symbolist poets, in particular Rimbaud, Mallarmé, Apollonaire and Valery, shattered the forms used for centuries and created free verse, resistance was automatic from the academics who scorned them. Those poets are venerated today as a vital part of literature.

The last major disturbance in the tranquility of poetry was caused by the Beats, who were dismissed as ill-disciplined, ill-mannered, disreputable advocates of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Now they occupy a respected niche in the cathedral of poetry, having survived alienation from the mainstream despite excursions in autonomous verse, or unrevised stream of consciousness ramblings. Their contribution exploded some of the restrictions on style and content, but their accomplishments have become stratified,  while their disruption of incipient ossification has been forgotten. They are now as tame as Byron, Keats and Shelly, other forbearers who lifted the torch of rebellion against arbitrary constrictions on subject matter.

Traditionally, the self-anointed custodians of verse attempt to regulate the form, style and content of poetry and deny the validity of differing efforts. Many of the janissaries of poetry, sheltered by universities, grants, or private support, reject the adventurous spirits who seek other directions. The issues of our times are at least as consequential as effusive celebrations of the seasons, laudatory odes on public occasions, or indulgence in self-absorbed introspection.

The ancient Greeks raised poetry to the acme of public attention, with presentations of poetic drama at annual major festivals that were socio-religious-political-artistic competitions, with a laurel wreath for the winner. Today the most energetic presentations are poetry “slams”, crude performances of diverse material in rapid transit deliveries that contradict the fundamental needs of poetry; careful attention, time to consider the meaning and an atmosphere conducive to understanding, rather than raucous burlesque.

The only way to sustain poetry in the Information Age and maintain its relevance is to make it meaningful to audiences conditioned to the internet, ipod, Blackberry and text messaging. The dictum: “Form follows function” is still pertinent. If the duties of the poet can be conceived to include chronicling our times, protesting the abuses of government, raising a voice against injustice, speaking out about the increasing dangers that threaten human existence, it is critical to allow substance not to be shackled by style, content not to be constricted by form.

Rhyme and meter were once the only practiced format of poetic expression. Now they are increasingly marginalized. Perhaps metaphor and simile are not more sacred. We must aspire to emotionally engage new audiences, involve them in the illumination that poetry can transmit, preserve the existence of a vital form of human expression that is being overwhelmed by a saturation of easily accessible, diverting entertainment. We must also develop new voices that may achieve a dynamic readership by offering an alternative to brilliant wordsmiths. We need poets who will offer meaningful and significant truths to a public saturated by confusing information and nearly jaded by ongoing visual assaults on their sensibilities.

 

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

PPP Ezine Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 4; Issue 10; October 2020

Boredom by Donna Dallas

Oh Star, oh Star! by Nathan Anderson

apprehend by Jude VC

Misery by Mohammad Saif

Nineteen Minutes to Bedtime by Robert Ronnow

Cherished Daydreaming by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Serenity by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

July 4th, 2020 Itasca, Illinois by Michael Lee Johnson

Wave by Marianne Szlyk

A Winter Walk by John Anthony Fingleton

Dear Therapist by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

 

Boredom by Donna Dallas

I wash this face                        this soft peached skin

wash the day’s dirt       

soap my body / touch the softness / melt into myself / wash away sins

while a spider quietly weaves                           in and out

of a little web it formed in the corner         under the window

that hasn’t been opened in ages         I see my skin droops / slightly                   here and there

at the jaw line / the eye line / I see it / you don’t

the web is almost perfect             what will he eat

this spider       furry and brown with its little life pulp packed into an orb

how’d he find his way in here and

how’d we get to this place / this time / this year

the heart is strong             so strong       it knows no end only

a means to its own

I watch the spider             I have seen spiders in that very same spot before

some beckoning from one                     spider

to another              how long could they truly live      

how long could a little creature persevere

in a window frame

how very ancient it all seems           when the spider is part of this daily

ritual                  wash and weave                    in fact

if this spider disappears            I fear            I will ache to know

what fate has become of it

 

Donna Dallas studied Creative Writing and Philosophy at NYU’s Gallatin School and was lucky enough to study under William Packard, founder and editor of the New York Quarterly.  Her poems can be read in Horror Sleaze Trash, Beatnik Cowboy and Zombie Logic among many other publications. She recently published her novel, Death Sisters, with Alien Buddha Press and currently serves on the editorial team for Red Fez.   

 

Oh Star, oh Star! by Nathan Anderson

 

 

The star of accusation writes kindly to me
as I sit in my Buddha repose
casting salt at chickens’ feet
                                       ‘Oh, Henry’

Tired of milk butter for blood
wishing with a tired suit
and a tired hand
and a tired longing for meat and pistachios and
paper
                                       ‘Again screaming’

Free me of your buckwheat canoe
your strange expanding lithographs
and ebullience
like a child
lacking…

                                       ‘Concord on third and fourth again’

Nathan Anderson is a writer from Canberra Australia. His work has previously appeared in Otoliths and Gone Lawn. You can find him at nathanandersonwriting.home.blog.

apprehend by Jude VC

don’t say conviction is what followed but rather understanding

in the face of some great question mark

or another we all have to face whatever it

is (the question, that is)

but of course in its face what can you really say but to face

another side of

being or something (else) it shows

It’s not agreeing to anything not 

even to disagree but to

know and get it for the first time ever

and if that causes certainty

then it is not in viewpoint but it

is in apprehension

so alright call it by certainty

call it by anything as long as it’s right.

Jude’s work has previously appeared in Soft Cartel and is forthcoming in Current Accounts.

 

 

 

Misery by Mohammad Saif

The sun departs assuring hope,

Knocking perpetual miseries.

People yearn for a fulfilling life,

Apprehensive of qualms and mysteries.

The thought of hope exits the minds,

Relentless damage done to world,

Takes hope away, and causes blind

The eyes of minds of all.

Promises broken soon than made,

Each day sun rises and shines bright.

The brightness- but devoid of light;

They wonder should they ever strive?

Mohammad Saif is currently working as a Visiting Faculty with Amity Institute of English Studies and Research, Amity University, and teaches English and Communication skills at undergraduate and postgraduate level. He earned Distinction in M.Phil. for his dissertation ‘A Study of Selected Narratives on the Tradition and Practice of Al-Hijama’. Driven by sheer alacrity and insatiable thirst for knowledge he seeks growth in the field of academia.

 

 

 

 

Nineteen Minutes to Bedtime by Robert Ronnow

Jack just had a big fight with his son Zach about it. He said
I’m tired of hearing how you’re too tired to do your homework. You’re
not too tired to play basketball or Xbox. That was that after Zach said
Whatever.
                    Visiting the nursing home you think Never
will I allow myself to live long enough to end like that, that’s
a fact. But promises are broken all the time, to others and the self,
and that one probably will be too unless your face is shattered
into shards of broken glass, by accident.
                                                                         Then it will be quiet, too quiet.
Day by day goes by until the day you receive news of your disease,
personal, unique, irrevocable, musical and factual, withal.
That’s that you think but in fact it’s not. You discover (circle with a dot) dying’s
much like living. That that’s true until the body just stops barking, breathing.
Whatever.
                    Salvation in the details (sub-atomic particles). Granite
or sandstone, ash or oak, Odysseus or King Lear. Get it? Not yet.
For someone who doesn’t want to be anonymous, Jack’s anonymity runs deep.
His work sunk in a tar pit or peat. The worthwhile effort is to meditate
on that, accept and repeat.
                                                  Like a flat spun nickel, shiny sunny side down,
shadowy silvery moon up.

  

Robert Ronnow’s most recent poetry collections are New & Selected Poems: 1975-2005 (Barnwood Press, 2007) and Communicating the Bird (Broken Publications, 2012). Visit his web site at www.ronnowpoetry.com.

 

Cherished Daydreaming by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Sitting by the road’s edge, I watch life go by.

I see men, women, old and young people.

They carry on their faces their realities and, beyond,

I try to imagine what really lead them to move on, 

but cannot be seen: their well-kept secrets and desires,

their high esteem, their own motto, their ego.

They are striving to be individuals,

rather than simply one more.

Sometimes I see even myself,

mixed in the crowd, perhaps a little lost,

but firmly believing to be on the walk too.

I feel we are all connected in an invisible web

and hope that each of us will reach,

at its own time, the promised land,

that Canaan where milk and honey spill

and evil never finds shelter.

       

 

Edilson Afonso Ferreira , 76 years, is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than in Portuguese. Widely published in selected international journals in print and online, he began writing at age 67, after retiring as a bank employee. Nominated for The Pushcart Prize 2017, his first Poetry Collection, Lonely Sailor, One Hundred Poems, was launched in London in November of 2018.  He is always updating his works at www.edilsonmeloferreira.com.

 

 

Serenity by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

 

I give myself a break.

I cannot give myself hope.

I look into the sun.

It shows me no pity.

I drown in sunlight.

The heavy leaves provide me

solace, but no pity.

The tree falls on me.

I let it crush me.

The shadows bury me.

I grow like a seed.

I fill the noise with silence.

I feel whole this way.

I am like the tree that fell on me.

The scattered leaves are my blood.

Under the earth the old me rests.

I feel no pain, only serenity.

There is a pulse in my trunk.

My fingers are the thin branches.

The leaves are my eyelashes.

I have no face.

I am like the tree that fell on me.

I sleep standing up.

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal lives in California and works in Los Angeles. His poems have appeared in Blue Collar Review, Crossroads Magazine, Kendra Steiner Editions, and Setu Magazine.

 

 

 

 

July 4th, 2020 Itasca, Illinois by Michael Lee Johnson

(At Hamilton Lakes)

Stone carved dreams for men

past and gone, freedom fighters

blow past wind and storms.

Patriotism scared, etched in the face of cave walls.

There are no cemeteries here for the old, 

vacancies for the new.

Americans incubate chunks

of patriotism over the few centuries,

a calling into the wild, a yellow fork stabs me.

Today happiness is a holiday.

Rest in peace warriors, freedom fighters, 

those who simply made a mistake.

I gaze out my window to Hamilton Lakes

half-drunk with sparkling wine,

seeing lightning strikes ends,

sparklers, buckets full of fire.

Light up the dark sky, firecrackers.

Filmmakers, old rock players, fume-filled skies,

butts of dragonflies.

Patriotism shakes, rocks, jerks

across my eye’s freedom locked

in chains, stone-carved dreams.

*This year, 2020, due to COVID-19 I watch fireworks off my condo balcony alone,

share darkness alone, share bangers in the open sky.

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 39 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.  210 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.

https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Lee-Johnson/e/B0055HTMBQ%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

https://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=Michael+Lee+Johnson&type=  Member Illinois State Poetry Society:  http://www.illinoispoets.org/.

 

 

Wave by Marianne Szlyk

 

 

After Aquarela

Taking up the whole screen,

the wave turns to glass,

solid too slippery for

ship or whale or plastic

that clots stretches of sea.

The wave hides life

that scurries and clings

to ground miles below. 

Sole object of the lens,

the wave swells beyond

what this multiplex screen

grants.  We gaze

to find meaning

in this scene without

human or animal,

without ship or land.

We wait for a human voice

or violin or dog’s bark

to break the spell.  

We won’t hear the wave

break its heart on stone.

Marianne Szlyk’s poems have appeared in of/with, bird’s thumb, Cactifur, Mad Swirl, Setu, Solidago, Ramingo’s Porch, Bourgeon, Bradlaugh’s Finger, the Loch Raven Review, Epiphanies and Late Realizations of Love, and Resurrection of a Sunflower, an anthology of work responding to Vincent Van Gogh’s art. Her full-length book, On the Other Side of the Window, is now available from Pski’s Porch and Amazon. She also edits the blog-zine The Song Is…, a summer-only publication: http://thesongis.blogspot.com

  

A Winter Walk by John Anthony Fingleton

In was a staggered wind that winter,

The kind that comes and goes with ease,

One minute it was a howling gale –

The next it was a breeze.

The beach was drawn and empty,

With debris from the sea,

And rolling waves that came and went,

As nature tends to be.

A desolated beauty,

Which only lost souls could employ,

A substituted happiness,

That only the insane would enjoy.

One gull drifting on the airwaves,

Gave out a primeval scream,

As if to remind a forgotten world,

This was once how it had been…

An Abandoned Lane

I walk along this abandoned lane,

Under a halo of tangled trees,

Lost and overgrown-

Now in the company of weeds.

I remember when it used to dance,

To the sound of children’s games,

Snowball fights in winter;

Or sheltering from the light summer rain.

I find the old scarred willow tree,

Where once we children carved our names,

And wonder, where they all are now?

All scattered to the winds.

The songbirds are still singing,

Undisturbed by my tracing feet;

Enhanced by the silence

As if nature found its peace.

I am the intruder-

So I steal silently away,

Before I break the magic spell,

Of those far off distant days.

Dear Rajnish,

The information you requested.

John Anthony Fingleton was born in Cork City, in the Republic of Ireland. Now living in Paraguay South America. Poems published in journals and anthologies in Ireland, UK, USA, India and France as well as three plays produced. Poet of the Year (2016) Destiny Poets International Community. Poems read on Irish and American radio as well in Spanish on South American broadcasts. Contributed to four books of poetry for children. Has poems published in Spillwords, Alien Budda, The Red Door, Piker Press,Super Poetry Highway, The Writers Magazine, Ariel Chart and numerous national and international journals, blogs, reviews, and anthologies. Poet of the Month (March 2019) Our Poetry Archive. Poet of the Month (April 2019) The League of Poets. First solo collection ´Poems from the Shadowlands´ was published in November 2017, ‘Words That Found Me’ December 2019, ‘Poems From The Banks’ January 2020, ‘Poems from a Restricted Place’ April 2020 and ‘Secret Fjords’ May 2020. All which are available on Amazon

Dear Therapist by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

I feel to stay in bed forever.

I look outside helplessly.

Birds chirping don’t interest me,

I am a night owl myself.

I don’t feel like talk to anyone.

The bed is more dear to me than anyone.

I watch TV endlessly.

I eat and eat.

I don’t look at mirror.

I don’t brush my teeth

or brush my hair.

How many days haven’t I washed my face?

It is easy to say

‘Go to a therapist ‘.

Can the therapist make me forget,

what I have gone through.

All years of pain,

from torture and abuse,

Finally, I gave up on life.

It is easy here.

No one to bother.

No sunlight,

no reality.

I don’t want to think what I was

 and What I am now.

I feel and see all signs of deterioration of body.

Dear Therapist,

Can you bring back what I have lost.?

Can you erase those haunting memories of pain?

Can you make the life  as it used to be?

You can listen only,

 and advise to seek my true self.

Your soothing words can’t bring back what I have lost.

Dear therapist,

 how would you know what it felt like

Because you weren’t there.

You may nod as if you understand,

But you weren’t there.

Dear therapist,

 I don’t need you.

The way I am going, the end seems near.

My deteriorating body will take me to my final sleep.

I need not to think about to put off  my misery by myself.

Soon, I will be out of my misery.

Is not all want ?

Soon, there will be No More Pain.

Only silence and solitude.

The moon and peeping stars depressed,

And weeping willow only to cry in my name.

And no one else.

 

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 has contributed to other news portals.  Her poems appeared in literary magazines. She has contributed to five Anthologies so far. 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.

 

PPP Ezine PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 9; September 2020

Dream Cadence by Wayne Russell

Moment by Eliza Segiet

Lullaby for a Politician by Jennifer Bradpiece

Fits in Nicely by Patricia Walsh

Both Sides by Noelle Kukenas

He Called Himself Giraffe by Ndaba Sibanda

Endless Options by Milton P. Ehrlich

Flower Girl by Michael Lee Johnson

Not Enough Maps by Kyle Laws

Don’t Quit by Kelli J Gavin

When Love has Ended by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

Book Review: Death is my only Beloved

 

 

 

Dream Cadence by Wayne Russell

 

A sparrow whistled a song into my ear last night.

 

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

snuffed out all too soon.

 

The grass sings a serenade, soothing natures fleeting

breath.

 

While an ancient lullaby reaches its crescendo, she

dances upon this midnight dream cadence.

 

Peering through tear stained windows, outside where

innuendos swirl in vacant breeze.

 

We were here, do you remember?

 

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

cascading and thus sealed over, simplified by

the finality, reaching its terminus point.

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

Moment by Eliza Segiet

 

 

Translsted by Artur Komoter

 

 

I do not remember yesterday,

I do not know what will be tomorrow,

but I know

I’m only here

for a moment.

Everything

is a continuous moment.

The substitute of all

is love.

 

 

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.

Lullaby for a Politician by Jennifer Bradpiece

 

for dad

 

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

my mother looks like she wants to slap me.

 

And who could blame her.

 

I’m portending my father

landing in the emergency room

the very day the old dog passed

with the same certainty one might lament

a full glass toppling off a table’s edge.

 

Where were my minders?

I had nearly misplaced an entire continent.

 

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

 

Ernest Cossart’s Irish brogue gently chastises,

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

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

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

 

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

 

As I wheel around before closing the door,

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

She spins around at her door, facing me

and an off-camera Cossart.

 

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

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

of myself alright! Goodbye pop!”

 

 

 

Jennifer Bradpiece was born and raised in the multifaceted muse, Los Angeles, where she still resides. She tries to remain active in the Los Angeles writing and art scene. Jennifer has interned at Beyond Baroque and often collaborates with multi-media artists on projects. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in various anthologies, journals, and online zines, including 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.

 

 

 

 

Fits in Nicely by Patricia Walsh

 

Grating at extremeties, like the sheer cold

Over winter blanketed, a part to play

Traitored, or otherwise, importance  to call

The basic ingredient is the willing heart.

 

Life-partners to the fore, smugly congregating

In enclosed spaces not for the rest of us.

Brusquely rebuffing attempts at conversation

About their situation, intrusive, thanks.

 

I remain a stand-alone, despite predictions

Of a collective over summer, look out or not

Several broken hearts liter the roadway

To an earlier heaven, fitting in nicely.

 

No problem with insanity, broadcast over coffee

Not in any company should these jokes be shared

Strictly smoking in confined spaces, to mockery

Counting in times it hits you in the face.

 

Concerned, perhaps?  Preserving acquaintance

For merriment alone, cussing the depressed.

Parallels with Ballymun hit the wrong spot

Reading comfort but kicked in the teeth.

 

Relaxing at its peak, reading the irrelevant

Taking notice of sorrow for once in a life

Conspicuous by absence, still overlooked

Gambolling from drink to drink a speciality.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 Both Sides by Noelle Kukenas

 

 

Rushing up the escalator from the subway to the street

“Move to the right, people!”

Darting into the crosswalk while the ‘walk’ sign blinks yellow

Pushing the heavy glass door open and sprinting across the lobby

Catching my breath, impatiently shifting my weight from one foot to the other, waiting in line

Damn security protocol!

Speed walking to the elevators, ducking inside the closest one, willing the doors to close

Finally, the doors open! Making a mad dash out of the elevator and down the hall

Trying not to trip over myself

The guard nods and opens the door for me

I rapidly walk down the aisle to the table, thankful I made it on time

 

Moving slowly through the doorway and down the hall

Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle

Nodding when I pass by the others as they call out encouragement

The line of passengers winds slowly out of the building to the bus

Carefully navigating each step onto the bus and finding my seat

Absorbing the scenery outside the window, grateful for the slow crawl of the morning commute

Descending the bus as carefully as I boarded it

Joining another slow but steady line to enter the building

Security check, escort to the elevator, escort off the elevator, down the narrow hall, no rush

Through the side door, past the bailiff, to the table

Wondering if my public defender is going to be late – agai.

  

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

 

 

He Called Himself Giraffe by Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

That he was a towering figure was no debate

That he was a ‘giraffe’ was a rarity to celebrate

He called himself a giraffe, though some found it odd

He found it a tall order why they would fuss or be sad

Numerous souls on the streets raised eyebrows

Each time he appeared they gave him stares 

Not that he was a superstar by any measure 

 Out of courtesy, they would say it was a pleasure   

Oddly their gentility made him feel like an idol of sorts!

Behind his back they said he had a habit of saying truths 

Which meant that possibly he was economical with the truth! 

Maybe people didn’t understand his register, he was no youth

I`ll die if I don’t read a book week in week out, he would say

Liar or a bookworm? Did his hyperbole get other people astray? 

In the face of other people`s incompetence, he said: great job!

Was that a lie or a piece irony? When they said liar he didn’t sob

One analyst said anyone who called himself a giraffe had an idiolect  

Which could confuse people, and on how to say things he had to select 

       

 

Ndaba Sibanda is the author of Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things, The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence, The Way Forward, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, As If They Minded:The Loudness Of Whispers, This Cannot Be Happening :Speaking Truth To Power, The Dangers  Of Child Marriages:Billions Of Dollars Lost In Earnings And Human Capital, The Ndaba Jamela and Collections and Poetry Pharmacy.  Sibanda’s work has received Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. Some of his work has been translated into Serbian.

 

 

Endless Options by Milton P. Ehrlich

 

  

Are you awake

to what you 

choose to do

with the rest 

of your life?

 

Sit, stand, walk 

or mark time.

Swim in an ocean,

hang from a tree,

or bury yourself 

deep in the ground. 

 

Cry about the past 

or be a circus clown

without a frown

about the future.

 

Doing nothing 

can sometimes be

a necessary time out.

 

Try being present 

for the present,

and, you can fly 

with one wing.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flower Girl by Michael Lee Johnson

 

 

Poems are hard to create

they live, then die, walk alone in tears,

resurrect in family mausoleums.

They walk with you alone in ghostly patterns,

memories they deliver feeling unexpectedly

through the open windows of strangers.

Silk roses lie in a potted bowl

memories seven days before Mother’s Day.

Soak those tears, patience is the poetry of love.

Plant your memories, your seeds, your passion,

once a year, maybe twice.

Jesus knows we all need more

then a vase filled with silk flowers,

poems on paper from a poet sacred,

the mystery, the love of a caretaker−

multicolored silk flowers in a basket

handed out by the flower girl.

 

 

 

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 39 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.  210 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.

https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Lee-Johnson/e/B0055HTMBQ%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

https://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=Michael+Lee+Johnson&type=  Member Illinois State Poetry Society:  http://www.illinoispoets.org/.

 

 

 

Not Enough Maps by Kyle Laws

 

 

As if with GPS you don’t have to know

how to find your way down a mountain

 

after you’ve taken a wrong turn

after it’s too late to go back

 

when you’re losing light

and if you don’t get off the peak

 

you will spend the night with no blanket

hardly any food

 

the water mostly gone

and bears sighted on the slope.

 

 

 

Kyle Laws is based out of the Arts Alliance Studios Community in Pueblo, CO where she directs Line/Circle: Women Poets in Performance. Her collections include Faces of Fishing Creek (Middle Creek Publishing), So Bright to Blind (Five Oaks Press), and Wildwood (Lummox Press). Ride the Pink Horse is forthcoming from Spartan Press. With six nominations for a Pushcart Prize, her poems and essays have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. She is the editor and publisher of Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press.  

 

 

 

Don’t Quit by Kelli J Gavin

 

 

I love you

More than I care to admit

It hurts sometimes

How much I love you

My love is jagged

It is fierce

It is loyal

Often overwhelming

But it is love

The truest form

Do not not quit on me

Because I will never quit you.

 

 

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 among others. Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram@KelliJGavin  Blog found at kellijgavin.blogspot.com

When Love has Ended by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

 

 

When you feel that you feel nothing, 

When you feel nothing, when he loves the other one. 

When you feel numb at his pain

When his joy doesn’t transpire into you, 

You know then. 

When you are insensitive to his other women, 

When you stop to pretend to be happy, 

When you stop posting pics in Facebook, 

Trying to convince others all is well, 

When you are not scared of people gossip, 

Then ask yourself. 

When you feel that relationship is just a contract

Merely debit and credit, 

When you consider that relationship has become just a piece of paper, 

Then ask yourself. 

When you stop trying to win him back, 

When you two are together for benefits, 

When you know anger towards him has left you, 

And the hatred and jealousy are gone, 

Then you are just a room mate under the same roof. 

And then, you know the love has ended, 

And the relationship of convenience has began. 

 

 

 

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 has contributed to other news portals.  Her poems appeared in literary magazines. She has contributed to five Anthologies so far. 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.

 

 

Book Review: Death is my only Beloved

 

Singh, Laudeep. Death is my Only Beloved.  Gurugram: Invincible, 2020. Print.

 

“Poetry”, one that has a long and hallowed tradition, is not everyone’s cup of tea anymore. It was that, in the beginning, even long after it was born, even in its Romatic youth and its later adult age. That was because it belonged to everyone, was written with Everman in mind by Everman’s pen. With increasing ratiocination and cerebralness entering it, it was divorced from Everyman’s life and its concerns. Laudeep Singh’s poems take you back to that long forgotten past when poetry did not belong to ivory towers. In his debut collection Death is my Only Beloved he succeeds in bringing together themes that rise from the soil of life and go back to it. In nearly a hundred poems Singh has touched life and death in so many ways and from so many angles that one finds something or other to connect with with every turn off page.

Although Singh declares “I do not know where to start”, he chooses the right piece to start his collection with. “Conked out” juxtaposes images with a shocking virtuosity. Bringing together broken dreams with malnourished babies is possible only in a consciousness that has place for both of them, probably having lived in a subjective reality shaped by them. It is this very beginning that unfurls the standard of death, the beloved that will be visible from nearly everywhere in the demesne of Singh’s mental landscape. It’s not that he writes only of death.  He writes intimately of life too. What else could he do, having lived it at least once? In “Flux” he brings life and death, lie and truth together and melds them into one inseparable whole. Although not “born blind”, the poet worked towards acquiring that selective blindness to the binaries that he so well portrays in his poem “The seers of the world”. The choice of the term “seer”, the tone of the poem and its theme bind it to the age when poetry used to be in its Romantic youth.

Although it’s been declared fallacious, and has been cautioned against by all modern critics, let me bring in the personal-subjective here. Singh’s uncanny take on death and his close relationship with it may have something to do with how he has lived his life and how life has lived with and around him. When he writes of “the demise/ of a loved one” in “Purgatory”, his tone reflects on his personal quest for the discovery of the truth of life-death too. Death is his constant companion, the burning flame of his muse, and his metaphor-moths come flying to burn in it. How else can one explain the juxtaposition of a “stillborn baby”, a “destroyed nest” and a “plucked flower” at the end of his poem “Incarceration”?

“There is no art of living” takes a slanting and successful jibe at the eponymous multinational franchisee, although there’s no way it can be proven in a court of law. The pathological need of the popular brand to limit life only to “the so called ‘goodness’”, and to miss its “totality” binds it to failure. There are pieces like “I drink to exist” that project the poet’s persona, as mentioned in the preface, on to the poem. It is where these obvious shadows fall the most that the intensity of Singh’s poetry is sometimes less, for his muse is not Baudelairean, as he declares through his poem “Consciousness”.

Although the poet tries to negate the binaries in some of his poems, his poems tend to affirm them, the central binary being death-life. He adds to it me-you, sin-innocence, today-tomorrow, good-bad, intentionally-unintentionally etc. in his poem “We all die in sin”. Add those binaries to “Our sleeping bed is our grave” and what we get is that Singh writes invoking the memento mori tradition. There are shades of the themes of the Graveyard School in many of his poems, albeit the tone is unquestionably his own. The antepenultimate stanza even indulges in a playful sophistry with the sleep-rest-life-death axis upon which this poetic tradition revolves. The philosopher-poet goes against the spirit of Aristophanes’ comic creation myth in his own comic manner in the poem “Now I know”. In fact he affirms the very opposite of what Aristophanes claimed: “no two individuals in this world/ are made for each other”. He goes on to deliver a message that no ardent supporter of monogamy would like to be read and spread. The most natural question on the theme of death is “where do dead people go?” Myths were woven to answer that question. Religion and theology worked overtime to conceptualize heaven, hell, purgatory and limbo to give a theoretically sound reply to that question. Singh’s reply is simple. They go to the place “where all people meet/ after death”.

If pain can ever be clothed in indifference that is translucent at places, but never transparent, then Singh’s “Marriage” shows how to do that. The father-son binary is the most central binary of the collection, probably even more central than the life-death binary. It is definitely more potent and gives power to the lines it appears in. “Dirge” posits “the art of crying” as the one essential art to be learnt in this life. The poet’s strain of the postmodern relishing of deconstruction appears time and again in a line here or a poem there. “Freedom is bondage” takes the loose thread in the narrative of the desirability of concepts like freedom and choice, pulls at it line after line, and reveals the naked truth in all its simplicity at the end.                 

   

   

 

PPP Ezine PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 8; August 2020

v4i8

Language Bridge Fridge by David Flynn

The Trinity by Thomas M McDade

A Dangerous Journey by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Earth Poem by Shola Balogun

The Unrealized Dreams of the night by Edward Lee

Spoons by C L Bledsoe

I am trying to find out by Jayanta Bhaumik

Our Dreams No Longer Dance Across the Sky by Ndaba Sibanda

The Strangeness of Poetry by Jennifer Bradpiece

Silence of Dialogue by Eliza Segiet

Parents are Gold by Ferris E Jones

You Have Me and I Have You by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

 

 

 

Language Bridge Fridge by David Flynn

 

 

I love language.
Language loves me.
We float on a sea of words:
Sciatica, formaldehyde, miasma,
The, a, with, in spite of.
I-you connect with words but not touch, not face, not smell, not voice,
and certainly not taste.
Words.
Hiya.
Howztricks?
What do you think is the purpose of the universe?
Does it have a purpose?
Whatz the afterlife like,
tunnel to light,
Great-Aunt Charlotte coming to lead me on,
fading senses then dark then no consciousness then bugs eating our body, then skeleton
for awhile?
You-me, we are the same in a billion ways,
different in a billion ways.
We both have zillions of microbes in our gut to digest our food.
We both speak English,
and not Urdu,
or shrieks, usually,
or body language,
or chemical deposits,
or ultrasound beeps,
or tears, usually.
Are you crying?
Can’t see you.
Am I grinning diabolically?
Can’t see me.

What we do have is words and grammar.
Ain’t no nother type of communication,
here at least.
Ads, now there’s another English.
And English.  There are many Englishes:
legal English, business English, hip hop English, rural Mississippi English,
Bronx English, India English, Cockney, Elizabethan, Old, Japanglish,
Blah blahblah.

Freak, semidemiquaver, rip rap, romcom, fabulosity.
Choose your own words, the ones that just pop into your mind right now.
Go:

Can’t hear you.

So I’ll just blabber on myself for a bit.
Blabber, gibber, –ber.

In the fridge.
Save.  

 

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.

 

 

 

The Trinity by Thomas M McDade

 

 

A cap and tweed coated, wiry gent boards the train

nose bleeding, hand over a blackened eye he holds

out an empty coffee cup to catch contributions

no words accompany phlegmy volleys of “Ahem”   

smiling as coins drop, he tilts and bobbles thanks

A gum-chewing troubadour strums an electric guitar

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

a Yank in a yachting lid and a mismatched suit

pumps his cane as if once the song and dance kind

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

 

She looks more mistress than daughter or wife

her breathy accent conjures a quaint crepe shop

close your eyes and poof: breathe Left Bank air

as they dawdle along navigating the crosswalks

the crowded sidewalks she’s nearly carrying him

 

Leaning against a wall by a fragrant flower stall

she holds a lacy handkerchief to his allergy flow

his boating cap drops top first attracting a medley

of coins and himself, mistress, wife or daughter

slide warily down to share laughs bawdy or not

 

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

A Dangerous Journey by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

 

 

Sometimes I venture to make a risky journey.

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

The road I take has been built entirely by me,   

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

Rough a path and full of so many deviations,

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

Now, I see that there were no other choices,

for only this way would lead me where I am.  

Where and what I must be ever since I was.

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

grandfathers and cousins, see also myself.

Then, undoubted alive, they talk to me,

ask for news and soon we are laughing,  

like old comrades absent for so long. 

On leaving, one or other intend to follow me,

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

I suspect that past is jealous of its deeds

and always hides how has woven them. 

I think it must be visited as few times

as one is capable of.

 

 

EdilsonAfonso 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.

 

 

 

Earth Poem by Shola Balogun

 

Wine for your thoughts.

 

Raft of corn seeds,

Whispers in the attic,

The locked eyes in the helve,

The treading of the sole of the foot

In the winepress. You heard tell

That trampling tongues

Birth Belial roots

In the dark pool of rushes?

 

Child, meddle not with the shadows.

Stones tasted wine in time past.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 The Unrealized Dreams of the night by Edward Lee

 

In the centre of the night
there was a crescent of light
which was not the moon
nor some distant and dying star;

something was about to begin,
something previously unknown,
with no one 
to witness
in these hours when time
exists outside of existence,
only lazily destined to hear, after,
its echo as it faded from sound
into a crescent of light, 
the remains of possibilities 
and wishes unmade.

  

Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  His debut poetry collection “Playing PoohsticksOnHa’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection.
He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.
His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com

 

 

Spoons by C L Bledsoe

 

 

 

A fuzzy-headed daisy, shocking the humus

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

help but delight in your color.

 

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

to better see you tumble across the living

room. Your wrists are thinner

 

than my hopes. I hope you never understand

any of this. Just know that when you wake,

it’s enough, and when you sleep,

 

the quiet holds its breath so as not to disturb. 

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

When I try to tell you stories

 

of the dead, though living. Later, you settle

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

about the time Aunt Cookie

 

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

potholes, interjecting plot points with curses

and tell a story about the woods

 

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

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

Let’s make a new one.          

 

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

 

 

 

I am trying to find out by Jayanta Bhaumik  

 

  

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

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Dreams No Longer Dance Across the Sky by Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

You cannot be too high

I’m speaking directly to you Sky

You need to change for the better

Climate Change, right now, I`m bitter!

  

Sing me a song of a river that will dance with belief

Sing me a song that will bustle with a sea of relief 

And extinguish our miseries of dryness and drought

Our beasts are dying, our crops wilting, where is delight?

Sing me a song of a sky that won`t be too high for a downpour     

Our land now is bereft of grain, but sing of a rain that will soon pour 

Our dear landscape has become a playground for a merciless heatwave

Climate Change, you`re cruel & crude, a furnace that hasn’t come to save 

Your palms are unappealing, unpolished, unprecedented and unpredictable  

Sheep perish without a baa and clang, clang you ring your bell that is terrible!      

 

 

 

.

Sibanda is the author of Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things, The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence, The Way Forward, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, As If They Minded:The Loudness Of Whispers, This Cannot Be Happening :Speaking Truth To Power, The Dangers  Of Child Marriages:Billions Of Dollars Lost In Earnings And Human Capital, The Ndaba Jamela and Collections and Poetry Pharmacy.  Sibanda’s work has received Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. Some of his work has been translated into Serbian.

 

 

 

The Strangeness of Poetry by Jennifer Bradpiece

 

 

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 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.

 

 

Silence of Dialogue by Eliza Segiet

 

 

With a sigh

you soothed my senses.

Sufficient were words,

those

unspoken.

Significant.

Strung like

beads.

 

The sighs soothed

the senses.

Silence of dialogue –

silence

that is spoken.

 

 

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.

Parents are Gold by Ferris E Jones

 

Lush the memories of nights tucked in

With days free and without sin.

Candid tears sit as your parents leave

With uncertainty you grieve.

They always came home with a small kiss

And once again, you exist.

Remember those tears, the love you hold

They will pass, then they’ll be gold.

 

Ferris E Jones is an award-winning, internationally published poet and screenwriter living 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 Poets 2009. 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 month he features the work of other poets. The goal of this site is to spread the word of poetry throughout the world.

 

 

You Have Me and I Have You by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

 

As rivers have fountains, fountains have their rivers

You are just mine, only mine just as I am your, only yours.

And you have me, only me and I have you and only you.

The flute has it’s player and the player has his flute,

Same as you are mine and I am yours.

No matter how you are,

How far away,

Why should I assume you are not near by.?

Why there should be a secret walls between us?

As pleasure has it’s pain, there is pleasure in the  midst of pain.

I will keep cherishing your love for light years,

I will sing the lyrics of our love song

And chant your name again, and again.

Paths have their travellers,

Travelers have their paths.

So do you and me.

You just belong only to me.

And I only to you.

Note :A melancholic lover’s note stating belonging  by far fetched imageries.

.

 

 

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 has contributed to other news portals.  Her poems appeared in literary magazines. She has contributed to five Anthologies so far. 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.

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.