PPP Ezine welcomes all poetry lovers to this new year of new dreams, hopes and poems. Happy reading and happy writing to all our poet-friends and poetry lovers. May this year bring you more beauty, more joy and more poetry.
Poet of the Month: Michael Lee Johnson
My life began with a skeleton
with a smile and bubbling eyes
in my garden of dandelions.
Everything else fell off the edge,
a jigsaw puzzle piece cut in half.
When young, I pressed
against my mother’s breast,
but youthful memories fell short.
I tried at 8 to kiss my father,
but he was a welder, fox hunter,
coon hunter, and voyeuristic man.
My young life was a mixture
of black, white, dark dreams,
and mellow yellow sun bright hopes.
Rewind, sunshine was a stranger
in dandelion fields,
shadows in my eyes.
I grabbed my injured legs
leap forward into the future.
I’m now a vitamin C boy
it keeps me immured
from catching colds or Covid-19.
Everything now still leaks, in parts,
but I press forward.
Jesus and How He Must Have Felt
Staggering out Wee-Willy’s
dumpy dive bar, droopy eyes,
my feelings desensitizing,
confusing my avocado fart,
at 3:20 a.m., with last night
splash on Brut aftershave.
Whispering to my outcast
self-sounding is more like pending death.
My body detaching from myself,
numbed by winter’s fingers.
I creak up these outside stairs
to my apartment after an all-night drunk,
cheap Tesco’s Windsor Castle
London Dry Gin—on the rocks.
I thought of Jesus
how He must have felt
during His resurrection
dragging His holy body
up that endless stairwell
spiraling toward heaven.
Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in the greater Chicagoland area, IL. He has 272 YouTube poetry videos. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet in 44 countries, has several published poetry books, has been nominated for 5 Pushcart Prize awards, and 6 Best of the Net nominations. He is editor-in-chief of 3 poetry anthologies, all available on Amazon, and has several poetry books and chapbooks. He has over 443 published poems. Michael is the administrator of 6 Facebook Poetry groups. Member Illinois State Poetry Society: http://www.illinoispoets.org/.
Love Symbiosis by Petrouchka Alexieva
I am the grain in your shoe
That bothers you all the time.
Maybe, I cost some pain, some issues,
But you still walk with me around.
In the mornig, I’m your little excuse
to be clamsy and a little bit late
When everything is suddenly wrong
Or you just need to wait.
You told me you love me, I know,
There is no other way around.
I am your little regret and joy
When at night, you are awfully stumbled.
You wanted me as a glove on your hand.
I am still not that soft and cushy,
I am rough and tough, but you are afraid
to throw me away because
I am the only one to blame
When you are backwardly and go
Through a hormonal metamorphosis.
We both know the name of this game –
It is called LOVE SYMBIOSIS.
Ms. Petrouchka Alexieva is well-known as a feminist and a LOVE poet, scholar and TV persona. She is a life-time member of four Distinguished Scholar Societies; a Cum Laude graduate at CSULA (2009) and “All American Scholar Award” recipient (2008). For her outstanding life-long achievements, Ms. Alexieva’s name was included two times among the most distinguished Earth’s citizens list of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover (2003) capsule and Science Laboratory Rover (2011) list, for which she has been awarded with honorable certificates.
Whisper and Shouts by Sanghpriya Gautam
Whispers in the crowd
Shout in absolute silence;
Thick desperation clouds
The other side of violence.
Sanghpriya Gautam is an aspiring poet who is trying to find life’s meaning in between the leaves through the busyness of life. He has done his MPhil in English Literature and is currently pursuing Ph.D in English Literature.
For Qi Hong: The Darkest Energy in the Universe by Yuan Changming
Is no other than fear, I well know that, but just
Cannot help feeling afraid you would turn away
From me the next moment, or become upset
With what I have to say, or refuse to answer my
Call, or remove me from your weixin list, or
Cut off all my links to your world before I
Weave your being into the fabric of my love, or
Show no more initiative in contacting me, or lose
Interest in me & my life, or become really fed up
With my word-service, or stop missing me
As your old flame, or fail to pass the secular tests
Of time, or withdraw your affection under
The pressure of guilt or gossip, or lock your
Self up suddenly within the cage of traditional
Values & moral concerns… yes,
I fear you
Would do all such things, one or another, for
Some or no reason at all; I fear you would not
Hold your love for long; I fear you would change
Your heart (again as about half a century ago
On the other side of this world); indeed, I fear
My ugly wrinkled face, shrunk statue &
Softened manhood would disappoint you; in
Particular, I fear you would stamp out my
Inspirations before I burn them into poetry; above
All, I fear you are never afraid of my fears about you
Yuan Changming hails with Allen Yuan from poetrypacific.blogspot.ca. Credits include Pushcart nominations besides appearances in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) & BestNewPoemsOnline, among others. Recently, Yuan published his eleventh chapbook Limerence, and served on the jury for Canada’s 44th National Magazine Awards (poetry category).
Twix by James Croal Jackson
If there is a bowl
of Twix at work,
I will act apathetic
when others are
around. Alone I will
bury open wrappers
tenfold in the trash.
Perhaps I have been
watching too much
true crime television,
or lived in the U.S.
too long– standing
over candy, ripping open
Twix after inadequate
Twix, I find the initial
bite of chocolate
caramel into biscuit
enough to make me
want the whole stick,
the whole candy bowl,
everything I can have
that’s for the taking,
like anything has ever
been entitled to me.
James Croal Jackson is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. He has three chapbooks: Count Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022), Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, 2021), and The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights, 2017). He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, PA. (jamescroaljackson.com).
Micropoetry by Lynn Long
A gentle zephyr
Honeybees and painted blooms
The promise of spring
Raindrops dancing on sunbeams
A summer shower
Amid the flowers and trees
The ocean touched the sea
And in perfect symphony
Waves crashed blissfully
Poet, writer, dreamer
And believer in the impossible…
Residing somewhere in time
Artist at https://hitrecord.org/
With published pieces in various
online publications, journals, E-zines and anthologies
Friction Fiction by Mark Young
We lean out of the window
as the car goes
round the corner. Too fast
but we don’t care. It’s
life, it’s sun, it’s something
to do as the car
leans out the window as
the world goes round
Mark Young was born in New Zealand but now lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia. He has been publishing poetry for over sixty years, & is the author of around sixty books, primarily text poetry but also including speculative fiction, vispo, creative nonfiction, & art history. His most recent book is Songs to Come for the Salamander, Poems 2013-2021, selected & introduced by Thomas Fink, co-published by Meritage Press & Sandy Press.
Woman by Mykyta Ryzhykh
with tears instead of a body
digs her own grave and becomes
a small insect for big husband
Mykyta Ryzhykh is the winner of the international competition Art Against Drugs and some Ukrainian awards; laureate of the literary competition named after Tyutyunnik, Lyceum, Twelve, and has been Nominated for Pushcart Prize. He has been published many times in the journals Dzvin, Dnipro, Bukovinian magazine, Polutona, Rechport, Topos, Articulation, Formaslov, Literature Factory, Literary Chernihiv, Tipton Poetry Journal, Stone Poetry Journal, Divot journal , dyst journal, Superpresent Magazine, Allegro Poetry Magazine, Alternate Route , Better Than Starbucks Poetry & Fiction Journal, Littoral Press , Book of Matches, on the portals Litсenter, Ice Floe Press and Soloneba, in the Ukrainian literary newspaper.
God (Part 3) by Robert Beveridge
to make the earth
by conjuring up
glass of dom
after the day
it took to make you
on a three-day
Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Of Rust and Glass, The Museum of Americana, and Quill and Parchment, among others.
While the Young Sunbathed in Silence by Heath Brougher
It isn’t being punched in the jaw by death
or a headlock from god-
no, it’s all those wasted moments:
goodbyes that were never said,
unused hellos practised in front of a mirror,
complaints about the weather
among bus stop strangers.
Those moments are plentiful
as sand on a beach
that gets in your shoes,
makes you swear at the blue sky,
until a high blood pressure nosebleed
wins the argument you were having with yourself,
as your own blood smells cheaper
than your grandmother’s jar of pennies,
smashed open after the funeral
because what else could you do?
Richard LeDue (he/him) currently lives in Norway House, Manitoba. He has been published in various places online and in print. He is the author of six books of poetry. His sixth book, “A Hard Homecoming,” is forthcoming in July 2022 from Alien Buddha Press.
It’s So Quiet by Strider Marcus Jones
It’s so quiet
our eloquent words dying on a diet
of midnight toast
with Orwell’s ghost-
looking so tubercular in a tweed jacket
pencilling notes on a lung black cigarette packet-
our Winston, wronged for a woman and sin
re-wrote history on scrolls thought down tubes
that came to him
in the Ministry Of Truth Of Fools
where conscience learns to lie within.
not like today
the smug-sly haves say and look away
there’s nothing wrong with wanting more,
or drown their sorrows
downing bootleg gin
truth is paper thin
with tapped and tracked phone
the Thought Police arrest me
in the corridors of affection-
where dictators wear, red then blue, reversible coats
in collapsing houses, all self-made
now the Round Table
of real red politics
is only fable
on the pyre of ghostly heretics.
they are rubbing out
all the contusions
and solitary doubt,
through wired media
defined in their secret encyclopedia-
where summit and boardroom and conclave
engineer us from birth to grave.
like the birds,
i will have to eat
berries that ripen but sleep
alive and warm
this winter, with resolution
gathering us, to its lantern in the bleak,
to be reborn and speak.
Strider Marcus Jones is a poet, law graduate and former civil servant from Salford, England with proud Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. He is the editor and publisher of Lothlorien Poetry Journal https://lothlorienpoetryjournal.blogspot.com/. A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry https://stridermarcusjonespoetry.wordpress.com/ reveal a maverick, moving between cities, playing his saxophone in smoky rooms. His poetry has been published in numerous publications including: Dreich Magazine; The Racket Journal; Trouvaille Review; dyst Literary Journal; Impspired Magazine
celestial crow woman by Joan McNerney
they tried to tame me,
fight the monsters out of
take my wilds and cut them
out of me—
it didn’t work,
my heart and soul
are both wild things;
my heart resents being
caged by my ribs
wants to fly free to where the wild things are—
my soul wearies of people
committed to misunderstanding
or using me,
so don’t be surprised if one day i sprout wings
and fly away to live with the clouds and the moon;
becoming a celestial crow woman instead of human
playing with my inner fire, whilst dancing in the
ocean of the sky.
Linda M. Crate (she/her) is a Pennsylvanian writer whose poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has eleven published chapbooks the latest being: fat & pretty (Dancing Girl Press, June 2022). She is also the author of the novella Mates (Alien Buddha Publishing, March 2022).