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

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Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

Mirror by Guna Moran

I am trying to find out by JayantaBhaumik

An End by Edward Lee

What survives by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Maimonides by Shola Balogun

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

Connotations by David Flynn

The Search for Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

Six Haikus Explaining Life by Mark Kodama

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

An Apocalypse They Toyed with

 

The players touched the crumpled plastic ball

They used to kick every day with full might

There was neither a sign of light nor delight

They felt an air of airlessness, shapelessness

They drowned in a bloodbath of emotions

It left them feeling deflated and defeated 

Empty of air, it sucked them of coolness

For it was a little more than the ruins

It was static but a grieving upheaval

Its tears swept away their survival.

 

 

 

Her Tree

 

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

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

A potent sense of nourishment, security and continuity.      

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

An Economic Meltdown Looms Large

 

Is it not experiencing a sudden downturn?

This is a country bleeding & long run down

 

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

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

 

Austerity is felt just like the drying up of liquidity

To pretend that poverty is shrinking is stupidity 

 

The frequent rising of prices due to inflation

Screams of a crisis, a cancer, an implosion! 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Mirror by Guna Moran

 

Translated from Assamese – Bibekananda Choudhury

 

One image

Two persons

 

Both the persons appear clearly

So I do not even look

 

Deck up to make the outward person

Praiseworthy

Feel good when people say good

 

At that very moment

The inner person shines up

Feel like shattering the mirror to pieces

It is for it only

My inner self is exposed

 

Everyone can be angry at everyone

Everyone cannot be angry with oneself

Everyone can try to dupe everyone

Everyone cannot dupe oneself

 

The day I broke the mirror

The lightened mind was wafting like cotton

Today as I perceive my reflection in water

I get angry with water

 

Oh! Can’t cover the reflection anywhere

Shook up the water in anger

My image was lost instantly

The wild character started hopped up again

 

A passerby was watching my antics with a smile

I asked him the cause of the smile

He did not say anything

But handed me a slip of paper

I read to understand

My face is your mirror

Yours is mine

Can read the heart

By reading the face.

 

 

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

 

 

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

    

 

 

                    I am trying to find out by JayantaBhaumik

 

 

I am still in the search 

I’m journeying into tears of the stone

its depth, my bias so strong

something tries always to tell me,

from the course of its hard heaven,

that I’m nice between all right and wrong

I can be the absurd of the being

my imagination is an expanding

war between fire and its flame

like a combined wave of

deep sleep and regular insomnia

the fair odd of the auburn flower

Come, you pluck it from

the fine blade of understanding

here goes another expressway made of moments,

and I write you this travelogue with love –  

I’m still in the search of

the navel of time.

             

 

 

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

 

 

An End by Edward Lee

 

        for PW

 

And that is it,

isn’t it, your life ends,

but our lives continue on,

days falling into nights,

nights renewing into days,

always, even as we wish

for time to slow, stop,

for just a moment, an hour,

a day, some amount

of time so we might catch our breath,

hold it, fall into senselessness,

that the pain of your absence

might recede from our hearts,

that we might know some of the peace

you now know, pain no longer curling

your being, your very soul,

that we might think of you

without tears staining our breath,

 

that we might grief

without grieving, and smile

without guilt, or regret.

 

 

     

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

What survives by Edilson Afonso Ferreira 

 

There are still marks on the ground

where I kneeled and cried in despair.

The tears I poured in it have been exhaled

and are lost forever.

My screams startled the birds that took,  

around the skies, news of dread and fear,

also entirely lost.

However, the laughter once I launched,

also recorded by the birds,

so gladly had been welcomed that echoes 

by this very day.    

There were also some triumph yells

and some love whispers, which, along

all the rest, have been made worthwhile

this life of quite unnoted a human’s soul.

 

  

 

 

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

 

 

Maimonides by Shola Balogun

 

Tilted boulders, the expanse of cloud,

A swirling scent of grains.

 

I bid you come forth, bird’s flight

In this apocalyptic dream

And gird my descent into frozen rivers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

Of a live chicken store that was once on Richmond Hill

I sit in a seat facing a passenger taking up

Two seats with the help of an NPR donor tote

A retro man wears cuff links and a monogrammed shirt

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

Lime turtleneck, has her ear glued to a pink

Cased phone the entire trip

Conductor warns once this is a quiet car

(Tell it to the wheels and tracks)

She whispers, listening not talking

Does he move on because she is so attractive?

Is a man she ditched pleading for another chance?

A hefty man corrects student papers, makes many comments

Does he grade tough?

Reads a poetry magazine after finishing

Is he a poet himself?

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

His Boston College ball cap is faded

He sneaks peeks at the good listener

The lights blink on and off

The Woman exiting the train in front of me

Pulls a side-wheeled rolling suitcase

Is she thinking of motherhood

Powering a red wagon full of child?

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

No Smoking – No Bathing or Laundering –

No Drinking of Alcoholic Beverages

How many are plotting?

In the Concourse, some travelers look

At the blue-green Ceiling

For their Zodiac sign or firmament inaccuracies

If this were China, might have featured a rooster

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

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

He’s a one-buck richer Scorpio

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Connotations by David Flynn 

 

Light.  Birds. 

 

We connotate the universe. 

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

love.

Wife.

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

Everything.

Wife.

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

 

So it is with light.

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

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

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

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

But light also can be ugliness, disaster, death.

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

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

As is God.

 

Birds.

Free as a bird.  Going to fly now. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

and telling it you love it.

A bloody mess is what you’ll be.

 

I mentioned God.

We connotate God.

We connotate sin.

We connotate grace.

 

Desk.

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

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

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

A good thing.

But a thing.

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

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

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

We live in connotation.

We ache for denotation.

Our world is our own glow.

Every word of this poem is a lie.

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

is a lie.

Every word is connotation,

A lifetime of accretions.

This poem is the shell. 

Within it is the meaning,

which is beyond our grasp. 

 

Which becomes real although it isn’t,

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

kneeling on the kneeler,

putting a five dollar bill in the collection basket,

becoming a monk,

hating a woman in a hijab at the grocery store.

And vice versa.

 

Light.  Birds. 

Religion.   Life.

No meanings.

Connotations. 

 

 

David Flynn was born in the textile mill company town of Bemis, TN.  His jobs have included newspaper reporter, magazine editor and university teacher.  He has five degrees and is both a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Specialist with a recent grant in Indonesia.  His literary publications total more than two hundred.  He currently lives in Nashville, TN, where he is director of the Musicians Reunion, an annual blues festival now in its 36th year.  He also teaches at Belmont University in the English and Asian Studies programs.

The Search for Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

 

 

It’s out there, somewhere,

freewheeling and coy,

tugging on the beard of gravity,

on the path of least resistance.

You can’t see it, but listen –

the sound of a bottle

rolling across a table.

The tattle of mice scurrying.

Sounds of light rain

making its way in the dark.

Planet X, feeling the cold.

Feeling its age.

The sun’s secret servant,

wise men sieving night from day,

weighing circumstance

like bettors chasing fortune.

They realize, once a thing is

hidden it has to be found.

It has to be hard to find.

It’s next to impossible.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

   Six Haikus Explaining Life by Mark Kodama

 

The Fly

The noise of the fly,

Shattered quiet of the shade,

On a summer’s day.

Undocumented,

But history nonetheless,

Etched in the

Memory of a mortal man.

 

The Frog

 

The frog eyes its prey.

A dragonfly hovers near.

Thwaak!  Mmmm. Delicious.

 

The Dying Coyote

 

The coyote cries,

As death patiently calls him.

The fate of living things.

 

Bones of the hominid

 

Bones of the hominid,

That no longer walks the earth

Extinct for years past.

 

The Tree Snail

 

The tree snail dies,

Its kind forever extinct,

2019.

 

 

.

 

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

 

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

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Jennifer Bradpiece

Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

Glory Sasikala

Joan McNerney

Kelli J Gavin

Joanne Olivieri

Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Wayne Russell

Eliza Segiet

Brian Rihlmann

Lynn Long

Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

 

 

Jennifer Bradpiece

 

 

The Task at Hand

 

Exhume the roses only

if they have meaning left to you.

I’ve hardly use for them myself.

Take the leg of the chair

to the vanity mirror.

Gather only the brutal shards.

If these split your toughest skin,

I’ll need what bleeds

collected in a cut crystal bowl

to re-examine the facets through.

If the small hairs on your

left arm lift, take the nail scissors

to them, let them fall into the bowl.

This is vital.

Rearrange every painting, the drapes,

the way the light pierces each window.

I will hate whatever you choose to change.

This is of little consequence.

Hide my favorite tweezers in the planter

or between the dusty stacks of journals

by the bed—don’t tell me!

Find my make up drawer of tricks.

There will be body bags of excess glitter.

Leave them curbside on trash day.

Any tears go in that bowl.

Amusement too.

Box each flat iron word or phrase

and store in the attic until

their re-animation dates.

As to editing these poems,

when I insist, “Poetry is

the sharpest knife

seeking the deepest cut,”

refute this.

 

 

 

 

The Strangeness of Poetry

 

The deranged tingling of

broken air.

The weather that sneaks into

the veins.

The deferential tone

of a tongue-pressed night.

The diagnostic range

of a calculus equation illuminated

in a mercury filled

glass eye.

The speed at which

time cycles,

how the laundry

gets dizzy,

and the frying pan holds

what won’t be

washed away.

The TV is jealous.

The refrain is not

repeated once.

No foundation.

A hologram from

an 8-track.

A twelve-story window,

no glass.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

 

The show must go on

 

Nayeemul, a boy of 15 years, 

his eyes are full of full of dreams. 

Smiling, 

Listens to music. 

Excited about Kishor Alo concert, 

Mom, I need to hurry. 

Nayeemul says good bye to Mom. 

It was a hot afternoon. 

I need a ice cream, 

Nayeemul thought. 

No, he was electrocuted. 

It was 3pm afternoon. 

Volunteers come in hurry. 

Nobody notices. 

All other are singing and dancing, 

Enjoying the concert. 

Sneaky volunteers ask

The doctors, What’s now? 

One doctor says, he is Dead. 

Another says, take him to a hospital now. 

A junior volunteer says, let him take us 

To the opposite hospital. 

No, the senior volunteer shouted. 

We must take him to our sponsor hospital. 

The organizer says, Stop being stupid. 

Who is Nayeemul? 

Be aware Volunteers, 

Do not utter a word 

Of the incident. 

The show must continue. 

The organizers, pray

Oh, let not our sponsors be angry 

We don’t want to loose them. 

The boy is Dead. 

Doctors declared at the hospital 

The sponsor hospital. 

The organizers whispered. 

Among themselves. 

We won’t tell anyone. 

He is Dead. 

The concert must continue. 

Who is Nayeemul.? 

He is nobody. 

He is son of nobody. 

Let us conceal the dead news. 

When the concert is over. 

We will inform. 

Nobody will care about his death. 

Our sponsors give us money and status. 

Let us wait till 7pm.

Beware boys, not a word. 

We must not tell anyone. 

Not even his parents. 

If you say a word, 

You will kicked out. 

The volunteers thought, 

Who is Nayeemul. 

We need to stay in Kishor Alo. 

Forget Nayeemul. 

We need sponsorship, 

We need sponsors. 

The organisers come, 

Patted the volunteers. 

You have done brilliant job. 

You didn’t share this death news. 

The concert is continuing. 

Sponsors won’t be disappointed. 

We will take you to the 

Sponsors big corporate house.

 You might work there one day. 

We will tell them, 

You helped to the show 

To continue. 

Nayeemul is nothing. 

Our sponsors that all matters. 

The whole country knows us 

And our sponsors. 

Let the boys enjoy concert. 

Dance and sing. 

What’s in a death of Nayeemul, 

A commoner ‘s son. 

Our loyalty is to our sponsors. 

With a sense of relief, 

The organisers left the room. 

While Nayeemul ‘s lifeless body 

Lay in a room with no one around. 

The organisers are relieved 

For their sponsors sake 

THE SHOW MUST GO ON. 

Nayeemul lifeless body lied in 

Cold, lifeless in a dark room

Two hours. 

While the show goes on. 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Glory Sasikala

 

I must go

 

The seconds hand ticks

Each heartbeat.

 

Each heartbeat

A hope.

 

Each hope

A prayer.

 

 

Each prayer

A promise.

 

Each promise

A raindrop.

 

Each raindrop

A prism.

 

Each prism

The colors of my dreams.

 

Each dream

My smile.

 

Each smile

A knowledge.

 

 

Let me in

 

Let me into the realm of your thoughts

Beyond the spoken

And the felt

Till I merge into the magnitude of your silence.

 

Let me into the coolness of your touch

A thousand births and deaths

Being baptized again and again

Till my name is lost in yours.

 

Let me into your songs of triumph

And your dirges of sorrow

Looking at the world from a cliff

Till I laugh and cry only with you.

 

Let me into the beat of your heart

Your breath, your warmth

Your proof of a life lived

Till my river of thoughts flow into your ocean.

Let me in on that spark in your being

That exists in no-man’s land

That ignites a spark in mine

Let me into your soul…

 

 

 

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

 

 

Joan McNerney

 

SeaScape I

 

Hearing waves from a distance and

feeling sea breezes brush our faces,

it seemed a century before we

came to the ocean.

 

So blue and bright to our eyes

its rhythm broke chains of

unremarkable days.

 

Over cool sand we ran and you picked

three perfect shells which fit

inside each other.  Swimming away in

that moving expanse below kiss

of fine spray and splashes.

 

With clouds cumulus we drifted while

gulls circled the island.  Together we

discovered beds of morning glories

climbing soft dunes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SeaScape II

 

 

Let’s dive in ocean hiss swish

riding with bluewhales, bluewaves.

Brush of foam and windy ripples

sunbeams chasing quicksilver fish.

 

 

Floating through our shining world

fragrant clouds, feathery clouds.

We weave one arm after another

wearing bracelets of salt pearl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SeaScape  III

 

My mind is an ocean

where swimmers, surfers,

sun worshippers cavort.

 

Long salty hair

held between

their teeth.

Flourishing

wild flowered gowns

…streams of silk

waves of taffeta

splashy lace.

 

They sail through

my watery face

combing my eyes

whispering in my ears.

 

Alone, under a pointillist sky.

Gulls flying around me.

Black waters touched by

moon of vague prophecy.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

                                              Kelli J Gavin

 

 

 

On Time

 

Thank you for being you

For arriving in my life

Not a moment too soon

But right on time

For loving me right

For encouraging me always

For inspiring me each day

Thank you for paying attention

For being dependable

For always being right on time

 

 

 

 

Forgive Me

 

What?

What did you say?

Forgive me.

I am not sure what you are asking me.

Could you please repeat?

Could you please tell me again?

What are you trying to say?

I want to respond to you.

Yet I don’t know where to begin.

I will wait.

I will be patient.

Forgive me.

I don’t know where to start.

 

 

              

 

 

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

Blog found at kellijgavin.blogspot.com

 

 

Joanne Olivieri

 

 

If I were

 

If I were a leaf

clinging to your branches

I would embrace your twigs

caress your trunk

and bury myself in your roots

never to let go.

 

If I were soft petals

displaying my finery

around your heart

I would kiss your stems

with scented dew drops.

 

 

 

 

 

Inner Beauty

 

Beauty

with age remains

a solitary inner peace

 

A mask

revealed in vain

yet, to be set free

 

As wine

grows sweeter with age

preserved as a rarity

 

Age

with peace sustains

a spiritual beauty

 

 

 

Joanne has been writing for 50 years. She is a published poet and photographer. Her works have appeared in numerous in print and online publications such as The Parnassus Literary Journal, Westward Quarterly, The San Diego Arts and Poets Magazine, Nomads Choir, SP Quill, just to name a few. She was awarded a round-trip ticket to Hong Kong in 2007 by Cathay Pacific Airways for her winning entry in their poetry contest. Joanne is the founder and editor of Stanzaic Stylings Literary Ezine. Joanne enjoys reading, writing, collecting old poetry books, live music concerts, roaming art galleries and museums, leisurely lunches with friends in diners, getting out in nature with her camera and making toys for and playing with her feathered companion, Sammers You can learn all there is to know about her by visiting her website/blog     

 

 

Ryan Quinn Flanagan 

 

The Curtains Pulled Over like a Failed State

 

You will not see me for a full trimester,

my water has broken so that I am left with

a leaky faucet for a kitchen, that slow plodding way

treachery soaks through everything, the curtains

pulled over like a failed state, summary executions

in the bedroom, a simple black blindfold over the eyes

like the power gone out, bodies limp against the wall

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

what I hear anyways, the nails get together and imagine

themselves hammers so that the hammer comes down

to remind them, this is wild speculation of course,

the government mouthpiece is tonguing the roof

of its own mouth and pronouncing strange brutal loves,

my bedsheets are a lake of disguises, the outside world

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

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

and the intelligence services devoid of all intelligence

so that the baton becomes the shower water

and the whipping boy forgets to scream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poem for a Woman who Dances When There is No Music

 

The surprise is in the way you never stop

letting yourself come to things.

 

Sitting cross-legged on the bed.

Clapping along.

Ignoring noise complaints like chatterboxes

from the cosmos.

 

And later leaning over the lip of the tub.

Scrawling this poem for a woman who dances

when there is no music.

 

Both my feet asleep

and much of the known world too.

 

Half a pack of chewing gum seated

on the back of a sweating summer toilet.

 

The way the hard light levels glorious accusations.

And many cords to nowhere, where does anything go?

 

This room has been with me

since hoteliers started handing

out extra towels.

 

The smell of alcoholics on my breath

like confusing a service elevator             

for a streetwalker brought indoors.

                    

 

 

 

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

 

 

Wayne Russell

 

Enigmatic Dream

 

The pain only subsides

in this dream-like state,

comatose eyes glazed

over, spider weaving

dreams of complacency.

 

The world is numb, irrelevant

to starvation, greed, suffering,

shallow superficial thorns

in my side plucked and set

alight.

 

Touched alongside the

benevolent passing of time.

 

Rhythm spheres clutch at straws,

as the continuum shrugs off another

paradigm shift, society wields the

collapse of all relevant thought.

 

I am the raven of an afterlife

catalyst of the hereafter.

 

 

 

 

Alone Against the World

 

Out on his own,

ravaged like a

weathered ship

that washed ashore

a millennium ago.

 

Awoken one morning

by lone seagulls cry,

the world seems so

very cold now, not

knowing love.

 

It’s frightening growing

old, out on your own

listening to seagulls cry,

and shy away from looming

thunderstorm, that lashes out

for all the broken hearted

down below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Eliza Segiet

 

Breath

 

Where is life?

Where the love is?

Or maybe

where

the hate is?

I know –

breath is the life.

Trees also breathe,

though they cannot love.

And people…?

 

 

 

 

Streak of Silence

 

She embellished with love.

She dressed her feelings in music.

She thought she would hear.

 

She embellished with love,

but the streak of silence does not allow

to talk about them.

Too far to exist

too close

to forget.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Brian Rihlmann 

 

 

The Storyteller

 

Old man at the bar

with a protruding nose

and leathery face

brags about building this city.

 

He drove trucks, bulldozers,

wielded hammers, saws,

and to hear him tell it,

he did it all by himself,

as a young man.

 

A few of us sit

on our barstools

half listening, as he

drones on, not looking at us,

just staring at the wall.

 

The bartender grabs a towel,

goes and wipes down

the other end of the bar,

he’s heard this story

a hundred times.

 

The old man stops talking,

picks up his shot

with trembling fingers,

drains it, takes a swig of beer,

then stands and shuffles to the can.

 

We look at one another, grin,

shake our heads.

I feel sorry for him, I think,

but then who am I

to feel sorry for him.

 

 

 

 

Never mine

 

I renewed my license last week,

and checked yes to donate my organs.

Then I thought about the person

who might get my heart…

 

It might whisper secrets

to its new owner, about

the times it had galloped in

a strange woman’s bed,

or limped along after a breakup,

or fluttered on a blind date,

or stumbled and fell,

when I saw an old girlfriend

with someone new.

 

And what of the times

it had stomped in rage,

tiptoed in contentment,

palpitated with fear,

or thrummed with hope?

 

Maybe it should be burned

with the rest of my flesh, rise

to become ash, vapor, and cloud,

falling again as white snow

on lonely mountains

I used to climb, and it pumping

faster with each breath

as I reached the summit, gasping.

 

But no, take it, it’s yours.

It beats raw and red in me,

but with a will of its own.

A stranger, never mine

from the beginning…

never mine.

 

 

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

Lynn Long

 

 

As I wander in dream

 

As I wander in dream

Searching for you

Often I’m lost

Between real and truth

For there lies a space

in which my heart

resides…

A place of longing-

deep inside

And, I wonder as

I wander- who will

be found-

The soul ever seeking

or the heart ever

bound…

 

 

 

 

Moonlight Musings

 

Lying in the shadows

of a world lost in dream

I gaze at the moon and

his light amid the trees

And I wonder- as flecks

of silver and gold

flit to and fro…

What it would be

like- to get lost in

his soul…

 

 

 

 

Oceans of lessons

 

Oceans of lessons

Mountains to climb

Oh, my dear heart

Now is the time…

For once-

I knew my path

Seen so clearly

I needed no map

A foolish quest

I endeavored

Believing myself

Oh so clever

Alas, life-

Showed roads

unseen

Took my hand,

led blindly

in dream

Now…

I follow a path

seen less clear

As I listen to

the beat

of my heart

so dear…

 

 

 

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

https://academyoftheheartandmind.wordpress.com/

Antarctica Journal

Duane’s PoeTree

In Between Hangovers and many more

  

 

 

Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

In the Cemetery

 

 

In the cemetery, I was standing on my knees,

reading verses of the holy book to the tombs

I was praying with tears on my cheeks

until the graveyard stopped me and asked me if

I was reading verses or reading sorrows

with an emotionless face, he asked to repeat

I started reading again and, his face was getting

red as his eyes were dropping my unrhymed tears

he stopped me with anger and screamed out

why more grieves, why more death, and less peace

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

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

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

spirits weeping with us, as the clouds will rain again

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

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

our grandparents were the farmers, who lift the sunshine

and brunt themselves to death, just to protect the seeds

our mothers stole the moon from the wall of the night

they hid in their coffins and the stars after our fathers

turned the rainbow into a solider in the zone of death

and made the snow into a drinkable water to survive

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside of My Dream

 

Inside of my dream

there’s a bird flying

from one nest to an-

-other, without wings

Inside of my dream

there’s a man holding

a sign that says, I

have serious cancer

Inside of my dream

there’s one refugee

with tears of grief

because he lost hope

Inside of my dream

there’s a young lady

smoking, and waiting

for the train to suicide

Inside of my dream

there’s a black cat

staring at me, and

waiting to the end of my dream

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

pppv3i9

 

Poet of the Month: Michael Lee Johnson

Decomposing & Forgotten by Jim Piatt

Survived Another Day by Andrew Scott

Mlobikazi Of Mzilikazi along Vithikazi by Ndaba Sibanda

Another Play Word by Yuan Changming

Holy Spur by Anupama Bhattacharya

Unraveling Rhyme by Ann Christine Tabaka

Waffles by David Flynn

History of Russian Theatre by David James

Summer Escapades by Joanne Olivieri

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Michael Lee Johnson

 

 

Michelangelo: Painter and Poet

 

 

Michelangelo

 

with steel balls

 

and a wire brush

 

wishing he was

 

wearing motorcycle leathers,

 

going wild and crazy,

 

stares cross-eyed at the

 

Sistine Chapel ceiling-

 

nose touching moist paint,

 

body stretch out on a plank,

 

bones held by ropes from falling-

 

delirious, painting that face of Jesus

 

and the Prophets

 

with a camel hair brush;

 

in such a position, transition

 

a genie emerges as a poet-

 

words not paint

 

start writing his sonnets,

 

a second career is born-

 

nails and thorns

 

digging at his words,

 

flashing red paint:

 

it’s finished.

 

 

 

 

 

Rose Petals in a Dark Room

 

 

 

I walk through this poem one step at a time.

 

I walk in a mastery of this night and light

 

my money changers walk behind me

 

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

 

they’re busy as bees as drunken lovers,

 

Sodom and Gomorrah before this salt pillar falls.

 

 

 

In a shadow of red rose pedals

 

drunken lovers walk changing Greek and Roman

 

currency to Jewish money or Tyrian shekels-

 

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

 

Everyone’s life is a conflict.

 

They’re my lovers and my sinners

 

I can’t sleep at night without them

 

by my bed grass near that sea of Galilee.

 

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

 

I pray in this garden alone sweat

 

while my disciples whitewash their dreams.

 

 

 

The rose has a tender thorn compared to my arrest,

 

and soon crucifixion.

 

 

 

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

 

where this sea and this land depart,

 

where these villages stone and mortar crumble.

 

 

 

I’m but a poet of this ministry,

 

rose petals in a dark room fall.

 

Everyone’s life is a conflict.

 

But mine is mastery of light and neon night

 

and I walk behind these footsteps of no one.

 

 

 

 

 

Rain

 

 

 

In the rain,

 

this thunder

 

on his way home

 

he rebelled.

 

He a disco dancer,

 

single Friday night award winner

 

on the floor.  High school dropout.

 

He drove off the road edge.

 

He was drunk, Jack Daniel’s

 

was his driving instructor.

 

Jack Daniel bottle left at grave.

 

It never rains in a dry casket.

 

Shelter under this roof,

 

no worries about cops-

 

anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

Waltz, Footprints in Snow

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Hear these sounds, new records on this old radio.

 

Care to dance a new waltz

 

renew, no mirages just free no chains−

 

or drift back to those old vintage footprints−

 

fog covering over old snow?

 

  

 

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

 

 

 

Decomposing & Forgotten by Jim Piatt

 

 

In an ancient abandoned farmhouse,

A beautiful white dove was dying,

Dry shingles rotting, life

Decomposing, beauty diverted…

 

A furrowed road, holes filled with

Agony from rain. A man going

Nowhere in circles, church bells

Pealing a sorrowful lament, and my

Eyes filed with sorrow from salty

Tears…

 

The old farmhouse, falling into ruin,

Ghosts of the past dancing to the

Music of despair. Life’s memories,

Which once abounded inside its

Walls, now forgotten …

 

Sighs of sadness rose up from a

Barren meadow, dry from the lack of

Moisture, filled with mourning,

Breeding an eerie uneasiness across

My lonely mind …

 

 

 

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

 

 

                       Survived Another Day by Andrew Scott

 

 

Seems the day is crumbling

before the sunrise even starts

and the motivational coffee is brewed.

Smiling perseverance to hold the glow

of believing in the kind goodness.

 

Walking to a destination

not sure now of arrival

due to unexpected barricades

that may end it all.

Chipper steps need to be taken

to sit comfortably

and breath in the air of delight.

 

Being led down a road

by other’s greedy agendas

just to make a living

where family exists

not knowing when it may

seize to being.

 

The worries of the home

collapsing from the hidden

lives of the unpredictable young.

Still there is love

in the hugs and kisses good night.

 

As we lay in bed after

and go to sleep at the

end of each peaceful night

we dream in celebration

as another day was survived.

 

              

 

 

 

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

Mlobikazi Of Mzilikazi along Vithikazi by Ndaba Sibanda

 

Few people knew she had lived in Soweto

Not only had she resided in that township

Of the city of Jo’burg,Mlobikazi of Mzilikazi

Had lived in the core of greatness on Vilakazi

Street, for Soweto is historic by virtue of heroic

Struggles against apartheid that ensued there

 

There was Mlobikazi from Bulawayo’s Mzilikazi

Suburb with a painting that told of a great story–

Titled Vilakazi, the pretty princess from Mzilikazi

Not only exhibited the literary artistry of Dr Vilakazi

It also captured how Vilakazi  is the only street

In the world where two Nobel Laureates once lived

 

 

Perseverance, painting, passion, her mantra

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

A breakthrough, a beauty’s brilliance and dance

Mlobikazi of Mzilikazi lived on Vithikazi Street

Her grit galvanized admirers to nickname her

Mzilikazi’s Qhawekazi or  Mzilikazi’s Heroine!

 

They roared Mlobikazi of Mzilikazi, Qhawekazi!

Mlobikazi of Mzilikazi had an awesome  passion

Her loyalty to her profession paid off  in profusion

And precision when her painting proudly propelled her 

Into prominence:they crowned her a prizewinning painter

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

Another Play Word by Yuan Changming 

 

      If you could

Which word

Would you become? Which?

 

I would as lief

Be ‘life’:

 

 I may well turn out a ‘lie’

Without f–, but possessed in this word

My spelling contains many an ‘if’

 

            Yes, to live a life is to

Go through as many an if

       As you might wish to wish

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Holy Spur by Anupama Bhattacharya

 

My morning awakes to a holy spur

Leaving behind the smells of petrol

As my faith rides me home

Far away from the madding crowd.

 

Through the  pane I gaze and wonder

Cocooned in childhood nostalgia:

Vitality of the plains. Pondering on

the secrets of simple living

so much do I miss to capture.

En route my station.

 

Yet I come back every time

Waving past the beckoning paddy fields

And Kans grass like fairy’s wings.

To my vapmire’s lair.

To the taste of urban malls.

 

Could Eve and Adam settle in Eden

after tasting the forbidden fruit?

How could I?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Unraveling Rhyme by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

The rhyming and the not,

as if I had forgot,

my words of many years,

embedded in my tears.

 

Days of youth have passed.

The die has long been cast.

Pieces of my life

still wading through pained strife.

 

Time has come and gone.

I waited far too long.

My words have all grown stale,

now lost beyond the pale.

 

A fire that once burned,

has long ago been spurned.

My passions all I gave,

lie cold beyond the grave.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Waffles by David Flynn 

 

Make magic.

Twist your hand and point to the plate.

There wait waffles,

Cold.  Tough .  Dried.

Now pour maple syrup

from a spout,

tapped from a tree

a thousand miles away.

Fill the squares with brownness,

sugar and sap.

Add cherries from the frig.

Cold.  Without the twig.  Red.

Sit in the chair.

Stare at the magic,

a square of squares filled with commerce and crunch.

Brown.  Brown.  Red.

This sorcery will keep you alive,

and even more

will fill you with feeling,

taste, pleasure and patience.

A reason to live: 

Waffles.

 

 

.

David Flynn was born in the textile mill company town of Bemis, TN.  His jobs have included newspaper reporter, magazine editor and university teacher.  He has five degrees and is both a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Specialist with a recent grant in Indonesia.  His literary publications total more than two hundred.  He currently lives in Nashville, TN, where he is director of the Musicians Reunion, an annual blues festival now in its 36th year.  He also teaches at Belmont University in the English and Asian Studies programs.

History of Russian Theatre by David James

 

 

There’s a husband and a wife

and an older doctor who forgets

he was once married to a famous actress

who died of TB. With the widowed mother,

they live in a house in the country,

a gentle, simple life,

that is, until the husband’s twin brother

arrives, the handsome image of Satan himself.

 

Of course, we know

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

deceit, gun shots, secrets, the last words

out of a dying woman’s mouth.

 

The doctor will do his very best;

they’ll discover a problem with cash flow;

a war will be eminent with calls for enlistment

and hardship.

Desperate, lonely people will plod ahead.

 

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

the confession and hidden truth

appearing to redeem

the doctor’s reputation, forgive the errant brother,

save both the marriage and homestead

and send the audience back to their quiet lives

with just a thin splinter

of hope.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

   Summer Escapades by Joanne Olivieri

 

A Summer affair

on foreign shores

warm days, hot air balloons rise

to the occasion

exotic nights, your alcohol breath

fuels the flames.

 

A tequila sunrise at last call

and crickets scatting jazz tunes

a midsummer’s dream

erotic fantasies

in high definition.

 

 

.

 

Joanne has been writing for 50 years. She is a published poet and photographer. Her works have appeared in numerous in print and online publications such as The Parnassus Literary Journal, Westward Quarterly, The San Diego Arts and Poets Magazine, Nomads Choir, SP Quill, just to name a few. She was awarded a round-trip ticket to Hong Kong in 2007 by Cathay Pacific Airways for her winning entry in their poetry contest. Joanne is the founder and editor of Stanzaic Stylings Literary Ezine.

 

Joanne enjoys reading, writing, collecting old poetry books, live music concerts, roaming art galleries and museums, leisurely lunches with friends in diners, getting out in nature with her camera and making toys for and playing with her feathered companion, Sammers. You can learn all there is to know about her by visiting her website/blog at http://poeticshutterbug.blogspot.com

 

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

v3i8

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Glory Sasikala

Office Blues

In the stillness
Someone coughed
Someone yawned
Boss on phone

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

The whirring fan
My ice-cold
stare
Blank at screen

Her tinkling laughter
jarrs on my tired brain

Switch off.
Time to go home…

Just Friendship?

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

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

Erotica

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Final Snowflake: A Contrapuntal Poem by Troy DeFrates

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

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

The Final Snowfalke

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

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

My Hurry by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

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

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

Ruthless Ruin by Ndaba Sibanda

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

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

Love between the Seasons by Ahmad Al-Khatat

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

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

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

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

a country there waiting for your boat

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

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

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

Moon Dust by CL Bledsoe

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

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

This Love by Edward Lee

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

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

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

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

I see a world
beyond my reach

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

But my feet
respond to the lilt
of your words,

I drift deeper into
the abyss of your
silken syllables

and in the crevasses
of your silence
I stumble into love

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

The Search For Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

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

.

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

 

PPP Ezine Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 7; August 2019

v3i7

 

Poet of the Month: Grant Guy

Life-scale by Jayanta Bhaumik

I feel like a morning star by Milton P. Ehrlich

Rode into the mountains by Daniel de Culla

Poems by Michael Koran

Alone With the Memories by Wayne Russell

All the Axes are Stupid by Fethi Sassi

Tug of War by Yuan Changming

Sing emptiness for me by Brian Rihlmann

PTSD by Carl Scharwath

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Grant Guy

 

 

 

He Was the TOWN DRUNK

 

 

He wasn’t just a drunk.

 

He was THE TOWN DRUNK.

 

He wasn’t always THE TOWN DRUNK.

 

One time he was just a drunk – a five & dime drunk.

 

 

 

What made him THE TOWN DRUNK.

 

He was the drunk who convinced Townes Van Zandt

 

To give up horse for alcohol.

 

     “Townes, give up junk.

 

      Booze won’t kill you

 

      Like that shit you’re putting in your arm.”

 

Townes Van Zandt said,

 

     ‘You cheap old drunk.

 

      What do you know?’

 

Townes Van Zandt did give up smack for the bottle

 

And dropped dead.

 

 

 

THE TOWN DRUNK

 

Had no regrets.

 

 

 

a new orleans poem

 

 

the blues musician

 

sat outside of the jax brewing company

 

he had a drum rollie in his hand

 

he was talking himself into a funk

 

for 8 years we had a black president

 

in return we got a white supremacist in the white house

 

we take two steps forward

 

& get shit thrown in our faces

 

i am glad i live new Orleans

 

& not in the united states

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And You Need to Ask

 

 

She could beat me at strip poker

Without losing a fingernail

She could put the fear of

The Lord in God

She could turn Lucifer

Into a blithering alcoholic angel

She was the Eve of Eden

The Lilith of Heaven

 

 

But she pulled up stakes

And moved to Colorado

And was never seen again

Except for the boys at

Red Dog Pool Hall

 

 

 

And you need to ask why I love her

 

 

 

 

Grant Guy is a Canadian puppeteer, writer and illustrator. Currently he is the artistic director of the object theatre The Circus of Objects. His poems, stories and illustrations have appeared in over 100 journals and reviews in North America, Europe and Africa. He has five books published, including OPEN FRAGMENTS, and his most recent publication, a children’s illustrated book THERE WAS A FARMER’S WIFE. He was the 2004 recipient of the Manitoba Arts Council’s Award of Distinction and the 2017 recipient of the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Making A Difference Award.

 

 

Life-scale by Jayanta Bhaumik

 

Is it only a grain of sand?

Have you ever seen its beautiful shell?

Its history is as weird as a life scaled on life

Infinitesimal, silicon-point, only an existence freak

its birth can speak of an indecipherable dot

carried once through an uneventful trace, nonchalant

a nexus with a hundred scenes, with a lazy dale

sunlit steeps, and farmland, beyond a cityscape,

and anonymous village roads, jagged, below a coral reef

maybe miles after miles with your body or by a car

you lastly find it in the corner of your eye

pick it out then

keeping it away from every web, throw it, that

one grain of sand, nibbled, removed off your qualm

 

that one is you, waiting to be lost in the course

across the wall, beyond the mess of each flow

across the quicksand or the mystery of the massive

all the truths, untold, mistakes mingled into lies

the raindrops then, the bluest of rimes

across all fire

 

it is you, as obvious as your life scaled on life

 

 

 

 

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.    

 

 

I feel like a morning star by Milton P. Ehrlich

 

 

When I’m overwhelmed at sunrise

by the planetary pulsations of Venus

embracing me with the light of love,

I’m ready to leap out of bed

and run though the nearest field

of wildflowers like Elvira Madigan.

Eureka! I exclaim, as I run around naked

like Archimedes discovering the purity of gold.

I find enough orchids, marigolds and sunflowers

to make a bouquet that will surprise my sleeping wife.

 

                 

 

 

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.

 

  

Rode into the mountains by Daniel de Culla

 

 

In the middle of Spain

Yin Yang in a Journey in Spring

The sun with ist tide home going

Over ground with seed and hands.

This is a place where we must stop:

Ears to earth under frosty

Rotating nebulae, seeing

Old women, Young girls

Babies crying and a few men.

All is unintelligible inside the ground

That yearn for eyes a heart in the center

Aflame with smoke and desire.

Clouds, clouds, clouds

Hazes of the eternal

And ephemeral beyond

Over imposible but almost feasible

Zigzag up never abandoned cliffs

Where the rivers  began

Roading toward blank areas of stark madness

Suddenly realizing its freedom.      

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poems by Michael Koran 

 

In the Midst of the Garden

 

 

 

when breeze blows out of trees

 

rain drops on me

 

                           I’m baptized

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbowing

 

 

 

always in between

 

who I’d like to be and am

 

enjoying the span

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infinity

 

 

 

the diff’rence between

 

giving ninety-nine

 

                            and

 

one-hundred percent

 

 

 

Under Cover

 

 

 

saying how much I

 

love you

 

             might be hiding from

 

how much

 

             I love you

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sky Cries

 

 

 

what seems like screams

 

might well be means

 

to sing

 

            our dreams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Koran teaches courses in writing, literature, and religion at Massachusetts institutions including the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. He holds an MA from the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought and a BA from Queen’s College.

 

 

Alone With the Memories by Wayne Russell

 

Crumpled bits of paper, victims

of the throes of vindictive time.

 

Hands that craft the simple

lyric, wither and fade as the

days escape weary mind.

 

The old man’s alone, with walls

that peel and floors that creak,

speaking to himself, because

there’s no one else.

 

Voices that echo, voices echo,

through a myriad of doors

refract and lamenting windows,

spilling secrets of fading corridors.

 

Alone with memories, like fading

photos of black and white and sepia.

 

The color drain from the present day,

no life left behind these hollowed eyes,

I am the old man, seeping into the past,

where happiness once dwelled.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

All the Axes are Stupid by Fethi Sassi

 

In front of the mirror…,

An ax is looking at its face admiringly,

He said : …………………

A lot of axes in the garden are competing for

A piece of the willow tree with the beautiful waist.

Or the pomegranate tree for instance,

The stunning tree with its luscious heavy breasts.

That’s why I reckon that all axes are stupid.

How does this all happen

When all the branches flirt with me and

All the roses secretly kiss me

As they get drunk from the grape leaves.

 

 

Fethi Sassi is a writer of prose poetry and short poems and haiku and the translator of all his poems to English. He is a member of the Tunisian Writers’ Union and of the Literature Club at the cultural center of Sousse. His first book A Seed of Love was published in 2010. After that he has published many original and translated books of poems.

 

 

Tug of War by Yuan Changming  

 

      

Closely set                                         At a tug of war

   Was our body                             (& spirit as well?)

 

    Between yin                              & yang

 

 Then                                               Between white & black

  & now is                                      Between 0 & 1

 

 

.

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

Sing emptiness for me by Brian Rihlmann

 

Though we’re just friends

—mostly online—

and have never been more,

I think what put me here

was seeing you, yesterday,

beautiful and dark haired,

but attached, and

traveling the world

with your man—

India, England,

Ireland, next on the list.

 

You asked how I’d been,

if I had a girlfriend

and why not, as i squirmed,

and mumbled, while staring

at the dirt on your shoes,

stumbling through ad-libbed lines

that explained nothing.

 

If I could paint,

or sculpt, or sing,

maybe then I could

paint, sculpt, or sing

emptiness…express it

in some way better

than these dark squiggles,

looking this morning

like desiccated earthworms,

sunbaked and dead

on a concrete slab.

 

Or I could stare at the blank page

and sit in silence, write nothing.

Let the mourning dove cooing outside

under last night’s lingering rain clouds

express it for me.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

PTSD by Carl Scharwath

 

 

Hot black asphalt

impregnated and marked

with the tires of a

spinning coffin box.

 

Pieces of cold medal violently envelope around your warm skin. Glass rains down in tiny fragments of snow mixed in the creation of shards stained in blood and sunshine. Falling asleep in a gyration of a vertigo vortex. Morning will awaken you with the chance to hold life again in your fingers.

 

Florescent sun slants

Upon a new genesis

The inspiration is here

Seized in understanding.

.

 

 

Carl Scharwath has appeared globally with 150+ journals selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays, plays or art photography.Two poetry books ‘Journey To Become Forgotten’ (Kind of a Hurricane Press).and ‘Abandoned’ (ScarsTv) have been published. Carl is the art editor for Minute Magazine, a dedicated runner and 2nd degree black- belt in Taekwondo.

 

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 6; July 2019

p6

 

Poet of the Month: Shola Balogun

By Myself by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Vanishing Time by Ann Christine Tabaka

Fall of the Party Girl by David James

Late Harvest Moon by Eadbhard McGowan

His Love by Edward Lee

Endless Nights by Kelli J Gavin

Flames by CL Bledsoe

A Freeform Poem by Troy DeFrates

Poetry by Lynn Long

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Shola Balogun

 

.

Lament

 

 

As ill-clad Zlelponith bemoaning

The mangled body of her son tempered

Beneath the hewn stones of Dagan,

Reached deeply into her grief

And beheld in that frozen hour

Some human shadow of God,

The pierced side, the battered frail form,

The head smitten with a vile slat,

A woman’s heavy eyes over the earth

Folded in beating scalpels

Seek deeper into the human misery

And into the drama of the silence of God.

 

 

 

 

 

Night

 

Rain on my tongue.

 

Threshing floor of pebbled camwood,

Then hidden faces and strange footsteps

On slaughter slabs, eyes swirling

Across the uncharted silence.

 

Thrust of faltering lips-Now,

I could hear the whispers

Of the dark hour

And I taste this mint of my tears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

By Myself by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

I will survive by myself, and

everything beyond my limits 

away from desires, and choices 

 

I will enjoy seesaw by myself

with sorrows on my side, and

happiness by itself on the side   

 

I will play

Cricket

Badminton

Basketball

by myself

 

I will talk very loud on the phone

gossiping to nobody but myself

texting myself hateful messages

 

I will always miss you by myself

your love was the joys I lived for

now, I’m a mirror with falling tears 

 

 

 

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.   

 

 

                      Vanishing Time by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

Sometimes life goes thundering

past at a blinding speed, loosing

 

all concept of time. The tasks and

chores that fill our lives seem an

 

unending litany of busyness.

Missing the sweetness that a

 

moment allows, the day rushes

by in breaths and sighs. Stop,

 

step back, open your eyes. Wrap

yourself in the wonder of now,

 

for in a moment it will be gone.

vanished with a whisper, like the

 

morning mist evaporating in the

warmth of the newly risen sun.

 

Hold on to each instant and allow

it to fill you with the beauty that is

 

before you. We are only here for

an instant, then we fade along

 

with lost memories hidden among

the cobwebs of space and time.

.

 

 

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.

 

  

Fall of the Party Girl by David James

 

 

Fall arrives with a pony keg and six fifths

of Kentucky bourbon,

her face painted in orange, yellow and red.

She screams into the cool sky

ready to party into a myth

and vanish before the first snowfall.

 

Someone said

she’d try any drug, sleep with any guy,

spend the night in a garbage bin.

And that’s not all:

she has Daddy issues.

The old man didn’t hug her enough; didn’t look her in the eye;

never took her by the chin

and said she was beautiful with those baby blues

and long hair.           So, today,

if you pay her any attention,

she’ll jump your bones, ravage your bed,

tear you to pieces and leave without saying goodbye.

 

When you get up, look out the window: it’ll be cold, white and gray..      

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late Harvest Moon by Eadbhard McGowan 

 

Through greenish curtain shot a spark.

Now it is gone. What’s bothering my heart?

Colourful summer burned to the ground,

sun-kissed in golden deaths.

Withered mound of humus found

to pave the path for flora’s birth.

 

How may we walk so lost in thoughts

through tawny meadows’ band?

Over us, free, untamed across

wide clouds of light expand.

 

And all around the pale, discoloured world

in a contemplative farewell stillness,

as if in every leaf impressed

a holy fate is silently fulfilled.

 

Footsteps sound through silent hours,

breathless, anxious. Moon stands bright.

Above us, waving, longing, drunken,

aurora borealis sheds its northern light.

 

 

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is an artist and a translator and writer of poetry and short stories. He writes haibun and poetry in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry. He is a member of four writer groups in Ireland. He lives in County Kerry, Ireland, since more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. He was published in 29 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in UK, Ireland and USA. Writes also under his pen name: Eadbhard McGowan.

 

 

His Love by Edward Lee

I enclose my hand

around the blade of you,

your serrated edge slicing flesh,

releasing blood

to flow from my hard palm

to my already scarred wrists.

 

But I refuse to let go,

my love for you

compelling me to endure your edge,

no matter the cost,

no matter the pain;

 

I already know

I cannot live

without you, just as I know

I cannot exist

without the scars that tattoo my body

and my being.

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

Endless Nights by Kelli J Gavin

 

I hate it

Every minute

Every last second

The nights last forever

I know I should be asleep

I pray for sleep to overtake me

Yet it rarely does

I lie awake restless

Turning side to side

Getting up

And then lying down again

Sometimes reading a book

Or drinking tea

Nothing helps me

Can not find anything to cure me

The endless nights are just that

Endless

Night after night

I will beg if I have to

Please

Sleep

Overtake me

Shut off my mind

Calm my heart

Bring me to a state where I don’t care

Because being awake is too hard right now

It always will be

 

 

 

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.

Flames by CL Bledsoe  

 

For the last three days, I haven’t

slept. Each night, I lie

in bed, closed eyes studying

the mystery of my father’s hatred.

 

I don’t know what he wanted.

A man in boy form, perhaps.

Someone too mean to cry

for such little things as pets’ lives

 

bashed out against brick walls,

a mother lost in the transformation

to wraith. Once, he came

into my room without something

 

to yell about, found me burning

a candle. “Who’s that for?”

He asked. I couldn’t pick just one

person. 

 

.

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.

A Freeform Poem by Troy DeFrates

 

Awake in the dark

With nothing to see

It was always about you

Never about me

 

I write with black ink

In the night

Not knowing, not seeing, not feeling

I just have to write

 

The blank haze of dawn

Whispers upon my words

Revealing how I feel

And what I am moving towards

 

As the dawn approaches

I hide in the shadows

Feeling my script

Pondering on death laden hallows

 

As the shadows twist

Exposing what I wrote

The truth from the blackness

Chokes in my throat

 

Lost in a world without any dreams

Watching the sun rise in the East

Nowhere to hide, nowhere to run

Now I must face my own inner beast.

 

 

 

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

 

 

Poetry by Lynn Long

 

As I gaze upon the dusky sky,

pondering dreams…

vowed never- to leave behind

A melancholy fills my heart,

knowing still- that we must part

For life moves ever forward

and the journey home-

takes me onward…

.

 

 

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

Poet, writer, aspiring novelist, daydreamer and believer in the impossible. Artist @hitRECord.org and Scriggler.com. Published in the following Ezines, Publications and Online Journals: https://academyoftheheartandmind.wordpress.com/, Antarctica Journal, Duane’s PoeTree, In Between Hangovers and many more.

 

PPP Ezine Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Second Anniversary Issue Volume 3; Issue 5; May-June 2019

p6

 

Carl Scharwath

Yuan Changming

David James

Kyle Laws

Anupama Bhattacharya

Andrew Scott

Patricia Walsh

David Flynn

Sanghpriya Gautam

Eliza Segiet

 

 

 

Carl Scharwath

 

 

Quest

 

In the ataxia of lunacy

A ghost landscape stands sentinel

Like a portrait painted

From the inside out.

 

The image of you

Forlorn and forgotten,

in that melancholy day

abolishing the morning stars.

 

 

Hybrid stasis of emotions

Signals an imaginary border

Of self-invention on

The wrong side of life.

 

While the hidden paradigm

Reaches towards itself

And asks— will you be

Unremembered in your death?

 

 

 

 

Subjection

 

A lonely starling ensnared

By an evening phantom tree

Forfeited in the twilight of

Celestial awakening and synergy.

 

Her blood polluted with

pharmaceutical rivers of

denial and hopelessness

beholden to fentanyl.

 

Future new-age Eden awaits

In a dilapidated strip mall.

The walls white and peeling

Humanity held hostage.

 

The serpent in a white coat

Dispenses your savior.

Sins of addiction and the

resurrection of enslavement.

 

I wanted to save you

In a time where nothing happens,

No decisions are shared

For what we cared for.

 

Will the past and the future

Ignite into the present?

Absorbing in the transferal imminence

Of our first and last love.

 

 

 

 

Carl Scharwath has appeared globally with 150+ journals selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays, plays or art photography.Two poetry books ‘Journey To Become Forgotten’ (Kind of a Hurricane Press).and ‘Abandoned’ (ScarsTv) have been published. Carl is the art editor for Minute Magazine, a dedicated runner and 2nd degree black- belt in Taekwondo.

 

 

Yuan Changming

 

Re-Creation 

 

Towards the autumn sky

I make a shape of heart

With my clumsy hands

This is the feel of life

I tell the cloud

 

This is to illuminate the dark

Dreamland like a search light

I tell the crow stalking behind

Like the spirit of my late

Father. This is to gather all

 

The positive energy in the world &

Send it to the future. I tell my

Unborn grandson. This is the cycle

Of life & the philosopher’s stone

 

I tell the skeletal copse. This is

The circle to fill in with cries

& laughs.

      I tell my other self

Beyond cosmic wall, as if

To balance yin and yang

    In the whole universe

 

 

 

 

You & Me

 

Each time you fall asleep

                        In the depth

Of darkness

Don’t fear, my dear

 

I will stay close on guard

Like the sun on the other

Side of the world, keeping

Your dream warm, &

Fully illuminated

 

When you rise with a morning

Glow, my light will cast a shadow

Always ready to follow you

Preventing your soul from lagging behind    

 

 

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

 

 

David James

 

The Pendulum Swings

 

Rip the clock off the wall

and fling it onto the snowy lawn.

 

Carry your big screen TV

upstairs and let it fall

 

out the window. Smash your cell phone

with a hammer until any resemblance is gone.

 

Set your computer on fire and sing

farewell to Facebook and Twitter.

 

From now on, you’ll listen to people talk,

study their noses and jaw lines, admire the spring

 

in their step, their eye color and smiles.

You’ll read and exercise, meditate and write.

 

You’ll stare at the face of your lover and bring

your very best to the table.

 

The world will slow to a snail’s

pace and the snow will look whiter, the bare trees,

 

beautiful in their finished bark,

the sky, crystal clear blue for miles

 

in every direction.

It was the great Mahatma Gandhi

 

who said, “There’s more to life than increasing its speed.”

Take a deep breath, smell the wood burning

 

in fireplaces, hear the church bells ringing three

blocks over, and watch as the moon comes out and dances

just for you.

 

 

 

A Good Part

 

I spend a good part of my day

watching leaves

commit suicide, jumping off branches

thirty, forty, even sixty feet up under a gray

sky.

There’s a good part of my belief

system that tries to understand

what fall

should mean to me as a sixty-three

year old white male

born to privilege, a metal spoon in my hand,

to good parents who loved me

and did their best.

 

The trees shake and undress, take their stand

against winter who stops by

for three or four months to see

how much snow and cold I can take.

The allusions are obvious: I need

to let go; change will come, tomorrow’s freeze

can slow the world to a snail’s

pace. Nothing I do or say can make

the fall longer, the winter shorter.

Nothing can slow down the hands

of any clock, for me or anyone’s sake.

 

I spend a good part of my life wondering why.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

  

Kyle Laws

 

You Cannot Always Find Your Way                                

 

Patches of a swath of snow

blur either side of the walk

under an arbor of white grapes

where a tree’s canopy occludes

the sun.

 

The niece of Sylvia Beach fills

biomorphic outlines with white paint

on a cardboard mottled, no direct route

from corner to corner of the bookstore

not far from the Seine.

 

That year I fell too, off the curb

in front of the theatre where Colette

performed nights, trysts during the day

in rooms dusty with velvet drapes.

I compose well when infirm,

 

when I sit in cafes because I cannot

climb stairs, cannot stand at Picasso’s

paintings in a museum named for him

or in front of Impressionists in the station

where trains no longer roll.

 

White is blinding in a winter sun,

pupils so small that if there were a path

through the garden in Paris,

I could not see that two lovers

within the frame each hold out a grape.

 

 

 

 

Tango                                                                                   

                      

Tango, a sculpture that twists up from grass,

wild morning glory of rusting reds that leaves

a clasp of hands where corn once stalked

this garden for an arch of back, a curve to cheek.

 

A dove wings from the perch of metal shed,

walks the lip of bath to watch steel form and shape.

Nothing interferes with the plane of grace,

even lilacs have gone away, the elms have faded. 

 

Bundled in a plaid shirt on a back porch chair,

feet remember each dip and curve of the dance,

the sweat of salt down margarita glasses,

how everyone leaned to walls to give us space.      

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anupama Bhattacharya  

 

Pankaja

 

My love is like that fresh produce

in the market place

at the time of noon.

Failed at the day’s fondles

anxious and dwindled

tired and swooned.

 

Am I a freak pluck?

Can’t I adorn a porcelain bowl?

Be a jewel in the korma,

jalfrezi or ethereal jhol.

Its past noon!

I assume I can’t even decorate

A poor man’s plate: Panta- Bhat:

Thought my woe betide soul.

 

I wish I could speak to my Master!

Convince Him, or His wife

to take me home, they could have

shredded me off, severed my rot

and added me to their broth.

 

But they did not do so.

They dumped me beside

the sewage gutter.

in filthy stench, murky litter.

I wailed at my predicament!

Wallowing in my woe.

 

Past the noon and the afternoon.

My putrefying ridges saw

A limp goat wobbling forth.

Thus finding some purpose

in being its nourishment.

It gobbled me whole.

 

Om Mani Padme Hum!

Om Mani Padme Hum!

 

My love is like that ridged gourd

at the marketplace

ravished by the goon noon.

Romancing with my

Limp Goat until he becomes

Rogan josh.     

 

 

 

 

 

The Day of Ochre Sun

 

When the python coils five spins

To raise her hood from her beauty sleep.

When the turtles become carnivorous

And rise against their predatory masters.

When the dogs howl in wolfish ululation

Responding to their perennial instincts.

When engulfed by the mighty waves

The ark sinks.

 

Men; what would you do then?

Pray or preserve? Or take up arms?

Where would you hide your dirty faces?

When the woods would refuse to provide shelter.

The seas have already been poisoned, 

You won’t be able to wash hands either.

 

As our earth picks up inspiration from fiction

Ominous to some fateful chapter;

The sky sprinkles waters from Lithe.

Aunties blow conch shells to make truce.

When clairvoyant creatures run away

Godmen try to  sanctify God’s whims.

And scientists play God to preserve .

 

Beloved,

let us stay close to one another

Beholding our memories in silent prayers.

For when we are carried away, scattered again

We may fix the jig-saw-puzzle

Of our broken lives

Meandering through another lost era.

 

 

 

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

 

 

Andrew Scott

Goddess Of Death

 

Am appealing to your gentle side

as your strikes to the living

are creating anger and outrage

to those of us amongst the living.

 

Not positive of what you are

attempting to do with your efforts

but to bring u loss and sorrow.

 

Your victims are so young

and full of potential.

The bricks of our future

crumbled to blowing dust.

 

The lessons you are trying to teach

have been now engrained.

Fear who may be next

at an unexpected time.

 

The power and sorrow

that you yield is intense.

You are taking pieces of us all

as your venom is dealt.

We appeal to you, Goddess of Death.

Let us heal.

 

 

 

 

Should Have Seen It

 

I blame only myself for the end result.

I should have seen it

the moment we shook hands

and decided trust was our only path.

 

We were young when we first met.

Sharing the trials of being friends

in an ever-changing youth.

That is where a life long bond started.

 

Shut my eyes to the little substances

that entered your body and mind.

May have been that I thought

we both knew better.

 

There was all the time spent apart

with different people

as we grew older

so I never saw all you were doing.

 

It was like you moved away

as time went on.

 

I was not perfect

as I had many demons

to battle and slay.

Focus was completely gone.

 

I realized that I was not

playing close attention

when I saw you again.

Haggard and worn,

older looking than your years.

 

I blame me for not seeing

and being around.

I heard rumours but ignored

and that is my fault.

I should have seen it.

 

 

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

 

 

Patricia Walsh

 

Hiraeth

The weary dossier slams upon the desk

Xenophobic clichés come home to roost

Made happy by margins too close to call.

Buffoons rejoicing at lights going out

All over Europe, a slapdash victory.

 

Packaged delirium frames a decision

Room for reversal no longer there

Heeding to get the country back

A bijou position, beauty contest

All having prizes having won so far.

 

Morphing into concern over markets

General well-being a glorious past

Where none existed, nostalgia aside

A perennial disease speaking tomes

Propaganda on the cloak of respectability.

 

Leaving London, at Greenwich Mean Time

Equal pay for equal work a recent memory

Bonuses exploding where breached

Independence day screeched far and wide

Passports flying on both wings.

 

 

 

 

Spot the Ball

 

Dropping the liathróid is cause for effect

Closed-circuit judgement too close to call

Incrimentable leanings call for judgement

The disappointed diaspora follows home.

 

Curry chips burning your tongue

Sponsored alcohol coming a close first

The extended youth bays for recall

Boiling resignation spotlights defeat.

 

Seated, catching breath, news sinking in,

Being sent to domestic exile a just game

Shedding tears at the worst possible outcome

Flat whites the last comfort before home.

 

Not even the Eurovision can help us now.

Exiting ridicule repeating its miserable self

Acrobatics and cheese bouncing off each other

Redeeming some decorum once considered naff.

 

Sink the ball into the back of the net, and

We’ll discuss your option afterwards

Sacrificing lifeblood for a few weeks’ joy

Trampling glory into the streets of derision.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

David Flynn

 

 

Language Bridge Fridge

 

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 blah blah.

 

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connotations

 

Light.  Birds. 

 

We connotate the universe. 

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

love.

Wife.

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

Everything.

Wife.

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

 

So it is with light.

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

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

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

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

But light also can be ugliness, disaster, death.

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

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

As is God.

 

Birds.

Free as a bird.  Going to fly now. 

Birds connotate as winged freedom, as nice, as chirping happiness.

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

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

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

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

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

and telling it you love it.

A bloody mess is what you’ll be.

 

I mentioned God.

We connotate God.

We connotate sin.

We connotate grace.

 

Desk.

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

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

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

A good thing.

But a thing.

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

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

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

We live in connotation.

We ache for denotation.

Our world is our own glow.

Every word of this poem is a lie.

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

is a lie.

Every word is connotation,

A lifetime of accretions.

This poem is the shell. 

Within it is the meaning,

which is beyond our grasp. 

 

Which becomes real although it isn’t,

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

kneeling on the kneeler,

putting a five dollar bill in the collection basket,

becoming a monk,

hating a woman in a hijab at the grocery store.

And vice versa.

 

Light.  Birds. 

Religion.   Life.

No meanings.

Connotations. 

 

 

 

David Flynn was born in the textile mill company town of Bemis, TN.  His jobs have included newspaper reporter, magazine editor and university teacher.  He has five degrees and is both a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Specialist with a recent grant in Indonesia.  His literary publications total more than two hundred.  He currently lives in Nashville, TN, where he is director of the Musicians Reunion, an annual blues festival now in its 36th year.  He also teaches at Belmont University in the English and Asian Studies programs.

 

 

Sanghpriya Gautam

 

Nineteen forty-five

 

Nineteen forty-five,

Skies were pinked eternally,

Beautiful fireworks.

 

Man and his strong will,

It’s not supposed to waver,

Nineteen forty five.

 

Like the butterfly

Violence was metamorphosed,

Into something beautiful.

 

Casualties of war,

Waterless lands I suppose,

I did not see it.

 

But I imagine

If there is no heaven

It has been made easy.

 

But change shan’t exist?

Since reality is concrete?

Human heart is violent?

 

The end of story,

A Spit worthy history

Etched with dried throats on waterless land.

 

How did violence change

In something so colorless,

Wasn’t it supposed to be red?

 

A little less grotesque,

A little bit like our old Hamlet’s fantasy?

A little bit of aggression,

A little like our man Hitler?

A man up to put on stake?

Would it make things any better?

 

See the beauty of it.

A canvas pinked to start anew,

At least not white.

 

These schemes of language,

The Web of our demise,

The grammar of our prisoned minds,

From where shall the thread be pulled?

 

Let’s watch the skies again

Though it will remain pink forever,

The everlasting sunset.

 

Will it remain pink forever?

Shan’t change that brings forth differences

Be more waterlike than watery.

 

Nineteen fourty five

So many of us died,

So many die everyday

When did violence became the truth

 

 

 

Invocation of a pupil

 

Some sure men in their toughened demeanour,

 

And stark icy cold weather about them,

 

So seem in their design a vile creature,

 

A mass of thick blunt adamantine phlegm,

 

Oft their decisions rave in finality,

 

Sometimes stretched in similar fashion,

 

For years in age add fear for frailty,

 

This world is of survived so they mention.

 

They believe we are species so rational,

 

We could dream but not of rills and magic.

 

Could they be challenged for winters are seasonal,

 

And fight against valid history and logic.

 

These sure men all roughened by life,

 

Where dreamers are killed and romantics despised,

 

For them toil has meaning and winning in strife;

 

For they know life’s politics and it’s advice.

 

 

One surer man, brewed in fumes of sublime;

 

Who swelled in lakes of tranquil mystery

 

And pondering minds of olden times,

 

While savouring leaves of one golden tree.

 

Flowed in a vale so deep and dark beneath,

 

Streaming o’er memories, eyeing sky for hours,

 

Raking through many a decaying wreaths,

 

Said he “life that we live is never ours.”

 

“We are forged by life we fallen into,

 

All engineered by several algorithms,

 

Our thoughts are designed complex simply to”

 

Meet acceptance to worldly tunes and rhythms.

 

What we believe is not what we believe,

 

But made to believe in decisive manner,

 

Our thoughts seep through an invisible sieve,

 

Enslaved by patterns so mundane forever

 

 

Sanghpriya Gautam is a seeker of truth, poet and writer.

 

 

Eliza Segiet

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

Music of the Word

 

Beautiful is the world

painted with the music of the word.

Like

a butterfly passing by,

who for a moment

intoxicates with the colouring of its body,

stopping

the breath of those thirsty for beauty.

Its sensual dance

is freedom of imagination.

 

And the word?

The word can be

the music

that can be heard

when it is quiet,

and yet silent.

 

 

 

 

Gardens of Silence

 

In the gardens of silence

the words sound silence.

Those longing, desiring

do not whisper even from afar

It’s good that they scream within it.

Maybe it heard them before,

maybe it dreamed about them before?

.

 

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.

 

PPP Ezine Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 4; April 2019

Poet of the Month: Glen Armstrong

Permutations of Getting Wet by Linda Imbler

I Think The Words by Uma Venkatraman

Rocketboy by Bruce McRae

Enter Into the Earth by Paula Hackett

Everyone Goes by Wayne Russell

The Blessing of Forgetting by Eadbhard McGowan

The Writer by Mark Kodama

The Rabbit of Good Luck by Daniel de Culla

Passage to Paradise by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Glen Armstrong  

 

Bruegel Bruegel #3

 

 

We were famous once for keeping

barrel hoops upright

 

and flashing bare leg

to boys in red trousers.

 

There were towers

of Babel and towers of song.

 

Each hour of the day

had an animal

 

designation: hour

of the three-legged goat,

 

the sheep, the serpent

and so on . . .

 

We cowered at dusk,

the hour of the bat.

 

We were not afraid.

It was not what the boys wanted

 

to see.

We were tearing

 

through the dirt

like golden chariots.

 

 

The Bedside Book of Melancholy

 

 

A thoughtful shade, a thinking person’s blue

had me paralyzed last night.

 

Instead of answering your call, I sat wishing

I was listening

to Miles Davis,

 

thinking that philosophers

in similar states of mind

before I was born called

 

this melancholy.

 

I keep heating and folding and heating

and folding again

 

what you told me

 

like a blacksmith

strengthening a blade.

 

Surely, I am not the first to feel

like a doll’s head

 

tossed out because my eyes

no longer blink.

 

I need no pill, no empathy, no talk,

no therapy.

 

Give me time.

 

I will break

this blue truce.

                                                                                                    

I will do

what must be done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eternal Signs

 

 

A chicken wing-

shaped

 

piece of tofu

fails to destroy

 

the chicken

wing restaurant.

 

An image of Egyptian

columns

 

on the internet

as they may have been

 

fails to destroy

their ruin.

 

 

 

 

 

Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He has two chapbooks forthcoming: Simpler Times and Staring Down Miracles. His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cloudbank.

 

 

 

 

Permutations of Getting Wet by Linda Imbler

 

When rain and fate are intertwined,

some will get wet and never dry,

submerged in guilt that amplifies,

much moisture causes them to die.

 

Wily folks hidden by deep fog,

it dampens them and only blurs

their truth they claim as demagogue,

their crimes and sins always obscured.

 

Splashing through pools of enmity,

saturated with pelting rain,

a bright sun shower quickly forms,

bathed in sunshine, these dry again.

 

Some survive a spate and torrent.

They turn deluge into drizzle.

These then convince the clouds to form

only mist, soft dew does fizzle.

 

The cold disdain of those in sleet,

icy crystals freeze their numb hearts.

They never care for others’ pleas.

They simply choose to live apart.

 

Through hail and snow and pouring rain,

we walk the earth and live our lives,

through haze and spray we must maintain

lasting existence of all types.

 

 

 

 

Linda Imbler’s poetry collections include “Big Questions, Little Sleep,”  “Lost and Found,”  “The Sea’s Secret Song,” and “Pairings,” a hybrid ebook of short fiction and poetry.  She is a Kansas-based Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee.  Linda’s poetry and a listing of publications can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com.

 

 

I Think The Words by Uma Venkatraman

 

I think the words. I place them on the edge of my tongue. I hope they will tumble into being.

 

I want to die

 

They shock me. They shouldn’t. I gave birth to them. Four Words. They ripped through flesh, sinew and bone. They fought through tissue and muscle and nerve. They have lived forever in me, defying death and time. Now they want to live.

 

I am happy to die.

 

Death. It heals. What time cannot.  Time doesn’t heal. It ravages. It gobbles happiness like a starving lion, excreting sorrow. Layer by layer, it builds a wall within. Everything turns to stone.

 

I taste the dust. Scattered on the tip of my tongue. Crumbling, like words. Falling petal-soft on the earth. Unsaid.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Rocketboy by Bruce McRae

 

And then there’s the night sky,

a vasty char peppered with stars.

Heavenly light show. Home of the gods.

A fairground of satellites and meteor showers.

We used to lie out on summery lawns

and lose count of ourselves.

The first astronomers on the block.

Child-astronauts charmed by gravity.

Darlings with their eyes plucked out

so they wouldn’t see the horrors.

When once we heard a star that moved,

our senses abandoned by reason.

Until our planet shriveled

to the size of a cherry pit

and life beckoned with a crooked finger.

With the cold hand of an image beheld.

 

 

 

 

Bruce McRae is a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC. He 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).

 

 

  

Enter Into the Earth by Paula Hackett

 

 

Enter into to the earth                 

again                 

The middle of rhythm                 

A pounding sound                 

in the back of life                 

It keeps me alive                

 Almost a feeling                 

A whisper of memory                 

A thought somewhere                

in a mind that                 

has no substance                

 A rite of fancy                 

a clinging right                 

To exist beyond hope

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone Goes by Wayne Russell

 

She said that she’ll always be my friend,

said that she would stay no matter what.

 

But as the years became a blur, we watched

as the wheels of our romance fall off.

 

The flowers that I brought her died in a vase,

the children grew so fast and started a new life.

 

Everything changes, the season’s dance in a cycle.

The snow melts away when the sun rises and the

grass springs forward giving new life.

 

Everything changes, everyone goes, but me I am

here, always here and alone.

 

 

 

 

 

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 has nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. Where Angels Fear is his debut e-book.

 

 

 

 

The Blessing of Forgetting by Eadbhard McGowan

 

Burned into the ridges of the human brain,

this centre of emotions, memory, and pictures.

Data coming up like on a computer screen,

fragments imprinted in the mind, agglutinated pain,

distressing recollections or a pleasant rhyme;

some come to the surface, spring to mind,

stay monolithic, overshadow, influence the time,

those, mercifully submerged in oblivion, left behind.

 

Forgetting belongs to dough like yeast.

If we could not forget, we would be slaves of the past.

Some of my mementos are an ice-cold winter night

over dark steel factory outlines, a full moon – bright;

hand in hand with mother on empty streets,

destroyed houses, after a hellish rain of bombs

in war nights, only left as crater chains,

a smell of decay, time-dust washed into the drains.

 

Living in ruins, streets like dentures with missing teeth,

my parents, and me as an additional package,

unborn, duty unpaid, to be delivered in the coldest month of the year.

Poverty unfelt, did not know anything else for two decades.

An empty tin as birthday present, a wooden stick,

the little drummer, pa rum pum pum pum.

Dead hare on a balcony wall, from which blood dripped,

eyes staring, a questioning glance at the sound of the drum.

 

Rubble pouring out of a collapsed building

like the guts spilling out of the dead cat on the debris,

lying on top of the broken bricks like a warning;

like a mourning of the dead, buried underneath, reduced to ash:

People who never came back to the light of the day.

Messed-up childhood, disturbed, until the end of my time.

We never forget wounds, exposed to a haunting memory

which never fades away.

 

 

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is an artist and a translator and writer of poetry and short stories. He is writing haibun and poetry in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry. He is a member of four writer groups in Ireland. He lives in County Kerry, Ireland, since more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. He was published in 29 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in UK, Ireland and USA. Writes also under his pen name: Eadbhard McGowan

The Writer by Mark Kodama

 

We must see life unflinchingly with all its beauty,

Power and roughness and then tell about it

Vividly, painting pictures with words,

For the varied minds of our listeners,

In the form of our common experiences.

Letters and words scatter like bugs

Under a rock exposed to sunlight

For the first time.

 

We must gather, tame, and organize

These wild words, bringing joy to the sad,

Hope to the downtrodden and

Meaning to the dispossessed.

We are writers.

 

 

 

 

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.

The Rabbit of Good Luck by Daniel de Culla

 

In the Moor’ Field

Next to the green  olive

There captivated me

Those three girls

-What were their names

Of the three girls?

-The biggest, Constance

The youngest, Lucia

And the smallest

Her name was Marie

Constance scrubbed

Lucia swept

And the smallest

Brought us water.

In a children’s circle

We were happy playing

With a rabbit and a chicken

In the midst

Next to a cold fountain

While the rabbit

Rodes the hen

As if she were his captive

While we  were singing

Pointing one of us

Before elected from each other

Touching one of us

When we finished

The childrens’ song:

“The rabbit is not here

He left this morning

But at bedtime

Pum! It’s here

Doing the reverence

With a face of shame

You, the choosed,  will kiss

To whom do You like the most”

Addressing

The boy or girl touched

To the girl or the boy

Who one most wanted

Giving he or she

A kiss on the cheek

Choosing me, almost always

The younger, Lucia

That was vey good

So much

Children  calling her

The “Good Natured”.

 

 

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

 

 

Passage to Paradise by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

 

The emotion that lies at the heart,

not shown in gestures and words,

cannot be measured or felt,

but for myself.

Disillusionment, sadness and despair,

even rejoicing and pleasure,

have created tears, salty and hot ones,

which have leavened the soil where I live,  

bringing forth flowers, fruits, children.

Have nourished and ennobled my spirit,

paying the toll I owe to the lord of the fief.

I am sure they are leading me to Canaan,

the promised land where evil finds no shelter 

and milk and honey flow abundantly.

Where the woman I desire is waiting for me,

at the door of my house, longing and needy,

wife and lover.

 

 

 

A Brazilian poet, Mr. Ferreira, 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 http://www.edilsonmeloferreira.com.

 

 

 

Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 3; March 2019

p5

Poet of the Month: Heath Brougher

Poem by Sunil Sharma

No one ever knows by Gary Lawrence Ingram

Meditation on Poetry by Shalom Aranas

Summer Escapades by Joanne Olivieri

A Place by Lynn Long

The Blessing of Forgetting by Eadbhard McGowan

A Feeling of Worthlessness by Eric Golden

I Am Recovering by Jack M Freedman

My New Life As A Hobo by Noelle Kukenas

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Heath Brougher  

 

Be Like the Creek Water

 

You will get nowhere standing

in the silly Manmade circles

which unfortunately encompass

most people’s lives.

 

You must live like the creek nearby

your living room with its worn-out recliner—

the same water never running through

the same area in its eternal flowing—

the same water never rippling

the same way it did during its previous ripple.

 

For the loops you live within

usually come with their own cubicle

and a line drawn in the land

to demarcate what is yours

and what is theirs

as you’ve become a tool

for the Controllers of this feudal era.

 

It is a lie and it persists

because you let it persist.

You were taught to let it persist.

Be like the creek water, never flowing

the same. For that creek water

is the cousin of The Great Spiral.

 

The reigning tedium can be quit by tapping into this mindset.

 

 

 

 

 

Indoor Rain

 

Every night it begins

to rain in my bedroom.

It’s clockwork to the utmost

as that cold stir is born

with the sound of droplets falling

onto my life ring out, not loudly,

but predictably. I don’t know why

it rains in my bedroom at the stroke of midnight.

Maybe it’s an omen since midnight

is technically the beginning of a new day.

Maybe it is a warning

of the awful things yet is to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Read

 

I try to read

in between the lines

and skies of lies; I try

to pull Truth from the reflection

of its pages to shine upon my mind;

for, if you do not

read between the lines,

you will likely end up

with a headful of false ties

to the pages that tried

to coax you into a false lullaby. 

 

 

 

 

 

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).

 

 

 

 

 

Poem by Sunil Sharma

 

Winged visitors

 

Red-vented bulbul

 

joined by another

 

a noisy pair

 

dark and handsome.

 

 

 

Swinging on the cable

 

delighting the home-alone

 

prisoner

 

 

 

their crested heads

 

kissed by the rough winds of summer

 

 

 

mouths—open

 

waiting for the rains

 

to arrive on the Mumbai skyline.

 

 

 

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

No one ever knows by Gary Lawrence Ingram

 

It’s now that time of year which has  become hot enough to watch the silhouettes dance above the blistering asphalt rising

 

As I sit here on the patio that isn’t mine watching the rain that’s badly needed dripping from the roof tops all around me

 

There is no better sounds than the rain on a tin roof as the rolling thunder bellows far off in the distance

 

Or the lonely sound of the whippoorwills embracing the forest before it sleeps in the mountains I come from

 

Time has never changed ,but the places and the faces in a life time has

 

I often wander into a future I cannot see but God already has and I’ve never been right about any of it

 

I only do my best and hold all of my desire inside while I wait for the days to unfold like a new page written in the heavens

 

Catastrophe can happen to anyone but the Lord will rebuild lives lost as long as hope survives

 

I once seen a man walking a dog at the end of an old rope that the old fella must have found on the side of the road

 

In one hand he held a sign that said could you help me please I’m hungry but feed my dog if that’s all you have

 

Each day I passed this man thinking the worst ,today I parked my car under the shade of an old oak tree not too far from him

 

watching as cars rolled by staring at this man with a sign

 

Once in a while someone would toss him a dime or two and a few dollars as he always thanked them with a God bless you

 

I sat there almost the whole day or until he got too hot to continue his plight flying his sign of hope

 

As the elderly man stood up I noticed he almost fainted and watched with fear as he recovered

 

About a hundred yards away was a sonic drive in

 

I continued peeking into someone else’s life kinda like God does ours

 

The car hop brought out a small bag and a cup of water and some fries which the old gent gobbled down without breathing ,after he was finished he took a silver bowl from an old wadded blanket and unwrapped a hamburger and placed it in the bowl so lovingly for his little dog and gave it the rest of the water he had saved for it

 

I never seen him go to any store to buy any beer or cigarettes but I did watch him disappear into the woods just down the street

 

With all of the love inside me I just had to see for myself where he was headed

 

It was an old makeshift covering with a sheet n some bags over it to protect him and his companion from the rain and some old boxes made the flooring

 

I couldn’t take what I was seeing so I went and bought imperishable items

and went to the atm machine and took them through the woods on a walk God sent me on

 

I’ll never forget the surprise or the look on that old mans face when I gave him and his little dog what I called his package from heaven

 

The last thing the old man said was God bless you ,as I said to him back

 

He already has

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Meditation on Poetry by Shalom Aranas

 

 

You study poetry

by writing someone else’s

word per word

on paper

as though you could

grasp its essence

through the physicality

of the Rs and the Ts.

I say

an apple is never known

until you have eaten

it to its rotten core.

You only see the flesh

of its rind, bright and green

 

gleaming back at you

not knowing why

or how it tastes

acrid to your tongue,

after all.

 

 

 

 

Shalom Aranas has always been in love with the power words have on heart and mind and writes to weave the same magic over that of others.  

Summer Escapades by Joanne Olivieri

 

 

A Summer affair

on foreign shores

warm days, hot air balloons rise

to the occasion

exotic nights, your alcohol breath

fuels the flames.

 

A tequila sunrise at last call

and crickets scatting jazz tunes

a midsummer’s dream

erotic fantasies

in high definition.

 

 

Joanne has been writing for 50 years. She is a published poet and photographer. Her works have appeared in numerous in print and online publications such as The Parnassus Literary Journal, Westward Quarterly, The San Diego Arts and Poets Magazine, Nomads Choir, SP Quill, just to name a few. She was awarded a round-trip ticket to Hong Kong in 2007 by Cathay Pacific Airways for her winning entry in their poetry contest. Joanne is the founder and editor of Stanzaic Stylings Literary Ezine.

 

Joanne enjoys reading, writing, collecting old poetry books, live music concerts, roaming art galleries and museums, leisurely lunches with friends in diners, getting out in nature with her camera and making toys for and playing with her feathered companion, Sammers You can learn all there is to know about her by visiting her website/blog at http://poeticshutterbug.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Place by Lynn Long

 

There is a place deep within-

where love never dies and rainbows never end.

There upon a river flowing to the sea,

my heart drifts along in wistful reverie.

For this place is home, the place where I belong;

floating endlessly, as I hum a little song.

Marveling at the wonder, to do such a thing,

I dream upon the stars, and all the love they bring…

 

 

 

 

 

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

Poet, writer, aspiring novelist, daydreamer and believer in the impossible

Artist @hitRECord.org and Scriggler.com

Published in the following Ezines, Publications and Online Journals:

https://academyoftheheartandmind.wordpress.com/

Antarctica Journal

Duane’s PoeTree

In Between Hangovers

http://ryethewhiskeyreview.blogspot.com/

http://theconclusionmagazine.blogspot.com/2018/12/issue-02-conclusion-magazine.html

https://thepangolinreview.wixsite.com/mypoetrysite

Poetry Poetics Pleasure

https://stanzaicstylings.blogspot.com/

Whispers

 

 

The Blessing of Forgetting by Eadbhard McGowan

 

Burned into the ridges of the human brain,

this centre of emotions, memory, and pictures.

Data coming up like on a computer screen,

fragments imprinted in the mind, agglutinated pain,

distressing recollections or a pleasant rhyme;

some come to the surface, spring to mind,

stay monolithic, overshadow, influence the time,

those, mercifully submerged in oblivion, left behind.

 

Forgetting belongs to dough like yeast.

If we could not forget, we would be slaves of the past.

Some of my mementos are an ice-cold winter night

over dark steel factory outlines, a full moon – bright;

hand in hand with mother on empty streets,

destroyed houses, after a hellish rain of bombs

in war nights, only left as crater chains,

a smell of decay, time-dust washed into the drains.

 

Living in ruins, streets like dentures with missing teeth,

my parents, and me as an additional package,

unborn, duty unpaid, to be delivered in the coldest month of the year.

Poverty unfelt, did not know anything else for two decades.

An empty tin as birthday present, a wooden stick,

the little drummer, pa rum pum pum pum.

Dead hare on a balcony wall, from which blood dripped,

eyes staring, a questioning glance at the sound of the drum.

 

Rubble pouring out of a collapsed building

like the guts spilling out of the dead cat on the debris,

lying on top of the broken bricks like a warning;

like a mourning of the dead, buried underneath, reduced to ash:

People who never came back to the light of the day.

Messed-up childhood, disturbed, until the end of my time.

We never forget wounds, exposed to a haunting memory

which never fades away.

 

 

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is an artist and a translator and writer of poetry and short stories. He is writing haibun and poetry in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry. He is a member of four writer groups in Ireland. He lives in County Kerry, Ireland, since more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. He was published in 29 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in UK, Ireland and USA. Writes also under his pen name: Eadbhard McGowan

A Feeling of Worthlessness by Eric Golden

 

As I lay here alone thinking

I feel like I’m totally sinking

I feel worthless

I feel imperfect

I’m craving a woman’s love

I’m craving a woman’s touch

The urgency of filling thee,

Void is killing me

So the world turns without me

And my tears flow undoubtedly

Although it may seem very scary

I must remember this is only temporary

I can’t act on impulse

And jump into a love that may be false

And I see so much Facebook monogamy

And it personally starts to bother me

I can’t have sex on the random

In hopes that a woman will find me handsome

I’m so self conscious & I can’t rely on a woman to make me feel better

In the end the only one I have is me & that’s forever

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

I Am Recovering by Jack M Freedman

 

I

I am

I am recovering

I am recovering myself

I am recovering myself instead.

I am recovering myself. Instead…enjoyment

I am recovering myself, Instead, enjoyment reigns

I am recovering myself, Instead, enjoyment reigns triumphant

I am recovering myself, Instead, enjoyment reigns triumphant again.

I am recovering myself, Instead, enjoyment reigns triumphant again. Seriously!

I am recovering myself. Instead, enjoyment reigns triumphant again; seriously envisioning.

I am recovering myself. Instead. enjoyment reigns triumphant again; seriously envisioning myself.

I am recovering myself. Instead, enjoyment reigns triumphant again; seriously envisioning myself alive. 

 

 

 

Jack M Freedman is a poet of heart and mind and creates his verse in both traditional and free forms.

 

 

My New Life As A Hobo by Noelle Kukenas

 

My farm is now dust

So travel I must

Everything went bust

My new life as a hobo

 

Riding the rails

Walking dirt trails

Washing up in pails

My new life as a hobo

 

Working for dinner

I’m getting thinner

Not much of a winner

My new life as a hobo

 

An Okie by birth

I still have self-worth

Sleeping on the bare earth

My new life as a hobo

 

 

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!

 

 

 

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine Volume 3; Issue 2; February 2019

v3i2

Poet of the Month: Ken Allan Dronsfield

In the Cemetery by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Prayers in the kitchen by Gary Lawrence Ingram

Are We? by Glory Sasikala

This Moment by Eliza Segiet

Cigarette Burns in the Sleeveless Shirt of the Universe by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

No Turning Back by Ann Christine Tabaka

So Long by Kelli J Gavin

Duplicity by Guy Farmer

The White Stone and Dreams by James G. Piatt

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Ken Allan Dronsfield  

 

 

Arbor of Wisteria and Clematis

 

 

 

I reflect upon the lavender Wisteria;

 

the lilacs and lonely gardenias.

 

I uncover the grand butterfly bush

 

Quoth the Nepeta, ‘keep to the path’.

 

Those shrubby pussy willows bloom,

 

a burning felt deep within the Clematis.

 

What could be more purely aglow?

 

Only this and a Thimble-berry pie.

 

There perched, a crow upon the arbor

 

craving the bi-colored, brag bonnet.

 

A harlequin colored sky now aflame

 

The rooster never asked for the time.

 

Orange bells fall from the trumpet vine,

 

first touch of frost kisses a naked leaf.

 

leaves soar and spin in the north winds.

 

 

 

 

Of Time Slowly Passing

 

 

 

Of shallow labored breaths

 

a lone kiss in the of predawn,

 

rattle and hum whispers within,

 

wish only sleep during cold times.

 

Yellowish orbs dart all about trees,

 

kisses spread from the tip of sprigs

 

spiraling down into the old garden

 

I try to reach out and touch them.

 

My ride takes us through the gates

 

grass glistens in the carriage-lights

 

touch of frost left upon a naked leaf

 

skies of yesterday; dreams of today.

 

Albino raven’s roost in the old cedar

 

pious penance delivered by rosary.

 

Moldy smell of freshly shoveled earth

 

thoughts linger within lofty reflections;

 

the things that can never be unseen

 

a taste of solace within old memories.

 

Prayers answered with a lilac scent

 

I feel small in this time of my passing

 

Resurrection Lilies sprouting nearby

 

fragrant Red Roses whisper to me. 

 

 

 

 

Into the Burning Man

 

 

 

Blasphemy courted with anecdotal perversity

 

limitless chatter echoes through the canyon

 

all now weeping at the sight of blind hypocrisy

 

catching the dancing orbs with a butterfly net

 

seeking a peace but tripping through garbage

 

sands stained with the blood from star shards

 

music calms the beast, but on the jungle roars

 

pinnacle of life, enchanted in an icy cold desert.

 

tutelage from shamans; swaying to a spirit drum

 

casting of vows into pious devotional candlelight

 

earthy spirited flutes touch the heart and soul

 

bodies float down into the heart of white flames

 

albino raven’s perch upon high sandstone glyph’s

 

my vision now doubling objects indiscriminately to

 

the many I wish to see, and those which I do not.

 

The images are now imprinted upon my eyelids

 

overlap, confusing, awkwardly, as a child’s collage.

 

Yet, I can now see beyond the darkness, beyond

 

the terrors, beyond the bright white crystal sparks

 

a burning man now tosses ink onto the parchment..

 

 

 

 

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran, prize winning poet and fabulist from New Hampshire, now residing on the plains of Oklahoma. He is published in magazines, journals, reviews and anthologies throughout the US and abroad. Ken has three poetry collections, “The Cellaring”, 80 poems of light horror, paranormal, weird and wonderful work. His second book, “A Taint of Pity”, contains 52 Life Poems Written with a Cracked Inflection. Ken’s third poetry collection, “Zephyr’s Whisper”, 64 Poems and Parables of a Seasonal Pretense, and includes his poem, “With Charcoal Black, Version III”, selected as the First Prize Winner in Realistic Poetry International’s recent Nature Poem Contest. Ken won First Prize for his Haiku on the Southern Collective Experience Haiku Contest. He’s been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and six times for the Best of the Net for 2016-2018. Ken loves writing, hiking, thunderstorms, and spending time with his cats Willa and Yumpy.

 

 

 

 

 

In the Cemetery by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

In the cemetery, I was standing on my knees,

reading verses of the holy book to the tombs

I was praying with tears on my cheeks

until the graveyard stopped me and asked me if

I was reading verses or reading sorrows

with an emotionless face, he asked to repeat

I started reading again and, his face was getting

red as his eyes were dropping my unrhymed tears

he stopped me with anger and screamed out

why more grieves, why more death, and less peace

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

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

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

spirits weeping with us, as the clouds will rain again

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

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

our grandparents were the farmers, who lift the sunshine

and brunt themselves to death, just to protect the seeds

our mothers stole the moon from the wall of the night

they hid in their coffins and the stars after our fathers

turned the rainbow into a solider in the zone of death

and made the snow into a drinkable water to survive

 

 

 

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.  

 

 

Prayers in the kitchen by Gary Lawrence Ingram

 

The smell of smoke from the fireplace and the bacon cooking on the cast iron skillet was my alarm each day

 

My mornings to me at that time we’re just ordinary I never knew any better until now as I look back listening to my memories speaking to me from another time

 

Granny was always standing there wearing her apron and a smile waiting for me to wander in rubbing my eyes as I staggered to the table

 

Homemade biscuits and gravy were always steaming beneath the tea towel that granny always placed there to keep everything fresh and warm for me

 

The humming coming from the kitchen was something that always told me granny was happy and she loved what she did for me grandad

 

Sometimes on those rainy days which I called them I could hear her saying prayers with a soft sobbing sound that made me sit still and think about things myself or those in need or in a bad way

 

Grandpa was always gone when I’d get up he was a busy man and spent most of his time taking from the forest to keep us alive but he always gave back by planting new saplings ,he taught me that God put the trees and the animals here for us to use but we must respect the things He’s given us just like life and the home we lived in

 

That slow moving stream that came down out of the mountains with its silver hair tangling here and there still remains beside the house that held so much love and reason for living

 

  I can still hear granny praying in the kitchen and smell the bacon swirling in the cool winters air just like then I’m sitting still and remembering why I’m praying now

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Are We? by Glory Sasikala

 

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.  

This Moment by Eliza Segiet

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

Ready for happiness,

we greedily go towards it.

And when it opens like a

dawn-awakened nenuphar,

it is not because

it will always be so,

but in order to enjoy

this moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cigarette Burns in the Sleeveless Shirt of the Universe by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

 

 

There are bullfrogs

 

and there are screwdrivers

 

and there were knickknacks

 

and fireflies over Oregon

 

like cigarette burns

 

in the sleeveless shirt

 

of the universe.

 

And there are carnivorous plants

 

and chilled salad forks

 

and bathroom stall etchings

 

like a Rosetta stone

 

for the disinherited.

 

There are colonoscopies

 

and pay stubs

 

and grey owls

 

and grey hairs

 

and more colours to a windswept

 

rainbow

 

than toes on the clubbed foot

 

of Eternity…

 

 

 

I am not a very good noise maker.

 

I take it on the chin

 

and move on.

 

I am the milk-white muted womb

 

of no comment.

 

The toe jam regular of sand crabs

 

and Danish kings.

 

When I speak it is barely audible,

 

more mumble and grunts

 

than true syllables –

 

an economy of word

 

and meaning.

 

When I eat pea soup,

 

it is understated.

 

When I defecate I never push.

 

I just sit there and let it slide out

 

at its own pace

 

like faith in an old jalopy

 

 

you trust

 

will get there

 

someday.

 

I stand in a room

 

like a hat rack

 

stands in a room.

 

I love like gift cards

 

love,

 

all sentiment

 

and distance

 

and general penmanship.

 

My dress

 

and overall existence

 

is low key.

 

I am a ghost

 

where there are no ghosts;

 

in the tilted can opener wisdom

 

of Transparency.

 

 

 

There is a picture on my bedroom wall

 

of me

 

many years younger

 

not smiling.

 

Surrounded by birthday goers

 

wearing birthday hats,

 

I am neither happy

 

or wearing a hat.

 

And I know that face I am wearing

 

just like I know there are shallots

 

in the crisper.

 

When I get mad

 

or upset

 

I don’t explode like some horny John

 

all over the blotchy face

 

of Reason.

 

I get quiet and frustrated instead

 

and internalise

 

everything.

 

And then I drink more

 

(much more)

 

than I’ve drank to this point

 

tonight.

 

 

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.

 

 

No Turning Back by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

 

Parting rivers.

Parting ways.

The truth laid bare

at my feet

 

Deep dark secrets hide

within converging storms.

A cadence of emotions

marching by.

 

My words are not your words.

We speak in different tongues.

It is as if you know the answer

before the question is posed.

 

You know me so well

yet not at all.

Fragments of life

falling into oblivion.

 

Forlorn and forgotten,

forsaken and lost.

Death closes the door

that love once opened.

 

Parting ways,

there is no turning back.

Time does not allow

such luxuries as that.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

So Long by Kelli J Gavin

 

 

I will not say goodbye to you.

I won’t do it.

I will say so long.

In hopes of seeing you again.

I will not say goodbye to you.

Good bye always seems so final.

And saying goodbye to you isn’t possible.

I will always want you.

I will always need you.

So long.

I will see you soon.

I will see you again.

Because I will not say goodbye to 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

Duplicity by Guy Farmer

 

Nothing can

Stop their agenda,

Broken people

Trying to feel

More secure in

A world made

Dangerous by them.

 

Self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Duplicity,

Incompetence,

Cowardice.

 

 

 

Guy Farmer writes evocative, minimalist, modern poetry about the human condition. Visit him online at https://www.unconventionalbeing.com/.

 

 

The White Stone and Dreams by James G. Piatt

 

 

Echoes in my mind carrying my

 

Idle thoughts swirled around the

 

Burnished edges of eternity as I

 

Meandered through memories

 

Inside my dreams. I remembered

 

It was near a bark-covered path

 

Where I found the white stone

 

Hidden among beautiful flowers

 

In a meadow. I gave it to a lady

 

I Did not know, but recognized

 

From one of my dreams.

 

 

 

Old memories released visions

 

Where nothing existed except

 

Objects that emitted pleasant

 

Fragrances, and as I followed the

 

Aroma of red roses, Jasmine,

 

And lilacs, which floated up stairs

 

To an ancient clock, which had

 

Secrets hidden inside its golden

 

Works, I saw the lady siting in a

 

Rocking chair weaving dreams

 

Out of the white stone.

 

 

 

Dr. Piatt’s poetry collections include “The Silent Pond,” “Ancient Rhythms,” and “Light.” His poem “Teach Me,” was the poem of the year at Long Story Short, and many of his poems have been featured as ‘poems of the month’ in numerous magazines, including Poetry Poetics Pleasure.  Several of his poems were nominated for both Pushcart, and Best of Web awards. He has published over 1130 poems.  He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU.