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.
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.
Translated from Assamese – Bibekananda Choudhury
Both the persons appear clearly
So I do not even look
Deck up to make the outward person
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
We connotate the universe.
Instead of solid objects, dining table, we produce a glow of associations, family, food, togetherness,
I would take you in my arms, stroke your long red hair, kiss your lips like drinking cabernet, like . . .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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).
The noise of the fly,
Shattered quiet of the shade,
On a summer’s day.
But history nonetheless,
Etched in the
Memory of a mortal man.
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,
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.