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

Boredom by Donna Dallas

Oh Star, oh Star! by Nathan Anderson

apprehend by Jude VC

Misery by Mohammad Saif

Nineteen Minutes to Bedtime by Robert Ronnow

Cherished Daydreaming by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Serenity by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

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

Wave by Marianne Szlyk

A Winter Walk by John Anthony Fingleton

Dear Therapist by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

 

Boredom by Donna Dallas

I wash this face                        this soft peached skin

wash the day’s dirt       

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

while a spider quietly weaves                           in and out

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

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

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

the web is almost perfect             what will he eat

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

how’d he find his way in here and

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

the heart is strong             so strong       it knows no end only

a means to its own

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

some beckoning from one                     spider

to another              how long could they truly live      

how long could a little creature persevere

in a window frame

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

ritual                  wash and weave                    in fact

if this spider disappears            I fear            I will ache to know

what fate has become of it

 

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

 

Oh Star, oh Star! by Nathan Anderson

 

 

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

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

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

                                       ‘Concord on third and fourth again’

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

apprehend by Jude VC

don’t say conviction is what followed but rather understanding

in the face of some great question mark

or another we all have to face whatever it

is (the question, that is)

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

another side of

being or something (else) it shows

It’s not agreeing to anything not 

even to disagree but to

know and get it for the first time ever

and if that causes certainty

then it is not in viewpoint but it

is in apprehension

so alright call it by certainty

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

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

 

 

 

Misery by Mohammad Saif

The sun departs assuring hope,

Knocking perpetual miseries.

People yearn for a fulfilling life,

Apprehensive of qualms and mysteries.

The thought of hope exits the minds,

Relentless damage done to world,

Takes hope away, and causes blind

The eyes of minds of all.

Promises broken soon than made,

Each day sun rises and shines bright.

The brightness- but devoid of light;

They wonder should they ever strive?

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

 

 

 

 

Nineteen Minutes to Bedtime by Robert Ronnow

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

  

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

 

Cherished Daydreaming by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

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

I see men, women, old and young people.

They carry on their faces their realities and, beyond,

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

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

their high esteem, their own motto, their ego.

They are striving to be individuals,

rather than simply one more.

Sometimes I see even myself,

mixed in the crowd, perhaps a little lost,

but firmly believing to be on the walk too.

I feel we are all connected in an invisible web

and hope that each of us will reach,

at its own time, the promised land,

that Canaan where milk and honey spill

and evil never finds shelter.

       

 

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

 

 

Serenity by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

 

I give myself a break.

I cannot give myself hope.

I look into the sun.

It shows me no pity.

I drown in sunlight.

The heavy leaves provide me

solace, but no pity.

The tree falls on me.

I let it crush me.

The shadows bury me.

I grow like a seed.

I fill the noise with silence.

I feel whole this way.

I am like the tree that fell on me.

The scattered leaves are my blood.

Under the earth the old me rests.

I feel no pain, only serenity.

There is a pulse in my trunk.

My fingers are the thin branches.

The leaves are my eyelashes.

I have no face.

I am like the tree that fell on me.

I sleep standing up.

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

 

 

 

 

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

(At Hamilton Lakes)

Stone carved dreams for men

past and gone, freedom fighters

blow past wind and storms.

Patriotism scared, etched in the face of cave walls.

There are no cemeteries here for the old, 

vacancies for the new.

Americans incubate chunks

of patriotism over the few centuries,

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

Today happiness is a holiday.

Rest in peace warriors, freedom fighters, 

those who simply made a mistake.

I gaze out my window to Hamilton Lakes

half-drunk with sparkling wine,

seeing lightning strikes ends,

sparklers, buckets full of fire.

Light up the dark sky, firecrackers.

Filmmakers, old rock players, fume-filled skies,

butts of dragonflies.

Patriotism shakes, rocks, jerks

across my eye’s freedom locked

in chains, stone-carved dreams.

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

share darkness alone, share bangers in the open sky.

Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson published in more than 1072 new publications, his poems have appeared in 39 countries, he edits, publishes 10 poetry sites.  Michael Lee Johnson, has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018.  210 poetry videos are now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos.  Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762; editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available here   https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089.  Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings:  The Best in Contemporary Poetry, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1722130717.

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

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

 

 

Wave by Marianne Szlyk

 

 

After Aquarela

Taking up the whole screen,

the wave turns to glass,

solid too slippery for

ship or whale or plastic

that clots stretches of sea.

The wave hides life

that scurries and clings

to ground miles below. 

Sole object of the lens,

the wave swells beyond

what this multiplex screen

grants.  We gaze

to find meaning

in this scene without

human or animal,

without ship or land.

We wait for a human voice

or violin or dog’s bark

to break the spell.  

We won’t hear the wave

break its heart on stone.

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

  

A Winter Walk by John Anthony Fingleton

In was a staggered wind that winter,

The kind that comes and goes with ease,

One minute it was a howling gale –

The next it was a breeze.

The beach was drawn and empty,

With debris from the sea,

And rolling waves that came and went,

As nature tends to be.

A desolated beauty,

Which only lost souls could employ,

A substituted happiness,

That only the insane would enjoy.

One gull drifting on the airwaves,

Gave out a primeval scream,

As if to remind a forgotten world,

This was once how it had been…

An Abandoned Lane

I walk along this abandoned lane,

Under a halo of tangled trees,

Lost and overgrown-

Now in the company of weeds.

I remember when it used to dance,

To the sound of children’s games,

Snowball fights in winter;

Or sheltering from the light summer rain.

I find the old scarred willow tree,

Where once we children carved our names,

And wonder, where they all are now?

All scattered to the winds.

The songbirds are still singing,

Undisturbed by my tracing feet;

Enhanced by the silence

As if nature found its peace.

I am the intruder-

So I steal silently away,

Before I break the magic spell,

Of those far off distant days.

Dear Rajnish,

The information you requested.

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

Dear Therapist by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

I feel to stay in bed forever.

I look outside helplessly.

Birds chirping don’t interest me,

I am a night owl myself.

I don’t feel like talk to anyone.

The bed is more dear to me than anyone.

I watch TV endlessly.

I eat and eat.

I don’t look at mirror.

I don’t brush my teeth

or brush my hair.

How many days haven’t I washed my face?

It is easy to say

‘Go to a therapist ‘.

Can the therapist make me forget,

what I have gone through.

All years of pain,

from torture and abuse,

Finally, I gave up on life.

It is easy here.

No one to bother.

No sunlight,

no reality.

I don’t want to think what I was

 and What I am now.

I feel and see all signs of deterioration of body.

Dear Therapist,

Can you bring back what I have lost.?

Can you erase those haunting memories of pain?

Can you make the life  as it used to be?

You can listen only,

 and advise to seek my true self.

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

Dear therapist,

 how would you know what it felt like

Because you weren’t there.

You may nod as if you understand,

But you weren’t there.

Dear therapist,

 I don’t need you.

The way I am going, the end seems near.

My deteriorating body will take me to my final sleep.

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

Soon, I will be out of my misery.

Is not all want ?

Soon, there will be No More Pain.

Only silence and solitude.

The moon and peeping stars depressed,

And weeping willow only to cry in my name.

And no one else.

 

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

 

PPP Ezine PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 9; September 2020

Dream Cadence by Wayne Russell

Moment by Eliza Segiet

Lullaby for a Politician by Jennifer Bradpiece

Fits in Nicely by Patricia Walsh

Both Sides by Noelle Kukenas

He Called Himself Giraffe by Ndaba Sibanda

Endless Options by Milton P. Ehrlich

Flower Girl by Michael Lee Johnson

Not Enough Maps by Kyle Laws

Don’t Quit by Kelli J Gavin

When Love has Ended by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

Book Review: Death is my only Beloved

 

 

 

Dream Cadence by Wayne Russell

 

A sparrow whistled a song into my ear last night.

 

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

snuffed out all too soon.

 

The grass sings a serenade, soothing natures fleeting

breath.

 

While an ancient lullaby reaches its crescendo, she

dances upon this midnight dream cadence.

 

Peering through tear stained windows, outside where

innuendos swirl in vacant breeze.

 

We were here, do you remember?

 

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

cascading and thus sealed over, simplified by

the finality, reaching its terminus point.

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

Moment by Eliza Segiet

 

 

Translsted by Artur Komoter

 

 

I do not remember yesterday,

I do not know what will be tomorrow,

but I know

I’m only here

for a moment.

Everything

is a continuous moment.

The substitute of all

is love.

 

 

Eliza Segiet is Jagiellonian University graduate with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. She completed postgraduate studies in Cultural Knowledge, Philosophy, Penal Fiscal and Economic Law, and Creative Writing at Jagiellonian University, as well as Film and Television Production in Łódź. She has published three poetry collections and two monodramas.

Lullaby for a Politician by Jennifer Bradpiece

 

for dad

 

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

my mother looks like she wants to slap me.

 

And who could blame her.

 

I’m portending my father

landing in the emergency room

the very day the old dog passed

with the same certainty one might lament

a full glass toppling off a table’s edge.

 

Where were my minders?

I had nearly misplaced an entire continent.

 

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

 

Ernest Cossart’s Irish brogue gently chastises,

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

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

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

 

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

 

As I wheel around before closing the door,

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

She spins around at her door, facing me

and an off-camera Cossart.

 

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

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

of myself alright! Goodbye pop!”

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Fits in Nicely by Patricia Walsh

 

Grating at extremeties, like the sheer cold

Over winter blanketed, a part to play

Traitored, or otherwise, importance  to call

The basic ingredient is the willing heart.

 

Life-partners to the fore, smugly congregating

In enclosed spaces not for the rest of us.

Brusquely rebuffing attempts at conversation

About their situation, intrusive, thanks.

 

I remain a stand-alone, despite predictions

Of a collective over summer, look out or not

Several broken hearts liter the roadway

To an earlier heaven, fitting in nicely.

 

No problem with insanity, broadcast over coffee

Not in any company should these jokes be shared

Strictly smoking in confined spaces, to mockery

Counting in times it hits you in the face.

 

Concerned, perhaps?  Preserving acquaintance

For merriment alone, cussing the depressed.

Parallels with Ballymun hit the wrong spot

Reading comfort but kicked in the teeth.

 

Relaxing at its peak, reading the irrelevant

Taking notice of sorrow for once in a life

Conspicuous by absence, still overlooked

Gambolling from drink to drink a speciality.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 Both Sides by Noelle Kukenas

 

 

Rushing up the escalator from the subway to the street

“Move to the right, people!”

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

Pushing the heavy glass door open and sprinting across the lobby

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

Damn security protocol!

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

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

Trying not to trip over myself

The guard nods and opens the door for me

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

 

Moving slowly through the doorway and down the hall

Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle

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

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

Carefully navigating each step onto the bus and finding my seat

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

Descending the bus as carefully as I boarded it

Joining another slow but steady line to enter the building

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

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

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

  

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

 

 

He Called Himself Giraffe by Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

That he was a towering figure was no debate

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

He called himself a giraffe, though some found it odd

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

Numerous souls on the streets raised eyebrows

Each time he appeared they gave him stares 

Not that he was a superstar by any measure 

 Out of courtesy, they would say it was a pleasure   

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

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

Which meant that possibly he was economical with the truth! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

       

 

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

 

 

Endless Options by Milton P. Ehrlich

 

  

Are you awake

to what you 

choose to do

with the rest 

of your life?

 

Sit, stand, walk 

or mark time.

Swim in an ocean,

hang from a tree,

or bury yourself 

deep in the ground. 

 

Cry about the past 

or be a circus clown

without a frown

about the future.

 

Doing nothing 

can sometimes be

a necessary time out.

 

Try being present 

for the present,

and, you can fly 

with one wing.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flower Girl by Michael Lee Johnson

 

 

Poems are hard to create

they live, then die, walk alone in tears,

resurrect in family mausoleums.

They walk with you alone in ghostly patterns,

memories they deliver feeling unexpectedly

through the open windows of strangers.

Silk roses lie in a potted bowl

memories seven days before Mother’s Day.

Soak those tears, patience is the poetry of love.

Plant your memories, your seeds, your passion,

once a year, maybe twice.

Jesus knows we all need more

then a vase filled with silk flowers,

poems on paper from a poet sacred,

the mystery, the love of a caretaker−

multicolored silk flowers in a basket

handed out by the flower girl.

 

 

 

Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson published in more than 1072 new publications, his poems have appeared in 39 countries, he edits, publishes 10 poetry sites.  Michael Lee Johnson, has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018.  210 poetry videos are now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos.  Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762; editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available here   https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089.  Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings:  The Best in Contemporary Poetry, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1722130717.

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

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

 

 

 

Not Enough Maps by Kyle Laws

 

 

As if with GPS you don’t have to know

how to find your way down a mountain

 

after you’ve taken a wrong turn

after it’s too late to go back

 

when you’re losing light

and if you don’t get off the peak

 

you will spend the night with no blanket

hardly any food

 

the water mostly gone

and bears sighted on the slope.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Don’t Quit by Kelli J Gavin

 

 

I love you

More than I care to admit

It hurts sometimes

How much I love you

My love is jagged

It is fierce

It is loyal

Often overwhelming

But it is love

The truest form

Do not not quit on me

Because I will never quit you.

 

 

Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company.  Look for Kelli’s first book of short stories and poems in 2019. You can find her work with The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, Writing In a Woman’s Voice among others. Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram@KelliJGavin  Blog found at kellijgavin.blogspot.com

When Love has Ended by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

 

 

When you feel that you feel nothing, 

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

When you feel numb at his pain

When his joy doesn’t transpire into you, 

You know then. 

When you are insensitive to his other women, 

When you stop to pretend to be happy, 

When you stop posting pics in Facebook, 

Trying to convince others all is well, 

When you are not scared of people gossip, 

Then ask yourself. 

When you feel that relationship is just a contract

Merely debit and credit, 

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

Then ask yourself. 

When you stop trying to win him back, 

When you two are together for benefits, 

When you know anger towards him has left you, 

And the hatred and jealousy are gone, 

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

And then, you know the love has ended, 

And the relationship of convenience has began. 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Book Review: Death is my only Beloved

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

   

 

PPP Ezine PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 8; August 2020

v4i8

Language Bridge Fridge by David Flynn

The Trinity by Thomas M McDade

A Dangerous Journey by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Earth Poem by Shola Balogun

The Unrealized Dreams of the night by Edward Lee

Spoons by C L Bledsoe

I am trying to find out by Jayanta Bhaumik

Our Dreams No Longer Dance Across the Sky by Ndaba Sibanda

The Strangeness of Poetry by Jennifer Bradpiece

Silence of Dialogue by Eliza Segiet

Parents are Gold by Ferris E Jones

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

 

 

 

Language Bridge Fridge by David Flynn

 

 

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

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

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

Can’t hear you.

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

In the fridge.
Save.  

 

David Flynn was born in the textile mill company town of Bemis, TN. His jobs have included newspaper reporter, magazine editor and university teacher. He has five degrees and is both a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Specialist with a recent grant in Indonesia. His literary publications total more than 230. Among the eight writing residencies he has been awarded are five at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, NM, and stays in Ireland and Israel. He spent a year in Japan as a member of the Japan Exchange and Teaching program. He currently lives in Nashville, TN.

 

 

 

The Trinity by Thomas M McDade

 

 

A cap and tweed coated, wiry gent boards the train

nose bleeding, hand over a blackened eye he holds

out an empty coffee cup to catch contributions

no words accompany phlegmy volleys of “Ahem”   

smiling as coins drop, he tilts and bobbles thanks

A gum-chewing troubadour strums an electric guitar

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

a Yank in a yachting lid and a mismatched suit

pumps his cane as if once the song and dance kind

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

 

She looks more mistress than daughter or wife

her breathy accent conjures a quaint crepe shop

close your eyes and poof: breathe Left Bank air

as they dawdle along navigating the crosswalks

the crowded sidewalks she’s nearly carrying him

 

Leaning against a wall by a fragrant flower stall

she holds a lacy handkerchief to his allergy flow

his boating cap drops top first attracting a medley

of coins and himself, mistress, wife or daughter

slide warily down to share laughs bawdy or not

 

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

A Dangerous Journey by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

 

 

Sometimes I venture to make a risky journey.

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

The road I take has been built entirely by me,   

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

Rough a path and full of so many deviations,

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

Now, I see that there were no other choices,

for only this way would lead me where I am.  

Where and what I must be ever since I was.

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

grandfathers and cousins, see also myself.

Then, undoubted alive, they talk to me,

ask for news and soon we are laughing,  

like old comrades absent for so long. 

On leaving, one or other intend to follow me,

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

I suspect that past is jealous of its deeds

and always hides how has woven them. 

I think it must be visited as few times

as one is capable of.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Earth Poem by Shola Balogun

 

Wine for your thoughts.

 

Raft of corn seeds,

Whispers in the attic,

The locked eyes in the helve,

The treading of the sole of the foot

In the winepress. You heard tell

That trampling tongues

Birth Belial roots

In the dark pool of rushes?

 

Child, meddle not with the shadows.

Stones tasted wine in time past.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 The Unrealized Dreams of the night by Edward Lee

 

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

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

  

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

 

 

Spoons by C L Bledsoe

 

 

 

A fuzzy-headed daisy, shocking the humus

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

help but delight in your color.

 

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

to better see you tumble across the living

room. Your wrists are thinner

 

than my hopes. I hope you never understand

any of this. Just know that when you wake,

it’s enough, and when you sleep,

 

the quiet holds its breath so as not to disturb. 

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

When I try to tell you stories

 

of the dead, though living. Later, you settle

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

about the time Aunt Cookie

 

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

potholes, interjecting plot points with curses

and tell a story about the woods

 

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

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

Let’s make a new one.          

 

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

 

 

 

I am trying to find out by Jayanta Bhaumik  

 

  

I am still in the search  

I’m journeying into tears of the stone

its depth, my bias so strong

something tries always to tell me,

from the course of its hard heaven,

that I’m nice between all right and wrong

I can be the absurd of the being

my imagination is an expanding

war between fire and its flame

like a combined wave of

deep sleep and regular insomnia

the fair odd of the auburn flower

Come, you pluck it from

the fine blade of understanding

here goes another expressway made of moments,

and I write you this travelogue with love –  

I’m still in the search of

the navel of time

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Dreams No Longer Dance Across the Sky by Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

You cannot be too high

I’m speaking directly to you Sky

You need to change for the better

Climate Change, right now, I`m bitter!

  

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

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

And extinguish our miseries of dryness and drought

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

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

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

Our dear landscape has become a playground for a merciless heatwave

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

Your palms are unappealing, unpolished, unprecedented and unpredictable  

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

 

 

 

.

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

 

 

 

The Strangeness of Poetry by Jennifer Bradpiece

 

 

The deranged tingling of

broken air.

The weather that sneaks into

the veins.

The deferential tone

of a tongue-pressed night.

The diagnostic range

of a calculus equation illuminated

in a mercury filled

glass eye.

The speed at which

time cycles,

how the laundry

gets dizzy,

and the frying pan holds

what won’t be

washed away.

The TV is jealous.

The refrain is not

repeated once.

No foundation.

A hologram from

an 8-track.

A twelve-story window,

no glass.

 

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

 

 

Silence of Dialogue by Eliza Segiet

 

 

With a sigh

you soothed my senses.

Sufficient were words,

those

unspoken.

Significant.

Strung like

beads.

 

The sighs soothed

the senses.

Silence of dialogue –

silence

that is spoken.

 

 

Eliza Segiet is Jagiellonian University graduate with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. She completed postgraduate studies in Cultural Knowledge, Philosophy, Penal Fiscal and Economic Law, and Creative Writing at Jagiellonian University, as well as Film and Television Production in Łódź. She has published three poetry collections and two monodramas.

Parents are Gold by Ferris E Jones

 

Lush the memories of nights tucked in

With days free and without sin.

Candid tears sit as your parents leave

With uncertainty you grieve.

They always came home with a small kiss

And once again, you exist.

Remember those tears, the love you hold

They will pass, then they’ll be gold.

 

Ferris E Jones is an award-winning, internationally published poet and screenwriter living in Puyallup Washington. His work has appeared in both print and online magazines, including as the featured poet for Creative Talents Unleashed. Other magazines include: Glo Mag, Piker Press, Se La Vie Writers Journal, Write on Magazine, Outlaw Poetry, Degenerate Literature 17, Tuck Magazine, The Literary Hatchet, Warriors with Wings, In Between Hangovers, and many other literary publications. He is the recipient of two grants from the Nevada Arts Council and the Editor and Publisher of Nevada Poets 2009. Ferris has twice received honorable mention awards from Writers Digest annual screenwriting contest. Ferris is also the Author / Editor of seven collections of poetry. You can learn more about Ferris E. Jones by visiting www.inquisitionpoetry.com where each month he features the work of other poets. The goal of this site is to spread the word of poetry throughout the world.

 

 

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

 

As rivers have fountains, fountains have their rivers

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

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

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

Same as you are mine and I am yours.

No matter how you are,

How far away,

Why should I assume you are not near by.?

Why there should be a secret walls between us?

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

I will keep cherishing your love for light years,

I will sing the lyrics of our love song

And chant your name again, and again.

Paths have their travellers,

Travelers have their paths.

So do you and me.

You just belong only to me.

And I only to you.

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

.

 

 

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

PPP Ezine PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 7; July 2020

v4i7

 

 

Poet of the Month: Joanne Olivieri

Formulae. not Thoughts and Ideas by Ben Nardolilli

When All of the World is Asleep by Wayne Russell

Horsehair by DS Maolalai

Metropolis by R. Gerry Fabian

Regarding your future romantic life by John Grey

To Lhasa And Back by Gerard Sarnat

Acab by Robert Beveridge

Jealousy by Louis Faber

A Million and a Half Guests by Fabrice Poussin

I Cannot Stop the World by James Croal Jackson

The Limits of the Sun by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Joanne Olivieri

 

 

 

If I were

 

If I were a leaf

clinging to your branches

I would embrace your twigs

caress your trunk

and bury myself in your roots

never to let go.

 

If I were soft petals

displaying my finery

around your heart

I would kiss your stems

with scented dew drops.

 

 

 

Inner Beauty

 

Beauty

with age remains

a solitary inner peace

 

A mask

revealed in vain

yet, to be set free

 

As wine

grows sweeter with age

preserved as a rarity

 

Age

with peace sustains

a spiritual beauty

 

 

Imprint

 

At dusk

a quiet silence rests

sipping merlot

on white sands

 

Sunset minuet

permeates the sky

cotton candy clouds

pattern a natural masterpiece

 

You tell me you love me

as the moon debuts

we jazz it up

leaving imprints

 

Along the shore.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Formulae. not Thoughts and Ideas by Ben Nardolilli

 

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

 

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

When All of the World is Asleep by Wayne Russell



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

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

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

 

 

Wayne Russell is or has been many things in his time upon this planet, he has been a creative writer, world traveler, graphic designer, former soldier, and former sailor. Wayne has been widely published in both online and hard copy creative writing magazines. From 2016-17 he also founded and edited Degenerate Literature. In late 2018, the editors at Ariel Chart nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. “Where Angels Fear” is his debut poetry book published by Guerrilla Genesis Press.

 

 

 

Horsehair by DS Maolalai

 

 

the painter takes horsehair,

and scratches

a canvas.

 

there’s something

behind it

to see.

 

 

 

DS Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016) and “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019).

 

 

 

 

 Metropolis by R. Gerry Fabian

 

In the northwest,

the talk is about

huge mountains and deep lakes

and trout that jump so high

you need a shotgun to bring them down.

Those folks deal in envy.

 

I’m the city

and the media ain’t kind to me.

They see my energy level

in terms of sensationalism,

but I overcome them.

 

Damn few lakes have to hustle

to keep their landlord in Florida.

I’ve never seen a mountain

that knew where to go “after hours”.

And those trout can’t swim faster

than the El at rush hour.

 

I’m the city.

I breathe heavily.

I perspire honestly.

I promise no favors

and wipe my denim

with the entrails of creatures

that will soon be soaked in spring water

and garnished with parsley.

 

I cleave the dreams

and wash down the blood

with high pressure hoses.

 

The blast of my furnaces

embarrasses any mountain campfire.

I employ sunrise as a time clock

and long after the meadow petals

have folded for the night,

I generate enough lights

to rival the stars.
  

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regarding your future romantic life by John Grey

 

Maria will say “No.”

Angelica will totally ignore you.

The eyes of the three young women

huddled over the bar’s corner table

will fall on the guy in the tweed jacket

or the one in the muscle shirt

but not you.

Joanne will say,

let’s just be friends.

Sue will stop short of even that.

You’ll be slapped by Rosa,

figuratively stomped on by Jean,

dissed by Ruth

(for whom the word ‘dissed’

is front and center in her vocabulary)

and then Marcia,

always honest Marcia,

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

Your best chance will be Kimberly

and even she will weigh her options

(limited though they may be)

before giving you an answer.

The future, when it comes to the opposite sex,

will be disappointment times a million,

I’d suggest a hobby.

Or a job that satisfies.

Or a weekly game of poker with the guys.

These are not so harrowing fields of endeavor.

‘Despite yourself is less of a headwind.

                    

 

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

 

 

 

To Lhasa And Back by Gerard Sarnat  

 

 

 

Silk Road millennia

trade foreign lands, fourteen days 

quarantine when home

purification ritual

to quench pandemic.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Acab by Robert Beveridge

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Jealousy by Louis Faber

 

On this night, the clouds grow jealous,

and unable to release their burden, opt

to capture the moon and stars and

withdraw them from our view.

 

They would willingly punish us

with snow, but that, here is

forbidden, and so they slowly move

along, wondering when they too

will be released from their

all too dark captivity in the heart

of a night drenched sky.

 

We want the stars back, want

the moon’s return, but not

at the cost of the rain of which

we have had more than our need,

so we urge the clouds to move

to places they are dearly needed

and where the flames of the land

would be slowly sated by their gifts.

 

.

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

 

 

 

A Million and a Half Guests by Fabrice Poussin

It the depth of the alcove

they came in great numbers visiting

in the thickness of the night

they rapped against his door.

 

There was a note in the morning papers

somewhere beneath the substance

of another close out sale

in ink invisible as he had ever been.

 

Mondays had followed Sundays

regular as always unstoppable

and no one had remarked a change

next door in another secret alleyway.

 

It was said that it just happened

natural as clockwork on the implacable wheel

the fates had fulfilled their obligation

everything else fell into place.

 

A million little souls arrived at their appointed hour

to feed on the memories of this forgotten self

floating in perfumes made for other lands

like so many waves in the purplish veins.

 

Into a grey cloud of infinite storms

they move to hide a manic frenzy

and leave behind them but a broken frame

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

 

No one knew that something was different

a million miles away a butterfly expired

but those who call themselves his kin

went on with their eternal oblivious laughter.

.

 

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

 

 

I Cannot Stop the World by James Croal Jackson

a strawberry

on the last day

 

I hope to believe

in other things about God

 

because the Temple’s sharp

eye had a sudden appearance

 

What is the cause?

I have no answer

 

Tonight I’ll give my eye

to the Temple

 

when the angels descend

from heaven

 

In this blindness

I can rest the world

 .

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

 

 

The Limits of the Sun by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

to the limits of the sun…

 

 

Ahmad Al-Khatat was born in Baghdad, Iraq. His work has appeared in print and online journals globally and has poems translated into several languages. He has been nominated for Best of theNet 2018. He is the author of The Bleeding Heart Poet, Love On The War’s Frontline, Gas Chamber, Wounds from Iraq, Roofs of Dreams, The Grey Revolution, and Noemi & Lips of Sweetness. He lives in Montreal, Canada.e great satisfaction derived from serving humanity.

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

v4i6

 

A Walk Bright and Bold by Ndaba Sibanda

Nonsense by Eliza Segiet

No Time by Wayne Russell

Odisha by Connor Orrico

Enabling Cookies by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Expensive Prayer by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Negative Space by Ann Christine Tabaka

Serenade a Moment by Glory Sasikala

SeaScape  III by Joan McNerney

Forgive Me by Kelli J Gavin

The Storyteller by Brian Rihlmann

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

 

 

 

 A Walk Bright and Bold by Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

Uncertainty rules 

like never before,  

the new normal 

is the abnormal,

the unheard-of state 

of affairs is our new,

there was the past

before the present

whose presence 

virtually signifies 

a virtual existence

if one cannot be 

cybernetic or dynamic, 

it seems fully frenetic! 

though the human race

must always run a race

that is optimistic & civic

a walk , bright and bold  

  

 

Ndaba Sibanda is a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee, Ndaba`s poems have been widely anthologised. Sibanda is the author of The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache: Unsympathetic Untruth, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence and Poetry Pharmacy. His work is featured in The Anthology House, in The New Shoots Anthology, and in The Van Gogh Anthology, and A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Poetic Intersections. Some of Ndaba`s works are found or forthcoming in  Page & Spine,  Peeking Cat, Piker Press , SCARLET LEAF REVIEW , Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Pangolin Review, Kalahari Review ,Botsotso, The Ofi Press Magazine, Hawaii Pacific Review, Deltona Howl, The song is, Indian Review, Eunoia Review, JONAH magazine, Saraba Magazine, Poetry Potion, Saraba Magazine,  The Borfski Press, Snippets, East Coast Literary Review, Random Poem Tree, festival-of-language and Whispering Prairie Press. 

 

Sibanda`s forthcoming book Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things: Confronting Controversies ,Contradictions And Indoctrinations   was considered for The 2019 Restless Book Prize for New Immigrant Writing in Nonfiction. Ndaba`s other forthcoming book Cabinet Meetings: Of Big And Small Preys was considered for The Graywolf Press Africa Prize 2018.

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

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

 

 

Nonsense by Eliza Segiet

 

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

I cannot overpower time,

now lasts extremely long,

I will not have good memories.

 

Before and after it

there were,

there are,

there will be.

 

From the continuous nonsense

that destroys faith in the human

 we will get out.

 

I know,

in some

remained

 

a bit of humanity.

 

Eliza Segiet is Jagiellonian University graduate with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. She completed postgraduate studies in Cultural Knowledge, Philosophy, Penal Fiscal and Economic Law, and Creative Writing at Jagiellonian University, as well as Film and Television Production in Łódź. She has published three poetry collections and two monodramas.

 

 

 

No Time by Wayne Russell



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

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

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

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

 

 

Wayne Russell is or has been many things in his time upon this planet, he has been a creative writer, world traveler, graphic designer, former soldier, and former sailor. Wayne has been widely published in both online and hard copy creative writing magazines. From 2016-17 he also founded and edited Degenerate Literature. In late 2018, the editors at Ariel Chart nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. “Where Angels Fear” is his debut poetry book published by Guerrilla Genesis Press.

 

 

 

Odisha by Connor Orrico

 

 

Odisha I

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

Odisha II

in evening paramedics
rejuvenate themselves

in the vibrant colors
of their favorite sari shop

Odisha III

beside swift

highway traffic
an elephant 
proudly ambles

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Enabling Cookies by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

 

She bakes them on a tray

in the oven

gets antsy when they are not ready

when she thinks they should

         

It is her grandmother’s recipe.

Handwritten on a single yellow old cue card

passed down through the family.

And I try one while they are still hot,

this woman who loves to bake.

                                   

Her grandmother returned to dust.

We eat an entire tray in one sitting.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Expensive Prayer by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

 

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

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

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

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

                     

 

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

 

 

 

Negative Space by Ann Christine Tabaka  

 

 

Humming a tune,

the song is never sung.

 

Strumming the cords,

a melody is lost.

 

Counting minutes,

hours turn to days.

 

Seeking direction,

a course is all but set.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Serenade a Moment by Glory Sasikala

 

 

He wove dreams with and around me

 

I will take you to the river

and make you a raft

You can lie there and float

with the current.

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

We will watch the blue moon together

and hear the owl hoot.

I will send you love letters on lotus leaves

down the river.

I will weave you flower garlands made of buttercups.

There are open spaces in the forest

where the bamboo bloomed and died

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

I will show you how the cheetah’s eyes

shine in the dark jungle

I will show you how to make baskets

out of palm leaves

And I will make love to you

among the flowers in the hillside

where the birds sing.

 

 

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

 

 

 

SeaScape  III by Joan McNerney

 

 

 

My mind is an ocean

where swimmers, surfers,

sun worshippers cavort.

 

Long salty hair

held between

their teeth.

Flourishing

wild flowered gowns

…streams of silk

waves of taffeta

splashy lace.

 

They sail through

my watery face

combing my eyes

whispering in my ears.

 

Alone, under a pointillist sky.

Gulls flying around me.

Black waters touched by

moon of vague prophecy.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Forgive Me by Kelli J Gavin 

 

What?

What did you say?

Forgive me.

I am not sure what you are asking me.

Could you please repeat?

Could you please tell me again?

What are you trying to say?

I want to respond to you.

Yet I don’t know where to begin.

I will wait.

I will be patient.

Forgive me.

I don’t know where to start.

 

 

 

 

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

Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin

Blog found at kellijgavin.blogspot.com

 

 

The Storyteller by Brian Rihlmann

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

The role of the artist in society has changed dramatically at various times in recorded western history. One of the earliest notable exemplars of the reputable place that a poet occupied in society is Aeschylus, who did his public duty in 490 b.c., when he fought against the Persians at the battle of Marathon, participating in the struggle for survival of the democratic polis, Athens.

The options of the artist diminished rapidly with the growth of empires, since the role of the artist is not vital to the existence of the state. For almost two millennia, the normal pattern of life for the artist was dependency on patrons, sponsors, or commissions. The exceptions were the select few born to privilege, for example, Byron, who gave his life for Greek freedom, perishing in 1824 at Missolongi, during the Ottoman siege. During this span, the artists outside the system led difficult lives and were fortunate to practice their art, however difficult the conditions.

The industrial revolution diversified the control of wealth by the lords of power, bringing forth a new class of financial barons, who turned to the arts in imitation of their betters. Suddenly artists were able to create their work without it being pre-sold, consequently they were no longer mere craftpersons. Many became personages of some stature in the eyes of the new prosperous middle-class society.

From the 1870’s on, some artists had a world view that allowed them to look beyond their individual discipline, as they searched for a more significant role in the life around them. Poets patriotically enlisted in World War I, and the British poets in particular wrote about the horror they experienced. The poets who dutifully went to war in World War II returned quietly and never really developed a public identity. The crisis for American poets began in the early stages of the Cold War. American painters skyrocketed to world acclaim, fame, fortune, while the poets composed in relative obscurity. More and more poets sought a modicum of security, finding shelter in universities far from public recognition and reward.

In a dynamic American cultural revolution, every art form from the 1960’s on, offered the possibility of wealth and status to the artist, except poetry. Poetry had no opera houses, concert halls, museums, galleries, or mass-market publishers to attract large audiences. But the poets now were college-educated and with a few exceptions, such as the Beats, led obscure lives in colleges. The artificial atmosphere comforted the isolated wordsmiths with the illusion of accomplishment, reaching small groups of students, readers of poetry periodicals, and miniscule audiences attending poetry readings.

Poetry in America experienced an identity crisis. The anti-Vietnam war movement in the late 1960’s firmly closed the portals on the topic of war, mankind’s most consequential activity, as a suitable subject. Virtually all American poets were liberals and in all good conscience opposed war, so the government became the enemy.  Since the poets mostly could not identify the capitalist owners of America, they scorned the system of flawed representative government and retreated further into safe niches.  Internal revelations and lurid exposés of parental abuse became valid subject matter, transforming the nature of poetry into microcosmic excursions, rather then explorations of big issues.

In an era of uncertainties and dangerous conflicts, domestic and foreign, there is no designated role for the artist in American society. The very concept of training poets in college, an environment that discourages extremes and negates any natural inclination to action, leaves the poet adrift in a world that dismisses the practitioners of passivity.

The poet travels towards his or her destination, a journey of creation of what should be a meaningful body of work, through a haphazard combination of education, exposure and personal preferences. This occurs in an unstructured process that makes the accomplishments fortuitous. In medicine or engineering, students are taught and trained by measurable standards and the results are assessable. Even acting, the most superficial of the performing arts, which lacks the stringent requirements of music or dance, has more predictable goals than poetry. The poet’s path could be adventurous, since it explores an uncharted wilderness without landmarks or traveler’s aids, but it will be a dismal voyage for the timid.

Poetry, once the preeminent literary art, has been supplanted by mass market commercial fiction. The authors of novels have become far more prominent than any poet, whose limited possibilities of achievements are determined by effort, talent, and coincidence. Rarely is anything meaningful achieved without a mentor, the sponsorship of a like-minded network, or a supportive artistic community. The poet can be susceptible to a stifling tendency to huddle together in protective enclaves, rather than move in the sphere of the world at large.

The poet must learn to expand his or her perception of existence and enlarge their scope of interest, or risk becoming inconsequential in this demanding life. There is an urgent need to reach out to diverse audiences, prisoners, seniors, the culturally underserved, and most important, to youth, not to make them poets, but to introduce them to a broader view of life. With proper instruction, poetry is the most accessible and cost-effective way to reach large numbers of youth. The constriction of the classroom rarely develops confidence in youth, the quality that allows them to choose who they will grow up to be. The poet can help launch venturesome journeys for youth that will promote their contribution to the future of our society.

It is implausible that America will produce warrior-poets who will fight on tomorrow’s battlefields of freedom. But those poets who wish to participate in the life of their times, participate in a grander arena of creativity, design a meaningful role for themselves in their society, must outreach to needy and deprived audiences.  The poet’s efforts will enrich their audiences, who in turn will reward those poets who are receptive with the great satisfaction derived from serving humanity. 

 

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn’t earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 26 poetry collections, 10 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 1 collection of one-act plays. Published poetry books include:  Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings, The Remission of Order, Contusions and Desperate Seeker (Winter Goose Publishing. Forthcoming: Learning Curve and Ignition Point). Earth Links, Too Harsh For Pastels and Severance (Cyberwit Publishing: Forthcoming Redemption Value). His novels include a series ‘Stand to Arms, Marines’: Call to Valor, Crumbling Ramparts and Raise High the Walls (Gnome on Pig Productions) and Extreme Change (Winter Goose Publishing). His short story collections include: A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing) and Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). The Republic of Dreams and other essays (Gnome on Pig Productions). The Big Match and other one act plays (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume 1 and Plays of Aristophanes translated then directed by Gary Beck will be published by Cyberwit Publishing. Gary lives in New York City.

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

 

v4i5

 

Poet of the Month: Glory Sasikala

I remember by Gary Lawrence Ingram

Carpe Diem by Ermelinda Makkimane

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

Love Metamorphosed by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

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

Small Prayers by Connor Orrico

Am I by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Eyes by Alexis Ogunmokun

Holy Spur by Anupama Bhattacharya

Class Photo by Brian Rihlmann

One Single Kiss by Fethi Sassi

 

 

 

 Poet of the Month: Glory Sasikala

 

 

 

I must go

 

 

The seconds hand ticks

Each heartbeat.

 

Each heartbeat

A hope.

 

Each hope

A prayer.

 

 

Each prayer

A promise.

 

Each promise

A raindrop.

 

Each raindrop

A prism.

 

Each prism

The colors of my dreams.

 

Each dream

My smile.

 

Each smile

A knowledge.

 

 

 

That some day

It will all fall into place.

 

But for now

I must go.

 

 

 

 

 

Let me in…

 

 

Let me into the realm of your thoughts

Beyond the spoken

And the felt

Till I merge into the magnitude of your silence.

 

Let me into the coolness of your touch

A thousand births and deaths

Being baptized again and again

Till my name is lost in yours.

 

Let me into your songs of triumph

And your dirges of sorrow

Looking at the world from a cliff

Till I laugh and cry only with you.

 

Let me into the beat of your heart

Your breath, your warmth

Your proof of a life lived

Till my river of thoughts flow into your ocean.

Let me in on that spark in your being

That exists in no-man’s land

That ignites a spark in mine

Let me into your soul…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are we?

 

not that i want answers

to a relationship

that seems to flex

to meet our erratic selves

so moody and unpredictable

so based on imperfection

but our sidelong glances ask

are we the ones?

are we cosy bed and pillows ad sheets?

are we cuddle, kiss, curl and sleep?

will you wipe the dishes while i wash

roll out the dough while i flip?

peeping over shoulders quadrupled vision

is it our laughter that will break the silence

of a dark night, startling the owl

and drawing stars closer?

i did not let the outside world in

did you?

i can walk away, can you?

at will, i ask you –

will we be the ones –

our fingers barely touching

a relationship on a shoestring budget

of superficial small talk

barely skimming the surface…

how far must we go before we know

we’re forever?

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

I remember by Gary Lawrence Ingram

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Find that special one and adore it ,him or her

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

.

 

 

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

Carpe Diem by Ermelinda Makkimane

 

The nightly orb simply stares at me

Through the glass window pane.

 

Beauty in borrowed feathers,

I mutter, disdainful.

 

No, carpe diem, she says,

Seize beauty from wherever you get it. 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

work was a better pumpkin

was that a reynolds fish

 

why is there a world in the sink

the miracle of sawdust

 

we shine thru the wall together

the saint of the bees

 

the best answer in the world book encyclopedia

would you like the moon to stare more

 

stereo police feature not in the milk

as long as there is a sink to spit in

 

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

 

.

 

 

 

 

Love Metamorphosed by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

 

In what name shall I call you? 

Your gaze has made me intoxicated. 

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

I am allured by your eyes. 

Now I am like the drunk wind, 

I look at you without fear and shame. 

Let the people say whatever they want to. 

Your eyes have hypnotised me, 

I couldn’t escape the sight of you, 

I am lost and I am at a loss. 

Your eyes are watching me. 

I can’t escape. 

Do you know I have entrapped myself into you? 

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

Tell me, you love me. 

Let the critics say whatever they like. 

Love has Metamorphosed me into a bewildered love.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

The surprise is in the way you never stop

letting yourself come to things.

 

Sitting cross-legged on the bed.

Clapping along.

Ignoring noise complaints like chatterboxes 

from the cosmos.

 

And later leaning over the lip of the tub.

Scrawling this poem for a woman who dances

when there is no music.

 

Both my feet asleep

and much of the known world too.

 

Half a pack of chewing gum seated

on the back of a sweating summer toilet.

 

The way the hard light levels glorious accusations.

And many cords to nowhere, where does anything go?

 

This room has been with me

since hoteliers started handing

out extra towels.

 

The smell of alcoholics on my breath

like confusing a service elevator              

for a streetwalker brought indoors.

                     

 

 

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

 

 

 

Small Prayers by Connor Orrico

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Am I by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

 

Weak am I, 
no longer am I the knight of a stranger’s dark dream
sad am I,
with a thirsty spirit seeking for a bloody river

lost am I,
I cannot find a way to heal my wounds during the day
drunk am I, 
running away from people’s hateful judgments

sick am I,
waiting on the bullet to end my miserable hope
fool am I,
for believing in tears, and ignoring the mouths of lies

who am I,
today I am miserable for writing on the city walls 
who will I be,
nothing but a drunk writer in a forgotten cemetery

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Eyes by Alexis Ogunmokun

 

 

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

.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Holy Spur by Anupama Bhattacharya

 

 

My morning awakes to a holy spur

Leaving behind the smells of petrol

As my faith rides me home

Far away from the madding crowd.

 

Through the  pane I gaze and wonder

Cocooned in childhood nostalgia:

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

 

Yet I come back every time

Waving past the beckoning paddy fields

And Kans grass like fairy’s wings.

To my vapmire’s lair.

To the taste of urban malls.

 

Could Eve and Adam settle in Eden

after tasting the forbidden fruit?

How could I?

 

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

Class Photo by Brian Rihlmann

I look at that class photo, Kindergarten
and wonder what is left
of those faces and bodies and souls
as we, now nearing mid life
are awakened by harsh alarm bells
on the east or west coast
or somewhere in between
and we swarm out into the streets, 
down into subway tunnels or onto buses
or hop in our cars and brave freeway madness,
faces now lined and wrinkled
like clocks and dollar bills.
I wonder if anything at all is left,
or if there’s anything sacred
in this routine. It’s hard to see, but
I still look for it, as I weave
among cars on the freeway, 70 plus, 
toward someplace I’d rather not be.

.

 

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

 

 

 

One Single Kiss by Fethi Sassi

 

 

I still lick my fingers every morning,

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

I hesitate a thousand times…

How can I sink my fingers in her hand?

And kiss the moon dangling on her braids?

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

But…

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

This moon can’t lure me.

I was always biting my poem

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

v4i4

 

Poet of the Month: Wayne Russell

Tequila (V5) by Michael Lee Johnson

The Big Band by Paula Hackett

The Search for Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

Birds by David Flynn

Passion by Edward Lee

Oceans of lessons by Lynn Long

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

What survives by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Kiss of Lavender by Shola Balogun

Hidden in a Small Town by Ferris E Jones

I will stop loving you by Walid Abdallah

 

 

 

 Poet of the Month: Wayne Russell

 

 

Lyric

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Inside Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Loneliness Makes For a Long Long Day  


Sitting here talking to myself

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

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

end?

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

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

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

 

 

Wayne Russell is, or has been, many things in his 48 years on this planet. He has been a creative writer, world traveler, graphic designer, former soldier, and former sailor. Wayne has been widely published in both online and hard copy creative writing magazines. From 2016-17 he also founded and edited Degenerate Literature. Just recently, the kind editors at Ariel Chart nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. Where Angels Fear is his debut e-book.

 

Tequila (V5) by Michael Lee Johnson

 

 

Single life is Tequila with a slice of lime,

Shots offered my traveling strangers.

Play them all deal them jacks, some diamonds

then spades, hold back aces play hardball,

mock the jokers.

Paraplegic aging tumblers toss rocks,

Their dice go for the one-night stand.

Poltergeist fluid define another frame.

Female dancers in the corner

Crooked smiles in shadows.

Single ladies don’t eat that tequila worm

dangle down the real story beneath their belts.

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

Ladies men lack caring verbs, traitors to your skin.

Ladies if you really want the worm, Mescal,

don’t be confused after midnight.

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

The Big Band by Paula Hackett

 

 

Two trumpets fell in love

and their music showed it.

Not a wasted note.

They joined a big band

and were proud to be

such beautiful instruments.

Playing or waiting their turn,

they were never out of reach.

And together they made

the heavens dance.

 

 

 

 

Paula Hackett’s poetry is influenced by her life experiences growing up in Berkeley during the vibrant and explosive 60’s. The daughter of novelist Paul Hackett, she studied under John Beecher, Angela Davis and Grover Sales. She has written lyrics in collaboration with her brother John Hackett, for many great jazz composers including Teddy Edwards, John Handy, Ivan Lins, Joe Sample, Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson, and Cedar Walton. Her life long love of jazz is reflected in her many poems about musicians and in her CDs with pianists Rudi Wongozi and Connie Crothers. Her discography is represented in the images and links below. 

 

 

The Search for Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

 

It’s out there, somewhere,

freewheeling and coy,

tugging on the beard of gravity,

on the path of least resistance.

You can’t see it, but listen –

the sound of a bottle

rolling across a table.

The tattle of mice scurrying.

Sounds of light rain

making its way in the dark.

Planet X, feeling the cold.

Feeling its age.

The sun’s secret servant,

wise men sieving night from day,

weighing circumstance

like bettors chasing fortune.

They realize, once a thing is

hidden it has to be found.

It has to be hard to find.

It’s next to impossible.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Birds by David Flynn

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

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

 

 

 

David Flynn was born in the textile mill company town of Bemis, TN. His jobs have included newspaper reporter, magazine editor and university teacher. He has five degrees and is both a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Specialist with a recent grant in Indonesia. His literary publications total more than 230. Among the eight writing residencies he has been awarded are five at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, NM, and stays in Ireland and Israel. He spent a year in Japan as a member of the Japan Exchange and Teaching program. He currently lives in Nashville, TN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passion by Edward Lee

Your beauty shattered
the air in my lungs,
leaving me speechless,
forced to communicate
with my fingers
on your pale skin;

you answered me,
your breath drawing deeply,
repeatedly, with a song silently,
endlessly sung.

 

 

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

He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.
His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com

 

 

Oceans of lessons by Lynn Long

 

 

Oceans of lessons

Mountains to climb

Oh, my dear heart

Now is the time…

For once- 

I knew my path

Seen so clearly

I needed no map

A foolish quest

I endeavored

Believing myself

Oh so clever

Alas, life-

Showed roads

unseen

Took my hand,

led blindly

in dream

Now…

I follow a path 

seen less clear

As I listen to 

the beat

of my heart 

so dear…

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

Of a live chicken store that was once on Richmond Hill

I sit in a seat facing a passenger taking up

Two seats with the help of an NPR donor tote

A retro man wears cuff links and a monogrammed shirt

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

Lime turtleneck, has her ear glued to a pink

Cased phone the entire trip

Conductor warns once this is a quiet car

(Tell it to the wheels and tracks)

She whispers, listening not talking

Does he move on because she is so attractive?

Is a man she ditched pleading for another chance?

A hefty man corrects student papers, makes many comments

Does he grade tough?

Reads a poetry magazine after finishing

Is he a poet himself?

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

His Boston College ball cap is faded

He sneaks peeks at the good listener

The lights blink on and off

The Woman exiting the train in front of me

Pulls a side-wheeled rolling suitcase

Is she thinking of motherhood

Powering a red wagon full of child?

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

No Smoking – No Bathing or Laundering –

No Drinking of Alcoholic Beverages

How many are plotting?

In the Concourse, some travelers look

At the blue-green Ceiling

For their Zodiac sign or firmament inaccuracies

If this were China, might have featured a rooster

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

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

He’s a one-buck richer Scorpio

 

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

What survives by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

 

There are still marks on the ground

where I kneeled and cried in despair.

The tears I poured in it have been exhaled

and are lost forever.

My screams startled the birds that took,   

around the skies, news of dread and fear,

also entirely lost.

However, the laughter once I launched,

also recorded by the birds,

so gladly had been welcomed that echoes  

by this very day.     

There were also some triumph yells

and some love whispers, which, along

all the rest, have been made worthwhile

this life of quite unnoted a human’s soul.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Kiss of Lavender by Shola Balogun

 

 

 

                                                       

The rose whispers

Your name to me

In the new

And beautiful colours

Of a rainbow,

Distinct in beauty

And elegance of forms!

 

When I see

Your sweet gentle eyes,

I see the sun shine.

 

 

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

Hidden in a Small Town by Ferris E Jones

 

 

I put on a really old pair of shoes,

Which lets me walk chronologically.

I passed a ten-year-old, reading

Chariots of the Gods, in bright sun,

Then put the book down, he was done.

 

I witnessed an enchanted young girl’s shadow

Wither in a churchyard, contemplating

When she would tell of her new love

And how purgatory would start,

Shouldering what hid in her heart.

 

I watched a cruel man weep as a woman

Smiling tossed his dark cloud into thin air,

Making time for her children’s tears

To be felt, to be written down,

To be hidden in a small town.

 

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

 

 

 

I will stop loving you by Walid Abdallah

 

 

I will stop loving you

When the sun doesn’t shine

And dreams are no longer mine

When hopes run out

And volcanoes no longer shout

When all the oceans become dry

And you count all the stars in the sky

When all the trees’ leaves wither

And the earth has only one weather

When deserts blossom and flower

And waters of rivers become sour

When the colors of nature fade

And all trees lose their shade

When we have eternal day or night

And all people lose their sight

When the trees stop dancing in the wind

And the mountains collapse and bend

When rocks and stones cry

And cats and rabbits fly

When winds no longer blow

And waters in rivers and seas no longer flow

When ice and snow in the poles melt

And all living things become mud or silt

When I no longer breathe

And life has no air or breeze

I will stop loving you

When I am chosen by death

And your love gives me a new birth

 

 

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

PPP Ezine PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 3; March 2020

v4i3

 

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

Cold by Ivan Peledov

Forbidden Topics by Seth Brown

Team Players by Tim Kahl

The Field Animal’s Dream by Richard Oyama

Cleaning Shoes of my Daughter by Abu Siddik

Survived another Day by Andrew Scott

Class Photo by Brian Rihlmann

Elephant and Castle Underground Station by Eduard Schmidt-Zorner

What Will We Do? by Eric Golden

One Single Kiss by Fethi Sassi

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

 

Looking Up

 

As the drunk teacher was saying:

The hum of the computer

Was a common feature 

In 5 BC one student

Was looking up:  

Anachronism 

 

 

 

 

Her Finest Chef Ever

 

His fiancée was on the edge

Of starvation, or that`s what

She disclosed as she entered

It was a windy and dusty day

Of his food—cockerel and rice–

His beautiful black bride tasted, 

Exclaimed: oh as sweet as ginger!

The stove regretfully watches

The real rooster that looks alive

And ready to crow as if to mark

The break of dawn…it has dawned

On me that my groom is one

Of the best chefs on this Earth!   

This must be sweet, sweet medicine! 

Its pleasantness has slain my starvation

Thanks, just perfect for this beautiful day!

 

 

 

 

 

Ahead Of Themselves 

 

They came along dressed in joy  

Their national flags set to decoy

 

They drummed, drank, sang, danced 

Till time tottered, tilted, talked, tranced      

 

They got ahead of themselves with delight 

They stole a hive of hearts into the night    

 

 

 

 

Ndaba Sibanda is a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee. His poems have been widely anthologised. Sibanda is the author of The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache: Unsympathetic Untruth, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence and Poetry Pharmacy. His work is featured in The Anthology House, in The New Shoots Anthology, and in The Van Gogh Anthology, and A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Poetic Intersections. Some of Ndaba`s works are found or forthcoming in  Page & Spine,  Peeking Cat, Piker Press , SCARLET LEAF REVIEW , Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Pangolin Review, Kalahari Review ,Botsotso, The Ofi Press Magazine, Hawaii Pacific Review, Deltona Howl, The song is, Indian Review, Eunoia Review, JONAH magazine, Saraba Magazine, Poetry Potion, Saraba Magazine,  The Borfski Press, Snippets, East Coast Literary Review, Random Poem Tree, festival-of-language and Whispering Prairie Press. 

 

 

 

 

Cold by Ivan Peledov

 

Oars smell funny in the middle of winter.

The peasants slowly burn the snow

and force the ice of the lakes to reflect

cardboard aircraft that threaten emaciated divinities.

You must have six arms and two noses

to be able to enter their hallways.

You must lose your mother tongue 

to remain below, to listen unceasingly,

like a wingless, colorless bird,

to stones, trains and shivering beasts

tired of measuring the clouds.

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

Forbidden Topics by Seth Brown

 

Politics and Religion.

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

On a first date

Or in the office

Or when meeting the parents

Or most other times.

 

The risk is that the other person

Might think something

Different

From you.

 

At which point, you have no choice.

You each must draw your blade,

Swear the ancient blood-oaths,

And attack your opponent until either they or their ideas

Are destroyed.

 

The world is not large enough

For two opposing viewpoints

To co-exist peacefully, respecting each other.

Apparently.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Team Players by Tim Kahl

 

The whole work force is on Prozac

   Dynamism is self-subdued.

Good team players can tone it down.

   They fit into marching orders.

My oh my. They’re tracking your movement.

 

   Remember when there were no phones.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

The Field Animal’s Dream by Richard Oyama

 

What is the field animal’s dream?

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

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

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

illicit, something to be rebuked.

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

time before the ceremony of innocence is drowned.

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

another and another and another.

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

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

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

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

stone.

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

silver bells of the flowers ring.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Cleaning Shoes of my Daughter by Abu Siddik

Every morning

From Monday to Friday

I clean with caress

My daughter’s shoes

And brighten her day.

 

I brush away dirt

And shine to their sheen.

 

My daughter first squints

Seconds later she smiles,

My room is perfumed

And my soul shines.

 

 

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

 

 

Survived another Day by Andrew Scott

 

Seems the day is crumbling

before the sunrise even starts

and the motivational coffee is brewed.

Smiling perseverance to hold the glow

of believing in the kind goodness.

 

Walking to a destination

not sure now of arrival

due to unexpected barricades

that may end it all.

Chipper steps need to be taken

to sit comfortably

and breath in the air of delight.

 

Being led down a road

by other’s greedy agendas

just to make a living

where family exists

not knowing when it may

seize to being.

 

The worries of the home

collapsing from the hidden

lives of the unpredictable young.

Still there is love

in the hugs and kisses good night.

 

As we lay in bed after

and go to sleep at the

end of each peaceful night

we dream in celebration

as another day was survived.

 

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

 

 

 

 

Class Photo by Brian Rihlmann

 

I look at that class photo, Kindergarten
and wonder what is left
of those faces and bodies and souls
as we, now nearing mid life
are awakened by harsh alarm bells
on the east or west coast
or somewhere in between
and we swarm out into the streets, 
down into subway tunnels or onto buses
or hop in our cars and brave freeway madness,
faces now lined and wrinkled
like clocks and dollar bills.
I wonder if anything at all is left,
or if there’s anything sacred
in this routine. It’s hard to see, but
I still look for it, as I weave
among cars on the freeway, 70 plus, 
toward someplace I’d rather not be.

 

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

 

 

My Crows by

 

1/

Each time I run short of inspirations

I would try to fold the dull season

Not into a decoration

But into a bird

 

I always hang it high

Above my head

Like my own spirit

Like my white crow, where I

Can hear the droning complaints of

Each creature over its pain

 

The pity is, my senses are often too soft

To hold the shape firm

 

2/

After so many years

            The white crow

    I had been keeping as a pet

            Finally flew away

Without a single moment

                        Of hesitation

Through the back window

            Blown open

By a gust of sun wind

                        Last night

 

Into the storm of

            Black snowflakes

    Falling down

            Right from heaven 

 

 

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

 

 

Elephant and Castle Underground Station by Eduard Schmidt-Zorner

 

 

Waiting in the dark, we dream of light;

deep, underground, we hear detonations,

vibrations of bombing causing fright,

impact of loads dropped on a town.

 

What awaits us outside is unknown,

when we inch to daylight with we desire:

a day darkened by smoke

or a night glowing with fire?

 

Grasped by fear and helplessness,

by air raids and trembling walls,

recognising nightmare’s relentlessness

in the horror of today’s sundown

when night falls like a gown

and sirens sound the all-clear,

in these days of war and fear,

in shelters with neighbours and strangers.

 

Wherever we look into dark future’s night,

far from the here and now, flickering light,

far from home, hoping, and hearing

the word without knowing its meaning.

 

Did we see warnings looming up?

Signs on the wall, in Belshazzar’s hall?

Did we anticipate tyrants, invasion, depravity?

Victims, the dead, the bombs on Coventry?

 

Sons of the land clothe themselves with death,

arm themselves to kill their own kind

in the places of horror, up and down the land.

Dream weavers weave a wreath,

money counters count and pay in kind;

armourers forge, steel unsheathed;

soldiers kill; leave thousands bereaved:

we are all led like puppets on a string.

 

In the city of lost angels,

a masked man sharpens his black scythe,

saddles his mighty horse

for the very last fight.

Burn, Phoenix, that your ashes bear fruit,

keep your heart’s blood, Pelican, to feed us.

Grim Reaper has his harvest time.

We hear graveyard bells chime.

 

Almost filled is the hour-counting shadow glass;

nearly faded, are pottery shards with your name,

the Tree of Life, standing pale in the rain;

wilted, the rosebush that lived your love,

windblown breath that carries your words,

naked, featherless- lonely peace dove.

Go where you have never been before,

where yet so many wait.

 

 

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is an artist and a translator and writer of poetry, crime novels and short stories. He writes haibun, tanka, haiku and poetry in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry and prose. Member of four writer groups in Ireland and lives in County Kerry, Ireland, for more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. Published in 60 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in UK, Ireland, Canada and USA. Writes also under his pen name: Eadbhard McGowan.

What Will We Do? by Eric Golden

 

What will we do when the newness wears off? The laughter is silenced, but at what cost

 

The tears fall, the hearts break

I know I’ve had about enough of all I can take

 

Push came to shove & I got shoved over the edge

But now were both going down cuz I’ve pulled you off the ledge

 

This is the point where emotions have gone astray

When kissing your mouth is like kissing a dirty ashtray

 

I’m not attracted to you anymore either

What you say fucked that up long ago & the knife just got deeper

 

This is the point where hopelessness had made it’s way in 

There’s no turning back now, nowhere to begin

 

Words have lost their effectiveness actions no longer count

The only thing that I feel is the numbness of emotions & constant doubt

 

Too scared to leave, yet too hurt to stay         

We repeat the process day after day

 

Misery loves company, I guess that’s true what they say

A glutton for punishment & sometimes I like it that way

 

Because I get to at least feel something instead Of being dead inside

I’m sorry things couldn’t be different, I apologize for the tears you’ve cried

 

I guess my love wasn’t enough, I guess I couldn’t step up to the plate

Couldn’t do what needed to be done & I’m sorry for my mistakes

 

I really hate the fact that you’re never satisfied

I’m trying as hard as I can, but this is it…end of the ride

 

Why can’t you get over your insecurities?

This fighting is just killing me….

The nagging is too much

Can’t you just be nice for once? I thought we were In love

 

Let go of the past & don’t bring up things from 5 years ago

It’s time to end it & I’m sorry I couldn’t play the part in the show

 

So now when I touch you it’s like there’s something different

You’re randomly leaving w/o my permission

 

When you breathe I can tell that things aren’t right

When I lay next to you I cant stop thinking through the night

 

You’re isolating more & more & you don’t take my suggestions

You think I’m trying to boss you around when I want this marriage to have a resurrection

 

It’s dead & cold

What happened to the days where it was warm & bold?

 

Quit acting like you wanna be single

I can’t keep doing this cause I’m slowly starting to dwindle

 

Off into the darkness

I can’t lie because I’ve also been heartless

 

I’ve called you names, I cut you down

enough games, enough smashing each other into the ground

 

The guilt is all over my face

My pride is in the trash

Now we’re never gonna finish the race, were gonna finish last

 

You wanna fight in public, you wanna call me names

You wanna talk shit & I don’t have time for these games

 

You wanna talk shit on my family & fight in front of my kids

You’re a crazy ass bitch & so now I’ve flipped MY lid

 

You wanna hold resentments & grudges

Living in misery & I’m sick of your judgments

 

If you want a divorce fine, if you wanna leave then go

Yah it’s gonna hurt, but Ill get over it you know

 

Your lips are cold & your touch is hollow

What’s going on? Is there more misery to follow?

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

 

 

One Single Kiss by Fethi Sassi

 

I still lick my fingers every morning,

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

I hesitate a thousand times…

How can I sink my fingers in her hand?

And kiss the moon dangling on her braids?

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

But…

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

This moon can’t lure me.

I was always biting my poem

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

 

 

 

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

PPP Ezine PoetrypoeticspleasureEzine Volume 4; Issue 2; February 2020

v4i2

 

Poet of the Month: Jim Piatt

Poem by Lynn Long

Forget-Me-Not by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

Poetica Couture by Jennifer Bradpiece

Winged visitors by Sunil Sharma

I Am Human by Ahmad Al-Khatat

The Union in Hindsight by Wayne Russell

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

July by Joan McNerney

Morning Escapade by Joanne Olivieri

On Time by Kelli J Gavin

 

Poet of the Month: Jim Piatt

 

Too Late

 

Arriving too late

The sun covered with a gray haze

Met the screaming hour

 

My glass nerves shattered

In the jangle of broken

Poems of hopelessness

 

And died for lack of

Sweet rhyming allegories

Buried too deeply in my soul.

 

 

 

The Final Curtain

 

When the final curtain is drawn,

And my existence unfolds into eternity,

I breathe a final breath, and

The things I savored in my life,

The multitude of happy times,

Fade into winter’s white coldness:

But as the light drips from the sun

Into the horizon’s endless fire, and

My short time on this planet is gone.

Memories continue in others even as

The reflexes known as my life, expire…

 

 

 

Poor Decisions

 

 

Promises, discarded, broken, lie beside

Dusty laws of the past, trampled

Under the grime of ideology: Hopes,

Shattered, lives thrown into the pit of

Indifference born of greed…ignorance,

Untried principles: Compassion wilting

In the darkness of shattered dreams,

Kindness melted into fiscal indifference

Of our time, all under the weight of

Poor decisions.

 

 

 

 

Der Nicht-Nietzsche-Mann

 

 

He is the non-Nietzsche man

A feeling amorphous shape in the

World of fiscal nothingness…a

Caring mind in the world of insensitivity,

Lost in un-noted worthiness…

 

He is the non-Nietzsche man

A gentle soul among the

Multitude of avaricious plastic people…

A man of integrity, honest and sane,

A petal to a sepal…

 

He is the non-Nietzsche man

A thinking mind in the

Torpid emptiness of man’s banality…

A man of truth and virtue, filled with

Intelligence without cupidity…

 

He is the non-Nietzsche man

And like Nietzsche’s god…

He too is dead…

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Poem by Lynn Long

 

IMG_20200123_071549_836 (1)

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

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

 

 

Forget-Me-Not by Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

 

I am the blue flower in the garden of Eden,

Once God came and walking by.

He looked pondering in thoughts,

Suddenly He saw me, and asked,

“Oh little beauty! What’s your name?

Struck by his presence, I forgot my name.

I murmured.

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

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

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

What a dreadful place.

But my inner words came back as echo.

Since then I keep saying to God, forget me not

Take me back to your Eden.

There is no reply from God.

So I wait and wait.

In between, I smile at love couples passing by,

And whisper gently, Forget-Me-Not.

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

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

And I remain as witness of the countless promises.

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

My true identity.

That I came from Eden.

And I keep saying, Forget-Me-Not,

Take me back to Eden.

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

I am tired of watching hypocrisy in love.

But I must not forget me not,

I came from Eden

With all that holds holy and sacred.

Oh fake lovers, don’t violate my name.

Stop your deceiving.

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

I continue to not to forget myself.

I sing my song and wait.

Alas! I am destined to stay here,

And I fear.

I fear, with all false promises in my name,

I will forget myself.

I will loose my name,

The name given to me by God.

People will soon call me,

“Forget Me” Flower.

I see the day, It is near.

And now I sing for myself

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

Once I symbolized, love, loyalty and promise.

And Longing to go back to Eden.

So I keep saying Forget-Me-Not,

And I wait and wait.

And my waiting goes on.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Poetica Couture by Jennifer Bradpiece

 

 

Its that hot bath sink

into brain suds.

 

That half past two AM

hunger.

 

That trying on,

ripping off.

Trading buttons

for boning.

 

And in the end,

selling:

 

Hoping some piece of you

fits

some part of them.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Winged visitors by Sunil Sharma

 

 

Red-vented bulbul

 

joined by another

 

a noisy pair

 

dark and handsome.

 

 

 

Swinging on the cable

 

delighting the home-alone

 

prisoner

 

 

 

their crested heads

 

kissed by the rough winds of summer

 

 

 

mouths—open

 

waiting for the rains

 

to arrive on the Mumbai skyline.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

I Am Human by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

The Union in Hindsight by Wayne Russell

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

You will not see me for a full trimester,

my water has broken so that I am left with

a leaky faucet for a kitchen, that slow plodding way

treachery soaks through everything, the curtains

pulled over like a failed state, summary executions

in the bedroom, a simple black blindfold over the eyes

like the power gone out, bodies limp against the wall

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

what I hear anyways, the nails get together and imagine

themselves hammers so that the hammer comes down

to remind them, this is wild speculation of course,

the government mouthpiece is tonguing the roof

of its own mouth and pronouncing strange brutal loves,

my bedsheets are a lake of disguises, the outside world

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

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

and the intelligence services devoid of all intelligence

so that the baton becomes the shower water

and the whipping boy forgets to scream.

 

 

 

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

July by Joan McNerney

 

 

The sun is a giant beach ball.

See it splashing through

waves all red violet blue.

 

Waters creep over my feet.

Should I stand shivering

or go swim?  Lose my footprint?

 

Off I run, falling over myself,

a mug of salty cider.  This

wave an insecure bed.  Seaweed

pillow.  Carried by moon to

an abyss.

 

The floor of my mansion is

not tidy. I shall have sponges

for lunch.  Ride with seahorses

perhaps.

 

On the far shore, my lover

smiles, kiss of surf.

 

 

 

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

Morning Escapade by Joanne Olivieri

 

 

 

Behind fog

the sea plays hide n seek

where sea meets land

Commingling

our bodies touch

in sweet passion

Gentle breeze

warm kisses

delicately caress

our morning escapade.

 

 

.

 

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

 

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

 

 

On Time by Kelli J Gavin

 

 

Thank you for being you

For arriving in my life

Not a moment too soon

But right on time

For loving me right

For encouraging me always

For inspiring me each day

Thank you for paying attention

For being dependable

For always being right on time

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

v4i1

 

 

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

Mirror by Guna Moran

I am trying to find out by JayantaBhaumik

An End by Edward Lee

What survives by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Maimonides by Shola Balogun

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

Connotations by David Flynn

The Search for Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

Six Haikus Explaining Life by Mark Kodama

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

 

 

An Apocalypse They Toyed with

 

The players touched the crumpled plastic ball

They used to kick every day with full might

There was neither a sign of light nor delight

They felt an air of airlessness, shapelessness

They drowned in a bloodbath of emotions

It left them feeling deflated and defeated 

Empty of air, it sucked them of coolness

For it was a little more than the ruins

It was static but a grieving upheaval

Its tears swept away their survival.

 

 

 

Her Tree

 

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

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

A potent sense of nourishment, security and continuity.      

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

An Economic Meltdown Looms Large

 

Is it not experiencing a sudden downturn?

This is a country bleeding & long run down

 

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

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

 

Austerity is felt just like the drying up of liquidity

To pretend that poverty is shrinking is stupidity 

 

The frequent rising of prices due to inflation

Screams of a crisis, a cancer, an implosion! 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Mirror by Guna Moran

 

Translated from Assamese – Bibekananda Choudhury

 

One image

Two persons

 

Both the persons appear clearly

So I do not even look

 

Deck up to make the outward person

Praiseworthy

Feel good when people say good

 

At that very moment

The inner person shines up

Feel like shattering the mirror to pieces

It is for it only

My inner self is exposed

 

Everyone can be angry at everyone

Everyone cannot be angry with oneself

Everyone can try to dupe everyone

Everyone cannot dupe oneself

 

The day I broke the mirror

The lightened mind was wafting like cotton

Today as I perceive my reflection in water

I get angry with water

 

Oh! Can’t cover the reflection anywhere

Shook up the water in anger

My image was lost instantly

The wild character started hopped up again

 

A passerby was watching my antics with a smile

I asked him the cause of the smile

He did not say anything

But handed me a slip of paper

I read to understand

My face is your mirror

Yours is mine

Can read the heart

By reading the face.

 

 

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

 

 

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

    

 

 

                    I am trying to find out by JayantaBhaumik

 

 

I am still in the search 

I’m journeying into tears of the stone

its depth, my bias so strong

something tries always to tell me,

from the course of its hard heaven,

that I’m nice between all right and wrong

I can be the absurd of the being

my imagination is an expanding

war between fire and its flame

like a combined wave of

deep sleep and regular insomnia

the fair odd of the auburn flower

Come, you pluck it from

the fine blade of understanding

here goes another expressway made of moments,

and I write you this travelogue with love –  

I’m still in the search of

the navel of time.

             

 

 

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

 

 

An End by Edward Lee

 

        for PW

 

And that is it,

isn’t it, your life ends,

but our lives continue on,

days falling into nights,

nights renewing into days,

always, even as we wish

for time to slow, stop,

for just a moment, an hour,

a day, some amount

of time so we might catch our breath,

hold it, fall into senselessness,

that the pain of your absence

might recede from our hearts,

that we might know some of the peace

you now know, pain no longer curling

your being, your very soul,

that we might think of you

without tears staining our breath,

 

that we might grief

without grieving, and smile

without guilt, or regret.

 

 

     

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

What survives by Edilson Afonso Ferreira 

 

There are still marks on the ground

where I kneeled and cried in despair.

The tears I poured in it have been exhaled

and are lost forever.

My screams startled the birds that took,  

around the skies, news of dread and fear,

also entirely lost.

However, the laughter once I launched,

also recorded by the birds,

so gladly had been welcomed that echoes 

by this very day.    

There were also some triumph yells

and some love whispers, which, along

all the rest, have been made worthwhile

this life of quite unnoted a human’s soul.

 

  

 

 

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

 

 

Maimonides by Shola Balogun

 

Tilted boulders, the expanse of cloud,

A swirling scent of grains.

 

I bid you come forth, bird’s flight

In this apocalyptic dream

And gird my descent into frozen rivers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

Of a live chicken store that was once on Richmond Hill

I sit in a seat facing a passenger taking up

Two seats with the help of an NPR donor tote

A retro man wears cuff links and a monogrammed shirt

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

Lime turtleneck, has her ear glued to a pink

Cased phone the entire trip

Conductor warns once this is a quiet car

(Tell it to the wheels and tracks)

She whispers, listening not talking

Does he move on because she is so attractive?

Is a man she ditched pleading for another chance?

A hefty man corrects student papers, makes many comments

Does he grade tough?

Reads a poetry magazine after finishing

Is he a poet himself?

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

His Boston College ball cap is faded

He sneaks peeks at the good listener

The lights blink on and off

The Woman exiting the train in front of me

Pulls a side-wheeled rolling suitcase

Is she thinking of motherhood

Powering a red wagon full of child?

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

No Smoking – No Bathing or Laundering –

No Drinking of Alcoholic Beverages

How many are plotting?

In the Concourse, some travelers look

At the blue-green Ceiling

For their Zodiac sign or firmament inaccuracies

If this were China, might have featured a rooster

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

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

He’s a one-buck richer Scorpio

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Connotations by David Flynn 

 

Light.  Birds. 

 

We connotate the universe. 

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

love.

Wife.

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

Everything.

Wife.

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

 

So it is with light.

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

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

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

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

But light also can be ugliness, disaster, death.

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

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

As is God.

 

Birds.

Free as a bird.  Going to fly now. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

and telling it you love it.

A bloody mess is what you’ll be.

 

I mentioned God.

We connotate God.

We connotate sin.

We connotate grace.

 

Desk.

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

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

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

A good thing.

But a thing.

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

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

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

We live in connotation.

We ache for denotation.

Our world is our own glow.

Every word of this poem is a lie.

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

is a lie.

Every word is connotation,

A lifetime of accretions.

This poem is the shell. 

Within it is the meaning,

which is beyond our grasp. 

 

Which becomes real although it isn’t,

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

kneeling on the kneeler,

putting a five dollar bill in the collection basket,

becoming a monk,

hating a woman in a hijab at the grocery store.

And vice versa.

 

Light.  Birds. 

Religion.   Life.

No meanings.

Connotations. 

 

 

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

The Search for Planet Nine by Bruce McRae

 

 

It’s out there, somewhere,

freewheeling and coy,

tugging on the beard of gravity,

on the path of least resistance.

You can’t see it, but listen –

the sound of a bottle

rolling across a table.

The tattle of mice scurrying.

Sounds of light rain

making its way in the dark.

Planet X, feeling the cold.

Feeling its age.

The sun’s secret servant,

wise men sieving night from day,

weighing circumstance

like bettors chasing fortune.

They realize, once a thing is

hidden it has to be found.

It has to be hard to find.

It’s next to impossible.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

   Six Haikus Explaining Life by Mark Kodama

 

The Fly

The noise of the fly,

Shattered quiet of the shade,

On a summer’s day.

Undocumented,

But history nonetheless,

Etched in the

Memory of a mortal man.

 

The Frog

 

The frog eyes its prey.

A dragonfly hovers near.

Thwaak!  Mmmm. Delicious.

 

The Dying Coyote

 

The coyote cries,

As death patiently calls him.

The fate of living things.

 

Bones of the hominid

 

Bones of the hominid,

That no longer walks the earth

Extinct for years past.

 

The Tree Snail

 

The tree snail dies,

Its kind forever extinct,

2019.

 

 

.

 

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