PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine; Volume 5; Issue 12; December 2021

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

Spoons by CL Bledsoe

Passion by Edward Lee

An End by Edward Lee

A Dangerous Journey by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

I Return Always to Taste it Always by Shola Balogun

The Trinity by Thomas M. McDade

Phantom by David Estringel

High on Orion by Bruce McRae

The Cookie Crumbles by Paula Hackett

Poet of the Month: Ndaba Sibanda

A Dance With Nature And Life

They thirsted for a touch of freshness

A touch to wash away their dryness  

A new week ushered in: Sunday morning greeted them in style

A pleased pair of ears received pattering sounds: a dream shower

It poured down and enriched the land. Nature`s love was live!

Land was quenched of thirst, plants healed of pangs of dehydration 

Rivers roared in celebration, dams hugged inflows in humming ways

Farmers were ready to farm, fauna and flora flourished as if feted  

Cut Down

They bought lawn mower after lawn mower

as if they had lots of cash or they had grassland  

yet they wanted to bid on government contracts

to cut the unkempt hair of government officials!

They brought razor blade after razor blade 

as if they wanted to cut the long nails of officials

yet all they sought to do was to move from shop

to shop in order to cut down the prices of goods! 

An Orgy Of Bondage And Plundering  

He had an insatiable hunger for all things

That clanked like capitals and cartels  

He had the disorder of grabbing all—

And a compulsion to cheap labor 

His cluster, his colony and all

Were founded on captivity

Oh Africa, oh dear Africa

You surely don’t want

 Or warrant any pain

And a rain of drain

Anymore, anytime 

For an official’s gain  

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.

Spoons by CL 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.

   

                                                    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.

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

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 weaved them. 

I think it must be visited as few times

as one is capable of.

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.

I Return Always to Taste it Always by Shola Balogun

You are the muse ink of my poem song.

Let me be your poet prophet to tell

The glorious coming of your glorious laughter.

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 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.

Phantom by David Estringel 


On eery nights as tonight,
Your phantom plagues me.
A scintilla of buried delight
That only the graves see.
Your eyes beset my soul
As if to a beast I’ve been sold.
You’ve become a raucous ghoul,
And I find an abode in your cold. 
A haughty banshee’s rage resides in you,
But how oblivious you are.
Cadaverous face and feral shadow too,
And a glimmer of purity shrieks from afar.

David Estringel is an avid reader, poet, and writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, & essays. His work has been accepted and/or published by Specter Magazine, Literary Juice, Foliate Oak Magazine,Terror House Magazine, Expat Press, 50 Haikus, littledeathlit, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Route 7 Review, Setu Bilingual Journal, Paper Trains Literary Journal, The Elixir Magazine, Soft Cartel,Harbinger Asylum, Briars Lit, Open Arts Forum, Cajun Mutt Press, Former People Journal, The Ugly Writers, Writ in Dust, Cephalopress, Twist in Time, Merak Magazine, Salt Water Soul, Cherry House Press, Subterranean Blue Poetry, Printed Words, Sunflower Sutras, Tulip Tree Publishing, Salt, PPP Ezine, Digging through the Fat, Haiku Journal, and The Good Men Project. He is currently a Contributing Editor (fiction) at Red Fez, Lead Editor/columnist at The Good Men Project, and an editor/writer at The Elixir Magazine. David can be found on Twitter (@The_Booky_Man) and his website at http://davidaestringel.com.

High on Orion by Bruce McRae

November’s darkened star,

winter threatening violence,

winds playing with knives,

floods coming to cleanse the soil,

another cord of wood stacked

and windows shuttered,

hunger unsettling the animals.

Once a year the world turns,

leaning back, slanting west.

Once a year Orion rises.

His stars bloodied.

His belt loosened.

The disgraced hunter come

to slaughter the beasts of the Earth.

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

The Cookie Crumbles by Paula Hackett

Fragrant, beautiful,

with secret ingredients

that make her a wonder.

But then there’s a wearing away,

not like a precious stone

that time embraces,

but with rodents carrying her away on their backs. At times whole families

taking slivers, chunks, slices,

or a crumb for the rogue insect.

The cookie crumbles

as the strangers feast.

.

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.

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PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure EzineVolume 5; Issue 8; August 2021

Pass by Robert Beveridge

A Defense of the Moon by Yash Seyedbagheri

4th Alone by Wayne Russell

Unendingly Picturesque by Pawel Markiewicz

Chimp by Joel Schueler

The Friday Night Poker Game by John Grey

Tiny Sparrow Feet by Michael Lee Johnson

Spring puts the Mischief in Me by William Doreski

Raspberry Sugar by DS Maolalai

Palo Alto Ingenuity by Gerard Sarnat

Baggage Reclaim by Ben Nardolilli

Pass by Robert Beveridge

You unclasped my watch,

laid it on the nightstand.

“You don’t need this,” you told me.

“We have the whole weekend

before us.”

What reason would make clear

time again confounds;

your copper skin against mine,

the play of fingers over flesh,

the endless minutes and hours

that pass in seconds.

When it came time to sleep,

you kissed the bare

strip of flesh uncovered

by the watch, closed your hand

around it.

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Throats to the Sky, FEED, and Sublunary Review, among others.

A Defense of the Moon by Yash Seyedbagheri

don’t write of the moon, you say,

adjusting your beret, not without some twist

you want some twist, some new spin

but how can you distort a soft lunar lullaby

that soothes through the pines

over the rooftops

over bars

whose liveliness is masked?

she breaks through the shadows

and guides the crowds

and the lonely hearts who wander a little bit slower

she dwells in Debussy

and Beethoven

tell me

what’s your vision

is your twist to paint the moon

psychedelic pink with

mushrooms protruding and a cynical smirk

is it the moon with bodily fluids smeared

and declared art

is your twist

the moon renamed something less tender

or tell me

is your aim

to paint clouds over the moon?

because it’s easier to take away, than to add

and you can play with your beret

without missing a beat

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

4th Alone by Wayne Russell

Four Christmas’s alone

now, talking to myself

and the barren walls.

There’s no love herein

this rickety old studio

apartment, no need be.

There’s no presents,

underneath no tree,

there’re no lights lining

doorways or window

panes.

But there’s plenty of

pain in this aching

heart, it’s my 4th alone.

Should I text my ex

girlfriend? Beg her

back?

“Could we try again babe?”

“Please?”

No answers forthcoming

from my brand-new cell

phone.

She still has my beat up

ol’ guitar, and my sneakers,

some old jeans and a t-shirt.

She has my heart worn loosely

and broken, around her necklace.

I returned her presents after she

broke up with me again, always

via text, always catching me off

guard, knocking the wind from

my lungs. Knocking me too the

ground.

Wayne Russell is or has been many things during his time 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 2018, the kind editors at Ariel Chart have nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. Earlier in 2020, Wayne was nominated for his first Best of the Net. Where Angels Fear is his debut paperback published by Guerrilla Genesis Press.

Unendingly Picturesque by Pawel Markiewicz

a pulchritudinous sonnet according to Paweł Markiewicz

I am through a superb window – looking.

An angel of feeling awakes in me.

The dreamy oak-trees stand alway leafless.

The native auspicious cue is just large.

My scenery – the enchanted verdure.

The moony old barn of Ted my dear nuncle.

I am looking at a proud throng of crows.

They belong to the whiff of every times.

The springtide looks so meek-beauteous-fair,

first and foremost  Morningstar – at night.

I daydream springwards window-view withal

of a dreamy Ovidian summer gale.

Homelike herbage that seems to bewitch all.

My cats want to enchant the fantasy.

Dreamed subtle morn withal notably.

………………………….

gale – archaic: wind

alway – archaic: always

cue – archaic: mood

verdure – green

nuncle – archaic: uncle

throng – archaic: bevy

Paweł Markiewicz was born 1983 in Siemiatycze in Poland. He is poet who lives in Bielsk Podlaski and writes tender poems, haiku as well as long poems. Paweł has published his poetries in many magazines. He writes in English and German. 

Chimp by Joel Schueler

As the Philistines plagued with tumours panicked and returned the Ark of the Covenant to the Israelites that they may not be further punished, fearful of the God of unknown power belonging to their foe, I turn to you but with the most part fear removed from mind. If I return your heart, would you box it up and save it for a more worthy suitor than I, one who may ripen your days, one who is a moulter of clothes in the hunger of night, pulling you nearer whilst winter sleeps; leaving you illuminating, widely grinning when the weather is. I only ask that you please not tell me who he is nor how he does it. 

Joel Schueler’s work appears in over ten countries in over fifty publications including Pennsylvania Literary Journal, London Poetry Magazine & The Brasilia Review. From London, he has a BA(Hons) in English Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. 

The Friday Night Poker Game by John Grey

They gather around the kitchen table

on a Friday night,

puffing desperately on cigarettes

as if it’s the last place on the planet

where smoking is still allowed.

A wife made dip,

filled bowls with chips,

then headed for her mother’s.

The fridge is full of lager.

And there’s another case on standby.

They’re in their fifties.

long past their futures,

weary factory workers,

shop clerks, office nobodies.

Someone deals.

They all look gingerly,

then somberly,

at their hands.

Time will tell

if the cards are in their favor

more than the stars ever were.

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

Tiny Sparrow Feet by Michael Lee Johnson

It’s calm.

Cheeky, unexpected.

Too quiet.

My clear plastic bowls

serves as my bird feeder.

I don’t hear the distant

scratching, shuffling

of tiny sparrow feet,

the wing dances, fluttering, of a hungry

morning’s lack of big band sounds.

I walk tentatively to my patio window,

spy the balcony with my detective’s eyes.

I witness three newly hatched

toddler sparrows, curved nails, mounted

deep, in their mother’s dead, decaying back.

Their childish beaks bent over elongated,

delicately, into golden chips, and dusted yellow corn.

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.

Spring puts the Mischief in Me by William Doreski

 

The aftertaste of crows rasping

in watery May overcast                                                                                                          

reminds us that appointments

with the afterword are overdue.

Our doctor suggests we slip

into sizes a bit too large

so we can swim around inside                                                    

ourselves, barking like seals.

Our plumber suggests that leaks                                                                              

soon become swimming pools so

why not enjoy the season?

Our mechanic argues that oil pans

contain in microscopic shards

the clues to our local travels,

so we could shroud ourselves in maps

and pretend that’s orgiastic.

“Spring puts the mischief in me,”

Frost said, but lies preceded him

into both the afterword and

the afterworld, distinct locations

with lakes and hills and distant

views of the over-brimming sea.

Our posthumous menus include

appetizers. wine, and dessert,

but the main course still eludes us,

possibly still unslaughtered

on a farm where country music

heehaws softly in the background.

You want to share the credit

for shaping the air to our needs,

but my degree in random thought

proceeds me like a cutting edge—

not to scold or punish but sculpt

a path to the shadow of forest

where we can lie together

or separately in soggy heaps.

William Doreski has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His work has appeared in many print and online journals. He has taught at Emerson College, Goddard College, Boston University, and Keene State College. His most recent books are Water Music and Train to Providence.  williamdoreski.blogspot.com

Raspberry Sugar by DS Maolalai

drunk again, of course

on the patio,

and we open our laps

and fill them

with pennies.

we are ferris-

wheel workers. we are bumper

car workers. around us,

the stickiness

of cotton candy

smoke. staining our outfits,

tasting of raspberry,

sticky old fingers

and sweet.

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)

Palo Alto Ingenuity by Gerard Sarnat

Old yarmulkes’ drawer,

boring beyond belief – now 

voila morphs face masks.

Betsy Ross would be so proud

as would Anthony Fauci

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.

Baggage Reclaim by Ben Nardolilli


Travel brings out strange combinations
for the sake of space, all improvised,
my oxblood loafers sit on top of t-shirts,
rolled up socks sit inside my boxer briefs,
and toiletries are nestled in breast pockets.

I have worn each of these items down
until they became personal talismans for me,
mass manufactured in their common origins,
some are mirrors of love and friendship,
reflecting the feelings of those behind the gifts

Packing my bag it is hard not to reminisce,
I think of trips to the shoe store and then
the ordeal to get my razor, which links me
to my first razor, even though it is gone
and nowhere to be found inside the luggage.

There is time before I begin the jaunt
of switching trains, enough to open up the bag,
I take a census, surprised how hard it is
to remember if I have forgotten anything,
here is my past, I take it where I need to go.

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.

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine, Volume 5; Issue 4; April 2021

Welcome Spring by Yash Seyedbagheri

Why may? by John Grey

Door of My Soul by Bobbi Sinha-Morey

Either Way by Robert Ronnow

The Vision by Mohammad Saif

Trait by Donna Dallas

Depression by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Apparitions by Wayne Russell

Attacking Plastics by Ben Nardolilli

Raft by Eliza Segiet

Donkey Work by Patricia Walsh

Welcome Spring by Yash Seyedbagheri

snow crashes from branches

plopping into piles

from pines

bare arms reach out into the blue

and wave to me

a lone walker

who slunk through snowbanks in scarves

and now strides in slate-blue sweaters

along a road, a stream meanders around my feet

sun shimmering diamonds

water whispering

winding around a bend,

and then another

 layer of brown rises

from the last ice palaces

and nuzzles my feet

I’d almost forgotten warmth

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program. His stories, “Soon,”  “How To Be A Good Episcopalian,” and “Tales From A Communion Line,” were nominated for Pushcarts. Yash’s work  has been published in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Write City Magazine, and Ariel Chart, among others.

.

Why may? by John Grey

 


A tiny red trill,
a gray mist fades into the sky,
or rolls up with horizon,
somewhere, a fish-leap splash,.
an oak leaf floats above the water-veiled,
already what feeds on what
is disseminated in a flutter of feather,
a rabbit’s raised fur,
into a wind that articulates with scent,
in and out of tree close,
here tanager, there finch,
each note, a leaf rustle,
or piqued at open fields
where hawks lunge,
bobolinks panic away the calm of flight,
sun reaps loosestrife, musk mallow,
bearberry and bull thistle,
and human interpretations defer
to the chirp, the puff, of the powers,
the God of this who fills the page

but lacks interpretation.

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

Door of My Soul by Bobbi Sinha-Morey

Hidden away below

the giant elm with its

great limbs making

a leafy room I quietly

listen to the birds in

the morning light, their

sweet songs threaded

in hope, the sun warming

the garden before me so

I’m no longer trembling

in the cold, feeling myself

go so still as the mortal

clover having sealed its

lips in the unbroken peace,

like me forever waiting

at the lip of time, watching

a bevy of doves fluttering

a rhythm and the patient

wisteria sipping from the

fountain of bees. I barely

touch the wind in the

innocent air, breathing in

hope, one that gently opens

the door of my soul.

Bobbi Sinha-Morey’s poetry has appeared in a wide variety of places such as Plainsongs, Pirene’s Fountain,The Wayfarer, Helix Magazine, Miller’s Pond, The Tau, Vita Brevis, Cascadia Rising Review, Old Red Kimono, and Woods Reader. Her books of poetry are available at www.Amazon.com and her work has been nominated for Best of the Net in 2015, the Best of the Net 2018 Anthology Awards hosted by Sundress Publications, and the 2020 Best of the Net anthology. Her website is located at http://bobbisinhamorey.wordpress.com.

Either Way by Robert Ronnow


If a poem or essay can end with a conclusion or its opposite, either one,
Can it be of any use to anyone?

Do the discrepancies and disparities, dualities and densities, reflect only the dementia
Of the bearer of the pencil?

First entertain, then enlighten if you can. One stretches truth in order to pretend,
Another leavens with levity one’s inevitable end.

Most days it’s not possible to bring your life into an expressible state. Disparate thoughts,
Arduous chores, word choices. And, of course, the state of the state.

Driven by ideas rather than rhymes, for it is not metres, but a metre-making argument
That makes a poem.  Convenience store or university English department

The day’s disputes, down to the meaning of the weather, leave you indisposed
To share your heart of zero and your inner rose.

It is the strong force, the energy of the loved ones combined with cooperation for good or war.
Dad’s years in New Guinea fighting Japs, he said, were his best by far.

The best that can be said or done is Be where you are. Love the one you’re with
Not necessarily an adult of the opposite sex, just a kid who hates math

And school, dresses goth, reads rarely but learns a lot from movies and YouTube,
Has the presence of mind to say I am who I am, deal with it. That’s who I want to be

And have always been. Today clean the house, again. Woke up this morning to two thoughts:
How sweet to be alive! Life is tough.

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.

The Vision by Mohammad Saif

Past all trepidations of conscious mind

Encountered he, a place, alien kind.

Fathomless its distance and million seas

An unknown space of varying degrees.

Bore beauty infinite this secret zone,

Brighter its stars than all galaxies shone;

Multiplied its panache that gleaming light-

Wondrous spectacle fell before his sight.

Conquered light, thick clouds hovering around

Exuberant, charged melodious sound.

Disciplined Nature— an ideal place,

Beyond the dimensions of time and space.

Struck by its miracles he stood there still,

Touched his feet water, that thundercloud’s spill.

Arcane purred respectful breeze in his ear,

Lulled to sleep, frightened of different sphere.

A purest soul he in that slumber met

Sans envy, malice— sins he never fret.

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.

 

Trait by Donna Dallas

I think

he is

my father – I have

his hands

and my son

has his hands

long

defined

fingers that are

timeless….

steady

surgeon hands that

will pry

bone from

bone

to learn

if we are

in fact

one in the same

hand

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.

Depression by Ahmad Al-Khatat

My eyes are numb from crying, 
my hand hurts from writing, 
my head is slowly attaching 
my neck to the cords of death, 
-due to the sorrows, I have 
adopted by myself.

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.

Apparitions by Wayne Russell

See-through an empty veil ofyears now, ghost of the pastdrifting over the waves.The stars are lamenting, the  oceans are disjointed with their memory.Laughter’s scattered againstthe translucent molecules ofwater and sunrise.Apparitions disperse, we all goour own way, through a myriadof doors, through the corridorsof time.Some haunt the people downon Angel Street, some aresauntering down by the railroadtracks, some are lost forever inthe bars and pubs of their livingyears.

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.

Attacking Plastics by Ben Nardolilli

 

She swings her body, less like a dancer
and more like a hazy bell,
not to say, or write, that she is no belle,
I’ve seen her stationary,
she’s pretty enough for holiday catalogues.

The tongue-colored chairs are empty,
it preserves their curves,
no guests are here but she blurs herself busy
around full dishes and sets
of silverware that won’t stop sparkling

Last month was a success, we both agree,
but now she wants to remain
a permanent and voluntary reenactor
of all of yesterday’s parties,
an interpreter ready for buses on the horizon

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.
 

Raft by Eliza Segiet

Translated by Artur Komoter

To

drift on the life’s raft,

we need

a protective side.

Ocean of existence

can whisper,

sing and shout.

All this

to sail to the goal.

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.

Donkey Work by Patricia Walsh

The rotten learning code of excavation

Becomes your physique in spite of joy

Muscles where hidden comes to the fore

Sacrilegious sunscreen carving the timeline

Pain where deserved, a lesson interrogated.

Like a maniac, proving my ability

Digging nails into warmest flesh

Covering sins with the neatness of dalliances

Truth of love covering over sins,

Dedication on the outskirts of learned ridicule.

Full-on assault to shore up an acquaintance

Kissing for propriety a singular aim,

To charm back affection is no good

Eventual distance rests its case

Smirking over your beverage is some defence.

God, cold as ice, diverges our paths.

How can somethig so good turn out so badly

Swallowing pills en masse to knock consciousness

Where it hurts, naming the unnameable

Explaining away your part in the affair.

Staring at the four walls, illiness redeemed

Catching attention is not all it seemed.

Nor right to depression callled out of bounds

Sinking into clay a luxury

Roulette of medicine coming into play.

Some death wish sizes me and you

An unholy mantra pervades my being

Mercy on real terms is the way do go

But I cannot see past my guilty hands

Nor time the assault to a tee.

A lonely pedigree is all that is left

Counting backwards is the sin making graves

The local diaspora baying for blood

You leading the way, spotless in in your prime

Choosing your collective makes it worse.

Sleeping at midday, tears on the sheets

Love denied slices my very innards

A raw ecstasy parcelling my zeitgeist

Evaporating sympathy from all concerned

God being silent when it’s too late.

Slitting myself into a box too small to count

Demanding apologies from everyone around

Too late of course, tracks being covered

Theories of disappearance wash the night away

Under cover of free alcohol, and food.

Consumed under dark, a quota of kisses,

Cruelly denied, or taken up, as for sure

Prime position for  loyalty cards

Laughing at my tawdry arguments

In the same place where I left it.

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.

PPP Ezine: Poetrypoeticspleasure Ezine, Volume 5; Issue 3; March 2021

Gloomy Days by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

The Shakespearean sonnet about my dog by Paweł Markiewicz

A little performance art by William Doreski

Ibsen by DS Maolalai

Cosmos Climate Care by Gerard Sarnat

Evasive Tactics by R. Gerry Fabian

An Old Notebook by Robert Beveridge

Poet’s Corner by Louis Faber

Broken A/C by James Croal Jackson

S.P.B. by Donna Dallas

Western Desert Speech by Nathan Anderson

Gloomy Days by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

My dead, those I loved in life,

I do not bury them.

They remain forever unburied,

at least as long as I can stay alive.

When I die, they will be buried beside me.

I am sure they know this, knowing also 

I am still counting on their help and support.

We talk about everything and everyone,

we laugh, weep, love and hate;

they rest with me at night and give me strength,

at the dawn of a new day. 

Every victory of mine, they applaud and rejoice,

as faithful crowd, that accompanies their team.

Morbid desires, unnatural cravings, some will say.

But no, it is just great and honest one love, a pure one,  

that understands and consoles me on certain days.

Days full with doubts, shadows and ill feelings,

those that fate has marked for me,

which, by sure, I will not be able to avoid.

Edilson Afonso Ferreira , 77 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.

The Shakespearean sonnet about my dog by Paweł Markiewicz

 

You hound are a starry night over fog,

fallen in love with the Epiphany.

The moon may be mine! Told the moony dog.

With you tender garden – is so dreamy.

Bewitchment of stars, your ability.

Your hunting is dearer observation.

A moonlit night is your eternity.

May the soft  ghost be in adoration!

Roses awoken in glory – starlet.

You can taste, listen and feel them galore.

Enchant the nectar like druidic glade!

It was drunk from Ovidian amphorae.

Be, you dog, a heart-shaped meek poet!

Broken wings of loneliness are dead.

Paweł Markiewicz was born 1983 in Siemiatycze in Poland. He is poet who lives in Bielsk Podlaski and writes tender poems, haiku as well as long poems. Paweł has published his poems in many magazines. He writes in English and German. 

A little performance art by William Doreski

To find a stage in nature,

as someone has suggested,

I climb atop a boulder

and lecture the world of rocks.

I exhort them to have sex

with each other before erosion

blunts their crystals and renders

their surface too smooth to mate.

But I don’t merely lecture.

I dance a geological dance,

a still-life worthy of Degas

in his dreamy Paris studio.

Locked into place, my sturdy

hiker thighs grip the cosmos

so it can’t escape and explode

showers of comets and meteors

to shame the ordinary pebbles

to whom I address myself.

A symbolic gesture, yes,

but a dance without movement

poses universal questions

that only raw intuition

can answer without a tear.

The rocks gaze sightless at me.

Randomly sorted by glaciers,

they seem ageless. But each one

is the prodigy of a science

to which my youthful self was drawn.

Although all arts aspire to music,

as Pater claimed, all people

aspire to the condition of rocks.

Tough and self-contained, free

of crippling emotion, rocks need

only sex to perfect themselves—

and as I’ve demonstrated,

they could easily fake a dance.

William Doreski has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His work has appeared in many print and online journals. He has taught at Emerson College, Goddard College, Boston University, and Keene State College. His most recent books are Water Music and Train to Providence.  williamdoreski.blogspot.com

Ibsen by DS Maolalai

a man takes a grape

from the top of his cart

and eats it quite slowly

looking at toilet paper.

a woman decides,

biting her lip,

between expensive coffee

and the other kind.

a man tells his toddlers

that they’ll have to take turns

wearing the hat.

a woman gets in line,

then remembers

she needs toothpaste.

wonders if she’ll have time

to grab it before things move.

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)

Cosmos Climate Care by Gerard Sarnat

Loaned from universe,

COVID get thee behind me.

Satanic how you

infect wet market bush meat

then get into us humans.

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.

 

Evasive Tactics by R. Gerry Fabian

Once again, I am informed

I will work the weekend shift

for the third straight week in a row.

My supervisor touts 

the overtime pay I will receive.

I sly smile at her.

Their competitor recruited me

last week on the phone

while working the weekend shift.

The irony brings on another smile.

I start Monday as a salaried employee

with benefits and no weekends.

“We don’t have anyone to work

‘weekend shift’ right now.” She explains.

That’s the first thing she’s said

in the five years I’ve worked here

that will turn out to be true.

R. 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.

An Old Notebook by Robert Beveridge


I write
this poem
in a two-year-
old notebook

my new one
with the beige
cover labelled
“Poetry II”

is buried
somewhere
in the piles
of clothes
on the floor

or hidden
under a pile
of empty bottles

so this new
poem is
scrawled
with the old

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.

Poet’s Corner by Louis Faber

I am the one

who hears the poetry of gunfire

tearing through the great square

who tastes the villanelle

of the ashes from the crematory

who reads the sonnet

of barren fields, starving children

who sees the pantoum

of children sacrificed to the gangs

who hears the quatrain

of crack babies in withdrawal

who touches the rondel

of the young lovers embrace

who knows the palinode

of the giggling child at play

who writes the sestet

of a world beyond understanding.

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.

Broken A/C by James Croal Jackson

on the highway heading home

memorial day weekend sweat

takes my shirt off lets the sun

roast me through open window

wind fanning I’m so hot I say

to each friend passing before a

calm stretch I slow down horses

merge into my lane in a white

trailer why the long faces oh

they are way hotter than me

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)
 

S.P.B. by Donna Dallas

Along the winds

My love

I heard you cry once

as a soul

Before me

Before dawn

Before time and birth I passed you

in a rush of plasma and light

I touched your core

Before you knew this life you knew

Me

Before your heart became a beat

I loved you

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.

Western Desert Speech by Nathan Anderson

Out here
walking on castles
walking on ice
wearing sandals
holding idols
of Walt Whitman
and the new Madonna

We congratulate the soldier
for his vulgarity
with fresh skulls
and fresh linen
standing upon the pontoon
staring into the vastness
of the sad eyed night

Seeing as we sing
cherub-like
from pulsing cheeks
hymns of
plasticity
born of plasticity
born of numerous
numinous
collages
of heaped oil
served
and being served
as the body
and blood
of Christ
‘Amen’  

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.

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

Write Where You Know by Marianne Szlyk

Missing Feeding of the Birds by Michael Lee Johnson

Delusioner by Richard Oyama

An End by Edward Lee

Maimonides by Shola Balogun

From the Origin of Things by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Connotations by Eric Golden

His Handiwork by Thomas M. McDade

Madman by David Estringel

Death of Pericles by Mark Kodama

My Heart Oasis by Walid Abdallah

Write Where You Know by Marianne Szlyk

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

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

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

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

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

Turtles walk below.

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

Missing Feeding of the Birds by Michael Lee Johnson

Keeping my daily journal diary short

these sweet bird sounds lost-

reviews January through March.

Joy a dig deep snow on top of my sorrows.

Skinny naked bones sparrows these doves

beneath my balcony window,

lie lifeless without tweet

no melody lost their sounds.

These few survivors huddle in scruffy bushes.

Gone that plastic outdoor kitchen bowl that held the seeds.

I drink dated milk, distraught rehearse nightmares of childhood.

Sip Mogen David Concord Wine with diet 7Up.

Down sweet molasses and pancake butter.

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

callous neighbors below me, Polish complaints.

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

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

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

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

Guilt I cover my thoughts of empty shell spotted snow

these fragments, bone parts and my prayers-

Jesus dwelling in my brain cells, dead birds outside.

I miss feeding of the birds.

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

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

Delusioner by Richard Oyama

For Matthew J. Wells

Invisible Man meets Portnoy, the blurb raves.

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

Translation into 26 languages, Bridget Jones hosting the launch,

Airport racks chock-a-block.

On Shinkansen and D train, every passenger

A-swim in my masterpiece—

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

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

My new friends are gorgeous in

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

High concept and weekend grosses.

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

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

An End by Edward Lee

        for PW

And that is it,
isn’t it, your life ends,
but our lives continue on,
days falling into nights,
nights renewing into days,
always, even as we wish
for time to slow, stop,
for just a moment, an hour,
a day, some amount
of time so we might catch our breath,
hold it, fall into senselessness,
that the pain of your absence
might recede from our hearts,
that we might know some of the peace
you now know, pain no longer curling 
your being, your very soul,
that we might think of you
without tears staining our breath,

that we might grief
without grieving, and smile
without guilt, or regret.


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

Maimonides by Shola Balogun

Tilted boulders, the expanse of cloud,

A swirling scent of grains.

I bid you come forth, bird’s flight

In this apocalyptic dream

And gird my descent into frozen rivers.

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

 

From the Origin of Things by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

I keep always in a secret oak chest,

invisible, safe and inviolable,

all my prayers and hopes, loves and troubles,

triumphs and defeats, hugs, dismay and discomfort.

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

of laughter and affection, tears and sobs, which show

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

the sacredness with which it was once conceived.

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

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

afflictions and despairs and, from time to time,

happiness, fearlessness, even a certain human pride.

Sometimes this chest becomes heavy and unbearable,

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

are waiting to be cloistered.

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

emanations are mixed with the indecipherable clouds above us, 

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

above all, storms and thunders.

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

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

Connotations by Eric Golden



Light.  Birds.  

We connotate the universe.  
Instead of solid objects, dining table, we produce a glow of associations, family, food, togetherness, 
love.
Wife.
I would take you in my arms, stroke your long red hair, kiss your lips like drinking cabernet, like . . .
Everything.
Wife.
You left me on the floor, stomach tangled into a painful knot, the future a cold bleak field.

So it is with light.
The universe is all light.  Matter is a form of light.  Light moves.  We are light.  We absorb light
like plants absorb light.  In fact, we live on light, the light from animals, the light from plants, 
the light from the sun.  We in turn glow with light.  We emanate.  
Isn’t that a warm concept?  Light connotates with beauty, cheer, joy.  
But light also can be ugliness, disaster, death.
We see everything through light that arrives at the iris, is processed through the brain.
If we are light then our tumors are light, as are our highest thoughts.
As is God.

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



His Handiwork by Thomas M. McDade

Just 17, never drove a car

He’s steering a destroyer

Caressing this helm as if

Hooked up to fortune

Ringing up RPMs like pinball,

Enchanted by the dreamy sonar

Pinging and ponging mandolins

His fingers tapping the wheel

Anxious to work the fancy

Knots that lurk in their tips

Turk’s Heads, double crowns

Matthew Walkers, et cetera

He carries a line everywhere

To practice and the very first

Time ashore he shows off

For a French girl who’s duly

Impressed and in fair

English she adds one

More in a dark

USO corner where

She teaches him how

To braid her hair

He stutters to explain

How good knots loosen

As easily as they’re tied

She repeats his words

In her native tongue

And holds up her palm

To his and their fingers

Twine before a toss

Of her mane breaks

His handiwork free

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

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

Madman by David Estringel

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

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

Death of Pericles by Mark Kodama

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

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

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

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

Sweeping through walled Athens now under siege

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

The god-like Pericles, with his oversized head and

Oversized confidence, dominated his enemies

And built the Parthenon.  The nobleman who led

The commoners just a few years ago distained

Superstition as the absurd fear of the ignorant.

But outrageous fortune has a way of humbling

Even the most prideful of men.  War and plague

Had taken Pericles’s two adult sons and many

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

Was blamed by the people and stripped of his power.

Pericles – burning with fever – weakly raised right hand,

Asking for water in the same baritone voice

That once reverberated through the Assembly,

The Thracian slave girl – immune from plague –

Brought him water and changed his bedpan

And soiled bed clothes.  She sponged his fevered body.

Aspasia – his hetarai wife – cried in the adjoining room

As her young son Pericles the younger clung to her.

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

Of cities, closed his eyes and slipped away.

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

My Heart Oasis by Walid Abdallah

You are the oasis in my desert life

A ray of light in my eternal strife

The sun that always gives me hope and light

The dawn that finally shone after a long night

You grow dewy roses in my heart garden

You always lighten my heart heavy burden

You always give me a cause to live for

I promise I will love you more and more

You are the shade and shadow in my heart garden

You always give life to my feelings after they harden

Your smile cools and relieves my pain

You are my garden water and rain

You are the tree that protects me from life heat

You are the happy fate I always long to meet

Your touch gives me the breath I take

I enjoy the life you always make

You are the dream of my life as a whole

You are the leaves in my life that never fall

The flowers in my heart blossom on being together

Lilies grow on my heart wall and never wither

Water them with your true love that lasts forever

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

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

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

v3i2

Poet of the Month: Ken Allan Dronsfield

In the Cemetery by Ahmad Al-Khatat

Prayers in the kitchen by Gary Lawrence Ingram

Are We? by Glory Sasikala

This Moment by Eliza Segiet

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

No Turning Back by Ann Christine Tabaka

So Long by Kelli J Gavin

Duplicity by Guy Farmer

The White Stone and Dreams by James G. Piatt

 

 

 

Poet of the Month: Ken Allan Dronsfield  

 

 

Arbor of Wisteria and Clematis

 

 

 

I reflect upon the lavender Wisteria;

 

the lilacs and lonely gardenias.

 

I uncover the grand butterfly bush

 

Quoth the Nepeta, ‘keep to the path’.

 

Those shrubby pussy willows bloom,

 

a burning felt deep within the Clematis.

 

What could be more purely aglow?

 

Only this and a Thimble-berry pie.

 

There perched, a crow upon the arbor

 

craving the bi-colored, brag bonnet.

 

A harlequin colored sky now aflame

 

The rooster never asked for the time.

 

Orange bells fall from the trumpet vine,

 

first touch of frost kisses a naked leaf.

 

leaves soar and spin in the north winds.

 

 

 

 

Of Time Slowly Passing

 

 

 

Of shallow labored breaths

 

a lone kiss in the of predawn,

 

rattle and hum whispers within,

 

wish only sleep during cold times.

 

Yellowish orbs dart all about trees,

 

kisses spread from the tip of sprigs

 

spiraling down into the old garden

 

I try to reach out and touch them.

 

My ride takes us through the gates

 

grass glistens in the carriage-lights

 

touch of frost left upon a naked leaf

 

skies of yesterday; dreams of today.

 

Albino raven’s roost in the old cedar

 

pious penance delivered by rosary.

 

Moldy smell of freshly shoveled earth

 

thoughts linger within lofty reflections;

 

the things that can never be unseen

 

a taste of solace within old memories.

 

Prayers answered with a lilac scent

 

I feel small in this time of my passing

 

Resurrection Lilies sprouting nearby

 

fragrant Red Roses whisper to me. 

 

 

 

 

Into the Burning Man

 

 

 

Blasphemy courted with anecdotal perversity

 

limitless chatter echoes through the canyon

 

all now weeping at the sight of blind hypocrisy

 

catching the dancing orbs with a butterfly net

 

seeking a peace but tripping through garbage

 

sands stained with the blood from star shards

 

music calms the beast, but on the jungle roars

 

pinnacle of life, enchanted in an icy cold desert.

 

tutelage from shamans; swaying to a spirit drum

 

casting of vows into pious devotional candlelight

 

earthy spirited flutes touch the heart and soul

 

bodies float down into the heart of white flames

 

albino raven’s perch upon high sandstone glyph’s

 

my vision now doubling objects indiscriminately to

 

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

 

The images are now imprinted upon my eyelids

 

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

 

Yet, I can now see beyond the darkness, beyond

 

the terrors, beyond the bright white crystal sparks

 

a burning man now tosses ink onto the parchment..

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

In the Cemetery by Ahmad Al-Khatat

 

In the cemetery, I was standing on my knees,

reading verses of the holy book to the tombs

I was praying with tears on my cheeks

until the graveyard stopped me and asked me if

I was reading verses or reading sorrows

with an emotionless face, he asked to repeat

I started reading again and, his face was getting

red as his eyes were dropping my unrhymed tears

he stopped me with anger and screamed out

why more grieves, why more death, and less peace

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

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

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

spirits weeping with us, as the clouds will rain again

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

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

our grandparents were the farmers, who lift the sunshine

and brunt themselves to death, just to protect the seeds

our mothers stole the moon from the wall of the night

they hid in their coffins and the stars after our fathers

turned the rainbow into a solider in the zone of death

and made the snow into a drinkable water to survive

 

 

 

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

 

 

Prayers in the kitchen by Gary Lawrence Ingram

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Are We? by Glory Sasikala

 

not that i want answers

to a relationship

that seems to flex

to meet our erratic selves

so moody and unpredictable

so based on imperfection

but our sidelong glances ask

are we the ones?

are we cosy bed and pillows ad sheets?

are we cuddle, kiss, curl and sleep?

will you wipe the dishes while i wash

roll out the dough while i flip?

peeping over shoulders quadrupled vision

is it our laughter that will break the silence

of a dark night, startling the owl

and drawing stars closer?

i did not let the outside world in

did you?

i can walk away, can you?

at will, i ask you –

will we be the ones –

our fingers barely touching

a relationship on a shoestring budget

of superficial small talk

barely skimming the surface…

how far must we go before we know

we’re forever?

 

 

 

 

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

This Moment by Eliza Segiet

 

Translated by Artur Komoter

 

 

Ready for happiness,

we greedily go towards it.

And when it opens like a

dawn-awakened nenuphar,

it is not because

it will always be so,

but in order to enjoy

this moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

There are bullfrogs

 

and there are screwdrivers

 

and there were knickknacks

 

and fireflies over Oregon

 

like cigarette burns

 

in the sleeveless shirt

 

of the universe.

 

And there are carnivorous plants

 

and chilled salad forks

 

and bathroom stall etchings

 

like a Rosetta stone

 

for the disinherited.

 

There are colonoscopies

 

and pay stubs

 

and grey owls

 

and grey hairs

 

and more colours to a windswept

 

rainbow

 

than toes on the clubbed foot

 

of Eternity…

 

 

 

I am not a very good noise maker.

 

I take it on the chin

 

and move on.

 

I am the milk-white muted womb

 

of no comment.

 

The toe jam regular of sand crabs

 

and Danish kings.

 

When I speak it is barely audible,

 

more mumble and grunts

 

than true syllables –

 

an economy of word

 

and meaning.

 

When I eat pea soup,

 

it is understated.

 

When I defecate I never push.

 

I just sit there and let it slide out

 

at its own pace

 

like faith in an old jalopy

 

 

you trust

 

will get there

 

someday.

 

I stand in a room

 

like a hat rack

 

stands in a room.

 

I love like gift cards

 

love,

 

all sentiment

 

and distance

 

and general penmanship.

 

My dress

 

and overall existence

 

is low key.

 

I am a ghost

 

where there are no ghosts;

 

in the tilted can opener wisdom

 

of Transparency.

 

 

 

There is a picture on my bedroom wall

 

of me

 

many years younger

 

not smiling.

 

Surrounded by birthday goers

 

wearing birthday hats,

 

I am neither happy

 

or wearing a hat.

 

And I know that face I am wearing

 

just like I know there are shallots

 

in the crisper.

 

When I get mad

 

or upset

 

I don’t explode like some horny John

 

all over the blotchy face

 

of Reason.

 

I get quiet and frustrated instead

 

and internalise

 

everything.

 

And then I drink more

 

(much more)

 

than I’ve drank to this point

 

tonight.

 

 

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

 

 

No Turning Back by Ann Christine Tabaka

 

 

Parting rivers.

Parting ways.

The truth laid bare

at my feet

 

Deep dark secrets hide

within converging storms.

A cadence of emotions

marching by.

 

My words are not your words.

We speak in different tongues.

It is as if you know the answer

before the question is posed.

 

You know me so well

yet not at all.

Fragments of life

falling into oblivion.

 

Forlorn and forgotten,

forsaken and lost.

Death closes the door

that love once opened.

 

Parting ways,

there is no turning back.

Time does not allow

such luxuries as that.

 

 

 

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

 

 

So Long by Kelli J Gavin

 

 

I will not say goodbye to you.

I won’t do it.

I will say so long.

In hopes of seeing you again.

I will not say goodbye to you.

Good bye always seems so final.

And saying goodbye to you isn’t possible.

I will always want you.

I will always need you.

So long.

I will see you soon.

I will see you again.

Because I will not say goodbye to you.

 

 

 

 

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

Duplicity by Guy Farmer

 

Nothing can

Stop their agenda,

Broken people

Trying to feel

More secure in

A world made

Dangerous by them.

 

Self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Duplicity,

Incompetence,

Cowardice.

 

 

 

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

 

 

The White Stone and Dreams by James G. Piatt

 

 

Echoes in my mind carrying my

 

Idle thoughts swirled around the

 

Burnished edges of eternity as I

 

Meandered through memories

 

Inside my dreams. I remembered

 

It was near a bark-covered path

 

Where I found the white stone

 

Hidden among beautiful flowers

 

In a meadow. I gave it to a lady

 

I Did not know, but recognized

 

From one of my dreams.

 

 

 

Old memories released visions

 

Where nothing existed except

 

Objects that emitted pleasant

 

Fragrances, and as I followed the

 

Aroma of red roses, Jasmine,

 

And lilacs, which floated up stairs

 

To an ancient clock, which had

 

Secrets hidden inside its golden

 

Works, I saw the lady siting in a

 

Rocking chair weaving dreams

 

Out of the white stone.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Façade by Eliza Segiet

Yesterday

she met

with the past.

 

She was hoping

that she was gone into oblivion.

Now she knows that she will not be silent.

Those days still entice.

 

On a short, one-way

—like life—street

she wanted to see an old house

with a wall that was marked

by her love.

 

Someone was renovating the façade.

He painted over the signs

and shouted from above:

 

do not worry, it’ll be fine!

 

The same words she has heard before,

but

this voice sounded different:

 

do not worry, it’ll be fine.

 

On the wall

of a townhouse without a future

there was no more sign of time.

 

On a short, one-way

—like life—street

one can paint over words,

 

but there is no paint

for erasing memory.

 

[Translated by Artur Komoter]

Preface

Three is a number with strong mystical associations. It is trinity, and elements, and worlds and past-present-future in one. Our third issue comes with the Monsoon showers and brings poetry and poetics to you. This issue has poems, interviews and articles on poetry and poets. We are proud to present to you poets from Nigeria, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Canada and the USA in this one issue. Thus PPP Ezine takes one more step towards weltliterature.

Interview: Asha Viswas

PPP Ezine: Who are your favorite poets, if possible, also tell us what makes them your favorite?

 

AV: My first love was Shelley. 19th century poetry, both Romantic and Victorian, appealed to me. Amongst individual writers Blake, Eliot, Neruda, Lorca, Borges were my other loves. I have avidly read Australian poets like David Malouf , Crabbe ,Kinsella ,Thomas Shapcott and Les Murray. Amongst the Indian writers I admire Daruwalla, Adil Jussawalla and Mahapatra. Now to the second part of this question as to what makes them my favourites , it is really difficult to answer . I think in our teens and early twenties we all love Romantic poetry.  Romanticism starts as a revolt against the conscious mind- “Le Romantisme c’est la revolucion“. From this conscious thinking level they move to the dreaming consciousness and finally tap at the doors of eternity. This quest for the evading beauty one finds in all the Romantics and perhaps, this is what appeals to me even now .

 

PPP Ezine:  This one is a direct descendant of Matthew Arnold’s Touchstone Method: ‘They say that there are lines in a poem that make its heart. You may call them the poetry of poetry. Do you remember some such lines of yours or from some of your favorite poets that will help us understand your vision of poetry? If yes, please do give us some of those lines.

 

AV: I think one can always quote Keats’ lines: “Beauty is Truth, Truth beauty” – this is his advice to the poets, not to ordinary human beings. Poets should not ignore realism at the cost of imagination – a sort of bringing the two together. Beauty for him was the way to vision. With reference to a work of art, beauty is the emotional recognition of truth. Then we have Wordsworth’s oft quoted lines “poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings “.  Almost every great poet in every age writes about his own views about poetry- what it is and how it comes into being.

 

PPP Ezine: There has been a debate raging among the lovers of free verse and formal verse. Where do you stand in this debate? Why?

 

AV: Poets write either in traditional formal verse or free verse. Sri Aurobindo , amongst Indian writers , was the master of traditional formal verse. Ezekiel wrote some of his poems in traditional verse. Most of the modern writers in India write in free verse.  I think we should leave it to the poets whether they write in free verse which gives them much freedom or in formal verse. As most of the Indian poets writing in English are not the native speakers of English, it is not easy for them to have a thorough command over English versification. Hence they write in free verse. Of course, there are exceptions. I write in free verse.

 

PPP Ezine: You have been writing for a long time. If you could tell us something about what inspired you to write poems in the first place, and then, what kept you going, it’d be inspiring for the new poets.

 

AV: Usually, it is said that our parents make us what we are. But I think it is our siblings that make us what we are. I was the youngest of the four daughters and there was a lot of difference in our ages. As a child i was never included in their games or teen age talks. I always felt a sense of loneliness, alienation and isolation. I sought comfort in a dream world all my own and built a shell where i wove those poetic dreams. I wrote some short stories in class ix which appeared in the school magazine. At college level a few poems were written and destroyed. Being a very secretive person I never showed my poems to anyone. It was only when I was working at the University of Calabar, Nigeria that a colleague of mine, Robert Meredith from Harvard University, U.S.A. read some of these poems and encouraged me to publish them. I feel that poets feel this need for writing a poem- a sort of bug that bites you .

 

PPP Ezine: Give our new poets a few tips (3 or more) for composing well.

 

AV: The only advice I can give is to read poetry, does not matter what poets you read, but read and then start writing, if possible a few lines every day.

 

 

PPP Ezine:  Rejection is a life-long friend or enemy of a poet. Please tell us how you responded/respond to your rejections in the past, and now?

 

AV: My very first collection Melting Memories got me MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN   Academy award, so there was no sense of feeling rejected. I have won many awards, was also short listed in a poetry competition organized by the poetry society India and the British council. But it is also true that a poet living in small place finds it hard to get his or her poems published. I think in the present scenario it is really difficult to get your poetry published in metros like Delhi and Mumbai. no one reads poetry and the publishers charge a lot of money for publishing your poems.

 

Interview: Linda Crate  

PPP Ezine: Who are your favorite poets, if possible, also tell us what makes them your favorite?

 

LC: Edgar Allan Poe is one of my favorite poets because I loved how he could construct mournful, dark matters and form them into beautiful lyrics that haunt and linger.

 

Emily Dickinson is another of my favorites because I love the simplicity of her poems because I feel sometimes the simplicity of her poems makes them more complex and profound in a way.

 

Adrienne Rich is another poet whose works have really affected me deeply. I love the way she slings words like bullets. Each word, each line has meaning and I love the musicality of her words.

 

There are many other poets whose works I admire. I just haven’t read all of their works widely as I have an ever growing reading list that never really seems to end.

 

PPP Ezine:  This one is a direct descendant of Matthew Arnold’s Touchstone Method: ‘They say that there are lines in a poem that make its heart. You may call them the poetry of poetry. Do you remember some such lines of yours or from some of your favorite poets that will help us understand your vision of poetry? If yes, please do give us some of those lines.

 

LC: April is the cruelest month has always stuck with me from T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland. I think often of the hyacinth girl because I love the imagery in the piece. A poem without imagery and vision to me is just words strung together meaninglessly. I think abstract poems are harder for me to enjoy because poems that have a heartbeat generally have verses that touch my soul and refuse to let go.

 

When I think of Adrienne Rich’s Poem “Into The Wreck” the line “I am she/I am he” sticks with me. Because I believe we all have qualities in us that could be considered male and female, but that doesn’t mean that we have to identify as masculine or feminine. It’s just the duplicity and complex paradox of mankind.

 

In my own poem “Broken Elevator” published in the Summer 2013 issue of The Milo Review the lines “i’ve burnt too many wax wings / tying to reach the sun / your heart won’t be conquered” are very important to me because it conveys that I’ve tried to help but too many times I have hurt myself so I’m no longer going to continue to try to fight for someone who won’t hear me out or love me as I love them. I think we must remember to spend our time and energy wisely as we have a limited time on this Earth.

 

PPP Ezine: There has been a debate raging among the lovers of free verse and formal verse. Where do you stand in this debate? Why?

 

LC: I think they’ve both got merit. I highly admire those who can write formal verse, but I often find formal verse too stuffy and very hard for me to write. I prefer writing free verse because I can make it musical whilst following my own rules. I don’t really think one is better than the other, though. They are both important to culture, I think, as they both exist widely today. To say one is better than the other, I think, is rather moot because I feel that you can learn as much from a free verse poem as you can from a sonnet.

 

PPP Ezine:   You have been writing for a long time. If you could tell us something about what inspired you to write poems in the first place, and then, what kept you going, it’d be inspiring for the new poets.

 

LC: I have always enjoyed writing. Even as a girl. What sparked my love for writing was actually first my love for stories. I loved the way you could create worlds from words where there was once nothing. I decided that was something that I wanted to do, too. I thought if I could tell others stories and poems that they loved that perhaps I could challenge their point of view or make them consider another’s perspective. If I could heal someone? All the better. I wanted to touch the world in words because books were the one thing that saved my life when I was a young girl. They were the friends I was too shy to make at school, they were the friends that never judged me or stabbed me in the back.

 

PPP Ezine: Give our new poets a few tips (3 or more) for composing well.

 

LC: a) Read what’s currently popular and take what you like and discard what you don’t like to form your own sort of style.

 

  1. b) Try to think of topics and subject matter that are personal and matter to you and then think of an inventive, creative spin to it so that you can reach other readers.

 

  1. c) Use your own voice. Don’t try too hard to emulate other poets and writers. Each of us has a unique voice, and you should and can use that to your own advantage.

 

PPP Ezine:  Rejection is a life-long friend or enemy of a poet. Please tell us how you responded/respond to your rejections in the past, and now?

 

LC: Rejections are always hard. Some hurt more than others – I think the rejections that have hurt me the most are the ones where a publisher has told me they will take my work and then decide that they cannot or do not want the pieces. There have been some tears and some frustrations, but I remain professional. I use my pain and my sorrow to drive me and push me to write and make works that are worth being read, and if I really like a piece I will keep sending it to different publishers because taste is really a subjective thing.

 

I used to feel dejected about rejections and wonder if I was good enough to continue. While sometimes I still get this feeling, I try to push it away. I remind myself of all that I have accomplished, what I wish to accomplish, and tell myself I have gone too far to start turning back now. Writing is my dream, and I’m not willing to give up.

 

I remember, too, that great authors and writers have been turned away several times yet kept going and this fuels me, too. The world would be a very different place without the talents of writers like Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and many others whose work was not appreciated by all the publishers they sent their poems to. Persistence and the ability to go on are key after rejection if you are really willing and ready to accomplish your dream.

 

PPP Ezine:   A poet has a cultivated mind. Give us some pointers to cultivate the poetic faculties/genius.

 

LC: I think it’s important to read a lot of books. Even ones that generally aren’t your fancy. Read poems and things that challenge you and your points of view. Try to understand the way another person feels, be friends with people who aren’t like you, be willing to accept that everyone has something to offer the world and never be too quick to dismiss advice given by others. Maybe you agree or disagree, but I think listening to people; learning about different cultures, and simply living help to cultivate the mind and make it grow.

 

PPP Ezine:  You have been published and read widely. Please give some tips on submission that increases the chances for selection.

 

LC: Be brave. Write the stories that need to be told. Also you have to face rejection so prepare for it, but don’t let your fear dismantle you from beginning. Go for it, anyway. Anything worth having can be hard to achieve. Accept that everyone has their own personal preferences and styles, and just because one press doesn’t like something you’ve written doesn’t mean another one won’t love it. Find your niche, find the places that love you, and never stop growing in your writing. Write every day. Even on the days where the writing is hard to get out. It’s important to make it a habit if you want to do it consistently. Like anything else, you have to train yourself and make time for it, if you want to accomplish it.