WHO ARE WE????
The time has come,
the time has gone,
dreams of yesterday,
fade away thru the years.
What could have been,
if not for what has occurred,
given a chance,
would we have succeeded.
Going thru life dreaming,
was it easier, being what we have been,
instead of being,
what we could have been..
To be what we could have been,
instead of being, what we should have been,
did we try to be, what we were meant to be,
or did we just become, who we did not want to be.
Mentor's and Surrogate's, along the way,
wanting us to be, what they have been,
attempting to prevent, us from becoming,
what we wanted to be.
To be what we wanted to be,
meant not being, what we were meant to be,
preventing us from becoming, what we should have been,
becoming someone, who became someone,we were not meant to be.
So to be, what we want to be,
meant not, being what we were meant to be,
or what others, wanted us to be,
then who are we.
Sit and wonder what,
it would have been,
to be someone else,
instead of being, what we have been.
Who Are We #1
Far, Far, Far away, there was a time,
when you were older, than you are today.
A time so long ago, it hides from you,
yet faint memories, haunt you through the day.
Remembering when you might have been, a soldier marching on Rome,
or possibly a ancient mariner, anxious to return home.
Working on the pyramids, or making pots of earthen clay.
were we there once before, and have we ever passed this way.
How many times have you felt, that you may have been someone else,
at another time, another place, it was you yet not yourself.
Ancient thoughts and forbidden times, arouse you deep inside,
a product of the ages, can't remember how may times you died.
I just found a shiny nickel,
alone on a curb,
did someone somehow lose it,
or was it casually tossed away.
You may be just a nickel,
yet how often were you used,
silver once considered valuable,
now neglected and abused.
There once was a time,
when you were of a great value,
now you just sit hidden away,
deep inside someone's pocket.
How many miles have you traveled,
ignored out of sight,
passed around from one to the next,
you no longer bring delight.
Once you bought a newspaper,
or a visit to the candy store,
but that was oh so long ago,
at a very different time.
A nickel many years ago,
could get you on a bus,
that nickel had many other uses,
put in a church basket, declaring in God we trust.
There was a saying long ago,
if you're called a nickel and dimer,
success and fame and fortune, just wan't yours,
you were always considered to be a small timer.
A nickel is a nickel,
and two of them equals a dime,
i just found you on the curb,
lost by someone, now you'll forever be mine.
Is There Something UnAfrican?
Anoucheka Gangabissoon is a Primary School Educator in Mauritius. She writes poetry and short stories as hobby. She considers writing to be the meaning of her life as she has always been influenced by all the great writers and wishes to be, like them, immortalized in her words. Her works can be read on poetrysoup.com and she had also appeared in various literary magazines like SETU, Different Truths, Dissident Voice, In Between Hangovers Press, WISH Press, Tuck’s Magazine, Blue Mountain Review, among others. She has also been published in Duane’s Poetree and also in two anthologies for the Immagine and Poesia group. Her poems are often placed in free online contests. She has been selected to be among the Most Influential Women in Mauritius for the 2017 category Arts and Culture and she has also been awarded as a Promising Indian for the year 2017 for the same category. In 2018 and 2019, she was again selected to be among the Most Influential Women of the island for her contribution to the literary field and in 2019, she was one of the three nominees for the National Awards organized by the Ministry of Arts and Culture of Mauritius. In 2020, she was shortlisted to be among the Most Impactful Women of the year for the Women of the Year awards.
Just letting myself go
There where the lyrics of my favorite song
Bids me to go!
Being alone is enriching
It bids me to be as I wish
In a world which is as I want it to be,
Either a queen ruling my own island
Or a doll meant to be pampered generously!
Is like being a talent in itself
Standing on a stage, praised and lauded
By thousands of thrill seekers
All moving to the beats of my tempo
All seeking the relief that I pass on to them!
It not only opens wings
But it has me giving the world
A look through my own eyes
And smile when I wish to
Or cry if need be
Without having any bogus
Or void rules imposed upon me
Thereby bidding me to not be me!
Is what I am
Is the medium which allows me
To live as would a poetess!
In the middle of nowhere
Letting it feed itself and survive
If it so wishes!
But the power of life pitied me
And picked it up
To take care of it,
Watering it as it willed
So that it would bloom
Into an enchantment!
The pity that it held for me
Grew into love
And this love approached me
As would creepers do in a garden!
I let the love of Existence
Invade my whole essence
And merge with its spiritually
Nothing matters anymore
Except singing to its growth
Which has already started
And which shall give fruits of love
In the celestial arena
Where the human eyes and
The human mind cannot conceive of!
I chose to drown!
Indeed, standing on the brim of the glass,
I took a deep breath
And dived in
Merely to find myself
Floating in its poetic mass,
While having, all around me,
Songs of all sorts,
Songs, glorifying life
And its cruelty
As well as its warmth
And its comfort!
In a half filled glass of wine,
I realised that life meant more
Than just living for the sake of it
Or for the sake of societal rules
Or for that of the uncertain future even!
Life is itself an intoxication,
All that it requires from us
Is to love it
As it presents itself to us
As this remains the only way
Through which it would love us back!
Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada, Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in the greater Chicagoland area, IL. He has 244 YouTube poetry videos. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet in 43 countries, several published poetry books, nominated for 3 Pushcart Prize awards and 5 Best of the Net nominations. He is editor-in-chief of 3 poetry anthologies, all available on Amazon, and has several poetry books and chapbooks. He has over 536 published poems. Michael is the administrator of 6 Facebook Poetry groups. Member Illinois State Poetry Society: http://www.illinoispoets.org/.
People are dying around me, but I can't save them.
There are spikes pierced in my back,
spasms, but I can't touch them.
Heartbeats, hell pulsating, my back muscles,
I covet in my prayers.
I turn right to the left, in my bed, then hang still.
Nails impaled, I bleed hourly,
Jesus on that cross.
Now 73 years of age, my half-sister 92,
told me, "getting old isn't for sissies."
I didn't believe her--
until the first mimic words
out of "Kipper" my new parakeet's mouth,
sitting in his cage alone were
"Daddy, it's not easy being green."
Leaves in December
December, just before Christmas,
some nailed down crabby
to ground frost,
some crackled by the bite
of nasty wind tones.
Some saved from the matchstick
that failed to light.
Some saved from the rake
by a forgetful gardener.
For these few freedom dancers
left to struggle with the bitterness:
move you are frigid
bodies shaking like icicles
hovering but a jiffy in the sky,
kind of sympathetic to the seasons,
reluctant to permanently go, rustic,
not much time more to play.
It’s going to rain tonight, thunder.
I’m going to lead the group tonight talking
about Rational Emotive Therapy,
belief challenges thought change,
Dr. Albert Ellis.
I’m a hero in my self-worship,
self-infused patient of my pain,
thoughtful, probabilistic atheism
with a slant toward Jesus in private.
Rules roll gently creeping
through my body with arthritis
a hint of mental pain.
Sitting in my 2001 Chevy S-10 truck,
writing this poem, late as usual.
It’s going to rain, thunder
the flash girl rides this ghost of the invention.
Insecure in youth, switch girl from drawing
to poetry, extension flight, outer fiction space,
yours is a manner of words at work.
Mercury is a god of movement.
A new skill set, brain twister, releases 100 free plays.
Life is a version of old times, fresh starts, torn yellow pages.
I focused on you last night; I watched your head spin
in sleep, a new playhouse of tree dreams, high shifting.
Changes are leaves; I lift your spirits to the gods of fire,
offer you thunderbolts practice your shooting in heaven
or hell, or toss back to earth.
Change is a choice where your energy flows.
No computer gods will help this poetic journey.
May you cry out loud on route to fairytale creations.
You are the chemist, the mixer girl shifting gears.
Creativity is how the gallery of galaxies cement.
Flash fiction lines cross stars.
Cold Gray (V2)
forming in my eyes,
your soft eyes,
delicate as warm silk words,
used to support the love I held for you.
Cold, now gray, the sea tide
inside turns to poignant foam
upside down separates-
only ghosts now live between us.
Yet, dreamlike, fortune-teller,
bearing no relation to reality-
my heart is beyond the sea now.
A relaxing breeze sweeps
across the flat surface of me.
I write this poem to you,
neglectfully sacrificing our love.
I leave big impressions
with a terrible hush inside.
Gray bones now bleach with memories,
I’m a solitary figure standing
here, alone, along the shoreline.
Man there’s cold wars ,
There’s civil war’s ,
Fam wars ,
World wars -
Always wondered if they just pulled straws,
The one with the shortest one the draw.
He could unleash his idea
Even if their was a major flaw .
Reflecting on past is a natural action -
The bigger the terror the bigger the transaction,
Don’t want to put you in these shoes but imagine
Being a soldier in the war is like being in an open coffin.
Vigorous facade , death path awaits
Soldiers brainwashed to win the war ,
When they're all wishing now to withdraw ;
Wars are never fun and so also says the Son .
You want proof of all I say ,
Look towards Wilfred Owen
And he went through the pain .
Yes, the old lie Dulce est decorum est pro patria mori
His poem tells a monumental story ,
Contains sadness and no glory .
But if you still managed to win a war ,
Yourself turns bitter and you collect new memories ;
Wanting to unforget but can’t and failing
Try to spend family time, trying not to look so dark and sweaty
My friends wars come with horrors ,
Wars cause tears
Wars could make you broken or stutter ,
Wars bring you fears that never end.
I look down at
The stacked condos
I see the lives
A cat with white
Across a table
A woman setting
in the remnants of
The early November
Her hand curled
As if to hang on
To the remainder
And all its potential
I hear a shout
A truck crawls
Up the street
In the Aegean
A bit of consolation
For now I know
I am not the only
NON STATE ACTOR
In the nearby park everyday;
Their favourite was going on the swings
It made them feel like they had wings;
But this park didn’t have a slide
Down which they all could whoop and glide;
For they thought it would be very fun
And suddenly, one day, the park had one;
The slide was long, yellow and steep
The kids always played on it, even in their sleep;
The next bright morning
The yellow slide started moving;
Flinging the kid that was on it
A mile away, the ground she hit;
The slide now stood tall and strong
It had been a giraffe all along;
Mad at the kids for disturbing his nap
The giraffe decided to give them crap;
At their sleep over he peeped through their window
And laughed an evil laugh eerie and low;
He chased them all down the street
Which was too much for their little feet;
He terrorised the kids during their class
By throwing, at them, shards of glass
It seemed like it would be forever
Before they could escape the giraffe’s terror.
Because you fell down and broke a bone?
Well, this is an easy challenge to face
Just pop that bone back into place.
Did you accidentally stab yourself
While getting the knife from its shelf;
Just leave the knife in and you won’t bleed
This is all the medication you will need.
Feel like you damaged your brain after a meal
When you fell after slipping on a banana peel;
Do not call this brain damage
Instead say you’re speaking a secret language;
If your eye rolls out of its socket
Make sure you don’t put it in your pocket;
All you need to do is rinse it in kerosene
Before you put it right back in.
Of my home remedies, these are a few
Perhaps I should make a part two?
Roy Conboy is a Latinx/Irish/Indigenous writer and teacher who’s poetic plays have been seen in the struggling black boxes on the edges of the mainstream theatre in Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Francisco, San Antonio, Denver, and more. His poetry has been published in Green Hills Literary Lantern, Orphic Lute, and Third Estate Art’s Quaranzine. His poetic radio drama Hue can be heard online at Barewire Theatre Company. As an educator he taught for 35 years, 29 as the head of the San Francisco State University playwrighting program.
We Swim the River
shoot the stream,
by desire for the sea.
Waterfalls that plunge
mists that envelope
in seductive kiss.
Deltas that scatter roar
mud flats that ingest swamp
and make remembrance.
We swim the river,
we are the river –
We plunge into
the quenching sea,
where question ends
that are ancient,
where ancestors lie fallen
My life is a spare set
of their recording rings,
each glorious nation and notion
a hiccup in redwood memory.
Their wooden days
if days are counted in eons.
The fog they bathe in
the inland seas
where they once waded
drained by shifting geography.
Before the hands
before the papers
they were a lawn
of red and green,
of whisper in the wind,
of canopy in the clouds.
Before the natives
gleaning and praying,
before the gigantic beasts
sheltering in their sweep,
they were a memory
of continents drifting,
of glaciers sojourning,
of oceans restless in dreaming.
But this morning
in fog and breeze
as branches sway and rub,
they do not think of history,
of riches or of misery,
of conquering armies
or violent religions,
or of striving after things.
in shroud and leaf
they sample again
what’s warm and what’s wild,
give shelter without rancor,
revel in the beak that pierces,
in the owl
that sleeps and strives.
This morning in mist
of stars that once made
of an age of snow
that put them to sleep,
of fires that cleansed them,
of people that ravaged them.
This morning in mist
they dream –
the sap that wends,
the claws that climb,
the earth that caresses their feet.
The wind that sings eternity –
at the last
their shortest sleep.
once green as leaves,
now are yellow as the sun.
What miraculous process
makes color from air
and million mile light?
What genius strand
that chemical way?
deep in the cell,
youthful in the fruit.
Till age and ripe
plunder the color,
deluge the dance.
And firm flesh
with soft and rot.
Call it death,
call it vinegar,
call it cider.
Call it fallen,
call it compost,
call it begin again.
Butterflies and Birds
cute and fragile,
tough and agile.
We watch them
flit and whistle
leaf and thistle.
We buy cards,
print their delicate,
But twice a year
without ice chest,
cell, or GPS.
From arctic to tropic
they soar and skip
over white peaks
and white caps,
across frozen tundra,
and night’s black.
hunger and hunter,
smog and typhoon,
some veer and fall
while millions more
Beside these wonders
the macho we
with our loud trucks,
our weapons, drinks,
shouts, and road rage
are pale, and wan,
in our macho,
they hear the call
we break down
in curse and fight,
they give all
and take to sky.
Mr. Ferreira, 78 years, is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than in Portuguese. Widely published in selected international literary journals in print and online, he began writing at age 67, after his retirement from a bank. Has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize, and his first Poetry Collection, Lonely Sailor - One Hundred Poems - was launched in London, in 2018. He is always updating his works at www.edilsonmeloferreira.com.
A Christ very little remembered
On “Christ Cleansing the Temple, Wood by El Greco, c. 1570”
unquestionable master of love and tolerance.
Son of God, yet a brother, he bequeathed us
divine words and deeds that survive forever.
The way he loved us, great and pure,
no one had or has ever equally leveled.
His sacrifice on behalf of humanity,
that of then and of coming times,
unworthy and infidel ones, perhaps,
just by this,
took him to redeem us from bitter destiny.
But, aside from his Divinity, his grandeur,
do not forget the passage of Matthew 21-12,
when he entered the temple of his father.
Then, not by a conversation or dialogue,
‘He cast out all them that sold and bought’,
‘overthrew the tables of the moneychangers’.
I love this Christ, so human and so brother,
who did not conceal his anger, as one of us.
By now, in our time, to honor our Lord,
we have failed to call up one Saint Fury,
just like that day.
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, like old comrades,
absent for so long, soon we are laughing.
On leaving, one or other intend to follow me,
but I don’t feel safe and go home alone.
I suspect that past is jealous of its deeds
and always hides how has woven them.
I think it must be visited as few times
as one is capable of.
Lines I will leave
that accompanied it.
No one noticed my agony and my despair,
neither heard my sobs nor saw my tears.
I know they inhabit their castles of indifference
and selfishness, daily toasting to their goddesses,
some I never wish would be mine.
Tears that healed my body’s wounds,
smoothed my soul and comforted my spirit,
pouring out all my sadness.
A prelude for the days to come,
whose story I am obliged to leave written,
which will be judged by our creator,
besides all of those who crossed my path.
May it be lines to justify the season I passed
through this world, a testimony which worth
the redemption of my entire being,
showing, at least, a little bit of the sacredness
from which we must never abdicate in this 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.
Will Anyone ever understand?
rising sheep, cows and pigs;
raising and spreading children and instilling in them
those dreams we were not able to turn into reality.
Throwing rails, roads, bridges and ports,
cities, skyscrapers, churches and cathedrals,
always leaving fences and borders;
creating worlds only ours,
incapable and fearful to cohabit the one
that has been given to us in full.
Boasting and toasting in life’s daily feast,
trying to write our history, which has begun
in that sixth day of the divine journey of creation.
Someday, somewhere, this history will be told,
and few will be able to understand, for has been lived
on days filled with passion, hard struggle and suffering.
History developed from our human nature, not paired
with the undoubted greatness of our Creator,
whom, although absent, we learned to venerate,
and, some of us, still to love.
AMY VAN DUZER
D. R. JAMES
EDISON A. FERREIRA
LOIS GREENE STONE
M. A. ISTVAN JR.
MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON
MOSES CHUKWUEMEKA CHIMEREMEZE