Your God and my Vow.
Follow me, I will be in the front row
From front of my fort I will vow
To seize God from his abode
And bring him down to endow
You with his boon as of soon
To happen; some miracles though
Commit not but endeavors mine
Shall forever towards this flow.
Flaws shall not be there but fair
Is hoped to happen below
His reign; not least in feign
Shall serve this purpose; will glow
My inner zeal in real;
Won’t ever be that slow
To get him now and to him bow
And this much I will vow!
Follow me, I will be in the front row!
September 24, 2019 Bhaktapur.
Last night yes I remember
it was just last night
I heard a heavy creak in the air
That came from distant
Yelling someone in despair.
Probably that sounded a cracking
Of an unbolted chair
Swear, I cannot be mistaken
As I was too aware.
Then I heard some bellows
Some bullfights parries and tows
Fights of party brigades
That rushed in heavy rows
Listen! The sound still makes echoes
Oh my woes!
I am still stunned
Some pod was instantly gunned
The sky turned dark
And my patience did embark
For peace, and my inside appease
I hear cannot but cease
To witness here all dark
This comes down the ages
The instinct greed and rages
Who the hell are the sages
And rages their bemoan.
I was bathing in my sweat
And all calm was here
It was a terrible nightmare!
I hear war drums
All over the earth
But I hear the voice of peace
Panting and whispering in fear.
I hear footsteps
Footsteps of warriors
Marching in rage,
Wanting to kill
But they know not
They can die.
Oh! I hear war drums
Drums of war everywhere
Loud, loud and loud
No one cares to listen
Oh, this war is here to kill.
Oh, drums of war
Calm, calm thy rage
Cease, cease, thy anger
Heed, heed, our cry,
Please kill not the unborn.
Men fear the unknown
So they fight the known,
Men lose the game
So they play by tricks.
Men change the routine
So they wobble through,
Men make haste for nothing
So they fail their goal.
Men envy themselves
So dig a pit
Men hate themselves
So they push the limits.
They build castles
And live in skyscrapers
But they burn kingdoms
Because they cannot live in peace.
Ego, pride and fame
Wealth, envy and jealous
Hate, bitterness and laziness
Oh, men stone each other.
Life is a tale
Tell it to the tail.
Life is a story,
Write it your own way.
Life is a lane,
Run it like race.
Life is a marathon,
Endure till the end.
Life is a burden,
Bear it to heaven.
Life is a call
Answer it aloud,
Let the world hear
That living is a legacy
And dying, a monument.
Rounak Chakraborty is a student of humanities and has been actively writing poetry and short stories for magazines from a young age. Brought up in Kolkata amidst the plethora of vibrant diverse aura of cultural abundance,his work often aspires to draw inspiration from diversity and harmony.
"There is nothing material in his world"
The priest declared in unshaken assertive confidence.
Meanwhile, the donation box standing in bright prominence
mumbled its subtly concealed objection.
Renascence of light
When defeat looms on the horizon
And muffles the honest cry inside.
The reign of courage shrinks its domain
Letting the misfeasance of shadows to blisfully abide.
The precarious winds of indecision
Set loose from anxiety's wicked chest.
Run rampant among the stretching shadows
Pushing its reach in a zealous fest.
The shadows grow as the last ray perish
Blanketing the world in a blind pursuit
Where every step is with no logic
Where every vision is without truth.
The ignominious night is here to devour!
To satisfy its gluttony for credence in control!
And it is here for long to stay
Till the last obsessive ring of the helpless toll.
But somewhere a light speaks up again from the horizon
Gleaming in rebellious undaunted glee.
Scathing through the hell tarnished eternal shadows
It calls with its voice, recalcitrant and free.
It says-" Oh defeat here me and hear me well
That if I do fail alas then failure let it be.
I would face it with confidence and vigor.
Not with shadows comforting me.
Relevance of the irrelevant
I am relevant Though for an irrelevant reason
Though this is seen by all as relevation of treason
But all, they rush in their righteous rigour
Restless in their rigid rationalised vigour
Of material reinforced restless relief
Replete with resounding redundance of belief
That all that matters is material in this world
And all that is relevant is realistically twirled
Never do they reconcile in the requiste rejoice
With the babyish repressed ridiculous voice
To reach beyond the rampart of regressive 'real'
And retrieve respite with resurging zeal
To be Finally rejuvinated with radiance resiliant
And reverntially acknowledge the relevance of the irrelevant.
In search of freedom
searched for freedom night and morn
Under the blissful sun and shadowy dawn.
I walked steep hills and climbed deep ridges
Swam across mighty rivers, crossed frightful tumbling bridges.
Finally reached a queer shop at the world's end
which sold freedom at the price of blood.
Strangely arranged, yet promisingly handsome
the shop stood towering over a hopeless flood.
I stayed for long purchasing freedom in return of the crimson coinage
enjoying its temporal bliss atop the bellows of the flooded river's carnage.
Till alas I realised my heart will never pump enough
For my mind's endless anguishing fire ever to snuff.
Hence to find another viable inexhaustible source
From my blissful rest I grudgingly rose.
Carried on with my journey, bracing bashing winds and demonic landslides.
I carried on with my search for freedom, but only with less blood flowing inside.
I sought and searched but never found
What I thought in the world was so fruitfully abound.
Freedom O freedom, nothing I desired more.
Till alas with much anticipation, I finally reached death's door.
I was redeemed, set truly free
Free as anyone ever can be.
But in the final seconds of my last living hour,
I saw the impossible with tormentous dreaded horror.
My redeemer, my salvation, the ever blessed--
Death in His utmost demise, worthlessly harnessed.
In the long corridors of hell's endless suffering and strife
I saw death itself eternally chained to life.
Respect is the Desire of everybody's mind,
But is only given to people who are kind.
Respect is given to those who deserve it,
And is not given to those who are unfit for it.
Respect is like a fuel of life,
Without which a man cannot work rife.
Respect to our elders plays an important role,
As its the blessing to achieve our goal.
Respect is like a bullet of a gun,
Which Travels with us in long run.
Respect when given to all,
His reputation will never fall.
Time has come now ,
For an ending, wow.
Your friendship will be no more,
Your absence will make things bore .
Gossips with friends ,
Learning new trends .
Talks with us , you did ,
Forever, you are alive in our mind .
It's time to say you goodbye,
Hope you neither weep nor cry .
The time we spent together ,
In pleasant and harsh weather.
I remember those days,
Enjoyable past with your's craze.
Hope would fill Our frienship's gap,
In the presence of the wonder whatsapp.
In your presence No one notices how we spent this year,
Wish you prosperous happy journey ahead my dear.
TEACHER - Our Future Maker
Giving us knowledge of something is a teacher,
Having an inbuilt experience feature.
A good teacher teaches us by heart,
And prays God for our peart.
A teacher helps us in developing our mind,
In such a way that is very kind.
A teacher teaches us tricks to achieve our goal,
And warns us to remain careful to avoid any thole.
Without the help of a teacher, we cant work rife,
And many difficulties will appear in our life.
In this vast world, they are teachers and parents only ,on whom we can rely,
They always keep on us their eye.
And we are confident that they never tell a lie,
They gives us blessings so that we can fly high.
That's why , Parents are our caretaker,
And teachers are our future maker.
NOTHING MUCH FOR MINORS
Minors are those less than eighteen,
As they don't have knowledge in keen.
They don't have a driving licence,
As don't have driving sense.
Minors are given just pen and page,
Their life is not more than a cage.
Holiday is not given even on sundays,
As their age is negligible for fundays.
Parents are worried not to get blame,
From minors they just want their fame.
Circumstances are same for every minor,
Parents are just their life designer.
What the hell !
Smartphone has made everyone enthral.
It is neither fake nor a lie,
Spectacles are seen on everyone\'s eye.
At shop ,office ,home or sitting alone,
No work done today in the absence of smart phone.
Youth, middle age or old,
Looks like they all watching mobile phones recklessly, with their brain sold.
Student's grades are getting low,
At last they just say Oh! no,
Holding their teacher's and parent's toe,
Ensuring that they will enhance, Just in flow.
Everyone has become smartphone's addict,
After realization of time wasted on it ,
Our mind say Oh! shit .
On proper utilization of smartphone,
We will definitely get a full fledged tree, With the seed which was sown.
A litany of beggars
Fotoula Reynolds is an author of poetry. She lives in the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria, Australia. She says that living in the hills is a writer’s dream, she is in awe of the inspirational and natural spaces that exists in her community. She began writing poetry in 2015 and has published her second book titled: Silhouettes (2019). Her first book: The sanctuary of my garden was published in 2018.
Her work is published in e-zines, journals, reviews and anthologies.
Home is nowhere
It hurt to look in her direction
Iron cobwebs constricted her chest
Heart beat murmured - breathless
A desperate shadow formed
In the alleyway of a frightened
Brick wall tells all running scared
A smack in the head - out cold
Two years of yesterdays betrayed
Over the edge of night seeds lie asleep
Beneath a stretch of cracking buildings
Scattered words fly from fragile emptiness
Voices heard burned into stone skies
Promises dried up sounds of truth
Sleeping below the ground echoes
Under the ash of bone breaks the day
You never get used to it
Watching people wasted
In many untold time
And murmured cries
I return to the bed
Of hard familiarity
Faking my smiles
Music disturbs me
Clearing head space
Wrap my cold skin
Tunnel wind freeze
Strong magnetic pull
A sixty minute photo shoot
Locked in suck it up
A higher love found me
It was inside the MRI machine
In melodic tones
Proud and privileged
To hear two countries
Colliding in speech
English and my mother’s
Mother tongue give me
Meaning as I am taken to
Two different worlds
So I may take ownership
Of my offspring voice
My plain accent
Mimics hers, it is a
A yearning to follow
To feel her exotic
Sound makes me whole
Her accented words give
A uniqueness to the way
She tells her stories of
What it is like to be a
Migrant reaching for
The ultimate honour
Pain and sorrow becomes
Unburied when spoken
With a foreign accent
I know who you are, mum
You kept true to yourself
And for that I commend
You and I aspire to be
A courageous lioness
With a roar that exudes
Thanks, dear mum
For your mouth
That carries your
Combined love of
Greece and Australia
Dust settles and
Stories and secrets
Of a bygone era
The violin tells
The cello plays
The piano cries
Lonely song sheets
Lie under dry leaves
While the timber
To the sounds of
In their music
Life once lived
Paint peels and curls
Art deco beauty fades
Knitting needles on
The empty couch
Invite the glorious sun
To warm and brighten
A family’s sitting room
It’s afternoon tea time
Simple pleasures exist
And walls do speak
In the Shire of Sherbrook
Where the hills whisper
An estate by a road
Lined with Beech trees
Begs you to listen
To a history so rich
But the perfect
Delicate and opportune
Moment of words
In all their eutony
To be released
Into a god-like sky
Where a crucial
Breathes rightness of time
She says, "Written words are drops of heavenly nectar that God has nourished every man, women, and child with, but only a chosen few are entrusted with the ability to render them meaningful. Never betray the word."
Castle in the Clouds
I felt a rumbling in the foundations of my world;
Like thunderclouds crashing over an ocean of pain,
I felt the waves rise high and dive down.
It was in my head, that picture I created,
That vision I held dear and cherished in the night,
Our lives were as brittle as a thin sheet of ice,
And with the first step the ice broke.
I was standing at the edge of the road with my hair flying around my head,
My bags in my hand and an open door behind;
Home brightness spilt out and turned the wet cobblestones silver,
But your shadow never darkened the light.
I think of those times when we assembled these blocks,
When we put together our towers and turrets,
When the portcullis was strong and deep our moat,
When the castle walls were high and the enemy smote;
Our dreams were like rainbows with pots of gold,
Tantalizing plans and ideas bold,
Then the first wind came and the tower shingles fell,
You are I watched from the courtyard and didn’t help.
Now the keep has caved in and my crown lies in the dust,
A castle in the clouds has come to Earth,
It was one brick falling that started the end,
And both of us failed when we came to that bend.
The End of a Story
Crashing surf on shores afar, a dreamless sleep, a forgotten kiss,
A branch too high off the ground, leaves brushing my hand,
The floating cotton of a cloud, hiding shapes of a stranger’s muse,
I feel your touch in everything.
Feet walking on paper thin glass, a ripple of water beyond the edge,
A light burning at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel does not end.
Day beginning with a jump off a cliff, flying, crashing, crying,
Wings straining through enemy winds, fighting, clawing, soaring.
I feel your eyes on me.
Rushing up steep mountain sides, conquering far off peaks,
Touching the sky with a fingertip, feeling the ocean’s caress on my lip,
Riding the Eastern breeze till I meet the sun,
Holding on to my hair as I flew and spun.
I wonder what you think now.
Memories in my head like autumn’s fallen leaves,
Your laughter in my ear like Heaven’s secret breeze,
A single thread of song I feel rising in my chest, your image, your vision,
Your firm taps on my door a sharp shove to the head.
I pull the blinds and stay silent.
Crown of Ash
A crown of ash upon my head;
I know I’ve been here before,
At the threshold of this closing door.
Remember when you came to me?
When you held my hands and talked to me?
You had a tear in your right eye then,
A pearl sparkling in a dark, dark den.
Fire and ash the world seems to love,
To tear, to shred, to burn,
I looked for you when I turned my head,
You weren’t there beside my bed.
Listen, Heart! Desist, forget!
A flower one day has to wilt.
I kept my fire burning and my lamp alight,
But you’ve lost your way in the night.
Asleep and Yet Awake
A breeze soft on my chin, clothes a whisper on my skin.
I’m still and yet I fly.
Sweet darkness takes me under its wing,
A comforting weight, the world pushed away.
I’m afraid and yet free.
The monster under the bed knows my name, he asks me of my day,
The curtains twitch in a furtive dance, folds forming a familiar face.
I’m alone and yet besieged.
When my eyes finally close, fists clenched and knuckles white,
The darkness lets the dreams come though, bright, vivid.
I’m blind and yet I see.
Come now mermaids of silver tails, maidens of golden hair,
Knights of sharp, brave swords and dragons to take my breath away,
I’m still and yet I dance.
Time is slow and the world shifting fast,
A spell of delightful, agonizing visions,
I’m asleep and yet awake.
Bridge at the River
the pastels spread out from star to star.
The water is covered with a film of white gold,
opaque, like a road leading to another world.
In the monastery, there is one light on,
one aperture in the wall,
one narrative unfolding in the empty rooms,
one prayer like a road leading to another world.
the forest spare, the leaves blank,
the air sharp and instructive.
The shadows fall carefully at dusk,
violet and neutral on the soft ground,
as if days not seasons follow each other,
as if there is no aging and no death.
and then they walked to a bookstore,
pacing in tandem through the lush afternoon.
The air was fresh off the woods, like his breath
on the back of her neck when he reached for a book.
She took his hand, and his nail grazed her palm.
They went to a bar and sipped pastel drinks,
the numb bartender staring, the lonely women staring.
She turned to him to say yes, yes, and he said
it's early so let's have another drink.
Scroll on a Canvas
while the humans float in the basking light.
Three students, giddy with the holiday,
step onto the gravel, their gait unsteady but glad.
Two lovers stroll by and stop for a photograph
in front of the museum.
They embrace and walk away,
impeccable in their perfect accord.
the trees go dark with sepia dye.
Their weight builds up to near-gravitas,
as the branches bow humbly down to the grass
in the grainy half-light shed by the lamps
on the brick walk where our footsteps tamp.
Manet, no Monet, the students bleat
as we go home in a drizzle to confront our defeat.
Brace for the paper, shoulder the pen,
it is time for the books to be opened again.
After spending 12+ years teaching middle and high school students, Nancy has moved on to assisting with the wrangling of a 20-person basement waterproofing sales team. Some of Nancy's poems have been published in print or on-line journals such as Bacopa, Califragile, and Sunflower Collective. What Nancy doesn't capture in words will often be photographed, sketched, or painted.
Old woman’s boot
Boxed up in steel, saved and stashed
buried in her sienna skin. Love borne
of the empty, barren of touch.
She seeds vacant eyes, we see them
search and yearn, sour with hurt
turn to the dirt of the earth
ploughed and underfed, sown in mocha.
Warm soft shit shod from life.
Scythe and sheathe, sigh and heave apple pie
shine once jarred, in bottleneck reeds.
Copper vomit mudslide (sealed lust spewed).
Beetles race on clay, scuttle away beneath
clods of rootless grass. She plods past rusted
gates, rifle cocked in wait, in cold knuckle grip.
Daylight dims on broken falcon wings.
Burnt turkey basted. Muffins crusted for thrift
camp in brown paper bags, shelved for safety.
Callow dog on leathered leash retreats
in leaves by wooden fences. Blood-clodden boar
muddied swine in briny puddle. Pine needles fallen
sodden in tar, stuck to heels.
Old woman's boot
her only crime.
little girl, little girl
shake her mommy
locked in car
little baby, little baby
strapped in seat
boxed in car
AVE JEANNE VENTRESCA
DAVID HANIGAN JACOBS
JAMES CROAL JACKSON
JOAN E. CASHIN
JOHN SKEEN & RICHARD GARRIGUS
MISHAL IMAAN SYED
NGOZI OLIVIA OSUOHA
ROSE AIELLO MORALES
SALLY WILDER DAVID
SANTOSH KUMAR POKHREL
THOMAS M. MCDADE