Her petals were soft, frail and supple,
Glowing with a translucent red
While the edges bright yellow,
Sparkling with a glimmer of gloss and glitz
She bloomed within the muddy confines
Of a mangled and split shrub
Rising gingerly from a severed, sliced branch,
She turned towards the light
Peeking hesitantly at the sky,
Allowing the gentle wind to nudge her
She saw a golden castle,
Shimmering in the sunlight, beckoning, inviting
Laying a path strewn with blooming roses,
Glistening and gleaming
With drops of dazzling dew
Illuminating the colors of the road ahead.
She arched, like a newborn babe,
Towards the glittering castle,
Stretching a silky palm and a thin foot,
Yearning ardently for that first step.
Then the breeze began to shift.
She turned, bewildered, puzzled,
Looking to the dismembered branch
That had valiantly held her aloft.
Awaked, it imprisoned her close,
Viperously, menacingly, it twisted
Displaying the strength of a serpent
It coiled itself around her, contracting
She gasped. Convulsed. Strained
Against the tattered umbilical bond.
The mangled womb wrenched and tore
Pulverizing, cracking, splitting.
She pleaded, wept, resisted,
Fought … surrendered.
I Fell Through the Cracks
They took me from the arms of my weeping mother
While I was still waking from a dreamy sleep.
The clanging of the iron gates resounded while
I froze before the cold eyes of the tall man.
The gray of the floor remained steady
While I wobbled with every step on shaky knees.
It was over before the journey had even begun
And somewhere on that sterile path of life
I fell through the cracks and vanished.
The Sun and the Storm
Driving defiantly towards the darkening storm
With the pesky, chirpy sun shining behind me
I smilingly embrace each bolt of lightening
And the sporadic rumbling of a disgruntled thunder.
The comforting warmth of the Summer sun
Is an irritant that scratches and irks my back
While the bulky, heavy rain drops on the windshield
Splatter and sparkle, erasing the shadows and dust.
The beckoning rays of sunlight are complacent
They shine, smile, and lull the oblivious heart.
Then the rolling dark and gloomy skies growl
And the thundering reverberates within my chest.
Boom! Crack! The heart beats in sync with each bolt
And rudely awakens the sanguine and smug
As each nerve expectantly tingles, and the heart
Pounds with fire and vigor, lighting up the skies.
My breviary is not an antiquated litany.
But robust with viands, a supreme feast.
O’ Francis er St; Paul’s beatific asceticism.
Er the iconic mysticism learnt not given.
My hosannas sing in Latinized refrains.
Sans the humanistic, requisite Romance,
O’ the body’s feral, hungering flitting need.
Sans circumstance’s lascivious dance.
My book is o’ sorrowful comforting psalms.
Er the doctrines o’ Leviticus & the holy writ
O’ canon law, meant for the pious & the poor.
The Franciscans’ hair-shirt, stippled by the lash.
& the ones whose tears are still restrained;
Ner the salinized stigmata o’ the fleshy palm
Neath then & now, we fill in with rain.
His wounds art a festoon, a garlanded balm.
The slicked dress o’ the postulant’s hematic rivulet,
O’ susurrations that neath it lay in a graven field;
O’ a bevy er bey o’ contrition, & of which we
Hunker in, & with it & on it, we pray er do yield.
Ethics & pittoresca & the moralistic overlay.
The dandling notes between Byzantine & Baroque
Art strung from the divine, ner mortal hands
O’ which in gladness, I doth, & do blandly evoke.
Doth I paint er press my ear, & e’er fill the air;
A chanteuse grazing the bowels o’ the pitiless viol.
Crafting cross the spruce- rosewood concave box,
My bow resting on the hole as an appoggiamano.
In the midst of the panorama, a child is formed
In the Elysian fields o’ an apoplectic that hears
The choir & of this alien who doth reach er aspire
Beyond the mundane, o’er the brightening bier-
A noviziato may seem to flee this errant torrid life,
Her heels- clipped feathers- resembling pinions
O’ a vulcher er dove, that would, buoyant bird,
Ascend hurriedly, from this polluted volatile world.
Extirpating self, neath the flagellant’s leathery cloath.
Shunning the bridle mantle for a convent cloistered stable.
The passion o’ the nun in her vestal sack, er ashen shrift.
The abjuration, doth not weigh on the plain pure label.
I am at once enflamed in an all-consuming conflagration.
My lissome form, my being, so debilitated that it disappears
A latticed sheen, thru which the sun shrinks & reappears,
The dissidence apparent, is a diaphanous er opaque blear.
O’ doth it course, o’er my pale wan indistinct form;
Doth it, enliven, with enervated but solemn aplomb;
Doth it, thru this save what could surely be, my reason,
My industry, laid waste, sacrificed with needless qualms.
Upon a plinth, a bond to God, obscuring that treasure
Lanced for a momentary, compulsory dutifully done pleasure.
That my needed gift be sought, er sown, that my body retain
Its limitlessness, the trove, a seat unfurrowed yet to be honed.
I fall in, not in self-serving egoism, but in him, in Christ’s ideal
His unsentimental application, er his unremitting joyless agony.
O’ the diurnal, dreary, laborious rosary o’ the saintly crucifixion,
Not the echo o’ the call, o’ the grandiose romantic anchorite.
Er the dandified hermit, er a sparrow, pirouetting on his wing
Er in the lonely thatch-worked narrows er a suitable sweet thing
Er the pleasing serpent’s tongue, which pleasures the ear
With affections, mollified temptations o’ the faint plaint leer.
Lulling one either to the precipise wherein they may sit
Heralded a fashion, on a rock renouncing whilst the gaping
Horde paints the pastoral o’ his pristinely lain port.
These are equal devils o’ the gnarled knotted harried noose.
But yet, they do not please, whilst the heft o’ the yoke
That strokes my brow, the constant silence, the service
Er the expiation, er the penance, patent confession,
Er the millstone afflicting translucent milky bones-
Is more than needed, & obligies me with a weight,
I ought, & now own, which tortures, like lime flattening
My back, each vertibrae inverting the calcified mass
Whilst constricting movement, long the supplicant’s dais.
Ossicles akin to penduatling discs imploding, grafting
Ligments in an unending, amplified, distressing duress.
The crossbar of the patibulum its invisible, intrisc shaft
Pierces what t’s left, thu the burthen bared is not suppressed.
Do not eat o’ a thistle, its prickly ovaluated poking sac
Skewering the mouth in a visceral virtual all out attack.
Er a vesicle on the vine, for the bitter water coolly sublime.
Whilst the rebellious trill recoils unconsciousessly er slack.
& climbs with a hey,ho! To lead & verily, keenly, shout
Come back, er squash & temper that still, with yr reins,
Voices that stretch cross the proverbial, sunken terrain.
Sweet & unctuous, plaintive & presumptuous with a tang.
In this battle doth he, did he, materialize, slow moving semblance
In the auric, refracting, incandescence that is HIS LIGHT.
Did he, & his mother listen with polemics & cut& chastize
Ripping thought from throat, whilst professing & curtailing
With their leathery wings & captious inscouant airs,
Grimacing with side slanting lips at the holy hewn despair.
That the postulent in her handmedown habit winces
In reticence whilst flickering eyes flash & falter by.
O’ leavings o’ misery art not the same as Christ’s cry!
The joyful tintinnabulations er the winnowing light.
Er the wandering variances o’ the ruinious inward eye
That rises hind lids & smiles wanly else it divide.
She keeps her ego in-slid, insulated in the drawer.
In the affixed cushion upon which she did sits
Er neath the fibrous piling o’ eggshell tinged stuffs
Sheaths writ with great care, prepossessing thrift.
Er self-confessing, a manual o’ silences er in which
Humility is oft the the least bared- e’er doth she slip
Between the gloaming & sundry hours with quill er
Chalk to pen neath sweat er the fraught elicited quip.
E’er stowing it in, mid-deep & tacking it in wood relief.
But, ho! Did she not return & find the seat’s edges flayed
Er with a reckless disergard, rummaging that did betray
The prized notes askance - woolly reams hastily frayed.
Thence to the oven, its embers- the brazers & hearth
She threw in the epistles, sermons, queries, appeals
To his righteousness, er his goodness that they not miss the mark
& watched with a sadness churning neath the cowl o’ her cowl
Whilst the revereies drifted in thru the nights o’ ruminations toil
She whose appellation was worn without a coronet o’ titled airs
Whilst knitting the weave o’ grand, saintly, unpresumptive wears
Her wimple o’er its youthful pate e’er exacting on self & same.
 Caterina had an accident in which her back was flattened by heavy limestone, resulting in chronic pain in the lumbar region.
 During fasting she had a vision of the Virgin and Christ child.
 She was worried that her vision instead of being holy was a trick by the devil.
 Caterina wrote out a journal with her confessions and then threw it into the oven, worried that the contents were self-serving.
Before him, there was a child, before him, life was mild.
Before him, the dust determined itself in the warm breese.
Before him, I could kneel upon an oak er mastic woolly tree.
Before him, my smile was held as dolce as the white capped sea.
Before him, the play o’ my skirt was not viewed dangerously.
Before him, my work was ner tainted in the rape o’ chastity.
Before him, I was met with honorums, & erudite appellations.
Before him, I was not levelled with acrimonious illicit liberality.
Before him, the streets of Rome were an artists’ royal haven.
Before him, my maidenhood was ner sullied er questioned.
Before him, I had the light o’ youthful ambiguity in my eyes.
Before him, there was certainty in my careful rectilinear designs.
Before him, I hung at the end o’ my father’s vast clipped apron.
Before him, the well o’ her maternal spell filled each incised line.
After him, the little bit that had been, seemed a stolen treasure.
After him, came the infinite, ominous, darting stark rumours.
After him, Rome became alive in unkindly tongued measures.
After him, I drifted as a fallen, shiftless abstract, spinning beggar.
After him, conversaziones fell in an abyss o’ wayward pleasures.
After him, words were summarily swallowed in ample droves.
After him, the length of loneliness became a feverish groan.
After him, my knuckles ached whilst movement crawled o’er bone.
After him, the hum o’ sibilant bees roved maddeningly at me.
After him, the pines pecked in with a piquish hateful quality.
After him, young girls & grey puckered spinsters snickered ruefully.
After him, my head lolled & lolloped lengthwise cross my lap.
After him, the bedding was forever a cold, crennulated blockade
After him, my shift upturned, the play o’ a stoic tightly tressed maid.
In the aftermath, wilt my brush be praised, er apprised as great.
Its broom swaying romantically crosst a broadly based loom.
The plush feel o’ the lineaments flecked thru linseed & flax.
The lacquered barrel o’ its winnowy stem felt worn & maroon.
Its grace born up thru mizzle fine sediments o’ pigment & cracks
My supple crested wrist that leant lovingly was a cradled boon.
O’er many a famed fluted frame er ormolu appended plaques.
Where’re the sidelong silouhettes o’ Judith & Abra lit in rooms
Where’re the opacity o’ Cleopatra’s breast slipped neath & let
The hunger o’ the intrepid asp curl within her ivory base cleft.
Where’re Lucretia not thru despondency, but in a height set
Her able dagger to her heart, to avenge she who had been beset
In her somnatic hour, when will, & strength oftimes offsets.
Though not in a moment of acquiescence nor lacking reason.
She, like Mary, Judith, Bathsheba, Cleopatra, worthy women
Femme Forte, sailed acrosst my panoply, the sheets o’ them
Filling the days er the nights o’ long starrless er moonless fens
Wherein what had been, & what would be, whirred a myriad
That o’ the plains o’ their faces, secerned as jaunce lit beacons.
Seen as less than, in the light o’ humoured honorous men.
Yet, buoyed by their fearless acts, er by some deemed ferocous.
Their coolly raised palms, their prow twisting yea hefting again.
In a feat not shaped in delicacy but purposely, & rigidly audacious.
That the curve o’ her blade, whether Judith’s, Lucreti’s er mine
Wld fly thru the air, with a savoir fair, a razor whip edged tine
That in the instance o’ its landing, wld jab in soft, rupturing spines.
Er wld find where the heart is rumoured to lie, its tumid orb
Encased in the arch & bendy stone at the throttling listing node.
Before him I was a child, my canvas’s were sedantry er mild.
My palette & brush wert steeped in my fathers’ esteemed lave.
Before him, I had known simple trust, his aged hand in mine,
Er the shadow o’ her maternal, caring, intemerate confines.
Before him, the penumbra o’ Judith er Susanna were glyphs
In a hornbook, er the holy book, er the epistles canon writ.
Before him, my sheets had been unstained bitterness contained
To the empty chair, the desolate plate, her cassone etched kit.
Before him, I had one need, to create, with a painterly cause
That would mix my colours er outline in changeable tableaus.
Before him, the subtext was pixie play, ambiently laid gauze.
The whisp o’ hair, a veiled lock o’er the eye, a wink o’ show.
Before him, there was no aversion overt er hidden suit er clause
Breath came as a free flowing pool without hestiation & without rules.
Oh, runnel rolling down
Each moment leaving me unspun.
Down Dante’s ladder
Beasts and brethren in conviviality amass and herd
Un-milked steers hairy, hoary supple rears.
Lobes glistening in the realm of the Empyrean.
Oh, roll me down the corridors of men
Who have loved the sumptuous, the perfect ass-
Not whiling away hours amidst bosoms,
Nor deflowering with shaft.
No let me roll down Dante’s ladder, gradations in torment
Levelled precisely at this near faultless form
Who never knew the sour smell,
Nor felt e’en the savoring’s, the after mixture
Promises lingering in the morning air.
Oh, let me lay sozzled, disrobed, unrestrained
From the neighing, braying, suffocation;
The hoard and fetid mass; boars and the rank worn ass
Oh, let me be unattended -blissful profligate.
Ner hiding from solemn eyes,
Those judging, obdurate caviling pleas,
Who deigned to lift my dressing;
Mocking and cavorting, sneering and deriding.
The ham-hocked vine low- flaccid and forlorn,
Spent and drawn into the vacuum o’ me cavernous sheath.
Me, hands toiled and laid thru the gloaming doom
Forty days and forty nights; I am now a plundered thing,
But upon awakening and seeing the blasphemous leering,
My lips once slack in wooziness, purse and grimace
Whilst foaming that ever monstrous reprieve
Omen for the obscure, generations now and evermore.
Taken you will be in chains, for all to see,
Hideous compilations, tinged and tainted for all eternity, Darkened by the branding flame
Whilst thrown into the sham-wrecked sea.
Nero’s wife bore these pains-not once, but twice.
Her will a steely wielded iron chain.
How alike art we -exiled to a life.
Riven by graded ascensions- fashioned in based pretentions.
O’ let me walk in her morocco brown heeled sandals,
With the flap o’ her white shift, toga quartered,
O’er her stately shoulder, crisp marble borders.
O’ let me feel her bones cradled within mine,
And know her pain t’which lights a flame, twin auric,
Twin piqued & within the conal fusion find release.
Photos provided by the poet
BOBBY Z is a avid writer and Blogger, also has video’s, audio’s a podcast and has Authored the Book Tales Of The Junkyard Dog. A rather abrupt and unusual Collection of Poems providing insightful and comical commentary on life, the Convergence of the past and the present, and the trails and tribulations of
BOBBY Z THE JYD, 78 YEAR OLD VET, CANCER SURVIVOR, RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC (41 YEARS) AND ORIGINAL JERSEY CITY 50’S BAD BOY WHO TELLS IT LIKE IT IS FROM THE BELLY OF THE BEAST.
WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO YOU?????????
I SAW YOU LAST NITE---AND YOU WERE DRUNK & BUYING THE BAR.
WHERE YOU GOT THE MONEY---WHO THE FUCK KNOWS.
THE SHY’S ARE LOOKING FOR YOU---TO BREAK YOUR LEGS AND YOUR NOSE.
YOUR FAMILY IS HUNGRY---AND THE RENT HASN’T BEEN PAID.
YOU’RE PROBABLY WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND---TRYING TO GET LAID.
THREE FINGERS GAVONE----SAID YOU MADE A FUCK’IN SCORE.
SAID YOU MUGGED OLD LADY O’GRADY---AND TOOK HER MONEY FROM UNDER THE FLOOR.
THE FUCK’IN BULLS ARE LOOKING FOR YOU—SAID YOU JUMPED BAIL LAST WEEK.
OLD LADY O’GRADY’S SON WANTS TO SEE YOU---TO REMOVE YOUR FUCK’IN TEETH.
REMEMBER A TIME---WHEN WE WERE FRIENDS.
BUT THAT WAS LONG AGO—NOW YOU’RE A FUCK’IN SCUMBAG ALWAYS HIGH ON BLOW.
THERE WAS A TIME WHEN LIFE WAS SIMPLE---AND WE ALL PLAYED IN THE BAND.
NOW YOUR ASS WILL BE VIOLATED---CAUSE YOUR GOING TO THE CAN.
MANY OF US GOT AWAY---AND LEFT ALL THE BULLSHIT BEHIND.
BUT ONLY YOU LOST YOUR WAY---AND YOU’LL NEVER FIND YOUR WAY BACK IN TIME.
Would I want to be someone else, Who eventually became me.
When I become me, Who I don’t want to be.
Would that someone else, ever be free of me.
When I become free of me, Would the me who don’t want to be me.
Become someone else, That they don’t want to be.
If they don’t want to be me, Who would they like to be.
Probably someone else, that is not like me.
It’s tough to be me, When you don’t want to be me.
To become someone else, That is not like me.
The thought of being, Someone not like me.
Leaves me wondering, Who I will be, if I am not me.
Why don’t I want to be, Just like me.
Or someone else, That could become like me.
Become like me, Which I don’t want to be.
So why would I be someone else, Who would only become like me.
WHO WE ARE
SEARCHING FOR REMNANTS OF WHO WE ARE.
WE SEE A SHADOW UPON A WALL.
A BLURRED VISION OF FORGOTTEN YEARS.
FADED MEMORIES THAT FAIL TO APPEAR.
ERASED FOREVER, LOST IN TIME.
WHO WE WERE, AND WHO WE ARE.
WERE LOST FOREVER IN THE BOWELS OF TIME.
VISIONS THAT REFLECT MOMENTS.
OF TIMES NEVER HAD.
RESCINDS ALL YOUR DESIRES.
TO REVIEW YOUR PAST.
SO WHY MUST IT BE, THAT WERE ALWAYS FILLED WITH REGRET.
SEARCHING FOR MEMORIES OF WHO WE ARE.
Ovate leaves on a plant that grows like lettuce – perhaps amaranth –
nicely bunched and succulent, a burst of maroon on each leaf, it
dwells low in the stream, spring’s overflow in sheer ripples around it.
overlap the new grass and the stream that flows around them.
Nomads on the wind, one spring they’re here, another there,
denizens of the wetland, underfoot, raggy, and full of spring’s subtle colors.
ours – I pretend I am not encroaching on them, though of course I am.
noir necks with white pearls just the right length, below their viridian heads;
ducks I have waited for you for months. Welcome to the pond.
overstayed my interruption yesterday, but they are gone.
Now’s the time for the pond to begin to awaken, however, and the
dreck of last season’s leaves become the birthplace of so many.
NGOZI OLIVIA OSUOHA is a Nigerian poet/writer/thinker. A graduate of Estate Management with experience in Banking and Broadcasting. She has published over one hundred poems/articles in over ten countries. Her first two longest poems of 355 and 560 verses titled THE TRANSFORMATION TRAIN and LETTER TO MY UNBORN published in Kenya and Canada respectively are available on Amazon. She has also featured in over ten international anthologies/books/blogs. She is a passionate African ink.
So dynamic and energetic,
It is amazing
Distinguishing and spectacular.
Peculiar and outstanding,
It is foreign
To others and foreigners.
Culture is a voice
It speaks volume,
Culture is great
It propels and advances wills.
It helps people climb,
Tourism is a tent
It shelters people.
Tourism is a market
It buys and sells,
Tourism is an investment
It brings profit and loss.
Tourism is a tie
A beacon of peace,
Tourism is a choice
A road of transportation.
They want to learn
They love discovery
And they stop at nothing.
People are influential
They command respect
Positive, negative or neutral
People are adventurers
They live in adventures
Because life is adventurous.
Culture, tourism and adventure
Urban migration, rural experience
All, help man to survive.
When we travel
We learn, change and adjust
We embrace new people, new place
We adapt, accept and move on
Whether good or bad, we learn
Then we understand life from a different angle.
Born in the village of Majkhuria in Bangladesh, Rehanul, a bilingual poet started writing poems at an early age. Although he has interest in all the genres of literature, his first and foremost love is poetry. Falling ‘upon the thorns of life’ as Rehanul takes refuge in the lap of nature, so also he seeks pleasure in poetry. He finds no antagonism between art and science. Rehanul believes beauty is religion and poetry can build a habitable earth by promoting beauty and truth together through the appreciation of beauty. He dreams of a future ruled only by love.
An electron changes orbit
Particles lose way from massive explosion
Gaseous molecules are aimless
Sky indulges in ficklesome spree and
An aroma larger than life floating me away
Bearing the foresight of intense darkness in mind
To light the way
Living under the spell of an enigmatic horizon
To purify the inner self,
My entity madly chases after a shadow-
The shadow true to yourself
The shadow you cherished for life.
Nothing Makes Happy
Bunch of roses, sweet sunshine, water drops
Grey desert, cold breeze and green land
Beauty pageant, glistening stars----- nothing
Walking across the valley I met a peddler
He said: Look over there
Earlier hills were not like these
They looked like brides wearing vermilion
Music could be heard from that desolate heath
At midnight there were meteor showers
Breaking silence a bird used to shriek
Now nothing makes the peddler happy
A bee buzzing around complained:
The star has fallen from its orbit
Long since there is no rain
Flowers bloom in the arid desert
Followers are decorating a coffin with flower
Now nothing makes the bee happy
A bird was flying nearby
The bird told:
In the coming winter many princes will visit this place
Some Houbara bustard live in those tall trees
The locality will be developed
There will be avenues, stadiums and large shopping malls
Now nothing makes the bird happy
Few steps ahead
A small stone on wayside looked sad
‘Stone, what caused you such pain?’
The stone replied mournfully-
We are three siblings
Now the older one resides in the White house
People say she is happy
The stair that His Excellency steps down every morning
She enhances its glamour
The middle one is in Aleppo
Now she is too old to be recognized
And the youngest stone herself is too lonely
Now nothing makes the small stone happy
A gust of wind blew over
The wind whispered:
Do you know once wind and water were true lovers-
‘Single entity, single soul’
Many nations, many civilizations through rise and fall
Bear witness to their historic love,
Today the age-old civilization declares
The share of water is the hottest topic for politics
Wind and water became separated
Now nothing makes the wind happy.
Appearance of Man
Anyone coming across becomes sceptical of
feeling being originated from the evolution of a complex cell,
beauty emerging from a scheme by molecule and atom.
The twisted horns of a wild Mercor though amazing at look,
twisted reasoning fails to prove so
twisted jilipi is sweet but twisted talks are disgusting
None is acquainted with the alphabet of goat
that of man sounds tricky
Is this the reason behind their names becoming
goat and man respectively?
-A difficult question to answer.
Some man’s face encourages to think about Urenus plunged in darkness
for twenty one years,
The sight of some man is associated with the raging lust of Aouroch
Someone dances like tailless monkeys of the family of Prokunsui
Someone is in charge of fostering a primitive stage like the Silverback gorilla
The hair of some men grows as long as unbridled Mastang, hired for race
The belly of some is sexy enough as Huiuk, idol of sex
The tip of the head of someone is elephantlike-
they are the beings entrusted with the task of infecting clear thoughts
And some are husbands with universal demand of the status of god.
The food habit of some men reminds one as dung beetle moving in swarms
for food, with an acute sense of smell these insects excel on earth
and someone’s speciality lies in law of indomitable energy,
they feast on bread and rubbish equally
to heart’s content.
Seeing someone with a grin, I am haunted by the dreadful teeth of Smiloden
Which, in an endeavour to escape by asking asylum to human community,
I am rejected
The civil society excommunicated me long ago for declaring fiddlehead fern
and its wonderful bloom, more fascinating a work of art than
the too complex twists and turns of human intestine
Therefore, humans aptly branded me unfit.
The language of man is unparalleled allowing him the liberty to address a goat as
goat; goats also do not regard man as man, rather an awkward fellow.
Addey Vaters loves anything and everything related to cats and/or folk music, and is a proponent of the Oxford Comma. She resides in sunny, sometimes snowy, Colorado and her work has been published in Sleet Magazine, Vita Brevis, and The Black dog Review, among others. She is currently the poetry editor of borrowed solace.
With a roar
Out of the blue
Sky on a sunny
Stringy, mousy hair,
pitching your thoughts into the great abyss
of the soul. Somersaulting through
the dark disheveled nothingness.
What I wouldn’t give to lynch your words.
At first they’re rambunctious,
playful as summer somersaults on the grass
or a kitten chasing after catnip.
Then the pitch becomes lower, the disheveled
and false softness of each syllable lynching all hope.
Each hour drags on through the pitch colored
night – dark as the conveyor belt thoughts
that somersault through it. Perhaps catnip
tea will make the memory of your disheveled mane
dissipate. Perhaps we should run away to Lynch, Kentucky.
Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, and has written columns for the Shelburne Free Press. Lee writes mainly on his personal blog at www.secret-lifeof.com
"No rush. No rush."
all is calm,
all is bright.
A stand of cat-tails recovers from yesterday’s bent,
telling me which way the wind went.
Browning fronds dip down,
drawing degrees of their deaths from the snow.
Nothing here for anyone, really.
Nor for feather, fur, or fin.
Here I stopped for an insistent bladder.
With that taken care of, I turn to go,
but stay instead, for a moment or two.
If my party friends could see me now,
they might say
“there he goes with his mooning daydreams”.
It’s a peculiar time, a pausing time, a settling time.
All that has been, and all that will be
seem to have met at this nexus.
A thing, put off through doubt,
is affirmed, and I nod,
to no one in particular.
From my backseat toolbox, I grab some scissors.
She always liked them.
But these are not the pencil ones.
And they are dead.
"On cresting a Sunday night hill"
like a bilious balloon.
She was sheeted in linens
of heavenly loom.
This ghostly attendant of summer entombed.
This spirit ascendant,
This prophet of doom.
"In a night's fancy"
Ocean moon enrobed in ice.
Eccentric orbiter of a God.
Your showering geysers
an accretion to Great Saturn’s gravelly rings.
Herschel spied you from out the blue.
Cassini caught you unawares and showed you forth.
In flights, our curious fingers find life’s beginnings
in your nineteen mile deeps.
You hold, I fancy, surprising secrets,
But never comes the day, my love.
Never comes the day.
Mukund Gnanadesikan lives in Napa, CA. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Bangalore Review, Bloodroot Literary Magazine, Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine, Cathexis Northwest, Junto Magazine, The Cape Rock, The Ibis Head Review, Tuck Magazine, Literary Yard, and Calliope. His first novel, Errors of Omission is due out in fall of 2020. When not writing, Mukund practices child and adolescent psychiatry.
An image she tries not to shatter
As her father did dinner plates
Hurling the discus of rage
At ever-flinching spouse
Childhood was no playground
Except for drunken fornicators
Too strong and angry for her to resist.
Avoidance of their breath remains elusive
In solitary hours of darkness
What alms can be proffered
To innocents like this?
Figurative hand and literal ear
Long wished for in the heart
But empty as a robin’s nest in winter.
Ensnares my ankles
Frustrating cautious steps
Stretching in pursuit
Of invisible something
But arms are far too short
And fingers yet unlinked
And if it once was there
No trace remains
Or is there more
That far eludes
And baits my eyes
With seductive Illusions
I begin to suspect
Reality is nothing
But evanescent thoughts
Blown by zephyrs
Glistening in sunrise
On dewy morning grass
In my Head
To be found within
Walls of golden palaces
Long vacated by mortals
Who learned too late
The lessons of material pursuit
That end in ultimate despair.
Seek within the mind’s infinite realm
Perennial truths that bear fruit
For all future seasons:
Herein lies the trail
Most sentient beings fear treading,
Far easier to yield to basic instinct
And customary social pressure
All to the detriment
Of Homo Sapiens Sapiens
Chasing his absent tail.
Read All About It
Over a disputed pair of Jordans,
A grievous wound inflicted
By greed’s sharp-pointed blade.
The next page tells me
In screaming agate type
Stories of myopic Midas
Who strips forests bare
And drains the waning watershed.
Further on, captions trumpet
The false prophet’s lechery.
What clarion proclaims
New tales of hope and goodness?
Eyes and fingers search,
Probing deep inside
Finding solitary tale
Of average humans
Dirt under their nails
In altruism’s syrup,
Welcoming the pilgrim
And his unknown story
While building arks
Of wood and spirit.
Through spectacles, hope’s
Epaulets shine through
Recycled squid-ink tabloids.
Full of hugs and laughter
change to seeker
of bloodlust and retribution?
Once you were small and passions simple
- an ice cream cone, baseball on TV.
But now that fervor twists into a ball,
clenched fists and teeth fueled by malice
Objects of disaffection
Molotovs and maledictions
Launched toward the youthful other
Just as pure of heart as you once were.
BARBARA GAIL MONTERO
DANNY P. BARBARE
DAVID E. HOWERTON
JOHN L. STANIZZI
JONATHAN DOUGLAS DOWDLE
KEN ALLAN DRONSFIELD
K SHESHU BABU
LOIS GREENE STONE
NGOZI OLIVIA OSUOHA
PAT ST. PIERRE
RABBI STEVEN LEBOW