Waltz of the Scarecrow
Santosh Kumar Pokharel is a senior Civil Engineer and a noted multilingual Poet and Translator from Nepal. He spent almost seven years in in Moscow during his study where he completed his Masters in Civil Engineering, Hydropower. He is member of different literary sites and has frequent publications. Mr. Pokharel is a published poet and has hundreds of poems and FOUR published books, TARAKO PUCHCHHAR 2014. SACRAMENTO POEMS 2014. Engineer Santosh Pokharel Ka Kavitaharu 2018 and MODESTY POEMS 2018. The author retains copyright of all these 4 books with himself.
He has been published in US based Poetry Anthology Moonlight Dreamers in Yellow Haze and Dandelion in The Vase of Roses (Amazon.com). He has several poems published in Tuck magazine and in the Scarlet Leaf Review including Kofe Phoenix of Romania. Likewise Mr. Pokharel enjoys his publication in Russia in Russian language. The poet enjoys three world languages English, Russian and French including Hindi and mother tongue Nepali. Only one representing his country in the recent World Congress of Poets 2019 in Bhuwaneshwar Mr. Pokharel writes poems lyrical and rhyming. His poems range from simple romantic to metaphysical full of oriental flavors. Born in Lahan of Sirha district of Nepal as an elder son of father Ambika Prasad Pokharel and mother Sharada Devi Pokharel Mr. Pokharel has two daughters Saru Pokharel and Shruti Pokharel.
Poet Pokharel is a published poet in Nepali, English, Hindi, Russian and Hungarian.
MSc Civil Engineer Hydropower. Friendship University, Moscow, 1990.
● Meerut University Literary Awards Meerut India 2017
● Eternity International literary Award Bhuwaneshwar, India 2018
● International Award for Creative Writing 2018, Aurangabad Maharashtra, India, March 30, 2019
● World Congress Of Poets Participation Awards October 3-6, 2019
● Published poet in Nepali, English, Hindi and Russian.
Peoples have panic in heart's core
Terrible situation the globe confronts
Thousands of lives breath their tore.
The air blows lifeless as on the tombs
Breezes are cool and tend to succumb
To the whole existence; that looks dull
And lives have become so humdrum.
People have locked up inside the doors
States with lockdown panic them more
It’s as if some drama's on go
Nature is seen as dancing like whore.
March 24. 2020 Kathmandu.
STOP VIRUS WAR
AND CHINA COUNTERS THAT US HAVE SENT
FOR US PEOPLE IT’S ALL THE SAME
BREAKOUT OF COVID SHALL WHO PREVENT?
NO NO I AM NOT AGAINST NONE
ASK WHOEVER CAN STOP THIS RUN
OF VIRUSES ALL OVER THE WORLD
IT’S WHAT WITH MY HEAD HAS SPUN?
WHO BROKE THIS VIRUS OFF LABS OUT
LET THIS ISSUE ON THEM RESIDE
I NEED BUT ITS ANTIDOTE FOR ALL
TO HEAL THE PEOPLE WORLDWIDE?
MY CONCERN IS NOT IN BETWEEN
WHO THE HELL WILL THIS WAR WIN!
BUT AT THE COST OF HUMAN LIVES HERE
NO DEVIL SHALL THIS FAR WIN.
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS ACROSS THE GLOBE
DID PERISH ALREADY BUT FOR A PROBE
OF SOME LABORATORIES DID BAD INTEND
TO KILL THEIR COUNTERS DID VIRUS SEND?
ILL CRACKS IN HEARTS NOT YET FILLED?
YOUR BITTERNESS’S NOW OVERSPILLED
THAT’S COST MILLIONS OF THE MONDE
TOO MANY HAVE BEEN ALREADY KILLED.
OBSESSED TOO MUCH THEY ARE AGAIN
STILL RISING, NO CHANCE TO WANE
EGO; TO DESTROY HUMAN RACE
IN MANIA OF RARE WORLD REIGN.
LET THEM REGN SECLUDED LANDS
SKY AND OCEANS FAR FORLORN
STRERCHES OF ACQUTTED RICHES OF THOSE
WHO LEFT US WITH DEATHS THEIR MOURN!!!
April18. 2020 Kathmandu Nepal
Casey Killingsworth has work in The American Journal of Poetry, The Writing Disorder, Two Thirds North, and other journals. His book of poems, A Handbook for Water, was published by Cranberry Press in 1995. As well he has a book on the poetry of Langston Hughes, The Black and Blue Collar Blues (VDM, 2008). Casey has a Master’s degree from Reed College.
prepared everyday on a luxury ship, thousands
of pounds of shrimp and chicken and unspeakable
numbers of workers trapped on that boat,
racing against the clock to make every meal perfect.
I don’t even know if we have words to judge this.
Sometimes I don’t feel like I belong here, like I’m
different in the way a shrimp is different
from a chicken, the way they look at
the world with either feathers or from
underneath the ocean and in the end sharing
space on someone’s plate is all they have in common.
Sometimes I feel like I’m from another planet,
you know, like I’m lying there on someone else’s plate.
Then I walk down the street watching everyone watch
themselves in store windows believing the same thing,
how different they are. And I start thinking, well, maybe
we are all from Mars or maybe we’re already on Mars
and we’ve been here all along.
And if that’s true, then maybe we’re not so different after all.
Originally published in Tipton Poetry Journal
Natural selection poem
in high school or
at least every one
I dreamed about
ended up with
from another school,
and I hated them
for that because all
the chances I never
had anyway died again,
like running over
a dead animal on
your way home.
I know now they
driven to perpetuate,
to seek out their
the shiny athletes or
body presidents so
their own babies would
defend the genome,
you know, date boys
from other schools.
I know now it was
just natural selection
because all of us wished
we carried that favored
Originally published in Down in the Dirt
My life as money
in terms of money but when I go to work on Monday
I’m a dollar sign, income for somebody else,
how much work can I do in how little time.
I come home and the house measures me
as square footage, the view from the deck
I don’t have, how a second bathroom would help
the resale value, fix up the yellow lawn, etc.
When I’m in the store I watch people
watch me to see how much
I’m going to spend, to see
how big their bonuses will be.
Even love is money. Once someone
left me to go away to college to get a career
and there I was, holding hocked dreams
and working to make a square living.
I sit in the coffee shop
with a $3 coffee plus tip and wonder if
there’s any other way to count a life
but there is no other way.
Originally published in vox poetica
Crow spreads his wings
about the ways of a native dance,
with illustrations and young people
regaled in their finest beaded clothing
and they sing and pound drums
and the dancers move in ways I have
never seen and the music is notes
I have never heard, like the sound
creek water makes hitting stones under
a distant crow. The man introduces
a new dance and he calls the dancer
by the wrong name and his young
daughter laughs at him just exactly
the way my daughter laughs at me.
A million crows fly over the world
and if we look up we will see a million
silhouettes, each one as different
as Gene Kelly is to these dancers,
but a daughter’s laugh, that,
that sting of wrath wrapped inside
the music of a child’s delight, I
think that’s the same sound
no matter what dance you do,
no matter what creek you hear.
Originally published in Galway Review
The names we name our children
Charles likes fine cloth and doesn’t care that others laugh at him.
Cheap beer finds Chuck nearly every night and
Carly is fun but laughs too hard at parties.
Samantha will want to give a speech at graduation,
Sam runs faster than the boys.
Emily organizes the food on her plate;
Scott won’t keep any job for long.
Elizabeth hurts to be more popular so she joins a crusade
to save something, but for the wrong reasons.
Bob will always be the man.
Someone whose name I do not know will be a lawyer,
someone else will live on the street.
Someone named Randall will become the vice president of a huge company
and someone else named Randall will inexplicably die in his neighbor’s pool.
Gilbert will be a rockstar although he sucks at guitar.
Joan is a great artist but nobody will ever know it
and she wants
to get married,
and she wants
to have children,
but she never will.
Ndaba`s poems have been widely anthologised . Sibanda is the author of The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache: Unsympathetic Untruth, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence and Poetry Pharmacy. His work is featured in The Anthology House, in The New Shoots Anthology, and in The Van Gogh Anthology, and A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Poetic Intersections. Some of Ndaba`s works are found or forthcoming in Page & Spine, Peeking Cat, Piker Press , SCARLET LEAF REVIEW , Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Pangolin Review, Kalahari Review and Botsotso.
What Used To Brew In Her Mind
Tittered past a care, a wall
Rita rioted without regrets
Sweet sunrises, sour sunsets
She thrived in the twinkling
Her close past was rankling
Its reality, heavy & haunting
Its mental dances daunting
Today no tempest brewed
No hell, hurricane hovered
She had to be solid, positive
Detoxing was up & instructive
Bright was her train of thought
Beauty of a tomorrow she sought
It was hers, not about anyone else
She kicked the asses of nightmares
Future nightmares not her business
She danced a dance of freed silliness
On her mind bravery bellowed its arrival
A previous poor park for this, that upheaval
All She Wanted Was To Be Right
they rioted, rumbled ,seeking to reach a crest
inside her silences, her moments of aloneness
an interplay between her calms & their rowdiness
though untold, they told and retold their sorry stories
of moments in time loved, lost into an ocean of memories
she feared telling her best friend or her aunt that each time
he passed by or she caught sight of his photo, it was a crime
she turned to her pillow for comfort but it was tough & tight
she wasted ages navigating a past that failed to make her right
The Upshot Of A Honeyed Greeting
walked up the staircase in grand style.
Her every step—her move, a class of its own,
she radiated charm and grace like the Sun.
As she reached the ninth floor her energy ebbed,
her gait weakened, a sense of exhaustion tolled.
Her ultimate goal was to get to the tenth floor,
but a dulcet hello and a missed step was her flaw!
The Eyes Of A Visitor
Coastal southern African nation.
Eyes feasting on this country`s natural beauty,
Marveling at great rivers, waterfalls and scenic coastline.
Cruising through different climates, landscapes, cultures and colours,
Catching sight of the amazing Valley of the Moon and the Kalandula Waterfalls-
All the way to the Black Stones of Pungo Adongo before taking a rest at the Coatinha Beach,
The jaunt is not over till one visits the Bay of Luanda, Tazua Falls, Big Welwitschia and Luanda Island.
The Edge of Some Shrinking Shingle
How come? They must be kidding us. Our zollars!
Are zollars not as light as feathers? Come on, airlines.
You are better than this. Don’t you for a moment
imagine how it is like to be a zollar. No global trips.
No little reparation or moving out of the country
to hang out with other international currencies?
Your hands are tied. You are bored. You are stuck.
They say you suck. You begin to feel like a sick alien.
Your dear countrymen deride you. Fake or f-what?
People call you names. Toilet paper. Unusable
dosh. Surrogate sheet. Who likes to be called
s-somethig? Put yourselves in their shoes for
a moment. Of course, they were sneaked in
through the back door. But that is how it works!
Now there is the fear of the 2008 resurrection
to deal with. Would the infamous food items fly off
the shelves again? Would bad airlines stay away?
Will emptiness ejaculate in the shops and banks?
Will poor cows be a medium of exchange? Stone age!
being at the receiving end of insults-- sometimes even kicks and blows.
Melusi was a peace-loving keeper of Mabhonga, our gigantic and energetic bull.
We couldn’t have asked for a better cowherd in the entire world. He loved his job.
Mabhonga had amazing strength, stamina and aggression. He was just too wild
to spend a single night in the kraal and to graze with other family-owned cattle.
When Mabhonga fell in love and was on heat, he was unstoppable and insatiable.
He was an aggressive, jealous and noisy lover, too. No bull dared to come close.
He loved and fought like crazy. Many a bull had lost a leg or had a scarred body
because of Mabhonga`s desirous and ferocious streaks. An infamous fellow.
Mabhonga would either leap over the kraal’s log-loaded wall or rip it apart
and invade a neighbour`s field to feast on the maize plants or groundnuts.
The owners of such fields would vent out their ire on poor and helpless Melusi.
Mabhonga fuelled rancour and commotion but I wondered why he wasn’t sold.
he echoed her universe
his dress code echoed
the colour , the shape,
the size, the heartbeat
of ideal apparels & views
the wind had blustered
away his pleased paths
but blind were her eyes
to the traces and lanes
left behind by others
for the walls of her heart
flung back the resonances
of his laughter and puns,
the elegance of his strides,
the fragrance of his breath
his sound, his sweet tongue
had just quit and quietened
it had deviated ,disappeared
the one that had endeared
itself to her heart and ears
it was like a sound wave
that rolled with her grin
its echo was all the fun
it was as rosy as the sun
a spirited echo, a lifespan
a resolute resounding
her love was a reflection
of a rude, ringing eruption
her affection found an echo
in his emotions, a silly sparrow
She has two poetry titles with Ginninderra Press, ‘Skies Of My Dreams,’ and ‘Creative Potpourri.’
bird of truth
on a cloud of honesty.
integrity and lofty
Beams of justice and righteousness
shine on its white feathers.
Below souls of the dark aim
guns at this beautiful creature.
Seek to bring it down with bullets
of lies and corruption,
To see it submerged in a lake
of the anonymity of death.
of your morning,
Grey clouds speak a familiar
Where has the sun gone?
Shy rays refuse to dance today.
Eyes turn away.
Your heart begins to skate
on an ice rink of melancholy.
Published in January/February issue of VALLEY MICROPRESS NZ
The Muse entered through
Window of imagination,
Stirring slumber away,
Spilling mosaic of thoughts
Into cohesive pattern
Delighting the senses.
Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had over two hundred fifty stories and poems published so far, and six books. Ed works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of six review editors.
leaping across a railroad track
in shimmer hot sunlight
a quarter-mile ahead of me.
The railbed, splitting thick forest,
blinkered my vision to an instant.
My companion, looking elsewhere,
said it must have been a bear.
I insisted I knew what I had seen,
and jogged up to search the spot.
Thinking back a reckless act,
but whatever crossed had disappeared.
There are legends and reports
that an ebony creature travels
the woods of maritime Canada,
often scoffed at, never proved.
Cougars again hunt the region,
but black cats are campfire tales.
The grace in that flickered leap
didn’t belong to a shambling bear
and I refuse to deny the presence
of a creature so rare and poised,
who roams the deep woods,
and lurks just beyond my sight.
that fire hardened spears and feathered headwear
and foot wear tanned in our urine
had, if not their own soul, an anima
we gave to them in thanks.
Perhaps a tenable credo
When we owned only five things,
But what to do about
Thirty baseball caps and forty blouses,
Twenty pairs of shoes and six wrist watches?
Our drawers-full of forgotten detritus
Remind us that we still fiercely covet
Things we will discard without thought,
And that there is almost nothing
We will insist be buried with us.
Lost and Unfound
and I don’t know why not.
Something said or done
that I cannot recollect.
My wounded anger has abated
into now and future sadness,
emotions withered into husks,
memories wearing sackcloth.
There cannot be atonement
when silence is a locked gate
barring knowledge of a wrong
from being repented for.
There is no longer pain,
just the phantom ache
of a severed limb
lost to forgotten folly.
Knowing my Limits
there’s little I wouldn’t do or haven’t done.
I’ve eaten chicken claws and whole tiny birds,
seal flippers and cod tongues and sea slugs,
dog and squirrel, all cow parts and possibly rat.
I’ve read literary and prurient porn,
comics and classics and quitch,
doggerel and the divine in three languages.
Shot geese and turkeys, pheasants and pigeons,
hooked salmon and trout, stripers and blues,
not sure about man, but not ruling it out.
I’ve lied and cheated, bribed and swindled
seduced and traduced, ignored and abandoned
mostly in the name of a greater good.
But I will not, ever, never, on threat to my soul
write greetings for Hallmark cards.
John is a social worker working in the field of disability management and holds degrees in social work, rehabilitation services, and psychology. He is the author of two books of poetry: “March” and “The Seasons of Us” (both published in 2019). His work has appeared widely in literary journals, magazines, and anthologies internationally. John is also a Pushcart Prize nominee and lives in Caledon Ontario, Canada with his wife and two children.
Toward the essence
Of our fortune
Into the meaning
Of our breathing
In one last charge
Up the hill
Toward the clearing
With the clarion call
Of angels singing
Over the lost battlefield
Of our futile
Pain will always
Who we think we are
From that which
In love with our suffering
Cultivating dead gardens
In perpetual wonder
Of how illuminating
A glint of sunlight can be
In the face
Of the inevitable
We are sublime idiots
Unable to live in purity
Of jilted reason
In one long
Bleak and unbroken
In our wandering
It’s always vanishing
On the edge of somewhere
Gone just outside
Of our certainty
Into a whisper
And you needn't be sober to refuse.
You could just move your fingers
Around the rim of the glass..
Again and again
Like the earth around the sun.
I'd still be at the table
Plucking the stars from inside your clothes.
I'd still be at the table
Working on the order of words
To adorn that letter of parting
I've been wanting to write.
Isn't death another way
Of being accepted somewhere else?
For a voice with a particular timbre,
Carrying with it, the threat of a suicide bomber.
I'm out on the streets
Where men have their desires,
Nailed on glass doors
Revolving faster than Jupiter.
The stars are now
Forever red traffic lights.
The streets, never ending female bodies,
With cigarette burns
And paper cuts
Are all straight lines
That go everywhere
That go nowehere.
And I am out still,
Looking for that voice,
With that particular timbre
That can talk a restless river
Into sharing afternoon tea with it.
The words drag themselves from the right
Like children taken to school
Against their will.
The letters set up camp
Lighting a fire
With the remains of their discarded brothers.
In the evening, they sit by a stream
The surface of which is polished mercury.
And whisper sad songs to each other.
Halfway through the poem,
An unruly couplet wanders off
To a nearby village
And returns smelling of,
The others, having already reached the end
Exchange their masks
And prepare to walk again.
Everyone I knew
Living inside me
Walked out of my room
Like disciplined and industrious
The bridges that needed to be burnt
Surrendered meekly to my
Letter writing skills.
And my visit to the laundry
Only revealed that
I had forgotten to collect the overcoats
In whose folds
I'd hide as a child.
The afternoon wore
My worn out pyjamas
And walked the neighborhood
Ghosts, too old to scare children.
When evening came
I sat with a bottle of longing
That I've been brewing
Since I was 17.
I sat there,
Waiting for morning
The way the abandoners pets
Wait for their masters to return.
Phyllis Castelli returned to her North Carolina home town after a career in music and delights in spending time with her lifetime favorite things: writing, music, photography, a pollinator garden, and two black Labrador Retrievers. Phyllis is interested in creating projects that bring these things together.
wanders like silken thread
woven into dreams,
a tapestry of memory, imagination.
Visions not bound to earth
sail through velvet night sky
guided by the golden moon.
No clock, no age, no pinioned wing,
no boundary of time nor place.
Sleep glides like a magic carpet
spun without worry of breath or sinew
Carried by rippling currents of thought
‘til crossing the bridge of dawn.
blends sea with sky in blue-gray pastels,
mutes the call of gulls
pauses the morning between darkness and light.
This comforts me
like an old friend in a soft cotton sweater
or a lover with a warm blanket to share.
The serenity is welcome.
My old dog snuggles closer,
content with more time to sleep,
unaware of the need to drift in thought,
bask in the gentle gift of peace.
indigo sky swirls into
Earth’s saltwater womb
and draws us near,
keeps our dreams
closely tethered to
wind and tide.
In our souls,
we are blue-green and salty,
winged and raucous, graceful and fluid,
glorious in the light.
Though earthbound without wing or fin,
our hearts soar and sing with the sea.
Breath, spirit, home
KEN ALLAN DRONSFIELD
RERCY KREKY ZOLA-ZABA
SANTOSH KUMAR POKHAREL
SAYAN AICH BHOWMIK