Lois Greene Stone, writer and poet, has been syndicated worldwide. Poetry and personal essays have been included in hard & softcover book anthologies. Collections of her personal items/ photos/ memorabilia are in major museums including twelve different divisions of The Smithsonian. The Smithsonian selected her photo to represent all teens from a specific decade.
What would I've done
Granite faces offer
Only silence though
I search them for
Solution and solace.
Leaves disturb me.
Names and dates are
Unbothered by autumn's
Clutter. Anger and
Would I've done
©1988 Green's Educational Publication
Reprinted spring 2008 Shemom
Ndaba`s poems have been widely anthologised . Sibanda is the author of Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache: Unsympathetic Untruth, Of the Saliva and the Tongue,The Gushungo Way and When Inspiration Sings In Silence. 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 , The Ofi Press Magazine ,SCARLET LEAF REVIEW Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Amazon.ca and the Pangolin.
company in spite of receiving a salary considered
somehow lucrative by the standard of her country.
Missing her son to pieces. Lindiwe Mpofu.
Going out. Going shopping and fishing. Catching no freshness
but losses of interest, losses of appetite and losses of self.
The disconnect in her room, in her longings is loud---
as it screams like her upset tummy. Lindiwe is shifty on her bed.
Of Pacing and Policing
seeping into his room , his mind;
giving him a dream, that of liberty.
The songs of discontent, of hunger,
were emanating from the streets,
from an angered psyche of the young.
The chanting, the policing and all-- jolted
him of out the dream, the 1970 dream,
into reality , not liberty, but insincerity.
its rage was sweeping the tender walls
of her heart off into a topsy-turvyness
with a merciless and profound sweetness
it became profoundly important for her
to seek refuge but the inferno that grew out
of her pretty pulsating and pulverizing ordeals
became the necessities and imperatives of her life
when ideas of him being a kaleidoscope of transient fun
started bubbling up on her mind she began to scrap them
with every ounce of her body and blood till a combustible rivalry
between her and her sibling erupted-- her sis wanted him tossed away
Come On And Cruise On
Can be gorgeously poised
And gorged like a delicacy
A viable mode of transportation
It’s hale and hearty for the mind
The soul and spirit`s medication
And that it can take readers out
Of all—out of politics into poetics---
Out of themselves and their spaces
And cruise with them far-off and nigh
Into warmth and words and wisdom
On & on till it reaches a cool crescendo
Towering Tower Block Takes Him Down Memory Lane
From where he parked himself and took a studious look
At his daily schedules, tackled an assignment, read a book
He could view the orbiting of the sun, it rolled with a hook
He could observe, sense, feel the beauty and dynamic enterprise
Of Bulawayo, its texture, its ticking, tickling, its tackling prowess,
Its heartbeat, happiness, heaviness, its colours, its rare calmness -
As each day progressed as a passage with its craziness or coolness
It was there that he had become rooted in, there duty called
From mornings of any kind to afternoons when home invited
That was his base, a window to a world that gyrated & educated
Life being dynamic things were about to take a twist, he accepted
When one spends the better part of the day in one busy space
One gets accustomed to the rhythms and heart of that place
One grows roots of familiarity into its milieu, smile or frown
4th floor towered over his head with a fond familiarity grown
He never missed “love” as like in a couple each and every single day!
Lovebirds perambulated there like it was their love paradise so high
From where he sat, he could view them pour out their hearts raw!
He adored that “love street”, but one day he had to kiss it goodbye
Donna Pucciani, a Chicago-based writer, has published poetry worldwide in such diverse journals as Poetry Salzburg, Istanbul Literary Review, Shi Chao Poetry, Journal of Italian Translation, and Acumen. Her work has been translated into Italian, Chinese, Japanese and German. She has been nominated numerous times for the Pushcart Prize and has won awards from the Illinois Arts Council, the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Poetry on the Lake, and other organizations. Former Vice President of the Poets Club of Chicago, her seventh and most recent collection of poems is Edges.
hangs like ghost-hair,
swaying in the lukewarm wind
of ancestor breath. My grandfather
used to take us here to play,
two pale Yankee children
who needed to be gently pushed
on the old wooden merry-go-round,
to run barefoot in the grass
without mama knowing.
the park fills with new children
playing on red plastic see-saws,
their parents sipping coffee
from styrofoam cups.
They have driven in
from gated communities
far from the riffraff of city-dwellers
and those of darker hue. During the week,
they work in big oil, big pharma.
They flip houses,
forgetting the old home on Frenchman
where Mawmaw used to live,
now a jazz mecca on one end,
a ghetto on the other.
They have fled to mansions
on a golf course.
Meanwhile, the live oaks in City Park
hold close the aged remnants
of trailing moss, more gray than green,
and invisible nooses, swaying
in their century-old arms.
a prayer that doesn’t know it’s a prayer,
its identity as strong and tensile
as the spider’s whispered web
floating over the bookcase.
Most days I’d just as soon turn over
and go back to sleep, after a lifetime
of waking before dawn, working
far into the evening, my body
resisting utter exhaustion.
Some day, if I’m lucky enough
to die in my own bed, my hands
will pluck the blankets, I’ll gurgle
a bit, eyes unblinking, seeing
something in the beyond
clearer than the nebulous universe
of a December dawn.
Now I enter the fogged clarity
between sleep and consciousness.
The mists of autumn have evaporated
from the soft earth, breathing hoarfrost.
The birds have vanished into winter.
Life is a muted joy. I swing
in a hammock of invisible stars.
A cold intelligence descends in the half-
light. I breathe survivor’s guilt.
I own warmth, a roof overhead, shoes,
a refrigerator. I can switch on a light,
flush a toilet. I can read books on astrophysics,
the Gnostic gospels, political turmoil.
I can read.
On the Cruise
with care, clinging to the rails,
wheezing over their canes,
shouting questions to each other
in carpeted elevators.
They refuse to surrender,
padding thickly on deck
if the weather’s warm,
their thin white hair
aloft in the wind. The starboard side
is “a bit slippy,” he notes.
They carry their sorrows
in the pockets of their anoraks.
They survive in the phlegm
of their chesty coughs. Each morning
they bless a plateful of familiars--
eggs, Cumberland sausages, beans,
black pudding, toast with marmalade.
At four, after naps,
they stir their milky tea with silver spoons,
listening to what seem like sleigh-bells
in a china cup.
They stare into each other’s eyes
with rheumy affection.
They do not disembark at Porto,
preferring to sit at the ship’s window
watching those with younger knees
scramble for sherry and trinkets.
At dinner, they order soft foods, then
go to bed early, rocked by heavy seas
into their portholed dreams.
draws us together in our small house,
our pilgrim feet stilled in the daily
procession called marriage.
We are trapped within each other,
under a snowy Arctic carapace
pretending to be Chicago. Suddenly
everything becomes irrationally quiet
except for the odd cracking noises
from old wooden furniture, ice quakes,
bones creaking in tired flesh.
This weather has never happened before,
a phenomenon of human making
that has closed airports, schools, libraries,
even the post office. It’s dangerous to breathe,
but needing to inhale above all else,
we hunker down, thankful at home for the pulse
of mechanical heat that throbs like heartbeats.
We crawl under quilts, our hands finding
the pockets of faded sweaters, our hopes
camouflaged in the folds of curtains.
When the weather warms up,
we’ll emerge from our home,
blinking transparent smiles, waiting
for the next cold spell. Meanwhile,
we are thrust into hibernation,
our mutual salvation
endless cups of tea.
on the radio talking of God,
the great Circle from which
we humans are not excluded
but dwell in our own
small circle inside.
Are we like eggs
laid by the God-woman
in a cosmic nest beyond
Thunder will call us forth
into the galaxy of Being.
will illumine our vision
for one split-second
of stellar wisdom,
the mysticism of unfulfilled
desire forever encased
in the divine. Love,
loneliness and astonishment
are our lot, ice and fire,
fact and fantasy, the benediction
of weeds and roses living together
in a secret garden, never touching.
Why has no one ever invented a god of slowness?
slow swing of clouds crossing
the deep. Honeysuckle, the
perfume of peace, gathering
night air in the scent of stillness. No
oars now. His small boat
drifting in moonlit iridescence.
A threnody woven by tongues
in the dark. Croakers,
crickets, the late loon. Words
of the water. A slight
whisper of sweet wind, all
the risen voices
seeming to say: Be patient, old friend.
We’re here, we’re here.
this whirling emerald
stickpin, is life, my life,
gathering gold in
wildflowers, wings whirring,
my quick tongue
speaking the language of desire.
Meadow by meadow,
nothing, not even the wind,
can catch me.
The owl, the peregrine falcon.
And if you think
I rush, hasten my death,
you cannot imagine
a glorious movie played so fast
that only God
with his infinite eyes can see it.
flightless sin, in a crimson cassock
O the brightness of that prelate,
splashing in the font of holy
water. If there is
a heaven above the sky,
he has seen it,
beyond all knowing. Shimmering,
he chirrs and—snap!
Like a sudden magician he’s
only a hint of the holy in quiet,
Jim Doss is a founding editor of the Loch Raven Review. He earns his living as a software engineer and lives with his wife and three children in Sykesville, Maryland. He has previously published two books of poetry, Learning to Talk Again and What Remains, and, in partnership with Werner Schmitt, translated Georg Trakl’s complete poetical works into a volume entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars.
Advice to a Ninth Grader
after Hans Magnus Enzensberger
read source code, map out object models,
trace the nested logic of programs
to their ultimate conclusion. Be vigilant peering through this lense.
The days of troubadours are long gone so no point in singing,
and don’t expect lists of the names of naysayers
to be published in newspapers or nailed to the city gate.
Things won’t be that brazen this time around.
Just learn how to stay anonymous in your knowledge,
wrap yourself in the algorithms of AI, plot the courseways
of the latest quantum processor, make your face and fingerprints
indistinguishable to the scans, encrypt the chip implanted in your body
so you can be anyone you wish, and pass anytime you wish
through whatever machine they devise. Manifestos are for survivalists
and suicide bombers. Cloud computers will have everyone
sorted out, categorized, filtered, and punished for the wrong beliefs
without them even knowing it. Yours must be betrayals of the nano variety,
little acts of sabotage from within to protect the defenseless, the unaware
from governments and giant tech companies, their Orwellian group-think.
Imagine bugs planted deliberately like grit blown
into the gears of an engine exposing its minute flaws,
little chinks in the deductive and abductive reasoning armor
to let truth and freedom shine through, if only for a moment.
This will be called resistance. This will be rebellion from the inside.
A Family Visit
It's so very lonely, you're two thousand light years from home -- Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
We could see him visibly relax as he entered the room
though there was some seventy year old hippie
in pigtails chanting some Buddhist hymn,
slowly turning circles lost in his otherworldliness.
Just as we start talking, a Hispanic girl scooted in beside us
to tell us she was really a Romanov princess and the KGB
is trying to track her down, offered to teach us Russian,
started talking gibberish as the orderlies apologized
and move her back to her room. Then the lady
roaming the halls with two black eyes,
dressed in a hospital gown, no underwear,
began beating her head against the glass,
rattling the walls, screaming like a wild animal
as the starfish on her forehead grew and grew.
The grinning man across from us who looked like a ‘50s
rock and roller dressed in grey sweatpants and penny loafers
started stroking himself, slow at first, then faster.
“What are you doing here, you’re not like these people.”
He blinked, swallowed his pills, obediently did as instructed
to keep the voices away, those notes we found scattered
around his house: “Shhh! Be very quiet, don’t move,
the people from the red planet are here. They’ll rip
your heart out and eat it if you look at them wrong.”
Portrait of My Mother on a Windy Day
in the guise of Dickens’ Miss Havisham?
Even in the fluorescent glare by the nurses’ station
at the assisted living facility I can still see
the candlelight darkening the hollows of her cheeks,
reflecting dully in her eyes, her hair an unkempt, thinning grey
in need of a beauty treatment, her lips pursed
like a winded athlete, always whispering
secrets to herself, instructions on what to do next.
She lives her life in darkened rooms with the blinds
always drawn, the figures of bride and groom taken
from the tops of her wedding cakes sitting on the shelf before her,
a kaleidoscope of family pictures that she no longer notices
covering the walls, the Depression-era need to horde
in the nick nacks from the dining room piled on the counter.
The only revenge she knows now is time
slowly removing the ones she loves, and leaving nothing
but strangers who visit with their icy, unwelcome hugs.
“Tell me again how we are related. I just can’t place you.”
“Are you from Allens Creek too? Could we be cousins?”
“There’s no way you could be a Doss. You can’t be related
to my first husband. He was such a good man,
cared so deeply about our children. Do you know them?”
Yes, I do know them, all too well, and have spent a lifetime
being groomed to be the revenge for every opportunity
she was denied, every wrong, every perceived injury
from the orphanage to the workplace to the graveyard.
For what seems like an hour, we practice how to insert
the key into her door lock, turn the handle, open the door,
remove the key, the same mistakes repeated over and over.
Then we move on to the TV, the red on-off button
of the remote. She practices changing channels
back and forth as I watch her grow more and more transparent
in the flickering light until I can barely see her,
or recognize there is another person beside me
whom I love and who now loves me in the third person.
Saying goodbye, I kiss her on the forehead--
“What did you do that for?”-- and step out
into the steadying wind and chaos of the real world.
An Everyman Odyssey
the story of our lives together, the decades,
the children, the love everlasting. It was a tale
neither of us could finish, or even draft a clever conclusion.
And I wrote my story of love for her in indelible ink,
or with a typewriter, a computer keyboard, my fingers
harvesting the ripe grain of her skin with each stroke,
my lips white with the salt of creation, the pen between my legs
accenting each syllable of our iambic pentameter.
A life in verse, together, distilled into that gentle smile
that first attracted me, the dance of blonde veils,
a joyful goodness bubbling champagne from her eyes
onto everyone they gazed upon. My jealousy wanted
to lock friends and family out, like a medieval earl
building my castle around her hips and breasts,
the drawbridge letting in only the invited.
But our world wasn’t like that. It was an epic adventure
in the domestic, the oracle silent except at night,
when we wrote and wrote, students looking to make a name,
yet refusing to dot that final period signifying story’s end.
Suzanne Cottrell lives with her husband and three rescue dogs in rural Piedmont North Carolina. An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys reading, writing, knitting, hiking, Pilates, and yoga. She loves nature’s sensory stimuli and experimenting with poetry. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including the Best Emerging Poets Series, Avocet, Plum Tree Tavern, Poetry Quarterly, Burningword Literary Journal, and The Remembered Arts Journal. She was the recipient of 2017 Rebecca Lard Poetry Award, Prolific Press.
Smoke lingers, lungs labor
Eyes water, I stumble among
Charred remains of broadleaf forest
Snap, crack, vibrations radiate up my legs
I lament over fallen trees, injured
Soldiers strewn like pick up
Sticks on a forgotten battlefield
Wounds ooze sap, limbs abscess
Causalities cry out, I cringe
Bone saw grates, chain saw roars
Surgeon removes a limb in hope
Of saving a sentinel,
I pray for nurturing rains,
Reseeding, and regrowth
Months pass before next visit
My eyes and smile widen as
I spot a chartreuse shoot near a
Slippery Elm’s burly scar
Regrowth brings new life
Squirrels chatter, a bird sings its song.
Your root system, like a house’s foundation,
Anchors your trunk for the storm’s duration.
Through gusts and rain, you twist and bend.
Supple limbs try not to descend.
Branches gleam with fruits, nuts, and berries,
Spices, medicines, bounty varies.
Your food and shelter selected.
Your gifts we have accepted.
Keeper of time by your inner rings,
Historian of what weather brings.
We are more alike than you know.
Rooted in soil, family, we grow.
Give each other a sense of place,
Appreciate our need for space .
Long after we are gone,
You’ll remain to carry on.
so why am I upset
when I am not perfect?
Do I feel I have let
myself or others down?
Change in outward appearance
does not taint one’s beauty within.
Bruised peaches can still be eaten.
Tattered pages can still be read.
Dirty clothes can still be worn.
Tarnished coins can still be spent.
Bumpy roads can still be traveled.
I have learned--
acknowledge my mistakes,
platforms for growth,
be content with
my best effort,
To be alive
Web of Lies
One sticky thread--
already have plans.
Each lie escalated,
love someone else.
No harm meant,
personal desires preempted
others’ needs and wants.
Received fewer invitations,
Lips trembled, muscles tensed,
beads of sweat streaked down
pallid face, flinched as
web strands vibrated,
yielded struggling prey.
Alarm sounded, voice shrieked.
Time to think beyond oneself.
Cut the sticky fibers
before lies devour you.
Oppressive Night Drive
down a remote country road
one sweltering August night
with the car windows rolled down,
strands of hair cling to my face
like plastic wrap around a slab of meat,
my temporary escape from life’s obligations
and a smothering blanket of humidity,
drains every ounce of my energy,
sweat trickles down my back,
dark, wet marks on my shirt,
I resemble a bedraggled rag doll.
Invigorated by erratic flashes,
electrical charges zig-zag,
streak across the charcoal sky.
I inhale the sharp smell of oxygenated air,
view the outlines of clouds
illuminated by the radiant lightning.
A storm in the distance,
yet too far off to hear the thunder rumble.
My summer drive cut short.
my scraped elbows, the heaviness of my childhood
heart. Her beauty unrepeatable, blistering. She stands
hunched over the sink, peeling potatoes, buttering bread,
in the yellow light of the pre-war kitchen she is ageless.
When I think of home, I think of her,
kindness dripping from her embrace like honey.
The wrinkles of her cheeks soft, like crushed velvet.
We are the same faux rose in a dusty, crystal vase.
I am cut from the long sinews of her arms,
I am stitched together with her veins.
The treble of my voice is the child of her voice,
that timeless, velvet rasp.
our legs to leather seats like chewing gum
on the bottom of a shoe. You were pulling
handfuls of buffalo grass while the boys
played bocce behind us. You said
the grass was soft like infant hair.
You wanted to capture it, keep it
green, in your velvet pouch
where you kept the baby teeth.
Those little, ivory jewels. You’d wear
them like pearl earrings if you could.
You never told us what happened, but
you were steadfast in collecting
your pieces. You planned to make
yourself into a human mosaic.
You wanted to rebuild the child
in your eyes.The baby goat sheared
for its virgin wool.
Your Northern Wild
Confusion branches out of tree trunks,
sadness grows in small shoots at knee height.
The birds clear their throats with high pitched abandon.
The moon’s violent pull causes an impossible upheaval
on the once placid lake. The vines’ long, clawing
hands try to take hold, while the mud deeply inhales
the soles of my boots. I am no Jacques Cousteau.
How do you expect me to trek so gingerly, to leave no trace,
while still pushing my way through this brush?
like firewood. I was smaller,
splintered, Elliot Smith would play
on cassette in my blue Volkswagen
while our breath coursed
through flared nostrils and damaged lungs.
I hid my pain like a sick dog. I slinked
out, under the back deck,
I swallowed some pills.
In those hideous places
I can still smell the acrid, peaty heat
of your breath, reeking like remorse.
But even though you swore that you left
I still caught you shoplifting.
Greedily, you shoved
every broken piece of me
into your pockets.
The more you took, the more
I couldn’t help but remember you
feeding our cats, their tails licking
around your ankles like muted flames.
And now I’m jealous of people
I don’t know. I want to be that stranger
sitting across from you on the subway.
I want to claim the dust you leave behind.
wet feet on linoleum. I was too preoccupied to see
the cracked blood, to hear the silence until I was knee-
deep in your tomb.
Sometimes, I dreamt you were a baby being born,
waking to a pain that was not yours, a motherhood
I never had. It was always the same, the air was metallic
when I woke up. You were there, sleeping slack-jawed like a
skeleton on my makeshift mattress,
for what would be the last time.
I didn’t know there was something insidious living in your ribcage,
quietly sifting through the cracks, waiting for spring so it could spring.
I still wake up screaming,
“please crawl into my mouth, you can make a home in there!”
I saved your beard shavings in a porcelain egg, I no longer call my
mother. The tin can on the other end of the string is silent and rusted. I put crystals
everywhere to try to see your fleeting reflection,
to know that I’m capable of remembering more
than the warmth of your blood on my hands.
John Tuttle is a writer and photographer who loves beauty and truth. His work has been featured by publications such as Blue Marble Review, Drunk Monkeys, Scars Publications, Culture Wars Magazine, Interstellar Flight Press, and The Good Men Project. He has also served as a judge for several anthologies from Ageless Authors.
A Crappie; a Bluegill; Three Catfish
Of age in this life
Five hours away
From Mom and Dad
With Grandpa and Grandma then
At the lakehouse
On the lake
Was my first catch.
A love so passionate
Now fiercely enflamed
It fuses us together
No particle or property
Between these bodies
The puzzle gradually
Of a summer past
My eye reflected
A host of passing candles
Insect fairies –
Authentic and true
Ascending on high
To make dreams a reality
For us also
And time innumerable, perpetual
Leading on to
Above the stars
Beyond the ladder
And fallen tower
Past the refractive lunar body
Into the deepness
Which is a myriad
Of answers yet unattained
Lamps of an elder era
Marking the time of night
Signaling the climatic encounter
Spheres of burning helium
In the cold extent of space
Solar globules of gas
Making up patterns
These floating gems
Forming the lighted spangles
Of scarlet, of gold
In the jewel-studded, stellar skies
No atmosphere binding
No gravity claiming
No net there 'neath
The haze of epiphany, epitome
Only a submersion
Into the void...
What a comfort to me
Those winged damsels of the night
Who shine their brightness
For my guide
And my delight.
Are memories when
The day after next
They become mementos
Unlocked from a time capsule
A bonanza, a hoard, of emblems
Of bygone tears
Of sorrows and of joys
And culture arises
Wafting in from out of the kitchen
Making its way to me.
Always something happening,
Something cooking in Mama's mind
Which when it gets to a dish
One best not be late.
We help set the table
Placing cutlery and cup
And vased tulip-snippets
For a taste in vintage ambiance.
An artisan of seasonings
Of succulent tastes
And fillers too
Our mother never wastes.
Dishes and drinks
Of sassafras and succotash
Of Salisbury and salmon
Of frittatas and Flamiches.
So we taste the world
From the comfort of our home
And sense those things
Foreign to the buds of our tongues.
Though they seldom speak
In languages unknown to them
They are always tasting
A dish native to another nation.
Here our stomachs and spirits
Are filled with the good things
The family offers to others;
The hearts of all are made to sing...
Tuesdays At Work
Planned, and focused, time wise, schedule bound.
Buzzers to buzzer, doors to be pound.
People to see, and lost to be found.
Lambs to be led, and clowns to be clowned.
Jesters appeased, and kings to be crowned.
Lamps to be lit, and fires to be drowned.
Perhaps, some rules, to be run around.
Hoops to be jumped through, clocks to be wound.
Ducks to line up, and dogs to be hound.
Castles to storm, wagon trains surround.
Headaches, fractures, there to compound.
Opportunities are to abound,
For those, abilities, to astound.
Tuesdays at work, and cover much ground,
Not play at texture, rhyme, word, and sound.
Is this the path supposed you you took?
Shining, smiling, those first steps of yours,
Unaware, unseen, unplanned detours.
The getting older. Did you believe?
Fell you prey other someone’s deceive?
Surely things ripen, improve with age,
Or rather you not turn to that page?
Fear become your mom? Worse yet, your dad?
Few guarantees, either good or bad.
Find in the mirror image your face,
Truth or question friend time can’t displace?
To advance with grace is not a sin.
But wonder, when does wisdom kick in?
From your vantage point, what do you see?
Who leads the charge, doom, or destiny?
Is not easy, all ways being you.
Consider options, what’s there to do?
Long years it took, become who you are.
Use what you’ve learned, have travelled so far.
Is well known who is the best teacher.
Experience may be best feature.
Slow down, step back, turn round, take a look.
Don’t count chapters, til finish the book.
For Just Awhile
To, for just awhile, be here inclined.
Not that one, might, the other, replace,
Or, here today, the yester, erase.
Tomorrow was, for truly, spoken.
Not all rules were meant to be broken.
She wished to be much more than less
Not intending to ever confess.
A quiet secret, here to entrust,
Of a once never, never discussed.
Here, an unpracticed awkward attend,
And some previous notions amend.
When she was here, she was word and thought,
But when she was not, she, sweet, was not.
She consented to leave there behind,
A together, together, to find.
These four box tops to which you refer,
On this package, Oat Cereal Crunch,
Suitable breakfast, dinner, or lunch.
By return mail, an offer to get
One Navy Frogmen, three piece set.
Baking powder, though not provided,
Is no problem, has been decided.
I plan to watch them surface and dive,
When in two to six weeks, they arrive.
Enclosed, please find, Dear Madam or Sir,
Sincerely, Yours Truly, To Be Sure.
Saloni Kaul, author and poet, was first published at the age of ten and has stayed in print since on four continents. As critic and columnist Saloni has enjoyed forty one years of being published. Saloni Kaul's first volume, a fifty poem collection was published in the USA in 2009. Subsequent volumes include Universal One and Essentials All.
Saloni Kaul is also an accomplished broadcaster, writer-producer-presenter with innumerable documentaries and features to her credit.
Most recent Saloni Kaul poetic production has been published in The Horrorzine, Misty Mountain Review, Mad Swirl (contains ongoing Saloni Kaul poetry page), The Penwood Review, The Voices Project, Scarlet Leaf Review, Taj Mahal Review, Verbal Art, Ink Sweat And Tears, Military Experience And The Arts (As You Were: The Military Review), OVI Magazine, Blueline, Indiana Voice Journal, Five 2 One Journal, The City Poetry,The Lake, House Of Horror Glitter & Words, The Whimperbang Journal and The Paragon Journal. Upcoming publication acceptances include those of The Imaginate Zine, Mantis, The Penwood Review, Scarlet Leaf Review and The Paragon Press Journal.
Deliberations delicately explosive
A torrent of semiquaver-like arguments
We fluidly abandon pat a set of words
And settle for rhyming eqivalents.
Rhyming dilemma decaying decumbent?
Recite a most mellifluous mantra
Capricious, utterly superfluous
For the Dharamsala Dalai Lama
Who for all those Tibetan medicine
Wonders couldn't even cure his own self.
Physician heal thyself, frailly they say!
Combat vituperatives violent
Unleashed bull-dozer like on the common
Breeds all on leashes so uncommon rare
Earn erudite early explanations
Eradicate intimidating rudeness
Those rude-toned brutal detonations fortissimo
Sound pattern flock-familiarity
Pitter-patter nugget-like the namedrops
Who do you know out there that I do not
Name clicking sound click-clocking family tree
Quite irrespective of bold attributes.
Out of respect swirling swishing spectacular
And no less out of disrespect deserved
Pay pay a tribute as Antony or Brutus
Pay pasquinading palest lip service
Pale all the wavering horizon length
With your words.
Yield ! Remunerate!
Decrepit dripping tributaries all
Oppositive overrunning extremities
While say recordedly the river all runs dry
Away away from the old rustic river
The riotously roaring yet reliable
Relic-like rippling effect
Bold breed in bulk like savage spawn
Augur articulate that all goes well
(Swell and down the whimsical well)
Like ding-dong ding-dong brindled bell
Hand-held hard-hammered gleaming glockenspiel
If you dislike intrinsically that feline species
As some wholeheartedly do.
What kinds of back-drop bells
Does each new name breathlessly ring?
Blow broad a baldric bugle bell
Bellow believingly a bright ballad
Belch sturdily a bloodcurdler on the one blade
Blarney stone be kind of kissed
Before you blithesome back-spin belt opaque
And blast a blustering blaspheme booster
For the back-seated and beleaguered lot.
Belittle all of them fortuitously
Persistent as oldest of campanile
Mediaeval bell chimes all careening,
Occasionally cantankerous all,
Hammered away the loud entire group.
When that old bellman is belligerent
He rings clangorously combat improvident.
The tactlessly impatient town is all at war.
Our carillons, predominantly all
Melodic, fine-tuned stationary bells
All keyboard hammered opalescently.
As you see conciliative; tone placates
And reunites like oldfashioned whip
In party politics once mandatory.
So swing, swing all the bells, let clapper ring,
A circle of vibrations at bell rim,
The sound bow all but slow-straining itself,
All almost as tricky as the casting
The tuning of the old old bell itself.
Prolonged resounding like proverbial bell tone
Resourcefully in rising or slowly waning partials,
Strongest of strikes, then hums dissolute diminishing,
And long drawn-out lingering overtones.
All overlapping in resultant resonance.
Concave conch-like concordant concoctions
For this conciliatory conclusive one
Contender opulently concretised for that prime place !
Concatenation ! Topple the one there,
Concomitantly in concentric circles ,
Outstrip the line length outwardly at least,
Oust the Mister unceremoniously.
If totally installed, rigorously uninstal.
All to augment, outstretch prosperity
MY WORLD'S SCALE
All through the filtered haze of my own writing screen,
A scrawl of words that write themselves on scene--
Magnifically telling talking of the waters--
And in the depths of crowds and on the faces of strangers,
That are soon sucked into the vortex of my words
Shut like Rapunzel in my word tower, undeterred,
As I immeasurable roam freely like a ranger.
They let their hair down most enticed to browse
Through stress unstress quite uncommanded in silence,
Imbibe the music of the consonants and sibilants
And air the vowels in assonance declaimed like vows.
And like exiguous starved for fame parasites
On gradually exuded fame and fortune fed,
By slow degrees they revel in a town infinite painted red
And clear express all their opinions as in large plebiscites.
To gain harmonious constants consistently
You level up all equability
Confabulating like love's all coy constancy
Briskly rubbing off with unstinted purpose
On scheme's two lovers in faithfulness twined,
Like heat slides always instantly freely
From planes warm-warmer-warmest to cooler
In manner most disciplinary
O ever equalising prettily
Taut unpretentiously in swift effect
Like liquids levelling from wide-mouthed flask
And buoyantly-tipped cylindrical beaker
To Boyle's slick slimmest tube and apparatuses.
A presentation different, volume exactly as it was !
Hence warmest lengths all cool given the time,
Those coolest stretches all quite soon heat up,
Each chasing like extravagance in language
That smoothest common temperature factor
Like trading stacks of cards all honestly
That hasty give and take of those prize cards
In absolutely closely-guarded winning hand,
As though each is somehow quite utterly unable
To then sustain its own high-brow extreme
And ever so anxious to seal its fate
And one smart way or other the entire deal,
Declare , whether genteel soft or bombastic loud,
Declare a win pep preferably !
A thermal equilibrium status
Fidelity-high, minimum distortion,
Is keenly sought unsparingly!
Heat's transferred, motion is increased
Tactfully as an immediate result.
That's exegetically speaking so
As clear exemplified in free translations.
In the exceptional excessive heat
Of this profoundly stifling atmosphere
As though bothered intensely by scruples severe,
That stray twinge of responding conscience,
Today even acutely sensing shadows all
Immoderately sizzle expounding modestly
Their own scholarly well-woven logical rationale.
From this respectable and unembroiled distance
I watch them cooler, suddenly protected.
ESSENCES & ILLUMINATIONS
At least aslant the slightest little chink
That all the essences of song may spiral up
Aloft and of you make me sudden think.
Then leave a kind word in the lingering air
When you have lavished all the praise you could
That it might furnish its bestowed quota base
For towering allotments poetic on ivory or wood.
Ah leave the recalcitrant night aflame for me,
Let stars that obstinately burn all shine intense
That all their interlocked light may paved illuminate the way
Salutarily to unrolled wisdom as immense.
Do leave a slender sliver of love aside for me
When to me all your love you have given
That I may inexorably thrive on doubl'd hope
As we both build anew on the old and well-driven.
CYCLIC OR LINEAR
By sheer momentum into the unknown,
Like straight paths direct of illumination,
Short cuts that light mystics' mysterious ways,
THE LINEAR IRREVERSIBILITY ------------
And then for whom the light of knowledge deep
Intimidates and overwhelms, happier
On the gradual ascent protective,
Seeking continuously reasssurance
Of slow and gentle meandering windings,
And then for them, THE CYCLIC CHANCE,
The sounder safer repeat first,
Checks balances familiarity,
Spirallic rounds alive with speculation, anticipation,
Almost REVERSIBILITY-LIKE in persona
Where after the perpetual turning on itself,
The expansions and contractions spiralling through itself
Without beginning or end like air flow,
It is as though concrete clearance in this continuum
Is the green light signal for creation,
The start of a sparkling brand new phase.
All change within the spanned continuum
Expansion and contraction through changes in velocity,
Is a movement simultaneous in either direction
Towards those two extremities like one
Looking at itself and in so doing
Becoming both subject and object.
Winding ? Unwinding? Inhalation, expansions
Of new breath, intakes of air, circulation
And recirculation of energy,
Recirculations of cosmic rhythms
That parallel the ongoing eternal creation
And constant dissolution
Of this enduring abiding universe, all of it.
For like the soundest imagination,
A source of perpetual regeneration,
There is always work to do, for both lethargic
And the dynamic on the go,
Filling , forming a higher overall order
Outside that limited linear cause and effect concept,
Equipping with each prized depletion
Turning, circulating, changing, evolving,
Upholding the adamant life principle
Caught in the stark continuum,
That cyclical nature of space and time.
EMMANUEL JOSEPH OLUMAKISS
K SHESHU BABU
LOIS GREENE STONE
MARGUERITE MARIA RIVAS
NGOZI OLIVIA OSUOHA