at the Meissen
cup and saucer,
white like the
lace covering the
polished teak table
where fingers drum
on a yellowing
inside on pages
sepia words crumble
like dried bones,
and the eyes
that once sought
at someone’s fingers
drumming on a
yellowing book cover
that long ago
and longer ago
on the polished
exquisite Flemish lace,
like the Meissen
saucer and cup.
(Louis Kasatkin is Founder of Destiny Poets UK and Editorial Administrator at www.destinypoets.co.uk He is also a life long community and political activist, inveterate blogger and has on occasion been dubbed a general nuisance to the status quo.)
The recent case of the phantom hand,
letting go of what it cannot hold,
catching moths in a window,
pawing away grief’s tears.
A hand that carried on regardless,
its master asleep and unaware,
his signature perfected to the iota,
penmanship an unappreciated talent.
The phantom hand that signed the checks
a lack of funds reneged upon.
That signed the freeman’s death warrant
with a controlled and unremarkable flourish.
(Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with over 1,400 poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are ‘The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press); ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy; (Cawing Crow Press) and ‘Like As If” (Pski’s Porch), Hearsay (The Poet’s Haven).)
buzzing lights and humming pipes
synaptic fizz from coloured pills
for double vision and cracking lips
a train through the brain
pulls apart seams
to find empty thoughts
and misplaced images
that lie on the bed
or in a sponge for a head.
(Image is I Need a Private World, by Dutch artist Marcel Herms – marcelherms.nl)
(Henry Bladon is a writer of short fiction and poetry based in Somerset in the UK. He has degrees in psychology and mental health policy, and a PhD in literature and creative writing. His work can be seen in Entropy, FridayFlashFiction, thedrabble, Mercurial Stories, The Ekphrastic Review, and Spillwords Press, among other places.)
Life needs a testimony about love. It teaches us – either you control
your mood, or it takes power over you and to pain you have to answer,
to fidelity you have to answer, to braveness you have to answer and
you have all these answers - to friendship, you answered with a smile
and to fidelity, to pain, you answered with silence and tears, to meanness –
with indignation, to loneliness - with living for others, to abomination –
with disgust, to braveness you answered with your full heart and it is
and it was and it always will be your guide, your best friend, your God,
your loved one and your way and your home, your heart is your journey
across the cross-roads of human faith and darkness, human faith and
calmness, across the whole universe of solitude or joy every answer is
the price we pay for operating out of our automatic images of mind
and it’s telling you now: “This is actually called life and a man can
not prove love, a man can only experience it with his heart.”
January 15, 2019
I Go Away
The silence acts through our brains,
opens the world by our hands - I go away
and let go of radiant brainwaves.
The silence dreams of us, we are its dream,
when it wakes up, we vanish from him - I go away
and let go of noisy darkness.
The tale ends and then begins anew,
we go through death again into life - I go away
and let go of empty dirtiness.
Fall in love, we will again,
I see your hand is on my hand - I go away
and let go of magic spell.
When I woke up, you were beside me,
somehow I thought the night so deep – I go away
and let go of sleepy nakedness.
You are with me resembling the snow,
I know the answer for the secrets you know – I go away
and let go of holy silence.
May 8, 2018
( David Dephy – The Georgian/American poet, novelist, essayist. An active participant of the American and international poetry and artistic scenes, such as PEN World Voices, 92Y Poetry Center, Voices of Poetry, Long Island Poetry Listings, Bowery Poetry. His poetry has been published in the USA by the several literary magazines.)
Sharp edges of fire waved in front of her.
A long reed-like arm reached through the smoke and grabbed the small of her arm.
It pulled her.
She held close to the wall,
steadying herself with one hand.
The smoke fingered her hair,
filled her lungs.
“Where am I?” she asked,
The smoke rose.
The color of an egg-yoke,
peered back, parting the smoke.
“Welcome,” it said,
“To the kingdom of ashes,”
And began to laugh.
I have parable-like dreams of a better world.
Cougars and foxes dance with Billy-goats and wild geese, but
I can’t see myself,
Only my footsteps--
For a moment I am there--
Then washed away
By the wind
And the water,
Marking a time that does not pass.
I can feel the warmth
Of horses running past me.
I smell their skin.
And I know,
I know that I’m loved.
A thin red string
Mingles with dust and dead skin,
Like a snake slithering in grass,
While dry silverfish and German roaches
Curl up into a nest,
Entombed in the corner,
Where they’re never seen.
Across the way,
Strands of loose carpet reach over the wall which separates,
Inside from outside,
Civilization from jungle.
The old linoleum lifts,
As if the the earth were yawning
And pulling us in.
I look in the mirror.
A strand of hair
Forms an “S” in the middle of my reflection;
Milky white spots dance on my forehead,
Where age and worry rest.
And I’m getting old.
I put the brushes and the cleaners away;
I turn off the lights,
And let nature take its course.
( Maryam El-Shall teaches writing and lives in Florida. Her work explores a spectrum of themes from solitude to war and empire. This is her first published poem.)
The Small Dance
The day has come at last,
the day for hope and answered prayers.
Joy to the toiler! Joy to the sturdy trees!
The little lost wind
wanders through the meadow,
finding little to fear.
Disillusionment disperses over the sky,
enabling frogs to sing their truth in forgotten fens.
It’s high time to reject analogies!
There are too many of one sort,
too few of those that matter.
Philosophy, what of it?
Psychology, too obvious!
The absorption of energy persists
to make electrons positive
so they may behave like normal electrons.
It’s called the small dance,
whether it’s big or small.
And it’s my job
to make sure every girl has a partner
but no one partner for too long.
It’s the quiet of a loving eye
that pines for what is not.
It’s the danger that disappears
because you have turned a corner
and can no longer sense it.
(Paul Brucker, a marketing communications writer, lives in Mt. Prospect, IL, “Where "Friendliness is a Way of Life." Active in the early 1980s Washington, D.C, poetry scene, he put a lid on poetry writing when he went to the Northwestern University grad ad school to learn how to think like a businessman and secure a decent income. Nevertheless, he has succumbed to writing poetry again. He has been published somewhat recently in "Crack the Spine," "The New Plains Review," "The Poydras Review,""The Taj Mahal Review," "Inkwell" and the anthology, "The Pagan's Muse: Words of Ritual, Invocation and Inspiration.")
Up with the Larks
When roused from one’s demonic dreams –
the world in waiting freezing outside,
you hardly remember your own name,
let alone, any personal history, other that that
you were cheated in love, cheated in life
by madness and an inability to follow the rules.
Always an outsider, never a rider,
given to melancholy, for as young as you can
remember, the world frozen with grief.
How would it be, not yet remembered,
if your time on Earth wasn’t worth
a footnote, or even a song for old times?
Hard to imagine your poems saved anyone,
more so, to think you deserved
anything more than a nod from the top.
So rise early with the larks, as if your identity
depended upon it, your whole life
being no more than the sum of your dreams.
Two Men Treading Water
Now we are two, variously thrashing around,
up to our necks
in this viscous soup we call the ocean.
The life boats have moved out of harm’s way
and our buoyancy aides
hardly suffice against the freezing waves.
We must drink the salty soup
until we burst, shuffle off, or worse still,
we are the last to be rescued alive.
Pity about the trip of a lifetime.
Pity how much time has been wasted.
Pity how we are loved and not loved.
Most Things are Never Meant Paradox
After all the years of forgetting and pain
he thought he would never forget
the image of her face in his mind’s eye.
Yet at the end of days and the decades
that lay between them, time had transformed
both perception and reality, as if to
render memory incapable of capturing
any informed picture of her countenance.
Sure enough, beauty had its place
at the heart of it, but only the idea
without detail or form, latent in his brain.
Not much to show for a lifetime in verse.
Nonetheless, how could he forget
her hand-written letter of admiration –
her nineteen years, the sense
that wonder could still be had
in the holding of someone else’s hand?
Regret, the only word for it now,
but regret tempered with the cynic’s eye.
Trapped by the inertia of loneliness
he speaks her name out loud: Sandrine!
Sandrine! Sandrine! Three times out loud
for luck, for a connection never to be
lived, and finally for love.
(Mark A. Murphy is the editor of the online journal, POETiCA REViEW. His poetry collections include Tin Cat Alley (1996), Our Little Bit of Immortality (2011), Night-watch Man & Muse (2013) and his next full length collection, Night Wanderer’s Plea is pending from Waterloo Press in the UK.)
When you grow up and tell me
things, grown-up things, in the language
and thoughts of grown-ups.
When you won’t speak
for the fun of it and act
your then age.
How will I feel?
How much shall I miss
the little you my child!
I actually stop typing,
as I’ve heard you playing
and babbling joyfully
in the other room.
I must first play
with you, long,
long before you
don’t want to play
with your old father
The flying cage
I saw a flying iron cage, yes, the bars
were round as I saw the silhouette and there was an iron
desk in it and a chair of iron to sit on.
All the things were patterned as grills, so
I could see through them from my terrace as the cage flew
high in the sky. The night was dark around
the cage and I had no time to check whether any moon
gave its light anywhere. I had no time,
as I was busy calling my children from downstairs
to come watch that quaint thing with me. No, it was not
magic, the orange glow that showed the cage
to me below came from the fire from under
the balloon that lifted it. No, my children did not
join me to witness the spectacle and to make it complete as,
the man that sat at the desk just opened the door
of the cage
It’s not easy to write.
First, there’s that light,
piercing pain somewhere between my right
ear and eye. It goes away for some time but
returns stubbornly. Then, there’s that doubt,
rather, there are two of them. My wife was not
well this morning. Was it just
common cold, or there’s something to worry about?
I need some documents to start
a process, and have applied for the same. Will I get it?
Shall my will be done? Yet I make myself sit to write,
happy that I’m free for the moment
and no one needs me for some time. I write
because I can. I write
for my dream. I write
as I hope. I live, so I write.
(Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India and now in exile from his city. His work originates at the point of intersection between his psyche and his city. He edits PPP Ezine.)
ON MY RETURN
Through other lives lived
I find myself again here
Where the mad roam
In worlds designed by
My dignity is robbed
And I am divested of all my passions
Like an animal caged
I roar and smash
But it is too late for anger
Know not to believe
Thoughts telling me
I can do anything
Been here too long now
Not to trust my addled mind
As it betrays me
Time and again
RAGE AND FURY
Loose in my soul
To come back
Gathering all around
Enclosing me inside
Like a ruined walled castle garden
With no castle left to protect
Where am I ?
What am I ?
Are there others here ?
No, I am alone
Nobody to come out and play
Can saoirse come out to play ?
Where did the all go ?
I see hundreds of faces
Turning into one
I'm all that I'm here with
A child ?
An adult ?
In the darkness
Dark, dark days and nights
Becomming so small
I hardly recognise myself
A shrivelled wreck
Bursting through the calm
No moments to gather self
A full rush wave of
An outpouring of VIOLENCE
This one is the biggest curse
At the begining
And once it starts
Can stop it
Until I burn out
And then floods of tears
But then it is always
BY SAOIRSE LOVE
as children we expect our mothers and
our fathers to live forever
we envision them as immortal and
challenge their ways
then death comes and
picks off one grandparent at a time
an uncle suicides
a divorce is finalized
and the puddles we once jumped in
remain stagnant and lonesome
the bogeyman we once feared
becomes credit card debt
rent or a mortgage
a hospital bill
the electric bill
the gas bill
it is endless and it has always been
but as children
our parents shielded us from
somedays there is a harmony
like old chimes blowing in the wind
though no chimes are outside
and no wind is present
i do not know what this means
but it continues on
and this harmony
brings about a forgotten peace
that was once found in those
now stagnant puddles.
(Tohm Bakelas is a published poet from New Jersey)
The Beautiful Space-