I am Silence.
When God spoke to the formless void
at the beginning of time;
I was there giving meaning to the sounds,
transforming them into commands.
When God questioned Adam and Eve;
I was there in the midst of the questions
helping them to understand their deed.
I was the essence of their response.
I dance between the music notes
and make the sound so sweet.
I give rhythm to the drum
and melody to its’ beat.
I am the response
when love’s trust is destroyed.
When hearts are bruised and tender
they suffer in my embrace.
I am present in life and death,
explaining both of their mysteries.
When life walks out of the body
it is my song that fills the ear.
I am Silence.
And If I Should Fall, Then What?
It is complexed - frightening - this asana called life.
I bend and twist, surrendering to it.
My mind, my body, my spirit, taxed.
And if I should fall, then what?
Frightening, complexed, this asana called life;
I bend and twist losing sight of the familiar
mind, body, spirit, disoriented.
And if I should fall, then what?
Fear of losing the familiar brings pain.
Fear of the unfamiliar brings anxiety.
Mind, body, spirit, disoriented.
And if I should fall, then what?
Breathe away the familiar.
Breathe into the unfamiliar.
Breathe and know what you cannot sense.
Breathe mind, body, spirit into harmony.
And if I should fall, then what?
Breathe and fall into compassion,
fall until you touch pure love.
Breathe and fall, fall and discover
harmony with the universe.
(A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Anthony Crutcher is the husband of one wife and the father of two children. He discovered poetry as a form of self-expression and encouragement to others. After a career as an economist he now concentrates his efforts on writing and teaching yoga)
Red is the color
of the body bag
on the gurney.
A sagging haze settles on the empty bed,
the centerpiece of our lives.
The numbing silence
of the unplugged oxygen tank
long hugs longing
Possessions bestowed as gifts
her life paralyzed in time,
dropped into boxes,
A son’s heartfelt eulogy
fills the small church
A community gathers for a potluck
sharing stories of blessings and mishaps,
the weight of the incomprehensible
A black lettered “FOR RENT” sign
soon appears on the door
where the “Welcome” wreath
once heralded the
warmth of her greeting.
Red is the color,
of the geraniums
in her garden.
In these our final years,
I am an unwilling witness
as the pernicious intruder
fills your limbs with tremors,
even as you sleep.
The words that once connected us
are fleeting whispers
as you struggle
to capture meaning.
I watch as you search
for the scent of jasmine in spring,
the smell of Beef Wellington in Patti’s kitchen.
admirably accepting a life in four senses.
Searching your face for
expressions of joy, love, focus,
I often find distraction,
I wonder how to make peace
with your slo-mo pace
as the world around us
accelerates and obfuscates.
Yet, I hold on to the hope,
the belief perhaps,
while nothing is certain
our core is impenetrable
Into the woods
the rivulet cascading down the darkened bark
as a heavy downpour awakens the earth.
the daffodils bursting with color,
harbingers of better times.
the rust colored buds
the promises of spring
the mallard duck undaunted by the rain,
as the angry creek rushes downstream.
the robin hopping in the open field
in search of wily worms
or a handsome mate.
the lone human traveler
on this trail
here and now
casting uncertainty into the
(Barbara D’Emilio, a long-time educator and poet, lives in Washington DC and finds inspiration and solace on the trails of Rock Creek Park. Publications include: What's Ahead: Transitioning from Adult Education to a Career, various articles on family involvement and most recent poetry in District Lines, Volume V.)
Friends and Strangers
There are friends
and those I once
called friends, but
now count as strangers.
And with regard to the
latter, I won’t miss them;
rather, I’ll miss who I
thought they were.
The Half-Light of Dawn
How peaceful here on the porch, the mind
as yet uncluttered with the day’s agenda;
How sweet the ostinato call of the Song
Sparrow, three notes and a trill;
How rare to step outside ordinary time
and rest in the moment;
How magical, to sit and drift and dream
in the muted, half-light of dawn.
(Howard Brown lives in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. His poetry has appeared in The Beautiful Space, Printed Words, Tuck Magazine, Burningword Literary Journal, Blue Collar Review, Pure Slush Magazine, Old Hickory Review, and Devil’s Party Press. He has published short fiction in various print and online journals.)
Just the other day waking up on the floor
circled by concerned faces in hospital robes,
Coming to my senses from a sweet trance
which I forgot in a flash.
I said smiling, dream it was,
the chuckle in the room rose riotous.
Bleeps, beeps, screeches, and groans,
this is casualty if you forgot.
Little I knew that I had blacked out
while the friendly doctor dressed my hand.
Are you alright they asked?
A little blood shouldn't make you vamoose.
Compassion, kindness, and patience
Humanity could not have asked for more.
Making it so easy in such an alarm
Lives saved and pain taken care.
Why did you pass out on me, the medic asked?
You are my first patient for the day
and the shift has only begun.
Joking as I let out,
It's all about a man in the kitchen,
Never cut an avocado in your palm
the knife may slip,
Who knows what you may lose.
(Dr Mudasir Firdosi is a psychiatrist by profession.He writes poetry and columns on regular basis on varied issues from mental health, current affairs to politics.)
When they tell you you’ve
had a nervous breakdown
you become like an astronaut
you find yourself drifting,
pleading for someone to provide you
with the right equipment.
In the right space
you can deploy like the Eagle
confronting the “magnificent desolation” resolutely.
To be able to sink your feet into the
lunatic surface will be a revelation
tip-toeing through craters formed
long before you were born.
If you run low on fuel
at least you will have finally seen
what those wounds look like
up close and personal and like
the dark side of the moon
allow the parts unseen to be
tucked back into the envelope
of your universe.
every exploration takes time
Living in a Big Top
I was raised as a spectator. Taught to look with eyes wide open
and a mouth shut closed, a spectre haunting their escapades.
They came in droves in summer. A caravan of exotic animals.
Their foreign tongues licked at my ears and swallowed up my voice.
They pitched camp in every room, our house became a big top. Clowns with
their magic potions created smoke screens, intoxicating the crowd.
And my parents mastered the tightrope, walking between the tension points of
addiction and their children.
We were the objects that they juggled, like little balls kept in continuous
motion, for entertainment and display. Once the performance was over, we were tucked away.
Looking back, I can see, the format of these spectacles, the circle of that stage,
developed me into the ringmaster I am today. Away from the side lines,
at the centre of my life, I know how to interact with its various acts
creating a seamless performance.
I am no longer silent.
(TAK Erzinger is an American/Swiss poet and artist with a Colombian background. Her poetry and personal essays have been featured in Mojave He[art] Review, Cirrus Poetry Review, The Beautiful Space Journal, The Curlew, The Rising Phoenix Review, I-70 Review, The Avocet, The Woolf Magazine and more. Her debut poetry collection entitled, “Found: Between the Trees” (Grey Borders Books 2019) is currently available at http://www.greybordersbooks.jigsy.com/TAK-Erzinger. She lives in a Swiss valley with her husband and cats.)
Point of the Mind
closing in on the sand
cool green shrubs stand on a hill
not yet lending shade
wave upon wave
deep blue water
the edge of the sea has no fixed point
sand darkening in the sun
waves devouring dry beach
sunbathers inch back
retreat the sea's incursion
Given a chance,
he will steal anything.
floor to ceiling
with empty flower vases,
In the dark,
he huddles in a corner,
asking question after question
of each new acquisition.
(Steve Carter is a writer and jazz guitarist. He taught music and English at Berklee College of Music. His first book of poems, Intermodulations, was recently published by Maat Publishing (www.maatpublishing.net). His poetry has appeared in many magazines, including Hanging Loose, Carolina Review, Stand, and Clackamas Literary Review.)
Striking hands have been torn from ticking clocks,
Minutes birth hours and days form into months.
Time stands perfectly still,
As motionless as a stone.
The four walls around me are closing in,
Their smooth edges caressing my elbows,
And their sharp angles nipping my heels.
I have counted every last bump on the ceiling,
With lazy eyes and long breaths.
My breathing is so deep, so shallow, so expansive,
That each inhalation lines my lungs with arctic crystals.
Breaths puff out through visible mist,
And my tongue tastes like winter.
My bed provides some sort of respite from such boredom,
As I melt into the sheets and time disintegrates around me,
Minute hands fondling me under the covers,
Hour hands strewn across the carpet,
And seconds on the sill.
Blazing morns turn into shadowy sunsets without a moment’s notice,
There is no difference here between a dusk or a dawn.
I hope to no God that there will be some sort of end to this,
Some sort of rescue from my dull imprisonment,
But as I lie in wait and bide my time,
No clock will aid me.
The earth moves,
Firmly on the floor.
Rocking the cradle.
Suddenly waking up,
To the unsound alarm.
I see the waters,
Raging high above.
Land and waters,
Kiss each other.
Yet both elements,
In conspiracy killed.
In a curve,
The waters rose.
The terrorized earth,
Beyond the sea,
Land has drifted.
Causing boundary impact,
Shifting visions of globe.
Shouts of fears,
Souls with tears.
Looking back at stillness,
With no forgiveness.
How still you are now,
Broken our hearts are.
I urge you to stop,
With both my palms clasped.
(Dr Maureen Shyamala Rajamoney, born and bred in Penang, resides in Seremban, Malaysia and is currently serving as an English teacher in Chan Wa National Type Secondary School.)
this torture tripwire in my brain -
there’s no warning when it will light up
when the next bombardment will come,
and when an attack commences
it shatters my left hemisphere
starting as a dull clenching
in the hollow of my temple
electric throbs growing in intensity
ballooning to a harrowing pounding
like a screwdriver wedged in my ear
a knife in the gaps of my teeth
a needle piercing my eyeball.
I’m thrashed about like a rag doll
in the merciless onslaught
of a trigeminal nerve turned rogue,
as it swells on me, a mutating beast
writhing eel of errant firing
analgesics cannot mute or dull,
it rears like a basilisk to strike
with a volley of voltaic stabs
and I’m slashed down to my knees
groveling, calling out the names
of all the myriad gods, now gone,
who heard my cries a long time ago.
Three hundred days pain free -
colors and scents slowly begin
to feel pleasant and normal again.
amygdala rests, as I try
to look forward without fear,
without the filters of PTSD
a challenging feat, when carrying
the weight of a vicious fiend
still lodged, though slumbering, in my brain.
(Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad is a Sydney based artist, poet, and pianist. She holds a Masters in English and is a member of Sydney’s North Shore Poetry Project and Authora Australis. Her recent works have been published in Red Eft Review, Glass Poetry Journal’s Poets Resist, Eunoia Review, among other journals.)
The Beautiful Space-