I am not sure how I did it,
how I survived
a lucky chance
but here I am
against the wind,
the hot, hot wind
which has turned the soil
into rippling sand
the rippling sand
of the unwashed desert.
I am not sure how I did it
and I am not sure how long
I can stay here
in the rippling sand
of the unwashed desert.
(Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality and writes hoping to find an audience for her musings. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Peach Velvet, Light Journal and So It Goes.)
Fragrant and Amaranthine for Thousands of Years
One day I will come back by a red cloud and bring giant's picture scroll.
My lines of lightning songs will flutter gold greetings of prehistoric huge city.
The mountains that have been sleeping for hundreds of millions of years
will be transparent in an instant and the lights will be brilliant, like five-coloured gems;
And the songs of my soul in the skeleton will be in full bloom,
like the fairyland flowers of the Kingdom of Heaven,
that will be fragrant and amaranthine for thousands of years.
The Soul is Invisible Muse
Open the eyes of your soul you'll see countless yourself.
No time goes by,which as if the sun and the moon never set and rise.
The world is only a book of phantom and the soul is invisible Muse.
Before the words hadn't beent born yet, you have been a giant
of the the kingdom of gold, that know not what is meant by myself.
(Hongri Yuan, born in China in 1962, is a poet and philosopher interested particularly in creation. Representative works include Platinum City, The City of Gold, Golden Paradise , Gold Sun and Golden Giant. His poetry has been published in the UK, USA ,India ,New Zealand, Canada and Nigeria.)
And then there are the days I long
to open him like a host on Westworld
though I would have to grow claws
to rip his skull apart since he is no bot
but my lover and with dexterity and calm
to lift with the point of the nimblest of my talons
the pulsating taint that pulls him down
into depressions that drive me mad.
(A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for the past quarter-century in Indonesia. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in fiction and poetry, his verse appears this year in Headcase: LGBTQ Writers & Artists on Mental Health and Wellness published by Oxford UP and Lovejets: queer male poets on 200 years of Walt Whitman from Squares and Rebels. His essay "It's Been a Long Time Coming" was featured in The New York Times "Modern Love" column in April 2016. Penha edits The New Verse News, an online journal of current-events poetry. Twitter: @JamesPenha)
A Labyrinth of Strangers
They’re all familiar enough in the beginning: parents,
aunts, uncles, grandparents—relatives who’ve been
part of your short, sweet life. Yet, as you move further
back in time, names, dates and places become increasingly
obscure until, eventually, you find yourself stumbling
about in a labyrinth of strangers.
Still you keep on digging, hoping to find that one luminous
figure among your ancestors. But, take care; what you uncover
may leave you wishing you’d left well enough alone, remained
in blissful ignorance, untouched by the viper which has been
waiting all these years to sink its fangs into your heel.
For in most things there is a balance of sorts—light versus
dark, good versus evil—you get my drift. And with a linage
that, theoretically, stretches all the way back to the first fish
which made its way up out of the ocean onto dry land, you
have to expect a Snopes or two, perhaps even a Hannibal Lecter,
hiding somewhere in the foliage of your family tree!
(Howard Brown is a poet who lives in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. His poetry has appeared in The Beautiful Space (May 31, 2018), Burningword Literary Journal, Blue Collar Review, Tuck Magazine, Pure Slush, Poetry Super Highway, Old Hickory Review, Lone Stars Magazine and Devil’s Party Press (forthcoming).
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.")
The Beautiful Space-