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.)
The Beautiful Space-