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)
I remember my grandparent’s enclosed porch,
their Boston Terriers nipping at my heels
as I entered the yard.
I enjoyed the reminiscences,
repeated at each visit.
I reveled in the laughter that ensued
after each anecdote about my childhood was concluded.
The story I remember most today
is the one about my lone field trip,
at the age of three,
to the neighborhood railroad tracks.
Little me, found by frantic people
and returned home safely.
In later years, my grandmother,
was found wandering
those same railroad tracks
by equally frantic people.
I’ve wondered since
if we were looking for the same thing.
(Linda Imbler’s poetry collections include “Big Questions, Little Sleep,” “Lost and Found,” “The Sea’s Secret Song,” and “Pairings,” a hybrid ebook of short fiction and poetry. She is a Kansas-based Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee. Linda’s poetry and a listing of publications can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com.)
The Beautiful Space-