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.)
Blossom and leaf know change and turn,
earth days see constant beginning and end;
hold the spark of eternal fire in hand,
smile at vanishing years,
ignore the tick of the clock,
take the staff and continue to walk
the road, the steep winding stairs.
Peoples scattered like leaves swept by storm.
World fire blazes, death reaps on earth.
Preserve this flame of mysterious birth,
which knows no decay, only lasting desire,
whose agony is lost in blissful devotion.
From a flowering exuberant explosion
incense clouds of sweetness expire.
Time dissolves easily, so full of sun,
drink from the scarlet chalice of this day.
Gently, the linden tree hangs an array
over us: its subtle green filigree veils.
Chimes, in the distance, sound,
hours like fluttering leaves fall to ground
slowly in the counting weighing scales.
Darkish and solemn under bitter air
leaves rustle on the narrow path,
announcing early autumn days.
Sweetly suffused by ripe apples’ scent,
trees stretch their bronze-golden branches.
Wine winds purple chains round walls,
so rich and ripe, so full, this summer's end.
Shining like last bouquets of flowers
embraces summer selves in final love,
whispers goodbye; the cooing of a dove,
the heavy perfume of saved hay,
silage, straw, cabbage and apples,
of pumpkins and grapes;
sustenance for long cold winter days.
Like sweet woodlark’s song,
flows quickly on soft wings
sunshine spreads on undulating hills,
dew-wind unites with winding rills.
Wafts from the sirens’ songs,
oscillate like sounds of sea,
deep subconscious longing,
gives us time to think.
Crickets fiddle in the grass,
a creek runs through rough stones,
the rose glows in the garden,
gorse blooms along the fields.
Far the scream of jackdaws;
then a long and heavy sigh.
As if the mountain takes a breath,
gusts are falling from the high.
Buzzing through the treetops
a swarm of rushing birds
and from the beech slope
short wing beats of a dove.
Shepherd and flock seek rest,
near fields of corn abundance,
and on orchard’s fruited vines
still rests the summer silence.
On sylvan peaceful scene
the sun is shining brightly,
and stripes of light lightly
move along like hands.
The late summer’s sun
rests on bare rock’s face
to grant to moss and ivy
a last warm favour’s grace.
Waiting for the reaping hook,
rich meadows’ golden gift,
soon yet the austere, rough
threshers’ work comes to an end.
Harvest celebrations fade away
around the rich filled barns,
around the farmhouse’s threshing floor
summer night drapes veils galore.
The opulent harvest time
is gone, the green pollen waves
and dust of rye and wheat fields
are blown and flown away.
Scurrying through fences’ laths,
from the stable to the shed
slipped a marten’s fleeting shadow,
swiftly up the birch tree’s trunk.
From deep forests soothing silence,
when the silent star balls glow,
distant the monotone night’s song
of steady falling waterfalls.
Final strokes of nine
peal from a village tower,
whining of a mandolin
over the dreaming hover.
Hay moon’s morn and eve
Mellow are the July nights
when the sunset’s reddish fading
and the early morning lights
dawning blur and blend together.
When summer with red roses
bleeds to death so rapidly,
cawing ravens mourn the dead,
the blackbird has not sung
its last song yet.
Warm rays from the sunset
make distant peaks glow red,
the scream of the wild eagle
sounds over the forest silhouette,
while pale-cold falls the mist
into the closing day.
Under lime trees, under elms,
under thatched roof’s hanging wings
overgrown with moss and weeds,
stretching wide and shielding.
I want to put into a song
what on moonlit village green
I heard the fairies lisping.
What grey stone’s mossy green
inscription said to me.
Fog pictures rise in twilight,
from the dark days ‘past.
I hear faint voices whisp’ring,
sounds of pleasure, lament, anger.
A last farewell, so distant.
Silent night in the deep forest
around the birches’ black white bark;
around the alder’s trunks so dark,
flows the moonlight soft and mild.
(Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is an artist and a translator and writer of poetry, crime novels and short stories. He is writing haibun, tanka, haiku and poetry in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry and prose. He is a member of four writer groups in Ireland and lives in County Kerry, Ireland, for more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. He was published in 59 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in UK, Ireland, Canada and USA. Writes also under his pen name: Eadbhard McGowan)
The Beautiful Space-