Monthly Archives: November 2013

HOWARD W.ROBERTSON

Takemusu aiki

The varied thrush has started
singing in our yard today,
ethereal
and haunting,
some of us would
say,
the voice of the mysterious
forest on whose edge our property
is situated,
or a fuzzy and metallic
whistle,
as some others tell it less
rhapsodically;
and such ecstatic
and erratic sound upon the
February air has power to charm
the portals opening on the
Universe,
to harmonize with the
courageous creativity that
constantly renews the cosmos,
to
achieve aiki with takemusu,
to call
out across the floating bridge of
heaven and to stand where fire and
water intersect,
the fractal spot that
replicates itself on every scale from
tiny to immense,
the center in the
lower abdomen through which an
all-pervading,
star-creating Spirit
comes and goes,
as does the
penetrating song of this survivor of
the previous mass extinction over
sixty million years ago,
this
feathered dinosaur,
this little singer
in our yard as spring approaches.

Howard W. Robertson

 

Howard W. Robertson

poet3 Howard W. Robertson is a poet and fiction writer who lives in Eugene, Oregon. He has published eight books of poems: ODE TO CERTAIN INTERSTATES (Publication Studio, 2013); THE GREEN FORCE OF SPRING (Publication Studio, 2013); ODES TO THE KI OF THE UNIVERSE (Publication Studio, 2012); TWO ODES OF QUIDDITY AND NIL (Publication Studio, 2010); THE GAIAN ODES (Evening Street Press, 2009); THE BRICOLAGE OF KOTEGAESHI (The Backwaters Press, 2007); ODE TO CERTAIN INTERSTATES AND OTHER POEMS (Clear Cut Press, 2003); and TO THE FIERCE GUARD IN THE ASSYRIAN SALOON (Ahsahta Press, 1987). Poetry with Robertson acquires its archaic meaning: a made thing, ποίημα, which is to say that he defines the poem very broadly. Each of his poems is an ode, a fiction, an essay, an abstract painting, and a jazz recording. His poetry is a mimesis of the streaming of Being through Nonbeing. It flows continuously, pausing at times but rarely stopping. Line-breaks never halt the fluent forward progress and his poetry affirms with Aristotle that truth is most universally told through a blend of ficta and facta. Each poem is an essay of existential discovery, an enterprising foray into the discursive wilderness. Each portrays visually the drift and swirl of the things themselves and the interconnected chiaroscuro of shadowy everydayness and shimmering intensity. His work is based on the belief that reality never fails, nor does the phenomenal revelatory streaming of its representation in authentic poetry. His major influences are Heidegger, Whitman, Pushkin, Bashō, Cervantes, Montaigne, and Ovid.

MIKE ABSAlOM

Genesis
A heavy plop of rain blotted my copybook.
You’ve got to get under the skin of things.
“Be silent!” she said, “and wet the tea!
No need of guitar or fiddle here.
The wind in the grass makes more music
than you could ever get by paying for it.
Keep away from the apple tree though.
There’s midges”.

And in the back of the back orchard
a vast orchestra of trees,
bombard and bassoon and scratching things
and the euphonium of the morning’s cold breath,
drowns out any memory of our heavy breathing in the night.
“Heavy breeding more likely!” said Eve.
“It makes you wonder
who is the basilisk and who the toad?”
“They are brothers in faith,” I said.
“All reptiles are related by sex or by marriage.
Be careful what you say to one.
The others will all know about it before you can say snake in the grass.

There was a man, full of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.
On the third morning I saw him standing among the dandelions
working an astrolabe as though somebody was lost.
I do not think it was me.
When Eve went to give the donkeys their breakfast she looked him right in the eye
and a foxglove bust up out of his trousers and nearly gave her a heart attack.
Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me, said the God.

My heart is attacked with velvet gloves.
Dead man’s bells and a high pitched laugh like a tintinnabulum
spoils my silence.
There is a man with bloody fingers in the meadow.
Just so you know it’s not just you that has visions.

Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me, said the God.
It was a test. He didn’t really mean it.
It was a koan. “Go on!” she said, taking a bite in the night.
“There’s nothing wrong with a bit of scrumpy-pumpy in the Garden.
“Which part of Know don’t you understand.?” said the God.
“Wonk” I replied.
I’m dyslexic when confronted by authority.

 

Mike Absalom

poet2Mike Absalom, an Irish poet, painter and printmaker, was born in Devon in 1940. His mother was Irish. His father was Welsh. Educated in Quebec, Sweden, Iran and England, he majored in Oriental Studies (Arabic and Farsi) at Oxford and Gothenburg Universities before embarking on a career as a singer/songwriter during the 1960s and 70s. From 1980 to 2000 he lectured on satire, using his own verse as a template and worked as a harpist, fiddler, children’s entertainer and puppeteer across Canada and in the USA and South America. He returned to Ireland in 2002 to paint and write poetry. (www.mikeabsalom.com)

ANUPAM NASKAR

SOMETIMES

Sometimes ,I remember that distant evening
Spent with a redolent smell of our favorite brew
That last sunshine ,
Refracted from a smoky glass pane
Upon your eyes——-flowing with unspoken questions .
Silent walk beside The Ganga and our tired city
Sounds of traffic on age old bitumen
Crazy horn of bus with home bound commuters
Fading murmur of Passersby
Aroma of your sweaty hair mingled with perfume
And a breathless me
I know ,I never had anything to say ——-
But to feel that sometime
Revolves with days ,seasons ,years ————
Anupam Naskar

1393814_10151925045841348_961186456_nAnupam Naskar is a chemical Engineer & currently pursuing M.B.A .His poetry published from many National & International Journals. He is highly regarded for his love verse as well as realistic depictions of life and his command over colloquial speech. Tone and subject matter of his poetry is complete loss of self, seeming like one is floating, consumed by his own emotions.

MUKESH MALIK

Calling calling                                                    

I hold you in my arms
for a night without an end
The moon is all upon me ..
I hold you in my heart
for a night without an end
The moon is all upon me
calling
calling calling
calling calling
calling ..

Tonight it’s a purple sky
I hold my faith
and I breathe your breath
I run all inside your skin
calling
calling calling
calling ..

Take me take me
take me take me
take me take me
take me take me

Take me now take me now
My blood splatters across the stars
What use be our eyes anyhow
We see all in each others dark

Spread high upon the purple night
You take me in your deepest heart
I hold you close so I could die
before the day comes
calling
calling ..

Yes
it will be morning light
and Yes
our wings will take a flight
A flute may call
and
voices will sing
the air
the sea
with crystal ring
away
away
away on a cloud
away away
on a butterfly’s wings
And yes
rainbows
the rain
and a few other things ..

The sun goes down
the voices go home
the night calls again
across the other side
I hold you again
and you won’t let me go
and again the moon is
calling
calling
calling

Take me in your deepest heart
I hold you close so i could die
This night is forever
This night is without an end
before the day comes
calling
calling calling ..
calling calling
calling ..

Mukesh Malik
40532_416032618137_5715824_n Mukesh Malik has a longstanding involvement with Indian’s film and television industries. He worked in many capacities, including first assistant director on ”Shyam Benegal’s samar and Hari Bhari ” and chief assistant director on Benegal’s Zubeidaa.He is creative producer and owner of 1 language films.

HELENE CARDONA

IN THE NOTHINGNESS

I’m counting
the years of my life,
plucking the petals of the marguerite.

I’m counting
the losses of my life,
blowing kisses in the air.

Perhaps if I cry my tears away
for what will never be,
I’ll still get to live
what may become.

And if I may give up
what I never had,
I’ll experience
what I never dreamed.

      

Hélène Cardona

580399_497081893682404_1006389533_n

Hélène Cardona is a poet and actress (Chocolat). Her most recent book is Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry, 2013). She taught at Hamilton College and Loyola Marymount University, translated for the Canadian Embassy and NEA, received a Master’s in American Literature from the Sorbonne and fellowships from the Goethe-Institut and the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía.

BORCE PANOV

“The Genesis of Dreams”

A thin chink lies upon our lips
inside of which we are stirred by dreams.

It is here where a dream
is kept in a precognitive state,
and a venting dream is spoken out
to be dispersed accordingly.

A thin white line winds
between a rock and the dark sky
where heights weigh down
and we breathe them out the way a butterfly
scatters around the golden dust
of its winged dream.

From the cardiogram of the world
a spike plummets into our hearts
and the bounding pulse
awakens our consciousness.

A slithering line
secretly slides
into a white rock of the night
and ties itself into a noble knot
pumping blood through the veins of the cold stone.

But the path to truth is also the one
which leads under a dry riverbed
and does not end
even when the river gurgles again over its syllables,
while we await to be caressed by
the dream’s polyphony.

A line of words
entwines with whiteness
and loosens the marble’s edifice
ingrained with women and men
whose bodies’ white embrace
leads to both birth and death.

An invisible string leads
our form to its core
spinning us within
and vigilantly watches through the sun’s eyes.

Not to make us blind,
but to see we are here
to be born even upon death.
Borče Panov

Translated into English by Natasa Miladinovic

557927_10201086992035563_1661244700_n Borče Panov was born in Radovis, Republic of Macedonia. He graduated from the ”Sts. Cyril and Methodius” University of Skopje, “Blazhe Koneski” Faculty of Philology, Department of Macedonian and South Slavic Languages, in 1986. He has been a member of the “Macedonian Writers’ Association” since 1998. He has published six books of poetry: “What did Charlie Ch. See from the Back Side of the Screen” (1991), “The Cyclone Eye” (1995), “Stop, Charlie” (2002), “The Tact” (2006), “The Riddle of Glass” (2008), and “The Basilica of Writing” (2006). He is the author of seven short experimental plays, as well as a number of essays. His first poetry book “What did Charlie Ch. See from the Back Side of the Screen” was awarded the best poetry book by the “Macedonian Literary Youth Organization” in 1991, and the book “The Tact” was highly commended by the “Aco Shopov Literary Award” jury in 2006. In 2010, “The Basilica of Writing” was also commended by the jury of the same prestigious festival. He is the author of several plays: “The Fifth Season of the Year” (2000), “The Doppelgänger Town” (2011), “A Dead-end in the Middle of an Alley” (2002), “Homo Soapiens” (2004), “Catch the Sleep-walker” (2005), “Split from the Nose Down” (2006), and “The Summertime Cinema” (2007). His poetry was published in a number of anthologies, literary magazines and journals both at home and abroad, and his works translated into English, Ukrainian, Slovenian, Serbian, French and Danish language. In 2011, a selection of his poetry was published in both USA and Bulgaria. Borče Panov works as the Counsellor for Culture and Education at the municipality of Radovish. He is also the Arts Coordinator for the “International Karaman’s Poetry Festival”, held in Radovish annually, and organized in honour of Aco Karamanov, a poet and freedom fighter during WWII, He is currently living, working and writing in Radovish, Republic of Macedonia.

 

PATRICIA JABBEH WESLEY

Poem Written from Failed Chat Notes                       
“Hi PJ,” someone writes, the PJ, calmer than
the owner of the name. I love to see my initials
so free of all the cares of earthly possessions.
“Looking for job,” another writes, just like
that,looking for a job. The message is flat,
like a pan, no, no, like a flat board, where
the cutting of potatoes further flattens
the map where the job may be found.

“Hello,” the echo, clearly discernible
through the pressing of keys, this time,
a woman, out there in Southeast Asia, “Hello,”
she says as if words were sufficient
in themselves to return to us, filled
with air bubbles, like a balloon.

“Hello, madam,” one man says, a sigh,
carrying the silence that only the word,
“madam,”can leave behind. His hair,
combed back after shower; somewhere
in India, it is hot now. “How r you today?”
Another adds, as if to complete
the sentence others have left hanging
on the tiny lines of these long distance
greetings, like litter on the page of a phone.

“Hi, how r u?” Another interjects, and as
quickly as that came in, here comes
another,in correction of grammar, I guess,
“How are u today?” So I think, we should
all agree that the proper spelling of “you”
has to be “u.” But before I linger too long
on whether a “u” is better than “you,”
here comes another, more elaborate,
a lecture on the act of caring,
something I needed to hear today.

But when I do not respond, another comes
in, maybe to take back his long discourse,
he says, simply and calmly, “Hello.”
I love the word better. “Hello.” At least, I can
write a poem with that. Hello, hello, imagine
a poem with a hundred hellos all over the
page,a hundred and fifty hellos.

When the next greeting stops at something
Like,“Hello, big sis,” I step away from
the computer to check my weight.
Fora moment, I think he meant “big,
fat,overweight, large,” what can I say
to another brother of mine far across
the ocean somewhere? I love Facebook’s
ability to tie us through air and space
by hanging strings and names.

After a while, I’m tired of reading.
All across the message inbox, are fragments
of disconnected thoughts unending,
the fracturing of thoughts by people who
could be otherwise, fractured. So, like
pieces of jumbled up thoughts, I read on
and on, “Patricia,” “Hi,” “Mm,” “Hey,”
“Hello,mam,” “Good morning,” “hey,”
“Wat’sup?” “Oh,” “Mam,” “What’s up?”
In between the careful incompleteness

of language, are those whose story no one
will tell. I wish I knew the next sentence,
the twisting of a finger on a small keyboard
just to scribble a single word. Someday,
there will be strings of words, strung together
so another can complete the thoughts
of another. I love you all, but most of all
I love the incompleteness with which
you complete the things you cannot say.
Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

538324_4011353091028_2016231075_n Patricia Jabbeh Wesley is an internationally acclaimed poet and writer who has been published widely around the world. The author of four books of poetry and one children’s book, Dr. Wesley has been featured as a visiting poet and poet in residence, a women’s rights activist and public speaker throughout the US, in parts of Africa, and in Europe. She has been invited by some of the finest institutions and groups to read her poetry and talk about issues around the plight of women in the Liberian civil war. Her work has been taught across the US and outside and her poems have been anthologized in numerous publications in Europe, Africa, South America and the United States. Parts of her poetry have been translated in Spanish. Most recently, she was invited to participate in Poetry Parnassus London 2012 Olympic Poetry Festival among 204 world poets from the 204 Olympic countries, and to present her research on the trauma stories of rape and torture of Liberian women during the civil war to the Nobel Women’s Initiatives forum to stop rape and sexual violence in conflict. Patricia was appointed as one of the experts to write the first comprehensive history of the Republic of Liberia. Dr. Jabbeh Wesley teaches Creative Writing, African Literature and English at Penn State University’s Altoona Campus in Altoona PA.

NABINA DAS

Wood Story before the Millennium and Now

This is a table where we used to keep a glass vase in the nineties
the sun a syruping gooseberry often tumbling out of it reckless

A wooden table, smooth-plank body of a tree dressed for our
weekend dinners. Some clutter as it happens with faces clustered

Coats of varnish and heavy-lashed lacquerware, dead-white ceramic
this will still be the same surface where we will spill the gravy
push the sparkling tea across, lick any fallen crumbs with thumbs.

Keep the fast, it gives long life
to your husband, those elderly
women will implore and
let the table carry ornate
plates of offerings you won’t easily touch
only after the moon does first
its shadow on the water on your silver tray
and then the table can sing like a cricket
all that crockery clattering
we will eat everything before
the moon-shadow devours the mind
ignoring what the women say
in fact, you will know, I only cared
about just crickets because they
love the blackness of soul just as I do.

When I close my eyes I see my aunt lissome and dark with her braid
long like those thick twines for hauling country boats to shore
she smiles and shows a tooth we were told is of the elephant, rare.

I see her supple back on the bed tossing a red plastic ball over her chest
lob and drop and lob and show the elephant-tooth smile while my uncle
sits two feet away on a table, the one they never dined on, used as a shelf
for things, littered for the most time. He dangling his black-shoed feet as
if he is a child watching the unbelievable enchantress woman’s trick
of lobbing a red-desire ball high up; the headboard of the old-fashioned bed
preventing him from leaping forward, also because I zip into the room
looking for my cousin and uncle shifts; legs undangle, the table creaks.

The life story of woods
when they come from
forests of greenness
tell of more lines and stars
than found on our palms.

I don’t remember exactly when Habib Tanveer the thespian died or when
was it bringing home wads of cash that quick dirty jobs paid was cool

money for home, food, electronics, but no song or lines; but I do remember
rehearsing one afternoon with Habib for a play we’d perform in a street
where racketeers and launderers ran their shops; they watched, we stood
on the dust as if on breadcrumb crusts strewn on a table top, hewn uneven
because no one cleaned; a china cup stayed back, the old tea leaves telling
a tale of the millennium as it should, like all things emancipated and sweetly old.
Nabina Das

16139_151547897167_5648806_nNabina Das, an MFA (Poetry) from Rutgers University, US, and an MA (Linguistics) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, has a debut poetry collection Blue Vessel (Zaporogue Press, Denmark, 2012; nominated one of the best of 2012 in India) and a novel Footprints in the Bajra (Cedar Books, New Delhi, 2010; longlisted in the prestigious Indian prize “Vodafone Crossword Book Award 2011”). Her poetry collection Into the Migrant City is forthcoming from Writers Workshop, India. Nabina’s poetry and prose have been published in several international journals and anthologies, and she is in the peer review committee of The Four Quarters Magazine literary journal published from Northeast India. Winner of several writing residencies and fellowships, Nabina has won prizes in major Indian poetry contests and has worked in journalism and media for about 10 years. Trained in Indian classical music, she has performed in radio/TV programs and in street theater. Nabina blogs at  http://nabinadas13.wordpress.com/ when not writing, teaches creative writing classes and workshops, and dabbles in unschooled art on paper and broken objects.

ANDY JACKSON

Here (in the courtyard)                                               1st Vol 1st Issue Dec 2013                                   

Ganesh sits among potted ferns,
under a mist from the construction site next door.
His namesake, an Ayurvedic practitioner,
asks me about meat, chocolate, milk, sleep, wine,
my movements, if my blood pressure is normal.

He holds my wrist like a flute, lifts his
index and middle fingers for moments,
tilting his head, sensing the push and flow,

which animal it might be like. Beside us,
the old woman finishes her tea
and returns to work, breaking up concrete
with a hammer and spike. Finally, he
says Vata – Snake, mostly Air. I can’t tell

if what I feel in his touch is more like love
or engineering. The Western body
is more pure, so our treatments are more powerful,
though most come just for massage.

He thrusts his hand towards me – Here,
we go deeper! – clears his throat again.
From across the laneway I hear Bob Marley,
Rebel music – the rooftop restaurant

Andy Jackson

 

aj1

Andy Jackson  is a poet based in Melbourne. His first full-length collection, Among the Regulars (papertiger media, 2010), was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize. He has performed at dozens of events and festivals (including The Age Melbourne Writers Festival, Prakriti Poetry Festival [in Chennai, India], Goa Literary & Arts Festival, Australian Poetry Festival, Queensland Poetry Festival, Clifden Arts Festival [Ireland], Newcastle Young Writers Festival and Overload Poetry Festival), had poems published in avariety of print and on-line journals.With Rachael Guy, he won the 2009 Overload Poetry Festival City of Yarra Award for the Most Innovative Work for Ambiguous Mirrors, a poetry-puppetry collaboration.Andy’s poems have appeared in Heat, Going Down Swinging, Island, The Age, Cordite and Mascara. He has been awarded residencies from VictorianWritersCentre, Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre (Perth) and Asialink.  He is also an infrequent collaborator with musicians, sound artists and other writers.

ELIZABETH HAZEN

Shark Teeth
In the beginning, I strolled for an hour or two,
picking up pieces that flickered black, learning
to ignore the tricky chips of mussel shell
that most mistake for teeth. My pockets held
entire mouths, and soon I saw nothing

but their shimmer through the silt. Back home I sorted
great white, mako, tiger, snaggletooth: stacks
of trays filled with teeth, disembodied, mismatched,
shiny black and blue. I thumbed serrated edges,
stroked the squared-off roots, counted what was missing.

I bought hip waders and braved high tide, filling
my pack with shark teeth, skate teeth, hunks of whale bone.
Soon I disappeared for days, returning soaked
and weighted down. There is no end to this searching:
a single shark can shed ten thousand teeth

or more; its grace is regeneration: new teeth
fill in the gaps; the lost ones fall to the sea floor,
fossilize, emerge again with the turning
of tide: rogue pieces of an absent whole,
sharp echoes of a story I once knew

Elizabeth Hazen

1236438_10151814753261293_295931699_nElizabeth Hazen is a poet and essayist whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2013Southwest Review, The Threepenny ReviewThe Normal School, and other journals. She teaches English at Calvert School in Baltimore, Marylan.