Category Archives: World poetry

Ebi Robert

5th vol  No 1 (July 2018)

NAMES OF POEMS

SEVEN MONTHS AND TWO

I am a woman, not a man
Yet I’m a woman that is a man
I am the changing chameleon
That has several colours in a million

I can’t be kept in a barn
And be likely bundled as the yams
I can be many things a man can
I can even handle the arms

I am the builder of the Home
And not the muted-muse of Rome
I have the ripen right to Vote
Like every man of the Home

I can make and mark the vault
I even drive the beach-bye boat
I can serve and save Africa
Like Adedevoh did to Ebola

You must seek my consent first
Before you get under my skirt
Do not treat me as a bitch
That can be mated on a Pitch

Smell the sweetness of my smell
And get the fatness of my meal
I’m that womb that bore you
In seven months and two

Quote:

A woman, like the eye of a needle, the world passes through —- Ebi Robert

Code of Death (Half + Close To Half)

The code we receive in-
The code he receives in
Seems correct, he receives it
Erring we, when we answer
This is what we receive in-
Our personality, persons we be
Inaccurate, incomplete, five plus one
And six and three plus three
It is in and not pasted on the face

The Code we receive in will die-
And seven and seven and six plus one
Will then be in them like the half
Plus close-to-half that operated

The code of death is a wisdom missed

It dies next tomorrow
Next tomorrow is a day before yesterday
Behold the day to follow-
Past, as we quote and quote
Before the judgment seat of senses
That code of death was
Interpreted long before day perishes

There are only few not marked-
There are only a few not enemies

Quote:

Seven and seven and six plus one will then be in them like the half plus close-to-half that operated —- Ebi Robert

ONE BLACK TEAM

Like Leicester leading the league
Africa can, with mettle lead the global-league
We have the brains, grains and rains
And the yellow sun ruling the days

We have the strength, bone and might
Ready to dust the ground; ready to fight
We fought against western colonialism
We can raid red routine rat, rated racism

We can also nail neo-colonialism
And crucify any other foreign ism
All we need is our Mahrez, Kante, and Vardy
And our valiant eight ever ready

Whether you’re a Nigerian, Algerian or Kenyan
You all are blacks and always African
Never say: ‘it’s hard, it’s tight or we can’t’
You can if you are only united as the ant

Yes, one ball and one black team
Africa can always fulfill her dream
With the ardent legs ready on the pitch
Africa can win this waxing witch

Though, different tongues speak we may
We can understand ourselves during the day
And with a united states of Africa
Tell me if we cannot lead thereafter

Quote:

Never say: ‘it’s hard, it’s tight or we can’t’,
You can if you are only united as the ant. —— Ebi Robert

Ebi Robert is from Nembe/Egweama in Bayelsa State of Nigeria; a state in the Southern part of Nigeria. He is a legal practitioner, poet, essayist, freelance writer, novelist and editor. He is the author of the African Drama “An Empty Kingdom” published by ‘Patridge Africa’ and ‘Bulkibon Books’. He has written many poems and contributed to many National and International Books, ezines, journals and magazines. The award winning writer propounded ‘Advisory Oposicion’, and the famous theory of Youthtocracy. Ebi Robert is an International Advisor with International Authors, USA. He is also the Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Bayelsa State chapter, a Research Assistant at the Federal High Court, Nigeria, Co-Editor of TheNigeriaLawyer, as the well the founder of THE DELTA LITERATURE and Literafrik.com. He is also the Acting Director of Peace December, Bayelsa State Chapter, a Non Governmental Organization based in the US.

Steve Haberlin

“This Way”

Strangers
She walks us
Pushing her bicycle
Wagasa in hand
Blocking the non-existent sun
From her porcelain skin
Back of her jet-black hair
Bounces
And I wonder
Could I be so trusting?

“American Geisha”

Tall, slender gait
Under the cover of oak
She, alone, holds
Her ornate umbrella
Her pasty thighs
Brush against
Her tight black dress
As she disappears,
Carrying her culture like a purse.

 

Steve Haberlin
Doctoral Student, Elementary Education
Department of Teaching and Learning
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

Gary Robinson

EMPIRE

Found 10 pence
in a bus shelter this morning.

This coin of the realm
has come far
and now on my desk

Lion in a Crown
dances its silver skin.

Though I prefer
the doubleheaded eagle
of the ruble.

Always a sky man
while lions sitting on thrones
are superfluous

they should be content
with teeth and claws
the obedience of a dead gazelle.

THE DEVIL IN MR. LAWRENCE

On some days even the sun
and its clothes of light
are weighed down by the cold,
while our eyes carve dunes
in the old of winter.

Thinking there are mysteries
in beaches, dramas of sand
we may uncover.
Writing a line or two in these bodies
which become their own narratives.

A chill month freezes plots
which must await another season
to begin a pen of blood
and its delirious chronicles.

When summer breaks upon us
every groin becomes a scribe.

OUR LADY OF THE PLAGUE YEAR

A grout of crows
in her throat
under a plague of sky,
the road smeared like a black stump.

Once she offered a mild wave
a cool gesture or the charity of a coin.
The pedigree of her white gloved hands
performed before awkward bows.

Abandoned outside the city gates
she staggers on feet swollen like thorny branches

and drags her pain to huts
endures stares, the malice of thin hounds.
Panic and cursing now
when her palms open raw and black.

‘Are you going as far as Peterborough?’

Cat on its back
sleeping
and if dreaming at all
you’d figure dreams of
stalking birds or mice.
But getting closer we saw otherwise—
there the strange penis
shape and colour of lipstick
and erect as the thumb
of a hitchhiker.

WITHERPOINT RETURNS FROM THE WARS

Days there is danger
of spontaneous combustion
being put to the test.
So enraged, the most trivial matter
could make a pyre of me—
a toque of ashes
where I’d been only moments ago.

‘summer gardens won’t last
deserts can’t imagine lawn mowers
the stars crumbled well before the sky’s
mad break from Heaven’

Everywhere
forms slide and collapse
chaos finds an angle
slips in
like blackbirds bringing
their shadows their dark suns.

When it happens
you and I will be disordered
like vision come savagely
to the blind.

Maybe I am upset
because there are no ruses to help
the virtue of patience
becomes its vice too.

The lengthy wait leads to nothing.
Except one. Possibly one.
One affirmation.

‘the old man saw a little girl
and died of young age’ 

 

Gary Robinson, a writer and poet from ottawa, ontario, canada.  

bookie5805@gmail.com

E. B. Veerasingam

Oriental Queen

A marble palace adorns the bay.
Ships sail in with Arabian perfumes,
Brazilian Coffee and Spices from Kerala.

Bullock-Carts roll-in through the courtyard,
While the bell and the lantern continue to dance
To the rhythm of the bull’s walk;
Carts loaded with caskets full of diamonds,
And woven cloth from the Silk Route,
For the Royal vision,
Taste buds,
Olfactory hunger
And the tactile thirst
To be satisfied.

She was found among the virgins
Who went to pluck yellow mangoes,
On their way back from the chilling springs,
After spending the summer-noon
Frolicking and bathing,
With laughter that disturbed
The painful silence of nature.

The royal boats floating among the mangroves
And the king’s horses roaming among the creeping bushes
With servants in search of a Queen
For the Majestic lineage,
Came closer, allured by the virgin prances.

The wind from the bamboo bushes,
Identified her voice to be musical and exceptional,
While her soft maiden laughter
Wasn’t new to the fins and feathers
That had witnessed her silent puberty.

The turmeric yellow on her cheeks
And the smell of fresh herbs
From the palm-woven carton
That relaxed on her hip,
Made her gracious presence
Felt by those nearby.

Her fingers, that otherwise pluck tendrils,
Became engaged in setting her forelock
At the sudden site of the servants
Who arrived on time, minutes before
She got into a boat
Loaded with violet orchid garlands,
And a ferryman ready;
Ready to take her
To the other side of the river.

Horses went galloping with urgency
In the path that led to the palace,
And the fading sounds of those trained beasts,
Brought the royal chariots.

Elderly eyes with expertise scanned her.
With nodding of heads,
She was wrapped in a pure white cloth.
Milk and honey was poured on her,
And at the river bank
Her innocence was proved.

Chosen to be the royal bride,
Her ears and nose witnessed the pearl rings,
Her feet, the Princely anklets,
Her fingers, the rubies and sapphires
And she was taken in a palanquin,
That was filled with sandalwood crafts
And enveloped with the finest fabrics of the land.

The neighbouring kingdoms were invited,
And the processions of the regal elephants
Garnished the streets of the empire.

The majestic rings were exchanged,
And the Thaali,
Patterned with detail by the Royal goldsmith,
Adorned her slender neck,
On which emeralds, topazes, amethysts and jonquils
Were carefully placed.

Somewhere lost in the crowd,
Hiding behind a large trunk
Of one of the yellow mango trees
Was a young lover, snarling with loss,
As he watched his beloved girl
Becoming the Royal Bride.

The King’s spies would never know
That this young lad
Had himself dressed as the ferryman
And waited with garlands of orchids
Filled in his boat, by the river,
To take her into his world,
On that fateful day;
The day she was found by the Royal servants.

Drops of tears
That summarise his blood stream,
And the mournful song of his heart,
Are now ready to float in pain,
In the flow of the river of life.

And that is
One of the beauties
Of human nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E. B. Veerasingam is from Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. He is a Lecturer in English Studies at the Department of Languages and Communication Studies of the Eastern University, Sri Lanka (Trincomalee Campus). His schooling was at St. Michael’s College, Batticaloa and he graduated from Bangalore University (T.John College Campus) with a B.A. in English, Psychology and Journalism. He later obtained his M.A. from the prestigious Christ University, India. With a vision of being an inspiration for many others to become writers, he has set off in a journey of poetry, while finding the simplest people and incidents around him, as inspirations behind his poetry.

 

 

Kariuki wa Nyamu

Confessions

Dear Kanisa,

I know you’ve for long, dismissed rumour

that I’m in love, with that man’s wife!

Well, today I just want to, set record straight

by pronouncing, it’s true!

 

Fine, now that you’ve known, bother not, defending me

specially, when you’ll be called upon, for enquiry

thus I just wanted to disapprove you, and just shock you a little

by announcing, that even the kid she’s carrying, is my work!

By the way, I’m all set for broadcast,

in fact, as I pen this, the Press is at my doorstep, and when cameras roll,

I’ll mince not my words;

I’ll say, how I bewail that, this thing was never mine wanting.

But anyhow, I’ll declare that, it’s great to see her images, cloud my mind all days,

for my heart possesses her; for sure, she’s my breath

Imagine, without her, I feel a void in heart?

Well, I understand, you’re now muttering

‘Bloody fool! Fat-head! Are you nuts?’

Anyway, never you mind, for I know I’m okay upstairs.

Nonetheless,

Now that I’ll have to be, summoned to headquarters, when I reach there,

I’ll confess, I know I’m at fault.

But I’ll tell them whenever I ponder further… my heart skips a beat,

as I do nothing, except crave for that man’s sweet of heart.

Anyway, never mind, for even heaven knows, I’ve never compelled her into it!

 

Kanisa, today when I tell you I’ve for long failed to have power over this thing I feel,

You’ll think I’m insincere, but I know I’m, without doubt, not!

Oh damn this feeling that budded, in terrain of my heart, in I don’t know when!

And further grilling, will confirm how I dread it

thus I even fear myself!

But what should I have done, to put off this disconcerting thing?

 

Anyhow, call me all sorts of bloody f*cking names,

But hey!

Who on earth are you to judge?

 

Sincerely Yours,

Fr Dauting.

 

An Epitaph for a dramatist-cum-politician

Below this

gravestone,

lies late Rt Hon.

  1. Maji Machungumno,

who had a brilliant career

as a socio-political dramatist,

But, politics attracted him, as he

created tragic heroes and heroines,

and so, later in life,

his playwrighting career

sadly came to an end! He

begged votes like anyone else,

and was elected to parliament,

vowed to exercise all his energies

and after polls, he was crowned

a Cabinet Minister, and so, he

devoted the rest of his life to

public affairs, but neither was

he an exceptional politician, nor an

incorruptible public administrator,

only he turned out to be one of villains

in his most acclaimed plays, and

walked on firm earth! Ugh! It’s

only after I revisited his prize-

winning political satire,

that I understood

“Writing is one thing

and enacting is another!”

Fare thee well most prolific author,

Rt Hon. Dr G. Maji Machungumno,

BA, MFA, M. Phil, PhD. Pub Admin, EGH.

If love’s sweet

If love’s sweet

then why this ache of heart?

 

If it’s warm-hearted

then why the cold shoulder?

 

If it’s fulfilling

then why all this emptiness?

 

If it’s pleasurable

then why all this poignancy?

 

If it’s tranquil

then why resort to violence?

 

If it’s full of harmony

then why hills of differences?

 

If it’s all right

then why this iniquity?

 

If it matures

then why does it die down?

 

If it’s meant to blossom

then why do lovers part?

 

If truth be told, knowing you was the most catastrophic thing

that ever happened in my love life!

 

Nevertheless, I’ll certainly learn to live without you

and in time forget that you ever existed!

Girl Next Seat  

           I

Kampala

city bus terminus

the ubiquitous travelers

hastily squeeze luggage onto carrier

A lady offers soft drink

I decline, and instead

stretch out arm for handshake

exposing fingers

one adorned with a matrimonial ring

not so long ago…

 

I overlook her generosity

and solely board Akamba

elated to return home

to my adoring wife and boys

after a year of toiling in K’la

Coincidentally,

She turns out my mate of seat!

I serenely smile at her

as she timidly retorts…

 

              II

It’s pitch dark out there

so I can’t really tell where we’ve reached

I tell you, night safaris are cold!

The girl next seat offers her Maasai sheet

to shield cold

and I, in return, offer chest to lean on

then, thoughts hit me

I recall her gorgeous gap in her teeth

her arresting beauty

her well-built body-scape

that’s now resting on my thighs

and I begin swelling like a frog

how tempting can daughters of Eve be!

 

I detain her infringing arm

my heart thundering

my mind resisting and

(as I recall the fair lady at home

whom I had walked with down the aisle

barely two seasons past )

in a bid to repress combustion

my flesh turns frailer and frailer

gesticulating a moment of fickleness

and shortly

heavy petting ensues

After all, only fire can drive out fire!

 

        III

Next daybreak

at the city in the sun

one and all set to alight

my first impulse is to ask her name

‘Scovia,’ she retorts

 

We part ways

and as I walk along Accra Road

I’m all rehearsing her name

how fast could she rob my heart?

 

Upon reaching home

I consider phoning her

and see whether she reached well

but, on the other side of the line

a man’s voice thunders

“Who’s this?”

 

Ugh!

My heart skips a beat

a long silence fills the air

as the phone goes tii! tii! tii!

 

Oh men of marital ring, what the heck is going on?

Surely, there’re two worlds…

I

I’m Mheshimiwa’s wife

I’ve the benefit of

a seven-digit pay scale government job

I drive a limo worth millions

I report to work not on time

I vegetate in office

I ingest mountains of snacks

I snore at midday

I leave work before time

and hey

I don’t care a damn!

 

Listen people

I live a very lavish lifestyle

in a castle with gold décor, pure gold!

Of course, that’s away from city’s poor dirt

I school my kids in the US

and whenever I catch a slight cold

I’m air-lifted to Cape Town

But, I must say

I’m dead inside!

For I see my billionaire husband

once in a blue moon

he insists, his job is too demanding!

He often jets oversees

deserting me in cold spell

but anyway, our people, let’s re-elect him

in order to maintain my

sky-scraping social class!

 

By the way,

it’s not that I’m selfish

look at it logically

it’s you people who’ll benefit

when we re-elect him

for he’ll labour to see to it that

electricity, piped water and telephone

all finds you in camps

look at it this way

(he’ll make the camp a better place than you found it)

And you understand very well

that all this

is for your own good, our people.

II

I’m the IDP camp’s chairman’s wife

I’ve a big heart in my thin body

I walk miles and miles

on peacekeeping deals

I toil and toil

from sun up to sun set

eat cassava

rest not

and care a lot

 

I exist in a torn-paper tent

with my adoring husband

where we share with a few fowls

our children learn under leafless trees

and now that I’m expectant

I anticipate being wheeled to Level 4 hospital

And, I’m sure I’ll be told

wool hasn’t been procured, again!

Did money end up in people’s tummies?

Ask me not

for I work not there!

 

By the way

Didn’t I tell you that

I’ve never set eyes on Mheshimiwa?

He who assured us resettlement

upon being voted in?

Hmm… Yet I’m sure when

campaign time comes

he’ll reappear to beg votes

and being law abiding citizens

we’ll all desperately declare

“Mheshimiwa Tosha!”

and queue whole day

banking on the promise

of being resettled

Oi, damn the consequences!

 

But really Wanjiku

has your memory rusted?

 

Surely, there’re two worlds…

 

Kariuki wa Nyamu is a passionate Kenyan poet, script writer, editor, translator, literary critic and educator. He obtained an Honours BA Education (Literature and English) from Makerere University, Uganda. His poetry won the National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU) Literary Awards 2007 and Makerere University Creative Writing Competition 2010.  He is published in A Thousand Voices Rising, Boda Boda Anthem and Other Poems, Best New African Poets 2015 Anthology, Experimental Writing: Volume 1, Africa Vs Latin America Anthology, Best New African Poets 2016 Anthology, among others. He is presently pursuing a Master of Arts in Literature at Kenyatta University, Kenya.

Personal Email address:   nyamukariuki@gmail.com

Telephone numbers: Telephone contact: +254721595748/ +254735830255

 

 Allison Grayhurst

Safe In You

In you, mystery is masked
by no one’s hood, has grown
away from the tyranny
of world and the gloom
of nations betrayed by
their gods.

In you the inexplicable
takes a womb, a rhyme
from your sweet blood
flowing.

And love, once pale and clay-like-cold,
selected you to partner my hope,
to resemble visions vacant of sentiment
and teach me to abandon
death and ill-nourished joys.

Your love wraps around like a melody
undulating out from your exceeding
intensity, it wraps,
until I surrender, unable, unwilling
to move.

The Last Walk
of the Mayor of Casterbridge

Heaving strange
the pride in my mouth that will not drown.
After all love given and failed, to hold only this body
of a starved finch, gold but lifeless like all else
that has inspired me on. I shifted extremes, bandaged
my disappointments in bitter hate and landscapes
where only serpents were resurrected.
Of my self, I have no virtue to defend, what I have
is impulsive and merciless, and a fortune
that has placed my fate at the feet of a cunning enemy.
That I was saved from the seal of drunken suicide.
That I saw my own image float in the river, giving
seed to a non-judgemental faith, and she, my daughter
(who knew nothing of resentment), cradled my cure
in the compassion of her eyes. I walk with a simple fool
trailing behind who says I was rough
but somehow kind, who seems to show concern
when I stumble and for my face so down,
it will never see daylight again.
He carries me to an abandoned shack
where soon I will die – he, unaware of the killer that I am.
If my daughter finds me, never let her know
the loneliness that drove my desperate deeds or the fear
I felt of losing her natural devotion. If she finds me, t
ell her not to put flowers where I rest. Tell her not to grieve
the aftermath dust of the likes of me – a crushed,
unatonable man.

 

Daughter

Drum, drum
the drake of dreams
and heed the head that
knows it is blind
to all the mysteries.
My hand is here, my
hand to follow. I love your
cleft chin and your strange blue eyes.
I love your laughter at night.
Live like no other has lived.
For you are more than a kaleidoscope,
more than six months of hope and happy endings.
Thank you for arriving, for changing my view forever.
I watch your sleeping face
and feel a thousand souls merge behind your
soft skin. Every day is your birthday, when a new
part of you is revealed like the most beautiful of wonders.
Play with the ropes of many.
I am here, and will always be
yours in love.

 

Stage

No warmth in my
shoes. No gently touching
of my eyelashes.
The crater has left its imprint
and my only child is weeping.
Love has sunk below the line, grows painful as
a thousand papercuts. Why is there this
push into the primal darkness, where everything
is surface and small and contagious? Why can’t
we, of all lovers, overcome?
Touch my fingertips, tell me we can breathe it out
and return to the depths of our true connection.
Tell me we are brave enough to walk away
from this cancer breeding side,
face each other like we use to,
free of defense and the bitter masks
of useless pride.

 

It is not new

to hold out a hand
and find something dead
cupped inside.
It is not love that loves
through essential compromise.
It is God we speak to
everytime we verbalize,
and God will mend even the ones
who think they’re saved.
It is the cracked jaw,
the splintered bone and expressions
of boredom and greed that
disease a child’s innocence.
It is how we deal with the senselessness of being
that makes us either deny or realize
a gift of spiritual wonder.

 

 

Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Three of her poems have been nominated for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2015, and she has over 1000 poems published in more than 410 international journals and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published twelve other books of poetry and seven collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series. In 2015, her book No Raft – No Ocean was published by Scars Publications. More recently, her book Make the Wind was published in 2016 by Scars Publications. As well, her book Trial and Witness – selected poems, was published in 2016 by Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group). She is a vegan. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com

 

Vlad Teodor Petcu

September Graveyard

The wavy sky is choked with weepy colors of the twilight…
The garden appears ahead on the curvy filthy hill.
A fence, sponged and nippy,
Enshrouds it in sepulchral, perky motions.
On the five corners the torments of Eros are depicted:
The succubus, the queen, the goddess, the muse and the nun.

Upon entering, a livid owl gazes with its big, rusty, bronze eyeballs
On the timorous, mortified people walking by
As if medusa’s snake themselves wanted to carve new statues
To gloom into the chill of the night.
A chorus of crows somber tunes the daily obituary,
While the raven calls the souls for the last tour they will ever do
And widows and priests jangle a slaughtered lullaby.

Slushy alleyways flood the space
Turning faith into a labyrinth with wings of despair
And the soon never to be forgotten, bewitched lair
Wore the most rapturous mask and blissful face.

Yellow fleshless grass and bony thorns grotesquely twist
On broken stones and shattered windows:
Invitation to an unnatural rest in peace place.

Rare trees, shallow and knotty, moan to fill the emptiness with blood and mist;
Dwellings of white rock are housing stiffs forever and a day.
Rotten, kissed by worms, queasy, ivory skeletons waltz;
With their addictive taint, graphite ghosts the cremated air blitz;
Noxious flowers mysteriously desiccate;
Candles repent and commit suicide by melting.

Lighthearted when the gates open with a sharp hissing
I take my leave from the place of ill-fate,
As undead start to grill under the moons presence in the yard…
I take my leave from the impish state:
The September Graveyard.

Amnesiac

Awakened by the fresh taint of autumn’s rusty air
I go beyond time’s rules into a new beginning.
Who am I? What am I? Where am I?

A quill… an alien… nowhere…
A relaxing mist pours thru my memory…
A tender and wild nothing that floods the mind…

Wife… does not exist on the memory lane,
Obliterated by blind neurons… but she… Oh, she…
The little toy mistress shines bright within decadent dawn.

Shackles of forgetfulness take me prisoner. Insane!
Mask, laces, whips, harnesses, corsets, ropes,
Dungeons, castles, caves, cages, heaven, hell,

One and all in one blink appear,
All but one in meteoric snaps vanishes.
Massacred past tells of groovy future.

And the present is so primal and blasphemous:
A fiend in ivory bodysuit and two lascivious creatures
In white, ethereal skirts and blouses and black laced stockings and garters.

They nurture me every day; look after what they call departed memories
That left me as the skin leaves the snake.
To Davy Jones’s locker with the lot I say!

Embracing a weeping ghost like I knew her in forever,
I submerge her in my dreams like the flower I never dared to tame,
A meteor that endlessly falls as it travels towards the unknown doom.

A bottle of blazed absinth and one with icy chilly mint liquor
Stand on the sides of my bed as guardians.
I rise them up and I reunite with other worlds…

Drifting into a celestial abyss
Made of barren muses and nymphs… Ultimate bliss!
I am never coming home!

The hanging man

Beneath the macramé sunny skies, the mystic tree smiles
In death’s grin of enticing laces birthed of zephyr and gods.

Today he will be carved into the gallows skeleton,
A puppet master to play with tainted quills instead of gibbets.

Rusty leaves weep in a threnody sour for the ears…
Blessed requiem with cannibal worms written rhythm.

After the satin nooses zealously decrepit the deed beyond time
A forgotten muse performs an exotic taxidermy from the last breath of a poet.

 

Vlad Teodor Petcu is an apprentice of the tainted quill born and raised in Bucharest, Romania. He debuted all time with poetry in 2014 and has since written both fiction and non-fiction appearing in magazines and anthologies. His first Romanian poetry book – Tenebre Lirice, has just been published in March 2017 at Astralis Publishing House in Bucharest. His works can be mostly seen in Amurg Sentimental, Uscând o Lacrimă, Calliope Magazine, eFiction India, and The Reverie Journal or on his personal blog called Visele unui insomniac.

Ndifreke George

INSIDE DAD’S POCKET
Dad’s pocket always has it
What mum hates most
Few pieces of latex
The pastor had said
They belong to hell

Dad’s pocket always has it
What mum loves most
Few rumpled forgotten banknotes
That slipped out of dad’s slim budget
Mum hugged them with smiles

The reason mum stayed
She saw what she loves most
Inside dad’s pocket
The reason mum left
She saw what she hates most
Inside dad’s pocket

SILLY CHILD
Mum and Dad and my role model
But not the way they kiss
As often as a leap year
With that sound of android snapshot
Like the sigh of a hopeless beggar
Sizzling in the heat of summer’s scourch

Mum and dad deserve a medal
Their love has grown white strands
Perhaps, they need a remembrance
That they are not bother and sister
But I and my siblings are
They should always wallow in a porch of romance

Mum and dad will die together
Everything they do together
Straight and choleric strict
Without the least romantic meander
They think they are couple—
Husband and wife related by blood

A LOVE TO HATE

How could this be?
Cassandra and I ̶ so close
No better pair could ever be
We strutted through the verdant
of nature’s cool, green armpit
Climbed through the mountain to the moon
We sat dangling our feet down the earth
Whispered our dreams to the hopeful twinkling stars
right in our hands and let it fly
along with the butterfly of beautiful wishes ̶ our courier to heaven
We touched the future with our bare hands
showered it with please-come-true kisses
and enjoyed the coldness of the cloud
We sat hand-in-hand
talked heart-to-heart
And showed love mouth-to-mouth
What else could have missed?
Except a golden ring to say no more
But when she hurried away
with the wind to its nest in the east
I saw her gift beside me
A beautiful paper with red and pink
My heart throbbed and I melted
Like helpless paraffin wax before the judgment of hell
She had only come to invite me for her wedding
It was the bell clonk calling for the guests
That called her away
To her anxious husband
She’ll never be mine ̶ not at all

STOP-BORN-NESS
I am the coward
So ineffable and frail
My conscience won’t let me be
Everyone has a story
Mine are just stinging ears
Cos they steps to being a man
I’ve been stubborn to comply
They’ve abused those children
And get away unpunished
Leaving loads on their heads
And burdens in their hearts
Human terrorism on the rise
Uncontrollable multiplication
Sweetness swallows self-control
Result reported in red ink
Puppy begets puppies
Dogs will bark to death
Like the boys have grown into men
Calves have grown into cows
Cell the cells
A track on this menace
Time to chew the cud
A cry to stop-born-ness

QUEST FOR ANSWERS
Rain pours on every roof
The sun confirms this proof
But money falls on some
And denies others a huge sum

Some are born in pain
And from life, get no gain
Some enjoy generational ostentation
Some merry with crumbs of the nation

One meaningful life soon cut short
But the evil ones escape the shot
Evil climbs to rule from top
While goodness suffers a stop

The earth we inherited so free
Now warming from disappearing trees
Man’s desire for invention
Fighting against nature’s intention

 

BIO
Ndifreke George was born and bred in the ancient city of Calabar, Nigeria. A graduate of Geophysics but a prolific writer; his works have been published on Poems and Poetry, The Kalahari Review, The Praxis Magazine of Arts and literature, The Poet’s Community, Social justice poetry, Tuck Magazine and The Antartica Journal. He is also a Volunteer Literary Contributor with Bravearts Africa where he was first published. Presently based in Lagos, he is a fun-lover, dramatist and songwriter.

 

Mike Absalom

4th Vol, No1  (April 2017)

The poems are illustrated by the paintings that directly inspired by poet’s thoughts.

“Croissants and Language on the Tongue

Painting by Mike Absalom

I am sat in the Troubadour garden beneath rusty lilacs.
After the death and resurrection of the dandelions
a first autumn breeze came nosing in and swept the seeds away into another dimension.
This breeze now lingers and eavesdrops on the café conversation.
I can hardly blame it, for there are poets a plenty here,
seeding the space left by the departing piss-a-beds
and replacing the vacuum-pack chatter of the long gone swallows
with their own Morse code, both literary and pheremonal.
The coffee smells good here too! And it is!
The breeze is in no hurry, for every zephyr needs a little cash-and-carry gossip to trade with the African birds.

That breeze had slipped through the lilacs on uneasy reconnaissance,
and now, beneath the buzz of café conversation I can hear it probing the dead leaves under the bushes, scrabbling about like an old man’s hands round a young woman’s waist.
An hourglass, in whatever incarnation, always incites different kinds of desperation.
Around the marble tabletops and beneath the rustic decorations
of superannuated farm implements and broken bits of iron we sit
like a funeral committee discussing the preparations for a spectacular burial.
That of language, most probably.

With a mouthful of buttered croissant my neighbour starts to speak to me.
Smiling a smile of arch obscurity and spitting small flakes of pastry like a tropical plant disgorging seeds he says: “the bulimic day creeps full bellied over the horizon and vomits out of sight!”
I think his management of both tongue and vocabulary in the same mouth is masterly!
Not to be outdone I reply: “within this limpet pool called time, clinging to the present moment, I drink my coffee, going nowhere.”
Across the table his wife tries to smile as she slowly withers
like a plum alone in a fruit bowl when the family has gone on holiday.

Aah! 1968 was a good year for me!

 

 

”Wurra Wurra: The Night of the Long Brooms” 

Painting by Mike Absalom

In the press there are days folded like clean linen
waiting for the dirt.
Inside the press a clock keeps ticking
and they say it is only a matter of time.

Broomsticks I saw first.
Glowing like iron rods under a blacksmith’s bellows,
red as the geraniums in my window alcove
they moved towards me out of the darkness.

And then three women, naked and wild as the storm driven wind in the chimney’s breast,
Stepping in on this Night of the Dead and of all the Holy Saints stealthily,
rag-haired, broom-clad, besom-handed, bucket-swinging, brush-proud.

From the black shadows they drove the ciarógs and the clocks
and the millipedes and the wood lice and the silverfish
and the daddy long legs and the black spiders,
herding them silently out of this sad and dusty bachelor gaff
and off its surface of unswept regret.

For this is the echoless hole of entropy that a connubial extraction leaves behind.

Since our separation it has been mine.

Broomsticks I saw first.
Glowing like iron rods under a blacksmith’s bellows,
red as the geraniums in my window alcove
they moved towards me out of the darkness.

In the press there are days folded like clean linen
waiting for the dirt.
In the closet a clock keeps ticking
and they say it is only a matter of time.

Broomsticks I saw first.
Glowing like iron rods under a blacksmith’s bellows,
red as the geraniums in my window alcove
they moved towards me out of the darkness.

 

 

“I am Depression – Give me a Drink”! 

Painting by Mike Absalom

The dried up geranium in a terracotta pot on the windowsill
mutters when I come into the room late at night.
I suspect it is some kind of curse.
Perhaps because I have given it no water for a month.
I didn’t sing to it either.
I am away often, occupying myself with matters crucial to my sanity.
I do not expect a geranium to understand this.
This one has many incarnations to go
before it can even think of being a rose,
let alone an evolved and sentient plant. I think.
Although I am not too au fait with karmic hierarchies.

As I watch I see it grows a little.
I am sure that that slight movement could have been growth!
Although it might have been a quiet sigh.
It is hard to tell with a plant so over-cultivated it has never known seed.
This poor dear was raised from a cutting.
As a shoot it was certainly underprivileged in the root department!
But it should have got over that by now.
I notice that it has started to move like a crab,
sidling sideways towards the floral curtain. That is not a good sign.

Still I know there is very little satisfaction around for geraniums these days, particularly not for pink ones.
And certainly not for brown dried up wizened ones
that look like a jar full of fortune teller’s old yarrow stalks.

I bend down and tell it-Forget the floral curtain! It is an illusion!
And there is no reason for depression!
It is something that has soaked in from elsewhere,
perhaps from the old stones the house is made of,
or maybe it was mixed into the wet plaster centuries ago
and it has leaked out into you.
Or from strangers, sidling up, taking you by osmosis, seeping into you,
rotting you with other people’s misery. This is not yours. It’s just vrittis!
Stand up and shake it off! Look through it!
It is mud splattered by passers by! Or even your own family perhaps!
You only own it by association, this unease.
I’m sure that made it feel better.
I fetched a bottle of schnapps and emptied it into the pot.

 

 

“A Finely Chewed Ear”

Painting by Mike Absalom

Keeping a love affair moving
Is like playing a difficult melody on a saw:
It needs a huge amount of muscle
Matched with a finely tuned ear.

Cursing the wet sycamore leaves on the road,
I slip and slide miserably back home.
Your words have bitten me like a mouthful of iron teeth!
Lust can teach a lover very quickly
That there is not much difference
Between the Breath of the Morning
And Morning Breath.

 

Mike Absalom, an Irish poet, painter and print- maker, 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)

Wayne Hislop

 

The Hour Glass

Mainak’s photography

They once lived in a house of refined glass

Tormented by a slurring wind

That kissed and spat and smashed

Harsh, bitter, and pursuing it

Showed its toll.

 

As the glass received chips,

Then shattered, it long reformed

To sand; there was no sparkle of life

Not a movement or a ripple,

The dance ceased.

 

A battle was once fought here –

No winner or loser

But now

There was no more distress.

 

In this sand, that once

resembled a stain of glass

that captured a ray of light

on a reflection of a more composed time

Now forgotten.

 

 

The Predators

Mainak’s photography

Her presence was sculpted

in his mind’s black, dark cold.

Sick thoughts start to disperse,

that fuels the others,

like regiments carrying lanterns

lighting her every move.

 

She plays musical notes

that she knows not,

an unseen flute entwined

with infectious scents

egos fuelled by distracted glances

 

They seek out the note

that takes their crazed, crazed

Grand Canyon brush-stroke thoughts,

painting the night

in Lucifer’s gallery’s were angels

freeze in portraits long lost

to the one’s

that were once blessed.

 

Wayne Hislop has been published in many Anthology’s of poetry and journals with one poem being used in a University in Ireland and a other in a Library at Scared Hearts Collage India. Wayne is Dyslexic and has had reading and writing problems most of his adult life.