Love-You

All I once cared,
Was about myself.
I was just scared,
To let down me-self.

Then, I met you
Not wanting to care.
But everyday like new
You always did share.

People did come and go
But you always stayed.
And then it grow
Just like it was paid.

Always being there,
Loving with passion,
We did share
Without compassion.

But without myself knowing
I fell for you.
Can’t just know the feeling
But love I want to sew.

Just want to stay,
Forever and more.
Don’t know how to say
But you, I do adore.

Raven

 

The sky felt dense,

The mood it gave off,

Like moths in hue,

And butterflies in pale,

 

The showering of haze,

Over us at ease,

It’s not seen,

And there I won’t be seen,

 

The morning routine,

Of the everlasting gloom,

The day stuck in reprises,

And another one it seems,

 

It flies by scoring petrified faces,

Clipping by the nests,

It stays there,

For it, I won’t.

Poem “Raven” By Sarah Shahzad, January 2023

House Crows

Raven

The sky felt dense,

The mood it gave off,

Like moths in hue,

And butter flies in pale,

 

The showering of haze,

Over us at ease,

It’s not seen,

And there I won’t be seen,

 

The morning routine,

Of the everlasting gloom,

The day stuck in reprises,

And another one it seems,

 

It flies by scoring petrified faces,

Clipping by the nests,

It stays there,

For it, I won’t.

Poem “Raven” By Sarah Shahzad, January 2023

Wild Birds in Captivity

Those birds that roamed free,

Endless flights filled with glee,

They glide over the trees,

Flying side to side with the breeze,

 

Above the deserts, they can reach,

Following the wind that they preach,

Finding the oasis that they screech,

Under the clouds that breach,

 

A glimpse of their prey,

They plunge headfirst at bay,

Stumble and tumble right on the net,

Shackle and tackle trying to release itself yet,

 

Realizing the faults of one’s actions,

The bird gives out its different reactions,

Confused as the bird seems,

Its faith got interrupted by human needs.

Poem on Wild Birds in Captivity by Sarah Shahzad, November 2022

Saturday Night Bus, Ireland

Slashes of light dot along the wet black road,

bus windows’ reflections like quick photos.

Boys on the back seat (tang of sharp aftershaves)

talk Tik Tok titles, reckon their teams.

The girls together

give off a mixed heady scent –

lily of the valley, rose, orchid,

trace of spice, enticing oils.

Silent, blended, their perfume wafts across.

All these hopes hit town at once –

the Saturday-night bus route

past the herringbone pattern

of parked cars on the wide main street;

five pubs to choose from,

the weekly stops.

 

Ishq

कुछ सनम के साथ बैठे है

कुछ गम में जागे पूरी रात बैठे है

कुछ हाथों में ले कर हाथ बैठे है

कुछ हाथ काट बैठे है

इश्क़ भी क्या चीज़ है ना जनाब

खुशियां दिक्कतें दोनों हज़ार देती है

पूरा हुआ तो संवार देती है

अधूरा रहा तो मार देती है

When A Plaster Won’t Suffice

When A Plaster Won’t Suffice

(After The Poetry Pharmacy) 

 

When a plaster won’t suffice,

A bandage, a crutch

Or packet of ice,

When a tonic can’t cure

A mind on the mend,

I search for Sieghart’s solution –

A poetic prescription

For the human condition.

A pharmacy like no other,

An apothecary for the soul,

A medicine I reach for

On the shelf,

A talisman

For young and old.

 

Jordan McCarthy

The Edge of Reason

At some stage in our fragile life,

We’re all drawn or summoned

To water’s non-judgemental edge,

To reignite precious inspiration,

To extinguish passing desperation.

Shoreline, never a straight sure line,

Yet a neutral, benign borderline

Between spinning earth’s solid footing

And water’s strange gravitational pull,

Alluring form’s shape-shifting wonders.

Inexplicable is early morning’s pull,

Late evening’s lull, the ebb and flow

Of eternal energy’s recurring ripples,

Seemingly seamless through space

And time’s subtle variations of “Fine!”

Bright rippling apexes of extreme highs,

Dark complexes rippling in nadir lows,

Only fear knows how it steadily grows,

Readily growing into knowing despair,

As a numbness of uselessness sows,

Throws out the last meagre shakings

Of self-esteem’s reason, logic and hope,

Finding rest, rooted in the stony silt

Around my cold bare, advancing feet.

Mighty heavens open and only knows

How pricks of sharp pain, slips of weed

Attack my almost numb yet sensitive toes,

To trumpet some small forgotten victories,

To flutter bunting, bare-threaded banners,

Still flimsily clinging to and proclaiming

My mind and spirit’s Hope! Want! Will!

When then the BangBig Genesis, sperm2egg, was I

When
then the BangBig Genesis, sperm2egg, was I
of note zygote, woman.awhile till the Y o Y did I,
androgenic sink toward as you can see something to p
standingly. That Judge, Chaos, no matter my felt loss
threw the Dice deviced to make a man of me. Yet She
in me wanted a-back reborn Paradise where OnceAgain
MyWoman reigned.
Mother from whose grotto I gotta emerge in 3 trimesters,
preferred the pee wee wee as the prisoners do in male’s
jail, but O MOMMY thank you for the blest incest of FirstYear
which happily did me queer, and too your girling polish
red bledcolor co-ed on these fingertips, the Bliss
KNOWING WELL ALL ALONG that scarlet toes and tips
to the KinderKind WomanKind best belong; THEN
with milk and mom-mammology Boobs grew on me
PRIDE protruded abreast. . . The Rest, I guess I overgloss
to look the soft She and sweet to pass as Lass,
Ma’am notably mammary to all who me-do-greet.
Now
in State Hallowed the curse does begin to end
for I have left penitently the Penitentiary of men!!!

Christmas Ride

Christmas Ride

The house was dark and cold

Only a thin ray from a streetlight 

Shone through the window

The Christmas tree was a shadow

I was six years old and skeptical 

Would Santa really come

I silently left my bed

The floor creaked with each step

I was afraid of being caught

But my curiosity had won out

As I stealthily moved forward

My leg hit a metal object

It fell to the floor with a bang

My breath froze in the air

Someone big was coming

As I knelt down to hide

A hand touched my shoulder

It was my grandmother

Whispering, shhhhh

She helped me get up onto 

The most exciting gift ever 

It was my first bicycle

After sitting on it briefly 

She motioned me to bed

My grandmother always 

Had my back

Protecting our secrets

She was the best gift of all

Christmas Ride

Christmas Ride

The house was dark and cold

Only a thin ray from a streetlight 

Shone through the window

The Christmas tree was a shadow

I was six years old and skeptical 

Would Santa really come

I silently left my bed

The floor creaked with each step

I was afraid of being caught

But my curiosity had won out

As I stealthily moved forward

My leg hit a metal object

It fell to the floor with a bang

My breath froze in the air

Someone big was coming

As I knelt down to hide

A hand touched my shoulder

It was my grandmother

Whispering, shhhhh

She helped me get up onto 

The most exciting gift ever 

It was my first bicycle

After sitting on it briefly 

She motioned me to bed

My grandmother always 

Had my back

Protecting our secrets

She was the best gift of all

Hope’s Silent Symphony

In the despairing grasp of fear,

I now know I should fear less,

 

Waste less my precious focus,

Fearing a fleeting fretfulness,

 

Just like the toxic-looking froth,

Foaming to spoil lakeshore soil,

 

Appearing to pollute pureness,

Its existence alludes to ugliness,

 

Only for wiser winds and reeds

To calmly compose, sway, caress

 

Legato indications of hopefulness,

Stirring

flights                         of        frothy

freshness.

 

The Day of the Monkey.

The day of the monkey,
That’s me,
The monkey that pretends to be free.

So happy to have his day,
To hear the cheers the laughs,
And you looking his way.
Laughing at the faces I make,
My clever tricks the cake I bake,
Clapping resounds in my ears,
And blows away my silent tears.

It’s the monley’s day,
No matter how many tricks I play,
A monkey I will stay.

I will always be locked up in my little cage,
I may shake the bars in sorrow or rage,
But I need  the peanuts they throw in my face,
I need their laughing to avoid disgrace.

A little monkey with monkey hopes and monkey dreams,
Monkey desires and monkey schemes,
Monkey wishes his fears away,
Monkey longs for a better day.

Sometimes I take myself so seriously,
As if I’m very important really,
I dress up as if I’m real and proud,
And strut around my head in a cloud.
I pretend that I’m important for you and the world,
I drink up the laugher the applause of the girls,
Just before I realise my dilemma,
My cloths are too small my act is a failure.
All dirty and torn, I’m not near normality,
My mind is a mush I doubt of my sanity,
And I’m a million miles from you even seeing me.

So most of the time I sit here in half slumber,
Waiting for the sun to pass over,

I don’t even see the day rolling by,
The stars that shine in the night sky,

I gaze at a point on the floor,
And empty my mind of anything more,

That would remind me of my state,
My position, my hope, the closed locked gate.
The feelings I felt,
The thoughts that I tried, to formulate.

I know you have left me alone in my cage,
I know I’m alone with my hopes and my rage.

Sometimes they pick my cage up and move it around,
Sit it the wall, put it on the ground,

Sometimes they take me out in the sun,
Or swing it around to have some fun.

But most of the time they forget that I’m here,
Here in the dark of a thousand years.
Alone waiting for you to come home,
Searching the horizon for your grave stone.

In fact there’s nothing left at all,
In my monkey brain they put on the wall.

Does a monkey have a soul?
Am I for real or really just a hole.
Will I wake up and disappear?
Will I wake up and become thin air?

That will really be the day,
The day the monkey has got away.
My last trick, they didn’t see nor even care,
The day the monkey dissolved in thin air.

No more shaking my cage in despair,
No more pretending that I am here,
No more strutting about, making a noise,
No more playing with my plastic toys.

I will disappear and no one will see,
Nor even remember a faint memory of me,
They’ll put the empty cage on the wall,
And my ghost will eat the peanuts they let fall,
As they continue to wonder, laugh  and clap,
At the empty cage, dead monkey on your lap.

Thoughts

Thought are only feelings too,

Thoughts that I think so often of you.

Feelings are my sensations within,

The mud and the rubbish,

The diamond ring,

Sensations are the messages you send to me,

A sword, a cross, an olive tree.

So many images flash through my mind,

So many feelings to which I am blind.

So many thoughts that I never dare think,

Like old dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.

Hidden away beneath the shit,

The mud the blood and the rest of it.

Thoughts and feelings lost in the wind,

What really mattered is hidden within.

Within the noise, the laughing crowds,

Between the lines of song sang loud,

A whispered caress, a gentle breeze,

A butterfly’s wing, down on my knees.

Beneath the thoughts, behind the scene,

Under the feelings and what has never been.

Though the holes in time and space,

What is always forgotten, your long lost face.

Shining brightly for all to see,

It was never you, it was always me.

Always me down in this pit,

Thinking and fighting to make sense of it.

Always me blocking the way,

Blocking the door to keep out the day.

Always me who had the last word,

Propping up the blind and absurd.

Always me with something to say,

Thinking and feeling my life away.

Money

Money money, ringing in your tills,

Calling us to worship,

The hundred dollar bills.

Bend our knees in wonder,

Bow our heads in awe,

At the power of the liar,

Who now controls us all.

From the darkest deep caverns,

To the stars in the sky,

From the infinite universe,

To the strangers passing by.

From your inner most conviction,

To your laughing in the night,

From everything you ‘re seeing,

To everything out of sight.

The new God has risen,

To claim the holy throne,

The one that we have emptied,

Our hearts all cold as stone.

The throne that we have emptied,

We killed the rightful king,

Sold his crown an sceptre,

Pawned his sacred ring.

Raised his bleeding body,

Up on that bloody hill,

The silent lamb still bleeding,

As the money fills your tills.

Listen

Listen to the buzzing, in your ears,

Listen to the humming, of your fears,

Listen to the baby crying inside,

Listen to pleading in your lover’s eyes.

Listen to the music you have never played,

Listen to the sinner who’s never been saved.

Listen to the empty silence of your mind,

Listen to the whispers of man kind.

Listen to the never heard nor seen,

Listen to the listener who has never been.

Listen to the monkey, you know you really are,

Listen to the wise man, who’s never been that far.

Listen to the dying, crying man,

Listen tot the bottle buried in the sand.

Listen tot meaning you never really meant,

Listen to the letter you never really sent.

Listen to the lovers who loved another one,

Listen to the brothers torturing their mum.

Listen to the noisy who never say a thing,

Listen to the silent crying deep within.

Listen to the never ever really said,

Listen to the dead man laying in his bed.

Listen to the flying, dying man,

Listen to the solid only made of sand,

Listen to the night time, they told you that was day,

Listen to the meaning they stole an took away.

Listen to the singer who never made a sound,

Listen to the thunder in the lightning cloud.

Listen to the voices you never hear within,

Listen to the last train’s whistle, whistling.

The Hammer

Who can hear, the mornings call?

The dead dove’s body, as it does fall.

Who can see through the dead man’s eyes?

As the burning sun, falls from the skies.

What once was new, has now become old,

What once was alive, has now become cold,

What you believed, was worth a lot,

Is burnt to ashes, in the melting pot.

Let’s start again, I hear them say,

Let’s start again, another day,

Let’s make again, what we made before,

Spill more blood, on the kitchen floor,

Lift the cross, up on the hill,

Load the guns, to fight and kill.

Fight and slaughter, till there’s no one left,

Till your mind is empty, your heart is deaf,

You thought that, I was a soldier too,

You thought that I said, I love you,

But I tell you now, and I tell it true,

The angles of heaven, and the angels of hell,

Are riding now, to the ring of deaths bell.

What you thought, was silver and gold,

Are ashes and dust, on the open road,

What you knew was good, what you knew was true,

The hot sun has dried, like the morning dew,

The very memory, of hope and despair,

Is lost in the hole, of your soul laid bare.

The empty hole, behind the clouds,

The music and the laughing crowds,

Are dead and gone, have faded away,

As a new sun rises, on a bright new day,

I tell you now, and I tell you true,

As the hammer of me hits the anvil of you.

Your Birthday

Those were the only days of the night,
When he was born, came into sight,
The only moments that the sun did shine,
Those days when you said that you were mine.
When hope and joy lit up our eyes,
The new born babe lit up our skies.

When the world did open it’s womb to embrace,
The love of God for the human race.
When the earth and nature sang with joy,

The birth of the baby, be it girl or boy.
Hope came on to the dark path,
Something new shining on in the dark.

The birthday.

And now it’s mixed with fear and tears,
The suffering lamentations of a thousand years.

Mixed with death of love and hope,
Mixed with pain, a sinking boat.
What the hell, I shout and scream,
What the hell, is this hell’s dream?

When doors open to the light of the day,
Another one closes and takes you away!

You were born deep in a cave, silent and still,
You died in pain, nailed up on the hill.

Born in the joy of a thousand songs,
Dead on the cross of a million wrongs.

What is this story you sing in my ears?
What is the meaning of my tears?
What is right and what is wrong?
Where does reason and truth belong?

My heart drilled through with a thousand spears,
My mind is lost, drowned in my tears.

Is it me or is it you,
Who left behind this dirty old shoe?
Why is birth and death be joined?
Joy and sorrow, in sequence do follow.

Meaning and absurdity are my bread and butter,
My mind a frozen tear in the gutter.
And is there’s no right to be,
No right to be wrong,
No right to find a rhythm for my unsingable song.

When heaven and earth do finally meet,
When we eventually rise to stand on our feet,
The sky turns black and the sun does fall,
When we behold the real meaning of it all.

When we can lift our eyes to look at the hill,
Your heavenly throne, and your cup unfilled.
Your body hung limp high in the sky,
As people go on laughing and passing by.
The night falls on the old burnt tree,

Is it you or is it me,
Who died on this cross,
God on his knee.

Mentor

He used to say once you’ve felt the darkness creep you can spot it in anyone. You can recognise the suffering of another’s mind. A wordless look that’s all it took, a look of knowing when you’ve suffered too. It’s a type of scar that gets left behind. A gift if you will for the burden of the dark nights. It allows you see, those that suffer in all their light. It’s in the eyes he’d say, you can see the shadows. He’d spot it from a mile away. He’d say it out- loud for all to hear. He was fearless in his recognition. Fearless in his saying, he’d suffered too. He’d advise to talk it outside of yourself, paint it outside of yourself, when the wordless day’s cast shadows, write it outside of yourself. His speaking was as if anointing freedom within. Now you know to be fearless. Fearless with the ink on the dark days as he would be fearless in speaking. To anyone with shadows, don’t forget, there’s light in you too

Surrender

I find myself at this farm gate again,

Peering at the deer.

I want what they have,

Serenity.

 

The field is peaceful,

Dainty legs delicately poised.

Many eyes stop and stare at me.

I gaze back.

 

They are curious and kind,

For a moment it is only us,

Eyes locked,

Our silence beautiful.

Smile – Luke Clerkin

He took a picture of her

The door way acted as a frame

The lights above flickered

So much that he could use it as a flash

 

She smiled the kinda smile that would even make the Mona Lisa cry

The couple at the back of the room in awe

At the sight of her

 

He remembers why he fell in love

Each time she does it

And each time he feels like it’s ever lasting

But deep down he knows each smile could be her last

The last one that he sees

Now Only

Now only whirling dervish thoughts

Now only I dare to dream again

Now only, hope I held so tight released

Now only I breathe

Now only fears starts to fade

Now only I realise, this is not a dress rehearsal

You taught me how fragile life is

I miss your guiding voice, your knowing smirk

Now only I decide where my path goes next

Now only I sink or swim

Now only I own my mistakes, adventures and successes

As you would, I frown, cry and laugh in equal measure

My training wheels are no more

My journey continues without you

Vigil

Alone, in my childhood bed, I’d dream of fire.
Of suffocation. Being snuffed out.

My mother used to tell me stories of little girls
trapped in buildings. Of lives lost.

The same woman who would not allow bedroom
doors to be closed at night, in line with safety

lessons at school. She banned candles.
Feared incense was evil. Did not

comprehend my point about it being
in the bible. About it being a gift.

 

I still have nightmares. But, these days,
I’m not scared to light a candle

to hold back the dark.

A Baby Is Not Broken

A baby is not broken

nor is her warm head less than velvet.

 

Four upturned feet receive the clouds,

choosing the softest cumulus

to envisage as vanilla candy-floss for the taking,

deserved desserts.

 

A baby does not time her wails

to suit her caregiver,

gauging a grin as a green light

to feel.

 

She knows herself

like a temple knows its gods,

invisibly and well,

before a classic facade.

 

Her chipped toy-box takes up room,

where room is a matchbox,

 

but on she plays,

all lampshades ablaze,

striving to squish her big sausage toe

into a teeny Barbie shoe.

 

A baby’s hand

cannot understand

the things it loves to feel.

 

At what point does she let

the clouds pass by her brow?

 

When does the shoe get too small?

 

 

 

Dissenter

Dissenter

 for Zhang Zhan

 

Discord is as necessary as concord –

music history a pendulum’s swing

between harmony and dissonance;

in Hegel’s philosophy, no thesis to

synthesis without antithesis. Marcuse

said all transcendent art has to destroy

complacency, superficial consensus.

 

“At the risk of striking an off-note,” she

says before each grand assembly of those

who espouse certainty; to whom she is

agitator and whistleblower, a girl who

won’t stay mum – sitting alone on some

stone steps, making her small voice heard:

with her many names: Cassandra, Antigone,

Joan, Rosa, Malala, Greta…

From We are the Walrus (Salmon Poetry/Nov 2022)

“The Art of Being Invisible”

T.M.

My initials.

Planted on a whiteboard next to my poem,

It’s a simple reminder to myself that I exist.

To others, it’s a trademark.

a bunch of scrunched-up letters of terrible melancholy

and twisted messages of holy symphonies.

I do not exist.

The art of being invisible starts when the chimes stop ringing,

and the bell no longer tolls.

It’s the silence that bids the awaited farewells a restless goodnight,

and the stammering steps an awkward kiss.

The T stands for tenacious and the M stands for more,

because I want to be more tenacious.

I want to be more.

And as if dipping my hypothetical pen in a symbolic river of ink,

I write my T’s in endless curves and whispers.

I write.

I write.

I write.

I stop and turn my keys to more.

Because there is more to me than just a trademark.

I take ownership of my flaws.

With every indent my body makes,

I bow my head to the future.

She is an almighty deity whose hands reverse and intertwine.

She is beauty.

I pave a path and walk in a straight line,

I stretch out my arms and pray for the light to make me shine.

I want to sparkle,

to be a sun that slowly fizzles out,

to leave my initials.

To leave

Tragic and morbid.

To leave

T.M.

“You Gave Me Purpose”

I once read a story about a man with a flower.

He had picked it from a field of poppies for its petals were wilting.

He carried that flower for days,

sacrificing his own water to help it grow beautifully.

Eventually, he reached his destination

and watched the flower wilt.

He harvested the seeds and planted them at his mother’s grave,

for in the years that followed,

he would watch the blooming flowers give life to the deceased.

I think about that story often.

How the man gave beauty to the ill-fated.

And I think about us.

I too was once a wilted flower in a field of poppies,

until you gave me a chance to bloom beautifully.

“My God, She Was…”

She was the object of my infatuation.

She was everything and nothing.

and she was perfect. 

in every-which way 

my god, she was perfect.

She walked on clouds and winked at the moon. 

She danced amongst the shadows through June. 

and she was broken. 

in every-which way

my god, she was broken. 

 

She touched the ground like golden silhouettes. 

She sang away my last trace of cigarettes. 

and she was beautiful. 

in every-which way

my god, she was beautiful. 

 

She had long and slender hair that hit the light at intervals. 

She had wells of tears that flood through my walls. 

and she was kind. 

in every-which way

my god, she was kind. 

 

She had a voice that sold sweet sorrows through paper trails. 

She had a breath that weathered my storm through every exhale. 

and she spoke. 

in every-which way

my god, she spoke. 

 

But when winter’s longing cast a spell . 

And her dreams no longer fit my well. 

She was gone. 

in every-which way

My god, she was gone… 

 

And now the object of my infatuation she remains. 

for paper dragons and perfume 

Her ghostly figure here she stays 

with freckles 

that kissed our moon.

“Interlude”

My world is caving in. 

The roads I take to self-clarity are fading into the abyss, 

And the only thing I can do besides watch this ending unfold is attack my brain with vindictive thoughts and confide in those causing the issue. 

The people living in the prison of my skull have resorted to cannibalism while those on the outskirts don’t know the gravity of the situation.

And in all honesty, I’ve given up on caring. 

Slowly but surely the smoke of my blown-out candle carries with it the last remaining speck of hope while I become a machine, unable to perform without being programmed, and I become another number on society’s list of fucked-up teens. 

Another number of those who left the pages of their novel untouched and unfinished. 

Clarity is an interesting thought.

It’s not something I was able to see or touch yet there was an ounce, somewhere in my body, that helped me live rather than survive. 

That being said, the dripping droplets draining from the waterfall of awakening are drying up as they descend onto my lap and onto the page I write on. 

I can see the end, it’s as near as the hand I wipe my cheeks with, yet I can never seem to truly reach it. 

It’s a dome of ecstasy my body is rejected to, and like the repulsion of magnets, my negative will never be any closer than a few inches to the negative of my final curtain call.

With the thought of this being an interlude, that the real Ragnarök is only a tale told by those who never truly opened their books and saw that this catastrophic mess leading to the inevitable path of oblivion had two roads with another reaching their second act, I come to terms that not all clarity can be lost. 

Those who gave up on the battle long before it started had the clarity of sanity, and those who somehow continue to live their lives on the battlefield had the clarity of courage. 

So I stand before these roads, one broken, the pavement cracked, a doomed pit of darkness at the bottom with just a few logs of wood to climb across and a long winding road ahead, the other, a paved path, beautifully made with red bricks, saturated trees and rose petals guiding the way, I choose to face my fears and climb over the abyss pulling me down. 

The road is dark, winding, and absolutely terrifying, but what lies ahead is nothing compared to the fact that my world is caving in…but my story hasn’t reached its ending.

Light is a Cosmic Time Machine

Sudden there swoops an August around
On vulture wing, fed and fat.
Anew in navy, Ursa sighs
‘Alive, alive, you were once alive.’
And even now, through wet teeth, wonder
Will such lust ruin all again?

Myself, I return as the lowly satellite
Some missionary failure from the dark side of Luna.
I tried the ferrous lock on the cosmos seal
And now, I shall never speak of aliens.
Oh, I was nothing but obsessed
And lonely in that sunless sky.

Alas, it will make a brilliant memoir
To have touched a height so pretty and grand.
Far from kitchen-counter arguments
And mending walls.
The stars, they teach you false sanity,
And how to never love again.

Freedom

Iawakeninmycage.Unlikethelastthiscagehasanopendoor.ThefreedomtoleavebutacagenonethelessFreedomtoleave!Andgooutintothetreacheryandpainwheremenofpeacewageallkindsofwar.Womensmilewithdaggeredteethandthechildrenremindmeofalifelonglost.Freedomtoleave!Tobeamongstthecrowedlikeyesterday’snewspapertositwiththepigeonsandgrowjealousoftheirignorance.Forallmypaincomesfromhumanity.Freedomtoleave!Foramanwhocannottrulycommittothefightwhatisfreedom.ForamanwhocannottrulyloveawomenwhatisfreedomForamanwhohaslostallhehascreatedwhatisfreedomFreedomtoleave!IwillbefreewhenIleave.

Cosmic Happy Juice

For I stand atop a hill

Glassy eyes scanning the horizon 

An ocean of cornflowers

The current pushing toward the end

I willingly frolic away from reality 

My sanity wafting away in a light summers breeze

Carrying with it my laughter

I once feared the danger, of wandering into this field

Now it is my domain

the place I shall wither away in bliss

 

 

 

 

Alone When You Grieve and a Sad Poem to Read

Alone when you grieve and a sad poem to read, for there are things beyond your control; how could you win those never foreseen.

Bolts of Thunder, Where to Go Wonder: A Shock of Sad Poem.

Bolts-of-Thunder-Where-to-Go-Wonder-A-Shock-of-Sad-Poem
A-Shock-of-Sad-Poem

Where thou start the trail,

The abundant rain filled the trail,

Where thou shalt go to live,

A far hill, and alligators in water to give

Jolts!

Bolts

Of thunder,

Where to go wonder,

There is death around,

No easy life to be found!

….

more at: lifexcites blog

this time will be different: a found poem from a news article

protestors continue to deny that guns
were the problem. how many more shootings need to happen? the time
for us to have stopped was right after Sandy Hook high school. Parkland. Santa Fe.
twenty children, seventeen people, ten. a moment of silence, and then the “wonderful NRA.” dismissing calls. “extreme political agenda”
Dallas. Sutherland Spring. El Paso.
five people. twenty-six people. twenty-three people.
a church. a supermarket, a
rampage. protect our kids, not
guns. how many more of these need to happen? all I want is
reasonable gun control. reasonable background checks. eliminating
military-style weapons. we are an embarrassment. we cannot protect our children in our schools.
“this time will be different.”
every decent American is mourning twenty-one beautiful lives.
ruthlessly and indiscriminately extinguished.

phrases from my spam folder

the world: updated. we,
we chose tomorrow. you’re invited! 18K gold
handforged samurai swords
autographed memorabilia
floating kinetic
bonfires.
a new way to discover
how to get started.
(coming soon) we would like you to apply
an expert
weighs in on
zero gravity. get
the best, the most
prestigious bean
bag chairs, break
into the new
final hours, last call for
(up to)
80% off!
your invitation to apply is
waiting. what
do you need to get accepted? wait, don’t delete. get
the latest buzz.
make a
difference.

I don’t know how to live, ok?

Thinking won’t make me safe
And yet it persists
Being alive but not living
Avoiding mirrors
Sharing my day
Interacting deeply
I’m all in the clouds
Time moves bizarrely.
People look at me weird.
It’s not safe to be me.
When did I become this?
How did I become this?
Is it because of my environment?
Am I simply afraid?
Shame, confusion, pain, fear, disconnection
Am I dead?
How long have I been dead?
I skipped something? Missing something?
Time slows down and fast-fowards.
The stomach grinds to a halt.
The masks way heavy on my face
As the Gods turn their backs.
I open my mouth to scream
nothing comes out.

Happy Birthday

A dainty table for four
A rah zah zah restaurant
Four chairs
Filled with empty people in an empty room
Here to ‘celebrate’
No music
No smiles
No genuine ones at least
A man with a fresh patchily shaven head
A man with $600 copper spectacles
A woman with a neck brace
with a distaste for garlic
And a woman with a strawberry drink
Isolated
Quiet
Eerie
Held captive by the dinner table

You are that light that never goes out

I thought you’d always be there

in the back

when I go to look for you

Just like, shit, there ain’t words

to describe the half-lit room

in my mind full of things about you

The lines of your eyes

Pearls in your ears

Hair the color of a wine stain

Skinny jeans an inch too short

I look at you, feel like I’m dying

Love you, love you too,

Say it back, she says

You like that?

You say I have the best reactions

to everything you say

You tell me to be safe in the car

but I don’t make any promises

Your fingers are sure of it

around their cigarette

Because I love to suffer, I don’t say goodbye

before I leave I play a song full of religious imagery

and I save my own life if it goes on

like this, I won’t last

You’re like the water that never runs dry,

You’re like the runner who never slows down,

You’re that light that never goes out,

and I’ll never forgive you for that.

Mike Gordon – The Walking Bird

Mike was born in 1947 in Glasgow. His work has been a kaleidoscope of adventure across the globe. He was a roughneck on a rig drilling for water and chainman to a surveyor in the Australian outback. Later, he was part of a seismic exploration team looking for oil in the jungles of Sumatra and Borneo. In between all this, Mike was also a professional actor along with dishwashing, bartending, fruit picking and much more thrown in for good measure. Mike and his wife have lived in London for the last 43 years. He has three stepsons, one daughter-in-law, and one grandson. Michael won a book of poetry at the age of four, from which his father read to him the poems. This, the beginning of a life-long passion.

We are delighted to introduce Mike Gordon’s Poetry Collection “The Walking Bird”. We spoke to Mike, and he shared some of his thoughts on the collection as well as snippets of his fascinating life story.

Anita, Poetry Cooperative: Talk to us about your poetry, please, Mike:

My poetry, when young, consisted mainly of poems, which on reflection, had their meaning obscured by obscurity! The voice that I subsequently discovered, in my mid-forties, was, by contrast, the complete antithesis of this. Short, very brief, and simple. Enough to capture the essence of the world? I believe so.

Our language is limited and at times, seems quite inadequate for our attempts at capturing any given feeling or situation, which in itself, gives reason for poetry. Yet too often I feel that, in this pursuit, we make complex that which is simple. My short poems are my attempt to remedy that.

Anita: What can readers expect from The Walking Bird?

The poems in The Walking Bird are mainly from the last 25/30 years. They can and do reflect only one person’s life. My hope is that the readers will find for themselves, what we share in common.

Two exceptions to the above are the title poem, The Walking Bird which was written when I was sixteen. This poem posed the question, why the need to paint a dot. A question that resonates for me as much today as it did then, irrespective of the fact that, by publishing The Walking Bird, I have done precisely that and painted my dot. The second poem is, All in the hopes of being wise, which is the last poem in the book. I wrote it when I was eleven, and I have included it for sentiment and because it can still make me smile.

Both poems, wordwise, remain as written. Only the line structure has been changed, in keeping with my present-day style.

Truth, perhaps, may very well be a moveable feast. Writing poetry for me, however, demands an honesty that is so often lacking in my day to day life. Poetry demands and allows for such honesty, even if there may be future doubts. This offers an excitement and a balance, to the world around me, that I would be bereft without.

The Walking Bird will take you to where I’ve been; love, loss, youth, old age, happiness, unhappiness, contentment and discontentment. In my poetry, you find attempts to hammer out a philosophy that I can live with and that will live with me. And all the while with a liberal dose of humour. The sugar to coat the pill.”

More about Mike

Today, Mike runs two companies; Alchemy Press, ( publisher of “The Walking Bird” along with Amazon KDP) and Alchemy Music Ltd.

Check out “No money, no honey, cheap Charlie” on YouTube. You may also like to check out Mike on Damien Donnelly’s “Eat the Storms Poetry Podcast”. Look for episode 5 in season 4, and 23 minutes into the podcast, you’ll get to the bit with Mike.

You can order a copy of The Walking Bird by clicking on the image above.

Clearer to See Through – a Poem

I write
on sand.
It turns
to glass.
Clearer to
see through.

The Walking Bird – a Review

Mike’s view of the world around him is both engaging and thought provoking. Written from when he was eleven years old to the present day, mundane made vibrant, complex made simple – I would recommend this collection of short poems to all and look forward to the second edition!

Courtney Crouch on Amazon

You can follow Mike on Twitter at @IamMike_Gordon

Mike Gordon on Eat the Storms

Listen to Mike speaking to Damien Donnelly on the Eat the Storms poetry podcast.

The Mower – Philip Larkin

The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found   
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,   
Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.   
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world   
Unmendably. Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence   
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind   
While there is still time.

A Story for Rose on the Midnight Flight to Boston

Anne Sexton

Until tonight they were separate specialties,
different stories, the best of their own worst.
Riding my warm cabin home, I remember Betsy’s
laughter; she laughed as you did, Rose, at the first
story. Someday, I promised her, I’ll be someone
going somewhere and we plotted it in the humdrum
school for proper girls. The next April the plane
bucked me like a horse, my elevators turned
and fear blew down my throat, that last profane
gauge of a stomach coming up. And then returned
to land, as unlovely as any seasick sailor,
sincerely eighteen; my first story, my funny failure.
Maybe Rose, there is always another story,
better unsaid, grim or flat or predatory.
Half a mile down the lights of the in—between cities
turn up their eyes at me. And I remember Betsy’s
story, the April night of the civilian air crash
and her sudden name misspelled in the evening paper,
the interior of shock and the paper gone in the trash
ten years now. She used the return ticket I gave her.
This was the rude kill of her; two planes cracking
in mid—air over Washington, like blind birds.
And the picking up afterwards, the morticians tracking
bodies in the Potomac and piecing them like boards
to make a leg or a face. There is only her miniature
photograph left, too long now for fear to remember.
Special tonight because I made her into a story
that I grew to know and savor.
A reason to worry,
Rose, when you fix an old death like that,
and outliving the impact, to find you’ve pretended.
We bank over Boston. I am safe. I put on my hat.
I am almost someone going home. The story has ended.

D.H Lawrence – The Enkindled Spring

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green, 
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes, 
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between 
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes. 

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration 
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze 
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration, 
Faces of people streaming across my gaze. 

And I, what fountain of fire am I among 
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed 
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng 
Of flames, a shadow that's gone astray, and is lost.

Wallflowers

Wallflowers,
widely cultivated for their attractive array.
Native to cliffside and meadows.
Naturalized in Great Britain.
From Jacob’s Jacket to Wenlock Beauty.
Each petal crafted for ocular appeal.
Fragrances that dilute the demise and reinstate governance over the nasal senses.
Floral beauty combating astringency within bleak planes.

* * *

Wallflowers,
Intricate observers,
Intoxicated by the Wiles of the sidelines.
Graceful listeners,
Driven by depth
Enticed by the sudden stillness enwrapped in the archaic solstice of quietude that has prevailed since the dawn of time.
Liberation through standing in the dusty parts of the world.
Coveting the corners of rooms and shadows beyond.
Perceptible people emphasized by perplexing perceptions.
Seeking paradigm shifts, defined by the curated efforts found through developing neuroplasticity, a method of logic and effort.

* * *

The cluster.
Outcast, Misfit, Wayward and Weird.
Brain synapses that are uniquely sparking mildly awkward intellect.
Facets of poised thinking clamoring for muttered opportunity.
Thoughts that dive deeper than the rest.
Jarring offenses towards monotonous cadence and mundane philosophy.
Experiencing vibrant views that splash our horizon with a syndicate of wild and genuine intricacies.
Boisterous pastel fitted upon rugged blank canvas plateaus.
Common dialogue rarely entertains.
Weathered whispers, vulnerable vocabulary, deep discussion dynamically outspoken.
Such things pique the abrasive longing of our dialectical thirst.
Misunderstood is an epidemic and trying to understand requires lengthy walks along the longest of channels.
Knowledgeable vagrants wandering in the wilderness of enticement.
Searching for gaudy and lyrical ways to live life in tune to the auspicious and jubilant path between the mind and the heart.
Ancient souls that explode with emotion, bursting forth into a ricochet of manic allure and gloomy melancholia.
Teeming with the ravishing curious attitude, reluctantly breathing the same air yet transposing each breath into a gale of clandestine imagination, constantly quivering due to excitement kept within a frame.
Molds that are deemed to be broken, being shaped by irregular contours found in the dim lit corners of the fallacies perceived as connotations of truthful regard.
Dust that never settles, requiring extra attentiveness to surroundings beyond, deserting all order for originality, committing to abolish the whirlwind that succumbs and entices the frail and the empty.
Introspective idealists, living in between here and there, solace-driven beings constantly challenging their growth with audacity, experiencing the ramifications of striving for a curated charisma that siphons the residual corruption found deep within.
This is a populace that is rich with ingenuity, Huddled together into interwoven cradles of fire, booming to the sound of the storm.
Sounding the gong, waves of euphonic perplexity being soothed by the direct portrayal of calming stillness.
An oration of rest bellowed as a remedy to the aching persona.
We are the silent fighters who battle within.
Sharpening the wretched parts of us into wholly entombed forgetfulness, remembering dreary sunrises that captivated our gilded spirits.
Rejuvenation achieved through trial, singed by the mental apocalyptic fervor, diverging from the norm.
Make no mistake, we are not lost.
We are just found in alternate perceptions than the common integrate

The child I lost

Tragedy instigating the misery that eviscerated a connection.
Like falling in a wrong direction, without a sense of navigation, devoid of discretion.
Evolving into a perplexing situation.

The same room became a fugue of a spiraling doom,
Silence filled the space where time could not erase, the fact that there now a literal space, loss makes tumors out of tulips, with a bottle to catch misplaced tears, just in case.

Control lost it’s cadence as it spun so wild, hollow child,
Free to dwell in light abundant, day one, reconciled.

As the weight dropped down, fell without a sound.
Tumbling upwards, held by no bound.
Arriving on Holy Ground, no death be found.

As shadows fight, grasping for cradle.
None can touch, what Hades cannot handle.

Janky Odd.

Boldly awkward, I can be.
As much of my prominence lays in the head, less so my mouth.

I’ve always been more of a writer than a talker.
I don’t talk really great, but writing I do.
The separation between the two, like a vast chasm with no bridged point.

Most of my recent moments, fraught with feeling outcast but also intuitively seeing similarities between individuals, as if being common brought sanity to all.

Commonality in high composure and astute speech.
From the outside, it’s all there, but inside, hardly think it’s anywhere at all.
You can see it in the eyes, the solemn bravado lay waste in pupils and irises.
Gazes aren’t straight, words are quick, witted and wispy.

All waiting for a turn to speak, rather than listen to the speaking.
For in that specific silence, most will meet the subjugation of innermost traumas.
Has a whole world gone mad, on insolence or veiled reasonings..
Aside from the chatter.

When a mind breaks open, to all the fragrant possibilities,
It is those who remain shut, who wield the torch and pitchfork.
Consistently spinning the same gear against the same mechanism that brought forth a hollow sound that rang in all ears.
But never stopped ringing..

Every thought I speak,
Met with dismissal or wandering murmurs..
A fish born on land, a wasp making nest in the sea.
Such a tragedy, like a ghost wafting in the air,
So I am

More

I shouldn’t have to beg for affection.

I love you but I wish you were different.

You don’t show emotion like I need from a partner.

Do you know how exhausting it is to have enough love for the both of us?

I give you my everything, but have nothing left over for myself.

You never fill my cup but yours is overflowing- wincing as I watch you lick your greedy lips; drenched in the sweetness I poured into you.

The same sweetness I will NEVER taste in return.

I’m always left with the bitter taste of the rind as you squeeze out the last of me down your insatiable throat.

When is it my turn?

When will my fucking cup runneth over?

Why can no one give me the love I fucking deserve.

” You just have to learn to love yourself”

I’m tired of being the only fucking person who does.

Two years with you; I saw fatherhood glisten in your eyes. But those are the same eyes that give me a blank stare when I say “MORE”.

Give me just a fucking morsal of love and attention.

I am so famished and starved for affection that doesn’t follow up with your hand on the back of my head.

Why can’t you just love me like you mean it?

What if I gave it back to you?

What if I treated you the way you treat me?

You would instantly know something was wrong.

“She didn’t call me handsome today. She didn’t cover my face in kisses. Why didn’t she say anything about my haircut?”

You would lose your goddamn mind.

But I can’t.

And you know I can’t.

My heart is so full with this stupid fucking love that you don’t deserve. I wish I could turn it off.

Just so you could hurt like I hurt.

And it makes me fucking sick that I can’t stop loving you.

Even when we fight, I wipe my tears just enough to see if you read my text.

My breathing is labored and I’m screaming into my pillow just thinking about you thinking about ending things.

But when I push you away ; and you hold me closer.

I can breathe.

That small moment when you think I’m really leaving this time, you hold onto me and love me and kiss me and feed me until I’m full with promises and soft whispers from your lying lips.

Only then do I feel needed.

Only then do I feel like I don’t need to beg you to love me.

Then

We are born into a world naked
Becoming someone after the warm wet voyage from nowhere
Into the light and the noise of
a new world of wonder and mystery
A world without form or sense
With a mind searching for order and comfort
And then, and then: if all is as it should be
We find order in the eyes of our creator
And comfort at her breast

Winter’s End Blossoming

Meadows are like frameless paintings sprawling nude and thousands of tulips blossoming. Yellow and red cups crowning chlorophyll and figments. A trillion cells sistering, and I won’t shred a field of grain, but I will mill it, cast salt for blooming crusts. Gutting a bolted door is like hiring a plumber and millions of glimmers brothering. Silver and golden drops dredging tar and rule books. A billion fires clotting, and I won’t tread on the ocean, but I will steal it, dry seaweed for kindling. Sometimes, fence posts grow limbs into the ground and arms, sky-bound. The wind moors a swing, and we sway.
Violets frosting over in January
Violets in January

Retribution

If there is a god,

when I die

he will have to beg for my forgiveness.

I will rip him from his throne,

and show him what it means to be afraid.

He will fall to his knees

and pray for my mercy.

He will confess his sins,

and I will not absolve him.

He will learn it is too late to repent.

 

If he dares act altruistic 

when we meet,

he will learn I do not forget so easily.

I will drag him through the pains of Earth,

and show him what it means to grieve.

He will plead with me to end it,

and wonder what he did so wrong.

He will cry to me for answers

and I will not give him one.

Just so he knows how it feels

to be Human.

congaree haiku

      congaree haiku

 

moonlight, spanish moss

jarfly buzz their dying song

congaree river

 

saw mill, working late 

foreman there decapitates

his wife’s rich lover

 

reckoning tonight

on the congaree river

yes a reckoning

 

body parts been found

foreman’s wife tells all downtown

reckoning tonight

 

lawman in those parts

nick named “number one bird dog”

Tom Byrd gets his man

 

tonight we will see

if the birddog is for real

foreman waits, shotgun

 

reckoning tonight

on the congaree river

yes a reckoning

 

body parts been found

foreman’s wife tells all downtown

reckoning tonight

 

sneaking up, Byrd smiles

got the drop on this foreman

then from behind, “click”

 

reckoning tonight

on the congaree river

yes a reckoning 

 

then three shots ring out

bodies crash into the floor

bodies in a pile

 

guns strewn cross the floor

blood and brain on ceiling tiles

yes, a reckoning

 

the foreman lays dead

his wife has blown off his head

wife dead too, Byrd true

 

what of sherff bird dog

did old bird dog get a pass

no no no no no

 

“number one bird dog”

took a load of number one 

buckshot up his…

snout

 

Light It Up Santa

Light It Up Santa

 

Verse 1

It tickles me to see

The kids marching down the street

Mouth and eyes open wide

Heading to the lighting of the Christmas tree

 

Verse 2

And when the brass band plays

Santa glides in on his sleigh

And when that fine fellow flips the switch

The kids all cheer and say

 

Chorus

 

Light it up, Santa

Won’t you light it up, Santa Claus

We won’t stop making jolly

Till all the girl’s hair is filled with sprigs of holly

 

Light it up, Dear Santa

Won’t you light it up, Santa Claus

Ain’t no rockin’ round this tree

Till you flip that E-LEC-TRIC-ITY

 

Verse 3 

Yes, it’s true, the youngest hearts

May find an easy spark

Of Christmas cheer and spirit

When the pine tree lighting starts

 

Verse 4

But oldsters, don’t you fret

You’ ll find your own joy, yet

When you hear the kids fa-la-la’n

You’ll cheer right along and say

 

Chorus

Light it up, Santa

Won’t you light it up Santa Claus

We won’t stop making jolly

Till all the girl’s hair is filled with sprigs of holly

 

Light it up, Dear Santa

Won’t you light it up, Santa Claus

Ain’t no rockin round this tree

Till you flip that E-LEC-TRIC-I-TY

 

The Wild Swans at Coole by W.B. Yeats

The trees are in their autumn beauty,	 
The woodland paths are dry,	 
Under the October twilight the water	 
Mirrors a still sky;	 
Upon the brimming water among the stones	         
Are nine and fifty swans.	 
  
The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me	 
Since I first made my count;	 
I saw, before I had well finished,	 
All suddenly mount	  
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings	 
Upon their clamorous wings.	 
  
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,	 
And now my heart is sore.	 
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,	  
The first time on this shore,	 
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,	 
Trod with a lighter tread.	 
  
Unwearied still, lover by lover,	 
They paddle in the cold,	  
Companionable streams or climb the air;	 
Their hearts have not grown old;	 
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,	 
Attend upon them still.	 
  
But now they drift on the still water	  
Mysterious, beautiful;	 
Among what rushes will they build,	 
By what lake's edge or pool	 
Delight men's eyes, when I awake some day	 
To find they have flown away?

This poem is in the public domain

The darkness

he darkness that has caused so much aggravation

Has never felt so clear

I look in the mirror and see nothing but abomination

The time is near

All I seek is acclamation

But what I see in those eyes is nothing but fear

The darkness is closing in as my mind shifts

These emotions I feel come and go

It’s like a roller coaster that seem to drift

I fly up above as you see below

It has now caused a rift

All I want in life are things that are aglow

The darkness has swallowed me whole

When will my time come to an end

Take my feelings and console

The angels have heard me and have ascend

Come high above as it’s out of my control

It’s time to contend

Now that the darkness is in full cycle

And the angels are near

My emotions have become an aberration

I can’t see past this fear

My mind is acidification

It’s nothing more than austere

The time has come that the darkness has lifted

Angels come to take me out of this misery

Those clouds have shifted

As my mind is not so blurry

Thank god for the angels that have gifted

Time has settled its now been a century

 

Poetry Submission Call

We are looking for submission for the summer issues of the Poetry Cooperative Magazine. The topic is UNITY. Please send us up to three poems, preferably no longer than two pages, in any form or style. Let’s celebrate what binds us all together.

Email to submissions@poetrycooperative.org, Our submission window is open until the end of July.

Thoughts

Subtle as a feather

Yet, profound as the sea

Oh, how I long to submerge in it

As quietly as it seems.

Visions in all colors

Such resplendent lights

Although, a sudden shadow

That casts out its light.

Like a dream, it appears

But sometimes a nightmare it seems

Lost in deep thought as I blend in

Yet outside, still a mystery to me.

one of the thoughts

One of seven billion plus, no?       Perhaps this is not so any longer

can it be?     After this last year?       2020,  20/20?

Eyes wide open

what did we see?

So much death.       So much     so many in place of decision

even now thru decision           and not making decision adding to the incredible numbers of deaths.                               Numbers hard to encompass their reality. Still in the context of our supposed numbers overall,

the question necessarily surfaces

within at least this mind always attempting seeing clearly,

what impact pandemics’ happenstance(?) on world population?

It, for those concerned for us of the future resources available and to so many, central to their calculation.             Necessarily true, then to a mind of this kind comes question of pandemic                                         and even possibly vaccine in some other fashions’                      part in providing solution to this question. The capitalist, governmental mind                                                    from my study clearly historically able

to see the positive side

to all the common man

finds horrific.

 

There is to the finally coming to clearsighted awareness

thru, for some, individual significant persons and intimate situation

and for others clear understanding of the history

of mankinds’ relation to itself,

that the retreat into the depths of themselves

sure of their inability to be a self

reflective

or one protective enough

has its reason.

Not biochemical misfirings of different component parts of the brain

and/or

inabilty to control emotion.

 

Can’t find it conspiratorial fantasy

to recognize in supposed coincidence

and lifes’ just being life,        the continuing

over especially the last 20 years

occurrences that have as part of their every happening

the profiting of those occupying

the upper tiers

of the pyramid                                      that is humanity.               Or find it mental illness,

the truth

of sight

of those occupyings’

willingness to do those things of profit to them

and horrific

to the minds of those unable to accept it as human.

 

 

Seems to be no thought given                  to the sensitivities of those empathetic to the suffering of others

as reason

for the manifestations of differences in behavior

defined as mental illness.                                          In too many personal lives thru to what’s there to be seen on the world stage,

mans’ understanding of himself as predator.

So many of the educated

sure of mans’ animalistic beginnings

seemingly ignorant

of the possible, probable inner worlds

of those

recognizing themselves

as prey.

Words

Like a new leaf in spring turning over the tide

I learnt my first words barely a cry

But as I grew up, so did my words,

They bloomed like the flowers, giving me life.

Then came the summer, where my words grew afresh,

I was eager to face a challenge and even lost some bets,

Never gave up did I, to fight for my way,

My words gave me strength and the courage to be brave.

Autumn came by in a dazzle of gold and red

And thus my heart began to beat in blushes of red

Your sweet words gave me hope and lightened my life

Eager to be with you, I gave you my word for you to be mine.

Years later, on a bleak wintery night,

My words came out cold and uttered a cry

Your words were a whip that lashed me out

Words never to be forgotten and kept me out of your sight.

Funny as it seems, how these words shaped my life

I learned to be strong and carried on my light.

 

home, in time

stepped out of time as the day to day

and stand in the moment continuing, that one, mine, behind time

where I am just…, and contemplate life surrounding, coalesced, and am amazed, despite the darkness

part of the journey

made up of my ignorance of knowing how and fear of being, that I live, loved, and home means peace

I stand there, that self I am always, since…, behind, knowing I am not times’, time, somehow having made it’s way to reflecting my always’ need

 

she rises to go inside and Spike he follows, I tell her, “I’m coming”, and am thankful continuing to Him for the one allowing my always

a home, in time

and I close the door, behind me

The Poetry Cooperative Interview Series

To educate and inspire, we speak to poets who stand out in today’s competitive poetry market.

Any budding poet who wants to go from writing poetry as a past-time to seeing his/her poems in literary publications wants to know what it takes to get published. Most poets receive countless rejections before finally seeing their work recognized and printed by renowned magazines or websites. In the Poetry Cooperative Interview Series, we speak to award-winning, well-known poets to find out just exactly what makes a publishable poem.

With this series, we hope to inspire and encourage our members and anyone who’s trying to get published. All our guest are honourary Poetry Cooperative members. With each interview, they each get a dedicated page on our website.

We’re proud to announce that prize-winning UK poet Jenny Mitchell was the first to make time to answer our questions. Watch out for the first edition of the Poetry Cooperative Interview Series here next week.

I found you Again

 

The long awaited morning has come .
It has come to pass.
I have seen you again.
My dead dread has resurrected
And moved to the seventh heaven,
My tears have ended.
I know I will no longer go tired
Wiping the over flowing tears
From my tiny spherical eyes.
My visage is happy to cry happily.

The long awaited afternoon has come
It has come to pass.
I have seen you again.
I have come out of
The coffin of loneliness
And death will never again
Storm my demanding heart
My friends are good
And indeed very good
But you are best and excellent
Please, my lost one
Clap hands for yourself.

The long awaited e evening has come
It has come to pass
I have seen you again
The dimpled piggy cheeks,
The shiny well created eyes,
The gorgeous happy face-
A face never gloomy and sad.
The warm gifted bosom,
The soft palms of your arms,
And the succulent lips.
I will kiss again
Because you’re the chosen Mary
Among the virgins.
You are homely welcome
And the rest I don’t know.

…………EMMA CHIPUKIZI…….
0787050916-0750122685
THE NABENDE WRITING FAMILY
“Education made our eyes sprout”
Email:thenabendewritingfamily@gmail.com
UGANDA CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY

 

Continue reading “I found you Again”

will you then

when comes the mistaken taking of life/Christian one/believing man/that one who’s right as far as you’re concerned/when comes the mistaken taking of life/led, step by step/for reason/all to do now/the asking of forgiveness…/       of the Father…/will you then/…will you then/ decide on His understanding/of love the other/     as yourself

After The Trapping

In the dead of night the little Goths come out-
their startlingly masked, chiaroscuro visage
with fluorescent yellow disc eyes when light finds them,
shining like luciferin and luciferase reacting in the firefly-
and their cautious, staccato, and slinking movements
obvious against the freshly painted white picket fence,
like splashed gentian violet on a wedding dress.

In wistful November
these few straggler raccoons, huge,
come out,
in preparation for their seasonal sleep.

One enters the garden through
the square framed hole we cut for
all God’s creatures through the fence-
tabby, tuxedo, and calico kittens, ‘coon kits,
an opossum jill and her joeys, garden snakes,
squirrels, railroad-line field mice,
Mourning and Rock Doves.
He barely pulls himself though,
then arches high and stretches into his fullness,
looking like a small bear,
before he cases the yard,
before he plans his zigzag, concrete and dirt-sniffing
approach to the freshly filled plates and bowls.

This humongous, ticked raccoon
finds Sassie, a one-eyed tortoise shell cat,
left behind by a moving family
and forever having kittens,
already at the plates;
they eat in peace,
while a shy, grey-faced opossum jack
darts under an elevated outdoor fire pit-
too many critters to feel safe-
until all is quiet again.

Who blessed me with the care and
companionship of these creatures?
My little burghal, backyard zoo.

Bellied Sassie saunters slowly to the right,
to her between-houses escape route,
the masked ‘coon face keeps
checking me for friendliness,
then pins the plate with his wide, star-fish paw,
to get the outer halo of pate on the plate,
while his mate peeks her curious head
out of the fence hole, to watch
these nocturnal goings-on,
or, more accurately,
to fill those autumnal pangs in her belly.

He stares me down, grabs the Oreo I left,
then treads along the cement line to the fence,
makes a short stop to sniff
the calico cat’s grave stone,
takes a step up upon it,
then tries to heave his
exploding November girth
through the fence hole,
this foray for food coming to a close.

Small yellow leaves pepper the place-
I tediously pick them out of the food
every day this time of year-
the rows of wind-gathered, golden confetti
following the lines of concrete squares,
with gentle curves framing
the feeding and lounging areas,
and the goodness of God in the still night air.

Fenna Thomas

On The Transformation Of The Forgetable Ms. Applesauce

I mean, this stuff happens in the deep,
deep homesteading Midwest,
where 10 year old sons routinely
work butcher knives, prepping
pumpkin squash, ham hocks,
for eating or freezing.
I’ve seen pictures of them unshod
in barns smiling,
no safeties on anything.

Once there were Chestnut trees
foresting the American East Coast.
But that Japanese Parasite killed them.
The people of Appalachia
got an economic kick in the nuts,
and the foraging fauna felt it, too.

Johhny Appleseed,
horticulturalist minister
and sleeper in corn cribs,
would put Quakers and hip-hop fashionista
both in their place
with his saucepan cap-turned-backwards.
He traipsed around like that,
then cooked meals in his hat.
No one thought much about it,
or that he might be a nut case.

On the Savannah, Ohio lawn of Amy Sheaffer,
the last, extant, gnarled and knotted
original Appleseed tree still grows
just outside her kitchen door.
It still rains apples. When fall comes,
it just rains apples.

So the kids get tricked-
she makes her applesauce
with star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks,
and vanilla from Madagascar,
a rich, thick chutney.
They imbibe in grateful near-gluttony.

Once served
in the 1920’s boardinghouse-
cheap filler-

and still is, tepid,

from US Government surplus,
over-sized jars
in public school lunchrooms.

 

 

Romanesco

Fractal vegetable-                                                                                                                                               self-similar, edible flower-
pyramidal chartreuse curds
or lime in color,
this brassica.

Wonder-inducing Fibonacci sequence,
its piquance a hit for North Brooklyn hipsters,
or still-growing, not-knowing bridesmaids
ringing thrice, even quadrice marked-up bottles
of bottom-of-the barrel Crane Lake chardonnay,
snug in ice buckets on outdoor tables.

All in masks,
They don’t mind paying for the experience.

 

I made up the word “quadrice” for this poem. I hope I don’t go to poetry or linguistics purgatory for this! The inspiration for this poem came from my getting my first box of “Misfits Market” produce delivered, and the fractal beauty of the Romanesco cauliflower inside the box blew me away.

 

 

 

 

The Cursing Stones

Ariana, adopted the old Greek ways,

when Nikos died diving for sponges.

She encased her curses into two lead stones:

smuggling one into his coffin,

dropping the other into Naxos deepest well.

She made sure Nikos soul would

carry her curse to the underworld

before it ascended to heaven,

or activated fully on the river of forgetfulness

for Death to see, read, feel her grief.

She had hired the local poet who still

remembered all the magical phrases

and could reverse the flow of words.

She wanted Death

to throw himself to the crows,

split like she was divided inside,

perish the same way Nikos drowned,

damned Death’s eyes to drunkenness

till he became a burden to the earth,

a useless sack of spoiled wine.

As she turned back and

started to look away

she heard Nikos voice echo to her.

She turned around  and  In

the mist that crawled away to the Aegean

was revealed three Cretan hounds snarling

behind the gate of the rich shipbuilder’s house.

The sea, the earth the sky collapsed in her.

The sound of tides, the swirling dust, the rain were

mocking this girl who knew only ordinary curses,

this widow doomed to live a long, grieving life

listening for Nikos sounds until her very end.

Pieta

Perfection can only be seen in the descent,

the glow of spotlights colliding to true whiteness,

the realization that grief touches the ground.

 

Mary, they say, you never experienced birth pains,

but the linen folded eternally beneath your son

shows that his final blessing transferred all  to you.

 

Your tears wash his feet, and I imagine,

you wiping them dry with your hair,

a doting act of love he passed to his disciples.

 

Your grief remains in your soul.

Only the pain is collected in

the last descent of angels.

 

I feel the slow bump when

the descent must hit the earth,

the slight stumble to awkward reality.

 

I wash my feet everyday to honor

the perfect glory I’ve been blessed to see.

 

Note:

This is a memory of the 1964 World’s Fair where I saw the Pieta in the descent of an escalator.  it lasted all of fifteen seconds, roughly the time it takes to read the poem.

The Red Bicycle

(In homage to William Carlos William)

 

Outside was my red bicycle

leaning against the wall

next to a red wheelbarrow

on which nothing depended on.

 

I was the kind of child who

was always daydreaming

himself to victory and today

I would win the Tour de France.

 

So the plan was to practice

beyond my own wobbling peddling,

like the unbalanced red wheelbarrow

my father pushed among the chickens.

 

I felt the heat, the flame of potential speed

where so much could happen

and depended on my straight control

in a world zooming by in flame

 

until the wind was red wings,

only my own red thoughts ablaze

in the warp and the things I hated

of the world were longer in myself.

 

until I flew over the handlebars

hitting my forehead on a

sky blue Cadillac door handle,

the scar following me to the future.

 

Now I nick the tiny flames of memory,

as I push the red wheelbarrow

up the hill as if my life depended on it,

even as it always wobbles down.

Van Gogh Paints His Final Vision

 

It was the light that told Vincent,

the one which always told him the truth

reflected his soul’s desire,

the glistenings of his mind,

that this mass of  gnarled roots

would be his last vision.

 

He could feel the gun smoke

creeping into his soul,

corrupting his thoughts,

the very rays of his world,

even his beloved

hog hair brushes and pigments

 

as he walked the Rue Daubigny

pass the Church at Auvers

he needed to canvas in June

when the flint of its history,

death, faith, passion and beauty

impelled him to create,

 

pass the wheat field absent of crows

which made the world seem more

beautiful with its darkness

hovering over the light of July,

diminished now to ordinary light,

smoke, haze and fog.

 

He felt his world constricted to

a blue room with a blue bed,

a blue chair wedged in a corner

draped in blue shadows

which could not be mixed

to the perfect colors.

 

When he saw the gnarled roots

exposed in late afternoon July beams

he knew that he would not live

to see the first dawn of August,

that this would be his last

perfect beautiful, silent spot.

 

He painted smelling the gun smoke coming,

the smoke turning into a bullet

as he passionately tried to  capture

life itself frantically and fervently rooting itself,

as it were, in the earth and yet being

half torn up by the storm.