Thursday, 5 February 2015

POETRY PACIFIC (3.4): Cover Page

POETRY PACIFIC

[Winter Issue 2014]

Coverart by Allen Forrest


Editorial Notes

hello dear PP Friends,

just one important thing to note here:

beginning from our upcoming spring issue in 2015, we will change our journal from a quarterly publication to a biannual one; that is, after the spring issue, we will have an autumn issue only for the rest of every year. the launch dates for the two issues remain the same, one at 5 may; the other 5 november. the main reason is very simple - we have been running short of manpower: while allen is too busy with his school work at ubc and other pursuits to devote as much time as he wishes, changming has a deteriorating health which forces him to minimize his computer time. however, we will try to publish more poets in each issue than before.

in this issue, we are honoured to feature 2 visual artists and 54 poetry writers.

many thanks for your continuing interest, and happy reading!

with all very best from vancouver for a great new year of the goat,

-PP editorial team

Cover Art by Allen Forrest

Artist Statement 

Painting is a cross between a crap shoot, finding your way out of the woods, and performing a magic act. Each time I begin to paint I feel like I am walking a tightrope—sometimes scary, sometimes exciting, sometimes very quiet, and always, always surprising; leading me where I never expected to go. Doing art art makes me lose all sense of time and place and go inside one long moment of creating. Whenever I feel a painting in my gut, I know this is why I paint. The colors are the message, I feel them before my mind has a chance to get involved. Color is the most agile and dynamic medium to create joy. And if you can find joy in your art, then you’ve found something worth holding on to.

Art website: http://allen-forrest.fineartamerica.com/
Twitter account: https://twitter.com/artgrafiken
Porfolio: published works http://www.art-grafiken.blogspot.ca/
Train, San Jose, CA, oil on canvas panel, 12” x 16”, 2014
Wilhelm Reich, Father and Son
ink, 12” x 9”, 2013


Bionote 

Born in Canada and bred in the U.S., Allen Forrest works in many mediums: oil painting, computer graphics, theater, digital music, film, and video. Allen studied acting at Columbia Pictures in Los Angeles, digital media in art and design at Bellevue College, receiving degrees in Web Multimedia Authoring and Digital Video Production.

Forrest has created cover art and illustrations for literary publications: New Plains Review, Pilgrimage Press, The MacGuffin, Blotterature, and Under the Gum Tree. His paintings have been commissioned and are on display in the Bellevue College Foundation's permanent art collection. Forrest's expressive drawing and painting style is a mix of avant-garde expressionism and postImpressionist elements reminiscent of van Gogh creating emotion on canvas.

5 Poems by Jami Macarty

Same Season

The sower's hand empty: no birdsong.

Watching for the cardinal: I wait
as long as I wait
for you to change.

The slick blackbirds
stretched above the sun
land atop the tallest pine: too far
to see the blue in their feathers.

  Originally published in Golden Handcuffs Review


Dedication to Subtraction


                                                To being taken
                                                and being taken from


To be an integer

a thorn-snagged
single strand of hair
                       
wavering in the mathematics
                                                of your withdrawal


Take one person from another
                                                then subtract the one remaining

take the person
                        remaining
                                                subtract desert from desert

 Originally published in Volt

Music 5:30                          

Horns open limbs of dusk
Chimed & herbal wind, palo verde wind

March birds catch & thrash
Flick & scratch
                       
Chords of Monday's strobe
            Airplane’s late-shadow, quick-shadow, sun
                                   
Light scales crevice & spine
To know again your hands

Cellular quail peck the concrete slab
            Desert cilia erect in a brief roughness
                                   
Your name
            A thorn in my mouth

Originally published in The Café Review


Slow With Substance

The world was full and still filling.

Desert piled soft.

I imagined loving him. He was otherwise to himself.

He scrolled up and down the glass dunes, breaking the ridges.

He wore green half-sleeves and rolled white pants.

He fell down the wind.

To be as dunes, slow with substance—

How he set himself spinning, one foot on a billion grains of sand.

I wanted to be changed and cured by what I saw—

 Originally published in The Instanbul Literary Review


Reverse of Shadow


Why are we not in the dark     the secret room     learning how to be tender

Music plays whether we dance     or not

Whether a light is on     or off

Do you know when to turn your back on those things you trust

Shade is not meant to hide     but to illuminate the other
                                                                                                               
As soon as we talked about what was not there     the passion of it    arrived

Brave light     reverse of shadow

I cannot say who you are     without saying     who I am

More than anything     let us lower our words

Let us get down on our knees     & not ask


Originally published in Interim


  Bionote

Jami Macarty is a recipient of a 2014 BC Arts Council project assistance for creative writers grant and an Arizona Commission on the Arts poetry fellowship. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Canadian and American journals, including Arc Poetry Magazine, Contemporary Verse 2, Grain, Grist, Quiddity, Beloit Poetry Journal, Verse Daily, Cimarron Review, Volt,Drunken Boat, The Fiddlehead, and Interrupture. Her first manuscript, You Is to Door, has been a finalist with Persea Books, Kore Press, and Carolina Wren Press. She earned an MFA from the University of Arizona and teaches creative writing at Simon Fraser University.

2 Poems by Bruce McRae

Old Friend 

There’s an old friend lost in the briar patch.

There’s an old friend desecrating a lawn.
He’s borrowing money from the Jesuits,
and, I think, has no intention of paying them back.
His last dinner was a windfall salad.
Recent days are a furnace choking with cold ashes.
I believe he’s locked himself in the sauna.

There’s an old friend speed-dialing his telephone
and demanding fullest retribution.
He’s wearing his father’s face and mother’s expressions.
His byline hasn’t gone viral, but his eyes glow red.
There’s a faltering breath wriggling under his jacket.

“Old friend!” you call across the room to him,
but he refuses to reply, to acknowledge you whatsoever,
later insisting he no longer has any answers,
and, hell, what was the question anyhow;
besides ‘why are we?’

Your old friend looks older, friendlier,
weary from bearing lifelong witness,
from the ‘countering of modern tyrannies’,
worn out with longing, with existentialism,
with the mire of aging.

Now both half blind, you stop and sit next to him,
sharing a few welcomed laughs,
exchanging comfortable silences.
You’re in the eye of life’s hurricane.
Somewhere, time is storming over the barricades,
while you and your old friend bask in morning sunlight.
It’s only then you hear the Earth listening.


A Bit About People 

People are what Death dreams of.

People are God’s throw-up.
We’re the greatest of apes; just ask us.
We’re like plucked chickens,
our dress sense a necessary afterthought.
We make our pets nervous.
Birds won’t come near us.
The bees envy our industry and guile.
Tigers think we’re like dinner.

People are fidgety and finicky
and choose to create their own troubles,
Satan an example of our invention.
An evolutionary blunder and wonder,
our minds are attempting to blackmail us.
It’s either too hot or too cold,
which makes people unpredictable,
which makes us highly dangerous.

We’re on the telephone for hours.
We’re pulling into the driveway, drunk.
When not anointing ourselves we’re salting the earth.
The phrase ‘own worst enemy’ comes to mind.
“People are like works of art
hung in the museum of the interstellar void.” –
we say things like that,
when we’re not playing with our fingers,
with all those bright and pretty buttons,
when we’re not making loud noises.

People possess the ability to fear, to plan, to worry.
Fortunately, we enjoy our own company.
We get together and burn things
or have them explode into colours.
What people think to label ‘supernatural’
is that which lies beyond our senses.
We’ll complain “I don’t understand,”
but we’re not meant to understand.
No one’s been asking us for our opinions.
Nobody’s looking.

Bionote

Pushcart-nominee Bruce McRae is a Canadian musician with over 800 publications, including Poetry.com and The North American Review. His first book, ‘The So-Called Sonnets’ is available from the Silenced Press website or via Amazon books. To hear his music and view more poems visit his website: www.bpmcrae.com , or ‘TheBruceMcRaeChannel’ on Youtube.

3 Poems by John Szabo

Particles of Me

Blake discovered the world in a grain of sand,
and I am now among those grains,
tossed from a blossoming, pale sweaty, soft palm
into the darkening surf;
my last wishes.

I am dissolved within
the seaweed and misty, salty air,
deep within a child’s sand castle
slowly eroded by the high tide;
particles of me mixed with coconut oil
rubbed into the brown skin of a Brazilian beauty,
more of me still at the bottom of a
black Labrador’s  joyous day of digging.

Particles of me
follow the rhythm of the tides,
taking me on a journey
into the deep green and blue ocean currents
leaving behind the beach of my youth;
hoisted high a top my father’s shoulders
before being catapulted into the oncoming waves,
time after time,
until my fear turns into giddy anticipation.


Monarchs of my Youth

She climbs effortlessly,
soaring against a stiff unpredictable wind,
her curved noble yellow beak
cutting through the dry, hot air,
higher and impossibly higher still.

Splayed against her back,
I dig my hands deep within her warmth;
soft feathers,  beating heart,
smooth, thin bones.

She carries me away
from all that is the
heaviness of life.

In her prime a messenger
for Apollo, Hermes, Mercury and Circe,
her green eyes of emerald scan below.

Where once there were hills of wild chaparral,
canyons of lavender,
golden poppies and milkweed,
beautiful stained-glass Monarchs of my summer youth,
mice, jackrabbits, coyotes and deer;
reduced to road kill,
endless suburbia;
a foreclosed wasteland.

I hope we not meet the same fate as Icarus,
but wings of wax these are not.
She rises  ever higher still against a warm updraft,
my head buried deep within a plumage of my childhood:
nautical theme wall paper,
Farrah Fawcett ,
plastic green army men ready for battle.

I could do worse than disappear
into the down feather pillow of my youth;
never to return.


Big Green Moon In North Laguna

Dodging shiny tank-sized SUV’s
and their texting, latte-sipping,
GPS-distracted, cell-phone chatting
high on prescription drug driving,
foie gras arterie clogged
utterly miserable, corporate
pencil pushes and peons,
of which I was once one,
I maneuver across a highway of road kill,
through wooden skeletons
of track housing,
under rusted, barbed wire
that once kept back the cattle,
but now just cut through my jeans.

I continue through cool chaparral
foggy ravines with cottontails
frozen like statues,
black stink bugs,
vines with dried hollow gourds;
once drinking cups for Indians,
the bones of whom lay far beneath
this Pelican Hill Golf Resort,
too green and manicured,
from which fertilizers seep down,
eroding sand cliffs,
poisoning the tide pools below.

I breathe in deeply;
earth peppermint coolness,
salty sea mist,
and dance along the cliff,
arms spread wide like a
yellow-beaked, red-clawed hawk,
over a narrow, rocky beach
vast darkness of ocean
and beyond that;
a big green Laguna moon,
I can almost touch.


Bionote

John Szabo's poems have appeared in POETRY and other journals. Szabo resides in Newport Beach, CA. www.johnszabostories.com

2 Poems by Charlie Baylis

Red and black

The black candle burns
The red candle stands
Alone

The black candle is tall
The red candle stands
Alone              

The red candle is small
The black candle stands
Alone

The red candle burns
The black candle stands
Alone


The blues from down here
rl idst

These are the granite walls of my asylum
Lavender leaves shaken by the light
And tremors underneath the surface
Each morning I lower my body under diamond
Each morning I lower my mind into the dawn’s flooding

Amber, to stare into shapes where I’m a silhouette

Stood in striped pyjamas. Mickey Mouse

Jumps off the radio. Dear Robert, the world is up for me

Inch by inch the green wings of my parakeet settle

My foot fall shuffles through the garage

A star twinkles across a line across the garden          
My dear friends, I have stumbled so far from sight
Quite where I’ve gone, I cannot see.


Bionote

Charlie Baylis lives and works in Nottingham, England. He reviews poetry for Stride. His own writing has appeared most recently in Litro, Boston Poetry and Agave. He spends his spare time completely adrift of reality and tumbles, sporadically, here: theimportanceofbeingaloof.tumblr.com.

5 Poems by Chip Dameron

Drifting down the Yangtze River

Last night as we passed the lights
of houseboats docked along the bank,

the way dark as a carp's gullet
and humming with cold harmonies,

I looked hard for Li Bai and his lantern
floating mid-river, waiting for the moon

to emerge from the clouds, waiting
for me to climb aboard with a bottle

of jiu so we could tell each other
poems in our disparate tongues, laughs

bouncing off the rumpled hillsides
and waking up the authorities,

those tiresome scolds who have forgotten
the night songs their parents once sang.


Shades of Shangri-La

Sun-bronzed pilgrims, babies strapped
to backs, circle the Jokhang Temple
in murmuring prayer, counterclockwise.

Han soldiers stroll by, no longer curious,
pale and officially unphotographable,
rifles reflecting a stark blue sky.

Somewhere far beyond the fabled peaks,
between daily prayers, an anointed one,
recalling his lost youth, tells stories

to an auditorium of sympathizers,
keen to lean into his measured meanings,
quick to share their sorrowed hopes,

while quiet men in closed rooms
sift email for fragrances of stubborn dust.


Two Views at the Wall

Stone and brick, blood and chi:
Chang Cheng snakes along

the green peaks on its slow
journey across another century,

shedding its film of memory
as tourists try to digitize what

eluded a string of emperors
and their Mongol predators,

shimmering in the morning sun,
audacious and untranslatable.

Below one tower, a young bride
and her swirling silken train

pose for a slew of photographs,
the groom an alabaster accessory.


Four Gentlemen: A Meditation

Against a field of snow, plum blossoms
strike to the heart of hope: red petals
warm the hour, warm the waning day.

Make your way down the mountain
as fragile orchids float toward
the lake, a wild white fragrance.

Here you can find stout stands
of bamboo, green against green,
absorbing the sun's ample fierceness.

First frost beheads pretenders.
These chrysanthemums tell another story,
the cold persistence of desire.

Let the voices of these scrolls
turn time into branches of being.


In Terracotta Dreamland

​The story goes that seven farmers dug
for well water and struck gold,
pieces of the fabled first empire.

Today the site, covered and partly
excavated, holds eight thousand men
and battle horses, petrified in clay.

Each is dignified, uniquely distinctive.
Faces like those of the ghostly men
who fashioned them, who set ranks

in motion and died violently here,
the secret of Emperor Qin's immortal
entourage buried alongside him.

In the crowded gift shop, an old farmer
signs souvenir books, fends off photographs.


Bionote

Chip Dameron has published five collections of poetry, as well as numerous individual poems in literary magazines, most recently in San Pedro River Review and Bohemia in the U.S. and Boyne Berries in Ireland. He lives in Texas but has traveled extensively in Europe and China.

2 Poems by Juleus Ghunta

Our Own Revolution 

“If they don’t allow us to dream, we will not allow them to sleep.” 
Popular slogan of the Egyptian Revolution 

We dare not devolve our duties 
to the dissidents in Tahrir Square. 

We note the broken ribs, teargas, 
blood curdling in cracks 
beneath dark roofs of ashen cities; 
hymns that keep dead limbs moving. 

We honour Egypt with our own revolution. 

Our screams excoriate hands of greed; 
skeletons release our sacred dreams. 


The Blue Chair 

The truth is, there’s no monopoly 
on freedom, nor the making of heroes, 
nor dreams. 

SASO sang songs of liberation 
deep into ’76 nights, 
causing Apartheid’s wings 
to flutter in Soweto streets, 
crippled by young dissidents. 

I know 
that the blue chair 
in the final passage 
at the western end of the library 
where adjacent shelves glow 
with the Mandelas, Bikos and Sisulus 
shall be your seat of salvation 
if you so desire. 

Bionote

Juleus Ghunta, who calls himself a Dreamrighter, is the creator of the D.R.E.A.M.R.I.G.H.T acrostic. He was born in Hanover, Jamaica and was educated at the University of the West Indies, Mona, graduating in 2010 with a degree in Media and Communications and History.

In 2013, Juleus received the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award for Excellence for his work as a youth advocate. Juleus’s poems have appeared in Bim (Barbados), and Bookends, the literary supplement of Jamaica’s Sunday Observer. His first collection (The Blue Chair) will be published in 2014 by Hansib Publications. 


1 Poem by Shobhana Kumar

fall

the last straw
almost, always
picks its time to fall:
an innocuous, seemingly ordinary one,
the silent second after
the cacophony,
a cat on the wall moment,
a casual conversation,
sometimes, even tepid lust.

mine picked all.

how many more
will i bear
before i break?

perhaps the straws will tire
and pick another back?


Bionote

Shobhana Kumar’s first volume of poetry, ‘The Voices Never Stop,’ was published by Writers Workshop, Calcutta in 2012. Her work is featured in ‘The Dance of the Peacock—An Anthology of English Poetry from India’ edited by Dr. Vivekanand Jha and appears as a chapbook, 'it's winter after spring' by Origami Poems Project.  Her work has also appeared in  several  journals including Journal of the Poetry Society of India, The Brown Critique, The Literary Yard, Writers Asylum, Pyrokinection, Muse India and Kritya Journal of Poetry. She has authored four books of non-fiction. Her short stories are featured in New Asian Writing and will be part of the 2013 anthology. Her second volume of poetry, '*Conditions Apply'  will be published by Writers Workshop in 2014.

3 Poems by Sam Smith

Survival manual finishes [p]age 70

If nakedness is not truth,
if barefaces do not tell all,
if learning is a hindrance
and ignorance bliss, then

the quantum paradox required
for gaseous refrigeration and
the single substance of reality
will most assuredly be missed.


Sense Data

Under a winter's sky
shot with pink
a roof of clean new timber
and a field corner flock of sheep,
forefeet tucked under,
resting, if not asleep.


Intricate Wrongs, Unvaried Histories

Blood is the medium of exchange,
famous fathers to famous sons.

In unfinished temples the remainder
of us continue to seek dainties and

the paradise lurking, or so
we've been told, within our small

sad selves. Result is we spend
the whole of this life eating thistles,

grinding axes and shutting our ears
to the famous sons of famous fathers.


Bionote

Sam Smith is editor of The Journal (once 'of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry'), publisher of Original Plus books, and is the current poetry editor of BeWrite Books.  At the moment living in Maryport, Cumbria, UK, he has several poetry collections and novels to his name. (see website http://thesamsmith.webs.com/)

2 Poems by Dennis Herrell

Fall

Trees are falling asleep into dormancy
as they make a dry-curled retreat
shedding their life-look and greenery
letting the last nut fall at our feet.


I Am The Spring

My eyes are slowly turning green
with spring.
My head has now begun to lean
toward sun.
Blood is running as clean
as rain,
and every word I mean
I sing.
I am the spring.

Bionote

Dennis Herrell writes both serious and humorous poems about his life in this civilized society. (Poking fun at himself is almost a full-time job.) He especially likes to look at the small things in everyday life that make us (him) so individual and vulnerable. Recent acceptances by Atlanta Review, Aura, Aurorean, Christian Science Monitor, Confrontation, Connecticut River Review, Pearl, Poem, Poet Lore, and others.

2 Poems by Sushant Supriye

(Hindi Poems translated by the poet सुशांत सुप्रिय)

Thus Spoke the Father
                         
When I will no longer be there
I will still be there--
thus spoke the father

I will be alive in the
writings of my eldest son

I will peep out of the
paintings of my youngest daughter

I will breathe in the
self-respect of my second son

I will survive in the
steely resolve of my third son

Just as my father lives in me
and my children will live in their children
so will I be saved
in all of you
o my children--
said our father to us.
                                        ( Kaha  Pitaji ne )


Someone Else
                               
I wake up
one morning
and find out
I have turned
a stranger to myself
from every angle

My eyes seem
so unknown to me

My smile seems
someone else's

My hair has turned
unrecognizable

On my palms are etched
someone else's fate-lines

Psychologists say
It happens sometimes

That we go on living
someone else's life

That someone else
goes on living within us.

                 (  koi aur )

Bionote

Born on 28.03.1968 .  Had his school education from St. Francis school, Amritsar( Punjab) and graduation from D.A.V. College, Amritsar .Topped in G.N.D. University , Amritsar, in Pre-University, B.A. ( English) Honours, and M.A.( English ) . Also topped in University of Delhi in M.A. ( Linguistics ) . Was lecturer in English for a few years in D.A.V. College, Jalandhar. Sushant's short-stories and poems have been published in several literary magazines and national newspapers in English. He has to his credit a poetry-anthology titled " In Gandhi's Country " . His short story collection in English titled " The  Fifth Direction" is in press. Sushant is also an acclaimed writer and poet in Hindi . Has to his credit two short-story collections in Hindi titled ' Hatyare ' ( 2010) and ' He Ram ' ( 2012 ) ,  and one poetry-collection in Hindi titled ' Ek Boond Yah Bhi " ( 2014 ) .  Sushant presently works as a senior officer in a Government organisation. He lives with his wife Dr. Leena and two children Vinaayak and Aanya in Delhi ( India ) .

3 Poems by Joan McNerney

Effective Immediately

I want to become an
Ambassador for Rain!

Why the bad image?
Birds love rain.
Tweeting through
dry spells for water.
They flutter from leaf
to bud for a sip.

(It’s super creative…)
feeding tree roots, wild flowers.
Without rain…no blessed
blue lakes, rivers, streams.

Open your eyes.  Rain clings
to window panes, miniature globes
of splendor.  Listen as pitter
pattering skips over rooftops.

Consider your thirst for
liquid pleasures. Gather up
in green reverie. Dance
barefoot on this emerald earth
joining me in jubilant chorus.



Trees Can Dance

Winter trees stand...cold sculptures
against grey skies.  Naked and defiant
their limbs etched against weak light.
Black engravings stretching over heaven.

Spring begins its tiny birth covering
branches with small buds.  We constantly
search for growth, longing for green.
Birds come pecking berries filling
afternoons with their chorus.

Now comes heat and luxurious
leaves in myriad shades of green.
How many shades of green are there?
As many as there are leaves.  We
rest under the oak's comforting arbor
as familiar as an old friend.

Shape shifting now wearing
red, orange, green, yellow
foliage.  Fresh breezes spread
this splendor creating magic
carpets of many colors.
Trees welcome the harvest
swaying to their own music.



Woods

Sliding through arches
of elms sunshine
yellow and warm as honey.

Moss crawls over mudstone
while squirrels skip
around tree stumps.

Imagine to be a sea gull
in blue wind pushing
air through your wing.

After the long rain
pine trees bending
with cones.

Branches etch evening sky
turning razzle dazzle
purple red citron.

Leaves drop like butterflies
filling the floor of forest
with crunchy foliage.

See this snowy storm of
light quickly quietly
covering our moon tonight.

Long winters keep
greatcoats of frost
wrapped around our woods.


Bionote

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Camel Saloon, Blueline, Vine Leaves, Spectrum, three Bright Hills Press Anthologies and several Kind of A Hurricane Publications.  She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net. Poet and Geek judged her poem as the best for 2013.  Four of her books have been published by fine literary presses and she has three e-book titles.

She has recited her work at the National Arts Club, New York City, State University of New York, Oneonta, McNay Art Institute, San Antonio and other distinguished venues.  A recent reading was sponsored by the American Academy of Poetry.  Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky, A.P.D. Press, Albany, New York.

3 Poems by Ann Howells

Argument

How desolate the bed
inhabited
on just one side


On a Night I Cannot Sleep

inchworm and pendulum
my silk thread spins

peaches grow large as mangos
red as pomegranates

I am pink-fringed and luminous
on this night I cannot sleep

stars are pebbles, pebbles stars
my heart a wooden drum

midnight unravels
stars whirl like snowflakes

pink and gold ribbons
announce dawn

On Meeting an Old Friend
   Who Once Propositioned Your Wife

You’ve not seen him in twenty years,
and here he stands, smiling,

convivial as before. Your wife
accepts his handshake, but you

refuse to acknowledge him.
The old gorge rises.

That bastard! He came
when you were out-of-town

to seduce your wife—he
whom you thought a friend.

He inquires about your daughter,
laughs as he complains:

his child, a perennial student,
no classes that translate into a job.

Your wife nods with sympathy,
but you gather a cloak of resentment,

test its texture with clenched fingers.
You will never let it go.

Bionote

Ann Howells’s poetry has appeared in Calyx, Crannog (Ire), Little Patuxent Review, Magma (UK), Sentence and Spillway as well as other small press and university journals. She serves on the board of Dallas Poets Community, 501-c-3 non-profit; she has edited Illya’s Honey, since 1999, recently taking it from print to digital (www.IllyasHoney.com). Her chapbook, Black Crow in Flight, was published by Main Street Rag Publishing (2007). Another chapbook, the Rosebud Diaries, was published by Willet Press (2012). Her work has been read on NPR; she has been interviewed on Writers Around Annapolis television show; and she has been twice nominated for both a Pushcart and a Best of the Net.

4 Poems by Ada Fetters

Glass Percussion

I thought it was music
on a crowded street.
It was a glass bottle
rolling down the pavement.


Running From, Not To

Out of the suburbs
In a minivan
Losing his hair
He brakes for no one


Leaves

He worked on the new chapter
on the porch
in the pre-storm gloom.
Leaves skittered across the gravel drive
They sounded like applause
or footsteps
or the rasping breath of the undead.
The writer looked at the dark,
his eyes full of light
from his screen.
Then he put on his glasses.
He still saw nothing,
but now he saw it clearly.


Tightrope Artist

They rarely look at me
a lonely figure on an indifferent height
they point to the height itself
or to their thought of me falling
pale limbs scattered through the air.
As I overcome their disbelief
they point to my performance
the skill it takes to remain
balanced in a shaft of light.
When I finally fell, they looked away
from the rope-shadow slicing the ground.




2 Poems by Daniel Wilcox

Moon River

She knocked the hat off my heart
Not just because I paint in pastel and oil,
But because of the Basho splash--
Wet-sounded for life from head to foot.

[First published in Ascent Aspirations]

-------------------------

horse trailer
by curved eucalyptus leaves
that skit in the gutter

[First published in lyrical passion poetry]

Bionote

Daniel Wilcox's wandering lines have appeared in many magazines including Enhance, Word Riot, Static Movement, Write Room and Dead Snakes. Three large collections of his published poetry are in print: Dark Energy, Psalms, Yawps, and Howls, and selah river.

He also has a speculative novel, The Feeling of the Earth which was published in December 2013. All four books are available from Barnes & Noble, local bookstores, libraries, and Amazon.

Before that, he hiked through Nebraska, Cal State University Long Beach (Creative Writing), Montana, Pennsylvania, Europe, Palestine/Israel, Arizona...Now he resides with his wife on the central coast of California.

4 Poems & 3 Photos by Jennifer Lagier Fellguth

Harbingers

Strange, premature spring--blackbirds macraméd
among stark limbs of dormant elm like ebony beads.

Mornings begin with a lightshow—
peach and purple infuse drifting fog banks;
rising sun softens, a celestial blood orange.

Confused plum trees absorb false cues
from unseasonal warmth, exude pink blossoms.
Buckeyes accelerate from fall into summer.

No rain grail to save us, a cloudless horizon.
The Fisher King lingers, caught in a coma.

-------------------------------


Chiaroscuro

Mysterious morning, empty trail--
haze dissipates with sun’s rising heat.

Deformed cypress surface, then disappear.
Twisted shapes linger, float against mist.

Dog walkers navigate a narrow swath, stop
and go along a winding path leading to beach.

Flapping squadrons of cranky gulls quarrel,
occupy fractured stone, silvery driftwood.

Deceptive horizons melt like mirages;
the only constant--whispering waves.



Anticipation Moon

Mist shrouded moon gilds still cypress,
slides across blackness, floats over surf.

Tree frogs warble arias to lunar light;
cloaked owls croon from dark forest limbs.

Where dunes diminish, changing tide drums,
pounds liquid energy against glowing sand.

Fog shreds curdle celestial space, erase masts,
clanking tackle of passing fishing boats.

Constellations fade, persistent stars vanish.
Horizons blush pink as another night thins



An Exhalation of Joy

"The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it." - Jacques Yves Cousteau

Taut dolphins leap through kelp,
dive between sea lions snoozing
on stone thrones, slice silver bay.

Practical jokers, they jostle rafts
of floating otters, circle surfers
on boards as they rest between sets.

Aquatic acrobats joyfully
somersault in liquid playgrounds
just beyond where waves break.


Bionote

Jennifer Lagier has published eight books of poetry as well as in a variety of literary magazines. She taught with California Poets in the Schools and is now a retired college librarian/instructor, member of the Italian American Writers Association, Pacific Northwest Writers Association, Rockford Writers Guild, co-edits the Homestead Review and helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Visit her website at: http://jlagier.net

2 Poems by Pijush Kanti Deb

A paradise

The keen longing for a paradise,
maybe, a dream or a pet always
but the sky alone is incapable and helpless
to germinate even a tiny flower plant.
A paradise- a luminous and tumultuous garden,
full of blissful flowers and feathery singers-
exhibiting the colours and beauties of fresh life –
and singing the triumph of life as the best.
Paradise – assumed already as a belonging
of life-less heaven- a world of fantasy
but well appreciated and valued
only in the real world of blood and sweat,
well co-operated by open hands and hearts,
germinated on no-where other than the land-
Nurtured, enjoyed and glorified by the mortals
adding the sky to the land---fantasy to the reality
for a spontaneous intercourse -quite significant
for blooming a life in the paradise
and a sweet smile on the thirsty lips
as a consolation- bestowed upon by mother-nature
against the pains and strains of tough reality.


The New Leaves
               
The turning over a new leaf
throws down the gauntlet
to the luminous sun-rise,
takes aback at the new leaves-
turning their noses at the nectar
and preferring a glass of hemlock to sink.
The blissful neighbors are prompt
to take down the useful epics by turns
yet reluctant they are
to take a leaf out of another’s book.
Alas! Undead robots they are of dead scientists,
programmed diplomatically
and manipulated commercially from top to bottom.
Paralyzed they are too to own eyes
but ambidextrous to their blockhead ears-
Receiving blindly others’ provocation,
bring about untimely spring in consequence
and shed down before their maturity.
Counseling, good wish and blessing-
the glittering pearls are cats and dogs
in shedding on them
yet putting two and two together
seems to be more difficult today.
Nevertheless, tomorrow is quite hopeful
for a giant and effective push-
delivered by an honest morning
capable of breaking their sombrous slumber,
reshaping them to humans from robots
and rewarding them a reformative zeal
to turn over a new leaf forever.

Bionote

Pijush Kanti Deb is a new Indian poet with more than 210 published or accepted poems and haiku in more than 59 nos of national and international magazines and journals [,print and online] like Down in the dirt, Tajmahal Review, Pennine Ink, Hollow Publishing, Creativica Magazine, Muse India, Teeth Dream Magazine,Hermes Poetry Journal, Madusa’s Kitchen,Grey Borders,Dead Snakes, Dagda Publishing, Poetry Pacific and so on. His best achievement so far is the publication of his first poetry collection,’’Beneath The Shadow Of A White Pigeon’’published by Hollow Publishing is available on AMAZON visiting the link, http://www.amazon.com/Beneath- Shadow-White-Pigeon-Pijush/dp/ 1505854113/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1? ie=UTF8&qid=1422829526&sr=8-1& keywords=beneath+the+shadow+ of+a+white+pigeon

2 Poems by Gavin Corey

The Quiet Island

There is a quiet Island in New York where
No one lives — just block upon block fast
Asleep with no lights or stores or addresses.

Museums and offices lurk in the remains
Of the skyline — billboards drift downtown
As bridges yawn across the graying water.

The Mayor calls the Island a Celebration
Of Progress — the Commissioner says it’s
A Testament to our Heritage and Development.

When I can’t sleep, I sneak across the bridge
Into the twilight — I say your name and it dances
Through the streets, ricocheting out across the Sound.


The Stone

I found a stone in the woods
Beneath a ragged tree
With bone white bark.

I held the stone to my ear
And it murmured
Like an aimless brook.

I warmed the stone in my hands
And it beat like your heart —
A traitor's heart.

I dropped the stone at the tree
And its roots sucked up the poison
Throbbing through the soil.

I left the stone in the dirt
And watched as an apple
Blossomed on a branch.

Bionote

Gavin Corey lives in Boston. Previously, his work has appeared in Writing Knights Press, The Hydeout, Haiku Journal, and LIEF Magazine. He is the author of the chapbook “Stranger People.” You can e-mail him at gavincoreypoetry@gmail.com.

4 Poems by Natasha Ganes

Writer’s Block 

I play with different ways to tell your story,
but this isn’t a Choose Your Own Adventure,
all of your superficial lines led to a dead end.
I try my luck with sympathy, shock, scorn,
but even heroes need glossy decorations and
my denials of “I didn’t know” sound as if I did.
You could have left me better material to work with.
It’s too hard to create anything original out of this,
I’m not clever enough to rewrite your mistakes.


Spring Cleaning Espionage 

I will have to move the bed
now that you’re gone.
Instead of sleep, I fall to the floor,
staring up through the eyes
of the dust bunnies who used to
watch you watch me try to find
the right clothes to wear.
I never noticed there were
so many of them in here,
sneaking about the wooden floors,
hiding in the corners, pretending
not to hear us debate what day to drive
up North, how long I would have
to work that night, who won at darts,
whether or not I cheat at air hockey.
After I move the bed, my dresser
too will have to thrust through
the spies of dust
who know too much.
From there, my vanity will follow.
They’re hard to control,
these calculating dust bunnies.
I catch them into little piles,
but they always escape
to drift back across the floor.


The Siren’s Fading Cry 

I storm a path through the sharp sun
on my patio, only pausing
when the seven-twilled song
of an unseen cardinal lulls me to listen.
I rest until he stops short of another refrain,
silenced by dark echoes of a girl
who waits in the parking lot below.
She punches numbers into a cell
blasted on speaker that head straight
to the voicemail of an unavailable man.
We hear her swear, hang up, try again.
His voicemail, curse, click, repeat.
His voice, repeat. His voice, again.
His voice. His voice. His voice.
I want to scream my own metallic warning,
let the wind strengthen my words
before they drop down on her head:
Hush. Quit. Enough. Stop already.
You are trespassing on protected territory.
The results always remain the same.
You will never hear him answer again.


The End of Westland 

Flying through stations I hear the chorus wobbling over and over. You taught me and Rachel 
that trick one night, how to rap our fingers, fast like the Indian call you did as a kid, against our 
open mouths to make the words vibrate. I try it in the car now, wondering if that’s really how 
they made that sound for the song like you told us they did. 

I had a flight booked early the next morning, what am I going to do for a week without you here, but couldn’t leave until you dragged us out for Sam’s Bananas and karaoke. You dedicated come tomorrow, tomorrow I’ll be gone to me and at the time I rolled my eyes, but now I turn up the car’s heat because those words pop little bumps down my arms. 

I almost missed my flight that morning, these Sam’s Bananas really mess you up, but Rachel 
shook me awake and I raced to the airport, leaving you to snore from your corner of her 
apartment floor. You left a message on my cell for every day I was gone, come back I’m bored, 
but that town has terrible reception so I didn’t hear them until I was already home. 


Bionote

Natasha Ganes is a writer, editor, and a co-founder of TreeHouse. She is a graduate of Chapman University in Southern California, where she received her MFA in Creative Writing and MA in English Literature. She received her BA in English/Journalism from Madonna University in Michigan. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Muddy River Poetry Review, quarter after, Elephant Tree, Amazon, and Every Writer’s Resource. Her nonfiction has appeared all over the place. Visit her Amazon Author Page at:www.amazon.com/author/natashaganes.   <artstreehouse@gmail.com>

3 Poems by Jyothsna Phanija

The Aged Winter

The aged winter,
Folded with the foggy trees,
Blanketed with the sprouting crops,
Drowsily  caress the contagious breeze.

Lighting the firewood, heavy with the misty feast,
Sleeping in the disappeared roads,
Waking at the cold fume,
Walking in the shorter days even  with the cracked feet,
Mumbling  with the  Vaseline prevented lips,
Fatigue of retelling the little fairy tales.

Lonely in the longer nights,
On frosty grass mattress,
Shivering with the cough syrup induced sleep,
Nightmarish of the cold death,
And of the  summer flames burning her corpse.


Inmate
(Appeared in Magnets and Ladders)

Hectically travelled Moon
Somewhere gibbous, somewhere fullest,
Bluest of Pecola’s eyes,
Picture clicking lakes reflex
Certifies my fantasy.
I gather my nerves
From scattered portions.
Stretch my fingers,
Catch the ashes
Of the diametrical horoscopes.
Hissing records inside my mind
I dictate.
He writes them in broken sentences.
Soon he forgets.
Pills, sleep,
Hanging wires, trays beside tables.
I laugh at the laughter on the mirror.


Letters in seasons

Autumn leaves,
Sandy fragrance,
Thunder clouds,
Together, we breathe poetic assonance.

The warm winter,
Mystic fear,
Chopping some colour,
We live in dreamy shore.

Mango leaves cent,
Summer cool slate,
I write
Seasons of love letters you create.

Bionote

Jyothsnaphanija is a PhD research scholar in English Literature at EFL University, Hyderabad, India. Her poetry has  appeared in Melusine, The Nervous Breakdown, Muddy River Poetry Review, Northeast review, Coldnoon, Kritya, Indian Ruminations, CounterPunch, American Diversity Report, Magnets and Ladders, wordgathering, among several others. Her short stories have appeared in eFiction India, Thick jam, ETC. Her research articles have appeared  in Subalternspeak, eDhvani, Wizcraft, Barnolipi and in several books.  She blogs at phanija.wordpress.com

4 Poems by Caseyrenee Lopez

for grandpa 

time and space have separated us,
you’re gone from me now, taking with you
the last lingering note of her too.

but it wasn’t our fault.
our time was stolen,
taken away, but for good now.

i won’t be seeing you in the future.
we made promises we couldn’t keep, but
i will carry you forever in the depths of my heart.

the two of us, together, will be remembered:
you sat me on your lap when i was just a babe and
you let me drive the car and i took us very far.

i remember all the candy i ate, and you laughed
at my sweet tooth: old habits die hard i guess.
your cowboy boots were a defining feature,

something i will always remember.
i had hoped to tell you about my accomplishment,
my college graduation,

but just like her, you slept too long: you
missed the date i have waited on.
i will continue to carry you both in me.

she went first, and you waited your turn.
now maybe you can be together,
i can’t say when, or how, or why,

i just know that she is waiting to greet you so.


City Chickens 

I spied a couple of chickens yesterday,
City dwelling chickens.
The rooster’s crown was high and red.
The hen, whose brown and green feathers
Shimmered in the sun, pecked the ground for grubs.
The gravel underfoot seemed out of place.
The ranch-style home behind the fowl, ideal.
McNuggets at the corner of Manchester and Hamilton.


[untitled] 

An unfortunate consequence
Of revelations, of the truth.
Blown open so the wound gushes;

That was enough to let him live.
Asphyxiated, though not dead.
Trolls torment those unprovoked.
When will justice come?


Masturbation 

Girls do it,
Maybe every day,
Even though
Everyone says no.


Bionote 

Caseyrenee Lopez is a writer and editor of Crab Fat Literary Magazine. She has been published in Reflections Journal and Pegasus Literary Journal . She lives in Columbus, Georgia, USA with her spouse and 6 fur-babies.

3 Poems by John Lambremont

A REINCARNATION OF ONE

Two potted palms straddle our driveway,
given to us by a nephew on the move,
remnants from the shotgun house
in old Beauregard Town downtown
where my wife’s people lived before
the neighborhood was overrun
by law offices, small businesses,
and Court support.

Planted a score ago by my wife’s father,
they have flourished on Tom’s rear patio;
we retrieve them and pack them back upriver
eighty miles to our south side abode,
and call them by the names
our children gave their maternal grandparents,
Grandpa and Grandma, and over years,
the palms take the paths
of their namesakes.

Grandpa is tall, a seeker of light;
he thrusts himself toward the sun,
leaning over the rim of his urn,
guiding his gathered children,
seeming by appearance to live eternally,
sharp of mind and strong of will,
but his legs have become weakened,
and he sometimes topples over
when storms bring forth high winds.

Grandma is diminutive and quiet,
never moving, all growth behind her,
and almost before we know it,

she sickens with infestatious disease,
lingers briefly, and succumbs,
and we mourn her, wishing
we had done more.

We thought her gone forever,
but this spring she re-emerged,
rising slowly in the warming sun,
her grandchildren at her feet,
tugging at her apron for favor.
She leans slightly toward Grandpa,
and softly whispers his name
onto the passing breezes.

Grandpa looks back over his shoulder,
extends one long-sleeved arm,
and beckons her to join him.


DITCH THIS SUMMER

The bridge on Louray Street ,
its span barely the length
of a winged Thunderbird,
bears no name.

Beneath it, a rivulet flows
sleepily in pools, rip-rap
lining its sides and bottom
a betrayal of any claim
of naturality.

Stones not of this soil
form the bed of this body,
their mounds dark islands,
smooth and rounded.

A rusted drainage pipe
runs between green yards above,
a chance for little boys
to test their balance.

The neighboring cypress
casts long shadows down
to the slim bank below,
its boscoyos budding antlers,
breathing air for growth.
Twin dragonflies chase each other
up the run.

Wait. One of the rocks
is a terrapin snapper,
perhaps of late expired.
Toss a pebble down,
splash right next to it,

‘ploosh!’ It moves slightly,
well alive still.

Shell in the sunlight,
feet in the drink,
this turtle has it made.
It shifts to revert
to its preferred position
of repose.

Flip down to brown still water
a used-up unfiltered butt,
soon to degrade to naught,
and cast far from the turtle.


SIGN SAID

For the preservation of the lucence
of the ochre in the moths
resting patent in the luxury
of the lacquer of the parlor,
please refrain from lighting

pipes, cigars, or cigarettes
past the arbor near the door
that opens to the foyer.
Thanks for Helping,
From the Owners.


Bionote

John Lambremont, Sr. is a poet and writer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A., where he serves as editor of Big River Poetry Review, see bigriverpoetry.com. John has a B.A. in Creative Writing and a J.D. from Louisiana State University. His work has been published internationally in many reviews and anthologies, including Clarion, The Minetta Review, The Chaffin Journal, The Mayo Review, Picayune, The Louisiana Review, Words & Images, Sugar House Review, and Cantos, and he has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. John’s second full-length poetry collection, “Dispelling The Indigo Dream” (Local Gems Poetry Press, 2013), is available online at Amazon.com, and his latest poetry chapbook, “What It Means To Be A Man (And Other Poems Of Life And Death),” will be released in October 2014 by Finishing Line Press. John’s blog of his previously published poems can be found at http://jlambremontpoet.blogspot.com.

2 Poems by Tamara Fey Turner

Platypus Egg

Pancakes for breakfast
Cracking open eggs but wait
This one is moving


Sumerian Spirit

Sea existed first
Goddess of watery
Abyss
Hence gave birth
Heaven and Earth
Formed
Solid vault
Did thus
Separate
Flat disk
From sky
Moon and stars
Planets and sun
From gasses within
It was perfection
Until man became


Bionote

Tamara currently lives in southern California, a long way from her southern Louisiana roots, with her favorite grey tabby, Gus.    

2 Poems by Caitlin Thomson

Space is not Equal To Y or X

I wake to the world
constructed without dreams,
the one I left to dust itself
off in blue exhaustion.

Uncorked wine, just a
glass gone, rind of cheese,
hunk of bread tilted sideways,
The exoskeleton of
grapes, vine left without
a clue to their color.

The rains of winter descend
outside, and I am
unbalanced, in wool socks
waiting for distance
to become time.


The Luxury of Death

People often say it is unknowable
but Death has an Encyclopedia
entry.  More than a few books
were written about Death. Far more
were published with it in mind.

The main problem with Death,
written or otherwise, seems to be
conflation, the frequent combination
of Death with what comes next.
As if an afterlife (or lack of one),
was any of Death’s business.
As if dying in itself was not,
often, a lot of work.

[The poems have been published before. The first in the Literary Review of Canada, the Second in Punchnell's.]


Bionote

My Bio is as follows: Caitlin Thomson resides in the Chuckanut Mountains. Her work has appeared in numerous places, including: The Literary Review of Canada, The Alarmist, and the anthology Killer Verse. Her second chapbook Incident Reports is forthcoming in 2014 from Hyacinth Girl Press. You can learn more about her writing at www.caitlinthomson.com.


5 Poems by Ouyang Yu

Advance 

someone says in the Age (11/9/04)
that Martin Amis gets an advance for £500,000
and that a Michelle Paver gets more, £3 million
this is all fine for me
till you have a closer look:
500,000 vs 3,000,000
the bigger figure has only one more zero
look closer still
except for 5 & 3
all the rest are zeroes


Drinkable stuff 

What is semen made of?
Is it drinkable?

I am made to wonder about this
When I watch expressionlessly
The two women swallow up
The whole loads of it

In the spoon of their tongues


In his own image 

they say
God created man
in his own image

I say
Ouyang Yu created Australia
in his own image


In Wagga Wagga 

With the arrival of a poet
Everything seems to go wrong

A breakfast becomes plastic
A workshop with minimal attendance

Because rain, over the Murrunbidge River, supposedly stopped
Any interested, even as slightly as the rain

And three nights
No visits by a single possum

I know, the correct spelling for the river is Murrumbidgee

And we thus have come full circle


Going fast 

what comes fast
goes fast

what goes fast
comes back fast

it comes back fast
it comes back fast

in this go-come-back process
you go fast


Bionote

Ouyang Yu has to date published 73 books in both English and Chinese languages in the field of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, literary translation and criticism. He is now teaching creative writing and literary translation in a Shanghai-based University.