I don’t have a theory of it

I don’t have a theory of it. It is just an analogy
with a huge lake with ample inlets and outlets.
This lake is a canvas for clouds that drift away,
slowly, like the leaves fallen.


                                                  Or say, it’s more like a lady

whom I’ve never known and I’m sure
I’ll never know. This lady secretly leaves an infant
on a pavement and disappears from sight.
And the crying baby is picked up

                                                                                                       
                                                by a kind couple.

This is easy and hard, two in one scheme.
But I don’t have a theory of it. It is just an analogy
with the lake where the boy stares
at his still reflection, and where

 
                                               he gains a tremendous strength.

 

Or say,
it is the stone he hurls into the lake
to distort its trancelike quality. It is the instant
when the ripples lap

                                                 his rumpled reflections.




                                                        Haris Adhikari


Haris Adhikari is from Nepal. He holds an MA in English and American literature from Tribhuvan University. He is a lecturer of English and edits Misty Mountain Review, an online journal of short poetry. His first poetry anthology, Flowing with a River, was published by The Society of Nepali Writers in English (NWEN). Currently, he is working on That Distant Lane, a chapbook of children’s poetry. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in  London Grip New Poetry, Red Fez Journal, Buddhist Poetry Review, Cyclamens and Swords Publishing, The Citron Review, The Rusty Nail Magazine, Mad Swirl, Red Box Kite, Of Nepalese Clay, Poddle (Poddle Publications, Dublin), The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Lyrical Passion Poetry, Essence Poetry & Yes, Poetry.


To read more of his poems, visit: http://ripplezhome.wordpress.com/


The Disappearance Inside



I felt it happen,
as it's happened before,
the disappearance inside,
a communication switch off.
It's not deliberate, truly,
but there's nothing more to say,
only variations of the same,
so eventually tedium has won the day.
We got so far, but the truth being,
not as far as to just say to one another,
" Have you a black pen,
it's says on the form,
to only use a black pen?"



Not Understanding Both



Looking into your eyes,
catching sight of Ursa Minor,
not understanding both,
I smiled, and with mine returned
however briefly, I felt part of something.
Like the nearing of home,
yet knowing it can never be,
the distant feeling of happier times,
all eventually lost as I turned away.


                                                     Jeff Bell
 


Jeff  Bell, poet and musician, originally from South Shields in the North East of England, now living in London over  last thirty years. Has recently started writing poetry/prose and finds it a release from the restrictions of songwriting. Has had several poems recently accepted in various magazines. A sample  of his music can be heard at www.myspace.com/quangomusic
  
 

The cherry orchard


    
I looked at the tree
The one with the arms out
Not as a plea
But more as a sign of hope
The way the statue watches over Rio.
 
He has everlasting snow in his hands
But some of the petals
Have fallen through his fingers
And lay scattered on the floor
Randomly
Like a Pollock painting.
 
Only later
did I notice
He has brothers there
On his island
That watch all the cars
go around and around
 
Maybe they all wish for hope too
But I can only think of the first one
The first one that told me a story
and made himself
a poem.
                                                  Marc Carver


Marc Carver feels that if people enjoy what he writes he  has achieved what he want from writing.

The Rabbit and the Conger

 

I lost some lettuces
So Hamish shot a rabbit.
We watched as
It,
Dead,
Gyrated like a frantic gymnast
For half a minute
And then, when it was still,
I slung it where the hoodies
Or hen harrier
Would use it for a meal.

Hamish lost the bait
In a creel
Because a conger slipped inside,
Ate and could not slip away.
He brought it to me,
Headless and gutless,
Coiled like sculpted oil
In a plastic bucket.
When I put it in the sink
And held it to the knife
It twitched
And went on twitching
As I carved the fillets.

Of course,
It could have been a different rabbit
That ate the lettuce
And, of course,
Something else might well have eaten
All the bait and then itself
Become the conger’s meal.

We animals all
Suffer injustices
But some more than me.
And Hamish.

 

The Old Woman

 

And she remembered well
A noon sun suspended still as death
And the wavelets whispering lies
Into the sand-lobed ear of the bay.
It was the day
She found a fisherman
Lying at the water’s edge,
Star-shaped on his back,
His white and puckered face
Strapped across the eyes
By kelp.
Before she went for help
She touched his yielding face
Because she’d known him yesterday.

And she remembered well
The moon was pearl above her
The night that she was crushed
On ladies’ bedstraw
By a hearty shepherd,
A man as tender with her that one night
As he was everyday with sheep.
Ah yes, tender and unloving
In his trade and his pursuits.

And she remembered well
That though both told her
She was beautiful
Neither lied to her
And said he loved her.

 

                                Derek Crook

 
The Rabbit and the Conger

 

I lost some lettuces
So Hamish shot a rabbit.
We watched as
It,
Dead,
Gyrated like a frantic gymnast
For half a minute
And then, when it was still,
I slung it where the hoodies
Or hen harrier
Would use it for a meal.

Hamish lost the bait
In a creel
Because a conger slipped inside,
Ate and could not slip away.
He brought it to me,
Headless and gutless,
Coiled like sculpted oil
In a plastic bucket.
When I put it in the sink
And held it to the knife
It twitched
And went on twitching
As I carved the fillets.

Of course,
It could have been a different rabbit
That ate the lettuce
And, of course,
Something else might well have eaten
All the bait and then itself
Become the conger’s meal.

We animals all
Suffer injustices
But some more than me.
And Hamish.

 

The Old Woman

 

And she remembered well
A noon sun suspended still as death
And the wavelets whispering lies
Into the sand-lobed ear of the bay.
It was the day
She found a fisherman
Lying at the water’s edge,
Star-shaped on his back,
His white and puckered face
Strapped across the eyes
By kelp.
Before she went for help
She touched his yielding face
Because she’d known him yesterday.

And she remembered well
The moon was pearl above her
The night that she was crushed
On ladies’ bedstraw
By a hearty shepherd,
A man as tender with her that one night
As he was everyday with sheep.
Ah yes, tender and unloving
In his trade and his pursuits.

And she remembered well
That though both told her
She was beautiful
Neither lied to her
And said he loved her.

 

                                Derek Crook

 


Cafe Purgatorio
----------------
Discordant the piano spears through the Gauloises haze,
allowing her scarlet words to ooze through, with their promises

of longing
and love
and death
and heaven
and hell…
and everything in between.

She sings to me, though every man in here will tell you the same.
They’re lying, of course.
The barkeep chases a three legged dog through the open door.
It turns back to look at him contemptuously, before trotting, free, into the night.
Thoughtfully, I draw circles on the table with my shot glass.
Would that the easy flow of cheap scotch could carry me away from here
and to your door,
Or maybe you’ll find this poem…

No,

this cry for help,
and come for me.
She runs her slender, perfectly manicured fingers across the piano lid and looks at me,
though every man in here will tell you the same.
They’re lying, of course.
I briefly squeeze my eyelids tight together,
and pour another.
-----------------

An Invtation to Santt'Agata
---------------------------
How would you like to come to Sant’Agata
to support a struggling writer?
You could pamper hair chinned tourists from Hamburg,
who, jealously aware that all the wealth of their corpulent husbands
could not grant them
the merest percentage
of a fraction
of a shadow
of your beauty,
would ask for much but give little in return.
and I would walk down the steep winding path to Sorrento,
to sell books of poetry
to tourists who will never read them,
but merely purchase them as souvenirs, to pull from shelves to show to visitors
or stuff into drawers and forget entirely.
And what little money I’d earn,
I’d lose playing dice with a one armed lion tamer from Cadiz,
who, for a beer and a smoke will tell you his story,
although tonight he’s dining on my bad luck.
I’ll return home, drunk, dejected and empty pocketed.
The door to the apartment will be locked, of course,
so I’ll beg for forgiveness, but get none, which, of course is exactly what I deserve.
So, I’ll steal a dress that suits you, but in making my escape, tear it.
I don’t tell you about the tear,
and you don’t mention it.
but, when you take my hand, and lead me through the streets
to the piazza in Sant’Agata,
I’ll see the stitches,
and all the women we pass that night,
will wish that they could possess
the merest percentage
of a fraction
of a shadow
of the beauty,
of you in your torn, stolen dress.
--------------------------------

White, Waiting
---------------
This bed is not empty,
          just waiting.
The white sheets, picked out by the silver moon
(did you know, by the way, that the moon reflects as brightly as it does because of the high concentration of silver in its soil?)
are not the harsh biting, bleak white of Siberian snow fields,
but the fresh white of an untouched canvass
(would it be obvious or crass of me to say that it was waiting for something beautiful and by doing so, infer you? I think it would.)


                                                                   Chris Dabnor




Chris Dabnor is a writer and part time literature student, currently living in Cannock, in the United Kingdom, where he works as a software support analyst. His previous short stories and poems have been featured in such magazines as Astonishing Adventures, Message in a Bottle, Camel Saloon and White Chimney, and cover a range of subjects between Victorian time travelling dinosaurs, film noir ghosts and the psychopathically insecure. He is currently working on his second novel. Any hint of sombre fatalism in his stories is most likely attributed to his being an avid Wolverhampton Wanderers fan.  His website can be found at www.dabnorfish.co.uk

 


A Mirror of Mere Delight

You are all I care to see
of tomorrow.
Too perfect.
You fill the specifications
beyond the bounds of you skin.
Though that is the focus
of the film.
It alone cannot hold
my image.
Or my imagination.
Too small.
I slip through your smile.
Burying myself.
Inside.
The real target:
Your soul.

 

 
 

Signals from Another World

“You’d think there was no place like hell”

                                    -- Robert Wrigley

I could not keep my eyes
off his hands.
They were hypnotizing.
Almost commanding the flames.
As he danced.
Naked.
Before the gates
of a darker eternity.
He was conducting the strings
of my body.
And oh how I loved the song.
Too late --
he gave me its title.
And it isn’t so bad.
To be.
Red.  In Death Sharp. 


                            A.J Huffman


 

A.J Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She has previously published four collections of poetry: The Difference Between Shadows and Stars, Carrying Yesterday, Cognitive Distortion, and . . . And Other Such Nonsense.  She has also published her work in national and international literary journals such as Avon Literary Intelligencer, Writer's Gazette, and The Penwood Review.  Find more about A.J. Huffman, including additional information and links to her work at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000191382454 and https://twitter.com/#!/poetess222.



Bowl of Petunias

(Photo available on request-Ecphrasis Poetry)
 
If you must leave me, please
leave me for something special,
like a beautiful bowl of petunias?
for when the memories leak
and cracks appear
and old memories fade,
flowers rebuff bloom,
sidewalks fester weeds
and we both lie down
separately from each other
for the very last time.



 
Inside This World Zipped

 
I ‘m inside this world of silent creative space
within a zipped up tube of  words
within the darkness I crawl
from my vocabulary.
I look on the walls of night
looking for an exit.
I look through the crow in the darkness,
the gray on the bark of the willow tree,
serve as my lantern out of here.
Wayward are the gray clouds
I can’t see I toss my faith upon.
Wild horses of creativity form
lines, stanzas, poems with
and without form.
It’s here I beach the darkness
and the conclusion in the end
and the final lines that allow
you to envelope me between
my screams and creativity.


The Seasons and the Slants

 
I live my life inside my patio window.
It’s here, at my business desk I slip
into my own warm pajamas and slippers?
seek Jesus, come to terms
with my own cross and brittle conditions.
Outside, winter night turns to winter storm,
the blue jay, cardinal, sparrows and doves
go into hiding, away from the razor whipping winds,
behind willow tree bare limb branches?
they lose their faces in somber hue.
Their voices at night abbreviate
and are still, short like Hemingway sentences.
With this poetic mind, no one cares
about the seasons and the slants
the wind or its echoes.
I live my life inside my patio window.
 
                                             Micheal Lee Johnson

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer and small business own of custom imprinted promotional products and apparel:  www.promoman.us, from Itasca, Illinois.  He is heavily influenced by:  Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, and Allen Ginsberg.  His new poetry chapbook with pictures, titled From Which Place the Morning Rises, and his new photo version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom are available at: http://stores.lulu.com/promomanusa. The original version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom, can be found at: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-46091-7.  New Chapbook:  Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems, by Michael Lee Johnson:  http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/challenge-of-night-and-day-and-chicago-poems-%28night%29/12443733.  He also has 2 previous chapbooks available at: http://stores.lulu.com/poetryboy.

Michael has been published in over 23 countries. He is also editor/publisher of four poetry sites, all open for submission, which can be found at his Web site: http://poetryman.mysite.com.  All of his books are now available on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=michael+lee+johnson.  Borders:  http://www.borders.com.au/book/lost-american-from-exile-to-freedom/1566571/.

Now on You-Tube:  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih5WJrjqQ18, 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMmyjFKJ5fQ.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWkXcR35_Os

 

E-mail: promomanusa@gmail.com.   Audio Mp3 poems available; open to interviews.

 

Follow Michael Lee Johnson On:

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/poetrymanusa

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/poetrymanusa

MySpace.com:  http://www.myspace.com/469391029

 


Fly Tipping in Central London

Moving from home to home,
I drop bits of broken furniture,
the fruit of my empowerment,
as if chaos is made of wood but
healed rarely by statues of time.

Scowling with joy I sleep beside
a blue tree and my doorway is a
church of tabernacle light.  Freely
I take blankets of grim faced corpses
and read to them
words of prayer but silent as flames.

Praise be the valley of gold to which
my suit of dead clothes is destined.
Blessed be the wings on which my soul
flies and its city of truth and vision.

It is midnight.  I am precisely more.
Taking my hand
the wind of rare diseases, bleeding
at the mouth, but perfect and calm.

                                               Austin McCarron



Austin McCarron is  from New Zealand but has lived in London for many years.  Austin's work has appeared in various magazines in the U.K. over the past five years.


 

Memory

(for Phillip Larkin)
1922-1985)

Your memory
twice buried
a dotted loss
daring another
double cross.

Who remembers
what waits
for the modern
neither Eliot
Yeats or Auden.



Language

At my reading
every day
language breathes
down my nature

on the podium
losing myself
in stolen words
as kisses

making out
in a roll
of my tongue
capturing solitude

with a scrappy
wonder
in a blunted alembic
of a life sentence

soon to be
reflected on
graffiti walls
and then translated.



Dylan Thomas' Day

At daybreak
by the ice pond
escaping parental storms
in a ninth year,
and captive
of the used bookstore
in disappearances
by tall shelves
digging out chapters
with an itinerary
of large silences,
red eyes half open
by unseen volumes
under a solitary light
the young hand
climbs up the ladder
beneath the stammer
and shyness
of a forgiving nature
with a a few coins left
from an allowance,
and you, Dylan Thomas
all in blue under cover
is taken home
to read in private
when no one
is around.



Many eyes

So long as the rain
in late August steps
between watery walks
midday in Manhattan
with grey clouds overhead,
and clubbing tourists
sparkle with champagne,
your own mouth rests
near green bottles
of the lemony room
hearing jazz piano
for four hands,
your red lazy eye
staring at the overcast
resembling the argentite
of a showery sky,
Auden from across
an ocean of time
fills up twice
alive as animated angels
whom he enlightens

until daylight disappears.


Words Wound

The matchless sun
consumes dust
at the first shot
opening up language

a century reaches out
to the task of Ezra
pounding out
life & death sentences

a short path
for an odyssey
imitating
the ancients

until every conspiracy
of sages, savages and fools
betrays your words
for song.

                                      B.Z Niditch




B.Z. NIDITCH is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher.
His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including: Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art; The Literary Review;  Denver Quarterly;  Hawaii Review,; Le Guepard (France); Kadmos (France);  Prism International;  Jejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest);  Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others.
He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts
.


Fractured


Crows carry on disputatiously,
seagulls shriek, legionaires quaff 
one last one.
This day's departure 
fractures 
unnoticed 
as the sun 
slips out of sight.
Clouds darken,
the color green dissolves.
 
A rat-a-tat-tat 
remembered 
as a happy jaunt.
 
The early leafing of weeping willows
quixotic as a temper tantrum over nothing,
as a want of stories.
A hurrying, resurging briefer stay than heretofore.
 
Conclusions as well
as driftwood on the shore,
a scattering of bones,
a dwindling of ferns and horsetails. 
 

Not Quite


Yesterday again, a perky mongoose cavorts beside me
along with quamash in numbers greater than I care to count.
Imagination - what of it? -
engulfing charlatans,
the innocent, the Nez Perse
and all the rest
nor will tomorrow be the same.
But that's not it
as I am quick to reassure myself.
I am not a has-been, not quite,
nor will I grow a wispy white beard
as solace in place of worry beads
restlessly fingering it. 


                                             Frank Preager  





The Guitarist


An instrument, waxed and shiny,

Can stick to moisture on a naked chest,

With strings taught and ready,

Gripped by one and caressed by another.


He drove to the garage and let himself in,

With the guitar resting snug on his shoulder,

Endless hair obstructing all but his fingers,

Concentration absolute.

With only the beeping fridge,

And dripping tap as accompaniment,

In the dead of night.


He strummed to coke cans,

Chocolate bars and porn,

Ignoring the aching in his back,

As the chords cut the silence,

In the back of the stockroom,

A rodent audience gathered curiously,

In the shadow of his lover.


It was no sooner set to the ground,

As it was in his arms again,

Each time the notes grew stronger,

More lucid, more extravagant, more overpowering,

Strings eager to improve on their last.


The Guitarist played until his fingers were hard,

Ridged and yellow from smoking and strumming,

And practising, and adjusting and perfecting,

Endlessly, as he had no timepiece to adhere to.


He continued every night and every day and every night,

Until his scent was that of his muse. 




                                                             Jennifer Sizeland





Jennifer Sizeland is a poet who enjoys travelling and documenting her journey in writing. She has been writing from a young age and  also loves to take photographs. Jennifer works in television and  hopes to make a documentary film one day.

Winter Burlesque

Perhaps it is the birds,
their small bright  humors,
bleated notes, masks,
           as they swirl about the house
spread-winged.

Or the sky not yet ruined by rain.
The whirr of small planes,
pampas grass in straw air:
                  all light & airy
as a place that hasn’t seen tragedy.  



Three yellow apples
                   hang as in dementia
upon the tree, its last leaves scraped clean
                   by wind.



*

This bird, and this, and this,
thrice happy, their own Burleske—
Strauss performed
          in nook & cranny.

The willow emptied of tear-shaped leaves,
the wires hung with pigeoned iridescence.

When to break off?
When spare a bright, high-spirited mood
for one’s lover, when all’s dressed down—
             lake gray, sky gray,
the mood closed, remote?

I stare down the barrel of a gun, he said.

A bulky bird, buff-breasted, fine streaking.
Abrupt, well-spaced notes—
two high, ear-bursting.
           A whistle,
then choo choo choo, three in a row,
ended with the song bird’s amen: a trill.


*


& the land beneath the land—
a sewer of water
running catacombed
           through Lethe’s redundant rivers.

The great hall of winter, its drowned
Ophelia arranged in portraiture.
          Face up.  
Not meant to be seen nor heard.  

Drummed rooftops,
suburban homes besieged.  
            As Ben stands
below water in The Graduate,
wearing scuba gear.
          Another reaper?
Youth this time.

Loneliness is always in the middle


*

What body to ear the unceasing.
Dirge-drum, thrum of water pooling in eave,
sifting down to gutter, droplets
           on greened wood, moss-faced.

Fracture  of sky & lake, bird scratching.
          The cricket with its bow,
the hemi-facial spasm in my right eye.

Dirge, triplet, waltz of the waters
over houses in January.  
            Each droplet caught
in its own physics—
to thrall & thereby dissolve.



Winter Gahzal

 

The rain falls all day long, its language of loss.

Dripping from cedars in the language of loss.

 

Ali still weeps for Laila, hearing only her tears.

Jihad in the rain-shroud, a language of loss.

 

Jews rip their clothes when the Zaydee dies.

All his teeth gone to the language of loss.

 

Who listens to the clatter of monsoon skies?

Water and sleet scatter the language of loss.

 

No stars sprinkle holes between these glossed clouds.

One Book’s as good as two other books’ language of loss.

 

The same three brothers taken hostage across

the same three borders in every language of loss.

 

It’s they who wrap every woman in darkness.

Even Ali’s girl, so long ago, her language of loss.



Fracture

 

Convex side of the bone,

nights of rain and talk.

I was a child in a masonry house.

The praying mantis came to the window.

There was a split between

before the war and after.

 

In this perfect place

science hid.  Science was mined

and dredged and found

to have meaning. The moon came

and went over other houses

bred on religion. 

 

I remember a mystic

who stood on his head for minutes.

His elbows formed a triangle.  This same

triangle allowed for a certain

ménage a trois between a husband

and an au pair girl.

 

Later I visited her in Paris.

Her blonde hair, her cooking--

she was still a girl who had only wanted

to travel,  to forge herself

in the loneliness of the foreign,

to see a stick left green by winter.


Reading Faulkner

 

Heat.  Nothing to close on

but crowded faces and flowers

with thick pink pleats

like a stack of dishes falling.

 

Experimental heat, a mother

who is a fish standing

end on end in the dust dawn

that plagues this neighborhood.

 

The sky a long cloud

gone skinny, even the animals

jealous for their place

in the kingdom.

 

                                    Judith Skillman


 

Judith Skillman has authored twelve collections of poetry, including The Never (Dream Horse Press, 2010) and The White Cypress (Cervéna Barva Press, 2011: www.thelostbookshelf.com/s) Her poetry and translations have appeared in Poetry, FIELD, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, The Midwest Quarterly, The Southern Review, and elsewhere.   A former editor of Fine Madness, Skillman has taught at City University and Richard Hugo House. www.judithskillman.com

 

 

men

she liked her men
spare and sparse
lean of words
without flowers in their hands
their shirt sleeves rolled up
to show the world
how hard they lived,
their legs tucked  into boots
as thick and dark as calluses

she liked them sprawled
elbows on the table
at dinner
their forks demanding her attention
spearing the meat
like clean kill
chewing with the gusto
of young rams
their teeth reminding her
of how devouring was
a holy act

and she would dream
of those hands
curious beasts of prey
skin freckled with the grit of stars
and gravel from wrong turns
making paths across her blouse
pulling her skirt up
to meet their questions
and of how her throat
would buckle
like it had no will
at the whisper of her name.

                                            Brendan Sullivan



Brendan Sullivan has been writing for the last three years. He has been in love with language all his life, enjoying it in a variety of forms - performance, reading and writing. Brendan seems to focus on the theme of ordinary magic in everyday life and consider his poems to be snapshots of life. He lives in Va. Beach, Va. where he enjoys the ocean as much as he can. Brendan is a water sports enthusiast - surfing, kayaking, sailing and diving