Saturday, 24 July 2021

Three Fine Poems by Aysegul Yildirim

 



Time yet to be gained 

 

I

 

we’re in a  river of     dream

                                                  

                  sleep      that

                                              

      that has     falls

                                              

                  become      in

                                               

                  the bed     water

                                               

                  it flows      when it         

                                             

                  over       ceases.

 

in a wave of  colours       white 

                                   

                      that        seeks

 

                      sound       to

 

                      like       wash

 

                      darkness     over

                                                             

                      unfolding      dreams.

 

 

II

 

The morsel of madeleine soaked

in tea. 

As the liquid captures

the elements of flour, crumbles

seconds later.

No more territory to conquer.

Withdraw your soldiers -

                         this is not a war

 

The soldiers, though

they cannot be back.

After all, they're unconscious.

deaf to the sea, at night,

blind as the sand.

But it was as if one of them

one of them gets stuck on the vast shore

in the rocks.

in pain.

he doesn't move.

the dark spot in the madeleine

persists, in pain,

only to advance and be gained

by the sea, blind.

 

 

 III

 

You tell the sea what is

            The biggest nightmare for it

In your chest.

            It’s not the storm

Stuttering the words -

            It’s warfare

Relentless search of words

            As it moves in the sand

Now deeper down

            Beating up the grey soul

If there is not any

            Depth to the enemy

Gem from the past

            conquers the future.

Comes out as

            A layer of sand

Revealing the malady now

            Digs into the wound

In her relentless

            Releasing the blue

You see the darkness

            Blanched into water, now

You see it away

Until the lighthouse

Open your eyes          

            It will not send it back again

For the light has changed.

 



Aysegul Yildirim is a researcher and writer whose poems have appeared in The Maynard, Trouvaille Review and Otoliths. She's been hiding away in the mountains in Wales and loving it.



Three Fabulous Poems by Nicholas Alexander Hayes



Unfortunate Lad

 

Dust has covered the trail. And tiger lilies muffle ash as it falls.

 

Cut down and indecisive. 

 

Cut down and sitting in the parking lot 

on the cement barricade 

watching a few stars penetrate light leaking from the sign

buzzing in alien rhythm. 

 

Pain radiates in medieval rose petals on my pectoral. 

Our hearts become venereal and preserved. 

Milky discomfort sours my stomach.

 

I find my footing on uneven ground — 

a tatter of white fabric as my claim to someone else’s land 

or the world held in common.

 

I know I may shoot my neighbor’s sheep 

or tame the coyote in my spleen. I stand 

not to quake in the river bed as I draw water for cattle. 

 

Their skulls lining the paddock

after having gone to their home.

 


Parasitic Aphrodisiac

 

God has a plan for the dead without faith.

Little death seeps from pleasure’s lack of faith.

 

A novitiate confides her desire.

Her hospice duties, an act of faith. 

 

Voluptuous ivory Venus 

pornography or object of faith.

 

Julian dying in the desert acknowledged defeat

by the Galilean, but he did not refute his true faith.

 


End of the World

 

sprawled legs. blue shoes turned out.

near ear arc.

to ween, wax wan,

pass ruin, turn tour.

clod hoppers. gamer glamour, sprawled legs. thigh bones turned out.

lame clamour over pallid glow.

flannel flame, rotate through other, through heat death.

clod hoppers. rolling deck.

near, between, back and through.

rolling deck, delicious leap,

roll over pole roller. 

 

towards entropy.






Nicholas Alexander Hayes is the author of Amorphous Organics (SurVision Books), Ante-Animots: Idioms and Tales (BlazeVOX), NIV: 39 & 27 (BlazeVOX), and ThirdSexPot (Beard of Bees). His work has been featured in the anthologies Lovejets: Queer Male Poets on 200 Years of Walt Whitman and Madder Love: Queer Men and the Precincts of Surrealism.

 




Five Sublime Poems by Rafaella Del Bourgo



Crayola Me a River

 

Once he red that book,

threatened to join the navy,

he became so violet,

I yellowed at him,

blue him white through the green door.

Let him eggplant himself

in the dune grass of the cape.

Let him smoke, hope to steel the sky.

 

This was no salmon chanted evening,

newly minted in sunglow,

sienna hair, cornflower eyes,

no mulberry he’d come back and desert sand.

No, he had to blizzard bittersweet,

raw umber his clothes,

try to canary forgiveness,

expecting me to blush, not to sea him lemon.

 

Didn’t we have apricots?  He asked me.

Didn’t we have orchids?  Listen to me;

I’m cerise.  I want olive you.

As if he were polished bright as copper.

As if he held a bouquet of carnations,

or had a wreath of mountain meadow daisies

circling his burnished walnut.

As if he were mauvelous

and his house not gaping-doored, unfurnished.

As if his tongue weren’t grey,

trying to razzle-dazzle rose me.

 

I stood mahogany. 

He tanned burnt orange;

hair burst goldenrod.

Then he turned his back, started for the port,

sepia me to almond,

Wisteria going?

 

Yes, I remember hot magenta nights,

icy pink and watermelon on the tongue.

But, I’m cerulean. 

Violets are violets.

I frost and cannot forget.

 

Thistle be the end of it.



I Keep an Apartment in Nome

 

      Why shouldn’t I escape to the Arctic Circle? The voices in my head grow quieter here.  Who says we must suffer the cacophony, the unbearable sulphur-yellow sun, clogged arteries of southern California?

 

Pacific Coast Highway. Tourists fat like ticks. Girls, string bikinis and devil tattoos.  Who says we must suffer mishandling by the police, shoved against a wall, the burr of brick against cheek?  Stab wound in my palm, yet I’m hauled off for psychiatric evaluation. 

 

Winter.  Handcuff cold.  I have my fevered friend, the stove; I knit sweaters, dove grey, seventeen so far and no one to give them to. In California, doves feed on my porch.

 

Three windows – a triptych on the Bering Sea.  By day, I watch the sun try to rise against pewter sky.  Storms roll in. Bloody clouds.  At night, the aurora borealis, purple and green. 

 

I eat chocolate, bittersweet under the moon. On the floor, polar bear rug, wine corks on claws.  Mother said, Glass eyes see no evil and only the filbert tree is nuts.  I still hear her.

 

March.  End of the Iditarod.  Spectators watch dog-sleds cross the finish line.  The sky splinters; hungry wind bites my lips, my chin.  I become lace; snow blows through me.

 

The dogs wear leather booties.  Rime tips their fur.  The winner kisses his dogs’ snouts, their ears.  A dozen ecstatic dogs.  A dozen ecstatic kisses.

 

Sundays, church. I go, too; cross myself, press my fingers to my mouth.  Candle flames. The Lamb of God.  Lamb of God.  Clementine, the caribou, velvety brown, folded onto the snow.  How silent she is, and wise.  She, too, has survived winter’s hard, hard love.

 

         In June, birders arrive.  Widows from Waukegan.  Insurance brokers from Burlingame.  Thank goodness my policies are current.  A young girl with deep scratches.  I hand her band-aids.  Oh, her mother says.  You must be a nurse or a mommy. No.  I am a woman who tears at her cuticles until they bleed.  I am a woman who cuts herself.

 

Yellow ptarmigan.  Aleutian terns.  Jiggy with excitement, we raise our glasses.  Someone mentions Newport Beach, my other home.  I almost cry out.

 

Unravelling, I sit near three ladies at lunch. Slaty-backed gulls and bacon sandwiches.  The ladies talk about the rivers and wetlands, the high alpine tundra. Does landscape shape a life?

 

Here, all summer, day and night are fair.  I keep time by the water clock, the tide clock.  Minutes and hours, days, move in and out over the shoreline like crabs.  At night, I dream of forests where a person could hide.  Wake up disoriented, jaggy.

 

Summer’s last birding tour.  Fall migration.  Red-throated loons, sand hill cranes.  At the visitor center, we record birds we’ve seen.  One man says, Crazy as a loon. I say, Maybe, but I’m here.


 

In a Berlin Bar

 

Stella says in English,

I am not a lesbian.

I say, I’m not one either.

On the stage, a full orchestra

plays standards like “Embraceable You.”

Men, mostly dressed in glittery hats and straps,

dance with other men,

and the women in three-piece suits,

striped, and ties,

dance with other women. 

 

The slender man I came with,

who is not enough of a woman

or is too much of a woman,

is dancing with Stella’s pretty brother

who is wrapped in a red silk dress.

 

Outside, winter snow. 

Inside, my friend laughing,

head tipped back, his white throat exposed.

Stella glances at him.

Says, I have faith.  God

does not pay attention to what we wear.

God does not make judgments about who we love.

I’ve heard this before and shrug.

 

She is plain.  Chalky moon-faced,

flat eyes the colour of slate.

She is also in a silky dress,

keeping time with her lacquered fingernails

on the table top.

Come on, she tells me, we might as well.

I’ll be the girl first,

then we can change.

 

We make our way onto the floor.

She places my right hand on her waist,

which is both tender and firm.

Rests her left hand on my shoulder.

Stella’s good; we move easily to the music,

a tune both familiar and strange.


 

I Am Not Kissing You

 

Under the spread of the banyan tree

I am not kissing you

I am not touching your face

just above the beard line

where the skin would be soft

 

we walk along the beach

ankles splashing in shallow water

and look out at the sailboats

at the sea changing

from turquoise to lapis lazuli

 

our bodies soak up the warm summer sun

our feet cold from treading on the ocean’s hem

I catch a glimmer of gold

from the wedding ring you continue to wear

and I am not kissing you

but I am laughing at your very clever joke

really laughing

with my teeth and my eyes

 

we watch the sunset

hoping to catch the rare green flash

which you have never seen

and I have never seen

but we assume it does exist

on certain evenings

when conditions are correct

and your thigh touches mine

but I do not move away

and there’s no green flash

yet we continue to believe

and I am not kissing you

 

we pass a gardenia bush

you pick a blossom for my hair

the fragrance fills my head

then shimmers above me

a platinum and silver

aurora borealis

and I am not kissing you

though you touch my hair again

to smell the flower                                                                                                     

near the path to my house

I am not caressing your arms

the biceps with the hula girl tattoos

I noticed them many times today

I am not pressing my hands

against the muscles of your chest

and I am not kissing you

as the sky becomes quite dark

and only the gardenia lights my way.



Dear Father, 

 

This year I turn 67.

The age grandfather was when he died.

The age grandmother was when she died.

Your age when you died.

 

Since you left 30 years ago,

I have read 2,000 books --

if you count the mystery trash --

and loved every word.

I stopped eating the crusts of bread,

which always taste dry and burned,

even when they’re not.

I balance my checkbook

like you taught me.

 

Husband number one

was a romantic error.

Father, I cut him loose and he flew free.

After many companions,

I settled in with husband number two,

29 years and counting.

He gently bites my shoulder

to wake me in the morning.

 

Look at the cat lifting her head,

love-eyes half-closed.

She’s lying on our couch,

warmed by the sun.

And, look, on the sideboard,

there is one last piece of apple pie.

 

Father, I am still so very hungry.




Rafaella Del Bourgo’s writing has appeared in Puerto Del Sol, Rattle, Oberon, Nimrod, and The Bitter Oleander. She has won many awards including the League of Minnesota Poets Prize in 2009. In 2010, she won the Alan Ginsberg Poetry Award. She was also the 2010 winner of the Grandmother Earth Poetry Award.  In 2012 Ms. Del Bourgo won the Paumanok Poetry Award.  In 2013 she was the recipient of the Northern Colorado Writers first prize for poetry and in 2014, the New Millennium Prize for Poetry.  In 2017 she won the Mudfish Poetry Prize and was nominated for the third time for a Pushcart Prize.  Her first collection I Am Not Kissing You was published by Small Poetry Press.  Her chapbook Inexplicable Business: Poems Domestic and Wild was published by Finishing Line Press.  She lives in Berkeley with her husband.



“Crayola Me a River” published in the Wicked Wit Anthology 2020

“I Keep and Apartment in Nome” published by Nimrod 2013

“In a Berlin Bar” published by Slippery Elm 2013

“I Am Not Kissing You” published by Good News 2009

“Dear Father” published by Nimrod 2012


Friday, 23 July 2021

Four Wonderful Poems by Lynn White

 



Scorpio’s Secret

 

I’ve kept our secret a long time, 

the mystery of our passion

and, ever resourceful, 

I stored it

deep in the watery underworld.

But now I’ve forgotten 

where 

I buried it

and my crabby comrades are long gone.

Their hard shells tell me nothing,

perhaps they never did,

but it was guarded by Pluto

to make sure it was safe.

We had a deal then,

back in the days 

when I thought him reliable

now I’m not sure

if I can trust him.

Perhaps he’s already dug it up

I won’t know till I find him,

if I can find him,

and when I do 

it’s resting place

will remain

my secret.

I’ve already lost our passion,

it’s buried forever.

And now

I shall become a hermit,

give up my hard shell

keep myself secret,

I need no one else.

 


 

Such A Wonder

 

They’re such a wonder!

They never eat their fellow creatures,

or trample them under hoof.

They don’t require the speedy dispatch

of rain forest acres

to meet their culinary needs.

Those in my garden don’t eat the plants

and happily allow me to garland them

with flowers fresh each morning

and allow the myriad of insects 

to alight and feed on them

without so much as a flick of the tail

or a toss of the head.

Such a wonder.

They’ll come for a walk with no need

for lead

or muzzle

as they don’t chase the sheep

or greet passers by with a growl

or take a hefty bite from an ankle 

or calf,

or shit on the street or path.

Truly a wonder

these unicorns.

 

And they’ll inhabit your dreams with smiles.

 


 

Aliens

 

They emerged from the eggs 

of our snow white Silkies.

Every one a cockerel when grown,

we decided to have one for dinner.

The skin was blue, under the white plumage,

which was quite a shock,

a little alien,

but cooked, it was fine. Normal.

And the flesh was white,

But when carved, the bones were blue.

Disconcerting.

A little alien.

 

And now these red feathered birds

have appeared as if from nowhere,

their eggs pink. 

When they hatched and grew,

all were hens,

their clutches carefully hidden,

each batch of chicks larger than the last.

A little strange,

a little alien.

And then, at last, there were cockerels,

too many and too large. 

We decided to have one for dinner.

The skin was pink under the red plumage

which was quite a shock.

A little alien.

But cooked it was fine. Normal.

And the flesh was white.

But when carved the bones were pink,

Disconcerting,

more than a little alien.

 

There are more of them now,

growing ever larger.

I think that soon

the dinner tables will be turned

and they’ll make a meal of us.

 

 

 

Rookery

 

Soon the light will be fading

and the rooks are circling

in a cawing cacophony 

of confusion

trying to understand the changes 

to their once familiar roost,

searching in vain for the water

which would explain 

the duplicity of their treetop canopy

now a mirror-less reflection.

 

They’re searching

for something, 

anything

to give them a bearing,

to show them whether 

to fly up or down

which way is up

or down

in this rookery of dreams,

rootless as a dream.




Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Capsule Stories, Gyroscope Review and So It Goes. Find Lynn at: https://lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com and https://www.facebook.com/Lynn-White-Poetry-1603675983213077/

 



 

Three Fine Poems by Aysegul Yildirim

  Time yet to be gained     I   we’re in a   river of      dream                                                                ...