Sunday, 16 May 2021

Five Wonderful Poems by Michael Favala Goldman



David Brower

Glen Canyon, 1956

 

The river was still undammed,

cliffs visible,

wildlife unknowing

their fate.

 

When the water rose

some would proliferate,

some disappear,

and people would come

on jet skis and in rental

canoes, not as well-equipped

as this canoe parked

on the bank. 

 

Though the executive order

had been set in motion

the river was still free,

and he didn’t know,

he could still see

nature according to itself

as he sat on a log,

his grilled steak sagging

slightly over the edges

of his Sierra Club cup. 

 

That night under the stars 

he dreamed of living 

under the water

with all the happy creatures. 

 

 

Weekend Project: moving furniture

 

It was your idea

to reconfigure rooms.

 

I follow along

trying not to upset you.

 

You get sad

then angry

 

because I’m not

taking ownership.

 

You expected us

to do this together.

 

We stop working

and talk.

 

Now you’re crying.

I wasn’t aware

 

there was a problem.

I failed you, again.

 

The one room

is looking quite good.

 

The hallway clogged

with things

 

that don’t have

an obvious destination.

 

 

Of course, this is just my opinion

 

It could go one way or the other.

Either the spring builds up, trickles

or geysers at the surface, or stays

a blind current buried (under fear

or numbness). Yes or no used to be

without explanation, a reaction

to readiness. Then the stairway of logic

built higher and higher in response

to the questioning, as the floor dropped 

stepwise farther into the basement. 

It’s all a construction.


 

Irony

 

The ghost inside me seeks

every opportunity 

 

to make this day 

about me 

 

each wall a mirror

each face an insult. 

 

Or compliment.

I am here for a reason:

 

to pile on validation 

that I’m here for a reason 

 

and around I go 

in the circle cage of days 

 

the light changing 

the leaves changing 

 

and I wonder

where the time goes. 

 

 

Quantum entanglement

 

Our souls came blasting out of Brahman

and they face each other perplexed:

 

How do we belong

to one another?

 

Can we connect

through conflict?

 

Is conflict 

another form of love?




Michael Favala Goldman (b.1966) is a poet, jazz clarinetist and translator of Danish literature. Among his sixteen translated books are The Water Farm Trilogy by Cecil Bødker and Dependency by Tove Ditlevsen (a Penguin Classic). His first book of original poetry, Who has time for this? was published in 2020. HIs second book of poetry, Small Sovereign, is forthcoming this October. He lives in Northampton, MA, where he has been running bi-monthly poetry critique groups since 2018. https://michaelfavalagoldman.com/

 

Five Stunning Villanelle Poems by Terry Wheeler




old forms

 

in old forms wisdom creaks

beauty’s smithy works each word

until a tender timelessness speaks 

 

through shelley raw youth seeks

revolutionary fire seldom heard

in old forms wisdom creaks

 

rimbaud in wilderness for weeks

thoughts pounding vision blurred

until a tender timelessness speaks

 

gerard from morning prayer peeks 

at the godhead of spring’s bird

in old forms wisdom creaks 

 

dylan thomas endlessly tweaks

forcing meaning from the absurd

until a tender timelessness speaks 

 

grappling with myriad techniques 

where this alchemy is spurred

in old forms wisdom creaks 

until a tender timelessness speaks


 

 

 

chifley


did she grin

the trappings shed

staring at ben

 

he told them

pick forde instead

did she grin

 

they needed him

jim scullin said

staring at ben

 

when housewives ring

butcher orders read

did she grin

 

her eyes swim

and are fed

staring at ben

 

big boofy chin

across kurrajong bed

did she grin

staring at ben



 

 

too soon

 

is it too soon

to conjure words for

this melancholy tune

 

these notes lie strewn 

blue to their core

is it too soon

 

construed neath the moon

obeying its lunar law

this melancholy tune

 

in every spectral dune

the maternal spirits soar

is it too soon

 

would bobby dylan croon

in some croaky roar

this melancholy tune 

 

as this page is hewn

pieces falling to the floor 

is it too soon

this melancholy tune


 

 

 

dingle peninsula 

 

a greensward beauty shakes the day

making green fools of touring folk

as into mist rainbows fray

 

hide and seek the sun does play

with showers which seldom soak

a greensward beauty shakes the day

 

up the west wind’s way lay

hillside sheep that blindly poke

as into mists rainbows fray

 

from twining lanes an atlantic spray

hits low notes with a pulsing croak

a greensward beauty shakes the day 

 

ghostly cowls kneel to pray 

inside beehives black clouds cloak

as into mist rainbows fray 

 

all the senses these vistas waylay

are overwhelmed and choke

a greensward beauty shakes the day 

as into mist rainbows fray


 

 

 

laphroaig 

 

the ocean turns the other cheek

and through the angels’ share

the whisky barrels speak

 

as barley churned seeks its peak

sprouting in heavy salty air

the ocean turns the other cheek

 

of dark smoky peat

wafting pagoda towers square

the whisky barrels speak 

 

when copper pot stills creak

filling with wash then spirit fair

the ocean turns the other cheek 

 

from decades spent in retreat

inside warehouses battered there

the whisky barrels speak 

 

with a wild bushfire reek

to reward a palate rare

the ocean turns the other cheek 

the whisky barrels speak




 




After graduating from law school in the late 1980s Terry Wheeler worked in the Australian public service for decades. He was inspired to write after seeing Michael Dransfield poems in The Australian newspaper when a teenager. Terry has been published in Australia and abroad since retiring. He lives in Brisbane when not travelling.

 

 

Five Sublime Poems by Alan Catlin


 

Out of season snow. Budding, half-

formed leaves. Bent branches dislocated

as bones are, torn tendons that have been

snapped in two.  All night silvered trees

howl in pain.

 

                        ghost birds

                        shelter in ever

                        green tombs

 

 

 

            Flowers frozen in mid-bloom. Tender

as glass. Luminous to the touch. Formal

gardens made solid as scrap iron sculptures.

Flaking rust falls from low ceiling sky.

 

            shredded by moonlight-melting trees

 

 

 

            Heavy water falls as rain on sheet

metal. Ball peen dents on scuff-marked

elliptical planes. Conical headed, sprouting

weeds, bend right angled stems.

 

                        In soft light

                        frosted spider webs

                        glow                       

 

 

 

            Scarecrow dreams as vivid as phantom

limb pain.  The gnarled branches host black birds,

eyeing furrows of loam, seed sprouts on a grid of

nerves, pulsing with light.

 

                        Storm cycle changes

                        the course

                        of the wind-snow 

 

 

 

            Flood stage creek overflows banks in

quicksilver night. Gnarl of stump roots and dry

rot limbs propelled between tree breaks.  A

buzz of wasp nest hives spit stinger edged sparks

into clenching fists of  earth where white waters

rush.

 

                        Polished stones

                        form a wall;

                        the night aches 

 

Alan Catlin has recently published several full  length poetry books and chapbooks of poetry. Recent Titles include The Road to perdition ( Alien Buddha) Memories Too (Dos Madres) and Sunshine Superman (Cybertwit.)


Saturday, 15 May 2021

Three Poems by Jennifer Lemming


 


Red Eye Special

 

I am on a plane trip from Austin to Boston and back,

and my back aches from jet lag and shouldering

carry-on luggage as I sprint from terminal point

to terminal point, passing Lewis & Clark, a waiting pair

in a long line to board for The Northwest Passage,

but as I pass Clark, he catches my eye, winks,

and gives a knowing nod, acknowledging

that my modern post-modern portage

is worthy of today’s traveller.

 

Just before I arrive at my gate, I pass an impatient Nietzsche,

in line to buy a ticket for a plane going Nowhere,

but he is still arguing with the counter person,

insistent on a window seat. I check through, and boarding

the plane I so hope Sam Houston isn’t seated

next to me again. On my last flight to Austin, he did nothing

but belly ache and brag, his mutton- chop sideburns

tickling my left cheek.



Kung Fu High School

 

There were some guys

in my high school that thought

they were cool cats, real cool cats.

taking swift steps, their feet flying

fancy in prayer and supplication

to the Church of Cool, raising

their arms with intention but

executing clumsy karate chops

in the air accompanied by

fake Kung Fu sounds.

 

These same guys, holding out their hands

that were thick as paws, palms downward

with fingers flexed told me their hands

were registered with the police as deadly

weapons then pressing their palms together

in front of me, waiting for my awe.

 

Black cats, and white cats,

calico cats the multi-coloured cats,

all cool cats. School teacher assigning

a reading to a class of waiting tigers,

who are switching their tails, and in Art classes,

the instructor admonishes tense felines,

Draw this. Draw this line.



Rose Parade

 

I see a rose and pick the bloom on my morning walk

And rub the petals between my fingers,

I bend my head and touch my nose to its center.

I bite, grinding the petal between my teeth,

Lifting my head, with a piece of petal still in my mouth

I continue my morning walk and I listen to myself

As I hum a little song about roses.

 



Jennifer Lemming won Grand Prize for her poetry in the Dancing Poetry Contest in 2019. Her poems and short fiction have been published in online and print journals. Her latest chapbook, Star Slough, was published by Dark Heart Press, March 2019. She lives in Bismarck, North Dakota.



 

 

 

Three Poems by Jeff Santosuosso


 

From Children

 

Mother, teach me dignity,

Mother, reproach.

 

Mother, what happens when I open the door?

Who’ll be there; whose mother’s son?

 

Mother, teach the other mothers.

Mother, I’m afraid, confused.

 

They rammed our car,

blocked our bus,

 

gassed our feet.
They said it was self-control.

 

Mother, why am I young?

Why do I feel so old?

 

Why do targets blind their eyes,

fix their focus on the fair,

 

clamp our ankles in ridicule.

Mother, I want to chew something off.

 

 

Ball Ghazal

 

The circle was perfected to the wheel, then the ball,

which urged man, imperfect, to play with the ball.

 

LeBron returned to Cleveland, but never risked his life

like the Mayans’ death game of hoop and ball.

 

France fell in love with a net, a racquet, grass, clay, or hard court,

alternating glances back and forth following the felt ball.

 

Brooding Scots trekked the moors, invented

a way to ruin a good walk chasing a dimpled ball.

 

From Elysian Fields to now, Baseball is a simple game.

You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball.

 

Tables with sticks and chalk join angles and geometry

– plus a little hustle – with numbered colored balls.

 

Pigskin’s a relic, but not wartime blitzes and bombs,

double-ended spiraling gridiron Super ball.

 

Goooooooooooooooooooooooal!

Slow subtleties and elations of kicking a global ball.

 

Take a swim in youth, splash your friends, show off by

leaping and grasping bent knees in a cannonball.

 

 

On the Move

 

We have the rocks, too.

Nobody notices them

unless they assemble into a Fuji,

a Rainier, a Denali.

 

Cold, motionless,

the rock is dead; the rock lives.

The rock is our home.

 

Skip it and count the caroms,

before it takes its rest

on the bottom,

upon which everything else rests,

except when it rises up,

K2, Kilimanjaro, Everest,

upon which everything rests.





Jeff Santosuosso is a business consultant and award-winning poet living in Pensacola, Florida, USA.  His chap book, “Body of Water,” is available through Clare Songbirds Publishing House. He is Editor-in-Chief of panoplyzine.com, an online journal of poetry and short prose. Jeff’s work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Comstock ReviewSan Pedro River Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, The Blue Nib, Mojave River Review, The Lake (UK), Red Fez, Texas Poetry Calendar, Avocet, Pif, and other online and print publications.

 

Friday, 14 May 2021

Five Wonderful Poems by John Drudge

 



Around Us

 

We rode our bikes

To Place Dauphine

A springtime oasis

From the growing crowds

In the city

And sat on a bench

In the shade

With blossoms falling

From the trees

Onto the hard sandy ground

And ate a basket lunch

That you packed in the morning

As a surprise

Watching the old men

Tossing boules

With scientific accuracy

As the woman

With the big Swiss dog

Smiled at us

As she passed

And you took my hand

And kissed me

In the cascading light

And suddenly everything

Was gone

And we were one

As the river ran silently

Around us



Moving

 

Pedestals

Are precarious real estate

As we teeter and totter

Between what’s right

And what is

Falling one way

And then the next

Into the barren

Bottom of the barrel

Blind in our ambition

Staged in our resolve

And moving

Into the beckoning

Of our final

Sorrow



Autumn Days

 

They stroll along

The Boulevard St. Germain

Filtering golden light

Through lofty eyes

Worn and wrinkled

Like old money

Long beyond love

And fresh water beginnings

Mingling loudly on terraces

And in well-lit corners

Of cafes

Waiting for something

Beyond existence

In the creeping silence

Of lost tomorrows

Longing to be alive

And to know it

Replete in splendour

In the setting sun

Of autumn days



Nowhere But Here

 

I walk past

The old women

Selling peaches

On the Rue Mouffetard

Enjoying the anonymity

Of wandering

From street to street

And bar to bar

Without a care

On this warm spring day

But for the occasional need

For shade

And the less occasional need

For sobriety

Resting in a chair

In the Luxembourg gardens

Listening to nannies gossip

While children play

With boats on the pond

Trying to forget

Everything in the world

But this unfurling

Now



Santorini Sunrise

 

As I try to write

In the early hours

The deep of the blue

Is beyond

The bright whiteness

Of hope

Beyond contrast

And curved stone

The rhythms of history

And sirens of distraction

Stirring old movements

Through hewn caves

With something always

Forgotten behind

Pieces of mosaic

And woven fabrics

Of time

A cauldron of sentiment

Explosions of hesitation

Breathing into eternity

Falling

Through tangled lives

And forgotten dreams

To be made anew

In a succession of instants

Across this empty page

 



John is a social worker working in the field of disability management and holds degrees in social work, rehabilitation services, and psychology.  He is the author of three books of poetry: “March” and “The Seasons of Us” (both published in 2019) and New Days (published in 2020). His work has appeared widely in numerous literary journals, magazines, and anthologies internationally. John is also a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee and lives in Caledon Ontario, Canada with his wife and two children.

 


Five Wonderful Poems by Michael Favala Goldman

David Brower Glen Canyon, 1956   The river was still undammed, cliffs visible, wildlife unknowing their fate.   When the wat...