Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Three Poems by Anca Vlasopolos



Morning Doves



            like drops of near-vanquished darkness

                        caught on high branches



                        by winter dawn


I may want to weigh them

            with symbolism

                        you      you      you      dusky capsules

                                    hiding souls of my dear lost ones

                        radiance beginning its ascent


but truth


they live          they fall           soar in a hurry of dropped feathers from fierce talons


for themselves             alone


And No Soul Sing


just as in youth when—lover absent—

each soft-grass meadow made blood

            course              engorge           skin tingle with desire

each hidden nook        each dale

                        bore imprint of mind’s eye rapture


so now when winter winds rev up with motor fury

our mortal dress rips a little more

bones               through every screaming tatter          

answer bare choirs’ clatter

yearn for the letting go

                                    for breaking coils

                        to join storms’ boundless grind


As it flows


No longer does the color of the world stay within bounds. Perhaps we only thought it does, for bark on the distant pine becomes camouflaged bird, the rare bird on the beach turns into an ancient boulder encrusted with barnacles and algae, lily pads opening under pond skin swim, changing to orange koi, bearded lichens clothe bare choirs in glamour of springtime, pinecone clinging—a swinging nest, or nest left over from last year’s brood—a cone, seedless, swaying.

Anca Vlasopolos: the award-winning novel The New Bedford Samurai; the award-winning memoir No Return Address: A Memoir of Displacement; four collections of poems, Often Fanged Light (Adelaide Books, 2019), Cartographies of Scale (and Wing) (2015), Walking Toward Solstice (2012, and Penguins in a Warming World (2007); three poetry chapbooks, a detective novel, Missing Members, and over three hundred poems and short stories in literary journals.

"No matter how bad things get you got to go on living, even if it kills you."—Sholem Aleichem

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

One Flash Fiction Piece by Art O Suilleabhain


Seagulls on the lake 2021


The seagulls seem to know something this year. They have multiplied on the freshwater lake. I have heard them screaming from the shore where I walk, when I can only go so far from home. Perhaps I have heard them better since the silence had grown with the new era or perhaps it is that the Corrib isn’t as crowded now by the blaring outboard engines ferrying anglers from one favourite fishing place to another.


The seagulls have taunted me and my dog Oscar, from inaccessible rocks and small islands, practising social isolation in a way I can only grumble at. They seem to be jeering that they can fly when I cannot, that they understand something that I cannot see. Their screams seem to mock my fantasy that nature is there only for the pleasure of humankind, despite the fact that we all overburden it with our greed. We catch too many fish, not to feed our children but to feed our need for sport, to show our dominion over the environment. Nature, it seems, has its own way of balancing itself.


The seagulls once changed their habits many years ago, flocking to our dumps to scavenge for food. They congregated at seaside resorts to catch the easy leftovers and sometimes to snatch tasty morsels from the walkers who had purchased fast-food or cones for themselves. But that is gone now and the seagulls have come back to the lake this spring to stay for the summer. The Corrib produces great hatches of olives and mayflies in May, but many of the beautiful, transient insects were gathered by the anglers. The flies that weren’t used as bait were often discarded, dead, useless and hardened by a day or two in the mayfly box. The influx of boats and angler-crowded water chased away the gulls. But they have  come back this year, screaming their laughter at us. They seem to anticipate a May full of mayflies on the lake, when the only competition for them will be among the gulls themselves.


There will be no angling competitions this year either. The trout will have a year of recovery, they will gorge on the bountiful mayflies, despite the gulls. The trout will grow fat on the protein and hopefully will spawn unhindered in pristine rivers come the autumn. The water will go unpolluted by two stroke engine oil or by the noise of new four stroke engines.


Oscar, my swimming crazy Irish water-spaniel, took to the water recently and swam to a nearby rock, himself taunted by one of the seagulls. Needless to say, the gull nonchalantly flew a circle over the waves and left Oscar wondering. He had to come back empty mouthed. Of course he waited until he was beside me to shake himself off and spray the water in a quivering arc, no worries about the spray distance for him. The gull landed back on the rock seconds later. Perhaps it was his or her designated restaurant near where insects popped up from the bottom of the lake, and metamorphosed into wonderful flying creatures for the gulls to pick from the surface or chase in the air.


Whatever happens in May, it will be a time of plenty for the gulls. They will gorge themselves on Corrib’s bounty of mayflies. It will be the same, no doubt on lakes all over Ireland. Gulls will binge on a rich diet of wild protein, given freely from the lake. Thousands of the mayflies will still escape to heather and whin bushes to wait out a day and then lay their eggs over the water, beginning the cycle again. The trout will splash and gobble the fresh, soft, green mayflies from the surface of the lake, undisturbed by visiting anglers, and unfazed by the gulls. A new normal will return.

Art Ó Súilleabháin lives in Corr na Mona in Joyce Country, in North Connemara. He has retired there after working as a teacher, a director of education in the west of ireland and as a lecturer at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. He has published a number of books for children (in the Irish language), reads some his work on Irish radio and will publish a collection of poetry for adults (Mayflies in the Heather) in March 2021.He is the father of six wonderful children - Aoibhinn, Eoin, Cian, Darach, Fiachra and Art óg. Art is currently working with an artist in Texas ( Jessica Phillips )who will produce some porcelain pieces based on his poetry.

Five Wonderful Poems by Lilija Valis




Her house looks virtuous.

Flowers like butterflies

hover over clay pots

on the front porch.


An orange cat gazes out

a window besieged with ivy

bearing white stars.


I ring the doorbell.

Inside, a dog goes wild

but when I enter, she raises

a paw. We shake hands.


The woman who lives here

loves the sea. She has found

amber in her wood floors

the kitchen is tiled

in aqua and coral.


Home as an oasis

of filtered sunlight,

an escape from the endless

tunnels of hospital work.


After supper, she sits

at the slender virginals.

Sixteenth century sound

fills the house.


The gentle-faced beagle

leans against her leg.

She rescues beagles

for the same reason

scientists seek them:

their trust and patience.


‘Let me see the way things are,’

is her Celtic prayer.

She views the present

through history, and so

is aware that the peace

of her neighbourhood is fragile.


Her green eyes are shaded

by the future she sees in history.

You can no more change

the future, she says,

than you can alter the past.


She’s vaguely aware

of a history her cells guard.

In her dreams, stones

are hurled at her and she

has to flee her amber oasis.


Her long hair is red

the tradition is ancient.

She does not linger

on the front porch.

Unseen eyes are connected

to unknown desires.


Inside the house she sings

to an invisible flame.





     Hello, night callers

     to my favourite radio station

     and everyone listening,

     all of us in the dark

     in unknown places

     reaching out


you may be driving

along the highway

that seems to go on forever

or calling from some cabin

hidden in the Rockies

you may be stretched out

on your bed in the motel

along the way to destiny

or you may be in a mansion

where the only Other

is the live-in housekeeper,

maybe you are pacing the floor

while your family dreams


you with worries

for your country

and the planet

you who feel closer

to space aliens

than to your new neighbours

you who want to escape

the spiralling-down-present

you who fear the future

you who love this earth

who rescue those in distress

you whose song

floats across the desert –


     you have a family

     you don’t know –

     we are everywhere

     listening to your breathing

     hearing the unspoken


     we are stepping

     between you and the void

     here’s a hand – take it—

     to steady us both.





We are the silent ones

outside your sympathy


we dress to a different code

our speech evades your rules


the graveyard shift

was made for us


we do the dirty work

your comfort requires


our hands are rough

you call us trash


we fight the wars

you pretend to protest


we are the useless old

muted by your drugs


the unvisited patients

you let die in the hospital


we are the ones choking

in your wombs as you gas us


we have x-ray vision

we see what you can’t


we make no excuses

we expect no justice


your words sear our skins

and thin our bones


we no longer listen

as you talk, talk, talk…


we prefer dancing

and we do it furiously


no words is our bond

we pledge by the stars


we are the silent ones

we travel by night.





I’m no longer a human being

not that I minded being one

but have merely moved on

or out, not sure which


I don’t shop

don’t do bars or concert halls

no musical beds for me

no corporate smorgasbord

no activists’ accusations

no stealing from others

no admiring the leader’s mask

or watching wannabes compete

                              for power over me

no giving them money

for more guns than they know

                                      what to do with


don’t care who did what to whom

as an excuse to do it to a third party


I won’t cage life that flies, swims

                                  likes to explore

needs its family and some territory

and I won’t pay others

                                      to do it for me


I think we’ve reached our quota

of bulldozing other creatures’ homes


not interested in spiritual face-lifts --

               an increasingly big business


I’m out of here

the humanity part

not leaving though

love this planet too much

even some humans


I’ll hang around

mingle just as if I’m human





As you flee

and if you haven’t yet

                       you will

one thing or another


the mess you made of your life


some illness the doctor

will only make worse


gangs ruling your back alleys


a government following

your private words

and diagnosing your thoughts


armed military units, faces

obscured, going door to door


yes, you will try to escape

                              our lot here

searching for the Garden

which we dream about

or perhaps remember


flowers outside our window

light dancing in our path

songbirds healing secret wounds


the Garden located somewhere

west of where you live


and that’s where you head

following the sun


going over the edge

in order to start anew.

Lilija Valis, author of Freedom on the Fault Line, has lived on three continents, during times of war and peace, riots, demonstrations and festivals. She

has been published in literary and e-zine magazines and nine anthologies. Before the COVID pandemic, she read her work solo or with one or two musicians in bistros, at various literary, musical, dance and political/philosophical events, as well as in run-down theatres and private homes, in Vancouver and the United States. She has performed with a group at two Vancouver Fringe Festivals and, as one of the winners, at San Francisco’s Artist Embassy International Dancing Poetry Festival at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. She has two CDs out, one solo and the other with two musicians



Monday, 1 March 2021

One Sublime Poem by Moe Seager




Morning gives to afternoon

Time to tuck away dreams, desire, inner being

Corporeal gravity of transparent routines, anemic rituals

Rain, Spring returns from exile

Sucks on Aprils nipples


Thunder claps, falling waters

Herd us against each other

Repelling most in hurried flight for home

Where we are absolutely safe

From nothing

Witness those drowning

In the empty vessels of themselves


Oh this day would be dull, boring

Were it not for the occasional flash

Of bright umbrellas

One, the colour red

To remind us 

We are


My umbrella is a tent

I a nomad

Wandering through this village

Not quite sure of how to conduct myself


By chance, design?

We come upon each other


The solitude of two


Too soon it is time

You must go

I shall wait

Beauty is stubborn


Perhaps it will rain tomorrow

Copyright Moe Seager from the collection We Want Everything. Onslaught press 2015

Moe Seager is a poet and jazz & blues vocalist who sings his poems on stages in Paris, New York and elsewhere and has recorded 2 jazzpoetry c.d.s.

Seager founded and hosts Angora Poets (Paris) World Café,100 Thousand Poets for Change Paris and is one of the coordinators for le Fédération des Poètes Paris.

He has 5 collections of poetry and currently publishes with Onslaught press, Oxford, U.K.  Other poetry collections are issued from the French Ministry of Culture –

Dream Bearers,1990.

One World, Cairo Press –in Arabic translation, 2004 

We Want Everything in French translation, les Temps des Cirises, Paris, 1994

Perhaps, La Maison de la Poesie, Grenoble, France, 2006

Fishermen and Pool Sharks Busking editions, London, 1992

Additionally Seager won a Golden Quill Award (USA) for investigative journalism,1989  and received an International Human Rights award from the Zepp foundation, 1990.

He teaches writing in Paris.

Keep the Beat on the Pulse of Life!

Moe Seager                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Three Poems by Jyoti Nair




Fins sprout from the nape of my seared agony...

My body is a smouldering scarlet sky, 

Hauling a conniving cumulonimbus...

Can fins mutate into reticent squalls... 

Sweeping the scattered flotsams of my mind... 

Into some trash bin, to be mixed with tarmac... 

An urchin tore a few veins of mine, 

with his dexterous fingers...neatly across the perforations... 

My veins: purplish palpitating poise...

Platitudinous peonies, often burrowed and belittled... 

His fingers bled as my ballistic bludgeoned irises morphed into screeching splinters... 

He threw my strewn yearnings, now ornate as splinters...In a poetic shrill... 

At the amethyst azure, that nibbled her toes, with her playful fangs...

What we call thunderbolts, then gargled with a glass of pungent mojito... 


The Crepuscule


The crepuscule smiles, 

she has been asked to muddle

the coquettish mocktails of our days. 

Her dimples filling up to the brim, 

of those surreal glasses. 

Each glass holds the cue... 

Yellow, Orange, Red, Magenta... 

Paradisal puzzles knotted in eclectic hues. 

Being poured by her dainty fingers. 

They await, all agog... 

Albeit, they aren't tricksters, 

they don't try to entice. 


Serene zeitgebers they are... 

Learn their foot tapping patterns, 

you will need those

to foxtrot with the ensuing obsidian shrills. 

For now, she is the translucent gaze, 

the first promise of your dawn. 

How discerning is your palate? 

Will some sips suffice... 

To distil the anticipated, 

gravel groans of your path. 

Will a few gulps have the prudence... 

To foresee the savoury see saw

being churned by swirls, 

in those chosen glasses. 


Until then tread along

the seams of that crepuscule, 

where sunrise blooms write

to the withering foliage

as dusks emit sighs of relief. 

Where empyrean landscapes

peep into each other, 

their glances stirring up

the microcosms that we call life. 




Creased-clandestine bellowing, pummelling the gongs of our connaissance

Our conscience: a capricious canopy straddling, 

Spring-sauna, Banshee-shrieking... 

Cudgelled into wryly whimpers, wheezing wings... 

Mangled-magma, hitherto swerving macadamized masonries

Clambering out of their plunging moralities, those plummeting precipices... 

Their asphyxiated tongues and wrists ricocheting... 

Quercus coccinea: blithe burlesques of languished limbs

Limping pirouettes, our souls pivoting...Souls dribbling... 

Through their capitulated cacophonies, awashed sighs... 

Sanctimonious soul-screams, battered at the seams... 



Banshee: In Irish folklore, a female spirit whose wailing warns of impending death. 



The quintessential transformation evangelist, Jyoti Nair has acquired professional prowess, in the capability development and project management gamut, incessantly catering to rapidly diversifying business needs. She currently spearheads multiple operations for L & D and Quality Assurance, spanning across HR and Recruitment, while being employed at an Indian Multinational Technology Company, acclaimed as global leaders in IT services, Digital and business solutions. She finds the process of writing therapeutic and nurtures the poetry raiment as her second skin. Her works feature in numerous, global poetry anthologies and distinguished poetry journals, has won many laurels for her literary pursuits, however she inherently cherishes her solitary quill and fervently whets her pen in stoic resilience. In her modest opinion, our rusted souls are beckoned, hearts feel more alive, if we engage in some literary tilling, day in and day out.



Three Poems by Anca Vlasopolos

    Morning Doves   doves             like drops of near-vanquished darkness                         caught on high branches han...