Sunday 27 February 2022

One Poem by Jim Lewis (j. lewis)


 

how to seduce a poet

 

if the poet is male—

show up wearing nothing

except a dust cover

slick and colourful

let it drop to the floor

 

flutter a page or two

as though eyelashes

were kissing his fingertips

 

exhale the scent

of printer's ink

and leather binding

intoxicate him

but not too much

or too soon

 

once you have his attention

(and trust me, you do)

invite him to open the cover

run his hand down

the title page

 

and done - he is yours

completely. he will

be awake all night

            ~

if the poet is female—

try showing up in softback

nothing to prove

no explanations

turn so she can read

the rear jacket testimonials

see what makes you

worth perusing

worth pursuing

 

quote, if you will

an intimate poem

pull something from millay

hinting that you'll remember

every kiss, even if edna

did not, that you know

nothing of forgetting

midnight cries

 

lay her hand gently

on the abstract cover

art that speaks

of mystery

of possibility

 

draw her in with

the first verse

unassuming, unafraid

be vulnerable, be brave

knowing that her eyes

will open wide

at the words tattooed

along your spine

 

slip her a folded note

that says 'i left a review...'

her resistance is gone

            ~

for either—

recite the final verse

of your latest poem

without explanation

 

without apology

for what came before

 

leave what comes after

to imagination




Jim Lewis (Pen name: j.lewis) is an internationally published poet, musician, nurse practitioner, and Editor of Verse-Virtual, an online journal and community. When he is not otherwise occupied, he is often on a kayak, exploring and photographing the waterways near his home in California. He has three full length collections and several chapbooks to his credit.   www.jlewisweb.com/books.asp

 

“a clear day in october” (poems and photos) is available directly from me.

“do you hear it?” (second collection of poetry) is available on Amazon.

“leave a light on” (third collection of poetry) is available on Amazon


Five Poems by Padma J. Thornlyre

 


The Kiss 

 

I need to read more

books on a woman’s

 

body, leather-bound

or cloth, books with

 

gilded pages, aromas

(dust or new ink)

 

and real weight,

words I can taste

 

like menstruation

and semen swirling

 

together, like shell-

fish, like sea, words

 

that roar like surf,

break salt-spray, cry

 

like dolphins, words

that jellyfish-like rise

 

and fall as a mermaid

above me, wave-spun

 

of glittering scales,

ambergris-heady,

 

pages slicing tongues,

drawing blood into

 

the tide, blood

into seaweed

 

with all her flashing

fingers, pages groaning

 

like old, wooden

fishing boats, pages

 

with hollows where

the wind can sing,

 

where a man can

vanish just long

 

enough to finally get

out of his own way.

 

 

New Mexico #1 

 

A northern New Mexico wind for the first

time in two weeks speaks less loudly than

 

sunlight and overnight, it seems, Raton’s

 

ravens have doubled their taut vocabulary,

hopping between branches in symmetrical

 

dances, jawboning. Patronizing the Pappas

Sweet Shop for the first time since moving

here from the cold, shady side of Colorado’s

 

Bear Creek Canyon, I sip a tall sarsaparilla

while awaiting the Hatch green chili burger

 

I ordered medium-rare, my back to the loud TV,

 

reading Anne Carson on God, E. Brontë, Sappho

and a warming Earth, waiting for Rome to fall.

 

 

Wagjaw #13 

 

It’s odd, walking

home from work

in the dusk, the

 

traffic behind me

on this narrow

canyon road:

 

I can’t see it coming.

Death will either

take me or respect me.

 

It’s a strange-looking

thing, this scrambled

bridge, mutilated

 

by last September’s

floods. A pickup

charges past, a sign

 

in its back window

declaring, simply,

“Donkey.” A bath

 

tub rises, a stuffed

lion’s padded feet

caught in barbed-

 

wire, daisies white,

daisies yellow.

Dead wings

 

dissolve on the gravel

shoulder. A well-lit

man lies content

 

on his rainbow

hammock, crossing

his ankles and gulping

 

a beer in fits and

starts. His golden

retriever stands stoic.

                                              

 

Ponderosa Pine

 6/22/21 

He buries her where she won’t be found, where the ubiquitous sponge of reddening pine needles carpets the porous, gritty, granitic soil. Aided by a windless calm, over the span of several days he meticulously arranges a grid of poetry, individual leaves pressed into the ground as seamlessly as the uneven contours of the forest floor allows. The nurse who wakes him to take his vitals and measure his blood sugar thought she heard him crying, but finds him snoring, instead.


 

WagJaw #15 

 

Cube is about knee-high,

a bluish crystal. Its ladder

 

reaches the clouds, unsecured,

yet stable: though it lists left

 

ward, made of some sort

of hardwood. Palomino

 

mare, unsaddled, rears

and races. Yucca blossoms

 

dot the afternoon. Indian

paintbrush, cactus flowers,

 

too, scatter in all directions.

Storm breaks violently,

 

but ladder and cube silence

themselves in a shaft of dim

 

light. The desert drinks greedily,

blossoms open before my very

 

eyes. I hear the rush of flash

floods from nearby canyons.




PADMA J. THORNLYRE - 62-year-old Padma Jared Thornlyre moved to Raton, NM from Bear Creek Canyon west of Denver four years ago. The most recent of his nine books were the four-volume Anxiety Quartet (2020-21), Mavka: a poem in 50 parts (2011) and Eating Totem: The Mossbeard Poems (2008). A member of the Fire Gigglers, poets and musicians who camp together every summer and sometimes perform together, too, Padma is also the Editor of Mad Blood, an "underground" literary/arts magazine about to be revived after a 15-year hiatus, and the primary book designer for the poetry co-op, Turkey Buzzard Press, about to publish its 34th title, Dancing at the Crossroads: The Final Poems of Michael Adams, which had for seven years been gathering dust on another editor's desk. Since 2011, Padma has labored on his first novel, Baubo's Beach, at a snail's pace: it's a narrative weaving together a lifetime's worth of remembered dreams. He says that spending so much waking time exploring his own unconscious, oft-dazzling and however fun, is emotionally and spiritually exhausting. Padma lives in a 900-square-foot double-wide with Sappho, Juliet and Kiki, his cats, where his personal library competes with art by his many talented friends for wall space. 

 

Three Poems by Stephen A. Rozwenc

 


                       Poem # 1 untitled

 

just inside

this Thai island reef insight

the ocean surface is a lavender pink

fluid brain

inside which squirming turquoise delight

and circadian rhythm half light

willingly accept the privately exchanged language

of tint and intimacy

 

sunrise spoon billed

to roseate genesis

beyond any word proverb

                         promised

 

                         

                       Poem # 2 untitled

 

things to do in Bangkok today

 

floss

 

greet every query

with lotus blossom optimism

 

perform the swaying elephant dance

for the dead

 

the one

that stops weapons manufacturers

from starving more children



Poem # 3 untitled

 

I am sure you will be thrilled to hear

this Delta Airlines Boeing 777 jet flight

the mythical bird I wish could transform ashes

into food that feeds all sentient beings

soars towards Bangkok

where it will deliver me

like the thready ping

of a Buddhist prayer bell

to the 8 petaled heart

of brightness

 

you’ll also be pleased to know

I've rediscovered

just enough of my innocence

to relinquish

a hideous ego

that bought and sold

more and more

to smugly train itself

to care less and less

 

now after flying to the opposite side

of the world

to where that wound called love

is the place the all-seeing third eye

enters your body

my psyche yearns

                          to fuse

Thai and American minds

and hearts

in the filigree astral light

of an intimate compassion

for all living beings

that has never before existed



Stephen A. Rozwenc is a widely published expat poet, who currently resides in Thailand. He has published seven collections of poetry. His published book collections are: The Fourth Turning, Grass Hill, Ekphrastic Nightingales, New England Fortune Cookies, Death Is Birth, Russia, Translations of Famous Russian Poets, and Thai Diary. 

More than two hundred of his poems and translations have appeared individually in numerous poetry publications including: The Mailer Review, Buddhist Poetry Review, Blue Lake Review, Dm Du Jour, Equinox, Eunoia Review, Glass Poetry, Naugatuck River Review, New Pattaya Review, Philadelphia Poets, Poets Against War, Plum Tree Tavern, Lothlorien Poetry Journal and Wordpeace. His poetry and translations have been published internationally in Europe and Asia. He has been a past recipient of two Williamsburg Massachusetts Arts Council Grants for poetry.

Two of his poems have been selected for inclusion in the Lothlorien Poetry Journal anthology of best poems of 2021.

 

Two Poems by Ivan de Monbrison - Translated from Russian into English


 

Пол комнаты покрыт дырами,

из которых торчат руки.

Ты говоришь сам с собой

в стеклянной клетке.

По лестнице спускается безумный

с собачьей головой.

У тишины нет ног

Но в соседней комнате

Это ты кричишь от боли. 

 

The floor of the room is covered with holes

out of which arms spring out.

You are talking to yourself in a glass cage.

A madman with a dog’s head

Is going down the stairs.

Silence is legless

While in the other room

You're screaming out of pain. 

 

 

Есть ребенок без взгляда,

На стене висят часы,

Его иглы идут назад,

Но у нее больше нет времени на нас.

Каждый день я вижу

Из моего окна

Проход по улице

Безумцы, святые, убийцы.

Но за разбитым зеркалом

Твоё отражение уже исчезло.

 

There is a child without eyes,

There is a clock on the wall,

with both arms going backwards,

which doesn’t have spare time for us.

Every day I see

From my window

Walking down the street

Madmen, saints, and murderers.

Though behind the broken mirror

Your reflection is already gone.

 



Ivan de Monbrison is a poet and artist born in 1969 in Paris. He has been published in literary magazines globally.

Two Poems by Ngozi Olivia Osuoha

 


SEARCHING FOR REST

 

I have been here singing this song of pain

Trying to understand why the world is cruel and life unfair,

But it seems I sink deeper into void and emptiness.

 

My voice picks high notes and transcends into low frequencies

Yet, I cannot hear myself.

 

Why would my soul thirst for peace and yet find war

As if I am a warrior?

Why would I hope for joy and bottle up sadness in my spirit

As though I am a beast?

 

Friends turn down my hand, and partners crush my love

Yet my body ages as though I make progress.

 

In life, what else could be more fulfilling if not unity and peace,

Could death bring growth?

 

Heathens rage, the earthen vessels break

Breakfasts spill, lunch freeze, and dinner sour,

How can my soul then find rest?

 

Daily I long and search for rest

Still my nest become a pest and my best turn jest, dipping into my crest zest.

Shady, rocky, deadly, heady, sloppy, 

Then I ask who makes headway in muddy waters?

 

 

THE MONSTER AND BEAST

 

Here comes the monster

Crawling like a lobster

In a huge cluster

Booming like a youngster.

 

See him in green strength

Teeming at full length,

Yet he is a beast

Setting the sun in the east.

 

Raping every breast

Cutting bare their chest,

Forcing them to the west

And stealing their rest.

 

In little circles and clusters

They become tyrants

In small groups and fosters

They eat up our elephants.

 

Rest is far from me

Hope flies away

Joy wonders aloof

Happiness deserts my land,

Yet they call me blessed.

 

These monsters cage me in agony

And these beasts take advantage of me,

I am wet with pain

And watered in anger,

Fear sings loud against me

Tear and wear patch my life

Who has not heard me cry?

 

Loud and constant, I wail

Weeping to be consoled.

 

Hitherto, I mourn, mourning even in the morning

Moreso, I am nice, even at noon

Thereto, I knit, knitting like a knight at night

My mouth, my knee, my sight, all shake and quake, sharing in quarantine

And yet this rest doesn't want to come!



 

Ngozi Olivia Osuoha is a Nigerian poet/writer/thinker/author. She's a graduate of Estate Management with experience in Banking and Broadcasting. She has featured in over sixty international anthologies and has equally published over two hundred and sixty poems in over twenty five countries. She has authored twenty three poetry books and some of them are archived in the United States' Library of Congress. She is also a tailor.

Some of her poems have been nominated for both the Best Of The Net Awards and Pushcart Prize. Some of her works have also been translated into and published in some languages, including Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Macedonian, Russian, Romanian, Khloe, Polish, Serbian, Chinese, Greek, Hindi, Assamese, Scots, among others.

Five Poems by Maria Downs

  A WHISTLE UPON THE AIR So to hear the soft – throated,   bird sing, from its note form those words,   like flowers of spring flowing...