Thursday 29 June 2023

A New Study In Scarlet - Short Story by Duane Vorhees

 



A New Study In Scarlet


Short Story

by Duane Vorhees 

 

Never had I seen Lastrade in such a state -- “2 & 8” as he would have said. A manic mathematician he was, indeed, as he strode into our flat at 221B, looking very much like a slice of whitecake a-splotch with pink icing. Though perhaps still short of the elephant’s trunk level of Brahms and Liszt, he obviously had been drinking. I trust that he came seeking Holmes’ assistance whilst not on duty; on all other occasions of our acquaintance he was the best of the professionals. As for Holmes, he was at first unusually loquacious. “Inspector, you know of course my Boswell and associate, Dr. John Watson, late of the Royal Army Medical Corps in Afghanistan?” he said, adding, “Regrettably, I have no others in the world that I would honour with the sobriquet ‘friend,’ but I am unreservedly pleased to bestow the title on this gentleman. He is the wisest and kindest and bravest human being I have ever known.” If I blushed at the accolades, Lastrade would not have noticed, as he launched immediately into his expedition of entreaty. What followed was “three weeks in jail,” a sorrowful tale of blood and ‘orror in Whitechapel into which he interspersed at-the-time-incomprehensible references to Alan Whickers and Arthur Nelly – Holmes later informed me he meant knickers and bellies -- and their unspeakable acts in such exotic locales as Bristol City, Berkshire Hunt, and the Khyber Pass -- I shall let you navigate these places on your own terms.  Weeks of shocking lemon limes (crimes, that is) had made spotted dick even the most hardened bottles and stoppers, among whose esteemed ranks Lastrade was pleased to count himself, and he admitted shamefacedly that they hadn’t a Scooby (that is, they were clueless) as to the perpetrator. To make matters worse, the bent had begun mocking them in the linen drapers, even going so far as to sign himself cheekily “the Ripper.” A slew of slags had been found, brown bread for sure but not yet taters in the mould (dead but warm still), slit from tits to clit but certainly not “ripped,” mind you, but rather sliced precisely and neat-like, like feet (plates of meat) in the Savoy kitchen. He gave me pause when he related that the reins had been carefully removed and eaten; it only later dawned on me that he referred to the kidney area, the loins. Throughout the breathless account Holmes sat stoic, as inscrutable as Mr. Babbage’s calculator, minutely tracking the recitation, my reactions, the movement of the peripatetic fly through the stuffy room… until Lastrade’s machine rattled to a stop. Like a ferret in a trap, the inspector made his final plea, “Them’s the brass tacks. ‘Ow ‘bout it, Guvnor? Will you show us the way then?” A long, uncomfortable silence ensued, broken by a query by Holmes, followed by Lastrade extracting a notebook from his pocket and reciting a schedule of dates and times, after which Lastrade shifted and twitched through another period of preternatural quiet. Holmes spoke at last, “So far as I’m concerned, Inspector, this time, for me, the game is definitely not afoot. However, I give you my apologies but also my assurances that no similar occurrences shall transpire in future.” After Lastrade’s embarrassed, befuddled departure, Holmes responded to my own quizzical look, “It took an effort on my part to weigh the duties of justice against the obligations of loyalty, but I finally decided that I could balance them both. It has been an exhausting evening, and I strongly suggest you retire…. Jack.” As he concluded his remark, I knew then that my entire situation had forever changed.




Duane Vorhees is an American poet living in Thailand. Before that, he taught University of Maryland classes in Korea and Japan. Hog Press, of Ames, Iowa, has published three of his poetry collections and is preparing a fourth.


One Poem by Mark Hendrickson

 




MIDWEST LIVING (or MY APOLOGIES)

 

“Oops

Pardon me

Excuse me

After you

 

I didn’t mean to

No, it was my fault, really

I’m just a bit accident prone

I wasn’t looking where I was going

 

Oh, I didn’t say anything

Don’t mind me

I can’t say

I wouldn’t know

 

You go, I’ll be fine

I’ll just wait here

I’m fine, really

Can’t complain

 

It’s nothing

It’ll wait

It’s not important

We’ll talk about it later

 

Never mind

Forget about it

I’m sure it’ll be alright

It doesn’t matter

 

None of my business

I couldn’t possibly

I don’t want to know

Well, I’ll  be”





Mark Hendrickson is an emerging poet who recently relocated to the Des Moines area.  His work has appeared  or is forthcoming in Synkroniciti, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Honeyguide, and Swing. Before becoming a poet, Mark worked for many years as a mental health technician in a locked psychiatric unit.  He has advanced degrees in Music, Health Information Management, and Marriage & Family Therapy.


Five Poems by Bob MacKenzie

 





peace



the winter wind plays piano

to the beat of crackling ice

the trees softly sing a hush

as skiers draw lines in snow

skaters waltz across the lake

and above a lone gull watches




even this matters



the dog walks beside a wood fence

black silhouette against the snow

still falls the snow soft as a cloud




study in white



trumpeter swans fly low by the river

deer wait at the edge of the woods

kids play joyful games in the snow

ermine feast on fresh roadkill rabbit

 


the artist



like a matador, dances in cautious daring

her feet snapping Tarantella across the floor

raising ancient memories from the forum’s dust

as she eases toward the beast raging nearby

exhaling hot steam or smoke or mists of time and

breathing mystic fire from some dark eternity

still lingering deep in the artist’s memory



flashing red around the artist the cape snaps and

beckons, taunts the dormant beastly image to charge

its horn pierce her, release some wild force deep within

release the beast to rage across the stadium

and she senses the shadow fall across her form

dancing with her as she dances toward the light

toward the bright eyes of the beast burning with her



she charges, pauses, tilts her head, charges again

toward destiny, toward the beast wakening

fires in her as she puts her little foot out

pauses then steps to this side and that then charges

brush held like a sword tipped with paint blood she arches

growls and swings her weapon down at something living

just beyond her understanding softly touches



fire in her eyes she squints, rages, roars sword upheld

slashes hard and vicious at the beast but some force

slows the sword’s stroke to a gentle loving caress

and the waking beast purrs at her soft disclosure

the artist feels the life beneath her brush and smiles

as deep within the pigment something comes alive

and the forum floods with light from somewhere else



with her smile.




Rouge



With one great Godly finger

Michelangelo made David:

some painter’s Pantheons make,

but having lost the Potter’s art

leave the mud to other gods -

make, not David, but each other.







Bob MacKenzie grew up near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in rural Alberta with artist parents. His father was a professional photographer and musician and his mother a photo technician, colourist, and painter. By the age of five, he had his own camera and ever since has been shooting photographs and writing poems and stories. Raised in this environment, young Bobby developed a natural affinity for photography and for the intricacies of language. He now lives and writes in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Bob’s writing has appeared in nearly 500 journals across North America and as far away as Australia, Greece, India, and Italy. He has published twenty volumes of poetry and prose-fiction and his work has appeared in numerous anthologies. For eighteen years Bob’s poetry was spoken and sung live with original music by the ensemble Poem de Terre, and the group released six albums. Bob has received numerous local and international awards for his writing as well as an Ontario Arts Council grant for literature, a Canada Council Grant for performance, and a Fellowship to attend the Summer Literary Seminars in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Bob MacKenzie's novel "The Miriam Conspiracy" (Cyberwit.net, 2023) is now available.

Tuesday 27 June 2023

One Poem and The Druid - Flash-fiction by Paweł Markiewicz

 



The responsive

awakening of springtide

 

The springtime wakes up

in may glory and dreams

in May-tender homeland

 

O! Dreamy moony spring

immortalize the enchantment

of the Naiad forever!

 

the pensiveness of a feather from crows

you are black such a muse-like falchion

thinker with many oboli

I listen to the obol that thinks in muses-paradise

the scepticism is blooming in me

the courage of violets

you are heavenly blue like cherub-like gem

poet with a handful of oboli

I see the obol that writes about muse-like spell

the eudemonia is budding in me

the delight of a birdie

you are grey such a mermaid sesame

dreamer with all sorts of obol

I smell the obol that dreams of embers of sempiternity

the Epicureanism  is flourishing in me

the beatitude of a cat

you are golden like druidic land

philosopher with a little of oboli

I taste the obol that philosophizes about amaranthine ambrosia

the stoicism is flowering in me

Oboli – plural of obolus





The Druid


Flash-fiction

by Paweł Markiewicz



In a Druid´s soul: gold of rainbow. A druid wanted to go into a forest and pick some fungi, to cook later a magic super decoction from them. In the Druid´s soul: the Golden Fleece. He gathered some mushrooms such as the red-capped scaber stalks-fungi, a boletus rufus and a good foxy bolete. In dear Druid's soul: a joy of butterflies. He met on a path next to an ancient Zeus-altar a lovely wildcat. The tender druid and the animal wanted to speak. In this Druid´s soul: dreams of muses. The wildcat wanted to tell the druid his riddle. It was difficult: what is the most amazing star in a romantic heaven?. In Druid´s soul: magic wing of Ibycus-cranes. The druid answered falsely, it was a morning-star. A Rhodes-star was true. The druid had to give to the wildcat the scaber stalks. In dear Druid´s soul: tears of luck. The herbalist met on a path near an ancient stream of Apollo, the dreamer, a boar from distance. They began speaking later. In Druid´s soul: amber from angels. The boar told the druid his most magnificent riddle. The druid had to say, what is the best shooting star, with which he has ever dreamed. In meek Druid´s soul: brightness of the Augean stables. The druid answered falsely: it was this in the German mountains Harz. The boar told - true shooting stars before rainbow. The boleti rufus for the boar. In the dearest Druid´s soul: diamond of history. The druid met later, on ways into a cave of the god Hephaestus full beauty, a wild shrewd fox with golden eyes. The beings wanted to speak. In Ovidian Druid´s soul: shooting star at dawn and dusk. Having welcomed, he told the kind druid a puzzle. It sounded mysterious: what comet dust is the most dazzling in the whole world?. In Druid´s soul: herculean stars. The druid answered falsely: it may be a comet dust in a fabulous, kind evening. At a native heaven was true; the foxy bolete – given to the fox. In tender Druid´s soul: fungi of eternity, the sempiternal being of time. The druid.



Paweł Markiewicz was born 1983 in Siemiatycze in Poland. He is a poet who lives in Bielsk Podlaski and writes tender poems, haiku as well as long poems. Paweł has published his poetry in many magazines. He writes in English and German.






Two Poems by Angel Edwards

 



Take Time

 

overtake time

 

through the lens of love

time evaporates

 

childhood sweethearts

stay in sync

 

 

to conquer time

 

eye of memory

time appropriates

 

reimagine

lock the link



At War

 

Prologue


She could hear the planes coming closer and closer

She raced to keep ahead of the sound

Ear splitting debilitating

she spied a tree enclosure

dove

hurling herself to the ground

at the same time the world seemed to open up in front of her

She saw a gaping hole where the Earth ended

The sky disappeared

smoke obscured her sight

she vomited

shaking

Closed her eyes

fell asleep

The rain

Awaking

Now she is

walking

the bridge to home

is gone

her knapsack

she thought with relief

was safe

an unopened bottle of water

a plastic bag filled with an assortment of nuts

she retrieves her umbrella

grabs her warm parka

cannabis stash is safe inside the pockets

She lights up a joint

tears stream down her face

 

she does a mental inventory

She has $5000 in hundreds and 20s

A plane ticket to another country ?

her country is destroyed

What good will money do




Angel Edwards is a singer songwriter guitarist published writer published poet with 4 books from Vancouver BC Canada. Member of AFM local 145. BMI SOCAN

THE ANGEL EDWARDS MUSIC ®

http://www.angeledwards.ca

 


One Poem by Alec Solomita

 



The Dying Gaul

 

Maybe my body’s all right

but my soul is all wrong.

Of course, my ailments

don’t rise to the level of

Job’s constant anguish,

but I do have gout, arthritis,

high blood pressure,

some stomach trouble,

and the occasional cold.

 

It’s all on account, I feel,

of getting old. Some of

my contemporaries thrive

while others are well-

below ground accompanied

by hungry worms.

And, considering,

my body isn’t all that bad.

 

So I turn to my soul

to track the cause of my diminishment.

And, indeed, it is spotted as a Dalmatian.

I have fallen into a place that contains

only me. Indigenous this indigenous that,

Russia’s devil, Ukraine’s showman,

pro-choice, pro-life.

 

I know when I’m licked.

All I’m certain of is that

The Dying Gaul looks

a lot like Larry Byrd.

 

So, I’m left with a conscience

that beggars description.

And to think I didn’t know

all those years that I

caused grief to the

hearts of others. I didn’t

know, or care. It has been

sixty-five years since

my last confession.




Alec Solomita is a writer and artist working in the Boston (USA) area. His fiction has appeared in the Southwest Review, The Mississippi Review, Southword Journal, and Peacock, among other publications. He was shortlisted by the Bridport Prize and Southword Journal. His poetry has appeared in Poetica, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Litbreak, Driftwood Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Galway Review, The Lake, and elsewhere, including several anthologies. His photographs and drawings can be found in Convivium, Fatal Flaw, Young Ravens Review, Tell-Tale Inklings, and other publications. He took the cover photo and designed the cover of his poetry chapbook, “Do Not Forsake Me,” which was published in 2017. His full-length poetry book “Hard To Be a Hero,” came out last spring.


Five Poems by Walter Bargen

 





Domestic Doubts



Hobbes is back. Tooth and claw.

This time with two handles

running vertically down the refrigerator.

Metal doors the white slate

we scrawl snarling our hungers upon.

What I grab to pull is plastic,

A black slash between earth and shelved sky.



The bathroom floor is a mottled blankness

covering years of trampled discourse

on the body’s tenuous times.

A New Yorker lies closed

beside the toilet. The cover a distant red

clapboard farmhouse, barn,

weathered rubies on the crown of a hill.

The grey sludge of an unpaved road runs past.

The speechless sentinels of two telephone poles

triumphant over the snow. A few scratched

blades of dead grass leaves us with the illusion

of perspective, a dwindling,

how we all disappear in the distance of paper.



Lunch. I’m searching for leftovers.

The cat once described by a five-year-old

as an angel with a (grey) rug on its back

sharpens its claws on an arm

of the couch. Threads snap,

strings of a music that can no longer be heard.



There’s a half-dozen cottage cheese

containers with mismatched lids.

A brief philosophical history of gluttony

or miscalculation. Outside it’s a relaxed afternoon

reduced to melting. Only the north slope

blanked in a frozen shroud.

The refrigerator un-resurrected.

We only guess at the gods we worship.

 




Great Salt Lake

 

A thousand miles ago, and so it’s not so strange

Stopping the small nearly worn out sedan in a rutted,

puddled parking lot, the snow melt enough to erase

the boot-sucking signatures of hunters weighted

with rifles and pockets loaded with ammunition,

who have abandoned their pickups helter-skelter,

as if there was something more to hurry toward

other than a few more certain small deaths.



Edging the parking lot, ten-feet high cane,

Lines perfect and clean as an advertisement

For an orderly life, or maybe an encircling privacy screen

Where no one can look out and what’s left inside

Is nothing we want to see, mud the only thing

Not frozen. We walk the road deeper into the slough,

The ice-hard channels almost canal straight.

We turn to see the mountains rise over our shoulders.



Her cell phone rings, it’s a half-mile slow-walk

Conversation with her sister, my wife, a thousand miles

Away. The low clouds scroll out their immutable,

Untranslatable grey tablets promising commandments of snow.

The hunters and their dogs are beginning to turn toward their trucks.

A few on bikes, their rifles slung across their backs,

Others walk on the broad avenues of ice

Dragging sleds, ropes tied to their waists,

Their heavy-coated, blunt bodies something out of Breughel.

My wife seeks pastoral counseling,

How to choose a church. She’s taking aim at belief.

Before us the abrupt rise of the snow clad

Wasatch Mountains defy the clouds.



Ultima Thule

 

This is the day I forget to forget

that this day will never

be so carefree and careless again.

 

A cold stone tossed coldly

into the pond. I huddle close to shore.

The stalk of every cattail shivers,

small angular dirt clods tumble down the bank,

into the water, smaller waves ricochet, cross

and recross themselves, diminished penitents

returning to their center where I will last as long

as I tread water as if practicing for a shipwreck .

 

Half life? Half alive? Halfway and one step

more. Halfway back not the way.

Then much less than half even as the rising

of autumn’s harvest moon aims its full barrel

of light at the field embalmed in a photo

on the kitchen calendar.

 

The linear accelerator whirs around me,

dives at the narrow table and forces me

to lie still. Now I’m told it’s called stereotactic body

radiation therapy. It’s all in a name. Conan,

where are you, defend me from this barbarian?

 

Two hip and one pubic tattoo centered

below my navel, keep the beams aligned

as it burns away rampantly dividing cells

that are busy burying me.



Little League

 

Was it extending my tongue to lick

one too many envelopes: electric,

water, gas, phone bills, the regular dose

of glue month after month for decades?

 

Was it grinding a lifetime of coffee,

each morning the whirling electric motor

radiating a counter-high electromagnetic field

as I leaned in to smell the rich aroma?

 

Was it that I didn’t start drinking coffee

until I was 29, needing

something to keep me moving

through the diesel fumes, dodging

bulldozers, backhoes, and toppling cranes.

 

Was it the strontium-90, cesiuM-137, iodine-137,

Americium-241, drifting across the 1950s A-bomb-tested

continent, drifting over our young bodies, turning us into

down-winders, as they did their best to destroy us,

calling it safety, defence, security?

 

Was it the chlorine, fluoride, hormones,

Teflon, aluminum pots, micro-plastics swirling

in every glass and swimming pool that flowed

over and through us each summer,

then reduced to endless acronyms: DDT, BPA?

 

Was it knocking over salt shakers one

too many times and forgetting to throw

a pinch over a left or right shoulder,

confusing which side is most effective

at avoiding collateral damage?

 

Was it the mismatched socks

that were a growing imbalance,

a stumbling stride, heading

in too many directions

for my mutating molecules?

 

Was it living too close to

high voltage electric lines

and Roundup sprayed along

their meandering across creeks  

and down into valleys?

 

Was it the fungus a friend claims

is the root of all bodily evil?

Was it sticking my head out

the back seat window of a ‘58

 

green Oldsmobile to inhale

the sweet petroleum fumes

in the gas station on our way

to little league baseball games?



Return to the Sea

 

And the astonished children, not knowing

where they came from and soon not caring,

only the day’s chase down the beach

reminds them of how much farther they must go.

 

Surrounded by chaotic gulls, their comma splices

marking the sky’s vast run-on sentence, the opening

and closing apostrophes of their wings, the unhinged

mewling, and the children with their own breaking

 

cries as the tide ebbs, pulls back with the worn out

until the wearing down leaves both of them translucent,

and the wind excites the sand sweeping the grains

of older worlds into finer shadows.


Walter Bargen has published 26 books of poetry including:  My Other Mother’s Red Mercedes (Lamar University Press, 2018), Until Next Time (Singing Bone Press, 2019), Pole Dancing in the Night Club of God (Red Mountain Press, 2020), You Wounded Miracle, (Liliom Verlag, 2021), and Too Late To Turn Back (Singing Bone Press, April, 2023). He was appointed the first poet laureate of Missouri (2008-2009).  His awards include: a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Chester H. Jones Foundation Award, and the William Rockhill Nelson Award.    He currently lives outside Ashland, Missouri, with his wife and cats.



Sunday 25 June 2023

Six Poems by Nolo Segundo

 


                                                    Baturin James - Wheel of Time


A Morning’s Walk

 

My wife and I walk every morning,

a mile or so--

it’s good for us old to walk in the cold,

or in the misty rain, it makes less the pain

that old age is wont to bring to bodies

which once burned bright with youth,

though now I wear braces on ankles,

braces on knees, and I walk slowly

with 2 canes, like an old skier,

sans snow, sans mountain.

 

We passed a tree whose leaves had

left behind summer’s green and now

fall slowly, carefully one by one

in their autumnal splendour.

 

My wife stopped me--

listen she said-- but

I heard nothing—hush!,

stand still, she said,

and I tried hard to

hear the mystery….

 

Finally I asked her, knowing my hearing

less than my wife’s (too many rock concerts

in my heedless youth), what we listen for?

 

She looked up at my old head, and smiled--

only she could hear the sound each leaf made

as it rippled the air in falling to the ground.



COME AND DRAW STRENGTH FROM ME

 

Come and draw strength from me

as I build strength from you.

Pay no attention to the flashes of my mind,

paltry upstarts next to a single heartbeat.

 

There is death across the land,

dead faces on every street corner

but you and I, if we choose to,

can avoid it and create life, full

and rich like creamed milk.

 

We are not perfected beings, we sing

not the notes of heaven but of earth.

So my heart gropes in the damp night

for yours, listening to its beats

like raindrops on a windowpane

(life’s beauty lies in love’s sounds).

 

Ask not why my heart seeks yours--

if I had to guess, it’s an act of God.

One thing I suspect, heartily and with reason:

all life and things of life are born in love,

beauty moulded in wedlock of constant hearts

and all misery is from love denied – so

come and draw strength from me

as I build strength from you….



The Look In Her Eyes           

 

No, it isn’t what you think

when I say I was enraptured

by the look in her eyes--

the eyes were those of a woman

who was dying and knew she

was dying….

 

I did not know her well--

she was the wife of someone

my wife worked with in the

prosaic world, the world of time

and schedules and appointments,

the world of taxes and getting

and spending and eating and

sleeping and making love (for

the lucky ones), a world filled

with the nightly news and TV

and a relentless social media,

a world that both commands

and ignores—but not the world

this woman was soon to leave

for an unique voyage she must

take all alone: somehow she knew

this as she lay small and quiet

in her hospice bed--

past speaking any more,

not even to her old husband.

 

But though quiet as a mouse

or a saint, yet she smiled, at

all in the room it seemed,

though when I went in turn

to say my good-bye to this

near-stranger, I thought,

‘She’s smiling at me!’ and

then I thought, ‘She looks

happy!’---but how can that be

I wondered--- until her eyes

gleamed with a light I have

never seen before in human

eyes—it was her soul I knew

that knew, and her soul had

no fear, death being less than

air, less than nothing to it----

her soul was ready.



WILL MY SOUL FLY?

 

Will my soul fly

When I die…

Will my soul soar

O’er the Alps,

The Rockies, the Andes,

And the Himalayas?

 

Will my soul see

The Aurora Borealis

Finally?

 

Will my soul

Dive deep, deep

Into the oceans,

Seeing beauty

And creatures

Unknown to

To those who

Live on dry land?

 

Will my soul slip

Time’s iron hold,

Then to skip, at will,

Through the Ages,

Back and forth

Like an unruly child,

(the dream of sages)

Knowing the faces

Of Caesar stabbed,

Of Joan of Arc burning,

Of Lincoln laughing,

Seeing too the places

Where the lions fed

On the Christian saints,

Where soldiers died

In battles long over,

Where Hitler lied

And Jesus cried?

 

And will my soul then

speed through our vast

Universe, far faster

than the speed of light,

faster than even thought

as it takes in billions

of stars and trillions

of other worlds, and

begins, just begins

to feel how really

big God is…?

 

    

A PASSING GLANCE

 

The other day

as I turned the corner

onto my quiet street

 

I saw a woman so perfect,

she snatched my breath away

as she waited to cross the road.

 

It was like seeing a movie star

or a beauty queen close up--

my heart ached a bit, I confess,

when I thought, once, a long time

ago, I might have had a chance….

 

But now I’m just an old man

driving an old car to an old house.

I drove slowly and could see

her gracefully crossing the street

in my rear-view mirror, much

like a dream fading quickly away …

suddenly, from somewhere far

beyond my mind, I realized

the truth of what I saw: that

it was all just stupid illusion--

she was young and beautiful,

I, old and lame, but those were

just markers on the wheel of time.

 

The wheel would turn,

my body would die, hers would age,

no longer enrapturing men—in truth

she was already an old woman which

I could not see, nor could I see the

sweet child still playing within her.

 

When there are no more days left,

our souls will be free of the wheel,

and all the world’s illusions will

seem as distant, fading dreams.



When Sedate Age Remembers Crazy Youth

 

I’m a child of the’60’s,

not quite a flower child,

never really a hippie

[though my ponytail

drove an uncle nuts],

but still, I ate the ever

crunchy Beatles for

breakfast, lunch, dinner

and roasted the Stones

whenever a lady came.

 

I was free then, or so

I told myself—free

to travel the world,

free to love and

then, inevitably,

always, leave…

free to dream and

free to fail it seemed.

 

I owned only myself,

but I owed no one--

both big mistakes,

illusions really--

we own nothing,

save our souls,

we owe everything,

to everyone, most

of all, we owe God,

be we Baptist or

Hindu, Catholic or

Jew, Muslim or

atheist—we owe.

 

Most young ones

learn in time--

we are not free,

we are not strong,

we are not whole.

We hunger for

more than food,

we thirst for

more than water,

we need more

than money,

we need more

than our minds.

 

We are the animal

never sated, never

full, never replete.

We are the animal

ever restless, so

easily bored, even

of life sometimes.

 

Is that why we argue

and fight, commit

pointless crimes

end long marriages,

spurn our friends,

chase youth when

youth has become

less than a dream?

 

Is that really why

nations go to war?

Because of BOREDOM?

Why do we always

feel we are missing

something? 

 

Now I’m old,

I have no answers.

I thought I would,

by now I had hoped

to understand---

myself, you—well,

everyone! I’d know

why I was so dumb

when I was young,

but I don’t even

know why I am

so foolish old….

   


Nolo Segundo, pen name of L.J.Carber, became a widely published poet in his mid-70's in over 140 literary journals/anthologies in America, Canada, England, Romania, Scotland, Portugal, Australia, Sweden, India and Turkey. A trade publisher has released 3 book length collections: The Enormity of Existence [2020], Of Ether and Earth [2021], and Soul Songs [2022]. These titles like much of his work reflect the awareness he's had since having an NDE when as a 24 year old agnostic-materialist, believing only matter was real and so death meant extinction, he lept into a Vermont river in an attempt to end the suffering of a major clinical depression. He learned that day the utter reality that poets, Plato, and Jesus have spoken of for millennia: that every sentient human has a consciousness that predates birth and survives death--a soul. A retired teacher [America, Japan, Taiwan, and Cambodia in the mid-70's] he's been married 43 years to a smart and beautiful Taiwanese woman. 

  


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...