Saturday 27 January 2024

Five Poems by Charles A. Perrone

 



Making Sense of Five Superior Questions

 

The singular Lords themselves approached me

upon my most recent awakening from slumber

in order to inquire about the known composition

of my own individual and private oneiric profile:

Are your dreams merely audio-visual in character?

Or are they also touch-sensitive and truly tactile?

Are they olfactory and sensibly in range of smell?

Perhaps tasty as well on the tongue that speaks?

And do you grasp the whys and wherefores of these

our pentagram of questions directed down to you?

 

I promised to reply

            the next time

                        I might awake

                                    from a full-fledged

                                                                 session

 


The Fate of Chosen Garb


The array of human figures in the environs surrounding

the municipal wharf is verging on the astounding

Fully bald emboldened gurus bounding forth

Nearly deaf musicians sounding tunes out

Square accountants rounding numbers loudly up

Padres in fresh robes founding new missions

Gardeners grounding wheat on planks of stone

Parents hounding their poorly entertained children

Resounding stellar shapes confounding dumbfounding

Frustrated astrologers left holding bags and pounding

on the lone fisherman's sweater


 

From a Distance


I spy a lone seagull

on an isolated rock

just off the sparse shoreline

and so do I go on to wonder

if such a winged creature

can actually feel loneliness

or perhaps even detect the

slightly damp solitude being

felt by a seeing observer


 

 

Memo to the Curious

 

So now I’ve decided to take

my cavorting to a new level:

 

I shall commence at once

to go gallivant with gaiety,

 

tripping about the planet,

around the world, wholly.

 

It’s up to me to plan it.

I am indeed quite able.

 

To execute the design.

To befriend fellow travellers.

To dress the part smartly.

To address surprise hosts.

To find a suitable end.

 

And mostly to expire with dignity

on the date indicated on the label.

 


 

Casting Fate



my daughter your son

our nephew their niece

and numerous others

more imaginary beings

coming forward to ask

for a role in the play

a place in the rough

draft of a communal tale

told by a flurry of flames

the pyre of this joyous task




Charles A. Perrone: born in the Empire State of New York, grew up in the Golden State of California, last studied in the Lone Star State of Texas, completed a career in the Sunshine State of Florida. Back on the Central Coast of California after a forty-year absence to think, write, play music...   


The Fishy Cloak - Short Story by Sarah Das Gupta

 





The Fishy Cloak


Short Story

by Sarah Das Gupta




The tailor stared at the model of the King which filled most of his small workshop. In his twenty years of stitching, he had made some strange garments, but none as strange as King Kenneth’s order. The first problem had been finding the right fish, with the right scales. The tailor had waited for the fishermen’s return every evening, with their coracles full of fish.

Many times, they had bartered and argued with the tailor over the price and quality of the skins with their sparkling iridescence in the moonlight. Then, there had been all the hours skinning the fish and drying the skins in the sun, not to mention the smell. His wife had constantly complained that the whole cottage stank of dead fish!

Yet, in the end Kenneth MacAlpin was delighted with the finished garment. He stood well away from the public gaze and tentatively tried on his fishy cloak. The material was a wonderful dark, deep blue like the lochs he loved so well or the winter sky in the gloaming studded with a thousand stars. He walked around the room, the long cloak trailing after him.

The hundreds of dried fish scales, laboriously stitched to the material, gleamed and sparkled in the flare of the torches, like iridescent fingerprints of some heavenly enchanter. Even Kenneth had to admit, when he pulled the dark hood over his face, the smell almost stifled him. Much as he loved his magical cloak, he was quite relieved to fold it carefully and lay it in his great, carved hunting chest.

It was the year 840 when Kenneth’s father had been killed in a fearsome battle against the Picts. Although Kenneth had established his kingdom of Dal Riata in the West, it was threatened on all sides by the Picts, the dreaded Vikings and the Britons. Of these threats, MacAlpin resented the treacherous Picts most of all. Yet, despite all his efforts, his chieftains refused to listen to the King’s pleas to challenge the Picts in battle. One went as far as declaring, ‘Even if God sent his own glorious angel, I should not be persuaded.’

Kenneth thought deeply about this declaration. Supposing God should do exactly that? As the first step in his plan, he invited the great men of his kingdom to a magnificent feast at Clunie castle, Kenneth’s summer home, on a small islet close to the shore of the loch. Built of wood and drystone, the tower gave a good view of any enemy approaching from the landward side.

The scene that night was full of cheer and good food. The King and his main guests sat at the top table in the great hall, at the very end of the room sat grooms and followers. For the King a rich choice of roasted meats lay before them swan, venison, boar, wild fowl. At the lower tables the main dish would be vegetable pottage – a thick, porridge-like dish of oats, mixed with beans, peas, and cabbage. Only at the higher tables would pieces of bacon or chicken be added. The King’s table by this time would have moved on to a fish course of salmon, herring, eels, hake and roach; on the west coast of his kingdom there was a wide choice.

At the end of over two hours of feasting and drinking mead and freshly brewed ale from great drinking horns, Kenneth looked at his satisfied, and in some cases, inebriated guests. Many would have been too drunk to have tasted a final course of apples, pears and damsons, sweetened with honey. Gradually they stumbled off to collapse on straw mattresses in rooms scattered around the tower.

Kenneth, who had been drinking watery ale for most of the riotous evening, retired to his room sober, but full of eager anticipation. He opened the heavy, intricately carved chest beside his bed. The torches which burnt from brackets on the stone walls shed light on the fantastic cloak with the fish scales translucent and gleaming in the weird, half-light. He pulled the long, garment over his shoulders. It trailed behind him like a strange serpent god stippled with iridescence. Breathing in deeply, Kenneth placed the dark hood low over his head and face. The smell of fish was almost over- powering.

He glided into the first chamber where one of the thanes lay sprawled across the dark bed Kenneth adopted a suitably ‘angelic’ pose and half sang, half chanted, ‘In God’s name listen to His heavenly messenger. Follow your King into battle against the treacherous Picts.’

Silence followed, absolute silence, except loud snoring from the head of the bed. MacAlpine clapped his hands and stamped on the floor. The sleeper woke with a start. His eyes bulged, his mouth hung open. In the flare from the torches the reflection of the fish scales gleamed and danced on the dark walls. Like a beached whale, the listener seemed literally petrified by this angelic visitation.

Rather pleased with the effects of his fishy cloak, the King moved from room to room.

The next morning, after comparing notes, the thanes unanimously agreed to King Kenneth’s campaign against the Picts.

When Kenneth died in 858, he had united his Gaelic speaking kingdom and the lands of the Picts in the Kingdom of Alba, or ‘Scotland’. It must be admitted that the Danes had also contributed to the defeat of the Picts. Yet, who can underestimate the power of a fishy cloak?






Sarah Das Gupta is an English teacher living near Cambridge, UK. She has also lived and taught in India and Tanzania.Her work has been published in over 15 countries, including: US, UK, Canada, Australia, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Germany, Romania and Croatia. Her interests include, folklore, landscape, history, early music, parish churches, horse racing.

Wednesday 24 January 2024

COLOPHONY - Short Story by Cyril Simsa

 



COLOPHONY


Short Story 

by Cyril Simsa

 

Of course, it wasn't quite the way the Good Book says. When is it ever?

First off, the palace was boring. I mean, imagine being fourteen, with nothing to do but watching the mortar crack off the walls of the royal residence at Tiberias. I was too old by then to have a nurse, and not boy enough for a tutor, so I would spend my time in the sultry cross-draughts of the towers, caught up in the somnolent jingling of the distant city and the hushed footfalls of invisible servants. On a good day, I might work up the energy to do a little point work, or I might twist my head into the deeply angled embrasures of the windows so as to watch the fishing boats on the Sea of Galilee. Sometimes, I might even flip through the pictures in my mother's small collection of scrolls and papyri. Mostly, though, I just waited.

At night, it was different. Then, my mother would hold her famous banquets, and the hall would fill up with fat old men in hand-me-down finery and supercilious Roman aediles in exquisitely rumpled togas, accompanied by their own Gallic bards and Ionian soothsayers. Sweetmeats would arrive, piled high on our best silver platters, like skulls at Golgotha, while wine would flow till it compassed us about, like the mighty Jordan. And sometimes I would dance, flashing my pale arms like a spectral emanation – my mother Herodias' trophy daughter – the unstated prize in the lottery of her political fortunes. For people tell me I was very beautiful.

The second complication, needless to say, was Herod. History has dubbed me a monstrous child, but it was Herod, my dear uncle and step-father, who was the real monster... Dressing me up in gauzy muslins and dangly necklaces and inviting me to serve tea in his private rooms; chasing invisible shadows down the tapestried halls and pretending concern for my health, as he lurked by my bed-chamber; sneaking clothes out of my dresser to give to his whores. As if he had no shame.

Goodness only knows what my mother must have thought of it. I can't imagine for a minute that she hadn't long since got the measure of his lewd aspirations – not a lot slipped past her, and she wasn't the denying kind – no, not Herodias. Maybe she saw me as one more nasty little barb in the web of lures and promises by which she stacked the odds in her favour; or maybe she got some weirdly inappropriate thrill out of the whole sorry story. He was, after all, her second husband of the same name, and half-brother to the first, so who knows what kind of perverse ichors flowed through her ventricles.

Anyway, there I was on that fateful day at one of those cripplingly dull parties, and Herod started to provoke me. He had been eyeing me up all evening, which was not in itself so unusual. But somehow, today – instead of simply panting and drooling, like a crazed smoker outside an opium den – he seemed almost to be having trouble breathing as he ogled my carefully veiled bosom. Maybe it was only the heat and the dust; or maybe it was the drink and the jovial presence of the two dozen revolting lechers who were keeping him company. But in any event, I could feel his lust in the stifling air, like the steam off a salt-pan, and his bruised disappointment, swirling like little clouds of desire in the late summer sunlight. His gaze crawled over my skin like an army of oversexed locusts, while the rest of that band of hypocritical old roués looked on, with their slackly molluscan jowls and their lopsided eyes and their revoltingly sticky fingers. Things were coming to a head, I could tell. He wanted his lips on my mouth and my long, pale arms on the softly degenerate folds of his midriff. He wanted the satiny sheen of my sweat and the warm, feral scent of the little sachet of myrrh my mother had told me to hang on a thong of plaited leather in between my breasts. He wanted... But then again, I dare say you can guess what he wanted.

There came a lull in the conversation, and he clapped his hands to attract attention.

"Salome," he called in that weaselly little voice of his. "The evening drags on, and we would be entertained... Would you not dance for us, my daughter? Your artistry is the stuff of legend, and your grace would do much, I am sure, to uplift us."

Well, yes, that would be one way of putting it, I thought, repressing a sudden twinge of annoyance; though in truth, there could have been little doubt as to which parts of the company, exactly, I would be uplifting.

"Salome?" he added quizzically – and, for him, almost hesitantly – when he saw I did not respond.

"Salome!" hissed my mother, with a meaning look that might have intimidated a team of professional gladiators or a poorly socialised oryx.

"Salome?" Herod repeated.

There was nothing for it, then. I would have to take him seriously. With glacial calm, I did my best to adopt an expression that would convey how deeply I was considering his proposition, while I tried to decide what to do about his highly irregular obsession with the flesh of a young woman who was not only his step-daughter, but also his niece. Leviticus would have looked askance at either one of those relationships, but it seemed he was determined to pursue both. I was like one of those two-headed crocodiles that occasionally hatch out at the end of an exceptionally hot summer, which made me too good an opportunity for a seasoned old thrill seeker like him to miss.

"My dear Uncle," I replied eventually, and I emphasised the word maliciously. "It is late, and I am tired. I could not possibly do this audience justice."

But it seemed he was not going to let me off so lightly.

"Salome, dance for us," he wheedled, dignity slipping under the urgency of his concupiscence. "I will give you seven spools of golden thread from Ethiopia and ten silk tapestries from the Imperial residence in Antioch. I will give you an ivory casket of dragon's blood from distant Socotra and a necklace of Parthian smaragds..."

In the background, I could see my mother – never one to pass up the possibility of enriching herself through the efforts of others – signalling with her half-hidden hand that I should accept, before he changed his mind, but I pretended to be blind and stupid.

"No, my dear Uncle, I cannot," I insisted. "The heat and the lateness of the hour... It is quite out of the question."

"Salome, just one dance..."

His voice was rising rapidly, and his eyes had taken on a glassy look. I could tell he was losing any sense of proportion. All he could think about was his lust for my smooth, white skin and the forbidden lines of my body. It was as if he had a fever.

How far would he go?

"Salome!" He was desperate. "For just one dance, ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. Whatsoever thou shalt ask, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom..."

And that was when my sense of mischief, or the Devil, or whatever you want to call it, got hold of me, and I smiled. Charmingly and disarmingly, and with a semblance of the utmost innocence, I made my proposal...

"My dear Father," I said, and I could see that the change in my choice of cognomen had not gone unnoticed. "My father," I repeated, "I shall dance for you, then, if that is what you will. But when I am done, you will have brought to me your own severed head, garlanded with laurel and washed with spices, laid out on a silver charger... That is the price I am asking."

Well, the shock was quite something. The guests all wore carefully masked faces, as if embarrassed, finally, to be witnessing this unseemly family affair, and my mother was uncharacteristically pale and speechless. For a few seconds I was sure she hated me.

Only my uncle seemed to have come alive. His cheeks were flushed, and the tendons in his neck, contorted. Involuntarily, he had risen from his seat. He stood breathlessly, dribbling and swaying and twitching from head to foot, as if on the brink of a big decision.

It's that combination of sex and death, it always gets to them... Maybe because it is a sign of how seriously they take their pleasures; maybe only because it is absolute. They know, like Icarus, that nothing else they do in the whole of the rest of their lives will ever come close... That the experience will be unique and unfalsifiable because it demands the ultimate sacrifice.

In truth, I was not aware of any of this at the time. I didn't unravel the nuances till later... Much later. In that moment, I was completely in the thrall of my instincts; but then, I expect my uncle was, too. As my mother swooned and the company did their best to become invisible, I felt something click between the two of us. It was as if, all of a sudden, we were connected by a tunnel of flickering energy, like a meteorite shower or a lightning strike. The crackling was so intense, I was afraid it might spill over into the rest of the room – like the clatter of knuckle bones, or the expectant rattle of armour in an amphitheatre – and betray us to our mendacious spectators, whose enjoyment, it seemed, did not extend to having their gorges stirred, after all. Still, in that instant, I knew I had him... That he would do anything to gain my favour. That he was willing to die for me.

And that was when my dear mother came to her senses and broke the silence.

"But darling, that's ridiculous," she yawled, like the Trumpet of Doom. "Give her the head of John the Baptist instead."

The sigh of relief was palpable. Only my uncle and I were disappointed, I think, as we watched the firefly brilliance of our link fade away into nothingness.

I knew from long acquaintance that there was no arguing with my mother, when she had worked herself up into a rage, and so I danced; and the rest, as they say, is history. Or it would be, if some silly old do-gooder hadn't taken it upon himself to cut out the spicy bits.

Later on, life had its way with me, as it does with most of us. I ended up being married off to another uncle of mine – Philip, his name was, son of some small town Cleopatra, who was no match for her namesake... Honestly, these petit-bourgeois families should know better than to name their children after empresses – especially when they'd never have the gumption to follow through on a political dispute with an asp – and Philip was neither more nor less inconsequential than might have been expected. He was the kind of man who would make a boulder seem talkative. All the same, that one day, I knew, Herod had been mine. And his dubious company. And my dreadful, scheming mother. I had had them all in the palm of my hand, and nothing can take that away from me.

People often tried to find me in the following years to "pay their respects", to use a quaint, old euphemism. There's nothing quite like cruelty, fame, and death to act as an aphrodisiac, especially when they come spliced with a whiff of incest. It got a little tiresome, after a while, and so, when Philip died, I changed my name and moved to Armenia; but for all that, the tributes kept on coming. Indeed, even now, in the twenty-first century since the Saviour's birth, I find they lust after me still.

It's true that this is of limited practical use in the afterlife, but it's curious that, after all this time, it is the wild women of the ancient world who draw the eye of the Decadent, not Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Not the self-denying saints or the austere patriarchs, but myself and Lilith and the Lamia. The shapeshifters and the free spirits.

There was a time, back in the 1890s, when we were very much à la mode in the salons of Paris and Vigo Street – when every opening night was overrun by hoofed boys and scarlet-headed temptresses and you could scarcely visit a private view, without encountering half a dozen symptoms of the "new and beautiful and interesting disease"... But before that, it was the Romantics; and before that, the Hermetic philosophers and the Renaissance.

There have always been those who long for the shimmer of the dragonflies over the lily ponds of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or the blinding light of the sun on the Sea of Galilee; for the mysterious caverns of the Land of Colophony or the moth-white blooms that line the banks of the Styx. Women of the shadows and young men of the twilight. Cosplay and lavender.

Now, my dear, what brings you to my altar? A dance? Why yes, I can dance. But the consequences... You do know that, once you set off down this path, there's no going back? Very well, then. So if you could just lie back and let your breath whisper, like the fountains of Samaria, we'll get started.

Yes, that's right, let your mind go wandering. Let the shades of the past come flooding into your heart, like peacock feathers swept over a cataract... You'll have the very best of dreams. As red as the dawn and loud as velvet, with skies as clear as amethyst and poetry like death. As deep and dark as the reflection of the stars in the obsidian blade of sorceress and startling as the eyes of Heaven.

You'll see.

 

No doubt it will be one of the pirates on the sea of dreams,

black as the rock on which errant ships dash their timbers;

cruel and beautiful, face outlined as if by pale candles

in the dark ebony mirror at midnight.

 

– Jiří Karásek ze Lvovic (1871-1951),

The Three Mages (1907).

 



Cyril Simsa is an Anglo-Czech writer (born in London to Czech parents, now living in Prague), with works published in both languages. He started writing in his mid-teens, contributing to a range of small press magazines and fanzines, later moving on to produce translations and articles for Foundation, Locus, Fantasy Macabre, Wormwood, and the Encyclopedia of Fantasy, amongst others. Since he returned to fiction writing, he has had stories in Albedo One, Electric Velocipede, Ideomancer, Darkness Rising, BFS Horizons, and elsewhere. His short story collection is Lost Cartographies: Tales of Another Europe (Brighton: Invocations Press, 2014).


TECHNICAL NOTE: the citation from Jiří Karásek ze Lvovic, originally written in Czech, is in the public domain; translation by Cyril Simsa, so there are no issues with rights. 


Four Poems by Christopher Fried

 



Life Turns Tragic for Mr. Charles Beaumont

 

Wasting away like Walter Jameson,

the faculties depart down the hourglass.

Poor end for The Twilight Zone’s famous son:

only death could break this cruel impasse.

Reality unfolds from science fiction.

Beware!  the shadows overstretch the brain:

Time flits away it all: the plots, the diction,

the commentary, excised without pain.

This macabre scene is such a poignant haunting

for other writers.  Write now, write well!  death

could be around the corner, leaving wanting

your legacy with wheezing swallowed breaths.

Go waste away dark star below weird plane

existence that could make the sane insane.

 

 

Roar

 

My children—they know not how real life works,

how truly gold buys only so much love,

and not much more respect. Not that we’re weak,

(I knew weakness before), but chance will oust

a family, perhaps a dynasty.

I saw the embers with my timid father,

I extinguished the flames of a crazed king,

and still the realm learned nothing. It takes fear,

the lion’s roar, an unsheathed sword at times

to order what’s awry. Unpleasant paths

a patriarch must walk, but there are no

regrets for rulers of this crag. Respect

forced is still respect received, and sheep

are still but sheep. This is our legacy!

 

 

The Peeled-Back Facts

 

Our neighbours to the west are just as those

soft lordships situated below the throat

of this raised land. They forget what installed

the oh-so high and mighty to their stations.

It was not faith for better futures. Life

has always been attired with viciousness,

so why deny realities, the frozen hearts

we warm as we clench steel to layered chests?

 

The truth of this world lies below the skin

I’ve surgically stripped from the bone.

This is something the called lords paramount

have stark forgotten, claimed uncivilized

despite reiterating winter’s claim.

The cold was always here as pressed knives show.

 

 

Culture Warrior

 

Cerebral verse has fled the mind, withdrawn

as Thyrsis left without saying goodbye,

his presence felt beyond the Oxford lawn

and heard on autumn winds as plangent sighs.

 

New work proclaimed as balderdash is shelved

as fancy of a man who has lost touch

with tough prudential words.  His mind he helved

for prose, while verse he had laid in his hutch.

 

It fell away as his beleaguered faith

trembled before the rushing tide of doubts,

that terrifying banshee wail which wraiths

in Celtic tales would sputter forth and pout.

 

As Crassus of the Triumvirate was,

it’s shameful that Matt Arnold has no buzz.




Christopher Fried lives in Richmond, VA and works as an ocean shipping logistics analyst. A poetry collection All Aboard the Timesphere was published in 2013. His novel Whole Lot of Hullabaloo: A Twenty-First Century Campus Phantasmagoria was published in 2020. Recently, he was an advisor on the 1980s science fiction film documentary In Search of Tomorrow (2022).


 

 

 

 


One Poem by Amrita Valan

 



Mobius, Meristem Metamorphosis  

 

I am not the person I once was

I am not her

Who thought she was,

What she was not.

 

Changes core cyclically

Into the essence and nascence

Of the germane seed.

 

Metamorphosis metastasizes

Derivative, deceptive.

 

We evolve, gradually

In meristem.

 

Stasis too,

Is progression.

 

Realise the intervals

In between pauses

The shape shifting

Within. Without

Mistaking the journey

For arrival.

 

Each photonic second

Retains turgid light

The complete image

Of incomplete

You.

 

Evolution is

Change of view

Perspective alterations

Tumbling patterns.

Kaleidoscopic.

 

But wait friend,

Awhile in meristem.

 

In the

In between,

Layers peel back,

Into their own wondrous

Mobius.

 

This compassion is endless.

This self-discovery merciful.

This is the grace of infinite

Understanding,

The one, you will not

Fully comprehend.

 

But absorb in skin, talon, and hair

Follicles

Shed with shredded seasons.

 

This station too shall pass.

 

Elated, I thought once,

I had arrived.

Drank the bubbly ale,

What sheer glee.

 

Then, my mouth trembling sank beyond

Event horizon’s deep black hole

Tongued my seared heart.

Teeth gnawed my gut, scraped my sacred

Tender womb, Inside I went, so deep,

It was into another universe.

 

Where the rules? They were no more

Virtual lateral inversions. No more easy

Lessons. I saw true likeness, in its

Glorious reverse.

 

Then, my train hurtled downtown,

Death scrambled past, present, future.

 

Ominous skeletal posterns,

Flashed metallic.

In the valley of Cipher.

Tangled cables crossed,

Signals got lost.

 

Ghosted by all I knew.

Connections tossed.

Me back.

 

Back, to the wall.

Tick tocks of subatomic clocks,

Measure me in universal moments,

In between the pauses.

 

Derailed.

We all know the measure,

Of Collateral cost.

 

Tears, pungent plungers into

Clarity of total loss.

 

Stripping of mean carcass

Flaying maggoty ribald flesh.

 

Look the chassis in iron face.

 

Is this what your will wrought?

 

Form from bone stripped

Agony’s soggy rot

Work its steel magic.

 

Tripping. Ride the

Horseman of

Self-apocalypse into

Resurrection.

 

Change a chrysalis.

Challenge a crucible.

Your mutable mettle,

Melts into spring.

Denuded into new day.

 

Those tested, tests multiple

Masked selves.

Cosmic lab work.

Thought, worded flesh.

In the bone grows Will.

Blood beaches shore of

Emotion.

 

Your end marks

Its beginning.

 

Free

To explore

Another impossible

You.

 

Ride moonlit,

Sheer rockface,

Towering gurgling

Inky insanity,

Oceanic liquidation

The ghastly cliff

Beckons.

 




Amrita Valan is a writer from Bangalore, India and has a master’s degree in English Literature. She has worked in various professions, ranging from the hospitality industry, BPOs and as content creator in deductive logic and reasoning in English.

She is currently a stay-at-home mom to her two boys.

Her work has been published in many anthologies and online journals. The anthologies include, Poetica 2 and 3, To Be or Not To Be a Writer, The Poet’s Christmas Childhood and Faith anthologies, Divided: A Poet’s Stance, The Ink and the Sword, Down the Rabbit Hole, Fire and Ice, Earth Wind Rain and Fire Anthology, The ImpSpired Vol 7& 8 Anthology, The Alien Buddha Wears a Black Bandanna among others. Her poems and stories Have featured in Spillwords, Café Lit, Café Dissensus, Shot glass Journal, Oddball magazine, Modern Literature, Indian Periodical, Potato Soup Journal, Literary Yard, Poetryand Places, LothLorien poetry Journal and Portland Metrozine among many others.

Arrivederci, (Goodbye till we meet again), her debut collection of fifty poems about arrivals and departures, farewells and hopes of reunion, love loss grief and recollection is published on Amazon as of 7 May 2021.

 




Tuesday 23 January 2024

Three Poems by Gopi Kottoor

 



Today


A day,

Sixty years ago

Rises in my mind,

Revolving

On a 45 rpm

Vinyl record,

The morning newspaper

Caught like a giant butterfly

On a rose thorn

Piercing the black and white photograph

Of Nehru,

With the news of his death

That I carefully disengaged

To surprise father

Still asleep,

My mother's hand

Across his chest

Moving to his breath

a quiet wing at rest

And the song,

Jaane kahan

Gaye woh din...

turning,

gently

in a mist of morning roses,

Coming to a dead end.

 


The Flowering

 

I must not write

Verses tonight.

But the temptation is too strong

Because your picture

Is still in my mind.

And if I write,

Sending me back

To the gallows

Of yester nights,

Where grew the creepers

Their mysterious flowers

Altering our lives.

I must not write

Anymore verses tonight.

All the world knows

That  if I do

It'll  be about you.

You know it too,

That you send me to the flowering

Gallows every night

You who left me

Like changing light.

 


Cuckoo Clock

 

Your lips

Shut,

A cuckoo in a cuckoo clock.

Too soon, too fast.

Your laughter

Ticks to a standstill.

What time is it now?

Not too sure,

But it is

Yesterday again.


Gopi Kottoor has a poetry Blog https://gopikrishnan kottoor.blogspot.com. He edits the online poetry journal www.chipmunk.co.in


One Poem by John Yamrus

  she was not your typical girl next door. to begin with, she had a name that sounded like a bottle of cheap perfume. but, she did have the ...