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Poetry December 2015_1
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On this page: poems by Haris Adhikari, Iris Dan, jacob erin-cilberto, Katherine L. Gordon, Lidia Chiarelli, Maude Larke, Nan Rush, Neal Whitman, Neil Leadbeater, Patrick Osada
 

The following works are copyright © 2013. All rights reserved. No distribution or reprinting in any form whatsoever without written permission from the authors.


Haris Adhikari

Haris Adhikari is from Nepal. He holds an MA in English and American literature from Tribhuvan University. He is a lecturer of English and edits Misty Mountain Review, an online journal of short poetry. His first poetry anthology, Flowing with a River, was published by The Society of Nepali Writers in English (NWEN). Currently, he is working on That Distant Lane, a chapbook of children’s poetry. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in London Grip New Poetry, Red Fez Journal, Buddhist Poetry Review, Cyclamens and Swords Publishing, The Citron Review, The Rusty Nail Magazine, Mad Swirl, Red Box Kite, Of Nepalese Clay, Poddle (Poddle Publications, Dublin), The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Lyrical Passion Poetry, Essence Poetry & Yes, Poetry.


The Impulsive Side

Walking along this river
hasn’t been that easy either,

of course, the road took me along
but to this wild fringe of

road-less reality. I now
have only myself to come to

and alone I have come across
a long distance of dangerous walk,

by this bank, I stand bankrupt
gazing at the rebellious river

that gives me quivers now
in this rifted route, I stand divided

in a body of gloom and light.



A tree of lies

She is a tree
of lies—
now
deserted
by all leaves
and drying
beside a river
that has slowly changed
its course
to the side across.



The Size of the Buddha

Ascending
the steps of Swayambhu
almost every morning
in a curious set of mind,
I would go to school, looking back
at the larger-than-life statue
of the Buddha
and ask myself in great amazement—
 
Why is he so tall (even in his sitting posture!)
and fat
and long-eared
as to be
so unbelievable
when it comes to
relating
the young prince in the story I read about in school
to this gigantic size
he's been given?
 
Utterly unable,
still after so many years,
to come up with the answer
that could satisfy my questioning child
 
when he says—
 
Why make bigger images
against a reality that needed no embellishment
but goodness of heart—
 
and against a reality
that is so hollow now?

 
 
(A note on the poem: As a fifth grader, I went to Ananda Kuti Vidya Peeth which lies a little below on the lap of the hill on top of which is the famous Buddhist shrine 'Swayambhunath'. Every school day I would walk all the way from Chhetrapati, then a downtown area in Kathmandu, to my school. It would take almost an hour for me to get there. And on the way uphill, there were (and still are) these amazing larger-than-life size Buddha's statues which often caused me to question their size!) 


Iris Dan

Iris Dan was born in Bukowina, Romania, in a family of Holocaust survivors. She grew up bilingual (German and Romanian), then studied Romance languages at the University of Bucharest, graduating with an M.A. in linguistics. She has been living in Israel since 1980. She is married, has a grown daughter, and works (quite happily) as a translator from and into a number of languages. From her (existential and professional) Babel Tower she sees the Mediterranean. She has written poetry for as long as she can remember, never publishing any, in the last 15 or 20 years, in English only. Recently she has begun to send her poems on their own way and has been published or is forthcoming in the Voices Israel Anthology, Magnapoets, Poetic Portal, Subtletea, and Poetic Diversity. 



In the Frame

Would they recognize me as their own
those seamstresses composedly sitting
at their sleek sewing machines?
I could so easily step into their frame
and go on doing what I do –
selling myself by the piece
always only as good as my last work

I envy them their painters, though
(seamstress and mistress – words ever so casually
stumbling into each other) though I know
it's never them it's all about but rather
the light of the hour, the collage of scraps

and first and foremost
the line of the hand guiding the needle
the breasts plunging into a froth of fabric
the buttocks spreading over the seat. Never

the terminal tiredness
the elation of a praise
the implosion of all bones at a rebuke
the surprise of the last button
or the occasional out-of-timeliness
when nothing is, nothing is wanted
just the movement
just the buzz



The Old Seamstress

For how many dresses, shirts
hems, buttons has she been sitting here
(at the sewing machine
time is not measured in hours)
when did she and the machine fuse together
to form this chimera
this womachine, this sewoman

For a long time she resisted
kept her distance, kept her back straight
but then one morning
the machine drew her in.
She remembers the moment
the back caving in ever so slightly.
The cold. Then the peace of surrender

But when did her thighs
begin to spread over the seat
when did her lips – always pinched
around pins – become so loose, when
did her hair turn into a frozen puddle?
From whom she once was
all that remains is the sewing machine.

And her hands, yes: still powerful
still assured. The hands seeing
what the eyes no longer can see:
soft and scratchy and flimsy fabrics
colors, patterns, tricks stores in the fingertips.
The hands dreaming a dance around bodies
draping, tucking, concealing, revealing

The hands seeking comfort
in the body of the sewing machine



 

jacob erin-cilberto

 

 

 

 

jacob erin-cilberto’s work has appeared in numerous small magazines and journals including: Café Review, Skyline Magazine, Hudson View, Wind Journal, Pegasus, Parnassus and others. erin-cilberto also writes reviews of poetry books for Chiron Review, Skyline Review, Birchbrook Press and others. He has reviewed books by B.Z Niditch, Michael Miller, Barry Wallenstein, Marcus Rome, musician Tom Maclear and others. Used Lanterns is erin-cilberto’s 12th book of poetry and is now available through Water Forest Press, Stormville, NY. erin-cilberto has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry in 2006-2007-2008 and again in 2010. He teaches poetry workshops for Heartland Writers Guild, Southern Illinois Writers Guild and Union County Writers Guild.



More than a Flicker


your radiant blonde seared
with artificial rays
dancing in a house of mirrored flame
you were always the spirited mare never tamed

but always running toward the moon
figuring no dream was too distant to lasso
as your fingers strummed a tune
and your soft voice struggled to match steps

with a fiery soul that gamboled within you and without
those orange demons flitted about
like rude guests taking over your abode
then leaving with not so much as a "goodbye/thank you" note

they just embered out
a misguided thief
as you collapsed us in grief

and even the moon cried.



It's Just a Name


i called you Bukowski
and you laughed a drink in my face
woke the next morning to half a poem
and a blues hangover
vodka lips pursed
as you wrote yourself into the day
aspirin calligraphy in pages of booze influenced
rap

before rap became wrap for saran feelings
filmed in monotonous song

you were Charles in charge
then realized
you weren't him

tried to hit the keys one more time
with your own fingers
but the screen went blank like your mind

as make-believe became a patron in a bar
shaken awake by the bouncer
and thrown to the curb
of his own recognition.



Poe Times One


circle, circle, circle
then land your raven wing
in the pudding of my soul
and i will stick my heart in
and pull out a restless, ephemeral plum poet

and the mirror, mirror on the wall
will choreograph my fall
as i step outside of my penned facade
see how much inky blood has spilled over the side
and how sad is my ride

now that i have been found out for the blackbird i am
just a sham

the words plucked from ornate clouds
embellished plots in poems of grief
relief or disbelief

storm candy of distasteful sugar coated lies
and those in my pies
and pudding sighs

the heart is a broken hunter
and the prey is laughing at his sorrow
with bow and arrow
chides
and sardonic derides
besides

that face, that face
i bust the glass but still the stare
from the now bare wall

i took the fall,
must accept my theme
my elusive dream
is gone, and my words
carry no weight to sift through minds
but rather to drift into deep mines

with no lodes
just scattered feathers
of what once was a bird that could actually fly

within stanzas of truth
when you actually took me seriously

during my poetic youth.



Katherine L. Gordon

Katherine L. Gordon lives to write in a secluded river valley where the wild cycles of nature inform her work. She is an author, editor, publisher and reviewer, with award winning poetry published in many languages including Chinese and Hindi. She has two full collections with her third Translating Shadows is currently being launched by Craigleigh Press. Myth Weavers, her book of Canadian Myths and Legends, was released by Serengeti Press in April 2007. Katherine is a literary critic and a mentor to young writers. She believes that poetry is the bond cementing cultures and an antidote to an increasingly impersonal world. 



Suspended Time

The fog has come
to still the wind
wrap motionless trees
in velvet hush,
birds have disappeared
into a white of waiting,
feet like ghosts of old
slide silently
on unmarked terrain.
The Unseen sigh
in silver winding cloth of ceremony
before the pelt of rain dissolves the bonds
reveals what hides in earth-sleep.


Hovering

A hummingbird slim as a feather
hovered outside the screen
of the open porch window
staring at me in mutual moment
of surprise,
we exchanged a rare empathy
before she dived
to the lush hibiscus flowers
on the summer balcony,
nectar enough for us both
in that showy summer prize,
she poised without fear of plummet
in the air-lift over blossoms...
if I were a grey-green feather
I too would avoid
the clutch of earth.


To Call A Greening

A dare of birds
sang sky-bright songs
to call a greening,
not a bud on earth or tree
but an aura of about-to-be,
early light awakened winter catatonics
drew blush on cheeks, flash in eyes,
quicker step, surprise heart-rise,
memories of once heat of summer love
when kisses melted any hint of cold
a heresy to think of growing old,
today on her dresser
a green silk chemise.


Journey of Ever-Return

The River Queen floats
in a spirit boat
along the sullen-start river
to the greedy sea
waiting to churn each soul
in the cauldron of re-fashioning,
each spark unable to withstand
the snuff of time and fate.
In her basket stored the rare few gifts
saved from ebb and tide
of inconstant valley streams.
Farewell to fairies, elf-horns that signalled change,
brief touch of other hands along the narrow way.
Rose petals on granite
the faint scent remains.



Lidia Chiarelli

Lidia Chiarelli is one of the Charter Members of Immagine & Poesia, the artistic literary Movement Founded in Torino (Italy) in 2007. Her writing has been translated into English, French and Romanian and published in Poetry Reviews, and on Web-Sites in Great Britain, in the U.S.A., in Italy and in Romania.
She became an award-winning poet in 2011 and 2012 : Premio Il Meleto di Guido Gozzano, Agliè (Italy) in 2011 and 2012. In June 2011 she was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from The First International Poetry Festival of Swansea (U.K.) for her broadside poetry and art contribution.



Tiffany

“ Diamonds are forever”
Ian Fleming

The sliding door
opens wide, quiet and appealing
Welcome to Tiffany
the Aladin’s cave
of the Twenty-first century.
The sultriness of this summer afternoon
is already behind me.

A soft pink carpet
is ready for my steps
- ever so stealthy -
while the humming of the air conditioning
becomes a sweet tune.

I cautiously hang about
among the shining display cabinets

jewels with refined designs
peep out.

Going up ?
The lift boy
invites me kindly.

On the second floor
solitaire diamonds
- marquise cut -
tell distant tales
of mahrajahs and queens.

Going up ?
Gift department.
A very smart shop assistant
puts the presents
- which in Italy they expect from me -
into a Tiffany-blue bag
and smiles.

I’m smiling too, now:
like a new Audrey Hepburn
today I have become part of
Tiffany’s legend.


Coney Island

...or a joker in a straw
putting a stickpin in his pippermint tie
and looking just like he had nowhere to go
but coneyisland…
Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Let’s go to Coney Island
today the gates are open for us
the hot August air
is laden with saltiness.
Let’s enter and forget
just for an hour
the problems and troubles of life.

A windmill
of sounds and fluorescent colours
attracts us
intoxicating  magnet.

We go.
The Wonder Wheel
will take us high and higher
our eyes will caress the city
and will get lost into the blue of the ocean.

We see
the carousel horses
moving in a tireless dance.

We smell
the sweet aroma of cotton candy
slowly spreading in the air.

A magic realm is waiting
to take us far
through time and space:

today let’s go to Coney Island
and just for an hour
we will be children again.



Maude Larke

Maude Larke has returned to writing after years in universities, analyzing others’ work, and to classical music as an ardent amateur. She has been published in Bird’s Eye reView, the Syracuse Cultural Workers’ Women Artists Datebook, Naugatuck River Review, Oberon, Doorknobs and Bodypaint, the Society of Southwestern Authors, Flowers & Vortexes, and The Story Teller.


Facts

Emily was once my great-aunt
now she is my niece

and someday she will be
a great-aunt herself
to another great-grand-niece’s aunt.

My brother and I
were once thought twins
but now he is much taller.

I can no longer
carry my sister.

These are all things that are different
but similarity shows through;

when grandmother died
she and I were the same size

and someday she and I
will be the same size again.



Agitation

spill the macaroni
while pouring it into the glass
to measure it

mini-elbow maggots
worming across the counter

spill the macaroni
while pouring it into the colander
to drain it

hot limp maggots
lounging in the sink

insist that all is well
through the "god damns"

set the dish on the table
and see after two mouthfuls
the before-meal medicine
lying in its foil packet



Night Window

face looming from the darkness

thrusting in a cold world
that makes me tremble here

you are looking into me
through your tunnel of light

but I cannot see
past your eyes

you are mute
the shadows between your lips
will not mime their pleasure

you are too struck
by the hollows behind me

and the freedom
of the dark shades
in my head



Journal

my entry today
was a sliver
in a careless hand

a noise
in the old song

a blotting pen
that spits
on its own creation

my words
plain
as my existence

my meaning
dead
as my concern



Nan Rush

Nan Rush is a poet and musician who has been published in Rolling Stone, Poets On, Yet Another Small Magazine, Thirteen, Cyclamens and Swords and Nebo.  In 2012, her poetry sequence “I Dress in Red” was published in the memoir anthology Impact.  Her poem “Schoolgirl” was published in Fall 2012 in the Adrienne Rich Tribute Anthology.  She has completed a short non-fiction book on her family, a fantasy novel, and is working on a memoir. 


Mistake

I’m afeared I cain’t lift it
no more, the man said,
and looked like the tears’d jest
burst from his head.

Oh, shor you can, Pa,
his daughter replied.
Jest pick it up slowly –
and ride,
ride.

He gazed at her doubtfully,
fearfully, shy,
then picked it up slowly,
and tried,
tried.

I think that I done it,
he said with a spark,
as he lifted it, hefted it,
struck at her heart.

Pa, what’ve you done?
she moaned as she bled,
& he said, my arm’s weak still –
I’d aimed fer yer head.



Feng Shui

My entranceway is excellent
in its color composition,
but enter the house and the
furnishings aren’t
properly aligned,
don’t face the proper direction
for prosperity and happiness
to enter my life.

One answer to this problem
is to stand in the entranceway
all day.

And I could move my bed, so
the head
faces the door at
a right angle
instead of parallel to it.
I’m less vulnerable
to intruders that way,
and may end up
having more say
about who and what enters there.
Could easily close
the toilet lids
so energy doesn’t drain away –
There’s no one else here.

Could hang a mirror
over my stove,
since now my back’s
to the door and window,
air.
But what if I saw someone there?
And my face reflected as I cook
might affect the stew.


There are repercussions
to
everything.
Anytime you move
something,
something moves
in you.

Feng Shui.



The Splinter

The morning sun slips under my skin
as unexpectedly
and painfully
as a splinter.

I cannot remove it,
nor do I want to.

I need it there,
stabbing me,
reminding me
I’m

alive.



The Dick

Picture the dick trying to
solve the crime:
He pushes in, takes fingerprints,
prods into dark places,
says he has to
look there,
see what’s inside.

When you say
where’s your warrant,
he says
I don’t need one –
See these hands?
They’re used to finding
secrets
hidden from most men.
I have a talent for
unearthing guilt.
Let me in.

So you do.
You open your door
to the dick
and he, hardened
by past experience,
finds what he seeks.

Before you know it,
you’re
guilty.



Neal  Whitman

Neal Whitman and his wife, Elaine, live in Pacific Grove, California, and in nearby Carmel, are docents at poet Robinson Jeffers Tor House. Neal writes Western and Japansese forms of poetry and, most of all, loves to collaborate with his wife, Elaine, combining his poetry with her visual and musical arts. Her photographs and collages grace several journals and anthologies that include Neal's poetry and well as their haiga: his haiku paired with her photographs. In public recitals, they mix his poetry with her classical and Native American flute.  


Trappings

Shut in. Shut out.
Shut up. Shut down.
Dead as a dodo.
Dead as a door knob.
Make the door,
Make it fast.
No trespassing.
No soliciting.
Don't let the lies in.
Truth is a deadbolt
I live in a house
no one knows.
In my home
perfect silence
You want to catch
a mouse?
You got to think
like a mouse.
At midnight
scratchings in the wall.
In the morning
I check the trap.
No mouse.
No cheese.



Coastal Road Trip Post Cards Haiku

Start of our road trip––
Promise made to make it home
wherever we are.
      September 15

We climb over sand dunes
Ano Nuevo Reserve––
Hola, Elephant Seals!
      September 16

Humpback whales rise
before our coffee is served.
Breakfast in Pacifica.
      September 16

Mendocino mist
settles in the soft harbor.
Surf sounding gentle.
      September 17

Ship horn and seal bark––
Crescent City under fog.
We know they are there.
      September 18

Four buoys and a boat
below in Trinidad Bay.
No one here but gulls.
      September 18

We sit in silence
by Lost at Sea Monument.
Remembering friends.
      September 18

The Coquille Lighthouse
stands at the end of a spit.
I sit with my tea.
      September 20

End of our road trip––
Promise kept to make it home
wherever we are.
      September 23


 


Neil Leadbeater
 

 

Neil Leadbeater was born in Wolverhampton, England. He currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. His poems, short stories and articles have been published widely in anthologies and journals at home and abroad. His first full-length collection of poems, Hoarding Conkers at Hailes Abbey was published by Littoral Press in 2010 and a selection of his Latin-American poems, Librettos for the Black Madonna was published by White Adder Press in 2011. His work has been translated into Spanish and Romanian.


Delphiniums

These eye-catchers clamour for attention.

The biggest and boldest stand out a mile
where the blowsy pom-poms
bang hello
and the philodendrons surprise you.

I said to her once:
Don’t you just love
the bling at the back of the border -

these blue-chip hybrids, the “Pacific Giants”-
their strident purple haze?

And she looked straight at me
unable to hide that sudden blush
at my assault on beauty.



Red Wallaba Shingles

These are the materials you work with now,
the flat rectangles in overlapping rows
whose substance holds the memory
of white, acidic soils -
epurea heartwoods soaring to 80 feet
with a dark, gummy streak
stronger than a pine…
As you lay them out,
each is cut to a set size
to fire-proof the roof;
to lie in the sun like cracked wheat
over the timber frame…

and the house gives thanks the only way it can:
a whole generation on bended knee -

all this for a little warmth
to glow like love in the heart.



In the Teatro São Pedro, Porto Alegre

Poetry of place is important to me
which is why Sonja is waiting for Paulo
on the red carpet in the Teatro São Pedro, Porto Alegre.

The smile on her face when she sees him
will be a box-office hit in the foyer -
so full of joy is the song in her heart
her hands and her head
for the boy who inhabits her dreams.

Every time she comes she will remember this
and what it means.



Patrick Osada 

Patrick B. Osada is a retired Headteacher living in Warfield, Berkshire, England. He works as an editor, writes reviews of poetry for magazines and is a member of the Management Team for SOUTH Poetry Magazine. His first collection, Close to the Edge was published in 1996 & won the prestigious Rosemary Arthur Award. His second collection, Short Stories: Suburban Lives, and his last volume, Rough Music, have been published in England by Bluechrome. His current collection, Choosing the Route, has been published in England by Indigo Dreams Publishing. Patrick’s work has been widely published in magazines, anthologies and on the internet. His poetry has been broadcast on national & local radio and translated into several European languages.   



Cordon Sanitaire

I know we were never that close -
Always close enough to care -
And we cared enough to quarrel:
For our feelings to be shared.

Imperceptibly we parted
As we moved on out of step;
Earth and Sun took on new orbits
And our firmament was set.

Standing at the edge of my world
Sending love with all my heart,
But I know I cannot reach you -
Barriers keep us apart.

More secure than any fortress
Glassy prison of the mind,
My beliefs and prejudices
Hold me close, restrain and bind.

As you move off to strange music,
Finding rhythms in new spheres,
If your dance is not for ever
All the old tunes still play here.



Couple

Theirs, not some meteoric rise
That in no time just flared and fell -
A rocket bursting from the skies,
Plummeting to a tabloid hell.

Nor like some joy ride fuelled by lust,
Reckless, racing out of control -
A photoflash, a plume of dust -
Before the final skid and crash.

More like an accident at sea:
They run aground on unmarked rocks
Then drift and float expectantly
Hoping to find a palm-fringed life …

Steering towards that western gleam,
Clutching the wreckage of their dreams.