Two poems by Susan Jordan

Kristallnacht

It happened a long time ago. I watched it on television in shades of grey. It started with smashing windows, the glass jagged over black space inside. On some of the windows you could see ‘Jude’ in ugly writing. Men in uniform were marching down the street: young men with short, short haircuts and bland faces looking straight forward. Then you saw the people in the street running to get away. Some of them seemed pleased, but then there were the other ones with stars pinned to their clothes. They looked frightened when the fires started. Old people spoke who had been children then. The children didn’t understand what was happening, but they understood later. An old man opened a box and took out the yellow star he’d kept for seventy years.

..

Sentience

It hurts when the prod shocks through your skin
when cages cripple all your limbs
when they whip you to make you stagger
in what they call a dance.

It hurts when they pour poison into you
when they take away your child
when they force food down your throat
so you’ll be good to eat.

It hurts when they crowd you in trucks
when they drive you towards fear
when, shocked but not stunned,
you feel the knife’s first rip.

It hurts when they don’t hear
you telling them it hurts.

Five poems by Karen Little

The morning after

I explain everything while you’re sleeping;
how I got lost by the river, how the banks were
slippery as eels, how time slipped away, yet
got caught in the weeds at the same time. How
the hooting of owls hypnotized me. How the boat
called me on board; the turbulent water, the throb
of the engine lulled me to sleep.

I was alone, no one touched me, I wasn’t afraid.

When you wake, before I say anything, you assure me
you’d like to tear the lies right out of my throat.  I’m
delicately removing splinters, the needle still hot
from the flame. I feel like the rabbit’s foot dangling
from your key chain, the one you shake in my face. Not
lucky; more like severed, more, loss mixed with shame.

..

Fame

On the first day she learned not to wear underwear
or tight jeans: they mark the flesh and waste time.

She learned you can get very high in half an hour
waiting for flesh marks to fade, and during that time

a professional could assume the right to behave
unprofessionally towards a seventeen year old. She

learned three new descriptive phrases: beaver, split
beaver,  split wet beaver. She learned to pinch her

nipples erect when the heat of the lamps relaxed them.
She learned she could earn more money in a day than

many people earn in a week. When the photos were
published the caption disclosed the shame of seeing

her suitcase split open at the airport, and her multitude
of sex toys spill into the lap of a security officer.

..

On my Mind

There is a way of getting answers without
being sure of the question. A prayer, a poem,
a painting. Find the sharpest tool to gouge your way
in. Or the gentlest; oil on water. I harbour the intention
of deceiving you; struggle with twin desires of polishing
your ego or shattering you. You are a shrill kettle demanding
to be noticed. An energetic complaint. In the vivarium of desire,
the tomb of the bewildered, I’m in a suffering kind of place,
the web of the bewildered, the last sizzle of wax
hitting the bottom of the wine bottle. I notice the way
the slatted blind traps light and throws it with mathematical
precision, or intimate groping, against the wall of my trailer.
My mystical timepiece, restrained flamboyance,
a contradiction of light and shadow.

..

Revelation

This road has seen and heard it all before; the walking
wounded never commit suicide on a whim. I pull her
out of the water. Stones soften in the rain’s silent jostle.

A hover of pigeons, scattered by an old face and the stride
of a young male, are captured waist-high, threaded to suffering.
I begin with a revelation of breath, balanced on legs of air.

Mountains deny artificial explosives can be put to good use;
we explode naturally at times—all that fat. Ash and steam
create the loudest sound ever heard, while history doffs its hat.

We surmise that if we bubble and expand long enough,
someone out there will hear the report.

..

The Baths

She cut off her hair. It wasn’t where her strength lay;
now no one would hold her by it, swing her by it. Plus,

it was better for swimming. On the bus she split
and wove together her ticket, split and wove together

her ticket, and thought about choosing ice gems
from the machine. She didn’t think about the guy

waiting in the deep end, under the diving board. She
was the best swimmer in class, could save herself

by turning pyjama pants into a float. Afterwards she
walked along the jetty to dry her hair, took the bus home.

Beyond Words, by Dave Urwin

She is grabbed off the innocent, sunlit street
one ordinary, workaday lunchtime

to be beaten, punched, taken
to a foreign land
imprisoned.

Not only punches and kickings
but unspeakable punishment
with cables, doors, things she cannot utter

by human beings wanting
human feelings. The probe and jab
of men’s weaponry, their mauling hands

as she stares at ceilings, walls.
They have no respect. They are weak.
They use other people for control. 

She has torturous nightmares.
The world is a locked door.

She cannot find the words
to express her eternal pain
and somewhere, beyond all words
come tears, ancient as rain.

,,

Links: www.stopthetraffik.org

BBC Radio 4 drama, I Am a Slave, week beginning 03.06.2019

BBC Radio 4, Woman’s Hour, 06.06.2019

Blood Sisters, by Sheila Jacob

A belly-cramp wakes her
before daybreak.
Before the guards arrive
and herd them into the yard
for morning roll-call.

She clambers across
the top bunk,
stands up too quickly
and night’s scald of blood
streams down her legs.

Anna’s watching, frowning.
Sharp-tongued Anna
who prattles in her sleep.
Anna, whispering Martha,
child, don’t cry.

She’s kneeling, lifting
a mattress then padding
to Martha’s side
and filling her hands
with strips of cloth.

Torn secretly, she says,
from her underslip.
They’re used and stained
but she washed each rag
as best she could

and kept them safe.
Thought they’d be needed
again; hoped her womb
would obey the tug
of a clouded moon.

..

In Auschwitz-Birkenau and other concentration camps, menstruating women had to use any scraps of paper and cloth they could find. Young girls were helped to manage the trauma of this, and a first period, by older women, a vast proportion of whom suffered amenorrhoea.

Charge of the Trump Brigade, by Geraldine Ward

I hear the charge of the Trump Brigade.
From Trumped up Towers he comes.
Swaying, staggering, seeking the PM’s hand again.
Red carpet rolled out, protesters warned away
because this is the charge of the Trump brigade.
Far off near his homeland a wall is being built,
partitioning Mexico from the United States.
I see this man with his misguided bigotry even hate speech.
Shouted down by the Mayor, Sadiq Khan,
adding fuel to the fire, because this is the charge of the Trump brigade.
Corbyn protests, will the left unite to get rid of this unwholesome tangerine sight?
Trump will tango with Farage and Johnson,
Theresa May is barely in conjunction.
The special relationship sits uncomfortably.
Trump schmoozed Prince Charles out of the way
and Camilla winked knowingly.
Will this draft dodger get his comeuppance?
Tax payers money wasted for securing this curmudgeon.
When he goes the royals will sigh with relief,
Khan and Corbyn will still give him grief.
This loose canon will boom stateside,
because we have not seen the last from the charge of the Trump brigade.

..

Geraldine Ward is an author and poet from Kent. You can find more of her work at www.geraldineward.wordpress.com

Twitter: @GWardAuthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/geraldine.ward.uk

Two poems by Mariangela Canzi

Agenda

We reject war
as useless
non-violence
is our weapon

We reject inequality
as dangerous
justice
is our dream

We reject illiteracy
as unfair
education
is our right

We reject walls
as vain
solidarity
is our goal.

,,

Against the mafia

Daring bright men
who fought against
a strong and cruel
enemy
honest rare men
who believed
in justice

A bloody bomb
killed them

No peace no rest
for their souls
still floating
to the ground

The truth lay
on their minds
the cowards
hid it away.

..

Mariangela Canzi is Italian mother tongue, translator. Her passion is English language and literature. She started writing poems about two years ago. It was a joke, it is now a challenge and a pleasure. She tries to express her feelings and thoughts about life and the world.

England Welcomes the American Predator, by Claire Leavey

In Honour Of the Official State Visit of United States President Donald J. Trump to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on this the Third Day of June in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Nineteen.

 

Welcome to the milky Motherland, plump potentate.
While you’re in our hall of mirrors, take the time
to look about. Look closely and you’ll see yourself
as we see you. Who are you, then?
(That’s if you even have the eyes
to see the truth.)
..
Do you really think that silly
cotton candy hat looks good?
Does that ginger tom foundation stain
the linen of your lonely, burger’d, bed?
How many snakes, exactly, knot
into the tightening nexus
of your seething head?
And when you do unglue
and lever out those bought-in teeth,
What’s lying underneath?
..
You’re trade; you’re bought and sold; of Queens.
You have an escort, not a consort, for a wife.
You think that fronting up
and fronting out
can get a bullshit merchant
through a simulacrum of a life.

We gag to see you gleefully contort
to please the lowest of the lowest sort,
and at the same time bending over
for a bare-chest bareback riding,
vodka-drinking cutie boy;
you’re a tawdry orange beachball
of a tchotchke toy
with a stream of sewage tumbling
from your starfish mouth
as your once-great nation
slowly slithers back – and South.

Well, just for now,
For now, alright, we’ll polish up
the silver pieces; wind our smiles tight.
In the words of Mr Johnson, Englan’ is a bitch
and this unnerved, uncertain England
is prepared to be your bitch
For these few days
and just for now
(for we are old and wise and
know you’ll soon be out),
and so, for now (but just until
you’re rotting with the other dirt),
this seasoned bitch will condescend to flirt.

Her Majesty will wash her hands and
shampoo all the carpets once you’re gone.
We’ll fumigate the whole of Westminster,
keep calm,
and carry on.

Five poems by Gary Beck

No Warning

Strong winds blow harder and harder.
City dwellers huddle in doorways
sheltered from flying debris.
Snow begins to fall
faster and faster.
Traffic slows,
comes to a standstill.
The snow gets deeper.
Emergency services slow down
unprepared for a blizzard.
People bring out skis and sleds
enjoying winter despite its wrath.
But the snow keeps falling.
Police and ambulances stop responding.
The ailing struggle to the hospitals.
Some don’t make it.
It continues to snow.
Even the skiers stop.
It gets colder and colder.
Another day goes by.
Drifts are four feet high.
Fires break out.
The Fire Department can’t respond.
The snow keeps fires from spreading.
Suddenly the power fails
leaving the city blacked out.
The elderly begin to die.
Everyone sits in darkness
wondering if they’ll see light again.

 

The Road to…

Tensions rise across the globe
as state and non -state actors
devise more violent schemes
to threaten their enemies,
undermine those who can resist,
intimidate the weaker,
and terrorize the helpless.
During these troubled times
the American ship of state
guided by an ignoramus
who knows little, respects nothing,
burdens us with growing debt,
erodes the middle class,
fraying our institutions,
until the hope of the future
is dangerously imperiled.

 

Going Downhill

Our country is fortunate
with an ego-filled ignoramus,
a Mussolini type
rather than a Hitler,
who may aggravate many
with bombast and petty spite
but we’ll probably survive
the worst he can do
another sad indicator
of the degeneracy
of the Presidency

 

So Proudly We Once Hailed

It has been a long time
since I expected
democracy.
After all
the rich buy anything they want
including politicians,
leaving my poor country
oppressed
by the corrupt and evil
not allowing
even the illusion
of freedom.

 

Dollars at Work

The bombs and missiles fall
on Syria, Iraq,
Afghanistan, other lands,
sent by America
whether to quell enemies
or consume war materials
that must be replaced
profitably
to perpetuate
capitalism
and those who gain by it,
regardless of the suffering
inflicted on everyone else.

..

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director. He has 14 published chapbooks. His poetry collections include Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press), Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order (Winter Goose Publishing). Conditioned Response (Nazar Look), Virtual Living (Thurston Howl Publications), Blossoms of Decay, Expectations and Blunt Force (Wordcatcher Publishing). His  novels include Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing), Call to Valor and Crumbling Ramparts (Gnome on Pig Productions), Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). Acts of Defiance  (Wordcatcher Publishing). His short story collections include A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications), Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing) and Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). The Republic of Dreams and other essays (Gnome on Pig Productions). Feast or Famine and other one act-plays will be published by Wordcatcher Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of magazines. He lives in New York City.

Jesus was an Incel, by Tom Sinclair

And John Cleese is full of shit
Because on a TV interview he said you couldn’t make Jesus funny
Because he said a lot of good bits
(Yes, it’s really great if you want to condition people to slavery)
And so the Pythons invented Brian Cohen
The rape (at first) child of a Jewish sex worker
And a Roman Soldier
They chose the Jews just like Hitler, and a white beetle paid for it
(George Harrison)
Just to make a ‘funny’ flick
The Catholic church condemned it
Even though they weren’t it’s real target
So Cleese wailed that they didn’t get it
And the priest/bishop/whatever said it was tenth rate shit
Just like Morrissey went from working class, to Vegan Right wing Prick
Cleese found his Anti-Semite stride, and Terry Jones directed it
It mocked the unions, and trans rights too
And remember the Alt right say nothings too taboo
Like saying the age of consent is “case by case” from 11 years and up
(Carl Benjamin UKIP)
These guys were my heroes growing up
Because I was a confrimed atheist at eight, and I had faith that most religion was full of shit
But I value kindness and acceptance in others
So I try and get down with that a little bit
And I talked to a God in a field once (myself), and it (I) didn’t want me on my knees
The sky simply rolled up into a cylinder and went directly into my third eye (forehead really)
And that night I thought I could do magic
I really turned the lights in buildings on and off from across the way a bit (prove that I did not)
I also made my phone disappear
(Finally once and for all by throwing it into a random garden in Wrexham)
The weirdest thing is someone later found it and it got back to me, and that never happens
And when the God-thing(still me) re-entered my head the best thing was it showed me a joke
Because harmless kind humour like Jerry Seinfeld’s, or Larry David’s is this worlds greatest gift
The punchline was simply this
LIFE IS ALL ONE FUCKING JOKE SO ‘D BETTER BLOODY LIVE IT
Or symbols and feelings to that effect (You can say anything like to yourself it can only hurt you)
And when I happened upon two nuns, and spoke of my revelation one cried, for she knew it true
But they wouldn’t let me in their church, and so left me at the gates
And I’m not a communist either before you wonder
I’m a social anarchist
I believe that everyone is equal
and equally responsible for all of it
But I’ve started to hate most white people quite a lot if I’m honest
And Jesus preached love but never got any if you believe the bible
Not even a bit of sneaky bum loving
33 years a complete virgin to honour his poor mum Mary Sue
What is it with religion and ‘purity’
Maybe that’s why the priesthood likes them young
And I’m sorry that happened to you Milo
But why you keep banging on about black dick? Because you can have a fetish and still be racist You arrogant facist prick;
The S.S officers loved raping the Jewish women in the concentration camps
Because hate sex is the incel flipside of make up sex
And people love to moan on about Muslims
I get it, there’s much that can be said on that topic, but I’ll leave it you lot who love it better
Than a sane man ever should
Because I’m a proud to be a white traitor
And today is day 3 of my Elm Park resistance
On this day I untied one of Jodie’s purples ribbons, not out of disrespect for a young life lost
But one girl died and white people tied hundreds of ribbons on public land
To be left undesecrated, unlike a Native American burial ground
and simply left them there
She wasn’t killed by a black boy, but the other four stabbed boys this year were black
Where are their ribbons my compassionate neighbours? Or don’t you really give a fuck?
Why does nobody stop and stare at Jodie’s ribbons? I’ve never seen anyone tie another since
Or maybe just take a moment to remember her, place some flowers or shed a tear
No they are just a desperate grasp at one white life matters more than blacks
And I think it’s time to let Jodie be laid to rest
Not let her be another innocent pawn in this game of fatal chess
Every day I’ll untie another one
partly because I never tied a ribbon for Jodie Chesney upon her death
But I’ll make sure there all undone one by one
Because altogether their bigger than the holocaust memorial
Planned to go up in London near parliament that’s causing quite a stir
And Justice is in place for Jodie now, four suspects already arrested, two others released
When a black boys dies it never makes the news the very next day any more
Brilliantly George Lucas made Darth Vader a beautiful black men
And didn’t tell
That his voice would be replaced by the majestic black American
James Earl Jones
And in my favourite moment of this most favourite of films
Darth tells Luke he is his father, and as a Jedi he knows it to be true
So he screams in disbelief from the revelation this means he might just be mixed race
I mean he just lost his hand from a light sabre strike
But this makes this white ‘freedom’ fighter really lose his shit
You’d think he’d be happy to have a dad
But we all know he hoped it would have been old Ben Kenobi
Who jumps in line when the Monarchy call after all those years in the wildness
Trying to leave in peace, but hating the natives for their wild virile nature
He’s a tired old white man, who hung on to Darth’s original Saber
Out of sadness for a friendship lost in the mindfuck of dark and light
Thanks to star wars I don’t believe in good and evil
I saw all the greyness in it
I loved Darth Vader
And thought Luke Skywalker was a proper little prick
Look at the way he runs to his Majesty Princess Leia
Incel incest on his mind
Like a proper little bootlicker
His family barely cold
In the ground

I know how all this must sound
But it’s not as crazy as half the shit I’ve found

Lines from a correspondence with the leader of the party, by Yangisar.

What is this image?
What is it called?
Apparently
it
is
……a
Pavilion
……………..for
………………..humanities fall.
But Each of them know
..that
..Liberty is
…………out of their captives’ control
Thirsty Storm creates one true goal

There they shaking,
There they aching,
There they bloody suffocating
but truly there they not mistaking
Truth………………for masquerading.

And That abhorrent situation?
………Just a little – reeducation!
For the minority of the population.

Oh, Yes! We’ll study! With Love this class!
What a lesson! Such a bless!

Would you just please await alumni
Your Classes won’t be misapplied
……Your classes will be clarified!
Under the light of our moon and the star
and under the blue of our sky
You’ll glimpse through your blinded third eye,
Colors of million wings fly
Sang by the million lips
You’ll hear your last lullaby.

My poem concerns  persecution of of the Uyghur ethnicity in Western China.  Over a million people as of right now are locked up in concentration camps. Experiencing abuse, tortures and total cultural annihilation.

 

War Memoir, by Oz Hardwick

Somewhere in the house a door is closing, and soft footsteps move in the familiar patterns of care. Last night I had that dream in which my mother was alive again, tired but lucid as she ever was. I wanted to ask her what it had been like being dead, whether it had matched her ideas of heaven, but it seemed impolite, or just a bit gauche in the circumstances. While she was alive, I don’t think either of us ever used the word gauche in conversation with each other, though, being Europeans, we could have done with impunity; so when I spoke to her in my dream I didn’t tell her about crumbling unions and rephrased passports. Your great grandmother would have voted for a pig if it had a blue rosette, she once told me, but she wouldn’t have voted for Cameron. When I woke to the sound of a million or more slamming doors, she was dead again, with all its implications, and I thought about my father, far from home, freezing on a pitching deck, also dead but still holding out against a hate that refuses to die.

No Tears for Theresa May, by Dave Rendle

It’s the end of May
No tears for Theresa
Strong and stable she never was
Her deceit and neglect still resonates
our tears  fall for her defenceless prey
Windrush Brits deported, Grenfell victims
Disabled people systematically abused
Benefit claimants, the sick and marginalised
Four million children in poverty
Avoidable death victims of DWP
No tears fall  now for her cowardly stance
Let’s hope we see no more attempts to dance’
As her trade in Machiavellian deceit ends
Her nefarious flagitious poison still flowering
Among the seeds of pain she’s sown
Her legacy will  for long be known
May her departure precipitate
The induction of pragmatic change.

Three poems by Henry Bladon

Bladon 2

 

the demon on my back

the demon on my back
calls it a hug.

he says:
you don’t know me yet,
but you will.

we will be friends,
you and me.

 

(Image is Untitled, by Dutch artist, Marcel Herms.
marcelherms.nl)

Homeboy - Bladon

 

Serotonin

Flood in, flood in, create the happy tide.
You expect me to believe.
But listen to this:
Over two hundred neurotransmitters
carrying messages, feelings and memories
yet nothing to measure them by.

Now try and tell me you know why
when all you have is theory

 

The ‘serotonin theory’ suggests that depression is caused by a lack of the neurochemical substance serotonin. Although widely quoted as fact, it remains a hypothesis, and one for which there is no direct evidence.

(Image is Homeboy, by Dutch artist, Marcel Herms. marcelherms.nl)

 

Psychobabble and Snake Oil (An ABBA Poem)

The medics think this is magical stuff
the secret of curing the brain
try one, try another and try again
because sometimes one’s not enough.

Psychotherapists talk and promise much
but don’t know which way to take
their words are deep but their promises fake
their ideas just straws they clutch.

..

Henry Bladon is based in Somerset in the UK. He is a writer of short fiction and poetry and teaches creative writing for therapeutic purposes. He has degrees in psychology and mental health policy, and a PhD in literature and creative writing. He frequently writes commentary about mental health issues and his literary work can be seen in O:JA&L, Tuck Magazine, Mercurial Stories, The Ekphrastic Review, and Spillwords Press, among other places.

Nine poems by Ndue Ukaj

Utopia

Everything is different, in the horizon the Sun is crumbled
The crumbles remained on the earth’s heart like triumphant arrows.

We can’t recognize the colors through the wind caressing the memory
We do not read poetry in the universe of foolishness
Where relations between darkness and light
Appear just like relations between the wall and thought.

Behind is played the surprising game, just like before
Birds are falling in the ground, just like in times when hell was written,
Oh God, everything has changed,
At a time when a small fence is darkening our big eyes.

The moon finds a path through mummy hands remaining like arrows towards the sky
And the sun dissolving just like a candle through tired eyes
Who can’t see anything in the blue sky, except a small cloud
A cloud darkening everything

Therefore vision is coiled in space
Just like the wind creating its avalanche
Then many faces appear.
At a night, when everything is different,
Containing inside the borders within your head
When you feet walk through illusions
And squeeze their bad dreams
For the time that isn’t
For the time that wasn’t
For the time that will not come
For the time that goes with the wind.
Utopia struggling against reality
Her dreams hiding at the corner of secrets
Are swallowed

 

Godo Is Coming

Stop crying continuously, Godo is coming
The storm has stopped, the road from Ireland is open
He has softened his turbulent vision and his sadness of Achilles
Even the pain in his chest has healed.
He is coming through the Tree of Life.
Where you have created the nest of welcome
With a swamp of wishes noisily tied.
Godo is coming with the music of sea full of silence.
Your welcome has given him courage,
He is coming with the sack full of enigmas,
Nearby the rotten Tree
Where you wait to enter your shaking hands
That were bitten by the irony of endless waiting.
And the words that were changing their shape every morning.
Your bulb does not trust time, neither for the waiting and Godo’s arrival.
With the branches of tree designs the crown of victory. What a great joy.
With reduced hopes until the lost confidence, dissolves the vision
And is crossing the furious river without being recognized.
Suddenly comes back.
Sitting nearby a tree with your shining items
Where the white lights swallow your emotion ate vision.
Where you are saving the nostalgia of reception. The heart’s step.
Through the tired fingers are counting the theatre of absurdities
With naked actors nearby which
The spectators are spread through the meridians of death.
While waiting for Godo.
And the fear from the sneak on the rotten Tree,
Which is whipping continuously.
Therefore Godo is coming; your reception has made him courageous.
Near the tree of life
With the team of actors to build the theatre of salvation for you.
And the time of reception to last until he comes.

 

The Emigrant

He has only questions, his answers so very timid
In dirty pockets with concreted nostalgia.
He has only memories that surround his neck
Like the millstone they shake him one step forward and a few backward,
While caressing in torrential waterfall,
And kidnapping the time which he never sees.
The time that he only dreams in endless nights.
He is not one of those below the sky full of storms,
Where he walks, where he eats, where he makes love and seating.
The fatherland of birds is the sky
Of the fish is the sea
Of the emigrant is sorrow
Which is multiplied like clouds in the turbulent sky.
On the unknown roads, nostalgia shifts
While searching for one amid endless zeroes.
Odyssey’s testament is burning in his hand,
And coal threaten fire; like tropical rays
Toward the missed Ithaca he directs his eyes
And he is exhausted day and night.
He migrates on the roads of sadness
And is covered with the quilt of Promised Land,
And every night dreams the same dream. The return to number one.
While the desert oasis swallows his aspirations, and memories.
Causing deep desperation to the Emigrant.
With the sack of sorrow travels through the roads of hope
Awaiting decisions to become as number one, in the endless zeroes
Every day waits for him the unknown in the forest of desires
Where it is relaxing, the soft vision and the deep meditation.
Like a freezing bird is searching the nest of hope.
And is covered with the quilt of Promised Land.

 

Laura’s Sunday

In her city there is a ruined cathedral
in the midst of ruins
its choir is missing
and there is an “Ave Maria” song.
On the road edges, stones relieve pain
only the choir traces are together with dry
flower bouquets
There are many dogs, and trash.

There is a large piano without its proper place.
In her city there is a ruined cathedral
longing for bells’ sounds to awaken her
she wears a beautiful dress, whispers Ave Maria
in solitude.

She has a sweet voice, every Sunday she goes
into the ruins, talks with stones, with flowers
that do not blossom, she goes easy through ruins
and wipes her happy eyes without trying the voice in a choir.

It is Sunday and her delighted eye is resting.
She sings Ave Maria in solitude.
With an eraser of love she erases the invoice
which time has left behind
while gathering her hands over her pretty breasts,
in silence she opens up a new page and writes a senseless verse.

It is Sunday
she is awakened while dreaming a love temple
and song sounds.
Ave Maria is alive!
and waits for nature to become prettier,
the same as a flower, prettier with all its beauty,
waits to join the choir of life.
She walks over the ruins of the cathedral and lights a candle.
Her pretty knees touch the solid stone.

 

When Biblical peace is ruined

There is impossible sometimes to understand the bridge between night and day
Neither between good and bad
Neither between the right and wrong
Sometimes happens that the streets are confused
And it’s the great evolution colors are invisible
This happens because lights are extinguished in the horizon.

All of a Sudden, just like a theater screen is opened a drape
The stage is empty, dry, cold, dark…
Just as a secret life full of mysteries,
And a sad person confessing himself
Without an end neither a beginning

Engulfed in the context of routine
Without freedom, neither with slavery
It happens at time that human has no horizon
And everything is collapsed
Just as a tsunami that takes upfront everything.

It happens sometimes, human has neither height nor depth
It happens to remember that it was nothing, was no where
Was no one…
In a world that is submerged in its eyes without a horizon.
Says: everything existed as a frightening scream

But happens sometimes, humans want to sit on the ground
below the tree of wisdom.
To see how biblical peace was ruined, when Eden was burned.

 

Modern Odyssey

Through dreams makes love with Penelope,
The road to Ithaca is longer than its distance
Between the dream and reality…where the tired vision
Explodes in search of Ithaca
And returned to the word in the traditional nest.
At the swamp full of memories
Where their roses are falling apart
And take the color of Autumn.  Tragically
I stepped over them, just as in lost grounds.

Without a brake opens its minimized eyes
Its tired eyes, faded from the endless search.
In trouble he is descending the stairs of memory
And opens the pages of nostalgia.  Full of passion.

In the roads of the world is crises-crossed his confused search.
While with nostalgia is searching a small place to take a break
Nervous from the tempted cruiser of life
In the waves of memory dissolved just as the Sun dew.

Odyssey died in antiquity.
In the lap of Penelope is relaxing
With the mountain of memories that are fading,
Every time that Troy is burned.
And Penelope in the window is drawing the reception.
Welcome as large as longevity
And the letters of this poetry
Extending their voice up in the sky.

 

A boat on a waive

It’s Saturday and a cold march
the roads are shining from frost, the city is quiet
Sounds are frightening, like mountains scream from lightening.
Cold flowers have the color of a frozen sound,
Nothing is shining, neither aroma, neither sound, neither a word.

We are going to the sea,
Where there is a sole boat and a masked captain

He leaves behind quietness and departs towards for the coast
To throw himself in the mysteries of turbulent waives.

You are following with imagination its path
When she moves through the stormy waives.

A thunder is heart….

Asking surprised, why did it leave the quietness of the coast?

Looking confused with the eyes covering the color of ice
And reminds the worst tail.
The boat becomes smaller, the waives are growing
And the sky is furious.

It Saturday, cold march
Flowers are freezing just like your memory
Which leaves behind quietness and thrown in the waives of life,
There is an abyss amidst desires and reality
Between you and breathless reality, life, time…
On the earth full of thirst.


Noah’s Ark

Noah’s Ark was not emptied
even when the rainbow
scintillated over the sea
and the winds stopped
and the sea slept.
She was not emptied,
even when the white dove
flew before her and,
from the narrow doors
appeared the faces of the
passionate, spurred to feel
all the bright colors
straight away.

Noah’s ark fights on,
still drunk with the storm,
Fights the rain of life falling
Nonstop with evil men
who have ruined the soil…

Since the people, drunk, overwhelmed
with the desire to ransack the colors
of the rainbow’s arch, trust me,
peace has not overspread us
Though a dove appeared
in the blue sky
desire overwhelmed us –
to become drunk with
warm lips, to die there
and preserve eternally
that instant of drunkenness

Night fell; the rainbow disappeared
in an orbit of darkness, just like
some thing unknown beyond a great hill.
And darkness enshrouded our eyes,
the same as Eve’s darkness – her
overwhelming desire for the apple
in the tree of wisdom,
Oh God, wouldn’t you think
after that battle between
the rainbow’s arch and the storm
we might have lost our taste
for the forbidden fruit?

 

In a train station

Crowds of people
Run towards many directions
Some of them have a luggage
Some embody confusion in their eyes
Some waiting for the train
And a few returning to Ithaca like Odysseus

Everyone is found to be in one place
Where they depart to different directions.
However they all have the same purpose
The lives’ walk
O God, the unknown lives’ walk.

You are cleaning the front head and with a sweet voice, asking
Who is the walk?
Odysseus when returning to Ithaca,
Understood that Ithaca was far away from his dreams
Everything had changed, except his memories.
Ithaca did not remember his heroism
She was not Ithaca of Odysseus’ dreams.

.. 

Ndue Ukaj’s poetry was translated from Albanian to English by Peter Tase

 ..

Ndue Ukaj (1977) is Albanian writer, publicist and literary critic.

Ukaj is included in several anthologies of poetry, in Albanian, and other languages. He has published five books, including “Godo is not coming”, which won the national award for best book of poetry published in 2010 in Kosovo. He has also won the award for best poems in the International Poetry Festival in Macedonia. His poems and texts are translated into English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Finnish, Swedish, Turkish and Chinese. 

Ukaj is member of Swedish PEN.

Four poems by Jamie Dedes

the century of possible peace

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,after Muriel Rukeyser

I lived in the century of world wars and
into the century of “hot spots” and “conflicts,”
those isolated regions of hostility and battle, of
choreographed shows of military cliché and the
violent disaffected eruptions of the marginalized

Every day is an homage to some insanity
Media reports are conveyed with facile intensity
by hyperkinetic journalists – they deliver easy
and ominous conclusions based on seemingly
recondite facts, quickly moving to celebrity
gossip and other insipid topics . . .

I have lived in two centuries of wars
I know what it is to be exhausted by the
vain posturing of the ruling class and
the tired protestations of tribal unity and
supremacy based on accidents of birth

I know what it is to imagine peace across
the circumference of one small blue ball
in a Universe of inestimable size and breadth
I know that darkness can descend with the
speed of light, that love is more than an
anchor, that hope keeps our dreams alive

I have lived into the century where the world is
grown small, where the peacemakers are tireless
and perhaps enough hearts have grown large …
sometimes I think I am living in the century
where peace is as possible as war

 

The Razor’s Edge

Eye-candy, a feast of crocus, bursting
Through the snow-laden ground
Drunk on the promise of spring
The devil behind, that shadow side
Clouds shape shifting, take on
The broad outlines of a memoir

Angels dance on the razor’s edge
Forget that pin stupidity, reductio
ad absurdum, politicians and scholars
Debating, while greed and warring go on
Starving the children, curse the insanity
Dialectic, acquisition, murdering hoards

Clouds, shape shifting, take on
The contours of shame, crocus buries
Itself and the promise of spring
The broad outlines of memoir dissolve
The slashed moon drools ichor

How long can the innocent bear life
On the razor’s edge, coiling the fire
Of their despair around our hearts
Drawn to the verge on the reflux of
Rudimentary souls, vertigo, nausea
Nostalgia for what will never be known

 

At the Dead of Noon

If you weren’t there
you can hardly imagine the beauty,
the exquisite peace of those hot summers
Sun as bright as a child’s heart
Trees thickly leaved and old as God
Heat rising off the nubby concrete
in mighty rainbow waves and life
moving in time to the music of paradise
Or, so it seemed to preschoolers at play
At the dead of noon
a stillness
Even the child sensed it
that transcendent moment,
nature in quiet meditation
no breeze
no sighs
no butterflies winging
children stopped playing
grown-ups stopped working
the Hudson Bay stilled its roiling
when
suddenly
the beloved city choked on the swell of an air-raid siren ….
…. testing
just testing
just blowing a chill wind into
languid days of childhood dreaming
toddlers crying for toddler reasons
well-trained grade-school children
diving under oak desks for the required
. . . duck
and cover
As if that would save us from extinction.

 

Some Mothers Hearts Have Stopped

Some mothers’ children stare unseeing
No sweet, wet baby kisses from blistered lips,
. . . . songs unsung
No wedding portraits to dust and treasure
No graduations or trips to the sea
. . . . just their bodies to bury
…………crushed
…………beaten
…………stilled
by the engine of nihilism
Limbs cracked and broken, bellies torn
Faces purpled, hearts stopped
Hearts stopped …
. . . . hearts stopped
Some mothers’ hearts have stopped

,,

Jamie Dedes: A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist, her poetry has been featured widely. She runs The Poet by Day (jamiededes.com), an info hub focusing on initiatives for peace, sustainability and social justice as well as she-poets, minority poets, and poets just finding their voices in maturity. She is also the editor of The BeZine (thebezine.com), a publication of The Bardo Group/Beguines, a virtual arts collective she founded. 

The Thunder Beat Is Shaking The Ground, by Mendes Biondo

don’t you cry
great spirit
great mother
‘cause wise men said you’ve
never cried for fools’ jokes
your rain is a tantrum on  their head
your wind is a slap on their faces

let the great drum spread
the message of peace
wind whispered you on a dark night
when moon was hidden by clouds
you saw torches and
sticks and
burning crosses
they were coming with angry faces
they were coming with white hands
……………your blood was
………….. brighter than the moon
……………hotter than the sun
……………that night
……………on their white hands

let the drum tell to distant villages
that your hand is open and your fingers
strong woody birch branches
are not broken yet

the cry of the eagle
is shaking the sky
the great turtle smiled
when your bare dancing feet
caressed her carapace

let the trickster laugh
he was dumb since he came on earth
for the first time
he is laughing in front of the sun
burning his eyes

shut the mouth of his children
when they call your women squaw
with the beat of your thunder drum
………….. those baby fools do not even know
……………what it means squaw

your women have wombs made of
fertile red earth
your women have
rivers and prairies in their eyes
……………and you know it
……………you great mother
……………you great spirit
let the drum scream
even the thunder will shut up
let your feet stomp
the eye of the eagle
saw your power

and wolves
bears
salmon
crows too

silently bowed their heads
with respect and devotion

Hot Nights of Alabama, by Mendes Biondo

hey woman
walking down alabama streets
there’s a war down there
but you already know it
wear your helmet sister
we need your fists
we need your voice
your burning eyes
you tiger of the forest

hey woman
the sun is burning over alabama
our skin shining
our heart like a vietnamese town
after a raid

night will come woman
and you’ll be under the watchtower
with torches and strong fists

call your sisters
near and far
call your brothers
they will come
call your children
their spirits
the mother earth
our big momma
call them all
with no fears

it’s war woman
and alabama night will shine
as your bright tiger eyes

..

Mendes Biondo is an Italian poet. His works are widely published on magazines and anthologies from all over the world. He is one of the editors of The Ramingo’s Porch and PpigpenN. “Spaghetti & Meatballs – Poems for Hot Organs” is his first book.

The Bogger is Mimed, by Kushal Poddar

If you imagine a tale
chronicled well
the protagonist may come alive,
God, omnipotent, and
a few thousands years later
people may kill in his name.
So you write?
..
The names written on the walls,
comrade, fade with rains.
Is it about your reign
that fire crackles,
lit with the waste of the land,
mind, shape and size of our hearts?
..
Imagine, your temples throbbing
with the summer sun, the trident
of rays seeking the resting roofs,
doves and pigeons all vaporised
to reform when the breeze cools the blaze.
..
I read your myths written
in the papers, rocks, scissors,
on those half torn pamphlets,
burnt slogans, interviews, debates.
I forget what I read, all but the gist,
and then that too- pardon me-
what was the lesson?

 Edited the online magazine ‘Words Surfacing’.
Authored ‘The Circus Came To My Island’ (Spare Change Press, Ohio), “A Place For Your Ghost Animals” (Ripple Effect Publishing, Colorado Springs), “Understanding The Neighborhood” (BRP, Australia), “Scratches Within” (Barbara Maat, Florida), “Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems”  (BRP, Australia) and “Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems” (Hawakal Publishers, India)

·         Author Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/KushalTheWriter/

·         Twitter-https://twitter.com/Kushalpoe

Amnesia by Ananya S Guha

You have cast your vote
now everything is sealed
hermetically, and when
the ballot boxes open
you know that winning or losing
either way is defiance of politics
and when the farmer protests
there is whimper that masses are
angry.
Where goes the hungry?
Either way winning or losing
is only an arcane way of saying
what will happen will happen.
Then, we will be amnesiac.

Together, by Brooke Gander

they say that love bares all things
but how do we go on
when love is what we cannot bare
when smiles mask the pain
and lies permeate the air
hearts breaking again
we hold tight
gripping one another for dear life
dragging each other down
into the depths
lower still
until here we sit
together and utterly alone
we hit rock bottom
drowning
together