Cozy Winter

Desire

Brown, frothy, brimming with warmth and a delicious aroma-the poet feasts on these images but the voluptuous desire for her cherished beverage is stamped out despite the trembling tantrums of her body.


A voluptuous eruption of want forms in me, like tiny seeds shooting limbs,

from my eyes it begins, jolting to my tongue and nose before quickly flapping –

a wildfire of need in my thoughts.

They blare in loud blasts of emotions and I will frantically to sin,

that my hands tremble madly in a simple deprivation.

My brain with all its grooves is sunk in

this colorful vision of what my eyes displayed and what my tongue recalled

as a cherished remembrance of taste that now it demands in urgency.

I wonder whether it’s the nose that suddenly explodes memories

from times early as infancy to the scene creating a placenta of attachment.

And in ultimate discipline I wonder how gravely my organs plot to conspire,

while I’m stagnant and trying to run towards distractions like my lover for instance,

all these tantrums of my body, when a cup of milk coffee, brown and frothy

brimming with warmth is declined in the name of health.


Joanna George writes from Pondicherry, India. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Parentheses Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, Isele magazine, Honey Literary, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, West Trestle Review, Lumiere Review, Paddler Press and others. She tweets at j_leaseofhope.

 
Ocean

Words Bled in the Ocean of his sorrow

The changing seasons do not dim the pain of the poet, who like a flightless bird hovers in vain but cannot find the silver lining in the cloud.

Words bled in the ocean of his sorrow
blindfolding his eyes to the morn of tomorrow.


His sorrow hid the sun behind a mist,
his misfortunes made a long list!


His tears made rivers abundant,
his soul had things to lament.


With burdened feet, his flight was restricted.
The chain of guilt made his vision limited.


Being an outcast as flightless birds,
he often choked on his own words.


The seasons changed in vain
as the fall of his life remained same.

 
Being dejected in all his ventures in a tow,
he couldn't find gold at the end of the rainbow.

 
The silver lining was not his to be found,
with clutches of remorse he was bound.

 
At last, he found solace in the arms of seas,
he found a place where his tired soul could rest in peace.

 
Lying still on the waterbed, with no tomorrow
Words bled, singing a melancholic song of sorrow.


Aditi Kataria, lives in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. Her poems have appeared in Ink Babies Llc. (Issue 1, 21), Blydyn Square Review (Fall, 21) and Morals (The Criterion, Vol 9, 2018).She considers herself as open, approachable, adaptable, curious and optimistic with art, literature and culture as few of her sundry arenas of interest.

 
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The Poet's Obligation

Words spin around in the poet’s head like swirling dervishes; they dance with 'head aslant' and collapse in the dirt, numb to perception and intuition, only to rise again and swirl in a trance. This becomes symbolic of the inner world of a poet full of words that need articulation. 

The word tornado suddenly swirling stops

collapse on the dirt

eyes dropped

white noise

body numb

lips dumb

my intuition exhausted

depth perception skewed

it would all feel so wrong

yet I won’t be dead

just ready.


To spin until

words dance

into a trance

head aslant

now I can't

stop swirling

however sick

I am

of winning,

however done

with fun.


E. Martin Pedersen, originally from San Francisco, has lived for over 40 years in eastern Sicily, where he taught English at the local university. His poetry appeared most recently in Ginosko, Metaworker, Triggerfish, Unlikely Stories Mark V, and Grey Sparrow Review among others. Martin is an alumnus of the Community of Writers. He has published two collections of haiku, 'Bitter Pills' and 'Smart Pills', and a chapbook, 'Exile's Choice', just out from Kelsay Books. A full collection, 'Method & Madness', is forthcoming from Odyssey Press.

 
Image by Olivier Darbonville

Fabric of Longing

Longing for an enchanting past or longing for a lost beloved, one is not sure of what is entwined in the poet’s fabric of longing. And yet the delicate imagery of stars waiting for the ‘right fingers’ to ‘squeeze the nights out of them’, reaches out and entrances the reader.

They told me
About the time
When there was ash
All across your room.
The lights in your apartment
Were stars from another time
Which waited for the right fingers
To squeeze the nights
Out of them.
But you've never let them write to you
You kept changing houses
And the stars
Like frustrated postmen
Have wandered between cities,
And sprinkled tired dust
That people have called the rain.
I followed the trail that they
Left behind
My feet stepping softly
On the fabric of longing
Stitched with spider webs
That dream in abandoned houses.
So softly
You wouldn't hear me
Walk into your room
And touch you lightly on your shoulder
While you are by the window
With your back to the world.


Sayan Aich Bhowmik is currently Assistant Professor,
Department of English, Shirakole College. He is the co-editor of
Plato's Caves Online, a semi academic space discussing literature,
poetry and culture and has recently published his debut collection of
poems, 'I Will Come With A Lighthouse.'

 
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Ghosts of Downed Trees

Man’s intervention has made tropical fruit grow in winter and orchids bloom out of season, but the woods have slowly shrunk and died. The spirits of felled, hapless trees wander aimlessly, like ‘hanks of hair’ growing decades after the body has passed into another realm.

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The ghosts of downed trees wander

for miles, looking to re-root.

Waving misty, weightless boughs,


they press against greenhouses

where tropical fruit defy winter

and pearly flowers dangle and gloat.


We’ve often felt the fragile spirits

of those trees as we walk in the woods.

We’ve also prowled the greenhouses


at the famous college where women

revise themselves into figures

of capable imagination.


Few tourists browsing for orchids

today, mid-week in February

with a windstorm plotting to fell


more hapless trees and free them

from their earthly sphere to roam

wherever they envision themselves.


The frustration of the ghost trees

reminds everyone that we’re clinging

to the slope of a cosmic funnel.


The women of the college sense

the tree-spirits brushing against them

as they stride to class to claim


their place in the one great intellect.

We were never that young. Only

recently have we sensed the trees


shuffling through a fourth dimension

like hanks of hair still growing

decades after the body has died.


William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He has taught at several colleges and universities. His most recent book of poetry is Mist in Their Eyes (2021).  His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in various journals.

 
Image by Artem Sapegin

A Continuum

Dawn in the mountains, seems to the poet, to be a master creation, glowing with pink and gold. She treasures this sight like a secret charm as it provides her solace from a dark world.

Dawn in the mountains is a glowing pinpoint in the dark,
pink like a freshly-shaved crayon slowly smearing color, 
turning dark to pink-gold, to gold,
tearing the charcoal off the hills to
burnish the tallest snow peak a flaming gold.
The sight stays with me all day, like a secret charm in my pocket.
I often take it out and turn it in my hands.
In the black, there appears a pinpoint of pink,
pink-gold, gold and flaming gold till my hands tremble
at its power to provide
solace.


Neera Kashyap has had a career in social & health communications. She has authored a book for young adults, 'Daring to Dream'and contributed to five prize-winning anthologies for children. As a writer of short fiction, poetry, book reviews and essays, her work has appeared in several international literary journals and poetry anthologies. The Indian poetry anthologies include 'Hibiscus & Shimmer Spring', 'Freedom Raga & New Normal', 'The shape of a poem' and 'The Brown Critique anthology', among others; the international poetry anthologies include 'The Poet’s Seasons', 'Poetica 1 & 2', 'The Kali Project', 'Voices from within' and 'Hunger anthology.' The literary journals that have published her poetry include Verse Virtual, Life & Legends, Failed Haiku & Setu Magazine (USA); RIC Journal (Indo-French); Bloo Outlier (UK), Kitaab (Singapore); The Punch Magazine, INNSAEI, Kritya, The Literary Yard and Narrow Road (India), among others. She lives in Delhi.