Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Arlene Corwin writes

When Joy Leaves

When joy leaves, what steps in?
Nature doesn’t love a vacuum -
Almost never leaves a vacuum.
When joy leaves
Rampant listlessness of mind takes over*
And a person by the name of Nover
Is observer.

Paucity so strange and foreign
Doesn’t doesn’t really want that thing - that joyless thing
To put the mind, spine, neck to swing
(As in the concept ‘noose’’).

When shorn or torn from mind-set,
Sleeplessness replacing it,
The active peace hard to get back
Unless one has provided self
With some kind of a silent frame
With any kind of name, (but lame) for comfort -
Times when happiness has left its home inside your heart,
It’s but to wait it out,
To find again the peaceful state
With gentle and unsentimental will
To stillness.
*rempant listlessness; an oxymoron

Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia writes


Come to the Master

Or wander, waste, wither 

Flick of the wrist
Twist of the tongue


A brushstroke here
A dab there
It’s done

You labour
Like Ovid‘s mountain
And birth a mouse

You strain
From hardbound brain
Six lines a year
The rest
Is tosh

If someone binds it in gold
Dust doesn’t become a Rose

Though my rose turns to dust tomorrow
Today it’s a wildflower bouquet
With jonquil fragrance
And wild rose

Neither coldness nor burning envy
Sharing is different
Skin warm
Pearl on warm skin

Ephemeral, all

Soon breaks
Time’s string 

Pearls scattered
Lives wasted
Great Expectations -- Thomas Nast

Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia writes


Did the hurt hurt you
As you hurt others?
Is that the reason
For the coldness
On the edge?
But you always were
Angel, Devil
Ice, Fire
Divine , Evil

As are we all 


Life’s a brief candle
We all die
In the end 

But perhaps

Your knived
Died sooner

That is something
That is much
That’s your story 

Judge not
For thou shalt be

Living hell
Blue sea and daffodil hills

Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia writes


From where
Does that hard cold core come
Which defines you?
Yes I can be cruel
Even deliberately, knowingly,
In calculated words
But that is when I am blazingly angry
When my space is violated
When people act unknowing of their own privilege
Blindly bigoted
Blasè with entitlement
Make commandlike requests
Barge poke probe stare
Are insensitive
Are cruel
I lash out
I do not nurse grudges
I block people
I throw them out
I do not sneer
I fight a clean fight
You can see me fighting
See my weapons
See my cause
On my escutcheon
My heart
On my sleeve
I am not duplicitous
I am not tactful
I don’t mull poison
I don’t brew hatred
I don’t breed gall
Wert thou my enemy, O my dear friend,
What wouldst thou worse?
My anger is temporary
Your coldness is permanent 

The waste hurts 

For in the end
We all die

Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia writes


Good that I have armour
Which is flexible
Perhaps scaly
As a pangolin’s skin
Perhaps shiny
And repulsive
Good that I grew it
Good that I fight
Good that you can’t hurt me
And even if you do
You cannot kill me
Good, good
Eat ants obviously
Little pesky biters
And stingers
Dart Whoosh
Pangolins Are Among the Most Trafficked of Mammals | The Times in ...

Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia writes


Is that my voice?
I am not as honest courageous or skillful
I cut corners
I challenge you though
And you avoid me
Dodging freezing
For ice cold poison
And a hopeless void
We all long
For the light
We all long
For darkness

Shibaprasad Deb writes


Corona n. Crown like,
Luminous halo, aureole,
Builder’s cornice, a cape,
even a much guzzled ale,
never a threat, nor a viral 
save a Roman villain in Asterix.

Come December, of nineteen, 
Corona’s not positive any more,
outbreaks and oriental lockdowns 
shake us like never before
soon sweeps global swathes
brings the mighty to their knees.

Crises and pandemics
miseries every few decades
depression and downturn 
we overcame virulence, plagues,
Unleashing our artillery
of biotech and the fisc.

Not any longer, 
this time it’s an either or
caught between life and livelihood
twixt two ends of a seesaw 
balanced not by weight alone
tugged by multiple variables.
Coronavirus re-enters the race after quitting -- Didier Conrad

J.J. Campbell writes

acid rainbows
was told by a woman last night
that if i married her i would be
fourteen million dollars richer
and here i thought my dreams of
acid rainbows and neon souls
were outlandish

J.J. Campbell writes

dare to fall
in love
dare to have
your heart
broken yet
dare to tell
her you love
dare to empty
your soul at
her doorstep
dare to look
in the eyes
of the spanish
princess and
get swept
dare her to
keep saying
no and miss
out on the
of a lifetime
Spanish Eyes Painting by Edwin Rosado 
Spanish Eyes -- Edwin Rosado

J.J. Campbell writes

never meant to be loved
they don't
the pain
the lonely
drifting of
a lost soul
never meant
to be loved
to feel
to feel
other than
the broken
they see the
dripping from
the eyes
like a yellow
a red fear
or anger
nothing ever
the same again

J.J. Campbell writes

some sleazy toilet outside of toledo
i can't remember
the last time i
kissed a woman
and it's not that
i don’t want to
but when years
become decades
what's the fucking
eventually, we all
become a statistic
a case settled
in court
ashes flushed down
some sleazy toilet
outside of toledo
like any of us
deserve any

J.J. Campbell writes

tomorrow was simply a rumor
met a woman that reminded me
of the pam grier fever dreams
i had as a child
we danced the night away over
glasses of bourbon and a lonely
man playing the saxophone
she kissed me like tomorrow
was simply a rumor
my hands embraced every curve
like this was the last meal of
some old fuck stuck on death row
we had one of those fucks in the
parking lot that only teenagers
ever get to dream about
this was over a decade ago now
she's married to some lucky soul
out west
and i'm wondering when luck
will ever strike again
Foxy Brown Pam Grier and her gorgeous afro are a film classic Black Actresses, Black Actors, Foxy Brown Pam Grier, Pam Grier 70s, Jackie Brown, Meagan Good, Vintage Black Glamour, Vintage Beauty, African American Women

Ananya S Guha writes


I have read between spaces,
that exist in primordial times
handed over by time and history
I continue to read 
and those hard rocks, the monoliths
speak of an age, ancestors
and war head hunters;
I have seen the spaces in time
the onslaught of eternity
and the time of questioning 
the way that ancient myths work
on the present is in a manner
pre ordaining times and moorings

Arlene Corwin writes

I Love You More & More

What can be the meaning of
A “more & more” in love?
Broader, deeper, 
More expensive - cheaper?
A fun concept upon which to dwell.
Does love swell?  Ah, well,
There’s a thought!

A man who reads my poetry
Said that to me.
He hardly know this girl, hmm..lady,
Writer, woman, human.
Yet a poem evokes what it evokes.
Connoting anger, madness, lust & pathos…
Every idea on the globe
And further into universes,
All the connotations endless.

So, “i love you more and more”
Will be well stored cerebrally.
Not physically, nor sentiment-emotionally.
No, “more & more” will have more value than
Repeating schmaltzy rhymes again:
“Roses red, violets blue, 
Sugar sweet, so are you”
This “more & more”
Is gloriously philosophical 
And much more valuable
Than all the corn of yesteryear,
Being nearer to the real.

And so I thank you more and more
For thinking, saying ‘more & more'
Good wishes, and sincerely, 
Arlene Nover CORwin.

John Doyle writes

The Only Known Tape of Nick Drake Speaking

You're lying on your back in the forest,
it's dawn,
moist as deer giving birth, a blood-soaked
fire-crisp sky.

You breathe slower than clouds
that drive on the wrong side of the road. 
Europe is a crystal ball
that trickles ice like promises, escaping from the palms of your hands.

There is tree-bark that dangles from your hair,
petals detach in your sudden shapes,
rising to be anointed, replacing you,
where you used to be. It's not home.

There is the smell of coffee,
ginger, Arabia,
small woodland creatures,
witches, schoolgirls in pigtails click like knitting needles

in foul tongues they learned
from blues men.
This is wrong - the star-bent trajectory -
the horoscopes - 

the twisted sneer of brake-light on empty puddles.
Stand up, walk towards the nearest gate
like a fox hunting in the snow.
Thumb a lift towards the village,

keep your silence close to you,
the lady and the gent beside you 
are smiling
as they drive you away,

maybe they know your mother, your father,
maybe they saw your sister on TV saving Earth from aliens.
Silence hangs from your caftan -
It's how you'll bargain for your bread,

for your milk and honey,
should those wolves and dogs
start howling,
and there's no moonlight

for the next few decades. You seen the splinters of your guitar
lying in the ditch as you approached the village.
No-one knows if you stopped and bandaged it,
stopped it from bleeding
I saw Nick Drake – photographs by Keith Morris – Snap Galleries ...
Nick Drake -- Keith Morris

John Doyle writes



moving through solid air, solid air  
John Martyn

swinging light-bulb from a cracked ceiling scenario,
crooked-stringed acoustic guitar, 
old man’s tobacco,
tapes rolling;
milkmen prowl streets shrouded in the end of days.
There were no overdubs, except that piano,
that commercial aeons later,
that moon changing tones, somewhat red, 
somewhat white,
a difficult choice, it seemed.

The kid didn't see a penny back in ‘72,
spare change for bus conductors with little to share,
a smile on a country road, 
out of petrol, 
waiting for parents to come, 
polite smiles, 
turbulent skies,

out of leaves, 
begs cigarettes
from the postman. 
He looks at the river, the sun is rising

NickDrakePinkMoon.jpgPink Moon -- Michael Trevithick

John Doyle writes

Fire in the Fields

When I heard you singing Place To Be,
I imagined fields on fire; August was slowly rising,
priestesses and their daughters 

wore white robes
as smoke and heaven came. 
There were combine harvesters,

dried-out tracks from wheels, 
a dormouse scattered,
leaving smoke to disappear.  
It all returned to normal soon.
There you were singing Place To Be.
There was nothing ever in those fields