Archives for posts with tag: Art

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An Empty Page
by Sarika Jaswani

Barble
caught in an
earthen flask

I believe        I carry
wet      weight      As
sullen thoughts        ritz & warble

clamor under my hair
vehement to be spelt out
on my empty canvas
to be
upheld
exhibited
validated

as I voice
A trade        in

currency of liquid ink
on reliable spaces
                                   for calm
to stay between my eyes

adamant muses     sojourn
lodge in dark spaces
capricious they enfold

       whisper

      only faint

       fade
and leave…

I am still waiting
With a dry pen
       On
an empty page

PAINTING: One Way by Irma Blank (1991).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarika Jaswani writes under the pen name ArtInCrochet. A crochet artist, art tutor, writer of children’s stories, philanthropist. Poet. Dabbles in poetry, reading, and writing. Art lover. Bird lover. Dreamer and blogger. Sarika is a passionate poetry reader and writer. Her Poetry is published in The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls, Fevers Of The Mind, and A Cornered Gurl on Medium. 

mark rasmussen
Waiting for Sunset
by Andrena Zawinski

(at Capitola-by-the-Sea,
on another anniversary)

Waiting for sunset on the sands
at Pleasure Beach, a single sailboat
drifts in along the horizon line.
At cliff’s edge, the cypress shadow
umbrellas us where a lone tern
routinely picks through kelp.

I am still waiting for you
to pop the champagne cork
to celebrate another anniversary,
to toast the early evening’s spread—

a billow of clouds crossing
the blur of blue sky like a span
of wing bars on the rush of waves
tuning up the night’s voice,
droning out the growing quiet
tugging so hard at the tide.

First appeared in a different version in California Quarterly 34:3 and in the book by the author, Something About.

PHOTO: Seagulls at sunset, Capitola, California. Photo by Mark Rasmussen, used by permission.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrena Zawinski’s poems have received accolades for free verse, form, lyricism, spirituality, social concern; they include several Pushcart Prize nominations and have appeared in print and online. She is the author of three full collections and several chapbooks of poetry. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she runs a Women’s Poetry Salon.

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Waiting
by Smitha Vishwanath

I waited for a call
My alkaline blood curdling
The pungency burning my insides
I tasted harshness on my tongue
And bitterness in my skin
I was a wisp of a child waiting—

I waited as a prisoner waits
For a glimpse of the open sky
To feel the sun’s rays on tired bones
Hungry for a bowl of kindness—
from those who had beheld
my mother’s generosity and been graced with fleeting time.

I became a miner—
Trapped—
at the bottom of a shaft
the heat of waiting—
turned the liquid iron in my heart
into steel

I waited no longer
Or maybe it had become a part of me—the waiting
Like my aching
Feet—I could walk
I could run, I could jump; I did not miss
Or crave for painless soles

Then I lost my father
And a shooting pain rattled every bone in my body
And pricked every pore in my skin
They say fresh wounds heal quickly
It’s the old wounds that are the worst
If they flare up again

I became a wisp of a child
I became a prisoner
I became a miner
Waiting—
I am still waiting
Is that so bad?

PAINTING: Blue Woman by Eugene Leroy (1955).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The pain of losing my mother in 2006 had dulled over time only to resurface now with the loss of my father. I remember feeling lost at sea then and I feel the same now. It is the pain of losing someone and being left alone to climb back up again that led to this poem.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Smitha Vishwanath is a banker by profession, a blogger by choice, a poet by accident and an artist at heart. She published her first book of poetry Roads: A Journey with Verses in July 2019. Her poetry has been published by Rebelle Society, Silver Birch Press, and SpillWords Press. Her poem “Do you have dreams?’” was recently featured on the National Poetry Writing Month 2021 website. Visit Smitha on her website.

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London (Go Figure)
by Robin Cantwell

I am still waiting
            for a revelation
                        I am still waiting
                                     for full frontal nudity
                        also
            for a bus

                        the air
            thick with mist
the Thames
            by gaslight
                        like a bad Raymond Chandler
            all I needed
                        was a trench

                                     and full frontal nudity.

Two come
                                                   both at once
            do me a favour

                        I go straight to the top
            thinking
                        wondering
            and my favourite
                        pontificating

                                     where do all the plastics REALLY go
somebody should stop them

            and what about the PFOAs

                        somebody needs to tell
our old friend
                                                           Mr Teflon
            nothing lasts forever.

            A scream
                        a shout
            sir
                                     please stop undressing
                        oh boy
            this
                        I gotta see.

I go back down
                                                           it’s a man
                        a giant

            a godforsaken monolith

                        he’s taking off his clothes
these things take time
                                     when you’re wearing
            everything you own

            a wave of iPhones
                        flash in javascript

            I don’t know where to look
                        and yet
            it’s the only place

                        my eyes can see

                        he asks
for my bottle
            I hand it over

                                     he takes a shower

            like an English regent

            a waterfall
                        rebirth

he calls me John the Baptist
                                     and asks me where we’re headed

            to the same place, I reply
                        when it’s all said and done

            you’re drunk says he

            I can only apologise
                        I’ve had quite a lot

to drink.

            And then
and then

PAINTING: van Gogh Series #4 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1994). 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this in response to Ferlinghetti’s “London Crossfigured.” Coming from London myself, it seemed like I had the inside track on this—though what came out was a poem about the time I helped a grown man take a shower on a night bus.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robin Cantwell is a London-based writer whose poetry has appeared in Visual Verse and Nine Muses Poetry. He is a graduate of the National Theatre and 503Theatre playwriting programmes,  and is currently on the Faber & Faber Academy completing his first novel.

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It’s Late
by Mary McCarthy

And I am still waiting

           for my scars to heal

Waiting to find the days

           the lightnings burned away

Waiting for the words I couldn’t say

           loud enough to reach you

Waiting to get past the ache

           of your absence

           raw as the socket

           of a pulled tooth

Waiting to outlive my reputation

Waiting for the chance

           of one more resurrection

           one more spin

           across this tilting floor

Waiting like the dancing god

           with one foot raised

           between memory and anticipation

Ready to grow

           bright as the sun

           at the horizon’s lip

Ready for that

           last flash of joy

           That will leave behind

           no more than a shimmer

           of fractured light

PAINTING: Girl with Lantern by Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky (1908).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The topic of what we are waiting for seemed particularly compelling for me in terms of our situation with the pandemic, where we are waiting for it to end, for the possibility of some return to “normal,” and for my own situation, having had Covid and also just passed my 71st birthday. All of this left me with a sense of the pressure of time, that it is never guaranteed, not in years or days, or in terms of waiting for anyone to finish their plans, their work, their healing, or their struggle. In fact, we will all be surprised by our end, whenever it comes, and however, it won’t wait until we’re ready, so the challenge is to be ready now.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary McCarthy is a retired RN glad to find time for indulging her life long love of words and art. Her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, most lately in the anthology The Ekphrastic World edited by Lorette Luzajic, and the anthology The Plague Papers, edited by Robbi Nester, as well as in the latest issues of Earth’s Daughters and Verse-Virtual.

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I Am Waiting
by Wilderness Sarchild

after Lawrence Ferenghetti

I am waiting for my granddaughter
to come home from the hospital,
for her to walk, touch hand to nose.
I’m waiting for the refrigerator
to be empty so I can fill it again
and I’m waiting to take
off my mask and kiss my friends
smack on the lips and blow
bubbles in the face of a three-year-old.

I am still waiting for hate
to be flushed down the toilet,
composted into kindness,
and I’m still waiting for a night when
I sleep eight hours without
waking up even once to pee.
I’m waiting for cold to return
so I can complain about winter
rather than worry about global warming.

I am not waiting for the messiah to come.
I am waiting for each one of us to come
and save us from ourselves.

PAINTING: Waiting by Nicholas Roerich (1927). 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I like imitating poems by poets whose work I admire. It helps me to get out of my habitual ways of writing and opens creative doors that often surprise and delight me.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wilderness Sarchild  is an award-winning poet and playwright. She is the author of a full-length poetry collection, Old Women Talking, published by Passager Books, and the co-author of Wrinkles, the Musical, a play about women and aging.  She has been featured as Poet of the Week on Poetry Superhighway, Poet of the Month at the Brewster Ladies Library, and can be heard reading her poetry on WCAI Poetry Sunday. Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies and literary journals. Visit her at wildernesssarchild.com

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The Dust Won’t Answer
by Federica Santini

The dust won’t answer and tell us
the reason it blankets time with its quiet.
The crystal cable remains on the table
of years reversed and gone.

Ask the dust where everyone went
though remember, it does not
speak our language but waits, still
waits. Like dust, I won’t answer
the call of those who were
deaf to our plight.

You who mocked our accents:
I no longer answer to you. I am
still waiting and blanket
your false gods with my silence.

PAINTING: Heat and Dust by John Miller.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The poem starts from the title of John Fante’s novel, Ask the Dust, to reflect on the Italian American experience. It incorporates a reference to the “crystal cable” as an homage to Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his own reflection on time in “The Plough of Time.” Finally, the third key is unveiled in the last stanza, in which the “false gods” bring us back to Bartolomeo Vanzetti’s last speech to the court.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Federica Santini lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and teaches at Kennesaw State University. She holds an MA from the University of Siena, Italy, and a PhD from UCLA, where she studied poetry and literary translation. A literary critic, poet, and translator, her work has been widely published in North America and Europe. Her 2021 poetry chapbook, Unearthed, is forthcoming with Kelsay Books.

the lovers 2016
Afire love
by Jill Namatsi

I have not given up waiting for afire love,
Not even in a world bogged down in the fear of the unknown,
Beaming day in day out, certain that I am not forgotten.

So I am uprightly waiting,
For the one who will crouch to tie the straps of my shoes as I look on nervously,
Certain that chivalry remains somewhere in this world.

I am purely waiting,
For the one who will see beyond my voluptuous body and its curves to my soul,
To the purple heart of God one wise man said was a special gift, and the genius my mother said I possessed.

I am quietly waiting,
For the one with whom prolonged silences are not awkward,
But fodder for deep dives in conversation whenever the time comes.

I am lovingly waiting,
For the one who will say “I miss, love and care for you” without flinching,
Both of us believing the world would be a better place if more humans wore their hearts on their sleeves.

I am still waiting,
For the one man who fits the bill is my best friend,
In love several times before, but just not with me,
Sometimes looking over his shoulder wondering what might be,
Often looking over my shoulder wondering if there is anybody but him.

PAINTING: The lovers by Mariojosé Ángeles (2016).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: As a woman in her thirties yearning for true love, I reflect on some of the qualities I would want my man to havequalities I realize my best friend possesses. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jill Namatsi is an Online Sub-editor at Nation Media Group and the creative writer behind gamanikenya.com. Visit her on Facebook and Twitter

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Dialogues with the Dead
by Jennifer Lagier

She sits in memory care garden,
soaks up sunshine, lists her dead,
tries to remember their faces,
strains to hear voices silent for decades.

She asks if I knew her mother,
a skilled seamstress who died
in Germany twenty-five years
before I was born.

Random reminiscence floats to the surface,
temporarily claims her attention.
Cognition comes and goes,
a distracted trail that meanders.

I think of my father, obsessed
over elusive names which he scribbled
onto paper scraps, then hid in a shoebox,
clues we discovered once he was gone.

I am still waiting, wonder how long
before my mental train jumps the track,
one more declining senior citizen,
lost, befuddled, mind gone astray.

PAINTING: Vessel in a Drift of Diamond Light in the Sky of the Mind by Morris Graves (1944).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Dementia and loss of cognitive faculties can be terrifying for those suffering from the affliction and heartbreaking for those who love them. In addition, those of us who have a family history of Alzheimer’s Disease or other mental health issues always wonder how long before their own minds begin to unravel.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published 19 books, her work has appeared in a variety of anthologies and literary magazines, she has taught with California Poets in the Schools, edits the Monterey Review, and helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Her recent books include Meditations on Seascapes and Cypress (Blue Light Press) and COVID Dissonance (CyberWit). Visit her at jlagier.net

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D I S O R I E N T A T I O N
by Robert Lima

Sitting on the roadside . . .
there is nothing coming into view
or nearing to be heard

Nothing passes
or even distantly
allows itself
to be detected
by sight or sound

Even the usual blackbirds
have vacated the sightlines,
not even their screeches
betraying far-off presence

It is as if
the senses
had shut down
for the duration

I sit on the roadside
in my solitude,
eye and ear attuned,
stretching into the vacuum.

I am still waiting
for sight to begin,
I am still waiting
for silence to end.

PAINTING: Silence by Arthur Beecher Carles (1908).

2018-POET & GLACIER

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert Lima is a Cuban-born, award-winning poet, as well as an internationally recognized critic, bibliographer, playwright, and translator. As a Greenwich Village poet during the 1960s, he read at coffeehouses and other venues, co-edited Seventh Street. Poems of Les Deux Megots, introduced by Denise Levertov, and the second series of Judson Review. His 16 poetry collections include Tracking the Minotaur, The Rites of Stone, include Celestials, Elementals, SelfSardinia/SardegnaIkons of the Past: Poetry of the Hispanic Americas, Writers on My Watch (2020), and Odyssey (2021). Over 600 of his poems have appeared in print in the U.S. and abroad. Eleven of his poems recently appeared in Greek translation in Noima Magazine. Among his numerous critical studies are works on García Lorca, Valle-Inclán, Borges, Surrealism, folklore, dramatic literature, and translations of plays and poetry. He was invited and read his poetry for the archives at the Hispanic Division of The Library of Congress. In 2003, he was knighted by His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain, and in 2017 was knighted by the Prince of Borbón.  He is listed in Who’s Who in the World and other international directories.

PHOTO: The author observing a glacier in Alaska, 2018 (Photo by Sally M. Lima).