Archives for posts with tag: poets

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. 

Namatsi

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).

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Ferlingetti’s Confetti
by Joan McNerney

How long have I been waiting and I am
still waiting for America to wake up
for women to be celebrated, for endless wars
to self-destruct, for the old guard to
become obsolete, for holy rollers
to roll off, somewhere far away

I am always waiting for this country to become sane
still waiting for Americans to put down their guns
and take up books. For education to be our strength
I am waiting for stupid catch phrases of politicians
to cause them to gag and retch. Always all the time
STILL waiting for America to grow up

I am waiting for the miracle of Ferlingetti’s
confetti to descend all over this planet descending
magically in all imaginable colors of the universe
dissolving hatred bringing a new world filled
with joy wonder happiness supreme frolicking
kissing hugging cavorting all in the stillness of this
moment realizing we are one and earth is our home

O how long must I still wait?

PAINTING: Map by Jasper Johns (1961).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Remembering how thrilled we were coming by subway into Greenwich Village listening to all the Beats. How we were not allowed to clap but could click our fingers because coffee shops did not have cabaret licenses. I read my poetry there too at the Village Vanguard. Ferlingetti, e e cummings, Oscar Wilde, and Allen Ginsberg were our heroes.  We never noticed they were all men. With this poem, I am trying to capture the rolling immediacy of Ferlingetti’s style.

Joan

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan McNerney’s poetry is found in many literary magazines, such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Journals, and numerous Poets’ Espresso Reviews have accepted her work. Her work has received four Best of the Net nominations. Her latest titles are The Muse in Miniature and Love Poems for Michael  available on Amazon.com and Cyberwit.net.

galaxy-1959
Neo-illusion
by Sheikha A.

for and after Saad Ali

after The Changing Light by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

We could be a billion galaxies,
undiscovered and untouched—

method of existence—a stray
particle in vibrant design of dust.

And when the cities come alight
beneath mediocre blankets of stars,

we could hold gravity in our hands
like the sum weight of our limitations;

of the space in time humans call
waiting, we’d be far ahead in living

after a cycle of deaths that burst
out of our eyes—rims of eclipses—

floating clouds of shimmering gas—
belts of shards like the rays of sun.

And when the cities would sleep,
we could be free like an unspoken

notion—imploding solar plexus—
like the book that was never written;

and we could swirl our radius broad,
stretch to thin, opaque eternity;

and we could be the hanging ocean,
our crust a hollow dense of rippling

shimmer. We could be yet not be,
mote or mute—waves of vibrant dust.

PAINTING: Galaxy by Natalia Dumitresco (1959).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem came about after an interesting conversation I had with a poet/writer named Saad Ali on the concepts of reincarnation and the nuances of an afterlife, if whether it were just one place, or if it were a dimension of incarnate time, or a choice of existing in any form desired and elected by us, or if whether it existed at all. Almost in tandem, I chanced upon Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem “The Changing Light,” and with the conversation fresh in my mind, I began to read the poem through a variable outlook and was able to resonate with the poem not just for its physical presence, but perhaps a meditative state of observation from memory, like existing physically in one place whilst ethereally elsewhere, much like our fantasies of the afterlife.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her work appears in a variety of literary venues, both print and online, including several anthologies by different presses. Recent publications have included Strange Horizons, Pedestal Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, Silver Birch Press, Abyss and Apex. Her poetry has been translated into Spanish, Greek, Albanian, Italian, Arabic, Polish, and Persian. She is the co-author of a digital poetry chapbook entitled Nyctophiliac Confessions available through Praxis Magazine. More about her published works can be found at sheikha82.wordpress.com.

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I am waiting for
by Mathias Jansson

I am waiting for
Godot or God or what he is called
the clock is ticking on the wall
the sand is falling on the floor
the play is playing on the stage
and I am still waiting for
Godot or God or what he is called

When the curtain falls
and the lights turns on
and the audience leaves the theater hall
I am still waiting for
Godot or God or what he is called.

PAINTING: Hole in the Center of the Clock by James Rosenquist (2007).

jag

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mathias Jansson is a Swedish art critic and horror poet. His work has been published in The Horror Zine, Dark Eclipse, Schlock and The Sirens Call. He has also contributed to over 100 different horror anthologies from publishers that include Horrified Press, James Ward Kirk Fiction, Source Point Press, and Thirteen Press.  Visit him on his Amazon author page and at  mathiasjansson72.blogspot.se. 

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Afternoon on Torcello
by Gail Tirone

In the shade of the portico
my son sleeps, head on his father’s lap
the deep sweet breaths
of a four-year-old finally at rest
after chasing pigeons in Piazza San Marco
after close calls near small canals
deep sweet boy-breaths
in the shadow of the 7th century church

My daughter and I wander
the Byzantine basilica
our footsteps echoing on 7th century stones
decoding Roman numerals
on the tombs of ancient bishops
marveling at saints’ bodies
silk-wrapped relics encased in glass
lighting tall tapers
whispering prayers for relatives long dead

With chubby fingers she tests the holy waters
all in the reflection of a gently curved nave
mosaic of golden glass
where a blue-robed madonna presides
dispensing the absolution for which
I am still waiting
The patient madonna
greets new generations of children
with their sweet breaths and curious steps
on her old stones

We climb the campanile
set after set of rickety wooden steps
narrow, confining
a spiral skeleton leading
to two bronze bells
that start to ring the hour
the moment we reach the summit

The deafening clang of bronze
declares the certainty of this place
this place that has been here
for over a thousand years—and isn’t going anywhere
a place that knows why it is here
and what it is about

Later at Locanda Cipriani
the children play in the gardens
as my husband and I sip cool Tocai
and reminisce about travels in days past
days less encumbered by careers, possessions—and offspring
days once filled with poetry, romance and wine

“To two out of three,” he toasts
We spend a sweet hour
remembering who we are
and how we got here.

PAINTING: Basilica di Santa Maria Della Salute, Venice by John Miller.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Poetry illuminates individual experiences and the collective human experience. I hope the reader gleans some of both from this poem. Small epiphanies. When reading a poem, that spark of recognition engenders connection—which we could all use more of these days.

gail tirone

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gail Tirone is originally from New York, and now lives in Texas. She was a featured guest poet in several Houston Poetry Fests, and is a Best of the Net nominee. Gail has a B.A. from Princeton University and M.A. in English Literature from the University of Houston. Her poetry has appeared in Mediterranean Poetry, Blue Heron ReviewSulphur River Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Free China Review, The Weight of Addition Anthology (Mutabilis Press), and elsewhere.

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I Am Still
by Tricia Knoll

waiting for the strength to lift the boulder from your back
lift the pain that makes you stumble and crumple
when all I can offer is help to put it on the ground

for the tears that used to fall so readily
to advise me that I have not grown cold
or too old to take on injustices, inequities

to feel the age that I am, remember decades
running marathons to this hesitant walk
on ice without the glamor of skates

not only to drop the mask despite my fondness
for the silver one with roses. I cannot bear
the rows of graves, coffins stacked.

for the women to go back to work, with salaries
not lost from time away, for the babies to have daycare,
the children to have their teachers live

to sing with others. My voice is not good, zooming
and fast forwarding even church. Face to face
Skidamarink A Dink A Dink with my grandson

Perhaps not last. Let theaters open to audiences
silencing cell phones, anticipating the moment
lights ignite a stage to begin an unknown story.

PHOTO: Radio City Music Hall by Hiroshi Sugimoto (1978).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this poem for the I AM STILL WAITING submission call from Silver Birch Press. At first I wanted to list all the difficulties in the world that I want to see change: voter suppression, indifference to refugees, sexual harassment, but the list soon got so long it overwhelmed me. So I narrowed the focus, trying to come into my winter morning in my dining room with the sun glinting off the snow and figure out what in that immediate moment was what I’m waiting for. As of this writing, I am halfway to my second COVID shot which seems like a great privilege. I can binge on cable news and movies, but I really want to go see a play one day, feel the anticipation of an opening curtain.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tricia Knoll’s poetry appears widely in journals and anthologies. Her collection include Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press); Broadfork Farm (The Poetry Box); Ocean’s Laugher (Kelsay Books), and How I Learned To Be White (Antrim House) which received the 2018 Indie Book Award for Motivational Poetry. Her chapbook Checkered Mates was published by Kelsay Books in March 2021. Visit her at triciaknoll.com.

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No Swimming Here
by Lynn White

I don’t even miss it anymore.
Well, I was never good at it,
could never manage a crawl,
just a slow breaststroke,
or backstroke
before my hair grew long
and needed protection
from the chlorine.
But I did go twice a week
regularly,
as regular as clockwork,
as regularly as religious people
went to church on Sundays.
So it left a gap,
an absence
at first.

Then there were the friends,
seen now only in passing
in the street
or at the Co-op
or in writing,
heard only on the telephone
not in the echoey pool
or drowned out in the showers.
So there was an absence.
There is an absence.
All is quiet there now
and so I am still waiting.
We are all waiting
still
waiting.

PHOTO: Pool, Night by Elina Brotherus (2011).

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The school in this small town has a swimming pool open to the public. The swimming club for “over 60s” has many enthusiastic members. As of this writing, we are still waiting for the pool to reopen after the pandemic.

Lynn

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy, and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud “War Poetry for Today” competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications, including Apogee, Firewords, Capsule Stories, Gyroscope Review, and So It Goes. Find Lynn at lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com and on Facebook.

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Waiting
by Thomas Fullmer

I wait for the bus
painfully, because my knees are killing me
I wonder if I could die waiting
or turn into an old oak tree

I wait for a traffic light
when it turns green
I wait for the queue of cars to move
green arrows are the worst
it’s like no one really knows
what green arrows mean

I am still waiting.

PAINTING: The Traveller by Jeffrey Smart (1973).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Of late I have taken to writing shorter poems, micro poems and Haiku. I wrote several poems based on the prompt. I often read something interesting, and write a poem based on it. Such as passages of scriptures, or famous quotes that motivate me creatively. I also get motivated by memories, memories of my youth, and memories of my time as an archaeology student in Petra the Summer of 1985. I compare my life to that of a desert. Rain doesn’t fall often in the desert to turn desert flowers vibrant. Love doesn’t fall in the desert of my soul, now that my wife has passed away a year-and-a-half ago. Many of my poems are about her, and how I have mourned my loss now she is gone. My second book is dedicated to her. My deepest poems involve my suffering over this loss, and so are therapeutic. They are about trial and tribulations, and how we can deal with the vicissitudes of life. They have helped those who loved my wife and whom she loved, including my children and grandchildren. That is a very long list.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thomas Fullmer is a self-published poet and author of children’s books who grew up in a small town in central Utah. He is a retired postal worker who writes. His poetry collections include From the Fabric of My Mind, In the Crucible of My Catharsis, and From the Fabric of My Soul. He has also published in the FM quarterly magazine through Rose Books. He has been writing poetry for over 25 years, and is also the author of the children’s books Roslyn, the Reluctant Rattlesnake, and the soon-to-be-published, El, the Elusive Electron. More can be learned about Fullmer’s books at his website. Visit him on Facebook and Twitter.