The Quarterday Review: Samhain (November) 2015

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THE QUARTERDAY REVIEW The Poetry of Mythic Journeys

Executive editor: Lucy Johnson Advisory editor: Leslie E. Owen



Table of Contents Welcome to the ​ Samhain Issue EDITORIAL by LUCY JOHNSON


Editor’s Choice — In Flanders Fields A POEM by JOHN McCRAE


The Samhain Poems Bonfire of the Dead RHYMED STANZAS by ELIZABETH ARCHER










In This Place Where I Slept And Dreamed A PROSE POEM by R.L. BLACK






Unwanted Progress A VILLANELLE by CLIVE TERN



What Vintage Shall Such Vineyards Yield RHYMED STANZAS WITH REFRAIN by ANNE KEITH




A Zombie Moth Polarity of Lust and Love A SONNET by BOBBY STEVE BAKER










Ten Thousand Leaves A JAPANESE WAKA attr. ​ ŌTOMO NO YAKAMOCHI interpreted by LIUSAIDH ​


Reviews Poetry Chapbook Review: Seahouses​ by Richard Barnett


Poetry Chapbook Review: Freedom’s Beat​ by John Bryden ​


Quarterday Contributors



Editorial Welcome to the Samhain Issue by LUCY JOHNSON THE END OF OCTOBER and beginning of November marks that time before winter when the peoples of northern Europe lit fires against the gathering dark. Here in Scotland the days have shortened, the light now drained from the world at 5pm. The autumn has been glorious, with the trees red and gold unstripped by the high winds that usually strike before now. There's a promise of a hard winter. November, or the month of ​ An t-Samhain is now upon us, the time of preparation before winter solstice holidays of Christmas, Chanukah and Yule: all festivals of light. For now, however, we are conscious of the gathering gloom and the drawing in of the night. It's a time of the uncanny. In North America Hallowe'en is the fun festival and spooky time of the year, a time for ghost stories around the fire, when children gather candy and when kids of all ages (even kidults) dress up. These traditions stem from Scotland and Ireland, where All Hallows Eve, or Samhain, marked wild and somber festival, traditionally much closer to the Mexican Day of the Dead, when the departed we remembered, fires were lit, and the Celts dressed up in disguises to fool malignant spirits. These are the darker origins of the trick-or-treating traditions. Unsurprisingly then, we have a superb lineup of original and translated poetry from around the world bringing us a full spectrum of darkness in their work. Scots poet Clive Tern brings us an erie villanelle about the scarring of the Scottish landscape with wind farms, while American poet George Wells brings us a dark, violent and erotically charged pantoum, showing that forms once considered staid and conservative can be used with devastating effect to portray emotional torment. The myths of the spooky season is celebrated in fun, and in earnest, by traditional Hallowe’en poetry from American poets Annie Caldwell and Elizabeth Archer. Rarely seen and unusual treatment of the sonnet and syllabic-accentual forms come from our Kentucky contributor, Bobby Steve Baker. We finish the issue with haunting and moving poetry from Missouri poet Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi, and with the outstanding poetry, and poetry-in-translation from Tennessee poet William Ruleman. 5

Just as late October is a time for the uncanny, for tricks, for cheating the pale-faced Lady, November is a time of remembrance. A time of loss. In Europe, Armistice Day falls on November 11th, with services and memorials held for the war dead across Europe. A century ago, the First World War, the Great War, the war promised to end all wars, was in full and terrible progress. The grief born from the senseless waste of humanity is still fresh in the minds of many families throughout Europe. To mark this European memorial day, page 11 carries the bitter, beautiful translation by William Ruleman of a German trench poem, ​ All Souls Night 1916, by the war poet Alfons Petzold. Scots poet Liusaidh brings this is issue to a close with her interpretation of the ancient Japanese tanka poem Ten Thousand Leaves. We open with John McCrae's ​ In Flanders Fields. We will remember them. The Editors November 2015 Return to Contents


Editor’s Choice In Flanders Fields A RONDEAU by ​ Lt Col JOHN McCRAE

In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. Return to Contents


The Samhain Poems Bonfire of the Dead RHYMED STANZAS by ​ ELIZABETH ARCHER

A traveler in the forest blundered by, three wizened crones beside a fire high, fanning with twigs the tongues of angry flame and as they tossed, each time invoked a name. “Proud Ian” called a crone, and dropped the stick, “Cursed Steven” said the next, and followed quick with yet another piece of kindling wood. Although the blaze was strong, the flames were good and needed no more stoking, still they fed “Loud William, Little Tom, and old lame Ned.” The traveler, a stranger to the place, was in no mood to show these crones his face; their strange and secret business gave him fear— for names of men were all that he could hear. It seemed they hated Adam and his kind, so much he feared the welcome he would find. “More timber,” called one biddy to her kin. “Sister, I fear, that we are out of men— Poor traveler, how he shuddered in his boots, He crouched beneath the oak and hugged its roots. “Then time to burn the women, give me dames,” the other called out cheerfully, “The flames care not, although the men do have a glow from all their deeds, they put on quite a show— “Have quiet Esther then,” the other said, casting a twig in, “and here’s Beth,— new-wed — 8

and Kate, gone with her first birth, Simple Nell, Old Margaret—that one we all knew well. She’s fodder for the fire, nonetheless. Our kind can take no stock in friendliness.” Still, round the three old crones a silence came as the log burned that bore their old friend’s name. What magic did these withered hags, he thought, and what significance the names they wrought— What consequence was there to being burned In this conflagration? Whose fate turned on kindling this fire? Were these folk dead or did they sleep in innocence in bed this night, not wary that some awful curse born of these flames, would offer something worse? What misery? Some evil, was it death? The weary trav’ler feared his tell-tale breath in the cold midnight air, might him reveal And warmed it with his hand so to conceal his presence. How long could this go on? “Hurry, my sisters, soon it will be dawn—” His answer came, as one crone drew her shawl Around her bony shoulders, like a pall. “Let’s to the maidens, for the young burn fast; We’ll save the shriveled biddies for the last. Here’s Mary then, so fair, and little Jane and Martha’s Mary too, from down the lane, that lazy Bella, and her sister Anne, and pious Heloise, who’d have no man— Nothing but sticks and bits lift, sisters dear— A good thing for I see the dawn is near. “Throw in the twigs then, Oona, Dooha, doAlready see how pale the flames, how blue, Nothing to burn to warm our cold old bones.” 9

Put in the infants then, intoned the crone. The fire was dying; the old hags scattered twigs but little flame leaped up to fan the sprigs. “Well, that’s the last of Samhain, sisters dear nothing worth burning for another year— “Ah Trea,” laughed one crone, “What of the man Behind the oak tree? He would surely fan The fire up to warm our cold old blood He’s heard too much.” “But has he understood?” another asked. “He only watched us burn— For humans take a century to learn. Dawn comes, my dears,we must away—who knows, what sticks we harvest next, and who will go? When will the time for his own burning be, before our bonfire bright, oh sisters three?” Return to Contents


All Souls Night 1916 RHYMING TERCETS by A ​LFONS PETZOLD​ tra. ​ WILLIAM RULEMAN Once more, with fitful strike, the clock hand falls: Light flits from my fingers to the candlestick Then dances on the wick like a ghost gone mad. I sense shadows roaming through the halls. Streaming sweat has made my forehead slick, While stifled angst has made my heart go bad. This is the night on which, from earth and flood, All the dead of this dark war arise And stray toward us; no door can stem the flow Of their strides; the walls are dripping with their blood; I hear all round my head their quivering cries: You raised Your hand against us once, just so. Return to Contents _________________________ ALLERSEELENNACHT 1916

Unruhig holt die Uhr zum Schlage aus, Licht huscht aus meiner Hand zum Messingleuchter, Tanzt auf der Kerze wie ein irrer Geist. Ich spüre Schatten wandern durch das Haus, Auf meiner Stirne schauert’s immer feuchter, Indes die Angst sich in mein Herz verbeißt. Dies ist die Nacht, in der aus Lehm und Flut Die Toten dieses Krieges sich erheben Und zu uns wander; nicht die stärkste Wand Hemmt ihren Schritt, im Zimmer tropft ihr Blut Und ihre Stimme hör ich um mich beben: Auch du hobst gegen uns einmal die Hand.


A Summons To All While On An Evening Jaunt RHYMED HEXAMETER WITH COUPLET by W ​ILLIAM RULEMAN Come, love the moon-flood fondling hill and field and wood; Come, love the purr of first bestirred by winds’ fond play; Come, know the mystery of an earth misunderstood, Abused, and shunned by those hell-bent on having their way. Come, all betrayed and frayed by cities’ sad allure And feel the land’s caressing blessings everywhere; Come, find in murmuring birches hopes of certain cure For every ill; come, bless your foes with nature’s prayer. Come. If you cannot come in body, do not fear: For you can venture forth at least in spirit here. — Black Forest, Autumn 2010 Return to Contents


Miss Me Broken A PANTOUM by ​ GEORGE WELLS You miss me broken, bruised, and bleeding out, Tossed down in stairwells, gutters, alleys, bars, There was a time I could not do without, Your healing hands that traced along the scars. Tossed down in alleys, stairwells, gutters, bars. You pulled me up and tended to my wounds, With healing hands that traced along the scars, I listened to your gibberish of moons. You pulled me up and tended to my wounds, While licking lips at smell of drying gore, And whispering some gibberish of moons, I laughed inside but asked you tell me more, While licking lips at smell of drying gore, Confessing sins of heart and mind and loin, I laughed inside but asked you tell me more, With punches, slaps, a clutching at my groin. Confessing sins of heart and mind and loin, Your craving for a pain I might permit, With punches, slaps, a clutching at my groin, Your healing hands that hungered for a hit. A craving for a pain I might permit, The broken skin you stroked where I had bled, Your healing hands that hungered for a hit, You cleaned me up and bandaged me instead.


The skin now clean and pink where I had bled, The bruises faded, all the scabs had peeled, Your fists unclenched you cared for me instead, Then slipped away to mourn me as I healed. The bruises faded, all the scabs have peeled, You died inside to see me well again, You slipped away to mourn me as I healed, But checked if I was aching now and then. You died inside to see me live again, There was a time I could not do without, You're checking on my aching now and then, You miss me broken, bruised, and bleeding out. Return to Contents


Moonlight RHYMED QUATRAINS by ​ ANNE LAWRENCE BRADSHAW Moonlit silence breaks the clouds, be-gloved I hold my cloak, a shroud to hide myself from all the crowd, on this, the night of All Soul's Eve. Graves and ghouls are dormant, yet those soulless cries I shan’t forget, their torment’s fixed black stain is set and covers night with all my grief. A grief that sprang from out my rage: I found your letter, read its page, my world dissolved, I could not gauge the reasons for your sad deceit. The knife was easy to conceal, my darkest thoughts were not revealed, ‘til every bloodied stroke did seal the madness of this, now complete. And thus I creep, so soft and quiet, tonight my partner’s pale moonlight, whose shadows will contain my flight, and bear my secret ‘till the morn. So through the streets, a desperate sight, I know I lost my soul this night, and never to absolve my plight I steal on home, await cold dawn. Return to Contents


In This Place Where I Slept And Dreamed A PROSE POEM by​ R.L. BLACK

There are no doors, no windows, no ins or outs. A green, stuffed monkey named Bill sits on my bed. He watches me, stares with dead, stitched eyes, and I know what he’s thinking; he’s wondering how we ended up in this place with no way back to the jungle. I run my hands along the four grey walls, search for a weakness, try to look calm. I tell the monkey, Don’t worry, buddy, I’ll get this figured out. You’ll be munching on bananas in no time. Bill doesn’t believe me. I‘ve never been able to figure anything out in my life and I’m not fooling him. Next morning I find Bill swinging from a rope. Clever monkey; he found a way out. Return to Contents


Weather Advisory AN AMERICAN CINQUAIN by M 窶帰RGUERITE MARテュA RIVAS Wind gusts flying debris toss around young beech trees: a sad array of pick-up sticks in fall. Return to Contents


Lost Soul RHYMED STANZAS by ​ ANNIE CALDWELL I know not who I am — nor why upon this shallow grave I lie. With memories afraid to wake, my sanity begins to break. I have no sight . . . can't blink my eyes. A rotting odor terrifies. Can't move my arms . . . can't feel my legs. Please show me mercy​ , my mind begs. The black of night infects my head. Don't know if I'm alive or dead. Yet I can think, and I can hear — there's something out there, that is clear. A snap of brittle twig brings fear, approaching footsteps, ever near. Then two hands tightly grip my head and drag me as I cringe with dread. I want to scream, but sound won't come, so panic-struck, my mind is numb. I hear a blade scrape down a file then, "Cut him Daddy, make him smile!" What kind of monster lets his child bear witness to an act so vile? The knife then slices to my core and spreads the smell of guts and gore. I feel them spooning out my brains. 18

Now there's no doubt, I've gone insane. "Hurry Daddy, light a fire." My situation's growing dire. Reflections on a windowpane reveal the reason for my bane. Triangle eyes now let me see the disembodied head of me. What a shocking realization — I'm a Halloween creation? I sit here with this stupid grin and contemplate the mess I'm in. To be a pumpkin is my curse. How can my life get any worse? And then I hear these words, and sigh — "Hey Mom, can we make pumpkin pie?" Return to Contents


Unwanted Progress A VILLANELLE by ​ CLIVE TERN The new claymores silently cleave the sky marching unstopped across heathered moorland unwanted progress they proudly defy. Where ptarmigan, in winter-time abide; protecting the corries, in which they hide, the new claymores silently cleave the sky. Overlooking the lochs of stopped up glens, the empty crofts where clearings happened, unwanted progress they proudly defy. Above the farmers newly furrowed fields, where once legionaries to picts did yield, the new claymores silently cleave the sky. Standing in place of industrious mills, and threatening the as yet unclad hills, unwanted progress they proudly defy. Emplaced by the newest laird o' the clans, astride both the fertile and barren lands, the new claymores silently cleave the sky, unwanted progress they proudly defy. Return to Contents


What Vintage Will Such Vineyards Yield RHYMED STANZAS WITH REFRAIN by ​ ANN KEITH

What vintage will such vineyards yield? What harvestings from such a field? How I could cry out and expose This world for what it is, And all the flagrant falseness Of its bitter promises! Has it not wounded me in heart And hope and life and soul And past and future — left no part Or portion of me whole? And though I know I must devour My sufferings and forget Or else must dwindle hour by hour Consumed by my regret, Where is the will with which to make A motion to resist? I do not sleep, I do not wake, I breathe and I exist. What is there left within to draw The strength to struggle from? What -- by the universal law Of life -- can ever come From nothing -- seeing like gives birth 21

To its own like throughout the earth? Would you expect those trees to sprout, Those orchards to bear fruit, When seven years of bitter drought Have parched them at the root? What harvestings from such a field? What vintage will such vineyards yield? Return to Contents


The Meeting RHYMED STANZAS by ​ GREGG SAPP “Address me as the Guide, this meeting’s chair, whose present business is to conduct our burden, here, and thus I will forswear to dispatch urgent duties I deduct. Gather, colleagues, associates most dear. We’re called to perform a serious task of dread effects pregnant with hope and fear. Attend, listen, ponder, and dare to ask: What course best directs and serves the mission? What values advise and govern our cause? Can we achieve a gainful position in accord with consistent moral laws? Our one pressing question, a tangled knot: Shall we do it, or do we do it not?” *** “My chair, our master,” inserted the first, “tis no time to dwell, debate, or reflect. We must act to quell this hunger, this thirst, to seize and claim our destiny perfect. I know the means, for I am The Liar. My name’s but a varnished reputation. I deceive and speak foul with no quaint ire, for more’s gained than lost by good deception. Once, I bowed to an affront of conscience. Assaulted by knowledge, twisted by blame, cringing in sharp visceral dissonance; but I feared not truth, nor guilt, merely shame. My false mockery, told straight to your eye will prevail by swearing: It was not I. 23

“Lying’s a service to a better world, a tool, a means, neither foul nor uncouth; I say, admire sly words cleverly curled. Lies clearly yield rewards richer than truth. So deceive, dissimulate, simply fib, fake, feign, forge, sham, conceal, prevaricate, falsify, belie, counterfeit, be glib, bluff, boast, embellish and exaggerate. What’s real and true restricts magnificence. O’erweening vision mustn’t be throttled by pangs or rueful qualms of pensive sense. Hear and trust mendacity’s apostle: History proves beyond doubt; don’t forget: Once it is done, there will be no regret.” *** The Liar’s breathless vapor clouded all, like a dense miasma, his words hovered, nearly suffocated one plaintive soul, who in turn confirmed: “I am The Lover. My heart inclines to generosity, a keeper of gracious motives unchanged by envy, free from animosity. Once, I suffered, bereft, exiled, estranged, cast down in duress, when a foreigner befriended me, nurtured me, and taught me to give, share, listen and hold in honor those who still seek faith in love that could be. Angry scarred cynics who deny love’s real, I pity your disease; I care, I feel. “Oh, splendid altruism, free from base pride, celebrate our most evolved benign egos, in perfect mortal nature purified 24

through refined sacrifice, peace long ago embraced. Virtue beckons nature within to aid and assist our species fellows and supports harmonious discipline. We prosper only together, as equals. For to refuse a sister, or to scorn a brother, spurns charity, compassion, the noblest spirits to which we are born and are compelled to share in fair ration. Consider thus the cruel damage, admit: to do for others, we must not do it.” *** “Bah,” echoed the next delegate’s contempt. “Spare our ears such sorry blather and grief. Given our choice, there is no argument. They’d do us the same: So say I, the Thief. None is so good that can’t be corrupted, nor so sure with righteous immunity to resist the spell of what’s coveted, seduced by simple opportunity. Once, I envied, I desired, I yearned for greater creature comforts than my own, and lust devoured me, until I learned to seize what I deserve; its mine alone. It’s not wrong to want for that which is theirs, if it waits to be taken unawares. True ownership belongs to the taker, not to the keeper, for brief possession means not a thing to a thieving faker intent upon arrogant transgression. Larceny measures a person’s mettle. It requires audacious courage to steal, so earnest debts are paid and dues settled through application of the thief’s deft skill. 25

Purloined spoils are to be unjustly seized to prove one’s effrontery unrestrained, and join the camaraderie of thieves. There’s no private advantage to be gained by refusing to pilfer easy game. Thus, I insist: Do it in freedom’s name. *** Silent tension stirred, crackling like static over the deciders’ space, ‘till the next member said, “Friends, this logic’s erratic, vexing, and vicious; it stings me, perplexed, to endorse infamies -- not I, the Priest. Mine’s a calm course of gentle ministry, called here to serve and love even the least, as I give, I receive the same degree. Once, I rejected fellowship, unloved, having selected exile as my means to salvation. This world unworthy of my God’s aspirations, its souls demeaned by their wants. Solitude was my succor to the ache in my reclusive murmur. But heaven is deaf to a hermit’s prayers. No true prophet entreats or petitions for his redemption. Grace elicits shared mortal missions, songs of common visions, charmed epiphanies that cannot be glimpsed in seclusion. Alone, there’s no higher cause or source, human ideals are eclipsed, by flaws of mortal origin conspired in flesh and mind. Yet, we at this table, darlings of chance fortune blindly scattered, dare not seize our sisters’ wage, e'en if able, for though their spirit is scarred and battered, 26

there but for luck’s velleity go we. I urge, Do it not; hear our brothers’ plea.” *** Here, stresses flared at this rigid impasse, the angry relentless opposition, thwarting sound intellect, dividing class, the verdict awaited one last vision. “I’ve seen every way, for I’m the Guide,” the party’s president commenced: “Silence! I insist. Listen, if I’m to preside this decision, I’ll hear no more defense. Once, I sought the honor of prophecy, enduring privation, cleansing this flesh to earn gifts of enlightened secrecy, believing truth would repair and refresh. What I learned, though, disavows rights divine and discards masses to torments resigned. “For all harmonies imagined by saints, primary animal urges pass through. If I want my part, the fatal complaint is that I must by nature distrust you. Human apes cannot be fairly absolved, Avarice is their indelible sin; mercy waits for a species more evolved. We primates steal and lie with faint chagrin. Privileged are the unworthy chosen. Cussed, heartless wisdom will always punish, for free will is harsh revenge unspoken. Many will suffer; a few will perish. History will curse us as evil… still: If not us, another more wicked will. Return to Contents 27

The Zombie Moth Polarity of Lust and Love A SONNET by ​ BOBBY STEVE BAKER The crack cocaine of hindsight is regret. But I’ve mainlined my fill, I’ll own the fault of that poor boy held in beguilement’s grip when Botticelli’s Venus owned his pulse. Love’s clouded eyes don’t lie, they fantasize their masquerading mannequin as pure. Ears yearn to hear her burlesque alibies; her brilliant lip-synching─ ​ tojour amour.​ But it was lust she loved, a zombie moth, quivering at new flames with crazy arms, then burned, phoned home with country song remorse. Secure the candled window would be warm. It’s not. With embers dead, I draw the blind. With unscaled eyes, I stop the pantomime. Return to Contents


Water Spirit A SYLLABIC ACCENTUAL POEM by B ​OBBY STEVE BAKER no memories walk with me this night by the sea wrapped in the bite of the midnight sea wrapped in black air cold as the snow wrapped in the melt of snow on the sea midnight on the gritty shell-broken sand the rolling cold seethe sucks the soles of my feet sucks the frail scales of soul from my feet sucks the loose pebbles of soul where I stand the cloud shrouded moon rolls— the salt and the swell roil up my blue body numb to its claws roil up old sins in the spray on the rocks roil up the sloughing of soul in the cold one moment in time I walk in the sea the ageless cold spell draws the spirit to spark draws the dead strings of the spirit to heart draws alive the dead mortal out walking in me Return to Contents


Nightmare A TERZANELLE by ​ SHARI JO LeKANE YENTUMI Your wretched smile was ironed on my mind like an unrecognizable road kill, and the scream in my throat was too dry to find. I tried to use every ounce of my will to wake, but I lay in bed, instead, like an unrecognizable road kill. While you crowded your horrors in my head of painting me in a Hieronymus Bosch, I did not wake, I lay in bed, instead. You gave birth from someone missing a crotch while I ran from the bird man with evil eyes; you painted me in a Hieronymus Bosch. With overt disgust I grew to despise; the fear in the night kept me paralyzed, but I ran from the bird man with evil eyes. It was long after dawn when I realized that the fear in the night kept me paralyzed. Your wretched smiled was ironed on my mind, and the scream in my throat was too dry to find. Return to Contents


Twilight A PETRARCHAN SONNET by ​ GEORG TRAKL​ tra. ​ WILLIAM RULEMAN Bewitched by the town square’s milky twilight glow, The sick glide through an autumn-gilded haze, Their gaping stares recalling golden days Becalmed by wine and dreams, so long ago. They wear like ghosts their grim infirmity. The stars’ white melancholy magnifies. In dusk’s deception-soaked and raucous cries, See how these horrors stray confusedly: Formless figures of fun that flutter, cower, Scatter, and scurry on pathways scored with black, And oh!—on the walls—such sorrow-stricken shades! The others flee their way through dark arcades And from the star-wind’s striking scarlet shower Launch their nightly Maenad-mad attack. Return to Contents _______________ I​ m Hof, verhext von milchigem Dämmerschein, Durch Herbstgebräuntes weiche Kranke gleiten. Ihr wächsern-runder Blick sinnt goldner Zeiten, Erfüllt von Träumerei und Ruh und Wein. Ihr Siechtum schließt geisterhaft sich ein. Die Sterne weiße Traurigkeit verbreiten. Im Grau, erfüllt von Täuschung und Geläuten, Sieh, wie die Schrecklichen sich wirr zerstreun. Formlose Spottgestalten huschen, kauern Und flattern sie auf schwarz-gekreuzten Pfaden. O! trauervolle Schatten an den Mauern. Die andern fliehn durch dunkelnde Arkaden; Und nächtens stürzen sie aus roten Schauern Des Sternenwinds, gleich rasenden Mänaden.


Fall Tenderly METERED VERSE by ​ SHARI JO LeKANE YENTUMI Amidst the soft and muted light they glowed like burning embers, dancing in the wind around the tombstones, as I recall; it was an autumn rainbow of red and orange and gold to be remembered. Fall tenderly like the leaves brushing against the graveyard wall. You were placing flowers on a grave and you had been crying, mourning someone very dear, and you looked so very small in this granite-filled lot of incendiary leaves and so much dying. Fall tenderly in my arms and make me stand up straight and tall. When you gently took my arm it was an electric kind of sizzle, and the rush of your touch made all of my skin crawl; there were tears in our eyes as they met, and it began to drizzle. Fall tenderly into the night as the whispering raindrops call. I don't care about the past, I no longer have misgivings; I am here for the present, for now, and I am trying to stall, because life is for us, it is for those who are here and still living. Fall tenderly into my heart, and promise me your all. Return to Contents


Ten Thousand Leaves A JAPANESE WAKA attr. ​ ŌTOMO NO YAKAMOCHI​ intr. by ​ ​ LIUSAIDH Autumnal mountains. I search for my lost lover cloaked in the leaf-fall. My seeker's path lies hidden, obscured by ten thousand leaves. Return to Contents


秋山の 黄葉を茂み 惑ひぬる 妹を求めむ 山道知らずも


Reviews Chapbook Review SEAHOUSES by RICHARD BARNETT Valley Press £7:99 5/5 Stars. At Quarterday we love all kinds of poetry, but low modernist free verse is perhaps an odd choice to review for our Samhain issue. ​ Seahouses​ , however, is a fitting choice, the first collection of poetry from British cultural historian Richard Barnett. Beautifully presented, it's a volume which really needs to be experienced in paper-and-ink rather than via electronic media. There are only nineteen poems, but each is possibly a novel in its own right in terms of its depth and reach. Reading them, one has the feeling — from the first page — of standing on the grey, wild shores of Britain, searching a horizon where the sky darkens. This collection carries a sense of darkness, of rolling seas and liminal spaces between the tide and the high-water mark. These poems disturb. They're haunted by the shades of sick bees and slain sons, by ruined landscapes and dark rivers. Found poetry from a linguistics text by Noam Chomsky makes an appearance in a poem of devastating brilliance. Every phrase has been chosen here with deliberate care to provide feral, heartbreaking clarity to the human condition. Barnett's restrained lines, where every word is packed with layered meaning, explore shifting sands of our culture, where old worlds standing at the cusp of dystopia. "​ Tomorrow we will keep bees for the wrong reasons...tomorrow there will be no more words said in private." Unnerving, disturbing and utterly brilliant. Return to Contents


Chapbook Review FREEDOM'S BEAT by JOHN BRYDEN Amazon Kindle £2:14 3/5 Stars. New Zealand poet John Bryden explores the nature of freedom, of power, and the relationship between the citizen and the state in this short volume of largely metrical prosody. Poetry forms used here include linked limericks, poetry to tunes of iconic songs, with strong attention to rhyme and meter. Themes of freedom are interspersed with witty, often sardonic exploration of power, leadership and its abuse, while some of these poems explore the internal yearnings each of us have to cut loose and make a break for it. A beautiful response to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah​ , picking up and carrying through the Biblical themes had us singing along. Poetry-as-song, as rhythm, as pulse, sing through this volume. In places the meter stuck, and the volume — independently published — could have done with better editing and perhaps trimming down. Not every poem here struck a chord and as such this affected the emotional impact of the ones that did. In addition the Amazon version we downloaded suffers from the bain of all independent poetry publishers, Kindle Formating, which meant the beauty of the concrete poem ​ Anvil was somewhat destroyed in the process. As a result this volume, from cover design to internal formatting, lacked proper presentation in its electronic format, which impacted the reading experience. Nevertheless, what cannot be denied is that this is a wonderful little collection of verse: moving, insightful and, in places, wickedly funny. Return to Contents


Quarterday Contributors The Poets JOHN McCRAE Lt. Col. John McCrae (1872–1918) physician, soldier, teacher and poet. John McCrae was the second son of Scottish immigrants Lieutenant Colonel David McCrae and Janet Simpson Eckford McCrae. He studied medicine at the University of Toronto. After return from serving in the second Boer War in South Africa he studied pathology at McGill University, and held the position of professor of pathology at the University of Vermont until 1911. Widely published in the field of medicine and literature alike, McCrae enlisted at the outbreak of the Great War, and in 1915 was commissioned with the rank of Major and appointed brigade-surgeon in the Canadian Forces Artillery, stationed at Ypres, Belgium. He was later awarded the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He died from pneumonia and meningitis in France in January 1918. McCrae is best known for his poem ​ In Flanders Fields. ELIZABETH ARCHER Elizabeth Archer writes poetry and fiction, and is working on a novel. She lives in the wilds of the Texas Hill Country. GEORGE WELLS George Wells is an American expatriate living in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he teaches English as a Foreign Language and writes. His freeform poetry has appeared in Pidgeonholes and in Spark: A Creative Anthology, where he is currently a regular contributor and Writer Liaison. This is his first attempt at traditional form. ANNE LAWRENCE BRADSHAW Anne Lawrence Bradshaw comes from the North of England. In 2013, she graduated as a mature student with a First in English Literature and decided to write. Her work has been published in several UK literary magazines and dozens of ezines. She is currently Writer Liaison for Ember:​ A Journal of Luminous ​ Things ​ and is married with three completely awesome children. 36

R.L. BLACK R.L. Black is Editor in Chief of Unbroken Journal and Unlost Journal, and her own work has been published in journals across the web. Find her at MARGUERITE MARíA RIVAS Marguerite María Rivas teaches English at the City University of New York. Her work has been published in The Americas Review, Earth’s Daughters, Multicultural Review, Waterways, and Mas Tequila Review, among other publications. She has received numerous grants and awards, including the Marg Chandler Memorial Award from A Room of Her Own Foundation. Rivas was named a finalist for the Rita Dove Poetry Award (2015) sponsored by The Center for Women Writers at Salem College. A book of her poems, Tell No One, was published in 2012 by Chimbarazu Press. ANNIE CALDWELL Annie Caldwell enjoys empty nest living in rural Idaho where she dabbles in creative writing to appease an ever-restless mind. CLIVE TERN Clive writes poetry, flash fiction, poetry, and short stories from a secret redoubt in rural Perthshire, Scotland. When not writing, reading, educating, and caring for his family, he likes to plan a menu, don his chef’s jacket, and pretend to be the next Masterchef. Follow him on twitter @clivetern, and spot his occasional gripes about how hard writing is at ANNE KEITH Ann Keith's poems have appeared in various magazines (Eureka, Byline, Blue Unicorn, Acumen and over eighty others) as well as in a number of anthologies. GREGG SAPP Gregg Sapp is an American poet and author. Since the 2011 publication of his first novel, ​ Dollarapalooza​ , (Switchgrass Books: Northern Illinois University Press), Gregg has placed new stories, poetry, and humor in Zodiac Review, Imaginaire, Defenestration, Marathon Review, Writing Tomorrow, Midwestern 37

Gothic, and others. Gregg has just finished a new novel based upon the folklore of Johnny Appleseed. Find out more about his work at BOBBY STEVE BAKER Bobby Steve Baker is an Oculo-Plastic Surgeon in Lexington Kentucky. He has published poetry in Camroc Press Review, Bop Dead City, The Ann Arbor Review, Kentucky Review, Cold Mountain Review, Linnet’s Wings, CHEST, The Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology, and many others. He has two Chapbooks of poetry, Numbered Bones and The Taste of Summer Lightning. His latest book of poetry and art is “This Crazy Urge to Live” by Linnet’s Wings Press. SHARI JO LeKANE-YENTUMI Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where she writes poetry, prose and articles, and specializes in literary criticism and non-profit matters. Since brain surgery, she teaches creative writing in a maximum security jail and to people with special needs. Her novel, ​ Poem to Follow​ , is written in verse, and her book of poetry, ​ Fall Tenderly​ , is currently at press. Shari is featured in several poetry anthologies, including the Missouri VSA 2013 Anthology, Turning the Clocks Forward Again; Poetica Victorian; Think Pink; The Society of Classical Poets; Bordertown Press Poetry of People on the Move; and Literature Today International Journals of Contemporary Literature. WILLIAM RULEMAN William Ruleman is a poet and poetry translator from Tennessee. His verse has appeared, most recently, in Belle Rȇve Literary Journal, The New English Review, The New Verse News, The Pennsylvania Review, and Rubies in the Darkness, among other journals. He teaches English (including poetry and creative writing) at Tennessee Wesleyan College. ALFONS PEZTOLD Alfons Petzold (1882-1923) was born into a working-class family in what is now Vienna and, because of poor living conditions, was forced to begin work early despite a weak constitution. After his efforts to learn a trade were unsuccessful, he wandered from job to job; but his experiences gave him valuable material for his prose and poems, for which he won renown. While he is chiefly known as a 38

poet of the people, his verse is also imbued with a deeply mystical tendency, and he wrote ardently in favor of world peace. GEORG TRAKL Georg Trakl (1887-1914) is known as one of the foremost German-language Expressionist poets. Born into an affluent family in Salzburg, Austria, he was writing poetry by his teens. He trained to be a pharmacist, and during the First World War, he served in the medical corps; yet bouts of depression brought on by the strain of tending to massive numbers of wounded soldiers led to his own hospitalization, and he died via a self-administered overdose of cocaine. His work is marked by a formal, intense, and often dark lyricism. ŌTOMO NO YAKAMOCHI Ōtomo no Yakamochi 大伴 家持, (c. 718 – October 5, 785 C.E.) was a Japanese waka poet, military commander and statesman during the Nara period. Born into the prestigious Otomo clan, his contributions to Japanese literature have earned him the honour of being one of the Thirty Six Immortals (三十六歌仙 sanjūrokkasen). Ōtomo is most famous for compiling the Man'yōshū, the first poetry anthology created in Japanese history, for which he not only wrote several poems but also transcribed and reinterpreted ancient poems and folklore. He was the most prolific and prominent writer of his time. LIUSAIDH Liusaidh is the pen name of a Scottish poet writing from a drug-ridden council estate in closed forms. Having lived and worked extensively in South and East Asia, she is currently reading humanities with the Open University in Scotland. Her poetry can be found online and in print, most recently in ​ The Ghazal Page, Poets & War Magazine, ​ and Unlost Journal. However much she might damage her own reputation, she is unlikely to damage that of Ōtomo no Yakamochi . Return to Contents


QUARTERDAY PRESS Š The Quarterday Review/Respective Poets October 2015 Cover image by Unholy Vault Designs


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