Edited by April Mae M. Berza
Copyright ÂŠ 2014 All rights reserved.
1. SIMEON DUMDUM JR.
AFTERNOON It rains as I write this--a puddle spreads On the pavement, on which the drops form rings That race across the pool to reach the edge, And wane to turn into all sorts of things Within my mind, whatever fancy brings, And fancy gives whatever disappears A life, a story, love beyond our fears
THE CHANCE OF ETERNITY IN SONG Father replaced our old house with a new one, Which, after he died, likewise went to seed, But the old house returns tonight as someone Plays Johnny Mathis' "A Certain Smile"-Everything is as it was in the past: Brother and I are sleeping on a mat Mother has rolled out on the bamboo floor For her two little boys age four and ten. The moon is out, there is a dance nearby, And love music is playing, mostly ballads. The country lads pull the girls from their seats
For a slow drag, for which reason our parents Insist that we, boys, just stay home and sleep, But towards midnight I wake up and hear Johnny Mathis singing "A Certain Smile," And notice how bright it is outside-And wonder how a song reverses time And brings it all back--including the moonlight. GOSSAMER
Today the morning is as clear as glass. It seems it has been this way where I Iive-Unbroken resplendence even in furtive Things, and the frail and elusive show class. Light gropes the shade that hides behind the mass Of leaves, and there is nothing fugitive To wakeful eyes now, nothing elusive, Everything glows with the dew on the grass, And none more than the splayed web of a spider That has tied itself to a pliant sapling In the sun's path--it is as though a bullet Was fired right into the sun's fiery river, Leaving a spider of a hole, and cracking The glass of morning without breaking it.
SARABANDE Look at the violin player, notice her hand Slither along the slender fingerboard And how she swings the bow--a gossamer sword That wounds the strings into a sarabande,
Slow as the tide receding from the strand, And then three strings call loudly as a chord, Sudden, as though at last the soul was gored, And they who witnessed it were moved to stand. And now the dance begins, as if on tiptoe The couple step lightly just as before When they had love and had no fear of losing, And as the sea wills what things come and go, Gently their every foot writes on the floor About a door opening and then closing.
JUSTICE ASPIRES TO THE CONDITION OF MUSIC In court my gavel is authority Whenever I bang it all noise ends I sent two women out who talked too loudly And warned a lawyer when his cellphone rang If both the truth and the lie were a pin Dropped in the courtroom, I would like to hear it Its ting might be the small, still voice of justice So just imagine my shock when one morning While the accused was insisting that he Was somewhere else on the night of the crime From a tree outside came the trill of birdsong So sweet that we all looked at where it came from And the complainant felt set to forgive And I, the useless gavel in my hand, Yielded the moment to a better witness
2. ERINNA METTLER
I was once chatted up by a peacock. Holidaying in Malabar, I sipped tea too hot on the veranda of a hotel, colonial, fanned ineffectively by whirling mahogany blades and the wings of insect jewels. He sidled by, gave me the eye, then gave me some more, bright feathers quivering resplendently. Unwitting recipient of all his attention I tried to ignore him, inwardly chilled by his audacity. I made small talk but still he rattled me. Nibbled triangles soggy with cucumber moons, clogged my desert throat speech impossibility.
Silence wrangled avian Bahjan, sweat dripping brow popping humidity. ‘Try, try,’ came his insistence, shaking his rainbow stamping his foot closing his distance ‘til I upturned my rose bone teacup and fled his potent persistence
They didn’t collect the rubbish on Tuesday. Its scent fills the breeze like a memory of the 1970s.
A week passes…
Raindrops sneeze pollen snot on dusty polythene, entrails – ripped by urban vulperine –
spew potato spirals, banana skins, empty tins – and still, still they simply leave the bins.
Another week passes…
Pedestrians kick milk cans, lactating sour blood, along the streets of the neighbourhood. A cyclist weaves through cabbage leaves and disgorged margarine tubs. The long hot summer of ‘76 revives in fading bags uncrisped and broken lolly sticks – a world made of pigswill – and still, still they have the will.
We residents grimace and groan, complain to the men who run the town. ‘We all have to economise, break through the silly putrid lies, the pay is only a little less…’ But wouldn’t you put your tools down? Instead - appalled by the state of our nests – we click our tongues at all the mess and worry for our shoes – and still, still the Refuse Men REFUSE!
A JACKET FOR MY FATHER
There, at the end of the rail, brown suede with zippered snoring eyes and soft mocha collar. I reach out and touch, bringing sleeve to cheek, and with it memory bittersweet.
So much history was lost with your bones. A pit escaped on horseback – galloping to undreamt war zones. Khaki stripes witnessed the founding of the Jewish State. Dodged Eastern shells, indiscriminate. You danced to Elvis while a wall erected piece by piece. Symmetry found in a land lay to waste. Undivided – you brokered domestic peace sired daughters in haste who in turn grew happy and loved. Stood to attention – though your bones crumbled – whenever crimson blossoms fell, confetti from above. Grandsons were born and never cradled – the line continued though the stallion sleeps
in his earthen stable – memory imbued in family fable.
Do you need help? She asks with kindly smiles. Lost in nap against cheek, my heart begins to weep. label raised to hide moistened eye. A jacket for my father, comes the croaked reply. But this one’s too small – too small by miles.
Born by some miraculous alchemy, a marvel of pliability birthed urgently from basic bran into sterile silver pan. She cups your nakedness in wrinkled hands, features, etched with concentration, as rugged as your rounded peach is smooth. A twinkle in her eye
she slaps the scream from your insides holds you aloft as if in prayer, massages breath - life from air. She pulls you close to soothe then rolls you away a septuagenarian kitten at play ‘til you are white and plump and soft, as a suckling mother’s boob. She dusts you with powder with myrrh anoints you, and swaddles you in virgin cloth. Under mid-day sun when the insects whirr, knows it’s not the time to stir, leaves you slumber in a stove-warm bed. Dozily she nods her head confident you grow where you sleep, ballooning forth into hearty bread.
3. NDABA SIBANDA
LITTLE HILLS OF ESIGODINI
fabulous sight landforms snake up and down in extraordinary randoms of Natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s poise and pride breasts of land projecting into charged saddles saddles always midwifed to gush out milk of purity and tranquility the hills though small in size
short in height lug and beam a beauty that towers the sky of my intrigue their warmth appendages the body with a nobility priceless like a cup of undiluted water they stand out undisturbed
unchallenged by the ever-jerky wheels of seasons and weather during gusty days their music makes love to my ears with a rare calmness l feel altogether like abandoning my journey for them crowning them my beautiful infinity during sun-drenched days their seemingly little panorama drowns and dazzles my eyes into captivity an image of snug oases unparalleled greening of my soul they snuggle me all the way to the apex of amity and stimulation they vacillate between ideal and real l relish to no end their serrated depressions and passages that feel me with a passion beyond mere touch and tour they captivate my touch at will l cannot give them a cursory look the harder l try to scuttle away
the further and so further l gravitate into their cuddling glare they confer upon me the throne of Natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dutiful and indebted admirer of the stupendous dexterity of our Creator the little hills that dominate my dreams those that epitomize a hustle-free haven for the breezy incubation and birth of a romance and a love of a lifetime those are my little hills they will define and refine my life so that l get to appreciate the meaning of dreams and days
PLEASE SLOW DOWN ARTIFICIAL CHAPS!
they say artificial intelligence is moving faster than humans and sooner than later it is likely that robots will be smarter than us before the end of the centuryâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;not just at chess or mathematics or engineering or science and medicine but at everything
they say there might be a few jobs left for entertainers and writers but computers will ultimately be able to sequence themselves and gobble up massive quantities of information and reason in ways that we humans can only faintly imagine some say we should not fear a mere darkness without leopards because these machines are created by humans and should they fool themselves by trying to outsmart us at every corner we simply unplug them!
4. ANDREW SCOTT
A FISHERMANâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S TALE
Here seemed to be the best place to drop anchor, I was thirty seven sea miles northeast of the shore, could not even see ahead through the dense fog that was growing as it got rainy and darker.
I knew that with all the navigation I had,
there should not have been any problems going home, my father and other fisherman told stories for years, how many of us just, without reason, were lost out at sea, so I always took great lengths not to be a story. The catches of the day and the anchor would keep me from drifting away off course, into the dark.
After I made sure the boat was locked down and secure, I went down to my bunk to rest these tired bones, been hauling all day, and fatigued when you are the only crew.
I may have been small but the bunk was cozy and felt so good for a pulsing, sore back, best part was the flop down, dirty and all.
The water was so calm, the boat swayed very little as I closed my eyes and felt my body relax beautiful music started to fill my head a gift from the lonely, tenderness of the sea comforting, I felt so safe.
Senses came to me with the sound of the crashing waves my little fishing boat rocking back and forth
each time more abusive than the one before panic overcame me and my thoughts hearing cracks in the hull of the life support of my family largest fear hitting me from the front starboard the sounds of splinters being torn was either going to save it and bring it home or meet the seaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unfair, unforgiving fate
Running out of my bunk to the top, my body stopped blinking my eyes to make sure water did not give my sight a horrific illusions tentacles were overlapping, bear hugging the bow front mast crushed under the weight of four slippery arms bigger than anything I had ever seen slowly I backed into my defenceless shelter I had previously heard of the folklore I was now experiencing but they were just out of school tales until now, there was no saving, even with the hardest prayer curled in the darkest, furthest corner still not sure of what I was seeing I just thought I would make it home if I stayed quiet and out of site.
Another thud to my life brought me back to see the destruction of everything one more blow and my familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s food and shelter would have returned to the sea sent back by a gigantic squid, black and orange tentacles crashing down.
As I was bracing for impact, the screams of hell came out of the air a white dragon like image hit my attacker growls of pain came from the sea then the claws of my defender, ripped in the air, sending blue blood, and yellow puss all over. When this hit me, I kept nothing in my stomach.
I somehow was being saved as the squid, came fully out of the water, chasing this white dragon battle cries left my head feeling like it would cave in. Talons, claws, teeth, striking, screaming, the dragon lost its guidance as it was attacking face first into the squids blood red eye. The remaining arms of the sea
pulled a torn, beaten victim into its body. The squawking grounded away as they sunk to the seas, disappearing bubbles of changing, boiling water fading away.
My jaw was close to breaking so afraid to still move even though the Draken and Kraken were battling far underneath.
My boat all but gone I turned to go further into my cabin tears of every emotion streaming on my face out of the darkest corner I saw her. She started to move to me, lily white skin, still wet from the sea gentle face staring into mine, clothing of a seductress my eyes would not move seeing pleasure and feeling fear I knew the folklore of the Succubus and I was about to be her latest prey thoughts of my family, alone, waiting for me
when she reached her taking hand out to me.
My body heaved when I fell out of my bunk, startled and sick, I ran out to see nothing, the destruction in my mind was nonexistent everything was calm and in its place, the waters underneath not even stirring convinced it was just in my dreaming head I sat my tense, tired body down on the front bow paranoia not allowing my eyes to close, pulling anchor, relieved quiet took over the night in my new journey towards the only sounds in my head, were the beautiful, guiding sirens of the sea.
5. MARIAN DRAGOMIR
a while ago while I was wandering the streets on my way to school my father told me that
the world is a dark and heavy place but he told that with such elegance that his tongue swirled around the letter d so i learned all the word starting with d
my life started passing away and I was attacked by my worries what if life will explode but i always remember my father which he told me never let the word get the best of you
trying to fly through time I learned that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s difficult to stay in one place but in line for the bus I got used with patience
some are good at theater
but i just sit and do nothing
mistaken with a statue or anything else while I wait I imagine what if the bus doesn’t come today
let’s take care of ourselves this is the first thing we do when those sent to torture us can’t complete their mission we don’t hate those who made the mistake of not taking care of themselves and the first thing on the agenda is to wake up each morning
we turn on the light with the same control that created the torch we stand still with no motivation in mind
and just to look beyond the illusions and hate
this poem has no angels only humanity which we must endure to keep going on
letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s let the pain and fear rule our life
getting old wants on my plan but I never seen it coming my body started to bend under the weight
when I flew from my planet to earth I came directly to you never dreaming of what might be but this body full of blood and veins lost the fight with the gravity
so a warning to you all stay on your planets if you don’t want to die
6. EUGENE GOLDIN
ANGEL IN A CAGE
The sun today is an angel with tan skin and golden hair And secrets between his soul and God’s They are secrets shared with none of the other angels But, in exchange for this gift Is his wisdom and wisdom is a cage.
The sun today is a forest with blue eyes and long fingers and toes He sits upon a throne of black amethyst in silken robes and is comfortable to be there alone. The sun today is your breath exhaled and the things you saw but not anything you can presently see. He is the air coming though your open window on the morning of your rebirth. You know those rubied-themed times when you are in love…
It is an angel alright, an angel in a cage made of hurricane force winds When the night is sparkling diamonds sown into your hair The angel does not weep for gain or loss The angel does not seem at all to care
Floating around - Cyberland Ghosts vamping on a digitalized plane - endlessly Pseudo lovers – of magnetic reasoning Robotic heart’s beating.
Here – the naked sun is permitted To go out into an enclosed yard in chains Once a day - maybe But - only if it behaves!
Here – the oceans have been allowed to rest and even die Here –all planets are given status equal to that of every sky Here –zero has been forced to wed infinity -ad infinitum - ad nauseam. Here – the past has had to be stored in a secure - virtual – fun house – museum where visitors, though asked to consider making a reasonable contribution before entering, may pass through its gates free of charge on Sundays.
Arthur’s mother was a lunatic. He was convinced that a lethal molecule she had once expelled still bounced around the walls of his room long after her death.
Subsequently, he claimed to have avoided ingesting it by taking in quick, shallow breaths for the remainder of his quiet, desperate existence.
I once saw him moving all around outside in the open field like a dog left out - in the rain, barking at his own echo. He always seemed to know it was going to be a wet, cold life.
And me? I became a noodle at the end of the string of thoughts he had, once the water broke. Consequently, I became the wet lands from which – living organisms would spring into eddies of exuberant existence.
In that way, I became – a deity – to his multiple, psychotic, obscene selves before they gave me up for fear of public discovery. Yes, I should have gone for being his God.
Ooo, that would have served me well, particularly, now that I live inside this wet, cold sweater. The one given him by his mother. The one that he bequeathed me before he surrendered to his own fate, inhaled her down deep and died.
First published in The East Jasmine Review
7. SARA KHAYAT
MOVE THE CHAINS The grass is always greener leaner meaner on the other side in the kitty-corner.
But the grass Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never seen is the greenest of green.
And I’ll use the overflow of the water under the bridges that I’ve burned to feed it. Because when it rains it pours it’s just a matter of how you drain the rainwater.
Practice makes perfect sense to me. Come hell or high water we move forward. Between a rock and a hard place you’ve spent a lifetime barking up the wrong tree beating around the bush. But hey, keep that head above water. Fire away! Blow them all
dead out of the water.
Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a temper on my tongue that I iron
I iron out my anger before daring to speak
Iron out the score before lying down to sleep
But thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seldom freedom in saying what we were both thinking
Spitting truth like
poison I’m chosen to fall
Aren’t we all just decomposing and frozen in time?
Buffering lives and fleeting goodbyes
the worms will eat you alive if living won’t kill you.
So I iron out my anger unclench my iron fist.
There’s no reason for
violence among the mightiest
Our enemy is Time and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s killing us all as a way to say mortality is king.
Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no reason for forgetting how you got here in the first place.
Make peace with the beast inside of you. 8. ANTHONY PABON
After a year of working in foreign land, Marilyn the eldest daughter wrote to her family about her situation and job. And most especially to express her true feeling to her family.
Dear Mama, On the time that I left you I cannot control the tears Flowing in my eyes I couldn't see you directly And it continues to flow When you said that time "I will miss you" Albeit I do not want to leave you but my feet forcing me to go because of our dilapidated house, slanting post, to have something to eat at least three times a day and most especially to give all your needs and wants in life That's why I'm working hard scrubbing the floor, cooking, caring the children and doing all the household chores It seems I am a carabao that almost no more sweat will fall. In the evening I tried to dance In the middle of the smokey bar With the twinkling sundry of lights Touching my legs and breast Just to allure the customer In order for me to earn. You know one time Mama I forgot to wipe the table
And when my Boss noticed it He shouted angrily and he said "You're such a bastard" I've just smiled at him 'coz I don't know what he meant Especially there is no dictionary here. But you have nothing to worry With me my beloved Mama I bought your favorite make-up kit, Spaghetti dress and high heels To my Papa, I bought him a very expensive liquor and cigarettes to baby I have also a toy gun and two boxes of Toblerone and Hersheys to my Lola and Lolo, to my Ate and Kuya I have also a gift for them. I am doing this just for all of you In order for us to eat three times a day To give all your wants and needs in life And most especially to show to All of you how much I love you That I am ready to give my life And to suffer for you Mama "If you just only knew How much I love you." With Love And Care, Marilyn
9. TYLER TSAY
Mother said that a storm was coming Tonight; then the rain split the roads And the windshields shattered.
Her hands ache; she rests on the porch And rocks beneath the overhang. Her seasoned face is carved slowly by Escaped droplets as she gazes at the whey Fields, the fields drowning in the rain – The stalks snap in two and lie lustrous in The mud – and soon she remembers when The fields were bare, when the wheat was Seed they cultivated and loved – now The stalks have bloomed to die Dancing in the wind.
Her eyes are only magnets now – melted By the blaze (oh silly man, when the fire first Roared she tried her best to smother it, but by Then you’d already switched the sinks with
Absinthe and Dom) – sometimes we play games, Tango our irises for a bit before she Glances off my gaze and the light disappears Once more – sometimes I cry to the winding Road still stained with skid marks and ash, “Come back you silly little man, You left your china doll behind Primed and ready for your dick.”
Sometimes I can smell it – a mixture Of blood and exhaust tainting the air – and sometimes I can Hear it – the pop of the wheels in the midsummer storm – And sometimes I can feel it – the heat puckering My baby lips and baby face;
But I always see it – her face silhouetted in Nude flames As the car burns.
She remembers no matter how many times I wash the walls of the red splotches – I still Pick up fragments of the vase she Amazoned, so Not even dust can remind her – that she drove
A man to his death – that she forgot to lay her Maternal instincts aside and let him ravage Her softness and beat her son – that she drove A drunkard to his death, not a husband. But That’s not what the mind chooses to remember.
Now the wind hastens and the balusters crackle. I see her groan and wring her hands aching. Before long she’ll be asking me to pour from the Top left cabinet – for the nerves dear, she’ll say, Then go back and wring her hands some more.
I stare out the window past her shoulders to the fields. The stalks are dancing in syncopated sex.
Ricky Barns got lost chasing Butterflies this morning; He trotted back later that Day looking sad – I shot him in the face Before he could explain.
A girl turned seven somewhere I Don’t care about in the time it Took to cremate him –
A man and wife breathed Drawn out deaths While I dumped Ricky’s ashes in the Meadow –
I sat on a log and wrote his obituary As a boy crawled Past on bleeding joints – sentiment: --------------------------Here lies Ricky Barns My coincidental brother; he knew The world as a fixed little thing, A template of Cancer potholes, Adult bloomings, and tattered hearts
He manicured the world like Matrix and never stopped Shitting on my lawn.
Here lies Ricky; he smoked pot like a pro, drained bowls Like a drunk, and drowned Fish in his jaws with saliva. --------------------------My bones are aching I want him to speak so I’ll forget that I know about Mother’s cheating belly or father’s chemo-baldness Or the boyfriend that beats my sister – I want to ask him One last time, define me.
Consonantal darts ping true against that Vegas Gold back of mine – the muted metal concaves my
Spine while ophidian slits and impish Grins dance with me in an
Indented shell – my engines rupture in livid flame so I wash the burning with a pinch of absinthe
And little Joy flees the blaze like a Grace leaves Heaven – she bucks my heaving
Body cottage into splinters on the way and I lift my butterfly head to the racket of divinity
Baring him nude in a courtroom Amidst a crowd of nakedness
But I sigh, I hug the cactus child anyways And he hugs back tighter and laughs – I’m staring delighted
At the tears and blood that Swirl in a pool of disgruntled mud
The air is thinning, even that runs and joins him He plucks reason from the shade he has made me
I’m shivering with fever and seizing Unfulfilled pleasure, and he glances over my
Effete body as one skims roadkill or Iddesleigh I raise my chin to him, pleading to a wafting chest
But he pats my head and crouches down low For his midnight snack
10. ANKITA ANAND
THE RIDE BEFORE THE FALL
Sweet insists on coupling sour to give that ingenuous taste; rhapsody fondly carries on its back the promise of self-ruination. The certainty of obliteration keeps the forward march on. There is just so much of this life that was worthy of living. Now a new one must be created, which canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen without effacing the previous. Therefore this joy in destruction. The tremors are not those of fear; the shoot trembles in trying to tear through the roof of the soil.
CARDIO-DIAGNOSIS A heart bursting at the seams with unspeakables. Restraining orders no good. How can bubbles be compressed into droplets? What the heck, then. Burst it will.
LOOK, OVER THERE
I wish to be the chord against a violin – to be lifted and grated against it completely soulfully and listen to the music I just produced. To be a magician’s assistant and be cleanly slit right through and have torso and bust come together in perfect unison. That’s all I am crying out for – to be completely broken into atoms and feel like I am all over the universe; then to come together as a whole and feel that the whole universe is in me. And it’s so perfect and complete that I cannot dream of keeping it to myself. How can I not feel this urgent need to share it with everyone I know, and know everyone I didn’t until now, through this sharing? Especially to share with those who need to have their faiths reaffirmed in something. Especially because I could not give them something of my own and I just want to distract them for a little while by pointing out what’s already there, in and around them.
I have traded the sea of humanity for stretching deserts and sombre mountains. But I don't seem to hate them. People find ways of seeking out friendships they need in order to survive. I find myself wanting to run the back of my hand across the yearning bellies of the sand dunes and watch the grains tremble down gratefully. If I cannot be comforted and feel reassured about my importance, I must comfort and prove myself useful. It is the same utilitarianism that makes me ache to bloom into wild flowers on the mountains and tell them with smiling eyes that being old doesn't mean new things do not like to hang out with them. I wish I could let them know. Pity. Pity.
THE GAMES WE PLAY
No amorous play compares with the high engendered by flirtations with the self.
Present it with honey-dripping COUPLETS,
brush light, feather fingers across its skin, swear with wonder to its extraordinariness.
When it greedily begins to lap it all up, asking for more, tease push prod provoke it to do the scandalous the outrageous the ‘impossible’.
When it bites the bait, steps outside ‘itself’ and goes on to do what you had fed into its imagination, go ahead, meet it, give it a noisy high-five, while it grins from ear to ear in shy, incredulous happiness.
Then get together, throw back your head and laugh, with the blood rushing to your head. Heady, heady delight!
I hope you dance. when you walk. And float. when you dance.
11. R. D. MCMANES
the poet crucified on the metamorphic cross mouth sewn shut his soul screams inside a silent prince in frog disguise
the blood of a poet leaks out with the moon’s tide his poems float back days later, a pile of bleached white bones
words can’t fill an empty tomb
silence never echoes no sound can rebound without reverberation
his death becomes a saving grace etched in cold stone creation is nearer to lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perfection but eternity is forever and today
â&#x20AC;&#x153;no longer a virginâ&#x20AC;?
first timethe virgin is finally dead i wear a white condom in honor of the special occasion
latera bottle of celebratory wine tj swan easy nights or was it annie greenspring
i canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t recall except it was cheap and we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need glasses
morningi piss poems in hieroglyphs to the rhythm of an old clapton tune last night passed before my eyes dimples on the surface of a bright summer moon
12. ELAINE MARIFOSQUE
BALLET SLIPPERS The light slowly creeps in from the broken window, touching gently fading memories of music and you. You used to wear these ballet slippers in the shadow, emerging from the darkness all radiant in blue. The sweetest notes were played on this piano old as you closed your eyes and danced with abandon, I watched enthralled in silence outside the cold not daring to move, not even breathe, lest I cry for pardon for breaking the magic that you weave with your feet that you used to rob me of my senses and captivate my heart. Yet everything is gone, you're no longer here my sweet, I was too late to tell you I'm ready to play my part. To be the one you'll only dance to as the music starts to play, my eyes tracing your every movement like a lover's caress, but the table is covered in dust now, just like the words I want to say,
if only I didn't abandon you, I wouldn't be in distress, that your world I used to covet has now gone and vanished, leaving me with just a faint image of you and your forgotten ballet slippers.
13. VIRGILIO VOLTAIRE BACSA
THE CALL OF THE WRITTEN WORD
The mythical road stretched before me: my mind on white paper; black ink that enveloped the surface. The images call to me, the rhythm, the voice... Pictures so stunning, so clear. A story, even a song.
The wood table, the easy chair; among books that pile up— the printed word shines. They bid, they beckon: “Come forth, dear Traveler. Come once again and explore: The realms within, the worlds without, and tell it all.”
The tales that were held back within the mind’s wall, they struggled to come out—prisoners breaking free. Undying ideas given sentence; warriors and lovers; tragic and hilarious. They scream out to live and have their tales told.
Dare I to return? To re-explore the world I departed for something concrete? To breathe life to old tales and new? To recreate the kingdom of stories and poems?
Shadows filled my mind as I start to ponder— that maybe it would be better to let things be. To stay in reality is a comfort not easily released. For dreams were fleeting; easy enough to banish.
“But we are life too,” the words screamed. “We can uplift and we can destroy. We give tears of sorrow and joy. And we can arouse aspirations to greater limits.
“It would be a crime to let us perish and to never see again the light of day. We are a reality that mankind can never let go of dreams; that the printed word is immortality.”
The call of the mind was too strong to resist— The Traveler’s path opened up for me: And I once more became the Wanderer;
Exploring the realm of written words.
Telling tales of distant places; Imaginary, yet very real. A Chronicler of beings created; A Storyteller, a Bard once more.
I took up my pen and wrote.
THE FINAL NIGHT
This is the day the sun dies one last time.
There were old memories in the rain and I remembered what it's like to fear the darkness, No light to guide the wandering ghosts in my mind, I hungered... Dreamed dreams of fresh heat within my cold bones; dreams of lopsided grins and essences of innocence; dreams of shadowy creatures and blazing angels; of conflict, nightmare and despair.
I thirsted for new dreams
Heaven roared as I stood with my arms raised as I mourn the death of my dreams I cried out begging: give me wings to ascend the mountains; give me songs of rushing streams; give me courage to free the goblins in me; give me your hands, oh God! My mind and body shouts: free me from this prison of flesh And give me my last rites! Let me pass the gates to a new life.
And the dreams came to lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; as I gave up the ghost from my weary bones; released at last. As I paid the price for one last dreamâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; the dream of God's mighty embrace.
The darkness rolled back
as the Sun opened its eye and then smiled saying: "Welcome back to your dreams, welcome back to your life."
14. GINNA WILKERSON
GETTING, TAKING, CARRYING
Everyone I met wanted to give me something: a black bolero, a shred of wool blanket, a partially eaten loaf of Cuban bread. I had nothing in which to carry these things, but I took them. If I could only find a few paper bags, I could go back to the house and pack my belongings – I crave being out of that house once and for all – out – over and out.
The new owners want me out, too – although they refuse to help. Every time I go there, I stumble over their gaggle of dusty children, wriggling like insects as I try to gather things up. I hate watching the equally dusty mother cover over my mother’s carefully chosen wallpaper with hasty uneven strokes of a paintbrush.
Outside on the street, I met a girl who I used to know long ago – she once had a scar on her face for which all the pimply adolescent boys in school tortured her daily. The scar has faded now, and she has lovely long blonde waves, a flashing smile and glasses with quirky red frames. I thought how much better her life must be now, but the crowd was too noisy for us to talk. She smiled and tossed me her pink silk scarf – one more item to carry. I wrapped it around my head to keep the dust from my own lank hair.
My proudest moment was taking away two tiny weapons from a miniature villain – pins mounted on sticks, with which he poked passing strangers. The small boy got me in the feet as I sat on some dusty steps to rest. Not willing to be his pin cushion, I overlooked the pain and snatched the sticks from him. He howled in anger as I marched into a nearby shop and asked the clerk behind the counter to hide the tiny pokers. The red-bearded clerk offered me a Cuban sandwich for my trouble, but that was dusty, too.
‘Job well done’ as far as I could see. And nothing new for me to carry.
I must get the message out, but I can’t always remember what it is. I ride and ride, sweating, through the night.
The place is a hotel in the midst of a family reunion, or perhaps a graduation celebration. I see my brothers, but they can’t seem to hear my plaintive call.
I’m on foot now, and my message is forgotten altogether. I carry a watermelon, not large or heavy, but cumbersome to grip. The green-striped oval begins to shrink
inside its skin â&#x20AC;&#x201C; my fingers tighten on the sagging top like crumpled paper. My watermelon hangs flaccid in my hand.
My sight dims to covering darkness, but I still hear the raucous, rioting voices.
On hands and knees, I search the floor, calling over and over for my mother to come take away this ruined fruit. I somehow know she is there.
I also know I look pitiful, ridiculous. My message is lost and useless.
15. JOAN MCNERNEY
Would you like to unwind an afternoon at the lake?
Solar sparks spilling over us in showers of golden sizzle.
Put on short shorts, skimpy tops, stick our toes into oozy mud.
Breezes will shake treetops while we listen to birdsongs.
Why not float on new grass facing an Alice blue sky?
Read celestial comic strips from mounds of clouds.
We can count sunbeams, chase yellow butterflies.
Devour bowls of cherries painting our lips crimson.
This noontime is perfumed with illions of wild flowers.
Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s go away all day...be embraced by the goddess.
You gave me five brown pods to grow in my garden bed. I put them in a glass jar with my locket. Five brown pods winding through heaven. Weaving night with winter wishes for wisteria. In a flower dres wandering over perfumed fields I sleepwalk searching for
my golden locket and your embrace.
I'm gonna have lunch with the sky. It's been way too long since we got together.
I'll run downstairs through hallways into bursts of blue. Perhaps never return to work, words, paper clips, bookshelves.
Who needs cash when there's so much green grass to hoard? Forget about food. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll drink up sunshine, nibbling juicy clouds.
O sky, you are my solar mate. We will be faithful always. Come home now...I will never look at another.
Hearing waves from a distance and feeling sea breezes brush our faces, it seemed a century before we came to the ocean.
So blue and bright to our eyes its rhythm broke chains of unremarkable days.
Over cool sand we ran and you picked three perfect shells which fit inside each other. Swimming away in that moving expanse below kiss of fine spray and splashes.
With clouds cumulus we drifted while gulls circled the island. Together we discovered beds of morning glories climbing soft dunes
Let's dive in ocean hiss swish riding with bluewhales, bluewaves. Brush of foam and windy ripples sunbeams chasing quicksilver fish.
Floating through our shining world fragrant clouds, feathery clouds. We weave one arm after another wearing bracelets of salt pearl.
My mind is an ocean where swimmers, surfers, sun worshippers cavort.
Long salty hair held between their teeth. Flourishing
wild flowered gowns …streams of silk waves of taffeta splashy lace.
They sail through my watery face combing my eyes whispering in my ears.
Alone, under a pointillist sky. Gulls flying around me. Black waters touched by moon of vague prophecy.
16. ANGELO B. ANCHETA
1 monsoon morning the aroma goes stronger fresh-hot pan de sal 2 breaking barriers on the snowy winter land wild cob
17. WARREN OSTREICH
While crawling and dripping bread crumbs through the stalactites in her mouth she pawed at my pockets Begging for change Begging for attention I had none to give While wheezing and shouting He charged me and mocked me with his brother Demanding gun fire Demanding a march I had none to give so I fled I fled to the car heel to heel clicking in the echo chamber
Sitting and breathing I finally felt his touching I felt his weeping I wanted to see but the unconscious has no face I wanted to touch but the unconscious has but one sense -emotion I balled and he balled an octave higher Pounding him with my screams he riled on the floor thousand volt current running paces through his nerves As my scream crescendoed, -the self in the back seat sickly screeching the incantations of nightmare my eyes began to see light my mind began to refrain Finally the light of the world called home leaving me with an honest tremor
18. NGOC NGUYEN
I DREAMT OF LOVE...IN THE YEARS TO COME
I dreamt of love (a love like driven snow, unstain'd and virgin) in the years to come: but years did come and went until (O woe!) love, like the fall, decayed in my autumn. Melancholic, I ne'er a princess met or maiden-love with whom to spend the nights of vernal youth. (Alas! 'tis best to forget my life's too foolish dreams of its delights--.) Untaint'd by love, pure and innocent; not spoil'd by life and sin in the very least: I cast aside my prurient youth's bent, forswearing myself all窶馬ow mine own priest! Now aged and effete, I've refused life (: love);-in return, I'm refused of God above.
I'D GIVE ALL TO MARRY HER BY THE SEA
My maiden dwells on the coasts of Brazil,-in clear, sweet notes her lips speak Portuguese; her beauty makes the earth and sun stand still-what a tragedy if she were a tease! Beholding her fair face is what I miss; surrounding her in a loving embrace and kneeling down to give her a soft kiss:--
all these would make my quickening heart race! The distance between us, like a thick mist, keeps us apart;--but I by heaven swear that someday we'll have our clandestine tryst, a time and place in the same hemisphere. And if she's not against betrothing me, I'd give all to marry her by the sea.
HARK!â&#x20AC;&#x201D;FRO THEE MY LOVEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S UNERRING (AND TAUT AS STRETCHED WIRE!)
Hark!--for thee my love's unerring (and taut as stretched wire!). In my chest, my love's constancy burneth for thee like fire:--
All seasons long, my thoughts o'er thee do emancipate me,-they form--wing-like!--to my barred mind, which ye give liberty.
Like the vast, fathomless oceans,
my love for thee runs deep:-in their depths swim the secret longings for thee that I most keep.
Like Helen of Troy, thy fair face (as well!) can launch a fleet (of a thousand ships), all brimmed with Greeks who'd war at thy feet.
E'en Shakespeare's rich, lyrical verse cannot granteth thee justice:-his oft-sung poesy pales near thee, mine earthbound goddess!
Were ye deity in fair flesh ye'd be Aphrodite of Greek myth and legend--of beauty and of love e'er so mighty,--
Or Athena, goddess of wisdom, justice, the arts, and war (as scholar of law, thy counsel and sphere unshut justice's door).
On tempestuous seas of love thou bodeth good omens,-a guarantee of good fortunes: the hope of all captains! Thou incandescing my dark life moves me raptly along;-the light of thy tender love-glow compelleth me to song.
I wish to pen at last, my pet, life loveth for us alone; howsoe'er it loveth (heaven knows),-'tis mystery unknown!
19. PRADIP DASGUPTA
Let the moment be still in the starry night let the indulgence of this
moment be as quiet and secret as the opening of the wild flowers sleep under the bed of grass along the roof of starry night, let the sleep be full of peace let only the shooting stars come from the celestial world to fall like a rain and the fireflies dancing among them let the time be the only silent observer in the play of night of paradise
20. PRAMILA KHADUN
THE MELODY OF SOLITUDE
Leaving the bricks and the blocks Of the dull and dense world, He went to live With his son and maid In the midst of nature, where the breeze whispers
With a melodious moan.
He made a cottage In the deepening, widening Greenness of the valleys, Where streams enlarge As they roll down, Between silent trees full of grace.
He is grave, masculine and strong, With buoyant blood running in his veins. He cultivates flowers in solitude, While waves of shadow Gently and smoothly kiss The sugarcane fields.
Such a comprehensive soul he has, With beauty infinite And depth unrivalled, Like the freshened silence And the brightness of vast plains.
As he sits by his bonfire,
Heart attuned by solitude, He thinks of the pains And the pleasures of his species. He drinks his coffee quietly, While the smoke from his cigar Fills the bush with joy.
21. SUNIL SHARMA
MINIS: THREE POEMS
I Two men outside barberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Waiting their turn, this Sunday morn, Talking/texting on cell-phones, Animated gestures, different orbit; Humans to-day, Mere voice and word.
II Violence A street- dog follows an old man The man picks up a street-side stone,
The dog understands and retreats, Before this unnecessary urban violence, On manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best friend!
III You, Warm up my Benumbed heart, Very much Like wintry light pale, That on an extremely icy mid-afternoon, Gives some free natural warmth To a homeless man, Sitting on a bench alone, In a public garden, In Connaught Place.
22. CHUNG CHIN-YI
God exists through history
God precedes history God determines history God is the very revelation of history itself
23. JOSE B. DADO
FROM A SOLDIER, DYING (With apologies to Christina Georgina Rossetti)
When I am dead, my comrades, Play no sad tunes for me. Speak thou no praises at my wake; My failings, let them be. Stand guard awhile beside me, As we have stood before, Facing our nation's enemies In remembered days of yore.
I shall no more be present When our comrades meet again. I shall not hear your stories and Your fav'rite song's refrain. When the roll is called in remembrance,
My name will be called, and yet, Haply you may remember, And haply may forget.
LOVE AND HATE (With apologies to Robert Frost)
Some say the world will end in Love, Some say in Hate. From what we have when there is Peace, I hold with those who favor Love. But what we have when there is War Show Hate is, for destruction, great. So let us "Wish Upon a Star" That the world will in Peace And Love, not Hate and War.
24. ARTHUR TURFA
FRANCONIA In memory of David Shogren
Just over a week after you had left a forwarded article from the Times compared sculpture and sonnets. In stone cleft they drama and passion, others in rhymes. More than mere stone and words, a universe explodes from them across a distant sky illuminating, for better or worse, those fortunate to have seen you go by. Born in winterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s realm, in Franconia we talked of ethics, music, books, and time. Above the Juliuspromenade you told me of your aspirations, and I you of mine. Cruel cancer clasped you before you had done What you dreamed. Shine now as you once shone.
First published in South Carolina English Teacher
Espanola Valley Morning
Not wanting to wait for the yearbook we decided to capture immortality on our own terms that cool morning
under a wide blue New Mexican sky, standing on a dirt-packed courtyard.
Some lived on the pueblos as had their forebears for millennia. Others followed de Vargas northward along a narrowing Rio Grande. A few along wagon trails or interstates. All these roads led to Espanola. Girls in big 80s hair, sprayed in place, Guys mostly shaggy to a certain extent, their faces looking at futures sensed instead of seen.
Education actually flows both ways but one way eludes verifiable data. What I taught them transcends tests, Grade point averages and credits earned.
Years later there are social media- captured glimpses of what and who we have become. Birthday greetings, holidays good wishes, Updates on places I recall, even an anguished plea from a corner of the high desert.
Two thousand miles to the east I reflect on Those faces now fixed in another classroom.
THE SECOND PHASE OF IMMIGRATION
Under a February Carolina sky hinting of springtime instead of snow we linger by numbered classroom portables after the busses have gone.
Our ancestors stood outside of numbered blast furnaces and mine shafts lingering after the whistle blew before walking to their homes.
Like many sons and daughters Of the Keystone State or Wild and Wonderful West Virginia our license plates followed the Appalachians southward with no Ellis Island necessary.
Down here our skills are needed;
we enjoy mild winters and scour the stores for Iron and chipped ham.
Satisfied, the three of us savor a few minutes before we drive to our new neighborhoods completing the Second Phase of Immigration.
25. MARIA CECILIA MAIA
ECLIPSE The time is come 'Tis the hour of reckoning What have I done, That my light refrains from shining? Powers of Darkness surround me I am unable to stop them The dreared Eclipse chases me... Where will I be, then? The long-awaited future draws near My consciousness calls And all I ever held dear In my mind, like a spiral falls...
26. JACOB FARRAR
Full of muscle and built for speed, they are hunters in the night. They stalk birds, mice, and deer walking through the tall grass silent and stealth so their prey does not fright. They feel the earth and plants with their paws. Then they leap at their quarry gaining traction from their predator`s claws. After their prey they give chase. Lit by the moon their target flees for its life at an impossible pace. Running with the pack. Thrill and excitement are rife in the energy of the attack. Their bellies are full and they are contented with the meal. Watching the sun rise, calm and happiness is what they feel.
27. PETER DONALD RODGERS
EXHAUSTION, I STRIVE
Exhaustion, I strive on my computer Wise as my technological tutor Helping me create art and poetry,
Novels and videos with comedy, And physics papers all expertly done, My creative, intellectual fun, As I am a perfectionist on screen Where my life is far from being obscene, When this workaholic must reach my goals, With me satisfied in my social role, A fierce force as obsessive creator, A popular internet gyrator Producing more than a million cheap jokes For overseas friends who almost awoke.
LIBERTY First glimpse, of tangled mane and ragged hoof, sweat-caked, heaving flanks, nostrils wide... I thought, "the devil's own, in flesh, and here's the proof: eyes, white-hot in hate, their target sought!" One month, deliberately in her sight; avoid those teeth (the monumental task), so unaware what saved her from her plight. Tolerate my presence was all I asked...
Water and food, precious little to do, my shoulders slumped, rejection stained my cheeks. Survival, my co-conspirator, through stages--those scared, cautious, curious weeks. A nicker, longed-for arrow to the heart... Morning spent in heaven, her Mustang nose inhaling human scent from every part, her lengthy whiskers reconnoiter toes. Ears fly back in startled fright, then adjust to the whispering voice, neck in a noose. Bodies melded forever, born of trust, and both are free to run, at last are loose. Hearts, entwined, pass time and space, without end, as decades separate the mare and me. Escaping the world's hurts is her true friend, safe in the tangled mane of Liberty.
Ankita Anand has been secretary, National Campaign for Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Right to Information, editorial assistant, Penguin Books India, team coordinator, Samanvay:
IHC Indian Languagesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Festival and member, Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Union for Democratic Rights. She is the co-founder of a street theatre group called Aatish, which produces plays on socio-political issues. As a freelancer she writes and edits. Her primary interest lies in working for the prevention of violence against women. Her poetry has been chosen for publication by The Indian Review of World Literature in English, The Riveter Review, Papyrus-The Poetry Journal, First Literary ReviewEast, Em Dash Literary Magazine, Sugar Mule, The Criterion, Writers Asylum, Labyrinth, Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts and DeltaWomen Magazine. Some of these can be read at anandankita.blogspot.in.
Angelo B. Ancheta lives in Rizal, Philippines. His haiku and other poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies both in print and online. He also writes fiction, some of which have won prizes in contests. He works as a freelance software developer.
Virgilio Voltaire Bacsa graduated AB Literature from UST in 1996 and have written short stories for magazines and comics before. He published several poems in MOD and Vanity Magazine. He is into sci-fi and fantasy genres. He is also a very enthusiastic gamer and Linux OS lover.
Katie Cesaro is married with two grown children and three precious grandsons. She is an under-educated overachiever, a full-time RVer, real estate investor, avid mountain hiker and competitive runner. She is interested in animal welfare and environmental issues, but in her own non-confrontational way. A near-typical INTJ, she is sensitive, forthright, and analytical. She loves acquiring knowledge, but also need quiet time for reflection and rejuvenation (Yoga!).
Chung Chin-Yi completed a doctorate in literature at the National University of Singapore in 2011. She has published widely on deconstruction in international reviewed journals.
Jose B. Dado. USMA '55. Philippine Army 1955-64. Philippine Law school '64. Passed bar 1969. Law practice. Worked with Dole Phil. Inc. 1980-90 and Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. 1990-92. Asst. Secretary DOTC as GM, PNR 1992-97.Fully retired 1997- to date.
Pradip Dasgupta is from Jamshedpur, India. He is pursuing his post graduation in business management. Few of his poems got selected in magazines. He also write short stories.
Marian Dragomir is a poet from Romania, born in the 80's in the city of Ploiesti. He wrote two books: "Verses for the big life" (2010) and "Book with Masks" (2012). He appeared in more them 20 literary magazines from Romania and FIRST LITERARY REVIEW-EAST.
Simeon Dumdum Jr. is the author of "To the Evening Star," and four other books of poems. He has published three volumes of non-fiction, the last being "Ah, Wilderness."
Jacob B. Farrar is a member of the group Poetry on facebook. Though none of his poems have yet to be published, he posts them on his facebook time line for his friends to read. He lives in Valdez, Alaska.
Eugene Goldin was born in Manhattan and raised in Queens, NY. He teaches at Long Island University, has an active Yoga practice, and enjoys a glass of good wine. Most recently, his poetry has appeared in "The East Jasmine Review", "The Subterranean Quarterly", and "The Artistic Muse".
Pramila Khadun lives in Mauritius, married to Raj Khadun and is mother of three children, Dr Rajnee and Priyumvada and son Captain Kaviraj. She is author of two collections of poetry entitled Rajnee and Priyumvada. A third one entitled Kavi is on its way. She is a retired educator and had taught 'Food and Nutrition’ for over thirty years. Currently,her novel, 'When Love Speaks' and a book on Food and Nutrition are under print in India.
Sara Khayat was born and raised in Los Angeles and is currently studying Creative Writing at California State University Northridge. She is editor-in-chief of Paper Plane Pilots (thepaperplanepilots.com) a creative writing website that showcases poetry, fiction, and art.
Maria Cecília Maia was born in April 20, 1982, in Brasilia, Brazil. In 2005, she graduated Law from UniCEUB and is currently performing religious studies.
Elaine A. Marifosque works as a freelance writer. She loves to write poetry whenever and wherever she can. When not working, she tends her garden and plays with her dogs. A bookworm at heart, she has a mini library at home which she considers as her sacred space where she can let her imagination run wild.
R.D. McManes is the author of seven poetry books. Mr. McManes has had over 290 poems featured in numerous worldwide publications. He has been a featured speaker, poet, and conducted poetry workshops for the Kansas Author’s Club. Mr. McManes has been writing poetry for 47 years. He currently resides near Scranton, Kansas.
Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, three Bright Spring Press Anthologies and several Kind of A Hurricane Publications. She has been nominated three times for Best of
the Net. Poet and Geek recognized her work as their best poem of 2013. Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses and she has three e-book titles.
Erinna Mettler's first novel, Starlings, was published in 2011 by Revenge Ink and was longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize. She is a founding member of the spoken word co-operative, Rattle Tales, which seeks to give new writers the chance to perform their work. Erinna mainly writes short stories and has been shortlisted for the Bristol Prize and the Writers & Artists Yearbook Arvon Award. Her work has been performed at Word Theatre, Grit Lit, ACE Stories and Rattle Tales. She lives in Brighton by the sea and blogs at www.erinnamettler.com. She is relatively new to poetry.
Ngoc Nguyen. Native of Newport News, Virginia. Originally born in the town of Rach Gia, (former) South Vietnam. Menchville High School alumnus. William & Mary College alumnus. Member of several high IQ societies, including PGS and 4G. Currently employed full-time as a manic-depressive poet/writer. Enjoys maths, philosophy, physics, science, etc. (in addition to central pursuits).
W.A. Oestreich is an eighteen year old poet from south eastern Wisconsin. Having written for several years, he has completed two collections of poems, "The Colony" and "Moth Fodder". With both of these having reached completion, he continues to write and submit his work, and is currently completing his third collection entitled, "Orchids on Toast". Employing abstract methods of writing that revolve around the utilization of the sub-conscious, his poems primarily reflect upon his perception of the modern world, societal taboos, and mental illness.
Anthony Pabon is a 29-year-old from Damacan, Bacacay, Albay. At present he is undegoing the Integration program at Mater Salutis College Seminary, Sipi, Daraga, Albay. As part of his formation program he is teaching Introduction to Philosophy and Salvation History to the Precollege seminarians. He loves reading and writing poems especially in his solitary moment.
Peter Donald Rodgers, of Australia, proudly is 2014 Genius of the Year (Asia) WGD. Peter's poems have been in the International Who's Who in Poetry 7 times. After an extremely traumatic childhood of many sudden deaths of beloved relatives and friends, Peter has found stability, late in life. He has many creative hobbies: creating poems, lyrics, paintings, computer art, novels, videos, post-relativistic physics papers.
Andrew Scott is a Canadian Native from Fredericton, New Brunswick. He is a reviewer for literature and music on Swaggakings.com and hosts ReVerse, an international on-line classic poetry radio program. Andrew's eclectic poetry style has been featured in numerous publications worldwide. His chapbook, Snake With A Flower, is available now on Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Snake-With-Flower-Collection-Poems/dp/1468160621
Mumbai-based, Sunil Sharma, a college principal, is also a bilingual Indian critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist and fiction writer. His six short stories and the novel Minotaur were recently prescribed for the undergraduate classes under the Post-colonial Studies, Clayton University, Georgia, USA. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poetsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; inaugural poet of the year award---2012. His blog is: http://sunilsharmafictionwriter.blogspot.in/
Ndaba Sibanda is a Zimbabwean-born writer. He hails from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe`s second largest city. He is one of the most prolific poets to emerge from that Southern African country.
A former National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) nominee, Ndaba has contributed to many anthologies including: Its Time, Poems For Haiti- a South African anthology, Snippets, Voices For Peace and Black Communion. His latest anthology, The Dead Must Be Sobbing was published in March 2013. Ndaba`s debut novel, Timebomb has been accepted for publication in the UK. He has just completed writing two more poetry anthologies, Love, Light and Greatness, and Time To Walk The Talk respectively.
Ndaba`s favourite quote is: Writing is my life and my second wife. He lives in Saudi Arabia.
Tyler Tsay is a junior at Phillips Academy Andover from Encino, CA. He is an editor at Polyphony HS, Transcendence Magazine, and the Adroit Journal, and an editor of his school's main publications, The Courant Arts Magazine and Frontline News Magazine. He has won two Gold Keys and three HMs from the Scholastic Writing Awards over the past two years, and has been published in various other avenues along the way. Aside from writing, he runs his charity organization, College Companion, heads the golf team, composes cello pieces, and looks for a view whenever he can, though having an acute fear of heights.
Arthur Turfa lives outside Batesburg, South Carolina. His poetry draws from his home state of Pennsylvania, his time in Germany and California, and travels foreign and domestic. An educator and pastor, he is also a retired Army Reservist. Such an eclectic mix results in a varied poetic themes and styles. He has been published in the South Carolina English Teacher, the Munyori Literary Journal, and soon in Altpoetics. His blog, Some Poetry, is at awturfa.blogspot.com. In 2014 he intends to publish his first book of verse.
Ginna Wilkerson completed a Ph.D. in Creative Writing at University of Aberdeen in 2013, which happily coincided with the publication of her first poetry collection, Odd Remains. Ginna was also pleased to receive a 2012 Poetry Kit Award for her poem â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Dimensionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. She currently teaches writing at Ringling College of Art and Design.
About the Editor:
April Mae M. Berza is a member of Poetic Genius Society. Her poems and short stories appeared in numerous publications in the US, Canada, UK, Romania, India, Japan and the Philippines. Her poems are translated in Crimean Tatar and Filipino. Some of her poems are published in The Siren, The Manila Times and Contemporary Verse 2 to name a few. Her poem "E-Martial Law" was broadcast on IndoPacific Radio on KPFA 94.1FM/kpfa.org. She lives in Taguig, Philippines.