Poetry Showcase: Victoria Leigh Bennett (April 2023)

photo from pixabay (naobim)

Bio: Victoria Leigh Bennett, (she/her).  Greater Boston, MA area, born WV.  Ph.D., English/Theater.  Website: creative-shadows.com.  In-Print: “Poems from the Northeast,” 2021; OOP but free on website, “Scenes de la Vie Americaine (en Paris),” [in English], 2022.  Between Fall 2021-Spring 2023, Victoria will have published at least 34 times with: Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art, The Hooghly Review, Bullshit Literary Magazine, Roi Faineant Literary Press, Barzakh Magazine, Discretionary Love, The Unconventional Courier, Amphora Magazine, The Alien Buddha Press, The Madrigal Press, Winning Writers, Olympia Publishers, & Cult of Clio.  She has been accepted with 4 poems by Dreich Magazine for November, 2023.  Victoria writes Fiction/Poetry/Flash/CNF/Essays.  She is the organizer behind the poets’ collective @PoetsonThursday on Twitter, along with Dave Garbutt & Alex Guenther.  Twitter: @vicklbennett & @PoetsonThursday.  Mastodon: @vickileigh@mstdn.social & @vickileigh@writing.exchange.  Victoria is ocularly and emotionally disabled.

A Set of Sonnets on Poetic Discovery 
 (Half-Petrarchan, With Sicilian Sestet)

I prayed for an epiphany at eve,
I hoped for things to change at morning light,
I had a play, a new one I thought bright,
And stories, novels, scads of poetry.

Day in, day out, I hawked my solemn wares
In all accustomed places of exchange,
I thought to show the critics all my range
But in despair at last, I’d come to prayers.

And what increased the fervor of my pleas?
The knowledge that I was not in a place
Familiar to me, there upon my knees,

For there was no God in whom I believed.
I know, I know, I showed a lot of “face”
To try to beg from Someone ill-conceived.
In truth, I might have hit upon Someone,
Of other ilk, by accident o’erheard,
Who’d try to take advantage of my words
And pass Himself off on me as the One.

But I was near a window—so it chanced
The early afternoon did not obscure
The pause nearby of a True Angel pure,
A Soul who overheard, as I romanced.

To be more clear, t’was just my neighbor, George,
A-clipping of the bushes.--I was spent!
He called out, “Don’t stop channeling your gorge,--"

“It sounds so well, when put in thoughts so large!”
“Why not make poems of your huge lament?”
“What’d I say? What?” Pen gripped, wiser now for George.

Anomalies--Three Imagistic Englyn Byr Cwca
                      (Pour les mâitres Matthew M.C. Smith et Steven Stokes)
                                   ©1/16/2022, by Victoria Leigh Bennett, 

                                                        The Wood Frog
                                                No “Alas!”; flesh-ice I sit,
                           While burns the love-winter’s frozen, gaunt, chill;
                                             Spring’s thrill-jaunt: forth I lit!        

                                                      The Sphinx Cats
                                         Clan-born to fur, to ear tuft,
                              Dis-made, progeny wrinkled, hairless sacks.
                                     Need: caressed backs….Rebuffed!
                                                         The May Fly                                        
                                     Spring’s cloud-soft whimsy-blown air,
                                         I a day in rut-burgeon, roger* free!
                                                  Not gingerly: life’s rare!                                                                                                    


Notes to Readers:  These three short poems are all examples of a complex Welsh form of poem known as the “Englyn Byr Cwca,” with certain meters and rhymes and internal rhymes.  I wrote them as an exercise in formal poetry for Steven Stokes, who is with the Welsh Air Rescue and taught me the form, and Matthew M. C. Smith, the editor of Top Tweet Tuesday on Twitter, where these poems were meant to be displayed.VLB     

Aldi and Lahl-Ailah
                              (A Multicultural Love Affair)
For, Aldi was a worthy, wordy man, no means at all,
A loving, but a soon-to-burgeon slender son of the warm South,
So worthy, in the sense of Chaucer’s knight who was new made
From Aldi’s countryman, Boccaccio, in days long past and gone.
While Lahl-Ailah, though named for her adoptive parent’s dam
Was a young sultry debutante, adoring too, and from Japan.

Long days divide us,
Why must I abide apart
Where the petals fall?

And Aldi, “I have given up what that I had, Japan
Entirely and always in my thoughts, and you, the sum of all,
The once-met princess of my dreams, of my waters the dam,
For whom all things are sacrificed, oh very soon, my true lost South
Replacing the homeland where now I sit, so woe-be-gone,
For me you constitute all in yourself a pristine home new made.”

If you do love me,
Then why, my heart, do you eat
So many heavy meals, why?

“Aie, Lahl-Ailah, my love, I am a bigger world so made
Not cunningly, but hungrily, and you now write just like Japan,
And with satiric senryu mock me for meals now gone,
Which I engulfed, increaséd girth in sadness at your fol-der-al.
But you must know, if you were grieved as I, you’d then come South,
And when you thought of pounds, if you loved me, you wouldn’t give a damn!”

In time, though, sorrow
Comes to supplant all loves, dear;
Why hasten the day?

But when Lahl-Ailah spoke to him, Aldi felt that the damn!
Had started to go back the other way, and that the sweet young maid
Had given up all thoughts even of making him a visit South
And that not only would he have to shrink but go forth to Japan
Just to inquire if his and her plans were thus forfeit all,
And if her parents too, due to his poverty, would wish him gone.

The sky is low, dark
With the cries of clouds and birds,
Rain and feathers fall.

Now, he whose mother’s name was Ailah too, though she was gone
Had already bethought him of excuses to deplete the dam
Of love now welling in his daughter’s heart, if there at all.
It just so happened, though, the Persian man was also portly made,
Both he and Aldi denied carbs, rice from China, Japan,
And Aldi not allowed to dream of pasta’s hold on his loved South.

What is this strange thing?
My father and my suitor
Like birds on a bough.

This is the way it happened:  Eastern man, man from the South
Soon forged a petty empire, now all resentments are done and gone,
They think that they can defeat diet tyrannies.  Japan
Would be too hot to hold them, did not their respective ladies dam
Up certain feelings, secret feeding schedules surely made;
The two men also have plans, private, to go well around it all. 

Ah, love, you are sly!
I too have my ways, I keep
You from death’s dark grip.

For the rest, our South-departed love envoy does dam
His revolutionary feelings—they are gone! Of hunger made,
But in Japan, he can hope to recall that love feeds all.

(Last Word)
Red petals again
Burst forth on branches chartreuse
My eyes see symbols.  

Poetry Showcase: Victoria Leigh Bennett  

A Winter Story “The Silver Sixpence” by Victoria Leigh Bennett 

 The Soldier: A Poem in Three Voices by Victoria Leigh Bennett

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: