Poetry Showcase from Kushal Poddar

Braids of The Short Dreams

Mamma braids her daughter’s thoughts.
The cuckoo cooing in the back of the brain
sounds shallow and floating between
the weathered Coca-Cola sign and the dog barking.

And the dog barks for hours in this short dream
the way the watchmaker grandpa winds
a long spiral ribbon into a tiny coiled spring.

During the noontime the houses, lanes, half naked
men working on a cancelled project and the trees, all
become the Sun. Mamma has a small and big hand
that screens the eyes of her daughter, and they’re
the Sun; ropes of their entwined hair bounds toward
the hole of the burning maws of awakening.

Flesh of the Republic

Body and flesh float away.
Rivulets. Entire sky
seeks an address, finds
my vein instead.
Where will you lose
the threads that sew a quilt,
patchwork, tales?

Winter comes and goes;
frost never melts;
you know what I mean.
Body and flesh float into
my vein, and I ask them for their permits;
they can inside, but can not permeate;
I won’t let them be the citizens
of this rotten republic.

SERIAL

He records his chitchats

with the cab drivers, not all,

those with the ones

he kills.

There exist avenues

and lanes of cabs taxiing

driverless,

and recordings replayed

over and again in his id,

and then

he finds his son working

for an app-cab using

a forged license.

He records his son, as if

his ears metamorphose themselves

into two answering machines,

defunct.

These annals are better

than any psychiatrist’s,

the father of everything

listening to his killer instinct.

BITCHING ANAMNESIS

Deluge, the bitching mistress on our backs,

bites our earlobes as

I sent your claim – I can

efface life memorized.

I can. Only mine. The process

involves adding more, not less,

the same way you do most of the days,

except those when it rains

in the excuse of this balcony or

when it shines and you stare downwards,

see the hissing serpent of the traffic

looking up at you, out of reach.

I do not rerun the tapes, listen

to the protest pops from the Nam times.

Rain writhes to arrest my mind,

albeit an antiquated man has his disinterests.

I say, “Just forget.”

I Was as Cold as a Razorblade

In the late autumn winter

whimpers in her oxygen tent,

and we nurse this premature child,

see her wither, bloom, sear, brown, exsiccate.

Hence December surprises us

when she arrives for a date

wearing white sleeveless

and drinks from someone else’s chalet.

The potion was red. The poison bears no effect.

We toss our fedoras, shuffle to dance,

tire out and stroll outside,

our feet disappearing inside

the heart of crushed water.

Our hands in the pockets of warmth

seeks for a tinge of Yes

and finds some forlorn gums

we keep for protection’s sake.

*The title is wordplay on Leonard Cohen’s So Long, Marianne

Milestones

We sit there, oracling,

drinking for ages; we

chat about different drinking-ages

and different countries;

sun sets in liver tinge;

pigment of the stream cooling,

fibers of our thoughts unreeling,

we sit there, eyes on nil.

We sit there, nothing,

and water pegs down our shadows

as if those will be its

Maypoles and wheel – time will swing by.

Raising The Time

The torn dress from

the fundraising dance

taps some memory cells;

half of you desire to

make a mop out of its residue,

but since you cannot wipe

enough memories

your hands force it down

against your thighs.

I suggest –

“Let’s raise the time again.

Time and again.”

A GLACIER FOR THOUGHTS

The eye in the pink sky
denies any foresight.
“We have a glacier melting
in
Himalaya.” Says pop folding his freewill.

This means it will be
the rush-hour of depression
in his ecosystem,
and the day remains naïve native
accepting gifts from our invasions.

A coin decides
whether my sister
will enter in her classroom
and
shoot everyone or waive this.

“Don’t!” I whisper.
“Yes.” Pop says
on a topic irrelevant.

A crow on the ceiling fan
caws a dream
melting as my pop’s coral reef
corrodes away within.

Love Thy Father

You still love your father,
and do the one thing
that destroys him every day

and rebuild him again
as if he is naphtha or plastic.
His quick silver hand quavers with

the weight of your
nocturnal telephone calls-
“Hello! How are you?”

You always say,
“Talking to you dad,
is a remembrance of my mom’s winter.”

The State of Being During An Autumn Day

Autumnal gloaming, chill-filtered,
retains most of the darkness.
I stare at the pecans a hit-and-run
windy incident has crashed into the yard
I can always trespass leaving no evidence.

The rolled newspaper, asleep, on my table
wets its staple. A shiver walks my spine as if
my backbone recovers from a wheelchair
worthy trauma. Ticks, the Casio clock.

All these state the state of being.
Sometimes, since the outbreak, I hallucinate
my being shrugging off my body and staring,
first, at the mass of flesh, and then, at distance
ever vague and ever everything.

Death And Desire

That night you towel wrapped
the thirst of your partner.
You both died. The butterflies
in a painting behind your head
tried to escape, but the flight was cancelled.

The panes paved a shortcut to winter.
You picked up the towel dropped
around the ankles still wearing black
metal anklets you bought for her,
and wrapped her flesh. You both grieved
the death in the family. One craved for
flesh and the otherness in you sought for
the space where darkness garden blue agave.


An October Murder

“Did you see who shot you?”
“It was October. I opened a door
the size of a bullet hole.”
I whisper from a distance a whisper
can cross in its lifetime
to reach you almost dead. You hear,
and it withers. Withering seems
a garden, silent, and I on my bare feet,
grass appeasing one sensation
to swell me up with another.
“It was October. I opened the door.
It was a muzzle and a flash.”


Intimate, Unknown

The way one cleanses his October refrigerator,
without any provocation, without his partner’s hints,
almost as if that moment has been scheduled
or seen in the past, as if his muscle reaction
picks up the bottles and vegetables, packets and tubs,
casseroles and bowls full of forgotten experiments
with vegetables, and the contents of those packets and tubs
and a dram from the bottles’ nozzles, places them on the floor,
dismantles the shelves, sponges them gently and puts all together
I find me in intimacy with you, unknown.
Your hair unlocked by my hands, whisked back by my reflexive fingers
reveals the unknown in the unknown. I disassemble
your chrome and beige dress and unlock the sweat beads.
We could have been talking about the pestilence
or war or patience or the dire dearth of the same.
We could have been pondering over a jigsaw puzzle.
It does not matter. We are intimately unfamiliar.
Famously alone. The quagmire of cold water on the floor,
or our bodily fluids puddled around us evaporate. October.
The mellow songs are served at room temperature.


An Interview with Kushal Poddar

  1. Please describe your latest book, what about your book will intrigue the readers the most, and what is the theme, mood?

Kushal – This Christmas, my book ‘Postmarked – Quarantined’ shall be published by IceFloe Press, Canada. The highlight of the book is the plague, human reaction, my daughter’s birth, and how a person, vulnerable the way I am, may interact with the rules of the universe he must abide.

  1. What frame of mind & ideas lead to you writing your current book?

Kushal – As I said, the book encases my own vulnerability, albeit I always endeavor to scriven in a universal tongue. The idea is – write from personal experience, blend with news, and then read and rewrite the poem from a neutral perspective.

  1. How old were you when you first have become serious about your writing, do you feel your work is always adapting
    Kushal – I was fifteen, and although I imitated writing rhymes since I was a six years old child, it was during a summer holyday of my sixteenth year in this world I began to adopt my only identity as a writer.
  2. What authors, poets, musicians have helped shape your work, or who do you find yourself being drawn to the most?
    Kushal – The list may lengthen itself but the salient influence, I must say, oozes from Wilfred Owen, Frank O’Hara, Charles Simic, Franz Wright, Billy Collins, Ted Kooser, Mary Oliver, Graham Greene, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Borges, Milan Kundera, Hemingway, Raymond Carver, Raymond Chandler, Philip Roth, John le Carré, and Neil Gaiman and the music of Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Jethro Tull, Billi Holiday, Louis Armstrong and Nina Simone (as of tryst, and the list drifts).
  3. What other activities do you enjoy doing creatively, or recreationally outside of being a writer, and do you find any of these outside writing activities merge into your mind and often become parts of a poem?
    Kushal – Sketching and painting often clear the cobweb of my mind. I used to take photographs. I often write whisky criticism. These activities add curves to the flesh of my writing (writing includes, poetry, short stories, and now a fragmentary novel).
  4. Tell us a little about your process with writing. Is it more a controlled or a spontaneous/ freewriting style?
    Kushal – Writing is a continuous process. I write in my mind when I am not on paper or computer. I mumble an entire poem or short fiction sometimes to my daughter or to my wife, and then when time permits scribe it down. Is it free-writing? Not actually. The process is curated by years of reading and syllable counting presently made into a reflex.
  5. Are there any other people/environments/hometowns/vacations that have helped influence your writing?
    Kushal – There are all my fellow poets I met online and offline. There are my wife, daughter and a difficult relationship with my parents. There is political news and the news of sports. I deliberately created a fictional hometown for my poems or other kinds of writings. This town consists of elements of East and West, and can be felt as the reader’s own one.
  6. What is the most rewarding part of the writing process, and in turn the most frustrating part of the writing process?
    Kushal – The rewarding part is mental peace attained after writing it down as if I have cleansed a part of my memory, and also whenever a piece is published I receive the thrill of a junkie. The frustrating part is not having enough time to write everything I desire to write.
  7. How has this past year impacted you emotionally, how has it impacted you creatively if it all?
    Kushal – I had many premonitions about this past year. I was living a tale written by Stephen King or Camus. The part that took me by surprise and that made me defenseless was the news of my wife’s pregnancy during this pestilence. I was deeply worried about the safety of my wife and my daughter. I began to write a poetry-journal about the day-to-day emotion that surged inside out.
    Author Page Amazon – amazon.com/author/kushalpoddar_thepoet
    Author Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/KushalTheWriter/
    Twitter- https://twitter.com/Kushalpoe
    An author and a father, Kushal Poddar, edited a magazine – ‘Words Surfacing’, authored seven volumes including ‘The Circus Came To My Island’, ‘A Place For Your Ghost Animals’, ‘Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems’ and ‘Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse-A Prequel’.
    Find and follow him at amazon.com/author/
Image

Poetry Showcase on Megha Sood in Fevers of the Mind Anthologies

Nothingness

Some days are like days
where sorrow creeps out
from every nook and corner
trying to pull you in

like hoarfrost on the succulents
the bright shining death
shining through your smiles
devouring you
slowly but surely

like the snake taking you all in
and spitting you out
your hands are covered in sorrows
devoid of you lines

you look into your empty hands
mirroring your life
when the pain creeps up on you
death shrouded like a mystery

where nothingness
is a well-acquainted feeling
the lonesome feeling
you ever felt so
deeply in your pores

Loneliness Begets Second Chance

The half-finished wine glass on the windowsill. A pile of books collecting dust and memories in equal –
measures. Loneliness screams through every nook and corner of my room. Dying Lilies in the broken –
vase with its serrated ends gaping for its last breath in the muted stench of the water. The paint –
scraping off the walls is a reminder of the scratched pellicle. Remembrance is a metaphor for –
acceptance. The unfinished sweater once tangled around the bony fingers of my granny now remains –
orphaned at the base of the couch. Dangling specks of dust in the ray of light, a measure of the –
congruous amalgamation of the despair and agony seeded in the porous soul of this deserted room. –
They are huddled together for warmth for the company. The parquet floor still waits for its due from –
the summer sun and begs for its apricity. A humbled heart strives for its sustenance. The sun-soaked –
mahogany desk has a pile of unsent letters. The longing and unfulfilled desires piled high up as my –
disappointment. Waiting to be acknowledged, waiting to be read. Skewed painting on the walls waits –
for its due, a second chance. A hand to wipe off the dust, a gesture of love, a gesture of acceptance.

The Uprising

The calm and serenity of my demeanor
is a facade for those hunger laced eyes

who like scavengers are circling me
poking me to get a rise out of me.

Their indifference towards me
Their sharp razor words are slicing and shredding me

Indolent words laced with blatant ignorance
that not all hearts are sliced the same way.

Our hunger speaks in different ways and languages
not known to everyone. Not aware of this, they keep poking

& my anger rises like a steaming kettle till I scream
like a whistling pot failing to keep my thunder within.

She Never Had the Chance

Those warm untimely hugs
Precious smiles with a caring persona

Buried under the string of the incessant fights
And the trauma which hides within the fold of her skin

Breathing, slithering, and coiled in the corner of her room
Waiting to strike at any given moment

Pain which traveled and mold and morphs
every fleeting moment of her childhood

Those giggles and laughter lost in the meaningless
fights and incessant screaming across the room

There is pain carved in every corner of her room
She still waits for her share of happiness

In the house now which she never calls home
Nine years old and she never had a chance.

Juxtaposed

Suspended between the intangible state of dream
and reality a state so profound yet so surreal

the tangible moments slip through my open palms
as the gossamer truth of realities weaves a noose

around me tightening like a storm around my waist
with each repetition cutting close to the wounds

pushing deeper and deeper till the flesh gives in.
This juxtaposition state of carnal and survival desires

are the secret language of the soul when it
whispers closely to you, a hushed whisper with

a heaving bosom and a bated breath
syncopating surreptitiously with our heartbeats

ONCE MORE

The deep long treacherous shadows
cast on the bedroom wall
the hallucinations of the clock
the monsters lingering in the hall
the clever and long nails
of the desires clawing their way in
your deep supple soul
and with an ashen mouth
soaked with the crimson
a touch of your tangerine love
I ask for the forgiveness,
Once more.

Sitting in the pews
reading my verse from the holy book
trying to absolve my sins
by dipping my
knuckles in the holy water
shedding my sins
and lecherous desire
to clean my tainted soul
Once more.

Stretching my legs
and arching my back
to stand in the long
wretched queues of the soup kitchen
looking away from
those empty glances
scraping away the curse and abuse
from my sullen mouth
washing it again
to make it pure
Once more.

I stand for forgiveness
in front of my creator
and a devil on the shoulder
perched and feeling at ease
crooning my neck as he, please

I’ll be the god’s holy son
until I stab that knife
in your chest
Once more.

That grim smile on the
devil’s face
I’ll fall down from my grace and
ask for forgiveness
to be absolved again
like a hamster on a wheel
Once more.

BLIND MEN

Our whole life is nothing but a sine wave
the rise and fall of our deeds decide our fate
the crest and trough of our wealth
decides our relations and friends
The ups and downs of our life
decide about the strength
and grit in our character
and the lows and highs in the life
tests our faith.

Anybody showing you the mirror
otherwise is a bad reflection of reality
a pseudo-truth
a distorted reality
based on the dark and dystopian future
which will suffocate any
hope for your fragile
dreams.
will prejudice your dignity

You are on a rollercoaster with no breaks
the speed and the place
where you stop
decodes your faith
so stop believing in destiny
and pull your own breaks
carve those lines in stones
let them see the daybreak

Cause no one can ever tell you
who to believe in
we are all, in the end,
a group of blind men
trying to feel the actuality
a face of the stark reality
we are living in.

SILENT CHAOS

Sometimes there are
hushed whispers under the bated breath
sometimes there is a cacophony
the dissonance
drowning our minds
leaving us numb and frozen

sometimes the laughter gets lost
floating through the trees
frozen on the moss
on a cold misty morning
a frozen ghost

Sometimes a loud thud
when the old chestnut
breaks down and opens itself to the wild
love is always a sacred offering

sometimes the scars tell the whole story
untouched yet cutting through the bone
sometimes the silence seeps in the wrinkles
those folds on the skin
bereft of any emotion

Sometimes a pale face
holds the mystery for the closed palms
and sometimes the crow’s feet
carries the laughter for eons

a still face holds the mirror to life
look closely at the reflection
floating in the swirls
of the deep those obsidian eyes
sometimes silence screams the loudest

Choked

Your vapid thoughts
lodged in my throat
stuck between
the ashen dreams and the reality
like an illusion
a mirage,
like an impossibility of the summer rain
Your pungent thoughts
settled like arid leaves
with its stench carried
throughout my body
those capillaries of failed promises
like the bowl of milk left overnight
left to curdle
baring the stench of a failed ambition
a continuous struggle of my existence
I’m feverishly trying
to regurgitate these sullen thoughts of you
from my reticent mind and screaming soul
a moment sublime:
to breathe fully
to finally feel alive.

That Searing Pain

How can a fleeting emotion
a mere mention of your name
or a visage bearing a semblance of yours
torments and rattles my soul
the searing pain hasn’t stopped yet
the blood hasn’t
chipped or dried yet
those memories
hasn’t turned into a bookmark
a thing of the past
an affair to be forgotten
that smile
still not foreign to me
as the memory of
your warm embrace too
these old memories
with pointy and dagger precision
splits and shreds me to pieces
the pain comes flashing back
as I trample the
unburied consciousness of time
moments so precious
spent in the company of yours

It leaves me baffled
startled how much
a mere sense of your presence
can rattle me from within
aching from the core.

BROTHERHOOD

“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

We are all broken, crumbled
rounded again
made from the same clay
caked and baked in the same
unforgiving oven

We all have cracks in us
from where the light gets in
frayed at the border
pulling apart at the seams

Peeling off and
breaking down into pieces
in all our miseries

We are all the same
living under the same
ashen cloudless sky
and blue moon in its reverie

Breathing the same air
swooning over the same
melody of the souls
and crooning our necks
to the same broken chords
in unison, we roll

We all are the same
laughing and cracking up
With welled up eyes
With bruises we endear

Getting stabbed by the same knife
bloodied by the same bullet
cast creed or religion
doesn’t seem to discriminate
Or beg to differ

We are all the same
same heartbeat
sliced and splintered
in million pieces
and the same God we worship
holding books with different verses

We all are the same
from within
laughing at our scars
with abject profundity.

We are brothers
together we shall live.

SCARRED MOON

Untethered,
Unhinged
like the other half of the moon
denied existence by its bright half
a deception like no other.

We sing the songs of the moon
of its beauty and serenity
while the other hides the darkness
the scars,
rejected by its own self

never been a sonnet written about it
bathed in the beauty of the gibbous moon
when the crescent white
is engulfing the other half
devoured slowly and completely forgotten

the night scowls and screams
at the injustice.
I sit and sing my songs of despair
imbued in the silken moonlight
while the two halves
continues to struggle

More About Megha Sood

Megha Sood is an Assistant Poetry Editor for the Literary Journal MookyChick and a Literary Partner with the “Life in Quarantine” Stanford University, USA. Her works are widely published in literary journals and anthologies including Better than Starbucks, Gothamist, Poetry Society of New York, Madras Courier, Borderless Journal, WNYC Studios, Kissing Dynamite, American Writers Review, FIVE:2: ONE, Quail Bell, Dime show review, etc. Three-time State-level Winner NAMI Dara Axelrod NJ Poetry Contest 2018/2019/2020 and First Place National Winner Spring Robinson Lit Prize 2020, Finalist in Pangolin Poetry Prize 2019, Adelaide Literary Award 2019 and Erbacce Prize 2020, Nominated for the iWomanGlobalAwards 2020 and many more. Works selected numerous times by Jersey City Writers group and Department of Cultural Affairs for the Arts House Festival. Editor of ( “The Medusa Project, Mookychick) and ( “The Kali Project,” Indie Blu(e) Press). Chosen twice as the panelist for the Jersey City Theater Center Online Series “Voices Around the World”.She blogs at https://meghasworldsite.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @meghasood16
Description of the Projects/Chapbook

  1. Co-Editing the “The Medusa Project” by Mookychick, UK Based Arts and Literary
    Journal
    “The Medusa Project” drives inspiration from the magical winged warrior and a Greek
    Gorgon “Medusa” who rose above all the struggles, atrocities, and abuse in her
    patriarchal society and carved a niche for her, finally becoming a beacon of strength and
    resilience for generations to come. This anthology celebrates the 100 years of the woman
    suffragist movement in the United State which led to the 19th amendment of the US
    contribution allowing women to vote.
    This anthology is a deep exposition of that pain and angst carried by the women for
    generations. It encapsulates the entire angst, rage, and passion and transforms it into
    thirty poems, mixed with art, poetry, fiction, and the magical rituals spreading throughout
    this e-book. Released on October 31, 2020, this e-book is free to download. You can
    know more about the e-anthology here.
  2. Co-editing the “The Kali Project” by Indie Blu(e) Publishing, USA
    An anthology of Indian women writing poetry. The Kali Project is a once-in-a-lifetime
    speak-easy for Indian women of today. Their struggles, their triumphs, their truth.
    The Kali Project is another example of setting alight the inequality of women in India by
    sharing their talented voices with an English-speaking audience. We want to introduce to
    our Western readers, those talents within India who speak with the same fierce voice and
    share the same goal of equality and an end to oppression. Indian writing has gravitas and
    brutal honesty that has existed for millennia, influencing poets from around the world.
    The Kali Project has brought together the voices of Indian women speaking their truths.
    Be it infanticide, family violence, the emerging LGBTQ community in India, or the
    marital inequity Indian women face, these struggles are penned in exquisite poetry to
    enlighten and bring awareness. You can know more about the project here. The
    anthology will be published around January 2021
  3. Literary Partner in “Life in Quarantine” Project by CESTA (Center for Textual
    and Spatial Analysis)
    Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic is a Digital Humanities initiative
    sponsored by the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) at Stanford
    University. Launched in March 2020 by three doctoral students and a group of
    undergraduates, LiQ is an online community platform that addresses the transformations
    we’re experiencing in the age of COVID-19.
    At the core of the project, there is an online historical archive that houses personal written
    accounts in a wide range of languages from various countries. These stories document
    how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the lives of people from various backgrounds
    across the globe. Additionally, our website provides a space for different types of creative
    expression; personal stories, creative writing, blogs, and visual art.
    The website is designed as an open education resource for students, educators,
    governments, organizations, and businesses to promote cultural solidarity and global
    interconnectedness with inclusivity at its center.
    I’m acting as a Literary partner for the Life in Quarantine Project, responsible for curating
    the works from the literary community for the “Words in Quarantine” section of the Liq
    Website. You can learn more about the project here.
  4. First Chapbook “A Potpourri of Emotions”, Local gems Press, NY
    https://meghasworldsite.wordpress.com/2020/09/18/chapbook-published-by-the-local-
    gem-press-long-island-new-york/

Poetry: Poetic Imperfection, Dark, No Rain by Abuh Monday Eneojo

POETIC IMPERFECTION

I see. I am not the one who

Muzzled in guilt, prides the keen kindred spirited soul.

Put me to death if you can but this voodoo

Eventually will suffice like the clouds and prowl.

Rev quickly this confused con of a core that

Feeds repeatedly for eternity for

Even the lines I pen, I fear are but a weltering boat

Crossing the rickety ridden plane of Adam’s fore.

Tell him! Tell him! That this

Is a product of mans first gift

On an isle that made him ill;

Nothingness filled with meaning.

DARK

I never waited for it

Capering, I donned anxiety

Just so I can behold a beautiful zenith.

Though sublimed by the mind

I gaze until it blinks and nudge me a smile.

I am the master of this beautiful zenith;

It makes beautiful ugly things

Look! Even this scraggy scoria of a tree

Which was wrinkled now bask in glory.

Who said darkness was dark?

Who said devil’s own aura is evil?

Come! This light-darkened view on my mental canvass

Will be an icicle that will chill

thy besmoked tower to my ness.

NO RAIN

Bring the unfortunate ones, fortune

Under the adder of a serpent

Hallowed in a cave of light hearts;

Anchored with a weightless ship which

Revels howling seas

In spite screams of finless sharks

Abuh Monday Eneojo is a poet, author, trumpeter, Voice over artist and an on air personality at a campus radio in Kogi State, Nigeria. He also is an ardent lover of nature whose work revolves around the nature of things. His first publication, The World Within, was published September, 2018. He also loves the acrostic form of poetry. You can contact him on Facebook @Abuh Monday Eneojo, Twitter@MondayDpoet and LinkedIn@Monday Abuh or via email: abuhmonday@gmail.com

OAP

and host

Music prompt which comes up Sat&Sun 4-9PM (GMT). 4Lo me and turn on notification to feel the beat!

Poetry by Jesse Falodun from FOTM Issue 2 Fallen Angels, I Hear Silence, Almanjiri

FALLEN ANGELS

Characterized by corrupt affairs

Brave minded individuals eating deep into our fears

It might not be hard if they are all in parts

Investing evil deeds expecting in invested shares

Everything hikes up above Kilimanjaro

Names of detriment, now pride, a rich man is now Barawo

It’s all mixed up, the good, bad and ugly, the masses are the Jango

Masses pray to God for a deliverer, evil ones offer thanks to Sango

Architect of our own misfortune

They play the drums; we sing & dance to the tune.

Then we accuse them of being evil,

but we fail to realize that each time we look in the mirror

we actually see the devil

We deny the part we play in all this

Ones we are at the top, we forget heavenly bliss

And want to be as occupied and hot as hell

They pay us to actualize their thoughts and never tell

Yet we accuse angel past of leaving the Host

But we fail daily when we abuse our post.

They make sure there is a yearly crisis

Fuel pumps up and fuel pumps change prices

We forget that at earlier times we had plans

To be the one to rescue man, from hunger pangs

Our innocent thoughts conquer lands

But now our emotions are left in the lost but founds

We bury the pity we feel within

We want to travel abroad and visit Sweden

Our pity drops, our self-mind falls like Ikogosi

Warm leaves, cold sets in and then we change policy

Yet we blame angels that fell

But how well have we faired

Do we still post our emotions on Black Market for sell?

Or we want to search for a grey area in an Old Man’s beard

Enough of what I call metaphors

The tear in my heart actually pours

Are we not still fallen like angels?

Who left that throne and came to earth like the scripture tells

Are we still standing on our feet?

or blaming angels for falling to defeat.

 

I HEAR SILENCE

Sitting in this noisy Oblivion

Slow and Steady I wonder if the music is Celine Dion

Overridden by my emotions

Wondering at God’s amazing creations

It’s all silent but I still hear crickets

Sagging trousers, timbers, suite or a waist Jackets

Looking outside where I stand in the open

Shooting stars don’t actualize glory that have fallen

I have a confused mind well arranged

Scattered thoughts that can actually be managed

Amazing grace, sweet sounds but all is still silent

The warfare in my mind, so much blood, but not violent.

I discover that there is no proper alignment

Many questions pop in my mind, I only feel one

The answers to it is the question I ask from time to time

How did Babel intend to reach God with just a tower?

The oblivion in my mind that is sucking power

As noisy as it seems I still hear Silence

Call me opposite minded, but I am present in my absence .

 

ALMANJIRI

 

I am the object of Ridicule

In an area were wealth is at its pinnacle

I am what they want to call me

I come in little sizes, there is hardly any tall me

I am the test lab of Cholera

I eat what you don’t want, Typhoid Malaria

Do I really have a choice?

After all you feed me because of the weakness in my voice

I do not even have to worry about excess Calorie

Because I am Almanjiri

I am free bonus for ritualist

Excuse for religious optimist

I am tug of war, for political fanatics

And to keep my stand with God, I might end up a Jihadist

I roam around longer than your network

Emptiness is how I live, Ignorance is my net worth

I enjoy the looks of pity

As I invade traffics in the big City

And when someone is nice beyond pretty

It automatically means something is fishy

Nature and good luck are the ones who pay me salary

After all I am just Almanjiri

I am the Irony of my name

A student who knows nothing but the cane

But you see I learn a lot

I learn about how humans can hurt

At times I am unable to reach were I call home

So, I sleep anywhere cement can feel like foam

Who cares if I am sexually assaulted?

By men through whom God’s divine order has been insulted.

They creep into me in my nights

Offering me nice bites

They come back in their flashy cars

And creep unto my cement bed and commit alters.

But who cares about my secret injuries

After all I am Almanjiri

I am a debate in government houses

But of course they are the greater forces

How would they feed their God’s?

Who will they give their Guns?

To who’s behind will they shove their secret scepters?

On whose blood will they build houses in hectares?

Don’t get me wrong

Not all sound the evil gong

But still not all sing redemption songs

Some just come to send and give us knocks

I am supposed to be a student, if I am not wrong?

Well, welcome to the school of hard knocks, I have survived these long

Sorry! Not in life but in history

Because I have an attachment of religious chemistry

I know nothing of the Hail Mary

But I was taught to hate, moreover I am Almanjiri.

BIO: Jesse Falodun was born in the ancient city of Kano in a family of five. He is a

graduate of Mass Communication department, Kogi State University, Nigeria. An

on air personality at Fusion Fm. A poet, spoken word artist and writer. He has

written several poems and recorded 5 spoken word piece. He is a motivational

speaker, song writer and producer. He has produced and directed several Radio

Dramas one of which is “Unity Square’’ on Fusion Fm 91.7 fm. He is currently

working on publishing his first book titled MAROON WATERS.

3 Poems by Paul Brookes in FOTM Poetry Digest Issue 2 Her Fiftieth, Her Fur Elise, A Black Bead

HER FIFTIETH

You would have been

fifty this mayday, sis

five in the car, you drive.

nail in the tyre, too much

wine last night you celebrate

a workmate’s birthday

drive down the motorway

to pick up your son from school

a bottle of wine a night

amasses fat in your face

a business built from zilch

debts you hide from view

grieving for a mother

dead three years

bumps in the road

nails in your tire

car leaps over reservation

somersaults onto bank

and back again

the other four crawl out

sit on the bank

watch firemen cut you out

your excess weight

squashed against steering column

the only one to die

only thirty five

finally, with mum

I celebrate your fiftieth

my dear, dear love.

Her Fur Elise

I awake to Beethoven as Mam taps the upright

Piano downstairs in the through lounge

where morning light highlights dark brown dining table

And varnished coffee table both polished

with Pledge until you see yourself. Later

chemo will make her petite fingers fat,

Fur Elise break into fragments as disease progresses

and piano sold as her hands come to rest.

A Black Bead

I was given in Fifties by an Indian guru

in Madras with advice “Keep this

and you’ll be alright.” Correctly guessed

I had two girlfriends.

Eighty one now with asbestosis

a cough that hacks​

at his body more each time we meet.

-You’re so thin dad?

-He said I’d be dead at eighty two.

-Where is it?

-I can’t find it.

-I’d best start preparing now.

-It’s a joke,

he says and spits

into his half full spitbag.

I find the blue paper

he wrote the prophecy on

dated 1962

the year I was conceived,

and take a photo of it with my mobile.

I give it to him

in the hope he’ll notice

it says he’ll die at 84.

He died at 83.

BIO: Paul Brookes is a shop asst. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018),Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018)

Forthcoming Stubborn Sod, (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). He edits The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

greyscale photo of grand piano