I ask my body, ‘How heavy does it feel
to sit in a chair across the dead body?’
But we cannot call the body a ‘body’,
so ‘mother’ forgets to wake up this morning.
Someone curtains her with a sheet
and all in the chairs breathe out at once.
From the other side of the division
where she uncurls her memory still
the sound of dripping water ruins my mind.
Someone shouts, ‘Everything here needs to be fixed.’
Walls swell with all the noise it carries within.
An old tank weeps through its cracks,
and water runs down the broken terrace,
my mind as the last funeral rite.
A voice from behind demands,
‘When this is over, call somebody to
mend our deceased water tank.’
Bio: Sana Tamreen Mohammed has co-authored Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems (BRP, Australia). A poet, an imagist and now a mother, her works have found homes in various journals, magazines and anthologies including Tupelo Press, The Peeking Cat Poetry and Dreich Magazine. She has edited The Prose and Poetry Anthology. She was a featured poet on a radio show in India. Her poems were displayed twice in Illinois. As a driftwood, she reads and selects submissions for EKL Review.
“The star is large and distant/so distant that it’s small/even smaller than others/much smaller than it./ Small wonder, then if we were struck with wonder;/ as we would be if only we had the time.
For they live high in the gum trees
For they feed on delicious gumnuts
For they fall into the genus Calyptorhynchus or Zanda
For they have the look of Follie Bergère showgirls
For they caw loudly and distinctly
For they have magnificent given names such as Ngaoaraa
For they have been known to interfere with traffic cameras
For they herald the coming rain
For they accompany the dead to paradise
For they nest in tree hollows
For the eyes of the young open at three weeks
For they are made of the same stuff as us.
Bio: Fiona was born in the north of Ireland but has lived in England, Australia, and New Zealand. Her first poetry collection won the Silver Medal in the International Poetry Book Awards. Her short fiction won first prize in the Bath Flash Fiction Award 2020 and was shortlisted for the Australian Morrison Mentoring Prize in 2014 and 2015. Her poem, "Fusion", was longlisted for the Fish Publishing Prize. She won second prize in the Over The Edge Fiction Slam 2021. Her poetry has been published internationally in publications such as Lighthouse, Skylight47, The Blue Nib, and The Galway Review. She contributed poetry to the Label Lit project for National Poetry Day (Ireland) 2019.
The bourgeoisie king paints
his citadel, and the rain begins.
The clouds blitzes in
from wherever all sudden things stay.
The puddles smell of rainbow and gasoline.
The bourgeoisie king sleeps waiting
for the rain's end, dreams a school of echoes
swim towards his pane, his home drowned
beneath the water bunched in a pothole,
the climate changed to a permanent monsoon.
Sometimes I wonder what is point of building
here and now, availing concrete, paint and soul.
Sometimes. And yet we dip our brush in hope,
repent our sins of killing the bees, and repeat the offence.
The Old Murders
The houses turn into coal,
smoulder a little.
Odd sun rays still the juggedness.
Some old bones tell, the doors
shut them inside at the ignition.
The trace DNA of politics,
on the black, in the ashes,
with the wind, adds a quick footnote -
'Evolution can go both ways
at the same time.
We can be better outside and
bitter inside; we can grow and shrink.'
The flies bring in the buzz, fly away.
The news cool down in my cup and
its spill highlights the circle of the saucer.
More Old Murders
The river, I breathe in,
eddies through my lungs,
and I exhale, say -
"The air is quite salubrious."
The tribal guide says,
"It has been so since
the other caste burnt down the vill."
When we reach the bank
its rocks and stones already show
our footprints, as if we have been
here, and as if this is a newsreel
in front of a kissing couple.
Their passion wipes out the details.
Bio: An author and a father, Kushal Poddar, editor of ‘Words Surfacing’, authored eight books, the latest being ‘Postmarked Quarantine’. His works have been translated in eleven languages.
Find and follow him at amazon.com/author/kushalpoddar_thepoet
Author Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/KushalTheWriter/
No one asks me about my favourite dinosaurs,
now my teen boys shut themselves away
to chase electronic prey.
They were the first toy phase I enjoyed,
after years of crashing cars, train track frustrations.
I read them the long lists of facts,
Walking with Dinosaurs on constant replay.
We googled the latest finds,
so many new discoveries since my time
of Triceratops and Brontosaurus.
It’s Stygimoloch, by the way,
the hard-headed, crown of horns Styx Demon.
My eldest still lectures me on him,
the petulant teen stuck
between child Draco Rex
and adult Pachycephalosaurus,
stubbornly finding his place.
And Liopleurodon, not strictly a dino,
but a marine reptile, splendid in his own right,
splashing and singing the seas
like my youngest, a boy of few consonants,
who first wrapped his reluctant tongue
around the name in the bath.
I tuck away the plastic models and books,
tidy the nest of cast-off socks
from my dinosaurs’ rampant growing feet,
aware I am slowing turning to fossil.
Bio: Gerry Stewart is a poet, creative writing tutor and editor based in Finland. Her poetry collection Post-Holiday Blues was published by Flambard Press, UK. Totems is to be published by Hedgehog Poetry Press in 2022. Her writing blog can be found at http://thistlewren.blogspot.fi/ and @grimalkingerry on Twitter.
Where have all the Cardinals gone,
as the buds spring anew.
Their crimson presence piloted me through the pandemic,
peering out my small frozen window,
so far removed from my narrowing world,
observing the male nourishing his vermilion mate,
awaiting the fate of winter’s affliction,
veering my consciousness far from immutable restrictions,
unraveling of society.
Where have all the Cardinals gone,
my small, feathered champions,
their bright song breaking the unsettling stillness,
rallying my soul.
They fly free as the barren oak grows effervescent.
I yearn to fly free,
loosening my grip from the now abandoned windowsill.
La Beaute De L'age
I witness the gloaming of you,
that subtle refraction at dusk,
kinder and gentler now,
lust fading to trust and longing.
I venture back to the bright, burning, brazen you,
those vibrant eyes yearning,
a bolden, golden comet,
my skin could predict your gaze.
As winter's light gains,
there is warmth in that silver brilliance too.
A glint on the glistening snow,
reflecting, still, a spark,
never truly to grow dark,
You will embolden to blaze again,
a strike of a match,
an amber meteor against the solstice sky.
I had the privilege to embrace the sun.
Friday Night Lights
Where I come from fresh faced classmates are the missing,
recovered from water dredged cars or backyards of Fentanyl dealers.
Four-wheelers race up and down hot black top in stagnant heat.
Where I come from the pews are empty,
the grave markers are plenty with premature dates.
Friday night lights shine,
small town beacons,
beaconing crowds to cheer for the bright-eyed quarterback,
sporting kinesio tape to hide the tracks up his arms.
He still charms as he throws passes into an end zone littered with needles.
Where I come from Granny’s still pray as they spray their gray beehives with Aqua Net,
fretting over the pregnant bellies of teen prom queens,
readying the baby’s room in the trailer at the head of a holler.
The sun strains to rise above the mountains,
the trees still blow with a hopeful wind.
Their strength as strong as the towering coal tipple that has stood rusting,
a watchful eye of those with soot roots.
Bio: Jessica Weyer Bentley is an Author/Poet. Her first collection of poetry, Crimson Sunshine, was published in May 2020 by AlyBlue Media. She has contributed work to several publications for the Award-Winning Book Series, Grief Diaries, including Poetry and Prose, and Hit by a Drunk Driver. Jessica’s work has been anthologized in Women Speak Vol. 6 (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions), Summer Gallery of Shoes (Highland Park Poetry), Common Threads 2020 Edition (Ohio Poetry Association), Appalachian Witness Volume 24 (Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel) and Made and Dream (Of Rust and Glass) 2021 and online showcases including Global Poemic and Fevers of the Mind Poetry Showcase 2022. Jessica currently resides in Northwest Ohio.