Poetry: Of Distance and Friendship by Shobana Gomes

Of Distance and Friendship

In the distance I see summer,
While the world was winter ridden,
I walked along the ridges of borders,
Not singled out by Man nor Beast.

In the distance, I see the face of sorrow,
While everywhere happiness reigned,
I hear not the cries of hunger,
I see not the face of pain.

Where do I begin,
To trace the beginning,
When care was forsaken,
And neglect
Laid claim to a Man’s fate.

While someone, somewhere hungered for a friend,
I said I can be your friend,
For I have never been blind,
Or denied a hand stretched out in friendship.

He says to me, Not the distance or the hour can deny a man his freedom;

The freedom of speech,
The freedom to live,
The freedom to friendship,
The freedom to love,
The freedom to gain the world’s wisdom,
The freedom TO BE.


Shobana Gomes is a poet, essayist, lyricist, novelist and translator. She has translated the legendary poet and freedom fighter Jose Marti's Golden Tales from English to Bahasa Malaysia for the Cuban Embassy in Malaysia. 

Her books can be found on Amazon. Visit her free and discounted Ebook store, Shobana's Book Station, https://shobanabookstation.blogspot.com for some earth-shattering stories and fables to keep you enthralled and entertained. 

When she is not writing, Shobana creates beautiful poetic memorabilia for special occasions. Her favorite slogan for the moment is, Live and Let Live. Her website address is: https://simplyshobana.net.

Poetry Showcase June 2022 for John Chinaka Onyeche “Rememberajc”

Let Your Kingdom Come

With her voice, she whispered behind. // Let’s make our kingdom come tonight, // And let’s dwell in its home of ecstasy. // For kingdoms are not wild and woolly, // They are a garden well tended to by all, // The kings, subjects, and all care for its peace. // Tonight, let’s have a stroll down the seaside; // And be welcomed by a myriad of flowers, // Ones bearing our choices roses of many colours, // For all these twilight long, I have mended our cruise ship, // The captain and divers are ready to roll our ship, // Into the sparkling waters of devotion unreserved, // Where we will forever inhabit in peace of sanity, //Joy and tranquil, away from our noisy earth, // We will daily build and rebuilding our stories of love, // With the waters of the blue ocean as holy water, //From here we had set out our journey into eternity.

Tongue of an Orphan

This is another poem from where I am breaking my silence, and musing in the tongues of an orphan child of the world, and this is to sing how we have cried as an orphan and never been heard from every thick wall that muffled our voices off the street of mercy and remembrance.

For it is a new poem that tells from where we have learned too quickly to shelter our desires with garments of voiceless wishes in the night, and how we are chased each day, by the breaking of the new day with the realities of the day, and who we are amongst the world today.

In this poem entitled tongue of an orphan, where we have muffled our desires with tears, and clothed our realities with coats of many colours we wore, from this refuge of the land we are born to; as to the sunrise, we arose to embrace life, with life’s cracked-body too rough to be held with bare hands, but with wills, we embrace it with our eyes closed in rivers, as life has vowed to be life in all its forms;

For as an orphan child, we have learned to embrace embers of live coals with our bare hands, and as with thoughts and wills not to be burnt, we have thrown our fears overboard our ship to our dreamland, and are inventing the man next to us in the mirror of life’s grief, and of one who has overcome the tsunamis of life’s winds, and standing at the tip-top of the highest mountains; as we run this race in anticipation for a crown at last, though many are the life’s blows and not like man’s hits of fists against his fellow man, but, we have kept the dreams alive along the way to the crest, and for this is what life as an orphan child has been with us in the tongue of an orphan child.

And as we have been driven and drawn from life’s springs, to water the land from where we are its survival of the fittest, for many are the dreams of our unquenchable desires, in this land of our journey to the promised land of all men, we have become of many troubles with good hopes, in the tongue of an orphan child dwells our tales of victory at last.

(A poem I wrote after William Shakespeare's)
"Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day"

Shall I not liken your beauty as a day in paradise?
You are more lovely and more gentle as a dove:
Though rough winds of life had shaken your wings, 
And the summer's rain-drenched your feathers;
Sometimes you are too cold of our love because of fear, 
And often, you choose to dim the light of our love;
And every dark from the dark side of our love, you declines,
By chance or out of the unknown you feel untrimmed; 
But I assure you, our home is eternal and shall not fade, 
Nor shall there be any dispossession of our dearer; 
Nor should death brag and shades our love to eternity, 
When in eternal lines to life we shall grow:
So long as the River Niger never runs dry or eyes can see,
So long as this love gives our lives a meaning to live.


"The Chinaman meets you with the stolid morality of his Confucianism; the Hindoo with astute logic for his patheism... When I carry my touch into the caves of Africa, I meet only filthy birds of darkness."  Returned Missionary 1873. 

Africa, Seen As A Cave of Darkness

History is biased to my continent, 
and only the few of us would tell; 
how it is in every race stood culture, 
some to the human detrimental; 
and others to their development. 

But why is my Africa is likened to men in caves, 
while her development and culture; 
with men across the sea is seen as evil, 
even that which happens in their lands. 

History is prejudice to the black man, 
it tells of my origin in another's tongue; 
wrecking me my pride and sense of belonging; 
to the human families to which I belongs. 

Histories of the blacks are told with one-sidedness; 
with the mindset of dehumanising his race, 
this is another way history prejudices, 
of the people of our African descent. 

Caves of darkness; where raw materials; 
they sourced from; in their quest to rule, 
a land where their gods has kept their golds; 
maybe for their invasion and conquest. 

Within their mouths, the streets of Bini is never mentioned, 
where the inhabitants of the great city lights; 
up their city entrance to the kingdom with palm-oil, 
because it is not in their language to write; 
of our mind bewildering craftmanship. 

In their quest to write about us the men's of Africa, 
they were so - occupied by negative notions of race,
as my Africa is seen as a cave of darkness and not 
as a continent.

Freedom At Last

We have broken off from the nutshell of pains,
with our sledgehammers of will, and determine.
Against that which encloses our rays of shining.
It was not the sweetest portion of our lives  but, 
It was the necessary path to thread in time.
The ones that ushers us into the purified soul,
where nothing is again hidden within a man.
It is at this threshold that knelt those great, 
to receive their golden crowns, for they've won; - 
the battles of life and its happenings in time.
Those whose names are written in time. 
Those names in a golden pen that arises; 
from afar off they shone their glittering!-
For time heals our wounds of visits to the house, 
those moments of pains and catastrophe; 
They are the only thing that matters to us, 
For it usher us into that needed truths.

Bio:

John Chinaka Onyeche “Rememberajc” (he/his) is an author of three poetry collections “Echoes Across The Atlantic”, a husband, father and poet from Nigeria. He writes from the city of Port Harcourt Rivers State, Nigeria. He is currently a student of History and Diplomatic Studies at Ignatius Ajuru University Of Education Port Harcourt Rivers State.

John Chinaka can be reached through the following means:

Rememberajc.wordpress.com

Facebook.com/jehovahisgood 

Twitter.com/apostlejohnchin

Apostlejohnchinaka@gmail.com

https://linktr.ee/Rememberajc

New poems from Lawrence Moore

My Soundtrack to a Picture Far From Clear

There lives a song that many will have heard,
yet still this planet spins around the sun.
The record plays and by the middle third,
a chemical reaction has begun.

No longer do I lay upon my bed,
penned in by protocols and dull restraints,
but hover under greenwood canopy
no bulldozers or axes ever taint.

Arriving from a dozen different sides
come leprechauns and fairies, kings and queens.
A carnival procession for a bride
paraded through the centre of her scene.

An inner flame imbues a handsome face
with labyrinths the chosen might explore.
A vision of resolve bedecked in lace
with glovelette resting soft against her sword.

A minute takes an afternoon to pass
when each expectant face, excepting she,
looks to its left with lips that beg to ask
'What keeps the other newlywed to be?'

The fade arrives the moment that it must.
In sympathy, the actors disappear.
I flip the vinyl, trying hard to trust
my soundtrack to a picture far from clear.

One Tiny Anonymous Speck

On the main road,
twice a day,
we'd pass our venerable tree
standing alone in the barley field
and every time,
our eyes would stray
with wonder
towards its towering grandeur,
verticality of stance,
without any sense of envy,
seeing nothing to be gained
from the upright life
that leads us to a solitary death.

I am a gnarly twisted shrub
and your limbs were never destined for straightness,
so if you find me leaning your way
until we are nearly touching,
there is no malfunction,
I'm just hoping
one day
we can fade and fall apart together,
one tiny anonymous speck
blending into the background of our choice.

The Healing Grove

The Healing Grove, The Healing Grove,
when sorrow flies, redemption flows,
revealed, it seems, by circumstance,
still sought by this forgotten road.

A place of blues, a place of greens,
a place of many hues between,
a place to gently warm our fears,
then ponder their retreats in steam.

I once was called a hopeless cause,
untouchable from sliding doors.
I took an unexpected turn,
now you are here and I am yours.

If I could roll a magic die
that conjured eagles from the sky,
they'd whisk you there with simple care.
No raptor engineer am I.
The Healing Grove awaits somewhere
but you must raise your head and try.

Bio: Lawrence Moore has been writing poems - some silly, some serious - since childhood. He lives in Portsmouth, England with his husband Matt and nine mostly well behaved cats. He has poetry published at, among others, Sarasvati, Pink Plastic House, Fevers of the Mind and The Madrigal. His first collection, Aerial Sweetshop, was published by Alien Buddha Press in January. @LawrenceMooreUK





Poetry re-post: George Floyd, Our Hearts & Now When I Put My Hand in My Pocket by Ava Tenn

GEORGE FLOYD, OUR HEARTS STILL WEAR YOUR TEARS (2021)

George Floyd, one year
Yet, it feels like today
A knee in your neck
Left you breathless
A picture unforgettable
“I can’t breathe” 
Can’t be unheard
Mama
That word 
Touched our souls
Cried with you then
Today our hearts 
Still wear your tears
Always remembered
Never forgotten
Rest In Power
My brother
BLM


"WHEN I PLACE MY HAND IN MY POCKET"

Now, when I place my hand in my pocket
I see the horrific picture of a knee in George Floyd’s neck
Now, when I place my hand in my pocket
I hear the words ‘I can’t breathe’

Now, when I place my hand in my pocket
My mind is flooded with the inerasable picture of the cold 
Evil and cruel death of my brother
Now, when I place my hand in my pocket
I can’t say I’ve never seen a man take his last breath

Now, when I place my hand in my pocket
I see the murder of all my black brothers and sisters 
Who are dead because of the color of their skin 
Now, when I place my hand in my pocket 
I am angry and I am sad 
I’m overwhelmed and I am mad

 Because for too long we have suffered at the minds 
And hands of hate, cruelty and injustice
And for too long, too much blood has been shed 
Too many bodies have been buried
Too much heartbreak have been endured
Too many mothers, too families have suffered

Now when I place my hand in my pocket
I feel no contentment, no peace, no comfort, and I cry
Because now when I place my hands in my pocket 
I see George Floyd a face my mind can’t erase 
And I hear the words I can’t unheard “please! I can’t breathe”
So now, I no longer place my hands in my pocket


Bio: Twitter: EmpressIjah2 
Ava Tenn is a Poet and Freelance Writer.
She believes that poetry can penetrate your heart and speak to your soul and with its balm it can change the world.
She has had publications in the Toronto Sun, Good News Toronto
and Planet Africa magazine. She enjoys learning, reading, dancing and helping people. Ava believes in prayer, peace and unity and creating awareness through words that inspires and motivates. When she is not writing poetry and articles, she’s writing songs wishing she could sing.
She resides in Toronto where she is currently working on her manuscript.


Poetry & Story by Jeremy Limn : St Helens & Pearl Harbor

St Helens

Bless your shadow
be sauteed in the robust
hymns of St Helens' king tides
where you reach
for the love of Tasmanian
life of spectral tasting of a
 Willie Smith's apple ciders 
and we walk along the shores with
fishing rods hoping for something to
catch, perhaps a gummy shark, 
and we know the art of eye-gazing
nature we take in like
with a Murakami touch
and we talk of Hemingway
and crispness of the divine
eating away at the beauty
of cathedral-like caves
phantasmagoric sands
genuinely genuflected 
with how the sun rises
in the morning, we are moved
and caught in
this stanza drifts onwards
into the sea-lights 

Pearl Harbor

Their love lingers on these shores, and the rockpools are coalescing in the memory of a shattered, eternal love. It was nostalgia that brought Melody Atkins back to where the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour.  It wasn’t the brightness or the beauty of the blue rhapsodic waters that brought Melody Atkins back to where her father faded into the fire.  It was the screaming, scorching memory of her Father’s last moments. 

A naval officer with a bright future his wife gone, and the future of his child in disarray. Peter Atkins got the signal, and call via radio that the Japanese were twenty minutes away from bombing Pearl Harbour into smithereens.  

Peter didn’t know what to do all he could do was evacuate his family, evacuating the love he will never see again. He won’t be able to hold his wife in his hands anymore or see his future daughter born.  But he knew what he had to do was get them out of there. All he could do was send them away the biggest sacrifice he would ever make, and as he directed the other naval officers to take Henrietta Atkins to higher ground. 

He teared up and gave her a kiss that would turn into the shadow of the blue moon that Melody would come to see later when she visited the shoreline where Peter first fell in love with Henrietta under the moon in Honolulu.  

Bio: Jeremy Limn is a 28-year-old poet who has published three books of poetry, Raining Poems, The Auguries of Lost Lilacs, and The Roses Forget You, his work also appeared in the 2016 July Issue of Infernal Ink Magazine, and the Yearbook for the University of Tasmania 2015, and published twice with Vext Magazine, The Ernest Becker Foundation.

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