A Poetry Showcase from K.S. Subramanian

Bio:  K.S.Subramanian, India has published two volumes of poetry titled Ragpickers and Treading on Gnarled Sand through the Writers Workshop, Kolkata, India.   His poem “Dreams” won the cash award in Asian Age, a daily published from New Delhi.  

He is a retired Senior Asst. Editor from The Hindu and lives in Chennai.  His poems and short stories have appeared in several web sites, anthologies published at home and abroad.

Aging with Grace?

Ease into the evening of life,
a time honoured idiom;
Grey hairs alone do not uncover
the valley of wisdom. 

As your bones feel the tremors,
you inch away from the whirlpool
of emotions;  Doesn’t the world
change faster than the batting
of an eyelid?

You are a cloud of the Past,
shrinking in memory as time
ticks by;  Soon the cloud is gone!

The new generation, on a tenuous
toehold,  speaks a language
that waltzes over mind;
A bridgewide gap or a mouse trap?

You have reached a stellar stage when
what happens is only a happening;
It may anger or please but is
only a passing of breath, no more.

Growing old is refining the gild of memory.

To live life all over again

Let me not do a U turn 
of my neck to see the past. 

Skill sets that lost their sheen in time, 
high hopes slithering down a slippery slope
and scorned by ingrate times that 
sang an ode to Darwin. 

Warm a pedigreed chair with emaciated stare,
or a rickety one unfit for your pedigree.

My chagrined inner voice said 
“Fruit is not the milestone, karma is”
Me, fellow mortals, were never shy  
of bending our backs, cerebral sparks  
that lighted many, pleased a few. 
                                                                                        
But landed as always where destined
with a sickening thud and inner nudge
“this is not what you strove for….”

 Soon days wove into burdened years
when stars shone less in a dark dawn,
my own halo eclipsed in the oblivion.

An old raging song that stirred the chords
of a crowd lost suddenly in the eerie!
Years later had an awkward timbre 
when resung on a changed string!  

I sense the new faces, old hopes 
straining to carve a frame, new light!

I go back to my dusky sky, see where I 
slipped amid the stars which shone once. 


Portrait of my mother

Beneath those solemn eyes quiver
the vague outlines of a dim past.
The early days when she was just
a marriageable burden;
Heart was bland in a milieu of 
unbroken tension, gripping scrutiny.

The early outpouring of natural warmth
brimmed on the day of wedlock;
The pulse trembled, like the unfurling
wings of a bird, for a maiden takeoff;
Soon calmed down, it never came
failed her like a distraught monsoon.

Now caught on a new wave of bond,
love for her offsprings, soothing
the pulse in pleasure, not peace!
But the beat, low-keyed, stayed.

Strapping and restless, they have grown
with a distinct tone of their own;
She has found the chords no more
in her power, salty moments of disgust,
ashy distaste recur. 

 Bonds might crack, wither
 away in Time’s journey;
 But I find her eyes, somber and ready.


A discarded cloth

A discarded cloth winks from a corner
awaiting the final shove to its fate. 
In a few years it lost its sheen, hubris 
whittled away by wear and tear. 

It played host to its owner for a time 
braving the nuances of vagabond weather - 
rain, soaking heat or embalming chill.
It knew Time had nothing to reclaim. 

Its owner, ever short of care or foresight,
was too besotted with his daily chores –
building a life out of the visible avenues.
No thought to spare for a cloth’s plight.

Its clever design or artful artwork is 
a contrivance  for only a passing notice.
A shred of beauty awaits its own twilight.
The owner’s day too awaits the hearse. 

Its prankish wink was lost on the owner.
After all age is only a fading number. 

The footfall

I hear the slow footfall of New Year
whispering sweet tidings.  

“Place hope on a rising swell,
Keep out the ides of the dark. 
I come on the back of every 
Rolling cycle, see through the 
Layered tissues of pain and joy –
Let the clouded days leave no trace,
Verdurous moments refresh a memory
of the smell of spring and ever 
out to undress a new haven.
The morrows always have a mystery,
Like the cusp of a coconut.

Stellar orbits feel no fatigue.
I have seen them too, often wondered.
If they don’t why would one 
whine about the roll of the cycle?”

The footfall is close to the ear now.
Tip-toed by a joyous ring tone.




A Poetry Showcase from Chad Norman

from Pixabay

PROMISES TODAY, PROMISED

I, the man I am now, 
walks in the woods
with a welcome
set on the hair
I have left.

Almost all the birds
who know the human
I am,
who see
the steps
I send ahead first,
all the time
asking for entry,
knowing the paths,
(deer-made),
knowing I
was comng to seek
how they would show
I could be among them.

So I be someone
looking up, without
a thought of any death,
looking to see
like each one of them,
belonging, maybe to clouds
or trees-tops, the darkness
between both, where permission
isn't words, where harmony chirps,
nothing better, and my smile.

All I gladly admit
I don't know, above me
dawn's welcome, tomorrow
coming like a child
asking those questions,
ready for promises today,
promised.

THE CLAPPING MAN'S CLAIM

I have gained the trust of
a crow my past put on a branch.

I have gained the trust of
a bluejay waiting for a welcome.

I have gained the trust of
a starling being a parent this Spring.

I have gained the trust of
a mourning dove my crying owns.

I have gained the trust of
a grackle no hinged door sounds like.

I have gained the trust of
a chickadee singing pee & poo.

I have gained the trust of
a sparrow Matthew wrote about.

I have gained the trust of
a humming-bird found on the same twig.

I have gained the trust of
a woodpecker unlike any cartoon.

I have gained the trust of
a red-winged blackbird and her mate.

I have gained the trust of
a chipmunk without even one wing.

No voice, no singer, is heard
in among what the leaves sing,
not even a beak has broken a note.

A moment all alone, a glutted state,
money tries to find a way back to greed.

I have  even gained the trust of
my wife cheering for a line of lyrics
she forgot was forgotten,
she hums instead out on the cool deck.

PAYING ATTENTION A FEE

What flight may mean
is
what I have left
to ask
even though
Summer has had 
all the answers.

Wings for those
who fly
provide other than voices,
but the needs of wind
become involved
for the most skilled
of the ears
at least one human values.

I hear
my footsteps
are known.

THE PROVISIONS OF PERFECT TIMING

The pay-off...
one end-of-the-week morning,
a scene I seem to believe
has been given as a gift
making my drowsy mind
chant the saying,
"The early bird gets the worm."

And one really did:
the first of the new starlings
in the unmown grass of May
forgets to open its sowable beak,
forgets to stalk the foodful parent,
to feed itself, locating
each piece of cat food
but preferring the variety of seed
as the steam of vanishing dew
hides almost every nutritious discovery.

JOY FOREST

It happened there!

All the days before this one
when chipmunks finally returned,
gave the soul in me the visits                                                                 I have thanked them for
some other Springs.

Beauty came to what
I held in just two fingers--
peanut-loving creatures
willing to trust my hopes!

Something the sky has decided
comes down to stir the leaves
trees gave up last fall, now waking.

It is the wind I am thankful for
telling the man in me
rain may want the roots
visible beside the boots I use
to enter it, show the mates
a human being human
will not be what they fear.



Bio: Chad Norman lives and writes in Truro, Nova Scotia. In 1992 he was awarded the Gwendolyn MacEwen Memorial Award For Poetry, the judges were Margaret Atwood, Barry Callaghan, and Al Purdy. His poems appear in journals, magazines, anthologies around the world. A new book, A Matter Of Inclusion is out now.


Poetry influenced by Sylvia Plath & Anne Sexton from Rp Verlaine

For Sylvia Plath

I wish you had taken
a final impossibly tall
glass of whiskey.

Though I believe
you preferred wine
a slower phantom escape.

For the deeply troubled
before taking a final walk
through an abyss of cut glass.

I wish after that drink
you'd looked at the papers
that would become Ariel.

Piled in a neat stack
while your children slept
and you put head in oven.

Having written a classic
brutal and devastating
candle to a reckoning

between life and death
by one not fully in either
drained of blood and hope.

Yet last week, within days
I saw both a comedian
and a movie use you

as punch lines to cheap
jokes mocking the somber
savage music of your work.

That took all you had
making me so angry
I wanted violence.

But I poured a tall glass
let the whiskey transport
me to a calm cool place.

As I wish that you had
that morning and smiled
with a new thirst for life. 

Transient Bliss

We kiss
to advance the plot
while
surprises remain.

And the red neon
makes everything look
like glass.

Where I can see
I'm far more
fragile.

Self defense
escapes me
when her
lips

beg
pierce me
and yes
ask for more.

Ah transient bliss.

Until the next day
both having had
this fragment we
call enough...

The edge of a star
which eviscerates
us to let go...

Hanging on
to memory
behind
a door
closed forever.

Every Fix

She's always
almost/not quite
on the corner or
between as she slides
in and out of cars that
barely register like
revolving Johns, Joes,
Jims who pay
the fare.

Nameless as any
butterfly in stolen
doomed flights
to bed sheets
absent of warmth
life/promise
in well titled no
look no chance motels.

Until fate
strangles the chase
with death, O.D. or prison.
The lean obituaries  
are grim
for girls of streets
they do not own.

I've watch her
as any sinister doubt
endemic in an overdose
laid bare then lost.
Lost forever as
she leaves  to fall
in deeper  chasms of ruin
as days fall to the warmth
and delusion inside every fix


Distance of The Bees

She says the bees ruin her flowers
I say nothing and drink the air
the sun gives no life to in the shade.

We dance around every empty space
allowed us by former lovers
accounting for denuded dreams we
circle each other with.

Much like the the bees content
with the succulence of
a flower unable to resist

She's an actress when she can
find work worth her time.
A large inheritance takes
care of the rest which she hints
includes me.

At 34 she says she is too old
for all of this, then says
nothing more.

Enters the house and slams
the door after I mention the arbitrary
vortex of spending time apart.
While the bees circle from a distance
I've come to understand.



BIO
: Rp Verlaine lives in New York City. 
He has an MFA in creative writing from City College. 
He taught in New York Public schools for many years. 
His first volume of poetry- Damaged by Dames
& Drinking was published in 2017 and another – Femme Fatales
Movie Starlets & Rockers in 2018. A set of three e-books
titled Lies From The Autobiography vol 1-3 were published from
2018 to 2020. His newest book, Imagined Indecencies, 
was published in February of 2022.



A Poetry Showcase from Lindsay Soberano-Wilson

Utopia I Have Seen

Utopia I have seen
in a glimmer, in a dream 
in a moment of pure bliss
from a lover’s kiss 
or
a baby’s suckle 

Utopia I have seen 
in a glimmer, in a dream 
in a moment in between 
the setting of the sun 
or
the fresh drip of honeydew

Utopia I have seen 
in a glimmer, in a dream 
in a moment where I am free 
inside a marriage vow
or
witnessing first steps

Utopia I have seen
in a glimmer, in a dream 
in that moment I’m serene 
beneath her dress 
and
hoisted upon his chest.

Previously published in Sensual; An Erotic Life 
https://medium.com/sensual-enchantment/utopia-i-have-seen-84f11002ce6b

Purple Rain 

When purple rain 
is falling, falling, 
dropping, fast, 
furious, and then 
slowly 
maybe even a bit
deliriously 
from the open sky…

Letting it all out
just you, 
the little old world, 
and I. 

That’s when we find
it’s okay to say
let’s go crazy
despite the tsunami 
elevator we ride
up and down
side to side 
but that doesn’t mean 
we have to slide. 

As Prince says:
“I’m not gonna let de-elevator
Bring us down
Oh, no let’s go.”

Previously published in Put It To Rest 
https://medium.com/put-it-to-rest/when-purple-rain-is-falling-as-doves-cry-let-s-go-crazy-in-the-sky-3e277a07ccb6

Blood Orange Heart

I’m so tired of playing
Playing with this bow and arrow
Gonna give my heart away
Leave it to the other girls to play
For I’ve been a temptress too long
Just…Give me a reason to love you
Give me a reason to be a woman
I just wanna be a woman ~ Portishead 

She’s so tired, 
tired of being a temptress 
tired of playing, 
playing with the slingt 
of what it used to be 
as she slips on an orange peel
before locking it in the glory box 

“Leaving it 
to the other girls 
to play”

Oh, it didn’t have to be this way, she laments
as she eats the blood orange 
by the light of the full moon in full bloom.


Previously published in iPoetry 

https://medium.com/ipoetry/blood-orange-heart-66c90602d862


Like Suzanne

I always wanted to be like Suzanne 
feeding men tea and oranges 
by the river like a siren 
or one of Cohen’s lovers
shacked up in Hydra
like the Paris ex-pats buzzing around 
abstract words and images.

But then that would somehow mean 
that I would also be in love 
with a man who struggled to love
because he struggled to love himself. 

But does that matter?

Does it matter 
that he didn’t love in their way 
in the right way
but in his way
and was it not better than no way. 

Is it not 
better to have loved and lost 
than never to have loved at all?

I still want to be Suzanne
free to love 
how and whomever 
she wants
because she’s tameless
and irresistible…
because
“you touched her perfect body 
with your mind.”

Previously published in Marlene in a Pub
https://medium.com/marlene-in-a-pub/like-suzanne-3162457758c0

Like A Muse In A Cage

Like a muse in a cage
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

Like a ballerina teetering on a music box 
like a skunk stuck in an hour
I have tried in my way to be free.

Like an aloof armadillo in an explosion 
like a translucent paper nautilus exposed 
I have tried in my way to be free.

But even when my heart spills 
like black squid ink upon a page 
my essence remains chained. 

But you swore on that song
and all you had done wrong
that you would make it up to me.

You said that together we would be free. 
But the world’s handprints are still on me. 

Previously published in Marlene in a Pub 
https://medium.com/marlene-in-a-pub/like-a-muse-in-a-cage-5a024f0d9b71

This Body is Electric

He sang her body|
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
e -l-e-c-t-r-i-c
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Honouring
Maternity
Nature
Divinity
and the soul
Taking only what is granted
never plundering 
or mining for blood diamonds
rubies, emeralds, or gold
The female form is
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
e -l-e-c-t-r-i-c
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
he sang it 
felt it
spoke it 
to cherish 
the gateway to life
in all of its wonder
curves and delight
soft and succulent
ripe and opulent
in the reflection
of ascension
Your body is
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
e -l-e-c-t-r-i-c
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
wired to be admired
and hardwired to 
sing siren’s reveries
wrapped in longing 
and moving in ways
that reveal shades of 
grace
Timelessness
art and 
perfectionism in 
imperfection

Mother and 
babe as one: 
babe becomes girl
girl becomes woman
all interconnected 
in the seeds sown
from inside the womb

The giving force 
of mother and woman
are one and the same:
you cannot honour and 
feed on the one who nurtures you
while you mare the one
you take from

She is waiting 
somewhere in between 
sound waves and heat waves
of heart waves crashing 
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
e-l-e-c-t-r-i-f-y-i-n-g 
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
all she tends to

She is the vessel
She is the song
~my body is electric

*Previously published 

https://medium.com/literary-impulse/this-body-is-electric-acd2ee14037d



Biography:

Debut Chapbook

With life moving at a slower pace and travel coming to a halt due to the pandemic, Lindsay Soberano-Wilson crafted a hybrid journal of poetry and memoir about how her sense of community, identity, and home was shaped by her past travels. Casa de mi Corazón: A Travel Journal of Poetry and Memoir (Poetica Publishing) is the story of a Canadian woman on an inner and outer journey to find a home. 

Lindsay Soberano-Wilson is a poet, teacher, and freelance writer who lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and three sons. She is a member of the Canadian League of Poets. Her poems and articles have appeared in publications such as FreshVoices22, Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, Canadian Woman Studies Journal, The Canadian Jewish News, Scary Mommy, Travel Thru History, and Poetica Magazine. In addition to addressing self-identity and travel, her writing explores motherhood, feminism, sex-positivity, education, relationships, mental health, and literature. She holds a MA (English Literature) and a BEd from the University of Toronto, and a BA (Creative Writing and English Literature) from Concordia University. 






A Poetry Showcase from Chuck Harp

Bio: Chuck is a writer and winner of the Mad Cave Studios 2020 Talent Hunt. In 2021 he participated in Grimm Tales from the Cave anthology from Mad Cave Studios. Chuck released two works of fiction and his fourth poetry collection, People Watching, was released by Alien Buddha Press.

Bets Against Myself

Is it time to rise,
or push off the day
and gamble with my time?

Is that piss
I’m standing in,
or someone’s sick?

Is it easier to find a new job
when you already have one,
or when your stomach rumbles?

Is it worse to jaywalk
in front of a firetruck,
or an ambulance?

Is it eleven-eleven,
or happy hour,
the magic number?

Is the chunks missing
from my paycheck each week
worth that healthcare coverage?

Is the bum under the sheet,
lying on the sidewalk,
sleeping or deceased?

Is it the paycheck
that drives an artist
or is it deeper than pockets?

Is it worth staying awake,
rejecting the need to sleep
to write this poem?
 
Battered

Battered,
bruised by my own ego,
staying
stuck between my white walls
empty
as the future before me,
empty
like my checking account,
fed up
lapping this same old road,
the drive
just driving me crazy
and not
to the ancient end goal.

Last Order Lens

An illumination from my monitor
shed light on the static truth
behind the lies of reality T.V.

There was no entertainment
or sense of comradery
with the animals caged in cable.

This was strictly medicine
for those sick of themselves
needing justification to their character.

Witnessing womanizing and destruction
shaking their heads and whispering
under their breath, ‘Jesus Christ.’

To have a vice in the late hour
when others have passed out
and you’re afraid to sit alone.

Vying for the pauses those people
receive between their problems
so they too can catch a break.