New Poems by Scott Cumming

Ewok in the Window

Walking home

the way I would

years before

searching for your face

in every window

can’t remember

which house was yours

I’m not being morose

just walking through time

don’t need 88 miles an hour

to look back

to when these streets

appeared to be ours

backs straighter

vodka chasers

laughing louder

at things only we’d find funny

until the present jars me

an Ewok in the window

and all the usual regrets

you’re reduced to a few lines

as I wander in and out of time.

I always thought you played together again

It’s the ones who live
that get to tell the tales
Truth rarely comes into it

I always thought you played again
even after the last one
turns out it was sadly, but appropriately named

Hard to tear my eyes away
from all the photos
Each one of them mesmerising in their own way

It’s tough to judge
‘cause you did right by yourself
while ripping away the number one thing they had

Does the weight of that keep you up at night?
Every great band is an extraordinary story
but there’s not one quite like The Band.


Shameless

Once met Andrew W.K.
who looked bewildered
at my Zippy from Rainbow tee
He signed my ticket
 “SHAMELESS”

And here I am shamelessly
namedropping a dude due to marry a movie star
seeing him now on IG
he's like Thor and Loki rolled into one
and you know they party hard
down in ol’ Asgard

Not sure this is the one
to grant me iconic cult status
but I’ll keep trying
brick by brick to the face.

Lovesick Dope

She left me behind
accident or on purpose
I don’t know
The dope took her
but it brings her back too
don't have the strength
or the weakness
to myself back to you

Cord Change Gaze

Spongebob played in the background
when you told me you didn’t love me
Well, that’s not what you said
just wasn’t my name that burst from your lips
Not me that made you quiver and crumple
I’m merely your Patrick Star
Not the face you see at the chord change
The progression that sends your gaze skyward
filled with a snifter of lost hope
It leaves me staring into the middle distance
wondering when next I’ll hear it
and have the strength not to mope.


Bio: Scott Cumming unsuspectingly went to see Garden State wearing his Shins tee. He has been published at The Daily Drunk, Punk Noir Magazine, Versification, Mystery Tribune and Shotgun Honey. His poem, “Blood on Snow”, was voted the best of Outcast Press Poetry Things We Carry issue and nominated for a Pushcart. His collection, A Chapbook About Nothing, was released in December as part of Close to the Bone's First Cut series.
Twitter: @tummidge Website: https://scottcummingwriter.wordpress.com/




4 poems by Sandeep Kumar Mishra : “My Father” “Body Orchard (Youth)” “Body Orchard (Older Days)” “Pebbles”

pebble beach under cloudy sky during daytime
photo by Bryn Parish (unsplash)

My Father

My father never wasted time in taking
his kids in his lap or playing with them,
he was busy in breaking mirrors, hitting the doors
or his head against a wall or slapping his children
or abusing everyone when helplessness trapped him in
the web of poverty, illness and unfulfilled desires

Orthodox and religionist in him taught us all superstitions,
and made him a sage devoid of social life, and me, almost an atheist, 
He taught us good values without letting us in his room

We had seen him write poems, 
We were not part of his universe,
The world may be familiar with his work,
but we haven't read his books as 
we have developed immunity to it,
As a good teacher, he changed
many schools and as an honest person,
he rarely attended any social gatherings or function,
 
He didn't tell us our history or geography,
Oblivious of siblings, locked in a closed family circle,
ignorant of our community, we live
at the borders of our social circle now

When I see any kid, I wish to be with my father,
Talk, learn and serve him but still I lack a bond,
I haven't seen him for long time
and never feel a need or pain of it

He is counting his time, his legacy some published books
and unpublished manuscripts lying in a store almirah,
The long gap between us stops me to take those few steps, 
It seems a long journey 

Upbringing and luck shapes our life,
my father was child of his misfortune
and I am child of my father

Body Orchard (Youth)

I taste these pears and peaches with my whole body,
as graceful as the first floret of springtime in a garden,
We watched for the first time a tropic moon 
descend pine- orange into our yard,
I kissed your raspberry cheek and tasted 
inviting mango juice on unbound rosy lips

“Sangam” of red roses and white lilies flow in
East- Asian almond cool aquamarine eyes,
A sharp nose pyramid a moon ring shine,
Long Thailandish slender neck and
Brazilian bloom-down-cheek’d peaches,
in your diamond apple body orchard
shaded under Indian long silky spirited locks

The plum tree in your garden is now 
bursting into flower with the promise that
snowy flower buds give birth to ripe lilac plums
this autumn when you turn sweet sixteen 

Garden fig is a glittering moist four-petalled flower,
After I strip off the blossom with my lips,
heavy with dotted green and red fruit, 
marking each interlude with musical drops

The blackberries would ripen-a purple-green,
Like a bottle of old wine, its pulp was sugary,
sun's blood in it leaving good stains upon the
tongue and desire for more pickings

Body Orchard (Older Days)

I have wild free-born cranberries, but
my garden doesn't have the forbidden fruit
For the true are cherry red and golden mango,

I have memories of  yellow daffodils and oranges
blended with the burn of colorless lemon tears,
basked in honey rays, dreamed in pomegranate
sunsets of lime hills and dulce roses
Years of sweet citrus lived in golden hours

My yellow heart pining for red fusion,
to shake the fruit that never falls,
I am alone without the temptation of apple,
Limbs entwined in  a sweet embrace 
I kissed season's hot tangerine lips

The colors of my country are spread here
with clear blue sky, sun, breeze, dew and peace,
I can see big juicy melon being sliced up
and divided between a bunch of shiny kids,
Fruit is for sharing, with friends, family and
neighbors even if your neighbors are bears or cows

I would not live to see the leaves fall yet
moment of delight in the shared fruit would live on 
I am not inclined to romanticize my toils in the orchard, 
as the aches and pains of this grove are mines only

Pebbles

Time smooths rainbow hardness
of tree basalt, vermilion jasper,
silvery granite and pale feldspar
with the help of humdrum
but patient jeweller of tides

Volcano-born, earthquake-quarried,
heat-cracked, wind-carved,
death shapes compact among the rocks
It drifts light as a fractured bone

When the tide uncovers
it blinks among the smashed shells,
Upset by gulls, bleached by salt and sun
the broken crockery of living things

An eagle surveys from the upland,
unsympathetic to the burdens
I have carried here,
The sea would not hug me,so I sit,
hollow as driftwood, jumbled as pebbles


Bio:
Sandeep Kumar Mishra is a Bestseller author of poetry Collection "One Heart- Many Breaks-2020", An outsider artist, a poet and a lecturer ,he is guest poetry editor at Indian Poetry Review .He has received IPR Annual Poetry Award-2020 and Literary Titan Book Award-2020.He was shortlisted for "2021 International Book Awards", "Indies Today Book of the Year Award 2020" and "Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize 2021" and "Oprelle Rise up Poetry Prize 2021".He was also "The Story Mirror Author of the Year" nominee-2019.

More information -
https://www.sandeepkumarmishra.com/










New poems by Lawrence Moore: The Ballast, Ferris Wheel, I Must Be Light

ferris wheel during golden hour

The Ballast

It grows stormy up here
in a flimsy basket,
monomaniacally soaring for stars
that I deemed so reachable from below.

You are the ballast,
my supper call,
the path back to reality,
my treat in store when I touch down.

If it were left to me,
would I remember to watch the fuel
or would someone find a mystery wreck
smashed against the mountains?

Ferris Wheel

I've grown tempestuous these last few days.
My Ferris wheel begins to spin once more,
submersion inescapable it seems.
I've upped and downed so many times before,
yet never quite adjusted to the lows
(thank God they come less natural than the highs),
just gritted teeth, awaited upward curves,
my optimism thus far undenied.

Still, secretly, the pauses come like friends.
No rise and fall, suspension of the ride.

I Must Be Light

It's an awkward, freighted world out there
and it often weighs me down,
when the littlest thing we say or do
is prone to produce a frown.

A million causes shout to me;
'Are you ready?' they say.
Not quite.
Don't force me to have substance, friends,
when tomorrow I must be light

for then I can float to a calmer sea
or escape to a warmer clime,
mayhaps mislay the noise in my head
and be dead to the taunts of time,

drift far from reach
for a day
or a week
or as long as it seems to take
till I feel my strength return to me
and I'm ready to gain some weight.


Wolfpack Honorary Contributor: Lawrence Moore

Poetry Showcase by Lawrence Moore

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Lawrence Moore




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, Dreich, Pink Plastic House, Fevers of the Mind, Quince Magazine and The Madrigal. @LawrenceMooreUK








A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Jared Povanda

with Jared Povanda:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Jared: I’m a lifelong reader. My mother would read to my brother and me every night before bed, and her love of stories was infectious. There are so many early chapter books I could point to, but I was around 9 or 10 when I first started choosing my own books to read. The Warriors series by Erin Hunter, the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. These books were wonderful teachers, and I remember writing my own stories by hand in small notebooks to try to capture a little of their magic. I also grew up in fandom. I won’t tell you what I wrote fanfic for, but without fan fiction and fan communities, I wouldn’t be writing today.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Jared: Every book I read influences me to some regard, but the authors I currently hold above all others are Donna Tartt, Diana Gabaldon, Maggie Stiefvater, and Krista & Becca Ritchie.

Q3: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Jared: I can’t think of any one flash-bang moment, but I do remember reading Twilight in the eighth grade and looking at Stephenie Meyer’s author photo, thinking, “I can do that.”

Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?

Jared: Oh, so many people. My parents, my teachers, the authors I read. My colleagues and peers now. My B.A. is in creative writing, so professors, friends, and classmates, too. It takes a village!

Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & have any travels away from home influence your work?

Jared: Upstate New York. I grew up in a log cabin in the woods, and I think my home is perfectly conducive to writing. Acres of land to play and explore. Animals at all times of the day. An unobstructed view of the moon and stars. There is nothing more peaceful than reading with the windows open and hearing the frogs droning down at the pond. My writing is lyric. Poetic. I’m incredibly tied to descriptions of the natural world, and I don’t do grit very well! I’m not an urbanite. Nature is all I’ve ever known.

Q6: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Jared: My first book. I’ve written six, and even though none have been published, those hundreds of thousands of words have taught me so much about writing and myself. I was on a vacation with my family when I wrote “The End” at the bottom of my very first novel. I cried. That whole day was one big celebration!

Q7: Favorite activities to relax?

Jared: Reading, obviously, but I also love music. I can’t write without music. I don’t think I could exist without music. I love watching competition television (Big Brother, The Amazing Race, American Idol, etc), the Food Network, HGTV, The Game Show Network…I’m 86 trapped in a 26 year old body. I’m also big into anime. Into fandom, as I said. I get lost in Tumblr and Pinterest, and I have no shame admitting it.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?

Jared: If I think too hard about this question, I’ll never answer it! The first line that came to mind is, “Where does the snow come from? Can you say my name?” from my story “Endless Cycles” published by Emerge Journal. This is a story about depression. Of loving within depression. Of being worthy of love and affection within depression. This story means a lot to me, and when I wrote that line to conclude the piece, I knew I wouldn’t have to edit it. It said all I wanted to say.

Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Jared: Recently, my story “We Wanted to Sing it from the Light” won Versification’s Fierce Flash contest, and my story, “Hot Blood, Cold Snow” was nominated for Best of the Net 2021 by Wrongdoing Magazine. Two huge accomplishments in my book!

At the time of writing this, I have an essay forthcoming at Emerge Journal (my nonfiction debut at that journal) and a poem about Legolas and Aragorn releasing soon from The Daily Drunk Mag’s Lord of the Rings anthology edited by Josh Sippie. Super excited for both of these! I can only hope these pieces find their readers.

If you want to find out more about me, my published work, or the freelance editing services I offer, please visit me at jaredpovandawriting.wordpress.com or @JaredPovanda on Twitter. Thank you so much!


A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Maxine Rose Munro

with Maxine Rose Munro:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Maxine: I started writing and submitting in 2014. Prior to that, barring when I was a small child, I made poems up in my head a lot but never wrote anything down. As a child I loved to write poetry at school and memorised a whole book of Spike Milligan poems, a few of which I still know to this day. I also loved Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Maxine: I always say I prefer poems over poets. Give me an anthology over a collection any day. What motivates me is hearing a wide variety of approaches and voices. I find it so refreshing that poetry can be so varied, and that there is a place in it for me. Saying that I do find myself drawn to Scottish poets. I think, being Scottish myself, I recognise the lyricism and syntax in the poetry. Such poems always feel a bit like ‘home’ to me.

Q3: Any pivotal moments when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Maxine: As I said, I loved it as a child. Sadly, I did rather badly at poetry in high school – I think I rebelled against being told there were rules, and being made to feel I had to give up my childhood poets in favour of Slyvia Plath or Wilfred Owen. So I stopped writing. Then in 2013 I went through a very bad patch and, as so many people do, I turned to poetry. Right then I knew this was what I needed to do, and keep doing.

Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?

Maxine:

This is a tricky one. I’m an introvert and prefer to hide my work in the shadows until I submit it. I have done a course with The Poetry Kit, which got me from wannabe to published. And the twitter poetry community is a huge support, even for someone who suffers from Social Media Anxiety, like I do. But most of all I think those editors who accepted my poems, and those who rejected my poems, helped me develop and grow. I jumped in the deep-end, and it is the editors who have helped me sink or swim. And, thankfully, I’ve not yet drowned.

Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & have any travels away from home influence your work?

Maxine:

I grew up on the Shetland Islands, the most northerly part of the UK, and it is EVERYTHING to my writing. I always write as a Shetlander adrift. I don’t know any other way. I was a particularly sheltered child – my dad was weaver, which sounds romantic, but meant we lived on the breadline and so holidays off the islands never happened. When I finally left, aged 18, I had never seen so many of the things people take for granted – tall trees, motorways, trains, cities, and so on. I still feel shocked by the difference all the time, decades later. The flip-side is I did take for granted things like seals, otters, northern lights, dark winters and white light summers, the sea, and the beauty of language.

Travels occasionally make it into my work, though rarely in a direct way. As someone who still finds mainland Scotland mind-blowingly different, travels further afield tend to overwhelm the poet in me. One exception is ‘Babel’, published by Fevers of the Mind and nominated for Best of the Net (thank you!). Situated in France, it is a poem about language and how it connects or separates us.

Q6: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Maxine:

This one is almost impossible to answer – I might give you a different answer if you ask me on another day.

But I would say that two poems spring to mind – ‘Mother Tongue’ (first published by Acumen, though it can also be found as part of Wave Five on the Iamb website, complete with reading), and ‘Sjusamillabakka’ (published by Fevers of the Mind). Both are poems about being caught between extremes. 

‘Sjusamillabakka’ uses the metaphors of being caught between sea and land, one language and another, yet somehow never actually being properly in either, to talk about always feeling an outsider. And of course, there is a literal truth in the poem for me – I am caught between two languages, yet I never feel I belong to either.

Most people read ‘Mother Tongue’ as being about my parents. But although I wrote that story into the poem, that’s the one thing the poem isn’t really about! ‘Mother Tongue’ takes the ideas in ‘Sjusamillabakka’ further, into that of earth and sea; practicality and imagination; the concrete and the abstract. The poem has many layers built into it (some only visible to Shetlanders, such as the Shetlandic Scots language is one without a single abstract noun). At its heart ‘Mother Tongue’ is about the Shetland people, all these apparent dichotomies you will nevertheless find existing side by side within every single Shetlander there ever has been, or ever will be.

Q7: Favorite activities to relax?

Maxine: Read! There can’t be a poet alive who wouldn’t put read high on their list. I like to go camping, spend time in the garden, watch history and science programmes on the tv. I’m also quite big on doing nothing. So many poems come out of a bout of sitting about doing nothing very much. Doing nothing is an under-rated pastime in my opinion.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?

Maxine:

“For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea”
from maggie and milly and molly and may, by E. E. Cummings

As for from my own work, I used to think it was quite vain to quote your own lines. These days I realise that after all the work I put into them, enjoying them is no sin. But I have no favourites, it changes with my mood.

Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Maxine:

Poets just starting out, or those looking for a reader for a manuscript, should take a look here

https://maxinerosemunro.com/feedback-%26-mentoring

My prices range from free to very reasonable, and I have had very positive feedback about my feedback!

Links:
3 new poems by Maxine Rose Munro

3 new poems by Maxine Rose Munro : Dear Mr HJW Gilman, Containing Eden, Sjusamillabakka

3 poems by Maxine Rose Munro : “This, my most honest of poems”, “Babel”, & “On a hillside,”

2 poems by Maxine Rose Munro in Fevers of the Mind Poets of 2020 “Some Things Cannot Be Mended” & “The Last Strawberry”

https://maxinerosemunro.com/

https://www.thepoetmagazine.org/interview-with-maxine-rose-munro

http://www.poetryatlas.com/poetry/poem/5010/

http://www.poetryatlas.com/poetry/poem/5007/

https://www.poetrykit.org/CITN/citn%20171.htm

https://richiemccafferypoetry.wordpress.com/2020/04/19/two-poems-by-maxine-rose-munro/

Bio: Maxine Rose Munro is a Shetlander adrift on the outskirts of Glasgow. She writes in both English and her native Shetlandic Scots, and is widely published in the UK and beyond, both
in print and online, including in Acumen; Ink, Sweat and Tears; and Southlight. Find her here
http://www.maxinerosemunro.com