Thursday 30 August 2007

Home on the Water by Tina Trivett

Heron flies
on auburn skies
misty water calling me home

Magnolias blooming
bullfrogs crooning
misty water calling me home

Georgia heat
cool bare feet
misty water calling me home

Tina Trivett, Georgia, USA

Monday 27 August 2007

A Sort of Song

Where the headstones
wait for our names

under marigold clouds

as leaky as pockets
turned inside out

what is what isn’t
requires more

discernment than
compasses possess

but just because
we can’t see them


like the ragged red campfires
of cowboy angels

doesn’t mean love
the stars aren’t there

Howard Good, New York, USA

Friday 24 August 2007

tanka by M Kei

his heart
is a skeleton key
that unlocks doors
that should never
be opened

previously published in Fire Pearls, 2006

M. Kei, Maryland, USA

Sunday 19 August 2007

Cell Phone Mania by Michael Lee Johnson

Hollow people,
small people with big ear openings,
aisle walkers of endless babble-
big heads, small heads, big thoughts,
no thoughts at all, mounds of
words piling up on each other.
Free time is cell phone time.
Jaw bone structures jumbling up and down
like pairs of disjointed loose lips;
skeletons of moving gestures
fingers, and hands dancing in the air
pointing to here, pointing to there;
scare those who walk beside them
scare those who sit beside them
in moving cars.
Peapods cell phones jammed in and around
earlobes like miniature rubber mallets.
Speaker phone gadget grinding against white teeth
Conversations, at the grocery store, dripping out
of dried mouths about brand cans of peas or pears,
which softness of diapers preferred for the babies ass.
Free time is cell phone time.
They roam and talk everywhere seriously about nothing.
Weekends are free times for ignoring the rest of the universe.
Babies carry deactivated phones with 911options
in grocery push carts designed like miniature cars.
The world is a plastic phone shaped and held
like a household fixture communicating
with no one, no one of consequence
or importance.
Free time is cell phone time.

Michael Lee Johnson, Chicago, USA

Friday 17 August 2007

Dam by Ashok Niyogi

after they built the hugest dam

they’ve given us Korean TV sets
in lieu of disconsolate unlivable homes
and decimated steep goat track
for acceptable protected gradients
of organized plastic-meshed marigold

now many wild fish dutifully worship
at drowned temples that inconsolably weep
even while young empowered waters roar
and we make modern desperate love
in the sanctioned pitiable aftermath
of a popular elongated family serial
on sponsored and fair and lovely cable TV

Ashok Niyogi, California, USA

Wednesday 15 August 2007

Desert Mirage by Srinjay Chakravarti

Mosques and palaces,
towers, turrets, miradors
etched shimmeringly

in bas-relief.
Sun and air
act as conjurors.

The haze dislimns
date trees and dunes,
the breeze stained

with smoking sand.
There is more to it
than meets the eye:

mirage or oasis,
illusion or thirst.

Srinjay Chakravarti, Calcutta, India.

This poem was first published in DONGA (South Africa). It has been republished in DALITYAPI UNPOEMED: MAKATA (the Philippines).

Sunday 12 August 2007

Every Day by Ashok Niyogi

in an oasis of white light
a mantelpiece ticks seconds
the living room is a black cavern
with comatose Matryushka dolls
the calling bell tolls
I shall not respond

a kitchen tap drips
horses trot on my unmade bed
my demons rise
and are methodically cut in half
by rotating blades
of the ceiling fan
that circulates fetid air
will do so until its motor overheats

I have two pillows
between which I hide my head
grotesque with uncut hair
that bites into my scalp
and Medusa is a teddy bear
crowned with thorns that live
until they die

Ashok Niyogi, USA

Friday 10 August 2007

Sunday 5 August 2007

Battered Behind Dark Glasses by Michael Lee Johnson

An otherwise beautiful lady
with eyes matted & closed
is not exactly sleeping.
The trouble goes deeper,
the doctor has a laser
light drill penetrating her eyes
That have turned thunderstorm
Black with smudges of red & pink.
She tells herself this will never
happen again, there will be no
rebirth with him.
In idle hours she self-nurses
a cave of hurts. The lights are off;
her eyes are bruised & burning.
In the morning, still in bed she looks in a mirror,
Her face thickened with puff & irony-
she weeps splinters sounds.
Above her head on the lamp desk the alarm clock keep ticking,
across the room, around the corner, the refrigerator keeps humming.
The man who had his way is dark in her, like distant echoes
embedded in a memory or shadow.
She owes him nothing. He hears none of her sounds.

Michael Lee Johnson, Chicago, USA

Friday 3 August 2007

Long Gone by Ashok Niyogi

roaches scurry frantic
bodies on fire
upturn or plummet
legs frenzied
dance at a cobwebbed
ceiling heavy on horizontals
crisscrossing the sky
roaches spawned in pesticide
stiffen and die

incessant mindless sing song
of your name behind darkened eyes
panicked wrestling with doubt
festering in want of
some amputation a little gangrene
to spice up a cloistered day
torture with red hot tongs
of frail widows in submerged white
cymbals clash taut on string

while breaking out
into spontaneous praise
of the sweating sun
at midnight

on smelly bed sheets
at midnight
one more trough
between pinnacles of faith
hysteria is a terrible weight
on a crushed chest
the grinding
of rib cage into spine.

Ashok Niyogi, California. USA

Wednesday 1 August 2007

tanka by M Kei

once there were so many
grasses swaying in the sea,
beckoning to traders
who never thought
their pleasures would end

M. Kei, Maryland, USA

previously 'Editor’s Choice,’ Nisqually Delta Review, 2:2, Summer/Fall, 2006