Tag Archives: 2 poems

Theophilus Ejorh. Two Poems

When I Write
Before the rise of the Cockerel
From his wooden roost
To break the silence of dawn,
A crowing bell in his throat,
I must pluck my steely pen
From its holder, its nib
Spurting with grief floods.

I must wake the haunting Muse
And summon visions of gods
Bestriding skull domes,
A blood mass gleaming under their feet,
And how with matchless and cruel intensity
They must exhale fires from puffing nostrils
To afflict the fields, bleed the trees,
Strip young leaves of songs,
And cripple a crouched land
With a baggage of sorrows on its back.

I must etch lines about ancestral hills
Stripped of heads,
Of hemorrhaging birds
With pruned feathers,
Of crimson rivers that belch
The stench of their rotten entrails,
Of wailing streets stormed into fright
By the bomber’s blasts and the slayer’s stabs.

I must etch lines drenched in dolour,
Of a gnarled world that groans and smothers
In the claws of murderous beasts.

So, I write of Aleppo’s cold blood rivers,
Of Mogadishu’s plains gasping in gory floods,
Of Borno maidens snatched and hauled into a cruel fief.
I write of the execrable thrones of demons
Of a newfangled world that decrees abominations
And mock the tumult in the clouds.
I etch lines about mongrels in fat castles
Gorging on the sweat of Calcutta’s slave factories.

I sing of the fury of avenging winds
That set reprisals against those forbidding thrones.
I write of blood pumping in a swell of retributions,
measure for measure, soul for soul.
I muse, I write, I etch
Of the blood of reckoning seasons.

 

Sunset at Dusk
(i.m. Chinua Achebe)

Were you the last pillar of reason standing tall
In the wild forest shaken by rustling winds?
Were you the last stone capping the rock
In the savannah stormed by wild anthills?

Blacksmith, whose fingers anvilled words
Into arrows of truth! You walked this land,
Where angels had fled on wings of haste;
Where men faltered and fell in the clefts of soil.

Has death swept the custodian of truth away
Leaving the land and its ancient lore unguarded?
Has the Ogidi gong gone silent when the songbird rode
Into heaven’s gates in clouds of swash?

The earth trembled at your passing,
Brazen gong, who told how kings and princes
Danced naked in the village square
And then wiped his nose with glory.

You told how the Cock farted and the earth hounded him
Like a drunken mob chasing an outlaw,
Because we know that the head that upsets the wasp
Must face the wrath of its sting.

For integrity you spurned
The laurels of a nation that sold its gleam,
Oji tree, whose head pried the secrets of the skies.

Bastion of birds of sorrow, now will they that nested
On your boughs scurry into unfamiliar
Thresholds where the sun holds back its gleam?

The sun that set at your dusk has cast grim shadows
Upon the broken walls of the clan. We still remember
How you held off the fury of gods like a rampart,
And walked where warriors dreaded to tread.

From a deep well of memory I sing you
This song of honour. I sing of your nobility,
Faithful custodian of truth, Oja flutist
Who plucked home a wealth of glory.

 

 

THEOPHILUS EJORH is a Nigerian-Irish creative writer, scholar and researcher, and holds a PhD in Sociology from University College Dublin, where he teaches. He has published one volume of poetry, Echoes of the Moment (1994), and edited two, Embers of Words (2012) and Bluebells Are Blooming Again (2013). Prizes include the first and second prizes in the 2013 and 2014 European Anti-Racism literary competitions organised by the South Dublin County Council. His work has appeared in various local and international journals and anthologies, including the 2015 edition of The Stony Thursday Book. He is the founder and CEO of Migrant Writers and Performing Artists Ireland, and lives in Dublin.

Jovica Tasevski-Eternijan. Two poems

Persephone
-metamorphosis-

 
She carries the darkness
In her groins
And wanders through the mud
Sobbing for the illuminated pits
She rips the weed
Overturns the twilit woods
Infuriates

She turns to a flock
Of fire-birds
With a crazy verve
As a net of golden strings
Waving through the fog
Searching for a sweet potion

Down the slopes of her body
Wings Zephyr!

 
Not to disappear 

A drama that thickens
In a massive alphabet
Rend the emptiness:
It swings the light
And fills the insipid slope
With rapture

Threaded with mild shivers
I would not put down
Even for a moment
The black shutters
On the windows
That summon the light
To burrow the easy fingers
In this clay

Not to disappear
That which marvellously feeds me
With beauty!

 

 

Jovica Tasevski-Eternijan (b. 1976, Skopje) is a distinguished and internationally acclaimed poet, literary critic and essayist from the Republic of Macedonia. He has published six full-length poetry collections and two books of criticism and essays. He has received The Enchanting Poet award for excellent contribution in poetry writing, given by The Enchanting Verses Literary Review. His poetry is published in many literary magazines and anthologies in Macedonia and abroad and it has been translated into more than fifteen languages.

Indunil Madhusankha. Two Poems

Retelling the Story of Yasodhara

In the nightly cold of the full moon day,
perhaps she felt an abrupt rush of the bizarre wind
in her usual entanglements – the cozy and pacifying dreams
as He looked at her on the sly
for a one last moment
to bid silent farewells
He saw the huggable baby in its gentle cradle
feathered with downy pillows
The candles lit beside the bedstead melted away
with the milky tears trickling down hastily

 
Then He crossed the border of Anoma Nadee
and left behind on the other side
the beloveds in the elegant edifices
to embrace the Renunciation
in search of the perpetual Truth

 
She threw the glinting jewellery away
and also the silky garments of splendid embellishments
Swathed in a yellow robe,
she confined herself to the barren cell upstairs
No longer did she taste the luscious royal dishes
She even dared rebuff the love suit of many eminent lords

Sans answers, she is saturated in acute melancholia

“Are you sleeping on a flower-laden divan in the Himalayas?
Does it ache your sweet feet when you stroll barefoot?
Are the divine gods sentineling you with no deficiency?
As majestic as a regal tusker, my dearest, where have you disappeared?”

Immersed in reminiscence,
she would do nothing, but utter incessant prayers

“May all the wild berries and drupes be delicious!
May the disciples abound as a swarm of bees for a flower!
May the scorching rays of the blinding sun shine diminish!
May celestial palaces emerge from league to league!”

 

 

Note: The ideas for the stanzas in the italic form have been derived respectively from the verses 98 and 100 of the Sri Lankan Sinhala folk poem, Yasodharavata (The Story of Yasodhara) the author of which is unknown.

Glossary:

Yasodhara – The princess Yasodhara was the wife of prince Siddhartha who later attained the Great Emancipation (Nirvana) and became known as Lord Buddha in the name of Gautama
Esala – The full moon day of the month of July. It was on such a day that the prince Siddhartha relinquished the worldly life in order to practice as an ascetic with the great expectation of attaining Nirvana.
Anoma Nadee – A river in the vicinity of Kapilavastu of the Southern Nepal
Himalayas – The Northern face of the Mount Everest and it has a profound influence on the Buddhist culture.

 

 

Wake Up and Shout Out!

(In protest at the incident of a five-year-old girl being assassinated after sexual harassment on September 12th, 2015 in the Kotadeniyawa area of Sri Lanka)

She was just five
Now reclining mutely inside
the wooden box
lost in a deep siesta

All day long she would
sprint here and there
in the compound
stalking with her hands clasped together
to catch the butterflies
that were buzzing around
the flowery bushes
Or she would cook some sand rice
using a coconut shelf as a mould
and urge her mother to eat them

While jumping from square to square
sketched in the courtyard
she would incessantly blabber
some lines of songs
that she heard playing on the radio
Such a chatterbox
sleeping long in the daytime
without muttering a word
No, no way,
She must be masquerading as asleep
just to act fool with her mother

How could her tiny childish thighs bear it?
Perhaps she screamed
while cold tears poured down
her fresh rosy cheeks
And then, there was this noose
made out of a strip of cloth
that tightened around her slender neck

Oh, little girl,
you can’t vanish into the soil like that
Wake up from sleep,
march along the streets
and shout out
for the sake of your sisters!

 
Indunil Madhusankha (B. H. I. Madhusankha) is currently an undergraduate in the Faculty of Science of the University of Colombo. Even though he is academically involved with the subjects of Mathematics and Statistics, he also pursues a successful career in the field of English language and literature as a budding young researcher, reviewer, poet and content writer. Basically, he explores the miscellaneous complications of the human existence through his poetry by focusing on the burning issues in the contemporary society. Besides that, Indunil’s works have been featured in several international anthologies, magazines and journals.

DIANA MITCHENER

South in Winter

Even Summer nights can be chilly,
a cool draught slipping through the window
before dawn breaks, nudging the thick curtain
behind the dressing table. I shiver and draw
a cashmere bed-jacket round my shoulders
and ring for Hilda, the nurse, who comes
shuffling in slippers across the white carpet.
She brings me
novels from the municipal library, thrillers,
detective stories: Peter Wimsey, Poirot,
or Somerset Maugham’s languid tales
reminding me of cruises in the Med,
dinner at the captain’s table, strings of pearls
cascading to my lap, my feet impatient
to foxtrot across the dance floor with Rupert,
toss pearls and discretion over my shoulder,
romance in starlight reflected in our eyes.

 
My Lover’s Birds

I set them free, his birds.
Liberation? Treachery?

Pearl-grey cockatiels stiffened their coifs
Japanese quails scuttled for cover
red -eared waxbills fluttered to apple trees
fire-finches darted through red-billed weavers
cut-throat finches and yellow canaries
with twitching beaks and confetti feathers
scattered against the barred sunset.

The aviary twisted its wrought iron frame
agape with emptiness.
So, I freed his prized possessions
and left him with nothing but sparrows
to impress his new love.

 
Diana Mitchener (M.A. Creative Writing, 2000) is an active participant in poetry workshops in West Sussex . She published ‘Ten Poems for Performance’ and a further selection of her poems in ‘Corncockle’ in 2009. ‘Holding the Line – a life’ (Leaf Books, 2011) recreates the experiences of war­time evacuation in Shropshire and traces its life-long effects.  Her pamphlet ‘My Lover’s Birds’ is forthcoming from Indigo Dreams Publishing.

Doug Pugh

 

Firewall

Percy can still remember
a vague shadow flickering
in the dull of embers ashing

how his belly was full in youth
his kindling the passion of belief, justice,
blatant truths, obvious answers

an unforgettable fire that blazed so hard
he could not contain the spill of bliss

it’s not forgotten
just stacked behind the bricks of days
mortared with experience and
the trowelled craft of logic,
the incessant point of time

he hears it smoulder
sometimes in the night
hiss, crackle, spit

turns over dissatisfied in his sheets
grinds his back against the wall
grubbing for some warmth in the winter of life

where embers still remember
a vague shadow flickering
in the dull of Percy’s ashing

 
Sic transit

unclothed we reveal our mask,
jet to an alien land.

by day we are the languid
sophisticates, bubbling in oils and soaking
in words, tanning our literati in display
in the sultry mangrove of night
we hunt, trace beads upon one another,
fork in a meal of madness, spice
between a stranger’s thighs

until we realise
carnal has no knowledge at all,
it’s just a series of hot, wet fucking
and that, hitting the spot,
is alright

and possibly all we need
is heat on flesh
to bronze ourselves,
carve gods and harlots,
hollow the studs and the muffins
from our formal mould

the roost of our inner Latins fly:
the statuary reveals –
Adonis, Priapus, Venus, Aphrodite

and we will buff and shine in the light
and in the dark, slaking heated shadows
until, Saturnalia over,
the ticket cries time

and Gloria will not be sick
in transit to Monday,
her swing stifled by her bra
with its wire claws of formality

though she will pause,
shake her head and wonder
if she has left the mask behind
as a beached discard

and who was that woman,
harlot thrusting at heaven,
triumphant?

 
Douglas Pugh lives in Ontario with a logical wife and an insane menagerie. He likes to believe that he fills the gap in the middle. He writes poetry, short stories, plays and novels. In between running a micro press, The RightEyedDeer Press, Doug is a keen supporter of local heritage you’ll find him in the summer narrating on the Haliburton and Minden Ghost Walks.

A.J.Huffman

 

Being Lonely

in the rain is redundant. The soft chatter
of the drops disrupting your navigational
senses. Consumed
by green, you forget the forest, become
one of the trees. Content to breathe deadly
dioxides. Exhaling memories of life, past. Knowing
no one is there to hear you fall.

 

 

[Hand 2] Hand-Aid

His call knows my answer. Even before it breaks
my lips. Are his lines to sanity
faltering? Against mine, the straining becomes
song-like in its balance. I am
an anchor. (Less boat. More ballast.) My skin
is rusted enough to withstand his latest layer
of salt. Crusted and crumbling, I fall
next to his arms. They grab for me
like the dying. Light is unresponsive here.
Catatonic clasps flicker like ghosts. He finds
me, finally. Covering me like a body bag. I am
smothering inside his need. He bleeds
and breathes through me. In long gasping coos,
he communicates with monsters. I cannot see
his ending. Only mine
filters through the graying dawn: understanding.
Is a curse really the strongest base
for our kiss?

 

 

A.J. Huffman has published seven solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and the winner of the 2012 Promise of Light Haiku Contest. Her poetry, fiction, and haiku have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation.      She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.      www.kindofahurricanepress.com