Pulsar Poetry Webzine
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Poems, Years 2014 & 2015

 

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Pulsar Webzine Published Poems,

Year 2015 (& 2014)

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Pulsar #77, Pulsar Webzine #25, (December 2015)

 

Poems published in Pulsar Poetry Webzine

 

Index of poems posted to Pulsar Poetry Webzine #25, December 2015.

Also see September 2015 - March 2014 poems, further below.

 

Poem Index

 

Roots - Michael Jennings

 

Lombardy Poplars - Michael Jennings

 

December Ontology - Mark A. Murphy

 

The Reed - Thomas Ország-Land

 

Same Lines - David Pike

 

Schlafwagen (Bidding Fulda Farewell) - Felix Purat

 

The Scent of Love - Arash Titan

 

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Roots

 

He no doubt thought

he was doing the right thing

when, tottering towards us,

he gave us the flower –

not caring it had been pulled out by the roots.

 

They no doubt thought

they were doing the right thing,

yet beauty is fading fast –

so keen were they on progress

that, not caring, we have been pulled out by the roots.

 

Michael Jennings

Keyworth, Nottinghamshire

 

*

 

Lombardy Poplars

 

Beyond a hedge and ivy clad fence

beyond the greenery of shrubs

some poplars rise up in the blue,

whispering of calm,

of strength, stability and peace.

Lombardy poplars shifting gently

in the evening breeze,

painting an Italian sky

in the heart of the Midlands.

 

Michael Jennings

 

*

 

December Ontology

 

Cling to the solidity of stone, its cold fire

though in another hour

it will be warm in the palm of your cold hand

and the boy who gifted it you, just a seven year old

 

mystery, part of a dream from which

you can never truly be shaken.

Poor as we are, the hum drum of cold winds

and heavy rain shall not infect

 

the purest hearts though it boughs

December poplars and weighs the grasses underfoot.

Let us hold hands in the infinite black space,

in the all-too-soon dark after sunset.

 

Then, if your teeth are strong enough, bite down

on to the yellow cob steaming before your winter broth.

 

Mark A. Murphy

Huddersfield, W. Yorkshire

 

*

 

The Reed

 

I am the reed

translating the crude,

the boundless whine,

the pleading sigh

of the wandering wind

into formal song

in praise of the wonder

of wounded nature.

Kindle the wind

and stir up the storm:

the fiercer the wind,

the finer the sound.

 

Thomas Ország-Land

London

 

*

 

Same Lines

 

And the reality is

something different

from this, being

a kind of bang

phut

or damp squib

way out on little known

beaches

of the far-flung outer reaches,

a remote zone

that logic requests to

be home from home

but resembles something

vaguely familiar,

a touristy place

where holiday shirts

parade in the ozone air

of suppressed beer guts

and vacant stares,

suppressing

things they usually endure

by means of rote

being here, not there

and thankfully so,

at a time of year.

 

David Pike

Swindon, Wiltshire

July 2015

 

*

 

Schlafwagen (Bidding Fulda Farewell)

 

I cannot sleep inside this Schlafwagen:

rusted irons rattle below me

laid upon planks perpendicularly

placed where they horizontally face the

unremarkable bahnhof in dwindling Fulda:

why the uninteresting sloppily kisses my mind

is beyond my 21st century comprehension.

 

Falsifying dreams for my own consumption,

I permit due entry to several ensembles

of feathery cabaret dancers beaming

with the smiles of Balinese processions,

tapping their feet across a tankard’s rim

with swigs of Franconian hefe-weißen within,

the final prost to bid Fulda farewell

 

Felix Purat

Poland

 

*

 

The Scent of Love

 

The scent of your elegant body deadens my mind and leaves it imprecise
I want nor wine nor weed; your resuscitative breath alone shall suffice
I cannot say what loves have come and gone, but in your arms I come alive
There is a sacred sign in your silent sight, which bring forth the scent of paradise

Arash Titan

London

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Pulsar #76, Pulsar Webzine #24, (September 2015)

 

Poems published in Pulsar Poetry Webzine

 

Index of poems posted to Pulsar Poetry Webzine #24, September 2015. 

Also see June 2015 - December 2014 poems, further below.

 

Poem Index

 

The Bird Man - Stephen Philip Druce

 

A Box of Wine - Stephen Philip Druce

 

Fishing - Michael Estabrook

 

Voyage - David Pike

 

Dusk - Thomas Ország-Land

 

For Ori - Al Rocheleau

 

For My Godmother - Ron Yazinski

 

Semi-Precious Globe - Ron Yazinski

 

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The Bird Man

 

He talked to

himself -

softly but

openly,

and with crooked

finger he pointed

skywards,

imitating a

flying bird, moving

his hands like

wings.

 

I was glad

to watch him

because I wanted

him to be right -

and he was,

there was something

flying up there.

He smiled - pleased

to be sane enough

to know that birds

fly too.

 

Stephen Philip Druce

Shrewsbury

 

*

 

A Box Of Wine

 

The delivery driver from

the wine company mistakenly

delivered a box of wine

to the wrong house, and forgot

to ask for a signature from

the wrong customer, who said nothing

and drank all the wine.

 

The boss of the company berated

the driver for delivering the wine

to the wrong house, and for forgetting

to ask for a signature from the wrong customer,

who should have said something and not drunk

all the wine, and then he apologised to the right

customer for not delivering the wine to the right house.

 

The driver then delivered a box of wine

to the right house - asked the right customer

for a signature, and also apologised to him

for not delivering the wine to the right house.

Then he went to the wrong house and

told the wrong customer he had mistakenly

given him a box of wine and forgotten to ask

for his signature - “no shit” he said.

 

Stephen Philip Druce

 

*

 

Fishing

 

“I’ve never been so busy in my life” he exclaims

after adding another item

to his To-Do List. Whatever happened

to retirement meaning being bored fishing

and falling asleep on the porch in the sun?

 

Michael Estabrook

Acton, MA, USA

 

*

 

Voyage

 

Slowly, very slowly

perhaps even slower

than that

the buoyant structure

slewed gently onwards

across a flat

non-bilious sea.

 

Progress was made

in degrees, inching

pitching,

bearing towards a remote island promontory –

to navigate and elude rocks

of proven treachery.

 

No dolphins, sunfish

or basking sharks were on hand

to relieve the ennui

of open deck exhaust fumes

and a featureless sea

but steadily, eventually

the sojourn gained appeal

with slow-time charm and

style –

 

On docking at

Hugh Town, St Mary’s,

of the temperate

Scillonian isles.

 

David Pike

Swindon, Wiltshire

 

*

 

Dusk

 

Blind windows still returned

the blushing glow of the evening
at Centre Point (for long
an empty skyscraper: issue
of our divorce from our purpose)
when life settled down below

on the dusty kerb in the shadows

to rest her exhausted feet.

The lingering glare of the light
burnished the homeward flow
of the yellow, grey and wine-red

cars in the traffic congestion.

Oblivious to their own beauty,
life’s fellow pedestrians morphed
into deities texting urgent
messages through the ether.

A saxophone player took loving
leave of the day... And then

the colours hesitated.

Softly rose the dusk,

billowing out of exhaust pipes,
engulfing London, and slowly
life filled her yearning lungs
with that mellow, polluted air.

 

Thomas Ország-Land

Highgate Village, London

 

*

 

For Ori

 

Ori, my boy, this is what I love about you.

Always master of effect,

despite any slight that might have affected you.

Here we are! Have an apple.

On such Empyrean day, set for voyage

our near-sights hoping neath a present dew 

of time and place, silver images

and endearments mounting 

like so many scrawled inscriptions

on the program of your life across our way—

connect this afternoon.

 

We make bad mourners. We just won’t do.

Instead we fumble in the grass for the one thing

on which admirers can agree—

that someone young as you, cast to the emerald air

shall likely don the raiments of an uncontested heaven,

hear the blast of associate stars, or at very

least acquire and for our ears arouse 

the one ascendant ever

of an offering in fugue, to place where you espy the scene

without encumbers, with whys of truth,

in company of newness and a new health

to sift and rise, rise you! flying from the prayers 

of our affection, and look, apple ours, 

at apples out 

completely newborn eyes.

 

Al Rocheleau

Orlando, FL, USA

 

*

 

For My Godmother

 

Jean Bilinski 1913-2015

 

I live in a converted dress factory,

Where for a hundred years women bent over their machines, drudging piece work,

Sweating long days stitching dresses

They could never afford.

 

In the late morning,

When the others have gone to work, and I’m reading in my favorite chair,

From somewhere down the hall,

I swear I hear the sound of sewing machines.

 

Back in my primitive school days,

The nuns would make this into a parable,

Like the ghosts are sewing shrouds for the blessed,

Special ones with open backs

So the saints can more modestly whip themselves

In god’s presence,

As if that’s the benefit of heaven.

 

But, luckily, there were better people in my life,

Like my godmother, who, for forty years, worked in a factory like this;

A woman who believed it was a poor god that didn’t make you want to dance.

 

I hope now that she’s gone,

She has sown herself a fancy dress for dancing her beloved Polka,

Something in red and white, with diamond covered ribbons,

In which she would be the glory of the chosen;

Where before a rhythm section of fallen angels

The Lord, with his voice like thunder,

Sings one traditional Polka after another,

His Polish blue eyes smiling on her

As she high-steps around the floor.

 

Ron Yazinski

Covington, Pennsylvania, USA

 

*

 

Semi-Precious Globe

 

On a table in my study, sits a globe,

The countries of which are thin cuts of semi-precious stones

Set in seas of lapis.

Surrounded by dusty shelves and books, it alone is polished clean,

Because each time I enter the room,

I have to restore its balance;

For, no matter how often I set it aright, with the North Pole where it belongs,

As soon as I leave,

It slumps back on its side

As if struck by a glancing moon;

 

Then, the abalone shell of Australia lies at the equator, like a sheep,

Its woolly ass pointed to the sky;

At the bottom, the green jasper of India

Looks like a turkey ready for basting;

And across the top of the world,

The turquoise horse of the U S,

Knackered on Canada’s Mother of Pearl,

Thrusts its stiff Florida.  

  

Since I bought it at a close-out sale,

I am stuck with its bright Rorschach’s,

Orienting me to myself more than geography:

No matter how often I insist the world behave as it should,

Gravity has its way.

 

Ron Yazinski

* * *

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Pulsar #75, Pulsar Webzine #23, (June 2015)

 

Poems published in Pulsar Poetry Webzine

 

Index of poems posted to Pulsar Poetry Webzine #23, June 2015.

Also see March 2015 - December 2014 poems, further below.

 

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Poem Index

 

Summer - S.V. Berry

 

Shadows Pass - Richard Dinges, Jr

 

Watching the Clock - Joseph Lisowski

 

Unwell - Bruce McRae

 

Gravitas - Bruce McRae

 

Fog of Dialogue - David Pike

 

What My Father Taught Me - Donna Pucciani

 

Getting to Know Each Other - John D. Robinson

 

The Personal and Public - Sam Silva

 

Marking on a Curve - Ron Yazinski

 

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Summer


Light slanting from the corner of my peripheral vision —
Hazy warm white tinged with yellow beams —
Rough grass beneath the picnic blanket under my back
Toes brown from resting in the dust
Salt in my mouth, salt in the sky, salt everywhere
Nowhere to go and nothing to do but be
There
Smell of the ground, of water and hickory nuts
The lake lolling on under the cloud-splotched sky
The music of scattered flies and crickets —
An afternoon smooth as jazz, jazz, smooth as lilting jazz —

S.V. Berry

Atlanta, GA, USA

 

*

 

Shadows Pass

 

Shadows pass slowly,

dark memories I can

see back through into

long hot nights.

Cold beer cans sweat

against bare cheeks.

Hot tub grumbles,

misting eyes and faces

in a fogged swirl,

my backyard alive

again through this quiet

until interrupted,

awakened by strange

children who pass

through my shadows

into their own wily futures.

 

Richard Dinges, Jr.

Walton, NE, USA

 

*

 

Watching the Clock (inspired by a Hopkins drawing of a spray end of ash)

 

Light is smothered

Beneath the weight

Of dead leaves

 

Gasping, wet,

Dark against gray

Sky, sorrows

 

Layered

Over six decades

I am weary

 

And worn

Like a rosary overthumbed

By prayers

 

Mumbled, slurred,

Skipped, then

Unremembered.

 

What have I gained?

Only mistakes.

Only mistakes.

 

Joseph Lisowski

Richmond, Virginia, USA

 

*

 

Unwell

 

The nurse keeps mum,

tipping out her medicine,

clinical, clean, our maven.

 

We’ve returned to the womb,

to a childlike state,

the nurse floating cot to cradle,

purring over cures and tinctures,

disease her chosen medium –

something you can work with.

 

Day becomes night becomes day…

We go in and out of consciousness

as one would when trapped

in a revolving door.

Mummified, I am sedated,

death’s mystery solved –

life is for the living,

and only then the earthen hospital,

the body bedridden in perpetuum.

Sister calling on her rounds.

My gracious angel.

 

Bruce McRae

Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada

 

 

*

 

Gravitas

 

Finally, the penny drops,

a book falls to the floor,

the cat leaps from a window ledge.

A love letter slips off a sickbed

and the known world is covered in snow,

snow fallen from an allegorical heaven.

 

When the old man says

time is short, and getting shorter.

When the old woman complains

my soul is leaving for worlds unknown,

and her grandchildren smiling,

not knowing what to say,

as if saying makes a difference.

 

Time, looking over your shoulder,

reading what a life has written,

rifling through your possessions,

throwing it all up in the air.

Watching it fall.

Bruce McRae

 

*

 

Fog of Dialogue

 

'There’s a lot

to be said about it'

he bled –

falling silent.

 

'I could talk

about it all day,'

she exclaimed –

as her voice

tailed away.

 

Followed by a long

drawn-out spell

of nothing expelled

by either party.

 

'Don’t get me started,'

he imparted

looking anxious and vacant

at the same time.

 

She declined to reply. . .

 

David Pike

Swindon, Wiltshire

 

*

 

What My Father Taught Me

 

The word "feign" means "pretend,"

as a boxer in the ring,

though my father preferred

tennis to the fights.

 

When I was twelve

we'd go for walks on River Road.

He'd invented a kind of skip,

a hiccup in the pace. He'd signal "now,"

and together in a blink

we would soft-shoe once,

laughing together but feigning

that nothing had occurred,

our eyes on the road ahead.

 

Sometimes I would play

the old mahogany upright while he,

mimicking Ezio Pinza in South Pacific,

sang "Younger than Springtime"

over my shoulder, whistling

the notes he couldn't reach.

 

I learned from him to camouflage

mother's affair with gin.

We'd tell the neighbors

she had a touch of flu. I would be

as respectable in my navy school blazer

as he in his Brooks Brothers suit.

 

He was my fighter, my magician,

my master of pretense, and the day

mother took too many aspirin,

he could do anything for me

except make me disappear.

 

Donna Pucciani

Wheaton, IL, USA

 

*

 

Getting to Know Each Other


It was his 43rd birthday and we celebrated
by drinking,
we drank a lot together
and in recent years he’d been in and out
of prison and had remarried
and
we were getting to know each other
a little and every now and then we
punched one another;
some kind of
macho thing between us I guess,
his wife was a spiteful pill-head;
we returned to his apartment,
we were
drunk,
his wife was laying naked,
passed-out on a bed,
we drank the last of the take-aways
whilst we listened to
Johnny Cash
then I left to meet
a girl and go to a
party.
I never saw him alive again
and
we were getting to know each other.
‘Death by misadventure ‘the
Coroner decided
by way of alcohol
and prescription drugs;
he died on his birthday
aged 43
and he was my dad.

 

John D. Robinson

Hastings, East Sussex

 

*

 

The Personal and Public

  

This guy called Damien plays the goat flute

does a concert that feels like sexual arrival

...haunting for the dead

...with full orchestral score.

 

I have a recording of these pieces

from a concert in Rumania

part in English

and part in his native tongue.

 

In one powerful section

you can hear a shuddering moan

as waves in crescendo flood the arena with passion.

 

I guess I've played that music

about a billion times

till I've become somewhat bored with it

 

and toward the end of the evening

and toward the end of my life

I switch to a low key classical station in Oregon

full of expressive movie scores

and various eclectic classics

from Bach to Stravinsky

 

they are more than anything

a way to fall asleep

...I guess that most things

are a way to fall asleep.

 

Sam Silva

Fayetteville, N.C.

 

*

 

Marking on a Curve

 

Watching common cranes

Perform their courtship dance by the retention pond,

He remembers notes from his ninth-grade biology class:

That the gurgling sound the male makes as he twists his neck needs to be harsh,

Like fingernails on a blackboard;

And that the female does her part by feigning indifference,

Which further excites the male;

Until ultimately she submits because he’s the best she can do.

 

Not only was that all the sex education he received,

It was also one of the essay questions

On that year’s final exam.

 

The other demanded a verbatim proof of the soul as life force,

Based on the testimony of a woman

Whose spirit had floated like a balloon above her body

On the operating table,

Watching doctors pound her chest,

Reeling her reluctantly back for further remediation.

 

Since he left school, he missed a comforting audience

To judge his behavior, as he had done the cranes.

At the very least,

He thought it’d nice to be outside himself for a while,

Getting a different perspective from which to grade his life,

Giving himself an A for content and clarity;

Or no worse than a B-,

Because he no longer caused problems as the angry kid at the back of the class.

 

Ron Yazinski

Covington, Pennsylvania, USA

 

* * *

 

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Pulsar #74, Pulsar Webzine #22, (March 2015)

 

Poems published in Pulsar Poetry Webzine.

 

Index of poems posted to Pulsar Poetry Webzine #22, March 2015.

Also see March - December 2014 poems, further below.

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Poem Index

 

Time Does Not - Allison Grayhurst

 

Industrial Lichen - Bridget Khursheed

 

The shopping centre - Bridget Khursheed

 

A Poppy Garland for the Centenary of the First World War - Jim Newcombe

 

Downland - David Pike

 

More than Ever - Frank C. Praeger

 

Among Others, Teddybears - Frank C. Praeger

 

State of Emergency - Ian C Smith

 

Advancement - John Zedolik

 

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Time Does Not

 

Time does not speak

of the fall of sages, of how

their once passive journey led

to madness, of the hail that crashed

into the corners of their eyes when their pleas

for mercy were lost by the sound of the plummeting storm.

Time does not give life back to what has died

or even heal the grief of ghosts pacing through the

morgues.

Time is a shadow that envelops us all - it is

hope and despair combined.

Time is two lips speaking different words,

two hands unable to hold each other,

frozen in the spilt blood of alienation turned

to indifference.

Time is bone - breaks everything but suffering.

Time keeps its secrets, undoes the work

of gentle faith. Time is a tale-teller, making us believe

that nothing has meaning, making us forget that it is

only time.

 

Allison Grayhurst

Toronto, Canada

 

*

 

Industrial lichen

 

A room of a certain temperature,

the empty microscope bank

and much handled slides

engulfing equipment pitching

almost to the plastic sheeting

that ghosts the wet area door.

 

The bio-hazard sign is peeling

and always ignored.

This was only ever about dye:

an array of washing up tubs

colour-coded

by a stained residue of dust.

 

Someone’s jacket still hangs

next to the bag marked “party."

Mould on the cloakroom wall

in dark red rings circled by orange.

The green ferns on the windowsill

flourish in a derelict mill.

 

Bridget Khursheed

Melrose, Scottish Borders

 

*

 

The shopping centre

 

The edges of snow remain pushed in berms around the car park.

Light from the Gala prinks the tarmac right up to the millstream.

I am going to Tesco. Past the urban bedding and granite,

the line of snow is ridiculous. Everything erased but this

like a child’s drawing. A memento of winter not finished

but started. A frame that makes my steps and recyclable bags

stop washed in bright potential, a spring empty of bulbs yet.

 

Bridget Khursheed

 

*

 

A Poppy Garland for the Centenary of the First World War 

 

Farmed out to garrison towns, the incredible 

 

men to whom you owe leisure waited in barracks 
to entrench England’s liberty – the syntax  
of the avant guard breaking as they fell. 

 

To march on, suffering gangrene and sepsis  

 

and see their mates mown down.  Some for disposal’s sake 
upended as from a kiddies’ dumping truck 
dispersing a cromlech of shovelled corpses. 

 

These rocks are eggs the weasel smashed, burst boulders 

 

that incubate no growth, wounds that will not heal 
nor ever speak, as burst wallets reveal 
the importance of sweethearts to young soldiers.

 

The lads straight out of school, son, lover, soldier,

 

in whom so many roles were played, now lie dead   
where blowflies frenzy in the webs of blood 
there to lust like harpies the carrion aura. 

 

Ploughed into ruck and loam, where poppy flames  

 

are blood become the viaticum of Christ, 
their sacrifice has saved you, whose spirits were released 
like bullets into graves that bear no names. 

 

If the temporal contains eternity 

 

then assuredly hell is here, for here heaves  
the stench of the damned cooking in their graves. 
No fresh May sprigs deodorize such history. 

 

Gorging the blood of tyrants will not appease

 

the earth or refresh the crops. Blood will spill                  
and atone for nothing. The tyrants will  
rise again, among other flames than these.

 

Jim Newcombe

London

 

*

 

Downland

 

Sooner or later,

or perhaps

before

the uproar

there was this,

a gentle hiss

of near silence,

a transient place

giving

a certain nuance

of gentleness,

a step back

from the brink

a time for reflection

to contemplate

and make sense;

calmness

in the wake

of constant

input.


David Pike

Swindon, Wiltshire

 

*

 

More Than Ever

 

A dead racoon, dried-up bear scat with large yellow seeds, 

two turtles slipping off a floating derelict door

into a lily pad covered pond.

Stone wall ruin levelled.

After overcast days, 

an immense blue figuration of sky.

 

Verbal abuse in a shaded hollow,

pockets of gas fumes warp across the hillside, 

sheets of newspaper fly up, flatten,

trappings of an inconclusive past.

 

Abandoned tire, burnt out candle, empty tin can

trespass one after the other.

 

Mosaic of sunlight and maple leaves,

a raven's dark, guttural call,

 

absent clouds, 

 

absent talk,

 

and other absences that were no longer thought of.

 

Frank C. Praeger

Houghton MI, USA

 

*

 

Among Others, Teddybears

 

Friends I have known.

It shall go no further.

How the past

has taken over,

 

controlled,

divided,

without relief in a letting go -

a life totalled.

 

A button missing,

acorns, 

bunions,

disparate feelings,

unhinged

small furtive playthings -

tedium's trinkets

holier than ennui

but not arousing as a Bengal tiger 

or hoped for horses on the horizon,

or, even, vigorous walks that clarify.

 

I have known

objects implode,

processions turned away,

childhood, teddybears, uncontrollable laughter,

the irritability of a sullen face,

a solemn pledge,

unsought for events,

friends and having forgotten their names -

a private catalogue.

 

Only so much retained,

the rest whiffs of air

and stains upon a sidewalk.

 

Frank C. Praeger

 

*

 

State of Emergency

 

Temperature in the forties, this state ablaze

despite naysayers’ scorn of climate change,

trees threshed by fierce wind below cloud

dark with smoke, plumes ten miles from my window,

a low pressure change heads my way

like the old-time proverbial cavalry, perhaps.

 

Branches falling, light a hellish yellow,

from my gate I see my neighbours on their hill

leaving, silhouetted by shifting smoke.

Driving past looking my way oddly, they wave.

I watch them disappear, sit under a melaleuca

where six charcoal and red galahs

roost silently just above me, feathers ruffling.

 

I feel almost as helpless as a crushed bird.

Brittle leaves, small branches, crunch underfoot.

My neighbours return, stop outside my gate.

By phone we have been advised to leave.

Although reluctant, I assure them I will,

aware of my deserved caste as an old recluse.

 

The wind change hits, favouring my position,

cooling me and galahs but imperilling others.

I play the fire warning message, dial loved ones.

My city son tells me to get going.  Now.

The cats, all my books, my cherished journals.

This beloved place when soft rain falls.

I close windows, doors, take wallet and glasses.

 

Ian C Smith

Calulu, Australia

 

*

 

Advancement                                                         

   

The animals have light of the sun as

the medievals had the bell of the

church in order to

 

rule their lives. We must have

advanced since we have the

precision of digital clocks to lock us

into up and down forward and back,

 

legs splitting like scissors to slice air

in prescribed march

 

despite our instincts or desires that

might keep us in the sheets or have

kept us in the trees until rotation and

its real light

 

cut the night as sheerly, surely, as

any big hand, small hand

of invention.

 

John Zedolik

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

* * *

 

Click: Return to Home Page

 

Pulsar #73, Pulsar Webzine #21, (December 2014)

 

Poems published in Pulsar Poetry Webzine.

 

Index of poems posted to Pulsar Poetry Webzine #21, December 2014. 

Also see March - September 2014 poems, further below.

 

Poem Index

 

Childhood - Ann Egan

 

Helford Trees - David Pike

 

Stonehenge - Mark Rutter

 

Lucid Moon - David Sapp

 

Buoyancy - Julia Stothard

 

*

 

Childhood

 

In my childhood I walked

among reeds and rushes,

chased rabbits, fled after hares.

 

Salley trees leaped eastwards,

chestnut trees mushroomed,

a blackbird thought in leafy caves.

 

In my childhood I heard pines

shimmer songs to one another,

saw buttercups beacon rays.

 

A white dogrose glided on ditches,

shadows speckled turns, disappeared,

sprays of stars flew over the land.

 

In my childhood I felt a dandelion’s

tainted past, golden rays in sorrow,

the Devil’s pencil traced stories,

 

concealed in purple spikes, resting

in a shawled dome of lines amid

a sough of whispering rushes.

 

Ann Egan

Co. Kildare, Ireland.

 

*

 

Helford Trees

 

Autumnal leaves

in varying shades,

float as strands

of gold and green

in tidal rout,

lap back and forth

drawn gently towards

the estuary mouth.

 

On opposing banks

Helford trees

stand in ranks

of random splendour,

emerald and tan

fixed, yet

tumbling down

in arrays

of exotic fauna,

tumbling, tumbling

from tidal creeks

to the sea expanse

they adorn the high

and lower shore

to warm the heart

 

reflected in a brackish

dance.

 

David Pike

Swindon, Wiltshire

 

*

 

Stonehenge                                        

 

Here are the monster’s bones:

we must not go near them,

they are radioactive.

See they glow, white

with their 5000 year long

half-life.

 

We circle the carcass like flies.

It is picked clean

of muscle and sinew.

Nothing is left of the rolling eyes,

the hide which clothed it

in the fat of myth.

 

Scattered jenga.  Pale dominoes.

Metacarpals

worked over by the beaks of rooks.

They winkle out every last morsel,

dressed in their undertaker’s weeds,

time’s inspectorate.

 

It is like a crime scene

cordoned off for the preservation

of evidence.

For whom is it being saved?

Let us closer, let us closer –

we crave to touch the holy relic,

 

the teeth of the whale

that swallowed Jonah,

bones of the beast,

the slain dragon.

How the stones resonate,

the white keys of a piano –

 

or are they the teeth

of the white horse

bared in a permanent grin

but for a few of them kicked-in

where history whistles

its meaningless tune?

 

God’s belly-button,

it holds the stars in their courses.

We have seen how they circle it

and the sun and the moon

champing in their stalls,

chafing against the sea’s chains.

 

It will not confess its secrets to us.

 

Mark Rutter

 

*

 

Lucid Moon

 

My eyes are open, waxing,

my yearning a veracious cliché;

my beautiful, lucid moon,

I’m sure the queue to adore you

winds impatiently around continents;

 

in the twilight I knew you

from far across the room,

arriving through dimming trees,

your luminous red gown

turning heads from sleep.

 

In the thickest piece of night,

impenetrable black catacomb,

you were a vivid, voracious light,

my sole illumination,

ardent laser beam ignition;

 

your long fingers raked

shadows across a gloaming quilt,

pressed deep violet and green

hued bruises brightly into

our skin – black, leafed limbs;

 

we rose and fell across the sky,

vast, black flue,

full, round kisses and thighs

thumping against the earth,

tugging at ocean tides.

 

In the morning light,

a softer shoulder, white

curving against the blue,

at the window, blithely naked,

hair mussed, dress strewn –

 

my lover who stayed past noon;

unlike those fickle planets, you

didn’t wane beneath the horizon,

a fading nocturne – ephemera of dreams;

you hovered above me, immutable,

my beautiful, lucid moon.

 

David Sapp

Berlin Heights, OH, USA   

 

*

 

Buoyancy


The first time he swims
he rises, then submerges,
spluttering an erratic progress
towards the edge.

Next time, he’s buoyant;
kicking a rhythm,
churning the surface
to a conquest of waves.

Now he can swim
his world is an ocean
that whispers of distance
and restlessness.

Along the equator,
Namibia to Brazil,
he skims the sea-blue map
of the Atlantic;

World Atlas laid on his lap,
he ponders
what a swimmer like him
could achieve.

 

Julia Stothard

Shepperton

 

* * *

 

Click: Return to Home Page

 

Pulsar #72, Pulsar Webzine #20, (September 2014)

 

Poems published in Pulsar Poetry Webzine. 

 

Index of poems posted to Pulsar Poetry Webzine #20, September 2014. 

Also see March - June 2014 poems, further below.

*

Poem Index:

 

Dreamed - Stephen Komarnyckyj

 

Stepping Out - David Pike

 

Rockery - Donna Pucciani

 

The Old Man on Vacation - Sam Silva

 

Leaving all my dreams behind - Ian C. Smith

 

*

 

Dreamed

 

I dreamed you knitted me the river Colne

In silk shot through with blue and grey,

It spilled from your needles of carved bone,

And sighed through the valley,

And you were a birch tree in my arms,

And the sound of my loss was the sound of dogs,

Barking on rusted chains in a thousand farms,

And my arms were severed logs,

But I knew that we would meet,

In the river's backwash its kiss of foam

If only as the plaited light,

Sighing as it yearns upwards, home.

 

Stephen Komarnyckyj

Longwood, Huddersfield

 

*

 

Stepping Out

 

Into the dark nothingness

of zilch

there ventured

three sponsored celebs,

fully indentured

with little else to do

and nothing to prove

other than they are

vacuous,

bathed in an exultant hue

of media madness . . .

 

Stepping out

they step

onwards, backwards

forwards, outwards, inwards

into a review

of cameras,

that focus on the living stew,

so that many

may be

fed.

 

David Pike

Swindon, Wiltshire

 

*

 

Rockery

 

The gardens have squandered their riches

on an early spring, and now lie withered

and spent. The heather, of course,

still laughs its happy lavender

beside pink camellias blanched in the rain.

Too early for the rhododendrons

to come clambering down the hillside,

raucous and wild. Mud smudges

the stone steps, the puddled paths

reflecting the nothing of a low sky.

 

Elated that it's not raining today,

we drive here through motorway chaos

and wedge the car inside the gate,

prepare for waterfalls of color. Instead,

the daffodils hang their heads shrunken and brown,

the cherry blossoms have dropped in yesterday's

downpour, and the gaudy primrose haven't yet

elbowed their way through the ferns.

 

In future, we will recall these walks,

some prettier than others. The exquisite call

of the blackbird, trapped in a nondescript body,

sings delight from some scented corner

of mossed rock. We stop to listen, unable to find

the focal point of the open beak.

 

Rapt in the gifts of the present moment,

we smell the dampness binding leaf and flower

to stone and ear. Tonight

we'll imagine a burgundy moon

spilling the azaleas red.

 

Donna Pucciani

Wheaton, IL, USA

 

*

 

The Old Man On Vacation

 

Within this laziest seed

this kernel

of a comely deed

there is the perfume that I long for

and a place

where invisible passions might explode.

Balm of breeze

and air conditioned ease

in this small room upstairs

whose ceiling fan is likewise rhythmic

in its calming motion

where computer music breathes an ocean

against a flickering screen

...between

the cushion and the head

...a pillow on a bed

of drunken snores

and rosaries of thought which conscious thought

might otherwise deny

is this thing I dream of deeply

cool

while summer heat outside

bakes the remnant relic

or the brains

of such a likewise fool

who ventures forth to stumble from a bar

beyond the hotel swimming pool

...because sex is buried in the mind

and far removed from that terrible

social neurosis

with which the hot hot streets are lined

with objects

and drunkenness

and tragic tears

come upon the dogs who drool

in pursuit of all of their desires

and avoidance of their fears.

 

Sam Silva

Fayetteville, N.C., USA

 

*

 

Leaving all my dreams behind

 

Trying to conjure something better

I journeyed far from my yesterdays

testing clumsy ambition.

 

Soaring into art’s realm I researched

love’s struggle in those reeking precincts

ingrained in memory’s clamorous labyrinth.

 

Lamplight seen from a train at night

cheers the heartsore, bitten and burnt,

but my bedchamber proved difficult.

 

Any way I turned seemed like exile,

despite precious books studied with care,

golden thoughts diligently read.

 

Those who dream of a well-lived life

should never meddle with the past

seeking nourishment from empty doorways.

 

Regret a maelstrom,

I must surrender, reckless no more,

sleep, dreamless in an ancient desert.

 

Ian C. Smith

Calulu, Australia

 

* * *

 

Click: Return to Home Page

 

Pulsar #71, Pulsar Webzine #19, (June 2014)

 

Poems published in Pulsar Poetry Webzine.

 

Index of poems posted to Pulsar Poetry Webzine #19, June 2014.

 

Also see March 2014 poems, further below.

 

*

 

Poem Index:

 

Longing for Rebirth - B. Diehl

 

Trains - Richard Dinges Jr.

 

Up Against It - Michael Jennings

 

Tally - András Mezei (translated from Hungarian by

Thomas Ország-Land)

 

Anti-Allegory - Keith Moul

 

Clickers - David Pike

 

Stray Cats & Spiders - Bill Vartnaw

 

Pure Gold Baby - John Ward

 

Chance - Ron Yazinski

 

Antiques Roadshow - Ron Yazinski

 

*

 

Longing for Rebirth

Twisted heart, broken mind ––
sore winner with uncommon sense.

My ambition is on life support.

I just called in sick
for the fourth time this week,
with hopes of getting fired
before my bones convert to ice.

But it would be wrong
to refer to myself as “lazy.”
The brains of lazy people
are not riddled with paper cuts.

Even for me,
it’s hard to believe
I once had a vision
not dissimilar
to the night skies
over Montana.

I’ve knocked on wood
and gotten nails through my fist ––
been infected with mononucleosis
after French-kissing Lady Luck.

So maybe I just don’t strive
to be normal like I used to.

I’m getting bored
with my role as a drone.
And if I had a dime
for every hour I’ve wasted
in this capitalistic hive,
I’d fill my well to the brim
with wishes of rebirth.

No, I’m not an “anarchist.”
Fuck your political ideology.

Just lump me in with the artists.

Lump me in with the neurotic
activist-misfit-intellectuals ––
the off-course marchers
who aren’t afraid to step up
to that bitch of a queen bee
and say, “What’s in it for us?”

Emptiness and the workforce
go together like wet flesh and lye.

Folks, I’ve got nineteen
dollars and forty-eight
cents in my bank account.

And somehow,
it feels right to brag.

 

B. Diehl

Phillipsburg, NJ

 

*

 

Trains

 

Trains pass at night

to avoid daylight traffic.

A distant rumble thump

and clack, a single

hollow horn more echo

than warning, a waif

lost at night calls

to me from the edge

of my sleep into childhood

on the other side of tracks

I long since stopped

following. A shimmering

rail vanishes at sunrise.

 

Richard Dinges, Jr.

Walton, NE, USA

 

*

 

Up Against It

 

Drawn through those ancient doors

into light filtered through ancient stories,

a crucifix hanging above the altar;

attracted, led, led to face impossibility,

called to believe the unbelievable,

assent to what must die will live,

face to face with paradox,

the little known dwarfed against

the unquantifiable unknown,

weighed down with gifts

unrecognised, unacknowledged, unappreciated,

brought to our knees,

helpless, dependant and compromised,

wondering why we are not crushed specks

under the weight of the cosmos,

but instead, at peace, at peace,

drawn to things no eye has seen,

no ear heard, things beyond the mind of man.

 

Michael Jennings

Keyworth, Nottinghamshire

 

*

 

Tally

 

Counting heads at the gate,

the Düsseldorf guard kept tally.

Beneath a detailed statement

about the deportation,

1,007 lives

are described on the sheet

by groups of vertical lines

crossed out.

 

Holocaust Poetry for Our Time, translated from Hungarian

and Edited by Thomas Ország-Land.  London & Budapest. 

The Poetry of András Mezei (1930-2008) mourns the murder

of some half a million Hungarian citizens at the close of WW2.

 

*

 

Anti-Allegory

 

Bald eagle pairs hunt from local trees all year. Now mid-winter,

I have seen no feasting, nor clean bones scattered carnally below.

 

One eagle squawks, herding prey within its mate’s silent killing arc,

only to sweep the forest floor with wing-beats, to be secure and eat.

Or so I assume by their habits within compass of my home and trees.

 

With most Americans, I see them as symbols too, often circling near,

sharp-eyed predators with beak and talons ready to entitle our freedom

as portrayed by shafted arrows and olive branch: wingspread overreach.

 

Keith Moul

Port Angeles, WA, USA

 

*

 

Clickers

 

Many years ago

before Google,

when people were required

to think, have a vocabulary,

and not look at small

hand held screens,

or blink to signify

they were still alive,

there lived a multi-million

tribe

of primitive people

who conversed by speaking

in person,

to another person

and every now and then

used a pen,

to write, without prompts

or auto suggestion . . .

 

You wonder now

and put the question

how on earth, way back when

did they function?

 

David Pike

Swindon, Wiltshire

 

*

 

Stray Cats & Spiders

 

feeding stray cats

in the last remaining brooderhouse

I step into & through...

the little red spider finds me

—at best—clumsy

the web was in a different place yesterday

the spider was again in the center

in the light

(I noticed that!)

the earth spins in its orbit

the sun comes through

holes in the roof

(reminders of the rain)

the web has gone from east to west

from north to south

always the spider draws in

catches

the light in its center

at the moment I'm there

am I also drawn in?

I forget, shift focus to cats

step through...

find spider dangling from my hat

it is a dance we do

as I place it on a rafter

or convenient post

to begin anew

the cats are not entertained by this

would rather I just fill their bowls

they, too, in the center of the universe.

 

Bill Vartnaw

Petaluma, CA, USA

 

*

 

Pure Gold Baby*

 

Pure gold baby

What would you make

Of me standing here

In the tree howling cold

Would your flinty voice

Berate me for watching

You sleep your last life

Alone in a foreign bed

How cruel to hide you here

Amongst the unfriendly

Untended stones

What a parting shot

Here is a melancholy

That whispers your name

Sleep loudly pure gold baby

Drown out his loathsome voice.

 

John Ward

Accrington, Lancashire

 

*Title from “Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath.

This poem was written after I visited the

untended grave of Sylvia Plath in Heptonstall.

 

*

 

Chance

 

I retain enough math to know that some infinities are larger than others;

Like the universe of fractions is larger than the one of whole numbers,

Though both are infinite.

 

And because the universe I lived in was large enough for me,

I assumed it was for my son,

A universe that could handle itself against any other

With one spiral galaxy tied behind its back;

 

It had no space for pathetic fallacies

Like moonbeams cuddle in the palm of your hand

Waiting to be petted;

 

Or shooting stars are the badges of angels

Deputized to earth;

 

I raised him to be as self-sufficient as an atheist,

Agreeable as I am to return my life force back to the night

From which it came.

 

So when he told me of the struggle his wife had

In delivering their son,

How both almost died before they reached a hospital

Driving through a foot of snow,

 

And how, when it was all over, and everyone was safe,

He was surprised to have cuts in the palm of his hand

From squeezing his beloved grandfather’s dog tags

Which he keeps in his pocket for luck.

 

For a moment, I was taken aback,

Before I remembered my elementary math

That some universes are just larger than others.

 

Ron Yazinski

Covington, Pennsylvania, USA

 

*

 

Antiques Roadshow

 

The ANTIQUES ROADSHOW worries me,

That an entire episode will be devoted

To items I discarded decades ago,

Items that are worth fortunes:

 

Like my childhood collection of Mantles and Koufaxes,

Which I gave a little cousin to stop his crying,

But could now pay for my grandson’s tuition;

 

Or my old desk upon which I worked my first poems,

And left for my younger brother when I moved away,

Is now a national treasure,

Handcrafted as it was by New England’s earliest cabinet maker

From wood salvaged from chests from the Mayflower;

A find of such historical importance that a museum would build a wing for it;

 

Or the cheap Dali print I bought at a yard sale,

And which my ex-wife donated to the Salvation Army

Because she didn’t want anything that reminded her of me,

Is now determined to be an original and valued at ten times the house I left her.

 

And then those smiling, excited faces,

Smirking with delight,

How they got the better of the fool

Who never knew what he had.

 

Ron Yazinski

* * *

 

Click: Return to Home Page

 

Pulsar #70, Pulsar Webzine #18, (March 2014)

 

Poems published in Pulsar Poetry Webzine.

 

Index of poems posted to Pulsar Poetry Webzine #18, March 2014

 

*

 

Poem Index:

 

Your Street - Stephen Philip Druce

 

Another Sapling - Ann Egan

 

Autumn - Tendai R Mwanakabio Notei

 

On the Contrary - David Pike

 

Self Portrait on a Cold and Golden Dream - Sam Silva

 

Irregularities - A K Whitehead

 

Favourite Song - Ron Yazinski

 

*

 

Your Street

 

You may feel like a shot in the dark,

you may not be the one,

you may in such hurried melancholy,

spill your good intentions over foul smelling drains,

among the scattered wild cats and polluted pavement rags,

but you belong here - on your street.

 

There are no golden harps playing,

just the sound of shuffling stick-figures in perpendicular doubt.

Beyond the illusion of industrial ritual, lye the howling gutters

where so many souls were lost, in the brutal chaos of the hungry crowd

that spat them out on the biggest stage of all.

 

Stephen Philip Druce

Shropshire

 

*

 

Another Sapling

 

I look upon the sapling

tree as it murmurs its way

to the cupola of the sky.

 

Stands straight and slender,

leaves in music’s unison along

a spine that bears the way.

 

Full of notes of air arias,

in tune with the breeze,

in memory with the wind.

 

Here now scaling skyward,

it firms itself in harmony

into song of earth’s deep.

 

Ann Egan

Clane, Co. Kildare, Ireland

 

*

 

Autumn

Forward to a reddish autumn
Multi-layered, multi-
coloured paths
Emblems of our archetypes

And metaphors
of our times
Unthinkable parameters
If colours could swap?

 

Tendai R Mwanakabio Notei

Chitungwiza city, Zimbabwe

 

*

 

On the Contrary

 

In a total

non-discriminatory way

it has been observed

and I’d like to say

(but daren’t)

that all is not

what it seems,

but, of course

this does not imply

any stilted views, hidden agendas

or schemes

of a disproportionate

nature,

no, everything is in

order

(bit isn’t)

though appears more correct

than something completely

in-check,

on a pristine

squeaky clean day . . .

 

as the whole lot

slips away.

David Pike,
Swindon, Wiltshire

*

 

Self Portrait as a Cold and Golden Dream

 

Red and blue pastel

...a kiss of white lips at the tip

and pale as well, the left brow

 

...and mystery

in eyes that stare and sip

the glare of some distant light.

 

And this is a cubist painting

parting to a dark side

where day to night is fading, fainting.

 

It is great art

but if I died and I remembered you this way

I would have a broken heart

and little, very little

else to say.

 

Sam Silva

Fayetteville, NC, USA

 

*

 

Irregularities

 

Sitting here with the white sea disintegrating

on the narrowing stretch of a wide, curving beach,

one is struck by the regularities of motion

which still, within limits, are self validating,

because each wave breaks with a predetermined reach

but is still a somewhat different edition

 

to the rest, despite its predictability.

Yet life, though it may exhibit certain rhythms,

still maintains within itself unsuspected

breaks and sweeps and such events are never pretty,

for life is not the same and comes through varied stems

that twist and turn and spurt in ways that many dread.

 

It is more like an examination for which

one could not prepare: the context and the questions,

the situations and the challenges always

without alternatives to which one wants to switch.

One may navigate a thousand such transitions

but the next will be hidden by a deeper haze.

 

A K Whitehead

Purston, Pontefract, Yorkshire

 

*

 

Favorite Song

 

At ninety-two my mother will forgive herself

If she forgets some things,

Like the name of Tom Mix’s horse, Tony.

But not things that matter,

Like last night at a restaurant,

When the piano player asked the name of her and my father’s favorite song;

She fell so confused and quiet,

That he finally said, “I’ll bet it was this one,”

And tears came to her eyes as he sang “Always.”

 

Only the next morning does she tell me that she cried

Because, though that was a nice song, it wasn’t their song,

And how it riddled her not to think of the right answer,

And how disappointed my father would be that she forgot,

And that she feared she was losing him, her husband of sixty-five years,

One piece at a time;

 

But how relieved she was when the title came to her

As soon as got home and sat in his favorite chair

And reviewed her day with him as she does every night;

How she remembered her fiftieth high school reunion

When he whispered in her ear

That she was always the prettiest and smartest girl he ever knew,

While holding her tight and dancing to their song “The Tennessee Waltz.”

 

Ron Yazinski

Covington, Pennsylvania, USA

 

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