Pulsar Poetry Webzine
       Pulsar Poetry Webzine

Poems  Year 2022, most recent poems at the top.

 

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June 2022 (103 editions in total)

 

51st edition as a webzine, see below.

 

Poets listed in surname alphabetical order.

 

For earlier (March) poems, see below.

 

* * *

 

Poem Index

 

Not Enough, poem by Holly Day.

 

The Bird Man, poem by Holly Day

 

Another Ending, poem by Richard Dinges, Jr.

 

History Repeats, poem by Dan Grote.

 

Memory, poem by Michael Jennings.

 

Joyriding, poem by J L M Morton.

 

The Strand, poem by David Pike.

 

A Vast Perhaps, poem by Gordon Scapens.

 

Gospels, poem by Ian C Smith.

 

Mourning Dove Cooing, poems by Soran M.H.

 

Every Other Man, poem by John Tustin.

 

*

 

Not Enough

 

We meet for coffee as we have for so many years

this old friend of mine, we don’t meet as much as we used to

when we both had small children and had nothing to do with our days

except change diapers and garden and gaze longingly out the window

out at the rest of the world. There are words we’ve learned to avoid using

around each other, because some words make my friend think

of the daughter she lost so many years ago, and some of her words

make me remember the dreams I had for myself when we’d first met.

I need more people who are as careful with me as she is.

 

There was a time when every conversation we had

led to her crying over details of seeing her daughter in a coffin

the memorial gardens that kept springing up all over her yard

the one she dug out and planted at her church

always ended with her holding my hand and squeezing it so tight

so unbelievably tight. I don’t even remember the things I told her

I wanted, I know I told her I wanted a lot.

 

Here we are, two old ladies having coffee

at the same spot we’ve met at for so many years

hiding out from our husbands and the noise in our lives

picking up our conversations right where we left off

the last time we spoke.

 

Holly Day

Minneapolis, MN

USA

 

*

 

The Bird Man

 

There was once an old man in my neighbourhood that was always being followed

by flocks of birds, he stuffed his pockets with birdseed every morning

left a trail of seeds wherever he went, he looked like an angel with those great wings

always settling around him, almost on him, just inches from being truly domesticated.

He was tanned and gaunt and had a long, white beard, seemed almost biblical

in his disdain for weather-appropriate clothing and sensible footwear.

 

Someone said he had cancer, and that’s why he was so thin,

he had decided to spend the little time he had left

feeding and talking to birds, but someone else said

he lived on birdseed and sunshine and orange juice,

and that’s where he got his energy from

he hardly ever needed to sleep.

 

I used to see him every morning a little after sunrise, when I was riding my bike to school

he’d smile and raise his hand a little as if required to acknowledge me

and I’d raise one or two fingers in response as I hurried to make it to class on time

until the day he didn’t show up, and didn’t show up the next day, either,

and someone said he’d been found on the beach, covered in seagulls

it was such a gruesome way for such a gentle man to go, they said, but I think

 

they were just taking him up into the air with them, one little piece at a time

because that was all they could carry, since they were, after all, just birds.

 

Holly Day

 

*

 

Another Ending

Dead trees sprout birds
from shattered tips
of barkless limbs,
fingers clenched against
a steady wind
that sweeps dry leaves
and dust into
a scattered cloud
that echoes a sky
stretched too tight
between horizons
devoid of anything
green to filter
my sense of longing
for summer now gone.

 

Richard Dinges, Jr.

Walton, NE, USA

 

*

 

History Repeats

 

Alone in this cell, middle of the night,

memories drift like messages in bottles,

waiting on wishes we’re taught to call

prayers, pleas for help offered to The Dark.

 

The years fall away with no answers.

Life is just dying to believe in something,

waiting on an echo, and answer from The Void.

Just how long will this silent treatment last?

 

And do us both a favour: just save the

whole “faith is belief in things not seen” line

for amateurs, the ones not yet beaten

down, not yet jaded, those naïve and unscarred.

 

The failures of my worldly father have done

much to prepare me for the abandonment and

shortcomings of a Heavenly One who has

given me the will to fail quite freely,

 

No hard Feelings.  You see, I think

I finally understand.

 

Dan Grote

Chicago, Illinois, USA

 

*

 

Memory

 

In conversations memory let me down –

the books I’d read, things said to me.

Sometimes a prompt would bring them back

and sometimes not, but every word, or frown,

or smile, the flicker of an eye, or crack

of thunder, had changed my life to some degree.

I’ve forgotten almost all of them – my memory is me.

 

Michael Jennings

Keyworth, Nottingham shire

 

*

 

Joyriding

 

Swaddled in the consolation of soft foam

at the economy carwash, the sputter

of a Volkswagen Beetle catches my ear

and I’m back at Little Haven, summers ago

picking lobsters from the fishmonger’s tank,

their blue bodies like small cars articulated,

brake cable antennae, the spoilers of their tails.

How we agonised over preparing each twitching carapace:

freeze to unconsciousness and stab in the cross

or boil to death in cold blood.

    After the killing, we feasted with animal hands,

wine glasses smeared with aioli. We

clinked and sucked at claws, inhaled the sea

salt steam, flicked the embers

of cracked shells off our fingers. Our mouths thick

with meat and adventure. Oh, how we ate

and all just for kicks – at ease with our indignities.

As the air drier comes at the windscreen head-on,

how I feel it – my hunger. The hunger of not feeding for years.

 

J L M Morton

 

*

 

The Strand

 

Shuffling along

the pair of them

him bent over, hunched

inspecting the ground,

her, shorter

making no sound

towing a small brown dog

alive, but resembling

a stuffed toy, at heel

trundling on

as if on wheels.

 

Their clothes are dated

but that doesn’t matter

you could say faded

jaded, not smart

and lacking appeal to anyone

other than themselves,

plodding on

in the bustling seaside town

of bright summer apparel

and seasonal vim and vigour,

they ghost around

unnoticed by most

as people kaleidoscope

in and out of focus

talking, squawking

with endless chatter;

 

they are together,

their mottled skin resembling

faded leather,

breathing the air

walking the strand.

 

David Pike

Camelford, Cornwall

 

From DP’s book of poems, The Strand, © 2012

 

*

 

A Vast Perhaps

 

Stand on the beach,

salt riding on the wind,

and look the incoming sea

straight in the face.

Let its moving tongue

explain the loneliness

of perpetual travelling

in search of a role.

Understand how anger

can swallow the land,

how its passion smothers

what it gets close to.

Spot the aggression

it tries hard to conceal

lurking under the surface,

and its desperation to be

just considered a friend

to all who meet with it.

Here is a reminder

there are traces of all of us

and our place in the world.

Treat the sea’s edge

as a new knowledge of reality.

 

Gordon Scapens

Penwortham, Preston

 

*

 

Gospels

 

I know even as they slam their car doors,

man in suit, close-shaved, with a fat briefcase,

woman dressed as if from a tale of yore,

a support player, obedient, chaste.

I know when he shall switch to the action,

wait while he witters on about weather,

spurn the concept of angels’ great feathers.

 My bedevilment cues his spiel’s traction.

She asks if reading is an interest.

I preach reverence of sacred authors

absent from the pantheon of their blessed,

pity this alchemised adult daughter.

They bestow bumf with condescension,

wider reading my means of ascension.

 

Ian C Smith

Sale, Australia

 

*

 

Mourning Dove Cooing

 

The Mourning Dove has flown away

 

from the misfortune of the seasons

 

I saw one today                             

 

on her flight to exile  

 

as if she is the one

 

landing every morning

 

on the window of a broken heart

 

and sadly crooned her rhyme

 

Soran M.H

Coventry

 

*

 

Every Other Man

 

I am every other man;

Neither repulsive nor pleasing to the eye,

I am in debt but I have a place to sleep.

I would be content to live a small life

If I could have just a few around me,

Living their own lives as big as they can.

I am every other man:

Aging gracelessly,

Shedding the skin of anger

With the skin of acceptance now shining.

No longer waiting for the angels to descend

And perch outside my window

But waiting for something more certain

And certainly more sinister.

I am every other man:

Accepting love wherever I can

And not needing to wash more than one fork,

One spoon, one glass, one knife, one plate

Night after night after night.

I am every other man:

Ground down by the boot

Meant to trample most of us.

Writing words for myself,

Sticking them in my coat pocket.

Whispering words to myself

Into my coat sleeves.

Crying tears into a dish that sits outside

A window she never opens.

I am every other man:

Trying, yes, but also waiting.

Waiting the way an insect waits

In the struggle of the spider web;

Fighting because it must

But resigned to the probable conclusion.

The sinking fangs painful

But familiar.

 

John Tustin

Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

 

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*

 

March 2022 (102 editions in total)

 

50th  edition as a webzine, see below.

 

Poets listed in surname alphabetical order

 

* * *

 

Poem Index

 

Dry Spell, poem by Frank De Canio.

 

New Road, poem by Robert O. Harris, Jnr.

 

Like Finding New Oceans, poem by George Cassidy Payne.

 

A Dream of Leaving, poem by Robert Pfeiffer.

 

Rush Hour, poem by David Pike.

 

Going To A Christmas Church, poem by Anthony Wade.

 

*

 

Dry Spell      

 

The devil sends visions of a windfall 

harvest so that the season’s crops seem pale 

amidst lustre. Later he’ll rescind all 

His promised gleanings and send us a bale 

of hay to gainsay the abundant yield 

we’d hoped for. Friends conspire with our dreams 

of celebrating on a teeming field 

until, despite hope, the sterile earth seems 

worse than before. Though planning for the fruits 

of our labor, we’re left with wasted seed. 

More harsh than flooded plains are withered roots 

that mock ambition’s enterprising need. 

And what were once just fallow strips of land 

appear as desolate as desert sand. 

 

Frank De Canio

Union City, NJ, USA

 

*

 

New Road 

 

When you told me about the new road 

and the coyotes with their 

homeless look of horror and confusion, 

the furrow in your brow 

was so new and deep 

like the new road displacing your friends- 

I had to stop and avert your eyes 

for my own fear’s sake, 

realizing your loss.

 

Robert O. Harris, Jr

Cedar Hill, Texas, USA

 

*

 

Like Finding New Oceans

 

as a trumpet vine grabs

onto every available surface,
on arbors, fences, telephone poles,
and trees, you wrapped your tendrils
into my yellow throat and made the world
feel closer than it ever has. Unmediated

by the veil of what we think we know,

I kissed you. Together we became unfamiliar.

 

George Cassidy Payne

Rochester, NY, USA

 

*

 

A Dream of Leaving

 

I only ever dreamed of leaving.

My cul-de-sac’d childhood in Rockwood

was lovely, if only for a year or two

before we packed up and moved on, again.

We were always going, it seemed –

Sao Paulo, Tokyo, yo-yo-ing back and forth

between the States and the whole world.

But Rockwood seemed like ever after.

Our house was first on the right when the road

bubbled out like a cherry from its stem.

From our front porch, I could see the tracks

where each night, a freighter lumbered

around a hillside, the cone of headlight

vanishing along the dark track to somewhere.

And beyond that, the sound of the road –

cars rushing at all hours, the on-ramp to I-95 –

Philly, New York, Boston – towering

smoke-shrouded cities from the movies.

From the furious pedals of my dirt bike,

I would look up on bright, clear days,

trying to stretch the depth of the sky.

I remember once, a jet flew overhead

low enough to see the individual ovals,

and behind each, a human on their way –

the aisle seats full, peanuts and sodas,

over patchwork fields, broad oceans,

banking into the magic of distant time zones.

And if I hopped the back fence my dad built,

past cattails and dwarf pampas into the woods

there was a creek I waded into up to my knees.

The water would flow east, towards the sunrise

that had already disappeared forever.

I’d stand there with my jeans pulled up

for what seemed like hours, listening

to the great cacophony of bugs and birds,

of cars and planes and trains, of children

screaming their way through games they invented.

The water would slide around my legs,

over smooth stones and, soon as seen, gone.

Once, alone, in late August, at dusk,

standing in the creek, the sound of geese

somewhere beyond the canopy of trees

I felt something and looked down –

a small leaf had floated on the current

into my calf, and before I could ignore it,

I saw a leaf-eating beetle in the center.

It was almost as though I was in the way.

So after a moment’s hesitation, I bent down

and lifted the little craft to eye level.

The beetle ticked his legs at me, clear as day,

so I smiled, and set him back on the water.

And now, all these years later, I can still feel

the cool water on my legs, the slick stones

underfoot, the dusk air thick and humid,

can hear my mother calling me back home

from the window in the kitchen, can sense

an understanding moving in like fog –

there may be nowhere better to get to,

but you can always go there, just in case.

 

Robert Pfeiffer

Decatur, Georgia, USA

 

*

 

Rush Hour

 

Clouds of grey

two-stroke smoke,

commuting, mid-week,

steering the sloth

down Botley Road,

hanging on

with fear of stalling,

juddering along

past stationary cars,

hoping the thing would last

before checking out

and falling apart.

 

The 175cc tin machine,

by its very ugliness

and attempt at functionality

endeared itself to me

by its very basic need

to break down readily,

during 1972…

 

It was always in need

of something new

a clutch or throttle cable

usually, in the middle of

nowhere, or blocking a queue

of vehicles behind me;

set adrift

on a two-wheeled liability.

 

David Pike

Camelford, Cornwall

 

*

 

Going To A Christmas Church

 

Humanity gathering,

individuals and families collecting

in a larger community congregating

in a old place of sanctuary

anciently imbued with sanctity,

ritual again promising a firm future,

solace sought from inconstant tides,

an ancient cave of smells and sounds,

shoes and boots squeaking on stone,

damp woollen coats shedding

their warm animal smell,

shuffles and coughs slowly rippling

from those who have never

mastered silence and stillness,

the breathy communal voicing of hymns,

known songs of reverence

as comforting as childhood’s rhymes,

ears ringing with the pealing

of mighty unseen bells calling

the constant communicant,

accompanied by the seasonal attendee,

a needed coming together even

with socially prescribed distancing,

a comfort unfound in a video link.

 

Anthony Wade

Rostellan, Midleton

Co. Cork, Ireland 

 

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