At 5 A.M every morning
and just before it gets dark at dusk ,
put on a gait of concentrated disinterest
climb the stairs
open the doorway.
There lies a world of possibility
waiting to embrace me,
hug and seduce me by its virgin charms,
hitherto unexplored by men tied
to endless travels of futility.
Today the event will commence.
The hour is set.
The moment has been etched in my head.
I let myself slip out
into an extended blur.
For the pain of conclusion,
of bones breaking,
is inevitable .
However, every now and then
I ask myself,
as I pass on and on
to the edge of the cliff.
Then the balcony bares open its heart,
bids caressingly for my final attempt.
The Preamble to my moment of reckoning.
The writer’s name is PRITHVIJEET SINHA from Lucknow, India. He is a post graduate in MPhil from the University of Lucknow, having launched his writing career by self publishing on the worldwide community Wattpad since 2015 and on his WordPress blog AN AWADH BOY’S PANORAMA besides having his works published in several varied publications as CAFE DISSENSUS, THE MEDLEY, SCREEN QUEENS, BORDERLESS JOURNAL, ASPIRING WRITERS’ SOCIETY, LOTHLORIEN POETRY JOURNAL, CHAMBER MAGAZINE, LIVE WIRE, RHETORICA QUARTERLY and in the children’s anthology NURSERY RHYMES AND CHILDREN’S POEMS FROM AROUND THE WORLD ( AuthorsPress, February 2021).
Enter the Apocalypse
Now sense some coming apocalypse,
now expect some ripe recipe
for total disaster;
in the first nanoseconds
of God's hideous anger,
fortified with worse than
fire and brimstone,
the earth, our mother,
glows hot and red,
our red-hot mama
can't be saved;
the heat, the deadly radiation
seek our bones, our marrow, our cells.
From Pensacola to Beijing
and all points west, east,
north, south, everything
dead or alive,
rocks to rooks
to cats to Kathy next door
burnt to a crisp;
look at the charred trees
in the garden of Eden
where Eve's lovely breasts
and the rest of her used to sit;
the patient farmer turned to charcoal
along with his plough;
even the dead and buried wake,
turn and peer up
through bone holes, wormy eyes;
some citizens see nothing
but the removal of agriculture
in their situation,
an end to the fertile earth;
others, passing on from
a life of faulty digestion,
sour guts and Paregoric
show faith in the power of death;
no hurt to them, this ravishing terminus.
The typewriter building in Rome,
the Taj Mahal, Saint Peter's dome,
start to smoke, then
in the blink of an eye,
like fiery wedding cakes
go up in a blaze;
oceans boil away, roaring their anguish,
their seasoning burning in white heaps;
the glaciers cry away their
mass in floods of icy water;
mountains melt like butter,
rained on by the corona
of some enormous nearby sun.
The shroud of death spreads over
the broad burning earth and
then the horror of too much Assyrian orange
takes away resemblance from everything,
leaving the remains of blackened bits and pieces,
unidentified debris, piles of nothing
turning to dust and less than dust.
We don't have enough time for all of it,
over the eons slowly creeping
and no need describing
the whole extinction, my fellow shareholders;
a spectacular dish for special occasions,
but expensive and terminal;
beyond its horribly radiant gate,
beyond God's towering cloud of wrath,
wherever he is,
there is nothing.
Gadabout God faces famous courtesan,
tits and all,
calls Moses a fraud, calls Jesus false
as the bloody cross he hung from;
tricks of the trade, snakes in the grass,
he calls them, all of them;
read all about it, it's all here,
plain as day or the sparkling night.
Queens leave adultery to
their daughters instead of cold millions;
read all about it, read about
flames, arson, dying firemen,
flying bullets and
dead famous entertainers,
death coming to Disneyland
in a hoop-skirt;
lapidary hoopla, it's all there,
bold as brass, stupid as paint,
creating coffins of words,
black and fleeting,
holding us briefly
and no more.
We ain't talking about the good word,
boys and girls,
the gospels to come, to be told,
to be treasured;
just the daily bleating, the comings and goings,
the ratcheting of infamous feats,
retarded admirals and presidents
at home and abroad,
in big trouble, uh-oh,
stays of execution,
all kinds of sinners and whores
in the fields of earth and
at the end of the road, the end of now,
as we know it, a modest apocalypse.
Wow! And forget it.
God, sly as a fox and bold as a lion,
scales down his limitless circumference,
signaling from the sky,
comes down again, this time
harrowing not only hell,
but earth's own sweet self,
not only boxing
the daily evangelists into oblivion,
but bringing to us all
His grace and terrible truth;
ripping out now with
the message of eternity;
none of it lasts, folks,
not a goddamned bit of it.
Out In the Country
All my fantasies
have fled the old homestead;
the hacienda’s as empty of heat
as winter’s candles.
Still as a painting
the moon hangs
in the snoring night;
twice-pale she looks,
surprised by the hunter.
Hounds skate down moonbeams
like avenging furies;
the stag, a shadow, a ghost,
runs over the meadows.
Running far from my native shores
I let the wonderful cooler native women
play with me, titillate me, adulate me,
until my weary head
rests at last
on the anvil.
satiate and subdued,
I walk on the beach,
lonely stars above
the encompassing sea.
Lonely, I look at the night;
to my fallible mirror of self
Prince Hamlet or Nial
at the least,
stalking, brooding on the strand;
to rutting teens,
more like an apparition,
an old fool
doddering in the moonlight.
Well, even Athens looked
like a heap of stone
to a seagull flying
as Hitler’s arm once was;
we souls below
try to embrace
in tortures measured
to the goose-stepping firmament.
well done over the coals,
put up a reckless good front
passus est or assus est,
died or fried,
it was over;
this fire, his life,
For us a lesson;
a thousand enemies gnaw at
brains and bones alike,
defy them all,
at the crack of doom defy;
it’s soon enough
the stinting grass
grows over our heads.
Sodom and Gomorrah
Pretty soon some passengers
on the planes and trains of life,
like those denizens of the vicious
cities of the plain,
become unbearable to God,
commit some grievous sin
for which there is no forgiveness.
The pilot closes the cockpit door,
the engineer gives way
to schedules and surly expediency
and God piles on his vengeance,
brings down a murderous rain
of brimstone and fire.
Among the bogus violets in the engine cab,
the plastic roses in the cockpit,
late in the night
a scholar writes his history
of those vengeful times;
his eyelids close and sightless
he writes on until Ursa Major,
the Great Bear, runs its course,
rolling around the night sky
like it always does.
This is the end for them,
in those cities on the plain.
The once fruitful earth
has no sympathy for them,
long bearing the blasted remains
of those two shining cities
brought low by God's hand.
The fire and brimstone rained down
in blazing whirlwinds, rough with light;
upside-down towers and fiery finials,
as the stone-knobbed agonized spires
of the Sagrada Família;
with an obliging God,
pled down to less than
a baker's dozen
to save the city
by God's mercy;
His holy messengers,
in Lot's house
pressed by perverts,
blinded them and
went out searching
for what they were sent to find;
alas, not finding in this teeming city
even ten of the righteous.
Lot's family does right
and gets out of town.
On the smoking streets
people running like ants
and it's no use;
His terrible face and rage,
seen above the furnace of destruction.
So that was that
and Lot's wife,
that one time,
turned to salt by
the divine effulgence
or a last fateful look
at her burning city,
Lot's wife become a memory,
standing pinnacle of salt;
a lesson to us all
in the window of history.
Little room left for life
after a city of calamities
goes up in your face;
the family saved, the mother lost
by a love too strong for her old place
or simply dried up
by the radiance of God.
and unmade by Him
and that for vengeance
and that's the end of it.
Talk About the Wild West
Talk about the wild west,
talk about the plains,
talk about the bygone Indian days;
there never was a time we couldn't see
in our mind's eye
the tribes passing, rambling
through that outstretched land,
staying and settling,
never was a time we couldn't feel
the anger of that tomahawking
wild and wooly holdup age;
the rage that never ended until death
lost nations, destroyed the old ways,
the broad paths, the houses, the tepees,
the very remains of the hearths
broken in the dust.
It's gone now
and now we only see
the piebald horses, the rust-colored
run by the buttes
as spring snipes away
at the Rockies; twittering birds
eat what they can find,
whatever's left on the ground.
Sweet grass comes up timely
for the cows lowing and eating
and we talk about the wild west
to the takers of the land,
to the sad remnants
of bygone nations.
Lady Look, lovely messenger,
reigns over hill and dale,
towns and mountains;
spring's mansion of leaves
and blooms fills, blossoms out;
dogwood trees white white
like fallen parachutes
lift up their plumage
to the warming sun;
daffodils spread lavish light.
Spring besieges summer,
more, more, it asks,
presses for more beauty and life,
newness, the colors of the rainbow,
the paleness of the new moon,
the red-winged blackbird,
the oriole, all showing the world they bring
and we sing old cowboy songs
to the takers of the land,
to the sad remnants
of bygone nations.
O skipping lamb, cakewalk
by the broken shopping carts;
with your small hooves, click, click,
show the asphalt you're the boss.
Nevertheless, never endless
the reign of spring ends,
the bird notes slow,
dwindled away by the sleepy summer
heat, drowsy the trees barely shrug,
the tar melts on the roads.
Only misbegotten seeming
the end of a proud race;
heads of flowers and men
gay only for a while,
knowing the cycle of bygone days,
heads drooping already in dreams
of root-clutching cold, change of seasons,
the end of an age, a way of life,
the end of the wild west we knew,
caught in lifeless tightfisted memories
and we talk about the wild west,
talk about the plains
to the takers of the land,
to the sad remnants
of bygone nations.
Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Typishly Literary Magazine, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and elsewhere. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies.
The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired. He once owned a cat who could whistle “Sweet Adeline,” use a knife and fork and killed a postman.
your mouth leads to
the afterlife, and your
cursed chilled body finds
solace in my shadow,
playing tag until dusk,
when the moon bonds
destinies through a
open wide, utter
your hexes, and i
will be your friend
again, singing your
perish song, in
of digested dreams
we had once shared
Brian (@brahvocado) is a Puerto-Haitian Bronxite writer and performer. His work has been featured in RiverCraft, DenimSkin, Squawk Back, Contraposition, Beliveau, Trouvaille, The Quiver, Rye Whiskey, and Cajun Mutt, among others. He holds a BA in Creative Writing from Susquehanna University. https://brianalvarado.com/writing
When night comes and sleep does not appear,
I ride through unsuspected worlds,
have memories even from days I did not live,
by sure dreams I did not realize.
The yearning is loose; I have to fill the void,
so that I arrive in full to another day waiting for me,
new challenges, new fights.
The new day will be powerful and pugnacious,
unlike me, one day older and not being able to hide
on the face and soul, the marks of misfortune and sorrow,
unrequited loves, dislikes and mismatches.
I will show that I did not renounce the human inheritance,
and, along with dear fellow ones I lived, loved and suffered,
having watered the road even with sweat and tears.
Always sure that we will reach, at the end of the journey,
the promised land, and, unlike Abraham,
who just had a glimpse, we will take secure possession.
Then, dancing and partying, we will throw to the skies
sound and honest laughter.
Mr. Ferreira, 77 years, is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than in Portuguese. Widely published in selected international literary journals, he began writing at age 67, after his retirement as a bank employee. Nominated for The Pushcart Prize 2017, his first Poetry Collection, Lonely Sailor, One Hundred Poems, was launched in London, in November of 2018. He is always updating his works at www.edilsonmeloferreira.com
The hardly noticeable pulsation of its heart
Beating at the insides like drums;
Regular and systematic
Going up and down, fascinating.
I think I would have watched it still
For minutes at length.
There was something about it
To begin, a rhythm
Matching the vein in my head
That was about to pop off.
The urgency was on me then
That vein in my head would burst.
A frustrating agony awaits
But my eyes refuse to leave the beast.
It was drawing me in
The study breathing, music.
My heart was thumping with the rush
But I needed peace,
The vein wouldn't stop emphasizing it.
I felt the blade of the cool dagger
As it drew hot blood gushing;
The creature let out a shrill cry
And then came silence.
The vein was throbbing no more
My heart was finally at ease.
FOR THE RATIOCINATOR
as I go deeper
into the man that he was
it seems to explain
the previously unexplainable
composition of my own character
it becomes much clearer
in him I find
the excuse for my own derangement
we share the same deficiency
in the configuration of our nature
or it’s just me unconsciously
mimicking the legend
probably the later
but anyhow it expounds my caricature
at least for me
and I can no longer deny
that I am as much of a lunatic as him
a reckless mess
trying to mirror his logic
the unusual in him calls out to me
my insanity is in accordance with his
the feverish ‘l'appel du vide’
that he often claimed to have overtaken him
I have, myself, felt many a times before
his madness explains mine
I blame it on his presence
throughout my impressionable years
tender age of growth
shapes a person’s mind
mine was made to match his
in all of it’s abnormality
during those vital years of my life
I was reading more of him
more into him
some of the darkness through his words
seeped into my soul, unknowingly
and still I read him
with the intense frequency
and adoration of a child
till I started morphing into the person he was
without ever knowing what exactly
I was committing myself to
It was so empty in that apartment
I felt my heart would burst of this loneliness.
In that moment I knew,
I could never call this place home.
Time was running out,
It was as if all my life had burnt away
Like a cigarette, consumed in its smoke.
Just gone. Though I was still here,
Still roaming this Earth;
Left behind to wander aimlessly.
Someone up there had forgotten about me.
The wine is turning into vinegar,
What a waste!
Binging on blue ruin or black smoke,
I could still taste blood in the air.
The iron assaulting my mouth senseless
Meanwhile blue-blooded bastards from under,
No good for anything, petty sirens;
Were moon kissing their way into oblivion.
When I open the windows still,
A familiar smell engulfs me.
Somewhere down the street,
A rose was burning.
Can't say I particularly disliked the smell,
But it has such a distinct aroma
That can be identified anywhere;
Smells like innocence on gasoline.
It's intoxication feels so wrong,
I want to refrain from enjoying it.
But I do;
One full breath and I am far too deep in it;
Right at the bottom of the swimming pool
Refusing to swim back up onto the patio,
Even if it meant drowning.
It's the dark waters that restrain me,
You see, but the waves just somehow
Romance me into inhaling it;
Completely love struck with the poetry.
Consciousness makes me feel all mopey
So I ditch the norm for a high.
Burning with a blue flame,
My better judgement, if I had any
Couldn’t stop me from going on a one way road.
It feels like something a sane person would do.
And I am so far beyond sane
That there can be no scale for it;
Guess the burning smell wasn't coming from outside.
Did I finally burst a string?
Or my ears are just ringing?
The past would often hit me,
Out of nowhere, like a sledge hammer.
Or act like a reminder on the phone
That lights up the screen like a flickering light bulb.
Yet the future was a beacon of hope for me,
One which was continuously moving;
Further and further away,
So far at last, that it got out of sight.
I had officially given up on me;
Even when I opened my eyes
I saw blue, miles and miles of it;
Dark and deep;
Dark and deep.
Prachi Kholia is a Master’s student at the Department of English and Modern European Languages, University of Lucknow. With a curiosity for everything ranging from Science-Fiction to Ancient History and a passionate love for reading; she is obsessed with the stars and the emptiness they reside in, often trying to weave stories through her poems. Her Instagram handle is _prachi98_.