“Space Diminishing” Poetry by John Tustin

The Chamber Magazine
The space diminishing.
The hours narrowing.
The clock winding down
To slowness, ready to stop
Before we are prepared to stop tracking
The time.
I open the blinds just before dusk
To find the sun is dying,
Fallen from her perch above it all
And bleeding in the street 
An orange-yellow blood
That is in flames pooling along the gutters.
You are all stuck in your homes
Watching as the sun blinks out
Just as I am.
The blood of the sun irradiating us,
Making the minutes into seconds, the days into hours.
Might as well sit down and wait.
I move to the cool easy darkness of my bedroom,
Shut the door, turn on the overhead fan.
I hunker down with my poetry books
And the memories of when the sun was in the sky
In the day, the moon there at night
And you beside me, above me, beneath me
In the brief times between
All of the sadness.

The space diminishing.
The walls becoming tighter, the ceiling lowering.
The sun is dead, the streets in flames of blood.
It’s nice and dark in here, though.
I feel the glow coming from the windows.
I think about other things, getting into bed,
The hours so narrow
It is day and also night,
The moon melting upon
The corpse of the still hot sun
As I lie here waiting.
Just waiting
The way I have always

John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many disparate literary journals since 2009. fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry contains links to his published poetry online.

“Destruction” Poetry by Stephen House

The Chamber Magazine
slam smashed crushed of once alive 
earth falling 
by stark hit hard reprise 

smacking new over recurrence continue
grip on twisting 
wonder why kill living

going on is what never expected we wait
destruction quantity 
now exposed in blood

disappearance of wilderness gapes painful
collective creepers 
refuse our stop extinction	

breathing in smoke of distress us contribute
asking multiple help 
without relief in need 

wonder void hopeful conclusion waiting 
i knew a life 
of joining cohesive once 

realized it but end riddle deepened sharp 
confronted remembering 
before sang my begging  

choice of your dream whatever for imagine 
pray to pull motionless 
steady need corpse silent 

leap mixed colours not before seen striking 
coughing planet 
struggles to whistle relief 

wish of life then continual barrage destroy 
empty eventually 
sinks us down	to vanish 

Stephen House has won many awards and nominations as a poet, playwright and actor. He’s received several international literature residencies from The Australia Council and an Asia-link residency. His chapbook “real and unreal” was published by ICOE Press. He’s published often and performs his acclaimed monologues widely.

Three Poems by Melody Wang

The Chamber Magazine
What I’d Tell You If I Could 

Before everything turned to dust,
to grey soot before my unseeing eyes, 
Before I walked through life as a woman 
who still delighted in that feeling 
of desire of heat emanating 
from the wicked depths of a stranger  

It was here that I wrote these mementos 
on crisp hotel paper, the ink free-flowing, staining
the carpet below, much like I would mere moments
later. The floral wallpaper, wilted and curling around 
corners of what I now know to be my last sanctuary, 
has never been changed — but who dares disturb 

This slumber. Elusive as redemption. 3:18 a.m. 
always, the alarm clock gets stuck at this ungodly hour 
as if to keep my stagnant energy company, 
as if it could somehow change my fate 

Who are you, then, to complain of this room  —
the blessed radiator in the corner that far outlasted
	whatever remnant of life I tried to salvage
that god-awful lace pillow that pink faded color coagulating 
	with the filth of a thousand unworthy bums
grinding away at all hours of the night with no regard 
	for all the lonely souls that came before? 
All the Spells You’ve Harbored

Traversing the uncanny valley
evokes a sense of wrong geometry
having never been fully accustomed
to the delirium of the shadow world
Her neighbor refuses to cut those hedges
blocking drivers’ views, so the silent city 
grotesquely smiles, eager to gorge on bloated 
first fruits of the living before year’s end
Mother's fig tree is barren this year,
full diaphanous leaves tauntingly
upturned to receive the blessing yet
unwilling to reciprocate the sacrifice

Originally posted to HelloPoetry in 2020 

In the center realm
my awareness grows;
unbeknownst to him, I am
no longer the doe-eyed child
claimed (bound) by naivete
He slithers forth now
the attempts to parade
his glossy new image as
futile as the re-branding
of the Cecil – 
an ornate and stately
synagogue of sorrow
Darkening corridors
leading to nowhere
harbor secrets we've buried
alongside our dead –
where are they now?
A forgotten foretelling
paces warily in an
impenetrable glass cage
Under a quaint blood moon
he dresses his story again in
off-white flimsy shrouds
Only the filth remains.

Originally posted to HelloPoetry in 2020 

Melody Wang currently resides in sunny Southern California with her dear husband. In her free time, she dabbles in piano composition and also enjoys hiking, baking, and playing with her dogs. She can be found on Twitter @MelodyOfMusings.  

“Día de Muertos” Poetry by John Tustin

The Chamber Magazine
Disturbing the bones of the dead
Remembering the torment best forgotten
Creating your narrative of persecution and innocence

Wearing a halo of flies
You natter about your village in exaggerated anger
You put chains on the slaves you maternalistically call a tribe

Tonguing the wounds you open
Skinning the corpse and wearing the skin
Bearing the gift of maggots

You return in the night to make subtle agony
You come to take her by infecting me
You are the living disease

You enter the blood through a parasite in the ear
Your eyes twinkle with malevolence
Your eyes narrow with underhanded intent

You yourself are the illness
You wear your scars inside still raw and pink
You break the bone and suck the marrow from a smile

Disturbing the bones of the dead
Feeding on those who live
You yourself are dead

You kill the sun
The floor slick with sadness you create
Snarling with your bloody teeth

Drunk on bigotry and madness
Creating a false family of zombies frightened of noise and shadows
Frightened of you who casts the largest shadow

But you are the mistress of this darkness
You ascend from the steps of hell
Emerging from your sepulcher like a spider 

Cascading up and down the wall
Such loveless fangs
Such a cold embrace

You bring your fog of evaporated tears
You bring your pestilence like rotting meat on a rusty hook
You attempt to give every day to the dead

You bring sickness as if it is medicine
You alone create tomorrow:
Día de Muertos

John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many disparate literary journals since 2009. fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry contains links to his published poetry online.

Five Poems by Edilson A. Ferreira

The Chamber Magazine

I wander by unvoiced, almost secretly, 
like a ghost by corners of a sleeping city,
fearful they could awake arresting me
to die at dawn on merciless lethal light.

First published in Right Hand Pointing issue 83-1, February 2015.
Comrades on the Road

I believe there is a conspiracy ongoing 
involving all of us. 
I do not know when or where it began,
nor who initiated it.
They occult from me their talks 
just I approach one of them. 
It seems to me a stealthy fellowship, 
a strange one, of saints and demons, 
angels and warlocks, even goblins. 
They congregate to rule all people,
fighting for our souls, one by one. 
Someone has been told it is a caste
that rids humanity from wrecking   
and leaves it alive on the road, 
leavening us before ultimate battle.

Published in Subterranean Blue, June 2015 issue. 
Translated into French as “Camarades sur la Route” by the author and Rebbeca Banks and published in Poésie Bleu Souterrain at the same date.

They say I have forgotten to turn out 
the lights of my ambition and desire, 
of the hurry, the youth and cockiness.  
I add, by myself, also the ones of love, 	
seeking, lust, yet envy.  And finally,
I am sure never will be lost others like  
the rejoicing to be alive and dreaming.
It would be good they get out of my way,    
for a loadstar still warms me so fiercely, 
that I mirror fire, I burn and, sometimes,  
I inject sparks. 

First published in Mocking Heart Review, Spring/Summer issue, 2016.
And the Wind Came

Showing that it did not come for love, 
did not know how to be gentle and affectionate. 
It came for lust and voluptuousness, not the breath
of a lover, but the madness of the impassioned.  
It did not learn to be breeze, was born this way, 
snorting and showing its claws, 
without notice or warning. 
Knocking at the doors and all of a sudden 
forcing the windows, 
like a river which comes out of its bed
and floods the lands around. 
It did not waste time making swirls or pranks, 
its shot was direct and accurate, without pause or rest, 
like a shameless male, clothes off and in open air, 
covering, without modesty or prudence, 
his chosen female. 
It has warned not to scrimp its desire, 
not turning into a hurricane. 

Published in TreeHouse Arts, January 31 2018.

Dreaming a Home-Journey from Exile 

Sometimes, one of us rises to the surface,
taking flight from the bottom of Dark Sea,
where, exiled, we have stayed for so long.      
Defeated in old battles forgotten by time,
sentenced in absentia by a merciless court,
clearing debts of incautious ancestors.
Our vision accustomed to the shadows,
our body surviving with minimal breath.
When the one who adventures the climb
arrives on the shore and breathes full life,
he is abruptly sunk again by diligent guards,
those armed cherubims at Paradise Gate.
Has our penalty not yet lapsed?
Has not yet been paid the reparation of the beaten?
Could we endure light by the day of release?
Perhaps, then, with a pledge of the dark days of yore,
we may, sharing beloved Earth with the Almighty, 
make a new light; friendly to human nature,
openhearted, unabrasive and compassionate.

First published in The Bees are Dead, September 8, 2016. 

Mr. Ferreira, 77, 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