The Idol / Summer’s End / Passing By – by Jonathan Butcher

The Idol

In this evening’s haze, edging down that same
road again, watching you perpetually twitch
as you talk and pull pre-stashed cans of
larger from behind wheels of random parked
cars as we edge towards the city.

It was within that tower of innocence that
the front you developed blossomed; and
we allowed it’s fatal breeze to penetrate
our group, if only to keep the peace, and
to allow your voice to echo.
As I frown once more, you intimate your
confusion at my repudiation. I gradually learn
your presence involves more than a little risk;
that creeps upon me slowly,like a sudden,
unwanted bout of reduced inhibitions.
Though these idle crowds your anxiousness
never settles until each eye is penetrating
your own. I gaze forward again, keeping your
back protected, yet at arms length as I slowly
await the end that only appears at your request.

Summer’s End

We begin that midnight walk along the parkway,
that separated those two rows of woodland
and man-made fields. The slow hiss of passing
cars remind us we’re never a stone’s throw away
from those trappings we purport to despise.

That rush has now peaked, that momentary
contentment we allowed ourselves each
summer. This night surrounds us like tainted
water, that still allows us to breathe without
discomfort, yet always threatens to choke.

And you question the relevance of your keys
and phone, whilst the rest of us fail to grasp
the significance of the rows of concrete pillars
that we etch our names upon, just to deplete
our boredom, and leave this territory stained.

We finally take stock at that bridge, that looks
down on those below, and allows us once more
to pass judgment on those with little defense,
and in their rejection we are finally at last allowed
freedom, but without the chance of escape.
Passing By

Those faces again smile through our windows,
without teeth, but still with the threat of bite.
Their worn out hands shaped into fists; over-sized
balls of nothingness.

And the threats are thrown in both directions; verbal
blades in dire need of sharpening, that fail to slice
the flesh from arms now toughened by time and their
failed presence.

We slice through the tightly wound bands of enjoyment,
this haze has now superseded guilt, Our doubts creeps with
the efficiency of a burnt-out bus stop, as insignificant as
ten years ago.

Here we still remain, without the need for the slightest
movement. We then allow what’s left of our whispers
to carry this breeze, and we smash each window left,
if only to allow them air.
jonathanbutcherJonathan Butcher has been writing poetry for around ten years. He has had work appear in various print and online publications, most recently at Odd Ball Magazine, Mad Swirl, Dead Snakes, Your One Phone Call and The Transnational. His second chapbook ‘Broken Slates’ has been published by Flutter Press.
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Poetry Collection – by Nikki Knight

Taste

 

You are—

My favorite critic

Applying the most stringent of criteria

Yet making the fairest of decisions

You won’t speak your mind

Until you’ve taken the time

To listen

 

Soaking in each syllable

Contemplating the meaning

You wait for my words with bated breath

Measuring the breadth and depth

Of every idea and thought expressed

 

You judge me the best.

 

You savor the flavor of every word and pause—

To detect the effect of every cause

You delightfully devour with immense intent

Each

Morsel

 

Purposefully processing,

Filtering and refining my words until they become—

Tiny grains and granules

You press to your palate

And smooth with your tongue

Attempting to discern

Each and every ingredient

In my soul that I have served you—

Just to be certain

Never assuming

You consume me

And you reverently relish the taste.

 

Venus Is Off Her Meds

 

I asked you a simple question

Expecting a straightforward answer

But you tip-toed around the subject

Like a skillful ballet dancer

 

“Do you mean it?” I asked.

“I said it,” you replied.

Somehow that’s not enough for me

I’m still not satisfied

 

Are you really telling me

That you mean everything you say?

Or are you implying you said what I wanted you to

So the issue would go away?

 

If I go with Theory One,

You will ask me why I doubt you

Make it seem as though I’m just insecure

So this won’t have to be about you

 

But if I ask if you’re just appeasing me,

What, really, could you say?

If you say no, I will still wonder

If you say yes, then back to ‘A’…

 

 

‘A’ being the original question

The one you hoped that I’d forgotten

Since you’d nearly climbed your way out of it

But I’ve pulled you back to the bottom

 

“Do you meant it?”

“I said it.”

 

So…tell me, help me understand

Imagine you’re drawing a Venn diagram

Of things you say and things you mean

Is there any overlap?  Any space between?

Would your diagram have just one circle or two?

That’s simply all I’m asking you

 

It’s really not difficult

It’s actually quite painless

No need for you to act

Like your head’s in Uranus

 

Yes, men are from Mars

Women are from Venus

One overthinks everything

While the other strokes his penis

 

Maybe we’d see eye-to-eye

If my eyes were on my boobs—

Are you listening to me??

 

(sigh)

 

Never mind.

Yes, I’ll pass the lube

 

Just when you see I’m sufficiently exhausted

(and don’t deny you’re feeling sly knowing you’re the one who caused it)

You finally give in and whisper softly,

“I love you”

And I answer,

“You don’t have to say it.

I already know you do.”

 

To Knit or Knot?

 

I was one of seven ladies sitting

On a sunny Saturday

Sipping on sangria

And gossiping away

 

Some had brought their knitting

I am a knitter not

I’m partial to crocheting

But the day was just too hot

 

I watched in curious wonder

As the needles clacked and crossed

The stitches slowed but never dropped

Despite the knitters getting sauced

 

Watching too long made my eyes cross

A lesson I politely declined

But I did have one burning question

And asked it while fresh on my mind—

 

“Do you knot your ends when switching skeins

Or stitch the ends back in?”

 

The respondent widened her eyes and gasped

On her face was not a grin

 

“Never knot your knitting!”

She scolded as she spoke

“Surely you must be kidding—

That had to be a joke!

The knot would be the weakest part—

The first to come undone!”

 

Her ‘purls’ of wisdom I took to heart

(Pardon the knitting pun)

 

Of the many things I learned that day

(Most gossip I can’t share)—

If I’m ever fit to learn to knit,

A knot I would not DARE!

 

TOO MANY WORDS

 

No words needed said
But alas, I uttered many
Despite the fact that no one
Had asked for my two pennies

Nothing needed clarified
Nothing was misunderstood
Still, I redelivered the message
Because my first words weren’t as good

No explanation was requested
No question even existed
Yet I anticipated confusion,
So my elaboration persisted

No justification was needed
Although I felt the urge
To find more words to demonstrate
The points where we converge

No feelings required to be professed
But, of course, I came undone
Forgetting the best of emotions
Are the strong and silent ones

No apology was necessary
But I sorried just the same
Convincing even myself
That I was the one to blame

Not one syllable needed spoken
(I leaked so many it’s atrocious)
They spilled out like,
Supercalifragilistic-
Expialidocious
The words just kept on flowing
I’d take a breath, then spit more out
It’s a helpless feeling knowing
You’ve got diarrhea of the mouth

 

The verbal vomit persisted
My mood became morose
Try as I could to resist it,
It seemed I’d become terminally

Verbose

I think only death can save me
So I wish, when I’m interred,
That the inscription on my grave be:
SHE DIED OF TOO MANY WORDS

nikkiknightNikki Knight is a former radio personality and freelance writer from northwestern PA.  Her poetry has appeared in anthologies from Poets’ Hall Press and Peeking Cat Poetry.  Her short story, A Year of Tears, is available on Amazon. Nikki currently works as a counselor in a men’s state correctional facility and continues to hone her creative writing skills as a means of escape. (Pun intended)

An Anthem for a Warlord / Panorama, Relentless / Kattadiya – by Indunil Madhusankha

An Anthem for a Warlord  

(Published in the 2015 Issue 11 of Bunbury Magazine)

 

You were both a father and a husband

with genuine affection,

earning the honour of being claimed responsible

Because your family was placed in

the fabulous fashions of overseas

Yet you failed in understanding

both roles,

when the children and wives of those like you

decomposed into pieces at the blazing barrage,

and at the cataract of bullets

while the bloody rain was pouring in maroon brilliance

Undoubtedly,

in the blood sport,

you richly deserve the gold medal

That all happened over and over again,

while you were enjoying

champagne on the top of the world

Nor did you see thousands drowned in death

Nor did you hear their death bark

Instead, your eyes were dancing to the music

of the earphone

and you were lying on the cushion bed

The horror never came to you

It was just like a violent and barnstorming fight in a film

The magnitude of your selfishness

and your infinite sadism

that kept a whole nation under torment,

leaving an inexhaustible number of innocents dead

How could the earth bear this anymore?

Buddhist literature illustrates,

Nor will the earth bother any more

to hold eccentric sinners like you on it

Instead it will splinter itself into two,

and will swallow you at a single gulp

Yet you may seem to be a terrific ghoul

even at the inside of the earth

That’s why,

the great earth also dreads you.

 

 

 

 Panorama, Relentless

(Published in the 2015 Issue 11 of Bunbury Magazine)

 

Though not worthy of poetic exploration,

the epidemic has risen into a gigantic cataract

with the power of overtaking the whole island

And its rampant vampirism,

quite sickening

Incapable, I am, of being in captivity any longer,

and so, must run along the streets

and bring out a volley of protest

against the gallows structured everywhere

and the deadening cactus growing uncontrolled

Shrapnel scattered here and there

Blood sodden corpses

demand a calculator to be counted

Just take this year, 2009

First the Sirasa TV station,

then Lasantha and so on and so forth

 

A mounting number, threatened and flagellated

Pus is already spilling out of the boil

The blinding pitiless sun,

the only eye witness to the insupportable injustice

No longer will he dive in the continuing callousness

and may diffuse barbed, piercing rays

to tear the mobsters and

heal the wound on humanity

with the amazing brilliance of his light!

 

Kattadiya

(Published in the 2015 Issue 11 of Bunbury Magazine)

 

Superhuman power possessing juggler

A wonderfully inimitable creation of god

A source of hero worshipping for the village folk

remedying the issues of any sort

 

In digging out the treasures

enshrined by ancient sovereigns,

he performs the offering of immolation

that demands blood and flesh

A beast or a human happens to be the hapless victim

The hen’s neck is cut down fiercely

while the circling headless body

wriggles flopping its wings

Or an innocent person

will be doomed to be a headless corpse

 

The Bali Thovilaya is quite fearful

In case of incurable sicknesses,

generally called the god’s illnesses

A person in guise of a fearful devil

gives a horrific dance,

too awkward to explain in words

 

If the matter is a love affair

to be broken,

only a hair from each partner

is what the Kattadiya asks for

Then he fills it with the powers of his mantra

and resultantly,

in the hearts of once inseparable lovers

there flares a fury,

so grave to devour each other

 

Very pithy is the Hooniyama,

of which the repercussion is a far worse crime

Deterioration of wealth bathed millionaires

into penniless mendicants,

at the stroke of engraving in a pit,

a concoction of camphor, incense and

the ashes of a cremated body

 

Some cases require

a newly buried corpse

Playing midnight games with the dead

in graveyards,

the Kattadiya performs the puja

 

Occasionally he knifes some limes

chanting a ritualistic incantation

A stuttering and an almost

panic stricken recitation

 

A richly fertile mind

prophesying the future

as if seeing the looming spectacle

 

Sadly misguided,

almost like maniacs

A pointless mess

pushing the door open

to a society,

morally impoverished.

indunil-madhusankha-photo

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

Poetry Collection – by Colin Dodds

Arriving at the Beach Alone in Autumn

The immediate circumstances of a revelation

are peculiarly crucial

 

Between schemes at the ragged edges

of miscellaneous majestic mercenary dreams

Old enough to count

the loss of nerve a boon

 

Toilet burbles silence ululates

in the unlocked room of The Strathmere Motel

a place on the ocean, quiet in summer

cheap in autumn, more or less on the way

from the place that paid him to the place he lived

 

Napped on the hard bed weighed a quiet night in

But set out in a moon-juggling fog

with Atlantic City lights sinister in the distance

among the humped nests of angry terns

 

Hoping to provoke

the smothering opaque presence

that had grown so near

to determining him

 

 


Out of Orderly Forms

Fog deepens clouds contort

into the sneer of a clown

The beach shatters into orderly forms

The sky has no personal advice

 

Maybe it’s the afternoon’s World War Two novel

or the bum’s rush of the things he has to think

just to think at all

Maybe the well at the center of history

was tainted by a virgin’s corpse

Maybe commerce does invade every zone

Maybe there’s no arriving anywhere unpolluted

 

But provoked, the sky of stars

gives way to a sky of snakes

The beach strips bare and barer still

explodes to grasping hands of flame

Iniquities of childhood mature

to monstrosities of adulthood

A sluggish garter snake graduates

to a world-devouring dragon

through whose broadcasts he sifts all night

under an admonition said soft but heard hard

 

Voices of reason sing his name

They’re there to help

but to listen is to lapse

 

Obstinate atop a tern’s nest

wellness isn’t why he’s come

 

He’s there to win words that will withstand

the tides of sleep

 

 

 

State of War

Of course there’s war, a seabird chirrups

at the other lonesome predator in the sands
who also spends someone else’s money

eats someone else’s food

beds someone else’s beloved

on someone else’s land

 

No one wants to hear his apology
The tern struts and screeches

You may think I am interrupting you.

But if you look at it from my point of view,

you would see that just the opposite is true.

 

He’d gone to the beach to escape the war

the hierarchy he’s embedded in

the people he exploits and the ones who exploit him

to encounter something else

 

The sky snarls with the ocean its devouring mouth

bloodied at one corner where casino lights

victimize one another

Shadow scenarios rise and fall all night

all life or death all quite real ultimately

And that night, it’s all ultimately

 

Phalanxes mobilize below his damp hands

War pursues and subsumes his meditations

The music stops in a world without end

and he can no longer call his uniform a disguise

 

It’s the beginning of the bad story

 

 

The Clenched Flower

The void

to a living creature

is iridescent, amniotic

an inferno of symbols
Zero o’clock ramparts rent records burning

in a surging sea of hands and flowers

the kinks and sins of every wind

incarnate unrestrained
The man on the beach loses track

of whether he’s a human sex trafficker

holy sacrifice murderous salesman fool whose failure matters

or just a confused kid circling the drain crying out

in what small sullied aperture of wilderness

he could afford for a night

 

Every guiding directive

to speak or not see remember or not

to run to or from the lights to seek or flee human aid

shatters to a flock of flipping coins

and drowns in the ineffectual wish-fulfillment of a riot

 

Red lights flare green

Language explodes into unknown codes

Nailed to the beach groping for a clue

the sky opens without welcome

to reveal a clenched unblossoming bud

vibrating poised to vomit itself forth

 

It’s the knob of a door

he dares not reach for

 colinColin Dodds is the author of Another Broken Wizard, WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” His writing has appeared in more than two hundred publications, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology. Poet and songwriter David Berman (Silver Jews, Actual Air) said of Dodds’ work: “These are very good poems. For moments I could even feel the old feelings when I read them.” Colin’s book-length poem That Happy Captive was a finalist for the Trio House Press Louise Bogan Award as well as the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award in 2015. And his screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter. See more of his work at thecolindodds.com.

Melting Memories of Paper Skin – by Sudeep Adhikari

A day with ancient déjà Vus. Confluence of sky

 and streets through the worm-holes

of melting memories. My skin was almost a

 paper, I could have painted my terracotta dreams there.

The cities have their own secrets; the ghettos

on the suburbs of Main Street, where a schizophrenic

hottie once told me an awkward story of a mother-ship,

beaming people up from the streets.

The stupor of half-burnt Black and Mild, stale Colt-45,

 and some colognes which smelled like sex. A local

 pizzeria where I saw nobody go, chocolate-chips cookies,

 purple punches, strapped-up gangsters, strippers and gods.

That must be the month of August.  Its deep blue

skies make me swoon, and make me lose my tongue.

Naked reality through the naked mind. I just watch.

sudeepSudeep Adhikari, from Kathmandu Nepal, is professionally a PhD in Structural-Engineering. .  His poetry has found place in many online/print literary journals/magazines, the recent being Red Fez (USA), Kyoto (Japan), Uneven Floor (Australia), Dark Matter Journal (USA), Open Mouse (Scotland), Outsider Poetry (USA), Devolution Z (Canada) and Pinyon Review (USA). 

For the Love of My Life – by Nahian Kabir

You came into my life like a cold summer breeze ,

When I looked in your eyes even time seemed to freeze.

 

With your smile ,

You subdued my foolish fears ,

Made me happy and wiped away my tears.

 

You came in my life because of fate ,

I was filled with nothing but hate .

but somewhere down the road,

In you I found my soul mate.

 

I am now yours and you’re mine ,

Your smile sends shivers down my spine .

Your love is so fine

and happiness is something you redefine …

 

Euphoria was something I felt ,

When you first held my hand ,

My heart began to melt

and I smiled at what God had planned … for us.

 

So as I look at the horizon with you beside me ,

I pray to God you’ll stay with me forever

Because my search for the perfect girl is over…

10689500_1014639651895974_3746599200866170623_n

Shabab Nahian Kabir is aspiring poet from Bangladesh.
Nahian dreams of a world filled with art and literature.
When he’s not writing, you can find listening to music.
He considers rain and stars to be magic and that’s writing is to him.
Nahian is an editor for the Prestigious Writers and
publishes work frequently for local magazines.
Contact Nahian at shababnahian@gmail.com