THE POET – Featured Poetry – August, 2021
Featured Poetry – AUGUST, 2021.
By Monica Manolachi (ROMANIA)
My first English dictionary
had an author with a Russian surname
not easy to pronounce.
It was a birthday present.
Mother wanted me to have another mother
when she was away at work.
A mother with pages.
We had moved to a new home,
the living room was empty
and grandpa had brought us a turkey.
After she gave me the dictionary,
the revolution broke out.
I began to flip through it more often,
imagining myself in a foreign city,
where my sister was waving from a bridge.
Cot, pot, bun, pun, plug, rug, ham, ram…
Each and every new word halved me
like a bird halving the sky.
When I first sang a song in the new language,
nobody around understood me
nor did I know what I was singing.
Then I kept silent for some time
in all sorts of languages from the planet.
A silent night with bones.
Grandpa died when I was in a foreign city,
where I saw a turkey in a park.
Eventually, I gave the dictionary away
and freed the albatross from its cover.
I loved people before grasping their words.
On the path of translation
I have found the child I used to be.
➡️ Điểm qua bộ sưu tập stt hay về cuộc đời tại đây. Toàn những câu nói giúp bạn thấu hiểu hơn về mọi mặt của cuộc sống.
Award-winning poet Monica Manolachi is a lecturer of English and Spanish at the University of Bucharest. She has published three collections of her own poetry, and has translated other poets, as well as classical and contemporary novels, into Romanian.
HELLO MR. TRAVELLER
By Isioma Jemimah Okonicha (NIGERIA)
Your name is mentioned everywhere
Each day you struggle for a ticket as you hang your bag
Looking for either local or advanced means of transport.
Your ways we do not understand
A job that keeps you on a path through journeys
You do not have a family
You spend each day booking tickets and staying in lines
All passengers have had contact with you
They speak of your weird nature
You never speak to anyone except travel is mentioned
That’s when you suddenly awake
You sleep throughout the way as you snore loudly
We know your mark your identify
You do not accord time for anything else
As you clinch right to the bag that you prefer to hold
You’ve been voted as the king of travels
Yet you disagree as you deny holding a certain bag too
With marks of deep sleep
As you talk on a full speed
No one has the right to criticize you though
We are only eager to know your destinations
Call it a gossip, but our reasons are genuine
You are always saying a goodbye.
Isioma Jemimah Okonicha is a Nigerian writer and poet, with several works published in magazines, journals and anthologies.
By Hanh Chau (USA)
The melting pots
They called this place is
Where the mixture is originated
With the diversity display
Do you see where you belong
With the colour of image skin
The mother tongue that you speak
The ancient history you represent
Your REAL identity that it was asked
To ensure where it fits
In the mainstream society
One MUST break out
Of own comfort zone
And come out from its own shell
To learn the true value
To showcase where it begins
I found my own heritage comes
With bravery and beauty posses
To carry out with a beautiful legacy
I am humble to call myself
ABC – American Born Chinese
That I still eat with chopstick and rice
That instilled me with
To define for the potential
of greater opportunity
In the land of freedom
For a better future
Yet, it reminded me
Never lose in touch
With my own heritage root
Where I come from
Be proud of you are
And stand firmly
To show gracious kindness
Of one true radiant colour
With the own unique individuality
Born in Vietnam, of Chinese descent, Hanh Chau has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Business administration and enjoys writing poetry in her spare time.
By Naida Mujkic (BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA)
It was lovely at Hasiba’s
Summer kitchen she used
As a matter of fact, she wasn’t just cooking there
She was receiving women there
She was cutting pilaf there, she was making preserves there
It was a place for dining and sleeping
She would take us into the house and show us around
Both stories of the house
We only never went into the bedroom
With a balcony where Hasiba’s son was sleeping all the time
Tough and sturdy guy
We would tiptoe back
To the summer kitchen
Where a tea pot was waiting for us
An elder tree tea
So tasty and so sweet
I would fall asleep in the corner listening to
Knitting needle clicking
Women have always had something to talk about
And they were happy with their knitting work
But one day the war – why? – took away
Hasiba’s only son and soon
The green grass covered him
She got ill for short while
And died of sorrow not seeing the end of the war
Her husband locked the summer kitchen
But he too soon washed
Ashore the river half eaten up
The summer kitchen inherited
A cousin living in America, who never came over
These days the kitchen is decayed, only
Stone walls are there through which elder trees
are branching out
And those not fearing snakes are going there gladly
To collect elder tree flowers, as big as flames
Naida Mujkic has published six books of poetry. She survived the Bosnian war and currently lives in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
WAR NO MORE
By Marija Trifunovska Taseska – MACEDONIA
Bloodshed, rivers of cries
An innocent man dies.
Why? Why should such despair exist?
So that some can comfortably sit in their chair,
So that some can decide who lives and who dies.
Let there war be no more!
For blood does not bring victory,
But peace does.
For not hatred, but love can bring happiness.
Instead of showing power,
Give flower to those who now cannot arise
And finally, END this bloody despise.
Marija Trifunovska Taseska teaches English at a primary school in Bitola, south Macedonia. She has published one book of poetry and two novels, and has been published in a number of magazines and websites.
THE NARROW ROAD
By Mtende Wezi Nthara (MALAWI)
Not beautiful shoes, just shoes
Is all it took to get to the top
One step after the other
In a straight but slanty position
Sometimes windy, and steep
And sloppy, surprisingly
Thinking of it gives goosebumps
Experiencing it lifts the soul
Upon hearing the sounds of nature
Annoyingly good, when out of breath
A sit down comes in handy
To restore the broken spirit
No predator, in the name of nature
Can break the hope in the spirit
Even trees smile back and forth in admiration
Wishing to be your escort
But the best offer is a peep
And a whisper to the next one
Turning back is not an option
For the minutes of glory await
Getting there soothes the body
And the spirit as well
The peak is all smiles
While bidding farewell to the narrow road
Mtende works at the Catholic University of Malawi as an Associate Lecturer in the English and Communication Studies Department. She has had a number of poems published and edits for Nthanda Review,
MY FATHER SAID TO ME
By Allen Ashley (ENGLAND)
My father said to me:
“Close your eyes for a moment.
of the bright floodlights
meant that Charlie George and Johnny Radford
still buzzed about in red and white,
being kicked by Billy Bremner.
My father said to me:
“Go on, pick up a handful of maggots,
they won’t hurt.”
For a short time I could tell the difference between
roach and perch,
dace and bream.
But The Beatles and the local park
appealed much more than angling.
My father said to me:
“Tell your mother I don’t feel too good.
I’m going to sit in my armchair in the corner,
have a ciggie
before the ambulance arrives.”
And I crossed my fingers
hoping it would be just like last time:
a couple of weeks on the ward
and then back home to fill the empty space.
Allen is an award-winning writer and editor from London and President of the British Fantasy Society. He works as a critical reader and creative writing tutor. He is the founder of the advanced science fiction and fantasy group Clockhouse London Writers.
SEPTEMBER THE DIVA
By John Nixon (SWEDEN)
We slept in the still of a late summer dusk
When the warmth of the day still hung in the air
And the windows yawned open, as all through the dog-days,
To catch any breath of a breeze in the night
and at two or three in the morning
The seasons changed place on their stage of the year.
We woke to a white light flash, filling the room
And a grumble of thunder far over the sea
And a movement of cold caused the curtains to sway,
Swung frames on the walls, blew papers about.
Susurrus of rain we sensed far, rushing closer,
So up out of bed we scrambled at once
To shut all the windows, but not quick enough
And a wind from the west slapped the house in the face
Slammed windows unlatched, knocked a vase to the floor
Then the sound of the rain, seething nearer and fast
On the trees, on the grass, on the roads, on the glass
Of the windows still open, our faces soon wet
As we saw Summer flee, written out of the plot
And September, the Diva, step into the spot.
Based in Gothenburg, British born John Nixon writes poetry, flash fiction, longer short stories and articles, and translator of technical and educational texts.
HE DAY HAS AWAKENED, SO COME
By Claudia Hardt (GERMANY/BAHRAIN)
Come, the light of the unclouded dawn.
Come, melodic music.
Come, lull us with lyrics of fidjeri,
let us set the sails and raise the anchor.
Come, Dana, come.
Come, soul of the deep blue sea.
Come, leave the shallow waters.
Come, reveal your nacreous lustre,
enchant us with your shimmery countenance.
Come, Dana, come.
Come, well-spring that gives in times of plight.
Come, hope and growth.
Come, with happiness and joy
after a time of destitution.
Come, Dana, come.
Come, back to the shores of the ‘two seas’.
Come, after months away from home.
Come, fill our homes with love and laughter
and the warmth of a close family.
Come, Dana, come.
Bring my loved one back to me.
Writer and poet Claudia Hardt discovered writing as a teenager, and was the first female deputy editor of her high-school magazine in Germany. She has used her passion for travel to create stories, poetry and columns which have been published worldwide.
OLD AGE HOME
By Guna Moran (ASSAM)
Translated by Bibekananda Choudhury
Had a little time for myself
To eat and to sleep
That I gave you all
Put aside a little amount
To tide over the tough days
That I spent for you
Father handed me a little plot
To save me from being homeless
That I got registered in your name
I built a house
With the intent to stay together
With my daughter-in-law and grandchildren
But there space fell short for me
After doling out everything
I took refuse as an old horse at your house
You pushed me out and dumped here
But my mind stayed back there
Every moment your memory haunts me
You are all educated
Please invent a medicine to control the mind
Once one turn old
Can move to Old age Home
Guna Moran is an Assamese poet and critic. His poems are published in more than 150 international magazines and journals, and into over thirty languages.
I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO LOVE YOU
By Ghazi Al Shehabi (BAHRAIN)
I would have loved to love you.
If there was ever anything there between us
Other than projected emotions
And the wishful thinking of a hopeless romantic
I held on to that illusion because I wanted to feel
Even when it drove me mad
But I finally see the truth that
I would have loved to love anyone
Because I’m incapable of loving myself.
Ghazi Al Shehabi Is a Bahraini who currently works as a journalist for one of Bahrain’s English language newspapers. His major themes focus on his journey with depression, coping with loss and isolation, as well as finding hope.
YOUR GHOST WON’T LET ME GO
By Mike Rollins (ENGLAND/SAUDI ARABIA)
I have to leave this landscape;
It’s getting late, you know?
But I can’t move a single step
Because your ghost won’t let me go.
Perhaps Time is like a river
And as I watch the river flow,
My eyes are drawn to the other side,
And your ghost won’t let me go.
Or maybe Time is a serpent:
Insidious and slow;
Venom sliding through my veins,
While your ghost won’t let me go.
This life is a Shadow Show.
I turn my face from the darkness,
But your ghost won’t let me go.
This angel carved from marble,
Cold and silent as new snow,
Her sightless eyes entrance me
And, like your ghost, won’t let me go.
English emerging poet Mike Rollins worked at a British shipyard until leaving to train as an English teacher. He now works ar the British School of Al Khobar, in Saudi Arabia.
MY LITTLE BABY (SOON U’LL BE A LADY)
By Alonzo “zO” Gross (USA)
Hear My WordZ,
My Little Luv/
as Light as BirdZ,
or the Flight of a Dove/.
I Speak 2 U-
My Little Baby)
as sure as the Moon,
Soon U’ll Be A Lady).
Many Will Seek U
4 Ur God-Given Beauty
But Never let them Lead U
2 A Place Unruly
Make it Ur Duty
2 Love God,
Whometh gave U,
The Breath of Life,
Feel My Heart,
Know My Love,
Whilst U Gracefully – Grow My Love…
Hear My WordZ,
My Little Baby
U’ll Be A Lady.
A graduate of English Literature from Temple University, Alonzo, or ‘zO’, is a contemporary poet, songwriter, dancer, recording artist and writer.
By Cyrus Dali Vesuvala (INDIA)
Head on my shoulder,
And, though you’re turning colder,
Yet we still keep holding hands …
Kiddo, you scared of me?
Know you cannot love me,
But could we still keep holding hands?
I had you April,
And May was too long …
Another man’s girl,
Another man’s song …
Cyrus Dali Vesuvala is a musician, singer and songwriter. He has produced over 80 pieces of work, and has collaborated with musicians and lyricists around the world.
ON THE BOUTONNE
Wynn Wheldon (ENGLAND)
Laughter, mint and dragonflies
as we canoed the Boutonne.
Twelve clicks from Antezant to St Jean,
a trip memory amplifies into the Arcadian,
as we recall what gratifies
and not the cloud that dims the sun.
Wynn has published three collections of poetry, biographies of Huw Wheldon and Daniel Mendoza, and reviews occasionally for the Spectator and Commentary magazine.
By Brian Cobb (USA)
Your plump, moist
cherry red lips
call to me singing,
with sweet nectar you bring.
Voice sending voice
breath to breath
call to me singing
your sweet nothings.
Lung to lung
lip to lip,
a taste like a kiss
calls out singing
ringing in everything and me.
Brian Cobb is an emerging poet experimenting in words, structure, imagery and composition.
DO NOT BURN THE CANDLES
By Alicja Maria Kuberska (POLAND)
Do not burn the candles
For me, my darling.
Do not call me.
I am the night butterfly.
I will fly to you,
Lured by warmth and flames.
My wings will burn
And I will stay forever
With you and your words
Alicja Maria Kubersk is an award winning Polish poet, novelist, journalist and editor, whose poems have been published in anthologies and magazines around the world.
By Chrys Salt MBE (SCOTLAND)
Striving against spring gusts
we watched the kites
pull on invisible strings,
swerving, redoubling against the light.
Some flown to specks
and others close and still
like technicoloured patches
on the sky,
and some whose will
seemed to defy
their landlocked handlers
as they danced
in dives and snatches
flirting with the air.
There is something magical and true
in grown men flying kites,
and on that afternoon it seemed
they all would stay
forever caught in hammocks of the wind
their bright tails streaming.
And marvelling with the children
(yours and mine)
I felt your nearness tug
as my thoughts went flying
free, but responsive to an unseen line.
Chrys Salt MBE is a seasoned performer and a widely published poet. Numerous awards include a National Media Award and a Fringe First from The Edinburgh Festival. Chrys was awarded MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2014 for Services to The Arts.
A VERY SPECIAL CHILD
By Gary Shulman, MS. Ed. (USA)
Dedicated to Matthew
In life sometimes an angel appears
As a child with adversity to endure
Yet absolute truth from his mouth would flow
So honest, refreshing and pure
And so in our lives such a child did appear
Diminutive, cherubic and sweet
A smile that would melt a glacier
Often in pain from his head to his feet
Brain and body constantly struggling
Struggling just to survive
Daily functions we’d take for granted
Each day a miracle that he remained alive
To live in this world he was driven
“Please and thank you!”
Would fill each day
Every moment replete with music and laughter
Warming your soul like the sun’s healing ray
He knew pure truth as truth should be
No judgments, nor bias nor hate
Once loudly foretelling my nuptial
which came true … and it wasn’t just fate
For this innocent child so wracked with pain
Saw beyond the societal norm
And recognized that love is love
Seeing the future in a much purer form
I would love to say the angel lives on
To bless this world today
But his frail and painful body and mind
On earth just could no longer stay
Forever blessed we will always be
His blessings we can never repay
We know his love lives on forever
For eternity and a day
Gary Shulman, MS. Ed, spent a lifetime supporting vulnerable families and children, and for over 24 years he passionately advocated for the needs of these parents as the Social Services and Training Director for Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc. in NYC.
THROUGH THE GARBAGE
By Shabbirhusein K Jamnagerwalla (TANZANIA)
Yes, I am that modest poor youth
Uneducated and shelter less
Wearing worn out faded clothes
Without any footings to display and protect
Rummaging through the city’s garbage
Looking for a scrap of food
Searching for a leftover soda bottle
Life is such a horrible one for me
Surely a very highly explosive one.
From the days my parents quarrelled
From little improper matters
And they parted ways so selfishly
Resulting in my father resorting to hard drinks and women
And my mother turning literally into a flirt
And I was left out
In this bizarre World
Just loveless and an orphan
So to say
Without parents and an object for anyone to play with.
Yet I would search for torn away books and magazines
Dumped away into the city’s garbage bags
And clear them and to read them under the street lights
All the time unable to go to school
And unable to become any specialist
And I remain a poor youth
While my parents are still alive
And this unkempt child remains an outright poor pauper!
Ah what a lively scrapyard I do possess
From a highly classified society!
Shabbirhusein K Jamnagerwalla has been writing poetry for the past fifty years. He as been honoured during India’s 74th Independence, and awarded the Kairat Duissenov Medal For Poetic Excellence.
IT’S SIMPLY INGENIOUS
By Niels Hav (DENMARK)
Translated by P.K. Brask & Patrick Friesen
Poems are in many ways different from sausages.
For instance, poems have this advantage over sausages
you can consume them –
and they are still there.
You can consume them again and again,
still, there they are.
Just like that pig from Norse mythology.
The attaché for trade at the embassy
couldn’t understand that.
It simply took him by surprise.
Ingenious, he said rubbing his hands together
as though he already sat in Valhalla drinking mead.
It’s simply ingenious!
Niels Hav is a Danish poet and short story writer, with awards from The Danish Arts Council. He is the author of seven collections of poetry and three books of short fiction.
By Kathy Sherban (CANADA)
pain laid bare
Pursuit of peace
Pen to paper
Kathy Sherban’s book Accidental Poetess is expected out in the autumn of 2021. Her poetry is inspired by love, life and spirituality.
FB: Kat’s Poetry Korner
OUT OF TOWN
By David Watt (AUSTRALIA)
He told her that he loved her
As autumn loves the breeze.
He told her she was special
As pollen is to bees.
But what he didn’t mention
And what he never dared
Concerned one little secret
Much better left unshared –
A lover for occasions
When loyalty lay down;
A fancy to be savoured
When working out of town.
Based in Canberra, award-winning, multi-published poet David Watt enjoys creating emotionally challenging and thought-provoking poetry.