Poetry Drawer: Dinner at the Kitchen Island by Kevin Casey

The bird I’ve brought home, snatched from its roost
in the grocery store rotisserie,
lies trussed and supine on the kitchen island–
to be eaten by myself and whomever’s here,
now that the children are of driving age,
and only silence and shadows remain
impatient to greet me at the door.

From the darkness of the living room,
my seventeen-year old daughter emerges,
standing opposite at the counter
in the reticence she’s fixed toward me
for a week. And without a word or glance,
we begin to dismantle the bird.

White meat pulled from tendons, dark meat scraped from bone,
we crack joints in our accidental dinner,
unknitting ligaments, greasy fingers
raised to mouths, until our meal is done,
and she lopes back up the stairs, back to her life,
with the carcass reduced to a capsized keel
of cartilage and bone stranded on the island,
stripped to that treasured, elemental moment.

Inky Interview Special: Kevin Casey

Poetry Drawer: Quotidian by Kevin Casey

Inky Interview Special: Pebble Poet Jim Young: with Claire Faulkner

Can you introduce yourself to our readers? How long have you been writing for?

I am 69 years old and I live with my wife near the coast at Mumbles, Wales, UK. I am addicted to swimming in the sea every day of the year. Some of my poems are inspired by the sea, but the range and styles of my poetry is eclectic.

I love the idea of finding a poem somewhere. What inspired you to leave poetry on pebbles?

Being in the sea every day at Rotherslade Bay, and seeing the large number of benches there for visitors to sit and admire the view, prompted me to leave poems on pebbles there for everyone to read.

Where do you leave them? How many have you left?

I have left 10 to date. The number is constrained by the number of seats, but there are many more seats on the enjoining bay Langland, and I think I will start leaving them there as well.

Is there a theme to your work?

There is no theme to my work other than the “spirit” that moves me to write. I average a poem every two days. Once I have leeched the emotion from my mind, the writing is almost spontaneous and I do not “craft” my poems.

Have you had any feedback from people who have found them?

Yes, the people I speak to think it is such a great idea. I spoke to an elderly couple who had one of my pebble poems on their sideboard at home and their granddaughter loved it. I hope it will provide the idea that poetry is for everyone and not just book readers.

Will you be leaving many more?

I think I will continue to leave them at the seaside. The ink does fade after a few weeks, and I will replace them with new ones.

What or who inspires you to write?

I was born and live in Dylan Thomas’s “ugly lovely” town. His poetry is exemplifies “tight”word-craft. The poet who inspires me more than any other is RS Thomas. I do not have a car and walk everywhere all year around in all weathers, and, also, I have run a Photoblog since 2005, so every single day something, or the feel of a day’s events, inspires a poem. When I relax in my armchair after my swims I find things “come to me” unbidden along with the words and rhythm to express them. I call it the muse in my mind and the bard in my bonce. It is slightly uncanny the way it works.

Which writers / poets do you read?

I read all sorts of poets and poetry. I buy them all from the local Oxfam charity shop and I am enthralled and intoxicated by the different smells that fall from each book, and my imagination sees the previous owners in their time.

What are you reading at the moment?

Philip Larkin and T S Eliot, with Shakespeare’s sonnets waiting in the wings.

Do you have some poems which you would like to share with us?

Upon the Pyre of the World

At the sunset of the fishes,
upon the pyre of the world,
my: I told you! I told you!
Will wash no more dishes,
when the half-mast flag’s unfurled.
Adieu, adieu, adieu,
my beloved Gaia girl;
for we are floating down the Ganges,
upon the pyre of the world.

Music Returns To Auschwitz and a Lone Voice Sings

such longing, such an aching lamentation.
why do you not scream out, or
laugh in an inconsolable madness
and release me from the gibbet
of your anguish?
that i could manage,
that i could cope with.
and, no, i do not want to forget,
but there is beauty in the purity of the
voice that impales the pain;
it holds me spellbound.
i weep now for all mankind;
doomed, doomed, as we are,
doomed to relive a myriad deaths
and shades of suffering
before the end.
oh, i bleed down these ochre walls,
as i relinquish into a sea of wailing
all of my sorrow;
i dread what yesterday will bring
unto the ‘morrow;
it lacerates my sadness
to hang empty upon the night air,
and i wail and wail, but to no avail;
for alas is never enough;
is it?

The Sea Swimmer in Winter

(The Sea Swimmer in Winter on YouTube)

Beyond the breeze,

under the winter sun,
the sea is calling me,
calling me,
calling me.
Seething in the breath,
of the north wind’s spume,
in the push and pull of the tides.
That’s where my secret abides.

The blue jelly fish have pulled back
to where the cormorant stands on end.
As a grey seal bobs with ebony eyes,
and the snows press down the bay.
My knees compose some purple prose,
that will last me through the day.

Harder the winter,
larger the spring in my step,
where I see, in the icy briny,
that perennial phoenix of spring.
That frisson of flight,
born in the glassy might
of the quenching, churning tides.

Baptised, reborn, each shingle day,
in my way, in my bay, away
in the dappled waves of my sea,
my sea
my sea,
my sea

Away in the dappled waves of my sea,
my sea.
When I am dried by the sun and wind,
then, only then, am I alive.
As alive as live can be.
Alive as the roaring sea.
Alive as a swimmer in winter.
In the sea where he’s meant be.

In the sea where he’s meant be.

Jim on Twitter

Poetry Drawer: Love in the Time of Cold by Laura Potts

Before the dawn that walks the northern morning from the moors;
before the swans sing winter on and cough the fog upon the ponds,
we ask that through the Christmas mist and bells that bring December in
you pause and long-remember this: ever through the blizzard lives

the hospice on the hill, sleeping in the heart of dark beneath the stars
and still. How that leaping garden laughs; how that wind will never gasp away
the ashes of our past that live until the last; how those staff with candle-eyes
will guard our sleepers through the night. And as the nurses lull the light

the sentry sets above and bright-as-life upon the skies: ever does that crust
of moon push a light into those rooms, and pull away the dusk and gloom.
Oh how soon the seasons turn, and how the folk will come and go and once
will leave to not return, and how that tree will never know defeat against

the snow. Know only that the flowers grow and show their Sunday best,
and bow towards that sleeping house, and death is that much less

Inkphrastica: The Shore Of Forever: Ken Pobo (Words) & Mark Sheeky (Oil Painting): Part 3 of an Ingmar Bergman Triptych

I stuff a clock in forever’s mouth
which it chews up,
spits out—time, a Giant Hogweed,
poisonous to touch, can even

blind you. My Aunt Stokesia
says she wants forever.
It means Heaven
where she’ll be—
that will be heavenly.
When forever calls, a salesman
who gets his foot in the door
and won’t stop talking—ever—

she freezes, wants to stop
time, the one thing it can’t do.
Death pops in,
a jack-in-the-box clown.
She runs to the basement and locks

the door. I’m already there.
I never liked clowns. I keep death
from claiming me one pill at a time.
I’m a shore,
the water dried up.

The Shore of Forever by Mark Sheeky: Oil Painting for sale

Inky Interview Special: Poet Ken Pobo From Pennsylvania

Inky Exclusive: Interview with multi talented artist Mark Sheeky

Poetry Drawer: Six Poems by Linda. M. Crate

all it’s many flaws

i hate that my jaunt
home from work
is in the
darkness
i like the hours,
but not the creepy men
who sometimes
are drawn to me like a moth
to the light;
and i’ve double backed,
walked slower,
and taken different ways
home
to shrug people off
but it’s exhausting always being
on the look out
it’s tiring always having to think
of the worst case scenario—
they insist that there’s
no such thing as rape culture,
but if that were true
i wouldn’t be holding onto my keys
like a weapon
every time i leave my house;
don’t give me your ignorance or your perspective
give me a change so i can believe that
“not all men” are truly accepting
of our culture as is,
and all it’s many flaws.

eyes that never see

i saw a white moon
folded backward
origami
in a hazy blue sky
folded over
a peach lily
caught by the beauty
i gave pause
from my mundane task at work
of taking the trash out,
and i looked around to see
if anyone else
was dazzled by this beauty;
but none of them even noticed
some are given eyes
with which they never see
others have lost their sight and they
can see—
always rushing by
going nowhere fast
i cannot help but wonder
how some people, like me, are given eyes
to witness;
and others eyes that never see.

i wasn’t brave

the cigarette smoke
was dancing
in the air,
and she sat there all
charisma and elegance;
and i envied and admired it
both at once—
i remember the apple tini
with it’s carmel draped across
the top like a gauzy shawl
it was delicious,
and i closed my eyes
before opening them again
to drink everything in;
i remember she was wearing
the black beret and had made her
eyes cat eyes
with that liquid
eye-liner
that i’ve never mastered—
i think that was the moment i knew
that i had fallen for her,
but i was never brave enough to say
it out loud;
especially not to her,
and definitely not to me.

step on a crack, break you own back

i wasn’t paying attention
lost in a thought
i tripped over the crack in the sidewalk
flew forward several feet,
but managed
somehow to keep my footing;
i am good at not
falling
sometimes
in a way that i don’t know if it’s a talent
or just dumb luck
too mute to tell me a thing—
i scold myself
to be more careful,
but i doubt it’ll be the last time
it happens;
my mind is a curious thing always slipping away
from what they tell me is reality
pushing me forward
when they want to push me backward—
right now i’m paying attention,
but later
i may trip over that same crack again;
and this time i may curse
those who made the sidewalk for making it
so tricky
when it should be a perfect shade of straight
instead of curved, irregular
and able to trip over.

addicted to both

shooting star
makes me pause
everything
is noticed
for a reason
either to rescind from chaos
or descend into it,
and i am always good at reaching
my fingers into the cosmic
cookie jar;
what can i say?
i’ve always liked cookies
a trait that
my mother gave me,
and i used to be better at self-control,
but sometimes it tastes too good
to stop;
i would rather be addicted to
the soft goodness
of a chocolate chip cookie
than the body of a man who doesn’t reciprocate
my love
as it so happens
i am addicted to both.

some days his name still hurts

my skin was the equator
his the north pole
i guess i should’ve known
the coldness of his death
would never inhabit
any bones
especially not the firey
song of love,
but when you care for someone
as deeply as i did;
you disrobe from any fabric of logic
start reaching for straws
your fingers are never long enough
to reach
pray the gilded cage is something more
than a pretty lie
even though it can’t be—
and when he finally leaves you,
you ugly cry
like a sky full of gray clouds
christening the ground with silver pearls;
you wonder how you wandered
on the knives of his lust
without realizing it wasn’t love, blaming
yourself for a broken heart
until you wise up
when he does the exact same thing;
then you become all fire and fury
passionately defensive wanting to knock
all his teeth down his throat
until one day you wake up and the pain is gone
although some days his name still hurts.

Inky Interview: Pennsylvanian Native Author Linda M. Crate

Poetry Drawer: Loch by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

I’m in a swamp of toxins
in the American South
Somewhere through water lies Panama
Somewhere through water lies
Europe

where East German
and Bulgarian swimmers
fill their bodies with steroids
and threaten to overthrow me

I’m on the medal stand
and won’t get off
Brutal men will have to drag me off

I am golden
forever golden

Inky Interview: Author Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois from Denver, Colorado

Flash In The Pantry: Serotonin Reuptake by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Mandela Warp: A Moment in History by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Cooking Shows by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Still Wet by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: At McDonald’s by Gabriella Garofalo

At McDonald’s, where sweet poisons
Lure you through dead garish lips,
Different jolts, different shades outside:
Some say ‘God’s hands’, some ‘springs of dark’
But we don’t bother, no time to waste
Over difference or metaphysics
For we thrive among probs, cads,
Mist, bikes, fatsoes, even a dirty blonde
Who had her trees deported from beds to beds,
Oh and look, do you remember the handyman
Who shouted no and got slain, how sad!
But the silence of the trees stayed with us,
That and the grudge against moves and peeves –
O trees, my dear trees, if I ever remind our life
I can’t bad-mouth you, my narcissistic trees,
Although you bend too much to pat the river,
Although still waters are your private looking glass,
You never play dirty when darkness skips
The hands I’m stretching out
So I’ll leave you alone and darkness I’ll exile
To those cathedrals where natural born raptors
Look ready to christen him in bliss and water –
Now you shut up, I know they’re different,
Love kicking and breathing,
Life a palsied ghost eager to scaring
Or eating up blue funk:
A loving child taught me so on a wintry day,
I got it fast, that’s why the raptors
Can’t grab me, so please don’t fret,
Let them smile sweet, let Mummy say
‘Know what? We call it life’ –
Life that restless bite?
Funny while running back I feel for them
My raptors that can’t bite,
I mean, honest, I grasp the difference
But they can’t, such crying shame –
Oh, and beware all that green getting so fast to your head,
My dear darling trees.

Inky Interview Special: Italian Poet Gabriella Garofalo

Poetry Drawer: Asymmetry At Full Blast by Gabriella Garofalo

Poetry Drawer: And All Of Them: To A.S.J. by Gabriella Garofalo

Poetry Drawer: Three Poems by K.S.Subramanian

On The Tides Of The New

Draped in dull glow of a pale sky
the city awakens to its own rhythm;
Metro rail snaking its tortuous way to
ease flow of life in a paradigm.
Distances dissolve; brows no more wet
with sweat for one to dig his shack;
Gone was the sea lore when a voyageur
took years to anchor his bark.
And too weary to revel in his triumph.
Now beyond home lurk the avenues
on the arc of change; tech wizardry
unwinding windows to aspiring millions.
No romancing the sky, black or blue.
Earth is borne on the tides of the New.

My Tryst With Squirrel

I watched the spry squirrel
scamper away hearing
my footfall; Its ear turned
to even slight dissonance of
sound and it rushed to guard
Its nest; a fretful companion,
content to feed its
squealing offsprings, also
hearkening to my short fuse.

Its energy was unfailing;
it would sweep to the
terrace to grab any morsel
It could feed; the red stripes
on its back, caressed by a mythical
Lord kept egging it on
perhaps; It knew when
the windows would
drop down at night to squeeze
inside for a nap in its niche;
Its squealing heralded
the dawn of dawn too.
Nudging me to open
the window to the trove
of morning breeze flowing in;
And it would rush out.

Wonder what is its missive?
“Wake up Man, it’s time.”

Superannuation

When the destined place of arrival closes in
a leaf of memory throbs with the long
memento of landmarks reached and missed.
Let missed calls die out in the log.

Regrets ever remain in unused folders,
pop up to be trashed into the bog;
Monsoon flies buzzing around the bulb.

On the winding path skirt the shrubs,
breathe the fragrance of fresh blossoms.
Things lost or denied count less than
trees flitting across the train’s window.

Spinning on its thumb the earth has seen
the revolving ends of despair and hope.
On the orb of this rolling circus?

K.S.Subramanian has published two volumes of verse: Ragpickers and Treading on Gnarled Sand through the Writers’ Workshop, Kolkata, India. His short stories have appeared in indianruminations.com, setumag.com, indianreview.in, Tuck magazine and museindia.com.

Poetry Drawer: Dedicated to Scott Weiland by Rus Khomutoff

Arrest this lament
this false flag of endeavor
parachute of the midnight aplomb
splendor soils christened by an exorama
defouled by a parasite cancel
who are you in the liturgy of night?
nameless index
of heathen imperial purple
no margin, no reprieve
augur of ceremonial reimagining
of unnoticed thoughts
searing in erasure
murmur of accidental day
a chastised saucerful of secrets
eviscerator heaven on call

Inky Interview Exclusive: Rus Khomutoff, a Neo-Surrealist Poet From Brooklyn

Poetry Drawer: Prisoner of Infinity: To Felino A. Soriano by Rus Khomutoff

Poetry Drawer: Sonic Threshold of the Sacred: To William Carlos Williams: by Rus Khomutoff

Inkphrastica: Song of Freedom Oasis by Rus Khomutoff (Words) & Now That’s What I Call Blue by Mark Sheeky (Oil Painting)

Poetry Drawer: Four Poems by Rus Khomutoff

Poetry Drawer: Love in the Time of Cold by Laura Potts

Before the dawn that walks the northern morning from the moors;
before the swans sing winter on and cough the fog upon the ponds,
we ask that through the Christmas mist and bells that bring December in
you pause and long-remember this: ever through the blizzard lives

the hospice on the hill, sleeping in the heart of dark beneath the stars
and still. How that leaping garden laughs; how that wind will never gasp away
the ashes of our past that live until the last; how those staff with candle-eyes
will guard our sleepers through the night. And as the nurses lull the light

the sentry sets above and bright-as-life upon the skies: ever does that crust
of moon push a light into those rooms, and pull away the dusk and gloom.
Oh how soon the seasons turn, and how the folk will come and go and once
will leave to not return, and how that tree will never know defeat against

the snow. Know only that the flowers grow and show their Sunday best,
and bow towards that sleeping house, and death is that much less.