Poetry Drawer: The monster outside: Old Fools: Scent of the Ancient Ball: Signature: Song of the grave by Fabrice Poussin

The monster outside

The skin is thick and deep with grey
pleading for a little joy in shades of pink
the soul is blank and hollow in darkness
asking for a little warmth in tones of stars
the heart is silent and still rainbow monochrome
begging for a life-giving little jolt of blue
the bones are frozen, attached in ice clear
aching aloud for a reprieve of flesh of warm red
a mind hovers inside in fiery lament
wanting only for a bit of hours to exist
yet it is only a grunt unheard of the colourful ones
in the prison of the lone, the sentence is eternal
the death remains of nauseating flavours
the living will once again keep safe distance.

Old Fools

The bus will be late again this Sunday
under the century mist on a cold winter bench
old fools must wait, their gaze upon a gate
to a paradise invisible to the passers-by.

The city sleeps still in a shroud of oblivion
lives have slipped into their temporary tomb
worn to pieces by the inferno of infinite routines
while last trees cry dying leaves upon the icy pavement.

The two might sleep for a little while
he holding tight onto the shiny tank
she dragging on a greyish cloud of ash
ancient as the traditions graved on monuments.

Unseen, living in the wrinkly bubble of their age
they seek the hesitant gaze of the other
memories built upon the fresh bones of infants
a smile shy as a fleeting moment escapes the universe.

They laugh no more to the keen eye of the observer
the flesh has fallen off the crackling frames
leaving senseless messages of passed lives
upon the pavement welcoming to their shameless survival.

The decades have built fortresses around their secrets
shriveled breasts kindly placed onto an altar
still beat with the passion of a single score
carrying too many years to count, they love for all times.

Scent of the Ancient Ball

There is a dim ray of a future behind the cracks of the ramparts
sounds emanate from the twirling shapes of silken whites
while the stone burns with the icy flames of the prison.

To be part of this strange ball but a dream in the depths
inhaling fumes of a past reverie poison or elixir
aiming to taste what remains of the ghostly dance.

The heavy oaken gate persists in its temerity
its lock rusted melts into torrents of a bloody paste
no drawbridge will again annihilate the cruel moat.

It is a tower of ivory, mother of pearl, diamond and silver
treasure for the hungry to be consumed perhaps too late
where she is surrounded by the death-defying maidens.

Centuries go by, she continues in her light genuflection
hands joined in a prayer searching only communion
one with all, pure of soul as once of body.

Signature

The presence is signed on the old photograph hanging
there on the left wall, by the window built of trusted
hands, while outside the tree wants attention.

He too can write on the pane of the ancient glass.

Finger prints on the side of the redwood desk, tend
to the forgotten elbow, never fully able to rest on
the worn-out couch, trampoline for young charm.

It hoped its future would be of leather; but not so.

The room screams with memories it alone keeps safe;
the air is filled with sparring souls attempting an accord;
freckles of dust, sparks of their little power inflamed.

Wishing they had landed on the feature of a Mona Lisa.

Unwilling to shine, the lamp, secure under her banged shade,
would like to jump at them and empower their dying light,
while planted on the thinning carpet, they remain quiet.

Waiting for another moment, another time, to become.

Song of the grave

The stone is barren
it was once broken
slate
now it awaits.

Cold it may seem
yet warm in truth
smooth and perfect
it shines as many stars.

The rock draws
like a magnet
light rains
as so many tears.

Let fall come
and a palette
of colours in oils and pastels
it will glow in the fog.

Winter snow
flakes glitter and blind
forever lasting chagrin
a wonder smooth as granite.

The river runs near
singing it melody
murmur of hope
in eternity renewed.

The sun returns
lighting its fire
life is reborn
on a single tomb.

Poetry Drawer: Stoned by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Our ayatollah looks at me with contempt
He put me in charge of stoning
an adulteress

I found a good wall to set her against
but I’d forgotten to see to the stones
Someone had come and taken them to repair the wall
that surrounds his olive grove

So there we were
all ready to execute her
and no stones

The ayatollah looked like he wanted to
beat me to death
with his bare fists
but he was old and frail

Instead he exiled me
and the harlot too
The villagers took hold of our arms
and legs
and tossed us out the village gate
slammed it shut behind us

We looked out at the desert
turned and looked at each other

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: Loch by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Photogenic by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Microwave by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Granite by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Trick by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Coal by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Poetry Slam by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Your Flea Market by John Grey


A box of old record albums –
Billy Joel,
Donny Osmond,
The Eagles,
Partridge Family –
ugh.

And the covers are worn,
the vinyl is scratched –
no one’s going to buy these
even at 50c apiece.

Same as that ratty Cabbage Patch doll.
Or the Miami Vice lunch box.
Or those clothes – so 80’s.
And the invisible dog – please.

No wonder there’s been no sales.

This is your past.
The present’s not buying it.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Poetry East and Columbia Review with work upcoming in the Roanoke Review, the Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly.

Inky Interview Special: John Grey, Australian Poet, USA resident

Poetry Drawer: An Awkward Meeting in a Coffee House by John Grey

Poetry Drawer: Two Poems by John Grey

Poetry Drawer: You’re Lost In The Airwaves by R. Gerry Fabian

Play no sad songs for me.
I’ve lived for the last moment.
It’s been gone and come again
And yet, you come to me
A little too late for a love campaign.
When do we love tomorrow?

The sound of an orphan saxophone
Argues with the early marsh morning.
“Go away with more than a kiss.”
Select your argument with the insane.

If you cannot respect a sole dancer
Then know the words to the song.
So many of the poor, cold pretenders
In habit the hour against the minute.
Do not seek quiet bashful advice.

In an explosion second of sunrise
The drunken sincere pale graduate
Offers you the scent of dew lilacs.
Resurrect the final lost late movie
As you imagined the fast hot dialogue
And encompass the dual possibility.

If the satin mistake is of the desperate
Then you will hear it repeated in radio popularity.
To pretend is a stubborn, stale reflex
That is suddenly discovered as an ash cigarette
Gone like the push button radio disc jockey.

With a flick of a smile
Tossed like a fifty dollar littering fine
In the caution lane of a super highway
I’ve seen the wrong side of a summer full moon
And the high tide has pulled the depth
So that I find one last jukebox dollar
And taste the after hour bitter liquid
In the reflection of your
So often visited …once in a lifetime
Terminal memory.

R. Gerry Fabian is a retired English instructor. He has been publishing poetry since 1972 in various poetry magazines. He is the editor of Raw Dog Press. He has published two poetry books, Parallels and Coming Out Of The Atlantic. His novels, Memphis Masquerade, Getting Lucky (The Story) and Seventh Sense are available from Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes and Noble. He is currently working on his fourth novel, Ghost Girl.

Poetry Drawer: Like a little drum by D.S. Maolalai

settling in for a quick one:
evening,
and the sun is coming down
with the birds flapping to roost,
heads underwing
and feet
sunk into bellies like
water in a sponge.
and we are having drinks together,
eating
fried and salted
whitebait
(6 for 2 euros, dip on the side)
and we are happy.
your perfume smells
like flowers and strawberries
and your heart goes
like a little drum.
I can hear it from here,
tapping a rhythm
like an impatient man
with a coin at a shop counter.
sweet little heart
spilling with love,
happy
and swooping with the sunset.

D.S. Maolalai is a graduate of English Literature from Trinity College in Dublin and has been nominated for Best of the Web, and twice for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019).

Poetry Drawer: Mental State by Nathan Pleavin

On a day like any other,
No clouds sweep the skies,
Yet my mind turns again,
My head whispers lies.

A mistake sits within me,
It grows and it grows,
I try to ignore it,
My fault again I suppose.

No suppose about it,
It’s all your fault,
My brain works against me,
A slug amongst salt.

I try to ignore it,
Yet the voices grow louder,
Motivation all but gone,
As it is ground into powder.

I sit and I fret,
I cry and I scream,
This sickness within me,
That cannot be seen.

How did it feel,
To be me yesterday?
Now it has re-emerged,
It is but a distant memory.
I know that in time,
These instincts will fade,
But a life that is normal,
All I have I would trade

On a day like any other,
Clouds darken the skies,
But who was that person,
That was telling me lies.

The sickness dies down,
I resurface again,
The whispers now silent,
The cycle begins.

Poetry Drawer: In The Belly Of Sentient Beings by Hunter Boone

In the belly of sentient beings are
black holes and worms,
Postures;
worthy and unworthy
gestures, raisons d’etre,
longings,
tentacles of regrets,
fuselages of desire below
puffed-up bloated hearts
poked-through
with sticks and twigs;
red and blue blood
wrapped in twine
hanging from
meaningless empty bottles
of preparedness.

This is where the soul sits and rests
hanging from the nearest cavity wall
until the last chime rings
announcing,
“Times up!”
where the door slams
and the whistle blows.

Suddenly
there are no plans
to make, no
hearts to break,
no solemn longings
half-baked.

Poetry Drawer: On The Border by John Grey

Humiliation barely registers in those downcast faces.
I dare you to imagine where they come from,
feel the beatings, suffer the horrendous rape,
then watch the beatings, the rape of others.
When were you ever woken up by soldiers
in the middle of the night, with huts aflame
all around you, and rifles pointed at your heart
while your children huddle behind you?
Where’s the constant movement in your life,
not of choice but forced, clutching a baby
in your arms, ragged possessions strapped to back,
limping down an overgrown jungle trail,
hungry, thirsty and in constant dread?
No red blood on your cheeks, no dark stain on your floors.
You sit back in your pleasant home,
as pleased with yourself as some general in his fiefdom.
You might even go to church come Sunday,
pray to a God suitably neutered for the occasion.

Poetry Drawer: Rook by Kezia Cole

i liked the way my arms bent
around the weight of a world not mine
i liked the angles of my wrist bones
moulded for consistency
there was nothing sharp
in my mountain shapes
we made monoliths of the present
to carry into what might become.

we built a castle on the sea
an impenetrable hull
of stone that wouldn’t sink
or bend to the tug of the waves.

strong straight lines
and five year plans
knowing where you want to be
is fine if an eye on the horizon
brings it close
but curvature doesn’t
take account of the storms.

still i liked the simplicity
in that predictable back and forth
my bones could take
the heavy salt
laid in your tracks
and our waters
always had that heady
quayside scent
that’s born of decay;

sulphide lungs
bleached wood
and bladderwrack hair
made bodies on the sand

i rose from the wreckage
when the castle sank
and spread like grit
to the wind
no more built on froth-rimed swell
nor shackled to the same tide

no more a tower
doomed to spoil
nor fall beneath the waves.

This poem is taken from Kezia’s first full length collection, solipsist: poems for breaking bonds, (Moonshade Publishing), a volume of free verse themed around personal experiences with abuse, trauma, depression/anxiety, and progressing through healing from toxic and unhealthy relationships.

Kezia Cole is an author, poet, artist, and freelance editor, mostly found dividing time between the wilds of southwest England and the mountains of northeast Pennsylvania. Scribbler of words, dauber of paint, and fighter against chronic illness, Kezia is also a passionate animal welfare advocate, and fosters rescue dogs. Work has been featured in prose anthologies, mixed media exhibitions, and on national radio. She is also an Open University alum 🙂

Poetry Drawer: CAPITALIST ADVENT – PRELUDE TO HELL by Perry McDaid

The stink of tradesmen soils our air.
Square eyes yield to cynical “cheer”,
while Mary’s flight in Joseph’s care
is fast eclipsed by wine and beer
and the only type of spirit shared.

The poor dig ever-deeper holes:
gathering debt for children’s smiles.
Rather than nurturing their souls
they blithe succumb to market’s guile
and smother crucial Birthday goal.

Irish writer, Perry McDaid, lives in Derry under the brooding brows of Donegal hills which he occasionally hikes in search of druidic inspiration. His writing appears internationally in the Bookends Review, Red Fez, 13 o’clock Press, Curiosity Quills, Aurora Wolf Literary Magazine, Amsterdam Quarterly, SWAMP and many others.