Poetry Drawer: Footsteps: Taking the Name: Cut Down to Size: Count the Days: Our Collapse by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozabal

Footsteps

There was a knock on my door.
I heard footsteps walking as I
opened it. My heart skipped a beat.
I saw no one, only heard footsteps
walk and walking away. I counted
a thousand footsteps at least.
I am known to embellish things.
I fear the man I am turning into.
There was no shadow to those
footsteps. In the distance I thought
I saw a figure walking. It was just
a memory of someone I once knew.

Taking the Name

The skeleton’s skull
is suspended
in the night sky,
taking the name
moon; its bleached
white tears are
dispersed along
night’s canvas,
taking the name
stars. The black ink
is spread throughout,
which has already
been named sky.
Its hue will change
in the twenty-four
hours called day
with spheres lingering
in the sky with the names
of sun and planets
to keep our attention
and interest.

Cut Down to Size

O, I am not handy with a saw,
but I have cut into wood like
a woodcutter. I cut until my
hands hurt and my blisters
made me feel useful. I cut
under the shadows of tree
leaves. The cutting of limbs
was such a release. One day
someone might be cutting
on me. I am far from healthy.
I feel the pain in my knees.
I feel the torment of not being
able to do what I used to do.
I see my life racing by. I am
seeing a future where I will
need to slow down.

Count the Days

Here I count the days?
My time is going slow.
Between morning and noon,
between noon and five o’clock,
I feel a quiver some days.
The days are so long.
I search my soul so
deep. One of these days
I will lie under grass.

I am just here surviving.
Green pastures await me.
I will lie underneath.
Time is up for everyone.
There is no need to feel sad.
I do not always feel down.
I look forward to night
to watch the stars cluster.

Our Collapse

Our collapse is our own doing.
Greed inevitably consumes itself.
Man has sold its soul for riches.
This negligence will come due.
Like a wilted flower, we will perish
someday someway at any hour.
I will be among the protesters
kicking up the dust I will become.

Luis lives in California and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. His poems have appeared in Blue Collar Review, Ink Pantry, Kendra Steiner Editions, Mad Swirl, and Unlikely Stories.

You can find more of Luis’ work here on Ink Pantry.

Poetry Drawer: With a Word: A Single Birthday: The Essenes by Dr Susie Gharib

With a Word

I adorn my mind each morning with a word
as a queen for her coronation is adorned with gold,
with associations to combat the foul breath that is spewed
from establishments,
individuals,
and the rituals of the modern world.

Though sharing three consonants with its adversary numb,
nimble is my armor against stagnation,
stupor,
and getting outrun
by the spurious and the arrogant.

I resort to sedate in times of turmoil
when warfare sharpens its fangs and claws,
when rockets compete for the bull’s eye that is wrought
by profiteers who have been wooing my hometown port.

Sanguine is my anodyne for un-halcyon days
when depression is depleting both pockets and spirits
and Hope is an effigy that pins impale
whose sister Mercy is being burnt at the stake.

A Single Birthday

I imagine what a single birthday would be like
spent with her:
a home-made cake that her hands deck with nuts,
with candles that are not to be blown out.
Two glasses of sweet wine
brewed by her ancestors
in the vicinity of their country vineyard.
An apple pie.
And some milk chocolate that instantly melts
in my mind
before it reaches my mouth.

A bottle of perfume
with a blue ribbon round its neck.
A white hairband for my ponytail.
A strapless bikini for my next summer holiday.
A puzzle to keep me busy on lonely nights.
And a tearless goodbye.

The Essenes

Their mode of existence was marked by numbers –
these offsprings of David, the Nazarenes –
by sacred geometry.

Even-tempered and compassionate,
they kept no servants or slaves
and equal
men and women were declared.

The hand that was placed on top of the head
had learnt the art of healing
both the afflicted and the sick.

They consumed their meals in utter silence,
the vegetarian meek
who drank nom fermented liquids
and because purification was uppermost,
they lived by rivers and lakes
to keep themselves cleansed.

On Mount Carmel they pursued the truth,
the illumination of inner lives,
so the Book of Enoch was among other texts
that their precious library kept
and both john the Baptist and Jesus Christ
received their blessings and enlightenment.

And sleep, which for modern thinkers contains the residue
of the day’s turbulence and joys,
is a source of deep knowledge,
so the last thoughts before a slumber
are to be purified and purged
to keep the power of the mind intact.

Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Green Hills Literary Lantern, A New Ulster, Crossways, The Curlew, The Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Ink Pantry, Mad Swirl, Miller’s Pond Poetry Magazine, and Down in the Dirt.

Susie’s first book (adapted for film), Classic Adaptations, includes Charlotte Bronte’s Villette, Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, and D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

You can find more of Susie’s work here on Ink Pantry.

Poetry Drawer: Lost: Molly’s Audition: Juvenile Invention by Ian C Smith

Lost

He lost the land of his birth’s winter snow,
lost heart-throbbed life fragments morphed into dreams,
lost his family that day long ago,
a desertion scarring his self-esteem,
stony heart cracked, future free as the sky.
He lost chance opportunities, too few,
cherished keepsakes, old friendships torn awry,
lost his roadster in a carpark’s chromed queue,
a character in an absurdist play,
sped off, denim jacket slammed on the roof,
further loss as, waving, it flew away.
His pillared past bared, no longer blame-proof,
he aches for things he shall not see again,
knows ego’s reckless largesse caused this bane.

Molly’s Audition

Raising his spirits and his cockstand,
Joyce composes letters to Trieste.
Nora responds, ghosting that book, banned,
raising his spirits and his cockstand,
kinky, inky. From her artless hand:
moist orgies. His lewd woman possessed,
raising his spirits and his cockstand,
Joyce composes letters to Trieste.

Juvenile Invention

Aware that city lights blink on, off, on
while bubbling boredom, longing, blurs our days,
we work the teeming dorms, a kind of con
reaping weed from boys who believe crime pays.
In this chapel of corruption, Dickie,
First Nations tent boxer, plays the tribesman,
my role his circus box office, tricky
ringmaster minus the stretch caravan.
Script rehearsed, stage props: needle, pure white thread,
Dickie, eyelashes fluttering, growls chants,
racehorse names back to front to pump our cred.
Vultures’ cruel committee judges his trance.
From inside his mouth he pierces his cheek,
silver, red, burst bright, white, red, black skin sleek.

Ian C Smith’s work has been published in Antipodes, BBC Radio 4 Sounds,The Dalhousie Review, Griffith Review, San Pedro River Review, Southword, The Stony Thursday Book, & Two Thirds North. His seventh book, wonder sadness madness joy, is published by Ginninderra (Port Adelaide).  He writes in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, and on Flinders Island.

You can find more of Ian’s work here on Ink Pantry.

Poetry Drawer: Two-Person Architect: Sonnet for Democracy by Jake Sheff

Two-Person Architect

While doctoring the sun, my wife expounds
On gradients of moonliness called “love.”
Attending raves in giant fields, she’d tell
Us, “Nothing is a drug,” and drop it like
A mic. And neon lights berated costly
Nights, so full of naked, blaring animus;
If not, at least of intimations. Without
A wink of hesitation, a raccoon is
Digging through my trash outside; emaciated
Martian with an ear for the eraser, like
My wife, whose syllogisms overlapped with hope.

While proctoring tomorrows, Obama rounds
The radiance of spoonerisms up to one.
“Pretending saves a little space,” he’d tell
Us (nothing like a bug), and pop it like
A collar; neonates conflated bossy
Rights – the pull of naked, blaring animus –
With tons of steely scintillations. Pick out
The pinkest nation: A cocoon is
Hugging the rough trash inside me, wasted,
Marshalling an iridescent pacer like
My wife, her syllogisms home with overwhelm.

Sonnet for Democracy: or, Epigrams and Sound Bites of 2016

“You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.”
Mario Cuomo

Reporters quoted thermophilic Trump:
“My wife’s the only girl I care to hump.”
The New York Times lent Hillary its ear:
“Your crossword puzzle suffers, much like Lear.”
The brothers Koch were drips of condensation
On the greenhouse ceiling; glass somatization.
A Marxist Yankee ate a pound of fees
To rush adrenaline’s fraternities.
The Onion’s parodies: a haemorrhoid
Deployed that contributions out-diploid.
The categorical judicial branch
Decided John Doe Jr.’s avalanche,
At best, unconstitutional; and Scalia’s
Dissent, “Divide the horse!”: paraphernalia.

“Abound but to abandon!” was the chant
Protesting what The Talking Light was can’t.

Jake Sheff is a pediatrician and veteran of the US Air Force. He’s married with a daughter and several pets. Poems and short stories of Jake’s have been published widely. Some have even been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and the Pushcart Prize. His chapbook is Looting Versailles (Alabaster Leaves Publishing). A full-length collection of formal poetry, A Kiss to Betray the Universe, is available from White Violet Press.

Poetry Drawer: Forgive Me: Turd Puzzler: Contretemps Queen: Sheaf of Yogurt: Man’s Walk by Terry Brinkman

Forgive Me

Man with long alabaster hair
Will they forgive me?
Ghost woman fair man ecstasy
White-lighten nightmare
Playing fifty one deck solitaire
Lost in Blue-silver Poetry
Stopped stranded twining absurdity
County Fair games unfair

Turd Puzzler

Attributed to our raccoon
Ghost-woman’s tenacity of hatreds to domestic Halloween
Uncommon factor of similarity in work
Two smoking globe turds puzzler
Nocturnal perambulation alabaster shirt
Rearing high feathering trail guzzler
Mutate celibate in dirt
The arc which it subtends muzzle

Contretemps Queen

Life as the contretemps Queen
Looking through the drape of clouds seeing the moon
She let the sun fall on the floor at noon
Lies so deep the bottom cannot be seen
Woman’s enemies reason she drinks from a canteen
Good bad or indifference looking over a lagoon
Attributed to our raccoon
Tenacity of hatreds Halloween

Sheaf of Yogurt

Yellowstone National Park
Forward to sheaf of Yogurt
Wide headers acumen shift
She gazed at the lamplight shine
She’s in a knockout snow drift
Tense Portobello bruiser mine
Threw in the towel broke swift
Being Ten counted out after only nine

Man’s Walk

Tale of woe in her Crucified Shirt
A most scandalous thing in the dark
Today the hard working man’s walk
Daughters Virgin Moon Desert
The dames weighed in dirt
Lotus ladies tend to the fire’s spark
Lost in Yellowstone National Park
Poet’s verses sheaf of Yogurt

Terry Brinkman has been painting for over forty five years. Has Five Amazon E- Books. Poems in Rue Scribe, Tiny Seed. Winamop, Snapdragon Journal, Poets Choice, Adelaide Magazine, Variant, the Writing Disorder, Ink Pantry, In Parentheses, Ariel Chat, New Ulster, Glove, and in Pamp-le-mousse, North Dakota Quarterly, Barzakh, Urban Arts, Wingless Dreamer, LKMNDS and Milk Carton Press.

You can find more of Terry’s work here on Ink Pantry.

Poetry Drawer: I was Originally the God of the Gods: The World is in a Box: The King of the Diamonds by Yuan Hongri

I was Originally the God of the Gods

I shall change seawater into honey,
smelt the stone into the gold,
the bitter is namely sweet,
the sun is born from the womb of the night.

Oh, my God! No matter what if you are really the God
Oh, the devil! No matter how many tricks you have
today, I am neither living nor dying
I want to put you all into the golden tripod of time.

I am originally outside of the earth
I will leave one day
although I have forgotten many years
but I woke up finally today

From a little drop of water
the world came into being
It was originally a tear of mine
I was originally the God of the Gods.

我本是上帝的上帝

我要把海水酿成蜜
把石头熔炼成金
这苦涩就是香甜
这太阳从黑夜的子宫诞生

上帝啊 无论你是不是真的上帝
魔鬼啊 无论你还有多少伎俩
今天 我不生也不死
我要把你们统统装进时光的金鼎

我本在这个尘世之外
有一天还将归去
尽管我遗忘了许多年
可今天终于醒来

这小小的一滴水
诞生了这个天地
它本是我的一颗泪珠
我本是上帝的上帝

The World is in a Box

The world is in a box
the little timeworn world
the countries of Lilliput
the President of the king’s prime minister
those kings, premiers and presidents
those dwarfs in the scroll of time’s picture

They do not believe the additional sun
both like a diamond and like gold
make you warm in winter
make you cool in summer

Neither have they seen the sweet ocean
nor have they known heaven outside time
forgotten those gods who like mountains
are the ones the former ancients owned

世界在一只盒子里

世界在一只盒子里
这个小小陈旧的世界
一座座小人国
那些国王 首相 总统
那些时光画卷里的侏儒

他们不相信另外的太阳
既像钻石 又像黄金
在冬天时让你温暖
在夏天时让你凉爽

他们没见过甜蜜的海洋
也不知时光之外的天国
忘了那些山岳般的众神
是古老的曾经的自己

The King of the Diamonds

The sun was rising in my breast
I woke up finally
said goodbye to the night’s nightmare
the world was lit up by me
this is actually the real me

There is no longer day and night
there are no longer newborns and death
I got myself back
before there was no earth and heaven
I have existed from the beginning

The world is just my works:
a picture, a poem
a symphony.
Give me a stone
I will turn it into the king of the diamonds.

钻石之王

太阳在我胸膛里升起
我终于醒来
告别黑夜的梦魇
世界被我照亮
这才是真实的我

不再有白昼与黑夜
不再有新生与死亡
我找回了自已
在没有天地之前
我就早已经存在

世界只是我的作品
一幅画 一首诗
一部交响曲
给我一枚石头
我让它变成钻石之王

Yuan Hongri (born 1962) is a renowned Chinese mystic, poet, and philosopher. His work has been published in the UK, USA, India, New Zealand, Canada, and Nigeria; his poems have appeared in Poet’s Espresso Review, Orbis, Tipton Poetry Journal, Harbinger Asylum, The Stray Branch, Pinyon Review, Taj Mahal Review, Madswirl, Shot Glass Journal, Amethyst Review, The Poetry Village, and other e-zines, anthologies, and journals. His best known works are Platinum City and Golden Giant. His works explore themes of prehistoric and future civilization. Its content is to show the solemnity, sacredness and greatness of human soul through the exploration of soul.

Yuanbing Zhang (b. 1974), is Mr. Yuan Hongri’s assistant and translator. He himself is a Chinese poet and translator, and works in a Middle School, Yanzhou District, Jining City, Shandong Province China. 

You can find more of Hongri’s work here on Ink Pantry.

Poetry Drawer: Tap Tap: One for Alfredo: For Marianne Joan Elliott-Said (1957 – 2011): The Viewing by John D Robinson

Tap Tap

The knock on the door
always
comes at the wrong time,
when you’re lovemaking
on a sunny Sunday
afternoon,
during a drug-drop when
relatives pay a surprise
visit,
when the post delivery
hands-over a court date
as the landlady hammers
the door for way overdue
rent,
when your new lover drops
by with a surprise bottle of
wine and you’re already
fucked-up on narcotics
and your previous lover
is waiting on a call,
when a political or
religious pusher
relentlessly pounds
or when the
season of ghosts and
demons from your past,
rip the door clean
off its hinges,
it’s time to throw
away the key and
look out at the
countless shattered
doors
left in
your
wake.

One for Alfredo

First breath 1927, San Diego,
early years spent in Mexico
and then returned to USA in
1935 –
he was expelled from High
School for violence toward
a tutor,
sometime following he was
arrested for smuggling people
from South to North America,
spent 4 years in San Quentin
for possession of heroin and
whilst incarcerated painted
murals on the prison walls,
on release he worked as a
caricaturist for Disney for
2 years and in 1957 he
opened up his own Art
Gallery and in 1961 he
was apprehended for 1
lousy joint of marijuana,
Ajiijic, Mexico was his home
for a while where he
continued to paint and
sculpt and express himself
in various other mediums,
he returned to the States seeking,
as always,
neither fame or fortune
but continued creating
and died
in 2015,
how
Alfredo Santos,
his
life
and
work
have been kept secret
is a shameful,
sad, sin,
don’t take my word,
see for yourself
and make a
startling
discovery
that the
rich and ignorant
‘art establishment’
has, seemingly,
closed its
protected
doors upon.

For Marianne Joan Elliott-Said (1957 – 2011)

We met on a couple of occasions,
unfortunately, in a formal environment,
but she genuinely appeared taken that
I had recognised her and acknowledged
her unique impact upon me that remains
to this day:
straight off, she was so warm and
alive and we got grooving, she told me
of the horrific pedestrian injuries of
being hit by a fire truck some years
back and how she had been making,
producing and mixing recordings
recently, this was just a few years
before she lost to cancer:
Poly Styrene was doing it herself
decades before any sisters stepped
into the light, her spirit moved with
authenticity, blessed with talents
that stretched smoothly over many
mediums, creativity was deeply in
her heart and blood and were more
than just an extension of herself,
this was her life that reached out
across vast distances:
Marianne Joan Elliott-Said
sculptured pathways of beauty and
sadness, she carried the torch of
the muse, her voice and music
and artworks resonating
like a global choir of love and
peace:
Poly Styrene,
I hear you now,
I see you now,
I feel you now,
I sense you now,
standing before me
like a messenger
broken free from all
bondage
of this uncertain
world.

The Viewing

I couldn’t remember her name,
although we’d been dating for a
few weeks: an invitation came
for a private viewing of
Jonathan Coles
paintings and latest works:
within 15 minutes of the
opening, this woman, whose
name I couldn’t remember,
gripped attention by climbing
up into the loft rafters and
swinging and screeching
nonsense, hanging upside
down, exposing skimpy
panties and long, long legs
and streams of bright red hair
tumbling toward the ground:
‘Who the fuck is she?’
‘What the fuck is she doing?’
‘I don’t know,’ I told them
‘What the fuck! call her down
man! get her down!’
‘I don’t know her name,’ I said
‘Get her the fuck down now!’
‘Hey! Hey! come on now!
time to come down now!,’ I
shouted, waving my hands:
she dropped to the floor, the
loft studio stood still in utter
silence as she walked towards
me: she looked angry, serious:
‘Fuck you! I don’t know you!
I don’t know your fucking
name but you don’t fucking
tell me to stop enjoying myself!’
she screamed at me before
making her exit from the
studio and I never saw her
again, whatever, her name was,
but I guess, it didn’t matter
too much.

John D Robinson is a UK based poet: hundreds of his poems have appeared online and in print : he has published 14 chapbooks and four full collections of his poetry: he has also published a novel of fiction and a collection of short stories: he has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. 

You can find more of John’s work here on Ink Pantry.

Poetry Drawer: The Marvel of the Freedom: In patches by Paweł Markiewicz

The vault opens itself at dawn.
The calyx of an Arctic alpine forget-me-not reopens
for an enchanting glory of the sunshiny dreams,
because of the eternally august poem,
that reads lenient and benignant.

Throughout the day:
there is up there a paradisiacal flight
of all halcyon seraphim,
singing through the stoicism, eudemonia
of many celestial dreamers.

Under the sun: a rhythm in wings of butterflies.
After evenfall: the paradise closes itself.
The springtide has gone to bed in aestival splendor.

In addition overnight a balmy sempiternity sleeps as well.
Here below a sensitive firefly flies,
above so ravishing earth.
In danger owing to the raveners of the night.
Indeed spared thanks to the sheen of Luther’s star.
The earth becomes a dazzling hereafter.
It remains not far from June sparks, the little fire.

vault – (poetical) sky

benignant – mild

halcyon – peaceful

seraphim – seraphs

aestival – summery

ravener – bird of prey

sempiternity – eternity

Paweł Markiewicz was born 1983 in Siemiatycze in Poland. He is poet who lives in Bielsk Podlaski and writes tender poems, haiku as well as long poems. Paweł has published his poetries in many magazines. He writes in English and German.

You can find more of Paweł’s work here on Ink Pantry.

Poetry Drawer: Unorganised: Less Is More: When Psychopath Met Showman by Lynn White

Unorganised

One day I’ll manage to
get my ducks in a row
sort it all out
stop procrastinating,
stop the coffee calling,
stop the sunlight
casting shadows
which distract me
and tempt me outdoors
to see the ducks
swimming
smoothly
sending
sopheristic shadows
across the water.
And as I watch
those shadows move
in effortless formation
negating the coffee
and lulling me
to sleep
again.

Less Is More

I thought it a bit overdone
that Summer Exhibition of long ago.
Paintings were floor to ceiling
filling every wall,
even leaning up against the wall
so it became a show
where nothing was shown
in all its glory,
all was a daze
a cacophony
shouting so loudly
it was impossible to contemplate
the individual.
You need space for that,
space in between.
Too much and nothing is seen.

When Psychopath Met Showman

When a violent psycho with overwhelming power
meets a deluded showman with a hero complex
it’s looking bleak for those caught in between.
Those displaced from their homes,
displaced from their lives,
those losing their lives.
those losing the life
they expected to live,
More and more of them,
a stream without end
as the show goes on.

Lynn White lives in North Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud ‘War Poetry for Today’ competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Capsule Stories, Gyroscope Review and So It Goes. 

You can find more of Lynn’s work here on Ink Pantry.