We do not have a rain gauge. You can look it up on the Internet If it matters. Or you can See how the dock sits in the water. The pond is up two inches, I would say, Maybe three. We have one of the last wooden docks on On the east shore, The top still slick after the storm, Maybe a little spongy in places (Barry will give us a quote) But it will dry.
Caroline and the kids Will come down in a while This kind, warm afternoon, Float in innertubes, read magazines, And joke of things known to them, Their sense of family palpable This kind, warm afternoon. They are leaving in the morning And the dock will revert To its customary solitude. Now and then Martha and I Will gingerly ease 80-year-old bodies Into cooler August waters.
Where They Have To Let You In
Across our New Hampshire pond The pink and purple Of dawn and dusk On brisk September days. Someone asks if I grew up here. For years we were summer people Except my father worked. Skipping pebbles on the inlet By the rented cottage, Clearing the land for our own place, Steamy summer jobs at the laundry. Watching children then grandchildren Take a first plunge Off the dock. Since retirement I think of us as Three-season residents, Crisp blue mornings, September into October, foliage trips To the Third Connecticut Lake. Shorts and sweatshirt weather, A day to get apples. People ask if I grew up here. I have started saying yes.
Year of Covid
Almost a year Since that last public gathering, The women’s basketball tournament At the college near Golden Pines. I have a picture in my camera, my phone, Girls in teal shorts Bringing the ball up court, Captured in time. Their season will end in 20 minutes. The losers know this already, But the winners don’t, their hopefulness Captured in time, In my camera, my phone.
In the months since We have learned how to work The drive-up app On our phone. We get groceries early on Sundays, We take classes on Zoom That we would skip In person. Out walking, I cross the street To avoid people without masks, Valuing some things more Than neighborly companionship. For that we have each other, Susan and I. It wears well, As one would hope it might After 57 years.
In my camera they have not moved, The girls in the teal shorts, The other team, the pep band, The handful of people, probably parents, Who have driven up for the game, Captured in time, their looks of Hope and expectation, Those girls from Pompeii In teal basketball shorts, Bringing the ball up court.
Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladders published in 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems have received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club. He is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Bob’s poems have appeared in over 150 periodicals including Cold Mountain Review and Louisville Review.
You can find more of Bob’s poems here on Ink Pantry.
As a teen, I wore a T-shirt quoting Chief Seattle. ‘The Earth is our mother,’ it said. ‘Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.’ Looking back, I can see how I turned away from the depth and clarity of that insight. I listened to other stories of my time – stories so commonplace that I did not even see them as stories.
Professor Jem Bendell, from his essay, ‘Extinction Rebellion’.
Letters to the Earth: Writing to a Planet in Crisis (Harper Collins) is a collection of one hundred essays, written in response to the growing fears of climate change, global warming and concerns about how life for every inhabitant of our beautiful planet Earth may change quickly within future years, unless strong change and transformation is undertaken by the leaders of our world.
The key elements throughout each essay are awareness, education and genuine concerns for the future of – not just this current generation existing in 2021 – but for generations to come.
Each essay is thoughtfully forged and crafted, with the intention of spreading this awareness to every reader; to open our eyes, hearts and minds to the harrowing dangers which face our world.
Many of the essays originate from people within the public eye, or those with experienced opinions concerning various aspects of destructive climate change.
Others are powerful in their simplistic expression, such as Ollie Barnes, aged twelve – someone at an age likely to experience the potential worst elements of climate change throughout his life.
To the people who think that there’s no point in trying, to the people who think that because we have done this we deserve to suffer the consequences. There’s no point in giving up! In the past we have decided to turn away from Mother Nature’s screams but not today! We will not let the earth we live on be destroyed so easily, we will try hard to save it from the very threat we created and see the world for its glory and its beauty. Don’t be the person who is standing back watching other people as they do the work. Join the fight to save our world. If you don’t then everything that we love about the world will slowly disappear.
Ollie Barnes, from his essay, ‘Everything’.
Other essays within this mind-opening publication originate from very respected, academic sources, such as Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, a German oceanographer and climatologist and also Head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
Sometimes I have this dream. I’m going for a hike and discover a remote farmhouse on fire. Children are calling for help from the upper windows. So I call the fire brigade. But they don’t come, because some mad person keeps telling them that it is a false alarm. The situation is getting more and more desperate, but I can’t convince the firemen to get going. I cannot wake up from this nightmare.
Stefan Rahmstorf, from his essay, ‘False Alarm’.
While common expressive tones throughout each of the one hundred, separate voices within this book are strongly focused upon educative awareness, it’s also noticeable that these tones are also capable of expressing understandable elements of frustration and anger beneath the surface of the words employed, such as an essay from award-winning author, Matthew Todd, entitled ‘Sorry’.
What is it they say – ‘Sorry is the hardest word’? Well, I’m sorry. I am… I’m sorry that I put my trust in the media that is more obsessed with fashion and football, and reality TV, with where the Dow Jones is, with game shows, with baking, with putting a positive spin on 71 degree heat in February with a ‘Wow, what a great opportunity for ice cream sellers’. I’m sorry that when I first heard about what was happening, I looked away…I heard someone say on the radio news, on a Monday morning, that ‘Scientists are concerned that the world is heating up due to a build-up of so-called greenhouse gases emitted by the burning of fossil fuels that may warm the earth to potentially dangerous levels,’ and I thought, That’s scary! And then they added, ‘But there is disagreement from other scientists who say, ‘There’s no need to worry, it won’t happen for hundreds of years and will most likely benefit the planet and make the UK as warm as the Costa Del Sol.’
While these expressive, creative tones are naturally concentrated upon the frustrations that so many feel about a lacklustre response from the Earth’s nations, the words that flow from each author are also written to draw us into the full nature of what is being expressed, rather than any attempt to create separation or conflict. The commonly-used phrase (especially from the lips of politicians), ‘we are all in this together’ has perhaps never been more relevant when focusing upon the current world problem of climate change.
As an observer, I found myself nodding along with every part of this book, because – in the strictest terms of common sense and logical reasoning – it’s just really difficult not to.
These series of enlightening essays are written not only from emotive, caring hearts, but from cognitive, intelligent minds.
Each essay promotes open thought, and discussion; ultimately leaving the reader with a genuine sense of wondering when the leaders of our gorgeous home planet might do to tackle contemporary issues of climate change, thus addressing the fears of so many from within a global population of over seven billion people; their children, grandchildren and beyond.
They (the young) are our best hope and listening to them always makes me feel powerful once again. Plugging into that energy will recharge even the most tired of batteries. Read this book and pass it on. Hand on your passion for the planet to the next person and never, ever give in. Convert your rage to action and your grief to love. I think the planet feels us as we do this. Perhaps it will even help us.
Native American author, concert performer, lyricist, artist and filmmaker, Sharmagne Leland-St. John, is the Editor-in-Chief of the 19-year old literary and cultural arts journal Quill & Parchment and the founder of fogdog poetry in Arlington, WA. Widely anthologised, her recent publications include Contingencies (2008) and La Kalima (2010). She has also edited Cradle Songs: An Anthology of Poems on Motherhood (2012) which won the 2013 International Book Award Honouring Excellence in Mainstream and Independent Publishing.
A raga is a melodic framework for improvisation akin to a melodic mode in Indian classical music. Like scales in Western music, a raga helps to define the mood for a piece of music but it does so in much more detail. Traditionally, each raga came to be associated with a particular emotion, often with a time of day and season. In A Raga for George Harrison, the season is very much autumnal because several of the poems have an elegiac atmosphere about them.
Reading these poems we take a walk through the artistic, cultural and political history of our times. In a general way this is particularly apparent in ‘Hey, It Was the Sixties!’ but in a more specific way it is apparent in the series of poems written in memory of writers, musicians and artists and individuals who were caught up in the fight for social justice. Of the former her subjects include George Harrison, the musician, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles; model and film actress Claudia Jennings; singer-songwriter Janis Joplin; author Virginia Woolf; the poets Sylvia Plath and Allen Ginsberg and the record producer Paul Allen Rothchild. Of the latter, her subjects are the poet activist Garcia Lorca who spoke out against the brutal regime of the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco; Hector Pieterson, the South African schoolboy who was shot and killed during the Soweto uprising when police opened fire on students protesting about the enforcement of teaching in Afrikaans and Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash, a Native-American activist who was murdered in 1975.
Delving beneath the surface, many of these poems have connections. Both Janis Joplin and Claudia Jennings struggled valiantly with their addictions and died tragically at a young age. Paul Allen Rothchild produced Janis Joplin’s final album, ‘Pearl’. Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf took their own lives. Hector Pieterson and Anna Mae-Pictou-Aquash were young people who were caught up in the fight for social justice and also died at a tragically young age. For Leland-St. John, there is an emotional connection as well. She knew some of these people personally and all of them, in one way or another, left an impression upon her as they have on us. Collectively, they defined the age in which they lived and died.
Here are the opening lines to ‘Pearl’, Leland-St. John’s eulogy to Janis Joplin:
They came to mourn They came to cry They came to wonder How someone so young Could ever die
Several of the poems in this collection are enhanced by Leland-St. John’s use of exotic language. In ‘La Kalima’ she writes of ‘silk saris whispering raginis / pitched to sultry winds’ and in ‘Daughter’ of ‘bushel baskets / brimming with love’ and ‘pots of kohl / and pomegranates,/ towers of silk and / lumps of myrrh.’ The collection in itself amounts to a travelogue of exotic places taking in countries as far apart as Switzerland, Japan, India, Egypt and Peru.
Colour comes as no surprise, given Leland-St. John’s deep engagement with ekphrastic poetry and appreciation of art in general. The poems in this collection are dotted with ‘blue fire escapes,’ ‘ochre meadows,’ ‘apricot blossoms,’ and nasturtiums that are ‘the muted colour of Devonshire cream’.
Culinary delights come to the fore in a number of poems as Leland-St. John draws together all the senses into a heady cocktail of delight. In ‘Nasturtiums’ she writes:
I always used to cook with flowers when my life was simpler and my thumb greener. Squash blossoms dipped in a rich cornmeal batter were a staple at my dinner table.
Ever since I was a small child I have been attracted by the vivid colours of nasturtium flowers growing in kitchen gardens and have always thought it amazing that beauty as bold as this should thrive so well in poor soil. This is why Leland-St John’s poem ‘Nasturtiums’ has such a special resonance for me. I like the way she describes this ‘Indian cress….with their asymmetrical / celadon leaves’ and how their flowers ‘tantalise, tease / with their piquant promise’.
Time and again, Leland-St. John reminds us of the potency of all the senses in evoking memory and uses this to great effect as the starting point for several of her poems.
Variety is key to this collection. In addition to the eulogies that open this volume, Leland St-John writes lyrically on subjects such as love and loss, and also with considerable humour in the sensually charged ‘I Said Coffee’ and ‘Things I’ll Do Now That He’s Gone’ which is a poem that finds strength out of heartbreak for a lost love through the medium of humour:
I’ll have an affair with Bob Dylan I’ll lose 10 more pounds and become famous for something truly inane It could happen you know
Reading these poems has made me very conscious of the way in which Leland-St. John captures the emotional mood of each piece early on and proceeds to build upon it in the body of her text. This is particularly apparent in ‘There Were Dry Red Days,’ ‘Daughter’ and ‘Michael,’ a poem written for the producer Michael Butler who brought ‘Hair’ from the Shakespeare Free Theatre to Broadway. Lost love is recalled in ‘All He’s Left Me’ and the poignant poem ‘Tiny Warrior’ speaks of the loss of her infant son, Nikolai, ‘Who never saw the spring’. Later in the book, spring returns in ‘Apple Blossoms’ where Leland St-John evokes a wonderful sense of innocence conveyed through the employment of short lines and a simple rhyme scheme.
Part of the appeal of these accessible poems is that they come straight from the heart with an emotional pull that is strong enough to engage the reader without being mawkish or in the least bit sentimental. The conversational tone makes for a dialogue that is both compassionate and compelling. It is also very positive in its affirmation of life: ‘World I love you! Life I love you!’
Sharmagne Leland-St. John: A Raga for George Harrison, Cyberwit.net (Allahabad, India), Thompson Press India Limited. 2020. Available via Amazon.
You can find more of Neil’s work, including his own poetry, and reviews, here on Ink Pantry.
Neil Leadbeater is an author, essayist, poet and critic living in Edinburgh, Scotland. His short stories, articles and poems have been published widely in anthologies and journals both at home and abroad. His publications include Librettos for the Black Madonna (White Adder Press, Scotland, 2011); The Worcester Fragments (Original Plus Press, England, 2013); The Loveliest Vein of Our Lives (Poetry Space, England, 2014), Sleeve Notes (Editura Pim, Iaşi, Romania, 2016) Finding the River Horse (Littoral Press, 2017) and Penn Fields (Littoral Press, 2019). His work has been translated into several languages including Dutch, French, Romanian, Spanish and Swedish.
Claire Bassi’s Fear Manifesto is a lockdown project that she did with her daughter Avarni. Claire’s flash fiction and Avarni’s photography are the perfect combination. The themes are hauntology and memoir.
Snippets of Claire’s first book, Park Symposium, is also available from Amazon.
Check out more of Claire’s work here on Ink Pantry.
after Christmas I re-wrap separately depending on their rank angels humans and beasts
Jesus and his earthly parents are first to be accorded tissue paper privacy
the King who comes bearing gold has lost his crown after years of journeying and annual storage
ox and donkey fit together knee to knee in a corner of the box
lastly a sheep that seems to have strayed into the mix from a childhood farm set
in summer the boards under the house are dry and reverberate when trodden on
birds treat the veranda as theirs hopping and pecking at leavings under the outdoor table
we wait all year for this bearing the winter like a bye-child spring like fresh news
then the heat on the planet that never quite suits us our ancestors left for us to resolve
the barber from India spends his days razoring the edges of beards of large men in the provincial centre
this is the first I’ve heard about the subcontinental diet and its spices affording staunch resistance to coronavirus
from the park across the street the fountain sings and gulls disagree concerning entitlement to takeaway scraps
nearly everything in town commemorates somebody even the ambulances parked regularly at lunchtime outside hot bread shops
single rooms to rent up a staircase no longer there off the laneway between two main thoroughfares
the man in the bookshop advises me to hang on to change for the meter though I’m on foot
in the heat the council-commissioned murals slide down buildings to pool colourfully on the ground
mail comes late and is sparse
requests for payment real estate flyers
only the occasional much creased
and redirected envelope from the frontier
one containing dead leaves
another crushed parts of a praying mantis
the kind of messages composed in the
kind of script a ghost might send
Tony Beyer’s print titles include Anchor Stone, a finalist in the poetry category of the 2018 New Zealand Book Awards, and Friday Prayers (2019), both from Cold Hub Press. Recent poems have appeared in Hamilton Stone Review, Molly Bloom, Mudlark, Otoliths and elsewhere.
I won’t cut my arm just to see myself bleed. Nor will I roam the cemetery trails, as if the dead are the perfect company for the likes of me. Not that I’m about to take up dancing. Not with these clumsy feet. Or give up alcohol. I have too many demons deserving of drowning. But I won’t stick my head in places from, which it’s not easily extracted. Like fence railings. Or stocks. Not that I’m about to find someone and then do everything together. But I won’t lop off my toes with a scythe. Or crack open my head on the rocks below. No affairs of the heart. But no opiates either. And no passion, for good or for bad. I won’t deny my body what it needs to survive. But nor will I promise these bones, this flesh, anything beyond that.
This time it will be different. The highs, the lows, will be so controlled they’ll think they’re twins. Such is my pledge. So I go on from here, Ecstasy is uncalled for. Despair no longer suits my style.
It’s Saturday night. I’m not going anywhere. My mind is babysitting my heart. It’s not going anywhere either.
notate each awakening and flash of foreknowledge;
on your balcony, face east, over ocean to where the horizon stretches to no end in sight;
the country can’t get enough divine philosophers, seers who tell our fortunes in a crumple of feathers or a spinning ball, who reach into the dark chasm of the days ahead, extract a telling tale;
wear icons round your throat, talismans on your wrist; spread Tarot cards before you, stir tea leaves with your fingernail;
explain the enigmas, lift the shadows, quiet the doubters, offer holy incentive to the believers;
I think you’re the one but I need you to tell me;
it’s the mysteries of the universe and it’s all in a life’s work;
Death Of Miss America 194..
“Say, does the coffin pinch?” No one thinks of you anymore. Miss America 194… Adios…. Ah, Miss America. So old. How dull. Your compass watches more than your gallery. And the angel of numbers is counting down to zero when it suits. And meanwhile, you, in the wind, flutter worse than butterflies – by Government declaration, the moon is wrinkles, the sun is red-streaked eyes. You’re no longer forbidden the fear of winter’s white bear. From one of one now a miniscule fraction often billion – gold dust and tiaras…goodbye. Hunting with memory, there’s still no game. Just yawning Miss America, queen of all states but not one of them thinks of you anymore. Nor do sun, moon, or stars. Just the sullen greenish-yellow air. Only mildew is left to ask, “Do your shoes pinch?” Lightning, thunder, even sky is prohibited – the weather has settled on streaky wind whipping the flesh from the bones of your face. No one believes that you were lovely once. Your chalk flames out shrill on the heavenly blackboards.
Two for the Sno-Cat
Joe’s fifty seven and his knees won’t stop whining, Anne’s twenty seven, recovering from a busted relationship. And within this glacier, lies a man, his body preserved by his moment of death, even to the seal meat in his stomach that’s caked in frozen acid. His skin is hard as Arctic earth, eyes closed by the weight on him. His heart’s encased in a jewel box of ice, his blood stalled on orders from his perfectly encapsulated last breath, His brain is a prison of neurons awaiting a thought, a sensation, so all can break free. A Sno-Cat, piloted by Joe, navigated by Anne, is grinding its way through the area, studded steel belts ripping up the surface, about to accidentally unleash the distant past on the world. “It’s hard getting old,” he says. “You should try the singles scene,” she replies. Within this glacier, lies a man about to meet his public. He’s a thousand years old, in a time when no one else is.
The Living and the Dead
The lilies are born on their death-bed. Come morning, these pretty blooms will be all funeral. I stare out my window at their cool breeze wake. How they flutter. How we’d all flutter if we didn’t know the truth.
I’m in a coffee shop taking forever over the latest nectar from the Kona Coast. A lovely young woman nibbles on a muffin, reads The Great Gatsby. I swear her lips move reciting Daisy’s lines. I’m on the west coast for a week. I’ll never see her again. That’s a kind of death.
It can join shooting star or glimpse of scarlet tanager or grizzled face in the attic window of the old house – their brief is brevity. Here then gone, my life is this constant killer.
But some things stay around. I have loved ones. I’ve got possessions. And a neighborhood, a town. I may live for the transitory but I live in the permanent.
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.
You can find more of John’s work here on Ink Pantry.
‘They say I’m mad – I say they’re mad – I lost the flip – That’s me locked up in Bethlem Hospital – “Come boys, who’s for Bedlam?”‘
Personally, as an avid devourer of all things in written form, the sense of utterly losing oneself within words is a tough feeling to beat on an emotional/sensual level. On those occasions when the creative force possesses the skills to fully immerse us within their world, via a strong first-person perspective, there is no better feeling than to see this through the eyes of a thoroughly well-crafted character. Inside The Beautiful Inside by Emily Bullock (published by Everything With Words) is such a grand occasion, worthy of our literary senses to throw a party, open up the Prosecco, turn on the karaoke machine and don the glittery, disco trousers in celebration of a very talented author in full, creative flow.
Plot-wise, the novel is based upon an actual historical figure. In the late 18th century, James Norris was a marine; British by conception, American by birth. Although tough and hardy, James finds himself imprisoned within London’s notorious ‘Bethlem Hospital for the Insane’ in 1800. It is here where we first encounter James as he struggles to cope with the psychological aspects of his strict – and often brutal – confinement.
As a side plotline, we also know that James has personal issues with a certain Christian Fletcher; famously renowned for his role in overthrowing Captain Bligh on the ‘HMS Bounty’ in Polynesian waters during 1789. Once upon a time, James and Christian were brothers of the sea; bound by their experiences and locked in deep friendship. However, we soon learn that James now holds Christian Fletcher in utter contempt, now wishing only to brutally end his life. All James needs to do is to somehow escape the considerable perils of Bethlem Hospital, known to its inmates since its conception in the 1400’s as ‘Bedlam’. Once free, James can pursue his illustrious foe and kill him.
It’s a simple plan. Yes, the guards are both numerous and brutal. True, James has been told he only has months left inside the asylum before being released, but can anything that he sees, or hears, be trusted? Can James rely upon his natural marine abilities to overcome all odds? How will the guards and doctors react if he does so? As readers, we are with James every step of his tortured journey; constantly searching for any speck of hopeful light in this world of twisted, tormented darkness.
As can be imagined, in terms of literary genres, this subject matter comes with layers of added depth and emotion. As our narrator and guide, Emily steers us through every step of James’ perilous voyage with considerable ease. For this, she is to be soundly applauded, for at times the narrative intrudes into very personal areas, including loss of mental balance, brutality and illness.
Emily’s chosen writing style is paramount to the success of her narrative. In a harrowing, mind-altering world, which could easily drag the reader down into woeful contemplation, Emily’s writing style tends to adopt a series of short, punchy sentences, often containing only a singular verb. This strongly reminded me of being back at university and being introduced to writing in ‘streams of consciousness’, whereby thoughts and ideas ‘tumble’ out in a rapid form, as expressed here with James laying upon his bed and returning to his childhood.
‘I am twelve years old. Laying flat on my front, up in the hayloft. Dust and husks skip in the air about me. I’m supposed to be turning the hay, but I’ve fallen asleep in the warm gloom. Arrows of daylight cross the loft floor. I was dreaming of a battle, leading the cry on a bright, white horse, men cheering. Rub my eyes. There’s a creaking noise behind me. I roll over. And she’s there, in the far corner, under the eaves.’
This style greatly helps with the pace of relaying the story, as well as focusing upon a very personal, individual narrative from the main character, through whose eyes and senses we become aware of everything going on. Thus, as James’s world becomes darker, we gain great clarity about his current mental well-being on any given page of the book.
This is skilful writing at its peak and allows us to slip easily into James’s life, his hopes, fears and state of mind. James is strong and we’re naturally rooting for him. Not because he is a paragon of virtue, but due to the fact that he has been well-crafted for us by an artisan writer. Yet also, we hold a natural degree of trepidation that he might not get out of this wholly intact; either physically, emotionally, mentally or a combination of all three. The mere fact that we care is entirely down to Emily’s impressive characterisation.
This is a mighty, insightful and powerful book guaranteed to instil thoughts that will cling to the memory for considerable years ahead. As with her 2015 début novel,The Longest Fight, which I was fortunate enough to review for Ink Pantry, Emily’s research skills are impeccable and it thoroughly shows throughout every page of the writing here.
Highly impressive and a must-read. More please, Emily.
‘I’ve left footprints on a glacier – I’ve seen the Sun burst out of the Atlantic – I’ve eaten sweet papaya from a low-hanging tree in Tahiti – I’ve glimpsed Paradise – Life made sense when I was all at sea.‘
Emily Bullock won the Bristol Short Story Prize with the story ‘My Girl’, which was also broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She worked in film before pursuing writing full time. She has an MA in 19th Century Literature from King’s College, London, and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and completed her PhD at the Open University, where she teaches Creative Writing. Her debut novel, The Longest Fight was shortlisted for the Cross Sports Book Awards, and listed in The Independent’s Paperbacks of the Year.
CALENDAR OF MARBLE REINCARNATION METALLIC TASTE OF ASHES BURNING FEATHER THIS SECOND HE….THE UNMISTAKABLE EROTIC LANGUAGE MUST NOT DECEIVE US/AUTUMN CRY OPULENCE LIKE A TRIANGLE & A DUEL/NEW ARCADES BECAUSE OF BECAUSE WINDOWSPEAK PLUM NUDITY & NULLITY/STORYINSOIL EXPRESS OF SEMITONAL DOORS OPEN SOMEWHERE IN MY HEART/BEHOLD THE MATERIALITY OF THE CLOUD/CHAOS CROP BASS NECTAR SCARECROW NAMELESS DAY/PEAK RING PROXIMITY WHO WILL REMAIN/MELANCHOLY OF TRIBE SAD CAFE IMMORTAL PALOMA STEAM DEEPFEEL LAVENDER KITE SENSEFALL CAMARADERIE/SIMPLE MIND RELIIC MASS EPONYMOUS NIGHT DISCRETIONS/SERVANT OF THE SECRET FLAME CATHEDRAL LABYRINTH EXOTIC PULSE/SOUL OF SERENE PRAXIS UNDERNEATH MANIC SEAS/CANAL BREATH SUPERSCENE/CONTENT MERE OASIS SINISTER MYTH FOREKNOW/EXPERIENTIAL MODE MODERNE HOUNDS OF LOVE/SOLASTALGIA REMAIN/OCEAN MACHINE SCREAM OF SWIFTS/BY REWARD ACCENT ROAM TECHNICS & TIME THE FORCE OF THE INTOXIC/CYCLE AFTER CYCLE/YEAR AFTER YEAR/WORD AFTER WORD/CREAM TERMINAL SYSTEM OF SYSTEMS RHAPSODY PINPOINT/TIME’S FLOW STEMMED/TALISMANIC IDENTIFICATIONS & GHOSTLY DEMARCATIONS/VERMILLION DEEPCHORD GLOW THERE IS NO END
You can find more of Rus’ work here on Ink Pantry.
I have been extremely lucky In life Lucky in love Not so much in cards
Met the love of my life In a dream Then she became my wife
Over the years We have been extremely lucky As our investments grew and grew
Fuelled by the skill Of my financial advisor wife Born in the year of the Golden Pig
Making me wealthy In my old age
I often think meeting her Was like winning the lotto Or getting a jackpot
A jackpot of love That continues to pay me Dividends for life
Until the day I die With my lucky charm By my side
waiting for the day
I lay in bed Waiting for the sun to rise Next to my sleeping beauty Filled with her love
But with the dawning sun The nightmares come back
Filled with fearful thoughts Of what fresh insanity Will soon overwhelm me
I watch the daily news Absorbing the latest Scandal d’jour The latest fresh hell
As I watch with dismay America the land of my birth Tear itself apart
As politicians play games Thousands die Becoming Corona Ghosts
It is enough to make me Want to hideaway For the rest of my time On this earth
The Rising Storm of Sedition Overwhelms Us All
A rising storm of sedition and treason Threatens to overwhelm us all As the alt. right wing forces
Complicit in treason And committed sedition
A failure of law enforcement And politics as well
As the craven proud boys do not hide anymore
screaming fraud Trying to foment civil war
Storming the Capitol On instructions from their hero
The craven President Hides out
Watching the carnage That he unleashed Descend on the capitol
Tired and Burned Out – Let 2020 Go!!! January 15, 2021
It has been two weeks Since the beginning of the year It seems like it has been a Year Of horror condensed down
Into two-weeks Of daily chaos As the centre frays
We are so Tired and Burned Out yet we can’t Let 2020 Go!!!
Madness grows Can’t take it much more can’t shake off the 2020 hangover
2021 You are so old We are so done with you Just go away And never haunt us again
Toilet Gate Fit Metaphor for the End of the Trump Affair
News that the President’s son-in-law and daughter Refused to allow secret service agents To use any of their 6.5 toilets Is a fitting metaphor For the end of the Trump Era
The news captures the false sense Of royal privilege Among the Trump family And shows how shallow, cruel And inhuman the family really is
How did such a family of grifters Manage to take over the WH? And how can anyone still support Such despicable human beings?
They deny it of course But the Secret service Says it is true
And they had to pay 100,000 dollars 3,000 dollars per month To rent an apartment across the street So, agents could relieve themselves
What were they thinking? Perhaps they were thinking The agents could use the bushes Out back?
Or beg to use the neighbor’s facilities? Anyway, not their problem What the hired help does After all
So glad that this band Of grifters are on their way out And sanity will return To our nation
John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller is a novelist, poet, and former Foreign Service officer having served 27 years with the U.S. State Department serving in over ten countries including Korea, Thailand, India, Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Spain. He has travelled to over 50 countries, and 49 out of 50 states. He speaks Korean, Thai, Spanish and studied Chinese, Hindi and Arabic.
You can find more of Jake’s work here on Ink Pantry.