Poem for A Viral Video – by Jen Stewart Fueston

Poem for A Viral Video

— After the Icelandic Heyr himna smiður

The song reminds you
it might be possible to endure.
That the sun can go dark,
swallowed by wolves,
eaten by snow, but a melody
burrows or is knit
into the ground like a taproot
might rise to the surface
of throats earth has not
yet imagined, might resurrect
in an echo as trains rumble by
or in some place of transit
between this world and
the next. That whatever
is lost is not lost. That
whatever is kept
keeps its own secret
life, that your body’s
a chamber, a channel,
a mead hall
for music beyond
what you know.

 

Jen Stewart Fueston lives in Longmont, Colorado. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of journals, most recently Ruminate, Rock & Sling, and The St. Katherine Review. Her poems have twice been finalists for the McCabe poetry prize, and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first chapbook, “Visitations,” was published in 2015, and her second, “Latch,” will be released in early 2019. She has taught writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as internationally in Hungary, Turkey, and Lithuania.

Let the Rain Possess Me – a poem by KB Ballantine

Let the Rain Possess Me

Stars fading, a margin of sky clears
as clouds spill from the west.
Miles of blue for a week, warmest winter
on record, but now darkness swells,
shares a remnant of moon with gray dawn.

Black caps tapping at the feeder, chickadees
feint with goldfinches for the best fruit, seed.
The bluebirds never left, January so much
like early April. They just fluff and rustle
in the water, chatter to squirrels who burst
the length of hickory branches, leaves dried
and crackling but still hanging on.

Hanging on to joy, even with storms
moving in. They scrabble and loop the bark —
and the chase is on as drops scatter the yard
then more until silver hazes,  erases me.

 

 

KB Ballentine’s fifth collection, Almost Everything,
Almost Nothing, was published in 2017 by Middle Creek Publishing.
Published in Crab Orchard Review and Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal,
among others, her work also appears in anthologies including In Plein
Air (2017) and Carrying the Branch: Poets in Search of Peace (2017).
Learn more at www.kbballentine.com.

Quantum Realities – a poem by Fabrice Poussin

Quantum Realities

Science gets me
as if it were yesterday
again on the eve of tomorrow.

I grow in my walk at the foot of mountains
gathering the mysteries of physics
mysterious atoms attached to my coat.

Light travels to my soul
I shake with the memory of beginnings
so long ago cold in the explosion of the first instant.

My body floats now
without the substance of mankind
weightless as the mist of nebulae.

The instant will come
when all begins and this day collapses
reality will be at last.

The paradox of destinies revealed
life will blossom at the unlikely second
the flesh burnt to oblivion, to be ever born.

 

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The ChimesAmethyst Review and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.

Middle England – a poem by Diana Durham

Middle England

a man and his wife, setting off
around the corner
on the pavement
by the staggered junction,
past the tall hedge toppling
its bounds

press button lights, bike lanes,
blurred cars, buses’ zig-
zag round the narrows
where the pub juts out—

grey trousers, three quarter
charcoal paddy, pink scarf,

perennial
ten minute walk
to catch the bus to town
or journey faraway.

The sky is textured damp
that does not fall but effloresces
in the air

middle age, middle England,
burgeoning
from the tolerant climate
where spiky palms grow
alongside rosemary, roses,
moss,
and ordinary life
runs on without old tragedies
of loss

where, in every village
and small town, churches—
raising funds for roofs,
spires—still mark
the centre

beyond safety barriers,
white lines, regulation,
the skies, the fields
persist, the heights
the green
depths

 

Diana Durham is the author of three poetry collections: Sea of Glass (Diamond Press); To the End of the Night (Northwoods Press) Between Two Worlds (Chrysalis Poetry); the nonfiction The Return of King Arthur (Tarcher/Penguin); a debut novel
The Curve of the Land (Skylight Press); and a dramatic retelling of grail myth Perceval & the Grail: Perceval & the Grail Part 1 Morgana’s Retelling – YouTube

Tuning In – a poem by Tina Morris

Tuning In

Grass rough against my cheek,
I lie with ear to the ground
listening for the reverberation
of hoofbeats, soundwaves, footsteps
– the vibrations by which my ancestors
predicted the probable.
But as I tune in
to earth’s faint pulse
I feel a pull of energy
in the beating of my heart.
Deep in the unheard singing
something ancient stirs
and moves me to tears.

 

Tina Morris has been around for decades, appearing in hundreds of magazines and anthologies, ranging from Children of Albion to Peace News, Tribune and Freedom. Her recent poetry collection Mirrors and Moonshine was published in 2017. Writing as Tina Cryer, her teenage pony novel Horses, Divorces & Hissy Fits was recently published by Forelock Books.

What They Said When Io Ran – a poem by Rebecca Holland

What They Said When Io Ran

Words liberate
Poetry heals

The sages of the ages past
Tried their best to lock away
The knowledge of what words can do
They should not keep them from you

They will try to chain you with meter
And clip your wings with rhyme
Say that you are not good enough
Because you cannot write like them
Because your iambs are trochees and your lines stumble on broken feet-

But they do not see
That you are writing a new song
They do not see
That a new language is required
To tell the world of how you were
………………Beaten
………………Broken
………………Erased
………………Desired
………………But never silenced.

When Io ran, they claimed she liked the chase
When Daphne transformed into a tree
Rather than embrace her rapist
They said, how lovely is the laurel
And used her arms to crown the heads of poets

Daughter of Eve-
Do not let them keep the words.

When they will not let you write
Sing your songs to yourself
And know that
When men have shut their ears
All creation is listening.

 

Rebecca Holland is a visually impaired Filipino-American writer who lives in Pennsylvania. Her writing is particularly fascinated with the intersection of faith, gender, disability, and race. Her work has recently appeared in The Drabble, Bold Blind Beauty, and CAPTIVATING! She blogs about faith, literature, and disability awareness at BeckieWrites.com

The Calmative  – a poem by Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah

The Calmative

Exhaling slowly, the expecting clouds
are just above the brim, we brighten up
though the trip has totally exhausted us,
we’ve stopped at the brothel, abandoned,
an abbess has taken over, composing it
into a convent, the building next to you,
is the mud. The shadows under the mud
grow larger, making a promise on their death,
a few are dreaming aloud with the skin-colour
instead of the eyes, we hunker to see the air
leaving a huge hunky-dory low field after
the hybridization, we remain calm in this
shelter to hustle into the husk of new seeds.
We’re the rooms, blossoming. A hyacinth
in its sweet-smelling bell-shaped flowers
fills the hurtful walls among us, we begin
to feel weightlessness and a husband among us
carries the hurricane lamp from face to face,
mapping the next move before the morning.
I return the hush money to the landlady.
After breakfast, Agnes sits beside me,
asking for my name and pointing to the wine.

 

Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah is the author of the new hybrid work, Z. His individual poems are widely published and recently appearing in The Meadow, Juked, North Dakota Quarterly,  etc. He is algebraist and artist and lives in the southern part of Ghana, Spain, and Turtle Mountains, North Dakota.

The Nature of Inquiry – a poem by Gary Glauber

The Nature of Inquiry

We are all butterflies flitting aimlessly
from flower to flower in lavender fields,
harboring secrets even from ourselves.
What instinct drives us to fly?
What is this why we cannot let go?
Searching shadow’s flicker
on walls of candlelit rooms.
Not a clue to be found.
Who is the love that rocks
our landscape with gale force winds?
Where are we headed, what are
we wishing for underneath
shadows of passing stars?
Who will guide our lost hearts?
Every day a new river flows across
anachronistic fish who seem to know better.
What are they swimming toward?
An army of the unique, marching
toward individual oblivion.
This is the cloud of dust that defines us,
the familiar melody stuck in our head,
the song that plays on and on,
relentless and redeeming,
yet we own it through
humming the refrain
as if it held answers.

 

Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. His two collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) and Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and a chapbook, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press), are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and directly from the publishers.

 

Prayer to Contrivances – a poem by Rabiu Temidayo

Prayer to Contrivances

Contrivances,
the grumbling cars down the road
of our imaginative mind,
wipe out the cosmos dreams,
as we turn on lightswitches,
Tell us the sum of engines,
or what the windscreens remember
correcting at midday
with white asterisks for sunlight,
down the road that Iveco
gargles outside these walls
of our imagination,
with the sun on the whale back
of our moving freight car,
with the sunset as well
behind orange cemetaries,
open the sliding windows
of our imaginative minds,
and the walls to the traffic,
of red horns and taillights,
let things come my way,
let four things go back
And forth like door leaves
That nothing goes where
but if we imagine it,
we remember.

 

Rabiu Temidayo writes from Lagos. Visar has either appeared or is soon appearing on Isacoustic, Merak MagazineRiggwelter, Picaroon Poetry, Nightingale & Sparrow, kalahari review, African Writer,  the Gerald Kraak Anthology etc. Twitter: @rabiutemidayo.

Pirouette – a poem by Cynthia Pitman

Pirouette

Don’t sing me your songs
of slow-melting scrimshaw
of time found uncounted
of rain-draining clouds
of wind-flown sky-falls
of drowning the desert
of vanishing points
that won’t go away.

Don’t tell me your stories
of rock salt sleigh bells
of winds that won’t blow
of microscopes sliding
of far-flung highways
of slow-slung snow globes
of birds that can’t sing
and brides that won’t stop.

Don’t cry me your sorrows
of love here and never
of sun-setting dawns
of bright unlit starlight
of moons without rings
of curves of ashes
of empty boxes
of half-eaten peaches.

Don’t ask me your questions:
why red shoes?
why stone cold?
why scattered seeds?
why loops of lamplight?
why caves of incense?
why blown glass?
why gone glory?

Just leave me alone.
I’m dancing the Divine.

 

Cynthia Pitman has had poetry published in Amethyst Review, Right Hand PointingThird Wednesday, Leaves of Ink, Vita Brevis, Ekphrastic ReviewLiterary YardAdelaide Literary Magazine, Postcard Poems and Prose, and Mused: Bella Online. Her first book of poetry, The White Room, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books.