Yellow – a poem by Susie Gharib

Yellow

Yellow is the yolk of my thoughts.
I rarely wear it but my eyes hover around it
as a butterfly encircles a candle’s gold.
The passionate flames of altar tapers are the alphabet of my soul.
In the marrow of every fire, a yellow hymn is intoned.
Halos are crowns bestowed by Jophiel on those who pursue the saintly road.
When the moon waxes yellow, I adore.
The verdant route to my office is punctuated by gorse,
kindling a fire in my blood, my skull, my every pore.
I always wait patiently for the summer when clouds
proudly wear their yellow coats.
The grails of daffodils are furnaces in which every happy memory is forged.
I wrap my mind with yellow whenever blizzards blanch the landscape of my world.

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Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with
a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Her writing has appeared in
multiple venues including Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Mad Swirl,
Down in the Dirt, Impspired Magazine, Leaves of Ink, A New Ulster,
Adelaide Literary Magazine, The Ink Pantry.

If I must wear a mask – a poem by Deborah Leipziger

If I must wear a mask

Let it be a mask of flowers
Violets and magnolia
Pansies, buds of all
kinds, wrapped around my ears
covering my lips
Let me smile in iris
Flower the first syllable

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Deborah Leipziger is an author, poet, and professor. Her chapbook, Flower Map, was published by Finishing Line Press (2013).  In 2014, her poem “Written on Skin” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  Born in Brazil, Ms. Leipziger is the author of several books on human rights and sustainability. She advises companies around the world on social and environmental issues. Her poems have been published in Salamander, Voices Israel, POESY, Wilderness House Review, Ibbetson Street, and the Muddy River Poetry Review. She is the founding co-editor of Soul-Lit.  http://flowermap.net/

DAWN CHORUS – a poem by Tony Lucas

DAWN CHORUS

After the cock-crow,
counterpointed by a barking dog,
cue the precentor, blackbird solo,
with responding voices swelling
from antiphon to chorus
– thrushes and finches, chiff-chaff,
warblers, even a honking crow,
until song verges on cacophony.

Fresh rhythms break through tumult
shaping the daily glossalalia;
deep underlying currents
voice this pentecostal speaking
of the birds, as light unfolds,
spreads iridescent wings that
open up the eastward sky

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Tony Lucas has lived and worked in inner South London for many years.   Hs work has been published both in the UK and America, with the most recent collection of his work, Unsettled Accounts, issued by Stairwell Books in 2015.

Anattā: Promenade Beach, Pondicherry – a poem by Clarice Hare

Anattā: Promenade Beach, Pondicherry

I sat meditating in my
pale and painless blemish-
gray garb in the alabaster
prayer-porch beneath the
pointed and water-stained arch
of a placid aquamarine dome.
Early morning surf had passed,
and if one cannot disbelieve
the incessant cadence of
thunderous clamor, the gusting
and rushing winds, the goading
summons of the sea—it is
hard, to say the least, to
disbelieve in
the sea.

So much more so my self, so
singularly like the shimmering
skin of seawater, within my
own body, immersed in its deep,
biting heat—the heat of
the dazzling tides, perhaps,
or the sun; the heat of the
burning brine; or for those
who don’t like to see things
that way, the chill of the
disorienting, eternal
solace.

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Though born in humble circumstances, Clarice Hare received a privileged education and has lived a fascinating life, traveled widely, and never said no to an opportunity for exploration or enlightenment. She currently lives in obscurity in the southern U.S. with an assortment of furry and scaly pets.

Divine Comedy – a reflection by Annie Blake

DIVINE COMEDY

Writing can be opening the gate latch of our inner being so we can start to understand how our life on an outer and interior level can align. If we are not balanced we become neurotic and destructive. Psycho spiritually speaking, keeping in touch with our soul keeps us in harmony with who we are in our most natural form.

Having a nurturing relationship with oneself is having a life-giving relationship with the world. We can’t operate lovingly on a humanitarian level if we can’t connect lovingly with ourselves.

Writing is either a conscious or unconscious pursuit. Many writers fill their pages and swear black and blue that their narrative means nothing more than what is literally understood. Even though all writers are unconscious of at least some of what they write, the danger lies in being barely conscious of our narratives as a whole. Even those who write for escapism instead of confrontation leave a great deal of wealth buried in their pages for those who can sugar soap the walls.

One way to discover what is burning in the collective is to hook up the similar themes prevailing in writing. These are similar to nocturnal dreams in that they reveal the sacred in us. Similarly, the problems of the collective can be lifted by analysing the dream content of our times.

The collective unconscious runs underneath the personal unconscious like the thick foil base of a tiered cake. Conscious writers ploughing their personal complexes eventually reach the foil base. This is where we realize that many of our inner wars overlap with the struggles belonging to everyone. This analogy can also be compared to the earth’s physical structure. If we deal with the underwater currents to confront our sea monsters we eventually hit a common floor.

Wrestling with our demons under this ground is as hard as hell which explains why Dante described Inferno as being inside the centre of the earth. Processes stirring from the earth’s solid core can drive through volcanic activity that form islands. Symbolically, these islands represent a new consciousness which aim to dilute the collective and propel humanity towards evolution.

Analogously, if we as humans don’t experience great pressure or an extreme disturbance from our depths through the experience of, for example a breakdown or a death of a loved one, it is not possible to experience the type of transformation which is fluid enough to erode the collective. It is only from this deep hole in us – this cold bath of fitful sleep, the breaking up of our childhood roads and cities and this grinding fear of complete loss that consciousness is able to finally gush to the surface.

What point is there of literally reaching out to the stars via a rocket when we don’t even know our own soil? Why worry about living on Mars if we can’t even live receptively on earth? It is easier to pretend to be passionate about what is outside of ourselves because then we don’t have to stand nakedly in front of the mirror.

We can only reach the sacred if we, as Dante, through Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso, explore the meaning of what we’re doing. Writing for escapism is like believing in science without emotion and intuition. Writing consciously can help us take a leap of faith so we can trust in what we don’t yet fully understand. The sacred is largely unknown and more powerful than us. If we allow it to flow through us with hope we take the wick of the candle in the dark and give it light.

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Annie Blake (BTeach, GDipEd) is a divergent thinker, a wife and mother of five children. She hopes to one day publish her chapbook ‘Studium Spiritus Sancti’. She is an advocate of autopsychoanalysis and a member of the C G Jung Society of Melbourne, Australia. You can visit her on annieblakethegatherer.blogspot.com.au and https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009445206990.

 

Attentiveness – a poem by Sanjeev Sethi

Attentiveness

Solitary at a streambed:
I speak to myself
about the blockages
at bounds.

This isn’t the dictate
of downtime ardor
but occlusion
of another order.

When antiphons
come back at the seams:
it’s according to Hoyle
to buckle before the all-powerful.

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Sanjeev Sethi is published in over 25 countries. He has more than 1200 poems printed or posted in venues around the world. Wrappings in Bespoke, is Winner of Full Fat Collection Competition-Deux organized by the Hedgehog Poetry Press UK. Its his fourth book. It will be issued in 2020. He lives in Mumbai, India.

Passover in Plague Time – a poem by Wayne-Daniel Berard

Passover in Plague Time

So this is how it felt
to have it all turn
against you to be
blamed in the burning
choking recesses of
each breath for decisions
by untouchable powers to
watch the river of your
everyday turn red your days
turn nights your very sky
fill with swarms of deadly
devouring tininesses your
massive milieu could not
fend off was this how it felt
when no safe distance
could save first born elders
and silly unschooled children
who gathered regardless
what was the hieroglyph for
“death count?” a human with
no animal head as every beast
had quit us in joyous liberation?
did the symbol rise and widen
grow and dominate until
everything infected everything
with enslavement to remoteness and
collapse? if we were all there back at
sinai then we were all there in giza
and luxor did we say “no, nameless one,
not this! egypt loves its children too
their grandparents are not pharaoh let
our liberation not be bought with plague?”

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Wayne-Daniel Berard, PhD, teaches Humanities at Nichols College, Dudley, MA. He publishes broadly in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. His novella, Everything We Want, was published in 2018 by Bloodstone Press. A poetry collection, The Realm of Blessing, will be published in 2020 by Unsolicited Press.

If I write this – a poem by Jane Angué

If I write this

it is not to show you the abyss,
but to upturn it and make it a mountain;
to paint for you bullying winds on the summit
that box our ears and forests of larch,
soft as fresh-cut hay, which welcome us
into mottled light to rest our feet on warm
needle cushions; rivers of molten glass
talking to themselves, weaving liquid skeins
over pebbles blinking with mica and quartz,
like the granite of pharaohs; deep blue
trumpet gentians sharing velvet grassland
with sun-dried marmot scatterings and crisp confetti
of mountain avens, where I lie, wrapped
in silver lady’s mantle, watching the world turn.

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Jane Angué teaches English Language and Literature in France. Writing in French and English, work has appeared most recently in Le Capital des Mots, Amethyst, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Acumen and Poésie/première. A pamphlet, des fleurs pour Bach, was published in 2019 (Editions Encres Vives).

The Gods We Make – a poem by Rachel Barga Simpson

The Gods We Make

Earth is full of Heaven’s glory
Heaven’s Earth in full

God’s no fool with a pyrite ring
but everyman’s pure gold

to airy thinness He is beat
a sheen for all creation

better beat than tarnished here
or never mined elation

never mind what can’t be felt
or seen with naked eye

we trample treasures unaware
and kick the ash to sky

we gather haloes shed in haste
cold and man-made rings

choke on coal dust as we try to
find a man with wings

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Rachel Barga Simpson lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and three children. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, a master’s in Speech-Language Pathology, and zero accreditations in parenthood. Her poetry can be found in Ever Eden Literary Journal, In Parentheses, and here.