Press. Excerpts from Seasons in the Sun. Winter’s Breath 3 Poems by Annest Gwilym

Days like this to be read as honey

For the child I never had
    I would give you: the honeydrip of low sun on the horizon; a cold that sugar-coats mountain tops, collides cells and atoms; all the tree-lined hours of your dreams; a moonsuck and sunstruck clock stuck at youth; four seasons in a day. In my witchery I would line up jars of bright starshine on your windowsill; conjure Caravaggio days, raining pomegranate seeds; trap it all in amber. And if you ever lived, you could live it too.
First published in the PK Project Quixotic Travellers, December 2018. Also published in Caught in the Net, November 2019. In the Immensity of Night
    Things with invisible hands unlatch the doors unseen Creep on silent feet around my floating bed Tap their long, strong nails on my wooden headboard Whisper poetry in my sleep which evaporates at dawn A crinkle of leaves gathers at the base of the bed While the sea laps at my front door lost and miles from home Baby crabs with tiny pincers knock, want to enter The herons are watching as gulls tear candy-floss clouds Outside is dangerous, static-filled inside is better I pull the duvet under my chin I think I’ll stay here
Winter’s Breath
    Winter’s breath is snow-dust prophecy, humus and moss-scented ache of leaf mould from autumn on the floor. Under the cold, clear fire of stars its wind corrugates the sea’s iron in the silent meadows of the night. Winter’s woods are antlered, dark, fox-sharp, full of long, wolfish shadows that follow you home. Its eye is pale, glaucous; air salted with frost, whose sharp proboscis probes every crack and crevice. Winter is a black and white country. The old know this: it strips flesh from trees, flowers, bones.

Click on Image to view large:

https://carreg-gwalch.cymru/seasons-in-the-sun-3008-p.asp

Annest Gwilym is the author of three books of poetry. Surfacing (2018) and What the Owl Taught Me (2020), were both published by Lapwing Publications. What the Owl Taught Me was Poetry Kit’s Book of the Month in June 2020 and one of North of Oxford’s summer reading recommendations in 2020. Annest has been widely published in literary journals and anthologies, both online and in print, and placed in several writing competitions, winning one. She was the editor of the webzine Nine Muses Poetry from 2018-2020. She was a nominee for Best of the Net 2021. Her third book of poetry – Seasons in the Sun – was published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch in September 2023 and was Poetry Kit’s Book of the Month in November 2023 as well as being one of their Christmas reading recommendations. She has been nominated for the Wales Book of the Year Award 2024/Gwobr Llyfr y Flwyddyn 2024. Seasons in the Sun is available from Amazon and other places. It is also available from all bookshops in Wales.

When the Messiah Comes poems from Aieka by Daniela Ema Aguinsky Translated from Spanish by Amparo Arróspide & Robin Ouzman Hislop

i.

La foto de mi abuela el día de su casamiento

Sé que no lo deseabas
pero lo hiciste.
El buen chico judío asignado
no resultó
tan buen chico.

Pasé tu edad
no me casé con el mío.
Lo deje ir lejos
una noche de luna
en la terraza
tomó mi mano y dijo

no me gustan las chicas
con las uñas pintadas.

Las mías
eran rojas
y dejaban marcas
en las paredes de su intestino.

A veces recuerdo al goy
de la fábrica de máquinas de coser
gritaba tu nombre
en la cueva privada de su boca.

Alegre
soprano de interiores
fósforo
en una caja húmeda
durante un corte de luz

vos empezás a irte
yo recién estoy llegando. 

i.

The photo of my grandmother on her wedding day

I know you didn't want to
but you still did.
The assigned good Jewish boy
did not turn out to be
such a good boy.

I am past your age
I didn't marry mine.
I let him get away
a moonlit night
on the terrace
he took my hand and said

I don't like girls
with painted nails.

Mine
were red
and left marks
on the walls of his intestine.

Sometimes I remember the goi*
from the sewing machine factory
he screamed your name
in the private cave of his mouth.

Cheerful
indoor soprano
a match
in a wet match box
when there is a fuse

you begin to depart
I'm just arriving.


* Goi (non Jewish boy)

ii.

Palimpsesto

Me tiré ácido
me raspé la piel
y me escribí encima.

Abajo quedaron huellas
los textos que no llegaron
al canon de mi existencia.

Que vengan los cabalistas
los estudiantes de Talmud
voy a desplegarme sobre la mesa,
una escritura sagrada.

Desnúdenme con cuidado
rastreen los indicios
discutan el estado original
de esta mujer borrada.

ii.

Palimpsest

I threw acid on myself
scraped my skin
and wrote on it.

Traces were left below
the texts that did not make it
to the canon of my existence.

Let the Cabalists come
students of the Talmud
I'm going to spread myself on a table,
a sacred script

Undress me with care
track the signs
discuss the original state
of this erased woman.

iii.

Las copas están hechas para romperse

Lo sé
desde que mi abuela guardaba la vajilla
de su abuela, en un aparador especial
que nunca se abría
por lo delicadas que eran
esas copitas verdes de tallos finos como lirios
capacidad mínima, brillantes.

Nada ameritaba
perturbarlas
de su estado decorativo
los nietos no le habíamos dado
una jupá, un compromiso, un nacimiento.
No le habíamos dado nada.

Pero mi abuela sabía mejor que nadie
que las copas
están hechas
para romperse:

van a quebrarse
mientras lavás los platos
o estallar contra el piso cuando levantás la mesa
un día que estás sobrepasada
o se le van a caer a tu nieta, dentro de veinte años,
cuando se mude sola a su primer departamento.

Van a resistir
como las personas viejas resisten
hasta quebrarse
un día cualquiera de sol.

iii.

GLASSWARE  ARE  MADE TO BE BROKEN

I know
since my grandmother put away the crockery
of her grandmother, in a special sideboard
she never opened
because of how delicate they were
those little green glasses with thin stems like lilies
bright in miniature capacity 

Nothing was worth
disturbing them
from their ornamental state     
grandchildren hadn´t give her
a chuppah*, an engagement, a birth. 
We hadn't given her anything.

But my grandmother knew better than anyone
that glassware
are made to be broken

they are going to break
while you wash the dishes
or explode on the floor when you ´re clearing the table
stressed out
or your granddaughter will drop them in twenty years´ time
when she moves into her first apartment alone.

They will resist
as old people resist
until breaking
any sunny day.

* chuppah: a Jewish wedding

iv.

                Cuando venga el Mesías van a curarse todos los enfermos
                     pero el tonto va a seguir siendo tonto.
                      Refrán Idish

Cuando venga el Mesías

y reconstruyan el Tercer Templo
no quiero estar arriba
mirando a los hombres rezar
en círculos que cantan y bailan
mientras mujeres charlan
y chicos gritan.

Cuando venga el Mesías
no quiero estar arriba
con el humo de los sacrificios
abajo los sacerdotes entran
y salen como amantes
pronunciando
el nombre sagrado.

Cuando venga el Mesías
y todos retornemos a la tierra
quiero estar en la tierra de este mundo.

iv.

                   When the Messiah comes, all the sick will be cured.
                        but the fool will remain a fool.
                         Yiddish saying

When the Messiah comes

and they rebuild the Third Temple
I don't want to be above
watching men pray
in circles singing and dancing
while women chat
and children shout

When the Messiah comes
I don't want to be above
with the smoke of sacrifices
the priests entering below
and exiting like lovers
pronouncing
the sacred name.

When the Messiah comes
and we all return to earth
I want to be on the earth of this world.

v.

Teléfono fijo

Mis papás me dieron un teléfono fijo
la línea está incluída dijeron
tenelo por las dudas
y quedó en el piso

cuando suena, rara vez
sé que son ellos
(nadie más tiene el número)
me siento en el sillón
espero tres tonos y atiendo

a veces una noticia terrible otras
una invitación para almorzar
lo único fijo este teléfono.

v.

Landline

My parents gave me a landline
the line is paid for they said
keep it just in case
and it stayed on  the floor

when it rings, rarely
I know it's them
(no one else has its number)
I sit on the couch
I wait three rings and answer

sometimes terrible news other times
an invitation for lunch

The only fixed thing this phone. 

Daniela Ema Aguinsky (Buenos Aires, 1993) is a writer and filmmaker based in Argentina. She Directed the shorts Virtual Guard, Hurricane Berta, 7 Tinder Dates, and several others. She published Amante japonés, Aieka (2023) and Terapia con animales (2022) in Argentina, Mexico and Spain, book that won The National Poetry Prize Storni in 2021. She is also the spanish translator to the California based poet Ellen Bass; Todos los platos del menú (Gog & Magog, 2021). Twitter: laglu Instagram: laglus

 
 
Amparo Arróspide (born in Buenos Aires) is an M.Phil. by the University of Salford. As well as poems, short stories and articles on literature and films in anthologies and international magazines, she has published five poetry collections: Presencia en el Misterio, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos y algunos poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar and En el oído del viento. The latter is part of a trilogy together with Jacuzzi and Hormigas en diaspora, which are in the course of being published. In 2010 she acted as a co-editor of webzine Poetry Life Times, where many of her translations of Spanish poems have appeared, she has translated authors such as Margaret Atwood, Stevie Smith and James Stephens into Spanish, and others such as Guadalupe Grande, Ángel Minaya, Francisca Aguirre, Carmen Crespo, Javier Díaz Gil into English. She takes part in poetry festivals, recently Centro de Poesía José Hierro (Getafe).
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; at Artvilla.com
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

The Kingdom of Chaos Poems by Scott Thomas Outlar

Silver Primroses & Golden Strigiformes Planted by the Curb

Carrying your own 
          dead body
                back to its grave
      in a dream
                 then happening upon
          an expired owl
                              stricken & smashed
                        in the street

Ominous signs
        along Five Forks Trickum
            birth into
                patterns of indigo 
                                  & scarlet wildflowers
                       
Spirit animals
             taking a dive
       before rush hour fevers
                        commence
        
    learn to sip
              from the parched throat
        of roadkill brunch

eating the 
        organs
   of our own
               totem


Stomach Lining

I came to eat the lies you coin

and serve them back half bitter
across the divide of tables turned

I didn’t ask for this evil eye

it was forced down my throat from the jump
been begging for a bulimic leap ever since


Spells of the Stoic Pewter 

& I will
        set you (free) here
    to be made safe by the wizard / window
                                                 (fly, birdie)
               black obsidian
                     gray of mind & beard
             wise & dangerous
                     streaked/laced down the middle
                                    balanced of accord
                                           (harmony 
                                                  & likewise
                                               rhythm)

you are the melody of a soft glow


Lament of Prey

Hello to all the hawks
who have yet to have their fill,
& the vultures, too,
waiting for what’s left over.

Spoiled minds & spoiled hearts
lead to spoiled guts,
but it seems to be
that’s what nature intended
in this twisted realm
of divided time & space.

Dog eat dog
isn’t even the worst part;
it’s flesh unto flesh
in the fire.

Goodbye to all the dreams
that forgot how to conquer,
& the visions still
yet to crystallize in cancer.

Rotten bones & rotten marrow
flow in rotten rivers,
but that’s the taste
acidic blood delivers
when signs of sickness
flash neon & electric in the night.

Tail chase tail
isn’t the end of the story;
it’s a snake that never sheds
the fade to black.


Kingdom of Chaos

We don’t want your money,
just your soul
on a silver platter
served to order
for our warm feast
while we spit out your raw famine.

We don’t want your respect,
just your energy and time,
just your mind
numbed
to the frequency
of propagandized pestilence.

We don’t want your love,
just your heart
bled dry
as every vein
withers in the winter wind
while our chalice remains
ever full to the point of overflowing.

We don’t want your vote,
just your faith
that such a course of action
can actually influence
the order in which our puppets
dance to a song of chaos
upon the public stage.

We don’t want your salute,
just your obedience,
just your hands
kept where we can see them
while your feet continue marching
to the drumbeat of our wars.

We don’t want your laws,
just your land,
just your culture,
just your customs,
just your heritage,
just your traditions
snuffed out
beneath the global kingdom
collectivized
at our command. 

 
 

 
 
Scott Thomas Outlar is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. He now lives and writes in Frederick, Maryland. His work has been nominated multiple times for both the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He guest-edited the Hope Anthology of Poetry from CultureCult Press as well as the 2019-2023 Western Voices editions of Setu Mag. He is the author of seven books, including Songs of a Dissident (2015), Abstract Visions of Light (2018), Of Sand and Sugar (2019), and Evermore (2021 – written with co-author Mihaela Melnic). Selections of his poetry have been translated and published in 14 languages. He has been a weekly contributor at Dissident Voice for the past nine years. More about Outlar’s work can be found at 17numa.com

Earth Puzzle,St. Petersburg in January,You Celebrate Your Birthday While I Have a Religious Experience, 3 Poems by James Croal Jackson

Earth Puzzle


We think completing the jigsaw 
depicting Earth will complete us, but 
4 AM we float in half-consciousness,
hoping to realign our orbit, still aimed 
into vastness, a jumbled mess on the
floor. Even the dog snores. Earlier, 
Disco ran across our tarot cards, shuffling 
a wrangled meaning into fate. The Hermit. 
The Star. The Hanged Man. I try to string 
together half-correlations. I want to drink 
more. I open the window and inhale.
I look into the dark and wonder 
how we can piece it all together.


St. Petersburg in January


maybe it is not seeing-eye dogs training 
in the grass I pass or the street vendors
selling sunglasses tamales and watercolors
or the waves that touch a difficult nerve
which snap me into a more relaxed reality
or the toaster-oven croissant at the French
bakery on Ocean Avenue but the cranes
that lift off skyscrapers in the heavy wind
that make me want to punch real estate
developers in the jaw or somesuch non
sensical violence bear trap tourist trap
somewhat Floridaesque my happy life
on blast it is dynamite at a luxury
construction site this weekend


You Celebrate Your Birthday While I Have a Religious Experience


Learning how to swim– 
can’t say I haven’t
counted hours stars 
float in the night infinite 
darkness I cannot claim 
sanctity within us. You point
to Orion like a familiar
neighbor like I would point 
to a passing thought or ripple 
believing it significant 
as the moment passes. 

James Croal Jackson works in film production. His most recent chapbooks are Count Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022) and Our Past Leaves (Kelsay Books, 2021). Recent poems are in Stirring, White Wall Review, and Vilas Avenue. He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (jamescroaljackson.com)

Mapplethorpe, Lethe, via crucis, Poems by Krystle Eilen

Mapplethorpe

after Robert Mapplethorpe’s Self Portrait, 1980

half youthful, half emaciated,

he reflects the epicene
and the languishing.

his head is all shock and flurry;
his mouth a toothless brevity.

half Madonna, half Antinous,

he reflects a decadent flower
both wilting and transcendent.

his eyes suggest a having seen,
two eternally startled interims.

a princely pauper
whose aspect reflects that of
a parched orchid culled
too soon.

published in Hive Avenue Literary Journal


Lethe

i am a winged thing flailing,
driven into my bovine body, and
back into my savage infant soul.

in the beginning, nature
conceived another deadweight,
and i find myself stillborn.

i am forever waiting to
open my welkin eyes
and outwit the brute.

i want the earth wrested from me;
i want no longer to acquiesce to
the stranglehold of gravity.

i am forever looking forward to
eclipsing the round
seared by fantasy.

published in Hive Avenue Literary Journal 


via crucis

            i.

to behold paradise
god must be heaved up,—
for to become seraph
is to gouge the eye out.

            ii.

always at one remove
is to be found divinity,
otherwise effaced
by twin identity.

            iii.

riven apart
by mimetic sparagmos,
man is condemned
to die on the cross.

            iv.

to shed the serpent’s skin
is but to reiterate its meander,
for conquest precedes
the bind of surrender. 

 
 

Krystle Eilen is a 22-year-old poet who is currently attending university. Her works have been featured in Dipity Literary Magazine, BlazeVOX, and Hive Avenue Literary Journal, and are soon to be published in The Orchards Poetry Journal and Young Ravens Literary Review. During her spare time, she enjoys reading and making art.

Poetry. Five Sonnets from Richard Vallance

Image: Keats on his Deathbed. Artist Joseph Severn.

I saw a sparrow

for Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

I saw a sparrow in the snow,
who hovered by a boy nearby;
It swayed a little to and fro,
small wonders they, small wonder why.

The boy, the flautist all alone
amidst the misty spruce around
where snow was so serenely sown,
played tremolo the fairest sound. 

The little sparrow lingered there,
the boy, the flautist of her soul;
Iʾll never tell wherever where
they warbled to attentive snow.

If anyone found a place so rare 
would there have been anyone there?
 

I found a soldier all too fair

for all the fallen in the war in the Ukraine

I found a soldier oh so fair,
an apparition in the vale;
oh there were reasons for despair
to see a face so ghastly pale.
 
I listened for the faintest breath,
a hint of colour on his lips,
but was confronted with a death
the setting sun could not eclipse.

I lingered there and wept a while;
the poppies seemed to mourn him too.
I heard a thunder from a mile,
where clouds assumed an ashen hew.

A wounded straggler passed me by;
oh how I feared he too would die!  


Listen oh listen!

Listen oh listen! ... the tanager trills!
... he arrays the blue spruce with feathers as light
as gossamer fronds the forest just thrills
to veil in his voice lost in the moonlight!
However whoever alights on this place
may find my tanagerʾs warbled refrains
leave en passant over teal leaves the trace
of whose emotions? ... whose tremolo strains?
Is this the rare moment April declares
the seasonʾs rife for my chanson, the song
the sunrise with cirrus so silently shares?
... only I, tanager, knew all along.
Were I the sole tanager of your desmesne,
well, Iʾd be voiced in your glass of champagne!


The poetry of Keats

Keats on his deathbed, Joseph Severn

John Keats on his death bed, by Joseph Severn

For W.T.

The poetry of Keats is replete with death:
an owl more ominous than a blue moon
had hooted sans merci til his final breath,
as he passed away in a fitful swoon
before the sky was flush with fading blue,
before ambrosial roses withered, strewn
before the autumn breeze all too wanly blew  
to the long-lost score of some mournful tune.
As if the nightingale could warble love
might I implore you if her song recalls
as quietly as would a cooing dove
our barren prayers before the wailing walls; 
  I too recall my all too cherished friend,
  who wasted away to an ill-timed end.


Huskies Mush!

I'll slide my sled from the frozen-in stream
towards the lake where snow rolls down me, blind;
me sled is all wedged in by me husky team,
whose hunger drives em wild with single mind.
They lunge, they'll lunge in vain. What? Can't break out.
Me lungs could bust with frost I'se just gulped in.
Me lips all blue, I'se stiff with icy doubt. 
Me dogs, all panicked, tangled, yelp chagrin;
I grits me teeth, jerk hard the sled, and hear
that cursed ice cave! “Come on! Bust loose!”, I yell,
“Mush!”, snaps the whip! Aw, we'se gotta break clear!
“We'se broken out!” Them huskies dash like hell.
Did we break loose? Those snapped up rapids yawn
behind us as we vanish, good as gone. 

 
 
 
 
Richard Vallance was a frequent contributor to the earlier issues of Poetry Life & Times, from 2001-2008, where several of his sonnets and rhymed poems appeared, and where he was the resident poetry critic of the Vallance Review, which featured reviews of sonnets and rhymed verse by some of the world’s most famous historical sonneteers and poets.
 
Richard Vallance has also been featured from time to time in more recent issues of Poetry Life & Times, Poetry Life and Times (artvilla.com), from 2012-2018.
 
He has also been published in several other international venues, among others: Decanto Poetry Magazine/Anthology (Sara Russell, ed.) – no longer in publication The Deronda Review, Neo/Victorian Cochlea, The Deronda Review – Home, Sonnetto Poesia ISSN 1705-4524 (25 quarterly issues) SEE:
Sonnetto poesia. | Bibliothèque et Archives Canada / Library and Archives Canada (worldcat.org)
 
Richard Vallance is also the Editor of a multilingual anthology of sonnets. The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes = Le Phenix Renaissant de Ses Cendres – Anthology of Sonnets of the Early Third Millennium = Anthologie de Sonnets a: Vallance, Editor-In-Chief Richard: 9781460217016: Books – Amazon.ca

Where Have all the Fishes Gone?& Further Poems by Fabrice B. Poussin

Where Have all the Fishes Gone?

Sitting atop the cliff overlooking
the ocean vast
we hold one another
in awe of its innumerable mysteries.

The sun sets calmly for us
rises with deft determination
on the other side
of a blue horizon.

Not a sound
emerges from the deep waters
clean of all lives that once were
ancestors some say to our kin.

Where have they all gone
why extinct so soon into fossils
imprints per chance left in the stone
that tell of so distant an evolution.


Welcome to the World of Nice

The world nearly came to an absolute stop when
the wizard suddenly halted his incantations
the fires he had set ablaze reflecting upon his pale brow.

For centuries he had roamed the planet
a weathered wand in his mummified grip
his face oozing with the harm he could cause.

Another in a glorious evening grace
ambled like royalty among the populace
sizing each one of her kin as a victim.

Tall above armies of humble servants
she made them dependent of every whim
she might have dreamed up in her solitary chambers.

She too paused when the child cried
for this Amazon who had never known pain
her frame near collapse she let go of her aim.

The thousands assembled for what they expected
was to be yet a list of grievances and threats
looked in amazement at these meek creatures.

Never had a soul caught a glimpse of pain
in the eyes of those unforgiving executioners
until the tear of a child fell upon their feet.

The giants stepped down from the pedestal
greeted by embraces never imagined of those
who still bore the scars of their millennial tortures.

While the poor wake in a pool of chagrin
no one knew the few in satin and pearl
could weep and fall to the yoke of a babe.


Suffering to Rest

She can tell the throb will persist
Into a night of pleasant slumber
feeling a tug at her secret fibers.

Contemplating the past hours
when glee echoed through the halls
attempts to calm still fail.

Into a slanted mirror an image
seeks to smile at this solemn reflection
subdued by the numbing liquid of her pain.

Docile as with every passing dawn
something has changed in the blood
shed again upon the dusk of a precious hour.

Soon again she will share her pleasure
when the day’s memories turn to dust
and her flesh finds rest in the thin night.

Hard to Be 

Merely standing hands upon the wooden rails
staring into a background of dense forest
he might find rest on a Sunday’s morn’ when

his thoughts quickly move to the millions
like him who contemplate the world
considering how little they can see he holds 

a cup of a dark brew in hand, early smoke in the other
his desperation grows as he longs
for the visions others cannot share and

he imagines so many there with him
gazing into the same surroundings 
their perception so different from his he

considers the one who inspires him 
if only he could be within her as she takes all in
become an intimate part of who she is for

he feels so much missing from his being
lost smaller than a speck of minute dust
while an infinity of interpretations exists yet

only this microcosm of the infinite belongs to him
so insignificant as he must remain until at last
he might be freed from this temporary prison and

become like all those before him
a piece of the universal puzzle
the matter of all that is the cosmos. 


Feeling the sounds.

Upon a saunter as is his common dominion
he pushes through the brush of a dense forest
after the storm left its gentle coat
on every living thing like a shroud of life.

Nothing speaks, everything rests yet
awaiting reassurance that it is safe again to be
and he continues, puzzled by the uncanny silence
looking for a sign that all is well still.

And there it is, a murmur brushes against his flesh
an eerie sensation of sound, of sight
of scent, touch and even taste
from whence it is born he cannot tell.

It must be her at last in the late hour
since darkness will soon prevail
and she always visits him in his sleep
when his dreams become real as the present.

She surrounds him with an infinite coat
made with all a soul can endure
he hears the voice of her wholeness speak
without a word, but it is to be eternal. 

 
 

 
 
Fabrice B. Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications. Most recently, his collection “In Absentia,” was published in August 2021 with Silver Bow Publishing.
 
 
 

Beyond the Limit & Tyne Cot. Ekphrastic Poems by Jan Theuninck

 

BIO: Jan Theuninck (born 7 June 1954) is a Belgian painter and poet. Although born in ZonnebekeBelgium, and a native speaker of Dutch, he writes in French and occasionally English. His painting is abstract, falling somewhere between minimalism
 and monochrome expressionism.
Share