Oh, California! by Ron Olsen

headshot

 Oh, California!

by Ron Olsen

The Surfliner pulled out in the early morning haze

Rattling down the tracks

No looking back now

Hillary dressed like the palace guard

Wearing a white tent

Smiling far too broadly

A cheshire cat that swallowed a server

That ate the dove

That gobbled up a relationship with greed

Secrets impossible to keep

Smiling ear to ear

Supported by superdelegates

And a system rigged from the top

An unimpartial media

Telling us all along

Bernie had no chance

Sooner or later

You too will believe

As they peat and repeat

Endlessly bellowing

Bernie can’t win

Bernie’s a joke

Bernie’s a Socialist

The only straight-shooter out there

Who

In the end

Was betrayed by even the free-thinkers

And radical freaks in California

Who turned their backs for a woman

No matter the price

Or didn’t know they had to ask for a special ballot

Confusion breeding success for the lady candidate

And her husband’s Foundation

Depriving the country

Of one last chance

At throwing the money changers

Away from the temple doors

You did it sunny Cal

No calling it back now

As media mavens gush

With satisfaction and self-congratulation

Oh, California!

Liberal, righteous, progressive California!

Proving they were right all along

Bernie never had a chance

Even when he did

The old Vermont steamer

Slammed by a wall

Of conspiracy and collusion

Intended and unintended alike

Leaving those on the inside

Insulated from any real accountability

As the nation returns to business as usual

And the political hacks blather on

About all the baggage she carries

Needing safari bearers

Hauling it on their broken backs

The train now just a dot

In the distant

California sun

 

Ron Olsen is a Peabody and Emmy Award winning journalist.  After more than 30 years in Los Angeles, he and his wife recently moved to rural Maryland.  More of his poetry can be found at http://workingreporter.com/poetry.html

MARQUEE MOTIF. A Poem by Mathew Scott Harris

 
 
Neon lights broadcast sold out show of one Matthew Scott
expert stage craft presents quotidian shows without sound
sole audience forcibly revisits this biography performance
private owner lifetime supply of entire stock season tickets
(to one smash box office hit after another improvisational)
lightning speed mime hologram flashes life capsule oeuvre
corpus trials and tribulations indelibly recorded upon spool
sibilant auditory oohs and aahs from vindictive ultimatums
only one take each scene despite personal abysmal reviews
and serious consideration to hire professional management
accompanying actor, director, producer, projectionist writer
kept preserved upon cranial medium – so called gray matter
extant within the guarded and private repository Fort Knox
until the eventual disintegration from cumulative memories
become totally obscured with the thickening fogs of old age
and the curtain comes down on the final act upon mortality!

 
 
Mathew scott harris (the second offspring and only son of boyce and the late harriet harris) made his unheralded debut on a brutally cold January thirteenth! His father – employed as an aerospace mechanical engineer with general electric – heard the powerful lungs of this gangly newborn prior to being permitted to cradle said infant! Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, this sole son spent the majority of his existence at two rural areas fifty plus years ago! Audubon and Collegeville the geographic names of said locales.
 
He attended first at half of second grade at an elementary school in the former place name. Ability to adjust from one than another grade school evinced early signs of difficulty! Extreme shyness in tandem with a congenital speech defect (submucous cleft palate) seemed to alienate him from other classmates. As an outside neutral observer, this then angst riddled boyish psyche experienced gut wrenching agony sans constantly feeling ostracized. Classmates grudgingly feigned enticement, boot merely teased out detachment, and thus rarely invited to join in any reindeer games! A gross degree of taunting left him without friends! Lack of confidence and ultra reticence offered manna to bullies! Vulnerability and susceptibility per being on the receiving end of verbal slings continued all thru public education!
 
He graduated without any vocational idea (despite an ignoble attempt to fail – and yet got promoted nonetheless), and then endured parental wrath equal ultimatums with scathing expletive filled lectures! The absence of clear-cut goals found him enrolling and withdrawing from countless colleges and/or universities. Delay with interpersonal success accompanied like a dark shadow creeping closer like the edge of night! Desperation found him blithely shunning emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy whereby apathy did predominate.
 
 
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In Bed. A Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop.

The homestead El Caserio i Bizkerre lodged upon the wall

has a large gable’s end symmetry, slightly

skew whiff in the canvass that encompasses it. I wonder if

she’s painted herself from within to without

 

Where she stands now, a cut out dark silhouette, on a patch

before the facade of splotches, daubs of windows

doors, heraldry shields, terraces, hatches. Two doors, right side

sharp, left a blur but can i enter, what will i see

 

She knows she’s concealed from me?

what will i find, dusty jars, a winding stairway, creaking

floorboards, a chest of drawers, which i will open

to secret treasures, but no, i am without with her dark silhouette.

 

What is that luminous blob suspended above

her head by almost invisible silvery strands of arms embedding it?

All in the foreground, the sharp, the blur, paths

to each door, blotches of rockery, smudged plants, dollops

 

Of green lawn. Overhead, a red angle roof, in the sharp, crows

swarm in a blue sky, where it blurs, branches

stretch to entangle, notch the gable corner in weird distortion.

Beside this painting is another, a naked Madonna

 

A faceless oval she kneels, arms clasped behind her sleek black

parted hair, her armpits bared to reveal the taut

of her breasts, her curves in orange & gold dust.

Is it she who waits behind these doors?

 

When night falls the sea is a distant death

is The Bed that is a Tree hewn from the stump

of an olive tree, drilled as a bed

post, as a mould for the rest, around which the chamber

 

Was built, waiting for us to enter?

She is more beautiful than her painter & we know it

but perhaps if we enter together

the splashes of paint will be softer than our creaking bones.

 

* In Bed. Italics. The Bed that is a Tree. Kim Lansky. Italics. The Odyssy. Book xxxiiv.

 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop, born UK, a reader in philosophy & religions, has travelled extensively throughout his lifetime but now lives in semi- retirement as a TEFL teacher and translator in Spain & the UK.
 
Robin was editor of the 12 year running on-line monthly poetry journal Poetry Life and Times. In 2013 he joined with Dave Jackson as co-editor at Artvilla.com, where he presently edits Poetry Life & Times, Artvilla.com, Motherbird.com.
 
He’s been previously published in a variety of international magazines, later publications including Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review (Appalachian University, N. Carolina), The Poetic Bond Volumes (thepoeticbond.com) and Phoenix Rising from the Ashes (a recently published international Anthology of Sonnets). His last publication is a volume of collected poems All the Babble of the Souk available at all main online tributaries

 
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Voodoo Stick Boogaloo. A Poem by Saira Viola

 
Did you get a red balloon for Valentines
Spin to win 4 overtime
Did you find your magic wishing star
Or collect a smile from the cookie jar
Did you see yourself on TV
And find Elysium in your sleep
Did you mist the mirror with morning dew
Rock the sidewalk in rose suede shoes
Did you think that love was a hallmark card
Or the bearded sonnets of a rum soaked bard
Did you use a voodoo stick and old shark’s tooth
To change your luck and repair the roof
Did you find yourself in the lost and found
Or fail your credit check for a bank account
Did you see the moon swim across the bay
Or find that needle in the hay
Were you free to run through Autumn’s leaves
Or shake your sorrows on a midnight breeze
Did you blink at car lights like scattered stars
And drown her face in a whiskey bar
Did you see your face a hollow ghost
Wizened victim of a holocaust.

 
boomie picture
 
Saira Viola ia a best selling crime writer , satirist, song lyricist and creator of innovative lit technique sonic scatterscript. Her work is infused with undercurrents of politics, pop philosophy and black comedy
 
http://gonzotoday.com/author/saira-viola/

 
artobscene
Saira Viola, Author at GonzoToday
gonzotoday.com
 
Saira Viola is a critically acclaimed poet , author, song lyricist , satirist and creator of innovative lit technique self labelled sonic scatterscript .

 
 
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Adam Levon Brown Reviews All the Babble of the Souk

robin2705
4/5 Stars
 
Review of All The Babble of the Souk
By Robin Ouzman Hislop
 
I had the great pleasure of reviewing “All the Babble of the Souk” by a very experienced and talented poet, Robin Ouzman Hislop.
The book is split into the two parts, The first part is “All the Babble and the Souk 1” and is very short in comparison to the second part, “All the Babble and the Souk 2”.
 
Reader beware, this poet is on a different level. Do not read this if you don’t want to engage your essence in a series of fantastic life/mind changing events. Many of the poems herein push the boundaries between science and philosophy and develop a sense of doubt within the reader. These poems carry you on a cosmological, philosophical journey that is sure to leave you speechless and thinking on deeper frequencies.
 
Part 1
 
These are just a few of my favorites from part one.
 
From the very start with the poem “Africa North,” Hislop captures the reader in a vivid description of a thriving cityscape filled with many sensuous sensations. The poem “Passage” is a psychological view into the mind of the modern human. The poem, “Non Linear” focuses on the inception of homo Sapiens and how the system we created dwarfs us into a microcosm of everything around us.
 
Part 2
 
The second part is filled to the brim with intellectually stimulating pieces that deserve at least a second read through. The poem “Accident” grasped me and made me think of past events that I thought were lost forever.
The poem, “Slant” is written in sections such as, “on the Bus” and details philosophical messages the author has gained through these experiences. I very much enjoyed this poem as it is raw, delves deep into the mind of the poet and presents the inner workings of the brain.
The poem, “Edge” touches on what I believe is our greatest political and existential battle; human extinction.
 
Conclusion
 
This book changed my perspective on the human experience. Highly recommended to anyone who is into philosophy and isn’t afraid to take a step in a different direction.

 
 
 
 
Adam Levon Brown (ii)
 
 
Adam Levon Brown is a poet and author residing in Eugene, Oregon. He has one published poetry book out, Musings of a Madman, which is a collection of poems made to enlighten and inspire the reader. Adam attributes his love of poetry to the many great poets he discovered in the school library during his formative years. He enjoys listening to political hip hop music and is a political activist himself.
 
 
My Author Page: www.ctupublishinggroup.com/adam-levon-brown-.html
My Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/AuthorAdamBrown
My Twitter Account: twitter.com/adamlevonbrown

 
 
 
 
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Peril Keep. A Video Poem by Candice James

Published on 15 Mar 2016

This is a pirate story told in rhyme, with slide show and music Peril Keep is written by Candice James, Poet Laureate, New Westminster, BC CANADA

 
Candice James Facebookn

 

Candice James is a poet, writer, visual artist, musician, singer-songwriter in her 2nd three year term as Poet Laureate of New Westminster, She is Royal City Literary Arts Society Director and founder and Past President of both Royal City Literary Arts Society and Federation BC Writers; She is also founder of Poetry In The Park and founder of Poetic Justice. She is a featured poet, keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, presenter and event hostess. Candice is also a full member of League Canadian Poets; a member of The Writers Union Canada and is the author of nine poetry books: the first book of poetry published was “A Split In The Water” (Fiddlehead Poetry Books 1979); and the most recent is “Merging Dimensions” (Ekstasis Editions 2015). She is the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Bernie Legge Artist Cultural Award and also the recipient of the Pandora’s Collective 2015 Citizenship award. Further information can be found on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candice_James and www.candicejames.com
 
 
 
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Let Her Try. A Poem by Gertrude Stein Read by Maria Salgado.

Maria Salgado is a contemorary Spanish poet, here she reads her translation with explanation of Gertrude Stein’s famous poem Let Her Try, first in English then in Spanish to a very appreciative & enthusiastic audience

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Green Party Show Poetry Reading Amy King & Ana Božičević


 
 
Green Party Show: Poetry Amy King reading with Ana Božičević
 
On Wednesday, February 4, 2009, the Babylon Green Party Gathering featured a reading from 2007 Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere Amy King. Taped at the Pisces Café, Babylon, NY
 
Amy King.Born The United States
Website. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/amy-king
Twitter @amyhappens
URL https://www.goodreads.com/AmyKing
 
Amy King’s most recent book is I Want to Make You Safe (Litmus Press).
 
Amy also works with VIDA: Woman in Literary Arts, and teaches English and Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College, as well as poetry workshops at such places as the San Francisco State University Poetry Center and the Summer Writing Program @ Naropa University.
 
Her poems have been nominated for numerous Pushcart Prizes, she was a Lambda Literary finalist, and she was the recipient of a MacArthur Scholarship for Poetry. Amy founded and curated, from 2006, the Brooklyn-based reading series, The Stain of Poetry, until 2010. Readings, reviews and more www.AmyKing.org .

 
She is also Moderator at Follow-the-Poetry at www.goodreads.com
 
 
 
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“This Opera of Peace” @ AWP Chicago – Poem by Amy King

Everything that happens now/ is preceded by another now/ until they pile/ on top of what we hold in layers/ that hide how falsely we/ perceive the landscape to be
 
Amy King
 
Poem from I Want to Make You Safe (Litmus Press) by Amy King Read by (in order of appearance): Starring in the order of appearance Annie Finch
 

 
Amy King.Born The United States
Website. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/amy-king
Twitter @amyhappens
URL https://www.goodreads.com/AmyKing
 
Amy King’s most recent book is I Want to Make You Safe (Litmus Press).
 
Amy also works with VIDA: Woman in Literary Arts, and teaches English and Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College, as well as poetry workshops at such places as the San Francisco State University Poetry Center and the Summer Writing Program @ Naropa University.
 
Her poems have been nominated for numerous Pushcart Prizes, she was a Lambda Literary finalist, and she was the recipient of a MacArthur Scholarship for Poetry. Amy founded and curated, from 2006, the Brooklyn-based reading series, The Stain of Poetry, until 2010. Readings, reviews and more www.AmyKing.org .
 
She is also Moderator at Follow-the-Poetry at www.goodreads.com
 
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Every Piece of Flesh. A Video Poem by Nicholas Hallows

 
‘For every piece of flesh you buy, you’re paying to breed the next to die”
 

 
Vegan, Poetry, Animal Rights,
 
 
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Review Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

Richard Vallance
An appeal to poetry critics to review The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of Sonnets of the Early Third Millennium
 
Since its publication in November 2013, The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of Sonnets of the Early Third Millennium, has generally been met with positive reviews from purchasers and poetry reviewers. As editor of the anthology, I for one freely admit that several authors display considerable talent, while some, I believe, are exceptional sonneteers who have penned poems, which may one day be viewed as masterpieces of the genre.
 
There are also scores of sonnets in languages other than English,French, Spanish, Chinese, German and Farsi, while the English sonnets run from page 15 to 135, comprising 60% of the total in the anthology, sonnets in all other languages span pages 142 to 222, accounting for the remaining 40%.
 
A number of reviewers have already accorded decent marks to the anthology and I sincerely believe that most new critics and informed readers will be able to dispassionately review the anthology. On the other hand, it is equally incumbent to flag at least a few of the sonnets which display considerable talent and especially those which you, as a reviewer, consider to be jewels, pièces de résistence.
 
I am not saying that those of you poetry critics who read English only should feel discouraged from reviewing the anthology. Far from it, it is generally taken for granted that the majority of literary critics of English literature are allophone English, given that English is almost universally considered lingua franca of the world. Of course, I also welcome bilingual or multilingual critics, who are well positioned to critique the remaining 40% of “foreign- language” sonnets.
 
I entreat those of you who are poetry critics to give your dispassionate opinion of the anthology, what we are looking for is an objective appraisal, insofar as it is humanly possible. It does not matter whether you find the anthology below average, average or superior.
 
Regardless of your overall appraisal of the merits and demerits of this anthology, I shall send you all your own copy of the PDF version. Finally, it would be beneficial to the editors and sonneteers alike if you would rate it on a scale from 1 to 5. Also, the Editor who is at present publishing this appeal, every reviewer should bear this in mind, has promised to publish any of the reviews providing they are fair minded & objective in at at least two of the three sites herein listed: Motherbird.com, Artvilla.com or Poetry Life & Times.
 
I am grateful for the endorsement of this appeal by Robin Ouzman Hislop of Poetry, Life and Times. Richard Vallance
 
The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes http://vallance22.hpage.com is also available in hard cover, soft cover and PDF formats from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Chapters.ca, among other online outlets.
 
The home page of the author, Richard Vallance, now a well-established professional historical linguist of ancient Mycenaean Greek, is Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae https://linearbknossosmycenae.wordpress.com, which has become the premier site for research into Linear B on the Internet since its inception in 2013. An internationally acknowledged historical linguist, in 2015 he was published in an international European conference proceedings and in the prestigious annual, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade), and is set to be published later this year in at least one other major international venue for historical linguistics. He is also an active member of one of the world’s most professional research sites, academia.edu, where you will find his page at https://westernu.academia.edu/RichardVallance/Papers

 
 
 
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Tribute to the late E. Darcy Trie by Wanda Brayton

Darcy Trie (onerios13) E. Darcy Trie
 
 
Darcy Trie was one of my first readers on the poetry site where we met over eleven years ago. Her unique talent was so obvious, it was intimidating. Her insights were keen, intelligent, witty and bright with creative energy. Her comments on my poems are incredibly astute, funny, intuitive and enlightening, causing me to read my own work in a different light. She had so many friends and admirers from all over the world. I’m happy that now she knows, without a doubt, her effect on so many and the inspirational seeds she planted. On a poem written by one of her friends, he replied to my comment by saying “her poetry writes fires”. My response was “Her poetry burns houses down. Entire subdivisions.” My bones ache with missing Darcy, yet I know our spirits are bound to reconnect someday on another sojourn on a different path.
 
Darcy Trie (1975 - 2016) onerios13
 
This column is about Darcy and her writing; I sent her the questions and she replied in her own original way.
 
http://allpoetry.com/column/10955759-Poets-of-AP—ONERIOS13-by-WandaLeaBrayton
 
I created a list where I will add poems inspired by and/or written to Darcy as they’re discovered. As of now, there are 84 poems, but it will continue to grow.
 
http://allpoetry.com/list/588544-Darcys_Genius_-_In_Memory_of_onerios13
 
E. Darcy Trie’s poems found online
 
http://allpoetry.com/onerios13
 
Her best friend Nicole Hanna created this website for Darcy:
 
www.e-darcytrie.com/
 
Facebook Poetry Life&Times
 
www.facebook.com/PoetryLifeTimes
 
Sara Russell’s Twitter page (Tribute)
 
paper.li/pinkyandrexa/1321389290
 
www.artvilla.com/plt/category/poets/e-darcy-trie/
 
www.artvilla.com/plt/navigator-a-poem-by-wanda-lea-brayton-in-memory-of-darcy-trie/
 
mindfulofpoetry.homestead.com/pageforafrica3.html
 
www.thehypertexts.com/Darcy Trie.htm
 
www.wordriot.org/template_2.php?ID=1747
 
poetsporch.blogspot.com/2008/02/from-good-friend-c-darcy-trie-onerios13.html
 
altwrite.blogspot.com/2005/02/xing-nin-qia-lua.html
 
altwrite.blogspot.com/2005/02/penny-candy.html

 
Poem for Darcy Picture
“Ophelia [lying in the meadow]”, 1905 by John William Waterhouse
 
Poem for Darcy by Wanda Brayton
 
The One who softly calls for you to come at night
hears the wind roar as sudden storms flow through your bones;
an oasis of laughter, quiet whispers fluttering upon your hips
where sustenance may be found without a compass,
only murmurs cast into shadows to reveal the light you weave
with terrible truths and beautiful sorrows before dawn
 
You spend odd moments wailing wildly, walking in silence,
singing beneath moonlit stars, gathering madder,
crisped leaves fallen from sacred trees
to make your precious poultice; you create mandalas
made of jasmine ash, of myrhh’s seduction,
of frangipani memories, of green apple seeds
 
When you sleep, you travel swiftly, a bright arc
through time’s geography, tracing latitudes and longitudes
with purpose in your flight, fires lit within your belly,
love in your fingertips so deep, oceans rise
in envious whirls, tidal beasts howling admiration
for she who wears invincible wings
 
You are every woman history had once forgotten,
their existence erased by cruel men’s aspirations;
still, in their slumber, they moan your secret name –
yet, when they awaken, they cannot describe
those dire disturbances they felt so keenly,
their blood surged toward an invisible ache
 
Even now, they are haunted, their flesh dark with restlessness,
longing for a single glance of a beautiful bird they’ve never seen,
its song their only savior, their only sweetness, their mightiest woe –
Ophelia knew, Lilith knew, Delilah knew, and yes, even Medusa knew,
long after they’d tangled her silken hair with curses, then refused
to look into her eyes, understanding all too well
what burning thorns they’d find


 
 
Wanda Lea Brayton after wedding
Wanda Lea Brayton is a lifelong scholar, a prolific poet and a former college librarian who has been writing poetry since 1973 and columns since 2004. She’s done extensive editorial work and has assisted others with editing, compiling and promoting their own manuscripts. She married a brilliant writer in April 2009; they’ve disproved the theory that two artists cannot live together in harmony, let alone with only one computer between them. Her poems have been published by Clackamas Literary Review, Main Street Rag, World Poetry, Hudson View Poetry Digest, The Pedestal Magazine, Poetry Life & Times, Oak Bend Review, Aquillrelle, Stone Voices and other anthologies. She is a featured poet on a number of websites. A large volume of her poetry is available, titled “The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton”.
 
website: http://wandaleabrayton.blogspot.com/
 
Various links: Allpoetry author’s page: (member since June 2004) http://allpoetry.com/WandaLeaBrayton
 
Allpoetry columns link: http://allpoetry.com/columns/by/WandaLeaBrayton
 
Book: “The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton”
(8 1/2 x 11″, 556 pgs, approximately 1500-2500 poems, print and pdf)
http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-echo-of-what-remains/16114406
 
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000075708050

 
 
 
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When comes a day. Poem by Sheikha.A

 

You query me :
how staunch I’ve been?
 
I would say:
I have wrestled with luck,
and hid from watchful stares,
and called unto
only when life appeared scarce,
and forgot swiftly,
and remembered only at my will,
and cried when I had nothing,
and abolished most refrains
for the benefit of my stakes
 
but
 
ever since the day of love
and heartbreak
multiplying by each night
 
I remember You;
 
I query You.
 
 
 
 
entropy
 
 
Sheikha A. comes from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, ezines and anthologies and hopes for her work to be read and discussed widely. More of her work can be found on her blog sheikha82.wordpress.com

 
 
 
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A Story. A Poem by Rana Pratap Nandi

 
Once a Lord went with a bowl
Asked for money, but received a scowl.
Tried and tried, again and again
Managed to grind a fat bargain.
 
A balanced deal was designed and done
The Lords smacked their lips and fawned.
Though much will redirect to the scowl
Enough will still be left in the bowl.
 
“To form a trainer core
Let’s spend a few crore”.
Scent of blood sends predators on prowl
The story is one of blood and gore
The very material of great folklore.
Bulls and hounds ripped in a bloody brawl
While dingoes look on, yelp and growl.
 
Paid monotonous babbling maniacs
And snored the most confirmed insomniacs.
All nursed from the same shore,
Lord to serf:”Must come and train
And sow the pennies in the drain.”
Serf to Lord, “My Lord said pennies but there are crores!”
“You fool! Forget ponies and crows” the Lord roared.
 
“My lord thou art so right”
Said the serf, with a face so bright.
The light of knowledge illuminating his face
He is ready to go out, enlighten his race.

 
 
WP_20151213_11_40_19_Pro 2
 
 
Bio: My name is Rana Pratap Nandi. I live in Shillong, India and teach literature in a residential school. Several of my articles and poems have been published in different newspapers, literary supplements, literary e-magazines and an anthology of multi-lingual poetry. I love reading poetry and exploring and experimenting with folk culture. The North Eastern part of India, where I have spent most of my life is blessed with a wide variety of fascinating cultures still waiting to be meaningfully explored and interpreted.
 
 
 
 
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