Categories
Poetry

Paradoxes By Abu Ibrahim

Paradoxes

By Abu Ibrahim

The universe is a box of paradoxes
The way opposites attract — every night, darkness and light collides,
the moon bulbs the sky
My doctor tells me:
Man is mostly a body of water
Now I understand why I am always at sea
Now I understand why I am going through hell


Photo by Eriks Abzinovs on Pexels.com

Abu Ibrahim Ojotule popularly known as IB is a socially conscious poet whose work has caused tremendous influence and change both locally and internationally. His debut spoken word album “Music Has Failed Us” got a Grammy acceptance, and was in line for a possible nomination by the Recording Academy for the 2022 awards. This body of work is available on all major music streaming platforms. He sees poetry as a powerful tool to cause positive change and redefine society. When he is not writing or performing poetry, he works with brands and individuals across different sectors as photographer and brand strategist/storyteller.

Categories
Poetry

Three Poems By Ellen Huang

becoming more human

I am delivered.
I have arrived, organic
embodied, physical
breathing,
bleeding
flesh and bone, feeling
human, skin stretched / muscles tensing

relaxing
sleep-deprived / sleep-needing
consuming, hunger
chewing, / / digesting,
growing, / / ingesting
contemplating / reaching,
growing, achieving, moving
would you believe h u r t i n g .
the tension, tendon, tortured
laughter, wells deep of joy
crinkling eyes, confused
bursting w/ life and energy,
pulsing, alive, here, hands
conscious, height- ened, crashing.

aware, thinking, confused,
majorly confused, complicated,
urges, dancing, awkward, consequences
moving, movement, inhale, exhale,
holding, delicate, fragile, breaking
weeping, strong, rising
learning, swimming, falling
anger, sorrow, grief, hardened heart
soft, failing, giving, touch
habit, ritual, bowing, lounging
flexing, crossing, walking
standing, fighting, tossed around
knocked out, weak, growing
hitting a wall, growing
control, balance, losing
starving, satisfying, attracted
compelled, convulsions, repulsion
disgust, fear, shivers, angst, lightning
love, warmth, bitter, lashing, wild
running, playing, cooking, creating
watching, intaking, expressing, wishing
yearning yearning yearning
compact, atoms, buzzing, laughing
feeding, praying, philosophizing
connecting, riding, emotions, waves
sitting, reacting, staring, spacing
limited, mortal, wondering, scared

post traumatic stress disorder
anxiety, resistance, depression, numbness
return, nostalgia, memories, longing
difference, existential, sinning
repenting sinning repenting sinning repenting

l e a r n i n g .
b r e a t h i n g .
e x t e n d i n g .
g r o w i n g.
l i v i n g.

m o r t a l . e m b o d i e d . s p i r i t .

conscious.
human.
organic.
authentic.
what is this life
I have been given
this compact concentration
of genes and stardust and earth
of information and spirituality
makes up the shape of me.
What an accident
that I was created
in their sex.
What a miracle.
All that is natural
is supernatural.


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Retired Matchmaking God

Imagine a man so focused on God
that the only reason he looked up to see you
is because he heard God say, “That’s her.”


I’ve imagined it. And he’s dumb as rocks.


I imagine a God tired of telling every creature which one to eat for lunch;
every moth which mate to flutter in the air with;
every octopus which lumbering other to dance in the sea with;
every lizard, amphibian, mammal,
which encounters to end their lives on a high note with;
every mutation to every happy painting accident,
happy sculpting accident, guiding evolution along
to get just the right cells and sparks and DNA in place.

What if God is tired of being asked to account for
for every appearance possible to be mutated into reality?
for the uncanny valley, too, for the Neanderthals were His creation too,
that He loved and folded up into later use, a creation that had its run.

He is busy, mandating every mate, sparking every love
and for the birds, it’s a lot of pressure, because they do mate for life you know;
and for the bees, it’s a lot of pressure, because one date means an entire colony;
and for the humans, well, he tried to give a different story—


tested if they could be the first asexual aromantic creatures, actually
to conceive anew from sole spiritual love, to create from outside, beaming
but the world was not ready for that. It only saw miracles in breeders.

And years later, they will divide up a tale of how man must not be alone
and limit that only to monogamy
and all the rest of unloneliness to but temptation.

Finally, God gave in and gave the humans sex just as the creatures before them
and though He emphasizes Adam chooses Eve
and though Eve is, just as much, loving Adam


they will add that her love was submissive, while Lilith’s unmatch was rebellious
though Lilith and Eve were friends, perhaps. They never fought over Adam.
(Can Liliths and Eves ever be friends? Can Adams and Eves?)


And now the people, how they cry out for matchmaking;
and how they plan love for political gain;
and how sometimes marriage is the only thin thread keeping peoples
from killing one another.


Tired matchmaking God adores when His beloveds meet at last
but delegates to the angels all this nonsense about going to hell for singleness too long
for ungratefulness for being attractive;
for selfishness of not mixing DNA every chance they get;
for cheating on future husbands, spare a thought for people who will never exist,
as if God could ever neglect to make a single soul.

Meanwhile, single souls are shot down in the land of the living, too,
every survivor not pitiable enough.


Tired matchmaking God delegates to the cloud of witnesses: all that cry of losing heaven’s pass
for horrors of loving more than once, and not bundling up all their hearts and feelings;
for the sin of knowing their own created body and what feels like comfort to them;
for the spit in the face of creation for loving truly, healthily, with full adoration
if they have too much in common, like anatomy, or talk too much beforehand.

The ancestors themselves struggle sometimes, to be more than ancestor,
to call them more than descendent. What else can we call them? they ask God.
They can barely hold themselves up, and worry too about failing generations down the line.
How to tell them it’s okay, souls already shall be, outside of time? We exist either way?
How to tell them, God knows? God has not answered yet.


Tired matchmaking God wants to turn to the cosmos and heavens
keep on creating there, for God does have others to tend to
but something keeps calling Him back, sweet children He cannot leave
crying out when they get to be loved, when they get to be loved, when they get to be loved
in a world so full of love, so crammed with heaven,
that they buried it, and misplaced their treasure,
and damned the earth that holds them up.


Photo by Olha Kobylko on Pexels.com

bioluminescence philosophy

In the deepest dark
where you’d think is colder than the poles,
where food is a blue whale carcass
stocked for years, or none at all
Where light hypnotizes, and jaws snatch
in a world without our eyes;
Where the smallest may feast
making clean this world [unseen]
and oceans, too, without skies—
In this deepest dark,
close to the earth’s heart
where sun is a myth
and the surface unheard of
(is such ignorance bliss?):
If light filters not from above
falling to serve those below—
then let my light be from within
and in this universe, glow.


Ellen Huang (she/her) is an aroace lover of the whimsical gothic and spec-fic. She reads for Whale Road Review and is published/forthcoming in K’in, Resurrection Mag, Serendipity Lit, Brown Sugar Literary, The Sock Drawer, South Broadway Ghost Society, miniskirt magazine, warning lines, Moss Puppy Magazine, Messy Misfits, Persephone’s Daughters, and more. She is currently working on a fairytale chapbook and an asexual horror anthology.

Categories
Poetry

Pretty in Pink By Emma Giammanco

Pretty in Pink

By Emma Giammanco

“Come on time to dress up.” My mother says.


What about the days I don’t wanna be pretty in pink. All dressed up for everyone to see, not my choice, no one can hear my voice. It’s not fair, I can’t bear it anymore. I look at my
mother in her gray eyes and give a pleading look.

“I don’t wanna wear pink anymore.” I whisper.
“Pinks what you’ve got. Suck it up.” She replies.


I nod and accept my fate, sucking in a deep breath before stepping into the baby pink
dress. My brown hair is bouncing as my chubby feet find their way back to the floor. Does
everyone have to be forced into a color like this or is it just me? It’s not fair, I don’t want to hear
it anymore. I no longer wanna be pretty in pink.
My grubby little fingers grab the bottom of my dress and begin to lift it up gently before I
get frustrated and tear it off. I hear the tears and so does my mother. We stare at each other and
her mouth is wide open.


“What did you do?!” She scolded.
“I said I didn’t wanna wear it anymore!” I stated.


Photo by Eriks Abzinovs on Pexels.com

Emma Giammanco is a 16-year-old junior at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School. She’s on the school’s literary journal ‘The Siren.’ She’s from Beaver Pennsylvania and in her free time volunteers at Ready Yourself Youth Horse Ranch and the local Center. She loves to write fiction mostly and sometimes poetry.

Categories
Poetry

Stateless by John Chinaka Onyeche

Stateless

By John Chinaka Onyeche

in a silhouette of time as of a nation.
glooms and leadership attrition breezes in,
chiming.
entertainment
easily jogged to.
a nation trudging into the abyss of gloom,
youths celebrate idiocy in pictures.
none
penitent
parliamentarian
echoes stateless as a polity
after many thousands of births.
crimes
easier
than
crowns,
thugs,
thrones
traditions
mired.
norms,
ethics;
reverse
for
gains,
as crimes are wearing naked eyes.

one street after another they walk unharmed,
as we applaud no labour wealth.


Photo by Eriks Abzinovs on Pexels.com

John Chinaka Onyeche “Rememberajc” (he/his) is an author of three poetry collections “Echoes Across The Atlantic”, a husband, father and poet from Nigeria. He writes from the city of Port Harcourt Rivers State, Nigeria. He is currently a student of History and Diplomatic Studies at Ignatius Ajuru University Of Education Port Harcourt Rivers State. John Chinaka can be reached through the following means: Rememberajc.wordpress.com Facebook.com/jehovahisgood Twitter.com/apostlejohnchin Apostlejohnchinaka@gmail.com https://linktr.ee/Rememberajc

Categories
Poetry

The Tracks of my Tears By Dan Raphael

The Tracks of my Tears

By Dan Raphael

I’ve been given a new task
chosen for my proclivity
to cry for no direct reason.
couple years ago, except for my mother’s death,
i only cried at movies,
a couple songs always brought tears

But now i just cry, 3-4 days a week;
i hope there’s not something wrong with me
that my tears are helping somehow
thousands of us, crying without knowing why
whether for those who have a reason to cry—
poverty, violence, disease–and can’t, or won’t,
or for extinct species, melting glaciers, dying reefs and forests

So far i haven’t had to pull over while driving
because of tears. many people at the gym.
pause between reps, but probably none
because they’re crying. we’re all invisible
at our machines, working for longer lives
without wondering if that’s what we want


Photo by Eriks Abzinovs on Pexels.com

Dan Raphael’s new poetry collection, Out in the Wordshed, will be published by Last Word Books in November of ’22. More recent poems appear in Unlikely Stories, Mad Swirl, Pangolin, Otoliths and Synchronized Chaos. Most Wednesdays dan writes and records a current events poem for The KBOO Evening News.

Categories
Poetry

Grow By Nolcha Fox

Grow

By Nolcha Fox

Seedlings sprout
from stumps and
from charred trees.


Cancer cells
eat everything
in sight.


New life bursts
from old, we
cannot stop it.


Life is stubborn,
it will not be denied.


Photo by Eriks Abzinovs on Pexels.com

Nolcha has written all her life, starting with poop and crayons on the walls. Her poems have been published in Lothlorien Poetry Journal, The Red Lemon Review, Dark Entries, Duck Head Journal and others. Her chapbook, “My Father’s Ghost Hates Cats,” is available on Amazon.

Categories
Poetry

Two Poems By Ivan De Monbrison

With both a Russian and English translation

Изгнание

Море белое.
Мы ничего не видим.
Желание не имеет никто.
Солнце ходит вниз
гора как
мяч.
Дверь открывается.
Входит тень
и проходит через комнату
перед проходит
через стену.
Я тебя никогда не знал.

Exile

The sea is white.
We don’t see anything.
There is no desire.
The sun is going down
the mountain like
a ball.
The door opens up.
A shadow comes in
and walks across the room
before going
through the wall.
I never knew you.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Странный портрет

Горизонт в коробке.
Рисунок карандашом,
не похож на тебя.
У тебя рука в кармане.
Но это чужая рука.
Голос за дверью,
это твой.
Ничего не имеет смысла.
Мозг – странный орган.

A Strange Portrait

The horizon is in a box.
A pencil drawing,
does not look like you.
You have a hand in your pocket.
But this is someone else’s hand.
The voice outside the door
is yours.
Nothing makes sense.
The brain is a strange organ.


Ivan de Monbrison is a poet, writer and artist living in Paris born in 1969. He has studied oriental languages there after high school, not with great success. Ivan has autistic and schizophrenic tendencies that he has been trying to cop with through art, in the past twenty years of his life. His writing and art reflect maybe also the feeling of the decadence of today’s society, centered on its own vacuity and its lack of real purpose. He has been published in literary magazines globally.

Categories
Poetry

The Man in the Moon By Frances Huffman

The Man in the Moon

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By Frances Huffman

Moon

My first word, my mother says.

I pointed at the big, shining bulb in the sky

and met for the first time a new friend.

The Man in the Moon.

“Goodnight Moon”

was the first book I ever read.

It was my favorite too. 

Every night before bed my mother would tell me to rest my head

and say goodnight to the man in the sky.

The moon is so comforting,

a beam of white in the dark of night.

I began to talk to him, The Man in the Moon,

my celestial diary, keeping me awake with his light.

My need for the Man soon ran out,

a total eclipse of my life.

New friends, new people to tell.

I left all of my secrets with them instead.

How lonely he must feel,

without our daily talks.

No one’s secrets to keep.

The loud silence of space, alone, a floating rock.

I hope someone else shares their life with him,

because he is a very good listener,

A wonderful friend when you need one.

The Man In the Moon.


Frances Huffman is a gazebo-loving junior at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School. She enjoys writing poetry and creative nonfiction. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA and loves taking her dog for walks.

Feature Image by Georges Méliès

Categories
Poetry

Two Poems By Charlie Bowden

New Iberia

There’s a red man under my bed, ugly as sin

with pitch-black fur and a voice that pricks like a pin;

his claws are obsidian, his tongue is dynamite

but most deadly are the dreams he hurls into the night.

They toy with telepathy and send a message shining

to say that he’s made me a bed that I best lie in.

But then

there’s also

a woman

in my mind

who’s made

of the sun

making sounds

I can’t quite

articulate

but still

she leads me

safely

into reverie

away from

the red man

and his swarm.

Is this

heaven?

I think

as she

drags me

further

into

the blue of the cold wet night, no sun to light my way.

Photo by Scott Webb on Pexels.com

The Sound of Simon Armitage’s Shed

When it gets dark outside,

the sound of Simon Armitage’s shed validates me. 

I can ignore the bitter of winding of the wind as it howls

down stairs, up trees, through leaves and out again

and sink into the welcoming, well-worn chair of Imtiaz Dharker’s rhyme.

I’m made glad when the muscle memory of my heart

makes a mark against the viscous, sharp resin of the sky,

my fountain pen spidering over its moonlit sheen

from the soft breath of the warm shed on my flowering seeds.

The scent of sweet pomegranate surrounds me.

I come home smelling of glee, my smile a patchwork tapestry.

Guests often come and go through the shed,

the ghosts of those who are blessed to hear what the garden says.

They sense the echoed sound of a hand reaching to pick from the poets’ tree,

the delicate feel of handcrafted paper beneath their feet, evergreen.

There’s poetry in the stars, you know,

and in the stories of the seats in the park

and, most certainly of all, in the poignant moment:

 the Passover of stress into relief in the dark of the Poet Laureate’s fief.


Photo by Eriks Abzinovs on Pexels.com

Charlie Bowden is a student from Hampshire, England, who discovered a love for writing poetry in lockdown after spending years studying it at school. His poetry has been included in collections by Young Writers, Amnesty International and the Stratford Literary Festival and recently he won the 2021 Forward/emagazine Creative Critics Competition.

Categories
Poetry

A Hole in the Sky By Jayne Martin

A Hole in the Sky

By Jayne Martin

I’m not sure what to do about the hole in the sky
heat that sears my skin desert dry when

no rain falls to quench the earth’s thirst and
we all still want to be first to own the latest 

insert-toy-here made by children over there
for two cents an hour and our planet cries, 

species die, to stroke mascara on eyes filling screens
in the hands of beings consumed by their own desire.

Never mind the lands gone barren, famine
hollowing out bodies to bones, bellies that bloat.

Never mind fish that now float in oceans of fire
Never mind wondering why. 

We know, you and I.
We know, you and I.

***


Jayne Martin is the flash fiction editor at The San Franciscan Magazine. Her collection of microfiction, “Tender Cuts,” was published by Vine Leaves Press. Coming in spring of 2022, “The Daddy Chronicles-Memoir of a Fatherless Daughter” from Whiskey Tit Books. She lives in California, but dreams of living in Paris.