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Two Poems By Victor Ogan
The Cold Sermon
Scared to break the ice,
Skin thick with frail goosebumps,
Afraid to fight the icy battle,
Ironically, the battle was a common masterpiece,
Like the werewolves transform every full moon,
Thus, it was a match set in heaven,
‘Braven yourself, to face the brunt of the hard edges,
Or stand still, till eternity pass,
Leaving skeletons dry and emptied’,
A cruel price to pay for a fear of something light,
Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Stronger(What Doesn’t Kill You)’,
In the mind, now a continuous war chant,
A laughable attempt to stimulate the ego,
But its eccentricity, in whole shades,
A whole lot plausible, than the fantasy,
Of the gifted fire benders, with the telekinetic ability,
To break off this ice with not a sweat,
But fantasy must needs meet reality,
Yet in their union, a chasm still maintains,
In the gulf that rents the middle,
The skin finally toughens to break the ice,
Chills that block the lungs,
With entrapped air, falling in its use for animated screams,
Lost in the chasm, a bottomless pit,
Light’s blindness, in the abyss of loneliness,
Herein, the most awkward fears meet reality,
Imprisoned, in a dungeon, disguised as a fortress,
The only companion, a clown who fails at his job,
Bright enough is he though to entice fear,
A genuine performance, he learned to give,
From a careful observation of It’s ‘Pennywise’,
Indeed, the ices broken,
But were the tales, it entailed,
Worth setting a play, whose tussle with it, was the driving conflict?
Generals of a Fallen Empire
Que será, será,
The broken hearted, strummed on his guitar,
Each twang, a consolation, for the one who got away,
A blind eye, it attempts to throw on his failed cues,
The resolution to his loss.
Rome wasn’t built in a day,
The seeker prayed monotonously into the morning air,
The epic inspiration, a cover,
For the epic failures to match,
Sorrows of the previous days,
The Ends of whose darkness, he had never seen the light.
Have faith in the gods, trust them and they will not fail you,
The pious one sang,
Songs of praise,
To ignore his shame,
Which heavily bothered him to Lamentations,
The cold waters troubling his loins, heated by the burning blood,
Its cruelty aroused by the rising tensions in his heart,
Synonymous with doubt,
For akin his previous experiences were,
To a kid who believed in the total salvation of the human race,
At the hands of some existing superheroes.
Now, broken, yet seeking and pious,
Three heavy weights, a crowd to bear,
Lusting in denial, a desire to push on,
But the heart knows the truth, which the mind can’t be lied to,
That to some clay,
The potter destined to be honoured at The Queen’s Palace,
Loathsomely, to some others,
Dejection was predestined, their final honour,
To be displayed around the city as spoils,
Like the legendary vanquished and prisoners of war,
At Caesar’s Gala,
In limelight of their impending execution,
Thus finding a common ground, lay their greatest achievement,
‘To die is to have lived’.
Victor Ogan is a writer who has strong interests in the fields of Literature and the Arts. He draws inspiration from his internal self-reflection and a careful observation of the world around him.
Two Poems By Ivan De Monbrison
With both a Russian and English translation
Мы ничего не видим.
Желание не имеет никто.
Солнце ходит вниз
и проходит через комнату
Я тебя никогда не знал.
The sea is white.
We don’t see anything.
There is no desire.
The sun is going down
the mountain like
The door opens up.
A shadow comes in
and walks across the room
through the wall.
I never knew you.
Горизонт в коробке.
не похож на тебя.
У тебя рука в кармане.
Но это чужая рука.
Голос за дверью,
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
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.
The Man in the Moon By Frances Huffman
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.
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
Two Poems By Charlie Bowden
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.
in my mind
of the sun
I can’t quite
she leads me
the red man
and his swarm.
the blue of the cold wet night, no sun to light my way.
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.
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.
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.