April Fool

Who’s the fool
I am the fool
I believed in your perfumes
I let myself spellbound by your blossomed trees
Showered by your petals
Tickled by your fresh leaves
Oh, and the tastes of strawberries….
All that boiled in my blood streams new hopes
Allured in my veins new dreams
And like a fool
A lunatic bewitched​ by you
I fly by your side with new wings

© 2017 Iulia Gherghei

Barricades and Beds — Aditi Angiras


Aditi Angiras

try to abandon everything everyday
barricades and beds
bar stools and bridges
break out of things
that are more prison
than places
try to abandon everything everyday
promises and/in politics
pornographic power drinks
rip into pieces
things more disgusting
than dollar bills
try to abandon everything everyday
mothers and memories
murder(o)us in black streets
pull bullets instead
in your own chest
your own skins
try to abandon everything everyday
toxic shock tampons
trip trigger tessellate
chemicals crazy
crying over bodies
of born deads
try to abandon everything everyday
religions like reading
red lights and rolling paper
turn on pages
with your fingers
and fuck poems
like rockstars
and then
abandon them
like everybody abandons
everything every time anyways


Aditi Angiras

Aditi Angiras

I always got
good grades
in geography
lessons, drawing
topographic maps
I would read
contour lines
study them well
but wonder
why do we need
to read them
when will I ever
need this
in real life
Years later,
lying here
next to you,
contour lines,
neck to navel
I realise


Aditi Angiras

it’s no coincidence
that a planchette
is shaped like a
heart or a shield
when you play
with my love
like it’s your ouija board
where yes or no
hello or goodbye
sound like sounds
haunting all
the four chambers

© 2017, Aditi Angiras

The Burgundy Madonna

Lady, was there always this distance,
this gap of mutual love?

Mixing his colours with holy water,
crushed relics and prayers, was this
what the iconographer perceived
dipping his brush deep into his soul?

Sturdy and capable, your right hand
supports the Child’s bottom,
thumb tip open, pointing away:
‘So, this is it … ’
And the Child perches,
stiff in blue and gold,
his face fitting like a flesh glove
between your cheek and eye,
feet resting delicately together,
onto the twin of that large hand.

There could have been a warmth
but, almost grotesquely,
you hold the figure of a young man:
head, limbs, torso
perfectly proportioned,
his face already written upon.

No infant dribblings,
no soft roundnesses,
no puffy vulnerability
of baby flesh,
no unmapped

Was this it? Your eyes stare
at no-one but the painter.
And over decades, centuries,
into how many other eyes
in candlelit churches, hovels,
apartments, palaces, galleries?
So much looking.
Would there have been so much
if there was no way in?

© 2017, Patricia Leighton

Published in ‘Dreamcatcher: Issue 19

Common Ground

Check your assumptions at the door
of this Place. If you want them back,
Think twice before you enter.

A young Enrolled Blackfeet, six foot four
Wisdom behind his easy manner. His features,
Asiatic, I would not have guessed
save for his words.

We traded stories, walking through the twilight
of an Upper Midwest town
Life on “the Rez” for him; for me, growing up
in a former Spanish/U.S. colony
in Southeast Asia.

Lalo’s passion, rooted in Mexico
and South Texas
It crosses many borders; in its wide embrace
are children from Central America
following the Death Train’s tracks
Indigenous people in this Upper Midwest town
hearts yet bound to the Land
of which they were once a part.

All are Family, blood-ties or no. All are

Suddenly, today,
In deep soul-stretching waters
An epiphany struck me like a wave:
I knew the answer
to a 30-year old question!

In a country spanning the spectrum
from milk white
to brown
to Aboriginal black
I, a lighter-skinned Mestiza, the object of stares.

Was it aspiration in their eyes?
Or, worse yet — servility?
I still can’t quite describe
the looks, the unspoken conclusions
I so resented
But now I know Why.

What will you do with your assumptions
when we depart this Place?
I plan to leave a few behind
and travel home lighter.

© 2017 Dorothy Long Parma

dancing toward infinity

spiral galaxy in Constellation, Coma Berenices, 60 million light years from Earth
spiral galaxy in Constellation, Coma Berenices, 60 million light years from Earth


lively soul
worlds contained
a galaxy of one
our gases, our dust
our gravitational pull
our weak wills
our strong compulsions
our stark shadowlands
our gaudy stars
dancing toward infinity

© 2015 poem, Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day), All rights reserved

Don’t Let Fall Go – sonnet


Don’t sweep the fallen leaves, don’t wipe your tears,
don’t let this autumn pass a dream too soon,
don’t mix the joy of yellow with your fears
that it will fade, however, until noon.
Don’t let the scent of misty dawns go wasted
and let the drizzle soak in tired flow
the dust of summer days, that maybe hasted
so you can also feel the autumn’s glow.
For winter’s frost is nigh, and even nigher
the rust that eats the handle of this door
and swallows flying swiftly ever higher
next spring may not recall us anymore.
So don’t allow the sand to flow too fast –
don’t let your fall beside me be our last.

© 2017, Liliana Negoi

Donatella D’Angelo | unpublished poems 2016

Per quella luce sospesa
tra le ciglia degli angeli
morirei infinite volte

e infinite volte tornerei
corona di spine.


For that light suspended
between angels’ eyelashes
I would die a thousand times

and a thousand times
come back crown of thorns.




Nel cavo della mano la verità
e le sofferenze colte appena
nell’indulgenza dei silenzi
di abiti dismessi:

Donatella D’Angelo


risorgeranno verticali i draghi.


In the hollow of the hand, the truth
and sufferings just picked
in the indulgence of silences
of clothing put off:

and yet

rise again vertically the dragons.




Spiegami il profumo del basilico
il passo invisibile della tigre.

Nell’antro salvifico della vita
separo la notte e i suoni scordati
il muto cadere dei corpi celesti.

Perché fa tanto freddo qui?


Explain to me the scent of basil
the unseen step of the tiger.

In the salvific den of life
I separate night and clashing sounds
the mute fall of celestial bodies.

Why is it so cold here?

© 2016, Donatella D’Angelo; English translations by Dennis Formento with the poet

Dreaming of Children

A landscape of memory littered
with pieces of dreams
children that once lived
once laughed
oft times schemed

she sees a house abandoned now
ought times with love filled
each & every birth an
auspicious moment still
& each year

she knows she has been gifted
that any tears shed
were merely a bridge
between yesterdays
& tomorrows albeit

as other mothers cry oceans
of salt filled tears
for children that lived once
without fear in loving arms
with kisses, soft still

their auspicious moment shattered
a broken memory like
shards of glass
now buried descending deep
earth’s grief surpassed

whose sorrow cannot rebuild
houses in ashes smoldering
whose dreams
hold ghostly remnants
pale & fading

where a timeless epitaph remains
of young lives interrupted
photos tinged yellow
touched by death
a noxious poison

thinking of this she turns pages
a book of photographs old
& knows dreams
will still be her comfort
will still unfold

that some mother’s dreaming will
become a vile nightmare
an interloper in sun rays
unwanted slumber
empty days

© April 2017 Renee Espriu

A few from the vaults …

April is (inter)national poetry month at the BeZine. I’ll be honest, my inspiration and muse have been mostly M.I.A. since the election. I keep trying to write, but most of what comes out is extremely negative, cynical and just plain awful. I wanted to contribute this month, because I have always loved poetry and think it should be celebrated. So, I’m offering three older poems in the hopes that they will be appreciated for what they are. Here’s hoping that all of you find poetic inspiration and keep writing for the rest of us. 🙂

~ De Facto Plutocracy ~

Corporate Fat Cat

Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Can you break a dollar?

Can you make change?

No. Yes. And I don’t know.

Once, I believed it might be possible.

But those scheming snake-oil salesmen sold us


They convinced us to purchase our own slave-chains

Of Debt.

Of Doubt.

The only thing that “trickled down” to us

Was their whispered, decades’-long laughter,

All the way to the God-forsaken, rube-taken


The American Dream hasn’t always been an illusion,

But “they”

found a way

to make it one…permanently.

Will any amount of shouting, shoving or even shooting,

ever be able to put US back together again?

There is no sanity, because the inmates OWN the asylum.

Bought on the bloody, broken backs of the ninety-nine percent,

The “Trust Fund” is long spent and squandered, then.

The nefarious, nebulous “They”…

They broke the Dollar.

But there was no



~ C.L.R. © 2011 ~

~ Night Fog ~

Everything plays Hide and Seek,
When the clouds come down,
And dance on the ground.
The muted hush makes one
Reluctant to speak,
As the night-time world
Plays Lost and Found.

Crystalline drops bunched in the night air,
Coating the night’s kiss,
In a silvery mist.
Damp blanket of moisture;
Light dew, barely there,
Wrapping the darkness
In wet, velvet bliss.

Swirling vapors — breath of dreams,
Holds the silence close
In translucent repose.
Shifting shadows make nothing
As it seems,
And morning’s sun
Will mark the night’s fog as a ghost.

~ C.L.R. ~ © 2008

~ Feeling Blue in a Red State ~

Red state.
Full of red-necks,
And their red, ‘Murican blood.
Flag waving,
Non-white hating,
Cesspool of inbred brood.

Your ignorance is excusable.
Your stupidity is not.
You narrow-minded,
Backwards bigots,
Who seldom have
An original thought.

Thump your Bibles louder,
Maybe God, Himself,
Will hear.
Spread the hatred,
Pump yourselves up prouder,
Sow dissent,
And reap the fear.

Your Reich-Wing, fascist antics,
Sure collect a lot
Of wannabes.
Forget about arguing
Intelligent semantics,
You only mimic your idols,
On your big-screen T.V.s.

Never a thought,
Of how you
Affect the planet.
Never thinking about,
The future of ALL.
No concern for
How your so-called leaders
Straw-manned it,
As long as you’ve got yours,
The rest can just crawl.

The one comfort I have,
Living here, among you,
Is that I’ve already escaped
This cesspit of snakes.
Karma will catch you,
Sooner or later.
And reveal
All you gun-toting,
Mindless voting,
Scripture mis-quoting,
As fakes.

C.L.R. ~ © 2011

– Corina Ravenscraft

Four Poems by Reuben Woolley


the girl
…………….who danced
the ibis moon  ………….she brings
the story of it all
& this
is the telling


& personal ………………my sudden
consent ………….& ……..distance
is full i have
my history here
in the pulse of it all

and this is the saying of it

the dark days
……………………………& my growing
in bones & bodies
& here ………………i’m doing
a telling of it

the legs ……………& mouths ……….. & hearts of it
she dances alphabets
in the crescent fire

& the boat returns the day

* * * *

is the telling of it all

there is mud
& reeds ………….. & a boat
in the sky ………..& i
have names for them

the threads of what it is
& what we know ……………..she
danced a world for us

* * * *

in my sinking
do not occur successively
like gravity
………………..oh ……………then
………………..i’ll get up
………………..& fly

to all my ………..scattered

it’s what this ……………..thing
when i’m not looking

of those hands i haven’t got
just these .……………………poor

hold.…………………………….. separate
like atoms …………………….do not
touch …………….she
……………………….the air
the cells are orphans
pointing ………………………further

……………………………………...she is
maker ………. in every outward

of that old…………………………. yellow

* * * *

…………………………all the rest
is outside
where a feather
…………………………………...is counterweight

the ghosts of real
come solid from shade …………………… they play
on red sand ……………………with a girl
who danced a bird

wings spread & beating
………….the ibis & the girl
she danced a boat
sailing she danced a ragged
………………& this
was the telling of it



hiraeth: (n) homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past – Welsh

give me the sea
for my dotage.i’ll wear it
in shawls / in weeds

i’m rich in reflections
in dark & blue & once
there was a girl
& a song i can’t remember
……………………………the water notes
patient just breathing

* * * *

………………………………..i cannot bleed
sufficient & all my bodies
lie in other countries

let them burst
in all their broken splendour

i clothe my scars
with care
i shall not be revealed

……………………………wear shrouds
walking ………………a perfect space
of death

* * * *

into deep skies …………….are homes
that do not live
in this my circus
& dark matter

i twitch to distant currents
& permanently delayed
there were so many
deaths………………. i know the way

…………………………...all ticking

* * * *

we bathe in dust
deep.it is
no gentle immersion
……………………………& the sun’s
a yellow ball
out of a painted sky


for rain
not coming

we fly black flags
upriver …………..watch towers

distance between

sewing together
every lasting piece
…………………….i make
a rose
……………..on folds
……………..on leaves

here’s a bloodthorn
& the lines.paint
ages / flowers
……………..& faces
everything fades.it is
the nature of dark
not silver

…………………..& we’ll dance
a last tango late
……………………………..& lips
tire in substance.just see
the words lie deceiving
…………….like petals
…………….like blood
like smiles on old canvas

those lasting rites


the weed & rubbers &

& flooded castles

a life
in such offering

flowers & broken
stems / the blind

………………………see them
in shadows in
carcasses of sand

………………………watch them
through dying flesh.pink
& grey & red again
a heartbeat a breathbeat



© 2017, Reuben Woolley

Full Buck Moon and other poems by Lisa Ashley


Full Buck Moon

Native-named orb
of antler-hardening season,
it slow-rises
behind a Mt. Rainier cloud,
etching a snow cone Madrona
in its glow.

The bucks begin
their pointed clashes
for dominance,
for the does,
as summer moves into fall, ritual
not often seen or heard by humans.

Sipping, wrapped in a fleece robe,
visited by baby raccoon and elder black cat,
breath slow-moving in and out,
moon watching,
trying to let go of her story:
rape, then raging violence and death;
he raped and beat her
before she shot him with his own gun.

The moon glimmers in gold seams
inside the rock-mountain cloud
until bright beams burst,
flooding over
white gooseneck in the yard,
lighting up the fragile white butterfly.

Did he place his gun on the car seat
before forcing her?
Did she see it shining
in the streetlight?
she grabbed it up
to stop the pain.

Charged with murder one,
prosecutor claims pre-meditation.
She is old enough to know
what she was doing, they say.
Just turned 16, to be tried as an adult,
did she pre-meditate his attack?

Driven by self preservation
and testosterone
the bucks fight in breeding season,
mounting the does when they are in estrous,
Does the doe submit each time?

She waits for weeks, alone with nightmares,
in a limbo of fear-filled unknowns
abandoned by heroin-addicted parents
and friends who think they know what happened.
It’s like a surreal movie, she says.
Tears slide down like the setting moon.

Bacon Bits

Fifty years on I still love bacon.
You’d think the fry-smell would repulse me,
the crispy salted fat
choke in my craw.
I order it each time I breakfast out
refusing to tether this pleasure
to those early morning visits
when your heavy calloused hands
slipped under my flannels
while the others still slept.
You offered a back rub.
I never said no.

Your touch felt good
at first,
loving, comforting
as melt-in-the-mouth
crackling pork is still.
Desire for your love
outweighed the shame
that hung about me all the day.
I carried my dark secret
like a pregnant sow,
heavy in the belly,
smothered against my heart.

Sneaky hands
wandered with purpose
like pigs in the pen rooting for slop,
roaming up and down
then under
to my breast buds,
slipping under my waistband
down over my little piggy butt,
soft and tender,
smooth as baby powder.
This strange backrub-not-backrub
morning after morning,
why did you do it?

Summer of Birds

To Cooper

You and I discovered birds one summer.
Ten years old, you brought home
the stack of library books.
You sat with binoculars,
watched and listened,
learned movements, colors and songs
of different feathered ones.
You created a backyard habitat,
your checklist in hand.
Audubon would be proud, I said,
forty-five species recorded by summer’s end.
The love of those days exceeds my life list.

I spy the golden-crowned kinglet today,
his herky jerky flight
branch to branch outside my window,
unique from chickadees and juncos,
you taught me.
And now the bushtit flock arrives.
I watch them eat and travel on their way,
as they do every day.
Once you stood stock still,
seed-filled palm outstretched,
until the pine siskin landed for his snack.
You knew he’d come,
such patience, such faith
in your calm young soul.

I sit in grief as each news story
invades my afternoon solitude,
hatred unleashed.
We are behaving badly, taking sides,
raging and trolling,
transported into a nightmare
from which we cannot wake.
What burdens will four, or worse,
eight years of this travesty of a president
produce in your life,
so undeserved of your kind and tender self?
What legacy has been laid on
your young shoulders?

Low-slanting winter sun blinds me
as I hang hummingbird nectar
in the midst of afternoon buzzing tweets.
In the very early dark of this morning I heard
the eagle’s insistent calling again, close,
second day in a row, rousing me
from my dreams.
What did she want of me?
What was she declaring to her world?
Rain taps the metal roof,
fir branches sigh in the first winds.
You have fledged the nest.
Boundless mother-love spurs me up, up,
out into the new day.

I sit in grief as each news story
invades my afternoon solitude,
hatred unleashed.
We are behaving badly, taking sides,
raging and trolling,
transported into a nightmare
from which we cannot wake.
What burdens will four, or worse,
eight years of this travesty of a president
produce in your life,
so undeserved of your kind and tender self?
What legacy has been laid on
your young shoulders?

Low-slanting winter sun blinds me
as I hang hummingbird nectar
in the midst of afternoon buzzing tweets.
In the very early dark of this morning I heard
the eagle’s insistent calling again, close,
second day in a row, rousing me
from my dreams.
What did she want of me?
What was she declaring to her world?
Rain taps the metal roof,
fir branches sigh in the first winds.
You have fledged the nest.
Boundless mother-love spurs me up, up,
out into the new day.

Three Pleasures

Whump-whumping grouse
softly booming out his territory
perches on the rocky ridge
in pristine air
ruffling his feathers
attracting his mate, he hopes
as we all do,
on this early spring day.
Faintly resonant,
that wing-beating sonorous sound
insistent, incessant,
until I was sure I heard and understood
the secret pleasure he promised.

Plate planted before her,
steam softly swirling up,
she leans slightly forward
face stilled over the soup
curiously anticipating.
She pokes the onions, spears the toast,
slips a bit of melted cheese into her mouth,
slyly sniffing it first.
A tiny satisfied smile blooms, savoring.
I hide my own
at her politely hidden,
very obvious pleasure.

Hiding in the bathroom with a novel,
Wandering the aisles reading labels
of sumptuous foods never before purchased
concocting lavish imaginary meals,
Coffee, warm-cupped in cold hands
on the summer morning deck,
communing with busy bathing birds,
People-watching in the coffee house
slow-sipping, delicious
eavesdropping behind the computer,
Chocolate melting on the tongue.

Sinless pleasures.

© 2017, Lisa Ashley

gary lundy’s poetics | 5 prose poems

gary headshotgary lundy‘s first book of poetry, when voices detach themselves (Is a Rose Press), delves deep into personal space and comes out with cultural revelations. His most recent book, heartbreak elopes into a kind of forgiving (Is a Rose Press), dives even further, if possible, into the heart of matters and matters of the heart, uncovering the space for forgiveness and a desire for continued connection—even from deep within introspection. We feel the power of pausing in order to understand how the outer world shapes us, especially through the ideas of relation/ship and loss.

when voices detach themselves

gary introduces these pauses, deliberately interrupting the easy flow of reading, using full-stops so that a reader stops, thinks. The density of language and play of it in the poem forces readers to struggle with their own understandings and perception. Rather than the “easy-flow” of sound bites, social media feeds, Orwellian catch-phrases, or the slogans of the marketer or politician that wash our brains with pre-conceptions, gary’s poetics asks us to think about language, meaning, relationship, human connections and to thus find our own understandings. We are to use his disruptions as launching points toward generating our own sense of identity and the world.

heartbreak elopes into a kind of forgiving

Rather than sell us on “truths” with slick style, newspeak, or jargon, his poems force us to question what we think we know about ourselves, each other, our relationships, language itself and re-connect to how we sense self and world consciously—coming to our “meaning,” or at least our understanding (however flawed), through choice and choice of language. He doesn’t give us answers, but points to his questions in a way that allows us to ask our own—of him, his poetry, but, most importantly, of ourselves. His poems go to questions, not from or to certainty.

The deceptively “simple” form of the five new prose poems below contrasts his sophisticated use of language, which breaks through the facade of our (self-)constructed worlds. These poems may not be “easy” to read or understand, but they are powerfully that thing which we celebrate this (and every) April, poetry.

Michael Dickel
Contributing Editor

the sort of narrative found

gary lundy

in one of your unpublished notebooks. it’s true that each of us is preoccupied by our individual internal story even though it shares conjoined regulated passwords designated memory. that fleshly take on the skin cold wind chilled. where were they when we needed their help but felt betrayed instead. that long vacant block to the left of our imagination or parts prefabricated and satisfying read like a dictionary. naturally this is mine but an aggregate of ours suffering selective erasure. the moon large and near full bright uncanny. the overheard conversation compels a retracing of otherwise unmemorable mid morning energy. the shoulder of a narrow country road or of that lover whose nearness affects once again a hopeless satisfaction. they are afflicted with the community prejudices which compel their denial even while in participation. when you yell loudly against a hope to distract from what you deeply know about yourself.

suffice to say not one more than those many

gary lundy

a smiling sort of melody all the while kicking them in the kidneys. for many it’s a time of merely biding. we worry about how often sitting around fills time. taking off their glasses to aid in seeing clearly. you push against those others whose bodies flail against the hard surface of the music. melody disappears in the growing frenzy. their drawing of a rectangle to illustrate proportions of a room walls crooked corner cracked. it’s impossible to quiet the mind engaged in disarming disparate imaginings. there are many things we feel badly about but none qualify as mistakes. a red cup of coffee steam cleaned. earlier desire encroached upon their afternoon body. those others recognized in the shared experience minute differences. details attended to and those ignored as unimportant. were it possible to i might go back in time so as not to meet you. their flavor toys with whomever agrees. a spot deep inside under the skin that won’t stop itching. nearing a halfway you memorize the landscape to come.

because in such beginnings a single thread out of place

gary lundy

unravels it all. they wear their skin as if just purchased at a secondhand store. at least calm accompanies the heavy snowfall and brittle temperatures. when even the reflected image fogs over. return home alone. let that ampersand collect and connect those others now awash in group memory and sorrow. whose shadow suffers closures and over reaction tied to blame and wrong names and pronouns. you suffer from the assumption that age is merely an aggregate of an object circling around fire. never mind make up where can such a blue come from. we plod around our clothes draped and bleeding. how can it matter who they choose to be called when pronouns are indifferently attached to hundreds at a time. you admit it’s been ten days since you showered. frozen beards and brows deep in consensus. from a certain altitude we recognize how blood mobilizes against aggression. a young one sits and imagines flying a tornado in a wilderness of exchanges. i have nothing in common with this place except shared space. unless they unleash a stepladder in order to reach and remove broken edges.

after the fact those we answerable

gary lundy

grow somber and quiet. too much of a practiced and practical contemplation which wards off the unacceptable spontaneous. just now as small bubbles swirl surrounding the head of the one washing dishes behind the coffee bar. eyes that fracture what’s seen into small fragments of the identifiable. you will understand as soon as you find that dated page from which our conversation ought to have originated. gesture for them to sit should they wish to share space. honor their difference through deep satisfying swallow. it must be that the answer lies in the irretrievable rather than sitting in eye shot. their impossibility to know any other with precision. complexity a simple telephone ring or foot tap melody. in that as if verticality which offends no one. pause arose the rectangular box filled in by misinformation. as purple turns into flagrant blue i’m reminded that with you there are no secret scents. which reduces by at least a dimensional category those contours outside the radius of blame.

how many times have we attended

gary lundy

the same passage of time still unable to grasp the warranted memorabilia. they delight in the relationship of commitment and blindness. wind swept snow sooths those otherwise broken edges in a space devoted to horizontal lies. where our joined bodies compel spirals circulation surrounds and restores lingering melodies soft in gentle safety. we can never be the one who comes to open them into the day drift snowstorm invisible but its touch so often devastating. nostalgia for a past never lived as real as those dark creatures out of childhood. an overwhelming sense of futility. a closed impossible future. to everything a place even when forced displaces another. power hums overhead heating discarded moods. we live in our head which sometimes branches off deliberately indivisible. muscles atrophied stuck within boundaries of disinterest clamor. we search for a way to change or eliminate redundant inactivity. suddenly they understand that their collection is incomplete missing an integral digit. from the side you resemble the stranger that remained outside in the dark. i could only hope you meant to love me even though you hadn’t thought of that. blame conceals a far more dangerous intimacy. meaning subverts clarity of vision and rudimentary pleasure. this they connects you with me compounded within a framework of misunderstandings. as our name for you attempts to curtail choice.

See more of gary lundy’s work here.


A geography of memories | Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt



A black file in his study.
Dusty. Faded.
“Parts are brittle,” she cautions.

My very first “letter to the editor”
from Minnesota, April 4, 1990
to the Calcutta Statesman.

The letter of my first arrival in St. Paul.
Handwritten. It’s January.
A picture of me standing
in front of Florence’s 1978 Ford Fairmont.

The letter with my dream
I knew she had died.
I saw her hands, her face like marble,
her deformed left foot — floating.

And then I broke my arm
falling on new ice.
Letters filled with errors
And that letter of becoming     an          American.

A geography of memories
tied with my mother’s discarded hairband,
each neatly placed
inside a plastic folder
that was once blue
or maybe yellow.

until that day

the voice is coming back
the face is coming back
the smell of dampness is coming back
the sound of the dragging blue slippers is coming back
the words of the priest chanting is coming back
the hands holding the white flowers is coming back
the narrow streets are coming back
the lamppost that was never lit is coming back
the Black Diamond Express
the last journey, the old country
the crossings of the seven seas
are            all            coming       back.

Each piece of the mosaic
small and delicate and large
black and white
misshaped and misplaced
are                       all                 coming              back.

A face that now is marked by wrinkles
each thin line marking
the boundaries on a map
are                         all                             coming                           back.

For Sale

Our new house is on the old street
not red but purple,
not huge, but small,
like minds

New bricks, new floors
new flats, new kitchens,
new grills on windows
like soulless souls

Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt

And I don’t know
how to ever
go back
to that house
that was once red.

© 2017, Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt


It is early evening
But I, reading about the midnight watch
My nostrils of a sudden caressed
By the subtle scent of rose petals

Begin to dream of my Lola*
Who faithfully prayed the Rosary
Every night, in the dark of night
In her corner of the bedroom
Every night, without fail
‘Til she no longer remembered how.

She has been gone many years, now
But her memory once again graces my mind
With the freshness of the winter flowers
I laid by the Blessed Virgin statue

On Jan 19, 2007.

*Tagalog for the endearment “grandma.”

© 2017, Dorothy Long Parma

having found a stone in my shoe …

i’ve begun
to wonder
if hate
does not
the soul
the color
dried blood
of forgiveness
to those
pilate washing
his hands
all the while
a thin veil
of flesh
what lies
a darkness
from our lips
gaseous words
of venom
to write
of enlightenment
too tightly
the fragile flesh
thus revealing
in our souls

© 2017, Charles W. Martin

healing hands …

aunt bea
hasn’t been
feeling well
this week
her sister
that a visit
to a local faith healer
might not be
such a bad idea
aunt bea
some folks
don’t need
to go to church
to find god’s healing hands
all you got to do
she said
is open your eyes
look around
the wonders
the art
human hand
a doorway
the heavens
above your head
with a thousand
angel’s eyes at night
a thousand hymns
of joy
from birds
with light’s
first peek
into the new day
it’s laying
god’s hands
the troubled waters
something more

© 2017, poem and illustration, Charles W. Martin


Where did you reside before
you made your entrance here?
Was it in the darkness beyond the sun?
Did you dance within the Milky Way
and skip among the countless stars
that crowd the cosmos far and wide?
Did you slide down moonbeams
and have the glowing dust of
nebulae sparkle through your hair?
Did you sit at the feet of the Masters
who meditate in the ethers
to raise the vibration of all existence?

An astral body was your vehicle then, created
of light and prana that you transported
effortlessly between the myriad
planes of existence. Nothing hindered
your explorations and curiosity of
All That Is. You dwelt there in a state of
Connection to Every Thing with joy and delight.

O, Tiny Giant, now you have taken a human form
and chosen those who will guide, teach and protect
you as you journey on to continue your adventures.
What path will you seek to take?
Follow your light.
Follow your breath.
Ride the waves of nature and learn from the wind,
the water, trees and animals. They teach freedom.
You need nothing else but belief in yourself.

O, Divine Kali Devi, I hold you in
light and love as you expand
in consciousness
during your stay in this
Earthly realm.
May you be surrounded in love.
May you always feel safe.
May you live in peace.
May grace and acceptance be yours.
May you forever live in freedom.

The Wheel of Becoming
continues its spin
throughout your
comings and goings.
Its energy
propels you
ever forward
toward your
Knowingness and Ease.

© Gayle Walters Rose

Kinga Fabó | 3 Hungarian Poems in Translation


The Suskind Perfume

Now the maestro is rather uninspired
Baptiste procure one like in the olden times
follow her scent the woman
turns her head it’s foggy steal her

smear and wrap her in a sack
let her soak in grease for a time
to preserve her volatility
with her every drop

the grease sucks her in
she cajoles you to follow
the scent on the bodies
of every other woman

do you recoil – on all?!
What happens if your yearning
drives you mad
follow her scent
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

(and you, fair scent, will evaporate)

Translated by Gabor G. Gyukics


I don’t know what it is but very ill-
intended. Surely a woman must belong to it.
And something like a laughter.

I am rotating the city on me,
rotating my beauty. That’s that!
Many keys, small keyholes whirling.

Gazes cannot be all in vain. And the answer?
Merely a jeer.
The vase hugs and kills me, can’t breathe.

Now my features—even with the best intentions—
cannot be called beautiful.
And her? The girl? Her trendy perfume

is Poison. For me a real poison indeed.
And the vase?
It hugs and kills me.

But what am I to do without?

Translated by Kinga Fabó


The bees are tough, hard to break virgins.
Virgins, but different from us humans.
They have no ego. Hermaphrodites. Like the moon.

Butterflies. Phallic souls.
Soul phalluses in female bodies.
The daughter, daughters of the moon

Kinga Fabó

allured me but only until
I figured them out.
As lovers.

I got tired of my ego.
And theirs too.
I’m bored of their services.

It wedges an obstacle between us. Neither
in nor out. In vain
I keep trying. I can break through

mine somehow.
But his? How?
Selfish, inspiring; but for what?

Is he like this by nature,
subservient, dependent?
On me? That’s dispiriting.

He doesn’t even suspect, that I depend on him.
I am the stronger, the unprotected.
Tough as a woman, austere.

Delicate as a man, fragile, gentle.
What would I like? I want him to
wrestle me gently to the floor,

penetrate me violently, savagely.
So I can become empty and neutral.
Impersonal, primarily a woman.

© 20017 Kinga Fabó; Translated by Gabor G. Gyukics