Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry

When The Queen Came to Tea | John Anstie

A little boy in awe, aged six, perhaps more
…or thereabouts, it matters little or less.
Four years had passed since She had been
proclaimed our Queen, our first coronation for 
a Queen Elizabeth in nearly four hundred years. 
So young. So pretty. So popular and pure. 

Around my age there was another little boy
her son and heir apparent, but not quite so excited.
He wasn’t by her side at her glorious crowning.
Now, whilst in my retirement, he bears the burdens of 
the decease of his darling mother, whom he had to 
share with us. So close. So secure. So family. So far.

Meanwhile, at the family picnic, they were 
serving us all, by the loch, among the trees
copious fresh air, inspiration, love and fun
the children, renewing family ties, learning their
duty to serve us. With such stamina, She, so young 
with such a burden, accepted with such grace. 

Our friends’ lonely house lay by that same road 
the Royal planners decreed they should follow
to their next tour venue…that evening in 1956.
As she was passing through, after a busy day
She said “I think we should stop for a cup of tea”  
as She is wont to do, with such instinctive inspiration. 

So willing was She to walk about and meet us all
on the streets or in our places, we came to expect it.
It seemed so normal. It should have come as no surprise.
Our teacher to the class: “who saw the Queen, yesterday?” 
Me, in total belief: “ Yes, Miss, yes, she came to tea with us! ” 
Her response, dismissed my heart-felt truth with just one look.

In her younger days, poignantly, Lillibet once declared…

				“…we are all just passing through ”

Landscape in a Landscape
Painting ©2023 Gerry Shepherd

©2022 John Anstie
All rights reserved

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Red Sap | Mykyta Ryzhykh

The Cherry Tree
Painting ©2022 Gerry Shepherd

* * *

Stiletto in the red sap of the cherry orchard birches.

The saber of the kagan shines. The clatter of hooves resounded, and a shiny dress shoe fell on the Alai carpet. Then the door of the hall opened, and the Mongol Shah himself entered. He was in festive attire; musicians and dancers followed the Shah, and all of them loudly shouted out some kind of joyful song—a song about the sea. And the sea (in the meantime) either existed separately from the land, or burned like a candle along with the night and a smooth surface, difficult to distinguish from air.

The game began. With whom? What? How the Shah would like it all to be a dream—but no, no, the pawn is already moving. And something else.

The gates of the world were opening. To whom are they open now, why? What kind of mysterious expensive shoe, what kind of feast, noise, musicians, and even the Shah himself?

Chess opened the gates of the world. The air weighed heavily on the shoulders of those present, superstition found on everyone.

Chess opened the gates of the lost world. Raya? Hell? Hey, angels, come here, come—we will give birth to children. They will become Cossacks. Those will be kamikaze. Their name will be Zuhra. Myopia of tears—their name will be eared, and above the name—the fungus of Hiroshima, and the Fuhrer, and nothing but the name of the Fuhrer.

Chess of angels opened the gates of the lost world. The machine gun was baptized along with the child. The shah knew all this, he was present at the same time, and his soul was touched by a cloud of flame.

Chess of angels opened the gates of the lost world 2.0 (Vexila regis prodeunt—stars in the sky—addresses of whores from the telegram, a sonorous voice, chatter respectful of the shah. The dog howled—who doesn’t know, this is Andreev, he still has a book "Red Laughter" .In a white corolla of roses, in front of Santa Claus, red nose). It's scary to even imagine: what will happen tomorrow? The cage went to look for the bird—Kafka (in fact, everything in the world has already been said). Fucking feminists, strange children with purple hair, an incomprehensible body—you are so afraid, they will force you to give birth, and everything, everything in the world, slurred, reflected in the pupils of the kagan. Oh, that is the check. That is, someone else. Someone special. Someone who is trying to be someone else. Superstition. We all understood everything. We don't understand. And only death calmly wandered on the shores of the strictest peace.

* * *

This word smells good
It's like a hacked account
Changed password
Passion-poisoned air
The word with which you will not be able to rhyme

The look word is dead
Our mysterious touch chat is exhausted

About your armpit hair
Oh my red fingernails
Oh my armpit hair
Oh your red fingernails

Send me attachment in pdf format
Let this be your photo
Today there are more of us than me

Where is my long hair
Where is the long hair?
cut off
Kissed the mirror of the day
Lilies of the valley placed on the table
lilies of the valley

Lilies of the valley on the old avatar
Simulacrum of air
Ice nipples on the new avatar
The ghost of the heart and the chest between the ribs screams ayy ayy
No it's not scary it's not scary
(Only between us
You have nothing more to lose)
Yesterday, Washington legalized the word queer for the 100th time.
And in your communal apartment down the street of sadness
The Mongols baptized the child
Lilies of the valley filled with water
They said that the Mongolian hands were born for the hard work of beautiful horses with shaved legs—no not shaved
When you grow up you will be Genghis Khan
Throw out the lilies of the valley ventilate the apartment paint the walls change the floor
So who are you girl? be Mary
Shulamith you are my Shulamith
From the outlet in the kitchen sparks
Hey maria bring cigarettes
_Sister or brother
Mother or father_
Nobody will know)
Bring cigarettes breathe listen
What if Jesus was gay?
Then everything would become clear
Then everything would become clear
But for now, about Allah
Mongolian child
Become Genghis Khan
He will become Genghis Khan
Horses will be whipped fiercely

/Shameless return lilies of the valley/

/Best form of silence dialogue/

He will become Genghis Khan

/ Icy nipples scars on the chest /

And he will wear wardrobes home
The horses will be whipped

/ Eyelash caught an eyelash /

Fuck the kids off
noble women

/we will never have children/

Pih pah oh oh oh

* * *

Blind is your love. Yes, it does not really exist—there is only the fear of loneliness, which at least slightly subsides when the simulacrum of love approaches. Love is also not the highest grace. After all, it is possible to love only one's neighbor, to sympathize—to any creature in the universe. And contrary to popular belief—the end of the world will never come, because the universe is an ideal geometry; the perpetual motion machine is also an ideal geometry, someone launched it at one moment, and it will never stop.

©2023 Mykyta Ryzhykh
All rights reserved

Mykyta Ryzhykh…

……is a Ukrainian poet and the winner of the international competition Art Against Drugs and Ukrainian contests Vytoky, Shoduarivska Altanka, Khortytsky dzvony; laureate of the literary competition named after Tyutyunnik, Lyceum, Twelve, named after Dragomoshchenko. Finalist of the Crimean ginger competition. Nominated for Pushcart Prize. Ryzhkykh has been published in the journals: Tipton Poetry JournalStone Poetry JournalDivot Journal, dyst journal, Superpresent MagazineAllegro Poetry MagazineAlternate RouteBetter Than Starbucks Poetry & Fiction JournalLittoral PressBook of MatchesTheNewVerse NewsAcorn Haiku JournalThe Wise OwlVerse-Virtual, ScudFevers of the Mind, LiteraryYardPlum Tree TavernIterantFleas on the DogThe Tiger Moth ReviewLothlorien Poetry JournalAngel RustNeologism Poetry JournalShot Glass JournalQLRSThe CrankChronogramThe Antonymthe6ress zineMonterey Poetry Review, and PPP Ezine.

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Toy Improv Play | Gerry Shepherd

Introducing the Country Boys
Painting, ©2023 Gerry Shepherd

Ah Ha, I Found Pete in a Toy Box

I had porridge for breakfast. I wore a bow tie with a map of the Martian canals.
There are no Martian canals; my bow tie was a frog and it hopped away.
While I was eating, two giraffes entered the floating room (I have the lily pad blues!).
One of the giraffes was carrying a smoking hat, the other a giant apricot.
The stone of the apricot had been removed and replaced by an embryonic neutron star.
The neutron star was orbiting a black hole – they are like brother and sister.
At the end of the world time reverses and we all have a chance to go sdrawkcab.
I am wearing a red dress with pink rose petals glued to it.

I am thinking of the future like a miner thinks of a coal dust covered cheese sandwich.
An Egyptian mummy dressed as a ballerina pulls the chain and then dances out of the toilet.
Three old ladies hadn’t reached the finish line so they couldn’t start the race.
An old man stumbles towards the start pulling a kite – the kite had grown hands.
One hand was holding the skeleton of a saintly typewriter from which issued spirit words.
These would be read by a dog headed judge singing to himself on a playground swing.
 The playground was otherwise empty as all the children had either grown up or grown down.
Venus kicks Mars and Mars kicks me; I haven’t got anyone to kick.

I photograph myself photographing myself; several pencils were sticking out of a Plasticine ox.
A veteran of the war at Woodstock doesn’t care if he paranoid as the world is a confectionery.
A senior citizen refuses the sweet offered by a young girl standing on a bass drum.
Meanwhile six hooded figures walk by, each holding a candle, only one of which was lit.
The room looked like a mangrove swamp with neon signs for trees and fish in Wellingtons.
A portrait painting on a sniggering wall hiccups; the man with hair on his hat turns round.
Behind him the secret cupboard smells of fish; who cares if the ocean is a foreign language.
I say goodbye to the manatee king using seaweed words – I forget the full stop, ha ha.

An Improbable Atlas
Painting, ©2023 Gerry Shepherd

Improvisation A1

Stanza One
I thought I had baked a dream in a cake
It had risen like a frog’s head
Blowing a trumpet in an incandescent light bulb
The bulb cracked like winter water
I saw the reflection of the back of my head
I had a Pompeii hat and Herculaneum earrings
Vesuvius jumped upon a kangaroo paw
A cathedral bell winked at a weathered gargoyle
The rain was knitting a jumper I would never wear
As the sun comes out like a bicycle in a muddy field
I dip my pen in the Somme trenches
And draw with hate on a tranquil sky
A bird the size of a coal fired power station perched on a paper clip
Will read the paper like a razor blade
A werewolf barber and a vampire tailor
Sitting in a hospital for lost socks
The lost boys were hidden in rubber gloves
Hanging from the comb of a bald man
I held my head as if it was a seashell
I heard the sound of a dried up sea.

Stanza Two
I thought I had said a prayer in a toffee wrapper
The priestess dressed in the dead leaves of Spring
With a fire in a water bottle and a puddle in a grate
I feel the warmth of space rocket footprints
As I follow a water rat executioner along a poor man’s artery
A picture of beggar veins huddled in a wren’s nest
My a hair a woodland screaming like a torn cloth
A blind painter hiding from the sound of his own name
His reflection says his name backwards
Smoke issues from a disappearing statue
A house on caterpillar tracks in a railway tunnel
Where the sun emerges from a fishnet stocking
To meet a moon goddess made from mouse cheese
A trap that catches thoughts with dreams
A nightmare in a free flowering rain
Water in the shape of a sailing boat
The horizon a rock vein in a gold wall
Hope like a smoking top hat
Bends in a wind tunnel of war
Like features that fight across an ageing face

Stanza Three
I thought I had found a bat in a ball cave

An Improbable Atlas — Rearrangement One
Painting, ©2023 Gerry Shepherd

Micro-Play 1

A sparsely furnished room, the heavily curtained window faces east. A worn faux leather sofa in a subdued orange, resplendent in the stains of a personal history; a chair in a similar material and in a similar condition; a fold up table, pushed into the corner and a coffee table pulled into the centre. Although close to midday there is not enough light to see clearly, with more light coming through the partially opened door than issuing through the floral patterned window.

A large man with bushy beard and bushy eyebrows coughs as he enters the room, looks round as if he is not sure if this is the right room and promptly leaves again.

Another man, just as tall but much thinner comes in quickly, drops a newspaper several days old on the coffee table and goes out with equal haste.

A little plump lady languidly enters, sits on the slightly less worn side of the sofa, takes out a comb from her handbag and combs her hair. After replacing the comb she gets up and walks out, saying something to herself that no one hears.

Immediately afterwards a small boy runs in, circles the sofa one way and circles the chair the other. He then runs out, getting his foot caught in a raised piece of carpet and almost tripping up as he does so.

An attractive girl enters, glances at her reflection in an ornate mirror over the Victorian fireplace and then sits in the chair with a cultivated elegance. She crosses and uncrosses her legs before standing up abruptly and after hesitantly picking up an object from the table and placing it in her pocket she leaves.

Rain can be heard falling outside and a clock chimes twelve times in another room.

Return of the Country Boys
Painting, ©2023 Gerry Shepherd

The Wait

The Wait (Man House Variant)
The wall has a large mouth
And is chewing gum
The eye in the roof looks up
The rain comes down

A giraffe climbs a step ladder and
An elephant climbs inside a cushion

The thatch is wearing a wig
Small people climb down the creepered wall
Like tears
Hahaha, large hands grasp sky like trees
As all shapes are coloured blue or green

A snake hides in a hose pipe
A kite pulls on a piece of string
The listener turns the page

While a poet holds a hod of bricks
And the bricklayer writes verse

The Wait (House Man Variant)
Specks on a bare wall
I make a crane with my Meccano hands
The chimney (bent like a broken promise) coughs

I imagine a desert in a soup bowl
The clock has four hands

Flashes of light in a bare sky
I write with lengths of licorice
A dead musician turns the music up

The chimney (straight like a laying down lie) sighs

The Wait (In A Doctor’s Surgery)
Speech like sludge
I poke mud out of my third eye
The carpet coughs
The mumbles continue from an ancestral mouth

Music like a spider's web
The chair taps it's foot
To the heartbeat of a million men

A hand emerges from the wall
And I shake it

©2023 Gerry Shepherd
All rights reserved

Gerry Shepherd…

…frequently contributes art to The BeZine.

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins