What Used to Brew in Her Mind & Other Poems by Ndaba Sibanda

It’s the Little Things

A woman’s strength starts with her ability to have a self aware internal dialog. Ndaba Sibanda captures this well in his poetry he brings to us today!


What Used To Brew In Her Mind

Twirled, twisted with her all
Tittered past a care, a wall
Rita rioted without regrets
Sweet sunrises, sour sunsets
She thrived in the twinkling
Her close past was rankling
Its reality, heavy & haunting
Its mental dances daunting
Today no tempest brewed
No hell, hurricane hovered
She had to be solid, positive
Detoxing was up & instructive
Bright was her train of thought
Beauty of a tomorrow she sought
It was hers, not about anyone else
She kicked the asses of nightmares
Future nightmares not her business
She danced a dance of freed silliness
On her mind bravery bellowed its arrival
A previous poor park for this, that upheaval


A Poor Person`s Precarious Paces And Spaces

Her efforts to hold back, to hold herself back
Against hurtling and hurting herself helplessly
With a hungry, tiny child strapped to her back
Are a betrayal, as she bursts into tears and fury
Her hiding husband betrayed her, battered her
She is on the brink of soundness, she is shaky
Hoping to ward off hunger and helplessness
Famine weighs on her fragile body, her mind
As she takes precarious steps that are oblivious
To the world of lockdowns and social distancing
She is dead, deaf, defenseless against a new reality
Ushered in by an eerie, unseen virus, she wobbles on


A Village High-flier Or Failure?

were her goals unfeasible?
folks fast wrote her off

querying her intelligence
questioning her aptitude

querying her station in life
questioning her gender too

querying her day-dreaming
mentioning her rustic roots

her goals were long-term–
what a mere waste of time!

who the heck did she think
she was to board that train?

for her it was a proud process
powered by Practice & Practice

one player was Perseverance
the goal minder was Resilience

or was it? –or perhaps never mind
for process was powered by passion

it was not about great grades today
heavy defeats and pains played with her!

at times the train was too hot, too cold
sometimes too slow, if not still, silly, strident

her tired train bawled: grit, grit, grit and grit
as she journeyed her bumpy and mucky journey

college authorities slapped her with a mountain
of rules ,roles, responsibilities and examinations

she didn’t fluke them, and there was no coincidence
she didn’t achieve her grades by luck rather than skill

fees felt like forks fooling and slitting her pockets apart
when she fell pregnant, critics chorused: end of the road!

she wadded in muddy waters, her intellect drowned, drained
there was no stroke of good fortune, but ridicule & refutation

when she held her paper, her key, Purpose gleamed a smile
and congratulated Practice , Process , Perseverance with pride


Poet:

A 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee, Ndaba’s poems have been widely anthologised. Sibanda is the author of The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache: Unsympathetic Untruth, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence and Poetry Pharmacy. His work is featured in The Anthology House, in The New Shoots Anthology, and in The Van Gogh Anthology, and A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Poetic Intersections. Some of Ndaba’s works are found or forthcoming in Page & Spine, Peeking Cat, Piker Press, SCARLET LEAF REVIEW, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Pangolin Review, Kalahari Review, Botsotso, The Ofi Press Magazine, Hawaii Pacific Review, Deltona Howl, The song is, Indian Review, Eunoia Review, JONAH magazine, Saraba Magazine, Poetry Potion, Saraba Magazine, The Borfski Press, Snippets, East Coast Literary Review, Random Poem Tree, festival-of-language and Whispering Prairie Press.
Sibanda’s forthcoming book Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things: Confronting Controversies,Contradictions And Indoctrinations was considered for The 2019 Restless Book Prize for New Immigrant Writing in Nonfiction. Ndaba’s other forthcoming book Cabinet Meetings: Of Big And Small Preys was considered for The Graywolf Press Africa Prize 2018.
Sibanda’s other forthcoming books include Timbomb, Dear Dawn And Daylight, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, A Different Ballgame and The Way Forward.

Follow:

 Let`s Get Cracking! – Ndaba Sibanda - WordPress.com

My Mother & Death is Not a Woe – Painting and Poetry by O.Yemi Tubi

July Online Open Mic

How peaceful and soothing the embrace of a mother! O.Yemi Tubi uniquely captures this motherly bond with his vibrant painting and poetry. Also, don’t miss his other poem on not fearing death.



MY MOTHER


My Mother the colourful Rose
In our household
Emitting the aroma
of love and care.
The sweat of her brow,
the nutrient of our youth.
Her nectar nourished
and nurtured our growth.


My Mother the busy Bee
Of our household.
Travelled far and near
Collecting nectar
for the care of the family
Proverbs 31 woman
She surpassed


My Mother the aged Rose
Of the family
Baby now she became
In need of love and care.
We her petals, may we be
her garments of warm and care
In this her sunset years

My Mother the aging Rose
Looking homewards bound.
Awaiting the call to glory.
When her sun finally sets
the call to glory she capitulated
We her petals, Almighty God I plead
Us enabled to bid her adieu
With pomp and pageantry
A befitting honour that due for her.


Death is not a Woe 

Death is not woe, For those in

Christ they trust Beautiful

butterfly, From dead caterpillar

emerge, Heaven’s glory, no

one can see. If in the body of

clay remain. 

When this body of clay is shed, The glory

of heaven revealed To those washed in

the blood of the lamb. 

Death is an exit From the world of

aches and pains. An entrance to the

glory we long to see. 

Do not wail, do not fret. Your

loved one on Christ’s bosom Laid

rejoicing.


Artist:

O.Yemi Tubi

Follow:

http://www.o-yemi-tubi.pixels.com

http://www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/Moyat/artwork/56792

http://www.saathiart.com/Tubshttp://www.instagram.com/oyemit

Waxing Crescent & Other Poetry by Meg Smith

July Online Open Mic

Take a load off this golden Sunday afternoon with the silky words of Meg Smith! Take a look at her poetry below!


Waxing Crescent

Always
the light calls us,
drawing us out
from embers of sleep.
Always the light
builds, wave upon wave,
and we dance,
its mirror of darkness.
We are waking,
trembling in its orbit.
In its gray world,
indifferent,
we shine.


The Coptic Cross

Philae, Upper Egypt, March 2006

I’m not brooding or praying
or singing.
The sand rises, funnels,
splits into clouds.
I don’t deserve this blue sky
or columns of letters —
a language, which keeps
a prayer within.
All I have given
to Mary, Isis and Sekhmet,
I keep within
my sphere of hope.
Someone is coming apart
from me.
Someone is losing his silence.
I pray for him
to speed the boat.
I pray for him
to mark the cross
of his good hands.


Falling Dragon

I draw my fire
from within,
my heart,
my womb unopened.
I draw my fire
from the sky;
black clouds part,
and nothing begins,
all in the shadow
of beating wings,
all in the shadow
of waking green,
and whole.


Author:

Meg Smith is a writer, journalist, Oriental dancer, and events producer, living in Lowell, Mass., U.S.A. Her publication credits include The Cafe Review, The Horror Zine, The Starlite Virtual Poetorium, and Atlantic Currents: Connecting Cork and Lowell.

Her most recent poetry books, Pretty Green Thorns, Night’s Island, This Scarlet Dancing and Dear Deepest Ghost are available on Amazon.

Follow:

megsmithwriter.com

She welcomes visits to megsmithwriter.com, and

Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/megsmithwriter/

Twitter — https://twitter.com/MegSmith_Writer

Little White Butterfly & Other Poetry by Linda M. Crate

July Online Open Mic

Linda M. Crate is here to set us up our day to focus on the simple magic of butterflies! Come read through each one to make your day a bit brighter.


little white butterfly
you always find me
when peace seems so
far away,
i think to remind me
that sometimes we must make our own
fairy tales;
life can be heavy as an anchor
dragging across the ocean floor
sometimes we need to break free of the
water in our lungs—
because water can free and heal
yet it can also hold, destroy, and wound;
i have never feared the depths
only the shallows
perhaps this is why everything
is always heavier than it needs to be in
my wonderland—
haven’t seen the mad hatter or march hare
for a while,
i am goth alice painted blue
a gravity of things that pulls me down
i could not escape
until you set me free.
-linda m. crate


even mermaids drown
sometimes the world is heavy,
but butterflies remind me
there are still beautiful things in this world;

songs of flowers
perfume me in their fragrant lyric—

flit and flutter
let the weight of the world pass you by
as white clouds and blue skies are
sculpted into art by the frame of your wings,

you remind me not to spend all
my time in the depths;

but to come back to the surface
to get air
because even mermaids
drown—

you remind me to take time to dance
with the trees and the flowers,
and watch the honey making bees as they
hum and sing and buzz
the weight of the world never dragging down
upon their wings.
-linda m. crate


because butterflies
sometimes i feel uneasy
in my bones

have spent my life in translation

few understand my language
or the mythology of my bones,
i have screamed at the top of my lungs
until they were raw and burning
like the angriest suns;

but butterflies come and drag me out of
my dark reveries and ask me to play—

how can i refuse these sweet souls?

so i dance in the rain,
laugh with the flowers,
and fall in love with rainbows;

when the world becomes too difficult
i remember the sun will shine again

because butterflies.
-linda m. crate


i come undone
once a butterfly
insisted on joining me
on my journey
as i took a walk on a
lonely country road,
and so i let the tiger swallowtail
come along with me;
such a friendly guy or gal
allowing me to take photos and dancing around
my ankles as if to remind me of my magic
because the day was dragging me down—
as if the universe knows
when i need angels
i always see butterflies when the world is
heaviest on my shoulders,
and i remember
that i am not atlas;
i can put down the mountains and the valleys—
because it is not the weight that kills you
just the way you carry it,
and sometimes i don’t even realize i am carrying
things that are not mine;
but the butterflies come and remind me the world
is full of beauty and magic and softness and i come undone
like a flower in bloom.
-linda m. crate


brave little butterflies
little white butterflies
dancing in the flowers

i see them
every summer

even when the other butterflies
cannot come,
they are always there

offering me solace on heavy days;

as they pass the clovers
flying through trees and grass and rain
i am reminded despite my pain

that i have the strength to continue on—

& so i go and go
like these brave little butterflies
existing in a world where so many things
could kill them

they refuse to hide, they know they are delicate.
-linda m. crate


Author:

Linda M. Crate’s works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of six poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is: More Than Bone Music (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, March 2019). She’s also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018). Recently she has published two full-length poetry collections Vampire Daughter (Dark Gatekeeper Gaming, February 2020) and The Sweetest Blood (Cyberwit, February 2020).

Manuela the Tortoise – Poetry by Cheryl Caesar

July Online Open Mic

Journey with Cheryl Caesar in the story of a tortoise! Look below to view a video of her reading!


Manuela the tortoise

What does a tortoise think? What does she feel?
She lives long and moves slow, heavy and protected.
Thirty years may pass like a sluggish dream.

We may rail against her long incarceration,
like Ricky Jackson’s, deserving of reparations —
but wonder: as a pet, was she not always captive?

Or we may cheer her escape, like Billy Hayes
fleeing on the midnight express from his thirty-year sentence —
although it seems she never scratched the door.

Or pity her stolen life, like Jaycee Dugard’s.
But, as Dugard found out, little by little,
the life you live becomes the real one.

Around her termites flashed, emissaries of light.
They live only a year or two. They feed on the trees
whose prana we block and hide in darkened rooms.
But nature always finds her way in.

In thirty years of encephalitic lethargy, Miss R,
a patient of Oliver Sacks, thought of nothing.
“It’s dead easy, once you know how.”

Turning the corners of a cerebral quadrangle.
Silently repeating seven notes of a Verdi aria.
Drawing mental maps of maps of maps.

“My posture leads to itself,” she said. Perhaps Manuela too
curled endlessly inward, a shell in a shell. Perhaps
she too repeated for thirty years (in Tortoise):
“I am what I am what I am what I am…”


Author:

Cheryl Caesar lived in Paris, Tuscany and Sligo for 25 years; she earned her doctorate in comparative literature at the Sorbonne and taught literature and phonetics. She now teaches writing at Michigan State University. She gives poetry readings locally and serves on the board of the Lansing Poetry Club. Last year she published over a hundred poems in the U.S., Germany, India, Bangladesh, Yemen and Zimbabwe, and won third prize in the Singapore Poetry Contest for her poem on global warming.  Her chapbook Flatman: Poems of Protest in the Trump Era is now available from Amazon and Goodreads.

Follow:

Facebook page: Cheryl Caesar Author
Website: http://caesarc.msu.domains/

Flatman: Poems of Protest in the Trump Era

Rinsed With Morning’s Gold & Other Poems by Bobbi Sinha-Morey

July Online Open Mic

Bobbi Sinha-Morey’s refreshing poetry is here to uplift your day! Come take some time to relax and get lost in her calm words.


Rinsed With Morning’s Gold

From the ridge plums are
dangling from the vine like
ripe prayers, my cares waning
like a glacier’s melting thumb
looking to the sky where God
owns the heavens — a bird
changing its course in the wind,
the sun a streak of preach over
the lake, memories of the past
so far away from me having
bought my ticket with my tears
just to be here and that’s all
I’m going to spend, an idyllic
home by the water, my bedroom
window rinsed with morning’s
gold every day I waken.


Tulips

Morning just at their door,
breathing in the light wind
after they’d slept tulips shyly,
modestly pose as the dawning
blue shadows begin to grow,
tulips bending on their willowy
stems, petals so prettily parting
at the throat, their knots uncurling,
tying their lives together; tulips
each one of them budding girls
or old divas lit by the heavens,
their love outlasting the sun.


Knots

On my bed I feel like
a jeweller, gold chains and
diamond necklaces before
me, and it’s my mission to
examine each one that, like
fine threads, have either been
coiled together or tangled into
a series of hard knots. With
a tiny needle from my sewing
basket and a magnifying glass
I study one knot at a time
under the lamplight, picking
apart every intricate strand
that fingers alone could never
undo. With a fine eye for detail
one sleek golden lace was set
free in ten minutes; a silver
one with an amethyst having
the fine workings of a Rolex
watch I hold closely to
extricate each knotted inch
til it was clean as a river.
I could never do it under
the mad insistence of an egg
timer or stopwatch. I could
do this for wages, be paid
a tidy sum for ladies and girls
in their teens who had clumsy
hands on rainy days or days
before a special occasion,
the bonus seeing the curving
lip and glowing cheek of
the wearer dressed to the nines
for a formal affair.


Author:

Bobbi Sinha-Morey’s poetry has appeared in a widevariety of places such as Plainsongs, Pirene’s Fountain, The Wayfarer, Helix Magazine,Miller’s Pond, The Tau, Vita Brevis, Cascadia Rising Review, Old Red KImono, andWoods Reader. Her books of poetry are available at Amazon.com and her work hasbeen nominated for Best of the Net in 2015 and the Best of the Net 2018 AnthologyAwards hosted by Sundress Publications.

Follow:

Her website is located at http://bobbisinhamorey.wordpress.com.

Clouds & Intrepid Traveler – Poetry by Adrian Slonaker

July Online Open Mic

It’s a good day to read the work of Adrian Slonaker! Don’t miss his fabulous poetry below!


“Clouds”

As the sun slipped through mounds
of sour cream in the sky
the way water flowed through the
oolong tea leaves in Papa’s evening cuppa,
I imagined iridescent angels frolicking
while I lay on bendy grass
growing like the waves of whiskers that
sprouted years later
along with puberty
and anxiety
and profanity.
Now in a front aisle seat aboard
a propeller plane jerking and rocking its way
towards the Saint Lawrence River,
I peer past the
burly businessman in earbuds,
whose elbow battles mine for the armrest,
and out the cushion-shaped slab of window
into white wisps like
the fog in films featured on
Halloween horror marathons.
Trying through turbulence
not to spill a bilingually labeled
bottle of water,
I surmise that the
seraphim must be on strike.


“Intrepid Traveler”

Creeping out from quarantine
on a noiseless Sunday,
I spotted a wispy, sable-colored
spider refusing to shelter in place,
shimmying through
shifting sunlight
up an imperceptible thread
to the awning above my head
just how I once rocked
to a peak of an Alp smeared with
tourism and snow
(or was it white Toblerone?)
in a fully-packed funicular
when I was twelve
and not yet terrified of heights.
And now I feel as exposed, but
not half as carefree as
that nimble arachnid in
the wind.


Artist:

Residing near the banks of the Petitcodiac River in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee Adrian Slonaker toils as a word boffin and enjoys rock ‘n’ roll records, opals, iced coffee and ghost stories during summer thunderstorms. Adrian’s work has been published in Ez.P.ZineCaustic Frolic, The Pangolin Review and others.

White Heat & Other Poems by Joan McNerney

July Online Open Mic

Joan McNerney brings us the perfect poetry for these warm summer days! So, grab your iced drink of choice, find some shade, and add read her excellent work below!


White Heat

This dry moment

we lay in sweat beds.

Limp flowers turned

into themselves.

Lightning scorches

skies with hot zigzags.

Will it ever rain, when

will cicadas be silent?

Memories of a white room

burning pains…shunts, stains.

A bottle bursts filling the

sidewalk with rancid beer.

Throat of bird

swollen, screaming.


Joan McNerney

“A” train

brassy blue

electric

bleeds upon rails.

blue, white flashes

leap forward.

they move, they move

constantly they move.

close your eyes

watch points

like stars

think now

how insignificant

you are

compared to train

speaking for itself

stars known

in no language

shooting

thru

tiger’s eyes

brain in

constant action

reaction

to what we do not know

plans of distant stars

galaxies floating by as

“A” train

silver worm

bursting through

big belly

of city


Joan McNerney

tumbling

through time as

I lay thinking always

remembering

how this crapshoot of life

crushed my dreams spinning

me into an unlikely comedy

listening to a busy world

trains, ships, planes,

never ending hiss of cars

revved up motorcycles

loud televisions, shouts,

radios, alarms, sirens

shifting memories

over in my mind trying

to find some pattern

finally night, long, deep

and black covers me with

blankets of forgetfulness


Author:

Vivitar

Joan McNerney’s poetry is found in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Spectrum Publications have accepted her work.  Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on Amazon.com and Cyberwit.net.  She has four Best of the Net nominations. 

Writing on the Broken Wall & Other Poems by Sushant Thapa

July Online Open Mic

Fill your weekend with the euphonic poetry of Sushant Thapa! Step into the world he creates with his imagery.


Writing on the Broken Wall
Sometime back I read on the wall of my university: “Walls, the publishers of the poor.”
Today, I count the lockdown days
Numbering them in the calendar hung on my wall
Writing on the calendar hung on the wall
I am drawing lines of time
Unknown it is, my days
What if I count more than I will have?
This air is so thick to breathe
My heart is heavy like a stone
I am a poor man today
I wish to publish my writings on the wall
Only if the wall is broken,
For then, it will keep my plight straight
Broken will be the letters
Just like my broken plight
My sight has served me to see this world
My vision when I close my eyes will still see
This world divided by pandemic, hunger and ignorance
Across borders people have been moved by territories of their own
They want to reach home,
“Home, homeland and the pandemic” is
Bringing us together in what we have lost
Not losing the way back home we have found our existence it seems
So, I still wish to write on the broken wall.


The Old Man in the Rickshaw

He sees what others do not see,
he is on a journey.
Stationed homes and barricaded compounds
never knew his plight
Thin air blows and he is lost in it
His life was also stationed like stationed homes
when he was young and working
Now, he is out venturing
sitting in the rickshaw — he is no more
himself that he used to be.
How young is the rickshaw?
How old is he?
The road is muddy and the cool weather is blowing in the breeze
The old man is sitting in the rickshaw and chewing a gum,
the city seems new for him today.
It is his day — a day in his life
The young rickshaw puller is his friend
The road is his companion
His dog left him early
His wife was once so dearly
The city is still breathing and so is he,
in the rickshaw slow and steady
The old man is on a journey
The evening sun touches his face
He sees a half moon in the horizon,
some children dive into the pond
He waits in the rickshaw to be free and forever young.


The Taste of the Evening Tea

white milk foams till the rim of the tea cup
turning to creamy brown tea —
dark dips of tea leaves
blooms the color
I drink the color and the white rainy clouds
pour sweetness — measured in the tea cup
sugar coated vistas and hiatus of everyday
blooming reality grooms
in the sawdust of effervescent twilight
the orange sun is transparent in the
tea cup
I gulp the sun and only the tea cup stands
as a fleeting memory
of the sun
which was like an image in the evening sky
a little while ago.



What makes meaning?


Is it the ever flowing stream of words that carry meaning?
Is it the concept that draws images in one’s mind, that makes meaning?
Does the idea so subtle and particular — tend to carry affection on its own?
Does it glow for the meaning as a whole?
Is meaning same for one and all?
How poetic can a poet be?
How interpreted can his meanings be?
What is left unsaid and unknown, how meaningful can that be?
What makes sense — is it always felt close?
Can senses be forever disclosed?
When at times unpoetic becomes the poet, where hides his words?
Where lies his feelings when in winding thoughts he is reeling?


Repeating the One Night Stand

Caught in the darkness of lonely lonesome day
the night sky is falling beneath the blanket,
incomplete to both of us.
Just like one cigarette
that kept burning in the ashtray
I burned in my insides too, and
like the ashes of the cigarette
my ashes scattered all over
the room
blew out my insides
in the act and washed away the fumes,
as the ashes subsumed.
Beneath the chest of mine
I shared love with her — lies my ‘self’
so at unrest there.
I was once broken
the day was dark,
the night was cold and stories were — untold, but
the bed was unfold and manifold.


Author:

Sushant Thapa is an M.A. in English Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. He writes in English and the Nepali language. His English poems, essays, short stories and flash fictions have been published in print and online publications from Nepal and abroad including The Kathmandu Post and Republica Daily from Kathmandu, Nepal, The Writers Club or greythoughts.info from New Jersey, USA, Kitaab.org and Borderless Journal from Singapore. His Nepali poems have also appeared in print and online publications including Udghosh Daily of Biratnagar, Sahitya Post, firewordsdaily.com and khalipanna.com from Kathmandu, Nepal. Sushant revels in rock music, poetry, books and movies from his home in Biratnagar, Nepal.

Follow:

Link to some of his poems, short stories and flash fictions are given below:  

https://greythoughts.info/clubpieces/tag/Sushant+Thapa

https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/author

Four Haikus by Tonmoi Das Kashyap

July Online Open Mic

Monday is upon us, you’ve got your list of things to do, don’t forget to feed your creative spirit! To help you with that, I present to you these four haikus by Tonmoi Das Kashyap!


Four Haikus


June morning
a fly is the only guest
amid the lockdown.


Birthday morning
tweets on my mobile
greet me.


Uninvited guests,
visit to the market
and back again.


Friday evening
enjoying beer and chicken wings
Saturday meeting message waits patiently.


Author:

Tonmoi Das Kashyap is an emerging poet and short story writer. His work has been published in 29 Anthology, Literary Garland, The Daily Drunk, Trouvaille Review, Litehouse, Burgundy Balloon and several other national and international journals. He is planning to start writing his first novel soon. He lives in Assam, India with his parents and brother.

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