When winter went into ember wherein you lived your sleep?
I had a flaming kangaroo hopped between my eyes, and I had none
until my aunt called me to tell the news. The cold sat on our porch.
The beer bottles left for recycling spacies refilled themselves with undyed.
Aunt turned up the news. The wildfire crackled in the newsreader’s throat –
world just dipped south. Kaput. I opened my sight to the life leaving lives.
Where were you? Did you see winter fluffing the orange and red?
Our porch spread across the other dimension. White covered our trash in another world
where I had two eyes sewn beneath, and winter, alive, weaved a quilt of fables
for those miracles that could have been.
The One Arrested And Later Left At Our Doorstep
The missing one is restored to her apparition, disoriented, oozy-blood, smelling like a marsh; two days’ve passed since the protest fired up from the gully to the alcázar.
We ask the silence to nurse her. Tim answers the media in waiting. We blame the throne obviously. The air stinks of conspiracy.
The missing one, reinstated, exists in flickers, now here, now beside the basin, a hologram, a substance, now a totem archaic, now a numen, Jesus.
The protest flows with the paradigms. Tim and I ask her what happened inside; she seems to miss herself if only by a smudge of soul or some slogan half finished. Silence bandages her; strings her together. MediaMedia disappears to attend another somewhere.
A teargas shell tore off my bro’s hand; since we called him a primate in childhood we kept the hand, nicknamed it ‘Monkey’s Paw’, presented it before every guest in our house, cherished their shriek; the severed limb just wouldn’t rot; the second hand revolutionists often borrowed it for their demonstrations, but no one asked my sibling what the paw meant to him. Probably a missing link in the evolution chain between Adam and Cain. He wouldn’t have answered anyway, rather scratched his arm’s end the way one alley cat scratches the blind bricks when cornered in dire need of some magic.
Kushal Poddar authored ‘The Circus Came To My Island’, ‘A Place For Your Ghost Animals, Understanding The Neighborhood’, ‘Scratches Within’, ‘Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems’, ‘Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems’ and now ‘Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse-A Prequel’ (Alien Buddha Press)
Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with over 1,500 poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are ‘The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press); ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy; (Cawing Crow Press) and ‘Like As If” (Pski’s Porch), Hearsay (The Poet’s Haven).
(For the children aborted or separated from their biological parents as aresult of China’s mandated one-child policy which restricted most couples to have only one child)
In a snakelike dream, oolong stretches to a sun-dried face pressed up against concrete, nose breathing in the soles of sweetly caked dirt. This overpopulated city. This overrun city. Neon signs pass a loveless woman’s eyes, time going under in maple blur. She listens closely to the current of people going home. Filled to the brim with harmony of grandmama’s cooking and the light of their lovers laughing in their stomachs when she herself holds an empty belly void of her daughter, void of the light of her life empty without the lovesong of her child. Woman cradles her aching feet, the rhythm of her body going back and forth, back and forth Sway. Forth and back. Blood bruises in a desolate color beneath her palms and legs in the shape of plum hearts. Woman feels for bright peony plumps where cold air grips her thumb. There can only be one, she knows. One body of damp breaths, a single cry echoing from the womb. Half a lullaby to a one child policy.
Emily Wang is a high school student that currently resides in Montville, New Jersey. She has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing awards and aims to use writing as a means to express emotions that can’t be confined to a single word. She can usually be found watching films or brewing tea.
Jay Gandhi is a 33-year old accountant from Mumbai, India. He writes free verse in English. Most of his poems derive their inspiration from human inter connections. In free time when he isn’t reading poetry, he practices guitar, enjoys the peace that Yoga Asanas brings and walks for long distances.
Adele constantly played the twenty-year game. Twenty years ago I was thirty, twenty years from now, I’ll be seventy, counting years like a handful of coins, knowing they would be spent for trinkets, a pair of gold earrings or the mermaid wind chime sculpted from copper wire, its tail outlined in green with amethyst squiggles and silver glitter, a dream no doubt as all mermaids are but a tangible vision with a gold star in one hand and a blue shell in the other, and Adele held it in the breeze to catch the currents before hanging it on the ornamental apple tree outside their glass doors, an ageless woman with golden locks reminding Adele of the ballet dancers who hung in frames on her childhood wall, their forms perfect in pink, toe shoes never scuffed or dirtied, perpetually on point, waiting in this moment, unruffled by the past or future and later when she read “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” she thought of her ballet dancers and how lovely they would look encircling any vase, almost touching hands, the audience on the edge of their seats, waiting for Gelsey Kirkland to reach out from the ceramic, alive and offering Adele a charm, a talisman for longevity, a silver marble almost an inch in diameter, that she placed in her left palm, and suddenly she felt the continuity of it all, how the urn and Gelsey and the mermaid met at the center, life converged, and there were no tears since existence was a sequence of bubbles, fragile and full of color, busting into another and though Adele could see them vanishing into the distant light, she felt they somehow would continually be, not in her sight or that of anyone else standing on earth now, but the bubbles were always somewhere always becoming something new because today, June 23, was the day she felt, for the first time truly felt, those she loved endlessly around her, leaving snatches of notes and crumpled tissues to remind Adele that time was arbitrary and depended on limited eyesight but existence continued forever to wrap her in its threads.
That’s what it was, yes, the sun, a trapezoid on her bamboo floor. She wasn’t even sure if she knew what a trapezoid was, those days in geometry long ago, Mrs. Burgoyne in thick beige hose and a floral dress, exuding the mustiness of tobacco, and they stopped in their seats, held their breaths that Burgoyne would not single them out, ask for an answer, rapping the wooden desk with her nails. Yes, a trapezoid of light. Adele had remembered the shape after all those years, two parallel lines with uneven sides, the metal clothes rack on rollers, long shirts and short on plastic hangars waiting for someone to wash or iron or wear defined the side closest to the bed. Trapezoid. The sound, that’s what she remembered most about eleventh grade math, all those delicious words—perpendicular, quadrilateral, rhombus, isosceles, especially isosceles with all the s’s tickling her tongue. She would roll the syllables, listen to their sibilants whistle on ivory, and think of her new skates, the ones her mother bought at Loveman’s Department Store three weeks before Christmas. She handed them to Adele that day, a white box with white skates so Adele could slice parallel lines. Though her marks were often ragged, splinters glistening under Loveman lights at the store’s indoor rink, she dreamed of leaving the ice cut clean. Had she outgrown those skates and skating, giving them up for boys with pimples and their sticky hands, grasping, reaching like the tentacles of some kraken, leaving marks jagged and uneven? All that fumbling and pushing when no meant no or maybe or yes.
Chella Courington is a writer and teacher. With a Ph.D. in American and British Literature and an MFA in Poetry, she is the author of six poetry and three flash fiction chapbooks. Her poetry and stories appear or are forthcoming in numerous anthologies and journals including SmokeLong Quaterly, The Collagist, and the Los Angeles Review. Originally from the Appalachian South, Courington lives in California.