The City Nights & Other Poetry by Anthony Mondal

The Heroines Among Us

Join Anthony Mondal in the exploration of metaphorical females in his written poetry as well as his poetry video. His characterizations brings to light the need for cherishing and respecting the world around us as the lady she is.


The City Nights

In the middle of the night, outside I stepped
Shops are closed and streets deserted.
The neon lights shine, dazzlingly bright;
And will shine on, remainder of the night;
Unconcerned about anyone,
For silent spectators are they, of tragedies committed out of our sight
May a young heart, the city traps
Enchanted by her gloss and glamour;
Failing to see her cold and deceptive manners.
Speeding cars rush thru the night,
Leaving behind streams of light.

Yonder I hear music playing.
Also sirens of ambulances and police cars wailing
For a moment I thought , an old woman weeping.
Thru the scenes of frolic of the city night
I see the face of a woman in plight.
She appears to be pretty, at first glance
But on closer inspection, her cosmetic mask fades away
Revealing her age, and wrinkles of skin ugly.
Stands before me an elderly prostitute;
For long she had her body abused.

Wandering aimlessly on the city streets, in agony of shame and defeat;
The hollow laughters of frolicking women, in my head, they repeat.
Towers of steel and glass surround us in plenty,
Nay, they dwarf and ridicule our very own individuality.
And the cool night wind, from every direction brings,
To my ear, the sighs and groans of disconnected lives,
Chained in their self imposed glass cages.
And the city continues to be at war, in rages.

By Anthony Mondal


WakeUp Call

https://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/videos?m=5RJ9B


Artist:

Anthony Mondal is a poet, novelist and actor. He considers himself simply as an artist beyond the confines of nationality and religion. He proudly calls himself a citizen of the world. His most recent book of poems was titled A Burst of Sunshine, which is his second published book. He lived in New York City for almost ten years pursuing writing, acting and song writing – well, then he had a breakdown! And now our artist recuperates/resides in Michigan, USA. As an actor he has appeared in the film “Sabrina” and the TV show “Strangers with Candy” (2000). He received his BA from Calvin College in geology in 1995. He worked in the World Trade Centre, Building One in 2001 and has survived.

Currently he is working on an existential novel tentatively titled “In Search Of…” and is looking for a publisher/agent for his completed Memoirs.

Read more about this author at: https://shareyourstory.net.au/anthony-mondal/

Damsel & Other Poems by Kirsty Niven

The Heroines Among Us

Kirsty Niven shows us the different sides of a woman. Perception and reality both dancing, but not always to the same beat.


Damsel

I don’t need rescued;
not every girl is a princess. 

Blood red lips drip,
staining snow white skin
starved to a deathly pallor. 

My Rapunzel hair thins,
strands drifting away
like dandelion seeds; 

the feathers fluttering
in the path, the aftermath,
of a swan that’s taken flight. 

Wholly sick of shadows,
I wield the future as my sword. 


My Grandparents’ House

They live in Dundonald, an ex-council house
on a street that rhymes like a children’s book.
You can just about see the castle from their door,
if you peer through the cracks in the estate. 

The living room is a green museum, holding
an exhibition on their lives, a detailed mosaic.
The photos of us grandchildren showcased,
through every stage of life, diplomas and proms –
well, until I dyed my hair a rebellious red. 

The mahogany cabinet displaying the souvenirs
of every holiday, from mildew ridden tents
to constellation level hotels; the Austrian crystal,
Welsh bells and the miniature Jersey jugs.
Anniversary gifts: plates in silver, pearl and ruby.
The tantalising sweetie cupboard beneath
with its crumbling mint air and rainbow wrappers. 

A clowder of cat figurines on the sideboard,
scented with the pot pourri in the glass bowl.
The vanity box down the side of the couch,
filled with George’s marvellous medicines
and the little sponges that became Barbie podiums. 

I think their bedroom is still my favourite.
I love to sit at her dressing table,
wrapped in its rose perfumed air.
My sticky fingers dip in and out of velvet boxes,
her best earrings held before my unpierced lugs.
Painting on her best lipstick, lines forgotten,
its waxy clown smile lingering for days. 

Her essence still breathes in this place,
her eyes watch on through the pictures on the wall. 


Sylvia

Your words step out of the page,
crawling onto my skin
and leaving inky footprints. 

The images look into my eyes,
burrowing into my brain.
It’s like they never left. 


Poet:

 Kirsty A. Niven is from Dundee, Scotland. She graduated from the University of Dundee in 2013 with a first class degree in English. Her writing has appeared in a number of anthologies such as A Prince Tribute, Landfall and Heat the Grease: We’re Frying Up Some Poetry. She has also had poetry appear in numerous journals and magazines, including The Dawntreader, Cicada Magazine, The Poet’s Republic and Dundee Writes. Kirsty’s work can also be read online on websites such as Cultured Vultures, The Wild Word, Silver Birch Press and several others. 

GELE (Africans’ Head Wrap): Vintage and Modern – Painting by O. Yemi Tubi

The Heroines Among Us

O. Yemi Tubi lovingly recognizes his mother and all African Mothers in this masterpiece of colors and imagery! His painting perfectly captures the quiet warmth, culture, and the dedication of these heroines.


Artist Statement:

GELE (Africans’ Head Wrap): Vintage and Modern

This painting is a homage to my mother and to all the industrious African mothers of the vintage years. They spent quality time with their children while working to support their families. They carried their children on their backs while working on the farms or managing their trading stalls. The artist’s mum carried her child on her back and on her head is the tray of fabrics she sells from door to door to provide for her family.


Artist:

O. Yemi Tubi

The Librarian – Poem by Joan McNerney

The Heroines Among Us

What a spectacular recognition Joan McNerney gives to a profession that is unassuming, yet brings magic to people’s lives! Read McNerney’s delightful poem of a Librarian and the beauty she encompasses therein!


The Librarian

Always cherished the sanctity of

this place.  This refuge of

knowledge arranged in infallible

logic of the Dewey Decimal system.

Judith loved to touch these volumes.

Especially heavy reference

dictionaries, atlases, almanacs

and encyclopedias.  Those sheltered

in secluded shelves for staff only.

Children come along each day

to feast on colorful books. Lounging

in small chairs, they become

spellbound by cornucopias of words.

Mostly she likes the retirees who

linger with newspapers and

magazines in the reading corner.

They confess not to understand

computers, writing down requested titles.

At the end of evening, Judith walks

through the quiet.  Before leaving,

she will select a saga of spicy

adventure to flavor her evening. 


Poet:

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.  She has four Best of the Net nominations.  Her latest title is The Muse in Miniature available on Amazon.com and Cyberwit.net

Amma & Other Poems by Larry D. Giles

The Heroines Among Us

Follow along with Larry D. Giles as he explores women from his book, Father Tree Water! They are a wonderful addition to your Saturday dose of artistry!


Amma

I may have thought God was strange

when she climbed up—

the hammer jiggling

from the wet belt

she stole from her brother—

he had no nerve for heights

forever twiddled in a box.

She straddled eaves—

dangled

like one peel of a banana

hoped for though not yet eaten.

It was almost dark, a bird

had also left its wing. She cussed it down—

then pounded like the devil

for the nerve of rain—

that old man drowning

in a corner brown jar.

Hungry at the table,

I imagined air solid and soulful around her blue T-shirt.

Hearing that stunted nail,

I swear down below

a muscle grew from a hole

in my pocket—

rose from

the dull

wet ground

to the dry,

beautiful

heavens.


Girl with a Match

(after Alicia Keys)

This girl

pretty in pigtails

and afraid of matches,

who sucks her thumb

and rocks pink dolls in cradles,

bakes black mud pies

in little white stoves

along the shaded edge

of the field,

on the porch

scowls at kites,

dips just one toe in the river—

the one

I thought for years

was just my sister—

like a sun-struck pilot

today jumped

over the house

and then set

the woods

on fire.


The Woman Down

I would imagine the sink

to pull her down,

down with the ceiling

and leftover spaghetti,

my brothers and sisters

to peer in after shock,

waiting for her to spew out.

Down beneath the heavy day

of hamburger grease

and scabbed paint,

down with the bent forks

and gray-water spoons,

sucked like the head

of a chalk-soaked mop

from my wooden fingers,

scraping against powder-wet

porcelain and fear.

Till I thought for once

she would not pull back.

For once, she would not

wring out the darkness

and rank, rank dust,

though plastered there

above the lonely depths—

I could still hear Otis crooning,

still feel Martin’s moaning,

“We shall certainly overcome,”

my ghost-white siblings

wrestling in the wreckage

and crying for their daddy

to bring home

the wrench.

I thought for sure

she would be demolished,

completely choked

by that vacuous murkiness

the night he called

for the very last time,

she then twisted into a knot

of noodled flesh

so tight it would burst

into a thousand fibers.                               

But that night, too,

she was a plunger,

a great liquid voice

sticking to the walls

of that hideous hole in hell,

and each night she was

a plumber and a carpenter,

above all, the in-tact mother

who pushed up from drains,

looked out from sinks

and handed us tomorrow’s spoons

and saucers and plates,

that, though old and cracked,

still managed to glimmer,

beneath dim, dusty florescent

tubes and a squashed, yellow

ceiling that, like the sink,

somehow imagined it could keep

the woman down.


Poet:

Photo credit: The Essex County Museum and 
RiverCountyNews.Com

Larry D. Giles 

Born in Richmond, Virginia, Larry D. Giles grew up on a farm just outside of Battery, a small rural community several miles from the Rappahannock River. Educated at Livingstone College, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Virginia, the writer has taught English and writing at his high school alma mater in Essex County and for the city of Richmond. While at Richmond, he received teacher of the year, the prestigious REB Award for Teaching Excellence, and an educational leadership fellowship. A Luard Morse nominee, he is co-author of Journey Home, with playwright Jacqui Singleton, a work produced in Richmond theatre. Larry has been published in The River City Poets Anthology 2019Better than Starbucks Magazine, The Bhubaneswar Review, and in other media. Available at http//www.lulu.com/spotlight/LDGiles2020 and released in 2019,  Father Tree Water: Collected Poems and Photographs of the Rappahannock Mind Body Spirit is the writer’s first published collection of poetry.

Larry’s poetry and creative nonfiction often center on family, rural Virginia life along the Rappahannock, and personal resilience and strength, with sometimes mystical multicultural interweavings.  His poems often ring with personal conviction and revelation, his prose nostalgic reverence, pathos and beauty.  Nominated twice by Better than Starbucks Magazine for Best of the Net for his Hoover Boys series, Larry currently resides in Richmond where he continues to write, paint, enjoy photography, and lead several online history and community education archives.

Follow:

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/LDGiles2020

Outside of Memories, I Belong – Sculpture by Ivana Mancic

The Heroines Among Us

Ivana Mancic is a woman of strength, a sculptor, and a survivor of the Serbia bombings of 1999. Come reverently as you view her incredible piece that depicts the experience of this dark time and honors the lives lost.


Artist Statement:

Memories of a Yugoslav Woman

Dark times and rainy days. Sometimes it rains in a different way and it is peaceful and solemn, the rain that purifies. But those days were simply gloomy. That rain had nothing in common with simple pleasures of childhood, when one rejoices just by seeing the merry dance of the raindrops on the concrete and the surrounding nature breathing together with the soaking soil. This rain could not wash off the dark days. It did not bring any good, but gloomier and gloomier news from the war zone. Yes. They did really wage wars only an hour away. I did not know about it as I was only 11, and on the other hand it was there, in the air and we all sensed it. The dark days of our childhoods. The days in which we were to forget that we should be equal. The days in which brotherhood and equality were condemned by men who wanted to play war. The days in which we were so poor and some of them suddenly so rich. Those days were heavy, with lead skies that do not promise anything good. At the edge of my childhood there it was, the foresight of horror. The irony of it all is that it did not really happen to us, we did not get killed but parts of us died. There, at the edge of my childhood were worried faces of my parents trying to make some sense in madness.

I remember the bombing of Serbia by NATO in a 1999 operation “Merciful Angel”.  I was 19. All the bridges that connected Serbia and the northern province of Vojvodina were already destroyed. There was fire and smoke everywhere. Novi Sad, the capital of Vojvodina was covered in flames. I can’t explain how it felt, as if you are turning grey from the inside. As if someone took all the colours away. As if all the sense disappeared. We, the ordinary people, could not face it. The psychological strain, the burden was too much. And it was grey, grey, everything grey. When I look back to those days, they simply have no colour. They feel like someone has stripped them of every meaning. 

I remember looking at my country burn through the windowpane. I remember the factories burning in the distance. The effort of so many communist workers disappearing. The dream disappearing. Their hopes and beliefs disappearing in flames. Thick black smoke elevating towards the sky. I was aware that that bomb could hit any second. I was aware of all the senselessness of my friends hiding. But human beings are miraculous in their willingness to prevail against all odds. I travelled through flames and became resilient. I sometimes think that this is how I travel through life, in smoke, always through smoke and I think that this is how we survived. We became resilient, resilient to sorrow and pain, to hunger, to humiliation, to misery. We became rough and we endured. In these days I lost fear. In these days you realize the frailty of your own existence. And you prevail, through flames and smoke.

That is also how women during Yugoslavia and the conflicts surrounding it prevailed and even today, in the era of the migrant crises, with the migrants being stuck in Serbia in their attempts to cross the borders with EU countries, women are remembered again, in frequent narratives about the refugee men who are raping “our women”. It is this hypocritical relationship and understanding what marked the treatment of women in ex-Yugoslavia. They are and have always been involved in political discourses and used for media purposes. Therefore, women were misused by every single political system and betrayed by it. Nevertheless, through the constant clashes and conflicts, women did not only endure, they supported each other, grouped and fought for their rights.

The sculptural installation “Outside of Memories, I Belong” is dedicated to all the women from ex- Yugoslavia and from all the other war torn countries who survived horrors of war and displacement, for they are the true heroines of our times and the true heroines among us.


Artist:

Ivana Mancic was born on 16th December in Ruma,Serbia. 

At the moment she is a PhD student in Fine Art, School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent  University, UK. 

The research she is undergoing in its focus has art practice and it is aimed at the production of  multi-disciplinary artworks, videos and installations the purpose of which is to display the  personal narrative. This narrative will address the issues of war, loss and belonging, related to  the specificity of the ex-Yugoslav context in order to contribute to developing of the female  voice of artists and pacifists in contemporary art. The personal narrative is presented in the  written form through texts, essays and reflections on war experiences and current world crises  through intersections between the present and the past. 

She graduated MA at the Academy of Art, University of Novi Sad in 2011 at the department of  fine art-drawing and in 2009 a BA in sculpture at the same Academy, as well as a BA in English  language and literature at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, Serbia. 

She participated in many solo and group exhibitions, residences such as The Summer Lodge in  Nottingham, UK and The Feminist Art Colony in Sicevo, Serbia. Conferences such as the Roots  and Reach Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, The Global Heritage Conference at  Nottingham Trent University and Art Festivals such as The PitchWise in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Festival de Arte Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. 

She is a published author:

2020. Art Therapy: Trauma and Ways of Dealing with it, in Uterus Effect, publication supported  by the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna (MA7) and the Association Kunstentropie,  Vienna, Austria. 

2020. The Order of Labour with Silver Wreath and the Plaquette of Yugoslav Trade Union of  Industry and Mining Workers, Journal of the Society of Medals and Orders Research, England. 

Follow:

ivanapuskas.com 

Pipe Dream – -3D Animated Short Film by Shreyasee Konar

The Heroines Among Us

We’ve got some seriously cool art today in the form of 3D animated Short Film! Shreyasee Konar brilliantly designed her own heroine, who may be from an alien planet, but is relatable here on earth.



Artist:

Shreyasee Konar.

Won 3 awards and 21 screenings internationally, Pipe Dream deals with a young leader Sam from the gloomy-doomy Planet Kneon. She arrives at Professor Way’s kitchen on Earth, finds the elixir and carries it back to her planet to take the situation in control.

The name of the film suggests an unattainable dream, both of the filmmaker and the protagonist.

Follow:

instagram.com/pipedreamthefilm
facebook.com/filmpipedream
dmoffest.com/single-post/Pipe-Dream

www.shreyaseekonar.com

Jo Anne Robinson – Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

The Heroines Among Us

Michael H. Brownstein recognizes a heroine that is not quite so well known, Jo Anne Robinson! An inspiring reminder that all great things achieved through history are not from one person and one person alone, but built in a collective action, and each person deserves recognition for their part.


Jo Anne Robinson

Once when I was teaching school,
the request was made of me to create
a lesson plan for Women’s History Month,
and I got right on it beginning
with famous women of color, but–
too many took their fifteen minutes
and made them into Jesse Jackson time.
Rosa Parks was not the first to get arrested
for not giving up her seat, just the luckiest:
Jo Ann Robinson, literate and intelligent,
made her into the icon she became
and we forgot the others, some who died,
for refusing to move. and then there were the
Harriet Tubmans’, smart and original,
his story denied them their true place
and found them another. She became
the head of the underground railroad,
a woman with headaches who could not read,
but really one of our greatest spies
who could memorized Confederate orders
and pass them on word for word to Sherman.
Other women of color freed thousands of slaves,
but his story could not let Tubman be
and she became somebody else.
His story is his story, personality
of the ones he wants us to know.
Let it go: Without Jo Ann Robinson
there would never have been a Rosa Parks,
a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a truth about choices..


Poet:

Michael H. Brownstein

Ode to Meta Ann & Other Poems by Will Reger

The Heroines Among Us

Will Reger’s poems find the heroines in his life, his favorite author, his friend, and grandmother. His last poem reflects the opposite of a man who is crushed by the woman he hoped to make his heroine (and wife). Read these terrific poems below!


Ode to Meta Ann


You frog-marched me out of Eden.
Raw wildness swallowed me.
All things of fire kindle or go out
but you raised in me conflagration –
It burns still.

On the morning your old tom cat left
his bloody prints across your chest,
my true self was born.

With you in the hot darkness,
when you cleaned yourself, unsure
if you were truly clean or had simply denied
the bloody sign of the Passover,

I became your devotee
with eyes open to see life
for what it is, where it is.
Your teaching has been to watch,
to catch any new thing and possess it.

Walk, wait, watch—your mantra chanted
to me that summer on Tinker Creek—

like you, “I go to water.”
I go with songbirds on my mind,
with the blue heron in my eye.

You taught me life is the stage
for the theater of death, the universe
hums along while we creep blindly behind.

You taught me how beauty and grace
are acted out all around me.
We must learn to see it, you said.
Watch and see the true things of the world.


Pantoum

With a voice as smooth and level as a prairie,
while skies rumble like bowling alleys,
she invited love to stay
and love has made her life a kingdom.

While the skies rumble like bowling alleys,
she claims the fealty of the birds,
for love has made her life a kingdom,
so the world breaks against her walls.

She claims the loyalty of the birds
and writes their oaths up in a poem.
Though the world breaks against her walls
she nails that poem to her garage door.

She writes a poem from the oaths of birds
and reads it out for the foxes and bears.
Though the world breaks against her walls,
she bears no regrets at all.

While reading her poem to foxes and bears,
two princesses weave their paths away.
She bears no regrets at all.
Their absence sparks anticipation.

Two princesses weave paths away,
but she knows paths someday converge.
Their absence sparks anticipation,
when stars decline to come closer.

She knows that paths someday converge.
And she does have poetry and birds,
though the stars refuse to come any closer,
princesses oft times return.


Portrait of a Grandmother

Heavy and slow, her heart 
carries so much she must
vouch a little into each
of the flowers she tends,
just to take another step.

Her long grey-brown hair
is done up into a bun,
held in place with combs.
She used to have a cow
in her shed, but now
it is piled with blue glass jars.

Every morning before coffee
she shoots insulin into the fat
of her ribs, then pours
from a cup of hot Sanka
into the saucer to cool, then sips.

I follow behind her when she tills
her big garden beyond the oaks,
with a hoe breaking up the clots.
The sun is hot and the shade is cool
under the trees. She keeps on.
I love forking out the potatoes
best of all–like opening a surprise.

She calls them taters and mashes
them thick to her hold her gravy.
At her big rough-hewn table,
we sat and ate like kings — eggs,
mashed taters, slices of canned meat,
fried chicken, blackberry dumplings,
squirrel or rabbit if she shot one,
and the perfect flour biscuits
that still make me salivate to this day.

Where are those hands of hers
that did so much? Lost now
among the stones of a country
cemetery overrun with trees
that I will never find again,
though I’ve been there. I still see it.


A Valentine Breakup

Starlight that night made its own rules,
and the girl, well-guarded by scent of asphodels,
understood there is no love in heartbeats,
for Badger’s fulvous heart soliloquies
uncoiled from a nest of fear and cantillation,
a great deception, a trick of indecision.

The gentleman, sore of heart, saw it all
in her eyes out in the corridor.
It nearly put him in the hospital
to see his twilight fall at twenty-four,
to see marrying, fathering, house-holding
all walk off together, the scene folding–

Strike the set! Kill the rain! Release
the dogs to clear the lot of any heroines.
Old Badger’s closing it down — “It’s time, please.”
And so he has come to this, ready to zero in,
Move back in with his folks, maybe, and get a cat,
or leave the country, however it plays out.


Poet:

 Will Reger is the Poet Laureate for the City of Urbana, IL.  He has published consistently since 2010, including his first full-length book, Petroglyphs (2019).  Many of his published works have been linked at www.twitter.com/wmreger.  When not scribbling, he relaxes with the nan xiao and enjoys studying small local waterways (sloughs, creeks, rivers, canals, and ditches) looking for wildlife.
I have attached these poems because the email distorts the line breaks.