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  • Peshawa Kakayi - Feature Poem

    "I got frozen in the Patriot Hills, ripened within myself' Sometimes when the sun appears, Snow starts to wail, 'What a century! Since when I was vulnerable Snow eaters devour me?' I am in a country, My root goes back to the ice age. Since humans set foot in my land, Climate has destroyed my nature, I am now hit My future will be a miscarriage baby, I might not produce offspring! Oh humans! How foolish are you? You created a flag for me, So that the other six territories Melt in me, Look, besides period and semicolon That appear in my mountains, Commas grow in my plains. In some places, it is snowing, Languishing my stories. Along the way, my body is frozen My feet provides my soul with another air, Tipsy with the slushy snow. My feet do not need a coat of snow, The ancient snow had no name on the summits, People come here jumping on planes, using parachutes To live in this icy territory; I set a tent in Patriot base camp My groans mix with snowflakes at night. I cannot read the stars, Looking at my fingers, Shivering, As if, they were asteroids falling from the space. I hugged my knees, At this midnight, thought of yester night Why I am so pale in this whiteness and Cannot go back to insomnia. I came outside like a night watch Startled people, Each grabbed a lamp I redrew the Kurdistan map for them on snow, Look! Its limps have horseshoes. Its head neighs like a horse, Pay attention to its head, a head of Western women, The wolves want to behead it so that It stops neighing! My home is a child, Its cord is not cut Its liver and intestines Are extracted by the political parties. Even now Its heart is a blazing fire, A flame that smokes, People want to be a flame, but are not allowed. No word is uttered by itself, Some words contain history Turned hundreds of words into one word, For instance: Kurd and mountain, Kurd and diaspora, Kurd and rebel, Mountain, diaspora and rebel are The summary of hundreds of books Have come out, To be read in this fast wheel Keep their heads out of other books! ©Peshawa Kakayi Translated by Goran Sabah ** Peshawa Abdalla Abdalrahman , also known as (Peshawa Kakayi), is a Kurdish poet and writer. He was born on April 19, 1984, in Qaladze, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. He completed his primary, secondary and high school education in the same city. In 2008-2009, he obtained a bachelor's degree in political sciences from Sulaimaniyah University. He has published articles in many newspapers and publications. He has published 21 collections of poems, written and published a research book, and a book on poetry based on four in-depth interviews. He also wrote a literary diary, that's an average of 24 books so far. He also has four books ready for publication, two of which are research and two of which are poetry. Several studies and readings have been conducted on his poems. In addition, ten undergraduate studies have been conducted on his poems. Peshawa has also translated four books into Persian. He has translated a collection of poems into Arabic. He contributed toward a book entitled 'Poets for Peace', published in Tunisia. He also has contributed to an anthology book entitled "The Multinational Pen Soldiers", prepared and published by Mohammed Shamsul Haq Babu of Bangladesh. Several of his poems have also been translated into other languages including Albania, Uzbek, Spanish, Igbo, English, Indonesian, Bengali, Bosnian, Polish, Chinese, Russian, Serbian, Arabic, Persian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Macedonian. He has been published in the United States in the first and second volumes of the American poetry journal, 'Paradise on EARTH', an international anthology. He has also received seventeen awards in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Goran Sabah Bio: Goran Sabah is a novelist, critic and translator based in Erbil, a capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. His notable works include 'Cheap Humans' (Science Fiction), 'How to Critique Novels' (Criticism) and 'How to Write Novels.'


    Do you remember when we spoke of swans? The seasons pass so quickly, While age passes by so slow, It seems like only yesterday - That I was there. I can still see the colours Of the sunshine on the lake, I can still see the white cob, As he rose into the air. 'Do you remember when we spoke of swans?' (Now I'm talking to myself, That's a sure and certain sign of getting old) I told you that they loved just once, And when their partner died, They were destined to live on the lake alone. You thought that was so very sad, And I, at the time agreed, Not knowing all those years ago - I was talking about me. ********** Rainbow It appeared as if by magic a carousel of light stretching across a sky that threatened rain. A mirage of colours rising from the west then settling on a field just near my home. What did the ancient people think when it first appeared a prelude of a message from the Gods? A rainbow bridge that led them to another world beyond? an omen from a loved one that had gone? In my day I believed that's where leprechauns hid their pots of gold on the very spot where it came to land. But although I rushed and searched the field it always seemed to be the next until it just grew tired of my silly game - slowly faded and was gone. © John Anthony Fingleton (Löst Viking) Review: John Anthony Fingleton's poem, "Do you remember when we spoke of swans?" resonates deeply with themes of time passing, loneliness, and reflection on life's fleeting moments. The imagery of swans, symbolizing love and loss, is poignant and evokes a sense of melancholy. The contrast between the swift passage of seasons and the slow march of age beautifully captures the bittersweet essence of growing older. The poem's structure, with its conversational tone and introspective musings, invites readers to contemplate their own experiences of love, loss and the passage of time. The vivid description of the sunshine on the lake and the image of the solitary swan rising into the air creates a vivid scene that stays with the reader long after reading. In conclusion, "Do you remember when we spoke of swans?" is a heartfelt reflection on the inevitability of change and the enduring power of memories. It touches on universal emotions with a gentle yet profound voice, making it a compelling piece that speaks to the human condition. "Rainbow" by John Anthony Fingleton, complements "Do you remember when we spoke of swans?" with its contemplative tone and exploration of natural wonder. The poem vividly describes the appearance of a rainbow, likening it to a "carousel of light" amidst threatening rain. This imagery immediately draws the reader into a scene where the mundane meets the magical. Similar to the first poem, "Rainbow" contemplates the perceptions of ancient peoples and personal childhood beliefs. It suggests that rainbows might have been seen as mystical bridges or omens, connecting the ordinary world with something transcendent or spiritual. The mention of leprechauns and pots of gold adds a touch of whimsy, contrasting with the deeper reflections on human curiosity and the fleeting nature of wonder. Both poems share a common thread of nostalgia and introspection, reflecting on how perceptions evolve with age and experience. While "Do you remember when we spoke of swans?" focuses on the passage of time and solitude, "Rainbow" explores the intersection of reality and imagination, suggesting that even as we grow older, elements of magic and wonder continue to shape our perceptions of the world. Together, these poems invite readers to reflect on the intersection of memory, nature, and human imagination, offering a poignant glimpse into the complexities of the human experience across different stages of life. Reviewed by: Concetta Pipia ILA Magazine Contributing Editor/Reviewer *** John Anthony Fingleton Bio: John Anthony Fingleton was born in Cork City, Republic of Ireland, and has lived in various countries including the UK, France, Mexico, and has completed six tours in different African states with the French Armed Forces. Currently residing in Paraguay, Latin America, Fingleton's poetry has been published in journals and anthologies across Ireland, the UK, USA, India, and France. His work has been featured on Irish and American radio, as well as in Spanish on Latin American broadcasts. He has contributed to several books of poetry for children and had his poems included in numerous national and international journals, blogs, reviews, and anthologies. Fingleton's accolades include being named Poet of the Year (2016) by Destiny Poets International Community, Poet of the Month (March 2019) by Our Poetry Archive, and Poet of the Month (April 2019) by The League of Poets. He was also recognized as Author of the Month by Spillwords in December 2020 and was nominated for Author of the Year by Spillwords in 2020. His poems have been selected for anthologies in India, South America, the UK, and the USA, some translated into local languages. Additionally, Fingleton's words from two Viking poems were arranged and recorded by the group Valkrym in May 2024. He is the author of several anthologies, including 'Poems from the Shadowlands' (November 2017), 'Words That Found Me' (December 2019), 'Poems From The Banks' (January 2020), 'Poems from a Restricted Place' (April 2020), 'Secret Fjords' (May 2020), 'A Gathering Of Words' (June 2020), 'Lost Places Other Poems' (January 2021), and 'Late Snows and other Facebook Poems' (October 2022).


    The Harmony of Visual Art and Poetry "THE COLOR OF US" We are all born stark naked our first hour most special inspection, swift our first notes a blessed concert of life, our genes precious giving us our unique skin - Red, our introduction into this world, cream screams alert, our satisfaction of life, gifted blue, our orbs brown hazel spark bright, our promise of everlasting blessed light promise bright - first notes, our lullaby each coo and aah, delightful new life ignites - Loved ones rush to welcome new life, admiration at a high, smiles abound, yellow, our happiness bright alight sparkling, glistening magenta, our concern dissipating quickly rushing to teach belief, actions white, examples found in family DNA, lessons learned future life precious yellow, hope green, our love for nature teaching us to ensure our environment is protected - Appreciated, educated Sky - blue hope to protect not to neglect or else black hope will puncture our orange love light brightening glowing golden hope in our daily lives... Live Life Love Life Paint your life brighter than ever before... You matter. We matter. Let us combine our inner super trooper light as we shine together forever... As we release our inner lights... © Don Afrika Beukes (Painting also by poet) France "WAITING" (Haibun) While waiting for our granddaughters who would have their ballet recital in two hours, my husband and I took time to grab a nap at a friendly coffee shop, and I, on the watch for interesting shots, took this photo while he was having forty winks. Sleepless, I take out My flute, Basho, to play to A brand new haiku © Ma. Milagros T. Dumdum Philippines "EMPTY ME" These planks, a seat for silence These rims, a stick to silence These empty eyes, cart unexplored dreams Is silence an entity? Or universe. © Mushtaque B. Barq (Photography by Poet - above) Jammu/Kashmir "Shahjanabad Café", painting by Amitabh Mitra. " SHAHJANABAD CAFÉ" This happened again on a strange café noon river days flew where a distance left a crooked wind a lone fort gaunt daring again to remember memories stuck to mirrors we had seen each other so often then cups, glasses and lips all together happened again and in the midst of a forest sleep our eyes once again rode many a writhing storm voices staged suddenly where I had once touched you again. © AMITABH MITRA SOUTH AFRICA Art by Shweta Sahai "ELYSIUM" I forage for you In the love songs of yesteryear The trammels of convention Had imprisoned me then Now that senescence has immured me My spirit has been freed A birdsong has come alive The little sparrow Perched on the curlicues of my condominium bursts into a refrain My spirit becomes one with yours Like the chirring and the chirping amidst the colonnade of trees in the garden of Elysium. © Shweta Sahai India Photography of Abdallah Ibn Edriss "OLOLUFE MI" (My Lover) If "L" in life represents you, Layla, the rest will still be your name ifé (love), 'cuz far atop that iroko tree, is a symbol of your victory in my heart. Thus is roses are red and violets are blue, your lips would be a thornless flower, that candle my way to the sacred temple, far deep into the meadows of órun. Your existence gave life a meaning; A purpose and now it's you I'm needing Take my heart with you in this calabash And travel the sea of eternity, and wait For me where heaven meets earth. © Abdallah Ibn Edriss Nigeria Photography by Gheorghe Laura "THE WAIT" I'm standing on the Titan's knee, Looking around in awe and fear As the sea urges me to swim, After all, it is a hot summer's day. I politely refused for the hundredth time Despite being tempted to do it. The laughter of my peers echo across the seafront, Asking me, "When will I come join them?" Being in my teenage years, The world seems bigger than I expected, So, it's better to wait for the right moment To spread my wings and fly towards the sky. "When will it come? Is it worth the wait?" © Gheorghe Laura Romania Photography by Jurine Garcia "SUNRISE AND SUNSET" It's really nice to see, every time I look at you. Your gentle warmth, that soothes my sadness. In all - the - day and overnight adventures I'm always waiting for you. Every time seeing your beauty, You remove my depression and anxiety I feel that I am free from everything... I know the time will come when I won't see you anymore. I have no regrets.. Because once in my life, you made me feel That with every dip and rise, I found rest. © Jurine Garcia Philippines Photography of Sonal Rao "COOL DUDE" Your stand was exuberant but mine wasn't that cheerful! Your smile was jovial but mine wasn't that ebullient! Your confidence was backslapping but mine wasn't that unreserved! How come you're so loud or Why are you so warm? You shared a pain in that enthusiastic moment But it did seem real! You seemed to mock at my energetic Presence with a vivacious smile! Aren't we all a part of this animated drama With a tearful soul, trying to fit in ardently??? © Sonal Rao India Artwork by Matt Elmore "PAPA ELEPH ANT" It's all over you done left we lost the baby I'll never forget we were so happy everything was set you smiled at me I'll never forget we told everyone without regret everyone knew I'll never forget we bought a crib nothing we didn't get but our little darlin' I'll never forget you got sick we didn't expect it too happened I'll never forget It's all over you've done left I lost you both I'll never forget. © Matt Elmore USA Art above by Andree Malenoir Featured in a slideshow "THAT NIGHT " A Queen of the Ocean A ship full of dreams Magnificent liner It's not all it seems Unsinkable giant Buoyed up by the waves No cause to be fearful A Star of her age! She was built there in Belfast Shipyard...Harland & Wolff Alongside her sisters She was proud of herself Tho Olympic, Gigantic... They would both meet their fate But TITANIC lives on... And so does the debate! So what caused her demise? It's an iceberg, we're told... There's no doubt that this happened On that night, in the cold! Could the rivets be faulty? Did a fire rage within? Well yes, both of these 'things'... Are the place to begin! Yes, a fire burnt within her And the rivets were weak That they popped out on impact Then they started the leak Very soon tons of water Well it deluged the ship And it didn't take long For her head just to dip! As she sank in the ocean There were many who died There were so many questions Before 'they' could decide... Whether negligence caused The worst maritime wreck And why were the lifeboats Far too few on the deck? Well the questions still come But the answers are few... And did the 'White Star' Have answers? I believe some of them knew! © Andree Malenoir UK Photography by Sheila Ann "ADIEU TO SUN" Time is moving so slow today and it burned the grass So hot and humid, I thought I would pay homage with the white wind and white birds of Chimborazo where the mountains festooned with white clouds, I journeyed towards the westering sun until I was burning flesh. I asked the wise but vexatious aubade He laughed seeing my discomfort toil. The vast trees of the land are no more, broken and devoured. The soil is tattered The very faces that I saw were gloomy and hated the reddened sun. He told me that he washed his hands at the heathen of humans of the rays that came and passed as he coddiwompled to other regions, and I quailed adn befuddled as my days were graced by the moon and the stars. © Sheila Ann Malaysia Artwork Title: "The Last Autumn Sunsets Under the Pomegranate Trees" Artist: Mehrangiz Talaiezadeh Country: Iran Style: Hyperrealism Size 30cm x 36cm Materials: Polychromos colored pencils on Stenbach cardboard Signed painting © 2021 "THE LAST AUTUMN SUNSETS UNDER THE POMEGRANATE TREES" The last autumn sunsets under the pomegranate trees The pomegranate trees; full of red ruby seeds full of jewelry beads; The jewelry beads embedded in shields; The shields full of sweet and bitter weeps; The sweet and bitter weeps flows through human lives; The human lives full of shades and glitter lits; The glitter lits on a flory plain in pretty reds; The pretty reds over the chaise; The chaise with tea ware parties, the parties, full of intimacies The intimacies with raw almonds, tricolor is In the last autumn sunsets under the pomegranate trees The spirit of honesty breeze In the peace pure jungles. © Mehrangiz Talaiezadeh Iran Photography by Gloria Magallanes-Loeb "SEEKING" Seeking a better view from above Will I find happiness and love? The massive azure blueness of the sky Assures me with comfort even up high My beaming heart is full of desire Can't fathom much longer to acquire This beautiful feeling that am inspired To hold unto before the sunset expires Gives me hope that my fate will come As we meet before dusk, when Nightingale sings not be glum! © Gloria Magallanes-Loeb USA

  • In The Passage of Time...

    Featuring eight poets who wrote beautiful subtleties of nostalgia THE AESTIVAL TIME IS HERE TO STAY! In the passage of time, the ghosts of past Memories are never lost, they keep on Coming to us like a family Aestival season is the virtual reservoir Of vast memories, mostly sweet when in Our innocent childhood, our time is spent in Games and playing pranks We generally lampooned everything around and lengthened deliberately The reign of satire of our own making Visiting the orchards full of mango trees was Our most favorite pastime, and picking the Unripe green mango fruits was for us - an act sublime Once, we climbed a tree for this treasure - hunt, But soon, wind started to blow, who knew that It will convert into a yellow storm, and We would be subjected to face the brunt Forcing us to live in a terror zone! Those nocturnal moments are unforgettable Which got stuck forever with the memories of, That otherwise pleasant and lovely aestival time. © Rakesh Chandra India "Untitled" In the passage of time, my love only became stronger! An estival in my heart came to grieve an aestival when The ring on your finger mocked my unnecessary presence! Strong sillage of our selenic bond was bound to die a slow Death painfully but a brief sojourn kept it alive! You didn't give up on me when I was in my secure place, Away from you, never wanting to see or hear from you! Your strong heart made me brave enough to fall for you again, Confidently without any hesitation! © Sonal Rao India "CLOSE MEMORIES" In the passage of time, I feel an estival chill When I remember vacation and summer breeze I miss the touch of the sea and the play of the wind I miss the cool feeling of summer walks in sand The song of the waves washes away the black thoughts And I am living an awakening experience. Until the new meeting with the shore of the sea I let my head and soul drown in nostalgic beauty. © Bogdana Gageanu Romania "SUMMER MEMORIES" In the passage of time estival thoughts flood my memories Our selenic moments parade in the corners of my mind Under the spell of the moon, your sillage fills my aching heart As, in my sojourn, I lay in bed in deep, nostalgic thoughts. © L. B. Morandarte Philippines "MY COMMUNITY" "In the passage of time" Our hardened hearts, wrecked its glory Into a sordid tower of story The echoes of regret chime. Out of ego, we corroded our peace Threading the path, just a piece Where no one gains nothing Taking ignorance as something Ourselves destruction triggered From the minds, so angered. Why do we sojourn on jejunity To lose our communal amity? Our once blossomed homes Are now doomed to roam. I reminisce over the past When we travelled on foot From one community to another as a mast Our very ancestral root We can no longer be proud of The handed-over peace, written off. I wish I could still perceive it The communal silicate that lit With candor of brotherly camaraderie Our habitat, now deserted and weary And the aborigines marooned In the gulag, their homes crooned Oh my home, oh, my home! When shall I see the home Where we were born into peace? How can I pacify to everyone's pease? My community, my torrent of tears Deserted, making everyone living in fear. Come back, Aila, the very one of our birth Not this aberrated one without mirth Ocho Omanchala, heal our land To become our real fatherland. © Ikwulono Mohammed Senison Nigeria "ESTIVAL MEMORIES" In the passage of time, through crystal tears, Happy memories can't be erased. Brought to the surface every year Through the five senses plus one, We cherish them in the drawers of our heart. The laughter of seagulls echoing across the beach As I was building a castle from the sands of time. Like a fairy dancing at the ball, I frolicked on floral meadows Without the burden of life's challenges, Still feeling the fresh fragrance to this day Every time I retreat into nature's temple During the sojourn at the summer house, Where surrounded by loved ones, I always like to recall the good times From when the world was filled with wonders In my curious mind as a child. © Gheorghe Laura Romania "THE SUMMER OF MY YOUTH" In the passage of time, estival thoughts fly the sillage of the blooms evoke memories of bygone summers awashed in selenic light when youth knows no reason or fright. Fusion of colors in my younger years serves as backdrop of joy no sign of tears each passing day a vivid tapestry of woven dreams, sprouting into reality. The senses pried open silent awakenings of simple pleasures and sometimes longing of those days of yore and yearning daybreaks, sundowns all agog with longing. The summer of my youth now a thing of the past, reminiscing sunny escapades meant to last never too late to remember cool summer nights with waning embers. © Rosemarie Miranda Philippines "WITH THE PASSAGE OF TIME EVERYTHING CHANGES" In the passage of time we lose Many a gem of peerless worth The childish smiles and babbles Wear the mask of rigid quietness The estival evenings, hoary grey, Gaze at the dwindling Hyperion Making figures out of clouds All, with the passage of time, Has blown away by sheer winds Of the hostile Time The nights, under Selenic sheen Of pleasanter hue One reads Endymion Lying on the thatched roof Of a homely domicile Beneath the azure wonder of nature Sojourning all day long at the edge Of vast wavy corn fields Under cooler shadowy berry trees Reading the wittiest wits of yore The flaring boyish dreams Sleep somewhere in the cave Of forgetfulness, all that early zeal The fondness, whirling emotions Of the dawning puberty All get lost in the passage of time Aestival swims in the river Among a crowd of friends The purest joy of sultry June All, with the passage of time, Has wilted quite, ah! the times. © Safdar Bhatti Pakistan

  • A Half Dozen + One - NINETTES

    Featuring the creative work of 13 Poets Sweet Music Powerful And magical Highlights vespertide Its mystic spell Titillates Lonely Hearts © Myrtle Reyes E. Tejada Philippines "FISH STORY" I'm like a fish, I have to restrain my - self from going to the beach, stay till vespertide, jangly sun © Sheila Ann Malaysia There she stood in the rain with red flowers that were in full bloom waiting for him Nascent love racing heart © Priayalakshmi Gogoi India "SERENADE" Moon aureate glow at night Stars dazzling high splash of magic dreams Come fill the void of my life embrace me © Gloria Magallanes-Loeb USA "LIFE AND LOVE" Life nascent like eoan dissolving soon in the vespertide to resurrect a raceme of love anon © Shweta Sahai India Time Present Co-exist Encompassing Infinite cycle Till eoan lapse Unfolding The past End © Dolo Rez Philippines Morn blesses eoan light embraces all uplifts existence of nascent life amidst strife shines bright morn © Rupa Rao USA "SUNSET" Sleep for sun aureate until next day when the bright light comes glorious way of going to bed soon © Bogdana Gageanu Romania "POETRY ON GOLDEN RING" Ring golden aureate adorns finger enhances countance ornamental poetry offers verse © Subhashchandra Adhav India " THE ASSIDUOUS STARS" Stars at sky nascent glow in vespertide beaming aureate twinkling gladly amuse me in sad night © Ency Bearis USA " A LOVE TO BE SHARED" Gifts received ought to be always nurtured and taken cared of with all efforts then shared as nascent love © Joey V. Fernandez Philippines "BUMBLEBEES" The late spring aureates with a maze of colors, and the bees bumble around humming for honey sweet © Kalucharan Sahu India "ASSIDUOUS MOON" Moon ascends like raceme in eoan sky at vespertide span soothing the pain with healing nascent beam © Prasanna Bhatta India

  • Breaking the Cycle

    © By Dexter Amoroso As the city embraced the twilight, Anthony's purposeful strides echoed a silent plea for the revival of family values, a clarion call in the fading light. "Family values matter," he cried out to the people passing by. "The strength of our families determines the strength of our society. We must preserve traditional structures." Anthony knew all too well the pain of broken families. He had seen firsthand how divorce had torn his own family apart. But Anthony also knew that he could make a difference. He would be the change he wanted to see in the world. As he reached the crowded city center, Anthony began to attract a small crowd. He spoke of the importance of preparing for married life, of teaching children the value of commitment and love. The crowd began to murmur in agreement, and Anthony saw hope in their eyes. One woman in the crowd, Joyce, raised her voice in protest. "But we must also respect freedom of religion," she argued. "Not everyone shares your beliefs, Anthony." Anthony nodded thoughtfully. "Joyce, you are right. Everyone has the right to their own beliefs. But we also have a duty to engage in open dialogue, to challenge each other, and to uphold rationality in our society. Divorce is a serious issue, and we cannot shy away from discussing it." Joyce looked unconvinced, but she listened intently. As the sun dipped lower in the sky, Anthony continued to share his message with the growing crowd. His voice grew even more passionate as he spoke of the harm done to children by divorce. "Imagine a child, shuttled between estranged parents, bearing scars that will last a lifetime. Is this the society we want to create? Is this the legacy we want to leave for our children?" The crowd fell silent, the weight of his words sinking in. In that moment, Anthony knew he had made a difference. The seed of change had been planted. Anthony's work was not done. He knew that his message must reach beyond the city center, beyond the crowd that had gathered. So, he began to visit schools, churches, community centers, anywhere he could spread his message. He talked to parents, teachers, community leaders, urging them to take action. "We must strengthen our families, our communities," he said. "We must teach our children the importance of family values and the power of commitment. We cannot let them fall victim to the pain of divorce." At first, the progress was slow. There were skeptics and detractors, and Anthony faced many challenges. Some community leaders were resistant to his ideas, and others felt that his approach was too idealistic. But Anthony persisted, believing in the power of his message. One night, after a particularly challenging day, Anthony sat down with his wife, Samantha. She had been his rock, supporting him through every step of his journey. "Samantha, sometimes I wonder if I'm really making a difference," Anthony confessed, his voice tinged with doubt. Samantha smiled gently and took his hand. "Anthony, you've already touched so many lives. Change doesn't happen overnight. It's a slow process, but every step forward counts. Remember why you started this journey." Her words comforted him, and Anthony felt a renewed sense of purpose. He decided to focus on building a stronger foundation for his movement. He began collaborating with local organizations, offering workshops on communication and conflict resolution for families. Meanwhile, Anthony and Samantha's children, Lily and Ben, were growing up. They were often involved in their father's work, attending events and helping where they could. Lily, the older of the two, was particularly inspired by her father's dedication. "Dad, I want to help more," Lily said one evening. "Can I start a club at school to talk about family values and support kids going through tough times?" Anthony's heart swelled with pride. "That's a wonderful idea, Lily. You have a big heart, and I know you'll make a difference." Lily's club quickly gained traction, and she became a beacon of support for her peers. Ben, though younger, was also deeply affected by his father's mission. He often helped with organizing events and even gave his own small speeches about the importance of family. As Anthony's movement gained momentum, he began to see more tangible results. Families who attended his workshops reported better communication and stronger relationships. Schools implemented programs to teach children about commitment and love. Community centers offered support groups for parents and children affected by divorce. However, the journey was not without setbacks. Anthony faced criticism from those who believed his message was too focused on traditional values, and not inclusive enough of diverse family structures. He realized he needed to adapt his approach to be more inclusive. One day, Joyce approached him after a workshop. "Anthony, I think it's time we address the needs of all families, not just the traditional ones. Single parents, same-sex couples, blended families - they all need support, too." Anthony nodded, recognizing the truth in her words. "You're right, Joyce. Family values should be about love and commitment, regardless of the family structure. Let's work on expanding our message to be more inclusive." This shift in approach brought new challenges, but it also broadened the reach of Anthony's movement. More people began to join his cause, and the message of love and commitment resonated with an even wider audience. One day, Anthony received a letter form a young girl named Rose, whose parents were going through a difficult divorce. She had been shuttled between homes, feeling lost and alone. Anthony read the letter with a heavy heart. Here was a child, just like he had once been, suffering from the wounds of divorce. In that moment, Anthony knew what he had to do. He traveled to Rose's hometown, determined to help her and others like her. Anthony met with Rose and her parents, listening as they shared their stories of heartbreak and misunderstanding. He saw the pain and confusion in their eyes, and he knew that he could not leave them in this state. "You are all hurting," he said gently. "But you can heal from this. Family is not just about a piece of paper or a signature on a document. Family is about love, about support, about commitment. You can choose to be a family, even if the marriage is over." Rose's parents listened intently, tears welling in their eyes. In the days that followed, Anthony worked with Rose and her parents to help them find a way forward. He encouraged them to focus on their love for Rose, to put her needs first and find ways to co-parent together, even if they were no longer married. Slowly, they began to heal. They started to communicate better, to put aside their differences for the sake of their child. And Rose began to smile again, to laugh and play as children should. News of their transformation spread through the town, and people began to see that family values and healing were possible, even in the wake of divorce. As more people heard about Anthony's work, his movement grew stronger. Families were reconnecting, communities were coming together, and love was winning out over hate. In the years that followed, Anthony's foundation, now officially named the Anthony Foundation for Family Values, expanded its reach. It opened counseling centers for families in crisis, sponsored educational programs for children, and even lobbied for legislative changes to support families. The journey was not without obstacles. There were political and financial challenges, and not all communities were receptive to the foundation's initiatives. But Anthony and his team persevered, driven by their commitment to making a difference. Samantha played a crucial role in this expansion. As a fellow advocate for family values, she brought her own insights and ideas to the table. Together, they worked on creating programs that were inclusive and supportive of all types of families. One of the most impactful programs developed by the foundation was the "Family Day" initiative. Once a month, families were encouraged to set aside a day to spend together, without any distractions. Families were encouraged to turn off their devices, to share meals and stories, and to reconnect with one another. The impact of Family Day was far-reaching. Relationships improved, stress levels decreased, and children's academic performances improved. As the Anthony Foundation continued to flourish, Anthony's personal life also underwent a transformation. He had met a woman named Samantha, a fellow advocate for family values, and they had fallen deeply in love. They were now married and had two young children. Seeing how his own family had been transformed by the values he had championed, Anthony felt a renewed sense of purpose. He became even more committed to his work, traveling with his family whenever possible to share his message. Meanwhile, Joyce's legacy also lived on through the Anthony Foundation. One day, while Anthony was speaking at an event in Paris, he received a call from Samantha. "I have some news," she said. Joyce's nephew contacted me. He wants to meet with you. Apparently, Joyce left you something in her will." Anthony was surprised but agreed to meet with Joyce's nephew. They set a date, and Anthony made arrangements to fly home. When the day arrived, Anthony and Samantha met Joyce's nephew at his home. The man handed Anthony and old journal, its pages filled with Joyce's handwriting. Anthony carefully flipped through the journal, reading Joyce's words. They were raw and honest, filled with her pain and struggle. But they also revealed a deep compassion and empathy for the world. As he read, Anthony began to understand the depth of Joyce's commitment to their cause. He also realized that, despite their differences, Joyce had shared his passion for making the world a better place. "She believe in you, Anthony," Joyce's nephew said. "She believed in your vision. And she wanted you to have this." Anthony felt a profound sense of gratitude. He knew that Joyce's words would continue to guide him on his journey. In the following years, the Anthony Foundation grew even more influential. Anthony was invited to speak at the United Nations, where he shared his message of love, commitment, and the importance of family values. "The strength of our families determines the strength of our society," he declared to the assembled leaders. "We must teach our children the power of love and commitment, and we must support families in every way we can." The response was overwhelmingly positive, and the foundation received support from around the world. Governments and organizations began to implement policies and programs inspired by Anthony's work, leading to significant improvements in family cohesion and child well-being. Anthony's legacy continued to grow, and his foundation became a beacon of hope for families everywhere. His message had transcended borders and cultures, touching the hearts of millions. Years later, as Anthony looked out at a world transformed by his efforts, he felt a deep sense of fulfillment. He had dedicated his life to breaking the cycle of brokenness, and he had succeeded. But he also knew that the work was never truly done. There would always be families in need of support, children in need of love, and communities in need of healing. And so, with a heart full of hope and determination, Anthony continued his journey, knowing that every step forward brought the world closer to a brighter, more loving future. "Breaking the Cycle" is a story of transformation and hope, of the power of love and commitment to heal even the deepest wounds. Through the tireless efforts of one man and his family, the world was changed for the better, and the cycle of brokenness was finally broken.

  • "SELF PORTRAIT (Visual Poem)"

    Laszlo Aranyi (Frater Azmon), poet, anarchist, occultist from Hungary. Earlier books: "(szellem) válaszok", "A Nap és Holderök egyensúlya", "Kiteritett rókabör. His poems in English have appeared in over a hundred journals. Recent book published, "Delirium &...The Seven Haiku" (Published by DEAD MAN'S PRESS INK, ALBANY, NY 2023). Laszlo has been nominated several times for international awards. Known spiritualist mediums, art and explores the relationship between magic. "I am marginalized in my own country!" To find out more about Laszlo, check out Facebook and Twitter


    STORIES INTERWOVEN WITH POETIC THREADS SALVATION! Let your Light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and Glorify your Father which is in Heaven. Matthew 5:16 The morning sun streaming through the stained-glass windows alit everything aglow. Eerie and religious, shading on Calvin's arms a royal blue. The light spraying from the Archangel Michael, sword in hand, foot upon the dragon. At the Altar, Father John intoned..."Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof, but only say The Word..." and Calvin and the congregation continued ..."and My Soul shall be Healed." Calvin with his eyes closed, followed along in a hoarse whisper. Breath broken, he Prayed, with tears slowly falling. They always did at this moment of Worship; He couldn't stop them. Still after so many years...crying so openly, being so touched. Today, Calvin's mind always returned to that Day. That Day when Calvin, inexplicably, came to Know personally of the Love of God. Calvin was much younger then, newly arrived at Bathurst, both town and prison. Tough city and harder jail. Bathurst Gaol was the punishment centre, where you got sent, when the system desired to Teach a Lesson. And Calvin had just been sentenced to residence for four years. He was "green" as they say in the yards. A newbie, his first time. And he was struggling. It was quite the culture shock. Nothing in "normal" life prepares one for the experience, nor for the emotions that ensue every day viciously. As one faces a daily regime of Pain, where the only language spoken is in violence. Despair drops like a dead weight carrying one to depths even Evil dreads, and it becomes like a dress worn wearily. The only respite is inedible meals and walking laps, kept company by head miles, dreaming of nooses. First night, Calvin was agog, trudging up flights of metal stairs in a world of fluorescence decorated with razors and bars. Home was now a three-tiered complex of 6-by-10 cells, two to a box. Calvin wondered about his cellmate, as the three guards accompanying, unlocked a heavy steel door. "Miles...You have a cellmate." And the door clanged shut with firm finality. Calvin looked around his new lodgings...metal bunkbed, metal toilet and two metal shelves, with an extremely scratched metal mirror...lacking totally in any form of comfort. His heart just sank deeper. "What's your name? Why are you in here? I am telling you there has been a mistake. I am a medical one-out." Miles pointed at his chest. Calvin was about to introduce himself, but could say nothing, as Miles got into his face with rising voice..."Don't even bother settling in! You aren't staying!!!" And Miles raced for a red call button set into the wall. It had the word "HELP" emblazoned alongside in many languages. Buzzzz...Buzzzz...Buzzzz... Click...a scratchy voice over the intercom spat..."What is it now, Miles?" Miles launched into a scream at the speaker..."I told you fuckers not to put someone in with me. Send someone in to spy on me, did you? Didn't you learn from the last one? He is still in the infirmary. You had better get this one out of here quick!!!" Miles began pacing up and down the 5 feet of spare space in the cell, yelling at the top of his voice..."Superintendent Goldman said that I have a green light. A Green Light!!! And I am going to use it. What's ten more years? I already done 20." Calvin backed up against the farthest wall, trying to his best to stay out of Mile's way. Miles had a very dark look in his eye, and he kept throwing violent glances at him. As soundtrack, Calvin could hear running steps...thump thump thumping on the metal stairs...thump, thump, thump...And there was a screeching alarm going off loudly... whoop whoop, whoop whoop... Keys jangled desperately at the cell door, and Miles turned and said..."I would stand right back right now if I was you." And the door flung open... Wide-eyed, Calvin watched a scrum of Guards rush full pelt into the cell... Dressed all in black and holding large riot shields, they barreled and bashed Miles face-first into the pockmarked concrete. And Miles stood no chance despite his earlier bravado and despite his ringing screams..."I will KILL YOU!!! You Hear me! I know who each of you are. You are dead!!!" "You have no idea! I have a Green Light. You are all dead!!" sang through all the cellblocks as Miles was dragged off into the night. And all the others nested tight in their cells began also loudly hooting and whistling and kicking their doors in delight. Once Miles and his drama had receded enough, one of the remaining Guards turned to Calvin, saying..."Inmate Hart, come along now. We are going to have to find a place for you tonight. This cell will be out of action until Reports have been written and I don't know if Miles will be back or not. Come along..." Another door opened, and Calvin was again bundled in. As the door again banged shut, Calvin took a deep breath...He had no idea what to next expect and this was only the first night. "It is going to be a long four years. Oh God...Father help me..." And an indigenous man, curly haired and overweight, sprung up from the bottom bunk. "Good Day, young fellow. Name is Trevor. Where you from? First time? Ay." Calvin tried to speak, and only a jumbled mutter came out...Visibly he was struggling, he rocked on the balls of his feet, his face strained and very red. Dropping his bundle of bedding and clothing, he burst into bellowing tears. Trevor let Calvin be momentarily tended to making two cups of tea with a jailhouse boiler, and he spoke calmly..."Don't worry, young fellow. All of us lose it in some way at some time whilst in here. Best let it all out." "Don't you worry, and when you are all done, come over here and have a cuppa. Uncle Trevor will look after you. Good thing they put you with me. Ay?" Calvin shivered at the long-ago memories. Those had been very hard times. And he still wondered how he got through it. "Thank You, Father" he whispered as Father John intoned "Our Father who art in Heaven..." Calvin could barely recognize his life these days. Things were so vastly different from those tough times. He had worked very hard to recover and improve his Life. He now had a Profession which pleased and interested him, and his Painting which he loved. And, He had Her... "I am Happy" Calvin thought as he leaned slightly aside, nudging his Partner gently in affection. She smiled back sweetly as the Assembly started in Hymn...and as Amazing Grace soared throughout, Calvin remembered Bathurst again, and his first Service in prison... He had attended out of a kind of desperate seeking, but without any real hope. He was seeking help...some sort of relief... some way to get through the coming years... Yet as soon as he walked into the chapel, he wasn't sure that it hadn't been a good idea to come. Emotions rolled in him fiercely and he struggled against tears..."Mustn't, mustn't cry in here." But when Amazing Grace started up, being tearless became hopeless for Calvin. And, he cried as he sang along as best he could... "I once was lost..." It had been a long time since he had been to a Church. As Calvin was leaving the Chapel, the Prison Chaplain stopped him..."Do you want to stay for a half hour and have a cup of coffee? Maybe spend a few moments in Prayer with me?" Calvin nodded Yes, alone with the Chaplain sat to a cup of coffee. "Mmmmm...real coffee... It smells so good." Warmth was the gift in that cup, and Calvin was Grateful. "My name is Father Bob. I know that you are wondering why I singled you out today. Don't worry, I do it from time to time. As the Chaplain, the Guards give me some leeway in the Chapel and its affairs." He had a kindly face, fatherly, in all his earnestness. Calvin could see that he actually cared. Father Bob continued..."During My Prayers this morning, God let me know that I needed to help someone specifically today. And, when I saw you, I knew that person was you. Can I Pray for you? Will you Pray with me?" And, Father Bob began Praying a Prayer just for Calvin...and in those few quiet intimate moments, Calvin came to Know that wherever he went and whatever he did, he was not ever alone. "Thank You, Father" Calvin whispered making the Sign of the Cross in unison as the Service ended. He was so very Grateful to Father above and to Father Bob and to many others. Filing out of Church, Calvin and her, stopped briefly with Father John..."Peace Be With You. As always so good to see you both. And, Calvin, Mary in the Office tells me that you have volunteered to help with the new Community Centre. Bless You! It is truly more Blessed to Give than to Receive." Calvin nodded to Father John..."Yes, Mary and I are meeting tomorrow to discuss how I can best assist. I thought maybe to volunteer a day or two a week. Community is important to me." "Excellent news, Calvin. I am sure that I will be seeing you both at the Opening Night next week. Have a Blessed Week." Father John farewelled them, warmly. And the next morning Calvin met with Mary at the Church Office..."I am so very Grateful for so much... To Father above, to They before, to Those besides. And I feel a strong need and desire to give back even just a little to My Community." Mary beamed gladly back at Calvin. She was very involved in her Community and not just with Church. She was also leading the Team overseeing the development of the new Community Centre. Calvin continued..."So I am here today because I would like to volunteer one or two days a week at the new Community Centre. Could you use the help? I would also like to dedicate a special painting for the new Centre. What do you think?" Mary touched Calvin on the arm "What good is it... if someone claims to have Faith but has no deeds? The Words of Saint James. I would welcome your help at the Community Centre. I will organize all the forms and email them to you. And a painting for the Opening would be just great." "Have you seen the new Centre yet? Come I will give you a little tour...It has come a long way since being just a wasting heap." And Mary led the way, displaying the results of charity and community and a lot of hard work. And when Calvin arrived back at Home, in his Inbox just as Mary had promised, was the Volunteer Application Form and accompanying National Police Check. So, without wasting any time, he filled them out, and sent them off. Happy and satisfied, Calvin put them from his mind. His criminal past wouldn't matter, he thought, it had been so long ago, and he had done his time. Several days later, he received an email from Mary..."This will be about my Volunteer Application." ...and he crestfallen read... Dear Sir Grateful For your Volunteer Alas I must declare Denial of your proffer Apologies This is a House of God Sinners can't enter here Peace Be With You Mary Sadness lived deep in Calvin and it welled up just then...He couldn't even speak. "I need some air" in despair he wandered, sprouting stones of bitterness as he walked. So deep in his rancour was he, that he didn't notice Father John walking too, and they near collided. "Oh, it is you, Calvin. Both of us so lost in reverie...a happy accident. Tonight is the Opening Night of the Community Centre...looking forward to seeing you there. You are still able to make it, aren't you?" Father John chatted as he caught his breath. Calvin almost said something, and then he stopped himself...Farewelling Father John, at least he knew the truth... Salvation doesn't carry far here. © MICHAEL HISLOP Australia "THE POET GUNSLINGER" The two gunfighters circled each other. The taller, thinner one, his boots shuffled slowly upon the dirt in front of the Angel's Creek saloon. He had carefully chosen to have his back to the blazing noonday Sun. He scratched his back in a "Rib-tickling" motion to scare off a fly who got too close to the tension in his muscles. His eyes now were half closed like a hawk that swoops upon its prey. His arms long and limber ready to snap like the jaws of a bear trap upon the handle of his colt 45 pistol. The one with the ivory eagle handle...the eagle's talons gripping a branch with 47 notches carved upon it. The polished silver barrel half hidden in the black leather holster, still showed its gleam, as if it were on fire from the Sun's searing rays. He was steady and ready for whatever came at him. Circling about twenty feet away was a master gunslinger. After a hundred men fell before his frontiersman 44 pistol...he stopped counting. No one, I mean no one, was faster on the draw than he. He could shoot the wings off a fly...on his first try...and have the gun back in its holster before one could blink an eye. He was the best of the best...with one small flaw. That is, he hadn't been in a gun fight in over a year. After he killed the bandit leader and 12 of his men without even a scratch upon him. The small town in Mexico made him their king. They serenaded him with songs, women, and drink. He partied for days and never stopped his drinking, dancing, or hordes of lovers who adored him. Now, he was here to meet the new king of the gunslingers, the so-called poet who called himself "Fango"..."well, let's see what poetry of my own that I shall put upon his grave stone." He squeezed a smile upon his face. His muscles twitched and a burp forced its way between his lips. He could taste the kielbasa and cabbage he had had for lunch. The bitter sweetness of it was still there...he licked his lips, as if sampling the musty taste in his mouth. Then he shuffled his thick legs in the snakeskin boots to take his fighting stance. He was wearing wrangler jeans. They clung to his legs as like a pair of stretched leotards. The top button on the size 34 waist was now open. It would take a lot more inches to close it now. Luckily, his gun belt was tight around his protruding belly. On both sides of the belt, his skin hung over...obscuring the tops of several bullets that were racked upon his belt. In fact, most of his belly hung over the belt. The proof of way too many happy hours spent in the saloons "All you can eat" buffet. The two gunfighters faced each other head on. The one with the belly fat spoke first. "You are the one they call 'Fango' the poet gunslinger" he giggled at that thought, then involuntarily he let go a backward trickled down from up top and made its way out the back door of his ballooned wrangler jeans. A wild prairie dog who had been sitting there at the hitching post and wagging his tail...took one sniff of the air, gave a yelp, coughed, and with his paws, in a flurry, frantically tweeted his nose...then ran away whining into the open prairie. The heavy set gunny gave a twitch, scratched his butt and continued his proclamation..."I am going to send you to hell, Fango !!!" At the sound of the word, "Hell", Fango's hand was already in motion. Like the talons of a bird of prey, it gripped the bone handle, like a vice, and drew the gun from the slippery leather holster. The hammer cocked, the nozzle pointed, the bullet fired before the other gunny had finished the name "Fango" as it still dangled upon his lips. Fango fanned the gun three times more. The hollow point 45's hit the gunny in the belly...and in less than an instant, he now could buckle that top button on his jeans with the four powerful bullets had taken six inches off his waist. All that blubber was now just mist in the sunlight. The surprised gunny with his gun still in his holster, looked at Fango with awe in his eyes...he spoke as he fell to the ground..."I was going to count to three...but you didn't let me." Fango was astounded that he got that many words out with just his last breath. He looked down at the gunny and said: "Fango's my name, Gunslinging is my game. No one is faster on the draw, As that was the last sight you saw. I always make a sensible poem, When I send a bad guy to hell's home. There is no room here on Earth, For a gunny without any worth. I shall hold my "Guffaw" for as long as I can. For evil doers who turned and ran. I am 'Fango' the gunslinger of Poet's fame All for Justice, remember my name." He took his pen knife and carved another notch on the ivory handle of the Colt. As he turned to walk away, he looked over his shoulder. The prairie dog was back kicking dirt over the gunny...trying to bury what his nose couldn't bear... then, into Fango's eyes he did stare. © FIBBY BOB KINNEY USA "REGRET" On a scorching May afternoon, he sat on the cool, white marble floor of the Taj Mahal, his head bowed in contemplation. Despite the blazing sun and the oppressive heat, a throng of tourists streamed through the iconic monument, eager to witness this beautiful testament to love. The steady sound of their footsteps filled the air, punctuated by the guffaws of children. Yet, amidst this joyous lively scene, the man remained lost in his thoughts, oblivious to the noise around him. His elegant suit and expensive sunglasses hinted at a life of privilege, but his handsome face was marked by a profound sadness that seemed to consume him entirely. Absorbed in his sorrow, he absentmindedly scraped the stone floor with his nails, appearing detached from the world around him. Suddenly, a gentle hand on his shoulder shook him from his reverie. A small child stood before him, offering his ice cream with an innocent smile. The man's lips curled into a faint smile as he declined the offer with a shake of his head. The child, undeterred, ran back to his father, only to return moments later. This time, he placed a 100 rupee note and the ice cream in the man's hand before crossing his fingers and scampering back to his father. The man watched the child leave, tears welling in his eyes and falling onto the pristine marble. He was engulfed by a wave of brouhaha regret, reflecting on how the relentless pursuit of wealth had distanced him from his loved ones. His mother had spent her final days waiting for him, only to pass away before they could reunite. Now, all that remained was an overwhelming sense of sorrow and a poignant reminder of the time lost forever. ** POEM - "REGRET" Beneath the excessive heat waves, He lost himself in fate's dark caves. A journey begun with love spellbound, Stuck in doggerel moments around. How to heal, whom to blame, Bound by greed, caught in life's game. Loved ones on hope's threshold stand, Waiting for the touch of a familiar hand. Years passed, moments lost, Yearning hearts paid the cost. Returning victorious, world in hand, Yet he felt defeated and couldn't understand. Lost assets into time's cruel weeds, Nothing gained in the race of greed. Sorrow and regret the only friends, Greeting them on life's widdershin ends. © FATIMA Z. SARAH India S H A D O W S Myra was a four-year old little girl who was afraid of shadows. The first time she noticed her shadow, she was with her mother Cory, while they were out for a walk one early spring morning. She was so terrified that she started running and screaming for help, saying that a black monster was chasing her. Her mother, catching up with Myra, hugged and comforted her. She explained to her little girl, what shadows are. Still, her fear of shadows remained, specially at night amidst the myriad shapes cast by the lights. And so, whenever Myra walks outside during the day, she always looked straight ahead, avoid glancing left or right so as not to see the shadows. At night, she'd eat dinner before dark and immediately go to bed to sleep. Her mother, though worried about her daughter's phobia, just hoped and prayed that she'd surpass it as she grows older. One afternoon, Myra with her two friends, were playing in a nearby meadow. Soon, they were attracted by wildflowers and decided to pick some. In her excitement, Myra ran toward a grove where more vibrant flowers abound. Doing so, she got separated from her companions and in her return, she took a wrong turn became confused and got lost. It was getting late, the sun was setting and soon twilight came. Calling out while crying, Myra was trembling with fear for soon, shadows would start showing up as the moon is already rising. She helplessly sat down behind some bushes and closed her eyes. At times, however, she would peep hoping to see someone looking for her. In one of these peeps, she saw the shadows of two people holding torches. Closing her eyes once more, she prayed for those shadows not to come near her. She even covered her mouth to silence her sobs and cries. But then, something hard bumped at her back. As she let go of a terrified scream, she was enfolded in a tight hug and a hand stroked her hair. Opening her eyes, she saw it was her father with her brother who was annoyingly letting out a loud guffaw! Myra's happiness at being found overcame her annoyance with her brother. At last, she was safe and realized that the shadows saved her. From then on, she was not afraid of shadows anymore. She even told her mother that shadows are now her friends since they kept her company when she was alone. ** YOUR SHADOW Never fear your own shadow You can't lose it no matter what you do Wherever you go it will follow Attempt to run away, it will chase you It's such a weird but smart fellow A shadow is a dark spectre Just a shy and harmless stalker On its own it can't file a finger Only you could make it flutter You are its lord, you are its master Best allow it to be the echo From our distant forgotten woe Don't ever consider it a foe To befriend it is far better For it stays with you forever I could then say that those people Who fear their shadows are risible most specially when they're adults If they are kids it's comprehensible Cute and in itself, tolerable. © MYRTLE REYES EVE TEJADA Philippines LOVE IS ENOUGH "Are you sure? Are you ready for a new relationship?", she asked. Jack stops for a moment, and even though she's on the other line, Jack knew, she felt his delay. "Am I ready?" Almost a year ago, Jack's beloved wife passed away. They have three children, knowing they were closer to their mother than he, perhaps because he had spent a lot of time working abroad. Jack is worried, having a hard time explaining to them, about his new-found love, it's not to forget their mom, but to continue with his own life, as it was the last word of his wife to him, while she was sick. Until Jack met Rose through social media, she may not be the match of his long, lost wife, but her charm is amusing, her laugh, her rib-tickling tales and stories, caught him unprepared to be in love, with Rose again! But is he ready? Rose asked him. When he asked Rose if it's possible for her to accept him, he is older than her, and he, having three children. "Are you sure? Are you ready for a new relationship?", she asked. Not that Rose doesn't believe him, but he's sure, Rose knows all too well, how he had some hesitations. There were times when they would talk on the phone, he'd have to cut their conversation only because his son might hear and Jack knew, it irritated Rose on the other line. But then, love truly conquers everything, including his fears and anxiety. Jack has to accept the challenge, whatever will be, will be! Without much brouhaha, Jack and Rose became sweethearts, anyway, their long-distant affair, and yet, they haven't met, personally. Their first meeting was so exciting. Jack is still hurdling traffic, when Rose suddenly appeared from one corner of the street, Jack recognized her immediately, and in excitement, he couldn't stop blowing the horn of his car, for Rose to notice him, forgetting that he was in the middle of traffic! Jack found rose to be lovelier and livelier in person, and he thinks that she's the one he is looking for. Jack is actually a silent type of person, especially since his wife just died. But Rose made his days and nights happier, having many stories, her childhood, and for Jack, Rose is amazing. Days moved on. Jack visits Rose during weekends, because of his work and their distance. She's in the city, and Jack is in the next province, until the COVID pandemonium broke. No one could just go from one place to another, stores were closed, parks were closed, no transportation, either. That's when their problem arose. They go back to their usual communication, by phone. It's plain sailing on the early part of the pandemic situation, days, months passed like they don't have any problems, unfortunately, they also don't have much progress in their relationship. Jack usually calls Rose at night, soon as he sensed she's home from work. Their office partially opened, as the government gradually eased the movements of the people, but not with long distant travel. There seems to be no problem, until the times Jack couldn't reach her, and other times, her line was busy. He even tried calling her on break time. Knowing that there's still some restrictions going on, Jack expected Rose to be at work but there's one time during lunch, Rose was not at work. Her friend informed that she went home to get something and would be back afterwards. Still, Jack doesn't see any problem, until the incident recurred, and this time, her friend, whom Jack happened to befriend too, made a mistake of telling a similar alibi, thus, Jack calls again as soon as he approximated when Rose would be home, only to find out she's not. Jack realizes that Rose is somewhere, not in her home and not at her work, either. That night, Jack, not losing hope, calls again, much earlier than usual, only to find out that her line is again busy. Later in the night, Rose calls back, only to say goodnight, as she mentioned she's tired and wanted to rest. His usual time of calls seem to always be occupied, and restricted. Just like the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. She's even turning off her phone, as soon as she says goodnight. Jack can't do anything while having difficulty contacting her, he can't travel because of travel bans. Rose told him that their subdivision is prohibiting visitors to come in. He'll just have to wait for whatever Rose will divulge. And if there's love no more, Hide it, while I'm asleep. If ever you would leave, Please, just do it real quick! 'Coz you haven't felt the pain Of being left behind. It happened once before, What else, my end this time? You once said you would stay, Together, till we age. Why now, shying away? The guffaws, tend to fade! But if ever I'm wrong On whatever I fear, Forgive me, my mistake, I want us to be still. Jack does not stop, only to be disappointed, again and again! Until one night, he was able to talk with Rose, which he regretted at once. Perhaps, it's better not to hear the truth, than to learn she is no more yours. Rose met a man who's so near, while Jack is too far away. A man who can give her anything, that Jack can' least at the moment. Covid-19 hit Jack directly in his heart. The world stopped spinning, he couldn't think straight, everything became dark, he's back in his grave! Jack tried still, to persuade Rose to return to him, but Rose couldn't resist the many promises of the new guy. And worse, the man forbade Rose to talk to him at all. Yet Rose gave Jack a glint of hope. Rose asked for a little time, to try her luck, if she becomes successful with the man, Jack can move on, but if Jack can still accept her, she might return. Rose knew she still loved Jack, but her dreams, and the hopes of achieving them is very near, and she wanted to grab it, if it's to sacrifice Jack. If it's fair to Jack, only Jack will know. Jack can't do anything but to accept his fate, what Rose is achieving now, are all the things he wanted for her, yet Rose can't wait, and the opportunity is waving on her. Jack, unable to talk to Rose, follows through her friends. Each moment without her is a thorn in his heart. Does the man love Rose more than his love for her? Jack offers his future to Rose. Jack learns how the man pampers Rose with gifts and material things. And as the pandemic bans eased up, he thought that they're probably going even big rock pinned on him. So many tears fall, until one night, a friend of Rose, calls him, with information that Rose and the man are quarreling in the car and Rose can't do anything but cry. Jack wants to rush to help Rose, but circumstances prevent him and it's almost in the middle of the night, the distance is not that near. He begs her friends to look after Rose, for anything might happen. Early the next morning, Rose calls Jack, telling him all the stories while crying! That man is so possessive, wanting her to be caged just for him. Jack can't do anything but cry, worried about Rose and as they talk, Rose tells him, "Take me home from here, take me home with you!" Jack is shocked by what he hears. "Is it true?" "Is it true, are you serious?" asked Jack. Rose is still crying and says, "Yes!" She wants to escape from the prison where the man is keeping her. Without wasting time, Jack immediately flew to Rose. Soon as Jack arrives, Rose cried and asked Jack for forgiveness. But to Jack, he never counted her failings, all he knows is that he loves Rose and that's enough. © NATHANIEL D. CRUZ PHILIPPINES THE WESTMINSTER CHIMES Lately, I have dreamt of better times, more often now as I count the Westerminster Chimes. As darkness draws in, nights are getting colder, I definitely feel it more. For many a year, I was someone people would see, now those same people don't even look anymore. They only care about themselves now, long forgotten are the pastimes we shared... But never mind, I'm just waiting for the soup kitchen to open at the Westminster nine chime. Maybe tonight, the shelter will have a bed for me, you know some dogs get treated better. Perhaps I should crawl on all fours and beg, but to be honest, I would rather go hungry... As I walk with my rucksack and my sleeping bag, I spark up a ciggy just as Westminster eight chimes it's time to wriggle on, I don't want to be back of the queue again. If you're five minutes late, they only give you half a plate, the food aint' so hot, it gives me a terrible stomach. Suddenly, a scream makes me look back in the distance, I see someone being attacked. As quickly as I could, I ran toward them, and with all my strength, hit the attacker with my rucksack. He fell to the floor like a sack of spuds in front of me, I looked over at the woman she had just completely froze... I said, "It's alright, he can't hurt you now, I believe I may have knocked him out." My eye caught sight of a knife on the floor, this wasn't a domestic, it was something much worse. Then police were everywhere, must be six with firearms. They shouted, 'Kneel down", which I did without any hesitation. "It's not me you want", with a doggerel tone, "it's him, on the floor", as they cuffed me saying, "You're going nowhere." As the Westminster Chimes hit nine, "Thanks a lot", I said, "I won't get any supper now." "Don't worry", said the officer in the car, "We will sort you some food, then you can tell us what happened, when you've eaten, had a wash and a comfy cell to sleep in". I replied, "You can't keep me here, I've done nothing wrong." To which he answered with guffaw, "Only joking, you're the town hero." "That's just hilarious, even rib-tickling by your standards", I replied..."I just want to go, it's been a hell of a day." At the station, the Duty Sergeant said, "You caught that serial killer, we've been hunting him down for over a year now." I asked, "What about the young lady! Is she alright?" "Yes, thanks to you, she is fine, she has so much to say, but it is traumatic for her." I hear the Westminster chimes ten, and I haven't eaten again. "You will eat soon", the officer said, "Her father said you can have anything." "Anything" I said, "A steak would be nice" with my guffaw laugh. "I haven't had one for years..." The young lady spoke, and through her tears, "You'll be able to eat whatever you want, Dad's putting a spread on, there will be steak, and chicken and everything you like." When we got there, her father took me to a room. "Inside you can shower, and there's a choice of clothes, everything is for you, even the shiny shoes." "Let's get you suited and booted, then we can go and eat, what you did tonight has put me in a risible mood." The hotel had a wonderful spread, I've never seen a table without any bread... "Thank you so much", the young lady said. "Honestly, it was nothing." "I wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for you." "I'm just glad I got there before he used that knife." Then a voice shouted out, "Here's the man that saved my daughter's life!" Everybody cheered, it was a brouhaha as they started to clap. The young lady whispered, "Do you know about the reward?" "You standing here, is reward enough for me." As in my facetiae manner, I said, "You know what, I'd love a mug of tea." As I sat down, a waitress came over, and with guffaw, she chuckled, "Strong, two sugars if I remember right." It was Mary Jane, who I knew from before, "Praise God you no longer sleep in shop doorways!!" "Neither will you, now", as she smiled at me, and handed over a hotel key. "This is your room, and it's number nine, so you can always remember the Westminster Chime." I asked "For real!!! This room is for me?" She said, "Yeah, and the good news is it's paid for! All those clothes are moved in, it's your's for now." "So with the reward money, you can build a new life..." I suddenly remembered a poem we wrote together... Just a home... All we want is a place to stay, Somewhere we feel comfortable every day. It's not much to ask for, a place to call home, A warm bed to sleep in, somewhere to charge our phone. A kitchen to cook in, a bathroom to shower, A couch to sit on maybe doze for an hour. Maybe it will happen, perhaps sometime, Until then, we will live by the Westminster Chime. No more widdershins, our lives on track again. Just a home, to take away the pain. © Badger and Mary Jane I now run a homeless shelter, with Mary Jane. Dreams can become reality sometimes, yet still, I listen out for those Westminster Chimes.... © STEVE LYMAN UK "SEABROOK'S SOLITARY SHORE" In the tranquil village of Seabrook, nestled along the littoral expanse of the coast, there lived a contemplative soul named Eli. Drawn to the liminal space where land and sea converged, he found solace in the ebb and flow of the ocean's rhythm. One mist-laden morning, Eli's solitary reverie was interrupted by the appearance of a mysterious woman, a naiad, seated upon a weathered driftwood log. Her eyes, like liquid pools reflecting the azure sky, held secrets untold. "Do you feel the pulse of the sea, Eli?", she whispered, her voice a haunting melody carried by the breeze. Eli, captivated by her ethereal presence, approached cautiously. "The sea speaks in whispers," he replied, his voice barely audible above the gentle lapping of the waves. "But its words are lost to those who do not listen." The naiad smiled, a knowing glimmer in her eyes. "You have a poet's soul, Eli", she remarked, her voice as soft as the sea foam. "Few understand the language of the waves as you do." As days turned into weeks, Eli and the naiad forged an unlikely friendship, their conversations ranging from the mundane to the metaphysical. They spoke of dreams and desires. Of fears and aspirations, finding solace in the shared silence between their words. Together, they explored the Aquamania that gripped their souls, finding solace in the gentle patter of rain and the thunderous applause of storms. They danced beneath the moonlight, their laughter mingling with the song of the sea. But as seasons changed, so did the currents of their lives. One fateful day, the naiad vanished into the depths, leaving Eli to navigate the shores of his heart alone once more. Lost in a pluviophile's lament, he searched the horizon, yearning for her return. In the twilight of his longing, Eli found solace in the whispers of the wind and the rhythm of the waves. And as the moon cast its silvery glow upon the sea, he penned a poem to immortalize their brief encounter: In Seabrook's embrace, we danced, Two souls entwined, by fate enhanced, But like the tide, she slipped away, A fleeting naiad, lost to the bay. Though storms may rage and waves may crash, Her memory remains, a gentle splash, In every drop, in every sigh, the spirit of the sea draws nigh. © CONCETTA PIPIA US "UNTITLED" In the remote areas near Chumabhati village of Kalimpong district, in the Darjeeling, Himalayas, lived a young girl by the name of Binsa, with her family comprising of grandparents, parents, uncle and aunts. She had a pet dog called Junkiri. Her dog often wagged its tail to hear "You are a mutt" from Binsa. A young girl of just twelve years old, Binsa would explore the hills in the early morning, on the sloppy roads walking silently, cherishing the tranquil atmosphere along with her faithful dog, Junkiri. Binsa was a happy-go-lucky girl, contented with what little her family could afford, though she was very much fond of studies. "Keep all your books on the shelf and clean the dust", yelled her mother, as several books were lying on the bed, disarranged. Suddenly, Junkiri leaped on the bed and exercised some gymnastics which Binsa trained this obedient creature. Like a gush of wind, it started to move in widdershins, as Binsa exclaimed, "Either you sit here on the chair, or you rest in the courtyard." "You are an expert gymnast, my boy", exclaimed Binsa, to encourage the pet. It was a wonderful chord between the amiable creature and a beautiful heart like Binsa. She loved her pet so deeply. Each new step that it displayed, raised a rib-tickling impact. And the family engaged in fun and spell-binding guffaws. It was time for Binsa to go to her school as she cherished the time she interacted with her teachers and classmates in the Chunabhati Primary School at Kalimpong. English was her favorite subject and she was excellent in Mathematics. She aspired to become a leading journalist in India, someday. She enjoyed library time and regularly brought poetry books, home. She wrote good poetry. Over an attention to the doggerels of Hillaire Belloc, Geoffrey Chaucer and Robert Frost. She was mesmerized and ardently guffawed in an engrossment. Her dreams were enveloped in poems that perhaps were unknown to her mother, Falguni. She was much curious to know about English poets around the world. Her favorite Indian poet was always Rabindranath Tagore. A brouhaha erupted from her expressions in the recent poems that she wrote. Binsa grew up to be a strong visionary over her journey to New Delhi. She had completed her journalism from Lady Sri Ram College of Arts and Commerce and now she was deliberately austere of her desire to pursue her post graduation and doctorate from Delhi University. Her parents, Falguni and Hiten, wanted to fulfill their daughter's dream and expected to raise an intellectual from their family. Her published books like "Ephemeral Marsh Marigold" and "Tista's Catastasis" were the best sellers on Amazon recently. She traveled different countries like Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, to receive several awards and honorary book launches, sponsored by some publishers. She continued to pursue Journalism to fulfill her long, cherished dreams. She uplifted the spirit that "Where there is a will, there is a way". Her journey was not easy. She struggled with her deprivations, weaknesses and worked hard with a devotion, dedication, a strong determination and with an undaunted courage to make all her dreams come true. COURAGE SUSTAINS THE DREAMS Emboldening spirits demerge in a chase, Dreams are after all, an oblivion. Desperate over a determination and undaunted courage Where there is a will, there is a way. The facetiae of the world, Must not corrode the hidden desires. Bungled over attempts to endeavor, At times lead us to be victims of a brouhaha Never allowing to be weak to efface One's dreams that require constant perseverance. Catastrophes, calamities, deprivation often damages lives Yet the willpower again, uplifts the souls to parade A marked goal with sacrifices and hard work, May be an accretion to the ladder of success. Deprivation teaches to value the period Needing to cover the progressions. Any superior echelons are attainable Where there is a pleasure in dreaming the success. © SOMDATTA MITRA India "MIND POWER OF A STRONG WOMAN" She gave no ear to the voice of discouragement. Though like wind, it blew into her face each day. She gathered herself together through stumbling steps at first. Never did the two words 'give up' made her mind a slave. If there was ever a doubt, you'd never see it in her life. Friends and family were always the ones she built her walls of defense against. For the wind of discouragements were words that most times, broke her heart into millions of pieces. There were times she'd guffawed at the remarks thrown into her face. For she was a woman who saw victory in all the discouragements. A healthy life was one she defined as free from doubt, free from fear, trusting her instinct and moving on with her life. She always wore a smile defeating her enemies around. That's what I will always treasure about her. ** "MIND POWER" There was a brouhaha over his doubting words Excitedly she rose from her slumberous years of silence Picked up the pieces of her life Put on that smile of victory Marched out of his embrace And promised herself I'm never going back there, again. © JAYNOBO JAYMES Papua New Guinea "DARK WILDERNESS" It was a Friday like everything else. I was down and my eyes were tired after the 4th time you said no to me. Looking back at your photos and videos of you, made me yearn for your love. Your words are like flowers bloomed in spring and your body is sensuous, erotica playing to my muse. "But there is no other way, I can't cope with your wants and needs. What you are asking is beyond me." I was confused. Is it too much to just wanting you, perhaps? "Alas, I will always be needing you and wanting you, I Love You. You said I was your soulmate, how could you do this to me?" And I cried, sitting inside a sweet-smelling café, with its richness freshly baked chocolate brownies in front of me. I thought, well, why don't I just give the lad what he wants, scornful that I just imagine how the previous relationships went downhill. He looked at me inside of the screen of my i-Pad. With a longing look of my eyes, he said it was over. He continued, but I just switched off my i-Pad because I know now, nothing good comes out from him. He was aching with sorrows and tiredness. I was like him, feeling dejected and unwanted by the person whom we've given our life for. As lonely as it is, both of us were looking for a companion, took comfort under the blue sun and now it died under mushroom clouds. Till death do us apart, the sentiment I assume. I can never become unchristian with the scriptures playing at the back of my head. My mind was jammed for a little while. I thought about that day when he kissed me on the forehead after we amorously made love. Risible, holding our breath, our hands were touching honeyed sentiments of hidden pleasures. "Do you go to the seaside?" I asked. Waves will come crashing the beach and take the sand with it. But how many times the waves come, the beach will always be there, the water leaving the sand dunes behind. "I am the wave, I will always grasp you, I will never let you go", I said holding on his cheek smudged with kisses. Night was fading into dawn. I saw the mountain range outside the window of winter clasp town, Fuji-san. At the end of the snowy mountain, can you see the trail where it goes to the valley of shadows? There, I shall remain, waiting for you. I hit the send button on the messenger, and I slumbered into Aubade, with tears in my heart. ** " A THOUSAND NIGHTS" A thousand moon perhaps I've waited for you Like a widdershins you never stood still My heart withered like the rose on winter dews Your eyes were beautiful at the thought of me, Tempest awaken Soul is in quandary Dark days of dark rain Ruin both of our days together Mystery of hope, dwindling of fate At last, you left, where else I'm still searching for me in those thousand nights. © SHEILA ANN Malaysia "THE UNDELIVERED LETTER" Sometimes, the thought of a loved one occupies your mind, without leaving a corner for any other thing; whether it brings joy, remorse or grief, it doesn't matter; love is a patent balm that hurts as it heals. So was the case with Nanu, who for some time now, was caught in the whirlpool of that emotional river, from where it was difficult to exit and painful to stay stuck. For over six months, Nanu was trying to draft a letter but unable to finish; words never seemed perfect to express his state of being. Finally, one day, after shredding into bits, all that he had written, he wrote just three words, folded and placed it in a pink cover, and tucked it in his left shirt pocket, keeping the cover in a way that it remained just inside without protruding over the rim. Before stepping out, he looked at himself closely in the mirror, hung on the wall, combed his perfectly cropped hair, which remained, as it were, in the same place where they were before. He always disliked his hair. His friends could style their hair the way the barber wanted, and the hairs obeyed meekly to the barber's scissors, but his hair behaved like stubbles in a freshly mowed field of grass, straight and obdurate. Maya was staying a furlong away from his house, on the opposite side of the row of houses where he stayed. Every day, there was some or other occasions when he would have a glimpse of her, on his way to or from his house. Of late, he had increased the frequency of his outings, which bothered his parents, but in the absence of any specific material evidence, they just thought it as normal and stopped bothering. When he neared Maya's house, he saw movement of unknown people, in spruced-up, fine linens and sarees, going and coming like tiny red ants. He paused and looked keenly; Maya's brother had come and was parking his cycle. He called him near and asked, "Hey, Bunty! What's the matter?" Bunty smiled and whispered, "Maya's engagement...", and hurried back with a guffaw into the house. II. Nanu looked through the window at the sun, slowly setting down over the hills, with a hazy pallor shading the trees at the bottom of the hills. Holding the pink envelope in his hand, he thought what went wrong in his life, that he is neither happy nor morose, living like a sapless being, ferreting out the past from its holes, and putting them back like a child fiddling with toys out and in from the toy tray. Nanu lighted a cigarette, took a deep and long puff, slowly blew circles of smoke, observed keenly as they went up twirling, and savored their languid dissipation in the air. He tore the envelope into pieces and threw them down in the grass beyond, took a deep breath and exorcised himself out from the clutches of the past. There was an instantaneous change in the color of his face, turning from gloomy and pale to a perceptible gleaming, not visible before, which made him always look sullen and sulking. A new energy rushed through his veins and he thought that it was the mental block which he had nurtured in his own mind, and which has, at last, dissolved in an instant of self-revelation. He sat down and wrote the following lines: Rejoice in what you have, and leave the unattainable Never make brouhaha over things beyond your control. Say goodbye to irredeemable past, welcome the new day, If you have the will, you shall have your own sweet way. © KALUCHARAN SAHU India

  • Love in Art

    Love in art has always been a captivating subject for poets. When they look at a piece of art, they see more than just colors and shapes - they see a story unfolding before their eyes, inspired by the perspectives presented in the artwork, sparking their soul to the surface of their imagination, often intense and profound. Love in particular, evokes a myriad of feelings - joy, passion, longing and even heartache. On February 3, 2024, ILA Magazine provided 4 images for poets to choose from with a requirement to craft a poem or prose inspired by the art, choosing only one. What did they observe in their own perceptions? They were to describe their emotions in poetry/prose, forming an imagination from their own perspectives of the depicted characteristics from the images we personally created. From 27 entries, we chose 12 poets to be featured. ILA presents each poet's work under the respective art they chose to write about. "Would You" If I set out on the road of life Would you walk it with me? If I make mistakes and fail Would you still believe in me? If I confess about my flaws Would you smile with cheer? If I am little low or sick Would you cut off my fear? If I am lost in the dark Would you find me out? If I shriek like a child Would you join to shout? If gravity and thunder shakes me Would you hold my hands tight? If this cruel world abandons me Would you stand for my fight? © Rafiya Sayeed Jammu and Kashmir, India "In the Valleys of Romance" In the valleys of romance with cupid's arrow, Where love songs echo in the soulful shadow Captivated by the scent of scattered Jasmine We dive into amorousness as our hearts entwine. Our hearts pulsate in a blissful rhythmic beat, Melodies of love echo, so melodious and sweet. Our souls align, and passionate feelings bloom, The perfume of our breaths dispels our gloom. An impulse pushes us to accept the sacred bond, On every joyful cadence, our heartbeats respond. Our hearts flutter when we embrace each other, In between shy moments, our lips softly whisper. Amidst the bewitching and alluring atmosphere, We look deeply into each other's eyes without interference. We get lost in the astonishing divine symphony, Wanting to cherish each moment with harmony. © Deepti Shakya India "Fervent Heart" Lovebirds hidden from the buzz Hearts beating wild like drums A passion of fire within the two Woven into a single big cocoon Cupids arrow hitting both of us Full of emotions that just pour Amid the pain of unseen eyes A resolute love tenderly shown Your fervent desire to kiss me Tickles my heart, body and soul © Gloria Magallanes-Loeb USA "Janpath Days 1986" Janpath market checking shawls, Life effervescing then in a close-knit pashmina I thought of words written on bargain threads not knowing breaths had sealed then An oddly different sky at a connaught place Middle Street we kissed Life flowed in each other quashed in the shawl within lips I asked of a river it had always escaped afternoon of repertoires of small talk in a Punjabi accent touching your tongue I saw a sun went hiding in our ancestral sharing eyes closed in pursuit we hurled in colors and stars of another momentary season. © Amitabh Mitra East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa "Midnight Kiss" A feeling beyond the reach of imagination so deep and paranormal to people's speculation sparkling sentient currents in the body wires sending pleasure into the innards and lire arresting all senses of emotional sentinel engilds my night with romantic tunnel. It is just you and I in this solemnity that keeps heart drunk in tranquility of emotional stupor that engulfed our night radiating and relishing comfort of lustrous bight. Our tongues twisting each other bringing our senses into a libidinous pother and out bodies fastened in amatorial candor bidding wave of by to all odds except our emotional splendor. Hold me tight to your soul licking my lips into a lovely bole like flames tonguing fire-pot to a tickle I insert my tongue into yours so prickle and we journey inside each other to sojourn in a bliss of love altogether. © Ikwulono Mohammed Senison Nigeria "Untitled" Amidst melancholy, doth his soul speak Resonance that ripples, her soul t'weep For it remains within passion's embrace Care infinite eternal dwindle doth 'ncase It not matter, whether a path b'intended Adoration shared needin' no destination It is, within those instances, tho', doleful A sense upon flesh, surruond, o', soulful A something that simply exists and just is Minus regret, forevermore, belongin', his His is an essence, presence, remarkable 'Pon wings, never misplaced, ever subtle For he resides within depths of her soul Undoubtedly sensed mid crevice and pore It is all there is, all there needs to be Sharing of two, amidst lands and seas. © Mena Sisto Canada "Saccharine" I heard the words of love you spoke as you weighed flour and margarine, I wanted to believe those words but were they just saccharine? I licked your pink, frosted fingers You licked my cupcake lips, I think I had a sugar rush caught up in a sugar spun kiss. Something so homely and wholesome as we decorated sweet delights, I thought of you all day You were the rich marzipan of my nights. Buttercream daydreams then that proverbial bun in the oven... I saw you licking her fondant fingers You had to have your cake and eat it... In fact, you'd bedded a baker's dozen! © Rhiannon Owens UK "Let Us Stay Right in Love" Under spread of umbrella, let's both of us stand, far from crowds and unpeopled silent scene of a lane where breeze resonates sweet melody of our love jot, where leaves dance in tandem, in the merriment accord. Only two hearts and none to block the free strike in range, peeping into the hearts thru eyes with uninterrupted gaze. Exchanging warmth by being close with no bar site, Yes, my love, let's appease in fair, the love term in light. Let's hug by dearie tie, tightening tie by warmth of love, deluge of delight may surpass the acre of realm thereof. My sweetheart, let us not query rather merge in track, forgetting outer cult of scene and dotting in show, unchecked. © Shiv Raj Pradhan India "Untitled" When it started to rain on this summer day, she heaved a sigh of relief, she knew the rain would sweep all the anguish that was between them and it could give a new start; she had chosen a short black dress as light as a summer breeze and as attractive as the lover's eyes; she also decided to put a pair of high heels, so she could reach him for a hug and tuck all the moments of absence in her heart. She began tiptoeing on a wet road, the sky was gleaming as if washed by the generous clouds, and the street was empty, he said he would wait for her not far from the oak tree the way they used to do when they were schoolmates. She started listening to her heartbeats as she saw him holding an umbrella, wearing a black suit as if preparing for the dance under the rain. He greeted her with a wide smile, he did not want to say anything, he raised the umbrella and mutely covered her hair and then looked at her, when he felt that she seemed a bit feverish, he rushed to touch her lips with a healing deep kiss that would write all the memorable stories of love. © Sihem Cherif Tunisia "Soaking in Love" Last night when it was raining, it was as if it were your tears - splashing through the old sills of trust, and sousing down that diary of frustration - - that had words less, but silence more, and ink less, but tears more - buried! Last night when it was raining the past honked onto my vision, and I left myself and rode to the old heart, and I can see us soaking in love again. And... And The rain never stops and keeps us hearted under the single umbrella of love - - holding us in one soul. As we had crossed the deserts of separation through spans beating the talks in our hearts only, and uttering only sighs and sobs But we keep saying, may the rain never stop now, as I can see us soaking in love again. Yes, we had crossed the seas, too, and sailed on the withered yacht of hope, but that sour thirst burnt us in aches, and the taste was never quenched...until This rain tasted like an April romance, and we can see us soaking in love again. The storms avenge... so do my hopes and I wake up like the withered rose - eyeing for the lovely morning again... © Eshfaq Majeed Pampur, Jammu & Kashmir, India "The Rain" I do not know why, but I love the sound of rain while it is falling on a hot asphalt. It is always different, as if choosing the way to the heart, and the green leaves in the treetops, are rustling with happiness. I do not know why, but I love the touch of its drops, falling out of order, onto the petals of poppy flowers. I love when under the eaves, a bird is waiting, distracted by the dream... luck would. I don't know why, but I like mild rain, flowing down the body, flooding with heat. I love you, the traces of your hands, filled with love, and grace, disturbing the silence... I love the rain, I love her when we are together, when the views speak for themselves, I love when drops... ...leave the messages around as the bodies sway, in the hug... ...The heart is searching for, Answers you seek. Snežana Šolkotovic Serbia "Even in the Heavens" Even the heavens with a heavy heart with tears gently flowing from its bosom cannot hinder two creatures in love to show the world what it takes to invest one's emotions in another with bodies quivering in the rain The feelings do not feel the restraint of how hard it is to ensnare teh warmth in a quick embrace to be savored at the very moment when words are futile when even a grasp for breath is precious for two souls enslaved in a love that is never meant to be for they have lost that very chance before in the past...when the world is at a standstill and the captive audience of a young love meant to last in the arms of other creatures But then, even the heavens are helpless to separate thirsty souls out to drink that fleeting drink from the rains. No, even the heavens are inept when even the hearts weep. Rosemarie Miranda Philippines


    The TELESTICH is quite the challenging poetic/literary device, where letters in a series of lines or verse, form a word, phrase, name or successive letters of the alphabet - it is a type of 'acrostic' of which is spelled out and composed into hidden messages or wordplay. Although in acrostic, the first letters of each line spell a word, in a TELESTICH poem, the last letters of each line spell out a word, name or key message. The 'hidden message' or word can also be written within a poem, internally. "MANGO" FRUIT I went to Market to buy Mango and ripe palM Looked Around for the Availability of ArenA Saw one Nice and ripened, Nowhere like it seeN My utter Grief, looks that Gay but sour stronG Beauty Outside is only Overt like mango toO © PRASANNA BHATTA India Dark is the Sky, so is this minD Intense its Origin, unlike minE Brutally Ravishes the taG But a roaR loses an oaR Listen to Ocean's silencE Evolves a World out of ripplE MUSHTAQUE B. BARQ Jammu/Kashmir, India "PHILIPPINES" Like petals scattered at sea in the maP Greets the rising sun in its virgin FlasH Stringing the fronds, angels made a leI Bestowed to a people blessed and speciaL Brave and resilient as the desert cactI A land where summertime doesn't seem to stoP Sun drenched beaches white and crisP Where all are blessed with a positive chI An Eden, our very own slice of HeaveN A God given piece of earthly paradisE Philippines, my dearly beloved PhilippineS © MYRTLE REYES EVE TEJADA Philippines "APPLAUSE" In comedy or dramA We always need a preP to make step after steP and the result is vitaL in comedy or dramA It's crucial to be yoU Not to be more or lesS And the success will comE © BOGDANA GAGEANU Romania "CLOUDS" Walking on Clouds Why can't we waLk on the grounds? You Once belonged to me This thoUght, is enough for me? I'm holloweD by the peck I shall never receive My desireS will forever remain in fiery breeze. © SHEILA ANN Malaysia "POETRY" The wheel of wisdom atoP Endears humans to a cryptO With salubrious words to inspirE Swords ignorance to expertise fleeT and mellows human's angeR Flapped with reasons to be HappY © IKWULONO MOHAMMED SENISON NIGERIA Reconciling "DIFFERENCES" (A Fictionary Dictionary for Another Dinosaur Thesaurus) I've tried subverting Dominant paradigms Scripturient poet for Inviting new rhymes Ambuliterate I go to Feign walks proven I talk Seeking sweetening Fast haughty squawks Exposing extremely Erratic booksy literary cant Commonalities dive Raw divsivly into rants Reverently soft poet Elation validates cracks Vibraating posh lush Nectary lectory of no maps Diligent reconciling Careful diffuse of bombs Warrior logophile of Extreme worthy word calms A lubrocubicularist So beat...dreaming of sleep © MATT ELMORE USA

  • The Five Senses

    The five senses, given as a challenge to poets by our friend and fellow poet, Mr. Steve Lyman, who passed away on June 2, 2024 and as a tribute to this poet, ILA Magazine begins by highlighting his poem along with ONE 'Best Entry' we chose to be featured here. THE FIVE SENSES My eyes tell me exactly what I see With the looks that envisage life's beauty Pictures and writing TV and food They stare or shine depending on my mood. Fingers feel everything around Touching revelations of what you've found Everything touched throughout the day Senses of things we hold Whether they be hot or cold... Noses now, they've many uses Smelling aroma of coffee and juices The lingering sweet scent of nature, too And the bad smells like car fumes and cows poo... Mouths are used for eating and tasting And lips that kiss send our heartbeat racing Talking is our communication every single day Smiling, laughing and singing in our emotional way... Ears are used for listening to sound Our pleasure for everything that's around A mechanism of understanding danger When you hear a sudden scream or the voice of a stranger... We use our five senses the whole day through They're the mechanical cogs for all that we do Feeding information to the mind and the heart But we all have our own system that sets us apart © Steve Lyman UK A TREAT OF SENSUOUSNESS Holding you in my arms Your velvety touch The intoxicating fragrance of your body, your hair and your breath I looked at your face so beautiful, so divine Your slightly parted lips, inviting I couldn't resist the temptation Your lips tasted like elixir You whispered musically "Put out the light" I spread my palm toward the moon and said, "Ok, done." The zephyr around us, amorously breathed "Oh Wow...what a treat of sensuousness" © Kumar Malay India

  • Genre: Transcreate Poetry

    "A Portrait of a Degree Boy" Translated from डिग्री माइला, Nepal Whether it's in a roadmap of a world or in a drop or a lazy writer whose incomplete sentence by crossing a mark of identity or it's just like a seed of cucumber when viewed through a glass slab or a moth chewing a tobacco leaf The things like numerous controversy famine & drought floods and landslide are the elements that destroy the perfume of identity But the people mandate of our country says that 'our country is the most beautiful country in the world' whereof the people of this land are shy of getting and expressing love They are afraid of living freely rather than living in a disgrace of disguise stupidity They think it's better to die rather than living This country has been left out by Buddha and buddhe This country has been sacrificed by Sita and Bhrikuti But the soul of the martyrs are roaming and foaming in their lost path And the govt. itself is carrying vistas and visa of Dv (Diversity Immigrant) In this beautiful country A degree boy named Dilliram Bhujel is born in a proactive manner of coincidence. Just like A Mt. Everest Urf A Sagarmatha was born after the first great depression of cretaceous Highest mountain peak is called Mt. Everest But in a depression of its axis it carries a load of thousands foot in its private head Then what is the value of its elevation A degree boy is burning and shadowed from inside Like a snake is shadowed by a rustic eagle Than what is the meaning of his conscience In this acre land of exasperation a jewel has become a stone and a man has become a seeming degree boy. Translator: तिवारी बिपिन Sikkim, India

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