My Land’s Way |
by Farnood Jahangiri

My land is used to the dead
And messages from them received,
But it is not in the habit of seeing
Live Messengers going out.


My land knows well the dead names
Inscribed in cuneiform on stones,
But gets angry at the river that
Takes away its living things.


My land is used to the blood
Covering its arid body;
It finds it the best way to quench
Its hungry sand belly.


But it hates to see the blood
Returning to the veins of its beings
For only one goal and one goal only
To leave the numb curse of its womb.


It is perhaps the reason why
In my land when thousands die,
No-one cries for no-one’s sake
But when from it some-one goes
A thousand hearts silently break.


___
Farnood Jahangiri is an English student and also a teacher, studying in Baha'i' Institution for Higher Education, has been writing poetry both in Farsi and English, and have published two other poems previously in Commonline Journal.

The Inequality of Affection |
by Donovan James

Feeble folk songs drift
Across exhaust coated streets,
While hollowed out Americans
Slurp fifty cent Saigon beer,
Back dropped by the luscious wavelengths
Of distant mountain ranges marrying clouds,
A tan and specked shore,
But all I perceive,
Are your curves, your words, your smell.


Rare dispatches stumble
Across the pacific,
Making surgeons of love lorn poets,
Who dissect the space between
Precious letters,
The feelings and thoughts
You keep bottled up.


But there's only room
For passive aggressive theories to flourish,
Worries of your indifference,
Of your bed littered
With discarded interest--
Goddamn this immutable distance!
And the enigma of your words:
"I don't really feel alone."


.....I
do.....


Oh, the inequality of affection,
Where one is left to roast,
And wait,
Words stifled in cement blocks,
For love is suffocated
By force--
And affection won through deceit,
Is such a bitter drink,
And warmth bequeathed through pity
A somber affair,
And lust acquiesced through guilt,
A passionless gift,


Leaving love lorn poets
To ponder upon a shore,
Of when
Or if, at all,
The recipient of unrecited poems
Will return.


The chorus crescendos into silence,
And you disperse into the horizon,
Leaving only foreign mountains
Dotted with forests...
The beer is warm, the bar
Empty,
I drink, absently,
Look out over the water,
Where listless embers of empire still burn,
The reeking plumes of terror,
Extending through time.


___
Donovan James tries to express humanistic and idealistic views in poetry, despite a ravaging cynicism. He believes that the money and effort allocated to war and fear should be used to feed, shelter, and educate the poor, no human being excluded. He tries to write poetry that connects with other buoys adrift in this absurd and lonely world.

Silky Sorrow |
by Sujoy Bhattacharya

I was playing with the caterpillar . 
It crawled down the trunk of the sesame tree . 
I was sitting near a red- ant – hill allowing 
them to inject formmic  acid in my body .  
The caterpillar crawled on over my shoes 
waving her body in a peculiar dancing posture . 
I was building logical relation among the three – 
Uncouth caterpillar , supple silk and captivating 
Butterfly – hades , earth and ecclesiastical sky. 
Millions of caterpillars crawling here and there 
The beautiful  earth veiled behind silk cloak . 
Butterflies homeless soaring high up in quest 
of a habitable hearth elsewhere in other planet . 
Outcry of the flowers – musing nymphs nefarious! 



___
Sujoy Bhattacharya

Bob Bodycomb |
by Ian C. Smith

Most fights were hardly gladiatorial,
wrestling jousts until the one pinned ceded,
promoted by schoolboy agents provocateurs.
These rituals of strength presaged our future,
the ether through which we were about to plummet.

Keen for peer approval I usually excelled,
good at sport, rash, while he was sound, calm.
We rode the same bus, neither friends nor enemies.
Expecting to win I was soon discomfited,
shielded within the circus from teachers.

The years grind us.  I read his name, remember
his precocious ambition to be a cop.
He has shot dead a criminal during a siege.
On the run from sad times I reflect
how simply giving in ended youthful foolishness.

Far afterward, news with his name again,
this time a wheat silo, a rural shift,
his attempts to rescue two boys from suffocation.
Do distant echoes blister his quiet moments,
the price we sometimes pay for our dreams? 


___
Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in , Australian Book Review, Australian Poetry Journal,  Cream City Review, New Contrast, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Stony Thursday Book, & Two-Thirds North.  His seventh book is wonder sadness madness joy, Ginninderra (Port Adelaide).  He lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia.

Our Nation in the Desert Pot |
by Francis Annagu

Our nation potted in
The trough of the litttle desert pond cracked
In the ravaging sun, its treasury is full of
Gold and contracts yet the poor have no baskets to harvest
The fallow plots of wheat while the wealthy seat
Over round tables for a cowrie shell more
In roudy toasts to their iron greed.

Our nation drank alot of wine from the
Vultures pot of greed, ever since the masses have
Come to the parliament gates, a colony of
Those with dry tongues and bellies
On a long trek to the house of coins and omelettes
As the grumbling Almajiris* like killing predators
Till out the barns of ants in search of gathered grains
Under dark clouds of the nation's strayed bullets.

As the roofing sheets gave a scorn to the thatched roofs,
The judge strutter to the courtroom with a
Wig on his fattened head for another
Justice miscarriage
 measured
On the cheap electors as their blue blood
Scamper into cheap bone marrows
The
 migrating antelopes are chasing the winds.

As the red-rains of anguish falls on the widowers'
Leaking rafters, the gluttonous bats
In olympian race perch on the healing magma of the hills.

The poor will remain hungry  as earth has
No rains to grow their crops in the winter
Time when the ruinous storm blows death
Makes a harvest of the weak people of irony
,
The dance of the weak are like the tropical trees reciting the
whirrings of the mocking winds-
The shrieking cries heard yet a sheriff
Pass by amidst the injustice and corruption
 in sharp bending
By the wealthy carrying about their trinket boxes.

Audible sounds of suffering splash on the streets,
The labour union grouse against the inflated prices
Of petrol and food items, as the giant elephants
Refuse to trunk water to the nation,
The people limp to the slaughter houses
Collecting the broken bones of hornless rams
And every step they take is toward the dawn
,
Oh night has trailed the thin anchors of the ship!

The thunderous hooves of the suppressed masses in protest
Tore the tarmacs as the
lamentation
Of their empty bowels heralds that the weak
Are in a salvaging call to the political
Prelates with handful of sands
Mourning their nation carried by the desert storms.



___
Francis Annagu is a Nigerian poet. His poetry x-ray the social and
political ills in the society, especially Africa that has suffered many a
sandstorm of corruption and injustice. His poems have been published
in Potomac Review, Ayiba Magazine, Kalahari Review, The Poet
Community, Lunaris Review, Galway Review, Commonline Journal, Crannog
Magazine, Sunflower Collective and many others. His first poetry book,
RAIN UPON US, will be published soon.

a grandfather's reverie |
by milt montague

michaela and me
a park bench
at riverside
watching


swift waters
rush to mingle
the fresh effluence
into the forever ocean


we sit quietly
out of sync with
time or reality
observers


my arm shielding
her slight body
as life rushes
headlong onward


time
for peace
after wrestling
the tide for ages


her trek barely begun


___
Milt Montague was raised in New York City, survived The Great Depression, and World War ll.  After 20 years back at college he discovered poetry at 86.  Now at 90 plus he has 98 poems published in 29 different magazines.