2 weeks ago
Dust under the Rug
How Mom loved that tale
of “Dust under the Rug,”
with all its didactic
clamor and finger-shaking
to instill fear in her
dopey kids, that is, me
and my little sister.
Sis was a sucker
for such dire threats and took
them to heart, while I shook
them off with precocious
cynicism. My mind
translated “dust” into
gunk, crud, dirt, crap, trash,
or roach carcasses, mouse
turds, squashed peas, and, older,
into lines of metered prose
memoir poems, neo-
Beat bombast – other stuff
I then stuffed under the rug.
are the Big and Little Dippers
or Ursa Major and Minor,
seen by the Greeks as bears.
Would we love them more as
Momma Bear and Baby Bear,
Teddy’s that inspire insipid
cartoons and commercials,
Or do we embrace them
because they seem close enough
to dip water from a barrel and pour
it into a glass or because
they are so terribly far away?
The ticket taker says, “Thanks, Boss,”
The laundry man says, “No starch, Boss,”
The cleaning lady says, “Next time, Boss,”
And you grate at being called “Boss,”
Because you used to be a soda jerk,
gas-pump jockey, delivery boy –
The Reporter-Dispatch, special-
delivery mail, pharmacy prescriptions –
and got chased by the snarling Doberman
in the yard (“Don’t worry—he’s quite friendly!”)
and called “You Fock” by your rotten boss,
so you smile and squash the urge to say, “Don’t
call me ‘Boss,’” and squelch the itch to
reply, “You’re welcome, Mother Fucker.”
Out of Kilter
All day the world felt just a bit off
balance. And yet, nothing was really wrong—
the late summer sun shone at least as bright
as yesterday (though not for quite so long).
Barbecue weather—kind of day to loaf
outside, tracking a hummingbird in flight.
The sun blazed crimson, dimmed, and then was gone.
Tonight, lying beside my wife, I caught
a knife-edged moon peering at us. I held her
tight to my chest, as though we both might float
away without seeing another dawn.
Hard to sleep when the world’s gone out of kilter….
Been meaning to catch up—figured to give
you a call soon. Your voice inside my head
retells a story. Smiling, I’m amused to
hear it again—till I recall instead
how this day was the first I’ve been alive
when you are not. Takes some getting used to.
in memory of Edward E. Smith, 1940-2012
Kelley Jean White --- three poems
There was thunder, and a mountain shattered, falling—
There was a single tree still standing in this city,
one tree beside a noisy street. (‘noise’ does not begin
to speak for all that sound.) And now that I have come back
even this last tree has fallen, unnoticed, with a silent swish
of still green leaves. Oddly, it struck no building, just
cobblestones and tar, trolley tracks, the cracked sidewalk
beneath its trunk and branches No lightning struck, no wind
sent it sprawling. It seems its roots simply released,
its little soil outgrown. It was my only tree here, and I
have left northern white mountains, racing rivers, torrents
of snow melt carving glacial caverns out of granite.
I had thought to see it, this one tree bloom into autumn, shade
into snow. Now there is nothing to see. But dirty glass and
crumbling buildings. Scars.
These are my woods
head past pumpkin plants
cross the brook onto the thick mat
of leaves and sticks and over
fallen trees. So many fallen trees.
There is the owl tree on the left,
empty of owls these past two years
below and above vernal pools
filled before dawn by last night’s rains
light slants through woods ahead
silence, broken for a moment
by what might have been a deer
not glimpsed, sensed; turn, look back
see the brilliant white birch trunks
let them draw your eye to peace
Tonglen practice, also known as “taking and sending,” reverses our usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure. In tonglen practice, we visualize taking in the pain of others with every in-breath and sending out whatever will benefit them on the out-breath.
How many years have we counted
each other’s breath? Tonight I have
barefoot tiptoed from bed to desk
from your curled back to a stone cold
floor. When I return you may wake
and roam the ticking quiet house.
But how many hours have we shared
with breath matched, dreams matched,
snores, sighs, stretches. Even the cats
stay attuned. Curved into the spaces
between us. The space made behind
our fitted knees, our pillowed necks.
Their purrs, their tiny sneezes. Their
paws. So I breathe in your pain as
my pain. Breathe out my hope for you,
breathe in your hope as mine. The cats?
Their dreams are soft and timeless.
Yours and mine? Carry a little fear.
Julie A. Dickson
Homage to Fear
Darkness descends, ebony blanketed sky
skeletal branches loom, arms outstretched
provoked terror mounts to crescendo,
perspiration soaked skin beneath hooded
jacket, eyes wildly searching path.
Rope swing sways, empty now.
Swimmer dropped into unknown depths,
awaits his brother, bubbles - breath
to break swirling water, clouded
with silt, no sign yet.
Voice of anger permeates silence,
cringe into the nearest retreat,
caustic cacophony, sadistic screeches rise
in volume while madness beckons
from every perceived safe corner.
Dog lurches against his chain,
pass by quietly, ignore barking,
jaws clenched watching foam appear,
strangled growls, front paws grapple
rough ground, walk away quickly.
Empty water bottle, lips cracked
parched swollen throat feels raw,
heavy leaden footsteps through sand,
dry desert floor, sparse saguaros,
phantom shadow feigns cool oasis.
Julie A. Dickson
In the woods
Leave yourself behind
Peaceful pines surround you
Julie A. Dickson
Hold on Tight
They told her she was barren,
her damaged womb felt as sad
as her empty heart, no baby
to love - until work from home;
quietly allowed fetus to implant, calling
to her, I will be born.
My father was replaced, with this
stranger, peering out through blank eyes,
not the volatile man he was,
firmly planted in an orthopedic wheelchair;
dementia stole my father, but I
admit I sometimes prefer this substitute.
A young tabby, alone in the city,
tail broken and flattened, thin, starving,
trapped, sent to a stark crowded garage;
she fears humans, but accepts food,
finally placed in a forever home,
languishes sated in a sunny window.
Dark blue eyes not open much
at first, so sleepy and hungry,
arms stretched out over his head,
emerged from my daughter, already loved,
held close to hearts, swaddled tight;
cannot stop touching his soft head.
A stroke left her weak, feeling
helpless, lonely. No more will she
create her lovely hand knitted sweaters,
we talk of Ireland; she smiles
at memories held, gardening and plants,
hand clasped softly in mine, remembering.
Julie A. Dickson
I shouldn’t have tried to look inside
The abandoned house boarded up
but for this single window
Dog and I approached to peek in,
disturbed hornet’s nest, sentries
reminded me of our lapse in decorum
Julie A. Dickson
Grab ahold tightly, don’t lose your grip.
It’s important to look beneath as the rope
swings left and then right.
Over dark veiled water, you cannot see anything;
could be rocks or soft sand below;
don’t let go too soon unless you feel safe
but if you sway with the rope, back up the hill,
there are surely rocks, boulders even;
you’ve hit your heels before and it hurts.
The gnarled rope shows signs of age, knots frayed
with the years, but its still strong enough to hold
your weight until you decide whether to jump in.
Julie A. Dickson
By Chinese Poet Hongri Yuan
Translated by Manu Mangattu
Assistant Professor, Department of English
St George College Aruvithura, Indiaa
Ah! Of iridescent gems of time
The heavenly road you paved light！
In a kingdom of stars,
I found my home.
In the golden cities,
I opened the gates of the city to the sun,
To behold the godly giants.
At the royal palace of the jewel
I read of prehistoric wonderful poems
The enormous, gorgeous ancient books.
Carved with the golden words
The wondrous strange mystery tales,
Made my eyes drunken.
I walked into the full new universes,
And saw the holy kingdoms:
Even before the earth was born
The erstwhile home of human history.
Across Time and Space in crystalline glitter
Stands this moment a platinum city –
The spaceships drifting leisurely,
Like the birds, resplendent in variegated hues.
In the crystal garden I saw
A crowd of youthful giants,
Their eyes were bright and glittering
In the aura of the body sparkle..
They sang happy songs
They danced a wonderful dance
Lanky boys and girls in pairs
As if to celebrate the splendid carnival.
I saw a circular edifice
High above the city.
Giving out white-bright lightnings.
Raised ground to fly into the quiet space.
A frame of platinum edifice
Creating a beautiful pattern.
The whole city is a circle
Arranged into a fine structure.
Into a bright hall I went.
A strange instrument there I saw.
A huge screen hanging on the wall,
Displaying a golden space.
Like bits of colourful crystal gemstones!
Resplendent with variegated colours of the city!
Those strange and beautiful high-rise buildings
A sight better than the myth of the world.
I saw lines of strange letters.
On one side of the screen flashed swiftly
Numerous young and strong giants
An effort to concentrate on the changing images.
Their look is quiet and peaceful.
The learned flame flashes in their eyes.
In a flash of clothes
The next is a whole.
Their stature, unusually tall.
Each one is well-nigh seven meters high.
Both men and women look dignified
Almost no age difference apparent.
Their skin is white as snow
With a faint flashy shine
Bright eyes are as naive as an infant’s
Also kindled with a strange flame.
They manipulate the magic of the instrument.
The pictures of the changing space.
Their language is artless and plane.
As the bell is generally pleasant.
As I survey the length and breadth of the bright hall
I feel a powerful energy
Body and mind suffused with bliss and delight.
As if I too am a giant.
I seem to understand their language.
They are exploring the mysteries of the universe.
The cities on a lot of planets
Peopled with their countless partners.
Their mind they use to manipulate the instrument
Also can to transfer data be used
Even thousands of miles apart
Also to talk free to the heart.
Many lines of text on the screen
Is but a message from afar.
The whole universe is their home.
They build cities in space.
They use the spaceships
To transport you to far-distant other spaces.
Into a lightning, a moment, and you
Vanish into thin air, without a trace.
I feel a new civilization.
They have magical eyes.
They seem to be able to see the future
And can enter diverse time-spaces.
Men and women are holy and loving
Superior to our world's so-called love
They don't seem to understand ageing
Neither do they know about war.
Time seems not to exist
Science is jut a wonderful art
Their happiness comes from the creation of
A universe full of divine love.
I saw a young giant
Opening the door of a platinum
A round, magnificent hall
Packed with rows of giant s of men and women.
I saw a crystal stage.
Gyrating at the center of the hall.
Where a dignified and beautiful girl
Was playing a huge musical instrument.
A bunch of golden rays,
Shifting with all kinds of brilliant graphics
A mysterious and beautiful music
Like the Dragon leisurely crowing.
Thence I saw an enormous giant
Jump out of the remarkable dance onto the stage.
His hands held a huge ball
Which flashed with many colourful drawing .
I saw a group of young girls
Wearing a kind of white dresses
They seemed to fly lightly
Like the giant cranes.
The huge circular hall was resplendent
With clear, transparent decoration.
Like a bizarre gem of a full set，
Scintillating brilliantly in the light.
I saw a young singer
About the golden flame
The sound was strange and striking
Like singing , like chanting too.
Their music is at once mysterious and blissful
That shift randomly like the lightning
As if many planets of the universe
Shining bright and light in space.
The crystal city, aloft in space
Looks resplendent, magnificent
Countless wonderful golden flowers
Bloom and blush in that flawless space.
I saw an image of a transparent smiling face,
As if it were a colourful garden
The sky shed the golden light
And turned it into a city of gold.
I strode out of the circular hall
Came to a wide street with a smooth
Pavement covered with precious stones
And in line with the platinum edifice.
There are no terrestrial trees here,
But they are in full bloom with a lot of exotic flowers.
Sparkling with rich incense,
Shaping a garden at the center of the street.
Some strange flowers were there.
The branches as transparent crystal
Flashing all kinds of brilliant colours;
And bunches of round golden fruit.
I saw a huge statue.
It was like a spaceship.
Clustered around by shining stars,
High above the centre of the street.
I saw the column of a dazzling fountain
In a huge circle in the square;
The elegantly modelled statues
Portraying the holy giants.
The soaring magnificent edifices
Ran round the circle square.
There were some garden villas
There was a platinum steeple.
I saw a wide river
Girdling this huge city
The bottom flashed with transparent gold dust,
Amidst which were scattered brilliant gems.
The planning of tall trees on shore
And a long crystal corridor
A big multi-coloured bird
Three five one group floated on the surface of the water.
I saw a vast forest
The swaying tree, a tree of gold
The trees with towering spires
And as some platinum Pavilion.
I saw some giants along the walk,
Some male and female bodybuilders.
At the water's brink or in the forest
Like birds carefree and relaxed.
The wonderful space was as bright as crystal
Embraced this platinum city;
A giant, white and bright ball
Flashing boundless light into the air.
It resembled the huge suns
And like the man-made planets
The whole city was shining too,
Weaving a rare breed of magic.
A strange speeding train circled
About the city back and forth;
There seemed to be a kind of track in the sky
Like a shiny silver curve.
They seated body white buildings
As if it was a dreamlike maze
This huge city was unusually quiet,
Could not even hear the sound of the wind.
I bade goodbye to the platinum city.
Near a golden space
Stands another city here
A huge city of gold.
The building here is also huge.
But it's another beautiful shape.
The whole city is glittering
Golden edifice as beautiful as sculpture.
Here there live some other giants.
As if from another nation
They have boundless wisdom.
Like a golden, holy civilization.
BioYuan Hongri (born 1962) is a renowned Chinese mystic, poet, and philosopher. His work has been published in the UK, USA, India, New Zealand, Canada, and Nigeria; his poems have appeared in Poet's Espresso Review, Orbis, Tipton Poetry Journal, Harbinger Asylum, The Stray Branch, Acumen, Pinyon Review, Taj Mahal Review, Madswirl, Shot Glass Journal, Amethyst Review, The Poetry Village, and other e-zines, anthologies, and journals. His best known works are Platinum City and Golden Giant. His works explore themes of prehistoric and future civilization.
Phone:+86 15263747339 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Address:No.18 middle school Yanzhou District ,Jining City, Shandong Province, China
地址 中国 山东省济宁市兖州区颜店镇 兖州区第十八中学