3 Poems- Hadara Bar Nadav

The Angle of a Landscape

Blackbirds pluck the trees, throat bloody notes through limbs and eaves. Such radiant violence. The sky, a nacred sheet. The forehead of a hill cracked open so the ghosts rip free. A height once whole, a peak from which to see. Between the curtain and the wall rusts the world through a window. A nest with four teal eggs, dotted gray. Yolk and plaster, pastel-caked. Here, blackbird. Here, landscape. To watch your watching without recognition, without name. Grass-line, tree-line, hairline breaks in the glass, the gauze, the gaze. Your head wanders, nodding like a cradle.

Notes: Titles and italics are adapted from Emily Dickinson’s poetry. 
Published in Lullaby (with Exit Sign).  Philadelphia: Saturnalia Books, 2013. 
Originally published in Crazyhorse.

 

 

Dust Is the Only Secret

Tender father. Feather your face. Fingers laced with June. This waiting room white as always. July. You were patient. August. Body of wilted springs. Part tissue. Part decay. Paralysis. September, and the months drip. Patience. Pain. Infinite contain. Patient between 3 AM and Tuesday. Between sponge bath and morphine. Between warfarin and vomiting. Current, rubber, hiccup, vex. The body lit up, needled, electric. You dream, half-life, half-lit. Machines chirp metallic lullabies. A neon line blinks across a black screen. Pulse like a promise green and green until the heart stops, sleeps.

Notes: Titles and italics are adapted from Emily Dickinson’s poetry.
Published in Lullaby (with Exit Sign). Philadelphia: Saturnalia Books, 2013.
Originally published in POOL.

 

 

 

I Read My Sentence

Unsentence it there. Pry the comma’s hook. Lift with hammer’s claw or thumbnail. Unloose the current of next and next. Shadows appear in their ink dress. Letterforms with arms like a girl: shoulder, leg, bowl, stem flailing in a white sea. Dash table, dash pen, dash raft. Each mark too small to carry breath. What becomes us: marginalia. You once were. Then. Letters through which a promise drifts, until the Matter ends.

Notes: Titles and italics are adapted from Emily Dickinson’s poetry.
Published in Lullaby (with Exit Sign).  Philadelphia: Saturnalia Books, 2013.
Originally published in American Poetry Review.


Hadara Bar-Nadav








Read Interview with Hadara Bar-Nadav here

 

3 Poems- Linda Hogan

First Published by RædLeafPoetry-India 
3 Poems- Linda Hogan archived/Published on 01.14.2015

New Poem Red Part

When I was a girl
old women told me if I were generous
I could paint the part in the middle of my hair with red.
Red ochre. Red paint. Red lipstick.
But it seemed not right
to reveal to the world
that I am generous, because the announcement took it back.
So unlike other girls,
I appeared selfish and ungiving
although I gave so much away,
but who would ever know.
I gave too much.

I think of the many red parts,
the parting of the sea
by Moses who was leading his people
in a never-ending story, the parting in the red stem
of the plant for bad lungs,
the parting of the heart
when one part works against the other
and the veins in their miles
flow back again and again

But the red part I recall the most
had to do with generosity, our giving up
the land again and again
to those who so wanted it. We parted with our
clothing, our children, and on our way
we left the red part
of a blood trail
across the land
like writing that would
be a book, that would
come next
or after us.

 

The Night in Turkey

I forget too many things
but I will never forget the dancers
in the stone church out far in the country.
It was night. The milk in the cold sky
was strongly drawn.
Inside we sat with tea
and the men came out,
nodded at one another, just men
in white robes
and it seems music began
but that I can barely remember
because the men began encircling themselves
at the very core of life
and whirling, stepped in together,
their robes opening out
like tender flowers in first spring.

It seemed the sky unfurled
in all its starlit splendor,
one white moon in the darkness
after another
and the world began to bloom warm again.
The human all had vanished
as we were entranced
and nothing in this world could have missed it.

All this, all this, because something in the human
was silenced and dancers opened in their life
to something greater in the darkness
and we were there with them,
as we became one of them
in a world that bloomed one winter night
from inside a dark building of stone
that fell away from all of us.

 

Harbor

Where do you wish to put down anchor,
to remain, still and silent, but awake,
safe on this skin
of water-held mystery
as the sun path moves across
the long tilt of the world,
tumbled down to tidal smoothness,
or where the moon lies down on night water
in its changing dance?
The barnacles open their closed lives
and they, too, are new,
changing from object to subject
in each life sentence.

From beneath the surface of those waters
the sheltered night shells float up,
still alive inside shining vessels that grow
by the cycles of that moon.

Surely the harbor is a place where magic
is our daily shelter, water our daily bread,
and where ships wash in with hidden cargo.

Inside all these
resides a deep something without a name,
just known and felt, opening unseen
and it can be held but never touched.

When the ships arrive
I hope you see a woman,
a woman in this harbor, safe in this life.
I hope she lives in my skin
and with all her mornings of starting over
she is still anchored,
not going to sea,
not through the channel
to a greater world,
just held in her place
waiting out the weather
and the storms of yet another history.

 

 

Read Interview here!



	

5 Poems by Monica Hand


Migrants die as burning boat capsizes

What if Noah’s Ark, the first refugee ship, went up in flames?
The two giraffes, two winged creatures, Noah, his three sons,
their wives, humanity lost at sea. What if neither black raven
nor white dove could find a resting place, an olive leaf?
What if, someone lights a lantern to open darkness, but
the light turns to flame.  The boat once beacon, a pyre.

What if the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria never landed?
Instead, without satellite or mobile phone, the ships broke down.
And, what if Plymouth Rock pilgrims went overboard in oil?
So close to shore, but still drowning, unable to swim.

What if Christ himself, brown skinned and lost, couldn’t calm
the storm on the Sea of Galilee? What if when he went to walk
upon the water he was taken into its fiery mouth? Jesus,
another migrant, dead before reaching shore.

 

Water Lilies

—after Monet

I watch the light change its many colors.
Here, from my little boat on a little pond,

sky, clouds, algae, weeping willow without
edges, no horizon just changing light.

The mutable landscape floats round leaves.
To hold light in a frame is for the bourgeoisie.

Who would try to possess the water’s surface?
Who would flatten prisms of changing light?

Today I’m green. Tomorrow I may be white.
It’s all the same. Light is more than one color.

Black is an invention of man.  Colors change,
close up and from the bottom of the pond.

Day-by-day, night-by-night, I see
my visions shift in the light, ever-changing

 

Blueberry

Blueberries on the table, food for the gods —
but I am not.  I am a simple farmer
who labors long in greenly grasses and mud
for the purple ambrosia that stills my heart.

Its elixir on my tongue a familiar taste
that guides my worm heavy belly across terrains
in sweet remembrance of an order, ancient
not so careful or discrete, just wholly wild.

This lie, fantasy.  I am no more blueberry
than blackened squirrel foraging
among city stones and weeds.

My body trembles from sugar and caffeine
knows nothing of the foxglove’s silver bells
its poison. This body —civilized and hungry.

 

Wounding Corpus

This body – its muscles and its bones
its sagging milk glands no use as fare,
slightly curved back and arthritic knees
no good for carrying. Lost vessel.
Here resides asylum & dangerous
thoughts, capillaries of grief & greed
equally measured.  A load like skin,
just like the mammoth’s, I cannot keep
myself cool. This body walks inside
bodies of wounding diction, a fit
inarticulate in its meaning.
To disappear, these unstable bones
rustle across continents, crippled,
a senile beast stuffed into a box.

 

Le Lavage

Mother:

Wash over me.
Clean my dirty.
Collect my debris.
Like men in green
flush away filth,
cleanse
my melancholy.

L’eau et le gaz
à Tous les Etages.

Sweep my sidewalks
with your broom
and high pressure hose
that I may not know
the drowning grief
of the daughter
without the mother.

This path I am,
cobblestoned and
winding, would
otherwise decay
without your mouth
of water.

 

Read  Interview here.

Monica A. Hand is the author of me and Nina, (Alice James Books, 2012), short-listed for the 2013 Hurston Wright Legacy Award and finalist for the 2012 Foreword Book of the Year. Her poems have been published in pluck!: The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture, Oxford American, Spoon River Poetry Review, Black Renaissance Noire, The Sow’s Ear, The Wide Shore, Drunken Boat, American Creative Writers on Class, and Beyond the Frontier, African-American Poetry for the 21st Century. A Cave Canem Alum, she has an MFA in Poetry and Poetry in Translation from Drew University, and currently, she is a PhD candidate in Poetry at the University of Missouri- Columbia. More
These poems are published as a part of the
Feature of the Fortnight
series by
RædLeafPoetry-India (rlpoetry.org)
This document is rendered complete with the interview of Monica Hand published on the website.
~~
FIRST PUBLISHED 1th OCTOBER 2014

A Brief History of Triangles- Glen Armstrong

after Nina Cassian

We hear about it: the triangle that a grown man must please. We remember the art museum, the anatomy chart, the wondrous, flayed and sundered frog, so far away, so close. We learn to calculate distance. We overlook the woman’s face. We must, however, learn to see and please the spread wings of her eyes, the arrowhead that her tongue becomes as she speaks, or remain clueless youth.

 In another lifetime, I was a boy running through the cobbled streets of Bucharest. My mother’s face was beauty, bone and worry. I could never triangulate my way home; I could never quite pinpoint poetry, impiety or exile.

Photo Coutesy: Marcelyn Bennet-Carpenter
Photo Courtesy: Marcelyn Bennet-Carpenter

Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He also edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters.

2 Poems- Stephen Byrne

 

The World is a Blank Piece of Paper

 

Silence, whiteness, thin air

craved the start of some story, for
nothing existed, nothing grew-

no song, no summer rain, no
mythical being nor mad love, only
silence and a blank piece of paper

screaming for some ink to become the voice
of the living or the dead or a million
frogs in tune to the setting sun.

And just as lyrics can break silence,
just as the whiteness of the page
can transform into a noisy planet-

the ink flowered into colourful words,
syllables multiplied as the wings of Mayflies,
meter shaped the euphony of a hymn.

War raged on the battlefields of an Epic.
The dead rose and sang to loved ones.
And a child that felt a moment of birth,

became the moon that watched
a father kneel beside its tombstone.
All stories exploded in voice

as sonnets or in the sadness of the blues
and love whispered or screamed or became
a child’s hand within the cup of a mother’s-

for the ink tore through the silence,
creating, indulging, destroying- and
the page was overturned so again

nothing existed but the silence-
no love, no wars, no wind,
nothing but the whiteness of the page.

 

 

Sweet Drunkenness and Five States of Poetic Consciousness

 

I. Drunk on Love

We are the love children of the stars.
Knowledge, a shiver down the spine-
language soaked in age-  are life stories
of birth and death in the lines
……………………………………carving the cups of our hands.

 

II. Drunken Possibilities

To have a son touch your face
and a daughter to pick lilies.
To hear the stones beg water
to drown narcissistic dreams-
……………………………………for the beloved to never leave.

 

III. Drunken State

A dog outside, hounds my ears.
Consistent waves, rocking and
pounding against my skull- the room
waltzes, begging this pile of bones
………………………………………to rise and greet the day.

 

IV. Drinking to Forget

My mother, youthful, scrubbing
the back of my ears. My lover-
her scent proclaiming the morning.
Sleepless night. The tragedy of loss and
………………………………………the child with eyes shut tight.

 

V. Drunk on a Tuesday Morning

An email with a message.
My words finally accepted.
The smell of fresh coffee and
the sound of a boat at sea-
……………………………It has only struck 10am

 

© 2013 Stephen Byrne.  First published by RaedLeafPoetry-India 2013.

 

Stephen Byrne

Stephen Byrne is a Dublin chef and writer living in Galway. His work has been published or is forthcoming in The Rusty Nail, Crack the Spine, The Dead Beats, The Big Issue, The Galway Review, Boyne Berries, The Poetry Bus and others. His first book, a collaboration of poets called ‘Wayword Tuesdays’ was published last November. He is also guest editor for Emerge Literary Journal.

Two poems- Joshua Gray

 

WHY KRISHNA AND RADHA LOVE THE MONSOON

 

In the eternal hemorrhaging of the present,

 

the monsoon is a man pursuing, a god preserving.

 

His sperm penetrates

the shores of India’s hips, satiates her dry, rough skin.

 

But here, high in the mountains, dark clouds

 

finger across the distant sky.

 

Beneath the blazing sun, I lap

the sweat from between your breasts.

 

The monkeys are in heat around us;

 

They leap from tree to tree,

 

their mouths shut, as they prepare for the tornado

of our love. India bares her breasts, atop her waterbed, seduced.

 

As the fog rolls in and chills us,

 

I notice the cool liquid

 

vanishing from your august temple

as the humor of the present continues its steady flow.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

GAURS

 

In the early morning fog before the dim light fully lightens

I sit on the steps of my porch sipping tea

 

And watch the mountain on the other side of the valley open its eyes.

 

I cannot see the more distant mountain; it is hidden by the fog. Nearby,

 

The call to prayer has ended, and all I hear

 

In the deafness of my ears is silence.

I cannot hear the mourning birds in their own pitiful prayer.

 

The neighborly dogs pay me a visit, as if it’s been years,

And take interest in the tea that keeps me warm.

 

I sit in peace, waiting.

 

One of these mornings, a herd of Indian bison will walk by

For their breakfast. They will be the late risers.

 

The lone bull will hang back and chill, deep in the trees.

 

These bison are like cattle, grazing and gazing as they eat.

They are fat and healthy, huge and fast.

 

Their fierce eyes pierce my soul.

 

And yet, they never come then, as I sit; I only see them when

They make their midday rounds. The eyes of others widen,

 

As if they’ve seen a ghost. The others often shut their doors.

 

But I watch the bison fill their bellies; as I draw near, awed,

I am reminded of when I once rested under the dark sky,

 

a canopy of clouds above me, I saw the silhouette

 

of six bison meander passed my chair, unafraid.

 

And now I stand and shudder, shame-faced,

For these wild beasts migrate down the mountain to this new home,

 

Leaving a world they never wanted to leave, never wanted destroyed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

© 2013 Joshua Gray. First published by RaedLeafPoetry-India 2013.

Joshua Gray

Image Courtesy: Foster Wiley

Joshua Gray is an internationally published poet. He is a citizen of US who has spent most of his life in Washington DC. He currently lives in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu with his wife and two sons. To know more about him please visit  www.joshuagray.co .

Sawdust -David Wojahn

 

 

Coming always from below, blade wail & its pungency

*

laddering up toward my childhood room, my nostrils

*

sick-sweet with it. Below he worked his grave machines,

*

tintinnabulous their whirr & snarl.

*

His face in sawdust spray: sweat beads

*

nacreous & a pollen lather, canary yellow.

*

Resinous the wood where he’s entombed.

*

Resinous the wood, who rises spectra

*

this morning with the saber saws, churning the house

*

they’re building down the street below my study,

*

latticework beams. Sawdust visage flaring, ceremonial mask

*

lifted down from the ill-lit gallery

*

& placed by him upon my face. Eye-slits for sight,

*

bright gash for speech, two raw nail holes for scent.

 

 

From Interrogation Palace: New and Selected Poems 1982-2004 by David Wojahn © 2006 . All Rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Reprinted by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

 

David Wojahn
image source: Google
David Wojahn’s poetry often addresses the political and social issues in American life. He takes his subjects most significant moments and infuse them in his works . For eg: the assassination of John Lennon, the professional decline of Jim Morrison or the drowning of Brian Jones. His poems are like he wants, charged with life and explode giving away the particles of a living society. Few of his incredible achievements include- the William Carlos Williams Award, the 2008 Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize and the Society of Midland Authors’ Award. Wojahn was also one of the two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Interrogation Palace.

Around the corner from 193 Rye Lane, Peckham – Inua Ellams

 

– after London Riots.

 

In the slums I’m from
one horn player halts
to refill his slumped lungs
and blows from the dark

of an alley round the corner
from a shop still stuffed
with melted manikins
scorched plaster and soot

fall like whispers from
they who say he must
have fathered the child
who lit the torch that eve

of ripened anger, rough
lines drawn against
riot shields, missiles and
fists like scattered rain.

Me, I think him a stranger
who thinks it odd how gloom
exists this close to high streets
flickering, fat and drowned

with light; this close to
widescreens flashing cut-
throat tales of overnight
fame, fast cash stories glow

like false hope near boarded
youth centres, they glow
but don’t touch the growing
sense of loss perched

on estate walls, eyes sharp
and hood-hidden, tucked in
such gloom they search
for danger but this hour find:

a fox’s hushed ramble,
plastic bag – urban bramble
or further up, a lit joint
like a floating full stop.

He grips close his tube
of twisted metal (how snug
this instrument holds
our city’s soul) and pours

into it the growing breath
of loss. Out floats a song,
young, wild, confused
by reasons how it is

that our thriving city
starves some into madness.
He lifts his song up
over power lines, over

teaming junctions where
newspapers, cameras,
flatscreens, flash on.

 

© Inua Ellams. First published by RaedLeafPoetry-India 2013.

 

inua ellams

 

Inua Ellams was born in Nigeria in 1984 and moved to the UK as a child. Inua was the school’s outspoken, unofficial ambassador for black people the world over.  A poet, playwright, performer and graphic designer, Inua is a words-smith, pursuer and interloper traversing different worlds with rhythm and slice.  For More Click Here!

A Night in Claremont – Ben Mazer

 

When the wind goes down, and with it night
surrounds the elementary, fantastic gardens–
idling a moment in recess from the crowd
by Byzantine fountains studded with night jasmine–
your talk of Shakespeare burdens deciduous leaves
trembling the shadows where I wait
for variants with sterner variation,
peppering the icteous footstep’s pause.
Blown through with visitorious tremulations–
veritably keen, they publish a rumored text
long caught among the leaves, the horns and bramble–
I wait it out, drinking the air’s shrinkage.
My old reprobate of blasts and Stambouls,
carries a sorry cane. For him night’s gin,
but I am young as any promises,
colliding with the imperious speculum.

 

© Ben Mazer, First published by  Rædleafpoetry India

 

Ben mazer

Photo Credit: Vanessa Barnard

 

Ben Mazer was born in New York City in 1964, and educated at Harvard  University, where he studied with Seamus Heaney and William Alfred, and at the Editorial Institute at Boston University, where his advisors  were Christopher Ricks and Archie Burnett. “A Night in Claremont” is   from his new collection New Poems (Pen & Anvil, 2013). Among his other  collections are Poems (Pen & Anvil, 2010), and, in India, Tales of the Buckman Tavern (Mumbai: Poetrywala, 2012). He lives in Cambridge,  Massachusetts, and is the editor of The Battersea Review  (http://thebatterseareview.com/).

 

 

Summer Solstice Chant- Annie Finch

 

The sun, rich and open,

stretches and pours on the bloom of our work.

 

In the center of  the new flowers,

a darker wing of flower

 

points you like a fire.

 

Point your fire like a flower.

 

© Spells: New and Selected Poems, Wesleyan University Press, 2013

 

Anne Finch

Annie Finch is author of numerous books, most recently Spells: New and Selected Poems and A Poet’s Craft: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Sharing Your Poetry. A columnist for Huffington Post, she is currently writing a memoir. She directs the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine.

OAKLAND – John Hennessy

 

You told me you adored me from your grove of oak trees,

surprised me with a hastily scripted pornography of oak trees.

 

Your feet press the clutch, hands turn the throttle, of oak trees.

I’m suspended beneath you, anticipating the mileage of oak trees.

 

I relax, prep for my cameo, mull interviews, lost weekend, red-carpet commentary,

in this green room made from the idea of oak trees.

 

The ancients studied the rainy mysteries of oak trees,

gave Zeus, Thor and Dagda the lightning principles of oak trees.

 

Your arms are the commercially interrupted biography of oak trees,

your thighs the folklore and studio-lot mythology of oak trees.

 

What are lost dogs, drowned kittens, to the leafless middle age of oak trees?

Sciatica has no sexual side-effect once we undress ourselves, a pair of oak trees.

 

Remember, Saint Columba apologized to the forest from his church of oak trees.

Saint Brendan stripped his boat of skins, clever pre-Columbian, a mariner of oak trees.

 

You’ll speak to me in the many Englishes of oak trees,

talk me easily into being tied to the headboard of your bed of oak trees.

 

Petrichor is experienced most acutely beneath the morning shade of oak trees.

Take care horses, cattle are not poisoned by acorns grazing near stands of oak trees.

 

You are the food, fuel, fiber, feed, and reclamation in our agronomy of oak trees.

You are my fate sketched in constellations found only in an astronomy of oak trees.

 

I’ll tattoo my name in channels, canal the small of your back, and you’ll leave

your mark on me, with ink made from the bolt-struck bark of oak trees.

 

Woodpeckers, warblers, jays and creepers tap an ornithography of oak trees.

But who knows what secrets go undisclosed in the autobiography of oak trees?

 

John Hennessy© 2013

 

John Henessey

John Hennessy is the author of two collections of poetry, Coney Island Pilgrims and Bridge and Tunnel, and his work appears in many journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2013, The Believer, Poetry (Chicago), Fulcrum, The New Republic, The Huffington Post, and The Yale Review. In 2007-2008 he held the Resident Fellowship in Poetry at the Amy Clampitt House. Hennessy is the poetry editor of The Common, a new print magazine based at Amherst College, and teaches at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

 

 

 

 

 

In Kathmandu (Four from his Notes) – M. A. Schorr

 

A Present -I

(to my dear children and grandchildren)

 

If there is a better moment

than a present with you,

I have not seen it

 

If there is a hell,

a deep resentment, it is

to be without that present

 

You are. That is enough for me

to forget boundaries between yours and mine

your present has been:  to be.

 

 

Apple Scones -II

 

An apple turnover

is a medium

of international transfer

 

with or without

an imagination of disaster

 

 

Hunger- III

(for Amartya Sen)

 

I wander in a chartered cab

in front of a pizza shop

a stop is interrupted

by a hungry child’s open hand

 

the chartered cab has gone away

the pizza shop’s long gone

but the open hand stays with me

when I am all alone

 

Fire and Ice Pizza, Kathmandu -IV

 

Some say the world will end in fire or ice

But despite the despiters

I say that pizza would be nice

And today in Kathmandu, it will suffice

 

 

©2012 Mark Schorr. In Kathmandu (Four from his Notes) First published by RLPI 2013

 

Mark Schorr

 M. A. Schorr‘s most recent book of poems are Recovery: 77 Dream Songs of Men and Machines and Aliens: Haiku, Tanka, and Yotsumono . He teaches literature at Cambridge College in Lawrence, Massachusetts and the Executive Director of the The Robert Frost Foundation. For purchase details of his work, please email [email protected]