Sunday morning, nine a.m., we congregate
at our local pool. Almost naked, our bodies
hold no secrets from each other - like lovers,
we celebrate heavy legs, cellulite, fur, spider maps
of broken veins, ink blot bruises, the sad sag
of paunches. We know scars, birthmarks,
we’ve seen hair plastered to scalps, each body
poor and compromised. Underwater, it’s as though
we’re transparent - look through our glass skin
to our clotted hearts and lungs, our fat blue veins.
And yet the water parts for us, for our muscle
and sinew, blood and bone. I love the tattooed man,
a torpedo of inked flesh, who calls me Babe.
I want to stroke his mole-soft head -
damp suede - and tell him he’s beautiful,
I love the way he swims, then to whisper
how cleansed I feel, afterwards, as we shower.
More Poems by Catherine Smith
Luciana De Palma
That defeated love
That lost memory
That cancelled smell
That calmed voice
That not more repeated gesture
That changed look
That empty space
And that useless time
My small soul
You persist to preserve
You don't resign yourself
To leave to go
And I die
As a captain
With his ship
(poem from "RISACCHE", ed. Secop, 2007)
Poems by Luciana De Palma)
A Poem by Anupama Raju
Yesterday, I died:
In the teacup you broke,
spilling years of love.
In the letter you wrote
of a love once alive.
Yesterday I died:
In the green, green grass.
In the footsteps that measured
three and a thousand years.
Yesterday I died:
In the sliced onion
rotting in a dark kitchen.
In the lazy pile of dust
Swept by wrinkly fingers.
Yesterday I died.
And today, in my place stands
A papery young rose
With dew on its petals
And the sun by its thorns.
(First published in 'Mosaic', An Anthology of Poems, Unisun
poems by Anupama Raju)
One Poem by
L. Ward Abel
We met in the Rothko Chapel
and I knew her by her
afloat in cool dark colors
along the lining of a room
without shape. She
enjoyed the paintings there,
said they were happy, said
they were smiling from
shadows. Maybe the essence
of 'happy' is morning arrival
by way of night, I said to myself.
But I couldn't be sure
what she meant. I couldn’t see
the joy in those panels.
Then she was gone, as gone as
And there I sat, stood, sat,
dreamed without sleep.
I glowed like a nap, though.
Her perfume still
in that holy open space.
poems by L. Ward Abel
A Poem by
lay drowning, upon fluid arms
vast unmoving lake
true depth none knew, save the many condemned
eons within its shadowy bounds
puddle, though it was
who knew, what she did not
embraced the water's cruel depths
I had to,
to save her,
death too early, in its wake
To save a
life, yet unlived
I did it
for I loved her
danger passed, she was safe
unseen miracle saved us that day
water did not claim its prize
caressed her hair, to feel her touch,
opened to mine, an unearthly red
realized, the water that glistened,
all from the lake
back to my watery bed!' she cried
may sleep an eternity,
again to your arms!
of new life, is all nut wasted,
In a love
so contrived, on a moment's sacrifice!"
love's misery, I heard her voice
spoke yet, without sound
unuttered, falling lifeless,
knew at last
That I was,
more poem by Abhimanyu. Raman)
A Poem by GAURAV BHADURI
IN THE DARKNESS.
When vision be my friend,
the darkness be no bound,
all that I feel, I see,
my senses are profound.
To touch and feel a flower,
is sense not all can taste,
for vision be my friend,
he cannot feel this way.
No eyes ought to feel the touch,
how special it can be,
but close your eyes and touch a rose,
and feel a thorn just for me.
For feeling of a thorn will tell,
the true nature of a flower,
for vision be my friend,
this is one of darkness power.
poems by GAURAV BHADURI)
by Marina Ma
Surviving Jakarta 1998
It's been ten years since Jakarta 1998.
Never forgetting, not always remembering
That otherworldly flee. Never questioning
Nor knowing when to say 'farewell'. I had
A hero and a heroine quite ordinary - a
Driver and my mother who wore black,
Drove speedily in and out of fumes and
Promised that I would soon be home safe.
Tucked into bed with a spanner and a bat,
Me and my sisters were kept in a great
White house bubble wrapped in black
Garbage bags. In hiding, we were protected
By flickering sounds of Cartoon Network and
MTV lullabies. Sleepily, we boarded that last
Cathay flight back to Hong Kong with one stack
Of the new ten thousand Rupiah bills worth
One bowl of wanton noodles each. One bowl
Each, one bowl each day times three. Five
Of us each to our naivety; we were safe but never
Home. Each of us still dreaming ten years alone
This May. Ten years this May, we fled far away
From barbed wired fences and tales no one believes.
Ten years this May, I revisit ten years away. Ten
Years this May, I am still surviving Jakarta 1998.
Previously published in
River Poets Journal
A poem by Aju Mukhopadhyay
When it came and built the frame
on the wall,
briskly I bruised it
by a finger.
Twice it came again
I ignored it then.
Now on the wall it has a shelter
at the back of my computer;
a frail one inch hollow tube
upside open downside closed
clipped to the wall.
It's a tiny wasp
may be with family it lives;
they come and go.
Ain't all the great constructions
like insect's nest
brittle and fragile
sure to go
today or tomorrow
measured by time?
Why bother about any mark made of lime?
( More poems by Aju Mukhopadhyay)
A Poem by
Come let's forget the storm
that tore us from our
and brought us
together for the night
And to please a
fussy hotel manager
made us write
Mr & Mrs
before our names
Let’s forget that
tread separate paths
in search of
yet another mirage
Tonight let's become
babes lost in the woods
wear garlands of
and lose ourselves forever
in the fragrance of musk
(More poems by
Chulpon's Verses ( Uzbek Poetry)
In your embrace I'm trembling and shaking,
I'm fed up with your coldest winter days.
Let me look, they say the spring comes soon,
I'll leave these lands if you open ways.
Using white and light dawns which fell from the sky
the hand of power makes for you snow-white dress.
A flock of ravens which came from the other place
to your honor read the odes, yes, they bless.
Having heard that spring comes very soon,
in the coldest tears your eyes have been drowned.
Having gathered and united all these tears,
hang ... your neck was weighed down to the ground.
The surface of the pond was covered with the ice,
Lots of little boys and girls are skating here.
An old man died – he froze to death in the mosque.
Now his orphan’s crying weeping bitter tear.
In the village road leading to the town
a boy has died bringing milk and cream today.
Having frozen to death many people died,
early in the mornings - at dawns, in this way.
In the embrace of yours it is very cold,
Spring comes: I'll be pleased, I'll be bold.
Translated by Olimjon Dadaboev.
A Poem by Christopher Barnes
In The Mountain
of pardel lynx.
with hidden strings.
of white-backed woodpeckers.
ring ring ring.
poems by Christopher Barnes)