Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Phyllis Meshulam 11/20

11/20/2017 Phyllis Meshulam,  hosted by Bruce
(Need a prompt? "Capture" -- as in any use or thought of it -- you don't have to use those words.)




Phyllis Meshulam first went to Italy, where her father had been stationed during World War II, at not quite five. Threads of those journeys are woven into her newly-released book of poems, Land of My Father’s War, from Cherry Grove Collections. Joy Harjo, winner of the 2017 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, said of Meshulam’s book, an “urgency of spirit has emerged eloquently here in these poems of perception and even prophecy….” Meshulam is also the author of Doll, Moon (Finishing Line Press), Doors (War and Peace Press) and Valley of Moon (d-Press). She is a veteran teacher for California Poets in the Schools and coordinator for Poetry Out Loud, and has been a presenter at the nation-wide writing conferences, AWP and Split this Rock Her work has appeared in magazines from Earth’s Daughters and Phoebe to Teachers & Writers and Tikkun.  Meshulam has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. For CPitS’s 50th anniversary, she edited, Poetry Crossing, which Poetry Flash called “a truly joyful collection of lessons, inspirations, and children's poems.”

Southeast Asian Rain
The breathing space within the gallery
is sliced by fifty-eight thousand fine strands,
(not the usual chains). Each current
makes pendant metal tags glint,

ringing each other like a wind harp,
or sun-scattered rain on the roof
of a Quonset hut. What’s
in a dog tag? Name, blood type. A small mirror.

Each is labeled. B positive,
or be excluded or dead. O for negative,
or zero. O for other. Each belief

system reduced to one of a few
graced faiths. P for protestor. C,
 for catharsis. J for jungle. An identity –

forgotten tiger, lamb, or forest fire.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

11/13/2017 Yuyutsu Sharma features

11/13/2017 Yuyutsu Sharma hosted by Jim
(Need a prompt? How do you explain your position on the planet? -- you don't have to use those words.)





Yuyutsu R D Sharma has  published nine poetry collections including, A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems (Nirala, 2016).  He has translated Irish poet Cathal O’ Searcaigh and Hebrew poet Ronny Someck into Nepali.  Eternal SnowA Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Twenty-Five Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma is his most recent publication.  Yuyutsu’s work has been translated into German, French, Italian, Slovenian, Hebrew, Spanish and Dutch.  Yuyutsu is the Visiting Poet at Columbia University, New York and has just returned from China where he had gone to read at Beijing International Book Fair.

Mules                           by Yuyutsu Sharma

On the great Tibetan
salt route they meet me again

old forsaken friends ...

On their faces
fatigue of a drunken sleep

their lives worn out,
their legs twisted, shaking

from carrying
illustrious flags of bleeding ascents.

Age long bells clinging
to them like festering wounds

beating notes
of a slavery modernism brings:

cartons of Iceberg, mineral water bottles,
solar heaters, Chinese tiles, tin cans, carom boards

sacks of rice
and iodized salt from the plains of Nepal Terai.

Butterflies of 
the terraced fields know their names.

Singing brooks tempests
of their breathless climbs.

Traffic alert
and time-tested, they climb

carrying
dreams of posh peacocks

pamphlets
of a secret religious war

filth
of an ecologist's sterile semen

entire kitchen
for a cocktail party at the base camp

defunct development
agenda of guilty donors

the West's weird visions
lusting for an instant purge.

Stone steps
of the mountains embossed

on their drugged brains,
like lines of aborted love

scratched
on the historic rocks of waterspouts.

Starry skies
of the dozing valleys know

the ache
of their secret sweat.

Sunny days
along the crystal rivers

taste
of their bleeding eyes.

Greatest fiction
of the struggling lives lost,

like real mules
clattering their hooves on the flagstones,

in circling
the cruel grandeur

of blood thirsty
mule paths around the glaciers of Annapurnas.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Charlie McCauley features Nov 6

11/6/2017 Charlie McCauley hosted by Jan
(Need a prompt? "Heavy upon" -- as in any use or thought of it -- you don't have to use those words.)




C O McCauley is a retired naval aviator, has fronted a rockabilly band and performed in community theater.  His songs and poetry about growing up southern, the Viet Nam War, and  Native American culture have appeared in The Tule Review, California QuarterlyThe Aurorean, Blue Unicorn, and Soundzine.  He resides in Martinez, California.

Yuyursu Sharma 11/13

11/13/2017 Yuyutsu Sharma hosted by Jim
(Need a prompt? How do you explain your position on the planet? -- you don't have to use those words.)




Yuyutsu R D Sharma has  published nine poetry collections including, A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems (Nirala, 2016).  He has translated Irish poet Cathal O’ Searcaigh and Hebrew poet Ronny Someck into Nepali.  Eternal SnowA Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Twenty-Five Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma is his most recent publication.  Yuyutsu’s work has been translated into German, French, Italian, Slovenian, Hebrew, Spanish and Dutch.  Yuyutsu is the Visiting Poet at Columbia University, New York and has just returned from China where he had gone to read at Beijing International Book Fair.

Mules                           by Yuyutsu Sharma

On the great Tibetan
salt route they meet me again

old forsaken friends ...

On their faces
fatigue of a drunken sleep

their lives worn out,
their legs twisted, shaking

from carrying
illustrious flags of bleeding ascents.

Age long bells clinging
to them like festering wounds

beating notes
of a slavery modernism brings:

cartons of Iceberg, mineral water bottles,
solar heaters, Chinese tiles, tin cans, carom boards

sacks of rice
and iodized salt from the plains of Nepal Terai.

Butterflies of 
the terraced fields know their names.

Singing brooks tempests
of their breathless climbs.

Traffic alert
and time-tested, they climb

carrying
dreams of posh peacocks

pamphlets
of a secret religious war

filth
of an ecologist's sterile semen

entire kitchen
for a cocktail party at the base camp

defunct development
agenda of guilty donors

the West's weird visions
lusting for an instant purge.

Stone steps
of the mountains embossed

on their drugged brains,
like lines of aborted love

scratched
on the historic rocks of waterspouts.

Starry skies
of the dozing valleys know

the ache
of their secret sweat.

Sunny days
along the crystal rivers

taste
of their bleeding eyes.

Greatest fiction
of the struggling lives lost,

like real mules
clattering their hooves on the flagstones,

in circling
the cruel grandeur

of blood thirsty
mule paths around the glaciers of Annapurnas.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Fun Night..Bring poems, see if another poet can redo your ending.

10/30/2017  Maverick Night  Epiphany, Destruction & recreation 
-- Poets bring poems. 
They are drawn out of a hat by other poets.

 As quickly as possible the receiving poet writes an alternate conclusion/epiphany within the format of the poem; endings can be one or more lines.  

The person who altered the poem then reads the poem with either the original ending or the altered ending, and then reads the other ending. 

The audience, excluding the original poet, guesses which ending was the original ending and which was the altered ending. 

Objective -- try to fool us! Is your revision accepted as the original?  hosted by Bruce

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fun messing with meaning Oct 30. Bring a couple poems.

10/30/2017  Maverick Night  Epiphany, Destruction & recreation 
-- Poets bring poems. 
They are drawn out of a hat by other poets.

 As quickly as possible the receiving poet writes an alternate conclusion/epiphany within the format of the poem; endings can be one or more lines.  

The person who altered the poem then reads the poem with either the original ending or the altered ending, and then reads the other ending. 

The audience, excluding the original poet, guesses which ending was the original ending and which was the altered ending. 

Objective -- try to fool us! Is your revision accepted as the original?  hosted by Bruce

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Melinda Clemmons features 10/23

10/23/2017 Melinda Clemmons hosted by J.D
(Need a prompt? "fish cry" -- you don't have to use those words. Comes from Thoreau -- "Who hears the fishes when they cry")


Melinda Clemmons lives in Oakland. Her stories and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Cimarron Review, Kindred, Daphne Magazine, West Trestle Review, Eclipse, 300 Days of SunCavalier, and The Monthly.  She worked for over twenty years in programs serving children and youth in foster care, and is now a freelance writer and editor in the child welfare field. She is a frequent contributor to the online child welfare and juvenile justice news site, The Chronicle of Social Change


Walking Out

This is how you greet a field of corn: quietly,
tilting your head to listen before stepping in between the rows,
lightly brushing against the silks as you pass.
You’ll want to head toward the center
where the corn grows tall and strong,
much taller than you, crazily taller than it looks from the road.
Even if it’s your first time standing in a cornfield,
you’ll feel at home.  Beneath you, soil; above you, sky.
Perhaps you’ve brought a grocery sack your grandfather
(back at the car, having a smoke) handed you at the edge of the field.
Twist off however much you came for, plus a few extras.
Maybe someone’s got a pot of water set to boil back at home,
a pinch of sugar, a dish of butter beginning to melt.
Take what you need. Remember to breathe deeply
because this is the best air there is. 
You can learn a lot from a field of corn so take your time.
Here’s something: the stalks in the center are the ones that thrive,
fed by pollen drifting from those around them.  Those on the edges
don’t amount to much.
Besides each other, all corn stalks need is: sun, soil, water, and time.
Now turn around carefully and walk out the way you came in,
being sure to listen as you go because they say you can hear corn grow,
and it’s true.

First published in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Kindred from Anchor & Plume Press