Poetry (3) Jade Edition
Like the Colossus of Rhodes
The poet’s highway sojourn, as he tests his stride against ‘darkness lurking in the guise of noon’, leaves him feeling like he is chained to the historical remains of the Colossus of Rhodes, the statute of the Greek sun God Helios.
As I cross the highway my stride
shortens and my thighs go numb.
As if I’ve attempted to climb
an impossible alpine slope.
I drop to all fours and clamber
to the shoulder as a big truck
hoots past, diesel roar deafening.
What happened? The big night-wind
may have disordered me. Walking
along the roadside feels normal.
But when I recross, that same
cold weakness stops me midway
and only tremendous exertion
works me over the crown of the road.
I feel knee-deep in a dream
but recover enough to walk home,
dragging glittery sheaves of tinsel.
A cup of tea calms me. No more
crossing that dangerous highway.
No more trusting my unkempt body
to vault me over danger.
The morning braces itself
against the sky for leverage
and extracts a terrible windstorm.
Pines crackle and huge boughs fall,
ripping down the power lines.
The highway might be blocked but
I’m not going out again
to test my stride against darkness
lurking in the guise of noon— [stanza break]
my legs, like the Colossus
of Rhodes, stuck in historical mud.
William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He has taught at several colleges and universities. His most recent book of poetry is Mist in Their Eyes (2021). His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in various journals.
Unrestrained joy, full-throated laughter invites the poet into a world of fluff-cotton wonder. But even as he chases this image and reaches out to grasp it, it splinters under the jarring impact of everyday existence.
In dreams I listen to your laugh.
Not that faint chuckle
Which sputters and squirms
Like a squirrel too eager
To rush into its drey.
But a full-throated laugh
With slaps on the cushions
And eyes almost shut
And swellings of unrestrained joy.
And you walk along alleys
Of provincial town
Hand in hand,
In a dawn full of songs
Tasting of lavender and peach.
I chase your laughter
And banners of your hair
And reach for a twirl
In an expectant air
By clasping your light-supple waist.
But even in dreams my arms prove weak
As I yield to the calls of groceries and fish,
That drag me from dawns of fluff-cotton clouds
To cacophonous trains where I drown.
Abin Chakraborty teaches English literature in Chandernagore College, West Bengal, India. He has been writing for several years and his poems have been published in Indian and International publications such as Café Dissensus, Rupkatha Journal, Muse India, Pine Cone Review, Acumen, Joao-Roque Literary Journal, Kitaab, NELIT Review, Borderless Journal, Setu Magazine etc.He is also the author of the scholarly monograph, Popular Culture, published by Orient Blackswan in 2019. His scholarly articles have also been published in journals and anthologies from India and abroad. His first collection of poems Unlettered Longings was published recently.
He is the editor of Postcolonial Interventions, an interdisciplinary online journal and one of the co-editors of Plato’s Caves, an online platform that hosts an array of poetry, fiction and non-fiction.
Images of topaz scrutiny, quartz rain, Sandusky supermoons and banded tulips vie for attention in a poetic montage.
It was how you overhung the spirit quartz rain
above Old Woman's Creek
that glibly thawed the syndromes
of my flickering convertible skin,
your fire-dancing into the furrows
of a heart gone breezeless.
Your upturned topaz scrutiny
detonated overdrawn overestimation,
the very counterfeit breath
when snow pellets dramatize ice crystals,
vampiric diamond dust needles
gnawing Sandusky supermoons.
With all the wiles of a Banded Tulip
spitting on tabbed sweethearts,
I candidly dog-eared the angular temper
of your truant longboard,
the impolite symmetry of mute swans
pluming such well-tailored contour.
Megan Denese Mealor resides in Jacksonville, Florida. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her writing has been featured worldwide. She has authored three poetry collections: Bipolar Lexicon (2018); Blatherskite (2019); and A Mourning Dove’s Wishbone (2022). She and her husband, son, and three cats occupy a cozy yet cavernous townhouse.
Reflections on the Dead Sea
The poet's imagination conjures up a Dead sea that is as tranquil as the Wisconsin lake but her experience and history tell her otherwise.
The Dead Sea of my imagination:
is a tranquil Wisconsin lake
sheltered by cool firs and a cove
with velvet cat-tails brushing my
eight-year-old geography mind
where I recline on buoyant salt
water that suspends me like
an air mattress. I stare at the sky,
floating, floating, floating,
chagalled above the sea
even though my fifth grade
textbook says, “below sea level”.
The Dead Sea of my experience:
is set like an artificial black opal
in the Israeli desert, beige and brittle
even in side vision, no green foliage
to provide protection from a militant,
Masada sun; ridges of salt, not friendly
sand threaten my balance as I approach
the water then walk up to my waist
trying to keep upright, like a child’s
plastic, roly-poly toy. When I lean back
to float, the salt water supports me as I
expected but then pushes at my legs as
insistently as Newton’s Third Law of
Motion when I try to reestablish them
on the crenulated seafloor, the water as
threatening as a Hydra waiting to squeeze
the life out of me as the history around me
has done to the people who have tried
to live here.
Jan Ball has had 363 poems published in various journals internationally and in the U.S. including: ABZ, Mid-American Review, and Parnassus. Finishing Line Press published her three chapbooks and first full-length poetry collection, I Wanted To Dance With My Father. Orbis, England, nominated her for the Pushcart Prize in 2020 and Constellations, U.S., nominated her for it in 2021. Besides her poetry, Jan wrote a dissertation at the University of Rochester: Age and Natural Order in Second Language Acquisition after being a nun for seven years then living in Australia for fourteen years with her Aussie husband and two children. Jan has taught ESL in Rochester, New York and Loyola and DePaul Universities in Chicago. When not traveling, or gardening at their farm, Jan and her husband like to cook for friends.