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Poetry (3) Jade Edition 





Crhodes 5.jpg

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.

Image by Omid Armin

In Dreams

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.

Image by Pawel Czerwinski


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. 

Image by Nicole Baster

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.

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