Posted by: tsopr | May 12, 2012

Donal Mahoney, American Poet

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, MO. He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. He has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Public Republic (Bulgaria), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Poetry Friends, Poetry Super Highway, Pirene’s Fountain (Australia) and other publications. To read more of his earliest poems, click his image.

                                              Featured Poetry

Mother’s Day

In the long run the boy will be worth
all the misery I’ve caused you,
all the grief.
If only for his smile,

yours, I know.
If only for his eyes,
mine, I know.
But his eyes,

they have your smile,
brighter than a rainbow,
streaming through them.

PTSD

In the waiting room, I squeeze
this old rosary a nun gave me
the day I got back from Iraq.

I was still in a daze on a gurney
and I still had sand in my hair.
Some of it remains, no matter

how many showers I take.
Sand from Iraq lingers, I’m told,
until you go bald, and then

you are able to concentrate
on other things.
What might they be, I wonder.

But today, in this waiting room,
I squeeze the rosary tighter
when I hear, louder than

the gunshots crackling in my dreams,
the real screams of that little boy
right over there, the one who’s

rapped his elbow off the radiator.
Lord, listen to him scream!
Each week he comes with his mother

for her follow-up appointment.
He sounds like the jet
that takes me back at night

to that little village in Iraq
where the sand puffs up
in mushroom clouds

above the bullets
as the children scream
in their hovels louder

than that little boy
screaming over there.
Maybe everyone

in this waiting room
listening to him scream
can come with me now

to that village in Iraq.
Sitting here, I know
that boy’s pain so well

that in my fist
this rosary no longer
knows my prayers.

The Old Padre and the Tarpon

          with apologies to Hemingway

Beyond the frippery and folderol
of bishops and the like,
Father Murphy’s on vacation
with just a week to cast
for bigger fish than pike.

And so he sails the peaceful bay
casting every kind of bait,
praying that a tarpon
suddenly will strike.
Hook the big one, Father claims,

and it will thrash around
as if Satan were a submarine
cruising in its wake.
A fish that big, claims Father,
is always worth the wait

for it guarantees an aging priest,
with just a week’s vacation,
action and distraction from
the frippery and folderol
of bishops and the like.

Unintelligent Design

An hour a day,
sometimes more,
I chipped away
with mallet and chisel
on a block of marble
I found in Carrara
and shipped to New York
on the deck of a trawler.

I offered the marble
to a famous sculptor
who told me he works
in granite only
so I grabbed his beret
and one of his smocks
and said I’d sculpt
the block myself
with whittling skills
picked up as a kid
from a drunken uncle
named Whittling Sid.

Several weeks later,
to my surprise,
I finished the bust
of a chimpanzee
simply by wielding
mallet and chisel
the way I wield
pencil and eraser
when hewing a poem.

Working with marble
or working with words,
a sculptor or poet
proves less is more
by chipping away
until something emerges
upright and walking
with a soul of its own.

The Skywriter

Another letter may come today
from the same editor at Poetry Paradise
telling me he’ll pass on the poems
I sent a year ago because

they aren’t a good fit for his pages.
But this time, he says, he’ll give my poems
to his brother, the skywriter,

who will emblazon them in snow
against a sky so blue
millions of people will love them
almost as much as I do.

What Purpose Does A Rabbit Have

The same nightmare woke my father
every night for years.
He had no idea what it meant
and so he wrote the story down
and saved the note and hoped
some day he’d understand it.
But a note like that
can be misplaced.

Decades later Father
found the note
in a drawer of socks
he hadn’t worn in years.
He found it underneath
his old glass eye the night
Mother came back on the Harley
to “make their marriage work.”

He reminded Mother they had
been divorced for years
and then, despite her tears,
he told her, “After all this time,
we both know now that you
were gone before you left.
But now you’re back so
let me tell you all about

the nightmare I’ve had every night
since you took the bike and left.
I wrote the story down to tell the kids
when they grew up but they ran off
before I had a chance to ask them
if they knew what my dream might mean.
You’d like the kids. They’re pretty smart.
Anyway my note says this:

‘What purpose does a rabbit have
other than as prey?
What difference does a rainbow make
in a rabbit’s day?’
You tell me now you love me,
always have and always will.
But the kids are gone forever
so take the Harley now and go.”

Pedro, Pablo and Little José

I have spent an hour
lying in the sun
on Joe Brickle’s farm
waiting for Pedro and Pablo
to fetch Little José

with his sickle and scythe
to cut down the high grass
so Pedro and Pablo
can gun their mowers
over the cowlicks.

After Joe Brickle died
the grass on his farm
soared to the sky.
His goats ate it all
till his son flew home

and trucked all the goats
to the slaughterhouse.
At Sadie’s Cafe in town
old friends of Joe declare
goats bring a good dollar.

I have not wasted my time
lying in the sun today.
I’ve been watching
two doves on the ground
walking in circles

waiting for a sparrow
to land and dance on
the rungs of the feeder
Joe Brickle hung
in his Dogwood.

The doves need the seed
the sparrow will scatter.
Joe Brickle named goats
after prophets in the Bible.
He might be happy to know

that I’ve named the doves
Pedro and Pablo
and the sparrow
now landing
is Little José.

Sadie Says

Perhaps it’s true
perhaps it’s not

we’ll never know
if it’s the reason

Sadie sleeps
till noon each day

then with her limp
walks to the beach

to feed wild cats
but never a dog

because Sadie says
everyone knows

cats are poetry
dogs are prose.

Doubting Thomas

For years I’ve fed this feral cat at 4 a.m.,
a crouching mound of fur, Satanic black, with yellow eyes
that never blink. I call him “Doubting Thomas.”

I place his can of Fancy Feast five feet or so from him.
He doesn’t stir till I go in the house
and douse the porch light.

Then he leaps and cleans the can
and saunters off till 4 a.m. the following morning
when he’s back again, eyes ablaze, crouching.

This pact I have with Doubting Thomas
helps me realize how God must feel
eons after the Big Bang.

Some folks, you see, aren’t certain God lit that match.
Some believe the Big Bang just happened.
Out of nothing they believe something came to be.

I think the cat I feed at 4 a.m. agrees with them.
I’m sure he’d tell you Fancy Feast always was,
always will be and always will remain the same.

I wonder what that cat will do the day I die
when he arrives at 4 a.m. and finds the can
from yesterday empty where he left it.

There’s no mystery as to what he’ll do.
He’ll find another porch like mine where every morning
without a bang Fancy Feast just happens.

Kissing Carol Ann

Back in 1957
kissing Carol Ann
behind the barn
in the middle of
a windswept field
of Goldenrod
with a sudden deer
watching was
something special,
let me tell you.
Back then, bobby sox
and big barrettes
and ponytails
were everywhere.

Like many farmers,
Carol Ann’s father
had a console radio
in the living room,
and every Saturday night
the family would gather ’round
with bowls of ice cream
and listen to the Grand Ole Opry.
It was beamed “all the way”
from Nashville I was told
more than once since
I was from Chicago
and sometimes wore a tie
so how could I know.

On my first visit,
I asked Carol Ann
if the Grand Ole Opry was
the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
of country music and she said
not to say that to her father.
She suggested I just tap
my foot to the music
and let him watch me.
Otherwise I’d best be
quiet and say “Yup,”
“Nope” or “Maybe”
if asked any questions
which she didn’t think
would happen.
No need to say
much more, she said,
and after a few visits,
I understood why.

Over time, I learned
to tap my foot pretty good
to the music because
when I’d come to visit,
her father would insist
I have a bowl of ice cream
with the family.
I liked the ice cream
but not so much
the Grand Ole Opry.
I’d been weaned
on Sinatra in the city.
Big difference,
let me tell you.

But back in 1957
kissing Carol Ann
behind the barn
was something special
since we couldn’t do
much more until
I found employment.
Only then, her father said,
could we get married.
I found no jobs
in town, however,
for a bespectacled man
with degrees in English.

Still, I always found
the weekend drives
from Chicago worth
the gas my Rambler drank
because kissing Carol Ann
brought a bit of heaven
down behind that barn,
especially on summer nights
when fireflies were
the only stars we saw
when our eyes
popped open.
It was like
the Fourth of July
with tiny sparklers
twinkling everywhere.

Now, 55 years later,
Carol Ann sometimes mentions
fireflies at dusk as we
dance behind the cows
to coax them into the barn
for the night.
I’m still not too good
with cows despite
my John Deere cap,
plaid shirt and overalls
which proves, she says,
that all that kissing
behind the barn in 1957
took the boy out of the city
but not the city out of the boy.

“Hee Haw” is all I ever
say in response because
I know why I’m there.
It’s to keep tapping
the cows on the rump
till we get them
back in the barn
so we can go back
in the house
and start with
a kiss and later on
come back downstairs
for two big bowls
of ice cream.

Copyright © 2012 Donal Mahoney

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Posted by: tsopr | May 12, 2012

Failed Wedding

Failed Wedding

I got married at a registrar office in a town I didn’t know
amongst people I didn’t care for and I had to kiss the bride.
In a fog of whisky I ate sausage rolls, and other stodgy foods,
and suffered slaps on my shoulders by the well meaning, till
the car came and we went on honeymoon in Wales and
November, sleet was falling and I prayed for an accident, but
the bloody driver knew his job and got us to the hotel.
The room at the hotel was cold and I didn’t have coins for
the meter. When she undressed I went down to the bar and
drank as fast as possible. I had met my bride in a bar didn’t
know her but drink sodden as I was and lonely, I was dragged
Into a haze of love, a miasma of old dreams. Morning, rain no
escape, but borrowed an umbrella found a pub, drinks, went
into the toilet and cried my eyes out. Stood by the main road
waited for a bus, but it was Sunday, no bus services, walked
back the hotel and the pretence continued.

Copyright © 2012 Jan Oskar Hansen

Dr. Ernest Williamson III has published poetry and visual art in over 365 national and international online and print journals. Some of Dr. Williamson’s visual art and/or poetry has been published in journals representing over 30 colleges and universities around the world. To visit Dr. Williamson’s website, click his image.                   

                                                  Featured Arts

In Conversation With My Arts

Remaining In An Acidic World

Three Moods Of Color

Featured Poetry

The Meanings of Karen & Betrayal

Karen waited by the bronze staircase
leaning with tears of memory
in Leeds over the brooks wading carelessly
like drunken lichens teasing the wavering tides of oceanic dances
but I still drop to drippings of gray matter
consumed by a romantic way
staying with me
not in reality
though quite keen
of touch
though touched
in memory
staid
static
alone in droning chants
of a latent love
of imaginings
forms by the same ole
staircase
the bronze one
at
home

The Lie of Virginity

even in my day the rain
rained
on the King’s parade
as seasons snuck with convenience inwardly like a puss filled sore
jumping in rhythm with arrogant gulps
as I felt patches of wet discontent
from the skies
muddle through the air
like the plight
in Noah’s
day
though I can never pen-point a season
of staid
sunlight
stretching from prowler to heavenly
sides
brilliantly kissing my face
for no humane
reason
I can meander my dreams
from victory to death to chance

As I smiled
utterance
slipped from my bruised lips
like liquid rainbows and largess
dipping
stretching
across my pale yellow teeth
before
I was laid
to
rest
I lived
though ever so often
gaps of dirt yearn for my obedience

In and Out of Exodus

spotted calf
next to the bated window
carpenters are needed today
in the red orange yelping brick yellow blocks
crumbling with ease and reluctance
pouncing along
me
I’m the prey
as the dead as the living
as those who adjust their ties
bonds and weak dollars fall with ash
manageable but directly in the midst of America
policies are beginning to end with plasticity
people become mannequins
as if they knew a nook was more than its facade
oddly enough
I’ve carried the spotted calf from Rome
and placed it next to my toothbrush
its bristles are misleading
clean looking unused
lying
and tempting me
to let
it
be
alone

Eve of Day

I never wanted to work
for money.
What is the point of swelling knee caps
grinding on joints
dribbling aches
as routine?

Glib and dour,
all the meaning of life is frayed
stubble for philosophy.

I never wanted to work
for fame.
I have no cadence in mind.
Moments sift sands with broken tusks;
There is no rainbow overhead.
Am I just old smattering
so much as to fade
into black and white?

All the meaning of magic is gone,
dust for ontology
though points converge at times
on maps.

Thoughts coming together in words
are as pallid as a gray rainstorm
hiding from miserable curiosities

and now that I think of tomorrow
I am glad and drenched.

A Fallacy of Comfort

even if your gray spots are cancerous
I can lift a balm unto your painful skin
planting mental love bits and kisses on every bump
I could freeze your tears with a bottle of red champagne
or I could sing with a cackle and pulse with flowers of imaginings
landing in your trembling hands
all of these offers I have to give
but I can’t continue to tend to you now
because as I look in the cracked mirror
dancing with romps caused by sexual agreement
beneath our apartment floor
and hopefully beneath their precious
ceiling
wall

A Perpetual Occurrence

ever-present Calypso dancing
in the belly of condors
wading with saliva
unction leading with turf
football curtails science
again
we hold on to American
soil
as it burns
hot
smoldering
as satanic rites
leaving poets with broken fingers
bleeding over keyboards
seething with soot
gray red and hot
pink
flamingos yelp and tilt towards
ground
but in the belly of condors
life has grown again
so we write again
until the wings of mighty fowl
lay in cruciform
in the hostel
citadel
over and under the fruited plain

Copyright © 2012 Dr. Ernest Williamson III

Posted by: tsopr | May 11, 2012

Neal Whitman, American Poet

Neal Whitman is a poet who splits his time evenly between Western and Japanese form, with over 80 of each in publication. In 2009 he won the James McIntrye Poetry Contest in Ontario, Canada, and two honorable mentions in the Yuki Teikei Haiku Contest judged by haiku masters in Japan. He and his wife, Elaine, live in Pacific Grove, California, and are both volunteer docents at the Robinson Jeffers Tor House in nearby Carmel.

                                 Featured Poetry

Who Is This?

A disembodied ghost

or a daytime moon?

It is Korean poet Ko Un

who speaks to birds

who listens to rocks

who smells the stream

who lends wings to a wounded deer.

A Second Marriage: The Dinner Party

awkwardly
he pours wine into their glasses
with his left hand
as he is seated to her left
and with his right hand
holds her left hand
under the table

… and some of his haiku:

“End the War”
the poster in the window
of the vacant house

a holy man
welcomes us
in silence

poets ask readers
to have the last word –
dictators fear this

strolling
on a moony night
hush

a gentle voice
calls me to supper
evening breeze

twilight
in the garden
a kept secret

kerplunk
the sun drops into the bay
blink of an eye

hear the budding tree
and smell the cold stream
greenness

Copyright © 2012 Neal Whitman

Posted by: tsopr | April 24, 2012

SPRING POETRY RAIN

A call for submissions…

SPRING POETRY RAIN

Nicosia 14 April, 2012
Dear Poet,
SPRING POETRY RAIN in Nicosia
the capital of Cyprus – the last divided city in Europe
in May, 26 at 17.30

We are two cultural organisations, Ideogramma and Sidestreets, each based on either side of the divided city, and with this letter we are inviting you to participate in a new project of ours titled SPRING POETRY RAIN, as one of the many poets whose work will be dropped from the sky on Nicosia, over the whole length of Arasta / Ledra Street, which is divided into two at a checkpoint that separates the city in two.

The project

Many types of balloon will have been put in place above the whole length of Arasta / Ledra Street from lunchtime. The largest balloons (1.80 m in diameter) filled with the poems) will be burst in predetermined time intervals dropping the poems.

Many stages will be placed along the street too. From these, musicians will play and poetry will be read.

A visual colourful programme will be distributed to the audience, which will guide them to the stage / happening, as readings and / or music playing will be taking place in more than one stages at a time.

The audience will be invited to read out the poems as well as pinning them up on balloon strings.

The organisers are talking to local and other TV stations so that the event can be shown live. Live Webstreeming is going to be provided by Cyprus Telecommunications Authority

With this letter we are inviting you to

*Send one or two poems
*The subject of the poems should fall under the categories of love, peace, coexistence, understanding, respect, etc
*The original language of the poem will be respected, but we request that the poems you send are also accompanied by a translation into one or more of the island’s most spoken languages; Armenian, and / or English and / or Greek and / or Turkish
*With your poem(s), please also send us a short CV (in English) of not more than 2 – 3 lines and a photograph. All the participating poets will have their biography and photo projected in the “Peace Hall” at the end of Ledra Street.

Deadline for submission

We would appreciate it if you could send us your suggested poems as soon as possible, but not later than 30 April, 2012.

Please forward

Please forward this invitation to all of your relevant contacts.

A secondary objective of this event is to reach as many people as possible, not only so that on the day they can log on and follow the event, but also so that we can measure the reach. For this reason, we would greatly appreciate it if you could inform us of: the number of people you have sent this invitation toas well as their countriesLooking forward to hearing from you,

With very warm regards,
Nora, Anber, Johann, Lily

PS If you happen to be in Cyprus during the SPRING POETRY RAIN event, we shall love to see you and of course have you read your own poems.

Ideogramma is a non-profit organisation established in 2006. It stages poetry events every year in March, and for the past two years has run a European Culture 2007–2013 programme with six events in four European countries. Ideogramma is run by Nora Hadjisotiriou (marketing & pr consultant, event organiser, administrator) and Lily Michaelides (poet and writer, event organiser)

Sidestreets is an educational and cultural initiative established in 2007. Sidestreets organizes both national and international artistic, cultural and educational programs including exhibitions, poetry readings, seminars, film series, awareness-raising programs and general culture courses. Sidestreets is housed in a modern five-story building in the old town of Nicosia and is equipped with spaces and facilities for cultural events. Dr. Johann Pillai (educational programs) and Anber Onar (cultural programs) are the cofounders and directors of the programs in the initiative.

Please email your submission to: info@lilymichaelides.com

Subject: SUBMISSION FOR Spring Poetry Rain in Nicosia

Thank you!

Posted by: tsopr | February 19, 2012

The Haiku Contest SHARPENING THE GREEN PENCIL

The Haiku Contest SHARPENING THE GREEN PENCIL

The Haiku Contest

SHARPENING THE GREEN PENCIL

organized by the Romanian Kukai Group

The ROMANIAN KUKAI monthly contest will have been celebrating 5 years of online activity on April 1st, 2012. The contest is addressed to those who can write in Romanian only. It has been and still is an excellent means to promote haiku for those who can speak Romanian. Furthermore, the haiku online contest has become a genuine school where a new generation of authors have promoted it.

The experience which has been gained in these years determine us to initiate a contest in English, language which the mostly used by the haiku writers presently. The majority of the subscribers to our contest in Romanian have been participating to the international contests in English rendering appreciating results. We agree that the time has come to offer them a chance to confront the world wide writer in a contest organized by us. It is a celebrating contest but we hope and wish it will become a yearly event. A contest which, as most recognized contests, comes to stimulate the creativity of the authors and the quality of their poems, to represent a means of mutual understanding and to enriching everyone’s experience.

The contest’s name is inspired by one of the well known lyrics of Elena Manta Ciubotariu’s haiku : spring – / the child is sharpening / the green pencil, awarded in 1995 at one of the international contests organized in USA.

Contest rules

1. The contest is open to the public, regardless of age or nationality. Members of the executive committee are not eligible.

2. The contest is free of charge.

3. There is preference for the unpublished poems in media, volumes or on the internet.

4. The participants are required to send two haikus in English. They are asked to send the native variant of the poems also.

5. There is no theme imposed.

6. The poems will be sent only by e-mail at eduard_tara@yahoo.fr. At the subject box it is mandatory to write haiku contest 2012. The actual message must contain the poems which should be accompanied by the participant’s credentials: (name, surname, postal zip code, e-mail address).

7. The deadline is 15th of March 2012.

8. The secretary of the contest will copy and transmit the list of poems to the members of the jury by e-mail, without mentioning the contestants’ names or personal data.

9. The jury will appreciate the originality and the complexity of the poems in accordance with the spirit of the classic haiku.

10. The jury will award three prizes and, also, a number of commendations which will be decided depending on the quality of the poems. Each rewarded author will receive by mail a diploma and a copy of the printed anthology of the contest.

11. The awards will be made public on April 1st, 2012 on the official Romanian Kukai site http://romaniankukai.blogspot.com.

12. The received poems will be published in an anthology dedicated to the contest which will be available to the public on the official Romanian Kukai site http://romaniankukai.blogspot.com.

13. The authors who send poems for the contest agree that their poems should be published in the contest’s anthology under no pretense of financial demands. The authorship can be claimed following the publication of the poets in the anthology.

14. The jury will be formed by Corneliu Traian Atanasiu, the founder of the online haiku movement from Romania, Dan Doman and Cezar Florin Ciobîcă.

Posted by: tsopr | February 4, 2012

A Fur Stole

Jan Oskar Hansen

 

 

 

 

A Fur Stole

The big dog that was run down on the main road,

five month ago and thrown into the grass verge, is

still there only now it looks like a dusty stole flung

out of a passing Rolls Royce… I wonder if its owner,

if it had any, is still looking for it? When my Bambi

died I didn’t cry, not the first day, but on the second

day when the pain of her absence became too much

to bear. She won our battles of will, but one, insisted

she had to have a bath fortnightly. We grew old and

grouchy together. And now she is a sweet memory

Copyright © 2012 Jan Oskar Hansen

Posted by: tsopr | January 24, 2012

Haiga by Karen O’Leary

Karen O’Leary is a wife, mother, nurse, and freelance writer from North Dakota. Her poetry has been published in various venues including Sketchbook, Haiku Pix, Poems of the World, Expressions Poetry Journal, The Shine Journal, and Storyteller. APF Publisher released her first book of poetry called Whispers in 2011. She feels blessed to share her words with others.

Featured Haiga by Karen O’Leary

friendship

midnight dreams--previously published at Sketchbook

fine lines

first grade...haiku--previously published at childwriter's sketchbook

writers

 
Copyright © 2012 Karen O’Leary
 
 
Posted by: tsopr | December 29, 2011

Diorama of Three Diaries

Book Review:

Diorama of Three Diaries
(A Collection of Poems by Sonnet Mondal)

Authorspress (Pages-165)
ISBN: 978-81-7273-610-1
Year of release:-2011

Review By: Dr Shamenaz
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Humanities
AIET, Allahabad.

Diorama of Three Diaries
(A Collection of Poems by Sonnet Mondal)

Poetry is something which comes out from a writer’s mind, heart and sometimes even soul. This is true in the context of Sonnet Mondal, who is a rising star in the sky of Indian English Poetry. His Diorama of Three Diaries is a collection of poem based on many themes like- nature, spirituality, mysticism, problems relating to his country and world.

The very first poem, The Wait seems to reflect the agony of a person. May be Sonnet Mondal is depressed to see the present plight of his country and his state and he has tried to show the pathetic situation of the poor people but he is also hopeful that a new beginning will come.

The Poem, “My Pencil, Eraser & Pen” seems to be a subjective poem by the poet as it shows his attitudes towards writings. He is very passionate about writing poetry and this passion is reflected in some of his poem like- Suppressed, Stepping with Clouds, Flying Muse, and Oh Olive and You Realize It Now.

There are many other subjective poems like- Virus, I Am Not, Searching with Folded Hands, My Dismantled Room, I Want to Fly, Drunk, An Eve With a Stranger, Stay Alert For Surprises, I Won’t Run, Stoniness Turns Playing Cards, My Shadow, Grip Me, Turning Pages, My Style describing about different situations of his life.

He has written some love poems like, Those Soft Fingers, Love and Walnut and Make me Flow. While Those Soft Fingers shows his desperation of love for someone, Make me Flow seems to show his deep love for somebody. Here, he seems to be agreeing with Wordsworth’s belief that, “poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, where emotions recollect its tranquillity.”

He sometimes seems to be inspired by Wordsworth as there are clear inclinations of his motivation which can be seen in the poems like- Seduced in the Sunderbans, Oh Olive, Southern Summer Winds, Butterflies and Mosquitoes, Snow in Spring. Southern Summer Winds shows his deep love and fascination for nature. In Butterflies and Mosquitoes, he has shifted his focus on tiny creatures of nature, butterflies and mosquitoes.

The poem, Seduced in the Sunderbans describes about a delta, Sunderban in West Bengal and Eyes and Skies is about a region in Karnataka (India), known as Donimalai which is surrounded by mines. The poet seems to give its description and his experience.

He has also shown sensuousness of human nature in some poems like- Lost in the Lust, Lusty, She-Fears, Kisses, Valentine Hides In Shadow, in which he has depicted the feelings of both men as well as women.

Poetry is understood by many writers and authors as an ‘expressive’ of the human soul. Mill has declared that ‘poetry, when it is really such, is truth; and fiction also, if it is good for anything, is truth: but they are different truths. The truth of poetry is to paint the human soul truly; the truth of fiction is to give a true picture of life. Sonnet Mondal seems to believe it as there are some mystical poems in the collection like- The Lovely Highway (also based on loss of faith & belief), Mythical Chain of Life, Fear, Last Life, A Call Through Misty Eyes, Darkness Inside, Dying Every Day For Life, Let Us Be Safe, Last Life, The Lonely Highway, Religion of Nomads and Fear .

There are some poems which deal with the change of human nature like- Springs, Volvo which shows that how man in present scenario is becoming lavish and ease-living day by day which seems to be inspired from Browning and there are some poems dealing with scientific advancement like- Virus.

He has written some poems keeping in mind the fast changing world like- Ashes Won’t Claim Honour, Comprehend Not Waste, Let Me Bloom, I Am Not. Some poems seem to be based on Arnoldian style like- Perforations, Two Faces.

“Plato believed that poetry and literature are inextricably tied up with the values and ideologies of the culture as a whole: art is not separate from the socio-political sphere. This is reflected in some of the poems of Sonnet Mondal like Shirts of Politics, High Time, Turn Back, Clear Your Home, all these poems are about today’s life. There are poems about problems existing in our country and world- Reforming Norms, Night of Appeal, Stay Alert for Surprise, The Blacksmith and his Diamond.

The poem Just A Last Peg For The Jobless is the description of the anxiety and desperation of the jobless people. Mondal seems to show his concern about people who are unemployed.

Poet has highlighted the importance of a little phrase in our daily life in the poem, Say Cheese. He seems to sometimes feel panic about the age-old customs and traditions and wants to reform the society, this he has reflected in his poem, Reforming Norms and Your Life Is Over.

He has shown various ages of human beings while writing poem on old age- Through Cracks and Wrinkles and on childhood- Childhood Sounds. Cracks and Wrinkles shows us the wretched condition of old people. In Ponds of My Tears he seems to be nostalgic about his childhood days when he uses to go to pond with his grandfather. But now as his he has grown up and his grandfather, who has become old and can’t go with him for fishing to the pond, so he seems to be feeling depressed about those days.

The poem, Drunk is about a person’s addiction to alcohol. It tells about the effect the alcohol on a person and An Eve with a Stranger, is about the meeting of the poet with a stranger. There are some poems which are symbolic to some situations like- Legs and Floor, Swaying Bridges of Senescence, Venom of Futility, Night of Appeal, The Dog in the ATM, Beware, Glasses and Who Is This Man . He seems to be agreeing with the views of Mathew Arnold in his famous book of criticism, The Study of Poetry. “Poetry”, according to Matthew Arnold, is a criticism of life under the conditions fixed for such a criticism by the laws of poetic truth and poetic beauty. And this he interprets as the application of ideas___ grand ideas- to life.

The poem, Two Eyes is about a bride which is being carried in a bullock cart. It also tells a story hidden behind the veil. The Story, of a young woman and a man in a village but now, who are married and have become two separate lives and Sliding Joy is also about marriage.

There is a beautiful poem, Earth Without Eyes, in which he seem to show his worry over the destruction of the natural objects like rivers, ponds seas and so on and he is deeply concern about the effect of this destruction. And again there is a concern for environment in the poem- Let Them Fly Away, in it he is trying to convey the message regarding the hazard caused by using polythene. The poem, Tears of a Window Pane is about the description of rain from a window of a house.

Showing his concern on health problems, he has written, Health, Deity of Spotlessness, After Rainfall, Last Flash Awareness in which he his reflecting his views on some diseases.

The Poet has shown his hatred towards the politicians and the dirty side of politics of his state in the poem, Shirts of Politics, which show his anger and hatred and at the same time there is hope that people will rise and fight against it. Having a deep regard for the soldiers, he has expressed his gratitude towards their bravery, selflessness and loyalty towards their nation in the poem, Turn Back, Clear Your Home. And he has expressed his deep love for his country in Your Name and Let My Tears Find You.

The poems- Lonely Book in Book Fair, Savour is about literary world. Lonely Book in Book Fair seems to tell about the present condition of attitude of society towards books. Poet seems to feel depressed about people’s attitudes towards books and Searching With Folded Hand is about his attitude, feelings and thinking towards his own writing and Expression seems to be about the plagiarism existing in the literary world today.

There are some poems which are memoirs like- My Garden in which he seems to remember his mother’s love for their garden and Years After seems to show his nostalgia about his College days. In the poem, he is expressing his desire to go back to those days when he had enjoyed with his friends in his Engineering College. He is missing the fun and excitement of the College canteen and other places, which he can’t do now, so he is longing to go back.

Mostly the poems in the Diorama of Three Diaries are written in blank verse and free verse. Poet has tried to show his innermost feelings for some issues and has dealt successfully with many themes in the book. All these poems are reflections of his intellect, creative mind and sensitivity.

Posted by: tsopr | December 10, 2011

Niels Hav, Danish Poet

Niels Hav is a full time poet and short story writer living in Copenhagen with awards from The Danish Arts Council. In English he has We Are Here, published by Book Thug – moreover his poems and fiction are published in numerous journals and anthologies in e.g. Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, Dutch and Arabic. Raised on a farm in western Denmark, Niels Hav today resides in the most colourful and multiethnic part of the Danish capital. He has travelled widely in Europe, Asia, North and South America. In his native Danish the author of six collections of poetry and three books of short fiction. Click this link http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=20579 to read «Interview with Danish poet Niels Hav».

                                Featured Poetry of Niels Hav
               (Translated into English by P.K. Brask & Patrick Friesen)

Epigram

You can spend an entire life
in the company of words
not ever finding
the right one.

Just like a wretched fish
wrapped in Hungarian newspapers.
For one thing it is dead,
for another it doesn’t understand
Hungarian.

In Defense of Poets

What are we to do about the poets?
Life’s rough on them
they look so pitiful dressed in black
their skin blue from internal blizzards.

Poetry is a horrible disease,
the infected walk about complaining
their screams pollute the atmosphere like leaks
from atomic power stations of the mind. It’s so psychotic
Poetry is a tyrant
it keeps people awake at night and destroys marriages
it draws people out to desolate cottages in mid-winter
where they sit in pain wearing earmuffs and thick scarves.
Imagine the torture.

Poetry is a pest –
worse than gonorrhea, a terrible abomination.
But consider poets it’s hard for them
bear with them!
They are hysterical as if they are expecting twins
they gnash their teeth while sleeping, they eat dirt
and grass. They stay out in the howling wind for hours
tormented by astounding metaphors.
Every day is a holy day for them.

Oh please, take pity on the poets
they are deaf and blind
help them through traffic where they stagger about
with their invisible handicap
remembering all sorts of stuff. Now and then one of them stops
to listen for a distant siren. Show consideration for them.

Poets are like insane children
who’ve been chased from their homes by the entire family.
Pray for them
they are born unhappy
their mothers have cried for them
sought the assistance of doctors and lawyers,
until they had to give up
for fear of loosing their own minds.
Oh, cry for the poets!

Nothing can save them.
Infested with poetry like secret lepers
they are incarcerated in their own fantasy world
a gruesome ghetto filled with demons
and vindictive ghosts.

When on a clear summer’s day the sun shining brightly
you see a poor poet
come wobbling out of the apartment block, looking pale
like a cadaver and disfigured by speculations
then walk up and help him.
Tie his shoelaces, lead him to the park
and help him sit down on a bench
in the sun. Sing to him a little
buy him an ice cream and tell him a story
because he’s so sad.
He’s completely ruined by poetry.

Women of Copenhagen

I have once again fallen in love
this time with five different women during a ride
on the number 40 bus from Njalsgade to Østerbro.
How is one to gain control of one’s life under such conditions?
One wore a fur coat, another red wellingtons.
One of them was reading a newspaper, the other Heidegger
–and the streets were flooded with rain.
At Amager Boulevard a drenched princess entered,
euphoric and furious, and I fell for her utterly.
But she jumped off at the police station
and was replaced by two sirens with flaming kerchiefs,
who spoke shrilly with each other in Pakistani
all the way to the Municipal Hospital while the bus boiled
in poetry. They were sisters and equally beautiful,
so I lost my heart to both of them and immediately planned
a new life in a village near Rawalpindi
where children grow up in the scent of hibiscus
while their desperate mothers sing heartbreaking songs
as dusk settles over the Pakistani plains.

But they didn’t see me!
And the one wearing a fur coat cried beneath
her glove when she got off at Farimagsgade.
The girl reading Heidegger suddenly shut her book
and looked directly at me with a scornfully smile,
as if she’d suddenly caught a glimpse of Mr. Nobody
in his very own insignificance.
And that’s how my heart broke for the fifth time,
when she got up and left the bus with all the others.
Life is so brutal!
I continued for two more stops before giving up.
It always ends like that: You stand alone
on the kerb, sucking on a cigarette,
wound up and mildly unhappy.

Copyright © 2011Niels Hav

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