north of oxford poetry

From “On This World Where the Anglo-Zanzibar War Erupted” by Eileen R. Tabios

300px-AngloZanzibarWar
.
From “ON THIS WORLD WHERE THE ANGLO-ZANZIBAR WAR ERUPTED”
—written partly through reading Semezdin Mehmedinović’s Sarajevo Blues
.
Who designed shrapnels
So they can’t be cleaned out of
Flesh? Blocked consciousness
Does not react to war but
Prepares for years of battle
.
I forgot the bodies of Kali warriors memorizing halad so that deadly positions surface more quickly and efficiently during hours of battle
*
They allow the boy
To cut into the water
Line but the grenade
Gets him after he reaches
The end of such a short street
.
I forgot curtains.
*
I think solitude
Means the city is alien
We step over shards
Of glass glinting on the streets
People think only of now.
.
I forgot the white light, white roses, white silk, white lace and white pearls that adorned my wedding—instead I remember this happy day included the whisper, “Mama, glass is easily broken.”
.
Tabios Author PhotoA
Eileen R. Tabios loves books and has released over 50 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in nine countries and cyberspace. Her 2018 poetry collections include HIRAETH: Tercets From the Last ArchipelagoMURDER DEATH RESURRECTION: A Poetry Generator; the bilingual edition (English/Spanish) of One, Two, Three: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems; and TANKA: Vol. 1. Translated into eight languages, she also has edited, co-edited or conceptualized 14 anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays. Her writing and editing works have received recognition through awards, grants and residencies. More information is available at http://eileenrtabios.com
.
.
Advertisements

Abandoned soliloquy by James Walton

Dawn of a new day

Photograph by Ghislain Mary

.
Abandoned soliloquy
.
a flotsam head
not quite ashore
treading water     seemingly
 
speaking ancient Greek or reformed Latin
who would know these days
 
drifting down a tidal river
to eastern beaches
water like tea
 
augury symptoms in urine
the lost squid in a rock pool
waiting for the afternoon tow
 
once hands held out arrival
for our beautiful roles
your ventriloquist’s tongue
in a perfect sentence
 
you drove the core out
peeled my love in one long threat
the scrutiny of your beak dissecting
 
no boat can get anchorage
the Antarctic breath colludes
capsizing histories
 
all along the shipwreck coast
our children      your new young lover
hoping the mast they cling to
has a future where the baggage
intersects a stranger’s journey
 
these serpent arms
that held your face in compromise
I licked the salt from your inner thighs
strangled ambition for a wanting
so powerful my eyes were burnt out
 
the estuary pushes
this infection squeezed abroad
one way a new continent
 
turn about parturient islands arch
hardy shoulders curse the dozen labours 
bent to the task like the trees of Patagonia
.
 Jim portrait head
James Walton is an Australian poet published in newspapers, and many journals, and anthologies. Short listed twice for the ACU National Literature Prize, a double prize winner in the MPU International Poetry Prize, Specially Commended in The Welsh Poetry Competition – his collection ‘The Leviathan’s Apprentice’ was published in 2015.
.

You can view more photographs by Ghislain Mary at this link https://www.flickr.com/photos/ghislainmary/

.
.

Still by m.f. nagel

arb

Photograph by Tim Milkins

.
Still
Dachau
October 1978
 
Arbeit Macht Frei
Work will set you free
 
 
Still
In the Twilight quiet of the afternoon
We walked the prisoner’s path
We walked
 Walked the camp
  Past
 The Bunkers
 The Barracks  
We breathed
The scent
Barbwired
The scent
  It
Lingers
Still 
 in the twilight quiet of the afternoon
 
The ghosts of pale flames
MenWomenChildren
Pale flames
 And piles of shoes
The scent  
The scent lingers
Lingers
Still
 In the twilight quiet of the afternoon
 
Showers
Baker’s ovens
Postcards
 A shop of souvenirs 
Silent pictures playing on the hour
Still
 In the twilight quiet of the afternoon
 
We walked
And walked
 We walked the prisoner’s path
We came upon a face
At the crematorium
Watching from a broken pane
We saw
A boy with rum ball eyes
Still watching
Watching the ghosts of pale flames
 
MenWomenChildren
Pale flames
And piles of shoes
  Still
 In the twilight quiet of the afternoon
.
nagel
m.f. nagel was born in anchorage Alaska,  Her Athabaskan and Eyak heritage gave her a love of story.  m.f. now lives and writes near the banks of the Matanuska river in the Palmer Butte, Alaska, where the moose, wild dog~ roses and salmonberries  provide unending joy and inspiration.
.

You can view photographs by Tim Milkens at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/milkinst/

.

Teresa: Translator by Stephen Page

woods

.
Teresa: Translator
.
You are the translator of my day.
I fall into your graphite eyes
When we transmute,
I find your hands
The hands of a maker:
Soft and crafting.
I want to caress the curve
Of your lip,
Speak to your breasts.
Become my left ear
And I shall remain my right—
Where we meet we will middle.                            
The spider feasts
In the web of my thoughts,
And pastures modern
The corners of your culture—
Remove the weeds
Of your socialization.
Idiom me,
Invite me into the woods of your words,
Seat me at your banquet table.
You are the coffee of my mornings,
The mate of my afternoons.
Why do you hide your syllables
Under your tongue?
Don’t you ever question
The power of words,
The meaning of sleep?
Yes, I know you do,
In nightmares—
And in this I second your revival.
The grass grows at night,
And in the heat of mosquitoes,
So let the windflowers grow,
Language me into the wood.
Ranch me where the city
Has not yet encroached.
Marsh me where the ranch cannot reach.
You are the queen of my kingdom,
That I have so temporally created.
You are the singer of my verse.
Interpret my dreams.
.
Stephen Page phot with muse (1)
.
 Stephen Page is the Author of The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, and A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. He holds two AA’s from Palomar College, a BA from Columbia University, and an MFA from Bennington College. He also attended Broward College. He is the recipient of The Jess Cloud Memorial Prize, a Writer-in-Residence from the Montana Artists Refuge, a Full Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, an Imagination Grant from Cleveland State University, and an Arvon Foundation Ltd. Grant. He loves his wife, reading, travel, family, and friends. https://smpages.wordpress.com/
.

Journey to the Beloved by nur alima schieBeare

journey
.
By g emil reutter
.
nur alima schieBeare is a poet who is spiritual, reflective, a true believer with a dash of radical thought. schieBear has studied meditation and religions most of her life, a seeker of the answer. Journey to the Beloved is a weave of religion, music, love, nature, politics and jazz. These poems are not naïve as schieBeare has been around the block a few times as they say. An activist her plate is always full. Yet this poet brings us poems such as the first two stanzas of Birth Place:
.
how beautiful to live beyond the earth
to stream through darkest reach of space
a trail of luminous particles
a comet of sweeping light
.
to dance with planets
and whirl with suns
pausing to turn in the pulsing orbit
of sonorous elder beings
singing their harmonies for eons
.
These outstanding images bring the reader into the poem and at some points you can actually see schieBeare dancing with the planets above. Her musicality comes through in the first stanza of Autumn Sounds:
.
today the warmth of summer’s in the air
insects singing, dancing
in the golden mist
but quietly in the background
the voice autumn
sounds its warning
whispering ending…ending
.
It is evident again in the two stanzas of Poem of Life:
.
an interactive interweaving tapestry
of movement voices
cacophony of existence
we sing our heart songs
to one another
.
we soar
our wings brush the stars
the winds from our sky dance
an ocean of movement
a cloud cradle
in which the earth spins
turning on it’s axis
.
In the poem, To Genius Lost and Found, schieBeare jazzes things up- sounds of wholeness/soulness/descend into soulless/ half realms/of white powder dreams/glimpses of bliss/ warm love at blood speed. There is a rawness in her political poems such as this from Occupy- …I remember how much rage/I used to feel. but I’m not feeling that now,/just a desire to love and create beauty/bring light into the world/
where I feel a curtain descending,/a curtain of darkness,/ and it feels like the veil/ that descended across Europe in the  1930’s…
.
Deeply spiritual, the first three stanzas of the poem Bhakti Yoga defines her commitment to belief:
.
what can I say
I looked up at the crescent moon tonight
and I fell in love
.
I was driving home
after sitting with the lord of light
the lord’s fountain of living water
flowing from my heart
.
I looked up at that sliver of moon
and I fell
             and I fell
                          and I fell
                                       into love
.

nur alima schieBeare brings us on a journey through her life, her faith, her activism, her love for life always seeking the truth. nur alima schieBeare is a true believer in love and peace.

.
.

g emil reutter can be found at: https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/

 

One day, her hands became birds by Arlyn LaBelle

Gold Finch in flight 10-01-2012 460

Photograph by Richard Hurd

.
One day, her hands became birds
.
and he could not forgive her.
They ate sunflower seeds, and
dipped themselves in fountains.
Her hands slept in trees,
folding gently on themselves.
He missed the way they’d
weighed his chest like stones,
keeping him still as he dreamed.
He hated holding them now,
in his hands, their little hearts
beating.
.
Writer's Photograph
Arlyn LaBelle is a poet and legal assistant living in Austin, Texas. Her poems have appeared multiple times in the Badgerdog summer anthologies as well as Words Work, Persona, The Missing Slate, The Blue Hour, LAROLA, JONAH Magazine, The Oddville Press, Songs of Eretz, Cease, Cows and The Southern Poetry Review.  Arlyn LaBelle Poetry
.

To view more photographs by Richard Hurd please visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/rahimageworks/

.

Intimations of Modernity by Howie Good

street preacher

Photograph by Don Scott

.

Intimations of Modernity

You hear the screech of tires and some screams. You hear the roof vibrating and moving through the night. You hear about so-and-so committing suicide. You have to think of all the sounds like they’re a symphony, otherwise you’ll go crazy. You didn’t do anything wrong. You just want to know what actually happened. You glance one way and then the other. You ask, “Oh why can’t they get that baby out of the ground?” You don’t belong here. You need to leave. You have to have a bit of an attitude to pull it off. The police are the same as during Franco’s time, only they had horses back then. 

& 

The messiah of some obscure sect raged up and down the sidewalk, yelling, “I shall destroy all of the civilized world! You shall die by your own evil creation!” There was ash already in the air. I had never been in a war zone but I was pretty sure that this was what it felt like. By week’s end, I had become obsessed with my escape route. I pored over Google Maps, travel guides, railroad timetables. But, of course, when I opened the front door, I was confronted with fire. People just stood there and watched, happy to lurk unrecognized in the noise.

&

I’ve read many times in newspapers of some kind of shooting. But actually experience it? No. Never. It’s like everyone is just doing Tarantino knockoffs. They’re imagining the pain of the bullets hitting them. I’ve seen the really bad stuff on television. They shoot seven people in the head, and then they rush to their cars and leave. What else could you have expected? This is our history, everywhere full of blood. It’s clear and simple, and it’s in HD.

&

No, I don’t get it. How does anyone sleep at night or get through the day? We don’t yet have the tools to see what we’d really like to see. I can’t remember now why I ever thought we would. As we walk around, we meet orphans and autodidacts and then a man drinking in the woods. He keeps saying he’s going to kill someone. And no cops for miles. So, yeah, the best part of the day is early in the morning, very early, before something that hasn’t happened yet moves and just as suddenly stops moving. 

& 

A baby is crying on the ground. Everyone else is dead. No one I ask can tell me if this is real. “Sorry,” they just say. That’s the point. How we just don’t see very much of anything. There are so many refugees, and more coming all the time, and most of them have only a bit of white fluff, a frail bicycle, a bowlful of agriculture. I was once in a pretty bad car wreck. And it’s like that. We have a strange way of repeating history. I say “holy fuck” about 1,400 times a day.

.

howie_good

Howie Good is the author of The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize for Poetry and forthcoming from Thoughtcrime Press.

.

You can view the photographs of Don Scott at this link:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/106721552@N04/

.

.