Bush Fire By David Ogana

Bush Fire

Who will put the fire out
When it finally burns?

The time is known
At the end of each passing season.

Young bulls, come out
To set a fire, as they await

The harvest of the gods
While earth wrappers burn.

Time passes, and moments
Linger on the stumbling walls.

The little town becomes a city. These days,
Young bulls put out cold with the

Blankets. Dirty blankets.
Laundresses and mothers can not

Keep their clothes clean.
Who will keep my clothing

Clean, who will hunt the rats
When they come out of their holes?

The bush around my hut is burning
And my garden flowers are steaming

From the heat of the season.
I am stone-cold.

By David Ogana

Biography:

David is obsessed with Poetry and the Arts. He is currently an undergraduate of Plant Science and Biotechnology, studying with Nasarawa State University, Keffi. He has been Published in online magazines and journals.

Elegy for a Dying Earth By Vijaya Sundaram

Elegy for a Dying Earth

I fear the earth has come to reap what we have sown
In haste, we sowed the breeze, and reaped this hateful wind
And through this storm, we’ll miss those things we loved so well
The rain, the snow, the flowers, this land– for we have sinned.

Not sins against a God, or gods, or goddesses
But sins against the likes of us, of you and me,
Against our children full of confusion and hurt
To whom we give our ravaged earth, and dying seas.

I’ll miss the scent of rain on dusty earth, the scent
Of budding rose, and jasmine sweet, and marigold.
We’ll see the ponds go dry in summer months, and geese
That leave in droves, will seek new lands, and mourn the old.

Now, storms and hurricanes ravage our broken lands
And dolphins strand themselves, and turtles gasp, and more —
Asphyxiated fish that choke in netted seas
Lie dead and blind upon our broken, littered shores.

I mourn them all, the birds, and animals, and plants
I mourn us all, so smug, so proud, so full of greed
With eyes of death, he chokes our breath– that demon, Wealth;
And laughs at us, although we cry; for mercy, plead.

What hope have we, who heed his lusty, tempting call?
What chance this earth against that mighty money-song?
If we but stop and turn things round (turn off the lights!)
We might yet live, and save what’s right, avert what’s wrong.

So, close your eyes, and step outside, while life yet thrives
And taste the beauty of this fragile Earth, who gives
Such wealth, her fruit and flowers, and these, our forests wild,
So fragrant, fresh and sweet, in places that still live.

By Vijaya Sundaram

Biography:

A native of India, Vijaya Sundaram has lived in the Boston, Massachusetts, area for the past 25 years. She is a singer-song-writer, guitarist, poet and writer who spent seventeen years as an 8th Grade English teacher at a local public school.  Only recently feeling the urge to publish, she’s been sending out her work to various literary magazines. Vijaya has been published in literary magazines Calliope and The Phoenix Rising Review. You can read more of Vijaya’s work on her blog, StrangeLander2015.

for survivors By sarah kate osborn

for survivors

this is for anyone who lost their life without losing their life, anyone whose skin has been contaminated by fingerprints it never asked for, whose body has been invaded by the one it begged to stay away. this is for anyone who calls themselves a victim when they are really a survivor.

it’s time for you to write his name in black letters and throw it in the fire. watch it burn all the way back to dust. write a letter using all the words you aren’t supposed to say and burn that, too.

it’s time to stop blaming yourself for this. don’t blame your tight black dress. don’t blame your red lipstick. fight your guilt. fight your numbness. fight anyone who calls you ‘slut’ and says you asked for this. fight fear. fight death. fight anyone who dares to say this was your fault but baby, it’s time to stop fighting yourself.

it’s time for you to embrace your beauty again. somebody made you believe it was a sin and robbed you of your joy, your faith, your peace. but now you are more than beautiful. baby, you are brave. and i can’t tell you exactly who made us or why we’re here but i believe that brave is all we have to be.

it’s time to remember. it’s time to remember that you are young and you still have life and there might be happy endings because this is not the end. remember that you still love thunderstorms and kittens and good books. remember that you have a name that is not any of his synonyms for girls like you. remember that you are here. remember that that is enough.

By sarah kate osborn

Biography:

sarah kate osborn is an amateur poet from north carolina who hates describing herself and rebels against capital letters. she is trying to toss her voice into a world already filled with noise and may have nothing meaningful to say. she can be found at allthesinkingships.tumblr.com

 

diff i cult By Kim Morales

diff i cult

I know your irrational refusal
to love. or humor me

I know the noise,
the snapping,
when I crack open bones
of chicken, after, I slip
the greasy meat
into my mouth
I suck on the bones
and right then I know
I know this
distressed and stretched
brown belly of mine,
never full
never never full
I want too much
more than what the world
can give me.

I know
how lonely the walks
in the dying industrial
parts of this town are
and the green-blackness
of the Gowanus Canal
looks like a warm bath
sometimes, I know to draw
a map of red lines
across my forearms
that will lead to
an explanation of
I know
how sometimes I wish
I had choked

on that Thanksgiving night

I know
I cry myself to sleep
because the Earth rotates
to avoid me
my rose mouth is filled
with chicken and swears
when my rose mouth
envelopes you — whoever —
you like it
I’ve wronged and I tend to
open wounds that I call friends
I feel like
holding the world
up to my breast, because
my right tit is lactating

I play-act as a thick woman
with millions of
owned words
and the fat life
to back them up

I know
I want
to crack myself open
like the chicken bones
I suck on
and I want you
to be my mouth
you tell me
you’d rather not
without explanation
written out on a scrap paper
on which I might have
scratched out any
affections for you

I know
I remember
the difficult women before me
their hair was longer and
spiced with the scent of sweat
they had more knowledge
in their hips than me
I’ll never be difficult
like the way they were difficult
they fought fire
instead of trying to be it
they pulled life out of
themselves and the ground
crookedly, they bled
for everyone they loved
I bleed so my life
might be worth something
I am a child still
and I need them to
lay next to me
while I cry myself to sleep —
I remember their sleep
as the soundtrack to my childhood
and I lay now
a weeping insomniac
to express the reds
of being a difficult woman
in ways they couldn’t
they were busy dreaming
of a world where they could
dilate enough to give birth
to rainbows

I know
my sisters
turn their heaving backs
on me, to chew on bones
men leave them sometimes
while I demand full trays
of delicious and fatty meat
when I snap bones
and the crunch scares them
I smile at them
red and chicken grease
smeared on my face
relishing their fear
when they whisper about me
as I gorge myself
on salt soaked food

I know
I am
and there is no end to this

By Kim Morales

Biography:

I am from Brooklyn, NY. I am of Guatemalan and Puerto-Rican descent. I am currently attending LaGuardia Community College.

Homecoming By Yashodhara Trivedi

Homecoming

From alien shores, whose names slip off your tongue
a little too soon to find in them a second home,
the kingdom of your firsts is a dreamscape.
The past will paint over its flaws until
the impatient honks of rush-hour traffic
is a jazz concerto in retrospect. You will
inhale the distilled air of distant mountains
in blind disdain, yearning for its soot-stained cousin
to fill your hungry lungs with welcome pain.

Nostalgia is not your friend:
When the dreams run wild and the tears flow free
and you retrace your steps sheepishly,
the city that rises in welcome will reek
of the past you killed in escaping it.
Ask a man returned from the world
and he’ll tell you what home really is:
A state of mind,
an unfed longing for things
only half as good as they first seem.

By Yashodhara Trivedi

Biography:

Yashodhara Trivedi is a twenty-two years old native of Kolkata, India. Having recently completed the Master’s programme in English at Durham University, she now tries to distract herself from the terrifying prospect of finding a real job by pretending she can write poetry.

Visiting By Loisa Fenichell

Visiting

The animal in the fridge is the same
as the animal is my stomach.
I lean backwards and see a face
that I never imagined as mine
yet is now the present.

It’s easy to tell myself that my face
has always been a burial ground
but really it is just larger than before,
more bloated now,
like the loud groans of a mother hen.

I think I am allergic to my mother’s food.
Its steam rises from the dining room table.

You are on the other side of the table
with hands large enough to wrap around a pregnant belly.
I pray for the smell of human ribs.
But instead all I smell is still my mother’s food
like the stench of legs all cut up by old razor blades.
You watch me with your hair stained wet like a grapefruit.

We said we would love each other
Like we would strip each other to death,
suck at each other’s breaths,
leave bruises in the shape of grieving.

Grieve for my mother and her food.
The death of everyday is buried
in the backyard of my mother’s home.

By Loisa Fenichell

Biography:

Loisa Fenichell loves what is subtly magical. When not writing poetry and when not doing homework and when not in class (she is a student at SUNY Purchase, where she primarily studies Literature and Creative Writing), she can be found reading, running, practicing yoga, walking around bookstores trying not to buy yet another book, and/or dreaming of Maine. Some of her poems can be found at polyphemuse.tumblr.com. You may contact her at lfenichell@gmail.com.

Nebraska By Hannah Gramson

Nebraska 

WAIT.
I have an idea.
It involves a lot of howling. A lot of
standing in one place.

Nebraska, sweat and dust.
Flat and desperate.
Licked my wounds like it was nothing.

Houses lined up, dead-faced. Slumping like old
men. Doors hanging open like
waiting mouths
saying, “Come in, come in. I promise
you’ll be safe here.”

WAIT.
I have an idea.
It involves a lot of flailing limbs. A lot of
hurling my body out the window.

You human-shaped famine. Hands like
a starving dog.
Always wanting more & more of something
I didn’t have and

couldn’t give.

By Hannah Gramson

Biography:

I am a 24 year old graduate student living in the Pacific Northwest, pursuing a degree that has nothing to do with writing.