Sunday, 1 January 2017

Sister Publication to Poetry Life & Times

Issue of January 2017: The Best Poems from 2016

Warm. (Series 7/8/9) Poems by Darren C. Demaree


I took a turn
into the outskirts
of the assumption

that each darkness
is a cool pool

for my warmth
& I got burned
many times

by the thick life
that never dies
in that world.

I left
whole years
in those places.


I look twice
at the pinch
of away

& away from
me. I am
taken by

how often
I long to be
the collision.


All over again,
I talked about birth
as flight,

but to take the air
& the wind
at the same time

takes maturity.
We crawl
though every inch

of the warm
cascade before
we ever look up.

We shake
for decades
after we stand.

Darren C. Demaree


“Darren is a dangerous dreamer, concocting love poems to his home state, and pastorals to his true love. But there’s always something more beneath the surface: sex and violence, villainy, mutilation, uneasy redemption and troubled ecstasy. These poems are pins pressed deep in the disfigured heart of America. They work a dark magic on the reader — they’re unsettling in necessary ways.” Christopher Michel


The Mole. A Poem by Ananya S Guha

I hate to say it
but the mole on my nose
is only an architecture of disdain
pure contempt for Grecian looks
and ultra
violets have broken into unmusical
songs, I have a hand for blasphemy
for those in exile ( in oblivion)
but the mole gives intrepid warmth
to a less than humane heart
a heart that mocks at love
and sees in body lust
philanderer of hope, testimony
coming back to the mole, the nose itches
in radical protest against human faces
of dignity.revolt then, you reprobates
crush the sinner’s dying plea of resurrection.
the mole looks blacker, wilder and the body

 Ananya S Guha has been born and brought up in Shillong, India and works in India’s National Open University, the Indira Gandhi National Open University. His poems in English have been published world wide. He also writes for newspapers and magazines/ web zines on matters ranging from society and politics to education. He holds a doctoral degree on the novels of William Golding. He edits the poetry column of The Thumb Print Magazine, and has published seven collections of poetry.


Nominated for the Push Cart Prize: Africa North. A Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop

    Africa North is an excerpt from the collected poems All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
Solstice winds, rain return in spells
a moon waxes full, dogs howl as well.
All the babble of the Souk
men over there, over there women.
All the life of the planet
so little part of it that i breathe.
Weather beaten highlands, once passed through.
The river bed, no more like a parched bone
its late autumnal river meanders as a vein
past four reservoirs
a quest that will end in winter´s flood.
Between them are momentary mists
where brightly clad figures of the north, suddenly dim.
On the frontier’s beach taxis come, go
only the stranded remain, together with the seagulls
four men huddled, drenched in pouring rain
dead once more, again, all pathways home
washed away, again. A broken song
Remember me, sung in a doorway
brings the world at large together
as suddenly as it narrows.
Water runs on marble
nakedness revealed, nakedness concealed
form water words, water memories, mists, fates.
Veins wrestle the marble into mangled knots
blemished pearls on an implacable skin
shards leaving fragmentary traces
empty spaces awaiting faces.
Lights dance in the night, picturesque
“casas blancas del pueblo”
appear through the darkness
as the brush strokes of my mind steal the action of the shadow.
Mists cordon the mountain tops
guerdoned crowns like wreathes.
Ancient fields’ still colours surrounded
by burgeoning new lead to the valley below.
Old women, old as aglow, so slow they go
poised aloof in an untouchable world, trapped.
High in kiln firelight they cowl night’s shade
to oversee goats on the hill beneath.
Daughters of necessity naked in the rock
unleashed in white trefoil in the marsh
swamp of night rain, stark where epochs
sleep in their shadows.
Replication of memories, where the old
becomes the new, a world splits in two
with Morpheus in the breach.
Beyond control, beyond reach the erratic butterfly
flits bloom to bloom, the intrepid stalker with net
both captured in the mimic mould.
A knot is tied, a knot that wrestles
embraces, that ravels birth
unravels death & binds its existence.
Her face is as if a moon glazed over
with a less serene ceramic dust that in the end
after its perplexity contains its surety.
She draws her forefinger laterally across
under her eye lid in a smear
nor can you change the image of what you are
in the pupil of her eye.
Babble bodies blur
voices with their echoes down the street
sky high, prices fly
a bird song breaks, a splash charade.
Faces in the rain thin
weakness of watery years.
A winnowing canvass tosses corn
as fireflies in the blazing day.
The hag in her rags begs her bag
holding all shadows to account.
You sit in the solitary corner
at the empty dice board
to throw, as the music swells, as strings play.
On the washing line clothes of all shapes
sizes are waiting to be filled
suspended between earth, sky, where white sheets blow.
A twinge of nostalgia flashes
a link between a fluttering curtain
an open window frame, a sun shadow game
a flickering apparition pattern leaving only – strands.
A breeze flutters an open foolscap on the table
as though a phantom reader
should flick with regard through a score of notes
then stops at the first blank white sheets
stays, the moving hand that wrote, wrote no more.
On record, old honky-tonk goes on
amidst the heaps of consumer city sneakers
in the same dust where faces
turn from their spring red lustre to a sun soiled wear
Through a beehive of alleys
names, aye to fetch them home again
as if where the countless dead resided, you’d said
in a market of women shrouded in shawls.
Berlin falls, Baghdad falls
all the years turn to further tears
further fears to merge with your voyage
the shape of dreams to come
to be only endearments of what has gone before.
A flower opens after a thousand years in a shell of tears
indifferent to its beholders’ sight
who paint it with the colours from the waters of their night
on an unknown shore, to whose sight it opened once before.
Children’s faces like radiant imps
play carefree in the streets below
overhead on red tiles, fat pigeons bicker, coo.
In an internet cafe, an Arab girl discrete in headdress
plays with cartoon molecules of Mickey Mouse
Koala bear
nubile women’s faces dream of nudity in their shrouds.
Wonky pinz nez specs, jumble sale clothes
bad teeth, unshaven grin
looking a faded duplicate of a down
out James Joyce with the come on
are you Irish, he asks
perhaps he was once upon a time.
They came through the cleft of the mountain
– where the river ran
to swim as a blur in the naked purple of the eye.
On the mountain face there is a scar
once a sacred place, now extinct, as they are.
Yet wild still she runs, amidst the sheep, goats
toils at the hearth, dutifully bears children
yesterday she knows but not tomorrow
where she hides her sorrow.
Even as he ploughs the hillside
a photo will steal his soul, but his beasts will do.
Twilight’s girls, girls, girls
throng the bustling street corners eating caracoles.
By day the olive tree green in the blue sky of the window
seems almost immortal enriched with the blood
it’s enriched, now at its roots.
Costa de la playa, white beehives in the sun, all money, no honey.
In the broken lights of the bazaar
the dusky eyes of the beggar sunk in their sockets
maze in crooked cul de sacs embargo amidst
the furls of silk that foil the flickering lantern niche.
In the gloaming a solitary reaper reaps its shadow.
Streets packs ravage carcasses
at dawn, the city wakes to the city’s obedience
to obey its disappearing shadows.
A ghost city of watchers
watched as shadows by a memory that has outlived them
now fragments in an admixture of old, new
amidst a junk yard of rubble
watcher shadows phased captive to their fading stories.
The street’s mechanics of the day
obey their limits, patterns of parts
where we end only to start in a series of nows.
Post mortem of the world at large
an autopsy of ghosts on the slab.
Born to see, in the boutiques people seem
like their own mannequins
existence is a mystery with no purpose

      only we endow it with a destiny, it does not seek from us.

Robin Ouzman Hislop
is on line Editor at, & Poetry Life & Times, his recent publications include Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review (Appalachian University, N.Carolina), The Poetic Bond VolumesPhoenix Rising from the Ashes (an international anthology of sonnets) and The Honest Ulsterman.
His last publications are a volume of collected poems All the Babble of the Souk & Key of Mist, a translation from Spanish of the poems by the Spanish poetess Guadalupe Grande, both are published by and available at all main online tributaries. For further information about these publications with reviews and comments see 
Author Robin..


Counter-factual History Poetry by
Christopher Barnes

Flash Gear 
Foot-long tresses, plum and tangerine blouse,
Ink-smudge breeks – Admiral Horatio Nelson struts.
Carnaby St. is a kinetic three blocks.
In Lord John’s portal he rib-digs Joe,
Land-pirate to a clutter of pharmacies,
Shopping list: four honeypots – French Blues.

Currency for peacocks is revels or frills.

Hereafter Chimneys 
Reactors superheat uranium,
Hatching plutonium – a fume,
Radioactive cast-off.
Julius Caesar grits teeth,
Ashens at Windscale’s pockmarks
On a thickset graphite shell.
Blue-bag flames peck

At a moody critical mass.

Blood-Stained Pillow 
Anne Boleyn disentangles prompts
On the Washeteria’s speech bubbles.
Self-run gearing is eco-affirmative.
Her duvet and pillows outline jauntiness
Quickened by a hyperallergic gargle,
Phosphate deficient.
The dizzy-bouquet whiff

Spins and hour into memory.

Lour In Popping Eyes 
Dressed-to-the-nines rose-fresh theatre.
Jedward cradle themselves
In a pomp-splash box.
The snorty edge flurries this raised curtain.
‘Rites Of Spring,’ blurts gabbley lips.
The twins dislocate nerves.

Bob-up canes, set-against fans in an uproar.

   Some bio details…
"In 1998 I won a Northern Arts writers award. In July 200 I read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology ‘Titles Are Bitches’. Christmas 2001 I debuted at Newcastle’s famous Morden Tower doing a reading of my poems. Each year I read for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and I partook in workshops. 2005 saw the publication of my collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh." Read f
ull bio at Poetry Life & Times



The Thracian Rider Is Doomed to Moonlight. A Poem by RW Haynes

Artemis of slippery rocks, O power
Of mesquite, O night, O resonant night
Of owls and tricky rapids, in this hour
Guide my faithful warhorse aright
In this crossing of this magic stream,
Where the ghosts of ancient rattlesnakes
Arise a moment from their deathly dream
To view the crossing an intruder makes.
Thus splashing splashlessly, now I ride,
Saluting the river with my brazen spear,
Across through the shallows to the western side,
To Mexico. Moonglow is strong, but sunrise is near,
And here I will abide when darkness is gone
Awaiting the impulse which will impel me on.

Just one game plays out at no remove
From reality, and its rules both produce
And require defiance of traps that prove
What you are. You must somehow turn loose
Of love’s numerous and bogus avatars,
Of pride’s super-subtle, invidious claims,
And all false illusions, from Hell to the stars,
As the clock steals vigor, and all the other games
Clamor for attention. But I have arrived
And crossed this river, one dragon slain
In Bulgaria, the battles I survived
Having cleared my soul of useless pain.
And now, freed from compulsion of choice,
I listen for orders from an inward voice.

Last night I met a perished knight at arms
Wandering feebly down the murmuring stream,
And we spoke awhile of debilitating charms
That lurk malignantly in hope and dream.
Death had relieved him of all but regret,
He smiled, his eyes unseen in the ghostly shade,
But hoarsely whispered then that to forget
He’d instantly take agony in trade,
And he reached forth to me his bony hand,
And I pronounced forthwith the living curse,
And he was gone with that crushing command
That the dead must obey and none can reverse.
And the waterfall echoes its perpetual sighs
And I stand watch here silent at moon-rise.

R. W. Haynes has taught literature at Texas A&M International University since 1992. His recent interests include the early British sonnet, and he is completing a second book on the Texas playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote (1916-2009). In his poetry, Haynes seeks to celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without sounding any more dissonant notes than he has to. In fiction, he works toward grasping that part of the past which made its mark on his generation. He enjoys teaching drama, especially the Greeks, Ibsen, and Shakespeare, and he devoutly hopes for a stunning literary Renaissance in South Texas.


Coming Full Circle
(A Feminist Fiasco)
Sara L Russell, August 29th, 2016

Time to retire now, ladies,
the drawing room awaits
as the gentlemen go to smoke
and drink brandy
or tell ribald stories
unsuitable for a lady's delicate ears.
Time to work on our embroidery
or retire to bed.
The men shall retire whenever they wish,
and the stars are too many for us to count.
Now we must lie abed
dreaming of Mr. Darcy
or perhaps a future career,
If only one's gender
might permit such a thing.

Time to adjourn now, ladies,
Mrs. Pankhurst has said her piece
and the rozzers are coming
to break up our meeting of like minds.
I heard that she was in prison for a time,
and went on hunger strike!
oh yes, my dear,
I heard they beat her,
force-fed her
then left her to cry alone in her cell.
Only she didn't cry. She never cries.
They say one day we women
will be able to vote!
Yes, of course it could happen.
We deserve it, after all.

Time to adjourn now, people,
it's been a long session
and even ministers need a lunch break.
Mrs. Thatcher no doubt will carry on
making notes for yet another meeting,
I don't think that woman ever sleeps.
Even if she never does,
she has razor-sharp concentration
and a sharper mind.
You don't want to get
on the wrong side of that one.
Funny, years ago,
they never dreamed we'd have
a woman Prime Minister.
Not everyone agrees with her
yet few dare to disagree. 

Time to retire now, ladies.
The men have important things
to discuss, too serious for our lowly ears.
Theirs is the sun and the daylight
ours are the shadows that herald the dusk.
Gather your prayer beads
and lower your gaze.
Do not look into the eyes
of the Imam as you pass by
on the way to your rooms.
Do not let any breeze from the window
displace your veil.
Guard your modesty
at all times;
protect your respectability,
for it is all you have in the world.

Sara Louise Russell, aka PinkyAndrexa, is a UK poet and poetry ezine editor, specialising particularly in sonnets, lyric-style poetry and occasionally writing in more modern styles. She founded Poetry Life & Times and edited it from 1998 to 2006, when she handed it over to Robin Ouzman Hislop and Amparo Arrospide; Robin now runs it as Editor from Poetry Life & Times. She is currently founder and Editor of the daily journal, Poetry Lifetimes ; which is a sister publication to Poetry Life & Times. Her poems and sonnets have been published in many paper and online publications including Sonnetto Poesia, Mindful of Poetry and Autumn Leaves a monthly Poetry ezine from the late Sondra Ball. Her sonnets also currently appear in the recently published anthology of sonnets Phoenix Rising from the Ashes. She is also one of the first poets ever to be published on multimedia CD ROMs, published by Kedco Studios Inc.; the first one being “Pinky’s Little Book of Shadows”, which was featured by the UK’s national newspaper The Mirror, in October 1999. (Picture link for Mirror article) Angel Fire


Please note after this particular you tube video poem by Anca there follows a series of her excellently crafted film work in which further of her video poems feature, but the typescript only to this particular video poem Cathartic Eclipse is shown below. Editor’s Note.
I witnessed the death of the universe…
Tumbling, crushing, spinning
in the maddening chaos
of the spiral Time! 
Eternity… ceased to exist,
Time… was no more,
my soul ripped asunder
the stars… show no more! 
Pleading internally
I succumb my farewells,
emptied my concavities,
ashes of solitude reminded me
of quixotic moments
dismissed involuntarily 
you were oblivious to my presence
gazing emptily a brimming space,
surreality became my twisted fate
and no transition left for immortality! 
My world is hushed
And I crave for volumes of light
in this glaring darkness of hope
succumbing throes
of cacophonous silence
cocooned in webs of deceit
awaiting the promised resurrection. 
In these nights of forgetfulness
my poetry still bleeds inside me
in this realm there is an aeonic distance
between my Soul… and your Heart!…

“Anca-Mihaela Bruma strives to continuously challenge and change the world we live in by means of art, and it is by breaking away from old traditions that she invigorates the art world in pursuit of a new emotional intellect. It is central to her own belief that it is her duty to empower, motivate, inspire, educate and heal. The awakening of the latent gifts we all perhaps unknowingly possess is also central to her quest.


Who can forget that in September of 2016, we lost Janet P. Caldwell, a much-loved poet and a
great friend of ours at both Poetry Life & Times and Poetry Lifetimes.
This is William S. Peters' tribute to her.

In Loving Memory of Janet P. Caldwell February 1959 ~ 20 September 2016.
William S. Peters, Sr.

weep not for me

weep not for me,
nor despair, nor lament,
on my crossing the waters,
for my life has been full,
for i had you

i go to a better place,
where i shall make a bed for you
as i longingly await your arrival,
for we are eternally betrothed

i shall have the angels sing
a song of welcome . . .
and the flowers of the field
shall dance gleefully
in the embrace of brother wind

the sun always shines here
acknowledging our mutual brightness
where the night-ness
is no more

so i ask of thee
to weep not for me
nor despair, nor lament
on my crossing the waters,
for my life has been full,
for i had you

Bill is an avid Writer / Poet who has been committed to this path since 1966. He currently has to his credit over 70 Published Books as well as a myriad of Newspaper and Magazine Articles. Bill supports the venue of Creative Expression regardless of form. He also is an activist for the progression and evolution of Humanity and its Love of each other.

Recently (September 2015) Bill was honored to be named the Poet Laureate at the Kosovo International Poetry Festival where his book The Vine Keeper was showcased. He was also awarded The Golden Grape Award.

Bill currently serves as the CEO of Inner Child Enterprises, ltd., Managing Director of Inner Child Press, Executive Producer of Inner Child Radio and Executive Editor of Inner Child Magazine. His life partner Janet P. Caldwell stands by his side in support of the Inner Child vision

For more of Bill, visit his personal web Site at :


Tribute to the late E. Darcy Trie
by Wanda Brayton

Wanda Lee Brayton Read bio at Motherbird



Barbara Crooker: Les Fauves
(Paperback) Released on 15th January 2017on

Les Fauves is, as the title suggests, a collection of ekphrastic poetry, meditations on paintings from the Fauve and Post-Impressionist movements. But it also contains poetry’s equivalent to Fauvism, poems that take a walk on the wild side. There are language experiment poems, poems of word play, poems in form both usual (end rhymes, sonnets, ghazals) and unusual (abecedaries, traditional, embedded, and double helix), palindromes, anagrams, and word scrambles. Crazy word salad poems. Crooker’s subjects range widely, from living and working in a small village in the South of France, love in a long-term relationship, food as more than sustenance, faith in a secular age, grammar and usage, the pains and pleasures of the aging body. But always, what engages her most is what it means to be human on this fragile planet, at this time in our troubled history, still believing that “Beauty will save the world.” (Fyodor Dostoevsky).

Barbara Crooker: Selected Poems / 2015 available on

by Barbara Crooker

This collection brings together 102 poems from Barbara Crooker’s previous ten chapbooks of poetry, two of which won national prizes, with a handful of uncollected poems at the end. Of Crooker’s work, William Matthews has written, “Barbara Crooker’s poems have been written with a deft touch and with that affection for their textures and pacings that we’re accustomed to call, a little dryly, ‘technical skill.’ It’s a form of love, actually, and since she’s expended it on her poems, we can, too.” Janet McCann, writing in the Foreword, says, “The poems in this collection come mostly from chapbooks, collections which cluster around a theme, such as loss of a parent or friend, raising a child with autism, travel, art. Crooker’s collections are remarkable for their unity; their poems, epigraphs, even covers have a thematic thrust that collects and directs the work, making each a coherent work of art.... Reading the work from beginning to end provides an experience of Crooker’s world, that place of work and sadness balanced by art and love. It also provides vignettes of growing up in the fifties and sixties and shows what it was like to come of age as a woman in those years—the expectations, the hopes, the barriers that had to be overcome. Even in poems of loss, the energy persists, giving us the sense that Crooker is truly in the current of life, feeling its verve—what Wallace Stevens called ‘the intensity of love’ that he identified with ‘the verve of earth.’”


All the Babble of the Souk 
 Robin Ouzman Hislop

Click book image to visit the seller's page at

Poet Robin Ouzman Hislop’s first full-length collection, All the Babble of the Souk, is appropriately titled. With a remarkably consistent ear for the market’s noise, for “[t]he broken lights of the bazaar/spangled] with glistening promise/in the eyes of the dusky beggar …” (Laminations in Lacquer ) Hislop’s poems, many of them cinematic-style montages of sounds and images, show us the metaphoric souk of the world, on the beach or in the street, its glitter, its sadness, its ragtag glory:

“pets, flower pots framed captive in a moment 
outside the house of the painter, a robot
in chains with an alms bowl”
(“Departures”) ...Read more of this review by poet Miriam C. Jacobs

More Reviews for this book:

 Aquillrelle. Press Release. All the Babble of the Souk

Richard Vallance Reviews All the Babble of the Souk

Reviewed by Marie Marshall All the Babble of the Souk

Richard Lloyd Cederberg Reviews All the Babble of the Souk 

Adam Levon Brown Reviews All the Babble of the Souk

Further comments and reviews on Motherbird




The Poetic Bond 6 Release

ISBN-13: 978-1539334682 
The Only
actively sought specifically from
New Media, Social and Professional Networking

Publication Date 5 November 2016

Making a Poetic Bond – the ethos behind putting together the anthology

Available at The Poetic Bond


The process of selecting poems for publishing The Poetic Bond series is unlike any other in that there is no set plan as to what will be published. It depends on the themes which emerge from the pool of work submitted, or to put it another way, the poetic energy which comes together at this certain time and place. Where themes emerge, patterns of energy harmonize, form bonds, connections, and these in turn lead to interconnected chapters, and the creation of a holistic volume, deeply connected with humanity, nature, and the universe.

37 poets from 12 Countries
Canada, China, England, France, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Malaysia,
Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, USA, and Wales
“Poetry, both reveals and shares our humanity”
(Trevor Maynard, editor The Poetic Bond Series)




Musical performance of Barbara Crooker's poem, "Christ Comes to Centralia", in a piece entitled "Centralia" (Paul Bernardin, composer), and performed by the Lower Merion Symphony Orchestra:

Janet Kuypers' poem show "Like a Lamb to the Slaughter" 

@ The Gallery Cabaret, Chicago 9/2/15 Cfs

Janet P. Caldwell - Dancing Toward the Light
in affectionate memory of Janet P. Caldwell

Misery: New Orleans Gun Violence & Other Crimes / Nordette Adams


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