From Unknown To Well-Known

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Contributor: Sheshu Babu

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We were travelling in different directions
When we first shook hands
With some apprehension
Starkly exposing our contention
On various issues regarding life
Their endless strife

Our mentality was unknown
Our beliefs were unknown
Our philosophy was unknown
To each other, goals were unknown

But something held us together
As we got to know each other better
Like Marx-Engels attraction
Or teacher-student bond of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan

We agreed and fiercely disagreed
We, for days, intensely discussed:
We parted our ways with anger and spite
But met again, forgetting all that unpleasant sight

After years of acquaintance
And our struggle for existence
We, in our tumultuous journey, learnt a lot
That taught us to tackle differences with skill and tact

Recognizing differences of opinion is sportsmanship;
Accepting differences of opinion is relationship;
Understanding differences of opinion is statesmanship;
Complimenting each other even in difference of opinion is friendship!

Now, each other's character is well known,
Our strengths and weakness are well known,
Our goals are similar and approach well known,
Our sacrifice for the cause of friendship, to each other, is well known.


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Distant Pastoral

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Contributor: John Ogden


We put stone to soil
your father and I
With tools old and heavy sweat
we cut the earth
we bleed our waters
into furrowed lines
furrowed brows
furrows of seed
that turn sweat and sun and earth
into gold
into grain
into future and food
for the future's children
and all the others
who will put stone to soil
long after we fall
like wheat
like chaff
rising once again
again and again
never long in the sun
never long
on the other side
of the dirt.


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John Ogden was conceived of a government form and a passing mailbox. He lives somewhere out in the woods of a rural land more akin to the fantasy realms of literature than real life, and his favorite dirt bikes will always be the broken ones.

Life is a Stream of Questions

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Contributor: Jun Lit

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When the deep well of unwanted tears
have been emptied into deserts called pillows
but the orphaned sadness still flows,
where does one chase the smile
that brightened each day,
each day that stretched a step a mile?

If at the end of the dreaming rainbow
one finds not the proverbial wealth but naught,
where could one dig for the elusive pot of gold
that every pauper and prince sought?

When the last spring of cheer has dried up
and abandoned the riffles and pools
that used to be musical in the days of old,
where could one find the headwaters
of that reassuring look?

One thousand and one hundred questions
reached, discounting the ones uncounted,
now ages old and still unanswered.
And for every interested “What?”
and anxious “When?” that bade farewell,
one puzzled “Why?”,
or one astounded “How?”
and weary “Where?”
knocks at the doors of heart and mind.

Oft I was told by many,
almost a tyranny,
that one supernatural superhero
is the answer. Presto!,
Yet they didn’t know my question,
the questions.
Arrogance, the accusation -
but simply asking
not so simple poetic queries
on realities of nature – not poetry
and on nature of realities – that is poesy!
apparently, in nature,
is not that simple,
and the answers cannot be simplistic
and neither poetic.

I just know
that when I stop asking,
or writing lines, verses, rhyming
or not, and when questions stop coming -
that’s when life ceases
and I
would not
know.


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Jun Lit (Ireneo L. Lit, Jr.) teaches biology and studies insects at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and writes poems about nature, people, and society.

Success

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Contributor: Jane Briganti

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Is success failure
turned inside out?
Would you have succeeded
had you walked
a different route?
Are you proud
of decisions you made?
Happiness for success
may be a trade
Success for everyone
is not the same
Some want love, money
and others fame
The seeds of success
are yours to sow
But without failure
you will not grow
To evolve
and die content
one must understand
what life really meant


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A Native New Yorker, she believes poetry is the soul's way of communicating with itself.

Point of View

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Contributor: Phil Huffy

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As I looked up
at Hardwood Hill,
I saw a branch
sway in the breeze.
Except for that
the earth stood still
and granted time
to take my ease.

When winter days
compel the wood
to waiting out
their frosty reign,
I’ll find once more
that place I stood
and if it snows
shall not complain.


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Phil Huffy writes at his kitchen table, sometimes during meals. With nearly 150 published pieces, his method seems to be working.

At Home in New York

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

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The trees go from bare, barren branches
Agonizingly bursting with buds
That become leaves in their palest shade
Reaching for the sun and darkening in color
Time to reach their fullness of life

At home in New York
Time to breathe the energy
That only New York air carries in its wake
Time to let the New York rhythms transfuse
Transform
Reshape itself
As a prelude evolves into a symphony

At home in New York
Where ideas float in the air
Like grains of sand in the Sahara
Waiting to germinate
Waiting to be gathered
Cross pollinated
And become grand arches of infinite rainbows

Glass and steel rising
With sculptural ferocity
Like Jack’s beanstalk
Towering into the sky
Reaching for the golden egg
Transformed into an apple
To be plucked from the tree of life
That only New York can succor

Electro-magnetic
Drawing toward itself
Like the moon controls the tides
And returning to the atmosphere
Like solar flares
Volcanic yet enigmatic
Waiting to be recaptured
Waiting to be nurtured into being


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Bruce Levine, a native Manhattanite, has spent his life as a writer of fiction and poetry and as a music and theatre professional. His literary catalogue includes four novels, short stories, humorous sketches, flash fiction, poetry, essays, articles and a screenplay His nearly one-hundred-fifty works are published in magazines, over twenty-five on-line journals, thirty books and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late wife, Lydia Franklin. He lives in New York with his dog, Daisy. Visit him at www.brucelevine.com.

Spinning

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Contributor: DAH

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I spat on a web
just for the excitement
it caused the spider:
a gothic villain
raced over the surface

The spittle fell through
like white oil, and
the sticky lace
oblivious to the hole
my curiosity made

Late in the day
the villain was spinning,
mending, restoring
the delicate fabric,
despite its hunger


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DAH is a poet having a human experience. He is a Pushcart Prize and Best Of The Net nominee, and the author of nine books of poetry

Haystacks (series)

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Contributor: donnarkevic

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Oil on canvases, 1890-91, Claude Monet

Across the meadow, Monet’s stepdaughter,
Blanche, carried canvases in a bumpy wheelbarrow
to help capture the transience of light.
As she prepared another canvas,
Papa said, Hurry, the sun sets so fast!
Throughout the day, each half hour,
the color of the haystacks changed
like a bruise on the skin.



On my father’s farm, Mother chooses to die.
Splotches on her legs, the only modest place
my father shows me, ugly purple and red,
like sunspots, as if the sun appeared to perish.
I run to the harvest haystacks to hide
from death. But he finds me.

In the parlor, Mother looks like Mother
except for her skin. Gone the soft hands
that washed my dirty face. Gone
the tender cheeks, rouged as apples.
Gone the supple lips that kissed my forehead.
Instead, a hardness, like rock
I tote from a fertile plowed field,
like the brick of the silo, storing continuance,
like the bark of a tree heavy with fruit.
Even the hard earth as I sit at the grave,
the sun setting, Father’s callous hand
reaching for me, lifting me, his little girl,
into a world I know will be forever hard.


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Retired, I find myself looking back to see what is left standing and what remains to be built. So, I keep writing. I invite you to read one that still stands.

My Wizardry

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Contributor: Paweł Markiewicz

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In me a tender hunch wakes up
the meek-smooth-blissful aeon of a dream

a winged immortality
which is still a delicate fledgling
of my psyche in hopes

like the rose canvas-van
of my heart in a dreamy wind

such a lilac enchantment of the sentiment
of all soft seagulls in the glamorous tide-time

and like aqua angel
he is consort of the sorcery

or a dreamer-mariner
he imagines sentiments seals of the meres
dreaming of fire of many druids

at sea and ashore
both most marvelous daydreams
I feel love

in the eternal mirror the moon
an entranced heart is leisurely

frail like a masterly poemlet
Apollonian pennons are carrying me finely
into lands rife with the poetical fantasy

Athena female angelic companion
is flying into enchanted Zeus-like clouds


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Paweł Markiewicz - poet from Poland, in 3 languages

Reflection

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Contributor: Sheshu Babu

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Turbulent waves
Of water
Reflect serene sky
And stars

But stars in the sky
Face constant turbulence
Not reflected
By waves of water
On Earth

Waves of water
Reflect
Nature and life
In various hues
But inner struggles and turbulence
Of life remain non-reflected

Ground Reality
Is not just 'Reflection'
By waves of water
But more complex, concrete
Inner turbulence
Inner contradictions


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