Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New Poetry by Mohammad Ali Maleki










Silence Land

I have doubts about my sanity:
not everyone can bear this much.
They stole all my feelings;
there’s no wisdom left in my mind.
I am just a walking dead man.
I am just a walking dead man.

I yelled for help so many times—
No one on this earth took my hand.
Now I see many mad things and imagine
how the world would look if it collapsed.

Perhaps it would be good for everything to return to the past;
for nothing to be seen on the earth or in the sky.
It would feel so good to be a child
again and go back to my mother’s womb.
For there to be no sign of me,
for me never to have gone crazy in this place.

What if the woolen jacket I am wearing unravels
and begins to fall apart?
Or the butterfly flies back to its cocoon,
or the autumn leaf grows green and returns
to its branch on that old tree?
What if the tree becomes a seed in the soil—
I sound crazy speaking this way!

It’s the outcome of being detained for four years
after seeking asylum on the sea.

What if that sea returned to its source
and flowed back to the river mouth?
If that river receded back up into its spring?
What if only the sun and the moon remained in the sky?
If I saw even the sun’s birth reversed,
watched it dissipate into space?
Witnessed the moon implode upon itself?

All things returning to their starting place…

How beautiful, to live in a colorless world,
everywhere silent and still.
The earth would be calm for a moment,
free of even one miscreant.

But what do you make of my vision—
am I sane or mad?


- Mohammad Ali Maleki 2017



Mohammad Ali Maleki is an Iranian poet and avid gardener who has been living in detention on Manus Island for four years. His poem ‘The Strong Sunflower’ was the first work published on Verity La’s Discoursing Diaspora project. Since then, Mohammad’s writing has been published by Bluepepper and by the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group. He has been a featured poet on Rochford Street Review, and his poems and letters have been included in the Dear Prime Minister project and at the Denmark Festival of Voice.  His poem ‘Tears of Stone’ was shortlisted for the Red Room Company’s New Shoots Poetry Prize 2016 and received Special Commendation for extraordinary work in extreme circumstances.


Friday, July 21, 2017

New Poetry by Ben Hession










Summer: an ellipsis

The Armageddon weather,
                  pervasive, the hot winds,
thunderstorm clouds
                  perdurant in each octant,
the nights tease away sleep: dreamy

reconciliation fills a plastic,
                  disposable shopping bag
lifting over backyard fences;
                   grit lands in the eyes
of all sinner pedestrians.

                    I cannot see straight
and that angers me,
                    I only have eyes for my ego;
hope watches a car-crash,
                    it's a voyeur crossing police tape
wanting action, baby -
                   looks for a body, looks for blood
moans that it's hungry, thirsty;
                   comes too early, grunting, falls
away, the psychopath.



- Ben Hession 2017


Ben Hession is a Wollongong based writer. His poetry has been published by Eureka Street, the International Chinese Language Forum, the Cordite Poetry Review, Verity La and the Mascara Literary Review, as well as the Live Poets anthology Can I Tell You A Secret? Ben's poem, A Song of Numbers,  was shortlisted for the 2013 Australian Poetry Science Poetry award. Ben is also a music journalist and is involved with community broadcasting.

Friday, July 14, 2017

New Poetry by Abigail George










The bone slums

    I think of the deepest tragedies
    that I have experienced. That

have made me become the woman
that I am today. I think of Antigone,

    Joan of Arc, the war of art, years
    gone by. I think of death and life.
    Instinct and emptiness. In the bone

slums. You will find the winter-themed of
the soul there. Stray cats. Kitchen tables that
have a rustic feel to them. Jam and bread.

    Forget this place of weeping.

The preparation for a daughter to become a mother.

    The yield and harvest of fathers.
    The yellow star on coats.

The strange pale fire in Anne Frank’s eyes.

    Jewish children in the fire of war.

In the fire of the concentration camps.
I weep for nightfall. All I can do now

Is look at it from a distance. Women
Covering themselves with the veil of

    justice. While men want freedom and I remember this.

That there is bitter relief to be
Found in the anguished wild.

When the final hour came, it
was a day of thunder, submission and falling.

That was the day the sun died.
That was the day the sun died.
That was the day the sun died.

And the bitter seed sung that all should
be free. That we should all be free and
hopeful. And forget the harvest of futility.


- Abigail George 2017



Abigail George is a South African writer and poet.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

New Poetry by Margaret Holley










Bob Boldman Does My Haiku

"Walking with the river, water does my thinking,"
birds my singing, wind my breath,
trees my patience.

While I gaze out the window, or when I fall 
asleep with a book in the afternoon,
sunlight does my dreaming.

Walking with the river, ripple does my dance,
my shining, stones my quiet,
trees my rooting,

roots my holding on.  When I grow afraid 
of my life, grasses do my greening, 
rain my grief.

Standing by the river, mute and empty,
all the waters singing to my thirst,
trees my leaf and fruiting.

When it is time to move out of my house 
of bones, river, do my flowing.  Wind, 
my rising.  Leaves, my letting go.


- Margaret Holley 2017


Margaret Holley’s fifth book of poems is Walking Through the Horizon, published by University of Arkansas Press.  Recent poems have appeared in Eclectica, Gnarled Oak, The Tower Journal, and Valparaiso Poetry Review.  Former Director of Creative Writing at Bryn Mawr College, she currently lives with her husband in Wilmington, Delaware, where she volunteers as a gallery guide at Winterthur Museum.