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Volume 1

August 2007

Number 3


Poetry



Paradise in the Hood
by Louie Crew

Word, Girl, Word

Wanna meet at the Botanic Gardens?
Or at Madison Square?
I know just the right gardenia bush
if you choose Central Park.
From behind we can watch the lone joggers
in the dawn's early light

Or do you want to eat at Ming's Garden Restaurant?

Don't be lettin me down, now
I have a bottle of Bols
and a spoon of the good stuff --
you can take your pick,

See how that tar done got squashed
to look like a rose?

We can be a world unto ourselves.


Louie has written four poetry volumes and has been published numerous times. His papers are collected by the University of Michigan.





Blind Man in Cafť
by Michael Johnson

Blind man

fingertips

dancing across

table tops

crooked smile

on his face,

searching for

a seat in a

crowded corner.

-1969-



Bipolar
by Michael Johnson

Awake night light

jungle twisted branches of thought.

One character linked to the

insane personality of the other.

Bipolar in a universe of singles.

The fear of aloneness hearing

cracks in your walls; jumbling joy

of jumping into the municipal pool

in Hillside, Illinois at 3 am.

Bipolar, bewitched, and alone.

Late to work staring at your

Employer, dart split eyes.

Tattered with memories dancing

on the tablecloth with glee

slapped on the face with a teaspoon

just to feel the sadness leave.

Bipolar, bewitched, and alone.

Seldom ever hear happiness

that doesn't sound like a fire

siren camping in your eardrums.

Meds crank up and crank down;

moods follow the meds

or do meds follow the moods?

Personal wars echo words in my ears.

Even during silent times the night

roars like street jungles.

Bipolar, bewitched, and alone.

-2007-


Mr. Michael Lee Johnson lives in Chicago, IL after spending 10 years in Edmonton, Alberta Canada during the Viet Nam era. He is a freelance writer and poet. He is heavy influenced by Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Irving Layton, and Leonard Cohen. 200 plus poems published. He is a member of Poets & Writers, Inc; Directory of American Poets & Fictions Writers: pw.org/directory. Recent publications: The Orange Room Review, Bolts of Silk, Chantarelle's Notebook, The Foliate Oak Online Literary Magazine, Poetry Cemetery , Official Site of Laura Hird, The Centrifugal Eye, Adagio Verse Quarterly, Scorched Earth Publishing, and many others. Published in USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Nigeria Africa, India, United Kingdom. Mr. Johnson has a paper book pending publication with iUniverse Publishers.





I Can Tell My Children
by Ayo Ademokun

I can tell my children
I walked without shoes
I stayed a whole day without food
I wore rags to school

I can tell my children
Life wasn't rosy for me at the beginning
Poverty is a disease one must fight
Unemployment frustrates a man

I can tell my children
I wasn't born with a silver spoon
I worked so hard so I might succeed
I struggled that they might not suffer
I studied hard so that I might give to them
A life I never had

I will tell my grandchildren these also.







Poetry from our June/July 2007 issue.


Ashes
By Dimitris P. Kraniotis

The fireplace
was eager
to put a fullstop,
in the sentence
where the road
of my dreams
stuck
upon the word of happiness
with sparkles
of wet logs
I collected
from the inside of me
that I dared
to turn to ashes.



Illusions
By Dimitris P. Kraniotis

Noiseless wrinkles
on our forehead
the frontiers of history,
shed oblique glances
at Homer's verses.
Illusions
full of guilt
redeem
wounded whispers
that became echoes
in lighted caves
of the fools and the innocent.





Dimitris P. Kraniotis is an award-winning Greek poet and the author of 3 poetry books: Traces (1985), Clay Faces (1992) and Fictitious Line (2005). He was born in 1966 in Stomio, a coastal town in central Greece. He studied at the Medical School in Thessaloniki. He lives and works as a medical doctor specialized pathologist in Larissa, Greece. He is Founder & President of World Poets Society (W.P.S), Editor & Director of 3 online poetic libraries, Editorial Director of the Greek medical magazine "Hippocrates" and a member of several international literary organizations. He has won a number of international literary awards for his poetry (in Greece, USA, UK and France), which has been translated and published in many countries around the World.







If Not Crusade?
by Gary Beck

Further additions
to the vocabulary of terror
are certain to emerge,
as the continuum of resistance
entangles more of our lives.
Our recently surfaced foes,
presuming to inherit
the stature of Cold War enemies,
are not entirely unlike
Renaissance banditi,
who lurked in isolated places,
practicing depredations,
then slunk back to obscurity
when destruction was accomplished.
21st century media, however,
fan the flames of violence
with instant worldwide communications
and graphic visuals
that reinforce the horrors of disaster.
And why are mainstream muslims silent,
except to infidel overreactions?
They may not have a pope
to speak for one religion,
but that doesnít mean that the many voices
of self-appointed mid-east presidents,
generals, colonels, mullahs, imams,
other self proclaimed custodians
of the heritage of Mohammed,
should allow abusers of the faith
to kidnap the word of god
and carry out abominations in his name.
Throughout the Cold War,
the United Nations General Assembly
generally assembled and was hostage
to two conflicting powers,
or third world manipulations.
Now that the Soviet Union is no more,
the big, bad U.S. of A.
has inherited all the fear, resentment, hatred
that once was shared with the big, bad bear.
We are now engaged in a protracted war
that could become a clash of civilizations,
if responsible muslims donít respond
to the anarchic excess of extremists,
or if western societies donít recognize
the threat to their institutions,
and if the U.N. doesnít defend
the future of mankindís aspirations.






Gary Beck's poetry has appeared in dozens of literary magazines. His recent fiction has been published in numerous literary magazines. His chapbook 'The Conquest of Somalia' will be published by Cervena Barva Press. His plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes, and Sophocles have been produced Off-Broadway.











BLUE CROSS
by MK Ajay

Against a sky fractured
by stunted hills and a radio tower,
a blue cross is summoned into my sight -
a neon Christ.

This crucifix is not
suffering's symbol;
a pain suffered yesterday
could well become pleasure of memory tomorrow.
Its seeming solitude
gathers rain clouds
menacingly low
around the white-washed piety
of this old church, a sign that the first missionaries
or their sentiments
tenaciously overstayed.

From my living room's balcony
our little daughter asks me
if rain clouds stalk this blue cross
only after dusk, as thieves do.



THE SLOW PACE OF THINGS

by MK Ajay

I can feel
a bright yellow bead
blossom in a village yard,
red ants climbing
along its stalk
of morning freshness,
workers of this soil,
my nemesis
for gaining this garden's attention.
I see evanescence
in a rotting chikku fruit
dropped by a timid squirrel,
as he seems to recall
lessons learnt from his father
during several summers
of watching humans like me wonder.
This is ancestral land,
where even flight of white herons
and flap of their hasty wings
as they depart from ponds
belong only to timelessness.
Nothing else
can lay claim
to this rummaging squirrel
and the yellow blur of these flowers,
and the insipid forays of these ants.
I can feel moments stretching,
blossom again
into that same timelessness.





MK Ajay's poems have appeared in several publications such as Orbis, Blue Fifth Review, Indian Literature, The Little Magazine, Cerebration, Niederngasse, Kavya Bharati, Ygdrasil, Crimson Feet, Chandrabhaga, Brown Critique, Montreal Serai, Poetry Chain, Muse India, Kritya, Zone Magazine, Ampersand Poetry Journal, Quill & Ink and In our Words: A generation defining itself.

He is the author of a book of short stories and two collections of poems, including a forthcoming title from Plainview Press (Austin, Texas).

He hails from Kerala, India, and currently lives in Kuala Lumpur.











Poetry from our May 2007 issue.


Strangers & Angels
By Howie Good

A stranger, they say, might be an angel
unrecognizable in the diffuse light

and the enigma of his arrival

who looks at you as through eyeholes
cut unevenly in a brown paper bag

and relates with ghostwritten words
the events which are about to transpire,

who feels a terrible need to confess
there's another person with your name,

the downcast face of a sunflower
after the birds have scoured it.



Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Death of the Frog Prince (2004) and Heartland (2007), both from FootHills Publishing. His poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals, including Right Hand Pointing, Stirring, Flutter, The Rose & Thorn, 2River View, Prairie Poetry, Poetry Bay, Juked, ken*again, and Lily. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2006.








Soldier Tears
By Kenneth Brown


One night in Iraq a soldier looked to the sky.
He posed a question to God as to why.
"Why all the fighting? I don't understand,"
Was the question he asked, as he stood in the sand.
He searched the heavens high above
Thinking "If we truly are one world, then where is the love?"
And that's when he saw it; shining so bright.
His question answered...a tear fell from his eye.
The kids always known it; now he knew it too,
The Little Dipper flies over, the Middle East too.



Kenneth Brown is an active Duty soldier currently serving in Iraq
He is 37 years of age and comes from Byron, Georgia.









Neither Safe nor Saving
By Martins Iyoboyi


Our leaders are neither safe nor saving
and they have incurred the wrath of the land,
They are safe neither here nor abroad
nor is the hour of their punishment far,
For there is in the land
men and women of wasted days
who have had their collective heritage destroyed
And only wait for a song
to lead the way for expected hopes.
We neither shall be consoled by their imprisonment
nor by the angry words of both the young and old,
But must see to their end
which will not be long in coming
When as they have treated the commoners of the land,
They shall be publicly put to the sword
And all their acolytes and sycophants with them.




Martins Iyoboyi comes from Kano, Nigeria.








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Copyright 2007 International Zeitschrift