It’s all overflowing
All over the place
The presumed dead is showing
Up from surface to interface
The passers-by walk over
What was left behind
By those left behind
Their numbers decline here
The number you have dialed is no longer in use
A barrage of noise erupts from the mute
Oozing out of our ears
All our common sense
Who cries for us
So whatever we spewed
After Prime Time News
Stops flushing our streets
About the author:
Born and raised in the Eifel, she relocated to Aachen/Germany. After completing her studies in psychology and psychotherapy, she has been working as a Clinical Psychologist, currently finishing her doctorate. Her writings have been published in several anthologies. She maintains a blog at teakettlecat.com.
It is not just worn at weddings, parties and ceremonies
It is also worn at a construction site
Amidst the cement, sand, gravel
Under the ruthless sun
Over a parched throat and blistered feet
It does not always shimmer in gold brocade and silk
It is also torn and tattered
With frayed edges, fading colors,
and cheap fabric
It is not always neatly pleated and pinned
It is also hastily stuffed into the petticoat
Worn high to avoid puddles
The pallu bunched up and flung over the head
To cushion the weight of bricks
It is not always an epitome of grace
Sometimes, it is patched with grime and grit.
About the author:
Shubhangi Joshi is a poet and musician based in Mumbai/India. She is the author of the poetry collection 'To Stir Up an Ornate Nest' (Authorspress, 2014) and the winner of the commendation prize at the All India Poetry Competition 2014 (Poetry Society of India). Her poetry has appeared in the anthology on gender and illness by Stanford University, Manushi, The Brown Critique, Poetry Quarterly, Levure Litteraire, and other journals. She has performed her poetry at events such as the Tata Literary Festival and others around Mumbai. Her poetry has also been performed by spoken word poets such as Janet Kuypers at poetry mic events in the US. Her writing focuses on criticising and challenging India's societal norms, with a focus on its patriarchal psyche.
Bring the darkness with you then;
Join us in complaint.
Do not waste those juicy wails
Moaning by yourself.
Spread the gloom and dim the light;
Entertain us all!
We will hear the tales of hurt
Life has meted you.
Heed no sign nor uniform
That says our garden’s closed.
We are up for guests tonight
And have kept your room
Here, your name already carved!
Fertilize it well
With two loud lungs, one bloody heart;
Water it with tears;
Make us cry and laugh at once:
Slay us — please — again,
While you flesh the myrtled row,
Filling in the dead.
Don’t be scared. We’ll part the clouds.
Not now? Then, in a moon.
Misery loves company:
We expect you soon.
(Many thanks to The Harrow and Finishing Line Press for the permission to republish the poem)
About the author:
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, James B. Nicola now lives in New York City. A Yale graduate cum laude and with distinction, Nicola is also a director, composer, lyricist, and playwright. His poems (almost 800 to date) have appeared stateside in such publications as the Antioch, Southwest and Atlanta Reviews, Rattle, Tar River, and Poetry East, and in many journals in Europe (for example in The Transnational Vol. 5) and Canada. Lately Nicola has been conducting both poetry and theater workshops at libraries, literary festivals, schools, and community centers all over the country, most notably the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival. He is also available for interviews, guest appearances, and readings of his work. In November 2017 he published the (beautiful and worth-reading) poetry collection „Wind in the Cave“. His three other collections are Manhattan Plaza (2014), Stage to Page (2016), and Out of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists (2018).
Do busy lives end sooner? Or does it just seem so? Childhood, youth and adulthood tosome feel like fast trains. An active life leaves less time and energy for retrospection and planning the last
phase of one’s adult life.
Becoming a retiree has its sweet charms, but also snags and deceptions are frequent. The „Retired Husband Syndrome“ is well-known and is frustrating for both partners. First I refused to even think of my „new freedom“, but I made plans and jokes aboutit. I continued working well after the regular retirement age, started a new business as an editor, just to find out that this does not work. I renovated the house we live in and worked frantically in the garden. All to no avail.
Looking after my two sweet grandchildren somehow never materialised, which was a great deception. Travelling is no option for several reasons, reading and writing of course are life’s best resort. Facebook and Twitter were definitely not an advisable alternative for a scant social life. So what? As my wife kept complaining about my RHS I was thinking about what to do.
Having mostly had contacts with younger people as a former teacher, I met two people in their late eighties. Both of them are completely fit and active. Deep friendships developed within a short time, common interests and shared humour makes life easier for all of us.
There is a woman living next door, soon 90, taking care of her house and garden, doing her own shopping and going out whenever she can to meet people in a women’s club and even attend general annual meetings of companies she has shares with. She would like to go on a cruise, but cannot find anybody who wants to go with her... Chatting with her and sharing coffee and a laugh improves both our lives.
The artist and author I met a couple of years ago is an incredible wizard and a creative genius; he should be world-famous, but struggles to be acknowledged in his nativetown and country. He has travelled and lived abroad intensely, has painted thousands of stunning pop-art-dada-symbolistic works and written the longest Swissprose work of nearly 2000 pages. Adopting him means I am editing some of his work and doing some paperwork for him.
Both keep going in their lives, not without pain, but without complaining. I adopted them as one might adopt a poor child in Africa — they are both not destitute, but far from rich. And more generally one might suggest we „adopt“ people we meet every day, strangers, refugees, humanity after all.
About the author:
Rudolf Weiler, PhD, wrote an enthusiastic thesis about Nabokov’s novels and some literary criticism and published threebooks of short texts. He did more than 40 years' teaching of English, French and German languages and literatures. He is now working as an author, blogger, proofreader and translator. He is an active member of the Green Party, and is fighting for climate neutral wood logging, farming, human rights and democracy.