POETRY Reading: What I Though I Wanted, by Fella Cederbaum


What I Thought I Wanted

Have you ever wondered who you would be
Without your profession, without your role
Without a position in life that holds
The you, that you know to be in this world
The you, who you think is important
The pearl
That is singular?
One and specific?
Identified by name and position?
Even if sometimes less than terrific?

When I was young
I thought I wanted to be a doctor
Until, one day, I tried it out
Imagined myself clad in white
A stethoscope hanging
Around my neck
My gait would flout
Essential place
In the ranks of humanity
Curing sickness and other calamity

I imagined the feeling of being equipped
To help in an instant
While life could just rip
The weakest and strongest
Right out of your midst
Interrupting the flow of expected unfolding

And then I would rush to the scene
Bag of tricks that was holding
The cure, or a balm for the suffering and pain
Irrelevant if I knew the ailment’s name

It seemed as a doctor my life was essential
Even in the face of disaster potential
Yet then
A sense of entrapment arose
And my dream turned bland
Before my own nose

So I thought why not try this, once again
But this time choose the wildest game
Irrespective of required skills
That would allow me to fit the bill
Of any, most desirable, exotic profession
Maybe nuclear physicist would be
A suitable passion?

I tried it out, imagined my brain
Amazingly filled without restrain
Understanding the laws of this world
To know this reality?
What else could be needed!
And then?
Once again the blandness appeared
An inner straining against a role
I feared
To be held inside and somehow defined
By a something that was not the truth of my mind

Again, I proceeded to the next excursion
To define myself with speedy incursion
Into what must be the truest calling
Tried out the most cherished, enthralling
Exciting endeavour
I became a pianist
Inhabited music
To my greatest surprise
The same constriction appeared to arise
Maybe painter, composer, or artist were right?

It was simply hexed
From deep inside a resistance
Not slight
Nor tame in the least
Arose to fight the beast
Of identity sought in the various items
Offered by life to appease the frightened
Sometimes apparent soon after birth
Irresistibly seductive because of its worth
Because of Truth peeking through
At its finest expression
Its explosive magnificence of artistic passion

So I searched and pondered this question of “me”
Of who I am in the midst of the glee
Of creative exuberance that flows like magic
Sweetest response to life
Even at its most tragic

Do you know what I found
In the midst of this journey
Through the land of bland?
Of following hints of the One Divine hand?

Do you know how delighted I was
To recognize Truth
Suffusing the titles I had searched since youth?
The titles, professions that could not describe
The essence I searched
Underneath all of life
The essence of excitement and blandness as one
Do you know who you are
When your titles are gone?

When retirement looms
Your colleagues cease fawning?
When your roles have expired
Your demise starts dawning?
Are you ready to relinquish
Identity’s myth?
Are you ready to know
The Truth of all this?
Are you ready to face
The Truth of your being?
With nothing left to impede your seeing?

Probably best to check it out
With life in full swing
Search, investigate
On a whim
The quirks of life
Take you quite by surprise
And you find yourself
With doubts on the rise

A wise man once told me:
Beware of the ladder
You climb all your life
Then get sadder and sadder

‘Cause you found
That in search of more and more “me”
The ladder was perched
The wrong

©2016 Fella Cederbaum

Poetry Reading: Her Last Smile, by Mustofa Munir

Her last smile, by Mustofa Munir

when the clock of civilization has lost its sense of time
she perceived the world without knowing its malicious darkness,
a lonely young girl died many times
before her death when
she was gang-raped by some beastly men,
suffered many days and months,
she delivered one day a baby girl,
that day on her baby’s little hand
no crescent moon had reached,
no star dropped from the sky,
no one tolled a bell from the distant cathedral,
no song was in the air, no artful flute was blown,
the girl cast her unseeing look at the society
that mocked her, betrayed her!
she smiled at her baby, the God smiled too,
her rhythmic heart blended with a harmony
that brought a perpetual benediction in
an ambience of elysian quietness!
without any anguish her mind was in a festival,
there she heard a hymn with deep allusion
she was longing for,
tears rolled down her cheeks,
she closed her eyes!

–Mustofa Munir

Poetry Reading: BEST FRIEND, by Debbie Fersht

BEST FRIEND, by Debbie Fersht

A child puts her doll to bed. Tell me a story, says the doll. You always say that, says the girl. Tell me a story, the doll repeats. Go to sleep you two, says her father from the light underneath the bedroom door. You’re my best friend, whispers the girl to the doll, hugging it as she falls asleep. The doll grows bigger from all this love, its feet hanging off the edge of the bed. You must stop growing, says the girl, so we can stay friends. I want a glass of water, says the doll. Lights off you two says her father. The doll gets up early, eager to get to work. I’m hungry, says the doll upon arriving home. Let’s play a game, says the girl. I want to go to bed, says the doll. Exhausted from the day’s events, the doll turns off the bedroom light and quickly falls asleep. The girl lies awake in bed, staring at the ceiling. Stop that, says the girl to the doll’s looming shadow on the ceiling, covering her best friend’s body with her favourite yellow blanket. A short struggle ensues. Go to sleep, says the girl. You always say that, gasps the doll.

Poetry Reading: TENDER LOVING MOMENTS, by Colin Guest


To feel your tender body touching mine
Is a sweet feeling that is simply divine
I love the touch of your arms around me
It makes me feel happy I want all to see
Our tender love is both strong and true
With our never feeling down and blue
Just to hold your hand in mine so tight
Makes everything in my life feel right
When we kiss your lips feel like wine
The feeling from this is quite divine
Just walking along with you, my love
It makes me know there is someone above
No one could ever love me as you do
Whenever I’m with you, I am never blue
We were made for each other, that’s for sure
And I know I will love you forever more

Poetry Reading: THE CALL OF PAN, by Barbara Grace Lake


© 2015

Barbara Grace Lake

I heard a piping in the wood –

Haunting, calling me

To follow if I dare.

I heard it in the dawn

As misty sunlight gently touches

Tips of trees when first aroused

And leaves are freshest.

Mounds of grassy thickets

Crunch beneath my feet

From laden dew.

Was it a melody I heard?

Or did my ears transform

The play of rushing wind

Through forest harps

Into a psychic sense of sound?

There, again, elusive,

Drifting music almost heard

Above a dancing springlet

Leaping briefly, sparkling

In a shaft of stabbing sun.

There, half seen beyond the trees

Disguised by by gloom and mist,

A presence in the mossy coolness

Of a hidden forest alcove,

An impression of a shadowed form –

Tricks of patterned light and solitude

Upon an urban sense

Unguarded and disarmed?

Or bounding figure, demigod,

Seductive, beckoning?

I followed only to the glade

Emptied of all sense and sound

But that bewitching flute.

Inhibited, afraid of life and love,

The siren pipes insistently

Awakened rhythmic chords.

The man/beast dances, arms caress,

His music quickens, throbs

With every pulsing beat

Responding, yielding, ohhh –

And he was gone.

The silence palpable, pulled down the night.

I cried in lonely grief

Not knowing if I cried

For loss of innocence.

And in the day’s new warmth

I stumbled from the woods

Into the arms of future love.

I simply told a worried face

“I lost my way.”

I’ve often felt his presence

Though his fluting calls me not.

Now are my children grown

And theirs are of an age to question,

Hesitate, take fearful, longing steps.

Beware the pipes of Pan

For on that pathway deep within the wood,

So perilously strange,

The bud will open to return

Unharmed – but not unchanged

Read Poem: Delayed Death, by Sujoy Bhattacharya

Delayed Death
Hurry up! Come sharp !
The sun is ready to rise up.
Flowers in the garden have taken dew bath and wait for blooming!
Drowsy stars can’t keep their eyes open any more !
Birds are restless in nests for swimming in the barren sky .
Ripples of rivers are awfully eager to caress sun rays !
Flippant wind rests helplessly for tidal waves to kiss the thirsty shores .
Tired night birds rub their sleepy eyes in despair !
Hens are ready to sing the psalm to greet morning anew !
Why the night makes delay to depart – a serious law – break in the nature’s school !
At long last the bashful night dies behind the glowing wall of the day !
She was making courtship with the sleeping Earth!

Read Poem: Points of Love, by Mary Eastham

The storm was unexpected
New Yorkers swept inside by snow.
In 4B a woman bathes her lover
careful not to wet his broken hand.
The Egyptian newlyweds
living in the building’s only studio
give their dream children names
underneath a tent of bedsheets.
Twin sisters, designers in Versace mules
play spin-the-bottle
on their penthouse terrace
with models from Milan.
Alone in her garden apartment
a Venezuelan widow
listens to vinyl records
she once danced to
with her husband.
And outside, on the street,
as the snow unfurls around them
like a ream of white velvet
let loose,
a girl in a scarf
the color of blood red calla lilies
says ‘yes’
to a proposal of marriage
while riding on the turned up handlebars
of her lover’s rusty Schwinn.

Website: http://www.rp-author.com/MKE

Read Poem: and do they weep, by Patti Cole

and the Southern Cross
and Venus in the western sky
who call the star
who leads our way
along the path
and do they weep
oh should they weep

and do they weep
our lapse to see
the careless sham
our travesty
the world on fire
the price of lies
and do they fear
oh should they fear

and do they fear
the end of rhyme
for such as we
who’ve squandered time
who’ve wasted green
and left disgrace
and do they chide
oh should they chide

that choke on life
neon gases
the new darkness

and the Southern Cross
and Venus in the western sky
who call the star
who cries alone
his laughing owl
and do they weep
and do they weep

Read Poem: #7, by Ricardo Passarinho

Bellow the station, your arch stands
as neon vitral as I left it, I bet
Marking your place
Your best friend on your right
Your lover on your left

You would give me your food anytime
I would give you my tobacco every time,
I guess
For you to give me my tobacco,
every time, I guess
I don’t guess

It’s a shame, I was willing

Will always look for you, though
You fuck like a bandit
You’re incredibly true