Poetry Reading: Lessons of Imperfections, by Laleeta Tongo

Performed by Hannah Ehman

Lessons of Imperfections, by Laleeta Tongo

When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was to write, write and give speeches about.
But then I turned thirty, and I wrote nothing but text messages flirty, and my hidden urge was also turning out.

I saw an ad in the newspaper, they take classes to teach how to write.
However expensive they seem, drenched in my glorious dream, my childlike heart joined them in delight.

For last 6 weeks, I gained the knowledge about processes and thoughts.
And I still couldn’t finish alone not a single assignment known or unknown, as I was exposed to my most insecure spot.

I was assigned a time, a space on my own, to visit everyday until I am inspired.
I started showing up to the session, for my conscious it was transgression, And yet to write a famous book was my own desire.

I remember my first meeting with the teacher, I reached her office 10 minutes early,
Lost in noticing everything – a diary, a laptop, some flowers, a family portrait, a Bible,
Everything was well kept, arranged pretty properly.

She had asked me to start thinking, as that hour and space was something I could call mine.
The only task was to write all – a page, a para, few words whatever struck at that time,
There were no rules, I could cross any line.

That was my second week, I stared at the couple who’d been kissing on the side of the road,
I got distracted by those ugly moaning sounds, and their performance in public,
While waiting to relieve art from my twisted brain’s average load.

That made me think about my life – beautiful, full of laughter, friends and lot of money,
There were hardly rainy days to write about , an event of sadness here or there
But if counted, most of them were sunny.

My session had ended on the toll of 10 o’clock, it didn’t even feel as the writer’s block.
Such a fortunate life of mine, but unable to write was the only disappointment
Once again the disbelief whispered in a shock.

This time, I decided to quit and left a biographical note to my teacher at the table.
‘Annoyed’, ‘mad’, ‘outraged’, ‘helpless’ are amongst the words that I used,
and artistically slide them under her Bible.

On my way out, outraged, I bumped into a man, sweet, I felt I knew him since ages.
He asked me out for coffee which followed by a long chat,
He promised we’d meet again and showered all his praises.

Sometimes coffee-shops, sometimes theaters, at times my house, again and again we met.
Unplanned, involuntary, this affair of adventure,
and those deliciously delirious love’s intoxicating effect.

When he sang me a love song, honeyed words, the day he bought a ring of diamond.
Months passed by, and I deviated from those stupid writing class
Indulging into exhilarating, special, and emotionally intense bond.

Soon, he broke into my house, murdered my dog, police said he was a goon.
He not only stole my money, but that diamond ring
with which he proposed and promised me stars and moon.

Consumed by intrusive thinking, trying to make sense of everything on those sleepless nights
I decided to reschedule my writing class,
even if ‘my calling’ was unresponsive but that was all right!

Without postponing, angrily weeping, I poured my heart on that notepad and cursed my life.
I left without looking at the piece, only to visit next day
to again write down my kaleidoscopic strife.

When finally I stopped writing, I saw her appear to me, raw, primeval, intrinsic! What a good omen!
I couldn’t believe I was encountering my first writing,
my precursive work of art – my destiny – ‘My Poem’.

I sat writing on that desk for ages, until one day, life made me bleed vulnerably on the page.
Revealing the parts of me that I’d rather hide –
Somewhat creative but cathartic life that I confess.

Now that I sit on my own desk surrounded by the books I wrote with dark reflections
and I’d think now what is more important for an artist –
parts of passion, pathos, or painful lessons full of imperfections?

– Laleeta

Poetry Reading: WAVE, by Debbie Fersht

Performed by Hannah Ehman

Wave by Debbie Fersht

A man holds a body of water at gunpoint. Roll over says the man from shore and the water does so. The man’s toes get wet which makes him angry. He can’t stand to be only partially wet so tells the water to lie still while walks in clothed until the water comes up to his waist. Although cold and rippling, the water feels warm to the man and he begins to take off his clothes. “Hold this,” he says to the water and places the gun upon its surface. He takes off his belt and flings it across the body; it stings like an electric eel then falls to the floor. The gun still floating drifts away. The man curses the water for its neglect and says, “You’ll be sorry.” He sees it in the distance so dives in eyes open. He feels power being the only one in the body of water he surfaces then plunges in repeatedly noticing no resistance. He can see from below the hazy outline of the gun floating limply upon the body. As he comes up for air there’s no time to aim at the wave’s fire.


Performed by Hannah Ehman

WILD HORSES, by Katrina Plumb

Hooves hurl havoc on heathland.
Manes and tails whirl with the wind.
Their wide nostrils snort
As the horses cavort
Plumed perfect as fishes are finned.

They rollick and roll in a whirlpool –
Palomino, pistachio, pink.
They fight with delight
As the day becomes night
And the sky turns from paper to ink.

They rise with the sun in the morning.
They canter and caper and prance.
Not they compliant
These Genoese giants
Whose glee you can see at a glance.

They throb like the waves of the ocean.
They shudder with joyous content.
They wrestle and writhe
So blissfully blithe
Then slump down when evening is spent.

They don’t stop ’til sunlight is over
To retire to their crushed-bracken byres.
But make no mistake
They’ll revive at daybreak
With that furious ferment of fire.

POETRY READING: YOU CAN, by Nadine Weathersby

YOU CAN, by Nadine Weathersby

Life is not merely a game of chance,
It’s yours to shape and mold, you can be whatever you want to be in
constant reality if you accept the responsibility
You can stand tall,
Dare not to fall, persist, insist, and you will win,
Use all your tools; get the knowledge for deeper understanding over
and over again.
To you is given the wisdom and the power to decide,
You can’t afford to hide; you’ll eventually be faced with looking inside.
There you will see the divine presence within thee,
And know that you can be whatever you want to be,
In constant reality.
Do you want to be healthy, happy, and have prosperity?
You can! Don’t you see, God is in thee, it’s energy to be whatever you
want to be!

Read Poem: The Duckling Makes A Stand, by Barry B. Wright

Morning programs for young children are quite enlightening. Squeals of delight from my granddaughter, Zoe, drew me willingly in like a magnet, one morning, overwhelmed as I was to learn what captured her interest. Over an hour we cuddled together, a special time indeed. The make-believe world she shared with me was filled to overflowing with creativity, a wonderland of learning so subtly immersive and deep. When we parted, I knew I had taken something away, tangible and yet not tangible. Nevertheless, I knew nothing counted without it; it was a treasured gift that ran so deep. Time? You might ask. Yes, would be my reply. But there was something more. A different way of seeing the world wrapped up in the love and wisdom of a six-year-old.
Thank you, sweet Zoe. I would never have written this without having spent time with you.

A group of sheep is a herd or flock;
the shepherd is never a flocker.
A volery of birds is a fleet or flight
also a pod, congregation or parcel.
While small birds’ in groups
a dissimulation is called,
a mouthful to remember indeed!
Though these words are few,
soon you’ll learn new,
to describe a flock, congregation or parcel.
A gaggle of geese look up from the ground;
while in flight a skein, a wedge of their kind take notice
of Albatross—feathered giants indeed—
in flock or rookery combined.
“Spectacular!” the geese exclaimed,
in confidence of the sighting just seen.
Until the screech from the ground
where a party of jays
made the whole thing turn upside down.
“What do jays know?” was the harsh, self-assured, raucous reply
from the murder of crows nearby.
“There’s no mystery in this!”
screeched their unison entreat,
“It just simply is.”
A committee of vultures circled the gathering
waiting for the ripe time to come down.
“Look!” alerted the fall of woodcock:
“a wake, a kettle ‘uptown.’
An exaltation of larks
drowned out the woodcocks;
while an unkindness of ravens
on their way to the barn
scared a gulp of swallows in turn.
Grouped in charms, chattering, drums or troubling
—whatever their group is called—
humming wings and twittering squeak,
the hummingbirds’ nectar reply
was to counsel the geese
and give the jays peace
the hardest wisdom to buy.
In the front of the court
a murmuration of starlings and a host of sparrows patiently sit looking on;
while a pitying of turtledoves and a rafter of turkey hope the trial will not last long.
When the learned parliament of owls finally arrived,
with white gowns all newly preened;
before they could “hoo”
a prorogue was ensued
from the charm of warbling finch.
When the bouquet of pheasant nodded support
— simply not expecting a hitch—
that’s when the ostentation of peacock
yelled “Foul play!” and called it “A BITCH!”
when the owls consorted
with a sord of mallards
the tidings of magpies flew away.
Debate and rebuttal and erudite rubble
crumbled the mumble astray;
until egos did stumble
and they did fumble
apparently lost in melee.
An answer came out
—expedient no doubt—
and here’s what they had to say:
“Agreement lies far to the south…there’s simply no other way.”
Askance looks
—filled with doubts—
their dilemma chirped underway.
“Hoo, hoo-hoo, HOOH should go,
mallard or owl this day?”
“That answer is easy,”
quacked the team of ducks,
bunched up with their newly born.
A hush, like hoar-frost,
suddenly settled over
the cacophonous pod that day.
“Hmm!” said the chief owl, glaring down his nose
at the paddling of duck on the pond.
“Hoo-hoo can a bunch of ducks like you
and your brood of duckling know?”
His oppressive eyes and threatening ways
gave the ducks a stuttering blow.
a dole of doves
settled in
to defiantly stand in a row.
“Hoo, hoo-hoo, HOOH! Okay!” the chief owl yawned,
“If you must. Let’s hear what you have to say.”
A young duckling stepped forth
to firmly take hold
her bold intention precise:
“Your answer is clear! Stay here!” she exclaimed,
stamping her web-foot twice.
“But…” stumbled the owl,
trying to recover
from someone as outspoken as she:
“the… Kingdom of Penguins…
with their waddle on land and their raft in water
have wisdom greatly revered.”
“I don’t give a damn!” the duckling exclaimed
“Look around you silly old owl!”
With a paradoxical look the parliament shook,
and clearly shrugged an answer in vain;
while moans and groans as if in pain
mixed with the congregations’ disdain.
The duckling strode forth
and with her mother’s support
the duckling took center stage.
“Wait!” she cried out,
with a surprising rapport,
for someone as young as she.
With the tip of her wing, she took them all in
especially the parliament to her lee.
“The paradigm shift
is real easy to see
if only you would all listen, please.”
When the siege of herons called out their support,
the volery of birds settled down.
“Here’s my question to you,” she slowly began,
earnestly looking around.
A slight murmur arose
among all the rows
until silence reposed profound.
“How many agree ,”
she preceded her challenge,
“raise a wing if you concur,
that a flock or rockery
of Albatross in flight
is a spectacular sight to see?”
Opinions and thoughts never really sought,
the pods hesitated ever so slight.
A glance to the left,
A glance to the right,
the center led the flight.
All wings raised
—except the jays—
for what they knew was right.
The chief owl humbled,
but still shrewdly insightful,
did not let his goals go astray.
“Answers all, lie within?” He thought,
this scrupulous circumspection could pay.
His trap now laid
the duckling displayed,
scooped up so the flock could see.
His position without doubt
would now have real clout
sea to sea to sea.
Then laughter broke out
his parliament backed out
screeching pee-hoo-hoo
pee-hoo, pee-hoo at he.
When the chief owl looked down,
it was with a frown,
his white gown was all brown
below where the duckling had peed.
His plans now a shamble
by his selfish gamble
revealed by an innocent duckling like she.
When the duckling got down
she stood her ground
and the pod drew near to hear.
“Our rights are our might
—never surrender—
to someone the likes of he.
Though choices may be slender
your vote must be rendered
to ensure your destiny.”

Read Poem by Cindy Paulos

life is calling
to be fully present here
With a light that’s shining
As the gift of Spirit that appears

there’s no denying
the past in time will disappear
to a greater awakening
ushered in by the music of the spheres

life is calling loud and clear
there’s a new day dawning
and birds sing in angelic harmony
if you listen you will hear

the soul whispers words
to calm all of your fears
as you answer the call
With the hearts inner ears

Listen listen
can you hear
The sound of magic is Alive
Here within the atmosphere

Life is calling you right now
To be fully present here

Cindy Paulos

Read Poem: LAST YEAR, by Ralph D. Wagnitz

Don’t know where you’re goin’,
don’t know where you’ve gone,
But I keep on thinkin’ somehow,
it’s been you all along,
Without you I’m so lonely,
how I wish that you were here,
‘Cause it was you who taught me love…
last year.

Poetry by mail,
talkin’ on the phone,
I feel I’ve known you all my life,
oh! how our love still grows,
It’s so damn hard I want you so and I wish,
that you were here,
‘Cause it was you, who made me love you…
last year.

All the fantasies and lust,
now these cryin’ nights…
It makes no sense that we’re apart,
Without your love explain to me what’s right?
oh baby!

Wish I had your love now,
but they said it was wrong,
Those stolen hours, days and weeks,
are now over since you’ve gone…
Yeah hangin’ out in secret places,
making love not fear,
That’s the way we fell in love,
late last year,

That’s the way we fell in love…
last year!

by Ralph D. Wagnitz