Monthly Archives: October 2016

To a Bird Flying Through Mist by Nilotpal Sarmah

Behind winter’s soul your stature concealed
but your motion through this vaporous sky
cleaves open the mist till upon my eyes
you scatter your charm; thus with wonder filled
my senses revel and solitude yields
to every beat of your wings and my sighs.
Through diligence your unsung hardship cries
which your flight’s view acquaints me with. Like fields
that in wet chill and winter dryness stand,
your feathery body endures this cold.
Wreathed your labor shall be with garland
of fertility. Young wings shall unfold
and through season-hued skies as they ascend
the fields shall have molded lush rural gold.

An engineer by profession, Nilotpal Sarmah’s intellectual identity has always been that of a poet’s. A day’s hectic job is topped off with some of his verses. Born in 1987 in Assam, India, her landscapes have moulded Nilotpal’s thoughts as well. He is constantly writing in the hope of seeing his words in print someday.

for want of the moon by Nicolette Daskalakis

Loose lips slit wrists
on the dashboard of our bathroom floor
darling these bodies are too heavy to hold,
this skin we wear
for disguise
is only covering the night.

You can’t remember the stars
for want of mirroring the moon,
I’m here to tell you
you’ll never shine
like her,
in the scattered dark.

So sew up your wrists
before the stars spill out
from your pretty little veins
that glow
in the dark.

Nicolette Daskalakis is an award-winning filmmaker, poet, and multi-media artist residing in Los Angeles. She received a BA in film production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and a minor in Intermedia Arts from the Roski School of Art & Design. Her first book, “because you’re now banging a French girl,” was published in 2015.

Online Poetry Class Begins Today

Register today for The Poet’s Toolkit at, a Five week online class

Attend as many or as few classes as you like: $20 per class or $75 for all five weeks

This five-week course will focus on several of the most integral craft elements of poetry writing and is suitable for writers in any genre. Whether new to the craft or a long-time practitioner, this online class will help you bring focus and new energy to your poetry.

Each lesson will center on a particular skill and will include sample readings and discussion of the week’s craft element. A selection of representative poems meant to spark lively discussion will be included as will a number of fun and engaging writing prompts.

  • Week One: Vivid details and Sensory images
  • Week Two: Creating surprising similes, metaphors, and other figurative images
  • Week Three: Narrative to imagination (moving from chronology to association)
  • Week Four: Reinvigorating syntax and sentences
  • Week Five: Serious fun with serious revision

Facilitator: Lisa Hase-Jackson, MFA, passionately believes that great writing comes from active imagination and a careful eye, two characteristics easily cultivated through playfulness.


Squall by Jennifer Lagier

All day the sky teases –
bubbling storm clouds,
then sunlight around dinnertime,
dark squall finally
blowing in from the ocean.

Gusty deluge whips redwoods
into a drenched frenzy,
rust-colored needles cast down
to become one more startling hue
in a soggy compost pastiche.

Night brings banshee winds
that lift and rattle
windows and shingles,
command a second quilt.

By morning, this cabin,
a water-tight golden ark,
shelters and warms,
offers a good book, crackling fire,
hot cup of coffee.

Jennifer Lagier has published ten books of poetry and in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies. She taught with California Poets in the Schools and is now a retired college librarian/instructor. Jennifer is a member of the Italian American Writers Association and Rockford Writers Guild. She co-edits the Homestead Review and maintains websites for Ping Pong: A Literary Journal of the Henry Miller Library, The Monterey Poetry Review, and She also helps coordinate the Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium’s Second Sunday Reading Series. Visit her website at:


Time Is Running Out (to register for The Poet’s Toolkit)

Hello Poets and Writers!

This is just reminder that registration for The Poet’s Toolkit is still open. The five-week class begins on Monday, October 17 and will cover important craft elements every writer interested in sharpening their skills will appreciate. Cost is only $75.00 for all five weeks or $20.00 per class for those who wish to pick and choose. In either case, you will have access to the course material beyond the five week session.

For a full description of the class, including a week-by-week schedule, see my post on Zingara Poet: The Poet’s Toolkit

Winter Resignation by KB Ballentine

A shower of snow, ice dust drifting.
Hands so cold they burn, and hot pink memories
of bougainvillea, musk rose burst
into my mind. You, sitting in a grass field, head turned
away from me, the first clue.

Wind picks up, and I tug your old sled
up the track-scabbed hill, lift our son’s small body
onto the graying wood. Watch him laugh and tip
into a pool of space before he, too, speeds away.

KB Ballentine’s work has appeared in numerous journals and publications. A finalist for the 2014 Ron Rash Poetry Award, she was also a 2006 finalist for the Joy Harjo Poetry Award and was awarded the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize in 2006 and 2007.  Fragments of Light(2009) and Gathering Stones (2008) were published by Celtic Cat Publishing. Her third collection, What Comes of Waiting, won the 2013 Blue Light Press Book Award.