Category Archives: Zingara Poetry Picks

“Three-Window Perspectives” by Ellen Chia

(The Blue Violinist by Marc Chagall)

I.

Your odes to love
Have galvanized the birds
From their slumber.
Even the moon blooms
With pleasure –
Finally, a worthy mate to
Breathe the blue air with.

II.

You drifted out of the window,
Took the chair with you.
Is it me you’re serenading to?
You’re way too high up,
Your fiddling’s lost on me.
Tonight, the moon glows with
A bouquet before her.
Wait a minute –
Isn’t that the same bouquet
You bought me this afternoon?
What’s with this love-flushed face?
How about quitting this frivolity
Before the window of opportunity
Closes on you. For good.

III.

Swing by, Fiddler,
Wash us grimy, dust-obscured
Fragile things with
A ditty of poetic bliss
Before the city awakes to
Taint us again, lulling us
With its numbing mantra humming
Money, productivity and more money.

Ellen Chia enjoys going on solitary walks in woodlands and along beaches where  Nature’s treasure trove impels her to  document her findings and impressions using the language of poetry. Her works  have recently been published in The Ekphrastic Review, NatureWriting and
forthcoming in The Honest Ulsterman, The Pangolin Review, and The Tiger Moth Review.

“Bonfire of the Virtues” by Jim Kotowski

What if Hope were to nose-dive from the highest sky,
Straight at a razor-sharp mountain ridge?
Would She give up on the way down—could She?

What if Faith entered that place
Where 9 out of 10 lay, sick.  dying.  rotting alive….?
The ruthless machinations behind?
Would She abandon her belief—could She?

What if Love faced
The hate of the helpless,
The hell of the heartless,
Ill will run riot?
Would She stop loving—could She?

What if Patience looked on as my greedy soul
Bullies one smaller and meeker to its will,
Piles food on food, and need on need?
Would She lose her patience with me—could She?

What if Peace stood witness
While gold-plated men
Butchered and spattered the red-hearted people?
Would She make war—make holy, righteous, gruesome war
On War—could she?

Should She?

Jim Kotowski has been writing poems and songs since his teenage years, and mostly squirreling them away in notebooks and computer files.  Sometimes, he ventures out to read/sing them in front of an audience, which is always wonderful.  His latest chap book is called Honing Sanity.

“Manumission: A Codependent Romance” by KJ Hannah Greenberg

I gladly waived the earring ritual.

In order to watch the dust puff up
As your footfall took you away.

In affranchisement of beloveds,
Releasing damaging ownership,
Is letting go confining outcomes.

Never did I mean to enslave. Rather,
You clung like bubblegum requiring
Scraping, ice cubes, other surgeries.

Stitching, yoking, enthralling’s
The stuff of mixed-up partnering.
I’m about liberation, unfettering.

All the same, only jagged words,
Chilled hugs, groupings of sorrow
Unshackled your elect possession.

These days, I think on past events,
Question ever talking again among
People, fear repeating our rapport.

In the end, I determined vending
Seized my dependence, realized
Proprietorship thieved my power.

KJ Hannah Greenberg captures the world in words and images. Her latest photography portfolio is 20/20: KJ Hannah Greenberg Eye on Israel. Her most recent poetry collection is Mothers Ought to Utter Only Niceties (Unbound CONTENT, 2017). Her most recent fiction collection is the omnibus, Concatenation (Bards & Sages Publishing, 2018).

Postcards from the Knife-Thrower’s Wife by Alex Stolis

August 2 – Woodstock, N.B. Canada

I’m a girl on a dragon-fly on the back of a horse heading
straight into the wind under an unbreakable sky. You are
not here. You are made-up words in an invented language
spoken in whispers. I remember every detail of the world
we created from scratch. I remember that day the moon
eclipsed the sun and for a moment the earth turned cold.
The sky turned deep green no stars in sight. You wrote me
of a dream you had; lost, afraid and miles away from home.
You heard the low beat of wings. You felt the steady pound
of hooves and I readied myself for flight.

Alex Stolis lives in Minneapolis; he has had poems published in numerous journals. Recent chapbooks include Justice for all, published by Conversation Paperpress (UK) based on the last words of Texas Death Row inmates. Also, Without Dorothy, There is No Going Home from ELJ Publications. Other releases include an e-chapbook, From an iPod found in Canal Park; Duluth, MN, from Right Hand Pointing and Left of the Dial from corrupt press. The full length collection, Postcards from the Knife Thrower was runner up for the Moon City Poetry Prize in 2017. His chapbook, Perspectives on a Crime Scene was recently released by Grey Border books and a full length collection Pop. 1280, is forthcoming from Grey Border books in 2019. 

http://greybordersbooks.jigsy.com/alex-stolhttp://greybordersbooks.jigsy.com/alex-stolisis

City of Bread by Marc Janssen

It was a gray day,

Unrelenting gravel clouds shouldered past Mt. Shasta and filled the sky with its dirty dishwater color when the whistle sounded.

And the mill closed to the shout of the first gobbed flakes slinking down.

Now the rusting bulk of former buildings provide the resting place of discarded beams inside wind battered walls and crumbling roofs only briefly made invisible by the smothering blanket.

On the streets everyone is gone like the jobs before them, and snow has come to salve your wounds.

Marc Janssen is an internationally published poet and poetic activist. His work has appeared haphazardly in printed journals and anthologies such as Off the Coast, Cirque Journal, Penumbra, The Ottawa Arts Review and Manifest West. He also coordinates poetry events in the Willamette Valley of Oregon including the Salem Poetry Project, a weekly reading, and the Salem Poetry Festival.

Clemens Kalischer by Mark Jackley

In his pictures of people arriving from Europe after the war,
his subjects are bone tired.
Some are slumped like luggage,

a few of them fast asleep. They are watchful in their dreams.
Most look to be as ancient
as an elephant’s eyes.

They too escaped the hunter’s gun and will never forget.
They are dressed for the occasion
in suits and ties, dresses.

Two girls on the dock are
whispering and laughing, beaming like the secrets
of a morning star.

Mark Jackley’s poems have appeared in Sugar House Review, Fifth Wednesday, Talking River, and other journals. His latest book is On the Edge of a Very Small Town. He lives in Purcellville, VA.

“To the Mother of the Suicide Bomber” by Tricia Knoll

To the Mother of the Suicide Bomber –

Our eyes may never meet. I don’t know whether you cover your head, veil your face – what catches the free fall of your hair. Perhaps you think now of the toddler who squirmed his toes in sand. The child that pulled your fingers and asked for more, for more and yet again more. Sometimes with eyes, sometimes lips and fingertips, you gave him more.

This way we mother. His itchy spot on his shoulder blade you scratched telling a story of how he lost his wings. Now you face less. The less of pieces you bury, along with lullabies you wove as you soothed his cowlicks.

Does a wind in your ear suggest you should have done something? Or haunt you? The video clips over and over and over again? All how bombs twist into smoke? You still see him whole, don’t you?

We are the world’s mothers. Had it been in your power, would his life have exploded into sirens, ambulances, funeral after funeral? Do you hide? From our neighbors? Yourself?

We expect our children will bury us. I would touch your hand. Or sit outside the locks on your door if touch is too much. You would not need to look me in the eye.

Your door slammed shut to those who come to question you about the fragments you buried.  The door you never open without looking to see who is there.

I feel you inside and respect the door you’ve closed.

Bio:  Tricia Knoll is a Vermont poet whose work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, earning 7 Pushcart prize nominations. Her most recent collection, How I Learned To Be White (Antrim House) focuses on how education, childhood and ancestry contributed to the her sense of white privilege in a multicultural world. Website: triciaknoll.com