Poetry 5

Wonder-Worker of Kara-Su-Bazar

by Brandon Marlon

 

Against the backdrop of white mountains

sheltering the town from the north wind,

the humble thaumaturge wraps his turban

clockwise around his head as he murmurs

matinal prayers in Hebrew, an aubade to the divine,

facing southwest toward his hometown, Jerusalem,

stroking tufts of his flowing white beard, swaying with fervor.

 

He only longs for peace, quiet, study,

yet his repute as a saint affords him no rest:

Krymchak Jews, Karaites, and gentiles alike

patiently queue to implore him for aid,

for relief from woes, for blessings for better fortune,

at all hours of the day, else in the dead of night

when the desperate in crises can no longer cope

and are confident they won’t be turned away.

 

Under a nacreous moon Rabbi Medini seeks respite

and fresh air by the riverbanks of the Biyuk Karasu,

traipsing past red-roofed houses, mosque minarets,

and Bactrian camel-drawn wagons whose passengers

gesture in his direction with reverence and deference,

overawed by a presence rarefied and righteous.

 

When finally he repatriated to his homeland,

locals bereft and remorseful speculated

of the wonder-worker’s own strife,

inquiring from whom he sought solace

when beset by troubles, curious of his unseen

means of enduring endemic hardships straining

the faith of even the godliest in our midst.

 


 

Americana Revival

by Ash Slade

 

Chisel black night cold as tarnished steel.

dandelion fuzz committed to wind

mingles with dirt.

Summer thunder boom
broken clay becomes chocolate milk
drencher residue.
Homespun tapestry
quiet streets
rust dented road signs.
Music blaring in cars going up/down country roads like highways.
Lawn mowers reve up buzzing
gasoline smell
non-stop going ’round
front back.
Refills pile up
cold ones
each one better than before
gotta keep cool.
Ice Cream Truck eases ’round bend
same old song again n’ again
years well spent when we were young
setting in distant sun.

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Winter Snow

by Ash Slade

.

snow falling on the ground from above, only to be washed away.
downpour brews overhead, releasing its hose on white mountains.
blessed nature isn’t wasted, when it’s rightfully enjoyed.

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Confinement

by Ash Slade

gazes out window
arms folded like pillows,
cushioned chin

pools of sobriety staring back
rough furrows above eagle eyes.
indentations
spell out deep-seeded makeup
stainlessness eraser.

sight, like lasers
beams into blank stretch like bees swarming,
notions fade in out
this flat out examiner,
unconvinced vision resister,
observer, glances his way—

young boy flustered
beat down, dead-end town
shadow looms behind
is it what’s foreign that frightens him,
past experiences–
awareness like daggers steady
pierces target perception
sight blackened night can’t expand
limitations laid out like building blocks

confinements based on
tangled web mentality
rooted in reflections of
clear indecision.

.


.

the first week’s telescope pointed at getting back on track

by Alfred Booth

1

pulling out memories
I squeeze the sticky past from
pieces of my life
& with a flamenco jazz
guitarist dancing in my ears
fill another cluttered page

 

2

in a surprise kaleidoscope of
unexpectedness, the sky races
after promises of this & that
chimneys add puffs of warm
I am the watcher

3

timid shadows
criss
cross
as I circle
the block
dim
winter light
warms nothing
my mindful pace
slowly
heals
my smile

4

an uncurtained window
frames one chair always
unoccupied
the bare room is backlit
walls pale yellow and gray
a room of desolation

in my home
shelves nestle memorabilia for my fingertips
space enough for another pair of shoes
a dear friend
a few tattered books
a world of lifelines

 

5

I need your grounding force
to lift suitcases & groceries
to reach up & touch sunlight
to remove a simple tee-shirt
strong arms
to hug me when I’m too weak
too stubborn to ask for help
to tug me back
from this solitary orbit

 

6

long before morning
the mirror spots
a residue of turbulence
to be diffused
in silence

a timid prayer
for whoever wishes to answer

 

7

grateful for thick fog
a gift to unwrap
one knotted bow at a time
inside
a moment’s respite
from this ugly beast
whose iridescent skull
teaches me to fear

.

you saved me from being colorless

by Alfred Booth

strays
abandoned
chained
the stunned night air carries
the starkness of their bark
whimpering cries
inconsolable howls
of loneliness
anger

hours later
bars close
and men soused with drink
revive the same raucous cries
swearing and screaming
for reasons they can’t name
as they piss yet again
against the brick walls
closing in on their life

on this same night
few find rest
I will sleep

.

.

Alfred Booth is an American professional pianist who lives in France. He folds origami; its patience often inspires poetry. When he not at the piano learning new arcane repertoire to stretch his horizons, he teaches would-be amateur musicians to put enough bread on the table. He has studied extensively harpsichord and the cello. Currently he has an 82-poem volume journaling a recent dance with cancer and a 34-poem chapbook of ghazals looking for a homes in the professional world of rhyme. A large handful of his poetry can be found in the e-zines Dead Snakes, I am not a silent poet and Spring Fling. He keeps an online portfolio at: https://www.writing.com/main/portfolio/view/troubadour.

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