by Philip Kent Church
UNDER SUNPetrarchan Sonnet
The Sun proceeds the mountain’s sky in kind;
As long traveled a trail is trekked to gain.
A life prevailed upon, journeyed to feign,
Like some ancient clockwork refused to wind.
The whole of truth, with which we hold in mind,
It’s what we base ourselves upon, be lain.
We must remember all that may pertain,
Or find we are among the deaf and blind.
As like Autumn’s dead leaves discard the trees,
And mountain peaks resound without reply.
We live our lives thru all with aim to please,
But there remains, of hope, hopeful retry.
To gain the chance to change, as like the breeze;
Be warmed by Sun, upon which we rely.
Philip Kent Church
"To me, this is a classic example of AppalTrad. Well done." Sabne Raznik, N/S Editor
Beside our shack,
a pitcher pump
waited for us
to fill buckets
We heated water
on the stove
and pan baths
worried about us
catching the bus.
at the well,
Jesus who asked
the woman of Samaria
to give him
that rusty handle
for hard water,
so we could get by.
“The Well” was first published in Clinch Mountain Review (2018).
-Kevin J. McDaniel Poet, Pulaski Virginia
by Sabne Raznik
"The poem is transcendent, beautiful and is haunted like a lost memory" - T. Byron Kelly, N/S Editor
A storm roars through cracks in the mountains -
Like water from a broken dam.
We seek to retreat and find that we cannot.
You try to find comfort in his face
That is all cut-out eyes and porcelain smiles.
He slips away. Experience is a changeling.
When he is gone, you remember
It half-clearly: cloud shadows rippling
On leafed-out mountains like hands,
Hands, we are surrounded by hands.
We were born here, but
Do we belong?
I will let my pen dance like a Turkish belly dancer
Until you feel the texture of my language,
The whisper of lust.
O, cruel language, my head waits for you.
Close the curtains, turn out the light, and
Teach me to believe in this love.
Fill up the vacant, listless hollows
Of my childhood. Make me complete.
O, good language, you are my safe-place.
Rush over me like horses.
Ples back and forth across your brow.
Descends like curtains in this room -
Out the cold, rain-saturated night.
Goodnight - keep talking about anything
Your voice is solace, soothing in a chaotic
Spins too fast and will destruct. Your voice is
Ything I need to keep alive this belief.
Like music, fills the emptiness of night.
Wet leaves are hanging heavily
All around you
In a misty rain
And a distorted carnival,
A blue, manic Mardi Gras.
Confusion is a muddy circus field,
A clown-mime continually following,
You are searching, for what?
A wood nymph in naked joy
And sunshine in his hair?
You don't know.
Leaves keep falling, stacking
Up in sticky, brown-wilted
Mounds. With shuffling feet,
You scatter and tread them down,
Shuddering in the uncertain light
Of a clouded-over blue moon.
You are as formidable as a Tibetan mountain,
As sexual as Morocco,
But you are as closed as China,
Whilst I, like a shut-in,
Thirst for more of your world.
It's snowing inside this room:
Like someone turned it upside-down,
Shook it, then set it bolt upright.
It's brushing along the top of the black
Baby grand that you play on party nights,
And your eyebrows and eyelashes as you speak.
I think it sounds like wind chimes when you
Laugh like that. If I were the
Ballerina in the music box of your throat,
Would you wind me up and watch me spin?
La Vita E Bella:
The world is like watercolours, green and gold,
Running down and together,
Like tears on the earth's face,
Grasping, sliding down a window glass,
Barely noticed, undocumented, unfelt.
You are stretched out like a dulcimer's
Plaintive whine, watching the
Fish tank light reflecting images on a far wall.
You say you see
Belly dancers wearing blue musical beads and
In my dreams afterward, I am walking
On water slowly, in a circle of
Mottled light playing through the leaves of
Dark green summer trees. In the distance,
Bells ringing in harmonic melody, whilst I
Speak Irish in an undertone as if my private poetry
And marvel at the brightness of the morning.
Where is home?
Language that is chameleon:
This passion which is mortal,
She grew up amid amateur paintings
And yellow walls -
A leather-clad, muted blue star.
The mirrors on his clothing make it
Hard for her to see him,
But he's there...
Maybe he's there...
Like bananas and lemons on the dark
Kitchen counter -
A still life with hidden meanings:
Sometimes, when you speak
I think I can hear the sound the sea makes
Against the cliffs of Moher,
Splitting into myriads of colours,
Letting in the light.
And I don't tell you, when this happens.
You'll only roll your eyes and miss the point
So I tell it to the crickets - who sing it back to you
While you sleep.
Tell their children it is the rain
Not the dream.
It was not the rain
That impregnated me.
O, child of my womb, unborn,
It was hope for something more than
Richard Hugo said:
"Words love the ridiculous areas of our minds."
These are my only functioning
It is useless to pummel them.
I'm sweating the touch of
Down the length of mine,
No spit. Consequence. Untold,
But the word has gone away.
Limitless as Joie d'Art is this feeling.
She can only grasp it as though fragments
Of ancient parchments:
Peacocks on stained glass entries and the
Of blue and green colours wafted by the light through these and
Dazzled and disoriented by
The spear of sun on the thin, burnt-biscuit skin of New Jersey,
She is humming a melody she only ever
Hears in dream -
And forgets she is supposed to feel
With you. Oh well...
Tin whistles fill up the ineffable places
Between what we say and what we mean:
Valhalla: unredeemed from plunder.
The treeless hills echo back our failures;
Hearts keep calling out...
Slipping under what seems to be,
He is swimming in a light-refracting sea:
His hips ring like bells.
You wake in a room with
Romanesque statues in a circle which are
Draped with watercoloured fabrics
To hide their nakedness. Left behind, you are
To recapture that light.
It's all about shattering mirrors
To let in yellow daylight.
It's all about learning who you are.
Do you know me?
Your watercoloured smiles and gypsy-clad
Habits are a worn out delight.
Still, I'll keep coming back. Always,
I'll come back.