Starry night over the Rhone, by Jonathan Beale

Starry night over the Rhone
by Jonathan Beale

The clock is now sleeping….
Time is absent here. That uninvited guest, is away.
Socrates sits in silence, on a distant bank
(Invisible to you and, I) unable to fathom.
What or why is going on.
his sophisticated words: now dumb.
He can reason not the need.
I paint in a joy from my window’s frame.
As they experience their human pleasure of
Touch, they feel each other mingled with the night.
The city distant city: blind and far enough away –
Those wedding guests who stay too long.
Encapsulating a beauty of its own (hopper never pasted this way)
As the light dances a demonic reel
The bluest blueness projects the mood
As only black can everywhere else.
The sodden waters edge’s
Handed over from the mornings
Silver woven tidal cloth
…of what, what are they doing, or have done.
A quiet dyad under the stars – becoming…something enchanting.
Momentarily awakening to this…
strange trinity of which I’m an invisible fraction.
the gentle ripple of the tide
cradling the delicate dinghies
time is absent there, but not here
a moment grabbed before, before, before…
they can feel, touch and be one, once more
can I capture that moment of joy?
time will awake again soon….

Starry_Night_Over_the_Rhone

By Vincent Van Gogh Sept 1st, 1888

Jonathan Beale is published in numerous journals around the globe he is most recently published in Bluepepper, mad swirl and ygrilsil. He has one volume of poetry the destinations of Raxiera published by Hammer and Anvil. He lives in Surrey U.K.

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After Goya, by Jonathan Beale

After Goya
by Jonathan Beale

From still life: ‘Pieces of rib, loin, and a head of mutton.’
Francisco de Goya. Musée du Louvre.

The once learnt: now gone.
Deeds are done and form to dust –
That “when” – when youth is too young
Led easily by any anthems dream
Ringing out a hollow heartless tune.
Their always beating black hearts at work
They live between the lines.
Behind the actions dead weight:
Now this deadweight leaving life for the few –
Still steering freight for the butchers block.

They find this tripartite game
Impossible from field to abattoir to butcher
As the weighted cleavers chops the blood and bone –
The pure rain so easily washes this unholy mixture away.

still-life-of-sheeps-ribs-and-head-francisco-jose-de-goya-y-lucientes

Jonathan Beale is published in numerous journals around the globe he is most recently published in Bluepepper, mad swirl and ygrilsil. He has one volume of poetry the destinations of Raxiera published by Hammer and Anvil. He lives in Surrey U.K.

The Dead Sing Brokedown Palace for Ken Kesey (May 8, 1984), by Alan Walowitz

The Dead Sing Brokedown Palace for Ken Kesey (May 8, 1984)
by Alan Walowitz

The last we ever saw the Chief—
after he took good care of McMurphy,
broke his neck a couple of places
and broke out into the night—
one hand was latched to the bumper of that chicken van
the other hitched to a tree to keep the wrestling team inside
from sliding off the cliff in the worst snowstorm
the Cascades had seen since ’58.
But by then the Big Injun was getting small again,
worn down and laid waste by the high-talking hucksters,
and pickpockets, and card-sharps,
but along with it came this hard-won but unspeakable wisdom:
Ain’t nothing we can do to make things right.

Still, Kesey, he’s gotta live with the death of his wrestler-son,
another twenty-one years, a sentence he could never do sober or sane–
till one night in Eugene, Kesey sitting in a box over the stage
with the smoke wafting off the rafters in waves
the Dead turned to him–for all their shambling harmony,
close as they ever got to as-one–and sang:

         Fare you well, fare you well
         I love you more than words can tell
         Listen to the river sing sweet songs
         to rock my soul

The Deadheads were stone-silent as if there were ghosts in the bleachers
and the silence enveloped Kesey like an embrace.
Then–finally–he knew: Art needn’t be a fist to the face.
In fact, maybe he’d been wrong about everything,
and maybe, just maybe, and against his better judgment,
he might begin some merry madness all over again.

Process note: This story is legendary and, like most legends, I don’t know how true: How Ken Kesey, the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, found some peace when the Grateful Dead played “Brokedown Palace” for him after the death of his son who had been a collegiate wrestler. I guess the reader can decide how true this sounds, though I like to believe it.

Alan Walowitz (www.alanwalowitz.com) has been published various places on the web and off. He’s a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry. His chapbook, Exactly Like Love, is available from Osedax Press, and his full-length book,The Story of the Milkman and other poems, will appear soon from Truth Serum Press.

A Whiter Shade Of Pale, by Debi Swim

A Whiter Shade of Pale
by Debi Swim

Waiting for the end of day
waiting for the dreams to come
waiting for I don’t know what
everything is going
slowly going
everything is going
away
And is this the way my world ends
one losing at a time
one giving up at a time
one concession
one desire
one usefulness
after another
waiting for that
whiter shade of pale
Someone tell me
what has it all been for
the striving
the trying
the working
the playing
the cursing
the praying…
the opening of my eyes
the closing at the end
what was all that
in between?

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet. Blog: https://poetrybydebi.wordpress.com/

Boys Together Clinging (After Walt Whitman & David Hockney), by Tim Dunne

Boys Together Clinging
(After Walt Whitman & David Hockney)

by Tim Dunne

And so they gathered round for a selfie,
boys together, thumbs up, grinning and clinging,
an unexpected photo opportunity on this
Wednesday Amsterdam shift.
The shout to rescue a celeb or two, from a hotel lift,
uncovered a famous artist with press pack in tow.
David, 81, now sits centre on the stool so thoughtfully
passed through the door’s forced gap,
flat hatted and beaming. Not every day
he gets rescued by such dashing knights.

Not quite We Two Boys Together Clinging,
but Walt I’m sure, would rejoice in the
camaraderie so visibly on show here.
Their ‘red badge of courage,’ never in question.
Their enemy, fire and flame,
a conflagration no less lethal
than the smoke and shell of a Civil War battle.
So David, incarceration ended, smiles serenely,
while the boys around him cling together
full satisfied in the knowledge, of a job well done.

Hockney, David, b.1937; We Two Boys Together Clinging

Sources:
A copy of photo and BBC News article can be seen here:
https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-47401639

We Two Boys Together Clinging by Walt Whitman:
https://www.bartleby.com/142/56.html

We Two Boys Together Clinging by David Hockney:
https://www.artscouncilcollection.org.uk/artwork/we-two-boys-together-clinging

Process notes:
The poem was written in response to the BBC web article which describes how David Hockney got stuck in a lift in a hotel in Amsterdam and had to be rescued by a local Fire crew. From his smiling face, surrounded as he is by hunky Dutch firemen, he seemed to have enjoyed the experience! The way the men were gathered together reminded me of Hockney’s early painting We Two Boys Together Clinging, which is in itself an allusion to Walt Whitman’s poem of the same name and his experience as a medical orderly in the battlefields of the American Civil War.

Tim Dunne has now taught English and Drama for more than 40 years. At first in the North West of England, then North Wales and for the past eight years abroad, first in Saudi Arabia and now in Azerbaijan. Home though, is up in the mountains of Snowdonia in the beautiful Croesor valley, where he lives with his wife, Bev, daughter Phoebe, six cats and one dog. Though now legally a pensioner, he has no intention of retiring just yet.

Ten, by Misky Braendeholm

Ten
by Misky Braendeholm

All the sky and albino clouds,
and pale constellations watch her
like poetry.
She’s a marigold bath
on the beach,

a honed curator
of her own shining shore.
A sunbathing iridescent.
Like a sacrifice. Lain.
Laid. Lying. Talking

softly in your ear, softly, softly,
so you must lean in to hear her
golden pleasures, to hear her
one perfect scoring ten.
And the sun sinks behind her,

sinks behind her sweeping eyelids,
and she blooms. Adorns
the sand like old charms.
Shines gold and pearled
as a firefly in July.

Then she sighs like a surprise,
and apologises for her beauty.

(inspired by the movie “Ten” 1979)

Misky Braendeholm’s work is regularly published in monthly issues of Waterways Poetry in the Mainstream, and Ten Penny Players.

Marilyn’s poem was submitted for the Fall 2019 Edition. You may submit your work for this edition at redwolfeditions AT gmail DOT COM. Submission guidelines here.

Time Is A River Without Banks: Ekphrastic Poetry

Time Is A River Without Banks Ekphrastic Poetry Edition1

We are pleased to announce the release of the Spring 2019 Issue.

The poets with work in this Ekphrastic Poetry edition are:

Misky Braendeholm
Adrian Ernesto Cepeda
Tim Dunne
Alexa Findlay
Christopher Hileman
Nancy Byrne Iannucci
Diane Jackman
Mary Anna Kruch
Sarah Law
Betsy Mars
Joshua Medsker
Michael Minassian
Debi Swim
Robert Walton
Martin Willitts Jr

You may download a copy of the PDF release here.

Ekphrastic Poetry Spring 2019

You’re invited to submit to our new issue. You may find us over at the new site at Red Wolf Editions. Happy writing!

Ekphrastic Poetry

Special Thematic Edition 2018/2019: Ekphrastic Poetry

tumblr_lx9y6k25EW1qcvnslo1_500

Marc Chagall, Time Is A River Without Banks

My grandfather had a clock.
It flew–the grandfather clock–through
the air, over the river, over the lovers,
over the blue. As it now bridges
time to memory, it’s as ersatz
as memory goes.

So we have another pastoral.
What heaven would have been if
it’s a place with houses and steeples,
and being vociferous with love,
we will look affably upon the
poetic idiocy of a winged fish

playing a fiddle–so music carries time
(ah, aphoristic wisdom), as do souls
like gypsies wandering into the other
before first memory turns opaque,
before the stealthy boatman comes
and takes you far away.

(by Irene Toh)

*

You’re invited to submit ekphrastic poems for our special thematic edition.

“An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning.”

Read more here.

You are encouraged to write to a series of ekphrastic poetry prompts over at our sister site, Red Wolf Prompts.

Please do include in your submission the painting or photograph that inspired your poem. The photograph may be your own or belong to someone. If it belongs to someone, be sure to give credit. You may send in as many poems as you wish.

Read submissions guidelines here. Please note that the reading period will be in Jan-Feb 2019 so do be patient to wait to see if your poems are selected for the issue to be released in March 2019.

Submissions open from September 2018 to February 2019. The issue will be released in Spring 2019.

Release of Spring/Summer 2018: Coming Home

spring summer 2018 cover

We are pleased to announce the release of the Spring/Summer 2018 Issue.

The poets with work in this edition are:

Kimmy Alan
Robert James Berry
Daniel Birnbaum
Marilyn Braendeholm
Holly Day
Joseph M. Felser
Gary Glauber
Penny Harter
Christopher Hileman
Diane Jackman
LindaAnn LoSchiavo
Betsy Mars
Michael Minassian
Arthur Mitchell
Felicia Mitchell
Laurel S. Peterson
Nanette Rayman
Sheikha A., Home
Tawnya Smith
Debi Swim
Anna Schoenbach
Alan Toltzis
Alan Walowitz
Robert Walton
Martin Willitts Jr
Irene Toh

You may download a copy of the PDF release here.

Red Wolf Journal spring summer 2018 Issue 13

With the release of this issue, Red Wolf Journal will be taking a break. It has been gratifying to put together the work of the fine poets in this issue, who’ve in their own way contributed thoughtful points of view on the idea of home. Mostly it has been an honor to be given this task, and in a most personal way you might not have realized, we’ve been made to feel that we’ve found our tribe. That too felt like home.

With pleasure,
Irene Toh & Tawnya Smith
Spring/Summer 2018 Editors

Home, As a Series of Outbreaks, by Sheikha A.

Home, As a Series of Outbreaks
by Sheikha A.

There are mountains rising from four-leaf clovers;
that was the dream of seeing my beheading

on a guillotine, and some ethereal proclamation
of having been purified spoke in the soft steps of a tornado

before full motion assault; it was the word shaheed
that was used in the same aghast timbre as one of

a woman prohibited from jihad. Someone
caught my armpits, then declared themselves

on a piece of paper. The only sensation
that prevailed after was a jabbing ache. Ironic how

a love for anywhere or anything begins from
secrets, and how the start of every journey

begins with dreams. I was told to follow the trail
of each outbreak at midnights, the waking in

cold sweat, and arm reaching outwards to
grab a closing door’s edge, before it slid into

the vacuum meant to cradle its frame. Home is
an elusive junction where an asylum awaits;

it will encounter you civilly, offer you a hope
as practical and documented as your time

of birth; and then, it will offer you a dream –
conditional, like the dreams of sleep,

anything from anywhere, anyone from any way
can walk over every astral limit in the universe

and enter your space. The stars will break
as all things nearing their end do. And the pull

that prevents all things floating from falling
will guide their descent into the eyes that sleep,

composing as homes – a series of nights on
the verge of a pinnacle – heightened to nowhere.

Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. She has been published in various literary venues, both print and online. More can be found at sheikha82.wordpress.com