Mongolian Limericks. Vera Rich & Marie Marshall


Five years or so ago, the late Vera Rich, poet and translator, let slip some ‘Mongolian’ Limericks just for fun. I replied in kind and tickled her. Here’s an exchange or two between us.


A Mongolian dealer in koumiss
Told his daughter: “I’m angry with you, Miss!
Last night’s supper was spoiled,
For the tea was not boiled,
And the dumplings were sticky as glue, Miss!”


His daughter’s voice came from the yurt:
“To say the least, you’re very curt!
No need to be cocky –
Those dumplings were gnocchi,
Green tea is drunk tepid – I’m hurt!”

Apparently Vera wrote a whole series of these as a divertissement at a Mongolian Studies Conference in the 1980s – a far cry from her serious work translating Ukrainian and Belorussian poetry. Here’s some more.


Said a PR man in Ulan Bataar,
“I really don’t know what’s the mataar!
But that cursed foreign press
Writes of us less and less,
Saying it has too much else on its plataar!”


The cleaner (whilst shoving her Huva)
Said, “No Mongol is the prime muva
Of things international.
Anonymity’s rational…
It could be worse – this could be Tuva!”

It does you good to let your hair down once in a while. Vera is very much missed by those of us who knew her and worked with her.


Vera Rich(1936-2009)

Educated at St Hilda’s College, Oxford and at Bedford College, London, Vera Rich, a respected science journalist and a tireless campaigner for human rights, was a fine poet. Her wits were quick, her memory prodigious and she had a wonderful sense of humour.

During the 1960’s she had three books of her own poems published, and founded the poetry magazine, Manifold. This ran with some success for 28 issues before publication was suspended in 1968, when Vera became Eastern European correspondent for the science magazine, Nature.

Once asked to translate some Ukrainian poems, she learned the language to do so. For the next three decades, she travelled extensively in eastern Europe, becoming the foremost translator of both Ukrainian and Belarusian poetry into English. She reported on the activities of dissident Soviet scientists, the Chernobyl disaster, psychiatric abuse and AIDS in the Soviet Union. Her anthology of Belarusian poetry, Like Water, Like Fire, published by UNESCO, was subsequently withdrawn under pressure from the Soviet Union.

Manifold, which she revived in 1998, regularly published foreign-language poetry with parallel text in Engtlish and, occasionally. foreign poetry untranslated. In 2006 Vera travelled to the Ukraine to receive the Ivan Franko Award for her 40 years service to the translation of Ukrainian poetry. While on a visit to the Ivan Franko Homestead she gave an emotional reading of Shevchenko’s poem “Testament”. On her next visit in 2007, she wore her medal, the Order of Princess Olha, which had been presented to her at the Ukrainian Embassy in London. Vera could fairly be described as a Ukrainian patriot, an unusual distinction for an Englishwoman.

In 2006 Vera underwent treatment for breast cancer. But she always insisted her illness was an inconvenient obstacle to her work. On 18 December 2009, her doctor advised her to go into hospital, but even then Vera gave priority to her translations. On 20 December, 2009, she died peacefully in her bed. She will be greatly missed, not least for her kindness and the support she gave to so many. Alan Flowers (UK)


Marie Marshall (1957 — ) is an Anglo-Scottish author, poet and editor. Her first collection of poems, Naked in the Sea, was published in 2010 and reviewed in Sonnetto Poesia that same year, and her second collection, I am not a fish, in 2013. Since 2005 she has published over two hundred poems, mainly in magazines and anthologies, but the most extraordinary places in which a poem of hers has appeared include on the wall of a café in Wales, and etched into an African drum at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Her first novel, Lupa, was published in 2012. She is well-known in Scotland for her macabre short stories. Her web site can be found at Of writing poetry and sonnets she says, “I did not start writing until 2004, so I am very much a twenty-first century writer. I write anything, any kind of poetry that I feel the urge to tackle ― sonnets included.”

The Song Bird. Video.Audio.Poem.Randal. A.Burd.Jr.

Randal Snapshot 2

Randal A. Burd, Jr. is a teacher, freelance writer, poet, and family historian. He teaches English to grades 7-12 in a juvenile residential facility in Southeast Missouri. He previously taught Dual-Credit English through MSU and Freshman English for two years and spent four years at an alternative high school teaching English and Art while mentoring at-risk students. In 2012, he was elected Secretary of the Department of Missouri, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Randal was President of the Ozark Patriots Chapter of Sons of the American Revolution from 2011-2012 and is Camp Commander of Sigel Camp #614 of SUVCW. He was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel in April 2013.

Randal published his first poetry chapbook, “Leaving Home,” in 2008. He received his BA in English cum laude with minors in Art, Psychology, and Writing from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and his Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri. While enrolled at Missouri S&T, Randal was Editor-in-Chief of The Missouri Miner, the campus newspaper, from 2000-2002, and Editor-in-Chief of Southwinds Magazine, “Missouri S&T’s Only Literary Magazine,” from 1997-2001.

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L’Amour En Rêve, Reveries Of Love Poem by Jim Dunlap


I toss in strangely troubled dreams
of rolling hills and woodland streams —
of soft, pale skin, so smooth and fair,
and moonlight glancing off her hair.

What can I say? What can I do?
Sad to say, she’s just not you.
True love calls …”Come, please be mine …
we’ll drink to good Saint Valentine.”

and if, perchance, you choose to stay,
we’ll leave her there and go away,
to roam the world, to wander far ..
beneath fair Venus, morning’s star.

For fate could never put asunder
bonds of love, entwined in wonder…
though our souls should dare to brave
a bright new land beyond the grave.

Why waste one day, one minute more?
Let’s bite the apple to the core,
and while the years and seasons fly,
our love will grow … and never die.




Jim Dunlap’s poetry has been published extensively in print and online in the United States, England, France, India, Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand. His work has appeared in over 90 publications, including Potpourri, Candelabrum, Mobius, Poems Niedernasse, and the Paris/Atlantic. He was the co-editor of Sonnetto Poesia and is currently a Content Admin for Poetry Life & Times. He is also the chief proofreader for the On Viewless Wings Anthologies, published out of Queensland, Australia. In the past, he was a resident poet on Poetry Life & Times and the newsletter editor for seven years with the Des Moines Area Writers’ Network.

You may find him here:











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Half Past Eight.Poem.Video.Guadalupe Grande.



No lo comprendo.
No sé
          por qué hay que ir tan deprisa.
No entiendo
         por qué hay que caminar tan rápido
ni por qué es tan temprano
ni por qué la calle está tan enturbiada y húmeda.

No entiendo
qué dice este rumor en tránsito
        (este siseo infatigablemente frágil)
ni sé
         a dónde llevan tantos pasos
con la obstinada decisión de no perderse.


Estoy en la puerta de mi casa:
desde aquí puedo ver,
tras los cristales,
               un copo de cielo,
un harapo azul sin horizonte,
un fragmento de distancia,
un tragaluz de lejanía.

Cierro la puerta
               y no lo entiendo,
pero hago un gran esfuerzo en retener
ese jirón azul en la pupila
      y pienso en la corona de espuma del ahogado
      y en los clavos grises que me aguardan.

Sin embargo, ya sé que no hay coronas:
estamos muy lejos del mar
y yo llevo los ojos llenos de bruma y humo
como si los cubriera la sombra de una lágrima
que aún no he sabido llorar.
                Digo que lo sé, pero no estoy segura:
tan solo
cierro la puerta de mi casa
como si cerrara la puerta de mi alma
o de algún alma
que se parece demasiado a la mía.


Parece temprano,
parece pronto,
quisiera decir: la ciudad se despierta
o nace el día
o empieza un día más.
Pero no lo entiendo,
no consigo entenderlo:
he bajado las escaleras
y he llegado a un lugar
que dice llamarse calle;
desde luego, no veo náufragos coronados
ni distingo a los viajeros de los comerciantes
ni a los habitantes de los ciudadanos
ni a los abogados de los turistas
ni a mí de mí.
En este momento,
tan solo reconozco mis zapatos
y su exuberante y urgente necesidad
por incorporarse al ajetreo de la vía.


Es pronto:
no sé a dónde,
pero hemos llegado pronto.
Por lo demás, todo sigue.
Aunque yo no entienda lo que dice la palabra prisa
aunque no sepa lo que nombra la palabra ruido,
aunque no comprenda lo que calla la palabra calla,
los zapatos silenciosos,
en su obstinada decisión de no perderse,
lo entienden todo por mí.



I don´t understand.
I don´t know
      why one has to go about in such a rush.
I don´t get
      why one should walk so fast
nor why it´s so early
nor why the street is so muddy and wet.

I don´t see
what this transitory whisper in transit says
      (this restlessly fragile hiss)
nor do I know
      where all these steps are heading
in the obstinate decision not to lose themselves.


I stand in the doorway of my home:
from here I can see
                a streak of sky behind the glass
a blue rag without horizon,
a fragment of distance,
a skylight of distance.

I close the door
                and don´t understand
but I try with great effort to keep
that blue strip in my pupil
      and I think of the foamy garland of the drowned
      and the grey nails awaiting me.

Yet I know there are no garlands
and we´re far from the sea;
I lift my eyes and they´re full of fog and smoke
as if covered by the shadow of a tear
a tear I haven´t yet wept.
                I say I know, but I´m not sure:
I just close the door of my house
as if I ´d closed the door of my soul
or someone else´s soul
too similar to mine.


It seems early,
apparently too soon,
I would like to say: the city awakens
or the day is born
or another day begins.
But I don´t see it,
I can´t understand:
I have gone downstairs
to a place supposed to be called street;
obviously I see no garlanded shipwrecks,
I do not distinguish travellers from merchants
nor inhabitants from citizens
nor lawyers from tourists
nor myself from myself.
At this moment
I recognize only my shoes
and their exuberant urgent need
to join the teeming throng.


It´s soon:
I don´t know where,
but we have arrived soon.
Otherwise, everything goes on.
Even though I don´t understand what the word hurry means
even though I don´t know what the word noise names,
even though I don´t grasp what the word hush hushes,
my silent shoes
in their obstinate decision not to lose themselves
understand everything in my place.


(Translated from the Spanish original by Robin Ouzman Hislop & Amparo Arrospide)



Guadalupe Grande was born in Madrid in 1965. She has a Bachelor degree in Social Anthropology. Published poetry books: El libro de Lilit, (Renacimiento, awarded the 1995 Rafael Alberti Award, 1995), La llave de niebla (Calambur, 2003), Mapas de cera (Poesía Circulante, Málaga, 2006 and La torre degli Arabeschi, Milán, 2009),  Hotel para erizos (Calambur, 2010) and Métier de crhysalide (an anthology, translated by Drothèe Suarez y Juliette Gheerbrant, Alidades, Évian-les-Bains, 2010).

As a literary critic, she has published in cultural journals and magazines, such as El Mundo, El Independiente, Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos, El Urogallo, Reseña and others.

In 2008 she was awarded the Valle Inclán grant for literary creation in the Academia de España in Rome.

In the publishing and cultural management areas, she has worked in institutions such as the Complutense University of Madrid Summer Courses, Casa de América and Teatro Real. Currently she manages poetical activities in the José Hierro Popular University at San Sebastian de los Reyes, Madrid.

The poems “Ocho y media” (Half past eight) and “Madrid, 1973” belong to La llave de niebla, and have been translated into English by Robin Ouzman Hislop and Amparo Arróspide.


Guadalupe Grande nació en Madrid en 1965. Es licenciada en Antropología Social.

Ha publicado los libros de poesía El libro de Lilit, (Renacimiento, Premio Rafael Alberti 1995), La llave de niebla (Calambur, 2003), Mapas de cera (Poesía Circulante, Málaga, 2006 y La torre degli Arabeschi, Milán, 2009),  Hotel para erizos (Calambur, 2010) y Métier de crhysalide (antología en traducción de Drothèe Suarez y Juliette Gheerbrant, Alidades, Évian-les-Bains, 2010).

Como crítico literario, ha colaborado en diversos diarios y revistas culturales, como El Mundo, El Independiente, Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos, El Urogallo, Reseña, etcétera.

En el año 2008 obtuvo la Beca Valle Inclán para la creación literaria en la Academia de España en Roma.

En el ámbito de la edición y la gestión cultural ha trabajado en diversas instituciones como los Cursos de Verano de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, la Casa de América y el Teatro Real.  En la actualidad es responsable de la actividad poética de la Universidad Popular José Hierro, San Sebastián de los Reyes, Madrid.

Los poemas “Ocho y media” y “Madrid, 1973” pertenecen a La llave de niebla y han sido traducidos al inglés por Robin Ouzman Hislop y Amparo Arróspide.

Robin Ouzman Hislop Editor of the 12 year running on line monthly poetry journal Poetry Life and Times. (See its Wikipedia entry at Poetry Life and Times). He has made many appearances over the last years in the quarterly journals Canadian Zen Haiku, including In the Spotlight Winter 2010 & Sonnetto Poesia. Previously published in international magazines, his recent publications include Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review, Appalachian University N Carolina, Post Hoc installed at Bank Street Arts Centre, Sheffield (UK), Uroborus Journal, 2011-2012 (Sheffield, UK), The Poetic Bond II & 111, available at The Poetic Bond and Phoenix Rising from the Ashes a recently published Anthology of Sonnets: Phoenix Rising from the Ashes. He has recently completed a volume of poetry, The World at Large, for future publication. He is currently resident in Spain engaged in poetry translation projects.
Poetry Life & Times


Amparo Arrospide (Argentina) is a Spanish poet and translator. She has published four poetry collections, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos y algunos poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar and Presencia en el Misterio as well as poems, short stories and articles on literary and film criticism in anthologies and both national and foreign magazines. She has received numerous awards. Together with Robin Ouzman Hislop, she worked as co-editor of Poetry Life and Times, an E-zine.

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Elephant Graveyard. A Poem by E Darcy Trie

Darcy Trie-1

there are mondays that curve up
with sides the color of dead milk
and all the egrets roost over a red hotel
in a town that never stops raining
it finds me
and brown

this favorite of barn swallows
and aged floorboards

all around are the echoes of wild dogs
of things springing from snow
straw dust and blood sausages
and heaps that are bornempty
i lie

cowled by green space
sewn within a hump of cream ribs
the graffiti of grass and mud
tickle against the sourdough belly
it is here
that the map of stars
have never been so far away

i would still stay
as your fiery death
jumps in my memory
uncoiling like dark hair
released to the night

and the shiver

i know
these are the only bones strong enough
to hold up against this kind of

Darcy was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1975, E. Darcy Trie is a Scorpio, Rabbit and matriculated in Little Rock, Arkansas at the age of two. She graduated at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a B.A. in Psychology along with Minors in Drama and Asian Studies. Sensing that achieving her Masters would drive her to drink, she wisely opted to tour Asia in her early twenties (thanks to a grant provided by Bank Of Daddy), and in the year 2000, found herself in the heart of Beijing, China where she began writing due to the fact that crocheting was far too complicated and because the voices in her head would not shut up.

By 2004, she had completed two romances, one historical and one modern, and after viewing all nine seasons of the X-Files and three seasons of C.S.I, finished the first two series of the Snow novels and is currently writing the third installment. During this time, she has also had several pieces of her poetry published in various online poetry magazines.

Her passions and hobbies includes writing, reading (anything put out by Neil Gaiman), Disney movies, all divination tools such as Tarot, I-Ching, Runes and is an enthusiastic, although albeit amateur, astrologist/paranormal investigator. She is 5’10, weighs whatever she wrote on her driver’s license, owns a lot of black hoodies and is addicted to It’s A Grind’s Passion Fruit tea.

She is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese, some French and once took a Zero Hour in Greek in high school. She hates mornings, coconuts, wire bras, and sincerely hopes that this is bio is long enough to fill up an entire page (doubled-space of course).

Ms. Trie currently lives in Las Vegas, NV because she adores $2.99 buffets, Paigow Poker, and that lovely 116 degree August weather. She dreams of writing best-selling novels that will delight and thrill her future fans and because she is tired of being a productive citizen and wants to go back to being a mooching hermit.


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Tilting Ponds.Poem from Serpentrope by Norman Ball



ISBN-10: 0615900798 ISBN-13: 978-0615900797

Unique and highly imaginative, Norman Ball’s poetry is also frequently apocalyptic. Drawing on Jungian archetypes, his poetry continually circles back on particular symbols as it contextualizes everyday dilemmas while formulating windows into the broader world of the numinous. Spellbinding.
—Jeff Holt, Poet, The Harvest.
A prolific songwriter, literary essayist, political commentator and playwright, here comes Ball the poet refracting, at his best, Auden’s ‘ironic points of light’…as for that patented Ball humor does it traverse genres? I’m pleased to report it more than survives the stanza.
—Douglas Milton, Editor, Anthony Burgess International Journal
The price we have paid for being over-intellectualized by the Modernist movement is somewhat allayed by the formal poetry that predominates in this collection; thank goodness there are poets like Mr. Ball helping to recover the magical in the most important art form humankind has striven to perfect.
—Patrick Quinn, President, Robert Graves Society
Surprises abound in this marvelous collection of poetry. We find depth, wit and astute observation all wrapped up in classical metrics made profoundly fresh.
—Rowena Silver, Co-Editor, Epicenter magazine
Norman Ball goes where few have ever gone before—into the largely unexplored realms of poetic financial satire. Yes Virginia, there is such a thing. And he brings back a great many pithy and humorous treasures for readers from his travels there.
—Michael Silverstein, The Wall Street Poet
Norman Ball’s ambitious poetry turns on wordplay—for wit, for sonic joy, and for serious surprises. Both his formal and free verse thrive in the territory of e.e. cummings, where he takes on challenges too daunting for most contemporary poets. —A. M. Juster, Poet, The Satires of Horace  

Serpentrope is a small volume of collected poems by Norman Ball, written almost all in formal and classical metrics and for the most part in sonnet form. In an article at the back titled Ouroboros: Why Now? the author cites it as a trope for an emergent archetype of the millennium, – as the turning of an age, our time now is critical. The poems are given a contemporary context, often in current affairs of the last decade in the USA. The style is light, dexterous and pithy, many times coloured by a dark humour akin to the sinister and characterised by a deft turning of phrase. This appears acutely in the sonnets and their final couplets, where it is as if it’s the maw of Ouroborus itself swallowing its own tail. – Editor Poetry Life & Times Robin Ouzman Hislop


The marriage of the swans has been annulled

with an absence of ceremony, she lies graceless and stiff,

a brick by her crushed skull;

an orange meteor hurled by a petulant boy-Zeus.

I know him as he runs back to his empty motive,

this orphan of unattended grief,

desperate for a mother’s dead reflection.

A universe of dying nest is all the nurture he allows.


Now too, the widower is beside himself

attended by the sag of his reflection,

The banks salve the water’s edge.

My bread of solace floats untouched.


There is only one to feed now.

But he leans away without appetite.

The world lies wet to boys and swans

and the mirrored edge of endless tilting ponds. 
Norman Ball FBP
NORMAN BALL (BA Political Science/Econ, Washington & Lee University; MBA, George Washington University) is a well-travelled Scots-American businessman, author and poet whose essays have appeared in Counterpunch, The Western Muslim and elsewhere. His new book “Between River and Rock: How I Resolved Television in Six Easy Payments” is available here. Two essay collections, “How Can We Make Your Power More Comfortable?” and “The Frantic Force” are spoken of here and here. His recent collection of poetry “Serpentrope” is published from White Violet Press. He can be reached at
Robin Ouzman Hislop (UK) Co-editor of the 12 year running on line monthly poetry journal Poetry Life and Times. He has made many appearances over the last years in the quarterly journals Canadian Zen Haiku, including In the Spotlight Winter 2010; Sonnetto Poesia. Previously published in international magazines, recent publications include Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review, Appalachian University N Carolina, The Poetic Bond Series, available at a recently published Anthology of Sonnets: Phoenix Rise from the Ashes. He has recently completed a volume of poetry All the Babble of the Souk. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop

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Lines 1-34 of Book 2 of Homer’s Iliad by Richard Vallance

Iliad Book 2 Lines 1-34

Please press to enlarge the text: The following link provides further information concerning references & sources of the translation.

Richard Vallanc Santorini Grreece May 2012
Richard Vallance, meta-linguist, ancient Greek & Mycenaean Linear B, home page: Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae,
PINTEREST Boards: Mycenaean Linear B: Progressive Grammar & Vocabulary, and, Knossos & Mycenae, sister civilizations, Also poetry publisher, The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of sonnets of the early third millennium = Le Phénix renaissant de ses cendres : Anthologie de sonnets au début du troisième millénaire. Friesen Press, Victoria, B.C., Canada. © August 2013. 35 illustrations in B&W. Author & Title Indexes. 257 pp. 315 sonnets & ghazals in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese & Persian.


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