Customer Survey. A Poem by M. A. Schaffner


Death is another possible market —

laughing at death, playing at death, dying

slowly and courageously like in movies.

Death as a costume party with vampires;

unlife as a zombie jonesing for brains,

crashing funerals, pretending to care.

Death as a product sells better firearms,

more lurid fantasies with the heroes

shaped by algorithms to buyers’ needs.

For needs read desires; for death, denial

in its most comic form. There will be sex,

of course, and thin pale girls with sincere teeth,

and over the far horizon the real deal

waits confident as a dealer whose marks

laugh behind his back until they need him.
MAS at the Furnace

M. A. Schaffner has had poems published in Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Agni, and elsewhere — most recently in Former People, Raintown Review, and Rock River Review. Long-ago-published books include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia juggling a laptop, smart phone, percussion caps, pugs, and a Gillott 404.

Key of Mist. Guadalupe Grande.Translated.Amparo Arróspide.Robin Ouzman Hislop Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop the Babble of the Souk

Dreaming in Hi-Def, Ozymandias Streamed Dynamic Data. A Poem by Joseph Armstead

The sound of ten million voices raised in confusion,
raised in wonder, raised in anger, raised in prayer,
like beads of fallen mercury
to roll across the desert sands,
pathways to Giza, Luxor, Cairo,
and Alexandria,
home to antiquity and myth, kingdom of the pharoahs,
pyramidal necropolii dotting an arid landscape,
baking under the fiery glare
of an unblinking solar eye,
next-generation optical disc,
waiting for the Summoning,
for the Call,
waiting for the Sacred, for a Benediction
from a polytheistic overworld
of New non-secular Gods,
the pantheon of the IMF, BASF,
Microsoft, Apple, Oracle,
Exxon-Mobile, CitiBank,
Daimler-Chrysler, Sony,
and McDonald’s,
as the orchestra of voices gather,
venting their passions, like Opera,
“Look, Ye Unworthy, upon my works, and know
this high-definition storage media format
will spread the glory of the blue-violet laser
across the face of Heaven,
an interstitial data sector
striped across the disk-array
of a Cloud-based
Application Server Farm,
where the tears of the Mighty
fall like acid rain!”
The sound of ten million voices
raised in confusion, raised in wonder,
raised in anger, raised in prayer,
across a boundless arid plain,
an ocean of charred and barren grit
stretching into a Future where
the Kalashnikov assault rifle
is the scepter of Paradise.


Joseph Armstead is a suspense-thriller and horror author living in the United States’ San Francisco Bay Area. Author of a dozen short stories and ten novels, his poetry has been published in a wide range of online journals, webzines and print magazines. A mathematician, Futurist and computer technologist, Mr. Armstead’s poetry often defies easy description, but frequently includes neo-classical imagery, surrealist viewpoints and post-modern themes.

Key of Mist. Guadalupe Grande.Translated.Amparo Arróspide.Robin Ouzman Hislop Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop the Babble of the Souk

Through the Grinder. A Poem by A.J. Huffman


Body language indicated frustration,
trying to get back
to normal, and I
looked down at empty.
Hands gave back everything,
thanked me as I had to move on
for their sake. An integrity procedure—
like seals on storebought bottles—
I moved closer
to the edge. Contained,
I believed I would not have known the difference.
I came apart freely and without
damaging the sky, dissolved
into the ether and afterthought.



A.J. Huffman has published thirteen full-length poetry collections, thirteen solo poetry chapbooks and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses. Her most recent releases, The Pyre On Which Tomorrow Burns (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers. She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2600 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, The Bookends Review, Bone Orchard, Corvus Review, EgoPHobia, and Kritya. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Key of Mist. Guadalupe Grande.Translated.Amparo Arróspide.Robin Ouzman Hislop Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop the Babble of the Souk

GAS STATION. A Poem by John Grey

Straw hat’s busted
and the blue and red flag’s dragging on its pole.
The road’s as narrow as a plumb line
and the sides are baked brick hard.
Rusty gas pump only offers regular.
In the window, brown and speckled eggs,
soda bottles, a can of oil.
Unshaven Ed flops in his chair out front
Straw hat can’t keep back July,
cakes his brow a stinky yellow.
A car creeps by but doesn’t stop.
Maybe can’t read the price of gas.
Ed’s handwriting’s shaky
as his mortgage payments.
May’s quilting, the only thing
her fingers know to do.
Despite the heat, her handiwork
rolls up to her wrinkled chin, almost smothers her.
And here comes Vernon,
just who Ed don’t want to hear.
So Dewey’s got a new computer.
Tell that to the chamber of commerce.
Another car rolls by. And another.
Someone even waves.
Straw hat’s raised in answer, in anger,
then flopped down sideways on Ed’s head.
Go help your grandmother, Ed says.
Steam rises from the swamps,
raccoon pans the trash for food,
wood-stork chatters from a cypress branch.
Vernon creeps reluctantly indoors.
May stops her quilting for a kiss,
struggles to remember who exactly is this boy.
Along comes Temple to complain
about the weather and business and his wife.
Ed listens but his ear is cocked for cars the more.
He straightens his straw hat.
Brim holds by a thread.
How long you had that thing? asks Temple.
Forty years, says Ed. It brings me luck.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.

Key of Mist. Guadalupe Grande.Translated.Amparo Arróspide.Robin Ouzman Hislop Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop the Babble of the Souk


Meet the Poets of Poetic Bond V1.

THE POETIC BOND VI ISBN-13: 978-1539334682
actively sought specifically from New Media, Social and Professional Networking

Available at The Poetic Bond
& The Poetic Bond VI
William DiBenedetto – time comes uninvited / 7-May-15
William DiBenedetto is a freelance writer and editor living in and loving Seattle since 1994. Born many years ago in New York City, he grew up in Northern Virginia and worked as a journalist in Washington D.C. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in English.
Will Walsh – Onion Creek, Utah / As I live and breathe / Evolution of Human Movement I describe nature in a mystical context, illuminating the life and moods of wild places. I also write to encourage people toward their potential, and to thrive without greed, mayhem, hate, or anger. Our actions promoting tolerance, mutual respect, and cooperation will contribute to a more just and peaceful world.
Wendy Joseph – This is America / In my house there are books / when the water rises
Wendy Joseph sailed on cargo ships worldwide for ten years. She holds two Master’s in English, and this is her second appearance in the Poetic Bond. She is also a playwright, actor, and novelist. She lives in the wilds of Washington State with very remarkable people and two cats.
Swaizi Vaughan – E-Turn Next Left Dead In / Prepubescent Khonsu

Swaizi Vaughan was born in Gainesville, Texas and has always remained true to her emotions in their rawest form.
She is inspired by all things but often illustrates love. Her poignant thoughts and feeling adorn the pages of her
first book to be released in 2017 entitled, Love’s Lobotomy.
Rowland Hughes – Lemon Soap / A Valley Funeral

Rowland is a Welsh writer and poet. To care for his brother, he was taken out of school at 14 years old.
Ill health forced him to retire from work as a Local Authority Assistant Surveyor in 1997.
He writes in bustling cafés or in the tranquil confines his shed.
Robin Ouzman Hislop – Tenochtitlan / In Bed
On line Editor at Poetry Life and Times, & His latest publications are a collection of poems All the Babble of the Souk & Key of Mist a translation from Spanish of the poetess Guadalupe Grande both are published by for further information with reviews and comments see Author Robin .
Pushpita Awashti – In my heart of hearts / Words in the Dark
Poetess, fiction writer, translator and literature ambassador, Professor Pushpita Awasthi has dedicated her life for the expansion and proliferation of humanity oriented literature. She taught 20 years university at India. Five years she worked at Indian Embassy now settling in the Netherlands as director of Hindi Universe Foundation.,
Neetu Malik – dancers / the pianist / wanderer
Neetu weaves life experiences and observations into her poetry and short stories. Fascinated by human nature and its complexity, she strives to convey its intricacies, struggles, and emotions through vivid and visual poetry, often drawing pictures with words to create images that seize and crystallize the transient moments of life.
Nana Tokatli – Wheat Fields
Nana Tokatli , painter and poet, is Greek. Graduate of the Fine Arts School of Athens. Has 17 solo shows. Since 2000 writes poetry in greek and in english, short stories in greek. Publications in english: 2003 “to the counter-point” received 5 stars at AbeBooks, UK. 2015 “the Rondo symphony”.
Michael Bunny – Cards
My name is Michael, I’m an 18 year old poet / writer / lyricist from Israel. I started writing when I was around the age of 7, and have always been passionate about expressing myself through words.
Miklos Mezosi – An Iamblified Inquiry
A published author and scholar, Miklos Mezosi writes on literature and opera. Miklos, who was a Mellon fellow at Edinburgh University,authorized a book on Russian opera. He has published two poetry collections. He writes in Hungarian, English, Latin and Greek.His English poetry is published in anthologies in the UK.
Marli Merker Moreira – Drifters
Forever, I am a teacher of literature. Writing emerges from loving words and music. As a Brazilian with German roots and a long university experience in the US, I value the multicultural mosaic of people, beliefs, and cultures. I dream of peace and freedom for us all.
Madalena Fine – Lost Letter From Love
Madalena Fine is an anglo-portuguese creative writing student from Sussex. Her writing explores relationships and identity. She was spurred to writing again in 2015, after a public reading of Warsan Shire’s “What they did yesterday afternoon”. Madalena’s bedside reading includes Warsan, Grace Nichols, John Agard, Caroline Bird, Wendy Cope and others…
Linda Mills – Abide / Winter Sleep
Nearly blind from birth, language fills my life. I flex my words to communicate this world as I experience it.
For years I’ve had poetry published in magazines around the world and more recently online. Now retired, I am able to write and to travel with my very supportive husband.
Lawrence W. Lee – Cynic / Still Life
I have made a good living as a professional artist for almost fifty years. I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain.
I have known love and loss in near equal measure. I am interested in almost everything, but have special fondness for language and subatomic physics. I continue to paint.
Kwai Chee Low – Cold Winter, Warm Heart
Kwai Chee Low from Malaysia has a love for the English Language from a young age. He started writing poems since 2010 and submitted them to and He finds it very gratifying and fulfilling expressing his thoughts and feelings into poems and haiku. He is also a member on LinkedIn.
Judith Neale – One Cleft Moon
Jude Neale is a poet, spoken word performer, opera singer and mentor. Her last book, A Quiet Coming of Light, was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award, best poetry collection by a Canadian female.
Joseph J. Simmons – 1914
Joseph Simmons entered college a physics major, graduated an English major, began sharing evening s with other poets. He spent years in federal contracts, now writes, publishes, tries to sharpen and refine his voice and vision.
Jill Angel Langlois – If the Wind Blows / I remember silence
Jill Angel Langlois grew up in Park Forest, IL. Her poems and short stories appear in literary magazines, nationally. Collections: Scattered Petals explores the healing power of nature. Whiskey Nights inspired by whiskey and music. “Tell Me The Story,” a memoir, portrays growing up adopted, reuniting with her birth mother.
Ian Colville – A Cliché for our Time / Ploughing
Ian Colville was born in Scotland, but is presently exiled in England where he is open-mic regular at Ouse Muse in Bedford. Ian has over 50 poems published in curated magazines and anthologies, including The Poetic Bond. When he’s not writing, he’s reading, and sometimes he goes cycling… for hours.
Hongvan Nguyen – Becoming
Hongvan Nguyen is an English and philosophy graduate from George Mason University. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Under the Stone, and The Chickadees. Her third book, Crossing Places, is in the publication process and will be out on the market by the end of 2016.
Greg Mooney – Insecurities
I am an active duty United States Marine, I am 3 classes away from my bachelors in Marketing, currently writing a book that will be dedicated to a deceased friend.
GK Grieve – The Final Moment Before The Death of Swans / Addict
Travelled here and there, picked up a few observations, my book “The Final Moment Before The Death of Swans” is to be published in November. Website under construction. Still married. All in all, tickety-boo.
George C Robertson – Engraved / A Burning Desire
Worked for many years in telecommunications in the UK and abroad. His Kindle novel Terror at the Towers relives his Human Shield time in 1990s Kuwait. George has been praised for his humorous verses and short stories, published in English and Scots. Song lyrics commended; looking for a music partner/promoter.
George Carter – When I got there
George showed an interest in poetry and music from an early age, and is currently working towards university
intent on pursuing a career in music and sound.
Diane Collette – Fields of Asphodel
Hails from Bucharest, grew up in Jupiter & traveled the globe in US uniform and is now Corporate Analyst in NYC area.
My love of writing came to fruition over many years while in military life, seemed like pleasant way to deal with tough times, emotions and life in all its wonder.
Diane Burrows – Speechless / Take a Look at the Hills
At 9 years old, my teacher predicted: you’ll be a poet. Since then, encouraged by adverts for poetry, I have written in many published anthologies and I was awarded prizes at a poetry- readings. Thanks to the encouragement of Poetic Bond, here I am back again, enjoying sharing my contributions.
Cigeng Zhang – Hey, Starling / Special Reunion / Wa Lan (瓦蓝)/ One-line Tide
Cigeng Zhang is a freelance English translator from China. She started writing English poems in 2012. Her poems ‘Drunk Smile’, ‘What Was Left’, ‘The Moon, The Poet’, ‘At 8 O’clock’ and ‘Still for You’ were included in the Poetic Bond III, IV and V respectively since 2013.
Christine Anderes – The Ossurary of James / The Unquiet Heart
Christine Anderes …a conservationist and passionate animal advocate is currently working on three collections of poetry and a series of critical essays attesting to the beauty and resilience of nature using lyricism and humor to bring more mindfulness to the critical state of the planet and its inhabitants.
Carey Link – Blur Distinctions
Carey Link is from Huntsville, Alabama. She has been writing poetry for over twenty years. Link’s two collections of poetry are What it Means to Climb a Tree (Finishing Line Press) and Awakening to Holes in The Arc of Sun (Mule on a Ferris Wheel).
Bonnie Roberts –Cautionary Steps of Love
Publisher at Mule on a Ferris Wheel; poet; activist; ocean-swimmer; silent retreatant; dog “herder”; graduate poetry-writing professor; Fulbright Scholar; NEH Fellow; winner, an Alabama Book of the Year Award.
Bonnie J. Flach – At the Crossroads
Bonnie J. Flach – Poet, writer & photographer, for the non-profit “Ocean Artists Society” & member of the Shelter Island Art Assoc. in San Diego. Bonnie writes primarily, but not limited to, poems & stories on nature, wildlife and indigenous people themes. She also submits her poem for The Australian Times Poetry electronic magazine
Betty Bleen – Grandma’s Jesus / The Cutting Edge
Betty Bleen’s poetry appears bi-weekly in the Ohio Chinese American News, Columbus, Ohio. She has read at various venues in and around Columbus. Her book of poetry, Bad Red Shoes, is available on Amazon and she has contributed to three anthologies. Betty lives with husband Doug and Mittens the cat.
Belinda Dupret – Isobel
Belinda Dupret won her first poetry competition aged 9 – never won another! She’s been a music promoter; freelance writer; Television Journalist and PR Chief, working in 6 different countries including New Zealand, Australia, and the USA. Her life experience means she brings a world of humanity and imagination to her writing.
Beki Behar – Procession
Rebecca Behar is a French writer, poet and slam performer. She has published fiction and children stories, CDs of poetry and music, philosophy and literary criticism. Recent book published : “Poèmes urbains” (Edilivre)
Amanda Eakin – The Broken Repairman
Amanda Eakin is an Ashland University graduate who enjoys reading, writing, and surreptitiously looking for grammar errors in social media. She taught English for a few years and is currently enjoying her time in a Communication Center for a Fortune 500 company
Trevor Maynard – Take Flight / crushed
Published three books of poetry, the last GREY SUN, DARK MOON, in 2015; appeared in several magazines, as well as performing open mic sessions. Also edited several books of poetry, written and directed plays in London and Edinburgh. Married to Jo, has four children, eight grandchildren, and two cats.

          At 8 o’clock
          At 8 O’clock in the morning
          She saw the sun as a hawthorn
          She saw the cloud as an oleander
          She saw the chimney as a river
          Who did appear over there?
          Surprised, on crutches was an old man
          Sitting in a boat along a canal
          Singing aloud an odd song —
          In front of me there is a devil
          Going to catch the Monkey King
          Going to seize the trip taker
          The devil is weird and tempting
          She is a White Bone Demon
          At 8 O’clock, this morning …

          Cigeng Zhang

37 poets from 12 Countries Canada, China, England, France, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Malaysia, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, USA, and Wales THE POETIC BOND VI

Key of Mist. Guadalupe Grande.Translated.Amparo Arróspide.Robin Ouzman Hislop Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop the Babble of the Souk

Nominated for the Push Cart Prize. Africa North. A Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop

  Africa North is an excerpt from the collected poems All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
Solstice winds, rain return in spells
a moon waxes full, dogs howl as well.
All the babble of the Souk
men over there, over there women.
All the life of the planet
so little part of it that i breathe.
Weather beaten highlands, once passed through.
The river bed, no more like a parched bone
its late autumnal river meanders as a vein
past four reservoirs
a quest that will end in winter´s flood.
Between them are momentary mists
where brightly clad figures of the north, suddenly dim.
On the frontier’s beach taxis come, go
only the stranded remain, together with the seagulls
four men huddled, drenched in pouring rain
dead once more, again, all pathways home
washed away, again. A broken song
Remember me, sung in a doorway
brings the world at large together
as suddenly as it narrows.
Water runs on marble
nakedness revealed, nakedness concealed
form water words, water memories, mists, fates.
Veins wrestle the marble into mangled knots
blemished pearls on an implacable skin
shards leaving fragmentary traces
empty spaces awaiting faces.
Lights dance in the night, picturesque
“casas blancas del pueblo”
appear through the darkness
as the brush strokes of my mind steal the action of the shadow.
Mists cordon the mountain tops
guerdoned crowns like wreathes.
Ancient fields’ still colours surrounded
by burgeoning new lead to the valley below.
Old women, old as aglow, so slow they go
poised aloof in an untouchable world, trapped.
High in kiln firelight they cowl night’s shade
to oversee goats on the hill beneath.
Daughters of necessity naked in the rock
unleashed in white trefoil in the marsh
swamp of night rain, stark where epochs
sleep in their shadows.
Replication of memories, where the old
becomes the new, a world splits in two
with Morpheus in the breach.
Beyond control, beyond reach the erratic butterfly
flits bloom to bloom, the intrepid stalker with net
both captured in the mimic mould.
A knot is tied, a knot that wrestles
embraces, that ravels birth
unravels death & binds its existence.
Her face is as if a moon glazed over
with a less serene ceramic dust that in the end
after its perplexity contains its surety.
She draws her forefinger laterally across
under her eye lid in a smear
nor can you change the image of what you are
in the pupil of her eye.
Babble bodies blur
voices with their echoes down the street
sky high, prices fly
a bird song breaks, a splash charade.
Faces in the rain thin
weakness of watery years.
A winnowing canvass tosses corn
as fireflies in the blazing day.
The hag in her rags begs her bag
holding all shadows to account.
You sit in the solitary corner
at the empty dice board
to throw, as the music swells, as strings play.
On the washing line clothes of all shapes
sizes are waiting to be filled
suspended between earth, sky, where white sheets blow.
A twinge of nostalgia flashes
a link between a fluttering curtain
an open window frame, a sun shadow game
a flickering apparition pattern leaving only – strands.
A breeze flutters an open foolscap on the table
as though a phantom reader
should flick with regard through a score of notes
then stops at the first blank white sheets
stays, the moving hand that wrote, wrote no more.
On record, old honky-tonk goes on
amidst the heaps of consumer city sneakers
in the same dust where faces
turn from their spring red lustre to a sun soiled wear
Through a beehive of alleys
names, aye to fetch them home again
as if where the countless dead resided, you’d said
in a market of women shrouded in shawls.
Berlin falls, Baghdad falls
all the years turn to further tears
further fears to merge with your voyage
the shape of dreams to come
to be only endearments of what has gone before.
A flower opens after a thousand years in a shell of tears
indifferent to its beholders’ sight
who paint it with the colours from the waters of their night
on an unknown shore, to whose sight it opened once before.
Children’s faces like radiant imps
play carefree in the streets below
overhead on red tiles, fat pigeons bicker, coo.
In an internet cafe, an Arab girl discrete in headdress
plays with cartoon molecules of Mickey Mouse
Koala bear
nubile women’s faces dream of nudity in their shrouds.
Wonky pinz nez specs, jumble sale clothes
bad teeth, unshaven grin
looking a faded duplicate of a down
out James Joyce with the come on
are you Irish, he asks
perhaps he was once upon a time.
They came through the cleft of the mountain
– where the river ran
to swim as a blur in the naked purple of the eye.
On the mountain face there is a scar
once a sacred place, now extinct, as they are.
Yet wild still she runs, amidst the sheep, goats
toils at the hearth, dutifully bears children
yesterday she knows but not tomorrow
where she hides her sorrow.
Even as he ploughs the hillside
a photo will steal his soul, but his beasts will do.
Twilight’s girls, girls, girls
throng the bustling street corners eating caracoles.
By day the olive tree green in the blue sky of the window
seems almost immortal enriched with the blood
it’s enriched, now at its roots.
Costa de la playa, white beehives in the sun, all money, no honey.
In the broken lights of the bazaar
the dusky eyes of the beggar sunk in their sockets
maze in crooked cul de sacs embargo amidst
the furls of silk that foil the flickering lantern niche.
In the gloaming a solitary reaper reaps its shadow.
Streets packs ravage carcasses
at dawn, the city wakes to the city’s obedience
to obey its disappearing shadows.
A ghost city of watchers
watched as shadows by a memory that has outlived them
now fragments in an admixture of old, new
amidst a junk yard of rubble
watcher shadows phased captive to their fading stories.
The street’s mechanics of the day
obey their limits, patterns of parts
where we end only to start in a series of nows.
Post mortem of the world at large
an autopsy of ghosts on the slab.
Born to see, in the boutiques people seem
like their own mannequins
existence is a mystery with no purpose

      only we endow it with a destiny, it does not seek from us.

Robin Portrait July Sotillo 2016 by Amparo
Robin Ouzman Hislop
is on line Editor at, & Poetry Life & Times, his recent publications include Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review (Appalachian University, N.Carolina), The Poetic Bond Volumes, Phoenix Rising from the Ashes (an international anthology of sonnets) and The Honest Ulsterman.
His last publications are a volume of collected poems All the Babble of the Souk & Key of Mist, a translation from Spanish of the poems by the Spanish poetess Guadalupe Grande, both are published by and available at all main online tributaries. For further information about these publications with reviews and comments see
Author Robin..

Key of Mist. Guadalupe Grande.Translated.Amparo Arróspide.Robin Ouzman Hislop Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop the Babble of the Souk

Nominated for the Push Cart Prize. Key of Mist. A Poem by Guadalupe Grande. Translated from Spanish.

Poetry Life and Times
  Key of Mist is an excerpt from the collected poems Key of Mist

                                                                  KEY of MIST


Behind the fence there´s a ditch
and behind the ditch
there´s a chest devastated by the journey.
Who arrives here and how
and after perhaps?
Who arrives and says and names
and leaves their hands stuck to this fence
as stamps are stuck to envelopes,
to return where 
to return to then
to return to later, never again?
       The compass rose rolls amongst the rubble,
       rolls on the banks of gravel,
       on the edge of ash,
       and leaves its petals of distance,
       its shipwreck of durum-wheat and pollen,
       beneath the wheels of the car which has just passed.
Time for the word time
         amidst the rubble of the tower of babel.


But now there´s the ditches:
       water ditches
       light ditches
       gas ditches
       ditches for words.
I am spelling
while telling myself
that it can´t be today,
that there is too much rush,
that life´s a disaster
or nonsense
or a useless disquiet,
and due to that, today there´s no time:
                                                             time for nothing, time for what.


I open the door, switch on the light,
turn on the tap:
I´d like to know whom to call.
The sound of traffic enters through the window;
I hear the rumours of travellers
I listen to the sound of the inhabitants
         and builders
                           of this language without words.


I speak in gurgles
as if a key of mist
were laid across my throat,
a key fogged up by noise,
a key flooded by light,
      a gas key
      a water key
      a doorless key,
      a definitely shadowy key
buried inside my throat,
in the ditch of my bewildered throat.


Behind each fence there is a ditch,
behind each ditch there is a journey.

         The compass rose crosses
         the city tunnels:
         from its smoky petals it brings
         forth mossy farewells,
         the empire of forget-me-nots,
         paper for unwritten letters,
         humiliated stamps
         and a devastated chest in the building 
         of music
                       or language
                                           or city noise.

Under the asphalt of these roads
the tower of babel grows
sad and useful.


I turn on the tap in the kitchen
and while water runs through the sink
I wonder which words 
this thread of order and cleanliness is spelling,
which key I should switch to, to understand
the language of fences, the language
of ditches,
the underground sound
of migrating birds
opening without any key this city´s gates,
           without a key,
           at last, 
                                      at last.



Detrás de la valla hay una zanja
y detrás de esa zanja
hay un pecho desolado en el viaje.
¿Quién llega hasta aquí y cómo
y luego tal vez?
¿Quién llega y dice y nombra
y deja sus manos pegadas a esta valla,
como se pegan los sellos a las cartas,
para volver a dónde
para volver a entonces
para volver a luego nunca más?

Rueda la rosa de los vientos por los escombros,
rueda a la orilla de la grava,
al borde de la ceniza,
y deja sus pétalos de distancia,
su polen náufrago y candeal,
bajo las ruedas del coche que acaba de pasar.

Tiempo para la palabra tiempo
        entre los escombros de la torre de babel.


Pero ahora están las zanjas:
        zanjas de agua,
        zanjas de luz,
        zanjas de gas,
        zanjas para las palabras
que pronuncio
mientras me digo
que hoy no puede ser,
que hace mucha prisa,
que la vida es un desastre
o un disparate
o un desasosiego inútil,
debido a lo cual hoy no hay tiempo:
         tiempo para nada, tiempo para qué.


Abro la puerta, enciendo la luz,
abro el grifo:
quisiera saber a quién llamar.
Entra el sonido del tráfico por la ventana;
oigo el rumor de los viajeros,
escucho el sonido de los habitantes
           y de los constructores
                    de este idioma sin palabras.


Hablo a borbotones,
como si tuviera una llave de niebla
atravesada en la garganta,
una llave empañada por el ruido,
una llave anegada por la luz,
         una llave de gas,
         una llave de agua,
         una llave sin puerta,
         una llave definitivamente umbría,
enterrada en mi garganta,
en la zanja de mi desconcertada garganta.


Detrás de cada valla hay una zanja,
detrás de cada zanja hay un viaje.
         La rosa de los vientos cruza
         los túneles de la ciudad:
         trae entre sus pétalos de humo
         el musgo de las despedidas,
         el imperio de los nomeolvides,
         papel para cartas no escritas,
         humillados sellos
         y un pecho desolado en la construcción
         de la música

                           o el lenguaje
                                             o el ruido de la ciudad.
Bajo el asfalto de estas calles
crece la torre de babel
triste y útil.


Abro el grifo en la cocina
y mientras corre el agua por el fregadero
me pregunto qué palabras pronuncia
este hilo de orden y limpieza,
qué llave debo abrir para entender
el lenguaje de las vallas, el idioma
de las zanjas,
el sonido subterráneo
de las aves migratorias
que abren sin llave alguna las puertas de esta ciudad,
         sin llave,
         por fin,
                                por fin.


Madrid, 1965.

She has written the following books of poetry: El libro de Lilit (1995), La llave de niebla (2003), Mapas de cera (2006) and Hotel para erizos (2010).
She has been translated into French in the book Métier de crhysalide (translation by Drothèe Suarez and Juliette Gheerbrant (2010) and into Italian, in the volume Mestiere senza crisalide (translation by Raffaella Marzano (2015). She made the selection and translation of La aldea de sal (2009), an anthology of Brazilian poet Lêdo Ivo, together with poet Juan Carlos Mestre.
Her creative work extends to the territory of photography and visual poetry.
Amparo Arróspide (Argentina) has published five poetry collections: Presencia en el Misterio, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos y algunos poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar and En el oído del viento, as well as poems, short stories and articles on literature and films in anthologies and international magazines. She has translated authors such as Francisca Aguirre, Javier Díaz Gil, Luis Fores and José Antonio Pamies into English, together with Robin Ouzman Hislop, who she worked with for a period as co-editor of Poetry Life and Times, a Webzine. Her translations into Spanish of Margaret Atwood (Morning in the Burned House), James Stephens (Irish Fairy Tales) and Mia Couto (Vinte e Zinco) are in the course of being published, as well as her two poetry collections Hormigas en diáspora and Jacuzzi. She takes part in festivals, recently Transforming with Poetry (Leeds) and Centro de Poesía José Hierro (Getafe).
Robin Portrait July Sotillo 2016 by Amparo
Robin Ouzman Hislop is on line Editor at, & Poetry Life & Times, his recent publications include Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review (Appalachian University, N.Carolina), The Poetic Bond Volumes, Phoenix Rising from the Ashes (an international anthology of sonnets) and The Honest Ulsterman. His last publications are a volume of collected poems All the Babble of the Souk & Key of Mist, a translation from Spanish of the poems by the Spanish poetess Guadalupe Grande, both are published by and available at all main online tributaries. For further information about these publications with reviews and comments see Author Robin..

Key of Mist. Guadalupe Grande.Translated.Amparo Arróspide.Robin Ouzman Hislop Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of