Ode to Olivia. By Jack D. Harvey

 

Oh, Olivia, during
what disingenuous dialogue,
getting closer and closer,
you told me
in that bar by the seashore
“pretty good-time girl
comes once, comes often,”
eyelashes shyly lowered,
thick and lustrous,
lowered time and again
to hide the hard eyes
I knew were there.
 
I was surprised by
your interest;
vital with intent,
your lithe body
tilted towards me,
white teeth showing
in a smile, breasts
firm and unfettered
in your summer blouse.
 
Delirious with your fancy magic
I nearly fell off the bar stool,
fell like a fairy-tale frog
clear down to the bottom
of the mossy well, my member
swelling in your favor,
transported to
to your body’s joyful openings,
anticipating
hot and wet,
those ports of entry,
those sweet breasts,
that sweet tongue
flicking between your lips;
promises of things to come.
 
O ye spermy nights of the gods!
 
The rune on our canoe’s tail
says “enter here, ye of little haste”
and willows brush our arms
as we paddle down the river
of ardor and fulfillment
and coming together and
whatever else
we can muster up
from a time of dreams,
from the manna
of this earthly paradise.
 
Olivia, you were brown as a nut
from a summer of sun;
a glamorous summer goddess
there for the taking and still
it came to nothing.
A change of heart,
a parting glance,
and off you went.
 
Your naked this I never saw,
your curly that I never pawed;
alone in the majestic garden
of self I sit stiff and cold
as a block of ice;
a lonesome soldier in a sentry box
waiting for the gate to open;
it never does.
 
Olivia, you left me
as you found me
and just as well
for the both of us.
There we were
in that bar,
and there we are forever,
enshrined, inscribed
like Keats’ Grecian urn,
graceful outlines,
a frieze of some long past event,
at rest in that luminous
wasted moment forever;
no future, no past,
no time at all and
what never happened,
what is not there
just as real
as what is there.

 
 

 
 
Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Typishly Literary Magazine, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and elsewhere. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies.
 
The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.
 
His book, Mark the Dwarf is available on Kindle. https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Dwarf-Jack-D-Harvey-ebook
 
Ode to Olivia first appeared in Ramingo’s Porch
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Exam Week. A Poem by Loukia Borrell

 
 
We were in the middle of finals
and needed a quick getaway, so
we dug out our bathing suits and
packed a cooler with beer and those
hard chocolate chip muffins we
brought back from the cafeteria.
 
I wore a black, polka dot swimsuit
that laced up the front. It was just a
little tight across my tits and, for once,
I had cleavage. My hair looked like
Madonna’s when she did “Like A Virgin,”
even though I wasn’t one. Neither was she.
 
All afternoon, I sunned my young body
on a floating dock and you swam in the lake.
We thought of nothing. Not school, not exams,
not the muffins, not the beer, not our families,
and not our friends who didn’t know where we were.
 
I think of that day when I feel like ending my life.
I have no idea whatever happened to you and don’t
even remember the last time we spoke or saw each other.
All I know is that day. It happened. I remember it.
All afternoon, life was lighter than it has ever been since.
 
I could float.
 
 
 


 
 

Loukia Borrell is the American-born daughter of Greek-Cypriot immigrants. She is a former newspaper journalist. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals in the United States and United Kingdom, including London Grip, Cerasus Magazine, and The Bangor Literary Journal. She tweets @LoukiaBorrell and has a website, loukialoukaborrell.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

My Voice. A Poem & Artwork by Kelly Sargent.

I am Deaf.

My fingers speak.
 

A coiffed paintbrush in my grasp,

my voice streaks turquoise and magenta

across a parched canvas.

Vowels coo through thirsty linen.
 

Click-clacking keys with my mother tongue,

I chew hard consonants

and spit them out.

Sour, a scathing sonnet can be at dusk.
 

Fingertips pave slick exclamations,

punctuated by nails sinking low into clamminess.

I sculpt hyperboles.
 
 

 
 
Bio:
 
Kelly Sargent is an author and artist whose works, including a Best of the Net nominee, have appeared in more than forty literary publications. A poetry chapbook entitled Seeing Voices: Poetry in Motion is forthcoming (Kelsay Books, 2022). A book of modern haiku entitled Lilacs & Teacups is also forthcoming, and a haiku recently recognized in the international Golden Haiku contest is on display in Washington, D.C. She serves as the creative nonfiction and an assistant nonfiction editor for two literary journals. She also reviews for an organization whose mission is to make visible the artistic expression of sexual violence survivors.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

LIFE. A Poem by Amita Sanghavi

 
 
The tear,

The sigh,

The twinkle in the eye.

The whisper,

The wrinkle,

The silent, true story

You and I survive.
 
 
 

 
Amita Sanghavi teaches English in Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat Oman. She is MA from Lancaster University, UK. She is pronounced Ambassador of Poetry to Oman by World Poetry, Canada and Representative of Images & Poetry Art Movement, Italy and Affiliate Researcher at CELCE University of Leeds, UK.
Her poetry book “Lavender Memories” and two edited poetry anthologies were published in 2018, 2020 and 2021 respectively. Her latest book s ‘Astad Deboo: Poetry in Dance’
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

VERISIMILITUDE. 5 Poems by Askold Skalsky

(i.)
 
KEYS IN A ROW
 
Perhaps someone
will play a melancholy
keyboard piece as I am
leaving, and, stopping
to listen, I’ll have a vision
of what is to come if I
linger, if I walk up
to the player, wait,
then ask some pertinent
question with an eager
mien, the seconds gone
when I would have been
outdoors in the clear,
the moment interrupted
with a careless insufficiency,
the scattered patterns
of my life converging
into a broken string,
a clappered wheel
on which the hours
tick and dance to
their inoperable end
 
***
 
to be released from a long
slow slough, much of it
impenetrable like the circle
of a dream manifest as reality,
frightful and avoidable,
a bag in a corridor laced
with shadows and squalor,
which the mere eye of me
is afraid to undo
 
***
 
moving through
the veins, a fire-
ball with dim
obbligatos and
dark copper
bangs, like old
radiator pipes
when the steam
hammers at high
velocity into their
joints, warming
the room and
almost waking
the sleeper from
his sleep
 
***
 
here in this morning’s morning
self-forgotten sullen twang
comes a star gilded and silver,
climbing still like the pine
branches tipped with needle-
frantic green, yes, caught
like a tiny chip on the great
waist of some spectre surface
emerging into the dissolving dark.
 
 
(ii.)
 
LANDSCAPE IN FALLEN LIGHT, WITH CHILDREN
 
Just an unimportant place,
radiant and ordinary,
deserving the utmost scriptory,
with golden quags
up to the knees,
the sun blotting the lough
like streaks of silver haze
settling in a quay.
No need for a raveled sky
of quizzical significance,
the wrangling heads
foundering in the streets,
questing the unending sop
of memory and imprecation
to put life into the big words,
immiserating the ivory dungeon,
as one antinomian calls it,
reduced to bah, to babbling ooze,
slightly ecstatic now and then,
what is preserved
when meaning is deflated,
page after page, of invisibility,
of pity for hope lost
in hell’s sunken bolgias,
or the faces strapped
to the skullbones
of the starving young.
 
(iii.)
 
NOW THEN, THE OPEN EYE
 
August’s close
but I already feel
the solitary cold,
a sleepless place
and zero of the night,
like an infinitive
without an end
and half reluctant
to begin. But solitude
is just a postlude
to the now where all
the wrongs set in,
a moment’s atom
out of kilter,
out of being true,
where finally the heart
may intermit its beat
with careless equanimity
or grave abandonment
like a nimbus
with its watery crystals
of deep ice,
washing the sorrows
from your face,
from all the lineaments
of being you.
 
(iv.)
 
VERISIMILITUDE
 

    After a passage from a novel by Virginia Woolf

 
Somewhere in the middle
I recall a brewer’s cart
and the genial narrator
describing the gray horses
that had upright bristles
of straw stuck in their tails
like sprouting plumes
above the small brown daisies
peeping from their haunches’ clefts.
And a woman, seeing
this slipstream brook
of burblings through her mind,
immediately brightens,
and sorrow drops away
like a feathered colander
sifting the prismatic richness
of her life, kindling with equine
pleasure an infinite hubble-bubble
of mysterious commotion
out of the pernicious flurries
of gone time, a lollop on horsetail
streams with straw-thatched coronets,
whimsical and vagulous,
like sea-green sprites,
bedraggled by happiness
and blessed with silly dreams.
 
(v.)
 
PROBLEM, SOLUTION, ETC.
 
Her academic pedigree
was impressive–Swarthmore,
Columbia and the Sorbonne.
But toward her hundredth year
she confronted her biggest source
of perplexity and vexation,
the state of being weary
and restless through lack of interest,
and began her day
with crossword puzzles,
then the game shows on TV.
Did she return to these
as the day continued to impair
itself by attrition?
Ramakrishna used to rebuke
card-playing oldsters—
Had they nothing better to do
on the verge of their greatest change
of outward form or appearance?
Are crosswords any better?
Should Kurtz have done puzzles
in the dark, filling words into a pattern
of numbered squares in answer
to correspondingly numbered clues
to prevent facing the abyss
before him, the memories in him?
What is a six-letter word
for a painful emotion
compounded of loathing and fear?
 
 

 
 
Originally from Ukraine, Askold Skalsky has published poems in over 300 online and print periodicals in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, mainland Europe, Turkey, Australia, and India. He is the recipient of two Individual Artist Awards in Poetry from the Maryland State Arts Council, and is the founding editor of the literary magazine Hedge Apple. A first book of poems, The Ponies of Chuang Tzu, was published in 2011 by Horizon Tracts in New York City. He is currently at work on several poetry projects, including a poetry cycle based on Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons. A book of poetry, Shapeless Works of Partial Contemplation, is due to be published by Ephemeral Arts Press in November.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)