Debashish is a machine learning scientist, who has been published in literary magazines several
times across the globe, including Poetry Life & Times, where he was interviewed twice.
He is currently contending with a severe writer’s block spanning a decade, when he has hardly
produced any publishable content. He is also losing emotional connection with his own work
gradually, and spends more time to edit/tighten his old poems than creating any new content.
Gypsy Sea Sunrise: necks stretched out like hungry clams lurch for the Ibuprofen emperor whose numb fingers wave loners to café chairs— rivet them to sticky alligator seats, bottom sides textured with chewing gum madness; daydreams pull life’s canopy over sand and foam, seasick tides lick each empowered undertow sheer bag luck burlesques diffident efforts, tête-à-tête conversations revealing epiphany-like promises through opaque glass. Nightfall: along the coastline, bonfires blaze bodies gather, mouths breathe desire, minds re-imagine; moving between cosmic and material worlds, cleaving mustard greens like an armful of roses, a gypsy mystic dances like a whirling dervish toe-ring magic fractures limestone bones unbrushed by feet for millennia bangle bracelets and silver cymbals rouse ever vigilant, sleepy-eyed centurions stand guard over her Technicolor Roma. Sun-up: astronomical dawn signals nocturnal closure, dancing legs and burning feet cease rhythmically rocking shellfish strongholds; dense auburn moss calmly spreads its way south wraps a tranquil riverbed in nature’s sheath guides an Arabesque estuary toward a salt water fiord, lateral moraine, where nourished sediment dwellers burrow home high tides pull ashes, bathe shorelines littered with seaweed, driftwood, memories. Grace For G. M. Grace leaned against parked cars at midnight, full crow moon rays bathing her body in luminescent grandeur. Poised. Seductive. Her touch extended over an embankment like sprouting foxtail seeds resemble ballerinas that float on the breeze and hook into dog paws Fragile. Elastic. Insubstantial. Like bubbles blown from hoops that burst unpredictably, Grace’s rainbow brow sought barn owl benedictions waved goodbye to the summer solstice welcomed the autumnal equinox—a September song that harvested her deeply planted thoughts and sowed them in fields of winter wheat. Wind passed through cedar branches, eclipsed Grace’s mantra of green card foreboding added frivolity and enhanced shorter days and nights both waiting for December to push back twilight’s rays—scatter them in the upper atmosphere—brighten evening skies warm Dawn’s fingers on the rising sun’s heels. Wistful Lulamaes For Audrey Hepburn Tiffany windows display silver platters reflect morning light like vintage mirrors as pedestrians hide behind Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses, dressed to the nines like Holly Golightly pose then study its Manhattan showcase framed by granite walls on Fifth Avenue & 57th Street. Disguised as stylish escorts, men and women peer through double-pane glass, appreciate excess & exotica in equal measure, ponder fleeting holographic images of John the Baptist’s head etched sterling trays murmuring silent prophecies, portend gentle greatness & Big Apple panache for life beyond Sodom’s avenging angels. Truman Capote’s phantom emerges from Central Park shadows wears a white suit & hat, moves forward like a garden snail, maintains a two-block buffer, his high-pitched voice mingling with car horns & cabbies where rainbows end announces breakfast availability to Broadway street singers, Soho artists, moon river enthusiasts, New York tourists, huckleberry friends. Magyar Sleeves “The Colour of my soul is iron-grey and sad bats wheel about the steeple of my dreams.” —Claude Debussy Grooming themselves like cats, bat pups clutch onto their perch upside down, loosen artistic digits emerge from slumber in hollow trees, cave mouths, attic eves & rocky crevices. From inverted roosts, they drop into flight mode as membrane covered forelimbs navigate ultrasonic waves & echolocation identify evening canvases to paint with wings like a brush & palette. Moonlight colonies undercover zig-zag through mist & gnat clouds, rising from depths of stone lined wells, leave watercolor portraits during witching hours as children trick or treat wearing bat capes & cowls.
An award-winning author, poet, and educator, Sterling Warner’s works have appeared in literary magazines, journals, and anthologies including Danse Macabre, Poetry Life and Times, Ekphrastic Review, and Sparks of Calliope. Warner’s collections of poetry include Rags and Feathers, Without Wheels, ShadowCat, Edges, Memento Mori: A Chapbook Redux, Serpent’s Tooth, Flytraps, and Cracks of Light: Pandemic Poetry & Fiction 2019-2022—as well as Masques: Flash Fiction & Short Stories. Currently, Warner writes, participates in “virtual” poetry readings, and enjoys retirement in Washington.
https://www.amazon.com/Cracks of Light: Pandemic Poetry & Fiction
Silver Primroses & Golden Strigiformes Planted by the Curb Carrying your own dead body back to its grave in a dream then happening upon an expired owl stricken & smashed in the street Ominous signs along Five Forks Trickum birth into patterns of indigo & scarlet wildflowers Spirit animals taking a dive before rush hour fevers commence learn to sip from the parched throat of roadkill brunch eating the organs of our own totem Stomach Lining I came to eat the lies you coin and serve them back half bitter across the divide of tables turned I didn’t ask for this evil eye it was forced down my throat from the jump been begging for a bulimic leap ever since Spells of the Stoic Pewter & I will set you (free) here to be made safe by the wizard / window (fly, birdie) black obsidian gray of mind & beard wise & dangerous streaked/laced down the middle balanced of accord (harmony & likewise rhythm) you are the melody of a soft glow Lament of Prey Hello to all the hawks who have yet to have their fill, & the vultures, too, waiting for what’s left over. Spoiled minds & spoiled hearts lead to spoiled guts, but it seems to be that’s what nature intended in this twisted realm of divided time & space. Dog eat dog isn’t even the worst part; it’s flesh unto flesh in the fire. Goodbye to all the dreams that forgot how to conquer, & the visions still yet to crystallize in cancer. Rotten bones & rotten marrow flow in rotten rivers, but that’s the taste acidic blood delivers when signs of sickness flash neon & electric in the night. Tail chase tail isn’t the end of the story; it’s a snake that never sheds the fade to black. Kingdom of Chaos We don’t want your money, just your soul on a silver platter served to order for our warm feast while we spit out your raw famine. We don’t want your respect, just your energy and time, just your mind numbed to the frequency of propagandized pestilence. We don’t want your love, just your heart bled dry as every vein withers in the winter wind while our chalice remains ever full to the point of overflowing. We don’t want your vote, just your faith that such a course of action can actually influence the order in which our puppets dance to a song of chaos upon the public stage. We don’t want your salute, just your obedience, just your hands kept where we can see them while your feet continue marching to the drumbeat of our wars. We don’t want your laws, just your land, just your culture, just your customs, just your heritage, just your traditions snuffed out beneath the global kingdom collectivized at our command.
Scott Thomas Outlar is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. He now lives and writes in Frederick, Maryland. His work has been nominated multiple times for both the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He guest-edited the Hope Anthology of Poetry from CultureCult Press as well as the 2019-2023 Western Voices editions of Setu Mag. He is the author of seven books, including Songs of a Dissident (2015), Abstract Visions of Light (2018), Of Sand and Sugar (2019), and Evermore (2021 – written with co-author Mihaela Melnic). Selections of his poetry have been translated and published in 14 languages. He has been a weekly contributor at Dissident Voice for the past nine years. More about Outlar’s work can be found at 17numa.com