A Late Night Poem About Morning 3 Poems by Kushal Poddar

A Late Night Poem About Morning 

Instead of pasting Goodmorning!
on your lips and ripping out mine
at the first urge to breathe we discover
sending pics.

You send a photo of a strand of my white 
on the black pillow case. A white cane
for a blind lane and for the piers dark with
wetness, water rippling, a few river gulls,
all tide in my mind. Sun walks in my head,
and its sweat beads explode, startle 
our alley cat, pregnant and sad 
as if it already knows the fate of its kittens. 

In a Landscape of Red, White and Grey

The red balloon moon 
keeps the boat afloat.
Snow steps into the slate.

Dream hands over its 
mutinous pamphlets 
to the flesh and drags 
its cold gnawed feet 
towards the ferry.

Now a wind will chase the shine. 
Now I'll wake up with 
a mouthful of slogans 
and "Bella Ciao" stuck in my glottis.

Thirteen Dogs' Piss Mark This Block

The dayspring birds surround silence,
now almost blind, now bewildered
and looking for the home all go in the end
to begin again.

The street lights still burn. The early
tramlines connect the horizon
with the broad mouth of the junction. 
One mad man seeks for the moon beams
last seen electric on these long metals. 
From his left hand hangs a brown teddy 
wrapped in a thin plastic. The locality 
is demarcated by thirteen dogs' piss.
They ask him who he is, and that he doesn't know.

Kushal Poddar ‘The Circus Came To My Island’, ‘A Place For Your Ghost Animals’, ‘Understanding The Neighborhood’, ‘Scratches Within’, ‘Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems’, ‘Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems‘ and ‘Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse-A Prequel’. Find and follow him https://www.amazon.com/Kushal-Poddar The author of ‘Postmarked Quarantine’ has eight books to his credit. He is a journalist, father, and the editor of ‘Words Surfacing’. His works have been translated into twelve languages, published across the globe.
Twitter- https://twitter.com/Kushalpoe

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I Used to Dream I’d Get So High. 3 Poems by James Croal Jackson


purple palm 
trees on your tank 
top       pink fingernails
clutching milkshake
you sip sun
drenched    Polaroid 
aiming into brick 
wall     red curtain
in the breeze palm 
trees    sky
behind you
all of the future in front

Wrap Party at Arsenal Bowl

Last time we were in this spot,
we broke glasses. on the real-or-
fake (which is it?) marble table.

In my memory, the entire
room is burgundy. wine-
tinted, but I won't let

go, the conviction
of all that spilled
that night, my

mouth, my heart,
the sticky nature
of the surface

that we had
yet to place
our hands on.

I Used to Dream I’d Get So High

Last night, I dreamt I stood
on a tall stack of books, gathered
with others around a roof

like we were at a dinner party.
When I glanced down– finally,
from the top of my tenuous skyscraper,

I had to brace my shoe against
the house to keep myself
from falling back into reality,

but I did anyway, repeating
to the guests anxiety, 
anxiety, anxiety.

I used to dream I’d get so high,
anything was possible. I entered a tower,
beelined to the elevator, and pushed 

the button to the top. Sometimes 
the platform was already ascending. 
Sometimes the whole structure was. 

When the doors (if they existed) parted,
the view from the sky was so rich,
I had to be dreaming. Deep tree greens.

Eternal ocean blue. I returned
to this view often, but stopped
near the end of my twenties. I was 

itinerant at the time, my life 
still an open road ahead
of me. A million meanings yet

to interpret. Not yet bogged by
a steady job but not quite steadied,
living off the promises of strangers 

and the engine of my Ford Fiesta, 
emitting exhaust into the atmosphere,

James Croal Jackson is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. His latest chapbooks are A God You Believed In (Pinhole Poetry, 2023) and Count Seeds With Me (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2022). Recent poems are in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Little Patuxent Review, and The Round. He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (jamescroaljackson.com)

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“Grandma”A Poem by Bhuwan Thapaliya

She rose from her makeshift rustic bed

and strained her eyes in the morning sun

shining through termite-eaten windows.

Drank a glass of basil water and then made

her way up a trail on a tough terrain

 to the forest overlooking the Sunkoshi River

 to collect fodder for her cattle.

An old kerosene lamp hangs in the window

of an abandoned building and carved wooden deities

flank a rickety gate. Poor eyesight, back permanently bent

from the burden of heavy loads, feet deformed

and ravaged by walking barefoot on rough terrain,

she looked older than her ancestral deity on a hilltop nearby.

Dry corn leaves rustled underfoot. She picked one

and rubbed it in her palms, smiling at herself

and kneeled down to quench her thirst from a

little burbling creek neighboring her path.

Thereafter, she hastened her pace humming

her favorite song, sung by her mother

when she was young.

“Plant a tree, then another, then many more. 

Maybe we will be able to cleanse the world.”

Every time when she hums this song,

she feels her mother humming it with her too.  

Whistling, she walked deep inside the forest 

and soon her doko was fully fodder crammed.

She looked at the deep blue sky and grinned

as a little girl with rhododendron flowers

in her hands high up in the Himalayas

and then sauntered slowly down the hill,

carrying heavy doko on her back with the namlo straps

on her forehead smiling at her neighbors

showing her uneven teeth, as they prepare

to spread animal fertilizer on their fields.

On the back of her polka-dotted cow,

there was a little bird.

The cows mooed loudly after seeing her.

She fed the cattle and then went inside the kitchen

to cook dal, bhat and tarkari.

In the adjoining room, her hungry children were

already getting ready for their school. 



Bhuwan Thapaliya is a poet writing in English from Kathmandu, Nepal. He works as an economist and is the author of four poetry collections. His poems have been published in Wordcity Literary Journal, Pendemics Literary Journal, Poetry Life and Times, Trouvaille Review, Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic Initiative(Witnessing Global Pandemic is an initiative sponsored by the Poetic Media Lab and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University), International Human Rights Art Festival, Poetry and Covid: A Project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, University of Plymouth, and Nottingham Trent University, Pandemic Magazine, The Poet, Valient Scribe, Strong Verse, Jerry Jazz Musician, VOICES ( Education Project), Longfellow Literary Project, Poets Against the War among many others

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Excerpts from Strokes of Solace Collected Poems by Sanjeev Sethi


In long-established fasteners
of familial zippers, 
my aloneness leaves me unfurled. 
We are so easily robbed 
when we give ourselves to others. 
Who will want to be a professional boxer 
if epistaxis is the only reward? 
When kindness is home, 
no-one eyes the egress.


Thuribles of trust coax me to be myself.
In the calm of auroral currents, I inhale 
without worry. In the noise of many 
truths, I choose my assailants.

One’s moral compass is as good as guilt 
permits it. Whetted by His workbook, 
outcomes are unwemmed, though our 
daemon is lame as our lapses.


I negate the truths they tell me 
about myself, 
a trick I learned early in
game of one-upmanship. 
Whigmaleeries twist on
the dance floor of inclinations, 
I plié myself out of them, 
an exercise practitioners 
of the deadpan imbibe.
The closeness of tanzanite beads 
crumble at the shrine of surmises.


Raked on coals 
by an unseen powerhouse
it seems I am always 
in a sedulous cauldron. 
Chefs of caliber 
add merit and material 
to create a masterpiece. 
When visitants drop by
I garnish the viands,
with poise 
and accept the praise.

Editor’s Note: A month before the release of Wrappings in Bespoke, Strokes of Solace(Strokes of Solace, CLASSIX, an imprint of Hawakal, New Delhi, July 2022) was published.

Sanjeev Sethi has authored seven books of poetry. His latest is Wrappings in Bespoke (The Hedgehog Poetry Press, UK, August 2022). He has been published in over thirty countries. His poems have found a home in more than 400 journals, anthologies, and online literary venues. He edited Dreich Planet #1, an anthology for Hybriddreich, Scotland, in December 2022. He is the joint winner of the Full Fat Collection Competition-Deux, organized by Hedgehog Poetry Press, UK. In 2023, he won the First Prize in a Poetry Competition by the prestigious National Defence Academy, Pune. He was recently conferred the 2023 Setu Award for Excellence. He lives in Mumbai, India. X/ Twitter @sanjeevpoems3 || Instagram sanjeevsethipoems

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