Conformal Mapping.Poem.Sonnet.Vera Rich(1936-2009)



I cannot come to you without a sleep,

And travelling through sleep, I cannot know

If through one firm continuum I go.

Night is an involution which may keep

 Strange secrets, map our plane from sphere to sphere,

 And though we travel post-stage, can we swear

 Nights in strange inns preserve invariant “there”

 And “thither”? One brief day embeds our “near”.

 So, meeting, can we claim a mundane path

 Maps me to you in spatial translation?

 Rise with the dawn – however swift we run,

 Time draws its radius around each hearth,

 And hence we meet, sped by night’s transformation

 Where children dream gold lands beyond the sun.



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 Her anthology of Belarusian poetry, Like Water, Like Fire, published by UNESCO, was subsequently withdrawn under pressure from the Soviet Union.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)


This sonnet and bibliography is pre-published with the permission of the Editor-in-chief from:

Richard Vallance, editor-in-chief. 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 Presse, Victoria, B.C., Canada. © 2013. approx. 240 pp. ISBN Hardcover: 978-1-4602-1700-9 Price: $28.00 Paperback: 978-1-4602-1701-6 Price: $18.00 e-Book: 978-1-4602-1702-3 Price: TBA

300 sonnets & ghazals in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese & Persian.

30 sonnets in this anthology are to be pre-published by our permission in Poetry Life & Times (UK) which has exclusive sole rights prior to the publication of the anthology itself. Readers may also contact Richard Vallance, Editor-in-Chief, at: for further information.



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Coming to Terms. Sonnet. Poem. Catherine Chandler


I set aside my white smocked cotton blouse,

 my pants with the elastic belly panel.

The only music in the empty house

strains from a distant country western channel.

My breasts are weeping. I’ve been given leave –

a week in which to heal and convalesce.

I peel away the ceiling stars; unweave

the year I’d entered on your christening dress.

 I rearrange my premises – perverse

assumptions! – gather unripe figs; throw out

 the bloodied bedclothes; scour the universe

 in search of you. And God. And go about

 my business as my crooked smile displays

 the artful look of ordinary days.



Catherine Chandler

Catherine Chandler (1950 ― ), an American-born Canadian poet, teacher and translator and graduate of McGill University, is winner of the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award 2010, and nominee for six Pushcart Prizes, the Griffin Poetry Prize and the 2013 Poets’ Prize. She is the author of five books of poetry, the latest, Glad and Sorry Seasons, forthcoming from Biblioasis Press. Her poems, translations, essays, reviews, interviews and podcasts have been widely published in print and online books, journals and anthologies, including The Alabama Literary Review, Orbis, Quadrant, Iambs and Trochees, Measure, Able Muse, Raintown Review, Sonnetto Poesia and The Centrifugal Eye. Catherine writes sonnets because it is her way of trying, as she writes in her sonnet “Sonnet Love”, “to modulate unmanageable grief”. Her website, The Wonderful Boat, welcomes visitors at

“Coming to Terms” by Catherine Chandler, is the winner of the 2010 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. It now appears in 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.

Some 300 sonnets and ghazals in English, French, Spanish,German and Farsi―publish at Friesen Press. Canada 2014. ISBN: Hard-cover: 978-1-4602-1700-9 Paperback: 978-1-4602-1701-6 eBook: 978-1-4602-1702-3. Available at Amazon & Barnes & Noble

 We urge readers of these sonnets in Poetry Life & Times  from The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes = Le Phénix renaissant deses cendes to visit the site

Readers may also contact Richard Vallance, Editor-in-Chief, at: for further information.



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Fireworks. Sonnet.Poem.Candice James


Bold fireworks splashed against a blackened sky
Flared up to burn night down to raw red dawn.
We travelled light with broken compass nigh,
With nothing left of value we could pawn.
We trusted in the knowledge of the wind,
And drifted on the wet silk of her lip,
Until our vows of love became unpinned.
Untangled heartbeats.  Unjoined at the hip.
An ancient masterpiece now out of fashion,
We spun beneath the axis of the moon.
Two star crossed lovers in a web of passion,
We witnessed midnight crashing into noon.
Erased, we’re the collision of two comets;
New ink stains blurred on antiquated sonnets.
Candice James was born in New Westminster, BC and is a poet, artist, musician, and 
She is currently serving her second  three year term as Poet Laureate of the City of 
New Westminster.
President of Royal City Literary Arts Society
Advisory Board Member Muse International (India)
Advisory Board Member of the Federation of BC Writers
Past President of the Federation of BC Writers
Author of 7 poetry books:
”A Split In The Water”; 
“Inner Heart – a journey”; 
“Bridges and Clouds”; 
“Midnight Embers – a Book of Sonnets”
“Shorelines” – a book of villanelles 
“Ekphrasticism – Painted Words”
“Purple Haze” 
Awards Received
Writers International Network “Distinguished Poet 2013”
Pentasi B – Phillippines  “Woman of Prestige 2013”
Honorary Professor International Academy of Arts (Greece)
Keynote speaker/panelist at
“Word On The Street” Vancouver, BC
“Black Dot Roots Cultural Collective” Vancouver, BC
“Write On The Beach” White Rock, BC
“Writers’ Etc” Los Angeles, CA
Phoenix  Book Image

This Sonnet Fireworks appears in the 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. 
Vallance, Richard, Ed-in-Chief. Victoria, British Columbia: Friesen Press, ©
Some 300 sonnets and ghazals in English, French, Spanish, German and Farsi published at 
Friesen Press, and now available.   
Friesen Press will do all the marketing and distribution. 
To be available in major bookstores & through all major online order channels 
such as,, Smithsbook's, Ebay and Barnes & Noble: 
For more information on the anthology, please visit our site. 
The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes = Le Phénix renaissant de ses cendres

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Near and Far.The Teratogen Sonnet Series. Poem. Video. Norman Ball


“The death camps were not built in the Gobi Desert. And when barbarism challenged, the humanities, the arts, philosophic thought proved not only largely impotent but often collaborative with despotism and massacre,”

–George Steiner, from ‘A New Literacy’, The Kenyon Review, 24:1, Winter 2007, 10-24


Teratogen 1: Sex on the Brain


“Thy nakedness shall be uncovered,

yea, thy shame shall be seen…”—Isaiah 47:3


This mission is a sin. What kind of spaz-

tic draws vigor from pornographic veins

or penis-headed parodies of ass?


But you’re no baby, Baby. Holy weans

alive, I could not diaper your fine mess.

You soil all metaphor. I’ll author blame:

My labs, my country tis of thee. My shame

is writ uncovered on your face. No less

you’d scare Sears’ portrait guy.


And yet I’m drawn

to parse the prick that promenades your head.

They told us, Horus, Set, the Golden Dawn:


a Third Eye—neither naked, neither dead

of shameless form would, near the end, arrive

commending those whose fear brought it alive.


Teratogen 2: Cabbage Patch Moll


“Hence world picture, when understood

essentially, does not mean a picture of the

world but the world conceived and grasped

as picture.” –Martin Heidegger


You vandalize distress at no small cost

through nylon skein and cabbage patch

disguise. This manhunt though is long since lost.

All have been found. First paparazzi snatched


unguarded moments. Then we watched gray puffs

televise precision. Your face

is pixelated aftermath that stuffs

everything in the close-up. Common place


covers all bases. Where’s the intimate

to hide? The convict is a partial judge

on all subjects of visual merit. Split

my screen and your forehead suggests a smudge-

print. We share the mounting headcount’s ripe bruise.

For I no longer feel eyewitness news.


Teratogen 3: Thumbelina, Dance


“…advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.” –from Project for a New American Century (PNAC) Manifesto, 2000


We vet foot bills. Are pissed-on borders worth

a mongrel birth? doG gone us Pentagon.

Hotdog Girl rolls so we might rule the earth?


Our barking men of outrage are all gone.

Lassie’s come home to her unleashing hour.

Stream? I cannot stream out into the streets.

Fluoride neutered all my upright power.

I’ll litter no more dog-days in these sheets.


Poor pup, you play dead well. No, we’ll not lift

you up. One burp and you could well explode

across complicit shoulders. To the swift

life opens up. As for an honest road

with cars to chase, let’s first define your legs.

Right now you are a thumb. How motion begs.


Teratogen 4: Waterboy


“No, you people are drinkin’ the wrong water.”

–from The Water Boy, the movie (1998)


 Suffer this baby floating on the earth

amphibious. Grace alone can mend

fluidic pustules. Please make haste. No berth

so wide of God, nor time-belabored End-


time should deflate ascent. Prospects look grim

for god-speed. Though we tire of boils and sore



Oh procrastinating seraphim,

whitewash no more. These mutants wash ashore.

Our amniotic seas now euthanize.


Please hear, oh Lord, water-boy’s gurgled cries.

His isotopic lungs cannot advance

beyond collapse. How does he stand a chance

of reaching Heaven, waterlogged on Earth?

The New Disorder liquefies at birth.


Teratogen 5: Burpee Girl


“Satan said: ‘I am not the one to prostrate

myself to a human being, whom You created

from sounding clay of altered black smooth

mud.” –Quran 15:30-35


Christian soldier, you battle your mortgage

with Abd al-Chuckee puppet-strings away,

sculpted like a Mujaheedin porridge

from amber waves of O, so gamma ray.


Our acronym-cadavers cyphered this.

The Pentagon got wind of ill-wind skies.

Re-baseline victory. All vectors miss

these eyesores too contained to leak out cries.


Children, don’t play! The cradle robs the grave

before the grave has time to rob your wild

unripened stares. Uranium defiled

His altered mud. God’s breath we, breathless, waive.


Dead verse tomatoes horror. Who’ll baptize

the Burpee Girl with ovulating eyes?


Teratogen 6: Improvised Existential Denouement (IED)


Up close you could be anybody’s child-

care scandal. Hamburger Hill limps beside

your fresh pink meat. While no one looked, life filed

your backstroke down to blisters. They will hide

your books in study hall. Who will arrest


this mutant form now terrorizing cells?

Without a clear and sewn-up threat the West

cannot hold the line. Deformity spells


doom. No tight-knit group of key advisors

props up your bloated puppet-string regime.

Sit up. Exude malevolence. Your sores

must find themselves else war will lose its steam


pressed irony. Don’t make us make Big Macs.

Cater our events. Weather our attacks.


Teratogen 7: Baby Skeletor (Brought to You by ‘Masters of the Universe’)


“Skeletor’s face accidentally got splashed with acid and he sacrificed his face to

survive.” –from ‘Masters of the Universe’, a Mattel media franchise


Before ill-winds impinged on faultless weather,

I had a barrow glazed with rain for you.

I’d wheel you to the bus-stop, but why lever

a father’s guilt atop your unhinged glue?


I’m loath to hold you up for God to see,

nor shower you with blue comforts. Why not flee

my too-short arms, your wails so out of key?

You scream small monster none the least at me.


I’ll prop you up at school if you insist.

But stand-up kids are cruel. They will resist

the womb’s last weapon, shrunken in their midst.

The universe won’t stoop. You are the grist

for chemistry swept under bazaar rug,

a Hazmat spill, the morning-after drug.
This series first appeared in The New Formalist, then Cinemension. Teratogen sonnets 5 and 7 will appear in ‘The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of sonnets of the early third millennium Friesen Press, Victoria, B.C., Canada, 2013.
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 All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop

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Free Fall. Poem. Sonnet by Michael R Burch

These cloudless nights, the sky becomes a wheel 
where suns revolve around an axle star …
Look there, and choose. Decide which moon is yours. 
Sink Lethe-ward, held only by a heel. 

Advantage. Disadvantage. Who can tell? 
To see is not to know, but you can feel 
the tug sometimes: the gravity, the shell 
as lustrous as damp pearl. You sink, you reel 

toward some draining revelation. Air: 
too thin to grasp, to breath. Such pressure. Gasp. 
The stars invert, electric, everywhere. 

And so we fall, down-tumbling through night’s fissure: 

two beings pale, intent to fall forever 
around each other—fumbling at love’s tether …
now separate, now distant, now together.

Originally published by Sonnet Scroll

Mike Burch Face Book_n
Michael R. Burch’s poems, translations, essays, articles and letters have appeared more than 2,000 times in publications which include TIME, USA Today, Writer’s Digest and hundreds of literary journals and websites. His poetry has been translated into Arabic, Czech, Farsi, Gjuha Shqipe, Italian, Macedonian, Russian, Turkish and Vietnamese. He also edits

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