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.
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The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes = Le Phénix renaissant de ses cendres
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
http://www.amazon.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
www.lulu.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
in the secret world of dreaming
and she comes, also,
when reverie descends,
like so much summer rain,
to occupy the day itself.
unmasked, a deluge, disarming.
In the earliest of hours,
she is the promise of the sun.
At noon, she describes the night,
replete with wine and roses.
for the whimsies of deniers,
decriers, the deities of decorum.
She comes not to advance,
to enhance, to embellish
the shores of sanctimony.
the virtues of love, the verities
of which are more than mirrors
affixed to their walls,
the same reflecting but the rigid rule
of their perfidious page.
to avow. Here to deter the dagger and
the dart, fulfilling the heart, engaging
the soul, she courts her cause,
on a bed that’s ablaze, burning, a blaze,
burning, burning, burning!
In books by Christie, Sayers and Ngaio Marsh
the mystery writer observes this dictum:
A man or woman, venal cruel and harsh,
shot, stabbed or poisoned, must be the first victim.
With Corpse Number Two, the rules relax;
A kindly person, warm, or even saintly,
dispatched (so the “perp” can cover his tracks)
for sensing whodunit, however faintly.
Henceforth, clues and alibis alike are flimsy —
has someone stolen Madam’s secateurs?
If so, why do Alleyn, Poirot or Wimsey
deduce the fingerprints they bear are hers?
Yet how they charm! Stale plots, dull dialogue,
Manor house murders and footsteps in fog.
The new ones differ — brilliant PD James
created a brooding detective-poet.
Anne Perry’s historical oeuvre proclaims
Victorians were kinky, though loath to show it.
The kudos trenchant Ruth Rendell has garnered
extend to her alias, Barbara Vine,
and sly diabolical Robert Barnard
lampoons England’s bleak, bureaucratic decline.
Where once the motives were classic and clean —
the quartet: love, loathing, lucre and lust —
now sociopathy dominates the scene;
victims dismembered, leather-clad and trussed.
The grey cells are augmented in our day
by Freud and forensics and DNA.
Image: ‘Darwin’s Tree of Life’ [from public domain image, drawn by Darwin]
(i.) Their Massive God
(ii.)The Noble Love of Freedom
(iii.) To Inhabit the Fields of Time
Poems by Ian Irvine (Hobson), copyright all rights reserved.
Please Note: many of these poems meditate upon or, in some cases rework/recombine, random phrases appearing in the 2nd edition of Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle. The first edition of the work appeared in 1839. I hope I have done some justice to the natural lyricism evident in Darwin’s relaxed prose style.
Their Massive God
Whether I killed their God,
one and massive.
book-tombed, with chiselled words
on granite—his puny reign,
was not the issue.
Mine was the gambler’s fear, for
the mist-wrapped hull of the new
drifts only slowly into view
contrasts with the rotting hulk of God
(as slowly sinking).
How will they endure
this unbearable in-between?
The Noble Love of Freedom
In the forest,
with huge butterflies
among horses and men
such brilliant colours!
– they flit
I find it dreamy
to think of her
and ignore the granite hills
steep and bare
They tell a story
steep and bare
of runaway slaves
and the moon was dim
(a few fireflies)
and we came upon a desert
followed by a wasteland
of marshes and lagoons
heard the sea’s sullen roar
off in the distance.
We tethered the horses
but they refused to settle.
We tethered the horses
on a sandy plain
next morning, more salt lagoons
and a few stunted trees.
The nights grew hot, and
a dim moon on white sand.
(the exact moment is not recorded)
of a problem with the horses.
We bathed in lakes and lagoons
traversed pastures ruined by ants’ nests
passed forests with lofty trees.
Every morning more horses
bitten and infected
until one evening
I saw it in the gloom
suctioned to a horse’s back
a large vampire bat.
I found it dream-like
blatant in the gloom
(How could I ignore the granite hills?)
But then I saw it
suctioned to a horse’s back
a large vampire bat.
To Inhabit the Fields of Time
The more I observe
‘mother nature’, the less
God I see,
the more in need of a God
I become. Even as I
refuse to believe their
The idea gnaws.
I came upon a parasite
in some distant jungle—
it gives me wild ideas, and though
the doctors work their alchemy
I still feel ‘inhabited’. Besides
my son in a coffin.
So many blind millennia—
and still they refuse to see.
But is my vision true—
unencumbered by faith
(my daughter, my daughter)?
The clear and terrible beauty
of aeons of methodical suffering.
He never did intervene. If
he exists, he’s a patient sadist
or useless as the carnivores
of all ages, thrive and
Ian Irvine is an Australian-based poet/lyricist, fiction writer and non-fiction writer. His work has featured in many Australian and international publications, including Fire (UK) ‘Anthology of 20th Century and Contemporary Poets,’ (2008) which contained the work of poets from over 60 nations.His work has also appeared in a number of Australian national poetry anthologies, and he is the author of three books and co-editor of many more (including Scintillae 2012, an anthology of work by over 50 Victorian and international writers and poets). He currently teaches writing and literature at Bendigo TAFE and Victoria University (Melbourne) and lives with fellow writer Sue King-Smith and their children on a 5 acre block near Bendigo, Australia.
Links related to his work are as follows:
Grasping her hands closely,
I halt my heart
at the edge of her lips
and stare deeper inside
the lava of passion
volcanoes of love.
I let myself slide
through her hand,
deeper into her core.
With each cuddle,
the air shakes with joy;
the clouds of passion
– waves of mountain air
rumble past my soul.
from beneath her core
– a rumbling moan –
fills my ear
and rolls across
my soul and beyond.
And in the tender
air of love
– destiny, direction,
and time seems to
There is only love,
– two tectonic lips
colliding as one.
The earth shakes,
She pulls a flower
from my heart
and lifts it to the sky.
Bhuwan Thapaliya works as an economist, and is the author of four poetry collections. Thapaliya’s books include the recently released Safa Tempo: Poems New and Selected (Nirala Publication, New Delhi), and Our Nepal, Our Pride (Cyberwit.net). Poetry by Thapaliya has been included in The New Pleiades Anthology of Poetry and Tonight: An Anthology of World Love Poetry, as well as in literary journals such as Urhalpool, MahMag, Kritya, FOLLY, The Vallance Review, Nuvein Magazine, Foundling Review, Poetry Life and Times, Poets Against the War, Voices in Wartime, Taj Mahal Review, and more.
Our Nepal, Our Pride
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