воскресенье, 1 декабря 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 30

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 30


are not carved in the bark of trees,
they are neither drawn in caves nor set in stone.
They are ships that drift into the endless sky;
      frightened by the morning breeze.

are like withering flowers
stuck between the pages of dusty books;
they are healing bruises on a weary skin;
             turning into pallid scars.

they are evanescent butterflies;
fading lines of letters to our aging selves;
burning leaves; pathways hidden in the wilds;
           echoing through darkened lanes.

...and the strings of our hearts
still remember the old melody
with the lyrics written in the sand:

when we sing, when we play,
to the seashore comes the tide of times,
and the memories are washed away...

пятница, 29 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 29

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 29

Paid in Full

Mercy is power:
hiding inside commercial, partly
formed into sounds comme merci.
Mercy is power.

Mercy is womanly:
stronger than it appears, only
sharper than any blade or spear.
Mercy is womanly.

Mercy comes quietly:
stepping on every fear lightly,
washing away salt from tears.

Mercy comes quietly.

четверг, 28 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 28

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 28

He really must be a bird

He waltzes around in his swallowtail,
almost sprouting wings,

I am at his beck and call, as he smiles
and whispers some lovely things.

Graceful and cocky, with those of his kind
he easily flocks together,

in twitter he's better than two in the bushes,
he's always in high feathers.

As high as he makes them fly at our home,
once they are ruffled best;

soon there is one in his cap, and he could
have knocked me out with the rest;

in case I have any, he clips my wings,
and shrugs water off his back.

"Some things will never fly," I say,
"however loud they quack."

I leave him on the sofa, probably
wondering what I mean

when I tell him to go to bed with the chickens
and get up with roosters 
instead of me.

среда, 27 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 27

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 27


I love the most the ones I know.
I don't know many.

To those few I give my love.
If I have any.

Among those few is you, and I
may sound vocal,

but there is God to love the world - 
my love is local.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 26

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 26

Subjectivity of Freedom


Free choice is not your invention,
neither is grace of forgiveness:
they are not yours to offer.

Wherever your good intentions
lead you, follow them closely:
leave me alone to suffer.
I'd rather be choice-free than choice-less.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 25

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 25

of Earth and Plant 

Your skin is rough against my touch.
New life will still fight its way through
and offer tender malachite stalks
to lacing whips of raging sky.

New life will elbow its way through: 
you raise it well, you turn your back
to lacing lips of raging sky,
drink up the pain. New life is strong.

You raise it well, you stretch your back
towards the sun until it's down.
Drink up the rain - new life is strong.
The water seeps into the air

towards the moon until it's down;
you welcome flames of rising fire,
the water dies into the air -
alive again on waking leaves.
Pantoum remix of "Elemental song"

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 24

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 24

dance in the rain

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, 
it's about learning to dance in the rain.
~Vivian Greene~

sprinkling, drizzling, raining, pouring,

                         - stream,
                     - scream!

spinning, jumping, laughing, soaring,

people staring, gasping, pointing,

wind - sharp, 
                    cold - whip,
face - hot, 
                skin - slip,

running, falling, sky-anointing,

shrugging, talking, arms flailing,


eyes smile! 

people leaving, 
you - staying.

суббота, 23 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 23

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 23

Early Spring

I blink 
green sprouts from under icy ground 
pushing through crystal crust.
I'm stiff. I stretch and puff
the icicles off branches in the garden.
I urge reluctant streams 
of melted cold down the road; 
they do as told, but halt
as soon as clouds wrap 
around the sun. I stand here stunned. 
I feel the wind get stronger.
There's something wrong,
as even if I hold my breath
- the wind's still blowing. 
Now it's snowing
and I start to panic. 
Like a tender lover, 
with remnants of my warmth 
I cover shooting buds and sing 
a lullaby to waking bears.
I stare at the sunset
and, in wonder, I wonder if 
maybe I shouldn't be 
Just yet.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 22

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 22

When you arch your back and gasp

scribble your love on the walls
of my aging heart, put it in fine
calligraphic ideograms, fold it in scrolls
to be kept in my fleshly shrine;

shine your love bright on your lips,
in your eyes, let its light reach
out beyond all pain and eclipse
scars of the past, seven lifetimes each;

leech me with love, let it bleed
down my spine and stick to me like a remora;
make love into a casket for shattered dreams,
whispering to my longings: memento mori...

четверг, 21 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 21

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 21

Go Figure

"Aw, well. That's it, enough of you!
Shove your excuses up your lazy pants.
Right, say it! No, on second thought,
you know, just go - you make my hamster sick.
Three years I've spent - three precious year! -
on you, pathetic, selfish... Oh, you know,
even curse words appear too good to waste
Wait, don't come any closer or I'll scream.
Or, better, I will dial 911,
I'm doing it right now. See? That's right,
go on and put your hands up,
roll your eyes, please, help yourself
to my shoehorn. And take your staff!
Or rather, I will mail you all your junk!
Leave, don't forget to slam the door
just as you would, and don't you dare call,
I'll switch my phone off, I'm doing it
right now!.. There!.."

He left. She pushed her tears back;
lied down with her phone in her hands;
she switched it on and stared at it
for hours, awaiting him to call.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 20

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 20

Always Awhile

What's a century for the world?
Our life's hardly even that long;
in the hustle to live and belong
'always' is a relative word.

We make haste to care and feel:
day is young and night never ends;
we are quick to call people friends;
not as quick to build or to heal.

Love is instant, so is pain:
our friend becoming our foe
feels like there's a part of our soul
dying over and over again,

but true loyalty knows to repent:
once a friend - always a friend.

вторник, 19 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 19

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 19

Love/Hate Theorem Disproved

Given: I love; you don't 
Hypothesis: you hate

I care about you - you care for your dog;
I think of you - you think your lunch is cold;
I miss your touch - you find things to touch;
I know all about you - you know Freud by heart;
I like you, 
poke you, 
comment on your posts - you meet your friends, 
you drink, 
you have a life;
I hate to cry - you never see me cry;
I hardly sleep - you do, but not with me;
I want to be with you - you want a Ford Mondeo;
My world is you - your world is all the world.

Thus: hate is not the opposite of love
          the opposite of love is unconcern

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 18

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 18

In Vino Veritas

The words I said... I did
...I didn't mean
...I mean I didn't, if I did, I'm sorry...
sorry if I did...
I say...I want to say forget,
say you forgot,
you won't remember what I said
...I said what I had never meant
to say or ever meant
to want you to remember...

понедельник, 18 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 17

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 17

Elemental Song

who can't admire earth?
its solid womb engenders life
and takes it back into the depths;
it suffers and endures all,
without prejudice absorbing blood or rain;
it welcomes all: whatever race or faith;
its skin is cracked and callused to the touch 
in deserts where the sun has no heart;
but in a green field on a summer night
it suddenly feels like a mother-land...

where can one hide from fire?
its scorching tongues speak Death;
it eats away at life, licking the plate;
the Hell is its eternal host,
while on a festival fire commutes to heaven
where it works a shower of sparks;
once tamed it shares light and warmth,
it saves, it feeds, it comforts,
and with its magnetic dance it fascinates;
its freedom runs uphill in glowing red poppies...  

has anybody ever seen the air?
yet we can never find an airless shelter;
it seeps through life, it's life itself;
and even death lets air come to its aid;
air travels through and over generations;
no time it fears, no distance feels too far;
it shapes the mountains, and smoothes edgy cliffs;
and blows apart whole cities without effort;
it carries ice, and snow, and rain, and withered leaves;
it holds the earth in its secure embrace,
and touches our face in gentle reassurance...

what are we but a splash of water?
and what are we without its saving grace?
it blesses spring with blossom, fish with home;
it bores into the flesh of land to be its soul;
up to the sky it rushes with the heat
only to fall again, to crash and bleed through streets;
its mighty waves play the eternal tag
till they are stilled by frost and put to rest;
and in the rising sun over the tops of trees
it's born from air on the waking leaves...

...you are a summer field
ablaze with crimson flowers
that are caressed by gentle breeze
and cleanse my skin in dew...

суббота, 16 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 16

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 16


She was called the bane of men;
cold and merciless with words, ruthless
in a fight.

Never dresses, never skirts,
no corsets, nor the crown – armor
shining bright.

Stunning beauty, noble blood,
she made knights, the bravest hearts, falter
and retreat.

No one dared to cross her path,
she was said to be the queen no one
could defeat,

till one day there was a man
brave enough to throw his glove, bowing,
to her feet.

He was graceful and agile
fended off her fierce ripostes, smiling
when she cursed,

but before the sun was down,
he grew tired, and his strength waded,
unlike hers.

She attacked, her hits still strong,
dancing to the clang of steel – silent
royal, grand.

As they pulled their helmets off,
in a thrust she knocked his sword out
of his hand.

Panting, he put up his shield,
and her sword razored his sleeve cutting
it to strips;

so, he lunged and by her waist
drew her close, pressing his mouth hard
against her lips,

and the sword, about to strike,
froze half-way and fell, as his fingers
touched her wrist.

What can seem a mortal blade
can be but a blade of grass dying
to be kissed.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 15

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 15

What a wonderful world


A baby cries to show from its birth - 
he is the center of universe!
How cruel he'll deem the world when he's told:
the sun doesn't move around the earth.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 14

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 14


I looked into a human body;
into the spirals of our essence,
the sequences of letters, codes –
life spoken into our vessels.

I’ve learned we carry generations,
so many genes are still suppressed,
and we are just a combination
of genes not read and genes expressed,

which means we could be all Shakespeares,
Lorcas, Garniers of beaux arts;
we could be geniuses or heroes
or play the piano like Mozart;

we could run marathons for hours,
or sing like angels, dance like swans;
if only all the genes of ours
could be miraculously switched on.

We could know wisdom of the yore,
or have the bluest eyes of Newman’s;
but even though we could be more,

we never could be more than humans.

среда, 13 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 13

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 13


people always age
time would stop for no one
people never change
casting every stone

whether trained or not
people grow tired
people grow hot
always have desires

people always need
freedom, water, air
wounded people bleed
kind people care

miles always last
lost is more than found
people clutch their past
go and come around

people love and hate
people can't be holy
wisdom's always late
pain is always early

there's a time to thrive
there's a time to wallow
help yourself to life:
suck it up and swallow

вторник, 12 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 12

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 12

Wishful Thinking

The dress was perfect.
I thought I saw an angel
when you walked the aisle.
We kissed, and of all my life
it was the happiest day.

            The dress was perfect.
            You were the perfect bridegroom,
            and I think I smiled.
            It might have been my best day,
            had it been me in that dress.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 11

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 11


Have you ever seen someone
who doesn’t look their age
and you thought they were older?
I’ve seen a house like that which wasn’t old,
but death itself looks better.

The roof with its decrepit crippled ledges,
the slanted fence, the morbid countenance
with hollow windows-eyes and missing
doors made it seem ancient – the house
was mere 10-15 years old.

I wondered if it had an owner who
could have some people come,
take care of the streaks of filth and mold
on its pale walls – the smeared mascara
on a crying girl’s cheeks is less poignant.

The panes were broken-down, the house
was derelict, raped of its youth, and,
being a miserable sight, it looked …ashamed.
The house reminded me of a heart
without a living soul inside it.

 inspired by the RD picture of a dying house

понедельник, 11 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 10

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 10



In about a life or two
you will find your perfect tide,
I will finally know what's true,
we will manage to make things right.

After pages have lost their lines,
after poems have found rhymes,
after words have redeemed their crimes,
we will manage to make things right.

When there are no more whats and whys,
when your truth is as sweet as lies,
when I'm ready to become wise,
I will finally know what's true.

Once you show you aren't that tough,
once you conscience has had enough,
once you're ready to learn to love,
you will find your perfect tide.

Taste of honey on lips will stay,
they will praise more than they will pray,
it will no longer hurt some day,
in about a life or two.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 9

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 9

Another Life


We're young, we're happy, we're alive -
the other me, the other you.
Of simple joys we need a few,
we have our dreams, we plan, we strive,

you help me cook, I learn to drive,
and every day we love anew,
we're young, we're happy, we're alive -
the other me, the other you.

On country fields we dance and jive,
we wake up in the morning dew,
with rings of grass the other you
proclaims the other me your wife,
we're  young, we're happy, we're alive.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 8

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 8

Breath of Wind


I dry your tears with autumn leaves.
I dry your tears with autumn leaves.
My lips are made of air and cold.
My lips are made of air and cold.
Leaves and your lips are dry and I
made air cold with tears of my autumn.

I cradle you in golden light,
I cradle you in golden light,
breathe songs of hope that give you peace,
breathe songs of hope that give you peace.
Songs of peace give light that you breathe in
you cradle hope, I golden.

I promise I won't long and cry.
I promise I won't long and cry.
Feel my last touch before you go.
Feel my last touch before you go.
My touch and promise won't last long:
I feel you go before I cry.

I cry and tears touch my lips,
I feel cold air made of light
and hope your songs won't go dry
in golden cradle of autumn leaves.
I give you peace with my last promise
and before long you breathe that you are I.

пятница, 8 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 7

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 7

Every Man's Pain

Every man’s pain is their own.

No use telling a teenager
who has been dumped or grounded,
or maybe just lost a wager
to think of those, rather,
others who may feel worse,
those who are deprived –
pain can’t be put in words,
life won’t hurt any less.

Yes, they will likely laugh,
mock it in years to come,
Sometimes, a night’s enough.

But on this very day,
say, at this very moment
nothing seems any worth,
no one can ease the torment.

Whether a prick of a needle,
whether a cut with a blade,
pain will be pain, no doubt,
no matter how fast it fades.

We can’t ignore our struggles,
give them away as a loan.

No one can fight your fights for you.

Every man’s pain is their own.

четверг, 7 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 6

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 6

Of Rude People

It happened on the bus I always take to work.

I didn't mean to elbow my way to the rear end,
I surely didn't mean to say those words I said
or use the tone of voice I had 

                                            not even known I had.

I'm standing outside now with a heavy heart
replaying in my mind the way you looked at me,
considering if now is the time to start
smoking again or if a drink 

                                        would later save the day.

I don't know you at all, I wonder why I care
It wasn't the best start of your day, I suppose.
The morning gives me chills with its accusing glare.
You surely think I was insane, 

                                            I would if I were you.

You must be telling all about 'this crazy wench'
who acted like she was the center of universe
and who for no reason yelled like hell on earth
when all you did was brush her leg 

                                                    in passing with your bag.

I can't turn back the time, nor do I care that much,
you will forget me soon. I only wish you'd known
that I woke up today in my cold bed alone
the first time after twenty years, 

                                                  first out of many more...

среда, 6 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 5

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 5

Fickle Magic

The Great and Powerful
threw his arms apart, and his loose sleeves –
they rained with flowers!
He curled his fingers
to a fist and told a child: “Believe,
see what luck brings us!”
The child puffed
and there! – the hand revealed a candy cane.
The child laughed.
The child stared,
eyes full of awe, clapped his palms to pain.
The child cared
The great magician
(or illusionist one likes to say)
was slick and dashing,
in all his wonders
was the child happy till one day
the magic crumbled.
It hurt to push on,
but at least there was in that child’s world
no more illusion.
There were a few who
hugged the crying child with a kind word,
the ones who knew:
the child was me
the man was you

вторник, 5 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 4

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 4

The Fog

I woke up when
                        the morning seemed 
                                                       to be
           creeping in
                            my open window like a warning
of cold and damp, 
                           street lamps
                                              were rendered 
              fireflies drowned in milk.
Still closed eyes, 
                         silk clothes still on,
I put my hand out 
                           to touch
                                        the chill, 
                           to feel
                                     the misty spill 
that on my fingers lingers,
                                      the way 
it sways the air.
                       The streets 
slept soundly,
shunning sunrise,
kept wrapping drowsily 
                                            around them the 
       spread on the roads, 
between the houses, 
into drives and alleys.
                                 And when 
the ethereal white sheet lifted
           off, the city 
                             got up, 
and I
        knew the feeling.

inspired by the amazing poems of De Jackson 
and by Vladimir Mayakovsky

понедельник, 4 ноября 2013 г.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 3

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 3


Our bridge has rusted,
but I still remember the way the railings
felt behind my back.
I’d walked here wrapped in
hopelessness and darkness, and my thin trenchcoat
soaked by the rain.

You’d followed, barefoot,
running through the bushes, as you collapsed I
saw your soles were cut,
just as my soul was
shredded by the tears I’d never shed and
since then never have.

You held my death note
I’d lost in the alley, the note you later
shredded in your hands,
and when you told me
we would die together, I held your hand and
knew that life goes on.

Our bridge has rusted,
but we still remember last time that we were
here we wanted death.
Now when I look at
you there’s nothing more I’ve ever wanted
than for us to live.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2

November PAD Chapbook Challenge
Day 2


Hello, there, London, buddy,
how’re you doing?
How’s Benny? Chiming on, I bet?
I heard the news, the living wage increase, eh?
Not bad, I’d say. 8.8? Not bad!
How’s Westminster? Same prickly self? Old bugger,
I miss him, would you tell him that?
How come the birthday kid’s still not hungover?
To think – 150! And still rolls!
Old lady Thames is holding up ok, right?
I heard her Waters have been fined. LOL!
You’re overcast ‘cuz I don’t come to visit?
You know, work. No time to live or die.
But cheer up, London, some day we will rock it!
And hey, what’s that? You’ve something in the Eye!
(Ha-ha, I’ve got you!) Hope you miss me too.
Say hi to Tower.
Take care. Write me soon.

1. Thames Water given £13,000 fine over mishandled roadworks.
2. The London Living Wage has increased to £8.80 an hour, Boris Johnson announced today.

As celebrations of the London Underground service’s 150th anniversary have taken place, plans for its future have been forming too.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 1

November PAD Chapbook Challenge  
Day 1


First – a few touches, lightly
caressing the black, caressing the white,
Fingers are placed, spread widely.
Eyes flutter shut.

Incipient, images paint
the back of the eyelids, splashing around
memories, while the dainty
fingers push down.

Sounds are born, sans labor.
Engendered by wood and metal, new life
breathes in strength, and savors
peace after strife.

It’s human soul, seeping
into the fingers, into the keys,
singing, rejoicing, weeping
until it’s free.

Cat’s-pawing silence, gently
the waves move the air, break it apart,
reaching the ears, they enter,
unhindered, a human heart.

воскресенье, 27 октября 2013 г.

Jourdan Simmang_Poetic Asides

The following is a collaboration between a wonderful poet with a keen sence of beauty Jourdan Simmang and me. The somonkas were written as a challenge for Poetic Asides.


The Winds Love More Gently

(by Jourdan Simmang and Lucretia Amstell)

Coy, you are, gliding
swiftly along my side. Warm,
you are, caressing
my transparent flesh. Shame me
into wanting more of you.

Tenacious, you are, rushing
across the ocean, past Gothic cathedrals 
towards me where I whisper 
through the Siberian forests, where 
you push me away with gusts of passion.

Lovers in the Sky

(by Jourdan Simmang and Lucretia Amstell)

With every passing
day, I in vain pursue your
heart. Despite my speed,
I have yet to harness your
chill. Douse my flame. Breathe my smoke.

Stroke my face 
with your ember touch before you leave. 
Wear your gold 
I will in silver until I see you 
again as I fade in your rising glory.