Poetry from J.J. Campbell

J.J. Campbell

a family history 
i’m trying to play it cool
with the medical procedure
i have tomorrow morning 
i’m trying to not think about
what they could find when they look
at my stomach 
that a family history of cancer and god knows
what else is nothing to be concerned with 
that i’ll simply be a little groggy when my sister
drives me home listening to some music,
thinking about how much
i hate thanksgiving

god has all the answers 
i laugh when they tell me
god has all the answers for me 
so, i suppose i was supposed
to learn a lesson from my cousin molesting me  
or my father never telling me he loved me
before he died 
trust me i can take a fucking hint 
he ignores me
and i show him the amount of respect he has earned

just not the one
i have had more than one woman
tell me i am a great guy,
just not the one 
and on these nights alone 
where the world makes it feel like the one
for me never existed in the first place 
the mind starts to wander
back to my youth and the first time
i tasted my own blood 
where i started to question
my will to live and accept the pain 
how many times can a person talk themselves
out of death 
how many times can a man listen to himself cry
before enough is enough 
it’s one thing to realize
being unloved it’s another to stomach
knowing that’s never
going to change

already burned too much 
fell in love with a mystic 
she was already
burned too much
by this world 
one of these days
i hope to find bliss
dripping from her lips 
and an eagerness
for just one special
night before either
one of us finds the sweet
relief of death

shopping on my porch 
a little over three weeks
from christmas 
wondering if anyone has the guts
to go shopping on my porch this year

Poetry from Henry Bladon

Hidden Truth

I said I wanted to know

what was really going on.

He said he found it hard to say,

it was like he had a splinter

in his tongue that stopped

him from telling the truth.

I countered his mysterious metaphor

by telling him in that case I felt

like I’m hidden between

the pages of a novel but I’m not on

anyone’s pile of books to be read.

He said that was too obscure

even for him. He said he thought

it was typical of me and it

sounded too metaphysical

to make any sense at all.

I nearly said, what a hypocrite, but instead

said there’s something illiberal about your attitude,

because I read the term in the paper

and I thought it sounded intelligent

even though I’m not sure what it meant.

As I left, he said nothing.

Which was a first.

Artwork from Jeongeui

Just Being At Peace

Suddenly I smelled a watermelon from the sea.
Maybe I miss my childhood-nostalgia when everything was just pleasant and happy.

If two people live life together,
there is much more happiness than loneliness because when two people are together, in everything

There’s a feeling of being one, not two.

Throw away haughtiness,
Throw away greed,
and hatefulness, and resentment, and the memories which sometimes makes me sad.
To live happy and beautiful, I ‘m going to have to throw them all away.

I want to be a woman who always misses someone whom I love.
I want to live a beautiful life with someone I love, become the only precious treasure to each other.

Autumm prepares for New Birth.
Leaves are ripening in Autumm sunlight.
I also am ripening, we all are ripening.
I learn to love more, how to be one for two or everyone,
also I’ll keep learning through life .
My body is getting older,
but I don’t want my heart which can love someone who loves me, to grow old.

A couple days ago,
The sun which I had seen covered by clouds,
It looked exactly like a diamond.
How breathtaking was that!!
I was lucky to see that moment.
I feel like that marvelous and  amazing moment has shown me a hint that my wishes will come ture.

And Winter,
Now I feel grateful, everything is precious.
I’ve had a hard and painful time by myself
It was for a long time.

A winter sun to the heart hugs me today too.
The sunshine is so warm ……………………….

Poetry from John Middlebrook

 Marble Icebergs      
 Words engraved on monuments          
 from the mouths 
           of our chosen leaders. 
 But these words,                               
 when laden                                  
 with deceit—crater,                      
 and our trust descends                        
            along with them.                       
 Monuments are more                            
 than mere marble                        
 gleaming—buffed by the sun;          
 their spirit can be fragile as glaciers                   
 the warmer the earth becomes.           
 When facades of Statecraft                          
 undermine hope,                                      
 monuments’ foundations erode;     
 statues become like icebergs                               
 that lose their grip                                   
 and float away in the fog. 

 Camp of Dreams
 Dreams at dawn fade like voices in the woods 
 from a gathering of hunters at the end of their trail. 
 There, they huddle in the mist 
 to trade one last tale of stalking game— 
 stitching vapor into legends as full of stuffing 
 as animal heads mounted in a dusty den. 
 Then, as the coals of their fire hiss 
 and the nest of ashes dies, 
 the hunters recede into a glen 
 past the bog of the mind,
 just before one’s eyes 
 open wide.  

 Rural Auction
 The caw and cadence of the auctioneer          
 cuts through the din as dust swirls ‘round 
 farm wives, daughters, cousins, friends.          
 Jawbone to ear, they nudge and whisper.   
 Their strong arms stretch                             
 as they pick through and gauge                             
 the hodgepodge of housewares on display:                     
 pots and dishes and the many evening hours             
 gathered in boxes of hand crochet. 
 Ringed behind them, young farmers listen 
 as fathers swap gossip, weather and news.      
 Their clay-red faces are outcrops of rock                   
 jutting under ball caps, atop denim and plaid.   
 Afternoon long, they mill and mingle,                         
 their ears keenly tuned to the auctioneer’s call.               
 They see, but never watch, the objects they want:       
 that newly-painted tractor, a tiller, a plow,                 
 that old sleigh and harness—just for kicks,                
 or maybe those bibs lined with woolen fleece.   
 About the yard, children frolic.       
 They weave their families into cloth made whole,  
 except for the one kid who sits by the road,      
 draws in the dirt and counts the autos
 that brake for a look and drive on.                         
 Under the oaks, the old folks totter 
 in wooden rockers not yet sold.           
 Their faces relax and offload worries.
 Humming soothes them, as watches lie   
 stopped on their bed stands at home.               
 Cattle graze in summer pastures.                     
 The corn grows fatter as the harvest waits.     
 Toil is tempered with patience and tactics     
 to outwit markets and partner with nature.

 These Confounded Desires
 I felt at ease with my desires undeclared— 
 I didn’t want their objects all the same.  
 But they kept lining up like autos 
 in used car lots, 
 lies on their meters                                 
 and paint layered over                            
 their hungry scabs of rust.                               
 With so little difference between them, 
 it took years to see them all.        

My home on the web is www.johnmiddlebrookpoet.com, and here, you can find the details of my publication history. I live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where I manage a consulting firm focused on non-profit organizations. I have been writing poetry since I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, where I also served on the poetry staff of Chicago Review.

Poetry from Mark Young

a sparse matrix

In league with French counter-revolutionaries resident in Cayenne, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe attempted to smuggle seeds of pepper, nutmeg, & cloves into Yuan Dynasty China. Caught at the border by customs officials, he was told that if he had just tried to bring in smaller quantities of the spices, he may have escaped detection completely. I see, said Mies. Less is more.

Without a Trace

He leaned in front of her

screen. Then he made himself

more comfortable. The dead man

was hanging close to the trunk.

She was thirsty, but that was

not unusual; & if she needed

company then a row of half-dead

plants still lined the pathway.

monkey canapes

In order to stop kids

obsessing over the future,

Government funding is

now available to separate

them into groups &

place them on a range of

intimate couches in front

of refrigerators which all

have smart screens & apps.

modal apprehension

He watches for a while, then he

joins her swim. A large number

of finite automata can be simply

visualized by representing the auto-

mata array as a silver bell caught

inside a perfectly rectangular block.

It’s called a strap-end, using an

archaeological principle that if you

do not know what a metal object’s

purpose was, then just call it that.

As counterpoint, Carl Sagan talks

about the impact of the computer

on the universe. Both movie &

book are told from this perspective.

Poetry from Mahbub


Pattaya Sea Beach

The sky was cloudy, it became dark all around

It was thundering and we stood on the sand

The boats, the launches, the ships plying on the waters

We look here and there the horizon

Where the sky and water mix together

Waves flow so high and low

Keeping its vows from time immemorial

All the water vehicles dancing with rhythmic serial

There stands a large green hill on the left

Where engraved so nicely ‘Pattaya City’

When night falls upon the land

So beautiful girls starts their performance dancing and singing

Like the cascade of the ocean

I walk on the way and bought a ticket for ‘Alcazar’

The show fueled the heart on the stage performance

The whole world joins together

The culture of thee and the world reflect here

I walk on the way and see the party busy with so merriment

Can touch one’s heart while passing the roads by the ‘Pattaya City’

Bangkok, Thailand


Santi Chai Prakan Park

To find peace in life

Overloaded with so many cares and anxieties

May come here in touch of breeze of the river Chao Phraya

Couples are sitting hand in hand, the old are drowsing

All come to find the selves as their own

In the wooden or iron made seats

Under the shade of old large trees

The old have mark of life in their face

The life scattered by so many deeds

There is also a fort adjacent to it

The flowing river, the soft breeze

The buildings and bridges look very nice

It’s something different than there in those

The people of different cultures engraved on the wall

Reflects the life of present and past

The waves of the river cools the body

Nodding in dream sitting on the chairs

What is life nothing but taking cares.

Bangkok, Thailand


Koh Larn Island

How wonderful the land surrounded by the hills and the ocean

I am sitting here under a shady tree

Many have come from many parts of the world

Some are bathing, swimming,

And rejoicing in the blue watery island

Some are wandering, some are gossiping

In the bar or shop

Some are busy to sell and buy

We look at the sky and the sea

We look at the hills and the clouds floating white and black

We look at the far reaching blue sight of the water

We came to the unknown which appears to be so familiar

The soft blue eyes oh my dear

Your eye beam reflects in mine

Feel alone as you not here

But I see you always through the blue and green waters

Flowing us from here to there

Loving us to move on and refreshing all

Here is the world to love more and die in ecstasy 

A treasure of green aspires.

Bangkok, Thailand


The Land of Smile

Our hostess Resa sitting in the micro-bus

Suddenly got behind smiling over her face spoke out

‘At first when you came, you thought the days would be

so long and hard

How can they be spent?

Now it’s only two days left you will depart

See, one day I’ll also die

So don’t be sad or gloomy for what you have or not

Smile and be happy always’

This flashed out the country ‘Thailand’

The land of smile.

Bangkok, Thailand


In Your Breast

Mahbub John

Norms and behaviors so soft, not noisy in speaking at all

You held me in your breast and fed me what I wanted to have

So nice you are! So fascinating the world you made!

I never thought to be here

But who can say where the destiny bound for!

I round your city, I find my heart

You keep up with me

I feel like so keen I look for

You are my boss, you are my friend

You focus the light how to regain

All the way I run through can ever be forgotten?

Your warm love will ever be in my heart

As the childhood reminds the days gone by.

Bangkok, Thailand


Elizabeth Hughes’ Book Periscope

Elizabeth Hughes

Robert Cohen’s If God Allows

If God Allows by Robert P. Cohen is a novel about an advertising executive, Paul Goldberg, who accepts a position in Jakarta at an ad agency as Chief Advertising Creative. His job is to build up an agency that is struggling a bit and make it the best agency in Indonesia. He worked at an agency in the US that was heavily into partying and now has to adapt to a different way of life. He finds out in Jakarta that there are certain things he cannot say without getting himself into loads of trouble. He also has dreams of writing a great novel and having it made into an even greater movie.

This is an excellent book with plenty of suspense, drama and humor. It will keep the reader interested. I would recommend it for late teens to adults for language and sexual content. With Christmas right around the corner it would make an excellent gift for the reader or someone they know. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Robert Cohen’s If God Allows is available here.