Poetry from Shelby Stephenson


for Margaret Maron

Sitting in lightsome shine with country daylight,

A comforting, non-judgmental treasure,

I feel Thank-you shaking me:  a wish surrounds my mind:

Publish your poems.

Feeling talk-back lips more than any errors,

I float loyalty into your scene with timely

Shouts of mystery not of my own writing.

                                                I feel like a barking Corgi puppy.

Sold on remembrances, mindful, searching,

Doggone it, yes!  I want to read your slave-lines

Which assess the family story from its past.

It calls like a crow’s caw,

So that infused by longing to venerate,

Without jokes or importunate flourish,

I ground the pages leading me to your novels.

I find you, therefore, we are.

Lonely now,  questing, I see you, school girl, sitting,

Thirteen, fourteen, forward-leaning toward our teacher, Miss Fisher.

Hearing the lesson-plan, you move your full face, shortly,

spelled “silence.”

We are cousins; I see you turn the pages,

Keeping the moment for yourself, or your part of it.

Loveliness, still a burdensome relation,

yields soft turns in your school-desk.

Traveling homeward, you socialize with darkness,

Spread-eagle with those that fly the field-lights,

Prompting a query:  Where’s the  poem

                                                wanting has touched me.

Fiddledeedee has been scattered on the road in

Your Willow Springs:  it salutes your writing,

Yielding to readers rushing to read our welcoming laughter.

I leave you with good intentions.

Just let days not tangle; hand the friend the poems,

Row along willows what your words you feel are,

Calling with no put off:   how can a friend captain

Mortality’s Protocol?

Time’s a sea-crawl, whereat I am dreaming

I should be still and leave your many poems.

Seeing my work you splurge at sharing

close as my name.

Query from Willow showers in the spaces,

Townships, alone, where once we wrote our longings:

Evil and good have set us onto letters

                                                whose shapes confab.

Essay from Chimezie Ihekuna

Chimezie Ihekuna (Mr. Ben)
Chimezie Ihekuna

This is the last of an eleven-segment relationship advice column from Nigerian author and Christian motivational speaker Chimezie Ihekuna, where he identifies and debunks certain beliefs he disagrees with on the topics of relationships, marriage and sexuality.

Deception 11

Things will change for the better if only I’m married

If you are an advocate of this statement, what makes you think so?   What makes you think your present challenges can only be tackled if you identify yourself as being married?  What makes you think or gives you the hope that marriage will make things better without your handling them now?  Do you know marriage has its challenges?  In the first place, what is your view point about marriage?  Can you withstand the difficulties associated with marriage?

It can be inferred that people (especially women) who believe in the efficacy of this marriage come from dysfunctional homes.  Due to the nature of upbringing, they console or assure themselves the improvement of their situation for good (and possibly, better) by getting married.  They hope their situation will greatly improve if they get married.

Sadly, they fail to really come to terms with the fact that marriage takes preparation and possess immense challenges.  Their inability to seriously tackle or truncate certain imbalance associated with their upbringing and relationships may cost them irrevocable setbacks in their approach to pressing marital issues. Simply put, their viewpoints are myopic because the presence of prevailing situations encountered has overwhelmed them to believing that marriage is the only way out.

Marriage can be compared to institution of higher learning for an individual to gain admission into citadel of higher learning, it is compulsory to tender the basic qualifications obtained in the high/secondary schools she attended including the institution’s entry (certificate) result, Also, it Is anticipated, her maturity.   At high/secondary school level, certain actions can be tolerated owing to naivety of students.  On the other hand, it is a different ball game at tertiary level as the crux; maturity will be a criterion or yardstick for a student’s action.   In other words, it is believed that the tertiary institution is a citadel of higher learning where students ought to ‘give up’ their childish tendencies and fully embrace maturity (responsibility).  This analogy reflects itself as the institution marriage.   Relationships individual involve (themselves in) ought to be a preparatory ground for marriage, just as the high school is a step or preparatory academic phase for a higher citadel of learning.  Precisely, it is an institution which ought to be prepared for; in terms of knowing its basics, handling pertinent issues which are not associated with it just like where high or secondary school leavers must have obtained their High school or secondary school certificate and maturity in the light of empowerment towards handling issue that have do with marriage (akin to ability to meet up with pressing demands of higher learning institutes)

It is disheartening, most people whose belief is centered on this mirage do not realistically see to certain asserted facts. Consequently, they become unfit to take care of general home affairs after getting married-unfit wives and husbands.  You can imagine a family raised by incomplete parents (unfit husband and wife) and no eventual home.

This story depicts the reality of taking into “Things will change for the better only if I’m married” assertion.

Stacy was born into a family of a well –to-do background. Being the first in a family of four (Later, her younger sister died some years later after she was born), special treatments were given to her especially by her father. She had two younger brothers. Things seemed rosy until her parents started living a cat and dog lifestyle due to impending challenges the family faced at that time. Subsequently, Stacy’s mother decided what she saw as normal –leaving her husband with the children. Although her father played a dual responsibility; generally seeing to the finances of his household and physical and mental wellbeing of his children, he was faced with an uphill task of balancing home affairs and his busy working schedule. As a result, he felt the need of having mistress (who later became his second wife). She bore him only a child but was busy maltreating Stacy and her younger siblings. Personally, you can imagine a girl not growing under the “watchful eyes “of her mother. Stacy had to endure the storms of life and painstaking to cater for the needs of her younger ones. Her predicament was so unbearable that she decided to take on menial jobs to make ends meet.

As Stacy grew up under inauspicious conditions to an adult, though very beautiful and one most sought after ladies in her locality, she, without the proper guidance of a good counselor and her mother, felt that marriage would be the way out of her pathetic state. Fortunately for her, she agreed to a marriage proposal made by a dashing you gentleman, Anthony, on the condition that he must take care of her younger ones. What a naivety- influenced decision! She eventually got married to him without proper mastery of what it means to stay married and of what the true foundation of marriage is. Now, she is married for nearly thirty years but living under the shadow of regrets.


To experience an enduring a blissful and beneficial relationship with your spouse, whether married or not, don’t you think you can safeguard yourself from the servitude of the identified blindfolds known as deceptions? Now, you’ve read them, the rest is up to you!

Poetry from Mahbub

Author Mahbub


My sorrows never stopped
I always drink water of sorrows
In the open sky
Here the world always shrinks into
Here the people are walking by
We care for what we don’t
We love for what we actually not
But we are to stay, we are to stand
Feed our children and our beloved
So I have a duty
Regular presence of my physic
You find me so tired
Though I should take preparation for the next.

Chapainawabganj, Bangladesh

It resonates, resonates

It resonates, resonates
The whispering, murmuring sound of the rivers, the oceans
It sparkles all around the waves to the sky where it mixes
I stumble; fumble but stride to the sand
Try my heart and soul without any fear or joy
The waters roaring, the air so hissing
Throughout this atmosphere I started my journey
Knowing that never to find any destination to steer
I lost in the love boat of you
Here nobody you can see but lots of sign
The love nights filled with so much heavenly joy
Every waves of the waters today resonates the sound ‘LOVE’
Though never to get in touch
It’s more than that.

Chapainawabganj, Bangladesh

A Death Scene of the Crow

Suddenly the crow heading down into the spokes

Just opening my eyes to the highway

Swings, rolling into wheel

The boy paddling the bi-cycle

Instantly got down and brought the bird back on the ground

Watching left and right

I rushed to the spot

The crow was dying jumping over and down

Just like the cocks and hens or other birds are done for cooking

It flies here and there and over trees after trees

And comes down to the wastes they like to eat

A cleaner or sweeper of our towns or cities

But not to the spoke the head turns into

It is Death- not permits the air to survive.

Chapainawabganj, Bangladesh

The Love Sight

The farmers cultivate the land

Grow crops and feed the people all over the world

The cultivation of the womb just like that

Where the adults perform the best as lovers

Builders of nation, of civilization

We see the blood shedding for the new

The water pouring for the new

You can say ‘yes’ or ‘not’

Dwindling on the earth

The sons and daughters

The fathers and mothers

Always seekers –one from the others

Every moment we see the morning dew

On every blade of the grass

How time does fly!

Chapainawabganj, Bangladesh

We Have a Faith

Today’s burning sun calms down tomorrow

Today’s heat-stroke can make us murmur rippling over the silent river body

If there is no earthquake, no landslide

And no cyclone causing so many deaths, howling crawling

Today’s burning sun calms down tomorrow

Today’s heat-stroke can make us murmur rippling over the silent river body

If there is no smoke and fire over head burning so far

Causing coals to animals, trees and humans spreading over and wide

Today’s burning sun calms down tomorrow

Today’s heat-stroke can make us murmur rippling over the silent river body

If there is no man made crisis for which you and I

Always face to face to mock and cry

Today’s burning sun calms down tomorrow

Today’s heat-stroke can make us murmur rippling over the silent river body

If there is no political handicap or bankruptcy to the area

Making the commons die for

Today’s burning sun calms down tomorrow

Today’s heat-stroke can make us murmur rippling over the silent river body

If there is no oppression to any part of the world throwing atomic bombs

Causing deaths and suffering making history of the pathetic moments

Today’s burning sun calms down tomorrow

Today’s heat-stroke can make us murmur rippling over the silent river body

If there is no falsifying love and sexual harassment

Causing barbaric deaths and hallucination 

Today’s burning sun calms down tomorrow

Today’s heat-stroke can make us murmur rippling over the silent river body

Though the sun is too hot

We have a long faith

It must rain and cool the earth.

Chapainawabganj, Bangladesh

Poetry from Mark Young

Five geographies:

Dushanbe (2)

The markets, held on the
second day after Saturday,
gave the city its name. Was
once called Stalinabad, &
the trolleybuses, with their
livery of the national colors
still carry Stalinist slogans.
Passengers wait for their
buses outside the markets;
& even though Stalin is no
longer alive & today is Thurs-
day, there is no confusion.

Coney Island

A fundamental characteristic

of the scientific & operational

principles underlying leger-

demain is that not all Ferris

wheels are created equal.


The subset A of a top-
ological space X is
the set-off point for so
many claims & cross
claims. Plus, each party
can be both a party

attacking & a party de-
fending so the activity
has the potential to
increase quite drama-
tically. & given that the
parties in question are

a narwhal & the aurora
, both of whom
have lived here for many
centuries, there are a lot
of other parties making
claims & counter claims.


The Red Ants are demolishing
trauma counseling, replacing
it with nativity sculptures in
recycled paper & precious Italian
marble. Nobody else gets a look
in, except for a boy playing with
his ball, & an oxygen mask that
is also used as a sharpening tool.


No services are departing

this stop within the next

90 minutes. Which gives

some historical context

but minimal idea of the

threat of human impact—

even though amphibians are

already experiencing a mass

extinction. Not all literary

traditions begin with epic nar-

ratives of kings & conquests.

Poetry from Joe Balaz


It’s nevah wat it is

wen you tink of wat it should be.

Da cast of many characters

dat going appear before your eyes

got dere own ideas

as to how da soup in da big pot

going be cooked.

Everybody grabs da ladle

and dishes out wun daily bowl

dat changes its recipe

from one day to da next.

Some people slurp

and adah guys spoon it down                                                                                                  

       like hungry pigs

while all the veggies, meat, and broth,

simmering on da communal stove,

is constantly being added to

wit all kine new ingredients.

If you tink

you wuz going be wun master chef

dat wuz going impose                                                                      

                                             your specific tastes on wun public menu

den moa bettah                                                                                                                              you keep your seasonings

in your own private kitchen.

It’s nevah wat it is

wen you tink of wat it should be

cause wen people gaddah eat

dey going bring anyting                                                                             

                                   and everyting to da table.


You going get boulders in your eyes

and you going be transformed

into wun block of granite

if you no watch out.

Da composition of tings

going change ovahnight

and da density of da world

going be weighed in tons.

Your possible fate is not unique dough

cause instant monoliths are everywheah

as if dey wuz cut out in wun flash

from wun sorcerer’s magic quarry.

Avoidance is da key

and da trick in dis whole survival game

is not to get too heavy

wen pressure seems to become relentless.

No let da daily minutia

turn into wun threatening Medusa

cause all of dose writhing snakes

surrounding dat face of imminent doom

want to celebrate and hiss

wen da gaze of stone is set on you.

Joe Balaz writes in Hawaiian Islands Pidgin (Hawai’i Creole English).  He is theauthor of Pidgin Eye and the editor of Ho’omanoa: An Anthology of Contemporary Hawaiian Literature.  He presently lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Poetry from Ike Boateng, Poetrician

Poetrician Ike Boateng

My Facebook Friends – MFF <— Title Of Poem (TOP)

My Facebook friends,

They are those I describe as universal family.

For, some bring inspiration to what I write

As they motivate what I do daily,

The good ones are like the sugary sprite.

My Facebook friends,

Show concern to what’s on your mind status.

That’s due to their responsible commentary

It determines the vital point of focus,

Obviously, that becomes secondary.

My Facebook friends,

Mostly, live in their countries of the continent.

But, they’re often seen on the social media

Some don’t have enough but they’re content,

I guess, they do like to read as well the Wikipedia.

My Facebook friends,

Bring to bear, some life’s emotions.

In view of what I read on their page-wall

It may be due to some hurts and frustrations,

However, the religious ones make firm decision not to fall.

My Facebook friends,

Make options to block and remove.

Thus, those they later describe as predator

Above all, there are those to share love,

When it comes to the ones they closely monitor.

My Facebook friends,

Have what it takes when it comes to support.

Therefore, the essence of this global village

Some get involve and engage in terms of good report,

With gender equality and positive mindset we can manage.

Ike Boateng reads from his piece Flood for Fishing

Ike Boat reads his piece POP (Pieces of Peace)

Ike Boat reads his poem Reflections

Poetry from Joan Beebe

A Time of Hope

Joan Beebe and fellow contributor Michael Robinson
Joan Beebe (left) and fellow contributor Michael Robinson

We worry each day

about what might come.

It is a time of darkness

And shadows over come us.

But there is a promising

Light in the distance

That will bring health 

And healing in ways

That man will never understand.

Our future becomes a fulfillment

of that promising light and

with the reality of a life

filled with gratitude.