Photography © Linda Matthews-Denham


No New News At New Year

Just a stone’s throw away from the porch
We hear the din coming from the corner
Convenience store—created by the usual clique
Of third-world louts, termagants and nosey hags
In short, the ne’er-do-well has-beens of internal
Backwater affairs, here in this fishing village
On this our tiny tropical island called Siquijor,
“Isla del Fuego” by the Spanish Conquistadors
Of epochs past—They all used to be celebrated
For the skills that had kept the evolutionary lifeline
Of a hardy brown race alive—still thriving deep
In the fringes of modern progress. Somehow now

We get the feeling that their trip into the abyss
Of perdition might have been caused by the grim
Realization that luck and fortune may now have digital
Passcodes, too—though they can only whine
In silence as now they guzzle even the dregs
Of the coconut toddy down souring
To the uneventful setting or rising of the sun

So when the store owner shushed them all
As a signal for the daily oral newsbreak
In particular the one about a young girl’s
Mysterious pregnancy—they all threw a hissy fit
As they clapped back at her rather late delivery—
“Shame on you, Gorya! Go upgrade your ears!”
Shouted one of the harried-looking harridans
Who was there only for the free booze—

Now to the delight of the audience
Mostly the viragos, old bats, wives actually
Who must be sick and tired of their men
Who have signed up their lives
To the promptings of some quiet blight

Here comes now a murmuration of ricebirds
Hovers above a chaos of thorny thickets
I know I want no more of this sedentary rebellion
But I remember telling myself that
Around the same time last year


Emeniano Acain Somoza, Jr. considers himself the official spiritual advisor of his roommates, Gordot and Dwight – the first a goldfish, the other a Turkish Van cat. Some forthcoming online and print, his works have been Editor’s Choice in The Poetry Magazine and featured in the Moria Poetry Journal, Fogged Clarity, Everyday Poem, The Siren, Oddball Magazine, The Literary Yard, Loch Raven Review, The Buddhist Poetry Review, Shot Glass Journal, The Philippines Free Press, Troubadour 21, Full of Crow, Indigo Rising, Asia Writes, Triggerfish Critical Review, Gloom Cupboard, TAYO Literary Magazine, Haggard & Halloo and elsewhere. His first book, A Fistful of Moonbeams, was published by Kilmog Press in April 2010. This year, ‘Songs of My Mother’, a collection of 5 of his poems called a Jog was published by W.I.S.H. Publishing. He is Editor At Large of The Syzygy Poetry Journal.

Linda Matthews-Denham lives in the countryside along the Thames River in Berkshire, England. Her passion is photography, photo restoration and art history of Paris. She also works very closely with many British authors restoring images for publication.