The World
          
by R. Lee Ubicwedas

That was exactly how I felt back then, did feel,
when I was growing up—a world dark, bleak, mad.
I had to tell myself time and again that it was real.
O, but it was. What chance did I have? I had none.
I looked up at the sun. Mercilessly it burned.
I tried to run away. No luck—I had it bad.
There was no hope. What was I thinking? Then I turned.
O, but what else could I do? The world actually
was crazed. And step by step I learned to live, discerned
that there was love, if I but looked—factually.
I steeled myself, and then I peeled away my soul.
O, but I grew to love it then—naturally.

R. Lee Ubicwedas is a poet of ubiquity. According to Wilbur Dee Case, this poem is “a bilding with a simple diction, predominantly anglo-saxon, with a final trio of latinate rhymes”.

~~~

Off
by E “Blue Screw” Dai

The crowds at Platform Number 3, Ryogoku Station Stop
are not there for a subway, or a quick commuter hop.
The station built in 1929 in Tokyo,
no longer works, no trains stop here, no passengers can go.
The crowds are here for atsukan warm sake pick-me-ups;
they’re tasting samples, sipping guinomi sake cups.
No longer now a terminal, nor han-dl-er of freight.
If someone comes to go somewhere, they’re going to have to wait.
The crowds are here, amidst red chochin lanterns strung aloft,
to claim a piece of history, mysterious and…off.

E “Blue Screw” Dai is a surrealist poet fond of off-the-beaten-track spots in Japan.

~~~

The Masque of Covid-19: at the Epicenter
          by Edcur Alies Bew

The city of Wuhan was like a ghost town, little crime.
The covid-19 had been devastating for some time.
No pestilence had e’er seemed so innocuous at first,
because no symptoms showed till one already had been cursed.
The worst there was was fever, coughing, shortness in one’s breath;
and yet the ending of the dread disease was often death.

Across the quarantined locale there was a somber pall.
Upon the streets of Wuhan silence penetrated all.
And yet occasionally citizens must do some tasks;
No travelers within the city were without their masks.
In goggles, scarf, and hat, as well as gloves and coat with hood;
one needed to protect one’s self to go and shop for food.

Once busy streets, not noisy now, with rows of shops closed up.
Apartment buildings rising high, no people at their cusp.
O happy Prince Prospero, dauntless and sagatious too,
kept well inside his coloured rooms; his visitors were few;
for he was in the deep seclusion of his penthouse suite,
and listened to his piped-in music; ah, his sweet retreat.

Meanwhile down below it was so quiet to behold.
The walkways and the intersections, holding but the bold.
Most cars were parked, so one could hear the tweeting of the birds.
Occasionally cars and bikes would drive along the curbs.
But driving has its penalties; it is not to be done.
One could be fined and lose one’s license, but for needed ones.

Along Hanyang, there is no bus, few people are about;
amazingly this ten-lane avenue a vacant route.
A hospital along the way seems closed, like everything;
but some cars turning in to it, a slow endeavoring.
A little puppy by a fountain tries to get a drink.
He’s sipping little drops of water, balanced at the brink.

Edcur Alies Bew is a poet who enjoys Edgar Allan Poe stories, like “The Masque of the Red Death”. This poem draws partially from Irish Psychology teacher Ben Kavenagh, who was airlifted out of Wuhan, and quarantined for a fortnight in Arrowe Park Hospital in Birkenhead, near Liverpool.

~~~

Banned, February 18, 2020
          by Alecsei Burdew

On Tuesday, Russia’s government banned Chinese citizens
from entering its territory; Thursday is the end.
The Kremlin fears the COVID-19 going through its land,
and so most Chinese travelers to Russia have been banned.

Though Xi Jinping and Putin are among the best of friends;
when there’s a dangerous disease, protective walls descend.
Health Minister Tatyana Golikova told TASS news,
no educators, workers, travelers—all are refused.

Primer Minister Mishistin signed off on the manifest;
Meanwhile as reported deaths continue to ascend,
as of this present time there are at least 2000 dead.
In Xiaogan now all must stay at home—ALL residents.

Alecsei Burdew is a poet of Russia. Xiaogan is a city in Hubei, of which there are around 900,000. Started in 1904, TASS, Телегра́фное аге́нтство Сове́тского Сою́за, (the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union) was named in Soviet times. Along with Reuters, AP, and AFP (Agence Grance-Presse, it is one of the largest Worldwide news agencies.

~~~

The Lagos Ban
          by Welard Icubese

On February 1st, in Lagos, in Nigeria,
the Governor outlawed the motorbikes and rickshaw spree.
The motorized okedas and the kekes have been banned,
for safety and security, the traffic, out of hand.
But 20,000,000 in the city can’t rely on them,
to get into the island business district traffic jams.
Now many Lagos citizens have worn out shoes and feet,
and they are trapped without their transportation on the street.
To them an awful situation has been just made worse.
Exhausted, tired citizens abhor this latest curse.

Welard Icubese is a poet of Nigeria.

~~~

Upon the Flat, Black Mat
          by Sri Wele Cebuda

He got into the lotus pose upon the flat, black mat.
The room had a brutality wherever one was at.
The tannish walls were made of brick of hard brutality.
Here was not beauty, only harshness and banality.
And yet he tried to put his mind into a happy space,
despite the crass and vile spot, despite the unloved place.
He closed his eyes, but not his mind; he hummed his OMG,
attempting emptying all else but cosmic energy,
connected to the universal electricity,
absorbing love from up above, contentment visiting.

Sri Wele Cebuda is a poet of meditation and prayer.

~~~

Spaniard Charly Priest
          by El Cid E. W. Rubesa

Him, Charly Priest—I saw some pictures on the Internet.
Each one was colourized and like an Andy Warhol print.
He seemed iconic, like as Elvis, Marilyn Monroe,
or Campbell’s soup cans; he was a man with a lot o’ soul;
Picasso on the wing, a hardened man upon the ground,
a rhymer at the edge of time, a poet drowned in sound,
a crazy life in scarlet, yellow, orange, white and green,
in purple, brown, and ebony, in bright aquamarine.
He was like as a wild bull upon the Spanish stage,
amazing strife, that crazy life. Ole! Ole! Ole!

El Cid E. W. Rubesa is a poet of España. Charly Priest is a freewheeling Internet blogger and poet. Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was an American colourizer, Elvis Presley (1935-1977) was an American rock-and-roll singer, Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) was an American actress, and Pablo Picasso (1881-1971) was a Spanish painter.

~~~

Near Shuswap Lake, BC
          by Birdee Euclaws

More colourful than
a green and yellow meadow,
Shawn Bird spreads her wings.

Pic of a Pic: a Green and Yellow Meadow
          by Birdee Euclaws

Alex takes a pic
of Tatiana with her phone,
as she takes a pic.

 

Tanka
          by Birdee Euclaws

It has gone away,
towering with folded wings,
the giant pigeon,
in red, white and blue, stars amd stripes,
the firm black cables unleashed.

Birdee Euclaws is a poet of birds. The first haiku relates to Canada, the second, Russia. The tanka relates to the USA.

~~~

500 Fifth Avenue
          by Dic Asburee Wel

Designed by Shreve Lamb & Harmon Associates, and built in New York back in 1931, the Art Deco 500 Fifth Avenue is not as well known as the Empire State Building. Un-symmetrical, because it rose up in two zoned districts, it has differing massed setbacks that run
unusually and rise up in limestone, buff brick, and terra cotta, so beautifully, it seems a dream against the sky. As if alone, it shoots up in a stream of verticality above the other nearby buildings, traffic, streets and trees—a miracle to some in the city.

On Brooklyn Bridge
by Dic Asburee Wel
          “…firmitas, utilitas, venustas…”
              —Vetruvius

Originally for pedestrians,
for horse-drawn carriages and trolleys, its
span linking Brooklyn to Manhattan’s ease
across East River’s freely running liberty,

it soon became the passageway for cars,
bicycles, even elevated trains,
that is, till 1944, when bars
were placed on els, and later, street car lanes.

Crane thought of moving pictures, when he thought
of Brooklyn Bridge, and multitudes bent toward
some flashing panoramic scene, but not
its transverse beam, its flexing, bending board.

He saw it cross the harbour, silvery
and grand, its sunlit granite towers rise
in neo-Gothic splendor, constantly
upholding traffic under gray-blue skies.

Poetically, Crane envisioned souls
who’d climb up to its stiffening truss length
and leap into the waters down below,
but did he truly love its solid strength?

He gazed in awe to see the graceful curve
of its main cables, near Wall Street’s sleek climb,
and wrote they breathed, but did he lack their nerve,
when he wrote of them in his brilliant rhyme?

Crane saw the arches opening the way
to traffic under th’ heaven of the Jews,
between the hard parabola and day,
before Kane’s Bruce Wayne’s win or Brice Wade Luse?

He saw the tense suspenders holding still
the intricate web of the steel frame,
but did he long to see the U. S. Will
in his mad dash to make himself a name?

Aes-the-ti-cal-ly, Crane recorded well
his era’s thrill beneath the stellar spin;
and I believe he also caught its hell
beneath that hard load-carrying chagrin.

Beneath its shadows by the piers, he peered,
and in the darkness saw its silhouette,
appearing underneath its burning beard,
cold in the snow, and in the fierce rain wet.

Asleep now for forever he has gone
into the sea, far from the prairie’s sod;
but I remember him dawn after dawn,
how many I can’t tell. I, too, Will, nod.

Dic Asburee Wel is a poet of New York. According to Beau Lecsi Werd, the first poem is a prose poem of 144 syllables, and the second poem is a craneic (pronounced crə-nā-ick), an eleven stanza poetic form Dic Asburee Wel learned from Hart Crane (1899-1932). Brice Wade Luse is a poet who also drew from Hart Crane.

~~~

Hart Crane
          by Wilbur Dee Case

I saw him in his suit and tie in black and white and gray.
How could he know just what he was, he was a man at bay.
There was no place for him, rejected even by the Pound.
He tried to catch the essence of reality in sound.
And though he failed mis’rably, as all of us must do,
there still were glimpses of the city glittering and new.
He seemed as if he were a captive of a ruthless land.
He needed a strong stomach to digest coal, steel and
uranium, within his cranium. He had to fight them all.
He did it wrong. It was too soon. He had to learn to fall.

Wilbur Dee Case is a middle-of-the-road poet and literary critic, who loves the stretch of land from Kansas to Maryland. His favourite gas is regular.

~~~

We People…Can…Tolerate Complexity
by Educable Wires
          “The phone, the TV, the news of the world,
          got in the house, like a pigeon from hell, oh, oh, oh, oh,
          threw sand in our eyes. and descended like flies…”
              —The Pretenders, “Back on the Chain Gang”

We people aren’t that simple; we are quite perplexing, yet
so many people cannot tolerate complexity.
All things aren’t simply true or false, in yes or no for-mats.
there are so many things beyond political core facts.

Lead singer of the rock band the Pretenders, Chrissy Hynde,
sent Donald Trump some numbered tweets, she personally signed.
She thanked him for the Freedom Medal that he gave to Rush,
and said her father would have been “delighted” for that touch.

Because her father loved to listen to the Limbaugh show,
she let Rush play her opening upon the radio—
he liked the “recognizable…bass line”, o, “totally”.
She gave the money that he paid to PETA happily.

Educable Wires is a poet of rock. The “opening” from “My City Is Gone”—Akron, Ohio; Akron is a city of about 700,000 and was Chrissy Hynde’s hometown.

~~~

Chuck Yaeger, the First to Break the Sound Barrier
          by Air Weelbed Suc

The X-1 was the first airplane to break
the sound barrier. Thirty-one feet long
with a twenty-eight-foot wingspan did make
it a small aircraft; but it was built strong,
so it could “withstand enormous forces,”
as Slick Goodlin, a test pilot, stated,
Bell’s big “bullet with wings.” The horsepower
needed was by John Stack calculated.
“The tail was high—we wanted that to wave
in the wake from turbulence from the wing,”
said De Beeler. But just how could they save
the pilot in this rocket-powered thing?
In 1947, Chuck Yaeger
shot past Mach 1, Kaboom! and hit pay dirt.

Air Weelbed Suc is a poet of flight. Chuck Yaeger just recently celebrated his 97th birthday. Chalmers Hubert “Slick” Goodlin (1923-2005) was an American test pilot. John Stack (11906-1972) was an American aerospace engineer. De Elroy Beeler (1915-2007) was an American aeronautical engineer and NASA administrator.

~~~

Daytona 500 Crash
          by “Bruc “Diesel” Awe

While jockeying for good position on his final lap,
the racecar driver Ryan Newman’s car was clipped and slapped.
His car then veered into the wall, then jack-knifed just before
it flipped onto its roof, and hit, sent flying through the air.
Responders acted quickly, cutting Newman from his car,
and rushed him to the local medical site Halifax.
In serious condition there, though not life threatening,
due to the doctors and the medical staff helping him.
He also was helped by the sturdy chassis and roll cage,
along with his position in mid-car midst equipage.

Bruc “Diesel” Awe is a poet of racing.

~~~

Vacation California Style
          by Cal Wes Ubideer

He got into a bright red jeep and rode back-country roads;
vacation California style, lots of sunshine—loads!
O, he could see the gorgeous beauties of the countryside.
He loved to drive along its hills, to take a fun-filled ride.
The vistas were spectacular, the thrills came as he drove.
He loved to move up mountain passes, down to orange grove.
To rove those scenic byways was fantabulous to him,
or off-road trips on bike or foot, along curve, slope and rim.
O, Lord, he felt, like as a kid at an amusement park.
Life was exciting riding roads in motorbike or car.

Cal Wes Ubideer is a poet of California.

~~~

You Mist
          by Ubs Reece Idwal

You mist my poetry entirely. You think its span
but citified attraction to the monuments of man.
You only caught the surface, shining glory of its sprawl,
diluted by a dialectic of the natural—
ironic on so many levels. Be that as it may,
you caught one aspect of my style—its knotty, gem display.
You only read two poems of the thousands I have made.
I don’t renounce at all bucolic settings, bear or glade.
Like Vergil, I have found Theócritus of value too
in laying out a vision of the beautiful and true.

Ubs Reece Idwal is a poet of the Pacific Northwest. Vergil (70 BC – 19 BC) was a Roman poet, Theócritus (c. 300 BC – after 260 BC) was a Greek poet from Sicily.

~~~

Beneath Wood Beams by Metal Bars
          by Des Wercebauli

Out through the window, he could see cement and buildings there,
so bright and white, so filled with light, out in the open air.
Inside he was at work amidst equipment and the shelves.
At times, the work was strenuous; it could be just like hell.
Back-breaking work caused him to grimace at his varied chores.
Coworkers too could drive him mad, and they could be such bores.
But he would struggle on, he’d work until the end of shift.
In fact, it fluxuated, and some times it would uplift.
O, then, yes, then, he loved his work; it made him feel alive,
like as, o, an electric angel—ra-di-o-ac-tive.

Des Wercebauli is a poet of work.

 

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