by “Clear Dew” Ibuse

The baby at home,
with covid-19 parents.
manages a smile.


          by “Clear Dew” Ibuse

Casually drawn
by Natsume Sōseki,
a plumb blossom falls.

“Clear Dew” Ibuse is a poet of Japanese poetic forms, like the haiku, or the katuata (side poem).


          by “Wired Clues” Abe

A quarter, shirtless,
in the cold, morning crosswalk:
the high school track team.

“Wired Clues” Abe is a poet using Japanese forms united with technology, who although he appreciates the Gendai movement and New Rising Haiku, very much admires traditional haiku.


An Early Audience: January 23, 2022
          by Wu “Sacred Bee” Li

The Red-capped Cock-man has announced the Coming of the Dong .
The Keeper of the Robes is bringing terror to Taiwan.
The heavenly nine doors re-ve-al thirty-nine aircraft.
The coats of many countries kowtow to the Golden Calf.
Sunlight has entered into the Cheat’s craven carven plans.
Incense and hatred round the Dragon spread to many lands.
The Chengdu J-10 fighters, electronic spotter planes,
and the Shenyang J-16 jets roar out in enraged refrains.
The audience hears edicts, blue, black, yellow, red and white,
a Phoenix phalanx sent forth by the Secretariat.

Wu Li is a poet of ancient China, whose courtesy name is “Sacred Bee”. This poem draws on a poem from the Tang dynasty by Wang Wei (王維, 699-759). One of the meanings of “Dong” in Chinese is “East.”


Each Was a Gem
          by Waseel Budecir

I saw the man look down from where he was at that view point;
he stared at nearby mounts some snow god planned soon to anoint.
And down below, such gorgeous gorges—beautiful they stand—
like as the Hunza River winding through north Pakistan.
He wondered at those wonders that he saw before his eyes,
below the azure splendor of the clean, unfeeling skies.
The difference in elevation was spectacular—
from mountain tops to valley botts, in the vernacular.
He gazed upon those lovely sights; he wished he could climb them;
but he would simply have to look, and note each was a gem.

Waseel Budecir is a poet of Pakistan. According to Beau Lecsi Werd, botts are a clipping of bottoms.


Anxiety increases in Ukraine; the tensions rise;
as NATO and the Russian forces bolster their supplies.

Comparing total Russia to Ukraine (as per ArmedForces.eu):

population:                    146,000,000 to 41,000,000;
military budget:                    $61.7 billion to $5.4 billion;
active personnel:                    1,154,000 to 255,000;
reserve personnel:                    2,000,000 to 1,000,000;
tanks:                              12,270 to 6,990;
aircraft                              5,222 to 326;
naval ships                              664 to 43.


A News Balladic Composition
          by Bard Eucewelis
          “like the albatross…accustomed to the turbulence of the forever tumbling
              —Gain Perspective, “The Golden Shore”

A news balladic composition, like dodeca, is
a compact passing in elastic, like a cross-bow’s whizz.
Although it’s rhythmic verse that’s suitable for singing songs,
in prose, it goes along, a flock of words in winging throngs.

Like as an albatross that rises high into the sky;
it’s there a moment, then it’s gone before one says good-bye.
It vanishes, as it appears—abruptly—melts into…
the sea, the sky…one sees a white cloud vaporize in blue.

O, what was there? a simple air, light as a tune by Bach,
as if it wasn’t where it was, and it could not be caught,
that rides the storm above the archer’s range, but cannot walk,
because of giant wings the ancient mariners once mocked.

Bard Eucewelis is a balladeer. Amongst so many compositions, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) also composed airs. This dodeca draws from British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) and French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867).


At the Rusted Tractor
          by Red Was Iceblue

I saw him at the rusted tractor, camera in hand.
Was he Glenn Bowie, Massachusetts elevator man?
He’d gone into the thorns and honey-coloured grassy field,
o, underneath the weight of whispers—that surpassing yield.
Beyond, the clouds swirled through the sky, like as a painted scene,
in shades of forest to chartreuse, the horizontal trees,
the auburn vegetation, like a crop of dying corn,
the junky, orange vehicle, like as some forlorn porn.
And yet, the beauty of the pic, with its amazing spread,
from distant house or shed, was filled with life; it was not dead.


A Working Man and Wife
          by Red Was Iceblue
          “…aware of the humanity on the other side of the door.”
              —Criselda Vasquez, “The New American Gothic”

They stand before some distant trees, on pavement, amber, gray,
a three-door cargo van, a drab-red Astro Chevrolet,
together, working man and wife, he with his upheld hoe,
she with red bucket and her cleaners, hanging down and low.
She wears a slender necklace, light-blue top, black pants and shoes.
He wears a light-gray sweatshirt, steel-blue pants, foot-gear abused.
He’s looking forward, she aside, a thin beard rounds his mouth;
they seem to be two people who have traveled from the south.
Low draped a plastic Lysol bottle, ‘HI’ in windowed dust;
their faces solemn, classic, inelastic, proud, nonplussed.

Red Was Iceblue is a poet of Modernist, PostModernist, and NewMillennial art. Criselda Vasquez is a contemporary NeoRealistic painter. Glenn Bowie is a contemporary poet and photographer of the Boston area.


The New Molossus
          by Caud Sewer Bile

An old, confused man in the Capitol,
obsessed about one protest in DC,
not like Colossus, found in Ancient Greece,
astride Rhodes harbour, high in polished bronze,
has opened up the land with beckoned hand,
its laws are broken, scattered aimlessly,
like shards found in 226 BC,
great Helios with tainted fentanyl.
Ah, when he opes his lips, the jackals bark,
let drugs and human trafficking reign free,
let tired, poor souls, seeking liberty,
come join in the corruption and the dark.
Two million more in 2021:
unvaxxed, untaxed, there’s room for anyone.

Caud Sewer Bile is a poet of the Swamp. Molossus is a type of large dog, etc. In 226 BC, an earthquake destroyed the Ancient Greek Colossus.


A Brief Critique—“Sonnetized”
          by Wilbur Dee Case

Although, like the professor mentioned here,
I, too, avoid the sonnet’s tug and hold,
K. Irene Rieger is a sonneteer
who doesn’t flee the form because it’s old.
Instead, she uses it to pen her thoughts,
while nursing in the night, and in the dawn,
an issue that she feels—Is it ersatz?
with a dramatic anecdote she’s drawn.
Upset, in sestet, rhyming feminine,
the bulldog bitch, contained, but only such,
articulates the said professor’s spin
and adds an extra iamb to her punch.
And then, in English sonnet form she ends,
in tense restraint, the verbal vent she’s sent.

Wilbur Dee Case is a poet and literary critic. K. Irene Rieger is a contemporary poet.


University of Washington Update
          by Ubs Reece Idwal

The University of Washington is lame, because
they hate on phrases like soul creature or grandfather clause.
Minority is problematic, and housekeeping too;
preferred pronouns are bad to use and easy to abuse.
Don’t speak of red or yellow, black or brown? o, don’t say white.
The use of ninja cripples is verboten by their guide.

Ubs Reece Idwal is a poet of the Pacific Northwest.


The Omicron Subvariant
          by Dr. Weslie Ubeca
          “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”
              —William Shakespeare, “Hamlet”

The BA.2 subvariant of Omicron, though fledge,
is more contagious than the BA.1 sublineage;
in fact, some Danes say they’ll attain a herd immunity
because it spreads so fast and with not much impunity.
Surprisingly, most who have got this brand new Omicron,
are those who have been vaxxed or boosted by Big Pharma’s con.
In California, Washington, the stealth strain’s on the go
as well as further east, in Texas and New Mexico.
How many of us have already gotten this disease
bequeathed to us from scientific Communist Chinese?

Dr. Weslie Ubeca is a poet of medicine—not a medical doctor. The new strain is mainly appearing in states along the southern border with Mexico. The most covid-19 cases in the US per 100,000 is Rhode Island, 31,000+, and the lowest is Maine, 12,000+. New England’s extremes are the nation’s extremes.


That Precious Thing
          by Rudi. E. Welec, “Abs”

Although his head was flat on top, like sliced ham in a pan,
and had a stature—very chubby—for a working man;
in fact, he was protuberant, convex both front and back;
he still could manage much—there was a lot that he could pack.
And though his abs were fairly flabby, quite out of control,
and he was rather dense throughout his body, mind and soul—
with skin as thick as cattle hide or bodybuilder’s calf,
still, he had that which wasn’t bad, despite such hardened fat.
And, no, he wouldn’t win a contest for his stripped-down strength,
but he had life, that precious thing, for which his Lord be thanked.

Rudi E. Welec, “Abs”, is a poet of life.


Granola Clusters
          by Carb Deliceuwe

O, raisins, almonds, honey, coconut and whole rolled oats,
he loved granola clusters, sweet, firm, gold, nonGMO.
No artificial flavours, added colours, it was nice,
a source of fibre, on the Nile, Tiber, or the Rhine.
Brown sugar touched with cinnamon, made in the USA,
though manufactured at a factory, its taste was great.
Though processed at a place that handles peanuts, milk and soy,
as well as wheat and tree nuts, yet, to eat it was a joy.
He loved granola clusters with a good, hot coffee cup;
an early morning snack he loved that did not fill him up…too much.

Carb Deliseuwe is a poet of food.