by Basil Drew Eceu
So softly, Sue Grafton, among these blue days,
so softly I sing a brief song for your praise.
I’m sitting beside passing video streams;
so softly, Sue Grafton, you’re gone with old dreams.
Your Kinsey Milhone is now left among words,
beneath scudding jet planes, occasional birds,
like the cac-kl-ing black grac-kles sitting on stores;
I’m thinking of mysteries, Hitchcock’s and yours.
From A is for Alibi, Y’s Yesterday,
from movies and ghost writers you kept at bay.
Now you have vanished and gone from the light;
Z is for Zero books you have to write.
Basil Drew Eceu is a poet of mystery. Among his favourite writers of mystery and suspense are Edgar Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Erle Stanley Gardner, and Eric Ambler.
A Rush of Muddy Water: January 9, 2017
by Cal Wes Ubideer
The rocks and mud were flying down a twisting Burbank street,
when Desi Franklin and his girl friend did their best to flee.
As waves of storm runoff began to pour down asphalt curves,
those river rapids made him start; at once, he lost his nerves.
He shoveled sev’ral feet of mud in front of his driveway.
He got inside his Prius rental. They did not dare stay.
He slowly drove the steep road down through waves of mud and wood;
his wheels skidded on the rubble, brakes did little good.
Then all at once a wave of water crashed into his car.
His girlfriend yelled, “Go, go, go. We gotta get outa here.”
The hydroplaning started; he had no control at all.
‘This might be how it ends,’ he thought, in a screeching squall.
Along the way he saw the mangled cars, in crumpled hulls.
“They looked like wadded paper pieces; it was terrible.”
At last they made it to the bottom of the hill—alive.
“I love this car,” he said. They got through hell; he still could drive.
But twenty other people weren’t so lucky to survive;
for they’d been overwhelmed by toppled trees, mud, boulders, slides.
Days after, workers using backhoes, jackhammers, chain saws,
continued searching for the missing, Montecito’s maws.
Cal Wes Ubideer is a poet and critic of the West, and California in particular, influenced by the journalistic styles of Harte, Twain, and Bierce.
A False Alert
by Wadibele Cruse
For over thirty minutes people in Hawaii thought
that they were under missile threat, a possible onslaught.
Just after eight am, Hawaii State Emergency
sent out a false alert—a worker from the Agency
apparently made a mistake, erred during a shift change,
and has been reassigned, although the worker still remains.
Amazingly the Agency did not retract the call,
until well over half an hour, in the manic squall.
Some hid, some prayed, some fled, some stayed, one had a heart attack;
but once they knew that it was fake, where was the quick retract?
Waldibele Cruse is a poet of Hawaii.
This House Is Cloudy: After Nima Yoshij
by Abdul Serecewi
This house is cloudy, this entire place is cloudy now.
Above this narrow pass, the shattered, drunken winds whirl down.
This land is desolated by it, and my senses drown.
The piper’s lost…the melody…a dervish going round.
Protester Saro Ghahremani died in Sananjan,
Ali Poladi died in Chalus, tortured in Iran.
This cloud is on the verge of weeping; take another breath;
two activists tossed in these shitholes have been charged to death.
Of course, authorities claim both committed suicide;
but Saro’s mother saw marks…on…the cemetery ride.
A burial that’s quick and short—what could there be to hide?
Within this cloud-filled World the report is two men died.
The Schiller Monument
by Uwe Carl Diebes
“Bleib nur das Gerippe mir zurück.”
—Friedrick Schiller, “Die Götter Giechenlands”
The Schiller Monument, located in Gendarmenmarkt,
in front of Konzerthaus, Berlin, is where it now is parked.
The set of statues executed by Reinhold Begas
surrounds a cube-shaped pedestal, on which the poet stands.
The Nazis took the laureled dramatist down for parades,
but later was restored, and missing pieces were replaced.
The renovation was completed in Two-Thousand-Six,
the statue stood again amidst the shapes below transfixed:
grand History with tablet, Tragedy with mask face-sharp,
Philosophy with scroll, and Lyric with a swan-topped harp.
But Schiller is not here; he has gone with the Grecian gods;
we only have an image of what once was now is not.
Uwe Carl Diebes is a poet fond of German literature.
by Crise de Abu Wel
At least 200,000,000 Christians all across the globe,
in 2017 were persecuted on this orb.
Severe restrictions on their movements, meetings, and events,
with screams pernicious, vile and vicious, outright violence.
More than 2,000 deaths were listed in the Middle East;
more than 1,000 women raped, no #Hashtag MeToo pleas.
From Libya to North Korea, Christians left their homes,
forgotten, shot, and slaughtered, o, those ethnic-cleansing groans.
Day after day reports come in across this planet Earth—
one wonders what will be in 2018’s deadly girth.
Crise de Abu Wel is a poet of the Christians in the Middle East, like the Armenians, Assyrians, Copts, Maronites, Melkites, Orthodox, and Syriacs.
by Çelebi Ürwëdas
“…this old mountain…is somewhat lost to us today…”
—David B. Gosselin
Perhaps it got its name, Mount Ida, in the Bronze Age times,
when Teucri came from Cretan shores and slightly varied climes.
Perhaps Aeneas left his sacred cattle there before
Achilles came to take them during horrid, raging war.
Herodotus wrote that King Xerxes passed through Antandros,
from Sardis to the Hellespont and his impending loss,
that place from which Aeneas left to go to ancient Rome;
in tears he left his coast to find another land and home.
Today the crystalline, volcanic mass of ancient fame
is the possesser of a rather more prosaic name.
The region has become a draw for hikers and their crews,
who seek fresh oxygen, the waterfalls and scenic views.
The wooded, wind-swept massif in northwestern Turkey called
Goose Mountain, and whose summit is, due to exposure, bald,
contains, amidst the villages connected by stone paths,
deer, wild boar and jackals in the Turkish-fir-tree swaths.
Çelebi Ürwëdas is a poet of Anatolia, and the Troas.
by Euclidrew Base
No, all charms don’t fly at the touch of bright philosophy;
philosophy extends an angel’s wings; it also frees.
It opens landscapes of the mind, as Newton did for Keats,
who had the chance to gaze on nature’s deepest mysteries.
With rule and line, he could divine, the godly formulae:
a rainbow’s arc from white light shining in a charming law;
the calculus to measure movement in the universe;
acceleration multiplied by mass on planet Earth;
the force that through the green fuse drives the flower to the skies,
and gravity that draws all things before our very eyes.
Augustin Louie Cauchy
by Euclidrew Base
O, his enormous scientific creativity
was nothing less than staggering for its fertility.
His work included real and complex analysis,
as well as mathematical research into physícs.
One founder of the theory of elasticity, he,
developed likewise complex functions with felicity.
He wrote so many papers they came off the press in swarms.
Investigations into light produced Fourier transforms.
Matrix diagonalization added to his fuse
of God and thought, integral calculus of residues.
He met death with such calm, he made his family ashamed
for their profound dejection—Augustin Louie Cauchy.
Euclidrew Base is a poet of mathematics, in awe of the prolific talent of Cauchy.