The California Summer Fires
          by Cal Wes Ubideer

A vehicle burst into flames on 23 July,
on California’s Route, west of I-5, 299;
that’s how the fierce Carr Fire started, near to Redding’s porch;
o, God, 6 lives were lost, more than 1000 homes were torched.
More than 100,000 acres have been scorched to date;
some 30,000 were evacuated from its blaze.
And it is not the only deadly fire in the state;
o, God, 2 lives were lost near Ferguson; and others rage.
The images from satellites show smoke from up in space;
one truly hopes that Californians can steer clear—stay safe.

Cal Wes Ubideer is a poet of California. This week chef Guy Fieri drove his caravan up north, from Napa Valley to the Redding, fierce Carr Fire’s roar, where he and crew joined the Salvation Army volunteers, preparing meals for the hundreds distraught and in tears. What is Silicon Valley doing to help?


The Cook
          by Carb Deliseuwe

He loved to cook up something in the kitchen with his friends,
some sweet concoction they could make for satisfying ends.
He’d stand up at the counter, concentrating on hors d’oeuvres,
in preparation of the entrées and whipped-up desserts.
He loved it so much he’d become absorbed completely in ‘t,
whatever he was working on, rolls, greens, or hunks of meat.
He loved the final products, but he loved the process too.
There was not any part of it he did not like to view.
When other things would bring him down, o, this would bring him up,
a luscious dish, fruits, nuts or fish, or creamy, frothy cup.

Carb Deliseuwe is a poet of food.


White Button Mushrooms
          by Ileac Burweeds
          “We shall by morning/ Inherit the earth.”
              —Sylvia Plath, Mushrooms

Thumbnail-sized, white button mushrooms, with smooth, rounded caps,
upon their short, truncated stems, take spring-to-autumn naps.
They’re hemispherical at first, and flatten later on.
The narrow, crowded gills, first pink, become a darker brown.
Two-inch cylindrical stipes bear a thick and narrow ring,
which may be streaked upon the upper side while burrowing.
The fleshy and spore-bearing, fruiting fungus body eats
dead and decayed organic matter saprotrophic’lly.
A Pennsylvania farmer back in 1926
observed the clump from which they come, the modern shopper picks.

Ileac Burweeds is a poet of plants.


On Cohen’s Forcing
          by Euclidrew Base

Back in the 1870s, Cantor hypothesized
an infinite subset could be appropriately sized,
in correspondence, one-to-one, with all the integers
or maybe real numbers, vintage math, yet still unsure.
Gödel showed—1938—it could not be disproved;
and there it stood, set theory’s central problem, stuck, unmoved.
Then by developing a mathematical technique
called forcing, which he used to prove the answer he did seek,
the independence o’ th’ continuum hypothesis;
Paul Cohen showed that it was not decidable as such.

Euclidrew Base is a poet of mathematics.


          by B. S. Eliud Acrewe

The misty evening settles down
and clothes the riverside with poetry,
as with a veil.

One loses all the things one loathes
and glides along as in a dreamy myth.

Within the narrow length of my rowboat
with long and narrow oars,
I travel on
reflecting moonlit wavelets, off,
afloat in quietness,
all meanness leaves, is gone.

Alone, I drift.
The fascination grows,
as darkness overwhelms the city’s scenes,
where here and there are seen the faintest glows,
the ornamental blobs of golden sheens.

In circles,
round and round I pull the oars
and reach to find within
the heart’s deep cores.

The beauty of the evening solaces.
Poor buildings lose themselves in the dim sky.
Warehouses are transformed to palaces.
Tall chimneys turn to campaniles nearby.

The city seems to hang upon the night,
as thousands lower shades and blinds for sleep.
I drift past towers, ships, and cars.

Twilight dissolves into an emptiness so deep
it fills me with its grandness,
and reveals more than I ever thought
I would see.

Upon the massive canvas time puts its seals
here in the midst of vast—

My boat continues past Chelsea’s shore
and flows on under Battersea—
the bridge—
down to th’ Houses o’ Parl’ament—
and more, oh, so much more,
beyond the river’s edge.

A thousand thousand images go by,
and so do I;
and so I say good-bye
to Cremorne Gardens.

As I go along alone,
life is so long.
I say so long.

But nature sings exquisitely in tune.
I hear the waters flow and fold and flip.
I had not thought this time would come so soon.
Beyond the rowing arms
the oars drip-drip.

It is the hollow chafing of a husk—
this vision of the city in the dusk.

This journey down the river’s curves—
it wipes away the worries and the tears,
it eases and relaxes upset nerves,
it frees one from the onset of one’s fears.
I’m moved by fancies that are curled around
these oils diluted thin with turpentine,
these worlds polluted thick with smog and browned,
these frothy waters tossed and turned to brine.

I’m vanishing forever in this
Released from personality,
I move along
far from where I did first embark.
My spirit travels in an open groove.
My soul is stretched so loosely on the Thames.
The times are scintillating, diadems.

B. S. Elid Acrewe is a poet of Britain. “Nocturnes” are visions of London.


Winner of the 105th Edition of the Tour de France
          by Cews Baudelier

The Welshman Geraint Thomas won the Tour de France this year,
and on the podium spread out his griffin in good cheer.
He drank a slender flute of sweet champagne as he rode on
into Paris, he showed he was “a bit more than a pawn”.
When he had raced away from Froome, the favourite to win,
up Alpe d’ Huez, stage 12 was his—he cycled like the wind.
Known mostly as phenomenal track rider for his team,
not many thought the underdog would reach the final dream;
but Sunday as the air display flew o’er the pelotron,
crowds saw him near Arc de Triomphe with yellow jersey on.

Cews Baudelier is a poet of France. Older than some nations, le Tour de Frace came into existence in 1903.


Svetlana Alexievich
          by Edewic Belarus

She dwelt in that flat wooded plat of sand, clay, flax and grain,
in Belarus near Russia’s stretch across from the Ukraine.
From youth she heard the stories o’ th’ Great Patriotic War,
of women who had lost their men, the struggles and the gore;
from interviews, she wove her novels, voices from the time,
unwomanly the horrors, but still touched with the sublime.
Likewise she took up other tales, Chernobyl and the fall,
the Socialist Atlantis sinking in the raging squall,
the hopeless stand, Afghanistan, the communistic plain,
the plan for freedom, ebbing red utopia of pain.
Herself, like all those voices, catch words, phrases from the ditch,
the polyphone of life—Svetlana Alexievich.

Edewic Belarus is a poet of Belarus. Svetlana Alexievich, from Belarus, but who writes in Russian, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2015. Russian is becoming the dominant language of Belarus, supplanting Belarusian.


Imram Khan the Next PM
          by Waseel Budecir

In Pakistan, he was the man the military chose
to back for the Prime Minister; among the crowd he rose.
The former cricket player has his work cut out for him,
a nation of 200,000,000, bubbling at the brim.
His foe had been arrested, when he flew into Lahore,
Nawaz Sharif—corruption’s what he went to prison for.
Yet Imram Khan now has to face a nation on the brink,
a payment crisis, rising prices, swimming in red ink.
Though he retired from cricket back in 1992,
if only one All-Rounder’s Triple could be doubled two…

Waseel Bedecir is a poet of Pakistan—Punjab, Afghani, Kashmir, Sindh, and Baluchistan. The economic problems in Pakistan stem to Chinese bond holders; some believe the Chinese should bail out Pakistan—and not America.


Song on the Water Buffalo
          by Sud Lee “Rice” Wab

When young, U Sam Oeur sang, while herding water buffalo;
but to survive the Khmer Rouge years, performed a deaf dumb-show.
“I could not speak…There were no words…Just work and work. No talk…”
Don’t look at anyone, the sky, not anything at all.
Soth Polin hopes new writing generations will appear;
for those, like Hak Chhay Hok, are lost, o, irretrieably,
like Khun Srun and Kam Sat, who never more will write again,
Chou Thani, and so many, o can’t open up their pen.
The days of Angor Wat are gone; they left some time ago;
but yet perhaps, some sing on on the water buffalo.

Sud Lee “Rice” Baw is a poet of Southeast Asia. Hun Sen, the former Khmer Rouge leader, has recently cemented one-man rule in Cambodia. Unsurprisingly his Cambodian People’s Party will likely take every seat. Hun Sen once said if he “had not been willing to enter the tiger’s den, how would we have caught the tigers?” “Sud” is tiger in Thai.


New Zealand’s Clampdown on Ivory Trafficking
          by Eric Awl De Beus

PC Police at the New Zealand DoC attacked
an Englisman’s antique piano. O, it was shellacked!
The keys of ivory were stripped…and forfeit to the crown.
It’s time for bureaucratic apparatchiks to crack down.
His paperwork was not in order. Crazed RatCheeks appeared.
They vandalized the old piano. Gleefully they sneered.
We must uphold the law, and stop the trade in ivory.
His children must not touch those keys. It’s downright thievery!
It doesn’t matter it was built in 1895.
Seize it! The trafficking of ivory is still alive!

Eric Awl De Beus is a poet of New Zealand.


AI Diplomacy
          by Li “Web Crease” Du

AI, immune to fear or favour, now in China is
attempting to help make the Sino foreign policy.
Some cutting edge technologies are being utilized
to deal with the Belt and Road initiative’s great size,
involving seventy republics and corrupt regimes;
with sixty-five per cent of World population schemes,
requires quite a bit of balancing of many things,
like gossip, spying satellites, and baksheesh bribery.
AI can read and analyze more data than a man
could ever do in trying to control the greased yuan.

Li “Web Crease” Du is a poet of China in the 21st century.


A New Surveillance Grid
          by Esca Webuilder

Leaked documents show Silicon is plotting to launch forth
a censoring search engine for the Chinese dictaforce;
so government officials can then blacklist thoughts they hate,
like human rights, democracy, religion, truth and fate.
The Google project codenamed Dragonfly is on the way,
with apps, like Maotai, to keep the populace at bay.
The Firewall of China is not great, nor is it good;
but Google leaders, like Pichai, would like to join its hood;
and that way they can help support suppressing Chinese folk.
Democracy dies in the darkness of an evil yoke.

Esca Webuilder is a poet of the Internet.