Rajnish Mishra… Sic semper [evello mortem] tyrannis

 

Sic semper [evello mortem] tyrannis

 
‘Still waters run deep’.
 
Clichés are good to begin a poem with.
I love justice and hate tyranny.
I love justice more than
I love my country, its people, my people, fame or wealth.
Sometimes, truth sounds clichéd.
 
Quid est veritas?
 
At first it seems not easy,
not quite, but then, as it’s natural to kill, so natural,
in fact, that they need to write,
sometimes on stone, sometimes on paper:
‘Thou shalt not kill!’
 
Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
 
He rose high, and masses called him God.
He’s not alone, but caput gone triumvirate kaput.
It’s unnerving to feel within – a fierce, feral,
beast, unnamed and ferocious, rise and fill
all the space up under the skin
of a citizen: civilized, harmless and tamed.
 
Hoi polloi
 
The masses, sheep, sons and daughters of apes,
imitate, submit, follow and yield liberty
to tyrants, despots, usurpers with power,
for their patch of pasture or bunch of bananas.
 
‘But here I am to speak what I do know’
 
I am an honorable man, not a butcher.
You are an honorable man, no accomplice.
We are all honorable and good men.
They are not honorable.
 
Ehyeh asher Ehyeh.
 
You are what you are,
and masses are ‘them’, not ‘us’.
Strangely though, it’s them, not you,
who lust for blood tonight, my blood.
Bloodthirsty sheep? Lion-apes? Always?
 
‘Fearful symmetry’
 
Tiger’s fire is sheep’s death.
Thy blood my brother bought death for me;
Thy blood ‘cries out’ to them ‘from the soil’
brings vengeance, seven fold,
Insane at night, sane at dawn.
No, Caesar never cried ‘Et tu Brute’,
nor I ‘Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis’.
 

Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India. He is the editor of PPP Ezine, a poetry ezine. He has a blog on poetry, poetics and aesthetic pleasure: https:/poetrypoeticspleasure.wordpress.com.

 

Copyright © 2017 by Rajnish Mishra

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Afzal Moolla… Massacre at Houla

 

Massacre at Houla

 
She was no more than 10 years of age.
He could have been a grandfather.
 
Young, old, women, girls, men, boys.
 
108 lives.
 
Now they are buried,
in hurriedly dug graves,
on the plains of Houla.
 
Killed by knives,
shot at point-blank range,
slaughtered, mowed-down.
 
108 lives.
 
Snuffed-out. Decimated. Taken-out.
 
108 lives.
 
As Damascus lies blatantly,
spewing forth untruth,
108 warm, dead bodies,
remain buried,
in hurriedly dug graves,
on the plains of Houla.
 
108 lives.
 

Afzal Moolla was born in New Delhi, India while his parents were in exile, fleeing Apartheid South Africa. His father Mosie Moolla represented the African National Congress (ANC) in India, Egypt and Finland.

Afzal returned to South Africa following the unbanning of the ANC and the release of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners. He works and lives in Johannesburg, and shares his literary musings with his most strident critic – his 12 year old cat – Scully.

 

Copyright © 2012 by Afzal Moolla

 
 
 
 
 
 

Afzal Moolla… A Child of War

 

A Child of War

As she lies bleeding
the girl who skipped and hopped to school
all of nine and a half years old
with ribbons in her hair and a laugh that was
her father’s pride
 
As she lies bleeding
the warm bullet lodged in her torn stomach
she stares at her skipping rope
as her blood soaks it the colour of the cherries her mummy buys
 
As she lies bleeding
she sees the people through the thick black smoke
blurred visions of scattering feet and shoes left behind
hearing nothing but the pinging in her blown-out eardrums
 
As she lies bleeding
she slips away quickly and then she is dead
a mangled heap of a nine and a half year old girl
whose laugh was her father’s pride
 
As she lies bleeding
for even in death she bleeds some more
the warm bullet wedged in her torn stomach
steals the light from her bright little eyes
as she lies bleeding
 

in Jallianwala Bagh in ‘19

Leningrad in ‘42

Freetown in ‘98

Soweto in ‘76

Jenin in ‘02

Hanoi in ‘68

Beirut in ‘85

Kabul now

Basra still

Gaza too
 
As she lies bleeding
this little nine and a half year old girl
whose laugh was her father’s pride
we know she’ll bleed and bleed some more
tomorrow and in many tomorrows yet unborn
with that warm bullet in her stomach
ripped open and torn
 
As she lies bleeding.
 

Afzal Moolla was born in New Delhi, India while his parents were in exile, fleeing Apartheid South Africa. His father Mosie Moolla represented the African National Congress (ANC) in India, Egypt and Finland.

Afzal returned to South Africa following the unbanning of the ANC and the release of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners. He works and lives in Johannesburg, and shares his literary musings with his most strident critic – his 12 year old cat – Scully.

 

Copyright © 2012 by Afzal Moolla

 
 
 
 
 
 

Michele Alice… DC Circus

 
 

DC Circus

 
 

I.

 
Golden rod
       is so pretty, I wonder–
has it a fragrance?
 
 
 

II.

 
Who needs Ringling
Brothers when we’ve got
Washington?
 
 
 

III.

 
New Economics 101
 
Debt
is
stimulating.
 
 
 

IV.

 
The Paul Krugman
       Equation: You’ll know it’s enough
when it works.
 

Originally from Detroit, I spent my college years studying Philosophy at the University of Arizona (Tucson) before escaping the heat and ending up in the Berkshires (Massachusetts) where I support my writing by working in a museum.

 

Copyright © 2017 by Michele Alice

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Darren C. Demaree… TRUMP AS A FIRE WITHOUT LIGHT

 
 

TRUMP AS A FIRE WITHOUT LIGHT #424

I see a king as light as a feather held on to by the teeth of wolves. The wind does nothing to him. The spittle is his joy. He is held so tightly by their sharp attention that it must at certain panicking points feel like real love meant to make his struggle valiant. He is a real man. That is his blood. If it’s not his blood, then this story is really fucking dark.

 
 

TRUMP AS A FIRE WITHOUT LIGHT #425

The secrecy isn’t cruel. The secrecy is a misplaced mercy. We have written down the names of so many people that would prefer us to be dead or at least gone. We have chanted some of those names. The secrecy is an animal without bones. It’s useless, but it’s important if we’re going keep the fear that gives us these names.

 
 

TRUMP AS A FIRE WITHOUT LIGHT #426

Don’t let them separate your nerves. They’re poking you to divide you. Accept that this is painful. Challenge their fingers!

 

My poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including the South Dakota Review, Meridian, New Letters, Diagram, and the Colorado Review.

I am the author of six poetry collections, most recently “Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly” (2016, 8th House Publishing). I am the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.

I am currently living and writing in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and children.

Copyright © 2017 by Darren C. Demaree