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  1. Hi and Welcome! This is an open thread, intended for poets to help one another on GA. It's not tied to any one piece, but a forum where we can exchange ideas, get feedback on a project we're intending to post, or one that's already up. Questions and advice are always welcomed, so don't be shy about stopping by now and again to say 'hey.'
  2. This anthology is a collection from a writers workshop in East London. As such is has been designed to showcase the writing coming out of this workshop, and so is a very mixed anthology. This isn’t just a collection of short stories only, or just poetry or only essays. This collection contains many different styles of writing. There are short stories here, but also poetry, essays and even drabbles (100 word stories). The strength here is this collection’s variety. If you don’t want to read poetry or an essay, then the next piece is something different. And there is a lot of variety here, there’s twenty-eight different pieces of writing in this collection. There are certainly highlights here. Belgin Durmush’s short story is a surreal satire on dysfunctional committees, while George Tsappis’s story finds the humanity in less than a glorious time for the British occupiers of 1940’s Cyprus. The poems here span many different styles. Frank Crocker’s poems are pithy and humorous, revolving around one subject or another. George Fuller’s poems paint lyrical pictures of different events and places. Dharma Paul’s poems engage the mind and emotions. But the standout poems here are Deborah Collins’s, both lyrically and memorably, captures the strange and disjointed world of East London during lockdown. And there are Paul Butler’s drabbles. He uses 100 words to tell his concise and sharply funny stories. This anthology is full of different and new writing, it is a chance to find some new authors from East London, and is read that can be dipped in and out of, or read in one or two sittings. Find something original here. Find it here on Amazon
  3. There are many stages of making love First there is the Look A Look, that which can melt the stars and feed a million souls Then the Unveiling Like that of the most precious of the presents A slow sensuous unwrap The Indulgence is next Deliberate movements across the landscape Appraising the scenery of touch Then comes the Immaculate kiss A divine surrender of a watchful heart And the rest is a blur of motions of negative spaces Until finally past the soaring heights of the steeple Into the blissful void An intermingling of souls and a glimpse of paradise The Absolute 04/04/2014 ©asamvav111
  4. You can move mountains, they say If only you ask with love I found it true when my Softest touch moved your reluctance away And I saw the sun rise Though before I was blind And its warmth pierced my heart In million rays, in million ways I felt it burn, I cried out “Gloria in excelsis Deo” Every kiss tells a story Ours was the beginning ©asamvav111
  5. I have waited many nights like this Through the dissident thunders and winds running wild Through raindrops trickling from the broken windows I have waited in my vigilant silence So dark your visage yet tranquil as smoggy mornings I have spent many nights trying to discern their silhouette Against the many shades of grey my vision had painted In the bleak canvas of nature’s blasphemous hawking I fear her call, the insistent solicitation of a harlot Aware of nature’s charm in beguiling nubile minds I confront my passions in the obscure an’ dilapidated And in my heart find abeyance my only true calling Thus on nights like this I wait I wait for a chance glimpse A miracle wrapped in misery And a deliverance eternal ©asamvav111
  6. My beloved didn’t answer my prayer I tried all my usual tricks I dried my tears at his feet I covered my head in my shame and walked away Finally understood what it is to lose, to a pretty face An uncaring smile and those ravishing eyes Snuffed out my soft ambers’ austere plea My beloved didn’t look back ©asamvav111
  7. It is necessary to see death. It is necessary to see death, stark naked, lurid and wild, Death as it pisses in the dark alleyways drunk and ecstatic on the jumps of drugs that are hard to name and harder to pronounce, it is still necessary to see death face to face. In a breach of society sanctioned lucidity hardwired in our brain, It is still very necessary to see death, To see the violent vandalism of civilization, Of ashes and nuclear death of atoms and atom bombs, Billions of flashlights burning up the sky, Smell of rotten carcass evaporating in sterile perfume of laboratory engineered poisons, Gases and liquids and solid whites of the eyes of the dead and the suffering of millions upon millions of innocence of ruthless greed of narcissist wankers. It is necessary to see death as it is, for the spring of flowers is nearly over and now we make war. 02/09/2013 ©asamvav111
  8. So long it has been since I have touched those soft lashes of delicate yield So long it has been since I kissed those smooth curves of apple So long it has been since I glorified those abyss of passion, dark and deep So long it has been since I adorned your transcendent frame, your mask of deceit ©asamvav111
  9. Been an emotional week around here. tim is going through something, and I can only watch and wait. But words run through my head after he comes to me, needing me. Last night he asked me to just hold him, as he tried to sleep. I did and he did. But I know him very well. Know his heart and the kind of human being he is. It's why I love him. And why I wrote this: You tell me you need my arms about you tight I know there's something, and I whisper tell me the name of who is in your heart this moment, Your head bows, there's damp on your cheeks But it isn't my name there, or on your lips And I hold you, strong against me, and smile As you say: you know I love you, don't you? I know and we are bound together in many ways Yet, I know the man in my arms, and his heart aware I am not alone in it. There are others you love, desire and care for But I am wise enough to know, forbidding this Or trying to cage you, would drive me from the Very heart I love with all of my own To keep you, I must free the butterfly So if sharing who you are and your heart Means I can love you, then share you I will I am not sad, or afraid, because you're here We always will be, until one of us must go I hope I am left, for I'd not want you to suffer alone. I know one day, you'll be gone from my arms But I don't want to know that emptiness yet. Don’t want to think of not kissing this soft skin I am your caretaker, your man and you're my boy And if eternal love exists, then that is mine, for you.
  10. It's been difficult lately for tim, and frustrating for me. Depression is such a hard thing to live with, both for the one that suffers through it and the people around them. Try as he might, and I am not surprised by it, tim tries to push away the bad things he feels. It is a constant fight for him. People say he's a man, he should put the past behind him. Move on, fuhgeddaboudit! he does, a lot, but with his dad's passing, well, I wish the brain had real door that can be locked. It doesn't and it's the same for all of us I think. If your past wants to catch up with you, you rarely can out run it. Yesterday it caught up with him. Like a runaway train, it caught him, and flattened him. he is okay ... but my frustration brought out some words: Darkened Days I know that he suffers I know his world is grey Nothing that I can do, Will take his pain away I can love him with my body I can kiss away the tears But I will never be man enough To banish forever, his fears I try and show him life is good I try and point out sunny skies But it's life that's done this to him And it's that I cannot disguise He clings to me on darkened days He clings to the light I offer All I can do is hold him tight And whisper: I always be your harbour I love you, boy xo
  11. Here's a poem and my translation of it. El Desdichado de Gérard Labrunie, ou Gérard de Nerval Je suis le Ténébreux – le Veuf – l’Inconsolé, Le Prince d’Aquitaine à la Tour abolie: Ma seule Etoile est morte – et mon luth constellé Porte le Soleil noir de la Mélancolie. Dans la nuit du Tombeau, Toi qui m’as consolé, Rends-moi le Pausilippe et la mer d’Italie, La fleur qui plaisait tant à mon coeur désolé, Et la treille où le Pampre à la Rose s’allie. Suis-je Amour ou Phébus ?… Lusignan ou Biron? Mon front est rouge encor du baiser de la Reine; J’ai rêvé dans la Grotte où nage la sirène…. Et j’ai deux fois vainqueur traversé l’Achéron: Modulant tour à tour sur la lyre d’Orphée Les soupirs de la Sainte et les cris de la Fée. The Desolate by Gérard Labrunie, aka Gérard de Nerval I am the tombs – the widower – the unconsoled, The prince of Aquitaine in his tower abandoned: My one and only star is dead – my strings unfold Melancholy's black light whose sun is most weakened. In the night of the graves, your tears held me controlled, So now return Posillipo, Naples' fair wind, The flower my afflicted heart liked so much of old, And the trellis where grape and rose were jointly pinned. Am I Venus or the Sun...? Brave king or coward? My brow is still flushed from the kiss of the sovereign; I dream yet of the grotto where swims the siren…. Twice crossing the river of the dead, I scoured For my turn on Orpheus' lyre to play For saintly sighs, and the cursed screams of the fey. ---------- Note: The poem was published in 1853 as part of a series of twelve Sonnets written while the man was incarcerated for mental instability. The title is Spanish means “the desolate”; “the wretched”; “the unfortunate” etc. For some interesting and detailed analysis of the poem and its images, see here: https://everything2.com/title/El+Desdichado
  12. MichaelS36

    Haiku

    Okay … so here are some haiku. Six to satisfy the prompt from AC's Zero to Hero Guide. waxy lily pads keep the green leaping frogs dry between awkward jumps the smiling dog runs his lolling tongue evidence of his happiness puddles line the walk jumping feet leave small footprints one of springtime’s games leaves change colour now donning coats of red and gold a glowing farewell coloured leaves taken by cold breezes fly and drop making bright carpets warm houses and cold make icy patterns on glass like dancing snowflakes
  13. MichaelS36

    Tanka

    Oh, writing Tanka, following AC's new Guide.. Here they are good or bad. Walking through the snow it squeaks under my black boots; I tighten my coat however when I reach you there's no coolness in your arms Snow tops the feeder before I add fresh birdseed; the brave nuthatch waits unconcerned about my size; sure of his heroic heart
  14. Back on July 16 @AC Benus posted a status update looking for volunteers to look at one of his poetry prompts. i thought about it, and decided to try. (it's here, if you're interested https://www.gayauthors.org/profile/18130-ac-benus/?status=134349&type=status) i'll show you the evolution in just a sec, but first i learned a couple of things i wanted to share. These authors who post poems here are a very talented group. They also work very hard on these offerings. It's not like they just spit the words out onto a page and VOILA! it's poetry. For the ones i know best, it's a long process. It could be days, or weeks before what they've written coalesces into something other than a pile of words. i've likened it to a painter, who blends the primary colors into just the PERFECT shade to convey the feeling. Our poets do that with words. Finding just the RIGHT word so their thoughts and feelings come though the page for the reader. The poets here at GA are also brave. They've put their hearts onto the page, bared their souls for all to see. That, my friends, is bravery. So, to AC's Poetry Prompt. i really wanted to do it, so i PMd him and said i'd volunteer. He sent the link and i downloaded it, and read it. Not just once, but many times. i started writing, and my first attempt was darn close to the syllable count (57577 is what a Tanka should be): the lights on the tree sparkle and dance bring butterflies to my stomach waiting for the morning was never my strength But there wasn't anything that tied together why waiting until morning is hard, and there was a hard stop after the third line, so back to the drawing board. The next attempt is a bit better but the syllable count is still off and there's still that pesky hard stop: the lights on the tree sparkle and dance on on the packages below, i'm giddy inside to see what's in them Whenever i had some quiet, or some downtime, i'd open the document and start to noodle around with it. i kept in touch with AC and shared some of my work. He was, as he always is, gentle and supportive in his critiques and his guidance. i thought a lot about his last email to me where he talked about how a person can say the same thing in many different ways, that blending of just the right words i talked about earlier. He said that putting the words in one order sounds like "everyday speech" but moving the exact same words around can make it musical. He went on to say that it takes practice, and that anyone writing poetry has to just write a lot to get a feel for it. Here's the final evolution: from across the room the brightly wrapped packages reflect the lights from the tree above and i can't wait to see what hides inside i used the "self-check" tool that was in the prompt, and it seemed to check out. AC agreed. He also reminded me not to be too hard on myself as writing poetry takes work, and practice. Then, as is his style, he invited me to revisit this when the new prompts come out. Am i glad i did the prompt challenge? Yes, i am. There were several times when i just wanted to stop, to give up. i was getting frustrated that i couldn't get it. But it's not in me to do that, so i did the best i could. Could i keep working at it? Sure, but i think i have learned what i needed to. And i gained some insight into the process, and perhaps a better appreciation for the poets among us. Will you be looking at the new prompts?
  15. I had problems falling asleep last night and this popped into my head unbidden and fully formed. Then insisted I write it down before it would let me rest (you can picture whatever Muse is to blame standing behind me, his sharpened quill-pen ✒️ at my throat) : My beautiful rose made of shattered glass, glittering in the sunlight and morning dew. Beautiful from afar, but made of sharp points and rough edges which cut & scar when you try to hold it too close, hold it too tightly. Your fragile beauty falling apart in the heat of the midday sun. I wrote that thinking of Mr P, who I knew before C and I got our relationship going. Sexually-fluid, gender-queer, skin like smooth chocolate, beautiful lips, a body that was… mmmmm… did I mention the boy was pretty? Damn was he pretty. Lace & corsets; mascara & lip gloss; muscles & strength. Mostly, but not entirely, gay; mostly, but not entirely, a top. Starting in a hole he had no hand in digging and determined to climb out, but he kept sliding back in. Looking for a Daddy with a firm hand and love but afraid of finding what he needed. Someone called him a Butch Queen, which I'm sure they did not mean as a compliment, but which is probably the best label for him. Though he hates labels as they bind you as much as they identify you and he never wanted to be tucked neatly into any box. The trust between us finally wore away but I still wonder how he is and what may have been. He lost himself to the shadows in the hole and I am afraid it will bury him.
  16. Poems with an accent I like to write. However, why attempt to write in a language other than the one I learned first. One reason: Over 130 Million people speak German (https://www.deutschland.de/en/topic/culture/the-german-language-surprising-facts-and-figures) More than 3 Billion people speak/understand English. Duh. I’ve come a long way from There is a cat. The cat is fat. The cat lies on a mat. to my first novel long story written in English. Red Running Shoes. Which I could only accomplish with the tremendous help of my first editor @Lisa. I could write a whole essay about how much she helped me. Anyway, it doesn’t matter how it sounds when I read a story to myself. When one reads it in their head, they hear no accent. At least not my horrible accent. Of course, I had to write poetry next. I blame @AC Benus and his poetry prompts. However, poetry is an entirely different matter than prose. There are those pesky things like meter, rhyme, and rhythm among other phonetic hurdles. Fear not, I won’t launch into an explanation of poetic devices now. There are people who are much more competent than I am. The point is: It is important how a poem sounds. I had this conversation with Irri about oregano of all things. In English it’s oregano. In German it’s oregano. Depending on which language you hear in your head it can screw with meter. Better not try poetry? Once started, I couldn’t stop. To me, a poem is a condensed moment. A poignant thought. A clarified feeling and many more. And always a song. Since @Valkyrie introduced me to the NaPoWriMo challenge, I learned how the perspective of my world could change for a month, an interesting, and addictive experience. I know my poems are not perfect. I grudgingly stopped aiming for perfection some while ago. It has to feel right. Therefore, I stubbornly continue writing poems with an accent.
  17. . Night Blooms Haibun Early the other morning, I couldn’t sleep anymore from all the memory-filled dreams I was having, so I took the dog outside. Standing in the garden, all the world peaceful and sweet, I saw a truly Mid-western moon – the type I grew up. Placid and nearly full, and yet hidden within the glory of its own eerie light. Moons like this remind me I have no home anymore, not with my parents now gone from the world. 5 AM, the moon playing night-bloomer with clouds smells Angel Trumpets. ~
  18. Ode to the caesura. It brings our thoughts to a stop. It laps at our minds like a sop. And halts coloratura. How glad the many millions of notions are prevented from finding full expression in the boundless words of the world, for then, once spilled on paper, how might we ever gather them up again; how might the bottle be re-plugged; how might the heart be re-assembled, if fancy-free reigned evermore…? So, hurray for the period, our friend, our lifesaver, our paramour saving us from the worst excesses of our best selves. Thus hail the caesurae. You allow the needed rest. You trump all efforts with the very best. And cut through the heart of the imperfect ‘I’.
  19. Becoming Poets You and I, we have a strong bond Like brothers, like lovers; We disgust the world with our vain perversions, our inane attachment with the word and the seas of heresy part at our command revealing the shells of untruths hiding beneath the silt of social justice. Ecstasy beyond judgement is what we share in the binding fallacy of corporeal pain battling to win over the spirit. Our ascension begins at the alter of ego. Broken down pieces of the mirror of self-hate, we tread upon our steps to immortality. Morality, ethics, civility, higher power are all suspended in space as dwindling starlights, reaching us from the outer edges of cosmos. You and I, we have a strong bond. Like brothers, like lovers; We step over millions of corpses to reach the quintessential truth, the poesy of nature. 21/03/17 Paranoia When I see you talking to others I think of it as betrayal When I see you smiling with others I question if you are loyal When I see you moving on with life going roundabout your business I feel I have been left out from it all in order to hide your menace I know the wheels are turning I know the fires are burning out Emotions are condensing in big chunks of ice And soon it won't suffice to tell you that I love you, that the earth only blooms for you, that my breath begins & ends with you And soon you will leave me for the others who make you smile, who kiss you behind my back, smell your hair, bend you over to the road of infidelity And it drives me mad, mad like a ragging bull, Like a substance user craving his previous high I can't stand them making you smile One of these days I will tell them of your lies 22/03/17 ©asamvav111
  20. I Heat up the oil Your hands are cold and dispassionate Let the oil's warmth seep up your unconscious Making you more malleable to touch Figures created out of mud and ludicracy Break not the chain of bondage of eternal servitude of lust II I didn't buy you I can't, because you can't buy humans anymore I just bought your services for the night A few hours of relaxation I couldn't buy you but I wish I could Buy your smile and tear it up and throw it away at the roadside dump and see your face behind. III Your face is beautiful And you are poor And that is the reason Why you are a whore Oops, I meant masseur IV I enjoy your face even when you look vacantly at the pasty paint scraping off the wall while you delicately push away my towel I don't know why I use it May be I like to play hooky Your vacant eyes irritate me, but I ignore them at the urging of your efficient fingers Why should one body part take precedence over the other? I like your torso as much as your arms Your big strong beefy arms, no doubt strengthened from kneading up millions of clients Your hands can even make corpses happy, like Osiris. V You try chatting up I tell you, it's not your strong suit You tell me stories from home Of sunlit village roads and games in the pond with a younger cousin way back when you were still a virgin and how you loved him, and how much you like bikes and torn jackets are all the rage and potatoes are getting expensive and all political leaders are liars... I tense up at your incessant chattering and you fall silent feeling it under your thumb Or may be you start dreaming of riding bikes through your bright village dirt roads racing your politician cousin who looks like a potato Or something I don't care I never wanted to know what you think Of the world or me That's why I never felt so free getting naked in front of anybody else... May be my mom I mean I bought you, sorry, your services after thorough perusal just like I choose the flavour of my ice cream at the super market I am finicky like that VI Turn over Your tone is always stoic when it comes to the fun part You could have commanded armies with that calm dialect Anticipation quickens my pulse And hardens my expectation Now you start playing hooky Going in and out Under the towel Almost but not quite there You know how I like it But your face betrays no affection Your eyes grow more vacant with every lunge Like a game of chess We play With my body as a wager And your affections You win every time VII Feral sounds Obscene sounds Belching, farting Squelching, splashing You are all that And more thrashing Till the snakes Give up and hide And you act as if You loved the fight But you don't, I can see it in your eyes May be I should get a blind masseur Next time 19/03/2017 ©asamvav111
  21. For Timmy, Emi and Mr. Benus: Incomplete Love All relationships are a work in progress, A building to be finished, an infinite mirror Beneath a starry sky. A battle between belief and reality, A compromise between expectation and evolution Between engagement and understanding. Experience vs. Emotion Broken crumbling pieces of self mixing Into happiness and grief and regrets Creating the mortar of us. Bricks and days And labours of indecisive Apollos' creating The walls of Troy only to be breached By a stupid wooden horse Of momentary weakness, Merrymaking in the filth as snakes slither in Our garden. Yet even then looking up you see The angelic choirs praising The one perfect moment of absolute happiness, One moment in eternity where you and I became Us. The slowly dying flowers in the vase are laughing at the trees outside. 02/10/2016 ©asamvav111
  22. For Ben & Timmy: Good poems frolic in the sun. They bring Arctic Lights to the barren tundra. They also manage to inundate the soils of Egypt and blow khamsins over the salt flats of Kutch in the very same day. Good poems deserve a kiss and a wink. 23/09/2016 ©asamvav111
  23. Something happened the other day, the details of which I prefer not to share. Something that threw me out of whack far enough that I decided that GA was not the place for my poetry. I was sure I was making the right choice about that. However, I've had to rethink it. I've had lots of PMs, lots of comments and one PM from a reader who said she never has contacted an Author before, but she did me and she told me what she thought of my choice. That was very humbling. All the replies and comments were humbling to be honest. Most of them were full of love and dismay. And I feel awful. I let one person put me in this place mentally, and I feel like I've hurt or let down so many people that I care about. Do I apologize? I feel like I should. So to all of you, who commented, liked Adieu, PM'd or e-mailed me. I'm sorry if I let you down, or upset you, or whatever it is. I truly am. I love GA. Have no intentions of leaving. I'll still write and blog and maybe some poetry will find it's way here again. I'm pretty certain it will. And I'll try to be stronger in the face of hate, in the future. tim
  24. The Done List The latest attempt at hacking my own mind,A journal,Covered in coffee stains(Okay, the first spill was my own fault, but the cat did the rest), [*]Chronicling my daily accomplishments. [*]A list Of everything I've done that dayOtherwise, I wouldn't get out of bed. [*]A nod to my psychiatrist(You need to listen to your inner child; be your own mommy.), [*]to my psychologist (Don't should all over yourself), [*]to my physiotherapist (You have to be consistent.), [*]to my husband (Did you write today, babe?). [*]I trick myself into feeling more accomplished than I really am. With doing things just so I can write them down, With itemized entries, With words that make my small act appear to be more. [*]And so, I write Today I Woke up before noon, Had something other than coffee for breakfast, Took all my meds, Put on real clothes (and wore them all day), Left the house, Did this one stretch, Cleaned something, Cleaned something else, Finished something I started, Started something new, Wrote some words on paper, Felt compelled to something productive, Dreamt about being something more, Got lost in all the things I'm still not accomplishing, Made promises to try tomorrow.
  25. Drowning Blue… blue… many shades of blue Some green mixed with some grey Surprise mixed with sadness Awe separated from jealousy A serene perfection of existence From beneath the mirror looking up towards the heavens of the mid day sky Azure longings turning into height of disdain And broken hearts bleed poisonous green Pus-sy yellow disbelieving the lie of red Will you be my valentine behind the water curtain? A solitary kiss of rainbow emotions Burning through my skin of deceit More blue… cyanotic lips Feelings crushing my lungs under their weight Hope drowning in desire 20/07/16 ©asamvav111
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