Dreaming of Samarkand and the play of fountains
in the cool of courtyards, cloistered and cloisonné,
dark fronds that filter light through cage bars,
where jewel-birds flit plumed in enamel work.
Treading the sumptuous luxury of satins
damasked and silk, watered cool as fountains
playing in discrete courtyards, columned and
high-walled, clay baked inferno-red.
Dreams gallop silver-bridled, hot breath blowing
in shadowless heat, drier than desert winds,
and horse ears prick, hearing behind the call
of exotic jewel-birds, the bright tinkle of water
playing in fountains, cloistered in courtyards
column-caged and cool as mountain snows
in the baked clay of summer in Samarkand.
It appeared overnight on the city walls
when no one was looking
where no one cares.
I doubt it’s a Banksy – not his style
but speaks his sentiment.
A whole world of graffiti,
messages and names
always added –
a bulletin board of emotion
an orgasmoblast of color.
THEY have tried to censor it
to clean it, to paint over it.
IT will never leave.
Can you imagine a world without war?
Imagine a world that dances to the same tune.
Making global friends happy, lifting the gloom.
Aligning together and shooting for the moon.
Getting it all together as if from one womb.
Imagine sweeping out tyrants with a new broom.
Never having to go to war or inflict doom.
Envisage living on world forever in blume.
Questions without Answers
Inspired by All 4 Images
How do you imagine the unimaginable—
the unseeable seen, the unknowable unnoticed
glimpsed in night-scraping skitters
given life in dreams.
How do you stop it–the tsunami, the meteor, the uprooted tree, the jaunty bullet
whistling at you?
You think you’re invincible, propped high on pillows in every hue—and dragons slayed.
Oh, frabjous day!
But you’ve seen the last sunset.
Now on a precipice, the sky above you is ashy-grey—
and you sway.
Merril D Smith
Wall of Noise (BB12)
all the letters and all the colours
and all the words and all the emotion
I can no longer read or speak or hear or think
you want everything now
well now you’ve got everything
and it’s all too much all too painful and all too real
and not one message is any more
or any less important than another
apart from imagine
but there’s no space for imagination
the wall of noise only reflects bad jokes
hot takes and slander and repetition
slogans for the sake of sloganeering
banging your head is self-inflicted
banging your head is self-serving
banging your head is main character energy
sometimes you need a bulldozer
make a difference
Green-gold lights shower
down, illuminate wind-carved
rock, velvet rainbows.
Lynne Jensen Lampe
Today began blue
twisted slowly to grey then
to certain darkness
They need to leave their mark;
one on another, words and symbols,
words and non-words, names and tags
in a cacophony of colour.
Imagine these graffiti as art,
their creators as artists,
the marks they make as valid
as Picasso or Da Vinci.
Bios and Links
Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad
is an Indian-Australian painter, poet, and improv pianist. She is a self-taught artist who has been painting and exhibiting for over 20 years. Her work has been featured in several journals including Amsterdam Quarterly yearbook, Pithead Chapel, Two Thirds North, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, and Stonecoast Review. She has been nominated multiple times for the Best of the Net. She lives and works in Sydney on the traditional lands of The Eora Nation. Find her @oormilaprahlad and www.instagram.com/oormila_paintings
Sara Fatima Mir
Born on the 26th of July, 2007, in Islamabad , Sara Fatima is a Pakistani of Kashmiri origin. Gifted by nature with an inborn aesthetic sense, she is passionate about art. It is not just a hobby for her, rather it is a well settled heart and soul, way of life which inspires her to visualize the fine beauty and form in the world around. She has won numerous art competitions at school level. She is a natural artist and has completed the following two Courses : a) Graphic Designing -2020 b) Resin Art Skills -2022 from the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Finishing School, Islamabad Capital Territory Pakistan. This learning has further enhanced her artistic skills . International Participation in Art and Poetry Project: Rucksack A Global Poetry Patchwork 2022 A Poetry Project by Ms Antje Stehn of Italy and Mamta Sagar of India. Sara made a Teapot with the help of dried teabags. A requirement .Its image is on display at the Poetry Museum Italy. Sara Fatima Mir believes Art connects people by portraying their lives. Different people, different drawings, different stories. Using all sorts of mediums, she flaunts her amateur talent and aspires to learn more to become the best version of herself. Please Follow her on Instagram @sketchfilez
is a Dorset-based poet and her writing is grounded in the Wessex landscape and history. Her debut pamphlet, A Landscape With Birds was published by Hedgehog Poetry in July 2022. Her second pamphlet, Transformations, will be published by Hedgehog next year. The poems are all inspired by the work of Dame Elisabeth Frink, the sculptor and artist.
based in the United States is a super self-critical Virgo, walking a path between worlds while dabbling in art, photography, and poetry. Poems have been featured in Failed Haiku, Cold Moon Journal, The Wombwell Rainbow, and Heterodox Haiku Journal, with art featured in The Hooghly Review, The Wombwell Rainbow, and Black & White Haifa/Haisha. Special thank you to Jerome Berglund for being my mentor and pushing me to limits otherwise unexplored.
Robert Frede Kenter
is a writer, pushcart nominee & visual artist with work in many venues, on line and in print, incl: Storms Journal, Anthropocene, Fevers Of, Acropolis Journal, CutbowQuarterly, Anti-heroin chic and many others, as well as books including EDEN (2021) a visual poetry collection, and Audacity of Form (ice floe press, 2019). Work in anthologies: Book of Penteract (Penteract Press, 2022), and Seeing in Tongues, an anthology forthcoming from Steel Incisors (2023). Robert is publisher & EIC of Ice Floe Press, www.icefloepress.net.
Swansea-based Jamie Woods is poet-in-residence at the charity Leukaemia Care. His work has been published in Poetry Wales, Lucent Dreaming, Ink Sweat & Tears and more. Jamie’s debut pamphlet Rebel Blood Cells is out in June, and can be pre-ordered from https://www.punkdust.com/shop
lives and works in southwest France. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems and stories have been published in magazines and journals including Ogham Stone, the Ekphrastic Review, Black Bough Poetry, ink sweat and tears, Gleam, Nightingale & Sparrow, Green Ink and Brilliant Flash Fiction. She blogs at https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/ Her poetry chapbooks, thicker than water and birds and other feathers were published in October and November 2020.
is from Swinton, Rotherham, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
He says –
“We all have an urge to be creative
whether it’s art, poetry, music . . .
or just putting together flat pack furniture,
being creative keeps us alive and feeling human”
Paul gave up his day job 5 years ago to dabble in art, poetry and music, and hopes the passion in his Art reaches and touches the hearts of fellow humans too.
Merril D. Smith
lives in southern New Jersey near the Delaware River. Her poetry has been published in journals including Black Bough Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, Acropolis, and Humana Obscura, and anthologies, such as the recent Our Own Coordinates: Poems about Dementia (Sidhe Press). Her full-length poetry collection, River Ghosts, was published by Nightingale & Sparrow Press, and was a Black Bough Poetry Book of the Month.
Twitter: @merril_mds Instagram: mdsmithnj Blog: merrildsmith.org
is a writer from Chesterfield in Derbyshire whose ideas are heavily influenced by his background in the local coalfields, where industry and nature lived side by side. His first pamphlet “Heritage” was published in 2019. His poetic influences range from Blake to Owen, Causley to Cooper-Clarke and more recently the idea of imagistic poetry and the work of Spanish poet Miguel Hernandez.
Lynne Jensen Lampe’s
debut collection, Talk Smack to a Hurricane (Ice Floe Press, 2022) concerns mother-daughter relationships, mental illness, and antisemitism. Her poems appear in many journals, including THRUSH, Figure 1, and Yemassee. A finalist for the 2020 Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize, she edits academic research in mid-Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two dogs. Visit her at https://lynnejensenlampe.com; on Twitter/Spoutible @LJensenLampe; or Instagram @lynnejensenlampe.
lives in South Yorkshire and has been writing poetry all his life. He is an active member of the Read to Write Group and has performed his poems at a wide variety of venues including CAST in Doncaster. His poems have appeared in several anthologies.
He is an admirer of Edward Thomas. His collection “The Story of Soldier A” was published by Glass Head Press in 2022. His self published pamphlet “The Nantcol Sonnets” both are available on eBay.
The author of ‘Postmarked Quarantine’ has eight books to his credit. He is a journalist, father, and the editor of ‘Words Surfacing’. His works have been translated into twelve languages.