abovegroundtesting
-the magazine-

January 2008                                                                                                                                                                                 issn 1488-0024



   
So this is:

 "And so we are told this is the golden age
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage.
Though I want to be with you,
To be with you night and day.
Nothing changes on new years day."

If the lyrics of Bono are to be believed.  This is your golden age, or it may be your fool's golden age, what difference does it make for you and to you.  We celebrate the change of a year and declare to all that things will be different, a sentiment not shared by Bono in his song.  The song "New Years Day" is one of the early hits by the group U2, one of my favourite bands, by the way.  If you have seen the video you know it contain cut scenes of vintage warfare.  I'm not sure of the source but I'm going to assume there is scenes from the Second World War.  Bono, speaking of the song says it is a love song and the struggle for love during a time of conflict.

To give the time frame, the group wrote and sang this song during the height of Cold War tension, in the early 80's.  It is also believe the group Solidarity in Poland was leading the struggle to overthrow the communist government, a government that had long lost credibility with the people, and only stayed in power because of the presence of Warsaw Pact troops.  At the end of the day, the Soviet Union and its empire collapsed, "not with a bang, but a whimper" if I may quote T.S Elliot.  He may have spoken about the end of the world, but the reality it was the end of the Soviet Union.  Growing up during that period it is still odd to consider the events that was the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.  

What has been the result, was their peace?  I suppose one way of looking at it, there is more peace then before, at least in the sense of potential nuclear holocaust.  As I write these words there is still the rattling of sabres in the Middle East with the west.  There is talk about madmen but as I view I have to ask myself where are the real madmen?  I don't want to get political since this is a literary arts ezine, not a political commentary.  As I recall, poets are the parlimentarians of the world.    I still ask myself the question, who is the enemy, but then I realize that is not the question to ask, it is this who is my neighbour?  I think it sounds better and allows us to understand we are all in the same neighbourhood.  Is this the start of the golden age, when I realize I'm in the same neighbourhood as you?  It doesn't matter one iota then, what is your background, your religion or your place of birth.  It also doesn't matter what your orientation as long as you pick up and plant some nice flowers along the fence.  

Let me ask that question again, who is my neighbour?  Can I suggest a few in our neighbourhood:  the person suffering through the violence in Kenya and Pakistan, the dissident who languishes in jail in China and Saudi Arabia.  You might think those are easy, let me add, the person involved in sectarian violence in Palestine and Iraq, the Taliban planning an attack against Coalition troops in Afghanistan, are they any less my neighbour.  No they are part of the neighbourhood.  How do we reach out to them in 2008?  

I leave those thoughts for you.  

The issue features a number of regular friends, old friends that haven't been featured in these pages and a few newcomers.  Enjoy each one of them.

Poetry

Felino Soriano is our first poet of the issue.  I've noticed over the last number of issues poets are experimenting with the very format of the poems.  We don't have the left justification but all sorts of formating.  You will notice it with his poems

Choosing Amid a Carousel of Virtues

 

 

 

Cynic,

 

                                                                  skeptic,

realization of honorable dispositional

entities.

                                                                                                                                               

                        Shadows of these never reveal

reveled

                                    circumstantial oddities

of those existing within these formulaic

structures'

                    for

                        containing these virtues  declare

antithetical, armored arithmetic,

vernacular

                        unspoken of the widened mouths

hollowed by casual consensus,

or

reflectional nothingness,

                                                            the

branded, raw

                        dexterity tattooed among classical shapes,

contoured vaguely across

                        the cultural shoulders

and

            lower backs of societal vanity.

 

Skeptics, yes

                                    are the whispering heard

and visual flies

                                    amid the rooms of galloping elephants.

Philosophical

cynics, 

wander

                        answering paradoxical questions,

the layered questions

lost

            inside the declining

dissemination of transferred mediocrity.

 


In the Aftermath of Argument, or Conflict's Aspectual Disregard

 

­−after Antigone

 

What is loyalty?,

exacted in dispositional phrases,

the duality of overcoming self

juxtaposed

                        with a suffused interrogational

existence,

targeting weakness.

                                                Loyalty to many facets,

self, endeavors, familial wants for oneself, the parallel

parameter

                        leading paths to become splayed renditions

of toward unreturns

in the aspects of reaching unrecognizable dimensional

destinations.

 

Loyalty to self is overwhelming.  This existential component

            realizes worthiness, late,

                        evening in the metaphor

of day's actuality. 

            Toward shadows, others whom reside within,

loyalty sent circling the state, governmental

riches

            acclimate in poised resistance, hyphenated

-wanting

                        equates to conflicting eagerness among

the pleasing and hating highlighted.

 

Errors contribute. Judgment.  Uncritical thinking,

yet

            dichotomies unleash:

                        family               state,

the loyalty to one remains intact

or

            needs to iterate semblance of

                                                                        multilayered

stability,

significance

(the state, the state, encompassing imperial, founding importance layered above all else, soothsaying culture resides in an encompassing envelope; the citizenry, often cannot cope, cutting off the head of their survival, leaving hope to die along the side of their hopeless, uncanopied breaths, dangling)

 

in either directional pace loses excessive amounts of blood and

steps.               Pleasing fully is not optional. 

The paradox has been predetermined

in the opinion of

                                    egocentric

over familial wanting.  The equating is unparallel,

                                                                                    or

aspectual in thought

to many whose logic

coincides with

                                    emotional content

dealing with

superseding acknowledgment of blood before

words,

                        breath preceding intellectual law.

History in the Aspect of Spoken Deception

 

 

 

The possibility of extracting a timeline

of truth,

                        whose formulation has taken

a gratuitous and gracious uninspired

exacting, "interpretations of wind

 

and all that sways within its influential command

must too befriend the interpretative

                                                            vernacular"

impossible.

 

Science is not involved.  Nor

                                                circumstance

involving

thought parlaying as

laziness, the à la mode

justification

                        toward displaying societal occurrences

involving truthful dispositions.

 

                                                            Realism

has dedicated an existence to sewing masks

atop verification,

among identifying stating an obvious

synopsis,

                        grasping

however is not permitted,

and the punished

shall remain stating unspoken truths,

the vernacular of

chronicled

                        inferiority.   

Felino Soriano, from California, a case manager working with developmentally disabled adults, and philosophy student.  The existence of being a classic and avant-garde jazz enthusiast juxtaposed with his philosophical studies, one can ascertain his poetic inspirations.  His poetry appears widely in print and online. 


Christopher Barnes presents his work:


Peartree Gardens

 
                   Framed,
Net the colour of midnight moth
Or three storey doorpost
The edge of veranda,
Summer heat, flies
Of coughing afternoons.
 
Though seeds blow, spores,
He wears no shirt of twelve o’clock,
No smile at three, no shirt at six.
Rain comes, sunshine,
Kids from school, gold top.
 
A hairlipped seal she laughs
A smoky bark.  Brothers
Block hard, driving cars
Square handed.
 
Moon snipes rooftents
Sun, eye-lights, police vans
Never straying far, pigeon’s peeps
Through dusk.  A Social Security snoop.
 
A treat carved in Blyth
Heroin kicks in,
A kami of dreams.
An angel from red-chimnied heaven
Curved on beams is coming
To transport him breezily
Away from all this.


Pedro Loved A Village Like This

 
  1. Chicken-liver speckles on a limewood pail
Scrubbed off in the sun-baked yard.
It’s bulks gripped, a wrestler’s neck,
Between cast-iron thighs.
 
Under a wire-haired goat
The pail has sea legs, drouked by a shatter,
White rapids, a nourishing spindrift
Whose zing thinks her to heaths
Flowing with autumn crocuses.
 
She’s Franco’s dribble tit,
Plastic-mould specs to the small screen.
 
Through the alehouse window she wisecracks
Across bleached and bird grey climes,
A whoop, rhythm in each ricochet,
Homespun country ladylove, Gitana blood.
 
  1. Three o’clock.  Sultry siesta, thick pleated skirts,
Sweat forming on the backs of her arms.
 
Slow-stirrings, the breeze calls cooler pollen.
 
Memories of him cluster: a carnival of chatter
Skimming blasts, blue air, that voice
Like the clatter of coppice wheels
Down the menhirs of bristling rivers.
 From the Castles in Spain poems


Pelt

 
In black prismed night
Eyes yellow like Egypt suns
As a cat haunches.

He shares this bio:

in 1998 I won a Northern Arts writers award.  In July 200 I read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology 'Titles Are Bitches'.  Christmas 2001 I debuted at Newcastle's famous Morden Tower doing a reading of my poems.  Each year I read for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and I partake in workshops.  2005 saw the publication of my collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.
 
 On Saturday 16th Aughst 2003 I read at theEdinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton St.
 
I also have a BBC webpage  www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/gay.2004/05/section_28.shtml and http://www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/videonation/stories/gay_history.shtml (if first site does not work click on SECTION 28 on second site.
 
Christmas 2001 The Northern Cultural Skills Partnership sponsored me to be mentored by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North.  I   made a radio programme for Web FM community radio about my writing group.  October-November 2005, I entered a poem/visual image into the art exhibition The Art Cafe Project, his piece Post-Mark was shown in Betty's Newcastle.  This event was sponsored by Pride On The Tyne.  I  made a digital film with artists Kate Sweeney and Julie Ballands at a film making workshop called Out Of The Picture which was shown at the festival party for Proudwords.  The film is going into an archive at The Discovery Museum  in Newcastle and contains my poem The Old Heave-Ho.  I worked on a collaborative art and literature project called How Gay Are Your Genes, facilitated by Lisa Mathews (poet) which  exhibited at The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University before touring the country and it is expected to go abroad,  funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bioscience Centre at Newcastle's Centre for Life.  I was  involved in the Five Arts Cities poetry postcard event which exhibited  at The Seven Stories children's literature building.  In May I had 2006 a solo art/poetry exhibition at The People's Theatre why not take a look at their website http://ptag.org.uk/whats_on/gulbenkian/gulbenkian.htm
 
The South Bank Centre in London recorded my poem "The Holiday I Never Had", I can be heard reading it on www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=18456
 
REVIEWS: I have written poetry reviews for Poetry Scotland and Jacket Magazine and in August 2007 I made a film called 'A Blank Screen, 60 seconds, 1 shot' for Queerbeats Festival at The Star & Shadow Cinema Newcastle, reviewing a poem...see www.myspace.com/queerbeatsfestival

Christopher Barnes


Dina Televitskaya gives this poem and some of her artwork:

It is necessary to live



It is necessary to live
because a wind whispers
something urgent to the trees,
and the autumn sky still
gives sunshine to light the day.
The wind knocks on a window
with rain or with casual rhyme.
It promises always the same,
«We shall find keys for our success!»
It is necessary to live,
because shining stars in the night sky
are so lovely!
Yes, the cranes flew away,
but the titmice sing for us in the mornings.
And verses ripen as bunches of grapes
and give us curative force.
The weeks still are not too cold!
It is necessary to live
and to live happily!





Dina Televitskaya


Taylor Graham brings us these three;


FINGERPRINTS

    for Elihu Burritt, the Learned Blacksmith

This book from interlibrary loan
comes in a ziplock bag “Handle with Care!!!”
An 1879 edition, the very year you died.

I promise not to smudge the margins
as you might have, turning the pages
with coal-blacked fingers.

Yet, do I mark my progress
through your book? There must be traces –
invisible, mysterious

from writer’s mind, through grammar,
to your hand penning ink on paper,
to the marvels of the printing-press;

at last, to my page-turning fingers
128 years later, to eye to brain
translating your thought

into mine. What alchemical
transmutation allows you, so long
dead, to change a living mind?


BLACK TOP-HAT

You hardly could afford it,
but politeness wrung the money
from your pocket, so you could tip
a hat to townsfolk.

You wore that hat in mourning
when your mother died –
though a year’s so short a time
to mourn a mother. Afterwards,

how could you walk in sunshine
under such a hat?
You bought yourself a new one.
The old, grieving hat stayed

on a shelf in your small dark room
until a slave, a fugitive
from Baltimore – how do the oppressed
sniff out the safe and homey places?
 
You found him wet and shivering,
trying to light a fire
in your grate. You gave him
your better overcoat

and your old mourned-out hat.
In this land of freemen,
might he wear it freely
in a gratitude of sunshine.


WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND

You never married,
never had sons or daughters
to carry on your line.
And yet, generations beyond

your death, I find traces –
a brittling letter, a photo
in sepia – just fragments;
a spark of thirst

from the smithy’s anvil,
a hammer-beat
like the world’s
dull ache for peace.

Taylor Graham



Si Wakesberg brings to us these two poems:

INCANDESCENCE



This old volcano, uneasy while at rest,
Small fires scorching subterranean ground
Its hidden passions darkly, deeply stressed,
Its raw emotions tensely, tightly wound

Has felt the flow of lava in its earth
Hot, turbulent and wild, as if its fire
Roaring from down below announced new birth
Of secret stirrings and obsessed desire.

Like burnished rivers of flame flowing
Cascading orange cuts a mountain road;
Was there a city here? Is there grass growing?
Was this a peasant’s last and lost abode?

How in my heart volcanos thunder
Erupt in fires that flicker in the night,
How life’s become a dazzling source of wonder
How incandescent when you hold me tight.



POVERTY OF WORDS


in some small measure words
can only limit the boundaries of love,
can only touch the jagged edge of meaning,
provide a highway that will often reach
the inner, deeper and most secret cave
where words themselves are swallowed up
in music and the sound reverberates
in timeless echoes in the chambers of the heart.

what music then can I create for you
muse of my dreams! nymph of a thousand poems!
that will pulsate through arteries and veins
with cymbals, drums, with fifes and softest viols
until it rests against the chambers of your heart?

if only words were plastic and could bend
beneath the wind like leaves on summer trees
in strangest shapes, in varied hues arrayed,
each leaf to bring a message that’s windblown
scattered against your feet as you come down
the garden walk, all flower-covered, colored bright
singing its song in language of the wind.

how thinking of you in this long afternoon
brings back memories of music heard
and, yes, unheard except within my mind;
let words flare up like fluorescent lamps
to blaze them into what I meant to say.


Si Wakesberg


Michael Lee Johnson brings these poems that are part of his work from 2007

No One is Here


I walk in a poem
late at night that sings no sober song,
no lyrics for the living,
toss in a few lines for the dead.
It fetters my anger
with hostility and sticky jam between
my toes and worn out shoes.
I find myself walking 2300 Western
Avenue in Chicago at 3 A.M. like a damn dummy;
thinking of Mayor Daily's sales tax proposals,
lack of health care in this country unlike anywhere else
free in the world,
and some boxers who shoplifted some goods
out of Marshal Fields department store earlier
in the evening-
no one is here to spit at me,
to fist my face in brick,
or steal my wallet silly,
or my car keys or jiggle coins
out of my jean pockets.
Disgusting, it hangs,
it beats metal drums in my ears
Over and over, like a pistol going off.
Loneliness is an elbow plunged
in one's ribcage at night.
I get in my car, bruised,
bandaged,
go home-
wait for God,
sprinkle prays
for the fairy dust
of healing.
Go about, the next day,
my crusades for the world.
No one is here.

I Trip on My Poems


In the night when poems
are born, I search for no one
but the hidden words.
Conjunctions are just meeting places
like personal ads for wild women.
Even my lady friend criticizes me
for being uncreative, disconnected,
a time degenerate.
The secrets stretch inside my metaphors I
can not find them all.
I miss spell check;
grammar is a liar;
syntax is drug substance I refuse
to understand.
I am a trouble-free minded poet
with the training of an uncultivated monster;
I chew on my experiences, go back
to the prey, the kill, usually alone and spit.
But I have no sense of formality.
Even near my tender moments
when the images blossom into a rain flowers
I trip on stems cut my way lose to nowhere.
I go there to see what I can find.

-2007-


I Hide my Craft


I hide my craft
under the armor
of the armadillo-
tucked beneath it's armpit,
hovering near it's stomach
with insects buzzing noon
day sun issues and indigestion-
away from the editors
punitive critics,
and pay on demand
print money mongrels;
cold bacon and lard
under the pages
between poems
and the words
stick I write
everything
with a scent or odor.
I look up at the sky
and giggle my nerves
like gold chains
waiting for the next
editor to tell me
my mind doesn't work,
flow with my words quite right.
I count them one
by one
those for me on one
side; those against
me on the other.
I hide my craft
under the armor
of the armadillo.
Michael Lee Johnson

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet, and freelance writer. He is
self-employed in advertising, and selling custom promotional products.
He is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom,
http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-46091-7.
He is also nominated for the James B. Baker Award in poetry, Sam's
Dot Publishing. He is a contributor in the Silver Boomers poetry
anthology about aging baby boomers, by Silver Boomer Books. Michael
Lee Johnson presently resides in Itasca, Illinois, United States. He
lived in Canada during the Vietnam era and will be published as a contributor poet in the anthology
Crossing Lines: Poets Who Came t Canada in the Vietnam War Era publication scheduled for early 2008.
He has been published in USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia,Scotland, Turkey, Fuji, Nigeria, Algeria, Africa, India, United
Kingdom, Republic of Sierra Leone, Thailand, Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia. Audio MP3 of poems available on request.
Visit hiswebsite at: http://poetryman.mysite.com/. He is now the publisher,editor of
Poetic Legacy, http://www.poetriclegacy.mysite.com/ ; and
Birds By My Window: Willow Tree Poems at,http://birdsbywindow.blogspot.com/. Both publications are now open for submissions.

Special Note: Presently looking for an e-book, chapbook or poetry
book publisher for a joint venture of poems by Michael Lee Johnson,
United States, free verse; and Phillip Ellis, Australian poet,
traditional verse. Manuscript can be made available on request.




Ashok Niyogi sent a number of poems based upon: "These poems are about a 72 hour return journey from
Delhi to the Kumaon Himalayas, India, 500 miles, from 500 to 8500 feet, from sugarcane to pine, from stork
to long tailed lark.December 30, 2007 – January 1, 2008." They are all wonderful and I hope you will enjoy these that I
chose, and trust
me, he made my choice difficult.

TO RANIKHET
(In the Kumaon Himalayas)

I sense weakness
in knobby knees
aggravated by morning light
filtered through tall pine trees
winking motes of dust
my hooves raised in some past
when we had
attempted rolling down
this pine needle carpeted slope
or dreamed of climbing that peak
divided into three parts

but that was before
the snow fellows laughed
before the river decided to gang up on us
spill over onto this uphill mountain road
disguise potholes
and breed colorful fish
in bowls
green with reflected light
from a single line of forest firs
up on sunset ridge


MOFUSSIL TOWN

lacerations in my brain
from cut sugarcane
on a tractor trailer that ravages
mist above ground
but below leaf level
in poplar declared war
with childhood days
when cabbage and cauliflower
were crops of cash

now one horse carts
carry plastic garbage

monkeys watch us eat
salted and spiced guavas
after ‘broad-gauge’ crossed
with hostility
everybody else
overtakes the green grass
beneath lemon trees

factories belch organic smell
muezzins call on cellular phones
from modest minarets
of freshly whitewashed
green and white mosques

the asphalt is littered
with horse manure
and sugarcane husk

a dusky lady
oozes sexuality
and sits for tea
with a flashing nose-ring
and a much fondled paunch

there is hope yet
from here they will launch






MONKEYS

after I have stopped
writing about monkeys
I will write about jaguars
and eagles
elephants maybe

for now I see
angry monkeys
hungry monkeys
naughty monkeys
beggar monkeys
thief monkeys
dacoit monkeys
mama monkeys
urban monkeys
road-rage monkeys
multiplex monkeys
cell phone monkeys
joker monkeys
cultured monkeys
monkeys who piss while
they impudently cross
a busy road
river
earth
sky
all and sundry questions
of ‘why’

at night
monkeys live in trees
like us
they too


are stung by honey bees



CRICKETS’ CHORUS

that night had Mars
and Seven Sisters

and the snowman’s family
breathing gently
into darkness
which we could not see

I wish there were
glow worms to light our path
in the aftermath
of a snowline that once more

had burned us
in just that way


 
Ashok Niyogi is an Economics graduate from Presidency College, Calcutta. He made a career as an International Trader and has lived and
worked in the Soviet Union, Europe and South East Asia in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
At 52, he has been retired for some years and has been cashew farming, writing and traveling. He divides time
between California, where his daughters live, Delhi, Goa on the Arabian Sea and the Indian Himalayas.
He has published a book of poems, TENTATIVELY, [ISBN :0-595-33935-2] and has been extensively published inprint and on-line magazines and
 in Chapbook form in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada


A new poet to this ezine, Philip A. Ellis presents these works for your reading pleasure:

The Albatross
-------------

Enigma of white, he sails
over the oceans, calling
the currents to pass under him
on their way past the shores.

He listens to talking winds,
captures the eyes of men
sailing beneath his wings
as he passes them, sagacious.

Yet, he is dwindling,
he may soon vanish,
and his mate will await him
and perish, alone and in vain.


We Pass our Lives as if in Sleep
--------------------------------

Our hearts are set on wandering
for pleasures that we seek all sleep,
set pits and all the traps we build
to ensnare our lifelong prey--
pleasure, whose pains are such
that we are all so quickly gone,
are merely prey to hollowness,
dreams and delusions of our night.



I Contemplate the Heaven and its Stars
--------------------------------------

And when I am aware of this
impermanence upon the face
of less than dust, that swims within
a depthless abyss oceanic,
in whom, somewhere,
vents summon black gas
to fall down, diffused
into a lightless mess of water,
then I am solidly aware
that this world I am on,
is driven by atoms of being
that I cannot make swerve.



This is the Way I once Walked
-----------------------------

I came to find an otherness
within the heart that I bore there
on the daily passage, to find
myself upon a course that set

me slowly spiralling, outwards
from the gravity of the god
that they loved, alongside others.
With them, I walked in love and awe

upon a similar pathway,
and I quoted with them the verse
that set me, elect, on the path
towards my salvation. And yet,

the silence seeped even further
as the other words became such,
such a mystery I never
communicated, to others,

that I came to find a way,
a dream of such light-headedness,
that I began to pull away--
faster--from the gravity well.



Bliss
-----

The turn of light towards
another afternoon has,
bearing within it, something like
unspoken reveries, of a fall
into the well of gravity
of a planet, mysteries
have spoken about in
other tongues. I roll my sight
away from inner room outside
yet still within the sphere of this flesh--
my orbit, my passing passage
like meteors. How I fall,
towards the turn of light.



--

http://www.geocities.com/phillipellis01/
Philip Ellis

To finish off the poetry section, I present the words and art of Charles Frederickson


Disenchanted Forest

Unlined silver satin cloud sprinkle
Stained dirty linen wrung out
Hand-me-down drizzle grown out of
Drip-dry fabric wrinkles steam ironed
‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
Varicose veined old leafs overturned
Serrate edges rusty switchblade hitters
Bent twisted tongues stirring honey
Yawning crotchety slingshot stoning outcasts
+ + + + + + + + + +
Hemmed in by evergreen canopy
Looking up virgin forest’s skirt
Hollow trunk bark tattoos stripped
Bare limbs spreading viscous rumors
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Confided secret trusts rapaciously exposed
Stunted growth whippersnappers springing backlash
Sapling lean-tos wary of trespassers
Lumberjacks milling around chainsaw massacre
/ / / / / / / / / /
Lapis sky’s slack-jawed mouth agape
Uncoupled lightning without thunder accompaniment
Haphazard sewn bolts cross-stitching zigzags
Ripped open satiated glut deluge
# # # # # # # # # #
Treetop avian trills never repetitious
Stuffing survival down ruby throats
Instinct cannily emboldens flighty nestlings
Chirping weepy outcry timber felled



Petrified Water



Rivers no longer flow into
Oceanic caldera boiling reduced to
Simmer steam open sea evaporation
Lid pried off plug yank
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Seeping moisture slowly dried up
Still life seascapes drained mercilessly
Wave swells lay dying on
Distant shores naked refuse exposed
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
No longer fit for habitation
Swimming scuba diving breathless drowning
Moving with vanishing ebb drift
Windswept continents kept off balance
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Detritus rained down upon decomposed
Sunken graveyards spent cockleshells clutter
Bittersweet rusty oasis eaten away
Embedded clay fossils left behind
^^^^^^^^^^^^^
No creature as deadly as
Spitfire raging sun’s relentless scorch
Medieval alchemy cockeyed maritime portent
Unfathomable geological omen empty forevermore
^^^^^^^^^
Looming hawkish osprey voracious scavengers
Unhinged pirate treasure chest doubloons
Nowhere to be found swagger
Grandeur gone forever undeniable lost
^^^^
Finality skipping stones across wavelets
Impulsive ripples tickling barefoot swashbucklers
Ignoring rocky clamor frothy surf
Hurled against sheer ragged cliffs


Snowflake Illustions



*Sugarplum visions winter wonderland idyll

**Secret pitfalls good gravy cover-ups
***Mashed potato transfigured burial mounds
****Gnashing jagged teeth ground down
*****
*First flaky crust tread carefully
**Every telling bloody misstep shows
***Thin ice meltdown tenuously refreezing
****Makeshift rink skates need sharpening
*****
*Intense silence unconscious being snowbound
**Droopy pine boughs weighed down
***Blanketed towering lean-to’s intimately huddle
****Diffuse sunrays sifting prickly freefall
*****
*Outdoors fun snow-bunny hop slopes
**Majestic mountain takes downhill lead
***Macabre dance of death slalom
****Lonely corpses jumping to conclusions
*****
*Haggard ghosts cleft chin stubble
**Licking chops bearded icicles caress
***Powder-puff frosting brows ruddy cheeks
****Chapped lips glossy senses numbed
*****
*Revival air exhaling visible breaths
**Quintessential lifestyle reigniting spitfire core
***Walking tall kneecaps bent skiing
****Virgin Snow White signature run
*****
*Crocus fooled into blossoming early
**Fine-feathered migratory snowbirds return prematurely
***Unanticipated blizzard knotty hideout shelter
****Hoarfrost seedy miracles sprouting wings
*****


These Thaidings of Joy PoeArtry visualizations were rendered in black &
white by Dr. Charles Frederickson, with computer-generated coloration
by Saknarin Chinayote. Please take the time to check out our website –
http://www.poetryartcombo.com, which features more than 500 original images
and impressions, sketched and scribbled during travels to 206 countries
on our fave planet
.



Closing Words

Practically all the contributors sent their greeting for the new year and to them and to you the reader I extend the same greetings.  I hope that 2008 will be a great year of prosperity, inspiriation, creativity and enjoyment of all that life can give you.  If you ended 2007 in distress then understand that trust God and the Power which is greater then yourself to bring you through those challenges.

A quick announcement regarding avantgardetimes:


The inaugural issue of AVANTGARDETIMES, a cosmopolitan, sharp cutting edge
quarterly dot commie-zine, is due to be weblished netoriously on March 1st,
focusing on ILLUSIONS – the Mirages of Hope. An avant-garden of
Believabubble Quotations, Tip-Topical Illusions, Webiot Savant Geekgasms and
I.Q. Muxup Whiz Quiz will complement original theme-related illusory poetry.
Global in scope, mission and outlook, international PoeArtry contributors
hail from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia,
Iraq, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Thailand, U.K. and U.S.A.

The homepage is www.avantgardetimes.com, thanks to Yahoo Domains for the $1.99 domain.

I also want to thank everyone who listens to the podcast, thanks to you and others, my podcast is ranked in the top 50 of arts podcasts at podomatic.com.  My challenge is to keep the podcast going.  If you want to send me some of your spoken word work or musical creations, please send as an mp3 file to paulg57@podOmatic.com.

To submit to the ezine send your work to abovegroundtesting@yahoo.com.  Please put "submission" in the subject line.

The theme for February is "Romance".  

To conclude this issue:  all work is copyright by the author, please respect their rights  My works  is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.


Creative Commons License


www.abovegroundtesting.com
This is issue 105, January 2008
issn 1488-0024