John C. Mannone (USA)

John C. Mannone (USA)

 
 
John C. Mannone has poems accepted in North Dakota Quarterly, the 2020 Antarctic Poetry Exhibition, Foreign Literary Review, Le Menteur, Blue Fifth Review, Poetry South, Baltimore Review, and others. He won the Impressions of Appalachia Creative Arts Contest in poetry (2020) and the Carol Oen Memorial Fiction Prize (2020). He was awarded a Jean Ritchie Fellowship (2017) in Appalachian literature and served as celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). His latest collection, Flux Lines: The Intersection of Science, Love, and Poetry, is forthcoming from Linnet’s Wings Press (2020). He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and other journals. A retired university physics professor, John lives near Chattanooga, Tennessee.
 
 
My Father Was the Best Barber I Ever Knew
 
I sink into the leather chair
that launches me into my past
as the barber swivels me
toward the wall-length mirror.
I see you in that mirror
holding scissors, razor & strap.
I see you in the chair looking
like me—that gentle sterness—
through the pane of time.
 
For a moment time is dilated
and I stay in my time-travel chair,
touch your bristled face, yet soft.
Feel the gentle stroke of your comb
through my curls, coiled and sprung
like time itself until a comma of light,
the glint from the barbershop pole’s
broad red and white stripes spirals
me back to the present
 
the smell of withchazel on your hands,
my hair/your hair at the foot of the chair.
 
 
An American Painting
 
I’ve always wondered why most barns are painted
red. Perhaps for contrast against a sea of amber
wheat, alfalfa green. Or as beacons for the farmer
who tractors to their vibrant-colored doors at dusk.
Maybe it’s to get the black bulls to come back in
from the field. Some say they see red. I wonder
for that matter, why a metal tube of red pigment
costs so much less than the blue, or even white
ones. I read it on the Internet: the reason seems
to be, as always, based on cost. The economics
of supply & demand and ubiquity of red-rust earth,
remnants of large pulsing stars whose iron hearts
gave in under pressure—supernova explosions
ripping them apart leaving dust and fading away
in the outer reaches of our galaxy, like memories
that once painted freedom or fluttered as banners
in a stiff breeze, their glory fading in the sun,
white-hot in the sky, lapis lazuli blue. What cost,
this freedom that so cheaply flowed the red ochre
of blood?
 
 
Biomass
the combined weight of humans…outweighed by almost everything
—BGR.com
 
The National Academy of Sciences reported, “A census of the biomass on Earth is key for understanding the structure and dynamics of the biosphere.”
 
When you weigh the carbon atoms of all living things, plants rule the Earth. And they are kind. They give us the air we breathe. All animals comprise a miniscule four-tenths of one percent—most of them live in water. We take them for food. And with bacteria weighing in at thirteen percent, I wonder how we’ve survived the malevolent strains—but I fear our antibiotics will soon become ineffective.
 
We humans form a mere 100 parts per million of the biomass—contaminant levels. Some say we threaten the survivability of the environment. Others say that conclusion is incorrect, and nature will take its own course regardless of our presence. But that analysis is flawed too. Those myopic scientists have failed to consider the weight of our own selfish hearts.
 
_____________________________________________________
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (June 19, 2018)
 

Poems by Tulsi Shrestha

Poems by Tulsi Shrestha

 

CELEBRATION OF MY DEATH

Watching autumn through the window of my own life.
What I really notice is “Philosophy of Life ”
Each-crisp leaf that falls from its branches of tree,
Reminds me of coming birthday of my own death.
An echo of bitter reality. …”A cessation of breathing life”
Death is destination and conclusion of life.
Due to fear of death, my heart beats with dissonance.
Oscillates between hope of “Life and its Death ”
Trying to lie no other than myself. …..
Contradiction and conflict decorate
The gate of heart to welcome “Dissonance ”
To profoundly launch ” A Cognitive War ”
Between my own body and its soul.

Autumn comes to break the faith of my wings.
Untreatable and unbearable agonies of my body
Ensure liberation for despair of joy.
From the veil of fear, pain and grief
I shout aloud for “Mercy of Death ”
I want empathy from my own death.
To end struggle for my own existence.
There will be no flow of even a drop of tears
For me “An Unnoticed Entity ”
Vultures in my own courtyard ,might be waiting
For their own share of my flesh.
My existence in dissonance still hopes
My resurrection in the day of final judgement.
I do expect rebirth of my soul as like that of nature.

 

***

A Red Rose ,Oh My Dear
The fabulous fragrance of Red Rose
Spread breath of joy and glory of love .

Symbolised as a spirt of celestial love
To create beauty within glory of her love .

A quest of an alone humming bird
Ended with the first sight of red rose.

Mesmerising beauty of oh my love
Skipped breath and beats of mine.

My heart sang a glorious song of love
Red Rose swayed with music of breeze.

A Red Rose of my own choice
Believe me ! I picked up for my life

A thirst for infinite love and lust
Well quenched with divine cost .

The lyrical smile of your crimson lips
Echoed again in my ears so deep

Radiant beams of your shy red cheeks
Added musical vibes in my heart beats .

Blood stream of two aching hearts
Mingled to compose poem of love .

The blue sky created floating clouds
For lucious flights of two love birds .

Love birds twined with each other
To create beauty within glory of love.

Tulsi Shrestha 
@copyright reserved

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Housemaid Golden Age (Dienstmeisje Gouden Eeuw) / Poem by Hannie Rouweler

Dienstmeisje Gouden Eeuw
(naar aanleiding van een foto)
 
En hoe was jouw dag, vandaag? Sta je ook op één been
te leunen, moe van zoveel gedane arbeid
lichamelijk of geestelijk of misschien wel allebei?
 
Ik kwam zonet een meisje tegen uit de gouden eeuw,
zo ontspannen en niet overwerkt staat zij
op blote voeten, met strijkgoed in de hand,
net van de waslijn gehaald, strijkijzer klaar –
dat toen op een hete ijzeren potkachel werd gezet.
 
Volgens mij zitten haar werkuren er bijna op
en ik voel met haar mee.
Ze heeft veel voordelen zo op het eerste oog,
geen mondmasker
geen gelaatsscherm
ze kan zo de woning uit en de straat op lopen.
 
Weemoedig kijk ik naar bewegende blaadjes in zonlicht
met zicht op een zomertuin, terras, waar veel werk
deze ochtend is verricht:
het verplaatsen van een grote houten tafel, sleepwerk,
als je dit alleen te versjouwen hebt. Ik heb de buitenplek
anders moeten inrichten vanwege de twee meter afstand
samenleving in huis en buiten. Een bezem leunt
 
tegen de vuilnisemmer waarop stoffer en blik liggen.
Ook planten en bloemen in bakken zijn verschoven.
 
Wie niet op tijd zijn stappen aanpast, uitzichten, zal vroeg
of laat in de modder glijden. Je moet haast Nederlander zijn
molens te verplaatsen, natte bodems droog te leggen om
dan met lange jurk, blote voeten, over weelderig gras te lopen.
 
 
 
Housemaid Golden Age
(following a photo)
 
And how was your day today? Do you stand also
on one leg, tired of so much work done
physically or mentally or perhaps both?
 
I just met a girl from the golden age,
she looks very relaxed and not overworked
barefoot, with dry laundry in her hand,
just taken off the clothesline, flatiron ready,
those days it was put on a hot iron pot stove.
 
I think her working hours are almost over
and I sympathize with her.
She has many advantages at first sight,
no mouth mask
no face shield
she can easily get out of the house onto the street.
 
I look rather melancholic at moving leaves in sunlight
with a view of a summer garden, terrace,
where a lot of work has been done this morning:
moving a large wooden table, towing, if you have
to carry this around yourself. I had to arrange stuff
differently because of the two meters distance
society at home and outside. A broom is leaning
 
against the rubbish bin with a dustpan and brush on top.
Plants and flowers in baskets have also been shifted.
 
Those who do not adjust in time their steps and views,
will slip into mud sooner or later. You must be Dutch
to move mills, to drying wet soils just for walking
with a long dress, on bare feet, over abundant grass.
 
 
 
Hannie Rouweler

 

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