aaduna kicks off National Poetry Month: Ellis, Nightengale, Agyekum, Das


I treasure the few times
my father, a man who rarely judged or intervened
and chose his words carefully,
tried to guide me:

- “Did you write your grandmother?”
- “Reputation doesn’t mean much.”
- “Remember, this will be difficult for her.”
- “Don’t speak like that about our country.”

Often I wish he’d said more.
I was a confused soul then - as now.
A little more advice couldn’t have hurt!

Well, it might have hurt.

© 2017 Jim Ellis                                 
Auburn, NY    

Jim Ellis  (photo provided)

* * *

Winter’s Valentine

The February window opens
my heart like a stent: a wandering
swirl of frost flakes in shapes of capillaries
cover the edges of larger arteries in shapes that                      
call me to feel, remember, know
 the warmth of my own heartbeat. 
Through the window’s bluish veins                           
I see ice crystal valentines swinging
In the tender limbs among the chill around
the weeping cherry tree.  

And then the sun.                                                                  

The sun pierces its lit arrow, and the crystal hearts               
begin to drip with rainbow drops of blood.
Winter sending a love note to stir my heart, melt my heart,
burst my heart, break my heart, mend my heart?
I watch as water now trickles predictably, playfully
giving life which is love after all
to the winter hardened earth,  and with each
melting, sugar water filled  kiss to the solid ground,
winter birds are crying and singing at the same time,
just as my heart does,
as cupid plays in the warming cold
among the tree limbs, along my window edges.
© 2017 Heidi Nightengale                 
Auburn, NY     

Heidi Nightengale (photo provided)

* * *



Brown and roughly smooth
The ink seeps through tenderly
Like a mother’s touch I never had
you never gave –
at least I do not remember
The note was short and to the point
Sealed with the three words I do not recall hearing
you never said it in person
but you seem to write it so freely 
I noticed it in the writing
It flowed, but a little too quickly on the middle word
But I like what was inside the napkin
It sits on the side –
the note you wrote on the napkin
ending with the three words I wish you say

Where were you when you wrote this?
Looks like the napkins from the cafeteria
Recycled – brown and roughly smooth
Where you here? I didn’t see you 
Wish I did and maybe you could have said those words to me

© 2016 Celestina D. Agyekum                      
Worcester, MA

Celestina D. Agyekum (photo provided)

 * * *



A strange feeling of loneliness
Adrift near the blue canvas
You may stare long and listen deep
Yet not know whether sea-shore or sea-snore!

Conch shells tickling toes
Crabs playing hide-n-seek in the sand
Tea-sellers doing brisk business
While the coconut-sellers practice playing their
Baja and band!

That old man over there
Is selling trinkets made of stones
That old woman the entire world
In a map without any hole!

You may follow the footsteps
The whole day will pass
With you going around in circles
Yet not reaching anywhere at last!

The balloon seller looks happy
Selling blue, yellow, green and red
Yet no meal has made to his stomach
After yesterday’s evening- shade!

The children always enjoy with a mad frenzy
Their dogs happily biting their own tails
The mothers keep smiling and encouraging
While their fathers aloof in their own minds
Lonely lane!
The fakirs always throng the sea-shore
To find meaning in the chaos
And then they too become melancholy
Feeling nothing but their naked toes.

© 2016 Avijeet Das                           
Kathmandu, Nepal    

Avijeet Das (photo provided)



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