Poetry of Issue # 66

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MISSING THE BOMBAY STONE

Jumping ship in Bombay
I sit on the seawall
at the Gate of India
on a March morning
watching monkey boys, bearded sadhus,
Krishna drummers, guru babas, yogis
sari queens, flute players _
where are the snake charmers?

A turbaned Sikh catches my eye
comes toward me
I want to tell you your fortune
why not?
I show my hand,
he looks at it perfunctorily
and proclaims to the gathering onlookers
you have had many many women
many girlfriends in.your life
but you're faithful to one...onlyone
I look him in the eye
which one? he laughs
you know which one now, we both
laugh...such a con he winks in complicity
you will do well in business you don't
need a guru he reaches into a pocket
and shows me good^ luck stones what the
heck it's so-cheap maybe I should've
bought a handful instead of choosing one
a small purple garnet that I gave to some
luckless beggar" who threw it back and
demanded paisa , not stones not rupees
just paisa

Goodbye, good luck stone
lost in the dust whoever.finds you
I wish you luck—
in Bombay or Mumbai.
namaste

                      David Gershator
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ANTIQUE SHOPPE

scent of pumpkin potpourri,
candles,lavender sachet,
dried roses; cups, plates arranged
on narrow tile aisles,
tired Lionel,
             forty years forgotten in a basement,
embarrassed now by Eisenhower magazines,
pre-war salts and peppers,
golden, rings, bracelets
beneath the dingy light
that gathers in their glass,
boiling in the amethyst and crystal;
figurines aligned behind the woman at the front
             reading Country Life,
             with dangled earrings,
             locket bought at auction
             at a dead man's house,

pretty things in windows, once
out of reach
to tease the seeds of aspiration,
needs,

faded now like all the others,
filling up this space beside the used books
and the coffee shop,
waiting,
dusty in the dream of resurrection

                      John P. Kristofco
_________________________

AN UNKNOWN FRIEND

As I sit in the darkness sipping wine
             Practicing magic banjo after midnight
Your light among many windows switches "on"
             I notice, glance into the empty street, switches "off"
I am switched on: listening in time
             To time in syncopated tweeks of the web strings
Wondering "why" your anonymous light's
             Switched "on" and then "off" across the dangerous street
So late, or waking early, once again to sleep
                      Eugenia Macer-Story
_________________________

"LEVEL BEST" - WHAT COULD IT MEAN?

Morning work begins with lighting
my puja lamps, the incense sticks...
Images of Darfur faces starving,
bewilderment as I wash the clothes
by hand outside the back door
on the granite slab
That could have been somebody's grave stone.
I climb the ladder to the roof
hanging new prayer flags, adjusting
the fallen and twisted.
in U.S. houses of my family, the cats
are fatter than Indian babies.
My grandchildren have never seen
people living in huts
happy for food in the pot, blue plastic roofs
that keep out the rain, no cholera
deaths in 16 months, no hockey equipment,
no baseball equipment, not a single
sleep-over party with pizza and waste
that chokes the trash compacted
I burn the worn out prayer flags
next to the Bodhi tree, under the Buddha
I painted on the crumbling brick wall
of the garden. I throw crushed grass from Tibet
onto the flames. What am I really doing?
I don't actually pray anymore,
the flags and the lamps do the job.
I am the God I've been waiting for-
So, I'll hang the clothes and let the wind blow
where it may—Karma, Dharma—
I've cut them out like worms in the Lotus.

                      Terry Reis Kennedy
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THE HOUSE OF GOD

The soft hush of souls descending into
A deeper Hell-
The gentle intoning dries of those already
In Heaven;
A Heaven they have made,
Safe, comfortable;
Like a warm bed
Imploring God
Intoning theLord's Prayer...
Strong hjands,
Weak hands;
Articulate fingers,
Genuflections like frenzied dancers,
Turning, churning;
Incense burning-
Acrid, sharp, pungent.
Flaming wax,
Shadows, shadows;
hovering, looming,
Saying* praying...
Saints with imploring eyes, Judging, judging;
Christ just in from Calvary!

                      Dolores Guglielmo
_________________________

Created on ... September 27, 2007