Free Writing : Writer/Poet of the Month

Hello Authors/Poets!

This year marks my 30th year of poetry -writing and deep inside , I feel that my mission as a poet has almost been achieved if not in a wholesome way , but at least I sincerely consider the first phase of my poetic mission to be complete. Achievement, as we know, means different things to different people. I do not ask much from the writing world. I believe it’s best to give space, and to share rather than just be on Earth and always be like “I need this award. I need this recognition. ” I am not against any award or anyone who is constantly aiming at it but I do have my own philosophy and I think one should stick to what one believes in.

As from April 2022, I will be offering a new service on this blog. This involves Free writing : Writer /Poet of the Month. Each month I will be inviting a writer who writes in English to be featured on my blog. I will be selecting the authors whose works appeal to me and generally in the writing world. However , if any writer wishes to be featured on my blog or wishes to suggest the name of someone , please feel free to e-mail me at :

vatsfrankness@ gmail.com



Both poetry and prose works are welcome.

Looking forward to working with you.

Thank you!

Vatsala Radhakeesoon



Vatsala Radhakeesoon
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Translation Services by Vatsala Radhakeesoon for 2022

Dear Authors/Poets,

I’m back to my translation services for 2022.

If you wish to have your poetry chapbooks, poetry books, children books (prose and poetry) translated from
English to French
French to English
Mauritian Kreol to English
English to Mauritian Kreol
please feel free to send them to :

vatsfrankness@gmail.com

Translation Fee: $0.06 (Rs 2.58 Mauritian currency) per word

Translation of Individual poems may also be considered . Please send a minimum of 5 poems if you wish to have a small number of your poems translated.



Payment Method: PayPal


Looking forward to working with you.

Thank you in advance,

Kind regards,

Vatsala Radhakeesoon
Poet/Translator

Vatsala Radhakeesoon

Translated Works : Poems by Linda Imbler in French and Mauritian Kreol


English Poems
by Linda Imbler

French and Mauritian Kreol (Kreol Morisien) translation

by Vatsala Radhakeesoon

A Train to Somewhere

I remember my grandparent’s enclosed porch,
their Boston Terriers nipping at my heels
as I entered the yard.

I enjoyed the reminiscences,
repeated at each visit.
I reveled in the laughter that ensued 
after each anecdote about my childhood was concluded.

The story I remember most today
is the one about my lone field trip,
at the age of three,
to the neighborhood railroad tracks.
Little me, found by frantic people 
and returned home safely.

In later years, my grandmother,
Alzheimer ridden,
was found wandering 
those same railroad tracks
by equally frantic people.

I’ve wondered since
if we were looking for the same thing.

Un train pour aller quelque part

Je me souviens de la terrasse clôturée de mes grands- parents,
leur Boston terriers me mordant les talons
dès que j’entrais dans la cour.

Je me réjouis de ces souvenirs ,
qui se reproduisaient à chaque visite .
Je m’amusais en me perdant dans le rire qui s’ensuivait
après chaque anecdote de mon  enfance.

L’incident qui reste gravé dans ma mémoire
est celui de ma balade en solitude dans les champs ,
à l’âge de trois ans,
traversant les voies ferrées du quartier.
Toute petite, je fus retrouvée par des gens affolés
et rentrée chez moi saint et sauf.

Dans les années  suivantes, ma grand-mère ,
souffrant d’Alzheimer ,
fut retrouvée  errant
parmi les mêmes chemins de fer
par les gens tout à fait affolés .

Depuis, je me demande
si on avait le même but.

The Value of Shadows

The rain lay soggy upon
the waterlogged branches of limp, bowed trees.
Appearing as the hunched and angled, stooped
backs of many old men walking here.


I caught a shape in the mist that
reminded me of you, or
perhaps I was just imagining
you and your soldiers returning
to the spot you had fought so hard to hold.

As the sun peeked through,
I discovered these were only trees,
although I remember it was here,
sixty years ago,
that your battalion won the day.



L’importance des ombres

La pluie laisse détrempé
les branches  d’arbres fragiles , courbées
s’apparaissant comme des bossus et s’inclinant , tout penchant,
les dos des vieux hommes qui y marchaient.

J’aperçus  une silhouette  dans la brume qui
me rappela de toi, ou
peut être que j’imaginais
toi et tes soldats revenant
au lieu où vous vous êtes battus de tout votre cœur.

Quand le soleil jeta un coup d’œil,
Je constatais que  ce n’était que des arbres,
même si je me souviens que c’était ici,
il y a soixante ans ,
ta bataille remporta la victoire.

Ensorcelled Within the Moonlit Eyes of P’aqo

Her silly putty face worn,
the dowager’s palm was greased
as the lightning strikes the beast.
Rivulets of blood seep from sacred dogs.


The starry-eyed loon,
the wild-eyed child
through the streets,
stopping the second before those dogs pounce.


Smelling the tears, she in the childhood tent
feels the old hocus-pocus,
from outside, the hiss and blast of truth.


But the shaman has not lost his grip,
much quieter next time,
the fight much less painful.

Just tell the truth.
Give no hypnotic promises,
no serpentine ballet
woven between real and false.

She thinks, she feels,
he promises,
I’ll create the moon tonight
he does, he does.

Ensorcelés par les yeux lumineux de P’aqo

Son visage ridicule, mastiqué, épuisé,
la paume de la douairière était grasse
quand la foudre frappa la bête.
Des ruisseaux de sang coulant des chiens sacrés.

La folle aux yeux étoilés,
L’enfant aux regards égarés
courant dans les rues,
s’enfuyant avant que ces chiens ne l’attaquent .

Flairant les larmes dans sa tente d’enfance  elle
ressent la vieille formule magique,
de l’extérieur, le sifflement et le souffle de la vérité.

Mais rien ne s’échappe au shaman ,
plus calme la prochaine fois,
la lutte  moins douloureuse.

Dites seulement la vérité.
Ne faites pas des promesses hypnotiques ,
Pas de  danse du serpent
se mêlant du réel et d’illusion.

Elle pense, elle ressent,
Il promet,
Je créerai la lune ce soir
il le fait , il le fait.


Grave

There’s something wrong with your grave.
There’s not the wrong kind of grass covering you,
nor an incorrect variety of flowers growing atop.
The tombstone looks fine:
The symbols etched into the granite
are perfectly formed,


The dates are right.
Your name is spelled accurately.
The shady tree above
is grandly leafed,
and suits its purpose.
Yet, there is something incorrect.
This grave is wrong,
for the simple reason
that you don’t belong here. 

Tom

Ena kiksoz de mal avek to tom.
Pena move zerb ki kouver twa,
Ni bann fler ki fer dezord lao,
Tom-la paret bien:
Bann sinbol grave an granit
zot bien forme,

Bann dat bon.
To nom finn bien ekrir.
Pie lao ki donn lonbraz
li plin ar fey,
ek fer so travay bien.
Me, malgre sa ena touzour enn kiksoz ki pa bon.
Sa tom- la li pa bon,
Pou enn sel rezon
parski li pa to plas sa.

Liar

Naked now you’ll be,
stripped of all truthfulness,
as Ananias exposed in elder days was.
Protection now most slight.
Then, gambling with veracity.
Once to fool those who knew no better.
Following, the first deception revealed,
unraveling subsequent falsehoods.
Line them up, parade them,
display them as your inventions.
They sit apparent, like squatters,
long after being ordered out.
No cover, no cover,
stark they stay,
stark you stay.
All eyes now focus
on your every misdemeanor of word.

Manter

Aster, to pou touni,
Pou tir tou to verite,
kouma Ananias ti expoze dan so vie zour.
Proteksion bien tigit.
Apre zwe avek verite.
Enn fwa pou anbet bann seki konn plis.
Swivan premie desepsyon ki finn admet,
devwal ankor lezot mansonz.
Met zot dan lake, fer zot mars kouma dan parad,
Montre ki to bann linvansion sa.
Zot assize remarkab, kouma bann squatters,
mem apre ki finn donn zot lord ale.
Pa kouver, pa kouver,
Zot rest rizid,
To res rizid.
Tou lizie aster brake
lor sak fo pa parol.

 Linda Imbler 

Republishing : International Dylan Thomas Day 2018 (Mauritius) -Vatsala Radhakeesoon

I first conducted International Dylan Thomas Day on my old blog , Poetry and Creativity in 2018. However, I closed that blog in 2019 due some health issues and the need to re-organize my writing duties.
This year , I’m republishing the poems of International Dylan Thomas Day 2018 that were previously featured on my old blog. I’m publishing what I have saved as word document of 2018.
Thank you Everyone!
This brings back some good memories. 🙂

Vatsala Radhakeesoon




For my Grandfather, Dylan Thomas

by Hannah Ellis

England

Bloomsday, the annual day to celebrate the poet James Joyce has been alive and kicking for over sixty years and in Scotland, Burn’s night is embraced with much enthusiasm every January.  But it was not until 2015 that Dylan Thomas, a fellow Celt, and also my grandfather, had an annual date in the literary calendar set aside to honour him.

It followed a hugely successful year-long festival in 2014 to mark the centenary of his birth, Dylan Thomas 100.  It became clear that there was love all around the globe for my grandfather’s magical words.  The date chosen was significant because it was the first time his much adored Under Milk Wood was performed with a small cast on May 14th 1953 at the Poetry Center in New York.  It was also when he was heard to utter the wonderful line, “Love the words, love the words”.

I am passionate about continuing his message to ‘Love the words’.  He was able to use words in a way only a master of his craft can. However ,I think we can all bring words to life and to use language to confidently express ourselves. Words are more than just prints on a piece of paper. You can play with them, change them, make them roll off your tongue, mold them to jump off the page or just simply absorb them as you leap inside a book. 

Of course, it is heartbreaking to know that my grandfather left us at just 39 years old, especially if we wonder how many more powerful poems he could have completed but Dylan Thomas has left us with a lasting legacy – his beautiful and memorable writing.  That is what I want us all to celebrate on International Dylan Thomas Day.

 

Let’s Celebrate International Dylan Thomas Day

 by Vatsala Radhakeesoon

 (Editor and Organizer for Poetry and Creativity blog)

Mauritius


Hello poet friends and literature-lovers!  I’m one of the representatives of
Immagine and Poesia (Italy-based literary movement) uniting artists and poet’s works.  Immagine and Poesia was founded under the patronage of late
Aeronwy Thomas,  daughter of Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas.

Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea, South Wales on 27 October 1914.  He is one of the famous poets in the field of English literature. His popular poems are
“Do not go gentle into that good night”, “And Death shall have no dominion”. Dylan Thomas died in 1953 at the age of 39.

May 14th marks the anniversary of the first small cast reading of Under Milk Wood on stage at the 92Y in New York in May 1953 with Dylan Thomas as the narrator.  Thus, 14 May has been assigned as International Dylan Thomas Day.  

This year, on suggestion of the Editor Lidia Chiarelli of Immagine and Poesia, I have organized Dylan Thomas Day on my blog, Poetry and Creativity . A few months ago I posted a call for submission for contemporary authors/ poets to send their own original articles and poems as a tribute to Dylan Thomas.

I’m really glad to have received submissions from high caliber international poets of our time and I have the greatest pleasure to publish them on this blog today, on  this special day.

The selected poems centre on Dylan Thomas’s life, appreciation of his works, his predominating themes and his   peculiar poetic styles.



I express my sincere gratitude to all talented poets who have sent their awesome works. Many thanks to Hannah Ellis and Lidia Chiarelli for their support, encouragement and help in organizing this event on Poetry and Creativity blog.


Hope you will enjoy reading the following poems and support Dylan Thomas’s works and Poetry and Creativity blog.



Dylan Thomas  reading his  poem  


Here is the You Tube video of Dylan Thomas reading his famous poem,
“Do not go gentle into that good night”:

A Tribute to Dylan Thomas by Contemporary Poets

Derek Davies

Wales

A Legend in Time – Dylan Thomas

He came from South Wales

with a voice so sublime

So much loved by the world over

Such a legend in time

with poems of passion

and he spoke with such grace

so amazing a talent,

such a special Welsh ace.

Now his poems are famous

quite unique so they say

From the town that he came from

down in old Swansea Bay.

Dylan Thomas was special

So proud of this fair city

A real Welsh great

What a loss, such a pity!

Swansea’s First Son

they call him around here

And he loved his Welsh background

and especially the beer

He loved the Welsh language

and he adored the Welsh songs

We loved him around here

It’s where he belonged

Still his memory lives on

with his writings so fine

The great Dylan Thomas,

Forever in time.

 Derek Davies is 58 and is from Swansea, Wales. He is self-employed and loves writing poems as a hobby. He believes firmly that Dylan Thomas is a local hero.

 John Thieme


England


From Dylan to Dylan

The ragman still draws circles.

He’s been perfecting them for years,

around the pyramids of molehills

that hide his ashen fears.

A hearse is now approaching,

with pallid lowered beams,

on this highway of cracked asphalt,

the broken diamonds of his dreams.

His fires don’t light swiftly

like the beacons of his youth,

but he keeps a dawn flame flickering,

so deaf spirits may hear truth.

Dusk is now descending,

on his caravan of light, 

but he snared the sun at noon-time

and he’ll rage against the night.

Author’s note:

‘From Dylan to Dylan’ adapts images from Bob Dylan’s compositions to respond to Dylan Thomas, particularly his most famous poem , ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’.

John Thieme is a Senior Fellow at the University of East Anglia. He previously held Chairs at the University of Hull and London South Bank University and has also taught at the Universities of Guyana and North London. His books include Postcolonial Con-Texts: Writing Back to the Canon, Postcolonial Literary Geographies: Out of Place, studies of Derek Walcott, V.S. Naipaul and R.K. Narayan, and The Arnold Anthology of Post-Colonial Literatures in English. He was Editor of The Journal of Commonwealth Literature from 1992 to 2011 and is General Editor of the Manchester University Press Contemporary World Writers Series. His creative writing has been published in Argentina, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA.
A selection of his works is available on his academia.edu page: https://eastanglia.academia.edu/JohnThieme

Jay Anderson

England



His Life in Sonnet

Dylan Thomas, the welsh man who held no mysteries.
Never saw without a pint of bitter in his hands,
despite other efforts went down his history.
The drinks went down swiftly
onto the bar like a full drum band.
Canes at school, his hands marked and still feeling blistery.
When childhood was spent at his aunt, games and shouting “at this tree,
He spent more time on a farm no matter that he owned land.
A rich boy who felt he belonged with those rebelling against the ministry.
His life was a short lived victory.
We have left poems, images of the curly haired boy playing on the sand.
His profession, a beautiful contradictory
“rang the bells of London and painted it like a tart” insisted he,
The world is in awe, it’s like poetry followed his free line commands.
The underdog of psychohistory,
His poetry was a revolution, but distally.



Jay Anderson is an eighteen year old from the North East of England. Mostly writing in slam and free line styles, he allows himself to write in different styles and challenges himself within writing. His poetic influences are R.H. Sin,
Neil Hilborn, Denice Frohman, Allen Ginsberg, and the rest of the beat poets.
He is very motivated in human rights and political issues and his writing reflects the issues that he is passionate about most of the time.
Twitter: @notjaytanderson
Word Press :  jayandersonpoetry.wordpress.com



 Rajnish Mishra

India


It Feels So Good, Revenge

Teeth clenched, lips sealed; silent,

I raise my arm with a blunt short rod.

It feels so good, revenge!

I knock him down like a dry dead tree.

Not one stroke finished, it’s stretched long:

Teeth clenched, lips sealed; silent,

Thrice I strike. I take my time.

Alive he’s kept to feel to the end.

It feels so good, revenge!


With each connection I curse him twice.

With each curse breaks a spell.

Teeth clenched, lips sealed; silent.

My python-eyes hypnotize,

Keep my prey transfixed, silent.

It feels so good, revenge.

There lies the broken spell.

There lies the broken curse:

Teeth clenched, lips sealed; silent.

It feels so good, revenge.

Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India and now in exile from his city. His work originates at the point of intersection between his psyche and his city. 



 Ken Allan Dronsfield

USA

Death within Eventuality

A stellar race to a darker place,

the almost dead rattle and hum.

Deserving none of the warm sun,

a coolish death within eventuality.

Gnaw on a bone or lapis stone,

color blue hanging from a mirror.

Piety’s ice now sugars and spice,

eat your fill of a blackened crow.

Sequestered blaze of frosty haze,

dance until dawn to an old sonnet.

Try your best, at the calmest behest

of the one pounding the black book.

Bicycles, tricycles and popsicles,

stored in the trunk of the clown car.

A circus of life, in a perpetual strife,

soaring upon a vibrating high wire.

Expectancy of a burning intensity

shall grasp death within eventuality.

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran, poet and fabulist originally from New Hampshire, now residing on the plains of Oklahoma. His work can be found in magazines, journals, reviews and anthologies. He has two poetry books, “The Cellaring” a collection of 80 poems of light horror, paranormal, weird and wonderful work. His newest book, “A Taint of Pity: Life Poems Written with a Cracked Inflection”just released on Amazon.com. He is a three-time Pushcart Prize and twice Best of the Net Nominee for 2016-2017. Ken loves writing, thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night and spending time with his cats Willa and Yumpy. 

 Robin Wyatt Dunn

USA


go and bake

go and bake
put the bun in the oven
curl it around your waist
cake the melancholy edges of your harbinger life with the shades of day
too ordinary to be real
glued to your face



Robin Wyatt Dunn lives in Los Angeles but is trying to escape.
His short story collection DARK IS A COLOR OF THE DAY was just published by Weasel Press.

 Santosh Bakaya

India

To Dylan Thomas

“Do not go gentle into that good night.”
  You beseeched your dad; so did I. 
“Burn and rave’, you exhorted, so did I.
 ‘Rage, rage, you pleaded; your plea went unheeded.
 The night came.

You reminisced about your Christmas in Wales 
Yes, you wanted to snowball the cats, wearing socks; 
Shocked I was when Mrs. what was her name, shouted ‘Fire!’  
What a liar, she was, shouting fire when there was none. 
Mrs Prothero , was she ? And her son, Jim or was it Tim?
But it was great fun, your Christmas in Wales. 
‘Bring out the tall tales’, you wrote, and I quote.
Ah, it was indeed a tall tale; a lovely song. 
She shouted fire and beat the dinner gong. 
What was wrong? 
Was she crazy? Ah, my memory is hazy.  
Your Welsh Christmas was choc-a bloc with presents, 
slinking and sidling, spitting and snarling cats,  
postmen, and uncles playing the fiddle, singing Drake’s Drum, 
and one aunt merrily lacing her tea with rum!


‘Rage, rage,’ your words were a scream 
yanked from the depth of an anguish, extreme. 
But no poem, no plea can save a dad
In hindsight, this I understand.
The night comes, nonetheless. 
So does Christmas every year. 

 
 

I quietly creep into the nostalgia 
of your childhood Christmas in Wales
when my heart bewails the memory of another dad
too weak to put up a fight against the dying of the light. 
The night comes with a painful intensity.
And Death’s dominion reigns, you see.





Academician, poet, novelist and essayist, Dr. Santosh Bakaya is the winner of the International Reuel Award for literature for her long poem, Oh Hark! [2014] .
She has been critically acclaimed for her poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, Ballad of Bapu [2015]. She has been invited to many literary festivals and was one of the delegates at SAARC SUFI FESTIVAL, 2017 [Jaipur], besides having won many laurels for her literary output. In January 2018, she delivered a Tedx Talk on The Myth of Writers’ Block. Her other books which have been widely appreciated are: Where are the lilacs? Flights from my Terrace , and Under the Apple Boughs [ Incidentally , this book gets its name from FERN HILL ,  a poem by Dylan Thomas]

 

 Manuel Renaud

France



December


Snow on the wood

A rain of cold ashes

December goes away

His sad days are wandering

He’s snowing in silence

Snowflakes of dumb tears

On the cheeks of absence

And December stops

Gazing upon the wood

Then turns his head away

Yes…December goes away

His frozen steps, his festive atmosphere

Snow in the house

In those Sundays of shadows

Cop- sized and then sinks

In the evenings

Without horizon

Snow in my heart

As sorrow decembers*

All the minutes, all the colors

Last embers soon to be ashes


Author’s Note:
 
December, in this poem has been personified.  It refers to a person and his/her sufferings. Here the poet links it to the sorrows faced by Dylan Thomas.

*decembers – to be considered as a verb created by the poet to express the qualities of the month December. It refers to being cold, painful and nostalgic.



Manuel Renaud is a French musician and poet. He writes lyrics and excels in playing various musical instruments such as the guitar, bass, ukulele and mandolin. He also teaches guitar, bass and singing. His passion for poetry originated when he was at school. At the age of 14 he was awarded a prize at school for his outstanding achievement in French language. The prize comprised of Les Oeuvres Complètes d’Arthur Rimbaud (The Complete Works of Arthur Rimbaud).
When he was much younger he was much influenced by British pop music. This roused his eagerness to learn and understand English. So, firstly he wrote lyrics in English and French. Then afterwards, he seriously started writing poems and still keeps writing regularly.

 Eftichia Kapardeli

Greece

The Route of an Angel


A wet sweet dawn
On their wet roofs
Of houses
Uniformly next to each other
Built in series … lonely
Route of an Angel, Archangel
Lost in the city cool
Heart

                   ***

And you never entered
In the street houses
With the stone walls
The heart that does not hold, by
There it does not pass


                     ***
Flowers hidden, sprouted
Where the sun shyly
Some rays send
A lone purple flower
Over there a heart

I look at it and
in   lips overflow
A prayer that I honor you


                    ***

I have no hands, only wings
Where they lift me up in the sky
High, do not …
From a brother’s hand
In the soil I fall
in the shadow of Archangel.

Author’s Note:

This poem has been inspired by part of Dylan Thomas’s quote “ I hold a beast, an angel and a madman in me, and my enquiry is as to their working, and my problem is their subjugation and victory, down throw and upheaval, and my effort is their self-expression.”


Eftichia  Kapardeli was born in Athens and lives in Patras. She studied journalism and has a section at the University of Cyprus in Greek culture. She has a Doctorate from ARTS AND CULTURE WORLD ACADEMY.  She is a member of the World Poets Society, IWA (international writers) and POETAS DEL MUNDO.

Information about her books can be found at: http://eftichiakapa.blogspot.gr/2013_10_01_archive.html

 Gopal Lahiri

India


Dark is Night

 (A tribute to Dylan Thomas)

Please be seated, have a quiet talk

On the black wall, scribble in chalk…

(I) Ask’ shall the blind horse sings sweeter?’

The moonlight sees the white winter.

Sip a cup of your hot coffee

Think of those days, pleasure and glee.

Shall I dream a thin sea of flesh?

And a bone coast wrapped in a mesh.

Flawless piece of work to fulfil

Your good, lovely and perfect will.

You’re the salt person, blasted place

Life’s hard, still have that elfin grace.

Just the right kind of evening breeze

When life seems to stink, go for seize.

Brush and paint your face all over

Read your lips, upper and lower.

The wild birds sing the sun in flight

Good men crying for light more light,

Struggle hard with a lot of grind

Now you are what I had in mind.






Gopal Lahiri was born and grew up in Kolkata. He currently lives in Mumbai, India. He is a bilingual poet, writer, editor, critic and translator and widely published in Bengali and English language. He has had five collections of poems in Bengali and seven collections in English. He has jointly edited the anthology of poems: Scaling Heights and is the recipient of the Poet of the year award in Destiny Poets, UK, 2016.

He can be reached at:
glahiri@gmail.com

g_lahiri@yahoo.com

 Lidia Chiarelli

Italy


3 Haiku for Dylan Thomas

LAUGHARNE

Heron priested shores

blue waves come and go gently

recalling your name

Under the Welsh sky

only silence inhabits

your seashaken house

The November wind

froze the clay of light and sealed

your blue lips as wax

Gogyoshi*


TO DYLAN THOMAS

The stars do not float along the void

On this first spring night, Dylan

And the dark leaden sky is heavy with clouds.

Our time is winding down

While your voice slowly fades out

Author’s  note:

“Gogyoshi is a poem written in five lines. Writing a poem in five lines is its only rule. The content of gogyohshi is free, its themes are chosen by the poet.”
Taro Aizu, Japan


Lidia Chiarelli
is one of the Charter Members of  Immagine & Poesia, the art literary Movement founded in Torino (Italy) in 2007. She is also an installation artist, award winning poet and her works have been multi-lingually translated.

She has become an award-winning poet since 2011 and she was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from The First International Poetry Festival of Swansea (U.K.) for her broadside of poetry and art contribution.
Pushcart Prize Nomination in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018.

Her writing has been translated into different languages and published in Poetry Reviews, and on web-sites in Italy, France, Great Britain, U.S.A., Canada,  Albania, Romania, South Korea, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, India, Israel, Vietnam, China, Mauritius and Japan.

Her books of poetry are available on Amazon.com.

http://lidiachiarelli.jimdo.com/

https://immaginepoesia.jimdo.com/

 

Dustin Pickering

USA


The Heart-Apple


See the thoughts, come closer in the rain:
dream, dream to bear pain.
Sorrow in bliss is the escaped kiss
that once we all held some single rose.

As I know, the Apple-Heart hoists a young child
through the empty core.
His tiny hands clench gleefully
and he giggles like silver clouds.
If night touches his eyes—he is reborn into thirty goodbyes.

Let’s know what angel is carrying the Promised fields.
My dear joy, the seed from which the gift of light was born.
She heaves like a fisherman’s catch on the waifish waters.
That abounding soul within me—night, heart, descried sword of Fate.

You love me to be loved.


Dustin Pickering is founder of Transcendent Zero Press, a literary publisher.
He is a visual artist, musician, poet, and prose writer. He also edits Harbinger Asylum, a journal for the arts and poetry.  His two most recent books,
Salt and Sorrow (Chitrangi, 2016) and A Matter of Degrees (Hawakal, 2017), are both small collections that explore multilayered ideas. He placed as a finalist in Adelaide Literary Journal’s short story contest in 2017.

 David Ratcliffe

England


Pour me a Vision


Pour me a vision

that I might walk a corridor

of chance conversation;

drift into moments passing,

towards light where no sun shines.

Enter passages unclothed

through the prism of a wanton eye

among bookshelves, disturbing dust

where captured words weep.

To follow the poet

out of black, into yellow

mount platforms

feeding chowder to amoeba.

Yellow to black

then back to the shed

where he’d chisel granite

with a well-worn pen.

Drink me a moment beyond

numberless days of death

that I might count them among

unsurpassed experience.

Though his passing stills the hands

‘gently or otherwise’

their indelible mark remains,

forever at the turning of a page.


David Ratcliffe hails from the north of England though now living in the south.
He writes poetry, short stories, song lyrics (Two of his songs have been recorded by Leeds band Backyard Burners) & Stage plays (one of which is with a theatre company in London). He is also a keen painter in both watercolours and oils.
His poetry has been published  online in Poetry Pacific Magazine, TRR Poetry, Sixteen Magazine, Mad Swirl, Tulip Tree Review (Print Version),
Poem Hunter and Creative Talents Unleashed.
He has written two Plays to date; The Sally set on a council estate near Rochdale Lancashire in three parts, and Intervention, a two-part play on the subject of world peace.

Email :  dratcliffepoetry@gmail.com

Website  http://www.poetrybydavidratcliffe.com/






 Heath Brougher

USA



Never Stop  

What begins as a spark 

rises, through the years 

to a full-fledged flame 

roaring forth its existence–

an entire life. It becomes brightest 

and most ablaze during the zenith

of a life, as strength and glory 

adorn these years of thriving.

Then, a day comes when the roaring fire
finally commences its slow

but sure dimming and descent 

as the bones begin to grow weaker

and the skin wrinkles with the passage

of time. In the blink of an eye 

a womb becomes thoughts 

of a casket. Upon this occasion 

a new word needs to be introduced to 

the vocabulary of life and that word

is Rage. When the once glorious flame

has been lulled to the feeble embers 

of a quaint flickering, it is imperative to use 

that new word and rage against 

the dying of the light as memories

of the days when it burned most intensely 

allows a smile of sheer triumph

to blossom upon the face. 

Heath Brougher is co-poetry editor of Into the Void Magazine. He has received multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. His newest book is “To Burn in Torturous”.

Pushmaotee Subrun

Mauritius


For Dylan Thomas (Title as initially saved in word document)

Sadly, the candle of your life
Extinguished before the usual span of human life,

Leaving for your eternal abode too early,

And yet, you left behind a great legacy.

Gaining literary immortality.

Your poems reflect a zeal, highly poetic,

From your youth, all enthusiastic.

You gave glimpses of your personal struggles,

But alas! It’s all a muddle

Why you bade an early farewell.

It could have been problems of adolescence,

That give us a hundred and one troubles,

Or love affairs,

Or other worldly snares.

But well, if only we could beware!

Originality pervades your poems,

They have their own richness,

With farfetched imagery, like flowers blooming.

What a great blessing!

To human beings!

You dared to voice out what others did not,

By your artistic and poetic talent,

Whether philosophical,

Or matters political.

Without being sentimental.

Was it an artistic rebellion?

Or was it an expression of your faith?

A strong personal faith?

Resulting in your poetry being filled

With exuberance and a joy fulfilled.


They say those whom the Gods love, die young.

Surely you were among

The choicest of the Lord’s chosen people,

Or else there is no reason for your early departure,

Giving the literary world the greatest displeasure. 

Your writings done casually,

Made you popular posthumously.

Certainly, dear poet, if you had lived longer,

The literary world would have benefitted further.

Yet, eternally, ‘the real life of your words’ outstays,  

Great poet, you will ‘live in them and with them’ always.

Pushmaotee Fowdur Subrun was born in 1949 in Mauritius.

She has written one novel Ella which was published in May 2013, Short Stories and Fables published in August 2015 and one play entitled Who is Your Best Friend, published in June2015. Her poems Why worry, be happy, (July 2017), followed by The Break of Dawn, (September 2017), My Dream (November 2017), were featured in Setu Magazine. 

Vatsala Radhakeesoon

Mauritius

Celebrating Immortality


O talented poet!
O master of words!
Amidst hectic 21st century
of internet dominion
we are still mesmerized by
your sun of direct expression
your daring waves of spontaneity

Echoes, echoes
“Do not go gentle into that good night”
all around the globe,
As we swirl, waltz in your world
We can’t help to let a tear
drop in the poetry realm
but soon we comfort ourselves,
pacify your soul
by celebrating what you’ve left in legacy –
the undying fruits of poetic determination
your constant stars of immortality.


Vatsala Radhakeesoon was born in Mauritius in 1977. She started writing poems in English at the age of 14. She is currently the author of a few poetry books. She is the representative of Immagine and Poesia for Mauritius.







                                       








International Dylan Thomas Day 2021 (Mauritius) -Artworks

Name of artist : Ruben Molina

Title: Flowers to  Dylan Thomas

Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Size: 100cm x 80cm

Year: 2021

Country: Venezuela.

Ruben Molina was Born in Barinitas Edo Barinas, on October 23, 1969. He studied at the Conac  Merida  Art School from 1980 to 1983.  He belongs to the CIRCULO DEL DIBUJO of MACCSI. He taught as professor of Printing Systems at the former Neuman INCE  Design Institute.  He currently  lives and works in Merida Venezuela.

He has been represented as artist  by The Ajala Project, Art Foundation in  Dubai UAE until 2019. He has had his own solo exhibitions and participated in many group art exhibitions worldwide.

Contact:
rubenmolina7@gmail.com
instagram rubenmolinaart

Name of artist : Gloria Keh

Title: The Crossing

Medium : Mixed media on canvas panel

Size: 14 inches x 18 inches

35 cm x 45 cm

Year : 2021

Country : Singapore

Note: Painted especially for the International Dylan Thomas Day 2021.
Inspired by the poem ‘And Death Shall Have No Dominion

Gloria Keh, 69, began painting since childhood.  Her father, the oil painter Martin Fu was her first art teacher.
 She has taken part in over 80 art exhibitions both in Singapore as well as internationally, and won 18 international art awards.

 In 2008, Gloria founded Circles of Love, a non profit  charity outreach program using her art in the service of humanity. Since that year, all proceeds from the sales of her artworks are donated 100% to charity

 In addition to painting, Gloria writes poetry and facilitates mandala as well as art journaling workshops.

Name of artist: Juliet Preston

Title: ‘Osiris, come to Isis’

Medium:  Digital abstract

Size: 1080 x 1080, 1.2 mega pixel

Year : 2021

Country: USA

Note: Inspired by Dylan Thomas’ ‘Osiris, come to Isis’ ,notebook poems

Juliet Preston is an engineer by profession. She considers herself to be a poet at heart and an artist by passion.

Name of artist: Wendy Wong

Title: ‘the Good Night’

Medium: digital art

Size: 2048 px x 2048 px

Year: April 2021

Country: Singapore

Wendy Wong is from Singapore. Since young, Wendy’s interest in art was sparked by her father who brought her out to parks to paint the scenery. 

Although she graduated with a Diploma in Graphic Design, she went on to pursue a career in Retail Real Estate for over more than 2 decades and got so busy in the rat race leaving her little time to pursue her passion in the arts area. 

Through the years, her love for art never left her. 

It is only in the recent years that she picked up her paint and brushes again. Through drawing, it helped her in being more aware of herself and she also used this media to run art expression workshops to help others find their inner child. 

It is during 2020 Covid-19 period that Wendy began to paint more seriously, endeavouring to hone her skills and participated in various open call art exhibitions held online.

One of Wendy’s dream is to have her own solo art exhibition one day. She has participated in 10 International Online exhibitions and will soon be part of another upcoming one.

Name of artist : Lidia Chiarelli

Title : How Time has Ticked a Heaven Round the Stars

Medium: Digital collage ( From an original photo by Nora Summers)

Size:45 x 30 cm (pixels)

Year : 2021

Country : Italy

Lidia Chiarelli  is from Torino, Italy. She is an installation artist , collagist, writer and co-founder, with Aeronwy Thomas, of the art-literary Movement Immagine & Poesia (2007). Award -winning poet, six nominations to Pushcart Prize, USA and Literary Arts Medal (NY) 2020. Her poems are often translated multilingually.

https://lidiachiarelli.jimdofree.com/

https://lidiachiarelliart.jimdofree.com/

https://immaginepoesia.jimdofree.com/

Name of artist: Gianpiero Actis

Title: Portrait of Dylan Thomas

Medium: Mixed media on canvas board

Size: 40 x30 cm

Year : 2021

Country: Italy

Gianpiero Actis is the co-founder with Aeronwy Thomas ( Dylan Thomas’s daughter) of the art-literary movement “Immagine & Poesia”, and he often offers his artworks as “responses” to poems of different writers.

His artworks are in permanent exhibitions / collections in Italy and abroad (Promotrice delle Belle Arti, Torino /Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea Wales, /Musée de Huy, Belgium).

Innovation and deep cultural backgrounds are the main features of his artworks.

https://gianpieroactis.jimdofree.com/

https://immaginepoesia.jimdofree.com/

International Dylan Thomas Day 2021 (Mauritius) – Poetry


Celebrating International Dylan Thomas Day 2021

 by Vatsala Radhakeesoon

 (Editor and Organizer for Vatsalaradwritingworld)

Mauritius


Hello poet friends and literature-lovers! 
I’m one of the representatives of Immagine and Poesia (Italy-based literary and artistic movement) founded under the patronage of late Aeronwy Thomas, daughter of Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas.


May 14th marks the anniversary of the first small cast reading of Under Milk Wood on stage at the 92Y in New York ,1953 with Dylan Thomas as the narrator.  Thus, 14 May has been assigned as International Dylan Thomas Day. 


Upon the approval of the official UK team from Dylan Thomas Trust and on suggestion of the Editor Lidia Chiarelli of Immagine and Poesia, I have the pleasure to organize Dylan Thomas Day on my blog for the second time.


Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea, South Wales on 27 October 1914.  His popular poems are “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” and “And Death shall have No Dominion”. Dylan Thomas died in 1953 at the age of 39.
Thomas’s poems are poignant and they have been able to explore and reveal the depth of the subconscious mind.

 A few months ago I posted a call for submission for contemporary poets to send their own original poems as a tribute to Dylan Thomas. I’m really glad to have received submissions from international poets of our time and I have the greatest pleasure to publish them on this blog today. This year, I have arranged the poets’ works by keeping a balance between simple and complex ones.


I express my sincere gratitude to all talented poets who have sent their well -crafted works. Many thanks to Hannah Ellis( granddaughter of Dylan Thomas), Andrew Dally, David Evans and Lidia Chiarelli for their support, encouragement and help in organizing this event on my blog.


Hope you will enjoy reading the following poems and continue to support Dylan Thomas’s works.



POEMS

Myth

by Michael R. Burch

after the sprung rhythm of Dylan Thomas

Here the recalcitrant wind
sighs with grievance and remorse
over fields of wayward gorse
and thistle-throttled lanes.      

And she is the myth of the scythed wheat
hewn and sighing, complete,
waiting, lain in a low sheaf—
full of faith, full of grief.

Here the immaculate dawn
requires belief of the leafed earth
and she is the myth of the mown grain—
golden and humble in all its weary worth.


Author’s Note :

I believe I wrote the first version of this poem towards the end of my senior year of high school, around age 18 in late 1976. To my recollection, this is my only poem directly influenced by the “sprung rhythm” of Dylan Thomas (more so than that of Gerard Manley Hopkins). But I was not happy with the fourth line and put the poem aside for more than 20 years, until 1998, when I revised it. I was still not happy with the fourth line, so I put it aside and revised it again in 2020, nearly half a century after originally writing the poem.

Michael R. Burch’s poems have been published by hundreds of literary journals, taught in high schools and colleges, translated into fourteen languages, and set to music by twelve composers.

WORM’S HEAD, RHOSSILI

by Rhys Hughes

Dylan

on the tiny hill

at the end of the causeway,

stranded by high tide and waiting

for it to recede again so he might escape

back to normality. But there’s no

normality in the whole land,

only the devilish

night

&

those

gusts of icy wind

that bite the exposed flesh

of wrists and throat that poke out

of cardigan warmth. Next time he’ll check

the tide times and plan a crossing

with more care, he’ll boast

appropriately and

laugh

a

brisk

laugh that’s more

like a dragon’s bite in the

way it sounds, a legendary snarl,

but now his knees are drawn up and fears

gnaw gently on his spirit’s bones,

a man alone, far from home,

musing on a stone,

skull.

Rhys Hughes is the author of many books, short stories, articles, plays and poems. He graduated in Engineering but now works as a tutor of Mathematics. His most recent book is the novel “The Pilgrim’s Regress”, a fabulist comedy set in Old Spain.

A Scaffold

by Michael Bishop

The first thirteen planks of A Refusal
        to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child
in London
constitute a single down-
       dropping sentence, like a noose leaping up
short of the majesty and burning of
       its subject’s extinction beneath the gallows
of Dylan’s opening two stanzas and the first
       plank of its third.  In this fatal suspension
he abjures any recourse to commas or
              hyphens.  As if loops and pointed sticks appall
                                            
his sense of the aborted innocent’s
       existence.  As if compound descriptives like
mankind making and Bird beast and flower
       Fathering
and all humbling set before
darkness to radiate it with no punctuation
       whatsoever could reunify the ruins
inflicted on a bolt-stung city’s hapless
       casualties, whether man woman or bairn,
even if his titular slain urchin London’s
              daughter
was the freest of any injury

           
infliction of that lot during those nightly
       Nazi blitzkriegs.  I shall not murder, Thomas
tells us in the second load-bearing sentence
       of his scaffold, The mankind of her going—
although had she lived to adulthood she
       might have preferred humanity as a species
specifier amidst her shrouded long friends
       and frank blasphemy to her eulogist’s
self-flattering discretion in declining
              to smutch with further Elegy the dignity


of her annihilation by adopting
       in another plank of his platform the grief-
gainsaying timelessness of the unmourning
       water Of the riding Thames.
Then nails a
twenty-fourth timber to the full shebang:
       After the first death comma there is no other.
Whoa. Is that filigreed blather or an oaken        
       spear of warm sagacity?
                                                    It’s just Dylan, friends,
a stick of Easter dynamite to pipe our unspeakable
               grief.

Michael Bishop’s novels include No Enemy but Time (1982), winner of a Nebula Award, Unicorn Mountain (1988; revised 2020), winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and Brittle Innings (1994), winner of a Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel.  He has also published reviews and essays as well as story collections, notably Other Arms Reach Out to Me: Georgia Stories (2017), winner of a Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2018.  Later this year, Fairwood Press will publish a retrospective gathering of his short fiction (stories no longer than 3,000 words) and several brief poems with narrative elements, A Few Last Words for the Late Immortals (2021). Years and years ago, Bishop wrote his Master’s thesis at the University of Georgia on the poetry of Dylan Thomas. More recently, on November 5, 2018, he was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.

To Dylan Thomas

 by Mitali Chakravarty

He said Death shall have no dominion.
Bones dissolve into sun, moon and stars.

Death shall have no dominion.
Yet the flowers wither with grief
As smoke curls from a pyre
While the man crumbles to ashes

And dust. The sun, moon and stars
Gather the smoke with the soul,
Pinning it to the sky with a styrofoam clip.
Another star is born. Life and Death.

Grief is Incongruent. And yet he said,
Death shall have no dominion.

Hades smiles as Hiroshima blasts.
The Earth weeps tears of atomic wastes.
Hibakushas* mourn their lost. Does now
Death have a dominion?

*Atomic bomb survivors with the kimono imprints on their bodies.

Author’s Note: A tribute to a great Welsh writer who continues to inspire and make us think. These lines are inspired by Dylan Thomas’s poem ‘Death shall have no Dominion’.

Mitali Chakravarty is writer and the editor of Borderless Journal. She has been published widely in journals and anthologies. She writes and translates for harmony, humanity and kindness and looks forward to a world beyond all borders

The Man from Swansea

by Chris Hemingway

Dashing as a Welsh

Young man should

Look, by your charming nature

And sense of adventure, there is

No doubt

That the world remembers you as

Humble, daring, and full

Of life. You lived by your own rules and your

Memories live inside

All of us

Secretly



Chris Hemingway is a librarian from East Haven, Connecticut, United States. He is the author of
The Day the Bull Lived And Other Poems.

The Word Lover

by Gloria Keh

The other night,
we drank
in love
as we undressed
the words of our desires.

Our secret meetings
would soon come to an end.
For again, he would leave
returning across rolling waves
to his wife,
his home,
his land.

We fell in lust
one cold  grey evening
in the  dark depths of winter.
A season of  heated passion
so wild and free.
Naked, entwined
night after night
before the fierce flames
of a glorious fire.
Only to end
each time
in torment
in tears
in anguish
in discontent.

He carressed my body
but mostly engulfed  my mind.

I rushed into his web
seduced by his stanzas
a slave to his words.

Our days became nights
Our nights melted into eternity.

And then one day
as leaves turned red
falling onto the earth
in burnt golds and  browns;
when the chilly winds of autumn blew
without mercy nor respect,
from the cold   sea
singing to a sad melody,
he was no more.

I watched from a distance
as they moved his body.
That body I craved
That body I worshipped
That body that was the heart of me.

Today, so many talk on and on
about his genius.
About his love affair with words.

Oh yes, I still remember
how he had that incredible way
with words.
But that was nothing like the way
he had with me.

Born in Singapore, Gloria Keh, 69, has been writing for decades. Having spent most of her adult life working as a travel journalist, then as an editor and finally as an editorial consultant for Singapore’s airport magazine.

            Gloria also worked as a copywriter with one of Singapore’s top advertising agencies, writing brochures for the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board and Singapore Airlines. In addition, she was the South East Asian correspondent for several international travel trade magazines.

            Three of her self-illustrated travelogues won the prestigious PATA American travel writers award for three consecutive years.

            Also an artist, Gloria enjoys writing poetry that’s accompanied by her art. She conducts art journaling.


A Quintessential Star

by Juliet Preston

A quintessential star 
comes only once in a million years.


Born a scorpio sign, 
a life resembled exactly the scorpion constellation in the night sky.
Dylan Thomas, a notoriety shaped by distinct brilliance.

A legend exhibited by 
his magnificent genius,
A drunkard tormented by
his shadow self.

Had fate placed him in a wrong place at a wrong time,
or fortune did not favor the Welsh’s famous son?
So many questions without answers.

Pain may have been inescapable,
but love was always plenty.

Love found its way in his
‘Osiris, come to Isis’,
‘And Death Shall Have No Dominion’
 spoke of his rebellious soul even in the face of death.

‘The Map of Love’ granted 
a poetic licence for his adolescent indulgence, 
marking the culmination 
of rage echoed in 
‘Do not go gentle into that good night’.

O darling Dylan Thomas,
your magnificence and apocalypse glow every time
when the scorpion displays in the starry sky.

Juliet Preston is an engineer by profession. She considers herself to be a poet at heart and an artist by passion.

Really It is My Own Stupidity

by Robin Wyatt Dunn



Really it is my own stupidity
Education a kind of paring down
An endless series of beatings
Sparta made crueler and more enduring
Their double kings
Made quadruple or quintuple
Arcane bollocks collapsing onto my chest

The lesson that I am unable to learn
The test unending
year and year
minute by minute
slapping you across the face

“You haven’t learned yet!”

The lore is so deep
And I am unable to dive
I drink only from its edges
It will kill me

Robin Wyatt Dunn was born in Wyoming in 1979. You can read more of his
works at www.robindunn.com.

Polar Unity 

by Heath Brougher

We fingered the hives for honey to boil. 
It was summer after all and, despite the frost,
and because the sleeping man 
said she would ring the stars, 
the tottering seasons have turned womb-warm
and painted our faces with mustardseed sunlight. 

We fall awake from eunuch dreams 
to deliberately contradict ourselves 
with the every sentence we utter
in the blood drop’s garden of portraits 
of the artist as a young God—
the same place the straw man was ripped 
into a dozen maggot-barren wreaths.

We know well this red-eyed earth 
will eventually allow a punctual 
dying of the light and we will, once again, 
rose-red fall back into our unhouses in the ground.

Author’s Note:

An ode to Dylan Thomas using images from his poems to make a statement on the contradiction often found within his work.


Heath Brougher is the Editor in Chief of Concrete Mist Press as well as poetry editor for Into the Void Magazine. His work has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Award and he was the recipient of Taj Mahal Review’s 2018 Poet of the Year Award. He was recently awarded the 2020 Wakefield Prize. His works can be found in both print and online journals across the world. 

Red Bay of Bengal, west of Java, north of Madras

By Sekhar Banerjee

I

If I dismantle this red evening over Pondicherry
and Madras bit by bit,
it is an old oil painting, its frame was gilded
by the last European carpenters off Coromandel coast
and if I break up its deep red space, step by step,
of red air, red bougainvillea, red trees, red people, red salt beds,
red balustrades just in front of the promenade
and Bay of Bengal, also red,
where the Java-bound ships and their merchants went beyond
their call of duty – now all lost red ships are still floating
in the red Bay of Bengal, west of Java, north of Madras,
and every lost drummer, sad like us, drums up
enough red from their parchment drums,
and the whole of south India,
mystified and upset, finally knows the sun has gone down
to return again
We now know nobody can ever touch his own edge
of all things, past and present
and that, nothing can be shared except our own fallacies
at a later stage

II

It is the limit of the red sky that our eyes can behold,
frame by frame,
devoid of any nuts, screws and bolts and shame
when the sea froths are crimson;
Earth’s blood (group unknown) is splattered on the sky,
sea and on the clouds nearby
Without a definition
of the evening as evening, without a definition of time
as time, without a definition of sea and the sky without a frame,
here the evening is dying without
an obituary and a good name; the (hooded) night, yes,
as if an authorized agent of change, has murdered it again
without any provocation
I know somewhere down the road,
there must be an official witness’ box
and an ancient observer’s bench,(a tourists’ kiosk
in most cases) to attend to this daily ritual of death

Author’s Note: This poem has been written in appreciation of Dylan Thomas’s works on death and, subsequently, on life.

Sekhar Banerjee is an author.  He has four poetry collections and a monograph on an Indo-Nepal border tribe to his credit. His works have been published in Indian Literature, The Bitter Oleander, Ink Sweat and Tears, Kitaab and elsewhere. He lives in Kolkata, India.

Seize the Night

by John Thieme

I hear the rasping cries of lovers
through my sullen wall of doubt.
I hear their midnight moans of ardour.
I take a draught to drown them out.

I yearn to capture them in quatrains,
that sidle passion into verse,
but I’m a frozen attic statue,
garroted by their rampant curse.


And so they move forever forwards,
unheeding all my moonshine arts.
Intoxicated by dull thoughts of hemlock,
I try once more to snare their hearts.

John Thieme is a Senior Fellow at the University of East Anglia, UK. He previously held Chairs at the University of Hull and London South Bank University and has also taught at the Universities of Guyana and North London, and as a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Turin, Hong Kong and Lecce. His academic books include Postcolonial Con-Texts: Writing Back to the Canon, Postcolonial Literary Geographies: Out of Place, The Arnold Anthology of Post-Colonial Literatures in English, and studies of Derek Walcott, V.S. Naipaul and R.K. Narayan. He is currently working on a study of climate change fiction and hopes to write a cli-fi novel himself. His creative writing has been published in Argentina, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Malaysia, Mauritius, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA, and his collection Paco’s Atlas and Other Poems was published by Setu Press (Pittsburgh) in 2018. 

Blazing Star

by Nell Jones

Dark days, few reminisces,
My burning skin,
the world is in your light.
Valiant sun, touch the grainy sky,
Wrap me in your cloak,
Raise up your voice,
In this cathedral, of blazing star shine,
Breathe softly in my ear of,
How you found me here.


I count the stars,
Smooth your skin,
My sky is your sky,
My hand, is your hand and the
Scars I have scraped roughly on your jaw, weaken,
For night has come so elegantly.

This is our final congregation,
On the eve of the fated choir,
The wretched night will steal my confession.
Flame the burning skin,
Let your breath pass over me,
Wither the deceitful warmth,
Beguile in its glow.

Black foe,
Your hills are a woman’s body,
A faded figure that appears,
Lying perfectly, on the darkened landscape.

Disguised on the horizon,
A force drives me towards you and so,
I count the stars on your back,
Each one glowing as you sleep.

Under this heavenly cathedral,
I retreat into the new and misty down,
I fall below your feet,
On this dusk’s long day,
Concealed by the vapour of the Milky Way.



You are still young, like the day,
In harmony with the rushing morning,
I drink my wine, sipping on,
The intoxicating freedom while,
You cheat with the lights turned on.
The breakfasts on the tray,
I kneel upon the alter, to listen for
The warble of the curlew and the welcome of the crow,
The magpies rippling white wings,
That burst through the misty brew,
And settle on the fever of dotted colours,
on the morning dew.


An undertaker calling to his mate,
The quickening quiet,
On the heavy hue,
Drops of rain touch my words,
To tell you,
I was here in this black dark day.

Nell Jones (Daniella) was born in Adelaide in 1964. She has Dutch and Welsh heritage. Writing since the age of 12, Nell had her first play, Dead Man’s Alley, a work focused on the plight of homeless men living on the streets of Melbourne, performed at the Nimrod Theatre, Sydney, a second play, The Blind Forty, set on the Torrens River during the Depression in Adelaide, performed at the Seymour Centre, Sydney. She has been the recipient of a Master Writers Grant, from the Australia Council and has written several other plays for youth theatres and schools, as part of her role as a drama teacher and director in those organisations. Nell has published many works over the years, including Jack and Lily, a chronicle of short war stories and poetry. Nell’s first novel, The Lost Sister of Groningen, based on the life of her mother in WW2 and 1950’s Australia, was launched at the Tap Gallery in Sydney in 2010. It was later launched at the Ubud Readers and Writers Festival in 2011. Her second novel, A Token for Perry was launched by Libby Hathorn in Sydney at the 371 Gallery Marrickville. Her poetry volume, The Sky Is My Religion was also launched in Ubud Reader’s and Writer’s Festival in 2012 and with the support of the UWRF, was opened by Australian writer Libby Hathorn. Nell performed her poetry daily with Balinese musicians and dancers in an art space in Ubud, with paintings that were specially created to reflect her poetry volume. At the opening she performed with Balinese dancers and a 30-piece orchestra as part of the Ubud Readers and Writers Festival celebrations. Nell has two degrees in education, and is currently working on her third novel, Patience Perry. Nell lives by the sea in Newcastle, Australia and in 2021 has retired from teaching and is a full-time writer. She is concurrently writing a play, The Voice of the People.

Please go to her website to find out more:

www.thelostsister.ning.com

Literary Legend of Wales

by Margaret O’ Driscoll

I stood outside Dylan’s childhood home
his words emanated from within
I sat in peaceful Cymdonkin Park
pictured him playing there as a child
I strolled along Swansea’s streets
saw haunts he liked to frequent

On his beloved sweeping Swansea Bay
Cockle pickers scanned the sands
Out at Mumbles where he spent happy hours
I watched laver gatherers on the rocks
At West Glamorgan’s green farmland
seeds of Fern Hill were sown 

Legend of Wales although gone too soon
His literary legacy is evergreen.

  

Margaret O’Driscoll lives in West Cork; Ireland. Her poetry and nature photography have been widely published internationally. Selections of her poems have been translated into many different languages. 

International Dylan Thomas Day 2021 (Mauritius)- Thesis Excerpts by Michael Bishop

Excerpts from Dylan Thomas’s Obscurity: The Legitimacy of Explication

by Michael Bishop

Dylan Thomas’ Obscurity: The Legitimacy of Explication. A Thesis Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the University of Georgia. Athens, Georgia: 1968. Excerpts from pages 3-6 of Chapter One, “The Problem of Obscurity”:

From the beginning the adverse criticism directed at [Dylan] Thomas centered on his readily apprehended obsession with the sound of words, singly and in combination. The criticism largely ignored or misunderstood the structuring principle behind the arrangement of the curious words and propulsive rhythms. The decree came down that the young poet’s obscurity was the result either of Neanderthal inarticulateness or cunning charlatanism. One or the other had to be true. Dylan Thomas could not communicate except in staccato grunts and fluent moans; or else he employed a freak brand of verbal pyrotechnics to flash-blind the reader to his shallow-mindedness. On these grounds one critic, Julian Symons, declared Thomas’ poems ‘jokes, rhetorical, intellectual fakes of the highest class’ (“Obscurity and Dylan Thomas,’ Kenyon Review, II, Winter 1940, p. 67). This kind of misunderstanding and even crass dismissal plagued Thomas throughout his career; it has continued to plague his reputation since his death in November of 1953 . . .
            The most extensively argued condemnation of Dylan Thomas’ poetic method to date, however, is David Holbrook’s book Llareggub Revisited. Holbrook argues that the poetry of Thomas is indicative of an attitude inimical to the civilized consciousness. He says that [its] disconcerting power over the reader lies not in its intellectual content but rather in the invocation of hwyl, that state of raptured abandon into which a Welsh preacher works himself and his congregation (Llareggub Revisited: Dylan Thomas and the State of Modern Poetry, London, 1962, p. 87, footnote). The poetry is obscure, Holbrook intimates, because Thomas was capable of writing only a “babble-language” that necessarily subordinated meaning to hollow sound effects. Even in such a poem as “A Refusal to Mourn” Holbrook sees only empty sentiment and overblown sound. He dismisses the calculated ambiguity of the last line with two purposely belittling paraphrases: “The last verse is really general and empty, a disguise of feeling in hwyl, the profound-sounding last line, After the first death, there is no other, meaning surely no more than When you’re dead you don’t die again or When you’re dead you are done for” (ibid., p. 171).
            These almost flippant paraphrases of the last line reduce its meaning to the deflated colloquial level that Holbrook seeks for the purposes of his argument. But the paraphrases exclude the connotations of Christian salvation that Thomas’ line forcibly imparts. The profundity of the line lies in the fact that Thomas deliberately works both sides of its meaning: (1) Death is birth into immortality, and (2) Death is the end of all sentience. Furthermore, the line has a meaning within its immediate context that Holbrook altogether fails to see: The initial death in war is the symbolic act that contains all subsequent deaths. The last line of ‘A Refusal to Mourn,’ then, is not so much an example of obfuscation in hwyl as a careful exploitation of a loaded ambiguity. Thomas refuses to mourn, but he does not fail to offer consolation or to indict the stupidity and arrogance of war. Combined in the poem are both an intellectual tough-mindedness and an understandable emotional reaction to the fire-bombings of London.

International Dylan Thomas Day 2021 (Mauritius) : Interview of Rhys Hughes by Vatsala Radhakeesoon

Vatsala Radhakeesoon: Rhys Hughes, welcome to Vatsalaradwritingworld blog! Today we are celebrating International Dylan Thomas Day and since you are a contemporary writer, originally from Wales we wish to learn more about Dylan Thomas and your appreciation of his works. So, firstly, please tell us briefly about yourself and how you can relate yourself to the works of the famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas?

Rhys Hughes: I was born in Wales and although I have lived in many countries, I am acutely aware of the fact I am Welsh. There is a photograph of me standing under a Welsh flag in a remote region of West Africa. No one knew why that flag was flying on its pole, not even the person who raised it, nor did they know it was a Welsh flag. But it pleased me to see it there, an unexpected symbol of my homeland. And Dylan Thomas is another Welsh symbol that crops up in unlikely places, a symbol just as essential and potent as the flag, dragons, daffodils and leeks. Culturally he is adjacent to the soul of every modern Welsh writer. He is also adjacent to me physically, in some sense, for at the moment I live within a five-minute walk of the house where he was born and grew up. When I was younger, I tried to turn my back on him, an ultimately futile endeavour. We had to study his work at school and I wanted to resist. The time and place were both wrong. My appreciation of Dylan Thomas has grown substantially since then. It has grown to the point where it is now outside the page and beyond the written word. For example, when I am crossing the causeway of Worm’s Head, an impressive geological feature in Gower, west of Swansea, I think about him stranded on the highest point of the rocks for a whole cold night because he misjudged the tide. The echo of his life is still clear.




V.R: What is the actual place of Dylan Thomas’s works in the field of Welsh/ English Literature?

R.H: He is at the very summit of Welsh literature. It is difficult to overstate his importance in Wales. Of course, there have been many fine poets and writers in Welsh history who wrote only in Welsh and they tend to have received less attention internationally. This is only to be expected. My favourite Welsh novel is Un Nos Ola Leuad by Caradog Prichard and it deserves to be better known, but writers who write in English will always have the advantage of increased visibility. Dylan Thomas wrote in English but much of his sensibility is Welsh. Some people have said he was almost a caricature of a Welshman in his behaviour and lifestyle but I don’t think that is entirely fair. Welsh identity was under an enormous amount of pressure at the time and he helped to reaffirm it far and wide and so preserve it for the future. He is as important to Wales in that respect as Yeats is to Ireland or Burns to Scotland. He is a national poet but his work is never narrow or nationalistic. It remains universal in its ability to resonate with a global audience. Yet it is still somehow essentially Welsh. That is no small achievement. As for his importance in English literature as a whole, he is regarded as one of the very best poets of the 20th century. In fact he is regarded as one of the best modern poets in any language.

V.R: How do you celebrate Dylan Thomas Day in your city and tell us about any special literary memory or experience related to this?

R.H: I have missed the day over the past few years, mainly because I wasn’t in Wales at the time, and I am never sure how I will celebrate the occasion. I sometimes find some small way to do so. In the past I visited the Boathouse in Laugharne where he lived but that particular visit was part of a general celebration of his life and work rather than being an event connected with a specific day. I once won a set of volumes of his Collected Letters in a poetry slam competition at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea but again I don’t think that competition had anything to do with his official Day. My girlfriend is a translator (among other things) and has translated his poem ‘Do Not Go Gentle’ into the language of Karnataka and I want to play her recording of that translation outside his house to celebrate. But I don’t have to do that on any particular day. It might be raining. I will probably do it when it is sunny. In Wales the weather is extremely unreliable and that makes it difficult to plan outdoor events. Another hike to Rhossili in Gower might be another option. Only once have I walked the full distance between Rhossili and Swansea in one day. It took eleven hours and was a tough walk. But it’s an extremely beautiful part of the world and I never tire of the scenery.

V.R:  What is your favourite work of Dylan Thomas?

R.H: I am one of those rare readers who prefer his short stories to his poems. His poetry is magnificent, yes of course, deeply lyrical and powerful, but there is a crispness and a humour to his short stories that I find very appealing. His book of semi-autobiographical tales, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, is my favourite of his books, the one I would take with me to a desert island. And the opening story of that collection, ‘The Peaches’, is for me perhaps the best in the volume. I can read such a book and see his influence on many authors who came later. It might seem strange that he was an influence on science fiction writers too, but that is certainly the case. Ray Bradbury, Roger Zelazny, Michael Bishop, to name just three, owe at least some of the lyricism of their prose to an appreciation of Dylan Thomas. They wanted to raise the quality of the genre they worked in and they succeeded. Dylan’s short stories crackle and fizz very pleasingly. Mention must be made of Under Milk Wood too, of course, certainly one of the best radio plays ever written, but if pushed to choose only one work I would still opt for that slim collection of stories.

V.R: In the Welsh context what is the most striking feature of Dylan Thomas’s poetry?

R. H: The most striking aspect of his poetry is its universal application. Welsh literature has a tendency to be a little too parochial in its themes, structures and intentions. It has sometimes seemed to me that writers on the edge of Welsh identity have written more valuable works than those plunged headlong into it. But maybe that’s going too far. All the same, Dylan’s poetry is Welsh, profoundly so, but not just Welsh. We can say with equal emphasis that he was a Welsh writer, a European writer and a World writer. This is important. This is refreshing. Wales, the smallest of the Celtic nations, has struggled to keep up with its larger cousins. Ireland has Joyce, Beckett, Yeats, Flann O’Brien and many others. Scotland has Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, Alasdair Gray and many others. But without Dylan Thomas, Wales would have no one of comparable stature. It’s true that I have already mentioned that there are neglected writers in Wales who deserve more attention, but the fact remains that Dylan is our touchstone, our great symbol, our champion. He has an inestimable value for that service alone. His works resonates. It’s as simple as that. It resonates beyond any narrow category or confine. It is true and pure literature in the best sense.

V.R:  Please can you share with us any of your poems or prose works written for this special event?

R.H: The vast majority of my poetry is light verse, either humorous lyrics inspired by Edward Lear, Don Marquis, Ogden Nash, or else very short offbeat pieces influenced by Richard Brautigan. Very little is serious. But I decided to try to write one of my occasional serious poems as a tribute to Dylan. It is based on his adventure on Worm’s Head. ‘Worm’ here means ‘dragon’ and is an archaic word. The geological formation looks rather like a dragon.

WORM’S HEAD, RHOSSILI

Dylan

on the tiny hill

at the end of the causeway,

stranded by high tide and waiting

for it to recede again so he might escape

back to normality. But there’s no

normality in the whole land,

only the devilish

night

&

those

gusts of icy wind

that bite the exposed flesh

of wrists and throat that poke out

of cardigan warmth. Next time he’ll check

the tide times and plan a crossing

with more care, he’ll boast

appropriately and

laugh

a

brisk

laugh that’s more

like a dragon’s bite in the

way it sounds, a legendary snarl,

but now his knees are drawn up and fears

gnaw gently on his spirit’s bones,

a man alone, far from home,

musing on a stone

skull.

V. R: Thank you very much Rhys Hughes.

Rhys Hughes

International Dylan Thomas Day 2021: Poetry Submission Call (Mauritius)

International Dylan Thomas Day is celebrated every year on 14 May.
As a representative of Immagine and Poesia (founded by the patronage of Aeronwy Thomas, daughter of Dylan Thomas) and upon the approval of the Dylan Thomas Trust , I am conducting International Dylan Thomas Day 2021 online.

I invite all poets interested to submit one poem about the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas or appreciation of his works to:
vatsfrankness@gmail.com

Only poems with proper imagery in context and having a refined poetic language will be accepted.

Any poem consisting of unrefined/coarse/obscene language or imagery will be rejected.

If your work is accepted, you will receive an acceptance e-mail within 1 week of your submission. If you do not hear from me within 1 week, it means your work hasn’t been accepted this time.

Deadline: 5 April 2021


All accepted poems will be published on my blog:
 vatsalaradwritingworld.home.blog

Together as poets, let’s uplift the power of poetic words and maintain the true mission of Poetry!


Looking forward to receiving your poems.

Thank you!

Vatsala Radhakeesoon
Poet/Translator