Welcome to Bindweed Magazine Issue 8: Laplove

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Spring is on the horizon! Here at Bindweed, our lateral roots have survived the shortest days and (hopefully) coldest nights. Of course, that’s for us folks in the Northern Hemisphere: our fellow Bindweed contributors and readers in Southern climates may well be enjoying a good bloom in the sunshine as I write this.

Issue 8 will run its publication schedule across February, March and April 2018. To reflect the change of seasons ahead, this issue is called ‘Laplove’, another common nickname for convolvulus arvensis. With that in mind, here at Bindweed, we’re hoping that Groundhog Day will pass without a shadow, we wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day and look forward to spring just around the corner.

Enjoy!

Leilanie and Joseph🍃

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Rajnish Mishra – 4 poems

Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis

 

‘Still waters run deep’.

 

Clichés are good to begin a poem with.

I love justice and hate tyranny.

I love justice more than

I love my country, its people, my people, fame or wealth.

Sometimes, truth sounds clichéd.

 

Quid est veritas?

 

At first it seems not easy,

not quite, but then, as it’s natural to kill, so natural,

in fact, that they need to write,

sometimes on stone, sometimes on paper:

‘Thou shalt not kill!’

 

You shall have no other gods before Me.

 

He rose high, and masses, called him God.

He’s not alone, but caput gone, triumvirate kaput.

It’s unnerving to feel within a fierce, feral,

beast, unnamed and ferocious rise and fill

all the space up under the skin

of a citizen: civilized, harmless and tamed.

 

Hoi polloi

 

The masses, sheep, sons and daughters of apes,

imitate, submit, follow and yield liberty

to tyrants, despots, usurpers with power,

for their patch of pasture or bunch of bananas.

 

Ehyeh asher Ehyeh

 

You are what you are,

and masses are ‘them’, not ‘us’.

Strangely though, it’s them, not you,

who lust for blood tonight, my blood.

Bloodthirsty sheep? Lion-apes? Always?

 

‘Fearful symmetry’

 

Tiger’s fire is sheep’s death.

Thy blood my brother bought death for me;

Thy blood ‘cries out’ to them ‘from the soil’

brings vengeance, seven fold,

Insane at night, sane at dawn.

No, Caesar never cried ‘Et tu Brute’,

nor I ‘Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis’.

 

🍃

They want us to obey

 

They want us to obey, you to obey, me to obey,

all to obey them, like children, asking no questions.

The very word has a sinister hollow sound:

O…B…E…Y.

Pronounce it loudly: obey. Repeat: obey.

Can you feel it? Obey!

Dog is not man’s best friend without any reason.

 

My only hope is in those I did not like earlier.

The face maniacs. Those who record themselves

in yogic mudras doing asanas to post on facebook

for an instant wow. I love them now.

They show me the glowing fire from dying embers.

They do not resist on principle. They resist by habit.

They are not Satan or other fallen angels.

It’s human to rebel without reason or purpose.

For what is rebellion but a different perspective

in action?

 

🍃

 

My city rises

 

My city rises like water and breaks

bounds like a river in spate,

from within, in me, around me,

and fills everything up. It’s stronger

than any known power in range:

television sounds, the whistling pressure cooker,

the shouts of vegetable vendors, and other

Sunday concerns hovering overhead and around.

 

The metaphor of water rising slowly up,

touching the skin every inch up

and the skin registering it all

closely, completely, clearly – translated to the abstract,

of a slow and sure rise of memories, thoughts and emotions.

It may have happened with many other losses,

but happened with only one loss of mine:

that of my home, my city, my place.

 

🍃

 

I am rich in my losses

 

I am rich in my losses. I lost my

home, river, lanes, neighbors,

boats, temples, pilgrims, conch shells,

the sun, the moon and ursa major

pyres, umbrellas, benches, stone steps,

people playing chess, carrom or cricket,

my walks along the riverfront

my mornings and evenings,

the pushing mad crowd,

vendors of fruits, of vegetables, of sweets, even barbers

small shops and big in the market near my river,

empty lanes and full, bicycle bells, horns of autos and bikes,

I lost them all when I left.

 

I see them stand, chat, smile, live; I can’t.

Like me they live in a city they were not born in,

yet call it their own.

Does their city not call them?

Does it not come in their dreams?

Mine comes rarely nowadays.

 

All I want to do today is to lie down

and slowly breathe my last breath, like Shelley did

in dejection near Naples. No, I’ve no past remembrance

of suicidal drifts. No, people don’t see such tendencies in me.

In fact, I hate death, my mortal enemy,

and every day of my life have been happily shrinking

away from its touch. There are times I forget my city.

Like when I drive like a maniac, which I always do.

When at the steering wheel, there’s only the man-machine,

no man, no machine, that races against time

and anyone else who dares to come on his way.

Only then, when all else is erased, and eternity fits in a moment,

I forget my loss, my ‘self’ and city.

For a moment or two, my two daughters lend me

the salve of oblivion too. While I write, I faintly forget my pain,

my loss, even the city I write about,

because I live at the tip of my finger then,

from where stream my thoughts on the page.

Writing heals, or, at least helps forget for a time,

while I make patterns that suck me in and siphon

all concerns away from the system.

 

My richness of loss has filled me a lot.

It has filled me with a vacuum.

I don’t know how I’ll live whole again,

for fate and time don’t favor the kind

of coward-victim-exile I am.

 

🍃

 

Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India. He is the editor of PPP Ezine, a poetry ezine. He has a blog on poetry, poetics and aesthetic pleasure: https:/poetrypoeticspleasure.wordpress.com.

Martin McKenna – 2 poems

Four a.m.

their words are this;

theirs and ours, all for lone-

minded thought that the one

has come, to speak at last

after all these years, come

in from the toil of stitching

a patchwork reality and time

onto polarised segments

of truth in hollow minds which

still need told those heretics bones

purge for us, and ourselves alone,

yet look, hark, their angels sing

all just words, words all these things.

🍃

This

spirited hounds

leave no stone unturned,

haunt fair game

in natures realm.

as growling tails shake uncut

the dog is wagged.

rather than tricked

by that greatest trick

know it does not exist;

the shot foot drags

as limp as this fox tale,

tattered and old; gets told

and retold by those who hold

key to these gates of hell.

🍃

Martin McKenna

Violet Hatch – 1 poem

Scar

I feel my way along this patchwork pathway that once paved its way onto my skin.

I do not remember the way. This is unfamiliar.

It will fade they said. I knew it wouldn’t.

A crack in my reality.

A constant reminder .A memory forged in flesh.

A reminder of the river of blood,

Trickling down like a cool serpents tongue.

Part of me was lost that day, but something else was gained.

The past is far behind me but, of course, the scar remained.

🍃

Violet Hatch

Charlie Jones – 1 poem 

The Wind

(For Dad)

 

The Wind is a musician

Playing on a chime,

Its melody fortuity,

Its song as old as time.

 

🍃

 

Charlie Jones is a poet and screenwriter from Merseyside. His poetry has been featured in print and online with Acumen, Orbis, The London Miscellany, The Caterpillar, The Journal, Under the Fable, and Literature Wales, as well as several other magazines and journals.