March 9, 2013

Editor’s Note


While reading the poem Picnic at Rush, 1954 by Éamon Mag Uidhir published in this issue, I was transported back to even more bitter and shocking experience that I had a few years ago. I was standing in front of a stationery shop. Meanwhile, a small kid ran across the road, shrilling like a peculiar siren. He was being chased, as if he were a mouse, in a game by his sister and friends. His mother was busy in the shop, dusting the shelves and keeping the stationery in their proper order. And not to forget, she had a baby on her back, too. And she was madly yelling at her daughter for not helping her in the shop. I turned towards her and asked, unable to keep my qualm unexpressed, ‘How careless you people are who even let your kids play hide-and-seek by this heavily trafficked road side?’ Before she could answer my question, there occurred something really terrible. The boy was hit in the legs by a howling motorbike that came rushing. The rider was only a reckless teenager who was thrown off to the narrow footpath and got seriously injured.
In Asian way of life, particularly in Nepal and India, children are generally not given proper attention which they are in need of. In most social visits, parents get so engrossed in their gossips that they often forget to make sure where their kids are and what they are doing. I have seen kids fighting over food or toys in such situations, and have heard about accidents also. Equally questionable is the fact that most parents or grandparents create illusions of hauguji (phantom figure, for example, of ghosts or of witches) in young minds. Do we need to have a kid’s ken for us to know how our kids feel or what they want?
With that question for all of us to ponder upon, I welcome you all, the readers of Misty Mountain, to this small collection of sweet and sour memoirs in poetry. I also thank all the contributors.
Happy reading!
Haris Adhikari

One poem by Éamon Mag Uidhir


Picnic at Rush, 1954
All the shiny black cars.
White-walled, steel-spoked wheels.
Orange Bakelite fingers
And chromium everywhere.
I’m going to have one, black and shiny,
Like Uncle John Martin’s,
When I’m a grown-up man.

On the beach we drive to,
When the road turns right
Between the whitewashed walls,
And there’s sand on the road,
And a brackish waft in the air,
The black cars all line up
Like John Martin’s piano sharp keys
On the smooth white strand.

My swimming togs are knitted,
Tight, soaked, harsh and taut,
Chapping my little thighs
As I whimper and whine with the wind.
But who’s to mind me in the panting din
Of big cousins playing relievio
Across the hard grass of the dunes?


[Background: Rush is a seaside resort near Dublin. Relievio is a chasing game where teams of players track and try to capture each other. Children wore hand-knitted, woolen swimsuits in the 1950s, but they were unpleasant to wear because the cold seawater made the wool shrink and tighten, and this hurt the skin.]


Éamon Mag Uidhir is a Dubliner living in Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland. He has had poems published of late in The Moth, Crannóg, Revival and Cyphers. He edited Icarus while attending Trinity College during the 1970s. He runs a multilingual online shrine to the sonnet at www.sonnetserver.com

Two poems by William Fraker


Night Life


The moon is magnetic.
It pulls old men out of bed,
          upright,
to wander in nightshirts or half their pajamas. 
Beams beckon to navigate halls,
with hidden compasses,
pointing to unseen fantasies and traumas.

Unresolved conflicts from the day before hold hands.
They dance through dreams;
childhood beatings,
awkward parties,
shy first kisses,
backyard tackles.
forgotten  lines.
Without touching the banisters,  
sleepwalkers stumble on the horizon,
kitchen floor linoleum,
hours before the sun.


 No Closings Announced


January is hard to take
              without snow.

Where are the flakes falling,
  both day and night;
               cold leading to wood fires and cocoa?

Schools remain open and children fail
               to slide down long hills
  into a thrill of flying;

 Only gray,
   not pregnant
   with a blinding new beauty.


William Fraker, author of Nostalgia Resides in the Marrow and Winner of Aquillrelle Poetry Contest, 4, Silver, has poetry in several on-line journals and contributed to Muscadine Lines: A Southern Anthology (KHR Ventures, 2006). He is a member of the Midlothian Writers’ Workshop and lives near Richmond, VA, USA. 

Two poems by Jeannie E. Roberts


Butternuts    
                                                                    
It was here,
near the stream,
under pinnate-shaped

leaves, where
I'd collect them,
where they'd amass

in my basket, brim
by the bushel.  It was
here, in the Octobers

of my youth, beneath
the white walnut,
where I found hundreds

of butternuts.  Some
fell in clusters, others
one by one.  And now,

while I hold this memory,
I wonder, had I thought
to harvest the nuts

for candy, to boil
the rinds for dye? 
Or perhaps

I'd been prompted
by an echo, answered
a ten-thousand-year-old

call.  Whatever
the urge, clearly
I liked to collect,

to gather, as I did
fossils, four-leaf
clovers, rocks

and, later in life,
men, especially
the fallen ones,

the ones I deemed
in need of rescue— 
quite like those

butternuts:
abundantly culled,
heedfully hulled,

only to discover
that most were rotten.


Four-leafing at Age Eight                                                                    


In summer
when life
hummed
with a frenzy

when buzzing
brewed
over clover
when flowers

spilled
with the bumbling
of bees
I'd seek

with a purpose
hand-sweep
along surface
past purple

toward leaflets
of green. 
Where wide
I'd patrol 

comb valley
search knoll
knee-walk
bee talk

my way
all this
for a good luck
bouquet.


Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jeannie E. Roberts is the author of two books, including the newly released Nature of it All, a collection of poems (Finishing Line Press).  Her poetry has appeared in several publications, including Verse Wisconsin.  Her public readings include Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, Wisconsin Public Radio and other venues.  Jeannie lives with her husband and golden doodle in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, USA.  For more, visit www.jrcreative.biz

One poem by Lee Evans


One Night Stand


He did not belong indoors,
But I crouched on the gravel sidewalk
And lifted him with the TV Guide—
And that tiny snail
Left a faint slime trail
Where I parked his mobile home
On a pack of Daddy’s Camel Cigarettes.

That night in Egypt,
A pyramid and palm tree
Stood behind the dromedary,
From whose hump the slime flowed
Over the cellophane desert
To that undiscovered country
Beyond the edge of our lamp stand.


Lee Evans lives in Bath, Maine, and works for the local YMCA. His poems have appeared in such journals as Contemporary Rhyme, The Christendom Review and Decanto.  His latest collection is available on Lulu.com:  http://www.lulu.com/shop/lee-evans/the-hazards-of-being-useful/paperback/product-20597798.html

One poem by Ian C Smith


Vinyl Dreams


Rain, mood-inducing, muffles sound.
I resurrect my hoard of old records,
awestruck like an amateur archaeologist.
Going away, coming back, interstate, overseas,
pushing, hunched, through life’s turnstiles,
the dying radiance of doomed love,
surly wasteland of work’s wrong turns,
boredom, burglary (robbers’ good  taste?)
resolutions and revolutions,
New Years, mid-life, chemical, technical,
funerals, police cars, hospitals, trains,
I harbored these commemorative tracks.
How did Elvis, Fats Domino, Paul Anka,
this motley throb of wistful voices echoing
in acoustic chambers of agitation,
survive the slippage of my years?
I softly blow dust from memorized sleeves,
this connection to my churning heart then,
that past, a ghosted outline of the present,
my teeming brain casting me back.


Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in Axon:Creative Explorations,The Best Australian Poetry, Island, Poetry Salzburg Review, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Southerly,& Westerly  His latest book is Here Where I Work, Ginninderra Press (Adelaide).  He lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia.

One poem by Annam Ragamalika


Reminiscence


My mother wondered why her vinegar-soaked vegetables
Never became pickles, yet the jar was always half empty?

She dreaded our looking forward to festivals, our informing guests,
About "happy birthdays", for she was certain, after that we would be ill

We hid behind cupboards to gobble up stolen, sweet athirasam
My mother wondered why her sick child grew so fond of the corner shelf.

Fluffy clouds were heaps of ice cream, ours for the asking!
Swallowed seeds could sprout giant trees in stomach garden!

Babies were couriered by cranes, Death was sound sleep.
Childhood had many answers, repartee for heart's queries.


Annam Ragamalika teaches English at Loyola College, Chennai. She majored in English from Central University of Hyderabad and is currently pursuing her PhD in Madras University. She has published research papers in journals such as Impressions and Wizcraft journal of Language and literature. She likes reading and writing poems and her poems have been published by Kavya Bharati.

One poem by Kuma Raj Subedi



Childhood Memoir


Those were the days
When we used to herd the goats
In the plains in front of the house
Sometimes by the river, sometimes in the woods

Friends were jolly
Spirit very high
Fun was swimming too
Never had reason to sigh

Never were the days the same
All full of adventure
Prairie, vale and the river basin—
So inviting with green and smell

Leopards were the enemies
Rest the kin and kith,
Vividly I remember it
Others may call now myth

Bygone days were so pleasing—
Only make me much nostalgic
I’m grown up now
Stunned by reason and logic

Give me those days again
Which make me a child,
A big no to hectic life!
These memories soothing and mild…


Kuma Raj Subedi, MA, is a teacher of English language and literature based in Sauraha, Chitwan. His numerous creations have been published in different literary magazines and journals. Some of his selected poems can be read at www.subedikamal.blogspot.com, his own personal blog.

One poem by Steve Moore


Walking with Dad


Nearly afternoon as we set off
Father and son, on a walk
up to and around the harbor
The sun is splitting the stones
but the cold wind tells us
it's only a mirage
Although bitter
we both know
it'll do no harm
Stories told of
places long closed
and people since passed
An education bestowed
an appetite awoken
It's time for chowder.


Steve Moore is a freelance writer and poet. He writes for many online poetry sites such as Elbow Lane and The Galway Review. He is an active member of The Dublin Writers Forum. Steve has previously written for magazines such as The Big Issues and Irish Music Press. Steve uses his unique position as the youngest member of a family of fourteen and as a police officer to portray his life experiences in a truly distinctive way.

One poem by Charles Darnell


Boy on a Bike


Summer:
He rolls his bike out
Off the driveway
Into the street
Gaining momentum
For the big hill,
Peddling furiously.
He wants to see how far
He can make it
Before jumping off and walking,
Maybe this time...

Coasting down the other side,
Wind whistling by,
Even roaring with gathering speed
Sweat drying already
Half way down.

It’s hot and it’s summer.


Charles Darnell lives in San Antonio, TX. He is a member of the Sun Poet's Society and opencity360 poets and writers group. His work has appeared in Voices Along the River, Misty Mountain Review, Right Hand Pointing and other journals. A blog of his poetry can be found at  www.charlesdarnell.blogspot.com