October 30, 2012

Editor's Note

Be it in relationships or the culture we inherit, there may appear some objectionable behaviors for which we do not want to take the blame, but simply point at those fools and phonies that try to forcefully shape our lives to their advantage. And what they do in reaction? They shamelessly object to our maddened eyes. Or simply retort, 'Then why fall victim to?' This is a very typical response, especially if it is on a more personal level. Then may follow what our new contributor Jana Branch puts it in her poem (The Look of Certain Sounds) in this issue as "My suffering / mouth moans the lowest language…" If hell does really exist, it exists in a worsening relationship or a bad marriage. This is my personal experience, too.

To end such a relationship is not that easy for male ones in this part of the world, no matter what measures are taken or how sick the deceived feel. Stuck in the webs of traditional culture, one simply cannot escape from the hell. There are deadly ghosts who keep on pulling at your legs down to the bottom. Here, civilized human ways do not work; but the lowest language works, first in the form of swear words, then threats and finally accusations of undone crimes. After years of marriage and separation, retaliation becomes their sole purpose. They leave no stone unturned and even go on to buy the bastards of police officers or local political leaders. This is a growing sociological problem, particularly in the Plains of Nepal. The efforts made to hunt down 'superb' partners (for their sons and daughters) may not be bad, what is bad is getting the marriage arranged on mountains of lies. This leads to a serious consequence which not only makes the deceived feel too bitter but also gets the deceiver to go through immeasurable pain. Recently, I talked to a friend of mine from Bhojpur who has been mercilessly duped into marrying a girl. He said that this girl was not the one with whom he had talked earlier before the marriage. She came out to be her elder sister who had had difficulty getting a 'good husband' because of her physical appearance and education. Now they have an ongoing nasty family feud.

This tendency of putting a fine bait on the hooks of fishing lines is ever in the rise, also in other areas of life— be it social or cultural, political or ideological, material or spiritual. For the so called 'untouchables' in Hindu societies, the roots of truth are far beyond their understanding, and the treatment they get so inhumane. Only the few educated ones among them understand that they have been living not here and now but in the ancient mythological worlds. For women from rigid cultural backgrounds, life is a curse to be accepted with a smile and a voice cowed. For the commoners, the language of politics is as elusive as the horizon itself, and when they realize that they have been turned into mere shields in the battlefields, only then they truly understand the true nature of politics. For consumers, the market is like boiling water not in a heated kettle, but in a glacier! For the seekers of truth and freedom, it is always vexing to know that there is only one way to truth, and not to forget that they are all in chains of the Devil Culture. Even the most holy of things in this world have been brought down to many a bloody business in the name of preserving religions and cultures. Every single day in your life, you get to unmask a face or two. Perhaps this is why the famous Victorian poet Mathew Arnold puts it thus: 'Poetry is, at bottom, a criticism of life.'

What would the world look like without trickery and subsequent pain, without old thick walls and suffering? Would then poets and writers get as many subject matters as they get in the modern societies laden with lies and deceits? Just imagine!

I welcome you all, readers and critics, to read this issue of Misty Mountain on the theme of 'LIES'. I also thank all the contributors.

Happy reading!


Haris Adhikari

One poem by Neil Ellman

The Meaning of Blue

What if a blue whale
were not really blue
and a blue jay
blue only by refracted light—
why, then, would I believe
in red or green
or the color of your soul?

Neil Ellman lives and writes in New Jersey, USA.  His poetry appears in numerous print and online journals throughout the world, from Australia to Zimbabwe.  Among them are Alba, Anastomoo, Bolts of Silk, The Camel Saloon, Indigo Rising, Phantom Kangaroo and Yes, Poetry.

The latest of his eight chapbooks is Convergence & Conversion: Ekphrastic Poems from The Knives Forks and Spoons Press.   

One poem by Changming Yuan

Just a quick note: A parallel poem
To have
The lock
I had

Changming Yuan, 4-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman, grew up in rural China, holds a PhD in English, and currently works as a private tutor in Vancouver; his poetry has appeared in nearly 510 literary publications across 20 countries, including Asia Literary Review, Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, London Magazine, Paris/Atlantic, Poetry Kanto, Poetry Salzburg Review, SAND and Taj Mahal Review.

One poem by Richard Doiron

As You'd Pause upon Your Path

Today, once again, you'd pause 
upon your path, reaching for ribbons
and roses, which you'd find
in profusion.

In the stirring of the stream, 
you'd wade and you'd wash the dust
from your frame. Soon enough,

refreshed, you'd spring to her space, 
nuzzle her neck and whisper in her ear
such words every fool wishes to hear.

In your travels, once more, you'd have 
parlayed yourself through the portals
of Paradise, even at the expense
of her heart. Today, however, as you'd

pause upon your path, she'd be searching 
her soul, and tonight, with love's
sweetest of songs the lease upon her lips,
she'd be barring her door.

Richard Doiron, 65, poet, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. He is the author of 18 books. Twice nominated for the Governor-General's Award; work read at the United Nations, the 4th World Congress of Poetry & Cultures; winner of several International literary competitions; an estimated 1000 poems published in books and anthologies; recipient of the 2012 World Poetry Lifetime Achievement Award. 

One poem by Lee Evans

The Siesta of Socrates’ Dog

Don’t make me tell you the truth
It’s best to let sleeping dogs lie

Instead you poke and you prod
And think it’s so cute

When you whisper my name in my ear
My tail thumps on the floor

My whiskers twitch when you tickle me
You can’t leave well enough alone

One day I’ll leap up and I’ll bite you
And then we’ll both be sorry

All I want is to go on dreaming
Let me continue lying that way

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 five poetry collections are available on Lulu.com.

One poem by Juliet Wilson


They told us we were safe.
Then without warning, came the floods.
We built walls to try to tame the sea
but no use
our lives dissolved in tidal waves.

Juliet Wilson is a writer, adult education tutor and conservation volunteer based in Edinburgh, UK. She edits the poetry journal Bolts of Silk. Her recent work has been published in Sketchbook, Notes from the Underground and Snake Oil CureShe blogs at Crafty Green Poet:  http://craftygreenpoet.blogspot.com

One poem by Jana Branch

The Look of Certain Sounds

Your suffering mouth on my ear, my suffering
mouth buried in our sheets— this loss of civic normalcy 

finally lights a clandestine gap that words have not,
begins to lace tender and lascivious thoughts and unravel 

the relentless commitment to What Should Be— the idea
that We are any Measure of any Thing. My suffering 

mouth moans the lowest language, so as never to be
mistaken as nobility or sanctity. I annul the contract 

with this destiny. Stroke my alien skin.
Eye my virgin lips. Again. Yet Again. I begin. 

Jana Branch is a poet, screenwriter and communications strategist currently based in Santa Monica, California. Find more of her work at: 

One poem by Beth Winter

Judas kiss

as brackish beads pollute spring rain
and orbs absorb infected red
betrayal breeds a filth-strewn bed

deception leaves acidic stains
defiling sleep as virtues weep
dishonor kisses tender veins

reluctance thrives in trust struck dead
and brackish beads pollute spring rain

Beth Winter writes poetry, prose, and anything else her itchy pen decides to scratch. She has authored over 600 poems, nearly as many journals and has possibilities piled around her. She lives and works in the beautiful Kansas Flint Hills. Read more of her work at: http://eclipsingwinter.com/

One poem by Ernest Williamson

In and out of exodus

spotted calf
next to the bated window
carpenters are needed today
in the red orange yelping brick yellow blocks
crumbling with ease and reluctance
pouncing along
I'm the prey
as the dead as the living
as those who adjust their ties
bonds and weak dollars fall with ash
manageable but directly in the midst of America
policies are beginning to end with plasticity
people become mannequins
as if they knew a nook was more than its facade
oddly enough
I've carried the spotted calf from Rome
and placed it next to my toothbrush
its bristles are misleading
clean looking unused
and tempting me
to let

Dr. Ernest Williamson III has published poetry and visual art in over 380 national and international online and print journals. Some of his visual art and poetry has been published in journals representing over 35 colleges and universities around the world. To read more of his work, visit his website: www.yessy.com/budicegenius

One poem by Dweep Mustang

Shades of Irony

Self immolation in a land not far,
Blasphemy, lies giving birth to a moral war.

What is Truth?
Self immolation? Or a lie?
I know not!
But this I know
'Voice of the people to be the voice of God'.

Yet, helpless in my own tranquil thoughts.

What is Truth? And what is a lie?

Masochistically, I know not
I know not.

A note on the poem: The poem portrays the Draconian attitude and the veil of lies of the Chinese authority and the peace keeping authority of the world towards the Tibetan people.

Dweep Mustang hails from Soreng, West Sikkim. He is the author of the book The Sanctum of Art  Madness & Creativity. He is currently working as a columnist/ journalist for Sikkim Express and contributor for the literary journal The Applicant. Many of his poems and essays have been published in journals from all around the world. He is more of a writer, poet, columnist, painter as well as avid reader and a modest human being.

One poem by Arun Budhathoki

May 27th

Hope is what kept us alive
Expecting Constitution finally
Dreams crushed
Leaders punished poor citizens
Plucking off their decaying dreams

I’m going to Bhaktapur today to release the dead dreams
To the Ancients,
I’m tired of living in this augur age
Civilization cursed
Economy falling apart

Nation nullified almost,

I do not care anymore
To carry the burden of concern and worry
I’m exhausted, tired

Superficial smiles and worries
Prompt me to puke
All over the disgusting faces of these pathetic leaders

I wish I could do this
I wish I could make them leave
And pay for the wrongdoings against all.

Arun Budhathoki (Daniel Song) is from Nepal. He is an aspiring poet, writer and founding-editor of The Applicant, a Kathmandu based online literary journal. He is the author of a poetic collection 'Edge' which is available online at Amazon. He has contributed his poems to a number of literary journals from around the world. Visit his page at Mad Swirl Journal to read more of his poems: http://madswirl.com/content/poetry/Arun_Budhathoki.html

One poem by Jan Turner-Jones

The Shape of the World

The lies we tell children
are shaping the world:

Is being born painful?
Is God the whole deal?
Will robots rule people?
Are night-monsters real?

Does dying spoil living?
Does love make us feel?
Does crying destroy us
or help us to heal?

The lies shape the answers—
the shape of the world.

Jan Turner-Jones has written in various genres since she was a small girl at boarding school:  three volumes of adult poetry; 50 children’s poems in two volumes; had six songs in the ASA Top 10; edited Semper Floreat at Queensland University; written reviews and articles for literary journals; won the R Carson Gold Short Story Prize. In 2009 her comedy play Achy Breaky Heart debuted. She has now completed two musicals and is working on her second novel.

One poem by Charles Darnell

Human Nature

Forgive me, Father
For I have sinned.
My last Confession
Was too recent to admit.

Charles Darnell lives in San Antonio, TX and is a member of The Sun Poets Society and Opencity360 Poets and Writers Group. His work has appeared in Voices Along the River.

One poem by Amy Barry

New Beginnings

Anger pumps 
through her body, blood pounds 
at temples, eyes narrowing in irritation 

at text, her fingers work expertly
the keys on the touch screen,
composing… what?

A year ago, they exchanged vows,
a meaningful pledge. Today, a decision 
is made, not her choice.

She feels a mixture of fear
being alone and yet, relief,
tears mingled with pride.

Today, she goes
on a different route,
a new journey.

Amy Barry writes poems and short stories. Her poems have been published in anthologies, journals, and e-zines, in Ireland and abroad. Her works have been read on radio. She loves traveling and trips to India, Nepal, China, Bali, Paris and Berlin. These places have inspired her work, too. She lives in Athlone, Ireland.

One poem by Dhirendra Kumar Shah

be lie f

seven years it took
for the be lie f to
show fissures 
the belying lie
nestled with the voice
of a baby's breathing
and the confident texture of fur
inhabits now a veil
of bite and frost

Dhirendra Kumar Shah lives in Mumbai, originally from Kalimpong, India. He has a master's degree in English literature. Currently, he is preparing for a Ph.D program. He works part-time as an academic content writer for colleges affiliated to the University Of Mumbai. Dhirendra is the chief editor of Teesta Rangeet, an online poetry journal. His works have appeared in The Applicant and his poem 'Stairway Companion' is coming up in The Passionate Transitory, a UK quarterly journal.

One poem by Prathiba Wilson

Body of Lies

A tremor jolted through my body,
I woke up with irrepressible anger,
Like a blotch of ink spreading through placid water,
The doubt crept through me.
What if you grew up in doctrines of lie?
Lies become your truth,
Running through every web of your vein,
Etched in every cell of your brain,
Every sinew will cry for lie,
Bones can be broken, not your conviction about the lie!
How do you transform your body of lie without regenerating it?
How do you regenerate it without killing it?
Will drowning in the expanse of sea cleanse the lie?
Or burning down to ashes smoke the lie out?
Could truth and lie be the bipolar opposites?
The invisible line connecting them through the centre of the earth.
The absolute opposites holding each other’s hands!
Could it be the face that can’t see the back sculpted in the same body?
I was a floating balloon swollen with air of doubt,
Looking for a needle in the haystack to prick and release the air.
If I travel through the line to the other pole,
Will I find the truth (needle) I was hidden from, or,
Will I find the lie (needle) I was warned about?
If truth and lie are bipolar opposites what would I find midway?

Is truth a necessity or the luxury of the avant-garde minds?

A commoner that I am,
I decided to rest my body of lie and will myself
back to the slumber,
A slumber which rested on the truth I believed in
and the lie I never knew of until a time,
A time when truth became a necessity
and I had the luxury of avant-garde minds,
An avant-garde mind that knew which pole I stood guard of!
For that I summoned the forces of nature, because
I believed in them bringing me closer to the truth
than I could myself!

Prathiba Wilson took to writing to funnel her wandering thoughts into a creative pursuit. Her native is a small village near Kanyakumari, currently settled in Chennai, India. Her previous works have appeared in Indian Ruminations, Marco Polo Arts and Kalyani Online literary magazine. 

One poem by Larry Javier Ambion


It’s never easy to adhere
and stick right away against the adjacent.
It took a while to finally set in.
As air touches its surface coating
a layer of  hardened surfaces.

When forced to meet the glossy both
sides not letting dry a bit.
Will return to unattached surfaces
and will never be entwined.

The flats need a damp air to crystallize.
Won’t sweep no matter what the force is.
Having it breathe and grasp air for a while
and bond everlasting.

Larry Javier Ambion teaches English language and literature at San Beda College, Manila. He earned his master’s degree from De La Salle University and currently holds PhD units in English language and literature at Ateneo De Manila University. He is pursuing his studies under the CHED scholarship grant. His most recent works include studies on language and gender, language policy and linguistic landscape, and translation. He has written several poems and short stories wishing to be published someday. 

One poem by Michelle D’costa

Web of Lies

Lies are as deadly
As the legs of a cobweb

Trapping you

Slowly weaving around you

You don’t notice it
Because you choose to lie in the dark

The light blinds you
But you see the web you are caught in

The one you created

But it’s too late

It suffocates you

And you wish

For the truth to set you free

It watches your expression up close

Mocking your helplessness

You should’ve paid it reverence

For your own good

Michelle D’costa, a.k.a. the Bookworm, is an Indian writer/editor raised in Bahrain. Her poems have appeared in Poems of the Poppies, Musings: A Mosaic, The Love Collection, The Odd Magazine and Big River Poetry Review. Her short stories have appeared in Winds of Change and Decades Review. She accepts feedback from her readers on her facebook page— http://www.facebook.com/MichelleWendyDcosta?ref=ts

One poem by Rati Agnihotri


Camouflage the devil, or all hell will break loose
That is what all wise men say—
There’s a spin in every upmarket doctrine after all
So why not trick the God of goodness?

The God of goodness with goodness camouflaged
And the deep throated devil with his charming ways
What if both hit the high street in a post enlightenment mode?
And put up a performance in all those notorious hideouts

Mingled breath of performers and spectators—
The whine and whisky did the trick
The devil and God joined in the ranks.

Mutual discord became a thing of the past
As the sweet venom of camouflage worked its way.

Rati Agnihotri is a young Indian English Poet; she holds a master's degree in international journalism from University of Leeds, UK; presently working for CNC Word TV, China; runs the poetry group ‘Moonweavers – Chaand ke Julaahe’ in Delhi.

One poem by Dag and Maya


Life’s broken promises
and shattered dreams
a random patchwork
of disillusionment
sewn together year by year
all the plans gone awry
visions washed away
in a sea of bitter tears
fragments of our lives
like children still borne
scattered like so many
fallen leaves, shriveled and dry
that die unfulfilled, forgotten
in a world uncaring
more concerned with games
played upon life’s stage
that treats us all the same
mere pawns upon a chessboard
moved by unseen hands

Denny "Dag" Hoffman and Maja Mijac are retired and are husband and wife writing team residing in Belgrade, Serbia. Their poetry has previously appeared in Four Branches Press, Writing Raw, Real Stories Gallery, New Mirage Journal, Aortic Press and several anthologies. Their poetry represents their own life experiences and stories recounted by their friends.

One poem by Tahera Moiz Mannan


She made her castle out of sand
Wrote destiny on the palm of her hand
Looked up with pure faith
Experienced love and hate
Saw angels grow old with age
A golden bird in a rusty cage
Selling love for money
Broken, beaten but still funny
Tender shoulders carry a load
A long journey, a winding road
A mountain, a stone, a pebble unexpected
Nothing perfect all defected
A crying heart, those silent tears
From coal to diamond over many years
Her love lost among millions
Looking for rest amid billions

Tahera Moiz Mannan holds a master's degree in English literature and is an assistant professor of English at Anjuman College of Engineering and Technology. She is a product of St. Joseph’s Convent and L.A.D. College, Nagpur, India. She has teaching experience of over eight years gained in India and abroad. A member of International Poets’ Group, Tehera has contributed her literary works to CLRI and Muse India. She has recently published a poetry book 'Heartstrings'.

One poem by Ashish Bandooni

The Day I Went to the Sea

The day I went to the sea
the smell of expectant monsoon
unsettled the air
and tides roared to the sky.

Heads emerged from the sand
and a dog
pissed over a rock
engraved with lovers' names.

Three men undressed and 
dove into the sea.

A little girl
picked up a shell to her right ear
heard the sea
that would soon swallow
three lives.

I walked backwards
along the coastline
till the sea turned black
so it could no more alter the stars
hung above it.

The dog left soon after.

Ashish Bandooni is 26. He lives in New Delhi, India. He studied business management. Now he tries to write. 

One poem by Rachael Stanley

Talking in Chains

Do not listen to the lies
they peddle in the market place.
The Advertisers thrive on creating
discontentment and envy.

They tell you your happiness lies
in acquiring the latest product.
Look beyond the layers of deception.
Listen to the rhythm of the ocean,

and at night, open your eyes to the stars.
Let us remind ourselves who we really are.
Do not listen to the lies that keep us bound
in chains.

Rachael Stanley is from Dublin, Ireland. Her work has been published both in print and online publications in Ireland (Writing4All, Best of 2010, News Four, The First Cut and Riposte) and overseas (Static Poetry II and III — USA, Misty Mountain Review — Nepal and Issa’s Untidy Hut — USA). Her other works are forthcoming in Issa’s Untidy Hut.

One poem by Shaily Sahay

Et tu, Brute

Love and Integrity
are friends though
unassuming and quiet.
One is life
the other
life sustaining.

is their common enemy—
its existence is

Shaily Sahay is a computer engineer. She also works as a freelance writer, editor, translator and a voice artist. She lives in Bombay and is working on her first novel. Her stories have been anthologized in Ripples by APK Publishers and have appeared online on Asiawrites and Muse India. Another of her stories is also set to appear in the anthology Celebrating India by Nivasini Publishers.