December 4, 2013

Quick Note

Welcome to the fourth issue of Misty Mountain. This time, we have a selection of twelve poems by nine poets, and most of which are centered on the theme of love and memory.

Many thanks to all the readers and contributors. 

Happy reading!

One poem by Ian C Smith

Hester Street

Jetlag jaded, we emerge from our bolthole,
our first destination the Lower East Side,
New Zealand, Tahiti, Pacific atolls,
memory-blurs like Las Vegas’ moon-bright neon
seen from the dirty, half-empty plane,
anything better than the moral past.
From jealousy to the land of movies.

Our employers, Camp America, don’t show,
so we pilgrims venture from Newark airport.
Our backpacks, bus and subway stares,
abrade my scarred self-consciousness.
With this woman, so young, her beautiful hair,
my unedited heart pulses for all to see.
On the train, newspapers in four languages.

I wanted to share an arthouse cinema
so had taken her to see an old movie
about embattled people making fresh starts,
a dream I shall never quite realise.
Still cringing from the hounds of disapproval
we discover the movie’s locale
as if entering a teeming street masquerade.

Information seekers, we attract curiosity.
Feeling like extras in our own movie
imitating another customer’s lunch order,
our accents hush a noisy, crowded deli
like a poised knife-trick artist in a circus.
Eating under the ornate street sign
I can’t, don’t want to, believe we shall fail.  

(A note on the poem: When I remarried, to a much younger woman from a different background, we encountered hostility from both families so temporarily fled to America where everything seemed like a movie.  Many years and four tall sons later we are still together. ‘Hester Street’ was the arthouse movie’s title.)

Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in Axon: Creative Explorations, The Best Australian Poetry, London Grip, Poetry Salzburg Review, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, The Weekend Australian & 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 Doug Bolling


                Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

                                        -- Neruda, Twenty love Poems

Joanna, here where sea
swallowed you
as I rushed from the darkness
into this greater dark.

Believe love you said
only three nights ago
as we talked away
the hours at the
Bistro of the Mirages.

I remember the incoming tide
the trembling of the pier
holding up the world
we two trusted
before the shadow fell
between us.

The poems we have spoken
to one another you said
they are the wings
that fly through the door
guarding the soul.

And now you are gone
into the distance,
the many faces of you
suddenly no more,

solitary seagull
never to return to land
leaving me behind
to forget,
to remember.

Doug Bolling's poetry has appeared widely in literary reviews including Blue Unicorn, Xanadu, Illuminations, Visions International, Lalitamba, Tribeca Poetry Review, Basalt, The Inflectionist Review and Wallace Stevens Journal among many others. He has received four Pushcart Prize nominations and has taught at several colleges and universities. Currently, he lives outside Chicago in Flossmoor, Illinois.

Two poems by Smita Sahay

In this Moment

I pull my hair
back, stretch
to the morning smell
of a cool Saturday, play
Bad day’, hum,
smile - to no one.

I smell cinnamon, roll
brown sugar, burn
caramel, pour
cream. Beat,
fold, fluff, bake, taste – ummdelicious,
set a table for two.

I cut flowers into the vase, brush
my hair, till it ripples
like water, wear strawberry
gloss, spray
'Mediterranean' below
the neck.

I play ‘Tonight’s gonna be a good night’,
endure tick – tick – tick, before
the elevator stops, bell rings and
I graze your stubble, smell your cologne, taste your tongue,
throw myself into your arms, stay in this moment, forever.

For Marilyn Monroe

You flowed down the blue bus
into a brown puddle
below the yellow lamp post
and hung there –
beneath streetlights.
As I walked past,
my cane poked your right eye
and rippled your left.

I walked on,
head in a woolly cap,
heart wrapped in pashmina,
tottering on wobbly knees,
my cane click-clacking.
My head held your pictures
and heart heard voices –
your voices.

You flow in your white dress upon that vent
and croon ‘Diamonds’.
Now you live on buses,
on billboards,
fashion catalogues,
magazine covers;
my memories
and brown puddles.

Smita Sahay is a writer, poet, critic and translator based in Mumbai. Her short stories, poetry and book reviews have appeared in Ripples, Asia Writes, Pedestal Magazine, Celebrating India, Muse India, Cha Journal, Women’s Web and Misty Mountain Journal. She co-edits 'Veils, Halos and Shackles – International Poetry on the Abuse and Oppression of Women' with Dr. Charles Fishman. Currently, she is working on her first book of fiction.

One poem by Richard Doiron

  And for a Sudden State of Thinking

And for a sudden state of thinking
he saw the mountains clamoring for the sky,
the sky descending to meet the mass of stone,
the clouds parting, the world made a witness
to the joining of both heaven and earth.

And for a sudden state of thinking
he saw the waters growing calm, the land,
attired in its manifold colors, inclined
to the wave, the merging of the former
with the latter therefore re-creating Eden,
with the naming and re-naming of that
which was known and that which was mystery.

And for a sudden state of thinking
he saw in the Circle the Divine in Council
with the Eagle and, whereas formerly a great
wailing, for the woes of a wounded world,
he heard the sounds of music, and in
the sweet refrain, without halt or hesitation,
the Wine of Astonishment unsealed,
the twin words: Epiphany and Peace.

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 Hem Raj Bastola

A winter night

That strenuous walk,
slippery path in the woods,
battle with leaches, smell of moss along,
freezing wind of mountain, overjoyed thoughts of venture;
benumbed fingers did not trust the glove I was wearing.
Shelter found in summit was an old outhouse
used by some ancient hermits.

Clogged with cold, negotiating with life,
not even a blanket – to roll my every futile effort
to make a fire –
Die in the damp corner
without a wink of an eye?

Morning arrives…

Preceding day, overlooking to the valley
from the hills of Panchase found myself in an island
outcropped in the bosom of a white lake of
spread cotton clouds. 

Hem Raj Bastola is currently working as a freelance local tour guide in and around Pokhara Valley, Nepal.

He has worked as a Guest Service Agent at the Hotel Pokhara Grande, as a cave guide, inside the cave area for all tourists as well as office assistance in Guptshor Mahadev Cave, as a substitute representative for Sita Travels, as a freelance trekking guide for tourists to the surrounding Annapurna range and as a book salesman in Annapurna Stationary Center.

Hem also enjoys writing poetry, listening to music and collecting stamps.

Two poems by Jim Hart


The music of the old house
sings like memories in every creak
A tune in each echo
of the too close tracks passing trains
Parents' voices
"Be good and be careful"
cajoling reminders
as the big oak door slams shut
on four Hart generations
sold to a family of tone deaf strangers
who will never hear my mother's sweet breakfast preparing hum

For - Who Might Have Been

In the welcome withdrawal
of fragile memories
stored like old clothes
in an attic steamer trunk
I find you again
as always
for me to turn the key
and lift the rusty hinges
your everlasting youthful beauty
in the sterling silver frame      
of forever

first love         

Jim Hart has published a collection of poetry: “Ramblings Of A One-Eyed Garbage Man”. He has also been published in over forty-five journals, reviews throughout the world. His work has appeared in the United States, Canada, England, India, Austria, Germany, Scotland, Wales, and New Zealand.

Here is his webpage link:  

Two poems by Gary Beck

Daughter of Croesus

"I dress my dog in diamonds,"
the pampered princess said
to her obedient slaves,
as she showered her poodle
with bracelets and earrings
of priceless jewels,
while the people went hungry.
Then a radical revolt
overthrew the ruler,
confiscated his wealth
and banished the princess
with the clothes on her back,
and she abandoned the dog
to starvation in the streets,
since she couldn't afford
to keep her in style.

Tooth and Claw

In times of peace,
rare intervals
in this harsh life,
a gentle soul
only survives
by intervention
of fate, chance, deity,
old-fashioned good luck,
odd coincidence,
finds brief escape
in lulls between wars
immersed in books. 

Gary Beck’s original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway and toured colleges and outdoor performance venues. His novel and poetry books are available on Amazon. Take a look at his page at

One poem by Rachel Coventry

Dinner with an Ex

I'm sorry but I could not rest
till I sent in the remote lens,
agitating seabed silt,
scurrying shoals of silver fish.

Pull open the old chest
with a remote control claw
retrieve some memory
that disintegrates in air.

Some once familiar expression
still unfathomable to me,
your voice still deviating
as it did when we were sinking.

I'm sorry but I could not rest
till at last I surveyed the wreck,
traced the angle of its descent
lit up its final resting place. 

Rachel Coventry lives in Galway. She writes both poetry and fiction. Her poems have appeared in Skylight 47, The Burning Bush 2, Boyne Berries, Bare Hands, and The First Cut. She also has a poem forth coming in Poeticdiversity: the litzine of LA. She was short listed for the 2012 Over The Edge New Writer of the Year Competition. She is currently studying for a PhD in the philosophy of art at The National University of Ireland, Galway.

One poem by Lee Evans

Palm Sunday, long ago

A dozen or so of Our Lady’s Bugs

warm themselves on the sunny glow
of the stained glass panes,
communing with the Light

In Memory of The Armstrong Family

Some crawl on the strips of palm leaves
left by Sunday’s churchgoers,
then fly to the blazing windows

for what exaltation they can withstand

then back to the strips,
which throngs of worshippers shouting hosanna 
flourish from out of the past

while the sexton turns down the thermostat

(A note on the poem: "Our Lady's Bugs" was the original name for what we now call Lady Bugs. According to the legend, there was a plague of aphids that threatened to destroy the crops, so the people prayed to the Virgin Mary and she sent a host of Lady Bugs to eat up the pests. I used the term to sort of harken back through the centuries to medieval times. The Armstrong Family is simply the family in whose memory the stained glass window was donated to the church(Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Lothian, Maryland); the name is incorporated into the design of the window.)

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