Posts Tagged ‘Ananda-mayi dasi Onset’

Bibhu Padhi has three poems in the current issue of The Apple Valley Review. First is “Evening, Bhubaneswar.” It starts, “Floating above the rice fields, / the jackfruit trees, // evening comes / and gets into our dark houses // where ghosts stay, / poems are made.” There is something ethereal, magical, about this poem, a sort of floating-above-the-ground feel. The narrator anticipates changes, anticipates revelations, without knowing exactly what is to happen. “From a distant village
comes a song that // speaks about lost things. / A wind from the north arrives…” The power of the poem comes, I think, from the grounding in immediate images, as you can see. Exotic and intriguing. The second poem is almost an extension of the first. “Ghosts” starts out: “They enter, milk-white, / the dark house, full of poems // written by thin, wiry hands. / The nights come back // again and again, teasing / my sense of time.” Very powerful work.

Ananda-mayi dasi gives us “Onset” — “We’re in summer: our beds pocked / with dead songbirds: grey understatements.” As you can see, the images surprise us, going in unexpected directions. The poem then takes up the description of a girl hanging from a noose. The narrator herself? Then a reference to her brother, digging in the garden. It’s a short work, but one that makes us think.

I like the metaphor in the first line of “Autumn Has Come,” by Aura Christi: “A night fallen on its muzzle, like a cringing animal.” It  shocks us into paying attention, and the following lines are equally complex and intriguing: ” I no longer know when I lived / and if ever I’ll live again, God, /
what dream, what life, what story I’ll awaken in…” A poem tackling the big questions, ambitious, not afraid to jostle and creak around the edges. Even the turn is this way, unadorned, concentrated, wanting to get on with it: “It’s important to keep waiting.” A strong work.

Finally, Ed Bok Lee gives us “Reading in Bed Is Like Heaven,” which may be the poetry title I am most in agreement with, ever. Despite being short, this poem is elusive, perhaps hinting that what we read enters our dreams, changes us. “And now I see it’s not the meanings I loved most / demolishing each labyrinth flooded with belief, // but the quandaries…” So much to contemplate, and to enjoy, here.

Peace in poetry,

P M F Johnson

My eBook of poems, Against The Night, a wry look at the love that builds throughout a marriage, is available on Amazon, and at other fine e-retailers.

Related blog posts:

Convergence – Summer 2018

The Sun – Sept, 2018

Rattle 61 – Fall, 2018

P.S. Here’s the link to the magazine, though you’ll have to hunt down volume 13, # 2 once the current issue gets archived: https://www.applevalleyreview.com/



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