YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

September 2005

VOL XIII Issue 9, Number 149

Editor: Klaus J. Gerken

Production Editor: Heather Ferguson

European Editor: Moshe Benarroch

Contributing Editors: Pedro Sena; Michael Collings; Jack R. Wesdorp; Oswald LeWinter

ISSN 1480-6401



   Heather Ferguson	


   Trevor Landers

      1. Neverne hry (Faithless Games)
      2. Soliloquy on the entrapment of lusts
      3. New Land Morning 
      4. A wedding Poem
      5. Tents of Kedar
      6. Reading religious history
      7. Thora

   An Ottawa Quartet

      Seymour Mayne
            New Word Sonnets
               GIN'S JUNIPER
               SUBSTANCE ABUSE
               BLOOD PRESSURE
               COOL AUGUST
               THE ODDS

      Asoka Weerasinghe
            Glebe Love Poems
               1 Your body is my wailing wall
               2 Last night at dinner
               3 I have missed
               4 Under the shower
               5 Like a twinkling courtesan
               6 The morning light bleeds into me
               7 The moon over the balcony
               8 You are the woman for all seasons
      Robert Watson
               Black Cuban Woman
      Jesse Ferguson
               Drive to Toronto 
               The Game

   Josef Lesser
      This day the first of Summer
      He knew the word for Water
      We the voyeurs can only speculate
      Camp of Lost People
      Man rounded into a ball naked rolling
      Riding back on a Star
      Inside a station of the underground


   Prasenjit Maiti 


Heather Ferguson	


The asp is the snake that guards the balm.

Water closes over me. Darkness slithers past shorelines. Tongues of light 
flicker round rocks, eddies gurgle in past tenses. The moon befriends liquid 

And when you want some balm, you lull the asp to sleep with instruments.

The treacherous sparkle of sheep bells on a mountain path. Winds play in icy 
ravines, low moans roam the hillsides, inconsolable.  

And take some.

Phosphorus coats my frozen fingers, teeth chatter against the rim of a bottle; 
the elixir burns all the way down.

When she finds she's deceived, she covers one ear with her tail.

Scales rub over scales:  discordant scraping. The first loop of a knot is 
silence. The second is tears. 

And rubs the other on the ground until it is completely closed.

The asp encircles my wrist. Memory tightens its grip.  My cramped fingers 

So she won't hear the instruments.

Beauty burns, gives birth to itself, knows no mother.  The wail of the 
newborn in a desolate place.

And keeps vigil.

Trevor Landers


Neverne hry (Faithless Games)

      --bon voyage Rita and Andrew

'eminently watchable',
      Zuzana Stivinova in the ripeness and fullness of life
            like an orchard of voluptuous peaches
               at the height of summer's splendour
   Praha, like an architectural gem:  gleaming iridescently
              playing the cameo part, the role of the seducer
                      inveigler of hearts; Pavlatova etches discordant emotions
                         into this idyllic setting, the arcadian 
				asylum of Sturovo
                             (a fading stamp in my old Irish passport, 
				stencilled memories)
                   temptations opening themselves up in the metropole
              a story, subtle, enriching and perceptive: exactly like 
				both of you

2. Soliloquy on the entrapment of lusts ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ O untrammelled spirits lead me knowingly into thy soft fleshy portal taste there nectar of woman & pronounce myself giddy on drunkenness of flesh Unconsciously I seek divination in your tender appointments harbour in the ampleness of breast covetous of pleasures deeply delicious to wade through the upper reaches with a supplicant mouth and compliant tongue, make your eyes coruscate with Cyprian joys!
3. New Land Morning ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ the dew dripped striations striped window panes & the morning sun-kiss was a tremulous heart-flutter awoke with weary-eyed wonder enamoured with the transformation of longing and impatiences her voice, like a poultice to febrile brow sweet and tender tiredness eclipsing the embrace of an eiderdown coquettish suns streaming sublime; ray of comfort I swear the hills are more vivid hue of green, a new land discovered, this morning.
4. A wedding Poem ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ----for Cristina and Gers, on the occasion of their wedding. A departure from convention to write a poem under my own commission to wish you salutations, lustrous lives & the beneficence of moonbeams in a Norwegian sky how modern to follow your relationship like a frankincensed priest, garlanded with photographs from Budapest her smiling, evanescent face, and his steadying fingers on the camera taking photographs, developing memories, forging a future from the dazzlement of an antipodean day dawning, I rise to you both, the glint of congratulation having illuminated your eyes.
5. Tents of Kedar ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Make me the amorous wife of assertion, set up as sovereign, legal, named as an unguilty love let me a hymn to the love of faithfully married couples let me be Shulamitic; lyrical and violent of passions manifold limpid, intense, sufferant for passions a daughter of Old Jerusalem, a pavilion of Salmah a pinnacle of religious sentiment, the postulate of God's irrepresentativeness the secrets of esthetics, morality and love: the legitimation of impossibility.
6. Reading religious history ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a slight solemnic pause from reverence after all, it is a Sunday, a day of rest and atonement and penances are all around writing pellucid prose, calling a dispirited conversatorium student on her way back to Kiev, more ebullient now justifying an affectionate embrace a clarion call for a snatch of tenderness while supping Chamomile tea and swimming in The Phoenix Foundation speaking to my chimeric Chilean mujacha listening the way how Spanish and English glistens iridescently on the telephone; calling to the one whose absence is felt like a levelled mountain so close & faraway, stitched into the ambivalences of polyvalent times outside, the wind is thrustling hushed messages euphoniously I do understand them, but they comfort a satisfying grin.
7. Thora ~~~~~ I will be a cairn of finest obsidian and wedge it on a promontary, a sun-scarped headland as remembrance, lasting and everliving like you in the lugubrious hearts and perceptive minds of those who knew you once; and became inveigled who felt the kindness in skin smoothed by the passage of time & were emboldened, listened to wisdoms and walked away newly enlightened I salute and grieve your passing, the descend of the corporal, giving rise to the ascendancy of the ethereal, the immemorial until we can talk in your garden once more.
An Ottawa Quartet ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Seymour Mayne OVERHEARD New Word Sonnets OVERHEARD AT THE BARBER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If a man could only be born aged and die as a young boy! Bukharian Quarter Jerusalem
GIN'S JUNIPER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What is it about this curious scented berry, it pickles and preserves the Royals?
SUBSTANCE ABUSE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Literature is one of the least damaging human toxins-- try some poetry, will you?
READER ~~~~~~ Do I want you so close you swear it's not me but yourself speaking?
BLOOD PRESSURE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Form and content: take the systolic over the diastolic, then read the syntactic pulse.
PRAISE ~~~~~~ Crystal clear, the cascade of morning prayer cleanses the ears for the tongue's praise.
"SIGNIFICANT" BIRTHDAY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Even the flesh coloured marble floor quarried from distant Tuscany betrays purple varicose veins! Abasto Plaza Hotel Buenos Aires
VAULT ~~~~~ You picked the coldest winter week to be safely deposited in earth's thick vault.
COOL AUGUST ~~~~~~~~~~~ Summer the soft bird has packed it in and left the front door ajar.
ANTI-SEMITISM ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What is it about Europeans that they succumb regularly to this recurrent vicious virus?
AT THE AMIA BUILDING, BUENOS AIRES ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For David Mibashan How fast we rebuild the foundations of our sanctuaries and then memorialize the dead. May 19, 2004 Jerusalem Day
SAW ~~~ The white birches lean westward up from roots oblivious to speech or shrieking saw.
DIURNAL ~~~~~~~ Half of us sleep, napping into eternity then rise with the doomed floating sun.
THE ODDS for Janet Blatter As our good friend puts it: Nobody but nobody gets out of here alive!
Asoka Weerasinghe Glebe Love Poems ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1 Your body is my wailing wall that I touch for the softness to heal my loneliness. The solitary pink rose above your tall window sways gently blown by the early morning wind the hour of my euphoria of touching your face, yoga and meditation. Your shadow on my bed I hold tight in my thoughts to share this peculiar sorrow.
2 Last night at dinner one red rose in a vase lit the space between your empty chair and me. It set up images of maturity, a satisfaction of a rose tattooed on a shaven skin. The taste of mango-butter on my tongue after I ate rare red meat from a pink oval shaped porcelain dish, the sight of the morning swash of batik-silk pinkness between your thighs and the naked body I wanted to touch.
3 I have missed the morning 6 o’clock songs the Glebe air sings. A kitchen light the beacon of love that separates the night from the heat of the dawn and the warm bare loin from the snow outside. I have missed the batik-pink body balancing in the dark tossed onto a black stake which spins with the desire to feel the warm flood through the skin. I have missed the abstracts in the dark, the padding of voluptuous flesh in the autumn-pool of my memory of the warmth of our kisses that propel our flesh into the eye of the hurricane grafting us for the next eight hours. All of it I have missed. All of you I have missed.
4 Under the shower you unfold like an origami flower, folding in and then out stretching when you bend over polishing every dimple like a convex mass of a polished wet marble. I watch in awe the origami folds before the whipping begins for you to count the drops of water cascading between your eyes of the moving torso.
5 Like a twinkling courtesan your body twitches, shuddering as if pulsed by an earthquake. We often wonder whether there are more like you body on body along your street assaulting the morning sleep. The swallows on the windowsill flap their wings in amazement noticing your feet stranded high above my shoulders in the middle of a flight.
6 The morning light bleeds into me through the window shades filled with darting swallows, screeching disturbing the neighbours with every thud-plunge I make to the tune of the ticking clock. You smile in your aubergine coloured dressing-gown, watching me work hard for the bait of a glass of breakfast orange juice, dripping into your throat which is me, and occasional honeyed jasmine-tea spilling through a long bronzed teapot spout deep into your throat.
7 The moon over the balcony was cradled upon the shoulder of a Tony Onley mountain. And the lilt of the morning raga you played on my flute drowned the champagne before our feast of kisses. Deep with the fleshy mango flower I heard you sweetly sighing.
8 You are the woman for all seasons the very reason I enjoy the seasonal shades of the morning light filtering through the window-blinds like woken-up purple butterflies to shape the laser tones that unfold the different shades of warm pink contours over my brown body. (from Butterfly Poems)
Robert Watson Black Cuban Woman ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The eye is an organ bereft of all feeling, but the muscles thereabout carry all the burdens of life, and I shall remember her eyes. Black dress and shoes, and hair held back by a ribbon black like her skin. What else was she to do, than linger by the stairs down to the beach? Cuban woman on the stairs to the beach, no longer young, with no thing to hold back, with no thing to offer other than her black grace, black Cuban woman on the beach, with no thing to offer but slender grace, robed in dignity, what else was she to do?
Untitled ~~~~~~~~ Our eyes met for just a moment, The time it takes to go out a door And glance as you pass. He could not have been more than nine years old; But then, I am not a father, And then, in a wheelchair, you may look younger. His skin was so white. Our eyes met for just a moment. The small legs, wasted away, useless things, Folded together, to the right, And white running shoes that would never wear. Still, he looked right up at me, With wide-open eyes in an open face, With interest, and unafraid, Looking up, But not from a lesser place. I was ashamed of my own legs. Why did I look back? Why does one ever look back? There was no thing to be gained. I was glad to see the oblique light of late afternoon, Glad to feel the mild spring air. Our eyes met for just a moment.
Untitled ~~~~~~~~ May we look at water the giver, which flows, Always flows, even in stillness flows, For to give is to flow, To move towards life, even as the Ganges Bears away the dead And leaves limpid flow behind.
Untitled ~~~~~~~~ Immobility perceived from immobility And yet the sun moves up from the line of hills, Holy majesty golden disc divinity origin of all yellow and warmth, Ra.
Kamakura ~~~~~~~~ Sweat in the peplum. Cypress wood smooth and dark, Imbued with temple gravitas, Incense and holy hush. Still, the pillars are tree. Cedar and cypress bracket in the god. Evening shadows gather in the face of the Buddha.
Jesse Ferguson Drive to Toronto ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ out in the middle of Lake Ontario the same snow is falling we drive slower playing it safe turn the radio off listen instead to the snow that brushes white the windshield and becomes peripheral you answer the shiver of our chill little engine as we inch alongside the bank of that deep silent water
Haggis ~~~~~~ Too many Scotch toasts to Burns, and your guts are boiled in your belly. Jan. 25th 2005.
Fridge ~~~~~~ Pray you, poem, merit magneting to the fridge, that coveted receptacle of venerable victuals. September 19th 2004.
Snared ~~~~~~ quick bite into fur wince of glassy eyes thrashing rabbit snatched in a snare lashing at nothing claws biting the air face puckered and clenched like some impotent fist twitching this death by a bright copper wire silenced and plush as my love Jan. 21st 2005.
The Game ~~~~~~~~ from his snug blind high up in the maple branches he hadn't seen the young cub close behind its mother hadn't realized the pair were come to stream's edge for a fishing lesson and so his molten slug pierced three hearts- the hulking mother roaring with less and less ferocity the cub whimpering for hours by her cooling snout and a sportsman's who never again had the stomach for game January 27th 2005.
Josef Lesser This day the first of Summer ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Consider this man; roused from a dreamless sleep by the gender free voice of control by the mantra song of trained wrens by the architect plan wording his day To-day your mind will journey beyond the square into the unknown where every to-morrow is created born from the union of to-day and yesterday Consider this man; a worker in the slippers of routine breakfasting on multi-coloured pills exercising body mind senses, meditating on matter outside the square travelling inside the system where time is each man's religion and the common bible cleaved into portions of work, play, love sleep rest work. While trained wrens chant. Consider this man; roused from a dreamless sleep To-day is the first day of sixteen days and nights for your holiday in the sun. As found in the bible you will dream in the warm air play in the waves love on the sand. All thoughts of squares will vanish work and routine will not enter, only allocated guests of peace silence and pleasure. To-day you start your holiday in the sun meeting your co-holidayers in transit. Remember this day the first of summer in the year of our divine star 2104.
He knew the word for Water ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (from the series "Consider this man") Consider this man; who once knew the word for water knew how it wiped clean the pores of sin how it scrubbed sandpaper off the tongue and how it accelerates down the hill collecting, collecting ancient coins and throwaway thoughts Spinoza's mind eyes of Monet Archimedes mumbling in his bath arriving at the equation; water = life life = death water = death Consider this man; who once knew the word for water could decipher Plato's target shoot the years Mandela ticked upon the wall why Gabriel and Chet just had to blow, and once he understood the silent breathing of a novice nun beside the crown of thorns and why a cloud never arrives as a lodger only ever as a visitor. He found all this in the granules where we all kick-off moving downhill inside the hourglass, Consider; do you know this man
We the voyeurs can only speculate ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (from a painting by Bergur Thorberg) Consider this man; a twin brother to the girl sharing the same pigment coffee complexion a mirror image jaw eyes dark as a midnight movie, only her sight is short corrected by wire thin glasses, yet in the world of twinning they are fraternal suspended in this moment cold as the land of their birth. We the voyeurs can only speculate what dreams will be diverted after this cafe meeting where two cups steam as yet untouched. Is it her wedding to-morrow? Is the young man leaving maybe to serve his country? Could the twins be contemplating their mother's fate on life support or their own life soon parentless. Consider this man; a twin exposed with his twin sister in a millisecond of time within their aromatic world of coffee beans, a world frozen for two.
Camp of Lost People ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Consider this man; A parcel delivered to the wrong address activating a conference circumnavigating the kitchen table, words drift nonchalant as language with no conscience; forward to ----- hand back to post open for curiosity discard for fear return to sender? Return to interlocking tongues where thoughts trip on the cracked pavements producing ideas with broken ribs, and a mortgage on breathing is afforded to the circumnavigators round the table. Consider this man; A parcel tied with twine of tales brought back with the souvenir spoon the toy kangaroo the second cousin's name on the voting roll addressed franked sealed, life on the scales weighing the cost in some lost property corner of a lost peoples' camp. Consider; when that next corner appears out of the nowhere of nothing reflecting in the wire of mesh your geraniums in flower -----, the pleading eye on the inside is a parcel of man marking time.
Man rounded into a ball naked rolling ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (from the series "consider this man") Consider this man; Once a sigh between lips a whisper suspended an aerial acrobat caught in the net by tongues of desire maybe a match warming the pupils of innocent eyes an innocent by-stander glued in the glare of a sun spot delivered naked like an unwrapped gift at the feet of us we the past gifts having discovered the protocol for toes aim the new ball with a subtle kick to hit the line dividing out and in, Consider this man; Once a word slipped between cards three and raise good news or bad ten pink or blue devonshire tea for two tricks can be won by women or men scratch the score on the wall ink blood the colour of red has died great news down a beer in the pen bet you a diamond king or queen born from the whisper by tongues of desire naked at the feet of us a new ball waiting for the team. Consider this; Man carved from a sigh rounded into a ball untried naked rolling to the drain tricks of the cards down or pass another hand is against the rules. Consider.
Riding back on a Star ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (from the series "Consider this man") Consider this; Man riding a star through the pages of his own story galloping through the galaxy of his scrapbook, wrestling with Taurus like his first father fighting dry earth weeping the kiss of life into each seed of grain standing sentry over the apple the hand of rice the grape, then one day between the rows of turnips that final glint of sky. Consider this man; astride his star of David his Harley David zooming back along the Zodiac highway over tar of guilt with the gale of grief forever on his shoulder, blowing the singed swallow to life from the oven door and the odor of wax out to all the seas and songs, the soprano chant of the wind replaying always from the torn leaves of the book the voices of his tribe seeking the trail to the mountain top. Consider; This man, that man, that man standing in the queue see this man tapping the brothel door that man kissing his wife this man dying in the turnip field this other man watching see, the swallow transform into see into a full-stop in the sky. Consider this; hitch a ride on the next passing star.
Inside a station of the underground ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (from the series "Consider this man") Consider this man; considering that man considering the old lady considering the priest, by the way the old lady has the glory that was Greece etched in the furrows of her face where ancient gods still play at summer games and a thrower of the discus superimposes the priest considering the child considering nothing but his autistic forest where each tree by accident planted at his birth is numbered counted and re-numbered on the hour. Consider; this man one-eyed considering the mother considering the beggar unaware her faith lies buried beneath the autumn leaves inside her son's forest proclaims the healing power of God, by the way the beggar also plays superimposition considering the banker considering a client considering a prostitute considering the priest all stitched together by unspoken thread, a mirage carpet the colour of fantasy flying across the desert oasis inside a station of the underground. Consider the beggar considering the banker the prostitute considering the priest the mother considering her son.
Borders ~~~~~~~ (from the series "Consider this man") Consider this man; smelling the morning ritual roses bordering his secrets his dreams and nightmares hues of yellow pink mauve and blood the colour of red, petals and the zen of existence breathe inside the borders of this everyman, come travel with him this day 7 Jan. 2005 an everyday kinda day a day when Elvis once again was sighted washing chopsticks in a chinese cafe when dogs were romping on a Coffs Harbour beach and the market was declared volatile for stocks and shares a day Leopold Bloom would have sauntered along the streets of Dublin James Joyce the boulevards of Paris, maybe Sylvia Plath tripping through splintered borders in her mind, a blank page kinda day for some an abbreviated diary day for an ethnic Albanian youth shot dead where Macedonia borders the Presevo valley, Consider; this boy will never meet the man looking back from the mirror or walk the road as everyman, the zen of existence has seeped into the earth tinting green and grey shadows of landscape with blood the colour of red this day 7 Jan. 2005.


Prasenjit Maiti 

I know the road winds here as if in ignominy as I dream yet another fantasy 
and try to cling on to you my rebel words do not leave me alone in ecstasy 
or defeat walking jostled among markets people memories do not show me your 
smirk again or sound your cymbals of insanity...I recall the music ends 
here when I die and listen to the strains of yet another road not walked body 
not blessed woman not scripted when benedictions shower from above in 
agelessness in inanity

Word can stay with me today as I prepare for lines that have to be encountered 
such as never before like being a writer in residence talking to students 
around a fire that is white like the bleak meaning of sentences hanging loose 
in corners sharp and indifferent for what they are worth and their treachery 
that is rabid like their edges and hangs and gutters and your spaces rampant 
that hardly make up my keyboard

I sit before you today and yesterday and sip tea without sugar to make life 
easier and cheaper without strings attached and rephrase apologies for what I 
do not know as the garden somehow blurs around the edges and smudges like 
mascara that is without vanity 


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  these poems, without the express written permission of the authors, is

  YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts - Copyright (c) 1993 - 2005 by 
  Klaus J. Gerken.

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