ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume I Issue VI

The Cover Art/Photo:


by Adam Cramb


"I could fall into your arms

fall into yesterday

some fur lined monocle

of sweet and hush

never quite that way but sweet ...

you made me sleep

the sleep of a child

the place

that sorrow hides your eyes

the night

and fire orange sweet, flower

child of the road

rain on winter blues

o’ blue freedom

for every voice, a song

I love the wolf

I love the sea

watching, watching

the ship come rolling in to me

some open-throated flower

that sings into the night

the chant

the drum

the lamp lighter

I dance,

I set your place for tea

some days

you just paint the silence white

as the earth settles

into another winter

another Christmas, flowers

into large orange flower, bright

and the quiet . . .

he is immediate

a storm across the water

the blue your eyes

someone who is always moving,

always just beyond the quiet . . .

in the shadow of mimosa“

Subterranean Blue Poetry

Volume I Issue VI

(December 2013)

Subterranean Blue Poetry

© 2013

Bluest blues

by Adam Cramb

My blues are the bluest blues

so swallow more

so that hollow hearts may follow

Lady on a Bench Searching her Purse

Poetry/Video Installation


Elen Ghulam

“Write what you know” I heard it said before. Hmmmm! …… I disagree. At age 19, I immigrated from the middle-east and found myself in an in-between state. Wet from the all immersive experience of being deeply embedded in a culture; dry as a cracker observing new set of social norms. The isolation had a bite. Yet it forced me to forge a personality that is neither of the poetic east nor of the seductive west. In my geometry I imagined a shape that was neither circular nor sharp. I neither complied nor felt compelled to defy conventions. The Quran instructs us to say: “O God, increase me in knowledge.” I repeated the verse as I descended the spiraling stairwell of Sedgewick Library at UBC. My computer science projects bored me. Hours were spend, instead, in the underground library that had two mirrored skylights that brought natural light to the bottom floor. In one frenzied reading session, I discovered that my country of origin, based on Amnesty International rating, had the second worse human rights record in the whole entire world for that particular year. Reading the history of my own, mysterious occurrences suddenly clicked. There are forms of knowledge that cut like barb wire. I understood what I didn`t want to understand. “O God, everything I know is wrong.” I left dreamy university days for a lucrative professional rhythm. My wounds neither healing nor halting me from pursuing the original directive. Consuming with ferocity dusty sources: “I will not be hoodwinked again”. A carefully considered perspective considers all points of view. This process is exhaustive but worth every page turn. There are levels of knowledge and then there are levels of knowledge. An energetic dancer can waltz through this maze. I am a sluggish nerd, prone to contemplating dead ends. “O God, increase me in knowledge” what a heavy burden? Writing stories for computers is easy. Things are logical and supreme laws apply. One day I sat down to write code. A tingling sensation in my fingertips produced typing. The resulting words were not understandable by any machine. Only humans could decipher what I produced. What a shame? I was such a talent. In the kingdom of rational thinking, a poet is a fool. Why can’t inspiration strike to my measure? “What I do know, I don’t know. What I don’t know, at least I know for certain that I don’t know. Provides for a healthier start.” Don’t you agree? I invented a place with its mythical history. Nobody can accuse me that my knowledge of its geography has a hole. In the recesses of my fantasy there is a lone expert. What I don’t know I make up. It is the only antiquity where I know for certain: Who said what to whom? What happens next? And that nagging why? I have all the answers. At least for now. In that country I placed two rivers that run in parallel. One trickles apprehensively with all emotional restrain endured by men. The second flows abundantly with the sexual repression suffered upon women. In between the two, I shall let the battle of the sexes run for eternity. I say: “O God, increase me in knowledge” less frequently, more gingerly. Today Sedgewick library is gone. The skylight that piped natural light into my isolation chamber is a slab of concrete. “God is great.” I heard it said. I am beginning to see.

Featured Poet: Emily Dickinson

When Roses cease to bloom, Sir

by Emily Dickinson

When Roses cease to bloom, Sir,

And Violets are done—

When Bumblebees in solemn flight

Have passed beyond the Sun—

The hand that paused to gather

Upon this Summer's day

Will idle lie—in Auburn—

Then take my flowers—pray!

Missed Connections

Craigslist Montreal – April 12th, 2013 – Free Section - Anonymous

Flying Squirrel character – free!

Craigslist Montreal – Missed Connections – November 23rd, 2013 - Anonymous

To the girl in the mustard yellow coat - m4w - 23 (80 parc bus)

On the bus home there was a girl wearing a beautiful mustard yellow coat. Four seams ran in parallel from the front of the coat over her shoulders and traced the waves of her scapulae down the back. The collar was small and modest, the buttons were covered by cloth of the same mustard yellow, the construction was of surpassing quality. I lost track of the sentence I was speaking when she boarded. She took the empty seat across form me, and set a leather tote bag in her lap. Above the right side of her lip was a beauty mark. She wore blue wool leggings, dark, heavy green boots, and a haircut from somewhere in the past that I could not place, a point in time that seemed as specific as it was remote. There was something inhuman and invincible about her stylishness, as if the artistic choices she made in her wardrobe that day overshadowed all else; for the four minutes on the bus she seemed the exact result of her will, as we never are in life.

I wonder how many memories I have that begin with, "On the bus home today..." There must surely be hundreds, thousands, outnumbered only by those others memories that go, "On the train to _______ today..." It often seems that a single memory is the only vestige of an entire day's worth of experiences. Sometimes it is an inconsequential memory, like the day I was driving along state highway 9 when a robin standing on a traffic island caught my eye. Time slowed, and the roar of the asphalt fell away into a soft breathing. I turned my head as I went past, and watched the robin recede from view. That is all I have from that day. And so I am given to believe that what remains of today will be the image of that striking girl in the yellow coat, an occurrence at once beautiful and without deeper meaning, like slabs of sunlight after a rain.

Book Reviews


Through Gateways and Wells Refuge and Refugee, the song of freedom.

Byline: Reprint from The Book Reviewer

Title of Book: Through Gateways and Wells Refuge and Refugee

Author: Mahasty Eslahy

Publisher: Melinda Cochrane International

Date of Publication: 2013

Page Count: 92

This is Mahasty Eslahy’s first published book of poetry, she is a scholar with an MA in Theatre and Dramatic Literature from Iran and an MA in Education from a university in Ireland. Poet Eslahy is from Iran and was not able have her first book of poetry published (although two of her plays were performed in college), amongst issues of personal freedom she immigrated to Ireland. This book of poetry is the story of an Iranian woman in Ireland, the struggle to learn the language, the struggle for freedom and to practice her calling to be a writer amongst the new culture and politics.

Through Gateways and Wells Refuge and Refugee begins with a narrative poem, “To Be Me, an Immigrant”, the poem begins:

“I am a human, a woman,
who didn’t want to live
in an oppressive landscape.
Hamid, I always heeded your words,
“man agar bar khizam, to agar bar khizi,
hame bar mikhizand”;
“If I stand up, if you stand up,
everyone will stand up”.”

in the powerful immigrants song, freedoms song there is the voice of a woman “a stranger, in a strange land” becoming. Her son is discriminated against,

“He didn’t want to be called “foreigner”,
was blaming me, kept saying to me,
“This is your fault, that’s your fault.”
I tried telling him that it’s a game,
one ‘f’ for fucking and the other ‘f’ for foreigner;
goes to say double ‘f’ which can be said ‘ff’;
it’s a game, it is a game…
“Mom are you crazy?”
And I said “yeah I’m crazy,
because I think there is no such thing as foreigner.
There are only us, there are we’s.
We are all just human beings.”

The poem is the story of frustration with the language, the new ways and discrimination by the local peoples. In the face of change she bravely tells the bare, honest truth, perhaps not always easy and champions understanding, creating dialogue and true democracy. In “Undoing Racism” is the wish to be seen for herself, her qualities, her essence, not someone categorized and classified according to skin colour, wealth or class. “Wishing for the appearance of freedom,/ away from coercion./ Wishing to be a horse/ or a fish, or flower.” In the book of poetry she plays upon the idea of being taken into the arms of her new motherland, Ireland, “From My Soul to My Fingers” –

“To be a citizen
A resident is not a citizen?
An overwhelming feeling of being a stranger here.”

“A white rose is growing there
Looking at the clouds
And clouds are making love
Creating beautiful drizzling rain
The rose is raising its branches
Enlarging and enlarging
Escalating to the sky
Accessing the birds
As they soar
Flying to the utmost
Toasting that essence of freedom
Abide, my soul, abide”

As if even with all the difference, the changes in everyday living, the newness of the green there is intense joy, celebration and even exaltation in hope. Occasionally there is whimsy as in “Azi’s Bubbles”:

“There are bubbles and Azi is tired.
She wants to go to her bed.
She sees bubbles all over the place.
Then, all the bubbles are there,
under her pillow.
They are bursting one by one,
and Azi goes to the bubble’s land,
safely secure inside one of them.”

Throughout the song of poetry is the innate essence of the Poet, a reflection of sun and flowers, a land of magic and pomegranates, reading the poetry is like biting into the large sweet fruit, the light of nectar. In “Senobar” it is as if she is remembering a beautiful spruce tree in her garden in Iran:

“Me and senobar, and Damavand
Will be there forever.
Hearing the songs of the bliss of birds,
Supposing, echoing in Arcadia,
Imagined by a mirror in the promised land.”

In “Is that Loneliness”:

“All the way
The oceans
And the
Arriving to
The wild roads

and in “Discrimination and a Sense of Human Being”:

“Dramatically a woman appeared,
just at the end of a cheerless story
Still slept and wasn’t sure that
the story was finished or had just started
And like the dolphins that sleep
open eyes,
She too had slept with open eyes.”

The haunting beauty in an exotic place opens itself as if glimpses of wholeness in a New Land, it is a celebration of the feminine essence. In this book of poetry she also writes about her father and love.

The cultural nuances of Poets celebrates peoples of different nationalities, it is a postcard of place and time and I imagine difficult to do in a second language English. However, Poet Eslahy has mastered the language and presented an elegant treatise on love and freedom, her first published book of poetry casts her as an emissary of light from the Middle East and specifically, Iran. This is a strong first work from Ms. Eslahy, Through Gateways and Wells Refuge and Refugee.

Available at Melinda Cochrane International and Amazon.ca.


Strings, the Love Heart Beat of Gina Nemo.

Byline: Reprint from The Book Reviewer

Title of Book: Strings

Author: Gina Nemo

Publisher: Melinda Cochrane International

Date of Publication: 2013

Page Count: 87

Gina Nemo, celebrated actress, performer, writer, songwriter, musician, television producer and director has written Strings, her first book of poetry. Ms. Nemo has been published in various anthologies and internationally. In the introduction she writes that the poetry is influenced by a dream and past and present love affairs.

As if carried on a fairytale wind the work has American Goth and Rap Music influences and seems to harken to another time. The poetry blooms from a musical background and the lyrics play not unlike a George Gershwin (American Jazz Composer) sound sheet from the 1920’s. It is almost as if the poetry demands music. There is an unwritten post-modern poetry style rule, that rhyme schemes should be unnoticed, like the perfect murder (an accident) however, this is not the case with most of this poetry. This Art Nouveau style of poetry emerges from the mists, with a white rap and American Beat Poet influence. The illusory Muse, somewhere in the background, just beyond reach, the Poet writes.

Like witchcraft, poetry rhyming and certain rhyme schemes are used in magic, as if casting a spell, to make love come true. In "Velvet Echoes" – “That voice,/ Your velvet echoes,/ Still ringing in my ear,/ Like an old song./ Here once again,/ Your soul whispers/ From another time,/ When you were mine./ Those velvet echoes,/ From years before/ Where our love began,/ Here again for more,/ Hold on this time,/ Don’t disappear./ I hear your voice,/ I know you’re near.” The steady rhyme and capitalization at the beginning of each line with all i’s dotted and t’s crossed, as if harkening to a more copacetic time when love was real, and Coke was the real thing at the soda counter with ice cream and 2 straws from the same tall glass.

In "No Ordinary Love" - “Hold onto love,/ Don’t taint the dove,/ With the little girl face./No ordinary plan,/ Just you the man,/And your suitcase./ You the man/ And your suitcase.” In "Deep Sleep" - “What were you thinking?/ That day the clouds came,/ sucking up the rain/ then tossing it out again.” As well as love hooks for songs, the poetry could be sweetheart notes you give to your lover, in "If I could reach you" – “If I could reach you/ In every way/ Surround you with love/ Forever and a day “ or in "New Light" – “New light travels fast, /Just like dreams do,/ Full hearts never last,/ Unless they are true."

My favourite poem is:





Just you

Just memories

Of easy times

Lovely dreams

Moments repeat

To some sound

In the distance


In the streets

All in time


In faces you meet

Your world is mine

In the streets

Memories fade

Life is remade

With worn out feet

Just walking

To nowhere

But you

In the streets."

Being more post-modernist, this Writer adheres to the unwritten not noticed rhyme scheme in poetry rule but this poem is really quite innovative and in a pared in style. You can hear the old beat box in the background, on the city street corner, people gathering in the sunshine to sing and dance.

In the New Age with the advent of the Internet poetry as a medium has exploded into different styles and different formats. Poetry with photos, in music and film, all at the touch of the keyboard, you are the Artist, the Creator, as if the world is morphing, in the great democracy, the Artist is true freedom. Major trends as well as the Post-modernists (the style of Leonard Cohen), there is a trend of poetic prose, as seen in the works presented by Rob McLennan and above/ground Press, narrative poetry, Haiku and Tanka, and Beat/rap tradition pieces all flowing and melding across the written page on the Internet. A truly great poem is so, regardless of style, welcome to the feast of offerings.

Driving down the highway by the ocean you can hear Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers singing "An American girl", the American juke box, the song and the melody, dreams in the land of love, Strings, a promising first book of poetry from Gina Nemo. Available @ Melinda Cochrane International and Amazon.ca.


The Texture of Days, In Ash and Leaf.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: The Texture of Days, In Ash and Leaf

Author: Bruce Kauffman

Publisher: Hidden Book Press

Date of Publication: 2013

Page Count: 152

This book of poems is the first book of poetry by Bruce Kauffman, a Poet active in the arts community in Kingston, Canada. He chairs poetry readings at the Artel in Kingston and presents the poetry readings on a radio show at CFRC on Friday afternoons, as well as editing and writing poetry.

The dedication at the beginning of the book is a quote from M.S. Merwin, “Witness” from “The Rain in the Trees” – “I want to tell what the forests/were like/I will have to speak/in a forgotten language”. A good beginning point from which his poetry rich in enigma and sorrow spins. This poetry is an incantation of the modernist work of ee cummings, there is no capitalization, very little punctuation and the words are laid over the page as if truncated, disjointed windings that have an innate rhythm. As the words dance across the page away from the hard carriage edge, it is as if the rhythm of the piece is shaken, as if the Poet Kauffman is asking us to take a breath and truly feel what is being written. “ i reach for its touch its ink my morphine its mistress my life " – from 5am, in mourning. However, Poet Kauffman’s themes are darker with greater swathes of mystery.

The Poet writes about his father’s death and funeral and about children in sight, “through shades/of ethiopia/through the haze/of Bangledesh/the children are dying”. Bleak urban images are punctuated by images from before the birth of time and influences of the natural world and the Indigenous Community. From light, eulogy “and these hearts/now in the tongue/of tomorrow’s light/and forever/whispering/to the sun”. The poetry exists within a certain romanticism and the dark edge of existentialism at daybreak. A hidden violence and the theme of sorrow in love, the poetry explores a dark mythos struggling from nothingness into the light.


"i touched the walls

of the parthenon

when i was a child

and it was new

i measured the weight

of the blocks of stone

as we built the third pyramid

until the transports came

and i counted

the dead

i sat on one end

of the great wall

of china

and watched it slither

and wind motionless

as the other end

was tied with

a string to the moon

and i was the eye

of a bird as i looked down

on a desert floor

and caught an image of the sun

in an empty mirage

until it became the edge

of darkness stealing my own

shadow turned into night

and in different flesh

these bones have skated

on all the glass

even before the canyons

and ravines defined themselves

and became but pathway to the

onslaught of heat and ice

and i



before there was


but i

never realized

how little i'd seen

how helpless i was

until i


with my thumb

to wipe a tear

from your eye"

The work is enigmatic, often dark dealing with issues of death and rebirth, spinning lyricism as if breath blowing into the universe receiving answers. Often when reading the works of other Poets I want to change the last lines, they don’t ring properly but not with Poet Kauffman, spellbinding. Truly a great read in contemporary literature, poetry to curl up with on a winter evening. Available on Amazon.ca.

A Song for America


Rebecca Anne Banks

(the dark heart)

O’ the dark of night

the rains came big

and the whirlwinds deep

and the bread from heaven

rained down upon the waters

the black machine, the night

and why does everything mean nothing?

the war of tar paper in her mouth

and somewhere they cried for truth and freedom

a silk flag draped over a table

“by the rivers of Babylon

we sat down and wept“

by the spring seed

and winter draw

and the golden land, the light

the dark heart

and tell me can you sleep?

(in the killing fields)

some dry sierra wind

as we search the horizon

look for that which saves us

that which keeps us here

by the fire

and where are our sons?

somewhere home?

in the killing fields

how I longed for justice

the quiet kneading of bread

the hour of our distress

the silence of whores undressed

and tell me can you sleep?

(the rhythm of the Saints)

And he said, “you don’t look like you need anything”

the rhythm of the Saints

and “the music doesn’t play here anymore”

past the Maureen O’Sullivan

look alike

and the mirror down

on 47th Street

the empty train stations

the tower clock

children’s books

with wrist watches on statues

(penguins by the post)

she said “can you stay for one last cup of coffee?”

and tell me can you sleep?

(the days of roses)

And he said, “I don’t deserve you”

the days of roses

the golden dog

by the half cast moon

and stone cathedrals

in the rain

feet of bear

and mouth of lion

rose up from the sea

still my heart

(the signs came down

and the bells rang out)

how the innocents

had soaked the cloth

and the storm roiled

on its way

dancing, dancing

midnight dance

and tell me can you sleep?

(my foolish heart)

they say if you have nowhere to go

you’re home

the best adventure of zot . . .

walking and walking

in hot, hot, Summer

the living end

“my foolish heart”

the last exhibit at the museum:

white man

planned obsolescence

and writing, writing . . .

sweet flower – milk against moonlit sky

and almond joy, quiet

and tell me can you sleep?

(To broken-hearted Christmas lovers)

but who will love me . . .

the beginning of the night until the edge of black,

my quiet sore

who will keep me warm . . .

if you keep busy

you don’t notice the silence of the rain

or the quiet of people as they babble into heartache

America, the land of a million stories

the cruelty of the hands that worship

now away

left into silence the standalone tree

when everything is broken

to broken-hearted Christmas lovers

he who has nothing yet has everything

he who has everything yet has nothing

the grafitti that rocks on brick walls

the lotus painting on the underpinnings of the canal bridge

how we are not free

how with every breath I knew you

and tell me can you sleep?

(past Summer suns)

he is so beautiful

like a song that knows you

some magpie

perched on a window sill

my kitchen songs are done

past Summer suns

and winter nights

when the band stops playing

the songs over . . .

the thunder of a thousand horses

and tell me can you sleep?

into the cast of morning.


Rebecca Anne Banks is at home in Montreal. She is the CEO/Artist at Tea at Tympani Lane Records. www.tympanilanerecords.com.

Adam Cramb. My poetry has appeared in sub-Terrain and Leaf press. I am also a visual artist who's work has appeared in coastal galleries. The LACDA in Los Angeles and the Canadian Federation Gallery in Vancouver. My photography has appeared in le Journal de la photograhie and F-Stop. For the last 2 years I have made it into the final round of the International Fine Art Photography Award: Grand Prix de Decouverte. www.artofthisworld.net/adam-cramb.html.

Emily Dickinson was born in 1830 into an elite family in Amherst, Massachusetts just north of Boston. She attended Mount Holyoke female Seminary broadening her studies but was brought home by her father when she fell ill. She led a life of simplicity and austerity, shying away from public life and had a penchant for wearing all white dresses. Largely uncelebrated and unpublished in her lifetime, family friends upon her death had her poetry published and she rose to become an icon of American Literature. She has a poetry catalogue of at least 1,700 poems.

Mahasty Eslahy is an Iranian poet and writer, moving nine and a half years ago to and now living in Dublin. She studied Dramatic Literature and wrote a few plays, a collection of poetry, and a series of comic strips for teenagers and youth, however never published her works there. In Ireland, she studied Sociology and Anthropology and attained her MA in Community Education, Equality, and Social Activism. She is writing currently in English and her works in English (poems and articles) have been newly published in anthologies, periodicals and journals. Her first collection of poetry in English, “Through Gateways and Walls: Refuge and Refugee” (Melinda Cochrane International), has just been published.

Elen Ghulam is the author of Graffiti Hack. A novel inspired by the idea of Graffiti applied to the internet - coming out in November 2013. It tells the story of a woman who hacks into websites to install elaborate graphical designs. Elen is an Iraqi-Canadian who believes her keyboard is mightier than a cruise missile. She is a passionate blogger at www.ihath.com.

Bruce Kauffman is a leading light in Canadian Poetry and based in Kingston, Ontario. He is a Poet, writer and Poetry Editor. He hosts the Open Mic Reading Series, Poetry @ The Artel and a Poetry radio program, "Finding a Voice" on CFRC. He has written poetry books The Texture of Days, in Ash and Leaf and a seed within amongst other writings.

Gina Nemo is a poet, writer, producer and musician. Born in New York and raised in Los Angeles, she has been writing poetry, songs and stories since she was a child. She received an international award for her role in the hit television show “21 Jump Street” (which was presented by Bob Hope) many years ago on Canadian TV. Since the 90’s she has been singing, producing and writing music and releasing albums. She has also been producing and directing television and also writing for various print and web based media outlets.