ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume III Issue V

The Cover/Art Photo:

by Gina Hanlon

“vague the dark of dreams

and quiet

the smoke rises

into the white winter sky ..”

“In the morning I will wear the slippers you gave me

(rolling out all over Monrovia)

put the kettle on for coffee

(in the back of the store)

she feeds him fresh croissants, cream and oranges

(the phone falls off the wall)

he takes a shower, dresses in sunlight

(for the dancer in blue jeans)

he talks to her

(she who steals chocolate, in her sleep)

counts the change from the street

(a half an hour in sunlight)

packs up his bedding

(in the blue afternoon)

into his knapsack

(the quiet)

as he heads out into the street

(she heads out into the street)

she imagines him, the dancer . . .

(where has he gone)

you are here with me ..

In the morning I will wear the slippers you gave me”

Subterranean Blue Poetry
Volume III Issue V
(May 2015)

Subterranean Blue Poetry

© 2015

untitled again

by Kenneth Kesner

were you with that one
lightning in his place

had to go had to be

so close to yesterday

were you after there

did you take a look
see another


could you hear them sing
singing of his fate

did it come across that way

frenetec gerl

by Kenneth Kesner

in its longest moment
if destiny could hear itself

will it inspire
silhouette soul against light

where vapors tend to blaze
orange it seems now

a chant forgotten
to be

as black as urn
saves the snow

for a while

echoes the incense vows

massive rhythm leaden swells

speak or travel they’ll say

show herself

by Kenneth Kesner

when infinities collide we see


she says

nothing’s left to hide

a secret

she burns down inside

not to worry a second then

how strange they come

to be seen

stunning distance unending time

hand in hand

she writes

no difference found

Featured Poet: Lord Alfred Lloyd Tennyson

The Lotos-eaters


Lord Alfred Lloyd Tennyson

"Courage!" he said, and pointed toward the land,
"This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon."
In the afternoon they came unto a land
In which it seemed always afternoon.
All round the coast the languid air did swoon,
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
Full-faced above the valley stood the moon;
And like a downward smoke, the slender stream
Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem.

A land of streams! some, like a downward smoke,
Slow-dropping veils of thinnest lawn, did go;
And some thro' wavering lights and shadows broke,
Rolling a slumbrous sheet of foam below.
They saw the gleaming river seaward flow
From the inner land: far off, three mountain-tops,
Three silent pinnacles of aged snow,
Stood sunset-flush'd: and, dew'd with showery drops,
Up-clomb the shadowy pine above the woven copse.

The charmed sunset linger'd low adown
In the red West: thro' mountain clefts the dale
Was seen far inland, and the yellow down
Border'd with palm, and many a winding vale
And meadow, set with slender galingale;
A land where all things always seem'd the same!
And round about the keel with faces pale,
Dark faces pale against that rosy flame,
The mild-eyed melancholy Lotos-eaters came.

Branches they bore of that enchanted stem,
Laden with flower and fruit, whereof they gave
To each, but whoso did receive of them,
And taste, to him the gushing of the wave
Far far away did seem to mourn and rave
On alien shores; and if his fellow spake,
His voice was thin, as voices from the grave;
And deep-asleep he seem'd, yet all awake,
And music in his ears his beating heart did make.

They sat them down upon the yellow sand,
Between the sun and moon upon the shore;
And sweet it was to dream of Fatherland,
Of child, and wife, and slave; but evermore
Most weary seem'd the sea, weary the oar,
Weary the wandering fields of barren foam.
Then some one said, "We will return no more";
And all at once they sang, "Our island home
Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam."

There is sweet music here that softer falls
Than petals from blown roses on the grass,
Or night-dews on still waters between walls
Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass;
Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,
Than tir'd eyelids upon tir'd eyes;
Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
Here are cool mosses deep,
And thro' the moss the ivies creep,
And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep,
And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep."

Why are we weigh'd upon with heaviness,
And utterly consumed with sharp distress,
While all things else have rest from weariness?
All things have rest: why should we toil alone,
We only toil, who are the first of things,
And make perpetual moan,
Still from one sorrow to another thrown:
Nor ever fold our wings,
And cease from wanderings,
Nor steep our brows in slumber's holy balm;
Nor harken what the inner spirit sings,
"There is no joy but calm!"
Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things?

Lo! in the middle of the wood,
The folded leaf is woo'd from out the bud
With winds upon the branch, and there
Grows green and broad, and takes no care,
Sun-steep'd at noon, and in the moon
Nightly dew-fed; and turning yellow
Falls, and floats adown the air.
Lo! sweeten'd with the summer light,
The full-juiced apple, waxing over-mellow,
Drops in a silent autumn night.
All its allotted length of days
The flower ripens in its place,
Ripens and fades, and falls, and hath no toil,
Fast-rooted in the fruitful soil.

Hateful is the dark-blue sky,
Vaulted o'er the dark-blue sea.
Death is the end of life; ah, why
Should life all labour be?
Let us alone. Time driveth onward fast,
And in a little while our lips are dumb.
Let us alone. What is it that will last?
All things are taken from us, and become
Portions and parcels of the dreadful past.
Let us alone. What pleasure can we have
To war with evil? Is there any peace
In ever climbing up the climbing wave?
All things have rest, and ripen toward the grave
In silence; ripen, fall and cease:
Give us long rest or death, dark death, or dreamful ease.

How sweet it were, hearing the downward stream,
With half-shut eyes ever to seem
Falling asleep in a half-dream!
To dream and dream, like yonder amber light,
Which will not leave the myrrh-bush on the height;
To hear each other's whisper'd speech;
Eating the Lotos day by day,
To watch the crisping ripples on the beach,
And tender curving lines of creamy spray;
To lend our hearts and spirits wholly
To the influence of mild-minded melancholy;
To muse and brood and live again in memory,
With those old faces of our infancy
Heap'd over with a mound of grass,
Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an urn of brass!

Dear is the memory of our wedded lives,
And dear the last embraces of our wives
And their warm tears: but all hath suffer'd change:
For surely now our household hearths are cold,
Our sons inherit us: our looks are strange:
And we should come like ghosts to trouble joy.
Or else the island princes over-bold
Have eat our substance, and the minstrel sings
Before them of the ten years' war in Troy,
And our great deeds, as half-forgotten things.
Is there confusion in the little isle?
Let what is broken so remain.
The Gods are hard to reconcile:
'Tis hard to settle order once again.
There is confusion worse than death,
Trouble on trouble, pain on pain,
Long labour unto aged breath,
Sore task to hearts worn out by many wars
And eyes grown dim with gazing on the pilot-stars.

But, propt on beds of amaranth and moly,
How sweet (while warm airs lull us, blowing lowly)
With half-dropt eyelid still,
Beneath a heaven dark and holy,
To watch the long bright river drawing slowly
His waters from the purple hill—
To hear the dewy echoes calling
From cave to cave thro' the thick-twined vine—
To watch the emerald-colour'd water falling
Thro' many a wov'n acanthus-wreath divine!
Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling brine,
Only to hear were sweet, stretch'd out beneath the pine.

The Lotos blooms below the barren peak:
The Lotos blows by every winding creek:
All day the wind breathes low with mellower tone:
Thro' every hollow cave and alley lone
Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotos-dust is blown.
We have had enough of action, and of motion we,
Roll'd to starboard, roll'd to larboard, when the surge was seething free,
Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam-fountains in the sea.
Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind,
In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie reclined
On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind.
For they lie beside their nectar, and the bolts are hurl'd
Far below them in the valleys, and the clouds are lightly curl'd
Round their golden houses, girdled with the gleaming world:
Where they smile in secret, looking over wasted lands,
Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps and fiery sands,
Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships, and praying hands.
But they smile, they find a music centred in a doleful song
Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient tale of wrong,
Like a tale of little meaning tho' the words are strong;
Chanted from an ill-used race of men that cleave the soil,
Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with enduring toil,
Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and wine and oil;
Till they perish and they suffer—some, 'tis whisper'd—down in hell
Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys dwell,
Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel.
Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore
Than labour in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar;
O, rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.

Missed Connections

Craigslist Montreal – Missed Connections – February 6th, 2015 - Anonymous

love senseless

what we have;

b ea ut iful

waking in y our arms

the autom atic motio ns

i dream i dream i dream i only

dr eam my day s to


beaut i ful noth ing,

i want to be y our

par ad ox


(we'll get out of bed before the afternoon one day you'll see)

N.B.: “poetry and the blue sky” – note from the editor

Book Reviews

wild horses, Prairie cityscapes and the poetry of rob mclennan.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: wild horses

Author: rob mclennan

Publisher: The University of Alberta Press

Date of Publication: 2010

Page Count: 86

“Wild, wild horses, we’ll ride them some day.”
- from Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones

wild horses, a New Age book of poetry by rob mclennan was written during his term as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Alberta, Edmonton in 2007 – 2008. rob mclennan has written over 20 books of poetry, non-fiction and fiction and is the founder and publisher at above/ground press and Chauderie Books. He also runs online poetry blogs.

Have you ever felt like you wanted to get on a train and write about a different place, collect the vibe of somewhere else and be a conduit for poetry, capturing the landscape like a photograph in poetry? rob mclennan is from Ottawa and traveled to Edmonton, Alberta, presenting a year of his life and times in wild horses.

I suspect in the background, a Muse, a lover, the poetry entwined with the landscape, the subtle edges of sex, the places of imprint, the places that haunt us. The poetry flows, the violence of disjointed thought forms, like glimpses of war and landscape through the windows of a conveyance while traveling. With influences of the Dada Movement from World War I, the nonsensical presentation of sorrow as art. At the same time a certain lyricism, the healing of the art presentation as poetry.

a short walk into exile

A fish swims through water, but is not of it.
- Eric Paul Schaffer

a bowl you would be bullwhip.
into waves, a camisole canola foal

stickless; states an email jokes
into position of a final harvest

you would weather me when

an opening up of transfer, west; a soil
foreign; you shoulder

birds, upon

those are some heels; so might as well
cant find a glass

mostly, Jacob; ladder into stars
& cloud

the bible belt suspends

perennial about; drink in me pear juice,
fermented, restless

no birds would suffer

I am not long, my self-imposed; if I am twinned,
or restless gone

if this my paris, new new york

what more you, skin?

map of edmonton (garneau)

for andrea bloom


, loss of soft flesh

a stretch of river-side

the night before

you turn & roses


conflicting songs
of televised debate

& then who

& a light
that just never

The book of poetry is divided into 6 parts, a short walk into exile, at the edge of prairie there are no secrets, my life as a dead north-west explorer, wild horses, After Spicer and map of edmonton. map of edmonton is in 12 parts and each particular “map” is dedicated to someone. The images are of the city and nature, creating an oeuvre of Edmonton, a snapshot in time. wild horses is a beautiful redux of people, places and the Prairie cityscape, and like all good poetry roadtrips the best part is going home.

Available @ www.robmclennan.blogspot.ca and www.amazon.ca.


The Iraqi Nights, the magic: profound and iconic love poetry.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: The Iraqi Nights

Author: Dunya Mikhail

Translator: Kareem James Abu-Zeid

Publisher: New Directions Papberbook

Date of Publication: 2013

Page Count: 112

“I love the rainy night”
- from I Love the Rainy Night by Eddie Rabbitt

The Iraqi Nights, a brilliant read in poetic form and grace . . . enigmatic, of the divine feminine and the goddess Oracle as Poet, by Dunya Mikhail. Poet Mikhail is a journalist from wartorn Iraq, after receiving threats from her government she emigrated to the United States. She has won awards for her writing and lives in Michigan, teaching at Oakland University. This is the third book of poetry she has written, the first two being, The War Works Hard, Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea, and the first I have reviewed. The afternoon is blue with overcast sky writing into evening, a child next door cries, and strains of “I love the rainy night” play through the quiet. The poetry . . . borrowing allusions from ancient Greece, ancient poetry and fairytales, the images of nature are quiet and beautiful with the story of a love affair interwoven in the lost peace of a wartorn land. Exotic, and painting a picture of a lost Mazetlan, the beauty of the life and the people of the Middle East.

This book of poetry begins with an allusion to Scheherazade. The famous story of Scheherazade is about a Persian King, Shahryar who everyday married a virgin wife and then had the previous day’s wife beheaded. He thought the previous wives unfaithful. He had killed 1,000 women by the time he was introduced to Scheherazade. In the Kings chambers at night, the well read Scheherazade spun an exciting story which was only half finished at dawn. The King asked her to finish but she said she would continue the story the next night. This went on for 1,001 nights and 1,000 stories, at the end of which she told him she had no more stories for him. Over all those nights of stories, the King had fallen in love with Scheherazade and he made her his wife.

The magic of the prelude begins, “In the land of Summer, where the houses are packed so closely together that their walls touch, where people sleep on rooftops in the summer and lovers climb the walls to see one another, and where lovers marry young, though their parents always refuse at first …” then the lovers Ishtar and Tammuz are introduced and she is shopping for a gift for her lover and wants to buy him everything. “On her way back, she was kidnapped by some masked men. They dragged her onward, leaving her mothers outstretched hand behind her forever. They brought her down into the underworld through seven gates. These poems Ishtar wrote on the gates suggest that she wasn’t killed at once. Or perhaps her words drew her abductor’s attention away from thoughts of murder.” So the poetry begins in magic despite violence, the metaphors and images of nature are painted into surrealistic landscapes of great beauty, perhaps borrowing from the Symbolist school. Against the backdrop of war a mythos of peace is created in the feminine.



She pressed her ear against the shell:

she wanted to hear everything

he never told her.


Water needs no wars

to mix with water

and fill the blank spaces.


He watches TV

While she holds a novel.

On the novel’s cover

there’s a man watching TV

and a woman holding a novel.


Cinderella left her slipper in Iraq

along with the smell of cardamom

wafting from the teapot,

and the huge flower,

its mouth gaping like death.

There is the story of the loss of a lover, the war, the violence of lost love, the story of a lost homeland. Throughout the poetry there is the juxtaposition of a land of peace, a land of love and the lost place, the place of violence. In A Second Life, this life is compared to a prison while the coming life, the second life is that of freedom. Despite the violence, the book ends on the birth of Larsa, fantastical and positive despite great loss. With the writings are black and white pictures of runes or Tablets, perhaps with the Arabic language, illuminating the poetry.

This poetry is the sacred ground of doves, both profound and iconic, I look for more work by this Poet. The Iraqi Nights by Dunya Mikhail.

Available @ Amazon.ca.


the cold of winter sky

as the light goes ..”

in blue


Rebecca Anne Banks

bread and flowers

and poetry

ice blue roses

and something like love,


down the inside of a well

in blue

and i can still remember

the beauty of your face

in bed

as your dog curls

up close beside you

as you begin to sleep . . .

i slip from the room,



Rebecca Anne Banks lives in Montreal. She is the author of 25 books of poetry, a family cookbook, a book of children’s stories, a book of World Peace Newsletters and a primer on marriage discernment all available on (www.amazon.ca). She is also the CEO/Artist at Tea at Tympani Lane Records (www.tympanilanerecords.com) and The Book Reviewer at The Book Reviewer (www.thebookreviewer.ca).

Gina Hanlon. I grew up in rural Saskatchewan and Saskatoon. I attended the University of Saskatchewan before moving to Toronto and finishing up in Political Science at York University. I moved then to Kingston and have lived here since. I have been reading poetry in Kingston over the last several years in various assorted groups, including Poetry at the Artel. I have recently been published in That Not Forgotten, an anthology by Bruce Kaufmann.

Kenneth Kesner has held academic appointments in South Korea, the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China, where he currently resides. Some recent work may be found in Danse Macabre du Jour, Ginosko, Line Zero, Retort Magazine and Ygdrasil. He’s a long-time student of Tae Kwon Do.

rob mclennan was born and lives in Ottawa. He is the author of nearly 30 books of poetry, non-fiction and fiction and has been published extensively, winning awards and prizes including the CAA Air Canada Prize in 1999, the John Newlove Award in 2011 and been longlisted for the ReLit Award, shorlisted for the Archibald Lampman Award and was nominated for an Honourable Mention for the Verse Prize. He is the editor/publisher of above/ground press publishing Chapbooks, and poetry publishing house Chaudierie Books, hosts the Ottawa Small Book Press Fair, and The Factory Reading series as well as a series of online poetry blogs. www.robmclennan.blogspot.ca.

Dunya Mikhail was born in Iraq, 1965. She is a journalist, escaping wartorn Iraq she emigrated to the United States. She has won awards for her poetry, lives in Michigan and is a professor at Oakland University. She has also written, The War Works Hard and Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea.

Lord Alfred Lloyd Tennyson was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire, England to Reverend George Tennyson and Elizabeth Fytche, who had 12 children and were of noble ancestery. His father saw to the education of his sons, teaching modern and classical languages. Poet Tennyson attended Trinity College, Cambridge, joining the literary club the "Apostles" and wrote and published poetry. After the critical and popular success of the books of poetry, Poems and In Memoriam he married Emily Sellwood and had two sons Hallam and Lionel. He is a Victorian Poet, often writing about classical mythological themes and became the Poet Laureate for Great Britain, recieving a peerage. Some of the phrases from his poetry have become "coins" of the English language. He is best known for the books of poetry, Poems, In Memoriam, The Lady of Shallot, The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Lotos Eaters and Idylls of the King, amongst others.