ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume IV Issue II


The Cover Art/Photo:

by Rebecca Anne Banks

“writing to the nightsky

in dark,

the winter rain falls ..."

day and day

walking the land,

the same laneway

day and day

behind the small stand of pine

by the creek

with the side jut of clay

towering above

walking across

moss stones

to the other side

the sumach and apple trees,

at the fork in the path,

like the back of your hand,

a place you walk,

that knows you

day and day

he is,

his familiar figure

the face of love, the brow of love

the quiet of fur, his shoulder span

the grace of his large hands

some place that knows you

familiar like the place you walk

that knows you

day and day.

Watching his face

for the first sign of spring.

In the close of a faraway city

the traverse of stone houses

and stairways that curve

into secrets,

into blue,

and the quiet

familiar, a place the ancestors know

I watch the sky for you”

Subterranean Blue Poetry
Volume IV Issue II
(February 2016)

Subterranean Blue Poetry

© 2016

Editorial - Trends in Poetry – The Classic Love Poem

“The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keeping on like a bird that flew
Tangled up in blue.”
- from Tangled Up in Blue by Bob Dylan

“sex outside of a happy longterm covenant marriage on a positive Sign from God . . . is war”
- Rebecca Anne Banks (Poet, Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Writer, Artist, Philosopher, Counsellor, Activist)

What makes great love poetry and gives it universal appeal? Everyone has been in love, sometimes unrequited love, sometimes someone has been in love with you but not you with them, love is the universal condition of the soul. Most people desire to have a happy longterm covenant marriage, love is the stuff life is made of, love heals all heartache, love creates personal and Community peace, love makes the angels sing. However, like the story of the Holy Grail, the quest for love, can be full of pitfalls and obstacles, it is important to have an understanding of the culture and of the secrets of the Holy Spirit Way. True love has a positive Sign from God, so that you know the relationship will last, in the violence of the war economy North America, this is a great gift. Often great love poetry is written in the middle of a war zone.

The basis of all love poetry, is the worship of the love interest, sometimes using new original words and word juxtapositions, sometimes images of nature contrasted with experiences. This is the bones of all great love poetry. Truly great love poetry is not about claiming someone (the cult of ego) it is about someone owning your heart and having the grace to know that they might not feel the same way and hopefully finding someone in a reciprocal song. The purest love poetry is the worship of Eros or Aphrodite and this is the magic, the Poet writes with his/her Muse in mind. It may not dwell on sexual love, yet it may include it, love poetry is the worship of the Spirit, the essence of the soul other, the perfect climes sent by the Holy Spirit as a Starcrossed lover or more suited lover. In classic love poetry, style is not the greatest consideration, styles of poetry, Modernist, Post-Modernist, Haiku, Imagist, Symbolist, New Age may morph and come into and out of popularity, yet a truly great love poem shines no matter what poetry type. When a love poem truly takes flight, there is also music, a song of love is very powerful and creates an aura of simpatico and magic.

Some of the greatest love songs are:

Suzanne, Marieanne, Alexandra Leaving/Alexandra Lost by Leonard Cohen

Tangled Up in Blue by Bob Dylan

Zion by Don McLean

Sister Golden Hair by America

Sylvia’s Mother by Dr. Hook

Our House/Suite Judy Blue Eyes by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Avalon by Roxy Music

Norwegian Wood, BlackBird, A Taste of Honey by The Beatles

The Look of Love by Dusty Springfield

The Girl from Ipanema by Astrud Gilberto/Frank Sinatra

For Emily Whenever I May Find Her/Come She Will/Scarborough Fair by Simon and Garfunkel

Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra

‘Tis Autumn by Henry Nemo

Day Dream Believer by The Monkees

I think I Love You by David Cassidy

Angie/Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones

California Dreamin’ by the Mammas and the Pappas

500 Miles/The Cruel War by Peter, Paul and Mary

Bring It On Home To Me by Otis Redding

ABC by The Jackson Five

Maria, Maria/ Black Magic Woman by Carlos Santana

Sixteen Miles/Pussy Willows, Cattails, Soft Winds and Roses by Gordon Lightfoot

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart by the Bee Gees

The Lady of Shalott by Loreena McKennitt

Carey by Joanie Mitchell

Taxi by Harry Chapin

Cherry, Cherry by Neil Diamond

Laughter in the Rain by Neil Sedaka

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant by Billy Joel

Baby, I Love Your Way by Peter Frampton

Lovers in a Dangerous Time by Bruce Cockburn

Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey by Gerry and The Pacemakers

Blue Valentines by Tom Waits

Modern Love by David Bowie

I Fall to Pieces by Patsy Cline

All My Love by Led Zepplin

White Bird by It’s a Beautiful Day

Be Bop Baby by Ricky Nelson

Fire and Rain by James Taylor

Wicked Game by Chris Isaak

The Bridges of Waterloo by John Renbourn

And some of the greatest love poems are:

the works of Leonard Cohen

“St. Agnes Eve” by John Keats

“The Cinnamon Peelers Wife” by Michael Ondaatje

Pablo Neruda

ee cummings

“Song of Songs” The Bible

“Again and Again” by Rainer Maria Rilke

“She Walks in Beauty” by Lord George Gordon Byron

Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Langston Hughes

Poets of the Harlem Renaissance

Christina Rosetti


“Listen to the Warm” by Rod McKuen

"Wild Nights - Wild Nights!" by Emily Dickinson

"In a Boat" by D.H. Lawrence

"Lament for the Sailing of the Crusade" by Rinaldo d'Aquino

"Fairy-Tale" by Boris Pasternak

"Canticle of the Sun" by St. Francis of Assisi

"The Dream of Winter Night" by Bella Akhmadulina


Dunya Mikhail

Carmelo Militano

Orlando Murcia

Bruce Kauffman

Zo-Alonzo Gross

Strider Marcus Jones

And there are many more songs and Poets that belong on this list. Truly felt and embroidered with cherish, the love poem is one of the most timeless reads, the classic love poem, appealing to people of all ages and cultures.

The Witch

by Carolyn Gregory

When there was not enough
wood to build graves
and we were told not to use trees,
she thrived on oats and onions,
the only survivor of an arctic winter.

She loved the deep eddies and weeds
of the river though she sank three times,
returning from near-drowning
to outlast all the men.

Her braids were thick black shoots,
her dress green with the shadows
of her origin
where animals spoke
when men tapped drums.

Her parables came from lightning
taken through her spine
and the bear cub she slept with
when her father vanished.

She could teach a man to dance
with a horse
and charm another
with the patchwork doll she carried
on her belt

her skills very powerful
despite no teachers,
her wisdom gathered
from raspberry leaves
and the tooth of a bear
worn at her neck.

Old Masks

by Carolyn Gregory

"I have already lost touch with a couple of people
I used to be."
- Joan Didion

Like the girl with hair hanging,
a long throw of blonde
thrown down her back
who slept with local rock stars
unsure of what to do
with all that inner motion,
she is back there in Boogieland,
listening to Joe Cocker wailing

and that other woman
married with all her bottles
hidden in a half open closet
dreaming of a Sorrento
music box from an old trip,
the one night stand in Venice.

Old masks must be scrubbed
with strong powder. each pulled off
like a dead bandage
that no longer fits.

Featured Poet: Clarissa Scott Delany

The Mask


Clarissa Scott Delany

So detached and cool she is

No motion e’er betrays

The secret life within her soul,

The anguish of her days.

She seems to look upon the world

With cold ironic eyes,

To spurn emotion’s fevered sway,

To scoff at tears and sighs.

But once a woman with a child

Passed by her on the street,

And once she heard from casual lips

A man’s name, bitter-sweet.

Such baffled yearning in her eyes,

Such pain upon her face!

I turned aside until the mask

Was slipped once more in place.

Missed Connections

Craigslist Montreal – Missed Connections – May 17th, 2015 - Anonymous

I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox - m4w (plateau)

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

N.B.: “those plums weren’t for you” – a note from the Editor

“in Summer, i will save them for you, and we will eat them together” – a note from the other Editor

"them plums is long gone" - a note from the cat

Book Reviews

The August Sleepwalker, the birth of New Age synergies in mythologies.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: The August Sleepwalker

Author: Bei Dao

Publisher: A New Directions Book

Date of Publication: 1990

Pages: 140

“as it falls
spilling water
the camellia”
- by Matsuo Basho

The August Sleepwalker is one of the best known works of Bei Dao a Chinese dissident Poet of the mid-20th century, currently reinstated as a professor at a university in Hong Kong. The Poet’s pen name, Bei Dao means “Northern Island”, his given name is Zhao Zhenkai, he was born in 1949 and is from the lower Yangtse River valley region. The poetry takes in the influences of classical Chinese poetry, the West and the brutality of the corrupt, conformist China of the mid-1900’s. The poetry is experimental, against oppression propelling Bei Dao and his associates into protests that fell the government of Mao Zedong and the “Gang of Four” in 1976. Considered dissidents, their poetry publications were banned. This the second Book of Poetry This Writer has reviewed by Bei Dao, the first being Forms of Distance.

The poetry, a dream world celebrating love and calmness against a dark backdrop of nightmare in cruelty and violence. Spinning New Age synergies, the Poet creates imagery based in nature, as if the worship of beauty within the conundrum of power struggles, creating mythologies as if escaping into skyclouds. This poetry is against oppression, a dialogue in humanism and non-political communication. The free verse pared in style is lyrical with little punctuation and syntax. The poetry soars into profound spaces despite the violent undertoad, not unlike the profound elements of a more elaborate Haiku. Often surreal, enigmatic and in broken thought forms, the poetry may borrow from the Western Modernist tradition, yet in it’s originality could be considered a precursor to the New Age.


The dense mist has painted each tree trunk white.
In the long loose hair in the stable
Wild bees whirl. Green flood water
Is just the dawn blocked off by the embankment.

On this morning
I forgot our ages.
The ice was cracking and on the water
Stones retained our fingerprints.

True, this is spring.
Pounding hearts disturb the clouds in water.
Spring has no nationality.
Clouds are citizens of the world.

Become friends again with mankind.
My song.”

In the background is a love affair, personal life weaves with the nothingness and Zen of existence to present flowers of poetry that bear witness to a chronology, a diary of days, a photo in time. The essence of the poetry in profound nature imagery reaches inside, captures glimpses, the magic of a place of magic, China as magic, the place of needs met, peace and happiness, a positive mythology. How mythologies grow, become archetypes, are known, the Poet known as archetype, the water bearer the bringer of positive change.

“Let’s Go

Let’s go –
Fallen leaves blow into deep valleys
But the song has no home to return to.

Let’s go –
Moonlight on the ice
Has spilled beyond the river bed.

Let’s go –
Eyes gaze at the same patch of sky
Hearts strike the twilight drum.

Let’s go –
We have not lost our memories
We shall search for life’s pool.

Let’s go – The road, the road Is covered with a drift of scarlet poppies.”

A triumph of the soul despite adversity, a celebration of light and love despite the violence of the rain in the monolith. Dialogues in peace through poetry, The August Sleepwalker by Bei Dao.

Available @ Amazon.ca.


The Rose Concordance by rob mclennan and above/ground press.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: The Rose Concordance

Author: rob mclennan

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2015

Page Count: 12

“I’ve been kissed by a rose on the gray”
- from Kiss from a Rose by Seal

In celebration of the young child, Rose, music of a winter evening. rob mclennan lives in Ottawa, Canadian literary icon, poet and writer of nearly 30 books, award winning and much published author. He is also the Poetry Editor and publisher at above/ground press, Chaudiere Books, The Garneau Review, The Peter F. Yachtclub, ottawater.com, seventeen seconds: a journey of poetry and poetics, Touch the Donkey and runs an online poetry blog(robmclennan.blogspot.com).

In rob mclennan’s instantly recognizable New Age style, a stark, yet warm look in a long poem at parenting the new addition to the family, the young girl child Rose. Despite the ruminations on winter, the unsettled universe in journey, the busy of life and work, the child is a celebration. In the jazzspeak, discontinued, continued and fractured verse, as if a tango with violence of life N.A., the contrast in Imagist influence of the beauty in winter imagery. The poetry speaks “This is an echo. Winter.” And “At the time, suspected: she / the daughter of storms.” A brush with romance in the recreated Age of renaissance.

Through the long sleepless night, as if a journey in existentialism, the poetry travels through exhaustion, a lack of sleep, laundry cycles, writing, the child being fed by his wife, the child spitting up, to emerge and flower in daylight at the end of darkness with a celebration, “Rose unfolds, a petal opens.”

A love affair caught in the routines of family and daily life, a truthtelling that dances with the winter, the fantastical poetry of rob mclennan at above/ground press.

Available @ above/ground press.



Rebecca Anne Banks

The Art/Photo:

- from Views of the British Isles

Courtesy of The Library of Congress

To the Muse

(inspired by the Muse, the sculpture of horses and riders, The Rising Tide by Jason de Caires Taylor,
the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the archangels)

“I’m breathing . . . . Are you breathing too? . . . It’s nice isn’t it?
It isn’t difficult to keep alive friends . . . just don’t make trouble –
or if you must make trouble, make the sort of trouble that’s expected.
Well I don’t need to tell you that. Good night. If we should bump into
one another, recognise me.”
-the Common Man in A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt

“The river’s tent is broken: the fast fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.”
- from The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot

(to this day

they talk in whispers

of horses, the magic horses

in the river, that sleep)

“and on the banks

the children play

with gifts of the autumn

the conkers, hard chestnuts on strings,

crack them, break them

promise revenge . . . “

OforMagdalena ’ Magdalena . . .

long ago, the lover’s talk of this place

in whispers

the island in whispers

Summer, the lovespeak in exile

O’ Avalon, the land of Summer in winter

dreams itself sweet,

yet turns to cold

the winters now cold

darkening, the sky

turns into night,

and so the crickets sing

sing, up to the bluesky

the forgotten

but surely we sleep?

and the river

the tides roll in,

the tides roll out

the barges

in red sails

roll slowly

roll lowly

on the tides

by the guide, the pennyman, the song

he takes down the antique birdcage

the bird, is it a dove?

in veils, within veils, the music

by magic

watch, watch

the gypsy girl as she dances . . .

she pours the red wine

stare, stare, into the glass slowly

stare, into a thousand years past, a thousand years hence,

the tide rolls in, the tide rolls out

and where are the angels

the angels that saves us?

And stories of the wild chestnut trees in Spring

as the river swells and is swollen

the rains,

paint the soft white flowers slowly,

O’ river hear my song.

Not a breath of seawind,

and the river is high before dawn

slow, slow

into the morning sun

incandescent Spirit,

the edges of light

and are those shadows?



the stone ghosts

ride into the open

the four horsemen

the blind men in suits

sit on blind horses

wall-eyed, the ‘nockers

the indifference,

so quiet, so still

but where are they going?

and where have they been?

by noon all is revealed

by late afternoon

is hidden again

the mists in the Equinox

by the trance of the moon,

in winter, the cold

as the riders, the horses are swallowed

drown by water

the silence

the silence

by water

and where are the angels?

the angels that saves us?

And stories of the wild chestnut trees in Spring

as the river swells and is swollen

the rains,

paint the soft white flowers slowly,

O’ river hear my song.

The birth,

the herald angel

the hidden moon, behind hands

the family curse, the pox

great evil is met with great light.

Two score years ago

a child gets ready for bed

by the window

surrounded by darkness


the red moon

in silence the night.

A score of years hence

in Litha, the evening

the rain, the cold rain

falls so hard,

on the tin roof

the tears,

the tears fall

the sea serpent pins

stab her eyes

the wailing, the gnashing of teeth

the sound of the horns

that release the horses, the four horses

one, by one

the trumpets sound

they ride

I see the red flags that surround them, the heralds

the rain,

the cold rain,

and where are the angels?

the angels that saves us?

And stories of the wild chestnut trees in Spring

as the river swells and is swollen

the rains,

paint the soft white flowers slowly,

O’ river hear my song.

The sun sets

as cold as stone

this night is nameless,

without names

the horses ride before midnight

the businessmen,

the stone man on a stone horse

that rides, yet is so quiet, so still

the mists in the Equinox

by the trance of the moon,

in winter, the cold

and slow, so slow

the tide rolls

the horses ride

out into the river,

drown so slowly

so silent

but where is the struggle? the whimpers of horses

the flaying of limbs

the riders, the horses

disappear, so silent

the cold Spirits

that shire

into the night

clouds o’er the moon

surely they sleep?

the stone horses, the riders,

the secrets they keep

lost from sight in the night

by death

in the night.

o’ the dead

o’ the dead,

o’ the dead, only dead

my days,

they dream,

only dream

themselves to nothing




same as it was

same as it was

same as it was . . .

and where are the angels?

the angels that save us?

And stories of the wild chestnut trees in Spring

as the river swells and is swollen

the rains,

paint the soft white flowers slowly,

O’ river hear my song.

Watch, watch

the people of stone

all turn to stone,

the stone ammacord

the horses,

the girls, the women

when love calls

“love un-to me”

the sacred stars crossed

when love holds

the stone ammacord

the ghosting of hearts

o’ Magdalena

come closer,


so close

your hair is gold,

golden in this light . . .

sit with me

(he is tired, falls asleep)

the dancing girl, dances

behind veils

the veils, the gossamer

by magic

and the dawn’s quiet light

once more

she is the dove

by the open window,

o’ syblline

she flies, flies

up into the blue skies

the antique bird cage stands empty,

the veils asleep.

And stories of the wild chestnut trees in Spring

as the river swells and is swollen

the rains,

paint the soft white flowers slowly,

O’ river hear my song.

(to this day

they talk in whispers

of horses, the magic horses

in the river, that sleep)


The Bible: Revelations.

Bolt, Robert. A Man for All Seasons.

Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights.

Eliot, T. S. The Wasteland and other Poems.

Holden, Edith. The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady.


Rebecca Anne Banks lives in Montreal. She is the author of 26 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 at(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).

Bei Dao is a renowned Poet from China. His first occupation was in the Red Guard, and he later became a construction worker. He formed the writer's/activist group The Misty Poets, who published a poetry magazine for 10 years, the magazine was banned by the government. He was exiled after the violence of Tiananmen Square in 1989, spending time in Europe and the United States. Currently, he is a professor at a Hong Kong university and a serious contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is most noted for, The August Sleepwalker, Old Snow, Forms of Distance, Landscape Over Zero, Unlock, The Rose of Time: New and Selected Poems, Green Lamp, Blue House, Midnight's Gate, The Gate Opens, Waves.

Clarissa Scott Delany is an African American Poet, Essayist, Educator and Social Worker in the Harlem Renaissance. She traveled to France and Germany. While teaching high school in Washington she attended the literary salon the Saturday Nighters Club, with leading lights of the Harlem Renaissance. She married attorney Hubert Thomas Delany. She is best remembered for the poems Solace, Joy, The Mask, Interim and the essay A Golden Afternoon in Germany.

Carolyn Gregory. Her poems and music essays have been published in American Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, Off the Coast, Cutthroat, Bellowing Ark, Seattle Review, Big River Review, Tower Journal, and Stylus. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and previously won a Massachusetts Cultural Council Award. Her first book, Open Letters, was published in 2009 and a second book, Facing the Music, will be published in Florida in spring, 2015.

rob mclennan Canadian literary and publishing icon lives in Ottawa. He is the Poet and Author of nearly 30 books, poetry, non-fiction and fiction. He won the John Newlove Poetry Award, 2010 and is much celebrated. Also a Poetry Editor and Poetry Publisher he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books, The Garneau Review, The Peter F. Yachtclub, ottawater.com, seventeen seconds: a journey of poetry and poetics, Touch the Donkey and an online poetry blog @ www.robmclennan.blogspot.com.