ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume IV Issue III

The Cover Art/Photo:

by Rebecca Anne Banks

“slow, the birds flock in the bluesky

the kiss of winter . . .”

"my haunted apartment

the top of secret staircases

little watanabe

the cat

rifling on snow beat


some pastry, sweet and hot you hold in your mouth

i call into shadows, rocket man and friends just in case

knew the world, sweet and whole

the Summer of the place

i pull you out of hallways

pull the light out of darkness

watch the night, cold

warm under blankets


and strawberries

in the conversation of Summer”

Subterranean Blue Poetry
Volume IV Issue III
(March 2016)

Subterranean Blue Poetry

© 2016

Another typical morning

by David E. Howerton

Started in twilight

drinking bad coffee

eating dry toast

shaking crumbs onto floor.

Outside found

rusty metal chair and with

cup of hot bitter coffee in hand.

Watch turkeys

cross road

before morning rush;

hold cup up to each car

stuck in front of house waiting

for stop light

half mile away too change.

Demand little.

As car thin out

walk into American river canyon

before it's too warm.

at least, longing

by David E. Howerton

Remembered you for a while

couldn't help it. You filled

me with a longing

to remain alive

at least for a while.

Took a chance gave freedom

how long ago.

I've remembered

years forgot, but

response from someone new.

Give an afternoon

old letters and poems a couple of photos

getting thrown into box

taped shut, tossed in garage

maybe I'll look when sixty five.

At shop tuning up

by David E. Howerton

Take this

go search your own answers.

Leave enough for coffee

over hear long story

at another table

if coffee wasn't quick....

Turn head almost recognize

rub eyes doesn't help

could be any I don't remember.

Almost run, but

coffee wins

keeping at table a while more.

Featured Poet: Esther Popel



Esther Popel


The red-gold sun

Sinking to rest

At day's end,

Tucking under its chin

The fleecy down comforter

That men call clouds.


The glimmer of moonlight

Rippling over the ocean of Heaven,

Or starshine

That sparkles

And makes of the lonely dark

A wondrous thing.


The first green of Springtime

Draping the shoulders

Of shivering trees

That whisper their words

Of gratitude to Him

Who covers their nudeness.


The carol of robins

Bursting their throats

With riotous welcome

To a world reborn,

Risen from the tomb

Of dead forgotten things.


And love . . .

Filling young hearts

With strange yearning,

Linking two souls with their glories

Of sunsets and starshine and bird songs

And whispering trees in the Springtime.

Missed Connections

Craigslist Montreal – Missed Connections – September 25th, 2015 – Anonymous

"Is that Frida Kahlo on your socks?" - m4w (Montreal)

Me: "Is that Frida Kahlo on your socks, you know, the painter?"

You: "Yeah, they were a gift."

I swear that I was genuinely interested in your socks! Wait...that sounds creepy. Actually, I'm interested in the mind of a person that rocks Frida Kahlo socks. Also, Frida's amazing work.

Are you interested in getting some veggie tacos?

Where? 165 north bus

When? Last Monday 11pm

N.B.: “is that ice cream or a tattoo . . . “ – a note from the editor

"no, it's Veggie Tacos Man" - a note from the other editor

"we need cat food" - said the cat

Book Reviews

A Red Cherry on a White-tiled Floor: The celebration of the Poet as Muse.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: A Red Cherry on a White-tiled Floor

Author: Maram Al-Massri

Publisher: Copper Canyon Press

Date of Publication: 1997

Pages: 147

“The moon is there
for us to share
but where are you?”
- from Full Moon and Empty Arms by Frank Sinatra/Bob Dylan

A Red Cherry on a White-tiled Floor, classic love poetry as the story of a woman’s passion, passion found, passion lost, the rekindling of fire on the soul. Maram Al-Massri is a Syrian Poet who has been living in Paris since 1984. She writes in Arabic as well as being fluent in French and English. She has written more than 16 books of poetry, her work has been translated into Italian, French, Albanian, Spanish, Serbian and she has won international prizes.

This poetry is a celebration of the feminine, the Syrian goddess as Poet, as Muse. She is influenced by the tradition of Arabic love poetry and the West, opposing forces in the crucible that overcome suffering to flower into opus. For many years she had to cut off contact with friends and family in Syria, “my freedom is so difficult and so desired. I suffered for it so much . . . sex and love are linked in my opinion. They are a search for freedom.” The traditional Muslim culture, severely circumvents female autonomy, sometimes women are not permitted to work outside the home, not allowed to drive cars, not allowed to wear Western clothing, it may be difficult to meet your Starcrossed Lover, but this may be changing through the healing power of women.

The poetry is presented in Arabic and English, the Arabic hieroglyphs like secret incantations, hiding their mystery, to be revealed fully across the page in English. A very good translation. The Poet is the beautiful, vulnerable Muse who falls and then soars like the bird in blue in her poetic climes, the pain and sorrow of the dance of love recreated into an offering where the Muse never loses her voice, her beauty, the goddess inviolate. A Red Cherry on a White-tiled Floor explores a marriage that has died and the passion of a new lover, that also flounders, unleashes the hell of disaster of a broken covenant in blue poetry. The poetry itself is delivered in short, spare lines reminiscent of the post-modern war zone, love. Inside the enigmatic, profound presentation of juxtapositions of people is a very grave truthtelling, an unveiling of the treason of lost and found lovers. Iconic love poetry, someone filling in the space between with an edible feast of love poems.

38 He fixes his memories

with small lead pins

on the walls

of his room

to dry them.




and the scent of love.

They all look at him

with eyes full of tender gratitude

because he made them


almost eternal.

68 A window

half open

half closed.

A window

half covered

half uncovered.

A window

half lit

half dark

facing a wall

facing a garden

a street



facing black

facing green.

The window of love.

This Writer gathers Maram Al-Masri’s poems like pearls on a string to be hung amongst roses, all the beauty and sorrow, all in one place, out of the rain. A Red Cherry on a White-tiled Floor, iconic New Age love poetry by Maram Al-Masri.

Available @ Amazon.ca.


A celebration of the Canadian Landscape from Lamentations by Robert Hogg.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: from Lamentations

Author: Robert Hogg

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2016

Pages: 20

“Bye bye mon cowboy,
bye bye mon rodeo”
- from Bye Bye Mon Cowboy by Mitsou

from Lamentations, a cinematique look at childhood and death in a Western Canadian town, a “memoir” in poetry that remembers balloons and soft edges, the romance of cowboys, inside difficult times. Robert Hogg was born in Edmonton, Alberta. He has been on the Canadian literary scene since the 1960’s, studying at the University of British Columbia he was involved with the Black Mountain poets and the Tish poetry movement. He has earned a Phd in literature and taught N.A. poetry and poetics at Carleton University in Ottawa until 2005. Poet Hogg has written 6 books.

from Lamentations, begins with a poetic prose introduction that freefalls into childhood memories of trolley rides and watching Roy Rogers at the cinema, playing “cowboys and Indians” shooting at each other with toy guns, playing dead. And how the Poet laments, as if it was all just fun and games, romance, as if no one ever really died, the fight of good vs. evil, the shooting of horses wasn’t real. A series of poems follow, pared in free verse, experiential, a brush with Imagism, Sitting on Ginger, Ahead (in memoriam, Bob Creeley), The Creative, A Fallen Wall to climax into a mix of poetic prose and free verse in Summer of Sixty three – for Jamie and Carol – on Jamie’s 70th and to end with Synapse Mid-Morning January, as if in epilogue. The short staccato lines in broken thought train are barren and lightening, the nature imagery and Zen of New Age poetry.

A Fallen Wall

Is this a little like the end of the world?

Is this a small blip on the screen called life?

Listen to the small pounding of the rain.

It make of your forehead

a fallen wall

beyond which there is no longer

a boundary to cross

only a damp ground

oozes like a wet wound

aching to be closed.

The Poet quotes “Porgy and Bess”, Nina Simone and a Black spiritual, the poetry like a reconciliation for the dead and dying, an apologia for the violence of the Western world. This poetry is written at the apex of the life of the Poet, and is reminiscent of Sailing to Byzantium by W.B. Yeat’s:

“That is no country for old men. The young

In one another's arms, birds in the trees,

—Those dying generations—at their song,

The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,

Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long

Whatever is begotten, born, and dies . . . “

The Poet is older, looking through the specter of the Spirit world that like a veil has begun to descend and enfold, a cinematic in grey sepia casting into nether worlds.

A fantastical read inside the Canadian landscape, a song of the Canadian West, an idea of celebration after a long journey. from Lamentations from Robert Hogg and above/ground press.

Available @ above/ground press.

“the sky goes, the nightsky


into hot Summer . . . “

into night


Rebecca Anne Banks

i want to give you everything

the night goes into Summer

into night

my po’ boy sunny

the cat stretches out under the table

breathes in the cool from the window

cherry juice and pink champagne

cold, cold

cherry at the pink lion hotel

and in the garden

the statues

of Odysseus

watch the garden walk.


Maram Al-Masri is a Syrian Poet and translator living in Paris since 1984. She studied English Literature at Damascus University and has published numerous books of poetry winning the Adonis Prize for Poetry (1997) and the Premio Calopezzati (1997) amongst other prizes and publication in anthologies. Her work has been translated into English, French, Spanish, Italian, Corsican, Serbian and Albanian.

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).

Robert Hogg was born in Edmonton, Alberta and raised in British Columbia, currently living south of Ottawa operating a natural food company, Mountain Path Inc. He studied creative writing at the University of British Columbia and was involved with the Black Mountain poets and the school of Tish poetry. He completed a PhD and taught North American poetry and poetics at Carleton University until retiring in 2005. He married Leslie Flaig, a music major who became an artist and photographer, they have 3 children. He is a Poetry Editor and is writing his sixth book of poetry.

David E. Howerton. David's a part time programmer and lives in the American River Canyon outside of Auburn Ca. He has done some landscaping sign painting cooking and made jewelry to pay the bills. He lives a rather quiet life. His wife and he live with a bossy cat. He has three adult daughters and eight grandchildren. His hobbies include type design, soapstone carving, walks in the woods, collecting dragons, and a growing library of Science Fiction.

Esther Popel is an African American Poet of the Harlem Renaissance. Activist, Writer, Educator, Book Reviewer and Playwright, she was active in the civil right’s and women’s movements. She married a chemist William Andrew Shaw and had a daughter Esther Patricia. She regularly attended a literary salon with the leading lights of the Harlem Renaissance, the Saturday Nighters, in Washington. She published two books of poetry, Thoughtless Thinks by a Thinkless Thaughter and A Forest Pool. Her poetry was published in magazines and she is best known for the poems, The Crisis, Blasphemy-American Style, October Prayer, Night Comes Walking, Little Grey Leaves.