ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume V Issue VII

The Cover Art/Photo:

“blue dress, II”

by Rebecca Anne Banks

“and opalesque cloudsky,

rain sings in Summer

blues, weaves the trees . . . “

blue dress, II

and it is colder, now

some beautiful heartache

the true love of love

i carry you in my sac

blues, where they belong

and each day pull out a new and different dress

always in blue

always beautiful

wear you

like inked skin

across my heart

poetry in dust and sunlight

the cat

plays in the evening

the poet rain

and may

may not


(the chanti claire’s acting up)

catalog girl

a dimestore paperweight

ischtabul and the Lord of Hastings

an antique gold and glass treasure box

holds reliquaries

and dance

heaven is the sky”

Subterranean Blue Poetry
Volume V Issue VII
(July 2017)

Subterranean Blue Poetry

© 2017

Nocturnes At The Borders

by PD Lyons

a long passing caravan of days

deserted debris

   hope a pitch black oasis -

sparkling the only un-still things

such as stars, jewel throat ghosts,

your eyes beyond all knowledge,

the only dark that shines -

   a different kind of sun.

my mouth for your love

dreams smoke wandering horizons

red glow desert

a voice wet silk

drawn as if my skin

found out in the wind

perfumed by foreign creatures

nourished by such exploring

my heart contains a fertile seed

   A treasure trove for beetles an insect paradise.

I saw you with tears in American gowns

you were just like Picasso but knelt on the ground

as if genuflecting before the print page you’d inhale

the spirit right out of his grave and I just couldn’t

take it so I wandered around as if I could shake you

Like salt from my skull

   Always returning an orbit of doubt.

The scent of your soapy skin draws me in

ways I cannot identify

like ivory in the morning someplace else away

beyond a snow tipped mountain

before the savannahs open prayer

dark meandering luxurious survival

   Our daring selves mortal among the Edens.

Leaving This House

by PD Lyons

Through leopard clouds the day’s sunlit fingers open,

soft afternoon, occasional whispers between finches

knowing my need for such kindness

even crows come quietly...

What is it of memory and seasons?

What does this shift to autumn bring me?

Why remember what I do? Forget what I forget?

A bed of rolled up cotton,

sun dried white sheets against pale skin,

wishing it was some hangover

so wind chimes could sound beautiful again,

sunlight be inviting and coffee all the medicine you'd need.

I know of this other time when drowsy dancing on sweet wine

we sank beneath that wind chime tree

surrendered on the beating earth

something more than blood and bones,

a tender lightening wove between us

our own muscles able to morph the world.

Now such things cannot be spoke of.

Distorted by sick eyes they'd only deepen your

regrets, as if what was could ever not be.

If you responded to preaching, I'd simply preach.

Instead I must lure you by disguise -

Coffee from thin sharp equatorial mountains,

audibly stirred blue stone mug.

Herbs infused with full ripe summers.

Small secret woodland tinctures.

Ointments rich in years of flowers.

Oils soaked in sunlight, stored in our own damp cellar

warmed as needed over an open flame.

Somewhere past all anger, melted only by tears, yield the ways of memory.

Featured Poet: Tomas Transtromer

The Blue House


Tomas Transtromer

Translated by Goran Malmqvist

(Reprinted with permission)

    It is night with glaring sunshine. I stand in the woods and look towards my house

with its misty blue walls. As though I were recently dead and saw the house from a new


   It has stood for more than eighty summers. Its timber has been impregnated, four

times with joy and three times with sorrow. When someone who has lived in the house

dies it is repainted. The dead person paints it himself, without a brush, from the inside.

On the other side is open terrain. Formerly a garden, now wilderness. A still surf of

weed, pagodas of weed, an unfurling body of text, Upanishades of weed, a Viking fleet

of weed, dragon heads, lances, an empire of weed.

   Above the overgrown garden flutters the shadow of a boomerang, thrown again and

again. It is related to someone who lived in the house long before my time. Almost a

child. An impulse issues from him, a thought, a thought of will: “create. . .draw. ..” In

order to escape his destiny in time.

   The house resembles a child’s drawing. A deputizing childishness which grew forth

because someone prematurely renounced the charge of being a child. Open the doors,

enter! Inside unrest dwells in the ceiling and peace in the walls. Above the bed there

hangs an amateur painting representing a ship with seventeen sails, rough sea and a

wind which the gilded frame cannot subdue.

   It is always so early in here, it is before the crossroads, before the irrevocable

choices. I am grateful for this life! And yet I miss the alternatives. All sketches wish to

be real.

   A motor far out on the water extends the horizon of the summer night. Both joy and

sorrow swell in the magnifying glass of the dew. We do not actually know it, but we

sense it: our life has a sister vessel which plies an entirely different route. While the

sun burns behind the islands.

Missed Connections

Craigslist Montreal – Missed Connections – June 26th, 2016 - Anonymous

And yet I liked you near – w4m

You wanted to know many things,

I worked diligently to evade questions;

Brushing them away, avoiding confessions

And yet I liked you near

You showed interest in the stars

My past, my dreams

So I danced away with other things

And yet I liked you near

You apologized when you owed nothing

You were a kind stranger, a gentle lover

I ran away into the evening laughter

And yet I liked you near

Book Reviews

Passion: Sizzling Erotic Poetry

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Passion

Author: Kimberlynne Darby Newton

Publisher: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Date of Publication: 2017

Pages: 160

“Looking so crazy in love's,
Got me looking, got me looking so crazy in love”
- from Crazy In Love by Beyonce

The erotic poetry of Passion sizzles with the gifts of beauty, seduction and enticement of the goddess, a dance with love and intimacy. Kimberlynne Newton Darby is an African-American Poet. She has earned degrees in Literature, African-American and Women’s History. She is a retired history teacher from the University of Alabama. Poet Newton has written over 13 books and runs creative writing groups online.

Passion is the inside story of a committed love affair, it is exciting erotic poetry that weaves a dialogue in love, the good, the bad and the beautiful. Celebrating sexual allusion within the context of relationship between a woman and a man, the good moments, the conflict, the many facets of relationship are explored. Passion is a revelation, an invitation to see behind the curtain into a true consummate affair of the heart.

A love journey in red passion notes. Passion is written in the present tense, the love is happening right now, it is experiential, not in the past, not in the future, the future is now. A play on Beat poetry, in short staccato lines, the poetry has rhythm and cadence, it is a considered offering. Sometimes in Black meme, the positive affirmations ring with truth and the love of home.

"Ode To Love?






Lying like a baby bird in my hand

I breathe life into you

Succor myself

You fire my gush

Trample over hesitancy

Wheedle with the best of them

Bidding me to


Wider, still wider

Until our cocoon

Blocks out the stars

You get your way ...


Wreathed in a white corona

You croon your plea

Your third eye opens

The better to see me

And I can only dance

To it’s music"

A journal of days inside love, a relationship tango in passion. Love, sex and romance as food to feed the Spirit, the mind and the body. As the goddess at worship and at play within great beauty and sometimes a subtle humor, the Poet celebrates what everyone desires, the dance of divine love on earth. In the celebration of the passion in feminine, Passion is in league with the writings of Vanessa Shields.

Passion is an event in committed love, poetics in erotic climes that celebrate the goddess in her aspect. Peace and love in the dance. True inspiration. Passion by Kimberlynne Darby Newton.

Available @ www.amazon.ca.

Women Writers of Traditional China: An Anthology of Poetry and Criticism.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Women Writers of Traditional China: An Anthology of Poetry and Criticism

Editors: Kang-i Sun Chang and Haun Saussy

Publisher: Stanford University Press

Date of Publication: 1999

Pages: 891

"I hear her heart beating loud as thunder
Saw the stars crashing . . . "
- from China Girl by David Bowie

Women Writers of Traditional China is a compilation of all women Chinois Poets of note from Ancient Times to 1911. This book is a gem of classical Chinois nature poetry, a fascinating presentation that gives insights into the lives of women Poets from past lifetimes, a snapshot of a particular day in the life and times. The anthology is the work of many hands, including consulting editors and volunteer translators, the book includes the names and dates of the Poets, their poems and a biography with criticism. The biography, gives an idea of the life of the Poet and places their poems in context, as if answering questions about the nature of the poetry written and giving glimpses into the Chinois society at that time. The Poets and their Poetry is organized according to the ancient dynasties of China, beginning with “From Ancient Times to the Six Dynasties (222 – 589)” through the “Tang (618 – 907) and Five Dynasties (907 – 60)”, “Song Dynasty (960 -1279)”, “Yuan Dynasty (1264 – 1368), “Ming Dynasty (1368 -1644) and ending with the “Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911)”.

The translations are good and capture the essence of beauty and elegance. Women Poets had a place in Chinois history, they were noted and celebrated in Chinois literature. The poetry reflected the situation of the woman Poet giving “rebukes, protests, appeals”, poetry being the traditional form of protest in China. “Palace and court life, as well as the protocols of the entertainment quarters, created opportunities for the composition of poetry and rewarded women for learning and wit.” Women from all walks of life, “loyalists, revolutionaries, hermits, concubines, matrons, painters, serving maids, historians, courtesans, farmwives, disappointed lovers, honored grandmothers” bringing their beauty and concerns of the day through their writing. Some wrote out of isolation, some were recruited by friends and family, they wrote about family and personal matters in a world run by a patriarchy. Often, the beginning Poet would allude to the themes and life of an earlier Poet, entering into sympathy with the Old Ones keeping alive the tradition and creating socialibility. In Chinese the poetry is rhymed and there are different forms:

shi - “compositions with a stable line-length, regularly occurring rhymes, and a stanza or couplet ordering”.

fu- composition of any length, “descriptive content and irregular prosody set it apart from song and closer to prose”.

ci- “originally a song form, with lines of unequal length.”

qu- aria.

lianju- ”one person starts a chain of verse others complete” at social occasions.

gongti shi – or palace-style verse evolved from court socialibility

yongwu shi - “poem in praise of an object” which may be a riddle

gui yuan - “boudoir lament”: “expressions of distress by neglected, offended, or simply unhappy women

yongwu shi - “poems in praise of history” and moments from the Poet’s life.

Acceptable forms of poetry include “hymns, elegies, letter-poems, poems of farewell, and jokes.”

The poetry itself is classical in presentation, centering on nature imagery, the weather, emotional and actual, sometimes telling a story. The essence is of deep beauty, elegant and sublime, often portraying a certain synchronicity with events in the natural world. Often profound and enigmatic, in the original Chinois language this poetry may have been similar to Western pastoral poetry, in English translation it is a more elaborate form of Haiku. Often only a few poems of a particular Poet are in existence, a catolog of 1,000 poems or more sometimes lost. Mechanical printing on paper developed from ink rubbings during the Tang Dynasty, before the 8th Century but national Archives were not incepted until around 1930 as in most countries.

“Xue Tao (768-ca. 832)

Probably one of the most famous courtesan poets in Chinese literary history, Xue Tao was a native of Chang’an (now Xi’an). In her youth she migrated with her father to the state of Shu (the modern Sichun province) and became a “song-courtesan” (geji) at sixteen, after his death. Since Xue was reputed to be able to write poems and parallel couplets when she was merely eight or nine years old, her literary talents were greatly prized. A wide circle of literati became her friends, correspondants, patrons, and suitors, including such well-known poets as Yuan Zhen, Bo Juyi, Niu Sengru, Du Mu, and Liu Yuxi, with all of whom Xue often exchanged poems.”

Xue Tao was also gifted at calligraphy and was known for writing poems on crimson dyed stationary. When she was 38 years old, Wu Yuanheng, the Governor of Shu recommended to the Tang emperor that she be appointed to the Palace Library as “Lady Collator of Books”. This position was usually reserved for men of great literary ability as it involved work on the imperial diary. She was officially addressed as “jiaoshu” and this became a reference for courtesan.

A failed love affair with Yuan Zhen, serving as the Investigating Censor, (after their affair he was demoted and exiled from Shu) Xue Tao remained single until she died, living by herself at Huanhuaxi. A collected book of her poetry is named “Jinjiang ji” (The River Jin collection), she is considered prolific with 89 poems preserved in the Quan Tang shi.

“V. A Swallow Separated From the Nest

In and out through crimson gates,

  it cannot bear to leave them,

The owner always doted on

  its captivating trills.

Some mud fell from its beak and soiled

  his pillow of coral,

And no more can it pile its nest

  up among the rafters.

VI. A Pearl Separated From The Palm

Glistening thing, bright and round,

  radiant throughout,

Its clear light seemingly reflects

  palaces of crystal.

But due to just a single speck,

  it’s ruined by a flaw,

And no more can it pass the night

  in the owner’s palm.”

“Zhang Yaotiao (9th century)

Zhang Yaotiao came as a refugee to live in Chengdu (in modern Sichuan province) and there became a courtesan. Her official hometown, where her family would have been enrolled in the government registry, is unknown. He works were highly regarded by poets of her day, at least in part because, like Xue Tao, she went beyond the tones and attitudes generally expected of courtesan-poets."

“Spring Thoughts (Two Poems)


Out in the dooryard: plum trees,

  willows, bright,

    too bright, with spring.

Closed up in the depths

  of the women’s rooms,

    I stitch

      a dancer’s dress.

This pair of swallows – unaware

  how my heart, my belly,

    twist -

On purpose, on

  purpose, fly right up close -

    beaks filled with clay

      for their nest.


This phoenix tree beside the well:

  I moved it here myself.

During the night, flowers

  opened, up

    on the farthest


If I hadn’t planted it

  deep in the compound,

    near the women’s rooms,

Spring would pass

  the household gate

    and I -

      how would I know?”

The deeply introspective and detailed nature imagery gives an essence of sorrow at the paradigm of existence, a very elegant, classical protest of the feminine condition which was honoured by the patriarchy. A beautiful write that is a noted influence on the New Age Republic of Poetry. Women Writers of Traditional China: An Anthology of Poetry and Criticism, edited by Kang-i Sun Chang and Haun Saussy, published by Stanford University Press.

Available @ www.amazon.ca.

"the perfume

Summer's flowering green

sweet, in the stone vase . . . "

the summer in summer


Rebecca Anne Banks

o’ the summer in summer

breath of ships sailing

at the empressar of light horses

and Rembrandt

the dark of rose

in the heat, the afternoon

the perfume sweet, in the heat

somewhere outside

the vines, green

grow over a chair

a striped bag hangs in the window

as the perfect round buds of peonies

begin to bloom

under the tree

in the Summer, the Summer

a broken head of an iris

lies on the grey stone walkway

and everything grows, a profusion, the dance . . .

"the small white flowers, open

in the Summer heat

sweet perfume . . . "

when he looked at me,

he knew me

water and glass pictures

the salle du mumford

my beautiful leper companion

some beautiful iconoclast flower

o’ say, semple say

the zoo of anthropie

the spoken word

the wandering crowd

the underground

the underground

spoken . . .

the window,

inside the heat, the sky.

"in the falling blue

Summer flowers, the green,

the heat, dark . . . "

in princess attire colours

love’s an anchor

in May

love’s a tithe

in June

love’s a wedding

a dress

a flower,

a flowering

the Summer in Summer.

"the Summer bird flutters

as if by wind . . . "

the birds,

remind the sky of love.


Rebecca Anne Banks lives in the New Age Renaissance Republic of Poetry. She is the author of over 27 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 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).

PD Lyons Born and raised in the USA. Traveling and living abroad since 1998. Currently resides in Ireland. Received The Mattatuck College Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry.Received Bachelor of Science with honors from Teikyo Post University,Connecticut. Two books of poetry Searches For Magic, and Caribu & Sister Stones : Selected Poems, have been published by Lapwing Press, Belfast. A third book, Myths Of Multiplicity, published by Erbacce press Liverpool as part of the 2014 Erbacce International Annual Prize. The work of PD Lyons has also appeared in many magazines and ezine/blogs through out the world. Including, The SHoP, Books Ireland, Irish American Post, Boyne Berries, Virtual Writer, Slipstream, West 47 Galway Arts. Most recently has been selected to participate in Human Rights Consortium at the School of Advanced Study, University of London publication titled ‘In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights’.

Kimberlynne Darby Newton as born in Montgomery, Alabama. She has degrees in Literature, Southern Studies and a Phd. in African American and Women's History. She has worked as a journalist at the Times Picayune in New Orleans, and at the Jackson Advocate and The Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi. She is a retired professor of world history from the University of Alabama. Poet Newton is the author of over 13 books, including Passion and Anthem, and has recently compiled the Freedom Writes Anthology (Subterranean Blue Poetry, 2017).

Tomas Transtromer Poet/psychologist/translator born and lived in Sweden. He studied at Stockholm University and he worked in prisons with drug addicts and the disabled. He married Monika Bladh and had 2 children. He won many awards including the Nobel Prize in Literature (2011) and the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry amongst others. He wrote about 24 books of poetry, that were translated into 70 languages. He is best known for Seventeen Poems (1954), The Half-Finished Sky (1962), Windows and Stones (1972), The Sorrow Gondola (2010), The Deleted Word (2011), New Collected Poems (2011), amongst others.