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Trouvaille Review

A quick word from the Editor at Trouvaille Review

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Trouvaille Review is an online journal that publishes works of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. “Trouvaille” literally means “a lucky find”, and the works that we publish exemplify just that; we ensure that the pieces we publish are one of a kind, truly making them lucky finds. We enjoy reading all types of works, but we especially enjoy works inspired by nature. Nature is such a vast topic, and I never see the same exact thing outside twice.

CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE     https://www.trouvaillereview.org/

When selecting works, we look for pieces that paint pictures in the readers’ minds. I believe that being able to do that successfully and throughout an entire piece is the epitome of craftsmanship. One thing we are proud of besides what has been stated earlier is our 24 hour response time. We read every word of every work, no matter how long, and will respond within 24 hours.

Saharsh Satheesh

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Conversations about Geography with Zenzi -Tara Sanyal Goswami & Amlanjyoti Goswami

Last month we had a series of writing prompts and I would like to thank everyone who submitted work. I said I would publish one, sorry it could not be more…

Conversations about Geography with Zenzi

1.
And that, Zenzi, is Maskat.
That, Abyssinia. Belgian Congo. French Equatorial Africa.
Places that exist only on a map.
Singapore 1928 Nairobi 1937. And that closer home, Bombay.

Where do I find this world for you?
To make you feel this, I need to tell you a story, about history.
Even as this is a map.
It is a very old one.

When the world looked different.
Let’s say there was no grandmother then, or grandfather.
Even then there was just the earth.
(No, this isn’t working).

Let’s begin from what is.
This is a nice dress, Zenzi.
It reminds us of what the world used to be
Before we were around.

Did people eat on time then?
Were children naughty?
Did they go to school?
Were we home then?

The oceans still swirled then.
I won’t tell you about the wars.
But just that, a lot of things changed
And even Bombay is called Mumbai now.

But what is a map really but a way to tell a story
About how we travelled from then to now.
Yes, I like the dress, but not what’s in it.
For me, it reminds me of something else,

That I cannot explain, that you are too young to know.
Let’s just say, this is an old map and a new dress.
And Khartoum is still in Sudan.
And the Arabian Sea brings news from far away, like a monsoon breeze.

2.
Yes, papa, one day using this map,
We will go to the moon.
Then we will go to North America and Australia
And meet my cousin there.

It is a map, papa.
But very ‘cardboardy’, and its very ‘papery’.
And if we break this cardboard, I’ve seen they break very easily
When you fold them like paper to make a card.

(Zenzi’s riposte)

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Tara Sanyal Goswami a.k.a. Zenzi is five. She loves dancing Kathak and has many (imaginary) children to teach.

Amlanjyoti Goswami’s poetry has been published around the world, including his recent collection, River Wedding (Poetrywala) which has been widely reviewed.
This is their first poetry collaboration.

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Mark Murphy reviews The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams – Mary Mackey

JAGUARS_cvr-F-REVThe Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams Mary Mackey
Marsh Hawk Press

Mary Mackey not only maintains a passionate and lyrical tone throughout her New and Selected Poems (which is a pleasure to read) but refreshingly achieves it without the use of a single comma or full stop. At times joyful and gloomy/even despairing, but most of all inspiring and aspiring, this is the authentic story of a life lived to the absolute maximum. As a lifelong feminist sympathizer and eco-sympathizer myself, I could not have been more pleased than to see these issues being tackled head-on with such grace, outrage and ardent awareness. The more I read, the more I liked it, and the more I identified with her lamentations, and celebrations… ‘your lips move/like wings/across the breasts/of the hills…’ Both light and dark, heavy and weightless, the easy tonality is at once arresting and compelling as we commune with the Amazon’s tribal ghosts…

lost upriver   forever
lost in the burning world

of the ever-diminishing rainforest. A painful and powerful testament to ‘the folly of man,’ speeding headlong towards environmental ruin… ‘soon only the oldest of us could remember/the world before the great extinction…’ However, by no means preachy, these poems are jewels of compassion… ‘look how quickly/we can fall/into darkness…’ Again, there is both delight and disappointment at the tender heart of her poetry…

we are two birds
gliding through an empty sky
lost   uncertain
filled with unreasonable joy

There is also laughter and hope here. Despite separation and betrayal, despite deforestation and war, and even genocide, the human spirit might yet prevail…

lovers
samba
all night long
and new-born babies
dream of nothing
but samba
even the dead
samba
into the ground
and samba
back out
leaving
empty spaces
where the
samba
goes on doing
its own
samba forever

This is brave and vibrant poetry, not only addressing gender and ecological issues but the nature of love (and other major disasters) as well as the idea of infinity which she admits with her wry humour still intact… ‘is impossible to grasp even over a plate of fried potatoes.’ More seriously, she declares… ‘when there are an infinite number of worlds anything can happen.’ Speaking of ‘Cyntherea’ (goddess and guardian of the deep) she delivers perhaps the most heartfelt plea in the whole book…

She has picked the brains
of all the philosophers who ever drowned
looking for the causes of human folly…

and then…

We stand on your beaches
calling you up
but you no longer appear…

as if to remind us of our selfish and deliberate disregard for the entire marine environment. We can only speculate how Cyntherea will reek her revenge and how it all might end. Likening her own passion to an earthquake, she confidently writes… ‘I would destroy everything/for you.’ And then, revealing her devotion to Mother Nature once again, she ironically sets out her stall declaring… ‘by nightfall/we will have cleared this land/of everything alive/and begun to feast/on each other.’ Nevertheless, her humanity is our guiding light throughout… ‘above this tangled canopy of doomed trees/the clouds are writing desperately important messages…’ Moreover, there is an urgency and immediacy in her imagery as when she meets the last six surviving speakers of Arikapú, referring to herself and her lover as ‘thieves’ who had cut out their tongues… ‘our words harsh and incomprehensible/as the ringing of axes.’

One can’t help but be impressed by her dynamic range, the fluidity of her lines and the strength of her convictions. If these poems hadn’t already been written, they would be waiting for someone to write them down, not only for us to enjoy but as a gift to future generations. Reading this poet for the first time is like imbibing an unexpected potion of milk and honey. Each sip tantalizing the taste buds, enticing you to read on until there’s nothing left except the desire for more. This is a book I will return to again and again for its wisdom, its humility and its irrepressible spirit. Read it and you will not be disappointed except for the fact that it must eventually end. I can’t recommend it enough.

Without poets like Mary Mackey our lives would be poorer indeed.
.
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Mark A. Murphy is the editor of online journal, POETiCA REViEW. His poetry has appeared in over 250 magazines in print and online. He is the author of 6 full-length collections including The Ontological Constant due out in June, 2020 in a bi-lingual German/English edition from Moloko Print in Germany.

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Lorette C. Luzajic’s Pretty Time Machine reviewed by Rennie Halstead

Pretty

Pretty Time Machine                         Lorette C. Luzajic                Mixed Up Media   2020

Lorette C. Luzajic is perhaps best known as the editor and owner of The Ekphrastic Review. An accomplished artist and poet in her own right, Lorette’s first collection has been published recently by Mixed Up Media. The collection contains 110 ekphrastic prose poems characterised by an understanding of the experience of love, suffering, tragedy and loss.

In Disappointment, ( after Water Lilies by Claude Monet, 1919) Lorette admires the beauty and dreamy mood of water lilies, shrouded by morning’s last weight. She recalls hearing that Monet dusted his water lilies every day at dawn, removing the dust that blew in from the unmade road outside. She sees this as an act of artistic commitment, this obsession against nature interfering with nature until:

The spell snapped like first love, shattered, about learning about the maid.

How:

Claude hired a cleaning lady to tend to his passions, someone to dust and wipe his water flowers before he painted them. Another arrow through the heart of poetry.

The Glass Swan (after The Old Courtesan by Auguste Rodin, 1885) puts the woman from Rodin’s sculpture in her apartment, undressing, unaware that she is witnessed. Lorette describes her nakedness and lack of awareness with great sympathy:

Something about her nakedness, unguarded, about her not knowing, makes your eyes well up. She has become forgetful, and will not notice the curtain is open until tonight when she seeks fresh air in her sleep. Her breasts are beautiful, for all their sadness.

It is the humanity of Lorette’s view that captures the attention, and the essence of Rodin’s sculpture. The old courtesan is still a woman to be treated with warmth and respect.

There is something like glass in the thin hips and elongated gestures of the dancer’s arms. It catches you then, suddenly, as stark and as naked as she is: we will all get old, those of us who are lucky enough.

In a change of mood, Lorette has a number of poems relating to the problems of drug use. I found Clean (after Erased de Kooning, from a drawing by Robert Rauschenberg, 1953) a sensitive and moving exploration of addiction. Lorette draws us into the world of the recovering addict with great skill, so that the reader experiences life in the aftermath of a death from a drugs overdose.

The narrator has recently lost her addict partner and has moved to the cottage with her brother-in-law. Together they try to come to terms with their grief and fight their own addiction, to get clean.

The poem opens:

The little white house was haunted, but we’d expected as much. The wounds were still fresh. We’d moved to put death behind us, but the past is always with you. Still, the house was spare and sweet and the yard was cheerful with tulips.

The grief is ever-present, and in her grief the narrator clings to the brother for comfort:

I was crazy and the only thing that held my grief at bay was you. I wouldn’t have loved you at all if he hadn’t begged us to look after each other.

There is hope to come out of the death and grieving but the brother is unable to maintain his abstinence:

one night, after a long and peaceful while, I returned home and found you pacing the yard. Your heart was beating wildly and your eyes were wide and crazed. I saw him today, you told me. I knew before you said another word that you had fallen.

The narrator describes the descent into addiction:

I had seen it all before [… ] My life was a nightmare of spies and hospitals.

The hospital telephones:

I stood in silence inside that little white house, my heart empty, eroded, clean. Just like the two men I loved most in the world, erased by methamphetamine.

The devastation felt by the narrator is total:

It would be a long, long time before I would feel anything again, maybe never. I saw the years stretch out ahead of me like rain.

Another theme running through the collection is the death of Lorette’s father, to whom the collection is dedicated. Just Before It Rained (after When the Moon is on the Hill by Mark O’Brien, 2015) focuses on an intimate moment with great sensitivity. A couple, presumably a father and daughter, pull over to look at the map and a sliver of moon:

I’d never seen that kind of ice chip moon in summer. The air was low and near, close to the truck [… ] We had pulled over to figure out where we’d gone wrong […] but your attention was outside the window.

The father gets out of the truck and goes for a walk:

After a long time, you came back and told me what I already knew, but had to hear from you. There’s no cure this time, you told me […] There was a kind of detached relief in your voice.

The sky closes in. There are no blues like these ones, the book’s last pages.

Falling (after Silver Birches by Pat Moffatt, 2004) has a different tone. The poem focuses on the narrator’s experience of love:

There were no witnesses to what happened inside of me while we walked through the ravine woods, stopping in a clearing to kiss hungrily.

The poem is full of desire:

I pawed at you with a hunger I’d forgotten, if I’d known it at all […] You were awkward and strange, and how you took my mouth was almost desperate and so beautiful.

The narrator finds her reserve torn down, giving herself to the moment:

I couldn’t control the space between me and another. I went with the tides, I had no choice, and fall’s red sunset soaked the forest where we embraced […] I could not know what was ahead, and didn’t care. The softening had already been done.

A similar look at the nature of love and passion occurs in the short but striking You Took Me Into The Woods (Woods #4, Kim Dorland, 2008) where the first person narrator describes how autumn had just that day spun down to gold.

She is kissed passionately, leaving the ravine: with bruised lips and straps to adjust, and somehow more innocent than I had ever been.

I was uncertain about reviewing a collection of prose poems. The concept of the prose poem is so slippery, with one person’s prose poem being another one’s prose, and complaints about lack of rhythm or “poetic” language. This volume has memorable prose poems because the style Lorette chooses allows her to tell her stories in a smooth flowing way that engages the reader throughout. Space prevents me looking in detail at other memorable poems that I found really engaging. There is love as well as loss in these poems, and Lorette presents both to us vividly in this memorable. collection

 .

 

Rennie Halstead writes reviews, poetry, flash fiction and short stories.

 

           

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The Frogmore Prize 2020

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Frogmore Poetry Prize 2020

The winner of the Frogmore Poetry Prize (founded 1987) will receive two hundred and fifty guineas and a two-year subscription to The Frogmore Papers. The first and second runners-up will receive seventy-five and fifty guineas respectively and a year’s subscription to The Frogmore Papers. Shortlisted poets will receive copies of selected Frogmore Press publications. Previous winners of the Prize have been: David Satherley, Caroline Price, Bill Headdon, John Latham, Diane Brown, Tobias Hill, Mario Petrucci, Gina Wilson, Ross Cogan, Joan Benner, Ann Alexander, Gerald Watts, Katy Darby, David Angel , Howard Wright, Julie-ann Rowell, Arlene Ang, Peter Marshall, Gill Andrews, A K S Shaw, Sharon Black, Emily Wills, Lesley Saunders, Sarah Barr, Eve Jackson and Polly Walshe.

Adjudicator:  Poet, editor and translator, Maria Jastrzębska was born in Warsaw, Poland and came to England as a child. Her most recent, fourth full length collection is The True Story of Cowboy Hat and Ingénue (Cinnamon Press/Liquorice Fish 2018). She is the co-founder of Queer Writing South and South Pole and co-edited Queer in Brighton (New Writing South 2014) with Anthony Luvera. Maria will read all entries.

 

To find more details go to their SITE

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8th Ó Bhéal International Five Words Poetry Competition

8th Ó Bhéal International Five Words Poetry Competition

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At around noon each Tuesday (GMT), from 14th of April 2020 until the 26th of January 2021, five words are posted on the Ó Bhéal Five Words competition page. Entrants have one week to compose and submit poems that include all five words given for the week.

The competition runs for 41 weeks, until the last week of January. A prize of 750 euros will be awarded to the winner, 500 euros for second place and 250 euros for third place and if available the three winners will be invited to read at Ó Bhéal’s anniversary event on April 12th 2021 (an additional travel fee of 100 euro plus B&B accommodation will be provided for this). The judge for this competition is Grace Wells.

Follow the link for submission guidelines:

http://www.obheal.ie/blog/five-words-poetry-competition/

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Erosion – Tina Cole

Erosion

Tina Cole was born in the Black Country and now lives in rural Herefordshire. She likes to write about people and relationships good or bad. Her collection – I Almost Knew You (2015), focussed on those themes. Other published poems have appeared in U.K. magazines such as, Creative Countryside, Poetry Café, Mslexia, Aesthetica, and The Guardian newspaper. In 2019 she won the Oriel Davies Writing Competition and the Welshpool Poetry Competition judged by Liz Berry.   She is the organiser of the annual Young Peoples Poetry Competition – yppc2019.org.