by Roselyn Perez (reposted)
Those pieces which remain unshattered,
Gleam with a brilliance that dazzles the eye,
But, saddens the Heart, eats the spirit,
Like the firelight that must slowly die,
Even as its passion burns,
Yet this broken thing, this bird with one working wing,
Seeks to soar, smash through the latched door,
As one of fate’s many battered children,
It’s compromised, but not quite lost,
Every scar a point of pride,
A high mark on the test of time,
Dark horse’s universe in its prime,
Still waiting for the truth to shine through,
Life, imperfect, avant garde.
Roselyn Perez is the fifth of six children, all girls. Two of her sisters, as well as herself have lived with retinitis pigmentosa all of their lives. She is 25 years old, resides in Southern California, and is studying creative writing at CSUN. Her poems have been featured in Eclipse, Literary Journal, Think Journal, and Magnets and ladders.
by Nancy Scott
Bells perched upon near air.
Time’s whim of tinsel
floating seconds between
roaring trucks and
summer’s windows-open car bass.
Harmonies of brass
almost breathe melodies remembered.
Measures mark place
and somewhere tuned beyond place
never needing more than one octave.
Each person thinks
but rarely mentions
that only he hears
and only she appreciates
the extra push
before rounding the corner.
Nancy Scott, Easton, PA, is a blind essayist and poet. Her over 600 bylines have appeared in magazines, literary journals, anthologies and newspapers, and as audio commentaries. An essayist and poet, she has published three chapbooks. She won First Prize in the 2009 International Onkyo Braille Essay Contest. Recent work appears in Breath and Shadow, Contemporary Haibun Online, and Stone Voices.
by Mani G. Iyer
You waited for the perfect spark
an excruciatingly long time, when
the only fire,
like the moon, waxed
from the smoldering embers
stoked by the breath of
love, hope and therapy,
before waning, out of habit.
It was perhaps, the longing of
your unfinished work
with your daughter,
your unfulfilled immigrant dreams,
wanting to feel the cool soil of
the garden you lovingly tended,
the surprises on the road ahead,
waiting to ambush you, that
made an obstinate warrior of you.
You have now received an alien spark
on its capricious journey to
an incandescent inferno,
through which light, you can
through which heat, you can
through which soul, you can
be you again.
Mani G. Iyer was born and raised in Bombay, India and has lived in the United States since 1985. He is deaf-blind due to Usher Syndrome. He became deaf by the age of 4, night-blind by the age of 12, and now has very little usable vision. Mani has just been awarded a writing fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center this coming September.
by Coriel O’Shea Gaffney
In darkness my eyes find their true expression.
I underachieve, giddy.
Days demand I expend my curiosity confirming
the accuracy of each story I’ve deduced.
Night composes my truth:
humble world, easy breath.
I’ve spent my life projecting expectation
into forests of ponytails and desire into ponds of thumbs;
performing, daily, reverse-alchemy: deer to stick,
man to sign-post, turtle to rock, mouse to glove, water bug
to paper ball, spider to dust bunny, rainbow to wisp of hair.
Killing what breathes in favor of what fits.
Precision is not my native tongue, nor speed.
I squeeze my stomach to my spine
and try to memorize the lane as she loses interest.
A New Penn Truck going an even 60 m.p.h. beckons.
I ride her rattling certainty for an hour.
A cavalier driver frowns.
Obtuse if disciplined, all of us
stages of waning light.
Coriel O’Shea Gaffney is legally blind in her right eye since childhood (and was, for a time, legally blind in both eyes) as a result of Toxoplasmosis. She received her MFA from The City College of New York where she is also an Adjunct Lecturer. She has been a featured poet for the Turnstyle, Earshot!, Bushwick, Franklin Park Literary Series, the louderARTS Project, to name a few. As a member of the feminist collaborative 500Genders, she has been featured at the Bowery Poetry Club, Stain Bar, and Perch Café. Publications include: Lyre, Lyre, Union Station, Scapegoat Review, Promethean and more. Coriel was the recipient of the Jerome Lowell Dejur Award in Poetry and the CCNY Teacher-Writer Award.