The Blue Jay’s Feather by Gabriela Marie Milton #short story #literature

Image: Gabriela Marie Milton, 2022, Interior of Capela dos Ossos, Évora

Autumn. The day after Helen left for Madeira. The city’s noises vanish in a moribund sun. A paraffin lamp burns on a glass table. The light trickles on the walls like water. There is something familiar about this room. Vague scents of dried flowers. Tear-like motifs on the walls.

I hear footsteps.
I shudder.

Miguel, let’s get out of here.

He put his hand over my month.

Laughter comes from upstairs. It’s Jacques’ laughter. His and the laughter of a woman. She is not Helen. It can’t be her. Helen left yesterday. What am I thinking? The laughter can’t be Jacques’ either. He is dead. Jacques is dead.

The smell of the dried flowers Helen put on his coffin on the day of his funeral invades my nostrils.

I pull away from Miguel’s arms, my soul dark, the tightness in my throat stronger. In a mirror I replace my image with that of my mother. My voice is not mine anymore.

Miguel, with you or without you, I am getting out of here. Where is the door?

He bites his upper lip.

Anastasia, I know you are surprised.

I am enraged.

Surprised? Who? Me? If Winston Churchill would walk in this room right now, wearing Josephine Baker’s famous top hat instead of his, and Bottega Veneta stiletto sandals I would not blink an eye. From now on until the end of my days I swear nothing is going to surprise me anymore.

The light from his eyes vanishes.

Anastasia, how many times have you asked me for the truth?

I shout.

Oh, the truth. Stories masquerading reality: the plot, the characters, the setting, the conflict, the theme. Spare me the banalities. I do not need your truth anymore. I want to get out of here. There are dead people in here, or ghosts, or whatever. I want out.

Anastasia…. Listen…

The geometry of the space changes. Through a little square cut from nothingness, I see a lonely blue jay feather floating in the sky.

Paraffin and dried flowers.

Was Jacques dead?

*draft – modified version of The Blue Jay’s Feather, a piece published in my #1 Amazon Bestselling Book: Woman: Splendor and Sorrow I: Love Poems and Poetic Prose.

Announcements:

  • I wrote in a previous post that I was going to launch a new project in mid-October. Thank you to all my followers who expressed interest. The launching may come a bit later due to circumstances that are out of my control. Please be patient. Much love to all of you.

  • I am deeply grateful to everyone who reads and supports my work. Your likes, comments and shares brighten my days. Thank you to those of you who brought to my attention that my posts are getting reproduced on some WP sites on their entirety without my permission and without any links to my original work. To the very few of my followers who do that a gentle reminder for now: unauthorized use and/or duplication of my posts without express and written permission from me is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Thank you.

Gabriela Marie Milton
Pushcart Prize Nominee
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women (ed.), Experiments in Fiction, 2022.
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose, Vita Brevis Press, 2021.
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, Vita Brevis Press, 2020.

The Miracle of You by Gabriela Marie Milton in English & Spanish #poem #poetry

image: Shutterstock

Dear Readers,

I am developing a new project that will further promote the writings of our literary community. It’s an extremely demanding and complex project, and I am very excited about. New updates in a month or so.

Furthermore I am preparing a new book; an English-Spanish bilingual edition of my poems. The poem below, The Miracle of You, is included. I hope you enjoy the English, as well as, the Spanish version.

The Miracle of You

the moon’s right-hand
pours soul into my flesh
pigeons’ wings bring scents of lilac blooms
the air gets drunk with poetry
statuary women of the water
flaunt their hair

within the loneliness of you
my heart
rotates five equinoxes on a wooden spindle
your eyes pour flesh into my soul
my body germinates the sounds of growing leaves
I wash my hands into the waters of Guadalquivir
in the scented night of those who never sleep
I say
I love you
and in one single breath
our wedding is transformed
in an enraptured death

Fuiste tú el milagro

La mano derecha de la luna
vierte alma dentro de mi carne,
los aleteos de las palomas traen aromas de lilas en flor,
el aire se emborracha de poesía,
imaginarias mujeres del agua, sirenas,
alardean de cabello.

Dentro de tu soledad
mi corazón
gira cinco equinoccios  cual uso de madera,
tus ojos vierten carne dentro de mi alma,
mi cuerpo germina los sonidos de hojas que brotan,
lavo mis manos en las aguas del Guadalquivir
en la perfumada noche de aquellos que nunca duermen.
Digo
“te quiero”
y en solo un respiro
nuestra boda se convierte
en un morir de éxtasis
¿Fue la luna?
¿Fue el aroma de mayo?
Quizás fuiste tú el milagro.

Good luck to everyone who starts school or whose children are starting school. The summer is about to end in the Northern hemisphere.

Gabriela Marie Milton
Pushcart Prize Nominee
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women (ed.), Experiments in Fiction, 2022.
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose, Vita Brevis Press, 2021.
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, Vita Brevis Press, 2020.

New York Glamour Magazine – Interview with Gabriela Marie Milton – Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women

Book cover Experiments in Fiction, artwork Nick Reeves

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to be featured in New York Glamour Magazine the second time. The interview is mostly about Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, an anthology so dear to many.

Again my deepest thanks to our publisher Ingrid Wilson, Experiments in Fiction, and to Nick Reeves whose art is on the cover.

Here are a few snippets from my interview:

“I am ecstatic that the book was for 9 days a #1 Amazon Bestseller [category: poetry anthologies].”

“The book is a memorable collection of over 200 poems by more than 100 authors.
It’s a must-have because we all can benefit from the poetry of survival,
and of healing. We all can benefit from the experiences so strongly evoked in this
book. We all can come together to emerge triumphant from pain. We all need to
understand that equity among sexes will lead to the creation of social, economic,
and political structures far more suited to respond to the challenges of the future.”

You can read the entire interview in the link below.

Have a beautiful summer everyone.

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women is out!

Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women

Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women is out!

To the readers: A stunning poetry anthology. From its gorgeous pages, pain driven away by healing. Souls who endured, fought, and won. Some of them still waiting to win. Empowerment. We all need it. The life of women. We all need to read it.

To the authors: It was an honor and a pleasure to edit and curate this anthology. Your poetry showed me the way to your souls. For that I will be forever grateful. In my darkest moments, I will think about how each and one of you fought. Your fight became my candle to a better tomorrow. I’ll take my broken heart and mend it because you showed me how.

To the entire team who worked on this anthology:  Ingrid Wilson of Experiments in Fiction, thank you for working on this book and for publishing it. Nick Reeves, gratitude for the gorgeous cover art, and editing expertise. It was an honor and a pleasure to work with both of you.

Yesterday, Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women was running #4 in Amazon Hot New Releases [category: anthology].

Please spread the word. Help us to get these talented and brave authors to #1. They deserve it. You will not regret reading their words.

Amazon description:

Award-winning authors, Pushcart nominees, emerging poets, voices of women and men, come to the fore in this stunning, powerful, and unique anthology. These poems testify both to the challenges that women face in our society, and to their power to overcome them. A memorable collection of over 200 poems by more than 100 authors, this anthology is a must-have for anyone. We all can benefit from the poetry of survival, and of healing. We all can benefit from the experiences so beautifully evoked in this book. We can all come together to emerge triumphant from pain.

Do not forget the launching party is June 18, 3pm London time and it will be live-steamed on YouTube.

Have a glorious day everyone.

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

Summer Love by Gabriela Marie Milton – from the book Woman: Splendor and Sorrow #poem #poetry

Image: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner – Liebespaar (Die Hembusse), public domain

Summer Love By Gabriela Marie Milton – from Woman: Splendor and Sorrow:I Love Poems and Poetic Prose

That summer love burned us until our skin became tranquilized.
We were ready to receive.
None of us cared about the danger of the thousand apples from which we bit.
Poetry?
Oh, poetry was too good to be read.
We tasted it and ate it with silver spoons.
All filtrations of the mind and senses hid in small apple bites and scented flowers.
By dusk, we exhausted everything with our breath.
The children’s voices vanished into the dark.
The doubt of too much spilled between us like ashes from a broken urn.
Summer love.

Updates

  1. Please do not forget our Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women Party, June 18, 3pm London time. I emailed the Zoom link to all authors. The event will be live-streamed via YouTube. See you at the party.
  2. I was interviewed by Victoria Onofrei of Radio Bloomsbury. I spoke about my poetry, our upcoming anthology Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, and many other things. The interview will be broadcasted Sunday, June 19, 6pm London time. I will share the link on my blog and Twitter account on June 19.
  3. If you submitted poetry for MasticadoresUsa and did not receive a reply from me please resubmit.

Thank you!

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

Gabriela Marie Milton – Editor’s Note on Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women

Front Cover/ Experiments in Fiction /Nick Reeves

Gabriela Marie Milton – Editor’s Note on Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women

When I posted the call for submissions to Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, I wanted to compile an anthology that would underscore how powerful women are, and how much they can accomplish regardless of the adversities most of them go through. I had no idea that – while reading the poems I included in this book – a larger story will emerge. I can only judge this story with my own sensibility.  

First, there is my complicity with the poems from the book. I am a woman, and I can relate to the consequences that our patriarchal society has on my fellow women. The stories the poems here tell are my stories even if I did not live them all.   Either Jung’s “objective psyche” exists, or I underwent a process of osmosis while reading the stunning work I selected.  All abuses described here, as well as all victories, became mine.

Second, I can assure you dear readers that you will not regret a moment immersing yourselves in this book. It is not important whether a poem is born like a child, or constructed like a temple. The type of poetry is always secondary to its substance. It’s a matter of preference. The poems in this book are poems of substance regardless of their form. They grab you by the throat.  They scream listen to me. They bring you to your knees.  They inscribe on each page – with a multiplicity of voices coming from all sexes – the astonishing power women have. They are exceptional poems.  

Third, is this a feminist book? One could see it as such regardless of what definition of feminism one employs.  However, our minds and souls can transcend definitions. We can go beyond reflections. The poems in this book are not reflections or merely copies of life.  They do not belong to certain metaphysics of feminism and/or patriarchy. The poems in this book are life itself.  

Welcome to women’s lives my dear readers.

You will enjoy this ride.

I promise you.

Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, edited by Gabriela Marie Milton and published by Ingrid Wilson/Experiments in Fiction will be released in the first part of June. Artwork by Nick Reeves.

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

Souls by Gabriela Marie Milton translated into French by Miriam Descendres

Joseph Mallord William Turner – The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire, Public Domain

When Miriam sent me the French translation of my poem Souls I was waiting for a train to nowhere at the corner of Friday and Saturday.

Oh, fragile blossom of my dreams how friendship and beauty go together.

Miriam, thank you for bringing tears of joy into my life. Thank you for being you. Thank you for this marvelous translation. Thank you for giving me “the kind of things that money just can’t buy.”

Souls by Gabriela Marie Milton

I had to go through your soul
to get to mine
once in mine
I wish
I would have stayed in yours
boats
memories of that port where demons haunted you
empty chests
our hearts taken out every evening
mornings pumping despair and agony
no blood left
between your soul and mine
an autumn naked sky

French translation by Miriam Descendres

Il me fallu traverser tes méandres
Pour revenir en moi-même;
une fois parvenu,
combien aurais-je désirer
alors
être encore en ton âme.

Les bateaux…
Mémoires de ces ports
où les démons hantent
Les battants de ta poitrine.

Et nos coeur laissés là à l’abandon;
chaque soir; pour de nouveau pulser
sous les feux de l’aube,
entre désespoir et agonie.

De sang, il n’en reste plus goutte
s’écoulant en mon âme, la tienne. …

et cet automne comme un ciel mis à nu.

You can find Miriam on Twitter https://twitter.com/13rrance

The poem Souls is included in my first collection of poetry Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings (Vita Brevis Press, 2020) available on Amazon here.

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestseller Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry by Shailja Sharma – Preface by Gabriela Marie Milton

“Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry” author Shailja Sharma, published by Pittsburgh-based Setu Publications, a merit-based, peer-reviewed publisher with a preface by Gabriela Marie Milton.

When Shailja sent me the manuscript of her book and asked me to write a preface I was sure I was not going to do it. I had too much work to do: too much research, too many responsibilities, too many hours helping various communities, including the poetry community. I definitely was not going to do it. That was valid before I opened the manuscript. The moment I opened it I could not put it down.

First, here is Shailja talking about her book:

“Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry” is a secret tear flowing from an immigrant’s heart. It’s the tear that is hidden from mama for many years while settling in a land away from home. It feels better when it finally flows. These poems depict lacks and memories, struggles and hardships, as well as hopes, promises, potential, and empowerment. Some of these pieces were recently published world-wide. Due to an excellent readership, the author was compelled to extend and compile this book.”

Below is my preface and the Amazon link where you can find the book.

In 2017, Jessica Traynor, wrote an opinion piece in The Irish Times entitled “James Joyce, the emigrant who left Dublin in body but not in mind.The theme of immigration has been a constant presence in world literature. Most recently, contemporary novels such as Julie Otsuka’s The Buddha in the Attic, and Cristina Henriquez’s The Book of Unknown Americans excellently depict the challenges and struggles of immigrants.

Shailja Sharma (Ph.D.), a psychologist practicing in the USA, steps on the same roads with her beautiful poetry volume entitled Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry. The book reflects the trauma immigrants endure when settling in new lands. The opening poem screams alienation: “I missed telling you how much I missed you.”

In order for the new life to keep as least a semblance of past – a past where the familiar lies – the author tries to reproduce in her place of settlement Indian customs. Lines like: Hold your Deepak/Flaunt the sari, are representative. Shailja decries the lack of free-play, discrimination, prejudice, and longs for the smoothness and protection that once she felt at home.

Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry, stands apart not only because of the theme the author addresses – immigration being a major subject in multiple societies these days – but also by the power of its astonishing verse, the talent of its author, and the empowerment the author offers. In the pages of this book the reader will find poetry at its best. Shailja Sharma’s verses are the mirror in which immigrants can find themselves and, equally, the highest expression of poetic endeavor.

Here is a snippet from the book

There used to be a wall
with a hook that anchored
my belongings. Some wet memories
have pickled over the years.
It’s raining and my feet are
running to the backyard to
save grandmother’s pickle jars.
I know it’s too late, but I continue to
stand in prickly rain drops. My
wounds are wet and I am shivering.
I am crying for the concrete floor, on which,
sat a folded towel holding her
steaming pressure-cooker.
I have lost that floor…

You can find the book on Amazon HERE:

A Gentle Reminder – Please do not forget to submit to the anthology Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women.

You can find the call for submissions HERE. Please follow the guidelines for submissions. Poetry that does not follow the guidelines will not be taken in consideration.

Thank you.
Have a great weekend everyone.

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestseller Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

Coming soon Cuvinte de Foc (Words of Fire) by Gabriela Marie Milton and Virginia Mateias

Cuvinte de Foc (Words of Fire)

Dear Readers,

I am thrilled to let you know that the poetry collection Cuvinte de Foc (Words of Fire) will be published soon.

The book is coauthored by me and Virginia Mateias. Virginia selected 30 poems from my book Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings and translated them into Romanian. She added 30 poems of hers and reached out to the talented poet, and editor Ymeri Baki, who translated our poems from Romanian into Albanian and wrote the foreword. Cuvinte de Foc became a bilingual Romanian-Albanian poetry book to be publish soon by Amanda Edit Publisher.

I am aware that most of my followers will not be able to read the book. However, what is most important here is that the initiative of this work belongs fully to Virginia. The work that entered in the preparation of the manuscript belongs to Virginia too. I have no words to thank her enough for the hours she spent translating my work, for her dedication, and now for her wonderful friendship.

Almost two years and a half ago I was deeply honored when the Italian poet Flavio Almerighi translated several of my English poems into Italian. I included his translations together with the English originals in my book Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings.

Now, I am honored that part of the poems from Passions will be printed in Romanian and Albanian.

Virginia, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. A man who I came to love deeply wrote in his most important book referring to me: “Without you, there would have been no book.” Now it is my turn to write: “Virginia, without you, there would have been no book.” You brought me to tears.

I truly hope that by the end of this year an English-Spanish edition of this book will be out.

Wishing everyone a fabulous week

Gabriela

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestseller Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

A Poem & Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: | Love Poems and Poetic featured in Portland Book Review

The Penitent Magdalen, Georges de la Tour, Public Domain

A New Poem

(excerpt from my poem You Night to be published in January in an new anthology).

In Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: Love Poems and Poetic Prose, author and poet Gabriela Marie Milton takes the reader on a deeply personal journey across the globe and into her heart. The verses delve into themes ranging from love to loss to feminism, all of them clearly inspired by the author’s own experiences. The palpable emotion and unique turns of phrase ensure that this will be a book that will stay with you long after you set it down…

In “The Six O’clock Café,” Milton’s prose takes a turn toward the fictional, combining poetry, magical realism, and mystery to tell a short, impactful story. Once again, loss takes center stage in a highly creative way.

This collection of poetry and poetic prose will be a hit with fans of contemporary poetry looking for something that doesn’t hold back from sharing its innermost emotions and for those who enjoy creative word play.


Reviewed By: Kelly Mills

You can read the entire review HERE:

Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: | Love Poems and Poetic Prose is available on Amazon HERE.

Updates:

  1. Thank you for submitting to MasticadoresUSA. There are new poems up so please support our literary community and visit the site HERE.
  2. Those of you who did not receive a reply to your submissions please be patient. You will.
  3. Please keep in mind that all I want is to grow our community and make everyone shine. January will bring exciting news.

Much love to all my followers.

@Gabriela Marie Milton