Wake me
in paroxysms of twilight

Its soft voice
under the trees

Spent beams
quivering in a dim arc
above faded stone

Guide me
along moss-bejeweled
thoroughfares 
heraldic frescoes
of silver and blue

Let me kneel at the river’s edge
rake my fingers
through incandescent loam

Wake me
where threadbare pennons
from gothic bowers dangle

Lift me
with mornings untamed requiem

Wake me
among the dead lamps reclusive bleeding

Wake me in the twilight.



Jason Alan Wilkinson is a writer living in New York






Patchwork Princess

 

She goes where kites fly like lumbering
birds, and the wind splits hairs
yellow and porcelain.
Kneels down by the pastel ivy,
turns her cheek pearl and pasty
to the oily clouds
as if to say:
“alright spears! I’ve got 10 minutes in
which I shall fly you to the moon
and-”

She sings.
I sketch.
her ornamental eyelids,
lifting like iron shutters.
And smudge.
Slabs of lips quiver in the dust
her green woollen scarf fluttering.

I coloured.
Polkadots in the grass.
I stoop.
Fill skies with charcoal.
I whole.

 

Out


Emotions are
brittle as toast
on teeth, chapped

 

as parchment,
on greased lips.

There's me, scratching

 

my knuckles

in a frothy car, staring

at screwed trainers,

 

a silhouette of sweat
against yellow floodlights

and concrete silence.



Ho’s Kitchen

 

He presses his cheek against the tank.

A dignified orange shell.

But it cracks.

 

As his blank beady eyes

Face the skies above

A blue hand reaches down

To grab him,

Slapping that spider smile on hot white plates.



 

Pauline Suwanban is currently 19, lives in Essex and is currently in her second year at QMUL studying Comparative Literature. She was commended for Foyles Young Poets in 2009, the Ledbury Poetry Competition 2010 (Young Adults), shortlisted for the National Poetry Anthology competition 2011 and has publications in YM poetry magazine, The Cadaverine, The Delinquent, and soon ‘Uplifting Moments’ (United Press) and The Seventh Quarry.


 

Thin Sketch of a Wider Picture

 

In the grass a long sound              a grief of daisies

shivering on the dead.

 

The border a burst of blown seeds                          how love arrives

a weed with a pretty flower.

 

The wind                             a beast eating summer,

her drooping bones laid on a table of rain.

 

Down by the shore         dust                       a tide smoothing the turds,

the silent fur      the clumps of worry.

 

In the slum of my lap                      the loose hands of a worn child.

 

 

 

 

Lament

 

The gun has burned summer to a cooling dust

and the streak of life passes a quick lie.

 

The world sinks and starves like a left bird

leaving a howl a thick lifting cloud.

 

We have been babies with the freshest wounds

with soothed throats and thoughts loose as wandering boats.

 

Now our eyes have backed themselves to the dark

while from the chimney pots the gulls still speak.

 

They bring the sea in their beaks as a grieving salve

to the dry wails of kill-stuffed earth and kiss-lost veins.

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from a Protracted Wound

 

He won’t contain the rain to a promise,

our wet names the same                             sitting

on a quiet edge,

our skin a bleached chronicle      blood balled

into two soft stones fond with a delicate rage

while the world cripples under dust and sleep,

my wishes stuck-rotted fish on a dry bank,

my thoughts a dull water lost.

 

 

 

 


Born Stirling, Scotland in 1966, Gillian Prew studied Philosophy at the University of Glasgow from 1984 to 1988. On graduation she failed to see the need for a ‘career’ and so worked mostly in the service sector before moving to the Isle of Lewis to have her two children. After moving to Argyll in 1997 she experienced a few black years before breaking free and now lives happily with her children, her partner and a spoiled cat. She is the author of two recent chapbooks, DISCONNECTIONS (erbacce-press) and In the Broken Things (Virgogray Press). A previous self-published book, the idea of wings, is also available via Amazon. Her poems have been published widely online and in print. Her blog, proud spots and solitudes, can be found at http://gillianprew.wordpress.com

  



FLIGHT

 

 

Flippant flight on a butterfly's wings --

life, adult life, life, life:

born from coincidence, changing, passing,

soaring above the riverbank's grass,

shaped from the yearnings of distant childhood,

venturing over the menacing waves,

lured by the nectar of pulsing flowers,

sharing the sun with invisible stars.

 
 
 

DUSK
 
 
Blind windows high in the sky
returned the glow of the evening
at Centre Point (for long
an empty skyscraper: issue
of our divorce from our purpose),
when life settled down on the kerb
below to rest her feet.

 
 
The lingering glare of the light
still burnished the homeward flow
of cars in the traffic congestion.
Oblivious of your beauty,
you tired pedestrians morphed
into deities texting urgent
messages through the ether.

 
A saxophone player took loving
leave of the day. The colours
then hesitated as dusk rose,
billowing out of exhaust pipes,
engulfing London, and slowly
life filled her yearning lungs
with that mellow, polluted air.
 
 





Thomas Orsag-Land is a  poet and award-winning foreign correspondent writing for global syndication. His poetry, reviews and polemics appear in current issues of Ambit, Contemporary Review and Orbis.

Prohibition

The only way to reach him,
was through the winding corridors,
lit by golden sconces,
maple accents.
Deeper through this dark carpet sanctum,
handles of brass and smiles of iron,
pass you as you walk,
into his private bedroom.
Reeking of smoke and exquisite perfumes,
black hat pulled down over his eyes,
silver tongue behind a contempt grimace.
feel the shiver down your spine,
gruff voice in a seduced overlay,
“sit down”, he’d say,
“we have much to discuss”.


 

Shahroz Mousavi is a short story writer working from his dingy bedroom at the heart of Chicago city. He occasionally goes out for a sandwich or tea and likes to observe people in their natural habitat, from which he derives the ideas for a lot of his works. Mousavi has been writing since early childhood, but only discovered the masculinity in writing poetry a few years back, and since then he has valued it as a concise and tactful way to portray ideas and scenery. 

The stone-frame

The stone-frame sings
my threshold, sings my
heart's futility. It is
so hard a cage it makes
my knuckles crack, it breaks
my bones from too much leaping.
The stone-frame wishes
to be my womb, but could
never be a comforting hovel,
or resting ground away from
world-wind and flame.
The stone-frame maims my voice
from protesting, strikes a match
to my endurance and holds me in
its damp, dusty dorm.
The stone-frame lets me dream of miles
away from its door, but never lets more
than my imagination go wandering.
The stone-frame is my perception trapped
in faithless monotony, is my coward smile
that fears the chaos outside
its grey, unchanging walls.

 

Faith

 

It is found,
found in a pocket on a jacket
that has not been worn for years.
It is an emblem of uncharted kindness
that cannot fade even when I falter.
It is a name on a wall
that changes but is always mine.
It is the end result, the start of all
things good.
It is not going to leave me, or seep
through the mattress, underground.
It is so beautiful, it has the whole of my being.
It is speaking to me from billboard signs,
from the ones I loved and lost.
It is the parcel I have been waiting for.
It is my graduation party,
my only hope for recovery.
It is warmth and well being.
It is Friday night.
It is a star-shaped candy,
and it is found.

 

 


Our Days

 

I place my arms up here
reaching for you in the morning
at half-past six and later
when you are just waking, dishevelled
and wishing to return to dreams.
In the afternoon when we
finally talk, the brightness of the day
absorbs into your face and what is left is
the movement of our connection
between coffee mugs and our children’s play.
At dinner, you tell me stories and I see
the rudiments of nature in your monolithic blood.
I see the years behind us, and for a moment the
curtains of heaven draw back before my eyes.
At night when we hold and the children sleep,
we talk of the unspeakable things – ourselves for a time,
fully happy – two together
in the warped arena of society’s plight,
two together, beholden
to only this love.

 


 

 



Over the past twenty years Alison Grayhurst's poems have been published in journals throughout the United States, Canada, and in the United Kingdom, including Parabola, The Antigonish Review, Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, Wascana Review, Poetry Nottingham International, The Cape Rock and White Wall Review. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995Over the past twenty years Alison Grayhurst's poems have been published in journals throughout the United States, Canada, and in the United Kingdom, including Parabola, The Antigonish Review, Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, Wascana Review, Poetry Nottingham International, The Cape Rock and White Wall Review. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995.The stone-frame

 



 
 
 

       

 


Terminus
 
Full of movement, the terminus
was not what he hoped
nor, among the floating faces
was the one he sought.
 
Bought, he had hoped, permanently
by the hard cash and harder diamonds
he had given - in profusion
 
Confusion then, at her absence
when he had confidently expected
to see her here.
 
He remained until slence finally
settled upon the empty platforms
as did the pigeons
seeking crumbs of comfort.



The Bee Boy.
 
He hangs there, body loosely jointed
as if not quite properly finished in the making,
mouth open, the grin lopsided.
'See' he says, looking into your eyes
'They do not hurt'.
His hand pushed into the bees' nest,
they crawling on his skin,
warm and comfortable to the touch.
 
Something missing in the mind behind the smile.
One awkward in that knowledge, concious of one's superiority,
yet also knowing
in a way
one is somehow less.
  
   

J Gamlin worked in Local Government before spending some years in New Zealand as a market research consultant for an American company. After returning to the UK h e was employed by several Civil Service departments. He writes poetry and fiction (science fiction, historical fiction and short stories) and live with his partner, their Welsh Border Collie, Uhuri, who is frightened of sheep, and an eccentric Siamese cat called Rhia, who runs the entire household.
 
 


Derailed On The DLR.

 

My aura had already attenuated me.

As I tripped onto the Docklands Light Rail.

(Swiping my ticket twice.)

Purple splotches splotched my vision

As I fell

-

-

-

Into a crowd of fluorescent French children.

Were they going to a rave?

Why do they cheer as we pass ASDA?

And what was he going to be like?

Three momentous concerns.

Maybe not in order of consequentiality.

 

Another important inquiry of mine

(Now in Swindon)

Was:

Why would the male Indian train manager

Introduce himself

By Saying

‘Hallo, my name is Erica.’ ?

 

Then.

I was distracted by

The frantically garbled statement:

‘I-nearly-threw-her –

 

out

     of

         the

              window –

 

and-I-am-usually-a-fairly-casual-person.’

I laughed.

Veiled by my word search,

And other coffee-break puzzles.

 

Panic buying Perrier from Pret a Minge,

Trapped, Trying to escape

The confines of Greenwich station.

 

‘Hay (or Hey, I am not quite sure)

What ARE you doing?’

You said.



Pastries and Pastures

 

Blinded by the butterfingers of light,

Creeping through the floury air.

The breeze saunters

Cakewalks

Teases

My homemade bunting.

 

I wonder why I am inside,

For, in my mind

I am toeing stones;

Adamant guardians of tadpoles.

 

Tripping over gurgling currents.

That wrestle with my ankles,

Straddle my shins,

Flirt with the backs of my knees and

Gossip with my piggie toes

 

…On their way to market…

 

Where I scoff scones

Nestled with currants,

Plump with flesh white cream.

Juicy lipped strawberries kiss my teeth,

Staining and stamping my face

With lipstick like letterpresses. 




Californian Billet-Doux

 

I changed my photos to Sepia

To hide my blushes.

My cheeks burned as you photographed me

Running, nay, tripping along the beach.

 

And it was not because I was sunburnt.

 

The redness reminds me of drinking Bicardi Raspberry

Or 'Razz,' 

Whilst discussing lust and Alcatraz.

 

As I led you by the hand.

 

And we dried off in the shower.

My heart, be still (!)

You already had une fille. 



Hayley Ann Brusdon is a poet from Stroud. She enjoys farmers markets, plum eating contests and boys with large vocabularies. When she is not teaching poetry workshops she performs her own work around Gloucestershire and London. She has been writing for a year and is a finalist in Gloucestershire's search for a Poet Laureate. The verses above were the first 3 she wrote. haybrunsdon.com




Mishearings


 
A fawn, I thought at first: a sylvan scene,
of course, but Bambi-like, domestic bliss
embodied in those pretty creatures fresh
from drawing boards in heaven, full of grace,
unfallen, although that rutting flute,
sketching the diabolic interval,
seems to allude to something less pristine,

but not this shaggy fellow, sleepy-eyed,
awaking from his dreams of ribaldry
among the shrubbery. His jutting cock
is Adam walking in the garden, naming
the sullen nymphs and, knowing them by name,
sometimes pursuing them into the shade
to frolic for a while, and then subside.

Mallarmé is difficult. The grounds
include his musicalité cryptique,
syntactical inversions and the like,
but in his sonics, so they say, resides
a greater mystery, ses purs ongles 
(her pure nails) becoming ces purs sons,
these (or those or his or her) pure sounds,

and in the realm of anecdotal myth
I've seen the same, as once in Orléans,
that hotel clerk and Quel est votre nom?
Yes, what was my no? Could Sartre say?
And later, when I asked Où est le loo?
Le loup? she gasped, and looked around to find
a chair to stand on or to hit me with.

Mishearing is creative. Ask the deaf. 
(You may have to repeat yourself.) They work
with insufficient data, making up
their world as best they can from what they catch -
a state that may be general. Perhaps
the starry welkin rings with angels' singing
and we live too far down the treble clef.




Morning over Chibbanagh


 
Across a pale December sky,
as pretty as a fan,
whose colours seem to reify
a mythical Japan,

there pass two solitary birds:
a lost quotation mark
trying to find its flock of words
before the page grows dark.



David Callin's poems  have been published in Snakeskin, Antiphon, Lucid Rhythms and The Centrifugal Eye  magazines.


 

  Duffefa


I fell in love
with the word duffefa,
half-heard on Radio Four,
conjuring images of gentle journeys
through seas and centuries
to ancient dignified deserts, 
of favoured rulers buried with boats
to sail into the afterlife.

Reality was not so romantic.
Servants and subordinate wives
entombed with their Kings,
slaughtered cattle buried outside,
skulls and screams unearthed, preserved,
in Kerma in the Kingdom of Kush. 



Judy Cavanagh lives in Liverpool and is addicted to reading crime fiction by women


"Food"

1.
Breakfast introduced
bread, butter
wrapped in a
newspaper
containing the same
news
millions died
due to malnutrition

2.
Lunch in a restaurant
served by skeleton
boys
searching
for their
flesh in the shining plates

3.
Dinner in a hotel
surrounded by
slogans
for
keeping us awake
till the time
sun
comes out of the dark




“Right Direction”

Moving in the
Right direction
On a road
In stampede cost him his life



“Interview”


Answers without questions
Staring at the
Table stuffed with
Biscuits and tea cups
Made him drowsy

You are not the kind of
Person we are looking at
Said the person with sheepish smile
The tiny, gentleman was silent
Said thank you and folded his certificates
In a dark black file
Left the room
For another
Place full of rats and big cats




Deepak Chaswal is a poet from the soil of India. His poetry exhibits
his perception of the universe from the perspective of an insider. His
poems have been published in reputed international poetry journals like Sam Smith's The Journal, Pacific Review, Pamona Valley Review, Forge, Enchanting Verses, The Tower, Earthborne Poetry Magazine, Kritya- A Journal of Poetry, Indian Ruminations ,Bicycle Review, Electronic Monsoon
Magazine, Efiction Notice, Frog Croon to name a few. Contact him at
dchaswal@gmail.com