Sad Snow for Brian Schuman


Virgin Mary

Mother Snow

Undulating

Gray sheet sky

 

Dry compact

Snowflakes

Snowball

Snowman

Snow mounds

 

Leaning under streetlight halos

Hosanna high

Into each other

Snuggled up

Against car tires

 

Hubcap high snow

Run out of gas snow

Miss your brother

Sister, ways you used to

Play in it when you

Were small snow

 

Cocoa hot sweet sadness

Taste it numb

On the tip of your tongue

Tearflakes

Frozen words inside like ice

 

The meltdown

Covering all of who

You are, the years, my friend

Melting in a shroud of kindred cold

Saying it’s okay

To let you go snow


 

The Key

After ten years together it’s only his copy of the apartment key left in the empty mailbox simply clipped to a direct mail postcard by a worn out clothespin. No note no words no say no revelation no nothing says everything. It’s a sober climb into this huge No-More Gone-for-Good. I squeeze what’s left in my palm—feel his touch in my fingers wringing the grooves. One-of-a-kind prints on my heart drenched this cold metal love. His aura he kept close to hip his warm mature pocket opens new doors closes old as I look up bark blind past trees at pink salmon sky—that wide ocean soaking the cloudy bed sunken from under us.


 

Standing out at Dungeness Spit for Phoebe Bosche


Sea lions bob like balding old men. 

Gray heads tangle in ocean white foam. 

We bow at this mystical passage 

where Dungeness River empties into 

Juan de Fuca’s mouth surrounded by graveyard spit 

from campsite to shoreline to mountain. 

 

We bob through life like seals: 

balding clear cut hills, 

chart geometric territory to memory. 

What harm could come, Isosceles? Tide, we’re stranded. 

We wade wearing translucent masks of wet rain. 

Our driftwood bones float embalmed, 

skeletal/pebble, wind rings through clavicle. 

Horizon rolls us flat into fragment, 

spits out, lets go, resurrects.

                                             Zan Agzigian

 




Zan Agzigian has devoted many years to arts organizing, and has received various grants for fiction, plays, and poetry. She is a published poet and has a 1st collection of poetry called Stamen and Whirlwind from Gribble Press, Spokane, WA. She is currently working on her 2nd collection, Reservoir, due out in the fall of 2012. Zan received her MFA in Fiction from Eastern Washington University and lives in Spokane, WA. She regularly reads throughout the NW and performs poetry with musicians.


Maria Reading
 
Maria reading
electric connection
between eyes and book
as if driving – gaze focused
both hands on the wheel
replies monosyllabic
while negotiating carefully
the twists and turns
of the invisible road
 
Pages open like doors
into the lives of others, and
she passes through
leaving markers along the way
back to where
her vacated self
waits
to be reinhabited
 
                            Phil Baker



 Ebb Tide


Thunder bends the sky; hands adrift in the fields 
of memory. Blanketed legs trembling to the ghost patter
of younger, browner limbs stamping down wheat.

Suddenly his arms are gathering her up like a sheaf. 
Her hair loose in his eyes, they wrestle in a swirl of grain, 
fingers thrust into braids, an ear caught in her teeth. 

Soon she will rest again upon the strength of men;
riding their shoulders down the streets and into the black 
furrow of the fishing boat, the waving fields of kelp.



Kohima Veteran

‘Sliced through me like a hot knife,’ 
he said with reverence, 
‘Steel-jacketed you see. Saved my life.’
I swear he’d’ve kept the bullet 
if it hadn't whined away like a beetle, 
would've worn it as an amulet.
On veteran’s day he even embraced a Jap 
as though a long-lost brother.
Such gratitude for that slug of hot metal 
that didn't tumble, flatten or fragment 
but brushed a finger by his heart,
bringing him close enough to death 
to know what life is worth.



Letter from Swat 

It took an earthquake to set you back on your feet; 
the need of others calling you out from the ruin of a life.
In the mountains your sadness narrowed to a band 
of blue, as the last of the day melted upon the high peaks,
then lost its sharper edges in the deepening shadows.  
A photograph captures you eating flat-breads; 
holding your greasy fingers away from a Shalwar Kameez 
that looks new and suits you better than you know.

You write that morning comes late to the dara; 
whitening the angles of the plain, igniting the poplars 
to flicker under the weakening valley wind.
By noon the air is smudged by smoke from rough kilns 
in which people gamble everything to the fire; 
hoping for enough sound bricks to make a simple home.
Beyond the village, bees stir in their clay hives
and a stippled green light spreads out across the fields.



                                                                    Andy Barritt


Andy S. Barritt is based in the East Midlands, U.K. and currently a part-time student on the MA Creative Writing course at Nottingham Trent University. His inspirations include the poetry of Kenji Miyazawa, wuxia movies and a love of ornithology. http://andysbarritt.wordpress.com/ 


I Once Kissed Pavarotti  In Dalston


I once kissed Pavarotti in Dalston, and allowed
her to cook and clean my home for 14 days.
From pasta to disaster, as favourite watch was broken
and now in need of repair. Later in shame she washed
my feet as they'd turned black from dirt from floor and
lack of sock or slipper.

And with her finally having gone, surveying
my fridge to imagined strains of Nessun Dorma,
I refix its door hinge, and then in relief head to local
supermarket to replenish my dwindled food supplies.
As I drove there, thoughts of if I didnt shave,
I too could have the seemingly compulsory Dalston
beard, true, nearly everyone around here has one,
even Pavarotti?

I once kissed Pavarotti in Dalston,
as Spring hid in embarrassment,
down Ridley Market Lane.

                                                                  Jeff Bell  




Jeff  Bell, poet and musician, originally from South Shields in the North East of England, now living in London over  last thirty years. Has recently started writing poetry/prose and finds it a release from the restrictions of songwriting. Has had several poems recently accepted in various magazines. A sample  of his music can be heard at www.myspace.com/quangomusic http:  //www.jeffbellmusic.com

 


Bluebell Wood


You remember something like that -
a white bluebell in amongst the rest,
the sun splicing through trees
a warm breeze ringing the woods.
Or perhaps it was because
she didn`t come that I remember -
the white flower becoming
a symbol for that disappointment
and maybe too for her regret.




When the poems have gone

Come back if just briefly
sing your small songs,
you have been missing too long.
Sitting in church yards,
waiting for the first frost
but I know  it cannot be forced.
I throw the alphabet from a tree,
watch language fall through the leaves
but there is nothing on the ground.


Discovery in the Hills
 
When at last it was found,
they didn`t cordon it off –
sift gently through the artifacts,
handle everything with love.
It was only a den after all,
hidden away among ferns
but had they looked closer
they would have found
a lost generation here.
 
Four boys watching swifts
tilt in the air, dreaming summer,
until an unexpected event
caused them to abandon the place –
forced them out into the World.

                                                                    Idris Caffrey
                                          


Idris Caffrey has poems published in The Rialto, Agenda, Acumen, The North and Smith`s Knoll. 


Time to kill on the strand

1
I notice a motorbike courier
sat in pret a manger.
The sign on the back of his jacket reads
blood courier 
urgent.
He sits eating his lunch.


2
I stand outside with my salad and soup
in the rain
because i don't want to pay
the extra pound to sit down.
I look at Australia house
the house for a whole continent.
Not much impresses me much these days
but that does.


3

I walked past a dead poem of a station
then fall in love with some women
in the cafe.

4
Then i got free entry in a museum
looked at all the pictures 
most over a hundred years old
and thought 
why the hell does anybody bother
painting anymore
you can't beat that.

                                         Marc Carver

 
What the female pigeons said after they read Norman MacCaig’s poem “Wild Oats”


We're female pigeons
and do nothing dowdily.
We're beyond that 
- far beyond.
Sometimes we see 
a fine example
of the human bald head,
pecking at a page
with primitive 
handmade beak
and peering up through windows
at our menfolk 
as they preen and try to pull 
some pretty fantail.
He scribbles 
and he dibbles
and, like most men,
thinks we care
about what men do. 
We don't, we coo.

Sunday

The sun warms everything. My nose.

Inside the shed,

there is a warmer mouse.

The garden

is all elegance and pose.

A small joke sticks its head out

from behind a cloud

and waves hello.

High on our hill,

moles sunbathe

and feel a oneness

with their velvet god. Time slows.

 

Poem for Her
Always going down the road,
proper bag in hand,

determined.

No plastic bag for you.

Your bright scarf seems a

a floppy trumpet,

still playing against the wind

on point of principle.

Truth is not overestimated

in your judgement. Or beauty,

if the question arises. 

You will not win, but you are

better than those who will.

 
Seeing the Owls

She admires the big claws.

Eyes so big that they widen hers.

In our forties now,

as adult as we'll ever be

or wish. Owls are made for us.

They are adults.

They are part of a child's world.

 

Which?

I lean into the conversation, thinking,

“Who will be the one,

the one who says “I” the most,

who interrupts before the end,

who doesn’t speak,

whose words look up at the clock?

Who’ll be talking long

about everything, except something.

Or who, for a moment,

cares if the words are true? Which one?”

 

There are...

 

days when the clocks slow,

look around and ponder.

Designed to tell the time,

they feel a certain envy

of the kilt, the polished brogue.

But who wants a swaggering clock?

 

Days when the kilts flap, bored.

Designed to conceal the glen

in men, they yearn to wander,

not adorning anything at all.

Get drunk, stagger with the stars.

But who wants a wandering kilt?

 

Days when the brogues inquire.

Did they polish leather, squeak

and miss? Was there a better party,

where the looser fitting shoes

danced around until they roared?

But who wants a singing brogue?

 
Sithean Mor, Iona

 

(“...two fisherman were passing the fairy mound and...”)

 

Don’t laugh,

but I hear secret melodies,

bright bouncing harmonies.

Something underneath,

from down beneath,

where fairies fled

when asked 

to prove.

So tired of the thumping human groove.

Do they still play

in the old fashioned way?

Or meet to newer beat?

My little ear, perhaps

that’s what I hear,

bright bouncing barmonies,

such secret tellodies.

Don’t laugh.


 

Shroo

 

That shrew.

I think it lives

behind the fireplace.

An un-trapped hero of

unknowability,

with thoughts

quite inaccessible

and ineffable

from our point of view,

its mind is a

whirring workshop

of mis-shape,

furnitured by thoughts

too small to think,

translatable only

into cockatoo.

 

 Wednesday Morning Sweats


I pretend I'm blind so they won't bother me, but I have been alive just long
enough
To read men even with my eyes closed, hands out, fingers reading the Braille
of      sweat
On skin. If Joey wants to talk to me about how I killed his brother,
That's just fine. Joey can come in and sit beside me, here, on the prison
cot. I  would love
To share with him about how the world looks when everything you see is
tinted  red,
How even flowers looks suspicious when you've just killed a man.

I pretend I'm deaf so they won't talk to me, but I have been alive just long
enough
To feel someone coming at me through the soles of my feet, to know exactly
When to strike at invisible things. If Joey wants to talk to me about how I
killed his      brother,
That's just fine. Joey can come in and lay down beside me, here, beneath
the stiff white sheets of the prison cot, and I'll tell him
About how the world sounds when your ears are full of blood
And how even songbirds sound suspicious

when you've just killed a man.

      
                                                            
Holly Day

 

Holly Day is a housewife and mother of two living in Minneapolis,
Minnesota who teaches needlepoint classes in the Minneapolis school
district. Her poetry has recently appeared in Hawai'i Pacific Review, The
Oxford American, and Slipstream. Her book publications include The Book Of, A Bright Patch of Sunlight, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar-All-in-One for Dummies, and Music Theory for Dummies, which has recently been translated into French, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese.




Insomnia

After midnight, the hours curve in uninhabitable
vastness: a planetary surface, lead-livid, cratered.

And consciousness hangs helpless as echoings,
blind as abandoned windows remembering looks. 

And I must be there, must be that chronic lingering,
must confess with sticking tongue, and must confess

that any scheme of ever going again to sleep
is merely Utopian, opposed by all the restless atoms

which coalesce like a mob round one truth, and slick
my twisted sheets with adhesion and with guilt.  Pray 
                                                                     
for a bright dawn crashing down like a guillotine.

( Honorable mention SaveAs poetry competition)



i.m. E.F., who lived next door but one

            I  

Befriended half-stranger, I would like to claim
(with the guilty politeness of the one still living)
that our first meeting in someone’s dining-room

was unforgettable. Certainly I can remember it now:
our neighbourly talk of primulas, border hedges;
then something we said about politics… yes, how

Parliament must fail us, lacking poets, engineers.
And then the pause, the slow, slight inclination
of one towards the other: two watchful gatekeepers

doubtfully unlatching the simultaneous landscapes
of two very different lives. Smilingly, I heard you confess
dyslexia, and suffer again the routine contempt

of post-war dominies, though your boyhood’s solace
was the boy’s-own best: Father owned a dockyard
(as you thought then), and so the truisms ships express –

of proportion, handiness, and social swimming knack –
were yours to con by heart and bring you knowledge, love, career.
My life? I left it foggy, shadowed by some big mistake…

Done now: no need to define it, or particularly care

                                      II

“I read a few pages… the endings – well, I like to guess.
Please, come and collect it next week.”  In my hands the book
I brought to amuse you emptied, refilled – like a looking-glass,

reflecting just ourselves now: blurry faces, daylight-grey,
which, like planets in some random reach of space,  
need or need not be there. With nothing of my own to say,

I paused in your final room, observing on each wall
your careful paintings, loved untranscendent landscapes,
your children snapped in poses they would happily recall;

and heard you, in your quickness, your liveliness to please,
recap stories of Africa, snakes, fearful hand-in-hand flight;
then finish, and fold all neatly, like clothes laid in a valise;  

then hold out your hand and wish me an equally good night.


                                                                               Alan Gleave


(second place SaveAS poetry competition)




Alan Gleave was a secondary school teacher in Liverpool for thirty years. Taking early retirement, he wondered whether it was too late to turn to trying to write poems and short stories of his own. Encouraged by Deal Writers, he has had poems published in The Reader, and the international academic journal, Dante Studies. One of his short stories was short listed in the Meridian short story competition of summer 2009.


Not Funny
It wasn't a joke
our brush with the devil
along the squeaky side of midnight.

We inhaled his sulphur,
a wild odour, and heard the squeal
of fearful laughter curling
from his heels.
It wasn't funny.

You nattered at random
about spring fields and ass's horns.
Tall Thomas recited voodoo curses,
his face closed and solemn.

'I don't believe,' said Little Ned.
'It's all in your head,' said Little Ned.
I opened my head
so he could look.
Said Little Ned, 'People are good.'
He wasn't joking.


The Day Lily commits the sin of Envy
The day and I, faux twins, as forced
birthday sharers, conjoined must
each nail our beauty's purpose
before dusk.

Never was princess or king
awarded robes like mine.
But they had three-score years and ten
to fail in.


The Morning After
The pointed blade of winter sawn-off dawn
invites itself into the bedsit air
where, guesthood by progress of night withdrawn,
the shivering after of last night’s party bare
hangs on tight to its bits of spaces; it has
its right to mark with beer half drunk and trim
its edgewise being with pale, uneaten crisps.
Leavings are short-lived creatures,
born awaiting death by neatness.

With meter fed the fire sets out to heat
the brass of cold; and hosthood’s last largesse,
all others being fulfilled, now plays retreat,
laying waste this fragile finishedness;
this sated being of honoured hosts and guests.

                                                                EAM Harris

EAM Harris has  been writing for many years, but have only recently become serious about publishing. She has had ‘honourable mentions’ in a few competitions, and a couple of poems and a short story published in magazines and on-line, but  still consider s herself a new girl on the writing block.


Length of Day
 
She wears the same dress. Green.


Strong smell of metallic thrift store


Sheen of hair, nails and teeth


Cracked shoes upright unsure of mouth


Too dark Tangee orange


Tabu seeping through her pores
 
Outside gun blasts and uniforms


Specks of soot on the horizon


His bent back and sweat


Forming in her armpits

The door stuck by the table


Crawling words on his heart


“Go on in” someone says


“Go all the way


Life cannot wait”


 
For the rest of her life


The window will empty


Until once a day


The pallid shadow when mail comes


When war is ended


 

The War Dead
 
Look – how they stare at us in golden light


Bartered for chance and sewn into flags


Youths unfurling towards the dawn


Look- how they stand in a heap


Unshaven crevice-filled with dirt


Look-how they see everything


Through the rising sun and setting moon


Look- the world is pock-marked with death


A pin on the map when someone fell


A trillion cork-stuck points


Look-how they look at you and me


Sticking their fingers into our flesh


Medals glitter glaring


 
 
American Father
 
They told me you were a strong man


A reader who finished every book


Fathered children by the neighbor’s wife


But faithful to your second one


I am a daughter from your first


The one you lost along the way


Never saw but for the faded photo


Displayed proudly over the fireplace


A rumor of something disappeared


Like afternoon trysts and sour beer


You and I are amateur boxers now


Punching our lives through paper bags


Entering evening rooms together


You are the ghost that cannot speak


And I your vagrant hungry shadow


We come to where all fathers disappear


In  a shallow house of vacant voices


We mingle among assorted guests


Then vaporize without a trace
 
 
                    
                                        Joan Johnson



Joan Eyles Johnson/joan Johnson 

Published in Caffeine, Ambit, Reed, Mediterranean Review,Diabolique, Sou’wester, Artist and Writer Magazine, and more.

Teaches writing at Mount St. Mary’s College in L.A.

Crazy Old Jack (Version 2)
(MP3 Audio File Attached, Or On Request)

 
Fifty-six today,
and Jack died
in his room years ago.
He still sits there I swear
watches television
philosopher of sports,
entrepreneur of sleep,
dream weaver of single men,
their dreams, their tragedies.
Jack never leaves his room,
seldom shuts his television off.
Jack seldom gets out of bed, boils
on his naked body, no need for razors,
Turkish bathes, for this man.
Jack’s prescription pills, then herbs,
then vitamins-but he is incurable.
Jack died in this room years ago.
He eats toast and jam,
toast without jam; fingers
wipes butter from a dish.
I hear Jack yawning from
his room, his coffin again.
Sleepy old Jack coughing again,
dreaming slowly in, drifting slowly out,
quiet old room-
just below a beauty salon,
Fifty-six today and Jack died here.
Crazy old Jack.
 
-1983-
(Revised 05-25-12)
 
Jesus Walks (Version 2)
(MP3 Audio File On Request)

(Photo Available on Request-Author Unknown)
 
Jesus lives
in a tent
not a temple
coated with blue
velvet sugar,
He dances within the freedom
of His salvation
with the night and all
days bearing down with sin.
He has billions of ears
hanging from His head
dangling by seashores
listening to incoming prayers.
Sometimes busy hour's drive Him
near crazy with buzzing sounds.
He walks near desert bushes
and hears wind tunnels
pushed by pine stinging nettles.
Here in His sacred voice
a whisper and
Pentecostal mind-
confused by hints of
Catholicism and prayers to Mary-
He heals himself in sacred
ponds tossing holy water
over himself?
touching nothing,
but humanity He recoils
and finishes his desert
walk somewhat estranged.
 
-2007-
(Revised 05-14-12)

 
Deep Gray, Old Dreams (V2)
(MP3 Audio File On Request)
 
Deep into the couch
of magnetic dust
rewinding old dreams
and philosophies
of biology, orgies
long gone;
old man, gray
bearded, in his late eighties?
Charles pulls out, masturbates.
Sleepy eyed, he cleans up,
goes to the refrigerator
pulls out mayo, sweet pickles,
a few slices of onion,
a plum tomato?
back to the silent bedroom,
he hears sounds, that ticking clock.
 
-2012-

 
Leroy and His Love Affair (Version #2)
(MP3 Audio File Attached, Or On Request)

 
Girlie magazines dating back to 1972 are scattered across the floor.
The skeletons of two pet canaries lie dormant inside a wire cage.
 
Bessie Mae died 8 months ago.
From her lips, and from her eyes comes nothing like before.
 
Leroy, her lover, her only friend, the man she lived with for
over 30 years locked her body in their bedroom.
He didn't want to part from her.
 
Leroy has no friends to detect anything that might be suspect.
He wants nothing between the two of them at all.
No one comes near to interfere.
 
Their bedroom is padlocked, stale, and stagnant with mildew, looking
the way it did before she died.
 
Foul odors ooze up through their bedroom ventilation ducts,
Leroy contends that a dead rat in the basement is causing the odors.
 
Leroy loves to lie about his sacred love affair.
 
Layers of dust blanket over the mahogany floors, and the maid doesn’t come
here anymore.
 
Bessie Mae’s remains are wrapped in a scarlet housecoat,
Dried blood sleeps in a small pool beneath her bed.
 
In time they both will sleep, sole witnesses to this fiasco
their lives will catch them in; enduring it, holding
their tongues till time matters no more.
 
Nothing appears changed, lovers unwilling to depart.
 
-1975-
 
Dancer of the Shoe Poem
(MP3 Audio File Attached, Or On Request)

 
Dancer of the shoe poem,
I trip over your shoe string
dress or gown
and keep walking with a beat,
you're missing a step,
let me take you there,
or did the ghost of the night
take your slippers away-
move right, slightly left,
back one half-step.
Dancer of the shoe poem,
it's my duty
to take you away
in a love feast.
Thank you for this dance.

                                   Micheal lee Johnson


 

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer and small business own of custom imprinted promotional products and apparel:  www.promoman.us, from Itasca, Illinois.  He is heavily influenced by:  Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, and Allen Ginsberg.  His new poetry chapbook with pictures, titled From Which Place the Morning Rises, and his new photo version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom are available at: http://stores.lulu.com/promomanusa. The original version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom, can be found at: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-46091-7.  New Chapbook:  Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems, by Michael Lee Johnson:  http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/challenge-of-night-and-day-and-chicago-poems-%28night%29/12443733.  He also has 2 previous chapbooks available at: http://stores.lulu.com/poetryboy.

Michael has been published in over 23 countries. He is also editor/publisher of four poetry sites, all open for submission, which can be found at his Web site: http://poetryman.mysite.com.  All of his books are now available on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=michael+lee+johnson.  Borders:  http://www.borders.com.au/book/lost-american-from-exile-to-freedom/1566571/.

Now on You-Tube:  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih5WJrjqQ18, 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMmyjFKJ5fQ.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWkXcR35_Os

 

E-mail: promomanusa@gmail.com.   Audio Mp3 poems available; open to interviews.

 

Follow Michael Lee Johnson On:

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/poetrymanusa

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/poetrymanusa

MySpace.com:  http://www.myspace.com/469391029

 

Death of a poet


In the civil service you are assigned a grade. You know your status. 

Whereas with poetry, you never retire and you never really know your grade – it will be assigned posthumously’

Dennis O’ Driscoll, civil servant and poet

 

Death is announced by social media,

a name prefixed with RIP, a poet 

whose entry in the anthology reads 1954-   

a hanging dash to which to add a final date. 


Seamus Heaney claims you as his hero;

others praise you, mourn your loss,

yet without it I would not have known

that you were ‘Missing God’,


would not have thumbed from index to page,

and wondered if your last day was like ‘Someone’


seeing the world for the last time

as innocently as he had seen it first.


The last two lines are from ‘Someone’ by Dennis O’Driscoll 



Ladies changing


Raised lycra bottoms group like tulips,

heads nod groundwards, hands knot laces.


Some lean on sticks like staked sweetpeas,

ease limbs with stretches for the over-fifties.


Some hold up made-up faces; 

breast stroke preserving blow-dried heads.


Some, encased in cocoons, bring on Summer, 

like forced roses in December.


Some, with nipples like new buds, dance 

from shower to locker shedding wet petals.


Some disguise gravity, twist straps front

to back, raise knickers under knotted towels.


The off-peak ladies smile at foreigners,

gift-vouchered flowers in towelling slippers,


day-trippers seeking transformation,

quick-fixers in complementary robes. 


                                                         Maria C. McCarthy


Maria C McCarthy is poetry and fiction editor for Cultured Llama Publishing. Her latest book, as contributing editor, is Unexplored Territory, an anthology of poetry and fiction. Find out more about Cultured Llama’s poetry, short fiction and cultural non-fiction titles at www.culturedllama.co.uk

His love goes with him to the end


Why all that water? Ripples without worship.


Blue buried in the abandoned churches ?


I laugh as the gods leave.


Crawling off like dogs to die alone.



Birds become shadows of birds soaring


into strange obscurities. Butterflies


settle on the fingers of children


and wait pulsing like express trains.


 
The world becomes a surface,


even the graves  shallow.


Arriving Angels' wingtips slice through time;


their colourless eyes see the whole of things.


 
Willingly I amble, godless and


angel strewn, toward the casket revelation,


whose light turns out to be yellow


as if passing through old skin.


 
The past flashes, a flurry of glistening


wing beats, beneath a profusion of flowers.


Some days I find feathers floating around me,


like a reminiscence of snow, and smile.   



Making Space For Light To Enter
 
 
This is something we keep…
 
upside down, people walk on the railings

of the buildings, shivering.

They wear the roofs strapped to their ankles.

The woman's white hair, snow strands,

sprawls across the pavement.

 
No one knows quite how to walk here.

They trust the channel of winds

as the bat trusts darkness--

upside down, feet breathing warm ghosts.

 
This is something we keep secret…
 
certain things are fruitful in this channel 
of winds at the end of winter;
the last raging of ice, 

the future peering smugly from the homes 
of warm strangers, and the great stunned sky 
slowly settling like a dark cloud waiting a rainbow,
lined only with smaller dark clouds.
 
This is something we keep secret from each other.


 
Hail Mary
 
 
She really  had unique talents;

the most remarkable was that she

used to sing us

the "Hallelujah" Chorus--

all four voices, simultaneously.
 
She could add up all the numbers

of my mobile number, to tell

my future--she lived in

the fourth dimension,

where she learned how to count and spell.
 
I visited her in the hospital.

It was difficult to look.

She was bandaged; and dizzy

from daily shock-therapy;

and fat from the drugs she took.
 
She spoke easily; her animation

concealed my embarrassment.

But her eyes, in the gaps

in our gossip,

revealed painful, profound discontent.
 
After years of recoveries and relapses,

she is beautiful--thin and strong.

The diagnoses had been

mistaken:

there was nothing "mentally" wrong.
 
It was only chemistry; only

the body affecting the brain.

The reasons for losing

one's mind are confusing--

her treatments were, literally, insane.

 
Now she works in California--

Chief Rabbi.

She lives mainly in

three dimensions;

the past is mainly a blur.

 
She flies east to see her sister

on her annual business trips.

Her sense of irony

is her refinery

transmuting Melancholy and Rage into quips.

 
She eats what the doctors tell her--

it's a very narrow list.

Some of the scars

have disappeared.

 
Some of the symptoms persist.
 
  

                                                      David Morgan


 

David R. Morgan has been an arts worker and literature officer, organiser of book festivals, and a writer-in-residence for education authorities, a prison, and a psychiatric hospital (which was the subject of a Channel 4 film, Out of Our Minds). Currently, he teaches 11-18 year olds. David has published various poetry collections, including The Broken Picture Book, 
Beneath the Dreaming Tree, and Lightbulbs in the Sea. He has also written various works for children, including The Strange Case of William Whipper-Snapper, and Blooming Cats, 
which won the Acorn Children’s Book Award and was animated for BBC2’s Words and Pictures Plus.

 David’s has been described as ‘a poet with a unique voice grounded in surreal nature’ by Ted Hughes and one of ‘the most original writers I’ve come across in years’ by Peter Porter.

The Playwright at the Theatre

 

I’m here, it’s the first night
and I wrote the bloody thing.
Our scene is set, as the critics say,
in a nineteen-fifties newspaper office
and there’s a long
                                      slow

Act One, with … well, okay,
I’m not a belly-laugh writer.
The chuckle lines? All right, yes, just

                                         slowly

they’re starting up, there’s this one guy
at the back, he’s damn near orchestrating
a chest of wheezy laughs
(God bless you, merry gentleman)
and we’re at the interval.

 
I’ll never hack the bar right now,
just wait for Act Two, just hope oh hope
for so many more chuckles
(Go for it, merry gentleman)
and then they’ll see that defining moment,
that closing scene, the office, as they all
realize the big story was unfolding
in their midst and the happy couple
are revealed (Oh God, is this trite?
Is this garbage?) and it’s curtain down
on the couple leaving, hand in hand,                             
or (to all intents)
                                on me,

stripped-right-off naked,
standing in a swamp of footlights,
asking to be loved.

 

 

Celebrity

 

Well. In this dream, I was in
a grey March evening street,
gazing at a well-lit billboard,
parading a rather moderate movie
and a pretty, well-haunched girl,
the star. Right away I flung into
action those phrases like
“stylized breasts”, lamented her
yoke, the pathos of trivial fame.

 
Then, in my dream, the girl giggled
quietly. God. Look at old Grandad
there. He sends those poems out,
they print them, these magazines
with four, five hundred
readers. The old boy’s
thrilled witless with that. I know
my movie wasn’t extra-big,
but in my year, my fifteen warhols
of celebrity, I had a good, good time.
Oh yes.
                       Must be a hell of a thing
to be a poet. And at his age too.

 

 

A Study in Kin

 

John’s elder son is empowered
to close down university departments,
his younger one sends emails to
the President of the Board of Trade
(he tells me). The veriest flick
of a Paper Mate, the tweak of a

Send button, and whole generations of
students, businessmen, idealists
and swine are consigned to the rows
of spectators’ benches at his sons’
feet.
                   My own son is second
in the history department in the comp
(should really be on Senior Teacher Scale
by now, they tell me), stays in lunch times
often, in shabby classrooms, with charts
and instances and illustrations, talking to,
helping, some unsuccessful, worried child.    


                                                       Robert Nisbet







Robert Nisbet has had poems published lately in Orbis, The Interpreter's HOuse , Other Poetry, Obsessed with Pipework, Purple Patch, Poetry Wales, and on the London Grip Website. His chapbook Merlin's  Lane appeared from Prolebooks in 2011.


Glorious madness

The sea welcomes me like a lover
Embraced in the spray and surf
Wringing the last vestige of earth from me 

My lips broken burn from the salty kisses
Still I do not shy away from her dangerous embrace
I seek it revel in the freedom of it die for it 

The earth never loved me like this
For that she will be forgotten
In the glorious madness of the ocean
Found on broken rocks tomorrow.  


                                         Peter W Roberts


Peter W Roberts : I’ve been denying this element of my character for decades. Now I find that embracing the feelings and emotions
Has helped me gain insights into my own Psyche. The poetry acts a
Vent and focus to my thoughts and feelings. 

Hunter
 
The Diana in the 1960s  was a inexpensive box camera sold by the Great Wall Plastic Factory of Kowloon,

Hong Kong.  -Mike Barnes, The Toy Camera Legacy
 
Diluted light. March failing flame.
The orphan girl was a ward of the state.
Diana hers and the camera’s name.
She said she thought it fate.
“To be at that Home,” she said, “is to be bored.”
No use, no love, all god, no fun.
She shot the world for being the world,
With her gray eyed gun. She captured
The world by stunning light. She took revenge.
Bowed leaping arrows, exploding suns.
 
 
Shoplifter from The Methodist Children’s Home
And she stole on whims. One theft for every day abandoned.
Threw her diary, with her handsewn spinning script,
her awful times and rhymes, to the Spring river;
it ran like fast trains and gulped away her crimes.

                                                                          James Robison
 
 
James Robison has published many stories in The New Yorker, won a Whiting Grant for his short fiction and a Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his first novel, The Illustrator, brought out by Bloomsbury in the U.K. His work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, and Grand Street and twice in the The Manchester Review. He co-wrote the 2008 film, New Orleans Mon Amour, and has poetry and prose forthcoming or published in Story Quarterly, The Northwest Review, The Dublin Quarterly, Salt Hill Journal The Montreal Review, The Raleigh Review, he Santa Clara Review, Thrush Poetry Journal,and  MANY elsewheres. He taught for eight years at the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program, was Visiting Writer at Loyola College of Maryland, was Fiction Editor of The North Dakota Quarterly and 2011 Visiting Artist at The University of Southern Mississippi.He is the winner of a Pushcart Prize for 2013 and his prose poem will appear in that anthology.
 
 
Hunter

 
The Diana in the 1960s  was a inexpensive box camera sold by the Great Wall Plastic Factory of Kowloon,

Hong Kong.  -Mike Barnes, The Toy Camera Legacy
 
Diluted light. March failing flame.
The orphan girl was a ward of the state.
Diana hers and the camera’s name.
She said she thought it fate.
“To be at that Home,” she said, “is to be bored.”
No use, no love, all god, no fun.
She shot the world for being the world,
With her gray eyed gun. She captured
The world by stunning light. She took revenge.
Bowed leaping arrows, exploding suns.
 
 
Shoplifter from The Methodist Children’s Home
And she stole on whims. One theft for every day abandoned.
Threw her diary, with her handsewn spinning script,
her awful times and rhymes, to the Spring river;
it ran like fast trains and gulped away her crimes.

                                                                          James Robison
 
 
James Robison has published many stories in The New Yorker, won a Whiting Grant for his short fiction and a Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his first novel, The Illustrator, brought out by Bloomsbury in the U.K. His work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, and Grand Street and twice in the The Manchester Review. He co-wrote the 2008 film, New Orleans Mon Amour, and has poetry and prose forthcoming or published in Story Quarterly, The Northwest Review, The Dublin Quarterly, Salt Hill Journal The Montreal Review, The Raleigh Review, he Santa Clara Review, Thrush Poetry Journal,and  MANY elsewheres. He taught for eight years at the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program, was Visiting Writer at Loyola College of Maryland, was Fiction Editor of The North Dakota Quarterly and 2011 Visiting Artist at The University of Southern Mississippi.He is the winner of a Pushcart Prize for 2013 and his prose poem will appear in that anthology.
 
 
Mr. Death on a Sunday

 
He is drunk
with the snot of others,
with their sick aggression
and snake eyed lust.
 
He is a flat pan
transferring heat
to an unintended meal
stolen and proffered
by the sleep walking mass
or by himself in his own slumberous slide
 
and then charred and given
to the dead where they died.
 
Terrible volcanoes erupt!
They entertain
the schizophrenic
on computer screens
while he watches
sick with pills.
 
This numb feat of the fool
juggling on a tightrope
while the planet heats up
and his vision starts to cool.

                                                 



The Garden and the Ride
 
It is joyful and easy!
even when a little sad, this corner
of our wild and haunting yard, this part of the world
people by two
or sometimes one
among the animals
who feed me their love
for next to nothing.
 
And it is nice, sometimes,
to go for a ride
and sit with the dog
in your car
...while you shop inside
and the strangers seem happy
consuming the day
 
...I used to worry about strangers
but now I am glad
that they have
so little to say!

                                   Sam Silva


Sam Silva has published at least 150 poems in print magazines, including Sow's Ear, The ECU Rebel, Pembroke magazine, Samisdat, St. Andrew's Review, Charlotte Poetry Review,Main Street Rag, and many more. Has published at least 300 poems in online journals including Jack Magazine, Comrades, Megaera, Poetry Super Highway, physik garden, Ken again, -30-, Fairfield Review, Foliate oak, and dozens of others. Five legitmate small presses have published chapbooks of his, three of those presses
have nominated work of his for Pushcart a total of 7 times. Bright Spark Creative of Wilimington purchased rights to his first full length book EATING AND DRINKING and put the book out through author house at there expense. He now has many books and chapbooks available as print and kindle books at Amazon.com And his spoken word poetry is avaible at the major digital markets such as Apple i tunes.