Spider

In the darkest godless hour
expecting sign of neither friend
nor foe, I head for the shower
and, stunned by sudden bright
light, there you stand,

a viaduct crossroads, eight lane
ends. As high as my toenail,
dominating the scene, raised up
and taking all in, as you might
be an emergency services
antenna, cross-hatched 
with struts, bristling with dishes.
I stoop and prod you, 

you refuse to budge, I prod again,
you give an inch, affronted
at my upstart ways. Boudicca 
of the arachnids, you stand 
your ground, and for that 
I’m all respect and awe.

 never could have hurt you 
from the start, so lowering 
my fingers like some monstrous
mechanical grab I hoist you up 
onto the windowsill. Certain
you’re safe from faltering feet,
high and dry for now, I see 
to my own welfare and go.

Tidying, after tea, no memory
of our head to head, I take
out the litter bin, and there, 
beneath, your mangled corpse,
more stark than any swastika.

Philip Beverley has been writing poetry these past 15 years with some success in small magazines and e-zines -e.g.Moonstone, The Black Rose, Poet Tree, Bard Hair Do, through to Carillon, Krax, Elbow Room and Brittle Star.


A Man Saw a War.
 
A man saw a war
that ravaged him, a country,
a host of innocents.
His tears flowed deep,
his heart cracked.
Left senses to float untethered.
Bob like corks.
Sucked into
the whirlpool repetition
of loss, pain, despair, anger.
Farewells became continuous
and the cries of the broken
beat upon his ears.
Torn from the lips,
of all those he knew.
To fly over the land
like birds seeking safety,
to fall to earth.
Lie deep and thick as blood.
Discarded, helpless
as autumns fallen leaves.






Arriving.
 
We begin.
A small curl of limbs.
Afloat. Cradled by warm fluid.
Bagged, curved, in closed-eye slumber.
Cupped by a pelvic bowl.
Hugged by pink-stretched elasticity.
Eventually spasmed forth
in reflex muscular strength,
Through a portal torn by dislocation,
the opening of the door to life.
Soft cranial bones flex,
a fragile, flower-stem neck twists.
A damp head slimy with meconium
emerges, slithers, and the first gasp
is dragged inside. We scream,
mouths gummy and gaping.
Eyes screwed against pain of light,
shock of transition, chill of dry air.
We clench fists,
fingers tiny as sea–anemone fronds
Already prepared to grasp our allocation.
Eyes open to a blood-smeared day.
We stake our claim upon the world
and our Mothers.




Birds at the End of Summer.
 
Broad acres lie green, shimmering.
A nap of waves ruffled.
Winds huff. Race in cold tumbles.
Mayflies hover, flip-flap in dark thousands.
Buzz like bees in a jar.
Snatched from the air by dipping swallows
at eye-blinking speed.
Dives drop from cloud-shadow.
Unending gyres twist the air,
white bellies flash against grey sky.
At ground-level a flock of starlings feed.
Rise as one.
Settle again like smoke solidified.
Roll in a great curl as those at the back feed
then flow to the front.
A smooth compaction of a thousand parts.
Suddenly they lift,
like handfuls of pepper grains hurled to the sky.
To group, zoom, fly.
Off to further feeding grounds.
Past the shadowed horizon.


A Man Saw a War.
 
A man saw a war
that ravaged him, a country,
a host of innocents.
His tears flowed deep,
his heart cracked.
Left senses to float untethered.
Bob like corks.
Sucked into
the whirlpool repetition
of loss, pain, despair, anger.
Farewells became continuous
and the cries of the broken
beat upon his ears.
Torn from the lips,
of all those he knew.
To fly over the land
like birds seeking safety,
to fall to earth.
Lie deep and thick as blood.
Discarded, helpless
as autumns fallen leaves.






Arriving.
 
We begin.
A small curl of limbs.
Afloat. Cradled by warm fluid.
Bagged, curved, in closed-eye slumber.
Cupped by a pelvic bowl.
Hugged by pink-stretched elasticity.
Eventually spasmed forth
in reflex muscular strength,
Through a portal torn by dislocation,
the opening of the door to life.
Soft cranial bones flex,
a fragile, flower-stem neck twists.
A damp head slimy with meconium
emerges, slithers, and the first gasp
is dragged inside. We scream,
mouths gummy and gaping.
Eyes screwed against pain of light,
shock of transition, chill of dry air.
We clench fists,
fingers tiny as sea–anemone fronds
Already prepared to grasp our allocation.
Eyes open to a blood-smeared day.
We stake our claim upon the world
and our Mothers.




Birds at the End of Summer.
 
Broad acres lie green, shimmering.
A nap of waves ruffled.
Winds huff. Race in cold tumbles.
Mayflies hover, flip-flap in dark thousands.
Buzz like bees in a jar.
Snatched from the air by dipping swallows
at eye-blinking speed.
Dives drop from cloud-shadow.
Unending gyres twist the air,
white bellies flash against grey sky.
At ground-level a flock of starlings feed.
Rise as one.
Settle again like smoke solidified.
Roll in a great curl as those at the back feed
then flow to the front.
A smooth compaction of a thousand parts.
Suddenly they lift,
like handfuls of pepper grains hurled to the sky.
To group, zoom, fly.
Off to further feeding grounds.
Past the shadowed horizon.


AMENITY SITE


The clunk and clank of skips, squashed dust
puffed up into the air by the dead weight drop,
coffin heavy. where things will wait until the

next time. the stale smell lingering in the fabrics
of workers. they give you that zombie stare, as
if their own life has been thrown away too.

crushed cans, rolling bottles, fridges sitting
silent, like old people in a home. crinkled carpet
of yesterdays steps. a heave and swing of

a container, yellow vested men watching
in lighthouse stance. a shrug of the contents
before being stowed away on the palm of a truck.





THE BOXER

Rattling chain holding a bodyweight bag
tap, tap, tap, whack, whack, whack
fingers tight knuckles mountain clenched

a shadow moves across the floor
swinging swirling, a silent drift
one foot forward, one foot back
tap, tap, tap, whack,whack, whack

hooks from hug like arms
jabs from arms length giving
upper cuts from the balls of the feet

crackling chain sighing in sway
hoping to release the heaviness
and the weight of a clack
tap, tap, tap, whack, whack, whack




MYCORRHIZA

At first I thought I was the fungi,
but you are.
I am just the tree reaching
for the sun, branching out during life,
going through the seasonal moods and
emotions. I want to be hit
first in bad weather. Brush away the wind
canopy the rain and hold the ice.

You are the unknown, hidden, unseen,
channeling energy into me through your
love.
You allow me to live, feeding my roots
with organic matter, and allowing me to
produce leaves that shelters our home,
our lives.



Gareth Culshaw lives in North Wales. He hopes one day to achieve something special with the pen. 

Space-time continuum

 

Time is the shape of a cheekbone, 
the lie of the nape of your neck. 
Space is bending to reach you,
to wrap around your quiet breath; 
to learn how slight movements 
change it all, as worlds rush by
in a blur of upturned eyes.




Noises at night

 

Just at the spot where you tripped
the stair-tread creaks in your ear.
The radiator contracts, ticks, clicks
out of time with the kitchen clock.

An airbrick shrills. Window frames sing.
Under the roof gusts clutch and snatch
the slates. Curtains shift. 
Damp clothes flap on wire hangers.

A tap groans, strains, and a dam bursts. 
The iron key scrapes, rattles 
in the lock. A door moans its last drop
of oil. We are unhinged.

 



Wellington Rocks

 

A crevice you can only squeeze in
as a six year old: lithe enough
to wriggle free of parents' gaze,
small enough to vanish in the split.

Castle walls you can only scale
at seven: perpendicular, with one way up,
a view to fortify against adults
hurling thoughts at one other.

Bracken you can jungle in 
at eight: lost in summer shade,
a stolen penknife sharper than the words
still puncturing your ears.

At eighteen, all the green and bronze
greyed out by traffic: and you,
lessened by school, too big to fit 
into the only bit of growing up you'd keep.





Julian Dobson lives in Sheffield and his poetry blog is at https://52poemsinayear.wordpress.com


Diary

I recall him admitting once

that all he recalled of Jane Eyre
was about a picnic basket
And now consuming a book
devoted to Havanna
its history and its culture
all I remember is the mention
of  a sunken treasure
the sheer paleness of him looms over all the 
notable names and dates
You were the reason
I kept my light late into the night
turning all those pages





Ramesh  Dohan is a short fiction writer and poet hailing from the city of Toronto, Canada. have been previously published in the Boston Review, Ascent Aspirations, Sentinel Review, Bywords Journal, to name a few.


Paper pellets


Offence should be discouraged

Socially not legally.

A crass cartoon, a fictional film:

In some countries they would

Pay with their lives.

 

A picture may paint a thousand

Words but words can kill,

War is made with them and

Terror-a new way of seeing

Banal words-fuses it.

 

This trigger didn’t sit snug

With some. An attack on pens

Is not just cowardly: It

Lacks intelligence. Next time

Hit us with your best rhyming couplet.






Graduation

In space the sun never sets.

Our closed minds think of things

In night or day, one or zero:

Poles apart depending where you are.

 

Tomorrow I graduate:

MA Honours English and Scottish Literature.

The certificate will say

Little on what I’ve learnt

And what is still to come.

 

I’ll keep my ear to Earth’s surface:

Wary of any tremors

To my compass, cautious

If you like. But in my universe

I’ve already moved planets

To get to the bottom of me.



Robert Ferns is a resident in the Highlands of Scotland and recently graduated from Edinburgh University. He writes about cycling, my environment and the influence of his father throughout his life. Robert goes between Edinburgh and Inverness and tries to define 'home' in his poetry. This is a challenging but enjoyable task.
 


A MISPLACED SHEET                                                           

of paper shuffled by the puppy,
those old files – xeroxed forms we filled out
at the end of searches – hundreds
of sheets in piles of loss.

An old man’s gone with sails to mend
or sink a body miles from where
he disappeared; a pier; to send him weighted
beyond finding by dogs.

Fabricated report by his friend
had us trudging through windfalls of logs –
that man still missing on mythic isles
of the not-found.

Siren-songs of frogs as we called
the lost names. Meadow frost dissolving
footprints like sheets of fog.
Whoever could add up all the cost?

My puppy scatters what she can’t spend,
a jumble of tales and places
jackstraw-tossed, these randomly
shuffled sheets of lost.

 
SKY CHASERS

 
Just a common Saturday morning,
my dog’s glory-time to chase the wind.
No jazz-him-up, he’s at max-stimulation,
electrified.
“Let’s go!” past homeowners
mowing lawns and tending roses.
Up the high hilltop, winds are squirrelly,
my dog pursuing fleeting scent.
Such a grand view.
Cloud-anvils over the east mountains
moving our way, fast,
harboring thunder in their bellies.
Weatherman didn’t predict.
We’re in escape mode now.
Snicker of lightning a block
away, simultaneous boom! it hits
right across the road, sizzling a palm tree
that explodes in flame.
Sirens. The storm moves on.
My dog’s got that look in his eye:
Let’s go find some more!

 
UNSOLVED TRIANGLES

Having mapped his route – a trek into canyon and back for work on Monday – he left his car at trailhead and vanished into river, rock, or sky. No clues between Point A, his car parked at the rim, and Point B, where trail meets water. No cold camp-fire doused at current’s edge. The points connected by a line not straight but curving with contours of cliff and switchback into gorge, down geologic ages to the river that made this place.  What invisible pen marked an unknown Point X to make an unsolved triangle? A glitch in logic? a change of purpose?

We awake to stars
dissolving rock in water
and forever wind.

Peter Sutcliffe



I went to a pub where he drank once,

Without knowing it.

Wiped a moustache of beer from 

My upper lip,

Walked the streets where he murdered,

Stepping carefully around piles of dog shit,

Wore the same flares,

Had the same haircut,

Listened to the same crap music,

Held a woman in my arms as he did

In a slow dance,

Went out on the pull...

I hate the bastard of course

Though we both had

Time to kill.




 That moment 



when the bad guy pushes a button and some

Poor fuck slides through a trapdoor into a pool of sharks,

Or the bloke at the bar built like a brick shithouse says

What if I rearrange your fucking face



That moment when Mandy offers to feel your twelve year old's cock

For a drag on your silk cut

And go considerably further if you'll split the pack,

That moment



When your eyes dart

To the patch of shrubbery on the council estate

And you weigh up the risk of getting caught,

The even bigger risk she'll talk,



And compare your dick unfavourably,

To the Whelks you shared on a school trip to Whitby



That moment when you slide 

Screaming into a pool



This organisation cannot tolerate failure

That moment when you decline politely to go outside

And your teeth splinter on a bar stool,

That moment when you cough,



No! and cigarette smoke

I always knew you were a puff.




My Cat and Crazy Rainbows



For Serhij


Your 1972 Lada farts through the park in Lutsk

As you wove around a gumbooted Babusya, two kids

Licking either side of a vanilla cornet in the dusk,



Let the light of Christ enter your heart

The CD you have chosen for me (Po Anhliyske! 

Vam spodobayetsya? )1 rasps as we float



Over the grass a respiring sea,

Your Lada magicked into a boat

Your mirrored glasses, a pool of mercury,



Reflect my face reflected in the rear view mirror

A million Steves soundlessly mouthing fuck

As you slalom past a teenage footballer,



Swerve back onto the road and brake

Outside the tax office leaving

A spectral sea of exhaust in your wake.



I could not find anything smaller,

You pressed a dollar into my hand,

A bigger man than me, though I was taller,



And gave me the CD I never listen to,

Though sometimes I flash it in the sunlight

For my cat and crazy rainbows grin like you.



Steve Komarnyckyj's literary translations and poems have appeared in Poetry Salzburg Review, The North, and Modern Poetry in Translation. His book of translations from the Ukrainian poet Pavlo Tychyna was published by Poetry Salzburg in 2011. His translation of Vasyl Shkliar's Ukrainian novel Raven was published in April 2013. His last book of translated poetry, A Flight Over the Black Sea was the recipent of an English PEN award in 2014. He has recently appeared in the Transatlantic Poetry Series of on air readings in an event hosted by Fjords Review. 

He runs Kalyna Language Press with his partner Susie and three domestic cats.


When Memories Awaken a Fire

 

As you entered our bungalow a right turn

took you past two bedroom doors

to my favourite room, the green one

at the end of the hallway,

a fifty pence meter hung above its alcove.

 

I remember my father lifting me

up past his shoulders to insert the coin,

turn the knob a whole half way.

 

My only brush with magic,

making the light bulbs reappear.


Geraldine O’Kane is originally from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, has had numerous poems published in magazines, anthologies and on-line e-zines such as BareBack Lit, FourXFour Poetry Journal, Illuminated Poetry Ireland, Allo Trope, Short, Fast and Deadly, Poetry Super Highway, The Lake and more. Her first pamphlet "Quick Succession"  is available to purchase via Pen Points Press http://www.poetryni.com/geraldine-okane.html

Geraldine is a spoken word poet, with the emphasis of writing a skilfully crafted poem and reciting it well. She is co-host and regular reader at the Purely Poetry open mic nights in Belfast. She has read her work in local theatres and in numerous literary festivals in the North and South. She has curated two multi-platform exhibitions for The Belfast Book Festival and  facilitated creative writing workshops. She has just launched a new print and on-line micro poetry press Panning for Poems.


ROUTED BIRDS

 

 

I sing you a song of swarming city rats

that presage the earliest call of spring

for I am a poet of beautiful women

blooming in shopping queues

 

 

and I sing you a song of the poisoned apple

(the queue is long but the price is wrong)

and I sing of our loss beneath the film

of oil across the oceans

 

 

and I sing of the nectar of fluttering butterflies

of our doubtful obsolete balance of terror

of the omen of routed dying birds

limping across the sky

 

 

and I sing you a love song about the land

and I sing you a swan song about the clouds

because I am the poet of our time

and time is running out.

 

 

Thomas  Orszag-Land is a poet and award-winning foreign correspondent. His poetry appears here and in Ambit, The Great American Poetry Show and London Magazine.



 Too Late You Missed It

  
A scatter of sequins, a splutter
of applause. The box is locked
like a prophesy half
-unveiled; your toes wink
like fresh young stars
on a wintry morning, fingers wave
hello/goodbye

counting blessings
and beads, scattering seeds
to the black field
where white crows peck
and bleed:

now watch
while I disappear.
 
 
Another Dorian Gray


 

‘Here you are in fifty years,’
laughed the artist, turning the canvas
to face the face. And beautiful
young Dorian was so entrenched
in his hatred of the years
that he sought forgiveness
everywhere he went; apologised to strangers
he had never met for the many sins
he would not commit
upon their fair young bodies
and souls. And while the painting
lived ageless and graceless,
trans-am’ed the wide world
to display its wild face
to swooning galleries and
first class stamps

young Dorian grew old in an attic
he dared not leave, for fear
of the years and how they might
haunt him. But when his last breaths

limped closer he called for his portrait
to visit him in his garret, to delay 
its foul triumph with black smoke 
and thin blade. But face to face 
with canvas and colour
its cold beauty overcame him
and he stabbed the lesser heart,

his own. When they came 
to his pleading they found 
a beautiful young boy twisted 
on the floor. And on the canvas 
a vile old man, no uglier than before.
 
 
No Lights On The Runway

 

On walls
and in water
in firework shapes
burning smoke from the sky

in pigeon shit
on your window ledge
or pools of piss
in black alley streets

this is the new poet
Pony Express;
how the news gets through.



Dandelion 


Dreams are not free, but freedom is. 

All you need is balls, a pair like a bull’s,

round and smug and full up of the stuff of heroines, 

brewed in a cauldron till

the steely strength of these two hanging improprieties of

a metaphor are forged. And when they’re yours, 

oh my what dreams will come—potent like 

gooseberries, dripping like blasphemy, and all yours to

blow off into the wind in springtime, season

of migrations, hunting time for the dandelions

whose halos indifferent children whisper into

with unspoken lips until their wisps

flutter away 

into long oft unkissed

gales. 



Want


the space between 

is written on the body 


where our entering

gets taken for 

a deciphering


and our exiting 

for a conclusion


and what is there to decipher


when 

I translated you 


out of an original 

whose language I learned 


only after



All adjectives are metaphors. 


Strike them from our records. 

Grant them no place in repentance. 

Only then may we be reached

from the other side of sound

where the clanging is no longer of 

the opaque of the 

grappling, of the

grappling with its hooks, of 

the grasping at

enough of the 

no more of these 

devils hooking into 

clawing at 

clawing at laughing 

laughing at

the so much of things life

leaves 

dangling


(for the beamish, mazy B.M.P.) 


James Nikopoulos' poetry and essays have appeared most recently in here/there poetry, Arion, and PlayShakespeare. He teaches world literature in Astana, Kazakhstan. 


The Elephant in the Room

 

 

From a baby, she’d slept in the corner.
We ignored her hide getting scabbier.

Waking one day with a fat head,
her hammock of a belly brushed
the table knocking the wilted lilies
into flat shapes as her trunk
snuffled up the bills you were ticking
off in your little bills book.

If we’d had any emergency zoo numbers,
we’d surely have dialled them
but she was already on the phone
to The Queen-Sized Pizza Emporium.

Though her trumpet progressed from a low
flatulence to a little above Grade 8,
its muscle put out both windows
I was just about to chamois.

By now we were getting the hang of it:
your fleet of hairdryers crushed
as I slipped them under a back foot,
you clutching a litter bin of Stella
for her to spray up the wall.

We thought twice about shoving her
upstairs to drive our son
out of his bed with her wet trunk
snorkelling under his duvet before
trashing the hovel of his room
while he boarded down the slates
but she didn’t do reverse.

Two things to mention: I snapped 
your Damien Rice c.d. and she never
ripped up all my poems
with those stumpy front legs.

Later the tabloids would say
we were driven crazy with fear.
Posters outside newsagents.

Truth is, she smashed down the walls,
pulped the lawn mown in lines
and with her saggy arse wobbling,
took off after a scent on the wind,
us hanging on her tail
as she crossed the swollen Nidd.

 

 

 

Clearing out Dad’s Clothes

 

 

All those folded layers of blue

stacked on the side in the kitchen,

bagged, ready to go next morning.

I took one look, bundled them

into the boot of the hire car.

 

Next day, you said you’d prefer

not to go, so I drove the bags

to the clothes bank at Asda

as the Salvation Army van

pulled up to collect the offerings.

 

I handed over the one bag,

thought for a minute in the car

before offering the white van man

all the remaining bags

bound for the charity shop.

 

He cranked open the door

and chucked them into the dark

with the others: Cheers, mate.

While I sat holding the wheel,

stationary, he drove them away.

 

Had I imagined other men,

setting off to somewhere,

pleased with cost and cut,

in the blue jackets and shirts

of the dead, shades of my dad?

 

 

 

   Visitor

 

 

Before Ashley goes to Australia,
it puts six inches on everything.
The greengrocer throws sacking
over his fruit. A few old men
teeter home with newspapers.

Cars slur into odd angles
with the road. Sounds sink
back to the earth. In the park,
angels flap their wings
under pines holding cloud.

Wading our way home, our street
is not ours. Roofs curve over
like pastry. We pile up whiteness,
strip the walls of the yard.
He grows lean and strong.

 We roll his fat head
and pull it home on a sledge.
Standing on patio chairs,
neighbours help to lift it;
a circle of raised arms.

Such weight is a miracle.
We scatter indoors. Shells
for kaleidoscope eyes, mittens
nailed on with pegs. His head
looks out above the wall.

A woman stops in her tracks.
We shout clear off to kids
in a scrum with snowballs.
We pause at every window.
He draws a smile on our faces.

That night, Ashley and I
fetch the hose to spray him
so he’ll set and last forever,
which he does when the moon
rises, fixing him with light.

 

 



Stuart Pickford lives in Harrogate and teaches in a local school. He is married with three children. He has received a major Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. His first full and only collection was The Basics that was shortlisted for the Forward Best First Collection prize. Stuart has had work published in many magazines and journals including Acumen, Agenda, Ambit, Envoi, Fire, Iota, OasisOrbisPoetry ReviewRialto, Smiths Knoll, Staple, The North, The SHOp and New Writing.  

 

 Ripples 



During a cold snap the group of five
was welded tight as they cast the body
of the priest, that unwittingly witnessed 
their first exhumation,
beneath the ice of the frozen Thames.

From then they got slicker,
operating from a beat up transit
they would pounce, wrench that night's target 
to the surface, with a new cadaver in the 
box in minutes. 

Swapping silent hated
tyrants with displaced bones from unmarked plots
set the ripples they were after,
like the rings from lobbed bread
that get the ducks racing.



Future waters

We awake to find the house floating, unlike
the rest of the terrace, it seems we were
built on a hull, maybe ancient Viking. The boys 
gasp as waves cast us past remnants
of offices, shards of floating 
mission statements, shoals of keyboards clicking
with the tide. Our house knows its course
steering round summits of sunken
towers, with their neon logos in
a death fizz. Until we are alongside
other houses, children wave to each other
as the flotilla advances. We get up,
cook pancakes, and set to work on a flag.



Salt
 
I can't eat this without salt
you murmur before even a slurp
has ventured through veneered lips. The soup
has had troupes of wizened experts sent
to corners of unmapped forests searching
for exquisite mushrooms, contains
stock from the boiled bones
of the last mammoth, is laced with
sparks captured from the ends
of ten rainbows. Soup that sings
of itself so keenly the chandelier
is quivering. The aroma has a stronger pull
than the pipers trills, passers by are pressed
drooling at the windows. This entire kitchen  
knelt in reverence at the bowl before it was
released and you sit here and
ask for salt.




John Porter has degrees in Russian and law. He lives in Cheltenham, UK, following experiments with Leeds, London and Moscow. He has two small sons and since acquiring a dishwasher now has time late at night to get down some of the poems that have been bouncing around for a while

Working with My Bare Hands
 
You can't even lie to me
with a straight face, Father said.
Your head is crooked. Let me
straighten it out. I'm not going
to use a hammer but my bare hands.
You won't get brain damage. Why
would I damage something that is
already faulty? You may not believe
me, but I'm here to help. And when
I'm not able to contribute
in a positive way, I do what
cowboys used to do with old cows -
take them to pasture. 



Hal Sirowitz is a frequent contributor to Manhattan Review, Hanging Loose Magazine and The Bellevue Literary Review. He was the winner of The Nebraska Book Award 2013 Poetry Competition for his last collection of poems.

An Argument for Strolling Players 



Out in the lonely ritual of rain daubed 

streets the black paving stones lie dormant, 

distilled with the ambient Mecca of hustle.


Inside a house you might have walked past is me, 

a glum, pampered milksop feeling the heartbeat of the world. 

I discovered you beneath the marble of billowing white bed sheets, 


an intoxicating brew of question marks. 

A humbug of winged creatures clasp the architecture of your brass bed, 

in this suspended light like the translucent wings of a moth.


We don’t need the incorporeal to sustain us, 

we are two bodies in a memory of loss of mother

where God is a matter for the dignity of butchers.





Within the Knot-Hole of Boo Radley's Oak Tree



This necklace is made of night's rumour

Painted with whispers of the sea,

Within the knot-hole of Boo Radley's oak tree.


The fish from his bowl is paroled 

And rides on the back of a flea

Within the knot-hole of Boo Radley's oak tree.


Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Lilith,

Velvet cats with eyes sunk in find sanctuary

Within the knot-hole of Boo Radley's oak tree.


Wild flower garlands wrap around the secret staircase,

Everybody listen to the wind wail like a banshee 

Within the knot-hole of Boo Radley's oak tree.


Strange gifts lurk as starlings on your shoulder,

Phantoms lie where you were once lying, you are them to a degree

Within the knot-hole of Boo Radley's oak tree.


Chewed gum, ball of twine, two figurines,

This port hole is filled with concrete, but there is a skeleton key

Within the knot-hole of Boo Radley's oak tree.





Blackbird's Egg Tree 

(Catonem ovum arboris)



It was during mid cartwheel on the sea shore 

when we found the blackbird's egg tree.


We polished off the contaminate sand and green tea

leaves and found beneath it a door to an egg of shining armour.


The turquoise plating trembled and a split 

appeared. Our swords were drawn, really a fountain pen


and a ukulele. From a broken cloud of wise men

a great puff of smoke did emit.


An ear piercing whistle was heard like a siren in a war,

the sand blew a reed of glass out to sea


and there clucked a clockwork guinea hen 

in a coat of the very finest pearl two knit.


No one can predict what will hatch out of a blackbird tree's egg,

be it a silver haired rose, or a Fabergé clothes peg.



Grant Tarbard's poetry can be seen in such magazines as The Rialto, Illumen, Aphelion, The Seventh Quarry, Ofi Press, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Bone Orchard Poetry, Blaze, The Journal, Southlight, Sarasvati, Earth Love, Mood Swing, Puff Puff Prose Poetry & Prose, Postcards Poetry and Prose, Playerist, Lake City Lights, The Open Mouse, Miracle, Poetry Cornwall, I-70, South Florida Review, Stare's Nest, Medusa's Kitchen, Zymbol, Weyfarers, Synchronized Chaos, Bluepepper, Every Day Poetry, Verse-Virtual, Tribe, The Golden Key, New Poetry, I am not a silent poet, East Coast Literary Review, Hark, The Black Light Engine Room, The Black Sheep Journal, Haiku Haven, Lunar Poetry, Decanto, Your One Phone Call, Danse Macabre, Message in a Bottle, Of/with: journal of immanent renditions, Elbow Room, The Mind[less] Muse, Ginosko Literary Journal, Abbreviate Journal, Visual Verse, The Fat Damsel, Earthen Lamp Journal, Drunk Monkeys, Anomaly Literary Journal, Wordgathering, Yellow Mama, Black Petals, Fur-Lined Ghettos, Crack the Spine, Literary Orphans, Writers for Calais Refugees, The Merida Review, The Penwood Review, Poems & Poetry and First Time. 


His poems have featured in a number of compendiums, including Dogma Publishing's Miracle at St. Bede’s, Page A Day Anthology, Storm Cycle, Lost Tower Publication’s Greek Fire and WK Press’s Best of 2014.Also, I have had poems exhibited at my local gallery a number of times as well as at the Quayside gallery in Maldon, Essex. he came first runner up at the age of sixteen in Ottakar's National Poetry Competition with a poem entitled Delicacy, he's been a finalist for nomination for the Pushcart prize and has won The Poetry Box Dark & Horror Poetry Magazine's Sinister Poetry Award May 2014 for his poem Crows Feet.

Grant's first chapbook 'Yellow Wolf' is out now, published by WK Press, his first full collection published by Lapwing and a collection published by Platypus Press will be both out next year.



Coffee shop Autumn


1


In this coffee shop autumn

Where the leaves fall like receipts from the till,

I want to fall into you

With the force of a dying century,

Or the birth of a star, or a miracle, or a man.

 

II.

Sat beautiful across this varnished table-top

Bearing the errant grains of sugar

And sweetened pages of chapters

Upon chapters of spoken prose,

We wait for the snow to fall.


 

Hardened Feet

 

Wet leaf end of winter

and I enjoy the walk

through the pockets of the country.

 

Names left in bark

thaw each spring and I

wonder if the owners did

 

or if the handle splintered with

the first split-cups of March

when they sweep the pines

 

and frosty, petalled white

with their baleful heads,

an answer from under

 

to man’s hardened feet.

Treading through the absence

I can see an ailing snowman

 

feeding the blades and

biting the tawny wind,

all stick-limbs and root features

 

coat buttons and spent scarves.


 

Origami Birds

 

Folding a seminal day

across candlewick ribbon

budding

 

with the first

half-empty curtains

of the month,

full of the open window

which drove mirth

 

in your fingers

as they breed origami birds

from the pages I read

perched on the bedside table,

I fly.



Ethan Taylor is an Actor/Poet currently studying for his BA(Honours) in Acting in Guildford, UK. He has recently taken up writing and poetry is something he immensely enjoys whether it’s reading, writing, discussing, speaking or analysing it. He has been published in both online and hardcopy literary magazines including ExFic and Peeking Cat.

 Autumn/Spring

 

With the dry stone walls divining the fields

The bales bagged in the gilded grass,

The once heaving landscape is briefed to a sylvan sulk,

No longer bulked like birds fending off a chill,

The nightjars churring silenced amongst the tawny trees

Hooting and harring in the night

Where croft houses appear like toadstools in the mist,

Abandoned farms with their teetering gables,

Rafters rifting from the ceilings

Above smashed sashed windows

Reflecting cumulus sheep afloat on the hills,

Where the sun extinguishes itself to night.

Before it reignites the gorse

Churning butter as the snowdrops melt back to green,

And the sloe quick to blossom with winters emulation.

The narcissi beaming inebriation,

Keeping their lilting heads aloft.

With the wasps girdling fences,                                    

And birds building nests.

While tits flit about the branches,

Bobbing dolphin-like through the air,

Whirling a whistle of spiralling agility

Against the pirr of the wind

That tears confetti from the erumpent cherry spurge,

Then the hawthorns surge charges spring to summer.



 

Getting On

 

The first half of my life feels like forever

The second like no time at all

While I get on more in touch with my phenological sense

Replacing the kairological with the chronological

Through an acquiescence and appreciation of time                                                                         

Now patience and care rather than rushing despair

Not living life with a sense of urgency

Wishing my life away

Constantly striving to get where I was

Unable to remember one day from the next.

 

Now I like to live in memories.

To bask in the comfort of my mind

Observing my memories

Where the persistence of vision entrances me with the moving image,

Photographed on my celluloid cosmos.

Images existing of the past

Making light of time

Remembering things, not as they were, but as they are now.

The romance of a cold night against the warm glow of reminiscence,

Moulding moments into shape.



 

Impressionism

 

The soundscapes of Debussy,

A Turner for the ears,

The Great Western e-merging

Out of the landscape,

Pulling up at Gare St Lazare.

 

Such kineticism of colour

Vibrant with reality,

Summoning light from

Whistlers nocturnes

In a séance of scenery.

 



Anthony Ward tends to fidget with his thoughts in the hope of laying them to rest. He has managed to lay them in a number of literary magazines including Cultured Vultures, The Pygmy GiantShot Glass JournalMessage in a Bottle, Lunar Poetry, Torrid Literature Journal and Crack the Spine, amongst others.


Sitting On The Platform Opposite

Awake with wine she waits beneath the heather
of hanging baskets for the midnight train
is late again. Alone in moonlight she sips
her wine, unzips her plastic purse, and files
her nails to convex curves. Time to observe.



His Last Supper

A daddy-long-legs lollops in and bebops
a life of jazz; the dip of frenzied wings,
the gangly limbs, the lopsided tread of air.
He batters glass, spirals down in the fog

of tobacco poisons, stutters to land.
Almost legless, limps across a pop-art
of cod and clammy chips and mushy peas,
threads his demise in robes of tomato sauce.



Phil Wood works in a statistics office. He enjoys working with numbers and words. His poems can be found in various publications including: Clear Poetry, The Lampeter Review, The Black Sheep Journal, Dactyl Zine, the anthology Wherever You Roam (pub.Pankhearst).



WE ONLY DIE WHEN LOVE PERISHES


at first we wore Winceyette pyjamas because nights were Arctic and that put an end to lust

it wasn't our dream at first we wore Winceyette pyjamas

it wasn't our dream because nights were Arctic and that put an end to lust


with its requests for payment, children, jobs etc. life became ordinary

the Mesozoic period with its requests for payment, children

the Mesozoic period jobs etc. life became ordinary


152” full HD, Plasma Display, with 8.84 million pixels still in colour and high definition

our love still in colour and high definition

our love 152”, full HD, Plasma Display, with 8.84 million pixels



“I'M SAYING I LOVE YOU”


into the flames of my heart into the chains of his hearth

passion with its hammer and sighs caution with its hanger of goodbyes

growing with drops of desire growlings he can't decipher


I'm distracted, sings, rages, a flaccid thing that lurches

weeps, curses, confesses weak, deaf and undressed

like a lunatic plagued in hell like a music awkard in its farewells


how I cherish her he's a devilish flasher

in these trickling, stumbling lines reciting middling, crumbling chimes

my immortal song that are awfully long


BLUE


of the colour blue of the deep blue waters of your eyes

I have a sudden desire to write of the colour blue

I have a sudden desire to write of the deep blue waters of your eyes


the bright blue of the sea at noon and the blue ash falling like leaves

the dark blue of the afternoon the bright blue of the sea at noon

the dark blue of the afternoon and the blue ash falling like leaves


the soft warmth of your kisses and the deep blue waters of you eyes

the blue warmth of you blood the soft warmth of your kisses

the blue warmth of you blood and the deep blue waters of you eyes



Rodney Wood lives in Farnborough, took early retirement and spends his time looking after granddaughters and the dog, occasionally doing front of house work at a local arts centre, writing poems and has just draft part1 in a sequence about THE POET ASSASSIN. Last year he had over 30 poems published.