Out of Sight

The sparrow that taps my window
is absent and the door also creaks more
the removal of one sound gives way to
others and same is true of words I used
profusely to describe the gestures you
adopted in summer, huffing in corridors 
for a palm of water leaving behind waves
knocking shoulders, and sometimes just 
a pinch of glance which adds to misery
of interpreting change in the sunlight 
and in your moods of late August evenings 
out of sight off the hinges no one returns 
to broken spells of rain and remote 
patches of grass quivering tongues.


Rizwan Akhtar works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan. He completed his PhD in postcolonial literature from the University of Essex, UK in 2013. He has published poems in well-established poetry magazines of the UK, US, India, Canada, and New Zealand. He has also done a 5 weeks workshop on poetry with Derek Walcott at the University of Essex in 2010. 


COAL…

My earliest memory—grasping that hard,
black rock in the toe of my stocking after
being thrilled by a dozen—baubles. Dad’s
poker-faced grin. Did you get everything?
Back in. Excited. What’s this? A lump of

Coal! Giver of toys reminding me, Dad said,
that I’d been “just a little bit” bad. Suddenly
I saw my Self. Like that little girl with a curl
I could be Horrid. Unto me a Superego was
born. Ignited by a lump of coal. Dad called it

SOUL…

David Alpaugh lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he teaches literature at California State University, East Bay and at the University of California, Berkeley Extension. His poetry appears in more than 100 journals and he has been a finalist for Poet Laureate of California. 


Forest Cat

December, we moved in.
So, mornings, when we drew aside 
the bedroom curtains, the sky was
still half dark, the moon old ash,
inert and floating on
a liquid air in which our bodies
quivered, our hair lifted,
our toes sought footholds,
numb in its cold deep.

Frost carapaced the grass,
the poor shorn trees.
The garden paths were slick, duplicitous.
We saw the cat, a phantom
of the tundra, materialise
and move itself like liquid,
its boneless contours
pouring down the fences,
flowing like mist from one lawn to another.

It visited us often, carrying 
the silence of the snow,
the grace of silence,
and we watched out for it
and called each other
to come and see it
crawling through the morning,
a ghost left over from the night before.

Now days grow shorter and
the air is milder.
The earth has thawed.
The earth exhales and stirs.
Light glows a little,
yellow at the edges.
The forest cat’s no longer haunting us.
Its body blurs back in 
that winter sleep,
buries itself below
the falling dark.


Kitty Coles is one of the two winners of the Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Prize 2016 and her debut pamphlet, Seal Wife, will be published in August 2017.


THE ROUNDS 


 
His bag emptier with every street.


Socks sagged around his ankles.


The lever in, slip, release


over and over.


 
Odd numbers, even numbers, rusty


hinges. Wind battered gates that 


knocked their whole lives. Seeing 


 
the sun spread itself over his daily


plot. The snip of a latch, clock turn


handle, heave the hinge-less, walk


 
through the gate-less, unbolt


the formal. Listening to the barking


and cawing, the snap of car lock.


 
Taking it all in his stride, the passing


of the unknown. Wearing away 


his years until he himself slips 


 
and drops. 


Gareth lives in Wales. He is an aspiring writer who has his first collection out in 2018 by futurecycle.

With regard to the notes


It isn't
their content
distresses

nor
the riotous spelling,
the cramped, jagged hand

it's not
even the use
of invisible ink.


It's the fact that they've stopped.



Birkenhead-born Ken Cumberlidge has been writing poetry, songs and stories on and off for 40+ years.  His most recent work has appeared variously online (Algebra of Owls / Allegro / Ink, Sweat & Tears / The Open Mouse / Picaroon / Spilling Cocoa… / Strange Poetry / Snakeskin).  Since 2011 he's been based in Norwich, where he can be seen muttering and gesticulating in the company of an embarrassed-looking dog.  Don't worry - the dog's fine.

Michelangelo

Beauty is within. It waits to be revealed.
The potter finds the vessel in the clay.
The sculptor frees the figure from the stone.
The block surrenders its shape to the woodcarver’s hands.

Who will bring our beauty into the world,
release us from the coarse-grained granite,
deliver us from the rude marble, like Michelangelo?


Glenn  Donald Hubbard was born in the UK but lives in Madrid. Fluent in Spanish, he is poetic only in English.His poetry has appeared in The Bow-Wow Shop, Snakeskin and The Interpreter’s House and will appear in The High Window, Carillon, Algebra of Owls and Bindweed later in 2017


Picking blackberries in my garden.


I seems almost sacrilegious
not to pick them.

Luscious, succulent, each dark
cluster is surrounded by thorns

as if they were in
a torment of crucifixion.

Their annunciation
is good news for my palate

and so I continue
with these biblical images

desiring to savour the miracle
of their virgin birth,

partake of their eucharist  -
my first, not last supper of summer

anoint myself with their juices
be baptized, and if I prick

myself and bleed continuously
absorb their flavour as a benediction

I know absolutely there
will be no resurrection.    

's  poems have appeared in The North, Other Poetry ... 

Picking blackberries in my garden.


I seems almost sacrilegious
not to pick them.

Luscious, succulent, each dark
cluster is surrounded by thorns

as if they were in
a torment of crucifixion.

Their annunciation
is good news for my palate

and so I continue
with these biblical images

desiring to savour the miracle
of their virgin birth,

partake of their eucharist  -
my first, not last supper of summer

anoint myself with their juices
be baptized, and if I prick

myself and bleed continuously
absorb their flavour as a benediction

I know absolutely there
will be no resurrection.    

John Christopher Johnson's  poems have appeared in The North, Other Poetry ... 


Un-Birthday Presents

For Aunty Jane
 
When it was a brother’s birthday, my aunt
would always send an un-birthday present
remembering us as an act of unloss.
 
Dried-out sea urchins, carved wooden pens,
Highland-baked biscuits from Spain arriving
crumbled in unopened brown packages.
 
I’d pop the bubble wrap, delighting in the sound
of celebrations not mine, of warm remembrances
neatly bound, full and beautifully thoughtful.
 
It was the finding that fascinated, memories
now enveloped as treasures ready to be reopened,
themselves unmattering just up to the point of being sent.


Jack Little (b. 1987) is a British-Mexican poet, editor and translator based in Mexico City. He is the author of 'Elsewhere' (Eyewear, 2015) and is the founding editor of The Ofi Press. He was the poet in residence at The Heinrich Böll Cottage on Achill Island in the west of Ireland in July 2016. @JLittleMexico
 
Night and Day

 

Down in the courtyard,

behind the area

where the sky-high

weeds grow,

adjacent to the

rubbish bins

stacked in many

rows -

rustling away

night and day,

lies a slug eaten

copy

of this poem.

David Pike is editor of Pulsar Poetry Magazine / Webzine since 1995; www.pulsarpoetry.com - reviewer / poet / novelist.

Morning Bedroom 

clothes crumpled on the floor 
exhausted after a day 
of soccer    

and British Bulldog 

my eyes weight 
of a bag of spuds 
try to open but pulled  

back up into the sleep  

until  creaking floorboards 
walk mum and my 
clean clothes 

into the bedroom 
where i pull on 
a new day 
                       


Peter Street has written and had published four collections of poetry. On most subjects, including war, disability and the environment but he has now started to write about his autism.