Angel With Light Fingers   
 
Fingernail....bitten because broken,
Covers for nerves within,
Chainsaw words etched into mind,
Truth forever hated, because true,
Angel with light fingers,
Comfortable with conscience,
Crocodile with no mercy,
Natural as Arsenic, 
Powerful Combinations all.
Cold mimicking warmth,
Summer haze dressed by winter,
Sickly to the touch,
Lies supported by finance,
Turned into unquestioned fact,  
Minds set in concrete,
Expound hollow knowledge,
Based on nothing more,
Than demand to be heard,
As questions became disrespect,
So Hell and Gulag welcomed truth alike.
 
Nature placed low,
By perceived simplicity,
As ants follow ordered trail,
Without sight of toll.
Until washed away by flood
Only truth is theirs,
As in death itself.
 
 
 
So Delicate  

So delicate the moths wing,
Poor design taken too far,
Nature's decision...not mine,
And never challenged.
Caught in wet hand,
Split second damage,
Is it the hands fault?
Shouldn't have been wet,
Shouldn't have even been there?
But it was.....and I'm here. 
So has Evolution ignored me?
Or is the moth of little importance,
Unlike the fly?

 
 
 
 
Table Tennis Love
 
 
She asked me to quantify my love,
 
I told her it wasn't as simple as that,
 
Like trying to describe a game.
 
Table tennis love,
 
The harder you serve your love,
 
The less chance of it being returned,
 
Maybe it doesn't pay to have too many winning shots?
 
Just serve it up...... nice and easy,
 
To guarantee its return.
 
And If it comes back too hard, with heavy top spin?
 
Then I guess your in for an exciting game,
 
However short! 
 
 
What's important, is to always play similar ability partners,
 
Ensuring you don't become demoralised by winning too easily,
 
Or being beaten too often!
 
And for very poor players?
 
 
Well, there's always the mixed doubles option!
 
 
                                                          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
  
 

Black Birds


Black birds are anything
but black.
Sea gulls
detesting the sea.
Delinquent magpies picking
Up scraps

Ashamed of man,
Peregrine falcon.
Converting.

Bind hand into claw.
Cement hair into feather.
Stitch mouth into beak.
Hone muscles into wings.
Bind foot into talon.

I’ll hover above and observe.
And when the time is right,
I’ll release.

Black hole et al.
Whom can ever have the choice of womb?
I would have chosen fauna
That’s my corner.

Whoever makes a poet
out of himself gets rid
of the pain of
being a man
They need that to give them the words and the reign

Spokesperson for the G.I. raffes
Charlie Chaplin hushed when
Volume was invented.


Aesthetic


Everyone always says:
"There's plenty more fish in the sea"

But I've never been a fan of bestiality

You say Hope does not exist?
Then why will people eternally wait at bus stops?
Because they know eventually it will come.

Release yourself
From what compels
you don't need it

I'll drown in the Dead Sea
And let the salt make
a miracle of me.
Even the fish will walk on water.

I'm trying to draw the perfect circle
But only reaching messy triangles
First man to draw it went mad

I have everything I could ever need
Because I have hypochondria

Even this rhyme,
a symptom
of the broken rule

Life is all about
Transferring one addiction,
To another.

Aesthetic is curse,
Which we all should not nurse.


                                                                    Liam Butcher




Liam Butcher lives in Highams Park in East London. He started writing poetry around 2 years ago and has 'really got into it recently'.

He describes his style as mainly lyrical and confessional as most of his poems are about himself or the way things in the world make him feel.

Liam's poetry has quite dark undertones but doesn't intend to depress anyone who reads his work. He 'just want them to think about what his writing.'

Liam's  favourite poets are Sylvia Plath and Phillip Larkin but he also get a lot of inspiration from songs and lyricists, be it reggae or hip-hop music.

 
Specious Species



Released on bond from decency
 
in DuPage County, she returned
to Cook to righteously cook
her carved mother's kosher heart.

Family, foul or fair, is a lie
 
to biology. DNA has no devotion.
Evolution may bind by deformity,
but Darwin was devoid of love.

After draining its warm blood
 
for a basil and garlic gravy,
she chopped the organ that played
life into her own flesh for stew.

Frankenstein was not a monster.
 
A botched parental experiment
poorly treated by born humans,
he never had half a chance.

The doted-upon daughter devoured
 
the matriarchal meal -- ingesting
her benefits depleted cash-cow --
her caring cannibal cuisine.

Naively ignored is a nursery rhyme
 
which nurtures babes about slime.
NATURE HAS AN UNNATURAL SPIN.
SLEAZY SURVIVAL KNOWS NO SIN.



                                       Mike Davidson
 




Mike Davidson is a criminal defense attorney and former college English teacher who enjoys fast food, beer, and old TV shows. 

To let  the poet know of any comments on the above poems click on the image below. 


   No More Nightmares Now



I moved into a little cabin
    next door to them one summer
    I could hear him yelling
    through my open windows
    in the wee hours as I sat up writing
They slept in separate rooms
    as it was never safe to wake him
    or be too close to him at night
    because he spent his dreams back in Korea
    at the Chosin Reservoir trying to survive
The story came out one piece at a time
    as we played cribbage
    hunted our springers in the lower fields
    sat waiting on cold November deer stands
    worked on projects in the wood shop
    and after several years I could put those pieces together
Dogs would gravitate to him
    cats would vie for a place on his lap
    but even they knew not to wake him
    if he napped in the afternoon
Me, I listened to the story he could never tell his family
    he said it made sleeping easier
    maybe it did though I was never sure
    if he saw my lights on
    he’d come over in the middle of night
    for a cup of tea and to talk
    until his hands stopped shaking
    and he’d go back home to bed
    to fight it all over again

                                              Tom Diegoli



Tom Diegoli is a freelance writer living in Gorham, New Hampshire, with his daughter Peg, Roxanne the Springer Spaniel, and two obnoxious but endearing Siamese cats. He writes technical articles, short stories, and poetry. His other interests include cooking, cross country skiing, shooting, hunting, gardening, and making wine from the wild berries of the region.

   An active member of The Poetry Society of New Hampshire, he has been published in several anthologies including The Other Side of Sorrow,  The Poets’ Guide to New Hampshire, Vols. 1 & 2, magazines including The Café Review, The Color Wheel, and Touchstone, and online at www.windinthetimothypress.com. He also makes regular appearances at area open mics to read both poetry and prose, and spent many years working in the local schools giving workshops on writing poetry. 

   He has self published three chapbooks: One With The Land, Interface, and What The Cat Dragged In, two DVD’s: The Skunkskin Session and Live At Acoustic Coffee, and several audio cds. A collection of his short fantasy stories, The Book of Scratch, is due out sometime next year.

  

Secrets and Promises

 

There are words in my head that I bring out for special occasions.

Until then they are only silently rolled around my palate to see how they taste.

Some are fully formed and are like dry marbles in my mouth.

Some are just a slim sliver on my tongue - I’ve sucked them almost dry.

Some are just forming droplets, waiting to swell and enlarge.

Sometimes fat words just fall from my lips.

Sometimes I need to spit them out.

Secrets, I have to pull out of a fast-beating heart.

They emerge in starts and stops.

Promises are discreet rare things and are slowly savoured before

I present them to the world on a plate.

Today I named some of these things out loud to the echoing air and the brittle walls,

And saw they could fall freely and find a safe place to hide in the brick and concrete of the city’s fabric.

These sounds are now embedded so strangers can share them.

And strangely I have no fear of the noise.




A Small Meeting of Strangers



On a grey-washed -underwear February day

I ran on Purdown

City Green Space

To strip away

Office cramps and sticky imaginings.

A tumble of dogs

Broiled on the thin grass

Around a broad man with a hat

Pulled down to his eyes.

One dog stood sternly

And stared me out

Warning me away with a shout

And the man

Apologised

For his dog’s behaviour.

I said I understood

The concern of an animal

Approached by a stranger.

The man didn’t meet my eye but turned his back

And moved with his broil of dogs

Away down the hill.



Moon-Fat Moths


Breathing quietly

In the midge massed dusk

Moon-fat moths crowd the window.

Pressing against cold glass,

Rustling paper wings,

Their soft bodies bump and batter

The impenetrable wall.

The thin light they long to own

Floods its long fingers onto

The dew thick lawn.

In the musky kitchen

The violence of their passion

Is muffled,

Their desperation ignored.

On long summer nights

Pain can be forgotten

In the throes of infatuation.

We see our heart’s desire

But are blinded by

Its luminescence.

Moon-fat moths make dark of light.

 

                                            Sarah Flint



Sarah Flint is  a solicitor turned gardener turned writer.She has been writing articles about the things she love for some years - originally gardening and now climbing, but she increasingly likes the freedom to play around with words in poetry and look at the small details of life. She has a blog athttp://sarahrestflint.wordpress.com.

 


     Winding Sheets

 

The wind took it; was whipping it from my grasp

Stronger than I was, needing that sheet to dance with.

Wrestling it back onto the line, pegging it hard down,

It flapped against me, wrapping me, then lifting suddenly free.

 

Always that shadow in the corner

 coughing to announce itself, making its presence felt

Even in passion, even at  sunset, holding hands, a child’s eyes

‘Don’t forget about me, I’m still here, waiting for you’

 

Nowadays I don’t seem to mind so much

It’s been there so long, I’m on familiar terms.

And now and then, when my bones ache

And the night-time sheets feel so smooth and cool

 

I wonder if it will feel as if a friend has come to fetch me

To whisk me away, like the wind and the sheet,

And I will unpeg myself, at last,

To go dancing.  

 

                                        Jane Francis



 

Jane Francis is an ex actress, writer and teacher, now Therapist. She has written all her life, poetry plays and short stories. Having been very caught up in family life for the last 15 years or so, she is now divorced, living in Deal by the sea with her kids and  is dipping her toes back into the water of writing, and loving it....




Leaves in December


 
Leaves, a few stragglers in
December, just before Christmas,
some nailed down crabby
to ground frost,
some crackled by the bite
of nasty wind tones.
 
Some saved from the matchstick
that failed to light.
Some saved from the rake
by a forgetful gardener.
 
For these few freedom dancers
left to struggle with the bitterness:
wind dancers
wind dancers
move your frigid
bodies shaking like icicles 
hovering but a jiffy in sky,
kind of sympathetic to the seasons,
reluctant to permanently go,
rustic, not much time more to play.
 

 
Hookers on Archer Avenue


 
Late evening, early morning,
I search the night for whores,
young, bloody with desire.
Night streets are silent streets
except for hookers and their Johns.
One wants the dart of groins
the other green eyes in dollar
sacred treasures-
snatch the wallet, a consecrated craft.
Both hit the streets quickly
satisfy needs quickly.
 
I’m an old buck now rich with memories
more than movement, still talk, take porn shots,
with a peeking eye, snoop around
department store corners,
and dumpy old alleyways.
My hair is gray, my teeth eroding,
thoughts toward prayer
A.M. Catholic Mass,
then off in early morning
to the mailbox, a lethargic walk,
I pick up my social security check-
comforts my needs.
 
Evening settles into bed time
with a western romance novel,
ambushes, excitement,
old transgressions stretch
and relax.
 
No desires, homage
to the day, to the night.

 



Wind Turbine

Monstrous reaper
thrashing arms threshing air

or snowdrop on the bright horizon.

Lost to night,
spinning like the wheel of a ship near wreck

or ponderous, arms on a clockface.

Or stilled.
A crucifixion on the hill.
Birdsong
breaking across the Earth
with the dawn.
 
 

Note to Self

Don’t be afraid to forget.
To forget a sense of place,
awareness of time,
the sensation of being oneself:
to become no-one.

In the moment before you remember,
the wheat field
is a massed choir
and the Earth
a spinning eyeball.
 
 

Instant

A road in tree shadow,
a space between pines,
a Welsh voice rising
produce the nuclear flash
a world atomised in an instant.

And the next
simply
a road in tree shadow,
a space between pines,
a Welsh voice rising.
 
                                                  James Kilner



James Kilner is a freelance writer who lives in the north-east of England.  Previously, he worked as a newspaper journalist, but left this profession to pursue PhD research on the poetry of Ted Hughes, which was completed successfully in 2009.  His own poems have appeared in Aesthetica, The New Writer, Words-Myth and other publications.


 
Antinomian I have not been,
nor cursor to another,
flagrantly for myself, 
indulgent, then, spare,
happily absorbed in minutiae,
effusive when general.
Although vaguely unsupportive,
courteous when leaned upon.
Indifferent wit,
in difference quick.
Sometimes, low, very low, and, yet, 
indistinguishable from merry.

Say, steady, constant,

say, 

contrary.
 

How Long Becalmed. Waste for horizon. That's right, it's winter, the young smirking plummeting to where zero might have been, again, might have been! Numerology eludes me; no taste, no finality, nothing. I have been bitten, breached, split, no renunciation of yesterdays, neither country, giant still ferns, nor salt drenched marshes, salmon or bear. I wanted to say, be witness to protracted gratuities. Poppycock! My cage - mine! - rocks and rattles.
 


Further Gratuities Mine, my wife's, a hornet's hive, a stone's stillness - possessive conundrums, a desacralized tallying of parts. Resistance to the unforeseen so great the summing up, green, lavender, umber fade. Bewildered, pixie hopes extinguished, left an aching lower back, paralyzing neck pain, an irregular beat, a scarred, an enlarged heart - a clutter dwarfing my inside. Hear, whispered gratuities in a chattering of squirrels. Novices shuffle in place, speak to others' inadequacies, while an evening passes away, residual fragrance of privet, flight of a bat, and, wholly unexpected, those dark times in bed.

Frank Praeger

 When I Grow Up


I want to be superman and wear my undies on the outside. 
 
When I grow up
I want to be a dandelion
so people will pick me.
 
I want to be as beautiful as Helen
send a thousand ships across the sea,
I want to be as beautiful as Medusa
so you cannot look at me.
Yet I remain
I am a lost toy on the island of misfits
I am a lost boy headed to the star
Van Gogh never dreamed to paint.
I am the words you can’t seem to find
at the sight of something astonishing;
little footprints in sand, ripples in bath water coming from your beating heart,
a lovers note left on the pillow.
I am a sock lost in the wash
I am that song you can’t remember the name of
even though you know all the notes.
 
I am afraid.
I don’t want linger on the 13th floor.
Don’t wanna be every silent E wishing to be heard.
If I don’t find my way I will be the vanishing point
behind
Mona Lisa’s smile.
I’ll be the sound of a tree
falling alone in the forest.
I’ll be February 29th on a common year.
I’ll be the wrinkles of disappointment my father wears.
 
When I grow up
I want to be
Cinderella’s slipper
so I may have a place in the world where I fit
perfectly. 

 

Would the sidewalk notice if I were gone?

 
We are not the soft drip,
drip of raindrops
falling on cement,
coalescing into one
pool of
water.
In the city we are cold,
hard and rigid
we are hail.
Scattered on sidewalks:
I gather them in a bucket
and listen to ice crackling
before dissolving,
don’t want to be frozen alone.
 
The city is an orchard,
people; apples dangling.
I want to be a pie,
Lord, make me into pie I’m ripe
I’ll be sweet
Free me.
 
If sand could speak
before disappearing
in the splash of salty waves
I would say the same:
“I was here once.”
 


                                          Sarah Stinnett



Sarah Anne Stinnett was born into a family of artists. Poet, visual artist, thespian, and musician, she has plunged head-first into a multitude of disciplines of expression.  As a senior at Berklee College of Music, Sarah has had her work published by FUSION Magazine. Simultaneously, she has been actively involved with the community of poets at Emerson College. In the spring of 2011 she received the honor of representing Berklee’s student body by reading original works at the college’s convocation ceremony.

Australia

 

Wishing for the time, deep into our garden

I will hear you playing Albeniz on the guitar

Under the red shade of a Scots Pine

And if that proves too big a venture

Do not despair, there is always

The Kylie songbook.

 

Spears of grass, relax your guard

And embrace my settling body

Basking with a dangling

Blue ancient tongue

One eye heavy, stuffed with sand and white foam

The other an empty porous cocoon

Collecting your strayed cultural threads.

 

Whirling musky sheets of jasmine scent

Swaddle us

Cooling the sunned skin

Or a storm may whip sprinkler-like

The essence out of the shy lavender.

 

It doesn’t matter

Just let the deep night serve

Your eucalyptus tasting lips

To again prove to one another

The greatest pleasure of all

Is its giving.

 

For you and your homeland

Will go back to minimum wage

Be the immigrant again, fresh out of the boat

Work 10-hour days in a sandwich sweat-shop

With their 48 products an hour minimum;

Cannonballs-of-mayo-firing golden scoop!

Boomerangs of perfectly sliced tomatoes!

How passionately Perfect! am I to be

To use the relevant company propaganda.

 

I will take the rough

Together with the smooth

I tell you now!

      To see you smile at peace

Under the red shade of a Scots Pine.

 

 

 

                                        Nick Tsaldaris



 

Nick Tsaldaris was born and raised in Greece.  10 years ago he moved to England to study a degree and has now settled in North London.  Nick is a Quantity Surveyor by profession and poetry is his main escape from the everyday tediousness of his job.  His aim is to publish enough work in order to wave goodbye to the mind-numbing number-crunching once and for all. 

This spring is going to see the first publication of a poem in Neon Highways.


Meek

 


 

He was so good at life, that-
As one who is adept at cribbage-
He was the first to peg out.
Flaring up into the ether like magnesium
Extracting an exclamation of awww,

While I fumbled clumsily around the board
Cursing the dice with their ophidian eyes,
Jutting their tongues in ridicule of me
Struggling to reach the other side,
slowly oxidising to an exclamation of Oh!

                                                             Anthony Ward


 

Anthony Ward is an AutoCAD operative from the North of England and has been writing in his spare time for a number of years. He finds himself extremely contemplative about the world around him which often invokes him to have to set his thoughts to rest.


Victor Hugo in the Place des Vosges




Sunlight breaks through, 
opulence mirrors privation, MP3, 
camera dangling at wrist, 
blare from sumptuous apartment 

pick up a programme, dust it 
down, that was kid's bikes, 
scribble across, think 
watch the delight, speak, 
break through language. 

The party crosses, poses 
under arched splendour: 
a stub to record this 
life advances, routinely, 

sandpit mums come and go, 
men down tools, hunger 
undermines old foundations, 
sky darkens slender frames. 


 


Early days, Moe

Is there something wrong? 
sun spins fallow showers 
coating the café terrace roof 
like paint for exterior surfaces, 
purposes, cup breast, lip nipple 
reassure myself 
of the existence of flesh 
is there something, you babble, 
turn back to the screen 
where a trial shows – is there? 
but friends often never ask 
that is for me to ask 
the café is emptying, the rain 
has left the city black and blue 
old charred clouds shifting 
on to new territory 
is there any thing left rest 
your limbs the cycle repeats 
cannot catch you 
slip into night 

                                                       Patrick Williamson

 


Patrick Williamson is an English poet who lives near Paris. His most recent poetry collection is Three Rivers/Trois-Rivières (Harmattan, France, 2010). He has edited Quarante et un poètes de la Grande-Bretagne (2003). In 1995 and 2003, he was an invited poet at the Festival International de Poésie at Trois-Rivières in Québec.