Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Spaces Between Trees by Claire Walker

At dusk, she knows this place as beautiful.
Trees begin to speak as silhouettes,
a dark weaving across the sky’s loom.
The sun slinks, wolf-like, away from her eyes.

The house smells of the day’s work,
a comfort of cinnamon and yeast.

She wonders about decisions, here on the front step,
looking at the play of shapes that branches make
as they lose light.

In daylight, she is so sure of herself.
Her plans spark like rays of sun
flickering through spaces between trees.
Images flash as a new home, a wedding band, a cub.

But now

she wraps her hooded cloak tighter against the chill.
Even red disappears as the sun sets.

---

Claire Walker's poetry has been published widely. She has two pamphlets published by V. Press - The Girl Who Grew Into A Crocodile (2015), and Somewhere Between Rose and Black (2017), which was shortlisted for Best Poetry Pamphlet at the 2018 Saboteur Awards. Her third pamphlet, Collision, is due in September 2019 from Against the Grain Press. She is Co-Editor of Atrium poetry webzine.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

What we communicate without words by Isabelle Kenyon

We water down thoughts to ‘nice’ and ‘pretty’ –
they don’t mean much so we speak with our hands and eyes,
wide and sparkling with expression.
We chortle because we love the same person and
you hug me because I hold him for you,
when you are seas away.

---

Isabelle is the author of This is not a Spectacle, Micro chapbook, The Trees Whispered (Origami Poetry Press) and Digging Holes To Another Continent (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, New York). She is the editor of Fly on the Wall Press.

Her poems have been published in poetry anthologies such as The Road To Clevedon Pier and Verve Poetry Press. She has had poems published in literary journals such as Eunoia Review, FoxTrott Uniform, Mojave Heart Review, The Blue Nib, The Pangolin Review, I Am Not A Silent Poet, Eskimo Pie, Scrittura, Anti - Heroin Chic, Bewildering Stories and Literary Yard



Wednesday, 10 April 2019

On Being (I) by Tyler Wettig

You recovered from those formative
and dumb years: now here’s to many more.
Your soul that rends and mends all grassroots and
punk gives you nary a dull moment, except

when you feel dead; but sweet hubris might say
it’s all in your head. Now count the few ways you
love yourself: sports, poems, and sex. Only two
can actually kill you, so relax: you

concern yourself so much with death that birth
means less and less. Remember: dad saw ghosts,
your mom’s, and told you he felt blessed. When
you meet your other brother, maker, or

see the damned wraiths yourself, own up: you’ve

probably relapsed. Or just regressed.


---

Tyler Wettig resides in Michigan. His latest chapbook is The Adult Table (Zetataurus, 2018). Tyler's website: https://www.tylerwettig.wordpress.com.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Sleepers by Chris Hemingway

This is how dreams appear.
Figures, dragged across a storyboard,
then left to fade.

Unrecognised, they stretch
and seize their spaces.
As darker, fuller,
outlines huddle,
in fear of movement.

This is how dreams emerge.
Trusting in sketches and shadows,
debated in columns and corridors.

In the shrinking middle ground
between narcolepsy and insomnia.

Response to “Studies of a Sleeping Apostle and Other Figures” (Buonarotti, Michelangelo)

---

Chris Hemingway is a poet and songwriter from Cheltenham.  His first pamphlet “Party in the Diaryhouse” was published by Picaroon Poetry in 2018, and he has previously self-published two collections, “The Future” and “Cigarettes and Daffodils”.

He helps run Gloucestershire Writers Network, Cheltenham Poetry Festival and the “Squiffy Gnu” poetry prompt blog.  You can find out more about Chris by visiting his personal website just here.


Wednesday, 27 March 2019

This morning I wanted to send you a photo essay: The Year in Volcanic Activity by Marisa Silva-Dunbar

You’d see the beauty in a fountain of lava, fires spreading
across the blacktop, the necessity of creation after destruction.

I drink tea—try to swallow my suspicions with lemon and honey,
the bright sweetness doesn’t stop my obsession with destruction.

Monday, I will try not to disintegrate—try to unravel the lies,
how you once wanted a weak girl who shared the same type of destruction.

I find ways to eviscerate your former paramours in conversation
with others; I have been leisurely indulging in my own destruction.

Sometimes I want to spill the secrets that I keep from you;
I see ghosts around every corner—they poke at my fear of destruction.

My anxiety is death by a thousand cuts—yours a slow suicide;
we do our own dances with the Grand Dame and Varlet—Destruction

Even on the days when I rage alone, I long for the nights curled next to you
tracing sigils on your back to protect you from self-destruction.

Archetypes sewn in my bones—I’ve mastered the Earth Mother & Maiden,
but I want to be your Femme Fatale—harnessing the power of destruction.

There are times I want to runaway—Marisa won’t live here anymore;
You must call me back, and promise there is no need for destruction.

---

Marisa Silva-Dunbar is a Pushcart nominated poet. Her work has been featured in: Royal Rose Magazine, Pussy Magic, Bone & Ink, Amaryllis, Midnight-Lane Boutique, and Constellate Literary Journal. She graduated from the University of East Anglia with her MA in poetry. Marisa is the founder and EIC of Neon Mariposa Magazine. She has work forthcoming in Honey & Lime, The Charles River Journal, Dark Marrow, and Apathy Press. You can follow her on Twitter @thesweetmaris.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Visiting Dolls by Tianna G. Hansen

Sneaking into a wizard’s home offers risk
to a high degree, Dalmation guarding doors
toss a juicy steak to occupy his jaws and slide
inside, feet pattering soft like any ballerina does
like a dance with no audience, swinging your body
into a dead-silent house, you want to reach her, his
living doll. Not sure what your plan is once you do,
kidnap this macabre creation or kill it before it can
destroy you, your allure once seemed enough but you’ve
come to realize, he never wanted you, it was always her.

He keeps her in the sunroom which reflects moonlight
piercing beams straight to your heart. Creep across to
darkened dollhouse; one ring of light shimmers
in the center like a beating heart, or sliver of moon.
upstairs in a Victorian draped bedroom lies the shrunken
ballerina, perfect as ever even 10x less her size.

Creak of floorboards alerts too late, you’ve barely caught a
glimpse before you feel him, sinister shadow crawling overtop -
you are in his sights, bullseye, your heart tremors knowing
he could kill you in an instant or shrink you down to
mousetrap size - you’ve heard tales of a wizard who could
capture mermaids in a globe of glass
Who could turn men into starfish without a thought.

Dark magic curls its finger at you, beckons alluring and seductive -
you hear him calling to you, he is below…
you turn from the dollhouse, tiny dancer dreaming
anything but peaceful, tossing and turning in a miniature world.

Follow his dark pull through halls, black and blind. Reach
for something to grasp, nothing — entering a black hole.
Feet hit stairs, he calls you to join him, below,
beneath the earth, a secret cavern belching from
the house’s belly and why are you surprised a wizard’s
home has a mind of its own? your body automatic heads
down
down
down, smell of earth and…
dead dreams reside here.

A glimmer off glass in one corner of the room,
walls close around you - Congested, cobwebs
wrap you like film around thin arms, claiming
your ability to dance for their own.

This darkness is a human, breathing, beating heart
and you are now a basement dweller, door
closes above behind you, fear you will
never see the light again.

You will never see the light.

---

Tianna G. Hansen has been writing her whole life. You can find her published works on CreativeTianna.com or check her out on Twitter @tiannag92. She founded Rhythm & Bones Press in 2018 and continues to work for progressing the idea of turning trauma into art. Find them at RhythmNBone.com or on Twitter @RhythmBonesLit.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Life Skills by Kathy Gee

Small hand in large,
they run along the shallows,
turn and dip for full immersion.

Stretch your newly upright legs apart
and drop towards the water, let it go.
Now cup a fist of water, front and back.

A mother teaches her pretty toddler
how to pee in the sea.

---

Kathy Gee’s career was in heritage. Her poetry collection was published by V. Press and she wrote the spoken word elements for http://suiteforthefallensoldier.com/. Her next small collection – Checkout - is due out in March 2019.

Spaces Between Trees by Claire Walker

At dusk, she knows this place as beautiful. Trees begin to speak as silhouettes, a dark weaving across the sky’s loom. The sun slinks,...