Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Anatomy Is Alchemy by Kristin Garth

The body is a spell. Ten fingertips,
magicians, disrobe their damoiselle — slow,
while he is sitting, puppy, restless, nips
at black pointe shoes. Your finger tells him no.

Obedience he’ll choose. He won’t require
a potion. Vertebrae compel. Observe
over shoulder, stoic but his tell: two fires
that smolder inside pupils. Heat he deserves

for shrinking — even thinking you are small.
Your body is enchantment he didn’t see
at all. You indicate the floor. He crawls
towards a doll vibrating sorcery,

below rotating, naked piqué turns.
Each kiss, even a pointe shoe, he will earn.

---

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart & Best of the Net nominated sonnet stalker.  Her poetry has stalked magazines like Glass, Yes, Five:2: One, Anti-Heroin Chic, Former Cactus, Occulum, Luna Luna, & many more.  She has four chapbooks Pink Plastic House and Good Girl Games (Maverick Duck Press), Pensacola Girls (Bone & Ink Press, Sept 2018), Shakespeare for Sociopaths ( Hedgehog Poetry Press Jan 2019) She has another forthcoming, Puritan U (Rhythm & Bones Lit March 2019). Her full length, Candy Cigarette, is forthcoming April 2019 (The Hedgehog Poetry Press). She has a collaborative full length A Victorian Dollhousing Ceremony (Rhythm & Bones Lit) forthcoming in June. Follow her on Twitter:  (@lolaandjolie), and her website (kristingarth.com).

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Paignton by Ben Benyard

The precinct is alternately
pound stores and charity shops,
pasty flavoured rock and broken biscuits,
gormless boys and fierce girls.

Dream catchers and gollies,
fridge magnets, buckets and spades,
elderly couples sip tea in pavement cafes.

Scooters snarl up the seafront,
sand castles stomped by yobs,
donkeys who can tell a tale or two
about the faded peeling hotels.

Families in matching anoraks
eat chips out of polystyrene trays
on benches in memory of the forgotten.

And yet we flock in thousands,
walk hand in slippery sunscreened hand,
collect sea glass to catch the light.

---

Ben Banyard lives in Portishead, near Bristol, UK. He’s the author of a pamphlet, Communing (Indigo Dreams, 2016) and a full collection, We Are All Lucky (Indigo Dreams, 2018). He blogs and posts mixtapes at https://benbanyard.wordpress.com.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Echoes by Cath Davies

She spoke in her own voice.

For a minute, I swore
I could hear her mother talking.
Her grandmother.

Her great grandmother.
All the way back, all speaking
in her own voice.

Always, I can hear love, love.
For the telling of stories.
But for one, roaring female sound.

A scream from history.
A deafening echo
of all the women unreported.

It was then she sang.
For if they will not listen to your words,
then give them pitch.

She did and I was amazed.
I last heard her,
leading a revolution in song,

the chorus of her ancestors,
echoing, echoing.

---

Cath Davies is 44 and works in social care in North Wales. Recently completing a degree in creative writing, she is a member of Colwyn Bay Writers' Circle and performs her poetry at events locally. She also writes prose, and has self-published 'Problem Box', a book of short stories, and 2 books of poetry, 'Love Across A Wire' and 'Juice' (with Gilda Clark), all available on Amazon.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

A Last Post by Harry Gallagher

So long then Mary Seacole,
your face is now paling,
the plates are pixelated,
your image needs upgrading.
You’ll go no more a-healing,
those hands all cracked and chapped
bleed too dark a colour
so we’re sending you back.

Adieu Ignatius Sancho,
close your shopdoor behind you
and hither to that slave ship
where famous friends can’t find you.
Dr Johnson’s dictionary
with its definitions and lists
contains nothing to describe
all the beauty we’ll have missed.

Take care then Evelyn Dove,
farewell Fanny Eaton,
your legacies buried ‘neath
a sullen empire still retreating.
And farewell to new flavours,
new voices and new dress.
As the drawbridge pulls up one last time,
hello to loneliness.

---

Harry Gallagher has previously been published by The Interpreter's House, IRON Press, Prole, Smokestack and many others. His collection 'Northern Lights' was published in Autumn 2017 by Stairwell Books and he has an impending new joint collection from Black Light Engine Room, entitled 'Running Parallel', co-authored with p.a.morbid. Harry lives on the North East coast with a wife and small dog. www.harrygallagherpoet.wordpress.com

I Become a Gymslip Girl by Jennie Farley

We wear our boaters tipped to one side,  our navy-blue cardies back-to-front, tunics tucked up to show our knees. We stick out our ...