Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Colours of the Heart by Mark Mayes

After so long,
you woke me to tell me
they had begun.

The forming of sunflowers.
No trace yet of their future black and gold.
The I at the green centre.
Radials around the heart.

Stalks will bend in the carrying of the black heart.
They lean on dead wood, are tied to it,
lest they fall to earth.
The canes.

Snail and slug decimate leaves,
leaves like fine-grade sandpaper,
leaving ragged patterns of air
where green was once.

They come at night,
on momentous journeys along a wall,
over stones like sierras.

We find them by torchlight,
remove them to a place of safety.
Ours.

Some plants grow taller,
some fail altogether,
in a certain slant of sun,
before the warmed brick
of a cottage under a hill.

---

Mark Mayes has had poems and stories published in various places. 2017 saw publication of his novel, The Gift Maker. Mark also enjoys writing songs. 


Wednesday, 19 June 2019

white fence, part 2 by Michael Prihoda

as if it wasn’t there.
            swipe of hand

                        and enough,
                        it doesn’t tumble

            it evaporates. the vanish
            of feeling

            watched. the thing is they know
                        they are being watched too

                        but they get to laugh about
                        it
                                    because
                                    they have nothing
           
            to fear from
            what is observed.

life one finger wrong
                                                            they think it’s about

                                    triggering
                        a          bomb.
                                                            rend
                                                            all
                                                            naked

until they see what you are now.
           
faceless, grown
                        from dirt


of a different name

---

Michael Prihoda lives in central Indiana. He is the founding editor of After the Pause, an experimental literary magazine and small press. His work has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology and he is the author of nine poetry collections, most recently Out of the Sky (Hester Glock, 2019).

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

A Cilician Pirate, 57BC by Thomas Tyrrell

You say you are a man of Rome,
Brought up among her schools?
That city on the seven hills,
Where Julius Caesar rules, they say,
Where mighty Caesar rules?

Your pardon, sir! We’ll cut you loose
To make your own way home,
For we have sworn never to hold
A citizen of Rome, oh no,
Never a man of Rome.

A noble Roman once set sail
With a princely retinue,
And we boarded him and took his ship
And slaughtered all the crew, oh yes,
We slaughtered all his crew.

So haughty was his look and speech,
Imperious yet handsome,
We saw at once that he was worth
A rich and golden ransom, yes,
A twenty talent ransom.

He laughed at our demands and said,
“You know not whom you hold.
For I will buy my liberty
With fifty talents in gold,” he said,
Talents of purest gold.

Once freed, he hired himself a fleet
And sought us far and wide.
My shipmates he took prisoner
And had them crucified, he did,
Throats slit and crucified.

We hold no Romans ransom now,
But swiftly set them free.
The sea, they claim, is their domain;
We drop them in the sea, we do,
Headfirst into the sea.

Your liberty is now restored,
Walk out along this plank;
Swim home to mighty Caesar’s arms.
It’s him you’ve got to thank, oh yes,
It’s Caesar you should thank.

---

Thomas Tyrrell has a PhD in English Literature from Cardiff University. He is a two-time winner of the Terry Hetherington poetry award, and his writing has appeared in Allegro Poetry, Amaryllis, Cheval, The Lake, Lighten Up Online, London Grip, Lonesome October, Poetry 24, Spectral Realms, Picaroon, The Road Less Travelled, Runcible Spoon, Three Drops From A Cauldron, VampCat Mag, Wales Arts Review, Wales Haiku Review and Words for the Wild.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

What I Learnt from the Owl by Anna Saunders

how to hunt in silken plumage
tooled up with talons and hooks
 
how to split the seam of the night
with saw-tooth wings
how to consume all I kill
yet stay hungry
 
how to haunt sleep
my head - a phantom full moon
how to be outcast and avenger
spectre and seraphim, winged god and ghoul
 
bladed angel dropping from the sky.
What I learnt from the owl
 
how to voice my darkness
in hisses, in shrieks
 
how to drop from the heights,
heart shaped face falling to earth
 
as if love itself were plummeting.

---

Anna Saunders is the author of Communion, (Wild Conversations Press), Struck, (Pindrop Press) Kissing the She Bear, (Wild Conversations Press), Burne Jones and the Fox ( Indigo Dreams) and Ghosting for Beginners ( Indigo Dreams, Spring 2018) described by Fiona Sampson as a 'beautifully evocative read'. Anna has had poems published in journals and anthologies, which include Ambit, The North, New Walk Magazine, Amaryllis, Iota, Caduceus, Envoi, The Wenlock Anthology, Eyeflash,  and The Museum of Light. She has been described as ‘a poet who surely can do anything’ by The North  and ‘a poet of quite remarkable gifts’ by Bernard O’Donoghue.  Anna holds 4 Arts Council Awards for her work.   


To the storm witch’s lover by Kate Garrett

Take this hawthorn twig and keep it close – collected from the forest floor in exchange for a copper penny – if the gusts threaten to tak...