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Showing posts from July, 2019

The Incident by Chloë Clarke

After the incident, it will not seem like a crime
has occurred. There will only be silence;
no noise, no police cars.
You will inspect the crime scene for signs of a break in;
for shattered glass, a broken door.
But you will find nothing.

You will wonder what to do, who you should call;
whether you should call someone at all.

But you won’t
call anyone,
tell anyone.

Instead, you will try to remove any trace of the crime:
shower your body, scrub your skin raw,
wipe away tears you never got to cry.

Then hang yourself out to dry.

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Chloë Clarke is a spoken word and performance artist who found herself in the poetry world after becoming Worcestershire’s Young Poet Laureate in 2014-2016. Chloë has been commended in the Foyles Young Poet of the Year award and has been published by Forward Poetry in ‘Simply Love – A Collection of Poetry. She has performed at the MAC Birmingham and headlined Worcestershire Litfest, while also running her own Open Mic night.

“If the only prayer you say throughout your life is “thank you” then that will be enough.” by Ian Brunner

If the only prayer you say throughout your life “thank you” then that will be enough.” - Elie Wiesel

I am learning to pray, which I suppose is to ask for what I want, but what I want is to learn to want the right things.
I want to learn to ask for bridges made of intertwined hands which water runs under.
I want to see these hands from a different angel and think: Here is my church, here is the steeple, open the door and see all the people.
I want the steeple to be our steeple and the world to be our world.
I want to see with the eyes of a child but wonder with the heart of a man.
I want to ask for the easing of burdens, for the changing of the system, for more men to look up at night because how can we be important among all that clutter?
I want us all to know true madness just once. The kind that makes men sing and dance and boys and girls laugh because the old curse: “May you live in interesting times” is also a blessing.
I want for you to learn to pray in whatever way you need to.
I want you to…

Enchanter's Nightshade by Gareth Writer-Davies

Circaea Lutetiana

is actually  quite a dull little plant

and if the definition of a weed is a plant where it is not wanted (descriptive and prescriptive)  then  it deserves its own entry

as usual  Latin confuses (from Circe the witch) and the habit of growing in dark  out-of-the-way places

it’s the common name  that thrills  evoking a charismatic figure stooped over a pot and stirring

there is not enough magic in the world yet when pushed to choose we prefer the natural super but tidy

and enchanting  has come to mean delightf

Just a small sinkhole by John Porter

in an unmapped village 
they worked round it made no calls, no fuss, inch by inch it crept till cows tumbled mid chew people just putting the kettle on then gone with house, bedridden uncles, caged birds, into the void. It spread and consumed  grey towns  where beige takeaways  looked gratefully to the abyss, second level cities submitted at sea it ate retirement cruises. We knew it was near but still worked, sent invoices, bought fruit, did not mention the hole, at the end allowed our eyes to meet, held hands, fell in.
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After living in a Moscow and London John Porter is now in Gloucestershire. He has degrees in Russian and Law and when not juggling his two small sons he writes poems, usually on trains. His work has appeared in  magazines including The Stinging Fly, Prole, Marble, Streetcake and Strix.

Absence by Kristine Brown

breathing, pallid, passively tremulous. feet crunching into October leaves beneath her cuticles, torn with premature age.
eyelids crinkled :: skin still smooth.
rosary—a confidante—is piercing her palm till it’s rosy with warmth, saving strength
amidst the snowflakes seen in a haze; souvenirs kept from travel to Tears.
watching behind the austere oak—its bark like glass, icy and stern. her eyes seem to find me, though I—I am nothing in her mind.
she never would have known me, this awkward lamb I have become.
trying to picture myself in her shell—that body, so brittle, and still withstanding the impact of angst’s exhalations, punctures so deep that my dear, Heaven is yours.


gracefully, wistfully, subtly, listless. finger of the promise ring—caressing the stone
granite pinnacles and chaste, white pledges.
rocks still glisten in dirtied Tears.
nails quite short, broken, scratched, but profound as they trace the words of his stay.
murmuring hopes that she’ll lie there so timely, compellin…