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Showing posts from October, 2019

Hard to be alone by Maxine Rose Munro

I saw to the burial myself, it was only right. So much time together in the garden. Even when it was too cold for me, there she would be out working, checking. The ground was near frozen when she went under, worms were nowhere to be found. But it was him I worried for. Plumed pepper-black, white streaks salt on his face –  striking is how I'd describe him. You couldn't mistake him for any other. Birds of a feather, always together. Come spring he will look for her, find an empty nest, broken, unfixed. And what will he do then, poor thing. Will he re-enact the years, sing, strut, all for her no longer here. Or will he, purpose lost, stop. --- Maxine Rose Munro writes in both English and her native Shetlandic Scots. She is widely published in the UK and beyond, both in print and online, and her work has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. You can find more about her work just here .

Turn the other cheek by Linda M. Crate

a life incomplete undone pulled apart  the pearls still dancing across the ground, i count them; have always noticed the other things people miss like the cobwebs on their door jambs or the dust on the sill but i am too polite to say a thing— even as they jab at my  perceived flaws, i don't let their misjudgments impale them; whilst living amongst monsters  one must remember their humanity because i promised myself i would be better than those who break me down— i am not an apple to be shaken loose from a tree, sometimes the best response is none; if you don't react they are left to turn the other cheek. --- Linda M. Crate has been full of words and stories for as long as she remembers. Her works have been published in many magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is a two-time push cart nominee and author of six poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is More Than Bone Music (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, March

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 tongues behind  the prefects’  backs, clamber over the row of toilet cubicles to lock them from inside, practise real kissing with smoochy lips.  Susan is famous for her back-flips in gym, Annabel for her trilling voice, Tansy Trout for being a hoot. I am famous for telling horror stories  in the dorm after lights out, my fee  two pennies from each gymslip girl intended for Sunday Church collection. In the mirror my eyes have gone black. I have sold my soul to the Devil. --- Jennie Farley is a published poet, workshop leader and teacher living in Cheltenham. Her work has featured in magazines including Prole,   Under the Radar, The Interpreter’s House, and been performed at festivals.  Her first collection was Her Grandmother Skating ( Indigo Dreams Publishing 2016 ) followed by Hex ( IDP 2018 ). She is working

Touch-type by Thomas McColl

I lightly tap your naked back with my fingertips. You say that touch-type is the best type of massage to give. Not that it does a thing until  I gently type the magic word which begins in r and ends in x. In any event,  it’s only upon that final tap,  where x marks the spot,   and there it is,  invisibly  but, all the same,  indelibly  imprinted on your back…  relax   …that your massaged-with-a-message muscles will. --- Thomas McColl has recently had poems published in magazines such as  London Grip, Fat Damsel, The High Window, Prole, Dodging the Rain  and  Ink, Sweat and Tears . His first full collection of poetry,  Being With Me Will Help You Learn , was published in 2016 by  Listen Softly London Press  and, this year, is one of four poets showcased in  Co-Incidental 4 , a pamphlet published by  The Black Light Engine Room Press .

Things They Don't Tell You by Barbara O'Donnell

That the moment the words terminal diagnosis leave the doctor’s mouth, the grieving starts. Speaking a foreign language to cover for the fact that there is nothing they can do. That the family will fight, even as they know the treatment plan is the best medicine available. That his swallowing reflex will depart before him, making you figure out ways to give him the only thing he begs for, cold juice or whiskey. That you’ll beg the pharmacist to tell you, which is the better mouthwash to use. As if it would make a difference. That you’ll spend those last days, not telling stories or saying how much you love each other. But that he’ll repeatedly throw you out of the room. Make you wonder again, whether to contradict the doctor’s orders ; to give him what he wants. But which will also hasten his demise. So that you can try to eke out the minutes, that the clock tells you are passing, but which seem to stand still inside the close, bare