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Showing posts from January, 2020

Driftwood by Stewart Carswell

Driftwood was washed ashore shortly after the break-up: rope, lobster pots, some wood from a frame, all scattered along the shoreline. Months later, the waves returned a plank on the morning high tide intact, immaculate. In white letters on blue was painted a name I’d begun to forget, a name that should not resurface: Isabella white letters on blue like the crest of a wave at the moment of breaking. --- Stewart Carswell is from the Forest of Dean and currently lives in Cambridgeshire, where he helps to organise the Fen Speak open mic night. His poems have been published in Envoi, Ink Sweat & Tears, Algebra of Owls, and The Fenland Reed. His debut pamphlet is Knots and branches (Eyewear, 2016). x

Sisters by Penny Blackburn

We wore silk kimonos, twined roses in our hair, danced barefoot at dawn on the dewdamp grass as the river's morning mist haunted the garden. Porcelain dolls, mimics of ourselves, watched us take tea in thimble cups glowing blue beauty, like our veins, against the light. Our teacups now are squat and brown, thick hands too clumsy for fragile things. Cardigan-layered against mild winds, we worry about flooding from the river. There is ache and throb in our danceless legs and no-one now sees beauty in our veins. Come Sister, as the light fades from our sky, let us dress in silk kimonos, twist vivid roses in our pewter hair. --- Penny Blackburn lives in the North East of England and writes poetry and short fiction. Her publications include pieces online in Bangor Literary Journal, Atrium and Ink, Sweat & Tears and in print with Paper Swans Press, Reader’s Digest and Maytree Press. She is on Twitter and Facebook as @penbee8 and on Instagram

One Drop by Tiffany Shaw-Diaz

At some point, in the lifespan of my soul, I want to know what it’s like to be one drop of rain. To fall from the sky and splash into a flower, and then linger in its luxurious core. Perhaps I could then, ever so slowly, like the beginning of a rollercoaster, dive from petal to ground, and then nestle myself deeper, deeper, deeper, into the warmth of an inviting earth, simply to rest forever in her arms.   --- Tiffany Shaw-Diaz is a Pushcart Prize and Dwarf Stars Award nominee who also works as a professional visual artist. Her poetry has been featured in Modern Haiku, The Heron's Nest, Bones, NHK World Haiku Masters, The Mainichi, and dozens of other publications. Her first chapbook, says the rose, was published by Yavanika Press in 2019.

On the Eve of Homecoming by Stapleton Nash

I can’t get away today, he said. I knew. I’d expected it. I bore no grudge. And yet I felt a great sink into the mire of reality— If it can still be called that. This was my last chance to be young and stupid, To fuck my life up, as I have been urged. Now I will go home and begin cooking, And reading novels, and filing paperwork. Is it stupid, though? I left home on an airplane and my heart broke with the parting. Now I am returning home to that which I ached for, And my heart is breaking again. Forget home. Let’s disappear into Mustang. Surely it can be done. Surely life need not be over And I need not succumb to the life I always wanted Before this. I can see myself now, married to a man who laughs, Raising my arms to the sky above the mountain plain. My arms strong with scything, my eyes Clear with desert sky. The sky’s wife. A man said to me once, I’ll never settle in love— The sky’s my wife. But it seems to me A wife is either some

Resting a Calligraphy Brush by Chris Hemingway

In a pause between words, at a station of ideas. A melting pot, or the appearance of one. The brush is rested. To let him draw (at the very least) inspiration. In a time without words, even then, these markings could pause us in our darkbound tracks. Lit by faces, gathering on bridges. Stepping away from the glowering mountain stumps. --- Chris Hemingway is a poet and songwriter from Cheltenham.   His first pamphlet Party in the Diaryhouse was published in 2018 by Picaroon Poetry, and he has also self-published two collections and a pamphlet ( Cigarettes and Daffodils , The Future and Who Lied About the Mermaid’s Ghost ). He helps with the running of Gloucestershire Writers Network, Cheltenham Poetry Festival and the Squiffy Gnu poetry prompt blog, and he can be contacted through Facebook, Twitter, or his website .