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Showing posts from April, 2020

Counting The Days by Gareth Culshaw

He walks around with a calculator on his head balances numbers that he learns in school. His father tells him to use velcro to keep it on.

At night he does sums before he goes to bed. Counts how many stars he can see from his bedroom window, then multiplies them by his friends.

His father tells him to add up the shopping trolley as they go around Asda. Subtract the price from how many steps they have made in the store.

He once added up all the veg on the families plates at Christmas dinner. Rumour has it it was seventy-two. There’s a sum he does every Monday morning,

and this gives him the days since his mother died.
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Gareth lives in Wales. His first collection came out in 2018 by Futurecycle called The Miner. In 2020, his second collection, A Bards View is released. He is an MFA student at Manchester Met. Also nominated for Best of the Net.

James reconsiders his wishes for witches by Kate Garrett

‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.’  – Exodus 22:18, KJV
Too little and too late you made it your pride and point to pardon and debunk – renounced your own sorcerer-spotter’s guide, called ‘hoax’  on accusers. Here in the comfort of England
you had no hand in Pendle, Belvoir – but how  did shades of witches past feel when you changed  your mind? Weak of will, you called the women.  Most of them never served devils at all, knew their
power and their minds. The understandings missing  from your own: the petal and thorn of mother’s love, wisdom of crones, secrets of hushed apothecaries. You forget the goddess Diana, like you, was a hunter.
Or perhaps this is an envy green as rowan leaves:  her sure-footedness outpacing you, her desire to live apart from men, her violent rejection of your lovers  and brothers an act of sedition against your sex.
And what of women who held Christ in their hearts, stirred potions, spun cures for goodness alone? They were still something strange, creatures alien as foxes in…

New Forest Autumn by Laura Brinson

Spokes of light pierce broadleaf trees pointing a way west
drifts of leaves filter down
paths lost in a russet sea
off piste in a tumbling
leaf-crunching way
deep in the woodland
pungent ripe delight
a fairy ring of fungi
unseen mycelium filaments
knit together 
renewal and decay
down in the moss I listen for the forest voice
hear only my own heart beat

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Laura Brinson lives in Melbourne, Australia. She reads, writes, recites at open mic events, gardens, and sews. Her sewing room, in which she makes wedding dresses and costumes, catches the morning sun. Her poetry is reflective.

moon mother whispering by linda m. crate

whisps of moonlight dance so i am not covered only in shadows
i know she's watching me, and she's trying to reach  out with petals of love 
because i feel unclothed and naked vulnerable to all the darkness in this world; naked and scared i am embalmed in a death that is not mine—
she chases away my nightmares, reminds me of my purpose and my magic; whispers to me i am not alone
even when i feel like i might be.
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Linda M. Crate's works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of six poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is: More Than Bone Music (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, March 2019). She's also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018). Recently she has published two full-length poetry collections Vampire Daughter (Dark Gatekeeper Gaming, February 2020) and The Sweetest Blood (Cyberwit, February 2020).

By the Boathouse by Miki Byrne

(Port Elliot. St Germans. Cornwall.)
The boathouse settles into the bank like an old man in a favourite chair.  Same slumped shoulders and a bald patch  where thatch has whittled away over  a hundred Cornish winters.  The Tamar strolls in, unhurried.  Pushed by a slow tide that lacks winter’s rage.  Small boats lie, prows forward in the current,  like dashes upon a liquid page.  The yelp and cackle of gulls cracks summer air,  as they ride like kites upon an up-draught. Grass is thick and fragrant.  Overhangs muddy banks in frowning  bushy brows that gaze over brown water.  Behind me, cedar and cypress whisper.  Beyond swaying trees the spire of St. Germans stands.  Like a weather-worn finger, that points the way to heaven.
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Miki has had two poetry collections and a pamphlet published, plus over 500 poems included in poetry magazines/anthologies. She was a finalist for Gloucestershire’s Poet Laureate and a nominee for the Pushcart Prize. Miki has read on TV and on Radio many times. She also ran a poe…