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Showing posts from May, 2021

The Distance by Ross Thompson

  In the dream you are tearing up the beach at full steam, scampering hell for leather  towards some magical spot that has caught your eye. You have forgotten your parents and the leash you were in charge of holding.  The dog, emboldened by newfound freedom,  tries to bolt but I grab hold of her nape before she can escape. You, however,  have become a sun-blurred whirr of motion, rattling pell-mell, your outline turned golden and fuzzy, indistinct. I foolishly  think that you will soon turn and wave and shout, “Daddy, keep up!” but your legs have become a pinwheel of bare skin, your arms churning, your determined fists punching through air, clouds  and the stratosphere towards Rainbow Road,  Columbia, Endor and Solitude.  The universe is yours to grab and hold with both hands. Never come back down to land. --- Ross Thompson is a writer from Bangor, Northern Ireland. His debut poetry collection  Threading The Light  is published by Dedalus Press. His

Where We Fight by John Grey

These are the options.  Volunteer for another mission with real desert and real snipers and real roadside bombs or stay in his room, turn down the lights, guzzle beer after beer. Of course, he could always date cheerleaders. He was friendly with one or two before he signed up. Pretty blondes in short skirts doing backflips in the end-zone. But he’s lost their numbers.  He’s also lost the kid that scribbled them down. Why not get a job? He had one stacking shelves in school vacations. He could pick up where he left off, stacking coup cans  one atop the other, constructing the first Heinz skyscraper  in all of creation. But the damn thing toppled, crashed to the floor, made a noise louder than a rear-ender.  And he was fired. So that wouldn’t work. But he could always move back with his folks. They’d take him in for sure. At least, they would if it was ten years ago.  But now, the choice is a nursing home or a cemetery.  So it’s sign up again or stay put.  Seek out the enemy in the compa

Judy's Hand by Jennie Farley

It was a wooden hand poking out from a box of rags in the sale room on viewing day that made her pause.  She lifted a rag and saw a painted doll with bold blue eyes which seemed to follow her around as she paused to admire pretty brooches, pictures, a silver vase. Drawn back to the box for another look, this time she saw a face she knew from childhood summers on Filey beach - that florid-faced creature  inside the striped pink kiosk,  his hooked red nose, chin sharp as a knife. --- Jennie Farley  is a published poet, teacher and workshop leader living in Cheltenham. Her work has featured in many poetry magazines and been performed at Festivals. Her first  collection is  My Grandmother Skating (Indigo Dreams Publishing 2016)  followed by  Hex (IDP 2018).  She founded and runs  NewBohemians@CharltonKings,  a popular arts club providing poetry, performance and music throughout the year. You can find out more information about Jennie's work on her website: jenniefarleypoetry.wordpress.

Box by Andrew Shields

Our food is in a triple-layered box that we can't open. Each layer has a hole for things to fall through, while the sides have slits that we can put our fingers in, or sticks we've stripped the bark from with our teeth. We poke at carrots or at apples left inside, to slide them to the holes so they will fall and fall and fall into our waiting hands. And so we live on fruit and vegetables and bark, until the box is finally empty. Later, it's full again, and we begin our fingering and poking work once more. --- Andrew Shields lives in Basel, Switzerland. His collection of poems "Thomas Hardy Listens to Louis Armstrong" was published by Eyewear in 2015. His band Human Shields released the album "Somebody's Hometown" in 2015 and the EP "Défense de jouer" in 2016.