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Showing posts from September, 2021

Becalmed by Leanne Moden

A Golden Shovel after Mary Oliver  I wanted to be the kind of someone  who could always fix things. I  clung to my competency like hull-side barnacles. To be loved,  you must be good enough and I was, once. Back when the sight of the sea still gave  me chills. Now, I don’t know what will become of me.  I am a storm-sunk schooner, rigging unravelling. I am a  boatyard ransacked by vandals, and I can’t find the box  where I stored my secrets. I am so full  of nothings; regretful ghostly half-recollections. Fearful of  everything I can no longer do. Forgetting is a kind of darkness, a mist that thickens slowly, by degrees. It  is so much harder to navigate, when the stars are extinguished. It took  so long to realise what was happening to me;  on the journeys between the kettle and the sofa, years  passed. Now, I am left alone to  make catalogues of the missing parts. Understand  this: there is no way that  I can know what is absent. The blank space is this unmarked page in my logbook. A

I'd Run with You by Julie Stevens

Your legs pound the waking air carry your desperate needs, kick me as I sit still on this long road to recovery my legs refused to walk, but time hasn’t fixed the brakes I’m afraid. It sneers as it drags you to the end. I know because I’m already there, wanting to taste those leaves, feel the air comb through this loss, run up a mountain, I can’t even climb. It’s the worst wait you coming home, reminds me again, how these legs used to run. I will love you from inside, wrap lycra round my neck and pull tight. --- Julie Stevens writes poems sometimes reflecting the impact Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has on her life. Her poems have recently been published in Ink Sweat & Tears, Sarasvati and Dodging the Rain. Her winning Stickleback pamphlet  Balancing Act  was recently published by Hedgehog Poetry Press (June 2021) and her  debut chapbook  Quicksand  by Dreich (Sept 2020).  Website: . Twitter @julesjumping

Wilfred by Jennie Farley

On my kitchen dresser stands a duck with an orange beak and orange bow tie. Someone, I can’t remember who, told me his name is Wilfred. Wilfred is my right-hand man. He is always ready with my shopping-list, reminds me when my bed needs changing. Sometimes he does the washing-up. He was lovely to me when I had a bad cold, plying me with hankies and cough mixture, rubbing my chest with Vicks Vaporub so I turn a blind eye when I find him on his back, orange webbed feet waving in the air. I pretend not to notice the empty gin bottle. Every morning at breakfast while I eat my toast he entertains me with a croaky rendition of Shenandoah. --- 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 provid

Telling A Friend Your Good News by Attracta Fahy

When I finally tell her I have been published; she turns her eyes, struggles to hide  as she squeezes out in a high pitched tone through pursed lips, ‘Fantastic!’ We both pretend, placate, slowly  withdraw, just as we’ve been taught. I too have read Clive James’ poem,  know what envy can do, when one feels  their stomach is never full.  I know how friends respond, projecting  to others what’s really their own, saying the opposite of what they feel.  I have learned to read language  on many levels, to appease,  grapple with my own inner hell. Why should I always be the one to name  what’s really going on? We sit at the table, one red apple  placed in a bowl. Two awful witches  only in fairytales, eating innocent young girls. I feel that claw again, my heart sinks  into what feels like a pit, guilt,  hers already in grief, rage best left alone, the apple tempting me to take the first bite.  Behind us, a dark shadow looms  over the green wall, consumes the air,  things we’ve neglected ret

Echo Chamber by Maurice Devitt

She slams the door as she leaves, sound cracking through the house.  He stands motionless in the kitchen, dish-cloth in hand, her parting words swirling wildly in his head, wonders what to do next: slip the car-keys from the metal hook and follow her, or carelessly drop the plate he is holding –  bone china from her favourite set –  on the tiled floor, room pulsating into a guilty silence? --- A past winner of the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland and Poems for Patience competitions, Maurice Devitt published his debut collection, ‘Growing Up in Colour’, with Doire Press in 2018. His poems have been nominated for Pushcart, Forward and Best of the Net prizes and his Pushcart-nominated poem, ‘The Lion Tamer Dreams of Office Work’, was the title poem of an anthology published by Hibernian Writers in 2015. He is curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site.