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Showing posts from May, 2022

A Hurricane's Bluster by Emma Lee

Clouds gather, merge. He sees himself as a large,  harmless fluff. But she sees him as grey with dashes  of steel, ominous, a tightening screw. He asks why she goes out for coffee, to meet friends.  Is he not enough? He monitors her phone, her social  media, her spending, her sleeping. He keeps receipts.  A hurricane is a whip that hits out indiscriminately. His calm centre is deceptive. He plays victim,  points to his lack of control, shunts responsibility elsewhere. The storm spirals, pulls himself in a circular argument. I do this, I do this, I wash, rinse, repeat. I do this. He fails to let the rain cleanse the grit from his eye. Eventually it blows out, shrugs off its anger, drifts A cloak of shame is the easy option, a comfort blanket, not a force for action, a silvery light suggestive of change. Hurricanes centre around their eye. Spent,  she eyes the destruction. Where to start?  It might take a lifetime's work. --- Emma Lee’s publications include “The Significance of a Dre

A Garden Pond by Sue Finch

I had never seen so many shades of darkness. Difficult to distinguish  dark, dark brown from burnished black.  I was happy there  staring. My reflection stared back.  Rippled. I wanted to kiss it. I already knew there were countless shades of green – pure lime green,  dark army green,  the endless mixing in of yellow  to invent more and more.  A snail with an algaed shell moved  as if in outer space.  I couldn’t grip it, but I was so close.  Then I was right in there  amongst bouncy pond weed,   straggly ribbons and those shades of black in close-up. Some were just dark browns  but, oh the depth.  So cold amongst the stale green smell, but happy. They shouldn’t have ripped me from it just to wrap me in a stranger’s dog blanket. Rough wool held me silent all the way home. The air had chilled me to the bone grey dog hairs stuck to my lips. --- Sue   Finch ’s debut collection, ‘Magnifying Glass’, was published in 2020. She loves the coast and the scent of ice-cream freezers. You can often

Potholing by Catherine Redford

So I descend a little further into the yawn, night spliced with a pit of grunting pigs, weaving round intervals of whale vertebrae that sing like singed tree-stumps in the round. I meet a heavy argon sea of phosphorescence, dip a bottle into the waters and watch it gulp the flickering amethyst fish into its belly. The waves fold in on themselves and turn their backs. Tired soil will give up her secrets, and her bones; in this swallowed world, avenues graft and split like veins from the galleries below. Terra ignota, crawling into the unmapped. The danger of wrecks is that they lure us into believing we can reconstruct. --- Catherine Redford lives in the West Midlands. Her poem ‘Between women just grown up’ was commended in the 2021 Sussex Poetry Competition, and she has poetry published on  Atrium   and forthcoming in   New Welsh Reader . She has also published widely on Romantic and Victorian literature, with a particular focus on post-apocalyptic texts and the Gothic.     Twitter: @C

Dislocated by Lorraine Carey

I was pulled out,  tugged by gloved hands, a rummage in a handbag, from layers of belly under stinging lights. My hips malformed, disjointed and mother  so disappointed with the scalpel  of intervention, but my father joked  her annoyance was greater because she missed the end of the film. We were in the cinema when her waters broke, trickled onto a floor strewn  with cigarette ends, ticket stubs  and the wrappers of Walnut Whips. My pudgy legs splayed for months while a soft brace secured stability for the ball and socket joint, my movement  severely curtailed. I walk perfectly now for an hour  each day, sleep each night in a foetal curl as if back in her womb. Mother says my gait and quick, tiny steps  remind her of my paternal aunt’s who ran marathons and never sat still, a bit like my Grandma Gill who’d meet herself coming back, whereas I prefer taking my time  to get places. --- Lorraine Carey’s poetry is widely anthologised and published in Ireland, Britain, USA and Australia. He