Thursday, 29 September 2016

A poem by Sam Loveless

After the Swings


Leaving the seat,
                          You left an impression,
                          however brief.

Try to remember
                          trying to forget.

The chemicals 
                          cleanse your mind,
                          not your history.

You can be accepted. 
                          Choose your apologies
or                       change your future.

                          Swinging happy.
                          Swinging melancholy.

Not forgetting
                          how high we swung.
                          Where you landed.






Sam Loveless is a Swindon-based poet and railway worker. He began writing poetry at Swansea University and now comperes the open mic night for Poetry Swindon. He also produces ‘Rhythm & Rhyme’ a radio show on Swindon 105.5 dedicated to literature and related arts.

Monday, 26 September 2016

A poem by Ben Banyard

Something in Common


So you meet
open up
and sometimes there’s enough

to make you laugh and sing
look at each other
beyond physical nights
feel that there might be hooks
sliding bloodlessly under flesh
to keep you together
even when you’re lying awake back to back
with a foot of cool air between you

That’s your hot beating heart
the always-fire glowing at home
with a half-life which will continue to react
long after you’ve both slipped into memory






Ben Banyard lives and writes in Portishead, near Bristol. His debut pamphlet, Communing,
was published by Indigo Dreams in February 2016 and his poems have appeared in The
Interpreter’s House, Prole, Popshot, RAUM and Lunar Poetry, amongst others. He blogs at

Ben edits Clear Poetry, an online journal publishing accessible writing by newcomers and old

Thursday, 22 September 2016

2 poems by Gareth Writer-Davies

It Was a Big Decision to Paint the Cupboards


I like white
but imagine what it would be like, to paint the cupboards yellow.

It would have to be a subtle shade (not daffodil or lemon)
something, Austro-Hungarian perhaps, as you see in Vienna or Budapest.

This will be a departure, catholic even, for my room is modest
and having taken the walls back, to lath and plaster, colour (seems) unnecessary.

Maybe a tone (like the sun on a snowy day) could be painted on the cupboards.
A yellow which goes with white.





Gareth Writer-Davies was Commended in the Prole Laureate Competition in 2015, Specially Commended in the Welsh Poetry Competition and Highly Commended in the Sherborne Open Poetry Competition.
Shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and the Erbacce Prize in 2014.
His pamphlet "Bodies", was published in 2015 through Indigo Dreams and his next pamphlet "Cry Baby" will be published in 2017.



-----

This poem was first published on Amaryllis 24/11/2015

IOIO


the tafarn is cosy
warm-ish to
the English who pass through

hogiau bitch
the ffwclyd
shit Seisnig

but Iolo is friendly
and happy
to chinwag with anyone

a pint of Red Dragon
in his hand
the overt vowels of Welsh

playing upon his lips
the bi-fold
brand of economics

the reason he is sat
here watching
the English beat themselves

but that is how it is
the two tongues
in the one thirsty throat

the twofold
melody
of the mouth

the grating chord of one
country hard
up against another                                     



Previously published in The Journal #46


Monday, 19 September 2016

A poem by Nicholas Antoniak

An Icy Road


As if in the pursuit
of troubled eyes that follow down narrow hallways
you stopped and spoke quite plainly
too plainly, in fact
about the way a car slides out
under thick, December, ice

For we,
who prefer to live beneath shrouds
and behind thick doorways,
would rather think
that the car remained oblivious
to the ice, the road and the spin.






Nicholas Antoniak, is an 18 year old emerging Australian writer. He writes both creative fiction, opinion pieces, poetry and anything else creative. He has been included in the 2015 Lane Cove short story anthology. In July he will commence a bachelor of arts majoring in philosophy and sociology and hopes one day to become an author.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

A poem by Sarah Satterlee

When I Lost the House


Flurry of coins on hardwood,
haphazard, flat hailstones,

she stands above them shaking
the ceramic cow,

they shimmer and skate
in loops, each swooning mirror.

Is it enough? she asks,
moon-eyed.

I wrap each photograph
in paper,

each dish,
each half-burnt candlestick,

I line them up in boxes
like offerings to the dead.






Sarah Satterlee is a graduate of Rhode Island College, where she was the recipient of the 2007 Jean Garrigue Award for her collection of poems. Her work has appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Wilderness House Review and Chronique. She lives in Rhode Island with her daughter, where she works as a nurse.

Monday, 12 September 2016

A poem by Katie Munnik

Grey


The week of our sister’s wedding, we painted the basement stairs.
Grey, not industrial, not cosy either.
Practical like nickels or skate blades,
work socks, sidewalks, pigeon grey.
We started at the top
but after a step or two,
reconsidered.
The stairs were too steep for the two of us,
daughters still at home,
jostled for space, trying to keep our balance,
worrying about falling or dropping the brush.
So we lowered ourselves, stretched
reaching toes down past the wet paint,
elbows and knees extended as far as they would go
to start again at the bottom.

I hoped our little brother would stay where he was.
Outside hunting for ladybugs, likely,
behind the garden shed.
We should have laid newspaper at the top of the stairs
to warn him
or told our mother
or made a sign.

Instead, we decided we only needed an escape route ourselves.
The basement window might work,
with a stool and a shove or two,
if we could manage to pop the bars from their brackets
the way Dad showed us, the day he installed the smoke detector.
We hatched a better plan.
We would paint every second step, then long-leg it back upstairs,
drink lemonade in the sun, catch ladybugs ourselves,
work on our perfect bridesmaids tans
until the paint dried.

It was a good plan, twenty-one years ago Thursday.
Maybe someday, I am very sure
we’ll go back down and paint the rest.




About Katie Munnik
I am a Canadian writer living in Cardiff, UK. My prose, poetry and creative non-fiction work has appeared in several magazines and anthologies, in newspapers across Canada and on CBC radio. I recently completed fiction mentorship through the Humber School for Writers in Toronto, Canada.
@messy_table

Thursday, 8 September 2016

A poem by Anas Hassan

Pheidippides


blast thresholds through Friday evening hail
blench in the cryotherapy chamber’s last chance saloon
wake fretting at a 3 a.m. derailment on the racing line
deplete energy with a novice's fierce dance routine
flail in the slipstream of a too speedy skort
snatch Jelly Babies from high-fiving kids at Shadwell
get overtaken by a toilet at the Tower
bite frantically at a sachet of factory-fresh fruits
fight the Naseby raging inside you
clasp your battle souvenir like a venerated relic
jostle through the makeshift Renkioi
shuffle down the stairs like your great-grandfather
peel dank kit off your weeping nipples
shovel calories like you've just escaped Leningrad
start again like a trader after a market crash








Anas Hassan lives in London. He is a strategy consultant and keen runner, and speaks French, German and Arabic. He studied history and international relations at Cambridge University. His poetry has recently been published in Ink, Sweat & Tears and The Interpreter’s House magazines.

Monday, 5 September 2016

A poem by Lindsey Talbott

'Worn'


Sea blue dress
breathing water
gulls call
and fingers tauten in the sand

Buried at the back of the wardrobe
still breathing faintly
she touches the unreachable blue
and curls in on herself like a shell

Letting go
she catches a glimpse
in the mirror
and turns to look herself in the face

Sunlight running through air
weeping

Familiar red-brown hair
the first tints of winter as
ice creaks and shifts
in a far-off land

cut and coiled
in a shoe box under her bed

Her body knows
and leaves the sea blue
hanging





'Lindsey writes poems sitting under trees on occasional small time islands in the flow of her life as a talking therapist, co- steward of a small woodland project, in the dance and her spiritual practice. She is drawn to the dance of bodies and in the natural world, more than the dance of words – and she writes and reads poetry and prose along the way, as she has from childhood. Poems in particular are a form of process overflow – she talks in poems when there is no-one around to share with.'

Thursday, 1 September 2016

A poem by Vanessa Gebbie

To a Welsh tunneller killed in France in 1916, whose body still lies 40 ft below ground


Did you prefer your garden wild,
all edges softened, scented? Did grasses
seed for you
in the evening light, and
Spanish daisies dance
                                   down the old brick step?

Did shallots wait in untidy rows, with
chives and parsley frills and leeks, and
on your two apple trees, did russets grow?
Was all stone mellow,
none bright, and in the ivy
were dunnocks nesting year on year,
and robins too, wood pigeons in the ash?

And everywhere was light, everywhere
the kindest shadow,
and when it rained
at night
did you stand at your open window,
                       the sweet air on your skin,
and listen
to the small sounds,
                                as though

you could hear the whole world, greening?





This poem is previously published, in Vanessa's collection 'Memorandum, poems for the fallen' (Cultured Llama, 2016).




Vanessa Gebbie is author of seven books including the novel ‘The Coward’s Tale’ (Bloomsbury 2011), two collections of short fiction ‘Words from a Glass Bubble’ and ‘Storm Warning’ (Salt), and two poetry publications ‘The Half-life of Fathers’ (Pighog) and ‘Memorandum, poems for the fallen’ (Cultured Llama). Her work has won both the Troubadour International and the Sussex poetry prizes. Twelve poems from Memorandum will form part of an exhibition for Hurstpierpoint Festival in September 2016, and will be illustrated in stained glass, photography and sculpture. www.vanessagebbie.com