Thursday, 27 October 2016

A poem by Helen Kay

Floaters


She swims into herself,
to see the tadpoles darting.

They tease her scarred attention
to the lie of space before her.

Tail whip to free fall. Blink.
Pupils close in to catch them

in a vitreous underworld
of flaking retinal spawn.

Experts gaze in crystal balls,
and predict the changes

of moons she cannot reach.
She foresees latex fingers

fishing out crescent larvae
before eyes spew out toads.





Helen is a dyslexia tutor and proud owner of five hens who inspired her debut pamphlet, A Poultry Lovers' Guide to Poetry published by Indigo Dreams in 2015.

Monday, 24 October 2016

A poem by Catherine Ayres

Single-breasted


Always the echo of what’s left,
a heart’s empty warehouse
the swim of abandoned light.
We fall through afternoons,
find ourselves face down and framed
in bottom drawers, holding hands
with bastards in a tomb of bras.
The saints have lost patience;
they grant us single magpies,
blow-dry halos, dreams of bad sex.
Night skins us. We drink the street lights’
wallow, lie quivering in an absence of backs.
Try our false dawns for size:
blink through a veil of clean sheets,
suck your finger, spit dust.






Catherine Ayres lives and works in Northumberland. Her poems have appeared in a number of print and online magazines, including Mslexia and The Moth. In 2015 she came third in the Hippocrates Poetry Prize. She has a pamphlet published by Black Light Engine Room and a collection – Amazon – to be published by Indigo Dreams Publishing later this year.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

A poem by Sarah L. Dixon

Woodland Burial


Feed nature
let scattered plaques of fat
be a platter
for fatter cats
and Natterjacks

my duodenum
would feed them
for the longest season

Feed nature
An evil force ignores
an enormous dormouse
to gnaw my jaw ajar

Feed nature
Weasels deem it feasible
That feet’ll be
a reasonable neat meat treat

Therapy failed to save her
Now starving strays savour
The flavour of her navel





Sarah L Dixon tours as The Quiet Compere. She has been published in Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Interpreter’s House, The Lake and Clear Poetry among others. Sarah’s inspiration comes from being by water and adventures with her five-year old, Frank. She is still attempting to write better poetry than Frank did aged 4! http://thequietcompere.co.uk/

Monday, 17 October 2016

A poem by Emily R. Frankenberg

A Chronology


My grandmother referenced dates in cats:
“Oh, that was in the time of Pixie the First,”
or “Those were the days of Mittens,”
elevating them to the status of dynasties
or perhaps of Old Testament prophets.
The interregnums were brief and generally
relatable in dogs, or in apartments, or in hamsters.
Thus, a bird flew into my mother’s birthday cake
sometime at the height of the reign of Teddy,
and I was born in the decline of Pixie the Second.
I miss this way of classifying dolls and Halloweens,
kitchens abuzz and yards of fireflies illuminating dusks:
the things that chafe against the measure of a day.
I miss the angle of her lilt bent toward a village in the rain
across the jagged wound of ocean intervening.
I wrote her phrases in a notebook in a print now obsolete
in the era of Snowy and my recurring C’s in penmanship.
Some would have said it was Scotch-Irish dialectology,
but for me it was her voice, and when I try to hear it now,
it comes back staticky and odd. I heard her clearly once,
not knowing it would be for the last time,
in the overlapping reign of Tinkerbell and Mittens.






Emily R. Frankenberg was born in New Jersey and graduated from the University of Delaware in 2004 with degrees in Spanish and English Language and Literature. In 2006, she moved to Seville, Spain, where she continues to live. She writes in both Spanish and English and has been published in the United States, Spain and Colombia.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

A poem by Caty Lee

Who would like to nominate the white blood cell count
For the Zelda Fitzgerald emotional maturity award?

Some skid-free mats,
Misrepresentation by wheel chairs,
A hospital elevator in non-repair.
Sort of reductionist, but

the thin scope down my throat loves my
California-poppy esophagus
denoting acceptance
of scandal by strategic eye contact.

It’s never sunny anywhere except the muscles
Of Mesa, Arizona. Lesions large enough to be seen by the naked eye,
And my platelet count clicks into
Chromosome avalanches in the spinal
tapping irony from the sidewalks of Eastern Standard Time.

The fruitful doubts that emerge when eyeing my CT scan,
Subliminal messages from some German electronic band,
Some cancer of the gut I’ve been meaning to get beyond.







Caty Lee likes third-person biographical information, clementines, the mind-body problem, and synthesizing with literary texts. As far as she understands it, honest writing is about tending to the sore back and the philosophical leanings at the time of deliberation. It isn’t about conforming to a self-sponsored concept of what a reader wants to see. She is an English major at St. Bonaventure University and hopes to embark on an MFA program after completing a bachelor’s degree.

Monday, 10 October 2016

A poem by Linda Leedy Schneider

I Can’t Forget


    the lilac bushes or the secret space
in the center of their circle,
sheltered from the sun.

I can’t forget   
    the sound of bees gathering nectar
from lavender trumpets,
or jazz drifting from an open window.

I can’t forget
    the lingering taste of buckwheat pancakes
and syrup from the sap of our maple tree.

I can’t forget
    the feel of my first grade books
or the joy of reading them over and over.

I can’t forget
    my hideaway protected by heart-shaped leaves,
or the boy, visitor next door, who intruded.

I can’t forget
    the music, the scent of lilacs,
my books, his hands,

or his grandmother who said I lied.



Previously published in Peninsula Poets







Linda Leedy Schneider, poetry and writing mentor and psychotherapist in private practice, was awarded the 2012 Contemporary American Poetry Prize by Chicago Poetry. She has written six collections of poetry including Some Days: Poetry of a Psychotherapist (Plain View Press) and has edited two collections of poetry written by poets whom she has mentored: Mentor’s Bouquet (Finishing Line Press) and Poems From 84th Street (Pudding House Publications 2010).

Thursday, 6 October 2016

A poem by Elena Croitoru

Changes


Two countries ago, mother
spread like the horizon. Immutable.

She is now crayoned in sepia ink.
The borders have shrunk her.
Must not go back,
for she is thinner every time.
A sliver of feeling leaves me.

Her skin is heavy, full of lines assembled into a map
of wrongs and rights.
Her heart is a violin filled with water,
no longer echoing.

She must be looking at the bones of a memory
past the bedroom eaten by black threads.
She must be sliding her fingers
on the umber desk, like I used to.

I did not tell her the stars took me in.
I used to climb up there
when it got too loud.

If she were to see it too
the cold forever, disguised in trembling light,
the cemetery of young thoughts,
her life would fall into mine and
we would fold the world into what
it was supposed to be.





Elena Croitoru is based in London and is working on poetry, short stories and novels. She is currently studying for the Diploma in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Slink Chunk Press, Foliate Oak, The Front Porch Review and other magazines. One of her stories has been selected as an Editors' Choice in Bewildering Stories' Fourth Quarterly Review of 2015. She also works as a software developer.

Monday, 3 October 2016

A poem by Jane Burn

YOUR TRUE LOVES ARE THE END OF THINGS


Rest, they say. The vanquished heart
                                              is a peaceful heart,
no more need for questing. The victory
                                   is soft, soft
as the invisible fall of a wasted eyelash, but definite
as railtracks. You can pass into legend, now. I have
a file for you, between
                        this and that,
            him and her,
   them and it.
            Daedaleum,
                       flicka-flicka-flicka-flicka -
I got you stuck in this moment, just as I come
in a room and your head goes up
                                    goes up-goes-up-goes-up.
The colour of your iris is immaterial.
                                             Flicka-flicka-flicka-flicka.
Smile a little. Who ever knew what you
were thinking anyhow? I made another crock of shit,
that’s all. My zoetrope love, pushing back your chair,
                                half rising-half rising-half rising.
                        tilt-tilt-tilt-tilt your neck
            and smile, look away. You,
pretending not to see me, pretending
            not to see you. You, looking out the window,
                        at an empty glass – you fold your arms and
                                it hurts my heart.
                                        You and me, we wear our scars
like lacework across the skin of tripe. We ought
to be snatches of light, escaping their gyre-ing gaps.
                                   Flicka-flicka-flicka-flicka-
                       flicka-flicka-flicka-
           flicka-flicka-                        
flick.




Jane Burn is a writer and illustrator based in the North East of England. Her poems have been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies, from The Rialto, Iota Poetry, Obsessed With Pipework, The Interpreter's House, the Black Light Engine Room Literary Review, Kind of a Hurricane Press, Beautiful Dragons and the Emma Press. She is also the founder of the online poetry site, The Fat Damsel https://thefatdamsel.wordpress.com/