Monday, 10 March 2014

A poem by Robert Peake

Couples Therapy

A nice cup of tea
and a mean cup of coffee
were talking across
the devilled eggs,
trying, you know,
to have a conversation.
At least that's what she,
Rosie Lee, kept saying.
But Juan just wanted
to read the paper in peace.
He wasn't mean
so much as agitated.
And Rosie, sure,
was sensitive.
Sometimes she felt
overpowered, sometimes
lonely on her saucer,
although she stood
upon it deliberately
to keep him
from getting close.
Juan was complex
though he thought
himself straightforward.
When someone tipped
the milk jug over
neither could admit
how much they wanted
to be somewhere,
anywhere else.

Robert Peake is an American poet living in England. His newest pamphlet is The Silence Teacher (Poetry Salzburg, 2013) and he created the Transatlantic Poetry on Air reading series. Details at

Saturday, 8 March 2014

A poem by Vasantha Surya


Larger than life, the peacock facing me
Out there in the rain, on the palash tree
His claws’ raw power on the supine bough
Shot a bolt through me, on the balcony.

Broader, more muscled than I’d thought it was

And blue — so blue, his handsome chest!
Bejewelled, his whipsnake neck and crest
A-quiver with ire, white-ringed eye spitting fire.

“Arree!” he shrieked, imperiously.

“You in that silly cage of human ribs!
Stupid peahen! Come out quick!”

Vasantha Surya’s work includes  over three hundred articles in major Indian newspapers and  magazines, three volumes of poetry in English (Cre-A, Writers Workshop, and Sandhya Publications), and seven works  of translation from Tamil (comprising a  collection of outstanding short stories as well as six major novels -- East-West Press, Penguin, Macmillan, Zubaan, Sahitya Akademi, New Horizons, and Oxford University Press). Several of her translations of poetry appear in  OUP’s Tamil Dalit Writing.  Her translation of  Cho Dharman’s Tamil novel Koogai is  soon to be brought out by  OUP. Mridu in Madras (in English, brought out by Rupa and in Tamil, by Kalachuvadu) is a novel for children. 

Monday, 3 March 2014

A poem by David Cooke


My aunt Peg was a country girl
who couldn’t wait to leave it.
She was flighty, flirty,
and married a gambler
with a Clark Gable moustache.

The first place they took her on
was a Camden Town tea room
where they had a Margaret,
so made her a Peggy
instead, as if that day

were a new beginning
among the fancies,
scones, and slices –
the serviettes and doilies
she insisted upon

until the end of her days –
like the fags that kept her slim,
out of sight in a wardrobe
long after, officially,
she had ‘packed them in’.

In the photo they placed
on the coffin she looks
like a forties starlet. Her head
at an angle, she’s staring
into a softer light. 

David Cooke won a Gregory Award in 1977 and published his first collection, Brueghel’s Dancers in 1984. His retrospective collection, In the Distance, was published in 2011 by Night Publishing and a collection of more recent pieces, Work Horses, has recently been published by Ward Wood Publishing.  His poems, translations and reviews have appeared widely in journals including Agenda, Ambit, The Bow Wow Shop, The Critical Quarterly, The Irish Press, The London Magazine, Magma, The North, Orbis,  Other Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Reader, The SHOp and StandI have also attached them in a single word doc.