The Boy and the Mountain
Did you ever think what those sleepers are that underlie the railroad?
Each one is a man, an Irishman, or a Yankee man. The rails are laid on them
[…]. They are sound sleepers, I assure you.
―Henry David Thoreau
Tissack, the soles of my shoes are worn,
day is turning to night and I am cold
as reptile eyes. I watch the sky crack
the moon apart over the plates in your skull,
gauze them in Tule fog. The sun has drawn
its glow down the blue skin of your neck
and on past your gold-rush homes, each one
a snail to your mighty foothills
where my father sleeps among the track-ties,
under the slack and snap of the narrow gauge,
his bones echoing like pipes: their hollow, hollow sound.
Elisabeth Sennitt Clough lives in Norfolk with her husband and three children. In 2014 she won first prize in the Portico Brotherton Competition and third prize in the PENfro Competition. She has just written her first pamphlet.Read More
The Shoemaker Writes at his Window
Today I write to tell you I saw Sarah again
her neck curved, each move of ballet grace
I took her calfskin shoe and placed a warm,
innocent foot on plain paper to trace
Then, as now, she is moved to speak of the patterns,
and shapes of signs that make us die or live
She laughed and mentioned that when six, Karsula,
the cow chased her down the neighbours field
so she learned not to cry out loud when running
We smiled and told stories of weddings – mine
clean fresh water and a simple soup, hers, herrings,
apples, and a plain sponge cake
We kissed cheeks and said, ‘Let’s meet again’
for we have become scratchy voices on tapes
a pair of weekend monuments for bored picnics
while out of sight, the shoes stack again
John Alwyine-Mosely is a poet from Bristol, England who is new to published poetry. Recent work has also appeared in Stare’s Nest, York Mix, Clear Poetry, Nutshells and Nuggets. Three drops from a cauldron, Street Cake, Screech Owl, The Ground, Aphelion, Uneven Floor,The Lake, Morphrog and Yellow Chair Review. Website: https://publishedpoems.wordpress.comRead More
i will never be as innocent
as i was then. as ripe
as this root, as sound
as a lock of mistletoe to its tree.
i will never be as thirsty.
i will never again be as near
when i walk back into my
phantasies, shoes shed,
my palms sweetly pleased
with the stain of groundwater
shorn away from your body;
when i slip into the fatty
memory of it, the two of me;
when i count the many
days i have lost at your ream,
courting the threads
like a wet, blossoming moth,
my world shrinks. the drought
of an obstructive moon
flourishing in my triad
lights at the dividends of bones
better left behind.
i offered my youth. those unmarked
moments of lust stargazers refuse
to divulge, and the chance to lie
with my arm across your back,
the two of us shackled together
by the melancholy of hope.
marcelle olivier is a poet and archaeologist. Her translations of contemporary South African poetry appear in the recent edited collection In a burning sea (Protea, 2015), and you can read more of her writing in, amongst others, Oxford Poetry, New Contrast, Carapace, and The Mays.Read More
She doesn’t bleed now.
The chemicals put paid to that –
staunched the flow, tracking
down those cells, their waving
feelers tearing out her hair,
their bird-claw trail flattening
her veins. She’s mummified –
the outer shell’s the same:
head, shoulders, hips, thighs
but underneath all’s changed.
She limpets on, though, wound
crusted over, iron-oxide old.
Ann Cuthbert writes poetry and short stories. She has had several pieces published, on line and in print. She is one of Darlington’s Bennett House Writers and, with the Tees Women Poets group, enjoys performing her poems for live audiences.Read More
Flail and Crook
For all of you who has ever said
You loved me then broke my heart
May you succumb to the most?
Awful Egyptian curse
May Hathor cause you great pain?
And shame from this day forward
Until the Pyramids turn to dust and
The Nile River runs backwards well
May it be recorded now and forever?
In the book of the dead in prolific
Detail by the seal of Osiris I’m not
Singling any one person out but
You know who you are and so does
Isis as the all seeing eye of the
Falcon is upon you in the shadow
Of Horus call me bitter if you want
But all I ever did was love you!
Go on now and laugh at what I say
But I will have the last laugh just
Wait and see ‘cuz you are no better
Than me…don’t you know I come?
From the ancient Khnum Dynasty
And so when Ma’am weighs your
Heart against a feather I hope you
Suffer the worse Egyptian curse
Until the Nile river runs backwards
Until all the Pyramids crumble and
Turn to dust, until I toss away my
Flail And Crook out to sea…
So mote it be!
Bo Lanier is from Chattanooga, Tennessee and has become an established poet with five books to his credit that were published in Canada. He received several achievement awards in creative writing through poetry.com and has recently published two eBooks and one paperback book through Lulu.com After a nine year hiatus, Bo returned to publishing his poems with a new outlook and fresh ideas. His other talents include singing and songwriting.Read More