I stuffed my hook in a ragworm’s jaws,
caught a glum goby with a ground line,
hooked peacock rockfish, cats-meat pollack,
spinning with the twins off The White Rock.
With a sun-thawed, severed sandeel head,
I foul-hooked fighting green-boned garfish
on a short-traced float from the lighthouse.
From boats I dragged foil, feathers, bare hooks
past ravenous packs of mackerel.
I heard spider crabs skitter on deck,
saw lobsters lobbed out from lobster pots
went home to the kitchen scream of crabs.
Now I fish for something I can’t describe.
I wait for the ormer skies of sundown,
my fine line curving somewhere out of sight,
its weightless trace baited with silence.
Peter Kenny’s pamphlet The Nightwork (2014) was published by Telltale Press. His Guernsey poems The Boy Who Fell Upwards appeared in A Guernsey Double (2010). He also writes words for music, plays and prose www.peterkenny.co.ukRead More
The Spring Transaction
Well – after David, Chad and Winnol
(saints, all of them), what can you expect?
One day I will be seen in sudden unexpected haze of red;
the tall tree branches blush with adolescent life about to burst.
Another day I’ll fly across the skies in drawn out wisps of white,
high, so high that you will barely sense me there,
there at the edge of vision.
Maybe I’ll be blue, so blue it hurts to see me and you’ll shade your eyes.
Then, I’ll hide inside the hawthorn buds
and burst out to surprise you when one cold, clear, moon-horned morning,
as you drive a frosted road,
you see that old-new haze of sweetest green
and know that I’ve been working all this while.
But somewhere else I’ll take my dues,
in payment for such painful beauty.
In a quiet room at 3 a.m.
deep in the coldest watches of the springtime night,
I’ll sit and watch and wait,
as, from its frail and time-worn house, an old soul slips away
and flows into my arms.
Chris Michaelides was born in a village that gradually became an outer London suburb. She now lives in as small and remote a village in East Anglia as is compatible with the daily journey in to work.Read More
Love Hope And Mercy
have somehow disappeared
from my dictionary.
I don’t know exactly
when it happened,
I remember noticing them
fading a bit
when searching for such things as
the definition of luminaria
slowly morphing into gray,
then eventually to
an empty space
where I thought something
used to be,
like a person, suddenly dead.
I remember thinking
it could only be defective ink,
not an Orwellian excision
authorized by some invisible
Ministry of Truth,
to be filled with whatever you
would replace it with
And as, slowly, emphatically,
the shit is beaten out of us,
so is the love,
while these days drag on and on
like the cops dredging a lake
for a body
that is probably mine,
and it’s mid-December again,
many of us stuck, as always,
between a Santa and a Jesus
it was easier
when we were children,
then we could believe in both,
but that doesn’t do us
one damned bit of good
Scott Blackwell is a former resident of San Francisco and an MFA graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and has most recently had poetry published in Negative Suck, Ascent Aspirations, The Stray Branch, The Interpreter’s House, Main Street Rag, Floyd County Moonshine, Nerve Cowboy and Tribeca Poetry Review.
He currently resides in Champaign, Illinois.
Picture yourself on a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes
For years, now I have been preparing for the journey–
heart sealed as tight as a drum
eyelids pulled down like shades
Sleep does not come easy
to an old child
who cannot be tied to a bed
whose mind even when weighted down by centuries
only floats to the ceiling
like a moon on helium without a string.
I have tried tying knots in my thoughts–-
clots in my blood even thicker
but I rise I rise
and float upward…
I am circling myself as I myself
am being encircled by the Unnamed
like a halo or a blessing.
I am light a spectrum of light
fingers filtering through the branches of trees
a shimmering screen suspended
in a universe of dilating skeyes—
impressionable pupils that take in everything
I am circling myself as I myself
am being encircled—a face slowly turning
reflecting the green of the fields below–
Consider the lilies it whispers
Eyes closing and opening like windows
onto brght tulips Irises blooming blossoming.
bulbs exploding like crocus into untold dimensions
where I have been–-
what I have seen
when I wasn’t looking)
I am the sea now with the sun sinking under me
and all my cells are singing
Wave upon wave
I wash away like a dream or a watercolor
I pour myself into the river
I am the river turning and returning–
a cool delirium in a clear stream of consciousness–
my boat brimming over with glass fish
I Eternal Spring…
am traveling light
am traveling blind–-
tears beading on my cheeks like crystals
then falling back into themselves
dissolving into their sequential
magical magnetic moment
of synchronistic being
into the pattern of snowflake–-
a mere blink in the kaleidoscopic eye
It is an old pattern with a new twist–
an ancient rite of passage.
I am floating upward out of my body drifting
to a place where everything has happened before
and is about to again for the very first time
Like postcards I send to myself–-
I wish I were here
I wish I were here
Antonia Alexandra Klimenko was first introduced on the BBC by the legendary Tamibmuttu of Poetry London. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies including Maintentant: Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing and Art, archived at the Smithsonian Institute and N.Y’s Museum of Modern Art.Read More
Who would have thought my life
would be like this at eight o’clock,
on a Friday, mid July. Supper for one:
two poached eggs, a grilled tomato,
leftover fruit salad, ditto white wine,
dog-sitting for our son et belle-fille,
watching the last rays splash the Pyrenees,
waiting for black redstarts to call home their young.
It’s peaceful and with purpose
- in a while I’ll feed the cats, put the hens to bed,
water the garden, pick berries for breakfast,
lose myself in another good book
this Friday, this July, at eight o’clock.
Without you. Who would have thought?
Marilyn Hammick writes at home in England and France, and can also be found stitching, walking or on her yoga mat. Her poems have appeared in Prole, The Linnet’s Wings,The Interpreter’s House and in other print and online journals. Follow her on Twitter @trywords and at http://glowwormcreative.blogspot.co.ukRead More
A friend, depressed. We argue over
the term. He says he’s functioning;
I say one can function, depressed.
Probably what counts is that he’s arguing.
And another, a new friend or contact,
a poet to whom I attack
mode. Everyone does it, I tell him;
you’re better than that. And wait
for him to tell me in effect he isn’t.
All this happens by email.
If they were letters, and I had written
two letters today, it would be
a good day for my biographers.
Realizing I’ve thought that
makes me feel guilty, talentless,
a fraud as well as vain.
And as I press Send and
my psychologizing and criticism,
composed with some strain
against the inherent tendency
of the medium, enter nothingness,
I think how one diagnosis,
error, accident, bomb,
or insight can replace
a universe of incalculable richness
with one of incalculable poverty.
Fred Pollack is the author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure and Happiness, both published by Story Line Press. A collection of poems, A Poverty of Words, forthcoming from Prolific Press. Other poems in print and online journals. Adjunct professor creative writing George Washington University, Washington, DC.Read More
On the bus, their backs to me,
two women, in conversation.
One wears a pink head-cloth
of glazed cotton, sculpted
into stiff satiny petals.
A protea, a sunflower, a cousin to
dahlias and chrysanthemums.
Her friend wears her hair
in a smooth black helmet,
so fragrant that sitting here
I picture the fat bud
of her head slowly opening
in the hothouse of the bus
and blazing into bloom.
Imogen Forster is a birdwatcher and a translator, mainly of art history, from French, Italian, Spanish and Catalan. She publishes poems on-line and in print magazines including Hark, Lunar Poetry and Lighthouse, and tweets haiku and other shorts as @ForsterImogen.Read More