Frank C. Praeger

 

 

 

Eating and Otherwise

Snap out of it,
crack open a beer,
get on with it.
Thinking of just a few of the dead -
it happens sometimes.
I know of no cause,
nothing special;
not eating something
or opening a window
or – you name it.

They’re just there, face, voice, gesture.
Where to go from there?
To have been close,
then,
unsorted tricks of the mind,
so much crossed out.

I am a clutter, a way station,
a hallelujah
that has not yet been heard.

At Brockway Junction I have stood
where hermits had once been,
where the longest day had just begun.

 

 

 

Frank C. Praeger is a retired biologist who lives in the Keweenaw which is a peninnsula that juts out from the northwest corner of the Upper Pennisula of Michigan into Lake Superior.  His poetry has appeared in various journals in both UK and USA.

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Nikki Robson

 

 

 

Gareth’s Wake

 

The toot of your horn as you drove past fell silent

in the shunt and crush,

the hand that waved, a useless shield. My cup cracked

with the news, pulsed dark coffee. Your parents

wanted you home one last time, to touch your hand, look out

and see you walking in the fields.

 

We ate and drank and remembered; the only

thing missing, the crown of the day, was you.

The summer sun buried itself behind a hill.

A car spilled out your English Cousins

who would have been here earlier, but

 

they had turned up some other greened-in-the-middle road

joined the higgledy-piggle of cars in a rush to condole

didn’t recognise anyone      it had been a long time      

clucked vague sympathy with tea      went to pay their respects      

backed out.

 

Gareth, we laughed until we cried

at some old man lying in your coffin

and then cried, knew how much

you’d have loved it.

 

 

Nikki Robson holds an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study and writes life poetry. She has been published in several anthologies. Her work observes life and often finds a warm and witty side to otherwise bleak situations. From Northern Ireland, she now lives in Angus with her husband and children. As well as writing poetry, Nikki enjoys tutoring and creative community involvement.

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Ellie Danak

 

 

 

The Killing

I’ve been staring
at the mobile phone
for too long. Now
it turns cold like a stone.
The screen mirrors
the bruised moon, litters
the sky with your name.
On the bedroom wall
your photo left
a raw square.

 

 

Ellie Danak is a poet based in Scotland.  She has been published in a number of online poetry magazines and most recently in an Emma Press anthology. She occasionally tweets here:@PoetryandPandas

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JD DeHart

 

 

 

Absconding

of course, leaving would be
easy, peeling away, kicking
up small stones, waving
rude gestures in the air,
the sound of tires spinning
all the way to the fork
where I would have to stop
and decide again
what to do with myself.

JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  His work has appeared in Eye On Life Magazine and The Commonline Journal, among others.  His first chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is due this fall.

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Roberta Verdant

 

 

 

Incendiary

I’ve been deciding how my wings would look,
Ruled out downy-swan-feathered (& occasionally a little bloody.)
Not Victoriana fae, the era that forgot fairies are toothed beings.

Instead I’d like enormous blue-green dragonfly wings,
Iridescent in moonlight & slightly dangerous,
Flickering, almost-ready to catch fire.

On the days when my limbs are made of lead,
I’d stroke that lightness,
stoke that incendiary potential.

 

 

 

Roberta Verdant lives in Devon. She facilitates creative writing workshops, blogs for The Huffington Post, dances, swims and dreams.

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Kathy Halliday

 

 

 

The Last Fish

–– is an Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, or ‘Finn’ to his mates.
He was once one of 30 million tapioca eggs.
You can sponsor Finn for as little as £1.00 a month. You’ll
receive a special certified adoption pack and a cuddly toy. He’ll
even write to you when he’s not busy launching ships or
performing card tricks at little Jimmy’s 5th birthday. He’ll
update you on his progress at least three times a year. On a
good day, his body becomes a blue-black capsule, capable of
streamlining up to 40 miles per hour in chilly Atlantic waters.
He would prefer to stay in bed, spend the morning in his Y
fronts watching Ice Road Truckers and drinking milk, straight,
from the bottle. Sponsor him today and you can choose
between a window sticker and a fridge magnet. He dreams of
performing at the Super Bowl’s half-time show, but his voice is
a bit pitchy at best. He did meth once with a school of
Herring, but the slim-sheen of their bodies created a silver
tornado that gave him a bad trip. He didn’t sleep for weeks.
Very soon, he’ll take a boat out to the Gulf of Mexico, in the
hope of miraculously spawning against all odds. He is an
anomaly, and is more likely to be picked up off the coast of
Tokyo, and auctioned for sashimi at Tsukiji fish market.
His body is worth millions in yen, and when they split him
lengthways down his underbelly, they’ll find only pink-red fronds
of meat, and the remains of a child’s rubber pencil topper.

 

 

Kathy Halliday is a Creative Writing MA student and graduate of the Creative Writing and English Literature BA programme at York St John University. Her work appears in The Cadaverine , Little Fiction  and Turbulence Poetry. She lives in York.

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Stephen Giles

Passchendaele

No doubt the morale of the German army
was shaken by Passchendaele. It is unlikely
the morale of the British army was much improved.
AJP Taylor

We share the same wet pitch:
its pocks, its hollowed plains
of wretched brown. We are
the two bald men with one

proverbial comb. Last year
we tricked along in inches,
conceding men in their dozens
over each blade of imagined

grass. We lost a Yorkshire pit
village of pink-faced teenagers
in the cause of this old barn –
hundreds more young boys

drowning to snatch the entire farm.
Morale gets spoken of less and less.
Death is simply our way of life
and all of war is mess.

 

Stephen Giles was born in east Yorkshire and now lives in the east Midlands. He has been shortlisted for several poetry awards including the Virginia Warbey and the Plough, and been runner-up for the Troubadour and Ware Festival prizes.

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