My Small Envies
The girl at the grocery counter
who sees your polite smile.
The extra door key you trust
will be there if you need it.
The spoon you search for
when you need a spoon.
The books anticipated
in your Amazon basket,
and the one from the library
you wish you could keep.
The pen you try to keep track of.
And the alarm you sweep
your thumb over every morning
just to silence it.
Suzanne Jean Johanson lives in a yellow house with a black roof, which if on fire, she’d grab her dappled porcelain pony, her green ceramic elephant and her white-rimmed, dye-cast 1951 Ford truck. She’s been published in Antiphon.Read More
I’m so glad you came so fast I have never needed you
more it’s time to get this cult on the road you can be the holy
scriptures & I’ll be the minister at the centre like an atom DEAL?
good now go carve yourself up in words we’ve only got this studio
for another hour to get this infomercial down & we need words pronto
Great Big Silly Fairy Story Words now don’t give me that look of course
we can invent a God to sell detergent we can do whatever the hell we want
jr clarke is a poet – poems he has written have appeared on t’internet, sewn into the back of bus seats, & in his spare time he is an amateur hermit.Read More
A study in anatomy
If you believe humans have shrunk through history,
that the giant in our troupe is a throwback to an age
of towering heroes, what does that make me?
A creature of the future? An advanced stage
of human development? It gets a laugh. I play
the trumpet with my feet, embroider with my toes.
The crowd gawps in wonder. I tell them, one day
people with limbs will be on display in freak shows.
At one time a heifer with two heads was the star turn
on the bill – both mouths chewing cud. She died
of colic. Now a monkey fills the top position.
He resembles me in size, which attracts the odd snide
remark. Not that I care. If we’re talking similarity,
I’ve seen many a looker-on scratching at his balls.
That jaw cracking a nut, that stooped frame, free-
hanging arms – who’s aping who? They’re animals.
Earlier I had tea with the acquisitive Mr Hunter.
‘Living things have a tendency,’ he said, ‘to deformity.’
He wants my twisted carcass, this connoisseur
of oddities. He talked about ‘variation’ and why
there are so many living creatures. That’s heresy
I told him. He smiled complacently. I like his proposition.
It would be something to help in a future discovery.
Twenty pounds cash. I have no love for this skeleton.
Simon Collings lives in Oxford, UK. He has published both poetry and short fiction. For more information see http://simoncollings.wordpress.com/
in my head
across the sacred squares of Rome,
papal fancies, golden towers
(scraping the inside of my skull)
until the Tuscan Sun
addressed your spine
and wished it good day
caressed your shoulder blades
attention drawn instead
to your doll’s face
as your dull heart
-so pumped full of no mood-
thought nothing of me
Oliver J. Dibben is a poet who works between London and CordobaRead More
The moon reaches through
the crack in the curtain
to draw on the wall.
‘You do not belong here,’
she says, ‘not unless
you are dreaming.’
‘But they’re expecting me,
I reply, ‘and dreaming
is not allowed.’
I open the front door
and draw a rectangle
over the threshold.
She asks me,
Why are you out here?
‘I have to,’ I reply, ‘I’m sorry.’
She asks, Where are you going?
‘To work,’ I reply.
But where are you going? she asks.
‘I don’t know,’ I reply.
Iona Milburn is from Bristol and teaches Religious Studies. She is most inspired to write when by the sea, up mountains or people watchingRead More
Woman Cursing the Moon
(After Miroslav Holub: Man Cursing the Sea)
just climbed to the top of the hill
and started cursing the moon:
stupid moon, stupid fat-faced moon,
fatuous copy of a pregnant belly;
beachcomber mauling the tideline;
creeping ghost of a snail
obscuring the stars with its slimy trail;
starving itself almost to death;
trying so hard to be pale and interesting;
trailing around after the sun, sucking in its stomach;
fiddling with the sea, interrogating caves
month after month;
insomniac, playing with itself;
moon, you barren dusty rock of a womb -
So for a while she cursed the moon,
which stroked her head
like an anxious mother.
Then she came down and threw
nettles, oat straw, skullcap, hips
into the moony pond.
There you are, moon, she said
and went on her way.
Dee Rivaz is a Community Artist in North Wales working from the premise that ‘there is nothing new under the sun’. She uses wild, found and recycled materials to create narratives and poetry in mixed media.Read More
A Hero’s Deith
Still he shidders, an staunds wi his swuird, an threitens,
kiverin wi breuken shield his kist’s remains,
nou, his een are plowt intae infineet shaidae,
spirin frae lips that lin thair hero’s sang.
Faur awa, twa seelent raens watch
The warriour arise wi shaidae weengs.
In the nicht o thae weengs, his een, bricht as day,
as flicht unnertaken, intae the lip o sky.
Ower the hime o battle,
An the jargle o warriours,
Passes a slaw beat o weengs;
An oorie craik is haurd
As the twa craws come,
Messengers daurk an divine,
And laund on the shooders o God,
An speak tae his ear.
A reid hime rings. Shields an spears a-dundert
intae a lang, uncannie rair.
Fae gapin mooths, the bluidy wounds sproot
An smuirichs, an lauchter,
An a mort-heid fou
o mead, for whilk
burnin wi fiver, deid warriours thirst.
Thomas Clark is a Glaswegian poet, writer and filmmaker whose work has most recently been featured in Lallans, Southlight, The Eildon Tree, New Voices Press and Dream Catcher amongst others. He can be found at twitter.com/ClashCityClarky.
Note: These poems are free translations into Scots dialect of originals by the Bolivian poet Ricardo Jaimes Freyre.