Delicate milky buttons.
I am torn whether to destroy it,
or to pass the gift on whole -
that darn dilemma of taking or giving.
Forgive me for taking.
At the time I could not give,
I had nothing. Not even a button.
Not a sou, not a shekel, not a shilling.
My needle and thread serve me witness
for the cloth I have damaged.
See me make amends, squinting,
puncturing the fabric from the inside out.
Lee Nash lives and works in France, and has lived previously in the UK, South Africa and New Zealand. She freelances as an editorial designer for a UK publishing house, and is raising her two children.
Jonson Variation: A Toast to You
Drink to me only with your eyes
and my intoxication shall be wise.
I will not stagger, nor regret
a surfeit of caroused duet.
Let us quaff a mellow kiss
and I’ll be worthy, I promise.
I will not reel, inebriate,
as spirits roister, tête-à-tête.
I shall laud, with verse, with mirth,
your honor, health and day of birth.
Should you wish another toast,
I’ll festinate a fain riposte.
’Tis not the juice I seek in sips,
’tis the allusion of your lips
that I homage, raising a glass
which is the spouse of yours, dear lass.
Craig Kurtz resides at Twin Oaks Intentional Community where he writes poetry while simultaneously surviving the dream. Recent work has appeared in Aerie Literary Journal, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Burningword Literary Journal, Conclave: A Journal of Character, Danse Macabre, Drunk Monkeys, Maudlin House, The Penmen Review, Poetry Quarterly, Sediments Literary-Arts Journal, Teeth Dreams, Veil: A Journal of Darker Musings and Zouch Magazine.Read More
On the post-work bus
you chat with colleagues,
a counterpoint to their crew-cuts,
acne, Adidas trackies,
your paint-flecked beanie hiding
contemporary coiffure from the
vicissitudes of cement dust,
its wool displaying that authentic feel of
Nepal or the Orkneys
more than Primark polyester,
while their smooth chins
and sparsely sprouting stubble
quail before your fashionable wedge of beard
that I suspect of being anointed with product
in a daily regimen,
Zadok of the chin.
The checked shirt would create
a full lumberjack effect
except real timbermen
aren’t quite so willowy
and you lounge sans axe.
Dave Hubble is a newcomer to Poetryland but is a regular performer at events in the south of England. He has been published in places such as Rebelle Society and parkCulture, and can be found blogging at http://ellipsiad.blogspot.co.uk/
The South Starts Here
with houses, shacks,
piles of tyres, an airport hangar,
a Methodist church, a propane tank,
voids, that ramshackle Whispering Pines,
its shuttered shadow;
always something else burning,
forty three fires,
the 44th by a piece of cloth I lit.
with unsellable houses destined to crumble
in an emptying county
with flames spurting from farm outbuildings
- burned wood into crackle.
All I saw was orange in the air,
on unmarked drives veering off
into quiet dead ends
where people share last names
even if they don’t remember
how they share bloodlines.
No traffic off of 13, and deep country roads.
You never run out
of abandoned buildings there.
I had timed it perfectly,
on Valentine’s Day, an arson spree,
I let the hens out first,
too sensible to be caught.
Me, they called stupid, crazy,
close-cut red hair, goatee,
wide blue eyes, good run to bad.
Maggie Mackay, a co-editor at www.wordbohemia.co.uk and a second year student on the MA in Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, has work in several publications including Ink, Sweat and Tears, Bare Fiction and The Interpreter’s House, and forthcoming in Obsessed with Pipework.Read More
Black Holes & Other Inconsistencies
after Edgar Martins
There’s a thin blue line
sprayed vertically on the wall
and a film of grey dust on the floor.
A square shadow of shade
turns sand a darker yellow,
and there’s a distant light in the forest
ignored by the birds
rising into the faded sky
and a driver walking away from his car
parked by the covered road sign
near the abandoned raised highway
above a permanently closed café.
None of this signifies anything,
they are just part of the world’s emptiness
which small waves in the lake wash away.
Rupert Loydell is the editor of Stride magazine, a contributing editor to intenrational times, and Senior Lecturer in English with Creative Writing at Falmouth University. Shearsman have just published his new book The Return of the Man Who Has Everything, which continues his exploration of post-confessional narrative poetry.Read More
where everything’s candy
the winners get vegetables
at the politician’s funeral
you had to push your way in
your delicious perfume
gave me a migraine
that never ended
all my adult life
I have waited for the word:
watermelons and onions—
a feast that keeps on feasting
how sorry how sorry
is the hiker
who set the forest ablaze?
E. Martin Pedersen, originally from San Francisco, has lived in eastern Sicily for several decades. Some of his publication news can be found on his blog: http://emartinpedersenwriter.blogspot.it/
if my fridge is a cat:
it is indifferent unless food offered,
its little eyes light up in the night,
it is time I went to sleep.
John Alwyine-Mosley is active in various poetry networks and workshops nationally and in the south-west, he is currently working towards his first collection.Read More