Kitchen grease grimed you into blinds,
their venetian slats. With bowls of steaming
hot water, dirt-cut of citrus fresh, I wipe you
off wood, window panes, all the frames.
I vacuum sofas dusted with your skin,
run my finger across the table surface,
carve a curve in its soft skim, stare
at the new space, its intricate trace.
I am the mover of fluff that floats,
piles to the floor, dances in a draught.
I brush it up, shake dusters and brooms
out the back. Cells billow, catching a gust.
The wind shifts unseen. Nothing remains,
Roberta James’ poems have been published in magazines and she was on board of Magma Poetry for 10 years. She works in television and tweets at @robertawriterRead More
Marc Woodward is a musician and poet based in the West Country. His work, which often draws on music and rural life and is frequently underpinned by dark humour has been published in various magazines and anthologies. Maquette Press published his chapbook ‘A Fright of Jays’ last year. This is his blog: http://marcwoodwardpoetry.blogspot.co.uk
Mental Health Animals
Between us your depression and my anxiety;
such slippery things to articulate – yet I try.
You, a creature sat curled into himself, naked,
muscled, not a weak man but a hare-man.
Arms folded, long ears and face drooped:
blocking out everyone, but especially
me – a woman whose anxiety is a white horse,
pale in a dark green field. It is a pastel soft
night, I am wearing a cherry-red dress, bare
footed – my uneasy horse is outside myself,
body trembling as there are no stars visible.
The heart cries: where are the Plough
and the Pleiades? I hold her muzzle close
to my cheek to calm her – don’t pant so,
don’t pant my dear one. Your hare doesn’t
notice my withers flickering or hear
my breath come like gasps of steam
in the cold, dark air that surrounds us both.
Ruth Stacey writes poems in the fleeting spaces between motherhood and studying Native American Literature. It is not the easiest way to be a writer, but it is her way. This is her website.Read More
The Price of Things
I was stupid, not paying attention and now the house prices are rising and I’m exposed. I live in a place where tides meet. A nexus of doffed hats and carriages and lies stuffed with additives and the truth is: they’ll never know. Here, the starving split seats and the rich run roads of rubber piped from gun barrels. Where nostalgia is the taste of Mie Goreng, costing more than rent on the home they left to afford more than Mie Goreng. Where the poor hang mid-kiss, after money’s crush is minted down to an electronic wink, bullet hard.
I pass terraces bristling like weightlifters and townhouses that march toward the station carrying lamp posts like umbrellas. My ear buds protect me from failed economics, but not the tides that sweep me up with bloated paratha and tambourines for Jesus. A man passes, still smiling, in a phone kiosk smaller than a restaurant toilet. Others cling to pita bread and cement sacks stuffed with Senbei.
In the distance I see them, Sailing slowly up Hill Street, Scented like roses and looking to trade with sweetness and the glint snapped from budding stones. They loosen ties and discuss where best to eat. I was stupid, not paying attention. I point myself toward an unlatched window. The house prices are rising and I’m exposed.
GJ Hart currently lives in Brixton, London and is published or cued in The Legendary, Yellow Mama, Spelk Fiction, Schlock Magazine (UK), Horror Within Magazine, Three Minute Plastic, Literally Stories, Fiction on the Web, Shirley lit mag, The HFC journal, Under the Fable, The Unbroken Journal, The Pygmy Giant, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Drabble, The Squawk Back and 521 Magazine, Visual Verse and Fewer Than 500 Magazine.Read More
i see your body dancing, talia.
like your heart & its beat,
it’s dancing to the chimes
of my gestures.
talia, there is no mountain of loathe
that can trammel
the nexus of this bond,
neither is there any river of prejudice
that can drown the sprout
of this devotion. take me into the sanctuary
of your love, talia.
take me in your swathe of tintinnabulation,
so we can conglomerate into a testament of euphonies—
a chronicle of sweet songs.
Ajise Vincent is a Nigerian Poet. His poem Song of a Progeny was a shortlisted poem at the Korea-Nigeria Poetry feast, 2015. His works have been published in London Grip magazine, Eureka, Kalahari Review, Sakonfa literary Magazine, Synchronized chaos, AfricanWriter, Indian periodical, Jalada Africa, Black boy review, Tuck Magazine, Harbinger Asylum and various literary outlets. He writes from Lagos, Nigeria.Read More
there was supposed to be a mule
to preside in the forward stall
beams hung with brass and leather, dusty ribbons
that silence in which animals move, that power
and I am a child
the cows stay as they are useful
the horse leaves his great collar behind
as he goes to slaughter
I have forgotten his name
the dappled white horse in the orchard
Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner city Philadelphia and now works in rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her most recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.Read More
Peppered with the tarmac grit
The stubby childish fingers made
A prison for white wings,
The futile green-veined flicker
Plucked from estate dandelions
Not Papillon, but pieris napi
Helpless in the coarse pink clasp
Of the wrong hands.
I remember clear as dreams
The black proboscis severed and
My first grudge borne
Against your clammy palms that
Dropped limp wings on to the gravel
Not understanding why you did it
Not knowing you were crushed
In bigger hands.
Shani Cadwallender lives in London. Poetry runs in the family, so she has been going to readings since before she could read. She is published almost nowhere, but Seamus Heaney once said a poem of hers had a ‘fierce ending’. http://feelingintowords.blogspot.co.uk/