‘Truth’ for National Poetry Day: Linda Rose Parkes, Marc Woodward, K. S. Moore




A True Version

honest to god
i can’t bear
to look at myself
in the mirror

i stalk her she’s my new poem in her fitted coat and high heels on the number 10 bus         put bars on the lines

last night
i told him
Megan’s seeing
a married guy

in the morning she’ll wake to cadence and pauses    rhythms of wingbeat flocking the page

that’s good
he says
if it
her happy

she’ll soon forget her passionless marriage when i leave her here for others to find

then i say so you
don’t mind
if i start fucking

let’s hope they bring food    let’s trust they bring fresh hope   that she isn’t alone in this fortress i’ve built her

that’s how low
we’ve sunk

i hear calling in my sleep     she wants to go home    she wants her own grievance    

i can’t
to see
these days

she wants the truth of her own shadow 


Linda Rose Parkes lives in the Channel Islands and has published four collections, the latest, This Close, was launched last winter. She continues to run poetry workshops and is also a painter.




Confessional Poetry

So how long have you truly felt this way?
When we converse about your infancy
I have the sense there’s more you need to say.
Sadly I think you’re withholding on me.
It’s always the same. Novels say too much,
they go on and on, I can’t shut them up.
But you Poems? Always I’m left guessing.
You just smirk there. Hinting, half confessing.
Yeah, we both know you’ve done a little time;
you’ve stolen stuff to get yourself a ‘line’.
And this thing about being a sonnet
in a past life. Just grow up – be honest!
All poems can change – and that includes you.
Of course you must really, truly, want to…



Marc Woodward is a poet and musician living in the rural West Country.He has been widely published in journals, anthologies and online sites.  His collections include  A Fright of Jays available from Maquette Press (2015) and Hide Songs from Green Bottle Press (2018). www.marcwoodwardpoetry.blogspot.co.uk




What I have to Say

Can I tell you
before it’s tarnished?
Before the lichen crust
absolves me of need to share?

Well, listen:
this is a bud of a story,
a soft shoot, weepy-
green leaf of a dream;
it is all yours
if you hear

what I have to say
is blooming on my tongue.
It is rare,
it is syrup
in my pharynx.

As it spills,
I feel it leave
like a lover
with an eye on my heart;
with a tug
at the tears
held back
from my teens.

Can’t reign it in,
this runaway . . .




K. S. Moore‘s poetry has recently appeared in New Welsh Review, Spontaneity, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Stinging Fly and Southword. Work is upcoming in Other Terrain and Atlanta Review. Shortlists have included: Trim Poetry Competition and Americymru West Coast Eisteddfod Poetry Competition.

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‘Truth’ for National Poetry Day: Rachel Burns, Julie Maclean, Lindz McLeod





The defendant’s elderly mother tells you
she can’t hear very well.

You listen to the graphic descriptions
of the child images her son viewed on his computer

like a punch in the stomach.
You have children, you are a mother.

His mother’s face twists as if she is sucking
on a lemon. She clutches her handbag

straining to hear the barrister
as he discusses each count

and the custodial guidelines.
You listen to the judge’s

summing up, thinking about
how you will avoid the truth

how you will skirt over the facts
if she asks. For you know

his mother probably hears more than she lets on
selective hearing makes the truth

that much easier to swallow.



Rachel Burns has poetry published in Crannog, Poetry Salzburg Review, Algebra of Owls and is anthologized in Poems for Grenfell Tower, Poems for the NHS and #MeToo. She has a poetry pamphlet forthcoming with Vane Women Press.





Now that you’ve left me

for the desert
and a red rock
i thought i’d be
listening for cars
on gravel
a door slamming
and I do watch out
for shadows
on white tiles
shivers of light
on the walls
mistake the head
of papyrus tossed
in the wind
for the head
of a bad man
but I’m listening more
to myself
sounding the rhythm
of each day
and what it gives
in solitude
in stillness
i’m not reaching
into the past
for some old love 
but thinking of
sweet potato curry
seeds I have to plant
more than anything
a solitary chair
in my eyrie
my eye
to a galaxy in flux
the way it reinvents itself 
the view I mean
and i’m surprised
to find i have no fear
and few regrets
except one
the fear of
your return



Julie Maclean is the author of four pamphlets, including a collaboration with Terry Quinn, and one full collection, When I Saw Jimi,  available here:  www.juliemacleanwriter.com

Note: This poem first appeared in Under the Radar, 2018






When we drove up the coast.
I saw so many bodies.
Two hedgehogs, one seagull. I have questions—
what happened to the gull? I can understand
The hedgehogs but not the gull; surely, surely
it would have been higher, freer,
not stuck to the gluedried earth.
like I am. I would never have flown near
any car         if I was a gull.
I would remember
To avoid people.
One hare too, but that was different.
The ribcage was exposed, a bite taken from the
Heart            body left intact
A fitting warning.
The stars have dusted you with love;
they cried out while my lips compared.
I swallow all your thrown mistakes,
the grape-sour taste of lesson learned.
I wonder how fast we need to be going
For the asphalt to knock me out.



Lindz McLeod has published poetry with Wingless Dreamer, Passaic/Völuspá,  Meat For Tea: the Valley Review, Indie Blu(e) anthologies, and For Women Who Roar, with work forthcoming in Coffin Bell and Sunbeam anthologies. @lindzmcleod

Note: This poem first appeared in Prometheus Dreaming

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