Dipo Baruwa-Etti

 

 

 

Seats

Before a table of white
People, I stand with ballet
Slippers strapped/soft soles
Head pointed towards the angels.

A dance, I commence. Pirouette
Grand adage, en point
Followed by flight as a helium
Addicted balloon.

Circling a table of white
People, I act as the Central
Line: quick/convenient/
Struggling to breathe.

A dance, I conclude. Magic
Hopefully proven
Gate optimistically opened
Handcuffs gracefully broken.

 

 

 

 

 

Dipo Baruwa-Etti is a playwright and poet. He has been published in The Good Journal, Amaryllis, and had his work showcased nationwide as part of End Hunger UK’s touring exhibition on food insecurity.

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Vote for Your IS&T Pick of the Month for June 2019

This month our shortlist embraces everything from Death to DIY. Melanie Branton exposes the underbelly in ‘Cemetery’ while the Hell that is flat pack furniture has made its way into Helen Rye‘s excellent and beautifully constructed (!) short story – published on National Flash Fiction Day – and Arji Manuelpillai‘s fine and melancholy poem. On the way we meet Sally Michaelson‘s heartbreaking ‘Night Raider’ and experience an exhilarating journey or two with Tom Bennett ‘Travelling Light’ and Colin Crewdson on ‘The Road to Kars’!

All six works have been chosen by Helen or Kate or received the most attention on social media. They can be found below or by clicking on ‘Vote for your June 2019 Pick of the Month′ in the Categories list to your right on the screen.

Please VOTE HERE. Voting will close at 9pm on Wednesday 17th July.

The winner each month will be sent a £10 book giftcard or, if preferred, a donation of the same amount will be made to a chosen charity. In the event of the winner being from outside the UK mainland, we will make every effort to provide a reasonable alternative. All shortlisted poetry Picks, provided they remain unpublished and meet other eligibility criteria, will be considered as IS&T submissions for the annual Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. (‘Frequency Violet’ by Kate Edwards was a Pick of the Month for November 2017 and was Highly Commended by the 2018 judges. It features in The Forward Book of Poetry 2019.)

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Rosie Driffill

 

 

 

Snow Globe

Twilight and a snow globe
find her watching. Slow-tip flurry
of chalk flocks a partial scene,
the postcard side; no 80s red,

No hurricane lamps for sale, no
stainless steel, going cheap, then kept
for best. No lonely morning walks
in this little orb.

She puts the globe in her mouth.
She imagines, the flakes dance
as they would, of course, when seen
in twilight hues. But beyond her little mouth

The twilight dies. It does not find
the humps of half-rot carrion, brown-penny stamps
of ulcer, or the anthills
in her ovary.

 

 

Rosie Driffill is a writer from Yorkshire. She is as passionate about performance as she is about the written word, and goes gaga for open mic nights. Her debut pamphlet Seeds, which explores nature’s demise, was published in 2016. Twitter: @RosieDriffill

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Susan Castillo Street

 

 

 

Pact

The lawn’s carpeted with yellow leaves.
Gardeners on a mission, we rake them
into doubloon mounds. The air is sharp and clear.

In the sky I hear a distant plane. Closer by,
the sounds of children’s voices.
Our eyes meet. No need for words.

I hold this closeness fast,
know that winter’s on its way.
I’d sell my soul to make this moment last.

 

 

Susan Castillo Street is Harriet Beecher Stowe Professor Emerita, King’s College London.  She has published three collections of poems, The Candlewoman’s Trade (Diehard Press, 2003), Abiding Chemistry,  (Aldrich Press, 2015), The Gun-Runner’s Daughter, (Aldrich, 2018) and a pamphlet, Constellations (Three Drops Press, 2016).    Her poem ‘Bird of God’ won first place in the 2018 Pre-Raphaelite Society Poetry Competition. Blog: www.thesalamanderandtheraven.

 

 

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Dan Stathers

 

 

 

The Boundary

Dug in the gum of a field
the stone stile sits,
boot-worn and old
with the hedgerows;
its aged, slate skin
bone-hard and clammy
as I lean my hands
on its beaten brow.

On the other side
a coat of emerald grass
hugs the claggy, brown earth
and wagtails weave
in the hawthorn.

I turn back,
following the ploughed
furrows home –
the empty beds
of last season’s harvest.

 

 

Dan Stathers is a writer from the South Hams.

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Jenny Hill

 

 

 

The Concise British Flora in Colour
The Reverend W Keble Martin, 1965

Netting the soul
of meadow, woodland, towan,
with one thousand,
four hundred and eighty-six portraits,
you travelled the veins of these islands;
gathered the common, rare, valued, unloved.
Smocked each page
with the colours of plain truth.

I cannot think otherwise than this:
that your sermons strode the pews
like wiry stems of oat grass,
sowing its whiskered ears
over your congregation;
that you captured a marriage
with linked fingers of convulvulus,
one-day shimmer of pink and white
in fierce, unrepentant entanglement;
marked death in the parish
with meadow saffron’s brief shine
of sun-gold stamens.
And lifted, as treasure
your communion cup,
the five-petalled white  chalice
of a dog rose.

 

Jenny Hill‘s first collection was Voices of the First World War (available on Amazon).  Jenny has had poems published in Ink, Sweat and Tears, Orbis, Strix, and was winner of the Poetry Society Members’ competition in 2017.

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Philip Foster

 

 

 

Coast Redwood

When we come across her in the bluebells,
stretched out flat, she says Sequoia Sempervirens
is the tallest living species of tree on Earth,
altogether more ancient and venerable than, say,
the Douglas Fir or the Small-leaved Lime.
In the field, in the monastry of its own greening,
the line of this snapped tree is an empire
becoming its dark ages, shifting from iambic
to chaotic Northern gutterals, reverting
from supply chains and Agmen formate
to oiled hair and heroism. Sometimes she wakes
from pipedreams and can’t breathe because of
how dirty the ward is, unaware of the year
or month, or the meaning of the word medicine.

 

 

Philip Foster lives in Hebden Bridge. He was a founder member of the Albert Poets, in Huddersfield, and has won Ilkley and Arvon prizes. Most recently he has been a regular contributor to Pennine Platform.

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