after Liz Berry
Hot, the rhythm of our exhalations is a pigeon flock
disturbed. Without reference, my dialect is unplaced
so swap me your snicket for a cut and I’ll lend you
my bones like brittle spires, help you find a direction.
We could use the maps held in our heads unknowingly
overlapping, with hard-traced line and contentious
boundaries. But the truth is I would rather be left here
in the heart of it—an aftermath, unbridled, bare-hoofed,
growing feral in the fret. You’ll feel it on the margins
of the Lee, how our friction gets kneaded in and out.
Zelda Chappel writes, often on the backs of things. Her work can be found in several publications both online and in print including Popshot, Obsessed with Pipework, Lampeter Review, HARK and The Interpreters House. Her debut collection, The Girl in the Dog-tooth Coat was released in July 2015 from Bare Fiction. She tweets, sometimes a little too often as @ZeldaChappelRead More
Some days he’s happy.
On Thursdays, he’s happy.
When I leave home on work days,
wheel my bike from the shed,
wave to him one last goodbye,
he’s looking almost jaunty,
wearing his favourite striped tie.
On these days, he’s up early,
sings on his way to the bathroom,
has time for no more than one coffee,
one toast, then
hurries out to the kitchen, drags
a high stool across the room
as far as the window.
Neighbours say he stays
at the window
at least until lunchtime
and sometimes my brother
comes very much later.
If passers by wave to him,
he doesn’t see them.
My father never takes his eye off the road.
Diana Brodie is a New Zealand poet who has lived in the UK for most of her life. Her poetry collection is Giotto’s Circle (published 2013, Poetry Salzburg).Read More
The night seems friendly,
Is it because you’re here,
standing on the edge of things,
your pretty toes
You do not speak.
But I do. I confess my love
over and over.
Everything I do confesses my love
over and over. But now
it doesn’t seem so tragic –
seems only to be the pattern:
the order of rectitude;
a set state of things,
sometimes as welcome
as a warm Hebridean night.
I am here; you
not as a ghost or critic,
but as a warmth that says nothing.
Seth Crook taught philosophy at various universities before moving to the Hebrides. He does not like cod philosophy in poetry, though he likes cod, poetry and philosophy. His poems recently appeared in such places as Gutter, New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland, Rialto, Magma, Envoi, Prole and Lunar Poetry. One was selected as one of the Best Scottish Poems of 2014.Read More
The Thin Woman
There has always been another woman inside me,
a small one who wears this flesh of mine
like a coat, hiding her pure self in the folds
of my flesh, the plenitude of thighs,
ripeness of belly.
Now her murmurs grow louder.
The house is filled with her keening.
Her sooty eyes quiver
under mine like water and her o-mouth
gapes as if to swallow my sleeping.
She gulps down air. Her fingers encircle my gullet.
She fills me with absence, the emptiness of water.
I feel her rising, her narrow grip on my belly.
She will fly out, soon, from my lips,
like a rigid ghost, breath
visible under her extravagant ribs.
Kitty Coles has been writing since she was a child, but only submitting work for publication in the last few years. Her poems have appeared in magazines including Mslexia, South, Obsessed With Pipework, Iota, The Interpreter’s House and The Journal. www.kittyrcoles.comRead More
Des bons mots
All things considered takes ages.
If you could have it all would you leave it where it is?
The path of righteousness leads to the corridor of uncertainty.
Absence makes the heart look elsewhere.
A problem shared is a problem still.
Do things by the book or they’ll throw it at you.
Can you get it in the neck while taking it on the chin,
have an ear to the ground when being walked all over?
When all’s said and done there’ll be nothing left to do or say.
At the end of the day, it’s night.
Daniel Roy Connelly won the 2014 Fermoy International Poetry Festival Prize, was a finalist in the 2015 Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Competition and was the winner of the 2015 Cuirt New Writing Prize for Poetry. He lives in Rome.
Electricity and void
We are mostly electricity and void
and, mostly, it suits me to believe
matter illusion, time a mystery.
But on this warm-cold night in early spring
you lay your material, electrical void
next to mine, and nothing is important
but the solid and the here – unless
it’s the memory of the breeze that lapped
at our mezzogiorno sweat,
before standing at the window,
looking down on the whitewashed wall,
teeming with insect life,
ready to sing like angels.
Mike Farren is a freelance writer and ex-IT consultant. He lives near Bradford and has had poems published on the Leads to Leeds website (http://leadstoleeds.com/#poems) and in anthologies from Beehive Poets, most recently alongside Ian Duhig, Steve Ely and others.Read More