And him with his track record -
he should have known to leave school left,
not tag back to the party
on third-hand word of hi-jinks,
an ex-prefect break-in
unlocking the Botanics
for hothouse booze and maybe things
might get a little steamy.
Fully-clothed, he tumbles past
lily pads and sabulous fish;
the fearty swimmer selected
for propelling off the edge.
He should have understood himself
as marked for special treatment
the day they pissed his pacamac
down the poolside toilet.
The awkward lad’s foreign name
had earned him a punch in the belly
as Swimming followed History,
Great War reverberations:
Your granddad kilt my granddad.
But the name is Danish. And why
did you group-gob on my blazer?
They tellt you were adopted.
Edinburgh-born Roy Moller lives in Dunbar, with his wife and son He is working on his first collection, Imports, to be published by Appletree Writers in December. Twitter: @RoysterMollerRead More
I know about stars.
They’re far away
have nocturnal habits
and hide from the day,
and when I lie
hair rasping a pillow of sand
fingers sieving cool grains,
shrinking clumps in each hand,
I can watch them for hours.
Those that drop from black cliffs
falling into forever.
Those that glide over our organic blip
and those that sit still
years above the sky.
Fingers sieving cool sand
the insatiable wet of the world close by.
Neil Fawcett lives in Stockport and writes poems in a scruffy shed at the bottom of his garden. When not in Stockport you’ll find him in Greece, just wandering about. www.neilfawcettpoet.comRead More
Two Benches Away
Screaming to a halt,
and I mean screaming,
they fell onto the bench
the wheel chair not suited
to the steep slopes of Criccieth.
They were still laughing
when the rest of them arrived,
residents and carers,
out for more than a stroll
on a promenade flatter than accents.
I held the phone so you could hear voices
full of castles and laughter,
and you said something that surprised me,
something about words,
about the naming of things,
and for a second I was lost,
you said Care and Residential,
and it brought back homes,
the Nursing Homes where my brief visits
would interrupt the routine,
where the armchairs were benches
and the patients were boulders
surrounded by crisps, fag ends
and pools drying in the afternoon sun
with big screen views of Arizona
or a game show from Pebble Mill.
But I did nothing, I did my job,
chased up an extra biscuit,
talked about holidays
and looked the other way.
Terry Quinn was a Medical Engineer before retiring in 2012. His collection The Amen of Knowledge won the Geoff Steven’s Memorial Prize in 2013. He hosts the Arts Scene programme on Preston fm.Read More
Putting out the prayer flags
Can’t pray any more, and so
I let the wind do the praying for me.
I have done with asking God
for favours I have not earned,
promising to be good hereafter.
God will listen to the wind.
I don’t expect the wind to ask for miracles,
only an easy passage for you,
my old ship
creaking out of harbour.
And the flags:
yellow, green, purple, red,
like a sailor’s pennant:
England expects every man.
Farewell, welcome home.
Ann Alexander has published three collections of poetry, Facing Demons and Nasty, British & Short from Peterloo and Too Close from Ward Wood. She lives in Cornwall.Read More
the barrel is so smooth
and it speaks to me
I clean the inside with care
I massage it with fine oil
nothing else makes me feel this secure
my gun goes everywhere with me
I spend many hours each day thinking about it
I know where it is at all times
I panic if I cannot locate it instantly
I brag to others about my gun
I have great pride in my gun
when I have a bad day, I handle my gun
I practice shooting it
the barrel gets so hot
I’ll take it apart and get it clean
I have pictures of it on my page
I have a pet name for my gun
no one will ever take away my gun
David Schmidt is a poet, writer and artist and has had many poems published in online magazines such as IS&T. David is an atheist since no gods have ever been found over the span of history, they all have been proven to have been created by men who are seeking power. Belief, he says, is antithesis to reality.Read More
Dawn chorus: anxiolytic
Swaddling phat breakmove sunstamp
Ineluctable electrum lacklastruelack
Walworth Road glistering alonzapine
Panic’ed pharmacopic picnic
Stopwatch timemosh pitted foe
UKIP PWITS unshod bricolage shop
Fuddled frenzies unmitigated unsedated
Strands of sense fraying swaying inter
Active hyper needle soothing sudden
Laggard chords and Moog nostalgias calming
Easy quantitative captured measure
Debted now freighted also later
Dermic in the brightness that is ours.
Daniel Andersson likes the lyrical end of innovation. He teaches at Oxford University, and has been published widely, if spasmodically, in poetry magazines (including Orbis, 10th Muse, Bordercrossing Berlin, the Journal, and many others he cannot quite remember now….).Read More
The Night Train
Conductor, send my love on the Night Train.
The fast train.
The sleek black bullet flying straight as a shot train.
I want it sent first-class, post-haste
no missed connections, signal failures
no leaves on the line, and not a flake of the wrong kind of snow
because I’m sending my love on the Night Train.
I considered freight, but it seemed too impersonal
asked a courier, but he didn’t handle it properly
tried mail, but the postman didn’t understand
tried smoke signals, carrier pigeon, message in a bottle
even the internet
but in the end I decided on the Night Train
because the rocking of the carriage is gentle
and railway tracks are so much longer than arms.
You see, I can’t always reach the people that matter
and if I did I wouldn’t know what to say
so I’m sending my love on the Night Train
stopping at London, Peterborough, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh
Belfast, Stockholm, Bergen, Vilnius-
-I’m sorry conductor, you’re just going to have to find a way.
And I hope you speak English, Welsh, Swedish, Norwegian, Lithuanian, two kinds of Elvish and the Black Speech of Mordor
because I don’t.
That would be ridiculous.
I will admit
there is a lot that could go wrong.
I’m sending my love
but it has such a long way to go.
It gets exhausted sometimes
it inexcusably can’t be bothered sometimes
in fact, it may lose its railcard
forget its luggage
misplace its tickets
-yes I know it would have been cheaper
had I booked sooner-
it might fall asleep
miss its stop
might even get on the wrong train entirely,
so be careful with it.
Stoke the boilers
fire the engines
blow the whistle
and send my love
on the Night Train.
Lewis Brown is a young writer and performance poet, based in the North East of England and Edinburgh. Find out more at fallingpiano.wordpress.comRead More