Jean Atkin

 

 

 

My grandmother teaches me

Her flat swings through the mirrored door
and we are wafted with mothballs.
Her nylons hiss when she crosses her legs.

Her shoes are mauve, with little heels.
I trawl my fingers in the deeps of the rug,
stir talcum miasmas and breathe

through my mouth.
She directs from the  flounced stool
that goes with the dressing table.

“Darling, let’s get all these shoes out.”
I reach up to push aside soft ranks of clothes,
their hangers conversational above my head.

Silk slips between wool crepe skirts.
A mohair coat-dress strokes my cheek.
I trap a belt.  It’s armoured in crocodile

coiled like a snake.  It unrolls
a glittered buckle, strikes my hand.  “Oh,
I used to be so slim,” she says, “when I was young.”

Already I know when to say nothing.  Instead
I find high-heeled sandals that swing pretty
in my grip, while I measure the stab

of a heel between finger and thumb.
“Say stiletto! “ Her voice is beads skittled on a tray.
“Your Mummy should wear these, shouldn’t she?”
 

 

 

Jean Atkin works as a poet, and lives in Shropshire. Her first collection Not Lost Since Last Time is published by Oversteps Books. She has also published four pamphlets and a children’s novel, The Crow House. She is Poet in Residence for Wenlock Poetry Festival 2015.   www.jeanatkin.com

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Iain Britton

 

 

 

Five Compression Poems   

– from special effects

one look at her face | her eyes
her blue tattoos |
she steps onto no man’s land
takes a deep breath & touches the hearts
of last week’s stripped & searched
cosmic-brokers of dreams | she doesn’t budge
to the helmeted head of a childhood
folded back into the earth

*

known figures investigate
the open fields of your rooms
counting their nights in the dark
putting words in mouths

memory serums line your shelves

the space you occupy now
is furnished for a child

*

i survive identities
dig the garden
stab at the birthing holes in plants
& you practise the ovarian experience
of green blood in your streams | your gullies |
in your lexicon of new bones

*

body hungry i stumble about for a mouthful of her absence
i taste a raw consensual acquiescence | an unspoken sentence
is caught | manhandled |         as to her whereabouts
is a matter of interpreting calendars

*

he spends days unearthing
horoscopes

adjusting to observations of black cats
mad-eyed owls | a Judas sheep in the backyard
i’m told at night he sleeps with toys

 

 

 

Iain Britton‘s poems have recently been published, or are forthcoming in Molly Bloom, The Interpreter’s House, Long Poem Magazine, Stand, Clinic, Card Alpha, The Curly Mind, M58, The Literateur. Since 2008, Iain has had five collections of poems published, mainly in the UK.  A new collection photosynthesis was published by Kilmog Press (NZ), 2014.

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Devon Balwit

 

 

 

servant of the living word

a chill breeze pours over me from the night window,
what baptism should have felt like had God existed
when I was fully immersed, decades ago, in a Wisconsin
lake, a disassembly and then a remembering, a being
shaken from stupor into light.  now, faithless, I am
much more worshipful, more given to speaking in
tongues.  daily I rise early, fan the holy spirit into
brightness and release her, servant of the living word.

 

 

 

 

 

Devon Balwit wears many hats in Portland, Oregon.  Her poetry does likewise. Some it has found recently: 3 elements, Birds Piled Loosely, drylandlit, Dying Dahlia Review Leveler, Of(f) Course, The Cape Rock, The Fem, The Fog Machine, The NewVerse News, The Prick of the Spindle, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, The Yellow Chair, txt objx, and Vanilla Sex Magazine.

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Tom Stevens

 

 

 

Crossing the English channel by foot- I’ll make Dieppe by tea-time.

I push images of that great bolt of fluid
streaming out of Shoreham sewage treatment plant,
snaking towards Brighton beach, out of my mind,
striding into the churned, murky waters, cloake in neoprene,
the rain storm long passed to a flash of sun,
jellyfish and lone weeds thrashed against the
pebbles, I come to my neck,
snap my eyelids shut, ignoring the thought
of storm drains awash with the babble of the streets,
take a breath,
and head under the wave, which pulls easterly
as the sea drags itself further and further
away from us.

 

Hailing from the countryside of Gloucestershire, but currently living in Brighton, East Sussex, Tom Stevens is a twenty-one year old who studied English literature at the University of Sussex. Most of his poems are unpublished, and those that are, are in small editorials and student collections. Blog link
https://miragesofleavesinspring.blogspot.co.uk/

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Jessica Mookherjee for International Women’s Day

 

 

 

Stranger

I’ll ask the Moon to do my dirty work.
In the backwash I wonder if the Welsh God
with his untidy name, painted her.
I’m the colour of the rock.
I’ll be a moon-glowing witch,
with cloud-hands getting slowly drunk, as I shrink out of the sky.
They ask me why I wear a bone in my nose and I laugh,
make their cows lame and their children fail.

Everyone’s asleep, I walk streets where lights
are still on in people’s houses –
to walk my coast path from West Cross
to the Mumbles Head, away from the village,
from that old infant school
with that big sign that told them to aim
for something they must have believed at the time,
where the milk was too warm and made them sick.

I want to flick a switch and turn
off all the stars. I can drop gold-crushed light
on the cliff paths, and sit
down here on Brandy Cove, sea-faced.
They spread rumours that I was the moon and chased me
with silver, I know I can’t drown
because I’m the water.

 

 

 

Jessica Mookherjee is a poet  originally from Wales now living in Kent. She has poems published in Ink Sweat and Tears, Antiphon, Agenda, Prole, Interpreter’s House, Obsessed With Pipework and Tears in the Fence. Her pamphlet, The Swell – was published in October by Telltale Press.

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Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

 
Broken cable

In the middle of the bright Atlantic
Floating on the swell between island volcanoes
Looking past reflective surface tension
To silvered gas bubbles beneath catching the light

And across the issuing rift

A long snake of data cable
Broken sheared twisted.

As the gas breaks the surface
We hear voices
Blogs bubbling to the top
Instructions to buy or sell
A thousand tiny voices
Sparkling in the sunshine
Several parrot fish swim by
Next day when snorkelling
I fancy I hear fish blogging

 

 

 

Kim Whysall-Hammond is a scientist by training, an IT manager by profession and a poet by necessity. She’s found that she is can be struck by beauty in what others consider very odd places.  She shares poems at https://thecheesesellerswife.wordpress.com/

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