Deborah McClean

 

Milk and Honey

It’s 22:37 and I look
down and see you.
You’ve had another hard day;
I’m not surprised you look so sad.

I’m sure you are thinking
of the good old days;
those days when you were idle;
those days when you were framed in soft fabrics: lace and satin.
Loved and fawned.

You see, my loves,
it doesn’t feel like it
but you are now
the most important part of me.

I love you so much more
because you love the angry little mouth that want want wants NOW.

Now now now now!

So. I’m sorry
that sometimes you get angry; sometimes you throb
and weep
and split yourself;
grieving for those gentle fawning days.

But I’ve stopped wishing for those good old days,
because the golden days are here:

I am now the land of milk and honey,
and you, my dears, are her life-givers.

 

 

 

 

Deborah McClean is an Irish poet living in Bristol. She now eats cake and writes poetry one-handed due to the arrival of her first baby. Deborah lives in a house with a percolator and a husband.

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 Robert Ford

 

 

Lobster tail

Uncommon to find such a thing up here,
beyond the exhausted seaweed,
vacated mussel shells and limp
trawlermen’s gloves in bleached out
blue or yellow rubber, their fingers
often present if somewhat perished;
but there it was, cradled among the
whirled nests of exhausted marram
woven untidily through a scalp
of sutured pebbles. Time had melted
flesh away, revealing the miracle
of its engineering, in segments
and articulations, a suit of armour
still functioning in our snow-bitten,
astonished fingers, as we prowled
the empty shore, pleased to find
such a simple gift, today of all days.

 

 

 

 

Robert Ford‘s poetry has appeared in both print and online publications in the UK and US, including Antiphon, The Interpreter’s House, Butcher’s Dog and San Pedro River Review. More of his work can be found at https://wezzlehead.wordpress.com/


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Grant Tarbard

 

 

 

Gingham

Have you ever seen a scarecrow’s babe?
On a rough hessian teat nuzzling, mewling
at the shadow of out-of-the-way crows,
Death’s hands in the sky, lunatics of dew’s
drench. Poultices in the shape of water
weep from the burdened old moon’s swollen eyes,
soothe the babes ruptured gingham shoulder blades.
Everybody is bloodless in this house,
mother is a perfect silent trophy,
father quietly haunts the barley field
illuminated in the vestige of
autumn’s Sacred Heart, a crown of hedgerow
thistles adorn father’s aged stingy brim.
He clocks in, bound to a pagan oak cross.

 

 

Grant Tarbard is an editorial assistant for Three Drops From A Cauldron, a reviewer & the author of Loneliness is the Machine that Drives this World (Platypus Press). His new collection Rosary of Ghosts (Indigo Dreams) is out now.

 

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Stephen Daniels

 

 

 

cheap

 

this love was battered eventually

it started naked with its scales

shining and its eyes vacant

now they are covered

coated and ready

 

a flick of batter

to test the temperature

followed by a splash

and disruption of fat

to make this love quickly

 

the cook wipes his hand

with a stained blue tea-towel

and returns to his till

punching the numbers

with each definite press

 

£5 for this love

 

 

 

Stephen Daniels is the editor of Amaryllis Poetry. His poetry has been published in numerous magazines and websites. His debut pamphlet  Tell Mistakes I Love Them was published in 2017 by V. Press. Find out more at www.stephenkirkdaniels.com

 

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Julie Irigaray

 

 

Drunken Roses

The curtains’ psychedelic pattern
is the only touch of sunshine
in this flat.

Beyond them, two artificial moons
radiate tumours
in the cemented garden

and the city’s carrot bricks
are prison walls
pinching the sky.

Inside, heads drooping,
hunchback roses
recover from a hangover.

This title evokes a still life
or a Baudelaire poem
but lacks his genius.

 

 

 

Julie Irigaray has been published in Southword, Shearsman, Mslexia, and Tears in the Fence. She won third prize in the 2017 Winchester Writers’ Festival Competition and was shortlisted for The Yeovil Prize 2017 and The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2016.

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Jane Salmons

 

 

Dummies

We ride the escalators in pairs
upwards past the plastic palms,
the static rapids. Our flawless skin
shines blue in the half-light, the smell
of palma violets hangs in the air.

We dare not speak, nor touch,
for fear of waking the blinking eye
while above us, through the criss-cross roof
of steel and glass, the planets glow.
We do not know their names,
or if we do, forgot them long ago.

The hum of neon guides us
to our gods – Gucci, Prada,
Michael Kors.  Consumption courses
through our veins driving us higher
to our great design.


 

 

Jane Salmons is a teacher living in the Black Country.  She is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing and has previously been published in Snakeskin, I am not a Silent Poet and Creative Ink.  She also spends her precious free time creating handmade photomontage collages.

 

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