The winter-night-song of a Fenland home
The chimney takes the note of sorrow
Down a brick gullet,
Tied at the neck in knots,
Unable to swallow straight
The journeying wind
That sings in the crevices
That might be a white quaver
Tipped from the feathered back of a Bewicks’ swan
Crossing the fen to Welney, or
The agent of metronome
Driven from the back of a Boeing out of Stansted
Levelling the turbulence with folds of metal
That split into brakes and cleave thermal tongues in two.
Silence all singing air tonight. Hold your breath,
Your synergy; the over-ramblings of the strained earth-voice
Contained in this, my chimney.
Words by Helen Pletts (www.helenpletts.com ) whose two collections, Bottle bank and For the chiding dove, are both published by YWO/Legend Press (supported by The Arts Council) and available on Amazon. ‘Bottle bank’ was longlisted for The Bridport Poetry Prize 2006, under Helen’s maiden name of Bannister. Working collaboratively on Word and Image with Romit Berger, illustrator, since 2012. Word and Image Cards now on sale in The Over Gallery .
Image by Romit Berger who says “I am a graphic designer and artist, living in Prague for the past ten years. In 2008 I joined a writing group – English is not my native language but I graduated from an international school, so it is a part of my life ever since. I feel that the dual process of finding words to describe mind images and illustrating written words, opens a new exciting dimension of creativity for me.
Scales of glass,
a crest of frilled iron,
tucked deep in shrubbery
could stagger up
on stiff metal limbs
steam oil sweat
on its green breath,
mouth a cave.
this sunken factory
She has to keep the statues
her and her bad legs.
Dot Cobley has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines, including Smiths Knoll. Rialto and The SHOp. Having collaborated with artists on various projects, she has decided to try combining her own artwork and poetry…
Note: The poem The Fernery was first published in Seam.
Three Book Cut Up (2)
Daniel Lehan: Former paperboy, choirboy, shop assistant, ice cream seller, chip shop manager, petrol pump attendant, pub caterer, post office worker, theatre usher, cleaner, leaflet distributor, front of house manager, t-shirt designer, screen printer, children’s book author and illustrator, gardener, teacher. http://eachdayadrawing.blogspot.ca/Read More
A sleep-trapped world could twist itself
to other worlds we’d never want to meet;
to worlds we’d run from if we met them;
worlds in which we’d look at water
fretted into gooseflesh by fine rain
and ask what caused and prowls
that smooth patch tight as skin on blistered burns;
worlds in which we’d learn what ate
the hearts of fallen trees and rolled them
to the water’s edge as floating husks
where brown foam slumped in feeble swell
like something furred and dead.
Michael Bartholomew-Biggs is poetry editor of the on-line magazine London Grip . He has published three chapbooks and the full collections, the most recent being ‘Fred & Blossom’ (Shoestring Press, 2013). See also mikeb-b.blogspot.co.uk
David Walsh‘s painting addresses a number of things (whether intentionally or not he is never sure): these are identity, belief & redemption. As an expat Australian, his colours and themes represent where he comes from which is still as important to him now as it was when he lived there.Read More
Woman Cursing the Moon
(After Miroslav Holub: Man Cursing the Sea)
just climbed to the top of the hill
and started cursing the moon:
stupid moon, stupid fat-faced moon,
fatuous copy of a pregnant belly;
beachcomber mauling the tideline;
creeping ghost of a snail
obscuring the stars with its slimy trail;
starving itself almost to death;
trying so hard to be pale and interesting;
trailing around after the sun, sucking in its stomach;
fiddling with the sea, interrogating caves
month after month;
insomniac, playing with itself;
moon, you barren dusty rock of a womb -
So for a while she cursed the moon,
which stroked her head
like an anxious mother.
Then she came down and threw
nettles, oat straw, skullcap, hips
into the moony pond.
There you are, moon, she said
and went on her way.
Dee Rivaz is a Community Artist in North Wales working from the premise that ‘there is nothing new under the sun’. She uses wild, found and recycled materials to create narratives and poetry in mixed media.Read More
Photo By Peadar O’Donoghue
A Birthday Treat and a Last Bastion of Love
I do believe you shouldn’t throw stones.
And I don’t see the point in killing birds.
If anything I’ve tried to save them.
At the City Gallery our eyes lit up.
It was our last chance to see
a Francis Bacon exhibition.
At The Brazen Head we listened to
a Guinnessed man tell tall tales of
The Easter Rising.
We took-off at sunset. It was dark when we landed.
With few words spoken – I realised
the bird I had killed was out of the picture.
Kevin Reid lives in Scotland. His poetry can be found in various online and printed zines. He is the creator of >erasure , a recent collaboration with George Szirtes, Jo Bell, Dave Kirkwood and Bobby Parker. His blog can be viewed here
Veronica Von Pegg is a mixed media artist, a photographer and writer, who expresses a past life through images and words. She collects second hand items, and is a firm believer in reincarnation.
Charlie Brown is Sad
Charlie Brown needs a slap to bring him to his senses
dragging his baseball mitt through the snow
like a reanimated, headless rabbit on an A road
I can’t be doing with your black cloud Charlie Brown
It’s all me, me, me with you, you, you
little sad American boy with Christmas in blue
Walking across my television like a headache
Your pumpkin shaped head haunting all my bulbuls.
I have tinsel and paper chains to hang in the hall
I have a child in thrall to Argos tat
I have a fuck-off turkey to baste and bake
elderly to ferry, carpets to shake and vac
This is no such thing as good grief, Charlie Brown,
But a fuckety-fuck you! should bring you round.
Andrew McDonnell has published various poems in various places and is a director of Gatehouse Press and steering editor of Lighthouse Literary Journal. He is working in his first collection