14 Days From Namibia
From home in Twee Rivier we journey;
‘n toer van een plek tot 'n ander’
No roads through borders,
And dry trees shelter carcass
as paths stay veiled.
No help from Perrier,
San Pellegrino has deserted us.
Mato Mato behind us
ons vorder van een stadium tot 'n ander.
To Upington we journey
• Matt Ford is a Creative Writing student at Winchester University.
~ ~ ~ ~
Such a breeze could
spell romace & bring
An end to the flowers
that move in shatter'd
Forms of promises
& shatter'd promises
bring the dust of old friends
That dance in the neglect'd
corner's of a sleepless night
& old friends make history.
• John D Robinson is a UK-based poet & publisher. He has published two books of poetry Time Signatures and Sky – Fall Blossom, with a third due in near future. His work has been printed in approx 100 small press magazines, journals, newspapers, poetry readings & work-shops in schools, colleges & community centres & bars.
TO CHANGE THESE HOURS
She reaches the gate of four pearls
Rattles the bars.
Sees through a fence of fire
And the sun dancing in gold shoes.
In the east
Helios is driving the four horses.
She would change these hours
To pick bright flowers
She must never look back.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
DO NOT BELIEVE ALL
Do not believe all
you read in history :
it has long been out of date.
But listen to the wind,
observe the sun, birds,
and wide, wide sky.
on a far-off beach,
where ocean grinds and
washes rocks to fine sand;
a pink shell, a periwinkle.
Here history winks her eye.
Now walk and read.
• Maureen Wheldon's poetry has appeared in various small press magazines and her collection To Change These Hours published by Kite Modern Poetry Series.
PICTURE IN GREY
There’s the sense of a river behind a low wall; footsteps on leaf-fall, grey light through the mist. There are hours ahead for the unshed rain. This is an island of pavements and derelict blocks; a low landscape, no colour here. Nothing to do but wait for the lamps to be lit.
Flies in the buttermilk whispers the song. Something is scratching and digs. On the Embankment a stone lion is lost in the fog. His paw is upturned. He begs.
I detest my past and anyone else’s mutters Magritte as he sketches the lion. Thinks about gunfire and troops moving in. Adds a man by the parapet with his back to us; he is staring over the edge. Gives him black wings from the shoulder blades down to the ground. Considers a title: Pea soup, spleen of Paris, Philadelphia, mal du pays… Thickens the fog.
Bats scuttle out as old lamps are lit. There are gaps in the masonry and a chill wind. A pigeon lies dead in a scatter of leaves. There are hours ahead for the rain.
Mandy Pannett runs an arts cafe, supports two local writing groups and
enjoys giving readings and running writing workshops. She has two
poetry collections from Oversteps Books: Bee Purple and Frost Hollow.
From the minute I wake up
I can hear her sweeping brush against the pavement
And wonder how many particles of dirt
Have settled since the last cleansing exercise
Eight hours ago.
Then she moves on to the windowsill
The paint faded through constant rubbing.
Next is the turn of the lamppost
All graffiti is executed
And Goldie the labrador’s piss is bleached.
Her windows, already gleaming
Are wiped to within an inch of breaking –
Nothing must spoil her view of the street.
She needs to see if litter is dropped
Or blown from less clean terraces.
The ice cream man parks outside
And she watches like a hawk.
Once, his predecessor dropped a wafer
She is on tenterhooks until the van
And its unruly customers have gone.
She waits for her husband to come home
Through the back door –
He’s not allowed to use the front passage
For fear of spoiling the carpet.
But he doesn’t come home, so she cleans some more.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
If I knew then what I know now
I’d wear short skirts and sleep around,
Because when you’re young and good looking
With big tits and can drink more than the boys
People call you a slag.
So with hindsight I should have done Darren
And Paul and Craig and all the others
Who said I’d done them
And got some pleasure to compensate
For the annoyance
Of being called a slag,
And squares whispering about me
And boys constantly phoning me
And hanging around my house
Which made my father shout
And call me a slag.
If I knew then what I know now
I would have gone on tour
With that rock star I snogged, back stage
In Newport Centre in 1994,
And said “bollocks” to you
And seen the World, had free drugs
And good sex. Probably.
If I’d known that all the while
Whilst I felt guilty and dirty
You were seeing someone else –
A fat girl with crooked teeth
I would have gone to San Francisco,
Left you crying, smashing up our home
With all your friends comforting you,
Giving you free drugs
And calling me a slag.
• Amanda Weeks lives in Pontypridd, South Wales. She began writing eight
years ago when, at 27, she decided to pack in her job as a collector,
invent a pile of A levels and study creative writing and drama at
university. She has had several short stories published in anthologies.
She has written for several music magazines. Her Welsh-language
screenplay Catastroffi was
broadcast on S4C in 2006, and she's had a further two screenplays
optioned to Tornado Films.
IT'S THAT WAY
the day begins
never in the way
it would be
even the love
I have for you
is that way
the shower water is hot
more so than yesterday
I wanted it that way
I tried to set
a place for you
at my breakfast table
some things are impossible
like a morning kiss
it may be Monday morning
but the streets are deserted
I willed it that way
they needed to be clear
of all obstructions
my thoughts are filled with snow
the phone at my desk is silent
why do you not call?
I am here
you are there
Is this our waiting game?
the noon time sun is high
someone made it so
we can now find our way
to each other
my imagination does not
take a back seat
it's you on the phone!
I waited all day
to hear your voice
you will be here
in a matter of minutes
the sunset is much too early
seem like seconds
it's always that way
we knew it
right from our reluctant start
the alarm clock rings
I am warm
underneath my blankets
my memory of you
fades like the dream
we just lived
• Mike Montreuil lives in Ottawa (Canada) and can be found at a hockey rink cheering on his son. (He'd probably feel at home in the UK today – this is being posted on Easter Sunday and its snowing.)