Two new poems from Nigel Pickard…
The bold colours of the kites
against the bold light blue
of the Spanish sky and
the bold dark blue of the sea.
What little breeze there is
cups the kites, keeps them up.
Naked, we are as drawn
in felt-tip: pink and brown
and black. The yellow sand;
the ruled-line horizon;
the kites, higher, higher.
Children talk and chase
where some autumn leaves
fall. Gusts are sudden
and the leaves swirl around
them before subsiding
again, though the children
on their games, what
someone shouted: the reel,
the churn, the twine of leaves
It’s that best kind of
English light, as if
filtered through the shrivelling
leaves themselves, like stained
glass made from their
brevity, that sheen –
like sepia, almost –
even now, even as
it happens, the past
this northern temper,
things beginning to drift.
* Nigel Pickard's second novel Attention Deficit was published in March of this year. He is also the co-editor of the poetry magazine Fin.
We kiss by the side of the feather factory,
the stench of singed wings
fills our noses and mouths.
We are nest-bound – tongues entwined,
pockets full of Swan Vestas and Players Number Six,
your nylon trousers spark to the rub.
Later the birds will haunt us:
their feathers will float around our heads,
pillow our eyes against the brightness of the day.
* Julia Webb has a degree in Creative Writing from Norwich University College of the Arts and is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at The University of East Anglia.
I know / sometimes, that space is touching me
because I have seen the crack in the universe
through which the galaxies stream.
(Jo Shapcott – ‘I’m contemplated by a portrait of the Divine’)
The rain came pattering in tiny clusters.
No one called the night ‘black’. You thought
there were voices leaking through the ceiling.
But all you knew was the bicycle-man flying
on silver spokes. They’d named every constellation,
so you marked the fading nebulae, called Earth
a cigarette butt thrown into space. They fed you
seven words for sadness. In the end, you traced them
to the night-sky: cavernous mouth, star-ripped scars.
The mirror looked at you. Light came from behind you.
The moon died for the billionth night. All you know
is the bicycle-man flying on silver spokes.
*Abigail Zammit was born in Malta in 1976 and currently teaches English literature and creative writing at the Junior College and the University of Malta respectively. She followed a Masters in Creative Writing at Lancaster University after which she published her first book of poetry – Voices from the Land of Trees, Smokestack 2007. She is currently reading for a PhD in creative writing and working on a new collection of poetry.Read More
Diary of a Product
They gave me a name
And I felt myself become the name.
Proud of my logo, I
Was eager to leave the production line,
Impatiently waiting my turn in acquisition.
The line workers said not to hurry,
That I had time, but I was too
Animated. At the storehouse, they shined
My component goods everyday making sure
My sticker stayed sticky and my
Working parts in order. When my outer surface
Was accidentally scuffed from a mishandler,
They restored me with an uninvasive apparatus.
I did well in the subsequent exhibitions,
Comparable with the other merchandise.
Still, I felt awkward in my product display
And slightly embarrassed of its flashy design.
My shelf-life passed on
And I detected in their worried glances
That I was not functioning up to expectations.
I tried harder to operate according to the manual
Issued with me but felt that some of the commands
Were unwarranted. Eventually the supply
To demand ratio dwindled and still I had not consummated
A transaction. I had become, they explained, a market risk.
In short, I would not be good for their gross margin
As my duration of product satisfaction was now negligible.
Servicing and an upgrade if possible was needed.
I was recalled to the production plant.
After prodding me with instruments, they detected I had an internal
Flaw, the result of a human error. After
Deliberating they decided that repair was not worth
Their time as newer models were already being fabricated.
I showed the manufacturer my logo and explained
It was my name.
He said not to worry about
It, that it peeled easily off.
* Rula Jones says “Presently, I am adjunct faculty at The Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington DC where I teach art. I hold a BA in art from Marymount Manhattan College in NYC. I am working on a collection of short stories with accompanying drawings.”
Diary of a Product consists of a flash fiction piece in verse and an
accompanying drawing, ink and watercolor on paper, 18″ x 24″.
In a school room, the woodcutter
had come for the children.
Every wolf that he could muster,
the bears, the dwarves, the witches
herded them into the darkened forest.
Once there, they tried to be small
as birds, quieter, one feather
pressed to their beaks.
They practised soaring
against the sound of metal.
The adults began to sing softly,
cooed like infants to still the flapping.
The woodcutter stalked the oaks
and called to them with his shiny voice.
The children lay their heads
beneath their wings and waited
Your snakeskin gloves lie
furled on the hall table.
They’ve nested there
through Spring and Summer.
Now the cold is catching up,
your hands are elsewhere, exposed
or covered by unknown gloves,
Your gloves are hibernating.
I haven’t the power to wake them.
The hall is a cave I cross
avoiding their slow-pulsed stare.
* Heidi Williamson is a Norfolk-based poet with an interest in science. In 2008-2009 she was poet-in-residence at the London Science Museum’s Dana Centre. In 2008 she received an Arts Council grant to complete her first poetry collection, which is due out from Bloodaxe Books in 2011.
They sat on the left side
of the sofa. They didn’t sit
on that side normally.
They watched Tom and Jerry,
their hands resting next
to each other. His finger tip
brushed her wrist.
Their hearts twitched like tired
eyes. They ignored it.
She got up to make tea.
His eyes quietly followed her
out of the room.
He looked back
at the television to see
Tom run into an ironing board.
* Rebecca Fulleylove says “I'm a third year creative writing student at Norwich University College of the Arts and will be graduating this summer. There's not much else to say about me at the moment really, so I'll just let you read the poem.”
after ‘The Rose’ Mae Holsgrove
is a revelation. Peer
through the compressions
and the releases in its many layers
to segments that are pink
and purple – you will make out
a snake coiling in on itself to make a maze.
Follow the concentric paths
led by pointed leaves – you’ll wonder
why they travel with such determination.
You can see the beginnings
of shapes that are still inexplicable.
This black speck might be a tadpole
in a bubble of spawn
or the eye of a fledgling in an egg.
Something is waiting to be pulled out,
threaded with breath, wrapped
in light. Will you try and discover
the intention or if there is an intention?
Lines you have read,
your own lines of thought,
your intuitions may illumine a route
through these circles
with the intense blue which burns
in the flame of a match that’s struck
in a dark room.
But the further in you go,
the nearer you come to the mystery
at the crimson heart
where word is not divided
from rose, the deeper you see it is.
(inspired by a painting done by a woman at a drop in centre for people with Alzheimers)
*This poem is taken from Myra Schneider‘s fifth collection Circling The Core, Enitharmon Press November 2008. She is also author of the acclaimed book: Writing My Way Through Cancer.Read More