Winston Plowes

Empathise

 

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David cannot Empathise, but can bite

 

 

Winston Plowes lives on a canal boat in Yorkshire with two reluctantly sea faring cats. His work varies from strict rhyme through traditional ghazals to experimental arrangements for voice, accordion and tuned bucket. More can be found on his site – www.winstonplowes.co.uk

Notes – All the words used above were found in my waste paper basket during October 2010

 

 

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Rodney Wood

Martin Wilson and the Pantomime of Shadows

 

What he doesn’t like are dinners,

parties, rooms with more than

four people, radios, telephones

and anyone asking him questions.

 

The sounds circle around like birds

of prey with beaks sharpened,

claws tipped with carbon steel

and wings holding razor blades

 

ready to rip him apart

cut him up in four different ways

long, short, deep and wide

and trim him down to size.

 

If that’s not enough

a bright yellow tin can

is tied to his head

with a sign saying

 

THIS MAN IS STUPID

in case you missed it

the sign says

THIS MAN IS STUPID

 

 

Rodney Wood lives in Farnborough, Hants. He retired a few years ago but works part time looking after a granddaughter and volunteering at a local arts centre. He’s had poems published in magazines and anthologies.

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Ellena Deeley

Dear Penelope Tree,

 

I wish I were you and you were me,

So, in the heat of Carnaby Street in 1963,

When the cabs and salesgirls

Gawp

At monochrome-dramatic billboard dreams

And the synaptic circuits fire green,

Like blinking traffic arrows pointed

In your darling direction,

It would instead be me

Crowned celluloid queen,

Winsome paper dolly supreme,

Saucer-eyed juvenile party cream,

In dryadic, moon-white polyester.

 

And in the cafe collision crises,

Of cigarette cyclist and bubble car –

Outside, on the lunch-hour terrace –

That turns heads sour,

Mascara manic

And skin into a greasy, lipstick-red

Pavement kiss,

Witnesses would scream,

Not for him or you, but me,

“Kill me, but make me beautiful.”

 

This is my billets doux,

A 21st Century reject’s valentines verse

For the girlsoul wedged

Between gelatin and fixer,

Flash and frame –

A shadow sexily

Smiling between two worlds.

 

You could be the anonymous head

In my cameo pendant, Penelope,

Carved with diadem and frill.

You’ve still got the potential to thrill,

With hands in a forever groping

Slow ballerina pantomime.

 

 

 

Ellena Deeley is a native of Pontypridd, South Wales. She is currently studying English Literature at the University of Exeter and has had her work published in the university arts magazine as well as several other online publications.

 

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Roddy Shippin

Dreich

it’s best like this
on grey days

roundabouts in rain
lamposts framing a slate-sky

a bridge
doused in mist

buildings blurring from
trees

and it’s thrilling
as if everything is in repose

like a wet afternoon
at home in front of

overcomplicated
televised word-games

anyway, we shift our tiles
by the amber glow of pints

in the pub
a raft in the clouds

 

 

 

Roddy Shippin is from Edinburgh. His poems can be found, although they tend not to be – he tires of all the tedious cutting and pasting.

 

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Cara Brennan

Quilt     

The October sun breeds
cataracts and the breeze
freezes my bones.

My neck is wool-deep in check
and it’s hard to text
with mittens on.

It’s not been this bright in weeks
the glow shows glitter
in rows up the street.

The morning, like a hot drink
in a cold glass means the nights
are drawing in.

We’ll pull my blanket to the bed.
It is patchwork.
It is made from destroyed dresses.

I envisage one,
black with small blue birds.

Their feathers shake
with the chill of my house
their beaks are a hurried applause.

 

 

 

Cara Brennan is  22 and is on the Creative Writing MA at Newcastle University. She is part of The Writing Squad, has read at Ilkley Lit Festival and will have a pamphlet coming out in September with Valley Press.

 

 

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Andrew McCallum Crawford

Edinburgh Departures

They were dressed in black. Corporate Bohemian. They could have been mistaken for a couple. She talked incessantly, her coffee cup at her lips. She was being herself, he guessed. He had spent the day trying desperately to be something other than what he was, trying to be something she might want, something more Corporate than Bohemian. Her lips were moving, but he couldn’t hear. His own voice was loud in his head. Don’t leave. Not yet. Please. She placed the cup on its saucer. ‘I’d better go through,’ she said. He embraced her. It wasn’t like the last time, twenty years before, when he was the one who was leaving, when she had begged him to stay as he wiped tears from her eyes. ‘I wish I’d had kids with you,’ he said, but it was too late. She was gone, turning the corner into Security, the place where they check for things you shouldn’t be carrying.

 

 

 

Andrew McCallum Crawford‘s short stories have been published in many places, including Interlitq, Gutter, Spilling Ink Review and New Linear Perspectives. His collection, The Next Stop Is Croy and other stories, was released last year in eBook format. It is available here

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Helen Calcutt

In the falling deer’s mouth

There was an axe, and it buried the tree.
A footprint like God entered the blank space.

Every creaking sound was a leaking of butterflies
ring by ring, surfacing the wound. Yellow, spirit like.

A cry has taken refuge in the rock. Even now it tries
like an ache to forget itself, and be silent. Absolutely.

Where the echo runs, a lighthouse of birdsong
collapses.

 

 

 

Helen Calcutt is an English poet born in the industrial Black Country. Her debut collection under the working title Half light is forthcoming this year with further journal publications in the U.K. France and America. She works as a poetry tutor for, among others, Creative Alliance, The Stratford Literary Festival, The Andrew Logan Gallery festival, Writing West Midlands, Write On! and The Poetry Society. She lives in the U.K.  Find out more here.

 

 

 

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