Grace Barham

 

 

Hey There Dali

I can hear it ticking softly between sheets that still smell of our skin;

winding time weaving us together. This morning I forgot to take my

watch from under your pillow. Last night you kissed me for the first

 

time, and I am giddy, spinning slowly like the hands of my watch as

they turn in your bed.

 

 

 

Grace Barham is a new young writer and undergraduate of Creative writing at Bath Spa University. She dislikes writing miniature biographies of herself, but generally likes everything else to do with words.

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Sarah Crewe

 

 

this is not disorder
there is no gap    just twists that stick
in your throat   reinvent themselves
in tortured itch   non-sleep patterns
drowning in shallow water           this
is how it rolls             stationary shark
frenzied feeding    rogue dines alone
beats nose against the cage     rattles
rips through until   skin  teeth   tears
plates everywhere   wardrobe in bits
this is not disorder                         it is
princess piggy working through rage
regressing           out of the notebook
into the fridge            under the quilt

 

 

 

 

Sarah Crewe is 30 years old and from the Port of Liverpool. Her chapbook, Aqua Rosa, is available from erbacce press and has work upcoming in In The Company of Ghosts: The Poetics of the Motorway anthology. Her work has also appeared at Route 57, Otoliths, Red Fez, erbacce, Sunfish and The Camel Saloon.
 

 

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Adukuri Jagannath Rao

 

 

Images

In the evening we went to the lake to collect our images. There were fish and trees, boulders and algae. The algae spread like a stomach of the lake. The boatman poked sticks in its stomach and came up with leaves which would turn food for formation of new leaves on trees outside the city. Leaves grew out of leaves, then dead, now alive. They alternate between life and death, sun and shadows. Their dead bodies turn yellow and fly gently buzzing with the autumn wind.

The fish hid under the algae. The algae hid over the fish. Both fish and algae were dead in the ultimate analysis. Then they would take birth as new leaves, new fishes. Everything went fine for the boatman, for the fish woman with a basket of fish. The fish woman turned a silhouette at dusk. The fish did not turn anything. Later, they will turn to ashes in somebody’s stomach. The fish woman will turn to ashes too. Later. But the boulders in the lake remained so that cormorants could paint them with their droppings. The boatman froze near the boulder with the paddle in his hands. He too would turn to ashes.  Later.

The camera wished to eat the sun in the lake. But the sun wanted to eat the clouds.  Later, the camera will turn to ashes.

 

 

Adukuri Jagannath Rao lives in Hyderabad, India after retirement as a Deputy General Manager from the State Bank of India in 2009. His chief  interests include photography and poetry writing. His web presence is quite large in blogs on poetry, photography and humor. His personal blog of poetry can be found at http://adukurispoetry.blogdrive.com and find him on on Kindle here (US) and here (UK)

 

 

 

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Tony Vowles

 

 

Taming the Tiger

On days like this I imagine
he watches from a bench in the park.
Having eaten his sandwiches and fed the birds
he spends the rest of the hour
observing the comings and goings
and when he yawns it is a great yawn
of possibility and all that contains it
and when my mouth splays wide
and I’m threatening (even when I’m not)
but the feeling, the feeling is
he’ll understand and move on
careful not to disturb the animals.

 

 

Tony Vowles has appeared (or forthcoming) in Smiths Knoll, The Interpreter’s House, Under the Radar, 14, Prole, Dawntreader, Nutshell, Tears in the Fence and IS&T.  He was commended in the 2011 Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Competition and is working on his first collection.

 

 

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Thomas Ország-Land

 

 

 

 

 Stateless

Adapted from the Renaissance French of Francois Villon
(b. 1431) & the Hungarian of György Faludy (1910-2006)

 

I’ve proudly wrapped my dazzling sky around me

yet I have found one faithful friend: the fog.

In banquet halls I’ve heard my hunger howling.

By fires, I have endured the test of frost.

I am a prince of human kind: I’ve reached out

and to my thirsty lips, the mud has swelled

–
My paths are marked by wilting wildflowers: even

the festive seasons wither from our breath.

I stare surprised in disbelief when genial

sunshine holds my frame in warm caress.

And thus across three continents I’ve travelled

and been despised and welcomed everywhere.

 

I’ve wrestled with the storms on shrivelled wastelands.

My dress: a leaf that graced a bygone tree.

And nothing’s clearer for me than night’s fragrance

and nothing darker than high noontide’s bleach.

My rising sobs have burst in wary taverns

but in the graveyards I have laughed my fill,

and all I own are things I’ve long discarded

and thus I’ve come to value everything.

Upon my stubborn curls, the spell of autumn

collects its silver while, a child at heart,

I cross this freezing landscape never pausing,

and live despised and welcomed everywhere.

 

Triumphant stars erect their vast cathedral

above me, and dew calms my feet below

as I pursue my fleeing god in grief

and sense my world through every pore in joy.

I’ve rested on the peaks of many mountains.

I’ve sweltered with the captive quarry-slaves.

And at my cost, I’ve learned to shun the towers

of state and curse our rulers’ power games.

My share of life has been the worst and best,

and thus I’ve come to find an equal ease

in squalor and beneath the whitest pillars,

guest despised and welcomed everywhere.

 

I have no state, no home – nor choice but freedom.

Between my legs, the playful wind alone

blows a merry duet with my arse.

I wish that I could quell the foolish fears of

the local folks, that they would look at me

beyond my status, and would prize my gift,

this hoard of words I’ve brought to share with them.

The time may come when all my words will rhyme

and I will dip my pen in molten gold
.

..before I find a restful spot beneath

some wizened thicket, and remain forever

a voice despised and welcomed, everywhere.

 

 

Thomas Ország-Land is a poet and award-winning foreign correspondent.  His next book will be THE SURVIVORS: Holocaust  Poetry for Our Time, to be published by Smokestack/England  in 2014.

 

 

Note: Villon the vagabond was one of Europe’s first modern poets.  Faludy, a Jewish-Hungarian master, spent some of his best writing years in exile or political imprisonment. This poem about the massive Westward flow of abused stateless migrants that characterises the 21st century is dedicated to The Exiled Writers Ink! organization of London.

 

Image: A contemporary image of Francois Villon,from the first decades of modern printing

 

 

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Andrew McCallum Crawford

 

 

Edinburgh Arrivals
Her flight touched down at eight fifteen. Deceit. It had got her this far, and it had got her here on time. Deceit was an ally, it could be depended on. She loved her family, she loved them all, but she needed this, she needed to be here. She found a toilet and changed into a pair of jeans. For now, the pretence was over. She wasn’t here on business. She was here to spend the day with someone she once knew. He had been a boy back then; she had been a slip of a girl. They had gone off on different tangents, but everything was about to converge, here, now, after half a lifetime. She checked her face in the mirror. It was too early for makeup. In any case, she had been told she didn’t need any, that she was beautiful.

She followed the signs for Arrivals. A man was there, waiting. She looked around, but he was the only one. He mouthed her name, this man with grey hair and fashionably ripped jeans, this old man dressed in the clothes of someone much younger – a man trying to be something he wasn’t.

He had promised her the boy; she was confronted by a stranger.

His arms closed round her and she thought of her children. He kissed her and she thought of her husband. Most of all she thought of herself, of choices and lies, and how she had so willingly been drawn into this huge mistake.

 

 

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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David Callin

 

1347

People are getting betrothed,
and wearing green,
and going on pilgrimages.

There is harvesting,
and hawking,
and amorous conversation.

The sky is unquizzably blue
but the saints are in it,
and they’re waiting for your call.

God is an edible presence.
Through his priests he greets us:
Bless you! Bless you! Bless you!

It’s 1347,
and everybody
is feeling fine.

 

 

 

David Callin lives, if not quite at the back of beyond, certainly within hailing distance of it, in the Celtic archipelago. He has had poems in several magazines, including Other Poetry, Orbis and Envoi, and online in Snakeskin and Antiphon.

 

 

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