Charlie Baylis

 

Grey Ocean

This is the first lie
The second follows

A little girl lifts the moon out of her silk purse
Light jumps down on fields of wild strawberries
Dancing once more to the ringing wind and rain

On the lips of light lies her lemon yellow seed
I see it scull by from my seaside seat. Bathe
Beside her, the cloud colouring the ocean grey

Whose flowers are these? She surfaces above
Her voice shimmers over the waves’ violins
Her eyes bloom gangrenous aches on the fjord

In the city ash and apple-cores erupt into cars
Svelte nylon spikes move as liquid, exhausted,
Lost. Her sleeping limbs spread a navy smile

I see her young in a summer garden. Weeping
Where a sad child ate an orange, her lashes blue
And blue too the evening’s low glow. I loved her

Fully under the full moon and in the apricot tree
But as my mouth slams shut stuck on the 19th lie
She falls from my mind like confetti to the floor.

 

 

 

Charlie Baylis  lives and works in Nottingham. His poetry and short stories have most recently appeared in SAW magazine and The Delinquent. He spends most of his spare time slightly adrift of reality He blogs, sporadically, here: theimportanceofbeingaloof.tumblr.com.

 

 

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Anna Reckin

 

 

Trainscapes

(Ely to Cambridge)

Last time it was the willows – blur where water is, settlings-in along the edges of the fields. Root-soak mappings, downwards deltas. This month, it’s the drained fens: soft green next to burnt black, silver ditches that ray and race to the horizon. Fields wide as parade grounds, immense columnless piazzas – and I haven’t even started on the sky.

 

 

 

Anna Reckin lives and works in Norwich and has published in the UK and the US. Three Reds, her first book-length collection, is published by Shearsman. See www.annareckin.com.

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Martin Redfern

 

 

 

Paris in August

‘You’re a whore!’
Your voice resonates through the stillness.  I stare into your apartment.  You’re facing to the right by the aspidistra; she’s in profile directly opposite you.  The slender windows mirror my own.  They’re thrown wide-open.  Three floors below it’s just another side street.
Her eyes widen; she backs away from you, ‘I don’t understand.  Why are you speaking to me like this?  You’re not making sense.’
It’s almost noon. The sun advances along the tarmac from the direction of Rue Saint-Paul.  It soaks into the weathered stone and fingers paintwork that curls to expose the bareness beneath.   Soon there’ll be nowhere to hide.  The nearby church clock strikes.  The woman from the boulangerie winds down an awning, shades her eyes against the cloudless sky and, as she often does, mops her brow.  The street is deserted.
You stand there, in the shade to one side of the window.  The sun – confident now – inches across the parquet in your direction.  Harsh rays occupy each corner in turn, fade a Miro print, then surround a Wassily chair until they possess the entire room.  Your forehead starts to glisten with sweat; the heat tightening around your throat.  A vase contains white lilies that submit to the hot air.
These mid-summer shadows can’t hide you.  The modest window box, which you water every evening, reaches to your hips. You stare at her, stock-still. Your accent American, your face younger than your expression.
She falters, then frustration spills out, ‘You’ve changed – since we arrived in Paris.  What’s happening to you?’
Your response is measured, each word accentuated, ‘I said: you are no more than a fucking whore!’
The sun slashes across you, burning your skin, heating your blood.  Roused, you grab her hair and raise your hand ready to strike.  She cowers, an arm shielding her cheek, just in time to block your blow.  Then carefully you scoop her up and begin to embrace her.
She looks up at you, and I hear her laugh.  Over her shoulder you turn to face me.  You squint out of the window and across the street.  For a moment we lock eyes.  You smirk and then, not quite casually, slam the shutters closed, eradicating the sun.
I roll a glass of iced water across my forehead, and step back from the window.

 

 

 

 

Martin Redfern lives and works in Edinburgh. A publisher by occupation, he also writes short stories and poetry.  Martin’s work has recently appeared in The Puffin Review, Ink, Sweat and Tears and Obsessed with Pipework.
 

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Rob Stuart

 

 

 

 

A Heap of Broken Images

After T.S. Eliot and Robert Smithson

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Stuart is a media studies lecturer, filmmaker and light verse enthusiast living in Surrey. In addition to Ink, Sweat and Tears he has contributed poems to Light (USA), Lighten Up Online, Magma, New Statesman, The Oldie, The Spectator and Snakeskin

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Jilly Munro

Dead-heading

You can keep your dozen upright yellow soldiers with browning
edged curled tissue-paper petals, wrapped in shining cellophane

no rose-feed soaked oasis will raise them from the thirsty dead
or assuage the foliaged guilt of your forecourt sex-flower offering

and they can stay forever sheathed in their body-bag, all fragrance
embalmed alongside the floral language of joy, in my steel-toed bin

and, no, I don’t want you to grab a Waterford vase from the top shelf
just in case it falls and fill it with gargling water to stagnate to green

as limp leaves cigar roll and thornless stems prick my mind
to recall why I want nothing from you, no half-hearted gifts

and there will be no fanfares or frantic floral dancing when I tell you
no more barely there bouquets, no  more piddly-arse posies.

 

 

 

Jilly Munro has had her childhood interest in poetry re-ignited during an Open University English Literature degree.  She will has recently been published in The New Writer and two poems appeared  in the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society’s Folio publication this Autumn.

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Jack Campbell

 

 

 

Through His Eyes

 

Seven years old and he’s already a frigging know-it-all!

Told him, take yer shower, do it now while ya got the chance.

He don’t like it.  He don’t want to go first, wants to get

something from the fridge to drink; turn on the X-box.

He just wants sister to get in there first and let him alone.

He just too damned busy playing and don’t want to stop.

 

Explained to him again that he’s a guy and it takes less time

and less hot water to rinse off a dude than a chick.

Leastways that how it always seemed, the girls

ain’t into quickies, but like to take their time

and get all the grunge off.

The boy just don’t like it, starts crying.

 

Momma didn’t put up with no fits.

If you gave her even a hint of Lip

She’d slap your face off.

She didn’t put up with bad attitudes

back in the day when parents had balls.

Back in the day when it was okay to get a switch.

 

These days, boys throw themselves to the floor

an start bawling bout how mistreated they be.

If they can’t have instant gratification

they don’t want it ‘lessen you beg them to take it.

Kid, seven year old, sit in the floor and turn his back

to the man just trying to make his life a bit easier;

show him some sense; a bit o wisdom.

 

Sometimes wonder though; if all that he seeing

is four sets of rules made up by big bullies.

There’s momma’s rules, daddy’s rules, nana’s rules and grandpa’s rules.

Four houses and four sets of rules to be played against each other.

Cause he will eventually catch on—already has

started using that line the other day.

 

Wondered though if all he understands

is that it’s a grown up world and grownups

have to have their MTV and cappuccinos.

They have to have their marriage and a girl on the side.

Gownups have to have their toys too

and a seven year old is just extra baggage

to be stuffed in the trunk with the rest of the garbage.

Wonder when he’ll pick up the gun.

 

 

Jack Campbell is a poet and author residing in the small city of Hobbs, NM, USA.  Mostly, a jack of all trades he has found a passion for writing and storyteller late in his journey in Life.  At age fifty he is looking forward to the second act.

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Ian Clarke

 

 

 

Murmuration

Snow rags thaw
to a skylark scaling octaves of air,
to a chill swallow christened sky
and in the cut balsam bee gloved and pouting,
seeds’ hooks and burs drifting to sun cracked shadow,
to crocus yolk and fungus dew,
daffodils’ choir of smiles.

But something at the lane’s dead end
freezes the heat –
is it rooks blackening to witch litter
or the pond sparkling stagnant
or the starlings’ shifting blizzard
like the dust of a shadow
cooling to roost.

 

 

Ian Clarke was born Wisbech, Cambridgeshire 1954  He  started writing in his mid teens, received early encouragement from Pete Brown, British Beat poet and lyricist for rock group Cream.  His collection A Slow Stirring is published by Indigo Dreams.

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