Brown Velvet Suit
Ever hopeful, I bought a new frock – navy-blue, elegant, chic, and sensed a frisson of excitement as we dressed, but the vision before me was a shock… I never imagined a brown velvet suit. He looked like a sleazy actor from a low budget 1970’s porn film. (Seems his girlfriend had questionable taste.) What’s more, I’d booked the weekend away in the vain hope of re-kindling our love. Even the boutique country hotel proved ineffectual – it was too late in the day. But I didn’t care – It was a comfort that in my mind he’d always look a prat.
Lindsay Waller-Wilkinson has been a fashion designer for years, more recently a writer, her poems and stories have appreared in Hearing voices, Here Comes Everyone and a Pewter Rose Anthology. She lives with three (male) children, two (male) dogs and one (male) man and her ambition is to one day own a (lady) parrot. She blogs at www.lindsaywallerwilkinson.comRead More
summer air thickens
two fruit bats make love
under the streetlight
numb about love
rejects its first flower
first spider on the moon –
he on my yellow
Roman arch –
an old beggar sits
frowning at girls
all the snails of the universe
on their way out
Richard Thomas is a 26 year old poet living in Plymouth. His work is published in journals internationally, he was shortlisted for the National Poetry Competition 2011 and he is the editor of the poetry e-zine Symmetry Pebbles. Richard’s debut collection of poetry The Strangest Thankyou is out now through Cultured Llama. This is his website.Read More
Tŷ unnos (One Night House)
Sunrise, the things I offer you:
a house coughed up overnight
by the earth in its own image,
gorse, sods, turf, an eyeful
of window facing sunwards,
an open door, a dirt floor
to be polished by the weight
of dancing feet and babies’ knees,
a hearth in full flame, smoke
surprised and blinking
through hazel wicker,
a chimney, triumphant.
My back into everything.
The cwtch in my arms.
The trajectory of an axe,
the distance it yields. Years.
Lesley Ingram is from Doncaster but now splits her time between Ledbury & Saintes (France). She has an MA in CW from the University of Gloucestershire, has been published here and there, and is working on everywhere. She has entered one poetry competition, Ludlow, which she won, and is wondering – what next?
Tŷ unnos (One Night House) won the Ludlow Fringe Poetry Competition, June 2013.
Eva’s milky, satin skin glowed translucently.
“We went out for four years,” she said. “At first, he was funny. But he hates work. He just watches TV. His parents just pay for him. I need someone ambitious.”
“Where is he now?” I asked.
“Don’t know. And I don’t give a shit.”
Contribution aids group survival, the root of ethics.
“Women believe they’re selective,” I said. “What does that mean for you?”
“Women say this when they want to get rid of a man whose silly.”
“They also say it when they like a man.”
“Some men are better than others.”
“So what does better mean?”
“You know it when you speak to someone.”
“Many women aren’t interested in speaking to many men just by looking at them.”
She laughed. Chuckling substitutes thinking. She said: “It isn’t just physical. My first boyfriend was fat.”
“Did you meet him at school?”
“Yes. When we were four.”
“Had you met him in a bar when you were twenty-four, and he had still been fat, would you have started going out with him?”
Embarrassed contemplation eclipsed chuckling.
“No,” she admitted.
“Women,” I said, “reject men they could fall in love with. Selective people speak to everyone to find people they can admire. Has any woman ever told you that they want a man who likes classical music, ancient history and exotic travel?”
“No,” she said.
“Selective women all want the same man.”
The light revealed dark freckles in her white face, her green irises like sensuous jade.
“If you’re ex-boyfriend became rich what would you think?” I asked.
“I’d never find out,” she replied. “I’ll never look him up in Facebook.”
“You might if he became famous.”
“I’m too indifferent towards him to think about it,” she said.
“If he became rich, he might look for you,” I said. “Then you’d care.”
“He’d be a different person then.”
“And probably dangerous.”
The silence lacked tranquility.
“A woman goes into a chocolate shop,” I continued, “and the one type of chocolate she wants is sold out and the shopkeeper says, ‘There are ninety-nine others,’ and the woman says, ‘I’m selective,’ and the shopkeeper says, ‘No you’re not; you don’t like chocolate.’”
“Maybe some women don’t like men,” she said.
“How many men say: ‘I don’t like baseball. I’m selective’?”
“But some men,” she said, “don’t like women.”
“Are they saying: ‘I’m selective’?”
Her laughter was now genuine.
“If men don’t like something,” I said, “they say: ‘I don’t like it’.”
“Men and women use language differently.”
“Some women use language differently. Selective women use comprehensible language; they’re in successful relationships because they care about other people’s ideas, about what’s happening in the world. They’re not living in cave maintenance, waiting for hunks to return from hunting trips. Intelligent men get bored with women who don’t care. That’s being selective
Kim Farleigh has worked for aid agencies in three conflicts: Kosovo, Iraq and Palestine. He takes risks to get the experience required for writing. He likes fine wine, art, photography and bullfighting, which probably explains why this Australian lives in Madrid. 68 of his stories have been accepted by 64 different magazines.Read More
Flowers for the Meeting
The chairwoman, glamorous
in purple with military buttons,
has wings of buttermilk dahlias.
On the mantle shelf, a hat
of baby pink roses, three feet wide, waits
for her perfect vase of brown hair.
Her spectacles on the tip
of her nose, she peers
to take in the assembled men,
each one overwhelmed by the need
to share their wisdom,
their accumulated knowledge,
their opinions and those stolen
from others, more interesting.
A class of schoolboys, hands raised,
jittering to impress.
Then it’s over,
the coffee drunk,
the biscuits passed, chewed, swallowed.
balances her rose hat,
ripples her dahlia wings.
through empty windows.
Rowena Warwick lives in Oxfordshire with her husband, her westie and her sons. When not writing she works for the health service.Read More
Simpson dingo girl
safe inside your canvas dreaming
of the red track westward across the dunes
the lean shape-shifter with toes of a dancer
foxtrots the fringe camp follower
nose to the north she takes the shape of
a desert grass spinifex dry
same pale yellow same drift as the wind
it’s then you daub the ochre the black
white for the star in the eye insinuate
a dark shadow minimal abstract perhaps
next morning the palette licked clean
Julie Maclean was born in Bristol, UK and now lives in Victoria, Australia. In 2012 shortlisted for The Crashaw Prize, (Salt). Her debut collection of poetry, When I saw Jimi, is out now from Indigo Dreams Publishing. Poetry appears in US and leading Australian and UK journals including The Best Australian Poetry (UQP). She blogs at at juliemacleanwriter.com
Simpson dingo girl first appeared in Rabbit (Aus) 2012Read More
Dr Glovers’ Sabbatical
Taking time for himself. No evidence of habitation,
the rented cottage garden is high with feverfew.
In the afternoons he visits the long Norfolk beaches
throws pebbles back for those he could not mend.
Here there are places to get lost. Outside, beyond
a tree lined cul de sac, a path where hayfields
tilt and rise beyond the flint, marked by porches
and swifts, the doors to other lives.
His tradition one apothecary, dispensing foxglove,
willow; digitalis purpurea, salix salicacae,
for cardiac and inflammation against disease
and damp, their force was true.
The summer roads have pulled him out to sit
in the shade of empty churches, no need for a clean white shirt.
‘First do no harm’. He sleeps the sleep of poppies,
lies down in the garden. Enjoys the distance.
one also of heart and head, hands on the steering wheel,
crossing the narrow ground.
Clare Crossman lives near Cambridge. She has published three books of poetry: Landscapes Redbeck Press, Going Back Firewater Press, The Shape of Us Shoestring Press 2010. She is currently working on a next collection. In 2012 She was a prizewinner in the Second Light Poetry competition. A sequence of poems Artists Books was recently published in morphrog6. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies. She runs a writing and performance group at The Tavern Art Gallery CambridgeshireRead More