Corinna Keefe

 

 

 

Valentine

Today I was writing on the train, embarrassed, ergo
I kept adding bracketed references (St Pancras, 2013)
And arrows to my caesurae and crossings-out.

I scrawled ‘to-do list’ and then below
Bullet-pointed all the things I’ve missed
About you. Someone asked what I was smiling for.

I told them I had a conference to go to
A conference of minds, a convention on the kiss
An innovative investment partnership. She tutted very loud.

Well, I crossed her off the page, and watched her go
Out of our business. This poem is titled with your name
To collect you from the waiting crowd.

 

 

Corinna Keefe is an archaeology student and writer. Her work has appeared in various magazines and can also be found on her blog, www.corinnakeefe.wordpress.com

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Jessica Penrose

 

 

Too Much Sky

We trudge through air like setting cement,
each boot-print a muddy hallmark

to the silk screen of leaves at our feet.
The river drives out straight

from these few trees, channelling across
a landscape unwilling to rise above itself.

I must unlearn the fells, the drag of cloud
over moorland, the swollen fever of a river in spate.

Flattened under a fish-eyed sky, our words
are stretched thin as tin plate; a steel upright

of heron is all the perpendicular we have
until that too is gone, tilting on pterodactyl wings.

 

 

Jessica Penrose is learning to love the big skies of Cambridgeshire having moved south from the wilds of Yorkshire. Her publications include poems in The Rialto, Staple, Orbis and Mslexia, and she is working towards her first pamphlet.

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RCJ Allan

 

 

 

Dreaming teacher

 

In the hollow of the night you leap

from your bed and slip through the patio

doors into your garden. Slim legged

and shyly bowed head, you graze –

 

not the woman sleek in black

who teeters through your working day

but a deer with fawn speckled flanks

and trim feet, ballerina light, across

 

the silvered lawn. Stars

scatter like cigarette sparks

and you breathe the night air, raising

your flared nose to the sky

 

until a shadow wakes from the twisted

boughs of trees,  pours his breath

and shakes his mane, unflinching light,

between the walls, across the lawn,

 

leaving prints which mimic the shape

of flowers as he bounds towards you –

just catching your shoulder

with a fine pencil line of red.

 

 

RCJ Allan writes poetry in the spaces she finds between teaching and other entanglements. She is a Northerner who has wandered South; her work has been published in Other Poetry, Obsessed with Pipework, Orbis and Pennine Platform.

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Ingrid Murray

 

 

 

The Halo round a Frying Pan

—   is hard to see
under the cold white light
of a halogen bulb.

Blackened by use
and misuse,
caked in fat

from yesterday’s
fry-up, the empty
vessel is restless

to go to work again.
Where there’s grease
there’s worth.

No magic. No religion.
And yet what
a metamorphosis

this pan can
effect – transparent glair
to white of egg in minutes.

That charred miracle
on your plate
(you’ll eat without

saying grace),
having witnessed
the coalface,

the blaster’s work,
in excoriating heat
to render it rare

medium or well done,
will whisper
your prayer for you.

Hardened
to its cast foundations,
the frying pan

will turn a care-worn ear
from such meaningless
incantations.

 

 

Ingrid Murray has completed two novels.  Her short fiction has been published by Peirene Press.  She has just been awarded her Masters in Creative Writing with distinction from Edinburgh University and will start her PhD at Edinburgh in September 2014.  In 2013 she was short-listed for The Jane Martin Poetry Prize. Some of her poetry can be found online at Open Mouse

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Linda Morgan Smith

 

 

 

The Miracle of Our Evolution

The creek full of dead fish/ sunken/ muddy bottom
laid flat -dead eyed stares -opened mouths -gills collapsed
we waded into the water and our feet began to rot
we ran to the doctor who couldn’t cure us
I became a priestess in the basement of my house
People would appear/disappear
POOF!

They said I was the devil.
Jesus washed my feet with the chemical spill
now the creek is wine
we drank from it and became fish again

 

 

Linda Morgan Smith is a poet and painter who lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her poetry has been published in  Stage and Screenwriters, Full of Crow Press and MicroCrow. She had two poems  published in Kumquat Poetry in March.

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Faye Ivory

 

 

 

Autobiography

 

I only remember our neighbour’s wind chimes,

Rosie and Jim,

and my first lie.

There was a tree house in the garden,

blue and white checked summer dresses,

a silent dinner table.

My mother’s soft fingers on my forehead said

don’t forget your piano practice.

Wetness in my trousers,

sips of my father’s bitter,

an ice skate in my brother’s knee.

 

We had a Ford Focus,

the World Wide Web,

an hour of TV a day,

three funerals,

no weddings,

tower block scenery,

B grades

and Lymphoma,

printed on a white form.

 

Soon, the smell of petrol and smoke

replaced talcum powder and chlorine.

Textbooks piled up,

Smirnoff Ice spilled out,

a patch of black hair dye stained the sink.

 

Then came

my father’s tears,

my mother’s phone voice,

damp tents and singed clothes,

a plastic cup of gin to lose my virginity with,

the screech of seagulls

and lined paper,

sheets and sheets of it,

waiting.

 

 

 

Faye Ivory began writing as a young teenager to still the velocity of her world.  Since then she has studied Creative Writing at the University of Chichester and now writes purely with the hope of moving someone in some way.

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Sam Kolinski

 

 

 

For Sale

We are an abandoned house.
Walls of wood slowly stripped
dried bark fading on the floor.
For Sale sign creaking
with the wind’s song.

The two of us, outside.
Feet pressing on wet leaves.
Selling ourselves with smiles
that could’ve been widened
with Sellotape, for all we care.

Both of us sleeping sound
in separate rooms.
Visited in our dreams
by buyers, all who leave
(us) disappointed.

Us eating our own hearts
at breakfast, pushing
an awful, mushed silence
around a pool of plate.

Never once knocking or entering
the other’s door, that themselves
are stubborn fronts for sad,
empty rotting rooms.

Always waiting quietly
for the phone to shout.
For the front door to clack.
For the perfect buyer to arrive.

Sam Kolinski lives in Glasgow, Scotland. He works as a freelance journalist and is wholly indebted to Sam Willetts’ first collection New Light for the Old Dark. Currently gathering material for his first chapbook, Sam’s poems have recently appeared in The Glad Rag and The Treacle Well.

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