or, as Scots call it,
haar. It rolls in stealthily, steadily
drawing nearer with every wave that
washes the sand. Then, it
rocks me, ragging me like
a cold, damp shawl
hurled around my shoulders.
Between my toes the sand
rubs, rasping and raw. I can’t
peel the shawl from my skin.
Petra Vergunst lives in Aberdeen and works as a community artist, composer and poet. She regularly blogs at www.musicforcommunities.blogspot.comRead More
What is it like to be a herring gull?
(After Thomas Nagel)
Circling the heavy church at the end of the street,
you see a cliff-stack far out in a grey Atlantic,
an inherited seascape sloshing inside your skull,
salting your nerves, your desire’s tidal pull.
Fat and imperious on rooftops, you laugh
down the chimneypots, my hearth
echoing with your uninvited call.
My father excuses himself. My tea cools
as I swallow his news.
The street heaves and yaws;
cherry blossom froths around the steps
and caught in the swell, a shopping bag pulses,
a jellyfish against the rail.
I throw my head back and call and call and call.
Samuel Tongue has published poems in magazines including The Red Wheelbarrow, Northwords Now, Magma, Gutter, and The List. He received a Callan Gordon Award from the Scottish Book Trust in 2013 and is working on his first full collection. He lectures in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Glasgow. Twitter: @SamuelTongueRead More
If he could tell you
he would say that
it feels nothing like falling asleep
there is no well lit cinemascope
flashback of your life
he would say that
he remembered, not everything
not even necessarily the good things
the first time he walked into the Prospect Park Zoo
laughing as the elephant moms bathed their children
with water collected in their trunks
his grandmother eccentric as only
Italian heritage can give you
but maker of the most delicious
cheesecake east of the Hudson
and his brother, Steve, so burdened with life
except that one night on Coney Island
the sun painting across the sky in gold,
white, scarlet, lilac, fuchsia,
and the bluest sky he had ever seen,
until Luxembourg, first tour, 1942, 9th Infantry,
Private First Class 12123586
when a bullet took away his ability to walk
and he was carried on a makeshift stretcher
through a field of wheat, which
he had always thought sounded like the waves
but when the wind is in the right mood
the moving stalks sound somewhere between
stern and outright angry
as if the very earth was running out of space
to keep the blood
Matt Macdonald is an Edinburgh based poet, who performs across the Central Belt. He is currently in preparation for his first solo show in the Free Fringe, and his debut collection in June.
In the future, you’ll say;
“We recorded passing periods
with nanoseconds and centuries
and how it wasn’t fazed by war,
desperation or the 1970’s.
We relied on it and one day it quit,
gave up and left without a trace,
can’t remember when exactly
but before now, somewhere in the past,
between when those two things happened.
We searched for it like we’d lost a pet,
put up posters and phoned around
but nobody had seen it in a while,
Samuel S. Williams is a Funeral Director by day and a Poet by night; he works, writes and lives in his native CornwallRead More
On returning to Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop
I am a herd of Friesians,
hides quivering and udders swaying,
as the gate opens
on silt-sweetened river meadow grass.
I am the leap off searing rock
into a translucent pool.
I am blood draining to the heart.
I am kindling to oxygen’s caress.
I am a seventy year old woman
in a Lenten church
mouthing silent devotion
station by station.
Aidan Fallon is originally from Ireland and lives in East Northamptonshire. He created some space from his paid job two years ago to start writing.
What the Weather Man Said
My doctor prescribed me an umbrella:
to be worn indoors, twice a day, after meals.
He said it would stop me falling too quickly,
help me land on uneven surfaces
and forget the smell of rain:
Lots of my patients wear umbrellas indoors,
you can trust me because I wear glasses.
That night, I drank the nectar of dreams,
delirious as smoking honey bees.
I woke up longing for bruised skies
leaded by clouds and fat with drizzle;
so I fed my umbrella to the wind,
watched its skeleton bulge as it swallowed,
leaving me to burlesque in puddles,
drink from pools, dance through tunnels,
until the night shivered stars
and the moon spat out its light.
Dan Stathers is from Kingsbridge in South Devon. After studying creative writing at the Open University, Dan was awarded the William Hunter Sharpe Memorial Scholarship by The University of Edinburgh (for poetry). He likes football and Border Terriers.
Your Services are No Longer Required
We’re looking for someone else—
someone who knows how to run the
mower without rolling over the cord.
When you roll over the cord, it tends to
make the mower stop. Always
when that happens, you’ve mowed
half the yard. One half crew cut,
other half electrified mullet.
So please, do us both a favor. Don’t
return next Thursday or any other day.
The mower is still in the shop, the grass
is out of control, my nephew came over
with his Lawnboy and mowed in narrow
lines, giving the effect of many Mohawks
or an abundance of bowling alleys.
He thought he was being funny. He’s not
coming back either. Your money’s in
the envelope, though truth be told,
you don’t deserve it. It’s
really pay to make you stay away.
Karen Loeb lives in the American Midwest. Recent writing: Thema, Hanging Loose, Main Street Rag and elsewhere. Poems forthcoming: Nerve Cowboy, Wisconsin Poets Calendar. Online writing in Crania, Otis Nebula, Boston Literary Magazine. Find out more here