Petra Vergunst

 

 

 

Sea Mist

 

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.com 

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Samuel Tongue

 

 

 

 

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: @SamuelTongue

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Matt Macdonald

 

 

 

Luxembourg, 1942 

 

 

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.

 

 

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Samuel S. Williams

 

 

 

 

Lost Time

 

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 Cornwall

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Aidan Fallon

 

 

 

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.

 

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Dan Stathers

 

 

 

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.

 

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Karen Loeb

 

 

 

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 elsewherePoems forthcoming: Nerve Cowboy, Wisconsin Poets Calendar.  Online writing in Crania, Otis Nebula, Boston Literary Magazine. Find out more here

 

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