Aimée Keeble

 

 
Arthur and Merlin’s Cave

Rain sick,
Bound by the small hours-
He is fading
Walks through the moors,
Past the hard ponies,
Their hair lumpy with burs and their noses raw with nettle rash
The sheep skitter like a dropped bag of pellets
As he goes
He pulls at the earth,
Tearing lengths of green and brown
In his tired hands and the dirt
Stains him cleaner
Things to build a prayer with,
Maybe,
Mud is a good filler
Nothing but sharp toothed patience
And hungry time
To battle his thundering heart
The rain bends his back with watery fingers
And the cave sticks its shadow tongue at him
As he breaks through the gloom
Into the hollow dry
“You forgot to teach me about love”
He cries into the space of endless all
And waits for a reply,
Knowing that to ask is to answer

 

 

Aimée Keeble‘s work has been published by the Lighthouse Journal, Forward Poetry, and ink, sweat and tears.  She has exhibited her work at Flint Gallery in Norwich, theprintspace in London, and the Supertte Gallery in Paris as a part of Never Turn Back, a photographic project headed by Dean Chalkley. The two have collaborated on a publication titled One which focuses on the idea of subculture and is available through Antenne Books. Aimée is currently the assistant editor and journalist for FreightEurasia magazine. She is the grand-niece of beat writer and poet Alexander Trocchi.

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Kiriti Sengupta

 

 

 

Quietude and loneliness

 

for god’s sake, don’t take silence for granted

it is loud, hypnotizing and over-rated

it has a spiritual world charm attached to it

you never know if it would declare you dead

 

and then, you can see the resurrected spirit

approaching your stillness and challenging the world around

to leave you alone

 

 

 

 

 

Kiriti Sengupta is the author of the bestselling trilogy My Glass of Wine [autobiographic poetry], The Reverse Tree [nonfictional memoir] and Healing Waters Floating Lamps [poetry]. Sengupta is based at Calcutta, India. His website: http://www.kiritisengupta.com/

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Anthony Lawrence

 

 

 

Difference

 

The once-in-a-thousand-year-flood came and went.

We listened as though blood were a tide

our bedroom an ark. At dawn we understood

the full extent of what had occurred:

as there was no sun, we attended a critical mass

in our underwear. A town went by, followed

by a stunned population, all wearing plover masks.

You were at the window, giving a commentary

on the direction of the wind. I lay on the bed

listening to a public broadcast of the dangers

of being out alone, after dark. You reported

people walking through the steady rain

of a pamphlet-drop. I put the words diaspora

and exodus up for discussion. Your voice broke

with news of street executions being carried out

by gangs by torchlight. They say that hardship

calls forth the best and worst in relationships.

The sky was red, the ground white with ash.

By such extremes were our differences exposed.

 

 

 

Anthony Lawrence has published sixteen books of poems and a novel. He teaches Creative Writing and Writing Poetry at Griffith university, Gold Coast, Queensland and lives on the far north coast of New South Wales. Click here for more:  http://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/poet/item/24676/15/Anthony-Lawrence

 

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Word & Image by Helen Pletts and Romit Berger

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words by Helen Pletts (www.helenpletts.com ) whose two collections, Bottle bank and For the chiding dove, are both published by YWO/Legend Press (supported by The Arts Council) and available on Amazon. ‘Bottle bank’ was longlisted for The Bridport Poetry Prize 2006, under Helen’s maiden name of Bannister. Working collaboratively on Word and Image with Romit Berger, illustrator, since 2012. Word and Image Cards now on sale in The Over Gallery .

Image by Romit Berger who says “I am a graphic designer and artist, living in Prague for the past 
ten years. In 2008 I joined a writing group – English is not my native
 language but I graduated from an international school, so it is a part 
of my life ever since. I feel that the dual process of finding words to
 describe mind images and illustrating written words, opens a new 
exciting dimension of creativity for me.

 

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Jennifer Hambrick

 


*

here the sunflower
stood this summer …
my late friend

 *
the clicking
of the ice storm
his anger
 *
Christmas afternoon
the quiet snow
*
cracked nail polish
Easter morning
 *
the dog’s footsteps on my back snooze alarm
 
 
A Pushcart Prize nominee, Jennifer Hambrick is an award-winning classical musician, broadcaster, and poet in Columbus, Ohio, USA. Her poetry has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies worldwide. Jennifer Hambrick’s blog, Inner Voices, is at jenniferhambrick.com.

 

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And our Pick of the Month for April 2017 is David Subacchi’s ‘Cross Country’

 

More than 250 of you voted – a record for us – leading to a sprint finish that saw ‘Cross Country’ by David Subacchi as our Pick of the Month for April 2017. This fine poem struck a nostalgic nerve with many of you although it was 50/50 as to whether you loved or dreaded the sport itself!

David lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and he has three poetry collections with Cestrian Press First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014) and Not Really a Stranger (2016).  David has also recently published a collection of Sonnets A Terrible Beauty in commemoration of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising. He writes in Welsh and Italian and blogs at http://www.writeoutloud.net/profiles/davidsubacchi

David will receive a National Book Token for £10.

 

Cross Country

A reluctant concession
For those of insufficient bulk
Or violent disposition
To take part in the awful
Battle of blood and mud
Laughingly referred to
As a game.

Unsupervised
Our route wound
Far away from
The killing fields
Past gasworks
And railway lines
Through the village.

Once out of sight
A walking pace
Cigarettes
Sweets
Talking to local girls
Cursing the brutality
Of the egg shaped ball.

Then returning
To the jeers
Of shirt ripped
Casualties
Our mock exhaustion
Too dramatic
Fooling no one.

 

Voters comments included:

David Subacchi has the human touch – when you read him it is like you thought that, but didn’t know how to put it into words.

Distills the essence of a very familiar experience!

Rhythm of verses felt like running

Love David’s precision of language

I like the skew of it. Interesting language from a surprising angle.

It brings back so many memories, it made me smile

It evokes so many memories of cross country at my school. This poem creates so many visions and is so poignant.

Brings back the memories. Short cuts, false panting, an unnecessary puff on the inhaler to fool the teacher. Fantastic.

Reminds me of those awful childhood treks!

Brings back happy memories of my school days, seeing the boys running past the perimeter fence of our school and laughing & joking (sometimes jeering lol) with them

David’s poetry always helps you to see the ordinary transformed.

It matches some of my own experience – though mine was more dull. Scared and useless at rugby & cricket.

Reading it twice and taking in the title, it reminded me of cross country as engaged in here in the States and the 2-word phrase “past gasworks” as an intended or not, echo of an early David Bowie lyric, using the phrase “past the gasworks” made me smile. It was a song called ‘Uncle Arthur’ from 1967.

David Subacchi is such an observant writer; I love the way he expresses what he sees, what he feels and somehow captures how the listeners feel too.

So much conjured up with so few words.

It has an element of Gritty Truth

It reminds me of when I opted out of netball, was sent on a cross country run and my friends joined me. From then on we ran regularly.

I love his style and it reminds me of my ‘yoof’ !!

Shows the pain of Cross Country!

 

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Jennie Owen

 

 

 

On the tracks

Paused amongst the debris scabs
and concertinaed pigeons,
over Herculean arches, grisly secrets lurk
in muck and smutty shadows.  Old stolen bicycles, rats,
and plastic bags floating like ghosts in the engine hiss.

Reptilian fingers grasp masonry,
green and scaled, vegetating against the odds.
Above in the promise of blue, circles one for sorrow,
seven for gold, eight for…grim trapped mornings
black beaked and round eyed.

The metal box shudders into life, delivering us
to the wipe clean city centre platform.
Thick communal air releases a gasp.  A pile
of spat out sunflower seeds crunches under our feet.

 

 

 

Jennie Owen is a teacher of creative writing and has been widely published in anthologies and magazines.  She is proudly dyslexic and lives with her husband and their three children in Lancashire.

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