Calvin Holder

 

 

 

 

 

Kandinsky called me

from an opalescent sky

 

I’ve cracked the space      he said

so you can read it

 

like a poem

or the transcript of a lie.

 

 

Calvin Holder lives in Gloucestershire where he is much affected by the seasons. He has work published in Right Hand Pointing, One Sentence Poems, Ink Sweat and Tears and Unbroken Journal.

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Gerry Sarnat

 

 

 

Last Thursday in November Together Since 1957

Four newest mangy
old dogs, done being punished
for yesterday’s quasi-traditional

jockeying to grab what they may
have thought of as their fair share,
one of several home-grown free range

cooked Thanksgiving turkeys,
before I could move her tinsel tray
from Subaru to deposit on kitchen island

now accompany us down foul weather’s
steep crooked muddy path to Little River
basin: Each of our eleven humans or beasts

have had hip operations,
many by the retired veterinarian
in attendance who lives up the California

coast into Oregon, or currently fight off
spinal stenosis by using walking poles as we
talk about how we might possibly “age in place.”

 

 

Gerry Sarnat MD’s won prizes/authored Homeless Chronicles, Disputes, 17s, Melting Ice King; published by Review Berlin, Gargoyle, Oberlin, Brown, Stanford, Harvard, Main Street Rag, New Delta Rev, American Journal Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Brooklyn Rev, LA Rev, San Francisco Mag, New York Times.    gerardsarnat.com

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Chin Li

 

 

 

The Crossing

Isn’t it too late?
I couldn’t help asking myself
time and again. It was too late:
the sun was gone, my chance
had left; there was only one way,
and I’d have no say.

I washed my hands in the stream
and warmed them with my breath;
I saw the water evaporate, and
in the cold the hands turned red.
Then I saw my shadow
on the other side, and knew
I’d left it behind. I must sew
the button back on, I told myself.
But there wasn’t time.

The ferryman said,
How did you manage to do this,
considering, you’ve never done
an apprenticeship?
How, indeed, did I get on
this track, without teacher or help?
So I turned to face him, and,
feeling embarrassed,
whispered but a few words:
“Serendipity took pity on me.”
Waiting for me to continue, he frowned,
and then, knowing I’d run out of words,
raised his left hand.
I bowed, with deep gratitude,
and acquiesced in his plan.

 

 

Chin Li’s work is published in Confluence, Glasgow Review of Books, Gnommero, Gutter, Ink Sweat & Tears, Litro and MAP. His audio short story, “The Feather and the Hand”, was broadcast by the Glasgow-based art radio station Radiophrenia on 20 May 2019 (www.radiophrenia.scot).

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Paul Stephenson

 

 

January

January’s a recent graduate: cheap suit,
polyester or nylon, some shiny fabric.
New to the team. Golden handshake.
Keen to get its teeth into something.
Loads of ideas how to improve things,
make the place run more smoothly.
Has an eye on margins, cutting costs,
talks up efficiency gains, performance.
But its gung-ho attitude won’t wash –
they’ll have none of it. Oh, bugger off!

Prepped, it frisbees suggestions across
the meeting room, oozes business gurus
and management philosophy. It’s big
on case studies, the latest TED talk but
stinks of shaving gel, too much roll-on.
They roll their eyes as it goes to speak.
When it has fucked up, been bollocked
by the boss, and they’ve all watched
through the glass, some coax it out for
a pint, get it pissed, deal with it properly.

 

 

 

 

Paul Stephenson has published three pamphlets: Those People (Smith/Doorstop, 2015), The Days that Followed Paris (HappenStance, 2016) and Selfie with Waterlilies (Paper Swans Press, 2017). He co-curated Poetry in Aldeburgh in 2018-19 and interviews poets at paulstep.com.

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Antony Owen on Holocaust Memorial Day

 

 

 

Song for a yellow star belt

In the square
they are beating men to classical music
last year they danced in this spot, the same children watched.

In the square
a local orchestra kneels before its composer
he is made to throttle the defiant celloist with piano strings.

All things pass,
ignore the old shoemaker covering the breasts of his dead wife,
in five years, he will watch from the patisserie as kids chalk hopscotch.

All things pass,
like the twitching general damned by the sleight seamstress.
He thought she closed her eyes but she snared him in a blink shot.

In the orchestra,
a solitary flutist set free an excerpt of the murdered crescendo.
I swear a whole crowd gathered in the square to hear it soar like black fireworks.

 

 

With five collections of poetry focusing on conflict Antony Owen is a well respected writer known for investigative poetry which took him to Hiroshima in 2015 to interview atomic bomb survivors. His subsequent collection, The Nagasaki Elder (V.Press) was shortlisted for a Ted Hughes Award in 2017.  This poem is taken from his sixth collection The Unknown Civilian which has just been published by KFS.

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Gareth Writer-Davies

 

 

 

It’s the way the garden clouds over of a sudden

clouds
returning
confuse the situation

picking petals off the roses
breezing
turning a sunny day mute

as birds get sleepy
fade
from thinking

slim
like a silver birch sapling
thin    light

of petunias (a sofa of petunias)
shadows
swarming    buzzz louder & louder

above the altostratus
Gods
play with compass    & paper

naked
muscular & bearded
statuary

here comes the sun again
like an apple
cider

I forget
TIME! shouts the clergyman
it’s the way
the garden clouds over (without one knowing)

 

 

Gareth Writer-Davies is from Brecon, Wales. Shortlisted Bridport Prize (2014 and 2017) Commended Prole Laureate Competition (2015) Prole Laureate for 2017. Commended Welsh Poetry Competition (2015) Highly Commended in 2017 . Pamphlets Bodies (2015)  Cry Baby (2017)  Indigo Dreams. Collection The Lover’s Pinch ( 2018) and pamphlet The End (2019) Arenig Press

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Roddy Williams

 

 

 

Excerpt from a free Amazon murder mystery

Her violet eyes flashed
like shocked blown bulbs
as the truth hit her like an intangible sock.
The dinnerplate of her delusions had been shattered
by the weight of a big helping of realisation.

How could Mrs Armitage
the elderly and housebound woman whom she trusted
with her very life
despite only having met her three weeks ago
through Hugo
have lied?
She could walk without her wheelchair
and therefore could have taken
Bonzo
her noisy Jack Russell
for a walk
which is why he never raised the alarm
on the night of the murder.

But should she tell Hugo?
Oh Hugo, she mouthed
like a silent fish.

Her immaculate white fingers
whitened even more
in the light of the lambent moon
to match
the crisp shining sheets she clutched
in her horror filled realisation
and her horrified hands.

She was in two minds
on the horns of a murderous dilemma.

On the one hand
in the first mind and the right horn
Hugo was her half brother
and intimately acquainted
as she knew
with Bonzo, the dog
but on the other hand
(second mind, left horn)
she still held those terrible suspicions
after the business
with the George Forman grill.

What was she to do?

It was a quandary.

 

 

Roddy Williams is a Welsh artist, writer and photographer, based in London. He has recently seen publication with Envoi, Stand, Obsessed with Pipework, and the Great Weather for Media anthology, The Other Side of Violet, published in the US. Website: https://roddywilliamsblog.wordpress.com/

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