To Celebrate ‘Light’ for National Poetry Day: Grant Tarbard, Graham Mummery, Jennifer A McGowan



Here is the Lampshade



Here is the lampshade, spiderweb Eden,

where I read under the unscrewed bulb of

a witches shawl. My sloe evenings spent

reading birth certificates and samples

of wallpaper manuscripts full to the

brim with deflated drunks teetering with

ruin. There’s a bust of grief in those dog

eyed caviar pages, rich but onyx,

wild with heads of captured beasts, suburban

prophets high with dance of the Mad Hatter

and amnesia of days spent foolishly,

read on the luminescent filament

bedding, slavering with morphine’s saffron.

With shovels of hands I dig through the sheets.




Grant Tarbard‘s first chapbook Yellow Wolf is out now, published by WK Press, his first full collection published by Lapwing and a collection published by Platypus Press will be both out next year.








Out of the Light



At a few million degrees centigrade

gasses in a furnace

heat up …  ignites

a frenzied disco dance

to Hoyle’s equations.

Quarks, protons, neutrons fuse.


The supernova explodes…


Hydrogen becomes helium

becomes oxygen

spreads out in nebulous masses

to make up

a horse’s head

a crab’s claw

a molecule that some day

will form part of a sandwich

Gell-Man eats as he reads Finnegan’s Wake.


The page is full.


I put my pen down,

go to a coffee shop.

Für Elise plays from a tape.


An angel steps

out of the light

from a display of cups.


You smile:

“Hello. How’s the poem doing?”





Graham Mummery worked for many years in investment banking before becoming a psychotherapist. His poems have appeared in many magazines and his first full collection, Meeting My Inners (Pindrop Press) has just appeared.




Secretary of God

Our Lord has often revealed his secrets to the world through women.  –Christine de Pisan


These are not my words.

I drank God straight from the well.


I move through hours.

Predictions drip and pool.


When they burn the fields,

I taste ash.  Tell me


this isn’t beautiful.  I sink

downwards,  a red moon


paling and losing its breath,

words coming from nowhere.


Write it like revelation:

this white, white light.



Jennifer A. McGowan has published poetry and prose in many magazines and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic, including Pank and The Rialto. Her chapbooks are available from Finishing Line Press and her first collection is from Indigo Dreams. Her website can be found at the unimaginatively-but-accurately-titled .


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