Eileen Carney Hulme

 

 
Sarajevo to Dubrovnik

Unintentionally we captured
a rainbow, the sky half dark
and the sun full of energy, mischievous
in an affectionate way. Perhaps
we had too many coffees or
the narrow roads and mountain
passes had raised our heartbeats
but here we are like go-betweens
carrying love letters or breathless
sighs from country to country
and this rainbow sneaking in
hitching a lift with no word
to the wind.

 

 

 

Eileen Carney Hulme has two collections published and a third due in 2015. Widely published in magazines, she also had a poem set to music and performed at the Cork Choral Festival and has two poems transcribed on to wall space in an art gallery. This is her website.

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Simon Lewis

 

 

 

Doubt

He dreams of a church under water
where green light ripples along the walls,
the altar speckled with fish.
Behind him the cavernous dark,
the crouching men, teeth bared,
the spear flung, now poised in mid-air.

He is the breath and he is the wound.
He has doubted and believed,
his brother’s voice worn thin over time:
“Thomas, why you of all men?”
Because we ran in the hills, he thinks,
because we played in the dust.

He prays for deliverance
from the Indian sun,
borne by the tide of his blood
away beneath a perfect sky
and all his works seem to him now
to be like the waves of the sea.

 

 

 

Simon Lewis has been writing poetry for about 15 years, although most of his efforts have never seen the light of day. He has however had poems published in Acumen, Orbis, Iron, Friction Magazine and Still. There is hope yet.

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Jodi Cleghorn

 

 

 

Olives

The symbolism was as mashed as my nerve: the table set with a chipped and stained antipasto bowl filled with pimento olives drowning in oily marinade. It looked like you were making an effort. This time I didn’t care.

The sweat leached from my back and armpits, sucked at my t-shirt even though it was a cool March afternoon, a pretend taste of sub-tropical autumn before the city melted in a final hurrah to summer.

‘You know Ally Lewis’s son went to a kinesiologist,’ you said, settling yourself opposite me, the olives between us. ‘Had his body temperature tweaked half a degree. You should do that. You’d be more comfortable.’

I knew you meant you would be more comfortable. I’d never worked out why you found sweat so offensive.

I’m fine most of the time, I wanted to say. It’s only you who does this to me.

But my tongue languished unresponsive in my mouth. I swore I felt it swell to fill the emptiness left by the unsaid words.

You read my t-shirt with brows sewn together. Anything you didn’t understand you automatically labelled rubbish and I’d got the feeling in the last few years you’d slipped me into that category too. And somehow I minded.

Your quizzical expression gave way to mild exasperation and in turn became mild disgust. You were infinite layers of wilting dissatisfaction. Being with you was like choking on insulation fibers.

I took an olive to occupy my nervous hands before you launched a monologue on the psychology of restless fingers. Rolled it between my fingers for a moment, an unintentional mimicry of you with grapes, before popping it into my mouth and chewing carefully.

‘You eat olives. That’s new.’

I hated olives but kept an impassive face. It gave tangible form to the sourness in my mouth and I wish I’d just left without saying good-bye.

‘Why not go to Sydney?’ you asked. ‘You love Sydney.’

Loved. When I was ten and the highlight was an Opera House snow dome and a Harbour Bridge ruler. Exotic souvenirs from travelling grandparents. Something shiny for show and tell on the first day of term.

‘We have friends and family there,’ you said.

We? Aunty Sue and Uncle Vic were hardly family. My friends who moved to Sydney had moved again. You didn’t know anyone else there. Ever. Besides, I wasn’t travelling for us. For you.

‘You’re going so far away!’

You said it as though I’d got hold of an atlas and ruler, worked out the furthest place from here and decided on that as my destination. Maybe you were right to think that.

This time I didn’t care what you thought. Or if you were right.

‘I just don’t understand. Why Morocco?’

Food. History. Architecture. Culture. Adventure.

Things you would never understand. Though you would’ve hit Google if I’d let you know yesterday what I was planning. I’d have spent this afternoon listening to you, the armchair expert on Morocco, tell me all about my destination. That’s how you worked. You who have never ventured beyond the state you were born in.

‘You can’t stomach chilli. It gives you the trots. Remember the time…’

And I tuned out. I imagined being there: the veiled women, the bearded men, the dusty marketplace, the smell of spiced meat cooking, the call to prayer, the bray of goats and camels, the hand of Fatima on the doors. I imagined myself in a dozen other places too. I imagined being so far away from you I could breathe. I saw the umbilical cord still lashed around my neck snap as the plane rose above the tarmac.

You see, I’m not like you, I wanted so badly to say. I’m not afraid to be alone.

‘Are you going to just sit there and say nothing? Tear your old Mum’s heart out and not even say sorry?’

What’s the point of talking? You haven’t listened to me once in twenty-five years and I don’t expect you to start now. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, you used to say, parroting Dr Phil.

I relish this moment, to be your anomaly.

‘I raised you better than this.’

You raised me to believe actions speak louder than words, though you always just talked louder, at me. Like now.

So I stood and pushed the bowl of olives toward you. The squeal of the wire door igniting the pyre of your disappointments.

 

 

Jodi Cleghorn (@jodicleghorn) is an Australia author, editor, small press owner and occasional poet with a penchant for the dark vein of humanity. She can be found at 1000 Pieces of Blue Sky jodicleghorn.wordpress.com

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Megan Pattie

 

 

 

Marginalia 20/02/2014

I have started
drawing birds
in the margins.

The space is birds,
all the white is birds.

“Open your eyes.
The light is birds.”
And words are birds

“As gay as words
they fly” the birds

are in my brain
now nesting
flying singing

doing what birds
do in fact in poems

and in poets
who are like birds
or would like to be

or are birds.

 

 

 

Megan Pattie is a poet living in Whitley Bay on the North East Coast. She has just completed a BA in English Literature at UEA and is soon to begin a Masters at Durham University. More about her poetry can be found at pattiepoetry.wordpress.com

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Maureen Weldon

 

 

 

Inspiration

I stubbed that out
with my last
cigarette.

Friends tell me
it is all a passing phase;
and that I must feel better.

I never felt bad;
a little unsociable,
a huge lack of money.

As each day passes
flatter than an un-risen pancake;
I wait.

With no inspiration,
I write about it.

 

 

 

Maureen Weldon is hugely looking forward to her pamphlet Midnight Robin which is being published by Poetry Space Ltd.,  Editor Sue Sims, and will be launched on 15th November 2014 at Stanley Palace, Chester.

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