Daniel Fitzpatrick

 

 

Great-Granddaughter

When I arrived you called me John,
Katie’s John, I guess, mixed up with me
in the background meadow of memory.

I sat Therese on your mattress
but cradled her away when her babble
started flicking at your lids,
her blindness shining off your yawning false teeth.
She couldn’t see the difference in your skin,
the frescoes of the beating treatment,
the white bones in the bruised
black back of your hand,
or the whiteness like fungus veining your horned feet
when Katie drew up the sheet.

She seemed to see nothing
but the clock circling on the wall.
She’s smiling at clocks now,
pointing when we say “Tick Tock.”

She knows little of the Rubicon you’ve crossed,
only what she knows in the cries
it kills us not to answer
as she struggles toward her morning sleep.

 

 

Daniel Fitzpatrick grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana, and now lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas, with his wife and daughter. He holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Dallas, and his poems have appeared in 2River View, Coe Review, and Eunoia Review, among others.

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Amy Ekins-Coward

 

Fisherdad

i

dropped knees into oil, scum
that lined the pier, called
out, voice sore as cut-glass
salt, tongue a quivering
just-caught flounder – baltic,
brassic, coin scales worthless

u

spat into sea, delved for
a wet wink, masked a tear in
need of blinking away – a long way
to go, to bring home
slick-backed fillets, the eyes
dull as chip-paper

ii

gulped back words,
sorrow slipping
into tides

uu

slicked the hull,
a salt-worn palm ­–
a gesture

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Ekins-Coward lives in South Tyneside with her wife and cockapoo. All three enjoy long walks on the beach and having friends round for dinner.

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Helen Freeman

 

 

 

Nesting Doll

Plump procreant ground
down until bland
enough to empty,
to bear, clammed
in her place.

Cleaved into wood,
black core, arms
fist-grip twist
her in two,

smiling, “I did.”

 

 

Helen Freeman published Broken post-accident in Oman. Since then she has completed several online courses and has poems in magazines like Your One Phone Call and Clear Poetry. Brought up in Kenya, she now lives between Edinburgh and Riyadh.

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Anna-May Laugher

 

 

 

House Share

Mice make themselves as thin as envelopes to fit under your doors. I am amused, until a mother mouse drags her deformed infant to the middle of the room. Bald, rosy, twitching on the floor. I stop next-door’s cat from hooking it away. How small should creatures be to die ignored? What is the cut-off point in size? I’d like to know if there’s no need to cry.  That dormitory of ladybirds who sleep behind the blinds, dream on. False widow spiders tweak their sheets of silk. A white wave moth flickers on the sill. You have the strangest definition of living by yourself.

 
Anna-May Laugher is a prize winning poet. Her work has been widely anthologised. Titles include Poetry and all that Jazz, Three Drops from a Cauldron and Sophie Hannah’s The Poetry of Sex. Online her poems have been featured on Amaryllis; And Other Poems; and Ink, Sweat and Tears. She has written for the Reading Museum Project ‘A Sense of Place’ and for ‘From Palette to Pen’ for the Holburne Museum in Bath. Her first pamphlet is published by new press Luminous Road.

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Charlie Baylis

 

Untitled

for the many ghosts of the Mediterranean, for those that remain unknown
I want to take you down to the beach
I want to offer you its silence, where you are hanging
under the palms there are phantoms, the phantoms are smiling
I want to show you the coral shelves where we buried your body
I want to show you each life I swallowed to maintain the colour of my light cart
I have done it all to ensure my little girl wears the same shoes as your little girl
sometimes, more or less, I have been wrong.

I want to tell you why I ate bread when you were eating air
I want to tell you at the same time as you want to tell me
that you want me to tell you, but anyway, sorry, I am busy.

I am riding on a wave peppering my light cart with holes. I am trying to drown
thousands of people. I am trying to drown.

I am trying. Look closer (there is a word missing).

I want to take you down to the beach
where I have tied the archangels to the palm trees
heavy ropes chafe their feathered waists, the match strikes.

I want to show you that the angels are burning.
I cannot show you, you are not looking.

 

 

 

 

Charlie Baylis is from Nottingham. He has published two pamphlets Elizabeth (agave press) and hilda doolittle´s carl jung t-shirt (erbacce). He spends his spare time completely adrift of reality. http://www.charliebaylis.com/

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We’ve got ‘Your location’ by Jane McCarthy Wilkinson as our Pick of the Month for May 2017

 

A definitive vote (unlike another significant, recent election) saw Jane McCarthy Wilkinson’s ‘Your location’ chosen as Pick of the Month for May 2017. Some of you fell a little in love with the poem, describing it as beautiful and evocative, enjoying its rhythm and form yet there was unease and mystery there too.

Jane was shortlisted for Lo and Behold!, the Poetry School’s 2014 Micro-Commission, and has a response poem to a Shakespeare sonnet in Live Canon’s 154 anthology (2016). She lives in London with her family and is a Landscape Architect.

 

Your location

Round the corner I hear you
coming I hear you coming
round the corner of the barn
I arrange my arms and legs
I hear around the corner
of the barn the gravel’s tough
back teeth working doggedly
on splintering a bone
I spin up a cloud
of smoke to be within
position myself beneath the salty buttered light
farm manure bellows cold pools like clouds of sound rising slowly as the milky way
we gather like water
and ripple open

 

 

Voters comments included:-

So many undercurrents indicated with such economy – powerfully visual, palpable – so much expressed, compressed.

Mysterious and rhythmic. Intriguing and seeped in longing(or fear). Loved the music. Every time I read it I find something else.

Enchanted by the rustic tug of the writing and the dreamlike agrarian imagery.

Fantastic sense of place, while creating uncertainty of subject

… this gets my vote for its strangeness and complex concision!

I love how the simple repetition of the first lines moves towards the beautiful language of the ending.

This poem speaks straight to me. I like the straightforward/no nonsense way it has been written.

…I like the form, repetition and flow of the poem plus the wonderful imagery of ‘the gravel’s tough back teeth’ and ‘salty buttered light’.

I love the free-yet-structured feel of it; so much thought in that opening stanza, the recreation of the excitement/game fear through repetition spot-on, and the beautiful ending, ‘we gather like water / and ripple open’. A really evocative recreation of childhood play, where the ‘I’ is at one with its environment.

Lovely broken lines

strong simple words building to a powerful image –

feelings of fear and expectation, finely wrought

I like the way way the poem is composed to reveal the situation in a simplistic way, each of your senses is engaged enabling you to paint a picture of the scene described with your imagination..

I felt that the line about the gravel’s tough back teeth splintering a bone was the best line from all of the poems – it captures something of what only poetry can do – put the sounds of the world into words that give you both a simple delight (at the joy of the words,) and a deeper empathy for the atmosphere and feelings of the poet herself.

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