Antony Owen

 

 

 

Lidice

 

On June 10, 1942, the German government announced that it had destroyed the small village of Lidice, Czechoslovakia, killing every adult male and some fifty-two women. All surviving women and children were then deported to concentration camps, or if found suitable to be “Germanized”, sent to the greater Reich. The Nazis then proudly proclaimed that the village  of Lidice, its residents, and its very name, were now forever blotted from memory. Holocaustresearchproject.org

 
With each sped up massacre
birds shot out from trees with each shaking luger,
let me report the apple orchard of drunk soldiers and wasps,
let me edit out the keen underling inebriated on cleansing a whole town.

With each slowed down massacre
I see men in rows of ten queue to meet their unmaker,
I see children humanised then germanised then heavenized.
Let me edit out the beautiful daughter now gargoyle of the cruel miasma.

With each decade Lidice moves a yard further from the surface.
Take my hand and walk us in single file to the orchard trees,
tell me that fascist butchers are ashamed of their meat,
how they rush bury the remains and guilt eats them.

Tell me that the ride to Lodz for the children was short,
that they never slept in their urine on gestapo floors,
tell me that their faces never went haggard in fog,
show me that all the things I know are too evil.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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Cliff Forshaw

 

 

 

404

404 is “page not found”, dead link,
the way the world forgets the things you did;
its chain got twisted up, got oddly kinked,
and all you’ve done’s undone, your thoughts unsaid.
You’ve been written out, in code, in secret ink:
No sense in asking why. You’re doubly dead.
Damnatio memoriae.

Some youthful indiscretions may live on,
(That foolish photograph is never gone!)
but books are burned, your body’s rotting in the ground,
your magnum opus is a “page not found”.
What was your life? What filled your time till now, now it’s later,
far later than you’ve allowed yourself to think?
You’ve snuffed it, and they’ve deodorized your old-time stink.
You’re at a loss. Senior moment. Don’t know why
you came in here.  [Comment deleted by Moderator.]
Damnatio memoriae.

 

 

 

Cliff Forshaw has been writer-in-residence in California, France, Kyrgizstan, Romania and Tasmania, twice a Hawthornden Writing Fellow, and guest poet at the International Poetry Festival,Nicaragua 2016. Collections include Vandemonian (Arc, 2013), Pilgrim Tongues (Wrecking Ball, 2015) and Satyr (Shoestring, 2017). http://www.cliff-forshaw.co.uk/

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Amy Kean

 

 

I put make-up on for the Deliveroo driver  

Pornography implies this a fruitful strategy for lonely women.
Often their husbands are out of town, but you could be anywhere.

I put make-up on for the Deliveroo driver, hot ribs and bang bang cauliflower hint at my intentions.
The miso aubergine and Chilean Malbec brazen, our language: body and artisanal oriental fusion.

I put make-up on for the Deliveroo driver, barely-there razzmic berry shorts simmer on my thigh tops.
These neatly boxed breasts ready and protein-heavy like five days of meal prep in airtight tupperware.

I put make-up on for the Deliveroo driver, painted my lips crimson as a blood clot five centimetres in length.
Pinched my cheeks so hard the rest of my body forgot how pain feels.

I put make-up on for the Deliveroo driver to prove my fruit is not forbidden. I am Eve, original biblical MILF. I am the childless witch in a gingerbread house, I am his stepmother, I am your cracked, overheated induction hob.

I put make-up on for the Deliveroo driver but the helmet hid his face. It might have been you. He might have been wearing make-up too. A woman with appropriated braids was vaping in the car.  He was late, forgot my spring rolls and the sticky shredded chilli beef still breathing. I imagined it was you. Delivering sustenance in disguise to check I’m alive.

 

 

Amy Kean is an author and advertising creative from London. Her first book – The Little Girl Who Gave Zero Fucks – is out in October, and she’s had work published in the Guardian, Disclaimer magazine and Litro amongst many others.  www.shitsandgigs.com

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James R Kilner

 

 

 

Wheat

 

Your boots thump the dust
on the stile’s nether side.
As you weave through the wheat,
somehow the brow of the hill is obscured
and although you see it plainly
the line of oak trees is not quite there.
You are lost in fog on the brightest day of the year.
Perhaps it is ivy reddening on a farmhouse
or a pigeon balanced on telegraph wire:
the lift in the solar plexus,
the land comes into focus.
Soon you will leave this place,
return to the burrow of the house
and you will grieve
but for now, the wheat
moves in the wind
and something within
moves with it.

 
 
 

James R Kilner is the author of two books of poetry, Frequencies of Light (2015) and Persephone (2017). He is a former newspaper journalist and lives in the north-east of England. His website is www.jameskilnerwriter.wordpress.com.

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Grant Tarbard

 

 

Beguiling with a Gallows Jig
Grainstacks at the End of Summer, Morning Effect by Claude Monet

At that wink the world stopped with dizzy games,
stillness in this grain-stack ingests cities
beguiling with the iron scent of rain,
dancing a gallows jig on the nostrils.
This stack is guarded by men pretending
to be beggars- we hear tales of grist’s gold,
treasures hidden in shrines beneath the loam;
that plotting box of dirt braids adventures
of secret agents disguised as vicars
misleading the pious, others posing
as fortune tellers to keep us enthralled
and static. We lurk in the crow feather
shade, immobile, fearing landscape artists
in the trees while we gather the harvest.

 

 

 

 

Grant Tarbard is an editorial assistant for Three Drops From A Cauldron and a reviewer. His new collection Rosary of Ghosts (Indigo Dreams) is out now.

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K. S. Moore

 

 

 

Foldout Body

My new foldout body,
has bones I can feel
and the cold lives easy,

wedged between muscle
and cartilage, stone-like,
my limbs hold winter.

I fold up, hiding the one
piece of flesh I possess,
since having my daughters.

The curve is empty
of person now, and the self
that blossomed in pre-baby years
has emptied and rebuilt twice.

I call for layers, they dress
me with sheets and I lie in
sympathy, willing sleep,

for my children,
for me,
for a soul unstilled.

 

 

 

K. S. Moore‘s poetry has recently appeared in Southword, The Stinging Fly and Crannog.  She has work forthcoming in The Lonely Crowd.  K. S. Moore’s work has also featured in Ink Sweat and Tears, And Other Poems, and The Bohemyth. http://ksmoore.com/

 

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