Rupert Loydell

Backlash

‘There’s a bit of a backlash these days,’
he said, ‘people moving away from the screen

and returning to paper & pen.’
Emergency procedures are in effect

that are aimed as much below the belt
as above the collar.

I work on my voice every day,
sometimes speaking or singing,

other times showing fear or feelings
through a kind of nervous energy

that results in me distracting myself
from intuitive communication.

Walking in a fog of brass instruments
I stumble toward the lighthouse,

blinking out the times and places we used to go,
avoiding anything that might be taken for love.

 

 

 

Rupert Loydell is Senior Lecturer in English with Creative Writing at Falmouth University, and the editor of Stride and With magazines. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Wildlife and Ballads of the Alone both published by Shearsman Books.

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Sofia Amina

Blood Roots

One day I will be a tree

When I am buried and my body rots
I will be eaten by worms and those little bugs
that always seem to be in a hurry

When I am buried and my body rots
I am going to feed that tree over there too
with the true English roses
and the plump baby rose buds
hanging perfectly so

Watch them turn and roll in amazement
as a few spices warm their earthy veins

This British-Indian woman.
Now an English Rose.

 

 

 

Sofia Amina lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.  She is published in BlazeVOX 2014 and her work is also going to be included in an anthology by Red Squirrel Press. Sofiaamina.com and @SofiaAmina_Poet’
 

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William Stephenson

 

 

 

Sleepers

You watch his punch-bag uvula
quiver as the air he snores tries
fresh combinations: left hook, jab,

lunge.  A word search lies part filled
in his copy of Puzzler Collection;
celebrity names cartouched in ink.

His forearm hairs, erect in the cool
conditioned air, flatten as they press
the wrist of the woman beside him.

Her head nods to the carriage’s pitch
as if she’s saying Yes to the universe.
They are dreaming together in public.

The train slows.  Sleepers appear,
dividing the gravel’s blur.  Frames
in the rattling tail of a spool of film.

The PA chimes. Wigan next stop.
You look back.  Two vacant seats.
They’ve migrated, cranes to Canada.

On the platform they zoom away,
arms linked in a figure of infinity.
When you alight leave nothing behind.

 

 

 

William Stephenson‘s poems have appeared in Anon, Envoi, Iota, Magma, Orbis, The North and The Rialto. His pamphlets are Rain Dancers in the Data Cloud (Templar) and Source Code (Ravenglass).

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Keith Hutson

 

 

Bowls

Fine for an hour, then dull, despite a summer sun.
Green tedium. But do beware,
if nudged a bit, this game is good
at slowly rolling on and on and on:

little genuflections – bows, knee-bends,
cupped hands, unfolding arms,
weave in the dying light their tapestry
of shadows and perpetuate

the minor knocks, near misses, clusterings
and calls of ‘Way too heavy, Jim!’
into a never-ending winding-down,
a loop of letting go.

 

 

 

 

Keith Hutson farms a windy hillside in Halifax, West Yorkshire and coaches boxing. His poems have appeared in several journals including Prole,Pennine Platform, Hinterland and Butcher’s Dog.

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Rick Rycroft

 

 

 

Fathers’ Day

Just for a moment there you had me.
Fathers’ Day, and I suddenly thought,
I’ll give you a ring, that’ll surprise you.
Well, it would have done: you’d been
dead sixteen years and were never
that keen on calls anyway. You had
me going for a second or two, though.

About the same length of time,
I remember you telling me,
as when you woke up one day,
sunlight streaming into your room,
and for an instant forgot you were
bedridden and dying, feeling instead
what a good morning it would be
for a walk on the Warren.

 

 

 

Rick Rycroft retired from practising dermatology in London in 2005 to spend more time with his poetry. In 2011 he moved to Frome, since when he has taken part in classes, workshops and poetry cafés there, as well as in Bradford on Avon and Bath.

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