Daughters – by Kath Pengilley

 

I wish you could see the beauty
I see when I fill my eyes with you.

When you look in the mirror
I wish you saw the light of yourself.

The light I held in my arms,
and watched grow brighter

until, incandescent, you
held your own light multiplied.
As mine was.

 

 

 

Kath is as yet unpublished and also known as The Poetic Baker. She is a member of Otley Poets and occasionally appears at Word Club in Leeds. She is the proud owner of a strange mind, and a small black car. She was born in Wales and moved to Keighley Yorkshire, where she now lives with two cats, nearly twenty five years ago.

The Littlest Amen – by Ray Marsocci

 

The Littlest Amen

                                                                               in serendipity, with Tanya

That’s a “winter” wind (hah), and that sky
flutes ashen shadow, dissonance

like glissando, soft and hushing
a true cold’s name: Lake Effect. Hoar

Frost. Black Ice. Because it won’t snow,
not here, this Old South in my beyond midlife

where foraging birds syncopate all these little
cantata clouds scoring, I dunno, caesura,

and the wind sounds off more as a boastful
cadenza, grace notes winged with a reverence of

such warmth, everywhere; great beauty,
beauty everywhere; everywhere faith. Hope. Still

I just want to go home. My home.

Yeah, yeah, I rose-color memories, and they thrill
sanguinity through me,

my lachrymose me, the sentimental
sap of me, all gooey. Except that’s, of course,

a cardinal, and there, those’re starling, that
a Carolina wren, none your basic

messenger bird, yet who with their trill deliver me
the littlest amen, a something like a sigh.

 

 

 

Ray Marsocci presently lives between place and work, continuing to construct book manuscripts while getting paid to perform behavioural-health jobs, living where he grew up, in Rhode Island, while trying move back to where he feels is his home, Vermont. His work has appeared in such places as Denver Quarterly, Quarterly West, and La Fusta, as well as in the online zines The Smoking Poet and Carcinogenic Poetry.

 

Think about all the things you don’t need to have an opinion about – by Kristina England

 

Think about all the things you don’t need to have an opinion about

Like the origins of a slice of pastrami,
the wall calendar I haven’t
changed since January,
or that little squeaky toy
the cat keeps playing with at night.
I could hide it, sure.
I could banish her from jostling
about with her favorite item.
But what is the greater punishment?
To refuse the chase and clatter
of an evening’s fun
or to let myself clear my brain
of the simplest frustrations?
Perhaps buy ear plugs.
Perhaps think of all the other
things she or I could be
doing wrong.
Think about how the world,
how my mind is half
stuck in the past.
Think of actually trying
pastrami regardless of its
wind-dried history.
Think about throwing away
the calendar,
relying on intuition
alone.

 

 

 

 

Kristina England resides in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have been published in several magazines, including Gargoyle, Pure Slush, Silver Birch Press, and Yellow Mama.  She can be followed on Facebook here.

White Orchids – by Gabrielle Langley

 

You have to be careful
with these flowers
mist them each morning
filter their light from South-facing windows
shield them
from the drafts that haunt
these old buildings.

I lay myself down beside their arcing stems
in the silence you have left.
The orchids are a part of this silence.

Like branches of sleeping butterflies
suspended …
slender branches reaching
for the empty other half of the bed.

 

 

 

Gabrielle Langley is an award winning poet living in Houston, Texas. Her work has appeared in a variety of literary journals. During the day, Ms. Langley works as a mental health professional. To safeguard her own mental health, she writes poetry and dances Argentine tango at night.

Junior Year Sex Ed – by Ken Pobo

 

The gym teacher deflates
mystery like a bike tire,
welcomes questions, well,
some questions. Little
applies to me. What about
gay sex, gay love?

Ask anything
and it’s my head
bashed against a locker.
Health Class.
Not my health.

A roomful of boys,
some of us standing behind
a door, shaking the handle,
the lock firm.

 

 

Kenneth Pobo had a new book out from Urban Farmhouse Press in 2015 called Booking Rooms in the Kuiper Belt.  His work has appeared in: Hawaii Review, Mudfish, Stickman Review, Orbis, and elsewhere.

From the Dingy Apartment Everywhere – by Baisali Chatterjee Dutt

 

Between the space of your last grunt
                                                                      and first snore,
there is much to do.

I must first peel off
the layer
  of your daily humiliations
and the dust
of your road-rage
which you pound into me,
night
          after
                    night
mercilessly,
yet innocently,
for you don’t know
                                          any other way;
you don’t know
                                      any better.

Next,
I must grab
my soul
and pull her out of my body,
the way
babies are forcefully yanked
from their tired mothers’ wombs
by cold,
invasive hands.
I will shake the bones out
and leave them for later;
my soul must be attended to
first.
My wrinkled,
             crinkled skin
shall lie near your feet,
while I dunk my soul
in a bucket of Dettol water
and wring her out
to dry.
And then,
I shall hang her from our bedroom window
so that dogs can bark at it,
children throw stones at it
and poor passers-by
can guess its weight in gold.

But

what if a lizard eats it?

What unbearable truths
will it whisper into your ear at night
when you lie in bed,
grabbing for me
and I am not there?
When all you will be left with
is a bag of a body,
the bones ground into atta
for your daily meal?

Will you bang your fists
against the night sky
and scream
the swear words
meant for others
but which you gifted to me
instead?

Will you
too
allow yourself
to be eaten
by a lizard on the ledge
or sucked dry
by a horde of mosquitoes –

or have you already been pummelled
into the innards
of the city
by dirty soles,
cracked heels
and the weight of your crushed dreams?

 

 

 

Baisali Chatterjee Dutt, a former columnist and agony aunt for Mother & Baby magazine and contributor to Parent & Baby, has edited two volumes for the Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul series, namely ‘On Friendship’ and ‘Celebrating Brothers and Sisters’. She authored “Sharbari Datta: The Design Diva”, a biography. She now writes for online and print magazines, while pursuing her other passion, theatre.
Born in New York, schooled in Bangalore and Delhi, she now lives in Kolkata with her family.

Angle of Incidence – by Carol Deering

 

Something’s off-balance
in the air, throbbing me
unclear.

I spoke softly,
plainly, yet we parted
lonely as dusk.

Silence occupied your ears.

Other eyes slid past me,
spent no notice,
or held so slow

I longed to disappear.

Little birds on roadside stalks
rise and shiver to a mist,
shying me to tears.

 

 

 

Carol L. Deering has lived in Wyoming for 30+ years. She has twice received the Wyoming Arts Council Poetry Fellowship (2016, judge Rebecca Foust; 1999, judge Agha Shahid Ali). Her poetry appears in online and traditional journals, recently in Written River and forthcoming in Soundings Review.

Following the Money – by Tim Ellis


Tim Ellis lives in Harrogate, Yorkshire. He is fascinated by wildlife, especially birds, and has travelled around the world with his partner, the artist Robbie Burns, seeking out the rare and the beautiful. He is now becoming more involved with environmental politics.

He has won a number of prizes and poetry slams and has published five collections. The most recent of which, “Speak The Unspeakable: cool words for a warming world is on the theme of climate change. He is a well known face at demonstrations, slams, festivals and open mics throughout the North of England. His principal haunt is Poems, Prose and Pints at the Tap & Spile pub in Harrogate. More information on his website www.birdbard.co.uk

Sometimes a repressed sexual urge is just a repressed sexual urge – by Daniel Roy Connelly

 

Now you are enjoying a banana in front of me.
The entire day with you has been a challenge.
You finish eating the banana and light a big cigar.
I have never seen a woman smoke a big cigar.
From behind a broad exhalation you begin
to tell me about the time you were on the
16.38 from King’s Cross to Cambridge;
the train got stuck in a tunnel for 71 minutes;
all the lights went out and a musty heat arose
around your excitable carriage. I am still finding it hard

to relax in your company
so I bring the conversation
round to Ferraris and what they
can do from a standing start. You zip off
to the bathroom only to reappear from the kitchen
with toads-in-holes, white sauce and delicately sliced baps.

I twice fail to light the tall centrepiece, the match heads snap-
ping off in my fingers while you grind the pepper-pot, eyeing me
like the new lady members do at Wednesday evening batting practice.
Restless is not the word for it but can’t put my finger on it, or properly get to grips.
At least I can look forward to the meal which commences with you staring at my lips.

 

 

 

Daniel Roy Connelly was the winner of the 2014 Fermoy International Poetry Festival Prize, a finalist in the 2015 Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Prize and winner of the 2015 Cuirt New Writing Prize for poetry. Published widely, his poetry currently appears in The Moth, Acumen, and Critical Survey. He is a theatre director and professor of creative writing, English and theatre at John Cabot University and The American University of Rome.  www.danielroyconnelly.com

My Wall – by Malkeet Kaur

 

My every bone and limb is skewered
in the eye of this huge magnifying glass
between my world and the world.

There is a wall of my sacred temple –
a wall that keeps the beaming adversaries at bay.

And my heart lies whole there –
a burnished , bruised deity of a lost world
buried in the ruins of human madness.

The dismembered relics of a saint looking at the world
with doe eyes closed in lion’s meditation.

 

 

 

Malkeet Kaur resides in Mumbai, India. Though she works as a teacher and passionately loves her profession, she writes poems too. Many of her poems have found places in various anthologies and online journals – Episteme, Barking Sycamores, Acerbic Anthology against Gender Violence, Twist of Fate (charitable Anthology), Yellow Chair Review, The Awakening of She, The Significant Anthology, to name a few. Her poems are mostly existentialist and feminist in nature.