Lawyer – by Aswin Vijayan

 

Today, I walked up to her desk.
It was messy, unlike her
brisk appearance
that wears the shades of the rainbow
with a casual finality.
 
There were books,
predictably pertaining to the laws
unruly, unlike her
hair that falls neatly
to her sides.
 
A hygiene product sat whispering
to the laptop cooler
all black, unlike her
words that smother you with their certainty
and playfully warn you to stay out of trouble.
 
Probably,
I will talk to her before I go.

 

 

 

 

Aswin is a poetry enthusiast from Bangalore, India. His poetry has been published in Deccan Chronicle and The Unprecedented Review. His poems are forthcoming in Spillwords and Anti-Heroin Chic. Aswin also curates poetry on his website Write and Wrong

Not too bad – by Harry Gallagher

It was the kind of town
where if you walked around
with a smile marking your face,
you were Not Right In The Head.

If someone asked you how you were,
a day heaven sent was recorded as
Oh (sigh) not too bad thanks.
Cash in the bank, a pint of best,
God in his crib and not too bad.

A nod, a wink, cards close to the chest
and hold back the smile until they’re past.
No weakness shared, no joy exchanged,
for fear of appearing deranged.

Fathers to sons, chests out proud:
Keep yer smiles for the mirror son,
and don’t be happy out loud.

 

 

 

Harry Gallagher is a poet from the North East of England.  He performs regularly anywhere from the Midlands to Scotland.  His work has been published recently in the UK and abroad by Black Light Engine Room Press, The Northern Correspondent, Heddon Quarry Press, Lucifer Press, Rebel Poetry, The Stare’s Nest, The Fat Damsel, I Am Not A Silent Poet, The Font and many others.  He is also co-founder of The Stanza, a popular monthly poetry event in Newcastle. More info here.

Words For It – by Devon Miller-Duggan

 

I’m sorry for your troubles.

Tectonic plates shift underneath my feet
every step, every waking.

You must be comforted knowing he’s in a better place.

From the air, the clear-cut side of an entire mountain
looks as if bombs had gone off—
ashen, blasted, every tree scarred ground.

I know what you’re going through.

Every breath
smothered again by a 40-foot wave.

He was a good man. He’ll be sorely missed.

Black balloon inside the head—
every breath feeds it bigger.

Time is the only healer.

Every hand reaches with a razor.

 

 

 

Devon Miller-Duggan has published poems in Rattle, Shenandoah, Margie, Christianity and Literature, Gargoyle. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Delaware. Her books include Pinning the Bird to the Wall in 2008 and a chapbook, Neither Prayer, Nor Bird in 2013.

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.