Altercation in a Supermarket Carpark – by Simon Cockle

 

One space; two cars.
We are geared up
for disaster from the start.

I arrive with murder in mind;
she got out of yet another bed
wrong way again.

We pause in the red light zone;
two mirrored stares,
reflecting each other.

Venus and Mars;
Mars and Venus.

I knew what you wanted;
I couldn’t let you have it.

The handbrakes are on now;
we emerge together.

When I saw how
human you were,

I was willing to give way.
But you kept on about it,

so fuck you.

I got back in my car,
drove away
and gave us some

space

 

 

 

Simon is poet from Hertfordshire, writing with Poetry ID, a Stanza of the Poetry Society. His poems have been published in iOTA, the London Progressive Journal and Pantheon Magazine amongst others.  He was invited to read at the Ledbury Poetry festival this year, teaches English in a local Secondary school, and stares wistfully into the middle distance.

That day – by Catherine Eunson

 

The times I saw my mother cry were few and far
between; in the kitchen once when someone dear died,
and late October ’66. She couldn’t say
what she’d just heard, gasped, turned away to stir
the scrambled eggs, her eyes not meeting mine.
Wirelesses in those days had to warm up,
the country switched on early for the news,
heard the broadcast bells emerge, if not,
as then, we’d lose the latest, miss the headlines.
Still it only took seconds to link slag heap
and school; she came from Sunderland so knew
the smell of the slag heap and the sound of the school
that day had joined.

 

 

 

Catherine has lived with her family in Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, for twenty years where she has been busy with various arts jobs, events and groups. She also writes music which you can hear here, and has been published in booklets, Northwards Now and on the StAnza map.

Don’t sing the blues – by Seth Crook

 

sing the oranges,
a finer, more expressive sound.
It is

full of sun
and satisfying sweetness,
even pips.

 

 

 

 

Seth Crook rarely leaves the Isle of Mull. His poems travel for him. This year they have appeared in such places as Northwords Now, Poetry Scotland, The Journal, Raum, Lighthouse, Antiphon, Picaroon, Snakeskin, Ink, Sweat and Tears and elsewhere. (Elsewhere should be a magazine, but isn’t). He currently edits the poem/photo section of The Fat Damsel.

Definitions of a Shipwreck – by Hannah Stone

 

5pm – unusual time for him to text.
Just seen a professional. Confirms I have serious issues.
Too drained to talk tonight, if you don’t mind.
I was patient, tried not to hassle him.
Twisted the ‘commitment’ ring he’d placed
on my third finger three months before
to remind you what you mean to me.

Channels of communication closed, one by one.
The telephone seemed out of bounds, at least
until he’d got his head into a better place.
My pulse raced when his name pinged
into my inbox, but there was little enough to read.
Eventually, I got the drift.

Jetsam: part of a ship, its equipment, or its cargo, that is purposely cast overboard or jettisoned to lighten the load in times of distress, and is washed ashore.

A turbulent time followed, fear
mostly flooding hope, though both
bobbed up and down on the waves.
I clutched at straws. Finally, he roused himself,
spelled it out blatantly.

Lagan: goods or wreckage that is lying on the bottom of the ocean, sometimes marked by a buoy, which can be reclaimed.

I offered alternatives, compromise.
A patch of grass beside the bench is seared
into my memory, marking where I sat
when I last heard his voice.
I asked about the ring, which I’d swapped
from left hand to right. Silence
was eloquence, or was the signal breaking up?

He posted back my housekeys,
bundled the designer dresses
into cardboard cartons
that hi-jacked me at work one morning,
blocking up the postroom.

Derelict: cargo that is also on the bottom of the ocean, but which no-one has any hope of reclaiming. May also refer to a drifting, abandoned ship.

To casual observers, the whole affair was probably just
Flotsam: floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo.

Note: the definitions given here of different types of shipwreck wreckage have particular status in maritime law.

 

 

 

Hannah is a writer, forager and hill-walker who lives in Leeds. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University. Her first solo collection Lodestone was published by York-based Stairwell Books in 2016. She finds poems in landscapes, people-watching, galleries and libraries as well as the usual love and death stuff. 

Six months – by Mark Connors

 

Cartoonists were massacred in Paris.
I was diagnosed with athlete’s foot
but suffer from psoriasis.

A co-pilot snuffed out a plane of futures.
I started smoking again,
stopped training for a marathon.

Greece is still fucked.
The two of us were born
to struggle with economies.

The exit poll was right.
We were in different countries
and could not console each other.

Dolly wasn’t at Glastonbury this year.
I will always love you
but I can love someone else.

A man beheaded his great grandmother.
Even gods can’t change the past
so what chance do I have?

 

 

Mark is a Leeds based poet and author, and is the compère of the lively Word Club monthly poetry event. His poems have been widely published in magazines (Envoi, Dreamcatcher, Prole, Sarasvati, among others) and anthologies. His first pamphlet, Life is a Long Song was published by Otley Word Feast Press in 2015, with a second full collection due out in 2017 from Stairwell BooksHis novel Stickleback is published by Armley Press, available on Amazon.

 

Sex and the Wheelbarrow – by Boltini

 

Not being that smart or lively at thinking
I was never much good at what you might call
the Art of Conversation. Consequently I don’t settle in
and I don’t feel at ease at parties,

so I was just sort of standing there
surrounded by everybody on my own, in the kitchen at Zoe’s
when a woman in the red dress turned to me,
and what is it you do? she said, smiling nicely.

Well I was taken by surprise, but I didn’t let it show,
I’m a gardener, I said. And remembering my manners –
it’s polite to ask – and what about you, I said, what do you do?
She said, I’m a sex therapist.

Oh-my I said, My-my. By Jove that’s interesting,
so you must be a really good fuck then.
There was a pause. She didn’t say anything,

so I went on –

Well, you know, when I say I’m a gardener, what I mean is,
I’m not the sort of fellow who can graft your fruit trees,
bring a lovely bloom to your peaches up against a hothouse wall,
fettle your bromeliads, that sort of thing,
I’m more of a labourer you see, slash and burn,
I spend a lot of time digging and weeding,
going backwards and forwards with my wheelbarrow

and d’you know what, damn and blast it, it was only this morning
I got a flat tyre with a full load on among the viburnums.
It were touch and go I can tell you, a right tricky moment,
a ruddy great thorn from off of floribundas had…
er… had worked its way in…

but the woman in the red dress had gone.
Just goes to show, like I say,
I’m not very good at parties,
not too hot at the Art of Conversation.

 

 

 

I could not pin down Boltini for a bio, but he is a Yorkshire poet with a unique and beguiling voice. His collection Narrow Ruled Feint with Margin is available here from Otley Word Feast Press.

Delivered – by Helen Harrison

 

I recognised the Dublin accent, and asked
‘Had he married someone from Cork?’
‘No but I’ve just divorced a Dublin women,
And now live near the Tipperary Border,
Where I’m rewarded; with dinner daily –
Delivered on my lawn, in the form of wild –
Deer who roam in from the mountain. I actually
Shot one from my kitchen window once;
Abundant in these parts, but love is scarce.
Life could be worse,’ he said.

As he steered his taxi around Cork, I
Revealed how I preferred venison to pork.

 

 

Helen Harrison was raised on the Wirral, seven miles from Liverpool, by Irish parents, 
and has lived most of her adult life in Co Monaghan, Ireland. Has had poems published in The Poetry Shed, A New Ulster, North West Words, Poethead blog, The Galway Review, 
Mad Swirl and The Bray Journal. 
Her first collection of poetry ‘The Last Fire’ was published during 2015 by Lapwing.