Living In A Light Bulb – by Seth Crook

 

Murk then bright. An unreliable schedule.
  Sometimes black for weeks.
Sometimes glares for days. Even then

the view out is never clear, as if we only
  see through a glass lightly.
Though there may be moving shapes,

dark matter. Some think: there’s a plan.
  Others say: it’s random; also
that a bath tap’s running, far out in space.

 

 

 

Seth Crook rarely leaves the Isle of Mull. His poems travel for him. They have appeared in such places as Magma, The Rialto, Envoi, Gutter, New Writing Scotland, The Interpreter’s House, Prole, and Antiphon. And recently in various anthologies from Three Drops Press.

kyrie eleison or robins taken out of context – by Debasis Mukhopadhyay

 

yes I am that old trombonist who sees death dangling in every bird
every day I discover a surplus of skinned robins darting around under the rubble of my daydreaming
the more I hear the clunk of their lost wings the more my notes become glowworms illuminating the intact ribs of children in whispering tremolo leaving the guitar I have to then wake up to fancy a silvery sauna that feels like a deafening music by pure chance
many a times I try to play serenely half-notes ending with dotted rests revealing their immortal bones under the rubble perhaps it gives you the impression of an ivory creek of misplaced optimism or just of some theoretical gardenias swaying inside a cylindrical museum of war
and I play euphonium thinking the bromide nuance of my embouchure might help you with the surmise that the sinew of those fallen thrushes is as bright as mercurial descents of a starry night traveling past a mortuary
you are my half-brother half-fruitcake half-misdeal half-nirvana tell me where have you hidden those deaf-aid reverse tracks of death between redness & cinders between the mortuary of Monte Carlo & the museum of war of Luxembourg ain’t no dead
neither in Syria where with a puckered smile I play highlife in tuba the more I play the more a sheen on that rubble of my daydreaming turns kidney color or if you like lilac o bloody tulip go fuck yourself in your fast-draining soil

 

 

 

Debasis Mukhopadhyay lives & writes in Montreal, Canada. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Curly Mind, Posit, Yellow Chair Review, I am not a silent poet, New Verse News, Mannequin Haus,Thirteen Myna Birds, Of/With, Scarlet Leaf Review, With Painted Words, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. His work has been nominated for the Best of the Net. Follow him here or @dbasis_m on Twitter.

Uncle Arnold – by Carole Bromley

 

He lived by the river. There were stepping stones
and a tabby cat that jumped across them
to greet me. We’d go fishing with jam jars
and pieces of string. We’d be out all day
till he called us in by banging a spoon on a tin.

Uncle Arnold made everything out of tins.
He seemed to choose them at random
from that stone shelf in his deep, inexhaustible pantry.
There had been an Aunt Isabel but that was before my time.
Maybe she had an opinion about the tins.

Of course it wasn’t like that. We never went there.
I only knew about Arnold from whisperings
before my dad took the train to Durham on Saturdays
and afterwards never told us where he’d been.

 

 

Carole Bromley lives in York where she is the Stanza rep and runs poetry surgeries for The Poetry Society. Two collections with Smith/Doorstop, the most recent being The Stonegate Devil which won the 2016 York Culture Award. A collection for children will be published in June 2017   www.carolebromleypoetry.co.uk

Fading Wet Footsteps on Tarmac – by Beverley Carron

 

Haven’t tangoed with a nettle patch today
nor held a frightened stranger’s hand
nor knelt, in awe, to silently pray
or collected weirdness I don’t understand.
No scarlet dresses dancing in my dreams
or whole days lost to a child’s world,
no winter paddling in crystal streams
no marvelling as rusty bracken fronds unfurl.

Haven’t fed the seagulls today,
nor walked alongside the dawn moon
not licked the mist of iced sea spray
nor heard masts chiming to an East wind’s tune
no bare feet cut on sharp seashells
no small and imperfect agonies
nor seaweed fingers ringing death knells
to swaddle my imperfect day’s tragedies.

 

 

 

Beverley Carron enjoys writing drabbles, short stories and poems. She also makes very strange art, which she frequently abandons in the dead of night for lucky finders to take home.

P Plates – by Nicky Phillips

 

I watch you shoot off, the first time,
with a display of pride and speed that zigzags
you into the reserve of everyman’s land,
the centre of the countryside lane.
No cats’ eyes, no cats, just the odd fox
or badger, now at your mercy.

Heavy metal pumps out of the battered –
but affordable – Fiesta’s sound system.
Your foot taps the accelerator,
the engine roars, carries you faster still.
Where? Where are you heading?
Are you in top gear or have you higher to climb?

How many neat three-point-about-turns
have your early years forced you into?
Be ready for emergency stops, diversions that lead
you away from your proposed destination.
Know your road without relying on SatNav,
but always have its default set on Home.

 

 

Nicky Phillips lives and writes in rural Hertfordshire, where she’s a member of Ware Poets. Her poems have appeared in Brittle Star, South Bank Poetry, and SOUTH; at Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Lake and Snakeskin; and in various anthologies. She delighted in being involved in Jo Bell’s ‘52’ Project.

Commonplace – by Chloe Mayo

 

I cannot accept that my consequences have actions.
My possessions have begun re-purposing themselves;
my bed has a now-spare pillow,
there is a now-spare key by the kettle.

I cannot accept that my consequences have actions.
The dust has begun to chase itself in the air; as if
knowing that it is dead flakes from your body
it attempts to put itself back together,
a past version of you being recalled.

The sunlight on the stairs –
a clean beam of spotlight.

I wait for a fracture.

I stand,
watching the past flecks of myself
dancing with yours.

 

 

Chloe Mayo studied English Literature and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and was awarded the prize for ‘Most Promising Poet’, whatever that may mean. She does readings throughout England, in both dingy bar back-rooms and on nice, airy festival stages.

Pyromaniac – by Stephen Daniels

 

When I was three I lit a newspaper
through the grate in the gas heater.
I threw it close to the bin, next to the sofa.
Near my new-born brother.
I remember smoke a toddler deep,
mum’s screams lifted us up
and the sofa apologised.

It continued when I was 5
with a patch work arrangement
on the carpet. An obsessed child
can sprint surprisingly quickly,
moving from each heated exchange,
singeing existence with each pile.

At 7, there appeared to be a problem.
A back garden heap of black bags,
cackle and send smoke
signals to neighbours –
that shouldn’t be ignored.

8 years old is an odd age.
It’s when you become aware
of those around you –
and their desire to hurt you.
A hedge is a suitable victim
for ritualistic retaliation.
Sometimes a stare is enough.

9 is when they label you.
It’s when you visit
the people who can help.
A doctor with a lollipop.
It is possible to shake off a name.
You just need to remember
that a bad reputation spreads
like wildfire.

 

 

 

Stephen Daniels is the editor of Amaryllis Poetry, and Strange Poetry. His poetry has been published in numerous magazines and websites, including The Interpreter’s House, Ink Sweat & Tears, And Other Poems, The Lake, Clear Poetry, Picaroon Poetry, The Fat Damsel. You can find out more here or @stephendaniels