The Studio – by Ted Mc Carthy

 

Hands flow through gestures –
half-moon, peacock,
flag, mountain-peak,
then the body dog-folds
and the back like Atlas holds
the world in posture.

Noon in the studio.
The floor is warm
to the toes and palms
of those who wish to go
into the East, or into a self
that will endure, as if

their own world, cleft
from shoulder to heel,
could be made whole
by the crane, the flower,
and a stretched, held hour
would heal that rift.

 

 

 

Ted Mc Carthy is a poet and translator living in Clones, Ireland. His work has appeared in magazines in Ireland, the UK, Germany, the USA, Canada and Australia. He has had two collections published, ‘November Wedding’, and ‘Beverly Downs’. More here

 

For the Girl in the Grove – by Ryan Stone

 

You won’t recall that ride through the walnuts,
one fey afternoon in fall – a city boy
on penance in the country, I’d never ridden before.
You were kind in a time of rough edges,
shared your saddle along spice-scented rows.
I swayed behind you, astride your palomino,
never more aware of a girl. Heat rose
in places where the lines of us blurred,
flared when my hand brushed your breast.
I almost kissed you when you turned to talk,
wish I’d kissed you instead of still guessing
just what you meant when you told me
not to let go.

 

 

 

Ryan Stone is a freelance writer from Melbourne, Australia. He shares his home in the Dandenong Ranges with his wife, two young sons, a rag doll cat and a German Shepherd. His poetry has recently appeared in Writers’ Forum Magazine, Algebra of Owls, Eunoia Review, Black Poppy Review, Napalm and Novocain, Poppy Road Review and Pyrokinection.

Thank you for sending us – by Andrew Turner

 

Thank you for sending us

your work which we read
with interest particularly liking
‘There’s a marketing opportunity
in your desolation’
however we didn’t feel anything
was quite right for this issue
you may want to consider
taking out a subscription
at a special reduced price?

 

 

 

 

Andrew Turner has been writing since 2015. He has appeared in a number of print and online magazines.

Dawn’s Wedding Day – by Robert Nisbet

 

Dawn’s wedding was a sloppy one maybe,
the usual pinks and gins and sentiment,
whole handkerchiefs of tears,
brothers and cousins in pinching suits
huddling to the rain-swept annexe for
a quiet fag. The uncle who’d already
that year spread his karaoke slice of
Sinatra’s My Way over a funeral
and two anniversaries, now, half-cut,
got in among the speeches.

After her husband’s accident, Dawn craved
simply to care for him, stayed up nights,
shivering with him at the fear of death.

 

 

 

 

Robert Nisbet taught English in grammar and comprehensive schools and then taught creative writing in Trinity College, Carmarthen, where he also acted as professor to exchange students over from the Central College of Iowa. He is the author of over 300 published poems.

Coffee – by Emilio Iasiello

For Maggie

 

Before you left, I said
you were too beautiful for me.
That much is still true.
The wonder I feel when you sit across
from me sipping coffee
is the same fear that claws up my spine
when I think of you in Guatemala now –
sharing the afternoon light with some guapo
street side, the espresso cup
pressed firmly between your capable fingers –
or maybe
drinking plain ol’ American
with another student
missing his girlfriend as much
as you miss me
a candle flame between you
its small confession in light –
discovering in a mistake of passion
that loneliness
is what’s uncovered with your hands,
its heightened breath on your neck,
a touch or two.
I know it’s foolish
but my life is spent thinking
one day, praying the next.
I stare at the stained ring
in my cup, the bitter grounds
stuck mercilessly to the bottom
and I suddenly think, hot,
black, as if there’s no better way
to torture myself.
When I drink coffee,
I’m really
trading one life for another.

 

 

 

Emilio has written two books: a collection of short stories, Why People do What They Do, and a nonfiction narrative, Chasing the Green. He has also written for the stage and screen and has had numerous works produced in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and London, UK. His film credits can be found here

Time to Vote – August Readers’ Choice Poem

In August these were the five poems that generated the most “buzz” with readers and are shortlisted for the monthly mug prize. Please vote and make a poet happy today.

 

The poll will close with the announcement of the winning poem on 17th September.

 

 

Baltimore – by Carlyn Flint

 

This city is an elder.

Her skin is cracked with crows’ feet,
her teeth are turning brown,
the vibrato in her voice
croaks out
a heavy velvet sound.

She still wears rusted brick,
colonial lace around her collar,
her nails are painted murals bright
to add a light
to squalor.

Her hair: a leafy afro
sprouting ringlets from her brain,
her veins the winding highways stained with
drip tattoos of dirt and rain.

I love to watch her wrinkle,
I love to watch her grey.
Unlike those teenage glamour queens,
she has very much more
to say.

 

 

Carlyn Flint is a poet and playwright originally from Baltimore, Maryland who now teaches creative expression at a Title 1 elementary school in North Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her work with children informs her writing and fuels her to be socially conscious with whatever she creates.