From my window – by Sharon Phillips

 

When they took Mum to hospital
her face was yellow, belly swollen
tight as a bloody drum, dad said
on the phone. It was mid-April

and I watched the laburnum’s
grey-green leaves being ruffled
by the wind. Just for a few tests,
he said. I sat on the sofa, dopey

with tramadol; the last daffodils
had shrivelled brown; blackbirds
fussed around ivy so overgrown
the fence tilted under its weight.

Don’t go worrying. Women wearing
white salwar kamiz carried bowls
of curry and rice from house to house.
He said she knows you can’t come.

 

 

 

Sharon retired from her career in education in 2015 and started learning to write poems. Her work has most recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in The High Window, Amaryllis, Three Drops from a Cauldron and Words for the Wild

The Body Wishes it Could Remain in its Own Palace – by Nome Emeka Patrick

 

every ending to this poem unfurls with an ache, which means it opens with blood
carving a name from a wound         or a wound eaten into salt, or rather the ending
to this poem starts with a heart,       which means there is a winged bird nurtured
close to the arrhythmia of burning,                      or a garden full of rot & feathers

let us reconsider the ending: once, there was ache where an ark should be carved,
which means we should be sailing not drowning, which means once you were the wood
creamed for survival, which means survival turned out to be flames eating itself into you,
which means the ending to this poem is ache, is axe, is burning, is drowning

        prelude #1: you are a flower & we name cities after you. once, you bloomed out of your
mother, a petal carved from you,    or once you were a firefly & you danced out of your
mother with radar lights,          or once you were the lights that claimed the garden, or once
you were a songlet humming out of your mother

         prelude #2: you are a unicorn & we name rivers after you. once, we opened your mouth
& there was a city of songs, a star carved into you,         or once your body was the magic we always
dreamt of,         a labyrinth cold inside you,     or once we looked into you & found an ark,       & we
thought survival                  or rather revival

         once we imagined everything: rainbows, birds, arks, sail, water, flowers but not storm,
not dragons, not drown, not fire, not thorns,                              not anything besides survival

every ending to this poem unfurls with blood, which means it opens with ache
carving a wound from a name         or salt eaten into a wound, or rather the ending
to this poem starts with a winged bird,    which means there is a heart nurtured
close to the arrhythmia of burning,           or a garden full of feathers & rot

 

 

 

Nome Emeka Patrick is a black poet and a student in the University of Benin, Nigeria, where he is studying English language and literature. He is a recipient of the 40th edition of Festus Iyayi poetry award in 2018. His works have been published in Gaze journal, Vagabond city, African writer, and a few others; and is forthcoming in Barnhouse Journal. He lives in a small room close to banana trees and birdsongs in Benin. You can holla at him on twitter @paht_rihk

Lawrence – by Robert Ford

 

In Miss Owen’s English class we learned about The Writer,
a local hero, or at least he’d come from a town near ours
we’d heard of, and had written poems and books, and died

abroad. He wrote a novel famous for being about fucking,
she told us – or something – and for having the word cunt in it,
and getting banned. Her fish-batter hair bounced as much as

hair as short as hers could, and her cavegirl face with its dark,
moon-lidded eyes, ground pepper as she said the swear-words,
and feasted on the bony silence they’d milked. After the bell,

we mooched about in the schoolyard like sheep just shorn,
our tongues and lips clumsy with disbelief, the crown jewels of
our vocabulary now strangely blunted in our mucky little mouths.

 

 

 

Robert Ford lives on the east coast of Scotland. His poetry has appeared in both print and online publications in the UK and US, including Antiphon, Clear PoetryHomestead Review and Ink, Sweat and Tears. More of his work can be found here

Editorial – Submission Windows

Our current submission window closes on 30th November, for poetry that we expect to publish on the site in January 2019.

Our next window will be slightly longer, running from 1st December to 15th January, for poetry we intend to publish in March 2019. This is because we are giving ourselves a month off actually publishing anything in February 2019….

The submission window for poetry to publish in April 2019 will run from 16th January to 28th February.

His 28th birthday in Paris – by Kayleigh Campbell

 

Flowing like blood through a vein,
we follow the Seine round bends, over bridges; padlocks glisten, boasting whose owners love the most. Holding hands loosely, we wander back
through cobbled, Instagram-worthy streets.
Later that night, we lie at the hotel honesty bar; swear we only had one Irish Cream,
when we actually had three.
In the attic room, oriental wallpaper,
our bodies intertwine on the chair,
up, down, round.
We’d like to think this was conception moment. Intoxicated, carefree night on his birthday, after getting lost in rows of bones
under the streets,
ambling through Père Lachaise.
Unknowingly growing underneath – a piece of me and a piece of him.
From a time in that cold flat above the bus station, some weeks before.

 

 

 

Kayleigh Campbell has just completed her MA in Creative Writing at The University of Huddersfield. She has written poems published in Independent Leeds, Ghost City Press, Former Cactus and Now Then Magazine, and is an editorial assistant at Stand Magazine, which she loves. 

Goat’s Eye – by Patricia Nelson

Predators have vertical or round pupils. A goat’s pupil is a horizontal bar that moves, enabling the goat to see far from side to side. The devil is often depicted with goat-like eyes, and separating goats from sheep is metaphor for parting the saved and damned.


i.

Two colors: wet and yellow coin,
black line flat and moving,
the thin of dark coming under a door.

Two curves, above and below,
with hair and skin and shadow
compose the mild, unblessed eye.

Goat goes into the light.
Light goes into eye,
turns the wheeling pupil.

It makes a short wide world
of wolf and pointed grasses.
No dazzle of light above.

 


ii.

You, turn and slide your glances,
your predator’s round eye
with its small black dot.

Part those others from the saved.
From strangeness make your demon
hoofed and horned and oddly eyed.

Swing without thought
your bone-full teeth that sing,
your jaw of words reciting tall light.

Lift your voice as if it knows
those wild, indifferent suns
that say nothing of being blessed.

 

 

 

Patricia Nelson is a retired environmental attorney who has worked for many years with the “Activist” group of poets in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her most recent book is Spokes of Dream or Bird (Poetic Matrix Press).

Five a.m. – by Jinny Fisher

 

A green light on his charging phone,
a blue glow from the night light by the door.

The garden will need watering soon.
Must remember to put out the rubbish.

Must call the lawyer tomorrow morning.
That familiar ache behind his eyes.

Next to him on the covers, her dog stirs,
offers the gentlest whimper.

The decision: to turn on the lamp
and face the bedside photograph

or switch on the World Service,
plump the pillow, and turn again to the wall.

 

 

 

Jinny Fisher is a member of Wells Fountain Poets. Magazines include The Interpreter’s House, Under the Radar, Tears in the FenceProle, Strange Poetry, and Ink, Sweat & Tears. Commended and placed in national competitions, she is  committed to pushing her outreach ‘Poetry Pram’ around festivals for random readings: https://www.facebook.com/PoetryPram/