Gordon Meade

Minnow, Havana, Cuba, 2008
“The fish was motionless and I told the woman that I thought he was dying. ‘No’, she replied, ‘It’s been like that for two years.'” – Jo-Anne MacArthur.

This is what happens
during the early stages
of awakening; things begin.

This is what happens
during the early stages
of awakening. Things begin
to stop; almost everything.

This is what happens
during the early stages
of awakening; things begin
to stop. Almost everything
grinds to a halt – I have.

This is what happens
during the early stages
of awakening; things begin
to stop. Almost everything
grinds to a halt. I have
been trying to awaken.

This is what happens
during the early stages
of awakening; things begin
to stop. Almost everything
grinds to a halt. I have
been trying to awaken
now for almost two years.

This is what happens
during the early stages
of awakening; things begin
to stop. Almost everything
grinds to a halt. I have
been trying to awaken
now for almost two years.
Look into my eyes.

This is what happens
during the early stages
of awakening; things begin
to stop. Almost everything
grinds to a halt. I have
been trying to awaken
now for almost two years.
Look into my eyes;
are they dead or alive?

Gordon Meade is a Scottish poet based in Fife.
His most recent collection, The Year of the Crab, was published by Cultured Llama Publishing in 2017.

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Arlene Antoinette

On Bended Knees

Memory plays
Hide and seek
With your history
Making today
Yesterday
Rearranging yesterday
Into the present

Sanity wants in on the fun
So he uses and abuses you at will
You dress yourself,
A green sock on one foot
A white sock on the other
Left foot in bedroom slippers
Right foot in red pumps

Hunger takes a back seat
To them both
With no memory
Or appetite
Meals consist
Of stale cream crackers
And moldy cheese

Whispers begin
Is grandma okay?
But you don’t hear them
You’re frantic
Searching for your little boy,
Who is now a fifty year old man
Married with three sons
And a daughter of his own

You call the police,
Report a missing child,
Knock on your neighbor’s door
Ask if they’ve seen Davey
Return home
Blame yourself for him running away
Get on your knees
And pray that God will keep him safe.

Copyright © Arlene Antoinette 2018

Arlene Antoinette writes poetry from a broken down folding table which motivates her to keep things brief and a bit off-centered. Additional poetry may be found online in such places as: Sick Lit Magazine, Boston Accent Lit, The Ginger Collect, The Feminine Collective, Foxglove Journal and GirlSense and NonSense.

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Stefanie Bennett

LATITUDE    

Santa Rosa was the favoured haunt
In early fall.
My Aunt, grey eyes

Flashing like moon arrows
Sought out
Humming bird and quail – her

Dilapidated camera
Balancing on
Bedrock mortar – the snapshots

Surely a breath
Of yesteryear
Unchanged,

Post-holding postscripts
Coachella bound
And pending.

Later… we drank
The water-flask dry.
A toast

To twin-horned Toro’s spires.
The way it’s done.
Operable. Received.

Copyright © Stefanie Bennett


Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry
and worked with Arts Action For Peace. Of mixed
heritage [Italian,  Irish, Paugussett-Shawnee] she was
born in Queensland, Australia in 1945.

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Grant Guy

He Loved His 1956 Ford

He loved his 1956 Ford and hated his father.

His mother went to church every Sunday   She did not believe in God.
She did not until she was on her deathbed.
(Just in case.)

His brother was dead but rode his ass every day.

He could not play hockey very well,
But that’s okay, he did not like hockey.

He stole but hated it when people stole from him.

He had a girlfriend and she had several boyfriends.
He ate his vegetables but preferred Cheese Whiz.

He was seventeen and the best years were behind him.

Copyright © Grant Guy 2018

Grant Guy is a Canadian poet, writer and playwright. He has over 3 books and hundred poems and short stories published internationally.

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Roderick Manson

The Fiddle Tree

The north wind sings
in the webs of spiders,
a semitone sharp
in the arctic chill.

The east wind sings
in the grey plainsong
of slate-holy roofs
on winter churches.

The south wind sings
in the weaving strands
of summer heat-haze
and the birchwood’s lilt.

The west wind sings
of the open sea
and the high hills
in the open heart
of the fiddle tree.

Copyright © Roderick Manson 2018

On his way home from a creative writing class at Dundee University run by the wonderful (and very tolerant) Esther Read, Roderick Manson heard a recording of Michael Marra’s “ Niel Gow’s Apprentice” on the radio (or maybe it was on a CD).  Anyway, once home in Blairgowrie, he wrote this, ably assisted by a large black cat trying to walk on the keyboard.

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John Grey

COLTRANE

As a young man,
he practiced nine to five.
He sweated half a body weight away
to make hard work look easy.

On a cramped stage,
in a smoky club,
those early hours
found retribution
in the late, late ones.

When it was three things –
women, drugs and music –
he was pulled three useless ways.
But when it was one,
you should have heard him honing.

Copyright © John Grey 2018

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Nebo, Euphony and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.

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Elizabeth Gibson

Urania

The Opéra in Lyon has eight muses in a row
on its front. They are wise and tall and fair
and from the tour bus I stare up and wonder
when I can ever be like that. The guide says
Urania is missing, the muse of astronomy.
I hadn’t noticed. I am in a mind-whirl these
days and the morning is grey and overcast,
which never helps. Here on this open top
deck we are so, so cold. The guide tells us
maybe there used to be another statue of

her nearby and so they left her off the roof.
I can only see her up there, bridging earth
and night. A second theory is that she was
not seen as a muse of the arts, unlike the
others with their epic poems and tragedy
and hymns. Am I okay? You tug my arm.
Astronomy is my thing, after all. I’m fine,
I say, while silently begging, let’s get off
this goddamned bus and stop shivering as
we stand in front of the Opéra and watch

stars shine from holes in my palms, white
and pure at first, then lilac and green and
gold. You can be Euterpe, sing your song
about unicorns, bubbles fluttering from
your lips, or Terpsichore, dancing in the
wind blowing from the rivers. You can be
anything. I am the stargazy one, the late
night one, ponderer of comets and dust.
I try to find meaning. I don’t do it well
enough, considering you are my source.

Copyright © Elizabeth Gibson 2018

Elizabeth Gibson was announced as a New North Poet at the 2017 Northern Writers’ Awards. She edits Foxglove Journal and the Word Life section of Now Then Manchester. She tweets at @Grizonne and blogs at http://elizabethgibsonwriter.blogspot.co.uk.

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