Maureen Weldon and Paul Beech

A BRIDGE NEAR KINSALE

This bridge where the Bandon River flows
Dad and I stood regularly
on our way home after his fishing.

A yellow moon, fat or just a sliver,
seemed to waltz to the music of night;
across the watery mud flats
where loud night-birds called their dance.

Here Dad said his forecast,
‘A halo round the moon means rain,
good fishing weather tomorrow.’

Now, only in the beauty of a memory,
that salt soft air
where mists rise like sylphs.

Copyright © Maureen Weldon 2017

SOMONKA

Childish maybe
yet of a life without you
I waited for spring.
Now the teapot a spout
the saucepan a handle.

A billy-can boy
I yearned for love and more
my best brews in vain.
Together now, snowdrops out,
through our teapot spout I pour.

Copyright © Maureen Weldon and Paul Beech 2017

Maureen Weldon is Irish. Lives on her hill in N. Wales with her partner Paul Beech. She represented Wales at Ukraine’s International Terra Poetica Poetry Festival 2014. Her latest poetry collection ‘Midnight Robin’ was published by ‘Poetry Space Ltd.’

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Maxine Rose Munro

They were Old when I was Young

Her
Her I didn’t visit, not myself.
She lived in one room. Curtains
I remember better than the face –
screens to corner that was Kitchen.
I remember no windows, one door,
one box bed. Her face, her name,
are not there.

Duncan, Kitty
He lived mainly in greenhouses
in his laird’s garden, one was
tomatoes – red, yellow, white
I swear. He showed me. She
lived in her kitchen, Rayburn
warm, baking relays through
one foot of clear space – rock
cakes, scones, bannocks. Cold
living room opened fifty-two
times per year. Sunday best
starched across their faces.

Wullie and Maggie
Tea on a saucer with
a Parkinson’s shake
and sunlight laying
on white formica.
Childhood is blind.
I couldn’t see,
under their smiles
their struggles.

Copyright © Maxine Rose Munro 2017

Maxine Rose Munro was born in the Shetland Islands and has never recovered from the culture shock she received when she moved to Glasgow. She can be found at https://www.facebook.com/maxinerosemunro

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Robert Ford

Finding a dead Waxwing on Braid Road

The rising street is used to its cars only ever creating
drab corpses out of pigeons, or the unsentimental crows
that process them; yet it’s strangely easy to overlook
the paint-fresh colours, the deliberate feathering,
of other birds less common to the neighbourhood.
The eyes had fallen, softly, permanently closed, and
the breathless bill offered not even a vaguest hush
of explanation. There it lay, inert, less than a stumble
of unremarkable strides away from the doorway of an
emptied shop once selling something presumably
no longer required at the price. The gutter shielded
its naked incongruity, like tin-can collateral dropped
from a recycling collection that left no tell-tale clatter
of alert on the pavement, or – more likely – a tiny,
exquisite doll allowed to tumble from a passing pram
by hands not yet ready to be careful enough to hold on.

Copyright © Robert Ford 2017

Robert Ford lives on the east coast of Scotland. His poetry has appeared in both print and online publications in the UK and US. More of his work can be found at https://wezzlehead.wordpress.com/

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Ken Cumberlidge

Night Watch

Slow of pulse and steady-purposed
in the darknesses behind stark-moonlit sheds,
the lee of mossy walls —

in stealths of ground mist,
corded woodstores,
eaves of hoarfrost-crystalled rooves —

antennaed, tuned, alive at every sense
to the parentheses that breathe between
chill owl-hoot; harsh-stricken vixen call —

lie, covert all,
the overlooked, unreckoned-with, unshown,
keeping Winter’s night watch

that you might stand, as you do now:
stamping, coughing, blowing on your hands,
and think yourself alone.

Copyright © Ken Cumberlidge 2017

Birkenhead-born recovering actor Ken Cumberlidge has been writing poetry, songs and stories on and off for 40+ years, during which his work has appeared variously in print and, more recently, online (Algebra of Owls / Ink, Sweat & Tears / Snakeskin).  Since 2011 he’s been based in Norwich, where he can be seen muttering and gesticulating in the company of an embarrassed-looking dog.  Don’t worry – the dog’s fine.

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E.A.M. Harris

Difficulties on the Thought-trail

Today’s lecture was smoky-glass obscure;
every other word turned its back
on meaning and said things for the swear-box.

As you strode your lone track, we stuck
at the first way-mark, peering through more undergrowth
than a virgin forest, and fidgeted.

You handed out some Ariadne thread
in the form of notes, but too staccato
for the average mind to follow,

and we are too average to navigate
a fading trail of mist and shadow.
We filed the thread and made our own notes.

Your mind pictured clarity, speckled
with fairy dust of novelty. We felt
privileged to only comprehend
the other side of the lunch bell.

Copyright © E. A. M. Harris 2017

E. A. M. Harris has been writing for some years and several of her poems and stories have appeared in print and online magazines and anthologies. She blogs at http://eamharris.com/ and tweets as E A M Harris @Eah1E.

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Daniel Bennett

Our Ghost Film

Remember when we were haunted?
The house moved around us
in curious syncopation, the garden
grew animated at the slightest glance.
Rooms rattled through the dark hours,
and each morning’s latest ectoplasm
trashed all our attempts at tidying up.
Eventually, we explored the cellar,
travelling down through gloom and dust,
the shoes, carrier bags, photo albums,
the stagnant homebrew, which glowed
like light bulbs or laboratory effluents.
Our ancestors called to us through wood
and plasterwork, left their curses
smouldering in our gene pools, dreams.
We thought we acted independently
but our movements had been stalked
and you didn’t believe me about the voices
until I recorded you sleepwalking.
Walking dolls, evil clowns, television
flicking on throughout our plight:
the clichés achieved new malevolence
because they were inflicted on us.
You wondered what would happen
if someone simply had called time
on all of this, as with an irritable parent,
exhausted by children. Our family
had been stretched, plucked at, broken,
but throughout, no one said anything,
even now, no one says anything.

Copyright © Daniel Bennett 2017

I was born in Shropshire and live and work in London. My poems have appeared in a number of places, most recently in Structo, and The Literateur, and I have work forthcoming in The Best New British and Irish Poets 2017 from Eyewear Books. I’m also the author of the novel, All the Dogs.

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Mary Franklin

Biscuits and Blues

Gone is the cigarette
and cigar smoke.
Gone are the highballs
and martinis
but 12-bar blues still rules
with the John Garcia Band
at Biscuits and Blues.

Gone are the stilettos
and elegant dresses.
Gone are the chic hairdos.
Style is now casual –
it’s red wine and smartphones
as the John Garcia Band plays
at Biscuits and Blues.

Some things don’t change.
Southern cuisine remains –
tiger shrimps, key lime pie,
buttermilk biscuits
and 12-bar blues still rules
with the John Garcia Band
in San Francisco
at Biscuits and Blues.

Copyright © Mary Franlin 2017

Mary Franklin has had poems published in numerous poetry magazines, online websites and anthologies including, most recently, London Grip, Message in a Bottle and Three Drops from a Cauldron.  She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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