Santa Rosa was the favoured haunt
In early fall.
My Aunt, grey eyes
Flashing like moon arrows
Humming bird and quail – her
Bedrock mortar – the snapshots
Surely a breath
Later… we drank
The water-flask dry.
To twin-horned Toro’s spires.
The way it’s done.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
I the leibrarie
Whan yung at streek o day A ran
an ainlie een wis windaes saw;
nou auld an tae the leibrarie
the hail toun sees me traivel slaw
But in the leibrarie A fin
thare’s nane tae ithers’ raik that leuks
for e’en the festest driddles here
while vizzyin an walin beuks
A’v aften set ma harns asteep
but o sic things A’v little spak
while maiters smaa sum gabbit sae
wi oniebodie free tae crack
But in the leibrarie A fin
thare’s few that speaks an little says,
sae ill tae ken hou deep the thochts
o thaim that quait aboot it gaes
A’v hid sum threips wi twa-three fowk
whar yit A’v hankert tho we gree
that ithers michtna ken ma thocht
that feart for whit the efterins be
But in its beuks the leibrarie
hauds aa the thocht thare is tae pen;
presentin thaim no doutsumlie
but furthilie for aa tae ken
Copyright © Hamish Scott 2018
Hamish Scott’s latest poetry collection is Tuk-tuks.
The Barging ‘Buddhi’
I used to sink into my Buddhi’s cinnamon and homely bosom.
This barging Buddhi permitted some unwitting pedestrian to pass on the way to the shops.
‘Meera dhaal kaani’ she would utter.
‘I want to eat lentil curry’ in Panjabi.
I toyed with bright yellow Indian gold chain. This fattening and gilded snake.
This barging Buddhi cuts down a five year old cherub on a bike on her way to her daughters house.
‘Tu see history khidi’ she would squawk at me.
‘You will do some ironing’ in Panjabi
Slathering greasy coconut hair in my inky black plait, that swishes from side to side.
This barging buddhi railroads a gawkish teenage off her skateboard while sweeping the front pavement.
Languishing in in a silky salwar kameez.
Tattooed with vermillion forehead.
This barging Buddhi shoved a misshapen shopper.
‘Meera paani peeni’ she mouthed.
‘I want to drink water’ in Panjabi.
This barging Buddhi ladens an embellished chuni on my head before we both proceed to the Gudawara.
‘Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh’ she prays.
A Sikh prayer.
This barging Buddhi-is not so barging so much. This grandma of mine.
Copyright © Sunita Thind 2018
Buddhi – eldery lady – affectionate name I gave my Panjabi -Indian Grandma
salwar kameez – Indian women’s suit
chuni – headscarf
Gudawara – Sikh temple