Ion Corcos

Driftwood

We listened through remnants
of wood and broken stone,
pieces of art selected by the sea
for an exhibition about floods.
Trunks and branches washed high
onto the sand; Kathy didn’t see them,
didn’t talk about the sea, the logs,
the half-gone beach; only of memories,
things from under another sun.
We recalled the bale of hay
swept from a nearby farm;
a large weed-covered heap, its grassy smell,
hot head, taken by the night sea.
Next morning, Kathy was gone too;
the sand left bare, without stones,
without wood, without trace.

Copyright © Ion Corcos 2018

Ion Corcos has been published in Panoply, Clear Poetry, Atrium, The High Window and other journals. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Ion is a nature lover and a supporter of animal rights. He is currently travelling indefinitely with his partner, Lisa. Ion’s website is www.ioncorcos.wordpress.com and he tweets at @IonCorcos

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Ira Lightman

TIME WITH YOU
(for Donna-Lisa Healy)

Guilt may photoshop
from the tip a flower
but I had to stop.
It’s where she and I were
snoring and the weeds
rose round fake satisfaction.
Her paranoia of perfection
didn’t meet my needs.

May time with you mean
we see the tides of light
through a canopy’s green,
on the tansies’ white;
as a dog trots off leash,
the wood, a temporary
ribcage, is intermittently
clacking blown trees.
Copyright © Ira Lightman 2018

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Frank Gillougley

BATHROOM

Undeniably modelled on the interior of
a Soyuz spacecraft, the only method
of electrocution missing here is a toaster.
However, undeterred, in the morning
(having considered my chances of survival
slightly better than having a bath)
I take a shower, which is also next
to the plugged-in washing machine.

Later on, my mother-in-law and I conduct
the most perfunctory of communications
concerning the cultural mores of the
salle-de-bain cum fürdőszoba
in quarter-pidgin French
and eighth-pidgin Hungarian
– the latter really only to show her
I am not a complete Neanderthal.

Which reminds me, O thank you,
Jimmy Sheekey of Sacred Heart High School
(long since demolished)
who taught me 45 years ago
what little French I can now muster.
Jimmy was a boxer-turned-teacher
with obligatory broken nose.
See Angels with Dirty Faces?
See Jimmy Cagney?

Anyway, I recall Ronnie Brown unfortunately
gave Jimmy some bad attitude one day
and ended up being well-beltet furrit
and we the paralysed mob, could only look on
in shock at this reign of terror.
Come to think of it, I really must remember
to retrospectively petition the Renfrewshire
Committee of Public Safety to cough up
they spondulics for the ruination of my soul.

Copyright © Frank Gillougley 2018

Frank Gillougley was born in Paisley, Scotland in 1959. He has had 3 collections of poetry published by Lapwing Press, Belfast. He currently lives in Blackridge, West Lothian.

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Clifford James Middleton

Renaming

Soup stained, the carpet
where the dogs licked up
Lazarus’ tomato variety
spilt by fleeing beggars,
Excuses and pleas drowned by the
sirens’ vocal undulation.
The sun rose and never set.
The rain was wet, but never fell
on the tundra where glaciers
wasted millennia with melting.
Town-born foxes out-foxed the urban dogs.
The urban dogs out-dogged the dormitory town cats,
and the ubiquitous rat chewed on the bones of all.
The reservoirs turned tidal,
So doves nested on the hulks of arks
until hawks ignited volcanoes.
Then the hawks fed upon the heat-blistered doves
and drank from dove pustules in
avenues, squares and parks renamed
after enlightened dictator avatars.

Copyright © Clifford James Middleton 2018

I am a native of Derby in the British East Midlands on the edge of the Peak District National Park. I have lived in Germany since 1983.

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Cath Wills: Two poems

Testing

One hundred feet forest
high swaying sighs.
Charter my walk with a
librarian hush to shrink any self.
They can do without my issues
as I tiptoe below.
But know
I have come only to test
a have-to-have fear. Here.
Where the dense thorny gotcha’s
are of cushions and constants
and the inky dark shadows
are all keeps of a curl up.

Shed-Head

Something is not right inside.
You’ve hushed it
in your shed-head
left beneath a frost- cloth.
The ghost-cloak that settled
on every tiny cell.
If you call it out
will it boo at your calm or
hunch your walk to work?
Might it twitch your sleep and
will you understand it
will they want to hear it –
how weak will you become
and who and
for how long?

Copyright © Cath Wills 2018

I live in Devon and have a busy life as a mum of three teenagers and working in a primary school. Reading and writing poetry has been my hobby for the past 10 years and I have also run several clubs and workshops encouraging children to explore their creativity through writing.

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Stefan Parker

WINTER

I called it tonight,
gushing triumphant through nostril and eyes –
the burnt forest-woody sharpness
of a dead summer.

The wind glissading the streets
turfing ears into hats;
and all the trees become un-fattened
as they diet into decay.

I saw it first I thought.
Winter is coming.
White Walkers on Little Heath;
time to unscrew the wardrobe again.

To grab my coat,
the five-year old jumpers,
the Grandma knitted socks,
layering the months to come.

That first night of shocked air,
as knotted as steel in the timepiece,
as cold too,
under the hood of the summer seal.

I called it tonight
on my walk home.
Happy as a frosted face
Nearing the burning centre.

Copyright © Stefan Parker 2018

Born in Germany and residing just north of the M25. Daily experimenter of poetry in all forms. Published and practising writer and filmmaker.

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JD DeHart

Crust & Mantle

The earth exists in layers,
like teeth,
like the skin, with its tense
surface and soft underneath.
Who knew?

This is the nature of
the earth’s ontology, and just
a good excuse to use
the word ontology.

My life is a series of rows
and hedges, a stream of
fences, each one a little
higher than the last.
I am fortified, but most people
can listen from beneath
at the stage.

Somewhere, there is a warm
center, just the earth
and like many forms of candy.

Copyright © JD DeHart 2018

JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  He publishes book review at readingandlitresources.blogspot.com.

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