The last string
That little town where every kid
starts out with a festival of balloons
each step they’re followed by every colour
before they know the names of any of them
to grow up means to let go of strings
and one by one, they do
when did you realise your body
was a thin shape you were stuck inside
when did you let go of the knowing
that one day you’d be a dolphin
or a butterfly, for-certain-for-real
and your promising skin would stretch
so bright and right, to float you free
when did the second-to-last colour
become just a shadow on the sun
and did you wave it gone
like the proud new adults in that town
left holding just the one
These peonies know
no social distancing.
petal to petal
in soft defiance,
tactile, lush. They
sharing scent like
your skin and mine.
When this is over
I’m going to hold you,
curl myself around you,
and break every taboo.
.black butterfly wing.
is it a moth here in the dark?
triangles bring mystery
a new mathematics
the rooms were swept yesterday
yet the shape remains embedded
scratch it scratch with bitten nails
find the origin
peel it back
& find it is all
simply a petal
from the peony
next time maybe
use the lamp to see
William Gibson was paid twenty-seven dollars for his first short story,
Fragments of A Hologram Rose. Now, alligator clips on the top lawn,
in spring, when the first of the washing, dried outside, different shades,
in length, the boredom, pastel-pink clothes wire between each building.
In length-wise lemon grass, fragrant, and turned again, cut garlic with
another preposition. A page of Bei Dao, waited for birds – how many
years? No – this is not for the peered rose – the pit you once spat out.
When rainbow shades transfigure
From royal blue to Kelly green,
There’s a gradient change
Leaving intact individual
Light pixels, crucial to
Each color’s structure.
Metamorphosis doesn’t simply mean
It’s also preservation of
Our deeply-ingrained parts.
faith in a flower
to see the world in peach and rose is
the curse of the romantic
the bane of science
the crux of re-election and
a haven for the tender-hearted.
knowing that beauty is ephemeral,
we invariably choose denial—
opting for one more moment in the glow
(each to our own degree and
in our own time and place).
words have the power to freeze time—
to render fleeting beauty timeless—
i need that now:
against all evidence to the contrary,
The Biocentric Multiverse
Beneath your dreams
some great truth sleeps.
For every choice
births another universe.
And in the why of it,
the how of it,
a fresh way is forged.
Life’s spark in
universal cogs of
a machined reality
oiled by quantum grace.
by one prime action
is differently made.
Maybe a murder
or a smile in passing.
the measure of
A true love yawns,
and turns away.
the never born,
never ever friend,
will never mind.
©️ Dai Fry 19th May 2020.
Into the Blue – Diving into the waters of my
melancholy is not my daily emotional spa
as my mood swings are rapidly spinning
uncontrollably threatening to drown my
remaining sanity until there will be no chance
of gasping for air but I don’t care if no one
cares – I am done with trying to please
everyone, so much for my master plan of
ignoring the why what and when as I still
try to defend yet again my own elected
doomed reality fantasy in a world not meant
for me, so I willingly float deeper into my
echoes of blue –
Red Alert – Warning flashing turbulent
gnashing of emotions grinding contortions
slowing to a halt then sinking deeper into
my elected dead water hoping for a caring
arm to pull me up from this red alert emotional
dreadful deepening meandering metamorphosis.
Empty words wilted flowers – I feel such a fool spilling my love
wasting precious shared hours knowing
this tainted love is fading fast despite fake
efforts to somehow make it last but your
purple mood cannot mask your true hidden
intentions as you faintly whisper of past
liaisons which made you born your bitter
frustrations for yearned embraces mute
sensations turning into secret curses but
I cannot allow your constant accusatory
remarks to snuff out my former bright
spark, so I have to let you go before I bow
at your directed love show receiving mediocre
applause for the fiasco you yourself have
caused – Now go as I refuse to starve from
wilted love sucking my once pulsating halo.
© Don Beukes
rise into the blue
become butterfly, dolphin, me,
an invisible worm,
when I run against the gust,
the gust takes my skull,
my imaginary wings,
my imaginary fishskin,
and makes it a finger to point
at the sky.
An invisible worm that flies
in my night makes my rose sick.
When rainbow shades transfigure
silent drifting, these
sleeping cities dreaming
they are still awake,
a finger to point at the sky.
Bios and Links
is a lost kiwi, now living on a Scottish island. She has been making up stories and poems for as long as she can remember. Her first volume of poetry, The Knitted Curiosity Cabinet, won the Brit Writers Award for poetry in 2012. She has published four novels and a book of short stories.
Twitter handle: @alayanabeth
(b.1991) received his MA (distinction) from Keele University in 2017. He later won The Roy Fisher Prize for Poetry with his debut pamphlet, ‘Bread and Salt’ (Flarestack, TBA). He was also the recipient of a Creative Future Writers’ Award in 2019. His poetry has featured regularly in anthologies and literary press magazines, most notably in The London Magazine. His collection of essays, ‘Living in Disneyland’, will be available from Broken Sleep Books in October 2020. Alex spent 2018 as a resident of The People’s Republic of China, where he taught the English Language in a school run by the Ministry of Education. His writing has been described as ‘wry and knowing,’ with ‘an edge that tears rather than cuts or deals blows.’
Here is my interview of Alex:
is a High School English and Creative Writing teacher who has been writing poems and songs for more than forty years. His poems have been featured in numerous online and print journals, including BlazeVox, The Montucky Review, Paraphilia, Leaf Garden Press and the late Felino Soriano’s CounterExample Poetics, for which he was a featured artist. Three volumes of poetry, Responsorials (with Constance Stadler), Silence, Inhabited, and Human &c. are available through NeoPoiesis Press (www.neopoiesispress.com.)
As a singer-songwriter, Rich has released five albums of independent contemporary folk music. His latest. Somewhere in the Stars, is available at http://www.richfollett.com. He lives with his wife Mary Ruth Alred Follett in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he also pursues his interests as a professional actor, playwright, and director.
is a sea-obsessed poet from Aotearoa (NZ). His poetry has appeared in a wide range of international publications and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He truly believes that words have the power to change the place we’re in, and you’ll find him doing his best to prove it on
or on Facebook: @AnkhSpiceSeaGoatScreamsPoetry
-Carrie Ann Golden
is a deafblind writer from the mystical Adirondack Mountains now living on a farmstead in northeastern North Dakota. She writes dark fiction and poetry. Her work has been published in places like Piker Press, Edify Fiction, Doll Hospital Journal, The Hungry Chimera, GFT Press, Asylum Ink, and Visual Verse.
-sonja benskin mesher
born , Bournemouth.
lives and works in North Wales
as an independent artist
‘i am a multidisciplinary artist, crafting paint, charcoal, words and whatever comes to hand, to explain ideas and issues
words have not come easily. I draw on experience, remember and write. speak of a small life’.
Elected as a member of the Royal Cambrian Academy and the United Artists Society
The work has been in solo exhibitions through Wales and England, and in selected and solo worldwide.
Much of the work is now in both private, and public collections, and has been featured in several television documentaries, radio programmes and magazines.
Here is my interview of sonja benskin mesher:
is an American poet whose work emphasizes emotional integrity and social justice. She is the author of several eBooks including, Learning from Pompeii, Coffee for Neanderthals, Disgracing Lady Justice and others, available on smashwords.com and its affiliates.Chapbook: Ebola (West Chester University Poetry Center, 2014)
Here is my 2020 interview of her:
is a South African and British writer. He is the author of ‘The Salamander Chronicles’ (CTU) and ‘Icarus Rising-Volume 1’ (ABP), an ekphrastic collection. He taught English and Geography in both South Africa and the UK. His poetry has been anthologized in numerous collections and translated into Afrikaans, Persian, French and Albanian. He was nominated by Roxana Nastase, editor of Scarlet Leaf Review for the ‘Best of the Net’ in 2017 as well as the Pushcart Poetry Prize (USA) in 2016. He was published in his first SA Anthology ‘In Pursuit of Poetic Perfection’ in 2018 (Libbo Publishers) and his second ‘Cape Sounds’ in 2019 (Gavin Joachims Publishing). He is also an amateur photographer and his debut Photographic publication appeared in Spirit Fire Review in June 2019. His new book, ‘Sic Transit Gloria Mundi’/Thus Passes the Glory of this World’ is due to be published by Concrete Mist Press.
Here is my interview of Don Beukes:
is an old new poet. He worked in social care but now has no day job. A keen photographer and eater of literature and lurid covers. Fascinated by nature, physics, pagans, sea and storm. His poetry seeks to capture image and tell philosophical tales. Published in Black Bough Poetry, Re-Side, The Hellebore Press and the Pangolin Review. He can be seen reading on #InternationalPoetryCircle and regularly appears on #TopTweetTuesday.
Audio/Visual. @IntPoetryCircle #InternationalPoetryCircle Twitter
lives in a converted factory and works with elders. She has had poetry, flash fiction or photographs published in online and print publications Human/Kind Journal, Rose Quartz Poetry Magazine, Hawk & Whippoorwill, The Cormorant, Radical: A Lit Zine, Chrysanthemum, Occulum, Flash, Paragraph Planet, and Flash Fiction Magazine. On Twitter @mourapoet, Instagram mourathepoet and mourastudio.wordpress.com.
is a shop asst. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), Stubborn Sod, with Marcel Herms (artist) (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming Khoshhali with Hiva Moazed (artist), Our Ghost’s Holiday (Final book of threesome “A Pagan’s Year”) . He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews.
is an artist and writer based in the UK. She takes a few photos every day, for inspiration and to use in her work. The images for this project were all taken in the last two years on walks during in the month of May. Her words and images have been published by Penteract Press, Metambesen, Ice Floe Press, Burning House Press, Inside the Outside, Luvina Rivista Literaria, and Lone Women in Flashes of Wilderness.
is an experimental poet and digital artist. His books include Void Voices (Hesterglock Press) and Self Portrait by Night (Sampson Low). His visual poems have been published in several places, including the Penteract Press anthology Reflections and Temporary Spaces (Pamenar Press). Chimera, a book of visual poems, is due from Penteract Press in July 2020.
Here is my interview of James Knight:
is an admin worker, currently not in work Married, 2 sons. Loves poetry and words. She considers herself a writer of scribble rather than a poet. She has written a novel and is using her spare time to finally get it published (self-publishing) which has been an ambition of her for the last 10 years.