-Can I Go Now? by Terry Chipp
-Darkness by Marcel Herms
Can I Go Now, Darkness?
that deceptive smile
their darkened room
last, yellow mile
from the swamp that birthed
you. Time to go,
let loose the lightning bolt
that gave you life. Your own
creator sheared you
from the ice floe to drift
in isolation from humanity
How do the days end?
In horror, hunger,
acceptance? The world
will remember the monster,
but not the man.
– Gayle J. Greenlea
CAN I GO NOW
To day dream, maybe stay
a little longer.
But this is the beckoning.
Do what it will.
Feeble anger in
the absence of light,
A turmoil of time,
not chaos but entropy,
the physics within
a stormed wave.
-© Dai Fry 5th November 2020.
over the city,
over the bridge els,
& construction sites,
& hovels, past oil drills
moving like slow cobras,
It is dirt
on a hand holding
of a shopping cart
in lieu of home
A tent flaps and flaps
in the wind.
A row of tents. They grow every day,
the numbers of the homeless
Think of inhabiting. Then, think of eviction. Evil
dogging us down this gold road.
(Who gets to go home, be home.)
Invoke goldenrod, its incandescent healing.
The moment before
the eye opens
is the taste of
pine sap in the mouth
There must be something
in the air that tells us
to bring our hands
to rest / An emblem
of belonging / a land
perfect as a peach-colored
circle with eyes Morning
comes and goes like people
moving in a room
round and around
flinging their careful bodies
in exquisite directions
numb to velocity
compelled to keep moving
because if they stop
the earth might too.
because the dream is never enough,
because the road runs bright and broad,
because she thought the golden city was for her,
but although she picks up trinkets on the way,
the road ends always in a golden ditch,
and all she sees is a field of magpies.
Sometimes she thinks the darkness
that stretches out its empty hands full
of no promises offers more that this.
We forget, if we ever knew, that
caged birds sing to sooth their broken hearts,
Can I go now? Darkness beckons.
You always said you’d leave when it was time.
No hanging on for its own sake when life
became too much, when a martini and
a bestseller at the end of day
and dogs gnawing placidly on fresh bones
weren’t enough to make you want to arise
each dawn, when it was all more pain than gain.
One morning, after a fall when we had spent
the night on the floor trying to get you up
and your back had failed us, you asked me
to bring post-op pain meds you’d socked away.
I brought you one and you rejected it.
Bring me the bottle, you said. I knew what you
had in mind–I would have done the same
but instead I talked you down. Not now,
the night was weird, let’s hug and have some coffee
in the sun. It will get better. But
we knew from science it would not. So
that day at 5 pm when I heard silence not
your Parkinson struggle with ice for cocktails
I ran to the kitchen and you weren’t there.
These things I knew: you would already have left
before I found you slumped in your library chair,
gone, and when I found the bottle of meds,
in the cabinet, it would be empty.
Through Fields by my Childhood
Shadows warn me of a stray.
The rain which splinters on the ground
through fields by my childhood
lead us away –
beyond the vows of time
to where all that was left
was buried in the undergrowth.
To that place
beyond the pine.
In dreams collide –
let morning play as a memory
to our pain;
all of this – love – we set aside –
in meadows where we lay.
Yet through our eyes
we blur the truth
finding refuge from the day.
In the gathering night
a bird on a wire –
singing songs to those who knew;
intent to fight
under streetlamp light
in the glimmer
pale and blue.
He holds her memory in his sights
and swallows guilt the same
though pride of joy – cascades in light
would a voice of thunder make.
Akin to knowing who they’d been
on beaches where they’d laid
a call to yonder – villain – spite
those parts of us betrayed.
By Autumn’s hand she’ll turn away
and near the blackened sky –
all those below you die, my dear
and no one told you why.
Don’t fear all that you’re yet to know
we’re all to find our way
let heartache die in field of gold
and let memories lead astray.
“Memory/None of Your Business”
“And I sez to ‘er I sez: why don’t you wanna sit with us? And she shrugs, like, y’ know. An’ I’m tryna get to know ‘er. So I sez, you’re young. You’re married. Why don’t you ‘ave kids? She jus’ shrugs agen. So I ask ‘er agen. Why don’t you ‘ave any kids yet? An’ she won’t gimme an answer an’ I’m there tryna understand like. I ask agen. Why don’t you ‘ave kids? Coz they’re brilliant y’know. Wish I ‘ad kids.”
(Darkness Beckons) “Back and Away”
I’m riding backwards away from the city.
Into a landscape of simpler values.
A subdued colour palette clears the mind.
This journey is an hour inside a sensory deprivation tank, more if we hit traffic
:: four legged ::
it came four legged
trouncing down the dark
no one was distressed here nor
one finds more fear in the doings
of men, their counterparts
fear of too much punctuation haunts
unlike the four leggeds
there are stars
there are no stars
so what is the true meaning
running in the dark
sorting in the rain things get wet
a long dark road
The moon floated
to the night’s surface –
above the treetops,
the roosting crows,
the angel’s trumpet –
and under its gaze
pebbles on the lane
They lit the way
to the city;
the safety of home.
She gulped in air
and broke anchor.
Ran with brine
listing in her veins.
Night lives within thicket
pine dark, shade concealed
from field and furrow, day’s wick
lingers for a moment
the words of shadow
and starlight spill
from our lips.
Light leaks into the world,
all our silences, my tongue
has grown too large for my head
it tastes wind, it tastes light
rough bark of pine
smooth wire of grass.
The promise of green
folds upon itself,
the promise of darkness
flowers into cloud,
we taste rain
we taste where the light
went, we taste darkness
our hands filling with dirt
mouthfuls of air
Bios and Links
grew up in Thurnscoe and ia now living in Doncaster via Wath Grammar school, Doncaster Art College, Bede College in Durham and 30 years teaching.
He sold his first painting at the Goldthorpe Welfare Hall annual exhibition at the age of 17 and he haven’t stopped painting since.
He escaped the classroom 20 years ago to devote more time to his artwork. Since then he has set up his own studio in Doncaster, exhibited across the north of England as a member of the Leeds Fine Artists group and had his painting demonstrations featured on the SAA’s Painting and drawing TV channel. Further afield he has accepted invitations to work with international artists’ groups in Spain, Macedonia, Montenegro and USA where his paintings are held in public and private collections. In 2018 he had a solo exhibition in Warsaw, Poland and a joint exhibition in Germany.
His pictures cover a wide range of styles and subjects from abstract to photo-realism though he frequently returns to his main loves of landscape and people.
Visitors are welcome at his studio in the old Art College on Church View, Doncaster.
Facebook: Terry Chipp Fine Art Painting
is a Dutch visual artist. He is also one of the two men behind the publishing house Petrichor. Freedom is very important in the visual work of Marcel Herms. In his paintings he can express who he really is in complete freedom. Without the social barriers of everyday life.
There is a strong relationship with music. Like music, Herms’ art is about autonomy, freedom, passion, color and rhythm. You can hear the rhythm of the colors, the rhythm of the brushstrokes, the raging cry of the pencil, the subtle melody of a collage. The figures in his paintings rotate around you in shock, they are heavily abstracted, making it unclear what they are doing. Sometimes they look like people, monsters, children or animals, or something in between. Sometimes they disappear to be replaced immediately or to take on a different guise. The paintings invite the viewer to join this journey. Free-spirited.
He collaborates with many different authors, poets, visual artists and audio artists from around the world and his work is published by many different publishers.
writes novels, short stories and lots of poems. Among her publications is her first chapbook of poetry, thicker than water. She is also a regular contributor to Visual Verse and the Ekphrastic Review. You can find her on twitter @MJDougherty33 and on her blog https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/
is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast. Former cook. Has had poems in Cypress Press, Feral Poetry, IceFloe Press, Petrichor. Can be found on Twitter@Peach Delphine
is a poet living on the south coast of England. Originally from Swansea. Wales was and still is a huge influence on everything. My pen is my brush. Twitter:
Susan Darlington’s poetry regularly explores the female experience through nature-based symbolism and stories of transformation. It has been published in Fragmented Voices, Algebra Of Owls, Dreams Walking, and Anti-Heroin Chic among others. Her debut collection, ‘Under The Devil’s Moon’, was published by Penniless Press Publications (2015). Follow her @S_sanDarlington
lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her two large, frightening lapdogs. A PhD in French language and literature, she has retired from teaching French to university students, as well as from fierce competition in martial arts and distance running. She has produced the chapbooks Backwards Through the Rekroy Wen, Scapes, and Postcard Poetry 2020. When she isn’t hard at work writing poems in English, she might be found reading them in French to her long-suffering grandchildren, who don’t yet speak French.
-Gayle J. Greenlea
is an award-winning poet and counselor for survivors of sexual and gender-related violence. Her poem, “Wonderland”, received the Australian Poetry Prod Award in 2011. She shortlisted and longlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize in 2013, and debuted her first novel Zero Gravity at the KGB Literary Bar in Manhattan in 2016. Her work has been published in St. Julian Press, Rebelle Society, A Time to Speak, Astronomy Magazine, Headline Poetry and Press and The Australian Health Review.
lives in the North East of Scotland. Her first poetry collection ‘ Tree standing small’ was published in 2018 with Clochoderick Press. Her work has appeared in journals and magazines in print and online and she is working towards a second collection.
Like someone who tries out hats or other samples before making a final decision, experimenting with different ideas and techniques is how Lydia spends some of her time. This allows for other portions of time to speak through the lens of fiction, creative nonfiction and art. You can find her work at Cargo Collective , Lydia Wist Creative and on Twitter @Lydiawist.
lives in the wild, wet, south-west of England, surrounded by mud and apple trees. She writes poems to make sense of the world, and would rather weed than wash up.
-sonja benskin mesher
holds a bachelor in English Literature and Creative Writing and is a secondary school teacher of English and Creative Writing. Liam is currently writing his first, professional collection of poetry entitled Borders that explores poetry from all around the world. Liam also Co-Hosts a movie discussion podcast entitled: The Pick and Mix Podcast. Liam writes under the pseudonym ‘Michael The Poet’
Links: WordPress: https://michael-the-poet.com/
Instagram: Michael The Poet
is 54, married and a mother of two, who has been writing and telling stories since childhood. Over the last decade she has utilised writing not just as entertainment, but as a means to improve personal communication skills. That process unexpectedly uncovered increasingly difficult and unpleasant feelings, many forgotten for decades. Diagnosed as a historic trauma survivor in May 2019, Mental health issues had previously hindered the entirety of my adult life: the shift into writing as expression and part of a larger journey into self-awareness began to slowly unwind for her from the past, providing inspiration and focus for a late career change as a multidisciplined artist.
is a Northern Irish poet from Belfast. She has two poetry pamphlets, and a full collection, from Hedgehog Poetry Press, they are Circling the Sun, Memory Forest and Venus in pink marble (2018, 2019 and Summer 2020 respectively). She is co-author, along with Karen Mooney, of Penned In a poetry pamphlet written in response to the pandemic and due for release 30th November 2020. Follow her on Twitter @gaynorkane or read more at www.gaynorkane.com.