Why water takes us this way
Come to, still in the dark. Check the red nets
of pulse. You can count each bright float, tally
the catch – what bobs, what thrashes on
raging at the temple: behind the eyes, in the cave
of the ear. What a chant you are – knit through
and through with the old swells
of boatsong; haul-away, heave. And if all’s well
among the strands, the hull thumps on and no wonder
our throats leap fast to shanty, all that yo-
ho following us to ground. I think we learn it skinned
into the first kind sea, scream it out when it dawns
we cease so suddenly to float. Seems we sing it one-part-
missing, every voyage after. None of this is blue, love,
not really. The clear harmony of tides, calling in
every tone in the range, whistled light-breaking wave
to abyss. There are tricks so profound, we reel
at their grace. Let us. Let us stop seeing red.
The Dawn Sky Is Ethereal Blue – A Triolet
The dawn sky is heavenly blue
We soar thought it together now
Forgotten are the storms that blew
The dawn sky is heavenly blue
Our love are forevermore true
This our solemn hearts and souls vow
The dawn sky is heavenly blue
We soar thought it together now
Inspired by all the works of art.
Star-sparked and sea-born,
homeless man, his faithful dog,
hawks, the trees—you and me–
from unknown light and ethereal blues,
every shape and all the hues,
space dust and double helix spring, repeating
fractals in everything—patterns spread, threaded
through the eye of time,
from star to sea, we slither, smile, bark,
howl at the moon, fear the dark—
and so, the universe never asks—what is
the beginning, what is the end—
it just is, when and then, again.
-Merril D Smith
I know my father’s lines as well as his handwriting
And today I saw a sketch I could have sworn was by him
He could wield pastels like his favourite composer,
Debussy, wielded sound. Blending, shading, bringing closer
The dream and the representation, rhythm and limn
A landscape, a dream, two lovers in flesh delighting
When I had his things sent to me in a truck after he crossed
Over, it was only his art that was irrevocably lost.
This crosshatch I see, by some other hand
These strokes and lines, the way colour refines
Into a picture, or not quite, or a dream half-seen
The sense of something vague and crisp and clean
These were his signatures, his characteristic signs
I have lost his art, but not what it taught me to understand
(in response to JC10)
I see Autumn in your eyes,
coat silky beneath my fingers,
lush like the flames of October trees.
Your soft head is delicate in my lap
as I stroke you in front of a warming fire.
The seasons have seen us
through brutal assaults of sadness,
storms of depression so deep
they threatened to plant roots.
You have waited for me patiently,
to return to the frolicking joy of play,
waited for the sun to rise again in my voice,
for the music to touch my lips.
Somehow I know
you will meet your Winter gracefully,
slip through the fingers of time with reverence.
Your steps have always been so gentle,
your heart as bright as a star.
The Man Outside The Supermarket
(Inspired by John Law’s 10th Painting – Outside Tesco)
In those rows and aisles
inside the well-lit floor of his
men wearing azure
keep the order of milk,
yoghurt, chocolate chip
cookies and of potato wafers
and of tenderloin
and of succulent pork,
dried apricots, and now that his
fancy recedes those
men salaried by his reveries
array racks and shelves of treats
of no detail to the infinity,
and he bunches his knees
to the pith of his shriveled breasts;
this weather, spring, spins
the wheel of life and end;
he drools, mops and drools,
as I throw a coin in his bowl.
Shame, it shatters his fine trance
with a short, sharp din.
My dreams are blue. My nightmares are blue.
Wherein I am locked in a blue room with muslin
walls. The floor is water and I enter without splashing.
I breathe in and blueness enters my lungs, turns
my tongue and blood to blue.
Beneath the dome of the sky
(inspired by all three images)
It’s the same for us all the dream,
the heavenly blue,
the great ipomoea in the sky,
dome of beauty, cupped like gentle hands.
The celebrity yachting Seychelles
and poolside cocktails crowd,
imbued with the glitter of sun
on water, on glass reflecting
in diamond drops on tanned skin,
chitter-chatter, bright tinkling laughter,
brittle as thin ice on winter puddles,
and the dream shatters
into boredom and futility.
You dream beneath the sky of warm days,
children left behind somewhere,
yourself perhaps in chubby-fingered loss,
deep-holed, as unsoundable
as the futile shallows of chitter-chatter,
but in the eyes of your dog,
you see the sky and beyond,
the cupped hands of beauty.
blue river slaking
the summer dust on our tongues
for the inevitable go, move, shift.
Can see the Am not paying for your drink,
and drugs. Am not your funding. Am not gift
horse in their eyes. Who would possibly think
they could be you, with no money and rent to pay, tossed out on your arse, NFA;
classed as of no fixed abode. First that went
was his pride, to hunger in cold doorways.
and “Spare any change, mate? Have a great day” One supermarket he went in, bloke
reported his presence to staff, who wait
for him to shoplift because he’ll be broke.
We criminalise all the destitute.
Be beggared if we can give a hoot.
Bios and Links
“Am 68. Live in Mexborough. Retired teacher. Artist; musician; poet. Recently included in ‘Viral Verses’ poetry volume. Married. 2 kids; 3 grandkids.”
likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.
She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.
Her website is: https://www.janecornwell.co.uk/
A resident of New York City, Kerfe Roig enjoys transforming words and images into something new. Her poetry and art have been featured online by Right Hand Pointing, Silver Birch Press, Yellow Chair Review, The song is…, Pure Haiku, Visual Verse, The Light Ekphrastic, Scribe Base, The Zen Space, and The Wild Word, and published in Ella@100, Incandescent Mind, Pea River Journal, Fiction International: Fool, Noctua Review, The Raw Art Review, and several Nature Inspired anthologies. Follow her explorations on her blogs, https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/ (which she does with her friend Nina), and https://kblog.blog/, and see more of her work on her website http://kerferoig.com/
is a poet and writer from Chesterfield whose poetry is heavily influenced by his background in the Derbyshire coalfields – family, mining, politics, and that mix of industry and countryside that so many mining areas had. People can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the pamphlet or visit http://timfellows13.blogspot.com for recent poems
is a writer based in Bangalore, India. His books include the novella Strength Of Water (2019) and the poetry collection Broken Cup (2020). He used to write horror, but now it’s anyone’s guess.
-Anjum Wasim Dar
Born in Srinagar (Indian Occupied )Kashmir,Migrant Pakistani.Educated at St Anne’s Presentation Convent Rawalpindi. MA in English MA in History ( Ancient Indo-Pak Elective) CPE Cert.of Proficiency in English Cambridge UK. -Dip.TEFL AIOU Open Uni. Islamabad Pakistan.Writing poems articles and stories since 1980.Published Poet.Awarded Poet of Merit Bronze Medal 2000 USA .Worked as Creative Writer Teacher Trainer. Educational Consultant by Profession.Published http://Poet.Author of 3 Adventure Novels (Series) 7 Times Winner NANOWRIMO 2011- 2019.
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/
RedCat’s love for music and dance sings clearly in The Poet’s Symphony (Raw Earth Ink, 2020). Passion for rhythms and rhymes, syllabic feets and metres. All born out of childhood and adolescence spent reading, singing, dancing and acting.
Her writing spans love, life, mythology, environment, depression and surviving trauma.
Originally from the deep woods, this fiery redhead now makes home in Stockholm, Sweden, where you might normally run into her dancing the night away in one of the city’s techno clubs.
Read more at redcat.wordpress.com
-Merril D Smith
is a historian and poet. She lives in southern New Jersey, where she is inspired by her walks along the Delaware River. She’s the author of several books on history, gender, and sexuality. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies, including Black Bough Poetry, Nightingale and Sparrow, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Fevers of the Mind.
By day Tony climbs the greasy pole of clinical hierarchy. Not yet at the top but high enough to feel the pole sway and have his grip challenged by the envious wind of achievement. Looking down on the pates and gazes of his own history, at times he feels dizzy with lonely pride. By night he takes solace, swapping scalpel for scripts and begins his training and climbing again, in the creative world of writing. His writing is an attempt to unify the twenty-four hours. @surgicalscribe seeks to connect the clinical and creative arts of surgery, science and writing. Hoping to do for medicine and surgery through creative writing what Prof Cox has done for physics with television.
So, he practices his art.
is a sea-obsessed poet from Aotearoa. His work has been widely published internationally, in print and online, and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He’s a co-editor at Ice Floe Press and a poetry contributing editor at Barren Magazine. You’ll find him and a lot of sea photography on Twitter @SeaGoatScreams or on Facebook @AnkhSpiceSeaGoatScreamsPoetry.
lives and works in Edinburgh, where running clears his head and creates space for ideas. He publishes short stories and poems on www.simonsalento.com
· Poet, Writer, Author, Small Press Publisher/Editor, Mentor/Tutor/Coach
Living a rural life, inspired and surrounded by nature, pondering and writing about life’s many puzzles and complexities, a gentle activist.
· 2008 – current Mansfield A&P Show poetry judge
· 2010 Hay Festival Most Beautiful Tweet shortlist
· 2018 Mansfield Haiku on the Footpath competition winner
· 2020 Mansfield Bushy Tales Poetry Award winner “Musing in the time of Covid”
· 2020 Mansfield Bushy Tales Chapbook contributor
· Twitter @gentleanne
Paul is a shop assistant, who lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. His first play was performed at The Gulbenkian Theatre, Hull. 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. Had work broadcast on BBC Radio 3 The Verb and videos of his Self Isolation sonnet sequence featured by Barnsley Museums and Hear My Voice Barnsley. He also does photography commissions and his family history articles have appeared in The Liverpool Family History magazine.