It was just a bird you said and that was – it wheeled around me
for the whole stretch of the beach. The skipped stone
of it. What is, all momentum and rise and fall, sky to water to sky to wa-
And then just like that. The wings of the w are fixed in place
and what we get is the hiss, there at the end. We walked on
and the sea backhanded up static as proof I was
right, and it’s the same sunk knowing you get with your ear pressed
to the chill tin bowl of a night not sleeping. Unbearable, the scrape
of holepunch stars, all leaking. I took my feet to the smug water to change
the record – ran the shallows with all the splash and heavy
a body could inflict on the ground. Every impact full of plosives, not an s
to be found. With enough conviction you forget that when you run
most of what you’re doing is falling, catching yourself on the edge
of falling again. But between, feathers of rainbow spray, an illusion of flight.
On the return, I threw the remains to the waves. Spare the dogs. Enough wing left
to catch the wind, brief hollow wreck of a w. I heard the shush
as it spun, discus wild to orbit like no gull that ever was.
One bounce, then it wasn’t.
Haiku for the Stars
(inspired by JC12)
Stars fall around you
Lighting the path to true love
Laughter is language
(Inspired by John Law’s 12th Painting – Sanderling Beach at Spurn Point)
The young lover tells his mate
that he can relate birds to her eyes,
to two birds sitting in Spurn’s
silt and grit and tapered land’s end
with their wings tucked in one neat pile.
As I stroll by the couple I crane my neck to see
what they look like, and my daughter keeps
asking where the birds are; everywhere,
I murmur, and we stoop to gather
some pebbles and array those into
an enormous gull or a sandpiper
with one golden egg still inside its nub.
The couple passes us. The young lass
looks a lot like my daughter.
The young man waves at us;
we wave back. A siren declares tide.
Bird on the beach
Inspired by John Law’s Sanderling
Timeless the sands
where cloud-birds sail
gull-waves fold soft as doves
foam and feathers
in pale sun-washed pebbles
and crushed into crumbs
scattered to pigeons.
Incantation to Bau-Gula – A Sonnet
Bau-Gula Goddess of dog and healing
Sweet mother of seven holy daughters
Bless this supplicant before you kneeling
Protect her from the hunting soul slaughters
Caring healer of the lonely broken
Queen of the tempest, grower of green herbs
Accept this crafted clay offer token
Teach her magic to dark demons deter
Lady of shelter and transformation
Star of divine knowledge and bringer of life
Lend her your holy regeneration
Let her understand your sage advice
Bau-Gula Goddess of dog and healing
Evaporate this depressive feeling
The pebble bird is brought to life
in magic sand and whistling wind.
He’s not all there, he’s merely half
a bird, one head, one eye, one wing.
He has two legs, now there’s a plus!
But oh, his legs do not have feet
so he won’t walk, he’ll just hold fast,
and silent is his pebbly beak.
His one eye stares up to the sky
where gulls of flesh and blood all wheel
and dip; he knows he’ll never fly
and waits for time and tide to steal
his short and strange and magic life.
Then, just like us, he’ll take his leave.
Inspired by JL12 and JC12
Magic often comes unseen,
in midnight sky, a sparkling flash,
on morning beach, a treasure stash—
a seabird message left for you
in colored stones of ocean hue.
Magic often comes unexpected,
a wish upon a star, synchronicity, chance,
or perhaps more than happenstance—
that needed doggy grin, the outstretched hand—
none of it planned,
nature and nurture, combined, entwined—
reactions or fate? Other realms or in-between,
ensorcellment in the glimmering sheen—
the magic, unexpected, unseen, and seen.
-Merril D Smith
A No To And Fro
Sanderling follows wave as it retreats,
skitters back when it returns. Arctic home,
it will return to, nest, breed, so complete
a routine. Plough bird it leaves holes, soon foamed
by incoming wax of water. Pebble
bird does not move knobbly beach stone mosaic
How long before waters wild rush and lull
rearranges as it does this coast with take
and give? This photo memory decays
at a different rate as does recall.
Photos a prompt. One of our many ways
to recover times amidst our head squall.
We waymark each hour as it passes on.
All waymarks subject to going, gone.
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.