Everything You Want
Mother’s little alien
Adolescence blew the doors off
Our suburban ranch house,
And I walked out, newly sprouted,
Blinded by the arcing lights.
I inhaled this world of spices.
As mother’s voice faded
Behind my thinning shadow,
As I stepped into the craft
And never looked back.
Inspired by all three works
Burning bright, each season’s swift turning,
she comes named and nameless, always here
assuaging aches and calming yearning
giver of life and light—see her,
she comes named and nameless, always here
reaching the apples, making fungi sprout,
giver of life and light, in darkness, see her
circling–a serpent, in and out
reddening the apples, making fungi sprout,
not angel nor demon, she is desire
circling. A serpent in and out,
beyond time–she’s earth, air, and fire–
not angel nor demon, she is desire,
assuaging aches and calming yearning.
Beyond time, she’s earth, air, and fire-
burning. Bright, each season’s swift turning.
-Merril D Smith
You’d toed the tunnel like I had, both of us
spun and spat out, and oh how it consumes you that it failed
to consume you. Is there mercy you bled
into the afterwards still
travelling on through
stolen time and I can’t answer you. We can’t stop
the engine long enough in a way that isn’t
risking forever. My hands clench to yank
all the mechanisms they use in the films
to show time passing, off the map. Too real,
cloud-scudding flicker of calendar pages, clocks break-
dancing moon after moon, those rivers of necked sand.
I want to unlandscape, no soundtrack, hold the tongue
of everything relentless and ticking. We’ve had days
I’d globe in glass to keep safe, but even they rattle
the beat, our feet on rough-remote still chewing mile
after mile of watchless, clockless, carless, phoneless, fussless
us-ness. Even unplugged, we keep our metre.
Best I can tell you
of mercy is that the countdown
of my cells wants to sound it out clearly this time,
as present as a bang on the glass. From ten down
to lift off, conscious of the fuel. Even idling, even knowing
we have to leave. Do it full, just like you were preparing, this time,
for a much longer trip.
The blackberry way
Inspired by all three artworks.
Who would have thought the path
would be so unkind, unfair?
Walking in the light reveals the poison
in the shadows, the hedges full of things
we must not touch, the tempting fruits
that turn to dust on the tongue.
Where did it go, the dream,
or was it only ever duty,
bow the head and avert the gaze?
I stop my ears to the muttered
menace, the sterile warnings
that birth only bitterness
and the thin line of lips.
I will walk in the light among
all that drips and creeps,
and what is sweet, I will taste,
like the blackbird tastes,
pays with a song
and moves on.
A lonely, bored woman called eve
to satisfy hunger did thieve
the low hanging fruit
thus changing the route
of the future of mankind in the physical and intellectual wilderness on earth!
moon backlights all monochrome
from the past the future looms
‘Everything you want’
It’s always such an anticlimax when someone succumbs
The Bible’s first couple lost Eden to understand good and evil?
Of all the feasts they could have fallen for, they chose crumbs?
And to make this worthless choice they were allowed freewill?
The sage of Wittenberg was supposed to thirst for knowledge
But bargained everything away for 24 years of knavery
For pranks and sex he dipped the pen in his blood and made the pledge
In return for nothing of worth and an eternity of infernal slavery.
I’ll admit to being pliable to temptation myself, it takes just a look
That re-issued bebop vinyl, the collected works of Dickinson
So many times I choose to wear the old coat, read the new book
And my choices probably seem petty to those with clear vision
Everything you want is always out of reach, but somehow only just
And that illusion of nearness, that’s the secret, that’s why we chase lust.
Beware the serpent who promises everything without demanding anything in return.
He just plays on the ego’s lazy wish to receive without having to earn or learn.
Watch out for the seeping poison that hides behind polished images online.
They are just there to trick you into thinking polished surfaces lead to clouds nine, where everything is always fine.
Think twice before leaping into beliefs that promise salvation and explanation as long as you follow the rules and never question anything.
They just play with your ego’s fear of life’s uncertainties, anything can happen, even if you try to control everything.
Watch your step whenever someone promises a pill or drink or smoke or sniff will make everything fine.
They are only out for your hard earned dime, while you dull your shine and end up in dependency confined.
Keep your wits about you whenever you feel bedazzled and someone tries to sell you something your heart, soul and gut know sounds too good to be true.
They are most likely out trying to put your perspective askew, leaving you feelig stupid, lonely, sad and blue.
Life is never as easy as we wish, sometimes it’s full of hardship and anguish.
Mostly it’s full of hard work, with the occasional perk.
It is also full of moments of happiness and joy, of love, friendships and passions that our souls buoy.
Listen to your instincts, heart and soul, and you’ll find what for you is a worthwhile goal.
(Inspired by John Law’s 19th Painting – Fly Agaric)
And I fell when my sister
pushed me down
to the level of the beauty
of three fly agarics sprawled
and a couple more asleep nearby;
“If you eat those,” warns my sister,
but I am already a fly stupefied,
hallucinating that the dark forest damp
is the universe, and unless I
open my eyes this would never end –
this me, her, shrooms, buzz,
scent of our innocence
and sweet decay of the imminent.
in the beginning
After seven days
of evolutionary millennia
the artist formerly known as
laid down her/his brush,
looked upon the canvas
stretching away below, bathed in light
spanning the void above, dark like night
and the artist considered the canvas
the heaven and earth
the day and night
the grass and herbs and fruit
the moving creatures, flying fowl, every creeping thing
it was good
a smile of achievement alighted on his/her lips
as tears of pride fell
from the heavens onto the canvas below
boundaries, barriers, borders of separation
it was better
A dome of red
and dots of cream
seems like the perfect place for
toads to squat.
The perfect height
and put to rights
the problems of the world
How there are
too many frogs
around the pond these days
with their weird croaks
and mysterious froggy ways.
The toads all nod,
slip off their stools
into the evening gloom.
See Everything You
want or need, only you will pay for what
is awareness of your own nakedness.
It’s a bed of red mushroom with white spots.
It brings animal dreams and fearlessness.
Wandering in the not there, a long fast,
Only water to drink before sacred
food for a talk with ancestors, in vast
world as eyes in flight or earthed as naked
hog in dark forest, feel gust tip wingtips,
or high wander into oncoming light.
Startled by harsh hospital sight that rips
away visions until wounds are pain bright.
Swap one sensation for inspiration.
Widen a mind in grey desperation.
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
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.