Stonechat At Spurn
First gather your ingredients
A lattice of early light. Butter soft. You’d approve
that today is barely awake and already busy
baking – a dawn insistent
on offering us something well-mixed. Oh sweet, yes,
but still raw. This is the part, I think, where we’re allowed
to lick the bowl clean and never be full.
Your hand in mine is a twitchy animal
from another world, all its hollow armour worn now
on the outside. The baker drizzles her spoon
across the bed, basting well, and inside its shell some scanty meat
is juiced through and through with sunlight – in the world
I am imagining they loll out tongues and gulp it down greedy
like plants. In the world I am imagining, every day the sun rises
is a feast. I fit the whorled planet of my thumb’s tip
into the snuffbox at your wrist, stir up the motes
that have gathered there, excited to be free
of the flesh. Your pulse shivers your leaves, causes murmuring
in the populace – until now it’s been as reliable
as celsius, each stir of the batter meaning
be patient, love, for the cake. Oh how you celebrated
everything I was, now it’s my turn – me, on this day
so eager to begin she forgot her apron
and doesn’t care one whit for the mess. The blinds open,
you’re alight, sparks unsnuffed and streaming
to find the window and I’m not sure
if the sound that fills the room means I’m singing
or making my wish.
Tim Fellows says of the following poem:
It’s in “Mirrored Fib” format. Each line has the number of syllables in the Fibonacci sequence, which is linked to the natural spiral seen in spider’s webs and many other natural structures.
poised to host
a careless victim;
struggling in vain to save its life.
Would I watch, wondering whether I should intervene
if anything were caught within that sticky trap, break apart the web, or simply snap
the thinnest threads that hold the insect in its place, to free it from its jail, liberate
before Arachne wins the deadly race, but perhaps
its translucent wings are broken,
and, deprived of all
Jewelled meadow, diamond-strung with laced nets,
early morning before the sun slides over each surface
and sharpens it to one definition alone,
capture and filter the light.
Spider-spun ephemera, fading in fierce beams,
spin their delicate patterns from stalk to stem,
a web of functional beauty,
crafted with unconscious skill,
unlike the ocean-dragging nets that empty the seas,
the criss-cross trails that drag the blue from the sky,
the endlessly orbiting rubble
that threads the night with the mark of death.
(Inspired by Kerfe Roig’s 27th Painting – Reticulation)
Our lamp lights up the maze
of one ever zealous spider.
Light, that molten metal,
streams from the outer rim to the centre
where the creator awaits for its prey;
this is the time of vesper;
God devours my mother’s prayers and belches.
I wonder how far her phrasing and diction,
the way she susurrates the prayers now,
and what I do not listen, although I hear,
have gybed askew from
the ones she heard her mother murmuring.
The scent of silage permeates in the indoor air;
I invite sleep, but dare not host it,
because my mother always says,
never fall asleep at this time.
I stare into the spider’s reticulation, into the void,
recollect the memory of my mother’s death.
silk stitched enchantment
summer flower unfolding
most delicate of touches
Based on Reticulation by Kerfe Roig and Jane Cornwall’s art for the day
Interwoven. strand and strand
Under and over and right and left and
Interwoven. hand in hand
Living and dying breathing and leaving
We: a latticework
For beauty, for strenght
Because we cannot be
Any other way
Interwoven. thread and thread
Angle and arc conjunction and disjunction and
Interwoven. skin to skin
Even through walls or gloves even over miles or years
We: woven together
By nature, by will
Even the solitary, even the outcast
Is part and parcel. Remember this.
Inspired by KR27 and JC27
Recurring patterns, the leopard’s spots,
my cat’s dark stripes against the grey
the rings on snakes, the turtle’s shell–say
a spider’s web, or a snowflake falling,
the same skills in an artist’s drawings,
but each unique.
Individual thoughts, lives, memories,
we weave together—make a plait,
a history of this, or wait,
use a net to catch and hold,
the good, the bad, the horrid, the bold
lies and truth, untold and told—
the net cast on the water
to find treasure for our sons and daughters,
and if we never catch that elusive fish,
the legendary—still we wish,
and see the sun-caught sparkling blue
alive with light and promise, so, too
an outstretched hand
held out again and again, unplanned
a recurring pattern through generations
woven in and out of hopes and dreams.
Love. Not always what it seems,
caught in a net. Sometimes it’s more.
-Merril D Smith
checks pulse of the world, its call two pebbles
struck together, a spider tests along
its reticulation, tautness, careful
to sense rhythm of prey’s struggle free song.
Blacky-top, Chickstone, Furze Chitter, Stonesmith.
Stanechacker, Stane Chipper kals with Satan
in language of stones, a heartbeat, a riff
felt through skin, vivid communication.
Once it was said this Robin sized bird packs
A drop of Devil’s blood and any harm
it came to meant Devil breaking your back.
Perches on top of stalks and spins it’s yarn.
Hold both science and folklore together.
Stories enrich all life, make sense better.
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 email@example.com 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.