-John Phandal Law – Robin Hood’s Bay
-Gaynor Kane – Broken Eggshell
-Anjum Wasim Dar – Hidden Crime
Would we Molotov the soldiers as they pass over a bridge
to our home? How do you spell Molotov?
If they come, then we will spell it out.
We must learn how to grate polystyrene
And tear our rags. Issue guns to the ministers:
Lighter weight for us women. Gave us the basics of training.
I wish now I’d let my boyfriend teach me how to shoot.
The Old House
stlll looks the same, as if I could
dip in my pocket, take the key
and slowly turn the creaking door
that later I’d forget to oil.
Step on the bumpy kitchen floor,
that we said we’d change but never did.
You said that it would spoil
the feel, the spirit of the place.
I felt that too, and we would
let the clock tick on another year
until the stairs would hurt your knees
as winter’s chill would drain your face
and so with tears we said goodbye.
And when the door closed one last time
did the creak seem like a sigh?
-Tim Fellows (inspired by JPL4)
Broken Cosmic Egg
To GK 4 Broken Egg
Our universe a tilt
Rolls out of the cosmic nest
Into the stony abyss,
Like Pandora’s Box.
The yolk spills into rivers and oceans,
The white caps stormy waves.
All life, all souls, shift
In a slanted light.
We gaze into cracked mirrors.
The shells around our hearts,
In a strange land.
We’ve lost our minds,
Our impulse controls,
The shatter and splatter
Of our fall from grace
Into a new Easter.
Where is our Christ?
After Gaynor Kane
There are stories in everything.
As spring begins its green
this little home has been outgrown.
I walk home along the hedgerow
and find myself praying.
For the push of a beak;
wet feathers drying in new light.
For the absence of teeth,
or plundering boot heels.
For these broken pieces to mean
the possibility of flight.
– Jen Feroze
Galloping (Inspired by AWD4, “Hidden Crime”)
There were The Rules
and The Rules had to be obeyed–
it didn’t matter what they were
they didn’t exist to make sense,
only to break us.
She knew they would come
the figures with robes the color
of the sky–
they tried to kill her love
but had to kill her instead
because she dared
to speak, to write, to paint, to sing
in every shade and hue
and inspired others
to mark the walls
with her symbol
a blue-eyed horse–
one day, they’d ride it
and gallop to freedom.
As Time Goes By (Inspired by JPL 4)
“The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by”
–Herman Hupfeld, “As Time Goes By” (1931)
We took a walk in the old neighborhood,
the rooftops glowed with welcome,
the window of our old attic flat smiled—
once sunlight streamed through that window
coating our naked bodies in gold,
once winter licked us with its cold tongue
so that we held each other tighter
under the flimsy blankets.
Good memories, you said.
Good memories, I agreed.
You took my hand, and we walked on.
-both by Merril D. Smith
sudden spring storm
now is the time to learn
Egg Shell (GK4)
White shell, discarded,
lies in the green celandine,
empty as the Easter tomb,
the miracle it held
set free to fly on hopeful wings.
The Lotus and The Clover
(after AWD4 Hidden Crime)
Daubed on the wall
The Lotus and The Clover.
eternity, and fortune.
As knights ride Trojan
To enforce the good word
He hangs. Alone,
unprotected by faith.
The Eggshell (GK4 Broken Eggshell)
A broken eggshell
Empty of life
While hiking on a trail
An eagle circled above
The towering evergreens
Has this been its meal?
Or a lost eaglet?
A chirping turned my eyes
Further from the path
In the coarse, yellowing grass sat a nestling
Its feathers fuzzy and white
I pressed my palm against my heart,
I happily tiptoed away
Leaving the Momma
To tend to her
-Carrie Ann Golden
Outfoxed: A Tanka (GK4)
Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)—Alanis Morissette, “You Learn”
Love’s shell game cracked wide open.
Jagged little pill,
my fertile hope, slick innards
slurped from their ovoid prison.
—Lynne Jensen Lampe
4. [Hidden Crime AWD4]
Rhiannon is my horse today.
Mounted on her high back,
I’m told the tale:
‘Awakened by the nurses
of my child,
and iron blood upon my lip,
crunching through the small bones,
to find my iron boy
absent from his crib.
“You’ve eaten him!
Scoffed your baby.”
Twittered at me like birds.
All the mortals
need carrying to the castle, tale-bearing.’
Did you eat him?
Did you eat your boy?
She looks at me in silence.
Robin Hood’s Bay
I remember skipping
down the stone slipway
(“slipway” – I learned this word later)
Mum, Dad, slower down the slick slope
calling out “take care”
(“take care” – I learned later how to give,
how to accept, how to value, how to be free, but not how to take)
the sky a low grey blanket
the stone-strewn sand dull at my sandalled feet
I picked up gleaming slivers of the night sky
clasped them cold, wet in my fist
“jet” my mum said with a smile
(“jet” – I learned.
I learned every time a mouth
utters the words “jet black”
I would be once again
a small child
skipping down the slipway
being taught wonder
by her smiling mum)
Broken Shell, or NKVD in Odessa Catacombs
is a safe and warm comfortable home.
Fragments of walls are solid protection.
Early breaking was timed to perfection.
The yolk spilling out has freedom to roam,
is their heads hunting underground alone
in here and above is devastation.
below thousands of miles deprivation
of light and heat, the way out now unknown.
Secret Police skilled in stealth trained to combat
invaders above, kill one another
below in the darkness, all desperate
to find the door into light and fresh air,
where it is easier to define a threat,
than in underground of their heads despair.
Bios And Links
-John Phandal Law
is 68. Lives in Mexborough. Retired teacher. Artist; musician; poet. Recently included in ‘Viral Verses‘ poetry volume. Married. 2 kids; 3 grandkids
Gaynor Kane lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she is a part-time creative, involved in the local arts scene. She writes poetry and is an amateur artist and photographer. In all her creative activities she is looking to capture moments that might otherwise be missed. Discover more at gaynorkane.com
-Anjum Wasim Dar
started drawing at St Anne’s Presentation Convent High School, Rawalpindi.
Drawing was taught as a Core subject from Kindergarten.
Anjum learnt the skill of Still Life, Sketching, Landscape Drawing, Coloring and Shading She recalled the scented wax crayons and black paper sketch books vividly.
Subject of Fine Arts at Intermediate level at Govt.College for Women Rawalpindi, was stopped by the Indo Pak War of 1965. Anjum continued her passion for art privately.
Her job as a Teacher Instructor allowed her to pursue Art work designing and preparing Thematic Bulletin Boards and Low cost teaching Aids with the Fauji Foundation Teacher’s Training Institute Rawalpindi. www.faujifoundation.org.
This won her the National Education Award 1998.
Completing a Course in Graphic Designing at NICON Academy Rawalpindi , Anjum began working as a Digital Artist, On Line, registered her Own Firm CER Creative Education Resources 2004 and is a Member of DRN Drawing Research Network UK and www.bigdraw.org.uk
With her artistic skills she plans and conducts “Environment Awareness Workshops for Children” and is a member of www.unep.org and www.earthday.org
CER Participated in World Environment Day and Earth Day Programs 2011-2013
“Face of Climate Change”
Anjum loves Nature, landscapes and abstract imagery. Works with pencils, crayons and the Software ArtRage 2.0 and MyPaint.
Anjum Wasim Dar’s Art Portfolio can be accessed here:
-Merril D. Smith
lives in southern New Jersey near the Delaware River. Her poetry has been published in several poetry journals and anthologies, including Black Bough Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, Fevers of the Mind, and Nightingale and Sparrow. Her first full-length poetry collection, River Ghosts, is forthcoming from Nightingale & Sparrow Press. Twitter: @merril_mds Instagram: mdsmithnj Website/blog: merrildsmith.com
is a teacher and writer. She was shortlisted for Love Reading UK’s 2022 Very Short Story Award. Featured flash can be found in The Broken Spine, FullHouseLitMag and RoiFaineant. Kathryn O’Driscoll selected her poem Empty for Full House’s 2021 mental health live reading and forthcoming podcast. Brian Moses, The Dirigible Balloon and Parakeet Magazine have published some of her writing for children.
-Lynne Jensen Lampe
has poems in or forthcoming from Figure 1, Olney Magazine, Yemassee, Moist Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Also to come is her chapbook Talk Smack to a Hurricane (Ice Floe Press, 2022) about mothers, daughters, and mental illness. She was a 2020 Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize finalist. Born in Newfoundland and raised in the Deep South, she lives in mid-Missouri where she edits academic books and journals. Visit her at https://lynnejensenlampe.com. Twitter: @LJensenLampe.
is London-born, but is now based in Oxford. He has two books published: Sabrina Bridge, a poetry collection, from Black Pear Press (2017), and The Knotsman, a collection of verse, rhyme, prose and poetic monologue, which tell of the life and times of a C17th cunning-man. Much of his verse comes out of mythology and folklore: encounters with the uncanny and unseen. Also, as words written for Pagan ritual or as praise poems for a multitude of goddesses and gods. He is a trained actor and performs his poems widely.
-Tim Fellows is a writer based in Derbyshire. His debut pamphlet, Heritage, was published in 2019 by Glass Head Press.
-Carrie Ann Golden
is from the mystical Adirondack Mountains now living on a farmstead in the Red River Valley of North Dakota (USA). She writes dark fiction and poetry. A Deafblind, her work has been published in places such as GFT Press, Doll Hospital Journal, The Hungry Chimera, Asylum Ink, Piker Press, Edify Fiction and others. You can find her on her writing blog as well as Medium and Twitter.
is a shop asst in a supermarket. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. First play performed at The Gulbenkian Theatre, Hull. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews, book reviews and challenges. 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. Most recent is a poetry collaboration with artworker Jane Cornwell: “Wonderland in Alice, plus other ways of seeing”, (JCStudio Press, 2021)