-John Phandal Law
-Anjum Wasim Dar – Playing Field
AWD18 – Playing Field
an enlightened view
the corrective lens
that life has stilled —
dancers in the plain
Be a Lady
to GK18 Ice Queen at C.S.Lewis Square Belfast
Hold in your tummy
When you walk, or else
You won’t be pretty. I want you
To do the dishes for Mrs.Smith
After dinner with them on Saturday.
No complaints –
It builds character. By the way,
Everyone can see you misbehaving
In the choir. You’re setting a bad example
For your brothers and sisters.
Don’t play with your hair
When you talk to those boys
Across the park. Such flirting,
Will only cause you trouble.
Ladies don’t wear such shirt skirts.
We want you home by nine.
Don’t cross your eyes like that.
They’ll freeze in place.
18. [Playing Field AWD18]
In my new dress of green,
I settle softly on the grass,
Hoped to watch the summer pass,
Reflect on what I’ve seen.
Johnny had come by to ask
My father in the lambing field
If he might a cottage build,
And me to be his lass.
I ached to see my father yield,
(Johnny is a handsome lad,
But comes in cloth of scripture clad),
A spit and shake and sealed.
And with a choice I never had,
I sit amongst the butterflies,
All circled round me in disguise,
And yearning to be sad.
But still beneath the growing skies
The wings, that never were the same,
Seem to play a fairy game
Of little ladies. little guys,
Chasing for a sacred name
They fling above the bounding air,
Rolling, dressed in only hair,
And ignorant of shame,
They intimate another where,
A girl in her new dress of green,
Might slip off glady, never seen,
And Johnny will not care.
Level Playing Field
The playing field
slopes right to left;
steeper and steeper
until it becomes
Games people play
Funny to think of people playing
at a time like this
men chasing a ball
crowds cheering and hugging
as if as if as if
the world was saved
the children not dead
the cities not destroyed
the oceans not poisoned
the forests not razed.
Funny how they can cheer
at a time like this
as if as if as if
the most important thing beneath the sun
is a ball kicked into the back of a net
almost as funny as arguing
over celebrity antics
or which side God is on
the devout murderers’
or the humane unbelievers’.
Marram Grass (JPL18)
Onshore breeze strokes the strands
of marram grass the way a person
might caress a cat
and the marram grass moves
lithe as a cat, leans with the wind,
watches the sand grains shift
along the shore.
in the typhoon
no matter what the world may do
because the alternative is breaking
an end to future making
so I bend
but I bend from strength not weakness
I bend full of light not of darkness
Rorschach Test (AWD18)
He was sweating and so was his bloody
mary. Coasters. He checked the coffee-table
drawer and found a small canvas, a swirl
of absinthe and maraschino cherry spikes.
The painting made him think of columbine—
the flower, not the shooting. When they
moved to this house just two stems flailed
in the front bed, but now they were everywhere,
the columbine outlasting the azalea,
hellebore, bleeding heart. Flowers dim
their colors as summer bleeds out to fall.
Her mother’s assignment. Art therapy.
She’d forgotten about it, never asked
what it was. Red yarn, maybe, the kind
that tufts a blanket made of old denim and faded
flour sacks, heavy as an xray shield. Every
cedar chest holds at least one. She stared
at the green shimmer, remembered her mother’s
crème de menthe. In the painting she saw a crazy
quilt—knots against chartreuse satin stitched
to vermilion velvet and white wool. It didn’t belong.
Not here. She wanted nothing to do with crazy.
—Lynne Jensen Lampe
If the sickened wind
blew iller or harder
the arching stems could reach
and that’s why we have splints
and poles and windbreaks
and that’s why we have medicines and vaccines and plasters
at the lake the long grass regrows each year
and that’s how we know we might just survive
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.
is an author and poet from Northern Ireland now living in Scotland. She has been published widely including Poetry Scotland, The Blue Nib and Marble Poetry. She loves spending time with her grandchildren, curling up with a good book and champagne or cocktails in no particular order.
is a poet and sailor living in Plymouth. She often writes about loss, rescues and the sea.
Her work has been published in anthologies from Arachne Press, Nine Pens, Quay Words, Slate, snakeskin, and soon by BrokenSpine and Broken Sleep.
Her poetic relationship with sound has been helped by her work as a BBC broadcaster, editing words on screen.
-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.
lives by the sea in Essex with her husband and two small children. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in a variety of publications including Ink Sweat & Tears, Chestnut Review, Atrium and The Madrigal. Her first collection, The Colour of Hope, was published in 2020 and she’s currently working on a chapbook of poems about early motherhood.
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)