-Gaynor Kane – Love Hearts
-Anjum Wasim Dar – Double
-John Phandal Law
Garden Party (AWD21)
Rapture. French breakfast
radishes, sliced and
sauteed in butter and salt.
Oblong, magenta and white.
Or Easter egg radishes, round
and wrapped in pink, purple,
red, yellow. Sparklers and
Cherry Belles tumble
the produce case, waiting
for a snip and crunch. An
unassuming bit of glamour
underground. Party time
they lose flesh to knives.
linger on deli trays,
trade natural beauty
for commercial appeal.
—Lynne Jensen Lampe
So often the cliché
conceals a truth so
profound it exists in
plain sight but is not
Search classic Stax
from the late Sixties
you’ll find this track;
just look for William
title, which expresses
what the brave bereft
have learned A Smile
Can’t Hide (A Broken
GK21 Love hearts
Largs Fun-fair 1963
flesh-coloured spex & see-through mac
I flirt with Timmy the goofy lad
who judders around the roundabout
in pouring rain with toothy pout
offers me soggy love-hearts
hair all plastered to streaming face
braces bared in the jerky chase
even though he resembles a frog
we chew our hearts, lean in to snog
I have always loved
watching children force a smile
for the camera.
Half grimacing, sometimes
with slightly upturned mouth,
Or not showing teeth at all,
by Tooth Fairy gaps.
More often than not
seen in overpriced school photos.
In the sweetness of Love Hearts, palest purple hearts,
one an indictment to be happy, orders if you like,
the other a cartoon counterpoint of straight-mouthed
resignation. But which heart tastes the sweeter?
Choose one for a friend – which fits the bill?
What message do they need (or want) to hear?
No matter. Equal sour-sweet fizz on the tongue
if you choose right or wrong.
Choosing friendship is a bitter pill.
21. [Double AWD20]
I am pinching my self blush-hard
To bring me up as red as you,
Underneath the table. Polishing,
Polishing so bright, I’m seen
As your reflection, as your dopple-
Ganger. How can I scratch
Another size into the air I never
Was. Scritching all my variation,
Can I not just be your double?
To GK 21 Love_hearts and AWD 21 Double
A girl is misled to seek rescue
From her Prince Charming,
Her soul mate, protector.
He gazes into her eyes,
Looking for himself, or possibly
She bends her smile to reflect his, or possibly
Their steed, bloodied
By the weight of baggage
Stuffed with cracked mirrors.
Light lapping the darkness,
unpeeling the pith from the fruit,
the sorrow behind the smile,
and shadows between sunbeams,
are all parts of the round whole,
the casing of the hole,
the velvet casket where treasure lies.
The pearl in the rugged oyster,
fox eyes in the dark,
kite wings tilting with the wind,
rose petals falling after rain,
all that flies and creeps,
runs, streams or whispers
among the leaves and upon the strand
In my thirties
I started planning for retirement,
stuffing loose change into ISAs and pensions
so when I get old
we’ll live our days out
in a little white cottage.
Swaying together, greying, peacefully
watching waves balance the shore
restoring stolen sands,
washing up seaweed and crabs.
In my forties it changed overnight
from ‘when I get old’ to ‘if’.
Now I’m considering
splashing the lot
on a fortnight in Florida
with the kids.
(Inspired by all three images)
I am Janus-faced
smiling as I frown
ending a job, just
as I begin it
in a wave of motion, I swell,
an ebb and flow, a tide of becoming
a current of loss.
I am a chimera, the sea flows
through my veins, tiny salt crystals—
as my heart beats a tattoo,
wake and sleep, hope and despair.
I am time and timeless
a ripe apple and a seed newly planted
both here, both gone.
-Merril D. Smith
A mirror reflects
That exists in each
Tends to bring with it
Increased by tenfold
-Carrie Ann Golden
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)