-John Phandal Law
-Anjum Wasim Dar – Peace
-Gaynor Kane – mixed medium abstract garden
It Starts with One
to AWD-22 Peace
Parched by fury,
Cannot sing “Imagine”.
One cannot grow an Eden
If the soil is tilled
Peace is impossible
When the inner smile
22. [Peace AWD22]
This will be a difficult to write.
Needed to allow a touch.
Has to let a settle down.
Cannot put my legs. Walk
such a pasture. Hear
to the music. Help. Hand
needs taking and another
to the shoulder that I turn to,
burn to, fling so many hurts
away –only exhaustion of grief.
Only when I listen to the growing again,
and always it’s a difficult to write.
Who Said Your Mother Wants a Party? (AWD21 + GK21)
patchouli, and a new band
every hour from noon to five.
Drum circle in the parking lot,
children blowing bubbles
near the stream. Booths line
both sides of the street
for blocks and the whole
city celebrates spring.
Hundreds of people sprawl
on new grass, pile plastic
bottles into recycle bins,
buy sundresses made in sweatshops.
For those who seek
solitude, a forest
of oaks and sycamores,
may apples, trillium, and
sweet william. Fickle trails
that flirt with sun and rain.
Slick stones that almost
bridge the creek. Cardinals
whistle and chirp. Spend
quality time with your
mother, only fifteen
miles from town.
Most hikers burn
fossil fuels to get there,
clomp on new grass.
Respect your mother,
they say. But how?
-Lynne Jensen Lampe
In For Four, Out For Eight
After Anjum Wasim Dar
This morning dawns
in colour, and the bird
in my chest
has been set free.
Slightly stunned, I watch
as it embroiders the sky
with song, and wonder
if I’ll miss its wingbeats.
Both AWD22-Peace and GK22-mixed media
So enraged and saddened are we in these difficult times
It feels sinful for poets to produce indulgent rhymes
But these images that inebriate my eyes and mind –
Of fairy woods and meadow flower music all combined –
Unlock emotions and chemical reactions Nature-designed
To rock me in their summer notes – make my sad soul find
A colour-coded rare content, permission to unwind —
Suspicion-free to welcome love and joy both unconfined
Monsieur Qui in the Garden (Inspired by all three images)
There’s a ghost in the garden–
a man with a hat from a century ago,
sitting as if for a portrait–
(I think he’s French.)
He seems content,
as he sits and smokes
his hand-rolled cigarette,
the scent drifts over the first roses
as real as this serene garden
of fall fruit and spring flowers,
as elusive as peace.
-Merril D. Smith
The Insignia (JPL22)
An elder woman and a boy
Roamed through the rumbles
Once their home
She spied something among the ruins
And picked it up
What’s that, Baba? The boy asked
The woman paused, tears filled her eyes
Mij Tato. She gently touched the piece of torn fabric
An insignia my papa wore during the invasion years ago.
Your da was a soldier? The boy looked up at her
Yes, my boy – he fought against Rosiya.
She caressed the cloth
He died defending Mariupol – ‘tis all I’ve left of him
With her gaze on the boy, she held out the patch
He’d want you to have this
The boy took it from her trembling hand
He studied the badge for a long time
Baba? Is war like tornadoes?
The woman glanced at the debris
No, tornadoes are natural occurrences
Wars are evil, waged by evil men
What you hold in your hands – the blood your see on it
Shed in the hands of such men
Your freedom came at a high, high cost my dear boy
And I pray it’s a price you never ever have to pay
She rested a hand on his head
Slava Ukraini. She whispered with a smile
-Carrie Ann Golden
Today, in a steelworks, liberation looks like:
sulphurous explosions in the mid-ground
mortar shocks left and right
from a distance, a yellow dream of dancing
figures, emerging from starved catacombs into corridors.
A last stand of the barricaded,
an obliterated city,
liberation looks like fighting.
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)