-Anjum Wasim Dar – Sweet Peas
John Phandal Law – Robin Hood’s Bay
-Gaynor Kane – Salthill. Galway Fairground
The Illusion of Kings
To JPL 27
The house sits alone with what remains
after unpaid taxes, bankruptcy or death.
Out back, in the garage, a dusty Rolls Royce
sits near a Harley awaiting its license.
A way in, the back door.
The kitchen, still stocked
with expired food. Opening the fridge
takes the breath away.
Cupboards filled with crystal goblets.
Family china. Silverware.
A pan of something dark and hard on the stove.
The table set for dinner. Wine,
ready to serve. The chairs,
stirred from their stations
in a haphazard escape.
The hallway, a display of photos
of the entire life of a young girl from birth
to the last photo. She is age 12?
Other walls display fine art
stained by water dripping from the roof
An elaborate front entryway with cushioned chairs
laced with ivy streaming in
through a broken window.
Hooks for hats and riding gear.
A table holds a tea cup for a visitor
awaiting entry to the parlor,
which is a velvet, dark hard wood,
A library with shelves to the ceiling
holding the classics, now shriveling to dust.
Left behind, family albums, accounting books.
The stairway winds an oaken path
to bedrooms and wardrobes
filled with the starched glare of linens
and gaudy fashions of the day.
The roof gives in to the weight of rain.
Rodents and birds build nests
in the shadows of long-forgotten riches
The master bedroom,
large enough for a fireplace
and plush sitting area.
An unmade bed languishes
under Christ on the Cross.
A half-used bag of fluids
hangs from a hook.
Over the fireplace mantle,
the proud family crest.
Turnings (Day 27, inspired by all three images)
The poet in the attic room,
frayed cuffs rolled, sits at the desk
by the open window–
aware of the cliché—
the garret room, drafty in winter
yet not without charm now
as the scent of sweet pea
from the garden drifts and wanders–
a memory circling
like the Ferris wheel at the fair,
straining to reach the top.
Merril D. Smith
27. [Sweet Peas AWD27]
Did any another flower
seem like butterflies
holding the world up?
Sweet peas (AWD27)
when the blackbird blows reveille
you are there
when seedlings raise their faces
you are there
when tides run quick as women
you are there
on the dizzy tops of fells
you are there
when sails fill with breeze
you are there
walking blind in cloudbursts
you are there
in the breath of sweetpeas
you are there
Big Wheel (GK27 Salthill Galway fairground)
eyes down to see ground approaching
look up don’t throw up candy floss
eat chips watch neon flash at the moon
smile back at lipstick carousel stallions
unpeel centripetal bliss in spiral slide
brave the hangout of one-armed bandits
Same Wheel, Different Town (GK27)
Spin, twirl, & hurl
the usual fare—
cotton candy, popcorn,
pork chop on a stick.
Roller coaster, tilt-a whirl.
Snickers fried & jammed
on a pick. Funnel cake.
Caramel apples. Pay no attention
to the signs. Scream & laugh.
Please keep arms
& legs in at all times.
What fun is that?
—Lynne Jensen Lampe
AWD27 – Sweet Peas
I remember a time
when it was acceptable
to have utopian visions of a
future world enhanced by
advances in technology
attributable to well-intentioned
nerds and geeks with
minds which think differently
And there would be
of removing hunger and poverty
of reducing the need for conflicts —
it was something to look forward to
which seemed reachable
as much as idealist
But something intercepted progress,
inserting between arteries and brain
a dependence on artificial intelligence
for those who had grown used to the
existing imbalance and were easily
persuaded that there was no need
of change – ‘We shall keep all of you
entertained and restrained as your
Minds are suspended from a frame
like plants on a climbing trellis
No need to worry your pretty little…
Don’t look there, look here…
No need to wander beyond the garden
Everything you need is here
Nor the right kind of peaceful
Thrills (Inspired by Gaynor Kane’s photograph of the Salthill fairground)
The spectacle of risk,
fear of falling, dying,
the precipice edge,
with no blunted weapons,
is now sugared with candy floss,
the simulation of risk
in waltzing teacups,
and the prize is not glory
but a cheap, grinning
after GK27 Salthill, Galway, Fairground.
They kissed for the first time
at the touring funfair
candyfloss and petrichor
petrol and cinnamon.
They paid two tokens each
for a go on the ferris wheel
without once looking at the view:
lost and dissolving
wrapped inside each other
in the forever of the moment.
On the speedway the man in charge
clears his throat and taps the sign.
ARMS & LEGS
Embarrassed but besotted
they leave the ride hand-in-hand
neither wanting to be
the first to let go.
after Steve Earle
Galway Girl was being played in the Irish pub
by the regular turn – his backing track thumps
and as he sang, across the room,
I saw you, cocktail in your laughing hand.
Your hair was blond and your eyes were brown
and I wanted to take you from this tired town
round the Salthill Prom or anywhere at all
and get asked to your flat when the rain starts to fall
but then he came in and his kiss on your mouth
left me all alone to dream
of your brown eyes and long blond hair
and how my broken heart
never got chance to get halfway there.
Wheel of horror
To my death
(Inspired also by a personal experience of a nearly grave mishap on a Ferris wheel called “Tumbleweed” at the Great Escape aka Storytown amusement park in Lake George, NY)
-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.
work appears in various online and print publications. She earned both third place and honorary mention for two poems in Well Versed 2021. She is currently writing her first poetry collection about her relationship with her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s. From that memoir collection, her poem “Marie Kindo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks” was voted Spillwords Publication of the Month of January and February 2022. Barbara was also voted Spillwords Author of the Month of October 2021 and recognized as a Spillwords Socialite of the Year in 2021. You can follow her on WordPress at https://www.extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog.
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)