-Gaynor Kane – St. John’s Lighthouse
-John Phandal Law
-Anjum Wasim Dar – Politics
It Could Be Us
To AWD-28 Politics
I make signs pronouncing compassion, kindness,
unity with hearts dressed in colors for Ukraine.
“Children are not Nazies!”
We stand on a busy corner daily at 5:00pm. Her baby
naps in a carrier
against a warm bosom
as Putin bombs schools
and soldiers massacre mothers
Honking cars respond with loud wails. People pull over
to get free signs.
Viktoriia calls her family there daily.
Another Ukrainian friend
hasn’t heard from her relatives
for weeks now.
it’s just that
the internet is down.”
But in Mariupol –
Another friend’s elderly father
who has Parkinson’s
is nearly abandoned
as helpers have fled.
She’s on the phone daily
pleading for others
to aid this man in his nineties. Get him his meds.
Across the street from our crowd in blue and yellow
stands a bearded man
as old as war
holding his hunched-over sign, “Save Palestine.”
I can see through him
to his dissolving joints. We wave
as he teeters off, still
AWD28 – Politics
once I thought it was
something to do with being
diplomatic, democratic and
acting in the best interest of
everyone, so all
that really used to bother
me about becoming one
of them and rising to the
top of their power-heap
was the thought of
occasions that may arise –
part of the job of course –
to determine some have
to sacrifice their lives on
my stroke of the
pen/ I used to pity a leader
placed in such an invidious
situation – sad now to know
Day 28 AWD & JPL
Seeds into soil; last year’s harvest grew ripe
and golden in fields.
What new thing grows when shells
are sown? The rich dust is buried.
Truth must push up, fertile as sunflowers.
GK28 St Johns Lighthouse
A finger to the heavens, thrust
against mares-tail clouds, flat sky.
Neutered by daylight, its garish
shape is a hackneyed seaside trope.
When dusk crawls on its stone
face, a single rotating eye
blasts light seawards, makes
sense of mariners’ darkness.
Countryside—a tanka (AWD28 + JPL28)
Their field groans clover
and headstones. We seed the land
with cluster bombs, hustle grief,
feed rage. Cellar promises
till the people cry enough.
—Lynne Jensen Lampe
after Miguel Hernandez
We come from the earth;
lands of wheat, from the same milk.
Sun and air, flowers that laugh
at the gently falling snow.
And we will fight now, fists
clenched and blood in our throats.
And to the earth we will return.
the stars, the moon whisper
instructions I cannot hear
tides tell tales
I have not yet deciphered
even the solid earth offers
particulate instruction, unheeded
I confess my ignorance
the world is speaking and I am straining to understand
yet I understand this:
you stretch out a high alert.
Your light betrays threat –
you sing us away in silent eloquence
The Hurricane Called Life (GK28)
In the brutal storm
Are tearing me
Seeps deep into
Slash at my face
In fear, in anguish
A flash of light
Draws my eyes
There, in the distance
Standing firm against
The onslaught of the towering
An angel in disguise
Me towards it
‘Tis all I needed
To hold on
‘till I reach those
Glorious white shores
-Carrie Ann Golden
28. [Politics ADW28]
are just a way to say ‘no’.
Let us cling to our denial,
each in our own way,
of what the other people say.
It’s not as if any of us
is floating off the ground,
has no ground beneath our backs.
Except, that helicopter,
buzz buzz buzz above your head,
keeping you safe from the spinning ground.
The Result (Inspired by AWD, “Politics”)
With alligator smiles
they dazzled, dangling
the promise of freedom
on the tips of their sharp teeth
but the monstrous jaws snapped,
cities, trees, people fell
fertilizing the ground with blood–
no flowers bloomed,
no bird sang at dawn,
only death awakened this spring,
-Merril D. Smith
As we drive past pantone colour charts
full of sheep or polytunnels
I’ll ask city-boy questions
and my wife smiles, and tells me things
like “that’s not hay, it’s straw”
or “that’s not straw, it’s hay”.
And she knows that I’ll never
remember the difference between
one set of yellowing grave stones
and another, like she has to remind me
to take my non-drowsy Loratadine
or I’ll ruin a nice day out
with husked sneezing, sugar beet eyes,
and a scrambling vetched headache.
– Jamie Woods
Green grow the ashes (inspired by John Phandal Law and Anjum Wasim Dar)
Green grew high then golden faced,
scratched black with eyebrow-arching crows,
a glitter in the blue then screaming red.
The scattered gold, infertile waste,
where only twisted shrapnel grows,
red-bloomed black mouths O in surprise.
Tears glint among the ashes; dead
the hope that Firebird might rise.
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)