John Phandal Law
-Gaynor Kane – Surfer, Port Rush, County Antrim
-Anjum Wasim Dar – Oxygen
July Fourth, Just Us (AWD29)
We stretch on blankets at twilight,
scratchy wool against summer
skin. Shagbark hickory, sycamore,
mulberry, and oak shield us
from indigo sky and its froth
of stars. We munch almonds,
swig lemonade, wait for the city
fireworks to sequin the night.
—Lynne Jensen Lampe
It was just him and the sea
and the cold sky watching;
the slow rise and fall,
further out, further out,
waiting, heart pumping,
the world shut out,
only the board and the waves,
holding on, certain yet uncertain,
balancing risk and reward.
AWD29 – Oxygen
Beyond the tree line
begins to end
and my breath
less and less
it is a
painful moment of
irony that fills
plagues of the past
How lucky then
pens and brushes
to be active
in a time of
plague and poverty
overcast by nothing less
than threat of
nuclear apocalypse –
is it any wonder we got so excited
And we were right to be –
are going to be
spoiled for choice
I Am Breath
to AWD-29 Oxygen
I am breath, cloud of life,
streaming into each vein and pore,
feeding the heart, rooting it to the sky.
Clean and pure I enter
into your being, your heat.
Marvel in your temple.
Leave with your burdens.
Just as the tide. In the tight space
between each surge, my wisdom
Watch out for
The shadow hidden
‘neath the metallic waves
Red is the color of
The setting sun
The churning sea
The abyss welcomes
-Carrie Ann Golden
-Vicky Allen (inspired by GK29)
29 JPL and AWD
(People are still under Azovstal works)
In some corner of an English field
the relics of a pit-head. The first glimpse of light
as you emerge from underground hurts most,
the first new air when you come up,
the best. When you come up: the deep-down sweat
of it, the smell of coal and struggle, a grinding cough,
the pride-shame of your work filth, piss stains on your boots,
dark phlegm on the back of a sleeve, and the first cigarette
to taint the cool air, to spoil the whiff of your own tarry stench.
And the silence of the surface : a crunch of boots, some jokes,
plans for the pub, a tip for a dead cert at the bookie,
and the game at the weekend.
The relief of it. To have come through intact and free
of loss. Another shift below ground done. Clock off. And walk
In some corner of another land,
under the land, below the steelworks, beneath
the surface of the mangled world, breathe
your first breath, see
your first light and smell
29. [Oxygen AWD29]
Everything is breathing.
Even the earth is throwing,
from its deep soil, roots
for the tasty air.
Even the sky is sliding
sylphy fingers across itself;
self-love is to be celebrated.
The trees, the grass, of course,
we could hear their sighs in the womb,
before we even took our own
Blood breathing in
from the lungs breathing in
from our outsides breathing in
Oxygen (Inspired by AWD, “Oxygen”)
From the dark, soupy universe
light emerged, the afterglow of explosion
to our primeval oceans
where microbes gobbled oxygen
and cyanobacteria sent some into the air
And from there, flowers bloomed,
and then came fruit,
and us, and love, and art—
microscopic particles recycled, torn apart
in the process of (re)creating space and hearts.
-Merril D. Smith
(after Surfer, Portrush, County Antrim GK29)
Inside the wetsuit a fire builds:
overcast greys and blue-collared waves
won’t dampen this glowing life-force.
Building-site sand sticks to his soles,
windchill factors can’t blow out the longing.
The sea waits dutifully,
ready to be worked, ready to be loved.
Feet into saltwater, the cold turns to warmth,
turns to heat, turns to flame,
becomes peace, burns with joy: alive.
– Jamie Woods
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)