Have you created any snow poetry/short prose/artworks? Love to feature them. Please include a short third person bio.

snowed unicorn spire

Snowed Wombwell Spire

-photo by Paul Brookes

The Igloo

The surveying field-course, and
Malham Tarn was frozen flat and
snowed on, a deep lagged mass
warming for spring and
breathing at its edges.

We set up tripods and pointed laser
beams across the ice, derived a number
called curvature of the earth, cut
blocks of ice and built an igloo,
warmed inside while waiting for the transit.

Months passed before I returned in early summer.
The ice-shell home was soft brown lake water
and a ring of snow survived in grass
to puzzle walkers and feed their children
summer evening snowballs.

-Cy Forrest

unseasonal snow by John Hawkhead

-John Hawkhead

Names_in_a_heart_on_a_snowy_beachSnow_dunes under Mussenden Templesnow_on_fernSnowy Clothes Pegs

-All photos by Gaynor Kane (Clothes Pegs previously published in Bangor Literary Journal)

Half Past Autumn

It’s half past autumn, the pumpkin, the smoke
and morning mist drops heavy dew
Trees sag, as if those few remaining leaves
hold the weight of the world

The last of the swallows have upped and gone
Thoughts turn to comfort, food, warmth
and gathering together for talks by the fire –
feeling the pull of home

It’s time to go foraging for winter store –
for plots and plans and sustenance
Treasure now those snow-hardy brassicas –
munitions against melancholy

This is how your heart learns to survive
as the world gets older and harder
Not quite winter, but a premonition –
bring on the snow angels

-Mick Jenkinson

THE WINTER GARDENER

The snow glitters, lifelike.
How nice to see snow,
thinks the winter gardener,

after a long summer of bad luck.
He throws some snow over his shoulder,
because he has no salt

and watches it fall,
moved by the grace of it.
His pruning hooks catch the white of it,

swinging in their dark mists.
The winter gardener looks long into
the cold, remembering when the earth

was blood rich and clotted with veg.
His winter head is a December hive,
his hands almost warm and blue with bite.

-Natalie Crick

Photo credit: Lise Claire

Thanksgiving Weekend in Quebec

I see my daughter’s eyes, not quite brown—
a shifting coppery green
like the fallen oak leaves on snow—

as we trek through the Gatineau trails
in a late November morning light

where shadows grow long
and such reminders bring her close—
as only distance can

-Lise Claire

Bios And Links

-Mick Jenkinson

is a poet, songwriter, musician, and freelance arts practitioner from Doncaster, and is an associate member of Right Up Our Street, a nationally funded organisation dedicated to improving arts participation in Doncaster. He runs Well Spoken! – a monthly open mic night held at Doncaster Brewery, and his second poetry pamphlet, When the Waters Rise, was published last year by Calder Valley Poetry.

-Natalie Crick

Natalie Crick has poems published in The Poetry Review,The Moth, New Welsh Review and elsewhere. She is studying for an MPhil in Creative Writing at Newcastle University. Last year one of Natalie’s poems was commended in the Verve Poetry Festival Competition 2020 on the theme of diversity and awarded second prize in the Newcastle Poetry Competition 2020. One of her poems received a special mention by judge Ilya Kaminsky in the Poetry London Prize 2020. This year a poem was highly commended in the Folklore Poetry Prize, highly commended in the Wales Poetry Award and she received a nomination for The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. Natalie is co-founder / poetry editor of a small literary press based in Newcastle and Prague, Fragmented Voices.

-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 photographer, and in both is looking to capture moments that might be missed otherwise. Discover more at gaynorkane.com

-Cy Forrest

is from Manchester but now living in Wiltshire. Poems in the Honest Ulsterman, IceFloe Press and The Wombwell Rainbow. Poems due to appear in Stand in 2022. Strong Men, Carrying Horses was longlisted for the Fish anthology 2021.

Selected Poems 1968-1996 by Joseph Brodsky (Penguin)

Tears in the Fence

Brodsky, who died aged 55 in 1996, it can hardly be denied is a major Russian American poet. He took exile in the US from Russia in 1972, also translating some of his own works into English. He won the Nobel in 1987, and was US poet laureate in 1991. It is worth noting also that he has been praised for his essays includingLess Than One(1986).

Preceded by such high praise it can be difficult to an extent to form one’s own view of the poetry. This new Penguin Classics selection arranges the chosen poems near enough chronologically, but does not foreground the original collections in which they appeared, except maybe forA Part of Speech, from which the title poem is featured.

I would tend to the view that Brodsky’s writing is both fierce and unassuming. Two key figures to whom he relates are Akhmatova, of…

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Drop in by Patricia M Osborne

Nigel Kent - Poet and Reviewer

This week something different again. I have asked Patricia M Osborne to talk about her poetry conversation, Sherry and Sparkly(Hedgehog Poetry Press, 2021), with fellow poet, Maureen Cullen.

Thank you, Nigel, for inviting me on your feature to talk about a poem from my co-authored pamphlet Sherry & Sparkly. It’s not often you’ll find me writing narrative poetry from life experiences; however, I made an exception when Maureen Cullen and I came together in poetry conversation for Sherry & Sparkly. Here we draw on memories from childhood to the millennium.

My chosen poem is ‘First Day at Junior School’.

. I chose this one because it shows what corporal punishment was like in schools during the early sixties. Even, as in my case, if a child hadn’t actually done anything wrong. The poem recalls my class teacher when first going up to Juniors. Miss Evans (that wasn’t…

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#WhiteRibbonDay #Orangetheworld #16days International Day To End Violence Against Women. I will feature your published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks about this issue. Please include a short third person bio

Never Again

You were my prince
loving and kind
you caressed my body
also my mind

You were my lover
soul mate and friend
there when I hurt
ready to mend

Suddenly one day
a new you appeared
no longer my shining knight
but one to be feared

Hands no longer caressed
instead rolled up tight
my body your aim
as I faced my plight

My skeletal framework
left stained black and blue
you promised – never again
but that wasn’t true

You’d kneel on the floor
and weep your sorrow
I believed and trusted you
then re-lived – tomorrow

My abdomen swollen
your feet made their aim
I was your target
then you wept with shame

Scalding hot water
as I was flung in the bath
you said you were sorry
but enough was enough

It couldn’t go on
I couldn’t take any more
at night whilst you slept
I crept out of the door

Decades have past
since you lashed out that pain
I vowed then that night–
Never again.

– Patricia M Osborne

Ink

Like a squid I squirt ink filigreed words on virgin paper
the rhubarb lips that stained with blood, salted by tears
as you peeled me layer by layer till nothing was left of my core
controlled, loved, abused and shaken by last the vestiges of
love that you promised that I hoped for as years left their bruises
pomegranate to singed brown, patterns that laced my body
caged like the slave girl who dared to fall in love with a prince
Anar, the Persian fruit of love, transformed to the fruit of the dead
of Hades, like Persephone, the underworld beckons me.

Glossary: Anar is the Persian name for pomegranate.

-Leela Soma

Three Lions 11 July 2021

The first time in 55 years
I keep the supply of beer coming
cold, not cool, as he likes it

Losing puts him in a bad mood
in the debris of my life
sometimes I win, mostly I lose

From the kitchen, his reddening face
the pile of cans, like a mini citadel
grows on the coffee table

The pizza isn’t right
Undercooked he says
not enough pepperoni

After extra time it’s penalties
he’s on the edge of his seat
then it’s all over

The cans kicked off the table
I hope you’re happy
you Welsh bitch

The crunch of fist on cheekbone
a penalty he doesn’t miss

Published in the September 2021 issue of Yggdrasill.

-Annest Gwilym

TRIGGER WARNING
THIS WILL BE A DIFFICULT READ FOR SOME THAT MAY FIND THESE PIECES DISTURBING.

*****
Tears Of A God

My son’s eyes are ice.
I have seen this look before.

He lugs my dog Sheba by her mane,
hauls her along the floor

a piece of meat, slopping over gunnels
in an abattoir, blood down the drains.

Her paws scratch and scrape
he dumps her at my feet.

Bite its ear!
I shake my head.

If it’s done wrong, and it has
bite its ear. I shake my head

mumble
Done nothing wrong.

Eh! Speak up woman!
It ‘aint done nothing wrong. Jack!

Fine rain falls through grey skies
in the pub yard, and a yellow

fluid flows out from under the dog.
Dirty bitch!

He kicks Sheba in her side.
She whimpers, puts her head

pleadingly on the black shiny
surface of my court shoes.

I‘ll do it then!
Snatches her up

by the scruff
Getting a dog

and not bringing it up right.
Stupid cow!

He snaps at the silk of her ear.
She yelps. I cry.

Stupid sodding cow!
He slaps me hard

across my face. I feel
his gold rings on my cheek.

Stop whimpering!
Pushes me up against

the wet wall. His cold eyes
up close make me shiver.

One hand on my throat,
the other points at her. I mumble.

Not again Jack. Please.
My legs have gone.

Treat the bitch right
and it’ll treat you right.

Sheba inches against the wall,
low and hung back like the grey clouds.

Jack lets me fall. The pub door slams
Sheba, up on her legs again,

licks my face, lays down by my side
puts her head on my black court shoes.

Her neck is warm. My back hurts.
They call the rain the “Tears of a God”

First published in “Degenerates for Peace, Domestic Abuse edition, 2017”

Bios And Link

-Patricia M Osborne

is married with grown-up children and grandchildren. In 2019 she graduated with an MA in Creative Writing (University of Brighton).

Patricia is a published novelist, poet and short fiction writer. She has been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. Poetry pamphlets, Taxus Baccata and The Montefiore Bride were published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press in 2020 and co-authored poetry pamphlet Sherry & Sparkly to be published December 2021 by The Hedgehog Poetry Press.

She has a successful blog at Whitewingsbooks.com featuring other writers. When Patricia isn’t working on her own writing, she enjoys sharing her knowledge, acting as a mentor to fellow writers.

Signed copies available on website:

https://whitewingsbooks.com/shop/

-Annest Gwilym

Author of two books of poetry: Surfacing (2018) and What the Owl Taught Me (2020), both published by Lapwing Poetry. What the Owl Taught Me was Poetry Kit’s Book of the Month in June 2020 and one of North of Oxford’s summer reading recommendations in 2020. Annest has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, both online and in print, and placed in several writing competitions, winning one. She was the editor of the webzine Nine Muses Poetry from 2018-2020. She is a nominee for Best of the Net 2021. Twitter: @AnnestGwilym

Wombwell Rainbow Ongoing Book Interview: “Spoil” by Morag Smith. Question 2.

this  is the link

https://www.brokensleepbooks.com/product-page/morag-smith-spoil?fbclid=IwAR0aMNZOoIKgql0pIKtSrsE1Y50rfuERQ7IT1s_HsEeMXtikCapNBzv5ero

-Morag Smith

is a Cornish poet, painter, writer, and performer. She graduated in 2020 with a first in Creative Writing from Falmouth University, winning a prize for her dissertation. In 2018 she won the Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival, Shorelines competition. Her pamphlet, Spoil, was published by Broken Sleep Books in October 2021. Her poetry is published in various literary journals including International Times, as well as the eco-anthology, Warming! As a New Traveller she brought her children up close to nature, in trucks, caravans, and houses. She writes about her experiences, about our ravaged landscape, and bears witness to the poverty of British people. At the moment she is publishing a book of poetry about plastic pollution in our oceans, a collaboration with artist Jasmine Davies, and the Clean Ocean Sailing charity.

The Interview

Q:2. How important is geology to your writing?

Geology is structure. To see myself as separate from the earth is delusional. The rock of Cornwall, rich in minerals, is a geology exploited. The lines of quartz insulated in granite communicate. I write into the stone, histories and herstories.

*******

More answers tomorrow.

Bioluminescent Baby by Fiona Benson (Guillemot Press)

Tears in the Fence

The mesmerising rhythm and sense of longing of Fiona Benson’s most recent collection accompany the reader in the world of arthropods. This elegant edition published by Guillemot Press includes woodcut illustrations by Anupa Gardner that counterbalance in an essential style the rich and sensual poems. The physical description of the insects and the parallel exploration of the potentials of language offer a transcendent quality that characterises the collection in a cycle of life and death that passes through mating. As Benson remarks in the acknowledgements, the poems were commissioned by Arts and Culture at the University of Exeter for 2019–2020’s Project Urgency. The poems are also part of sound piece collaborations with sound artists Mair Bosworth and Eliza Lomas.

Compared to her previous collections,Bright Travellers(Cape Poetry 2014) andVertigo and Ghost(Cape Poetry 2019),Bioluminescent Babystill lingers on the topic of love and procreation but does not…

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Life Here Is Full Of Tomorrows by Mélisande Fitzsimons (Leafe Press)

Tears in the Fence

In Mélisande Fitzsimons’ latest publication, thirty-nine characters give us brief, tantalising glimpses into their lives through the cryptic messages they write on the back of postcards. The voices are of different ages, social backgrounds and ethnicities, from people holidaying in Britain and overseas. Each text is paired with an image of the front of the card, witty juxtapositions which are very much part of the work’s appeal.

The vagaries of British weather feature in a number of the messages: pouring rain, wind, freezing temperatures, a few days of sunshine celebrated as a rare treat. One writer, staying in Torbay, records ‘happily watching people’s tents blow away…it’s great fun’. Another, writing from Ironbridge, complains of having to buy a hot water bottle and about the lack of tea cosies at the guest house. This message is matched with an image of a satirical nineteenth-century cartoon depicting the hazards of rail travel.

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#NaNoWriMo Day Twenty-Three of a new challenge I have called #AFirstDraft to write a haibun/haiku or other poetic form novel or prose novel over the month. Please join Gayle J. Greenlea, Anjum Wasim Dar and myself in writing first draft of a novel over the next Thirty Days. I will feature your first, or how many more drafts of your novel day by day until the end of November.

DSCF0644 Trigger Warning PEOPLE OF A SENSITIVE NATURE ARE ADVISED THAT THE FOLLOWING EXTRACTS EXPLORE FAMILY DYSFUNCTION AND ABUSE ISSUES Zero Gravity Excerpt for 23 November, 2021 <chapter> Two continued “That’s enough,” Ryan said crossly. I didn’t come here to measure our dicks.” “Not what it looked like when I walked in,” Owen shook his head with a lopsided grin and took an appreciative sip from his glass. So why did you come?” Owen asked. “And I use that verb in the most generic sense. At least I hope I do.” Ignoring the remark, Ryan resettled himself into the leather chair and looked up at Owen. “Because I fucked up. And I need your help. You know Hilary better than anyone.” -Gayle J. Greenlea. YOU’RE THE DEAD TO ME Fourth week -A Waning – Day Two Rode Tom Treddlehoyle’s donkey backwards, spoke Sam Barn’s lingo. Call me Kes. -Paul Brookes Bios And Links -Gayle J. Greenlea is an American-Australian poet and counselor for survivors of sexual and gender-related violence. Her poem, Wonderland”, received the Australian Poetry Prod Award in 2011. She shortlisted and longlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize in 2013, and debuted her first novel, Zero Gravity, at the KGB Literary Bar in Manhattan in 2016. Her work has been published in St. Julian Press, Rebelle Society, A Time to Speak, Headline Poetry and Press, The Wombwell Rainbow, Fevers of the Mind, Kalonopia and The Australian Health Review.

#NaNoWriMo Day Twenty-Two of a new challenge I have called #AFirstDraft to write a haibun/haiku or other poetic form novel or prose novel over the month. Please join Gayle J. Greenlea, Anjum Wasim Dar and myself in writing first draft of a novel over the next Thirty Days. I will feature your first, or how many more drafts of your novel day by day until the end of November.

DSCF0644 Trigger Warning PEOPLE OF A SENSITIVE NATURE ARE ADVISED THAT THE FOLLOWING EXTRACTS EXPLORE FAMILY DYSFUNCTION AND ABUSE ISSUES Zero Gravity Excerpt for 22 November, 2021 <chapter> Two continued “Why now? Feeling a sudden urge for repentance? Or perhaps you’ve come to pay back the money you owe me?” Ryan had the grace to cringe at that. “You know how it is, the music industry.” He shrugged as if everyone understood how untenable the career of a musician was – at least from an economic perspective. “Thought you were a computer wizard now, graphic designer or some such.” Owen reached into the freezer and withdrew a handful of ice. “Yeah, well, freelancing’s not that different from gigging. It’s still the music industry. The clients are slow in coming.” “That’s because you have to go out and get them, Ryan. Or haven’t you mastered getting out of bed before noon, yet?” Owen took the few steps necessary to cross the room and dropped the ice into the two glasses. -Gayle J. Greenlea. YOU’RE THE DEAD TO ME Fourth week -A Waning – Day One Slept in Joe Edwards cup and saucer. Fought brigands atop our black rock. -Paul Brookes Bios And Links -Gayle J. Greenlea is an American-Australian poet and counselor for survivors of sexual and gender-related violence. Her poem, Wonderland”, received the Australian Poetry Prod Award in 2011. She shortlisted and longlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize in 2013, and debuted her first novel, Zero Gravity, at the KGB Literary Bar in Manhattan in 2016. Her work has been published in St. Julian Press, Rebelle Society, A Time to Speak, Headline Poetry and Press, The Wombwell Rainbow, Fevers of the Mind, Kalonopia and The Australian Health Review.

Wombwell Rainbow Ongoing Book Interview: “Like This” by Neil Elder. Question 1.

 

-Neil Elder

has been published in a number of leading journals and magazines. His latest work is Like This from 4Word Press. His first pamphlet Codes of Conduct (Cinnamon Press) was shortlisted for a Saboteur Award, his debut collection won the Cinnamon Press Debut Prize. He explores the gaps between what we think we know about ourselves and others, and what we really know. He occasionlally blogs at  https://neilelderpoetry.wordpress.com/

The Interview

Q:1: How did you decide on the order of the poems in your book?

The first two poems might serve to set the tone of the book – and so I went for a couple that I am particularly confident of, and that establish a couple of the themes that might crop up in the collection. Equally I want the last poem to feel like a satisfactory and strong finish. I then look for poems that chime with one another, but also try to vary the short with the longer poems. Essentially I want to move seamlessly through the work – no great lurches in style or pitch, and yet managing to keep things moving along. I think one can over-think it, and unless the poems have a particular narrative arc then I am not sure what odds it makes. I have published work where the sequence of the poems is vital, but in Like This the poems can stand alone. And I think Paul Farley is right in ‘Phone Books’ when he compares the phone book to a book of poetry, “A book you can open somewhere in the middle / like cities themselves, like books of poetry.”. How many people read a collection of poems in chronological order?

******

More answers tomorrow.