Youth Mental Health Day
Eleventh Day – Common pipistrelle bat
As sunset stains the sky
they pour like mercury from the gap
in the outbuilding door.
Swoop, zip and circle
in the glare of light around the lamp,
catch moths on the wing.
Jerk, twist and turn,
hoover up lacewings and biting midges
in fluid aerobatic displays.
Not black, a warm cognac;
these flittermice click songflights,
slice through air.
beady eyes glitter like black stars
in tiny dog faces.
A strange kind of mammal,
they sleep upside down, umbrella wings spread
ready for the next sunset.
Pipistrelles by Amanda Bell
Moor Park on Guy Fawkes Night 2020
A couple walking laps
have paused to watch
a startled bat wheel
round a bare tree,
a lost leaf flapping
blindly in the storm.
They walk away
while it still circles,
knowing it will fly
till it collapses
in the dark
where people meet
illicitly to light
black market fireworks
and watch them throw
their fleeting shapes
defiantly into the sky.
Bios and Links
Author of two books of poetry: Surfacing (2018) and What the Owl Taught Me (2020), both published by Lapwing Poetry. Annest has been published in many literary journals and anthologies, both online and in print, and placed in several writing competitions, winning one. She is a nominee for Best of the Net 2021.
is a British Greek poet, and co edits the quarterly poetry magazine, ‘Obsessed With Pipework’. She is published in multiple poetry journals and anthologies. In 2019 she was commissioned to make a short film about her poetry, for a national museum & art gallery. Her chapbook is called ‘Wish’ (Maytree Press); and a full collection is forthcoming from Flarestack Publishing. Visit her at katneocleouspoet.com for more information.
Tenth Day – Brown long-eared bat
Alias Oreillard roux, merci @chamsz www.antiopa.info/109-chauve-souris-mammifere-grotte-rouss…
Powder snout, fungus-muzzled,
your snuffled rasps mine the sediments,
wake you blink-eyed, gasping, early out
of your torpid seasonal penitence.
You wake alone. Outside winter holds
her grip, as one by one your smudge-nosed
colony stirs and chatters, the whole dank
chamber hacking like a typhus ship
until the hunger rush and you launch unison
on twigged wings out of your encampment’s
mouth to find a frozen, snow-blind land
where no insects fly and no birds sing.
And so return to your waiting roost
where you huddle and hang, fold
back into the nuzzled cloak of yourself,
slowly starve by increments.
Your dopplered heart stalls and stills. Your tiny
claws lose their grip as you slip light as a leaf
to the reliquary floor. As you, my Fledermaus,
will fall out of memory and fall out of myth;
Some old wives’ fairied tale of you catching
in a young girl’s hair or circling a bride
on her wedding eve, portensions of a doomed
romance or a violent end to a nuptial ring.
While a house frau’s batting broom
rests easy by an unlit hearth,
children sleep undisturbed by dreams
of your little teeth at their delicate throats.
* M. lucifugus (little brown bat) faces extinction across North America as a result of a condition named white nose syndrome — a
fungus inadvertently brought from Europe to North America
Siegfried Baber • Margaret Beston • Roger Bonner • Peter Burges • Helen Calcutt • Malcolm Carson • Caroline Carver • Sheena Clover • Oliver Dixon • John Duffy • Clodagh Beresford Dunne • Cathy Galvin • Arran James Grant • Pete Green • David Hamson • Alice Harrison • Diana Hendry • Andrew Hubbard • Ross Jackson• Tess Jolly • Alex Josephy • Lanny Ledeboer • Iris Anne Lewis • Millie Light • Kathryn Macdonald • Audrey Molloy • Tom Montag • Katherine Parsons • Michael Penny • Anna Saunders • Carla Scarano D’Antonio • Myra Schneider • Michael Simms • Sue Spiers • Patrick Wright
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For many years Sharon Kunde has been an English teacher in schools and universities in Albania, Mongolia, New York, and California. She recently completed her PhD in English at the University of California, Irvine, and is currently a teacher at the International School of Los Angeles. Her dissertation, for which she was awarded a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, proposes a posthumanist and ecocritical reframing of the traditional canon of American Transcendentalist texts. Her poetry shares with herscholarly work an abiding concern with embodiment, relationality, nonhuman animals, and matter.
She has published writing in The Harvard Review, The Colorado Review, Salt Front, Spoon River Poetry Review, Twentieth-Century Literature, Split Rock Review, The LA Review of Books,The LA Times, Midwestern Gothic, and other journals. Her chapbook Year of the Sasquatch is forthcoming with Dancing Girl Press, and her chapbook From Dark to Waking, was selected as a…
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Franca Mancinelli was born in Fano, Italy, in 1981. Ever since her first collection, Mala kruna (2007), she has been considered one of the most compelling voices in contemporary Italian poetry. Both Mala kruna and her subsequent collection, Pasta madre (2013), were awarded several prizes in Italy and later republished together as Mala Kruna and Mother Dough in a translation by John Taylor, under the overarching title At an Hour’s Sleep from Here (The Bitter Oleander Press, 2019). In 2018, The Bitter Oleander Press had already published her collection of prose poems in Taylor’s translation: The Little Book of Passage.
Mancinelli’s new collection of poems and poetic prose, Tutti gli occhi che ho aperto (All the Eyes that I have Opened), appeared in Italy in September 2020. Most of the pieces from this new book, as well as a substantial number of Mancinelli’s prose texts and…
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Claire Jefferson (who writes under the pseudonym Stella Wulf) was born in Lancashire, but grew up in North Wales. She moved to France in 2000 where she and her husband bought a large derelict property at the foot of the Pyrenees. Living on site and tackling one room at a time, she is now, more than twenty years on, banging in the last nail and working on plans for a new-build project.
Despite a lifelong love of poetry, Claire came to writing late in life in an epiphanic moment whilst painting doors. It became an obsession fuelled by Jo Bell’s 52 group, culminating in a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing, from Lancaster University.
Claire is a qualified interior designer, but it is only with the luxury of time that she has been able to pursue her passion for painting, exhibiting in several galleries and selling her paintings worldwide. She…
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Here is the first instalment of the Autumn 2021 issue of The High Window. The second instalment will be posted in two weeks.
The following new material can be accessed via the top menu:
There are also four new poems in the Editor’s Spot.
Finally, The High Window Press has published two new collections: Mollusc by Mark Totterdell and The Silver Samovar by Jenny McRobert.
Ninth Day -Ghost Bat
Eighth Day – Brandt’s Bat