Book Review: The Pregnancy Diaries Vol. 1 by Googie McCabe

Content Catnip

Infused with the vast and never-ending love of a mum for her unborn daughter, The Pregnancy Diaries Volume 1 is an absolutely hilarious, witty and enjoyable romp through pregnancy from conception to birth. Any woman who has given birth (or any supportive man who has gone along for the journey) will be able to relate to this book and thoroughly enjoy it.

Book Review: The Pregnancy Diaries Vol. 1 by Googie McCabe

The wit and self-deprecating humour of this book is laugh out loud funny. In fact I snorted out cups of tea and coffee while reading it. The drawings and words that accompany the week-by-week updates of Googie’s ever-expanding belly, from ‘bean’ to beautiful human being, are filled with an odd kind of joy, combined with visceral pain and laughter.

Book Review: The Pregnancy Diaries Vol. 1 by Googie McCabe

They said about the pregnancy glow…it hasn’t even brushed against me! Where’s the glow goddamit it? Where’s the glow?

The Pregnancy Diaries Vol. 1

This book explodes a lot…

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#30DaysWild 1st-30th June. Day Fourteen. Help Create A Hedgehog Highway. 30 Days Wild is The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge where they ask the nation to do one ‘wild’ thing a day every day throughout June. Your daily Random Acts of Wildness can be anything you like – litter-picking, birdwatching, puddle-splashing, you name it! I would love to feature your published/unpublished photos/artworks/writing on your random acts. Please contact me.

Day Fourteen

hedgehog

HIBERNATION

slow
slow

slow
slow

measure each breath
by the seasons

curl up
into self-tight kernel

don’t let go

-Dr. Jennifer A. McGowan

..hedgehog..

i have been out looking

for you

amongst the knapweed

amongst the flowers

cut those brambles that may stick

to your prickles

we left it longer

the tidying this year

so as not to be a slave to it

and rewards are endless

good it has become a fashion with the climate

changing

it always did make sense to me

others thought not in the past

we have a a past, it keeps reminding me

rewilding.

-sonja benskin mensher

Hognap

I’m a gobbler of slugs,
beetles, caterpillars, snails,
a digger, a climber, a swimmer.
dusk heralds my ‘to do’ time,
spring, summer, autumn.

By Halloween I’m a fat forager
for leaves in suburban gardens,
wilted countryside bracken,
reeds by a bittern’s hiding ground.
I’m a busy builder in a hidden pocket,
maybe a hedgerow, tree root,
under logs, under sheds.

Locate my hibernaculum, if you can,
insulated, watertight, fit for winter torpor,
a refuge for my heartbeat of twenty per minute.

Do not disturb.

-Maggie Mackay

Published in ‘For the Silent’, Indigo Dreams Publishing

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-Googie McCabe. 

Who says “Here are some images documenting the interspecies tension between the hedgehogs and the Badgers in my garden. “

The Hedgehog

My brother came back with another’s smell,
so we ate him. Mam would eat all us too,
if we smelt different. Nose, ears keen tell
what cream and brown shapes on our dark pursue.

That was then. Last dark I circled, circled
her. She puffed, snorted loud to keep me off.
Others came. I squeaked at them. Lowered
my head, raised my spines, clucked, one coughed,

I butted his sides. He rolled. They all left.
Afterwards I leave. Sniff long bellies, hard backs
I crack their shells, squelch the soft tasty rest.
Need to eat more. Not fat enough won’t last

Cold time. Found this damp dark in here. It’s why
I chirp and whiffle, splat out quills and sigh.

Bios and links

-Googie McCabe

-Paul Brookes

Born in Poland in the last century, currently living in the UK, where will probably expire at some point. Self-taught ‘artist’,  office worker during day; a doodler and dreamer at night.  Mother of two girls – a future philosopher and a future assassin.

Googie McCabe Doodles of a Nobody — Googie McCabe

Brightwork by Suzannah V Evans (Guillemot Press)

Tears in the Fence

Amongst the poems, in prose and verse, of her latest pamphletBrightwork– a follow up to last year’s excellentMarine Objects / Some Language– Suzannah V. Evans translates a number of pieces by Francis Ponge, minimally adapting their imagery to the localised milieu of a boatyard. In ‘Rain’, for example, a poem of deft attention and delicate syllabic patterning, the manifold action of rainfall is shifted from Ponge’s Paris courtyard to ‘the boatyard’, while scalar comparisons for water droplets – ‘un grain de blé’, ‘un pois’, ‘une bille’ – are swapped for boatbuilding paraphernalia – ‘pin head’, ‘copper rove’, ‘shackle’. Another poem, ‘Puffin, the little Hillyard’, retitles Ponge’s ‘La Barque’, allowing a new perspective on a classic wooden yacht (and on Ponge’s poem).

Direct homage to Ponge is a savvy move on Evans’s part, allowing a more nuanced appreciation of the qualities of attention she’s cultivating in her…

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#30DaysWild 1st-30th June. Day Thirteen. Create A Moth Trap. 30 Days Wild is The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge where they ask the nation to do one ‘wild’ thing a day every day throughout June. Your daily Random Acts of Wildness can be anything you like – litter-picking, birdwatching, puddle-splashing, you name it! I would love to feature your published/unpublished photos/artworks/writing on your random acts. Please contact me.

Day Thirteen

Moth Trap 30 Days WildDebbie Strange Dying Moth

-Debbie Strange

HEART’S GRAIL

I begged a Robin yesterday
if he had seen a Rose.
He cocked his head
and wryly said
that I should not suppose
a feathered creature
such as he would know
where Beauty grows.

Today, I stopped a Bumble Bee
for, surely, he would see,
from buzzing
back and forth all day,
if rose-buds graced a tree.
But Bumble Bee
just looked aslant
and would not tell me why.
He only said
he’d search the Earth
if I would search the Sky,

THE YOUNG GARDENER MAKES HIS EXCUSES

A weed is not a flower.
But once rooted both will flourish.

Given sunshine and rain
in equal measure
a weed may grow tall as a hollyhock.

Or creep though alleyways or
over fences and walls
as pretty and as modest as aubretia.

A weed may bring its kisses to pavements and ginnels
cover life’s cracks with
coloured stars.

And speedwell, celandine and
doves-foot cranesbill
creeping buttercup and blushing red clover.

Should we not admit these to be
as lovely as the harebell —
though nor scented like the sweet-pea or
the honeysuckle?

Likewise cowslips, the cuckoo flower
snakes head fritillary
pink campion, valerian
shimmering Queen Anne’s lace?

A weed is not a flower; a flower is not a weed.

But the bumble bee sips
where he finds most sweetness
and the butterfly dances after beauty.

What does it signify in love’s high summer
if a whisper is is deemed
secret or lie?

-Abigail Elizabeth Ottley

UNIVERSE

A bee flies through space, loaded
with all it can hold. It does not wonder
at the miracle of itself. Merely persists
in a realm that has never heard a buzz.

This isn’t a metaphor.
There are no turtles all the way down.

Just a bee, finally spotting a place,
landing, pollinating a new planet.

-Jennifer A McGowan

(unpublished)

**************

NEW ENGLAND SHORE POEM

Here’s a real brainteaser:
a honeybee, flying out to sea.
What islands, what nectar,
what ambrosia call?

Sitting on the deck facing the Sound,
the whole raft of imponderables drift by
every six hours. What currents run
beneath the surface; why am I unmarried
at 53; what are the consequences
of freedom; and even, at high tide
when the kids dive in and shout,
what is black and white
and red all over. Shadows progress to shade.
The first leading edge of vapour
drifts in after sunset. The wind dies.
We’ll be socked in soon.
With dark fallen I can’t even see the water,
and all knowledge is revoked.
Minutiae consume me, become ritualized:
running the dustbuster after the dogs;
rearranging the photographs on the fridge;
polishing the leaves on the ficus;
the ceremonial unloading of the dishwasher.

Nestled under the crazy quilt,
I listen to the muteness outside.
The soft, repeated hush of the wavelets—
barely even ripples in this calm. The sudden report
and roll of an acorn on the roof.
Latimer booms in the distance;
the occasional ground swell
triggers a bell-buoy. Everything sleeps,
including me. But my dreams
remain alert and active: they quest
for love and success, light and absolution.
A bright streak in the darkness,
a flash of determined gold.
A honeybee at sea.

-Dr. Jennifer A. McGowan (from her chapbook Sounding)

Bees don’t have weekends
no resting easy for bees
each day is Monday

And a frivolity of verse:

Summer laughed
a humid breeze
the sight of a single rose

lifting her spirits
as a blizzard of bees
busied with purpose

-Kate Jenkinson

Colin Bancroft Moth poem

-Colin Bancroft

-M. W. Berwick from his book “Pomes Flixus” front cover below.

M W Bewick Pomes Flixus

MOTH – a sonnet

Defined by its fatal desire for more
Antennae ragged, blackened with the bright
And white-hot kernel at the candle’s core,
This soft-winged, heat-drunk warrior of light,
Charmed and enflamed by phototaxic lust
Re-gathers all its primitive life force
To smash its quivering body to grey dust
In its addiction-led, predestined course.
And just like them, though my own wing tips burn,
With junkie-like predictability
To your relentless, boiling sun I turn,
Flying towards destruction willingly.
Ash in my hair, my mouth, my bleeding eyes,
Dying to live within your fire the prize.

-Polly Oliver

ChristinaChin silk portière Cantos 2021

Haiga

moth wings
raising the silk portière
summer breeze

~Christina Chin
Cantos 2021

mothth 4mothth 3mothth 2mothth 1mothth 5

-mothth by sonja benskin mesher

Moths by Rachel Neithercut

-Rachel Neithercut as it appears in StreetCake

Papyrus Fragment

A buff-brown moth hovers
on temperature controlled neon,
displays paper thin wings,
ragged margins of ancient grass
speckled with alpha, omega, nu.

It darts, bares a blaze
of underwing to plain sight;
this endless, fragile need
to make a mark,
to come to light.

Restless

A hundred moths made a lattice
on blue-black window pane,
some the size of wrens,
others torn corners of paper:
a nightly frantic race of wings.
You were an erratic pulse,
a low flicker against inner
walls. I took you for an itch
for more, the reason why
I could never keep still

-Annette Skade
From Thimblerig

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Mothsmiths by sonja benskin mesher

Moths

In the light hours they burrow.
Walls accept, cracks and

inner crevices welcome.
Something borrowed from another blue,

wind-remnants, a miniature world
tucked in wings, known by rote

from all in flight before them.
Crepe-powder, talc, pollen.

When they succumb to open
they make the house fly.

Catherine Graham (first published in Dusie)

Moths

No pain yet. White cells
move as if in stocking feet,
heel and toe to bone and pancreas.

Lamp-lit, she sits smoking
on the Scotchgarded sofa,
looks out at nothing because it’s dark.

The window is breaking
the sound of waves in the quarry.
The moths keep hitting the glass to get to her.

Catherine Graham, from Winterkill

Moth Resources

Sarah Gillespie’s stunning moth mezzotints on her website: https://www.sarahgillespie.co.uk/editions/page/2/

Night Moth by Sonya Mcghee

-Sonya McGhee

Moth!
There once was a tailor of cloth
Who fought with a wily old moth
He gave it his all
And it bounced off a wall
And landed fair square in his broth

-Graham Bibby

A Turnip Moth

Under I wait till dark. Light lessens. Beak
stab shakes where I am. Dark. Out from Under
chew tender stem. Move back Under when heat
of many Over brightens. Asunder

I dig. Push asunder. Turn and turn and
turn. Under under. Legs tendril lengthen.
Softness to float in the Over expand.
I hear now, inside trembles at sound when

others outside call in dark to know where
they are, and what meals move around the dark
Soft and wet I push asunder to air.
Listen in bright while softness rustles hard.

Even insects remember their young times.
Pests like weeds try to survive humankind.

-Paul Brookes

Bios and Links

-Polly Oliver

is a broadcast journalist, freelance engagement consultant and writer in South Wales.

She writes poems for enjoyment – and when they land in her head. 

Her writing has appeared in various editions published by Back Bough Poetry, as well as the Wombwell Rainbow, The Tide Rises, Falls and has featured as Spillwords Author of the Month.

Pushcart nominated.

-MW Bewick

is a writer and co-founder of the small indie publisher Dunlin Press. He grew up on the edge of the Lake District, lives in Wivenhoe, Essex. He is regularly published in poetry journals, also works as a journalist and sometimes lectures in creative writing. His second collection of poetry, Pomes Flixus, is available at https://dunlinpress.bigcartel.com/

-Annette Skade

is from Manchester, and has lived for many years on the Atlantic coast of Ireland. Most of her recent poems are about the sea, and her coastal community. Her poems are published in Ireland, the U.K., the U.S. and Australia, and her collection Thimblerig was published in 2013. She has just completed a PhD on the poetry of Anne Carson.

About Annette Skade

-Catherine Graham

is an award-winning novelist and poet. Her sixth poetry collection, The Celery Forest, was named a CBC Best Book of the Year and was a finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Her debut novel Quarry won an Independent Publisher Book Awards gold medal for fiction, “The Very Best!” Book Awards for Best Fiction and was a finalist for the Sarton Women’s Book Award for Contemporary Fiction and Fred Kerner Book Award. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto where she won an Excellence in Teaching Award. A previous winner of TIFA’s Poetry NOW, she currently leads their monthly Book Club. Æther: an out-of-body lyric appears in 2020 with Wolsak & Wynn/Buckrider Books. www.catherinegraham.com. Tweets at @catgrahampoet

-Ann Cuthbert

writes and performs, usually with the Tees Women Poets Collective. Her work has been widely published online and in print, most recently in Dreich anthologies, Amethyst Review, Green Ink Poetry and the anthology Hard Times Happen (Black Pear Press.) She was Highly Commended in the 2021 YorkMix Poems for Children competition and her poem video, Dracula’s Café, was shown on BBC Upload Festival 2021. Her poetry chapbook Watching a Heron with Davey is published by Black Light Engine Room Press.

-Dave Green

lives and works in Sheffield.  For 30 years he worked in education with vulnerable and neurodiverse children before belatedly discovering that recent governments may not be prioritizing the marginalized in society.  Now he trains people in positive mental health and how to recover from the pandemic.  He writes poems, paints, chops logs, cycles everywhere and shops local.

Drop in by Peter A

Nigel Kent - Poet

Today I have great pleasure in inviting Peter A to talk about a poem from his moving Art ofInsomnia (Hedgehog Press, 2021)

My debut chapbook Art of Insomnia is personal in a way that is not very typical of my poetry to date. That said, in much of my previous and ongoing work I have tried to deliver an emotional punch where it is justified by the subject matter or theme of the poem.

Art of Insomnia comprises 22 poems written in the nine month period following the unexpected death of my wife; in it I attempt to express the impact of incomprehensible loss and signal the potential for a bearable way forward. The chapbook is divided into four sections and the poem I have selected is the second poem of the third section. Following the second section, which describes a temporary escape from familiar surroundings and people, this…

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#30DaysWild 1st-30th June. Day Twelve. Create A Wildlife Map Of Your Garden, Or Local Park. 30 Days Wild is The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge where they ask the nation to do one ‘wild’ thing a day every day throughout June. Your daily Random Acts of Wildness can be anything you like – litter-picking, birdwatching, puddle-splashing, you name it! I would love to feature your published/unpublished photos/artworks/writing on your random acts. Please contact me.

Day Twelve.

Make A Map Of Local Wildlife 30 Days Wild

Moura

Wild flowers in my late father’s garden

by Elizabeth Moura

To Each Their Own

The gardener looked at the flower
Thinking how pretty it would look next to her roses

The mathematician looked at the flower
Noticing its unique symmetry

The Christian looked at the flower
Observing God in it

The environmentalist looked at the flower
Concerned for its future

The teacher looked at the flower
And devised a lesson for her class

The businessman looked at the flower
Calculating how much money he could sell it for

The criminal looked at the flower
While plotting to steal it

The archaeologist looked at the flower
Longing to dig it up to see what was in the earth beneath

The artist looked at the flower
As she painted a beautiful picture of it

The romantic looked at the flower
Wanting to pick it for his beloved

The poet looked at the flower
And wrote this

-Neal Zetter

Mapping the garden, June

Two blackbirds seek their latest fledglings.
Orange beak perches on highest viewpoint eucalyptus.
His calls pierce while brown mother quarters broadbean
rows, (both calm enough, no cats about) clucks
as she goes. Two dunnocks flit from hedge to feeder.
They’re tending a new nest, have trilled one brood
to flying. Snails cluster under damp rims of plantpots
I’d forgotten. Dimly overgrown until I spot spikes
of purple, three common orchids –how they settled
there, a mystery. A jackdaw glides in, flight feathers
flittering, attacks the fat balls hanging near bride-month
philadelphus, clings on, sways as suet sprays. Round
the corner by the trellis, bees infiltrate mottled foxgloves,
buzz overpowered by next door’s Stihl saw. Mice stay
hidden, newts submerged. There are rats under the shed.

-Ann Cuthbert

wren by Dave Green

-Wren by Dave Green

 

On The Wildlife of My Garden

“Not ready for you.” I tell the moles
in my garden.
Say nay to the white ants labouring
over a piping of their tortuous tunnel.

So much I can tell the grasshopper
and pretend,
my sanity is lost midst our lingua franca.
I shake my head instead.

The growth of wild verdancy
where our family’
adopted vacancy bares the summer’s teeth –
uneven, sweaty, sappy, sharp shiny denture.

Here, one hedgehog pursues
the mystery of the obscure millipedes.
The black-naped orioles
sing the ballads of unknown winged mates.

I ignore all these,
map the landscape of death
in the atlas of my reverie.
The roadkills roam there. I drive my sighs
on blind rage over the truths again, again.

-Kushal Poddar

FB_IMG_1622964404315

red poinsettias
leaning on my window
now in the moonlight

~ Christina Chin
Meguro International Haiku

 

Wildlife Map

Flying ants birthed out backyard concrete cracks,
Abandoned wasp homes hang on thinning thread
in our garage rafters. Slugs silver tracks
sticky gleams glint polished chrome, lead

solder awaits coloured glass, to be carved,
follow shape of these sacred slug windows
lifted into place dictate colour chart
of beams stride over thresholds, bright glows.

Fledglings step or are pushed over the brink,
by anxious mams wanting an empty nest.
Fall into soft jaws of cats as gifts, hint
live and warm compliment of the highest

brought into the home for the owners screams
to register a culture shock of extremes.

-Paul Brookes

Bios and Links

-Ann Cuthbert

writes and performs, usually with the Tees Women Poets Collective. Her work has been widely published online and in print, most recently in Dreich anthologies, Amethyst Review, Green Ink Poetry and the anthology Hard Times Happen (Black Pear Press.) She was Highly Commended in the 2021 YorkMix Poems for Children competition and her poem video, Dracula’s Café, was shown on BBC Upload Festival 2021. Her poetry chapbook Watching a Heron with Davey is published by Black Light Engine Room Press.

-Dave Green

lives and works in Sheffield.  For 30 years he worked in education with vulnerable and neurodiverse children before belatedly discovering that recent governments may not be prioritizing the marginalized in society.  Now he trains people in positive mental health and how to recover from the pandemic.  He writes poems, paints, chops logs, cycles everywhere and shops local.

Ring of Fire – A Sonnet

The world according to RedCat

©RedCat


When dusk comes in the middle of the day
The sun reduced to a pale ring of fire
What were the ancient learned wise ones to say
When scared superstitious people inquire

That their actions attracted the Gods ire
And now they have to pay the bloody price
To avoid consequences most dire
The most precious they must sacrifice

Or the world will turn to cold barren ice
Devoid of all the Sun’s life giving warmth
No longer this Aegean paradise
But eternal night as in the far north

As the sacrifice bled and died they did say
Now the sun will rise again day after day

©RedCat


Written for The Wombwell Rainbow’s Eclipse feature yesterday.

The first picture is one I took on the reflection in our basic pinhole projector, just two papers, one with a pinhole in it.


Read other poems written for The Wombwell Rainbow here

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#30DaysWild 1st-30th June. Day Eleven. Follow A Bee On Its Journey. 30 Days Wild is The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge where they ask the nation to do one ‘wild’ thing a day every day throughout June. Your daily Random Acts of Wildness can be anything you like – litter-picking, birdwatching, puddle-splashing, you name it! I would love to feature your published/unpublished photos/artworks/writing on your random acts. Please contact me.

Day Eleven

Follow a bee 30daysWild

Christin miner bee

a yellow jacket miner emerges

the secrets

-Christina Chin

(A haiga in the inaugural issue of Bleached Butterfly Magazine)

-Wold Track by Dave Green

Bumble Bee Summer

The alder-buckthorn tree is singing
with the sound
of working bees;

I watch their plump black trundle
flower-to-flower
among the leaves.

The carder and the meadow bee
squeeze
up the monkshood’s deep blue sleeves

The carpenter and garden bees,
the masonry, the solitary,
probe the hoods of lamium.

The red-tailed
and the buff-tailed bees
cling to the saucer face of dark geranium.

Long hot summer, good summer,
loud with
the industry of bumble bees.

-Gill McEvoy

The Brooding Queen

I was a single, simple, yellow, cell,
who grew a grubbing appetite for gold,
an appetite they fed, fed, fed
until it made me large and strange,
and sealed me from my sisters
while I dreamed of change.

I was a naked sleeper in a changing room,
who dreamed of fur and woke enrobed.
I ate, ate, ate until I burst
the white walls of my prison cell
and dared one flight in air before
returning to my jailers and their citadel,

my sisters and our white and yellow womb.

(First published in my pamphlet, ‘Speaking parts’, Half Moon Books)

May Bee

No snow. White heat
as blossom beckons:
lilac fingers, rowan palms,
May’s mouths now
summoning my tongue.

(Unpublished)

-both by Linda Goulden

Thief

I always thought you honest,
your focus on integrity.
After all, didn’t Manchester choose you
to symbolise their ethic of hard work?
Didn’t you become an emblem of the city
as a hive of activity and industry?

How strange then to watch you
moving between the vivid blooms
of aquilegia, like a pickpocket
through a crowd of sight-seers,
your hungry proboscis probing
the ornate sacs of nectar
without the courtesy of pollination.

-Angi Holden

Im A Bee by Neal Zetter

ees by Neal Zetter

-Both by Neal Zetter

Bees in Winter Ivy

At the shank of the year,
when the gloaming kicks in at four o’clock,
globes of fat rain plother
on hairy footed bumblebees
clustering, weary under shiny green,
smothering a dusky-pink brick wall.

No clover, dandelion, foxglove,
no drinking cup of nectar,
no hope of a crowned Dionysus,
but there’s one human hand,
offering a sugar snack in a bottle cap,
reviving ambrosia.

-Maggie Mackay

Sweet Pollen

Bigger wing beat gusts me from sweet pollen
billows, I must stick to its surface amid
buffet and blast. Now heavier, taken,
away from scented trail back home I skid.

Track my trail through vibration pulses, map
I will dance when home is reached to tell all
where sweet pollen will be found, waggle tap
the route after unloading my food haul.

As light fades our head sensors flop, my legs
wrap around others, I rehearse my days
forage, retrace my flight, my complex steps
mark vibration changes that radiate.

Bright warmth lifts our heads from sleep to again,
find our memory way, avoid harsh rain.

-Paul Brookes (from The Insect Sonnets)

Bios and Links

-Maggie Mackay’s

pamphlet ‘The Heart of the Run’, 2018 is published by Picaroon Poetry and her full collection ‘A West Coast Psalter’, Kelsay Books, is available now. In 2020 she was awarded a place in the Poetry Archive’s WordView permanent collection. She reviews poetry pamphlets at https://sphinxreview.co.uk (Happenstance Press) . Twitter:@Bonniedreamer

-Christina Chin

-Dave Green

lives and works in Sheffield.  For 30 years he worked in education with vulnerable and neurodiverse children before belatedly discovering that recent governments may not be prioritizing the marginalized in society.  Now he trains people in positive mental health and how to recover from the pandemic.  He writes poems, paints, chops logs, cycles everywhere and shops local.

#Eclipse2021 Have you written poems and/or made artworks about eclipses? I will feature you on this blog post.

CASTING SHADOWS

The day greys and yellows around us
stops the birds singing.
We feel the tightness of this new silence
as the air cools rapidly.
We know not to stare
so I am holding a colander to the sun
casting shadows on the ground.
So many tiny solar bodies eclipsing, emerging.

A photograph to capture the day
to remember we were alive
we saw it.


I fear it will be too small
but when you show me
I am holding that eclipse in the palm of my hand.

-Soo Finch

Ring of Fire – A Sonnet

When dusk comes in the middle of the day
The sun reduced to a pale ring of fire
What were the ancient learned wise ones to say
When scared superstitious people inquire

That their actions attracted the Gods ire
And now they have to pay the bloody price
To avoid consequences most dire
The most precious they must sacrifice

Or the world will turn to cold barren ice
Devoid of all the Sun’s life giving warmth
No longer this Aegean paradise
But eternal night as in the far north

As the sacrifice bled and died they did say
Now the sun will rise again day after day

-©RedCat

Eclipse
(with a nod to The Bard)

Earth pulls its curtain
across the moon tonight,
like a play ending as actors
take their bows.
All the world’s a stage
and we, players;
lives eclipsed by tragedy or comedy.
Stars moan, a Greek chorus
accompanying our anxiety.
Candescent crimson,
the moon pulses like blood
behind a gauzy scrim,
assuring us we’re alive,
though the world
shuts down around us.

Lonely moon, wrapped
in earth’s shroud:
death will not win out,
anymore than fallen actors
in Hamlet or some other play
will not rise again to play their parts.

In misfortune, we take our bows,
utter lines once more:
words given us to speak,
parts entrusted to us to play.
The curtain rises and falls,
the show goes on. The moon
does not keep silent
in the hush of mist and veil.
Already, a sliver of light slashes
down, shouting the Prologue.

–Gayle J. Greenlea

Ode to a Blood Moon

Shy moon,
resisting your call to grandeur;
this rising a rare blush
from your repertoire.
Red hush stills the tops of trees
whose leaves camouflage
your restless climb,
a “bodas de sangre”
arranged before the clash of stars.
Unwilling Icarus, you fly,
set aflame in darkness.
Murderous moon, red
with dread and blood,
vertiginous beauty
sailing high above the trees,
deceiving death.

* “Bodas de Sangre” (“Blood Wedding” is the title of a play by Federico Garcia Lorca

– Gayle J. Greenlea

Eclipse

In this pale gold heat
and silence of birdsong
of wind in the long grass

would we ever know
that a shadow effaces
a tiny piece of the sun?

Chaffinch chirrups
the oriole asks
the same questions as always

and the redstart dips
in and out of the barn
feeding hungry mouths.

Here and now
only these moments of pain or joy
touch the deep chords
sounding the conch shell
of the heart.
-Jane Dougherty

Coincidence

400 is the magic figure
where size and distance cancel out
moon fits into sun like a child’s puzzle
as if we’d ever been in doubt
of why we all play planetary ring o’ roses
as the neighboring rock we tow
cosies up to daddy
sending us shivering in her shadow

dark column racing towards us
silence, birds fled to the trees, knowing
the fear of our forebears,
last spark extinguished,
blank woe

until the diamond glows
brilliant again, the sun a perfect sphere
and, the paraphernalia of pin-hole cards
and colanders consigned
to cupboards, search the calendar to find
another opportunity to peer
to heaven and chance upon
the mathematics some intelligence designed

-Kathryn Southworth

Kathryn
March 20th 2015

A Window by Priyanka

Bios and Links

-Priyanka Sacheti
is a writer and poet based in Bangalore, India. She grew up in the Sultanate of Oman and previously lived in the United Kingdom and United States. She has been published in many publications with a special focus on art, gender, diaspora, and identity. Her literary work has appeared in numerous literary journals such as Barren, Terse, The Cabinet of Heed, Popshot, The Lunchticket, and Jaggery Lit as well as various anthologies. She’s currently working on a poetry and short story collection. She can be found as @atlasofallthatisee on Instagram and @priyankasacheti on Twitter.