#folktober #ekphrasticchallenge. Day Two. To celebrate the launch of my new poetry collection “As Folktaleteller” I am downloading 93 folklore art images, 3 per day in October and asking writers to write poetry or a short prose inspired by one, two or all three images. Please join Gaynor Kane, Ankh Spice, Jane Dougherty, Kyla Houbolt, Jacqueline Dempsey-Cohen, Chris Husband, Eryn McConnell, Dave Garbutt, Merril Smith and I, plus those who react to the images on the day, as we explore images from folktales.

F 1.2 Faes Riders_of_th_Sidhe_(big)
F 1.2 Faes Riders_of_the_Sidhe_

F 2.2. Earth Spirits Gnomes Heinrich_Schlitt_Gnom_mit_Zeitung_und_Tabakspfeife
F 2.2. Earth Spirits Gnomes

F 3.2 _La_llorona__de_mandera The Weeping Woman

F 3.2 _La_llorona__de_mandera The Weeping Woman

 

The Aos Sí ride out

They left the holy ground to walk
the mortal earth, their voices like
the wind, and starlight on their brow.
From hollow hills with stony sills,
from blackthorn, among rowan rings,
they ride the night, eyes piercing bright,
and what they seek is at my breast.

Sleep quiet, little one of mine,
the fairy folk ride storm and tide,
their horses foam-maned, tread the waves.
Be still, I hear their voices call,
you listen, gold that calls to gold,
and I can only hold you tight
and hide your brightness with my hair.

-Jane Dougherty

Timeless They Ride

I find I cannot open the sun.
People cut off their hearts
to try to stay clean. But I remember
a time when my feet would sink
into the earth while walking quite
firm upon it, and along with
the things of the day I would also be
companied by graver splendors,
visible as mist or as sudden
horses a-sparkle. They would not
speak to me but this one phrase:
Farewell. Welcome. They gave it
a tune. It put me to sleep then.
Now, waking, I see them again.

-Kyla Houbolt (inspired by F.1.2.)

Each minute the old battle

Steaming the flanking sea
and its withers. Nine waves maning.
A cauldron sounds its bell, empty
and washing ashore: each note a hollow
of bone and rising its judgement of sap
through the stave. How I would grow you armies
for the fight, lend this long arm of land
and the sharpened water relentless.
Your forehead in sleep like a fetching
keel, the wrinkle of light as day after day
unveils. Gold-feathered morning, its bargain
of rest. Hooves beat beyond the rib, crescent water,
and old belief shudders its tent around us. I begin,
again, scraping salt sweat from the hide.

-Ankh Spice – 2/10/22

La Llorona (inspired by 3.2, La Llorona)

They call you the weeping woman
And I wonder, La Llorona
What is it you weep for?
Why do your tears fall so fast,
Weeping woman?
They say you cry for your children
And that I can understand
A grief like that would rip my soul
Entirely in two.
They say that you killed those
Small children for whom you weep
And perhaps this is why you
Are doomed to roam as a ghost

They say that you chase the living
On a horse, or on your feet
Or in a horse drawn carriage
They say that you warn against
Bad behaviour
They say that one sight of you
Can be fatal

They say you have many faces
That when a person enquires
After you, and offers assistance
When they hear you weep
That you turn to them with
A changed unearthly visage
The face of a skeleton
Or a metallic horse head
Or worse, with no face at all

They say that you are the storm
That you drowned your children
That you kill bad children
That you come after the rains
That you weep for those children
Who you discarded in the water
Of the canals when they were born

But they all say that you weep
La Llorona, O Weeping Woman
And I wonder if one day
When I walk alone at night
If I will hear you weep
All alone in the night
Garbed in white
Mourning your lost children.

-Eryn McConnell

F2.2 Gnomish Whimsy

A dazzle of sun glazes the glass
spraying droplets of quicksilver and gold
adrift to daze the gnome’s wary eye –
His gaze a gasp inhaling the frog’s distress.
As she strains against her cage, bereft,
her glamor slowly becomes undressed.
And to his gimlet eye he espies -sigh-
a river nymph bespelled and held.
Whose alchemy is this to encase one of the fairest race?

The woodland awaits. What enchantment is nigh?
The orb bird falls silent, blue flowers go soft.
The wind holds its breath, roots fail to suck
For something is blooming beneath all the muck.

Yet the woods feel ripe and wondrously fraught. For veiled
within this tangled weald, mysteries unfurl, marvels revealed.
The gnome’s weary brow unfurrows and smooths as he
drinks his wee dram of pond water booze,
and there within his fairy draught
A vision unfolds of chicancery caught
A human lad, ungainly and artless
with pockets damp and filled with debris
Captured the frog, unaware of the glamor
And lets it go – he’s called home at half three.

-Jacqueline Dempsey-Cohen @boscoedempseu

Beware (Inspired by all three images: F2.1. F2. 2., F2.3)

On Halloween, the fairy folk ride
glide on steeds, that shine and glitter
and they as well, but beware their shimmer
and their beguiling queen with gold-spun hair

whose honeyed-scent drifts in the air,
stare not, and never take her hand
as she will take you to her land
where minutes drift ever-sweet and light

as decades here pass out of sight.
But on Halloween, take extra care
of all spirits, vengeful and fair—
who wander as the sun grow dimmer

gnomes mostly benign, though some are grimmer–
there’s La Llorona who wails and weeps
and seeks to keep
your children for hers, dead and gone.

Await the dawn
especially on Halloween,
do not go into graveyards, and don’t be keen
to display courage in haunted places, or the woods.

Don’t stray into the garden—understood?
when midnight strikes
run from shimmer, shadows, and all the ghost-like—
beware–

sometimes, things are not what they seem—
sometimes they are—no matter how bizarre,
truth may come in dreams. The unseen, seen.

-Merril D. Smith

Her story is told in many lands
of conquistadores with their grubby hands
tugging the thread of her history
forging a legend to which she cannot refute
monstrous allegations of infanticide
tales of fear and dread following her into eternity
destined to walk amongst their children
to punish and admonish
to catch their breath
on fear of death

Given her past so cold and dark
Falls square at foot of patriarch

-Chris Husband (inspired by F 3.2.)

Elemental (Inspired by image F2.2 Earths Spirit Gnomes)

He’s cornered in the cradle of a reclining chair
reading the paper and drinking Antiquity whisky.
The nurses have been overzealous, he has more bandages
than mummified Takabuti but the liquid continues to leach
from his legs, puddling on the floorboard, soaking into the walls
and above him mould is growing, blooming and feeding
the animals he talks to. Snails spiral outwards—across the walls
leaving trails like a network of arteries around the room.

Forget-me-knots have burst through the boards
at the base of the bariatric bed. His face is wrinkleless,
a happy side-effect of the collagen-full slug slime
applied under cover of darkness, except
for soft lighting emitted by plump glow-worms
that spin new hair on his head and his chin.

As the room becomes increasingly damp, his body is preparing
to return to the earth. His lungs and laneways are filling up
with loam. His voice is gravelly, and grit is blocking his intestinal track.
And yet, in all this degradation there is gentle luminosity
for he and his surroundings are pearlescent, silvering, precious
metal from earth’s crust swaddles him, even disinfects the catheter.
He folds the newspaper at the racing section,
removes the bookies biro from behind his ear.

-Gaynor Kane

Pipe & Toad

They don’t make good pets,
but just soak the bramble leaves
in their poison! You forget all
the news, the harebells
that need plucking and drying.

There’s never good news is there?
The Garden’s mowed!
The compost heap dug out!
All the Dandelions down!
Thistle’s capped, the fungi strimmed
and it’s a constant fight for concealment from cats.

Mr Toad—keep still—
give it up—a drop—another puff—
No regrets!

-Dave Garbutt (inspired by F 2.2.)

The Aos sí go by

We patrol our places
We, the Good People ride,
wary we watch
for the Hawthorn hacker and flailer,
the meadow cutter and chewer,
the stone-wall-breaker,
the straight road-builders
that insult our grass and birches and peat
with scars, hardness, black melted-rock!

Beware, we patrol our places
do not gouge or drain our meadows
our hedges, touch not, touch not.

From our home under the hill
we send floods, we shrink skins
we carry away the cutters, the tractors,
make barren the fields,
make barren the Impolite People,
and madden the cattle, make dumb the sheep,
and hungry the Raven.

Impolite People—our scream will split you
ear from head
eye from brain
leg from hip
and hand from switch.

-Dave Garbutt (inspired by F 1.2.)

Bios and Links

-Eryn McConnell

is a poet originally from the UK who now lives in South Germany with their family. They have been writing poetry since their teens and is currently working on their second collection of poems.

-Gaynor Kane

from Belfast in Northern Ireland, had no idea that when she started a degree with the OU at forty it would be life changing.  It magically turned her into a writer and now she has a few collections of poetry published, all by The Hedgehog Poetry Press Recently, she has been a judge for The North Carolina Poetry Society and guest sub-editor for the inaugural issue of The Storms: A journal of prose, poetry and visual art. Her new chapbook, Eight Types of Love, was released in July. Follow her on Twitter @gaynorkane or read more at www.gaynorkane.com

-Dave Garbutt

has been writing poems since he was 17 and has still not learned to give up. His poems have been published in The Brown Envelope Anthology, and magazines (Horizon, Writers & Readers) most recently on XRcreative and forthcoming in the Deronda review. His poem ‘ripped’ was long listed in the Rialto Nature & Place competition 2021. In August 2021 he took part in the Postcard Poetry Festival and the chap book that came from that is available at the postcard festival website. https://ppf.cascadiapoeticslab.org/2021/11/08/dave-garbutt-interview/.

He was born less than a mile from where Keats lived in N London and sometimes describes himself as ‘a failed biologist, like Keats’, in the 70’s he moved to Reading until till moving to Switzerland (in 1994), where he still lives. He has found the time since the pandemic very productive as many workshops and groups opened up to non-locals as they moved to Zoom. 

Dave retired from the science and IT world in 2016 and he is active on Twitter, FaceBook, Medium.com, Flickr (he had a solo exhibition of his photographs in March 2017). He leads monthly bird walks around the Birs river in NW Switzerland. His tag is @DavGar51.

-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

-Jacqueline Dempsey-Cohen,

a retired teacher and children’s library specialist, considers herself an adventurer. She has meandered the country in an old Chevy van and flown along on midnight runs in a smoky old Convair 440 to deliver the Wall Street Journal. She is a licensed pilot, coffee house lingerer, and finds her inspiration and solace in nature in all its glorious diversity. Loving wife and mother, she makes her home in the wilds of Portland OR.

October ekphrastic challenge

Jane Dougherty Writes

Paul Brookes is running an ekphrastic challenge this month and I missed the start. It’s a jolt to realise that September is over and we really are into the autumn. The image below is one of today’s prompts.

I semplici

They had a hundred names for them,
the starving mass that crawled the famine fields
and burned the strongholds of the rich,
the sick and dying, the simple folk,
eaters of human flesh and heretics in thought.

The rich and fat in piety
harried their unarmed armies,
armed with blessings and righteousness
to stamp out the sin of envy,
the fury to survive.

Hanging from the spindle trees,
burning on stinking pyres, their howls of despair
rose in blood and smoke, to their God
they would have poor as themselves.

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Drop in by Zoe Brooks

Nigel Kent - Poet and Reviewer

This week I’m delighted to welcome Zoe Brooks, who has agreed to drop in to introduce her new poem for voices, Fool’s Paradise.

That’s how Fool’s Paradise starts. We are on the road with three travellers and like them we question where it starts and when.

The words and rhythms reference the Bible, but at the crossroads there is a very modern shrine made of photographs. It could be anywhere that people come in grief. It was inspired by the shrine I saw in Wenceslas Square to Jan Palach, the student who set himself on fire in protest against the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. There must now be shrines like it all over Ukraine and indeed many other places in the world.

Shortly after this opening the travellers meet the Fool, who leads them on the road to a city where there is another shrine. This shrine is…

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#folktober #ekphrasticchallenge. Day One. To celebrate the launch of my new poetry collection “As Folktaleteller” I am downloading 93 folklore art images, 3 per day in October and asking writers to write poetry or a short prose inspired by one, two or all three images. Please join Gaynor Kane, Chris Husband, Eryn McConnell, Dave Garbutt, Merril Smith and I, plus those who react to the images on the day, as we explore images from folktales.

F 1.1. Page_158_illustration_in_More_English_Fairy_Tales Cat. Sidhe
F1.1. Cat Sidhe

F 2.1 440px-ADurerWoodwoses1499
F 2.1. Wild Man (Woodwose)

F 3.1 Bloody Mary Halloween-card-mirror-2
F 3.1. Bloody Mary

The Muster

[F2.1 Wild Man (Woodwose)]

In the end, they had to release him. Torture, flattery, spit and coin bounced equally off his bristled back: tan as an acorn, coarse as a teasel.

He could not say who his father was, nor why he had been in the Baron’s bounds. Nor how he learned to swim like an otter, melting instantly into the water. Nor leap like a stoat, twisting dementedly up an invisible stair. Nor monster like a mink, slaughtering pheasant, spraying clods of bird brain over the snow.

He could not say anything and only looked at the shaft of light leaking under the door. On the wall hung Jesus, looking up at the same. The first time they beat him, he barely noticed, but tracked a black mouse bulleting by.

The doctors came in with several syringes which broke against his wiry fur. The priest came in with a book and beads and the prisoner fondled the strung black seeds. Exorcisms and blessings were dropped like dark cloth over his eyes.

He stayed awake. And when nothing came and the weeks drew on and the madhouse stayed full, they carted the sack to the woods and loosed the neck.

He flew through the thorns and leaves, pausing to hiss. His scat was a skinny coal figure-of-eight.

-Kirsten Irving

 

Sidhe-riding

She flies you through the powder burn
of blasted night. She asks you where:
you have no direction but away, and so it is
that you and the switch-rider leave day’s weeping
wound to lake. She points out the seep-
red shores below, how sunrise, sunset
cup brackets around the hole: the first equation
to solve. The answer undoes you. Bones of mice
and birds rattle from the broom, a swept midden
of offering, and somewhere your body hears rain
on a roof. I once told a child braced for dark
how to trade their skin for catness: eight times a-wish
is the charm. I once told an adult who lived
despite their child: your ninth life still awaits.
Your pilot’s twin lanterns gleam in the dark. Her fur
leaps with a static of stars, their sum impossible to take.

-Ankh Spice – 1/10/22

Woodwose (This was inspired by 2.1 Woodwoses)

The forests are deep and green
Where the Woodwoses walk
The trees are tall and old
Where the Woodwoses walk
The paths are overgrown
Where the Woodwoses walk
Go to the woods, child, and see

The Woodwoses are tall men
Wrapped in hair from head to toe
Their eyes keen, their hair long
Their arms are knotted and strong
And they are tall, child. You’ll see
They carry a large wooden club
That sits on their shoulder as if
It was born there, you’ll see
And they fight the dragons
They wrestle the lions
And they frighten the evil spirits
That come there, you’ll see
If you go to the forest, child,
That’s what you will see.

But be careful, small child
If you walk in the dark forest
If you look for the wild men
If you happen to be
What the Woodwoses see
Their club is not meant to maul
Just scale and fur and tooth
Sometimes their fancy runs
To something softer and more sweet
Something like you, child

If you go into the forest today
And if you a Woodwose spy
Then watch for their keen eyes
Their rippling limbs and hard club
Because if they spy you there
Pale limbs quivering, fear rising
Wide eyes beckoning, screams climbing
They might snatch you into their arms
Oh yes, Child, they would snatch
And take you away deep into the heart
Of the old, dark Forest
And there, deep in the dark
Where we cannot spirit you away
You would be the feast, child

As the Woodwoses gather
Around a burning hot fire
And they dance together
Singing their old songs
Perhaps they would drape
Themselves in the skins of their prey
The Lion, the Dragon, and the Child
And we would mourn you forevermore,
My dear child, tears falling silently
So don’t go into the forest, Child
Not today, Not ever. Not alone.

-Eryn McConnell

Be Afraid (F3.1, Bloody Mary, Pantoum Form)

You scoff. Say it’s merely folklore,
no fears from a mythical tale,
but away from the mirror, gaze at the floor,
beware the world’s thinned veil!

No fears from a mythical tale.
you say. But don’t light the candle,
don’t say her name, don’t watch for her image pale–
don’t yearn for what you cannot handle.

You say, “but don’t.” Light the candle
I will. There’s a dare in the air, and to it, I thrill—
don’t yearn for what you cannot handle.
I can. Yet suddenly I feel a chill.

Still, I will. There’s a dare in the air, and to it, I thrill–
until I don’t. Bloody Mary in the glass, I can’t—
I can. Yet suddenly I feel a chill.
I see her pass, I hear her laugh, rant, chant–

until . . . I don’t. Bloody Mary in the glass! I can’t.
But away from the mirror, gaze at the floor—
though I see her pass, I hear her laugh, rant, chant.
You scoff. Say it’s merely folklore.

-Merril Smith

On halloween look in the glass, Your future husband’s face will pass

am I the man in your mirror?
did my face look familiar when we met?
was that the shock I saw?
I lived behind a mirror once
nothing I saw was me
I felt like shards, triangular, sharp
had been glued together into
my face, mended, yet
still, on the floor.
I hadn’t dreamed of that smile
at the top of the stair
and thinking the stairs
were only concrete, to be stepped on in sequence,
in simple sequence
and not a tightening promise from behind a mirror.
Ah! and Lapsang Souchong
with Mandarins—
and the child above, waiting.
                       in æther

-Dave Garbutt (inspired by Bloody Mary)

A Wild Man (Inspired by all three images)

They used to say he was a wild man
but he was no god of the woodlands.
Maybe when young and in the half-light

of a smoky pub he might have resembled
a flirty fawn, the lustre of his short locks
and building site body as muscular

as a prowling mountain cat,
the gleam of his bright eyes
reflecting the bar lights—and perhaps

a girl, after three Bloody Marys
would’ve laughed at his Guinness moustache;
then wiped it off with her finger.

It’s even conceivable
that she sucked the cream
between strawberry lips and he might

have leaned in and she may have
fixed her eyes on his and held her breath.
But it probably wasn’t my mother.

-Gaynor Kane

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, mirror, on the wall
Will I find someone to call
My partner who is loyal and true,
With everlasting love to imbue?
I hope it’s not the guy to my left
For sure he’d leave my heart bereft.
He’s well connected and very rich
But I think his mother is a witch.
If he at last made me his wife
There would be a shadow on my life.
And, so much more than that
Look what he did to my poor cat!
His brothers, they look very rough
Their bodies covered in all that fluff
So, mirror, mirror send someone please
Just make sure it’s none of these!

-Chris Husband

Woodwose (inspired by 1.2)

I look. Tell myself I am. I go on
A beast stares back at me. I shake myself.
My hand makes beast disappear. Here is
food that flaps on land. A hard stone stops it.

A beast stares back at me. I shake myself
Beast does what I do. Nothing else.
Food that flaps on land. A hard stone stops it.
Is not me. I eat it. Darkness moves. Sharp.

Beast does what I do. Nothing else.
Darkness kills quickly. In light I can look.
Is not me. I eat it. Darkness moves. Sharp.
Light is warm. Like food after kill. Fills space.

Darkness kills quickly. In light I can look.
I look. Tell myself I am. I go on
Light is warm. Like food after kill. Fills space.
My hand makes beast disappear. Here is

-Paul Brookes

Bios and Links

-Ankh Spice

is a sea-obsessed poet from Aotearoa. His work has been widely published internationally, in print and online, and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He’s a co-editor at Ice Floe Press and a poetry contributing editor at Barren Magazine. You’ll find him and a lot of sea photography on Twitter @SeaGoatScreams or on Facebook @AnkhSpiceSeaGoatScreamsPoetry.

-Eryn McConnell

is a poet originally from the UK who now lives in South Germany with their family. They have been writing poetry since their teens and is currently working on their second collection of poems.

-Gaynor Kane

from Belfast in Northern Ireland, had no idea that when she started a degree with the OU at forty it would be life changing.  It magically turned her into a writer and now she has a few collections of poetry published, all by The Hedgehog Poetry Press Recently, she has been a judge for The North Carolina Poetry Society and guest sub-editor for the inaugural issue of The Storms: A journal of prose, poetry and visual art. Her new chapbook, Eight Types of Love, was released in July. Follow her on Twitter @gaynorkane or read more at www.gaynorkane.com

-Dave Garbutt

has been writing poems since he was 17 and has still not learned to give up. His poems have been published in The Brown Envelope Anthology, and magazines (Horizon, Writers & Readers) most recently on XRcreative and forthcoming in the Deronda review. His poem ‘ripped’ was long listed in the Rialto Nature & Place competition 2021. In August 2021 he took part in the Postcard Poetry Festival and the chap book that came from that is available at the postcard festival website. https://ppf.cascadiapoeticslab.org/2021/11/08/dave-garbutt-interview/.

He was born less than a mile from where Keats lived in N London and sometimes describes himself as ‘a failed biologist, like Keats’, in the 70’s he moved to Reading until till moving to Switzerland (in 1994), where he still lives. He has found the time since the pandemic very productive as many workshops and groups opened up to non-locals as they moved to Zoom. 

Dave retired from the science and IT world in 2016 and he is active on Twitter, FaceBook, Medium.com, Flickr (he had a solo exhibition of his photographs in March 2017). He leads monthly bird walks around the Birs river in NW Switzerland. His tag is @DavGar51.

-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

Knitting Drum Machines For Exiled Tongues by Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani is out!

Tears in the Fence

Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani’s ground-breaking poetry collectionKnitting drum machines for exiled
tongues
presents the reader with thirty-five multilingual poems in English, French and Croatian structurally interwoven with thirteen visual-textual fragments and three poems-tattoos or “tattooed” drawings through the narrative device of “enchâssement” (embedding). Using the universal languages of the heart / love / music / rhythm the author seamlessly transgresses borders and provides us with a poignant, evocative, and fully inclusive, immersive experience. The recurring tropes of falling, absence, and loss, and the evocation of a fourth “shadow language” signify the narrator’s displacement from ‘home’ and language, whilst at the same time questioning the identity discourses of nostalgia, belonging and exile. Here, the central image of the “knitting drum machines for exiled tongues” can be interpreted both as an innovative artistic practice allowing the revival of lost and / or exiled languages, and as an enabling device for the (re-)coding of…

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NEW FEATURE: SYNERGY: CALLING ALL WRITERS WHO ARE PHOTOGRAPHERS I will feature your work photos and writing individually on the Wombwell Rainbow. A special feature for you alone. Please DM/message me if you’re interested. Photo essays are great, poems should accompany one of your images that inspired them. Poems within the photos are also great, such a haiku, and so forth. Any theme you choose, at the moment. May get more specific as time goes by. Experimental work most welcome. Our ninth Synergy is from Debbie Strange

debbie strange raven

This photo was taken under a bridge on the frozen Red River in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Every winter, there are art installations along the river skating trail. This one caught my attention because it reminded me of a gravestone, and of the time a crow shattered my window, losing its life in the process. The raven is symbolic in many cultures, and the tanka represents the way chronically ill people (myself included) often try to hide their infirmities (“pretending to be sky”) to avoid making others feel uncomfortable. This tanka gained 3rd Place, 2020 San Francisco International Tanka Competition.

-Debbie Strange

Bio and Links

-Debbie Strange

is an internationally published short-form poet, haiga artist, and photographer whose creative practice helps to distract her from chronic illness. Thousands of her works have appeared in hundreds of publications worldwide. Please visit her archive at debbiemstrange.blogspot.com for further information.

NEW FEATURE: #ASmallPress A series of week long posts about our small presses. A few years ago I decided I wanted to support a local press. I chose #Longbarrow press. Over the next few days I will feature writers from these presses that I have interviewed. I welcome comments from writers and readers about these highlighted presses to add to these features. First of their authors I will shine a light on is Matthew Clegg.

longbarrow

https://longbarrowpress.com/

longbarrow publications

Matthew is also a cracking essay writer. Here are a selection of his essays:

Here is Brian Lewis, editor and Co-founder of Longbarrow on Matthew Clegg:

A Democracy of Words: Reintroducing Poetry to its Natural Environment | Matthew Clegg

Longbarrow Blog

slow perch
                  rise and taste
      meniscus
                  where
pollen phlegms
                  on diesel
         slicks

‘Mexborough, Water-Fronted Properties Released’, Matthew Clegg, The Navigators (Longbarrow Press, 2015)

Back in 2013, Ruth and I had moved to Mexborough in South Yorkshire. We were both working part-time – meaning, we wanted to earn enough money to pay our way, but we also wanted enough free time to maintain our creative projects. Someone had told us that rents in Mexborough were the lowest in the country. It took us completely by surprise when we discovered that Mexborough also had a budding poetry festival, organised under the umbrella of the Ted Hughes Project. I was enough of a Hughesian to know that the…

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Dutch Colonial Violence and the Missing Voices of Indonesians

Imperial & Global Forum

Indonesia-Netherlands_indonesian-veterans-victims_@Adek-Berry-AFP-730x486 Indonesian veterans commemorate victims of massacres by the Dutch army in the 1940s in 2013. The Indonesian experience of colonial violence is often overlooked in the Netherlands. © Adek Berry / AFP
 
Roel Frakking and Anne Van Mourik

The Dutch continue to widely underestimate their colonial violence of the past. The publication of the hard-hitting conclusions of the Independence, Decolonization, Violence and War in Indonesia 1945-1950-program revealed the Dutch state actively condoning systematic and structural violence during Indonesia’s War for Independence. Discourse management, short-term perspectives and diminished Indonesian perspectives explain how Dutch perpetratorship is still under negotiation in the Netherlands.

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Grey

Sarah writes poems

Everything changes: the Good Queen
becomes the Wicked Witch. The grey wolf
gobbles up the moon, the moon
destroys the wolf. Take one step sideways
and the monster is a frightened child.
We, who are dazzled by the sun,
are scared of shadows. We forgive
ourselves, condemn ourselves,
spiralling round the truth, walking
the labyrinth, flickering between
light and dark. Nothing is distinct –
stars sparkle in the night, and clouds
cast shadows on the corn field.

For dVerse

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