Drop in by Patricia M Osborne

Nigel Kent - Poet

Thank you, Nigel, for inviting me over to your blog to talk about my pamphlet, The Montefiore Bride.

The Montefiore Bride is a short story told in prose poetry and forms part of the Worth Park timeline I wrote back in 2017, during my residency at a local Victorian park, when studying for my Creative Writing MA with the University of Brighton. The full poetry timeline will be published later this year by The Hedgehog Poetry Press.

During my residency, I researched the park’s past going back to 19th September 1888 when Sir Francis Montefiore, the first and last Baronet of Worth Park, brought home his Austrian bride. Unfortunately, Lady Marianne, Sir Francis’s wife, was only at Worth Park for one year before returning home to Vienna and never to return to Crawley, but no one knows the details why.

The bridal couple’s arrival at Three Bridges Station on 19

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Review of ‘Dualities’ by Sharon Larkin

Nigel Kent - Poet

You know that you’ve enjoyed reading a collection when you repeatedly wish you’d written the poem you’ve just read. That was the case for me with Sharon Larkin’s, Dualities (Hedgehog Poetry press, 2020). I was left envying the achievement of this collection for she writes the sort of poetry that I enjoy reading and aspire to write.

Larkin’s collection has the perfect title, Dualities, for in this collection so many of the poems examine the two, often conflicting, aspects of the subjects about which she writes. This is particularly true of her poems about relationships which capture their complexity, revealing how positive behaviours can turn out to have negative outcomes. For example, in Mismatch she writes about a woman trapped in a controlling relationship in which she is treated as a child, forced to do things she doesn’t want to: ‘I didn’t want to, but you enticed me out,/found me…

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Drop in by Lucy Crispin

Nigel Kent - Poet

I’m delighted to welcome Lucy Crispin, former Poet Laureate of South Cumbria.

Hi Nigel

It’s great to have a space to talk about one of the poems from shades of blue. Thank you so much. I’ve chosen ‘a libation for small things’, in part because it reflects some of my characteristic thoughts and interests; in part, also, because through the pandemic I think we’ve all appreciated the ‘small things’ which helped us keep going.

Both my jobs—as poet and therapist—involve considering what it is to live happily and well. Of course, this varies from person to person—your ‘small things’ will be different from mine—but whatever the ‘things’ are, they help offset the inevitable pain of being human. Blackbird song at 5am; the unselfconsciousness of a fancy-dressed child; the fleeting beauty of changing light; the kindness of a friend: all these things can redeem a day and make it…

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In Collaboration With Mr Paul Brookes Wombwell Rainbows ~Artists~Writers~NAPOWRIMO 2021 ~ Day Thirteen~

POETIC OCEANS

In Response to Art Work by Jane Cromwell

Sirius mighty
star, shines for the Night Journey
appear disappear

In Response to Art Work by John Law

Scarborough Harbour

This is the harbour where Vikings landed
where bombs struck,smoke covered all
where people stepped to trade in fairs
where knowledge broke borders bare
this is the harbour where waves now strike
recede,quietude reigns, travellers alight
where once writers would stories write,
where history marks its pages bright
and tourists roam enjoy ice cream nights

In Response to Art Work by Kerfe Roig

innocence on streets
freedom curbed flouted suppressed
liberty stoned in statue

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Day 17. My annual National Poetry Month 2021 ekphrastic challenge is a collaboration between artists John Law, Kerfe Roig, Jane Cornwell, and writers Ankh Spice, Jane Dougherty, Redcat, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Simon Williams, Susan Richardson, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker, Merril D Smith, and me. April 17th

Day 17

JC17

-Jane Cornwell

K317_badger_wombwell

Badger

-Kerfe Roig

JL17 Back from shopping

Back from shopping

-John Law

Defibrillated

There’s a new-moon-eye they give you
when you tell them. In the nictate
something changes, a new kind of veil
drawn between a thing that has died
and returned and a thing that fears
the threshold. The bravest emerge
through the dark tunnel of the pupil, looking
for some kind of light to carry themselves.
What did you see? How do I tell you
this isn’t a poem, that every face
you’ve seen since reflects the shine
of a planet that’s gone. What’s in front of you
is an outline drawn in dust, his mouth
open wide, streaming burning story he stole
from the terror of the cave. Every blink
remaining, making it up.

-Ankh Spice

In The Badger Setts

Grandma Badger came to greet me
Most dashing in her dinner frock
Invited me to midnight tea

All the little cubs came to gawk
They hadn’t seen a witchling before
Down and down we went, quite a walk

At length we came to a carved door
Come into the library dear
Where we our ancient knowledge store

In here you can meet our seer
She’ll teach you whatever you need
To from the witch hunters stay clear

Decipher the signs you must heed
Help you light the white ardent flame
That must any vision quest lead

It’s time to your inborn strength claim
That’s what will set your spirit free
I see it in your fire brick mane

First we’ll have fortifying tea
Then we’ll see what signs you can see

-©RedCat

Back from Shopping

This ‘ill gets steeper every year!
Ya not wrong, Joan!

A pause to catch their breath, then

Ooh, guess who’s died!
Who?
Well, I’m asking you!
Well, we don’t know. You tell us!
Ooh, ya no fun these days, Maureen.
All right, that old bloke with the dog. Who sits outside the shops.

A pregnant pause.

We’ve just seen ‘im, Maureen. You said hello!
Ooh, so I did. I’m losin’ mi marbles, like mi mam did.
You two are ‘opeless. Let’s get goin’, I’ve got to get our Charlotte ‘ome
Tell ’em about that thing, nan! In the garden.
Ooh, yes. You’ll never guess what worrin ar garden last neet.
Dunno – a Peepin’ Tom?

All three ladies laugh.

What’s a peepintom, nan?
Never you mind, luv. No, it worra badger. A big ‘un.
Ooh, I don’t like them. Big things. Don’t like ’em being killed, though.
No.
No.

They stop for breath and Joan lights a fag.

Joan, who was it?
Who was what?
Who died?

Another pause and exhale of smoke.

Dunno, can’t remember now.

-Tim Fellows

Inspired by John Law, “Back from Shopping” and Kerfe Roig, “Badger”

Beneath the Surface

Sturdy women coated and scarved,
against the cold, damp English day. Tight-clad legs step
clop clop on water-pooled streets. The little one’s hand grasped—
everywhere unseen dangers lurk.

There will be no jumping now. Come along, her mother says,
and goes on talking about Bess’s too-soon baby, Tom’s gout,
and Will who lost his job—again.

Beneath the surface of their words, stories swim,
fish waiting to be caught,
the meanings elusive, not quite hooked.

The woolen hats and packages move with the women, yellow, red, and green
contrasts with the grey all around.
In the fine drizzle of the fretting sea,
the shops are nearly invisible,
like the badger in their garden, a fog-creature of the night.

The girl wonders if he lives beneath
the surface of the puddles. She jumps, despite her mother’s hand,

and laughs. Then a laugh bursts from her mother’s surprised O mouth.
They continue walking. It’s almost time for tea.

She will save some scraps for the badger. See if he surfaces, like love.

-Merril D Smith

(Inspired by John Law’s 17th Painting – Back From Shopping)

Three portly aunts limp, dawdle and chat
about the hush they hear everywhere these days,
unlike their yesteryears when they knew everyone,
and everyone began with ‘Mornin’, have you heard about the …’,
and it compensated the stiff market,
always a few doughs steep, and it shall be so –
yesterday and today and the day the green girl
holding her youngest aunt’s plump hand
follows the odd feline leaping into the neighbor’s
backyard hugger-mugger will drag along her own daughter
while returning from the market and counting the cost of living.
I observe them until I cannot see them any longer,
albeit I do, I shall continue to do so.

-Kushal Poddar

Lucky
(inspired by JC17)

Sadness fills every corner of the room,
smudges the world into black and white.
I watch the colour drain from the walls
as lives crumble and happiness seems
a distant memory,
unreachable,
trapped in shadows.

I contemplate happiness so often,
what it must feel like to hold it in my hand,
to take it in
savour it
eyes closed in rapture.

I live at arms-length from my words,
no sense of self
no joy.
And yet, I know I am lucky
just to be alive.

-Susan Richardson

Badger light
Inspired by Kerfe Roig’s Badger

In the grey of badger light
That smells of earthy, rooted things,
The dark is fox and barn owl flight.
In the grey of badger light,
You rollock through the scented night.
On sharp-clawed pads, no need for wings,
You skim the grey of badger light,
That smells of earthy, rooted things.

-Jane Dougherty

out shopping
dressed sensibly
for the weather
sturdy shoes
the daily routine
you and she and
a younger mother
still in flashy shoes
but otherwise practical, methodical
like the rest
oh and her little daughter
kitted out sensibly
for the weather

neighbours
walking home from the market
sturdy bags filled
with the day’s purchases
greens on top, peeking out
same old list, same streets
same gait, methodical tread
as you walk home
unhurried
this moment as good as
a vacation, a small vacancy
in your routine

gossip about the weather
commiserate about the neighbours
something to say about the news, the
husbands – but careful, little jugs have
big ears
or, just silence all the way back
to that noisy neighbourhood
just silence, sturdy shoes, methodical stroll
no thinking, it means worry
no talking, it means judging
the best part of friendship, the
best part of the day, walking
back from shopping

-Jayaprakash Satyamurphy

A Badger

in ventilator mask and steroids.
I keep to the dark. I see poorly.
I don’t know who made me ill and annoyed.
Back from shop with nannan and mam, dourly

wrapped in macs, veg peeps out their bags, green gleams
amongst blackened lungs of austerity.
Helpless, short of breath, grateful for these dreams,
Emerge from my sett, nose and ears lively

in the forest of the hospital room,
I listen to wildlife, owl hoot, trolley
squeak, inaudible conversation’s bloom
as hear downstairs mam and nannan gobby

on owt and nowt putting shop away tidy.
Held bedside vigil for both in my day.

-Paul Brookes

Bios and Links

-John Law

“Am 68. Live in Mexborough. Retired teacher. Artist; musician; poet. Recently included in ‘Viral Verses’ poetry volume. Married. 2 kids; 3 grandkids.”

-Jane Cornwell

likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.

She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.

Her website is: https://www.janecornwell.co.uk/

-Kerfe Roig

A resident of New York City, Kerfe Roig enjoys transforming words and images into something new.  Her poetry and art have been featured online by Right Hand Pointing, Silver Birch Press, Yellow Chair Review, The song is…, Pure Haiku, Visual Verse, The Light Ekphrastic, Scribe Base, The Zen Space, and The Wild Word, and published in Ella@100, Incandescent Mind, Pea River Journal, Fiction International: Fool, Noctua Review, The Raw Art Review, and several Nature Inspired anthologies. Follow her explorations on her blogs, https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/  (which she does with her friend Nina), and https://kblog.blog/, and see more of her work on her website http://kerferoig.com/

-Tim Fellows

 is a poet and writer from Chesterfield whose poetry is heavily influenced by his background in the Derbyshire coalfields – family, mining, politics, and that mix of industry and countryside that so many mining areas had. People can email me at timothyjfellows@gmail.com for a copy of the pamphlet or visit http://timfellows13.blogspot.com for recent poems

-Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

is a writer based in Bangalore, India. His books include the novella Strength Of Water (2019) and the poetry collection Broken Cup (2020). He used to write horror, but now it’s anyone’s guess. 

-Anjum Wasim Dar

Born in Srinagar (Indian Occupied )Kashmir,Migrant Pakistani.Educated at St Anne’s Presentation Convent Rawalpindi. MA in English MA in History ( Ancient Indo-Pak Elective) CPE Cert.of Proficiency in English Cambridge UK. -Dip.TEFL AIOU Open Uni. Islamabad Pakistan.Writing poems articles and stories since 1980.Published Poet.Awarded Poet of Merit Bronze Medal 2000 USA .Worked as Creative Writer Teacher Trainer. Educational Consultant by Profession.Published http://Poet.Author of 3 Adventure Novels (Series) 7 Times Winner NANOWRIMO 2011- 2019.

-Jane Dougherty

writes novels, short stories and lots of poems. Among her publications is her first chapbook of poetry, thicker than water. She is also a regular contributor to Visual Verse and the Ekphrastic Review. You can find her on twitter @MJDougherty33 and on her blog https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

-Redcat

RedCat’s love for music and dance sings clearly in The Poet’s Symphony (Raw Earth Ink, 2020). Passion for rhythms and rhymes, syllabic feets and metres. All born out of childhood and adolescence spent reading, singing, dancing and acting.

Her writing spans love, life, mythology, environment, depression and surviving trauma.

Originally from the deep woods, this fiery redhead now makes home in Stockholm, Sweden, where you might normally run into her dancing the night away in one of the city’s techno clubs.

Read more at redcat.wordpress.com

-Merril D Smith

is a historian and poet. She lives in southern New Jersey, where she is inspired by her walks along the Delaware River. She’s the author of several books on history, gender, and sexuality. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies, including Black Bough Poetry, Nightingale and Sparrow, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Fevers of the Mind.

-Tony Walker

By day Tony climbs the greasy pole of clinical hierarchy. Not yet at the top but high enough to feel the pole sway and have his grip challenged by the envious wind of achievement. Looking down on the pates and gazes of his own history, at times he feels dizzy with lonely pride. By night he takes solace, swapping scalpel for scripts and begins his training and climbing again, in the creative world of writing. His writing is an attempt to unify the twenty-four hours. @surgicalscribe seeks to connect the clinical and creative arts of surgery, science and writing. Hoping to do for medicine and surgery through creative writing what Prof Cox has done for physics with television.

So, he practices his art.

-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.

-Simon Williams

lives and works in Edinburgh, where running clears his head and creates space for ideas. He publishes short stories and poems on www.simonsalento.com

Paul Brookes

Paul is a shop assistant, who lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. His first play was performed at The Gulbenkian Theatre, Hull.  His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), Stubborn Sod, with Marcel Herms  (artist) (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming Khoshhali with Hiva Moazed (artist), Our Ghost’s Holiday (Final book of threesome “A Pagan’s Year”) . He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. 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 and his family history articles have appeared in The Liverpool Family History magazine.

Autumn feast – A Sonnet, April Ekphrastic Challenge

The world according to RedCat

John Law


Riot of fall colours, fall sweets
Blackberries, blueberries I see
Sweet berries my love likes to eat
Chestnuts falling from the big tree

The shiny apples makes you smile
The last tomatoes makes you purr

The blackthorn we leave for awhile
Until the frost makes them sweeter

What a bountiful autumn eve
Careful love, with the rose hip stalks
The rowan-berry we best leave
To the blackbirds and the red fox

He deserves a very tart snack
We’ll not get granny wood mouse back

©RedCat


Wanted something lighter after yesterday’s shivers, so I chose this picture because of all the striking colours, even if fall harvest feels a long way off when spring has barely started.

This sonnet is in tetrameter instead of the classical pentameter, just because I wanted to give that a try. 

To see all art and read all poems for today go to The…

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Heart, Horse, Spelt and Health

Wendy Pratt Writing

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s been a while since I did an update blog. A lot happened in March.

First there was my birthday. Another lockdown birthday, but it was vey nice. We got a takeaway from a restaurant and pretended we were posh folk dining in a private booth. I’ve missed dining out. One perk of being childless is being able to go and eat out, and up until this year we’ve not been able to afford it as I have been crazily building my writing career and earning very little. I earn a wage now. I would not describe it as a good wage, but it is a wage and it would allow me to sit at a table, drink over priced wine and not ave to wash up occasionally. I can’t wait!

Then there was the launch of my new collection, When I Think of My…

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She Is: Ekphrastic Challenge, Day 16

Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

In the spindrift of stars,
she’s felled, stayed by strands
silvered in the night

she circles in cycles of moon phases,
phrases repeat in her mind, bridging seen
and unseen worlds,

the doors that might open—if—
in the tides of sea and blood—there is life
flowering,

in her womb, in the earth,
the repeating petalled patterns,
the roundness of berry and belly,

the strength of limbs, rooted
to the earth, while reaching for the sky,
seeking light

she howls as it fills her. God, human,
something in-between? This is the truth—
she is what she is, and what she has always been.

She circles in cycles. Repeats.
Ever and always. She waits.

For Paul Brooke’s Ekphrastic Challenge, Day 16. I was inspired by all three works. You can read all the poems here.

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April poetry challenge day 16

Jane Dougherty Writes

The poem for today is inspired by Inner Truth by Kerfe Roig and Autumn Fruit by John Law. All three images and the poetic contributions are on Paul Brookes’ site here.

Inner and outer truths

Why are our truths inner,
veiled in fakery, dug deep down
among leaf-drifts and mineshafts,
wrapped in silver and shot into space?

Faces make masks of themselves,
hide behind pseudos and avatars,
hurt and run.

The inner me
is the one I keep for best,
the one I will set in the balance
against my inertia.

Blackbird’s truths
hang in red clusters from bright branches,
drop jewels into green caskets,
spread pinioned truths across the sky

that hides nothing.

The night opens into a sea of light,
bright as day, beach-sand brilliant.

I pluck a red truth,
let the juice run
like sap
through my veins.

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Day 16. My annual National Poetry Month 2021 ekphrastic challenge is a collaboration between artists John Law, Kerfe Roig, Jane Cornwell, and writers Ankh Spice, Jane Dougherty, Redcat, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Simon Williams, Susan Richardson, Tim Fellows, Anjum Wasim Dar, Tony Walker, Merril D Smith, and me. April 16th

Day 16

KR16_ inner truth_wombwell

Inner Truth

-Kerfe Roig

JL16 Autumn Fruit

Autumn Fruit

-John Law

JC16

-Jane Cornwell

Autumn feast – A Sonnet

Riot of fall colours, fall sweets
Blackberries, blueberries I see
Sweet berries my love likes to eat
Chestnuts falling from the big tree

The shiny apples makes you smile
The last tomatoes makes you purr
The blackthorn we leave for awhile
Until the frost makes them sweeter

What a bountiful autumn eve
Careful love, with the rose hip stalks
The rowan-berry we best leave
To the blackbirds and the red fox

He deserves a very tart snack
We’ll not get granny wood mouse back

-©RedCat

Gorky Park, 1999


The ferris wheel spoke in rust
and flakes of twilight. Snared by the hooks
of our own hackles, we turned and turned,
giddied by the dangerous and squeaky wheel
of the wrong hemisphere. The envelope that held
our reserves was long torn at the corner and that moon,
that ripped Russian moon, spilled its dust. It settled everywhere
and changed nothing. There’s a point at which you’re so far away
from home you may as well be walking the beams
in space, and when the strut broke we were astronauts
just for a second, weightless. You, my shooting star,
trailing glitter and the tether that never truly tied you
to anything at all, snapped at long last. When our bodies
left the ride, what had trembled inside them
remained in orbit. Don’t be afraid. It was nothing
anyone needs to keep safe.

-Ankh Spice

Inner and outer truths
Inspired by Inner Truth by Kerfe Roig and Autumn Fruit by John Law

Why are our truths inner,
veiled in fakery, dug deep down
among leaf-drifts and mineshafts,
wrapped in silver and shot into space?

Faces make masks of themselves,
hide behind pseudos and avatars,
hurt and run.

The inner me
is the one I keep for best,
the one I will set in the balance
against my inertia.

Blackbird’s truths
hang in red clusters from bright branches,
drop jewels into green caskets,
spread pinioned truths across the sky

that hides nothing.

The night opens into a sea of light,
bright as day, beach-sand brilliant.

I pluck a red truth,
let the juice run
like sap
through my veins.

-Jane Dougherty

孤独な月 (a solo renga)

Solitary moon
smoothly phased the passing time
as our seasons turned.

Starlight, forged in distant fire,
cannot reach this room, this life,
or her hand, cold to my touch.

Autumn fruits have come;
rain-filled, juice-drenched, succulent.
They quickly perish.

Bloodless fingers hold a wreath
in winter white. Graveyard gates
are covered in uncaring frost.

Grasses grow, trees bend
in the gales of spring, tides ebb
and flow, rocks erode.

The sun seeks my skin, summer
will not come this year. I shun
its warmth, reject its healing.

Do not wait for me.
Beyond moon and furthest stars.
I will never come.

-Tim Fellows

Inspired by Autumn Fruit by John Law

Autumn fruit, year’s late gift
Here in my land, a feast after the
Rains have swept away summer and
Before what we have of winter
Takes its place in the turning scene

Chikoo, brown and dry on the outside
Plucked from the tree in my first school
Inside the flesh is lushly sweet, the seeds
Large, black, shining like the joy
The fruit brings, on the tongue, on
Sticky fingers and dripping lips

Rashbari, small orange gemstones
Bought from a lady from a village
Her tanned skin and lined face
Bringing the fields and orchards to the city
Break the outer layer and taste the skin
So tart on the tongue – delicious shudder
Citrus jab, small, deft messenger
Keeping summer alive in form and flavour

Guava, staple from the street-vendor’s basket
Yellow and sweet and soft
With little chewy seeds, grit among the pulp
Or green and chewy and tart
Sliced and served with red chilly powder
Bought and eaten on the way home from school

Humble fruit, familiar since childhood
Best plucked straight from the stalk
Or, since we citied be,
Bought on the roadside, from a cart
Or carried in a basket, or spread out on a sheet
In a mandi or bazaar, never

Picked from the freezer drawers
Of some food court or mega mall
Where the season is always air-conditional
And the fruits are torn from their places
On the year’s wheel.

-Jayaprakash Satyamurphy

The Cosy Mystery of Death

(Inspired by Jane Cornwell’s 16th Painting)

In one PBS documentary
Hemingway cleans his barrels.
I hear it. Wait for the gunshot.
Laziness rolls out its hand
as if instead of thinking
about death, it does release the dice.
I tilt my head. My soul’s dust jacket
is half torn; the ebony binding shows.

-Kushal Poddar

Inspired by all three works of art

She Is

In the spindrift of stars,
she’s felled, stayed by strands
silvered in the night

she circles in cycles of moon phases,
phrases repeat in her mind, bridging seen
and unseen worlds,

the doors that might open—if—
in the tides of sea and blood—there is life
flowering,

in her womb, in the earth,
the repeating petalled patterns,
the roundness of berry and belly,

the strength of limbs, rooted
to the earth, while reaching for the sky,
seeking light

she howls as it fills her. God, human,
something in-between? This is the truth—
she is what she is, and what she has always been.

She circles in cycles. Repeats.
Ever and always. She waits.

-Merril D Smith

Inner Truth, Outer Fiction

There is a mirror on the wall,
            reflecting what we show to all.
But locked away by personalities gate,
            beyond river, sea, protective lake.
Secured in boxes behind a fence
            ideas, memories, secrets, pense.
Our true being lies there protected
            green and pure and un-affected.
Out from darkness into light
            projecting gibbous a weakness might
escape through cracks up to the fore
            revealing, good bad self and all.
In phases, wax and wane we must
            the truth will out, it always does.

-Tony Walker

The Gate

painted black iron with scrolls, is an arm
flung down on the floor as if its owner
has died after coming to fatal harm
who waits at another gated border.

We wait at the gate of a person’s eyes.
We wait at the gate of a person’s mouth.
Sunset is a gate closing, it opens at sunrise.
Bites into Autumn fruits, gates that arouse.

Flung arm owner opened a way they did
not expect, a way to the stars at night.
Bit into poisoned fruit, a life ended.
Waits at another gate to dark or light.

Lips are a border breath passes over.
Imagination is thresholds crosser.

-Paul Brookes

Bios and Links

-John Law

“Am 68. Live in Mexborough. Retired teacher. Artist; musician; poet. Recently included in ‘Viral Verses’ poetry volume. Married. 2 kids; 3 grandkids.”

-Jane Cornwell

likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.

She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.

Her website is: https://www.janecornwell.co.uk/

-Kerfe Roig

A resident of New York City, Kerfe Roig enjoys transforming words and images into something new.  Her poetry and art have been featured online by Right Hand Pointing, Silver Birch Press, Yellow Chair Review, The song is…, Pure Haiku, Visual Verse, The Light Ekphrastic, Scribe Base, The Zen Space, and The Wild Word, and published in Ella@100, Incandescent Mind, Pea River Journal, Fiction International: Fool, Noctua Review, The Raw Art Review, and several Nature Inspired anthologies. Follow her explorations on her blogs, https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/  (which she does with her friend Nina), and https://kblog.blog/, and see more of her work on her website http://kerferoig.com/

-Tim Fellows

 is a poet and writer from Chesterfield whose poetry is heavily influenced by his background in the Derbyshire coalfields – family, mining, politics, and that mix of industry and countryside that so many mining areas had. People can email me at timothyjfellows@gmail.com for a copy of the pamphlet or visit http://timfellows13.blogspot.com for recent poems

-Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

is a writer based in Bangalore, India. His books include the novella Strength Of Water (2019) and the poetry collection Broken Cup (2020). He used to write horror, but now it’s anyone’s guess. 

-Anjum Wasim Dar

Born in Srinagar (Indian Occupied )Kashmir,Migrant Pakistani.Educated at St Anne’s Presentation Convent Rawalpindi. MA in English MA in History ( Ancient Indo-Pak Elective) CPE Cert.of Proficiency in English Cambridge UK. -Dip.TEFL AIOU Open Uni. Islamabad Pakistan.Writing poems articles and stories since 1980.Published Poet.Awarded Poet of Merit Bronze Medal 2000 USA .Worked as Creative Writer Teacher Trainer. Educational Consultant by Profession.Published http://Poet.Author of 3 Adventure Novels (Series) 7 Times Winner NANOWRIMO 2011- 2019.

-Jane Dougherty

writes novels, short stories and lots of poems. Among her publications is her first chapbook of poetry, thicker than water. She is also a regular contributor to Visual Verse and the Ekphrastic Review. You can find her on twitter @MJDougherty33 and on her blog https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

-Redcat

RedCat’s love for music and dance sings clearly in The Poet’s Symphony (Raw Earth Ink, 2020). Passion for rhythms and rhymes, syllabic feets and metres. All born out of childhood and adolescence spent reading, singing, dancing and acting.

Her writing spans love, life, mythology, environment, depression and surviving trauma.

Originally from the deep woods, this fiery redhead now makes home in Stockholm, Sweden, where you might normally run into her dancing the night away in one of the city’s techno clubs.

Read more at redcat.wordpress.com

-Merril D Smith

is a historian and poet. She lives in southern New Jersey, where she is inspired by her walks along the Delaware River. She’s the author of several books on history, gender, and sexuality. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies, including Black Bough Poetry, Nightingale and Sparrow, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Fevers of the Mind.

-Tony Walker

By day Tony climbs the greasy pole of clinical hierarchy. Not yet at the top but high enough to feel the pole sway and have his grip challenged by the envious wind of achievement. Looking down on the pates and gazes of his own history, at times he feels dizzy with lonely pride. By night he takes solace, swapping scalpel for scripts and begins his training and climbing again, in the creative world of writing. His writing is an attempt to unify the twenty-four hours. @surgicalscribe seeks to connect the clinical and creative arts of surgery, science and writing. Hoping to do for medicine and surgery through creative writing what Prof Cox has done for physics with television.

So, he practices his art.

-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.

-Simon Williams

lives and works in Edinburgh, where running clears his head and creates space for ideas. He publishes short stories and poems on www.simonsalento.com

Paul Brookes

Paul is a shop assistant, who lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. His first play was performed at The Gulbenkian Theatre, Hull.  His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), Stubborn Sod, with Marcel Herms  (artist) (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming Khoshhali with Hiva Moazed (artist), Our Ghost’s Holiday (Final book of threesome “A Pagan’s Year”) . He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. 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 and his family history articles have appeared in The Liverpool Family History magazine.