Poem

Nigel King

Originally posted in November 2020, today we celebrate National Poetry Day with our all time greatest hit – a poem that went viral across America proving how important Webzines are for both emerging and established writers. Congratulations to Nigel King.

The Poetry Village

The Good Friday Sheep

The nave echoed with bleating.
Sheep crammed into pews;
shaggy Wensleydales, tidy Suffolks,
Blue Texels, Portlands, Border Leicesters.

The air was thick with lanolin
and fresh droppings.
Ryeland wethers nibbled on the hassocks,
a Herdwick Ram scrambled up
to drink from the font.

The sheep looked around
in semi-darkness, saw statues
of bearded elders clutching crooks,
a mural of a younger man
cradling a lamb.

They spotted more lambs,
carved on pillars, headstones,
painted high in the sky
above the multitude, radiant as the sun.

This was their place, built in their honour,
kept from them for centuries
until this day, when they found
the paths and precincts empty,
the great doors swung open.

Neither man nor dog
can take it from them now.

Nigel King lives in Almondbury, Huddersfield. His poetry is shaped by family memories, myth, history and science fiction (amongst other things). His…

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Poem

Maurice Devitt

Greatest Hits – Number Two

The Poetry Village

Salaryman

I might have been fourteen
when I overheard a neighbour
talking to my mother, about how
her husband had been passed over
for a job in the bank and him by far
the best candidate. I didn’t know
what it really meant, but somehow
I looked at him in a duller light,
this man I was in awe of, partly
because they had all the stations
before us and partly because
he seemed to know the answer
to every question, his didactic commentary
a soundtrack to all our TV viewing.
I began to notice him on later buses
in the morning, his suits less sharp,
his eyes downcast and then one day
I heard he had retired early.
Walking back from football
in the park, his son explained
that he had left before the company
collapsed and was considering other offers.

Winner of the 2015 Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition, Maurice…

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Poem

Siegfried Baber

Greatest Hits – Number 3

The Poetry Village

MEMENTO MORI

After the Selborne yew came down
the parish plundered the whole thing
like a car sacked for spare parts:
branch and bark became an altar screen
or a silent hanging cross; pilgrims
and druids and day tripping drop-outs
came for whatever small scraps
remained: a well-preserved lance of wood,
seven berries, the stamen’s yellow
and toxic shroud. Consummatum est.
Another scourged Son stripped
of his seamless robe; his woven crown.
For a few more days, it tried growing back
through the hollowed ghost of itself
but those torn-out roots wouldn’t take.
People watched, waited, soon drifted away.
By the churchyard wall, a plaque
marks the day the resurrection failed.

Siegfried Baber was born in Barnstaple, Devon in 1989. Since graduating from Bath Spa University, he lives and works in the city as a freelance writer and photographer. Siegfried’s poetry has featured in a variety of publications including Under…

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Poem

Jonathan Humble

Greatest Hits – Number 4

The Poetry Village

Schrödinger’s Mouse

Your love of my raspberries has resulted
in this late evening walk in headtorch,

to hedges of hazel and blackthorn,
far enough from home to foil ideas of return.

Aware of owls ripping through moonlight,
I kneel in damp fescue and sedge,

clutching this tilt trap of quantum uncertainty;
mouse or no mouse? that is the question.

The trap gate opens. You see me for the first time,
holding the moment in beads of black polished glass,

small body wedged, feet splayed, heart racing,
a quiver of tense, anticipating whiskers.

And in that instant, in that brief connection,
my doubts bubble. This is a good deed isn’t it?

This forced relocation; got to be a better solution
than back breaking death or slow poisoning.

Although I try to convince myself,
I believe you remain sceptical.

I am your nightmare; the one interrupting
your nightly midnight feasting,

the one…

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Poem

Sanjeev Sethi

Greatest Hits – Number 5

The Poetry Village

Mist

It seems I have sealed the sensations
of your touch as down payment of
an address we could never own or
occupy. White heat and the ensuing
calenture have lapsed. Emblems of
affinity are like the sky: always there.
Intimacy breeds indifference, in its
own way it keeps us knit.

Sanjeev Sethi is the author of three books of poetry. He is published in more than 25 countries. Recent credits: The Sunday Tribune, The Cabinet of Heed, Amethyst Review, Talking Writing, Packingtown Review, Abstract Magazine, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.

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