Song In the forest the last willow tit is listening to the wind carry away her song, is listening to the wind bring back its silence. We have her song in our hearts, on our screens, interpret the algorithms to engineer a new carrier for its pine-needle notes: soft moss feathers, the thinnest eggshell skull, legs, stalks from a beech leaf and a beak of thorn. We shall create a flurry, a cloud, a tide of them, set them free to flit into the forests where the air will come alive and the days whirr with the brilliance of wing and song. Jane Lovell is an award-winning poet whose work focuses on our relationship with the planet and its wildlife. Her latest collection This Tilting Earth is published by Seren. Jane also writes for Dark Mountain and Elementum Journal. She is Writer-in-Residence at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. Her new collection 'God of Lost Ways' is forthcoming from Indigo Dreams Press later this year. Her website is here: https://janelovellpoetry.co.uk
The Swan Ballet
Across the glass lake
you float regally;
Silently you travel
shroud in beauty;
Leda knew your truth
as you rise in battle –
you love eternal
fight with passion,
Emily lives in Marsden, tucked between the Peak District and South Pennine hills. She studied literature at university and she is passionate about sharing her love of the outdoors – a space she draws inspiration from, particularly her local moorland landscape.
The Pilgrim Hare
No more to roam the fields or box on the fertile loam,
Or sniff and savour the air or watch the moon without a care,
Or run along a furrow with ears poised and primed
For the ever present danger of dog or man unkind.
I am the pilgrim hare which many seek but fewer find.
My satchel’s full to brimming with messages for mankind.
My staff is stout and strong as I start my pilgrimage
Round the churches, shrines and holy wells, this is my heritage.
Created by an unknown hand from pure limestone
I am St Mary’s pilgrim hare, feeling all alone,
five hundred years or more I waited by this arch
to see another winter, neither mad nor march.
And silent as a stone I wait for liberation
when I might join the other hares and sniff the air and watch the moon,
or chase a doe in mating as the summer hay grows strong.
Til then, I wait, it cannot come too soon.
Clint Wastling is a writer based in The East Riding of Yorkshire. His poetry has been widely published in the UK, Ireland and USA. He regularly performs at literature festivals including Ilkley, York and Fantasycon as well as organising workshops. His debut novel, Tyrants Rex, was published by Stairwell Books. Clint pamphlet, Layers, was published by Maytree Press in 2019.
Elegant Sheep Moth
I’m no stinky Goat moth clinging
to your hair like Velcro, my larvae won’t binge
on your ears or skin. I bloom
on sweeter scents of wild rose and lilac.
I’m a day-flying moth, fast as a hummingbird,
my tiny pink scales as chic as rubellite.
I hang out in high pastures, laze on sagebrush and pine.
Enticed by a hint of sun I’ll unfold my chevron wings, pose
like a pin-up for a selfie with sheep.
Olivia Dawson, originally from London, lives between London and the Sintra Hills in Portugal. She has a Creative Writing MA from Lancaster University and her poetry has been published in a wide variety of poetry magazines and anthologies. Her debut pamphlet, Unfolded, was published in 2020 by Maytree Press.
When Suburbia Moved In Next Door
It was the same year
the peacocks died. We burned the shed
burned their bodies, stiff as March wind,
dense as newly cut wood.
When we looked up
from the tongues of flame,
we saw two women staring
at us from their bright new homes.
They passed back and forth a disgusted look.
They didn’t know we torched
the plot so the other animals,
pawing, as they would through rot,
wouldn’t get what took
the swagger from the peacocks
without a track of blood.
They didn’t know we kept the birds
for their color and their noise.
They were like decorations
from a party.
The women shook their heads
and before our eyes an opal tip of feather
floated upward, like an eye,
on the heat’s current.
Susan Waters started out as a journalist covering hard news in upstate New York and for 13 years was a magazine editor and writer at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary. Her publishing credits are extensive. She has won 10 prizes in poetry and have been nominated twice for the Push Cart Prize in Poetry. Her chapbook Heat Lightning was published in 2017 by Orchard Street Press. Currently, she is Professor Emeritus at New Mexico Junior College.