Poem, Poetry

Mark Mayes

Into the Long Grass

And when evening came,
he took the lane again.
A dog barked behind the pond.
The sun, an egg yoke,
oozed into the trees.

A rusty gate
still warm from the day.
A block of ice in his chest
melted away.

Somewhere beyond sight,
a gun cracked hollow
across the fields.

Then everything
was deeply quiet,
deeply still.

Mark Mayes has written novels, short stories, poems, songs, and a few pieces of non-fiction. He has been published widely in magazines and anthologies, and has also self-published several books. 


The Beekeeper’s Apprentice – 2 poems

Today we celebrate the launch of David Coldwell’s second short collection, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.

Many of our readers will be more familiar with David’s work as both an editor and visual artist but when not working with other writers he has also enjoyed publishing the odd poem.

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice brings together those poems into a collection described by award winning writer Amanda Huggins as a poignant and beautiful collection.

Written over a number of years, the poems in The Beekeeper’s Apprentice form a deeply emotional sequence exploring the author’s personal relationships and his bond with the natural world with images of wild moorland, remote mountains and tidal rivers never far from the central theme.

Today, especially for Mother’s Day on Sunday, we re-visit a Poetry Village favourite and remember long forgotten journeys.

Different Stars

Travelling north-west we stopped to watch
pheasants in a field just passed Aviemore.
My young daughter counted at least a dozen
of the brightly coloured birds as they walked
lazily in long grass backlit by autumn sun.

Further north the sun would drip beneath hills
as stars tricked us of life in a moonless night.
Before the stars, land became mountainous;
rivers exploded from hills; trees clung impossibly
to cliffs and lochs mirrored the season’s shift.

Beyond a week, beyond the stag at night, beyond
the seals in the bay, the raven in the valley
and the deer on the estate we would pass
that same place where, by the side of the road,
at least three pheasants lay dead.

I looked across at the field to see the final bale
being harvested. The sickle-bar now idle.
We travelled for most of the journey in silence.
My young daughter slept soundly. Above us
starlight from planets that no longer exist.


You lift our new daughter from the car
as I place the bags down and shout
for the boys. Our neighbour is already
upon you, leaving her garden
to fend for itself in the excitement.
And I watch the three of you from the window
seeing you wipe away a tear as you
speak her name out loud in the hope
that passing clouds will deliver
all the wishes you secretly made
and the sound of birds will remind you
of this day. The boys race to your side;
too young to hold me to account
with all the promises I ever made.

Limited edition signed copies are now available from the on-line Maytree shop here – The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by David Coldwell | Maytree Press (bigcartel.com)

Read a review here The Beekeeper’s Apprentice – a review – Ali Thurm

About the author:

David Coldwell is an artist, writer and editor based in Marsden, West Yorkshire. In 2016 he won the Templar Poetry Portfolio Prize with his debut collection, Flowers by the Road. In 2017, David created The Poetry Village which aims to promote poetry within hard to reach groups whilst offering an on-line publishing platform for some of the best new contemporary poetry.

Poem, Poetry

Sam Payne

A new kind of language

There is a space inside my daughter 
where new words grow. 
She wants to visit the Perriment
insisting it’s a place we’ve been before.
We scroll through photos on my phone,
the farm with the fat, pink piglets 
the play park with the soft sand and the monkey bars 
each time she shakes her head.

Sometimes she’s a foreign land, wild and unmapped
and I’m ready to give up but then 
there is a photo of us 
standing on a wooden tower 
overlooking a labyrinth
there, she says, there, the Perriment

I should tell her it’s a maze
but I like her word better and we’ll keep it
this word that didn’t exist before her, a word
for a place only the two of us inhabit.

Sam Payne is a writer living in Devon. She holds a BA in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing. Sam writes flash fiction and poetry and her work has appeared in a number of places online and in print. She tweets at @skpaynewriting

Poem, Poetry, translation

Yuan Changming

Fire vs Water: Another Lesson in Chinese Characters


灶 /zao/: an oven is built by setting a fire beside a pile of earth
灿 /can/: splendid is the view of a fire sweeping over a mountain
烟 /yan/: smoke originates as a cause flickering like a spark
烦 /fan/: frustration occurs when a fire burns a page
烧 /shao/: to burn something is to set a fire high on it
炒 /chao/: to fry is to use little fire
烙 /lao/: to iron is to burn each and every spot
炉 /lu/: a stove is the fire burning in a household
炮 /pao/: a cannon is a fire wrapped tight


沙 /sha/: sand is something holding little water
河 /he/: a river has water allowing everything possible
洗 /xi/: to wash is to put something into water first
波 /bo/: waves surge when water flows like skin
注 /zhu/: to focus is to be the master of water
源 /yuan/: a wellspring is the original water
泪 /lei/: tears are water seeping from the eyes
洒 /sa/: to spread is to throw water into the west
演 /yan/: a performance is a show in respect for water
酒 /jiu/: wine is water fully matured

Yuan Changming hails from poetrypacific.blogspot.ca. Credits include Pushcart nominations as well as publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), & BestNewPoemsOnline,among others. 

Poem, Poetry

Ian Clarke


Behind the Mermaid’s warm smog breath,
he’s steam-bending oak,
caulking the seams
of bawley, cutter and skiff,
searching the Holehaven

with cockle-rake and glaive,
mud-larking for coins, glass,
a rhino tooth lost from Doggerland.
Where the Thames unravels,
loses its name to creek and turbine,

he’s fog-deep in mud,
his stash of driftwood,
his cross split lean
ready for the years to turn in its shadow,
telling me it’s nothing of a job,

hands twice the size of mine,
as we walked the lane put out to grass,
to a skylark climbing
the happy blues of summer.

Then on to the sea-bank,
a high-tide filling the distance,
bringing in kelp and feathers,
driftwood’s oak and elm,
that shadow in a breaking wave.

Ian Clarke.  Fenland ex pat poet living in Harrogate. Published widely in anthologies and in magazines. A regular reader on the Yorkshire poetry scene. Latest book Owl Lit published by Dempsey and Windle (2017).