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Peter Donnelly

Galanthus

Their common name reminds us
of real drops of snow
which their blossom tells us
won’t be here for long.
They make us think of spring, rebirth,
relieve our January blues.

I only hope they are right,
that they won’t be killed
by the thing they say
is almost over,
like the daffodils that nowadays
often flower before them.

Yet we cannot blame the blooms
for deceit which we have caused.

Peter lives in York and has degrees from the University of Wales Lampeter in English and Creative Writing. He has been published in the South Bank Magazine, The Beach Hut and a few anthologies including Ripon Poetry Festival, League of Poets and The Baron Owl Trust.

Iain Twiddy

Bushed

January, untrammelled cold,
dusk settling heavily through the boughs,
and cloud piling in like city dirt
in uproar, sweeping away the dust of stars,

and just because this little glint-
beak is deeply, darkly bushed, singing,
doesn’t mean he isn’t flying
anywhere near as fully as me.

Iain Twiddy studied literature at university and lived for several years in northern Japan. His poetry has appeared in The Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Stand, The London Magazine and elsewhere.

Because of the War – Aziz Dixon

We are delighted to help celebrate the launch of the second three trees edition from Maytree Press with the stunning debut from Aziz Dixon.

In this heartbreaking collection, the poet explores the fragility of peace from post war Britain to the war ravaged streets of Srebrenica.

A remarkable debut by a poet who I’m sure we will hear a lot more from in years to come.

Because of the War is available direct from Aziz or on-line from the Maytree Shop.

 

Because of the war

On holiday none of them liked us.
I was seven when I found out.
When we open our mouths
they hear screams,
my father said,
because of the war.

Now I know what they did,
my people to yours. You reach
across the toast crumbs,
catch my eye.
We share today, you say,
because of the war.

 

Safe inside

He was violent, drunk;
he taught you not to fight
and not to shout, but then you went,
were sent to war, you
and your brothers too. Your daughter learned
how not to fight, how not to shout.
She married one who could be
foul of mood,
rampaging when in pain.

Your DNA came down to me,
but I’ve been searching all these years
to make it stop, this generational curse,
to find if mint will grow in a pot,
will season life, although constrained.

9781913508067

 

Neil Clarkson

Earth

You sit in my hands well,
sift through fingers
when I ask.
I’m raising you
the best I can,
nourishing you in a
horticultural five a day way.

Earth, I can’t say it’s
quite love that I feel
but it’s close.
You’ve never cheated
on me,
given up the ghost.

Earth, I know I have to
put back in what I take out.
It’s not what I’ve
always done
with humans,
it’s true.
You, the dog,
constant as rain, sea, sun.

Earth, you surprise
me still
from nowhere,
with fragments of glass, plastic,
clay, after all I’ve done.
I strive to give you, always,
a fine tilth, a rich loam.
You’re good company, a gas.
It’s us for life
we’ll never be alone.

Neil Clarkson has been published in magazines including Pennine Platform, and Obsessed by Pipework. His debut collection, Build You Again from Wood, was published in 2017 by Calder Valley Poetry.

Laura Wainwright

Fern

This is where it runs:
the grubby unplugged water,
the dish dregs, the flushed rain
faeces and fat. Sulphite and soap scum,
pampering patchouli and pear blossom,
mirror-pooled
meat and bleach.

Down there,
flicked cigarette stumps,
a floated leaf, a stray straw.
A city’s Friday, its Tuesday,
its match day.
Its working week,
its inconvenient sludge.

But just below the iron grid
that is trampled, driven,
replicated over and over,
delicately feathered
as green frost on glass –
an unfurled fern, clinging,
stirring its flightless wings,
growing imperceptibly
into glare.

Its spored underside
is a hundred dragonflies’ eyes
that have known the shark-teeth
of caves, stone-stencilled hands,
charcoaled horse, unhinged jaw,
crown-shy thrones, meteor sky,
deeps of ice, puzzled spine

shadow of Argentavis magnificens:
the bird that thought it was a plane,
show us how to endure

Laura Wainwright is from Newport, Wales. Her poems have been published, or are forthcoming, in a range of magazines, journals and anthologies. She was shortlisted in the Bridport Prize poetry competition in 2013 and 2019, and awarded a Literature Wales Writer’s bursary in 2020 to finish writing her first poetry collection.

Twitter: @wainwrightlj

 

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