East of Zero
East gets less each year. The curse of stupidity,
like Cnut forbidding high tide.
We protect vital assets scourging softer land south
to its fate in the grey North Sea.
East Riding—it marks final landfall
before the Greenwich meridian touches The North Pole.
Long-shore drift erodes Easington, Kilnsea,
ground to sediment deposited at Spurn.
Earth is scooped away by the Holderness Ord,
a wyrm of water uncoiling, twisting, making land sea again.
Zero is imagined–a construct for longitude.
In one hundred years nothing will be east of here
and our house, twelve miles from the coast,
will become littoral.
EXTREMES OF PERSIMMON TASTE
These days will soon elapse
and you will, thereafter, recall my hesitation
hanging from persimmon branches;
my suspense at realizing why, oftentimes,
shade or no shade, the sun burns alike.
You will recall the bite of time,
like the bite we take of a persimmon,
which may taste sweetly terrific
or astringent enough for a terrible choke.
You’re not there, though,
to figure all this out…
Translated from Albanian by Arben P. Latifi
Alisa Velaj was shortlisted for the annual international Erbacce-Press Poetry Award in UK in June 2014. Recent publications include Stockholm Literally Review, Lethe Literary and Art Journal, The Ofi Press Magazine, A New Ulster, Poetry Space, Haaretz, The Linnet’s Wings, Stag Hill Literary Journal, Orbis Magazine, The Quarterly Review etc etc. Her poetry collection, With No Sweat At All, will be published by Cervana Barva Press in 2020.
The Whale Speaks
Humans say they research us.
We research humans, in the interest of science,
as we patrol the seas, observe habits.
When spotted we plunge down,
sing our anthem,
warn our brothers and sisters.
We watch from the deep,
record your short lives with our saddest tunes,
know dinosaurs died out.
Gene Groves lives in Northumberland. She had 35 poems in Flambard New Poets 2. Poetry published in Pre-Raphaelite Society Review, Prole, Popshot, Amsterdam Quarterly, The Interpreter’s House, The Dawntreader, Dreamcatcher, As Above So Below, Writers’ Cafe, Orbis, Obsessed With Pipework, Diamond Twig and The Cotton Grass Appreciation Society.
pull of vertigo
from the viewing tower
hidden in a
no mention of women
Janet Dean is a writer from York, UK. Her poetry has appeared, for example, in the Valley Press Anthology of Yorkshire Poetry, The York Literary Review and is part of the Northern Poetry Library’s Poem of the North. She is a writing tutor and workshop facilitator and co-founder of Awakening The Writer Within.
I put a black suit on to defend
the piece of unspoiled land,
so our children might one day
breathe. I take my hat off
to mother earth for keeping us
all alive. Now every willow
is crying at nature’s fate. The ferns
grow around my legs to keep me
safe. You’re in a summer dress, silent
beside the polluted lake, your shadow
chasing our dreams. The ring in my pocket
must wait together with my promises.
Agnieszka Filipek lives in Galway, Ireland. She writes in both, her native tongue Polish and in English, and also translates in these languages. Her poems have appeared in over 40 publications internationally. Visit www.agnieszkafilipek.com