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Valerie Morton

Photo From The Promenade

They’re holding hands, strolling
along the seafront at New Brighton –
she in her silver-buckled shoes,
black and white dress
and becoming gloves.

Her hair is waved,
pinned into a roll at the back.

They’ve no idea they’ll be parents,
that I’ll never know them this way –
he in his trilby, she with eyes shining
like the silver in those shoes
that barely touch the ground.

 

Valerie is the author of two poetry collections – Mango Tree (2013) and Handprints (2015) – both published by Indigo Dreams Publishing. Her poems have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies. She is the publisher of Elephant (A Poetry of Elephants) edited by Rebecca Gethin). Since 2017 she has been Poet in Residence at a Hertfordshire Pinetum.

 

 

Jonathan Humble

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 separating you from all your
blind, deaf and hairless babies,

the one from which you must flee in terror
the second the black plastic touches the ground.

But, unlike Mr. McGregor, as I stumble one mile
back through darkling woods, soft clart that I am,

I’m hoping the owls have an off day
and secretly, despite your fruit plundering,

I’d quite like to see you again.

 

 

Jonathan Humble poems have appeared in a number of anthologies and other publications such as IS&T, Obsessed With Pipework, Atrium, Riggwelter, Amaryllis, Eye Flash and Picaroon. His poems for children have appeared in The Caterpillar and Stew magazines and have also been shortlisted for the Caterpillar and YorkMix Poetry Competitions.

Laura Potts

Yesterday’s Child

The sun slit a knife through the womb-wet night
and bled like an egg, like a budburst head:
in the swell of the sweat on the belly of the bed,
broken-throated then and red, you said
the clench of winter let the roses grow instead.

But time has fled with jenny wren and left
the meadow dead. And overhead a mouth of moon
has called a mourning on this room, and soon
an ever-bloom of moss will clot the loss of you.
For the years between us are wide as a child;

and the tears as wet as a wound.

 

Laura Potts, twice-recipient of the Foyle Young Poets Award, became one of the BBC’s New Voices last year. She received a commendation from The Poetry Society in 2018 and was nominated for The Forward Prize in 2019. You can follow Laura on Twitter at @thelauratheory_.

Jim Bennett

the cool air

when breath strained
and came in gasps
the front door was opened
dining chair set in place
and throwing off offers of help
he edged along the hallway
holding onto the wall

it could be day or night
sun moon or street light
when he sat in the doorway
looking out onto the road
across a garden
where five paces
took you to the gate

he offered no reason
for sitting there
perhaps the cool air
was easier to breath
or made him feel alive
like a poem but this was
as close as he could get

 

 
Jim Bennett, has written 74 books and numerous chapbooks and pamphlets in a 48 year career as a poet. Jim lives near Liverpool in the UK and tours giving readings of his work throughout the year. He is widely published and has won many competitions and awards for poetry and performance. He runs http://www.poetrykit.org one of the world’s most successful internet sites for poets.

 

Fizza Abbas

Eclipse

Lack of direction,
Haphazard winds are seldom put to work
The mast, the wind, the sail, the sailor
are their medals, not ammunitions.

Migrating birds find their way home
Intuition at its best.
No strings attached
Veneer fails.
Eve of doomsday: Clock ticks infinitude

A cauldron of repressed emotions,
Lost, like an image,
Mirroring the parts that separate them
A huge paradigm shift in the world,
A memorable meet up of winds and clouds

Transcendence welcomes you to the world!

 

Fizza Abbas is a Freelance Content Writer based in Karachi, Pakistan. She is fond of poetry and music. Her works have been published at many platforms including Indiana Voice Journal and Poetry Pacific.

 

 

The Ghost Hospital

Today we celebrate the Maytree Press launch of The Ghost Hospital by Pauline Rowe.

Described by 2019 T S Eliot shortlisted poet, Deryn Rees-Jones as a ‘remarkable book’, we might be slightly biased but have to agree.

Pauline will be launching the collection with a special reading at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery on the 21 November – more details here

If you can’t wait for the launch, or unable to get to Liverpool, then you can get your hands on this very special book over at the Maytree shop – here

Bequest

I bequeath him my skull
(inside which he leads another life),

my hip bones, the roots of my teeth, my scars,
the ones tight with secrets like lieder,
the ones that ache when it rains.

I go back in dreams to that cold kitchen,
stirring porridge on a 2-ring stove.

I didn’t see the devil that winter
nor dress even the smallest tree.

I forgot the accommodations of ribbons
though there was frost enough for two.

It replays itself, his head to one side,
playful, keeping his word, so real
I can taste his breath.

My desire then was a pearl –
perfect, no start, no end, no memory of grit.

 

Justin Gosling

A poet’s prayer

It isn’t much, Lord.
I don’t ask for epics –
Just a few fresh thoughts
And words to go with them.
Just let me feel once again the thrill of creation,
The refreshment of vision.
There’s a drought.
Just send a little rain
To bring the wildflowers back –
A desert richness,
A last explosion of colour;
And then, if it is the time,
Let the sun come back,
And I shall take my rest – happy.
Justin Gosling is a retired academic.  He published a collection called ‘The Jackdaw in the Jacaranda in 2008, has published some poems in The Oxford Magazine, and has taken part in a number of readings in the Oxford area
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