bold as brass, the blackbird
sashays across the garden
wingtip brushes my nose
quizzical eye checks me
out – what will I dare?
what will he?
poses for a moment on the redcurrant bush,
angles his head down, tweezes a scarlet berry
with surgical delicacy
in that chrome-yellow beak
flicks his head, it’s gone
moves on to the next.
Mandy Macdonald is an Australian writer living in Aberdeen. Recent poems have appeared in Impspiring, Causeway/Cabhsair, The Poets’ Republic, and elsewhere in print and online, and in anthologies such as Multiverse (Shoreline of Infinity) and Vaster Than Empires (Grey Hen). Her debut pamphlet, The temperature of blue, is imminent.
On the hill stands
a cracked-toothed curmudgeon
of a ruined house. It aches
in structural senescent defiance
groaning under a spiteful sky
that drowns Its reproach
till it is left
a sodden wretch.
Draped in its tattered
Wrecked walls shed the bonds
between bricks as one by one
they are lost
like memories to the past.
A home without a family,
a family without mortar.
frondescent fingers claw
through the cracks and crumbs
of a body that bears
the vermiculation of neglect.
I see its lonely silhouette and wonder
if I stood still for long enough,
would I succumb to the same sorrow
and be left
in an open grave
under a lidless sky.
Adrian Eagle lives in Milnsbridge near Huddersfield and spends his time on a rope inspecting the railway viaducts in the north west of the country. This is his first published poem.
The sound appears
Outburst of the last bird
looking for light
The sound appears as grey rain continues
emptying its quiver Falling staccato
Lights of living rooms conspire to wire the nights together
with almost-invisible seams
as prism’d eyes project patterns
where there are none &
make worlds attempt to function
without sun or sleep or space between
A mass of black skies
obscures secret illicit movements
In wind I live move have my being
I desired fame for the fruit
of a prayer’s drenched branches ~
trading the coin of that realm
Among ethereal oil paint landscapes
the sound appears
in waves of Payne’s grey & Alizarin crimson
The sound Metallic drum
of a door as it clicks & locks
The sound wells up on lit streets of
midnight blue twilight
Whirling birds converse over the square
The sound appears
as bright broad symphonic chords
The sapphire here
The sound appears as breakdown highway rumble strip
& Paradiso song of intermingled birds
This ink silent
The sound appears
David Leo Sirois is a Canadian-American poet who lives in Madawaska, Maine. Poems have appeared in The Sunday Tribune Online, The Opiate, Those That This, THE BASTILLE, Belleville Park Pages, Paris Lit Up, Terre à Ciel, Two Words For, & more. Altogether, he has published over 75 pieces
Small window in the winter
of English winters when we knew
conditions chance aligned
to hold the weight of our escapes
and we knew the place,
that the ice would not wait,
we made the trip to silvered field,
we tied them on, ready to wield
those heavy blunted clunking clogs,
would make us feel as high as sprites
the brown old leather ankle boots
their metal blades with flecked rust bites
had seen better snowbound seasons
on our grandparents; quick heels.
Back upon the glaze, animals transformed
how they still could dance and reel
make our growing bones buzz and sing,
and race and speed on frozen range,
then we were their ghosts,
souls flying free over flooded plains.
Martin Ferguson was born in West Yorkshire. His poems have appeared in several publications including Envoi, Iota, Purple Patch and more recently The Guardian online and Ink Sweat and Tears. His first collection was shortlisted by Against The Grain Press and published in 2018 by Original Plus. He gives occasional readings at Au Chat Noir, Paris.