When You Dream About Bacon
the dead are trying to talk to you.
They want you to remember
their very best and worst:
how they lived, loved coped with stuff,
didn’t sweat the minutiae, trawled through all
the dramas: births, deaths, the details
in between: illness, madness, failures, joys:
all the evergreen worries of being here.
They are saying to remember their lives
is to be mindful of the pitfalls
and the things you need to get right.
They want you to honour their time
by ensuring if or when you fall,
you get up, dust down, crack on,
or if you can’t, seek help,
to do this in memory of them.
Mark Connors is a poet from Leeds, widely published in the UK and overseas. His debut pamphlet Life is a Long Song was published by OWF Press in 2015. His debut collection Nothing is Meant to be Broken was published by Stairwell Books in 2017. For further info visit Mark Connors
THE STRAND, LAUGHARNE
after the painting by Morland Lewis
He sets the day’s tone
as familiar locals go about
their daily business.
The brackish houses
focus on the sea,
waiting for the man of words
Reflections blossom on
the water’s experienced face,
as a whitewashed wall
borders a commune of windows.
Life here continues
with a natural sunlight
on snatched moments
impossible to ignore.
Byron Beynon’s work has appeared in several publications including Crannog, Cyphers, London Magazine, Planet, Poetry Wales, The Yellow Nib and the human rights anthology In Protest (University of London and Keats House Poets). Collections include Cuffs (Rack Press) and The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).
Bad Road Kill Day; However
Dead commas on the yellow line
Of the short drive home
I try unsuccessfully
Not to look
Entering through the patio
I am greeted by the morning glories
Profound Star of Yelta
Shining Heavenly Blue
And a lusus naturae
Glowing white trumpet
Purple flames within
Down to the throat
Geraldine Quietlake Remington has always considered herself a religious poet – attempting to capture the moments that have the most profound impact on the human soul. She is “an ecstatic,” one who stands outside the common experience of life. Her work has been published in several literary journals. Geralidine lives in Florida in the U.S.
I was in a different shelter,
same sands, when gull wings
started strobing the sky.
In 1930 a fictional
blackmailer was stabbed
in a deck chair on this beach –
the clues are scribbled on the sea.
In Dreamland, previously Sanger’s,
(which also features in the book)
a man in yellow is bouncing a ball,
rain taps on the ground
and my baby don’t care.
Carolyn Oulton teaches Creative Writing at Canterbury Christ Church University. She is also a Victorianist and rescuer of obscure books that were probably never intended to survive. Her new poetry collection Accidental Fruit is published by Worple.
The Skeleton Family at Ancient Kourion
They were found like this.
As if they lay down to sleep
their bones interlaced
as if dreams could erase centuries.
His skull is broken, his pelvis
smashed, his ribs misshapen
and snapped, but his left humerus
and femur still lie over her.
She still has all her teeth
and keeps the infant tucked
under her ribs. In place
of her heart.
The tip of her nose touches
the tiny skull.
Little bone fingers grip
In life, the early sunlight bathed
The father wore a ring inscribed
with the first two letters of Christ.
The mother wore a silver pin in her hair.
The baby’s teeth were still coming through.
Sam Payne is a writer living in Devon. She is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing with Teesside University through their distance learning programme. Her poems have appeared in several places online including, Ink, Sweat and Tears and The Open Mouse.
You can find Sam on Twitter at @skpaynewriting.
Arthur’s Seat Coffins
You carved them out of wood, whittling
little doll faces, hand stitching clothes onto bodies,
gave each a coffin, buried them at the brow of the hill.
You did it to remember the children dug from their graves
the children strangled in their beds by Burke and Hare.
You tried to save them from Limbo, from the fires of Hell.
Now you see your doll children in a museum.
You hear them calling to you tap tap tap on the glass
their high pitched notes, like birds trapped in a net.
Rachel’s poems have appeared in UK literary magazines including The Lake, South, Head Stuff, Lonesome October, South Bank Poetry and The Herald newspaper. She was shortlisted for the Keats- Shelley Poetry Prize 2017.
Rachel Tweets at @RachelLBurnsme
There are mothers stood arms-folded,
hard-buckled hands and tongues like blisters,
there are liver spots on the fat skin of their
calves when the wind flaps white dress around
their legs, dirty bedsheets on washing lines.
Men stood on the clumsy cobbles of alley ways,
he is swaying, facing the bricks that are slimy with
moss and the drip of black drainpipes, he turns
around and grins as he pulls up his zipper, finished
making steam against the dead weeds of concrete and stone.
A couple stood by the side of the road.
She is wearing a lilac that trips over the wind and ripples
around her knees, like the mother before her, she is leaning
up on her tip-toes as the bus screeches past, the reflection of her
red nails gripped around his shoulders, like blossom.
And he wheels his shopping trolley along crazy
paving like cracks in a broken heart, one wheel
always spinning out of control, a circus ride gone
wrong. Boxes of Shreddies, kitchen roll, dog food, five
six packs of beer, one sole flapping against the pavement
in a drumbeat like busking, he is stockpiling supplies he will never need
he is preparing for the downfall of this country that he will never get to see.
Georgie Woodhead is a young writer from Sheffield who attends Hive’s Sheffield Young Writers. She was one of two highly commended young poets in the Cuckoo Northern Writers Award 2018. She was a winner of the Foyle Poetry Prize 2018 and came 2nd in the young people’s category of the Ledbury Poetry Competition 2018. Georgie has been published in Hive anthologies, halfway smile and wild poetry. She’s performed at various young writers’ events, and festivals including the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival 2018.