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Clint Wastling – Layers

Today we celebrate the ninth release from Maytree Press.

Clint Wastling’s Layers takes the reader on a journey of discovery. From the far flung corners of the Mediterranean to the North East coast of England, Clint’s poems seek to uncover not just the hidden secrets of our landscape but also scratch beneath the layers of emotions formed by the author’s own relationships with both family and place.

A wonderfully assured debut that brings a raft of images coupled with that faint smell of sea air.

Featuring wonderful cover art by Ian Burdall, Layers is now available direct from the author or on-line from out shop here

We’ll have news of the official launch event in the new year.

You can find out more about Clint by visiting his website here

 

Fossil

There is something military about the waves today,
Uniformly attacking, grinding the applauding pebbles.
My eyes pick out a fossil preserved in fallen rock,
A spiral of immortality, decay in andante.

I wish I were a Mesozoic ammonite charting vast
Tropical oceans in search of food, a mate and meaning.

Waves whisper to the wind which caresses my skin.
Shore and sea with my thoughts lying on wave crests
Drawn then dashed, drawn, diminished again.

Saint Hild froze heathen snakes in your form.
Darwin saw your evolution from great sea-worms.
Children sell you to shop weary tourists,
But I imagine you alive in Jurassic oceans
Knowing nothing of extinction, men or gods.

 

Bricklayer

English, header, stretcher, Flemish bond,
he taught me the basic stack before a brew
of builder’s tea and a fag break drew all to
the Portacabin.
If he could lay five hundred bricks
he’d get a full day’s pay.
Through all but the worst of weather
he’d work long hours, fingers taped,
shammy gloves kept out the lime,
bed of mortar, brick, tap, level.
He could halve a brick with one rap of the trowel.
Before he died,
dad listed houses, bungalows, schools,
a cold war bunker
but his first, he spoke of fondly,
flats on Bricknall Avenue whilst
apprenticed to old Jack Mather.
Perhaps he thought we’d photograph them all.
Make the mortar
mix sand and lime: 3:1 – blend in the water.
I see him now, his thin frame,
a shock of auburn hair
and fingers which
built brick on brick to house his every dream.

 

M E Muir

Prog Rock and the Language of Noise

Noise grows as weeds
in my garden of sound,
seeds dropped by passing crows,
their black notes ricochet
over quiet pathways,
tube trains, arguments, kids learning sax
smartphones, the announcer

bindweed aggressive bristled
brings out my spade,
get killer Round-Up
swop horticulture
for a wilding

so three percussionists
blocked full across the stage
in the gilded concert garden,
send blooms of scented springtime,
clematis, cistus, philadelphus,
to echo round and through and over
king crimson playing
on the embattled lawns;

a nimbus of nettles
still floats below the cupola
till a city-sky aircons it out
and scarlet poppies burst their seed
to happy happy soaring bass,
blitzing across the velvet seats

torching the voice of only a boy
who will burn up brambles
gift us
just a climbing dog rose
softly
into our arms’ embrace,
on a perfect sphere
of meadow sweet.

M. E. Muir is a Scot now living in London, former teacher and business consultant, some of whose work has recently been published in Dawntreader, Carillon, Morphrog, The Curlew and The London Grip.

George Muir

St Francis Xavier’s Hand Travels Nova Scotia

Like the new skull of Lucy’s predecessor
St Francis Xavier’s forearm and hand

are making a comeback are causing a sensation
as they travel first class air across the woodland

of Nova Scotia. The poor dead saint and his
body part detached now living a life of its own

like the history of the humanoid his ancestors
from trees to caves to fields to farms

coming out of the wood to see the arm
waving to the Catholic crowds

those of us who wish the relic good health
on its journey back into our world

and remember the bones of an old cat found
beneath the porch of the summer cabin

the perfect skeleton left by devouring ants
left like a sacred artifact in the mind

of the ancestral child carried on its back
to the stars or the heaven

full of the secrets of the simple continuation
of the human race.

George Moore is the author of Children’s Drawings of the Universe (Salmon Poetry 2015) and Saint Agnes Outside the Walls (FurureCycle 2016). His work has appeared in Poetry, Arc, Orion, the Colorado Review and Blast. He lives with his wife, also a poet, on the south shore of Nova Scotia.

Sanjeev Sethi

Mist

It seems I have sealed the sensations
of your touch as down payment of
an address we could never own or
occupy. White heat and the ensuing
calenture have lapsed. Emblems of
affinity are like the sky: always there.
Intimacy breeds indifference, in its
own way it keeps us knit.

 

Sanjeev Sethi is the author of three books of poetry. He is published in more than 25 countries. Recent credits: The Sunday Tribune, The Cabinet of Heed, Amethyst Review, Talking Writing, Packingtown Review, Abstract Magazine, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.

 

Daniel Bennett

Field Party

The sweet trace of fodder
on the breeze, the acid
of spilled cider. Occasional cars
tearing up the air, like the invites
none of us had received.
I don’t even remember a house.
What signal set us heading out
to ooze like summer starlings
feeding on insects in the sky?
Perhaps some cipher in the blood
pumping a miasmic code
of hormones, a double helix
of nascent lust and the promise
of a few hours of freedom. Now,
well past the days when I look
for any such social communion,
I think of that night not to mourn
lost youth, past days, or recapture
the toothy kisses on a dark verge
or the grimly porny excesses
of a girl, drunk out of her mind,
offering an act far beyond
anything I could allow myself.
I think of my father dropping me off
at this obscure point in the night,
and driving back to town alone
clocking the passing miles
and the earth’s inevitable curve.

Daniel Bennett was born in Shropshire and lives and works in London. His poems have been published in numerous places, including The Manchester Review and The Stinging Fly. His first collection West South North, North South East is out this summer from The High Window. You can read more of his work online at: https://absenceclub.com

 

 

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