The Questions of Our Children
The danger of nostalgia:
dragging our children into a future,
where they will look back
and ask why this happened.
Ask why we acted,
With no sense and no plan,
and demand an explanation.
Because they will demand an explanation.
Will we tell them we were fed
on impossible promises?
Or explain it as a hunger
for the supposed ‘past glories’?
Gluttonous and ignorant,
we saw we were wrong.
But, too stubborn to back down,
we dragged ourselves along.
Our children will understand,
that they have to do better;
to prevent their own kids
from suffering at their hands.
And turning to them, broken,
to demand an explanation
Jacob is a writer who finds that the more mundane things in life – the things taken for granted – are often the most fascinating and defining. In his writing, he aims to explore these little bites of inspiration and try to make sense of them all.
For Pat Morrissey
With the sun on your broad
back, you adjust your hat
and take the rutted track,
stumbling where tractors
slid and slipped, struggled
to grip and churned the
earth into deep channels,
now hardening like clay.
You pause above small
pools that formed in the
downpour, taken with
the tadpoles that wriggle
through water muddied by
still suspended particles of soil,
ruffled by gusts from the wind
that’s got up overnight.
Your boots sink in the mud
as you make halting progress
along the yielding fringes
of inundated hollows
where pigeons dip to sip,
flapping off at your approach
to disturb the sparrows
looking on from ancient oaks.
You meet no-one but there
are words as you comment
on your progress: cursing
as the boot fills, interrogating
birds of prey as to their
identity, debating a first
unscrewing of the thermos,
a first sit down with a biscuit.
Some day this will stop.
Who will remember
the man who set out
each Sunday morning
through deserted fields
to record the otherwise
unwitnessed and returned
with loaves and stories?
Glenn Hubbard has lived in Madrid for 31 years and has been writing poems since 2012. Though fluent in Spanish, he is poetic only in English and has had poems published in a number of magazines. Last year one of his poems was submitted for the Forward Prize.
The wall around Dad’s house is pale and crumbling stone.
Once on a visit I found out
He was having it rebuilt, and behind the house
Sat a pile of abandoned rocks, large and small
That he was selling off, a ton at a time.
At the back of the garden near the old shed
He had placed one big stone, a giant he’d found,
I don’t remember where, that stood four feet tall.
He’d buried its base so it held upright,
Looking like a monument, old and primal.
Joking about, I suggested painting it
And he said no, you can’t do that… and I saw in his face
Even joking about it went against the satisfaction
It gave him – an old stone standing in the ground,
Ageless and unnamed, set up for its own sake.
Matthew Barrow is originally from Gloucester but nowadays live in London. His work has appeared in publications including The Rialto, The North, Runcible Spoon and The Poetry Village. His website is frozenduckblog.com.
he sings a welsh folk song
over the chalice garden
I stare into deep pale sky
watch birds funnel upwards
on some invisible
until the final one
slips through cloud cover
Mark Mayes has had poems and stories published in various magazines and anthologies.
His novel, The Gift Maker, was published in 2017. Mark also likes to write songs.
Death of a Humming Bird
Is this how it will be
the last quickening?
A chest full of flight,
wings beating backwards.
Your tiny body hovering
just out of reach.
Pale petalled hands grown old
withered in the waiting.
The darting in and out of memory
sweet rush of longing
withdrawn on a tongue
sticky with lies.
A torpor of hope
weighing less than a feather
balanced on a finger
stroking a cheek
soft and damp as moss.
Lips crusted in sea salt
speaking only of the past.
The air between us hanging
white as a sheet ready
to be pegged out.
A flapping, slapping space
a nest full of bones,
skin pulled tight as a lampshade
stitched around a glow.
Racing over waves, tides revolving,
flumes of feathered plumes
sparkling and dipping.
And there you are sipping
from an Angel’s Trumpet
Marion Oxley lives in the Calder Valley, on the cusp of Lancashire and West Yorkshire. She has had poems published in various poetry magazines and anthologies including Bare Fiction, Ink, Sweat and Tears, the Ekphrastic Review, Three Drops Press, The Island Review.
I had wings to fly,
but that didn’t help in Junior High.
The kids were full of scorn
and hate, because of how I was born.
Sure, I would fly away,
but I had to come down for lunch each day.
I dunked at an early age,
but that just spurred the other children’s rage.
My teachers loved my wings—
but teachers always love such things.
After eighth grade, we moved;
I thought I’d hide those wings I loved.
But here was something cool—
dozens of kids had wings at my new school!
Andrew Shields lives in Basel, Switzerland. His collection of poems “Thomas Hardy Listens to Louis Armstrong” was published by Eyewear in 2015. His band Human Shields released the album “Somebody’s Hometown” in 2015 and the EP “Défense de jouer” in 2016.
Image: Crosby Sands – David Coldwell
End of the Circle
They dance around the pansies
in their spring bursts of laughter.
Blades pierce through the arms of the forest
blinding the smiling glare of the swingers
balancing in the cradles of century giants.
A vision of another realm in silky gowns
it floats in a distance persistent.
Warriors pass by on faithful dreams
circling the ramparts of an invisible fortress
watchful they stand seeking a gate.
Hearts of innocence glow in the mist
tracing newborn comets in the cosmos.
Two worlds swirling in their trembling safety
will never collide and will not meet.
Eternal kings on the infinite quest to the damsel
at the speed of light in the universe
with the force of galaxies they continue to waltz.
In deep space on the wings of a butterfly
the giggles of the victors echo still about the pansies.
Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.