Cherished long ago
In ancient bookcases
Their adventures locked away
Their actors lay in wait
For the chance to love again
And be loved again
By the next generation
Of adventure seekers
Sit and read
Listen and love
Beyond the bounds
Beyond the borders
Of the tablet, the App, the Tube
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Donte Tamprateep lives in Missouri.
I have no friends, dad would often say
easy for him to believe when day after day
the only company his family, the nearest neighbour
miles away, keeping sounds of life silent
as daily jobs were completed
in the stillness of the sun and
the dustiness of hope.
I have no friends, dad would often say
the vastness of the land nibbling at his mind
voice husky from yelling at dogs and sheep
his hair white since youth, tanned arms and face
khaki pants and long sleeved shirt
a uniform worn in all weather
he kept working.
I have no friends, he would laugh
in an attempt to forget the harshness of the work
hips made of metal, he walked with a limp
a tractor his office, he created lines
around a square paddock, season after season
planting seeds for the future
for his family.
I have no friends. Each day
he checked sheep, religious in his care
until he could work no more.
His last breaths witnessed by the dog.
Cloud, faithful until the end,
waited for instructions, from a master
that never came.
In the entrance a book stands
full of names spilling like black tears
showing years of sharing in a rural community
stretching between states, over three hundred came
distance no issue, they wanted to say
good-bye to their friend.
Lilliana Rose has over 35 poems published around the world. Creating Wings (2012) is her first collection of poetry. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from Adelaide University.
We read many, many poems about morning. About the speaker waking up and all the sensations he processes. About a new beginning, a burgeoning, reconnecting and atoning. We read lots of these.
Some are amazing, like Richard Wilbur’s “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World”, found here: http://www.poetryfoundation.
How about poems exploring the end of day, nightfall, sunset? Write a poem filled with all the promise of your morning poems, but set at the approach of darkness.
It’s so much easier lying to yourself when the sun isn’t out to tell you otherwise.
On nights that I feel worthless I move my pillow to the bottom of the bed and sleep backwards because if I sleep different, I’ll wake up a little different too. Maybe once I wake I’ll be braver and a just a little stronger, and maybe if I’m different enough I’ll matter.
And sometimes, I light a candle to lose myself in a little sun atop my desk. It throws light on maps littering the walls and I try to make sense of the lines that act as borders and wonder why broken shapes on crumpled posters above a bed are everything we will ever know.
And in darkness, there’s a fierce joy in reading your letters. I pretend the creases and folds are kisses, pretend every letter is a little puff of your breath, whispering secrets. Wrapped in the security of your words, I can pretend I don’t miss you anymore, but it’s only after I mail my reply that I remember- I was only playing pretend.
Narmeen Zain is just some kid that likes languages a little bit too much.
War is not murder. The common murderer
dispatches one or several with his petty gun
or knife, but has not read the book
of wizardry. The prosecution of his mischief,
science of stains and tissue, is meticulous.
Not so the powerful, who speak the loud
obscenities of war. They weave the magic
of impunity; they are untouchable
as ancient kings; they make their fictions
work for them: their rituals, their borderlines
on maps, the democratic spectacle. Their case
will not be heard. There is a mass
of witnesses, but the broken child
and desolate mother are denied
even the slight honour of a scrupulous
forensic. War is not murder. The miscreants
are legitimate; not for them the terrors
and postponements of death row; no talk
of throw-away-the-key, no let-him-rot.
At worst, some scandalgate, some leftish-
liberal critique, G.W. Bush: the Legacy;
nothing to spoil a quiet old age, or give the lie
to their special mystery and freedom.
James Graham was born in 1939 in Ayrshire, Scotland, in a rural cottage lit by oil lamps. He was a teacher for thirty years, but would rather have been a celebrated journalist and best-selling author. His work has appeared in The Dark Horse, Poetry Scotland, and anthologies published by Edinburgh University Press, the Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts, the Ragged Raven Press, and others. His second collection, His second collection, Clairvoyance, was published by Troubador Press in 2007 James is currently a ‘site expert’ with the internet writers’ community Writewords.org.uk.
The Triple 7 glided in on final approach
for a landing at Beijing. Windows showed nothing
but cloud. The drop-down screen
displayed altitude falling, speed reducing,
and the engine notes fell to a whisper.
We heard the whine as flaps dropped by degrees,
and the ‘thunk’ as landing gear deployed.
Fuselage swayed slightly, shook a bit,
but not enough to worry.
Then the engines roared and we lurched back up,
clutched the seat arms with fingers suddenly white.
The pilot’s calm voice said because of poor visibility
we would go around and come back
from the Northern approach – slightly clearer, he said,
all very normal, down in 20 minutes.
And that’s what happened; we landed,
shaken, still tired from the London flight.
Our introduction to Chinese air pollution
a scary go-around, and the 5 Ups:
Power Up, Nose Up, Gear Up, Flaps Up, Speak Up.
Colin Will is an Edinburgh-born poet with a background in botany and geology. Six poetry collections have been published, the latest being The Propriety of Weeding from Red Squirrel Press (2012). He has chaired the boards of the Scottish Poetry Library and the StAnza Poetry Festival. He was Makar to the Federation of Writers (Scotland) in 2011. He currently teaches creative writing and conducts workshops and readings. Website: www.colinwill.co.uk
What I thought were black birds
in the median grass ahead
were not birds at all, but
chunks of shredded tire—
a different kind of nature—
on this thoroughfare through
a heated speed at 60 or 70
where drivers arrive at
certain mile markers
toward a desired exit, a planned
destination, then it must happen
without warning—that which carries us
over the monotonous pavement
is sometimes overcome
by the pressure of its revolving
tread, the grounding explosion not
connected at all to the free flight
and the higher commute
of the birds I thought I saw.
Sheri Flowers Anderson has had poetry published in various anthologies. She currently works full time as a human resources specialist and resides in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband and son.
We used the floor
for holy ground,
pillows for halos,
the seconds to find
the few we didn’t hate.
F. Pierce Skinner is a twenty-four year old human male currently living in Brooklyn, NY. He spends his time writing poetry and science-fiction. His girlfriend says he drinks too much caffeine.
Pin-tuck, pleat my dreams,
quilt me, hem me,
fully line my being
with purple-striped lambs wool
of only the highest quality.
Cut welt pockets through my cortex,
lay a white, lace inset in my soul,
sandblast vintage-inspired desires,
fill the empty closet of my echoing skull
with the latest colors of the retail rainbow:
periwinkle, pumpkin, merlot. This season
my aura has a lean silhouette
and back darts for shape,
so I always feel crisp and elegant.
My totem shall be zebra-printed
on a cardigan of superfine, 12-gauge knit.
Hook my beliefs on a hood
that buttons or unbuttons
depending on desired fit.
Most of all disguise, deform,
deplete my useless spirit
not worth a damn cent.
Don’t let those others see
how unmarketable my soul can be.
Isabella David is a former actress. She’s currently a stay-at-home mother and budding free-lance journalist and writer. To distance herself from her former occupation, she wrote under her nickname “Izzy” for years. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter and blogs about books, writing, poetry, feminism, and sustainable fashion at www.brooklynbooksandbabies.com.
scent of winter
old love letters
Máire Morrissey-Cummins enjoys the freedom of expression through the mediums of poetry and art. She has lived in Holland for many years and now lives between her home in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Ireland and Trier, Germany. She is married with two adult children.