Andrew Shields

Andrew Shields

Andrew Shields lives in Basel, Switzerland. His collection of poems “Thomas Hardy Listens to Louis Armstrong” was published by Eyewear in June 2015. His band Human Shields released the album “Somebody’s Hometown” in 2015 and the EP “Défense de jouer” in 2016.

Maki Starfield

Maki Starfield

Maki Starfield was born in Japan, where she studied English and American literature, teaching and business, with further work in Canada.  She has published poems, haikus and translations in JUNPA publications (http://www.ama-hashi.com).

“Enjoy every encounter because it may not come again.” MS

 

 

1

 

A clump of nettles
Bloomed above the cement—

Glorious green!

 

 

2

 

My sweetheart is away,
But tonight
We watch the moon together.

 

 

3

The magic of a kiss!
Now you
Become the flame of my passion.

 

4

 

Winged words…
The peach trees are in full bloom

In my home town.

 

 

5

 

a moment of yours 

a moment of mine– 

distant fireworks

 

6

 

his photo 

concealed in my heart

calls forth a firefly

Pam Thompson

Pam Thompson

Pam Thompson is a poet and educator based in Leicester, UK. Her publications include The Japan Quiz ( Redbeck Press, 2009) and Show Date and Time, (Smith | Doorstop, 2006). Pam’s second collection, Strange Fashion, was published by Pindrop Press in 2017. She is a 2019 Hawthornden Fellow. Web-sitepamthompsonpoetry@wordpress.com

The Memory Theatre

 

(after Self-Portrait by Carmen Calvo)

 

 

I am the doll in the stiff lace ballgown

holding props: a tiny axe, fishing flies.

The horseshoe, I nail upside down in the Green Room.

 

After you left, these are the things I gathered

from our old white bedspread

and took them to the memory theatre—

 

tossed the red paper roses onto the proscenium—

I heard the ones you gave her were white, and real—

kicked off each black high-heeled shoe,

 

set the Venetian mask spinning from the gantry.

It twists its sad glitter face, this way,

that, as if it is looking for someone in the audience.

 

The elephant tusk nestling in the wings.

reminds me of your penis.

How insignificant, out of the spotlight.

 

My lines are written on my hand

in case the lead is indisposed. You’ll wink

from the front row. That will be my cue.

 

 

Late August, Antrim Coast

 

 

I walk out of my hotel and across to the harbour

catching the smell of brambles, of autumn, and the North Sea

shifts and turns, showing its silver belly, like the salmon

shift and turn in cages offshore, and waves roll in from

the Western Isles, bringing the grey horizon closer.

An Irish flag on a small mound is unhindered by a slight breeze.

I’m just passing through but every summer as a boy

my father left the city to holiday in these seaside towns.

 

Near where my grandfather’s cobbler’s shop used to be

in Sandy Row, kerbstones painted red, white and blue.

 

These borders, their perpetual trip-wires and snares.

 

Vivian Wagner

Vivian Wagner

 

Vivian Wagner lives in New Concord, Ohio, where she’s an associate professor of English at Muskingum University. She’s the author of a memoir, Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music (Citadel-Kensington); a full-length poetry collection, Raising (Clare Songbirds Publishing House); and three chapbooks, The Village (Aldrich Press-Kelsay Books), Making (Origami Poems Project), and Curiosities (Unsolicited Press). Visit her website at www.vivianwagner.net.

Seussian

I walked through the

woods this morning

and saw not the Lorax

but ground made of

diamondfrost, two

cardinals darting

through branches,

deer tracks, frozen.

And I realized all of

these were him,

speaking in slow motion,

pleading to be saved.

Gravity

The cemetery out my

window is steady,

not unchanging, exactly,

but not moving as quickly

as the coal trucks passing

on the road between us.

We all need a cemetery to

gaze upon, the gray

stones reminding us of

the joy to be found in fealty,

the stillness giving us pause.

Staying Put

I’d like to travel

through time right

at this point,

this place I sit,

back through seas

and dinosaur lairs,

around ancient villages

and smoking camp fires.

And I’d love to

spend a few

fallen moments

exploring the

apple orchard that

was my backyard.

James Walton

James Walton

James Walton was a librarian, a farm labourer, a cattle breeder, and mostly a public sector union official. He is published in many anthologies, journals, and newspapers. He has been shortlisted for the ACU National Literature Prize, the MPU International Prize, and the James Tate Prize. His poetry collections include The Leviathan’s Apprentice, Walking Through Fences, and Unstill Mosaics (forthcoming). He is now old enough to be almost invisible. He lives in Australia.

Twelve megawatts to evening                                                                        

a fox so cruel

in its beautiful unmercy

where black swans

trawl beyond mine shaft warnings

a mob of grey roos

languid as a marinade

scratch at rear thighs

old gardeners resting

on a cushioning rake

the wind turbines

obelisks in need of a Pharaoh

sift the sky for a language

only written in stone

at the end of the trail

all this thirsting water

the hospital air ambulance

skims a stitching reverberation

on the mid-winter tide

this is a place to lie down

between shaking centuries

let something run away with me

into a chiaroscuro frame

I will be your open city    

a hail ashore

not a mirage of inklings

a gate always open

beneath a white pennant

surrender yourself

here the fountain knows no age

sit down by the brickwork

later I will bring out a towel

wipe away these days

I’ll read your quiet palm

trace the drifting lines back

find your watermark at source

write your name by dipped finger

see how it shines then departs

from these momentary lapses

how soon the sun and moon merge

in an overlapping circumference

another day of lives waits

outside of forgotten sanctuary

above its wing beat compass

a kestrel squawks of wandering

remember the smell of bread

the tired tread to be ahead

of too many willing souls

soon a dark regretfulness

will slow to the fall of a leaf

each side in equal shadow

there are no answers

there are no secrets

we are all a passage here

Patrick Williamson

Patrick Williamson

Patrick Williamson lives near Paris. Recent poems in And Other Poems, Blue Nib Press, Paris LitUp, and Mediterranean Poetry. Latest collection is Traversi (English-Italian, Samuele Editore), and, previously, note Gifted (Corrupt Press), and Locked in, or out? (The Red Ceilings Press). He is the editor and translator of The Parley Tree, An Anthology of Poets from French-speaking Africa and the Arab World (Arc Publications). Founding member of transnational literary agency Linguafranca.

The itinerary

 

They promised salvation after death to those

who completed all these steps and trials,

to be admitted, it was severely forbidden to speak

so the little we know, as outsiders, depends

on fragments, buried after closure, invisible images

certainly not meant for us who attempt

to decipher their meaning, the question remains then,

what did they mean, a reminder of the joy of life,

hope, maybe just a life that is very brief and troubled

that, busied in doing nothing, the poor wretches

perceived too late, because they sometimes invoked death

as proof that they were living a long time, being

an example of our own weakness while we risk

rendering the everyday merely the work of talented painters

 

why can we not manage to

handle these findings properly.

 

 

Migrants beaching

 

The first sea any of us had seen

winched from water to land

to shed, the grey clouds are danger

the bell tower is on fire,

 

the black beach is hot, the bridges

collapse oh god oh god oh god

don’t leave me hanging on, my brain

is built of brick that erodes to sand

 

and you’ve no reason to think

this is any proof we are living long

all the intervening while is irksome

we await the appointed hour

 

the time which we enjoy is short

and swift, it is not made shorter

by our own fault; we flee from

one thought to none, from distant

 

past to a present we forget

confused and hateful, we lose

the day in expectation of night,

and night in fear of the dawn.

 

Reuben Woolley

Reuben Woolley

Reuben Woolley has been published in quite a few magazines such as Tears in the Fence, Lighthouse, The Interpreter’s House, the anthology, The Dizziness of Freedom, Ink Sweat & Tears, Proletarian Poetry, And Other Poems and The Poet’s Shed. He has five books to his name, the latest being some time we are heroes, published by The Corrupt Press (2018). He has a book forthcoming, this hall of several tortures, to be published by Knives Forks and Spoons Press (September 2019). He edits the online magazines, I am not a silent poet and The Curly Mind.

my desert song she sang

see

comes it a storm

flying i said

shrieking

another breath.dusk

is a wily

thing this

misfortune my lease

of sorry / a last

disable

    & do you want

this shining / a strained

reflection say it’s

nothing not this simple

   listen

   my refuge

a wind this is a wind

if ever there is

   & catch
the old game can you catch
a cold laugh trembling

& let the wind bleed.i will not
cry again & not for lacking.we’re
still playing cowboys & injuns

in the hurtling sand

consequences & other undesirables

empty signs wherever
a dirge

a wake

a wedding song

& how do you step

& lively / a fit

 / & figure

me this you stringless

play a sweeping run / a

slide through dumb

i hear

bluesman

blue man

crying a lyric.oh

fill a loose

dance a fool’s

polka.you’ll

see me bent

& withering.it is my

autumn

     transfer a body

to this my own

cracked carapace

& let the gulls feed

let your numbered mass & flow

i don’t speak &

so many words

they’re only

           accidental

descriptions / a coded

sequence   /

    / all

unordered

123 see

   gates

this unfound land of

stupid

secrets & try a lie a

sickly gradient my black

diana just as likely

wised & wrinkled aren’t we all & dolls

dying on beds of paper this

world will tell & spend the wake

an older priest his dull recitals

Catherine Zickgraf

Catherine Zickgraf

Catherine Zickgraf main jobs are to hang out with her family and write poetry. Her work has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Pank, Victorian Violet PressandThe Grief Diaries. Her recent chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is published through Aldrich Press.

Tall Tale of a Meltdown

 

 

Crows step through the wreckage

in a land where dark clouds

forced the inhabitants away.

A regular day lies frozen in fear

from thirty-some years ago.

 

Rusted cribs stand against peeling paint.

Stirrups of birthing chairs sprawl on the street.

A doll missing legs lost its fleeing child,

and weeds are consuming the buildings.

 

So the town escaped this Soviet bastion,

where brush grows over a meltdown in time.  

The reactor even scared off their ghosts

when they fled from the acid rain.