Queenie- Lois Linkens

White slip of night at the shore,

And the fox-eyed pebbles wink at

The cold pearl moon. The freshwater stream,

Like silver silk

Heralds the flush of the waves, the bubbling spits

Of the shallows, stones like eyes, stones like saucers,

Like griddle cakes. There comes a woman,

Without a coat, silver-wax shoulders studded

With gooseflesh. She walks,

Toward the black water and the night-worms

Hear her singing, overhead her socked feet damp

And bottoms gritty,

A soft knitted invasion.

There is a country, far beyond the stars

 

Her red hat

Like a herring on a line sways with her

Narrow peg shoulders

And the sea

Is tar on her woollen toes.

 

 

Lois is a poet and student from England. She is studying the literature of the Romantics and hopes their values and innovations will filter through into her own work. She is working on longer projects at present, with a hope to publish poetry collections and novels in the years to come. She is a feminist, an nostalgic optimist, and a quiet voice in the shadows of Joanne Baillie and Charlotte Smith. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkens.

SORROW-TELL HEART – Iulia Halatz

 

I was a pet of some exotic breed

I couldn’t sing above the ground.

Tamed, wounded, half born

Under the dark moon.

It was he

Who taught me

To unsing

Undream

Unbelieve

To him my humane body

Had been a fiery husk

Flickering 

Against closed walls.

The garden was above

Dank meadows looming.

Everything I saw in my mind

I could perceive

With the eyes of

A wound,

Pulsating

Festering

Could I still feel the scent

Of night

in the carousel of pain?

 

I wanted to break

This corrosive perception

And listen to songbird…

Everything that shimmered

In my ears

Was crackling crows

Fruits of mauve trees

Against amber twilight…

In the sundown realm.

The blood of the stars

Had engulfed it…

My heart used to have roots

Into the feeble beams of autumn

After lilacs grew them stronger…

Can you pull me into April?

Or any month

wearing blue odors

And tawny lights…

Pending July

he would be felt on my skin

Like Spring rain

Without Spring.

Sophisticated

Abrasive

Pet

of one color…

I was allowed to contemplate

The flawed days only

through barbed windows…

 

You lived,

But somewhere else

The black moon turned away

Sheltered steppe

Had no need of garbage flowers

The zest for life

Is fortitude, work

Dream

Of a plain new world

Swept in the ascending

Web of Truth.

 

“Writing is an Iron Tale, must be tough and sincere to the core of human perception of pain as valor. I am the grumpy T-Rex who started writing out of pain, not because of a polished world. Writing out of love is painless and herbivore. As we sometimes taste blood, ours or others’. Nevertheless, some words are so expensive that we are better left with them unspoken or write them with the ink of a Ghost…” She is a teacher, small entrepreneur and cyclist.

Let This Be Our Byre – Jonathan O’Farrell

 

Not to remain in any shape,

removing the real flesh,

body,

actuality

of the warmth

of my exhaled breath.

Seeing to it

that

I cannot

and will not

now be confined

to a box

within another’s life

like, let me see –

a fondly remembered

dead pet.

 

As you took

my breath away,

so do I

now.

You have provided well

and amply,

regularly,

assiduously,

dry material.

Tossed in from time

to time,

a spark,

even flame.

But how could it catch

a heart still aflame itself?

 

I have unwillingly

and in a retardent fashion

taken now little pieces

and so,

laterly,

unwittingly,

too long,

scraps.

And the chafe

of your intent;

chafing,

It rubs.

Heating yet cooling

in the reality of this,

half life,

I fatigue

like a light alloy,

metal.

Half,

something else,

darkened and tarnished

love.

 

Now,

let this

be our byre.

Let’s willingly ignite all,

past, present, future,

in one last conjoined,

strong and resolved

breath

that meets

and greets,

gladly.

The source,

the truth,

of this fire

is a last loving act

 

Toss it all in,

in one moment,

consumed utterly,

rising smut be us.

Heaveward acension

and free to go which way

or that,

with the four winds,

embracing something

so much greater,

than the two,

as was.

 

Now,

as then;

Phoenix,

two wings strong,

ascendant.

 

“I guess you might describe me as a semi-nomad, at the moment . . . and in the moment, I might change. I am transitioning into a creative life, blogging, photography and, significantly, the publication of my first two photographically illustrated poetry anthologies, this year.”

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter, with writing, photography, healing garden project updates and travel journals:

https://misterkaki-writer.substack.com

 

 

Flinch – 1Wise Woman

in utero

she assimilated

a rabid reflex

to flinch

at sharp voices

sudden shifts

in the sacrificed she

sans escape

an embryo

devoid decision

embedded dna

blind baby syncing

with heartbeats

elevated

perpetuated panic

locked doors

tarnished hearts

tainted marrow

scanning memory

for pretty pictures

but fear is liquid

fire erasing fancy

it’s terror

in the air

choking

without exception

finding a way in

entering quiet

quick breathes

seeping through pores

staking claim in

undeserving souls

and it stays

stays and takes

takes time

time and time again

till tormented babes

begin to transform

without terms

terminate

term life

slight and slender

like shadows

that follow

and she flinches

still

it’s her give away

she’s gone away

drunk and disorderly

armed and dangerous

but sinners thrive

when all else dies

and she needs

needs

to rid herself

exorcise

escape

a lifetime

of that

fucking

flinch

 

[1Wise-Woman: “I am living, fighting, and thriving with mental illness and chronic disease and a need to express myself. Writing eases some of the weight I carry.” When she isn’t yanking shadowy strands of leathery clumps of unconscious, and tenderly placing them into word documents, she is creating at A Lion Sleeps in the Heart of the Brave.]

Streams of Consciousness- Jonathan O’Farrell

 

In a rain soaked field
where waters meet earth,
meet the hand of man
a ‘Golden Flower’ holds court
and asks only, for my observance.

I bow my head to it
and the mists immemorial
taking that prospect,
of rains falling

from the heart of the land.

Away, with the Fluss to the Father who surely carries
my wish to the sea,
to far foreshore
and just a little yonder portal.

Not much toil stirs the Sabbath,
save appealing bells,
saving some souls, they toll Sun Day.
Pray. we may touch unity, some day,
with our own atypical resonances.

 

“I guess you might describe me as a semi-nomad, at the moment . . . and in the moment, I might change. I am transitioning into a creative life, blogging, photography and, significantly, the publication of my first two photographically illustrated poetry anthologies, this year.”

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter, with writing, photography, healing garden project updates and travel journals:

https://misterkaki-writer.substack.com

Lettered jailer – Iulia Halatz

You look so sane

potentially careful and serene

Smirk-at-arms

atoning for

the perfumed gaiety

and colorless skies.

The fire in the autumn

dictates the ice in the new moon.

My love,

When are you going to make up your mind?

Set me free

word upon word

I throw in your face

unsubmissive of your bars…

When are you going to break the gloom?

Sorrowless

is your world

You grow your stamina

from my pain…

Minstrels sing of legendary lands

You sing of the legendary cavern

lettered for me.

Some words are

like the spring wind

building with

cherry blossoms

the library

of scent…

Some words

tell

the snows of June

makeshift

a gilded cage

Lit only by a shadow…

Your words are the haze

that glimmer in the distance

Dystopian love

ruling

over eight kingdoms.

One day

I am walking

in a field of poppies

with a sun

that clears

a golden path for me.

The next day

I am bleeding

on thistles and thorns.

You are betrayer

of words

and pilferer of dreams…

Your love expires

every time we drink

the shade of the evening

and the rumours in the stars.

 

“Writing is an Iron Tale, must be tough and sincere to the core of human perception of pain as valor. I am the grumpy T-Rex who started writing out of pain, not because of a polished world. Writing out of love is painless and herbivore. As we sometimes taste blood, ours or others’. Nevertheless, some words are so expensive that we are better left with them unspoken or write them with the ink of a Ghost…” She is a teacher, small entrepreneur and cyclist.

The noise of this brain – Devika Mathur

 

And so I crumble in my own jaw line

Leaking from the iris,

A stoned mahogany stuck

Beneath the frivolous sky,

I lie like a pond, open and scarred,

Rummaging through your eyes,

To seek something that belongs to my lip.

I fail.

I fail the second day as well.

My mind talks pills and potions

A volatile adamant touch of burps.

A ripple lost and secured.

My mind is insane, forever.

 

Devika Mathur blogs at https://myvaliantsoulsblog.wordpress.com/

 

 

Dee by the Sea – Kristiana Reed

This piece is a continuation of Kristiana’s former piece “Dee”

 

Dee’s tea has been sat on the counter for fifteen minutes and I am yet to take my eyes off of it. It is surely now cold but I refuse to remake it. Five times I have called, to no avail. I boiled the kettle, let it whistle a little longer than usual. I made a racket with cutlery and dishes in an attempt to wake the sleeping lion upstairs. Nothing but the sound of my own discomfort.

 

I am pouring the tea into my stainless-steel sink when Dee appears, disheveled in the doorway. She is wearing a blue denim romper – a get up of chaffing ‘comfort’ – and a bird’s nest on her head.

 

“I thought we might go to the beach.” I state – saying ‘might’ to be polite but with no intention of having a conversation. Dee shrugs her shoulders and then begins to weep about how nowadays the sea and its existence only appears to her in dreams.

 

The beach is deserted. After all, it is seven am and in hindsight, perhaps I had been cruel waking Dee up so early; her tears not yet salty, still fresh like a baby’s. She is quiet in the majestic presence of the sea. Our breathing, gulls screeching and the waves calmly crashing transformed into a melody about life and the inevitability of death.

 

I wrap my arms around my shoulders, cradling my body in my hands. Dee slips off her shoes and leaves the lumpy sand behind to paddle along the shore. Her ankles glisten in the rising sun and surf. She looks as beautiful as I feel.

 

I visit the sea to find peace; a single dove looking to retrieve a misplaced olive leaf. There is something about how when the tide is out, it is already beginning to return. Every shoreline kiss, the opportunity to start again.

 

I hear a splash. Dee is stood waist deep in the sea, her romper discarded, blessing Neptune with her nudity. She is smiling, like I’ve never seen before and her hand is extended out toward me. I blush, my hand resting on the buttons of my dress.

 

“Come on, it’s seven am, no one will see… except the sea!” Dee giggles and it’s all she needs to say to me.

 

Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.

Reconciliation – Sarah Doughty

 

“My love, all I want and need is you.

It’s always been you.”

 

Maybe that’s what I can’t reconcile. What I want and what I need. You. You see, I want you to be by my side. I want you to love me, unequivocally, just as I love you. I want you to grow old with me, and fall more in love with me every day as I do for you. I want you with me, happy, content, and fulfilled. What I want is you. All of you. For always.

 

But at the same time, I need every one of those things. I need to know that true love exists. I need to know that lasting love is possible. I need to believe in soulmates — and that life isn’t always going to be so tough. I need to know that everything I endured to survive wasn’t in vain. That what I’ve done in my life has mattered. That what I’ve accomplished — that living my dreams, not spending my time chasing them — are worth remembering. That we are going to last. That we will be happy.

 

Maybe, my wants and needs are the same after all.

I suppose, that makes me a dreamer.

And I’m okay with that.

 

Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.

 

 

 

Writers of the imperfect maps- Iulia Halatz

The naiads have splurged with roses.

Swirls of scented air hover above their clearings.

Without petals and stars they cannot dwell

beneath the glass shine…

Day dreamers see their unfading beauty

in the sands of the fountains.

Their love is

imprecise

built on a foundation

of unicorn-green grass…

Their skeleton

is composed of myrtle and oleander

and moss-covered lungs

heave along with waters driven

by tide…

Their flesh is irrational atoms

that laugh the blood

and rhythm of life

in the veins

that sing the helplessness blues.

White hymnal doors

flung open

on Midsummer’s Eve

at the harvest of ripe and lofty words

and lady’s bedstraw

they found

in the flicker of buried treasures.

Their words shield

the scent of a tuberose

and shelter

the spoils of the evening.

They sing in the wind

“Leave this war with me!”

It is never too late

nor too soon

to wager

on a tear.

These are no Great Songs of indifference

They are the Great Songs of out-of-time

and out-of-life

that light

this new dominion

which is the old…

29 petals of all the flowers

in the world

line up to write a map

draw sounds and borders

in as many secret alphabets

as breathing proof that

Language is not like the sun,

heating and scorching

but like the moon

keeping secrets

and the arcane magic of the night

throwing stars

in the lilacs’ claws

till dawn.

Words are lamps

they shimmer in the vilest of places.

They make dreams

out of particles and matter.

The words in the

29 secret alphabets

burn for all.

 

“Writing is an Iron Tale, must be tough and sincere to the core of human perception of pain as valor. I am the grumpy T-Rex who started writing out of pain, not because of a polished world. Writing out of love is painless and herbivore. As we sometimes taste blood, ours or others’. Nevertheless, some words are so expensive that we are better left with them unspoken or write them with the ink of a Ghost…” She is a teacher, small entrepreneur and cyclist.