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.]

The forest fell from the sky – Jonathan O’Farrell

(Melo – phoenix days)

My foot strides again, over even regular municipal cobbles.
Oh that we had time for civic pride, dear Melo.

Catching up my mind’s eye,
breath-taking,
aghast, imagination fails
and;

The non accommodating cafe chairs now suffice;
for although reclining cats
by the ‘Castelo’ passage
still pose,
the grid and a currency of electrons became useless that night
of the furnace wind.
Not that they needed mobile telecoms the felines, just Bombeiros.
The cats needed mobility, too close to the fire, fur!

It strikes me hard, the light, the dark
and many shades convergent.
Not so subliminal, charcoal.
You can have it back now, your town
‘any colour,
so long as it’s black’,
or, ashen grey at a pinch!
Torches, hairbrushes, a table, art, tool handles, wind up radios, pencils.
All, or most, Incendiary food,
need I say more?

Another cuddle with a scruffy friend some consolation,
as we navigate now primeval carbonised slopes.
Ruefully I survey a spot with forested mountainsides,
between night barking dogs
and intimacy.
Charred, jet black giesta stubs adorn the place,
where I might have called it forest home.
That arson night the accelerant intoxicated forest,
rained incandescent offerings,
on the innocent in their nightclothes.
The firestorm proclaimed, ‘Trajectory Lottery’;
have a tidy roof over your head? – Not any more!

And still we my gentle watchers and I
are knowing of quiet celestial bodies
and fiery characters, all in time and rotation.
Good people, not perfect, but good, struggle.

The remote prospect of novel non-religious house front tiling,
seems to recede, just a little,
In the sooty face of trauma.
No space in the stable this season.
Actually, no stable.
Give me a hammer with a shaft in situ, nails.
Oh, and yes, timber, again.
Then stable.

Auto-estrada,
autopista,
autoroute,
Autobahn, this time
compass pivots north-east,
but, will swing back, again.


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.

As rich a creative experience the current life is, exploring Portugal, France, Spain and later Ireland, by this time next year I hope to have ‘settled’ into a ‘tiny house” or similar, with sufficient land nearby. The vision, to create an abundant garden, a garden for lost souls, lost and separated loved ones, under the sun. A meeting place, with coffee, inspiring books, poetry and healing, however it may arise.

You can find more of my photography and poetry on Patreon