Issue 4 Part 2

48 label disclaimer 271bw

Artwork by Jane Burn

Edited by Zelda Chappel

I am not yours

And so we say hello, and we smile.
Unbid, I remember in a flood of fragments
the mud on your red shirt.
The warm-wood scent of your woven scarf.
The tiny view from our strewn bedroom, where
we spent so much time. Together.

And now time has come between us in a deluge,
has washed away the reasons why I
am not yours, nor you mine.
And I could reach out and touch you once again.
Yet, watching your manner and your poise
I find this: I do not know your way at all.

Your finger does not rest upon your stubbled chin,
your hair long no longer.
I doubt my hands would find holes within your pockets
and I wonder if my memories are not truly of you.
It ended. And though I can recall the rending of my heart,
time flowed between us, and I find myself, mended.

By Cara McKee

Coat

I borrowed the coat. It was like that
back then. People just asked
and you said yes. Min borrowed
my pink ball dress, Pooch lent me
a blouse with a ruffle and a cardy
from M&S. Everyone borrowed
my coffee. I tried not to mind
but it got very expensive.
The thing was people didn’t return stuff
or they did but it was stained
or broken in the case of the hairdryer.
I was very careful with the coat
but after a while it became mine
and I became Bonnie looking for Clyde,
longing to step into a stolen convertible
and blow the lock off a bank safe.

By Carole Bromley

I NEVER FELT SORRY FOR OMAR SHARIF

Until I found out that despite his handsome mustache
and playboy ways and thousands of women and race horses
and famous movies and and drinking champagne and gambling
until dawn for thousands upon thousands of dollars that he lived alone

in a hotel and awoke every day at noon, bored and depressed
and wandered the streets of Paris longing for the only woman
he ever loved from 1965, smoking 100 cigarettes a day and when

of course he finally did have a heart attack he collapsed on the floor
and didn’t know who he could possibly call and called no one at all
and wanted a new life but instead just gave up cigarettes.

By Ricky Garni

Craggy Faces

are not like crags.
They can crumble with a kiss.

Stone, cold. Rock, old.
But craggy faces, neither –

though getting on a bit.
They’ll not be here for long,

from a geological point of view;
so need cherishing today

by me, perhaps by you.
Outcrops, they’re quite different;

they don’t even mind the rain,
dangle in the hills quite indifferent.

By Seth Crook

Blueberries

On my pillow
and in my knees
wolfed down like the breakfast she didn’t really want to eat
it could be sleet, it could be snow but she’d sooner have it be nothing at all
head down, under the duvet, all is forgotten until tomorrow.

By Leila Hussein

Steady in the Storm

Lightning strikes
sirens roar
dogs howl
cats scream
children sleep soundly
and it is beautiful

Fire starts
graves yawn
ants march
wasps sting
children laugh heartily
and it is beautiful

Wars rage
jihadists bomb
cancer comes
bones rot
children play in the streets
and it is beautiful

Men cheat
women lie
marriages crack
love dies
children dance with their imagination
and it is beautiful

Chaos consumes
darkness reigns
world collapses
God resigns
children hold down the fort
and it is beautiful

By Scott Thomas Outlar

Anorexia

She is an angel floating
the scent of flowers, mere presence
filling every room

her speech caresses
silk and velvet, pearls
and diamonds fall from her mouth

when she combs her hair
threads of gold dust her shoulders

you two are so different
people tell me

when I comb my crop of hay
dandruff adorns my shoulders

when I try to speak gently
toads and snakes exit my mouth
an uncontrollable scream

revolted I can enter a room
and fill it with body odour
people are disgusted—I sweat too much

mother says I look like a skeleton
why can’t you be more like your sister

By Kira Messell

What Doesn’t Kill You

The first drops are in a can of Coke
then like a Victorian widow-maker
across a plate of steak and courgettes.
She pours out of the vial slowly
on the tongue hints of richness
smoky peat rough freckles of sunlight.
This was meant to be an in-and-out job.
Soon you are closing up shop to chase
after her stand naked in her hallway
to prove no hidden agenda. Love bites
on the inner thigh a tidal wave
of convulsions spread across your gut.
Voice gone neighbors tired of the noise
you belly up to the bar. Your name is etched
on the victims list inside her cupboard.
Sober she is a lighter chained-up version
of herself. Man-made? No. She used to lock
the bedroom door to her mother’s prowling.

By Charles Lauder

Mountains will break your heart, if you let them

Go, little one,
stake your tent in the temple grass,
tread ruthlessly on hominid bones
ground to powder eons ago,
fine as the cornsilk compacts
of your grandmothers
detritus of wars, famines, floods,
earthquakes, prisons and heartbreak
will cling to your boots—
shake it off
scrape your sandals on fragile flowers
that cover the lava fields
and smother bones of the iiwi, alala,
o’o birds. Their age is finished. They know it.
Trample now, while you still have time.

By Trish Saunders

Beached

From love hearts being cut
into Summering sand,
to the avenging flood
of overpowering surf.

Bleaching smooth and bare
that which was peopled,
but this riptide swell
shall inevitably die away.

And all that life beached
by the water’s desertion
will harden and nip, shelled
or stinging ferocious.

Attacking cold predators
and warming hands alike,
ending tortured and cracked
like tar in bright sunroast.

As parched and dried up
as any Sea Of Tranquility;
burnt out like an ocean
on a satellite of Venus.

By Harry Gallagher

The Fat Damsel’s Fat Choice

The Choice- Making

Above in the sky
a great refulgent floats
exposing the fleshes of mild smile
and the shedding of hidden tears,
below the jumping feet
a vast marshy land lies
swarming in playful and lazy lives
participating in hide and seek
with two contradictory questions,
‘’Where to hide in the light? ’’
But they are hidden at last,
‘’How to seek in the darkness? ’’
Surprisingly all are sought out
and accepted as the instances
of happiness and sorrow
as per their length
of sun-bound outstretching arms
and their over or under stepping feet
remembering their popular techniques
of swinging from one branch to another,
hanging with a big bee-hive,
swimming along with a vegetarian whale
and floating on the grace of God
making the choice-making unabated
as these are wished by the capricious heart,
governed by the skeptic brain
and sometimes polished by
the gold-plated brush of the old-aged soul.

By Pijush Kanti Deb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Issue 4 Part 2

  1. Pingback: Midnight Halo | 17numa

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