by Samuel Langworth
The bone of those high vaults
could not contain them.
They bled from the dark ink
of their deliveries, bigger
than whiteness. They outgrew
the walls of their birth-rooms.
They could not be housed.
They were too big for their communities.
They stretched across boundaries,
monolithic capitals, more
than all cities combined.
They outgrew their horizons –
and they burned through borders,
And Greece could not contain them,
and Taiwan could not contain them,
and Mexico could not contain them,
and Antarctica could not contain them,
and Sierra Leone could not contain them,
and the Solomon Islands could not contain them,
and Trinidad and Tobago could not contain them,
and the earth could not contain them,
and the sea could not contain them,
and they rose, they rose,
converging over the world,
and the sky could not contain them,
and they burst
golden cry of light.
And the world listened.
A New Chapter
by Yvonne Stone
then turn the handle,
opening a new chapter.
I enter the room.
I deflate my rubber legs
and collapse into the nearest seat.
The seat protests violently.
It avenges itself
and announces my arrival.
I smile politely,
Not even sure I’m in the right place.
My confidence drains
before I can plug the holes with “hellos”.
I need a witty remark
but my brain is ice,
frozen by the glare of the bright room.
A refrigerator full of talent,
freshly filled with youthful optimism.
I must be in the wrong place.
by Walter Jones
In spring on a mock piazza you built
A nest inside my heart and I built one
In yours and together we flew
On the ascent of summer, crossing continents
Where nests are built under the pokey-outey
Bits of castle walls, built for war,
So we do battle
Against the rain inside this other world,
Soft and persistent, like love,
With keen eyes fixed on the future:
Our journey home, reflected on lakes and rivers
And every grain of dazzling beach sand.
Descending to rest on neglected garden furniture
Washed up in the quiet tide of winter.
by Kirsten McLaughlin
What do they really think?
They are friendly enough,
will buy you a drink, laugh,
and welcome you in.
You, who carry the sins of the father,
or rather, a Mother Country, in your blood.
What do they really think,
when, God knows why, you try
to justify your presence with a genetic link
to O’Neils on your mother’s side,
and spend hours talking about mackerel
and mullet, and earnestly discuss tides
with men who know exactly who you are,
and where you live, and what you drive;
even the colour of your swim suit this year
and the rock you sometimes dive off.
What do they think when you keep coming back;
prepared to open and shut an extra gate
someone put across the track; that you stack turf;
riddle the stony earth and plant potatoes.
When you push into the bar and heads turn,
or not, in your direction, what makes you sense
you are merely a tolerable interruption?
And what do they really think,
when you sink your fourth pint of Guinness?
Does it impress? Does it make you less
of a blow in? Does learning how to build
a dry stone wall that doesn’t fall within the year
endear you to those around? Or does the sound
of your English accent grate, and agitate old wounds?
You will never know, you will blow in, and out,
harbouring doubt, which could be unfounded,
hounded, by your own ghosts.
by c c bowden
He combs the shore,
strokes gold and silver particles
that glimmer from his gaze,
christened by waves
too long ago to remember.
Travelling light forever
daily dawn embraces.
Yawning je t’adore
by Guillaume Vandame
Sometimes it snows and seconds later the sky will shine.
The world becomes a pale blue moonstone
And you can see the thick silhouettes of the branches.
Then the snow melts and runs down the panels of glass in thin streams.
The sun reflects in low glass cells and glows for a minute.
The water dries and the sky settles into the bed of evening.
by Catherine Speight
These shoulders that you liked to kiss
Are raised towards my ears
To tell you that I heard you
But I’m going to hide my tears.
You’ve felt the falter in my voice
As the countdown scratches on.
It says Dubai’s too far away
And six months is far too long.
This little fleshy crease
In the corner of my mouth
Is there to stop the caustic words
From firing straight out.
Now, awkwardly my head tilts
As it tries to say I’m strong,
But you just said “we’ll be ok”
And we both know that you’re wrong.
Maybe I can shrug you off
And let this all fall down.
Your posting starts tomorrow
And you need to pack now.
by Bruce Coker
Some days I feel like
everybody’s looking at me;
other days, nobody.
I can’t make up my mind
which is worse.
Glass Bottom Car
by Liane Strauss
Windows are overrated.
I never liked fairs. Landscapes
like a ground bass, scene after scene.
Auger bit developments. Mortis and beam.
Oak elm pine white green bare trees.
The high streets, the highways
go felly round spokes. Celluloid living,
a wooden-maned horse. Film frames on sprockets
cranked by telephone poles,
trick magic old-world lantern shows.
My windscreen was snow-blacked,
bug-juice grimed. I didn’t want windows.
I covered them up. The metronome wipers
couldn’t clean or keep time.
When you’ve seen this world once it’s enough.
I like to go fast
in my glass bottom car, the macadam moonscape
is never the same, the cracks in the craters,
they break my heart,
on the coal-colored lard milky way,
and never look up,
watch the road rush black, rich river oil
torrents in hard rain, streamers riding the wind
snapped and no way back
in my glass bottom beauty machine.