Kushal Poddar – Two Poems About Colours

Heart of A Colour

I forgot the simple
heart of a colour.

Of course, forgetting
is a colour, and it
goes well with the night’s.

What else should I wear?
She asks, forgetting
she stands naked. Nothing,

I say, let’s keep it
simple.

Yellow

One of his I’m dying, John! letters
spill from the box. Autumn. Leaves ferry
yellow to the hearts. Letters bear rain-marks.
The mellow eyes of one got old shove
the landscapes into the winter. I’m
dying, wind murmurs and yet races
in search of the tree it saw as a seed.
Too late. Too late. In the heart of yellow
yells a hollow voice. The filters of those
stolen cigarettes drown in sediments.

Born  in a warm corner  of India, a lone child and brought up with his shadow mates, Kushal Poddar (1977- ) began writing verses at the age of six. He adopted his second tongue as the language to dream on. Widely published in several countries, prestigious anthologies included Men In The Company of Women, Penn International MK etc  and featured in various radio programs in Canada and USA and collaborated with photographers for an exhibition at Venice and with performers for several audio publications .

He is presently living at Kolkata and writing poetry, fictions and scripts for short films when not engaged in his day job as a counsel/ lawyer in the High Court At Calcutta.  He authored, The Circus Came To My Island and his forthcoming books are “Kafka Dreamed Of Paprika” and “A Place For Your Ghost Animals”.

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Michael Ceraolo – Three Haiku

Politiku #9

Filibuster-
talking more, saying less
than usual

Politiku #10

Self-reliance-
sucking the government tit
while demanding others bottle feed

Politiku #11

Government budgets-
their authors deserve
the Nobel for Literature

Michael Ceraolo is a 57-year-old retired firefighter/paramedic and active poet who has had one full-length book (Euclid Creek, from Deep Cleveland Press) and a few shorter-length books published, and has a second full-length book, Euclid Creek Book Two, forthcoming from unbound content press. Here are three poems for your consideration, political comment in haiku form.

Sarah Westcott – Golden Girl

Golden Girl
after Marc Quinn

It started with her eyes: a gold star
in the amber iris, the last year of primary.
Nobody noticed but her Gran
who told her she’d go far.

Next were the hairs on her forearm,
fine gold wire you could twist in your fingers,
snap off, fashion into tiny goblets, nose studs.
The others noticed then, grew jealous

of her burnished skin, glowy limbs,
the open mouths of men in the street,
the way she failed to react to cat-calls,
a lighter flicked up her back. She left

school early, got valued by professionals
high in glittering offices. She strutted,
and spun, scattering light like a disco ball,
they gaped at her gleam from billboards,

catwalks, in sneakers and ball gowns,
lit from within. She wouldn’t get out of bed
for a fortune, rubbed dust from her nose,
poured her self into bullion skin.

But along came Platinum, Ruby
and Jet, each more dazzling than the next.
Our girl grew brittle, finger-marked, thin.
We never forgot her, cast her

in pure gold, Midas-eyed, inert
on a pedestal in the British Museum.

Sarah Westcott’s debut pamphlet Inklings (flipped eye) was the PBS
pamphlet choice for Winter 2013. She has had work published in The Best
British Poetry 2014, The Poetry Review and on beer mats.
My blog –
http://literary-loper.blogspot.co.uk/

Rose Cook – String

String

I want to talk to you about string.
How it is strangely reassuring.
String doesn’t ask for much.
String doesn’t ask for more.

If you hold a piece of string up to the light
and gently twiddle it,
it has little hairs on it,
giving an appearance of life.

You can use wool or twine,
both of which are very hairy.
For very little outlay you can buy some string
to take home with you.

It’s nice to hold it with other people sometimes.
They may get embarrassed,
so you have to think of ways around that,
like pretending to wrap a parcel
and asking them to put their finger on the knot
while you tie the bow,
or play cat’s cradle
or throw it between you like a ball.

You can’t be depressed when there’s string around.
My friend and I have started
The String Society for Support and Sadness Stopping.
We don’t have a badge, but we encourage
people to carry string at all times,
even trail a piece of it out of the top of their pocket…

String gives people hope.
Something to hold on to.

Ivor Cutler once said you could go a long way
before you see an old woman eating an egg
by drawing a piece of wool through it.

The artist Miro liked string ~ he painted wistful lines
like black string, which can be
a lonely song in the night
or someone running for joy.
Picasso too, like a blind watchman,
sat licking a certain mystery from string.

My Mum liked string.
She was an acrobat and used to say
Balance is everything.
Actually she wasn’t an acrobat,
but she did say ‘Balance is everything’.

She liked string because of the war.
We had a little wooden house
to keep short pieces of string in.
The end of the string came out
of the chimney, like hairy smoke.

As I said, strangely reassuring.

Rose Cook is an Apples & Snakes poet and has appeared at many events with them.  Rose co-founded the popular Devon poetry and performance forum One Night Stanza, as well as poetry performance group Dangerous Cardigans. 
Her latest book Notes From a Bright Field was published by Cultured Llama (2013). Previous poetry books are everyday festival published by HappenStance Press (2009) and Taking Flight published by Oversteps Books (2009).

Adam Steiner – Go

Go

A husband hides his daughter’s eyes
Until fingers become sunlit orange husks
That envelop missing questions.

I have already planted seeds
That will grow into a day as tall as you,
And beyond, long after we are all gone.

Roots are laid flat, an earthen sheet
To fill the soul, like a balloon,
Just enough to let it go.

Each day will shrink into its distance
So the world might lend some weight
And our problems become shared.

Allow gravity room to breathe; invite change
To move beyond each finished page
Folded back upon itself.

Beat your wings that the world might turn.

Adam Steiner writes about the NHS. His poetry and stories appear in 3:AM, The Cadaverine, Spontaneity, Abridged 0-13, The Literateur, Nostrovia! SquawkBack, NOUS, Poems Underwater anthology. Adam was selected for the 2014 Ó Bhéal Coventry-Cork Twin Cities Poetry Exchange. He is Poetry Editor of Here Comes Everyone magazine.

Vivien Jones – Meant a lot to me…

Meant a lot to me…

I just have to see those rigs,
those bed-spread patches,
to see my mother sewing
fragments of grown-out-of clothes,
to make a summer skirt.

She laid the colours like plants,
like rows of summer blossom,
the cup of tulips, the tuck of roses,
the corduroy of new turned rigs,
I wore a garden in the sun.

While outside, my father
lined up wigwams for beans,
telling us wide-eyed children
they were magic, would grow
to the sky, where giants

might sing to a magic harp.
One by one, we lost belief
until there was only
the little red flowers,
the curling tendrils, the

fattening pods. Breathe in
and hide in the leafy tent,
runs a thumb down the seam,
pop the pods, catch the beans,
now that was magic.

Vivien Jones’ first poetry collection – About Time, Too – was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing in September 2010. In that year she also won the Poetry London Prize. She has completed a second short fiction collection on a theme of women amongst warriors – White Poppies (2012) –  with the aid of a Creative Scotland Writer’s Bursary and has adapted two of the stories for theatre performance in 2013. In February 2014 her first e-book – ‘Malta Child’ – was published – memoirs of four childhood years in Malta in the late 1950s. Her second poetry collection -‘Short of Breath’ – was published in November 2014 by Cultured Llama Press.

Sheenagh Pugh – On the Other Hand

On The Other Hand

On the other hand,
observed the grasshopper to the ant,
I was all summer in the air,
tasting the world, feeling sun
on my back, while you, buckling
under your loads, looked only
downward. You went navvying
in dank tunnels, disgorged food
on demand, following the orders
that filled your head, while I
made music, mated, ate what and when
I fancied, launched myself at the air.
And now comes winter, the long wait
for light; you have wasted your days,
and what will you do for memories,
having made no store?

Sheenagh Pugh: Poetry website: http://sheenagh.wix.com/sheenaghpugh

Maurice Devitt – The Politician’s Wife

The Politician’s Wife

admires the spangle
of fresh confidence
in his step,
the words plucked
from absent conversations,
his hands, their movement
as lips start to quiver
and how the camera
finds a face
she has never seen.

After a career in business Maurice Devitt completed the Poetry Studies MA at Mater Dei in Dublin, focusing on the poetry of James Wright, John Berryman, Charles Bernstein and others. During 2014 he was runner-up in Over the Edge New Writer Award, short-listed for Poets Meet Painters, Cuirt New Writing Award, The Listowel Writers’ Week Collection Competition and selected for The Cork Spring Poetry Festival.  Over the past three years he has had 80+ poems accepted by various journals in Ireland, England, Scotland, the US, India, Australia and Mexico. He is a founder member and chairperson of the Hibernian Writers’ Group.

Geraldine Green – Greek Woman, Corfu

Greek Woman, Corfu

Today I swam with a woman
who sang to the seagulls

she sang of midnight
she sang of poverty
she sang of fear
she sang to the sea.

Today I swam with a woman who sang of the broken

she sang to the sparrows
and she sang to me.

She sang of winter, of hunger and starving.
She sang of sorrow, she sang of greed.
She sang of hope, the fallen and dying.

Today she sang her song to me.

She sang of the spring that lives in her island
she sang of its wars, its people, its famines.

She sang of Athens, soup kitchens, hunger
of people queuing for food from Crete –
onions tomatoes bread and water.

She sang to the seagulls she sang to me.

She sang her song of cleaners and soldiers
she sang of the sailors, the driven, the hopeless
she sang of her sisters and brothers and poets
mothers of children whose lives hold no future.

She sang her song of the sea to me.

She sang of workers unpaid for their labour
she sang of shipyards, of builders and teachers
whose spirits were crushed, whose lives lay in pieces
she sang of her country she sang of the free.

Geraldine Green is a freelance creative writing tutor, mentor, poetry editor and published poet.  She lives on the Furness Peninsula, Cumbria. She’s had five collections published and her work has been widely antholgised in the UK and the US. Geraldine’s latest collection Salt Road was published in 2013 by Indigo Dreams Publishing. She is writer-in-residence at Swarthmoor Hall Ulverston and is currently working on a small pamphlet collection titled A Wing and a Prayer in response to that role. In September 2011 she gained a PhD in creative writing from Lancaster University titled: ‘An Exploration of Identity and Environment through Poetry’. A frequent visitor to North America she has another poetry tour planned for August 2015.

Geraldine blogs at http://geraldinegreensaltroad.blogspot.co.uk

Richard Byrt – Two Poems

This Poem is for You

This poem is for you.

This poem is for you.
But only if you’re posh.

This poem is for you.
But only if you’re posh
male/upper/upper-middle-class.

This poem is for you.
But only if you’re public school/Oxbridge
and a banker or a Con Lib Dem MP

supporting nuclear arms, or policy
that leads to poverty.

This poem is for you
if you’re tired of being targeted
in protest poetry.

One Crocus

1

One crocus is enough
to outstare frost,
outstar ice crystals,
banish murk for ever.

One crocus is enough
to wake cuckoos,
make caws chorus,
orchestrate daws’
skitters, scattering twigs.

One crocus is enough
to rouse reluctant sun,
unleash painted ladies
to soar to endless blue.

One crocus is enough.
2

One crocus. Not enough.
A million crocuses, a billion people:
Not enough to stop this silence,
rouse daws’ chorus. Not enough
to wake dead boughs that scour
louring black. Not enough to halt
cells devouring blood and bones.
Not enough to thaw
permafrosts that freeze
bald bodies.

3

But still there is one crocus left.
One crocus is enough.

Since retirement from his day job, Richard Byrt is an active participant in poetry events in Leicester, where he lives with his partner by the Grand Union canal.  His first collection, “Devil’s Bit”, will be published this year by De Montfort Press, with proceeds going to Upstairs at the Western, a local volunteer-run pub theatre.