Claire Walker – Let’s Talk About the Weather.

Let’s Talk About the Weather

I worry that our seasons are lost.
Days I thought maps predicted
have vanished as if only conjured.

Sky hangs, streaked and heavy,
as though it forgot how to smile,
or fears what comes next.

There was honour in winter:
neighbours shovelling paths clear
in the soft pad of dawn;

the certainty of snowdrops,
their February end rolling
into temperate Spring.

Rays of summer
warming grass and our skin,
leading on to months

when trees handed down their red
and gold; when people knew leaves
were beautiful in every colour.

 

Claire Walker’s poetry has been published in magazines, anthologies and webzines including The Interpreter’s House, Ink Sweat and Tears, Clear Poetry, Prole, and The Chronicles of Eve. Her first pamphlet, The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile, is published by V. Press. She has recently become a Poetry Reader for Three Drops from a Cauldron.
Her website is https://clairewalkerpoetry.com

 

Carol Caffrey – Post-Partum

Post-partum
Night cloaks all living things
and earth itself holds its breath;
wildfires flicker here and there
while other patches
of the wasted land shrivel
under smoke and ash.
When day exhales at last a snapping twig,
rustle in the windless trees, brings suspicion not relief.
 .
We are in the debatable lands now,
no longer speak in the easy ways.
Within the borders of silence
we take a breath, take someone’s
measure before we ask:
which way did you vote, then?
 .
 .
 .
Carol Caffrey is an Irish ex-pat (should that be immigrant?) living in the UK since the early 90s, and as well as writing she performs a one-woman play  “Music for Dogs”, by former Ireland professor of Poetry, Paula Meehan.  (http://musicfordogs.weebly.com)

Richmore Tera – The World I Love

The World I Love
.
Thank you uncle
For teaching me to love
The world
Without a sword
But roses
And bread
Hidden (as presents) behind my back
.
Yet
.
Today, the same world
Whom I learnt to Iove
Unconditionally
Without cactus words
Have turned into my Brutus
And I, their Julius Caesar
Fit to stab in the back.
.
Richmore Tera is a Zimbabwean poet, short story writer and freelance journalist. He has written for Zimbabwe’s leading newspapers which include The Herald, The Standard as well as the SADC regional newspaper, The Southern Times. He also contributes to the online publication, News of the South which publishes news from Southern Africa as well as the Diaspora.
He is Associate Editor of Chitungwiza Central Hospital’s health magazine, with the hospital being Zimbabwe’s first ISO certified public health institution.

Stella Wulf – Simple Liberties

Simple Liberties

When hope returns
with the prodigal Spring
your heart soars like a swift
to the far-fetched blue.

When your children revel
in a reservoir of years
and your parents still tell you
what not to do.

When your cats bring gifts
of fur and feather
and your friends are gracious
and forgive each other.

When tolerance is your home
and freedom, your open doors
when you’ve lived without persecution
never fought in any wars.

When the world’s a swan’s egg
laid in a peacock’s clutch,
you know it’ll crack open
and ugliness will hatch.

Stella Wulf lives in South West France. She has an MA in Creative Writing, from Lancaster University and her work has been widely published, both in print and online magazines and journals. Her poems have been included in several anthologies including, The Very Best of 52, three drops from a cauldron, and the Clear Poetry Anthology. She is also an artist and her work can be seen on her website: stellawulf.com

Harry Gallagher – Progress

Progress
(After Alan Bennett)
.
There’s an economic forum
on the television, mother;
they’re hiving off the library,
using words learned from books.
There’s no money in dry pages
being shared around for nowt,
when that dusty old shell
could be a thriving Wetherspoons.
Where instead of education,
which will never pay its way,
the poorest could be helped
into serving knockdown drinks
to the already knocked down,
who know a good thing
when they see it.

Harry Gallagher’s work has been published widely, including 3 pamphlets currently available.  His debut full collection is due in the autumn from Stairwell Books.  He is co-founder of The Stanza at Newcastle and also runs the North East stanza for the Poetry Society.  He performs live up and down the UK.  www.harrygallagherpoet.wordpress.com

Marilyn Longstaff – Following the Supreme Court ruling yesterday


Maurice Devitt – Future Proof

Future Proof

I read somewhere
that, after Brexit and Trump,
God had taken
to watching The News
on catch-up, praying
that someone
might intervene.
So I wrote to him,
politely suggesting
that changing channel
could erase
all recent history. 

 

Maurice Devitt has had poems published in Ireland, England, Scotland, the US, Mexico, Romania, India and Australia, is curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site and a founder member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group.

Kate Noakes – Two Poems

Not knowing the difference between weather and climate
.
In my Girl Guide manual
the Beaufort scale said
nought is a calm day, evidenced
not by scudding clouds or laundry
flapping on the line, the bend
and snap of branches or
a noticeable difficulty walking
but by vertical smoke
the perfect signal from a bonfire
and I remember ten is a hurricane
but there being no eleven
needed now to gauge
overheated hydrogen sulphide
and the dangerous blustery air
commonly known as a trump.
.
Gold and mirrors give my wife migraines
.

and we didn’t want to wait for the library

decades before we bind any books
so, we softened the decor.

Chocolate to coffee cream lampshades
go well, don’t you think?

They did a great job, a great job
hiding forearm tattoos in the stitching.

I like the sound when you flick them.
Kind of a drum. Tarum Tarum.

.
.
Kate Noakes lives in London and Paris. Her publications include:
.
Ocean to Interior, Mighty Erudite, 2007
The Wall Menders, Two Rivers Press, 2009
Cape Town, Eyewear Publishing, 2012
I-spy and shanty, corrupt press, 2014
Tattoo on Crow Street, Parthian, 2015
Paris Stage Left, Eyewear 2017
Website archived by the National Library of Wales

Maggie Mackay – 21st Century Scylla

21st Century Scylla
She was the monster of Homer’s day:
Round her a dozen of feet she is always waving suspended 
Six long sinuous necks outstretching before her and each one
Beareth a head terrific with teeth in a threefold order
Many and thickly arrayed, where gapes death’s cavernous blackness.
 
This century we face danger more monstrous
than any kraken or squid with dinner plate eyes and coiled arms,
suction cups, horny rings, a tool kit of death.
Not such black inkiness, but smog and smoke from fossil fuels
warm our atmosphere, spawn drought and flood,
glacial melt, a stealthy ocean swell.
Arctic sheets shrink, seasons slip into one another.
Immigrant birds, butterflies and bees decline.
Metamorphose.
.
Brian Cox smacks down climate change deniers.

 

Maggie Mackay is a retired additional support needs teacher, living on the east coast of Scotland and enjoying life as a final year Masters Creative Writing student at Manchester Metropolitan University where she is currently working on her poetry portfolio. She has work in various print and online publications, including A New Manchester Alphabet, Bare Fiction, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Interpreter’s House, Prole. Indigo Dreams Publishing and in several Three Drops Press anthologies.