Book Review: A Spoon of Honey by Ion Corcos

Book Review: A Spoon of Honey by Ion Corcos Flutter Press, 2018

A Spoon of Honey - Front Cover

This is a beautifully evocative chapbook in which unforced, resonant details draw the reader into nuanced reflection. In his author note, Corcos describes himself as ‘travelling indefinitely’ with his partner, and the themes of rest and of restlessness are entwined throughout these poems, many of which are situated in the Greek islands, and several of which confirm that the speaker is seeking more than the experiences of a fair-weather tourist (‘Winter in Crete’). The Mediterranean details are gorgeous in themselves – the walnut trees, the olive groves, the snow-capped mountains – but there is absence, rain, the unseasonal too, freighted with memory and the ever-present challenge of communication.

The title poem sets up a ripple of expectation, question, and elusive almost-answer, and this is a significant, sustained note throughout. Questions can be enigmatic – ‘What if I told you that I was a bird, a calf/ A gust of wind?’ (‘Walnut Tree’); and the mundane juxtaposed with the serious – ‘will you find the teapot you have been looking for/ the teacups, the broken table,/ the words your father/ cannot say to you?’ (‘After’). The koan-like answers frequently invite a shift of perception, of our belief in the solidity of the self: ‘The stone is not heavy/ its blue always shifting like the sky/ nothing is permanent.’ (‘Traveller’). This acknowledgment is balanced by a sense of spiritual immanence – God within specific times and places – in ‘My God’.

Although the poems are ostensibly simple in language and layout, there is a subtle craft at work with use of repetition and refrain playing against more straightforward lyric, in ‘Overgrown Garden’ and ‘White Mountain’ for example. At their best, these poems are ‘corridors’ like the subterranean passages left by earthworms in ‘Earthworms’; lines of connection – fragile, intricate, but enduring, and things of surprising beauty in themselves. As poets should, Corcos nudges his readers to see things afresh: different ways of being and of seeing are the thematic refrain of the poems. In the rich stillness of ‘The Long Summer’, ‘the fish look like birds covered in mirrors’, a memorable image that invites the reader to participate in poetic reflection and a re-envisioning of the natural world.


(Sarah Law)




Inuit Figure – a poem by Tony Lucas

Inuit Figure

bear’s head
glance cast back
across the shoulder

stance of a minotaur
heft to break down doors
to split pack ice on Arctic shores

the mask behind
bare vertebrae,
textures of grey-dappled stone,

suggest the shaman, known
to have powers of seeing
his own skeleton

a raven circles
dark among cypress
sun falls on copper lattice

burnishing patina
prayers are unlocked
from winter walls

after ‘Bear in shamanic transformation’ David Ruben Piqtoukan
ca. 1991. De Young Collection, San Francisco


Tony Lucas lives in London, south of the river. His most recent collection, Unsettled Accounts, was published by Stairwell Books.   Now retired from the Anglican ministry, his poetry has appeared on both sides of the Atlantic.   He is currently working on a sequence of poems about being in the ‘here and now’, which may appear toward the end of the year.


The Breathing of Glass – poetry by Heather M. Browne

The Breathing of Glass

I take the straw and molten ball to my lips, reverent
in pause. Knowingly, I take the air in, and breathe.
I blow. The molten ball willingly accepts me, growing only
to the touch of my breath,
gentle, this moment of conception.

Taking the birthed glass, carefully I carve my story into
its body,
words and pictures from my mind precise,
accepted eagerly, sharing our message,
becoming the glass.

I gather pieces and remnants of glass,
brushing on the colors of me,
each piece shading and reflecting, painting the scene of my heart.
Pieces puzzling together, each selected and placed,
creating our whole and art.

Using my glass, my life and movements leave
marks upon my glass,
no longer clean and clear. I mar.
Scratching upon the glass, my impression,
leaving this residue of me.

I am not careful,
leaving it precarious.
And in my carelessness,
my glass

Foolishly or intentionally, I toss or drop my glass. Shattering
our breath, our words, our colors, a pile of mismatched shards
to be swept up and tossed.

There is no glue for glass.
And the floor gasps.


Heather M. Browne is a faith-based psychotherapist, recently nominated for the Pushcart Award, published in the Orange Room, Boston Literary Review, Page & Spine, Eunoia Review, Poetry Quarterly, Red Fez, Electric Windmill, Apeiron, The Lake, Knot, mad swirl.  Red Dashboard   published two collections: Directions of Folding and Altar Call of

Light and Dark – a poem by Dah

Light And Dark

I want to measure the distance
between light and dark
between grains of sand

because it’s never enough
to simply have faith.
Pale and weary

I have taken myself apart
so many times
and cannot understand

this weakness of forgetting
that no alchemy can change.
Some memories are empty injuries

Both light and dark
are reminders of what I am
the anatomy of my existence

Dah’s seventh poetry collection is Something Else’s Thoughts (Transcendent Zero Press)
and his poems have been published by editors from the US, UK, Ireland, Canada,
Australia, Africa, Singapore, Spain, Poland, Philippines and India. Dah lives in Berkeley,
California and is working on the manuscript for his ninth poetry book. He is a Pushcart
Prize nominee and the lead editor of the poetry critique group, The Lounge. His eighth
book is forthcoming in October 2018 from Flutter Press.

Be Wildflower – a poem by Melanie Green

Be Wildflower

Be wildflower,
meadow dally
and revel

Be rock,
and particular.

Be river,
rhythm and

Be sky,
blue thrive,
and immensities.

Let sorrow

And let
sorrow scatter
to the wind.

Be cello,
with the old

Melanie Green is the author of two collections of poetry, Determining Sky, and Continuing Bridge, available through Mountains and Rivers Press of Eugene, Oregon. She is a founder of and participant in two support groups for people living with chronic illness.

Erasing Ways – a poem by Julie Sampson

Erasing Ways

On that September day
walking back along the tracks
she found her way fated to cross a life-path
with the girl she used to know those long-times ago
and the girl told her she
was still walking there
where they used to meet up
on the red ridge
above the town low down in the valley –
she remarked that though she still loved
the place she found she could no longer do
as she wanted and walk the ways
of erased memory-lanes, how
they evaded her – though she could still skirt around,
wander beside overgrown paths, select
mind’s eye’s richest hued silks from Martin’s drapers,
stitch imaginary cross-kisses over her canvas bag, chain-
dreamwork its pockets, then
lug it up the hill
… home –

could plash in a mirage of puddles,
watch herself reflect a climb
on the lowest branches
of blossoming apple-tree,
could even stare at the
wide-angled view cast in moor’s grey distance
…..before her

Later, when the longest winter arrives
she’ll roll the snow-ball
………..over and ac-
ross the white-out of the garden grove,
give it a coal-eye.
She’ll scroll the quietening parchment
of her emptying days.
it’ll begin
to drip its script
across, ac-
ross and over
before another
fall and blizzards start over again.

Her trail will become invisible,
in-accessible, re-
beneath the white-page writing
of the longing mystic life.

In recent years Julie Sampson‘s poetry has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Shearsman, Ink Sweat and Tears, The Journal, Amaryllis PoetryThe Algebra of Owls, Molly Bloom, The Poetry Shed, The Lake, Amethyst Review, Poetry Space and Pulsar. Shearsman published her edition of Mary Lady Chudleigh; Selected Poems, in 2009 and a full collection, Tessitura, in 2014. A non-fiction manuscript was short-listed for The Impress Prize, in 2015 and a pamphlet, It Was When It Was When It Was, was published by Dempsey and Windle, March 2018.

Runic Stone – a poem by Jay Ramsay

Runic Stone

Found among flat stones to skim
both ways up or down, it is the island
at the flick of your finger and thumb.

Night and day as both begin,
the hourglass turning, one sand
bone-white as it…meaning
life and death must be continuous
with what stretches seamlessly between,
opposites blending in the power of the dream;
no one way of awakening—

each to their own, where the passion within
is our daily reckoning.


Jay Ramsay, who co-founded Angels of Fire in London in 1983 with its Festivals of New Poetry, is the author of 30 + books of poetry, non-fiction, and classic Chinese translation (with Martin Palmer) including Psychic Poetry—a manifesto, The White PoemAlchemy, Crucible of Love–the alchemy of passionate relationships, Tao Te Ching, I Ching—the shamanic oracle of change, Shu Jing—the Book of History, The Poet in You (his correspondence course, since 1990), Kingdom of the Edge—Selected Poems 1980-1998, Out of Time—1998-2008, Places of Truth, Monuments, and Agistri Notebook (both 2014). In 2012 he recorded his poetry-music album, Strange Sun. In addition, he’s edited 6 anthologies of New Poetry—most recently Diamond Cutters—Visionary Poets in America, Britain & Oceania (with Andrew Harvey:, as well as many collections for other poets, also under his own pamphlet imprint Chrysalis Poetry. He’s also poetry editor of Caduceus magazine, working in private practice as a UKCP accredited psychotherapist and healer, and running workshops worldwide (

Guilt – a poem by Julia Bonadies


Yellow leaves float like flames
on the surface of dirt packed water
that holds the humble beginnings
of a McIntosh apple tree.

Every Monday morning,
I weave through thirteen rows
of hydrangeas, dogwoods, cherry blossoms,
crabapples, Japanese maples, Arborvitaes,
and blue spruce conifers with twenty feet
of red garden hose to quench the thirst
of this exotic, miniature forest.  

The cold well water seeps
into my sneakers,
and numbs my fingers—
I look down and see caramel woodchips
camouflaging a fallen sparrow’s nest.
Three turquoise eggs
speckled with brown,
coddled against each other
and tucked in by a shield
of twisted twigs—
Three siblings
one large step away
from never being born.

That night, I dream of three
sparrows perched on my headboard,
full grown, absent of song.


Julia Bonadies holds a B.A. in English from Eastern Connecticut State University. She is currently working on her Masters in Secondary Education at ECSU. Her work is published in the Albion Review, Eunoia Review, and The Leaflet. She lives in Connecticut with her cat, Allister.

Pitch of the Ship – a poem by Lee Triplett

Pitch of the Ship

A rocky sea rolls the ship
feeling its way in troughs
and peaks heavy swells
there are no stars tonight.

A melody soft and dim drifts
from the stern into the
body – surprising, the gaps
in intervals encompassing the waves.

The body knows the way
you held me then
singing as we rocked
comfortable in your arms.

Your lap surrounding my back
a flower folding into itself
its brief bloom withdrawing
in tender collapse.

Welcoming the bare tight
wound mental wires rising
from flittering pools, something
in there is moving! embrace.

Spread out the limbs slightly
vibrating.  Spacious the evening
signal too vast for rest
instead feed the slow burning ember.

Waiting for the pitch
to cease, everyone has
the note, inhale, exhale
melody fills the vessel.

Lee Triplett is a retired software programmer in South Carolina, US.  She studied poetry, piano and computer science in college.  She lives her life as a poet, voracious reader, mystic, bipolar depressive, pianist, queer and South Carolinian.  She immerses herself in poets that attract her and enjoys writing poetry frequently.