Maxed My Bedroom: Mourning Aubade – a poem by Koss

Maxed My Bedroom: Mourning Aubade

This morning as I roused from sleep—
I felt your gentle sweetness enter

as you blossomed
through the lucent doorway—

filling my lavender disheveled bedroom
with your incandescent joy.

I lay there still and listening—
my clutched ribs rising rhythmic—

inhaling deeply—mixing you in me
with each breath—your essence felting

cellbound—and me inside these longing cells—
my heart summoning your sound—your scent—

your shimmer in your lovely skin.
Yet how could you—sweet abundance—

have ever fit your earthen
wounded tired frame

from which you willfully slipped?
I gazed at you—subtle—yet immense

surround—my mind’s eye awake—
thanking you again for enfolding me

in love and hope with which to flounder
through another day or week.

It’s okay—everything—you whispered,
now take this day and live it.

And me to you—
You were always this.

.

Koss is the queer author of One for Sorrow, a hybrid book published by Negative Capability Press, to be released in 2020/2021. One for Sorrow is an exploration of grief and is both an elegy and a poetic critique of the limits and failures of Western bereavement practices. Through images, words, and erasures, Koss traces the erratic path of unimaginable trauma and loss.

She has also been published in Cincinnati Review, Hobart, Spillway, North Dakota Quarterly, Spoon River Review, and many other journals. She also has work forthcoming in Best Small Fictions 2020. Find her on Twitter @Koss51209969, Instagram @koss_singular, or her website at http://koss-works.com.

What Becomes, the Hawk – a poem by Koss

What Becomes, the Hawk

a pause and shift in the air
.                                           its weight and lull

pulls us, our past, into my inner ether
.          as I walk these roads without you

I’ve walked them from childhood
                                         now they are changed

though you were never here
.                                          not here in these woods,

not on my tamped earth or marshlands,
.             your absence insists on its scope,

its filling of space, of sound,
.   .           pigeon-holed plans, tomorrows amiss

dark star, my Max, my once-light
.                                          how should I navigate

without you? I ask the sky
.                             a hawk stirs and launches

from a branch in the marsh
.                           just grazing my head

I bow, freeze, and gawk
.                             as her motion / body answers
.                             with its graceful weaving

becoming smaller as she fades
.                             into infinite silva

.

Koss is the queer author of One for Sorrow, a hybrid book published by Negative Capability Press, to be released in 2020/2021. One for Sorrow is an exploration of grief and is both an elegy and a poetic critique of the limits and failures of Western bereavement practices. Through images, words, and erasures, Koss traces the erratic path of unimaginable trauma and loss.

She has also been published in Cincinnati Review, Hobart, Spillway, North Dakota Quarterly, Spoon River Review, and many other journals. She also has work forthcoming in Best Small Fictions 2020. Find her on Twitter @Koss51209969, Instagram @koss_singular, or her website at http://koss-works.com.

St. Ia – a poem by Susie Gharib

St. Ia

Distraught,
Ia viewed the empty shore
with somber sorrow.
They had left her behind
fearing the inclemency of the clime
would claim her tendril-life.

Enthralled by an audacious leaf
that solely floated on the Irish Sea,
she pressed it with a rod to test its buoyancy,
but instead of descent
the leaf grew in size proportionately
to accommodate the saint-to-be.

Embarking upon the miraculous leaf,
Ia would make it to Cornwall
before St. Gwinear and his company
to establish her oratory.

.
Susie Gharib
is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with
a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Her poetry and fiction have
appeared in multiple venues including Down in the Dirt, Impspired
Magazine, Mad Swirl, A New Ulster, Adelaide Literary Magazine, The Ink
Pantry, and the Pennsylvania Literary Journal.

 

Uncle Ken – a poem by Colin Bancroft

Uncle Ken

I never spent enough time with you
To know you, properly, except that one
Blazing summer when I was, what, twelve?
And we stayed for two weeks at the house
In Mossley.
.                    What has stuck with me since
Was that afternoon down on the canal
Tow path when you showed me how to kneel
In the long grass and catch crickets with my hands,
How if you dived in they would get away,
That it took slowness and precision
In the way that you cup your hands softly
Over them until they were enveloped
By darkness
.                  the feeling on my fingers,
My palms, as they threw themselves against
The walls of their unexplainable tomb
Desperate for escape.
.                                  It is a lesson
I have learned well these succeeding years
When my own blackness has descended.
How the fight for release, however powerless
I am to affect an outcome, is the mark
Of being alive
.                  And I understand
Why, when reconditioned to the sudden
Brightness of an opened-up world those insects
Paused for a moment, drinking in the light,
As though seeing everything for the first time,
Before launching themselves unflinchingly
                                    back into it all.

.

Colin Bancroft is currently in exile in the North Pennines where he  is finishing off a PhD on the Ecopoetics of Robert Frost. His pamphlet ‘Impermanence’ is released in October with Maytree Press. He also currently runs www.poetsdirectory.co.uk

The Rental – a poem by Dan Campion

The Rental

The backyard was a cup formed by low hills
where fireflies would glint and swirl like snow
and snow like galaxies. Such light distills
a place, lets you forget what you don’t know:
the first inhabitants, if they had time
to watch the spectacles or even cared,
who built the house, who lived there in its prime,
what banister came loose but got repaired,
how many rafters, studs, and laths kept things
together, what fasteners it took,
how many vibrant particles or strings
made up the pale blue beadboard kitchen nook.
From seven years’ familiarity
we took our leave immersed in mystery.

.

Dan Campion is the author of Peter De Vries and Surrealism and co-editor of Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song, a third edition of which was issued in 2019. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, Rolling Stone, and many other magazines. A selection of his poems titled The Mirror Test will be published by MadHat Press in February 2022. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

 

Scaffolding Wrapping – a poem by Iain Twiddy

Scaffolding Wrapping

On the now-autumn hill,
the half-see-through
(like breathed-on glass)
plastic sheeting wrapping the building,

slapping and thwacking
like a kite in high wind
in all-day riling light
and breathless, tussling cloud,

makes me think that the soul
(or just the idea),
flinging stronger and higher,
longing full-blast for elsewhere, other,

is an oblique scaffolding
tying us, inspiring,
to make ourselves
better, ever more firmly here.

.

Iain Twiddy studied literature at university and lived for several years in northern Japan. His poetry has appeared in Harvard ReviewThe Poetry ReviewPoetry Ireland ReviewStandThe London Magazine, and elsewhere.

Fireflies and Camomile – a poem by Edward Alport

Fireflies and Camomile

There was no sky
No moon, or stars or light
Only the endless shadow of the winter night.
We blinked, and the sky caught fire
Leaping from hill to hill
‘Till we were the calm centre of a blazing pyre.

“Go!” roared the fire.
“But where?” we said. “The fire is all around.”
“Seek!” hissed the fire.
“But who?” we said. “Our eyes are sore with smoke.”
“Find,” said the fire
“But how?” we said. “There is no path to follow.”

And the fire blinked out,
But left a line that glittered in the grass,
A line of fireflies and camomile.
We ran and danced and sang between the hills,
Dancing into Bethlehem
(Bethlehem, of all places!
Nothing happens in Bethlehem).

When we returned
From where the glow seeped
Through the wood and mortar and stone
And the air was drenched in wonder,
The ones who stayed asked us how it felt.
We said to them; “It felt like coming home.”

.

Edward Alport is a proud Essex Boy and retired teacher. He occupies his time as a gardener and writer for children. He has had poetry published in a variety of webzines and magazines. When he has nothing better to do he posts snarky micropoems on Twitter as @cross_mouse.

Buoyancy – a poem by Mark Tulin

Buoyancy

I savior my inhales
and exhales
when I swim through
the dark blue

I want to remember
how it feels,
to slow down
my breath,
ease my strokes
and flutter my feet
like a boat’s
propeller

I notice each dolphin
that giggles, each colony
of seals,
and imagine what it’s like
to be a seagull
who hovers above me
as if I fly
across the briny sea
of sacred swells

I count my blessings,
the number of buoys,
noticing how far I venture,
or if my mind
is capable
or if I have the strength

I caress the water,
take it into my heart
I feel its soul
move through my lungs,
and its spirit
upon which I float.

.

Mark Tulin is a former family therapist from California.  He has a poetry chapbook, Magical Yogis, and two upcoming books, The Asthmatic Kid, and a poetry collection, Awkward Grace. He has appeared in Fiction on the Web, Free Verse Revolution, Leaves of Ink, among anthologies and podcasts. His website is Crow On The Wire.

The science of images – a poem by Irina Kuzminsky

The science of images
According to Thomas
(Gospel that is)
Says
When you can replace a hand by a hand
A foot by a foot
An image by an image
Then you will enter the Kingdom.

But who will teach us the great science of image making
Not for ill and not for power
Not to sell nor to seduce
Nor for domination of another’s mind and soul and means
But to transform the earth
Into God’s Kingdom?

© Irina Kuzminsky

.

Irina Kuzminsky is a widely published poet and writer; she is also a dancer, singer and composer, who has combined a life in the arts with a rigorous academic background including a doctorate from Oxford. Her passion has long been a quest for the feminine faces of the Divine across spiritual traditions  https://irinushka.net

Solace is a rowan tree – a poem by David Hanlon

Solace is a rowan tree

Oh rowan, mountain ash,

your smooth, silver bark
transforms
suffering into shine.

Your emerald pinnate leaves
defibrillate
possibilities of flight.

Your flowers, a sex-swirl of unity,
exhale
grace; restore dignity.

Your fruit, bursting
clusters of lifeboat-orange, detonate
stagnation.

Oh rowan, lift us with the wisdom
of your long
-lived years.

Oh rowan,
sweet mountain ash.

.

David Hanlon is a welsh poet living in Cardiff. He is a Best of the Net nominee. You can find his work online in over 40 magazines, including Rust & Moth, Icefloe Press & Mineral Lit Mag. His first chapbook Spectrum of Flight is available for purchase now at Animal Heart Press.