Before the Beginning – a poem by Carolyn Martin

Before the Beginning

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Carolyn Martin is blissfully retired in Clackamas, OR, where she gardens, writes, and plays with creative friends. Her poems appear in publications throughout North America and the UK and her fourth poetry collection, A Penchant for Masquerades, will be released by Unsolicited Press in 2019. She serves as poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly.

unknown – a poem by Rupert Loydell

Unknown

‘Life is not what science tells us’
– Bill Viola, Bill Viola. Reflections

Things we do not know,
things we cannot say;
but the water in the sink
drains away just the same.

© Rupert M Loydell

 

Rupert Loydell is a writer, editor and abstract artist. His many books of poetry include Dear Mary (Shearsman, 2017) and The Return of the Man Who Has Everything (Shearsman 2015); and he has edited anthologies such as Yesterday’s Music Today (co-edited with Mike Ferguson, Knives Forks and Spoons Press 2014), and Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh: manifestos and unmanifestos (Salt, 2010).

At the Edge of Land and Sea – a poem by Jay Ramsay

At the Edge of Land and Sea

…where the concrete promontory stretches
out beyond the hotel’s civility
marked (still wet) with the imprint of seagulls’ feet

and in the heat-haze, the acrid smell of smoke
where something like the world is burning
but the waves are breaking, slapping, gurgling
as they have for millennia

…and this is the place we want to be
‘Come to the edge’ they said, toujours
not to fly now, but to breathe
into the greater mind that sees
infinitely more than we can imagine

A giant yacht parked by monastery island
including both, capital and spiritual
beyond our understanding
…………………………………………..only

that the world is burning
and millennia have past
and the sun is still with us

…here so briefly
we’ve been here so briefly
the final millimetre of a mile long story
from milky fog and electric storms
hammering meteor showers falling,
shifting continents, as Earth cooled
what do we know ?

As God asked Job,
where were you ?

And what we do, what we choose
minutely mattering, alone as we are
in human form among the stars
beyond all our conceiving

A dream leads us on, then a dream fades
the blessing of the day remains
beyond the night walk’s drunken pain,
beyond the streets
where hell on earth remains

There must be a dawn
to a new time of caring
where we are the heart
we’ve been broken in:
our eyes awake.

A little half sunken slab reaches into the sea,
constantly washed by waves
enough for a man to stand;
enough to be here, to say I am.

 

                                                Paxos Beach Hotel

31.5.18

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: www.tayenlane.com), 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 (www.jayramsay.co.uk).

Blue Waters the Sky – a poem by Dah

Blue Waters The Sky

The oceans remember
us, moving
to the shore
waves and more waves
remembering

The sand is silent
like a still-breath
holding the ribs
a body of saline
and footprints

There are waves
that do not survive
their shallow ending
exiled
in a stitch of sand and salt

against the shore
I step
into the sea
and I am
everywhere

a light wind, light touch
blue waters the sky
We come from this
and still
we are nothing

but this feeling
this moment
the end that begins

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.

Scáthach – a poem by Ruby McCann

Scáthach

it isn’t the wild scattered heather
or that single settled thistle
rooted in snaking weeds
snarling and snagging
her unruly sun-scorched uncombed hair
trailing unkempt from hill bottom to hill top
masking rebels of yesteryear

nor the giant of a woman she conjures
striding through a hazy uninhabited haar
capping the harsh landscape
determination flying with every step
passed the Old Man covered in moss
no …….it’s not those invoked imaginings
                                               
that was another place
 
where our gritty ancestors of crumbling basalt rest
their embedded stillness steeped
in sensual purple clustered hues
cloaking sheets of bare-jagged drifting-naked rock
anchored in sea water

a bold bouldering shadowy woman
scales the serrated pot-bellied pinnacle
perpetuating otherworldly passage
 
it is she that awakens hearts

choosing when we see her
she stands overlooking the sound
filled with something gentle we can only feel
despite the distance we are close to her
closer than we know
some of us aware knowing she comes
 
only at the right time

for those of us who see through shadows
she appears suddenly a vision crowned in holly
wearing a brilliant burst of green mantle
that settles
welcome her when she comes
for even as she holds us
she will also let go

Ruby McCann is a creative practitioner who holds degrees from Trinity Washington and University of Glasgow.  She has published work in publications, You Don’t Look British, Anti-Heroin Chic, Gaelstrom-1 Magazine, Invisible Cities, Poetry Scotland, Journeys, Word Rhythms, and many others.  She lives in Glasgow, Scotland next to the River Clyde.  Nature and walking inspires her writing.

Memories of a Catholic Childhood – a poem by Sam Rose

Memories of a Catholic Childhood

The coming together of hands
in prayer, falls somewhere along
the spectrum of comfort and peace
as if someone else is there, as if
anyone else can see.

The coming together of hands
in a way that Jesus’s own could not
in the end
are we not all just like we were
when we sat cross-legged on the
wooden floor and before reciting the
words we knew, we would contemplate
whether the thumbs should cross over,
securely folded, or align side by side
and we looked to our peers as they
sat beside us heads bowed, to copy
their finger formations and wonder
whether they were properly praying
or simply waiting for the teacher
to say ‘amen’ and for it all to be over.

The coming together of hands
as if in prayer, but not, just a brief pose
like revisiting the street where we used to live
falls somewhere along the spectrum
of fraudulence and peace,
of childhood and deceit
in the most calming of ways.

Sam Rose is a writer and editor from Northamptonshire, England. She is the editor of Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine and The Creative Truth. Her work has appeared in Scarlet Leaf Review, Poetry Pacific, Haiku Journal, In Between Hangovers, and others. Sam is a cancer survivor and primarily uses her experiences with this to write poetry and memoir.

A Windmill – a poem by Lynn Woollacott

A Windmill

Begin with black, white
and blue. Mish and mash,
slop and swirl, sweep
and dash, dash, dash.
Mark it, flip it, torrent it,
squirl it, mix it up,
give it texture
and a drop of rain.
Lighten in the windmill
to a ghostly image,
paste the horizon of sea and sky
a gap into the unknown.
Bring in the brimstone butterfly
and the yellow horned poppy –
let its petals stand
to tactile adoration.
There must be green
in shades of mingled light.
Darken places where
wild things hide. Heighten places
where wild things roost.
Fill in the windmill –
let the windows reflect sunlight,
let the sails merge with the sky.
There must be the odd red brick
where willow foliage blends,
and tumbling flint stones
where water trickles through
the gaps meandering
down to the familiar stream.
Peer through the lower window
at the wicker rocking chair,
the gingham cushions,
the chequered curtains
where tiny wild creatures
sleep on the window ledge
waiting for her return
with a waft of lavender,
a bound of wet dog,
the sound of put-down sea-shells.

 

Lynn Woollacott grew up with six brothers and three sisters – all older. She had many jobs from sewing buttons on cardigans to working as a lab technician in an all-girls school. She gained a BSc (Hons) with the Open University and went on to teach environmental studies at outdoor centres in Norfolk. Still yearning to write she studied creative writing with the University of East Anglia. Lynn has been widely published and won prizes for poetry, and has published two Poetry collections with Indigo Dreams Publishing in 2011 and 2014, and a romance novel e-book available on Amazon. www.lynn.woollacott.co.uk

Coming to my Senses – a poem by Lee Triplett

Coming to my Senses

How as a child I love to
linger on the grass.  Trapping
dirt on my pants and hands,
I dust them.

Soixante-sept years and
I still love the feel of her
earthiness.  She invites me to
grow deeper and higher.

Decreasing anti-pills yields
increasing sensation.
Opening a wash of life
force coming out all over.

Coming to my senses, the body
entwines with the mind
the soul, the tree, the
furry buzzing creature

flying softly into my forehead.
A gentle contact with a world
of which I know little.
I am pollinated!

 

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.

Seven Cathedrals – poetry by Rupert Loydell

The mercury cathedral

 
shows the temperature
in silver columns.

Quicksilver dogma
does not leave the body,

weighs both visitor
and congregation down,

a heavy metal heaven.

 

The alchemic cathedral

is always about
to become gold

if the right equation
or magic can be found.

You can waste
a lifetime here.

 

The cathedral of bones

is a grim place to be,
a sad place to worship.

There is no life
or resurrection,

just deathly silence
arguing with ghosts.

 

The cathedral of sound

is all echoes
and murmuration,
the faint memory
of song and readings,
a distant eulogy;
someone crying
for forgiveness.

 

The cathedral of fire

burns without smoke,
and belief and faith
are not consumed.

Their god is
a thunderstorm
passing through

a break in the forest
designed
to stop the spread.

 

The cathedral of sand

is waiting for the tide
to wash it all away.

Who made the bucket
and turned out
this crumbling mound?

Who did the spade work,
bought the ice creams?

 

The cathedral of doubt

takes uncertainty to new heights,
never offers any answers,
encourages questions
and wonder and worry,
leaves everything unsaid.

 

Rupert Loydell is a writer, editor and abstract artist. His many books of poetry include Dear Mary (Shearsman, 2017) and The Return of the Man Who Has Everything (Shearsman 2015); and he has edited anthologies such as Yesterday’s Music Today (co-edited with Mike Ferguson, Knives Forks and Spoons Press 2014), and Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh: manifestos and unmanifestos (Salt, 2010).

Sparring at the Party of the Literati – a poem by Maureen Sherbondy

Sparring at the Party of the Literati

Always the fate questions waiting
on the acquaintances’ lips at the party
of literate friends and erudite foes in the city
row house while the host serves plates
of ceviche, roe, and paté. Two guests arrive
late, then proceed to obliterate
the conversation in medias res. Spectators
all of us, Godot-esque, we wait for
the boxing match to begin and end
with one determination—free will or fate,
the sated winner holding one victorious
boxing glove while the other hand hesitates.

 

Maureen Sherbondy‘s most recent book is BELONGINGS. She lives in Durham, North Carolina. She teaches English at a community college.