New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

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A Book

by Colin Dardis


It is yellowed, a sign of either affection or neglect,

but not worn, fingered through with dog ears and tears;

a picture will not wear from having eyes laid upon it.

The poems are slow, spoken in the tongue of maturity

where the pace is deliberate, a meander of thoughts

and observations: not Proustian, but perhaps of so much

unnecessary detail, it would be hard for the casual reader

to differentiate between the garnish and the meat.


I place a few joints onto my tongue, roll them around

to try out the taste, sampling mustang flavours,

old world spices presented in archaic vernaculars,

lines soaked in gin, pickled in barrels of rum,

a lifetime’s inebriation affecting interpretation.

In my young mouth, the words fail to spark,

promised fire snuff out with the snap of closed pages

as I coughed out the cold whispers of shallow smoke.


Through Bulrushes

by Colin Dardis


You ran on through bulrush fields,

greenbelt employed by children

in their playground love.


I remember welted legs as you

rummaged for dock leaves

to bandage crying shins;


Hayfever hit that summer,

enough to stay indoors;

You were there in counterpoise.


I forgot these few childhoods,

never mentioned. At least now,

we have the pollen count.


.A Perfect Circle

by Colin Dardis


The road out of this town

is elusive: a dirt track

through marshland, a meadow path,

a cobblestone street, twisting river

forming banks from broken earth,

searching for the sea.


I followed the water,

hoping not to find a delta

or the mouth of the bay,

but for captured rain

to turn into itself, creating

a perfect circle, a circle of distance,

of indifference to take

out of this town and afford me

a variant of viewpoint.


Colin Dardis is a poet, editor and freelance arts facilitator from Northern Ireland.  He co-runs Poetry NI, and is editor for Lagan Online. One of Eyewear Publishing’s Best New British and Irish Poets 2016, a collection with Eyewear, ‘the x of y’, is forthcoming in 2018. www.colindardispoet.co.uk



Jacob Swam The River

by Ken Dronsfield


Motley dressed

with holy socks

matching shoes

gray thinning hair

lives by the bridge

last ate on Sunday

fought in Vietnam

hides in plain sight

raucous lost dreams

fire and icy breath

in spite, death calls

peace finally found

a cold November day

socks, shoes unlaced

placed upon the bank

his war finally ends,

Jacob swam the river.



by Ken Dronsfield


Clustering wildflowers

unkempt in meadows

alder leaves shimmer

like wings of teal flying

winding along the river

dandelions dreaming

a red rose promised

rust devours a tractor

broken old tree swing

clusters of wildflowers

by an unkempt garden

tears of a homestead

free-fall unto memory.


Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet originally from New Hampshire, now residing in Oklahoma. He loves thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, and spending time with his cat Willa. Ken’s new book, “The Cellaring”, a collection of 80 haunting/paranormal/weird and wonderful poems, has been released and is available through Amazon.com.

He is the co-editor of two poetry anthologies titled, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze and Dandelion in a Vase of Roses, available at Amazon.com. His published work can be found in reviews, journals, magazines and anthologies throughout the web and in print venues including: The Burningword Journal, The Literary Hatchet Magazine,  The Stray Branch, Belle Reve Journal, Peeking Cat Magazine, The Australia Times, Bewildering Stories, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine and many others. Ken’s poetry has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Awards and Best of the Net for 2016. 



Wrung Out

by Vicky


Bill’s gait, a left-over from trench foot,

spoke of a silent stoic

who tried to walk tall, looking pained

as a pencil sharpened by a knife.

He cushioned his bones from sores

and sat to crank the mangle,

lamenting a loss of strength

that would never return.

Hilda, like her wooden dolly pegs,

on sturdy legs held up and hung out

as sheets cast shadows

bespattered by splashes of sun,

transient stains on the lime-washed, 

back yard walls.

Heavy weather days

that gave way to a yawn of sky,

copper-coloured as their whisky nightcaps.






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