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In the Same Month

by Maureen Sutton

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It’s the hottest June day in forty years, a cloudless sky.
Canterbury bells are chiming, blue, pink, white.
The purple sage-bush is quivering with bees, foxgloves
And fuchsia are showing off, geraniums, marigolds, ablaze.
Tomatoes in flower, the earth warm in my hands.

We’re still in the same month and after the heat-wave
its fifteen degrees’ cooler. Low depression brings ghost-grey
clouds, torrential rain for days.  There’s a riot in the rose bush.
Canterbury bells are struck down, foxgloves are gloveless.
Grass needs scything.  Pitiful pigeons and a flock
of starlings quarrel over sodden mealworms.

The Trent valley remains hidden, condensation seeps
from every house in the lane, blocked drains overflow.
People are wearing November faces.

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Spring

by Maureen Sutton

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A glory of celandines reflects sunlight
polishing white war-graves, highlighting
names of the fallen.

Perched on branches of budding horse chestnut
a pitying of collared-doves suddenly takes flight,
feathers free-fall like parachutes over Candlemas bells.

Daffodils, grape-hyacinths and polyanthas bloom
bright as a bride’s bouquet on a spinster’s grave
whose sweetheart’s cross is out of reach.

(Candlemas bells is another name for snowdrops in Lincolnshire
They are also known as February Maids.
 Pitying is the collective noun for pigeons.)

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What are Poets For?

Maureen Sutton

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Early scribes took dye from the ink-cap,
put blade to quill and formed words on a
long-wool’s parchment, created poetry;
an echo of the cries of the lamb of God.

The psalmist whose words like music
from harp, woodwind, still resonate.
There is poetry in the Koran, the Old Testament
In every religion and language.

Birdsong, wind and storms write their own poetry.
Poets evoke memory, wheedle a way into your mind,
Challenge views, open eyes, educate.
Rhythm and rhyme snare like a man-trap.

Since creation of language bards and
poets have communicated to all who listen,
have travelled wide to share insight,
from Beowulf to the present day

Poets comfort the bereaved, those who
remember, survivors, less they forget,
give joy, laughter and anger;
that’s what poets are for.

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Maureen Sutton is a local Lincolnshire folklorist and poet, born in Grantham, now living in Waddington. Since the early 1960s she has been organising folk music and poetry events.  Two of her folklore books ‘We Didn’t Know Aught’ and A Lincolnshire Calendar’ were short listed for the Katherine Briggs annual memorial prize. She has had many poems published in Lincolnshire Life Magazine, The Poacher, in two Pimento Poets anthologies, ‘Inder-Ends’ a Lincolnshire dialect anthology.  She won the Lincolnshire Poet Laureate Competition in 1915. She has also had poems published in East Midlands poetry magazines.

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the beauty of cranes

by Dana St Mary

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their long necks arched or rigid
sometimes knee’d in waters frigid
or knuckled up to pounce
with angry muscle
ounce per ounce
earth or rock or muck gripped in their digits

swiftly grabbing at their prey
the feeding takes the meat of day
a gullet never filled
still eyeing what can
not be killed
scooping up their load
as if in play

tendons taut along the neck
attentive to the smallest speck
and naught can miss the gaze
staring steely straight
for days and days
striking with a splash
or tiny peck

i thrill to see the majesty of cranes
hunting on the skyline of the dawn
their neck lines can be easy drawn
rarely seen upon a lawn
here and then quite gone but,
magnificence remains

my heart sings out the beauty
and the worth,
of mighty cranes
alone (or not)
digging in a chosen spot
building every building
here on Earth.

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dana st. mary is a lifelong devourer of books and tall tales told by strangers, in odd places. he spent over fifteen years as an alaskan deckhand on halibut, black cod, and crab boats. he spent twenty plus years as a traveler and inveterate storyteller. north america is his particular bailiwick. he now sleeps in a bed, under a roof, with his wife (colleen) and two exceptionally handsome children (patrick and irene).

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Blue, I Think

by Mellisa Mullvihill

 

As if the house had stumbled long ago and never recovered it sloughed to the right

Gutters drooping windows yawning drainpipes brittle claimed by

spindly, crunchy, dead wood and an truck ancient in its green rust settled in for the last days

Shuffling, hunched skirts dragging hems frayed

she urged herself up the crumbling stoop pausing to flick rotten fruit from the landing with the tip of her cane

I glanced carefully side-long and secret like catching her front door mid slam long peels of paint falling loose dried out and wrinkled revealing what used to be underneath

Blue, I think

I crossed against the light at the desolate intersection

I didn’t look back.

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Melissa writes poetry and creative nonfiction and is a self-identified dystopian junkie. She was recently published in the June 2017 issue of Poet’s Haven’s, Strange Land. She lives in Ohio with her husband, two sons, and labradoodle, Luna(tic). She detests writing in the third person about herself more than having to eat beets AND really bad pizza.

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