Turn off the lights on your way out
Naomi Tate Maghen
my little sister never ages,
she’ll always be a scribble
of a square house,
two windows, a door
and a flowered garden path
i keep my distance
so that my thunderstorm
doesn’t rattle her windows
though she invites me in~
she didn’t study biology,
doesn’t understand how
her naive stems
depend on photosynthesis
how does one mother
birth a snake plant
and five years later
a patch of grass?
The Guilt Of Padded Limbs
Naomi Tate Maghen
it wasn’t for a lack of money,
the creaky taps
above the mud brown bathtub
as if admonishing
my need for comfort,
my need for warmth
there was a severity
to being naked
in this room,
the plastic under my feet
had rows of anti-slip stickers,
like the rough slats his father
lay on in auschwitz,
five men deep
I couldn’t lie in this tub,
my padded limbs
displacing so much water,
as his frail frame
demanded so little space
from the world
I would stand just above the plug,
where his feet must have been
when he bathed
and I’d pay penance
for my thick, healthy hair
shivering in a half hour
that the shampoo would
release me from my reflection
in their mirror,
mingling with denture cream
and the rows of bottles
like little gravestones,
naming their dead
I always felt a little dirtier,
as I dressed
I tell myself he loved me
Naomi Tate Meghen
i was an open house,
the kind where parents
with the family insignia,
a sabbath candled
stamp they presumed
the boiler room
between my thighs
there was no key
to my communist
a vacant lot
at the tyre tracks,
as i awoke by
the back door
decades later i found
that vaseline isn’t
no matter how many
bottles you steep it in,
but becomes a heightened
awareness of membranes
like the red smear
on my doorpost
About Naomi Tate Meghen
Naomi grew up in London, England, in an orthodox Jewish household. Daughter of an immigrant father from Lybia, she was always very conscious of being an ‘outsider’, which was heightened within her home life by being the only non-believer in the family. At eighteen, after experiencing many anti-Semitic incidents, Naomi moved to Israel on her own, where she has lived since.
Naomi has always been very creative, she dabbled in poetry from a young age, but her main creative outlet was visual art- painting, drawing, sculpture and photography. In 2015, she completed a Bachelor degree in fine art and education with honours, and in 2016 she taught art to youth at risk. In September of 2016, after undergoing spinal surgery that left her bed-ridden for a number of months, Naomi started focusing on writing.
Today Naomi divides her time between working in her studio on her visual art, and reading and writing poetry.
Naomi has four children and is married for a second time.
Imagine That (on the Grenfell Tower Inferno, London)
Imagine yourself on the phone to your sister
who knows she is going to die.
Imagine your neighbour and your neighbour’s children
pressed against their window hoping against hope.
Picture your father fighting to breathe
as the smoke that fills his lungs half blinds him.
Imagine the mother who must choose for her infant
between certain and probable death.
Now picture the scene as the businessmen gather.
Imagine what they said to each other.
Imagine their smooth, untroubled faces.
Picture their pink and white manicured hands.
Imagine for a moment they knew what they were doing.
Imagine that it adds up to murder.
Picture how the truth might look.
I wonder if you can.
About Abigail Wyatt
Abigail Elizabeth Ottley Wyatt was born and raised in Essex but is now happily settled in Penzancd in Cornwall with her singer- songwriter partner, David, and Percy Dog Esq. Formerly a teacher, since around 2010, she has defined herself as a writer. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in well over a hundred journals, magazines and anthologies.
Searching for books, two storeys high
Passed that test, now down to the wolves
Examining the token tome as examination
Perfect spine, some foxing, all right otherwise.
Slitting fortunes on a dream, life permitting
What slinks past won’t pass you by
The unholy type of learning doesn’t register
As long as the library sings its wares.
Not more Irish than that. Even the best ideas
Are prone to cliché after a while
Predictability wearing thick on a borrowed life
The token outsider speedily entering exile.
Embracing difference where required
Sleeping on the job a prerequisite aberration
Revealing a diligent present like no other
A pressure cooker employee, good to a fault.
Indolent sport spilled over the television
Conquering form, obsession, a fixture of talents
Cracking through satiety for a result
Made more attractive on a higher shelf.
One a pedestal, close to prying eyes
The foreground noise plays under a drink’s gaze
Inaccessible to most, unlike the expats
Applauding its signature on borrowed heights.