The Blue Nib

Issue: Issue 37, 15th March 2019

Review of The Narrow Way of Souls

Review of Eileen Sheehan’s The Narrow Way of Souls (poetry) Reviewer: Colin O’Sullivan In this her third volume of poems, The Narrow Way of Souls, Irish poet Eileen Sheehan presents us with another superb collection. This is a poet whose work never fails to thrill and delight in equal measure, and as she grows in …

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Poetry- Matt Spittles

Matt Spittles has written poetry from a young age drawing inspiration from his experiences and observations in the natural world. He has lived in Lincolnshire since 2011 and is a keen walker, angler and traveller. Matt is a member of The Hub Writers in Sleaford and Lincoln Writers Group. ______________ Spring Soft sunlight on stone …

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Jane Simmons -New Poetry

Song of Innocence I plant flowers in our first window-box – confetti-petalled geraniums, fuchsias flamboyant as flamenco dresses, trailing lobelia’s modest white stars. They have not built on the strawberry field yet – the ripening fruit nestles innocently in its straw, nursing its splinter seeds, its growing runners, and generation is an unfinished business. On …

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Dick Jones- New Poetry

BERTRAGHBOY BAY Where the ironstone wall gathers fuscia and salt; where the swifts stitch blue air to the scrub-grass; where herring gulls mob the heron; where cormorants hang wings on the wind to dry; where seals rise gleaming on a flood tide; where the rain drifts in a milk-haze; where the sun is thin as …

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Mary Wight- New Poetry

Mary Wight lives and writes in the Scottish Borders. Her poems have appeared in various magazines. _______________   SIGHTSEEING Bellies sweet with prawns and Guinness, they dawdled back along the strand needing nothing more. A sea trout, eyes gone, body gleaming still, lay as if waiting for a wave to swim it back. She took a photograph …

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Iain Twiddy- Poetry

Iain Twiddy studied literature at university and lived for several years in northern Japan. His poems have been published in The Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, The London Magazine and elsewhere. ________________   PRACTICE RUN  I’m looking through a cold bedroom window hedgehogged with condensation at a rose bush pricked with autumn frost, though still …

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Poetry- by Fiona Perry.

  Post navigation Distillation Now I have the puddle Wax of a thousand Blessed candles burnt In a kitchen shrine Your last upright Embrace cushioning me Comforts to conjure No more sinewy Morphine cries or Muted transmissions Of constant sorrow Just essence Of the thing Crystalline like the Scent of jasmine Tea buds unfurling Water-wakened …

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Poetry from Sandra Horn

Sandra Horn is a writer based in Southampton. She has had poems published in Artemis and Magma magazines and in several anthologies: Lines in the Sand, Write to be Counted, Dancing in the Chequered Shade, the Emma Press Book of Age, the Writers’ Cafe and Some Cannot Be Caught: the Emma Press book of Beasts._____________

Emma Lee- New Poetry

A SMUDGE OF CINDERS My teacher looked at me as if breezeblock wasn’t a word she knew. I had pushed my sock down. It was itching the scabs on my leg. A breezeblock had fallen from the stack in the yard. I splashed cold water on my scraped skin. My mother said to leave it. …

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Poetry- Clara Burghelea

Process of Detachment I expect my son will let go of me when he’s five. I will go back to just being Clara. So ready to unspool from the erupting teeth, the needy eyes, the extra hugs, the sticky fingers and slip back into my old unprompted self. The one who walked hard and spoke …

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New Poetry- Edward Lee

IN THE DARKNESS THERE IS REST In the wall above every bed I have ever lay upon there is a window so well hidden not even the night can find it, leaving me with a lifetime full of insomnia, the relentlessly seeking sunlight forever flooding the room.   NAME(LESS) They separated us at the border, …

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Poetry- David Susswein

Biography I am a writer from the South of England, right at the bottom. I have tried all my life to write well, to communicate, to talk to others;I cannot understand any other reason to write.Envoi, DreamCatcher, Picaroon Poetry, ShotGlass Journal, Tuck Magazine, Dissident Voice,an anthology in Farsi/English ‘Where Are You From?’  and others have heard my …

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Poetry- Kate Ennals

An Invitation Come, Father, let’s wander London’s dark skies, sit by the river, watch dusk silt and slide, salute and swirl a glass of ruby red wine. Let’s toast civilisation, Forge radical ideas, unravel politics, range our voices across continents. Discuss Truth and Justice. I need your advice on The growth of greed and corruption, …

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Poetry- Clare Morris

A LEICESTER TRIPTYCH The Change:  2.15pm, 15/3/2018, Leicester Royal Infirmary And so you sat down next to her bed, With the bag of toiletries and magazines, your habitual offerings, (the ones now in the bottom drawer that burn your fingers to touch them) And she whispered with conspiratorial mischief about the matriarch opposite And you …

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New Poetry- Arathy Asok

strike The farmers held Dead rats in their mouths, Wearing green loin clothes Hiding what is left of their pride. They sit in the capital city Waiting for some eyes to open, They sit for days Unblinking at the cold. Far away in distant lands Their crops have withered in the heat. Their children look …

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Fiction Editorial – Mimi Gladman

I have received many amazingly high-quality submissions over the last few months, and have struggled to squeeze them all in, so this edition of The Blue Nib is surely fatter than ever before. This issue is bursting with a wide range of excellent new fiction, encompassing themes as diverse as mortality, the uncanny, coming of …

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Poetry- Patricia L. Hamilton

Bio  a California native, is the author of The Distance to Nightfall (Main Street Rag, 2014). She won the Rash Award in Poetry in 2015 and 2017 and has received three Pushcart Prize nominations. By day she is a professor of English in Jackson, TN, where her specialisations are creative writing and 18th-century British literature.  She …

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Poetry- James Finnegan

James Finnegan – Dublin-born, highly commended in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Competition (2016, 2018), short-listed in Over The Edge New Writer of the Year, The Canterbury Anthology for Poet of the Year, published in The Irish Times – Hennessy New Irish Writing, Poetry Ireland Review, CYPHERS, Skylight 47, North West Words, and The Best New British & Irish Poets 2018 – first full collection of …

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Poetry from David Bankson

  Chartreuse I regret, like coiled flowers I burst when loosed, but the loosing is part of who I am. I could never stop that sort of liquid: a river rushing through my teeth, rushing through my veins, leaving an imprint on the memory-foam mattress, crusted with a coat of flesh where I used to …

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Translation…. an Act of Seduction

Dr Anna Pia is based in Edinburgh, a language graduate with a Doctorate in Education(2008) and an interest in language, dialogue and identity. She started writing seriously in 2011 and has a history of writing for different audiences. Anna has been published in the Times Educational Supplement many times, the Scottish Educational Review and other …

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Chapbook 5 Contest Judge – an interview with Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland is a Canadian-British poet/writer, who has lived in the UK since 1973, has fourteen collections, editing seven others. He’s founding editor of Dream Catcher journal now in its 38th issue. He runs creative writing workshops and widely performs his poetry. Leads seminars; mentors, runs Writers Retreats and collaborates with other artists. He appears …

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Katrina E. Halfaker- Poems

Katrina E. Halfaker holds a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though a native of the south suburbs of Chicago, she currently lives in East Central Illinois with her husband and three cats. Her work has also appeared in Silver Needle Press. ______________ the midwest one broken …

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James Fountain- New Poetry

Empty Highway Home The road is clear, but for the weather lashing down liquid intermittently, my wipers doing overtime at midnight, after a John Mayall gig in Stoke, driving home to Nottingham. I am afraid of the dark, blank road, driving rain blotting out the white markings, guiding forces blurred, no companions to keep me …

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Jane Simmons reviews Hannah Sullivan’s award winning Three Poems SB

Jane Simmons continues her reviews of contemporary women’s poetry with this review of Hannah Sullivan’s award winning Three Poems. Faber ISBN:  978-0571337675 Hannah Sullivan’s debut collection recently won the prize for poetry in the Costa book awards. At the award’s presentation, Sinéad Morrissey said of Three Poems: A magnificent debut . . . assured, cool, and …

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Leela Soma- New Poetry

Leela Soma came to Glasgow in 1969 with her husband.  She worked, until her retirement, as a teacher of Modern Studies. During this time she took up creative writing under the tutelage of Laura Marney. She followed this with Creative Writing Classes in the Department of Adult and Continuing Education at the University of Glasgow. _______________   Mother …

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Thomas Bailey- New Poems

Thomas Bailey is 21 years-old, and lives in London. He is currently studying English at Cambridge, and is editor of his college’s annual poetry publication. His work has been published in Agenda’s Online Broadsheet, The Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Acumen’s Young Poets Section, Off the Block, and The Cambridge Student, among other places. When he gets …

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Linda Imbler- Poetry

Egghead Knows Best An old friend and I once played a game of Trivial Pursuit with my brother’s friends. At one point, a kid asked my dad for an egg to stiffen up his Mohawk hair style. My friend then asked him if he always played his records backwards. The kid replied that it wasn’t …

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David Ratcliffe – Poetry

Slipping his moorings Less than an hour earlier, he’d knelt thumbs crossed; on failing to receive a signal he slid solo on a one-way voyage, slipping his moorings with no one at the helm drifting toward a squall no lenient heart had charted. Senses long since mutinied lifeboats cut adrift, alone like never before, he …

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Denise O’Hagan- New Poetry

A Stain the Shape of Italy It’s when I least expect it Stilled in a queue, perhaps, Or stalled at traffic lights, That the fingers of my memory Pick at the past Loosening the scabs of memory: It’s irresistible. One little prod And the present flakes away As I’m clutching my mother’s hand again Down …

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James Walton- Poetry

Rap, rap, rap, rap, ill tidings call It came like rain on windows a specimen in a jar, the lid too tight for breathing. I fumbled through the program how those Austrians can dance, but it was only distraction. Among the seals from Kaikoura the black sand of carbon footprints, your South Island smile. Brushing …

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Sally McHugh- New Poetry

 Blue Atlas Tracing the grids of the blue atlas my finger runs down the page, charting the north Atlantic ocean, Lisbon, Africa with its Sahara winds blowing, Freetown. Latitude, longitude, lines criss-cross, I lower my touch across the Tropic of Cancer, Equator, and the Tropic of Capricorn. Changing course at the Cape of Good Hope I …

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Poetry- by Micah James Bauman

Love conquers all says the unbroken heart the playful, unbroken heart as love stands over me in a gas station restroom I dance before the mirror to an unfamiliar pop song playing over the speakers love has conquered this place too why would it bother this is a filthy facility with a condom dispenser, fifty …

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Karen Poppy- New Poetry

Hello, Goliath I will write you As I know you. Finally, I’m not afraid. Sharp light of your being, Come toward me. You can dance, laughing. You can tell lies. You can say anything. You can make others Hate me. Giant you, Little me. Yet, I Have something hot In my tiny hand. A pebble. …

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Philip Dunkerley- New Poetry

Burt’s Bees i.m. Burt Shavitz, co-founder of Burt’s Bees, d. 2015, aged 80 Weary of the push and frenzy of Manhattan, Burt lit out in his old pickup-truck for Maine, pausing only to hive-up a swarm of wild bees from off of a fence post along the highway. Luckily he’d been taught bee-keeping by a …

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Bev Smith- New Poetry

the art of casting shadow i love that age is slowing you i might can catch you now between the light and dark before it falls and the twilight that dapples skin washes away now while we lay as two leopards in our long wise contentment intentionally blemished where nothing hidden lies but exposes all …

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Fiona Sinclair- New Poetry

Evanescence You claim not to dream. But I know some nights, during REMs anarchy, your body jolts as if defibrillated, your whimpers chill more than screams. I do not wake you; in case you remember Nature’s Seconds  If I had longer arms, I’d be a stripper. We share the joke like a joint. I think …

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Caron Freeborn- New Poetry

Arrhythmia When I was a little girl I worried about infinity –there’s a galaxy beyond this one and then beyond that one and beyond that and beyond thatand beyond that and beyond that and beyond that and beyond-until my daddy told my mum I had to go the doctor. Beat Dr Thacker had a colour …

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New Poetry -Roy Liran.

Beached boats at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer He divides the canvas in unequal halves of equal size, a bladed horizon for skies and earth, for man and woman, rich and poor, birds and poets. The easel shifts on the burning sand, reacting to the brushes and to the knife’s applied pressure, causing lines to wobble, planes to interact. …

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Emma Lee reviews Christine Valters Paintner’s – Dreaming of Stones

Christine Valters Paintner’s “Dreaming of Stones” Paraclete Press www.paracletepress.com ISBN: 9781640601086 96pp $18 “Dreaming of Stones” is split into six sections, Hours, The Time of Our Lives, Possibilities, Wild Places, Love and Monks and Mystics, and comes with an introduction and afterword by the author. There are 108 pages of poems and each feels like …

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