Cover Image ~ ‘Andare in profondità’
Marco ~ Flickr
The heat of autumn
is different from the heat of summer.
One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.
One is a dock you walk out on,
the other the spine of a thin swimming horse
and the river each day a full measure colder.
A man with cancer leaves his wife for his lover.
Before he goes she straightens his belts in the closet,
rearranges the socks and sweaters inside the dresser
by color. That’s autumn heat:
her hand placing silver buckles with silver,
gold buckles with gold, setting each
on the hook it belongs on in a closet soon to be empty,
and calling it pleasure.
in fine particles the walls shed their coat of paint,
my mind lumbering in kyoto—my body merging
into bamboo groves; you keep butterflies in bell jars
and silk threads in table drawers, you never
use layers, perfumes, and sweet oils to
disguise your trail.
songs have died out, though the tip of reed is still
wet, among dry leaves it lies; little girls dig with
it for no reason, their muddy hands, fragile—
you make undulation in nocturnal waters,
garnering these fallen specks.
“midnight may have other designs”
Image ~ XSarfas
If I had a sister, she would have blonde hair
And she would get mad when I borrowed her sweaters without asking
I would leave her love notes on the bathroom mirror, written in my darkest shade of lipstick
They would smear over time
She wouldn’t like the music I listen to, but
We would grow up with the same stories at bed time
Magic Tree House, Harry Potter, and that time my mother’s dog ate so many crayons
it pooped in rainbows
We would mold into different shapes using all the same colors
I, the jealous poet and she, the kind artist
This family never held a mathemetician
But she would add all my favorite genes to the ability to see the bright side of things
I wonder if
She would like church
If God would be the crucifix around her neck
If my parents’ fingers would press far enough into her brain to leave scratch marks or if
They would caress it like the horizon to the ocean
The ocean never made my parents proud
The ocean was far too busy being reckless
Wrecking ships and wearing boulders down to sand
Grasping hands that had no interest in being held
Kissing barefeet until they no longer touched the ground
And believing in all the wrong things
My mother says the ocean makes her sad, but
It is beautiful to look at
My sister would be too lovely to storm
She would be their favorite work of art
Pinched into the right shape and painted with all the colors they picked out
Pink for cheeks and orange for modesty
She would never order dessert or choose not to turn in work or ask to stay out late
or crash the car
She would dance and paint and have nice friends that never swear
She would refuse drugs and alcohol like they teach you to do in D.A.R.E
She would wake up early and smile often and clean the kitchen without being asked
Would be sad
She would be
To look at
I would envy her untainted skin as if mine came pre-scarred
But I would still leave her love notes on the bathroom mirror
“I love your snore,” and
“I adore the way you curl your ‘Y’s,”
And when she’d go to sleep
I would remind her that perfect is always pretty
But it isn’t always worth it
Sometimes, I look in the mirror
And ask my sister why she was born half inside of me
Just enough to know that she’s there, that I could have turned out like her
But instead, I write poetry on the bottom of my bed
I kiss people too hard
And I crashed my father’s car two days after getting my license
I will never be my sister like I will never have blonde hair
It was there once, and people who have known me since I was young still don’t think of me as a brunette
I could dye it, but these roots will always grow back brown
Some days I blame her for not being me
Wanting to step out of this skin and fit into that of my mother’s daughter
Someone she can place her fingers on and know that they will fit into the dents
But we were never that malleable
An ocean never could hold someone’s shape
As i walk the misty morning
the dew falling on my face
the sun has gone to play and
left me with this beautiful
A solitary tree stands sentry
on a field covered in natures
plenty…colours as soft as silk
cover my eyes in visions of pink
as i stare as if afraid to blink
I dream of cloths of gold hanging
magnificent in there wonderful folds
but even in this princely state no
match is it for what i now behold …
Ken Newman ~ kenikinkoo.wordpress.com
Image ~ AnnMarieBone
I listen between the words
As you mouth the story,
a flutter of fear
a glimmer of gladness
a shiver of sorrow
all hover like hummingbirds in the air.
This is really the truth of your life right now, isn’t it?
Ever-changing, illusive, elusive.
Sherry Galey ~ sherrygaley.com
Image ~ Sherry Galey
Beautiful words deserve beautiful homes,
Nestled in the keys of ancient typewriters
And leather-bound notebooks only half-filled
With thoughts from a previous version of you,
A self you can’t seem to find anymore
Because years have hidden them away;
But the words for you, my love and my home,
Are nestled in the space between our breaths
And in the creases of our eyelids only half-opened
As we try to fall asleep with the sound of typewriter keys
Echoing softly in the night.
Sofia Aguilar ~ introvertedhearts.wordpress.com
Image ~ Winfrieda
The ocean took him in her arms and he was, for the first time in so many years, happy.
I decided to leave everything.
I decided to lose myself.
I stepped out of my life on the morning of 24th May 2011. I bought a one-way ticket.
I’m looking over the edge. Beachy Head. An obvious choice, but I’d always found originality a strain. It’s damn windy. But sunny. I’m leaning into that wind. If it stopped, I’d tip. No one’s here to hold me back, talk me out of it. I’m going. Now. Goodbye cruel world. Eyes closed. Falling falling falling. Bang!
No obvious pain. A soft slow snore. Then going under like gas at the dentist’s. I remember the words: a soft…dropping…consistency.
It doesn’t seem any time at all. There is sound of water. Is this it? Must be. The afterlife. Sunlight streaming through. It looks remarkably similar to what I just left. I sit up.
Nothing hurts. Wipe the sand off my hands. Shake my hair. Empty beach. I look up. There it is. Where I jumped from. This must be some trick, some residue memory soon to gutter out. It will all go black soon, or else a bright light will come and I’ll be lifted heavenward. That old number.
I stand, pick up a stone, toss it into the sea. It goes further than I expected. I want to laugh, but it doesn’t seem appropriate. I’m dead. I try a little giggle out. Ha ha. Sounds okay. Not joyful. Not crazy laughter. Just a wry little sound. Still me. Somehow.
I walk about a bit. Take my shoes and socks off. Paddle a bit with my trousers rolled up. It’s not bad is this. But will it shut off soon, like a plug being pulled on the telly? No warning. Just a last glimpse at what I gave up. Then pow! You didn’t want it. So sayonara, Mr Molloy.
My watch. It’s gone. The skin lighter where I wore it. I don’t remember removing it. I didn’t leave it in the parcel I left under the desk. The final note, a few odds and ends. All that
kaboodle. They’ll have unwrapped it by now.
I’ve just realised something. I don’t think I’m dead at all. It didn’t work. I survived it. I didn’t even bruise. No blood. I’ve never felt better. Laugh then, clown, laugh. And I do. I scream it. I twirl it. I run like I was sixteen again. I don’t stop running.
Where is home now?
Everything I own
£2.82 in cash. Visa debit card. Wedding ring. A mint humbug. A paperclip. A wildflower Chloe presented me, flat and dry now. A key.
There’s a three-bed semi. In Flitwick. It used to be my house. It is no longer. The people in it used to be my family. They are no longer.
Above the above, or playing the card
It was a sunny day when I left my old life. I tied all I needed into a large red handkerchief, tied this to a walking stick, and over the shoulder with it as I stepped out.
I was oddly dressed. Odd for me. Gone was the grey uniform of the office, the breath-denying tie. I plumped for colour, for patchwork, for a gaiety I’d never felt but always knew as my locked away treasure. Oh, for the motley.
People looked. Some sniggered, nudged. A small boy threw a stone. Soon I was beyond them all. Open country, the tang of a not-far sea in my nostrils.
Where I was going I could not tell you. Now and then I stopped to pick blackberries, poppies, dog-roses. I watched a squirrel perform acrobatics.
My shoes were soft, and stones in the lane pushed into my sole. My soft soul.
A cow in a field switched its tail at flies. It was deep afternoon. A great body of water drew me from inside. I sat on a tree-stump, hollowed at the centre. Beetles regulated their world here.
Because I was ignored I was free. Free to love everything. Each sun-warmed stone, each nettle-choked ditch, each dandelion seed that caressed my forearm.
Like a child waits in a hot moving car, pushing through fume and tension to that first line of blue. Longing and yet wanting to prolong the longing and not knowing why. I took deep lanes, high-hedged. A pheasant flew up and I laughed and the sound saddened me for I had heard it so rarely, in others and myself. Not derision, bloodless whimsy, nor fashionable cruelty but the bubbling up of uncomplicated delight – balloon-pricked sudden joy.
I would tell you of my old life, but I care too much for now. For each step. The more I walked the lighter I became.
Then, as I turned a corner, sweet dust at my feet, he stood there, grinning, like only a dog
I have always had a fear of dogs, as has most of my family, except uncle Clive, who was the only one of us ever to be bitten by one.
I wrote the above when I was bored one day. I was in the park by a bed of lobelias. It was an overcast day. I like autumn. I like the leaves and their dignified decay. I’d rung in sick (again). I wrote it because I’d seen a picture of a Fool from a pack of cards. Not a joker, you understand. A Fool. From a Tarot pack. I, personally, don’t have the foggiest about all that stuff. I just saw it on the ground, and I recognised it as being something to do with Tarot. Auntie Gladys used to have a go at them when I visited her a few times in Finchley. I raided my memory. The Fool has his journey, she told me. It traverses the Major Arcana, with the Fool trying on different heads, different lives, but underneath he is always the Fool. Load of nonsense, I thought at the time, but she enjoyed herself in her nutty way. She was fat. But she didn’t mind being fat. She wasn’t into all this self-hatred, or improvement. She realised that she had been born to be a jolly fat person, ideally an auntie, sexless, but with a back pocket of wisdom. And she fulfilled that role pretty well. She didn’t fight the flab or fight her apparent station in life.
Well, this card was by the bandstand in the park. Someone had dropped it, I suppose. I picked it up and went and sat on a bench and looked at it. I just sat staring at it. This bloke in motley dress, perfect blue day, butterflies and flowers, the handkerchief with all his worldlies on the end of a stick, a queer looking dog walking by him, looking up, trying to warn the bloke that he was just about to step off a bloody great cliff. Was he bothered? Was he heck. He had this smile plastered all over his mush. He didn’t give a monkey’s. He didn’t know a cliff was coming, you see, so he didn’t fear it.
So I took out this notebook I’d purloined from work. And I wrote the above, well, the bit above the above. I didn’t get to the cliff. And I don’t know what the dog did. Or if the bloke just went home and slotted back into normality. I just left it unfinished. Like so many other things.
In the white café
I am among the old. They sip weak tea and appear to enjoy it. Some have oap fish and chip specials. I sit at a greasy table by the window, watching a world go by. The coffee is cooling in the mug, untouched.
A woman beyond the glass pushes a red pram past. She scowls. But is it at me, or her own reflection? I am very aware of the stream of air going into my nose and down, and as this air descends, it darkens in the body, becomes a secret worker. Then when expelled it is other.
‘Mind if I sit here?’
I don’t look at him. ‘No, please.’
I see his mottled hands in my peripherals. He has an extra long sausage roll on a medium-sized plate. He has a glass of orangeade. Finger mark on the glass.
‘I never thought I’d be someone who would end up in a place like this. With all these codgers.’ He laughs. ‘I came here in the sixties. I was a Mod. We all were, my lot. I had the scooter. The dark suit. Italian. I thought I was invincible. But look at me now?’
I don’t look at him.
‘I’m sorry,’ I say. ‘I’m finding it hard to concentrate.’
He is silent. Then I hear him crunching into the sausage roll. ‘At least I’ve got my teeth,’ he
says, through a mouthful of flaky.
I want to sleep. Not through tiredness. Merely to limit the information coming in. It is too,
too much. Too various. Too pressing.
‘Not much of a talker then?’ He won’t leave it alone.
I look up. His face is just there. It’s like a mask. For a minute I want to touch it. To peel it
off and reveal the underneath, the gubbins.
‘Arnold,’ he says. ‘Arnold Baker.’ He grins with one side of his mouth. A diamond of pastry
dangles from his lip.
I nod at him, but I am elsewhere, but where that elsewhere is I could not tell you.
‘And me?’ I say.
‘Name. Monika. Nom de guerre. Nom de ploom. Appendage.’
‘Oh, yeah, that.’ I go to pick up my mug. White mug, fine cracks appearing, spidering down the sides. ‘Im just…here.’ I tell him this and think at the same time how weird I’m being. Like someone playing at being mad, and doing it badly. I’m not Mr Molloy anymore. I could tell him I was. Or I could say Alec or Al. Or I could say my middle name that I rarely ever tell anyone.
‘You’re a strange bird, aint ya?’ He doesn’t seem annoyed. His eyebrows are raised. His eyes are a bit watery. He is imperfectly shaven, as I suppose I am.
‘Where should a strange bird fly to, Mr Arnold?’
‘Baker.’ It feels like it’s just us in the white café. Sound has dullened, receded. ‘Where go to?’
He gets up. He looks down at me. Head slightly to one side. Smiles gently. ‘Enjoy your stay.’ He leaves then. I watch him pass by the window. He trips slightly on what I assume is an uneven paving slab, and recovers himself as if the trip never happened. And I go back to looking out the window at nothing in particular, while behind me there comes a rising and incessant chatter from numerous tables that stops being language, converges, and is almost like falling water.
Silence to watch girls by
I stay in the park until almost dark. Dark park. To calm myself I count the syllables of a line of a song on my fingers, a syllable for each finger, and try and make the line end on either a thumb or a little finger. Neater, see? It might be an old Carpenters number or it might be something they’re playing now, something utterly disposable.
Peter Knight is by the pond. He is feeding a swan. He can actually pet the swan, to a degree. It’s taken him eighteen months to get the big bird to trust him. Now (so he says) he can even go near the chicks, no, what are they called? cygnets, right. He can touch them. Did he say touch them or did he just say go near? Anyway, he is the swan man of the park. He calls the swan Mr Swan. Once I caught him feeding the swan roast potatoes and gravy out of a plastic bag. The swan wolfed it, no messing about. The swan tolerates Peter’s half-arsed attempts to pet him, though at times he goes for Peter’s hand or his groin. Peter can dodge a beak with the best of them. He’s put the hours in. And Mr Swan can spot Peter from the other side of the pond, and makes a beeline. I don’t know which of them is sane. I assume the swan is a he, most of them seem to be. A swan is a wild animal, Peter told me one morning when I’d phoned in sick at work again (I presume he’s doing the same but I don’t ask). I vaguely disputed his assertion about the wildness factor, but I didn’t have anything concrete to back it up. I wasn’t actually drunk at that moment, but I would be a few hours later as it was the Monday Club at the Banker’s Draft. Now I try not to be sick on a Monday.
I heard something on the radio today about this condition you can acquire which makes you feel like you are dead. It’s named after the discoverer of it. One sufferer spent four years certain he was dead, would not speak to anyone, spent time in graveyards thinking, why am I not in one of these graves? He knew he was physically alive but in every other sense he knew he was dead. No interest in anything, no sense of vitality. I suppose it was an extreme form of depression. Everyone seems to have some form of depression these days, and no end of celebrities seem to like dining out on it. Out depressing each other like panels of comedians try to out funny each other. If they could be tri-polar they’d have a bash at it, and everyone would know each twist and turn, you mark my words. But this bloke who thought he was dead was the real McCoy. He was so depressed or deracinated he would never have had the energy or chutzpah or brass neck to start marketing his suffering to the world at large. Full credit to him.
In my humble opinion (IMHO, as they say now) the people in a deep and genuine state of despair, ennui, malignant sadness, call it what you will, don’t make a song and dance. I mean I knew this other bloke, most laid backest bloke you could imagine – a musician – not quite a friend, brahma of a fella, and he hung or rather hanged himself, from a banister, his own I think. No one saw it coming, except for him, of course. He seemed to be like a regional version of Buddha, such was his ineffable calm and apparent serenity. And one day.
I realised over that early autumn that the Fool was calling to me. He was not something to write about but to be. I used to write songs when I thought life might become more interesting, the usual maudlin love-crap, and I read somewhere an article written by a top notch songwriter, that said if you are stuck with writing a song, put a fool in there. It makes sense, to a degree. And as one song says, you have to (or at least it might be advisable) work out what kind of fool you are.
I sat in the park and watched the girls from the private school saunter past. They must have had extra something or other. They were like women in most regards. They could pass for women. But they were sacrosanct. Their skin was well-bred and golden, irrespective of the season, that’s how it seemed to me. Expensive meat, I suppose. I wondered whether if I had the power to turn myself into a golden youth, some David or Adonis, but with trousers, whether I would be bothered with them then, or would they be like so much of a regular diet, fish in a barrel. But I was fucking old. I was nearly over. In the sexual sense, I’d shat it. I’d had my fix and taken my lumps. I’d shot my load, and these golden-calved temptresses were like the vapours of a dissolving myth.
Eventually, I walked home, told the wife that I’d had a pretty stressful day and that my migraine was coming back. One of your heads, she quipped. I went upstairs and lay on the marital bed. The bed was way too wide, it was a wasteground. At some point Chloe gave her sweet little knock with her sweet little knuckles. She lay on the bed, next to me, curled in. I spooned her, you might say. She twittered some nonsense about her teacher and then about our planned holiday. I tuned out. Although she probably didn’t realise it, I wet the back of her hair with some of the few remaining tears.
All those that hath ears
I stroll about the seaside town. The seagulls eye me with unvarnished disdain. I’d like to give one a boot. I pinch myself and feel the usual pain. So this is death after all: still prey to the vulnerabilities of the body, and the mind. Death should make me fearless, but it has not changed me. I might, for instance, walk into that supermarket there and come out with a tin of pork luncheon meat, gratis. What can they do to a dead man? But the old fears remain. The fear of shame and the fear of the group, and most of all the fear of my own violence.
How can I not miss my wife and child? Should I not get word to them that I am dead and well? My wife will start again, and she will do better. My daughter will carry a hole in the heart.
I see a little knot of people at the end of the pedestrianised area. When I get there I realise it’s the god botherers. One collars me. He offers me a free cup of tea. How cunning these types are. He says his name is Derek, makes small talk. All the while I know he’s waiting for an in, but he’s taking a long while at it. He asks me my name and where I’m from. I lie, it’s easier.
For some reason he starts touching me, on the shoulder. His hand rests there for longer and longer. The nerve. I suppose he’s seen someone else do this, some ‘elder’, and intuited that it gave him an edge when soliciting for his faith. He tells me his son is a psychologist, not for ill people but for major car companies, and food companies. I remark on this but he shuts it down. His hand is not comfortable on my body. I could tell him to quit it. But I fear to. There is gummy spittle at the corners of his mouth. He’s been rabbiting all day. He wants me to attend his church, which, he tells me, will be unlike the normal kind of Anglican church I might be used to.
‘You’ll be very pleasantly surprised,’ he tells me. I’m nearing the end of my free cup of slosh, and I take a leaflet.
‘It’s funny,’ he says. ‘Seaside towns can be some of the loneliest of places.’
I agree with him, and tell him a short story about my dad taking me to Margate when I was a boy. He bought me a Luger gun, and a plastic shark. Dad called Margate, Poor Man’s Paradise. That’s stuck with me. I find myself feeling, what’s the word now, moved. When I look at this Derek individual his eyes and thoughts are elsewhere. I’m pretty certain he didn’t register a single thing I said. He’s already looking out for his next meal.
Last trip together
And so the day came. I didn’t even bother phoning in sick. They’d tabled a meeting for me, for the following week. According to some national scale of sickness I had a rating of 270. A letter told me so. This was appallingly bad. 150 would be of great concern, but I had busted through the stratosphere. At least I stood out in some way. I literally wiped my arse with their letter.
I travelled by train to a point ten miles or so from the coast. Then I hit the back lanes. The old map was pretty good, and not much had changed over the decades since the map was printed.
I was in my work gear, although I’d tied my tie around a young branch. A keepsake or a clue. I will not need a knapsack or a dog to play the card. At last I get a glimpse. First strip of blue. Halcyon blue. I am going down and down then. Spongy grass underfoot. A road. A few cars pass. I’m nearing the cliffs. A change in the ozone. A wind springs up. There is the expanse. There is mother.
There is a man with a child. They are not quite near the edge. He is pointing to something on the horizon. I squint and catch a flash from a hull. Or is that a sail? Our paths almost cross.
‘Beautiful day,’ the man says. He wears an old-fashioned jacket. Wide lapels. He has long sideburns. He looks like a man who does carpentry, and well. The girl doesn’t look quite right, then I realise she has some disability. Her face is misshapen. At first it looks like she is in pain but I accept, eventually, that this is her normal expression.
‘Say hello,’ the man says to the child. The child looks up at me, and tries to smile, but the muscles in her face don’t obey. It is a frightening face. Or a frightened face.
For some reason all three of us take a few steps nearer the edge. The wind is a threat now, to us all, as though it might lift us bodily. It must have happened. We go to the edge as if we are together, a club of sorts. Here the fence has been trodden or blown down. It is a fence you could just step over, in any event, more a good-natured reminder. From our new vantage point we can see the lighthouse.
‘Long way down,’ the man says.
‘Would you break your legs?’ I ask him. He is not rattled by this.
‘The spine would probably compact, that is if you land feet first. If it’s head first then it’s goodnight Vienna. Either way, it’s no picnic.’ He gives a laugh of doubtful sincerity. We are speaking in capitals due to the gust.
‘Has anyone survived?’ I say.
‘No idea, friend.’
I like this man. I like his way of being in the world. Of course, I may be reading too much. I want to be his friend. We back off from the edge as if it had been mutually agreed. The wind drops sharply.
‘Would you be my friend?’
His face changes, not hugely, but definitively. A curtain has fallen. A tap has been closed. ‘We better be off, hadn’t we?’ He says this to the young girl.
She offers me her stare and I’m sure disgust is scored into my face. A shaft of light catches her slack mouth, glints against a tooth in the half dark. I look down and go slack like her mouth. When I tear my head up they are small in the distance. Again I see him raise his arm to point, but this time the finger, and I can only assume this, is pointing at me.
A soft slow snore of dropping consistency. It peters out to a healing buzz of high summer. In my hand I caress a Luger gun. My father is driving through the dark, away from dark water. I am stretched out on the back seat. I love the tick-tick tick-tick tick-tick of the indicator and its pale-blue oblong of light on the dashboard. We are turning.
Mark Mayes ~ darklingilistenblog.wordpress.com Twitter Facebook SoundCloud(music) SoundCloud(poetry) GoodReads
Image ~ wreck-photography
calm and steady
without any tools
and turns the rock
Anne ~ annemio ~ Ello
Image ~ Anne
“Bravery does not always
walk with a spring in its step,
nor does it always proudly boast
to the soundtrack
of countless trumpets.
It may very well be the timid voice
that grows louder with every ordeal,
whispering that you are still on your feet
and fighting with everything you’ve got.”
Noor Shirazie ~ noorshirazie.tumblr.com Twitter Amazon
Image ~ Mitzi-Rozuco
The Sea Inside
can you still see me
through the black mass of stormy nights
can you still hear my laughter or feel my touch
the ones caked with pain and rust
do you remember our secret spot where no one else could play
with erotic talks, exotic flavors, where
we swayed to the rhythm of us
where is my voice, I can’t
seem to find it
I know it’s hiding someplace
raise it to your soft ear
the sea inside is there
Image ~ Sagisen(Flickr)
The pleasure of looking
And knowing not to touch
Feels me with the greatest desire
I have ever known
Here we pose
Me on the red linened bed
You, the carpeted floor
We know not to smile
Break the silence, darling.
Let your voice be that electric caress
Speak of the moon and even the stars
I need not feel your heart to know it beats.
Only hear the blood pumping through.
Regan Sanders ~ writingsofregan.tumblr.com
Image ~ KatarzynaKostecka
Rain Flower Bethel-Cooper ~ Linkedin Facebook Instagram
Twitter Modelmayhem Streetpoetsnyc
a wind …
chasing jazz hep cats
on the moon …
and holy shamans
vox … your dream
crows … graced with magic ointment – ayahuasca in Ecuador
dancing into the mirror
with sing-songs of the heart …
full of wildness …
& be a remedy for
weary folks & stars kept in mason jars
while i strum and keel over ebony riffs …
i’m full of vertigo
and nonchalance – a troubadour poet;
fingers on a fretboard are philosophical … so
let’s orchestrate the manuscript
and step into the obscurity of
mystical yearnings …
let’s dance with fevers attached to our bones
and collaboration will make the gods take notes …
i’m full of modern hallucinations
turning heaven into chaos and back again …oh …
i feel this blessed urge
for madness …
this need to be a god … a framework .. for the arousal
of music …
the crocus of spring awaits
to hear your voice and my guitar
play in the interludes between logic and reason
a moment in time
breathing divinely …
Dominic DiCarlo ~ archonofdarkness.tumblr.com
Image ~ Jörg Schreier (Flickr)
With men away
the women worked.
The women cooked.
They held up the ceilings.
They chased trams in ill-fitting shoes.
They dreamed of chocolate.
They dreamed in cinema dark.
They smiled frozen in old photos,
in frocks and pencilled calves.
They stank of babies.
You got new uncles.
They got friendly with butchers.
They whispered in kitchens.
They beat the fuck out of carpets.
They let the kids run riot,
form gangs, fight feral foes,
tucked them in come bedtime.
They’d laugh from their bellies.
They’d look fifty when they were thirty.
They were hugs dispensers.
But they kept it all in.
Brian Carlin ~ theprimate.wordpress.com
Image ~ LivingBread.
Grateful thanks to Marco for the beautiful cover image.
Please do check out his (Flickr) page to see more of his brilliant photography
Issue Eleven Writing Prompt
If you have been inspired by this writing prompt to write poetry, a short story, or a spoken word recording on your website, writers page or social media, please give a clear indication at the end of your work it has been inspired by this prompt, accompanied by the url of issue eleven, then send me the url link (by 14th November) of your post through the submissions page. In issue twelve I will list the individual links in this section to all the creative work inspired by this prompt. Looking forward to see what you come up with! 🙂
If you’d like your poetry, spoken word, short story or essay included in a future issue, please see Submissions. The next issue will be published in November.