Pinned

by on Feb 12, 2016

To pierce, to find peace,
it’s all we ever care for.
One solid wire coiled
and carefully caught
brought Walter Hunt
a patent in 1849 as if
no one before had hoped
to pin hard and hold
and leave nothing barbed.
At least till the punk
with a pin through his flesh
snarled a no like a gun
with its safety off, like love.

 


George Yatchisin is the Communications Coordinator for the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals including Antioch Review, Askew, Quarterly West, and Zocalo Public Square. He is co-editor of the anthology Rare Feathers: Poems on Birds & Art (Gunpowder Press 2015).

Mural with Matching Sky

by on Feb 11, 2016

Mural with Matching Sky

 

Mural with Matching Sky

On the corner by the pub car park is a new mural
after van Dyck’s Venetia Lady Digby on her Deathbed.
Let me count the ways this work inspired by a portrait
of a dead woman paradoxically fills me with happiness.

Huge and bright and apart from the rose mostly blue,
it’s by the German artist Claudia Walde, aka MadC,
a woman of  bold vision and talent and about the age
Venetia Digby was when she died in her sleep in 1633.

What Claudia did here is such a surprise: a nifty project,
these “old master murals” by street artists talking back
to their chosen works in the gallery have flashed up
on blank walls and gable ends all over Dulwich, but

none has taken my breath, none makes me stop and
smile and ponder each time I see it the way this does –
a mistressful meeting of past and present, private and
public art, death and unrestrained but not unthinking life.

 

///

Links: Venetia Lady Digby on her Deathbed by Anthony van Dyck | MadC | Dulwich Picture Gallery


Jean Morris lives in Dulwich, south-east London, UK, where she writes, edits, translates from French and Spanish and takes photos. For the past six months she’s been contributing to the Via Negativa group poetry blog.

found poems

by on Feb 10, 2016

i found a poem
by a copy machine
about a bruised boy
and a mother sleeping
through his pain

i found a poem
in a classroom
about a doctor opening
a file of cold results
and whispering the warm name

i found a poem
at a railway station
etched into chrome
i chiselled it out
and carried it with me
on the train

 


Duncan Richardson is a writer of fiction, poetry, radio drama and educational texts. He teaches English as a Second Language part time in Brisbane, Australia. Find him on Facebook.

Reading Whitman on Roque Island

by on Feb 9, 2016

It is unfashionable to honor those who came before us,
and yet I sit in the house
of George Augustus Gardner,
of Isabella Stewart, reading the only book of poetry I can find.
It’s like he speaks to me, here in the drawing room,
to a life lived on the edge of privilege,
on the edge of belonging,
on the edge of a great good fortune.

There are no stevedores now, few butcher boys or drovers
but I hear their song and I remember their voices as my own.
Unlock my soul.
Give me the voice of farmers,
of the unpaid intern trying to grow wiser than her birthright.
Give me the voice of the lobstermen, of the housewife
making jellies in her kitchen, of the ambulance driver
picking up drunks and meth addicts one more time.
Give me the whistling song of the carpenter keeping time with his hammer.

Uncle Walt, your grass is under my feet, your words are in my head.
I know I am an uneasy guest
on this green and holy island.

 


Dervishspin lives with her husband and 3 cats in a cohousing community in Berlin Massachusetts. Under her mundane name, Dervishspin studied poetry at Mount Holyoke College with Christopher Benfy and Mary Jo Salter. She has not quit her day job.

Discovered/Uncovered

by on Feb 8, 2016

Discovered

 

Uncovered

 


Fabrice Poussin is assistant professor of French and English at Shorter University, Rome, Georgia.  Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in France at La Pensee Universelle, and in the United States in Kestrel and Symposium.  His photographic work has also been published in Kestrel, and is scheduled for upcoming publications as well.

Closed Sign at Bill’s Bait & Beer

by on Feb 5, 2016

Bill’s family came to Hawai’i from China in 1921. They settled on the worst farmland on O’ahu. Bill remembers running through parched sugar cane fields as a boy.

Saturday mornings, Bill drove the family’s Model-T to Honolulu. The back seat was loaded with papayas, coconuts, and sugar beets to sell at Waikiki hotels. Kitchen managers weighed and thumped the fruit, then counted four or five dollars into Bill’s hand. Sometimes 25 cents was added to pay for gas for the trip home.

Bill remembers Mother, Father, and Uncle drinking tea by candlelight late into the evening; talking quietly or, more often, sitting in silence.

“Go to bed, son,” Mother chided gently when Bill padded into the kitchen.

Ten years passed. Bill’s family sold the farm and opened Lock’s Bait & Beer on the North Shore. Hawaii was a territory then. Nobody cared about fishing licenses.

At sunrise, locals lined up to buy bait and beer on credit. Bill recalls seeing men and women standing by the shoreline, straw-hatted, throwing nets in the ocean.

If opah refused to bite, fishermen couldn’t pay. Nobody minded. Locals settled up when fish cooperated.

“We did things differently then,” he says.

 


Trish Saunders writes poems from Honolulu, Hawaii.

Rush-hour

by on Feb 4, 2016

Riding down a busy road in Bengaluru… a street dog standing by the side, suckling two of her puppies… sniffing the third one, lying on its side, dead. The two carry on tugging at her teats.

weekend retreat…
how quiet this world
outside me

 


Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy is a psychiatrist from Bengaluru (Bangalore) India, living in England for over a decade. A trained vocalist and a composer in Indian Classical Music, he writes poetry in several languages including Kannada, Sankethi, Tamil and English. He is particularly interested in haiku, tanka and other allied genres. Many of his writings have been published in various reputed journals, and won prizes. For him, writing is not only a means of expression, but also a form of therapy to overcome day to day stress.

Resting

by on Feb 3, 2016

I can smell the sun on your skin
taste the salt sea water left
on your lips
as we lean back
into the afternoon
as though it could hold us
safely in its arms
forever
as though nothing could pull us
out of this light

back to the dim rooms
where debt and obligation
line up in columns
long and dark enough
to occlude our dreams
and no one comes to whisper
sedition in our ears
with words strong enough
to break us back out
into the heat
into the light

 


Mary McCarthy has always been a writer, but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. She has only recently come to discover the vital communities of poets online, where there can be a more immediate connection between writers and readers than is usually afforded in print.

Ripples

by on Feb 2, 2016

Ripples

 


Olivier Schopfer lives in Geneva, Switzerland, the city with the huge lake water fountain. He likes capturing the moment in haiku and photography. His work has appeared in The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2014 as well as in numerous online and print journals. He also writes articles in French about etymology and everyday expressions at Olivier Schopfer raconte les mots.

Herring

by on Feb 1, 2016

If they are right
and the ocean fills the street
I’ll shut

the door
and watch

for herring
out the window. (Schools

of silver, chandeliers
of thinning

rain.)

The afterimage softly
bleeds out

into nothing,

light and line and melting
sun.

 


Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco lives in California’s Central Valley, where she works as a librarian. Her poems have appeared in Gnarled Oak, The Mas Tequila Review, Paper Nautilus, Word Riot, Hobart, and The Potomac Review, among others.