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Thursday 31 January 2013

Joseph M Gant

We Play

carbonic poles
of light refracting,
dancing on a flicker stage.
time beside us,
hell beneath
our leagues of sport-like gathering.

pass the fiddle,
play the drum,
we fall in time to every sound;
electric in sagacity,
light behind the eyes—
embryonic memory
we discharge on the stage.

It's A Chemical Song

it's a chemical song
and you were dancing,
rhythm of the afternoon,
melodic and dead,
and you were inside me,
speaking in molecular cadence.
we frowned and then we woke up.
we drowned and then we parted ways—
the score and everything thereafter.

I Wasn't Born to Starve

I wasn't born to starve
in here 
where martyrs clamor,
breadcrumb sins
and eyes of cold 
ravens' claws of steel and wire,
scarecrows packed with glycerine.
the dinner plates,
the whites of eyes
we cry before we spit and call
the course of cold anxiety.

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Hellbound- David McLean

'Hellbound' by David McLean is available to purchase here

Tuesday 29 January 2013

David Mac

Love, Like Death, Is Hard To Explain

The ages are limping birds
with broken wings

The ages are bones with
no place to go

The ages are your smile, my love
and all that black lipstick

But death hangs in the trees
all day long

And sometimes it sings


Alone You Start To Smile

Loneliness is
the edge of nowhere
Loneliness is
outside of the crowd
Loneliness is just
lost in flesh
And loneliness
is a bar
first thing in the morning
Loneliness is
nowhere to go
Loneliness is the night
but more so the day
Loneliness is a room
is dead walls
is a window without a view
Loneliness is a job
that wants to kill you
is an empty wallet
Loneliness is
mad as babies
hidden as clouds
Loneliness a stone
in the sun
cracks in a desert
the hills and
my black shadows and
all they remember
But loneliness
a man
on top
of the world

She Said Hell

She said hell, or
at least she
wanted to.
She wanted to
but could not,
so we went outside.
And it was the town
that said it,
It was the town
that said it, like
we all wanted to.
And everyone in it,
moved, stained red,
living for nothing,
dying for it all.
She said hell,
because we could not.
We could not.
Would not.
And the birds
stabbed holes in the skies
you wouldn’t believe.
White light shone
down to all this
you wouldn’t believe...

Sunday 27 January 2013

Neil Ellman

Hairy Moon

(Hrafnhildur Arnardottir, sculpture)

When you sleep
it hovers above your bed
a Medusa’s head
of venomous snakes
wailing a Banshee song
of Otherworlds and Death
with eyes that turn
your flesh to stone
and bones to dust
and dust that forms
a Basilisk.

But when you wake
it’s only a hairy moon
sailing over a canvas sea
a childish dream
not like the make-believe
you dreamed
when you believed
you were asleep.

Half Beast Half Rainbow

(Hrafnhildur Arnardottir, sculpture)

The beast that rises from the nightmare world
below the edge of here
where colors grow feathers and scales
talons and scissor-teeth
to claw their way from there
across the sky
to the somewhere where the rainbow ends
goes home to feed and fade and die.

Imaginary Friends

(Hrafnhildur Arnardottir, sculpture)

We have nothing in common
(as if the common were a good)
except that they are imagined
and are my friends.

None of them have names
like “John” or “Hildegard”
but they answer to the call
of “Wraith” and “Beelzebub”—
or not at all.

They have hair
like snakes or rope or vines
tentacle limbs and bulbous eyes—
or none of those at all.

They fly like Phoenixes
or swim like the Leviathan
they crawl under rocks—
some not moving at all.

With nothing in common
except our souls
I imagine them as I am
or wish to be, or perhaps
they have imagined me.

Saturday 26 January 2013

Daniel Scott Parker


Within a scratching. Bloodthick radiant shale, vitreous membrane silverspun to hollow. Wind sieves through splintered bone. The skin wheezes: saw blades of light. The future, the fullness of which shiny blindness is uniformity. I came from the suburbs of this city and from an insularity.


The heat registered the breaking of a bone. No longer a pacifier of the body. Paint soaked into the mattress, milk spilled the presence of a waning. The paint was permanent, broken, and fresh. Kansas snapped inside its skin. Heat broke like a bed.

The ashes of which, reconfigured in regularity to radical form of rust compass. Codes coiled inside my bleeding mouth. Ammoniacal debt of breathing. My recent now has been so full that it feels threadbare. The sound of eyes’ perpetual closing. I wanted to tell him about the dream but the timing never seemed right and now we are done with each other.

Thursday 24 January 2013

Jonathan Butcher

The Last

The broken shards of glass, sit patiently 
behind our eyes, as each colour begins to
flash, like a malfunctioning strobe light.

We walk just the distance needed, our feet 
in forced harmony, the green plastic bottles
stuck to our hands, that cut our lips at the
first sip, as we rest upon that rotten log, 
our refuge for the last ten years. 

And my sight seems again more focused, on
the hazed horizon, as your consistent jabbering 
carries across this breeze like racing dandelion 
seeds, my ears now responsive to everything
but your words.

Our last drop is now sunk, as my thoughts then
rehydrate the creases from the night previous, and
again under your constant guidance, I commit
to that hollow promise to make this my last.


Having breakfast in the old cemetery, our pupils 
now dilated enough to absorb the suns first light,
you sit, your jacket worn from last nights antics,
yet your hands remain just as delicate as ever.

And the gravestones stand grey and moss covered,
the names long now faded, like torn scrolls, and shadow 
the dying grass that form our blanket. 

Your voice now a lasting annoyance, offers the only
distraction from this hankering silence as my legs,
dehydrated, cramp up once more, that leaves me
with that lasting limp, that fails to gather your attention, 
yet still makes my journey home that little easier.
Jonathan Butcher has been writing poetry for around five years. He has had recent work appear in Popshot Magazine, Electric Windmill Press, The Rusty Nail, Turbulence and Black-Listed Magazine. He Lives in Sheffield in the north of England

Sheri Wright

Color withers against the faces of blooms
as they hold the weight of grief,
heads bowed like mourners
in the cold of graveyard shadows.
And we fold the kind pieces of ourselves
into sympathy notes passed to the bereft
as the dead are fit into coffins
too small for rest.
The Test
Would you let her sit next to you,
the remnants of roadsides tangled in her hair,
rest her second-hand tatters
if only for a few miles?
And would you spread a balm of kind words
over the cracks fissured around her eyes
where beauty has splintered away,
and the pressure of years compressed over youth
fatigues her smile,
a smile she offers anyway.
She knows that poverty is
a heart that beats time to itself
because no one else is listening.

Pushcart Prize and Kentucky Poet Laureate nominee, Sheri L. Wright is the author of six books of poetry, including the most recent, The Feast of Erasure. 

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Chris Murray

The Zeiss

from that 13th moon you'd to fight for breath :
eyes , vagina, your lens was cold. 

But then our shadow-plays were always red.
I awoke with the word musculature in my head -

the primitive Zeiss dilated
with the mathematical implements of your pornographies : meters , lenses,

                                                             colour-charts,  grey spectrum-sheets,
                                                             and white -

all these rotated in your skull-disc, and I 
spread wide as cut-fruit onto a plate-fallen


            and captured you                                        

            I wondered which of your screens I was playing on ?

dead table


black stone inscribed with a talon a wing a tide-mark 
its a bruised maybe sea-etched lucky charm that

weights the silk-back cards orange-silk purple-ribboned
they describe

a circle where those fall-plummet
a wheel
maybe it is a maybe wheel -

(the story or tale) :

a marble table in Kilkenny Castle
small hands pressed to the colding planes of it
and then a whispered legend

- it was here
here, where the noble-dead were laid out on this very table
and a curse travels through the handskin into the blood and bone of

of those of us whose skin contact its surfaces

(the legend)

we were told the legend then about :

the kitchen-caraytid is black-faced marbled-black
the limestone is soughed off her bone-face from hands wiping

wiping the death-grime from fingers
she stands holding those arches-orange-arches part of the orange-archway


her companion-caraytid (opposite) is etched in limestone

grey and placid-looking she is holding up the same orange arches
alone across from -

she-who absolves the homely curse it seems

(wheel of fortune)

They plummet over the wheel out of windows in flames churches fill
those people lay a flaming-table of votive candles hand-still in the no-breeze

with wishes,

wishes ceremonies prayers the grime of it not visible in the blinking flames of the votive table
its orange however :

an explosion of twisted steel and not the wood of the inescapable circle

black stone etched with a wing picked up at a beach a building site a roadway a track in forest
a near fossil of crystallised marks but a lie 
no bird made this stone with its neat talon from his own sacrifice of blood and claw thereon

 it weights the cards as they fall orange,

- and blindfold(ed)

like petals

Saturday 19 January 2013

Amos Gideon Greig

The Time Machine

It begins almost motherly,

a return to the warmth of the womb,

a central point on the journey to oblivion,

time travel is a lie an uncaring trick of time.

Slowly through rheumatic eyes the present,

fades away, sound, cold, future,

all these are frozen,

waiting release..

The first signs of possibility,

appear bubbles in the stream,

each a window, a doorway,

into the past,

Here a child did not fall out of bed,

their sudden awakening saving the lives

of those dwelling within.

The Time Machine is a lie.

Rather than showing the past,

each portal leads to a distortion,

a prison for the unwary,

Here he went to university;

sought his dream as an artist,

there is a tightness now,

sudden desire to breathe,

The Time Machine will not allow it.

The traveller realizes,

the trap they are caught in,

Focused so tightly on the

journey they did not notice the;

failing strength in limbs,

there is an urgency now,

a burning now time seeks,

to consume them.

A sound, a voice, a mothers distant

cry, the present has almost faded to black,

Hairy thews pluck the traveller from,

the machine breathe life back into;

fragile body too weak for time travel,

too weak to be left unsupervised,

in the local pool the boy opens his

eyes and cries.                  `

The Wilding Path

I see the hidden spheres which over lap our own,
not all of the time but there are moments,
of crystal clarity/
                         in the rain/
                                                 a sudden ray of sun.

There are places where the doors are open ,
the tiniest whisper of a forgotten past,
previously/ I stood near one,

The whispering wood to many this overgrown,
tree choked with vines is a part of nature,
I have seen beneath the veil/  to a stone wall

An old mill my hands traced the stone work,
in the deepest shadows where man isn't welcome,
The silence was deafening/
                                                 I opened my mind to,

Vistas past.

 A hard working miller busy grinding
corn as children played in the waterhole,
women busy drying clothes laughing at their antics.

I stepped back into the warmth of the day
the chill seeping from my bones,
I look down and see the waterhole now filled with -

sediment natures cruel touch has scoured it away
slowly overgrown as the angry waters surged past,
I walked onwards reflecting/
                                                I played here as a child.

My path crumbles before me/
 seemingly the ground smashed by an angry god
huge rents make it difficult
to cross.

I came to a tributary a place where I once waited for seven hours.
 lost as a child frightened tears and snot smeared my face in the dark/
I waded across the stream passed the lying rocks.

Skipping across bleached stones the bones of mountains past,
I slowly approach the coldest of places,
The chill settling in I can feel your uncaring gaze/
                                    feminine form/
trapped in the stones which  formed  a perfect  circle around you.

            eyes meet/
                                    I was but  a child then/
                                                                                    you pointed the way back
for a price.
A single/         
                                    a promise/
                                                            to return
Did my mind play tricks?
did you really  move to

wood  rubbing  against  wood/
                                                the cackling of a hag?
the ivy flowed like a/
mane of unkempt hair down your back.

A single ray of sunlight breaks the silence/
                                                            Bird song/
                                                                        like children's laughter
soared out the moment passed,
I see you for what you are a tree twisted by a quirk of fate,
to a child's eye/
                        a feminine form/
                                                languidly stretched towards the sky
pleading, placating.
I turn and walk away from the cackling tree,
I hear a peal of feminine laughter and run home
away from that accursed tree.

Dark's Parasite

Your dark birth has long been prophesied,

My dark parasite needed yet twisted

Far  beyond your original purpose.

You have shared this flesh since infancy,

Your dark touch has left its mark,

Ravaged my body stained my soul.

Sadly your parasitic presence is

Needed, serves a primary function,

A function carried out grudgingly.

That touch a constant reminder,

Flares, the rage cripples,

Draws blood, steals breath.

Entropy approaches our parting

Inevitable I wait for that day:

Torn, your functionality important.

A caged beast you punish:

Your host lashes out blindly,

Rage and pain all consuming.

I am consumed, clutch

Just below the ribcage,

Your prison,

God but there are days

I find myself asking,

Why life's parasite? Why birth?

Amos Greig is a recent graduate from Queen's where he studied English and Ancient History. He has studied at the John Hewitt Summer School in 2001 and James Simmons Summer House. Amos has designed covers for Lapwing Publications, designed their logo , provided portraits for James Simmons, Desmond O'Grady, Sabine Wichert, Padraic Faicc and created children's murals. Amos has had work published in Poetry in Motion's The Poet's place, Speech Therapy, Papergirl Belfast and Solstice Poetry. He is currently editor of a literary and arts magazine called A New Ulster. His first book of poetry called Lord's of the hill is with a publisher pending publication.