Martin Potter (https://martinpotterpoet.home.blog) is a poet and academic, and his poems have appeared in Acumen, The French Literary Review, Eborakon, Scintilla, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Poetry Village, and other journals. His pamphlet In the Particular was published by Eyewear in December, 2017.
“The fish fanciers, sitting by their ponds and gazing
into their depths, were tracing shadows
darker than they understood.” – Rubicon by Tom Holland
Arid – it took twenty years for the word to come.
And what did we expect, creeping that Saturday
down laneways whose leaves were dying into red,
towards the El Dorado of an orchard whispered about,
its apples untasted for years, guarded by a gun?
How near we were to town. How easily lost.
The youngest, last seen years ago, standing asleep,
wedged between three squatters in a phone box.
His eyes, they said, when he opened them, still had
that child’s disappointment at finding his last sweet gone;
suddenly he remembered himself and retreated.
He was a river of words at twelve
and I remember him now, from nowhere,
his life too fierce and frank to be glossed over,
unlike the rest of us, we on the cusp then of knowing
not the taste but the craving for it. So on
we blundered, countryside itching under our collars
until we turned and stumbled into a yard
ringed by trees, their fruit greener than leaves,
huge, monstrous almost. But we had to pick them.
And the house. No gun as frightening
as that abandoned silence, or the comb-teeth
litter of fish we knew we’d seen in books.
Never earth so bare as that dried pond.
Ted Mc Carthy is a poet and translator living in Clones, Ireland. His work has appeared in magazines in Ireland, the UK, Germany, the USA, Canada and Australia. He has had two collections published, November Wedding, and Beverly Downs. His work can be found on www.tedmccarthyspoetry.weebly.com.
DS Maolalai has been nominated eight times for Best of the Net and five times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019).
The hexagonal particles of ice are warming, crackling, melting. The earth is only damp on the top layer; underneath it is dry and compacting, offering warmth and protection to the roots during the night. The sky is changing from a deep, vast blue to a softer, yet still intense, shade. Light blue will then be met with blinding white, will be met with lemon, will be met with blazing orange.
“All in good time”, the twilight breathes. “All in good time”.
Changing shape, the icicles climb into themselves before dropping onto the floor with the gentlest of ‘plops’. The departure of the clinging frost, which the closed petals host each night, causes the most subtle movement. The petals are shaken awake, free and able to breathe. Shimmering in delight, they turn their bodies towards the East like a porcelain ballerina twirling on a spring in a jewellery box.
As promised by the twilight, the sky is getting lighter. The remaining night stars twinkle and bow once more, before ending their performance and closing their glimmer to sleep.
As the tip of the brilliant father sun peaks its face over the hills in the horizon, the rays crawl over the grass towards the petals. In unison, the petals stretch, yawn and open themselves to let in the light and nourishment. It is a brand new day.
Jade Morgan discovered her passion for writing when she was travelling overseas, hiking in New Zealand’s National Parks and Nepal’s Himalayan mountain region. Since her return to England, she has engaged in writing courses to delve more into her new found passion. From the writing courses, Jade has been finding enjoyment in revisiting her travel journals to create a travel writing book and writing flash fiction stories. When she is not doing this, you can find her hiking, reading, hugging trees or planning her next adventure.
as the air stiffens with the last chirps of the crickets
as the scent of autumn seeps like a charm into my veins
and the still-warm twilight twists about my limbs
when the brush of a dying ladybird on my forearm
or the dry ivy leaf combing my shoulder
is itchy as elf-fingers as I pass, when the shuffling hedgehog
circles the lawn and the first drift of leaves
crumbles beneath our shoes, when the mouse-eyed
elderberries droop, black bubbles in the ripple of moonlight,
and the night’s grey dust dampens the rosehips
and snags among the blood-red haws
then, we will step through the dandelion clocks,
through the lazy cobwebs, through the sleepy moths,
and we will dance, my love – my love, we will dance
and then we will dance as the slow earth turns
Yorkshirewoman Louise Wilford has had over 100 poems and short stories published and has won or been shortlisted for several competitions, most recently the £750 Arts Quarterly Prize and the MereFest Poetry Prize. She is currently nearing the end of a Masters degree in Creative Writing with the Open University, and is currently working on a novel inspired by The Tempest, while trying to process why the world appears to be falling apart.
Chandan Dey is a new and emerging writer living in Kolkata, India. His work has appeared in Liquid Imagination, Vayavya, Sky Island Journal and is forthcoming elsewhere. He works in Kolkata and is a passionate reader and writer of poetry. He loves to write articles on scientific philosophy; some of them have already been published online. Some of his work can be found on http://www.chandankumardey.blogspot.in.
Bojana Stojcic is a teacher from Serbia, living in Germany. Her poems and flash pieces have been published in Rust + Moth, Anti-Heroin Chic, Barren Magazine, Spelk, XRAY, The Opiate, and elsewhere. She blogs at Coffee and Confessions to Go and is currently working on a collection of flash fiction/prose poetry.
That night, I tied a tiny string to each of the stars
and pulled them down towards the earth
in a big bundle, like a flower bouquet
They left trails in the jelly sky
and tangled on the wisps of clouds
A few even clanged into each other
and the sound was like a bell
So, I pulled harder
Wrapped the strings around my fist
and let them cut into my pale cold flesh
Finally, my efforts came to fruition
and a single star floated down into the troposphere
I cradled it in my arms and sang to it
– until it burst –
and the embers dissipated in the
Linnea Cooley is a poet residing in the Washington D.C. area. Her poetry appears in Neologism Poetry Journal, Boston Accent Lit, and Anti-Heroin Chic among others. More of her work can be seen on her website, linneacooley.weebly.com.
Daniel Tobias Behan is a London born-and-based poet. Since late 2017, Daniel has performed regularly at the London Irish Centre, Camden, and was interviewed by the Irish Post as part of their London Calling podcast series. Daniel sees creative writing, and especially poetry, as a great natural form of therapy and creative self-development, allowing thoughts and emotions to be communicated effectively in a non-linear fashion.
An endless green sea on which I might float (or walk)?
But neither my eyes nor mind have reach enough,
so I am like a shell
washed up on some endless celestial beach.
One day the sky may clear
and Imay see and hear
answers to the mystery that I am living.
I will be beyond the clouds,
inside a limitless blue box.
Sky end to end, side to side.
The ink of my thoughts will drop from the clouds like rain
and bloom upon a page.
I’ll watch butterflies light on leaves like orange flames.
and know that it is enough.
paul Bluestein has written poetry for many years, but has just recently begun to submit his work. He is hoping Foxglove Journal will be one of his first steps forward on this new journey. He is a physician (OB-GYN) by profession (retired … or just plain tired), a self-taught musician (guitar and piano) and a dedicated Bridge and Scrabble player (yes, ZAX is a word). He writes poetry because The Muse, from time to time, calls him unexpectedly and keep ringing insistently until he answers, even if he doesn’t want to talk with her just then.
Flood water drizzles away in the mid-Missouri heat of July,
mud hardens into adobe brick and the early morning dark olive
green sky is not full of dew, but resin and hard tack.
When the first breeze blows late morning, it is not
the dust of the earth that lifts itself into air,
but the dead of the earth – dead seeds, dead fall,
the dried out carcasses of crayfish and tulip lipped toads.
Suddenly the green grass is beard grizzled and graying,
the ants bring drying blood back to their queen,
large bees settle in the shade of a blossom and sleep.
Then, one afternoon, a cackle in the sky, the clouds
gather into bundles of storm and heat lightning.
When the rains come, everything moves out of the way.
Cracks in the clay eat what they can and the river
opens its huge mouth to take in everything else –
ants, bees, the dead wood congregating on the dying grass.
Then it is over and hotter and stiller and even a shift in weather
cannot rise all of the dead things decomposing into the air.
Michael H. Brownstein’s work has appeared in American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Convergence, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012), and The Possibility of Sky and Hell: From My Suicide Book (White Knuckle Press, 2013). He is the admin for project Agent Orange (projectagentorange.com).
We have a lacuna in our knowledge about Stonehenge.
A Stonehenge lacuna.
I used to have a lacuna lacuna but then I looked it up.
It has the same root as lake.
Latin: lacus, meaning pool.
Which is odd. Because a pool, a lake,
is by definition a gap filled.
The big empty lake-shaped space in the earth is filled
with water; making it a lake.
Otherwise it would be a crater.
From the Greek: krasis, meaning mixture, then krater,
meaning mixing bowl.
Which also suggests a gap filled
with whatever’s being mixed.
I suppose all lacunas are filled.
Pools, mixing bowls. The water in them
is so perfectly clear that we can’t see it.
It is the same temperature as our bodies.
It is empty space. But it is there.
Thin and fluid,
awaiting murky knowledge.
shining a light in the dark, the edge of the light.
The border of the darkness is the lacuna.
It’s empty but full.
Alfie Prendergast is a writer currently studying an MLitt in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. He writes about human futures, occult pasts and thoughts overheard. He is currently working on his first novel, as well as producing Open Mic Podcast; a literary reading podcast which hopes to capture the intrepid energy of open mic reading nights in podcast form.
Susan Richardson is living, writing and going blind in Hollywood. She was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in 2002 and much of her work focuses on her relationship to the world as a partially sighted woman. In addition to poetry, she writes a blog called “Stories from the Edge of Blindness”. Her work has been published in: Stepping Stones Magazine, Wildflower Muse, The Furious Gazelle, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Foxglove Journal, Literary Juice and Sick Lit Magazine, with pieces forthcoming in Amaryllis. She was also awarded the Sheila-Na-Gig Winter Poetry Prize.
Yorkshirewoman Louise Wilford is an English teacher and examiner. She has had around 60 poems and short stories published in magazines including Popshot, Pushing Out The Boat and Agenda, and has won or been shortlisted for several competitions. She is currently writing a children’s fantasy novel.
leaping alive at the harvest, or turned back in again.
(Historical note: The Oaks Colliery explosion is the second deadliest coal mine disaster in the United Kingdom after the disaster at Senghenydd Colliery. There were two more explosions on 13 December 1866, which killed 27 rescue workers. The Oaks Colliery, one of the largest coal mines in England, experienced 17 further explosions until it ceased operations in the 1960s.)
Ali Jones is a teacher and mother of three. Her work has appeared in Fire, Poetry Rivals, Strange Poetry, Ink Sweat and Tears, Snakeskin Poetry, Atrium,Mother’s Milk Books, Breastfeeding Matters, Breastfeeding Today and Green Parent magazine.She has also written for The Guardian.