Soft W – Kristy Snedden

 

She perks up her heads

and debates which exit

to use. A few consonants

run for my throat but the vowels

want to journey through

my heart, get polished

by the oxygen rich blood

flow into the crowded world.

 

Now the consonants talk

to each other and to my throat

which makes guttural noises

and feels lost without vowels.

But the ws come, wanting

who, where, what, when.

With soft puffs of air

and a whoosh they blow

 

the letters out of my mouth.

Like magnets the vowels

and consonants pull to

each other and rearrange

themselves by the relativity

of the morning light.

And there she is, ushering

me out of granite into form.

 


Kristy Snedden has been a trauma psychotherapist for forty-plus years. She began writing poetry in June 2020.  Her work appears or is forthcoming in various journals and anthologies, including Snapdragon, The Examined Life Journal, Open Minds Quarterly, Pensive, and Anti-Heroin Chic. She is a 2024 Pushcart Prize nominee. In her free time, she can be found hiking in the Appalachian Mountains near her home or hanging out with her husband listening to their dogs tell tall tales. You can follow her on Instagram @kristy_snedden_poetry.

Advertisement

The Play’s the Thing – Robert Pelgrift

 

– Hamlet, II, ii; Macbeth, V, v; As You Like It, II, vii

 

“…de petits morceaux de papier… deviennent des fleurs, des maisons, des personnages…”

 

– Marcel Proust, Du côté de chez Swann

 

From lines of printed letters on a page,

figures stand and move, flats rise in a set,

shapes, sounds and actions exist. On the stage,

for their hour, the poor players strut and fret.

 

Where nothing was, the play becomes a thing,

a being; and the stage is all the world,

where, like folded paper bits opening

in water, flowers and houses are unfurled.

 

And people rise, exist. The play takes place.

The being is the idea that attends

the people’s acts, words and purpose; and when

they feel love or anger, speak, stand or pace

about, they make the play, until it ends,

and settles on the printed page again.

 

 

RYP JR picRobert Pelgrift practiced law in New York City for many years and is now an editor for a legal publisher, working in New York City.  His poems have been published in various anthologies and in The Lyric, The Rotary Dial, The Galway Review, The Foxglove Journal and The Waggle.

Sinister – Maurice Devitt

 

*Sinister is the Latin word for left-handed.

 

At school I wanted to be

left-handed, so I told

the teacher my right arm

was broken, hitched it in a scarf

around my neck and proceeded

to write with my left – whispery

at first, but gradually I gained

strength and my ‘O’s became

perfectly rounded: pieces of art,

letters I could stand back from

and admire. That day over lunch

I drew one on the classroom

floor, pulled a rope-ladder

from my pocket and climbed

down, careful to cover my tracks.

It seems I tunnelled in the dark

for hours, until suddenly I saw

a circle of light, clambered

towards it to lift myself out,

only to be met by the cold stare

of my mother,

a stick of chalk in her right hand.

 

Personal PhotoRunner-up in The Interpreter’s House Poetry Competition in 2017, Maurice Devitt was winner of the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition in 2015 and has been placed or shortlisted in many competitions including the Patrick Kavanagh Award, Listowel Collection Competition, Over the Edge New Writer Competition, Cuirt New Writing Award, Cork Literary Review  and the Doire Press International Chapbook Competition. He has had poems published in Ireland, England, Scotland, the US, Mexico, Romania, India and Australia, runs the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site and is a founder member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group.