R by Snigdha Koirala

Snigdha Koirala has previously been published in The Inkwell and Unknown Magazine. Born in Nepal and raised in Canada, she is currently living in Scotland, where she is pursuing an English Literature degree at the University of Edinburgh. 

 


 

R

 

Arms bending, there was dirt
stuck to the inside of your elbow.

My thumb itched to trace
its spirals over you,
to fold your blond paper skin
into the damp pocket of my coat,
and hear your knees click flat against the
bridge of your nose.

But your limbs–untied–
swinging around skinny metal bars,
and your blues under chiffon lashes
s p r a w l i n g
through the place,
looking for something,
through and around me,
like in that theatre,
your air filling up
all the spaces I could feel–
I lost and lose control,
dizzy,
heavy,
foggy breath–
I imagine–
along the lines of your hands,
over the crooks of your bones,
your veins–

I imagine–
settling above that piece of dirt,
coaxing it into the calm,
blowing it away–

I imagine

seeing you bare.


Snigdha can be reached via email, koiralasnigdha@gmail.com.

 

The Graduate by Samantha Emily Evans

Samantha Emily Evans is a poet and writer living in London. She has been published in the Moorpark College Review, the Inklight Poets Anthology, and [Insert Title Here]. She has studied at the University of St Andrews and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. She is a member of the European Beat Studies Network and works at SAGE Publishing.

 


 

The Graduate

 

‘The smell of home’–which home?
23424 home? Or St Andrews home?
Grandma and Grandpa’s home?
New home? Mother taught me,
To make the house smell like fall
Boil cinnamon.

Leaving tastes like a huge apple,
The first bite the acid.

Daddy, always Daddy and the pick-up area
Of LAX, the smudge of blue and all that gray,
Fumes of hello and the nervous chatter of six months.


You can read more of Samantha’s work at www.literarypixie.com.

First Snow by John Lysaght

John Lysaght is a writer of fiction and poetry from Long Island, New York. John began his formal writing while attending the University of Scranton, graduating with a BA in English and Latin in 1968. Mr. Lysaght has had a rich work history as a teacher, counselor for at risk youth, therapist, social worker and probation officer. His work has appeared in Esprit, Poets’ West, Avocet, The Greenwich Village Literary Review, Nomad’s Choir, Calliope’s Corner, and October Hill.

 


 

First Snow

Autumnal caravan
Palette of browns
Draped with fleece, with flannel
Of spiced cider and maple syrup
Haystack and harvest,
Turns and fades
Into memory.

Aloft,
Vanilla pregnant puffs
Birth virgin downy hexagonals
Dressed in white lace–
Angel-crafted from above.
Alabaster-jeweled
Geometric masterpieces
Flutter as they parachute
Downward to join their brethren,
Snow man antecessors
Decorating the landscape face below.

Solitary galosh imprints
Mark where I’ve been
And question where next to go.
With upturned face
And supplicant palms
I catch in an instant
Transmutant wonders
Returning to origin
Replicating the continuum
Of renewal.


John can be reached via email.

St. Andrews by Katharine Macfarlane

Katharine Macfarlane’s lyrical poetry is rooted in the history and landscape of Scotland. Katharine has recently performed with Flint & Pitch and Sonnet Youth and hosted her first solo show, Home Words, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016. Her work has appeared in Untitled, The Grind and The Ogilvie and has been translated into German as a feature piece in the novel Die Rückkehr der Wale by Isabel Morland. 


St. Andrews

I held on to relics;
An arm turned to bone by my heart,
Pearls at my throat
The virtue of St Margaret
And scallop shells, pressed to each palm:
Imprint stronger than divination
Replacing head, heart, life, fate.

Yet, when I see you on the road
I think that maybe
You have always been in my heart,
Even before it was beating.

The weight of the ancestors is at your back,
Their breath warm on my cheek.
I lay down arms
And smiles pour from my eyes.


Katharine can be reached via her Facebook page, Home Words. More of her poems are accessible here.

Tae A Fermer by Jen Hughes

Jen Hughes is a writer from Ayrshire, Scotland. She has been writing from an early age, but began to write more poetry in her late teens. She’s been published in various online magazines, such as the Oletangy Review, the McStorytellers, Paragraph Planet and Pulp Metal Magazine. After taking two years to gain valuable work and life experience, Jen is preparing to study English Literature and Film & TV Studies at Glasgow University this year.

Tae A Fermer is a parody to Robert Burns’ poem Tae A Mouse, and is told from the perspective of the mouse whose house was struck down.

 


 

Tae A Fermer

 

Great, lumberin’ stupit eejit,
Almost killed me an’ the missus
Course a’d start awa sae hasty
Don’t think that a forgot
That all ye thought of were yer tatties
Carrots an’ shallots.

Ye rammed ma hoose doon wae yer tractor
Sae don’t gee me that righteous patter
O’ mice an’ men suffrin’ life together
Best laid schemes
Gang aft agley especially fur the
Dunderheids!

Am a hell blessed compared to thee
This Christmas a’m gonnae freeze!
The missus is less than pleased
She’d just redecorated
Forward though a cannae see
She’ll have me mollicated!


If you liked this poem, you can find Jen’s up-to- date portfolio of poetry and short fiction on dearoctopuswriting.wordpress.com, follow her on Twitter, give her a like on Facebook, or follow her Tumblr blog.

House. by Nigel Best

Nigel Best has been writing poetry for over four decades. His poetry has been greatly influenced by life experiences, as well as by his love of language. He has read at several Scottish book festivals and enjoys experimenting with different styles and subject matters.

 


 

House.

 

a wonderful house
with trees and yes flowers in the garden
the driveway lined with poplars
twelve-tonal doorbell
a fitted carpet lying unfitted
and dejected
dust climbing the stairs
cobweb wallpaper in every corner
slow motion pictures reaching for the floor
striving for hidden foundations
bare brick
unwilling wood
the doors are hinge-stuck
the ungrateful owner took away the roof
the postman delivers silence
and you sit in the kitchen
playing the atmosphere
a wonderful
mighty house


Nigel can be reached via email.

1969 by Darrel Fickbohm

Darrel Fickbohm is originally from Sioux City, Iowa. He studied theater, English literature, and philosophy in the American Midwest and the Dakotas and is committed to exploring their dramatic themes through acting, writing, and directing.

 


 

1969

 

When I was five I
Wore that yellow raincoat walking
Above the planet crawling
With questing worms
Under the rainfall–silvery drops
Making wires of continuous
Lines,
Startled by thunder
In red boots.

 

Five boys
Drowned before the rain, all
Playing on the reservoir bank.
The whole town in desperation
Searched the water,
Looked along the pitiless shoreline.

 

And they found them there
Almost together like white,
Swollen oysters.
Mothers tearfully gave the rest
Of us cookies for our living throats.
Then the sky opened up like outrage.

 

Clouds salted with the
Souls of children, blasting
With thunder the bigness of it,
Driving the searchers home.
It didn’t have to do with
Them anymore.

 

Under the pitching breeze
Of a summer storm
Coming close after the tragic heat
I peered
From below the low-brow
Slicker hat brim in a town
Gone silent
At the figure of my sister’s
Hand, puffy and pink
Between the gray mouth of
Screen door and house.

 

Water, she said,
Over and over until
It stained me forever
Drops falling from her
Splayed fingers.


Darrel can be reached via email.

 

 

For Kristiina by James Machell

James Machell is an Edinburgh-based science fiction writer who dabbles in romantic poetry. Aside from numerous SF publications, he has performed one of his poems for the inaugural edition of Underpass magazine and has had poetry published by Concrete.

 


 

For Kristiina

 

1
Kristiina, Kristiina,
Hardly is your name spoken
Without regret,
For if only to have met you sooner,
Would have spared
My mortal ribs
From breaking as they hold you now.

2
I, like some old age peasant,
Am made delirious by the sun,
And nursed by her second face,
Will hold the hand of Kristiina,
Forever, in my second place.

3
I burn at the memory of your hand,
Which from first touch,
Measured larger than mine,
And your eyes in bed,
Sprawl, marking my dreams
Like the fly, mercifully crushed
Against my open page.


James can be contacted via his Twitter, @JamesRJMachell.

Hebron by Yael Veitz

Yael Veitz is a New York-based poet and editor of Clio: The Journal of the Brooklyn College Historical Society. Both her historical interests and her poetry reflect a geographically diverse background, an insatiable wanderlust, and, occasionally, her love for her cats.

 


 

Hebron

 

City of earth, of sleeping souls
Holding our shared ancestors as if in a cradle, under the mountain steps.
Do not inter the living.
Do not crush your inhabitants under broken cobblestones, blanketing them with thin,
White dust as they sleep.

You bury. It is your calling. You deaden their hearts, let them cast stones at each other
At the bus stop.
The flimsy fence between them, strewn with garbage, becomes another monument
To the dead.

You are all gravestones. You are cracked walls, broken pavement, warning signs and
Scarlet declarations gashed into centuries-old walls.
I slog up your steps,
Sneak into both halves of your great tomb, and feel the great sleep coming over me.
Eyelids heavy with weeping,
I almost curl up on the carpet at the mothers’ feet.

If the city has ears, they must be here, in the women who carried me.
So I murmur to them.
They incline their heads to me–Sarah, Rivkah–toss their soft braids over my shoulder,
Their ears a great desert expanse,
Their wombs puckered, leathern.

I try to tell them.
I try to tell them about the stones, the swastikas;
About the thick glass between our two halves, and the bullets that put it there;
About the girl who slashed her wrists to ribbons, wound those around her throat.

I try to tell them–Sarah, Rivkah–
Beg them to shake the earth,
To level the trenches,
To forget old jealousies.

But my words come out in squeaks–only one word, many times:
Just please, and please, and please–


Yael can be found via Facebook.

Moody Coconut Girl by Linda M Crate

Linda M Crate is a Pennsylvanian native whose poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She’s authored three chapbooks (A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn, Less Than A Man, and If Tomorrow Never Comes) as well as four fantasy novels (Blood & Magic, Dragons & Magic, Centaurs & Magic, and Corvids & Magic). Her newest novel, Phoenix Tears, is forthcoming.


 

Moody Coconut Girl

 

I forgot that,
Because I’m a woman
With doe eyes,
I’m supposed to be an innocent,
Fragile thing,
Ready to fall open before any man,
Like a flower,
Without talking back
Or answering with a quip
Or fantasizing about breaking
His jaw.
But I’m not the girl society wants me to be.
I’m rough around the edges,
Can be as savage as I’m beautiful.
I don’t really care what you think—
If you don’t like me then you can leave;
There’s no law saying that you must be in my life.
I’m an acquired taste,
Coconut
For the refined palette.
My songs are my own and they are mine,
Because I won’t be a slave
To anyone.


Linda can be contacted via Twitter.