All posts filed under: How Words Play

“Alice and her Stilettoes” and other poems by Lorraine Carey

Alice and her Stilettoes We always walked faster past her little house on the brae. Every so often she’d scuttle out and snare us, clutching a plastic bag with the highest heels, scuffed and peeling, ready for the cobbler’s vice. Her elfin face powdered, her fuchsia mouth pursed, the stain snaked onto her snaggled teeth, crept over her lips. She lay in wait, behind net curtains that twitched. Her ears hitched to the sound of the school bus, stalling, as we stepped off at Charlie Brown’s, stinking of fags. Once John got three pairs of spine benders, for repair, so she had a choice, for Mass on Sunday. Dressing Up I crept the three steps to your room, which smelt of musty aged breath and butterfly panic. Sandwiched between the glass and a chink in the net curtains, a Red Admiral, whose fluttering mirrored my tiptoed approach. I stumbled over slippers to your jewellery box. Fishing out pearls and the ruby ring, that swam off my finger and dropped back home into knotty chains and …

“Alethiometer” and other poems by Eleanor Hooker

Alethiometer for John & Fedelma Tierney   I have one marble only, glass-curled greens and blue. It’s kept inside a golden globe with turquoise studs, I swing it from a chain: my dowsing stone, my truth-seer. Once it knocked against an ancient head, cracked it so its walnut core Leaked sepia images of a being lived inside another time, another age, Before the image replaced the real and the real was more than shadow.   Outside the cave I glassed the play of light and shadow, And when my only marble fell from its golden globe onto a blue Tiled ocean floor, I swam after. The ancient head, wise with age, Told me he had too lost his, recalled the studs Inside the coloured orb, their curled blues, their seedy core His own two eyes: Learian days that left him sightless and a seer.   My ancient friend dismissed the lies of a mummer seer Whose falsest claim is that to love someone is to dispossess him of his shadow, To wipe out every trace …

A celebration of women’s poetry for International Women’s Day 2017

Featured image from “The Infinite Body Of Sensation” by Salma Caller   Salma Ahmad Caller is an artist and a hybrid of cultures and faiths. She is drawn to hybrid and ornamental forms, and to how the body expresses itself in the mind to create an embodied ‘image’. UK based, she was born in Iraq to an Egyptian father and a British mother and grew up in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. With a background in art history and theory, medicine and pharmacology, and several years teaching cross-cultural ways of seeing via non-Western artefacts at Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, she now works as an independent artist and teacher. salma caller artists statement [PDF] “In the Glass Coffin” by Kim Myeong-sun Today, I withstood agony again, Because my life is still lingering, Trapped in scarcely visible sorrow. If my body is trapped Like the life of a dinky, dinky thing, What is with all this sorrow, this pain? Like the bygone prince, Who had loved the forbidden woman, I believed I would live if I danced in the …

“Pomegranate” and other poems by Kim Myeong-sun translated by Sean Jido Ahn

Pomegranate In autumn, even a tree sheds jewels on the street. A deeply buried heart may be fetching like this. Around this time, A bird shall pilot the life of a fragrant tree, Crossing the river with a seed in its beak, Passing the field of silvergrass on a mountain. My shallow roots, Which were swayed by no more than rain and wind, Have you ever borne a piece of ruby hot as blood? Without a jewel to pass on to a bird or a wind, I pass in front of a pomegranate tree. Whether I love or hate, Life merely flows. Toward where is life—an initiation ceremony—leading to? The heart too red to believe in an afterlife, The heart pecked by the bird! A Will Joseon*, when I part from you, Whether you knock me down by a creek Or yank my blood in the field, Abuse me more, even my dead corpse. If this is still not enough, Then abuse her as much as you can When someone like me is born henceforth. …

“Finding Symmetry” and other poems by Jo Burns

Conchita reads Pablo’s letter to God (while he is painting)   Your committee for time-keeping has ruled diphtheria a highly unpunctilious event. By consensus you can’t seem to remember this being planned into any agendas.   You call me precocious but Pablo, honestly it’s you that Mama has always adored, Papa ignores me, I can’t even draw. It’s all planned for you so perfectly.   You’re a stickler for timeliness, and planned these years differently. You have the domestic dates regulated but I heard you, silently   trying prayer on for size, gambling paint for my life. You waver clandestine. Your brushstrokes will sacrifice us all and I will be the first in line.   First published by Helen Ivory at Ink Sweat and Tears for National Poetry Day. http://www.inksweatandtears.co.uk/pages/?p=12146   Mrs Violet Schiff at The Majestic   At this gathering of society horsemen behind Parisian oyster cream gates, Proust is here. He drives me insane. Bloody Joyce is silent and seems irritated.   I’m waiting for you Pablo. Please wear, for me, that faixa …