All posts filed under: Poetry Journals

“mia council casa es tu council casa” and other poems by Ali Whitelock

i am the sea that january. prestwick beach. the sea heaves. swallows herself down like cough syrup in thick slow gulps. we’d sat on this rock just two days before, both of us with our backs to the world staring out across and into the thickness. i counted a thousand and one seagulls that day watched them huddle together, balance like storks on a single orange leg the other nestled up in the warmth of their soft white bellies as they, with uncharacteristic patience, waited for the rain that would surely fall and when the wind whipped up, andrew jumped from our rock pulled his emerald green kite from his rucksack tore off down the desolate beach his kite ploughing a trench in the sand behind him, eager for the gust that would lift it to where it wanted to be and every few seconds he’d turn around and run backwards untangling cords and calling out across the increasing distance between us, ‘c’mon on ali! c’mon!’ and i heeded his call, jumped from our rock …

“Flaxen Sheaf” and other poems by Laura Scanlon

Flaxen Sheaf Softly winnowing, shifting neat Deftly yielding seed from sheath, Sifting cleft wheat from weed, Sweeping sleeves bereft of seed Wielding fleets of sickle o’er Nimbly threshing flaxen plant, Cloven seams unwoven—spent, Shafts of sheafs—swiftly rent The chaffing teeth, The shearing tooth, The shaven chaff, The grieving root.   The Echo The echo resonates— confirmation you are alone, Borne along with contractions are pitches and tone. Giving breath to life is labour— breath pregnant with sound, –collected in thought, –delivered with care, –spoken aloud. The birth of words weighty, born into new air profound, the echo will perish, the meaning resound.   Sentiment as Sediment Gloomy Tuesday sits thickly like a pot of glue, thick and almost solid, —almost set Old Monday like forgotten honey rests, —Separate, The dregs lay, Heavy at the bottom of the thick glass Tuesday, a blue day.   Flaxen Sheaf and other poems are © Laura Scanlon Laura Scanlon has recently just completed an MA in Gender, Sexuality and Culture at UCD. Her dissertation focused on social media and the …

‘The Scarecrow Christ’ and other poems by Shirley Bell

The Scarecrow Christ The fields are flat and brown, it’s hard to think they’ll ever stand high with corn, flare with rape again this summer. For now the scarecrows lurch at crazy angles. They trail old coats and rags. Polythene bags flap around the suggestions of their shoulders. And yet the wind lifts their shoddy clothes and they are touched with magic; they always seem about to fly. It’s Sunday and I’ve taken you to Chapel. Everything is grey and earnest. There’s no incense here, though a sense of well-meaning sifts gently through the air. I don’t think I belong. It’s Lent and the sermon is all about temptation. I feel I would not pass those tests. Now I see distraction in the corner of my eyes; a painting. When I can, I take a picture on my phone. It shows me strips of cloth, snarled around an empty cross, a tenuous fabric lifting in air currents, tangled with light. Something. Nothing. Faith, elusive as a sigh. A scarecrow pinned to a stick. Leaning forwards, …

‘A Glass of Tea, a View of the Atlas’ by Shadab Zeest Hashmi

Trade An assortment of crooked and straight arrows for the crest of a bulbul or a handful of sesame Uncut turquoise for juices of scorpions and glow worms A dozen poisons for an embroidered collar/ a pinch of saffron/ abalone knob Spotted eggs for knotted shoes Peacock feathers for beet sugar How much fur will buy cloves for my toothache? How many sprigs of mint/ radishes to restring your rabab? The market is spinning between us How much of us has been stolen by the ghosts of aromas? When night comes there is spinach again for the promise of quail Your dream of cake feeds on wild berries You kiss my cold shoulder I comb out the market from your hair A Glass of Tea, a View of the Atlas You give me Fez honey on Fennel cakes in a ceramic saucer because you say, to eat from this bitter clay (glazed and caressed with geometric precision), will draw me into the shapeless sob of the future. You read invasion’s epistle even in the smoothness …

‘Following the River Exe on a Wednesday Afternoon’ and other poems by Kate Garrett

Granny Woman The men leave us be; at times like this they take themselves out to the porch with pipes and tin cups. Everyone trusts the granny woman. She knows best, walks for miles when there’s a baby coming, brings her bag along. The bottles of green-smelling whiskey, fat leaves smooth and big as her hand, rolled into jars, rattle next to mud bases for the poultice. She eases the pains away, welcomes every life into the wild world, soothes swollen breasts so new young ones can feed. Now and then she brews up roots and stems for some silly girl with a problem. I’d say the men on the porch never know much about that. Some must believe they’re lucky. They never say anyhow. They don’t see what we see: the other side of the granny woman, when she doesn’t bring joy, calm and a blessing, when she carries pain in her bag, cramps, red blood, and a flat relief.   *Until the middle of the 20th century, it was typical for rural communities …