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News about Beth McDonough’s new poetry publication Firth. It’s an excellent idea, and I’m very delighted to have a poem included in issue 1.
A new poetry magazine has just taken to the water. Firth is the brainchild of Beth McDonough, a wonderful Scottish poet whose poetry goes from strength to strength. I am very privileged to have a poem in the inaugural issue among many. Look at the lovely cover. As it subtitle is Poems for giving’ I have one copy to give away to the first person to Contact Me and bag it.
Jings – I’m officially ‘on the bill’ for April 7th. For a wee spot only, I hasten to add. Still, I’d better work out which poems I’m going to offer!
You have been warned…
(where’s that wobbly nerves emoji…?)
I have a poem in Atrium today…
Are you there, Mum?
She could not fathom why he’d ask
his foolish question at three in the morning,
croaked but clear over no-man’s carpet.
She wanted to sleep, and she had a right,
stroked or not he was a grown man, and
she was the children’s mum, not his.
Yes, I’m here. Then storytold in afterthought,
before he was gone and her stories broken,
What a funny thing – where else would I be?
Odd to find it odd that he should signal,
passing dark but nearest, another navigator
on those uncertain ferries of long late nights.
Steve Smart is a poet and artist living in Scotland. His poems have been published in Poet’s Corner, Fat Damsel, and Ink, Sweat and Tears. Recent work includes ‘interstitial woodland’ poetry in collaboration with visual artist Tansy Lee Moir.
A remarkable assemblage of verse, prose image and visit from ‘Hill to Sea’ !
We could eat this sky.
Stretch up, scoop out
handfuls; smear our faces
and taste the fanfare
Out of red earth
lines of olive trees, vines
and quarried stone.
Centuries of building,
the land, goats
Another cyprus tree – rooted
in tangled narratives
and shadow play.
No neatly packaged hay bales in the uncanny rural. Creatures of twilight, sit hunched in the corner of smallholdings, backs turned. In fading light, walking past these halo-skewered field dwellers: was that a lengthening shadow? a sigh? a suggestion of movement?
They would appear in the adjoining field at around 7.00pm each evening. A symphony of bells heralding their arrival. We never did see where they came from. They would feast in the field for around half an hour, a clanking cacophony of movement. Occasionally, one would come over to eye us up, usually the smallest with the highest pitched bell. Curious young eyes…
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A fine poem by John Grey…
WATCHING THE MONARCHS
On a meadow at wood’s edge,
June floats in on black and orange wings,
completes Spring’s promise,
fuels Summer’s largesse.
My eyes have their wish –
the monarchs have arrived.
Such a will to live.
Scraps of creature
cheating the wrecking ball of weather
from far down south
all the way to my doorstep.
What is sadness compared to this?
Deft as a ballerina’s toes
or a deaf man’s fingers,
they find, in air, a secret language,
writ from buttonbush to aster.
Beyond prevailing platitudes,
delicate purpose becomes beauty.
Instinct rivals even love.
Copyright © John Grey 2016
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.
A marvellous poem, and a valuable post.
This year we have two gorgeous
yellow warblers nesting in the honeysuckle bush.
The other day I stuck my head in the bush.
The nestlings weigh one-twentieth of an ounce,
about the size of a honeybee. We stared at
each other, startled by our existence.
In a month or so, when they reach the size
of bumblebees they’ll fly to Costa Rica without a map.
“Warbler” by Jim Harrison from Dead Man’s Float. © Copper Canyon Press, 2016.
* With a wave to kind reader Usha who, during the Spring, offered this as one of her favorite poems, shortly after Jim Harrison passed away (March 26, 2016).
Usha’s suggestion led me to learn more about Harrison. Reading more, I learned that Linda King Harrison, his wife of 55 years, had passed away less than six months earlier (October 2, 2015) and that Mr. Harrison had “died a poet’s death…
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