This divine breath, by Johann Herder

August 20, 2016

Anthony Wilson


A breath of our mouth
Becomes the portrait of the world,
The type of our thoughts
And our feelings
In the other’s soul.

On a bit of moving air
Depends everything human
That men on earth
Have ever thought, willed, done,
And ever will do;

For we would all still be roaming
In the forests if this divine breath
Had not blown around us,
And did not hover
On our lips like a magic tone.

Johann Herder, quoted by Heidegger, in Calm Things By Shawna Lemay(p. 44)

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Other objects, by Primo Levi

August 18, 2016

Anthony Wilson


Consider what value,
What meaning

Is enclosed even
In the smallest

Of our daily habits,
In the hundred possessions

Which even the poorest
Beggar owns:

A handkerchief,
An old letter,

The photo
Of a cherished person.

These things
Are part of us,

Almost like limbs
Of our body;

Nor is it conceivable
That we can be deprived

Of them in our world,
For we immediately find others

To substitute the old ones,
Other objects

Which are ours
In their personification

And evocation
Of our memories.

Primo Levi, from If This Is a Man

Some found poems

On Noticing

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Two poems by Gill McEvoy

August 9, 2016

And Other Poems

Derek Jarman’s Film “Blue”

His silence now is blue. As if an artist drew
a laden brush of paint from alder buds to reeds
his mind and mouth and tongue are flushed
by blue: the low-slung sky, the feathered seeds,

the brook like navy slate beneath a moon,
the tassels of phalaris plumes fused
with the moody amethyst of alder buds;
blue dancing in the rain-logged field’s flood,

and blue the cold stars whirling in his head.
He knows that in this moment if he speaks
“cyan, cobalt, indigo” will float
like moulted feathers from his throat,

his tongue become the painter’s brush
that coats the world in this deep blue hush.

(previously published in South 47, 2013)

Cat with the Cream

So huge tonight, the moon, so white and tempting:
I will sink a spoon into its bowl of cream,
create a crater no-one’s ever mapped,
then eat it…

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How we spend our days, by Annie Dillard

August 8, 2016

Anthony Wilson


How we spend our days
is, of course,
how we spend our lives.

What we do with this hour,
and that one,
is what we are doing.

A schedule
defends from chaos
and whim.

It is a net
for catching days.
It is a scaffolding

on which a worker
can stand
and labor with both hands

at sections of time.
A schedule is a mock-up
of reason and order –

willed, faked,
and so brought into being;
it is a peace and a haven

set into the wreck of time;
it is a lifeboat
on which you find yourself,

decades later,
still living.
Each day is the same,

so you remember
the series afterward
as a blurred and powerful pattern.

Annie Dillard, from The Writing Life (p.32)

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Lifesaving poems of summer

August 7, 2016

Anthony Wilson


Now that we might finally be getting one, I found myself wondering recently how many of my Lifesaving Poems choices were about the summer. (I should say I’m generally against this kind of reductionist thinking: any good poem is always about more than it is about. But it is my blog and I make the rules. So humour me).

As I ploughed through the choices I have written about so far themes began to emerge. There is driving (Night Drive, A Private Life); eating and drinking outdoors (The Picnic; Jet; K563; Eating Outside); and of course sport (To My Heart at the Close of Day; Nightwatchman; Deep Third Man).

But most of all it struck me how many of the poems are about being alone, even when the speaker is in company (Results; Eating Outside; Aunt Julia; Coming Home; This morning was cold; K563). The more I read these poems…

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August, by Tove Jansson

August 7, 2016

Anthony Wilson


Every year, the bright
Scandinavian summer nights
fade away without anyone


One evening in August
you have an errand outdoors,
and all of a sudden
it’s pitch-black.

A great warm, dark
surrounds the house.
It is still summer,

but summer is no longer
It has come
to a standstill;


withers, and autumn
is not ready to begin.
There are no stars yet,
just darkness.

The can of kerosene
is brought up from the cellar
and left in the hall,
and the lamp is hung up
on its peg by the door.
Day by day,


moves closer
to the house.

Tove Jansson, from The Summer Book, p.166

Some found poems

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John Grey

August 5, 2016

The Open Mouse


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.

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HistoryofLancs Blog 3 : The River Wyre Ports , Skippooll creek and Wardleys – Poulton , Blackpool and the Fylde coast

August 2, 2016


Blog number 3 –  The River Wyre Historic Ports – Wardley’s and Skippool

Ok for blog number 3 I have chosen to cover Skippool  creek and smuggling along the river Wyre. It was suggested by a follower and after a bit of research it looked a great topic to write about. For the purpose of the blog we are including Wardleys , which is on the other side of the Wyre as well as they were linked and share similar sorts of history. There has been a little more interest in the sites recently as they have been a topic which the Blackpool dungeons have covered and indeed its one of their primary exhibitions in the Tower complex.

The location of skippool is in a meander of the river Wyre , near to shard bridge and the modern River Wyre pub. It is very popular with walkers who enjoy the…

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Food Bank by Pat Edwards

August 1, 2016

I am not a silent poet

I make regular deposits

see you right for Fray Bentos pies

served with tinned peas

followed by more tinned stuff

nice hearty meals


You make regular withdrawals

shop the aisles for bargains

served with tinned love

followed by more tinned stuff

nice hearty meals


We make regular savings

cut back on welfare benefits

served with tinned austerity

followed by more tinned stuff

nice hearty deals


We make regular interest

spread the cost of living

served with tinned unction

followed by more tinned stuff

nice heartless deals


I make regular deposits

see you right for Cheapo Meatballs

served with tinned spuds

followed by more tinned stuff

nice heartfelt meals


You make regular withdrawals

swallow plates of pride

served with tinned take it

followed by tinned or leave it

nice heartfelt appeals

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And the Winner is…

July 29, 2016

The Stare's Nest

The fabulous Martin Figura has finished judging the Fledgling Award for the best “first book” by a poet over the age of forty, and we are both delighted to announce that the prize goes to:

Jemma Borg – The Illuminated World.

Jemma BW-14 (2)

Photo: Anne-Sophie Olive

Martin sent generous comments in his Judge’s Report about the ten books he read:

“A couple of years ago, I flippantly posted on Facebook that I was too old for a Gregory, too Young to die. It got a certain mileage, a good old moan about the young taking everything, or the usual suspects winning existing prizes. There was talk of creating a prize for the over fifties publishing a first collection. I got as far as setting up an event, to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of The Who’s My Generation and then failed to organise it. Luckily Judi Sutherland is made of sterner stuff…

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