Archive for June, 2016

Poem to Ivor Gurney by John Greening

June 30, 2016

Australia’s solution to Brexit

June 28, 2016

Stop the Bollocks!

Dear England, Australia here.

We hear you are in a spot of bother with this Brexit thing. The Kiwis tell us you are having a bit of a spat with the Germans and French about immigration, while Scotland is trying to keep Mel Gibson happy with another shot at Braveheart.

You’ve always been there to help us, well, if you ignore Gallipoli and Singapore, so we are here to help you now. We even have a name for our solution. We call it ‘Cobber Together’.

It goes like this. You want to leave the EU and Scotland wants to leave you. If you are not careful you’ll be left on your lonesome with no mates. But because we like you, and Lizzie rules over us both, why not join us as the Seventh State?

We could call the combined entity the Union of Australia, but we understand you don’t like…

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Day 363 – Optography- The Last Image Captured Prompt

June 27, 2016

Co-op Poetry Competitions winners…

June 27, 2016

The Poetry Shed

Grandmother and grandson scoop top prize in co-op poetry competition

United Kingdom
Article by Rebecca Harvey

A grandmother and grandson from Swansea have been announced the winners of Poetry Together, a cross-generational poetry competition run by the Manchester Children’s Book Festival and the Co-operative Group.

Poetry Together invited children and young people to pair up with a parent, grandparent, carer, older sibling or friend, to share their ideas and create brand new poetry. The competition aimed to connect generations creatively, while raising awareness of the work of the British Red Cross, the Co-operative Group’s current charity partner. The announcement of the winner comes in the same week that the Co-op Group and British Red Cross reached the £2m mark in their bid to raise £3.5m to tackle loneliness and social isolation in communities across the UK.

Joshua Huw Smith, who won the 2016 Poetry Together prize with his grandmother

Carole Ann Smith and…

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REVIEW: Translations on Waking in an Italian Cemetary by Michael Keenan

June 26, 2016

THE VOLTA BLOG

61fuedos7jl-_sx331_bo1204203200_by Dong Li

In this spellbinding debut, Michael Keenan dips in the heart blood and paints a swift scroll of fleeting names. Lean and lovingly delicate, like the poet himself, these poems tend to have titles longer than a line, which slowly draw out their short echoing bodies. The line-ends may remind us of the one-eyed Robert Creeley, whose seemingly abrupt enjambment estranges the text as words break apart and breath stumbles.Often,the parting of words and breaking of breath happen in those secrete places or gap gardens whose deep songs no one else hears. As with Creeley, it is the “unseen birds in simple flight” that the poet sees: Lotte’s maple blossoms, Paula’s lime gardens, Anna in the hallway, Ballerina in the elm. The list goes on, indeed a “pine-forest-frenzy, coming/full-on-night.” Taking its…

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time machine

June 25, 2016

Melancholy Hyperbole

when I boarded a Pan Am 707
in Dakar Senegal
forty years ago
leaving Africa for America not knowing
I would never return
I entered a time machine filled with
more people than my village
I found myself among forgotten comforts
air conditioning
fresh water
clean toilets where I could sit
instead of squat

the quiet and scents of my village returned
when I opened the sack lunch friends gave me
knowing I would need it on a flight that began in Nairobi
and ran out of milk and beer and small packages
of peanuts by the time it departed
Lagos for Dakar

I slept uneasily all the way to JFK
twice using the toilet where I struggled
to remember which way to turn the faucets
which was hot and which cold
how to turn them off
how to flush the toilet

a tired stewardess woke me just before landing

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Lifesaving Poems: Ian Duhig’s ‘From the Irish’ and Maura Dooley’s ‘Mansize’

June 24, 2016

Anthony Wilson

Last night saw the launch of Magma 53 at the Troubadour Coffee House in London with guest readers and Lifesaving Poets Ian Duhig and Maura Dooley.

Although they are very different poets, what their Lifesaving Poems have in common is that I heard them before I read them, feeling them on the pulse as it were, before seeing them in black and white.

Ian Duhig’s ‘From the Irish’ is justly well-known, which he has nevertheless named ‘the most unsuccessful love poem of the past fifty years’. I saw him read it on a programme devoted to the art of love poetry on BBC2 in the early 1990’s. Poetry on telly was not common in those days and YouTube clips of poets and their performances did not exist. I taped it, as you did then, onto an actual video tape, and must have watched it a dozen times over…

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A.J. Huffman

June 24, 2016

The Open Mouse

Small Emergencies
 
Underwater, you try
to reach purpose,
realize you do not exist,
break in increments—
a coastline, drowning
to be reborn.  In a mirror
labeled yesterday,
you understand you are not
a fistful of sand & skin.
You lose nothing but your name
& time.  Moving sideways
down a lonely hall, everyone watches
you tick like a clock
before vanishing.  At midnight,
your life boils
down to an abbreviated fiction—
an image of a bridge
& a kiss—
burning in the dark.

Copyright © A.J. Huffman 2016

A.J. Huffman has published twelve full-length poetry collections, thirteen solo poetry chapbooks and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses.  Her most recent releases, Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers.  She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net…

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Wanting

June 23, 2016

Melancholy Hyperbole

Does age give us grace, or do we surrender into it ourselves?
And when we get that grace, is it a blessing
or is it a tool?

Whatever you’re looking for, it won’t come now.
Not in the long-lasting beginning.

I want to not want and maybe someday
when I’ve stopped wanting,
every item I ever wrote 
on my Christmas wish list
will show up on my doorstep.

And you, you’ll come knocking on my door.

Bridget Malley is a poet and writer living in the Pittsburgh area. She has been published in RUNE and Eye Contact, with forthcoming publication in Uppagus.

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Foreign by John William Brown

June 23, 2016

I am not a silent poet

We all are migrants. We are all refugees.
Departure is both a welcome and a goodbye.
It later breaks the heart with memories.
It burdens one with nostalgia for the new;
the new that seems, to never quite arrive.
We hold to passing things as if they’re ours:
this transient space, our place within the queue,
our precious time with all its hurried hours.

We claim our rights, by how long we have been here;
the time that passed since our ancestors arrived:
the blur of memory, reformed, recalled quite clear.
The world may remain borderless, yet we claim we
have been here longer than any other kind;
and though there never was a place called home,
we make up sacred law books to decree
that God, not Might, gave us the right to own.

We kill and maim and then we desecrate
this temple Earth that’s merely here on…

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