Tag Archives: Narrative poetry

Hello August

By Sarah Robin

Hello August, 
My most productive month of the year
With lots of harvest and preserving to do.

The aroma of vinegar in the kitchen 
Signifies the start of pickling season
When gherkins are stuffed into jars

Then covered in ladel-fulls
Of homemade vinegar and infused
With fresh homegrown herbs and spices.

Weekly harvests of sun-kissed tomatoes
Need turning into sauces and salsa 
Before bottling up.

A summery palette of annual sunflowers 
And sweetpeas fill the plot with colour. 
Perennial flowers keep pollinators busy.

With such good harvests this month,
I know I’ll be grateful in the depths
Of winter when I can provide 

Splashes of summer from the packed 
Store cupboards and freezers,
Creating a sense of warmth and gratitude.


Sarah Robin is a new writer from Bolton, England, starting her writing journey during the coronavirus pandemic. Robin has had several pieces of work published in anthologies and online literary magazines, as well as being a competition winner for both short fiction and poetry. She is also a prose reader for Sepia Journal. Find her on Twitter.

Glass Wall

By Sarah Robin

A naked figure sits hunched over on the floor,
Their arms wrapped around their body.
Surrounded by a wall of thick glass;
Closed off from everyone and everything
But visible to all.

Muffled voices and banging fists
Attack the barrier, desperate to help
But unable to break through;
Unable to touch them or hold them close,
Or provide comfort and love.

Soft, calming voices of reason
Bounce off the glass, instantly rejected.
Ideas of solutions break down,
Unable to withstand the backlash,
Crumbling onto the floor.

The wall stands strong, unharmed,
No scratches, no cracks; unbreakable.
Those on the outside watch on helplessly
And the figure continues to suffer alone;
Willingly.

Outsiders sit by the glass
Unable to help but they stay.
Always there in good faith
That one day the figure may accept help
And take the wall away.


Sarah Robin is a new writer from Bolton, England, starting her writing journey during the coronavirus pandemic. Robin has had several pieces of work published in anthologies and online literary magazines, as well as being a competition winner for both short fiction and poetry. She is also a prose reader for Sepia Journal. Find her on Twitter.

October

By Sarah Robin

The crunch of leaves underfoot, 
Dew-damp grass in glowing light, 
A tang of woodsmoke and ripening compost
Tell us that the seasons have shifted.

This step into October 
Is every gardeners’ new year
As the natural cycle propels us forward.
Now is the time to turn dreams into reality.

The seasonal shift and dropping 
Temperatures herald a change of pace,
But our gardens remain hives of activity,
Though often underground and out of sight

As plants reset for the year ahead
And wildlife seeks out spaces for hibernation.
It’s a great excuse to get outside
And tune into the season unfurling before us.


Sarah Robin is a new writer from Bolton, England, starting her writing journey during the coronavirus pandemic. Robin has had several pieces of work published in anthologies and online literary magazines, as well as being a competition winner for both short fiction and poetry. She is also a prose reader for Sepia Journal. Find her on Twitter.

don’t eat the roses

By Jane Ayres

a curl of cloud
a curd
a turd

potency
(im) potency
this shadow pain

the start of the loop
the right truth?
the wrong truth?

don’t eat the roses
or lick the ice 
on the windscreen

a surge of neon peach
severing the vocal chords
your voice wraps me in silence


Jane Ayres is a UK-based neurodivergent writer who completed a Creative Writing MA at the University of Kent in 2019, aged 57. She is fascinated by hybrid poetry/prose experimental forms. She has work in Dissonance, Ink Drinkers Poetry, Lighthouse, Streetcake, The North, The Poetry Village, Door is a Jar, Kissing Dynamite and The Forge.

TEA

By Mary Everitt

Pale yellow jasmine
Cracked white porcelain pot
With an oily dark stain around the rubber covered spout
Om, my elderly landlord offers his wordless morning welcome.
Endless cups of weak, bitter, floral water.
Orange, sweet, earthy and sour
Iced with sugar and lime
Sucked down with morning noodles
Assam, steeped dark with half and half
Forgotten in corners, on books, tabletops
Reheated endlessly
Housemate who taught me through his reverent waiting
For the first morning cup
Where matcha ceremony held beloved memory
Of a distant childhood, years and oceans away.
Chasen and bowl adorning the designated counter
Ritual, pleasure, hospitality
connecting past and present

an apartment
full of mismatched love-attached mugs
individual tea bags
in this individualist land
of single servings

hands spoon convex warmth
steam curls over closed eyelids
lulling the senses into quiet attention
soothing the spirit into expectant adoration
stirring the mind into thoughts that swirl into mist and focus on
pictures, questions, places
why is this the first question across language and culture?
often just a wordless pour.
Why is this the instinctual comfort?
In waiting
In between
As a stranger
In beginning
As the night grows late
Maybe
Its what you can control
Its love
Its hospitality
Its medicine
Its tradition
Its tea.


Mary Everitt writes from the intersections of what she feels, believes, and sees. She writes about beauty and brokenness, the insides and the outsides of the spaces she exists in. Find her on Instagram or on her website.

TRANSITIONS

By Mary Everitt

seasons don’t change all at once
but you can feel the start of them.
the distinct shift in the air.
the leaves against your window dappled with color
vibrant, painted
others spotted so slightly they look diseased.
we obsess over the romance of autumn –
it is ever so
ambient, cozy.

but do we speak of the beauty of decay?
that last leaf 
clinging, quivering
on the tallest branch where the wind is strongest
its edges curled
its color rusty like a forgotten truck with sunken wheels.
it’s easy to distinguish up there
against this crisp October sky.
at some unknown moment, it will drop
floating, soundless
to get tangled in the bushes below
or merge with the rest of its former companions
brown, undistinguishable
mulching the earth for frosts to come.

my guess is tomorrow
that branch will be bare,
a finger reaching up into the clouds beckoning rain.
that leaf was the first of many signs
that what absorbs light and nourishes life
may change, must change
to continue the cycle
to let the roots go deep
to weather the snow and the sleet
with the promise of spring’s new life.
dogwood blossoms that crown the clouds in perfume
and shade the growing grasses of spring.
for now. little leaf, that fluttered
high, free
i see you. 
thank you. 
goodnight.


Mary Everitt writes from the intersections of what she feels, believes, and sees. She writes about beauty and brokenness, the insides and the outsides of the spaces she exists in. Find her on Instagram or on her website.

PRECIPITATING REST

By Mary Everitt

The nighttime jazz of rainfall beats
against the window.
Scoring another shift
into waiting rest.
Stiff-necked movements
Candle lighting
Bent knees evoke prayer
Rituals.

Asking God to 
Take over
Stay over
Sing over
My dreams.

Bodies shift into 
New ways of being
Weariness reaches through my skin
To pull soft fleece closer
Containing, soothing, holding—
The work of love in this world
Acknowledging my fragility
Within and without

Face tilts up to a blessing
Of love that listens and holds
Beyond the shadows growing
Whatever lies around the bend
Waiting, fighting, laboring
With the demons
Within and without

The rain drums on with
fingertips, a lullaby
Too cold to wash in,
Too soft to drown my thoughts
Punctuating murmurs
of tomorrows to come.


Mary Everitt writes from the intersections of what she feels, believes, and sees. She writes about beauty and brokenness, the insides and the outsides of the spaces she exists in. Find her on Instagram or on her website.

The Constant Salesman

By Matthew A O’Shea

Enough.

Enough of the repeated vibrations of a cell phone,
of the lack of vibrations from a cell phone,
of empty inboxes in empty homes,
of full inboxes in empty homes,
of unexpected bills, pouring through doors,
of the unexpected running out of pills,
of the ticking of digital clocks,
Enough of the endless knocking.

Mock the salesman.
Ignore the scratches, find safety in static.
In the low hum of background noise.
In laugh tracks, in old hacks, in new quacks,
in the constant clacks of keys.
Find the mechanical, find routine, find ease.
Fill the chap, fill the chap, fill the chap.
Drown out the chapping.

I click my pen to the tick,
tock, of the clock
and hope the spring
survives.


Matthew A O’Shea is currently having his existential crisis in Scotland. He studies Philosophy and Theology at Glasgow University, which he believes isn’t helping. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.

DNC CROCODILE DUNDEE

By Matthew A O’Shea

My friend felt so sorry for alligators
that she wanted to die. Suicide — 
death by croc. And she tore into me 
about not wanting to come along. 

She said that I had benefited just as 
much as Lincoln and Irwin and the other
privileged few. I said I would attend but
not participate. Gonzo martyrdom.

She leapt up onto the pulpit besides
the enclosure, with a bat that’s never 
seen a ball and a cigarette holder 
that’s all no-smoke and mirrors. 
exclaiming Pluto’s not a planet anymore.


Matthew A O’Shea is currently having his existential crisis in Scotland. He studies Philosophy and Theology at Glasgow University, which he believes isn’t helping. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.

Late Night Early Morning Broadcast

By Douglas Cole

Coming to you live from burnout station. 
You’d think it was the Bikini Islands 
looking out this double pane bunker glass, 
desert, blown down homes and skeletons 
frozen mowing their lawns forever.

No news is good news, and you fly 
with angel dust and death ash 
on your wings. Come here. 
I want to look down 
the tunnel of your eye 
into the universe beginning.

One bone here, one bone there. 
I left a delivery note hanging 
on the atomic string, 
a stone at your door 
as if it were an accident, 
no hidden key, 
but a map to the spring.

Microdot secret handshake 
in and in and in 
like the incredible shrinking man 
standing on the head of a pin, 
riding an arrowhead of light 
to the cradle of your brain 
with an awesome record collection 
and late night patter like a gentle rain.

Oh, and I almost forgot: night-cable 
winter-black forest-deep tree limbs, 
timpani and cymbal brush in the wind, 
mystery voice in your head on entering 
the solar drive-through. No need to knock 
when you get here, just come on in.


Douglas Cole has published six collections of poetry, a novella called Ghost, and the highly praised, well-reviewed novel The White Field. His work has appeared in several anthologies and journals such as The Chicago Quarterly Review, Poetry International, The Galway Review, Bitter Oleander, Chiron, Louisiana Literature, Slipstream, and Spanish translations of work (translated by Maria Del Castillo Sucerquia) in La Cabra Montes. He is a regular contributor to Mythaixs, an online journal, where in addition to his fiction and essays, his interviews with notable writers, artists and musicians such as Daniel Wallace (Big Fish), Darcy Steinke (Suicide Blond, Flash Count Diary) and Tim Reynolds (T3 and The Dave Matthews Band) have been popular contributions. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and Best of the Net and received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry. He lives and teaches in Seattle, Washington. Read more of his work on his website.