I’m not sure what to do about the hole in the sky heat that sears my skin desert dry when
no rain falls to quench the earth’s thirst and we all still want to be first to own the latest
insert-toy-here made by children over there for two cents an hour and our planet cries,
species die, to stroke mascara on eyes filling screens in the hands of beings consumed by their own desire.
Never mind the lands gone barren, famine hollowing out bodies to bones, bellies that bloat.
Never mind fish that now float in oceans of fire Never mind wondering why.
We know, you and I. We know, you and I.
Jayne Martin is the flash fiction editor at The San Franciscan Magazine. Her collection of microfiction, “Tender Cuts,” was published by Vine Leaves Press. Coming in spring of 2022, “The Daddy Chronicles-Memoir of a Fatherless Daughter” from Whiskey Tit Books. She lives in California, but dreams of living in Paris.
with pitch-black fur and a voice that pricks like a pin;
his claws are obsidian, his tongue is dynamite
but most deadly are the dreams he hurls into the night.
They toy with telepathy and send a message shining
to say that he’s made me a bed that I best lie in.
in my mind
of the sun
I can’t quite
she leads me
the red man
and his swarm.
the blue of the cold wet night, no sun to light my way.
The Sound of Simon Armitage’s Shed
When it gets dark outside,
the sound of Simon Armitage’s shed validates me.
I can ignore the bitter of winding of the wind as it howls
down stairs, up trees, through leaves and out again
and sink into the welcoming, well-worn chair of Imtiaz Dharker’s rhyme.
I’m made glad when the muscle memory of my heart
makes a mark against the viscous, sharp resin of the sky,
my fountain pen spidering over its moonlit sheen
from the soft breath of the warm shed on my flowering seeds.
The scent of sweet pomegranate surrounds me.
I come home smelling of glee, my smile a patchwork tapestry.
Guests often come and go through the shed,
the ghosts of those who are blessed to hear what the garden says.
They sense the echoed sound of a hand reaching to pick from the poets’ tree,
the delicate feel of handcrafted paper beneath their feet, evergreen.
There’s poetry in the stars, you know,
and in the stories of the seats in the park
and, most certainly of all, in the poignant moment:
the Passover of stress into relief in the dark of the Poet Laureate’s fief.
Charlie Bowden is a student from Hampshire, England, who discovered a love for writing poetry in lockdown after spending years studying it at school. His poetry has been included in collections by Young Writers, Amnesty International and the Stratford Literary Festival and recently he won the 2021 Forward/emagazine Creative Critics Competition.
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By Frances Huffman
My first word, my mother says.
I pointed at the big, shining bulb in the sky
and met for the first time a new friend.
The Man in the Moon.
was the first book I ever read.
It was my favorite too.
Every night before bed my mother would tell me to rest my head
and say goodnight to the man in the sky.
The moon is so comforting,
a beam of white in the dark of night.
I began to talk to him, The Man in the Moon,
my celestial diary, keeping me awake with his light.
My need for the Man soon ran out,
a total eclipse of my life.
New friends, new people to tell.
I left all of my secrets with them instead.
How lonely he must feel,
without our daily talks.
No one’s secrets to keep.
The loud silence of space, alone, a floating rock.
I hope someone else shares their life with him,
because he is a very good listener,
A wonderful friend when you need one.
The Man In the Moon.
Frances Huffman is a gazebo-loving junior at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School. She enjoys writing poetry and creative nonfiction. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA and loves taking her dog for walks.
Море белое. Мы ничего не видим. Желание не имеет никто. Солнце ходит вниз гора как мяч. Дверь открывается. Входит тень и проходит через комнату перед проходит через стену. Я тебя никогда не знал.
The sea is white. We don’t see anything. There is no desire. The sun is going down the mountain like a ball. The door opens up. A shadow comes in and walks across the room before going through the wall. I never knew you.
Горизонт в коробке. Рисунок карандашом, не похож на тебя. У тебя рука в кармане. Но это чужая рука. Голос за дверью, это твой. Ничего не имеет смысла. Мозг – странный орган.
A Strange Portrait
The horizon is in a box. A pencil drawing, does not look like you. You have a hand in your pocket. But this is someone else’s hand. The voice outside the door is yours. Nothing makes sense. The brain is a strange organ.
Ivan de Monbrison is a poet, writer and artist living in Paris born in 1969. He has studied oriental languages there after high school, not with great success. Ivan has autistic and schizophrenic tendencies that he has been trying to cop with through art, in the past twenty years of his life. His writing and art reflect maybe also the feeling of the decadence of today’s society, centered on its own vacuity and its lack of real purpose. He has been published in literary magazines globally.