It is not what you think it is.
Not a half-formed, fleeting, unfurling bird of thought crossing
the white page of a brain.
Dips its feet in this ink and drowns.
And September’s stained for me now, every year
as a thirty day dull hole, once brightly peppered by
Surprise Slush Puppies that burnt my teeth:
Gentle bites on the ear. This half-hearted November sun
Knows. Scribbles over everything.
Manic waves and rogue electrons
Erupt from a throbbing brain
Scattering their igneous thoughts
Then fall like acid rain.
Swimming briskly through the cortex
These neurons are on speed
Watch them collide into the vortex
Forgotten, never freed.
By James Reeve
In August, the hunt is fought on beds of leaves. I prayed of you a silver fox.
When we first met under lined clouds – I thought (of you) a silver fox.
Reading Flowers in the dark – who, now, was the retard who ate the hoax?
Na Na Nee Na Na, and all I got of you: a silver fox.
Cancel Christmas! Up go swastikas; down with American stock.
There go the Germans, taking the port again; I got of you a silver fox.
Music was scarce that year. Here, the boys played dead ringer.
Buy the record. In the old acid houses, I caught of you a silver fox.
A crybaby cried by the crying river; and a salesman in November red.
“Who wants spare parts?” “But I thought naught of you a silver fox.”
Who came first, chicken or egg? I begged for an egg and you spat chicken.
You might as well hide in the Chamber of Guf. I taught of you a silver fox.
In the winter courts became poppy fields. Divorcees engaged in maskirovka.
Even then, through the eye of a gun, I wrought of you a silver fox.
Now, how much to commune with the wounded dead? Skins, furs, flesh, hearts –
For offering, I brought of you a silver fox.
Call me Yahweh: seven-eyed photographer, with bolt-action camera.
Once upon a time in an august month, I shot of you a silver fox.
Christmas in March
Papa Christmas at our door.
His key missed the lock,
he tumbled in
and we scurried in his wake.
Santa Clause brought us presents.
And a snowstorm brewed in his smiley eyes.
Smelt of old vinegar and his
Gathered us on his knees, which shook.
His beard was not white, scratched our skin.
Mother Clause woke, heard a riot,
down the stairs
and blew her top off.
The door slammed and we fell
into stacks of gifts.
Father ex-mas slumped.
We tore at presents;
coloured packets of Santa’s sticks and shiny bottles
concealed, cleverly, in soggy Tesco bags.
We only saw him in the holidays after that.
Well, that’s Christmas in March for you.
By Caitlin Stanway-Williams
How Saint Lawrence Healed a Sick Widow
W: “ Let me sit here by your feet.
I will wait in silence
for your judgement.”
SL: “Woman, rise up.
Drag your body from the dust
and let me touch you.”
W: “I feel my bones
will melt under your fingertips.
Let me pray for you,
my hands are dyed with dirt.”
SL: “Lady, I will praise you.
You are the church’s riches.
Impart to me your wealth
for blessed are the meek.”
And sure enough she rose up,
her skin gleaming, free of dust.
By Georgie Tindale