A Tale of Rosemary, by Aladdin Bouhamla

 

By the bloody gardens of the strawberry,
Where the red sun meets the sea;
Children were playing happily and merry,
When a voice yelled “comrades come here and see”

It was the voice of the beautiful Rosemary,
Calling her friends under the ancient Oak tree ;
“A strange man with a face so scary
Is holding a blade dripping with blood”, said she

“I’ve seen his soul dead as the cemetery;
His demons are whispering, whispering to me.
In his hand, holding the cold carcass of an eyeless canary,
And in the other a bloody knife scented with the blood of girl of three.”

In fear gazed the children, clueless and unwary ,
As the man marched forward to the hive of the golden bee.
“pray with me Children”, said the beautiful maiden Rosemary,
But prayers will do the man no good if you ask me.

The Angels abandoned the forest, and so did the tipsy fairy,
Yet what to expect from man, after going on a killing spree,
screams of his victims glow with radiant light of the extraordinary;
And the man then started murmuring while he sat on his knee.

With a shovel, himself, started to bury
“if he is no longer a man, but then what is he? ”,
Said the children to the beautiful Rosemary
“he lost what he was, and what he will never again be”

And here the writer finished his work of literary,
Yet the reader may notice that the man looks like you and me;
For my story is not out of the ordinary,
But of the madness of this world, for we are no different then he.

Because . . . By Livia Gimenes

 

I’m pretty terrible at sports.
I did try that thing called volleyball and football and basketball and handball
I’m not good with anything that involves balls
Is it either sports with balls or having actual balls to do stuff
Because even if we are only taking about sports
I have never had the balls to do any other sport
Because well I hate sports
I have never had the balls to go and learn more physics
Because well I hate physics
I have never had the balls to dance in front of my whole class
Because well I hate my class and dancing in public
I have never had the balls to go and ask that boy out
Because well I hate not knowing
I have never had the balls to get some better friends
Because well I hate being short of things I know no matter how bad they are
I have never had the balls to go to a party
Because well I hate the perspective of maybe being alone
I have never had the balls to call out things that I knew were wrong

I mean I missed the great opportunity of being
a physicist and a runner who could dance in public
and go out with the boy she was into
and have some friends who went to parties
and could call things out when they were wrong
Well just look at all the things could have been
Look that simple hate just makes it not exist

Livia Gimenes is a high school student from Brazil, who just loves writing poetry and makes some grammar mistakes. She also has a weird British accent and hates acai, (she says she’s sorry for being a bad Brazilian).She also hopes that you enjoy her poetry!

Two Poems from Joe Williams

 

Training
Day

I have emphasised
the importance
of using
appropriate language
in maintaining a
professional veneer.

I have stressed
the significance
of the
client-supplier relationship
in ensuring
customer satisfaction.

I am pointing at
the projected screen
to introduce my
next theme,
when the fire
alarm erupts into life.

I shout, ‘Fucking
hell!’

Harrogate

In most towns the
station pub’s the worst one that there is.
In Harrogate it
proudly boasts its title.
Pub of the Year
2015.
Bloody
show-offs.

Joe Williams is a writer and performing poet from Leeds. In 2017 his debut pamphlet, ‘Killing the Piano’, was published by Half Moon Books, and he won the prestigious Open Mic Competition at the Ilkley Literature Festival.

You weren’t supposed to laugh, by Paul Vaughan

 

I’ll surprise you tonight.

Eyes hungry, lips licked,
fox to her chicken, dog to her bones.

I’ll hide in the wardrobe.
Get yourself sexy,
say when you’re ready.

She sighs on the inside.
Oven-ready, she thinks.
Rolls on the stockings.
Four weeks of dating
now feeling too long.

You can come out now.
Ready or not.

He flings the doors open,
struts out with a grin.
In a Paddington costume,
with a sign round his neck.

Please fuck this bear.

Duffel coat. Jaunty red hat.
Hand on his member,
jutting out like a rod.

Paul Vaughan lives in Yorkshire. His work has been (or shortly will be) featured in Agenda, Acumen, Prole, Frogmore Papers, Poetry Salzburg, Obsessed with Pipework and Ink, Sweat & Tears, among others.

Pleasure, by Hilary Willmott

 

Like finest Belgian truffles she rolls them around her lips,
delicacies to be savoured, rotund parcels of delight.
She lets her tongue caress their secrets, teasing herself,
tracing them with her lips, backwards and forwards.
She knows it’s wrong, there will be reprisals.
But it’s too late to stop – her need is overwhelming
and as she flicks her tongue, one pouch disappears
into her salivating mouth. Oblivious to the pained cries
for her to stop, she swallows. One satisfied canine.
One less piece of horse shit on the towpath.

Hilary has been writing since her schooldays many decades ago. She sees poetry as a companion who is much braver than she, taking her to places she wouldn’t dare venture on her own. She has been published by Templar Press, Spilling Cocoa over Martin Amis, Flarestack, Leaf and Velvet. She has also been shortlisted for national competitions. She lives by the river in the south west of England.

Chiffon, by Alice Carter

 

Daffodil seeds thrived too early in the cold.
Her parents were dead, they said
But still she waited in silence of the dead.
She waited in red.

Daffodil seeds thrived too early in the cold.
They told her that she was wrong.
That something about her was wrong.
But she didn’t see that the little girl had gone.
And it was then that it was done.

Her red coat was made of chiffon.
The flames were red
And dead well before they were gone.

A girl in red and a girl dead.
The reed had seen the yellow,
Making them dead in sorrow and dread.

She was the one in the wrong.
The other girl who said.
She was the one who had gone.
The winter was dead and gone.
Gone with the little girl singing her song.

The daffodils were dead,
The timing was wrong.
It was her, the girl in chiffon;
That had done something wrong.

When the servers sounded the song,
She realised that she was wrong.
She had been too headstrong.
Burned and red,
Before it was dead and gone.

The other girl who sang her folksong,
She was the one in the wrong.
But it was her they said,
Her the girl in chiffon red,
Who was the one in the wrong.

The girl in chiffon was not wrong,
They had told her to do it or be gone.
The folksong girl had told her to do it,
But she was in the wrong.
And now her time would be long.
Spending it with others of wrong,
Others who had their own,
Their own folksong song.

Daffodil seeds thrived too early in the cold.
They told her that everything had gone.
And if she was in here for long,
Her folksong girl would too be gone,
And the daffodils seeds would too be gone.

I am a 22-year-old aspiring writer from London. I am currently working on my first children’s book, adult novel and original musical.

This poem is about a girl with a mental schizophrenic disability who on acting on the voices in her head accidently set fire to her home. She escapes but her parents do not.
It is about her journey will mental illness. Discovering that she has it, accepting it, and then dealing with it.

Three Blind Mice, by Diana Devlin

 

A toad once said to three blind mice,
would you like to come to supper?
Thank you, toad, that would be nice
but can we bring our brother?
You’ve got a brother? said the toad
but that’s not in the rhyme!
He’s there to guide us down the road,
he’s with us all the time!
Very well, the toad replied,
you can bring your brother with you;
the more the merrier, he sighed,
it’s really not an issue.
And so they dined by candlelight,
the five of them together;
it was a truly lovely sight,
and they all enjoyed their blether*.
We’re lucky you’re so kind to us,
the mice said to their host.
Why, thank you said the slimy toad
but I’m not one to boast.
The night’s still young so come with me,
he said in tones triumphant.
I’ve got a cure to make you see
and platters full of cheese abundant!
The mice could not believe their ears
and went into his study
but the fourth mouse, he was full of fears
because the carpet was all bloody.
Once in, the mice could not escape,
the toad had locked the study door.
He tied their brother up with tape
then nailed him to the floor.
I’ve got your treat, he grinned at last,
you won’t have long to wait.
The fourth mouse squeaked, “Get out and fast!”
but alas it was too late.
The toad cried, You are now my dinner!
It’s you I’ve wanted all along.
You’re number’s up and I’m the winner.
Don’t you hear the dinner gong?
The three blind mice stood terrified
as toad picked up a paperweight,
his evil features magnified
in the blood red fire light.
He brought the object crashing down
upon the mouse’s little head.
The crack resounded right through town
and the seeing mouse lay dead.
You horrid toad! the mice all cried,
your evil plan will fail!
You can run but you can’t hide,
you’ll go to prison without bail!

Now in a children’s rhyming story
the toad would be undone.
But life is sadly much more gory
(some say that that’s more fun).
And so the three mice died that night
and the toad enjoyed his feast.
The moon shone brightly on the sight
of a toad and four mice, deceased.

*blether is a Scots word meaning chat

Diana Devlin is a 54 year old ex-teacher/translator/lexicographer from Fife in Scotland. She has always loved reading and writing poetry and has had a little work published online and in print. She enjoys life in Dumbarton with her husband, daughters, Jack Russell and two bossy cats.

Social Anxiety, by Judith Wilson

 

I’ve never liked cats and I don’t drink pink gin,
No wonder I find it so hard to fit in.
I watched Bake Off once, but wasn’t impressed
There were little blue birds in a puff pastry nest.

G.O.T stands for something, I’m never sure what
No spoilers for me if you tell me the plot.
And colouring-in books aren’t close to my heart
I’d rather create my own piece of art.

Rolling round drunk was part of my youth,
When drinking too much was some kind of proof
I was just like the others who drank in the pub,
Now bed by ten thirty with a chocolate filled mug.

I can’t find the time to bombard social media
With photos of me in my own cyclopedia.
I think I might know what is happening here,
I’ve finally grown up in my sixtieth year.

Or maybe it’s just, I like reading a book,
Or watching a film and taking a look
At art in a gallery, or museum that’s free,
As long as I’m home well in time for my tea.

And where will I post all these words from my heart?
On Facebook of course and that’s just the start,
Instagram and Twitter and maybe LinkedIn,
And hand me a glass, I could do with a gin.

Judith Wilson used to be an IT consultant, but is now a writer of blackly humorous psychological thrillers and poetry. Find out more at judithwilsonauthor.com or @judithwilson99

Meeting a working-class Zero, by Sudeep Adhikari

 

I once met a ghost
with mouth on the middle of its chest
dripping blood, and shooting bubbles
of fire that kept growing in size,
till they circumscribed
me inside their radiant sphere.

Transfixed with fear, i screamed
like a sacrificial lamb
and asked, “why don’t you creepy
things leave us alone”?

The ghost took its head on its hand
and while spinning it like
a professional soccer player,
on the only finger it had

It calmly replied
“homie, i am just trying to make a dying.
I have some voids to feed.”

Sudeep Adhikari is a structural engineer/Lecturer from Kathmandu, Nepal. His recent publications were with Beatnik Cowboys, Zombie Logic Review, The Bees Are Dead, Silver Birch Press and Eunoia Review. His poetry volume, “The Art of Changing Nothing to Punk Gigs” was released by Alien Buddha Press in July, 2017.

The Land of Cheese, by Sarah Henry

 

Hit me again
with a log
of Vermont
cheddar,
paired with
seeded crackers.

Let me decide
on the best
French brie.
A round baked
over scalloped
potatoes
is a possibility.

Roll me a wheel
of Spain’s manchego
in the underpass
of the supermarket.

Lend me a wedge
of Dutch gouda
to make a doorstop.

Feed me a Greek
omelet every day
and keep feta
on hand for security.

Give me a slice
of American
to deposit
in my stomach’s
food bank.

Find me a land
where cheese
is a food group
and the staff of life.

Sarah Henry used to work at the busy switchboard of a major American newspaper. Now she writes poetry and lives in a cave.