*

This issue of London Grip features new poems by:

*Richard Loranger *Stephen Bone *Phil Kirby *Wendy French *Danielle Hope *Harvey O’Leary
*Bruce Christianson *Elizabeth Smither *Jayne Stanton *Matthew Gavin Frank *Ann Douglas
*Martin Malone *Emily Strauss *Allison McVety *Ann Vaughan-Williams *Richie McCaffery

Copyright of all poems remains with the contributors

A printer-friendly version of London Grip New Poetry can be obtained at LG New Poetry summer 2014

Laundry_starch

Please send submissions for the future issues to poetry@londongrip.co.uk, enclosing no more than three poems and including a brief, 2-3 line, biography

Editor’s Introduction

This issue of London Grip New Poetry was edited and composed in the midst of extensive refurbishment of the magazine offices.  The accompanying noise, mess and disruption may account for the relative brevity of this introduction and may also explain why we have chosen a cover picture and opening poem which both bring a welcome reminder of cleanliness and neatness.

As is often the case, we have enjoyed the way that London Grip contributors manage to submit poems which touch, independently, on similar unexpected themes. It may not be very surprising that there are several mentions of dawn; but there are also multiple references to botany, gravitation, cosmology and the notion of a fulcrum. We are also pleased to note that this edition includes an unusually large proportion of contributions from the United States – a nation which has hitherto been relatively under-represented in our pages.

We trust that our readers will find what follows to be crisp, fresh and sparkling.

Michael Bartholomew-Biggs

http://mikeb-b.blogspot.com/

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Richard Loranger: Laundry

I had forgotten the pleasures of laundry and now I am
refinding them.  Such a sensuous stretch of the day,
hour-long breath – thirty minutes inhaling,
thirty leisurely out – luxurious veldt of time
teasing an open line of potencies,
but even more, even more essential lime
eye seraph canticle, I watch the tumble,
hear the daring spin, watch the ardent tumble,laundry-day
the methodical, the caption, the result,
the blur, the intermingling of all my lives,
hear the universal whir, the whir, sphere-whir,
Dante be damned, permeate please with me,
parse the private day, leave caterwaul behind and
seethe, please, ride the whir, tumble into nautical 
and sigh eyes to method, to ardent, to canticle, 
to permeate, to ware.  I had forgotten the sheer
pleasures of laundry and now I am resheening them.
The cycle releases, the cycle begins, how man is that, 
how human, how mammal, how animal, how is.  Breathe
the furtive turn, breathe and spin into a newborn
whim sanction child tumbling time into
the perfect play, the possible, ratcheting 
the undine box of mind and fray,
opening the cloth of all our lives to the
soft seams of reeve, and catenating day to day
a ring of woven dreams that bear us bright
and shaking to the damp heart of clean.

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***

Richard Loranger: Venetian Blinds

I set my blinds so that I may sit by the window and enjoy 
without the sun blinding me – the perfect angle to see 
the street and trees and sky replete and in activity.  The air is fresh 
today, cleaned by rain with a hint of early bloom – I love 
that freakin air, and hoist the window up to let the strong cool breeze 
punch it through the room.  The blinds are pulled to bottom and 
they clatter-clack with every punch, I leave them just to hear 
that sound, sharp staccato of apartment gulping air.  Clack c-clack.  
Now I look and now I see the absolutely mundane day, I wallow 
in it – neighbor’s dog frisking in the sun, Rosalyn the bottle lady 
pulling treasures from the trash, the Eritrean man playing with his kids, 
the three old redwoods hanging out, towering in the morning air, 
and most of all the sky, sheer sky, clear and blue and full of wind. 
Clat-att-ack.  Ironic that we call them blinds when really they 
allow us unshorn seeing – and yeah I know how purposefully
they shut the world goodbye, do it every night – cl-clack – 
and sure I know Ginsberg’s furious blind windows, know them well,
what a pained species we can be, how many cannot bear to see, 
to live, who wither in the murk – or am I just being a jerk 
condescending deluded, are we really solitary tribal exclusive
insular too connected or just need room to breathe clack clack clack.  
What a fine breeze it is, and how right it feels to let it in, let it pour, 
let these thoughts pour.  Clatta-tatt.  So I use impediments to filter 
the impediments, to block the overbright, seeing between sight, 
freed between the blinds to watch that dog cavort, eat grass, chase tail – 
clearly chase tail.  I’m letting in the tail chasing, the grass eating, 
letting in the rapturous world, the fresh, the drink of water, 
new blooms, delicate bird chatter, paramecia, the comical, 
the subatomic, the intrinsic, the hip hop, the life-giving, 
the Venetians, for god’s sake, the purple vine, cool shadows, 
mudpuppies, cantilevers, bougainvillea, freshly cut grass, 
salt crystals, train whistles, neurons, gull cries, lemon rinds, 
lovers alive in the day, foghorns lingering, dovetails, 
darting flies, sparrow eyes, frying onions, space dust, 
the winds of Findhorn, ectoplasm, moonlight from the next
day’s dawn, and, yeah, all the clacking clatter of the mad world, 
that too, I drink deep, and it becomes me, and I it all.  Clack.  
I may yank them open wide, those blinds and all the rest, 
flood every pore, or I may slam them shut and curl here 
breathing – but whichever I decide, whichever I need, I’m not 
blinding/unblinding, not filtering out but filtering in, 
I am drinking, as a living thing I am.  What a breeze.

.

Richard Loranger is a writer, performer, visual artist, and all around squeaky wheel, currently residing in Oakland, California. He is the author of Poems for Teeth, as well as The Orange Book and nine chapbooks, including Hello Poems and the recent 6 Questions (Exot Books). You can find more about his work and scandals at www.richardloranger.com

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***

Stephen Bone: Private View

From their frayed album
a stray negative
falls out

I pick it off
the carpet

and like an x-ray
to be examined
hold it to the light

instantly
a smoky flashback
appears

her gown
and lilies
blackened

as if by the rage
of his white heat

a dark dead sky
above the spire

a fall
of charred stars
and horseshoes
at their feet

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Stephen Bone: Dawn Chorus

Shake off the night's dark
scenarios    tear

yesterday from the wall
tilt your mind

towards the newly minted sun
risen like a giant florin

to the blackbird's coloratura
dew damp grass

the bakers across the street
at work for hours

with their fired ovens
floury rituals old as Genesis
recharge

yourself with strong coffee
then open your door and board

the up and running day
ready
to take you anywhere

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Stephen Bone‘s most recent work has appeared in journals Snakeskin, Shot Glass and The Interpreter’s House.

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Phil Kirby: Aubade

Waking in the dark – again –
the same old pre-dawn chill on neck
and arms; a car outside, then nothing
but the clock’s familiar tick,
the rhythm of his lover’s shallow breath –
he knows he’s moved into a dreamless time
but does not wait, as others have,
for light to steal around the curtain’s edge.
 
Instead he wills the day to open up,
refuses to allow what’s gone to stack
like unread books on high neglected shelves,
and thinks that this might be the day –
if only he could see beyond these walls
to some place where the sun is out.

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Phil Kirby: Artless

The sun has nearly rubbed a hole
in this grey canvas, rough-daubed
with strokes of darker cloud.
 
Two rooks, now four, have dripped
onto the scribble of a winter tree
and the day proceeds like this:
 
a snapshot here; a mental note;
some sketch of what a moment
has been like, winter unfolding
 
dull and slow, each stiff leaf
turning in the artless hands of one
who’s grown too colour-blind
 
to find some bright relief
in all this unmarked time,
in any of these un-drawn days.

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Phil Kirby worked in the family carpentry business before becoming an English teacher. He has won a Regional Arts Board bursary, ran Waldean Press between 1994-2000 and taught many adult writing classes. Watermarks (2009), his first full collection, is available from Arrowhead Press and through his own website, www.waldeanpress.co.uk

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Emily Strauss: A Great Futility

a great futility has arisen, a lack of purpose
like dark clouds at dawn holding back the sun
promising a frozen day of stiff hands, numb
feet, no purpose serves when winter flattens
into short days, spewing breaths of snow
that rush through the canyons, you walk head
down into them, pray for relief at night
wrapped in thick woolen layers, a cocoon
of warmth inside icy winds, futile to seek
more than one salvation— the air falling
to stillness at midnight before a pink dawn
of cold rays, wind howling at noon
tossing small hail against the cactus
your hands immobile in the weak light, or
fire blown away before it begins,
this great futility of purpose to keep winter
from swallowing us whole, to save our shell
intact until the cold removes us
or we become shadows

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Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry. Over 150 of her poems appear in dozens of online venues and in anthologies. The American West desert is sometimes her framework; she often focuses on the tension between nature and humanity, using concrete images to illuminate the loss of meaning between them. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California

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Danielle Hope: The Philanthropist of Brunswick Square

coramThe black statue of Sea Captain Thomas Coram 
is one and a half times man, greatcoat 
stretched across a prosperous paunch. 

Nearby an ordinary man, in white dress jacket, 
bow tie (plus yellow stain on the pocket) 
opens his cello case, while his mother – 

in the jumbled colours of care home clothes – 
jiggles wooden beads and twists a tiara. 
They have appeared beside the cafe tables. 

He plays Bach’s partita in G, then Elgar 
then Bach again. He has no box or hat 
for coins, his case is closed.  As he retunes 

we introduce.  ‘We have ordered coffee’ 
Nicolas claims; but no coffee comes. 
He plays on, to me, to Marguerite, 

to twenty pigeons, to Coram’s Foundling hospital  
raised by profits from Handel’s Messiah 
and to the falling fruits of London planes. 

Our neurones flicker. All around once again 
we watch the space between bread and lace widen. 
And Marguerite’s hands wane.

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***

Danielle Hope: Reading backwards

Apologias to Larkin, Yeats, Shakespeare

Flaubert, Fitzgerald, Shaw, I loved like fire
but when it was ‘and who would like to volunteer  
to read this part?’ I shrunk my shoulders
to the desk, stared out scuff marks on the floor. 
Then I see what really isn’t there.

Spelling tests stitched me up. 
I never got to understand when e is before i – 
or why greedy q should need u.
As for ph and kn, I’d have buried both underground
It’s what we fear – no sighs, no sound.

Don’t give me your ‘phone number
sexy 6 and 9s switch about
08 and 7 turn upside down -
thank God for mobiles, facebook, tweets.
We are closed in, the key is turned.

Places were no safer. Geography – disastrous. 
Putting Battle instead of Bangor
arranging to meet in Aberdeen not Ayre.
Man hands on mischief to man.
Come not between the dragon.

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Danielle Hope was born in Lancashire and now lives in London. She founded and edited Zenos, a magazine of British and International Poetry, edited the work of the Turkish poet, Feyyaz Fergar, was a Trustee and advisor of Survivors Poetry, and now is editorial advisor for the Literary Magazine, Acumen.  She has published four books of poetry – all with Rockingham Press. Her work has appeared widely in diverse magazines, newspapers and journals, including The Independent, The Guardian, Acumen, Ambit, Poetry London, The Rialto, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of the Royal College of Physicians. Her work has been awarded several prizes. She has judged several competitions and co-written two comedy plays with Martin Orrell.

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***

Harvey O’Leary: O Tell Me The Truth About This Poem

Some say love's a little boy, (Oh dear) 
And some say it's a bird, (Young attractive woman, slang)
Some say it makes the world go around, (The world doesn’t go around)
Some say that's absurd, (Exactly)
And when I asked the man next-door, (person) 
Who looked as if he knew, (What?)
His wife got very cross indeed, (partner)
And said it wouldn't do (good for her)                                    

Our history books refer to it (Except those that don’t) 
In cryptic little notes, (How can you tell?)
It's quite a common topic on (On...Oh this is unbearable on...yes...on…)
The Transatlantic boats; (The what?)
I've found the subject mentioned in (You have?)
Accounts of suicides, (Not your own, sadly)
And even seen it scribbled on (On…)
The backs of railway guides. (Well, I never...)

Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian, (It might)
Or boom like a military band? (It may)
Could one give a first-rate imitation (It just could possibly)
On a saw or a Steinway Grand? (Er, no)
Is its singing at parties a riot? (What are we referring to? Oh yes, love)
Does it only like Classical stuff? (Stuff?)
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet? (If only)
O tell me the truth about love. (An intense feeling of deep attraction)

When it comes, will it come without warning (Final stanza)
Just as I'm picking my nose? (Yeah, whatever)
Will it knock on my door in the morning, (To get out)
Or tread in the bus on my toes? (Tread on my toes in the bus, surely)
Will it come like a change in the weather? (Now that’s a good line)
Will its greeting be courteous or rough? (Rough)
Will it alter my life altogether? (All together…)
O tell me the truth about love (Tell him. For God sake, tell him) 

 

Since graduating from University College Cork, Harvey O’Leary has been living in London and working as a teacher and educational manager. His play, Closing Time, was staged at the Battersea Arts Centre, London, and he published his novel, Nidiya and the Children of the Revolution, in 2010.

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***

Elizabeth Smither: My mother visits me in hospital

My mother appears at the end of the bed
making a fine contrast to the nurses.
She is beautifully and elaborately dressed.

All this furniture, she seems to be saying,
is the flimsiest the world offers;
these cabinets with their wilting flowers

and the water jug and glass, the control
panel on the wall like an abstract painting.
Nothing matches the crease of her skirt

or the gloves she takes off her fingers
in mockery of the surgeon putting his on.
I shall have my way with my daughter

I shall bring her out of this place
of bogus and fruitless whiteness
her wound will heal under my ministrations

as the outside world fills up with detail
caught in light and love. She stands
and the sunlight falls from her skirt.

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Elizabeth Smither: Roadworks

On the outskirts of the town the roadworks
are bedding in. Up a hill and down
the rough stones are pressed by tyres.

Everyone is following the speed limit. Except
here is a beautiful cobalt blue 1925 Dodge1925-dodge-tourer
low-slung as if it’s wearing skirts, stalled

in a sea of stones which might mar it
a single pebble flying up would destroy
its particular boxy look of beauty.

How forlorn it seems. Its high roof, its skirts
its shape of another century as it tentatively
crawls forward like a blue snail.

 

Elizabeth Smither‘s latest publications are The blue coat (Auckland University Press, 2013) and Ruby Duby Du (Cold Hub Press, 2014).

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Jayne Stanton: Vintage

Re-pack the trunk you emptied of ghosts.
Forget the car – find a call box, dig for silver.  
Dial for an Austin FX4, a black cab 
fare to 1964.  You’ll need a tighter skin – 
five of you in a Thomson T-Line four-berth 
caravan.  Unearth the key to its time warp.

Rediscover pack-a-macs as beachwear
resurrect the swing coat, tartan duffle bag
take the promenade in T-bar sandals.  
Strike a pose in that marshmallow swimsuit 
christened in trawler slick, your profile 
caught in the blink of a Box Brownie’s eye.

 

Jayne Stanton’s poems appear/are forthcoming in Under the Radar, Southword, Popshot, Antiphon, The Interpreter’s House, Obsessed with Pipework and others. Her debut pamphlet is forthcoming from Soundswrite Press.

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Matthew Gavin Frank: Antebellum

This poem and the one which follows come from a sequence entitled The Morrow Plots which is a poetic exploration of an experimental cornfield and National Historic Landmark in Central Illinois that has historically served both as an asset to agricultural science and as a site for violent crimes. In the end, The Plots begin to serve as a microcosm of the Midwestern U.S. and its conflicting regional narratives — from the reverent to the murderous.
.
1992-061 (single slide frame): Morrow Plots on the University of Illinois campus. Winter wheat, corn and soybeans on field. c.1992 Photo by David Riecks. Published in The Furrow,  Jan. 1993. Original scan is 7.2 x 10.9 at 500ppi, 92061zzc.tif.  City:  UIUC, ST:  Illinois, TYPE:  RGB, Optimized:  FPO, Source:  Slide, Scan Type:  SS4000, In/Out:  Outside, Season:  Summer, Time of Day:  Day, Format:  Horizontal, Shot:  Aerial.Environment, Scenery, Land, Architecture, Building, University, Landmark, Agriculture, Agronomy, Crop, Corn/ Maize, Soybeans, Wheat.  Optimized for: Coated White glossy paper. Sheetfed press. Light GCR, Max total Ink = 280. colorcentric sharpening = 30
.

The tornado inside Andromeda laid seeds
of clover in the sky.  We took the stubble
and dissolved it in red wine, went into
the basement of the Genomic Biology Building
for asylum.  

Helene had gone to a funeral that Sunday—
the body of her first lover covered 
in tobacco.  She said
that in burial 
any screws left in the corpse meet a pressure
of any blood not cleaned out,
they shoot into dirt like seeds.  The arms
quickly flare like a chicken’s,
and in the downdraft of soil
the teeth clench as if to keep 
the earth out.  He was finally rhetorical, she said.

Ernie spat on the floor, unwrapped the stolen corn
from the napkin, saying, “You saw 
no such thing, Helene.”  When I was small, 
Helene said, I stood with my father
at Mount Hope Cemetery.  He was fresh
with mint and antebellum.  The crops
were rotting because of the windy season,
we pricked our fingers and let them drip
onto newspaper.  Alice, in a complicated 
white dress, with the tornado dropping,
feigned a seizure and wiped 
her cheek through the blood.
The rows of clay idols watched

and started to tip in the wind.  Over us,
these shuddering memorials: 
A rooster smothering a swallow
and behind us, two dogs

tugging-of-war with a chrysalis, 
and an angel cradling a squirrel 
between her breasts.  She watched
the rooster tie the swallow in a knot
and in the quake, began
to step over the wind like a plot.  

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***

Matthew Gavin Frank: Kepler’s Last Law

The gargoyles with their frosted hair
guard the entrance to the library.

They are brother and sister, coffee-
stained, their muscular necks, things

under which teenagers still kiss
reaching up with flapping fingers

to write their names.  From below,
my sister tells me, a fang is only

a small circle, a picture of the sun
in the central color pages

of a children’s book about astronomy—
the one my mother bought me,

my seventh birthday, hoping
I would go into the sciences,

unearth the skull of some Midwestern
dinosaur, polish it like a pearl.

Tell her that, in every cornfield,
is an ellipse that cries when it moos. 

This is, after all, a law
of conservation, the orbit of her hand

as she bakes mandelbrot with chocolate chips
for the holidays, the finished scones

cooling on a sheet pan subject
to the hard gravitation 

of room temperature.  Their smoke
loses itself in the space of a yellow

chandelier, the small extinction
of heat.  My sister,

angry after I dropped her
dollhouse family down the bathroom sink,

burned my book in the snow,
the chapter on Mars having outlasted

the fattest of the Jovians, the unspeakable
cold of the milk.  I knew even then

that she changed my life,
that my heart was not a good one—

a silk handkerchief, a bony
hand—an argument with genetics

I could not win, my body
stubbornly Aristotelian, still believing that it,

like the Earth used to be, was a fulcrum.
(Kepler knows: here, an eraser is hard

to come by).
This pressure on my throat,

tightening now as I turn my back
on food, pass into pages, must be

my daughter, unborn, writing her name
on my breath.

Somewhere, in warm, warm kitchens...

The hardest thing the Earth asks of us,
with its smells of white flour, requires

not the tractor, but remembering.

 

Matthew Gavin Frank teaches creative writing in the MFA Program at Northern Michigan University, where he is the Nonfiction Editor of Passages North. He has published both non-fiction and poetry and his latest collection is The Morrow Plots (Black Lawrence Press).

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***

Wendy French: Plum

The child who has mastered the mechanics of reading
sounds out the words on the classroom wall,
abacus, bikini, elephant. She thinks of her father who takes

her to the park on a Saturday morning, who helps her to balance 
on her brand new scooter, scoo, he whispers in her ear, scoo…
In school she avoids the word plum on the dictionary wall chart,

avoids it because it rhymes with mum and she doesn’t understand
where her mother is now. She’s jealous of her friends whose mums
collect them from school. She knows her father is employed, works

on the internet and her mother’s gone to heaven. But she doesn’t 
understand heaven or what sort of work it is. It’s not on the classroom wall. 
She just holds on to Saturdays when her father carries her scooter,
makes sure she’s balanced, then calls scoo, scoo, as he pushes her off into a distance.

 

Wendy French has two collections: Splintering the Dark (2005, Rockingham Press) and surely you know this (2009, tall lighthouse) She won first prize in the Torbay Poetry Competition in 2008 and in 2010 the NHS section in the Hippocrates Poetry & Medicine Competition. With co-writer Jane Kirwan she wrote Born in the NHS published 2013 by Hippocrates Press.

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Ann Douglas: Ledger

How sentimental
could gravity make a person? 
Year after year
                I anticipated
from stubs and brown petals,
nubbins
         waxing in clusters
signaling withdrawal:  yes from
                                  
no to yes again, so slowly
we could  feel our way,
extracting one size from another,
 
deep russet from russet, cool
from cold.
            I became
the conversion  
 
tracking the magnetic
 
in claim, the earth’s own
reliance on sequence.
 
From where God sat, clouds
left a trail,
 
glints of sand cast a line
we could lift
             on His behalf
and apply
 
to border, to country
pushed by the winded
                       redoubling

quickening development
                         leading
via boundary
to region to recoil, the swift
autonomic
path from retaliation
full circle
 
to nation,
          one
 
whose system of interplay
fulcrummed on zero.

 

Ann Douglas has poems published in Antiphon, Grey Sparrow Press, Cake, The Colorado Review, The Meadowland Review, Nimrod, The Georgia Review, Ploughshares, Cutbank, and other journals. She is a Squaw Valley Writers’ Community member, and has benefited from residencies at Yaddow and Ragdale.

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***

Martin Malone: Electric Heaven

Perched upon the edge of a tower block,
the battery-tired replicant runs an audit
of his second life. Critically damaged,
his circuits flicker down to a final spark. 
It is raining. Heavy drops cast over him
a shroud of white noise, as he peers
across the broken city and takes stock.

It is not the giddy collapse of stars,
nor the sucking void of dark matter,
it is not the welted arms of galaxies
nor the dog-like joy of besting gravity.
None of these seize the smart chip
that quickens him into something 
approximating life. Just a pall of rain
and through it the pinprick of light
from which he was made.

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Born in West Hartlepool County Durham, Martin Malone now lives in Warwickshire. A winner of the 2011 Straid Poetry Award and the 2012 Mirehouse Prize , his first full collection – The Waiting Hillside – is published by Templar Poetry. Currently studying for a Ph.D in poetry at Sheffield University, he edits The Interpreter’s House poetry journal.

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Allison McVety: Man Engine

The man-engine at the Levant tin mine in Cornwall was full of men during a shift-change when it collapsed crushing 31 miners in October 1919

Not a mechanical cutter turning out 
workers, ready-made husbands and fathers, 
but a gothic invention to keep them 

to time, raising them again 
from their dark houses, from sollor to step, 
a clockwork tree winding back

to the blues and greens, the red froth 
on a wild sea. A two-step, dancing pillar 
of men fetched up at the face – the shift’s

long incubation – in tin rooms and hallways. 
Here’s how the fall happens: iron strap, 
engine rod, gear, and the women begin – 

not dressed for their newly pressed status 
as yet – their longest years. 

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220px-Man_engine_animation                                                                  image from Wikipedia

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***

Allison McVety : Requiem from the steps at Pendlebury Station

… and suddenly I knew what I had to paint – LS Lowry 1916

and there was a sea inland – stretching to the hills – 
a white water – echoed in the garb of clouds – 
and the beacons of chimneys turned their lenses

on the sky – smirring it with black – and a swell of workers
swam to the call of the whistle and the mill was a red house
and the roofs were slate – jagging out at the crowds –  

like scuppering rocks – and the people wore lifejackets
in big colours – refusing to drown – clung to their streets
like Russians – like poets – in their fine coats – their unbroken lines

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Allison McVety’s poems have appeared in The Guardian, Poetry London, Poetry Review, The Spectator and The Times, have been broadcast on BBC radio and anthologised in the Forward Poems of the Decade 2002-2011 and The Best British Poetry 2013. Her first collection The Night Trotsky Came to Stay (smith|doorstop) was shortlisted for a Forward Prize and her third, Lighthouses, is built around her National Poetry Competition winning poem.

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***

Ann Vaughan-Williams: Fellow Travellers

He moves his feet from the seat
where the woman wants to sit.
He chews gum, reeks of smoking,
thrusts his hands in his pockets.
The knees of his jeans are tattered,
he is not cleanly shaven.

She sits down after wiping the seat
then cleaning her hands on a tissue,
holds her Gucci bag to her chest.
Hopes her fellow traveller will
soon disembark.

He gives her a shifty stare,
knowing his shoes 
have holes in the soles.
His mind soon returns to 
thinking of the searching face
of the child he has been to see,
how she smiled at him as he left,
raising his self-esteem.

The woman is soon contemplating
what she will cook for dinner:
salmon steaks with peas and potatoes,
she will call at Waitrose on her way.

The man turns to thinking how much 
he’d like the Cornish pasty
whose smell is filling the carriage,
but his acid stomach recoils.
The woman tuts at people
who eat on trains. 

 

Ann Vaughan-Williams has had many poems published and has done many readings. She has edited poetry anthologies with Merton Poets. She is an editor of The Long Poem magazine

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***

Richie McCaffery : The matter

Often it’s the trains that wake me,
freights charging past the house
like they want to rip stitches out
of the rent between night and day.
 
But last night it was this banging –
someone nearby with a hammer,
hard to tell if they were building
or breaking. This was my heart.

 

Richie McCaffery has two pamphlets to his name and a book-length collection of poetry is forthcoming from Nine Arches Press in June 2014.

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***

Bruce Christianson: All’s Fair

love sips a dry martini
watching mars arrive
late
& accost the maitre d'

love folds her copy 
of the financial times 
into
a fashion magazine 

repairs her makeup
removes her glasses 
& gently 
eases off one shoe
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Bruce Christianson is a mathematician from New Zealand. He was mugged in a coffee house by love and some of her friends in the 1980s, and still has the occasional flashback.

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