Who cares about the affairs
of poor women
who work their fingers
to the bone
just ask them
those who have been let down
and taken up
like the hem of a gown
rich ladies wear
at the country club
taking up a collection for the nun
who cares for the orphans
when there is golf
and invitations to dances
to attend in the evening
on the east lawn
by the garden
the master in his white gloves
off of his evening jacket
and a flash of a silver flask
in the moonlight
like a dagger in the back
while those authorities on gas
and all of their advisors
go over lists of the uninvited
keeping tabs on who has
and who hasn’t shown up yet
and drinking cold duck
with their fish eggs
as the dark guests
who were never invited
dance alone in the garden
with their silhouettes.
‘City’ poem included in ‘Imperfect’ poetry collection published by Yew Tree Press, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom.
Music by Katie McCue
anastomosis [ah-nas″to-mo´sis] (pl. anastomo´ses) (Gr.)
It is bin day. Sound of breaking glass.
one person and another,
you and your kids
a busy crossing between beliefs.
from wick to ash.
full to empty.
Broken, blocked, under investigation.
No link, information dammed,
Adamant your side is right,
other side apostate.
Bloodied metal sends a message,
via media bridges.
Bins must be wheeled back to their places.
il colore d’acqua
non può vederlo
ma molto forte
e Dio – senza finito
il colore del tramonto
sangue rosso colore
dei mei paesani
oh Dio – senza finito
the color of water
unable to see it
but very strong
and God – without end
the color of the sunset
blood red color
of my countrymen
oh God – without end
As if I lost my eyes,
regained them again,
I stroll past the abbey.
Monks pray in sotto voce.
A neon sign knifes
I stroll past the field
where my father
still seeks his only son
who won’t return home
after a game.
is an earworm,
a half-recalled fragment
of a ‘foreign’ folk-song.
Or it’s something glimpsed
by a lone cyclist
in Malvern mists
(or deserted carpark,
or derelict Satanic mill),
never in full daylight,
never in chanting crowds
because its language comes alive
only on the lips of others
who talk in foreign cafés
of an illusion that is most itself
when not itself.
It is never found in tabloids
except in their apologies,
tiny columns on page 17
saying sorry like war poetry
for the battlefield of the past.
It breathes only in recollection,
only in Wordsworthian hindsight,
a memory of something
that was always (being) lost.
*After Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities, Edward Elgar, Introduction and Allegro, and George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn.
Jonathan Taylor is an author, critic, editor and lecturer. His books include the novel Melissa (Salt, 2015), and the poetry collection Musicolepsy (Shoestring, 2013). He directs the MA in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester. His website is www.jonathanptaylor.co.uk.
de los colores
rojo blanco azul
de mi nuevo pais
maroon y verde
suelo y rocas
de mi pais natal
campos que atendia
sembrando nuevos suenos
negro y gris
mia alma magullada
rotos por otros porque
I am a mixture
of the colors
red white blue
of my new country
soil & rock
of my birth country
fields I tended
seeding my dreams
my bruised soul
broken by others because
I am a mixture
It’s hard to gaze so far afield
hard to see more than just Mann
hard when distance has concealed
the world outside. I can only scan
from media within my home.
Filtered through another’s mind
aspects which with care are picked
the earth is more than humankind
love or hate choose to inflict
on nature wherever they roam.
Around me, beauty uncontrolled
the ocean, sky and ‘neath me land
life mighier than you’ve been told
marred only by what man has planned
made from concrete, plastic, chrome.
And my city
opens the door
its evening coloured
its sleepless children
pulling and pushing
their toy cars, trams.
You lower your suitcase.
You can live at its heart.
Your father was sadistic, but it hurt Him more than it hurt
you. He never spanked, and that wasn’t the best of it since
the Price Equation taught you everything you wanted to
know. You memorized a list of fatal illnesses before He
drove you to a hospital where nurses said children
sleep on linen sheets, and every room was designed by
Shara Hughes whose objects d’Art are sold by Tiffany®
as limited editions. Dying children prefer to wear Hilfiger®,
but He said they should wear Old Navy®—more practical
and stylish with bare feet. Last year He gave Christmas
gifts to the tallest children in wheelchairs and ordered them
lunch from Red Lobster® because Shrimp Scampi is His
favorite meal and a healthy option for hungry girls. You
waited for Him in the lobby where George Grosz drawings
hung on grey walls above serpentine sofas designed by
Vladimir Kagan before he moved to New York. The
hospital visit taught you how lucky you are so you begged
Him to buy you a pair of designer shoes.
Bio: Clara B. Jones practices poetry in Silver Spring, MD (USA). As a woman of color, she writes about the Arts, Sciences, Technology, and the Environment and conducts research on experimental poetry, as well as, radical publishing. Clara is author of three chapbooks, and her poetry, reviews, essays, and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming in various venues.
Through valleys ever dark
Sleep poor lonely folk
Wake up to frosted leaves
The season of Christmas
Minus charity and goodwill
Down the misty lane
Where devils wood bines grew
Winds of empty thoughts blow
Shadows of stars the night gone glow
Where friends have gone once walked
The eternal truth beckons their minds
That once imagined gods now all gone
Sunset bleeds the days end,
Loveless dusty roads cry Babylon.
Cold shivers awaken the eve,
this empty godless little planet,
Dancing mirages. Reality
Nothing but a hollow beauty.
Ashes of honey scented words.
As we pant after useless affects.
Loyalty and feelings gutted.
Promises dead, echoes of infernal hell.
Any god will do
in this eternal babble.
Emotions drowned by wanton’s laughter
Spirits flash to and fro.
Empty dreams, limbo and purgatory
Hypocrisy destroys loving feelings
Clambering words after words
Life after life, citadels of boredom…
Better the desert than cold marble palaces Night stars alive with hopes and no false prophets.
An occasional glimpse of nirvana and the woman of the night
with her stars singing and dancing.
Like the shadows in the wind
the words are in the storm.…..
with great love and care ( adverb) he made them. each one by hand.
most were killed before breakfast. visitors asked to see the bodies, having
none, he imported them from abroad. more killed than
the somme. thousands after dawn. he has models now of dead
soldiers, some with arrows in.
small scene first world war, glow in the dark. memorial.
having spent time among his battles, i went and ate a donut. lovingly.
oh little walk. it rained under the trees,
the lorry was bigger than the lane, lights
oh little evening, the plane flew low
i am a fortunate, to live
with light shining.
there is a red flag flying.
While you close your door
and open your window
to keep an eye on me I shape-shift
into a pair of pruning scissors
or a tool to mend your broken outside.
An outsider, I am. My stars witnessed
a harsher landscape.
Evening brings in them here again.
I stare at them. Those windows of the Infinity.
Doors are closed black. You sent
your white spaceship to knock at those.
I wonder if they will strip search
the shaft for the bomb
sing lullabies, kiss you
a final time
before they closed
your small unseeing eyes?
They took you
when the curl of the tide
swirled dark around the bay;
when owls screeched
swoop-winged and you,
little-boned and blameless,
were dumped where the earth
would never tell,
could never tell
opened its muddy mouth
and rang out secrets
louder than chimes
of noon-day’s Angelus bell.
The citizenship lesson, on Wednesdays afternoon,
ends at three o’clock
with a Mozart concerto, live broadcast
from our detention centre.
The outer heavy traffic,
the rain washing the roof tops across Nairobi
penetrate the walls –
a sharp, urgent, high-pitched cry.
The ants come to light, across the border,
through a crack in the wood.
Perfect day for unattended prayers.