Poems

‘The Cutter’

Anyone bold enough can find the booth in Ho Ping Lane, twin shutters opened out like wings heart strung with keys and locks of every kind, tinkling promises in the sultry wind. Deep inside the master cutter squats, squints as he selects a blank to suit your purpose. He spins his wheel, its sharp teeth…

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‘Briony Grist: Let’s be clear about the challenges we face with ermits.’

First and foremost, we should be concerned about ermits obtaining cilicious books – underperforming mystics must improve or they will merit cryogenic sealing – no one benefits from hirsute heresies. Look, until such day as they can safely be released into runnels, their otherness and thick fur folios must be cauterised, curried, and caked in…

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‘To the wild boar swimming in Victoria Harbour’

My call to you the outlaw who got your way to play in our water, in front of so many eyes, without paying taxes or having sweated your butt off for a job, The rogue who tusked down rules of traffic, burst through fences, skirted CCTV and mobile snapshots just to cool the bites of…

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‘Arcadia’

I’d like to say it’s for the coffee, sure. Greek stuff, the thick kind that collects in the cup, leaves a bitter-toffee residue. And theirs is pretty good, pretty strong. But it’s the staff, in their thirties, dark. I’ve studied the faces. Boy, are they slow. Unbelievably slow! Takes four of them to make mine…

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‘shadows of aphantasia’

my mind is blind unable to hold an image, a face, a place, I might devise an outline use words, describe a radiant smile have some recall but images cannot last they disappear into the breath of words – last night you were lit in a double shadow as if soul and spirit exist  –…

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Haiku Rebellion Studio: Students’ Work

We are very proud to present below a small selection of work from students on our recent Haiku Rebellion Studio.    

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‘The Waiting Room’

I used to sit and paint blue prints in the museum of hearts, the unborn lookalikes tethered benignly in the adjacent pleated room, dissimilar as bulbs. Disposed dispossessed. I listened to the ghosts in the radio cabs night after night thoughts blurting from between days that happened years ago People always presume my sister and…

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‘Mistress’

Nobody comes from Nairobi. She’s a creation a fiction thrown together for a railway line. Watch how in December the city empties after Jamhuri Day the lovers deserting her to return to the patient village wife who moves like a chameleon over the years demanding little apart from a constant acknowledgement that the city will…

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How I Did It – Michael Marks Edition: Lizzi Thistlethwayte ‘lovesong’

I am aware of an emotional landscape rooted within a geographical one that may bear no outward resemblance to a particular place; merely that there are echoes, reference points. I recognize something. I know I need to pin it down. By ‘pinning it down’ I mean trying to understand by exploring different ways of ‘seeing’;…

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‘Ghost Soldier’

He might have slept a hundred years, to wake bareheaded, roll-up warm against his palm, as if the curse that sent them back to war had been a dream – and here another spit and polish day of buckled brass, of shining chestnut boots, the station concourse bright with rain, of stainless benches, orderly trees,…

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‘Bucharest’

and if I had to build myself a past here this must be the ministry where years later they processed my papers here is the museum I walked around hung-over that one day I spent in this city over there the apartment Andrei told me about that night walking through Leblon where his mother hid…

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‘Song Without Words
’

music everywhere, rolling in secretive oceans, slicking trees, curling like smoke over hills and hummocks, sounds from centuries of mandolins and flutes, harps, bayans, dulcimers, citterns hovering, a universe of stray notes fluttering around their stranded bodies. If only they could hear it stuck in a silent siding, facing each other wondering who will be…

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‘Wasn’t It All Twinkly When We Sang Happy Birthday?’

Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday, Mr President’ dress sells for record $4.8m – BBC News I hated the storage years, each of my hand-stitched crystals dulled by moths and cobwebs. I craved Madison Square again, the night they sewed you in to my rib-chafing tightness, my flesh-coloured brashness. Under the lights, you shrugged your fur from…

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‘Lotus Feet’

He’s expecting daintiness a man might cup in his hands. She tells how Great-Aunt Li arrived one winter. Her mother wept but she was a brave child, dreamed of dancing at the Emperor’s court. Great-Aunt soaked her feet in herbs and animal blood, scrunched the little toes, pressed them sideways against the sole then wound…

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Primers II Shortlist: Ben Bransfield

Welcome to the first in a series of sneak peeks at this year’s Primers candidates. The shortlist has been announced and the judges, Jane Commane from Nine Arches Press and Jacob Sam-La Rose, are busily reading the full submissions to decide which three poets will receive mentoring and publication in the second Primers: Debut Poetry Shorts. We’re eager to…

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‘Still Very Green’

The women buried here are sinful. Holding hands with men they shouldn’t have, touching ladies they called their friends in ways that friends don’t touch. The sex has not gone from this garden, I think, Couples walking in, so many pairs of sinners, and So much green. Green, the colour before a bud blooms, Green,…

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‘Nomura Haikus’

Iris Goddess of rainbows blue indigo violet mood after rainfall   Foxglove Southwark Cathedral bells tinkle in foxglove spires a candle is lit   Aquilegia Set in the city columbine from the woodlands the alpine meadows   Agapanthus Bridal Bouquet Lily of the Nile beribboned sapphire bloom floats along the aisle   Achillea Millefolium Paprika…

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Poems from the film ‘Paterson’

Love Poem We have plenty of matches in our house We keep them on hand always Currently our favourite brand Is Ohio Blue Tip Though we used to prefer Diamond Brand That was before we discovered Ohio Blue Tip matches They are excellently packaged Sturdy little boxes With dark and light blue and white labels…

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‘Going Over’

  Only a weary traveller would settle for such lonesome stones but the day we crossed the river we knew we’d found a home. Now I sleep between two waters, dreaming a red rock town where nine kind mothers feed me, none of them my own. And I see my mother coming but she is…

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‘Just Like A Woman’

Of course I’d been to Paris before, but not without supervision. And if Dylan ever had a dry patch this was it, which meant the club was intimate, tickets cheap and the young among us shoved upfront, thrilled, skin on skin. Electric guitar, him in a lurex suit tootling at the piano a while. So…

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‘Haint’ by Eve Ellis

  Last night I heard the dogs again, this side of the crick. This morning another window’s smudged and her bitty footprint’s in the skift. Ma wipes her eyes and the glass, takes the broom out to snow-sweep. Pa’s painting the fence blue like a river she can’t cross. Tonight he’ll throw salt on the…

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Phone call from… by Susan Utting and a new writing prompt from Ben Rogers

Writing Prompt – Phone Eavesdrop  by Ben Rogers There is of course an ethical issue to listening to other people’s conversations in secret. However, with the rise of mobile phones there is an associated increase in the number of conversations (or at least one side of them) that you can hear with little or no effort, sometimes…

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Short Film & Short Film II by Julia Bird and a new writing prompt from Ben Rogers

Writing Prompt – High-Concept by  Ben Rogers                     Write a poem that acts as the full synopsis of an imagined high-concept film.  Indulge in far-fetched fiction and employ a narrative that utilises the type of big what if questions that regularly surface in a cinematic blockbuster, such as ‘what…

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Borderliner by Hannah Lowe and Writing Prompt by Ben Rogers

Writing prompt – False Memory by Ben Rogers History can be a difficult thing to pin down, and the fallibility of memory can be one of the challenges in determining what actually happened when.  Take a journey into the False Memory Archive, a collection of vividly recalled personal accounts of things that didn’t happen.  You can read…

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Poetry in Aldeburgh – National Poetry Day

Poem of the Day To celebrate National Poetry Day 2016 and its theme of messages, here is an extract from a classic WH Auden poem that forms one of his collaborations with Benjamin Britten, the famous English composer and Aldeburgh resident. Here, Auden’s verse acts as a closing commentary to a short film documentary on…

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