This month we focused on the theme of elements. The word ‘element’ can be defined in multiple ways, be it relating to the substances; earth, water, fire, and air or as something more figurative such as the element of surprise. Our poets scope the natural, the behavioural and the astronomical in this month’s showcase!
So long forgotten
Are the grains of sands, the salt of the sea,
The sun, Earth, moon and stars:
the somethings that cannot be crafted;
Are disregarded by the
And those who want to engrave names on discoveries: distracted as
The man on the moon.
When everything else seems
smaller (for me, anyway): the burning of a bright
When put together collectively:
than any eye will ever see.
All are fundamental to life’s living entities-
Someday, you’ll see
that natures, are creators of you, and of me
I advise you
(Please) Forget distraction
I stepped out into the English rain
I stepped out into the English rain
And the water welled up in my shoes.
Across a damp horizon peers a blackened spire
A spindly finger jabbing into clouds
Lingering above the narrow streets
Tenanted echoes of a time
Of iron and smoke
Imperial powerhouses gutted and silent
The remnants of those who stoked the fire
Hunched against the smash of glass
The miserable knock of the Bailiff’s fist
Steel rusts brick cracks
People slip beneath a life collapsing
Into the garish high street rush
Beyond the murk of dying breeds
Roll dew-sodden pastures
Where England’s heart thumps a cantankerous beat
In oaken bark and whistling streams
Squat stone follies dwarfed by heaving trees
Sighing proof that the fertile land
Still rejects calls of renewal and youth
Burying itself in rite and practice
As impregnable as the nestled homes
Whose lights dot the windswept valleys
Whilst a thousand heavy dusks
Peer down upon the country
At the end of a jetty thrashes a foaming sea
Clawing at the same land it so bitterly defends
Screeching gulls and shattering squalls
Clutch the islands tight
Tearing rock to sand and ship to timber
Albion’s crown a freezing marine
Wrecking galleons drowning heirs
Scattering an icy spray that
Trickles down onto fields and towns
Beyond the white-tipped breakers
Elements of a creaking nation
Mingle in the deluge
In the swelling tide they yelp and cry
As the current bears them forward.
An element of surprise
When I say I’m with a girl.
‘Oh, didn’t you have a boyfriend?’
Yes, have you never heard
Of the word: ‘bi’?
No reason I can’t like both.
A hint of invalidation
In your tone and words.
‘Does that mean you’re figuring it out?’
No, I know what I am.
An aspect of dismissal
When you still use ‘gay’
As an insult. It’s 2018.
And leave hateful comments
On social media.
Fuelling homophobia, keeping it alive.
Behind the anonymity
Of a computer screen.
Without care, or realisation
Of what it could mean.
The small displays of discrimination
May seem harmless at first.
But bring these all together
And it shows that they are still oppressed.
Maybe not as much as before,
But these elements are still there.
Late July dog days hang heavy around your chest, air stifled yet soporific
as you lie awake, in sweat soaked nights. Finally, you sleep,
tasting salt, and dream of paddling in the
Rising, temperatures soaring across the globe,
Early morning hike, the peaks rise into view, bleached dry beneath
sunshine glare, barren and brown as an apocalyptic wasteland,
the sheep enclosed within sparse shadows of shade, nibbling gnarled hedgerows,
where sheltered grass grows
and curling seashell leaves lie golden, fallen stars dappled
by rays runny as an egg yolk, streaking the watery sky with light
Hazy days linger in consciousness, then fade from memory,
sun stolen, vision clouded as the world darkens.
Look what I can do to you-
in the language of lightning and groaning thunder, rain torrential
and as unforgiving
as the heatwave
that you wished gone
Now watching from your window, the view recast in grey tones like a fading photograph,
gravel glows with a damp sheen, the same as a shingle beach
when the tide has gone out.
Clasping the latch, through the minute gap you can breathe, inhale
air smelling of raw mulch from undergrowth. On the other side of the fence
the neighbour’s child is playing. Yellow raincoat, a duckling of a child, unperturbed by the weather.
Puddles explode underfoot, sloshing against small wellingtons, and the water sweeps
across your ankles,
as the tide does in your dreams.
The slow tantalising glow
Of your amber eyes
A dying ember
That suddenly flares up with life
I chart your reaction
Watching for the carnal smirk
That draws me in
Like a moth to a flame
I fail to look away.
To get your work featured, send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or message Esther Kearney via Facebook.
Featured image courtesy of Georgia Butcher.
Article image 1 courtesy of NASA Blueshift, article image 2 courtesy of Amanda Slater, article image 3 courtesy of spatz_2011, article image 4 courtesy of Art Gallery ErgsArt – by ErgSap and article image 5 courtesy of Karthik Inbasekar.
Image use licence here.