by Nicole Yin
The blonde haired girl’s eyes remind me of the sky
Big, blue, bright one second, then
the next, it has started raining
The smile that could once rival the sun
disappearing behind the storm
The brown haired boy’s eyes remind of the forest
His hair, embodies it
He reminds me of a tall oak tree
sturdy and strong yet standing alone
The black haired girl’s eyes remind me of brownies
Her skin, of chocolate.
Her arms like rolling pins
She reminds me of hazelnuts
sweet on the outside,
but secretly bitter
The red haired boy’s eyes remind me of Mercury
If I were to draw a line through all his freckles,
I wouldn’t need to go stargazing anymore
The pink haired girl’s eye’s remind me of an empty void
Even though all the colors of the rainbow shines in her eyes,
her gaze is more dull than the stub of a crayon
she insists on carrying around.
Nicole Yin is a grade nine student at an international school Shanghai. She is an artist and spends much of her time drawing portraits. Her poetry is about the people and events she encounters in her daily life, making portraits in words.
by Maggie Yang
i find myself wandering
in these endless shelves of time,
of syntheses, phrases, flexuous pieces of history, of
aromas of realms jammed between pages,
leaking and yellowed age, carrying merely
just sinuous lines
syllables of letters ricochet off wood, encase
these pages in swirls of time, trapped
between fibres that preserve
craft a new world, delve in each turn
the strange wistfulness
of used bookstores
Maggie Yang loves reading and writing poetry and dreams of visiting every museum and historical site in the world. She is particularly intrigued by the intersections of creative writing with different forms of visual art. You can find her admiring the beauty in nature or competing in ultimate frisbee in Canada.
by Marianne Brems
A river’s insistent movement
like a constant changing of garments.
The perimeters of rocks
join the flow
that smooths their edges.
fills hollow places
among raw protrusions.
Cattails and branches decay.
Beavers build dams.
Aspen roots cleanse.
Ospreys and grebes hunt.
Frogs and trout spawn.
All lay down their footprint
in a stew
of birth, transformation, and death,
leaving a community
between no longer and yet.
Marianne Brems’ two poetry chapbooks are Sliver of Change (Finishing Line Press, 2020) and Unsung Offerings (Finishing Line Press, 2021). Her poems have also appeared in literary journals including The Pangolin Review, Nightingale & Sparrow, The Sunlight Press, and The Tiny Seed Literary Journal. She lives and cycles in Northern California. Website: www.mariannebrems.com.
by Antony Owen
Above the crimes
a pylon can redeem us
through birdsong necklaces
tied around the slit throat dusk.
Above the white world
night can wind a tannoy of wolves
even in the city their lights can be seen
one wove between cars in Toronto like a silver ribbon.
Above the new man born a girl
everything is changing in the sky
Covid has cleaned the Boeing traces of man
a flock of geese breaks formation for a Walmart drone.
Below all this is me and you
at night I hang my skins over the ottoman,
turn into a blur when I am creature like and loving.
Sometimes but less so now our shapes converge into one.
Antony Owen is from Coventry. England and is the author of eight poetry collections with a motif for peace poetry. His work has been shortlisted for The Ted Hughes Award and he has been a recipient of poetry awards from The British Army Museum, Bread Roses Working Class Poetry Award and others. With work translated in several languages Owen's transcendence of representing overlooked people has received rave reviews. In 2022 Knives Forks & Spoons Press release his 9th book exploring mental health in men which account for 75% of suicides in the UK.
by Chido Munangwa
Triple Point of Water
Everything around me is changing state:
Growing, detorating, upgrading and dying.
In all this I sit cross legged in haromony
Like the triple point of water.
Where solid floats in liquid and gas,
Unseen, cacoons them both.
I've a solid foundation.
I flow with m my flow.
I rise beyond the boundaries.
I wear my glass bottle proudly.
After all, flowers bloom in the desert air.
The ocean floor is full of color.
And the ice is home to some.
The Question Is
Where is home?
The words on your phone?
Or the thoughts in your bones?
Who are you?
The person in your reflection?
Or the person you act to perfection?
How do you fight?
Do you fiercely charge holding a sword, hiding fear?
Or you disguise your manipulation behind a tear?
Why do you breathe?
A neccessity of survival?
Or a prime need to fulfil?
What do you want?
To be like everyone else?
Or separate truth from false?
When will it be enough?
When the world loudly claps?
Or when you've run your laps?
The answer's yours.
It will change your course.
Or make you more lost.
Chido Munangwa is a female Zimbabwean indie author and poet. She has been published in Blue Marble Review and Wingless Dreamer.
by Christian Ward
Every shell is dipped in night.
Place an ear against the ceramic
to eavesdrop on fox squabbles,
crows watching rubbish bags
left split open like unfinished
operations, brambles unfurling
their fruit. Humans, extras
with no dialogue. Open every
shell to reveal day - the glazed
pottery, a perfect sky. Of course,
there's the meat: An orange muscle
on a ready-made plate. Quiet,
contemplative. I threw up the sea
the first time I tried it. Didn't know
I was chewing its prayer.
Previously published in FEED
Every leaf and branch
is a television set
for the Glasswing. Observe
how it frames its subjects
perfectly: a battalion
of leaf cutter ants, bats
remixing the night with their sonar,
a praying mantis atoning
for its sins, parrots dressed
in sunsets. It is the camera
and photographer, a priest
without a collar. Every wing
movement captures a story -
even rainclouds heavy
as a bible, endless as grief.
Christian Ward is a UK-based writer who can be recently found in Red Ogre Review, Discretionary Love and Stone Poetry Journal. Future poems will be appearing in Dreich, Uppagus and in BlueHouse Journal. He was recently shortlisted for the 2021 Canterbury Poet of the Year Competition and the 2021 Plough Prize.
by Victoria Wang
on the grass, we sat
we gazed upon the clear blue sky
“Long time no see Mr.Blue Sky.”
I saw the wind blowing through the grasses
sending waves amidst the hills of green
I leaned back
and whispered to the wind
carry away my worries
not for long
for just a while
is all I ask
a gust of wind
carry it all away
let us forget all our worries
lull all my quandaries
put my mind to rest...
for just a while
a gentle breeze brushed through your hair
strands of your hair gleamed in the soft glimmer of the sun’s rays
the leaves seemed to glisten
basking in nature’s gold
underneath the tree
strands of light filtered through the leaves of spring
the wind whispered into my ears
and carrying it all away
along with my worries and doubts
at last, the day had to end
yet I’m in awe
reminiscing the whiles that had passed...
Victoria Wang is an emergent art maker that is never afraid to explore new ways to create and always enjoys experimenting with different new mediums and techniques. She loves the whims of nature and connection with family and kindred spirits, from which she often draws her inspirations.
by Elsa Cunnington
Her blinding beauty captured them,
And they orbited her,
Some up close, some from afar
Mercury, Venus, Earth then Mars
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, neptune and little Pluto
With her ever changing temperature,
Mercury only had eyes for the Sun
Venus and her twin, Earth, were struck too
But Earth was loved by the Moon who never seemed to be seen
There was Mars too, smaller than Earth, but just as temperate
Cloudy Jupiter too, but loved by seventy nine others,
All affecting one another
Eccentric Saturn, keeping her distance
And the blue siblings, Uranus only a little bolder than Neptune
Timid Pluto, far out, hiding behind the others, but still orbiting her beauty.
Yet she, the Sun, the center of it all,
She does not see the plants the way they see her,
She only has eyes for her Galaxy.
The galaxy does not see her,
She is just one of the thousands of stars,
All orbiting the center of our galaxy.
So here we all are, stuck looking in the other direction
Not seeing the one who loves us, but the one we cannot have.
by Mikaela Wong
I paint to learn the practice of seeing people’s faces. Every pimple, every pore; their faces are stories, their expressions play symphonies or dystonia-filled scores. On one, weary scars mar the fleshy lobe of their left ear.
“I found a piercing gun off Shien,” they tell me.
Another carries around a plexiglass orb where their right eye used to be.
“I also have a slingshot with me, always. Just in case.”
So many, an air of mystery. So many, filled with the potential for forgotten history.
How many more will have to whittle their tongues down to stubs and offer up their wine-red blood, a sacrifice to survive time’s tides?
They will all. All but you.
You, with your restless feet, itching to roam fields unknown. You, with your soul of gold, all too eager to chip off chunks, trade pieces for promises of unclaimed fame. You, with your mind of oyster shells, which every day, layer by layer, sharpens stronger into steel.
Because, I’ve seen you (well, your spirit).
And I know you. Not well, but enough to remember you by.
When we eventually all sink back into the sea, at least you can take solace in the fact that I, someone as forgettable as you, thought of you. Once. And I still do.
By Angel Ye
The sea, a living being
With every thrum of a wave pulsing another heaving breath
Gleaming sunbeams dancing off edges of ripples
As clear as the sky above me today, blue.
I can feel the thrum of bones, stirring.
Every breath, as if it’s simply sleeping
And so I ask the wandering sea beyond me:
Kind sir, are you sleeping? What are you?
But the only reply was the gentle hum of the oceans breaths rippling
beyond the soles of my worn down shoes.
Echo of ecliptic waves: hush of a warm summer sky.