Down by the River Down by the river I linger, held at bay by the pull of things so small that cities fold and concertina. My thoughts are twists and pebbles, my unease is tugged into an eddy - a yellow petal surfs the middle. Fingers scoop at shingle, skin forgets to fear, a thousand facets pour through thumbs and knuckles, wet and sharp and dirty and fickle, cold and here. Down by the river I linger, until the leaves that skimmed around the sandbar blend into the distant silver.
How To Count Your Fingers Did you know that the blurred balls to your left and right are your hands, and that they have endings? We call them fingers. Did you know that if you hold back your thoughts from churning and ticking, from building and spilling, you can see those fingers and count them? Just try. Jump on your mind, find the brake to stop it turning. Try thinking of a desert. Try floating on a salt-drenched sea. Now, hold your hands quite still. Do not grasp or scratch or fidget or tap or swipe or scroll. Believe me, it’s possible. And now count the fingers, slowly. Work methodically from left to right. Oh, I’m not giving you the answer. No spoilers. Bio: Nina Parmenter is a poet and Mum from Wiltshire, UK. She has appeared in numerous journals including Ink, Sweat & Tears, Snakeskin, Light, Better Than Starbucks and The Lyric, and is a contributor to the Potcake Chapbooks series. In 2021, she won Hedgehog Poetry’s ‘Looking Out, Peering In’ contest, and was nominated for the Forward Prize. Her job that pays her actual money is in marketing.