Today we happened upon a house in Giverny
huddled contentedly by fields where Monet's Muse
strolled daily through the gently swaying poppy throng,
past teeming birdsong hedgerows, where bold notes were fused
in perfect synchronicity with Nature's mood
We paused, imbibing watercolour splendour there,
Inspired, I took my paintbox, harvested the scene...
Voilà, the virtual scent of lilies fills the air.
Margaret is a Laurel Prize nominated poet. She has been shortlisted for several poetry prizes and won the Hedgehog Press’ collection competition 2020. She has two poetry collections:
Fording The Stream and Where Flora Sings, a memoir in prose and verse, The Road To Cleethorpes Pier and a new pamphlet, Earth Magicke out April 2021. She has been widely published online and in print, most recently: Hedgehog Press, The Blue Nib, Impspired &
forthcoming in Sarasvati and Dreich.
She performs regularly at open mic events and facilitates a women’s poetry group in Nottinghamshire.
Instagram : meggiepoet
Facebook Author Page: Facebook.com/margaretbrowningroyall
The scald pulls out aches, a
poultice of burn.
Pores dilate and glands purge
Steam's balm relieves throat
into lungs by turn.
Oils and lathers mask outside
stilled and subdued in
submerged weightless pass,
concealed underside, defying
Beneath like sediment replacing
held down by seductive
doused into netherside of
Nadir rush, deaf like amphibian.
Resurface sharp up to abrupt
of asphyxiation's meridian.
Subito spasmodic. Frenzy ambit
reflexive gasps from betraying
When silver is worn over a
it's buffed by the pulse, so
shines up sheen.
So long as the two
contact, keep close,
amulet tarnishes vanish; rust
melts at skin's touch, so
clavicle's radiance is
Conducting flows, when they're
magnets recharge their
Norths and their Souths
if they're in each other's
reach. Scuffs smooth flat
under a loving body
weighty as precious
I tap a texting torch
which flattens batteries
down to broken Morse Code.
Outside, the car tank's empty.
We are staying right here.
We dulled low the lights. It
hides, soft-tempers the mess.
Yet, as moths dash their brains
out against the dimmed bulbs
the blackened corners creep.
Blind-folded, we plug ears.
You press the volume off
for the news. I'm listening,
mute, as my charger drains.
I switch the torch off now,
so when disaster strikes,
there still may be enough
for one last surrender
or desperate SOS.
The sun came up in the East. It peeped, above
the water like a wistful proposition.
It began as a sliver of future, an
entre, of all the day's potential reached in an
Midday prime was a fine trophy to behold.
It rose, full and round and complete. Once whole, too
beautiful to even look on. Dreams realised
themselves in gold against a velvet of azure
Where did the black out start?
Too late in the day, anyway.
The first splatters so fleetingly tiny,
only quantum flickers of grain on a single frame
of cinematic reel.
By mid afternoon, patches of vibrant horizons
were already erased blot by sooty blot.
The fiery reds and oranges of a promised sunset
were flubbed in dark blotches like drops of ink
bungled into an evening bath.
The dampened day, let go, to empty dusk.
Bio: Sarra Culleno is a British BAME poet, mother and English teacher who performs her writing at
events across the UK. She writes about children’s rights, motherhood, identity, gender, age,
technology, the environment, politics, modern monogamy and education. Sarra is widely
published. She has written fiction and poetry for publication, performance, print, audiodramas,
podcasts and radio. Sarra was longlisted for the Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Prize, for Nightingale
and Sparrow’s Full Collections 2020, and nominated for Best of the Net 2020 by iambapoet.
Sarra co-hosts Write Out Loud at Waterside Arts, and performs as guest and featured poet at
numerous literary festivals.
Youtube.com/user/sarra1978 – YouTube
@sarracullenopoetry – Instagram
@sarra1978 – Twitter
Sarra1978@hotmail.com – Email
facebook.com/sarracullenopoetry – FaceBook
The Invisible Aura
Step into the vortex of my soul
To decode the language
I often speak to myself
Every night when I peel off my mirage
That the sea of gazes around me
surmises to be nonchalance
This is my universe where:
Depression is not a mere mood swing
It's an actual chemical imbalance
My facial expressions are not always
Gateways to the feelings of my heart
Sometimes they are merely decor
My silence is not a symbol
Of any kind of equanimity
Listen to the aura who's decibels
Don't roar like a lion
But squeal like a mouse
Observe the aura that's the
shy one in the corner
Acknowledge the unfelt emotions
For you may not feel them
But just a moment of your cognizance
Could determine their fate for eons
I come with no ostentation
No glory or cavalcade
For I creep upon this junction
Not to arouse a racket
But to dismember the status quo
I make no proclamations to be
Your knight in shining armor
Or to dry your tears
But to bequeath equity of them
To feast on the salt with thee
I come not to sheath your malformations
But to stand in their gallery
And be a zealot for ages
Of what my heart senses to be
Not wounds but victors of endurance
Think not of me as a paladin
In a quaint fable
But a commoner just to proclaim:
I once bore what you did
And hearken the language of your soul
That others have stained as an enigma!
The Midas Scratch
Lay your fingers on the canvas of my flesh
And scratch till what you carve
Becomes the cynosure attire of my body
Never to be removed
Till the mind in its entirety
Is severed from the bones
Take no heed of any provisional brood
Or waterfalls of blood
For the blemishes will eventually mitigate
But the fable your fingers nurture with love
Will give me an immoral prevalance
To any and all around me!
Bio: Neel Trivedi is a writer, editor and artist and in the advertising business in Dallas, TX. He was a Pushcart Nominee for 2020 and has been published in several online magazines as well as several print anthologies. He can be reached on Twitter @Neelt2001.
Bio: M.S. Evans is a visual artist and Pushcart nominated poet living in Butte, Montana. Her work has appeared in Black Bough Poetry, Ice Floe Press, Versification, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Green Ink Poetry, among others.