5 Poems from Nina Parmenter

The Twist

I spin in my bed,
my shoulders pulled high and loaded,
the wings of my hips tucked
as if to fit some aperture.
I work rhythmically
from one side to the other
my arms winding and twining
like a thread around my ribcage,
one calf cramping
as my feet close and flex.
My sheet shapes to my friction.


When it comes, it is inevitable.
My toe points a spasm,
my spine locks,
and down I go, turning through the mattress,
foamy swarf rising.
Through and through I twist,
splintering slats, scorching floorboards,
penetrating foundations.
The soil is a brief lick against my cheekbones
before the clay, the warmth,
the undreaming sleep.

Bright Future
We gathered at the edge of things
like thoughts
poorly remembered.
My face stood firm, but my mind cried –
not for the decisions made,
but for the outcomes.

Together, we walked,
the small, the cowed, and the proud.
For as long as we walked, we could own
something –
if only the path
behind us.

We were the flaws,
the tails of the bell-curves,
as loathed as those
who discarded us.
But we were not the decisions made.
We were the outcomes.

Strings

Yes, there are strings
wrapping our tight chests,
our temples, our pin-striped wrists.
Twisting, one-two, in a bowline hitch.


Yes, there are strings,
Curled in a flexing whip,
our skin waiting, eager and crisp,
for the coils that ping from the shadows.

Yes, there are strings
cracked in a lattice
from lip to purpling lip.
We scream. We are already swallowed.


“Who’s there?” we cry,
and we search for a purposeful hand
well-versed in the weave and the flick,
chasing strings
until they are tails
whilst our ankles
trip
trip
trip.

Stargazing in a time of plague

Usually, I tip my head up to the stars,
flare my nostrils and suck them in,
startling and heady.


Normally, I let their enormity fill me,
tripping on great shocks of distance,
my veins thudding in awe.


Tonight, I cannot so much as look at them,
with their extravagant timespans
and their crass wisdom.

Tonight, they are willfully goading me
because they know how I will break
and when.

First published in Snakeskin Poetry, June 2020 http://www.snakeskinpoetry.co.uk

Where Tears Are

Sometimes, tears bunch in vertebrae,
cling to an unyielding jaw
or hunker in shoulders.


Sometimes, tears hide in the sacrum
only to flood the belly
when our pace falters.

Sometimes, they are in knees that cannot lift
hands that cannot play,
a mouth that cannot smile
but smiles anyway.


And sometimes,
but only sometimes,
they reach
our eyes.


First published in Snakeskin Poetry, October 2020 http://www.snakeskinpoetry.co.uk

Based in the beautiful countryside of Wiltshire, UK, Nina Parmenter is a mother of two boys and
combines writing with a career in marketing. Her work has appeared in, among others, Ink, Sweat &
Tears, Snakeskin, Light, and Better Than Starbucks. She is a Forward Prize nominee for 2021. Follow
Nina on Twitter @ninaparmenter and on Facebook @itallrhymes

photo by Nathan Anderson (unsplash)

3 poems by Dai Fry from Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

LANIAKEA’S WIND

Ghost riders.
Their particulars
printed to the flesh,
bound to living bone.

Origins forgotten,
dying revenants in
their crumbling towers:
civilisations long dead.

Thought weavers bait
as restless dreamers
thrash and buck,
bound in twists of linen.

Awaking only to sleep.

Life’s time travellers
nihilist clawed, reaching
beyond meaning, tearing
at the vacuous godhead.

We live as wasps do.
Angry, buzz-busy, wrapped
in our nest led lives.

Stirred back and fore,
this slow grinding
mill, a spiral of stars.

In a night’s quiet
sense a rising.
The galaxy’s eerie cry,
it is Laniakea’s wind.

NEOLITHIC FLOWERS

Eternity’s span
this arch of stars,
counts time beyond
ten fingertips.

Into wicker’s rest.
Fill this grave
with a crush
of wildflowers.

Mixed meadows
delicate pastels
and fine perfumes,
grace your memory.

Unbearable grief
and beauty speak
under the voice.
Why must our ways
always be run,
through a curtain
of dying flowers and
falling tears.

AMARULENCE

Billow-shakers
hold tight to the corners
of cool winds,
in this season of forever.

And in far reaching fires,
we wait for Khamsin winds
and desert grains. To fall
dry as stinging rain.

Conceived in failure and
nurtured with self-doubt,
amarulence grows.

A corkscrew of pain,
as vision tunnels to eye
the heart of a malcontent.

An anthem of injustice rings.
Mighty bells of
beaten copper and tin.

Out here in this static heat
a threat is annunciated.
Tremble as gentle anger
whispers your name.

Dai Fry is a poet living on the south coast of England. Originally from Swansea. Wales was and still is a huge influence on everything. My pen is my brush. Twitter: @thnargg Web: seekingthedarklight.co.uk

photo by Claude Fiche (unsplash)

New Poetry by Hema Saju :Alone on a Moonlit Night & Pandemic

Alone on a Moonlit Night

It rained memories that night
and he looked down from the clear moonlit sky
and smiled at her she felt.
That was where he wished to sit
with her head leaning on his broad shoulder
on all moonlit nights
and gently sway in the cold breeze
sitting on the wooden swing
they bought from the antique store.
They would then sip the love laced
red red wine they both brewed
in the silence of the nights.
In the silence of the night!
She gazed at him
from the swing with longing eyes
now dying and numb
as frozen tears search for
the star that once lit her entire life.

Pandemic

Eating through our entrails,
squeezing out the strength,
as the denizens of a darker world
clad in sordid shades of uncertainty
hang around with a cynical, sardonic smile
to uncouple this body from life,
there appear the perpetrators of a wilder farce
some marching in protest
taking to the streets,
some ignoring,
relegating and dismissing
the lurking danger
awaiting at every doorstep.

Hema resides in India. She is a Ph.D candidate and loves to read and write poems and short stories. She sees stories in every aspect of this beautiful world. Writing is always a pleasure and she weaves words when something touches her soul. Two of her poems have been selected for publication in a collection of Intercontinental Anthology.

photo by Anna Asryan on unsplash.com

4 poems by Robert Frede Kenter published in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

Lazarus (Cupid Couplets for A Home Town)

Vituperative voices, choral singing
can’t bring any of it back broken backs

What is a snow-blinded fact —
the river burns.

Sometimes I want to scream
sometimes I just want cash and carry (echoes) of the summer lawn

Carry buried tropes out in mail sacks on hardened backs
carry buried souls out, the souls of the buried, alive and dead

Carry the fine tuned tooth comb with drum brushes
covered in earth to brush myself off in the horizon of new rising

Wake up and scan the rippling fur the destitute
river with sores calling out casinos of the scalding numbers,

To dream those who fall asleep in parks of sleepers.
The night carries their fears, ferrying fallacies of insurance policies away.

Greyhound bus terminal locked tight with chain link fences and linens,
Mississippi duo with rucksacks roll out, the change in jean pockets frayed.

Bang my head against a wall mother’s ghost an upper cut & claw hammer
where arms and legs make way for scar memories of Nineveh at Aberdeen and Nineth.

Waiting for factories to re-open shimmying windows paint can lids pop open
mournful train whistles weep dioxide tears stymied under milk-curled silos, silence –

What does tar do – what smoke indices show
insect thorax catch choke wing in throat, thunk and hork.

Everyone’s eyes gone dry with blurring and tremolo tornadoes
roadside cameras slam-corral listeners to hiss of radio steam

It goes on forever, this surveillance radiant radiation on butterfly wing
it goes on, a Lazarus cinema, a shower show of a film,

Falling snow embers a marquee made by Last Words:
Blast Furnaces Will Live Forever.

The Relationship is Mystical 

Everywhere you live,
subject to military boots.
I hear soldiers
stomping through your things,
looking through cupboards
and opening drawers
with gun barrel,
opening boxes and
measuring with tape.

Taking you out back
with cutting shears.
Dug out stockades,
handcuffs made from
wire and plastics
placed in the garden,
hollowed with dirt
to grab you by your wrists,
to gas the wings of
the dove,
feathers spread open
in full wing-span
below your shoulder blades,
pinned back.

Changing the nature
of meaning.
To suit the purpose
of the wall,
saying the subject, dreary
readers, is
freedom is actually this:
An orchestrated psychosis,
measured, illustrated,
disappeared.

Confessions of a veiled Starvation 

welcome
to the hard sinewy understanding
you’ll only find in this hotel
is it truly closing time
a thin man asks
his body an encyclopedia of scars
is it really time to confess
to carry my tortured body one more block
to the house of neon lights
I’ll wrap my hands around your broken body
and feel you shake and tremble
there are no heroes left
even the police have itchy fingers
that come forward on the beat
to pulverize the blind
I’ll be your escort into this private nightmare
the groom to public discontent
truly wild, my eyes will devour the naked angel’s back
as I lift you up lick alcohol tears from my face

Two Seasons form a Single Year 

1. Fever

To look down on
one’s body
from a height above
Night’s ceiling
fissures
the industrial wallpaper’s
manufacture
of mute flowers
scentless two hands
form of a trellis
over the body
sceptre of incense and concealment
single bulb’s crackling jitter
the on and off filament
of consciousness
To rise from the pool of sheets
the terrible burning langour
To rise longing for first ice
of an idle night’s cold winter
The itch of the radio voice announcer’s
Imperial Marching Music
an imprint of noise
volume of porous static
pouring in the cavity
layers of skin usually cover
parched skin, dehydrated
and brittle-dry


2. Anhedonia

Fingertips ache
trace neuro-electricity
they took me off these drugs
there is an after-image
let’s call it
Rising from numb
to jolt
in toes, in spine
in the soles and heel
under foot
my body wants
nakedness
not clothing
no skin covering skin
the vertebrae’s own dendrite branches
no flowing signals from the brain stem
Some one
wants to cut me down
chop at my neck
Gouged,
but no break of skin
No blood
falls like rain
Standing next to the dead tree
rain does not revive
No buds
No blossoms

No new leaves

 

Robert Frede Kenter is the publisher and EIC of Ice Floe Press. A writer, editor and visual
artist, poems, stories, theatre works, and songs have been published and performed widely
and exhibited internationally. Recipient of grants and awards from Ontario Arts Council and
Toronto Arts Council, Robert is a 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee, and author of the recent
hybrid Audacity of Form (2019) from Ice Floe Press.

Writing Suicide Notes in the Bluebird by David L O’Nan poetry

(this version orginally published in Elephants Never December 2019) and also available in the Cartoon Diaries book

I was writing on notebook paper
Red-bumped tongue sticking like glue to the roof of a dry mouth
December weakens me
My bones and all my thoughts
Can’t dream in the pillars of orgasms
When our ecosystems begin crashing in declining health

I freeze to your scars
And grew hungry in all of your fears
The stairs and the elevators
The storms and the sun

While around me walks all the men in current disguise
They seem to have decided to join the Ted Bundy billionaire boys club
Suave and sadistic, leave women puking or pouting
I stand upon a damnation hill
Watching the moon fail me, to bring a slight light to the loneliness
As my pen weakens in ink.
Thoughts begin to melt over the table like a shot snowman onto the windshield
Of frosted over flash,
Streetlamps coughed dim light over white pruned-in roads
Mushed in and slick

While the feeling of we all die dance like a parade
That is not a lie as we hold the umbrella and march
Sometimes, we can cartoon our own demise
We can shovel the dirt
Missile into our lungs the cold breath
The air of an avalanche lingers over our heads

All of the loves I’ve had
Are banshees of screams
That are cynical in their echoes
The beauties, the art, the maniacal inkblots
The dresses always sway off into the wind
Becoming bare skeletons that merged into a God-claw cloud
Away from me at least,
In their own heaven
In their own world wherever that could be
With other voices that know more poetry than I
That sing sweeter than the last drop of red wine
It’ll hit the glass

I would kneel these weak legs down to prayer
Only to feel the spikes
And God was left baffled by the shaky knees
As you try to lead love back to a lie
Your bravery feels lost
And look at the cost
Now look whose skeleton is beginning to show through
Your bare soul, do you have a claw to reach for?

I look down to the letter
It is empty of content
And the body is hungry
Stomach feels crippled
Order the special
Worry about the demise on
A different lunch hour.

photo by R Mac Wheeler on Unsplash.com