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1. The Easter Sunday my Faith Strayed, and 2. Lost and Found Still Lost – Carrie Danaher Hoyt

The Easter Sunday My Faith Strayed

A thurible swung solemnly
voices sang for risen King
and sweet incense was billowing.

Prayers of the Faithful asked
help for Syria,
comfort for their suffering.

As I spoke, “Lord, hear our prayer,”
the holy smoke
grew strangling. Continue reading “1. The Easter Sunday my Faith Strayed, and 2. Lost and Found Still Lost – Carrie Danaher Hoyt”

1. Vigil, and 2. Clear – Jon Bishop

Vigil

It’s blue-dark,
the kind of dark that comes only
in the midst of a full moon,

and the night is cool, and calm,
and the wind, lightly dancing
through the trees, is beginning
to whisper in our ears, calling us Continue reading “1. Vigil, and 2. Clear – Jon Bishop”

1. The natural beauty of Lego, and 2. Pulp Savannah – Amy Kean

The natural beauty of Lego

Broken bones, heaped, on the next chair.
In front, two fat lungs growling and full.
Sweat slides down the baubled face of the child
On the floor, playing manual labour with Lego.
Young Mr. and Mrs. Naïve, #blessed
Murmur a sweet prayer for the health
Of an embryo, their band aid future.
I shouldn’t be here now.
This fresh. This clean. This unlucky. Continue reading “1. The natural beauty of Lego, and 2. Pulp Savannah – Amy Kean”

The Orange Tree – Lucy Whitehead

The Orange Tree

At the centre of a cloistered courtyard
encircled by curve and shadow
a ladder reaches from earth to sky.

While men whip the sin
from their flesh, red ribboned inside
darkened cells, or gaze Continue reading “The Orange Tree – Lucy Whitehead”

In Limbo – Anne Casey

In limbo

A fighter falls to his knees—bloodied, all but broken.
A big man with small hands stands
stock still, unsullied.
Two lovers kiss, a humming bird
touches down on dust-palled ground.

Dragnet chases crisscross cityscape;
a dragged woman paces, hands on hips; coffee drips; Continue reading “In Limbo – Anne Casey”

1. Running, and 2. Finding God – Ernest Ogunyemi

Running

I grew up counting the names of God,
all of them—it was the one thing Father taught me to do.
Father, unlike Moses, did not find the Lord in bushfire,
he had found him in fleeing from burning.
And I joined him (we all did), running.
I ran so much my heart began to ache,
my body began to shift perspective,
I began to see things other than what my eyes have been
taught to see—that I am not salt and light, Continue reading “1. Running, and 2. Finding God – Ernest Ogunyemi”

Pulling Through – Laurie Koensgen

Pulling Through

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. ––– Matthew 19:24

It would take so much work
(forget the gospel metaphor)
to yank a tattered thread
through a fine-eyed needle
or a battered camel
through the last mirage. Continue reading “Pulling Through – Laurie Koensgen”

1. Requisition, and 2. God, Look At God – Goodness Olanrewaju Ayoola

Requisition

And when I say I’m void of self-belief I’m trying to say I don’t live
The answer I’m trying to say I recognize helpless nature I’m trying to say
That I write God in the alfresco mother says he is ubiquitous like air I am a daily
SOS on some other days while I await heaven’s radar I re- arrange my misery
As a response driven to a space on the ocean’s expanse reciting each pain into pebbles
Feeding pebbles to strong currents I hang my scars like petitions around my neck Continue reading “1. Requisition, and 2. God, Look At God – Goodness Olanrewaju Ayoola”

The Anger of Water – Kolawole Samuel Adebayo

The Anger of Water

Water rises
With a roar,
Forms a fist of iron
And throws itself at you.
I do not pray to see water angry.
It is mannerless;
Has respect for nothing
But its evil intentions.
Upon the blue sea, Continue reading “The Anger of Water – Kolawole Samuel Adebayo”

Inferno, Cantos I–III – Ryan Napier

Inferno, Cantos I–III

                                                                 I.

In the middle of my life, I lost myself in a dark wood.
I can’t say how I got there: I was on the path, and then I wasn’t. I can hardly even describe the wood. It was dark and dense, and I was afraid.
I wandered all night, first one way, then another, then back again. Every turn led me deeper into the wood. When I stopped to rest, I heard a distant howl, and I set off, almost running. The thick branches shut out the moonlight, and I tripped on roots and skinned my wrists on the stony ground. Continue reading “Inferno, Cantos I–III – Ryan Napier”

1. Suddenly Blind, and 2. The Last Earthly Gift – Charlotte Hamrick

Suddenly Blind

The microwave is beeping in time to the pulse in my head.
My fingernails are splitting, one by one, leaving ragged points
that scratch my numbed face.
I wander from room to room feeling like this house
is a stranger that’s abducted me.
I go days without washing my face or brushing my hair

and I blame the moon. It’s too bright, it’s too big, Continue reading “1. Suddenly Blind, and 2. The Last Earthly Gift – Charlotte Hamrick”

1. In the Dark, and 2. Embracing Vulnerability – David Hanlon

In the Dark

I devise a plan:
I will take you
to places you’ve never seen.
I book my ticket
and we’re off:
jetting across the globe,
the adventure of a lifetime.

We go to New York, Libya, Malaysia,
and now here I am in Italy,
your rounded body Continue reading “1. In the Dark, and 2. Embracing Vulnerability – David Hanlon”

Empyrean Swings – Ashley Bullen-Cutting

Empyrean Swings

what is love if not
catching irrepressible canyons
in calloused hands
breathing homespun winds
into dessicated
labium-gullies

what is love if not
defining impossibility Continue reading “Empyrean Swings – Ashley Bullen-Cutting”

Prayer Book – Victoria Richards

Prayer book

When I was 12 I found a prayer book at a jumble sale
and bought it for the grand sum of 25p.

It had daffodils on the front – a cheery bunch of yellow flowers
and I remember thinking, yellow flowers can only be good

they always make people happy.
And I didn’t feel happy, not very often, not even at the age

of bike rides and cupcakes and sleepovers, Continue reading “Prayer Book – Victoria Richards”

The Polar Express (2004) – Cass Francis

The Polar Express (2004)

now i believe
in animated snow
globes warped
with human
yearning

hidden
behind design
fantasy
computer code
magic Continue reading “The Polar Express (2004) – Cass Francis”

1. Via Negativa, and 2. The Creation Of Man – Tolu Oloruntoba

Via Negativa

A 15-year abacus, a rosary of flint faces,
and an inverted road.
St. Jonah, personal patron, pray for me.
You brother of cowards and fugitives,
welldigger who struck a bedrock
of scorpions every time.

I too have encountered
a rising tide of what could be water,
if it wasn’t paralyzing me from the feet up. Continue reading “1. Via Negativa, and 2. The Creation Of Man – Tolu Oloruntoba”

Rings – Jessica Sequeira

Rings

We hadn’t wanted to go out, had even considered changing our minds with a lateness sure to offend, in order to enjoy the cool inside of the house with its scent of fresh cedar, its hardworking fan. But we mustered the resources we had, slipped on our sandals and passed over the threshold. The invitation had been extended to us with such excitement that there was no choice but to attend, despite our prejudices against classical art and the theatre, here found in the same work. Continue reading “Rings – Jessica Sequeira”

So Be It, Amen – Lucas Wildner

So Be It, Amen

We bow our heads before dinner.
He prays; I recite the German
with a hushed voice—
not out of reverence,
but to soften the inevitable slips
from my English-led tongue.

*

When five sat at this table
we held our hands
in front of us Continue reading “So Be It, Amen – Lucas Wildner”

Divine Intervention – Elancharan Gunasekaran

Divine Intervention

Responding to bubble threat.
Vehicle loaded.
Strapped beneath plates.
Moving out.
Location verification required.

East on… static zzzzzzzz
Repeat. Command. Repeat. zzzzzzzzz
East on… static zzz
Cavalry to command: Continue reading “Divine Intervention – Elancharan Gunasekaran”

Lost Sheep – Jeremy Mifsud

Lost Sheep

Churchgoers scan
my microchip;
they ask
if I’m lost,
if I’m a sheep astray.
They point towards your temple—
the one I’m running from.
I tread away Continue reading “Lost Sheep – Jeremy Mifsud”

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