Seventh Month by Theophilus Kwek

It is the seventh month.

We visit relatives, unseen
for the rest of the year
and are welcomed with Chinese sausage
wrapped with diced
carrots in warm flour rolls,
bulging orange like angry shape poems.

Teeth slice through sweetened
sauce and greetings
exchange themselves with biting nicety;
comments about the weather
become errant popiah fragments
soaring through the stuffy afternoon.

Further into the conversation,
voices talking at
each other exile
the younger generation reverently
to the background, leaving
them to study rolling TV headlines –

Somewhere a bomb kills
an entire family.
Long-lost son is reunited
with dying grandparents.
Minister cautions against
growing generation gap.

I lower the volume and
there is an awkward silence
we retreat into being

hungry ghosts.

1) seventh month on the chinese calendar is also known as hungry ghost month, because of a traditional belief that ghosts emerge to play and feast on the living in the night.

2) popiah is exactly what it is here – chinese sausage wrapped in thin flour sheets with vegetable and sweet sauce.

Milk-mates by Annie Rink

Sleep with me,
can I hold you
, the young girl’s lips
beg around the woman,
marking her neck,
enwrapping her mouth,
sliding down her stomach.
Remembering herself split in half,
the woman flinches.
Just a little. Please.
The girl’s eyes glimmer with tears.
Her breasts cry under the moonlight.
I’m sorry, the woman whispers,
and the girl withdraws her hand
from the woman’s sex.
They look at each other,
at their have’s and have not’s,
letting their souls pour out of their bodies
like milk into the night.

© Annie Rink

poems by Stacy Mar

Polly Anna Wonderland

I am not a participant,
Fingers knuckle deep
In the popcorn cup.
I am not the loud girl
In blond hair,
Strawberry lips flapping
Of mine, me, I did, I do.
I am a theatre ogre
Dressed in modern chick,
Zipper of my boots
Reaching towards the pulling
Hem of a pink checked mini skirt.
I am a mirror of eyeballs,
A chorus of old men,
Hello, how are you, ahem.
This place is too cold
For a fall night,
Screaming starlets too scared
For the silliness of sorority massacre.
I am a fist full of white knuckles
and the words of the women
At the ticket line,
A jolly laugh and a one liner,
A series of sighs about eating right.
Tonight I am happy to walk
The same streets with strangers,
The common ground where
Everyone connects,
An intersection of humanity
In this place where I become part
Of the bigger picture.
Part of me becomes a Celtic musician
In a highlanders world.
Silly witch of Salem,
Black fingernails and
An old wooden broom,
Shadow across a silver moon
Where Halloween celebrates it’s season.
I am dropping diamonds
And toads hair upon all the little houses
Where jolly gnomes chop
Ground worms for their soup.
Just a little beatnik and a
Whole lot of free soul,
Gatherer of life-stones,
Each a leaden memory,
I am stumbling steadily toward
The shore of some Polly-Anna
Wonderland-lakeside and tossing
All my worries to the fish and snails.
They all think I’m crazy,
Making wishes while the minnows smile.

Personal Idiom

This moment
Is the freeze zone of the present.
The runes are cast,
Wooden with white paint,
Symbolic of the ancient man,
Viking of the middle earth and
Pirates who perched alongside
The mermaid sirens
In their stilled songs.
I bend my muse inward,
Spiritual Warrior on my right shoulder,
This is the divination of
Past and present life,
Each eyeball a glyph
Of firelight amidst the wilderness.
And I am searching
The depths of my inner being,
Words of Odin
And the Norse Gods
Speak to me of contentment,
Oracle of the spiritual being.
I nod my head and reason
The three themes of Shakespeare,
How the whole world is a stage prop
Of ill refute, the Kings jealousy,
Love churning like a circle of scattered leaves.
The words of Rumi and Jung
Appease me in the mystical sense
Of becoming two halves of one whole
Minus molecules and calculations,
And I know I’m of nothing
But human flesh and a fortitude of
Unconscious self-order.
There is no articulation
Of emotion, only intellectual response.
We are all spiritual beings,
Through existence we all live in the beginning.
This revelation touches me
Like the magic of make-believe,
A brilliant luminosity that churns behind
The black eye of a burned out light bulb.

poems by Stu Hatton


have history with you
makes it hard to be
with you when I am. it’s
so beautiful outside, but
outside of what? hey
but the sun is mighty
loud. birds call me out,
heavy on the roofs.
gardens disciplined
beyond recognition.
sidestep trenches
& amber barrier mesh.
oh, another castle
under construction.
slick & unimpressive. as
if some brazen new epoch
could bud in the suburbs.

Let go

To be shy & low
is not a way –

do not depend on this
… as a state,

nor hug doorways of the flat
smoking like a trap.

Why intent on shutting down
while the bulk of us still shake it?

& what, this is where you do your
talking – here, in the poem?

But your kindred are out soaring –
boy, you should slip into town!

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