Rage

by Pamela Newham

We have written a lot about road rage:
Passing on solid white lines
Zig-zagging across highways
Too slow in the fast lane
Jumping queues
Angry hooter blasts
The flash of the rigid middle digit
All leading to smashed windows, swearing and worse.

But we have not said enough about packaging rage.
Unbreakable items in layers of bubble wrap
Screeds of sticky tape
Staples stabbing flesh
Plastic ties refusing to let go
Child-friendly-adult-hating pill containers
All leading to ripped nails, swearing and worse.

The Summer She Died

by Cornelia Rohde

On soft summer afternoons with the press of work over,
we sat together on the flagstone terrace Father laid,
looked out over the old orchard and let the day slip quietly away.
Do you hear Mrs. Wren? she’d say.

A long, joyous, rush and jumble voice would bubble
in the stillness. I’d spot the rufous brown chest,
the same rich hue of my mother’s hair, bustling round the garden,
zipping through tangles and low branches,
forever bringing food to young mouths stretched
hungry in their wooden house hanging from an oak limb.

Feisty for her tiny size, her abrupt scurs and scolds
warned off any predator threatening her domain.
Yet she paused often to deliver cheerful trilling songs
with complex notes– for one so inconspicuous.

Let’s sit here a little while more and listen.
There won’t be many more days as mild as this.

Remembering

by Michael Keeling

I wish I could remember
where we lay,
‘neath a veil of trees,
hair ruffled
by the breeze.

I wish I could remember
the vapour trail moving
arrow straight in the sky,
musing us
to days gone by.

I wish I could remember
distant bells,
the clamour of rooks,
and you buried under
a mountain of books.

I wish I could remember
walks on the beach,
talks in the park;
how we sat huddled
till long after dark.

I wish I could remember
music we played,
the lingering night
and falling asleep
in dawn’s shrouded light.

But the sorrows I’ve caused,
the expressions of pain
and the blood that I’ve let.
These are the things
I wish I could forget.

Writing in the Afternoon (A Pantoum)

by Annette Snyckers

My heart leaps up
my limbs are light
I write to remember
I write to forget

my limbs are light
I write mountains and molehills
I write to forget
the fear that fetters me

I write mountains and molehills
I write terror and tenderness
the fear that fetters me
a remnant of wholeness

I write terror and tenderness
I write to remember
a remnant of wholeness
my heart leaps up