Futures

 

Cognition's such an ugly word.  Depression—a thumb print

on the moon.  Beck who?  Beckon me PhD on Jupiter. 

No, too accessible—a black hole. 

A black hole. 

 

Two preps and lunch, summers free, I could be

comfortable here, easily adult among the adolescents. 

Intern, earn and learn (all in turn). 

Get a life.

 

Then I see him, headlocking her against a locker—

no affection, it's a threat.  He sees me.  Release 

He shrugs, she breathes.

Get away. 

 

Do you always push girls around?  Slow smile, then Yeah,

that could be me.  I can see that in me—to be a woman beater. 

But I don't need to beat her, she gives me everything

I need.

 

I am fifteen, sick to my stomach all the time, growing

smaller every day.  So small—no one can see me. 

You are fifteen, nameless, and all

I see. 

 

Eyes closed, propelled by the shudder of a blow,

compelled by the secrets we breathe—I’m finishing

for you (for me) to never be

small.

Pamela Joyce Shapiro

L'amour

 

That year in that delirious spring

love letters were exchanged

without a word mumbled or said

volumes and volumes were spoken.

 

A small telegraph office

became the raison d’être for him

the reason to be

the reason to survive,

the intensity of their blaze poisoned his being

as he wrote letters like a lunatic

in the palm oil lamps.

 

What is love after all?

Words in envelopes made of linen paper with golden vignettes

Stealing an hour from a day to pour a glass of passion into paper

His mother shouting, “You are going to wear out your brains”

“No woman is worth all that”

Still more writing, more letters , more frenetic correspondence.

 

The letter unfolds and in between the words lies a camellia,

the flower of promises is what he sent her

She was young, unsure hence she returned it

Only to receive another letter this one being the last

It was the year they fell into devastating love

Love in the time of Cholera.

Gayatri Chawla

Turkey in the Straw

 

‘’Alice in Wonderland in the side pocket’’

The musicians take a break so I'm –

She's off to the bar for a soda –

Making a run around the carpet
I caught a glimpse of her she disappeared
behind lucky 7 8-ball missing too

I glance at the picture in my pocket
Slim and arched almost no breast line
Fiddle in one hand stick in the other

''Cue the moon and clouds''

‘’This is her, I mean she’’

‘’Side bank the Mandolin orange
into the corner pocket.’’

 

Ken Hay

St Catherine’s                                                St Catherine’s
Coated optics                                                  Coated optics
conservatory                                                    conservatory

Da hills o Clift                                                The hills of Clift
watch oot                                                                    watch out

Doon by da fit                                                 Down by the foot
o da galloo’s hill                                             of the gallow’s hill

takk dy braeth                                                 take your breath
awa                                                                              away

an English version, and the original Shetland one

Christie Williamson

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