Tuesday 29 June 2021

Five Wonderful Poems by Nilofar Shidmher


Summer Return


When my lights are off

and curtains drawn

you come back:

a deer grazing

on the thinning lawn

by the entrance.

I keep watching you

till you see my

hungry eyes

through the crack of the blinds. 


Startled, you run away,

and I hide

in my dark room,        


for winter to pass

waiting for the day

when out from

the soil of forgetfulness

the first blade

of grass grows back.


I let this also pass,

looking forward

to summer

so scorching hot

that your memory

of me starts thinning

thus you return,

thinking she’s gone                                                                                

and won’t be

seeking me again.

Eternal Emigration


Leafless November trees

shudder in rain.

Look how soon

autumn arrived

as we lay down

our roots!


Our roots are extended

the soil of this land thin

winter is coming.

Are we going to uproot

leave again with this freezing wind

that scatters the sailboats?




Regret is the apple

of chance

I didn’t pick when ripe.


That apple

has now blackened

in my chest.


Eve’s apple

at whose heart

remorse gnaws


a fat worm.




On the warmth of my waist

lands a hand

like a butterfly

flutters its wings

propels me upward

to the apex of my desires. 


Eagle & Peacock


Every night he takes off

with me in his claws.

We rise through clouds

making them part

while heading to the summit


where I open my eyes

and wait

underneath the wide arc

of his wings

wait until his last breath


when he suddenly dives down

an arrow cutting through clouds

but before hitting the earth

I release myself

to deftly land


while opening my feathers

like rays

and become a rising sun

his eagle eyes cast skyward

fail to see.


NILOFAR SHIDMHER is a bilingual writer, poet, arts-informed research scholar, and educator. She is the author of two collections of short fiction and five books of poetry in English and Persian. Shidmehr has served three times as a Writer-in-Residence in Canada. She teaches in the Liberal Arts Program at Simon Fraser University.


A Perceptive Poem by Margaret Kiernan


Whitecoats in Cornwall

G-7 summit, June 2021


Signpost’s bend in wind

Hand signalled regulation,

Do they take risks? The great seven


Arrive at Cornwall’s parched Eden

The regal cake sliced, with a sabre,

When Joe met Boris, did the fields pulse?


Between dirt and the astrology of stars

Anglo-Saxon worlds are now called

to answer for capitalists’ moral standards.


Sieve the tides clean, that patriarchal house full of rooms,

perspectives from those windows, environmental or social,

rarely equal. Angels and Devils scorched hell.


Macron calls, in lingua franca, for a stronger house,

Europe, if not an object, could speak Mandarin

bring the bacon to Brussels . Soothe that dragon.


While the media clamour, collude, over red dresses

Or whitecoats , swirled mist from the Atlantic drifts in.

Will corn fields burn after the grain is collected?

Margaret Kiernan writes fiction, non-fiction essay, memoir, and poetry. She has had poetry and prose published in e-book, in anthology collections, and literary journals and magazines - including, Black-lion Press, Pendemic.ie journal-C19 collection , archived at University College Dublin, The Blue Nib Lit-Journal , The Write Life Magazine, Unity Global Festival, Vox Galvia at the Galway Advertiser, A New Ulster Literary Press, The Burrow Lit. Journal, Poet-Head.Wordpress.com, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, The Galway Review and The Irish Canadian Cultural Newsmagazine, New Brunswick.

She writes with Over the Edge, Thursday writing/reading group at Galway Arts Centre, and, Ox Mountain Poets, Sligo.

She is listed in the Index of Contemporary Women Poets in Ireland, 2020. 

She holds several Educational qualifications, Including a Degree in Arts in Humanities, from Sligo IT.

Her background is in Advocacy in Human and Social Rights.

Margaret has completed numerous courses and workshops in writing, for prose and poetry.

Tutors in poetry includes, Annemarie Ni Churainn, Martin Dyer, Colm Keegan, Monica Corish, Moyra Donaldson, Noel Monahan, Kevin Higgins.

Tutors in prose includes, Claire Allan, Anne McMaster, Conor Kostick, Carlo Gebler, Malacai O’Doherty, Jan Carson, Ciara Doorley.

Margaret has four grown-up children. She lives in Westmeath with her dog Molly. She is a landscape painter. Is into Nature, walking, gardening, music, and heritage. She is working towards a First collection in Poetry.

Social Media-

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/margaretgibbonskiernan/@kiernanmargaret

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/margaretkiernan

LinkedIn: http://linkedIn.com/in/margaretkiernan

Facebook: http://facebook.com/margaret.kiernan


One Poem by Sheila Tucker


carpe diem


hey, little brunette leaf

yes, you—at the end of yonder twig

why wither from healthy

jade so soon?

it’s barely end of summer

your bough’s sisters still

pert and plumply verdant.

you—thinning, rusting


it’s the fate of all leaves

but your sisters seize the day—

they dance with the Sun

God while still able

whilst you striptease, fling

aside your green lace

lay bare on the bough


lying in wait for your new master’s thrusts


vita brevis


do join in the dance

Sheila Tucker was, most recently, an editor/graphic designer for an international company. Now retired after 40 years in the workforce, she has more time to write. Her poems, essays and short stories are published in anthologies, newspapers and e-zines. She is currently writing and illustrating a children's picture book. Her 2019 happy-sad-funny-mad memoir, Rag Dolls and Rage, was about the trauma of her childhood and how she eventually healed herself. Born in the UK, Sheila now lives with her husband in Canada, near to Lake Ontario.


Two Poems by Michael La Bombarda




Every day a dollar

Makes me feel like the prince

In Cinderella.


Yes, I’ve gone out

With working-class women

Whom I found attractive,


And though I’m poor

And have been poor

All my life,


I often think myself

From royalty—I even

Have a royal pseudonym


I write under from time to time.

Once I was drinking in a bar

And a naked woman entered it.


I fell instantly in love

With her and thoughts of marriage

Even absorbed my mind,


And I went home to get her a shirt

And a pair of pants, and told her

To wait in the phone booth.


When I came back,

She was gone.

Cinderellas leave my life


All the time,

But I go on

Feeling like a prince,


Part Machiavellian,

Part little prince,

And always the prince in Cinderella

Looking for a princess

With the perfect fit.





The window comprises

Three horizontal bars,

Equally placed

That run three or four feet wide,

And a foot-and-a-half tall.

I can see outside

Though I don’t think

People can see in.

I’m in a flea-bag hotel

With no more money

To rent a room for the week.

I’ll have to commit

A crime in broad daylight

In front of a crowd of people,

So I definitely get caught

And sent to jail

Where I won’t need money

For a room or worry about

Where my next meal

Is coming from

For a good while.

Truth and falsehood

Are in my poems.

I’ll let you decide

What is true or false,

Prose or poetry,

Since the disparate parts

Of this poem crystallize,

And are supposed to awaken

You into an aesthetic satori

Of realization embodied

In a fleeting sigh, or a drop

Of poop on your head,

And ah-ah at the perfect

Fruition of alum formed

In grade-school science,

Which you have saved.

Michael La Bombarda is a poet and fiction writer. He is retired and lives in New York City. He has published in Publlic Illumination Magazine, Danse Macabre, Yellow Chair, Kiss My Poetry, Oddball Magazine, and First Literary Review East, and the Landmark, and has two books of poetry published, Steady Hands and A Lover’s Complaint, both with Chez Michel Press,his own press. 

Four Wonderful Poems by Phil Wood


There's a lone hawthorn in the farmer's field

It keeps the witches at bay.
No furrowed farmer's brow,
he's ploughing the richest earth.
Crows eye, but stay away.

His cows are calving, proud
with milk. His hens lay eggs
at ease, all safe from foxes,
for word has got around.

The village priest was deaf
to old wives tales. His blood
enflamed so lustful hot
he lost his cross. He left

a love expecting too.
A daughter is her wish.
She's birthed two farmer's sons,
and knows wishes do come true.


The hill's called the Skirrid.
These are borderlands.
People own their words. Outsiders call
it Wenglish, corrected in school,
learnt at home with fireside myth.
The hill's misshaped in anger, a tempest
on the day of the crucifixion!
Farmers take its soil for fertile fields.
They need a myth, not lessons
about land falls in the ice age. Legends
root, but the Devil's Table
tale no local will tell.


Camping last night,
the keening wind
through the valley,
threaded my dream.

Early morning,
runes of red light
beaded the stack
of silent pine.

And now this ink,
crows in flight,
a scrawl of caw
script portents.

And then the quiet
prowling its slow claw.
No bird perched
tree-proud. No song.

My labrador barks
at something. I hear
myself muttering
a childhood chant.

Nonsense you say.
Logging happens.
Birds are just birds.
We're not actors.


The outcast

finds a calcite cobble smoothed
by the slow flow of a glacier.
With flint hardness she sculpts
the coupling - clenched to him
as fierce as a fist. Witness
their defiance: the thaw
of him, her warmth shared
for eleven thousand years
- the Ain Sakhri lovers.

Phil Wood was born in Wales. He has worked in statistics, education, shipping, and a biscuit factory. His writing can be found in various publications, including: Fevers of the Mind, Snakeskin Poetry, Clementine Unbound, Miller's Pond, Allegro.


Monday 28 June 2021

Four Sublime Poems by D'or Seifer


The Administrator

Hair like marshes of beanie baby fur,

pruned and worn down by infant gums.

Teeth the colour of mildew in the shower

of a derelict shack in the bayou.

Our interferences

were a return to childhood.

Ever-growing run-offs,

expanding dead zones.

Your voice is a bald eagles cry

softening in darkness

to a bassoons lament for a nest

filling a shady grotto,

a poor substitute.


Puffer fish lips

dissect my hurt with no quarter

until youre smarter than you look

passes off as a quirky compliment.


Theres a photo of us

inside the pharynx of a whale.

In my hadal zone I knew:

we were living in a carcass,

in that jaw about to snap.



Interference- the combination of two or more electromagnetic waveforms to form a resultant wave in which the displacement is either reinforced or cancelled.

Dead zones- low-oxygen, or hypoxic, areas in the world's oceans and lakes.



Apple (Op-Ed from an exile in Silicon Valley)


You took a second bite of the apple

and lost your humanity,

lost the beasts of the earth and sky,

lost the moon, the stars and the water.

lost our ancient language

and its poetry.

Instead you compile new languages.

Those of us who speak the old tongue,

your amanuenses

taking down your orders,

try to speak to you,

the new humans,

in this, the new Babylon.


Guard Irons


Your hunting oscillation,

punctuated anxiety and grief,

laughter coming to a full stop 

at the end of each sentence.  


The greyed armpits

of your rosy coat

cocooning you

repelled me,

an indistinct receiver

for the relentless revolution of

gangrenous digits, 




Unable to bring myself to

being, to


I was a nodding puppet

on the dashboard

of our train, clunking 

towards the empty junction.


Beware of Ducks

Snails trailing evanescent glitter

just by virtue of going places,

reflecting the light that follows everywhere,

sinuously feeling their way around

with immense gentleness.

Having the fortitude

to carry the weight of a home

and the bravery to emerge from it

with all their fragility.

Its dangerous to be a snail,

yet they cannot hurry.

Instead, they slowly highlight

the way,

softening the ground so others may


How hard the world must feel

to the underbelly,

how rough when poked

with soft tentacles,

reaching out to feel,

to touch,

to discover

whats out there.

D'or Seifer contributes to poetry gatherings, such as Filí an Tí Bháin, and On the Nail. She co-runs the online poetry series Lime Square Poets. Her work has recently appeared in Skylight 47,The Galway Advertiser's Vox Galvia page, and Pendemic.


One Poem by John Yamrus

  she was not your typical girl next door. to begin with, she had a name that sounded like a bottle of cheap perfume. but, she did have the ...