Seamen

The bird-faced girl, when very young, was stolen by seamen. In a dress of white feathers she is pinned down on something that looks like a porcelain platter. Her captors are stood all about her, eager to hear, even from a distance, the beat of her heart. They believe that by listening to her blood pump they will remember what it was like when they too had wings.

alone in a blizzard
the penguin’s egg
cooling

Alan Peat & Réka Nyitrai

An ekphrastic haibun based on Eileen Agar’s painting ‘The Lotus Eater’ (1939)

Seamen

Moral Dilemma

How wildly beats the heart
So snared in hopeless cares
It tears the soul apart
How wildly beats the heart

The weight of all we bare
The brunt of every jest
The focus of our stare
The distance of that crest

Beyond the cure of all our arts
Beyond the ruse some clue
How deeply sinks the heart
The weight of all we do

unimaginable
to our troglodyte brains
future’s controversies

Anna Cates

Moral Dilemma

Unborn

There in the depths of your womb, lie all the children you could have had – said the Oval Lady. They are invisible, intangible sea angels; glass squid lost in the darkening shallows. They swim in blue nightshirts with their eyes and mouths firmly closed. Sometimes when a storm breaks you can hear their fins rake across the roof tiles.

hard rain
a swollen river runs
to barren waters

An ekphrastic haibun based on Leonora Carrington’s painting ‘Green Tea’ (1942)

Alan Peat & Réka Nyitrai

Unborn

Book of David

feeding the tree
a thimbleful
of ashes

“What if I told you those squirrels you feed shelled walnuts to dug up and ate bits of you?”
“Hell yeah. I love those squirrels. Remember when they dragged away a pizza slice someone left in our alley? And that time they found dinner rolls in the trash? What a party.”
“Yes, I remember. They’ll eat anything.”
“Yeah. They’re great.”
“So, if they ate pieces of you, you’d be OK with it?”
“Definitely. I sometimes wish to be a squirrel.”
“Good. Because they did.”

almost hearing your drums almost

E. L. Blizzard

Book of David

Half Penny Dreadful

The topmost arc of the double rimmed postmark intersects the corner of the fern green stamp just catching the chin of the profiled Edward V11

‘Julia is far from well … Effie is better I am glad to say and please excuse the pc ‘

space
for the word
reverse side of dark

From an 85 percent plain chocolate tint the foreground shadowed water brightens beneath a rustic bridge connecting banks of trees more trees which reach from the murk towards the cloud tinged sky

full moon
through a century’s eclipses
deciphered ghosts

Diana Webb

Half Penny Dreadful

Nulled

At the end of the string I am holding there is a cloud. I walk a puddle on a lead. Above my head dark balloons gather. Soon it will rain cats and dogs.

thunderhead—
clay dolls
in children’s tombs 

Alan Peat & Réka Nyitrai

Nulled