For brief hours, between rockpools, sandways
open up. Midday, low tide, her feet splash though
clouds floating in brine on beached ground
that belongs metres below the waves.
Her eyes, caught by the sideways flit of a black shag,
settle on Coquet’s outcrop, its bleached lighthouse erect
and almost touchable today. She mulls on crossing over-sea,
the islet seems so near. To swim or wade. Yet the true question
is she strong enough or will she drown? Moments pass fast
In her mind she plunges deep – feet rooted she’s surprised
to find she’s stuck, manacled by stinking bladderwrack
on singing, sinking sands, with empty razor shells,
barnacled, rocky stones and decimated crabs.
He’d always press.
Say, ‘Go’, when she’d hold back.
Nearby, sea-coal dust fans in delicate arrays,
pointillist gestures of encouragement.
She falters as the tide turns
out of reach.
m y – s e l f
m y – s e l f splinters in sunlight
scatters amongst leaves in breezes
is washed down drains in autumn storms
m y – s e l f withers under scrutiny of headlights
dances and dreams with grey ghosts at break of dawn
rears up affronted when shivered by scorn
m y – s e l f is nothing in pretence of everything
is proven in kindness corrupted by altruism
bound by imagined concepts stark lines on my aging face
m y – s e l f was once young fair yet unaware
is all the assumptions made by me and others
reactive and proactive compliant and defiant
m y – s e l f kaleidoscopes into dizziness when
stunned I try to contemplate my darkened navel
scarred by surgery three births and mid-life fires
m y – s e l f merges into tribal waters forebears
join descendants and my myriad selves
as yet unborn circulate still stardust in Kali’s eyes
at the end of m y – s e l f by my woodland grave,
my tribe gathers to see m y – s e l f splinter in sunlight
bed down in mossy earth settle self-less into loamy soil
Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon writes short stories and poetry. She’s been published on-line and in print. She is a Forward and Pushcart Prize nominee (2019), and she believes everyone’s voices count.
light January rain—
and time to count them
Rob Taylor’s fourth poetry collection, Strangers, will be published in April 2021 by Biblioasis.
And the sun, dissolved,
dusted in shards over snow.
Julia Retkova is a King’s College London graduate student with two degrees in Literature and Digital Studies: she’s currently working on her dissertation while running a small literary journal. She was born in Ukraine, but grew up in the south of Spain. She loves reading books in the sun and writing when everyone’s asleep. Her writing has been previously published in Storgy, Literally Stories, Masque & Spectacle, Sublunary Review, the tide rises, the tide falls, and is forthcoming in a few others.
Shoes full of slush
It is colder here
than anywhere else, promise.
Frozen lake of toes.
Megan Cannella (@megancannella) is a Midwestern transplant currently living in Nevada. For over a decade, Megan has bounced between working at a call center, grad school, and teaching. She has work in or forthcoming from @PorcupineLit, @dailydrunkmag, @VerseZine, @TBQuarterly, and @perhappened.
sun on winter pond
ice and water
David Watts’s literary credits include seven books of poetry, three collections of short stories, two mystery novels, seven western novels, a Christmas memoir, and several essays. He is a physician, musician and past Radio/TV personality. His haiku have appeared in Hedgerow, Modern Haiku, Creatrix, The Bamboo Hut and Akitsu Quarterly among others.
rowdy hoarfrost stars
Ren Pike grew up in Newfoundland. Through sheer luck, she was born into a family who understood the exceptional value of a library card. Her work has appeared in Train, NDQ, IceFloe Press, and Pithead Chapel. When she is not writing, she wrangles data for non-profit organizations in Calgary, Canada.
From heaven snowflakes
descending one million
Brian lives in north-central Massachusetts where, when not biking or walking its country roads and woodland trails, he consults with young entrepreneurs and writes fiction and poetry. He can be found at www.brianschulz.com.
Snow falls shadowless,
sweeps the reeds on frozen ponds.
Jammed ice moans and sighs.
U.S. writer Nancy Cook lives 475 kilometers from the Canadian border. She runs the “Witness Project,” a series of community writing workshops designed to enable creative work by underrepresented voices. Some of her newest work can be found in The London Reader, Raven Chronicles: Art Against Hate. and the Michigan Quarterly Review.
sashay from on high
Moose plods through
Darrell Petska is a retired communications editor, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Journals that have published his poetry include Muddy River Poetry Review, Modern Haiku, Chrysanthemum, Shamrock Haiku Journal, Failed Haiku–Journal of English Senryu, and many others (see conservancies.wordpress.com). Forty years a father (eight years a grandfather), and longer as a husband, Darrell lives outside Madison, Wisconsin.
to mountain, mountain, mountain
someday I’ll join you
Alaskan Poet, Moon Gazer, Raven Watcher, Way-finder, Northern Trekker, Teacher. Kersten Christianson derives inspiration from wild places, wandering ambles, and road trips without any real destination. She gathers words from the wind and finds a path through. Kersten serves as poetry editor of the quarterly journal Alaska Women Speak. Her latest collection of poetry is Curating the House of Nostalgia (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, 2020).