Matariki & The Love-Torn Sailor by S S Haque

Matariki and the love-torn sailor Sun rose regal and high in the sphere sky strong and eager winds spurred to twirl the heavens. Aukai’s crew loaded stone and tools onto his double-hulled wood canoe this day bodes well for several at sea, he thought but his body’s memory sunk into the soft wet warmth of Alaula, his dawn light, roots and earthly delight   eager sails filled with powerful gusts Aukai palmed the rock around his neck remembered what Alaula had said I’ll love you until all the dawns are spent I’ll love you in the dark of the ocean I’d fly with the fishes for you Aukai rubbed Alaula’s rock breathed sun and salt left the solid shore his Read More

The Sparrows of the National Museum by Ethan Leong

God set you down on a tranquil lawn Your chestnut feathers mottled with specks of white and black I clasped her hand softly, sitting by concrete-paved steps I feared the sound of our thighs, pressed against the hewn stone Would somehow remind you of who you are ANXIETY! Whatarethosetwogiantssittingtherewatchingmefor PANIC! WillIbecagedwillIbeharmedwhatiftheycrushedmeintheirclumsyarms I’m glad you hopped, when you could have flown I’m glad you chirped, although you cannot groan Sparrow is my brother, the one I refuse to acknowledge at family gatherings Sparrow is my brother, the one I speak cursory sentences to Anxiety fathered us, Fear beget us I am sorry brother, I cannot acknowledge you I cannot recognise my instinct to fly I have to fight with gritted teeth, Read More

Sonnet by Jay Lythgoe

My gestation brings not effulgence forth. A spotty, ruddy splotch is my rough cast. This blessed plot recalls not fertile earth, But scorched terrain where purple scars will last. I have known buns in ovens smelling grand. Less scrumptious scents do waft or leak from me. I big bellied do not sail on land – Nay, waddle wretched wrecked with SPD. If babes do shift and flutter in repose A brood of teeming ferrets dwell within. And if in expecting you’d joy suppose To painful labour’s peril my thoughts spin. And yet, dear burden of my womb unmet, In clichéd love all this I shall forget.  

White Cliffs by Susie Campbell

No more than this left from once warm bodies. Sloughed off under pressure, trashed; left to fossilise, silicify. Soft bloom of phytoplankton pinched out, light-fed single cells compressed to a thick white wedge. Now arising clean and bitter from clay’s mucky slump, these cliffs a bone shield against Caesar’s legion. Grudges held hard against all marauders: Spain’s nutshell fleet, a sour return on wars and bad investment in dominion. Sun sets as the old bulldog quivers. Abdel’s a giant, tall as Salisbury steeple and he breakfasts on little English people. Outlined in chalk, blanket pulled up to chin. One last rictus of stolen teeth.