Peter Finch (Wales): Three Poems


Rain drought water deserter
Growth shrinkage engorgement puke
coal newspaper newspaper newspaper
curry feather heated night-time
Gower bollock peninsular whoppa
minister fish faith internet

health fatboy insurance Cardi
class solo committee sheep
burger windfarm wallet mouth
poem bongo argument document
peace prick lie-down thunderstorm
Llyn Grangetown pencil Harry Ramsden's

Say birdcage diatribe foreigner
Glass borough vinyl missionary
Duw fatboy Mendelssohn slice-up
Artist vote certificated loopy
Money rain coupon crisp-packet
Sheep sheep sheep sheep


Violent White
Azure Eyepatch
Winter Arse
Gurgling Sands
Underarm Crush
Blueberry Sandinista
Tropical Testosterone
Sunkist Yellow Underpant
Vanilla Vertigo
Mango Virgina
Warm Topsoil
Duodenum Jade
Fresh Acne

What is the maximum number of times
you have had to repaint the
wall below the dado?



(with Loan Word Intrusions)

ove ing es ly ed od ing ic ing ing
orrow ing ing ies ing ing ing ed
ing ing ents ows ly ing ing es
ills ent ough ing ing or or ow
er er er ed er er er er er ert er
ing ing ed ing ing ing ess ed
ills ing ing ing ed ed ing ings
ight ted erns ed oor ly ly ly
edourd ies ound ions ed ing
ent ing ness ent ing ould ly
ince ing ing ing ing ed ings
ic al eat ince ince ing ed ed ed
ers ed ed ing ills ars ible ed

Taff Llandough Gwydion Ianto
Ceridwen Blodeuwedd Cariad Hanes
Arglwyddi Fferyllt da Prydain
Culhwch Olwen Cantref Sion crying Daro
Cwm Cadno Llanrhaedr-ym-Mochnant
Tywysog Tal Tal Tal Tal Tal Tal Tal Tyddyn
Glyndwr Llewelyn Fawr Deganwy
Aberffraw Cynon Dyffryn
Caersalem Pantycelyn
Iago Iago mangle-juice hills

ing ied ul er ed ing an ore an arly
ly ue urn ew ing ead oads ey eak
ing ing ing sts ing ind ad ed ing
ing ing id ied er er ed ing ing
ing ing ing ing ing ing ing ing ulser ed
est enly et ed ains irs ing
ed ed ess lds ed ains irs ing
ing oom ing ed oom ed oom aws
ence ed ed ed ing ing ily
ed ed ed ion ed ed ed other
other oom oom other oom other

Chris McCabe (London, UK): Two Sonnets


Made the mistake of asking how her weekend went
then a twenty-five minute tirade on neolithic stones
and pagan churches, before my Monday Morning
Dialogue Box had even closed. How we all differ,
even as children: my love’s world broke at her
brother’s flare of the nostrils, I had to attach
a doll’s head to a model plastic kangaroo.
I try to text “love” & fumble out “lout”.
Of course in Liverpool we are all employed
in the same open pan office, travel to work
by ferry & go on strike whenever the water
machine goes to pot. Honest we do, Mister Man
with the mortagage muscle. When I return to my
brought-up home, spiders spiral in the garden gate’s chrome


In the backdrop Battersea powershop, we took snaps
at 2:23 in the morning; Albert Bridge lit tenderly pink
imagine the shame of being mugged there she said.
Every cabbie has a price to Dagenham, squat & check
like a prison dad, he talks Secret London as we go.
All-Ackroyd, sans-Sinclair. She sleeps on the black
backseat & dreams of fish to sing her further asleep:
Jackanory’s John Dories. Other Dreams: painted gloves
in toby jugs. ATMs around Westminster were down,
nada nodes, an off-chance as politicians depend on them.
Maggie apparently named ‘Daggers’ as two from Barking
(there was no dog just the genesis of the Madhouse).
This is the only time you become defensive of the place,
at three before dawn, emptied, & for one sec blink: think it’s yours

Daniel Nester (USA): Two Poems


Enough about harvests. You never farmed
lint off your armchair let alone a farm.
Even antiques have games that don’t last.
You hammered your village sore.
That is why you must unjoin from all this.
That is why cavemen ran inside caves.
Someone went crazy and ran into the caves.
That was the whole idea. If judgments creak
it’s not because of flowers for a girlish alternative.
We got real girls for that. It’s because the distinction
grows from the teachers who made a point
to be teachers. Not to be as poor as real poor people
are poor. There’s nothing peasantlike about that.
Talk about something. Talk about what’s
in front of you before the country falls in.


You made me stop when
your turned on point with
a dish of sandwiches.
I can’t understand that.

I took a free preview
of an adult title at my hotel—
and it turned out to be
a bawdy Virgin Atlantic ad

This is where sestinas start
to get boring, Tony says.
There was a heaven I had
in my hand once, right in my hand—it was

garden-earth-full and shadowy
back-ups. My mind chatters now
when I think of it. And now it’s gone.
From the mention-start I thought

we were friends. I thought nothing
reminds me of fatherly things.
But I’m wrong. It’s everything.

John Siddique (Wigan, UK): Five Poems


I worry every time I see her it may be
the last time. My mother is 74 this year,
that age when, if she doesn’t answer
the phone, my stomach backspins.

Today I massaged her hands with moisturiser,
with drops of lavender mixed in it. Her arthritis
is really bad in her left hand. The thumb
closing over the palm. Her middle finger
thick ropey gristle beneath tissue transparent skin.

This is the first time we’ve done such a thing
Mother objects at first, but begins to enjoy
my fingers pressing her fingers; the muscle-root
in her forearm, the small marbles that roll
across the muscle.

Often these days we dance to Abba or Queen,
quick two minute waltzes on her green cat-haired
rug that’s always crooked. She’s not been touched
much in her life. I die if a day goes by without a love.

She never hugged us once we’d stopped being small
My sisters and I are knotty trees in
mum’s garden. Now I try to feed and care
for her with lavender oil and hands, hoping
some of the love I taught myself will soak
into her fingers, and backflow into
her body, through the fibres she has grown
over her untouched desire.


We will work
where they will not.

We will learn
where they refuse.

They talk amongst themselves,
say we steal their jobs.

They talk,
we work.


That bed, spread with colour like a Klimt kiss.
We are wrapped in cloth, wrapped in glist.
Bound up with each other. Jigsaw pieces of arms.

You find me down the side of the couch.
You sleep hard on my chest. It only takes a minute .
Your breath in time with my heartbeat, and you sleep.

I watch & guess the light through the blind cracks.

In the steep field opposite cows are sleeping,
huddled together. A warm black and white chin
steams on another’s back.

We are wrapped in purple and gold thread
You wanted to feel royal. My chin against your forehead,
my sleeping arm quite numb & dead, holding round your back.

(2 newer pieces
‘Tree of the world’ is from the newly published anthology ‘Transparency’ (Crocus Books) which I have just edited)


There is a town north of here where I’m told
the people are all survivors of small intimate
personal disasters. A whole town of people
who for whatever reasons have all been left
behind. I went there for a while to see if
it was true, all I could tell was that no one
looked like they had had sex in a long while,
good sex that is, that glues you back together.
But they do couple and uncouple at a furious
rate, no relationship gets past five years,
and there are so many children born of these
couplings who won’t leave when they’re grown.


On nights when the sounds of the children
we should have had wake me. I sit in the yellow
of the bulb, and place my hands upon the horizon,
spin on the axis mundi which connects us,
even though at times we have no desire
to be connected. The stones on the moor,

touched by so many over the centuries,
so much so they have memories, will tell the stories
of all our confessions. If one will just stand,
and lay one’s hands and listen at the centre.

The carvings of spirals and swastikas,
concentric rings and bloodlines, added to
over millennia, will fade in eternities face.
Each year a wipe of a cloth over rough stone,
soon they’ll be polished and faceless,
soon they will be sand on the wind.

I will wait for you there, where the symbols
lose their meanings, where our attempts
at holding on are less than nothings, but still the axis,
nameless and unspeakable, is true, never out of sight.

© John Siddique 2005

Nick Moudry (Philadelphia, USA): Imitations of Life

I guess everyone should be windy
or hope sunlight butterfly.
It’s cold. People are cold.
Green yellow blue cold.
The sky is hope sunlight.
Butterflies fly over the city.
What joy & order. Poems
will always be trees.
Things, too, are trees.
Sunlight rooster telephone pole.
People are frozen & cannot
smile. They walk around.
Hope sunlight butterfly car.
Green car in the cold, cold ocean.
I like the illuminating butterfly.

People dream like oceans of butterflies
in the cold. People are cold.
I would melt them
but there is too much wind.
Have you seen my stapler?
It is over there by the corn nuts & the butterflies.
Oh, thank you. I have a green car.
It is an ocean. The telephone pole is
a car. People in the cold ocean.
Have you seen my stapler?
It is the ocean. Corn nuts
don’t get soggy. People do
unless they are frozen or singing
songs. Sometimes they are soggy
in sunlight & poems about corn nuts.
They staple things & stand in the ocean
looking dumb as poems. I like sunlight
when it’s windy. Windy sunlight. That’s a dumb
thing to like. So is coffee. I like green tea & roosters.
Rooster telephone pole, green rooster.

Blue ocean, hope of telephone poles. Things
look cold in the poem about people.
Yellow blue green orange. People hope
butterflies can live in the cold ocean.
They are adjectives. Cold adjectives in cars,
stapled to telephone poles. Have you seen
the green ocean? It’s cold.
There are no fish, only roosters & butterflies.
Hope cold sunlight green cars.
People are either cold or soggy.
I like corn nuts & brushing my teeth.
I live in a cold recycling bin. It is green
or blue. There are butterflies. They
are people drinking coffee.
People stand around like telephone poles.
Clothes hope stapled to them like sunlight.
Coffee is always cold. If you thaw a corn nut
it is not soggy. Corn nuts are recyclable.
People, too, are recyclable. They drink coffee.
It tastes bad. They are green roosters. The roosters
are telephone poles & frozen sunlight.

The telephone poles are frozen hope.
Corn nuts grow on trees. People grow.
That is why they are frozen. Butterflies
are not recyclable. They are too soggy
to live in the ocean like roosters. The roosters
eat corn nuts & drink coffee. They are dumb.
Their brains are no bigger than hope.
The sunlight is like cold cold coffee.
It is green. There are cars in it. The cars parked
next to the telephone poles have people in them.
People are ocean. The roosters cannot freeze.
They are adjectives. The ocean is full
of corn nuts. It’s windy. Things mean
nothing. They simply are, like corn nuts
& roosters in the sunlight of the recycling bin.
Have you seen my stapler? No, because
there are no adjectives except people drinking
coffee. I like tea. Roosters are adjectives
meaning nothing & drinking the ocean.
I live in a recycled tree.

Ocean sunlight ocean sunlight hope
of people in the cold.
The recycling bin is blue
or it is green. The green butterflies
hope the oceans are snow. In the recycling bin
the cold oceans hope recycling bins sunlight
cars. The cars sunlight bins of recycling hope.
I tree the poems dumb. People dumb
poems hope ocean. Blue yellow green
cars ocean hope. People hope are dumb.
Dumb people hope oceans are cold.
Roosters live in soggy corn nuts. They are
too frozen to be cold. Cars orange
yellow oceans cold. People dumb
the cold roosters cold. I live in a recycled ocean.
Cars sunlight poems hope. Cold
cold is dumb or blue. Oceans
recycling bins ocean the dumb trees
into telephone poles. Have you seen my stapler?
It is a dumb ocean. Things ocean the
yellow butterflies hope sunlight people.