Monday, May 23, 2011

poetry snapshots: nina simon

Painting the Oceans

I paint oceans

with violent hues -

heavy lines stir surging seas,

thick brush strokes

smash waves against breakers,

while white foamy spume

pounds shingle beaches.

Blues and greens

swirl into darkness,

leaden clouds

billow in deepest grey.

I stipple in a small sailboat;

tossed and thrown

on turbulent tides,

its lone occupant

clinging to the mast,

as water washes away outlines.

Published in Misfit Mirror: an anthology of poetry and flash fiction by Earlyworks Press, 2008

Nina works for Redbridge Schools’ Library Service.. Although she has always loved to read, writing is something she only began by accident about seven years ago. At last she feels she has found a means to express herself and channel her over-active imagination into poetry and short stories.

Monday, May 16, 2011

special feature - fiction snapshots: steve toase

Each step across the drowned field brought the water higher and higher, the ground sloping down to the bank. I stood in front of the thicket of broken kindling. The angular face turned to me.

Her eyes were murky and the colour of silt. In those seconds she shared her secrets with me. I saw her on an Indonesian beach skin bejewelled with sand and grief; in a humid valley coated with a swarm of malarial mosquitoes; sitting on a bench in Mingora breathing cholera into the morning air. She smiled and for a moment I saw the goddess that coated herself in death and disease, and knew she would devour me completely. Her names came unbidden, Jenny Greenteeth, Mht Wrt. Maine Milscothach, Naamah. She was the Daughter of the Flood and the Mother Deluge. The bride whose byre stood on foundations of driftwood, and took a tithe from those cities in which she lounged.

I expected her voice to eddy and whisper, but her words roared with the force of a thousand gallons a second; a voice that eroded rock and life.

Extract from 'Rising', published in Streetcake Magazine issue 14.

In his first 18 months of writing fiction ten of Steve's stories have been accepted for publication, appearing in Streetcake Magazine, NthPosition and Cafe Irreal, amongst others. His writing leans towards mythic fiction and magic realism. He also dabbles in crime writing, with a prize winning story 'Ripples'.

Monday, May 09, 2011

poetry snapshots: michelle mcgrane

'Terra Marique Potens'

So, there we were, me and the wee'un at my breast, nestled in my sheepskin coat, cradled by the pitch and roll, when a fearsome din broke out on deck. While Tioboid slept the sleep of newborns, Cap'n O' Domhnaill burst into the cabin urging me to rally the crew. Sticky with birthing, milk and sweat, cursing the eejits who wouldn't grant a woman rest after labour, I sallied above with my musketoon, legs shaking as if I'd been keelhauled from Inishlaghan to Carrigeenglass Norht. Through flags of smoke, a square-rigged galley, its blackjack flapping as corsairs swarmed aboard. Snugging the stock into my shoulder, I picked out a flinty crag of a man bawling like the divil hisself and assailing my lads with a boarding axe. Aiming the flared muzzle, I cocked the hammer, squeezed the trigger. When he hit the boards, mouth agape, the remaining Berbers scarpered like bilge rats. I succoured the babe wrawling for teat and ordered all hands to bear up for port.

Published in The Suitable Girl, Pindrop Press, 2010

Michelle McGrane is the author of The Suitable Girl (published by Pindrop Press in the United Kingdom and Modjaji Books in South Africa). She lives in Johannesburg and blogs at Peony Moon.

York Literature Festival HUB 2018 event, Tuesday, 20th March

I'm looking forward to my first event for absolutely ages - at the York Literature Festival HUB. Many thanks to YLF and Valley...