ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online)
Featuring the works of Marie Lecrivain,Lefentse M. Puane, Steve Komarnyckyj, Andy N, Sarah Fox, John Byrne, Walter Ruhlmann, Nithy Kasa, Luiza Furtado, Davy Eager. Hard copies can be purchased from our website.
Issue 65 February 2018
A New Ulster Prose On the Wall Website
Editor: Amos Greig Editor: E V Greig Editor: Arizahn Editor: Adam Rudden Contents
Editorial Marie Lecrivain;
1. Titov’s Ruminations 2. 7 Times I Gave Away My Power 3. On Deck Lefentse M. Puane; 1. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for 2. African Child 3. Take Up Space 4. Hearts do not heal, they grow 5. It’s Never The End 6. Bring Me Love Steve Komarnyckyj; 1. Butternab Wood 2017 2. How 3. To 2018 4. For Phillip Gross 5. #FBPE Andy N; 1. Brighton in September 2. Remains of Christmas Day Beach Party 3. Absence of Words 4. Underscoring Immortality 5. Swallows and Amazons 6. Threads of a Jumper 7. The Highwayman’s Daughter Sarah Fox; 1. Butterfly Boy 2. Reason 3. Milk at Midnight 4. Faulting Finger John Byrne; 1. Home 2. Mid-Winter 3. Parable
Walter Rhulmann; 1. A Gun Pointed to the Stomach 2. Her Art Nithy Kasa; 1. Partial Luiza Furtado; 1. Poetry Wonders 2. Frowned Clowns 3. Narcissus â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Shadow 4. Poetherapy Danny Eager; 1. Words Miss-pelt On The Wall Message from the Alleycats Round the Back John Byrne; 1. Once More 2. Without Wings 3. Summer Begins
Poetry, prose, art work and letters to be sent to: Submissions Editor A New Ulster 23 High Street, Ballyhalbert BT22 1BL Alternatively e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org See page 50 for further details and guidelines regarding submissions. Hard copy distribution is available c/o Lapwing Publications, 1 Ballysillan Drive, Belfast BT14 8HQ Or via PEECHO Digital distribution is via links on our website: https://anuanewulster.wixsite.com/anewulster Published in Baskerville Oldface & Times New Roman Produced in Belfast & Ballyhalbert, Northern Ireland. All rights reserved The artists have reserved their right under Section 77 Of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 To be identified as the authors of their work. ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online) Cover Image â&#x20AC;&#x153;Watcherâ&#x20AC;? by Amos Greig
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. ” Aristotle Onassis. Editorial Welcome to our February issue I apologise for the delay in getting this issue out I’ve had a serious lack of free time combined with connectivity issues. This has been a difficult year so far what with the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan still, mass shootings in America and the uncertainty of Brexit. It would be all too easy to slip into despair. However, we must maintain hope for even in the darkest hours light can lead the way. What always gets me is the range and power of the voices we publish; the magazine lives up to its name A New Ulster not just for people from here but from everywhere. We often get caught up in geographical and cultural identities often at the cost of our own individuality. As always, the quality of work we receive for each issue is of a high standard I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.
Onward to creativity!! Amos Greig Editor.
Biographical Note: Marie Lecrivain
Marie C Lecrivain is the editor of poeticdiversity: the litzine of Los Angeles, the author of several volumes of poetry and fiction, and fledgling jewelry designer. Her work has appeared in Nonbinary Review, Gargoyle, A New Ulster, The Los Angeles Review, Orbis, and many other journals. Her new chapbook, Fourth Planet From the Sun, will be published in late 2017 by Rum Razor Press.
Titov’s Ruminations I’m second, and not first. I’m bored, and lonely. I’m second, alphabetically, and historically. Fuck, it’s cramped in here. 16 more revolutions, I mean, orbits, to go. I’m nauseous. I’ve never been this far from home. I’m second, and the first to go the distance. I’m bored. Where’s god? I can see Siberia from here. I’m second, and the first to take a snooze. I’m bored, and lonely. 14 more orbits. Seriously, where is this god, and his angels? Hidden among the clouds? That would mean I’m better than god, and above it all. These straps are too tight. My stomach keeps turning. 11 more orbits to go.Khrushchev better throw a parade, and give me TWO medals. Who knew vomit could float? It reeks in here. I’m bored. Look at the earth! It's not round, but at least it’s not flat. Haha! I can see freedom from here! Eight more orbits to go. I miss my mother. I’m so b-o-r-e-d! I’m the first… and the fastest. How did Laika like being up here? Why didn’t I ask Yuri for advice? Blech! More vomit. I’m the first… and the loneliest. Four more orbits. If I make it back alive, I’m never doing this again. I could really go for a beer right now. Look at the sun… how beautiful it is… is god there? Probably not. Two more revolutions to go. I’m the first… the last… and the best…
© 2017 marie c lecrivain
7 Times I Gave Away My Power
Well, knowledge is a fine thing, and mother Eve thought so; but she smarted so severely for hers, that most of her daughters have been afraid of it since .- Abigail Adams
Kathy, a Proto-Real Housewife of Beverly Hills, took one look at my college ID, and said, “You look like a dude.” Since then, my cleavage is prominently displayed in all photographs.
After a fistfight with my nemesis, I was taken aside by my teacher, a pinched and bitter bride of Christ, who told me, “Good girls don’t use their fists. Forgive. And turn the other cheek.”
Joe, a punk rock poser who worshipped Andrew Dice Clay, and peaked in high school, caught me reading a book of essays by Anais Nin. “No offense,” he said, “but I like dumb girls.”
In a passionate debate with the worst ex-boyfriend ever, he stopped, took my hands in his and said, “Talk to me softly, and for once, be kind, and be feminine.”
Post Thanksgiving dinner, I instructed my male cousins to help clear the table. My aunt tells them to go back to watching football. She says, “That’s not how we do things in THIS house.”
For a solicited submission, I emailed the editor a poem about a woman who was mugged in the park. Distressed, she wrote back, “This is too violent. It’s not real feminist poetry.”
Sign a petition. Call your congressman. Donate money. March. March. March. Instead, I post poetry, and funny cat memes.
© 2017 marie c lecrivain
(to the other Rose, a survivor of the Titanic)
I always wondered what you were thinking in those moments you head tilted to the right and gazed out the east window.
The years slid off your face and a slow drip of tears stained your cheeks while your friend, my redoubtable great-grandmother, preached her racist rhetoric in an attempt to forget how she was forced to subsume her German ancestry, at the insistence of her Irish mother, during WWI, in the small Minnesota border town populated with backwoods patriots, whose sons and brothers perished in the unforgiving arms of war deep in the trenches of France.
Now, I wonder how you felt while your friend disparaged your European background; you, with a Romanian lilt, that, at age 75, still colored a voice so pleasant when you asked me to pass the salt, I wanted to pretend I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hear so youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d ask me again.
I wonder where you went in those moments. Maybe you stood on a tilted deck awash with cold sorrow and seawater, to say farewell to your father, brothers, two uncles, and a cousin
who was your first - and last - true love. If you invoked these bittersweet moments as a rebuttal to my great grandmotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s terrible tirade, I thank you for the lesson.
Amidst the brilliant darkness of those I love, I can survive anything.
ÂŠ 2017 marie lecrivain
Biographical Note: Lafentse M. Puane Lefentse M. Puane, while studying her BA in Communication Science part time at The University of South Africa (UNISA), is currently a Regional Coordinator for the Woolworths Educational Programme with a qualification in a Higher Certificate in Business Principles and Practice. Lefentse is a 25 year old female who lives in the city of Pretoria, Gauteng. She is a passionate person when it comes to learning and self development as well as helping others develop themselves. Lefentse is an artistic, imaginative and curious personality who enjoys learning to play the piano, creating art drawings and paintings, write poetry and perform it whenever she can. Lefentse is a dreamer and spiritually conscious person who is intrigued by the philosophy of human existence and everything that makes our reality what it is, this also reflects in her poetry apart from the main themes of growth and love.,
We are the ones weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been waiting for
They called us dreamers But we are the ones who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sleep We started where we were We used what we had We did what we could There were great storms But always followed by brighter rainbows We are the pots of gold We learned that ever down has an up Recreating ourselves daily We are the ones our parents have been summoning angels for Warrior-ing through every day.
(Lefentse M. Puane)
African Child My first thought was ‘what magic is this?’ I saw your reflection in my mirror My reflection reflecting yours A piece of you danced off of you and on to me Now we walk as one in what is called skin Even though it resembles more of a burst of galaxies Its origination constituting of different shades Of a cosmos of my people in their glorious tones Surely this is only a glimpse of the wonder that lies beneath all this Since birth you’ve accepted me Claimed me as one of your own Inducted me into this black girl life Ong amogetse wari “ wageshu, mobung o ke gae” Clung on to me like an identity You branded me with what is now known as a symbol only familiar to rich sand, brown bread, golden black beings, Egyptian deities and shimmering night skies. Your consistency never ceasing to amaze me Many came with their ways Walking off this soil with your ways Rumours kept recurring of the winds direction You, never blown away This way, or that way and redirecting
While the world remains confused and scattered You remain with a soul untainted Who you belong to is of no question O goro ya badimo, a chamber for the gods O lebenyabenyane la le godimo, you are the jewel that came from a special place in Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s treasure box A spirit of this continent Ancestral strength so undeniably striking The world canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help to notice you Even after they have stripped you of your lips and your hips You will be the source of the sauce You are black girl magic You are queen You can be anything you wish to be You are the Nubian inside of me The Nubian inside all of us You are a black rose You are beautiful Child, you are African.
(Lefentse M. Puane)
Take Up Space
I want you to take up space To let your presence be felt I want you to be seen for who you are. I want you to take up space Not to seek attention To walk into a room and not blend into the walls. I want you to take up space with your truth Your ethnicity to ooze through your ‘genuity’ I want the light in your heart to be a guide to everyone around you If love is lost in humanity Let it be you who help us find it I want you to take up space With everything God has given him Let it live in the poetry that is your existence Play obvious between the lines of the words that make up your life Let it be heard in your golden silence Your heart beating treasurable messages out loud I want you take up space In peoples’ lives In everything they do that jerks their minds back to you That space they once they once called Now empty without what you’ve provoked
Let yourself unfold Tell your stories like they matter Because they do Tell of the places you’ve been Tell of beings you’ve experienced Feelings you’ve felt that made you feel foreign Mountains you’ve climbed that you never thought you could Take up this space Right here Right now Next to you On this stage In this place On what’s left of this day Allow yourself to be the one thing that goes perfectly with everything in your life I want you to take up space In the middle of your chest In closed in your heart There where you’re drumming is Knowing every move of your blood cells In and out of your valves as it beats Every beat a memory sound you’ve archived of this moment There is nothing stronger than knowledge of self to keep us alive Like we knew not of life before
The future is your space In every third, fourth sentence of history Your name will take its place Playing between academic books and generations of tongues You will live in their prayers Your name will be mentioned so much God might mistake you for a limb or an organ Because you will be the name that keeps passions and lives alive Like legend and heroes When night falls Someone will only go to bed once theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve thanked Him for what you went through Because you took your place In this space
(Lefentse M. Puane)
Hearts do not heal, they grow Hearts do not heal, you learn to grow bigger than the pain tears do not dry, you learn to adjust your lens to see through the salty wetness frowns are not turned upside down, The same mouth that smiles is the same one that frowns Open hearts can be mistreated open arms can be rejected authenticity can be repaid with indecency love can be misinterpreted kindness misunderstood for weakness strong hearts know how to love again wise minds know when to stop trying joyful souls live within the hearts that cherish small things strong people know how to move on My soul is not alright with me my soul whispers and tells me.... "Jesus Christ is the only medicine to a sick, sad storyâ&#x20AC;?
(Lefentse M. Puane)
Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Never The End
The strangest, unexpectedly beautiful thing happened to me. An experience I can now appropriately call a blessing in disguise. It felt as though I only started growing at the age of 22. All my life I lived inside my head. Success and happiness were only lived out on canvas and day dreams. It wasn't until my future was put on the rocks, until I realised how badly I wanted something that a fire lit and awakened inside my spirit. My world was turned upside, inside and all sorts of downs. And I started seeing my path from a different perspective. Seeing it for what it really was. My plans were halted in their tracks. I didn't understand how and why I had stopped moving. I felt an enduring pain getting comfortable in my existence, I felt not at home in my own skin. I wasn't proud of myself, of what I've achieved thus far, of how far I'd come. No blasphemy to God, forgive my words Understand, I will always appreciate the life I've been given and forever thankful. I just wanted more, I wanted to do more, Be more, Naturally like every other human being I believed God gave me powers beyond my comprehension And the only way to unlock them is to allow myself to act on life's opportunities, let life's punches mould and be a catalyst of growth in some way, I let the pain of my spiritual bones growing give form to the woman I am now. I breathed, ate, sang His promises and I can say I lived them. Because what I realised made me feel inevitably immortal beyond my physical existence; God doesn't create weaklings, He nurtures super heroes, I accepted my true identity, And best believe it, I'm saved from the cages of my own doubt
Bring Me Love Bring me love You can’t bring me kindness with words coming from a heart of stone You can’t bring me laughter with jokes that you don’t even understand You can’t make me smile with anger in your eyes But... You can bring me love in a cup of tea You can bring me love with a flower or three You can bring me love with a kiss on the cheek And my love … You can bring me love just by the way you look at me
(Lefentse M. Puane)
Biographical Note: Steve Komarnyckyj Steve Komarnyckyj's literary translations and poems have appeared in Index on Censorship, Modern Poetry in Translation and many other journals. He is the holder of two PEN awards and a highly regarded English language poet whose work has been described as articulating "what it means to be human" (Sean Street). He runs Kalyna Language Press with his partner Susie and three domestic cats.
Butternab Wood 2017 The trees worm into the air their knot holes gaping, a beggar’s crooked arm Or, knock kneed, wade into the bracken pensioners at the sea side paddling In the blood of England’s guilty twilight. Shapes swim through their skin Knotholed with mouths and eyes, the deformed People of dream.
You know they voted to leave Europe To uproot their patch of green on the ordnance survey map and become lost In the Atlantic’s wilderness It is a stitch up a country torn untimely from its womb a scar still
Healing a wood marching on Dunsinane but misled by the satnav
Somewhere west of Aberdeen. The trees shrug themselves free of metaphor. Time
To listen. We saw you come your clinkered hull grip the shore of Humber we were the deck creaking under your feet the floorboards where light pooled one summer as you heard the sweet disturbance of a blackbird’s song, knowing What you always forget. They stand before me tall and blood warm in the sunset. Scribbling the air. I am only a pool of water, the rain’s exile And happiest being at the wind’s beck and call.
Perfunctory is the human soul as it slips from the body Unctuous as a lava lamp’s oil or the moist glide of a tongue
Moistening lips that will not name it, feathered and soft The swan’s weight heavy on Leda’s crotch as dusk comes
And it moves through gradations of lilac and indigo between Birches wearing their hides of moon the dome of a fly
Agaric punctured with stars. The soul simply lets time glide As water through its fingers, heather’s purples remonstrating
With the rust of death and if it remembers England in the creak Of an iron gate at dusk and the noiseless coupling of moths
In the streetlight it can say nothing but sing having the mouth Of grass and rain, can kiss you though gone, in drops On your lips of sea spray and come, the sea’s long orgasm As it sleeps the soul’s host melting sweet on your tongue.
Today your arrival is merely The creep of light on the Elster Though the water seems detached Unravelling its silver And the Heron watches Robed in silence.
Now birds I cannot name Remake their song A warning or a call sign That becomes your anthem Though they are unaware Of springâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resurrection,
And for now you are only Possibilities we become, The riverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s protracted sigh At all that is passing The gift of a new sky And all the waters bring.
For Philip Gross
Sometimes, friend, it seems better Just to watch the goldfinches Startled from a birch Stitching the summer.
For them it's routes not roots A migrant is always home No bird ever overshoots The runway or outstays welcome.
My dog is a refugee from Bosnia Doing the job a British dog could do
She squats to piss On a fallen leaf
In Britain and sees nothing amiss In defiling British ground She has no nation but the urination If only our logic were as sound
I give her forehead a kiss And Look into eyes that cradle the blue Of Mostar in the dusk And Its station constellated with bullet holes.
My dog has seen the darkness Of human souls And her heart is the size of my fist But big enough to hold The love I have lost and missed As she scampers through fractured gold Happiness cannot be deported Its homeland is the world.
Biographical Note: Andy N .
Andy N is a writer and sound artist from Manchester, UK
He is the Author of 'Return to Kemptown' And 'The End of Summer' His website is: http://onewriterandhispc.blogspot.co.uk/
Brighton in September
Forgetting you are full Of a cold for five minutes
Your scarf spins around in circles Back from the front
All the way past Daves on the lines For the second time
Walking into the hazy mist Two graphic novels in hand
Lost in memories of last nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s All nighter on the beach
Dancing to the obscurity Of the moonlight in damaged beats
Thrust up words Lost in song
Grabbing the end of summer By the hand
And hugging the birth of autumn Like a brother.
Remains of Christmas Day Beach Party Frost bitten there was the remains of a coke bottle Laid next to a pair of gloves Buried under stabbed plastic cups
Soaked mince pies with a half a tooth in one And a well out of date cheese sandwich With a Dear Santa in child like writing on the back
Ice cream carpets depleted in the sand Across see through coffins Blackened out by rows of peddles
Broken umbrellas and fingerprinted magazines Kissing like forgotten lovers Next to the steps flowering footprints together
Breathing memories over the distant tide.
Absence of Words
Hushed across the distance Our Sundays led down different paths
Sentences fragmenting Separate breaths across different roads
Blurred across the miles Discharging different adventures
Growing closer and closer Despite the absence of words
Swaying to and from in the breeze Like a dandelion about to come to life.
Under siding the pier The kite followed Across the truth
Covering itself in the clouds Leaving me searching for a pen Frantically to record the moment
Slicing through the breeze All the way past Daves On the lanes
And my footprints With a wearied immortality Across the sand
Underscoring everything I wanted to tell you.
Swallows and Amazons
Pursued by Swallows We used to sit there Bereft of ideas Before throwing our poems In the river Whether complete or not.
Now we talk of Amazons And nodding daffodils Rattling words like rods Across the river With our pencils Becoming slender daggers, Chasing pirates Across our dreams.
Threads of a Jumper
Whatever happened to Anne from Cleveland’s? Who you met on holiday with your parents Just after your brother was born And held your hand throughout that night When all three of them nearly drowned?
Barbara who was the younger daughter Of your old history teacher from High School Who everybody disowned in the playground After her brother got sent off for fighting And cost the school the cup final.
Jude who you worked with at Woolworth’s Who wouldn’t speak to you for two weeks After you went to your Christmas do there When her husband made a move on you After 5 pints of lager and 3 whiskies
Mags who moved to Australia When she hit 45 for a new start after her divorce Or Rose who you went to IT Classes Just after you both retired only to fuse her pc Within ten minutes of your first lesson
Memories I still have of you Closed like shut warehouses Shaking your head furiously With a animated anger And sometimes with a muted tear
Sat there with a fountain pen Looking every inch the thoughtful poet Instead of a crossword scribbler Lost in the floodlights of decades Of a eventful life As your pen crossed out people You knew once upon a time Like moments pulled out of sequence
Which you smile at quietly And whisper thank you
Recalling their friendship
Carrying their dreams
Lost in sleeplessness memories
Tied in relationships
Stuffed with manmade threads Dangling off jumpers Carried off memories Underlining your background Whether at the end of summer
Or in the heart Of a frantic Christmas.
The Highwaymanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s daughter
Right up until the end You used to come home Hiding your pistols and gunshot Under the floorboards
Blurring stories Into rambling narratives Where you and the master Had been for the past few days
Before drowning yourself silently In cheap ale Until you eventually passed out Into a concealed fear
Cut up from guilt Synchronized in drunkenness With a tempter Cutting through your omniscience
Lurking in the shadows Whenever we crossed the forest Hiding under the moonlight Next to the river
Galloping away with your eyes Loosening your thoughts Over the flush of the forest And the moors
Listening out constantly For wheels crashing in the shadows Bathed in the moonlight Like a jackal in the night
And a spring of obscene language Everytime mother shouted out The master was here.
Biographical Note: Sarah Fox
Sarah Fox, aged 19, from Newry and Mourne has recently published her first poetry anthology "One Man's Poison" and the following poems are included in this anthology. Sarahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aim is to raise awareness of issues related to Crohn's disease, mental health and sexual abuse as well as the impact of these on relationships. Most of these poems were written between the ages of 10-18 and they reflect experiences of her own as well as those she has been close to. Sarah hopes to continue writing poetry and developing her own style, especially when she goes to university next year.
We lie still inside a summer breeze, wrapped up in sweetness and heat. Released inside out until the clouds become acrylics and pastel peels from your shimmering skin. You are my pantheist priest with no collars, no leads. You lie freely. No need for artifice. I will have you as you are, my marble artefact. That phrase shocks and stimulates and stalks you in your dreams. With me, you are free, like ashes cast into the wind. No labels, no prices. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll debate that later. Sleep now, for the birds and the bees wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pay no mind. This is our Catcher in the Rye I think.
We’re in a better place. Not the right place but a better place. Friends with fantasies drag me under the surface and I see the water’s reflection and the moon’s distant kiss are simply more reasons to exist. I am drowning in their desire to live. I wish it were my own. Sharing our silence, sharing our pain, we hear reason saying Hope Is Not in Vain. Like bumble-bees in a hot hive I hear my heartbeat humming, beating, screaming “Don’t kill my buzz. Don’t kill my buzz.” Marching like stigmatised ‘madmen’ in white coats I realise we all have our own reasons for everything we do. My reason will always be you. My criminal thought, I will die loving you.
Milk at Midnight
Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sitting at the kitchen table, silently playing musical chairs with her shadow friends. She looks at herself in a mirror blindly hoping love will look back. She likes to be alone, to feel whole, to drink a large pale glass of milk at midnight. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not so cold when you let it all in. It confuses her that people call that suffocating, sad or sinful. Her mind in not fractured by life at night, for the jutted stars and iridescent moon do not bleed like a poetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pen. They sing for her, for him, for all that has been. What was the first thought of humanity when it saw itself? The last is the same; it is wrong to deny yourself and feel less than whole.
Age is just a number, Mrs 49. Lipstick teeth and tattooed eyebrow raise while a cheap white wine spits all my choices are a phase, just a phase dearie. Avoid centre stage and keep out of sight, out of mind, right until that death certificate is signed.
Those leggings have mud stains on them, Mrs 53. That smile a little queer with all that fake neighbourhood cheer. Hot pink is just your style. Your craning neck and bared teeth the vilest of the vile. The world outside the blinds irks you beyond belief.
You burned the books, but I am a book thief and you cannot steal what Rumi and Frost have given to me, Mrs 74. Phone numbers scratched onto the floor but no one to call. That faulting finger is swivelling drunkenly around the empty shelves, permanent dust settling on your temporary shaking shoulders.
I try to tell but you yell vehemently. Mrs 92 spews that undercooked spinach across a closed door. That faulting finger slides to the floor, and there is a hollow love in your dying habits. She is broken
and I am here. I am not afraid to sell my soul, plot 892, but I am afraid of being you.
Biographical Note: John (Jack) Byrne
John [Jack] Byrne lives in Co. Wicklow ,Ireland he has been writing for almost 6 years mainly poetry; Traditional and Japanese short form and has had some published success in UK , USA, Ireland in Anthologies, Magazines ,Ezines /Journals his blog can be found here: http://john-isleoftheharp.blogspot.ie/
Home "Where is your home", i asked a child, who danced in the morning air, gathering flowers scented and wild, to make garlands for her hair. "My home" replied this happy heart as she smiled with childish glee, is on a purple mountain side rolling down to the sea". May blessings fall on artless youth and all it's busy hours, where every word is joy, and truth, and treasures live in flowers. "Where is your home" i asked again, to her with flushing face, but heard a lover's tender tone in that wildwood's secret place. It's said the birds that soar above, to earth will fondly cling, and rear their young on wordly love, that rare and fragile thing. So where's your home oh lovely lass, this bright and sunny day, picking the wild flowers for your hair, and dancing on your way. "My home is where i'll find my love waiting there for me, and i will be a spirit meek while soft breezes wander free". JB2017
Mid-Winter No friend, is the bleak mid winter or it's skies all cold and gray no love's in a heart that's lonesome when the skylarks have nothing to say. Less sunshine to lift the spirits that struggle to get through the day no love's in a heart that's lonesome with feelings all in disarray. but when there's blue skies over the mountain and the skylarks are singing above a heart that was once full of lonesome will be brimming all over with love. JByrne 2018
Biographical Note: Walter Rhulmann Walter Ruhlmann works as an English teacher, edited mgversion2>datura for 20 + years and ran mgv2>publishing for a decade. His latest collection CivilĂŠ was selfpublished in 2017. He now edits two litblog Beakful and Urtica.
A Gun Pointed to the Stomach
That afternoon you told me you would never kill yourself, you said the mole living next door always spies on you and that you were fed up with the way she matronizes you, texting you once a week or using her own past to downcast you.
Your face was as white as the sheet of absorbing paper you held, you know that skipping breakfast and lunch is no good for your health, that smoking – though you said you refrain from it – kills you slowly, that those pills you gulp every day attack your liver, your brain, your cells.
You keep saying you won’t do no harm to your loved ones, to me neither. How can you be so sure that you won’t take too many pills one day? That you won’t pretend to have slipped from the edge of a platform? That you won’t try to flee swimming across the Mediterranean?
That afternoon you told me how you too were baptized for years on by those bastards who thought they act for our own good but traumatize us with their stories of angels, crucifixion, and redemption, Mother Mary, Jesus reborn, the living-dead, heaven and hell.
You tried to be funny saying you wouldn’t kill yourself not to go to Satan’s lair, that this man from the past, that tall, lean guy, bossy and stern, moralized the bunch of you, kids in awe, low-spirited, wealthy off-springs, you remembered how he inducted you into that bastardized Christianity.
Was that supposed to be reassuring to know you were alive because of that? Was I supposed to be relieved to have not found you hung to the beam? You said of course you did not believe a word that he said, you brethren! And that once, as a kid, you dreamt that you pointed a gun to his stomach.
Her Art A tribute to Elizabeth Bishop
Though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster, this poem only intends to be a patch of cement between her art and mine, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m no master.
It is losing you that I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t bear, mister, after almost thirteen dizzying years spent in awe or dread, in joy or pain altogether.
I want to pursue my life with you farther, which helps me craft my clumsy art of discontent up the realms of the skies, or even higher.
I wrote The Loss after I lost my father at the same time my love for you was on a descent and I was losing my mind faster and faster.
The art of writing is quite hard to master, unlike the art of losing, she wrote, it is evident; but I really feel like losing is a disaster.
You could lose yourself in these words that canter like horses in a dreams gallop and neigh with the intent to make us feel awkward, lost and make us falter; yes, the art of loving is a real debaser.
Biographical Note: Nithy Kasa
Nithy Kasa was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She currently resides in the Republic of Ireland. Her work recently appeared on the Dublin Business School online library and she featured in Ireland's Poetry Programme Christmas show. Nithy has also participated in numerous public speaking around the country.
Partial We forgot. Maybe we never knew they wooed ladies to vows, then marched to Babylon and built temples for Gods. Where is the time, the time they brawled by hands. The Herculean hands of our friends, history rendered them atrocious only; They’ve seen Antarctica’s wolves, adorned Arda’s furry floors, bore Abassi’s fallen hefts. They have bowed, appeased our mothers to sleep. Cockcrow, Mohs' scale, Zosterops' eyes, man. Blood-sons of warriors, tutors of our brothers revolting, for our fathers’ daughters. Men. Would Rome stand without men. Man, what the world would be with no man.
Biographical Note: Luiza Furtado
Poetherapist, Brazilian/Irish, writes dark, confessional, psycho-social poetry. Her poem, â&#x20AC;&#x153;On Agingâ&#x20AC;?, has been featured on The Scum Gentry Alternative Arts and Media Network.
A poet is an artful magician! My pen, a wand that conjures rendition. I dip the hand into my magic hat And see which words I catch. Poetry comes to saves the day! It bleeds out my sorrows, It casts my demons away. You know, we all have them, I just expose them in this page.
Don't ask me to count, I don't know how to. I can only do, While rhyming my blues. So I ignore the numbers And follow my poetry's groove.
I'll write until the days are no more Because poetry's healing Reaches into the core. So I come and tell my story. Reinvent it, paint it with glory. For poetry is my band-aid And words are my antiseptic.
It helps clear out the clutter that populates the attic.
Call it cognitive lies. As long as it benefits the eyes. If you spend more time inside fairy-tales Rather than in real life, You are more than right.
Better to believe in impossible things, Than to be a sad adult Who's given up on their dream And conform to the boring lives They are living.
Their life is handed on a plate And they don't like the taste. Don't want to learn how to cook So they keep eating what they hate.
As The Little Prince advises Simply enjoy life's surprises Don't get caught up on numbers. Turn into reality What you see when you slumber.
Rather be a crazy person who talks loud to their self,
Keeping their sanity and mental health Than being sober with a rigid heart, Wearing a frown as a business card.
Narcissus - The Shadow
I was dancing under the sun, the brightest star. When like Peter Pan he came And took me by the arm. His feet joined mine, what a delight! We danced according to the rite.
The harmony of movement, The right amount of space, All indicate There is no better partner to embrace. He never critises or tells you to shut up He never leaves before you He remains 'till time is up.
Narcissus is ever present, He is always within Whenever I feel lonely All I need is to call upon him.
My dusky mirror, my own reflection! Unlike the spectres that drag me down, This shade only comes out When there is light in my direction. For this ghost is no dead weight.
As a welcomed breeze on a warm day, This shadow is my best mate.
So, I' ll let the sunlight be my crown While I look down at the ground. See my shadow joining me, Through the bottoms of our feet.
A grieving time is nothing but an opportunity To be a catalyst for growth, alchemy and immunity. Don't ask why you or why now Accept pain as a ladder or a portal That propels you to a higher ground. When it feels like all has been stripped away A chair cannot walk without its legs, you would say. Close your eyes, breathe and look within. What you search for, lies under your skin.
When those thoughts go around like pinballs Put on some music, let your body shake, until it falls. Use your left and right brain to communicate I promise you won't feel alone one more day Take a pen and parchment, make a statement Rewrite your pains away, Word by word, paper by paper.
Poetry aids with shadow integration It helps you listen to repressed fears' explanation You can paint a picture with their tale. Let madness reside only in your imagination. Poetry gives irrationality legs So they can walk right out of our heads.
Storytelling gives them voice, Reducing the inner-noise. Poems transform a mourning cry Into heart-warming rhymes. I'll weave the words into a dress. I sing a tune from my distress. I make the sorrows into a song, I shall belt out the whole night long.
Biographical Note: Davey Eager
David Eager is a writer
Words Miss-pelt ÂŠ David Eager, 2013. All rights reserved
The pen is mightier than the sword, according to ancient fable Sword will morph into words, if for anagrams you are able Battles fought are never won, a lifeless corpse is somebody's son Noble victory claimed by strong, parents grieve to funeral songs Hatred grows from needless death, remains beyond the dying breath Barricades in troubled minds, no compromise makes bitter blind Stories told down generations, truth displaced by justification Rumour stokes the fires of hate, fears extinguish fresh debate Hands of friendship offer peace, smiles engender brief release Gestures always too short lived, neither side prepared to give Next brood's fate in their own hands, ignore the twisted, take command Leave the bitterness behind, start afresh with an open mind Reach across the barricade, let love replace the foul tirade Those you fear across the divide, afraid of you on the other side Mirror image of a faceless foe, why hate those you don't even know Spill no more blood, those days are past, build the peace make sure it lasts Words of wisdom can win the day, other weapons just cause dismay If tolerance makes presence felt, sword becomes just words miss-pelt
Biographical Note: Daniel Murphy
Daniel Murphy is a author and poet who lives in Newfoundland and Labrador Canada. His poetry as appeared in journals and anthologies in Canada, the United States of America and Ireland. Examples include, Crannรณg Magazine, Galway Ireland, The Scaldy Detail Anthology of New Irish Writing, (Scallta Media, The Dalhousie Review, Vallum: Contemporary Poetry Magazine , Juxtaprose Literary Magazine, Quills: Canadian Poetry Magazine, The Newfoundland Quarterly and many more. In 2011 he received teh Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Award, Senior poetry and in 2016 received honourable mention in the Sparks Poetry Competition.
WE PLAYED WAR IN THE WOODS (Daniel Murphy) We played war in the woods Then went for lunch. I loved Baloney sandwiches and cold milk. Couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait to get back to fighting; Running until out of breath and bullets. I heard a white-throated sparrow As I lay dying. Mossy ground wetting Through my shirt like blood. The quiet Of blue as it moved between the canopy of leaves. I loved that the best; the beauty of dying. Earth rolling up around me, as if it were a breaking wave. The glory of bleeding out in the moss like Achilles.
I WATCHED MORNING SPILL ITS ORANGE JUICE (Daniel Murphy) I watched morning spill its orange juice. Over coffee then tea biscuits; everybody Was asleep. Still brimming with dreams. Sun exhaling, beginning to breath life Again as if it were frog lungs awakening. Yellow, pollenating tips of alder berry like bees do. Setting bushes on fire where shadows were. Igniting tailing veils of invisible mist Like gas plumes around nebula. Striking Sparks off flints of waves. I wonder What prehistoric peoples might have thought? Rolling from their caves into such brilliance. When science made no sense of things And only God, if there was one then, making light From nothing but the setting of stars.
CLOSE CALL NEAR THE COAST (Daniel Murphy) All I could do to keep her From devouring the rocks. To keep her from sinking into them As if they were the arms of a lover Was to bring her hard around. Treading water, legs kicking, Arms in a half dog paddle I leaned on the tiller and pulled her away. Sails filling like flower bags, sternâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hourglass figure shrinking in a zigzag of wake. Then the last of me disappearing Into horizonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s epithelium skin As I were a shiver of goose bumps. The fright of almost foundering Sinking with the sun and The blazing orange of adrenaline.
HE THOUGHT IS HE SAW A CHRIST (Daniel Murphy) He thought he saw a Christ In the salt fish as he turned them On the flake. Drying arms spread As if delivering the sermon on the mount. Neck neatly trimmed, nape White as clouds, no blood spots Where the nails would be. Head Tilted to the listening crowds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You are the salt of the Earth And the light of the worldâ&#x20AC;?. Fish neatly arranged head to tail; Sun sparking off their salty spines as if on fire.
ALL OF WHAT WAS FOG (Daniel Murphy) All of what was fog Has come to light. Blurry Facades of tilted houses, fences Whose pickets disappear like tissue Into the nowhere of diffusion. Marram grass, its dew tipped blades Where sunrise goblets tango. The shush of the harbour waters Licking perfectly against contours of stages And stores and flakes were fish dried. My camera feels its way, Focus Puzzled in a blubber of light. Yellows, oranges still raspberry, Stalemates of blue. White light struggling Like a ballroom gown to fit morning.
Biographical Note: Nicole Mullan
Nicole Mullan. is a creative writing student at NUI Galway, Ireland.
Dine at my Table By Nicole Mullan Greed is plump and fleshy Having gained a lot of weight While others chat and reminisce He refills his plate
Judgement doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t talk much His eyes scan the room Examining the contents of our plates Tonightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s food critic, I assume
Kindness has wine and flowers in hand When he knocks upon the door Greets and talks to everyone Stays to mop the floor.
Adventure flavours his food with spice His stories get our attention Excitement and laughs around the table Will any of us get a mention?
Fatigue brings the dinner to a close Getting up to say goodnight Every plate has been cleared No one left a bite.
We sat for hours at the table Drinking the same wine Lots of us now unstable Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t walk in a straight line
Adventure is ready for a club Kindness kisses me goodnight Greed raids me of all grub Will they soon be out of sight?
Rosaline By Nicole Mullan You began colouring outside the lines Using rich ruby tones. I used paler shades. Sprinkled snowflake, zesty citrus lemon, sunset orange. Opposites. You want to blend the colours to make a romantic shade of pink. Your work is abstract. I do not feel its symbolism. My paintbrush has been swirled in water; Free from the blemishes of rose petal pink. I want to grab a new blank page Start afresh with newly found inspiration. You persist with your current muse Adding tiny details to try and perfect the piece. You have a clear vision in your head. You want this to be your masterpiece Framed in a gallery for all to see. Shame you forced the rose shades too much Spoiling the original creation. I will never interpret the piece the same way you do. In time it loses its special meaning to you. You were once so fond of its aesthetic. Now it sits in a dark attic gathering cobwebs. Hidden among other gems from years gone by.
The Local By Nicole Mullan The couple in the corner Huddled in each other’s arms The confident flirt Using his charms The farmer in wellies Who popped in for a meal A fella in a hoodie Sealing a drug deal The chanting rugby fans Hoping for glory A drunken elder man Shares his life story The enthusiastic one Wanting everyone to dance The group of underage teens Who came “for the bants” The young tired waitress Earning a wage A group of local musicians Who’ll soon take the stage The troublesome gang Who throw punches and fight Glasses are broken They’re kicked out for the night
The guards do the rounds Sometimes make their way in Youngsters run to the bathroom Hide silently within The band gets the crowd going All up on their feet Some jive and cĂŠile Others clap to the beat In the smoking area A hipster asks for a light A final sip of Guinness Brings an end to the night
Anger Enclosed By Nicole Mullan The stamp has been placed with force. The paper crumpled and straightened out again. The wrinkles of vexation still remain.
I had no immediate desire to write you a note. Lines had been scribbled out, capitalised, rewrote. The first drafts of the letter had been torn apart, Like the veins of emotion that once flowed through my heart.
Now a tsunami of ink splashes over the page Paper tremoring from volcanic rage. The seal has been licked by a demonic creature. The envelope itself has no striking feature. No impulsive drawings of hearts surround your name. The words ‘I hate you’ help create a frame.
How to deliver? This much I know. Addressed to my enemy, my nemesis, my foe. This paper-plane will crash land at your head. I don’t want a reply, to me old friend, you’re dead.
Honey By Nicole Mullan First petal- he loves me
The way he messes with my hair Speaks fondly of me When I’m not even there. When we see each other He greets me with a smile Hugging me warmly, He compliments my style.
Second petal-he loves me not
He hasn’t said the words Hasn’t taken me on a date Still hasn’t kissed me Does he just want to be my mate? He knows a lot of girls Has a lot of female friends There are no heart emojis In the messages he sends.
The stem is long and sturdy The leaves move toward the sun
Where’s my source of light? Someone witty, kind and fun.
The colour of the petals Attract a bumble bee Will I ever flourish, And attract someone to me?
Your company is my nectar There is colour in my cheeks But I don’t believe you love me. I haven’t heard from you in weeks.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Babeâ&#x20AC;? By Nicole Mullan The surroundings were blurry I found it hard to see Dropped my glass on the floor As you grabbed hold of me Took me out from the club Your arm around my waist What was in that drink of mine? It had a weird, acidic taste
Dark and cold outside My mind not thinking straight You brought me over to some trees A stranger Not a mate.
I felt your hand caress my skin As you fumbled with my dress Helpless and barely conscious Up against me you press. My pupils circled round and round Longing for some help A cat roamed lonesome through the street No one heard my yelp.
Two months later, physically My bruises start to heal. Mentally I am still in pain The torment I still feel.
Shame. Dirt. Exile. Attempts to clean my skin. No matter how much I scrub Part of you remains within.
Now it is 8 weeks old. It grows within my tummy. Not ready for this responsibility Not ready to be a mummy. Will its face be a reminder of you? The horror of that night Should I terminate before it’s born? Would such a thing be right?
It can’t cry out for help It can’t shout stop or wait! Is it a girl or a boy? What’s to be its fate?
If you fancy submitting something but haven’t done so yet, or if you would like to send us some further examples of your work, here are our submission guidelines: SUBMISSIONS NB – All artwork must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Indecent and/or offensive images will not be published, and anyone found to be in breach of this will be reported to the police. Images must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Please include your name, contact details, and a short biography. You are welcome to include a photograph of yourself – this may be in colour or black and white. We cannot be responsible for the loss of or damage to any material that is sent to us, so please send copies as opposed to originals. Images may be resized in order to fit “On the Wall”. This is purely for practicality. E-mail all submissions to: email@example.com and title your message as follows: (Type of work here) submitted to “A New Ulster” (name of writer/artist here); or for younger contributors: “Letters to the Alley Cats” (name of contributor/parent or guardian here). Letters, reviews and other communications such as Tweets will be published in “Round the Back”. Please note that submissions may be edited. All copyright remains with the original author/artist, and no infringement is intended. These guidelines make sorting through all of our submissions a much simpler task, allowing us to spend more of our time working on getting each new edition out!
February 2018’s MESSAGE FROM THE ALLEYCATS:
Here we are another year over and the work keeps getting better with each issue Well, that’s just about it from us for this edition everyone. Thanks again to all of the artists who submitted their work to be presented “On the Wall”. As ever, if you didn’t make it into this edition, don’t despair! Chances are that your submission arrived just too late to be included this time. Check out future editions of “A New Ulster” to see your work showcased “On the Wall”.
Biographical Note: John (Jack) Byrne
John [Jack] Byrne lives in Co. Wicklow ,Ireland he has been writing for almost 6 years mainly poetry; Traditional and Japanese short form and has had some published success in UK , USA, Ireland in Anthologies, Magazines ,Ezines /Journals his blog can be found here: http://john-isleoftheharp.blogspot.ie/
John Jack Byrne â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Once More
John Jack Byrne â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Without wings
John Jack Byrne â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Summer Begins
We continue to provide a platform for poets and artists around the world we want to offer our thanks to the following for their financial support Richard Halperin, John Grady, P.W. Bridgman, Bridie Breen, John Byrne, Arthur Broomfield, Silva Merjanin, Orla McAlinden, Michael Whelan, Sharon Donnell, Damien Smyth, Arthur Harrier, Maire Morrissey Cummins, Alistair Graham, Strider Marcus Jones Our anthologies https://issuu.com/amosgreig/docs/anu_present_voices_for_peace https://issuu.com/amosgreig/docs/anu_poetry_anthology_-april https://issuu.com/amosgreig/docs/anu_women_s_anthology_2017