Pixel Heart Literary Magazine
ISSUE FOUR: JOY
Contents Letter from the Editor
The Flower Girl
Room For Two
In Pursuit of Joy
Letter from the Editor
Dear Readers, It’s a joy to bring you Issue Four of Pixel Heart Literary Magazine, which has the theme of joy. The work included in this issue deftly and beautifully approaches the theme, and I hope you enjoy reading it all as much as I did, putting it all together. This is also the final issue we’ll publish in 2019, so I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your continued support of Pixel Heart Literary Magazine this year. Best wishes, Chloe Smith Editor
Sunny Somewhere It's always sunny somewhere in the world When rain endlessly pours And you beg for no more When your frown is a horizon When her eyes look away And you get concrete floors and concrete skies in May
Look to the sun that shines on foreign lands Golden and eternal, like the enlightened mind Come out of your fox-hole, you will like what you find Olive-skinned dreamers drunk on music, Silver moustachioed men kissing glowing cigars And young tango couples dancing It's always sunny somewhere in the world
Even in the frost of frozen fields Where Eskimos rub noses and Hold hands over log fires Even in the heat of simmering savage lands With antelope affection And locked horns Desperation dies cowering in the corner
When you realise with open eyes It's always sunny somewhere in the world
Dance in the Sun Dance in the rain Makes no difference, no more to gain You already have it Your heart rises with the Sun And the Sun rises every single day
Zen I enter the garden. Walking behind my rechargeable mower Slow, quiet swaths. I rake, clippings, mulch fledgling tomatoes and a mystery gourd sprouted in the middle of the lawn. I climb over the fence the dog burrows under to weed the vegetables. Corn leaves whisper around my head. I slide like a blade between them. Sweat tickles my back. Soaks my waist band, also knees. When I squat pant-legs glue to skin. I pull clovers while thanking them for their nitrogen work. Pull self-seeded morning glories, “weeds”. Mower’s purr, squeaking shoes, creak my sinews as I bend, songs of cicadas, bees, a bluejay family excited by peanuts. Earth grinds into my nail beds, wiped on my jeans.
Grass clippings in my shoes, sunflower petals scatter light on my head as I kneel. Squirrels monkey through maples, chipmunks tiptoe across the deck, a rabbit relaxes in broad daylight, dog digs beside me, hunting mystery. Spiders weave joy all together, silken skeins of magic. Autumn Solstice.
The Flower Girl
I was fourteen the first time it happened. It was a family picnic – the kind where your parents exhaust you and everything’s boring. I wandered off into a meadow of startling blue cornflowers. I was daydreaming about a boy at school, which was how I spent most of my time then. I remember the feel of the petals between my fingers as I touched them: soft, oily almost: like a cat’s ear. And then they vanished... all the cornflowers gone. And the field was full of celandines. It was that quick – like a flash of lightning – so sudden I wasn’t sure it was real. Blue to yellow. Just like that. My brother came to find me. “Dad says it’s time to go,” he said. I told him about the flowers, even though I didn’t normally tell him anything. “Yeah, right,” he said. “Like a super power, only rubbish. Bet you can’t do it again.” I reached out into the flowers. A breeze blew and some of the petals fluttered into my hair. I rubbed my fingers over them, and then, as though someone had changed the slide: daisies. We looked at each other. “I knew you were weird,” he said triumphantly, as though all he’d been waiting for was proof. I spent a lot of time after that trying to find a use for my skill. I used to think there was no way you’d get a gift like that if it wasn’t for something. “Sometimes things just are,” my husband said the day after he found out.
On our wedding day, my fingers amongst the petals, the bouquet turned from sweet peas to calla lilies to spray roses like a fibre optic lamp. The flower girl stared at it in awe, her eyes as wide as oranges and her basket of petals clutched tightly in her tiny hands. Jenny Adamthwaite
Room For Two
You itch to explore spread your feet across borders as yet undiscovered by your eyes I dream of you travelling by my side I itch to see the wonder in your gaze as the world becomes slightly more yours You yearn to go adrift leave behind the usual for travel sized toiletries and foreign snacks in vending machines I wish to be with you getting lost in brand new places unraveling the rhythms of our life down unfamiliar streets You say that you're going step into unknown I'll take one step further Look back and see how far you've come Siobhan Dunlop
In Pursuit of Joy Let the shutters fall on your day As the sun bids you adieu. Step over abandoned shoes And out into eveningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heady kiss. Give your toes a life of their own, Bedded in sweet summer lawn. Kick a stray leaf and watch it spiral A flamenco in the golden porch light. Lower your weary body onto the step And leave your feet on the ground While you mind takes flight. Lick the droplets from your cider bottle, Then sip and let the bubbles tease your nose. Lean back, look up, see the heavens spin above you And marvel at the infinite perfection of it all. Amanda McLeod
Contributors Amanda McLeod Amanda McLeod is an Australian author and artist. Her fiction and poetry can be found in many places, both in print and online, including Ellipsis Zine and Burning House Press. She is also the Managing Editor of Animal Heart Press. When she's not writing she's usually reading, or looking for quiet places. Find her on Twitter @AmandaMWrites or via her website amandamcleodwrites.com. Jenny Adamthwaite Jenny Adamthwaite is a freelance writer and editor based in Lancaster, UK. Her short fiction has been published in a variety of places, including Story Magazine and Litro. She is also a writer and producer of magical realist audio drama podcast, The Family Tree, which has just finished its third and final season. You can find her online at www.jadamthwaite.co.uk or under the Twitter handle, @jadamthwaite. JF Wilson JF Wilson is a 22 year old writer and performance poet studying Creative and Professional Writing at Bangor University. His writing is concerned with the space between the spiritual and the political, and his work has been published in Tales From the Forest Magazine and Confingo. With the renowned Young Identity he has performed poetry all over the country, opening up for established names such as Carol-Ann Duffy, Billy Bragg and Saul Williams. You can find him at Jonny B Smooth on Facebook. Rachael Ikins Rachael Ikins is a 2016/18 Pushcart, 2013/18/19 CNY Book Award, 2018 Independent Book Award winner, & 2019 Faulkner poetry finalist. She is author/illustrator of 9 books in multiple genres. She lives by a lake with her dogs and cats. Siobhan Dunlop Siobhan Dunlop is a UK-based poet and book blogger with poems published in 404 Ink, Pixel Heart, Re-Analogue, meanwhile magazine, CrĂŞpe & Penn, 3 Moon, and The Speculative Book 2019, and a short story about an all-female Henry IV production in an LGBT Shakespeare anthology. They love reworking classic texts in new ways and reading about tech, currently work teaching people digital things, and can be found on Twitter under @fiendfull and online at fiendfullyreading.com.