POEM BY BYRON BEYNON
THE SOUND RETURN
The tide has turned its face
from the shore, once more
the herring-gulls feed and quarrel
on the luminous mud
where lonely boats, abandoned and still,
wait, listening for the sound
return of the sea that will come
like the end of a journey.
Upright figures that stand on rocks,
the stranger who digs
for bait or for something he has detected,
the hopes and fears which are his alone.
The rose-blush of air enters
the bay on this invigorating day,
sand-ribbed and rubbed grains
peel away time, a flight of sky
seen before the rolling mist returns
again to listen for the marooned and mysterious cry.
Byron Beynon lives in Swansea, Wales. His work has appeared in several publications including London Magazine, Poetry Ireland, Worcester Review (USA), Poetry Wales and Written River (USA). Recent collections include Human Shores (Lapwing Publications, Belfast) and the The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).
POEM BY KATHERINE SONIAT
The clerk sells my son a bed
then looks my way and says,
so this was your mother. I begin
to wonder if something living has
slipped from me as I walk through
mazes of lamps and video chairs,
lakes of foam bedding. And there's
the orange-glow hearth, suggesting
that old palliative, a family circle
at which point I step aside to check
my hair in a mirror. I tilt this way and that
but find not a glimmer of her, only more
color-coordinated groupings; my glass morphed
to space I poke my head through into
a slick new sofa-world deep as pie on the other
side—no face for what was once the smile
of a woman.
Katherine Soniat 's seventh collection, Bright Stranger, is forthcoming from Louisiana State University Press in spring 2016. The Swing Girl (LSU Press) was selected as Best Collection of 2011 by the Poetry Council of North Carolina. A chapbook, The Goodbye Animals, recently received the Turtle Island Quarterly Award. A Shared Life received The Iowa Prize. Poems have appeared recently in World Poetry Portfolio #60, St. Katherine Review, Hotel Amerika, Prairie Schooner (Waterfusion), storySouth, and Connotations Press. She was on the faculty at Virginia Tech, Hollins University, and now teaches in the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNC-Asheville. Website: www.katherinesoniat.com
POEM BY RICHARD KING PERKINS II
Cirque des Cercles
Like a vein of gold, you left me
in the center of forgotten, still to miss
the rise of trivia. Alleys blotted
with dusk’s red trifles. Yet it wasn’t the
swaths of cinnabar collapsing in the fireplace
that stilled us. Bright prisons followed us
everywhere— except when we needed
The cirque des cercles on the
stitched rug are openings to an underworld.
The longest darkness. Creatures forming
from the demon’s molten feet in the eons
after Damascus appeared above the earth.
An age of whale chant rising like slabs
on the strand. But the day’s first child
cries out the simplest man’s name into the sky.
Such a mind; a gateway to the clouds.
Perpetual reiver, break me into timelessness,
for the will perseveres in its completeness
rather than its fragmentation. Then the moon
leaves off and the rug swallows down remnants
of gold and bone. The deepening of essentials.
Promenades swathed in dawn’s great monument.
Left alone in unending expanses of pitch-white
freedom— even when we needed it least.
Because I was always your slave.
And you were always mine.
Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee and has had work appear in hundreds of publications including The Louisiana Review, Bluestem, Emrys Journal, Sierra Nevada Review, Two Thirds North, The Red Cedar Review and The William and Mary Review. He has poems forthcoming in the Roanoke Review, The Alembic and Milkfist. His poem “Distillery of the Sun” won second place in the 2014 Bacopa Literary Review contest.