The Birds Build Nests – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

The birds build nest from found objects
up in the eaves of my house
where I have no place to call a home
mine.
Fragile window-frames of splintered straws,
postcard door fluttering off its hinges.
I stack these pieces on top of each other,
ring the patio table in old newspapers,
and build myself something small, contained,
a space to fill up with just me
and leave no part abandoned.
When winter cracks against the garden,
steps up to the windows, climbs the brickwork,
I understand better why the birds all left
when the leaves turned gold.
These nest are skins for the shedding,
a stripping out of last year’s hide,
before the cold can come and take.

Tonight I’m writing for the DVersePoetics Prompt, where we’ve been asked to “write a poem in the first person that compares some trait of ours with something animal”, taking inspiration from Marjorie Saiser’s poem ‘The Print The Whales Make’.

The Dead Will Always Outnumber The Living – #DVerse Prosery

There was a sign propped up against the empty doorframe which read “If you are a dreamer, come in” except the paint had chipped, and instead of dreamer it read dream.
‘So?’ asked his wife. ‘Are you going in or not?’
She stood on tiptoes and tried to peer through one of the windows. Graham thought he saw her shiver, and for a moment started to shrug the jacket from his shoulders.
‘It looks abandoned.’ She stepped away and scowled. ‘You copied out the right address, didn’t you?’
Graham nodded, then felt his heart sink. An old lady stepped into the hall, the edges of her body blurring against the peeling wallpaper.
‘Oh,’ said his wife, now stood behind him. ‘She’s like me!’
She grinned and poked him in the ribs.
‘Poor Graham, can’t even find a living physic to help with your ghosts.’

If you are a dreamer, come in.

Shel Silverstein’s poem, Invitation, Where The Sidewalk Ends

For someone who doesn’t read a lot of horror/ghost stories, and can’t really watch the genre either, I seem to write a fair bit of it. I find I really adore these monthly Prosery prompts as there a great way to stretch the creative writing muscles when my focus has drifted away from flash fiction. It helps that Lillian picked a cracking line of poetry for tonight’s prompt as well.

In some exciting poetry news however, this week I’ve got two poems coming out, in two seperate magazines. The first was published on Sunday in the second issue of The Riverbed Review which is available to read for free on their site. The second is my poem ‘Overgrowth’, which I originally wrote for a Dverse prompt and is being published Wednesday, (with a couple of edits) in the first issue of Hencroft. A lot of journals and magazines do not accept poems that have appeared on blogs or social media previously, so I’m ecstatic to have the chance to publish with a magazine that didn’t mind.

#NaPoWriMo – Day Five – [Not-Guilty: A Witch I]

[not-Guilty: A Witch I]

Pleaded innocent for hours,
reading as guilty
when she protested
in that shrieking, crackle voice

and choked on
communion wine prayers
with her mouth full
of spells.

It does people some good
roping up witches,
purging
evil from the world

the woman is blamed.

I’m mixing two prompts this evening. NaPoWriMo’s Day Five challenge to mirror the layout and of an existing poem that I admire, (I chose a Fiona Benson poem from her collection ‘Vertigo & Ghosts’) and the DVersePoets Quardrille prompt: wine. During the 17th century there were a number of ‘tests’ to prove the innocence or guilt of a person accused of witchcraft. One of those ‘tests’ was to offer them communion or to have them recite the Lord’s Prayer. If they choked, of stumbled over the words then it was proof of their guilt. Fiona Benson’s poem [not-Zeus:Medusa I] ends on the line “the woman is blamed” which I’ve kept the same, but I’ve not followed the syllable count exactly.

Small Flies and Other Wings – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

Small Flies and Other Wings

Christine Ay Tjoe

After the breakup:
easing her out of the settee cushions
so we could see the damage you left.

Spaces marked by absence.
Your idea of husbandry,
less obvious than building fences
to keep her tamed.

You took her wings,
kept them between glass,
along with all the others
collected and curated
to remind yourself,
how many birds roosted
in the catch of your palms.

They grew back so different,
translucent to the eye
and always tucked away
from those who might be watching.

You would not return to her
for wings that looked like these.
Not when there were others
much prettier for plucking.

Caught Up – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

Each evening I begin unwinding myself,
searching out the teasing thread
that will lead to the knots
wrangled tighter each day.
As if I am a set of headphones
snaring pocket lint in my tangled nets
until I’ve frayed too far,
and simply snap.