Echoing – Kirsty A. Niven

each gasp is magnified

Kirsty A. Niven lives in Dundee, Scotland. Her writing has appeared in anthologies such as Strength, The Alien Buddha’s Feminist Agenda and Landfall. She has also featured in several journals and magazines, including The Poet’s Republic, Cicada Magazine, Monstrous Regiment and Silk + Smoke. Kirsty’s work can also be found online on sites such as La Scrittrice, Anti-Heroin Chic and Poetry Breakfast.

Echoing

In the echoing of this house,

each gasp is magnified –

an extorted thrill you relish.

A Rabelais twinkle in your eye,

a mischief you cannot keep in.

Each incorrigible kiss in this chaos

vibrates through every bone;

sliding skin buzzing like bees,

an Eros earthquake in my knees.

The bed barely holds me up,

melting under your liquid touch –

I am honey in your hands, nectar

dripping through your intrepid fingers.

Your teeth graze my shoulder,

a blissful sting, exultation with wings.

In the echoing of this house,

mirroring smiles say what we can’t

in a silence we won’t shatter.

Kirsty A Niven

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

Self-Destruction Button – Megan Ponton

Happiness terrifies me

My name is Megan Ponton, I am 24 years old from Glasgow and currently work in retail. I discovered a love of words but especially poetry a short while ago and while I am still learning about it. I feel my writing is honesty and from the heart and we as a society, should never forget the importance words can have on a person and the wider community.

Self – Destruction Button

by Megan Ponton

Happiness is a strange thing 

The more you have it

The more you crave it

Like a smoker, 

Desperately craving that first cigarette in the morning

Happiness terrifies me

As

In the past

It has been there in fleeting bursts

Rather than continued spells

Happiness is a great feeling 

Yet 

You always feel that you are one wrong move

From it all going belly-up

And

As a result 

Hitting that self-destruct button

Almost feels like a comfort blanket

In a twisted sort of way

Trying to make sense of it all

Megan Ponton

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

Voice Note From a Lover – Luke Grey

One of the most beautiful sights of the summer

The author, Luke Grey, is a writer. He lives in London. 

Voice note from a lover

“One of the ways in which I love looking at clouds

Is to see them bisected by wires.

One of the most beautiful sights of the summer,

This late in the day, is when clouds take on

Their deeper tones.

Sometimes more intense, even, than the brightly lit sky.

When sat, or stood, or (as now) walking on a platform

And looking up at the wires, the suspended wires:

Gliding towards each other,

Crossing, ending, held aloft, hitting a pole,

Marked out by the thinner wires that hold the thicker ones apart

And yet together.

That web of energy, stretching far across the city,

Only a few metres above me and the rail tracks,

Never meeting.

That web measures itself out between me and the sky,

And sometimes, sometimes, at the most exciting moments,

When the city is nearly silent,

And you stand on the platform and look up at the wires.

You can hear them fizzing.

Fizzing in a sky full of high, lunging, soft and smooth clouds

That sashay upwards and northwards.

Pink on their undersides, lit by the setting sun.

A dark lavender on their edges, and then above them

A pale, duck-egg blue.”

Luke Grey

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

Trees – Henry Wilkink

You can watch them learn and grow

Thank you to Henry Wilkink for his contribution to Voices. We are sure you will enjoy Henry’s work.

Trees

Trees are like children,

You can watch them learn and grow,

You build up love with them, 

Just to watch them go,

The age grows and so do you,

You invest so much time with it,

Never moving, still as a statue,

Your time has come,

Your cottage is empty,

Your body goes numb,

You hope that your garden will keep,

You try to hold back the death phantom,

As you your mind goes into an eternal sleep.

You watch down on your tree, 

You see the fire coming,

It is the most horrific sight you see,

You realise what is going to happen and you cry,

You feel depressed as you watch your tree die.

Henry Wilkink, aged 12

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

Apport – Marc Stevens

Asbestos hands that unscrewed sparking plugs

Many thanks to Marc Stevens for ‘Apport’ – a poem inspired by his father’s shed. Marc has been penning poetry since 1984 and is clearly very passionate about the art. Marc is ‘ inspired by the fiction of Ian M. Banks and by the Liverpool poets, especially the love poetry of Brian Patten.’ We really appreciate his contribution and support.

Apport

If you asked me where the dead live

I would say nowhere –

unless you count memory.

If pushed, I would tell you that there is no

quantum theory of ghosts, that the soul, 

as a self-sustaining energy matrix, 

is hokum.

In the shed that was my father’s

I’m hoping for rawlplugs

because even armchair physicists

have to put up shelves.

I peer into jars of assorted screws,

into packs of tacks and tins of pins

that prick the questing finger

and prod the sheepish conscience to views

of how much I took my father’s help

and how little I returned.

Screwdrivers look down their shafts 

in dismissal of a man who has no calluses.

Sarcastic spanners and tinsnips

snipe from the sidelines

like old sweats on building sites,

hazing the new boy.

Above the bench, the adjustable wrench, 

the bradawl, the backsaw, the brace

are polished smooth by years of toil,

as bent by the task as the man 

whose hands have stained them.

In drawers, old toys of bolt and grommet,

experiments in copper pipe,

are rusting down to a humus

of sawdust, solder, the spirals of swarf 

he’d pluck from fingers as thick as truncheons

without complaint,

on mornings too cold for participation

by teenage theoreticians.

Asbestos hands that unscrewed sparking plugs

heedless of HT leads, unbothered by the manifold 

that burnt a hole in his good overalls,

seemed to perform diagnostics

that would baffle the man himself

and I’d be back on the road again.

Odd, amongst such riches,

that loss should touch me now.

Odder still that those damn rawlplugs 

have dropped into my palm, 

like a gift, just for the wishing of it.

Marc Stevens

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

Up the Portuguese Steps – Lucy

The pain doesn’t last, just keep climbing you’re nearly there

Many thanks to Lucy Staveley for her entry. The poem is about a very long journey up a staircase whilst on holiday. Lucy has recently started to create poems and finds this to be an excellent way to express herself. Thank you for your support Lucy.

Up the Portuguese Steps

Breathe

Take a step, hold your breath, it’s okay, you can do this

Breathe

Don’t worry, it gets easier. By the time you’re at the top, it won’t hurt anymore

Breathe

You’ll get through this, you’re a fighter, besides you wouldn’t want to make a fuss

Breathe

Honey I know it hurts but swallow, the lump in your throat will subside

Breathe

They didn’t mean it, they couldn’t have. No one would ever do that to their own family; daring they didn’t know

Breathe

The pain doesn’t last, just keep climbing you’re nearly there

Breathe 

I know you’re supposed to be in paradise but the sun and the sea can’t take this away

Breathe

Oh baby I can see the top now, you can do it

Breathe, and smile. Return to normal. Those tears must stay frozen. They can never fall. 

Breathe.

Lucy Staveley

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

Sirens and Fireworks – Jessica Williams

Memories are made in real life not on I cloud 

I am a single mother from southeast London and my escapism has always been literature wether it be reading it or creating it it’s always been therapeutic and cathartic to me. Most of my pieces are biographical and based on my real life.

Sirens and fireworks 

Sirens and fire works 

I’m just sitting here hoping my lighter works 

Wondering what will stop hurting first 

My head or my heart 

Even if I wanted to tell you where would I start 

Making the best of what’s rest of me 

After life has tested me 

One too many times 

My only solace in these Rhymes 

Cause I’ve seen so much my eyes don’t work rose coloured glasses 

Highlighting every perk 

But when the lenses crack there’s no looking back

Can’t try to make it work 

I can’t ve the technician in my current position 

Cause my candles gone out at both ends 

No matter where I go I always come back to my old ends 

And no matter how many people I try to show a glimmer of me fail to see 

So I tend to stick to my old friend 

But even sometimes they seem to fail 

To even the scale and put in the work where it need be 

But when a favours required there never to tired 

To make sure they let me know they need me 

But when I was hungry you didn’t feed me 

And called me out on being needy 

Thought you were good fruit 

But you were rotten from the root 

And what you flowered was way too seedy 

But your gardens so groomed 

And your neighbours was not 

So therefore the decay spread 

And while you were picking their fruits and planting your own 

You didn’t realise there main plant was dead 

No good soil to bury my head 

Few good ears to hear what I said 

And I saw how you cooked with my dirt on your heart 

So no thanks I don’t want your bread 

Weeds in your ears can’t you hear what I said 

I didn’t ask you to groom me prune me and clip 

To watch me and judge me 

There to remind me I’ve slipped 

So sometimes I dip 

To a place all my own 

A place I’ve preserved in my in another zone 

Where not a tablet or phone is allowed 

Memories are made in real life not on I cloud 

Where saying your proud is not an emoji 

I don’t need your feel well soon I just need you to hold me 

I don’t need you’ll get over it I just need you to fold me feel me and console me 

And keep me with all the things your consider holy

Cause it’s never your job to fix it although I’m happy you’ve tried 

Sorry if along the way part of you died 

But our pictures been painted 

And I tried not  to taint it 

Although I might have just stained it 

While we did I happy we maintained it 

Cause old scars healed I’m sorry if i made new ones 

I’d refer you to a friend if I really knew one 

But I can sit in 

Cause I don’t fit in 

But from my broken pieces a mosaic begins

Jessica Williams, London

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

Seasons of Love – Molly Nash

The most forbidden fruits hold the sweetest taste

My name is Molly Nash, and I attend a school on the Wirral. Personally I believe poetry provides me with an outlet to vent about emotions, ideas, or even to emphasise problems in today’s society. I wrote this poem (named Seasons of Love) to illustrate how love is able to travel across the seasons, and no matter the challenges, that love is able to never falter. I adore poetry as it’s a creative and fun way to express myself.

Seasons of Love

Lavender kisses upon a maple leaf,

Delicate love within young seeds are sown.

The autumn days are long and burdensome,

when your eyes can bless all but mine own.

Snowflakes drift from heaven’s breath,

Caressing mountaintops far and wide-

Along with them, my heart yearns for warmth,

of which I am left bare without you by my side.

Cruel spring light ensnares the evanescence of sunset,

Encasing the velvet night in each of your eyes,

The constellations of far off stars map our journey,

as the deafening silence of love claims its lost prize.

The most forbidden fruits hold the sweetest taste,

and yours commits to the most pleasant of wars,

I shall feel the wrath of Lucifer upon my breast,

If I, for a single summer, am free to be yours.

Molly Nash, Wirral

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

Footy in the Garage – Dominic Howell

the space with the ball

My name is Dominic I’m a budding writer and journalist based in Glasgow. I wrote this poem about the experience of playing football in my garage when I was a young boy.

Footy in the Garage

The grey of the floor and the dust and the chip

the space with the ball 

the game with a hook

standing in a shell

that fatherly smell

that’s attached to the main body of the building

my space 

my games

my opposition 

in my head

And there they remain 

Until I am dead

Dominic Howell, Glasgow

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

Ophthalmology in B Minor – Amy McGinn

out of focus and blurred at the edges

Amy is a 20 year old poet and animal lover. She is currently in her third year of university where she is studying for her Wildlife Conservation degree. She has been published in The Marsden Poetry Village anthology, Canterbury Poet of the Year, as well as being shortlisted/longlisted for several other prizes. Her work has been described as innovating, compelling, brave, and she aims to pursue this in her future writing.

Ophthalmology in B Minor

vision problem #1: nearsightedness;

at the foot of the stairwell, the future — out of focus and blurred at the edges — is marred by astigmatism. something like threat lies belly-up in the background, throat brazenly splayed on the asphalt. fingers cut off and hung up to drain. tongue a metaphor for tumescence. blood a metaphor for destruction.

vision problem #2: farsightedness;

this angle softens the outline of your cuspids, cushions the flagrancy of your features. this is the part where, for once, i’m not attracted to rot; where decay isn’t a tired buoy slogging through my blood like a stubborn dog.

vision problem #3: tunnel vision;

the needle repositioned on the record, but still catching on guilt in every groove. the sickness threaded through the bars of a birdcage, brain short-circuited by circumstance. my veins: rivers blocked with contagion and carnage — more about bad timing than bad luck. 

vision problem #4: blindness;

flying above the gossamer, the ruby-breasted bird swipes at something that doesn’t belong to him. he becomes something unholy in his neolithic need for hegemony. retaliation excised from his prize like wet cement between two lips. 

vision correction: keratomileusis;

it feels like this: the poisoned fruit between my teeth, but no tongue to spit it out with; the chick falling from the nest, its wings tucked into its body. this is what it takes to taste anything other than burnt. this is what it takes to understand that softness isn’t the same as surrender.

Amy McGinn

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.