Greenhouse by Phoebe Thomson

From the second we get into the greenhouse.
You are sweet steam blinded
blundering, foggy, foolish
in the hot wet of this green.

A green as much as this
could surprise you for life,
could leave you feeling, but not seeing,
always twitching,
like touched ferns.

Phoebe Thomson is a recent graduate who studied English. She lives in South London and likes making illustrations and poetry.

WHITE by Mai Hoang

falling from the sky at dawn, it is white.
Snow White –
present from the heavens to his chosen people
towards year’s end. Hallelujah! This
holly flower will blossom & embrace
the barren earth, the singed sinned soil of
human toil. How much does it take to
rebirth the world? Not much.

Just flakes of bone-chilling jaw-shivering
crispy
whiteness,
lighter than felt.

Overnight, it bleaches the sidewalks colorless
& forms heavy clumps
latching, choking, crushing
moss (microbiomic greengrass),

cruel like elve-witches. Ymirs
slink under pillows
into dreams.

So you stare as I dance in the dawn,
ice in my tongue.
But

I envy you people, to whom
White
is a reality, as fixed as the deep blue wells of your soul-windows
& the latent crimson spots that surface
when you are too uncomfortably fazed
by UV rays.

But if I linger long enough, tell me, O my
darling
if White
would become my reality, too.

 

Mai Hoang is a rising sophomore at Phillips Exeter, where she serves as writing associate for Pendulum, an annual arts and literature publication. She originally hails from Saigon, Vietnam. Her works have been published or are upcoming in TeenInk and The Clairemont Review, among others. She has been recognized by
the Scholastic Writing Awards, Laura Thomas Communications and the Lamont Young Poets’ Prize. She participated as a mentee in the Adroit Journal’s 2017 Poetry Mentorship Program.

Another Myth About The Garden by Anum Sattar

Her husband thought of her a sturdy oak
which would bear the mighty blow of his axe.
Though she, a mere sapling, a toothpick stuck
in his teeth, could not bear his reprimands.
 
Abusive, he tried to pluck her blossoms
to fill his empty vase with their fragrance.
Thorny, she bloomed for her own happiness
and struggled to avoid a flowerpot.

Then tired at last she showed her thorns to him
and teased him with rose hips beyond his reach.
But with one swing she collapsed at his feet
and then in his garden outstretched she lay.

He tilled her yellowing leaves into mulch
and prepared the soil for another bush.



First published in the American Journal of Poetry (2016).




FLIT by Sara Truuvert

wrist bones
ankle bones
tendons in the forearm
you march into the kitchen
to boil an egg for your lunch
flit skip
from sink to stove

a squirrel visited my office today
he made me look up from my painting
he rustled the ivy
I took a picture, look

like the fortitude of flowers
the way you fascinate a room
wiry bird bone frame
fortified with soil from the garden
and laughter of children from a carpet

now I find myself reflecting
your hurried speech
your skinny quick hands
the way love makes you cry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sisters by Mia Nelson

so much left unsaid about 

the woman who washed our hair 

 

in the river and the tv that peeled itself lemon 

static and our limbs buzzed and we were 

 

animals not afraid of being animals 

and we tore acidity from the apartment windows

 

and our walls cried blue and watercolor and the only thing 

left was the shrine we made to the crack in our mother’s

 

head from which we were born, pulled like sea foam and fake california

sun– the color of your hair, a discarded hand from the yellowy clouds

 

aren’t you tired of living this way, aren’t you too old to 

be sucking thumbs and playing the wind like a six string guitar. 

 

your tongue walks penny circles around me 

and the phone loses its purple mind and i am 

 

ashamed of the flickering light on your face and how 

people have always thought you were younger than you are.

 

sister, pray to the god of our broken carburetor and the black hair 

we found in the sink you spit skin and yellow blood into

 

pray to the god of my broken lip and the boy who shattered your knee 

before state and the highway we ran away to: kneel to its fluorescent lights

 

and the dark, empty night that pooled at us and

the navy color of your mouth when you told me you

 

were so lost, a bulimic deer in headlights, 

that you were getting closer to angels and further from yourself. 

 

Lilly, like the flower, like a thousand, golden unpicked hands, 

I looked up to you like a moth sees heaven and your hair was 

 

the shade mine almost was and my greatest

shame is that mother liked me best.

 

 Lilly, sister, hand. hand that gave mine its softness, 

 I know I am not as strong as you, I know you grew up

 

in a closed mouth sun, that you were too much for too much 

but I don’t know if you miss me, or if even that would be enough. 

 

the last time I saw you, purple lipstick made me cry. you looked too cold to be

the pavement I had grown up burning my feet on, you looked too cold for the interstate, 

 

for the intersection. you were my god. and worse, you

were my sister. now I pray to the half of the grapefruit I promise

 

myself I’ll eat tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow like tomorrow

is the knife you put in my hands. if I saw you only once, 

 

it was the back of your car: a cloud of hot, 

cicada yellow exhaust when i learned that

 

there is only God and everyone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Murder of Craas by John Dingwall

Took a walk to the craa wid.

Pillaring pines, bare at the waste, shabby at the heid.

The grun is fern and autumn’s auburn waste.

The wid belongs to the throaty wail of the craas

that nest upon the pine tops in their hunners.

As dawn nears, the vivid pinkish sky grows noir with their carrion dance.

The craas wedding it’s caad.

And as the rooks and hoodies and carrions descent on treetop beds, the wid itself turns black,

some pines with ten to a brunch.

A restless noir spectre.

 

Wandering to the wid,

to the first trees abeen the dry steen dyke,

I feel dark een upon me; hunners, thoosands.

 

I see brunches twitch.

 

Hans feel the cardboard texture of tree bark.

 

The sticky kiss of an aal cobweb.

 

I step deeper into the wid.

A craa caas at me something callous.

Another joins in, this time a waar cry,

and a retched symphony begins.

A chorus of pain and agony.

A thoosand beaks yell “awa”.

 

Heid tilted back,

I violently clash the palms of my hans the gither.

The momentum leaves a sting.

 

The soond of a cyclone,

of wings skelping wings,

brunches battering brunches.

A spectral black veil crams the evening sky

as a feather nae bigger than my index finger tumbles from the tree tops,

spinning top to bottom.

It lands on my reid palms.

I feel its plastic stem, where the black melts to grey,

so licht to the touch.

In its wake comes a hunner more,

a blin-drift of sable sna.

 

All licht is extinguished.

 

I breathe in a moofae of faain feathers.

 

And choke on my grief,

as a murder of craas kills the sun

and gives birth to the necht.

 



Glossary

Craa – crow, brunch – branch, licht – light, necht – night, hunner – a hundred, thoosands – thousands, sna – snow, moofae – mouthful, faain – falling, reid – red, caa – call, grun – ground, wid – wood, heid – head, awa – away, een – eyes, hans – hands, the gither – together, abeen – beyond/above, Steen – stone, aal – old, blin-drift – heavy shower of snow.