Glenn Hubbard – 2 poems 

La La Land


In the central square men and women in colourful costumes:

affable Mickey, solicitous Minnie and a smurf.

Waving, they make a bee-line

for small children and giggling, selfie-inclined teenage girls.

A mafia, apparently, jealously guarding their pitch,

they are all love as they swelter within their guises.


A man has painted himself with a product that has made him bronze.

Under the gaze of spellbound, dumbfound tourists,

he sits at a chess board, pre-move.

He’ll make it when a coin drops into his box.

But will he make enough to cleanse himself

of the poison working its way through his skin?


A dog stands with a plastic chicken leg in its mouth

opposite the fat lady outside the military church

who appears to be wearing twenty layers of clothing.

Almost blind, the notice at her feet asks for money

to help her go and see a daughter.

Who will take her?


A Rumanian gypsy, battled hardened,

crosses my path at Opera.

She carries a placard explaining

her predicament: children, unemployed, illness.

It is written in good Spanish.

She did not write it, could not read it.


On the underground, a man gets on to tell us his tale.

After the standard apology for bothering us,

he takes out his “I am a genuine beggar” documentation,

and we stop listening, look into space till he finishes.

Children, unemployed, illness. He’ll take money, food, anything.

Perhaps we could offer him a job, he says.


At the station exit, the old Rumanian gypsy is at his post.

He leans on his crutch, which could just be a ruse.

Nobody, though, will kick it from under him. So we’ll never know.

He lunges at those who emerge, his crazed exclamation of the word “Hola”

transformed now into “Allah”.

As always, his white polystyrene beaker is empty.


I make for the sanity of the supermarket,

where the African at the door,

not knowing me from Adam,

greets me once again,

not bothering to offer me the paper

that nobody buys.

 

🍃

 

​Why We Need Another Huge Shopping Centre

Because of posterity

Because of the Pharaohs

Because of our legacy

Because of Iron Age barrows

We need another huge shopping centre

Because of architecture

Because of cement and sand

Because of structure, texture

Because of prime development land

We need another huge shopping centre

Because of franchising

Because of zero contracts

Because We’re hiring!

Because the law is lax.

We need another huge shopping centre

Because of stuff

Because of excess

Because enough is not enough

Because less is less

We need another huge shopping centre

Because we all deserve it

Because fair is fair

Because we’re worth it

Because we want our share

We need another huge shopping centre

Because of leisure

Because Who doesn’t love to shop?

Because of innocent pleasure

Because we don’t want this to stop

We need another huge shopping centre

Because if not, then what?


 

🍃

 

Glenn Hubbard lives in Madrid. He is fluent in Spanish, but poetic only in English, especially about birds. He has been reading poetry for many years but only started writing in 2012. His poetry has appeared in The Bow-Wow Shop and will appear in The High Window and Carillon later in 2017. He is currently working on a translation of Miguel Hernández’s poem Los Hombres Viejos​.

Grant Tarbard – 2 poems 

 A Thought Captured 

inspired by Le Penseur by Auguste Rodin

Rodin

 

in monument 

captured the persona

of a thought that bubbles away

in bronze.

 

🍃

 

 

A Trip to Cythera 

inspired by The Embarkation for Cythera by Jean-Antoine Watteau

 

Régence’s amorous revelry 

celebrates love with a staff of cupids flying,

 

ink absorbed sensuousness,

an acid bathed statue of Venus within the knotty stump.

 

Diana splashed with vermillion in a glaze, 

the anatomy of light in their passionate delicateness.

 

The party seem to be leaving rather than arriving,

at the foot of the hill the golden boat of wispy brushstrokes waits

 

with increasingly transparent sails, a hesitancy of moths wings,

a tryst glancing back fondly at the goddess’s sacred grove.

 

The hazy landscape is a puzzle-box

not giving anything up whether it is dawn or dusk.

 

🍃

 

Grant Tarbard is an editorial assistant for Three Drops From A Cauldron and a reviewer. His new collection Rosary of Ghosts (Indigo Dreams) will be released soon.

Bindweed Magazine interview in Lagan Online’s ‘Around Ireland’ feature

This month Bindweed Magazine’s editors, Joseph Robert and Leilanie Stewart, were interviewed for Lagan Online’s ‘Around Ireland’ feature. We answered 7 questions related to our editorial decisions and process focusing on our family-run magazine and sub-strand, Heavenly Flower Publishing.
Do check out the interview for more insight into our work as co-editors of Bindweed Magazine. You can also find other great literary resources including links to Literary Journals and Publications within Ireland via the Lagan Online website, so it’s well worth a good browse.

Enjoy!

Toti O’Brien – Fiction 

INCANTATION                                                                       


     She doesn’t remember when she first noticed it. Retrospectively, the last few months melt in a kind of blur. The weather might be responsible—summer temperatures unusually lasting, bleeding into fall, have dimmed her awareness of the passing season. The afternoon darkness seems incongruous, unreal.
     She has missed Halloween. That night she has worked late. Then she has played the piano and lost track of time, finally crumpling on the couch with a book. Meanwhile, unusual outside animation has peered through. There must be a very lively party near by—lots of guests arriving, departing. Quite surprising on a weekday, yet not a problem. She has barely registered.
     Only the morning after her brains have connected the dots. “It’s November already,” she has sighed. Right! So yesterday was Halloween! She has missed it for the first time in her life.
     *
     She must have spotted the thing around Halloween. Nothing strange—the house is full of spiders. They are harmless and she enjoys them. They are elegant, too. She loves the fluid motion of their nimble legs—fingers on a keyboard. In the shower she can leisurely watch a few, intent at their dance. She doesn’t bother removing them.
     But this one, perched high in a corner, looks huge. Weirdly shaped, segmented… isn’t it normal? She remembers something from her school days. Abdomen, cephalothorax—spiders’ bodies articulate in the center. Why didn’t she observe the phenomenon before? This specimen must be bigger. Much bigger.
     She has chanced upon a mega-spider, enormous. A vague sense of alarm trickles down her spine. “Should I worry? Is it poisonous?” Soon her apprehension dissolves. It must be innocuous, she is sure. Only, an extra-large size.
     *
     It is growing. Day by day, shower by shower. At least, sometimes it looks larger. Is her observation reliable? She can’t tell. Today she is quite certain, and the shiver resumes down her back. “Will it keep swelling?” Then, confusingly, it seems to have shrunken…
     There is another spider in view. She checks and compares. This new one is average. An oblong shape, indistinct—no waistline, no upper and lower body are discernable. This one perfectly represents the category. It is pale—a grey shade—while the giant is pitch black.
      Once or twice she has seen it capture its prey. Strange behaviors… she didn’t recall having studied them. First the prey (a little fly? a small bug, inconspicuous like a speckle of dust) is stilled in place, paralyzed among the spires of a quasi-invisible web. The big guy comes near and does something with its legs. Something frantic, or so it looks because of many limbs juggling—fingers racing on keys for a rapturous grand finale.
     The predator paws its prey, nimbly, skillfully… like a potter at the wheel, a cook expertly stuffing some bird, a very quick knitter. A magician playing a trick of cards under the audience’s hypnotized gaze. The whole scene has a trance-like quality, suspended as it is in space and time—both precipitous and infinitely slow. She is charmed. A bit scared as well. With no reason, truly.
     *
     Then she sees the prey has also grown bigger. Wrapped it in a tight cocoon, now it looks like a detached segment of the spider itself, which is coming closer. Will it gulp the morsel? Will it glue it to itself, then gradually absorb it?  She doesn’t see it happen. Not because she doesn’t want to but, please, she needs to get dressed and go. Learning about spiders’ feeding habits isn’t today’s plan. Or tomorrow’s. It is totally irrelevant. She is wasting her time.
     Later, though, she can’t avoid noticing the creature has swollen, like the snake gulping an elephant in one of her children books. Did it swallow its booty altogether? Without breaking it down? It must have.
     Then it is back to normal. Approximately. Back to normal, she thinks.
     She is witnessing the prey-catching, prey-petting more often. Maybe a kind of lent ended and a feasting season begun. She is dazzled by the motions: the creature seems to have more limbs than it should. Is she counting sixteen? Paired like for a double-stringed guitar. Are the spiders two? How comes she didn’t guess? Joined, attached. Perhaps making love. Wouldn’t it be something? She should get her glasses. A step stool.
    Hell, no. She needs to get dressed and hurry. She is late.
    *
     It is one spider only. It has shrunk to size once again. She can count the legs—they are eight. Their fast motion gives an illusion of quantity—an optical lure. When they fumble the unfortunate captive they have a dizzying effect on her nerves. There is a slight obscenity in what looks like erotic foreplay, preluding to the incumbent annexation. To the mysterious merging she has never managed to watch.
     But of course, the beast doesn’t know a curious eye daily violates its privacy. It safely inhabits its own universe, surrounded by the magic circle it has wrought—a small galaxy, satellites gravitating towards the center, following the unavoidable laws of attraction.
     She has noticed it frequently bends at the waistline, hanging loosely at the bottom of its master web. Doubled over, it draws a letter V in the air, coarsely traced in black. V for victory—its favorite pose. It looks ominous.
     *
     Not only is the spider too big (will the anomalous growth ever stop? should she worry?) There is also no reason why it should hang in her shower. True, she never cared for an insect-free bathroom—but proportions do matter. This thing is so conspicuous it becomes intrusive. Sharing quarters is now inconvenient. Embarrassing.
     Obviously she should dispose of the thing. What is she waiting for? She must kill the spider. This particular one, taking itself for the master of the place, uncaring of limits. Indecent, to say the word. “I will kill it”, she murmurs while she grabs her towel. Then another though tickles her: she should get a stool and her glasses. She should look at the monster, once, really close. How ridicolous. Get dressed. You are late.
          “I must kill it,” she repeats each morning. But she vaguely senses it isn’t time yet. Instead, she would like to… can’t she avow its ugliness enthralls her? Are all things bad so charming, you can’t help another good look before getting rid of them? Are monsters so attractive you cannot let them go? She must kill the spider. Today.
      A chill goes down her back when she draws the curtain, fumbles nervously with the faucet, gasps for the comfort of hot running water. Is the cold—isn’t it?—making her shiver. Winter has finally arrived. Cold, cold, cold! She mutters. Foam is lathering on her skin like a shawl of snow. Looking down at her goose-bumped limbs, she wraps herself in her own arms, oblivious of all.
     Cold has come at last—a long delayed spell, a sentence postponed.

 

🍃

 

Toti O’Brien’s work has most recently appeared in Masque & Spectacle, Feminine Inquiry, Indiana Voices, and Italian Americana.

Edwin S. Segal – 2 Poems 

Hoax

They’re at it again, fewer clowns,
but more grotesque, in words and deeds.
This years’ Indian summer has
come twice, but don’t worry, one is
a hoax, meant to make us buy more
warm weather clothes before winter.
They’re all there: bad, worse, disastrous.
We can pray, but clowns have the field, 
an open path to inform us
of the yield for those with power.
Conspiracies abound, trapping
us in hidden webs of deceit.
Now the crooked clowns tell us how
to think about events world wide, 
waves of discontent with our state
of being.  When the clowns come for 
the others, it won’t be long for 
us, and when we are gone, no one
else will be there for blame.

 

🍃

 

Making Contact

“Call us,” the site said, “and we will
serve your interests, making your life
smooth and easy.  Relax with us;
let us solve your problems today.
We have all needed expertise.
Visit our site or call, contact 
us now; your call is important.

So it said, and so I looked 
for  the right button: nirvana
on demand, freed from all worry, 
the paradise of solved problems,
but I hardly know what they are.
Does it matter? They’ll all vanish;
I’ll sit and pick up a sun tan.

No one is involved; they’re all menus.
I can try for a person by
pressing zero, or eight, or nine.
We know my call is important;
I’m next in line, so I’m on hold.
Good luck with that; no answer here
just mindless muzak in my ear.


 

🍃

 

Edwin S. Segal has been writing poetry since college in the late 50s and early 60s.  Fortunately, he says, everything written before 1974 has been lost.  He started publishing his work in the early 80s but it’s been sporadic.  He counts himself as an amature poet; he doesn’t and probably couldn’t make a living at it.  Currently, he is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.  He has done research in eastern Africa and Central Asia.  Apprentice House Publishing has agreed to publish Heritage, his first book of poems.   The book was released in May 2017.

Ann Howells – 3 Poems 

On Main Street

 

In the crunch of October

a single sultry day

fogs windshields,

and traffic slows as drivers

don insouciance.

Once I strolled here—

 

peeping beneath awnings,

browsing shop windows.

Now, papers take wing,

lift and spiral the walk,

alight in a nearby park.

An old man stumbles past.

 

Apple-scented autumn,

is doled out by spoonfuls:

boys wear jaunty caps,

lines of children—two by two—

clasp hands, hastened along

by a dour, meddlesome nun.

 

A bouncy waitress offers refills 

in a sidewalk café, biscotti

and spiced gingerbread.

A shuffling, old woman settles

at a table, bends to her book.

No one is shooting yet.

 

🍃

  

Poppies

 

One second: driving home

 

The next: wounds blossom

red poppies from every puncture

            every new orifice

masses bloom through bandage

and some, on solitary stems,

grow purple-blue as bruises

 

Someone with a sense of humor

hangs a painting bedside—poppies—

their fluid drips, blue box beeps

when the poppy red button is pressed

 

Rainbows of nurses walk a white mist

doctors in well-cut suits and white coats:

            questions asked are forgotten

            questions answered are forgotten

 

Bone white poppyhead of femur

rib stems, bud of patella …

metatarsals are shattered petals

 

Fluid  lullabies through veins

languorous music of poppy dreams.


 

🍃

  

  Alpha State

 

Do you feel his presence

as he enters your room?

 

Does your skin prickle?

Flush? Burn?

 

Is his arrival serendipitous,

or did you summon him?

 

Telepathically? Through

calligraphy on rice paper,

 

posted the morning

rain transformed the lane?

 

Has he held his hands

fisted yet not threatening?

 

Does he say, Pick one,

and when you pick,

 

open the other,

reveal a monkey pod?

 

Does a six-sided coin

hide in the closed hand?

 

Do you pierce it,

thread it on black silk?

 

Does it hang, warm,

between your breasts?

 

🍃

  

Ann Howells has edited Illya’s Honey for eighteen years, recently taking it digital:www.IllyasHoney.com. Her publications are: Black Crow in Flight (Main Street Rag), Under a Lone Star (Village Books),  Letters for My Daughter (Flutter), andCattlemen & Cadillacs, an anthology of D/FW poets she edited (Dallas Poets Community). Her poems appear widely both here and abroad; she has four Pushcart nominations.

Welcome to Bindweed Magazine Issue 6

Photo Credit: Richard Havenga 

For July , August  and September 2017 all poetry and fiction published in Bindweed will be included in the later print anthology for Issue 6.

Bindweed Magazine Issue 5 will soon be available to buy in print. Read our news vine for more information: https://bindweedmagazine.wordpress.com/news-vine/

If you want to submit for Issue 7 in October, November and December 2017 check out the submission guidelines at: https://bindweedmagazine.wordpress.com/submission-guidelines/

Happy reading, Heavenly Flowers!

Editor-in-Chief
Leilanie Stewart 🌺

Brian Young – 5 poems

THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD

  

Four abreast the Harleys swarm,

buzzing into genteel Poole

alias Deadwood, South Dakota.

Latter-day cowboys ride into town

low in the saddle, gunfire crackling

from every exhaust.

They dismount outside J D Wetherspoon

(their Hickok Saloon)

and peel back bandannas to reveal

long, grey locks.

In the Seniors’ StayTrim Center

SupaSlim grannies with china-doll faces

pedal to heaven

on stationary steeds.

They’ll never embroider of an evening,

nor will the bikers build Fort Laramie

from toothpicks.

Old Sitting Bull was right:

you can hold back the cavalry.

They’ve knocked back the liquor of limitless youth,

traded the harmless for the audacious

and shot Old Age stone dead. 

 

🍃

  

HEALTH WARNING

  

A little poetry is a dangerous thing;

certain verses can race your pulse 

and worm into your mind, 

never to be prised out.

They suddenly twitch into consciousness

like the reminder of an old wound

and cause your lips to move,

to the consternation of others.

You can reveal your malady to close companions

knowing they may contract your fever,

but those verses will be part of you to the end,

truer than your epitaph. 

  

🍃

  

CROSSROADS

  

We’re flung forward by the brake.

                                     Another feral dog, heat-drowsed, slow,

missed by a whisker? No –

Snake! Six-foot snake!

Out of deference we let her pass,

powered by lightning, side-winding

over shimmering tarmac, gliding

like mercury over glass.

Earth-mother like Shakti the consort of Shiva, 

on her headlong errand she ignores

us totally; out of reverence we leave her

to reach her distant, ever-secret lair.

Our universe halts right there,

all movement, all progress paused.

We do not even think “We spared 

your life”.  Her fissured features, if aware

of such hubris, would spit back “I gave you yours!”

Four seconds, then men and women bearing burdens

among grinding trucks and cycles glittering in the heat

trudge again along the dust-blown street 

past walls enclosing watered hotel gardens.

We weave between them to the Holiday Inn,

where a motionless lizard, tail curled,

head tilted, curious, uncertain,

forms an intricate impression of another world.

  

🍃

  

SPACE-TIME 

  

The last time I was you

you worked at Primark

not Marks and Sparks

and the time before that 

you married our local copper

not me

so the kids were different.

You did knitting not speedway

but died impaled on your needles.

The last time you were me

you won’t remember but

I was born twice in one week

because of a snag in space-time.

Then we were my mother

you and me.

We’ve been hundreds of dentists 

and a Bengal tiger 

not yet born.

  

🍃

  

SWEET NOTHINGS

  

The Floyd-Marshall algorithm solves the all-pairs path problem

I love the way you say that

And Smith-Waterman’s process finds local sequence alignment

I’ve often thought that myself

Nonblocking minimal spanning switch!

Not many men say that to me

Merge, with elements on the output not repeated

Look… perhaps we should hold our horses

Tarjan’s components are strongly connected

I’ve missed you terribly

Dynamic time warping measures the similarity between two sequences

When you left, the bottom fell out of my world

Heap’s permutation interchanges elements

You mean the world fell out of your bottom?

Bloom filter!

Steady now. Look, you could stay the night…

Fuzziness determines if strings are approximately equal

I’ll put you a camp-bed in the front room

A beam-stack search integrates an initial node

We could talk long into the night, couldn’t we?

A Soundex refinement allows matching of Slavic and Germanic surnames

Or we could cuddle, couldn’t we?

Couldn’t we?

Damn.

Power cut. 

  

🍃

  

Brian Young is a retired languages teacher living in Hertfordshire, England. He has a degree from London University in Spanish and French, and for many years taught languages in secondary schools and at the University of Hertfordshire. He is an active member of Ver Poets in St Albans, helps to run a University of the Third age poetry group, and regularly reads his work at the Poetry Society in London. He has won several prizes in national competitions, including second prize in the Southport Writers’ Circle open competition. He has gained certificates of merit from the Mere Literary Festival, Wiltshire and has had poems published in several anthologies. He enjoys writing slightly quirky poetry where he tries to emphasize the precise and heightened use of language.

  

Alex R. Encomienda – 2 poems 

This Dampness Smells of Nova

She liked to be called coy; careless even,
And in the way of her deepness was a simple
Atrocious one she referred to as papa,
And he was of carefulness… yes.

There was a time I held her palms against
The bed of broken windows and therein
She did give me her flesh and pinks;
They were her perks- below my waste with
A look of mischief; nakedness.

We made prudent efforts to love without
Touch but my hands were real and firm,
And when I promised to keep her safe
I was greeted with a pillar; resistance. 

 

🍃

  

Drifter’s Passage

I feel like I am
Existing and being with mortal hands,
And these words pronounce that indeed I am,
At glance of your face in haze,
A human in journey; hear my racing
Thoughts a’ drifting; lest my seeking be
For nothing,
The river of assumptions are ever a’ streaming
And an ale house… vain company keeping;
So I am crossing that imminent shrouding
All throughout the night and silent coursing
The bottomless pit of emptiness;
Lest I fall knee deep. 


 

🍃

 Alex R. Encomienda