Dani Salvadori – 1 poem

Comfort and joy

 

I

The lanyard marks us out,

or perhaps it is our badge,

as one whose days are filled with tales

of plots and skirmishes foiled and won.

 

Ranks of black screens greet us daily,

rein us tight into the network,

groan as emails uncoil and catapult

new fables into the morning meeting,

the battle for our colleagues’ souls.

 

We hold back fears, and maybe tears,

to win with a sentence, a word in code.

Who keeps the count is never clear

but the triumph is as breath

we breathed together, not alone.

 

 

II

Monitors blink black to bright,

fly from their bases, waltz us, whirl us.

Emails weave webs of stories;

gossamer tales that catch us

as we swirl, twirl.

 

Hurled from the comfort of the fight

we dance, we spin, we hunt for joy.

Our lanyards turn to ribbons,

twist and braid to plait around

lost maypoles of our dreams.

 

It all unwinds and there’s

no longer we, but only me,

and breath is mine

alone.

 

🍃

 

Danielle Salvadori is a poet, photographer and video-maker based in London. Her work has been published by Light Journal, Hedgehog Poetry Press and the website Please See Me. She spends too much time working and too little time writing poetry and is trying to combine the two into a series of poems about work.

Last publication for Issue 9 is now live!

Happy New Year’s Eve! To celebrate Old Year’s Night, the last publication for Bindweed Magazine Issue 9 is now live. Thank you to all contributors who have appeared in our magazine this year. Issue 10 will be launched in January with more poetry and fiction appearing on the homepage throughout the year. All publications will be archived under the Issue 10 page here: https://bindweedmagazine.wordpress.com/issue-10-bindweed-online-2020/

See you in 2020!

Leilanie and Joseph 🍃

Glen Sorestad – 2 poems

Blood Test, 7:00 a.m.

 

 

Rising from the warmth of a duvet to face a blood test,

before morning’s first coffee can pass your lips,

 

or the least morsel of food can boost your world,

before the show-off sun shakes up the eastern sky,

 

is not recommended for rational mortals. But here I am,

early morning, queued up outside the still-locked clinic,

 

with a motley of coffee-deprived grumps outside the door,

waiting for the lock to unbolt, opening the dam to a flood

 

of fasters, whose only non-violent thoughts are to get

inside, quick-bleed the demanded vials, then bolt back

 

home to an aromatic welcome of fresh-brewed coffee,

earthy toast, a favored cup, waiting with the daily paper.

 

🍃

 

Halo in the Casino

 

 

The Vegas slot machine generously generated

a fifty-dollar return on my twenty-dollar investment

in the ongoing welfare of the state of Nevada,

 

not to mention the unseen owners of this smoke-infested

emporium of electronic din. I pushed CASH, figuring

I’d recoup my original twenty, then play a bit longer,

 

courtesy of the casino’s largesse. When the machine

dutifully dealt my cash voucher, I tucked it away

for safe-keeping into my shirt pocket to redeem later.

 

I continued playing. A short time later, my wife

inquired from the adjacent machine, “Did you notice

that drunk young guy? The one who staggered against

 

our chairs?” But I hadn’t seen the guy at all – rapt

in the distracting cacophony and ceaseless movement

of the human zoo surrounding us. Hordes of them,

 

moving, sitting, standing wherever they could.

I would have gone right back to spinning reels,

except that’s the precise moment I noticed

 

my empty shirt pocket. I stared. I looked down

at my feet, scoured the floor around our machines.

I ‘d had a flashing neon bozo-halo over my head,

 

a red arrow pointing to my shirt pocket. Picked

and plucked. By a drunk who wasn’t.  Feel free,

dear reader, to write and add your own moral here.

 

 

🍃

 

 

Glen Sorestad is a much published and translated Canadian poet who lives in Saskatoon. His poems travel more widely and more often than he does.

Rachel Landrum Crumble – 1 poem

Depression: 3 a.m.

 

 

William Stafford: “Your exact errors make a music

that nobody hears.”

 

Except God…

Hearing the dark, I spy no

future, only the indelible smudge

of History.

 

By now, unheard symphonies

percolate out of wakeful sleep.

Nightly interrogations continue.

 

Flying too near the sun, dreams are ash

by morning. In God’s wake

I ride the slipstream, bruised by

surreptitious river rock.

 

Hemlock is often mistaken

for wild carrot, or Queen Ann’s Lace,

but the tongue, like the heart,

knows bitterness as a coroner knows

an embolism.

 

On a far continent,

Hope is a bronze dancer

in a white robe, spinning

under the sun.

 

 

🍃

 

 

Rachel Landrum Crumble 

Sheri Gabbert – 2 poems

What I did last summer

 

I watch the old woman next door,

her sheets flying kites

tethered to a wire clothes line.

 

She leans against a rusty pole,

single clothespin in her mouth,

pauses to consider linens hung to dry

on summer afternoons.

 

Dripping air in dry skies, sweat,

iced watermelon, banjo and fiddles

on a front porch, old men in overalls,

kids with no shoes, the growl of a lawn mower.

 

I never hang sheets out to dry

they smell like dirt

dirt smells

like a fresh-dug grave.

 

🍃

 

 

Pedestrian Dirge

 

Naked inside cocoon clothing,

she believes the layers impregnable

and strides into traffic, zig, zag,

bounces from one near accident

to another until exhausted

she stops

in the middle of the highway

just to watch

red Mustangs and white

Suburbans and Cadillac limousines —

taffy stretched over turning wheels —

blackened windows holding grief —

boxes of bones, naked beneath handfuls

of dust to dust, ash to ash.

She remains in the middle of the highway

not seeing danger.

 

🍃

 

 

Sheri Gabbert