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 Mar 2017 Emma Hill
if you think you have ignited
a flame of anger in my soul,
you are mistaken.

instead, you have forged winter
in a summer heart
where flowers once grew
and rivers once ran.

you had already made your way deep
into the summer,
found the heat and drought
beyond the breeze,
you had treaded lands
where no one ever has
and seen the parts of my soul
i could never dare to show anyone else,
in trust as steady
as sunny afternoons on the porch.

but you are a catastrophe—
you changed the world's climate
with momentous feelings
and carelessness,
instant gravity
and secrecy—
you have shifted the tides
and now the sun has gone away.

so in this heart,
the season has changed.
the summer has gone
and there is only an aching winter
where the snow is a million feet high
and the moon sinister,
the night is almost unkind,
but it is not angry,
instead it lingers in silence.
the air is so cold
and almost impossible to breathe in,
and there is no longer any warmth
but the coldness of a broken heart.
Your eyes pour white smoke from the fire that burns your throat.
I'll swallow my tongue singing the songs that you wrote. Cover my mouth. Watch me choke.
Employ cause and effect once we've perfected the affect and pause.

Take it back to the twisted root
The silver spilled by the traitor's truth
Swing now and silence the doubt
There's fire in my eyes that will never burn out.

I can't become just another dead bulb, flickering fast to that final "pop" of my life.
I need to be a steady star, burn forever, forever and always be someone's wishing light.

Paint it black like the empty space
Above the clouds, behind what waits
Pointillism in still water reflected low
What heaven we have yet to know

Oh, we're all burning. Burn me up inside.
I will be the sun crashing through the dawn, I'll burn out bright.
End this endless life, bring on forever night.
 Mar 2017 Emma Hill
Mike Essig
The heart
of the wood
burns hottest;
the heart
of a living man,
as well.

Both consume
to produce
light and heat.

A life of fire.

In the end,
only ashes
 Mar 2017 Emma Hill
Terry Collett
Life changing
the Blitz bomb
took my sight
and my legs.

Clive gone too
at Dunkirk.

I recall
our last kiss
as the train
left London.

I sit in
this darkness.

smells around
and voice sounds.

Morning Grace
a voice says.

My blind eyes
turn around
to the sound.

Who is it?
I enquire.

Doctor Clay
I have come
to see you
and see how
your stumps are
the voice says.

They're painful
I tell him.

Nurse we need
Grace to be
lying down.

Between them
they lift me
on the bed.

Fingers lift
my nightdress
and unwrap

Fresh air hits
the leg stumps.

His fingers
what is left
of my legs.

They're healing
very well
he tells me.

Soon we will
have someone
sort you out
for new legs
he informs.

I thank him.

He goes off
and the nurse
(small fingered)
now attends
to some fresh

As her fingers
touch my thighs
I recall
Clive touching
me there too
that last time
before he left
for the War.

I stare out
into dark
cold spaces
and a far
away shore.
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