I’m reading Matthew Dickman,
keeping my sunglasses on,
listening to new arrivals lament
their eye problems to reception.
A man in denim, jacket pinned
with rock god badges has the attention
of the waiting room, says the weekend
in A&E was busier still, here till midnight
the nurses agree – it was diabolical.
Paul is back Monday, losing his sight
jokes about seeing everyone in double.
About the author:
Rachel Burns is a writer living with disability and chronic illness. She lives on the outskirts of Durham, England. Her debut poetry pamphlet, A Girl in a Blue Dress, is published by Vane Women Press. She is published in literary magazines including Butcher Dog, Mslexia, The Rialto, The Moth, and Magma Poetry. Rachel was shortlisted in the 2017 Keats-Shelley Prize, came second in The Julian Lennon Prize For Poetry 2021, and was longlisted in The National Poetry competition 2021.
Disability Poetics Course: https://www.creativefuture.org.uk/events/disability-poetics/
You lie there, caressing the minuscule dark particles of my brain
the reminder that you were once here
a constant murmur in my ear
Your sweet voice — echoing
enticing me to live better
to endeavour love and hope once again
Your image severing my lust for life
with a strewn icicle
like the ones that hang lightly from the roof of the veranda
hoping one will fall and slice through me as I slam the door
harder and harder each time
to lie by your side, frozen in time with larvae from the blowfly
seems all but a dream to me
one I fantasise about daily
I would have the larvae devour my flesh
consenting the soil to make love with my ossein,
the thought of our carcasses inflating reminds me of that summer,
the summer we rented a bouncy castle in the shape of a cat for your birthday
together we shall bloat and collapse,
allowing our love of creatures to bounce and feast upon us
Mites Carpet Beetles Skipper Flies Ants
Reminiscing that time I gifted you an ant farm after your first transplant
About the author:
My name is Hannah Myers. I am originally from British Columbia and grew up in Glasgow. I am studying for an MA in creative writing at UCC. I adore writing poetry, game narrative, flash, scripts and ‘dirty rap’. Authors I am interested in and influenced by are Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Raold Dahl and Sylvia Plath.
On solo strolls through the suburbs of Bethesda,
I can’t help but notice a newly hatched dragon
has attached himself to my right trouser leg.
He’s light, not quite three pounds,
and his claws aren’t too sharp
when he grips around my calf for a ride.
He will dash into the shrubs
if we ever see a fox,
then scurry with a huff, to latch back on.
I’ve never seen him fully,
just his scaly golden tail when it drapes
over the ankle of my boot.
And sometimes I’ll get a whiff
of butane, like a lighter not quite catching
when he’s practicing his flames.
The neighbors never see him, or at least
pretend they don’t. But babies in strollers
sit bolt upright and point.
I think children, like dogs, sniff out illness,
they can find what’s not quite right. But I’ve no idea
how long he’ll stay or how big he’ll get.
About the author:
Marie-Louise received her MFA from MMU in 2020 after a brain tumour diagnosis in 2018. She was a winner in the Poetry News' "Lesser Loss" competition and her poems can be found in Stand, Agenda, Acumen, Portland Review, Poetry Magazine and the competition anthologies for the Bridport, Bedford, Live Canon and Ginkgo AONB prizes. Originally from London she lives in the USA with her young family.
Discussing disabled characters in fairy tales and folklore!