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Naked in the Bus Queue

The Duchess of Devonshire,
walked barefoot along the shingled beach;
remembering the time she’d been naked in the bus queue,
and the bus driver wouldn’t let her on the bus.

The sea seethed, spooled, unwound
around her feet,
soaking them;
but on she walked;

and all she could think of was the time
she’d been naked in the bus queue.
What had possessed her that day?
Well, it had been hot;

but that wasn’t the reason –
no, that wasn’t the reason.

David Danbury
 

The Old Pig

 He was old, you told me.
The pig I now imagine , hanging sweet as a bag of sugar out in the barn.
Your job was always to feed him – and him
licking your hand as if it were pressed silk.
So many times , you told me the story.
Your guts turning, churning – knowing his future.
Brushing the long crease of your skirt –
watching him eat .  Fat , contented.
Turning the iron handle of the sty door –
a kind jailor you must have seemed.
The sky above the door – blue as your eyes.
And the straw in his heart – stiff with fright on that last day.
Both of you willing that day not to come, but knowing it would.
Your face turned away to the sky –
love and anguish mixed with mud – a bloody cocktail.
Every ambush requires that there are two.
Your hand on the door , closing it.
The old pig , listening for your voice – found only silence.
Turn his face to the sky , – you tell the men.
You replay the ambush many times through all the years.
Because the pig forgives you.
Endlessly.
Even , as they bring the knife towards him.
He forgives you.

Helen Burke
 

A Toymaker

of some renown sent his ex-wife
the gift of an exquisite
little horse, sorrel flock,
a sable mane, a sable tail, a fetlock

raised. And inside he sealed
three plastic soldiers: crude,
immovable, unpainted,
shop-bought in their hundreds.

David O’Hanlon
 

Dream Catcher 26 Cover

Cover Front 27-1

Cover Front 28-3

Cover DC 29 v1

Cover DC 30

DC31 Front Cover

DC 32 Cover Manager V1

Cover Dream Catcher 33

Cover Dream Catcher 34