ISSN 1551-8086
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  November 2018
volume 15 number 1
-table of contents-
  featured poets
  Will Alexander
  Sir Mark Bruback
  Don Kingfisher Campbell
  John LaMar Elison
  Darrell Herbert
  Emma Lee
  Rick Lupert
  Fabrice Poussin
  Walter Ruhlmann
  Miriam Sagan
  David Scriven
  Viola Weinberg
  Terry Wolverton
  mailing list
Emma Lee November 2018



photo by richard lee miller

    Emma Lee's most recent collection is Ghosts in the Desert (IDP, UK, 2015). She co-edited Over Land, Over Sea: poems for those seeking refuge (Five Leaves, UK, 2015). She reviews for four UK poetry journals and blogs at
Emma Lee



Imagine a Pebble

The sea imagines land as a bland passive thing.
No one has tried to tame the sea so it thinks itself
entitled to its sun-jewelled shine and its collections
of sunken treasure. The sea imagines all this is its due.
The sea cannot imagine boundaries between it and land.
It seeps through grains of sand, rests in rockpools,
and periodically forces itself over walls and defences
because it thinks land is there to do its bidding.
It will not care about a pebble being ground in its wake.
It complains pebble is a dull, sullen thing that lacks gratitude.
Imagine how a pebble on a beach might feel if the sea
permanently whispers that it should be a shiny gem
to better reflect the sun on the waves, as beachcombers
overlook it and select others to take home. It feels
the damp sand surround it as the loneliness of a crowd.
The tide draws in leaving a coating of slimy brine
Imagine the resignation that each day will be like this.
The gulls mock when it tries to explain it is being reduced.
The seaweed persuades the pebble it is all in her imagination.
Imagine the pebble is a child, the sea is her mother.

copyright 2018 Emma Lee



Thoughts in the Blue Hour

(Golden shovel based on a line from "The Colossus" by Sylvia Plath)
Awake in the too-early hour where time lengthens, I
try to change a bullying 'should' to a positive 'shall'
as if getting up is something I choose to do but it never
is. I must stop lying here, there's too much to get
done. I need to stumble together a morning, put you
out of my mind, focus entirely on what's been put
on my to do list. Fake it, pretend it wasn't hashed together,
ignore that my heart still skips beats, won't return to me entirely.

copyright 2018 Emma Lee