INDIGO DREAMS PUBLISHING LTD
GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2021
138 x 216mm
£8.99 + P&P UK
Rosi Gemmell, Jasmin Williams and Oz Hardwick
“We like to think life is reliable, organised and tamed: emails, timetables and spreadsheets suggest this is true. But dig a little deeper and everywhere are signs of the uncanny, the odd, the unsettling. This anthology pokes beneath the surface. It is full of shadows, creaking floorboards, silent animals, Russian Dolls and boiling waters, reminding us that life is not as safe as we like to think. A selection of eerie and powerful writing.”
“This eclectic mix of prose and poetry gathers together a wealth of talent, from established to emerging writers. A perfect collection to dip in and out of, providing food for thought and capturing universal moments of light and dark.”
Her – Rebecca Whittaker
Always in his mind. She is there;
stirring leaves that litter his head.
There’s a threat of darkening days,
lingering nights. Who is this creature?
Why is she there?
Bare, leafless, she sneaks between trees.
He finds her – not yet small enough
to shed her skin and blend with bark.
He cannot shake her from the boughs,
even when he tries.
She picks flowers, whose roots tangle
in his rational mind: creeping,
She dreams amidst the daisies and she
will not fade away.
Like a siren come seductress,
basking in full view, there she sings
his ethereal elegy.
His soft and haunting elegy.
His life tied to her.
Afterlife – Maria Stephenson
Staring forth into darkness,
he informs me
“being dead is like going to sleep.”
“No one really knows,” I reply.
Clicking off the radio, he insists he does.
Each night, tired books drop at bedsides,
a lamplight switch is flicked
then final waking thoughts are filtered
before falling into the black depth
“No!” I argue. “It’s not like that.
Sleep is a time of light
where growth and renewal take place,
dreams are processed,
eyelids flutter like cobwebs
and smiles skirt lips.”
“That’s not true.”
With a shake of his head,
he switches the music back on,
humming a tune
whilst gazing into oblivion.
Unspoken – Hannah Stone
It’s minus 8 and dusk is strolling across the plains towards the city. The afternoon hunkers down, expecting minus 15 overnight. As the streets empty, the buildings drop their guard. The fairy tale palace goes back to being a post office; the fine façade at the bottom of the hill stops pretending to be an art gallery and admits to being the main railway station. It is too cold for artifice. A woman stands in front of a display of handwritten notices in a public space. On her head is the ubiquitous dark beanie worn by people here; it is sprinkled with snow. She is protesting about something and has been doing so for four months now. I do not know what she is so passionate about. We share no language except respectful silence. I look at her posters, she reads my posture. After an appropriate few moments, we turn to face each other, raise hands and shoulders in generous shrugs and smile. By the time I get back to my room, the coffee in its paper cup is tepid, and her feet are beginning to feel numb.
Life is a Mystery – Simon Day
Exhausting inquisition, enigmatic, riddled with guesswork and supposition. Desperate games of dot-to-dot with constellations; a universe littered with dreams, floating free, beyond gravitation. Keen eyes scan darkened skies; night unveils stubborn arrangements refusing a
re-write. Gaze into a crystal ball, touch a line in a palm, cast a coin in a wishing well, a lucky charm, four-leaf clover, throw salt over your shoulder, wait ‘til you’re older – try them, mystery remains. It finds me no wiser, battered, covered in earth-stains.
Missed Revenant – Sarah Wragg
Cloaked by the sudden patch of fog – unexpectedly opaque in the clear night sky – I hover low over the deserted country lane. The flowers on my roadside shrine shrivel, their colours muted to dry dun inside their cellophane shroud. A sign I am no longer missed with that urgent ache that impels them to this spot to mourn and warn with the brightness of new blooms.
The peace is broken by beams blazing against the infinite dark, and the hum of a too-fast car grows ever louder. Down by the misty stream, as the Doppler growl crescendos, it plunges into the brilliance of the gloom.
Dazzled by a white wisp wall, shocked by the sudden blindness, a shriek of brakes sets the swirling roke on fire. But this driver, sober and alert, finds the bend and somehow, safely passes by.
Agitated by the following flurry, and churning uncontrollably, I'm catapulted away from my cruel cloud. I come to a dizzying halt at the same spot where first I came to rest – in the boggy grass and reeds where the moorhen now protects her nest.