Tag Archives: Mandy Pannett

Nathaniel Frankland

Instagramophobe

‘I’m an acrophobe’, so reads my daily reservation,
On sunless nights sat alone in the
Vertical Bar (Never a cancellation)
Right side of the rooftop,
Wrong side of the Earth…
And, as the barman flicks on another television screen,
I’m glued to the cable wire with
Eyes that fade to pools of
Green food dye,
Even butterflies don’t fly this high.

‘I’m an autophobe’,
And each night I’ll pull up a stool,
Push-button mechanics, propping up the scrollwork with my
Preprogramed hand (No brake band)
And though from time to time they might
Tart up the front with naked neon bulbs and
Flashing lights,
The interior always stays the same:
Dour décor, drink for one,
‘Daft dickhead – Don’t know what he’s won!’
But I’m miles away,
Too busy wearing holes in the soles of my
Thumb.

‘I’m an atelophobe’,
With a cracked mirror for a left hand,
Seven years of bad luck, (look bad!)
Three drains crossed, life’s a drag,
But what chance do I stand against Kismet anyway?
As another Statue of David waltzes in,
Uninvited,
With a pack of six beers and a Californian sunset between his
Teeth,
One man’s golden hour is another man’s month of misery,
And my watch is on the fritz.

But at that moment,
As the bar staff start to cling film the taps,
Daybreak comes in the form of you,
A star-studded banderole to appease the
Wildest of seas,
And in a heartbeat,
I forget every storm I’ve ever endured
Because you’re the anchor that keeps me
Moored.

*********
Instagramophobe by Nathaniel Frankland was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition March/April 2020 judged by Mandy Pannett.

Mike Farren

Goreme

Touching twenty in the daytime: we walk
the valley of fairy chimneys. On returning,
the village woman in the headscarf, who could
be any age between thirty and sixty,

stares us down, asks, “kardeş?” and when
we look back, blank, slides ring finger
between right thumb and forefinger, looped,
in a gesture I think prudish, obscene.

How could we know, at night in November,
the temperature in this mud-walled room
could fall so low? We put on all our clothes
and embrace through a dozen layers.

I am thinking of the San Polo room
a year ago: how it smelled of old man,
how I woke to find my hand cupping your breast,
your lips on mine, not quite kissing me goodbye.

**********
‘Goreme’ by Mike Farren received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (March/April 2020) judged by Mandy Pannett.

Jocelyn Simms

It was the silence

that caught you out –
like the soft middle of a meringue.

Like waking on an opalescent cloud,
or thinking yourself lolling
on a branch of a white cherry tree,
scents mizzling your head.

Flicker through sea foam,
finger-ripples that brought Aphrodite
to Limassol’s shore, anchored
to her pearly shell.

Walk along a melting ice tunnel
in Chamonix. Each droplet
has a story to tell.

Pressure builds, omits a sigh
when breath exhaled
disturbs this paradise.

Behind thin suburban walls,
as you snatch at guilty pleasures,
a faint susurration, no more.

**********

‘It was the silence’ by Jocelyn Simms received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (March/April 2020) judged by Mandy Pannett.