Constance Bourg

Contributor Biography

Constance Bourg lives in the Flemish part of Belgium, where she volunteers at her local library. She also dabbles in the art of collage. Her poems have appeared in Blanket Sea, Pink Plastic House, Rogue Agent, The Poetry Shed, Frogpond and an anthology of poems about illness by Emma Press (UK). She always says that she leads a part-time life because of a chronic illness called ME/CFS.

Fed From the Breast

I.

Face down,
sinks into warm dry earth,
a looseness in bones.

Creeping weight 
on top, breath hot 
in the nape.

What the light under the door
and the wind brings
can not be shifted; it multiplies.

A complete takeover—a pinch.
Refusal followed by a sharp blow
to the brainstem.

II.

 

I drew milk 
from a cardboard cloud,
always falling

through layers
unseen. And being seen,
being made invisible,

making visible
domesticated scarred tissue.
Point an arrow

to the victim
who does not understand
what victimhood is.

III.

No hook
for my backpack
the weight

I carry without heeding
normality,
unspoken yet directed.

Clinging to perimeters,
unseen and seen,
a taunting.

The anxious bee,
yellow belly pressed
against the brick.

IV.

The other shoe plummets.
Intimacy a trap
door leading to a climb,

made flesh.
What is seen
can be bested.

But the warm earth
all too familiar,
the weight

a broken home.
At home with
the dryness.

V.

I have been moved,
inhabited
many spaces

except my very own.
I need to come
home

to myself.
Working the tools
I found

lying on the ground.
Acceptance
wrinkling my skin.

Maroula Blades

Contributor Biography

Maroula Blades is an Afro-British poet/writer living in Berlin. She was nominated for the Amadeu Antonio Prize 2019 for her educational multimedia project, Fringe. Her works have been published in The Caribbean Writer, Thrice Fiction, The Freshwater Review, Ake Review, Midnight & Indigo, Abridged, The London Reader, So It Goes, Newfound Journal, Harpy Hybrid Review, among others. Chapeltown Books (UK) published her new flash fiction collection titled The World in an Eye.

Weather-beaten

A heart stands rigid,

wind-stunted,

rhythmically shallow.

Regret etches
the shrivelled husk.
Stony, unromantic
duties peel to rot,
a swan-shit green lahar flows.


The dictatorship of time,

a mechanical clang

roller-coasts the mind,

tick-tock, tick-tock.

Supple resignation.

Numbness stares
with its eyes wide-open,

cauliflower-eared,

mouth agape, salivating,

languidly spilling breath.


A compass’s greasy

fingernail points,
small stiff birds
lie twisted in nets.
North, east, west and south

moths gather,
fanning fog-blue smog.

Paths are shadowed
by a pencilling moon.

Purple mist rises
to meet municipal chimes.


Acid rain falls in sheets.
Clear-mint lakes of
the mind are frozen dead zones.

Years have passed
since the wind’s stealth
blew shrapnel
and dust to darken the sky.

Sage-tinted sea anemones
sit half asleep on ruins,
waiting to be
stamped with the frostbitten mark,

for they’ve earned
‘the right of passage’
to free dreams in polyphonic songs.

Inward waves, equinoctial gales

spin inky clouds white,
a sun-drenched twirl
of dust motes fades.
Ice melts to crystal lilies,

perfect petals drift apart,

creeping polyploids follow,

wading among frost-buds.

Water lives to sing
and curl at the call of the moon.

Crystalline slivers,
sparklers swell to dance.


Time has slowed
to cheer with peals of melody.
A carillon soars, a sky
wakes in sonorous undulations.
Elder trees clip sunlight,
a trickling flow of dew
splashes from leaf to leaf,
whorls of colour open; scent lifts,
as red berries drop to ground.
Effervescent
blue butterflies beat air.
Lucent wings hoard rays,
gaining warmth from the vivid memory, love.