New Publication @ Cyclamens and Swords

I am delighted to have a poem included in the August 2015 issue of Cyclamens and Swords. This is a special issue on the theme of ‘relationships’ and contains verse from 52 poets, 10 short stories, and some gorgeous artwork from 7 artists.

You can find my poem ‘no turning back now’ in the middle of Page 3. This is a poem I wrote in September 2011, in the middle of the night because I couldn’t sleep (this was during the last six months before PhD submission so I was more than likely stressing myself to insomnia) – I know that because the post date on my locked poetry journal is 01.57! It’s a disjointed hymn to youthful earnestness and conviction that it’s always possible to get up and leave.

Because of the sheer size of the issue I haven’t had a chance to do more than skim the poetry and admire some of the artwork (the short stories are on the ‘to read’ list!). So here are some extremely selective and extremely subjective recommendations of verse that resonated.

On Page 1 I enjoyed

  • Summer Storm, a haiku sequence by Adelaide B. Shaw (her haiku blog here) – I am supremely awful at haiku or any kind of structured poetry so greatly admire such skill in others. These were lovely and fresh.
  • He Was an Artiste by Angelika Quirk – Women – even portraits of them – won’t be owned!
  • Nina’s Five Husbands by Art Heifetz – This made me chuckle out loud, the ending is priceless. I also lost quite a bit of time at the author’s poetry blog: Polished Brass Poems
  • While we wait by Ashwini Bhasi – A perfectly depicted moment
  • Lear and White spot by Britta R Kollberg – First will delight any Shakespeare fan, and the second makes me think of Alexander The Great though I doubt that was the intention
  • My Love For You and Multiverse by Christina Tang-Bernas – The first is lusciously visceral and the second is something every sci-fi (sci-fact!) fan has thought whilst cuddling to their loved one.

Page 2 yielded such gems as

  • Crossing Conditions by Dawn McGuire – There was something about this mix of environmental and personal, that spoke to me at this particular point. Both dream-like and grounded.
  • Joy, like a Purple Balloon by Diane Frank – The kind of joy and positivity I really needed
  • War Children by Gila Landman – Poignant. We live in the world of sides.
  • Four Corners by Helen Bar-Lev – I enjoyed the elemental imagery a lot!

Skimming through Page 3 I stopped at

  • Reverie and Memory by Jessica Goody – Painful shades of loss
  • Wedding Photo, Chi Nan Fu China Mission, December 7, 1897 and When Stella Saw Herb Skating by John B. Lee – Arresting imagery takes the reader to the past
  • Speed Dating and Muriel and Robert by Johnmichael Simon – Gentle amusement at the vagaries of romance
  • “Death stalks me with a flower between her teeth” by Laurice Gilbert – Won me over with a Buffy reference and kept me with the rather clever and literary musings on death
  • Flight-Path Tel Aviv – Melbourne by Lilian Cohen – This one struck way too close for comfort
  • Kelp by Lytton Bell – Love the wild meeting of sea and shore
  • Being At Home, en Paris by Marian Kaplun Shapiro – Poetry that mixes languages always resonates with me. Also this reminds me of my own Paris poem. And the fact that sometime I probably should actually go there…

And finally on Page 4 the following caught my attention

  • The Fight in Spain by Merridawn Duckler – Funny and poignant and ringing true. Also, what an awesome name this poet has!
  • Obsession by Norma Ketzis – Well this is how to keep a man 😀 I know several who’d prefer it that way…
  • About That Kiss by RC deWinter – Sensual yet self-possessed

6 thoughts on “New Publication @ Cyclamens and Swords

  1. I really love this poem of yours Kat – great that you have found a place for it. Many thanks for sharing.
    Had a bit of a flick through this hefty selection – certainly will take some time to read all.
    I’m interested to see Adelaide B Shaw’s haiku sequence – which you recommend. I love haiku. I know of her work from some of the haiku journals that I subscribe to. (and do submit, have had several haiku published.) I’m not really sure whether I like haiku as a ‘sequence’ or not – but in this case her sequence is lovely and I think it works well.


  2. Aww, thanks so much Sarah! It was one of those ‘throw some words straight onto blog edit window in the middle of night’ things so I’m glad it’s found a place.

    Yeah, the issues for this online mag are huuuuuuge! Took me a couple of days to get through the poems even skimming.

    Haiku can be absolutely exquisite. I’ve tried it only a couple of times but it’s not something that comes easily. Any format that relies on syllable counting requires me to have open as English syllable breaks still confuse me – Finnish syllable structure is kind of different so I always need to check!

    Do you have any of your published haiku available online, would love to read it?


    • Don’t have any published online – they’ve been published over a number of years in Blithe Spirit (Journal of British Haiku Society),
      and Presence.

      Most English language haiku no longer stick to 5/7/5 – because English language sound units differ from the Japanese so it doesn’t ‘work’ to try and crudely correspond the Japanese sound-units to English ‘syllables.’ There are lots of other ‘rules’ though. And a maximum of 17 syllables. I love the discipline of it which I think adds to creativity, not inhibits.

      A couple of old ones of mine-

      abandoned quarry –
      the sudden whirl of bats
      drilling the dusk (Presence, January 2010)

      holiday flight –
      our brief shadow
      brushing clouds (Blithe Spirit, August 2014)


      • Yes, I’ve heard that about ‘relaxing’ of the 5-7-5 rule. It’s funny, because structure, particularly repetition, often sneaks into my poetry so I clearly like some kind of formality on occasion – just really struggle with it if it’s set out prior 😀 I’ve tried pantoum in the past too, which was hard though I know someone who really great things with that format. And Sara Norja ( with whom I do the poetry weeks on occasion, introduced me to a nonnet ( which I actually found quite fun to do when I tried it 😀 I’m also fan of flashfic, particularly drabbles where you have to do a story/scene in exactly 100 words.

        Anyway, thanks so much for posting your haiku here for me to admire! These are really great, I particularly like the whirl of bats drilling the dusk, use of unexpected word pair always wins me over!


      • Ooh I’m now going to be busy looking up ‘nonnet’. And I have several 100 word pieces of prose and never knew this is called a ‘drabble’. Learning every day – thank you. 🙂


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