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First, the poem that acts as the prelude to the issue:
Heading home in the dark – Seth Crook
This is Rebecca Gethin’s chilling view through the eyes of the official artist of the Nuremberg Trials.
The one she is sketching is bored with it all.
He is intimate with fear’s little rustlings,
its held breath, the way it burns throats.
She notes how his eyes seem singed,
how his mouth is a wide slit across the block
of his face. He no longer listens
to the prosecutors drilling into his head.
What he has noticed is her attention,
the questioning of her pen nib.
Her eyes flick from paper to subject.
The Reichsmarshall looks up, stares straight back.
The quietly moving Living with the Dead, by Sandra Kolankiewicz
Living with the Dead, by Sandra Kolankiewicz
And here is Michael Bradburn-Ruster’s study of a feather that leads to something wider:
I never saw the bird, nor heard its flight,
assuming it was ever there at all;
perhaps the drowsy breeze began to wilt
and snatched up in one final flare of style
the weightless blade that spun down, helical
and delicate, to grace my path. I knelt
to a flame the color of fog, a quill
whose filament was pearl, articulate
of cloud, and seas’ immensity, of mist
and grassy headland stooping to the shore:
that feather filled my hand until a mast
loomed out of loneliness, and with a sheer
bloom of canvas, my heart – long pent and blind –
unfurled and glimpsed the day’s uncharted land.
And the wonderfully rich Bee Library, by Kay Buckley
Bee Library, by Kay Buckley