Bring Me Sunflowers - Michael Brown

Wake up to sunrise
you put me in a vase
you’re my water

Usually I’m poppy seeds
probably crumbs
scattered for the birds

Bring me sunflowers
in hospital
to illuminate my plain room

A lover picks me sunflowers
we eat their seeds
count many petals

Painting sunflowers
my Van Gogh ear can’t hear
a bird free sky

- - -

Bring Me Sunflowers is a poem from Michael Brown’s new collection of poems entitled The Exhibit. Michaels’s collection puts humans emotions on display. It is a book between two cities- Cambridge and Manchester – with detours via wax museums and planetariums. It brings down the Berlin Wall and challenges censorship in Iran; reveals the love of gay marriage and has conversations with Alexander McQueen, Damien Hirst and Sylvia Plath.

Michael Brown’s poems seek to put our most intense feelings on display, sharing our common experiences and observing humanity standing on the outside looking in.

To find out more visit Michael’s website here.

With(out) Her - Ananya Dhawan

Wake up she’s gone
It might be forever
But don’t you reminisce, don’t weep
Oh don’t be woebegone…

Dazzling was the brilliance
Of her passion
Beyond measure was the depth of her love
She loved you till it hurt her
Impeccably losing her juvenile self
To you her man.

Oh, but, you were so occupied,
so self absorbed
to care
You shut yourself up
When she willingly bared herself…

Now don’t you fret
The relationship is Saturated
Expired
Dead
and no willfulness shall lure her
in your wretched direction once more.

- - -

Ananya Dhawan is an avid reader and writes poetry and stories in her spare time, which reflects her deep fascination for Literature. She has a cheerful disposition, believes in living each moment to the fullest and shows keen interest in the sensitive side of life.

The Spider and the Spray Can Man - Donal Mahoney

He's my buddy, this tiny spider
sitting in his web, not moving,
waiting for a fly that never comes.

The problem is, he spun his web
in a bathroom on the 30th floor
of an office building 

where in 20 years I've never
seen a fly  or other insect
never mind a spider.

The man from pest control 
comes after hours
and sprays in silence.

We call him Spray Can Man,
He has "Butch" on his shirt 
and creases in his pants 

pressed by a wife who packs 
hearty lunches, I suspect.
I've watched Spray Can Man 

twenty years and never heard 
him speak to anyone working 
overtime in a little cubicle. 

Years ago we'd say hello to him  
just like Trash Can Man and Mop Lady.
I said "Merry Christmas" to him once 

and Spray Can Man never looked up.
He kept looking down, like an anteater, 
spraying one baseboard after another.

When it comes to insects,
Spray Can Man is a serial killer. 
Yet the spider in the bathroom 

has escaped his gaze and lives on
despite the lack of any flies to eat.
The spider doesn't know death's

his destination even though 
I know some day soon
his life will be swept away,

perhaps by execution if 
one of my fellow workers
sees him waiting for a fly 

or if Spray Can Man spots him.
This spider will discover 
life is just a belch in time 

as I'll find out too some day.
If I'm wrong about what's to come, 

I'll have missed a lot of fun.

- - -

Nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, Donal Mahoney has had work published in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his earliest work can be found at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com/

Wakefield, Where Are You Going?

Kids are riding around on BMXs bigger than themselves,
and they're dodging married couples and
soon-to-be, but not nearly ready, other couples
whose six months together is enough of an indication
that marriage is the way forward.
At the traffic lights, by the music shop
that used to be a charity shop and before
that another charity shop, is a man
in this year's car of the year; he's an Italian looking
man, with an Inter Milan rear-windscreen-sticker
stuck at an angle because he was in a rush that day,
though he's probably from Wakefield, or the surrounding
area at the very least, and he's got tattoos peppering his right arm
in no particular order, though the ones by his
bicep are slightly faded at best so maybe they're
in chronological order.

Turn the corner and there's the teen palace
of large TV HD screens and shops selling percentages
off, though they're still making a profit regardless
of the red price tags and discount website jumbled-numbers-in-a-row receipts-

passing now, and in a rush, is the yellow dress girlfriend
with a left arm of army dedication tattoos holding hands
with her military, brunette number two, boyfriend. Her
brown bag is the only distance separating them before he goes off,
goes forth on another tour.

Albums & Cards

Photographs fade faster as the summers get longer,
so keep the ones you want-
those wedding bell sweet sounding chimes,

those Turkish coastal lines-
pristine, pressed and bound somewhere safe, 
file them and order them in chronological order,
sure up the shelves with extra struts.

It's been done before
and it'll be done again,
but not as well as this,
not as well as them.