Habitatum

Photograph: ©John Stadnicki

I bring white little stones from the market

and place them, like pills, in long straight lines on my desk.

 

Although full of stuff, my body lives at the top floor –

with a view towards a perfect car park.

 

I watch the beheadings through a narrow hole in the sky

and

I point a fully-loaded gun against the world.

 

The earth rests

suspended between wild heavens and landscaped gardens.

 

And yet the sun is still rising above the silent bell ropes,

hanging loose among people who stand up to

look at the death pit as if

nothing has happened.

 

©Maria Stadnicka

 

First published in Your One Phone Call, Wales, available here

(August, MMXVII)

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Holy Bread

Montage: ©Claire Palmer, published in International Times, 26th July 2017

The hunger was the woman with a friendly, foreign name-tag.

That busy Saturday.

 

A miracle healer, as pale as milk, passed through the city –

a reminder that we all had our role to play in the war.

 

For a moment, his voice stopped the curious shoppingbagscrowd-

echo between tall cement buildings.

 

A sudden rain followed, baptised my sleeping bag,

in the queue at the Lower Street Food Bank.

 

The history sliced a nearby road in tiny squares of holy bread.

 

– published in International Times, available here

Miss Susan Warlord Ibrahim

Photograph: @Maria Stadnicka

For many years, I had received no letters, no news. I had my tea at six, I went to bed at ten. I had good dreams, lined with bleached fabric, well-ironed. Stark. I had a dog, I had a cat and that was all. But it was Susan who called me ‘dearest’ in a long-winded email, sent from her West African google account. Susan whose father had recently died. On Thursday 28th April 2011. In a fight with the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast. She admitted she had found me through the internet and that I would see the whole thing as a pleasant surprise. She wore blue, she said, and came to me with a business proposition. As she was looking for a long-term relationship and for investment assistance, Susan promised me a hefty fifty percent. If only I said ‘yes’, if only I agreed to kiss her back with my account, to help her find a way around a hundred million. Miss Susan Warlord Ibrahim at gmail dot com. She loved me. She did. Every day for a month, at half past seven, her love arrived in my spam box. I thought to write her back and call it off; or just to ask if she had considered pet allergies. And send her a detailed review which looked at the recent increase in reported cases of British dermatitis. But Mondays and Tuesdays, between eight and nine, I work to correct the grammar errors in my final draft. One hundred and twenty pages so far. And still writing.

 

Toxic Petals

photo: @John Stadnicki

 

A poem for ‘Europa‘ by Andrew Heath https://www.amazon.co.uk/Europa-Andrew-Heath/dp/B01LYHL716 

For further information on Andrew Heath’s music, please click here: https://andrewheath.bandcamp.com/

Uranium Bullets

I always arrive late for everything.

Stuck in a traffic jam by the docks,

missed Noah’s boat but

survived under water

accidentally trapped between stolen books,

trapped by a word heavier than a stone,

lighter than a feather.

 

Hidden in the overcrowded wooden train carriage,

radicalised by the anonymity of my blue name-tag,

with a heart growing outside my body.

Each beat painfully visible to the guards

around the Monopoly table.

 

On the waiting list for ballet lessons,

radicalised by the price of uranium bullets on Mother’s Day

handwriting an apologetic note.

My deep eye silenced.

The familiar solemnity of a world without a face.

Photograph: @John Stadnicki, Bristol MMXVI