When I’m back in town
A Looking in View
by Raphael Gancz
There they go
happily hopping turning the corner
a constellation made of
specks of dust stuck to a glass
a cloudy recollection passing by
squeezed between two memory lapses
a moth entering a room
or was it already there
hidden behind the curtains
coming to terms with its fifth
and last week of life
three over the butterfly
in an upward spiral a rising vertigo
perhaps in search of knowledge or
the sepia taste of paper
and they keep going
an immobile parade of houses
lucid dreams on the subject of flying
thrown out of the window
hitting the pavement
writhing like fish
Seek out the capitan’s best jenever (Dutch gin)
It’s the end of a tunnel
Into the light
by Ben Blench
These days, pretty much the only thing
that never fails to cheer me up
is riding my bike.
The overworked crank might click like a cracked knuckle,
and the front rim’s gone all loose-spoked and wonky,
but still, it gets me where I need to be.
Pressing against the pedals, leaning into the corners.
The hollow clink of loose cobbles under my tyres.
The street sings me its song, and I surrender to it.
I wish we could flow like that again.
It used to come so naturally, remember?
Before our baggage straps perished and snapped,
before we chipped our paintwork with carelessly swung locks
and let the rain rust our forks.
These days, our chains, stretched and slack,
slip off their rings when we drive them too hard.
Squandering our strength when we need it most.
Remember the time you called me from the train?
Some guy down the carriage was giving you the creeps,
so I came out to meet you at the station
and we set off home together.
Our hearts, cogs and gears whirring along,
side by side through the tunnel,
coming out of the dark, now, and into the light.
The Jordaan area in Amstedam is full of delicious surprises
It was a brief encounter at Oud-Zuid where my heron friend posed for a few shots
Go smoking in this area — Amsterdam
Fabulous and raw
by Vanessa Inggs
Half past six.
The turn of a key.
A light winks hello to night’s advances.
Shadows grow. Darkness leans
a little closer. Footsteps slow
on cobbled stones.
The shops are closed.
The windows, open.
From the outside, looking in,
daylight casts one backward glance —
a last reflection chafes the glass,
mirroring the brusque frottage
of synthetic silk on painted skin.
an invitation to fulfil
Tight-lipped and grimacing
the street anticipates
of post-apocalyptic kisses.
I extend my arm.
You look right through me.
The perfect facade.
From the inside, looking out,
hollow cheekbones blush
at your indifference as
frigid wrists resist
the crush of solipsism.
Night knuckles neon-fisted
through a last defence of
padded shoulders and
I hold your gaze but you,
you only see yourself in me.
Some fashions never change.