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Vol.3. No. 3. April - June 2010





Barrie Darke
Bruce J. Berger
Chad Norman
Christian Ward
Chuma Nwokolo Jr
Claire Askew
Colin Gallant
Davide Trame
Gary Beck
Ivor W. Hartmann
Katie Metcalfe
M C Hardwick
Michael Conley
Minna Salami
Pete Court
Roger Elkin
Warren Paul Glover
George Freek






Dirt on the snow path,

a flash that will stay:

the dark spots of dogsí

and deerís droppings

that look like seeds Ė the latter,

and both clearly reminding

of earth and matter,

splotches of dark

on the immaculate whiteness,

the tearing sharpness

of the snowís glare.


Maybe itís just what we need:

gazing at our dirt

enhancing mortality

that is dark like the soil,

like the tangle of entrails

in everything, the layers of dark

on which we stand.

We gaze at them

walking on, and finding

some familiar respite

from the marvellous estrangement of white.


The Same


The old mother forgets,

we assist at the jumble

in the windmill of her memory,

thereís this careless, relaxed,

river of events, muddled up

in a talking that is endlessÖ

before the war, after the war,

decades, months, weeks, the trudging now

in the web of days,

now and then, the same, in the constant

fading present and our desperate attempt

at reassembling, with the shoring up

of reminding.


Nothing new, itís easy to foresee

the jumble in the strength

of the incoming tide,

the fading made of many

crumbling matchsticks

and the vast wave of the debris,

pinpointed but mostly quiet,

in the oncoming night.


The old mother

looks out of the window

at the morning weather,

when asked she says she has forgotten

if itís raining or snowing,

we see her maybe just attracted by a detail

in a plant, a new red berry Ėsay,

when in her laziness she starts to digress

about this new befallen strangeness,

and maybe a sunbeam in the meantime

casts fresh shadows on the lawn

and everything is the same, present and gone.




The driver has come,

the bus is going to leave,

I sit and gaze at him at the steering wheel

with the glossy black buttons by it

and the windshield with its sheet

of milk-white, swirls

of breath and dirt, the fog,

always at one with the workday,

in its skin and constancy.

Iím well within my boundaries.

Very familiar.

Behind, the historic city-

that by now seems to exist

only to be prized and left behind-

and in front the factories and blocks of flats,

the reality where I need to go,

the winning geometry

of boxes, squares, rectangles and lines

for those who need to stay and move.


I am thinking

that time has passed,

that I have less time left.

Itís inevitable to think about the inevitable.

I look at the windshield,

at the fog that is always the same,

within the boundaries that are what I know,

on the surfaces where I need

to slide and go.


Now the driver is turning the wheel

with supple arms

while, as it happens,

the fog suddenly rises,

I look around at the same boundaries,

never the same under a patch of light.




Caravaggioís bodies,

alive and dead.

The here-and-now of their nakedness,

their luminous closeness.

Always amazing

whatís utterly ours.

The pores and veinsí infinitesimal throbs

and a glow, our glow, that transpires.

And eyes, eyes that grab you like cries

and the cheekbones, the sinews,

that dig at once into the momentís marrow.

In the silence and fury

our soulís presence,

which is nothing

but the bodyís exuberance.

I am trapped now in the normal

marshesí mud and clouds,

my mind crossed by

those flesh and bonesí grip and gaze

by which we created the gods and they us,

when we stared and stood still

and nobody could resist

the earth and lightís tendons,

our skin,

piercing the mist.




Click on a link below to choose a Sentinel Literary Quarterly competition to enter


Short Story Competition (July 2010)


Poetry Competition (July 2010)


Sentinel Literature Festival Poetry Competition 2010



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Sentinel Literary Quarterly is Published by Sentinel Poetry Movement | Editor: Nnorom Azuonye

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