The psychic flows of The Medway and The Thames mixed mud with The Darent and The Great Stour to stir words heavy with Kentish chalk exposed in the shape of dreams on hillsides that will not stay still long enough for any gawpers to take a selfie. There are no foreign lands here, only welcome refugees joining with marsh gas ghosts, the night terrors of those who ride when they should be sleeping.
Poets call to one another in the dark as bats do with echoes only they understand, to be named is to be spoken of. Tales from creeks of slugs and starlings and dogs and cities that are not what they seem. Of futures and pasts and the people and loves that are forever trapped in them. They wander, shape-shifting, lost-and-found town becks looking for tosh to shine up and show us, picking names from the hat they happen to have on at the time. Fiddling while their rivers burn with illuminated bodies.
And The Great Sad Wear that has shrugged off so much, finds some weights too much to bear to the sea. It shuffles forward silently as though Limpopo in remembrance of things and people. And somehow it smiles. I met a man there once, and we will not meet again. I chance to think he would have visited us one day. I would have liked that.
Barry Fentiman Hall
- Poetry: Unintended story by Mark Holihan (Kent, UK)
- Prose: Here by Daphne Margolys (Medway, UK)
- Poetry: Marshlands by Philip Kane (Medway, UK)
- Prose: Raid on the Medway, June 1667 by David Cramer Smith (Australia)
- Poetry: Poems from Darkest England by Barry Fentiman Hall (Medway, UK) (video)
- Prose: Stunt Man by Katarina Rankovic (London, UK) (video extract)
- Poetry: Poems by Barrie West (Sunderland, UK)
- Prose: Starlings by Maria C. McCarthy (Medway, UK)
- Poetry: Corbyn and other conundrums by Nancy Charley (Kent, UK) (video)
- Poetry: The Body Electric by Jonathan Terranova (Kent, UK)
- Play: Looking for Colin by Sam Hall (Medway, UK)
- Poetry: Slugs by Maria C. McCarthy (Medway, UK)
- Poetry: One man’s trash: Picasso’s Crystal Gems by Matt Chamberlain (Medway, UK)
- Poetry: One man’s trash: Underneath by Spreken (Kent, UK)
- Prose: Lunch With Coyote by Bill Lewis (Medway, UK)
- Poetry: Bicycle by Shaun Philip Hutchings (Medway, UK) (video)
- Illustrations: Maggie Drury (Medway, UK)