Due to some technical issue, the October issue (Vol. 3, Issue 2) is to be published either in the last week of November or the first week of December, 2022. Inconvenience is regretted.

Tomnahurich Bridge


Tomnahurich Bridge

-  Sheengh Pugh (U.K.)


Well into May, the canalside trees

all pink froth, but cloud louring,

full of hail. Slivers of ice


on the towpath.  A couple mooring

at the pontoon; he hauls on the bow

and thinks this used to be less tiring.


He brushes a hand across his brow,

then upward, as if to flick back

unruly hair: no problem now.


She holds the stern rope, taking in slack

while he makes fast.  Her shoulders droop.

She's eyeing him: an uncertain look,


as if something has come to a stop

in the way she thinks about him,

or herself, or both. They tie up,


as they have done many a time;

you can see they were once good

at this. The cold's getting to them:


they climb aboard for coats. Though the cloud

darkens, they set off walking, shoulders

squared, arm in arm.  Overhead


the wind's rising: at first it just stirs

the leaves, then a sudden dense fall;

you'd think it was snow, but the air


is pink, faintly scented, petals

heaping on the path; there'll be nothing

but bare branches left. They feel


their careful way, not wanting

to slip on the papery scraps,

leaving the boat behind, heading

for a nice cup of tea, perhaps.