Dawn

Dawn's ghostly whisper,
dappled with rose-gold hues, seeps
into inky skies.

by Amanda Gilmour

Sundown

In the gloaming sky,
pink hues seep from sundown, while
amber-tinged clouds bloom.

by Amanda~Louise Gilmour

Penumbra

A sprinkle of stars
burn into nightfall, veiling
the moon's penumbra.

by Amanda~Louise Gilmour

Waltzing

His ashes dust hills,
feeding wildflowers, waltzing
with wild winter wind.

by Amanda~Louise Gilmour

Shadow

In between shadows,
moonlight illuminates cats
fighting on spring grass.

by Amanda~Louise Gilmour

Filigrees

Petal filigrees
press stencil 
patterns on snow,
echoing full bloom.

by Amanda-Louise Gilmour

Sunset

Atlantic waves slice
the sun in half, a semi-
circle melting.

by Amanda Gilmour

Amber Moon

Amber Moon

Above the city,
light polluted night leaks
amber into the moon.

by Amanda-Louise Gilmour

Amber

Oriental lily
stains the wings
of a white butterfly,
amber.

Drumochter

Stars fall over
the pass of
Drumochter,
smudged grey as always,
barren, desolate ‒
a world dropped dead
into Dante’s Ninth.
 
By the old railway,
I cradle your urn,
twisting the lid,
scattering ashes that
return on a
wet wind wave,
blinding me.
 
As your particles
speckle the
yawning hills,
my soul blinks
behind gritted lids.

Amanda-Louise Gilmour
 

Mill burn

Beneath susurrus snowflakes
by lilting Mill burn,
his going spawned silk rivulets
glissading over wrist bone;
echoing in pearly scars
over crimson flowing vein,
a gossamer reminder
of his whispered nasal hymn.
Narnia embellished summer
dresses hidden silvered skin,
beneath susurrus snowflakes
by lilting Mill burn.

Amanda-Louise Gilmour

A Black Isle Sunrise

Catherine Faulkner

The almost-morning, almost-dawn

Brushing blue cold from dark,

Staring out the wilder, furious stars,

Stalking night with gull-shrill cries.

At Munlochy Bay the wolfish grey

Grows steady silver, steady bright

Snapping teeth in jealous bid against

The clipped perfection of the moon.

By Kessock Bridge the blush of day

Runs sleek against the timid pink,

Runs deep with tinted, fierce intent,

To keep new dreams from breakingFrom breaking on the fractured light

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Web

In the blossom tree
a crystal-spun web is
ignited by sunrise.

Stars

Stars shine at twilight.
Confetti sprinkled sky
echoes in my eyes.

Haiku

Snowdrops bud nightly
peeking from the dirt,
stretching
in yawning clusters.

Haiku

Icicles tinkle

on a sleeping blossom tree

twinkling in the sun.

Haiku

Hanging from the bough,

a solitary ice strand

bathes in dawning glow.

Haiku

Badger

Snowflakes rest upon
the old badger, blanketing
sleeping, open eyes.

Pandora’s Box

He removes his vinyl records from the shelf and puts them into a cardboard box. ‘Living room’ is written across the side in black marker pen. He slides open a drawer in the sideboard, and takes out ‘his’ things.

“Coffee?” I say.

No reply. He’s standing with his back to me. I can see that several drawers are now open. God, that bloody annoys me. Why can’t he just shut one drawer before opening the next. I sigh, but he doesn’t react.

His shoulders slump forward, and I see that he is holding the little pink, velvet, chest. I pray that he won’t open it, but like Pandora, he can’t help himself. A rush of memories come tumbling out. I don’t need this. Our eyes meet, a message transmitted. He lifts the white baby booties from the bed of silk they lie upon. I can’t look, so I get up and walk into the kitchen.

The kettle bubbles and clicks off. I pour boiling water over the instant granules, taking my time to stir. I rinse the teaspoon. When I turn around, with both mugs in my hands, he steps in front of the doorway.

“James, please, I’m not in the mood for games!”

“What about these?” he asks, as he holds up the booties.

“What about them?”

“I thought we could keep one each,” he murmured.

“I don’t want it.”

“So, you don’t mind if I…”

“Do what you want, you always do anyway.”

He takes a step back, as if I’ve slapped him. I bang the coffee cups down, and brown liquid spills down the sides.

A film forms on the surface of the untouched coffee, as he continues to pack. I eye the boxes, and hope that he didn’t take the booties: they’re all I have left now.

He takes a suitcase out to his car. As the front door closes behind him, I rush over to the sideboard, pulling the drawer open. I open and shut the other drawers too.

“He’s taken them,” I say, closing my hand over my mouth.

The car door slams. I dash to the chair, curling my legs beneath me as I sit. Reaching forward, I grab my book from the table and open it.

He comes back in and lifts a box. Please don’t let the booties be in that box!

“Your book is upside down,” he says.

My cheeks flame, and he lays his hand on my shoulder.

“Don’t,” I tell him, shrugging him off.

He leaves again. I’m on my feet again, pushing my hand into the nearest box, feeling about for the small chest. The door opens, and I pull my hand back, tearing the cardboard. If he has seen, he doesn’t let on and continues to take boxes and suitcases out to the car.

“Okay, that’s me. I think I have everything.”

I keep my eyes on the book. His keys jangle, and I hear the clink of metal being placed on the table by the door. He stays there for a moment and then he is gone. I go to the window, being careful to stand back so he won’t see me. Tears dribble down my cheeks, dripping off my chin. I don’t wipe them. The car starts. Several minutes pass before he pulls away. I watch him until he disappears at the end of the road. On the table, a solitary bootie lies beside his door key.

The original story can be found in Northwords Now – issue 37.

Poem

Threading Time

Entombed in musty folds:
dust enriched Banaras silk
embroidered with golden yarn,
forever echoing colonial rule
for a century, a western charm.
 
Wrapped in Mother’s cherish,
dressing up death in opulent threads:
tobacco-stained, dyed caviar-black,
easing primal pain in cancerous dark.
 
A homecoming gift, laden in rupees,
sailing seas below winking skies as
moonlight waltzes on jhallar edges
caressing shining eastern essence.
 
Intricate piercing of twilight material
crafting flawless Mughal patterns
with fine threads, trellis bound,
snaring the weaver's soul.

Amanda-Louise Gilmour