HCE received a lot of high-quality submissions for The Brutal Issue – sadly, too many to fit inside the magazine! So we offered some of our shortlisted contributors the chance to be published on our website.
Keep an eye on our social media for more great writing like this, in the run up to the release of The Brutal Issue…
Another Friday afternoon and I slipped into that breach Between hedgerows, the tyres Nestled into familiar furrows. Delicately, I pushed the vehicle’s nose Against the rusted metal – The welcome nuzzle of a short abrasive kiss.
Winding the window down The country air seeped into the car And sat in my mouth Like mint under the tongue. But today, exhaust fumes Would smell as sweet.
I tuned the radio Randomly searching for something Gentle, melodious To deaden the boom Of a pulsing fist Against the grain of old mahogany Thumping repetitively Bleeding my imagination.
No music; just another list of Lost souls occupying another field
Like this but far less green
Delivered in methodical tones Like a makeshift menu Of a concerned chef.
An unexpected crunch Interrupted the roll call And a woolly face appeared Framed in the trammel lines Of that grinning gate Unconcerned, despite her isolation From the flock, regimented
In another corner of the field.
I envied her innate ignorance And told her so, But she turned away, distracted By a pathetic bleat that filtered through The miasma of the heavy summer evening. Fretting, mother pattered into view Snuggling close A gash of red dye splashed against her side Like a crushed rose in a tar pool.
No more names now
Behind them, on a forest of nails The haggard sun, like Obesity overdressed, Hung, interminably punctured And a silver blade Shimmered across the scarlet sunset Dissecting the horizon;
Another lamb dinner.
RICKY HAWTHORNE is a graduate in Literature, Film and Theatre. Warwick University. Short-Listed for the Bridport Poetry Prize 2015. Three screenplays completed and three teleplays adapted from my own short stories. Dressed Lamb is a war poem. Resident: Coventry, West Midlands