Story and Poem of the Month

Story and Poem of the Month for June, very kindly chosen by Parson Thru:
elegantfowl ‘Sanctuary’
My choice for prose pick of the month for June is elegantfowl’s ‘Sanctuary’. I found this a very intense and well-written piece. The atmosphere is claustrophobic, which suits the telling well. I felt drawn into the mind of the character and into their thoughts. The voice is matter of fact and detached as it shares the history of the room and its absent actors, aiming always in the direction of the narrative and the fateful final pill in the pack. A great metaphor for the arbitrary cruelty that life often exhibits. The piece benefits from not being over-written and left me with a persisting mental image.
poetjude ‘First Visit’
This original and very well-written piece made the hairs stand up on my neck. The quotidian setting and detail opened up a transcendental imaginative space. I like the reflective voice in this poetic prose that, in its brevity, left me wanting to read more.
mitzi44 ‘The Dunces Hat’
A richly-told autobiographical piece. The setting and period are depicted in a very natural and unobtrusive way: the Bakelite light switch and the vigorous wash, inflicted whilst standing in the sink. The drabness of those times is evoked effortlessly. The author, to great effect, shines a light on the cruelty meted out to vulnerable children, ‘for their own good’.
penny4athought ‘Willow’s Tail 11’
An enjoyably flowing and well-structured dialogue – part eleven of a serialised piece that has picked up followers. The characters’ voices come to life in their exchanges. Much more of this tale to come, I’m sure.
PilgermannBM ‘The Loading’
My choice for poetry pick of the month for June is PilgermannBM’s ‘The Loading’. I enjoyed reading this poem with its stark, first person representation of events. The poem maintains an ambiguity of place and time – we hear of being crammed into box-cars like cattle, but also of being tasered – which prevents its all too familiar imagery being softened by historical distance. The penultimate stanza, in particular, holds up a revealing truth. The writing brought the experience graphically into my imagination.
onemorething ‘Garden at Dawn’
This prose poem brought me right into the moment. It reminded me of standing before a French Impressionist painting in the way it captures the ethereal, simply and without fuss.  The speaker is rendered with the softest brush-strokes into the scene but, with one phrase, left an imprint in my thoughts beyond the reading.


Yutka ‘another kind of melody’
Another personal and reflective poem I enjoyed reading. Free verse with an open structure, informal rhyme and half-rhyme, it reads effortlessly. The bell’s recurrent tone had me thinking of my own endlessly phasing tinnitus. Not the intended meaning, I’m sure, and the musical conceit is original and conveys a sense of something missed out on by the unhearing. Perhaps the tinnitus thing isn’t so far off the mark after all. The final stanza’s invitation brought to mind Eliot’s own to the reader in the opening lines of ‘Prufrock’.
Deliberately Evolving ‘As the Bee Flies’
Reading this poem brought back memories of my early days posting to this site and the generosity of the many active and talented contributors I was lucky to find, one of whom is celebrated here. The poem spells out the thoughts and feelings of someone immensely more affected by both the presence and the absence of Bee. Deliberately Evolving has brought those thoughts and feelings to the page in an open and honest way that goes straight to the heart.