Breathe by Mahmud Sajjad

I feel better when I breathe,
When I am still and my heart moves free,
When I read and my eyes dwell deep
And my mind wanders through history,
Struck in awe at legacy.
Deep roots grow strong with good company,
With struggle, soil and dark territory.
And yet
I am humbled in awe of how you decree
And the blessings that you’ve sent to me,
I feel better. With you I am free. Breathe
And smile.

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Dad by Helen Washington

The crackle of the stylus as it finds the groove
Spins in a frenzy as it travels round the tune
Releasing the waves that bring sound to my ears
The sounds of our memories from earlier years.

Classical, country, rhythm or blues
Rock n roll, opera so many to choose
Tracks of my childhood, beats from our past
The years we had together swung by too fast

But those songs bring back more than your voice and smile,
Your dapper, your sparkle, the twinkle of your eye,
They uplift my spirit, blow the clouds from my head
And I sing from my heart for you, my dear dad.

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From now to then by Sally Ann Dyer

The perfect peace of morning when
all is still and early light comes
shining though the sprouting skeleton trees
while tiny gulls fly high above
a hundred miles from any coast
drifting like litter on the dusty city breeze.

That building roar of traffic in the underpass
I close my eyes attempting to tune in
to sounds of breaking waves upon the shore
coat-clad commuters passing in the street below
en route to offices and shops, their daily grind,
responsibility I’m all too happy to ignore

And later on I’ll take the dog and walk
a narrow track along the sheer cliff behind the house
with billowing waters down below.
I’ll balance on the dizzy height, drunk on ozone and delight
drowning in the vastness of the blue.
Warm sunshine on my pale cheeks
skin cleansed and buffed by salty wind,
I’ll laugh in nature’s face and fall content into her arms
At length returning home
with muddy canine wagging through the wicket gate.
I’ll trace the garden path between the pregnant beds
right up to white-washed walls
that wear their thatch like an old hat.
Requisite rambling rose climbs round the door
and hollyhocks will soon be growing tall along the wall

One day, one day,
I’ll own a cottage far away

Meanwhile in the city that’s nearer space than the sea
morning sunlight is
reflecting off the bellies of swooping pigeons
peeping round the corners of buildings
showing up gum marks and overflowing litter bins
casting shadows through the railings
lighting lamp posts and bare trees
pouring bright pools onto grainy grey concrete.

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Lavender Bubbles by Marie Nugent

I feel better when
I hear running water
Hitting the hard surface
Soften to a constant hum
Light crisp crackles of lavender bubbles
Forming then disappearing
An endless cycle of renewal
Until the water stops and it’s ready
Just for me
Dip in a toe
Light a candle
Sink in

Everything melts away
From mind and body
That built up during the day
I am rejuvenated
With quiet content and gratitude

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Mind and Metal by Paris Phillips

There are many people here
packed within this room.
I hear the chatter in black static,
a silent “how are you?”

The room is buzzing with the quiet,
no words come from lips.
Instead I hear the metronome
of glass against finger tips.

A conversation between mind and metal
where true connections dare not lie.
Oh! How rude I must be
to look a friend in the eye.

I feel better when I talk to you
without our pockets buzzing.
Tweets come only from the birds
and likes do not replace loving.

I feel better when you and I face body to soul.
Metal may break and screens may crack

but our connection will never grow old.

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