In early evening darkness starts
to consume light, sparse leaves
shiver on nervous trees and
the street is zipped into silence.
Behind every door fresh dramas
unfold and, within minutes,
the street creeps with mysterious
life, shrieks of loose recognition,
every child walking in and out
of their dreams, while the timid
ghost in number sixteen
turns off the light,
double-locks the door –
afraid of what he might see.
Maurice Devitt was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series and shortlisted for the Listowel Poetry Collection Competition in 2016. He won the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition in 2015, he has been placed or shortlisted in many other competitions including the Patrick Kavanagh Award, Over the Edge New Writer Competition, Cuirt New Writing Award and the Doire Press International Chapbook Competition.
Everyone knows you
don’t knock at No.42.
The papers heaped
on every sill
threaten to make
a headline of you.
The Coca-Cola wind chime
strung with too much care
hums the diurnal drone
of the cars that slow
to make sense of the ticker tape
in the bay window.
Meals on Wheels stopped.
they post the trays
Through the letterbox
Then microwaved the salad
For the cats.
The nice man refused to come back
after he trod in cat shit, again.
Peer through the letter box
and you can just make out
Samantha Roden is a Lead Practitoner for English. Her poetry has been published in a number of journals. She is also an educational author and literary critic whose recent publications include Philip Roth Through the Lens of Kepesh, a book-length monograph available here.
That day by the lake
when you wouldn’t stop and
I made you and you stalked
off into the bracken and I sat
on the rock looking up
at the crag wondering why
do I always take it why
am I still here and then
saw a bird circling
as a crow circles its carrion –
but more slowly, wings spread wide
and the feathers fanned out against the sun
and it seemed larger and darker
with more history than a common scavenger
and then I knew I was watching an omen,
riding the thermal, effortless,
croaking a harsh truth.
Kathleen is a poet and biographer living in the north of England. She has a couple of pamphlets published by Redbeck Press, a full collection with Templar Poetry, and is now working towards her second collection which features poems written while travelling among the First Nation people of British Columbia.
Candyfloss looked like heaven
to the sand spiders;
they had been brought up
under the shadow of the pier,
weaned on stories of a pink
paradise where you didn’t even
have to spin your own thread.
Andrew Turner started writing poetry in 2015. To date he has been published in Ink Sweat and Tears,unevenfloor poetry, Obsessed with Pipework and Prole. He is also shortly due to appear in Under The Radar. He lives in Staffordshire and works with young people with learning disabilities.
“Don’t Try” – Inscribed on Charles Bukowski’s headstone
I mostly try to friend poet laureates
on Instagram, pick out pretty journals small
enough to fit in the pockets of my scrubs;
Just one more minute for that ginger ale,
I finally remembered the right word for ‘sad’
It was lost like a key in the cushion of
a chair, lost like a body in the salt of the sea….
I mostly read Walt Whitman aloud to my friends
in my best funny voices. When it’s my birthday,
I ask for a trip to his tomb but instead
they take me to Chili’s and buy me four margaritas,
I call all my ex-boyfriends and vomit up fried mozzarella
in the back of an Uber while reciting ‘Song of Myself’
and my entire face leaks.
I mostly read bios of the ones
in the magazines and none of them say:
Single mom in her thirties who eats Doritos
and sleeps with a mean chihuahua, who plays four chords
on an old guitar
So I mostly sit in the glow of the porch light
And stare up at nothing and try not
but in frivolous moments
I want so hard that the earth
and nothing comes out but
so I take it.
Sarah Satterlee is a graduate of Rhode Island College. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Amaryllis, and The Jawline Review among others. She lives in Rhode Island with her daughter.
The Ballerina Bows
to her own reflection, the lone
piece she cannot master. No twirling,
no turning, no launching into arms assumed
to be there. Nothing carried her here. Just the quiet face
of an empty studio surrounds her. It is indifferent to pain,
has seen it before in many forms. No
makeup, no camouflage, no costumes distract the glass.
as she swallows her weaknesses like razor blades. She waits,
watches closer to see if they will find a way to cut
their way back out.
A.J. Huffman’s poetry, fiction, haiku, and photography have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. www.kindofahurricanepress.com
my face is a filter on the city –
pupils, iris, woolly hat, orange
coat reflected back
through glass, colouring concrete
she’s there at the phone box
the pattern of keys
no one’s touched this year
hair the tarred
colour of tab ends
she exhales impatience
disguised as smoke
from thin nostrils
through glass, colouring my face
a filter of concrete
reflects back in pupils, iris
the pattern of touch
no one’s memorised this year
Kate Garrett is the founding editor of Three Drops Press and Picaroon Poetry. Her writing has been widely published, and her latest pamphlet The Density of Salt (Indigo Dreams Publishing) was longlisted for best pamphlet in the 2016 Saboteur Awards. Kate lives in Sheffield with her husband, four children, and a cat who sleeps in the bathtub.
One space; two cars.
We are geared up
for disaster from the start.
I arrive with murder in mind;
she got out of yet another bed
wrong way again.
We pause in the red light zone;
two mirrored stares,
reflecting each other.
Venus and Mars;
Mars and Venus.
I knew what you wanted;
I couldn’t let you have it.
The handbrakes are on now;
we emerge together.
When I saw how
human you were,
I was willing to give way.
But you kept on about it,
so fuck you.
I got back in my car,
and gave us some
Simon is poet from Hertfordshire, writing with Poetry ID, a Stanza of the Poetry Society. His poems have been published in iOTA, the London Progressive Journal and Pantheon Magazine amongst others. He was invited to read at the Ledbury Poetry festival this year, teaches English in a local Secondary school, and stares wistfully into the middle distance.
The times I saw my mother cry were few and far
between; in the kitchen once when someone dear died,
and late October ’66. She couldn’t say
what she’d just heard, gasped, turned away to stir
the scrambled eggs, her eyes not meeting mine.
Wirelesses in those days had to warm up,
the country switched on early for the news,
heard the broadcast bells emerge, if not,
as then, we’d lose the latest, miss the headlines.
Still it only took seconds to link slag heap
and school; she came from Sunderland so knew
the smell of the slag heap and the sound of the school
that day had joined.
Catherine has lived with her family in Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, for twenty years where she has been busy with various arts jobs, events and groups. She also writes music which you can hear here, and has been published in booklets, Northwards Now and on the StAnza map.
sing the oranges,
a finer, more expressive sound.
full of sun
and satisfying sweetness,
Seth Crook rarely leaves the Isle of Mull. His poems travel for him. This year they have appeared in such places as Northwords Now, Poetry Scotland, The Journal, Raum, Lighthouse, Antiphon, Picaroon, Snakeskin, Ink, Sweat and Tears and elsewhere. (Elsewhere should be a magazine, but isn’t). He currently edits the poem/photo section of The Fat Damsel.