As I waited for the tablets to kick in – by Jane Burn


no silence, baby/a sure attack/ imagine a desire to repent/love is quite spare/ointment over and over/out, cohesive earmark/divine dissent/plateau of another antique philosophy/common somber track/a person with loose bowels/encased in austerity/dear memory/quarter marks on my new floor/it’s quite a colourful place, no comparison/love comes included/my dolorous and somber pupil/tantalizing bandit, to you I venture/private and docile/I will desire an avenue of flowers/a language of polite imagination/some can, some cannot/you are my dear corpse/you nourish me/I am partial to you/no banquets or convivial silences/no decades consigned to others/ecstasy does not quantify time passing/we will not depart this private episode/no longer the last messy paragraph of us/but a quiet, temperate day




Jane Burn’s poems have featured in magazines such as The Rialto, Under The Radar, Butcher’s Dog, Iota Poetry and many more, as well as anthologies from Emma Press, Beautiful Dragons, Emergency Poet and Seren. Her pamphlets include Fat Around the Middle, published by Talking Pen and Tongues of Fire published by BLER Press. Her first collection, nothing more to it than bubbles is published by Indigo Dreams. 

She Learned Later That The Sea Crazed Her – by Jane R Rogers


As her weightlifter’s arms heft
with a jerk, she braves a sunburst of pain

in her shoulder stretch,
in her forearms brace, in her right leg lurch as

she takes the racked stance,
hands gripped tight, thighs tensed

she snatches, strains up with elbows
holds the weight

of the sea over her head
and sets it down again.

Was it then or
later she learned that the sea crazed her?

For pleasure she sidles in
with a resistant push, her head dives

into cool waves and in this conspiracy
she swims. In the silence underwater

her mind listens for fish and
the shipwreck tilting away from the current.

With her is the pressure
of a clean jerk and lift,

a sports arena created
from sand, ropes, canvas

gathered from the broken ship,
a skeleton assigned as referee while

she hoists barbells made of hazel sand scooped
from under the sea. Steadily,

she competes in gasps with the tide
increases the pain she lifts

and sets it down again. Was it then or
later she learned that the sea crazed her.



Jane R Rogers has been writing poetry for seven years. Jane is a member of the Greenwich Poetry Workshop and was a member of the Magma Poetry magazine team where she co-edited Magma 65. Jane’s poems have appeared in Atrium, Prole, Ink Sweat & Tears, Long Exposure Magazine, Obsessed with Pipework, in Greenwich Poetry Workshop’s anthologies and in the Tate Gallery Website poetry anthology 2012. Jane lives in London but misses the West Country.

Smoke – by Renata Connors


Take a deep breath and watch her –
the witch of old leaves
in the allotments –
how she sticks out her grey gnarly fingers
that wrap around you
and throw you back
to the land of campfires and songs

and there you are –
your dreamy purple orchid self
sitting on a half rotten log,
uncomfortable as hell,
your face burning and your back freezing,
your feet sore from walking.

Yet all you feel
(because you’re seventeen)
is that your badly tuned guitar and the unpredictable universe
sing in harmony,

pure beauty.
You’ll sleep under the sky tonight,
the wolves will stay away,
and tomorrow when you get home
your clothes will smell of


Renata Connors is a poet and songwriter based in Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear. Her poems were published in webzines Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Fat Damsel, Rat’s Ass Review and in the Kind of a Hurricane Press journal Napalm and Novocaine. She has performed her poetry and songs at many different venues around the North East.

Memory is held by water – by Jackie Biggs


They sit on the wall of the old town bridge,
                that place of endless departures,
below the high castle walls.

Usually men, mostly at night,
                they are silent, unseen.
This one is young.

His white face looks down between
                black boots as his legs dangle.
He will enter me soon, or walk away.

When he slips in I will hold him close
                but I will not interfere
as he sinks into my depths

I will feel him among my green weeds
                and in my vortices
carry him in undercurrents

with migrating salmon
                over the silt and mud of my bed
to the sea and out on the full tide,

as all the other lads before him
                over countless centuries.
I never know why they choose me.

Maybe because I am dark and very cold
                there is certainty in my currents and eddies,
no chance for a change of mind.

Bitter as brine
                I am always here,
yet I flow forever, east to west,

tidal, so they are sure
                I will carry their cargo out,
take all their weight.





Jackie Biggs has had poetry published in many magazines and anthologies, both in print and online. Her first poetry collection, The Spaces in Between, was published in September 2015 by Pinewood Press (Swansea). She is a member of the four-woman poetry performance group, The Rockhoppers. Some of her poetry appears on her blog: Twitter: @JackieNews

Guest Editor Sept/October – Clare Shaw

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The Editor’s Choice poem for September/October will be chosen by Clare Shaw.

She has three poetry collections from Bloodaxe: Straight Ahead (2006), Head On (2012) and Flood (2018).

She’s a regular tutor with a range of literary organisations – including the Poetry School, the Wordsworth Trust and the Arvon Foundation – delivering creative writing courses, workshops and mentoring sessions in a variety of different settings, with individuals at all levels of ability, confidence and experience. She works with the Royal Literary Fund and the Writing Project, supporting the development of writing skills in academic settings and workplaces. She is also involved in a range of innovative projects with artists and practitioners in other disciplines, including psychology, visual arts and music, and is also a mental health educator. All her work is underpinned by a deep faith in language: words have the power to harm and help us, and powerful language can transform us as individuals, communities and societies.

Coin – by Susan Castillo Street


I saw a coin in the water
and thought it might be a goldfish
or a lost spangle of sun
or a wish made by lovers
or a gambler rolling the dice.




Susan Castillo Street is an international woman of mystery. She has published three collections of poems, The Candlewoman’s Trade (2003), Abiding Chemistry,  (2015), and Constellations (2016), as well as in several leading journals and anthologies. She is owned by two cats, Dan and Eric.

Reggie has a Stroke – by Ron Salisbury


Three weeks after, he was incredibly horny, something
he hadn’t really thought about for the past fifteen years,
being preoccupied with the agenda of growing old. Arriving
quite suddenly after three bourbons and just before
the Late Show, now, everything made him horny,
the neighbor across the court, eggs—their round whiteness—
palm trees, the photo of his third ex-wife leaning against
a metal rail, Grand Canyon 2001 written on the back.
It was something like a catching-up, a burst runners get
when they finally spot the finish line.




Ron Salisbury has taught poetry for the past forty years. Since moving back to San Diego nine years ago, Ron has taught classes and workshops in poetry for San Diego Writers, Ink and the Encinitas Library. He graduated from San Diego State University with a Master in Fine Arts, Poetry in 2016. His book, Miss Desert Inn was the winner of the 2015 Main Street Rag Poetry Prize and was published in the fall of 2015. He has been widely published in journals and his manuscripts have been finalists in many manuscript contests.