Muse – by Jane Salmons


Evening in the café des deux Magots.
A girl with searing blue eyes drives
the blade of a small pocket knife between
splayed fingers. She’s fierce in her art,
bleeds carmine beads amongst the roses
embroidered on her black lace gloves.
Light and shade cross her heavy brows.
Chiaroscuro. She should turn around:
see the famous painter – crumpled collar,
worn-out suit, twice her age. Seduced
by danger, he prizes girl, knife, bloodied
gloves. Like a matador, he gores
her with his stare, lures her to sacrifice.
In the dusk the café walls turn dust-red.





Jane Salmons is a teacher from Stourbridge in the West Midlands. She has had poems published, or forthcoming, in online magazines including Algebra of Owls, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Ekphrastic Review, The Lake, Amaryllis and Three Drops from the Cauldron. In addition to writing poetry, and when time permits, she enjoys creating handmade photomontage collage.

No Turning Back – by Jane Salmons


Green Lanes groaned in the July heat
cars choked on each other’s fumes
rows of fermenting fruit and veg sweated

it out on street stalls, between the buzz
of flies and tetchy wasps. I carried
you from the taxi in gleaming white

over the cracked tiles, into the cool
hallway of your new home. That night
I couldn’t sleep. I sat instead on the futon edge

watched your tiny limbs twitch in your cot
and listened to the soft chirp of your breath.
Getting up for a glass of water, I pulled on

the kitchen light. A dozen startled cockroaches
like a band of dark knights, scuttled into corners,
chitinous armour chinking spite. I bolted

to the bedroom, lifted the corner of the bed
and saw, under the dark warmth of the mattress,
a monstrous mass of squirming black.




Jane Salmons is a teacher living and working in the Black Country. She is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing and has been previously published in Snakeskin, I am not a Silent Poet and Creative Writing Ink. In her precious free time, she also enjoys creating hand-made photomontage and is to have artwork and poetry published together in Ink, Sweat and Tears in the near future.