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I am rooting for us, and Elegy for Her by Faye Alexandra Rose

CW: Please note 'Elegy for Her', the second poem on this page, contains reference to sexual assault.  I am rooting for us We are like two sunflowers,  growing  tall, but individually,  almost touching, but we never quite     manage it. We have found ourselves so desperate for the sunlight, that we forgot to work on our life in the shade. The sourness that lies unspoken between our roots, sits silently, rotting our foundations, until there is nothing left to nourish, until, we  wilt away.  --- Elegy for Her  She lay silent, buried underneath  his body  that was about to suffocate hers  of life,   he used her body as a sin, as he   ripped apart  her skin  with knives,  she was a mannequin  to be cast aside  and placed on to a pile  with other statistics,  mirrors became her enemy,  she did not want to see  the reflection of defeat, as  the pain still feeds on her happiness.   She used to refer to herself in past tense  for life was not  as kind  back then  and,  slowly, 

Burnout by Lisette-Elouise Powell

I had paracetamol for breakfast then didn’t eat at all. the effort to meet deadlines and stay on track made stress lines on my skin crack, bent spine as the bricks stack; I drink red wine to distract myself from it all, in fact, I don’t even drink red wine.   I tell lies all the time, like of course yeah, I’m fine just can’t talk yet I’m busy avoiding everything.   It’s annoying, actually, how I treat my body like a factory; gradually I’ll grind to a halt and revolt decline orders to keep pumping out lies like Ford Model T’s on assembly lines.   I can hold on a little longer.   I feel my joints grinding, bones spark; making lightning, striking for fair treatment, my body a city and the streets screaming to relieve them of the pressure and lessen the load lest they drop together a lesson still not learned after the bricks that built my city walls corrode.   I can hold on a little longer.            You know, I still struggle to admit a state of emergency, stumble over wo

February by Maurice Devitt

Having used the dark, dismal days of January to shake off my survivor guilt and watched the fading tail of some stellar resolutions flicker for one last time, I wake to a neat and tidy month:  just four short weeks to get through, calendar still unsure whether it is winter or spring. Mornings are candle-lit with the first flame of magnolia, a late flurry of snow pixelates the otherwise clear air and the street hurries itself into an almost forgotten future, where nothing unusual happens. --- A graduate of the MA in Poetry Studies at Mater Dei, he won the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition in 2015 and published his debut collection, ‘Growing Up in Colour’, with Doire Press in 2018.   His poems have been nominated for Pushcart, Forward and Best of the Net prizes and his Pushcart-nominated poem, ‘The Lion Tamer Dreams of Office Work’, was the title poem of an anthology published by Hibernian Writers in 2015. He is curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site.

The Seasons Turn by Polly Stretton

The green-brown burrs of autumn have gone, the beechnuts consumed or rotting in the now-fallen foliage. When people come they'll walk this straight path, see boulders lined shoulder-to-shoulder, stroll beneath soon-to-be-bare frames of slender trees. In the avenue they'll be safe if they take care;  light and large-wheeled phaetons stay upright, horses permitting, but tip-tilting curricles must beware! As they pass, the leaves swirl and twirl before settling once more. Artists arrive, all chatter and clatter,  paints, palettes and easels; they point and name the colours:  oxblood red, sable brown, topaz, ochres, and charcoal black; hints of olive and pistachio green remain, as if to be tasted. While, hovering around the corridor of trees  amethyst tints imbued with light and shade applaud as the scent of winter approaches. These are the minutes, all the wishfulness, every heartfelt loss and glorious gain  of our times. As many wishes as leaves on the ground, thought of as often

The Man in the Skull Mask Writes a Dating Advice Article by James Thorpe

  Conventional wisdom tells us that      is fleeting.      is a meaningful thing shared, traditionally, between two people. That said,      can also be shared between larger groups of people and in a variety of ways, although          or         are the two main umbrella terms for the many nuances and types of      which exist.  It is often said that      is blind, conquers all, and can exist at first sight. Regardless of your personal opinion on it though, there’s no denying that      is a key part of life. Naturally, it follows suit that all people – as inherently social animals – seek to experience      so what do you do if you can’t find it?      can be difficult to find but here are three key tips, distilled down from years of experience observing human romantic interactions, to really help you find     :     Now you’ve got some fundamentals on the         process it’s worth considering some of the more nuanced points. Depending on what you are personally attracted to you will nee

Live on the Land, but Not for Too Long by Lydia Sofia

Each new sun brought deep retching, tugging sea-rope from her throat  until it fell away to air. Facing the glass, a grimace as ship-belly fug steams it up. In trying to escape the thing, she fell tongue-first into it each morning gasp-gulping scalding coffee. Tried switching to tea but it’s all bloody pennies. All Bran turns to flakes of bone, splinters pinning palate, safe porridge glooping molten viscera. Trusted tulips looked so alive on a sunny windowsill. Still, they dirtied their water and it took a long time to track down the decay smell. She downs the stagnant water with a belch – these substitutes won’t do for long. --- Lydia Sofia is a writer living in Worcestershire. Recurring themes of magic, nature and transition often appear in her work, and when she isn’t writing she is supporting victims of sexual violence. She’s on Instagram, posting under the following handle: @lydiasofiawrites

Tarmac by Gareth Writer-Davies

like a dinosaur chomping  the miller roars and gouges with iron fangs decayed tarmac spewing  arc-ing residue into the belly of the dumpster the paver waits to smear sticky black spitting tar-flames from a bucket  the crew (thousands of miles in their pockets) ready with rakes compactors and nameless tools   as the hot bitumen  slinks gaps remaining through dusk and dawn until the job is done  tonight I sleep to terrifying thuds and the rattle of plates the house  pitched with the smeltaste of dinosaurs --- Gareth Writer-Davies is from Brecon, Wales. He achievements include: being shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (2014 and 2017); being commended in the Prole Laureate Competition (2015) and Prole Laureate for 2017; being commended in the Welsh Poetry Competition (2015) and Highly Commended in 2017. His publications are:  Bodies (2015) and  Cry Baby (2017), both published by Indigo Dreams;  The Lover's Pinch (2018) and The End (2019) both published by Arenig Press. He was also