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Showing posts from July, 2020

Education by John Short

We drained an hour of madness   from the Alpine souvenir jug - sniffed a blast of varnish remover, a posse of parents gathered furious as peasants at a monster’s castle; a penalty hour for each of my ten years. Next week another kid kicks our front door in and there’s trouble. Sentence this time house arrest. But weekends, packs of superheroes terrorised the area, trampling flowers and fighting in the street, until my mother sent me away to a better school where I endured their scorn for need of education. --- John Short lives near Liverpool after many years in Europe. He is widely published, most recently in South Bank Poetry, London Grip, Poetry Salzburg, Sarasvati and The Blue Nib. In 2018 he was a Pushcart nominee and his pamphlet Unknown Territory is due out from Black Light Engine Room Press next week. He blogs sporadically at (Tsarkoverse). x

True Crime by Sharon Phillips

If there was music it was a chart hit, spilling from a bar’s open door. She might have smelled fag smoke and beer. No lights were slanted to gloss her blonde hair or the swell of her breasts, no microphone picked up the echo of her steps. No-one offered her a lift so she didn’t turn it down or, later on, wish she’d said yes; if anyone saw her pass by, nobody took any notice. --- Sharon gave up writing poetry in 1976 and started again forty years later, after her retirement. In between, she brought up two children and worked as a teacher and manager in post-16 education. Sharon's poems have been published on line and in print, most recently in  Poetry Birmingham, Snakeskin, About Larkin  and  Poetry in Public. 

Samos Boat Trip by Sarah L Dixon

Shock of salt water in a mouth that opened too soon. The balm of cucumber The buoyancy of swimming  in open ocean A wedge of watermelon saturated in sweetness. The sensation of being nowhere on your back where all is sky.  Aniseed warmth of Ouzo adds to the August heat of the Aegean Sea --- Sarah L Dixon lives in Linthwaite. Adding wax patterns to Wednesday was released by Three Drops Press in 2018. Her first book, The sky is cracked , was released by Half Moon Press in 2017. Sarah’s inspiration comes from being in and by water and adventures with her son, Frank. More information can be found at:

Sorting by Clint Wastling

When I walk by The White Horse and Griffin on Whitby’s old Church Street  I remember trinkets found when mum downsized to a retirement flat. She snatched the box from me.  You can’t throw that! This will give you some idea of our task: place card holders, a receipt for grandparent’s honeymoon  dated 1935, confetti, a tarnished lapel pin. Throwing away the past can be cleansing, can be painful, always a little loss and if we are preservers of the past then I am growing toward mother’s view: let others decide,  let the future obliterate. Letters read again, photos seen, all the love there was evidenced in all the love there’s been, spent in a million kisses a hundred thousand wishes preserving all that’s gone before. Names from this box of trinkets. Now when I walk by The White Horse and Griffin On Whitby’s old Church Street, I remember that hotel bill and pause-- my grandparents walked through these doors took their honeymoon he

I know who he is but do not know him by Gareth Culshaw

I watch him walk in the fag ash wind. He smiles with his eyebrows at a neighbour, then talks with a brie tongue. He has a woodpecker stance holds his hands in his pockets to keep them safe from the fruit machines in pubs. He once had a wife and two kids but lost them in a game of poker. I know he drives a bin wagon each morning before the school gates open. In the morning I hear him cough out toothpaste in the garden, then watch him clean his ears with the beak of a sparrow he catches in a net. He rolls a newspaper on the garden wall, paints a cigarette between his lips, swigs a can of cola. His burp is a tenon saw on wood. He taps the neighbour on the shoulder and walks away with plumb bob straightness. --- Gareth lives in Wales. He has two collections by FutureCycle called The Miner & A Bard's View. He has been Nominated for Best of the Net and won his first poetry competition at the RS Thomas Festival 2019. More information on Gareth and his work can be