William Bridge





Her grave lay under the rosebush.
We planted her first
and by her parents’ hands
the rosebush followed shortly after.

Rather than heavy black straps
we used umbilical white ribbon
to lower her into
the three foot grave.

We left the ribbon in the earth
along with early spring daffodils,
scattered purple petals
and a solitary red rose.

The small wooden cross
became the arrow pointing
into the earth,
to their fourteen month loss.



William Bridge has worked as a Funeral Director for many years and is now based in the South West. When not working or writing poetry he enjoys real ale.

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Alexandra Strnad






Your hair thick as mooring rope –
I wound it round my hand

pulled your body close,
walking kept us warm

on the spider-silk threads
of a ploughed field

the oak and horse chestnut
compassed their last leaves –

like old women with rosaries
sending hail Marys to a stern

Atlantic squall, we pressed
against the broken gate

arms and faces set with cold
as autumn’s last frontier

bruised us through our clothes
and nobody could see

through the blackthorn hedge
from our path, so nobody

could know what passed, beyond
the lake soon to be eaten by ice

beyond the redwing’s whistling
call, the herd of fallow deer

in the copse, light-footed as snow.






Alexandra Strnad read English at the University of Cambridge, and graduated with Distinction from the Master’s in Creative Writing programme at the University of Oxford.  In 2014, Alexandra won the Jane Martin Poetry Prize. Her poetry has been published in a range of journals and anthologies.

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Michael Ashley




The congregation of trees

stands with the wind
hoofing its way through their limbs
we kneel beneath
in the dark
in the rich mulch of their clothes
hand in hand
the deep howl of an Atlantic front
above us
pray hard
cos God doesn’t fuck around




Michael Ashley is a full time thinker and occasional writer. He is nearing old and lives in West Yorkshire with his partner, two dogs, two cats, and a couple of spiders. He’s had some success with getting his scrawling shit published. He is currently an editor at www.Poetrycircle.com.

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Ian Clarke





Drug route, gun route-
nappies, cartons and bottles

below griffs and hags.
The moor a midden of shit, ash and offal,

the dead seeping into drains.
And by a cairn a sheep slate-grey

hard up against a gale,
and the road east brake-light red

sliding down the valley’s throat
to Sheffield.




Ian Clarke was born Wisbech, Cambridgeshire and lives in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and is published widely in magazines and anthologies.  Recent collections include A Slow Stirring from Indigo Dreams Press and BARD 132, a broadsheet in a completely different register available from Atlantean Publishing.

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Jody Porter




Café Auteur

On every café commute your Godard eye
transmutes the mannequins of lingerie windows
into beings just like us (with regrets and sorrows and loves).

You command a New Wave brilliance for things
in each of your photographs. I feel terribly mortal
in the company of your beauty.

A melodrama of lipstick upon a cup
with a backdropped fringe of ivy spilling black and white.
An unspecial bird made special mid-flight.

You’re more artist than I will ever be.
Who was it by breaking made
your cinematic heart?





Jody Porter is poetry editor of the Morning Star. His work has appeared in Magma, Best British Poetry and elsewhere. Originally from Essex, he now lives in London where he runs events at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival. This is his website: http://alldeciduousthings.tumblr.com/

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Mark Totterdell




Temple Meads

Beneath vast curves of brick and iron and stone,
I bend towards the small black tablet,
trying to establish a connection.

His works are mighty; the fabled bridge
that spans nothing, the great ship that came home.
Now, everything is shrunk. I search for links.

On an old map it’s shown as simple fields.
There’ll be some story of gods and nature
that a few clicks will find. My finger’s poised.




Mark Totterdell’s poems have appeared in magazines including Ambit, The Interpreter’s House, The Rialto and Stand. His collection This Patter of Traces was published by Oversteps Books in 2014. Website; http://marktotterdell.moonfruit.com

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