Kyle Garon




Face Shades with The Moon

It came to me as a vision
out from the winter cold,
to my belief
I find it to be real.
On a night
with the moon pale
as the river dipped in silver ink.
Before is the forest
bared to soot and ash
reek numb and loneliness,
while streams of mists
flay over my eyes,
just a flicker of the hand
hinders at its touch.
I’m draped in a feathery cloak
and the rest is shadow
except my face,
it shades with the moon.
Gesturing behind myself
a murder of crows
face to the mist
with warm radiance reflecting,
one perched
its juicy red eye leveled with mine.
Ahead, figure with scents of reapers
scale to the frost covered trees
and decaying grass,
stems of their claws
burn ever slowly to rot.
They’ve stolen the face
of dead old men,
hollow sleepy eyes fixed on me.
Limping wave, the crows descend
into a feathery whirlpool,
watching each fall.
Fade out into morning,
walking through haze of drunkenness,
a crow on the porch
drops a red sun marble.






Kyle Garon has grown up in a small town, South Lake Tahoe. While growing up didn’t know how to express himself, finally finding his talents in poetry. Everyday his passion keeps on growing and never gives up.

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Phil Vernon




In shade is cold. I face the railway bank.
Each fresh wet blade of lawn is trimmed.
Birdsong, a distant plane and muffled train
Augment the silence. Topmost limbs

Of the tallest oaks and sycamores are lit.
Coffee drifts from the dew-damp table.
A robin hops and pokes the shadowed soil
Beneath the feather-leaf maple.

I name my flowers: foxglove, poppy, rose…
Dew pools like mercury, on watertight
Nasturtium leaves. In measureless time, I find
The perfect rhyme, and summer light

Begins to peel the coverlet of day,
Slips effortlessly down the bank towards me
Brightening, and creeps across the grass
To touch my feet; abruptly warms me.
From Sunday’s topical TV,
Vox populi intrudes in drifts
Of sound, insisting lazily
On infiltrating all the gifts

Of silence, time and space I’ve nursed.
Its current casually blows
The floating phrases into verse –
Though scarcely quickening their prose.
‘… So why should I work hard to pay
For them to sit around all day?’
‘The vulnerable need our care –
I’m more than proud to pay my share.’
‘They take us for a bunch of fools:
‘If they live here, they follow our rules.’
‘Well I, for one, just don’t subscribe
To the kind of Britain you describe.’

While claiming depth, each voice defines
Itself in shallow tones as pro
Or con – as though to part from lines
Already drawn would be to throw

Away the comfort of deceit
And live in panicked fear – and swells
With self-reflection to repeat
Ideas which paraphrase themselves.
… afraid of synthesis, we stand around
The tree which grew within the forest while
We looked away, and each in different style
Describes the contours of its bole and crown,

The spiny fruits in which its seeds are found,
Its leaves and inch-long thorns… And thus profile
The traits we see, but make no common trial
Of whether it will heal or harm our ground.

Though God, alarmed by Nimrod’s tower, to tame
Us gave each tribe a language only He
And they could speak, His trick was not to name
A multiplicity of tongues, but the
Illusion that within a single tongue,
By sharing words, we share a lexicon.



Phil Vernon lives in Kent in the UK, where he returned in 2004 after two decades in various parts of Africa. He works as an advisor on peacebuilding and international development. He mainly writes formal poetry, finding the interaction with pre-established patterns of rhythm and rhyme can lead in surprising directions. His poems have been published in numerous magazines, journals and websites, and been shortlisted in competitions. A micro-collection, This Quieter Shore, was recently published by Hedgehog Poetry Press. Some of his published work can be found on his website

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Eloise Unerman




Divorce for Dummies

Our divorce was a collection of digestive
biscuit meetings, the formalities of splitting
our elaborate throw cushion collection, who
would have the kids – a pair of ugly goat
mugs neither of us wanted but neither of us

would give away. I felt like we should’ve
been arguing over his Range Rover, yelling
across the drive about custody of some
annoying purse dog, spilling all our dirty
secrets onto the counsellor’s desk. All you do

is nag, nag, nag, he’d say. I’d flip my hair
and glare at him from behind obnoxious
black sunglasses, then launch into a rant
about how much I hated the hair he leaves
in the shower drain. I wanted to break

things, start rumours, invite friends over
to throw darts at pictures of him and refuse
calls from my retired in-laws. Instead
I felt like you do when you go shopping
but don’t find anything on your list.




Eloise Unerman is a writer based in South Yorkshire who writes poetry and short stories, and attends Rotherham Young Writers. She was awarded the Cuckoo Young Writers Award 2017 and was Young Poet in Residence at Ledbury Poetry Festival 2018.

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Pe​nny Ayers




Midnight at the Optician’s

After hours, in the dark,
the shop watches itself.
Frames on racks

ranged in rows —
plastic, titanium, rimless —
try to outstare each other.

The couple in the poster
by the door gaze dreamily through
spectacles far out to sea,

don’t blink, not even in the sudden strafe
of headlights from the street.
Dazzle flick-searches the shadows,

uncovers no secrets.
The computer on the receptionist’s desk
maintains a vacant stare.

The letters on the charts
in the examination room don’t spell a message
for the great globe of eye on the wall,

with its blue curve of iris
its map of blood vessels.
Faraway, the optician turns in her sleep,

squints through the lenses of her dreams.
A drunk stumbles in the doorway,
releases a stream of light onto the step.





Pe​nny Ayers lives in Cheltenham. She has won prizes in the Wells Festival of Literature International Poetry Competition and the Cardiff International Poetry Competition 2013 and has been published in Brittle Star, The Dawntreader and ArtemisPoetry. She helps run the Gloucestershire Writers’ Network.

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Skendha Singh is our IS&T Pick of the Month Poet for November 2018


We have all been there. And that is why Skendha Singh’s simple yet effective, still yet biting, accessible yet intense poem ‘Dear -‘, punctuating the end of a relationship, is the IS&T Pick of the Month for November 2018.

Skendha graduated with an M.Litt in Writing Practice and Study from the University of Dundee and has been writing and editing, since then, for her bread and butter. She currently lives in Delhi.

Skendha has asked that her £10 ‘prize’ be donated to the Scottish Wildlife Trust.


Dear –

or, maybe not dear. Or dear, as addressed
to an editor, an employer, a stranger one has
business with. But, not a stranger, intimate –
like an ex, but not estranged, close
as a friend, watchful like a long-nosed
You are too heavy a consequence. I spin
into you at the blind corner of each second, all
my paper bags ripped, my 200 mill
bottles of wishful thinking broken, spilling liqueurs
on the pavement.
And you rend my list of family and friends.
Elbow me in the gut then grab my shoulder. No, stop
bending over me in kind courtesy and offering
to pick up my things, to drop me home in that Eagle
wagon of yours which won’t ever brake at the bend.
You tip full cups down the drain,
and leave your scent lingering.

I’m done.

Come and pick up your things. Not tomorrow. Now.
As you read this, I’m blotting the echoes
of yesterday, all the old voices, like bat
droppings in the basement.
Boxing up the old clothes, my parkas, plaid shirt
socks: they never made me feel invisible, anyway.
I’ve folded your dark clouds, your damp of rain
You’ll find them piled on the balustrade.

But I’m taking the jokes that no one else gets.
And if you seek therapy, we might
go camping, with flasks of coffee, cling to clefts
of light culling the canopied woods. We might even
become friends when I can call you solitude.





Voters’ comments included:

A stillness, and so many layers of emotion! Beautiful.

This poem compelled me to read on and into it. It has a great rhythm and is incredibly unique in style. I Love the way it bites!

Very intense [and] different

I enjoy how accessible this poem is, and its turns.

This poem really resonated with me.

Very emotional and experienced expression

The imagery and voice

… She is very talented and very natural….

I liked the poem and [wanted] to appreciate and motivate a budding writer

From the poet’s heart

Deep, Profound, yet abstract, in style. Subtle yet forces vivid imagery sans colours but those with emotions, feelings and under the layer one’s private voice in the head. It could mean different things to different people, yet effectively establishing an introspective and reflective connect…Great piece, fresh and bold piece.


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Sonam Chhoki




in my diary
the guava blossom
you picked
has lost its fragrance


scent of pine duff
I still walk
our favourite slope to watch
paddy ripening in the fields


heads thrown back
a pair of black-necked cranes
fling their call to the sky
I hope they will never know
the keening cry of separation


stars coursing
in the statuary pines
I no longer pray
but now embrace
solitude in your absence



Sonam Chhoki finds the Japanese short form poetry resonates with her Tibetan Buddhist upbringing.  She is inspired by her father, Sonam Gyamtsho, the architect of Bhutan’s non-monastic modern education and by her mother, Chhoden Jangmu, who taught her: “Being a girl doesn’t mean you can’t do anything.” She is the principal editor and co-editor of haibun for the United Haiku and Tanka Society journal, cattails.

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