Suzanne Jean Johanson



My Small Envies



The girl at the grocery counter

who sees your polite smile.

The extra door key you trust

will be there if you need it.

The spoon you search for

when you need a spoon.

The books anticipated

in your Amazon basket,

and the one from the library

you wish you could keep.

The pen you try to keep track of.

And the alarm you sweep

your thumb over every morning

just to silence it.



Suzanne Jean Johanson lives in a yellow house with a black roof, which if on fire, she’d grab her dappled porcelain pony, her green ceramic elephant and her white-rimmed, dye-cast 1951 Ford truck. She’s been published in Antiphon.

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jr clarke







I’m so glad you came so fast I have never needed you

more it’s time to get this cult on the road you can be the holy

scriptures & I’ll be the minister at the centre like an atom DEAL?

good now go carve yourself up in words we’ve only got this studio

for another hour to get this infomercial down & we need words pronto

Great Big Silly Fairy Story Words now don’t give me that look of course

we can invent a God to sell detergent we can do whatever the hell we want







jr clarke is a poet – poems he has written have appeared on t’internet, sewn into the back of bus seats, & in his spare time he is an amateur hermit.

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Simon Collings



A study in anatomy


If you believe humans have shrunk through history,

that the giant in our troupe is a throwback to an age

of towering heroes, what does that make me?

A creature of the future? An advanced stage

of human development? It gets a laugh. I play

the trumpet with my feet, embroider with my toes.

The crowd gawps in wonder. I tell them, one day

people with limbs will be on display in freak shows.


At one time a heifer with two heads was the star turn

on the bill – both mouths chewing cud. She died

of colic. Now a monkey fills the top position.

He resembles me in size, which attracts the odd snide

remark. Not that I care. If we’re talking similarity,

I’ve seen many a looker-on scratching at his balls.

That jaw cracking a nut, that stooped frame, free-

hanging arms – who’s aping who? They’re animals.


Earlier I had tea with the acquisitive Mr Hunter.

‘Living things have a tendency,’ he said, ‘to deformity.’

He wants my twisted carcass, this connoisseur

of oddities. He talked about ‘variation’ and why

there are so many living creatures. That’s heresy

I told him. He smiled complacently. I like his proposition.

It would be something to help in a future discovery.

Twenty pounds cash. I have no love for this skeleton.





 Simon Collings lives in Oxford, UK. He has published both poetry and short fiction. For more information see 


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Oliver J. Dibben





roman holiday



in my head

you walked

across the sacred squares of Rome,

papal fancies, golden towers

(scraping the inside of my skull)

and on

until the Tuscan Sun

addressed your spine

and wished it good day

caressed your shoulder blades

then stopped,

attention drawn instead

to your doll’s face

as your dull heart

-so pumped full of no mood-

thought nothing of me




Oliver J. Dibben is a poet who works between London and Cordoba

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Iona Milburn





The moon reaches through

the crack in the curtain

to draw on the wall.

‘You do not belong here,’

she says, ‘not unless

you are dreaming.’

‘But they’re expecting me,

I reply, ‘and dreaming

is not allowed.’


I open the front door

and draw a rectangle

over the threshold.

She asks me,

Why are you out here? 

‘I have to,’ I reply, ‘I’m sorry.’

She asks, Where are you going?

‘To work,’ I reply.

But where  are you going? she asks.

‘I don’t know,’ I reply.



Iona Milburn is from Bristol and teaches Religious Studies. She is most inspired to write when by the sea, up mountains or people watching

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Dee Rivaz














Woman Cursing the Moon

(After Miroslav Holub: Man Cursing the Sea)



just climbed to the top of the hill

and started cursing the moon:


stupid moon, stupid fat-faced moon,

fatuous copy of a pregnant belly;

beachcomber mauling the tideline;

creeping ghost of a snail

obscuring the stars with its slimy trail;

anorexic cheese,

starving itself almost to death;

 satellitic sychophant,

trying so hard to be pale and interesting;

trailing around after the sun, sucking in its stomach;

fiddling with the sea, interrogating caves

month after month;

insomniac, playing with itself;


moon, you barren dusty rock of a womb -


So for a while she cursed the moon,

which stroked her head

like an anxious mother.



Then she came down and threw

nettles, oat straw,  skullcap, hips

into the moony pond.


There you are, moon, she said

and went on her way.



Dee Rivaz is a Community Artist in North Wales working from the premise that ‘there is nothing new under the sun’. She uses wild, found and recycled materials to create narratives and poetry in mixed media.

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Thomas Clark




A Hero’s Deith


Still he shidders, an staunds wi his swuird, an threitens,

kiverin wi breuken shield his kist’s remains,

nou, his een are plowt intae infineet shaidae,

spirin frae lips that lin thair hero’s sang.

Faur awa, twa seelent raens watch

The warriour arise wi shaidae weengs.

In the nicht o thae weengs, his een, bricht as day,

as flicht unnertaken, intae the lip o sky.




The Craws


Ower the hime o battle,

An the jargle o warriours,

Passes a slaw beat o weengs;

An oorie craik is haurd

As the twa craws come,

Messengers daurk an divine,

And laund on the shooders o God,

An speak tae his ear.



In Valhalla


A reid hime rings. Shields an spears a-dundert

intae a lang, uncannie rair.

Fae gapin mooths, the bluidy wounds sproot

purpie rivers.

An smuirichs, an lauchter,

An a mort-heid fou

o mead, for whilk

burnin wi fiver, deid warriours thirst.



Thomas Clark is a Glaswegian poet, writer and filmmaker whose work has most recently been featured in Lallans, Southlight, The Eildon Tree, New Voices Press and Dream Catcher amongst others. He can be found at


Note: These poems are free translations into Scots dialect of originals by the Bolivian poet Ricardo Jaimes Freyre.


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