Stefanie Bennett




Evensong  for Philip Levine  

On leaving heaven
At road’s end,
And the light

- The primary colours
Each step
Of the way

Like the red-tailed

‘Letting him down,




Stefanie Bennett has published several volumes of poetry, a libretto, and a novel. Over 40 years she has acted as a publishing editor and worked with Arts Action for Peace. Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Queensland, Australia, in 1945

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David Subacchi





Every year he paints his fence green
One of the strongest shades
A fierce, military green
It marks the limits
Wooden panels, concrete posts
Overlooked by security lighting

Behind lies his garden
A paradise of greenery
Maintained lovingly
Adorned with flowers
Of every description
Once when he was away
I watered them

And I admired the beauty
And symmetry of it all
Taking care to allocate water
To the hanging baskets
In accordance with instructions
And to rewind the hose
Most carefully

Back at my weed choked corner
With its irregular hedges
And fading timber
I sit brooding on a plastic chair
Open another bottle
Light a cigar
Think unkind thoughts.





David Subacchi lives in Wrexham, North Wales.  He was born in Aberystwyth of Italian roots and Cestrian Press has published two collections of his poems. ‘First Cut’ (2012) and ‘Hiding in Shadows’ (2014).
He is a member of Chester Poets and Liverpool’s Dead Good Poets.  For more information click here   Twitter@DavidSubacchi

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Tom Wiggins




The Love Troll

It knew of the unknowable distance
that grew between us,

but God knows how it got there -
one day it wandered in,

pinned its tenancy
to the inside of my chest

and sat there, observing,
oblivious to nothing.

It was a keen musician,
keeping tempo with my tempo,

slept when I slept,
read when I read.

I continued as normal
amid the newness of letting go

with an awareness of it
that snuck past definition.

Once, on the way to college,
I saw its reflection

holding steady in the window
of a passing train

and I found a privilege
to the age I was present in.

It ended its stay at the next stop,
but before it was lost to the crowd,

it looked back
and we smiled to each other

knowing that the dialogue
between me and you -

however unspoken -
would continue.

And that was the last
I saw of it

without ceremony
but with rhythm in its shoes.




 Tom Wiggins  is a 28 year-old writer from Gloucester.  He is an amateur antique dealer and student studying stone masonry in Bath.  He tweets @thewigginsboy.

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Oliver Comins


End of an Afternoon

Slow drift?  Or a snow drift?
We were watching a skein of geese
crossing the salt marsh, in-bound
from The Netherlands, perhaps,
or Lincolnshire.  Their strong wings
kept them just a little beneath
the wind and enough above the reeds
to land, finally, in the willows’ lee –
a small flat space we knew well,
where, during an earlier visit,
we’d seen otter pups playing.

One moment, the afternoon to come
was long and the sky was large
with flat-land light.  The next,
we only had grey clouds darkening
the air and a smear of snow
flittering across our eyes.
The geese, too, fell silent and we
packed our chairs and glasses.
Walking home, our deep-soled boots
pressed snow and mud into mush
on a path alongside the fen.

Oliver Comins lives and works in West London.  Recent work published in Poetry Review, Scintilla and The Rialto as well as on-line in Meniscus.  Yes to Everything received a Templar Poetry Portfolio Pamphlet award and was published in Spring 2015.

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Stephen Philip Druce




The Bird Man

He talked to
himself -
softly but
and with crooked
finger he pointed
imitating a
flying bird, moving
his hands like

I was glad
to watch him
because I wanted
him to be right -
and he was,
there was something
flying up there.
He smiled – pleased
to be sane enough
to know that birds
fly too.





Stephen Philip Druce is a poet based in Shrewsbury in the UK. He is the creator of Switch Poetry: poems that switch alternatively in sentiment, from the comedic to the melancholic within a single reading. To hear the first audio performance of Switch –

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Lesley Mace








Mice ate Steve’s words. Shredding his manuscript into lettered litter they nested in hard-won phrases, and copulated in the ruins.

Lauren, sick of rustling and scampering, and cruel with sleep-deprivation, set traps in the attic.

In the morning, they climbed the loft ladder together. Eight furry bodies, fattened on his self-diagnosed-genius, lay limp in snapped traps, snarling a bloody-toothed snarl. Lauren dug a hole in the garden.

As the mice and the manuscript rotted, Steve’s head filled with sentences. During the day they murmured in his ears; at night he tossed and muttered as they scrolled across the screen of his dreaming. Lauren receded; the sentences advanced.

Sick of his broken-backed sanity, and cruel with sleep-deprivation, Lauren let them win. He didn’t notice her leaving. He was trying to capture the cold-war-whispering in a notebook, stabbing words into paper with a razor sharpened pencil.





 Lesley Mace is the winner of the 2015 CWA, Margery Allingham Short Story prize. Published in Writers’ Forum, Bewildering Stories and The Boston Literary Magazine. She is an Escalator Award winner, and has received Arts Council funding for her writing.



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Terence Dooley





At the edge of the sky, a dirty pink
scratches at the permagreen –
it isn’t dawn, it isn’t sundown,
it’s late in the daylight, later
in the season of blame.

If life were a featureless plain,
the courier would come galloping
with news from the cities,
at an hour like this
frozen on the clock-face.

Would have already come,
and the tea brewed, and the leaves read,
and the greenjacket crawling,
infinitely slowly,
up the closed window.




Terence Dooley‘s poems and translations from Spanish have been published or accepted in the last year by Ambit, Agenda, Acumen, Poetry London, POEM, The London Magazine, Brittle Star, Long Poem Magazine, Envoi, Dream Catcher, and MPT.

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