Rob Yates



Encountered a man

‘And I, too, used to carve and serve up
great failures for myself
in youth,’
said the old flapping man.
I met him on a bus
throttling ourselves south to stay warm.
I had bundled sorrowfully
into a corner hoping for silence and majesty
when this tale-teller
accosted me in peace and forced my ears,
‘I, too, have gazed at that frost…’
(indeed, it was cold on the fields)
‘… and shuddered.’
I dozed amidst his talk,
he cawed like all men do,
I was just a tired old bird like him,
dozed and clucked and dozed.




Rob Yates is moving through South-East Asia trying to make his money stretch. He has just finished a first novel, entitled Trumbling Grandsire.

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Nadia Kingsley





You’d have thought
that my journeying

from Telford to London
would be enough time

to read these poems
to darn a jumper

to stare out the window; but
between the announcements

the ticket inspection
the dark-light of tunnels

the loud conversations
the fast-moving humans

our slowing at stations;
all I have managed

is a few short emails, and to watch a man with thick black moustache:
A luggage-rack reflection, he eases off a tinfoilcover, spoons,

with love, the cherry yoghurt, to his lips,
avoiding drips on to suit,

pale pink shirt and, instead of a tie, a thing
whose name escapes me but it hangs like a ribbon, holding his identity.

Once scraped clean, pot put away in Tupperware, tangerine untouched.
It strikes me, later, at a party, where a man is talking lanyards; that

perhaps too, I was watched – with tilted head, and upturned eyes; and
how the train had wrapped us all, like segments in an unpeeled orange.




Nadia Kingsley is a poet and publisher. She is currently collaborating on an Arts Council England funded performance : e-x-p-a-n-d-i-n-g THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE IN 45 MINUTES, in a mobile planetarium dome.

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Roy Moller




And him with his track record -
he should have known to leave school left,
not tag back to the party
on third-hand word of hi-jinks,

an ex-prefect break-in
unlocking the Botanics
for hothouse booze and maybe things
might get a little steamy.

Fully-clothed, he tumbles past
lily pads and sabulous fish;
the fearty swimmer selected
for propelling off the edge.


He should have understood himself
as marked for special treatment
the day they pissed his pacamac
down the poolside toilet.


The awkward lad’s foreign name
had earned him a punch in the belly
as Swimming followed History,
Great War reverberations:

Your granddad kilt my granddad.
But the name is Danish. And why
did you group-gob on my blazer?
They tellt you were adopted.




Edinburgh-born Roy Moller lives in Dunbar, with his wife and son  He is working on his first collection, Imports, to be published by Appletree Writers in December.   Twitter: @RoysterMoller

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Neil Fawcett





I know about stars.
They’re far away
have nocturnal habits
and hide from the day,

and when I lie
hair rasping a pillow of sand
fingers sieving cool grains,
shrinking clumps in each hand,

I can watch them for hours.
Those that drop from black cliffs
falling into forever.
Those that glide over our organic blip

and those that sit still
years above the sky.

Fingers sieving cool sand
the insatiable wet of the world close by.




Neil Fawcett lives in Stockport and writes poems in a scruffy shed at the bottom of his garden. When not in Stockport you’ll find him in Greece, just wandering about.

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Terry Quinn




Two Benches Away

Screaming to a halt,
and I mean screaming,
they fell onto the bench
the wheel chair not suited
to the steep slopes of Criccieth.
They were still laughing
when the rest of them arrived,
residents and carers,
out for more than a stroll
on a promenade flatter than accents.

I held the phone so you could hear voices
full of castles and laughter,
and you said something that surprised me,
something about words,
about the naming of things,
and for a second I was lost,

you said Care and Residential,
and it brought back homes,
the Nursing Homes where my brief visits
would interrupt the routine,
where the armchairs were benches
and the patients were boulders
surrounded by crisps, fag ends
and pools drying in the afternoon sun
with big screen views of Arizona
or a game show from Pebble Mill.
But I did nothing, I did my job,
chased up an extra biscuit,
talked about holidays
and looked the other way.



Terry Quinn was a Medical Engineer before retiring in 2012. His collection The Amen of Knowledge won the Geoff Steven’s Memorial Prize in 2013. He hosts the Arts Scene programme on Preston fm.

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Ann Alexander




Putting out the prayer flags

Can’t pray any more, and so
I let the wind do the praying for me.

I have done with asking God
for favours I have not earned,
promising to be good hereafter.
God will listen to the wind.

I don’t expect the wind to ask for miracles,
only an easy passage for you,
my old ship
creaking out of harbour.

And the flags:
yellow, green, purple, red,
like a sailor’s pennant:
England expects every man.
Farewell, welcome home.





Ann Alexander has published three collections of poetry, Facing Demons and Nasty, British & Short from Peterloo and Too Close from Ward Wood.  She lives in Cornwall.

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David Schmidt




Gun Love

the barrel is so smooth
and it speaks to me
I clean the inside with care
I massage it with fine oil
nothing else makes me feel this secure
my gun goes everywhere with me
I spend many hours each day thinking about it
I know where it is at all times
I panic if I cannot locate it instantly
I brag to others about my gun
I have great pride in my gun
when I have a bad day, I handle my gun
I practice shooting it
the barrel gets so hot
I’ll take it apart and get it clean
I have pictures of it on my page
I have a pet name for my gun
no one will ever take away my gun




David Schmidt is a poet, writer and artist and has had many poems published in online magazines such as IS&T. David is an atheist since no gods have ever been found over the span of history, they all have been proven to have been created by men who are seeking power. Belief, he says, is antithesis to reality.

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