Eliot North




My Mother Visits the Dissection Room

She said she wanted to go there.
So I pulled some strings,
read her the rules.
“Sensible shoes?” she said.
“Yes Mother. Plus clothes
you don’t mind ruined.
Fixers, they don’t wash out.
The smell will get you,
but not of death. More chemicals
like wax and rubber.”
But my mother, being my mother
didn’t seem to mind.
Walked right up to the
plastic head,
stuck her hand inside.
“You won’t even know
I’m here,” she said.
Pulled on a dark-blue lab coat.
Watched closely
as I unzipped the body bag,
revealed cavities and cages.
Stood on tiptoes to peer inside,
scribbled in her notebook.
So I placed a stool
three feet away;
her territory and mine.
When the students filed in
they looked at her,
the older woman with colourful shoes.
Whilst I quizzed the students,
she daubed her paints.
At the end they crowded round her.
Admired her line and
brave use of colour
whilst I put the organs back.
As the students left
she called out to them.
“Call me Poppy!” she cried.
They waved from the door.
“Weren’t they interesting?
What a wonderful body,
all those nooks and crannies.”
I slung the heart in a plastic bag.
Looked at my watch
before herding her out.
Then as we went to the door
she turned round and said,
“Shall we say the same time next week?”





Eliot North is a doctor, educator and writer who lives and works in the North East. Commended in the National Poetry Competition 2014, she made The Crab Man into a Filmpoem with artist and filmmaker Alastair Cook. She loves to collaborate.

Author’s Note: My mother has never actually visited the Dissection Room.

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Oliver Armison





1.    There’s not much you can say about hollyhocks.
2.    Or are they foxgloves?
3.    They’re tall, for instance.
4.    Skyscrapers of the garden.
5.    And they always appear in June.
6.    Like big, extravagant yardsticks for the extended daylight hours.
7.    Yardsticks with bells on.
8.    Those bells, though.
9.    Noteless until the bees arrive.
10.    Now kiosks serving free nectar.
11.    Soup kitchens doling out nectar.
12.    With blotches on the floor.
13.    Or leprous tablecloths.
14.    Or mouths that speak the bees like poems.
15.    The blotches hint the roots might tap Hell.
16.    In summary, pleasantly tall, with flowers.
17.    That are a bit disturbing on the inside.
18.    But that doesn’t seem to bother the bees.
19.    They clamber in, the blotches show them
20.    where to plant their feet.
21.    they may mythologize Death as a long blotchy tunnel
22.    with nectar at the end.





Having written poetry for several years, Oliver Armison has  finally decided it may be of interest to someone else. He lives and works in Liverpool.

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Aashna Nagpal



Somewhere on the moon

I have been trying to decipher your thin smile,
a shaky bridge between your ears. Those eyes,

slits- blocking away the truth, with a look of
longing, search for stars beyond your skin. The way

you chaliced your palms when it rained, like the
trees- letting the cuts of fate wash away, gladly.

How you blocked out the buildings with your hands
and with one eye open, looked at the way the sky

would be without them. I like the way how you
always talk about the moon, as if you have been

there, as if you found love there. Those amethyst
flowers you used to keep under your cotton sleeves,

have been growing inside me since the day you left.
The skin of the earth peels as I run away from

autumn- the season you detested unlike the
touch of horse’s mane against your cheeks.

I can only yearn to see you wading through
the lake in the valleys of Kashmir, where the

unclad trees pray for me to pass by them-
for a blow of air against their rotten wounds.

Only if you had known that the moon never
showed itself again, since that night. I know

you would come back if I told you that I can’t
reach to the place where I am headed to,

without your fingers pointing towards
that part of my soul, which I can call home.




Aashna Nagpal is a seventeen year old studying at The Heritage School, India. Her poems have appeared in Canvas, Teenage Wasteland Review and elsewhere. She has been yearning for a pet since she was six. Her poems strive to either bring serenity to the reader or stir an inner conflict through her attempts at deciphering human emotions. For her, poetry happens either in emptiness or in the middle of complete chaos.

Note: Somewhere on the moon was originally published in Teenage Wasteland Review

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Oliver Comins




Some Data and a Little Insight
There’s no one here whose heart is still to break
– Roddy Lumsden after Po Chü-i

No-one’s heart in that room is waiting
to be broken for the first time and no-one
is standing here, among the quiet men,
whose long souls have begun to shrink
in a polite manner.  Scars healing create
the same effect, by slow tightening
as the initial wound begins to dry.
In another place, to which reference
was made earlier, cardiographic studies
have shown how hearts not damaged
are so rare it is quite possible that they,
statistically speaking, may not exist at all.




Oliver Comins lives and works in West London.  Recent work in South Bank Poetry, The Emma Press Anthology of Age, IS&T, Axon and London Grip.  Two pamphlets published by Templar Poetry in 2015 Yes to Everything and Staying in Touch.

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Holly Magill




Lit up

They lift sweetie-sharp glow-stars
on tips of licked fingers, glue
them, neon scabs, to the inside
of her skull – she is lit.

Colour-studded, so damned
pretty – a reverse Easter egg
for the cracking.

The grit-stars shoot all night:
there is no off-switch, no plug
to pull, no wire to cut.
Her skin chafes
tender-tasting every grain
as her eyes roll back in her head.





Holly Magill is from Worcestershire. Her poetry has appeared in various publications, including Lunar Poetry, The Stare’s Nest and The Emma Press anthology of Mildly Erotic Verse. She prefers cats and strong tea to most things.

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Stefanie Bennett




PSALM 72   

Since we’ve ‘bitten
The dust’
Our jaws have
The most





Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry, a novel, & a libretto. Of mixed ancestry [Irish/Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Qld., Australia. Stefanie’s latest poetry collection The Vanishing 2015 can be found on Amazon

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