Penny Shutt




Covalent Bonding 


In the end I couldn’t compete

with the intermolecular pull that drew you to her.


Me, the less reactive one – bookish, inert,

our bond replaced by her sizzling reactivity.

The day I overheard in the common room

that the reaction had occurred, that’s when I knew

I had been displaced, that your inner shell

now brimmed with stability.


I failed chemistry that year.

She was in lower Sixth

and from the back row of the re-sits

I watched the outline of her flimsy bra strap

undulate across her shoulder blades

as she leaned in close to the desk,

and I tried not to imagine how familiar

you now found her otherness.


Even your names possessed a hidden consonance,

as though your fates were held suspended somehow

in molecular design. 
A force stronger than us both

let you take those atoms from me

and give them to her,

leaving my one remaining electron

quaking in its outer shell.



Dr. Penny Shutt is a poet and psychiatrist who writes in secret in between patients on her NHS laptop and runs poetry therapy workshops in her spare time. Some of her poems can be found at and she tweets @drpennyshutt.

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Leslie Philibert





Tough-wood and feather
half in flight ;
bent as a dark fork.

The late of the year
spots her with blood berries
crouching against the wind.

The blasted daughter of the high North,
tryst with the harsh sleet,
dark as a blind splinter.





Leslie Philibert is a London-born poet living in Germany. After studying English Literature he moved to Bavaria where he works as a social worker. His poems have been published in magazines in the UK and USA.

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Gareth Spark



A picture of the Carrer Pescadors

A photo of my old street, in the rain;
Sandstone grim, the summer’s sudden
Treachery marked upon it
As knuckles dent a cheek.

I can feel the weight of that sky
Wet treasure, and the trees, pushed by
The downpour
Over the shining street’s mirror
Are like wet-haired dancers

Exhausted and weeping
In the storm’s dark.



Gareth Spark’s short fiction and poetry appears widely on- line and in the small presses. He reviews poetry for Fjords Review, among others.  He lives and works in Whitby, Yorkshire, and his latest collection is Snake Farm (Electraglade Press).

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John Kaniecki





I was watching
Bruce Lee
He was twirling
His nunchucks
With such blinding speed
That it was a whirl
Like formless vapor
A man was standing
Exactly three feet away
In his trembling mouth
Was a cigarette
Bruce did a back flip
Several kicks into the air
And then swung
His deadly weapon
Knocking the cigarette
Out of the man’s mouth
And after careful
I said to myself
“What a waste of a smoke”




John Kaniecki is a member of the Revolutionary Poet’s Brigade and Secretary for Rhyming Poet’s International. John volunteers as a missionary in the inner city of Newark, New Jersey, for the Church of Christ at Chancellor Avenue. John is active in the antiwar movement. In particular John is a strong advocate of the rights of indigenous people. He has three published books: A poetry book entitled Murmurings of a Mad Man by eLectio Publishing and a science fiction story collection entitled Words of the Future  andPoet to the Poor, both published by Witty Bard Publishing.

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Helen Calcutt




Lamp in paperfields
and in the sky, a compression of long halls.

Do you know how sudden you are
how sad? Sadness being air
or soft fly of a thing
over dark houses.

The sad dying voice of the bird
is my dying voice

We are the poem – Look
our heads, tongues
drag with the old clock.

This is how it has to be.
The shadows dancing on the eaves
know our trick

of being one thing

when you lower the lamp
of your voice
my mouth rises to its light,
I dilate under your finger-tones,

if you fall the moon will step down
and hold you close.




Helen Calcutt is an English poet choreographer and dance artist. Associated with the traditions of European verse, her work has received global publication, featuring in journals such as Equinox , The London Magazine, The Salzburg Review, Poetry Scotland, and The New Yorker. She is founder of radical contemporary project écriture corporelle  – a ‘bodily writing’ which launched at the internationally acclaimed Poetry International Festival in July 2014. The project is set to tour extensively across the UK in 2015. She is the author of  Sudden rainfall her first collection of poetry, published by experimental English publishing house Perdika Press.



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G. David Schwartz




I Say This For All The Guys

I say this for all the guys
Who lost a love and got surprised
This happens to most everyone
And I can tell you boys, she is dumb





G. David Schwartz – the former president of  Seedhouse, the online interfaith committee. Schwartz is the author of A Jewish Appraisal of Dialogue (1994) and Midrash and Working Out Of The Book (2004).  Currently a volunteer at The Cincinnati J, Meals On Wheels.   His newest book, Shards And Verse (2011) is now in stores or can be order on line.

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Roberta James





Kitchen grease grimed you into blinds,
their venetian slats. With bowls of steaming
hot water, dirt-cut of citrus fresh, I wipe you
off wood, window panes, all the frames.
I vacuum sofas dusted with your skin,
run my finger across the table surface,
carve a curve in its soft skim, stare
at the new space, its intricate trace.
I am the mover of fluff that floats,
piles to the floor, dances in a draught.
I brush it up, shake dusters and brooms
out the back.  Cells billow, catching a gust.
The wind shifts unseen. Nothing remains,
but me.




Roberta James’ poems have been published in magazines and she was on board of Magma Poetry for 10 years. She works in television and tweets at @robertawriter

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