Ralph Monday




Nocturne by Tea

You sit alone on the deck, under the night stars
that stir no romantic wonder, just dim night lights
that fade with day as everything does. They may
as well be lamps studded to the firmament as the
ancients believed, or icy little guideposts pointing
backwards to where you were, forward to where
you must go. The time could be winter, uncertain,
for certainty vanished with youth, the unknowing
expansion of the universe. Animals make noises
out in the dark, they as definite as melting glaciers,
where both will dissolve with morning, the way
a marriage thaws when the plug is pulled from the
refrigerator. You observe all this, not as some chewed
oracle in the grave, but through the conviction of hot
green tea that remains warm as you are warm, each
sip a liquid memory stored by taste buds. Curiously,
you listen to sounds never heard that merge together
as clouds—low throat rumble of a train, car horns,
distant laughter, an owl’s nocturnal song, the coyote’s
cry—fused only in illusion, till torn apart by the mind
seeking patterns the way seismic waves are felt but
not seen, the way a teenager pines for love. This
should be a celebration not a censure. You self-reprimand
as though you were a child talking to self,
and indeed wonder if the stars are glued to the sky.




Ralph Monday is an Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN., where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses. He has been published widely in over 50 journals including The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Fiction Week Literary Review and many others.  His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Houghton Mifflin’s “Best of” Anthologies, as well as other awards. A chapbook, All American Girl and Other Poems, was published in July 2014.

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Lesley Quayle




The Woman Who Drank Us Up

She was the woman who drank us up,
gripped us in her graveyard grasp and drained us,
until we were almost uncreated, loose skin and slack bones.

She was the woman who smeared our lids with honey
until blisters, sugar pink and sweet the way she liked, frosted views,
extinguished stars, volcanoes, whole shining landscapes.

Each day, we were tilted to her lips, a flawless set, to be unfilled,
she swallowed us, the bitter juices, iron blood, the frothy head,
savoured her duty in the way that martyrs nurse small flames.

She was the woman who pulled down moons to make candles,
pressed them in hot wax to lock in light,
who even sipped the perfect dark of dreaming.



Lesley Quayle is a poet, author and folk/blues singer.  Her most recent collection Sessions was published by Indigo Dreams Press. She is currently working on another collection and a novel.

Note: This poem won second prize in Second Light Competition and appeared in Parents anthology

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Witty Fay





The combustion process
Begins with your eyes
Scorching one layer of my cells,
On a wet day
That keeps us into each other.
My heart beats loudly thud!
Or is the thug in the folds
Of me that curls around
The fingertips and the saltiness?
When the burn melts away,
I stick my arms into the damp dusk
To tickle the moon under the yellow chin
And its laughter shatters star dust
On the likes of us
And we end up glittering,
Like a pair of scantily-clad quinces,
On the sill of a stolen day.



Witty Fay is a translator by trade and a humanist by nature. She has been writing herself into her poems for some time into the virtual world at www.iexile.com, www.allpoetry.com  , www.scriggler.com  , www.destinypoets.co.uk ,www.writerscafe.org,  www.poetrysoup.com  and www.versewrights.co . Also, she proudly had her first bilingual volume of poetry, Nefelibata  (Brian Brixon Books, 2014), published and she is aiming at unraveling prose. Wearing the many hats of the aspiring poet/writer, she draws influences from the people she meets, the places she travels, the books she reads, and the movies she watches.

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Clive Donovan



And as I Wait I Tremble

These plates are floating, though I know
They shouldn’t be.
The buildings lean in, lowering
Over the street.
Cobbles rush their ancient patterns.
Windows are eyes, but
Lashless. Their cords rattle
And the dancing stars crowd down
Like lemmings
In the dark ink-blue.

I wait for you
In this raffish café
At the edge of town.

Thin, the moon, poignant, thin,
Its blade cuts at my heart.
And I think you may be late.



Clive Donovan is a full-time writer of poetry and has had many poems published in a variety of U.K. poetry magazines. He lives in Totnes in Devon and has yet to make a first collection.

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Kitty Coles





All day, you scurry about with your little net,
like a hunter of moths, things of darkness,
duplicitous fire.  You are diligent
in your efforts.  You search them down
and slaughter them on the spot, steadfast and efficient.

The house hums with your work. Their black blood
is scentless.  You scrub it from the floors.
The wood wears thin.  I rest on the sofa.
You bring me lemon water.  You wrap me in blankets.
I am only warm when you hold me.

All night, the wind slathers the house
in wet, throws leaves like the plumage
of tropical birds at the windows.
You sleep, so I become the one who hunts.
I keep myself awake by speaking your name.

Waking, you say I’m pale, my eyes
are bruised by my vigils.
I am earning my place here. Some day
I will deserve you.   My body quivers,
waiting for your flame.



Kitty Coles has been writing poetry since she was a child but only submitting it for publication in the last few years.  Her poems have appeared in magazines including Mslexia, Iota, Obsessed With Pipework, Brittle Star and The Interpreter’s House.

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Michael Loveday





gathering my eight lives –
the bridge, my balcony

burying my eight lives –
the tunnel, my stairwell

guarding my eight lives –
the road, my roof

remembering my eight lives –
the tightrope, my window



Michael Loveday lives in Southwest Hertfordshire and teaches adults in lifelong education. His pamphlet He Said / She Said was published in 2011 by HappenStance Press.

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Ali Lewis




photographs from our holiday in bed

this is
the night we slept how mathematicians draw an ‘x’
the night we lay facedown smug as pocket aces
the night we peeled apart like pitta from itself
the night I was ampersand and you were treble clef
the night we were paper figures strung across the bed
the night our bodies framed a question asked in Spanish
the night you coiled yourself into a burning ear
the night you unravelled like a Danish or a fern
the night we were the ‘t’s in ‘better’
the night that I was seat and seatbelt
the night that you were cloak and broach
the night that I was scarf and snowshoes
the night we slept like harboured boats
the night we were coil and core of a magnet
the night we were strawberry and lime in a Twister
the night our hips were a painting of hills
the night we slept like the logo of Kappa
the night we were stacked like strata in clay
the night the bed wore its sheet off the shoulder
the night you led from your hand to mine
the nights we fashioned from day



Ali Lewis is a 24-year-old writer and tutor from Nottingham. He graduated from Cambridge in 2012 and now lives in Peckham. His work has been published in The Cadaverine. He tweets @ali_b_lewis.

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