Pijush Kanti Deb


Three Haiku


Diplomats can have
a mango or a sorrel
never a jack-fruit.


A flower gets
its beauty and fragrance
from a blissful heart.


Two pockets transact
hidden export and import
under a table.




Pijush Kanti Deb is an Associate Professor in Economics and has had more than 120 poems and haiku  accepted or published by Indian and international publishers since June 2013.  Publications include Tajmahal review, Camel Saloon Blog Spot, E-pao.Net, Dead Snake Blog, Spot, Down in the Dirt, Poetic Monthly Magazine, Poems and Poetry Blog, Gean Tree Haiku Journal,
The Voice Project ,Calvary Cross, Pennine Ink and The Artistic Muse.

Read More

Jayne Stanton




My Cat is Sad

because the late September sun she tracks
across the duvet’s hollow fibre tundra
marks a downturn into winter weight.

because the moon lies drowning
in her water bowl; stars she can’t unpin
refuse to sparkle on her bigger coat.

because she’s lost her sweeter side;
that paintbrush tail runs ever-widening circles
round her whiskers’ under-estimation –

last month’s escape routes hold her back
a little longer with each foiled attempt
to slip a tightening collar.

because she doesn’t know she’s lost
herself: the changeling in a slanted past,
the stranger in tomorrow’s photographs.



Jayne Stanton is a teacher and tutor from Leicestershire.  Her poems appear in various online and print magazines. Her debut pamphlet is forthcoming from Soundswrite Press in autumn 2014.  She blogs at http://jaynestantonpoetry.wordpress.com/ and tweets from @stantonjayne

Read More

Sue Spiers




Call from Hadassah

How was the Safari?
It was amazing,
giraffe and zebra
and those jumpy things
we couldn’t identify
so called them gazantelope.

What’s your hotel like?
It’s like a prison
with bars on the window
but alright really –
cold in the morning and evening,
hot at midday.
The loo is in the shower.

Are you taking the Malaria pills?
Yes! I have a few bites
but no sunburn.
To be frank, I’m not using
the sun-cream or repellent.
It’s winter here,
the kids are wearing jumpers.

How are the kids?
Really friendly and possessive –
not about things,
they’re happy playing with tyres,
about wanting to be with mzungu.
They cling to us.
I’m teaching them about sharing.




Sue Spiers lives and writes in Hampshire, her poetry exists on line at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/writing-hampshire and coming soon in The New Writer,  Limerick Nation (Iron Press) and Dawntreaderhttp://www.indigodreams.co.uk The occasional tweet can be found at @spiropoetry.

Read More

James Roome





The Book

“Come, wet book, dearest receiver
of little gifts.
I didn’t believe her
when she said you would lift
the world a little closer.

“I carried you to the sky
on wings, sprouted
from my cyclops eye.
Together, we scouted
hills and valleys, alive

“with muttering
trees.” Book became
autumn leaves.

The Clear

In this dream
I am several – a wren
smuggled in the plumes of an eagle –
the calling of men
through morning’s dull.

We rise, clear
over land and sea,
over veils cast, sheer,
suspended by cities,
over the lull

of Stratosphere,
of sleep.

The Cyclops

I slew Gogmagog with an endless sword
of rain.

I vaulted the ocean’s deepest rifts, clothed only
in weeds.

I reached beneath the meadow of stars, withdrew
a shining gift –

a stone, red in evening, cool as a pillow
by an open window.

And now I reach for the hand, limp in sleep, buried
in the hair of time,

its fingers curled, as if beckoning
my circle eye.



James Roome is a poet and teacher from Manchester. He believes in grass, trees, sky, hair, and Belgium. Further than that, he can’t say

Read More

Pauline Sewards





Born old
as fairytale, I believed,
villages lived
in the broken throated burr
of your voice

I heard the tall tale of the needle,
carelessly dropped,
that made a decade long journey
through your shin

You lived in a tin house
in a  field.
you fetched water each day
from the mile away

You lived in a thatched house
with pigeons under the eaves
a smell of paraffin
in the only room
you could afford to heat

You lived in grandmother’s house
where sugardrunk in my under-table den
I watched  your daughter lift you,
with her nurse’s arms
A kite of rags.



Pauline Sewards lives in Bristol and works in health care. She has been published in anthologies and magazines including Loose Muse, South Bank Poetry, Domestic Cherry, Ariadne’s Thread and online at :

Read More

Thomas McColl




For assuming that I am the most important person in the human race, the gods have announced demotion of my I to lower case.

i have not been told when this will take place, but by stating that, i realise now there is no need. i have begun my sentence in the previous sentence.

The gods and Descartes in Nirvana have decreed i think (only of myself), therefore i am (no longer denoted by a capital i).

i cannot hear the difference, but i can see the gods have made me half the i i used to be.

i, Claudius. Damn! The gods are not fooled by an alias.

How vain must e.e. cummings have been, to pay so dearly for his crime?

The gods have informed me i will be allowed an exclamation mark for good behaviour while i am serving out my time.

An i followed by an exclamation mark is almost a capital i, just once removed.

As soon as my application to be the most important person in the human race has been approved, i’ll demand back my capital i complete with exclamation mark as compensation, so everyone can clearly see the gods at last are pleased with me.



Thomas McColl has recently been published by Bare Fiction, Smoke, the Belleville Park Pages, the Next Review and Geeked, and also came 2nd in 4’33 Magazine’s 60 second story contest. He has a twitter account: @ThomasMcColl2

Read More

John Grochalski




the garden of gethsemane

i can taste
the first of a few scotches

i think two weeks away from a job
a man can get too used to freedom

but one day back can strip it all away
and leave his dignity hanging by the noose

and then she comes in

she looks like the nun
who taught me all the way back in eighth grade

this old hen who used to torment me
with declarations of hell

because i never bought into the bullshit
never accepted that sad imp jesus
as my one and only savior

so i take an instant dislike to this woman

i don’t appreciate her smile
it has a reverent smugness to it
safe in the knowledge that she’s always right

always stuck talking to assholes like me

and, oh, how i can taste that first scotch
one little, two little, three little scotches

she asks me for help
schedules, tax forms, reading recommendations
for genres that i don’t give a shit about

and there is under five minutes left in this work day

when i look at my watch
she asks me if i have somewhere else to be

i tell her yes, it’s called my life

i tell her the sun has gone down on my benevolence
and now it’s time for the real me to rise again

she says but isn’t the customer always right

not in my tree, i say

and then i go to shut off the lights in the building
so i can spend the night forgetting myself
letting my liver make love to a bottle of clan macgregor

four little, five little, six little scotches

she just stands there
that smile still plastered across the face
like that old nun before she’d tip over my desk
or kick me out of her classroom for a week

i give her one last look and think fuck it
i let my river of alcoholic bliss take me away

as a final salutation this woman calls me lazy
and storms out of the building

then i pop the first switch

i let each light click off slowly
until the whole space is dark and silent
devoid of nearly all flesh but my own

finally holy

after all of the hours that it tangled
with my mortal coil

and made a sacrifice of my soul.



John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and the forthcoming collection of poetry, Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street, 2014).  Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he constantly worries about the high cost of everything.

Read More