Lewis Buxton




I stand on one of the groynes
as if posing for an album cover
behind me in the cold arcade   coins
drop into penny falls     it is December

and everyone is losing because      whatever
they win is never something they want
they leave with hands smelling of copper
to the town      the shops    their teenage haunts

I watch a dog barreling after a ball
challenging the strict routines of the sea
from where I am standing      I can hold it all
how the dog moves with the tide       I can see

the way time passes       the way things stay still
the unpredictable sand    the drop of penny falls




Lewis Buxton is a poet, arts producer and educator. He works in schools, libraries and universities around the country. He lives between London and Norwich.


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Ali McGrane



Seeing in Colour

Canvasses rotting behind the shed
An ochre sky, the sharp stink
of linseed on a rag

The temper of blood on white tiles
A coffin glossed with slick tints
of autumn leaves in oils

Art is not what you see but what
you make others see.
Where do I look now?

Tree-striped light on a dark mound
The bristle of green on umber

Asters like loaded brushes in a jar



[Quote: Edgar Degas]


Ali McGrane is an emerging writer of short fiction and poetry, living in the UK. She has studied literature and creative writing with the Open University and is currently completing an MA. Her work has appeared in Fictive Dream, The Lost Balloon and Ellipsis Zine. @Ali_McGrane_UK

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George Helder




Starve yourself

I sit on my bed eating leftover soup
from microwaved tupperware to stave
off a dizzy spell. The plastic is discoloured
from re-heating baked beans.
I use a teaspoon so it takes
longer, takes more mouthfuls.
It’s a trick I learned. My mother
taught me with her hesitancy and pots
of sugar-free jelly and not much else.
I tell myself it’s because I’m poor. I’ll treat
myself next pay check with chocolate,
try to keep it, only eat it one square
at a time and brush my teeth straight
away to forget the sour aftertaste.
Can I call in sick at work because
I’m hungry? I eat lunch in the refectory
to disguise I won’t eat later.
In the evening, I dissolve
vitamins in a glass of water.
It’s healthy, I say. It’s healthy.
I’m healthy.





George Helder is a student at the University of Gloucestershire. He has published poetry in the university magazine, ‘Show Don’t Tell’; the anthology, ‘Reflections’; and for the 2016 Cheltenham Poetry Festival flash fiction event, ‘Life, Death, and Other Things’.

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Charles Tarlton





CARMODY: We ought not take too long describing the winds or the leaves that
                          dance along them. Ah.
BLIGHT: What the older man knows. That’s my objective. 

Then you tell the truth,
when you shift your focus onto
things that bubble up
from below, stark underneath,
you can’t stop them coming up.

His mouth hangs widely
open, his truths unable
to form themselves
into solid things, they flutter
on the stale wind of his breath.

When time is spent,
and once spent not to be found
again. All the things
I did but can’t remember, how
love slides away like a dream.





Charles Tarlton is a retired professor living and writing poetry in Northampton, MA with his wife, Ann Knickerbocker, an abstract painter.

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Charlotte Appleby



Mr. Wrong

Can’t wear the red velvet skirt I love
the hem won’t cover bruised knees,
can’t talk—shouldn’t talk—to family
don’t need them asking me again
‘why don’t you just leave?’

If the roast isn’t on the table at five
o’clock sharp, then he’ll finish work,
cheeks flared and shout ‘bastard woman!’
I’ll apologise, clasp at his shirt, eyes-closed.

Look—the forgotten laundry pile has grown
added unfamiliar lingerie with a torn crotch.
Silently, he retreats to the office
slamming the door until it splinters.
Relief washes over me.

I slide to the floor, the sounds start
he’s watching videos—the groans, moans
of other women, the blonde one with big tits
the one he likes, the one who inspired him

to offer me an enhancement
like an upgrade of my phone;
he wants a better model.
I pushed away loved ones
to try to make this home.






Charlotte Appleby is a student at Gloucester University and works part-time as a Play Worker. She has written articles for online magazines such as Greener Gloucestershire and Business Buzz. She has published work in Compass: New Writing IV (2015) and Reflections: New Writing V (2016)

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Freya Jackson





& I did not even as she was screaming, 2 policemen between
her holding her like the edge of a dam edging into her
onto her but that’s not my business makes me think too
much all the times I was – the woman on the wall
was either screaming or struggling but not both I can’t remember
and my mother said he was probably her boyfriend it
was probably fine don’t panic don’t cry no-one was hurting
her but he was the replay in my head was old stereo she
was screaming or she was struggling but not both I remember
why can’t I remember – it didn’t happen to me nothing happened
though all the fear in my head made me fizzy-drink shock
stuck I either screamed or I didn’t or I didn’t it happened two
three times nothing though he scared me kept following me
couldn’t shake him shake myself in the mirror I knocked on every
door but only one woman answered and my brother looked
afterwards like something awful had happened though the police
didn’t knew it was a waste of their time like they wanted to shake
me as I slotted the pound coin into the dip-centre of my palm
you’re a good girl, aren’t you I kept thinking about Mary before the
fall all dirty feet I’ll never let a man touch me wash me like that didn’t
let him either and he didn’t force me – nothing happened sixteen
and I’m playing at pain walking around suburban Sunday screaming
no-one around but me didn’t know if I was capable of it took too
long like learning to play the flute can’t get a sound out it the breathing’s
all wrong then all at once scream scream scream but no-one left their
house a wasted effort still I should have stopped at least it was like she
was falling in slow motion I thought they were going to hit her but they
didn’t & even if they did I wouldn’t have




Freya Jackson is a 21 year old writer from Leeds, Yorkshire (UK). Places she has been published include: Arc Magazine, The Literateur, Hapex and the A3 Review. She was a finalist for the 2015 Princemere Poetry Prize and Highly Commended for the Binnacle Ultra Short Competition 2016. See here also: http://www.pothook.co.uk/

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