New piece by Dave Migman

The myth of the truth is…

Poor Dolores, sitting there beneath the assault
prodding and prying for “truth”

Did you know the moon faced boy?
Did you scent musk of crazy earth?

Her eyes rinse, widen, shakes her heads
conviction and denial
and when the results are revealed
to finger twisting audience
it is no longer truth they wish for
but lust the machine's lies
for the polygraph is right
science says so
we can't refute science

And when she contradicts
(shouts and rapturous applause)
they have what they want
condemned by her words
even though she stirs, cries, tears
and disbelief is horror in her throat
they crowd on in with sharpened sticks

• Dave Migman

Read More

Spring Gleaning by Dave Migman

Spring Gleaning
Pinos Genil is bloomed out bliss
donkeys grazing beneath scents
folded ducks by languid waters
little houses perched on rocks
There is no hand in mine today
and the sun casts no shadow
I am a breeze blown feather
arriving, moving on – arriving
I take the dust bath of scooters
I chew the silver line to Granada
Pink blooms encrust the trees
ducks blink lazy water
There is no shadow on donkey's eyes
there is no hand top grip
Wishing I could catch the scent
and bloom like that alone.

• Dave Migman says “As for myself I am a nomadic type. Constantly moving. Currently in Edinburgh but was living in Spain, before that Glasgow. For a living I carve & engrave stone (Celtic, Pictish, Viking, Neolithic designs, thousands of different designs), this enables me to make money in the summer and get away for the darker months. My writing has been published here and there in the UK over the past five or six years. Some work online. I also do a lot of artwork/illustration, samples of which you can view here

Read More

New poem by Helen Ivory


Harnessed to the town hall clock,
you send seconds like wild horses
loose into the sky.

You decide the very moment of birth,
how much to fill a glass.
Unlocking you will find a killer, a liar, a thief.

Pale shadows of you are under the eyes
of a young woman
as she waits at the station

watches an empty train arrive
sees it open its doors
for no one to get off.

Helen Ivory's second collection of poems The Dog in the Sky was published by Bloodaxe last year.

Read More

Two poems from Laura Scott

Ink Eyes

Suppose it was you
who started all of this,
your faith and easy swagger
as you stood in front of me,
words falling like silk
from your sleeves.

What shall I do now –
press my palm in your print
to see if our lines intersect?
If I looked long enough
maybe I’d find your deepest line
and then I could follow
its inky course to the place
where words wait  
under mud flats for those
who know how
to get them out.  
Or should I look at my own hand,
turning it over  and running my thumb
across the soft underbelly of knuckle,
tracing the faint lines that
web and star like lace blown
across a window pane?
I could write out those lines
again and again
to see if they take me anywhere.

Your hands are bigger
than mine, they always will be,
but mine, I suppose,
have more lines.  

– – – – – – – – –


I look at him
crying by my side
as we walk  home like horses
through the thin rain.
Someone has told him
time is like sand and
days are not to be wasted.
And that is why you weep –
your element is changing.
I remember sitting on the floor
with you swaddled imperfectly
in my arms and as I looked at you
the room went  quiet and grey,
and I bent my neck to hear you
softly breathing,
the smell of truth
still fresh around you.
And I think it was then
my love changed colour,
as it was cut with fear.

I look at you now
my sapling boy, 
with your head bent
against the rain,
bean stalk legs
itching to take you
to the place where
the colour crept in
as you slept in my arms.

• Laura Scott lives in Norwich and started writing poetry about a year ago. This is her first appearance on Ink Sweat & Tears.

Read More

Gone – by Padrika Tarrant



My arms clutch silence

I hold sky against my heart

So very empty

• Paddy Tarrant is another of our favourite contributors. Her new book Broken Things will be published in September.

Read More

Waiting by Phuoc-Tan Diep


I hate waiting – always have.

Memories are littered with queues springing up ambushing me whilst I rushed for trains and zoo visits in torrential rain marred by people with umbrellas leaping out from under trees. 

I wished, back in the twenty first century, that I had time to watch the tigers.

I waited in lines with other passive aggressives whilst many tigers died.

I wasted so much time that tigers became extinct.

Luckily I found the secret of eternal life by accident, whilst waiting in the Post Office.

The secret is to hold onto life so tightly that none of it can slip through your hands.

In time it became effortless.

The problem, as I found out, is letting go.

I searched for the wisest minds in all the earth and beyond.

I waited in long queues to see them.

They did not know – how I could let go. Wisdom, they said, is not holding on so tightly in the first place.

I still hate waiting, even with all the time in the world.

• P-T D is a regulat contributor to IS&T – and says this latest piece was inspired by work he did on an online creative writing course at UEA.

Read More

Two new poems by Michael Lee Johnson

Catch On The Fly

Full barrel up 53 north,
heading to Lake Zurich, IL,
Christian talk radio 1660
on the radio dial,
crisp winter day
sunbeams dancing down
on the pavement like midgets.
85 mph in a 65 mph zone,
just to aggravate the police,
black Chevy S10 pick up,
shows what a deviant I am
in dark colors.
Running late for a client appointment,
creating poems on a small hand held recorder
knowing there is not payment for this madness
in this little captured taped area of words.
Headlights down the highway for a legacy
into the future, day dreaming like a fool obsessed.
Working out the layout of this poem or getting my ego in place,
I will catch up with the imagery when I get back home.
This is my life, a poem in the middle of the highway.
Scampering, no one catches me when I’m speeding
like this.

– – – – – – – – –

Wind Chimes

The wind chimes

on the balcony
sounds in all
different directions –
my thoughts follow them.

• Michael Lee Johnson is a regular contributor to IS&T

Read More