Patsy Goodsir is watching the clematis creeping


Now the growing months are here
I can see the added beauty of this tree,
it blocks out the neighbours
and frowns at the clematis
creeping, invading, but making
apologies with delicate pinks.
I've hung the voile with blue tulips
it looks good in my porch,
too small to be called conservatory,
but big enough for me
to have five minutes before the
invasion of flymos and mowers
assaults my protesting ears
and kills the moment.

Patsy Goodsir describes herself as “A daft granny who drives a yellow
car. Had poetry, fiction and non fiction published, both in national
press and online.” She adds “Never sleep with an elephant he might roll over.”

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Alan Price is reading up on old movies…


Settings, dialogue, characterisation and special effects are of a low order; but even their modest unreality has its charm. There is really no fault in this film that one would like to
see eliminated. Everything, in its way, is quite perfect.

Monthly Film Bulletin Review (1954) of Devil Girl from Mars.

Perception 1

Colour my movie Miss Niah from Mars.
We offered tea. Bed for the night. A Scottish inn.
Yet earthling sex slaves were top of your list.
Men to breed women on the barren red planet.
Was that really my Devil Girl on DVD
indelibly bleached to a state of monochrome?
Colourise my celluloid dream.
Smear red your lips. Pink flesh your face.
Shine bright your emerald S & M gear,
cap, cowl, skirt and stiletto boots.
Let your Hoover shaped robot
be high tech silver out of control,
and your promiscuous ray gun
spurt a laser beam,
all feisty red
and cobalt blue.

Perception 2

B picture heather turns purple green.
Bewildered Scotsman evaporates on glen.
Whilst his smoking remains,
those rounded up NHS glasses,
reek of skin and mortal Technicolor.

Perception 3

Five years old.
My paint box was small.
Miss Niah commanded.

* Alan Price was born in Liverpool in 1949. Read English at Sussex University. He works in London as a library assistant. His film A Box of Swan (1990) was screened on BBC 2. From 2002-2007 three short films were made with Polish director Pawel Regdosz. Stories broadcast on Radio 3, then in his collection The Other Side of the Mirror (Citron Press 1998). Poems recently published in Poetry Monthly, Fickle Muses (USA) Finger Festival, Orbis and Decanto. Regular poetry readings given in North London. Presently working towards a collection of poetry.

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Fiona Donaghey has a red suitcase and some stolen things

Stolen Things

Waiting in a wooden forest
where rain tips you here and there,
you read the trees like you might read books
and wonder: What right have text books
to worry me?

I hold my hands and kiss them
grateful for all the writing
with the wooden pencils in the wooden world
on wooden paper; now I realise I have stolen
everything from the trees

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Red Suitcase

As I drag the thing through the streets of Dublin
it tries to refrain from chaffing its redness
on the way to a painful pink.

I have packed my best dreams
for a good  nights sleep
wrapped up in my warmest nightie.

I have packed the silk dress my mother gave me.
I have never worn it; maybe because
it is the most beautiful thing I have ever owned
and I can’t imagine how I would look

like something
with a face that isn’t lost.

I think I have remembered everything.
I think I have remembered
not to cry, but to laugh with my family 

* Fiona Donaghey says “I am a student at City College Norwich studying English and Cultural Studies and I love poetry.”

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Roberta Swetlow's writing an octologue

Today we have a poem by Roberta Swetlow in a relatively new and novel form – an octologue. This was invented by Pat Gomes and consists of eight line stazas, with syllables arranged: 3,5,3,3,5,3,3,3 and with each line capped. For more information see the Octologue section on Pat's website

Roberta says she wrote this after a (frustrating attempt to have a) conversation with her husband…

And So It Goes

“My great plan
Was just rejected.
I don’t know
What to do.”
“Could you ask him to –“
“I don’t know
What to do.
Do you know?”

“What about –”
“I thought it would work,
They said no.
I don’t know”
“Maybe you could try -”
“Can you think
Of something
I can do?”

* Roberta Swetlow finds inspiration and frustration in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, with her husband, adult children, and the Cat of the House

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New haiga by Ed Baker

* Ed Baker's bio reads…

born 1941
here 2008

in between


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Helen Pletts says there will come a time

And there will come a time

And there will come a time
when the sheets will ride up into one,
you and he, meeting again,
melting like rain,
taking a hand in a hand
and putting steps in a soil
too soft to remember you,
yet he is saying something
that you will never forget
but throw into the tempered air
as hot forged steel, and slice him
to the soft bone, in spite of love.

Helen Pletts is a regular IS&T contributor. She was born in the UK
but now lives in Prague in the Czech Republic, where she teaches
creative writing. Her latest collection can be bought via the IS&T chapbook shop.

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Two haiku by Simon Charlton


Horizon blushes
An orange glow – darkness fades
Sun rising anew

Marie S.

Charcoal drawn opals
Wine-wrecked or tear-washed, your eyes
A world of sorrow

* Simon Charlton lives in Cheshire.  He is employed as Carer/PA.  (Maturely) educated at Closereach House in Plympton, Croydon College and Harris Manchester College, Oxford.

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