Cath Wills



Positively Negative


I simply couldn’t


Positive thinking seekers

To attend my

Positive thinking group

Which meant my

Positive thinking group

Like a

Town crier on the moon


Vibrating barren craters


Positive thoughts

At all




Cath Wills lives in Devon with her children who know that when mum is in her rocking chair, she is to be left alone to be poetical. Music inspires her poetry, especially Bjork’s lyrics. Cath also loves canoeing, which is like poetry on water.  She works in a primary school as a teaching assistant/display co-ordinator.

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Mark Rutter





At the hour of long shadows, the sun
lights up the crown of the oak.
As Bashō lay dying, he told how his soul
still wandered the withered moor,
startled by the sound of a stream.

In the field, snow lit by starlight,
hollow stalks tick in the wind.  Overhead
a plane bound for the distant cities
writes its fading sentence.  The moments,
like frozen apples, cling to the branch.

October woods, full of burning houses
and disconsolate music.  A wing made
of many feathers, that is one second.
And one minute – a flock of song sparrows
migrating into skies of forgetfulness.


Mark Rutter’s poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including Other Poetry, Magma, Interpreter’s House and London Magazine.  Two collections of his poems appeared in the US, where he lived from 1990-2002: The Farmhouse Voices (Puckerbrush), and water fir rook hand (Tatlin).

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John Gartland




The Market in Cheongju. Night

A spring night in Cheongju.
A thousand mysteries
in the elixir of cold oranges.
Korean seamstress in the closing market,
floor littered with remnants of others’ finery,
your head is bowed, machining quiet hours
into a wrap of restfulness we slip on
like a comfortable coat.
We stare, the dreaming needle flies,
and you, peace-working,
never lift your eyes.
These dark aisles draw us in;
down there, a couple in white smocks
and yellow gauntlets, by their silver trove
are ladling heaps of ice in bright
obeisance to the shuttered night.
We fly into the frozen moment,

seabirds through a sudden window.
Around us, shadows; doors
are slamming. Cries of watchmen
greet returning ghosts,
announce the close, and crash the iron bolts,
on the frozen moment
crash the iron bolts.




John  Gartland, UK, novelist, playwright; founder-Poetry ID, UK. Poetry collections, Gravity’s Fool :2005, Poetry Without Frontiers: 2008. University teacher, Asia; Visiting Professor of English Writing, Korea National University of Education. You can find him on Facebook.

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Bridget Khursheed






the water on the road
the leaves in beaten hedgerow
the beat-up car leaves
the water on the car
is flicked off by the wipers
there onto burnside road
the brown water in the burn
the hill it scours and turns
water stronger than the rock
the water on the road
never stops culvert hedgerow
beaten back and lochans
stand in fields can’t stop
the rain the beaten-up car
bites through on its way
the water leaves and hay
steams in stacks
at ploughed field edge
the tractor chews the herbiage
brown water on the road
the hedge sinks into the dark
the light leaves a beat-up sky
I go this way just to get home
the water on the road




Bridget Khursheed is a poet based in the Borders; she also edits ; recent work in The Eildon Tree, Stravaig, Poetry Scotland, Northwords Now, Valve, Message in a Bottle, Gutter, Up the Staircase and Southlight; obsessively logging the A68 over Soutra and birdlife on Easter Road.  She has just won a Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award for poetry.

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Roberta Chloe Verdant




I wanted to gift you a story. The story would be sunsets over the desert; trees in Asian rainforest; a sky full of stars far from the city.

I would scent the story with the finest oils. Strew it with rose petals and pomegranate seeds. Kiss it.

I wanted to gift you a story.

I wanted to gift you a story but the sun never rose in that desert. The trees in the forest were amputated stumps. The stars screamed to the ground; smashed like glass.

I wanted to gift you a story so I took what I had: star-fragments; dead leaves; darkness. I scattered it with rose petals. Each petal sprouted thorns and pricked me all over. Instead of pomegranate seeds the story was strewn with drops of my blood.



Roberta Chloe Verdant lives in Devon, where she facilitates creative writing workshops. She likes the ocean, eating vegan ice-cream & dancing barefoot.

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Uche Ogbuji



Hair of the Dog

Oh the drinks, nor just a few:
Spirits, wine and steins of brew!
Bonnet buzzing manic bee.
Redde dithyrambic due!

He tried prairie oyster brew,
Merely made him heave anew;
Same sad luck with herbal tea.
Redde dithyrambic due!

He played Rhapsody in Blue
To help down mulligan stew.
How to slouch towards Innisfree?
Redde dithyrambic due!

At a sudden stroke he knew!
What should a sodden poet do?
Sip rhyme sap from the bay tree!
Redde dithyrambic due!





Uche Ogbuji  was born in Nigeria and lives in Boulder, Colorado, a computer engineer by profession. His collection of poems, Ndewo, Colorado is forthcoming from Kelsay Books. He’s editor at Kin Poetry, The Nervous breakdown, and Twitter’s @ColoradoPoetry. This is his website.  Follow him on Twitter @uogbuji 

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Sam Howell



The Line

In a woken home
a plant pulls close to daylight,
windowpanes between

Trees blind to their reflections
colder-rooted and numb
stuck moving with wind.



Sam Howell grew up in Gloucestershire, England. Moving to London, he concluded his formal studies with a degree in Creative Writing and English at LSBU. He can be found online at and


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