Lesley Quayle




The Woman Who Drank Us Up

She was the woman who drank us up,
gripped us in her graveyard grasp and drained us,
until we were almost uncreated, loose skin and slack bones.

She was the woman who smeared our lids with honey
until blisters, sugar pink and sweet the way she liked, frosted views,
extinguished stars, volcanoes, whole shining landscapes.

Each day, we were tilted to her lips, a flawless set, to be unfilled,
she swallowed us, the bitter juices, iron blood, the frothy head,
savoured her duty in the way that martyrs nurse small flames.

She was the woman who pulled down moons to make candles,
pressed them in hot wax to lock in light,
who even sipped the perfect dark of dreaming.



Lesley Quayle is a poet, author and folk/blues singer.  Her most recent collection Sessions was published by Indigo Dreams Press. She is currently working on another collection and a novel.

Note: This poem won second prize in Second Light Competition and appeared in Parents anthology

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Witty Fay





The combustion process
Begins with your eyes
Scorching one layer of my cells,
On a wet day
That keeps us into each other.
My heart beats loudly thud!
Or is the thug in the folds
Of me that curls around
The fingertips and the saltiness?
When the burn melts away,
I stick my arms into the damp dusk
To tickle the moon under the yellow chin
And its laughter shatters star dust
On the likes of us
And we end up glittering,
Like a pair of scantily-clad quinces,
On the sill of a stolen day.



Witty Fay is a translator by trade and a humanist by nature. She has been writing herself into her poems for some time into the virtual world at www.iexile.com, www.allpoetry.com  , www.scriggler.com  , www.destinypoets.co.uk ,www.writerscafe.org,  www.poetrysoup.com  and www.versewrights.co . Also, she proudly had her first bilingual volume of poetry, Nefelibata  (Brian Brixon Books, 2014), published and she is aiming at unraveling prose. Wearing the many hats of the aspiring poet/writer, she draws influences from the people she meets, the places she travels, the books she reads, and the movies she watches.

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Kitty Coles





All day, you scurry about with your little net,
like a hunter of moths, things of darkness,
duplicitous fire.  You are diligent
in your efforts.  You search them down
and slaughter them on the spot, steadfast and efficient.

The house hums with your work. Their black blood
is scentless.  You scrub it from the floors.
The wood wears thin.  I rest on the sofa.
You bring me lemon water.  You wrap me in blankets.
I am only warm when you hold me.

All night, the wind slathers the house
in wet, throws leaves like the plumage
of tropical birds at the windows.
You sleep, so I become the one who hunts.
I keep myself awake by speaking your name.

Waking, you say I’m pale, my eyes
are bruised by my vigils.
I am earning my place here. Some day
I will deserve you.   My body quivers,
waiting for your flame.



Kitty Coles has been writing poetry since she was a child but only submitting it for publication in the last few years.  Her poems have appeared in magazines including Mslexia, Iota, Obsessed With Pipework, Brittle Star and The Interpreter’s House.

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Michael Loveday





gathering my eight lives –
the bridge, my balcony

burying my eight lives –
the tunnel, my stairwell

guarding my eight lives –
the road, my roof

remembering my eight lives –
the tightrope, my window



Michael Loveday lives in Southwest Hertfordshire and teaches adults in lifelong education. His pamphlet He Said / She Said was published in 2011 by HappenStance Press.

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Ali Lewis




photographs from our holiday in bed

this is
the night we slept how mathematicians draw an ‘x’
the night we lay facedown smug as pocket aces
the night we peeled apart like pitta from itself
the night I was ampersand and you were treble clef
the night we were paper figures strung across the bed
the night our bodies framed a question asked in Spanish
the night you coiled yourself into a burning ear
the night you unravelled like a Danish or a fern
the night we were the ‘t’s in ‘better’
the night that I was seat and seatbelt
the night that you were cloak and broach
the night that I was scarf and snowshoes
the night we slept like harboured boats
the night we were coil and core of a magnet
the night we were strawberry and lime in a Twister
the night our hips were a painting of hills
the night we slept like the logo of Kappa
the night we were stacked like strata in clay
the night the bed wore its sheet off the shoulder
the night you led from your hand to mine
the nights we fashioned from day



Ali Lewis is a 24-year-old writer and tutor from Nottingham. He graduated from Cambridge in 2012 and now lives in Peckham. His work has been published in The Cadaverine. He tweets @ali_b_lewis.

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Helen Calcutt




Burial in Rub’ al Khali

Because she was a girl
he sought to bury her.
Under the open spaces

between the hurting spaces
where the moon hung fat.
The cut of light between hills

gleamed phosphorus over his brow
where the black bird
planted its black foot.

Sand hovered like a god.
His hands bled salt
as they pitched the bleak fire

from the earth, the pollen
of the world’s wasteland
dancing like a wasteland.

And all the while
the little girl brushed the sand-fall away.
As it fell sideways

over the darkening of his face.
As the father dug his daughter’s grave
she brushed the sand-fall away.



Helen Calcutt is an English poet choreographer and dance artist. Associated with the traditions of European verse, her work has received global publication, featuring in journals such as Equinox , The London Magazine, The Salzburg Review, Poetry Scotland, and The New Yorker. She is founder of radical contemporary project écriture corporelle  – a ‘bodily writing’ which launched at the internationally acclaimed Poetry International Festival in July 2014. The project is set to tour extensively across the UK in 2015. She is the author of  Sudden rainfall her first collection of poetry, published by experimental English publishing house Perdika Press. http://helencalcutt.org/

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Sam Smith




Spider Patience

On a narrow beach of flat grey stones a boy stands with his back to the long bend in the river estuary. A black rod and its forked rest, cut from a hazel outgrowth, form a right-angled triangle. The boy is watching a small white and gold spider at work. The spider has anchored its web to the sides of a crack in the low grey cliff.

The cliff rock is dull and pitted, not gleaming like the banks of mud yet to be covered by the incoming tide. Coiling lines of brown scum pattern the filling river’s surface, warp what reflections there are of sky, trees and fields. Gulls call upstream. Shelducks patrol the mudbanks on the headland opposite. The spider pauses, and spins; pauses, and spins.

Inside his turned-down rubber boots the boy’s feet are cold. Behind and below him the first of the teak-black seaweed is being lifted from its anchor stones. The boy directs his breath away from the web that now funnels back into the crack.




Sam Smith is editor of The Journal (once ‘of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry’) and publisher of Original Plus books.  At the moment living in Maryport, Cumbria, he has several poetry collections and novels to his name. (see website https://thesamsmith.webs.com/)

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