Maggie Mackay




The South Starts Here

with houses, shacks,
salons, billboards
piles of tyres, an airport hangar,
a Methodist church, a propane tank,
voids, that ramshackle Whispering Pines,
its shuttered shadow;
always something else burning,
forty three fires,
the 44th by a piece of cloth I lit.
with unsellable houses destined to crumble
in an emptying county
with flames spurting from farm outbuildings
–  burned wood into crackle.

All I saw was orange in the air,
on unmarked drives veering off
into quiet dead ends
where people share last names
even if they don’t remember
how they share bloodlines.
No traffic off of 13, and deep country roads.
You never run out
of abandoned buildings there.

I had timed it perfectly,
on Valentine’s Day, an arson spree,
I let the hens out first,
too sensible to be caught.

Me, they called stupid, crazy,
close-cut red hair, goatee,
wide blue eyes, good run to bad.




Maggie Mackay, a co-editor at  and a second year student on the MA in Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, has work in several publications including Ink, Sweat and Tears, Bare Fiction and The Interpreter’s House, and forthcoming in Obsessed with Pipework.

Read More

Rupert Loydell




Black Holes & Other Inconsistencies
after Edgar Martins

There’s a thin blue line
sprayed vertically on the wall
and a film of grey dust on the floor.

A square shadow of shade
turns sand a darker yellow,
and there’s a distant light in the forest

ignored by the birds
rising into the faded sky
and a driver walking away from his car

parked by the covered road sign
near the abandoned raised highway
above a permanently closed café.

None of this signifies anything,
they are just part of the world’s emptiness
which small waves in the lake wash away.



Rupert Loydell is the editor of Stride magazine, a contributing editor to intenrational times, and Senior Lecturer in English with Creative Writing at Falmouth University. Shearsman have just published his new book The Return of the Man Who Has Everything, which continues his exploration of post-confessional narrative poetry.

Read More

E. Martin Pedersen





in Candyland
where everything’s candy
the winners get vegetables


at the politician’s funeral
you had to push your way in


your delicious perfume
gave me a migraine
that never ended


all my adult life
I have waited for the word:


watermelons and onions—
a feast that keeps on feasting


how sorry how sorry
is the hiker
who set the forest ablaze?




E. Martin Pedersen, originally from San Francisco, has lived in eastern Sicily for several decades. Some of his publication news can be found on his blog:

Read More

John Alwyine-Mosley




After midnight

I wonder,
if my fridge is a cat:
it purrs,
it is indifferent unless food offered,
its little eyes light up in the night,
then decide
it is time I went to sleep.




John Alwyine-Mosley is active in various poetry networks and workshops nationally and in the south-west, he is currently working towards his first collection.

Read More

Vicki Stannard




Irregular Apocalypse

There is no news on the TV.
The Apocalypse has happened;
it has been as bad as it can be
so nobody’s watching.
But there is still TV.
Re-runs of old cop shows
in the wrong order
with no continuity announcements.
There is no need for continuity
after an apocalypse.
I almost missed it.
I should have been sleeping
but I got up in the early hours
for a glass of water
and picked up the howling
of death as it stalked the neighbourhood.
I pulled back the curtain
to see the streets run with blood
while fires seemed to start
out of nowhere.
As they do
when there is an apocalypse.
Now, few survivors dare venture outside.
And my years of hoarding tinned goods
and bottled water
turned out to be just the right thing.
And with the Apocalypse over
There’s not much to be done.
But carry on
with my usual schedule
though the programmes
have changed.




Vicki Stannard is a poet and translator, currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the Manchester Writing School, and has performed at the Poetry Cafe in London as part of the Poetry Society’s South West London Stanza.

Read More

Thomas Ovans



Sunlight leans on half closed curtains, slants
across a table, laid last night for breakfast.
A knife-blade’s twinkling snatches at his eye.

He steps into the empty room. The warmth
it’s gathered in the hours since dawn has made
a tiny increase in the day’s potential.

Today, he says, will be a good one: things
today are starting to get better.
Without her there is no such hope at all.




Thomas Ovans has had poems published in Smiths Knoll, Message in a Bottle & London Grip.  He sometimes reviews poetry for London Grip.

Read More

Kanchan Chatterjee





Sid, hyenas and me

12 noon, we cross another culvert, silently.

Sid is brooding.
On my left, out the window
the Canary hill flash past.

I look at the speedo, we’re hovering
around 100 kmph.

We’re going straight- to Bagoder. Then we’ll turn right- to Topchanchi.
There’s a beautiful lake out there. . .

‘How’s she?’
I ask Sid.
To loosen up the heaviness.

He looks at me, smiles, a childlike smile- says nothing. . .

I look straight. Ease the accelerator a bit.

It’s going to be a full moon night.
They say hyenas still roam by that lake.



Kanchan Chatterjee is a 46 year old male executive, working in the ministry of finance, government of India. He is from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand India. Although he does not have any literary background, he loves poetry and scribbles as and when he feels the urge. His poems have appeared in various online and print journals, namely, ‘Eclectic eel’, ‘Mad Swirl’, ‘Shot Glass Journal’, ‘Jellyfish Whisperer’ , ‘Bare Hands Poetry’ , ‘River Muse’, ‘Decanto’ ‘Ygradsil’ , ‘Off the Coast’, ‘Red Booth Review’ ‘Electric Windmill Press’ ‘Under the Basho’, ‘Oddity’, ‘Coldnoon’, ‘Randomly Accessed Poetics’, ‘Cease Cows’ ‘A hundred gourds’ , ‘Camroc press’ etc.

He was one of the nominees of the Pushcart Awards, 2012.

Read More