Akeredolu Tope




Steady My Emotion

Steady my emotion
Like the ocean on a stary night
Like a tattered kite
In the breeze

Steady my emotion
Let me be led into
empty space filled with love
Let ocean of white blood snake out from my
Chest through cupid pierced holes

Steady my emotion with fest
hoisted by Hector on the sea to troy
and let even his gaze fix me to my voyage

Steady my emotion
With the sonorous vocal of my minstrel
Let the villes and hills answer his call
The meadows to their heels to heed

Steady my emotion as the spring
Effortlessly galloping down willing cracks and creeks
Steady my emotion like the sun ignoring man’s plea
Rolling out ages and seasons
Let us run not against the sun
For no man prevails at its expense




 Akeredolu Tope obtained his bachelor’s degree in English department for Adekunle Ajasin university Akungba Akoko Ondo state. He is an English language instructor and a socio literary critic.

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Stefanie Bennett




Levertov’s Ladder  

Leaving, she saw them eat
Her words –and
The left-over gravy

In that re-devised tumbled
Down shack
The hawk-weed

Grows but doesn’t erase
The colour
Of absence –or

The stony telling
There by
A turnstile gate

As she, still with
Her smiling
Beauty on

Waved an even darker
… Aside.





Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry, a libretto, & a novel… tutored at The Institute of Modern Languages & worked with Arts Action for Peace. Of mixed ancestry [Irish/Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Queensland, Australia. Her latest poetry title “The Vanishing” from Walleah Press is also available on Amazon & Fishpond

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Miranda Yates





The damp that squats in gritstone hearts of two-bed terraces.
The stumble of rooftops polished dark as funeral brogues.
The promiscuity of green, having its way with every crack
and hole, every startled moss that punks from rock and stump.

And the mushrooms, stained and freckled uglies
sacking off school to lurk in woodland, to squat on tree trunks;
and the river’s soft bloat; a run off of the great original swell
for adventure, for deep zephyr-lunged and salty elsewhere.

Then the clods and clumps and thickets in racing, office and tea,
sap and dogged hunter, pale myrtle and spotty verdigris.
The rotten luck that sets in for good, the fool’s errands
through the dank and drear; the endless lessons in renewal.

And the lichens that attach themselves to lonely places,
unworldly vagrants born of thin air and exposure.
The let-down of kindling giving like Jaffa cakes.
as you kick up the wet leaves of the calendar, dog in tow.

Now look, there’s me in my middle-twenties,
on the long walk home in the rain after closing.
The streetlamps are doffing their concrete caps
as if the elements had ever taken a blind bit of notice.


Miranda Yates lives in Manchester where she is a primary teacher. She has published poetry in Poetry Review, The Rialto, Magma and the North. She was chosen as one of the Poetry Trust’s Aldeburgh Eight poets in 2015.

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David J Kelly




is, was, will be

There was a man who used to stand at that corner in Hyde Park, when the speakers weren’t proselytising. He’d hang around for hours, occasionally clearing his throat. I only heard him speak the once, when he asked me the time.

At school, there was a kid who used to create imaginary friends. He had a collection of matchboxes with random, small animals in them, mostly dead. The tragedy of his situation was completely lost on us … we just thought he knew witchcraft.

There were only apes before people. Their behaviour probably warned of future social conflicts, but no-one was paying attention. We now know they sometimes eat meat, use tools and hunt in groups.

Theoretical physics states, “In the beginning there was nothing”. But from that nothing came everything. When the Big Bang took place, it was the singular, most dramatic liberation of possibilities in the history of time. Perhaps, one day, we’ll learn to cope with such freedom.

there is/was/will be
a place where things
are/were/will be perfect
it can’t/didn’t/won’t
last long
David J Kelly is an ecologist, poet and photographer. He lives and works in Dublin, Ireland and finds both scientific and artistic inspiration in the natural world. His short form poetry has been published widely. Twitter: @motto_sakura

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Saba Sams





Here, the cat is a rosebud
on the corner of the bed.
Here, I lie still, swallowing air,
as the sun paints squares
on the walls around me.
Here, I dream only of trees;
there is wallpaper pasted
on the wets of my eye lids.
Here, the earth is flat
as my stomach. Trapped,
my blossoms wait to bloom;
blinking in the distant moon.





Saba Sams is currently studying for a English Literature and Creative Writing degree at the University of Manchester. Her short story ‘What Do You Know About Love?’ has recently been published in Forge Literary Magazine. 

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Sally Long


The Absence of Birds

The leaves rustle
releasing a surprised sparrow,
thrushes answer one another,
the red kite static above my head,
I trace the magpie’s undulating flight
and hear rooks call from distant trees.

Then silence.

I think about the absence
of birds, until a pigeon clatters
from the branches and a robin sings.
The birds were always present
but those thoughts
oh my thoughts…



Sally Long has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East London and is a PhD student at Exeter. She has had poems published in magazines including Agenda, Haiku Quarterly, Ink, Sweat and Tears, London Grip, Poetry Salzburg Review and Snakeskin. Sally edits Allegro Poetry Magazine www.allegropoetry.org .

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Mick Kulp




The octopus flashed
Calm blue and brown, teasing me
Like a fan dancer.


Pulse pounding, sweating,
I dig in my pocket for
The engagement ring.


The ruffian wind
Elbows through dogwoods leaving
Drifts of white petals


The singer wails out
Para bailar la bamba
Tequila goes down





Mick Kulp is a writer and father of two mostly grown children who have survived his shenanigans through smarts they inherited from their mother.  His nonfiction articles, fictional stories, and poems have appeared  in consumer magazines, newspapers, and literary journals.

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