Matt Duggan




When the world is a firefly
only lighting the way with a fat glowing head
for that inch at the top of its tip,
it keeps the darkness for those
wasted days in queues for postage and coffee cups
filled up with bubbling syrups.

We’d never get to fly in the light
banished in grey shades
we had no view of the world;
Making judgements through second hand
overheard conversations these twisted impartial lies
filled our breakfast bowls with the illusion of liberty.

We were prisoners without a sentence
never climbing the eleventh tree for a better view
seeing it filled with light devoid of shadow
that has kept us sleeping for all this time;
When the world is a firefly
only lighting the way for the plutocratic few.




Matt Duggan is the winner of the Erbacce Prize for Poetry 2015  Poems have appeared in The Journal, Graffiti, The Dawntreader, The Seventh Quarry, Prole, I,S,& T, Lunar Poetry Magazine, Tipton Poetry Journal, Apogee Magazine, The Jawline Review, Harbinger Asylum. His first full collection Dystopia 38.10 (Erbacce-Press) is now available.

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Maurice Devitt




At the Beach
for Anne
One day that summer you disappeared
for hours. As though tired of Sisyphus
and the task of filling a moat, you
wandered off, your pink, polka-dot

swimsuit the perfect camouflage
on a beach that looked like a Pollock
canvas, where every eight-year-old girl
was a walk-on from Spot the Difference.

Reluctantly torn from feats of sand
engineering, we slouched across the strand
in Brownian motion, cutting a path
between towels and orphaned

swimming-rings, cupped our hands
to call your name, only for it
to be muzzled by the crackly sound
of disembodied voices from transistors

perched on the bonnet of every car.
Older striped men in deck-chairs
woke one-eyed from younger dreams,
looked at us with a mix of sympathy

and disdain, then fell asleep.
We scanned the wending dunes,
half expecting an appearance
from Peter O’Toole, but saw nothing,

not even a mirage. We eventually
found you behind a wind-break,
eating a picnic with a family
you didn’t know. When I described

our anxious search you looked surprised,
as though you didn’t even know
you were lost and in the back
of the Volkswagen driving home,

you were unusually quiet, whether
from the telling-off or something
you had been given
that you didn’t want to share.




Maurice Devitt was runner-up in The Interpreter’s House Poetry Competition in 2017. He runs the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site and is a founder member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group.

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Sergio A. Ortiz




Next Best Thing

Our parents were astronauts
of two extremes.
Every vacant lot
where we used to play
started boiling over, so
we grew up (in word only)
against the prognosis
of a possible plague
of perverts arriving
to snatch us.
We were unlabeled objects
on the pavement
sculpting our silhouettes
for the trap,
babbling and babbling
until we vomited
the true value of silence.
At the end of the space race
reality always exceeds fiction.




Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. 2nd place in the 2016 Ramón Ataz Annual Poetry Competition sponsored by Alaire publishing house. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in FRIGG, Tipton Poetry Journal, Drunk Monkeys, and Bitterzeot Magazine.  He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.

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Elizabeth Rimmer




Queen of the Meadows

Much I do not envy them – the cold houses,
the meat-heavy banquets and bread like stone,
haphazard medicine, and tolerance of fleas,
mice, dogs under the table, and violent men
drunk by bedtime. But meadowsweet,
gathered in the summer and strewn
among the rushes when floors were swept –
this I love. The curds and cream handfuls
of blossom, the flossy stamens, like flecks
of ripening butter, and sunlight burning crimson
in the stems against the hedgerow’s deep green,
its scent of honey, freshness in stale air,
comfort in the aches of winter – this I would choose
for my house. A herb for the merry of heart.




Elizabeth Rimmer is the author of two poetry collections, Wherever We Live Now and The Territory of Rain, published by Red Squirrel Press. Her third collection, Haggards, will be published in 2018. She blogs at

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Rebecca Gethin




Black Hill

I arrived by the other path
and met my last year self
taking the same photos –
Gribbin Head,The Lizard,
the difference being the snow
of blackthorn blossom, the cold wind
of spring. That was before tests,
the waiting rooms, the waiting weeks.
This time there was less of me
and with more understanding
of the early campion, the chiff chaff
repeating its call, the wonder
that I’d made it here at all.




Rebecca Gethin’s pamphlet, A Sprig of Rowan, was published by Three Drops Press earlier this year.  All the Time in the World was also published this year by Cinnamon Press. She edited the anthology, A Poetry of Elephants which raises funds for orphan elephants.  New poems have appeared in Driftfish and Ledbury Poetry Festival’s The Physic Garden.  She was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2016 and runs the Poetry School’s seminar in Plymouth. Her website is

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Kate Edwards


Frequency Violet

Some have misgivings about Violet. They believe
she is on the spectrum; somewhere at the very end,
in fact. None can account for it but we’re told
she hums inaudibly in the octave of ozone, and lives
in an airlock, loiters in restricted zones, makes
uncanny utterances, keeps marine snails, crushes
pencils into graphite dust, dances like it’s the seventies,
tattoos the world’s conspiracy theories onto uterine vellum,
stays up all night smoothing polymers under strip lights,
blinking. Rumours insist she has an eye for tactical missile
design and stockpiles blueprints, knows how to execute
the perfect gem heist and leave fingerprints all over it.
Her party trick will make volatile hearts and auras
of loneliness glow in the dark; despondency shine black.
Dreams of Violet often precede a wedding or a gas attack.




Kate Edwards lives in the Calder Valley in Yorkshire but hails from the Black Country. She is a graduate of the Warwick University Masters in Writing Programme and Co-Artistic Director of all-female theatre company, Jammy Voo.  Twitter: @k8_in_space

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Judith Taylor




The dog

in the early hours
the dog’s toenails click on the passage lino.

That dog has been gone
two decades, nearly:
sometimes one of them hears him, sometimes both.

Though they never say
they both remember
the night the boy died:

how the dog crept in
that one time
where he wasn’t allowed;

hollowed himself
a sleeping-place by the bed.




Judith Taylor lives and works in Aberdeen. She has written two pamphlet collections – Earthlight, (2006), and Local Colour (2010) – and her first full-length collection, Not in nightingale country, will be published this October by Red Squirrel Press.

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