L. Haiman



Mouse around

There’s only two ways:
Chasing or being chased,
You know?
Running towards or from.
Can’t it be both?
Yeah, if you’re on a spinning wheel.
And aren’t you?
Well, yeah…
You are…
But then so is the wheel on something else and
So on,
Zoom out a little,
It’s not all about you,
You know.





L. Haiman is a Bucharest-born-Edinburgh-educated-London-living writer whose work is upcoming in the West Trade Review and The William and Mary Review. L. Haiman’s work has appeared on line in Ilanot Review, Pilcrow & Dagger, Minetta Review, decomP, The Missing Slate, and in print in the short story collections Garlic and Sapphires, Two In the Bush, and literary magazines Anything, Anymore, Anywhere. L. Haiman is also an ongoing collaborator of illustrator Via Fang http://viafang.com

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Hélène Demetriades




Home improvements

Dark red bricks huddle
off duty on the patio,
coated in plasterer’s dust,
knocked out of their wall
like old teeth.

An outburst of bird song
enters our home –
caught in the wonder of stereo
my ears tilt towards
the once silent flank of the house.

Through the hole high in our wall
white rapids stream across blue,
their fleetness offset
by a jagged brick frame.

Diffuse light has entered,
gleams through sheeted plastic
thinning the shadows inside.

The house has a new eye,
I wish it didn’t need glass
to seal me back in.



Hélène Demetriades  studied English at Leeds University, went to drama school and worked as an actor.  Later she trained as a transpersonal psychotherapist.  She has had poems published in Reach Poetry, Sarasvati and Dawntreader magazines, (Indigo Dreams Publishing), Anima Magazine and  several anthologies. She has been published online in Clear Poetry, Ink Sweat and Tears, Eunoia Literary Review and Allegro Poetry.  She lives in South Devon with her family.

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Michael Bloor



Bishop Berkeley’s Theory of Abstraction

Kim Brown (kim25071999@quiknet.com)                                            Sat 5 Jan 2019 11:50
To: Alex Brown (alexkbrown1969@quiknet.com)

Hi Dad,

We had a lecture the other day on an eighteenth century Idealist philosopher, Bishop Berkeley. He was a pretty cool dude – a co-founder of Yale University and of the London Foundling Hospital. I just googled him: he even has a feast day in the liturgical calendar of the US Episcopal Church (June 16th). Weird.

I thought you might be interested in what he had to say about John Locke’s writings on abstract ideas. Locke reckoned it was possible to have an abstract general idea of, say, a triangle, which was neither oblique, nor equilateral, or whatever. Berkeley quite rightly pointed out that this was nonsense: when we think of a triangle, we always picture it as having some specific properties. Therefore, it’s perfectly possible for two guys to be having an amicable conversation about triangles, without realising that they actually have in mind quite different specific ideas of a triangle.

So when I asked you for ‘a small loan’ last week and you subsequently sent me a cheque for twenty five pounds, it became clear to me that my specific idea of a small loan and your specific idea of a small loan differed by a factor of four.

Your loving daughter,

Kimberley x




Michael Bloor is a retired sociologist living in Dunblane, Scotland, who has discovered the exhilarations of short fiction. Recent publications include Ink Sweat & Tears, The Cabinet of Heed, Fictive Dream, The Fiction Pool, Idle Ink, Litro Online, Spelk, Scribble, The Copperfield Review, Dodging the Rain, Everyday Fiction, Firewords, and The Drabble.

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Jane Angué




There were three cakes.
We still talked then.

He held out a small piece,
raised it to my mouth to taste.

I took it carefully between my lips
and acquiesced.

To avoid crumbs falling
on the skirt I wore,

he set a slice on a paper napkin
with such delicate attention

I was in awe.
From his hand to mine

I placed it on my lap
and, like each word

he had ever said,
picked up

crumb after crumb
with a damp fingertip.



Jane Angué writes in French and English; work in both languages has been published and is forthcoming in literary journals on line and in print. She was long-listed for the Erbacce Prize 2018. She is currently putting together two collections.

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Peter Burrows




Bike Riding

standing where you should be
sharing a joke   watching as they played

I step up    leaning forward
to teach your boy how to cycle free

unsure if he’s ready

or how to explain
this constant steadying
the continuous little falls
constantly righting yourself
correcting the balance
looking to looking ahead
wheeling into wavering momentum

but we push on   we push tramadol online overnight on
moving always
at a pace

keeping by his side

keeping by his side

a father’s steadying hand

always at the ready




Peter Burrows’ poems have appeared most recently in Northwords Now, Marble Poetry, Words for the Wild and Coast to Coast to Coast. His poem Tracey Lithgow was shortlisted in the Hedgehog Press 2019 Cupid’s Arrow Poetry Prize.
@Peter_Burrows74 peterburrowspoetry.wordpress.com

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Tom Bennett’s ‘Travelling Light’ is the Pick of the Month for June 2019!

It was the superb imagery, the hypnotic rhythm, the sense of mystery and the way Tom Bennett painted ‘an incredible picture of an ordinary scene’ that caught the imaginations of voters and saw ‘Travelling Light’ as the IS&T Pick of the Month for June 2019. This was a poem you could go back to again and again.

Tom (23) studied English at Durham University for his undergraduate, before doing an MPhil in American Literature at Cambridge. He is currently teaching English in Spain and will start a PhD on Women and Maximalism in American literature this October.

Tom has asked that his £10 ‘prize’ be donated to Mermaids.


Travelling Light

A balloon scuds through the train
an ‘L’ it is or is it a ‘7’? Evasive
though its wake is empty of pursuit
and the door gives way courteously.

In the second carriage a class
of children who gorge hard on toffee,
their waddle the product of a tight-laced boot
their flannel shorts a competition of kites.

In the third two entangled amours
soak themselves in saccharine red wines,
and remark upon the odd anatomy of the other’s ear:
the softness where the cartilage should be.

A sharp halt rocks these realities,
leaving bags topsy-turvy and a glass in smithereens,
awakening a wizened conductor
clutching the one string of a balloon shaped ‘0’.


Voters’ comments included:

Evocative, thought provoking, an air of mystery about it.

I love the imagery and techniques that Tom evokes and uses fluently throughout, and these are scenes that I could identify with.

Tom manages to make this piece feel effortless despite its complexity. I really enjoyed reading.

Tom has the ability to make the reader relate to the content of his poems…. brilliance

Beautiful and clear imagery yet laconic language

A rich sensory journey!

A lovely narrative poem that leaves you a little lost, empty.

I thought it was clever, I liked the way sounds were played with.

I feel nostalgic for someone’s else’s past

Beautiful rhythm that rocks to the beat each carriage. More than a journey…

Evocative, thought provoking, an air of mystery about it.

I love the imagery and techniques that Tom evokes and uses fluently throughout, and these are scenes that I could identify with.

Tom Bennett’s ‘Travelling Light’ is disarmingly guileless. Though the poem’s title offers a vision of levity, its lines gather an increasing emotional weight. Its emotional depth is gained as a result of a careful sequencing of images rather than rhetorical embellishment: a contemplation over ‘an “L” it is or is it a “7”’, the ‘class | of children’, the ‘two entangled amours’. These passing moments come to exist for their own sake. And ‘Travelling Light’ captures the irreducible fragility of such moments: a fragility born more from an acute valuation of their particularity than their immediate transience. From the dangling ‘Evasive’ of the first stanza, eluded even by its own subject, to the arresting ‘sharp halt’ of the final lines, the poem extends a suspension of syntax. Accordingly, the challenge which ‘rocks these realities’ (a phrase steeped in modernist resonances) is a presence constantly felt, formally and conceptually; but this connection serves in fact to magnify the previous perceptions with their intrinsic value, not as isolated events in a passing journey but as a meaningful collective of human experience.

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Gareth Writer-Davies



Tooth & Claw

the house reeks of rotting rats
which I guess is progress

they had gotten bold
chewing through infrastructure, infesting the cavities

and like family
who can outstay a pre-arranged welcome

nature is enough, through the window
too much, when sharing your home

and to trap the bait
in well travelled passageways, was a friendly kind of slaughter

now alone, I re-take my home
incense masks brutal nature

one must be the master
rats are not beautiful


Gareth Writer-Davies: Shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (2014 and 2017)  Commended Prole Laureate Competition (2015) Prole Laureate (2017) Commended Welsh Poetry Competition (2015) Highly Commended (2017)  His collection The Lover’s Pinch (Arenig Press) published  2018. He is a Hawthorndon Fellow for 2019

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