Finola Scott




Wake up call

you haul me from dream drifting
snug in your tangled bed
I hear your early-rise kitchen clatter

I’m a lay-a-bed, day waster, sloth
you remark
dark dressed in the doorway

I want our mornings to release
day’s perfume not this peat,
earth-soiled Pu’erh tea you proffer

aged, brackish, it slaps my mouth
you say I’m drinking time
I taste rot



Finola Scott is published in many magazines & anthologies including Gutter, Ofi Press, The Fenland Reed and Firth. Red Squirrel are publishing her pamphlet this autumn. Some work can be read at the FB page Finola Scott Poems

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Kushal Poddar




Arranged Hopes

Hopes are arranged.
I take my seat.
The dishes shine and
instead of the tried and tasted cuisines
you serve something
that denies the temptation of the form and shape.

‘Mother, what will we have
‘Hope’, you say.

My father’s name is hunger
and since the day
he went to the factory
and returned slope-shouldered
he always lingers here,
near, too much near,



Kushal Poddar edited the online magazine Words Surfacing and authored The Circus Came To My Island (Spare Change Press, Ohio), A Place For Your Ghost Animals (Ripple Effect Publishing, Colorado Springs), Understanding the Neighborhood (BRP, Australia), Scratches Within (Barbara Maat, Florida), Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems  (BRP, Australia) and Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems (Hawakal Publishers, India)

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Ryan Norman




In this room

we watched you rewind your mind
and get lost on the return journey.

Clothes unstitched their shape,
and we dropped like buttons

from an unravelled yarn of you.
Soon, your whole room wandered away;

in its clearing, we were dolls
embroidered with loose threads

of undone clothes. You snatched
our arms, dragged us along

with the vigour of a dream
losing its way into another dream,

routes so wrong in their direction,
but you so happy to show us.



Ryan Norman is a poet writing in Norwich. He studied at the University of Manchester and the University of East Anglia, has been published in Black Bough, the Poetry School Mixed Borders Pamphlet, the Cadaverine and the Mancunion. He was poet-in-residence in St. George’s Gardens in London in 2017.

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Charlie Hill




Sentimental poem

During a near-break
in the row we’ve been having
since Tuesday, about the car
and the wine and the kids,
I put on some John Coltrane
and the subject of jazz arises.

She says she doesn’t like it noodly
and I say what about Miles Davies?
and she says Miles Davies is a borderline case
and I say Miles Davies is a borderline case?

I squint and grimace
but this is the point at which
the row we’ve been having
since Tuesday dissolves
like discordant sax
in the air of a kitchen
and I am reminded
of how I came to be there.

Charlie Hill is a critically acclaimed novelist and short story writer who writes the odd poem. His poetry has been published by Under the Radar, Prole, Amaryllis and Ink Sweat & Tears.

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Martin Ferguson




Central Insect Agency

after Lawrence

What brings you in so quiet ?
why such bright banded citrine stripes ?
when did you smell the strawberries ?
Is it that you destabilize us
for kicks ?

You know that we know that you know,
that your sting is enough,
we cannot miss after all,
that flashing colour that ominous murmur,
how can it be that you plant so much fear
into those so many times your own size,
you hymenopterous chorus,
you jaundice jacket, you loner.
How do you sense
which of us dread you most
as you close in   jagged bursts
testing our radar,
for whom are you working,
The Central Insect Academy ?
You segmented espion.

Fearless of highest echelon in animal chain,
you unlock the animal in us,
with your uninvited trespass,
trained in on our elevated airspace,
we grow intolerant of such harassments,
we know your game yet you will
to outwit, you alien.
What say you we arrive
on some common grass,  is there a language ?
will shouting suffice ?
or can we charm you out of it,
a little insect dance of delicate persuasion

what is you poison
predation  ?

Friend, did you not once give an impromptu
observation,  of one of my classes
in Banco Centrale, Montevideo ?
Fie on you predacious scavenger,
you have come in for the take,
no stopping the clock’s instinct
driving on  your double winged endeavours,
see us jump ousted from our plastic havens
as fiendish villain,  you again reappear
devilish, from the thunder charged magnetic air
sucking a baby’s invisible vomit residue
from the hood of an old automobile,
you miser.

Puzzling, the prehistoric terror you strike,
trapped in the window ovens of our steel tigers,
how you crazed until the dying of the light,
before lying there, a dead husk in the fibres.



Martin Ferguson was born in West Yorkshire in 1968.  After graduating with a degree in Social Science, he lived in the Tanzanian bush for 5 months, building health dispensaries for a British charity. He has worked as an English teacher in Istanbul,  Montevideo, Lecce and France, where he teaches business English.  An A to Z Art of Urban Survival, Following Diogenes of Sinope was published by Original Plus in January: samsmiththejournal/home/original-plus-chapbooks

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Allan Johnston





These trees
shimmer in no breeze—

the moon’s
a wild rabbit
above us—

no breeze
or one so slight
we don’t feel it—
mad ghost breathing—

bark curled
scrolling tops
of columns,

these are the reasons
nights are in love
and we are in love
with night
and each other—

each way the skin lies:

what is a grove
but ghosts of stones?



Allan Johnston is the author of one full-length poetry collection (Tasks of Survival, Mellen, 1996) and two chapbooks from Finishing Line Press (Northport,  2010; Departures,  2013), and has received an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize nomination (2009), and First Prize in Poetry in the Outrider Press Literary Anthology competition (2010).  He teaches writing and literature at Columbia College and DePaul University in Chicago.  He serves as a reader for Word River and for the Illinois Emerging Poets competition, and is an editor for the Journal for the Philosophical Study of Education.  His academic articles have appeared in Twentieth Century Literature, College Literature, and several other journals.

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Mara Polgovsky





bloated by x-counts of cortisone
she offered her excuses
for the breath-loss at the circular staircase
(going up)

in the midst of the pause
Tablada’s haikus and the “Rac… Rac… Rac…”
jumped into the present

in they came and there we were
at the staircase
honking like geese
Al golpe del oro solar
suspended in the panoramic splendour of a bird’s flight

the words returned to me as a blast
but what is death if not running through this concrete spiral without syncopated light,
courageous respire



Mara Polgovsky is a Mexican-Argentine writer based London. Her books include the essay collection Marcos Kurtycz: Corporeality Unbound (Fauna-Jumex, 2019) and Touched Bodies: The Performative Turn in Latin American Art (Rutgers University Press, 2019). Tweets as @MPolgovsky

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