Alice Willitts




Strategy i: surrender

my heart is oily blue
swallows, frantic to escape
birds whose flight
is a grace fall to earth
one by one exhausted


swift cockroaches carpet sorrow
muffle the impulse to resist
miniature mouthful
by miniature mouthful
and my heart
stripped clean
by the many tongues of grief
continues more than less
to beat



Alice Willitts is a writer and garden designer. She collaborates under the name Cathenka-Willitts ( She completed an MA in Creative Writing Poetry at the University of East Anglia in 2018.

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Jacob Parker



Day Trip

It was in May, the weekend after we’d decided to separate, I took my girls to Weston-Super-Mare. To get them out of the house. It drizzled the whole day. We went on the beach anyway – the rain was bearable. They made a sandcastle. They rode on the donkeys – at least I think they did.

The tide was way out. My youngest, she walked all the way out to the edge of the sea to wash the sand off her feet. By the time she’d walked back her feet were covered in mud and sand again. She cried furiously – her body in my arms was rigid with the injustice.

Years later the girls told me it was one of their favourite days. Driving there I’d worn sunglasses all the way, so they wouldn’t see me crying.




Jacob Parker lives in London. He teaches in a sixth form college. He likes writing short stories in pencil.




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Tony Burfield





The sabbath, I pray to the cliffs. The Button Rock Hermit chants somewhere back in the pines. There is wind over everything, even the far highway roar. Our complicity sinks heart, sinks bone. I shift from reverse to first and bounce down the rutted driveway, rufous and juncos darting.

bees on the feeder
fewer hummingbirds
than yesterday





Tony Burfield lives with his wife in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and works at the Boulder Public Library. His chapbook, Sawhorse, won Middle Creek Publishing’s Fledge Award in 2017.

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Vote for the IS&T November 2018 Pick of the Month


With three first timers to IS&T – Gopal Lahiri, Anna Milan & Skendha Singh – and three poets who have been shortlisted at least once before – Peter Daniels, Beth McDonough & Andrew Turner – the Pick of the Month shortlist for November 2018 promises to be a fascinating one.

The shortlisted poems have either been chosen by Helen and Kate or received the most attention on social media. Do take the time to go through them below (or click on ‘Vote for your November 2018 Pick of the Month′ in the Categories list to your right on the screen.)

Voting is now closed. November’s Pick of the Month will be announced Thursday 13th December at 4pm BST.

The winner each month will be sent a £10 book giftcard or, if preferred, a donation of the same amount will be made to a chosen charity. In the event of the winner being from outside the UK mainland, we will make every effort to provide a reasonable alternative. All shortlisted poetry Picks, provided they remain unpublished and meet other eligibility criteria, will be considered as IS&T submissions for the annual Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. (‘Frequency Violet’ by Kate Edwards was a Pick of the Month for November 2017 and was Highly Commended by the 2018 judges. It features in The Forward Book of Poetry 2019.)

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Hélène Demetriades





The red beaded holly tree
squats in mud
blood fresh
against bright Dartmoor blue
eyeing me

Wilderness is
girthing her

When I was born
I lacked her stature
I slipped my footing
and fell eyes first
into the lonely heart
of my flame-haired mother

The holly wears her seeds on her head
mine are buried deep
but I flower just the same





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 the Play anthology, (from the editors of the Broadsheet). 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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Dan A. Cardoza



A Wounded Hinge

If it were simply a hinge
a drop of oil would surely
loosen any bind.
Then an open
or two
more than likely would do.

These brass patched places
with worn pedicle screws
on a door are about
the getting through, and
much less the hanging on.

Of a crux that
that has been locked
for far too long,
or slammed too hard
a time or two
the letting in
will have to rely
on anneal of trust
& a well oiled
what next to do.


Dan A. Cardoza has a Master of Science Degree in Counseling. He is the author of two Chapbooks, Nature’s Front Door & Expectation of Stars. Partial credits include: Amethyst, UK., Ardent, Better Than Starbucks, California Quarterly, Chaleur Magazine, Curlew, UK., Entropy, Esthetic Apostle, Poetry Northwest, The Quail Bell, Skylight 47, Ireland, Unstamatic, and Vita Brevis.

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