Pulsar Poetry Webzine
       Pulsar Poetry Webzine

Poems  Years 2019 - 2021 - most recent poems at the top.

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December 2021 (101 editions in total)


49th edition as a webzine, see below.


Poets listed in surname alphabetical order


* * *


Poem Index


Out of the Mist - Michael Jennings


The cupboard in granny's kitchen - Tom Kelly


River Teach Me - George Cassidy Payne


The Strand - David Pike


Walhalla Drive - David Sapp


Trees - Ian C Smith


Dark and Light - Soran M H




Out of the Mist


My need and yours

drew you from the shifting mist

that often hid but then restored

a more substantial you.

Finally the sun broke through

and at that moment kissed

acceptance of a life I’d lived in shadow hitherto.


Michael Jennings

Keyworth, Nottinghamshire




The cupboard in granny’s kitchen 


had washed-out blue canvas squares 

turning-up at the edges 

black football laces of dirt  

empty blue sugar bag, something for false teeth, 

curled dish cloth, I thought was a dead mouse.  

Granda never looked at Granny’s preserve: 

she owned the detritus 


Nobody went in their spare bedroom 

after Granny died. 

There was only Granda 

his heart misplaced 

door always open 

no-one slept 

beside the empty coal fire grate 

never saw flames turning grey. 


The room and cupboard empty 

as my heart.  


Tom Kelly





River Teach Me 
-Inspired by a sacred Ute prayer

River teach me change
as falling leaves decompose in the formless current

River teach me hope
as the source and end, both come from mountains

River teach me how to get lost
as two young lovers walk along your bank not needing to be found

River teach me how to savor the now
as the sun glistens on the scales of a snake bathing

River teach me how to manifest what I want
as the immortality of your course is guided by creation

River teach me how to accept
as the chaotic swirling foams cover and pull all beings asunder

River teach me how to live without fear
as the salmon do when they breach the surface of a bear's claw

River teach me how to listen 
as the empty space of the blackest ice is ancient and unborn

River teach me how to close my eyes and see 
a force eternally moving when I am not looking

River teach me how to understand
as the memory of geese returning from their far off flights

River teach me how to believe in myself
as a beaver does when they forgo their fragile homes of sticks and mud

River teach me how to do nothing
as a heron wading, full of hidden knowledge, instantly unleashed

River teach me God
as there is nothing false about the opinion of creatures who need you to survive

George Cassidy Payne
Rochester, NY, USA




The Strand


Shuffling along

the pair of them

him bent over, hunched

inspecting the ground,

her, shorter

making no sound

towing a small brown dog

alive, but resembling

a stuffed toy, at heel

trundling on

as if on wheels.


Their clothes are dated

but that doesn’t matter

you could say faded

jaded, not smart

and lacking appeal to anyone

other than themselves,

plodding on

in the bustling seaside town

of bright summer apparel

and seasonal vim and vigour,

they ghost around

unnoticed by most

as people kaleidoscope

in and out of focus

talking, squawking

with endless chatter;


they are together,

their mottled skin resembling

faded leather,

breathing the air

walking the strand.


David Pike

Camelford, Cornwall


From David Pike’s 2012 book of poems, The Strand




Walhalla Drive


Walhalla Drive is a short, wooded

Lane in the center of the city,

Skyscrapers and airliners hovering above

The tree line, a modest but astonishing

Wilderness ringed with the teeth

Of driveways, decks, and barbecues.

The deer appear stranded here,

Cut off from the Olentangy River,

Their small, cloistered world caught

Between Weber Road on the right,

Tidy, wealthy cul-de-sacs on the left,

A six-lane freeway to the east,

And High Street to the west –

Buses, taco trucks, co-op galleries

And vintage clothing and record shops.

The does and fawns are rarely wary,

Immune to gawkers such as us –

The buck pointedly indifferent.

They seem remarkably content,

But we wondered if they wandered,

Surreptitiously, onto manicured lawns

At night, stealing tender grasses,

Ambling awkwardly on sidewalks.

And where do the does give birth

In this narrow space, and when

They die, where do their bones lie?


David Sapp

Berlin Heights, OH, USA 






Unweighted by the crush of years to come, he pictures the cheap old house they bought at auction, its tumbledown outbuildings like a painting on a cliff above a river. Their children romp, sunlight speckled, through numerous trees to climb, on the property and lining their quiet narrow road. Birdsong. Cicadas. Butterflies. In the distance, more trees. Everywhere trees.


He should know there is no blueprint for happiness, realises hope is what impels us as we strive to live our dreams. She plies her profession, studies. He writes everything down, slant in the crabbed hand of uncertainty, sometimes thinks she always studies. The term, househusband, embarrasses him slightly, but he loves the idea of farmers as neighbours, those trees bathed in light.


It takes eight hours driving through the night. They start with I Spy, day dimming. After the Play School tapes have reached saturation point, their fractious children finally still, traffic thinned, they reach semi-mountainous terrain straddling two states. Occasional headlights coming their way crisscross for long periods like wartime searchlights in old movies.


Past midnight through silent hamlets she sleeps, exhausted like the children by this big move. He tunes the radio softly to jazz gems, exhilarated yet saddened by Coltrane’s tenor sax, confident they can thrust aside mishaps, electing to concentrate on life’s teeming possibilities, including their two paddocks, perfect for pet donkeys.


Nearing their destination his precious cargo begins to rouse. He cannot know how neglect of love’s demands as the thresh of years curls away shall undermine his trusting vision as chronicler, their grown children hooked on different dreams with no entitlement passports to contentment, his aridity, adrift in a blur of absence like a silenced bell, with a memory of night music, words calligraphic wreaths on paper.


Ian C Smith

Sale, Australia, 3850




Dark and Light-


When the magic of life


the heritage of all wars

will come to an end.


On the boundaries

of light and dark

night and day

childhood and age

birth and death -

the thin line,


on the breast of space,

is lost

with all our comedies and tragedies.


The moments of delight

like candles on a cake

die in the flickering of age,

other spirits gather

shivering around it.


Those who have passed

are quickly buried,


voices silent -

no warning can reach us.


A sound will come

out of the silence of night,

pain struck from the smallest creature

the ailing tree,

the moment when the weakest

reach to claim back their rights

in the dark,

beyond everything

that can be reached.


In daylight,

the powerful sun

alights on our faces,

like a hawk stooping out of the blue

or a bat at night,

striking its prey in utter darkness;

there is thought,

some validation to explain

our surreal dream…


An instant’s blinding coup


turns all inside out,

putting everything

in its perfect place.


Soran M H



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September 2021 (100 editions in total)


48th edition as a webzine, see below.


Poets listed in surname alphabetical order


* * *


Poem Index


The Adolescent Poet - John Grey.


The Chickadees - George Cassidy "Casey" Payne.


The Traveller - David Pike.


The Way Things Work - Gordon Scapens.


Of Battles Long Ago - Ian C. Smith.


Ambivalence - Anthony Wade.




The Adolescent Poet


At times,

I abandoned my poetry

in favor of the hair on

a girl’s shoulders -

at an age when

            self-expression was everything,

badly-scribbled beginnings

            made way for fumbled non-starters –

and clumsiness begat

the missed opportunities that followed

all the way up to you -

but then,

I’d crawl on hands and knees

back to poetry

where, far removed from my disillusion,

I took the chance

to brag a little.


John Grey

Johnston, RI, USA




The Chickadees


do not land in my palm because they trust me.

I am a phantom they barely notice. They sense my body heat,

the blood coaxed through my thin veins like tree sap, and they hear

my vibrations, the way Beethoven coped with going deaf, stopping

long enough to bathe their tawny-colored tongues with seed, crushed

seashells of safflower and thistle, feeding the groaning earth.


George Cassidy "Casey" Payne

Rochester, NY




The Traveller 


During late summer hours

when darkness devours

dying tendrils of orange light,

the observer enters a transitional time,

a breath away from day to night 

when shadows fade

upon desolate sward

and outcrops of Bodmin Moor

with its uneasy water place,

Dozmary Pool,

an ancient expanse, that is subject to

a perpetual task,

for all time, every night

of every day, a possessed soul comes,

by command

tasked to drain the pool by hand,

compelled to use

a broken limpet shell

to work, work, and never recant

chided by ungodly creatures,

that howl and snap,


but not tonight…


At a defunct coach stop,

a short step from Dozmary Pool

and destinations in between,

reclines an ill-defined person

more of a person shape

than a person who can be

fully seen.

There is no luggage

or impedimenta at the lonely place.

The traveller, if that is what it is,

reclines between fallen granite shale

and discarded slate

resembling an out of focus after thought,

a blurred impression

stuck in a cursed place,

from a past time, and horrific deeds

where dreams flicker

deep within the mind.


And Tregeagle waits

where coaches no longer run

alone, lingering,

there, not responding,

attempting to leave  

a telling place,

that resonates beyond the grave.


David Pike



I’m intrigued by Cornish ghost stories.  I refer to the ghost of Jan Tregeagle and his alleged evil deeds in the ˜1600s leading to his spectre being tasked to drain Dozmary Pool by use of a perforated limpet shell, and his suggested escape.  Type ‘legend of Jan Tregeagle,’ into ‘say’ Google search engine, for info.  This poem is my own fanciful version / interpretation, based on my imagination and a lot of poetic licence. Apologies for any mis pronunciations. DP.  © copyright David Pike, 26th July 2021.




The Way Things Work


In this city of my roots

they’ve erased a street

that folded my childhood home

in yesterday’s shabby skin.

No wounds, blood or tears

but modern houses

with other people’s dreams,

a smug air of progress,

and a complementary burial

for past landmarks.

A confusing new layout,

I can’t pinpoint my past,

but can count memories

that will always be searching

for a time when poverty

didn’t hold a grudge.

The area’s ragged hopes

never promised more

than an acceptance

of outdated conditions.

I take my leave,

walking the margins

of a remembered map, witness

to the end of a different era,

a loss that knows my name.


Gordon Scapens

Penwortham, Preston




Of Battles Long Ago


The boy’s father wears both belt and braces.  No chance of catching this silent man with his pants down, a spectacle, the boy realises later, he never witnesses.  Sleeves rolled, collarless shirt outdated, smoking, his father reads the ‘Mirror, News of the World, while the boy gobbles crunchy puffed wheat with extra sugar, still rationed, greedy, unnoticed, head cocked, reading sports results at an inconvenient angle, but with a crease between them.


Al Phillips (the Aldgate Tiger) lambastes his way to the British bantamweight diadem.  Len (the Duke) Duquemin rampages, supreme destroyer on the attack.  This calligraphic style of post-war power sports-writing as if the war had never ended, propaganda continued, stirs the boy.  Hamlet might flourish at Tottenham Hotspur, too, goal-netting a quivering arras.


Odour of petrol.  Rain falls silently on huddled house, privet, the tenebrous streets, washing away smog’s grime.  For many seconds of what will become remembered rapture, alarm, now, the boy looks up – an earlier difficult angle – sees his father clasping, crushing his mother those sportswriters would have written, to the brass buttons of his khaki tunic, a beret folded in his epaulette, as these parents fiercely lock mouths, a tableau the boy never sees again.


That passionate stranger, brief leave too soon over, startles the boy in the blitzed city where bombs had not, his mother’s breasts heaving as her soldier vanishes into the blackout, two hundred hitchhiked miles of unsignposted roads before him, Luftwaffe overhead, a searchlight time of future frangible memories for the boy when he reaches manhood.


          Fathers return changed

          carnage over, back to peace

          familial scars.


Ian C. Smith

Sale, Vic, 3850, Australia






On an empty foreshore,

with the sonorous sighing

of the slow sea’s unfailing

reaching and retreating

across sea-smoothed stones,

a counterpoint

to the dolorous tolling

of a church bell

across a darkening bay

summoning those

who should be called,

and the vastness of sea and sky

pressing upon me,

I marvelled at other minds

that could encompass such matters

but wondered,

“Do they also possess the wisdom?”


Anthony Wade

Midleton, Co Cork, Ireland


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June 2021 (99 editions in total)


47th edition as a webzine, see below.


Poets listed in surname alphabetical order


* * *


Poem Index


Earthen Dam - Richard Dinges, Jr.


Darkness Rises - Richard Dinges, Jr.


Internview - Tom Kelly.


The Turn - Tom Kelly.


Chemotherapy - Edward Lee.


New Life - David Pike.


Cards, texts, phone calls - Emalisa Rose


Waiting for Another Present - Anthony Wade.


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Earthen Dam

A graceful mound wraps its shoulders
around creek’s flow, built with ancient
know-how to protect distant homes
from spring floods, unearthed from below
by muskrats’ older instinct. They
burrow into earth, erode what
we have built despite my hopeless
watch against nature’s steady pulse.


Richard Dinges, Jr

Walton, NE, USA


Darkness Rises

Shadows gather in my woods, flung
from gnarled trunks and limbs, ooze between
gooseberry brush that climbs even
before sun dips behind earth's
far flung arm, crouch behind fallen
branches, await moments to rise
and reclaim my yard from day's
long and far, unforgiving stare.


Richard Dinges, Jr






At twenty, hungry to change jobs,

I end up in a small engineering firm,

somewhere along the River Tyne.

The factory’s crippled by darkness.

It took three buses to get there.

The owner of this grease mountain

sits at a desk on a platform of wooden pallets,

motions for me to sit

on a very low seat,

giving me an eye-line of his shoes.

He asks how I find his place?

I say, ‘awful.’


Tom Kelly

Blaydon, Tyne & Wear




The Turn


See me running to the blacked-out church where I serve Mass.

The zealot is in the porch waiting

for a Requiem Mass, somebody’s late-grandmother

she once met.

There she is in the first taxi behind the hearse,

lost in black.

Picture the priest’s flowing vestments

flapping up the aisle

his keys ringing through the church

opening the door on our zealot

breaking the rules on wide smiles.

The priest nods a forced look.

She returns time and again

until her turn.


Tom Kelly






He stops, the razor

halfway down

his foamed cheek,

and wonders why

he's bothering

with this submission to appearance.

He finds his answer silently,

and finishes his shave,

the razor continuing to his skull,

taking the hair

that remains there,

smiling to himself

at this small victory.


Edward Lee

Longwood, Enfield

Co. Meath, Ireland




New Life


Five brown trout

of reasonable size

and one or two fry,

set against a show

of babbling water,

oblivious to me

as their narrator

watching with eager eyes,

pleased to spy

denizen life

charged with vitality…


swimming against the flow,

defying gravity.


David Pike

Camelford, Cornwall




Cards, texts, phone calls


There’s that three week period

between Christmas and New Years,

where our birthdays fall in.


It’s been two months of silence

this time; though I believe this

won’t be of a permanent nature.


But I wish mine was first.


This way, I need not meander

between text, card or phone call,

with a slight urge to do nothing.


I wish mine came first, making this

your dilemma, sister dear.


Emalisa Rose

Brooklyn, NY, USA




Waiting for Another Present


The far future was a distant land

when first their love was seeded,

growing strong and vitalising

in the ever present but with him

suddenly admitted to hospital

and succumbing to another’s Covid,

the far future docked with the present

where being the unwife

she was not permitted even to blow

what would have been a last kiss

through the shielding window,

nor were her fingers to release dry earth

into his deep grave for such rites of comfort

are the preserve of the blessed union,

and in these sick times even to mingle

among a crowd of graveside mourners

was denied her, and, too,

the soft condolences of almost friends,

and almost neighbours, and

her invisibility whets her pain

while she waits for a far future

without this black hole in her life.


Anthony Wade

Midleton, Co. Cork, Ireland


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March 2021 (98 editions in total)


46th edition as a webzine, see below.


Poets listed in surname alphabetical order


* * *


Poem Index


Palisade - Carla Scarano D'Antonio.  Please note, Carla died on 10th March 2023, RIP.


Assisting in the Repair of a Damaged Underground Cable - Robert Dunsdon.


School Bullies - Noel King.


Sudden Stop - Bob Phillips.


Along with the Moon - David Pike.


Back When - Dr. Roger G. Singer.


inter views - Paul Tanner.


Skeleton Leaf - Emma Webb.


Audubon - Ron Yazinski.


Inventory - John Zedolik.






After Alice Maher, portrait


I erected a palisade around my face

to contain my thoughts,

it is made of young twigs

with pointed sprouts at the tips,

they are tied by a string to form a fence

a stiff collar that keeps my head upright,

holds my mouth closed but lets me breathe.

I erected a palisade around my face,

the cut ends dig into my skin

keeping me safe.


Carla Scarano D’Antonio

Chobham, Surrey




Assisting in the Repair of a Damaged Underground Cable


Manoeuvring a mechanical digger takes touch;

takes a resigned vacuity,

a philosophical ennui receptive to half-heard bells,

a red kite, the reproof of rosemary

broken under the tracks;


to a blue-black beetle clambering out of a hole

six by four by a metre and a half deep

under a rising sun;

under great lumps of steam

spilling from a cooling tower,

climbing into a day of tics and inconsistences

finding its feet among the cones, the cable-jacks,

the numbers sprayed purple in the long, wet grass.


Robert Dunsdon

Abingdon, Oxfordshire




School Bullies


I dreaded the school bell,

we got out at three,

I braced my face as shown 

but the reward of my bravery

was a hiding: a fist, a punch, a knock.

I sometimes ended up in the river


before they bored and the sweets

were gone from my pocket.


Now, what can I offer my son

it’s not for sweets now but






Noel King

Tralee, Ireland




Sudden Stop


After dinner you stroll from the hotel

down cobblestone streets lit by gas lamp

The clip-clop of long departed horses still audible

The clatter of the carriage long forgotten

As you turn the corner towards the town’s only pub

The warmth from the hearth beckons you inside

Whiskey to take the chill from your bones

The sojourn is coming to an end tomorrow

Soon you’ll be back in a Midwestern winter

plying your trade amid the whirl of the printing press,

dreaming of the solitary blank page

never to be written about your next adventure -

The bullet train speeding towards your final destination.


Bob Phillips

Savannah, TX, USA




Along with the Moon


He reached out

with an extended litter picker

and pulled a star

out of the void

roots and all

and placed the radiant


in a rusty biscuit tin

that had once belonged

to his nan,

and that, my friend

is how it began

all those seconds ago,

and it’s still there now

rattling around - along with the moon

and its gentle glow

captured, contained and

not on show –


but occasionally a beam of incandescent light

leaks out

through a crack in the night,

happy to show, it was what it was

and did what it did,

but held in check

by a biscuit tin lid.


David Pike

Camelford, Cornwall




Back When


a city

I once knew,

a road leading

in and then out

to a place

where a vacancy sign

with rusty hinges

squeaks sadly

near open doors

broken windows

shingles missing

and a three-legged chair

next to a fountain

where a headless

plastic flamingo

leans backwards,

its body filled

with sand


Dr. Roger G. Singer

Old Lyme, Connecticut, USA




inter views


I shook his hand

and sat down

opposite him.


I smiled at him,



Then he gave me a pen.

‘Now then,’ he said.

‘sell me that pen!’


So I got up and walked out. 


Standing at the bus stop

I reached into my pockets for change 

only to find

I still had the pen.


Well, if he wanted it back

he’d have to pay me.



I was a business genius.


Paul Tanner





Skeleton Leaf


Lace wing tickling

the sodden ground,

disrobed from

the bough last autumn.

A lover's clothes

strewn on wet grass,

made of finest

French needlework.


Veins that once

pumped life,

now brittle as old bones

miniature the shape of

a winter tree,

wrapped in gauze,



A lace doily

cleared from

summer's abundant table.

Matter gives way to space

until only

a web of beige,

fortresses the

passage of time.


When I return to the earth

may I leave a trace as

delicate as this.


Emma Webb






In the dawn light, a hawk circles
The tallest pine
Before settling on its very tip.
Balancing, it sticks its handsome
Head beneath its wing to preen.
Then sitting up tall, it shows its
Massive chest, the red of which
Matches the sunrise over the Atlantic,
In the pose Audubon was after
When he aimed his rifle.


Ron Yazinski

Winter Garden, Florida, USA






Dog-eared, creased, and frayed

stands the same copy of Manley Hopkins

for five years—no, eight, or maybe ten


even as its shelf has moved closer

to the rest rooms and cooking titles.

So I will take it, pay the price


the sombre ink still indicates,

as no sticker obliterates the print

that suggests some retail revision,


though time equals inflation.

But, of course, Father Gerard’s

rhythms have had no chance to spring


due to consumers’ choice, neglect.

Though the cashier will give no discount

for browsers’ wear, I will pay the full—


modest—millennial cost to bend the pages

and fold the cover, perhaps even

deface any number of leaves


with pencilled notes over which,

the sweat, the oil of ownership,

the released words may leap.


John Zedolik

Pittsburgh, PA, USA




December 2020 (97 editions in total)


45th edition as a webzine, see below.


Poets listed in surname alphabetical order


* * *


Poem Index


Little Bear Cabin - Richard Heller.


Cafe - Michael Jennings.


Happiness - David McLintock.


How Could I Not Dream of You? - Mike McNamara.


Wild Wood of Youth - Lynn Munn.


Ruminator (adjudicator) - David Pike.


Plenty of Time for Perfection - David Sapp.


Flannel White - John Short.


remembrance day shift - Paul Tanner.


Gunfire in the Woods - Mary Williams.


Neanderthals - Ron Yazinski.


Poem for my Seventieth birthday - Ron Yazinski.




Little Bear Cabin


The fresh fire

melts the stale snow

from the cabin roof.

The long fingers

of icicles—

drip, drip—

lose their grip

on the eaves.


The alpenglow

gladdens us

through the old-growth

cork pine and hemlock


as much as our cups

of white jasmine tea


as much as the cold

clean wind

on our faces


out here on the slippery

porch of our middle age.


Richard Heller

Pittsburgh, USA






It’s nothing posh despite the accent over the “e”,

a cup of tea, a bun, the clink of crockery,

the coming and going, a seat by the window.

It’s a democratic gathering, but the pin-striped suit

might elicit a stare or two; especially from young George

taking it all in from the depths of his pushchair.

The pair in the corner don’t see anything but each other,

and their chips have grown cold. De rigueur here

is old, faded and drab – not a place for the crooked finger,

drizzle has nothing to do with the cooking,

it’s the weather in the street outside;

a sushi bar is probably an upstart rival to Mars.

Here is proper food – eggs, bacon, beans, tomatoes and toast –

a wide enough menu in this unconscious example of humble living.


Michael Jennings

Keyworth, Nottinghamshire






Happiness comes up the path

And knocks cheerily,

3 quick raps, then steps back,

Beams at the unwary answerer,

Still in t-shirt and slippers,

Beams right in their teased eyes -

And offers the gift,

So beautifully wrapped,

So gilded, so promising,

So always the same when opened,

Discontent – woven round

With all its sparkling finery.


I no longer get up

From my chair,

However long or loud

The dog barks.


David McLintock





How Could I Not Dream of You?


How could I not dream of you

as once you were,

modestly walking

on today’s unshared streets;

Venetian hair reflecting

yesterday’s sun,

or lying beside me

as once you did,

your long fair lashes

sheltering the bluest of eyes?


Mike McNamara

Newport, Gwent, South Wales




Wild Wood of Youth


Wild wood of youth that sheltered

Squirrel, mole and badger,

Torn apart by bulldozer,

Beaten down by tractor.


On its grave, players now disport their girth

Nimbly on tomb of celandine, of willowherb

Shrilling love-fifteen, fifteen love,

Into the silence left by chaffinch, left by dove.


Where owl outstared the moon,

And with his haunting cry

Made lovers blood run cool,

Now, teacups rattle in the afternoon.


Lynn Munn

London, NW6




Ruminator (adjudicator)


There’s a lot to be said

about saying things,

and it makes sense

to get words off your

chest, whilst in memory

rather than later redacting text

thro’ fear of offending

those waiting to be


the routinely affronted  

wait in the wings

to specifically hear views

they decide not to approve

or wish to hear,

righteous to the point

of no point at all,

censoring, diluting,


looking for words

to expunge from the



David Pike

Camelford, Cornwall




Plenty of Time for Perfection


I’ve heard death is mandatory

but I live with the necessary

 dollop of illusion, without

an acute awareness of my end.

Certainly, the topic is glum,

like religion, sex or politics,

not the most polite conversation.

It’s untenable to dwell upon death

as part of my routine, office gossip,

idle banter over Sunday brunch,

though I’m sure someone somewhere

has made death their theology.


Death is an annoying neighbor

when life is governed by disease,

starvation, bullets and bombs.

The cultivation of enemies,

the enumeration of slights,

is dependent upon our immortality.

We treat each other as if any

transgression made this afternoon

will certainly be forgiven tomorrow.

There’s plenty of time to rectify

flaws, smooth out rough edges.

There’s plenty of time for perfection.


With each passing notion of death,

my intentions must be pure.

I’ll live a fuller life. Well, maybe.

I’ll accomplish less, but that’s good

for my overall disposition and the planet.

I’ll appreciate you more efficiently.

I’ll give affection frequently and freely.

I’ll make love with a simple joy,

without want, stipulation or agenda.

I’ll relax at last with death

as my steadfast companion.


David Sapp

Berlin Heights, OH, USA




Flannel White

My father’s journey through life

from school to war to office

was just a sequence of obedience

while others did the thinking.


No sooner home from work

than dinner finished, off to play.

Sundays at the cricket crease

the only place he wished to be.


A catalogue of parks and pitches

we were driven to on sufferance,

mum to make tea and sandwiches

in pavilions with other wives;


me enduring vistas of boredom

for a ritual as slow as chess.

But when I notice coloured kit

these days on television screens


I pine for lazy, esoteric afternoons

of flannel white and flying cork,

striped deckchairs - summer sun

long silences exploding into action.


John Short





remembrance day shift


it hits 11


so you turn the music off

the queue ceases its millipede shuffle

the beeping of the scanners



and you bow your heads

at your checkouts …


someone in the street

blows a trumpet,

the brass cries wafting

through the automatic doors

and into the shop …


you think of what your grandad told you, of that time in Paris

when the ambulance fell on its side as a shell hit the road. “the

buildings didn’t fall like dominoes,” he said, “they curled inwards

like burned papers, and I was looking at them upside-down

through the smashed window of the ambulance with my leg –”


OI! this big bloke

slams his hands down on your counter.


glowing bright red

with conviction,



as red as

the stripes

on his union jack t-shirt.


Paul Tanner





Gunfire in the Woods


Walking through woods I hear

rifle shots cracking the air;

a hubbub of rooks



I stay away.

Fear is what it says. Be fearful.

The rooks agitate the sky.

What if it comes closer?


Echoes of other places, other times.


In the mind’s undergrowth

a refugee crawls through the woods

dragging his tattered wings;

a child opens his beak to be fed.


The rooks circle and call,

circle and call.


Mary Williams

Market Drayton






Long before science proved it,

A noted anthropologist claimed

The reason he placed Neanderthals on the human family tree

Had less to do with any research he had done,

Than with the music he had listened to in college.


Those Woodstock era songs of brotherhood and harmony,

Shaped his thinking that all men are equal,

Part of the same family.


Having grown up with the same soundtrack,

I too sang songs of love and kindness,

Feel good tunes that encouraged judging others only by how much they give away;

Though, to be honest, beggars still make me uneasy;


Through protest songs about Viet Nam,

I learned to hate war so much,

I considered moving to Canada;

Though now my pension is funded

By the profits of defense contractors;


And with all those quasi-religious hits,

I cared less about the lyrics in praise of some comic- book god

Than I did about those transcendent solos

That I jammed along with on air guitar,

Realizing over time that what really moved me

Was not the speed at which the notes were played,

But rather the sweet spaces between the notes,

Like the silences before and after Om,

The silences only geniuses master.


Like that anthropologist,

I can easily accept the Neanderthal DNA in me.

It might explain the way I dance.

Though I might not be happy if these brothers moved next door,

Spoiling my nights

 With the flutes they had fashioned from their father’s bones.


Ron Yazinski

Winter Garden, Florida




Poem for my Seventieth Birthday


Instead of a card my brother texts a picture

Of the house next to our boyhood home.


After decades of neglect,

Simple rot has gotten the better of it.

The front porch has crumbled;

The plywood over the windows has popped;

And the bulk has come down like a drunk on one knee looking for his keys.

It’s anyone’s guess if it will hold this position long enough to be hauled away.


With it will go the memories of the ancient woman who lived there,

Who, as far as I could tell, never laughed,

Even when as a teenager I was in her home nightly,

Volunteered by my parents to tend her coal furnace.


Every cold evening, after dinner,

I would creak open her outside cellar door,

Careful not to prick my fingers on slivers,

And descend into the gloom of a dingy bulb;

There I scuffled along the dirt floor, bowing my head to avoid the low ceiling,

Until I stood between the bin and the furnace

Where I shovelled coal and removed ashes.


Usually, for the fifteen minutes I was there,

I would hear her shuffling around her kitchen above me,

Singing gospel songs at the top of her creaky voice,

Praising Jesus for this and thanking Him for that;


But every so many evenings,

She would stop in mid- hallelujah,

As if suddenly aware of my scraping the bottom of the furnace.

Then she would be silent, listening as I spilled ashes into a can,

Before clanking shut the hot metal door.


My father told me she had had a son about my age

Who, decades ago, died during a high school football game.

As I worked, I wondered if the noise I was making

Brought him back to her.


As for me, being mistaken for a ghost

Made my head throb;

Though, probably, it was more from the mold and ash dust,

And I needed to breathe the crisp night air.

As I closed the cellar door behind me,

She finished her “Hallelujah.”


Ron Yazinski


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September 2020 (96 editions in total)


44th edition as a webzine, see below.


Poets listed in surname alphabetical order


* * *


Poem Index


Removal - Gary Beck


The Caveman - Holly Day


Disraeli's Statue - Will Daunt


Thaw - Michael Jennings


Everyday is like Sunday - Ben Macnair


Size Nines - David Pike


We Must Rebuild - Paul Tanner


Perun, the Pole Sky God - Ron Yazinski






Winter winds blow harshly

on the abandoned homeless

marooned on city streets

‘til rain and snow drive them off,

no choice but to leave behind

cardboard signs imploring aid,

cardboard mattresses, cardboard blankets

decomposing from the torrent

that washes away the last hope

for primitive survival

before eradication.


Gary Beck

New York, USA




The Cavemen


I spent nearly a whole summer staring through the slats of the fence

at the people next door. We weren’t allowed to talk to them

because something was wrong with them, they didn’t have electricity,

they had an outhouse in the back, a pond in their yard.

Once a week, an old woman would come out of the house carrying a stack of rugs

and beat them until they were clean. I didn’t understand what she was doing

thought she did it because she was angry,

like when my mom broke glasses and pop bottles in the driveway

when she was mad.


They had kids, but they were too old for us to play with

one boy had a motorcycle, like my dad, but my dad

didn’t ever talk to the boy about his motorcycle. “They don’t have a television!”

my mom would wonder, in those days before she got so angry

she smashed up our own set, threw a boot through the screen

ended Saturday cartoons in our house for good.


I used to wonder what it was like in their house, if they had furniture

or if they slept in piles of blankets spread over the freshly-beaten rugs

drew hieroglyphs on the walls with fingers dipped in home-made paint

huddled around a roaring fire in the middle of their living room, the smoke

disappearing through rotted slats in the ceiling.


Holly Day

Minneapolis MN, USA




Disraeli’s Statue


L39 2AL: 3/1/2020


I’ve lost a pound or two       but the fresh year’s

fortune might improve if everyone took

a new look at themselves      and figured out

how to re-dress these ghosts of M & S

or H & M       or B & M      That bleached

kagoule who voted in this oddball tribe

slides aside to pass the mum who disowned

her dad for Wanting Out      The uni-hound

in shorts has seen the green and waves towards

the bloke who snubbed the lights      then flings the Vs.


Will Daunt

Ormskirk, West Lancashire






It was like seeing unexpectedly

what seemed the gleam

of something lost and given up on;

something seeming to redeem

a long abandoned hope;

like a faint trickle of a thaw,

a hint of Spring

after Winter’s icy grip on your soul.


Going about household chores,

while you were showering,

beyond the forbidden door,

I’m sure I heard you singing.


Michael Jennings

Keyworth, Nottinghamshire




Everyday is like Sunday


The neighbours are cleaning their cars,

the third time this week.

They will never shine like this again.

The neighbours are cutting their lawns,

playing a symphony with the notes

produced by their mowers.

The Church Bells are still.



We have the same rituals.

Read the papers.

Watch the news.

Listen to experts,

and people on Facebook, and Twitter,

spouting their incendiary views.


We take the government-sanctioned walk.

That brief respite from the house,

is a sanctuary.

We start conversations with former

nodding acquaintances,

and look forward to things going

back to normal

that will never really be.

Someone somewhere is playing Itchycoo Park.

No-one is playing Morrissey.


Ben Macnair

Lichfield, Staffordshire




Size Nines


Let them get on with it

jiggering about

making mistakes,

and whatever comes through

don’t intrude,

keep your trap firmly shut

buttoned, zipped,

because you won’t be blessed

for planting your oar in;

in fact

you’ll be seen as a meddlesome

old fart

just as you thought others

were meddlesome old farts

when you were their age,

when you were young, irritable and

obscenely green.


Now you’re just irritable

and obscene;

so don’t run amok

with an opinionated gob

take it easy

give up, you’re not up to the job,

you may be acknowledged

but thankfully not heard.


That’s the problem with ageing

you think you’ve copped the lot. . .


let’s face it

the whole thing’s absurd.


David Pike

Camelford, Cornwall


From David Pike’s books, In the Mix,

2007 & Sometime, Somewhere, Somehow, 2018.




we must rebuild


went in the jobcentre

and the place was gutted:

the walls stripped,

the empty desks turned over,

wires dangling everywhere.


I turned and walked back out:

I was glad the revolution was happening

but I’m too little and pretty for prison.


was halfway up the road

when three builders started chasing me.

two of them pinned me against the wall

and patted me down,


while the other was on the phone, saying




when they realised I had nothing on me



“looking for a job?” I squeaked, my mouth kissing brick.

turns out

the jobcentre was shut for refurbishment.

no one had told me, least of all my jobcentre advisor.


I stood face-first against the wall,

a hand to the back of my neck

while they cancelled the police.


I felt like I’d let them down.


Paul Tanner





Perun, the Pole Sky God

This winter solstice
The full moon glows like a crystal ball
Illuminating my lanai;
And I think how my dead mother,
Would have loved it,
Saying it reminded her of my father’s smile.

But once again,
I wish she hadn’t been a Catholic,
That she had instead raised me in the old ways
So that I could believe the North Star was the Eye of Perun,

The Slavic god of oaks and heavens,
Who watched over his radiant world,
With its forests and fields filled
With eternal spirits, like her and my dad;

The god who taught his people not to fear the wind,
The all night wind,
With its hoots of distant owls
And the cries of small birds that dream of owls


Ron Yazinski

Winter Garden, FL, USA


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June 2020 (95 editions in total)


43rd edition as a webzine, see below.


Poets listed in surname alphabetical order


* * *


Poem Index


Ardent Forclosure - Frank De Canio


Fashioned - Michael Jennings


Teen Years Revisited - Frank Joussen


Pig - Lynne Munn


Not So Crazy Kate - Lynne Munn


Intrinsically Bad - David Pike


Bowling Reunion - John Short


No Longer Free - John Short


A Day Away From The Circus - Paul Tanner


Murder on EBay - Ron Yazinski




Ardent Foreclosure


Although he brandished her a harmless gift,

it only took her seconds to disarm

him. She gave fugitive designs short shrift

through agile demonstrations of her charm.

And even though he bargained that she’d spare

his sensibilities, she drew him near

so he could feel intruding through her hair,

the hardware of her cockleshell of ear.

Her firm embrace constrained his face beside

hers with maneuvers that would scarcely spare

him. Since he couldn’t run, and still less hide,

he sighed, relieved that his designs were good,

despite the heat still hidden where he stood.


Frank De Canio

Union City, NJ, USA






Despite the care, the deftly argued case,

you still said, no, to each request,

though each reply though brief was yet polite.

No matter how my feelings were expressed,

how phrased and how precise,

your answers never slapped me down, not quite,

and so inspired another go at getting yes.

Meantime, an alchemy beyond all wit,

had used those all too frequent blows

to fashion from that hardened self-concern,

a wiser, less possessive point of view

where visceral success no longer burned

and in its place was fashioned, bit by bit

someone more accepting and more resilient too.


Michael Jennings

Keyworth, Nottinghamshire




Teen Years Revisited


at the parties, dance schools, school dances,

down by the river with its rocky banks,

sometimes the warm sand of the beach,

there were the couples

always busy, timelessly happy

in the breaking up – making up game

then again, there were the teens

all alone in the crowd –

“no one wanted to be them”


before they fell in love

for the first time

at the parties, dance halls, school halls,

the cool rocky river banks,

sometimes the warm, soft beach

and then, and then

everybody wanted to be


(Quotation taken from Louise Glück´s poem “Midsummer”)


Frank Joussen

Erkelenz, Germany






There is something loveable about a pig,

Lolling in fat, fleshy folds,

Snuffling with greedy snout,

Slitted eyes with pleasure glinting,

And grunting, snorting, almost bellowing.


As a city child, my first glimpse of pig

Was of its head set on a large, blue platter,

In the window of a pork butcher;

Mouth shaped as in fixed grin

Around a ruby, rosy apple stuffed in.

With eyes agape and heart untimely shaken,

I asked my mother what had happened to the rest of him,

It would, she said, become pork cuts, ham and bacon,

Poor, poor pig, all of him broken…broken…


Lynne Munn

London, NW




Not So Crazy Kate


Grotesque Kate, gargoyle Kate,

Tottering along Finchley Way,

In shoes too big, heels too high,

Mini-skirt flapping ludicrously

Against an ancient thigh.


Make-up trowelled in

The rutted ruin of her skin

Clown’s lips painted round

A wide distracted grin,

Hair like crow’s nest torn

From a quivering elm in storm.


People gape as Kate sails by

But she is blind to pitying eye,

For in the twisted thicket of her mind

She has found sanctuary,

Shielded from the fiery sun

And frantic crying of the wind.


Lynne Munn




Intrinsically Bad


This poem

contains explicit material

and should only

be read by

persons of 18 years

of age or older

and includes many

references to things

which entice, solicit, smoulder

and are disgustingly rude,

crude, and unsightly.


Do not read

if you are of a timid, shy

or nervous disposition

because this stuff

has all of the above

with a bit more thrown in

of an erotic, suggestive

ouch elected

yaroo! - thank you

corrective, bothered,


chafed and bruised



don’t read this poem

as it is intrinsically bad.


Oh, you already have.


© copyright David Pike, from books At Durgan, 2017

& Sometime, Somewhere, Somehow, 2018

Listen to Intrinsically Bad via YouTube, click: https://youtu.be/kVTkdzMxqQY




Bowling Reunion


The whole crowd’s out tonight:

perfect blazers and club ties,

veined visages, cut-glass accents,

they are a wondrous bunch

with polished spitfire elegance

a curious breath of yesterday.

Some need assistance, shuffling

to crackers and candlelight

and a confusion of cutlery.

Some struggle with names,

catch threads of conversation

half-grasped through hearing aids.

But they’re all so glad they made it

to this celebration of another year

though their aim is failing,

the score sheets a disaster zone,

woods gathering garage dust

and the jack seems permanently lost.


John Short

Lydiate, Merseyside




No Longer Free


You used to make me happy:

our rendezvous in the square.

I’d wait a bit then you’d appear

out of the darkness with a smile

then I’d take you to a bar

and put my arms around you

then later to bed in the old hotel.

Years on we’re still together

and I am certainly no longer free:

all effort flows away

to your needs and aspirations

but it’s good to be important to someone

and it beats the hell out of being alone.

Life and people congeal around us,

set like gelatine but it’s okay really.

I can’t imagine life without you.


John Short




a day away from the circus


angry in the dark

on your rented bed

after the longest shift

of your short life

too angry

to sleep

and would you believe

you take no comfort

from knowing that countless others

are in the same boat,


in this angry dark?

look around the rented room

see their hands

come out of the rented dark

and capsize your boat …

it’s your day off tomorrow.

well, today

and the lady downstairs will start blaring her tv

in a couple of hours

and you’ll be standing red-eyed at the rented window

40-odd hours without sleep

looking out at the world you rent,

fine-tuning your thoughts

down to:

‘I want my money back’

and then finally just


or ‘ugg. ugg, god.’


Paul Tanner





Murder on EBay


“Murder on EBay,” stated the headline.

A t first glance, because this is Florida,

I thought someone had placed a winning bid

For a hit man to do away with either

A cheating husband or his girlfriend;

Or, if the winner was, like many of my smiling neighbors,

A follower of the Prosperity Gospel,

Had him do what Jesus endorses, but does little to facilitate,

Remove a boss who stood in the way of promotion.

Instead, on reading the piece, I found it was a mundane shooting

On East Bay Street, a mile from where I live,

A street that everybody calls E-bay,

Where a drug deal had gone so bad a thirteen-year-old

Gunned down a twenty-five year-old father of two.

How have I reached the point where

I am moved more by the absurdity of the headline

Than the tragedy it tells?


Ron Yazinski

Winter Garden, FL, USA




Click: Return to Home Page


March 2020 (94 editions in total)


42nd edition as a webzine, see below.


Poets listed in surname alphabetical order


* * *


Poem Index


A Scorned Snail - Lynne Munn


November Sunset Over Lake Ontario - George Payne


Not a Biscuit - David Pike


He Was Here - Dr. Roger Singer


Return to Nowhere - Julia Stothard


Untethered - Julia Stothard


Some Ode - Paul Tanner


Tutorial - Ron Yazinski




A Scorned Snail


I am a snail and move very slowly,

Never, ever do I hurry,

Because you see, I have a house

Of shell, always to carry with me.


Humans, I suspect, at sight of me

Wonder what can my purpose be,

Except to gnaw the vegetation

Carefully nurtured in their garden.


But nature created me, as well as they,

Her’s is the law by which we have no say.

She reigns, and what she rules must prevail,

A scorned snail! yet in my wake only I

Can leave a shimmering diamond trail.


Lynne Munn

London, NW6




November Sunset Over Lake Ontario 


She handed me the egg,

between the bones, slowly

and meticulously, and the egg,

in her fingers, if one could call

them that, reminded me of the sun

oozing below florescent indigo-

tangerine clouds with chocolate

shadows on the cheekbones of houses.


George Payne

Rochester, NY, USA




Not a Biscuit


Once you’d read the sub-text

wading through yards of paragraphs

and spellbinding legalise,

jargon, designed not to please

and close the eyes

of an involuntary reader,

you come across a glaring

small-print intrusion

a barbed get out of this

hidden in the depths of minutia.


‘Just sign,’ it doesn’t say

but implies

knowing the reader

will be weary and disinclined

to read anymore,

so, the ‘Accept’ button is clicked

and the package permits access to more,

with a spy buried deep within

keeping a note of the ongoing score.


David Pike

Swindon, Wiltshire




He Was Here


And then…

he was gone

he took with him

his voice

and crooked smile

his welcoming eyes

and calm purpose

to all he met

he left behind

his favorite hat

a pen for writing

a few books

and a cat and dog

that still look for him

sorrow fills in hard

the void at first

flooding cherished

memories into corners

of what remains.


Dr. Roger Singer

Old Lyme, Connecticut, USA




Return to Nowhere


These outskirts are tattered hems of a city

ragged and knotty, crusted with blotchy

islands of paint

where life revs up to the highs encircled

on signs lining the road

through the cemetery, north and south.


Our ambitions are wired pylon to pylon

but all routes out are snubbed by debts.

Time is local

and comfortable only

with knowing the boundaries

and spraying names on faceless walls.


The potholes mouth a welcome to rain

reflecting our faces, creased and oily

beneath the debris -

in summer, the ruts will drain to dust

as we blow along on the breeze,

returning to nowhere.


Julia Stothard

Shepperton, Middlesex






Grass has overtaken the path,

the churned earth settled to maple-red

& our stream has silted smoothly

in its bed.

We no longer leap its banks.


The forest heals from us,

slips quietly away when voices

tune out against the distance.

It keeps its lips sealed

and thinks in green.


We have dried out and furled inwards,

stiff in our bones, slow streams

thinning through us.

We have become the shade

of our own shelter.


When there’s nothing left to tether us,

we craze and flake;

a scattering

that snags in the cedar, the beech,

Scots pine and silver birch.


Will we always meet back here,

gathering ourselves

in leaf?

We trust in the faintest whisper

carried amongst the vigilant trees.


Julia Stothard




Some Ode


what sort of job are you looking for? she asks me

and I mean

I’m here

signing on:

what are my options, exactly?

I’m a drunk pervert

so I’d like to be a politician please

but no: they’re looking for a toilet cleaner in the shopping centre.

I decline

and when she denies me help

she smiles the smile that can only be smiled

when one fulfils a quota

and this place that exists

to keep people like me off the streets

sends me out into the streets?

tis confusing:

if only 1 of the 3 GCSE’s I got were in council logic, eh?

and in these streets

a spherical woman a quarter of my age

flings her kid over a wall with a defiant cough,

the burnt vagina sky framing her in purple strings:

when did I miss the bomb drop?

even the very atoms that encase and fill us

have the whiff of the charlatan about them

and the kid has a cough, too.


Paul Tanner







I’m so old I’ve outlived my metaphors,

Like that night in Colorado

When the multitude of stars were so bright and precise

They looked like numbers and symbols on a blackboard,

One endless equation written in a meticulous hand,

Proving that from the first flash of time,

I had to be there,

Studying that night;


Whereas, on filmy Florida nights, the few stars I can make out

Are white flakes on a blackboard, like the points of chalk

Hurled by sophomore boys

As soon as the substitute teacher turned his back.


Ron Yazinski

Winter Garden, FL, USA




Click: Return to Home Page


December 2019 (93 editions in total)


41st edition as a webzine, see below.


Poets listed in surname alphabetical order


* * *


Poem Index


Casket - Michael Jennings.


Foxgloves - Lynne Munn.


Trees - Lynne Munn.


Expert in the Field - David Pike.


Scotland - David Sapp.


The Missing Part - Soran. M. H


Fast Journey - Soran. M. H


Ghosts - Ron Yazinski






Three in the morning in a hospital bed

and the name came to me.

But what process and by what clues

had the search through the chaotic files and folders

of my mind been conducted?

Had it lasted from the time

the ambulance doors closed

and I had been unable to return her wave?

And who or what had done the searching?

How kind she had been

when I had fallen in the street.

Had gratitude given life

to whatever was taking place

along the skull’s labyrinthine corridors?

Did the desire to remember

match a desire to be remembered

and, drawn and pushed,

the name had struggled

past goodness knows what obstacles

to the surface of my consciousness?

Was the name important?

Perhaps it was a hand casket

in which to keep what little I knew of her.


Michael Jennings

Keyworth, Nottingham






School holidays were always spent

In the country with a spinster aunt.

Such bliss! to freely roam many a fragrant hour,

Among the foxgloves, dusky-pink, and tall as me,

Growing wild outside her garden, so orderly

And neat, while joy wiped clean of memory

The streets where never blew a flower.


Dear Aunt, only now long after your demise,

I suddenly and ruefully realise

Why, when I arrived you rummaged with such haste,

Through the contents of my shabby case,

So anxious to ensure no tiny, parasitic interloper

Had, unbeknown to me, covertly made the journey

From the streets, where never blew a flower.


Lynne Munn

London, NW6






Only the wind brushing their leaves

Moves the trees,

Anguish can fill the air

They feel no despair


Only the rain pearling their leaves

Touches the trees,

Tears can flood the ground,

They stand unmoved.


But when come storms with blast and hail,

Perhaps when bent in wild travail,

They, too, may feel some part

Of all that ravages the human heart


Lynne Munn




Expert in the Field


He thought he was an intellectual

elite, intuitive, respectable

and in possession

of an exceptionally keen brain

while others knowingly proclaimed,

“he was a steaming great twit.”


And from a lofty academic plain

he craned to look down his nose

on those he thought undesirable,


because he posed

there was nowhere else to go

when conversing with those who were common

or slow

they possessed little incite or wit

and annoyed in a rough uncultured way,

meanwhile others exclaimed,

“he was a steaming great twit.”


It wasn’t that he was pompous

arrogant or rude

although he could be all three

when in the right mood

and his spoken illustrations

on the minutia of

something of low significance today

was by default

and in its own way

party interesting

but people, in summary would mainly say,

“he was a steaming great twit.”


He had an opinion about anything

had an answer for everything

but did nothing

and said everyone should keep in pace

and not complain

(because he never did)

being well-off and removed

from what everyone else had to do

to survive

and at night he’d wear a deer stalker hat

and go out for a drive

and anyone who saw him surmised,

“he was a steaming great twit.”


David Pike

Swindon, Wiltshire

From DP’s poetry book, The Strand, 2012






When I arrive at clavicle, humerus,

Acromion, the view is breath-taking,

A vista nothing like the map.

Still, after thirty-some years,

I am a fortuitous Norseman,

Longboat aground upon the shore;

I discover the northern-most

Pinnacle of your back.

Here, you could be Scotland

But just south of Ben Nevis,

More hummock than summit:

Your curiously arousing scapula.

I assumed my caresses were familiar

With your bones, every curve

Of your topography, but here, oh here!

Is a delicious, neglected crest.

I’ll ascend your gentle highland tor

With fresh, audacious kisses.


David Sapp

Berlin Heights, OH, USA




The Missing Part?


If love can be

the dynamo of life

as most of us believe

20 springs

with all their blossoms are so many

and 20 autumns too

with all their fallen leaves,

if not in them

where else

the expression

‘I love you?’

I don’t know

whether light follows the dark

or night hides from the day

but I am certain that

both are perfect together,

all those blue eyes

are marvellous,

such a clear sky

at summer dawn,

such a wide blue ocean

with all its calm blink waves,

but I wonder

where are all these desperate fishes

who lost the shore?

most poets write

their dreams

but this is different

it’s the reality within the dream.


Soran. M. H





Fast Journey


You were a minute late.
The train left you behind,
Your poem unfinished.
You woke.

Your reading of the stories of rivers
Was interrupted.
Night fell.

Not acquainted with the deeps of
You desired to know the mysteries of
the sunset,
Of the yellowing of leaves.


Soran. M. H






There are too many ghosts.

First, there’s the couple who built this house,

And then that of their daughter

Who lived here before us,

All flitting from room to room,

As if looking for lost keys.


And then there are those of their parents and grandparents

Who haunted them,

All dressed in period clothes and worn shoes

Following the first group around,

Hanging on their every word

Just in case their names are mentioned.


Lately, I’ve started seeing them down town,

Following me in legions,

Without even the courtesy of pretending to look in shop windows when I turn around,

So that Plant Street resembles a busy day at Disney World,

When you can’t see the sidewalk because of the crowd.


All of them jostling, quietly studying me,

As if they expect me to say or do something important, like mention their names.

At first I admit I was scared,

Chills up and down my neck and spine.

But I’ve grown used to them.

Now when the dog grows restless at three in the morning

And I awake, I bravely smile and wave.

At which, like hungry children watching a fat man eat an ice cream, they stare


Ron Yazinski

Winter Garden, Florida




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September 2019 (92 editions in total)


40th edition as a webzine, see below.


Poets listed in surname alphabetical order


* * *


Poem Index


George Street South, SP2 7BQ - Will Daunt.


Bourn Bridge, CB21 6AN - Will Daunt.


Underground - E A M Harris.


Speechless - John Miller.


An Invitation to Your Wedding - Lynne Munn.


The Mohawk - George Cassidy Payne.


Warning Device - David Pike.


Final Phase - John Short.




George Street South



We got off slightly, our road a footnote

beyond the city’s bandage, twenty-five

years after Meadow and George Street went

under the knife - two lags left limp for dotage.

Hardly Berlin - but the hacking asphalt

bustled and flickered through our first three years -

Churchill’s Way, perhaps. Before leaving, one

wayward trip wheeled us up on the city

side, and our terrace’s score of siblings.

Who lived there then, and knew the other street?


Will Daunt





Bourn Bridge

CB21 6AN


The science park is barred and filmed and partitions

shape those fields we’d cross. Here’s rugby

country and there are some chirpy Baltic

women, bent over veg.,


Permissive paths have occupied the wood

and the World Famous Cafe puts up a bund

of cemented wire across the gap once

called a Welcome, while the listed half-baked

shack next door is swallowed by a bury-

built school for kids who pay to learn by trees.


Will Daunt






the men of the mine, swarthy and smiling;

the pick handed down from great-great-grandpère;

an eye that understands the ore;

tock, tock, tock of pick on rock;

water, cold and fusty;



pale insects scurry from a lantern;

tick, tick, tick of hammer;

the smell of bat droppings;

tock, tock, tock from far ahead;

cold sweat;

scratched boots;

the perfume of wet ore;

the perfume of its value;

tick, tick, tick – drips in the distance;

incline of the roof;

roughness underfoot;

rough timbers;

lamplight knocking on darkness;

tock, tock, tock of someone’s watch.


E A M Harris

Bridgwater, Somerset






Father, we had no consecrated ointment,

no rites for the observance of your death.

When you were grimacing with pain

as your life ebbed, we—your family—uttered

no consolatory prayers, could think

of nothing that would help any of us.

We didn’t prop your head with cushions

to encourage last words


though I had precedents enough

in literature for memorable deaths.

We knew Goethe’s last request—

more light, more light

and what friends did for Franz Schubert,

hushing his cries with pious ministrations,

soothing him with scripture.


Should we have known some benediction

 to recite when the last feeding tube,

the last polygraph was being unplugged

from what had been your life support?

Only my younger sister thought to croon

your boyhood nickname in Hungarian,

stroking your damp forehead, while I stood

stricken speechless and numb, father,

not even reaching for your hand.


Here, now, with these words

is it really better late than never?


John Miller

Lexington, Virginia, USA




An Invitation to Your Wedding


I will be shrieking round suburbia,

Hoping it is not too late

And you will hear.


Race up and down each quiet road,

Startling all the sleepers

And the moribund.


Howl, howl round trees provoking

Cushioned cats to sir and stretch,

Dimly remembering.


But if, like leaf fall in October,

My cries too shall be unheard,

Sadly then, I leave you to your sepulchre.


Lynne Munn

London, NW




The Mohawk


My world is concealed

under the Mohawk’s

waters, way beneath the

cries of geese in flight and

rockslide scars of slippery,

olive skinned hemlocks

smeared in October’s maple,

blood- red moss, rushing

past my descendant’s statues.


George Cassidy Payne

Rochester, NY, USA




Warning Device


Festering in a corner

the affronted, wounded


member for January to December

was about to explode, pondered a bit

then did

off blew the lid

showering remnants of life

clothes, former abode

and other indiscernible


to various areas of the world

where they lay as unrecognisable fragments,

not part of the whole

picture thing.


Nearby a monkey on a bicycle

pushed a bell, a warning device

that sounded

with a ring.


David Pike

Swindon, Wiltshire

From: The Strand, poetry book by David Pike, published 2012




Final Phase


They are giraffe-tall

and allergic to silence,

have never heard 

of multiplication tables,


they stand aside 

as I pass - say Sorry.

A visual reminder

of teachers perhaps?


I might as well sport

bargain basement shoes,

a beige windjammer

then realize I can play


the part without props:

this lined exterior

declares to everyone

I'm in the final phase


John Short

Lydiate, Liverpool


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* * *


June 2019 (91 editions in total)


39th edition as a webzine, see below.


Poets listed in surname alphabetical order


* * *


Poem Index


Grove Seasons - Richard Dinges, Jr.


Uncle David - Michael Jennings.


The old man in the cage - Sean Lause


A Gift in Winter - Lynne Munn


Divorce - Lynne Munn


The Gogs - David Pike


Unusual and Dangerous - John D. Robinson




Grove Seasons


Tree leaves packed dense

filter sunlight,

my eyes dilated

in shadows.  Leaves

fail, shed into

brittle piles that mark

my steps with bitter

cackles, reveal

branches, dark frames

between stained glass

panes of pale sky.

Snow piles over

limbs, reflect sun

to blind me in

a gentle spray

of crystals.  Dark buds

erupt into green

shade, block sunlight

again and I cool

into a damp earthen


Richard Dinges, Jr.

Walton, NE, USA




Uncle David


When uncle David came the chances were

he’d brought something to be altered –

a shirt collar needing to be turned,

a pair of trouser shortened.

He sat in our living room,

drank a cup of tea and chatted

in his deep easy-going voice,

swapping family news and other matters

while mouther worked the treadle

and the Singer clicked and clattered.

With the alteration snipped free of the machine

he’d be off on the bike he’d left against the wall.

This was poverty that didn’t bite too deep:

it clothed us in a dignity that no one knew they wore.


Michael Jennings

Keyworth, Nottinghamshire




The old man in the cage


It is Sunday.  The old man in the cage
is wheeled through the town again.
His lips tremble with violations.
There must have been a time when he was young.


He signatures the wind with words
they cannot decipher.  He is no one.
Though some say he knows when time will end.
His face is a map of sins and visions.


The citizens baptize their cars, their souls
as white as the illusion of innocence.
They toss him mirrors and laughter.
He shows them rage and the seat of his pants.


He is the sum of all their ages,
guilty of a crime he can’t remember.
At sunset they return him to his cave
where he’ll remain ‘till they need him again
to preen their jaded dream of being gods.


Sean Lause

Bluffton, Ohio, USA




A Gift in Winter


Solitary, creamy-yellow, full blown rose,

There is surely a lapse in your memory

To make you bloom like this in January.

Flaunting your delicate beauty through days

Dank and drear with flutterings of snow,

When you should have rusted and died

Like your kindred, long, long ago.

Each fragrant petal fully open

Blows undefiled by winter’s thrust,

Beauty so brave, so flawless,

Amazes eyes grown used to dreariness,

Uplifts the spirit driven low by sunless

Days, and revives a sinking trust in nature,

The magical and eternal conjuror.


Lynne Munn

London, NW






When the last leaves of autumn

Snatched by wilful wind,

Lie like shredded sunset

On the grass,

Will they remember spring

Before they pass,

Under footprint and snow

Into the crust of earth?


When all my future days

From yours are severed,

Finally and forever,

Will they remember spring

As documents are passed

From hand to legal hand,

And when our case is closed

What then? Will we shrivel?


Lynne Munn




The Gogs


A sickly-sweet odour of cutting oil

filtered through a hedgerow

oozing from an overflow

that bordered a workshop

of industrial noise;

it was a cloying smell

that lingered in the nostrils

of a small boy

crouched on a muddy track

peering intently into a shallow

backwater stream

that meandered betwixt, between

and down past The Lamb.


A small jam-jar

rested on the ground

filled with aquatic fauna

and a dazzle of bright water,

liquid that deflected light

Schlieren style

as flickering rays

filtered through an array of trees.


Two sticklebacks swam

in the close confines

of the ex-jam jar,

magnificent creatures,

silver, red, with a touch of


The boy looked for another,

where small fishes swim,

totally enthralled, taking it in,

relaxed in his skin. . .


before becoming old.


David Pike

Swindon, Wiltshire





Unusual and Dangerous

I didn’t know what I
was looking for
and I began
looking in some of
the most unusual
and dangerous of
places and people:
high life
low life
no life:
I searched
all over,
found nothing

that meant
I grabbed a pen
and started
scribbling, not
knowing what
else to do.


John D. Robinson

Hastings, East Sussex


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* * *


March 2019 (90 editions in total)


38th edition as a webzine, see below.


Poets listed in surname alphabetical order.  


* * *


Poem Index


Dictate – Gary Beck


Vermin – Holly Day


Old Crocker – Michael Jennings


American Beauty – George Cassidy Payne


Low Rider – David Pike


Roughing It – Fabrice B Poussin


Foundry – John Timothy Robinson


Cottage Song – Roger Singer


Unskilled – Ian C. Smith






Statistically speaking

most humans

prefer to be told

rather than asked

to do this or that

at the behest of someone

rarely concerned

with the needs of the people.


Gary Beck

New York, USA






I’m sorry

I think to the cockroaches that squish under my boots

as I walk home along the roaring breakers of ocean surf

on a thin strip of sidewalk crumbling slowly to sand. In the darker shadows

cat-sized rats scurry over concrete pilings, carrying greasy chip bags

hamburger wrappers and bits of rotting fruit in their mouths

claiming the fetid remains of the day for a midnight feast.

Years before, these rats and roaches would have been in hiding

in the ramshackle brick houses and empty warehouse spaces that used

to line this part of town, but now that all those old buildings are gone

and the new buildings, mostly condos, are too brightly lit for vermin

the rats and the roaches have all come down to the beach. The new condo owners

might have chased away the junkies and the whores

and the homeless drunks with their overflowing shopping carts

but the rats and the roaches are here to stay.


Holly Day

Minneapolis MN




Old Crocker


Old Crocker brought us coal.

His blackened, scary face

had bulging bloodshot eyes

which stared below a greasy cap.

From lorry to his leather-aproned back

he heaved each sack and humped it

down the concrete path

in battered blakey-studded boots,

which as he thudded through,

struck sparks,

until the thunder of black fuel

tumbling in the bunker.

Such was the fearsome ogre

who brought us warmth in winter.


Michael Jennings

Keyworth, Nottinghamshire




American Beauty


Is mermaid legs of

silk noodles and storm

trooper boots. It’s pant

less. A hemmed blouse

of Amazonian orchids.

Tattooed neck. Marine

haircut. A chair made

of wolf pelts. Dressed as

a lemon meringue pie.

Drinking mushroom

tea and giggling at stars.


George Cassidy Payne

Rochester, NY, USA




Low Rider


Opt me out

of anything spontaneous, spectacular

or rash,

but don’t let me stop you

having a bash

on the scariest rides

that thrill making engineers

design and provide

for fun seeking fun seekers -


persons who enjoy a thrill

to show they’re alive

though nearly being killed,

and queue for the privilege.


It’s their bag you see

to be at the peak of anxiety

screaming out loud –

but leave me out,

I’ll be taking a step back

to realign my inner self,

addressing a wealth

of calm idiosyncrasies.


David Pike,

Swindon, Wiltshire




Roughing It


A rough dress forgotten, designed for a lady, worn by 

a mother who never took much to the traits of stars.


Modelling hands of ruby nails and soft lotions, bare

no likeness to the digits crevassed by cold and rain.


Mouths needed feeding, food to be planted

and dirt soiled the folds of a skin still trying to be young.


No time for jolly waltzes in the dusty, musky ballroom

only a moment to turn from oven to table at work.


Eyelashes faded, braids unravelled with the passing days

the make-up hardened to become cement in a tight jar.


When death came at last beauty was allowed anew

she lay still rosy cheeks, peaceful under deep foundation.


The little girl had dreamed of a cover glamour shot

success indeed; that it is the last memory of her.


Fabrice B Poussin

Rome, Italy






When I first saw the place one summer

it looked like someone dropped a bomb.

Through a chain-link fence

sheet metal siding charred black as coal

hung on steel girders.

From the car window

you could only look through one end

where furnace number nine made silicon.

When they tapped, a fiery glow exploded,

split darkness in a shower of volcanic light.


Waiting in the gravel parking lot

after dad’s shift,

the car was an oven of three o’clock heat.

They walked from the small building

covered in black steel-dust

like old photographs of miners.

Covered with fine filings,

this dust that resembled glitter

inside through a shaft of light,

you cleaned from your nose an hour after shift.

Black snot.  Black spit.

Steel was in their blood.

Fifty years, my father worked

through changing names, collective bargaining,

a strike, an employee buy-out.


Lines on his face and in his hands

were other stories.

He drove almost an hour every day to work.

one direction,

strung electrical wire,

checked switches, relays, transistors.


Sunflower seeds and cigarette buts on the plunging station floor.

Mess hall cuss and days of jokes.

Once in a while someone brought food.

Talk of mortgages, political snares.

One summer on furnace number two,

Miller looked at me and said,

“Welcome to Hell.”

Everybody just wanted a better life.


Many years later

one of them was pulled over;

a rumor of cocaine in his trunk.


After all this time,

here and there they fall,

felled by life;

alcohol, heart disease and cancer.


John Timothy Robinson

Gallipolis Ferry, WV, USA




Cottage Song


I remember shadows

and the long arms of strength.


I see smiles and pain

seasons passing.

Voices over a river

one I’m familiar with -


thoughts provide a healing,

of scars no longer visible.


I recall the aroma of lilacs

in the morning,

dew covering canvas awnings

and red wing blackbirds

heading to the tidal basin.


Roger Singer

Old Lyme, Connecticut, USA






I have an apartment lease to offload, need a foxhole

after another upheaval in the hum of these days,

discovery, escape, possibility, blood fizzing.

I recognise the canny suit who responds to my ad,

taking me back to the cages of earlier restless times.


He was my boss when I quit, storming out offended

by tactless remarks criticising a distressing call,

a medical emergency halting sweaty work.

No phones in pockets.  Work scarce.  Bosses ruled.

I had vowed to find another job before day’s end.


He remembers me, an emotional boy-father

of an injured child, who showed up the next morning.

Smug, compassionate, I couldn’t tell back then,

he assumed I would retract my notice, was shocked

I landed a job that day I told him where to stick his.


He wants the apartment for his student daughter.

I mention my language studies, enjoy his surprise again,

omit shameful wreckage bobbing in life’s wake,

the married girlfriend, cheap drama like a bad movie.

We all want our hazardous lives to turn out magical.  


Ian C Smith

Sale, Vic, 3850, Australia



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