Wyatt Earp Fumbles – Oz Hardwick

Wyatt Earp Fumbles

Where once we had words, now our mouths stretch
themselves.. into clumsy semaphore,.. unnatural
shapes. struggling. for. meaning. Do you. remember
the card-sharp play of crafty syllables,.. verbs slipped
up. sleeves and. nestling. in. the. necks of loose-laced
boots?.. The. piano. player. stopped.. each. time. you
walked in,.. and the barman slid neat phrases down a
bar that stretched forever, saloon doors swinging like
a buzzard. eating itself... It might have. been distance,
or.. it. might.. have. been.. the.. bullet.. holes. in.. my
embroidered. waistcoat,. but. all. the. world’s a. stage
leaving a. one-horse town,. and. though my jaws. flex,
stretch and ache,. all sound lies dead in the high noon


Oz Hardwick is a poet, photographer and sometime musician, whose seventh poetry collections, Learning to Have Lost, was published in 2018 by the International Poetry Studies Institute, Canberra. Oz leads the Creative Writing programmes at Leeds Trinity University.


The Wake – Hannah Brockbank

The Wake

A life time from now, I’ll still remember
how we steadied ourselves in the wake
of her worn body. How we tied apron strings
around each other’s waists, stacked teacups high
and told them not to topple over,
as if that could be the final thing to break us.


Hannah Brockbank is published in a variety of journals, magazines and anthologies including: When Women Waken journal, The London MagazineEnvoi, and Raving Beauties (ed.) Hallelujah for 50ft Women anthology. Her debut pamphlet, Bloodlines is published by Indigo Dreams Publishing.

Knockoff – Paul Waring


His 90’s vintage hawked gear around smoke-fogged
pubs. Uniform trackie, navy or black, baseball cap,

Leaned in like everyone’s best mate with a dead cert
bet to share. Wrist-queued dodgy designer watches
and Aladdin’s Cave sports bag booty:

CD’s/DVD’s, red-hot-must-haves filched
from assorted sources: shop, car, back of lorry,
warehouse, your house – and mine.

Picture him today. Evolved. On trend. Mocha-latte
smooth, model features, trademark beard, diamond
nose stud; ringer for a Hoxton fashionista,

Premiership footballer or Jesus in a sharp suit.
Mover and shaker in bespoke bars, messenger bag
loaded with wafer-light devices.

Still swearing it’s totally legit, one eye locked
on the exit, feet ticking over in runway brogues—
ready-get-set for take off.


Paul Waring is a retired clinical psychologist who once designed menswear and performed in Liverpool bands. His poems have appeared in print and online at Prole, Algebra of Owls, Strix, Amaryllis, The High Window, Here Comes Everyone and others.
Twitter: @drpaulwaring
Blog: https://waringwords.wordpress.com

You were to me – Olga Dermott-Bond

You were to me

…………………….a scientist, who when I was sick wrapped
……………………..me in an old cardigan and aspirin then
………………………took a swab of my throat, growing my
……………………..virus in a petri dish in the airing cupboard
………………………so I saw the reasons, like tiny jellyfish,
………………………behind my hot shivers. You were to me a
……………………..trapeze artist in sensible shoes who claimed
………………………to have no imagination, no interest in how
………………………ideas could swing glittering above my head
……………………..when I flew to catch them. You were to me
………………………a bible, a guilt-abacus, a great ball of string,
……………………..a suitcase, sinew, muscle, heart, lungs. You
………………………were to me a bone collector, your own child-
………………………hood rattling in jars in a stammering pantry,
………………………trying so hard to speak. You were to me
………………………sandwiches wrapped in greaseproof paper,
………………………all of yourself given away in hungry parts.
………………………You were to me a medicine of breadcrumbs
………………………saucepans rattling with heat of motherhood,
………………………oblivious to my 5, 6, 7 melting like snow
………………………from a ditch.


A former Warwick Poet Laureate, Olga’s work can be read in a range of publications including Rattle Magazine, Magma and Ink Sweat and Tears. This year she was one of the winners of the BBC Proms Poetry Competition.

mid- August scree – Jean Atkin

mid- August scree

bootset to rock stack, sheer

…………under its wedged weight

my own

………..sends each stone

down by half a pace,

………..glance up to map

a path not there, just

…………you above, you don’t

look back……. I slip,

…………feel heart rate leap

and clutch one-handed

…………into bilberries

that aren’t yet ripe


Jean Atkin’s new collection ‘How Time is in Fields’ is forthcoming from IDP in spring 2019. Previous publications include ‘Not Lost Since Last Time’ (Oversteps Books).  Recent work appears in The Rialto, Magma, Lighthouse, Agenda and Ambit.  She works as a poet in education and community and is currently Troubadour of the Hills for Ledbury Poetry Festival. www.jeanatkin.com

Ghosting – Maria Taylor


Think of Will, the ghost of Covent Garden,
the murdered thesp who’s walking alongside you
down and down a staircase that’ll never end.

Dapper gent. Victorian. Eventually you’ll see daylight.
The actor won’t. Spare a thought for ghosts
we pass at stations: their meetings, secret flings, kisses.

People vanish into thin air every single day.
It’s said even ghosts fade in time. Where do they go?
Remember all those see-through Elizabethans,

roaming Plantagenet kings in car parks, crying boys
reaching out for our faces, those we can’t see, can’t feel.
You’re no different. Look, here’s your own reflection.


Maria Taylor is a poet and reviewer. Her first collection Melanchrini (Nine Arches Press) was shortlisted for the Michael Murphy Memorial Award. She has a pamphlet, Instructions for Making Me From HappenStance Press. She Tweets at: @MariaTaylor_

Baggage – Luigi Coppola


I am a neat freak
a packing machine
folding clean sheets
stack repeat
shirts are purposely
along the seams
until the buttons line
with the lining
collars are perfectly
to the pockets
all lovingly placed
in the suitcase
just in case
I ever go anywhere


Luigi Coppola www.luigicoppolapoetry.blogspot.co.uk) teaches and writes in London, England. Shortlisted for the Bridport Prize twice, he appeared in the Worple Press anthology ‘The Tree Line’ and publications include AcumenInk, Sweat and TearsIotaMagmaOrbisThe Rialto and Snakeskin.




Japanese Knotweed – Stephen Bone

Japanese Knotweed

A single female specimen –
no males were taken – you survived
salt watered decks

to be bedded in Victorian soil
an ornamental
clusters white as Fuji’s tip

leaves the shape
of valentine hearts

to compliment the rhododendron
and ginkgo

sinister geisha

how well you hid your true nature
no one could have suspected

your merciless roots
breakneck speed of your advance

the green putsch you plot underfoot


Stephen Bone has been published in magazines in the U.K. and U.S. A first collection In The Cinema ( Playdead Press ) appeared in 2014, followed by a pamphlet Plainsong ( Indigo Dreams ) 2018.

Featured Publication – Humanagerie – Edited by Sarah Doyle and Allen Ashley

Our featured publication for March is Humanagerie, an anthology edited by Sarah Doyle and Allen Ashley, published by Eibonvale Press.

Inspired by notions of the animalistic, Humanagerie is a vivid exploration of the nebulous intersection of human and beast. From cities to wilderness, buildings to burrows, and coastlines to fish-tanks, these thirty-two poems and thirteen short stories explore emergence and existence, survival and self-mythology, and the liminal hinterland between humanity and animality.

HUMANAGERIE cover. October 2018


Animal Apology

Sorry if I fling zoos at you, and when I do,
forelegs spread, the bony tufts of giraffe heads
rip up kitchen tiles, elongations of neck vertebrae
swinging hard and fast like a blotchy orange 5-iron.

You should probably duck when lobbed elephants swirl
through the living room’s low-watt sky, Zeppelins deflating,
trunks dangling like loose grey guy-ropes, brushing the blinds.

And about the single-horned rhinos and hippos, yes, I know:
all that stomping, stampeding, at some small thing you say,
the mud-soaked noses, nostrils flaring up like fireplaces,

odd-toed ungulates charging into your hell-of-a-day,
unleashing the fury of a fenced and caged species,
the paying visitors peering and gaping, leaning in
to watch us both, not breeding here in captivity.

Paul Stephenson



Solace drove me to this place,
its green hollows,
searching again for your form, love,
for it has been seven years –
billy-witch, bewitcher, solstice creeper,
bold-blinded beast.

I went to the road, its ranks of shimmering carmine,
looking for you at the edges of belief –
you, a Da Vinci sketch
testing the limits of flight
ahead of your time
or back with the dinosaur brutes,
out of this world of nets and cables and glare.

I longed for you to cross my palm,
scarab – smooth as a knee cap,
complicated as a music box
held together with tiny pinions,
the intricate pins and tucks
of your mechanics
working the unforgiving air –

I took you apart in my mind, found nothing
but a mandible like a wishbone,
one serrated, iconic antler
of bravado, lost bravado.
I keep it for my rising son,
our last mid-summer walks,
his tender voice breaking in the dusk.

Sarah Westcott

The larvae of the stag beetle, which is becoming increasingly rare, lives in the soil for seven years before it emerges into a fully-grown adult


And Then I Was a Sheep

and really, what a treat to find myself
among these friend-shaped clouds or cloud-shaped friends
who breathe, who bleat, these lovely bits of meat
on legs, who take me as something to smell

and imitate. How nice it was to wake
and sing myself, to flounce and fling myself
down hillsides someone turned to trampolines
quite suddenly. While others keep their snouts

steadfastly to the ground I blink, I count
my gifts: this four-wheel drive and this cuisine
that grows, the way that I can sigh and mean
that nature is my playground, baby. True,

the farmer, shearing, has looked into my eyes
a little longer than I’d like, as if
he’s sussed, he’s twigged, and yes, the sheepdog nips
more keenly at my ankles than the others’,

but on the whole, I’ve found, it’s easy really
to blend right in, to not stand out. Sometimes,
I miss the feel of the settee beneath me,
a glass of something good, but all in all

I wouldn’t go back if I could. I’m less
lonely than I was when I was human,
the world’s less cold, now that my winter coat
is part of me, and what I really like

are moonlit nights: us lot, the whole, the flock,
how we all cwtch together in this field,
one living mass of white, one fluffy cloud,
the awesome power of our communal brains –

as if we’d turned the field into the sky,
like we could think it now, and it would rain.

Jonathan Edwards

Welsh                          English
cwtch                      cuddle or hug



She wishes not to be a jellyfish:
a lightbulb always flicked on,
unstoppable brain
dribbling thoughts
in tangled strands.

Not to have this heavy head
she can only hold up
in the dark

Not to flounder
on dry land:
ungainly blob,
tendrils trailing,

Not to be
this plucked eye,
always weeping:

“Do not touch me.
Please, do not
touch me.”

Megan Pattie


Buck and Doe

Little fleecy feet – velvet lucky paws dotty-dabble
moontide grass, hippey-skip, belly fuzzy-plump
from all the nibbling. Cowslip, comfrey. Busy teeth,
gnawy-gnash on root an’ stump, tasty tubers relished down
in tiny gullet swallows, sweet with sugar juice.

My baby coney-kins, my leveret kith – tufty bullets
quatting in the grass, long and blowy, perfect for this game
of hidey-seek. Coloured mud like groundling truffles,
otter brown, gravel grey, knobby flash of banderole behind,
linty white. Digging thigh-bones muscled strong, footing

on the earth with knock-knocks – thumpy-stamp for danger.
Mealy unders richly warmed with down, woolsome-snug and kittened
in the stomach of our nest, our darkling womb, our holey safe place
tatted cosy-soft with dandie grasses. Elder-rabbits sage us
with fine words. Beware the silver necklaces of snares an’ keep
away from Pink Eye with his winking froth of mixie tears.
Buck an’ doe, dancing under wedding skies, kissing
clefty mouths together – mothers innards full of litter dreams,
an’ hope for all her sweetly nipples hung with babbies,
sucking rich an’ growing hoppish strong, foxing clever.

They make their music – open up the mallow flesh
inside their throats, slither music round their teeth.
Un-soundable to human ear but heard by cloud
and earth – this creature-sing, the joy in field and sky.
the taste of welter-song turf-spun rich upon our tongues.

Jane Burn

Humanagerie contains both poetry and short fiction, and is available to purchase in either hardback or paperback directly from Eibonvale Press:

A Spell for Change – Maggie Butt

A Spell for Change

Let night-sweats drench him hourly,
washing him from sodden sheets
onto the bedroom floor, baptising him
in new ways of thinking.

Let him bleed like a cut-throat, then dry
up, drier than a drought-dry riverbed,
alternately flooding and cracking, confounded
into new ways of seeing.

Let him have headaches, mood-swings, weight gain
which bloats him like a barrage balloon;
let him pee a little when he laughs, surprised
into new ways of feeling.

Let his thermostat malfunction wildly,
roasting him like a piglet on a barbeque,
red faced, ripping off jacket and socks, broiled
into new ways of being.

(This spell is most efficacious when repeated in unison, picturing the subject eg Donald Trump.)


Maggie Butt is a journalist and BBC TV documentary producer turned poet. Her fifth collection was Degrees of Twilight (The London Magazine 2015). She teaches Creative Writing at Middlesex University and is a Royal Literary Fund Advisory Fellow. www.maggiebutt.co.uk