The Battle Hymn of the Bowling Green Massacre by Marcus Bales


The Battle Hymn of the Bowling Green Massacre

No eyes have seen a massacre occur at Bowling Green
As non-existent soldiers met with students never seen
Where Kellyanne’s imagination lit her silver screen
Her lies go marching on.

Dilatory allegory
Predatory oratory
Don’t believe her lying story
Her lies go marching on.

Her fictional protesters faced her fancied fascist troops
Her tragic death-toll changed into a legendary ‘Oops’
As all they did was wave their well-spelled signs in peaceful groups
Her lies go marching on.

Dilatory allegory
Predatory oratory
Don’t believe her lying story
Her lies go marching on.

She said it went uncovered by reporters of the news
That stations pulled their on-air talent with their camera-crews
But worse, she’s acting pouty that there’s no deaths she can use.
Her lies go marching on.

Dilatory allegory
Predatory oratory
Don’t believe her lying story
Her lies go marching on.

She has offered up her bullshit as if lying were a sport;
Each time she moves her lips she tells a tale that lacks support.
Is there no fact she won’t traduce, no truth she won’t distort?
Her lies go marching on.

Dilatory allegory
Predatory oratory
Don’t believe her lying story
Her lies go marching on.

In the mists of ghostly silence such a massacre occurred,
It’s meaninglessness celebrated by no deed nor word —
And to find that shes not fired for this kind of shit’s absurd.
Her lies go marching on.

Dilatory allegory
Predatory oratory
Don’t believe her lying story
Her lies go marching on.

Out of her depth by Beth McDonough


Out of her depth

In a menace of goggles and tight-

fit cap, one woman strides to her first

Deep Water Aerobics Class. Breathed in

big attitude, she puffs chlorine out, squints 

for piled weights and floats. None spotted she 

plops in, tiles knees, clocks herself 

ensconced with a waft-aloft 

blue-rinsed crew. FAME!

Five minutes strapped in the spotty-dog 

dance, FAME! clap, she’s now

the woman she’d bubble mocked 

goggled from lanes. FAME! 

Six steps to the right, three 

claps overhead. She tries to wipe out

that infinite corn-plaster churn.

Beth McDonough writes often of foraging and Tay swimming. Her poetry appears in Agenda, Antiphon and elsewhere; she reviews in DURA. Her pamphlet Handfast (2016, with Ruth Aylett) explores family experiences – Aylett’s of dementia and McDonough’s of autism.

I Want to Live at Ikea by Keith Allan Welch


when I’m tired of my house
all the dust and every mouse
I start to get ideas
about living at Ikea

I would sit upon a KIVIK
while ignoring every critic
or relax on an EKTORP
eating meatballs with a spork

while with the aid of ANTIFONI
read the work of Angioni*
with my feet up on a LACK
no, I’m never going back

to house or pied-à-terre
too much bother living there
although privacy I’d lack
people walking with their sacks

shopping willy-nilly
I would hide behind my BILLY
it would be my little Eden
in the shopping mart from Sweden.

* Giulio Angioni (leading Italian anthropologist, professor at the University of Cagliari, fellow of St Antony’s College of the University of Oxford), is the author of about twenty books of fiction and a dozen volumes of essays in anthropology.

Three Poems from Ben Banyard 


Cubs, Do Your Best 

I learned knots

got tongue-tied.


Akela took us orienteering

but I was soon lost.


Cooking on the campfire

my sausages burnt on re-entry.


Promoted to seconder

I was at sixes and sevens.


When I met the chief scout

I had dog shit on my shoe.


Quid Pro Quo


I cashed £100

all in pound coins.


Went and freed

the chain gang:



trolleys at Asda.





I started to think

about how you’re

just like Pi.


Irrational, you


go on and on,


and I don’t really

understand you.
Ben Banyard likes a laugh as much as the next man. His pamphlet, Communing, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2016, and his first full collection, We Are All Lucky is due out in 2018. Ben edits Clear Poetry:

Love Poem Number 943 by Joe Williams


Roses are red

Violets are blue

I’ve written a poem

To say I love you

It’s full of cliché

And there’s no substance in it

That’s ‘cos I wrote it

In less than a minute

Joe Williams is a writer and performing poet from Leeds. He appears regularly at events in Yorkshire and beyond, telling silly stories about things that probably didn’t happen, with the occasional moment of heartbreak just to keep you on your toes. 

A quick message, and a poem from Robert Garnham



Just to let you know that I’m working through the submissions. I’ve been inundated! It’s great reading all the poems, quite inspirational in fact. If you haven’t heard from me yet, then don’t worry, you will.
Anyway, here’s one from me, just to demonstrate the sort of things I do. 

They’re all called ‘Poem’, by the way. I come up with the titles first, and then the poems just see, to write themselves.

You’ll like the countryside, she said,

There’s lots of scenery,

There’s lots of greenery.

There’s fields and trees and they’re all green,

Especially the evergreens,

The greenest evergreens you’ll ever see,

And there’s moss and dappled sun and rhododendrons,

And there’s villages and villages greens

And the village greens are green

And everyone eats their greens

And also some of the tractors are green.

But I like the city and there’s green here too.

The Starbucks logo is mostly green

And so is the fungus in the bus station.

And my friend Pete’s car is green

And so is the tie i was wearing yesterday,

And the traffic lights are occasionally green

And salt and vinegar crisp packets,

Again, green,

And the District Line is green

And it passes through Turnham Green

And even though the neon signs are multicoloured

You could probably turn em green

And in any case

People here are too busy eating donuts and hummus.

We frowned across the plastic

Bus station cafe table.

Her coat was green

And so was her luggage.

Tenderly, I asked,

Would you like some broccoli,

Just for the journey?

No thanks, she replied,

I’ve got an orange.

Robert Garnham is a spoken word artist originally from Surrey. He has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe for the last three years, and at various festivals and performance poetry nights including Bang Said the Gun, Hammer and Tongue, Evidently and Jawdance. His first collection ‘Nice’ was published by Burning Eye Books and he was longlisted as Saboteur Awards Spoken Word Artist of the Year in 2016 and 2017. He recently headlined at The Duplex in New York.

My Cat Suspects, by Tara Lynn Hawk


I believe my cat suspects,

for as of late he has been rather “distant”

He thinks other cats in the neighborhood,

I have paid more than one visit


He is secretly checking my online accounts

for catnip and furry mice purchases

Gift wrapped and sent Federal Express

To other cat addresses


He senses other kitty smells

sniffing through my purse and bedding

Diligently looking over my clothing

for other feline shedding


My cat truly suspects

he is no longer the only one

and all I can say right now

is thank goodness

his little paws cannot handle a gun!
Tara Lynn Hawk is a San Francisco based \poet and writer whose work has appeared on “Spilling Cocoa”, “Spelk” and “The Poet Community”. “”


Never Say No To A Muffin, by Hilary Willmott 


Never say no to a muffin

At least that would be my advice.

They’re not always offered you daily

Yet sometimes you’re offered one twice.

Never say no to a muffin

Whether you want one or not

Lie back and enjoy the occasion

and remember they’re best taken hot.

Never say no to a muffin

You could sometimes share with close friends

But I feel they’re best taken solo

Whilst others would say it depends

Never say no to a muffin

Whilst indulging please don’t try to talk

You must focus on total enjoyment

And never attempt a brisk walk

Never say no to a muffin

I’ve devoured every one that I’ve had

Though I try to avoid those with sprinkles

As somehow they make me feel bad
Hilary Willmott has been writing since her schooldays many, many decades ago. She sees poetry as a companion who is much braver than she, taking her to places she wouldn’t dare venture on her own. She has been published by Templar Press, Flarestack and Velvet. She has also been shortlisted for national competitions. She lives in the south west of England, by the river, with her partner and a menagerie of rescued animals.

Rearranging My Pants Drawer, by Simon Williams


Pants take up a corner, front right

and I obviously remove stored pants

to put freshly washed ones at the bottom

before replacing the others, to ensure rotation.


This is for Y-fronts, of course,

hard-line M&S stuff. Calvin Klein

boxers are for those happy to be seen

in pants alone, who have hangers for them.


Around the triangle of Y-fronts

are socks, balled-up as my father showed me,

two layers, moved from back to front

as the front ones are taken out and worn.


So now you know, and this is where

I tie the action to the stream of English Poetry,

hinting at the drawers of Wordsworth

and how Dorothy most probably arranged them.


How Shakespeare, beneath his hose,

went commando, with just a codpiece

to maintain control. It was this free and easy life

which gave him time for all the other stuff.


But Homer had it best, Greek weather

and a single robe, all the cloth he needed.

With the time saved from underwear arrangement,

he could spend longer polishing his brogues.