Letter from the Editor



When I first set this thing up, I had no idea if it would work or not. My initial plan was to, perhaps, publish a poem a week in the unlikely event that I got sent anything that was worth putting up. In the event, I was inundated with submissions, and most of them were of a very high quality indeed. It very quickly became clear to me that I could quite easily publish one a day and still maintain a pretty high level of quality. So that’s exactly what I did.


We seem to have reached a point where the flood of submissions has slowed to a bit of a trickle. There’s still plenty of good stuff in the pipeline, but probably not enough to keep going at the present rate. There are any number of reasons why this may be so. It could be that everyone who originally submitted just had a couple of funny pieces lying around that they hadn’t found a home for. Or it could be that, having had one  acceptance from SCOMA, they felt they could tick that one off (I’ve done that myself in the past). Or perhaps they took a look at some of the other stuff I’ve picked and decided they didn’t fancy being associated with it. Or maybe they felt I was taking too long to respond to their submissions (I did change my target from a one month turnaround to three months in the guidelines, but I did it a bit sneakily without telling anyone). I dunno.


The long and the short is that I’m temporarily going to switch from publishing a poem every day to publishing twice a week, on Mondays Tuesdays and Thursdays Fridays. If the floodgates suddenly open again, I’ll review and rethink. In the meantime, keep sending stuff in and keep reading, commenting and sharing.

Jonathan a.k.a. The Spillmaster

Fellow of the Royal College of Hornpipes by David O’Neill


A prima lento, accelerando cantabile

When the tune starts slow, promenaders feel the magic
As the fiddler’s bow draws its opening sweep
And the melody is easing into incremental teasing
While the keen anticipation makes the spirit leap.

And with each repeat reinforcing the enchantment,
So the driving beat, in accelerando,
With its haunting incantation, musters gentle titubation
And a tapping of the foot upon the floor below.

As the masical mugicians work their artistry
From the nethermost Arena to the Gallery,
Infectious imitation of the mariner’s saltation
Spreads the tapping of the foot above the restless knee.

With the unrelenting rhythm winding up to speed,
So the gathering momentum serves a primal need;
The racing pulse is throbbing, hands are clapping, heads are bobbing;
And a Wooden bust of bronze beholds this bulldog breed.


David O’Neill is a frustrated mathematician who has journeyed through a predominantly life-science-based medical landscape for most of his mortgage-paying professional life, eventually finding salvation in the Open University, too close to the end for practical application but sufficiently early for peace of mind and poetic inspiration.


The Beautiful Game by Kate Woodward


I don’t count, they think I’m a joke,
the only girl with all these blokes.
But I’m listening and I’m learning,
reading everything concerning
the beautiful game.
I follow 5Live and TalkSport
and I know who’s been sold and bought,
who’s on the bench, who’s injured
and who’s the fastest winger in
the beautiful game.
I want to share my opinions.
Was that striker worth his millions?
Should that goal be disallowed?
Was the trouble from the crowd at
the beautiful game?
I’m never gonna get heard:
a girl and football – how absurd!
To think that I could care who wins
or know the rules that underpin
the beautiful game.
And yes, I know the offside rule,
don’t treat me like a bleedin’ fool
‘cos, these days, hear what I’m saying:
us girls are on the pitch and playing
the beautiful game.

Kate Woodward has been an accountant, a farmer and a market trader. Now she writes. She’s just finished a Creative Writing MA with Manchester Metropolitan University and has published in The Ogham Stone, Brittle Star, online and on her own blog.


It’s Not Funny by Susan Jordan


‘You say you don’t do smiles.’
I’d never said, but didn’t once smile
when you told me, laughing,
how your dear mother and sister
were both electrocuted by the same table lamp,
how your father plunged into a reservoir
in pursuit of a rare grasshopper,
how your only daughter set light to herself
with the candles on her birthday cake,
how your dog was run over
by an out of control mobility scooter.

The only time I smiled
was when you said, your face
as solemn as mine was by then,
‘The worst thing was missing the last train.’

Susan Jordan was inspired by 52, Jo Bell’s wonderful online group, to start writing a lot more poems. Her work has appeared in print and online magazines including Prole, Obsessed with Pipework, Snakeskin and Ink, Sweat & Tears. Her first collection will be published by Indigo Dreams in 2017.

Ruined by Sherri Turner


He got me into trouble
before the second date –
a lustful, careless coupling
against the garden gate.

He didn’t hang around, of course,
to see the consequences.
I had a heavy price to pay
for flirting by the fences.

It would have been a good idea
to practise some restraint.
If only I had read the signs –
the ones that said ‘Wet Paint’.

Sherri Turner lives in Surrey. She has had numerous short stories published in women’s magazines and has won prizes for both poetry and short stories. She likes to write silly poems when she feels in danger of forgetting that this is supposed to be fun.


The Poet Won’t Buy You A Drink by Joe Williams


The poet won’t buy you a drink
Don’t request it
Don’t suggest it
Because the poet won’t buy you a drink

It’s not that he wants to refuse
If he could do
He would love to
But the poet won’t buy you a drink

It’s not personal, please understand
Don’t feel rejected
Or neglected
If the poet doesn’t buy you a drink

The problem is purely financial
There’s no way
On his pay
That the poet could buy you a drink

So next time you go to a gig
Do your part
Support art
And buy the poor poet a drink

Joe Williams is a writer from Leeds and the creator of Haiku Hole.  In 2015 Joe began performing on the poetry and open mic circuit to inflict his work on a wider audience.  Some of them claimed to enjoy it, so you can blame them for encouraging him to continue.


No Shit Sherlock by Dru Marland


There are so many different kinds of poo
but study of them comes with some restraint;
it’s not a thing nice people do.

The neatly excavated badger’s loo,
the strangely fragrant, fish-scaled otter’s spraint;
there are so many different sorts of poo.

Boned pellets hiccuped by the owl -tuwhoo!
may look like droppings, but they ain’t
-they’re still not things nice people do;

poked with a stick, these things tell true
a tale of what the beasts last ate-
and there’s so many different kinds of poo

Pellinore’s horn of fewmets, too,
would tell where Questing Beast had went
-he’d show them to nice folk like you.

It is a habit I’d commend, and do,
For time spent studying nature’s time well spent;
there are so many different kinds of poo
even (shhh!) the kind nice people do.

Dru Marland lives among voles on a canal, and draws pictures of them and other creatures, and fixes engines now and then.

That Time Travel Paradox Thing by Simon Williams


It’s the rich who travel forward in time
and note the Euro-Millions results,
before returning to place their bets.

It’s only through a big win like this
they can afford a time machine.

Simon Williams has six published collections. He latest pamphlet, Spotting Capybaras in the Work of Mac Chagall, launched in April and his next full collection, Inti, will be out later this year. Simon was elected The Bard of Exeter in 2013 and founded the large-format magazine, The Broadsheet. He makes a living as a journalist.

Smug by Fianna


Smug as a slug in a slick London club
somebody else’s grease on his chin
what’s his is his own, and what’s yours is his grub
he’s trawling in corridors under your skin.

Coddled with glee as he taps your last fat
he knows that you’re too cold to scream
he trickles it up to the city slick
where his dripping is always full-cream.

These lard-hearted self-basting bully-boys
are up-themselves ignoring pleas
their dewlaps drip tallow to mini-mes
investing in rendering ghee.

They’re self-slicking swans about geese around hens
around foie gras from force-feeding ducks
and inside them there’s twenty-four million black birds


(previously published in “I am not a silent poet”)

Fianna (Fiona Russell Dodwell) is from Fife and lives in the Fens. She has had about 30 poems published in online poetry magazines.

No rose would smell as sweet as Bjork! by Ron Runeborg


Oh he wanted marijuana, and he said he pay me well
if I’d brought him one full baggie by this evenin’s supper bell
So I checked with all my sources, but the avenue was dry
I had to find a substitute for cannabis’ high

In the kitchen of me mother I was mixin up a storm
I tried taro root and basil leaves and ivy, for its form
but it tasted like a bag-o-shite, and smelled like da’s da Sean
I had to find a better mix, me time was nearly gone

So I chopped me up some ashbowl trash, some stubbed out fags would do
and then I searched Ma’s garden for the flavor for my stew
t’was there I found some wild mint, it smelled as sweet as Bjork
so I snipped it with the kitchen shears and shred it with a fork

At a minute to the dinner bell, I showed at Paddy’s Pub
and there was Barney Kelly near the ragged dogwood shrub
There I handed him me baggie and he sniffed it like a fop
then he pulled a badge and screamed “you’re pissed you moron, I’m a cop!”

Well I laughed like cousin Walter when his pants fell down at mass
then I shouted back “you got me bub! You’ve popped me Irish ass!”
Sure I’d wanted just to rip him off, but this was far more game
he’d busted me for wild mint, forever to his shame.

Ron Runeborg lives with his wife Linda and Montague Pierre the dog in Lakeville Minnesota. He writes poetry and short stories and currently has two books available.