The Responsive Awakening of Springtide, by Pawel Markiewicz

The responsive
awakening of springtide

The springtime wakes up
in may glory and dreams
in May-tender homeland

O! Dreamy moony spring
immortalize the enchantment
of the Naiad forever!

the pensiveness of a feather from crows
you are black such a muse-like falchion
thinker with many oboli
I listen to the obol that thinks in muses-paradise
the skepticism is blooming in me

the courage of violets
you are heavenly blue like cherub-like gem
poet with a handful of oboli
I see the obol that writes about muse-like spell
the eudemonia is budding in me

the delight of a birdie
you are gray such a mermaid sesame
dreamer with all sorts of obol
I smell the obol that dreams of embers of sempiternity
the Epicureanism is flourishing in me

the beatitude of a cat
you are golden like druidic land
philosopher with a little of oboli
I taste the obol that philosophizes about amaranthine ambrosia
the stoicism is flowering in me

Oboli – plural of obolus


Safe Word, by Hilary Willmott


Keeping it simple is for the best
Choose nothing hard to say
Something easy, sharp and short
You'll be better off that way.

I would suggest a few words here
Such as 'North' or 'East' or 'South"
And never words that can't be formed
With an orange in your mouth.

Hilary Willmott

Hilary has been published and sometimes shortlisted over the years by Templar Press, The Exeter Broadsheet, Leaf, Velvet, Obsessed with Pipework Bristol PoetryCan and Mr Garnham.

Jewish Penicillin, by Jane Shaer


I am a saucepan full of Chicken Soup
Like Mama used to make.
There is no alternative.
Of that make no mistake.
For normal penicillin will fail to do
The trick
Of getting you back upon your feet
When you're feeling sick.
You see the everyday Chicken Soup
Lacks character and Finesse.
What you need Is a recipe
To get you out of this mess.
But the recipe I'm afraid is secret
Which I'm sworn to never divulge.
But it's good for adding on a pound
Or two
If you need to enlarge that bulge.
I hope that you feel better soon
And are shortly back on your feet.
Must go and feed the family.
They're starving and waiting to eat.

Masseuse Musings, by Mohammad Zahid

Mohammad Zahid is a poet and translator from Kashmir, India. His maiden poetry collection The Pheromone Trail bagged the Best Book Award from the Academy of Art Culture and Languages, Jammu & Kashmir in 2015.

His poetry has appeared in many Indian and international journals. He is a translation editor for Kashmiri Language at Muse India and Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts.


Play Story, by Clive Donovan



And so the story begins:
with a house in which our hero prince resides.
It can be empty – or full – as you choose.
Our hero is torn between two states:
Solitude and Company.


Let us say he wishes to be alone
and there the leading lady is, polishing the grate,
or some such earthly task
and the smell of the polish offends
and disturbs and he banishes this personage.


A gross mistake: Because that character
was the one who kept the household alive and viable,
though nobody realized it or thought it through
and now hero suffers inconvenience and dark night
of soul and wishes for solace. Door knocks.


And a charming stranger offers solace and delight
at end of tunnel and hero is gladly accepting,
without checking references.
Fatal flaws: Impulsiveness and bad judge of character.
Grate unpolished, no promised light and candlesticks stolen.


Final act: He misses the smell of polish. Sings a bit,
cathartic lesson learned, remorseful, [also evicted].
lives in a hut now with new, paradoxical desire:
Solitude in Company and Company in Solitude.
With advancing senility, it is all delivered.


Clive Donovan is the author of two poetry collections, The Taste of Glass [Cinnamon Press] and Wound Up With Love [Lapwing] and is published in a wide variety of magazines including Acumen, Agenda, Crannog, Popshot, Prole, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis and Stand. He lives in Totnes, Devon, UK. He is a Pushcart and Forward Prize nominee for 2022’s best individual poems.


This poem hopes to find you well, by Ben McNair

This poem hopes to find you well

I hope that this poem finds you well.
I hope that it finds you with a tall, dark stranger,
or a short blonde friend.
This poem makes no judgement.

This poem hopes that you have been keeping to the five a day,
three a week, or fourteen a month, whichever
the latest advice deems to be the best.

I hope that this poem enlivens your day,
and that some of the words are answers on Wordle.

I hope that this poem finds you in a beautiful house,
with a beautiful wife.
If the beautiful wife and beautiful house belong to someone else,
this poem hopes you have a good reason for being there.

This poem hopes that Politicians do the right thing.
This poem is too old to still believe in that.

This poem doesn’t know the first thing about you,
but would like you to answer a few questions.

This poem hopes to find you in another three months,
where we can renew our fleeting acquaintance,
before you decide that the spam filter really was the best place for it.

I’ll take a look under the sonnet, by Arran Potts

I’ll take a look under the sonnet

Tis clapped out and broken; wanting of parts,
Its paint, sheen and lustre are shed.
This wreck of a carriage will take all my arts,
I fear it is already dead.
It wails as it drives, it clanks and it ticks,
The engine is silent and cold,
I fear this is something, that I cannot fix,
Your car, I’m afraid, is too old.
Perhaps I can salvage, some cogs and the gears,
From this conked-out, rusty old nail;
You’ve had this poor thing now for too many years,
I doubt I could put it on sale.
T’would not make me much, and I would be brassic,
A miserable end, for such an old classic.

Arran Potts is from Wolverhampton, UK. He has taken up poetry as a hobby to rekindle a love for writing; and is finding Jo Bell’s ‘52 Poems’ book really useful. He recently won the inaugural Blackness on Sea Poetry Prize. He is supported by family and friends. He is hindered by his job.


Feral Dogs of Riogordo, by Hilary Willmott

Feral Dogs of Riogordo

It's three a.m and I need a pee which I have been delaying
since it takes but the slightest movement to rouse the feral dogs of Riogordo. The dog who sleeps behind the house likes to conduct proceedings.

In my half sleep I see him with a baton which he raises and with two sharp yelps has the rapt attention of all dogs within a five mile radius. They quickly reach frenzy pitch to become a canine
cacophony of sound echoing across the countryside and down into the pueblo.

Pleased with tonight's turnout the conductor discards his baton and after a perfunctory nibble on his testicles, curls into a ball and sleeps.

The choir note his absence and become sotto voce until they too
abandon the proceedings to await the next tap of the conductor's baton.

Hilary Willmott

Hilary has been writing for many years and has been published by Templar Press, Bristol PoetryCan, Leaf, Velvet, The Exeter Broadsheet, Obsessed with Pipework and Mr Garnham himself. She lives close to the river in the south west of England, with her partner and a small pack of dogs.