Lockdown Adventurers, by Heather Wastie

Lockdown adventurers

8 people over ninety
falling from playground equipment
60 encounters
with venomous spiders

5,600 amateur builders
coming into contact
with electric hand tools
2,700 with hammer or saw

349 tussling
with lawnmowers
2,243 with hot drinks,
food, fats, cooking oils

Though many found comfort
adopting pets,
7,386 bitten, or struck,
by dogs

Ninety-year-old woman
bitten, or struck,
by crocodile
or alligator

Despite more time at home,
number struck by lightning
from 3 to 18

The tip of the iceberg

Found poem, written January 2021 using words from article: Covid: Thousands needed hospital treatment after lockdown DIY https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-59854919

Former Worcestershire Poet Laureate Heather Wastie was born in Cradley Heath and now lives near Kidderminster. She has performed extensively across the UK and published eight poetry collections. On Twitter and Instagram she is @heatherwastie. Her Facebook group is Wastie’s Space, and her websitewww.WastiesSpace.co.uk is embarrassingly out of date.


Ageing Process, by Jane Shaer

Have you ever looked in the mirror to reflect 
Your age
And noticed that cellulite and wrinkles have taken centre stage?
It's then you wonder to yourself
How old should I be?
What sort of a body is this to be given me?

Have you noticed the hair upon your head Is starting to thin out
When the roots underneath are turning White and suddenly beginning to sprout?
It's then you wonder to yourself
Am I really OK?
Why not have a wig when prematurely grey?

Have you ever been to the dentist and while
Lying in the chair
He's fitting you with a crown
And you gaze up his nose in despair?
It's then you wonder to yourself
This guy's a nice enough chap.
But I only wish he'd finish off
Bridging that gap.

Have you ever been to the doctor to get a Jab for the flu
And asked him time and time again
Can I make love to you?
It's then you wonder to yourself
If my senility's on par.
Why not have a man aswell
When I have a crush on my car?

Have you ever had a Garam or Tika Masala
From an Indian takeaway
Not realising the affects it has on you
For many a day?
It's then you wonder to yourself
If this stuff is going to keep on passing Through.
How much longer must I spend VINDALOO?

Internet Dating, by Fiona Sinclair

Internet dating

At first my ‘best side' photo is mobbed by men
so feel like Scarlett O'Hara at a ball,
until I discover lads seeking carefree cougar sex
or a meal ticket,
and from my own demographic;
inquiries after my hosiery,
and panting mobile numbers.

I search through my matches past Kray twin lookalikes,
married men wearing tell-tale dark glasses,
sad self portraits with bed sit back grounds,
for the handful of guys I might accept a drink from-

beginning to e-flirt with grin and wink emoticons,
over the week I virtual two time
men from Rochester and Deal,
who bus stop chat about work and their tea,
neither making the gear change up to seduction.
Difficult I suppose for most blokes
who barely scrawl a birthday card for mum,
to strike a balance between " Hello Sexy" and " It's raining here",
and write me into bed with Casanova craft.

Fiona Sinclair ‘s new collection Second Wind will be published by Dempsey and Windle Press, in Spring 2022. Her poems, which are broadly autobiographical, deal with the possibilities of later life; from learning to ride pillion on a motor bike to falling in love again. Fiona is also very open when writing about her health issues especially depression. Yet despite this her collections are full of humour and an exuberance for adventures when they present themselves. She lives in a village in Kent with a great many books and a feral garden that she battles with every year.


Waiting, by Patricia Phillips-Batoma


The pharmacy texts to say
my covid booster is waiting
and my flu shot too.

My booster sits with her legs crossed
in one of their uncomfortable chairs,
her foot swinging in palpable agitation.

She checks the time on her new device
in a pink glitter-encrusted case
with a few choice emoji stickers.

My flu shot sits straight-backed
with both feet on the floor
and reads a book.

She slips it inside a canvas bag
to check out the reading glasses,
the new ones, with animal print motifs.

One of these Friday evenings
I’ll wander in and bring them home
one in each arm.

Patricia Phillips-Batoma is a French to English translator and teacher who lives in central Illinois, USA. Her poems have been published in Plants & Poetry, Parentheses, Offcourse, and Tuck Magazine. She can be reached at phillipsbatoma@gmail.com.


An Asinine Poem, by Bruce Morton

OK, somebody had to do it.
Get their ass in gear, so to speak,
And in so doing plant their butt
To write about the human posterior
Exterior—arse, heinie, tush, the fanny.
I am bummed that it had to be me.
But here we are. I am bummed that
It took us this long. We are not talking
About pirate’s booty here, but what
The French call the derrière, or shaken,
The can-can, oo-la-la. Accountants tell
Us we are in arrears when we get behind.
So would it be impolitic or cheeky of me
To assert that assholes who congregate
To legislate invariably are a rump
Session? At bare bottom, I must conclude
That all of this is but a prelude to us
Being sent head over keister, only to land
On the backside of our front side. I will not
Speak of the glutes in absolutes, because
That would, of course, entail deep-seated
Knowledge of the anatomy of the behind
Anything and everything. But I do know
That, like trains, we have a caboose, while
The Navy has Rear Admirals and poop decks,
And the simple automobile has a trunk
Where the elephant has its tail.

Bruce Morton divides his time between Montana and Arizona. His poems have appeared in many magazines, most recently Ibbetson Street, Muddy River Poetry Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, London Grip, ONE ART, and Ink Sweat & Tears. He was formerly dean at Montana State University.


Excuses, Excuses by Neil Fulwood


Blame the “anti-growth coalition”
Blame every woke lefty on television
Blame the immigrants dinghy-ing into Britain
But don’t blame Liz

Blame those scruffs in Extinction Rebellion
Blame that baldy bloke and his union
Blame everyone who’s Scouse or Mancunian
But don’t blame Liz

Blame Nicola Sturgeon and all the Scots
Blame that Irish fella, the bloody tea sock
Blame Boris for being a fat useless cock
But don’t blame Liz

Blame FB and Twitter and the death of the Queen
Blame that Kuenssberg woman for going off-team
Blame Keir Starmer for shaving so clean
But don’t blame Liz

Blame Michael Gove for opening his gob
Blame the Bank of England for doing their job
Blame the … the … oh, fuck it, just call them the mob
But don’t blame Liz

Neil Fulwood has published three collections with Shoestring Press, ‘No Avoiding It’, ‘Can’t Take Me Anywhere’ and ‘Service Cancelled’. A collection of political satires, ‘Mad Parade’ was published earlier this year by Smokestack Books. Neil lives and works in Nottingham.


When you type Liz Truss into a Random Title Generator – A Found Poem by Ben Macnair

5 Ways LIZ TRUSS Will Help You Get More Business
The Best Way To LIZ TRUSS
The Secret of LIZ TRUSS
LIZ TRUSS: The Samurai Way
LIZ TRUSS Shortcuts - The Easy Way
Turn Your LIZ TRUSS Into A High Performing Machine
LIZ TRUSS - So Simple Even Your Kids Can Do It
How To Take The Headache Out Of LIZ TRUSS
3 Ways Twitter Destroyed My LIZ TRUSS Without Me Noticing
LIZ TRUSS: Do You Really Need It? This Will Help You Decide!
How To Quit LIZ TRUSS In 5 Days
Why You Never See aLIZ TRUSS That Actually Works
The Next 3 Things To Immediately Do About LIZ TRUSS
Why Most People Will Never Be Great At LIZ TRUSS
5 Ways You Can Get More LIZ TRUSS While Spending Less
The LIZ TRUSS Mystery Revealed
If LIZ TRUSS Is So Terrible, Why Don't Statistics Show It?
Does LIZ TRUSS Sometimes Make You Feel Stupid?
LIZ TRUSS Is Crucial To Your Business. Learn Why!
Do LIZ TRUSS Better Than Barack Obama
The Secrets To LIZ TRUSS
10 Unforgivable Sins Of LIZ TRUSS
The Untapped Gold Mine Of LIZ TRUSS That Virtually No One Knows About
101 Ideas For LIZ TRUSS
14 Days To A Better LIZ TRUSS
3 Things Everyone Knows About LIZ TRUSS That You Don't
Why Ignoring LIZ TRUSS Will Cost You Time and Sales
Master Your LIZ TRUSS in 5 Minutes A Day
5 Surefire Ways LIZ TRUSS Will Drive Your Business Into The Ground
What Zombies Can Teach You About LIZ TRUSS
What Is a LIZ TRUSS and How Does It Work?
How To Win Friends And Influence People with LIZ TRUSS
How To Teach LIZ TRUSS Like A Pro
Why LIZ TRUSS Is No Friend To Small Business
7 Easy Ways To Make LIZ TRUSS Faster
How To Teach LIZ TRUSS Better Than Anyone Else
Secrets To Getting LIZ TRUSS To Complete Tasks Quickly And Efficiently
Fast-Track Your LIZ TRUSS
Take 10 Minutes to Get Started With LIZ TRUSS
Got Stuck? Try These Tips To Streamline Your LIZ TRUSS
Quick and Easy Fix For Your LIZ TRUSS
LIZ TRUSS: An Incredibly Easy Method That Works


The Thief of Rhyme, by Sandra Bond


One morning in the summertime
I ran into the Thief of Rhyme.
I said “Good day” and “how’d’ye’do?
I’m Sandra Bond, and who are you?”

He grinned at me, and showed his teeth,
And said “Of rhyme I am the thief;
I steal from poets every day,
And then their rhymes all go to hell.”

I found, alas, that it was so;
My rhymes were gone, I had no more,
I couldn’t make them work a damn,
And was nonplussed what to do next.

I hoped good luck might come my way;
Instead I met the Scansion Thief,
Who took away my ability to make poems scan,
And now they’re as blank as a very blank thing indeed.
They don’t even all have the same number of lines per stanza any more.
Oh bloody hell.

Sandra Bond is a Staffordshire novelist, poet and tragedian who
considers it most unfair that writing one piece of verse every month
or so does not attract a living wage. Her first novel, THE PSYCHOPATH
CLUB, was published in 2021.


Live Laugh Love, by Roise Curran

“Live Laugh Love”
-Kim Jong Un

Former housemate Cillian (from Donegal)
bought him on Amazon for £12.99
and hung him high in the kitchen/living room
for all passers-by to admire his great glory.

He looks mighty chuffed
in front of his military sub,
and, cigarette in hand,
is quoted saying “live, laugh, love”
in beautiful curly cursive,
so, all us Irish twenty-whatever year olds
can look upon his superiority
and salute while preaching
our daily affirmations.

Right before we take our own cigarette
and burn a little hole in the flag fabric,
place a stolen public toilet sign over his head,
and drunkenly use him as a makeshift tea towel.

We’re just doing as we’re told, respected comrade,
We’re “live, laugh, love”-ing

Róise Curran is a 19 year old poet from Galway who has barely published any work but will get around to it eventually. She started writing when she was 15 as a way to express her disdain for school but I suppose she’s moved on a little. Now, she writes poems about all sorts of things like moving out, mental health and a good few about her cats. You’ll likely be hearing from her soon, she never shuts up (which is a good thing!)