Overhearing, by Carl Tomlinson


Out with the two-legs the other day
one of the ones who sits down to pee
asked the one who sometimes goes in the hedge,
like me, if it’d seen on something called Twitter.
“You had to say what you’d ask your dog.
If they had the power of speech for an hour.”
Why I’d need speech is beyond me.
They seem to know what I need.
And can tell me nothing I haven’t already smelt.
I’ll chew on a bone all day, but no way
am I chewing the fat with that. I’m staying stumm.
In case I fetch up in a poem.

The Poetry Reading, by Ben Macnair

Here he comes, again.
Our Graham.
With his big hands.
Big books.
Big words,
about buying Spoons in June,
about buying Forks in York,
about never gifting a knife, to your wife.

We will sit enraptured,
knowing he will never improve.
We ask why he isn’t published.
He says he is too far ahead of his time,
his words bending to his technique,
his stanzas, his line lengths are never uniform.
Still, it is only once a month,
and as bosses go,
he isn’t that bad.


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.

A misuse of fruit, by Anne Babbs

A misuse of fruit

It was meant to be erotic.
The strategically placed strawberries,
The cream-covered nipples,
but all I could think was
that the sheets would need changing
before I could sleep.

Anne is a poet who regularly takes part in open mic events and the occasional slam. A selection of her poems can be found in the ‘New Voices’ anthology published by Offa’s Press in 2022.


Sort, by Sarah J. Bryson


What sort are you?
Tea or coffee?
Victoria Sponge,
or a rich fruit cake?
Dark chocolate Bounty,
or a Milky Bar kid?
Would you choose
a bag of lemon drops,
or a sherbet dip?
Would you prefer
a large gobstopper,
or an Extra Strong Mint?
Milk Tray or Green & Blacks?
Are you a suck it and see type,
or a gobble and go individual?
Do you think birds of a feather
flock together, or rather that
opposites attract?
Maybe you are
a Foxes Glacier Mint?
Me? I’m a Licorice Allsort

Sarah is interested in words, words for well being, people and nature and the connections between these elements. She has poems in print journals, anthologies and on line.


Formication, by Tonnie Richmond


If, sometimes, you like to indulge
in a spot of alfresco, illicit sex
be careful where you lie,
be wary of what might happen next.

If, following said fornication
while you have a cigarette and a little rest,
you feel a rush of formication
you may well be sitting on an ants’ nest.

Tonnie Richmond has, since retirement, spent a lot of her time doing archeology and writing poems. These days, the poetry is a little less arduous than digging. She has had poems published by Dreich, Yaffle, Dragon and others.