Camp Shangri-La by Arran Potts

Camp Shangri-La

He stopped for a quickie one night in her tent,
Made love to an egg-timer till he was spent,
The sand had run out, he came and then went;
That’s love here in Camp Shangri-La.

She lowered his zip and was so full of hope,
But all he could manage were fumbles and gropes,
So Val took the lead and showed Guy the ropes;
That’s love here in Camp Shangri-La.

They’ve put up two tents but they’re on the same pitch,
Four of them starkers, not wearing a stitch,
They’d do half an hour then partners would switch;
That’s love here in Camp Shangri-La.

Tommy was fuming and she was to blame,
Cos everyone here in the camp knew his name,
Last night Sue had screamed it out loud when she came;
That’s love here in Camp Shangri-La.

At sixty she knows how to tease and to coax,
She pulled off his trousers with two short, sweet strokes,
Just as she’d done, with dozens of blokes;
That’s love here in Camp Shangri-La.

Ronnie and Eileen at home in a yurt,
Strong green oak decking to cover the dirt,
But plenty of cushions in case they get hurt;
That’s love here in Camp Shangri-La.

Sally McNally the Shangri-La vamp,
Looking for strapping young men round the camp,
She only needs someone to sleep in the damp;
That’s love here in Camp Shangri-La.

Just rooves of soft fabric as somewhere to sleep,
The campsite is hidden, the price not to steep,
Those zips, flaps and awnings have secrets to keep;
That’s love here in Camp Shangri-La.

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


Oscar and Silicon Valley, by Anne Irwin

Oscar and Silicon Valley

Zen-like on the car roof,
Oscar inhales the autumn air
absorbing the warmth of the metal
into his marmalade body.

Languishing in his sleekness,
pristine as Silicon Valley,
he preens himself, one eye
on the chaffinch in the rowan.

Empathic as the Valley,
with its modern sensibilities,
egg freezers for the nubile,
fuzz-ball, beanbags, mindfulness spaces
for its twelve-hour-day workaholics
with no time for slackers,
he emanates serenity
while his internal algorithms calculate
the trajectory of his leap
from roof to branch.

With a twitch of his tail
a narrowing of eye, he springs
and the chaffinch shrieks its dying call.

Anne Irwin’s poetry is inspired by the glory of the universe seen in the microcosm of everyday life, and her ever-increasing family. She has three sons, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Her poems have been published in many literary journals including Poetry Ireland Review, Irish Left Review, High Window,


Instructions for a Scouse Night Out, by Jenny Robb

Instructions for a Scouse night out
With thanks to the Urban Dictionary

Go into town to buy some new clobber,
have a few scoops in the spoons.

Go home and have a good scran.
You need to line your stomach before pre’s.

Make sure all your drinking mates are sound;
those who buy a round and have your back.

Listen to your best friend. If she says
the lad you’re necking is meff, trust her.

At throwing out and up time, have more scran.
You’re not bevvied enough if you go home

without a Vindaloo, or chips, or a sway
in the Hot Dog queue. Neck it!

Jenny Robb has been writing poetry since retiring. She’s been published widely in online and print magazines and in anthologies. Her debut collection, The Doll’s House, Yaffle Press, has recently been published. She lives in Liverpool with her partner and the family cat and has one grown-up daughter.


Silent Order, by Joe Naughton

Joe Naughton lives in Galway has been writing poetry since 2017 which 

derives mainly from memoir and topical issues. 

He attends “Over the Edge” writing workshops with Kevin Higgins in Galway. 

He has had poems published in Vox Galvia section of “Galway Advertiser” 

and is a regular reader on online open mic platforms.


An Ode to Monty Don and the Pet Shop Boys, by Robert Garnham

Disco in your greenhouse, Monty?
Flat cap rapping in the growbag scene.
I licked the outside of your shed window
While you were live on air,
The glass compressing my tongue into a
Flat pink slug.
It’s such a pane.
And it tasted to mallard shit.

I’ve always felt like a weed in the bedding
And I’m being hoed by Monty Don.
Why can’t we be proper mates?
I’d hang around him as he propagates.
And I’d wobble his bundle is to make
The morning dew
Rain down on his craggy Easter island statue face.
Is that a tear, Monty D?

I saw him out by the shed he was sprinkling his seed,
Tender frost-hid cuttings and I thought, indeed,
We always cut off more than we need.
Let me sniff your corduroy trousers, Monty D.

And here come his footsteps a-plodding and he’s
Got his garden shovel raised and you can tell
By the way his eyes glare as he holds it in the air
That he means to crack it down with venomous fury
On my head
And that’s when I shout,

Disco in your greenhouse, Monty?
I’ve got the karaoke set up and here’s
A parody of the Pet Shop Boy’s West End Girls
Except it’s about chocolate bars,
Do you like chocolate bars, Monty?
Do you like chocolate bars?

Sometimes you’re better off in bed
There’s a Twix in your hand
You wish it was a Flake.
You think you’re bad,
Totally incapable
The nutrition guidelines and the ingredients table
In a Toblerone
Or a Kit Kat Chunky
Call the policeman
I hope he’s quite hunky
Running down
To the shops
To get a Dime Bar
Or a Yorkie.

In a sweet shop queue with a Cadbury’s Twirl.
Whole nut boys and Toblerone Girls.
In a sweet shop queue with a Cadbury’s Twirl.
Whole nut boys and Toblerone Girls.

Too many Mars Bars
Wispas and whole nuts
Kit Kats on posters
Too many doughnuts
Which one
Shall I claim?
If you got to pick out nuts
From a Fruit And Nut
What you got left
Is just a whole nut
It’s like a boiled egg,
Which do you choose,
The hard or soft option?

In a sweet shop queue with a Cadbury’s Twirl.
Whole nut boys and Toblerone Girls.
In a sweet shop queue with a Cadbury’s Twirl.
Whole nut boys and Toblerone Girls.

Monty Don’s face peers
From the compost heap
Like the moon rising over a
Mulched desert planet
And a sneer plays around his lips.
Come here, you bastard, he says,
And enough with the sweet talk.

Robert Garnham has been performing comedy poetry around the UK for over ten years at various fringes and festivals, and has had three poetry collections published by Burning Eye. He has made a few short TV adverts for a certain bank, and a joke from one of his shows was listed as one of the funniest of the Edinburgh Fringe. He was recently an answer on the TV show Pointless and, very briefly, on Britain’s Got Talent. His short stories have been published widely.


Sorry, by Emma Purshouse


this poem is pretty shit
I must apologise for it.

It has rhyme in its defence
though its rhyme, is not immense

It has no similes, nor metaphor.
I’ve no idea what it’s for.

It doesn’t seem to say a lot
but one thing it hasn’t got

(which is a plus I have to say)
is a shard, or soul, or heart cliché...

...and now it has. In that last verse.
I fear I’ve gone and made things worse.

At least I’ve got the deadline nailed.
Yesterday? Oh fuck, I’ve failed.

Yes, this poem is pretty shit
and I apologise for it.

Emma Purshouse is a writer and performance poet from the English Black Country. Her poetry is published by ‘Offa’s Press’. Her debut novel ‘Dogged’ came out with ‘Ignite Books’ in 2021.


Packaged, by Beth McDonough


Stiffed over a couple of continents,
you arrive, a strange-patterned flatness.
My six pairs of vacuum-packed socks.

A minimal method to post merino,
knitted-up bits of running Greek keys,
orange chevrons and lined tiny fish.

One dozen ribbed ankles all drill up one side.
Flip over for overlaps of bright toes.
Sealed-in little labels offer real heat.

But, I must burst your pristine rigidity,
pierce your unbubbled tight wonder,
turn you into soft, just workaday wear.


Homing hairbrushes, by Sarah Dale

Homing hairbrushes

In appreciation of Douglas Adams,
who first noticed where biros go.

Hairbrushes have now joined
biros and socks as sentient life forms
with an irresistible homing urge –
watch them wriggling through
those ladders in time’s fabric,
catching their bristles
on filaments of space
off to their ideal planet
where every surface
is as smooth and bald
as a billiard ball.

After a misspent youth in libraries and museums, and some time in between, Sarah has finally achieved her dream job in Lichfield working for the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum (and book shop). She writes for fun and enjoys swimming.