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.


The Parting of Ed the Sot by Ron Runeborg

There he lay, the gnarly rascal, on his darlin’s kitchen table
Himself had not looked better since the dawning of his years
But we owed him one more gadabout, to liven up his fable
so we begged his little missus, and she smiled behind her tears

It was off to Hooley’s pub we drove, for more’n a pint of Guinness
Himself was just a wee bit meek as toasts were gaily sung
we coaxed a round of fiddle from the local violinists
and we danced with Ed until old Harris nearly lost a lung.

He wasn’t hard to load again, we seemed a nod more sprightly
as we toddled off to Finnigan’s, three drunks, one surely not
‘twas another cheer and three pence for the man who shown so brightly
O’er the Kelly green of county Down, our brother, Ed the Sot

Well we partied through the evenin’ with our Eddie boy beside us
tellin’ tales of Eddie’s prowess, of his loin’s vitality
Yes we found our way to seven pubs, ‘for coppers would deride us
and remind our little party to respect mortality.

After dawn on that drab Thursday, Ed had heard enough of laughter
it was time he and his widow would be sayin’ their goodbyes
We had said as much ourselves the night before the morning after
so we spent that hour gently, while our Eddie closed his eyes.

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.


Funeral by Meg Barton

I go to people’s funerals
So they will come to mine.
Just think of the embarrassment
If nobody had a good time.

And what if the sausage rolls were off?
I’d be the joke of the town.
Or everyone laughed at the music I chose?
I’d never live it down.

I’d better prepare a detailed plan
I’d better be nice to my friends
Or nobody’s going to shed a tear
Or come to my funeral again.

Meg Barton lives in Oxford, and has been published in a few magazines including The Interpreter’s House and Lighten Up Online.


The Rotter Above by Gary W. Hartley

Before my time
the guy upstairs

lay dead for a fortnight
before anyone
clocked it

This appears to be
a common thing
in Wood Green

The epicentre
of mountainous mail

decaying neighbours
and shrugs

It’s really quite renowned for it

One local deceased got a
sympathetic documentary
portrait – an empty fame

the guy upstairs did not.

See, apparently he was
some sort of

So I guess,
that explains that.

Gary W. Hartley is also known as Gary From Leeds. His debut collection ‘Your Attempt to Enjoy These Poems is Considered Unsatisfactory’ is out now on LSL Press.



A Stiff One In His Sunday Best by David O’Neill

The Goidels of Hibernia revere the stillman’s art—
Their weddings and their funerals are hard to tell apart.
There is one way to know, for sure, once all the poitín’s sunk:
At every single funeral there’s always one less drunk.

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.