Stephen scribbles things whenever he is not forcing a member of the public into a CT scanner. His poems have appeared in Boyne Berries, Drawn to the Light, ROPES, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis, Strukturriss and Vox Galvia.
Casey Jarrin is a poet, painter, and educator whose writing appears in Irish, UK, and US journals (Banshee, Abridged, Washington Square Review, Belfield Literary Review, Banyan Review, Buzzwords, Grand Journal). She’s received the York, Goldsmith, and Fingal Poetry Prizes, been on the Bridport shortlist, and performed as a featured poet at Lime Square and the Nuyorican Poets Café. A Jewish-Catholic atheist raised in New York who’s since lived in Dublin and Minneapolis, she received her PhD in modern literature/film, taught at Macalester College for several years, and is founder-director of Live Mind Learning. She’s now completing her debut collection, The Naked Dinner. Website: www.caseyjarrin.com
What sort are you?
Tea or coffee?
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
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.
This poem is
of Couplet and Tercet.
This poem is not to be entered into lightly.
Thus, we need to confess
that Couplet hath played
fast and loose
with a sestet, thrice,
and Tercet hath also succumbed
to the tenderness of carnal union
with a haiku, in an act of confused
as a measure of forgiveness
and a certain degree of apathy,
if no-one can show just cause
or impediment, I proclaim
Couplet and Tercet
to be a quintain.
John has recently moved to Cambridge (voluntarily) from Worcestershire, and writes poems (involuntarily) because he feels he has to or something bad might happen. He is a popular (reportedly) performer and has published a collection The Boy Who Couldn’t Say His Name.
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.
He arrived in the sixth form
from a poxy private school
that thought itself posh,
and though he was local,
they’d rubbed his voice down
until our local accent came off
and he spoke like an Etonian.
He had that up-your-own-arse
confidence of the rich,
but wasn’t all that clever
when it came to school stuff,
almost like he felt above it.
And his grades weren’t much.
So the summer we left
I bumped into him in the street,
and just could not resist
telling him I was going to Uni.
I’m not bothering with that he said
(Daddy’s business I thought)
Because, he said, I’m in meat.
I didn’t know Daddy had gone bust
until I caught sight of him next:
the boy on the local butcher’s van.
Ruth Aylett teaches and researches robotics in Edinburgh and has been known to read poems with a robot. Her pamphlets Pretty in Pink (4Word) and Queen of Infinite Space (Maytree) were published in 2021. For more see http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~ruth/writing.html
ON PASSION SPENT ̶ Somewhat after William. Shakespeare &
Vita Sackville-West; would be lovers all
Now that night has bled back into the black earth
& I no longer covet the cloak of sleep, impossible,
my heart (that desirous old fat-spotted oven) cools,
quits bigging ‘memories’ never truly hers to own.
Teetin the truth of it, in quick quartz dazzled dawn,
I find love’s swim in us was as ill-fit as a finless fish.
Between our thighs trickles only the dampest regret.
Dear, it’s daft to conjure dreams from wreathy bones.
Awkward as a gang of hangers thrust sidewards into
a frantic-packed case, I half-exhume ‘forget-me-nows’
of screen-preened hair (exhausted with flicking), eyes
dripped-dry with feigning drookit-dewy & a fret of lips,
For if we had ever our ‘selves’ met, IRL with skin on,
offscreen, I doubt we would have set about to fraying
our zips. Perhaps, my Zoomy pal, my ‘could have been’,
my not ‘THE one’, we’ll let passion spend one last squib?
Then, I will weigh my eyelids down & steep my senses in
Cáit started writing poetry, at home in Scotland’s Highlands in December 2020. Over forty of her poems have been published since. With co-author Sinead McClure she was a winner of Dreich’s ‘Classic Chapbook Competition’ 2022’, awarded for their chapbook ‘The songs I sing are sisters’. For more information visit https://linktr.ee/caitjomac
The Cost of Living
(after William Carlos Williams)
This is just to say
that you crossed off
the shopping list
you said at £3.50 a punnet is
taking the piss
for just six of them
they were Irresistible
so I’ve turned off the heating
and am now so cold
Louise Longson lives in West Oxfordshire and works for a loneliness charity. She started writing poetry during isolation in lockdown 2020. She is widely published in print and online, and author of the chapbooks Hanging Fire (Dreich Publications, 2021) and Songs from the Witch Bottle: cytoplasmic variations (Alien Buddha Press, 2022).
A Dish Made by Myself
I’m sick of tray bakes, pies in the sky
banquets, vol au vents, pastrami on rye
I want delectable. I want something else
So, here’s a dish I created myself
I am at the table surrounded by cooks
in tall white hats, holding meat hooks
They are going to make merry with my insides
and prepare an andouillette stuffed with spice
They cut a deep incision above my bottom
Turn my intestine into one big sausage
The sous chefs add garlic, salt, wine and onion
They truss me up to give me a final pummel
I choose my head to be served as a main
So out of my orifices, they squeeze my brain
it spills from my ears, a grey mucous sauce
crammed with crunchy bits, thick and coarse
They whisk it with vigour and drizzle on my tongue
itself yanked out of my jaw, and secured open
by tiny cheese cocktail sticks staked into the gum
My eyeballs are glazed and marinated in urine
Thus, I am dished, an andouillette and a head
wordless, stylish with a French vinaigrette
they say I am served best with a little green gem
and to toast my health, raise a glass of phlegm.
Afters will be sweetbreads scored from my heart
a selection of my stomach, chest and throat
This is my offering, basic fare, honest food
I’m happy to be sacrificed for the greater good.
Andouillette is a French coarse-grained sausage made from the intestine of pork, pepper, wine, onions, and seasonings. Andouillettes are generally made from the large intestine and are 7–10 cm in diameter. True andouillettes are rarely seen outside France and have a strong, distinctive odour coming from the colon.