Supply Lines by Cath Campbell

Red skies crush rock and land,
crush this mineral rich community,
this scandale geologique,
crush this thin boy of six.
Santu’s feet slap grinding hours in early light,
hums his childing voice in western tunes.
He won’t reach nine without strong bones.
Devils drill his marrow, worm young lungs
until he cannot breathe. Cannot work
to dig the minerals from the dirt.
Can no longer carry sorrow on his back,
which hurts protesting heavy sacks.
I composed this poem on electronics
powered by ion battery boost with cobalt.
Samsung, Huayou and Microsoft.
I write about his death before its time
with the instrument of his demise.
I am sorry, Child. I am sorry …
Sorry you were born into this state.
It is not only bombs that decimate.

The Congo is the White man’s grave?
I find it not so true, after all,
for the graves here are very small.

Canal Straights by Michelle Crosbie

Bruised, battered not broken,
the hull in tact;
barge boards support my being.

A brittle bird frame being,
Yet coals are lit,
steam moves the valves of my heart.

I chug through,
choking brine tales,
into the marina of crying hearts.

Canal straights guide my rope,
traversing towpaths
new moorings.

Locks open,
sluice gates rush;
water reminds me to drink this life.

life in ashton by Tamra Smith

I sleep sometimes in a wet field of flowers

At one with the earth







I watch away time ticking by



some kind of reality that melts into itself

and fades away

like the burning embers of a firefly

Spilt salt

stings my wounds

I float upon a dead sea

I settle like dust floating in the vacuum of the universe




still as death itself

Yet the twenty four hour muscle

still beats

Like the tick tick ticking of a clock

that never stops

like angry ants marching

beyond eternal bone

Ignorance is no excuse

trapped in this small town

Mentally baked on the inside

without decisive decisions made


Rolling in a fishnet laughably feeling secure in knowledge

Not knowing when you’re gonna die

when the axe drops

when the heart stops

stopping at great speed

I stumble past the mortuary

Hail stoning

I hear the workers laughing as they

wheel round bodies

Silence fell upon them

As i peeked in

Do not feed the Trolls by Dave Rendle

( a poem written after  an encounter with an internet troll)

They simply do not give a damn
especially when on social media
where everything makes them angry
but without the gift of articulation
every time they open their mouths
release a torrent of abuse and profanity
do not try not to feed them
or massage their twisted egos
they will just carry on mocking
poking aggressively with idiocy
spreading messages of hate and prejudice
poisonous voices of this new world disorder
who will try to destroy your compassion
your sensitivity and reason 
leave them alone they have no allure
let them continue making fools of themselves
am sure one day soon they’ll get their due.

You’re no cunt, Trump by Jane Burn

It will only make you scorn us more, this use
of it as insult. I would not fit this word to you.
This power is ours to speak or not – too
easily flung, it belongs to us. Let it not be slung
around – the sound of it upon you demeans us.
………………………..Do not presume to touch us.
………………………..We shall never be under your thumb.

Let us not loose ourselves in mocking you,
for it is not the smallness of your paws
but the meanness in your heart that makes
us afraid. Let us not forget your mouth,
be it glossed, zipped, pursed as a dog’s arse
is yours to moue as you will. It’s not the shape
of it but what comes out.
………………………….Now that
……………………………………….is what concerns us.

If you wish to wear that flossed confection
upon your head that’s fine by me – it’s
your choice to look like that. But your brain and
the wit that sits beneath your much-mocked mess –
………………………………………that pit is a cesspool,
………………………………………it breeds a bigot’s storm.

Be orange – be a rainbow. Exercise
your right to wear the colour that you love.
Cheesy puffs are just a snack. To resemble one
should not make you a figure of fun.
The taste you put on our tongues
is not cheddar. Remember please,

a piss-stain tan
is of no matter to us.

But your travel ban
on the other hand

comes from a dead soul,
a worm hole

of hatred for your fellow man

The Last Tea by Terrence Sykes

Watch the door .. dear
you know it always slams
into my little room
I asked them to dress you
in your Sunday best
for our special tea today
yes we can dear.. extra sugar

I’ll make the tea dear
yes that is Tony Bennett on the record
remember when you first moved here
we cut the rug in the rec center every Saturday night
this time forgotten senior hell – I mean hall dear.. extra sugar

Time moves on doesn’t  it
Here dear.. it may be bitter
we swallowed enough bitter pills
husbands who passed scores ago
children who haven’t visited in almost a year
Oh we are not bitter are we dear.. extra sugar

My dear friend – I understand your babble
we have been friends that long
I forget too much these days
you have forgotten it all
you in your wheelchair
me with all these pains & aches that ..
oh dear … extra sugar

Are you comfy or cold dear
I’ll pull up the afghan we made together
I’ll turn over the album &play side two
why not just one more cup
more tea dear… extra sugar

Yes it is a very special type of tea
a very rare blend indeed
but it is for our very last tea
what kind of tea is it …
hemlock tea dear .. extra sugar

Kenyan Ladies’ Karate Club by Nick Cooke

So you prefer older gals?

That’s the tale we heard.

You think we’re ‘more safe’

than the fresher meat

because we won’t have

much in the way of

what’s called love life,


therefore we must be clean

and won’t kill you

after you’ve killed us.

Ingenious thinking.

You boys should be

in the cabinet

with stuff like that.


I suppose you’d turn

me round to face the wall

before lifting my blood-red skirt…

what’s that old saying

about mantelpiece and fire?

To you boys I guess

the lot of us are much the same

down where it counts,


but get this, kiddies:

we’re all in training,

spend our days like boxers

in the gym, belting

sweet hell out of leather

and now we’re ready to

kick for Kenya


and yes that includes

anyone making so bold

as to try & knock us over

like Mau Mau days,

and only fair to warn,

under the pillow

I keep my best panga.

Declaration of Independence II by Andrea Heiberg

Who’s the lady with the torch
Boko Haram hates to see?
Who’d bid me welcome
if it should be?

She’s my independent friend who
voices freedom

She’s still standing
sending out hope
to me
my sisters in
when not grabbed by her pussy.

So go

.inauguration. by Sonja Benskin Mesher

sbm2aesthetic, showing the words for anaesthetic, little creatures placed

to sleep a while. on waking find that spelling is not so awkward now.


checked without books.           cover the title with rages and     kisses.


i see they use different gases all with difficult arrangements of letters;

there are crumbs under the keyboard. he did warn me. the w crunches,

it may be toast. while all around is                          aesthetically pleasing

clouds gather, we await the friday.


nothing matched #asemic

Arrivals by Brian Reid

Eyes once dark and sparkling

Now dull, opaque, unseeing

Mouths bleakly eloquent

In crushing silence

Bodies tossed on elemental tides

Settle, face down in surf

Mother and small sons locked together

In fraternal farewell

Fallen at the final gateway

To the bosom of western democracy

Families fractured

By men without pity

Pushed from a homeland

Drowning in jihad

Prey to bottom feeders

Grown fat on miserable migration

The images shock the senses

We stop to contemplate the abyss

24 hour news waits for no one and moves on

What is the collective noun for Refugees?

A swarm? A herd ? An exodus?

An ocean maybe,

Everything ends here

Aleppo by Amit Shankar Saha

I do not love you birch

and I have learnt to lie.

Your yellowed leaves I keep

in pages of poetry.

Between my pretensions

I ecocriticize.


And if I cry I say

I cry for Syria.

Aleppo’s children are

all dearer to me.

Their blasted past mirrors

denial of history.


On the blackboard of life

so much chalk dust we wipe.

But in the palimpsest

everything is inside.

(Hidden) In the layers

live all those who have died.


So, the fall in autumn

and the death in December,

all, all I will deny.

I will seal the ceilings,

the floorboards too and hope

there remains a crack or two.


Remember Bamian,

we were the Buddhas there,

now there the desert dwells.

Look birch, how the dust flies

in Aleppo and dies

all intertextual.

Bio: Dr. Amit Shankar Saha is a faculty member in the Department of English at Seacom Skills University. He is also a researcher, a short story writer and a poet. His research articles have appeared in journals and anthologies nationally and internationally such as Research and Criticism (BHU, India), Families (Kolkata, India), Pegasus (Kolkata, India), Decoding the Silence (Delhi, India), Comparative Literature and Culture (Purdue University, USA), Cerebration (Drew University, USA), DESI: La Revue (Bordeaux University, France), Diasporic Consciousness (Germany), Humanicus (Czech Republic), and others. His essays and reviews have appeared in Desijournal, Desilit Magazine, Muse India, Boloji, Rupkatha, Langlit, Diplomatist, Asian Signature, Vanya’s Notebook, Bonobology, etc. His short stories and poems have been published in periodicals and books both in India and abroad such as Estrade Magazine, Muse India, Journal of Bengali Studies, The Four Quarters Magazine, Kritya, Indiaree, Writing Raw, Palki, Learning and Creativity, Hall of Poets, Asia Writes, The Dawn beyond Waste, The Red Balloons, Telling a Yarn, Blessings, and others. He has won prizes at a number of creative writing competitions which include Poiesis Award for Excellence in Literature (Short story-2015), Wordweavers Prize (Poetry-2011, Short story-2014), The Leaky Pot – Stranger than Fiction Prize (2014), Asian Cha – Void Poetry Prize (2014), International Reuel Prize for Poetry (Shortlisted-2016). He has also written for the Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul series books. Dr. Amit Shankar Saha is the co-founder and coordinator of Rhythm Divine Poets, a Kolkata-based poets group dedicated to the promotion of poetry. His website is and he blogs at

Lament by Rona Fitzgerald

The boy was tortured, mutilated

sent home, his childhood,

manhood and his life, taken.


In the luxury London apartments

they offer a snow room

so people can experience cold.


In Aleppo, families know cold

a savage winter chill.

They also know ice, the kind


that enters your heart, like poison

never yields to love

or warmth again.

Law and Order by Ed Stone

Justice is a young girl

locked in a cell

torch without light

a green-tongued judge

is her torturer.

The keepers of justice

extract the girl’s heart

feed it their blue

god the war machine

black people die.

In the reddened streets

split black skulls

plant roaring seeds

a different garden

of law and order.

Treading On Dreams by Ananya S Guha

I tread on stones
breaking into ice
I tread on stones
changing to water
fossil not stones
changing into ringing
gun shots
bullets not water
are they illusions
guns into bodies
bodies into death
rivers  into blood
I tread on them
my eyes cannot
hold,which is what.
At night I dream
peacefully of animals
skinned,and bodies
men, women and children
swathed in all white.
Sleeping peacefully.
I do not tread.
Somehow sleep must
not be disturbed.
Now,I am going to tread
on their dreams.

what good Halloween is to us by Debasis Mukhopadhyay

those cut off hands —
however so very preternatural
like a mere spectre autumnal —
choke easily on the finite border
of their semantic mischance.
we go to bed knowing
after the dark
deathwatch beetle & dry rot will swarm about
the wicked genii of metaphors, metonyms, synecdoches or litotes
under the rag of our skin
& we can elude the haunting brute
in sleep.
what good Halloween is to us if
hands they remain the mere ones
crawling backwards down the gutter of
a Milky Way so full of petrels
hovering over a figure of speech
nailed to the Children under the rubble in Syria
who just boo away
boo away
boo away
the ghosts
whatsoever lazy or fearing
to guffaw over the stubble of hands 

Lingua Anglica by Jacqui Rowe

European Day at Birmingham Literature Festival


You can time your journey

through this city by how long it takes

to hear a syllable of English. Twenty minutes

is the mean. Korean on the campus, Portuguese

on one end of a phone, laughing Spaniards

teach each other tic-kets on the bus.


Belarusian, Armenian, Hungarian, Bulgarian,

Gagauz, German, Greek, Polish, Moldovan,

Slovak, Yiddish, Russian, Rusyn, Krymchak

Crimean Tatar, Azerbaijani, Karaim, Romani, Romanian

are the languages of Ukraine. Writers war displaced

from Donetsk to Kiev use English to discuss

the role of conflict in their art.


You might fade from Europe. English won’t,

an Italian opines. Expunged of you and angst

and beauty it will morph into convenience.

Innocent of languages,  you won’t stop chasing

subtitles to Welsh and Scandi crime scenes.

Galicians, Poles, Germans, Turks, Swedes have

spoken English to you today. The end of hesitation

is where the poetry lies.

Brexit Attitude by Marie Lightman

Nearly deserted bus station, Newcastle
on a Sunday night. Homeless bloke asks
bling bloke for a tab. He without a moment
to think “Mate you need to sort yourself out,
get a job, clean yourself up, you should be
ashamed of yourself” then bling bloke walked
off, leaving the fellow crumpled in a heap, like
some empty crisp packet.