Mike Dillon

When it Rained

You knew it was coming before it came

softly as the turning of catechism pages.


The green wood unlatched its door

and you stepped beneath the rain-whirred


leaves of alder and maple

where muddy deer tracks


made Lilliputian lakes of pewter

pocked by the rain.


Rain fell upon the afternoon silence of moss

and drummed three white trilliums.


A sword fern dripped pearls.

A nameless bird suddenly caroled.


And you stood in that familiar place

where you have never stood before.



Mike Dillon, a retired community newspaper publisher, lives on Puget Sound northwest of Seattle, USA. He is the author of four books of poetry and three books of haiku. His most recent book, “Departures,” a book of poetry and prose about the forced removal of Bainbridge Island’s Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor was published by Unsolicited Press in April 2019.

Caitlín Eilís Barrett

Excavation Report: Unidentified 20th Century Burial

Looking for Minoan ruins,

we found him in the middle of them:

someone must have dug his shallow grave

unaware they were depositing him into an ancient house,

his head crushing a Late Kamares cup.


An ivory necklace,

a used-up hearth, carnelian from the Indus Valley,

obsidian blades that can still prick skin,

rocks, pieces of plaster, scraps of pots and land-snail shells,

and his perfect skull,

without a chip or flaw.


We continue to lance the ground’s infections

with our sharp crisp trowels.

By the time we’re done, the dirt is so pure

that it stops thinking about anything.

On both sides of the blade

we excise away the excess world.



Caitlín Eilís Barrett is a professional archaeologist as well as a writer, and currently co-directs an excavation at Pompeii. She currently lives in Ithaca, NY, where she teaches at Cornell University as an Associate Professor of Classics. Her poetry has previously been published by Can We Have Our Ball Back, IthacaLit, Philadelphia Stories, Pressed Wafer Press, and Bow & Arrow Press, among others. She is also the author of two nonfiction books on archaeology: Egyptianizing Figurines from Delos: A Study in Hellenistic Religion (Brill, 2011) and Domesticating Empire: Egyptian Landscapes in Pompeian Gardens (Oxford University Press, 2019). 

Caitlin Yunuen Lewis

Father’s Day 2020

Dear One

Do you know

That the world stopped with you?


The day your heart stopped,

The world stopped.

Not only my world; not only

In a metaphorical sense,

The way all who love stop

When their dear ones go

Heading too early, and forever

Into the mystery.


As your life ended

Planes were grounded

Roads were emptied

People went into their homes

Schools, shops, churches shut

Capitalism’s wheels became stiff

And the push was parked at the station.


It gave us too little time.

I wanted to be with what remained

Of your human form.

To do things properly.

But we were robbed

Of that sad basic decency.


Sometimes I wonder, though.

Always the adventurer, the storyteller

Maybe this is somehow, bittersweetly

Strangely fitting.

Instead of a wake

You got a global human pause

Fit for an unknown king.

It was both bigger

And smaller

Than what you deserved.


Something else emerged, too.

When the people stopped

Other beings of this earth

Came back, the wild remembered.

Deer on city streets

Birds and foxes, free

Dolphins in canals

Air clear.

Nature’s reclamation.


Some say

Disrespect for wildlife

Is what started this

In the first place.

“Nature is a great leveller,”

You would have said.

And it is true.


Did nature reclaim you too?

Back to join

The non-human fold

Animal vegetable mineral

Or something else.

Are you still somewhere

Out in some version

Of the wilderness?


I don’t know where you went.

But what I do know,

What I felt in my bones, and yours

Was that wherever it was,

It was somewhere peaceful

It was somewhere golden

It was the deepest, most perfect wild.  



Caitlin Yunuen Lewis is a 2006 graduate of English, Media and Cultural Studies from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology. She currently works at the University of Limerick. She is a facilitator and a researcher, with an interest in intersectional social justice, relationships, soul work, and the environment. Caitlin’s beloved father Michael passed away overseas in March this year, right before the Covid 19 pandemic took hold in Europe and South America. His funeral has not yet been possible due to the ongoing international coronavirus travel restrictions. In the absence of the usual mourning rituals, Caitlin has turned to writing poetry to honour him. This poem is dedicated, with eternal love and respect, to Michael.

Ian Hill

Middle West

It is my great pleasure to announce,

It’s mostly bad, all of this.


No light at the end of the

Tunnel vision flickers, flickers—then again.


No light at the end of the

The squint of this morning

The dissection of last night—or what if I had just said


After tireless searching,

I’ve found there’s nothing poetic

about the word “touchdown.”

Save for the “touch.”

And the “down.”


After tireless searching,

I’ve found something I can cherish

like your memory

or its opposite.


After tireless searching,

I’ve found the plot.

It’s right here, beside the



It’s my great pleasure to announce,

I’ve found

No light at the end

Save for the “touch.”


I left this town in 1998

And I haven’t stopped

Leaving it since.



Originally from Wisconsin, Ian Hill now lives in Colorado where he attempts to become comfortable with calling himself a “writer.”

Lanette Ware-Bushfield

Headroom, Heirloom

1839. Inoculations. Ancestral

sweat, shipped betwixt, recoiled fears 

La Amistad. Ahmaud.


Bruises, bangs, shoelaces, clangs.

Systemic shame, running blame.

Marquez. Arbory,


Patroled abductions running mutiny

Arduous games amok, numbers, names.

25. La Amistad.


Centuries canoe aboard horrid rain.

Acidic repatriation squats upon burning ankles. 

Ahmaud. Marquez.


Hierarchal threats. Invisible regret, 

equality shot, liberty whacked.

Arboury. La Amistad.


And then there was, sir,

George. Floyd. The

alpha, Omega. Beginning and.


400 years.

40 acres.

4 more years. 


End the Silence. 

No. More.




Lanette is a New York City born actor, writer and producer who has worked alongside Mickey Rourke, Samuel L. Jackson, Bella Thorne, Chris Rock, Alec Baldwin and James Gandolfini. Lanette has produced several film and television projects and has been directed by Spike Lee, Joel Schumacher and John Singleton to name a few. She has taught Public Speaking, Self-Empowerment, Drama and Stage Performance from New York City to Vancouver, and at The Fox Theater on Queen Street East in Toronto to Los Angeles, California. Her personal essays have been featured in The Globe and Mail, Dreamers, Chillfltr, Aaduna and Mothering Magazines. Lanette is the creator/writer of MONARCH 7, a sci-fi television series and THE MOTHER LOAD, a podcast dedicated to showcasing published authors and artists. She plays SALLY on THE WEDDING PLANNERS, CityTv and Judge Lawrence on DIGGSTOWN, CBC and BET.

Laura Theis

the clockmaker’s daughter

I never knew my mother

almost dropped out of clockmaking

school when she had to admit to herself

there was something tick-ticking inside her:

something she had made not by squinting

through microscopes and careful attention to detail but instead

by neglect and forgetfulness (qualities they do not encourage

at the horological institute)

foxing her tutors with flowy dresses and ponchos

she stayed on and half a year later gave birth

to me right on the due date because

I was always going to be a punctual baby


and the first time she saw my round flat face

she smiled with relief: she knew just how to read me

she hummed along to the song of my cogs and gears

as she carried me into her workshop then

propped me against the wall between her assortment

of die plates and steel files and calipers

she worked late into the night furbishing my most important parts

with a small bow-lathe until she had polished me into

something she would not be ashamed to hand in as her

final assignment: an elaborate device with a steady heartbeat

the kind a room would feel empty without

a freestanding marvel with two hands and a mouth


for telling the truth of time



Laura Theis is the winner the 2020 Brian Dempsey Memorial Pamphlet Competition, the £10,000 Mogford Short Story Prize, the Hammond House International Literary Award and she was highly commended in the 2020 Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize and the 2020 Acumen Poetry Competition.
Having grown up in Germany and writing in her second language, her writing has been published in the UK, as well as in Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Canada, and the U.S. It appears in Strange Horizons, Abyss & Apex, and Mslexia amongst many others. Her debut chapbook is forthcoming with Dempsey & Windle.

Kevin Conroy

Tea Break

Heat cannot pass from cold to hot – the only basic law of physics that distinguishes the past from the future. – Carlo Rovelli


Why is the past so particular, ordered,

the future uncertain, agitated?

Why is the past never past,

the future made now?


Now, I hold my cup of green tea

picturing myself on this blue veined earth.

I squeeze a tea bag with my spoon, freeing

waves frothing on a shore, air bubbles

captured in a sphere of hadrons

their quarks, up and down, top to bottom,

random, agitated in my spoon heating up.


Now, while I sit in my still room hurtling through space

on my steady chair free-falling through sky

that continues beneath my feet

            uprightly ever-turning in the way that makes sunrise,

time will tell, if I am still an I with memory,

when the tide ebbs.



Kevin Conroy has been published in The Irish Times, the Stony Thursday BookOne by jacar press, the moth, THE SHOp, Southword, Burning Bush II, Boyne Berries, The Blue Max Review, The Curlew, Sixteen Literary Magazineerbacce, The Runt magazine, Skylight 47,. He has been short- & long-listed in competitions such as the Fish Poetry, Fool for Poetry Chapbook, Algebra of Owls, appeared in anthologies Poets meet Politics & Hibernian Writers and was the runner-up in The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2016. His debut collection will be published October 2020 by Salmon Poetry.

Lorraine Whelan

The Bouquet’s Last Days

The brown is subtle at first
quiet as it tinges the rims
then grows as it permeates the petals
turning the intensity of a sunshine yellow
to a pale and dreary beige.

The stems also look dreary.
Almost translucent in their drenched state,
there is a pale fuzz of mould on their surface.
The water is cloudy and dank.
It has been in the vase too long
and is still.

Eventually the dry petals drop.
Spread on the table below,
they leave marks of dull orange.
a fine powder from useless stamen.

An odour begins to emanate from the vase:
the murk of water mixing
with the mouldy stems
leaks into the surrounding air,
no longer contained.

The bouquet will find its way
to the compost bin
and the water will find its way
to the sea.



Lorraine Whelan is a visual artist and writer based in Bray, Co. Wicklow.

Róisín Power Hackett

The Universe

This is a thousand, many thousand years past,

lost in a vague interspace between a dream and the night,

from the sleep into which the light of the stars had fallen

cold pulses were beating like ancestral skeletons against the sky;

the universe immense and profound with history,

luxuriously stretched soaring along luminous,

wrapped in thick darkness, akimbo.

Tis a vessel clipsing and colling, oozing,

containing the syrup of imagination, this curious bit of lore.

It would draw the stars as near and lapse into a pondering

as these non-human years and centuries came past,

the universe intensified grew larger dipped in liquid fire

sprinkling ancient aqueous light, diamonds of moisture.

Phosphorescence and phenomena

scattered showy ornaments and large orbs dance unstrapped,

formed pale nebulousness feathers floating brightly,

pearls of opalized light, purling upon undulations,

a constellation of white, red, and green flashes

interchanged their hues with every pulsation.

Rocking rhythmic they did twinkle

and reflect the laws of physics

nick-knock, nick-knock went the universe,

came toppling over fallen, tumbling down

descending to some distance below

through stratum, stratum, stratum

til the terrestrial thump.



up from the earth

like a babble of waves, molten metallic glow

emerged loam, black as jet,

burst out, hissed out bubbles of sap,

the spasmodic leapings of the green alluvial

formed the reticulated pattern

of vegetable and mineral processes,

stretched like a geranium bloom against a photosphere,

grew as an extensive ornamental tent of gossamer webs.

Yellow lights struggling with blue shades,

a network of dark green threads overspread,

and the atmosphere filled with skeins of the powdery residuum,

stirring, shaping, and forming together a sort of vegeto-human pollen

formed therein a vast pool of fertile sappiness,

and up surged the human heap.



Róisín Power Hackett is an Irish visual artist, poet and art writer. She graduated with a BA in History of Art and Fine Art (Paint) and an MA in Art in the Contemporary World, an art writing masters, both from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. She has been published in Headstuff – UNBOUND (2018), Skylight 47 Issue 10, (2018), Tales From The Forest, Issue 8 (2018), The Runt, Issue 10 (2017), The Bohemyth, (2017), Rise and Repeal (Abortion Rights Campaign) Magazine, (2016), The Weary Blues, Issue 7, (2015), Glitter Stump, Issue 2, Pamphlet Magazine  (Netherlands), Skylight 47 Issue 2(2013), Mama Grande Press,(2012) Word Legs, Issue 13, Minus 9 Squared‘s Anthology, Minus Nine Squared, Issue 2, (2009). Róisín has also published contemporary art, personal and philosophic essays and criticism on-line and in print including in the Visual Artists’ Ireland New Sheet (VAN).


John Donaghy


My old friend tells me everything’s a bonus

after three score years and ten.

Do-gooders on the radio speaking

of the “elderly” as if we’re merely

walking frames stumbling into hospitals

as if years determine our state of mind

our physical fragility

but the whole universe of consciousness

bears down with a stark declaration

that there is an end to all this

breathing, this laughing, this sensory

carnival of the flesh –

a diamond shape hacked

out of the earth that has my name on it.



John Donaghy’s poetry has been published in The Derry Journal, Sarasvati magazine and in The Irish Times. He has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in 2015. His poems have won first place in the unpublished section of the Poetry Ireland Trocaire Competition in both 2018 and 2019.