Beth McDonough

Mitko’s Rose

I wanted to tell you about Mitko’s rose

how he dug it in, below her open fenster,
to woo Zsuzsa in her student flat.
Just close enough for her to touch,
be dawn’s first scent when she awoke.

I might have mentioned the bud it gave,
or how the next year, it flowered twice?
Three times in the summer after that.

I’d have loved to add
how Zsuzsa unearthed and packed
that rose, put in her suitcase, how she
happit it up amongst books and socks
to take her shrub from German soil
all the cold way to Aberdeen.

If I were sharing this tale,
I’d point out where it thrives
under their northern window.
Well-tended, pruned, established.
Watch it shower blooms
under Mitko and Zsuzsa
as three little ones trike by.
But it isn’t my story to tell,
and some stories are already poems.

I wanted to tell you, but some things
made their own poem first.



Beth McDonough’s poetry appears in CausewayAntiphon,Interpreter’s Houseand elsewhere; she reviews in DURAHandfast (2016, with Ruth Aylett) explores family experiences – Aylett’s of dementia. and McDonough’s of autism. She was recently Writer in Residence at Dundee Contemporary Arts.

Dan A. Cardoza

A Dragon in My Garden

I sit in a chair, on a red cedar deck, in the Chill of

November.  The last coyote yelps carry from river’s edge to

home. An owl in feathered overalls, sits high a tip-top

telephone poll, next to my neighbor’s fence. His watch

reads pitch-black & a quarter till full-moon. Its 3:00 A.M.,

he’s about to punch out, his shift nearly complete. Then he

politely excuses himself and back to work. He’s never been

much for chit-chat. He lifts off like a soft melody from a

dark music sheet then through his hyaline portal.  I’m

thinking I’ll see him once again, in a week, maybe two, or

whenever he chooses. I’m ok with that.


I can see my raised garden, boxed dirt with redwood walls,

carrots, radish, basil; a succotash of sorts, zucchini & acorn

squash, with climbing vines of bean.  I see towering corn,

tomato too, and then a dash of fur & scurry & stamping too.

Then leaping about & leaps of faith; a variable mouse

rodeo, except for the riding bull. On the leading edge of

ghostly winds fly dragons, full with scales of armor, talons

& snapping turtle beak, as do birds of prey, with scythes for

fingers, feathery scales & darkness as a shroud. I view oh

Wing-O-Death, oh dreidel head, oh silent reaper plunge.

Then just one swoop & scoop, one squeal, lights out. The

moon: White ball in the corner pocket, a new dawn is on its




Dan has a MS Degree. Dan lives in Northern California and  is the author of three Chapbooks, Nature’s Front Door , Expectation of Stars and Ghosts in the Cupboard. Partial Credits: Amethyst, UK., Ardent, Better Than Starbucks, California Quarterly, Chaleur Magazine, Entropy, Esthetic Apostle, Foxglove, Frogmore Journal, UK, High Shelf Press, Oddball, Poetry Northwest, The Quail Bell, Skylight 47, Ireland, Spelk, Unstamatic, and Vita Brevis.

Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon

Voices adrift, wail high in waving branches.
Ancient woods of beech and oak and ash
tangle when crows’ caws split the troubled air.
Ghost cries and birdsong mingle,
ring round shaded copses
closed off by despair.
Debatable, this broken land is called,
soaked with blood, stained by Reiver wars.
Yet now, spirits tire of conflict.
They gather to demand
recompense of peace.
Hope catches breath, tongues teach,
smiles spread
and new songs burst and soar
as homes and loam-rich farmland
are tended and restored.
Ceinwen lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. She writes short stories and poetry. She has been published in web magazines and print anthologies. These include Fiction on the Web, Alliterati, StepawayThree Drops from the Cauldron, Snakeskin, Obsessed with Pipework, The Linnet’s Wing, Blue Nib, Picaroon, AmaryllisAlgebra of Owls, The Lake, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Riggwelter, Poetry Shed, Southbank Poetry, Smeuse, Bandit Fiction, Atrium, Marauder, Prole and The Curlew. She was Highly Commended in the Blue Nib Chapbook Competition [Spring 2018] and won the Hedgehog Press Poetry Competition ‘Songs to Learn and Sing’. [August 2018]. In 2017 she graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University.

Kit Nova

Milk On A Hot Summer’s Day

buildings spiral above your head and they

are soft and tangible and wet to the touch.

they glide between your fingers like slime,

or vicera.


your mind is failing again,

it’s full of glass again,

it’s cutting your hands and fingers again,

it’s taking





she pushes into you

and tears your mind from your soul

and your soul from your hell in the skies,

beige and thick like

milk on a hot summer’s day.


you don’t trust the man in your head anymore.

he whispered truths to you, wrapped

in sin and crucifixes and the hand

of a holy man,

soft, and wrinkled.


you don’t like the way his face looks.

you don’t like the way his hands feel.

he fucks you with tooth and with bite and

you cause him to bleed and he likes that

and so do you.


your nails tear away in his back

and his thighs

and he screams your name

like a martyr,

burned alive.



Kit Nova is a full-time English and Classics student and part-time poet situated in Cork, Ireland. Their poetry has been most recently featured in several issues of “Hebe” Youth Magazine. They can be found at @poetrybykit on instagram procrastinating finishing their first manuscript.

Carey Taylor

Pub Tour in the Wicklow Mountains


in these hills tales of crocodiles

wisp like smoke

from a woman’s mouth

a man on a pub stool

strips off his jersey

for a stranger


a bartender pours whiskey

gold as the muse

he has now become

lamb slides down

a sheep-shearers throat

slick as hides from home


old men fiddle and

flirt—the dirt of lust

buried beneath ridged nails

red-rimmed eyes

from the daily drink

are held up by a corner


poets talk songs and the

absence of pixels

and the Minnesotan

dresses up like a

Scot—all kilt and ghillies

with an accent that


changes room to room

followed by eye-rolls

from the Canadians

who know the difference

between artifice

and bona fide


like the Australian whose lean physicality

is built from the tear and lift

of hard cement

or the astronomer

who mesmerizes with

science gone rogue


each brought together

in a random mix of Sitka

spruce and Parsley fern

traveling the military road

in a collective hunger that

dark hills filled with secrets


of rebels and monks

might hold

a bit longer

the scatter of orange


in the East



Carey Taylor is the author of The Lure of Impermanence (Cirque Press 2018).  Her poetry has appeared in regional, national, and international publications and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  Born in Bandon, Oregon, she has spent her entire life at the western edges of Oregon and Washington.  Taylor has a Master of Arts degree in School Counseling and when not worrying about earthquakes, enjoys hiking, traveling and a smooth whiskey.  She lives and writes in Portland, Oregon and can be found online at

Alison Jones

Location  (For Emily)


I don’t know what kind of world welcomed you.

I sit here, blinking over a blank page, mind coffee frothed,

while the sky breaks open, and wheeling gulls call for attention.


We try to tessellate everything, all we’ve ever wanted,

all we’ve ever known. The handmade bricks, the sunlight

pressed into earth, pressed into something else again and again.


The doors fashioned from tilting trees, the city’s pitch and glitter.

The creeped out days when walls lean close, and we are small

and made of glass. It hurts so much to live the way that we do.


Dark drops easily here, and places ooze into us, we who set fires

and cast grits of resin. We who mutate like caterpillars, cocooned

for far too long, never knowing what our transformations will bring.


It is all here, with us.

…………………………………..The unreturned library books, the small key

you offered to open your heart for, the stethoscope that confirms

that everything goes on. You are always here, come in after midnight,

and hear a small voice whispering, I thought you might like this.



Alison Jones is a teacher, and writer with work published in a variety of places, from Proletarian Poetry and The Interpreter’s House, to The Green Parent Magazine and The Guardian. She has a particular interest in the role of nature in literature and is a champion of contemporary poetry in the secondary school classroom. Her pamphlet, ‘Heartwood’ was published by Indigo Dreams in 2018, with a second pamphlet. ‘Omega’ forthcoming in 2019.


Theresa Donnelly

Solemnity of Saints

Between All Hallows Eve

and All Souls Day

you set off, briefcase in hand

a crusader departing for the Holy Land.

White starched mantle and a red tie

you return a stained man.

You bring blood to my table

visions and the Holy Ghost.


I lose my appetite

for sacrificial lamb;

take a walk near a sea

which has spat up monarchs

unable to fight the wind.

Their exodus unattainable,

they drowned and are buried

between rock and sand.


Such delicate wasted wings.


The sun moon-pale

offers little in the way of affection

to shivering maples, who shed

garments for baptismal rites, in order

to enter the kingdom of snow.


I return to the kitchen

to find you have changed into

a hair-shirt, pleading forgiveness

between saints promising

a beatific vision of heaven.



Theresa Donnelly is an Irish/Canadian poet who spends her time between Waterville, Co. Kerry and Brooklin, Ontario. Her poetry has been published in the Brooklin Town Crier, Surfacing Magazine, The Copperfield Review, Beret Days Press, Red Claw Press, Ink Bottle Press, Buried Horror Magazine and The Caterpillar Magazine. She is the author of two poetry books ‘Moon Witch and Other Scary Poems (juvenile) and Recurrence of Blue. She is a member of The Ontario Poetry Society and a founding member of The Brooklin Poetry Society.
For more information visit












Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon

For my Daughters: Known Vistas and Those Beyond Limits 

If I could,

I know I would  

gift the Border Ridge to you –


stone flagstones paths

to gain

raised slopes on Windy Gyle.

You’d picnic

and sit sheltered

by Russell’s Cairn’s stacked stones.

Gusts of Scottish southerlies

would burst the air

and finger

your loosed braids

of curly English hair.


Any season of the year,

happy or troubled,

the purpled green of curving hills

and waves of vales

would draw you here

to sit wind-blown,

in peace, and marvel.


You’d see so very far,

over wild-played

contour lines,

the views

of ups and downs

to which the only bar

is distance,

never difference.


Have faith,

that what’s beyond

your sight

and frames your life,

weaves tapestries

of charity and art –


though sometimes

you might lack

sufficient height to see it.



Ceinwen lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. She writes short stories and poetry. She has been published in web magazines and print anthologies. These include Fiction on the Web, Alliterati, StepawayThree Drops from the Cauldron, Snakeskin, Obsessed with Pipework, The Linnet’s Wing, Blue Nib, Picaroon, AmaryllisAlgebra of Owls, The Lake, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Riggwelter, Poetry Shed, Southbank Poetry, Smeuse, Bandit Fiction, Atrium, Marauder,Prole and The Curlew. She was Highly Commended in the Blue Nib Chapbook Competition [Spring 2018] and won the Hedgehog Press Poetry Competition ‘Songs to Learn and Sing’. [August 2018]. In 2017 she graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University.

Laura Potts


From the sour breath of quarry towns we came,

to our scars the firelight a mother. In another land

our broken chord stretched far on the moors,

the flint of our tongue, the tinder, the coal,

hung in their black sacks our lungs sang

to the dead dark night of the child, too young

in her grave. We wore the eyes of the damned. 


Our biblical chant we took to the wars,

candled the lanterns to hopes of our home,

when Madame in her manor, high summer,

forgot. In our hallway of night, watched lights

in distant houses dream up their happinesses –

all the bells of Notre Dame – and mourned

in our trench, in our filth, in our lice,


for our spouses – their corpses – when our dead

stank the ground. Hometown was lonely that year.

Here, us, we never danced down promenades,

our arms like silver chimes. Our drip was slow

through time, gritted and gnarled, no child

never aspired to living to three. We got a VC.

And still died on the slump of our knees.


And in the candle of our last hour’s sleep, across

the moors and the mines, sit the ghosts

of our shanties long-crippled in time. The moon,

with his holy eye of light, still sits on his swing,

smoking his pipe. Here, at night, tell them we saw

the chasms and grey seascapes of fate, the cracks

in mankind, poverty’s shadows tall on the walls,

our dark graveside flowers all dead on the day

when our bones got up and, slowly, walked away.


Don’t say that our stars are forgotten today.


Don’t say I am nothing at all.



Laura Potts is twenty years old and lives in West Yorkshire. Twice-recipient of the Foyle Young Poets Award, her work has appeared in Agenda, Prole and Poetry Salzburg Review. Having worked at The Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Swansea, Laura was last year listed in The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Prize and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She also became one of The Poetry Business’ New Poets and a BBC New Voice for 2017. Laura’s first BBC radio drama aired at Christmas, and she received a commendation from The Poetry Society in 2018.



Ion Corcos

That Place

Paperbark trees, butcherbirds, 

a narrow path to the sea;

that place gone, like clouds.

Only I remain. The tree outside

my home does not exist here,

the grave my father is buried in

is far, as is my mother, who lives

in a small flat, gives love recklessly,

takes it away in madness,

her anger the venom of a snake.

Sometimes, it is too much.

I do not want to see it, the dead

and the yet dead; the weight of knowing.



Ion Corcos has been published in The High WindowAustralian Poetry JournalAllegroPanoply, and other journals. Ion is a nature lover and a supporter of animal rights. He is currently travelling indefinitely with his partner, Lisa. His first pamphlet, A Spoon of Honey (Flutter Press, 2018), is out now.