Paul Jeffcutt


Go ye north

one day and one night

with fair wind and full sail

to isles broken by narrow sounds

swarming with sea-fowl.


Beach thyself

turn the boat for shelter

take mussels and sweet-water

ye shall remain forty months

observe thy vows.


Forget northern raiders

who care only for ale and gold

be as the high sun

who hides a little in the night

and the west wind

who scours the land clean

save for great stones that rear

many hands into the sky.


Buzz Lightyear

Samuel Stephens

changed his name

by deed poll

opened new bank accounts

continued his job

as a business manager

and ran marathons

for a cancer charity.


Applying to renew his driving license

he was refused;

issuing a license

to a fictional character

would bring DVLA into disrepute.

Buzz appealed and won.


Message in a Bottle

Marianne Winkler

Retired Postal Worker

found a bottle

on a beach in Amrum

the North Frisian Isles

108 years 4 months

and 18 days after


George Parker Bidder

Marine Biologist

threw a bottle

into the North Sea

with a message

in Dutch and German

return to sender

for the reward

of one shilling.


She returned the message

to him by post

at the Marine Biological Association

Plymouth Devon

Bidder had died in 1954

but they sent her many thanks

and a shilling

they bought on eBay.



Paul has won a series of prizes for poetry in England, Scotland, Ireland and the USA. His debut collection of poetry, Latch, was published by Lagan Press in 2010 and was chosen by The Ulster Tatler as their Book of the Month.

Paul has been published widely in journals and anthologies.

He also co-hosts The Squat Pen, a regular series of literary events that take place across the island of Ireland.


Jane Rogers


I’m on a runaway train

Was violently shoved aboard

Had been studying the ‘you are here’ map

Attentively outside the station

I’d just drunk a warming tea

Vaguely stirred with my pencil

Woken from a daydream

Swaying vacantly somewhere else

I’d dreamt in storyboard sketches

Overlaying the vibrato of my life

With handrawn improvements

Tentatively begun on tracing paper.

Tentatively begun on tracing paper

With handrawn improvements

Overlaying the vibrato of my life

I’d dreamt in storyboard sketches

Swaying vacantly somewhere else

Woken from a daydream

Vaguely stirred with my pencil

I’d just drunk a warming tea

Attentively outside the station

Had been studying the ‘you are here’ map

Was violently shoved aboard

I’m on a runaway train.



She went to the archive of skies

not knowing quite what she was hoping for.

She searched ‘painter’s skies’,

(like those with the expectation of a storm)

and immersed herself in the virtual reality

of her random chosen sky.

Technically brilliant, thin

and invisibly thin brushstrokes – a burnt orange sky bled

into a burnt orange desert. Inside this landscape,

she felt a quiet expanse, as if

she had tiptoed into a nuanced loneliness.

Here, there were so many things her body could do with gravity.


She could dance.


In the thrum of grainy orange, her limbs reached out

like cactus branches while the inside of her body became

hollow and weightless. She moved, tested the possibilities

of her dancing cactus-limbed body. And while dancing

she found the join between

the burnt orange sky and

the burnt orange desert.

And could see

she was a tiny figure

very distant, a

conical body and

its long thin shadow

a smudge

in his landscape.



Jane R Rogers began writing poetry as a student on the Open University Creative Writing distance learning course (and was lucky enough to be tutored by Katrina Naomi), and has now been writing poetry for six years.Jane is a member of the Greenwich Poetry Workshop and the Magma Poetry Magazine team where she co-edited the July 2016 Magma issue 65 with a theme of ‘Revolution’. Jane’s poems have been published in print and online – appearing in Prole, Long Exposure Magazine, Obsessed with Pipework, Picaroon Poetry, Three Drops in a Cauldron, in Greenwich Poetry Workshop’s anthologies and in the Tate Gallery Website poetry anthology 2012. Jane lives in London but misses the West Country.

Edward O’Dwyer

The Proof

after Marine Richard


In the loneliest moments

I will my body

to crumple, fold itself up origami-like,

do it so exquisitely

as to shrink and shrink

and finally vanish, pierce the chink

in the armour of physical law.


The city caused me heart palpitations

and nausea and migraines

and I could take no more,

so I left it behind,

came to a converted barn

with no electricity

in the mountains of southwest France,


where those cellular towers

are far off, where

an electromagnetic signal

hasn’t any business.


There are no emails out here

needing sending, no one asking

for a password for wi-fi,


but I miss Toulouse greatly,

the hubbub of its streets

teeming with people,

the urgency

and impatience of that life,

all its swirls of noise and colour,

all its little validations.


If I go to my door and scream,

no one is going to hear me.

I’ve done it plenty.

Nothing at all will stir,

the wind’s whistle

won’t even flinch.


Each day I go to the mirror

to see that I still exist,

then pass the night

convincing myself

the reflected image

of my body

is the proof.



Edward O’Dwyer has poetry published in journals throughout the world, such as The Forward Book of PoetryPoetry Ireland ReviewThe Manchester ReviewA Hudson View Poetry Digest, and Even The Daybreak – 35 Years of Salmon Poetry. His debut collection, The Rain on Cruise’s Street (2014), is published by Salmon Poetry. The follow-up will appear in April 2017.

Tom Dredge


His first venture was in a square.

It was such a thrill to explore,

meeting people, drinking beer

until one day he hit a wall.

It seemed then all learning was done.


He took experience to a circle.

The people there thought he was square,

so he set out, knapsack on back,

to see the world, but hit a wall again.


After months of soul-searching

he followed the light of an inner circle

of smaller perimeter, journeyed

on and on endlessly, gathering

the fragrance of spring, the sweet

wine of summer, until one day

he came to the house of fun, where

he took time out from contemplation.


Slowly the radius of stars, the order

of spheres, the vastness of thought, fused

with the harmony of flesh, the beauty

of music, the luxury of taste.

When he left he was ready to face the end

ready to face the beginning.



Tom Dredge is a member of the Boyne Writers Group and Bealtaine Writers Group and lives in Kildare. His poetry has appeared in Boyne Berries, Revival, Ó Bhéal Five Word, Skylight 47 and the WOW Anthology. He also received commendations and was third in the Frances Browne Multilingual Poetry Competition.

Colin Dardis

Home for Stars

Every star

needs to fall

into a constellation,

the blessed union

of imaginary lines

crafting a framework

of belonging;

the lattice,

the cradle,

the makeshift bed

to find contentment in;

the persistent home

resistant against

all comets,

a corner of the sky

to call home

and be called to.


On Mistakes

I make my drawings

in permanent marker.


I draw fast,

lopping arcs of pendulum ink

swing across the page.


A line goes out of orbit.

You work with your mistakes,

blend them into the whole,

another word in the silent poetry.


You cannot erase,

as art reflects life,

little chance

for corrections.

Hold the artist accountable.


Let the canvas be my guilt.



Colin Dardis is a poet, editor and freelance arts facilitator based in Belfast. His work has been published widely throughout Ireland, the UK and USA. He was a 2015-16 ACES recipient from Arts Council Northern Ireland. A collection is forthcoming from Eyewear Publishing in 2017.Coline also co-runs Poetry NI and is the editor for Lagan Online.


Linda Crate


threw you out of the car

i didn’t want to netflix and chill

was having a difficult


and i just wanted to walk

out all this


i felt—

but you insisted that i needed to take

a trip to your room


you proceeded to try to put the moves

on me and i resisted

trying desperately to watch a movie

i wasn’t even interested in if it

meant escaping the kiss

you tried to put on my lips,

and as if that weren’t

crossing enough

boundaries that you ought not have;

you forced me to touch your


i was so shocked that i couldn’t react,

but i was and am and forever will be

angry that there are men

like you in the world;

trying to take advantage of vulnerable girls

who simply want someone to talk to

in their time

of need—

didn’t want to be the casuality of

a hit and run so i threw you

out of the car.



Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. Recently her two chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014) were published. Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. Her third novel Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016. Her poetry collection Sing Your Own Song is forthcoming through Barometric Pressures Series.


Brian Beatty

The Devil You Know


A familiar shadow

follows you room to room

dark from keeping

your secrets.


Like a dog

that won’t stop barking.

A dog that growls even in its sleep.


But only you seem to notice this best friend.

There’s no escaping that kind


of loyalty. You locked every door.


Museum of Night and Day


Life isn’t meant to be lived

in silence, looking only

straight ahead, squinting

to read the fine print


of exhibit descriptions.

Or so said the painter a little too tightly

wound up in his latest canvas.


Then, with no warning and using just his teeth,

he sent brushes flying out a nearby window.


None of us made a sound.



Brian Beatty’s poems and stories have appeared in numerous print and online publications, including The Bark, Conduit, Dark Mountain (England), The Evergreen Review, Forklift Ohio, Gigantic, The Glasgow Review of Books (Scotland), Great Walks(Australia), Gulf Coast, Hobart, McSweeney’s, Midwestern Gothic, The Moth (Ireland), Opium, Paper Darts, Phoebe, Poetry City USA, The Quarterly, RHINO, Seventeen, Southern Poetry Review, Sycamore Review and Word Riot.

Beatty is the author of the collections Coyotes I Couldn’t See (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016) and Brazil, Indiana (Kelsay Books/Aldrich Press, forthcoming). He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Erica Goodman


Letters to an unfinished, unsatisfying love

I still spend so much of my time thinking of how we could be together, imagining how our lives could meld into each other. I imagine coming home to you, to lie in bed beside you each night, and how we would get to know each other. I imagine bringing you across the ocean to my homeland, driving you around to see the still lakes and green pines, to sweat in the summer heat and play board games while drinking wine with my family. I imagine having you all to myself, all of your affection, and your attention.

I think about the beginnings of our own family and what our child would look like. A baby in a bear coat, tucked into a pram, as we take her on chilly walks through the park, near the wild and unpredictable sea. I think she would be a beautiful baby girl. And you would love her until your heart exploded. I would become second best, as she would be your new favourite. But that’s okay – because you were always a bit distant from me anyways. I would realize, painfully, that I never quite had you all to myself, that I yearned for a child only to be closer to you – and that it never quite works out that way.

Regardless, she would make me feel close to you, in a way that you and I alone could never do. I would keep her close as a way to hold on to you. I would give her everything I wanted, but couldn’t get, from you. I wanted a rock, a container, someone to hold me – physically and spiritually – in allowing me to express wholeheartedly, ME. Perhaps you have been doing just that the entire time. I have thrown so much at you – keeping secrets about my past, avoiding confronting you when I was upset, threatening suicide, panic attacks from overwhelming anxiety that I could not explain to you.  Am I expecting too much? Or am I entitled to more? Do I deserve more? Maybe the things that I want are what you can’t give me. Maybe the things that I want are not what I need. Whatever it is, you have undeniably helped me to grow.

I will contemplate over and over again what it is that I want and will still be unsure. In my head and in my heart, I have never been more confused. You won’t give me what I really crave – the affection, the attention. Yet I cannot get enough of you. This in between state of ours, our cycle of being close and then distant, pulling away and then coming together, is possibly what I relish in. I want to feel the passion, the pain of not being able to separate myself from you – but I want you to feel it too – and be in it with me. I want us to be together, as you yell at me how you love me, push me down to keep me from leaving. Make it difficult, make it messy. Let your emotions fight for me.

I don’t know if I’m ready for you. Ready to be settled, stable and easy, with you. Are we only holding on because it’s easy? Or because we can lie to each other and to ourselves and keep it easy? Each time you think we are in a good place, a happy place, I feel unhappy, ready to cause sabotage. I need your reassurance that you are happy with me. I need it constantly. I need it harshly. Remind me of my own self-worth. Stop your niceties and throw me in the gutter. Then pick me back up again and tell me that you love me. That you’ll always be there for me. And I will continue to sacrifice my life for you, believing that I am in the right place.



At heart, Erica is a traveller, a yogi and an artist without a medium. Her life isn’t defined by boundaries. That is, not by what work she does, or what country she lives in. She has always loved to write, and it draws itself to her when she needs deep expression. We don’t know where in the world she is now… a good chance not in Canada where she is from. Hopefully she is somewhere walking in Big Nature, practicing how to love in this world, and continuing her mission to express her discoveries to the rest of us.

Z.G. Tomaszewski


Northport, Michigan

We walked all day along the channel where a chain of ice islands bobbed and the lighthouse swayed in the side-winding snowfall, reeling in its line then casting again and again until finally its beam froze out on the horizon.

She asked what ground we were standing on—snowy ice or sand? How could I answer when the wind wasn’t in my favor? The lighthouse turned away, the dark blossoming.

“Manifestation,” she whispered.

We knew how it would be.

A zephyr flew in from the Arctic and swung its heavy shoulder blades our direction. What both of us wanted we didn’t allow: to hold one another on that northern shore. Instead, we tucked our hands deeper in our pockets and with whatever consolation angled in and rubbed elbows to cut the cold wind.

She left me to reach for a crow, swooping down to pick its windless body up and hold it, framed wingtip to wingtip across her chest.

I threw a stone into the Canadian Shield.

She said, “Its integrity remains.”

She rocked the crow’s shadow in her arms, I spun the camera around and focused its eye on the spell of light being emitted, tapped finger to snap and capture the shape of the next breath, but the lake hissed and nipped at my shoes.

The picture: blurry, half-bird, and my disappearing act.



Z.G. Tomaszewski works at the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters and is a maintenance man, additionally he helps organize Lamp Light Music Festival. Tomaszewski is the author of All Things Dusk, winner of the International Poetry Prize, chosen by Li-Young Lee, and a forthcoming chapbook, Mineral Whisper (also poetry)New writing appears in Inverness Almanac, Briar Cliff Review, RHINO, The Cortland Review, diode, and, among others.

Enigma Tsiako

The Lust Chapter                             

Her lips resembled clay pots abandoned in the open furnace of scorching sun. Trails of salt lakes ran dry on her cheeks; ashing her face with tears long cried. Her back was bare as was every surface of her skin. Tracks covered her all over, marking cracks left every time they stretched her too thin. She was a sorry sight; so sorry that it required the skills of a seasoned diplomat to render an effective apology. But yet she appealed to me despite the pity of her state. It was her eyes; like pools of an oasis they beaconed hope. So slowly I approached to enquire about her plight, with the careful trepidation my mother warned me to exercise when approaching strangers or dirty infested bums. But she didn’t feel like a stranger to me, nor did I think of her as filthy. In fact with every step I took closer to her she felt like a long lost friend; like a distant cousin I have seen ages ago. ‘Hello, are you alright’ I asked her in a whisper, afraid that a loud voice will shatter her already fragile state. She looked up at me, opened her mouth in response but only a tiny croak came out. She seemed to choke on a bolus of Adam’s apple as a cough squeezed its way through the constriction to clear her throat. “Water, please! I’m parched” she begged.

This was the beginning of a life-long friendship as she told me her story. She was a beauty queen, a natural and her name was Jade. Jade because she was always a shade of green; full of life and colour. She was always bright and vibrant; they said she dined on rainbows and wined on the freshest springs. Her beauty brought her an abundance of love; or so she thought. Basking in the love bestowed on her she gave and gave of herself and all they did was take and take some more. Her colourful petals they plucked off and proved their love to maidens worldwide while she remained with no bloom. Her limbs they chopped off to keep warm while she remained barren in the cold and full of gloom. And while they were at it, they soiled her floors and trashed her streams. It seemed all the love had gone, and in the last chapter she served to quench their lust. They took what they needed from her and forgot about her needs. After they have sapped her of all her beauty and wealth they left her to crack; like clay pots abandoned in the open furnace of scorching sun. I held her close and promised to love her.  Yesterday I went to see her just like every day since we met; to give her a glass of water and be a good friend. I’m happy to say Jade is recovering; she is grinning again. A little love goes a long way, especially in the lust chapter.



Enigma Tsiako is a creative young writer and performing artist from Botswana, Southern Africa. She is a poet, comedian and stage actor with a passion for writing.

Enigma studied English literature briefly in secondary education and carried her love for word play to University of Botswana with the Writers Workshop. Her artistic pursuits have carried her from home to South Africa, Swaziland and the USA.