Neil Campbell

Lagg to Tarbet

At Lagg, the German from the campsite catches us up on his yellow bike. We discuss the impossibility of reaching Barnhill, where Orwell wrote 1984. Stefan gives out digestive biscuits. Uncle Rod soon speeds off up the steep climb. I follow him and Stefan up the hill. I wear heavy walking boots and the frame on the hire bike is too small. I struggle up the hill to where tall trees shade the road. Freewheeling around a series of hairpin bends we drop into Tarbet, where the island is at its narrowest point. Crofters came that way from Colonsay.

yellow bike
and blue bikes
– freewheeling

Copyright © Neil Campbell, 2014

(new collection of short fiction)

Sky Hooks (new novella)

Twitter @neilcambers

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Joseph Robert

Well, I Never

A woman of a certain age
Resident in an uncertain Age
Of sociological and climate change
Watched a coot bathe in a pond
While she dwelled on how she’d changed
Since her school leaving days
And her recent cheerlessness had quite gone
Because she was wearing a particular outfit
That gave hints to her true inner character
If anyone had been looking
Which they hadn’t been
And when she passed on, years later
No one missed her
But she didn’t believe that would’ve been possible
Looking at that coot
Self-deception was panacea

Copyright © Joseph Robert 2014

Joseph Robert’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Decanto, Unlikely Stories, Dead Snakes, The Journal, Mistress Quickly’s Bed, Pyrokinection, The Commonline Journal, Mudjob, Spinozablue, Black Mirror, Message in a Bottle, Bluepepper, Eunoia Review, Inclement, Leaves of Ink and the Insert Coin Here anthology. His joint poetry chapbook with his poet wife, Leilanie Stewart, has been reviewed in Sabotage Magazine.

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S Black

in loving memory

soap and water
couldn’t touch the heavy stuff
that stained the blood
which accounted for them
at fifty-seven and fifty-one
sitting proudly now
with the other souvenirs
and remembered vaguely
by distant relatives
who cut the once perfect lawn
between the rain
on bank holidays for money

Copyright © S Black 2014

West Country born and bred, now residing near Reading. Other work may be found at Ink, Sweat and Tears, Message in a Bottle and the Screech Owl.

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Robert Nisbet

Sky Over Broad Haven

Morgan has walked here many times,
from adolescence, thirty years ago,
when there were girls and, once, an adder
whipping silently back into the
long grass, upon the cliff path,
there, above the Lion Rock. Now
the August day seems to be moving
towards amber evening, as the
sky’s translucence holds
just a trace of storm to come.
Morgan walks quietly across the beach,
as he has walked quietly along
beaches many times. Quite suddenly
the looming purple storm arrives, and he
seems to discern, deep in cloud and wind,
pictorial as the beach’s Lion Rock,
the shape of a mounted horseman,
high within the blue and purple storm,
banking, racing, riding cloud.

Copyright © Robert Nisbet 2014

Robert Nisbet
is a creative writing tutor from Haverfordwest, West Wales. He had a short story in the recent anthology Story II (Parthian) and his poetry has been recently accepted by The Frogmore Papers, The Interpreter’s House, Turbulence, Obsessed with Pipework and online in London Grip and Snakeskin.

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Brenda B Frank


The road home lies through darkness
The headlights of my little blue car can hardly
Illuminate.  The brights light up only
The blowing snow.  There’s nothing to see in
Ruggles, Nova, Sullivan, Homerville, or Lodi–finally
The glare of Akron in the distance, then more darkness,
Then Massillon.  I didn’t grow up there, but now
It’s the place I seem to belong.

One of those towns holds memories:
Sunday dinners with his folks of pot roast,
Pork chops, mashed potatoes, dressing. corn, and
Pie–cherry, lemon, maybe black raspberry.
And lunch with a friend.  He drove my little
Red Vega and said, “I wanted to surprise you.”
I said, “Oh, I’ve been here before.”
I wanted to hold his hand as it rested
On my parking brake.  I wouldn’t have believed
We were saying good-bye.

The Reed House sits for sale in the dark.
His folks are gone.  My friend is sick.
He and I are old, and still I am
Wanting to find a way to go home.

Brenda B. Frank
Brenda Frank is a retired school psychologist who for fun teaches writing at Wayne College in Ohio.  Her novella, The Leader of the Band, may be read at


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David Subacchi


We’re doing crosswords in the pub
Because that’s what lovers do
When they fall out of love
Crosswords in the pub

We don’t speak much anymore
Except to discuss clues
Because that’s what lovers do
When disenchantment ensues

We’re doing crosswords in the pub
But at least we’re still together
Keeping each other company

Going down or going across
Moving words about
We’re doing crosswords in the pub
Trying to work things out.

Copyright © David Subacchi 2014

David Subacchi has published two collections of poetry ‘First Cut’ (2012) and ‘Hiding in Shadows’ (2014). He writes on a wide variety of subjects and regularly performs his work at poetry events.

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Thomas Papp

The New Slaves

Injurious ruin covers sundry fields
where everything is sown
and coolly thrown away
or exchanged
in secret
plowed over in moments
waiting but to roam
the boulevard
an asphalt Appian Way
choked with the new slaves
crucified along the way
by the taunting or allure
of images of torturous bliss

Copyright © Thomas Papp 2014

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