Jared A. Carnie

Finding Mozart

Wherever I go
Mozart isn’t there.

He’s not in the kitchen
Behind the pots and pans.

He’s not in Tesco
Behind the parsnips and potatoes.

He’s not in the car
Stuck to the floor like an old sweet.

He’s not in the garage
Gathering dust on an old lawnmower.

He’s not in the bedroom
Warming the welcoming sheets.

He’s not even on the pavement
Or at the beach
Or sprinkled among the trees in the woods.

I’m told he’s everywhere.
I’m told he’s huge
Yet wherever I go
Whatever I do
I just can’t quite find Mozart.

Copyright © Jared A. Carnie 2014

Jared A. Carnie is currently enjoying the freedom of the Outer Hebrides. He will be reading at the Inverness Book Festival in August.

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Alessandra Trinidad


My father’s heart pulsates: I am, I am.
Still, an electrocardio-

exposes the shadow of a sorrow

embracing his chest 
that soon a scalpel 

must incise, when a moment, at rest,
will either bloom into a petal

or spawn a leaf
no longer green,

but born of the grief
the earth entombs in its spleen.

Inside my father, look, blood flows 
into a branch

wintering within the invisible snow’s 

Even so, for him I write against the eternal Good Night,
against a flight into the distant, closing door.   

Do you see, from dark to daybreak’s light,
my father breathes, and breathes once more.

Copyright © Alessandra Trinidad 2014

Alessandra Trinidad lives in Aberdeen.  Among other publications, her work has appeared in Ink Sweat & Tears and 14 Magazine.  

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David Colledge

Rahn Ha

Between mouthfuls of alcohol and the din
And strain of neon she appears; her face,
As wide and petulant as a cat’s,
Studies me shyly.  I am all evasion,
Robed in irony and forceful chit-chat,
Stuck in a version of myself.

Rushes through the illusion the texture of her skin,
The flat unresponsive lips, the elusive
Tongue, the smell of her vagina.
The self-conscious bowl of rice
In the morning.  Exhaustion

Comes quickly: soul and penis shrink to nothing,
The dummy clatters on, burdened with so much
Impotence, so much solitude.
What does she want?  Our senses jar.
I note her resolve with quiet horror
And lead her from the bar.

Copyright © David Colledge 2014

I’m a chef from the Scottish Borders who lives, writes and cooks in Glasgow.  I studied Literature and Political Philosophy at Glasgow University and spent a brief period as a foreign language teacher in Korea.  I’ve never had anything published before.

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Gerry Stewart

Moon of Long Nights

Moon in a gauze of clouds
bumps against our Greek tower.
I sculpt the slush of air into tangled dreams,
outstretched arms and eyes closed.

The winter-gray sea’s expression
suggests a mistake, a promise misheard.

Muted, we followed a wavering arrow of geese
to these coarse-pebbled shores,
carrying a snow-laden sky and unanswered questions
heavy on our wings.

This midnight gloom dwells with us,
shaking the door with its insistence.

Aware of what lies unsaid in this tiny room.

All sounds are buried
in the slope of sand and waves
until we tilt our faces towards one another,
an eclipse.

Block out the moon,
its empty corners and shadows,
reach for the books yet unwritten,
the dreams lying abandoned on the beach,

for the sun to lead us home.

Copyright © Gerry Stewart 2014

Gerry Stewart is a poet who currently lives in Finland with her family. She is struggling to learn the language. Her poetry collection Post-Holiday Blues has been published by Flambard Press.

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Terrence L Sykes


London embanks upon

The Thames – laced with many bridges

Cairo cradles upon

The Nile – lacking any bridges

My old flat sheltered me from driving rain & cold

My new quarters shield me from drought & sand storms

Big Ben keeps time on the Grand Isle

Minarets mark the passage in the Delta

Armored crocodiles patrol the banks & waters while

Marked birds soar & threaten from the vast sky above

The shadows of the last war linger & haunt

A new war looms heavy & low as mosquitos

The morning fog overflows its banks – Waters reach flood stage at dawn

Though drought – fear & doubt reign upon parched lands

Copyright © Terrence L Sykes 2014

Terrence Sykes’ poetry has appeared in Unity – Casa Italiana – The Connection & he is a contributor to Fragrance.

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Petra Reid

Sonnet 154
 Will hath (gone) away and Cupid’s asleep,
 Time’s not been kind to the one partner brand;
 Whilst as young nymphs we vowed chaste life to keep -
 That naiveté’s now got out of hand.
 Open plus honest snuffed out his fire,
 Where fidelity’s dream of us once warmed;
 And so the general of hot desire
 By creeping domesticity’s disarmed.
 Went to couple’s therapy by the by:
 Turns out not love  but desire’s perpetual,
 Classical sex a deux’s sweet remedy
 For couple’s diseased monogamous thrall.
     Came there for cure, and this by that we prove:
     Love loves desire, desire requires no love.

Copyright ©Petra Reid 2014
Several months ago I took a notion to respond to all Shakespeare’s sonnets – in numerical order  and using his rhyme schemes. (The other 153 can be found at http://mrslaydeeshakespeare.blogspot.co.uk ).  But what now?

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Judith Taylor


Even my name
makes you think of it.

Sax-o-phone – machinery
and base desire, in one.
And all your fantasies

of the low dives you hadn’t the word to get into
hang around me
like the scent of a morning after:

whisky; stale tobacco;
Midnight in Paris.

I’m your only soundtrack
for seduction, and
in the cold of an empty night
your consolation prize:

a dancehall Sphinx
you flatter yourself you’d guess
if you ever stooped to try.

if only you knew, Milord
what my song shelters.

Deep down
in my liquor-tinted, melancholy voice
as I take my solo

there is something stirring. Old
laughter, dark and blue as a shadow
and nobody’s but my own.

Copyright © Judith Taylor 2014

Judith Taylor comes from Perthshire and now lives and works in Aberdeen. She has had poems published in a number of magazines and is the author of two pamphlet collections, Earthlight (Koo Press, 2006) and Local Colour (Calder Wood Press, 2010).

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