Strider Marcus Jones


he is decomposed
from a bramble rose
his thorns
of storms
foetal curled
in the underworld
faerie peat without plough.

is it fun
with all those comical
jacketed jesters-
or primplum
by posh ancestors-
doing the same this and that
to keep your spirit level flat
with docile protestors
wired to silicon investors.

i bought this new fedora hat
in whitewashed Mijas
to be my own brown
see as-
let them face their ignominy
when i wear it here in town-
like an un-shoed horse
from the roadgorse
prancing right
through their moralless light
brim slanted defiantly down
eyes outsider brown.

is it no Left or Right there.
do you have your chair
to sit in.
can you smoke your pipe
gathering stars in its clouds at night
thinking thoughts in nothing.
do you still use words
to help wingless birds
or is it silent
to the violent
fermenting fear
when the truth comes near
just like here.

Copyright © Strider Marcus Jones

Strider Marcus Jones – is a poet, law graduate and ex civil servant from England with deep Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry are modern, traditional, mythical, sometimes erotic, surreal and metaphysical. When not writing, he can be heard playing his saxophone and clarinet (just ask his neighbours).

His poetry has been published most recently in The Screech Owl, Catweazle and The Gambler magazines; Vagabonds: Anthology Of The Mad, mgv2 Publishing Anthology, Killer Whale Journal, The Huffington Post USA and Writer’s Ezine.

Strider’s books:


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Mavis Gulliver

A Contrast of Ravens

Beneath a half moon
in a seamless sky
a raven settles on a pine tree top
ruffles his feathers,
croaks –
and croaks again.

Guttural tones come back
as echoes from the hill –
questions, answers, contact calls
cut through autumn air,
silence of the village
sleeping still.

Free as a wandering wind
he sails across the valley
pooled in mist
swings a lazy circle, comes to land
by banks of brambles,
hogweed gone to seed,

rosehip sprays,
a blackbird’s empty nest,
six foxglove flowers,
frost-mottled, lingering on
with frozen dewdrops
clinging to their tips.

Six ravens in the Tower –
wing-clipped birds
denied the right to flight,
lives confined within a tourist trap,
high stone walls, a square
of London sky.

Copyright © Mavis Gulliver 2014

Author of ‘Slate Voices: Islands of Netherlorn’ (Cinnamon Press, 2014), Mavis Gulliver is currently working on her second collection. Entitled ‘Waymarks’ it will be published by Cinnamon Press in 2015 and includes poems based on landscape and wildlife. Further details of her writing can be found on her website at


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James Rose

The Beach in Spring: Morning

A silver whiteness
Meekly probes the dull dome of the sky,
Casting slender shadows
Of Lowry men,
Trudging, trudging.

Boisterous foam lines
Tumble the sea’s uneven slates,
Riding the wave train
Out of the mist,
Roaring, roaring.

Calligraphic seaweed
Splodges a black ink line
Marking wet from dry,
Tides defying.
‘No pasarán! No pasarán!’

Herring gulls decry
The broken promise
Of the morning,
Harshly chiding.
‘Break through! Break through!’

Copyright © James Rose 2014

James Rose I am a retired physician who started writing again seriously in the last year or two.

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Finola Scott


Just a piece of pale twine curled
dusty on the bookshelf
it lay there unnoticed .
This sandy string survived Mons, Ypres, Verdun
deceptively strong.
When lifted, two copper discs clacked
worn pennies for the Ferryman.
No name merely a number engraved
Imagine a field hospital – you, mute bleeding
skin flapping, angry pain roaring.
Nurses slice saturated grey flannel red khaki, sifting
hair flesh clotted crimson blood, white splintered bone
scouring debris from the mess  that was your head,
ticking off your details – Irish Guardsman, McKenzie
wounded in action
Telegram sent to family in Eire.

Dull plate plugged the hole but
your ear forever held the fury of that
last stuttering howl.
The Troubles echoed it down your years
I try to see this cord round your young neck.
White celtic skin bows willingly
eager for a Queen’s shilling
while your neighbours blast
Dublin’s heart in a fight for freedom.

But that eager volunteer slips away
- you were ever a gruff old man to me.

Copyright © Finola Scott 2014

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Sharon Woodcock

We Sing a Different Song

They have never seen the towering
lighthouse that holds us spellbound,
the pillar of white we drew a line
around, or the crisp leaves we spun
and remain in suspension,
the cobwebs that blow from tongues
and flavour our world sea-salt and pistachio.
They have never seen the ocean spilt
into an indigo sky or people edge away
muttering words about magic, and tricks
of light – in another time and place
we may have sung the same song.

Copyright © Sharon Woodcock 2014

Sharon Woodcock lives in Kent. In her spare time she writes stories, screenplays and poems. Her poems has appeared in various publications, including: Ink Sweat & Tears, Nutshells & Nuggets, and The Stare’s Nest.

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Laura McKee

the old clinging wall

In all honesty I thought they’d be there forever
in my garden catching the rays

Remembering the names of everyone
and everything that grows

Honeysuckle wrapped around
the purple tufts of a climbing Passion Flower

Pink fingers
cupping the orange fruits

Pull a blossom from its stem
sugar water comes from the end

Copyright © Laura McKee 2014

Laura McKee lives in Kent and likes to walk while writing things in her head.  Her poems have appeared in various journals, and she puts them on postcards to send to friends.

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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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