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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Imogen Forster

Remembering Private John Newton
Great Uncle Jack, gambler, joker, tease,
lived under the brown Crags’ bristling edge,
behind the city’s green and lion-headed hill.
A sulky visitor, I’m dragged along
Rankeillor or Montaiggie Street
to 44 St Leonard’s, a cramped tenement,
a hot embarrassment to a fastidious child.
The smell of damp stone on the dark stair,
dull brass and the worn steps up to the door.

A pioneer of sorts, Jack was sent to France,
train from Waverley, then the Dover boat, we think.
There was a postcard, written at Étaples:
“I am well. I hope you are being good girls
and saying your prayers.”

And a telegram, a name they read as Passion Dale.
Head-wounded, bumped back to Scotland, he stayed
in rotation with his sisters, Mary, Nellie, Grace.
Refused to wear their knitted things, but like
a land-bound sailor took his kist
along with him, filled with woollen socks,
heels turned, a thing I never learned to do.

He sat by the fire, had fits, fell in, got burned,
roamed the town all day, carried an old man’s
oilcloth bag of coins. Held up the traffic
with an imperious hand. At Christmas time
he gave us each a silver crown, heavy, bright,
the old Queen’s head still sharp and clean.

I remember his pink cheeks and white baby-hair,
heard about his silver plate, afraid of seeing it
lying hard under his sewn-up scalp.
But not so much as a scar. His bare white feet,
his soft hand on the phone, placing his small bets.

Did he, too, maim, or kill? Bayonet a boy whose
name he didn’t know, stick him on the wire?
It’s hard to think our Uncle Jack did that.
Passing there last year, I found
the houses all pulled down, replaced, and tried
to find some relic of an unprotesting life,
to read again with proper grown-up care
the story in that innocent blue gaze.
the story in that innocent blue gaze.

Copyright © Imogen Forster 2014

I am a translator, mainly of art history and French fiction. I also work in Italian, Spanish and Catalan. Details of my work can be found at I publish poems on-line, and tweet a lot of haiku.

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Paul Clyne

Healing House

And what healing it was, this healing
endured through the sickest of years :

white bandages, red-faced bed baths,
the student doctors lauding x-rays

as works of art; my own masterpiece
hung askew near bright metal devices

that hummed, turned our air sweet,
unnerved the chambers of my heart.

Thirty six weeks without diagnosis
despite tests, calculations, diagrams -

blood samples lined up like lollies,
night terrors gauged in kilowatts,

calcium siphoned for willing bones;
each morning the promise of home

became a more distant prospect,
visiting hours brought spectacular

gifts wrapped with ribbons and bows,
teenagers tutting to shoot the crow.

Our loved ones, masters of deflection,
offered gossip in place of questions

they couldn’t find the strength to ask,
weeping behind surgical masks.

Copyright © Paul Clyne 2014

Paul Clyne lives and works in Fife, Scotland. He has returned to writing poetry recently after a ten year hiatus.

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Michael McGill

The Wolf

At school, I wore colours
which matched
the walls.  I wore pale
greens and greys
and I longed to disappear.

One day, we were told
the strange tale
of the little girl
who is eaten
by the wolf.

As the story ends,
she is cut out
from the creature’s insides
and lives happily
ever after.

It was the part before
the ending which puzzled me.
I wondered how the girl
spent those lost hours,
trapped inside the wolf.

And when I look
at my school years now,
I see a little boy
in the window,

and everything
is fuzzy
like Channel Five was
and everything
is frightening.

Copyright © Michael McGill 2014

Michael McGill is a performance poet based in Edinburgh.  He regularly appears at Inky Fingers and Blind Poetics in Edinburgh, and Last Monday at Rio in Glasgow.

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