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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Kevin Lennon

You Have Waited Billions Of Years

I am pleased to meet you in the morning
With spider web and dew
I am pleased to know you
Named after the moon

I will always know you
Even when you are lost again
Even when abandoned

With your own feet
You have grown

This life.

Copyright © Kevin Lennon 2014

Biog: www.kevinlennon.co.uk

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Richie McCaffery

In the ephemera section of the book-sale
there’s a large pre-War circus poster
as bright as the day it was pasted up
onto factory walls or bus-shelters.

It has the lot: lions, elephants and clowns,
death-defiers, freaks and ring-leader.
It offers, for only a penny or two, hours
of diversion for weary worker and child.

Its survival worries me, that it still
promises this motley charivari of fun
that it cannot possibly deliver, remaining
to remind us it will not return to town.

Copyright © Richie McCaffery 2014

Richie McCaffery lives in Stirling and is a PhD student in Scottish Literature at The University of Glasgow where he also works as a graduate teaching assistant. His first pamphlet is Spinning Plates (HappenStance Press, 2012), followed by Ballast Flint (Cromarty Arts Trust, 2013) which was the runner-up for the 2014 Callum Macdonald Memorial Award. His first book-length collection, Cairn, is due out in June from Nine Arches Press.

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Ian McEwen

Laird’s Prayer

Our porker
Who art in commons
(Bellowed be thy name)
Thy pigdom come,
Thy swill be done in Perth
As it is in Kensington,
Give us this day our daily dread
And forgive us our bus passes
As we forgive those expenses against us
And lead us not into taxation
But deliver us from people
For swine is the pigdom
The Labour and Tory
For ever and ever

Copyright © Ian McEwen 2014

Ian McEwen’s first collection, Intermittent beings, was published by Cinnamon Press in 2013. He is treasurer of Magma Poetry and lives in England www.ianmcewen.co.uk.

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Montgomery Thompson

The Western Voice

Mine is a western voice
Calling silently from the depths of the bath
Peering out from a surface that tears itself apart;
Minute tears driving upwards to join with cloud cousins
Who are always watching down, banding together to gather
The courage to tear apart and come down.

And I, in a huff of thought, submerge.

We sing as one, we western voices,
Though each to different moons.
It is to the paper now my whimsy serenades.
I have pinched this afternoon’s immersing
From garden’s seeding chore.
Instead planting perspective that now grows slow-mo visions.
I try to still that eye as I dry and fly
To the blank page. How much can I save
Of the precious prize that inspires and dies?

I, in a bathos brume, ablate.

No big words, sings the western voice
Booming in on board rattling spurs.
I just took a bath o’ and my woman works the brume.
Ablate of her good dinner is fuel for my tune.
And what’s all this of clouds and surfaces tearing and banding together?
Just say that it’s steam from the bath behaving like upside-down weather.

And I, in my western voice, agree.

Copyright © Montgomery Thompson 2014

Montgomery Thompson is an Idahoan living in Northern Ireland. Monte is a science fiction novelist, graphic designer, musician, and eater of egg-sandwiches.

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