Raymond Miller

Good Men Have Bad Dreams

according to Jewish scripture.
They aren’t signs of ill health
(I assure myself)
but a necessary safety valve.
In these pictures born of repression
is there a lesson to be drawn,
a symmetry to form?
Might the dreams of bad men be good?

Let’s suppose that they could:
forewarned is forearmed
and cure is inferior to prevention;
then by extension, early intervention’s advised.
Imagine Sigmund Freud analysed
Adolf Hitler (when he was littler)
and discovered that the bugger
had a thing for his mother
yet lacked the art of Whistler;
his father was a bastard who battered
young Adolf in particular.

Sigmund couldn’t help but notice
the facile diagnosis of an Oedipal Complex.
The lad was rather self-obsessed
and circumspect concerning sex.
He’d reluctantly confess he weren’t successful
with the gals: two exes topped themselves
and another tried and failed .

All sufficiently disturbing but what Freud
finds most unnerving are the dreams.
Dreams of water -
Adolf floating motionless
on an ocean stretched
to the horizon and beyond;
a sense of lebensraum,
a vast purifying pond
in which his magic wand
launches golden showers
to cleanse and scour us.

A single figure in a liquid mirror;
Freud sees the flicker will glow and grow
into Kristallnacht, into The Holocaust.
What if the final solution
lies here at the source?
Hitler’s  on the couch, it’s
now or it’s Auschwitz.
Will Sig pull the trigger?
A simple click, a bullet to the Id;
a Freudian slip we’d all forgive.

Then I wake up.

Copyright © Raymond Miller 2014

Ray Miller is very old and has too many children. He’s opened for John Cooper Clarke, Attila the Stockbroker and his poems have appeared in Prole, Antiphon, Message in a Bottle,  even The British Journal of Psychiatry. He coulda been a contender.

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Kevin Cadwallender

The Secret that we Took from Stone
It was ours, we found it
Smoothed it from the crude rock,
It was beautiful and honest.
It grew out of raw stone as
Our fingers bled to find it.

We knew its form as ancient,
Primeval, idealised.

It was ours, we imagined it.
Chiselled our likeness
In its hard heart,
Lay down beside it
And listened
To its endless silence.

We made it our icon;
Our metaphor,
Our god,
Our headstone.

We lie beside it

Copyright © Kevin Cadwallender 2014

Kevin Cadwallender has published many books of poetry, his most recent (with Aidan Halpin) being ‘The South Face of Groucho Marx’ (Red Squirrel Press)

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Joe Murray

this cosmic moment
for Jan

a flawed meandering moon
ranging its way
around an earth
silently sounding a course
around a gold-leaf’d sun who
with all her children
all her lovers gently
flits and follows her fabulous
sisters through a galactic sea
that tides out and in
from that ancient godpoint –
that vital spark – to
this cosmic moment
of sacred balance that
begins and ends with


© 2014 Joe Murray

Former editor of West Coast Magazine, Taranis Books and has revitalised his Mythic Horse Press.  Recently returned to try his hand at writing again after a long absence.

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Keith Parker

Cult Chariot of Strettweg 7th Century BCE

The goddess holds a bowl like a radio telescope
above her head. Her army of followers have
waited patiently for almost three thousand
years. Two steady a deer by its antlers as it
waits to spring forward from the chariot.
Others sooth their horses, make fine adjustments
to their shields and axes. What are they waiting for,
a signal from somewhere vanished to activate
their tiny vehicle`s bronze wheels? To set off
like some planetary rover following software
from a long forgotten religion
in pursuit of a parallel reality?

Copyright © Keith Parker 2014

Keith Parker writes poetry in the North East of England. He has had some work published in magazines and is working towards a first collection.

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Thomas Papp


A turn of the head and
the flow across the room
tell me about your shackles and chains
watch life quickly ebb in a room
(my hand in yours)
to whereabouts unknown
prayer & whiskey & time = decay
many, many years from this day an embrace shall stay
the remembrance of all things
& the ring of the bell & rising sun
is so distant now

Copyright © Thomas Papp 2014

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J M Brown

The angel of the vines.

Young, slim and summer brown,
a student from Seville
she moved into the row next to me,
an old but tested ploy.

Soon, well ahead, we slumped into
the cooling canopy of vines,
the older women gestured
lewd desires.

She didn’t speak much English,
but had a bottle full of wine.
Her keen dark eyes pierced my heart.
a bouquet of love perfumed the air.

Copyright © J.M.Brown 2014

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Brian Beatty

Loyal, Kentucky

An old man about to die

coughing blood
into a handkerchief

with his initials
finely embroidered
in one corner

asked his wife
for help

getting into his
suit and tie and shoes

then climbed
all the way back

under the cold covers

a threadbare sheet
and tattered family quilt
that he imagined

with his hair combed wet

choosing to ignore
his sons

and their wives
still kneeling at his bedside

in prayer
and out by the barn

that horse
one or another of them
trucked here

across the horizon

to graze
the blue hills patiently

waiting to inherit him

like an empty bucket
a cardboard hatbox
the rider’s sunset

hoping against hope
to find faith

in the warm wash of breeze
now suddenly

slow dancing open
the window curtains
he hallucinated

more faded

before joining
seventeen or so dogs

to roll in mud

nobody else in the room
could see.

Copyright © Brian Beatty 2014

Brian Beatty’s jokes, poems and stories have appeared in numerous print and online publications, as well as some public arts projects. He also performs as a stand-up comedian and storyteller.

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