Carol Coventry


Spinning round and round and round,
dizziness swelling.
Where to go now?
Frantically rushing,
here and there,
reddened faces coming and going,
collisions and confusion reign;
always returning somehow to the same face.
Then retracing the steps,
no escape,
frantically trying to keep up;
and then back once again,
confusion is doubled,
only by good fortune is disaster averted.
more spinning,
more dizziness.
Strip The Willow is a bewildering dance to the uninitiated!

Copyright © Carol Coventry 2016

Carol Coventry is a married, middle-aged mother of one, living and working in East Lothian.  She has had one poem published so far, on The Open Mouse, and has a new poetry blog which is slowing gaining views,

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J M Brown

“Off the streets I dream of Spring”

Late into the night the inmates arrived.
six of them, high- heel booted, short skirted, giggling.
The girls were put into the cell next to mine
Cherry blossom, pink as a maiden’s blush.

Within the hour the first of many visitors appeared,
rewarded the smiling jailor, chose a young girl
and took her into a vacant cell.
swaying like candy floss in the warm spring breeze.

Throughout the night assorted men arrived
paid the piper and called the tune.
A sudden gust, swirls a blizzard of pink confetti
By morning the six girls had gone. The trees bowing for applause.

Copyright © J M Brown 2016

Born in Glencraig Fife at the end of the 2nd World War,  After many years of drifting and working, James returned to Scotland. Once retired he began to write things. Some have been published as poems and articles and with the help of Citadel playwrights performed on stage by professionals. Still married with three children and four grandchildren.

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Anne Dunford

The Desk

My hands rest on the desk that captures
years of past use. Always drawn to words
I can’t ignore them.
They catch my eye again as I write.

Overlooked at first as they weren’t very clear;
faint penned scribbles, simple sums, over here
esoteric black symbols – science, physics? And there
trial spellings of gateaux, quarante, heir, then I see
nothing, nothing, nothing .

How many have sat here, waited for answers;
tried making sense of learning and life.
Looking for something, maybe finding nothing.
nothing, nothing, nothing. No  thing?

My hands rest on the desk that captures
years of past use. Always drawn to words
I can’t ignore them.
They catch my eye again, and again, as I write.

Copyright © Anne Dunford 2016

Since moving to D&G in 2002, Anne has had a number of poems published in various poetry magazines and anthologies including Southlight, Fankle & Dawn Treader published by Indigo Dreams. Curently working on a much delayed collection which will hopefully be finished in 2016.

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Neil Campbell: Haiku sequence

Haiku sequence

By the tram stop
On St Werburgh’s Road
Unpicked blackberries

Young boy kicking a ball
Outside the football museum
– will he play for City?

Outside the museum
A man in his fifties
Falls off a skateboard

The wino with
The brokenhearted face
On the curry mile

White roses –
And magpies picking
For worms

Copyright © Neil Campbell 2016

Biog: from Manchester, England. Two poetry chapbooks Birds and Bugsworth Diary published by Knives, Forks and Spoons. @neilcambers

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Kriss Nichol

The Stripper’s Manual
(all words from a B & Q leaflet on paint stripping)

keep cool
don’t work in hot weather
as layers need to be removed

it needs skill so don’t do it
out of doors when windy

remove all charred spots
and flammable items

set fire to birds’ nests
keep water buckets handy

just in case
and wear gloves

it’s smelly
and sticky

Copyright © Kriss Nichol 2016
Twitter – @KrissNichol
Facebook – Kriss Nichol, Writer
Novel – In Desolate Corners, Shadows Crouch:a story of loss and redemption set in the wild places of Northumberland and Cumbria – available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon
Poetry – The Language of Crows :a collection of poems available from the author
Poetry – Between Lands : a collaboration of poetry and photographs on a Greek myth theme with fine art photographer Elliot Nichol available from


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Bridget Khursheed: Two poems

Bridges seduced by burns

Come with me, forget your fingers of mere,
reeds and whitethroats –
whole grass seed peace –
the muir fall of autumn.

Don’t you want to see
the tidefast end of it all;
stanchions stabbing the water in
the battle of tide, crusted shell and freshet?

This is your migration.
Why always be the one returned to?
Your aching boards only a recipient
of fox pad and mustelid scrape –

that pontoon pause – come on
feel even your structural bricks, all that is neat and tight,
shuck away like a pearled eye,
stream deep into my gunshot flood.

The bridge loves the firth

It is really a kind of sea space with clouds and gulls and shells

but it is not, in fact it is the buckled heart of the bridge;
its muscled strut wrapped in weed and tide;
frame braced for storm or calm feathers of salt.

Here the wind beats the wires above our heads:
a humorous wind stretching out nine times
against the confines of the firth and its policy,
a kind of electricity – those taut cables;

a wind that plucks out music from the river
at just the place where it becomes the sea and knits the fresh
and the salt. This is the spot you promise me
Dundee cake in a jute bag, a letter from McGonagall’s doctor;

in return a Selkie bannock, offered in a poem
all tied up with a bramble.

Space, the wind is laughing

but today is all knots and hasn’t’s, even the gannets
stitching the water tight.

Copyright © Bridget Khursheed 2016

Bridget Khursheed is a poet based in the Scottish Borders; recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award for poetry in 2014; editor of magazine & blog; occasional orienteer & over-excitable birdwatcher. @khursheb


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Kerr McAndrew


Oh those perfect winter mornings
With the black silhouette of trees
On that crisp silver sky
And I’m walking down that familiar path
To my grandparents’ house
And though I’m  cold
I think of that warm feeling
Of the synthetic tree
And the years of cracker prizes
In that little plastic boot beneath
And my thoughts are of the fantasy hero
In the book I read this time each year
That a friend once bought me
Though I don’t see him anymore.

Copyright © Kerr McAndrew 2016

I am 27 years old and currently live in Edinburgh. I have recently started writing poetry and I am attempting to write science fiction short stories.

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