Rona Fitzgerald

On the Edge

That’s where I started.
A small island between
oceans and continents.

Our untamed west coast
home to puffins  red deer
indolent grey seals.

Bird banter breaks
stillness
water wanders.

I fell in love with Europe
boulevards, Beethoven,
harmony and peace.

Many tongues
in concert.

In kindred Glasgow
I found home, Europe
at the core of work
of my future.

Now borders are back
hearts closed
people talk about others

I am orphaned in double measure
teetering
at the end
of my Europe.


Copyright © Rona Fitzgerald 2017

Beginning with six poems in the Dublin based Stinging Fly magazine in 2011, Rona Fitzgerald has been published in UK and Scottish anthologies and in both print and online magazines.

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John Grey

ON MY OWN

you have to be a liar
to join the liars’ club

and a thief to be admitted
into the den of thieves

except you can’t lie
and say you stole something

when you really didn’t;
that would get you banned

from both organizations;
gluttons only are welcomed

onto the gluttony ranch
and if you haven’t murdered somebody

forget about applying
to murderer’s row;

what you do gets you into places
frequented by those who’ve

already done the same;
big shots join

the big shot gallery,
the lazy stake their claim

to a chaise lounge
on lazy man’s beach;

your own kind is
always willing to

take you on as a member;
that’s why you’re

always with somebody,
that’s why I’m stuck here

on my own.

Copyright © John Grey 2017

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Tau, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Examined Life Journal and Midwest Quarterly.

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Raymond Miller

Backward

At seven they reckon you’re too old
for adoption. And I look on your head
so underwhelming and lost within
that bicycle helmet, behind peers
four years in letters and numbers;
your inside out and backward dress
patterned with pie and snot and think
on all the words that you’ll forget
before the page is even turned
on doors slammed shut and fingers bit,
the kicks of three-year-old strops and spit
now surely that must count for something?

Copyright © Raymond Miller 2017

Ray Miller – Socialist, Aston Villa supporter, faithful husband. Life’s been a disappointment.

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John Brewster: Two poems

The first wings I made for Icarus

I still have them. Take them out
to air, run these knotted fingers
through the curls of wood and twine.
Let the little arms unfold, once

a year, at sunrise. All children
can fly: a principle of invention,
that belief precedes design.
The fourth step was the leap,

there, by the sea daffodils.
How many times I caught him,
like a dolphin clutching fish,
with a schooled precision.

Yesterday a blue feather
fell upon his shrine. The birds
are in league with the wind,
with my fluttering breath.

Dappled Wall, Dinas Mawddwy

The wall meets my hand
with a firm familiarity,
its hold a dialogue
that has resumed.

On the surface I have
paused for breath,
luggage done, car to lock,
but the wall breaks in.

May air and many miles
of exhaustion soften
my leaning into this
shadowed conversation.

I catch the odd man-made
hole, now lined in rust:
sockets that a Merlin
might stab an eye through.

Engravings in moss
of impatient life,
gouge to grief-stricken trickle,
unfold like a human palm.

Blemishes of sunlight
cross horizons created
by my fingers, stirring
a young reclusive sea.

Bluebells wave to ferns
around the corner; lavender
exudes a silent healing.
Self-inflicted boundaries

waver, their function groundless
in this flow of stone wisdom.
The sing-song of stress and strain

dissipates; the freedom of just
being is the unvoiced thesis.

The wall and I separate, rebuilt.

Copyright © John Brewster 2017

John Brewster writes poetry and fiction in English and Scots. He finds a centre balancing between both ends of this linguistic seesaw. His work has appeared in various anthologies and won literary prizes. His most recent poetry collection, Automatic Writing, was published by Cultured Llama.

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Grant Guy

he said  do you need a dollar

corner of broadway & memorial boulevard
stood a panhandler on the median
he had a cardboard sign in his hands
anything would help    god bless

as my pickup truck   (yes i drive a pickup)
came to a stop for the red light
the panhandler stepped toward me

i indicated i had no change

he came to my rolled down window
seeing me is just enough he sd

i sd i only had a quarter

he put a hand into his left pocket
he said    do you need a dollar

i gave him my only 25 cents

i wish he had given me that dollar

Copyright © Grant Guy 2017

Grant Guy is a Winnipeg, Canada, poet, writer and playwright.  Author of three books, Open Fragments, On the Bright Side of Down and Bus Stop Bus Stop.

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Peter Magliocco

Playing It By Ear

Vincent, look at your hip-hop imitators
in disenthralled abandon
entrancing your vision with

starry nights of old
before the boob tube reruns
Game of Thorns again

Probiotic death’s-head moths
scurry thru time’s twisted gut
& botched brainpan

courtesy of big pharma, Inc.
(“thank you, please, bitch … )
as the resident artists whine tonight

About the decline of moral vision
while abusing their kids
& nearly getting away with it,

sing a song of pencils scrawling
new Nature’s cataract orb
as the curators steal your oils

& sell them at insane prices
to the ghoulish art bankers
fleecing the cryptic-culture-goers

street waifs run like devils from,
while their screams become music
to the severed ears of dead saints

Copyright © Peter Magliocco 2017

–Peter Magliocco writes from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he occasionally edits the lit-zine ART:MAG. He has recent poetry in MIDNIGHT LANE BOUTIQUE, THE FIVE-TWO, HARBINGER ASYLUM, DEGENERATE LITERATURE, POETRY LIFE & TIMES, and elsewhere. His neo-speculative novel The Burgher of Virtual Eden was recently released as an ebook available in all the usual places.

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Michael Bates

   A Cabaret Called Janus 

Downstairs, posters flatter the lobby
with a wall of fame.
Highlighted by a chandelier,
one star shines after another,
starting from left to right…


The man in the dressing room
looks like the magician
among them.
He’s wearing a white tux, matching
cape and sash, fake mustache,
same pearl turban.
The poster also shows him
waving a wand of lightening
over a fiery hoop.

On weekends he appears
after midnight, prime time
for a full house.
His fans watch closely,
never miss a trick.

Soon a blinking buzzer
will upstage the mirror.
By then he should be
all made up, or not.

Copyright © Michael Bates 2017

Michael Bates is a retired international publishing executive. Although born in the USA, he has lived abroad most of his professional life in Latin America, and currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida USA. 

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