Ajar

Lillie Elsworth


However you think a woman should pack
and leave her life, she didn’t do it that way.
She left at a reasonable time,
after breakfast and in a raincoat
and having stopped
for a glass of water.
No small bag and no sign of a note
and no one to notice
that she left the door ajar behind her,
careful to step round the wet lilac,
pushing buds through the cracks in the terrace.


Lillie Elsworth lives in Exeter in a small flat with her boyfriend and two guinea pigs. She enjoys surrealist poetry, candles and baked gnocchi. Lillie has been published in The Cardiff Review and on The Young Poet’s Society website for a third-place win in a poetry competition.

Hop On

Joan García Viltró


I was engrossed in my reading
on that bench
at a train station,
in the warm glow of an April sun
and the bite of cruel air.

It caught me off guard,
the urge to hop on,
so I found myself on that
rolling train platform,
behind that sliding door,
staring at your amused
and daring face,
and then back at all I’d left
on that bench,
running away from me.


Joan García Viltró is a teacher and poet based in Cambrils, on the south Catalan coast. His poems are populated by Mediterranean characters and mythologies, and they often reflect his concern with Nature struggling under human pressure. He has published with Punk Noir Magazine, curates a Twitter list (@joangv66/Poetry Matters) and posts and reads poems aloud on Instagram (joangv66).

Someone Else’s Dream

Silk~


earth losing its shine the moon so uninspired

his thoughts a pool of mist in the sunken valley

whispered wishes where there are no wells

hills no longer rolling they simmer

tides don’t just rise they sigh and swell

horsetail fall into someone else’s dream


Silk~ is a poet.

Beyond Unbinds the Dragonfly

Kristina T. Saccone


My daughters dart in the dreg, still wingless nymphs fresh from the egg. They feed from a school of tadpoles — a feast — then molt in the algae bloom. I stretch my wings to test for an escape.

Before he visited my silted lake, I knew nothing of the beyond. He beckoned in turquoise, glistening veins vibrating in the spring shade of the pond. We coupled, his wings across my abdomen like a veil at rest, whispering about clear streambeds and unsullied waters.

In tandem, we dropped our eggs into the mire. Then, in a moment, his cobalt and sapphire vanished, gone to a far-off somewhere. The ovae, an anchor, held me here. 

But now my nymphs need blood, larvae, and the worm, not a mother who yearns for other shores. So when the kayak floats by, I drift onto its prow. I tremble with the lull of the boat before the oars dip. Together, we launch into the beyond.


Kristina T. Saccone crafts flash fiction and creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in Six Sentences, The Bangor Literary Journal, Emerge Literary Journal, and Unearthed, and she curates Flash Roundup, featuring the latest releases in flash fiction. Find her on Twitter (@kristinasaccone) or haunting small independent bookstores in the Washington, D.C. area.

sunday afternoon

Isabel de Andreis


coffee is almost too
hot for my tongue the
blue of the cup too
invasive but nice I tuck
my feet under while
arching one instep
your rocking chair
rocks and rocks


Isabel de Andreis grew up in the US and Germany, and went to university in the UK. She is currently writing her first poetry pamphlet.

The Group

Jeff Skinner


We come back each week
strangers to ourselves

going round in circles
of what if, if only –

taking turns to cry
white tissues the flags

of surrender, of solidarity.
Someone to do nothing with, that’s what I miss.

I say something new happening
is worse: the return

of the rose, flourishing careers
assiduous love prepared the ground for

that letting yourself one spring morning
into the house you cannot share.


Jeff Skinner, longlisted in this year’s Briefly Write Poetry Prize, has been published in a number of journals with poems to come in the Fenland Poetry Journal and Poetry Salzburg in 2022. Third in the 2021 Poetry Space competition, he has also been published in several competition anthologies.

Re: Action

Alisa Golden


Plum tree
cut to the quick
swarming with termites

I regret
complaining about
sticky sidewalks


Alisa Golden writes and makes art in a one-square-mile, California city. She is editor of Star 82 Review, author of Making Handmade Books, and her stories and poems have been published in Blink-Ink, Nanoism, and Litro, among others. www.neverbook.com

Serendipity

Carl Farrell


“When we let that luckiness in” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

A brief allusion in a novel
Sends me off to seek a poet
While a bookshop’s Facebook page
Sends me out after another
Of similar ethnicity and heritage:
Serendipity falling
Like sudden drops of rain
Out of an open sky.

I join the pitted dots in the dust.


Carl Farrell compulsively writes short poems and occasionally short fiction. He likes to read widely in several languages, but is increasingly drawn to the lyrical and life-affirming, albeit with elements of grit. He grew up in Nottingham, where he now lives, but spent most of his twenties in Greece.

Hotel Extinction

Julian Bishop


A view to die for from any of our last resorts: whether
remote island or sapphire lagoon, the outlook is
unremittingly the same. We’re frighteningly easy
to travel to, our portfolio global. Another branch
opens daily. Most guests are driven here. Many fly.
All animals welcome. We apologise for the poor air
conditioning. We guarantee a good sleep. Beware
of a sudden proliferation in insects – rest assured
we are committed to total elimination. Everything
in the Ice Breaker Tavern is on the rocks, 24/7.
We don’t do a Happy Hour. Think Hotel California:
check out any time you like but you can never leave.
Daily wake-up calls are free. Sunset at the infinity
pool is unforgettable. Every room always has flowers.

“I’m calling my forthcoming book of eco poems We Saw It All Happen because I’m staggered at how the world can let catastrophe unfold in plain sight. I fret at the edges, cutting out meat and unnecessary travel but I like to think, as a writer, that I have a more important role to play. Auden’s famous (mis)quote that poetry makes nothing happen perhaps needs to be counterbalanced with a lesser-known quote from the master:

But once in a while the odd thing happens,
Once in a while the dream comes true,
And the whole pattern of life is altered,
Once in a while the moon turns blue.

(Once In A While The Odd Thing Happens)

And that’s precisely why I write.”


Julian Bishop is a former television journalist who’s had a lifelong interest in ecology and worked for a time as Environment Reporter for BBC Wales. A former runner-up in the Ginkgo Prize for Eco Poetry, he’s also been shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize and was longlisted in this year’s National Poetry Competition. He is one of four poets featured in a 2020 pamphlet called Poems For The Planet

Project report

Angela van Son


Issue

Trees in danger of extinction

Problem

Nose swaps don’t seem to work

Counter measure

Huge field of facemasks planted

Doubt

Will they mature on time?

Status

Open

“Sometimes I wonder if it’s the planet fighting back, trying to get rid of the current top of the food chain. How to help this greediest of species make themselves extinct? Future aquatic archaeologists may wonder about those two legged creatures who once lived above the water surface. In ancient times, when land covered the seas…”


Angela van Son lives in Utrecht, the Netherlands. She writes poems and very short stories about the strangeness of being human. She likes to put a twist on things, whether it’s dark, humorous, philosophic or playful. As a coach she helps people change their life stories by making things happen.