Poem, Poetry

Eugene O’Hare


today i stole a chicken from Tesco.
the security guy was fiddling with his mask
when i stuffed the bird under my t-shirt
& pretended i was pregnant.
a painter saw me steal the chicken.
there were flecks of orange and green
all over his hands and sleeves.
he was buying wine. perhaps he will neck
the whole bottle as he looks at his picture
of a sunset disappearing beyond a green hill.

when i serve the chicken to my daughter
she eats it with small but miraculous hands.
no meat is spared. our home is a place of worry;
the cupboards are bare and the walls are pale
as mourners at a wake. if i see that painter again
i will tell him to cover my walls in thick
lemon slathers of oily suns and to plaster
my bedroom in scenes of feast and romance.

Eugene O’Hare was born in Ireland. His plays are published by Methuen. He is working towards his first collection of poetry. His first two published poems appeared in The Galway Review in March, then as a featured news piece in The Irish News. More poems will appear in magazines in 2021 including Fortnight and Crossways.

Poem, Poetry

Susie Gharib


of the twigs on which my words had perched,
of the rays that rippled across my head,
of my homestead,
of the moat that safeguarded my thought-spun webs,
of all that’s well-meant,
of the dreams that domed my temple-bed,
of the departed who had always been West-bent,
of every beloved,
of the tide that flowed but never ebbed,
of the heart that had been love-struck and cleft,
of blessed bread.

Susie Gharib is a Syrian lecturer and a graduate of Strathclyde University with a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in 48 magazines and journals such as the
Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Adelaide, Scars Publications, Mad Swirl, The Ink Pantry, Impspired Mgazine, The Opiate.

Poem, Poetry

Trevor Conway

Utility Room

I don’t mean to bother you,
so I try to speak in a whisper.
What I mean is,
if you’d care to listen,
I don’t see the need to raise my voice.
That’s for others
who do it better.

I don’t mind
that I’m undernourished,
like a child you forgot at the shop.
I’ve grown used to not being noticed.
In fact, I could even say
I quite like it now.

I do wish, sometimes, that I had more space,
but I have no say in the matter.
Whenever I do make noise,
I spasm with the spin of laundry.
It gives me headaches, of course,
but I’m happy to be involved.

And let me share something with you:
it’s actually quite funny
how perplexed men become
when a bulb they were sure was new
rattles softly to admit
it’s now of no use.

If I had a human name,
you might call me Frank,
wincing as the dog gets in
or when a pair of sweaty runners
are set down in the corner.
I put up with it,
as I hate to complain,
and please believe me when I tell you,
I’ll never take up
much of your time.

Trevor Conway writes mainly poems, stories and songs. Subjects he typically writes about include nature, sport, society, creativity and interesting moments. His first collection of poems, Evidence of Freewheeling, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2015; his second, Breeding Monsters, was self-published via Amazon in 2018. Website: trevorconway.weebly.com.

Poem, Poetry

Carolyn Oulton

Where I Was When You Saw Me There

An unfastened window,
blossom clambering
through tree tops
hand over hand.
A twist of notes.
Blackbird, strokes polished
as a skater’s, skidding
grease-winged overhead.

I still don’t know how
I got there; not like that.
Not by those daisies,
not astride the fat
white marble of a hen
pulling herself towards
the shade’s mosaic
on ropes of air.

Not riding a sky steeped blue
at its apex, turning shabby
on a washing line,
the odd soapy cloth shape
running over gesturing
hedgerows – news
just coming in that they’ve
cancelled my thunder storm.

Even with a chimney pot,
enough stray twigs
to be going on with, a well
and yes a few stone steps –
I don’t know how I got there.
Still, it’s where I was that day.
Back wriggling into the earth
and a face full of clouds.

Carolyn Oulton is Professor of Victorian Literature and Director of the International Centre for Victorian Women Writers at Canterbury Christ Church University. She is the project lead for https://kent-maps.online/ in collaboration with JSTOR Labs. Her most recent collection is Accidental Fruit (Worple). 

Poem, Poetry

Anthony Watts

for Julie

Cow Parsley, earliest to face
Emergent Spring,
Along the bright May verges flings
A froth of lace.

Rough Chervil lolls a dusty tongue
In ripening June –
Trusts that hot weather, should it come,
Will not last long.

Hedge Parsley, upright, brittle, clean,
In August bears
The banner of the burnished year’s
Unvanquished green.

Anthony Watts has been writing ‘seriously’ for about 40 years.  He has won prizes in poetry competitions and has had poems published in many magazines and anthologies.  His latest collection is Stiles (Paekakariki Press).  His main interests are poetry, music, walking and binge thinking.