Hélène Demetriades

Still life with gannet

White feathered corpse
floating in a rock pool
fringed by bright algae

neck tilted,
hilt of a soft grey beak plunging
into dark green clotted weeds.

It flew into death with half-opened wings
black tips soaked in old-blood red seaweed,
crown flushed orange
one ice blue eyelid revealed,
the incoming tide hungering close
to the chapel of its rest.

Hélène has recently joint won the Hedgehog Press Full Fat Poetry Collection competition 2020. Her collection ‘The Plumb Line’ will be published in 2022. She has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Envoi, Poetry Shed, Ink Sweat and Tears, The Curlew, The Ofi Press, Dream Catcher. She was highly commended by Patience Agbabi in Marsden The Poetry Village Competition 2019.

Poem, Poetry

Tom Kelly


See me in ‘The Borough’ pub with me Granny,
something I never did. I was too young
at the time.
Granda buys her a whisky she throws back
far too quickly. I sit silent on a stool
not beside her but eyeing every move,
wanting and waiting for something
that never arrived.
Why am I heading to the bar?
It’s been demolished for years.
I know, not for the first time,
answers are never ready-made.

Tom Kelly’s ninth poetry collection This Small Patch has recently been published and re-printed by Red Squirrel Press who also published his short story collection Behind the Wall.  


Poem, Poetry

Martin Potter

Manchester Weather Watching

Coasting by roof reefs the rain
A storm at sail through habitation
Rough casts at your window pane

Clouds on the march though stone
Corners cut into their formation
Coasting by roof reefs the rain

Runs raids across an afternoon
Obscuring atmospheric motion
Rough casts at your window pane

Against your fragile visor screen
Its liquid grey ammunition
Coasting by roof reefs the rain

Reaches the demarcation line
Containing pent up insulation
Rough casts at your window pane

Sprawling the droplets slide down
Short of their irrigating mission
Coasting by roof reefs the rain
Rough casts at your window pane

Martin Potter (https://martinpotterpoet.home.blog)is a poet and academic, and his poems have appeared in AcumenThe French Literary ReviewEborakonScintillaInk Sweat & Tears, and other journals. His pamphlet In the Particular was published by Eyewear in December, 2017. 

Poem, Poetry

Zoe Parmenter

Snuffed out

Hey, let it go.
We’ve already reeled in that string
that had nothing
on the other end of it.
It won’t drag anymore.
Remember? We pulled it in for mum to see.
Don’t think about its soggy redness
where the wine flopped out of the glass,
like a minnow thrusting itself out of a bucket
to return to its river, to kiss the ivory carpet
and bleed into its cotton.

I swear I had seen that before.
But this is all so brief, I remind you:
a tour on a bullet train
coated in heavy, rooted wax
with flecks of wicks without flames
that refuse
to stay and burn
for long enough.

Zoe Parmenter is a student from the University of Winchester where she discovered her love for poetry under the tutelage of Julian Stannard. She is an emerging writer who was born in Poole, Dorset where the antics of her adolescence now bleed into her work. 

Poem, Poetry

J. S. Watts

City Lightscapes

My body is many cities
built up unconsciously as time travelled through,
arterial highways blaring along my veins,
each struggling rudely for its space in the light
that place where the street lamps shine
their, once dirty yellow, now cleanly focused white
to drive away darkly blurred memories
trying to impose their own no go,
road ahead closed,
on the complicated routes of the heart.
I cannot now say which one was home.
They all were. None.

I have traversed each one equally,
lived inside their laments,
hauling my legs across the heavy grey pavements
of every geographically separate construct,
feeling their individual aches
through the soles of my calloused feet.
Maybe that is why I now choose to walk
forward on greening, mud-squelched paths,
learning the dirt of this settlement
the sky widely illuminated by bird song.

J.S.Watts is a poet and novelist. Her books include: poetry – “Cats and Other Myths”, “Years Ago You Coloured Me”, “Songs of Steelyard Sue” and “The Submerged Sea”, and novels – “A Darker Moon” “Witchlight” and “Old Light”. See www.jswatts.co.uk