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The Kingdom – Matt Duggan

To celebrate the latest release from Maytree Press we welcome Matt Duggan back to the Village with two poems from his latest collection.

Released on the 10 April 2020, The Kingdom has already received some wonderful reviews and you can read the latest by Glynn Young here

The Kingdom is available now direct from the author or from the Maytree Shop with free UK post and packing. Each book comes with a free art card featuring the cover art by David Coldwell. Inside the shop you’ll also find The Ghost Hospital by Pauline Rowe and The Collective Nouns for Birds by Amanda Huggins – both recently shortlisted in the 2020 Saboteur Awards and currently fighting it out for top prize. Why not treat yourself and vote for your favourite. Maytree Shop

Reflections on my 49th Year

I dreamt that we were once beautiful
kicking white leaves in autumn daylight —
collecting cloud speech bubbles
while we danced on crystal paths of sun
allowing the breeze to ease around my body.

Hear that sound — like birds in flight
whispering as the rats are singing;
ears have sharpened teeth
when time can be so ruthless?

How praise became a crooked blade —
a reflection held inside a tinted mask
that only smiled at its own self-deception.

We hear the price of folly
stripped away as a disguise for a dime of popularism —
how those actors came and went —
like changing costumes in a badly performed
tragedy of somebody else’s life.


Drinking with Dylan

Floor and bar look exactly the same;
I see a black and white picture of you
holding a lily-white tankard
sitting where I am sitting today.

Mirrors are still hanging in some of the same places
if slightly jarred by the front door;
broken neon sign outside the Tavern
flashing with an irregular luminous beat.

The white clock behind the bar
has miraculously stopped at 19.53
where we smell corndogs and cigarettes —

drilling men with blue and yellow safety hats
curse the sounds drifting by cement gaps
in large windows and high silver towers

peaking skyward into a bright red diesel mass
where aluminium shaped angels filled my sky.



Matt was born in Bristol 1971 and now lives in Newport, Wales with his partner Kelly. His poems have appeared in many journals including Potomac Review, Foxtrot Uniform, Dodging the Rain, Here Comes Everyone, Osiris Poetry Journal, The Blue Nib, The Poetry Village, The Journal, The Dawntreader, The High Window, The Ghost City Review, L’ Ephemere Review, Confluence, Marble and Polarity. In 2015, Matt won the Erbacce Prize for Poetry with his first full collection of poems Dystopia 38.10 (erbacce-press). Matt won the Into the Void Poetry Prize in 2017 with his poem, Elegy for Magdalene. 

Matt has previously published two chapbooks: One Million Tiny Cuts (Clare Song Birds Publishing House) and A Season in Another World (Thirty West Publishing House). In 2019 Matt was one of the winners of the Naji Naaman Literary Prize (Honours for Complete Works). His second full collection Woodworm (Hedgehog Poetry Press) was published in July 2019.


king close



Bill Cotter

Creek in Drought

It sauntered, once, regular
In its slow coming and going,
A delight for every childhood explorer,
Never completely still, quietly whispering,
Bubbling or murmuring, even if, sometimes, just to itself.

Now, dry between scoured slopes in this gully,
It lies, the victim, not of unthinking chance,
But of belief in the threadbare mythology,
The long, much publicised romance
Of ‘Jobs and growth’.

Conditions, we are told, will always turn.
Our wide brown land will be forgiving.
Forget the jabbering priests and their false, green doctrine.
Stand, loyal to tradition and let us together sing,
Loudly, definitively, in praise of ‘Jobs and Growth’.

But, only memories and ghosts flow here, now.
Discarded bottles, bland as mini tombstones, stand,
Plugged and tilted among dry, paper reeds. Fish plough
Their shallow graves in curdling mud or sand
And, here, only the crows laud ‘Jobs and growth’.

Bill Cotter has been published in journals in Australia, New Zealand,
New Deli and England. He has published a number of poetry collections, a
collection of short stories, a short play for voices and a historical
novel. He has won the Melbourne Shakespeare Society’s sonnet
competition and the International Library of Poetry competition.

Saboteur Awards 2020

Huge congratulations to Maytree Poets, Pauline Rowe and Amanda Huggins.

Maytree Press

We’re absolutely thrilled to see two of our pamphlets on the 2020 Saboteur Awards shortlist. Huge congratulations to both Pauline Rowe and Amanda Huggins whose pamphlets, The Ghost Hospital and The Collective Nouns for Birds have made it on to this prestigious list. You can find both of these wonderful collections along with many more Maytree treats in our on-line shop.

Voting opens again on the 19 April to choose the winning collection and we’d be delighted if you could support team Maytree. Full details of the awards and full shortlist can be found by following this link.

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Fabrice Poussin

Lines Upon Their Years

They recall fragile petals crowding their world
cries of joy as they stepped to the new path
Pachelbel fading behind the pearly train.

It was as frigid rains in a summer afternoon
deep grooves upon the slippery asphalt
lines traced into a joyful future.

Soon beneath wings of steel they saw fiery skies
gently gliding to oceans of immense possibilities
into calm luxury of first moments in white satin.

Their history is carved upon the eternal parchment
with laughter, sobs, sighs, moans, groans and screams
lines between the lives they made in a great domain.

So close now they seem to sleep again
statues in celebration of common eternities
mummified by the warmth of their caresses.

Gauzy gazes encircled by the scars of many battles
they dive into the swirling galaxy they will leave behind
two comets aimless in their eternal journey to paradise.

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.

Carolyn Oulton

Whoever I Am To Them

For the record,
I don’t come here to chase men.
My husband has never
played football in his life.
What I’m reading
really is a sequel
to Anne of Green Gables.

But this week Sylvia isn’t
thank you sorrysorry thank you.
Says she’d – shakes fist at – anyone
who wasn’t being kind to me.
Finds us something to laugh at,
says she could eat me. Of course I’m
just a stand-in. But I love her too.

Carolyn’s poetry has been widely published, including in: Artemis, Dream Catcher, The Frogmore Papers, Ink Sweat & Tears, Nine Muses, Orbis, The Poetry Village, The Moth and Seventh Quarry. Her most recent collection Accidental Fruit is published by Worple Press.

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