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Matt Duggan

Eating Myths in B-Minor

Riding mechanical wings
dolphins swerve like white sails
Flat roofs in Moorish amber;
Hooves of Pegasus are cooked
charcoaled with baby onions and raisins
in a Taverna named B-minor;
situated between the sleepy town of Hora
and the first steps to Olympus
twist a mountain from view
smell the fresh pine inhaled –
hear a sunset gather dust and dew;
cackles of ash – burning on a stove.

Mix red currents minted juniper
wings of a Moth Man removed
diced and marinated – 28 day cured
West Virginia meat moulded into small patties
cooked slowly over a medium heat.
Feast comes every Sunday
a fresh slice of the Goddess of Pulque
where 400 simmering Aztec breasts are soaked
in maguey sap; a slowly cooked dish aptly named
(Centzon Totochtin)
But do be warned as we’ve been told
that soon we’ll be as drunk as 400 rabbit gods.


Matt was born in 1971 and lives in Bristol in the U.K. with his partner Kelly. His poems have appeared in many journals across the world such as Osiris Poetry Journal, Ink, Sweat, and Tears, The Blue Nib, Into the Void, The Journal, The Dawntreader, Midnight Lane Boutique, Anti—Heroin Chic Journal, The High Window, A Restricted View from Under the Hedge, Ghost City Review, Laldy Literary Journal, L’ Ephemere Review, Carillion, Lakeview International Literary Journal, Levure Litteraire, erbacce journal, The Stray Branch, Prole, Black Light Engine Room, Militant Thistles, Matt won the Erbacce Prize for Poetry in 2015 with his first full collection of poems Dystopia 38.10 and became one of five core members at Erbacce-Press. In 2017 Matt won the Into the Void Poetry Prize with his poem Elegy for Magdalene, and read his work across the east – coast of the U.S.A. with readings at the prestigious Cambridge Public Library Poetry Series in Boston, a guest poet appearance at The Parkside Lounge and Sip This in New York, and also read at his first U.S. book launch in Philadelphia. Matt has two new chapbooks available One Million Tiny Cuts (Clare Song Birds Publishing House) and A Season in Another World (Thirty West Publishing House) plus a small limited edition booklet The Feeding (Rum Do Press) Venice and London. He has also read his work at Poetry on the Lake Festival in Orta, Italy, at the Poetry Café in London, in Paxos, Greece, and at various venues across the U.K. He runs and hosts his own poetry events and was highly commended in the Road to Clevedon Pier Poetry Anthology Competition. His second full collection Woodworm (Hedgehog Poetry Press) is due in Spring 2019.




Katerina Neocleous


Where did you go
when you’d engraved
these words into the spring’s
herb covered rock;
drink and forget yourself.

Did you slake your thirst;
your journey ebbing
in content oblivion:
did you start again
or waste your days

trying to assuage
survivor’s guilt;
selling yourself to
shoot up in a squat,
in Bodrum or Kos

another Icarus
who lost his way
over the sea, bereft
of everything except
the will to be free.


Katerina Neocleous has been published in various poetry journals, most recently in Obsessed With Pipework, and Algebra Of Owls.

For more of her work, please visit



Amy Kean


There’s a photo: we’re tall in onesies jumping on a hummus-stained sofa
and I’m wearing the red lipstick our friends called mutton.

For days, I analysed my pout and posture with a vainglorious microscope
to see the atoms bounce and electric energy pop.

At the house party reading Catch 22, I spin you in your fabled wheelchair
for the camera, the poppers manufacturing white noise in our brains.

For days, I questioned my profile: am I increasing? Is this thirty-something
metabolism slowdown? Is it?

Then my head rests cold on your shoulder; you employ a nursing gaze while
I own that Baby Spice smile.

For days, I pored over the puffiness of my cheeks; with the attention to
detail of a TV detective whose reputation is on the line.

Wasted in Hvar at 4am, floating face down in the freezing swimming pool
letting fairy lights on the surface circle my frame like a chalk outline.

For days, I admired the size of my arse, perfect proportions, the result of
months’ sprinting, spinning and planking. Months.

Our selfies in Shoreditch, zipping about like dodgems, all smashed erratic
paying serious notes to guess cocktail ingredients in the dark.

But I never looked at you. I forgot.

I should have seen, surged and flickering, your conductive ubiquity.
Artificially artificial, an electric oomph that deserves to sit on the coffee table of every room.

You are a light switch. You are the plug,

Maybe I missed it because you are the flash that made the pictures possible, and I
am simply the senseless object.


Amy Charlotte Kean is an advertising strategist, lecturer and writer from Essex. Her stories, rants, reviews and poems can be found on many sites including The Guardian, Disclaimer, Shots, Litro, Ink Sweat & Tears and the Drum. Her first book, The Little Girl Who Gave Zero Fucks, was released in November.

Twitter: @keano81



A Wonderful Year!

As 2018 draws to a close, here at The Poetry Village we’d like to wish all our readers a happy and safe new year. Whilst we’re extremely proud of our project and what we’ve achieved over the last twelve months we’re also super excited about all the future projects that we have planned; not to mention all the amazing poems that have landed in our inbox and will be shared with our readers over the coming months.

Don’t forget that from February we will be publishing poems twice weekly. The launch of our Monday poems starts on the 4 February to help raise awareness of World Cancer Day with a moving collection of poems from Cameron Morse who is diagnosed with one of the most aggressive and malignant brain cancers.

Whilst we are proud to publish on-line, we appreciate that there are gaps in the market for traditional print and this is where our own imprint, Maytree Press begins its journey. We are delighted to reveal that both Maria Isakova-Bennett and Hannah Stone will be releasing new pamphlets with the press in Spring 2019. Look out for more details on our micro-site in the new year.

For now, thank you to everyone who has supported our project by sending your wonderful poetry, subscribing to the site and sharing the posts across the world. The statistics are truly amazing and to celebrate we’d like to share three of our most viewed poems with you again. Have fun and a wonderful creative New Year.


Mark Totterdel – Clod

Rolling away the clod reveals
a trinity of newts, curled like commas,
tiny heraldic beasts,
rhymes for the pale dead roots around them.

Last year, I chucked this hunk of earth
and made, by chance, their thin winter world.

May I set this against
my felling of the frogs’ safe groves of grass,
each careless wormchop, each act
of blue murder on the simple slugs?


Georgie Woodhead – Sunbridge Road

There are mothers stood arms-folded,
hard-buckled hands and tongues like blisters,
there are liver spots on the fat skin of their
calves when the wind flaps white dress around
their legs, dirty bedsheets on washing lines.

Men stood on the clumsy cobbles of alley ways,
he is swaying, facing the bricks that are slimy with
moss and the drip of black drainpipes, he turns
around and grins as he pulls up his zipper, finished
making steam against the dead weeds of concrete and stone.

A couple stood by the side of the road.
She is wearing a lilac that trips over the wind and ripples
around her knees, like the mother before her, she is leaning
up on her tip-toes as the bus screeches past, the reflection of her
red nails gripped around his shoulders, like blossom.

And he wheels his shopping trolley along crazy
paving like cracks in a broken heart, one wheel
always spinning out of control, a circus ride gone
wrong. Boxes of Shreddies, kitchen roll, dog food, five
six packs of beer, one sole flapping against the pavement
in a drumbeat like busking, he is stockpiling supplies he will never need

he is preparing for the downfall of this country that he will never get to see.


Roy Marshall – Seeing the Entomologist

He doesn’t know that a bee, drinking salt
from the pores on his wrist, is called
a Sweat Bee. Nor that a butterfly, fluttering by,
has memories of caterpillar life.

He rolls onto his stomach, shades his eyes,
says, ‘now you’re making it up.’ She laughs, her hair
a spill on the grass, counters,
‘google it if you like.’

He learns how a raft spider can submerge
for an hour, that Hawk moths have ears
on their mouths. She doesn’t know
that the lake remembers

every pebble you throw, and that
if a loved one dies, a body can fill
with grief, the way a water barrel
fills with sky.


Mark Totterdell’s poems have appeared widely in magazines and have occasionally won competitions. His collections are ‘This Patter of Traces’ (Oversteps Books, 2014) and ‘Mapping’ (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2018,


Georgie Woodhead is a young writer from Sheffield who attends Hive’s Sheffield Young Writers. She was one of two highly commended young poets in the Cuckoo Northern Writers Award 2018. She was a winner of the Foyle Poetry Prize 2018 and came 2nd in the young people’s category of the Ledbury Poetry Competition 2018. Georgie has been published in Hive anthologies, halfway smile and wild poetry. She’s performed at various young writers’ events, and festivals including the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival 2018.


Roy Marshall’s first pamphlet Gopagilla (2012) received favourable reviews in the TLS and elsewhere. His first full collection The Sun Bathers was shortlisted for the Michael Murphy Award, and a second collection The Great Animator (Shoestring Press) appeared in 2017. Previously a nurse, Roy now works in adult education.

You can follow Roy’s blog here: Roy Marshall

Stella Wulf

Free Gift

There are those who bestow on excuses
the weight of moment,
the stature of circumstance,
the eminence of self-conceit,
but however they embellish them
they remain useless fripperies,
empty packages wrapped up
in a tissue of deceit.

I’ve come to the party empty handed,
not with sorry concoctions,
beribboned fictions, gilded pretexts
of time’s lack and loss,
but because everything material
looks like dross.

Knick-knacks, bibelots, trinkets, tat,
I want to do better than that.
I want to give a gift that endures,
one that’s robust, dependable,
shock-proof, secure.

A gift that won’t founder, breakdown,
sit uselessly on the shelf.
So I give you the brace and buttress
of arms, a shoulder’s bolster, a buffer,
when you rub against strife.
I give you myself, unwrapped,
a friend, not just for Christmas,
but guaranteed for life.


Stella’s poems are widely published both in print and online, and appear in several anthologies including, The Very Best of 52, three drops, Clear Poetry, and #MeToo. Her pamphlet, After Eden, was published by 4word in May 2018. She has an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University.


Penny Blackburn

How Knowledge Happens

They had no idea how bats
moved so certain-winged in the dark,
stalactite ceilings no obstacle
to flight
in their cave-roof roosts.

Streaming out
as black-boned smoke
from the cavern mouth;
stark shapes at dusk, each insect prey
detected, devoured.

Science covered their eyes.
Each bat, undeterred,
flew room-round just as swift.

“Their eyes then, gentlemen,
are not the mark
of motion
that these creatures use.”

But in science there must be undoubted
their eyes removed –
just to be sure.


Penny Blackburn lives in the North East of England and is a teacher by profession. As well as writing poetry she enjoys performing it ‘off-page’ as part of local open mic and spoken word events. She also writes short fiction.


Belinda Rimmer

The Science of Jumping

Born of birds
I suited the science of jumping.
For years, plimsoll shod I’d leap through the air,
land bottom-up in the midst of a stormy sandpit.

I won medals, courted crowds
who shouted my name with trumpet breath.
I believed in everlasting childhood.
Hated the dull hunched ache of breasts.
They threw me off kilter –
no more hop, skip, jump.

In dreams I’m often perched in trees –
a tribute to that time
when I was born of birds.


Belinda has worked as a psychiatric nurse, lecturer and arts practitioner. Her poems are published in magazines, on-line journals and anthologies. In 2017, she won the Poetry in Motion Competition to turn her poem into a film, since shown Internationally. In April, she supported Gill McEvoy at Cheltenham Poetry Festival.
Twitter: @belrimmer