Glenn Hubbard – 1 poem



Shit. Not again!

We had the, whatchamacallit, referendum.

And we voted to quit.

Now the pound might take a hit.

And there’s the rate of whatsit, growth.

But that’s democracy, innit?

Seems there has to be a limit with so many claiming.

So Bob says, … though he’s a halfwit, to be honest.

Dunno if that bloke from Latvia nextdoor is the culprit, really.

OK, I’ve seen him doing a bit of illegal pike fishing some nights off the bridge.

But I have to admit…

He does do a very funny impersonation of that bird, you know, the peewit.

Can’t wonder at it really, time he spends out in those fields.

Plus all the other stuff he does – comes home covered in chickenshit some nights.

Not sure that most of what he does is legit.

Probably some cowboy outfit.

Making a huge profit and paying them buttons.

Must be bloody fit, though – walking all those miles to work.

Saw him the other day on the road out past the gravel pit – soaked to the skin.

Should’ve stopped, bugger the upholstery – selfish git!

Think there might be six or seven of them sleeping in that bedsit.

Poor bastards.





Glenn Hubbard has been writing poetry since 2012 and has had a number of poems published in magazines and ezines, includingBindweed! Recently he has been spending a lot of time listening to recordings of Basil Bunting.

Christopher Barnes – 1 poem

Decorative Value, Exceptionally

Invest in this disquieting replica
An offering peculiar to the curious.
(4 aghast on a settee.)
Assembled with secured worming tablets
In contorted, formidable niceties
By “Uptail Retail House” ™.
(Spectacles on a G-Plan
Expertly finished,
A scream to bequeath.




In 1998, Christopher Barnes won a Northern Arts writers award.  In July 2000 he read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology ‘Titles Are Bitches’ and at Christmas 2001 he debuted at Newcastle’s famous Morden Tower doing a reading of his poems.  Each year he reads for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and he partakes in workshops. In 2005, Christopher saw the publication of his collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.

He also has a BBC web-page:

The South Bank Centre in London recorded his poem “The Holiday I Never Had”: he can be heard reading it on

Christopher co-edits the poetry magazine Interpoetry

G. Louis Heath – 2 poems

Murder by Bat


A horseshoe bat murdered my son, straight-out

Whacked him in his grave, no doubt about it.


That damn bat gave a virus to the raccoon dog

That sniffed out a ferret badger that inflicted


The viral stigma on the palm civet my son bought

In Paul’s Pet Store downtown. It went deep into


Gary, Jr.’s lungs, tripped up his immune system.

I have got to hand it to the scientific articles I read


In my obsessive-compulsive mourning. I learned

A pandemic is not simply academic. The bat to


Civet chain launched a weapon of mutation on bat

Wings that a cuddly pet civet brought into our home.




Roman Wild Ass


I’m here to tell you there’s an ancient

Roman siege machine, the Wild Ass,

Kin to the trebuchet and ballista. I


Found it referenced in a scholarly

Footnote, simply “the Wild Ass,”

Off the black and white, right in my


Eye, bango. I Googled Wild Ass (Do

Not try this at home): technical Latin

Term, onager. Eight soldiers operated


To hurl rocks at fortress walls. Smaller

Than the catapult, easier to build than

Two-armed ballista. I learned and saw


Much in my pursuit of the Wild Ass. It’s

Indeed shocking what serious scholarly

Inquiry can unveil. I mean really unveil.





   G. Louis Heath, Ph.D., Berkeley, 1969, is Emeritus Professor, Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa. He enjoys reading his poems at open mics. He has published poems in a wide array of journals. His books include Leaves Of Maple and Long Dark River Casino.

Linda M. Crate – 1 poem

A Gothic point of view 


I never knew

of how sadness could kill you

how grief could be so heavy

that you’d choose relief from demons

rather than being cradled in the


but that was changed when my uncle

chose death instead of life;


seventeen years ago,

but I still remember being that sobbing

little girl

I still cry

our hearts were broken when he chose

to leave us instead of remaining 

where he could have been loved;


but now I know grief can hang on the bones

secrets can have a need to be buried within

never shared out of shame or fear,

and nothing is ever what it seems;

where others find terror and horror I have always

found darkness beautiful in its own way


perhaps that’s why I hold the ‘creepy’ copy

of the nutcracker he gave me so tightly

without a second thought

scare tales have always fascinated me because

I have learned there cannot be beauty without pain

for misery gives birth to appreciation and joy.





Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. Recently her two chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014) were published. Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015.  Her poetry collection, Sing Your Own Song, is forthcoming through Barometric Pressures Series.

Facebook page:

Novels: &




Ian C Smith – 3 poems

Germaine Greer at Heathrow



Imagine a painting in the style of Jeffrey Smart,

a bare airport terminal, a well-known woman.

Compositionally, the woman stands near the edge

as do Smart’s figures/friends in some pictures.

Space, stillness, surrounds her in a banal setting,

a desolate reminder of de Chirico, Hopper,

stark emptiness, their echoic sense of regret.


Barely the breakfast hour, the jetlagged scarpered,

I watch bags, my partner changing money,

lean against a pillar, focus on a lone woman

who looks sad across all that emptied space

as though disappointed a dear face hadn’t shown.

She smokes, or she doesn’t, looks straight at me.


I once read The Female Eunuch among books forgotten,

the only bloke taking a course on feminism,

admired Greer’s chutzpah, knew she lived in England

where I came to dwell on the edge of belonging.

I mourn unplanned lives, mine, others’, back stories,

each of us carrying private clouds of sadness.

What happened next, that distant dawn?


Photoshop the picture.  Now see two figures.

A man with luggage, that woman.

So much space, possibility.  Time stilled.

He tells her, imagine, about a book he liked. 






I avoid questions, paths to thickets of speculation.

Edgy at a book launch I talk to a couple I know,

showing off a bit about my grown sons.

The sons’ mother and her mate wrote the book.

Ever the jolly jester I repeat myself telling tales

including one about our third son’s success

buying aviator sunnies for a song online

then selling them for a clever profit at school.


Driving home I think of our frailty here on Earth,

wonder why I play-act boasting of shallow deeds.

Later, the boys’ mother calls in with dilatory news,

an accident involving our drunken sons.

Our ex-sunglasses salesboy totalled his car,

wrapping a tree, his brother in hospital.

Police woke their mother hours before her launch.

She recently endured surgery, her mate is dying.


I know she shields us, me from their excesses,

them from her sense of my disapproval,

but exclusion unmoors me, my vista uncertain.

A relic of survival, I reprise the larrikin joker,

recall days drunk, the carnival ride of youth,

for her sake, to patch cracks become chasms. 



The Shock of the News



Visiting a married pal who spoke like a movie gangster,

the old neighbourhood, a skull on a chain round my neck,

toddlers in pyjamas, his teenage sister also visiting,

the semiotics of domestic warmth that stave off emptiness.

Something strange about the sister, manic, flirting,

with me awkward in front of her brother, my girlfriend.


We moved, lost touch in the battering buzz of life.

Married to my girlfriend I made my own toddlers.

Like that friendship our union didn’t last forever.

Wails of distress.  Wild creatures. Outrageous drama.

I had found someone.  Looking back, shame lingered.

We survived but some are crushed, hounded by sadness.


That visit slipping towards the abyss of forgetting,

I read of a killing, a hullabaloo at a party.

Shock.  Also a prescient feeling, but mostly shock.

Outraged, a man I once knew aimed a .22 rifle at his sister.

She had been flirting wildly – no surprise there.

He threatened.  She taunted him to go ahead.


Pleading posturing gone awry he got off lightly.

Was it unintentional in the end?  Who knows?

His finger only had to crook a little more.

Thinking back on this, how unreal it all seems.

Yet, the shock then, reading of one insane moment.

His claw on the trigger, trembling.  Echoes. 




Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in Antipodes, Australian Book Review, Australian Poetry Journal,  Critical Survey,  Poetry Salzburg Review,  The Stony Thursday Book, & Two-Thirds North.  His seventh book is wonder sadness madness joy, Ginninderra (Port Adelaide).  He lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia.