Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Writing in reverse

I've been writing in reverse,
deconstructing thoughts in spanish,
translating, recalibrating, rewriting,
in reality, in writing, 
trying to get a grip
with my literary technique
and I am at odds with myself,
inverting the order
of my verses,
trying to make sense of my muse,
I've been writing in reverse.

by Sergio S. Martínez
from Río Grande, 
Puerto Rico

Saturday, 9 August 2014


Wrapped in their plastic cases, the jokers bells
Jingle in my pocket. I take the two packs
Out and set them on my couch; choosing blue,
Not knowing why, I slip my nail under the
Gold strip, ready to undress them.

Unfurling the golden belt I peel away
The cellophane coat to get to the centre.
Pocket by pocket, half by half
I split the shell into its parts;
Still keeping suit, their form holds where they cupped my cards.

Still, seeing a seal on the cardboard packet
I ease the lid from its slumped position
And gently lift it’s head upwards until
The mouth opens and lets out a thwack.

Inside the box I see its second self:
Coated in yet more shiny and delicate
Cellophane, giving nothing away. In 
Anticipation of my next move the 
Cardboard ears pop up at the command of
My thumbs. The hand is held as I go
All in and my hot fingers gristle like tissue.

I have reached the linen finish,
The stack of fifty-two and take the
First card to see who is top of the pack.
Without bluffing I see my downbeat
Reflection and the laughing joker.

Dropping the card back in its place,
Feels like plopping a stone in a pond,
The surface glides and shifts in tectonic measure
Jutting my paper reflection out of place.
With my other hand, and a new
Paper cut, I return the cards to their sheath.

My hands tremble as they turn to red
Cards, I throw the plastic on the floor and snap
The head of the box back in quick succession.
I cut and fold and dummy shuffle; 
This time I’m determined to turn up trumps.

My knuckles crack against my skin,
I click my neck, crack my back.
I cut the pack, clasp the arched bridge
Then watch the cards flush like a crimson waterfall.
My thumbs press down as the pouring stops
And slides the surface back together
Un-rippling the pool, lowering the stakes.

I spread the cards out like lilies and plunge
My hand under and choose a single number.
Before I turn it over I close my eyes
And hold my breath for the hand my dealer has dealt.

The joker has had his way. Now it’s my turn to play.

by Robert Ferns,

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Book review 'Ghost Songs' by Andrew Demcak

Check out a review Andrew Demcak's new offering Ghost Songs here.  

Demcak is a gifted poet and novelist and his new 
book is bound to be going places.

Am more than happy to spread the word. Check it out..

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Monks in the Orchard Picking Peaches

Young monk 
and old monk
in the orchard
picking peaches,
sunny and plump,
ready for canning.

Carrying bushels
to the wagon cart,
the young monk 
asks the old monk 
what to look out for 
when growing old.

The old monk 
pauses and says
not much. 
Life stays the same
for the most part.
Monks work and pray
but an old monk 
works slower and 
prays faster.

But not to worry,
the old monk advises.
He admits he's 
going deaf
but that's just
an inconvenience 
since God uses 
sign language.
Peaches like these
have no need to talk.

Donal Mahoney
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, USA and has had poems published Ancient Heart Magazine and other publications in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


they are all trimming
their lawn
even while the children
cough and rasp
they are all edging
their yards
even while the people
down the street
worry about their cash
they are all painting daisy
and marigold portraits
in their backyards, sipping
sangria and talking
about their glory days
while the coast dips 
into the ocean, while
the lava builds up
in their love lives.

JD DeHart,
a writer and teacher from Tennessee.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


You confuse me,
weaving webs of the most intricate threads.
Magic lingers upon them
like dewdrops,
like teardrops that fall
like waterfalls,
unchecked and unguarded,
beating against your doors.
I beg you to let me in and 
show me the fire I saw burning faintly in your eyes. 
Or was I mistaken?
Was it not a secret shared with me 
but a mere chance encounter
of eyes you failed to disguise in time;
and the glimpse I stole
was not you baring your soul,
but instead, an accident you have since worked to rectify. 
In which case,
forgive me for having crossed the line you drew between us.
Let us return to distant gazes
and graze upon our fields of thought;
alone in our togetherness,
comfortable in the silence of never knowing, 
and never needing to know. 

Amina Bhatti, 
Nottingham, UK. 
( ) 

Monday, 5 May 2014


“Disgracing the National stage,” is how 
the critics-cum-sages deemed the disas-
ter. Who reads the Business Post anyhow?
The morning after the death of pizzazz.
Irrational heartrace- an unwelcome
rerun- ti-titi-tum- fourteen hours straight, 
no sign of abate, owed to eleven
everlasting seconds of silence. Age-
ing in an instant my opening-night-
hopeful face, painful pinpricks of sweat, snot,
skinburst bubblewraps, belying freeze-dried 
tongue and Gobi desert gob. Which. Will. Not. 
Somewhere- a line striving for utterance,
dying to fulfill its function. Someplace-
smothered, submerged in subconscious quicksands,
absent, abstract, somehow lost in face-space. 
Is it something I can ever trace? I
remember thinking. A line crafted by 
most skillful hands, from where brains abound, and
are enwrapped in feels. Lost in Translations…
Meanwhile, unimpressed and restless, gawking hawkeyed, the overpaying theatre attendees. Vulturine in the stalls. Envulturing in the circle… 

Cue tumbleweeds through dust filled wind
Cue stage-manager half-truthfully excusing ‘technical malfunction’
Cue career-killing bad reviews
Queue never again the paying public to see me
Cue trapdoor opening, me swallowed whole, emblazing my soul in the gallows below
Cue… queue… ‘What’s my CUE!?’ 

In those eleven eternal seconds: a flashpause of serenity. 
A memory. An episodic apparition…

Summer. I’m a footy-mad kid, and truck-driving dad surprises us. A visit. 
Caterpillaring kerbside up the Cul de Sac- armed with spirited 
tales of slanted people with limpy accents- dad and his manly monster mobile.
I dive out in front, a new ref’-conning trick, a self-trip, but concealed.
Hoodwinking whistleblowers is the name of the game. But on that day,
seeing father’s face displaying the pain I feign, two insights I gained:
That he loved me at that age, and all’ the world’s a stage.

I should've been a truck-driver

Bar Reward