Monday, 27 January 2014

A poem by Simon Williams

The Lion of the Black Face and the Lioness of Skull

When summer came
with all the hot stars of the empty months,
the birds flew high and always
out of reach, circling alone.

The lion of the black face
and the lioness of skull sat 
beneath the Katachu tree and hoped
their wings would break.

Every day they dreamt of cloud,
every day they wished for claws
to climb the tree, surprise the birds,
fill their lion bellies.

They waited under the branches
through all the peaks of heat
til neither lion could remember the taste of bird,
or the feel of feathers on the tongue.

At night the lion god of sky
came by and watched them sleeping.
In the blue dawn the lion god of underneath
came by and watched them wake.

At end of summer, the birds flew north.
The lions left the Katachu
and went to drink. The river flowed;
the lion gods went hunting.

The lion of the black face
and the lioness of skull caught antelope,
okapi, fed until they needed no more meat
and then the brittle stars ran cold.

Simon Williams has written poetry for 35 years. He makes a living as a journalist. His poetry ranges widely, from quirky pieces often derived from news items or science and technology, to biographical pieces, to the occasional Clerihew. He has five published collections, the latest being A Place Where Odd Animals Stand (Oversteps Books, 2012) and He|She  (Itinerant Press, 2013). He has a website at, is currently The Bard of Exeter and founder of new magazine, The Broadsheet (

Friday, 24 January 2014

A poem by Paul Hawkins

Two People Eating a Meal and then Shagging

You brought home a kilo or so of squid:
Armhook, Rams Horn or Comb-Finned.
You slit the bag, a feathery shaped mantle
slithered out.

You washed out its mouth,
rinsed it in cold water, washed away
sand, salt, the sins of the sea.
The cats gathered below the sink.

Before frying, as you held it up,
a little silver fish slid out,
a tiny mirror, a last supper.
It fell to the tiles, to the cats.

As we eat I wonder what I am to you;
tentacles of light or a passing morsel?
As you drizzle olive oil, I`ve an eye
on the stairs, of lapping against your nipple.

After the wine our fingers dance along lips,
we roll into one another’s hips; a whirl-pool
of tongues, legs. The math of the silver fish world,
turning another revolution, is forgotten.

Paul Hawkins is a poet, writer and storyteller. He’s been interested in alternative culture and music, place, protest and survival for as long as we can remember. He curates Untold Boscombe, a locative storytelling project and co-edits poetry pamphlet Boscombe Revolution. He has performed his work at The Royal Opera House, Womad, The Shelley Theatre and other venues across the south-west. His publishing credits include Fit to Work: Poets Against ATOS, The Interpreters House, The Occupy Wall Street Anthology, London Lit Project, The Bath Lit Festival, Museum of Alcohol, Verba Vitae, M58 and the Noir Erasure Poetry Anthology. Paul is based in Bournemouth and is an associate artist of Vita Nova.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A poem by Graeme Durham


I saw this creature walking down the street,
It had
Legs, toes, shins,
Thighs, ankles, feet.
Soles, knees, hips, -crotch, bottom, tummy
Chest, navel, shoulder blades
Neck, armpits, mouth
Collar bone, forearm, finger
Wrists, nails, palms
Nose, eyebrows, elbows
Chin, nipples, eyes,
Throat, ears, teeth
The creature walked with a slight wobble and had....
….a very nice face.
I never saw it again!

Monday, 6 January 2014

A poem by Wendy Klein


My landlord in Llandudno had a deaf Jack Russell
that yapped and whined continuously, 
snuffled at scraps that fell from the table
its square black snout twitching,
while its agile tongue hoovered up.

Sated, it would present its taut belly 
for stroking, fart luxuriously, 
fall asleep and snore.

Undifferentiated id, said my landlord,
and I had a vision of the man himself
in all his simplicity, clamouring
for attention, while silently
ferreting out, wolfing down,
furtive snacks, the dregs of drinks,
crawling into bed at all the wrong times
hungry, hungry, hungry.

Wendy Klein was born in New York, but has lived in the UK most of her adult life.  She has been writing poetry for about  12 years and has two collection with Cinnamon Press:  'Cuba in the Blood' (2009) and 'Anything in Turquoise' (2013).  Published in many magazines and anthologies, she hopes to manage another collection, or maybe even just a chapbook, before she pops her clogs.  Dogs, dancing and poetry keep her alive a day at a time.