Fields of Blood (Diminishing Hexaverse) by Goodness Lanre Ayoola

The shells of doom burst
And again death spells
Grave letters for men
Deep grief’s flaunt our eyes
We run out of tears.

We boast richness
Richness in deaths
Massacres’ peak
On fields of blood.

We want peace
We war peace
Wars kill peace.

We brawl
Bleed and

Die.

Goodness Lanre Ayoola (b. 1989) hails from Osun State, Nigeria and lives in Abeokuta, Ogun State. He is a teacher of English language. His poems are published and reviewed on poetry sites and online magazines. He loves to work with great minds.

Goodness Lanre Ayoola (b. 1989) hails from Osun State, Nigeria and lives in Abeokuta, Ogun State. He is a teacher of English language. His poems are published and reviewed on poetry sites and online magazines. He loves to work with great minds.

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The Chase by Alan Catlin

Maybe he was one of those
deluded youths who grew up
thinking Grand Theft Auto,
the game, was like life,
running red lights on major
cross town road, going for
100 mph with two squad
cars in pursuit, more on the way.
Enjoyed half a mile or so of freedom,
no end game in mind, one car
in an intersection away from
they-never-knew-what-hit-them
conflict resolution, a toe tag toga
party for all those impacted
by the chase.

“my mother, your mother, anybody’s mother”

Stoked on crazy juice she got
from jukebox jokers in exchange
for back alley favors.  Stuff she drank
from flasks, mixtures decanted from
whatever they had on hand , tainted
by essence of sterno, distilled from
loco weeds, cactus pods, “prickers
still attached” she said, with a toothless
grin.  Stuff that put hair on your lips,
that made your scalp tingle like bees
mad to escape a burning hive.

Maybe that was where the smoke
inside her came from, clouding her
walleyes, swollen with edema and
venereal disease. Smoke that spread
through the hollow brain cavities,
traveling through her rotted skull until
blood leaked out of the corners of her eyes
and a terrible humming sound issued
from her ears like swarms of something
previously unknown to man.
Everything indistinct, out of focus
except a thin man in a black cloak
swinging a scythe, smiling as he worked
his way through the weeds to where she
was standing, hungering for his touch.

Alan Catlin is a widely published poet in the US of A and elsewhere.  His most recent book is “Books of the Dead: a memoir with poetry” about the deaths of his parents.  He is a retired professional barman and the editor of the online poetry zine  misfitmagazine.net.

Alan Catlin is a widely published poet in the US of A and elsewhere. His most recent book is “Books of the Dead: a memoir with poetry” about the deaths of his parents. He is a retired professional barman and the editor of the online poetry zine misfitmagazine.net.

They Do It With Crystals by Ben Banyard

Somewhere
behind a fug of Sandalwood,
tiny bells, the crackle of beads
and a whale’s distress call
can be heard.

Something
fraudulent is taking place.
A healing placebo, possibly.
The logic is fuzzy, angora woolly;
it incenses me.

Someone
riddled with a black-named poison,
and who deserves real care,
has been prescribed an overdose
of snake oil.

Ben Banyard lives in Portishead, where he writes poetry and short fiction. His work has appeared in Popshot, Lunar Poetry, Ink Sweat & Tears, Eunoia Review, The Stare's Nest and others. Ben edits Clear Poetry (https://clearpoetry.wordpress.com) a blog publishing accessible writing by newcomers and old hands alike.

Ben Banyard lives in Portishead, where he writes poetry and short fiction. His work has appeared in Popshot, Lunar Poetry, Ink Sweat & Tears, Eunoia Review, The Stare’s Nest and others. Ben edits Clear Poetry (https://clearpoetry.wordpress.com) a blog publishing accessible writing by newcomers and old hands alike.

I AM ME XII ( a creed of self- confidence) by Ajise Vincent

I.

Yesterday, foes said,
I’m the marrow of tomorrow
shattered at the village square
where dry skulls of fallen dreams
are used as drums by blind beggars.

II.

Friends said, I am the black smoke
from the firewood of fate
that was dispelled into oblivion
to cling to void air of nothingness.

III.

E’en the elders said,
I’m the forbidden fruit
rejected by the molars of the squirrel
and must be banished to the evil forest
to be immortalised by stale stones.

IV.

Then, I was treated like an aged mortar
whose tender hymen was defiled by the pestle of time
and yet did not gestate any good.

V.

I was looked down upon like a barren hope
whose dreams can’t germinate greatness
e’en on the addition of fertilizers of patience
and waters of grace.

VI.

But today,
I’m the billowing flute
whose note whispers progress
to the aspirations of drunk sluggards.

VII.

I am the mellifluous requiem
that exiles sorrows to the tomb
where pain is embalmed forever.

VIII.

I am the sieve of justice
that separate shafts of lies
from wheats of truths.

IX.

I am the balm
from the factory of care
that relieve aches of warring-kings.

X.

I am the present gestating
in the clandestine uterus of today
so as to procreate a better tomorrow.

I’m simply me.

 Ajise Vincent is a Nigerian Poet. His poem “Song of a progeny” was a shortlisted poem at the Korea- Nigeria poetry feast, 2015. His works have been published in London grip magazine, Kalahari Review, Sakonfa literary magazine, African Writer, I Am Not A Silent Poet, Poetry pacific, Commonline Journal, Novel Afrique, Black Boy Review, Tuck Magazine and various anthologies. He is currently finishing up a major in Economics at the university.


Ajise Vincent is a Nigerian Poet. His poem “Song of a progeny” was a shortlisted poem at the Korea- Nigeria poetry feast, 2015. His works have been published in London grip magazine, Kalahari Review, Sakonfa literary magazine, African Writer, I Am Not A Silent Poet, Poetry pacific, Commonline Journal, Novel Afrique, Black Boy Review, Tuck Magazine and various anthologies. He is currently finishing up a major in Economics at the university.

Things Discovered Today Between Train Windows by John Alwyine-Mosely

that few public phones work
when you are trying to phone where you left your mobile.

that nine hours on trains with six changes
does not lead to poetry gold

that living a dawn and dusk working day
is not a reason to love the Romantics

that it is easy to be forgotten
when you don’t break bread with real poets

that singing aloud in First class is frowned on
even if in tune

that the innocent granny on her ​second bottle of wine
can still knit with clicking needles

John Alwyine-Mosely is a poet from Bristol, England who is new to published poetry. Recent work has also appeared in Stare's Nest, York Mix, Clear Poetry, Nutshells and Nuggets. Three drops from a cauldron, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Street Cake, Screech Owl, The Ground, Aphelion, Uneven Floor,The Lake, Morphrog and Yellow Chair Review.

John Alwyine-Mosely is a poet from Bristol, England who is new to published poetry. Recent work has also appeared in Stare’s Nest, York Mix, Clear Poetry, Nutshells and Nuggets. Three drops from a cauldron, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Street Cake, Screech Owl, The Ground, Aphelion, Uneven Floor,The Lake, Morphrog and Yellow Chair Review.

A Ten Question Interview With The Artist…Fiona Pitt-kethley

Why do you write? 

Because it is what I do best.

What books do you read?

I am very keen on reading local history for research, so I am mostly reading in Spanish at the moment. I sometimes read detective fiction for relaxation.

What inspires you?

At the moment I am writing a lot about Spain and particularly about the Sierra Minera and its mining industry.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer and when?

I dabbled as a child but became serious and full time from 1978.

How Do you deal with rejection?

I move on quickly.

Who are some writers you admire?

I chiefly feel influenced by those up to the 18th century. I love satire. I see the influence of Martial, Jonson, Rochester, Swift, for instance, I also greatly admire poets of great scope, Shakespeare and Homer. I studied Greek and Latin at school and have many favourites there.  I also feel an affinity with mediaeval language and the playwrights of the Elizabethan and Jacobean period.

Is writing the only artistic medium you do?

I studied Art for four years. Have also studied singing privately and music is important to me.. Have also dabbled in acting.

What would be some advice you would give to your younger self?

Save lots of money for your old age. Be more pragmatic.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read a lot and work hard.  Don´t allow others to rework your writing. If you don´t believe in yourself it is not worth doing

What is your writing process?

Writing a first draft and then reworking. Poems often get finished with the aid of coffee.

Fiona Pitt-kethley is the author of more than 20 books of poetry and prose. Her chief period of fame was from the mid-80s to mid-90s. Contrary to popular belief she is still writing. SHe has lived in Spain for the last 13 years with her husband, the chess grandmaster James Plaskett and their son Alexander. She has adopted a feral cat colony also. SHe is currently working on a prose book on collecting minerals in the SIerra Minera. SHe also has enough poetry for 2 collections or more. SHe has revived a lot of her older work by bringing it out as ebooks.

Fiona Pitt-kethley is the author of more than 20 books of poetry and prose. Her chief period of fame was from the mid-80s to mid-90s. Contrary to popular belief she is still writing. She has lived in Spain for the last 13 years with her husband, the chess grandmaster James Plaskett and their son Alexander. She has adopted a feral cat colony also. She is currently working on a prose book on collecting minerals in the SIerra Minera. She also has enough poetry for 2 collections or more. She has revived a lot of her older work by bringing it out as ebooks.

The Insane Guy From Upstairs (Doesn’t Quite Ride Again?) – Excerpt From ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ by Paul Tristram

Well, I came in yesterday and I could hear the insane guy
upstairs calling for help, so off up the stairs I went.
When I got to his door, it was open, so in I walked to find
him sitting in his armchair, looking more than a wee bit drunk.
“Thank fuck you’re here!” he said painfully.
“What’s up motherfucker?” I asked with concern.
“One of my plastic knees has slipped out of place and it’s
hurting me more than my ex-wife ever did!” he explained.
“Well, what the fuck happened?” I asked looking around the
room (With my eyes which change colour from green to blue
to grey to black, eh, Hi Girls!) for any sign of a disturbance.
But everything looked the same as normal, I mean there was
a television set face down on the floor but that had been there
before (I think?)
“Are you pulling my pisser?” I asked with a frown.
“No, honestly, its fucking killing me, I’ve been sitting here
for an hour and a half calling for help, but no fuckers in, it’s
giro day and everybody’s at the pub!” he said wearily.
“Well, how did you do it?” I asked
“I know that this is going to sound stupid, but I just stood up
to go and piss out of the window, and bang, my knee gave!”
he said with a grimace.
“This would never have happened at sea!” he carried on.
“No, at sea I would have been found in less than ten minutes!”
“Alright, what do you want me to do, shall I get the navy, I
mean an ambulance on the phone?” I asked.
Fuck that!” he responded wisely.
“I still owe them Bastards for the ambulance I had two weeks
ago (Oh, I forgot to tell you about that one, didn’t I, well tough
shit!) go and phone my father up, he’ll drive me up to the
hospital!”
“Right you are homey!” I replied in an American accent.
“Oh, don’t go all fucking Scottish on me now, I need help!”
he said with an edge of despair to his, you know.
“Right, what’s your father’s number?” I asked.
“I’ll write it down for you, look pass me that bit of bog roll
off the floor, shit, I haven’t got a friggin’ pen!” he hissed.
“It’s alright; I’ll go down to my room and get one!” I offered.
“There’s no time for that now, open up that yellow paint tin
in the corner, I’ve been saving it for a special occasion, its
just that I’d always imagined that it would be a happy one.”
he said almost tearfully.
I was on that motherfucking tin in seconds, wallop, it was open.
I was down the God Damned stairs, straight out the door, across
the road and over to the phone box faster than you could, Oh
never mind that’s disgusting.
(Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that he dipped his left forefinger
into the afore mentioned tin of paint and scribbled his father’s
phone number in quite a fine number of digits!)
I entered the phone box from the front (Yeah, that’s right it
wasn’t one of those side door Bastards!)
Phoned his father and told him the business.
As I pulled back into my street (Pulled? Eh? What the fuck
am I on about, pulled? What the fuck do I think I was riding?
for Christ Sake?) I ran up the steps only to find the front door
open and the insane guy sitting at the bottom of the stairs, by
his side was the guy who likes fishing (It then transpired that
the fishing guy had returned from seeing the tall boats or big
ships in Falmouth and had just returned in time to witness the
insane guy from upstairs hopping down the fucking stairs!)
“What the fuck are you doing downstairs, asshole?”
I demanded without my usual compassion.
“Couldn’t stay up on deck Captain, I had to come down to the
steam room and wait it out with the crew, sir!???” he answered.
“Right, well your father’s on his way, he said that he’ll be here
in a few minutes!” I replied to the invalid.
The fishing guy (Who’s really starting to get on my tit lately!)
and I just stood around for a few minutes watching the insane
guy from upstairs grimace.
Then his father turned up in a blue car (Don’t ask me what
fucking type of car it was, because I know absolutely fuck
all about cars, but it had wheels, four of the fuckers, and it was
blue!)”All hands on deck!” shouted the insane guy.
I stood to attention, then suddenly realized what a twat I was
making of myself and walked over to the wall and started to
peel a tangerine instead.
The fishing guy was still standing there giving the salute, he had
his outstretched hand up to his right eye and he was showing off
his one good tooth.
“Listen; do you want a hand down the steps?” I enquired of the
insane guy.
“No, I’ll manage!” he replied.
His father approached and handed him a walking stick, he was
going good until the last but one step, then he slipped, it was
only momentary for his foot was up in the air and then back upon
the step in a second, but fuck me what a scream he let rip.
Then he was in the car and off to hospital.

…………………………………………..

He returned home around 11:30, I saw him in the hall as he came
in the front door, his father was trying desperately to get him to go
home with him, so that he and his mother could look after him but
the insane guy was having none of it.
“I’ve got my friends here to help me!” he said nodding towards me
and another couple of people standing around.
His father left not long after we had got his son up to his room and
into his armchair.
“So they managed to get the knee back in place then? I said with
a smile.
“No!” he replied.
“It wasn’t the knee after all; it was the tendons in the leg!”
he replied with a smile.
“Jesus, ain’t that motherfucker hurting?” I asked.
“It was but they pumped me full of painkillers and I was drunk
when it happened, so it doesn’t feel that bad at the moment!” he
replied calmly.
He pulled out a bottle of VODKA from down the side of his chair
and poured some into his glass which had been sitting on the table
waiting for his return.
He drank that down and poured another one, he drank that one
down as well and then tried talking to me and the other guy who
was in his room.
He was not making much sense, he was very confused, he started
mumbling about this and that and then he started drooling, it was
at this point that me and the other guy decided to pick him up and
lay him on the bed, so we did.
We left him on the bed, turned out the light and went off to our
own rooms, it had been a crazy night, that insane guy was getting
just a little bit too insane lately. I was starting to get worried, much
more of this and he was really going to hurt himself. Now I didn’t
want to see that but I didn’t know what to do about it?

……………………………………………………

The next morning there was a loud knocking on my door, I shouted
“Fuck Off!” once but the knocking continued so I got up to
answer it.
It was the insane guy, he had his father with him, it turned out
that when he had awoken and the VODKA had worn off, he had
realized that he could not move about quite so easily as he had
thought he would be able to the night before.
So he had knocked on the door of the guy next door and had him
to give his father a phone.
So here he was telling me that he was going up to his parent’s
house for the next ten weeks, I didn’t know what to say so
I said,
“Look after yourself, Captain!”
And he smiled.
“Who am I going to drink with now?” I asked.
He just shrugged his shoulders and looked embarrassed, it was
almost as if he thought that he was doing something wrong, it
was as if he felt guilty.
“Just hurry up and get yourself well, motherfucker!” I ordered
with a smile.
Then I grabbed hold of his arm and helped him down the steps
and over to his father’s car.
As we were doing this, I looked at him and he no longer looked
insane, he looked like a tired man who was trying to put on a
brave face, I felt proud of him.
Then he got into the car and off they drove, I don’t really know
what else to say? because it may be the last time that I see him?
for I plan to move soon, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

© Paul Tristram 2014

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet. Buy his book ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.
Buy his book ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036

All Change at Cumnock by Vivien Jones

Geraldine gets off a train at the wrong station. Dozing in the overheated train, she mishears the mangled public address announcement saying ‘Cumnock’ for ‘Kilmarnock’; in a panic she gathers bags and coat and gets off the train. The sprinter races off before she realises.  It’s an un-manned station so she finds a phone box and phones home. Down the line comes a humiliating telephone tirade from her husband. He tells her how useless she is and instructs her to find a B&B for the night. He’ll phone her sister in Kilmarnock and explain.
It takes her three times walking the main street before she has to accept that the only accommodation offered is in the pub. The landlady is reluctant on a single night B&B shout in the middle of winter but she ups the rate by 50%, then leads the way to an unheated room upstairs. Geraldine asks about a meal and the landlady says there’s a chip shop at the end of the street. She could have a drink at the bar and any of five flavours of crisps. Geraldine asks for coffee and the landlady grimaces – it’ll just be instant – so they go back down to the bar.
She’s sitting alone sipping hot coffee when she’s aware of a man over close to her.  He smiles, tells her is name is Mike and, with a wink, asks her where she’s been all his life. She laughs, not at his absurdity but suddenly aware that no-one at this precise moment knows where she is, who she is or where she’s been. Something wild rushes through her, the idea of twelve hours of anonymity. When Mike offers to show her the chippie she says yes. Then she says yes to a walk through the play park and sits on a swing laughing at his foolish talk. Mike thinks he’s doing well so far and so does she.
Their walk back to the pub is slow, their talk soft, their eyes roving each other’s person under the lamplight. At the bar, the landlady bets the barman a fiver on the outcome of the evening, then she serves Mike a double whisky and Geraldine a large sweet sherry. Geraldine pays for both and several more.
The room upstairs at last finds use. Mike is a thoughtful lover and Geraldine has a long-held grudge to expunge. Supping vengeance she throws herself into their romp with a novel abandon. She reaches a noisy orgasm for the first time since her honeymoon, fleetingly remembering her husband’s disgust at her cries. Mike is happy to reap the rewards of whatever is fuelling her energies. After a couple of hours she wishes him goodnight and shuts the door behind him. He is bemused. She sleeps like a baby.
Next morning she is on Cumnock Station platform waiting for 8.03 am Sprinter to Kilmarnock, thinking well there’s Edinburgh and Jedburgh, Inverkeithing and Innerleithen. There’s a little smile on her face.

 Vivien Jones  Her first poetry collection - About Time, Too - published in September 2010. In that year she also won the Poetry London Prize. A second short fiction collection on a theme of women amongst warriors - White Poppies - published 2012) Her second poetry collection -‘Short of Breath’ - published in November 2014 by Cultured Llama Press. She is one of three editors of ‘Southlight’, a literary journal in south-west Scotland, and one of three Literature Animateurs in Dumfries and Galloway, helping to make things  happen on the literary scene.


Vivien Jones Her first poetry collection – About Time, Too – published in September 2010. In that year she also won the Poetry London Prize. A second short fiction collection on a theme of women amongst warriors – White Poppies – published 2012) Her second poetry collection -‘Short of Breath’ – published in November 2014 by Cultured Llama Press. She is one of three editors of ‘Southlight’, a literary journal in south-west Scotland, and one of three Literature Animateurs in Dumfries and Galloway, helping to make things happen on the literary scene.

Splendour in the Blender by Susan Castillo

One Thanksgiving my sister makes a concoction
called Splendour in the Blender,
consisting of vodka, lemonade,
and cubes of ice.

Elderly aunts lap it up, cats with cream,
begin to lean against doors, eyes unfocused.
In soft voices, they fence, these Furies,
parry, thrust, scratch. out each other’s eyes,

Things were said that day that meant
the next family gathering
was ten years later.
And that was at a funeral.

Susan Castillo Street is a Louisiana expatriate and academic who lives in the Sussex countryside. She is Harriet Beecher Stowe Professor Emeritus, King’s College, University of London, and has published two collections of poems, The Candlewoman's Trade (Diehard Press, 2003) and Abiding Chemistry,  (Aldrich Press, 2015).  Her poems have appeared in The Missing Slate, The Stare’s Nest, Nutshells and Nuggets, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Snakeskin, Message in a Bottle, Literature Today, York Mix and other reviews. She is a member of three poetry groups: 52, Goat, and Slant 2015.

Susan Castillo Street is a Louisiana expatriate and academic who lives in the Sussex countryside. She is Harriet Beecher Stowe Professor Emeritus, King’s College, University of London, and has published two collections of poems, The Candlewoman’s Trade (Diehard Press, 2003) and Abiding Chemistry, (Aldrich Press, 2015). Her poems have appeared in The Missing Slate, The Stare’s Nest, Nutshells and Nuggets, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Snakeskin, Message in a Bottle, Literature Today, York Mix and other reviews. She is a member of three poetry groups: 52, Goat, and Slant 2015.

An Odd Looking Smile by J.J. Campbell

I recently saw a picture
of my father and the
woman he spent the
last fifteen years of
his life with

considering it was
the first time I had
seen my father in
over twenty years

his smile looked
so odd and out
of place

of course, staring
at it for hours, that
smile started to tell
me that he never
missed me at all

I thought about
telling the preacher
at his funeral that
my father never
told me he loved
me but I didn’t

I knew the old fuck
had everyone fooled

if I didn’t hate him
enough already…

campbell bio