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ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online)

Featuring the works of Orla Fay, Luke C Campbell, Byron Beynon, Neil Slevin, Tess Adams, Kerry Campion, Gordon Ferris, Noel King, Salim Mustafa, Mat Duggan, Colin Honnor, Daniela Voicu and Ellie Rose McKee. Hard copies can be purchased from our website.

Issue No 55 April 2017

A New Ulster Prose On the Wall Website Editorial


Orla Fay;

1. Knights Not Nights 2. Plum Trees 3. Smoke and Mirrors Luke C Campbell; 1. Homage 2. Axioms 3. Believers 4. Thirsty-Fievel/ Moon Knight Serenade Byron Beynon; 1. Girl Reading 2. Llanfair Ar Y Bryn 3. Landscape, Pyrenees 4. The Magnolia Tree Neil Slevin; 1. Sewing the Sea 2. Escape 3. Promise 4. Arigna 5. I Know You 6. Wait For My Daddy-o 7. The Flu Tess Adams; 1. Dead Moments 2. Full Stop Ahead 3. My Therapist is Acting Out 4. Nothing Holy is Free 5. I Hate My Stinking Therapist 6. Gideon’s Question Kerry Campion; 1. Along the Lagan


Editor: Amos Greig Editor: E V Greig Editor: Arizahn Editor: Adam Rudden page 5

Gordon Ferris; 1. Reverie 2. Winter View Noel King; 1. Companions 2. Mystic 3. The Beagle 4. Chaser 5. After It Salim Mustafa; 1. Indifferent Life Matthew Duggan; 1. Metal 2. The Year All The Stars Fell From The Sky 3. Homecoming 4. Bella Ciao 5. The Girl At The Vaporetto Stop Colin Honnor; 1. Creation Notes 2. Dresdener Amen 3. Memory of the Aegean 4. A Fen Mist 5. M Torini’s Voyage Daniela Voicu; 1. I don’t 2. The Woman Forgotten 3. I am the woman 4. Windows without shadow Ellie Rose McKee; 1. The Lady and the lake

On The Wall Message from the Alleycats A Review of More Micks than Dicks Alleycats Easter Giveaway



Poetry, prose, art work and letters to be sent to: Submissions Editor A New Ulster 23 High Street, Ballyhalbert BT22 1BL Alternatively e-mail: See page 50 for further details and guidelines regarding submissions. Hard copy distribution is available c/o Lapwing Publications, 1 Ballysillan Drive, Belfast BT14 8HQ Or via PEECHO Digital distribution is via links on our website: Published in Baskerville Oldface & Times New Roman Produced in Belfast & Ballyhalbert, Northern Ireland. All rights reserved The artists have reserved their right under Section 77 Of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 To be identified as the authors of their work. ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online) Cover Image “The artist at rest� by E V Greig


“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. ” Aristotle Onassis. Editorial April can be a challenging month the weather can’t quite make up its mind about what it wants to be, you find that it isn’t a good idea to make plans but to be spontaneous and react to the environment. I’ve nominated several poets and poems for the Forward Prize I strongly believe that these deserved to have the recognition. We’re listed now on Poetry Ireland’s website as well as the Poetry Library’s website. On average we recieve 4 maybe 5 submissions a day and we are getting work from around the world. In some ways A New Ulster is a challenge for me I find dealing with letting people down difficult sometimes we will recieve a submission which shows promise but the work isn’t ready to be shared yet in which case I’ll offer advice and recommend groups which could help, rarely though you will find something that just isn’t suitable at all and those are the hardest to reject. I’ve studied at the Poetry House with James Simmons, John Hewitt summer school and been invloved in various writer’s groups and projects and I’m always learning everyone does and that is the most important part of growing as a writer and a person.

Amos Greig (Ancient History- English (BA) hons js) Editor.


Biographical Note: Orla Fay Ă“rla Fay is the editor of Boyne Berries Magazine. Recently her work has appear in The Ogham Stone, Sixteen Magazine, Spontaneity, Tales from the Forest and The Ofi Press. She keeps a blog at


Knights Not Nights -

after Bleckner

New Year comes to darken the lighter sky to sever the night from its stiff black tie to dance with visions and the dream not dry as time peers on with paternal dry eye. And later dazzling bright fireworks fizzle succumbing to the rain’s softer drizzle to pools of water that are a mirror to lost light, and the light still to capture. In these shadows of shady reflection candles quicken with great satisfaction drinking the darkness that birthed their flame that calls out strength giving courage her name. So they pass on this journey men and days on roads know to life, and death, their ways. Órla Fay


Plum Trees I think of them this January night, that leapfrogs spring on winter, opaque before the twilight turning violet to maroon. I see them on the long driveway on branches just past saplinghood by the weeping willow’s spider legs before the big house before she disappeared. I shake one to a rustling snap gaze contentedly at the shiny skin of the unlikely crystal ball that lands haphazardly in my lap. Órla Fay


Smoke and Mirrors The page is dog-eared, the old poem is read anew, butter of the morning when night had seemed a sole survivor of the toppling of the sun of the drowning of the moon in the waste-bare plain of the starless faith. The words amble upwards paw softly at fingertips, test the sincerity of thought. Time has been and gone and been and gone but a hand can still seek reflection a mind its contradiction a heart its union in the salve of love. Ă“rla Fay


Biographical Note: Luke C Campbell Luke Conmy Campbell has lived in London and Washington DC as well as Dublin. He is reading English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and spends the summers in Ireland. His short film 'Mobius' was made as part of the Academy of Motion Pictures scholarship summer school at American University.


Homage Simic He’s sifting through the week for words, finding few. He is not a man of many. The shifting of his shoulder, the wiping of a coarse and heavy hand on his pantleg, the stuff of nightmares. There is a ten year blank before he cuts it short. I turn the light back off after he’s gone; it’s too yellow.

A LID. (Stein) Wrong tally face with no eyes, guppy mouth face. Grip lips broken clock-face, pyramid raised and loud with attention, barely stained. Oppen The worm, The poor worm faces a Confounding, a Dilemma, a Riddle: What time is it? (My alarm didn’t go off)

Luke C. Campbell


Axioms #2 Seven is too early.

#3 It is not decided.

Luke Conmy Campbell


Believers When we are young, we believe all the wrong things. For instance, you believed what people told you, which one should never do. Even in your pack, or perhaps especially in your pack, they fed you their perceptions like the gospel truth and you took them at face value. One could say that you mistook them for a pack for dogs, when they were really a pack of foxes, but you would say, and did say, that you mistook them for a pack of dogs, when they were really a pack of cards. I requested an elaboration, as you’ve noted I’m keen to do, and you explained, with your typical flair, that any card with a face has two. You say you know better now. You don’t know much, but you do know better. You know that bad raisers can seem better than no raisers but they aren’t. You know the scars that raisers leave stick out like a sore thumb. Or rather, they stick out like a thumb with sore feet.

Luke Conmy Campbell


Thirsty-Fievel/ Moon Knight Serenade I window-light foreman backflip Serbia, cup Hitler scoliosis irreverently, patriotism horse sheen off course, of course. They’ve had reluctantly dipped dupes under “f”, for filanthropy. Pentagrams aren’t heavy too many ----- don’t save me. Hi’m. Serpentine serpent-time “achievement” approaches; ununderstood an nun, “Anun”, annunciates an’ nothing more. ØØ supposed à la Moses the pirate. Rain dance, one right foot ˃̲̅˂̲̅ two left feet to wrong? Je ne sais rien, apparent[ily]. Luke C Campbell


Biographical Note: Byron Beynon

Byron Beynon's work has appeared in several publications including A New Ulster, London Magazine, The Stony Thursday Book, Poetry Wales, Grey Sparrow and the human rights anthology In Protest (University of London and Keats House Poets). His most recent collections include The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions) and three collections from Lapwing Publications are Nocturne in Blue (2009), Human Shores (2012) and Through Ilston Wood (2016). Byron Beynon lives in Wales


GIRL READING I see her standing alone engaged with words that the mind's eye translates into private thought. How many hours has she inhabited this place? Shut inside a landscape where language makes a difference, absorbs and changes things. She focuses on pages that turn quietly with the eloquent breeze, like those silent years biding their time under skies and fields. (Byron Beynon)


LLANFAIR AR Y BRYN The fields sense a voice which once lived here. Blades of summer grass capture the sharp notes summoning a return. They meet during an uncertain age, as nearby a vivid blackbird stirs with a new found optimism.

(Byron Beynon)


LANDSCAPE, PYRENEES On the way to the sea he enters a dreamscape. The accents of colour, intimate and unexpected angles with the effect of light. Who lived in those houses? Surrounded by the rhythms of foliage, a siesta of unseen insects, the decorative heat that grew with a rich vein of sunlight. (Byron Beynon)


THE MAGNOLIA TREE Outside the abbey window facing south, near the straight path I've walked, the magnolia tree grows timeless and mindful as it shakes in the wind of thought. There is a quietude here, a storehouse of untamed depths beyond anything known. I have let my shadow fall on its trunk, imagined how it felt with the sun on its bark. Understanding how with each season's fraction it will survive winter's blast, its primitive roots of place starless and mysterious from the virulent frost.

(Byron Beynon)


Biographical Note: Neil Slevin Neil Slevin MA, BSc is a writer from Co. Leitrim, Ireland, whose poetry has been published by various Irish publications, including The Galway Review, Skylight 47, Boyne Berries, and Into The Void, and numerous international journals, such as Scarlet Leaf Review and Artificium: The Journal. His flash fiction appeared in The Incubator. He is a founder and editor of Dodging The Rain.


Sewing the Sea

Fishing for water, sewing the sea, you sit at your ease on a swept and beaten quay, passing no heed to ticking time nor tide nor in the distance, me.

And shimmering on the water is your joy; the sunlight’s speckle bobbing your face, settling like stardust in your golden hair’s embrace.

All happening in this moment – not that you seem to notice, and not that you seem to care; for you are at labour, lost within your working world, just another day’s laissez-faire:

your legs swaying to the freedom of the water’s flow and flair, its splashes freckling the day’s outlook, 22

your life (at least right now) all moderate to fair.

Because for now you are free to stitch your own ties, ones that will exert their own force – not now – but later, in due course.

And so, not having moved, you return to your post, sewing the sea, fishing for water, almost.

Neil Slevin



In sobriety, singularity and silence, I search for and solicit me.

I seek solace in syllables, sounds and senses that stream

from somewhere inside, some space they spring from and stretch to fill.

Neil Slevin 24


I promised you I’d speak as Gaeilge so I took a stranger’s words inside,

held each one close to my chest, filled them with love then let them float

into the Galway air.

Neil Slevin



For all who mined in Arigna

I am the wind that blows through the mines.

I breathe into you and yours as you work towards the Earth’s core and carry the love and words you’ve left behind on days spent digging for life. You leave your own to battle with the face of coal, wage war with stone – your foes smothered by explosions of rock, bullets that streak like stars slain in murderous skies – prostrate under the weight of water, your daylight forbidden by sumps and gob.

Your weapons are not the sword or gun, but clips and caps, the hutch your cart for those now lost, greeted only by the foreman’s truce, their funeral procession your trek into that other darkness, the wounded day’s retreat.

Camouflaged by falling night, you escape into your other life, before you pause in thanks to Him, embrace the sanctity of the votive light then let it fade into the distance, wait for the new day’s dawn.

Neil Slevin 26

I Know You I’d know you anywhere, the way I knew you by the way

you held yourself, your hair in the sunlight of the bay.

I knew you before I knew; my life kept that space vacant, the one that belongs to you.

I know you the way I pray time knows what’s for us all.

You came, I saw, you conquered me. I know you’re gone.

Neil Slevin 27

Wait For My Daddy-o

Streetlights shot past like stars as you drove us in your car, ’Lizzy blared from the radio, the boys were back in town and although I didn’t know Philo's words, his air or tune you’d let me sing along, my favourite line and song, Whack for my daddy-o and Whisky In The Jar. Till now I thought he sang for someone to wait for you. Still now I know I’d let you drive us to the moon.

Neil Slevin 28

The Flu

I sat and watched a €20 note flutter in the breeze while the bus I was on stopped in Mayo, somewhere around Knock between airport, road out and shrine. I know I thought about getting out but just couldn’t come up with a line in the time my moment allowed that I felt would stall or satisfy the driver long enough to chase what I wanted to make mine.

As a child I’d proclaim I have the flu whenever I got a cold, but my mother says the way to know whether you have the flu is if you see money outside on the ground but cannot find a way to make yourself go out and get it.

So I’ve only had flu twice in my life, that day on the bus and the Christmas my brother gave me a onesie with baubles on it, as a decorative pattern I should highlight, rather than hanging from it, although in hindsight 29

I’m sure I’d have worn it either way. I couldn’t have gone outside to retrieve money if I’d tried, wore my onesie as a mark of honour for the fortnight I was ill and my Christmas virus refused to die and smiled Grinch-like for the photo my father took to post on Facebook of me, my tissues and I.

And I’m sure it’s a coincidence but I have hated Christmas since, the day rather than the holiday, it being a seasonal reminder of all things in the life outside of mine I’m yet to go outside and find, fight for and chase after, the anniversary of another year being over and my having another one less to make things right.

Neil Slevin 30

Biographical Note: Tess Adams Tess was born by the sea in a little village (at the time), in Ireland called Rathmullan, County Donegal. Currently, Tess is living in Surrey, UK where she works as a Counsellor. Tess confesses to being a bit of a word weaver and loves to 'dabble in verse’.

Blessed with a lively imagination, Tess thought she might someday write a piece of fiction. That elusive 'someday' never came. So, advancing in years, she joined a Masters in Creative Writing at Roehampton University. In the second semester (2010), her dying sister lay in Hammersmith hospital and Tess considered giving up the course. She insisted that Tess did not. So, in order to accommodate visiting hours, she swapped fiction for the poetry module. Tess lost her sister and found a new passion.

In 2014 she wrote a few poems which she submitted to a few competitions. Tess was shortlisted for the Pighog Poetry Competition and joint runner up in the Patrick Kavanah Poetry Award. Then life got in the way, but she’s back now, weaving away. Although she hasn’t had anything much published yet, that will change!


Dead Moments

I can hear them before I see them, the children a babble of voices, yapping, whooping, wailing, ear splitting yelling, all mingling into whirling suffocating decibels, scratching at my sanity sitting here waiting for the lights to change, car windows closed and you know the noise is running through me like a waterfall crashing down rocks pulverising pax and look here a lad of about seven or eight trying to scale the drain pipe, his peers egging him on and a sunny wee girl in her Aran cardigan dancing pigtails skipping around and around in circles and a blond boy sitting on a bench playing with himself by the far wall, all these little ones innocent souls and their futures mapped out for them like spiders webs - they will fall into them one day. And I am wondering how many before they reach their teens? How many more before 20? How.... By God, skews your thinking when you lose one.

Tess Adams


Full Stop Ahead Short of a miracle, we’re all dying here and then we do the long sentence and the full stop, Shakespeare’s periods, Chaucer's points, symbols to demarcate the end: sentences, half sentences the ones that make no sense at all and you slide into them, a gentle meandering kind of tail like you've been skittering along a snail trail or your roly-poly is curtailed on the hill - whatever, always the  and the end - I've written enough of them, so have you but look at the ones written for us on the wall the hammer, the nail, the little white coffin too while you’re charting calm, sometimes choppy seas forever at the helm and up from the ocean springs that huge blocking wall and its wrong. placed and next thing your little boat is crashing but its not supposed to happen that way, your daughter is not supposed to die in the Universal Order; the writing when you crash, is blurred, but through a sea of salt you try to make sense, till it begins to dawn after awhile mind, you’re going no further here, drowning, turfed out battering enfilades smashing your bilge to smithereens and look here in a lull in the swell, you can read your sentence graved between Scylla and Charybdis:


Dead Stop .

Makes no sense and Tolstoy in his quest to find meaning thrashed in a tumultuous sea and eventually was swept back to the shore: his God. He found his God. Mine hasn't shown up yet but Jesus walked on water didn’t he?


My therapist is acting out playing up, abandoning me to my demons, he’s changed our sessions, messed them up, messed me up, he says he’s dealing with an elderly relative's illness needs to make a few alterations, he says it like I’m a broken light bulb he’ll get around to fixing one day and I say that’s fine, I can handle the break.

To prove it I acquire another tattoo, a slithery snake but then he tells me we’re good again, we’re OK his sick elderly relative has passed away.

And you know I’m glad about that, and then I’m guilty for being glad about that, and then I’m angry for having to feel like that, and in our next session he spots the snake curlicue across my hand (like it’s hard to miss) and he tells me: OK, Let Me Have It. So I do. I tell him I’m furious with my mum, the bitch left me when I was young... Oh Yeah, I def. let him have it. Right?

Tess Adams


Nothing Holy is Free So I prayed each and every night for a new doll She never showed up Until I learned the Lord works in mysterious ways So I stole her And asked Him to forgive me. and forgive me but it is written If you want to know when your earthquake is coming Ask a snake

(Tess Adams)



I would love to lift Yer Man’s pen, that fountainhead of gen with nib that pokes my itch, jab it into his sharp eye, hoke around in there a good bit in all the filth and shit that’s reflected. REFLECTING And by God I’ll scratch his fat pupil with toxic ink, clef words like hell and burn and stink. And holding space, wipe that concerned gawk off his face for just a wink. Then I won’t need to cry

So, you’re finally eyeballing your misplaced anger? He doesn’t even blink.

Tess Adams


Pardon me, my Lord, Gideon replied, but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?

Gideon’s Question

A pair of blathering geese this morning as I ambled along the shore dared to interrupt my reverie, scratching the silence with their yarns a mirror image of last spring reflecting…


You and me, strides matching, scuttling sand, chattering about this and that, and in the distance a curlew echoes the same question over and over and over and over and…

I wish you could be here.

Tess Adams


Biographical Note: Kerry Campion

Kerry was born in East Belfast in 1992 to a working class family and spent her entire life living in Northern Ireland. After graduating from Queen's University with a degree in English and Politics she decided to emigrate to Spain. Kerrry has been living in Valladolid for the past two years working as a teacher. In her fiction she tries to represent how her generation has responded to the peace process and how we are still trying to escape the ghosts of our country's past


Along the Lagan

(Kerry Campion)

Craig's black Labrador, ironically named Snowy, was clicking his claws against the wooden floor and sneezing with excitement when he saw nanny enter the living room: it was time for his walk around the Lagan towpath. In under five minutes he was saddled up with his red body lead and Craig and nanny were dandering away in the usual direction. The day was as Belfast as it could possibly be; the sun hadn't been spotted all day through the dense layer of clouds in the sky, it drizzled on and off and a faint icy breeze crept down the back of Craig's neck and made him shiver. "I told ye ya should've stuck yer scarf on," said nanny in her gravely voice, Craig pulled his coat tighter around his chest. They rounded the corner where the Presbyterian Church stood, but they didn't cross the road, "better stay on our side 'till the lights," she said. A four lane road ran parallel to them; two lanes running towards the city centre on their side, and two running away from it on their side, the lanes were divided in the middle by a thin strip of pavement. The Short Strand stood on the opposite side of the road, and Craig had never dared make his way into it in the entirety of his thirteen years. The terrace houses were all almost identical; four windows, PVC doors, sand-coloured bricks and grey cages on the windows. A huge security fence, painted black, enveloped its facade to give added protection if there was any 'trouble'. They crossed at the traffic lights and continued across the road at the junction and made their way to the footpath that ran beside the river. A giant flock of kingfishers were swooping in huge loops and slicing the heavy sky with their wings overhead. Snowy stopped for a wee and Craig leant against the cold wet handrail and tried to penetrate the river's murkiness with his eyes, but he couldn’t see anything underneath its shaky surface. "C'mon," nanny said, "we'll go on over to the titanic quarter, they're doin' it all up now," so they walked on. The two huge Harland and Wolff cranes rose into view as they approached the old shipyard. Two yellow giants, David & Goliath, watched 40

over every inch of the city from their high vantage point. Nanny let out a sigh, "aye, the years my daddy put in in that place," she said, looking towards the cranes. "I tell ya, see years ago, these streets were black with men every day coming back from the Harland and Wolff. My daddy would go out at seven o'clock in the morning, I'd make him a pack lunch with a wee jam piece and some cheese and he'd not be back until almost six o'clock at night. He worked hard so he did, and I tell you what, it was no easy job, left him stone deaf by the end. He'd come home black as yer boot and have to sit in the tin bath washing the rust off of him," she paused while Snowy had a sniff at the lamppost before raising his leg. Craig tried to imagine these streets black with men, caps on their heads, metallic lunch boxes tucked under their arms, but on a day like today when the streets were totally bald, he found it impossible. They walked on, "aye and he made buttons, all of them did. He always had some good craic though, with all the lads. There were things he didn't like about them, things they did and the likes of that, you know..." Craig's eyebrow cocked, "What things, nanny?" he said. "Sure they used to throw the wee Catholics in the river, he didn't like that kind of carry on." Craig's eyes strayed to the Lagan running alongside him and wondered if any of them were still down there.


Biographical Note: Gordon Ferris Gordon Ferris , is a 58 year old separated Dublin man living in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal on and off for the past thirty years. He has had poetry published in a Sligo magazine as well as A New Ulster


Reverie. Multi-coloured Marionettes dancing in a circle On the ceiling, room spinning round. Unable to move on the bed limbs weighted down by unseen forces people say this happens the second you wake from fitful dreams not wanting to leave this other realm you faintly recall yet miss so much.

Gordon Ferris

Winter View. The view from the night-time window Childlike in its simplicity Dark secret hidden world All purples and darkest green hue. A moist damp chill wind Enters the bones And pain's the feet. A slight imperceptible flake falls Melting on the window pane Steadily more, patchy on the path Then a blanket of white Dispersing the doom.

Gordon Ferris


Biographical Note: Noel King

Noel King was born and lives in Tralee, Co Kerry. In this his 50th year, he has reached his 1000th publication of a poem, haiku or short story in magazines and journals in thirty-nine countries. His poetry collections are published by Salmon: Prophesying the Past, (2010), The Stern Wave (2013) and Sons (2015). He has edited more than fifty books of work by others and was poetry editor ofRevival Literary Journal (Limerick Writers’ Centre) in 2012/13. A short story collection, The Key Signature & Other Stories will be published by Liberties Press in 2017.


Companions My wife’s pussy sleeps at the end of my bed, misses her mistress.

When I reach out in the morning to the empty hollow in her pillow puss knows and snuggles up.

We watch television together, get walks, I feed her, I feed myself; and shop.

My wife shopped for all of us, cut puss’s toenails, kept her fur gleaming. We miss her.

© Noel King



In the poetry evening I wait for you.

A shore sparks of rain, sheltering among trees that shake wet on my head

I wait.

Š Noel King


The Beagle

Swerving to avoid the Beagle in the road we figure he’s strayed from a pack. He ambles, cornering danger, thirsting freedom, nose searching first prey. But we don’t stop and next morning regret seeing the remains, that fine breed flattened on the road.

Noel King



Here, let me chase this editors lineage, what university she studied at, the festival’s she’s read from her poetry books at, the journals her own work has been seen in.

Then, let’s look at who is in this issue she has edited, find the patterns that indicate so and so also studied at such and such a Uni; the annals that said Wendy Hope met Robert Sisk at some festival or other.

That all the ‘famous’ poets had many of their first poems published in a small range of magazines. Then, we will see that yes, she is only interested in publishing pals.

© Noel King


After it

Post operation/ pre-counselling there was one.

She retorted I had two hands, where there were two breasts now it’s one, but husband I, still love, need her.

When I fumble for her under the sheets I go furthest and feel the right one with my left hand, let the nipple fondle with the tip of my thumb and softish movement with the back of my fingernail.

When she responds I kiss her, enter her, if she doesn’t which is more often than not, I roll over and take myself in the bathroom.

© Noel King 49

Biographical Note: Salim Mustafa

Salim Mustafa is a teacher in his own coaching institute located in New Delhi, India where he teaches literature. He have been privileged for publishing an article and recently Eber & Wein Publishing asked him to publish his poem “USELESS BEAUTY.�


Indifferent life

Being an autocrat, in the world Why? Being an abusive, while asked one Why? How long you go with all I want to know, that’s all So just be the day to live Let me sing oh joy to give ‘cose more than me pained Betrayed grieved they are Oh wake up! Let’s live! Oh wake up! Let’s live!

Of these walls, on those roads In the mid of market, Surrounded she with filthy loads Wanderer! Shameless! Names for No naps! Only cry! I’m blame for Couple of kicks, cursing dish by Eat every day, fighting never try Got to full stomach is the way Let the hunger, oh tears! Go away Bones fall weaker, parched rain Either grab or die, all in vein Oh wake up! Let’s live! Oh wake up! Let’s live! 51

Hey lad! Hey lad! Wake up lad! Hey lad! Oh wake up! Let’s live!

Stop being my protector To hell with your lecture Now, I’m the orator You call it your society Agendas yours, WHY? What seems so different? What sees so different? Tell me oh why, Is it love? You reveal Don’t try, cannot heal Have dug the graves Bury me, hide in caves Demented me! Lunatic me! Crazy too! C’mon stop me, Hey! Dare me!

Oh wake up! Let’s live! Just rise up! Let’s live!

Salim Mustafa 52

Biographical Note: Matthew Duggan Born Bristol 1971, Matthew’s poems have appeared in Prole, The Journal, The Dawntreader, Black Light Engine Room, Winner of the erbacce prize for poetry 2015, Winner of Into the Void Poetry Prize, his new chapbook Metropolis is now available through Hunting Raven Press



We are selling the metal that kills so we can afford the spoons that feed our children; then killing them with the metal that we’ve just sold feeding them with the blood on the spoons from happy meals.

We place them in the hands of our enemy How far into this storm must we walk before we feel the cold? preferring the shine of killing steel that glinting blue in falling sky than the breath with flesh applied – prescribing to gain from the metals of subtraction.

The daylight would be our undoing eyes were transfixed by computer generated handshakes division of the heart and soul the lies are the truths of man’s inked ruin where only smoke rings travel along carpets like tiny drunken mice.

We are selling the metal that kills So we can afford the spoons that feed our children.

Matthew Duggan


The Year All The Stars Fell From The Sky

I watched him float before he could swim Climbing his golden ladder reaching for the plastic stars; Sliding down hurtled by the scam that he had signed himself up for -

the bright lights had dazzled yet the lights that he expected had been turned off some years ago; He’ll never reach the stars as this year is the year all the stars fell from the sky .

I watched him from afar; becoming even more of a bore than the people he liked to condemn I offered him a helping hand he just took a bite out the bone of my middle finger.

I watched him float before he could swim While I drifted by him on the surface – swimming against the tide.

Matthew Duggan 55

HOMECOMING Sunflowers grow inside the foot of a children’s slide in daylight a chalk window fades into black cement; the junction a swerving ruin where bluebells grow on passenger seats like pin cushions flowering in spring. She walked the cycle path where the rainbow turned left – tenderness folded on young cheeks, when telephone boxes had queues; Pockets were lined with a fifty pence piece.

If my heart beat rushed a thousand beats when looking into the eyes of my first love, would my heart beat as fast again? could those memories long estranged suddenly reappear in my sleep, I, lost in her eyes then - remembered her;

How might I feel to see her once again? when autumn is the season that brings her sickness back to me Where the sound of corrugated metals scraping together echoed her voice where we once kissed and I couldn’t move;

Paused at the perfect moment and the softest touch Close to the deep blue school railings; now those voices from the chocolate factory have slowly disappeared – as did we.

Matthew Duggan


Bella Ciao

We were two broken stars, only ever able to fix one another when we heard each other’s breath; the electricity touched the glow within our flesh releasing an ancient and dormant attraction, that would always remain. We embraced these depths a love that never quite died our flame simmering for decades then suddenly the gasoline was lite - As two broken stars reunited like their breaths knew that on the night they would meet a stolen kiss would be returned as both broken stars became one once again.

Matthew Duggan 57

The Girl At The Vaporetto Stop

Standing back from the gathering crowd flamed turquoise water glistening, cardboard clock swings on rialto jetty,

Towers feeling the swing of water cigarette smoke drifting - bending in-between the afternoon sips - Aperol spritz.

Answering her phone skin the texture and beauty as Autumn brown - yet delicately within a moment smeared with the tear lines on a tanned frow;,

Her heart sliced with the news. The worst sights that move this cold old heart of mine are seeing such a beautiful girl at the Vaporetto stop being torn apart; Inside.

Each compartment of her heart opened - stretched out within each vessel that beats; Between memory and part - each number inked like blood pools in heat.

Matthew Duggan 58

Biographical Note: Colin Honnor

Colin Honnor runs in the heart of the Cotswolds a fine arts press whose work is in major UK collections. He formerly edited internationally acclaimed Poetry and Audience.


Creation Notes Then it is said I lacked humour, made This semaphore of bone which stalked away to make division discord in the great bronze bell sunk into clay and withdrew, silent its clay caught in the hawks’ claw ,the rook’s eye these bloodied myths and legends lie theirresidue leach lead and marble in the silted waters, the entablature man makes the dammed stream in which twig and clawed beam rots the salmon leap, the black otter with the unlridled clays these men hunt and poke into the blood and the bloodied pains release by the blent tides signal husks and hulls stranded among this sundered bone in the whale's echo the seas hooked stones: Then aware step to the void And down down to the scree that cuts and scars The fells and the tumbling becks cartwheel Above me a heaven of water And stone The earth is no mine alone But sky of scree and heather That is this surgeon of false weather delivering cold blade. (Colin Honnor) 60

Dresdener Amen Rebuild the blank stare If the revolution becomes raze The Rasthaus, the Rechtenberg the StaatsMuseum brood ice flanged Above the Spee Frederick, Bismark Chased in oak with oak blade concrete pours itself to carve hakkenkreuz the pine facades, The symbol of the laughing child laughing child yoke broke one lost Reich’s miraculous mark of the word, welts swollen geist to savour soul carves the heart's pattern from material Scent the deep umber spiced streets of pigs. Where Schmidt the Laughing Spy pensioned for services receives the mind imprisoned in lunar influence Where you are guest to this synthesis Red black federes salvage the Marshall the Prussian columns of the DeutscheBank the Bundesrecht dwarves the concrete books Goethe's life of 'erotic simplicity' tinkles in fairy lights across the birch maze curators of a perpetual exhibition Beuy's skins fur and lard totemic icon-sable futures inspire Masurian dances will the lumpen progenitors of Willenberg carbon glitters from the frozen skull as the ice storm heats their tundra browns . Der Rot Sturmers rootle among the bins for cut-ups to nail to the Nord Kirche's door in leather flak-bombardier their grandfathers wore Heine's lumen blows from der Nord Zee unlicensed Meinhof tissues seal in Keifer-greiss.

(Colin Honnor) 61

Memory of the Aegean Where the oak tree, quercus, strikes against the fallen cloud Drowned in the Aegean, myths beckon they are surprised to see their enemy slink away black locusts hunched over their oars Rustle music on the dew filled air dying cicadas tapping their broken strings or pursue a bail of flaming straw down earthquake silent ruins the fire helmet vanishing, leaves the quiet city The horses of the sea have swallowed their manes and tails the waves kiss dawn into day, laving their wounds where you come twenty six centuries later, to Akrotiri nothing move among the olive-groves, the low silvering waves fresh rolling murmer as they lap the consciousness envelop and fold in other memories of the Aegean as the stream praises its ore, panning itself for silver time, transcendent time, conflates these images; the seafaring king, ring stone, arrow head the painful reproach of a prig’s tossed head is supine infidderence; the malignant jibe discharged no stronger than a soft feather infidel's blood washed in the market place.


(Colin Honnor)


A Fen Mist Sometimes this memory is a false note, a ghost note played on light, played on the waking ghost you peering through the door, im going out now black haired efflorescence of spangled light bringing your fragile twilit presence, though you are and are not here, to step into a cool lit interior, before anyone has arranged the flowers Sometimes fireflies hovering on the fen will bring your fragile twilit ghost crossing the rope bridge between then and now -- without a word, or a whisper of form or name -you step acros the bridge of yourself -- for though your business was with words; your shaped-to-art's always pristine vision through your words unhindered, lost, remain; some will have read, will have heard. Without a name, places become islands, houses your inventions, that whorled shell amplifies circled, circumstantial, in circumference of dance of what the body wills before it yields to circumstance leaving no evidence save these words in triumph of nothing, even a sweat-dewed trance to resolve in sunlight treetops' immanence and since words were your business, no art to break this history will sift your hourglass' broken thorax, fabricant torso contrived by Parian dealers from Miletus echoes affective madness, as fancy conquers reason. Prevario prevail on Virgilian echoes proclaim cowled epigrams, leaching brick, a stream discloses the martyrs voice confessing bad faith in echoed Anathasian seepages while modal sophists seek to prove principe monist of a First Cause on pulses that pharmacopoiea sustains. Nature uncomprehending, blanks its hard bone lobe grinding repeated as Bacon's bronze head splits, always fixed in phrase and transience. Moon's shoulder's bare, gleams whiter than stars 63

where cities of the valley are milk-coloured stone. And since word's that are light or heavy, soft or hard as they inscribe their own hold on our world with their corpus of obsessions, delusions, levigations at Saviour's Chapel's Three Bridges, at Honddu the Capel stream breaks from the Roebuck Well to its cascade sings now here now there, its glissade in the dumbshow of its noteless dissonance unheard though unnotated sprezzatura of igneous echoes falcon chasing dove or firefly cascando in tessitura from tympani of the stones. igneous echoes Echo: Oh! Your falcon ghost on stairs that yield no dust to pattern moves of light from gold to amber watched each room echo seen from flagstones rose garden, stirs embers, stirs old stones among empty windows where young men leaping scratched their Latin tags decus deum tumanates deorum magis Among Seven Springs confluence; a pool becomes the brick and stone city of angels those gleaming spires of stones the colour of suns become the Thames under its crabbed Virgilian epigram, tags cribbed in epigram of an attitude, a name, as a delusion conjures an age - you over bouef en daube or steak tartare at Jo Allan's - home cooking, plain sewing - which others defined as the soul, piquant - of genius locii, a time to sauce the spirit with its aloes of these selva oscura; as I was lost in Mittel middle land in recontrition for each unfinished anti-strophe and saw your white throat above the lace at your neck framed by black curls. Harvest the sunlight with your eyes and hair as hare's flamenco tramples the warmer grasses sun on the parkland weaving the blanched grasses a poke to shade and shield the flints of your frigid eyes 64

as a spirit is cribbed from cold Perugian stele in pan-a-cotta taps of the mason's hammer the dribbled bronze equestrienne's Borgia topee - the bitter trope: turn and she is gone her soul is a watch glass, breathed-on - the watcher stabs his heel against the root her laughter fading into the floodwaters. V Poor little 'Niota - strews buttons, cowries, dice for the chance - the troubadour song, the dance, the sunburnt breasts and thighs the grin amongst broken stones - the shadow of song would he do that, jet away great architect of art do you believe the santos will save you? broken shells ground underfoot neither sew nor pluck the lilies trumpet - the shadow the song the dead not a play of dice VI The Liberty cashmere shawl, the Medici print the medium trance of laughter over bone china discoursing Rodmell ware when winter storms had planed the Downs and Ouse swelled chuckling to Newhaven "and since our business was with words" --the gurgling floods race through, brine, brackish until weir's plainsong chants its choirs the floods tidal spirit of the waters drowns pier, culvert, the postman's house abandoned to new lakes, whole streams vanish in new springs, mirror-fields and cities transformed to newer pattern shimmer through rainbow, drizzle shadow illuminated gold leaf on text from Severn Springs, sords crabbed 65

Virgilian echoes from the brick lined pool dog latin fountain sunk to muddy puddle shapes hills where cities of Thames and Severn are transformed into another pattern. VII From Clerkenwell and into Highgate Woods the zephyr backs into its combed weather cock sun light revealing this copper gold mu mi breath of the hill's currycombed mane and tail as hills of horses snort against mirror mere open their eyes on lashed winged crosswires their visions are green clouds, blue earth imagined in their dreams of endless fields braided lash, kicking their open stalls to gallop and become unicorns. VIII Until you look and see a ruin has grown roof and windows You loved Aeneas - also your great Uncle who built a whole city of lies from whom you gained a gift, not life oyster shucks white in Key West's glare as numbered typhoons grow to hurricane, fame deterrent cowards pressing their suit -- Dido's stony demeanour; flint and felspar from which sparks a silence, cold as marble uncomforted by the shades you must return to.

(Colin Honnor)


M Tornino’s Voyage I scapular light on cell walls become hour glass, sundial clock hands from bar ot bar counting time, counting M la Teste’s Escape & Morning Coffee Soiree You make more mole moue quests frees forests you soul but you will hardly find it here where you will render your account to see if you are in the red or black calling the auditors to verify these edacities of your overdrafts as these are true accounts to certify to value everything you hoarded as zero, for this billionaire who has affixed his seal of air signing his watery signature and issues as gilt edge, false paper (to show the empty scales reveal)) weigh in l'esprit d'escalier to balance your debt to zero banker where you have striven to write off to run his taxi mortaging pension funds evading scrutiny by any regulator with this he sank into that boiling pulp of bank notes stewing green and sepia scum this debtor soul so sanctified this corporeal, weighted in the earth this stream of stars, cleansing creditor it is this burning ledger of the cancelled heart. Approaches with the folded Times anachronistic bowler hat briefcase --And is the gift ready? It is. He sits and pours his coffee as he cocks his cup, Teste strikes his face his nose gushes. Then, Good Lord, a policeman arrives but sees that all is well. M. Teste rises to leave Fonctionnaire bleeds, nips his bloodied nose Mr Teste if you please, I am the banker to these names And, please, Damoto and Cochylea 67

hold out for me this laissez passer. Thank you. I have your reward in this soiled envelope. The notes crackle, money the necessary eagle ~who daily gnaws my liver, grows sleek, robust as I am pale, emaciated Come, Damoto, who shall now rebuild this devastated city of the seas come who is hidden from his benefactor Cochylea who is deaf to your craven pleas M Teste’s fortune is your eagle he has no match with which to light his way eagle’s claw on rock sparks the folded paper a torch of the debt Damoto does not create to the unknown banker he cannot redeem his pledge, uncancelled; Cochylea, seek in vain for the uninked stamp and unknown Damoto whose hidden Teste must remain... Ideal City, teeming with consciousness, excellencies inspire of ash excellent butter, the sacred fire also wait for the lake to clear wait for the shelving rock to dry at low tide reek of seabirds wait and see, for you are here to see what is to be, has been and is to come is not your concern or cause of action between the moment of dream and waking choiceless awareness of what is not and karma is duty not that which karma brings even and equal mind this is excellent butter the cloud does not know nor the master its hammer shiva ganga becomes ganges from shiva’s hair hiding in shiva’s hair shiva’s hair hides in shiva’s hair himavart, snow-peak, the world cockroach and beetle 68

consume garbage the left handed way and the right handed way the paths cross and divide ganges your suttee pyres and chanted Buddhist prayers dried pulses rattle incredible, inconsolable incomprehensible, an amulet in base metal and fire too wait for the lake to dew wait for the shelving rocks to dry for low tide to show starfish, brittle limbed reek of algae and weed wait and see for you are here to see what is to be, has been is to come is not your cause nor concern of action between each moment of dream and waking the choiceless awareness of what is not as karma is duty not what karma brings even and equal mind anomalous mysticism experience analogue of the field of battle whose distant thunder approaches the weeping tree your heart in the glare suppressions of l’esprit l’escalier mock the night within their failures Tom misses an arm but his face is renewed with muscles and tissues from thigh and buttock the stricken surgeon stitches and sutures savage sanguine trunk grows from chin to nose and becomes Elephant Man so the trunk is divided to clothe the blistered bone 69

and Tom is a new Tom Tom in many ways unlike himself. 3 he turns the ship about, her helm makes way on the larboard tack she answers to rudder and mainsheet as on stone quays the shavings curl from plane the keels and ribs sweet pine sweats as native hand passes sheet to stern sheets Les Minquiers shelve to black volcanis plateaux here a lighthouse stalks bright beam broken water, whitecaps race, pursuit the glass was fading, her sea trial from shelf to tidewater the forest is the sea the sea is the forest slowly beomes another issue, edition, state of itself with variant readings obscures the text conscious only of this throbbing pulse sings and the washed soul sets out between wave and wave trough and trough crest and crest of the sea of consciousness thought leads to decision decision to action, inaction desire to injure or insult desire to adulation adulteration corrupted sea slugs sea-things 4 either the illusion of the thing or the will of its being here either the potry of experience or the idea of its dissolving solving into a puzzle the rooted tentacles nourish 70

tracing the river to its source in the high hills clearly contemplates its waterfall song as millions bathe and burn in its waters on its banks and whatever is being has not yet become, is not yet thought of memory, of imagination this is the way of the imaguination for the ends of the earth 5 and circle circling consciousness with no save willpower holding the calculations in check on the night express to Limoges the grandes vitesse to the South the broken nail in the wall or tree bark spreads black-brown rust crown the petrified toad wedged in a yew cruck mysticism and observance, the death of a toad magic brilliants of gold brow and eye mystic with book stacks still will fill reason with desire for devotion which is lost at the instant of the closing door at the onset of heart’s winter encumbered with spray and branch green shoots of froth, spume the scapegoat vanishes the left hand and the right hand ascent and descent as the debris of houses, ploughed into the ocean buried patterns of Hayle and Poole in titanitc overtures orchestrate clang aloud serial broken cadencing’s gamelin hymn to the clay the raider’s debris unearthed by the universal archeaologist to be reassembled, patterned by connoisseurs of chaos the child with hand on button 6 With the soft pulse’s drum with the broken heart’s throb 71

with the ranked veins and arteries the marching band of thought advance over familiar ground to outflank and surprise, in re-entrant sap, foxhole, rank upon rank to a solitary pounding of blood’s reveille the brutal and licentious soldiery, this fallen eagle has consumed his sharp beak of insistence guts their bearing eviscerates blague with the sharp sword of truth the shining wing’s blow dulls their preening where his image multiplies stamps his bearing printed his proclamations of screech and caw they climb consume, melt, vanish at the iron bridge, the wooden lock their pewter’s as his godless materials a reliquary in a chantry wijndow thel ight caressing welsh stone on face incriminates with mortal fire on face and hand with mental fire you make a quest the this forest to your soul but you will hardly find your way there as you will render your account to see if you are in black or red calling on auditor to verify and certify your accountas true to value every hoarded thing as zero for the billionaire who has affixed his seal of air and signed his watery signature who issues, as gilt-edged, false paper to weigh up in these scales balance wher you have sought to have written this debt to zero or to banker where you have sought to have written off this debtor to the unsanctified eternal Administrator, who effects you, bankrupt allots a nominla sum in each accrual 72

this corporeal, weighted in earth this stream of stars cleansing your creditor this burning ledger of the cancelled heart. the petrol station pump smiles a copulative clock face its one elongated arm hosing like an elephant’s trunk its elephant’s trunk one arm its greasy hand spillling spirit as slates drop from rooftree blue bullets and drum drums red in the dusk fissuring occlusive lapse rates with abrective reactions of nerves while the insect orchestra lays down its instrument and switches off the River darkens on the muds it must consume, digesting, evacuating both the blue and the white a great thumbprint whorls the green each grass blade sharpened to quiver the bermed sculpture glarers downhill neither unthinkling, nor unseeing a chalk stone, a chalk mark a man standing stone petrified, white cloud, blue dream, silvers its denouement, frost notes.

(Colin Honnor)


Biographical Note: Daniela Voicu Daniela Voicu is a Romanian poet and painter. Her poems, interviews and articles have been published in more than 50 jurnales and magazines Agero Stuttgart, New York Magazine, Maintenant 7, Poetic Diversity, Pirene’s Fountain, Romanian Pages in New Zeeland, Pheonix Mission and much more. In various anthologies, including Tears of Ink, The Poetry of War and Peace, Words on the Winds of Change, Just a Dream and Reflections on a Blue Planet etc. And her poetry collections include, Poems of Angels (2006), Blue in Vitro (2012), Surfing Silence (2012), Windows Without Dreams (2012), Sky Hands (2013) and Vulnerable Breeze (2013) Sunset and Love ( 2013), Plan for seduction(2014), Tatto Time* Love in Braille (2015). In 2009, she founded the international journal of culture and literature, Cuib Nest Nido; and in 2011 she founded the international poetry festival of music and contemporary art, The Art of Being Human and poetry group with the same name. She edited in 2013-2015, 15 volumes of The art of being human International Poetry Anthology in English and in Romanian, published in Canada. Since 2009, she has been a member of the Writers' League of Romania.


I don't! (a night butterfly caught me in his fist and keeps me damn tight) Hey, you butterfly! I am not GPS to announce you: over 100 words you will be loved or closed road... you must learn to fly alone. has not been having invented yet the GPS oracle) I am the blind in your fist, tonight… Do not go near the any light for I have blinded of 3 Reasons: when I closed my dreams, like tired eyelids of poems; I blinded by the old-age and the sun... You know, that blindness belongs to us, we are all guilty... (and yes, over 300 steps of words a flight and a return on the ground you will be loved) Open your fist and tell me: Fly blind-man, fly! (I cannot fly anymore) ©danielavoicu2017

The woman forgotten between the two worlds walks on a border of sky It may sometimes smile when transparent butterflies surround them her forehead... Otherwise, she thank you for so much peace of mind… ©danielavoicu2017


I am the woman with the long hair until the sunset where grow the poppies from the sky-tears too sad for so many missed life… ©danielavoicu2017

Windows without shadows share the sadness, the recesses of the silence seconds without face nude images without time… Women without face share the pain, love without dreams rain-memories barefooted seasons without lovers… How many seasons have passed? ©danielavoicu2017


Biographical Note: Ellie Rose McKee Ellie has been writing poetry and short stories since primary school and blog posts for ten years, since attending university in Lincoln. She lives in Belfast with her husband and spends her non-writing time enjoying art, photography, and animals. .


Lady and the Lake

Kira was sick of stories. Sick of all the rumors, and tales the boys would bring back from hunting and camping trips that she’d never been allowed to go on. Walking down to the water’s edge, she didn’t see what all the fuss was about. Everyone said the lake was dangerous, but she didn’t believe in creatures that hid in the deep. At least, that’s what she told herself. And it better be true, because her mother would likely murder her if she ever turned up dead. Thinking better of her solo adventure, she began to turn back towards the dirt road that led to town, except something stopped her. A feeling. Not eerie, or anything, just… different. “Hello?” she called, regretting it as soon as she did. Well, if she’d already gone and announced herself – either potentially scaring something off, or confirming to it her knowledge of its presence – she might as well continue. Or so she told herself. “Is someone there?” Two lights blinked in the water and, after a moment, Kira realized they were eyes. There was something looking at her – no, not a thing, another girl. She had blinked as she nodded her head. Kira swallowed. “Uh, hi.” The girl in the lake regarded her, not moving again. “Umm…” Kira muttered, shifting her feet in the dirt. “Should I go? I’m guessing you don’t wanna be bothered.” “Why did you come?” asked the lake girl. Her voice was clear and calm, like a cloudless night. Like tonight, Kira thought to herself. “The stars,” she found herself saying. “It’s better to see them out here, without light pollution from the town.” The lake girl blinked again, making Kira’s stance sag a bit in relief. She’d have to stop calling that. It seemed rude, even in her own head. “My name’s Kira,” she said, “What’s yours?” The lake girl shrugged. “I have many names.” 78

“Uh. Okay,” said Kira, involuntarily tensing up again. “So…” “Usually,” said the lake girl – who was really more of a lake teenager, now Kira thought about it – “I get a new name every time I meet a new person.” “Okay,” Kira said again, resisting the urge to babble and instead leaving room for the lake lady to talk. Yeah, lake lady, that sounded nice. “What do your tribe call me?” lake lady asked. “Oh,” Kira looked up, and then to the side, “I… uh.” “Tell me,” lake lady insisted. It wasn’t a demand or anything, but Kira felt compelled to tell the truth. “You might not like it,” she said, to which lake lady blinked. “They, uh, they call you the she-beast.” “She-beast?” lake lady repeated, smiling. Her smile was luminous in the night. It drew Kira closer. Lake lady shook her head, as if looking at a small child who had just decorated their clothing with soup. “She-beast indeed!” A small laugh escaped Kira and she paused, unsure whether lady would take it the wrong way. She was still smiling at her, though, and her eyes were kind. Reassured, Kira knelt at the lake’s edge and dipped in the tips of her fingers. Sighing, she asked, “Do you ever get lonely?” Lady’s smile turned sad, and she looked away. “Sorry,” said Kira. “I can still go, if you want?” “It’s okay,” Lady replied. “It’s just been so long since anyone talked to me. No one ever asks how I am.” Kira frowned. “But the guys who talk about you. They say they see you all the time.” Lady frowned, too, but it was a different expression on her face. It almost looked angry. “Just because they see me, doesn’t mean they care!” she snapped. Kira blinked in shock. She felt the need to defend her tribespeople, though heavens knew why, after how badly they’d ostracized even her. Taking her hand from the water and leaning back, Kira said, “You try to lure them in – the ones who can’t swim. You want to cause mayhem, and death!” 79

Suddenly, she found herself standing. Shouting. She didn’t know where the anger had come from, just that it was there, and it was big. Kira half expected Lady to throw up her arms and splash away, but instead she just looked hurt. If Kira didn’t know any better, she’d think Lady was about to cry. But she did know better, right? “Lady?” she questioned, her voice small – full of repentance for her outburst. “Those…” she swallowed. “Those stories aren’t true, are they?” It was a long moment before Lady replied. Kira thought maybe she wasn’t going to but, eventually, she said, “They don’t like it, that I don’t want them. They’re interested in me, then get mad when I don’t want to call them to be with me – trick or not.” A fat tear ran down her cheek, and it shimmered in the moonlight. Kira pretended not to see it. “Sorry,” she whispered into the breeze. Then, looking back at Lady, she asked, “You don’t like humans, then?” “I don’t like boys,” Lady answered, pointedly. “Oh,” said Kira. “Er, right. You, um… Men? You like men? ‘Cause they don't do or say stupid things, right?” Again, she had no idea why she was determined to go down this line of conversation, but it compelled her deeply. Almost as deeply as Lady was laughing. “No,” she said, when she stopped. Kira nodded. Of course she’d known what she’d meant all along, but you can’t assume. She knew that, too. She had to be sure. “So…” she began, tempted to kneel by the water once more. “Lady,” said Lady. “That’s a nice name. I like it.” Kira smiled at her, giving into her desire and leaning down to untie her shoes then paddling her feet in the shallows. “It’s nice here,” she said. Lady blinked in agreement. “It gets...” she began to say. “Lonely,” Kira finished for her. “Yeah,” she blinked.


Emboldened by her sadness for her new friend, Kira found herself unbuttoning her shirt, and rolling her jeans up. “What are you doing?” asked Lady, her head tilting. Kira shrugged. “I thought I’d join you. If…” she looked at her intently. “If that’s okay?” At first, Lady just stared blankly back at her. Then she blinked, and nodded. Finally, her smile returned, brighter than before. “I’d like that,” she said, reaching out a hand.

(Ellie Rose McKee)


If you fancy submitting something but haven’t done so yet, or if you would like to send us some further examples of your work, here are our submission guidelines: SUBMISSIONS NB – All artwork must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Indecent and/or offensive images will not be published, and anyone found to be in breach of this will be reported to the police. Images must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Please include your name, contact details, and a short biography. You are welcome to include a photograph of yourself – this may be in colour or black and white. We cannot be responsible for the loss of or damage to any material that is sent to us, so please send copies as opposed to originals. Images may be resized in order to fit “On the Wall”. This is purely for practicality. E-mail all submissions to: and title your message as follows: (Type of work here) submitted to “A New Ulster” (name of writer/artist here); or for younger contributors: “Letters to the Alley Cats” (name of contributor/parent or guardian here). Letters, reviews and other communications such as Tweets will be published in “Round the Back”. Please note that submissions may be edited. All copyright remains with the original author/artist, and no infringement is intended. These guidelines make sorting through all of our submissions a much simpler task, allowing us to spend more of our time working on getting each new edition out!



April a season of rebirth and changeable weather. Well, that’s just about it from us for this edition everyone. Thanks again to all of the artists who submitted their work to be presented “On the Wall”. As ever, if you didn’t make it into this edition, don’t despair! Chances are that your submission arrived just too late to be included this time. Check out future editions of “A New Ulster” to see your work showcased “On the Wall”.


We continue to provide a platform for poets and artists around the world we want to offer our thanks to the following for their financial support Richard Halperin, John Grady, P.W. Bridgman, Bridie Breen, John Byrne, Arthur Broomfield, Silva Merjanin, Orla McAlinden, Michael Whelan, Sharon Donnell, Damien Smyth, Arthur Harrier, Maire Morrissey Cummins, Alistair Graham, Strider Marcus Jones Our anthologies


More Micks than Dicks a Beckettian novel in three parts by Peter O’Neill it starts with the literary creation of White a Beckettian scholar on his way to give a lecture to say anymore would be to give away elements of the novel. White’s sections turn up several times and act as a connective tissue between the various essays and poems. There are a mix of poems and essays throughout which deal with Beckett and one of his obsessions Heraclitus of Ephesus.

Heraclitus was a philosopher whose work appealed to Beckett especially the structure of his work which was broken into three elements or themes a concept which Beckett would use as would Peter O’Neill in this book. The issue with Heraclitus’ work is the few remaining fragments don’t seem to fit together in any particular order thus making it problematic for scholars to contemplate an issue which Beckett would infuse into his own work.

The blindness of men is a theme within Heraclitus’s work, Beckett’s work and to an extent one of the first phases within this book. The main elemental aspect within his work is fire as well as the functioning of opposites a concept sometimes found in Beckett’s work and several of Peter’s poems deal with these themes as well.

My experiences with Beckett was primarily through studying theatre of the absurd often on a first read the philosophical concepts buried within his work can be difficult to read but they form the basis of many of his plays as well as his works. The title More Micks than Dicks is a play on Beckett’s More Pricks than Kicks published in 1934 which itself was a collection of short prose and extracts from other works.

As a homage to Beckett and Heraclitus the novel works well however its complexity may put the casual reader off. Fans of Beckett and philosophy will get a great deal out of the overall work and the essays in particular will give the reader a great deal to think about. Finally it is an excellent example of modernist writing and is a proud testament to Irish modernism which Beckett was a promoter off. The book should be available in most bookstores and online from Amazon.

Amos Greig


The Alleycats’ Round The Back Easter Eggstravaganza!

We have a Baker’s Dozen of paperback books to give away to one lucky reader. All of the titles are by indie authors, and with this much variety, there’s bound to be something to appeal to everyone. Titles are as follows: Crafting With Lacey (Lacey Lane); The Sisters (Nadine Matheson); The Seventh Magpie (Nancy Chase); Ashes Upon The Snow (Carroll C. Martin); The Legend of Graymyrh – Complete Edition (E.V. Greig); In the Canyons of Shadow and Light (Emily Donoho); Finis. (Angélique Jamail); The Cunning Woman's Cup (Sue Hewitt); and Bird Bright Shadows Books 1 – 5 (E.V. Greig).

To be in with a chance of winning, simply e-mail us with your name – no trick questions, no riddles three, it really is the luck of the draw! Title your e-mail using the Subject Line “Baker’s Dozen” and send to The closing date for all entries is Sunday 30th April 2017. The winner will be selected at random, after which we’ll e-mail them to ask for a valid postal address to send them their prize.

LAPWING PUBLICATIONS RECENT and NEW TITLES 978-1-909252-35-6 London A Poem in Ten Parts Daniel C. Bristow 978-1-909252-36-3 Clay x Niall McGrath 978-1-909252-37-0 Red Hill x Peter Branson 978-1-909252-38-7 Throats Full of Graves x Gillian Prew 978-1-909252-39-4 Entwined Waters x Jude Mukoro 978-1-909252-40-0 A Long Way to Fall x Andy Humphrey 978-1-909252-41-7 words to a peace lily at the gates of morning x Martin J. Byrne 978-1-909252-42-4 Red Roots - Orange Sky x Csilla Toldy 978-1-909252-43-1 At Last: No More Christmas in London x Bart Sonck 978-1-909252-44-8 Shreds of Pink Lace x Eliza Dear 978-1-909252-45-5 Valentines for Barbara 1943 - 2011 x J.C.Ireson 978-1-909252-46-2 The New Accord x Paul Laughlin 978-1-909252-47-9 Carrigoona Burns x Rosy Wilson 978-1-909252-48-6 The Beginnings of Trees x Geraldine Paine 978-1-909252-49-3 Landed x Will Daunt 978-1-909252-50-9 After August x Martin J. Byrne 978-1-909252-51-6 Of Dead Silences x Michael McAloran 978-1-909252-52-3 Cycles x Christine Murray 978-1-909252-53-0 Three Primes x Kelly Creighton 978-1-909252-54-7 Doji:A Blunder x Colin Dardis 978-1-909252-55-4 Echo Fields x Rose Moran RSM 978-1-909252-56-1 The Scattering Lawns x Margaret Galvin 978-1-909252-57-8 Sea Journey x Martin Egan 978-1-909252-58-5 A Famous Flower x Paul Wickham 978-1-909252-59-2 Adagios on Re – Adagios en Re x John Gohorry 978-1-909252-60-8 Remembered Bliss x Dom Sebastian Moore O.S.B 978-1-909252-61-5 Ightermurragh in the Rain x Gillian Somerville-Large 978-1-909252-62-2 Beethoven in Vienna x Michael O'Sullivan 978-1-909252-63-9 Jazz Time x Seán Street 978-1-909252-64-6 Bittersweet Seventeens x Rosie Johnston 978-1-909252-65-3 Small Stones for Bromley x Harry Owen 978-1-909252-66-0 The Elm Tree x Peter O'Neill 978-1-909252-67-7 The Naming of Things Against the Dark and The Lane x C.P. Stewart More can be found at All titles £10.00 per paper copy or in PDF format £5.00 for 4 titles. In PDF format £5.00 for 4 titles.

Anu 55 / A New Ulster  

The April edition of A New Ulster featuring the works of Orla Fay, Luke C Campbell, Byron Beynon, Neil Slevin, Tess Adams, Kerry Campion, Go...