We Will Not Wander More – Louise Wilford


We will not wander more. No lotus-blossom keeps

us in our seats, but just the glitter on the wall that seeps


into our souls. We love the soothing lullabies of lies

and loss that roll like waves of smoke across our eyes.


These padded gondolas will rest our limbs. Our long

hallucinations glow like pearls. Here sounds our final song. 


The dying skeletons of ships float by above,

but here we rest, below – bereft of love.


The sob of marriage split, of love betrayed,

of feuds and frauds and factions – all displayed


in widescreen, stretching thought just broad and high

enough for skimpy hearts and those who’re wide of eye.



unnamed (2)Yorkshirewoman Louise Wilford is an English teacher and examiner. She has had around 60 poems and short stories published in magazines including Popshot, Pushing Out The Boat and Agenda, and has won or been shortlisted for several competitions. She is currently writing a children’s fantasy novel.


Door – Udit Mahalingam


The word of a lover.

It is the word of a hinge

That creaks to the sound

Of its own turning.

Hoarse and coarse.

It loves only to lie.

Lie and smile.


But, what is a door?

The secluded path

To the past?

A Jetstream of memories…

For me, it’s the way

That leads to a new beginning.

A new face. A new time.

A new lie? A new smile?



20170114_123337000_iOSUdit Mahalingam is a teenage poet, whose works have appeared in publications such as ‘Hebe’ and ‘BUSTA RHYME: North West Voices. He was a commended winner in the 2017 Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award. Apart from reading whatever he can get his hands on, Udit volunteers at his local library, swims, plays tennis and sometimes over-watches his favourite television shows. He hopes to study English at degree level.

Slow Clapping – Richard King Perkins II


It would be an untrue kindness

to say it started innocently enough


when we both knew otherwise.


I asked you to walk with me

to the side of the building

hidden by shadow and irregular trees


where we could speak freely

about dandelions and reverse-image suns.


As intended, the conversation ended

and the sidelong glances

into distance and unlit corners began


and we became exciting people once again;

nearly glorious


but from the moment we caught our breath

there was a redefining;


a subtle sickness of stomach,

the ebb of coherence


so that even our false selves

had lost whatever fragment of innocence

that might still have remained.


And yet,

because we belonged to no one indefinitely


there was a steadying, a recovery,

liars made well by ill-given pardons


our pathetic espousals applauded

by the rhythmic clapping

of lime gloves in an artificial darkness.


rkpiiRichard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart, Best of the Net and Best of the Web nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.