Poetry by Samuel Strathman : Instability & Going Backwards


keep the sound out

keep your hands to yourself

let me think on my own


loneliness does not

faze me at all

companionship is the

root of all my problems


wait for me to come to you

or else I will shatter at your feet




caffeine lacks its usual potency

I am out of my body

a hollow chalky sound

bouncing off a long hallway

stumbling further and further from

where i belong

after you left

I fell into a sinkhole

where i started beating

myself up over losing you


Twitter: @_strathman

Samuel Strathman is a Jewish/Canadian poet, author, and educator who was diagnosed with a non-verbal learning disability at the age of seven.  Some of his poems have appeared in Half a Grapefruit Magazine, Montreal Writes, Peeking Cat Poetry, and Anti-Heroin Chic, with more to come later this year.  His book “The Radical Dreams” became available on Amazon back in April of 2018.  He lives in Toronto, Ontario

Poetry by John Ogunlade : An Eternal Home, Darkest Hour, It Can Erupt

An Eternal Home

A man on the sick bed of separation,
A talking earth lies there for eternal refinery.
His speech is a shooting star from a falling sky–
Pondering listening ears hard for his depart–
Invoking tears on bystanders-a gully of feelings.
His wishes lies on his mortal lip–
To leave companion unrests weaken veins–
Whose flow of blood appointed limited time.
Companions–an onlooker of a passenger–
All helpless watching him going to an eternal world.


His mind wanders about,

trying to clutch what makes him internally

but it seems the grip has delved into nothingness.

He is a
shard of broken mirror.

The thought of his late wife

has made his
feeble hands look like a cataract of gore,

from pummels and strewn
of mirror reflecting his awkward self.

Overwhelming sounds aren’t
swallowed in the thin air.

Sounds are the clattering of plates, the
thudding of pots and the weeping of his two-years old son.

The chubby

The one that gives him joy and halts him from diving deeper
into the darkest hour.


 Anger 1
It boils.
His mind can’t endure choking it back.
The heat inside sear his head.
No iota of grin– a squeezed face.
Now, watch out! A volcano is about to erupt.
Anger 2
The muscle begins to flex.
The teeth gnashes– it vibrates.
The feet is the carrier of a vex lunge.
Hands want a toss in the air to clasp traitor’s neck.
Here, it is not opaque! It has repudiate soothe voices.
Anger 3
The opposite receive swollen cheeks from pummels.
When he punches an object rather than the face.
Even the thief ant should cringe– a bestial has evolve.
He scream and entertain gasps of danger.

John Ogunlade is a poet and fiction-writer. His writings encompasses effusive concrete matters circling around the happenings of the society. He means to portray the mystery behind human emotions and activities. Some of his works are published in ANA (Association of Nigeria Authors) Anthology and Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Anthology. He was also long listed for the Pendle War Poetry Contest 2018 for his poem, “Far Back in the Dark”. Twitter: JohnOgunlade1

Poetry: No and No by Norb Aikin

This is the noise that keeps me awake,
the tie-dyed sentiments flung
from dirt that can’t be un-dug,
and this is me saying no
to a wish that “no” isn’t an answer to.
The curl, pulled straight.
The antidote, failed.

Nothing good can come of this
and that’s why I’m here.

This is the lookalike and this is the duplicate
and I am the difference
that goes unnoticed
until it’s too late.
There’s something, and nothing,
and something from nothing,
but I walk on the outline of the void-
I won’t fall in from the push;
my recoil does all the work for me.

Let’s not and say we did
before we have to pretend,
or at least until we get caught.

This is the noise that keeps me awake
and this is the escape I can’t seem to make
when I least expect it
but that’s what I’m doing now
and no one’s gonna tell me otherwise
even if they wanted to.
Like a joke not worth explaining
to people who don’t understand laughter,
I can’t help myself from myself.

Norb Aikin has been published by Eliezer Tristan Publishing and uses his time wisely on Twitter (@Fivesixer). His first poetry collection, 100, has been positively reviewed widely and his second, Mutants, recently was released for Kindles with a paperback coming. It’s a slim follow-up to 100 and features some older material along with his current WIP. Look for the full release of Also Mutants in the Spring of 2020.

Poetry/Short Story: Cash Card by Mark Anthony Smith



Alex Maxwell leaves his house on Morrill Street at 12.20pm. He always does, like
clock-work, for the 2 pm shift at the aerosol factory. It’s a comfortable job and they
have a laugh. He’s worked his way up over four years and gets left alone by The
Management now.
He crosses the busy road. Alex doesn’t see the Police sign asking witnesses to come
forward with details about a car accident last month. Not many do come forward.
But that’s a different story altogether.
He walks towards the betting shop and steps around a bundle on the path. He
doesn’t take much notice. The shops have their wheelie bins out for collections. It’s
Monday. He shoulders the betting shop glass door open as be rummages through his
jacket pocket. His cash card isn’t there. “Damn!” Alex panics. He checks the time on
his mobile phone. It’s 12.32 pm on Monday 20 th January 2020. Where did he last have
his card?
He last had it yesterday as he withdrew some money out at the bank. He questions
the odds of his card still being in the cash machine or of being handed into the bank.
‘Someone will have pocketed it.’ There’s no chance of it being found. He’ll have to
cancel it at the bank. He leaves the betting shop. He still has plenty of time to pop in
at the branch. Alex worries about his balance as he dashes. He had barely registered
the body he stepped around to avoid. From the corner of his eye, it could have
passed for bin bags, perhaps. He dashes past the homeless man sitting outside the
convenience store. There’s a queue in the bank.
Alex is fidgeting in line. There’s only ever one cashier serving. The older lady is
telling her life story as she’s being seen to. A child in a pram, before Alex, starts
crying. He doesn’t make eye contact with the child’s Mother. He feels an anger
growing in his chest as the older customer rambles.
Another staff member makes her way to the pedestal by the door. Alex goes over.
He doesn’t acknowledge her name badge. “I need to cancel my card,” he fumbles.
“Your name?” Alex tells the staff member his name, “Mr. Alex Maxwell,” he states.
Nadia replies, “Just one minute, please.” She heads out the back. Alex is sure his card
is missing. People aren’t as honest as they used to be. Nadia checks his date of birth
and address. “You’re a Pisces,” she smiles. Then she hands him the card. “Someone
handed it in yesterday afternoon.”
Alex is relieved. He notices how bright the sun is for an afternoon in January. He is
heading for the bus. The child is still crying. He goes over to the pram and drops to
his knees. “Can I give him one of these?” He shows the Mother a small cake from his packed lunch. She smiles and nods. Alex unwraps the bun and the little boy stops
crying. There’s plenty of time to catch the bus.


Mark Anthony Smith was born in Hull. His writings have appeared in Spelk, Nymphs, Fiction Kitchen Berlin, Pink Plastic House and Eerie River. Hearts of the matter is available on Amazon.
Facebook: Mark Anthony Smith – Author
Twitter: MarkAnthonySm16

Poetry: Failed Hypothesis by David Ralph Lewis

We triple checked the results.
Today, with it’s heavy skies,
is an impossibility. We are

between ourselves, stuck in
the gaps between electrons
without any observation,
that nebulous space
of possibility, despair
and hope merging together
to create endless static.

The charts are incoherent
the data now unreadable.
We halted the experiment
early, filled up beakers
with tears and released
chemical compounds into
the fragile atmosphere,
just to see what would happen.

All textbooks are now runes
from a lost civilisation
too poorly studied for
comprehension. Under this
fractal tree, I breathe
and try, unsuccessfully
to forget all I know.

David Ralph Lewis is a poet and short story writer based in Bristol, UK, When not writing, he enjoys dancing badly at gigs, attempting to grow vegetables and taking photos. His debut chapbook, Our Voices in the Chaos was released by Selcouth Station in October 2019. He understands a very small amount of what is going on in the world. You can follow him at www.davidralphlewis.co.uk