Dan Stathers – Poor Door Parody

‘Poor Door’ Parody

Dear Sirs, I am no longer able to fulfil my position
as swing door to your apartment block. This decision
was not taken lightly, and whilst grateful for the opportunity,
I have, of late, been feeling the weight of enormous duty.
Sirs, I am confused. I want so dearly to greet everyone
who resides in our company with equal manner and discretion,
but your rule for one and not the other goes against
the very grain of my being and I find the whole pretence
both exhausting and demeaning. Here lies my objection.
For most, I am to open with due care and attention,
but for some, I am to begrudge even their reflection.
My feelings on this partition are now beyond retraction,
shouldn’t all our residents be welcomed by marble floor,
walk beneath chandelier, not just those who can afford
your steeper rents where money presents no problem?
I am not prepared to just stand here and ignore them –
those you would prefer to remain unseen and not heard
and reduce to using alleyways – how utterly absurd!
I am a door, I cannot be anything else, I know only
of comings and goings, of keys, of hinges, of lonely
nights, so by forcing me daily to pick and choose,
you are forcing me daily to neglect and abuse
the hands that push and pull and make me what I am
which is a door, so I implore you from stile to jamb,
do not let our fair city down, defend the rights of your
tenants, let them swing open the same front door
and share my convenience. I am a door not a wall.
Don’t try to warn me that pride comes before a fall,
because fall I will, onto a scrapheap if you keep
closing doors on people. Regretfully, yours. 

And here is how the poem sounds…https://soundcloud.com/jacklit-martian/a-poor-door-parody

Dan Stathers is a poet from Kingsbridge, South Devon.

Kate Noakes – Two Poems

Affecting the balance

A loose cobblestone,
fat as a lump of slow-
cooled basalt, a hazard
for stilt-walkers and girls
in the high-high heels
of now, or anyone disabled,
unable, is the pavement
rebelling beneath our feet
rocking from sand
and mortar to flow as if
revivified, a lava stream
coursing the ancient ways
of the city, a rabble
discontented with its place.

Under traffic’s drone
you can hear its troubles
the crack and spit
as hot stones hit the river.




All this blah blah is filming my tongue

as if I’ve drunk a litre of full fat
and it’s globules have blocked the pores

slowed the muscle to a milk slug

sliming between my teeth
crying enough, enough.

All this blah blah is stopping my tongue

as if I’ve swallowed plaster of Paris
and its setting heat has fixed the muscle

firmed it for a few weeks, making me rest

then, freed it when silence
has been enough, enough.

All this blah blah has bled my tongue

as if every word is a drop
congealing on the rough post

where it’s been nailed, because I refused

my son, told the recruiters
enough, enough.

Kate’s poetry blog is at boomslangpoetry.blogspot.com

Her poetry books are: The Wall Menders, Two Rivers Press, 2009, Cape Town, Eyewear Publishing, 2012, I-spy and shanty, corrupt press, 2014, Tattoo on Crow Street, Parthian, 2015 (forthcoming)


Dominic Stevenson – Crawling Home

Crawling Home

Illuminated by the tar black sky,
I built our road
on hands and knees,
hoping to reach you in the dawn.

Crawling back from the battlefield,
I had to find my way.
After the punches in the chest
from disturbed mud and root,
the physical aching I suffer
of the kisses of misery
at the thought of you gone,
is almost light relief.

We’d only share a life of conversation
in silence,
you too tentative to pry
and me too broken for
an eternity of your love to stick back together.

You knew the best of me.
But I have become a shell,
a weapon of war,
with a tea light candle flickering inside
that will live on,
burning bright
for a thousand years.

I’m not a building man
but a packhorse in distress,
and when the first flickers of sun warm my torn uniform,
I’ll be cold and stay cold,
but think of me kindly and often.



Dominic Stevenson is an English-born writer with his roots in the post-industrial north of England. His aim is to take part in the global discussions surrounding societal, gender, sexual and educational equality.
His first collection, The Northern Line, is due out in 2015. His poetry and short stories have been published in a range of print and online publications including Litro Magazine, City Lit Rag, Forward Poetry, The Cadaverine and Spontaneity Arts Journal.


Edilson Ferreira‏ – Shame


I am ashamed to see security guards at my Bank,

armored vehicles used in money transport

and Police officers on the streets patrolling.

Supermarket loss-prevention professionals

and their cameras sleepless watching upon us.

They say that this is intrinsic to the Capitalism,

modus-vivendi we inherited from forefathers.

I am not used to the economic laws and marketing.

I am simply a poet, perhaps, or certainly, a minor one,

who wants to manifest that our brothers and sisters,

no-poet-people would have, by now, already changed

this way we have been chained to.


Published in Boston Poetry Magazine, August 2014.


Mr. Ferreira is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than Portuguese, in order to reach more people.  Has been published in four printed British Anthologies, online or printed reviews like Cyclamens and Swords, Right Hand Pointing, Boston Poetry Magazine, West Ward Quarterly, TWJ Magazine and, in next issue, The Lake.  Short-listed in four American Poetry Contests, began to write after retirement as a Bank Manager and is seventy-one years old. Lives in a small town with wife, three sons and a granddaughter.


Jane Commane – Accordion Music

Accordion Music

For Matt & Felicity

This music made on finger-worn ivory keys,
your back bowed into each paper-concertina rasp,
is the sound of Old Europe in flames, archive ghosts,
of stiletto heels on paving stones, of sex and sadness.

Oh maudlin-wonderful squeeze-box,
when you tell history in your own way,
brisking that urgent, melodic-asthmatic wheeze,
you tug the doors and windows open within me,
and let so much out, so much in.

May your sepia songs save just a little bit
of our black-and-blue souls.

May your melancholy music catch me
wherever I may fall.


Jane Commane was born in Coventry and lives and works in Warwickshire. Her poems have been published in Tears in the Fence, And Other Poems, The Morning Star, Iota and Anon and collected in Best British Poetry 2011 and Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam. She is editor at Nine Arches Press and co-editor at Under the Radar magazine, and also a creative-writing tutor who has taught workshops in an array of unusual places, from museums and walled gardens to castles and riverbanks.


Jane’s poetry blog: http://keepwarmmaketrouble.wordpress.com/

Sue Millard – Genealogy


Ich bin Englanderin
My mother’s great-grandfather had to leave
when they said his family name belonged to the enemy…
Tá mé bean na Fraince
..they spat upon his wife in the street
and hanged her dog on the garden gate.
Je suis irlandaise
My father’s great-grandfather had to leave
when potatoes turned to mush in the ground…
yo soy una mujer alemana
..his wife brought up sixteen children
without asking the parish for a penny.
I am an Englishwoman. With these voices in my genes
I cannot understand why an Englishman must shout
immigrants, go home.

Kathleen Bell – Registers


Monday, and Mrs Hill
calls out the register. You answer loudly,
sit straight up, and see
a big red tick. But when she calls
“Sureya”, there is silence.

Tuesday, and no Sureya. Mrs Hill begins
to call her name, then stops.
And later, in the playground
Sureya’s brother isn’t there.
You see your best friend James, and Marta,
and play with them.

Thursday. Sureya’s birthday.
You drew a card for her: a girl
with yellow hair and long pink dress
with a pink yo-yo, but you haven’t thought
who the girl is. She’s not Sureya
who has black hair and a blue dress.
Sureya spins a yo-yo too, and skips, best in the class.
Mum bought a present for Sureya. She grumbled
that presents are for parties. But Sureya’s poor
and can’t have parties at her house.
Mum bought a necklace with pink beads
and wrapped it up in sparkly stuff.
Sureya isn’t there.

So you ask Mrs Hill,
“Where is Sureya?” and she says,
“She’s in a place called Yarls Wood, going home.”
“So when will she be back?”
“She isn’t coming back.”
But that’s not sense.
Mrs Hill shakes some glitter from the card
and takes the present, says she’ll send them on.

You wait for days and weeks.
Sureya doesn’t write.
There’s still a tray
that has Sureya’s name,
a sticker by her peg,
the picture of a reindeer that she drew –
not very good –
with wonky antlers and sad eyes.

Christmas. You outline angels on a stable roof.
They’re practising their carols.
Only the ox and three cows stand to hear.
They munch straw from a manger.
Outside there’s desert sand, and trees.
“Well done,” says Mrs Hill.
She puts your picture on the wall.

New Year, and now she takes the pictures down.
Sureya’s name has vanished too.
You’re doing adjectives and long division
and there’s a new boy. He’s called Toby.
He looks nice.
You might be friends. He smiles.

Sarah Maitland Parks – Two Poems

At the Checkout

How did it happen
that I told the lady,
a mum from the playground,
These acquaintances
are emergency services,
they pick you up
when needed,
then let go
We all understand.
It is a small town.


‘All the nest’

I love my own typo.

I want to offer
all the people I know
the best one in the whole world.

All the best nests
are made of this type
of mess of words.



Sarah loves poetry readings and adores all the chat afterwards. She blogs at http://www.shinynewcomputer.blogspot.com

Sheree Mack – The Dark Landscape Within

Since this poem was first posted, it has come to my attention that it bears a very striking resemblance to John Glenday’s poem ‘Undark’ (which you can read here), such that it cannot be considered Ms Mack’s original work. This is one of many examples currently coming to light of this poet’s wholesale plagiarism of other people’s poetry. Our submission conditions stipulate that all poems submitted to the Stare’s Nest must be original new works. Editors take it on trust that poets have some kind of integrity but sadly it’s not always the case, and simply running the text through Google generally does not pick up fraudulent submissions. I apologise to our readers and to Mr Glenday that this has happened. I’m leaving Ms Mack’s ‘version’ here as evidence of a creative crime, and as a warning to other poets that sooner or later, your sins will find you out.

The Dark Landscape Within

And they come back those women
who told the stories of the land and died.

They come back with a warm slither of earth
in their hearts and in their hands they carry

wild thyme, in their mouths songs of healing.
And they move in the footprints of those

who came before and those who
will come after.

They are familiar somehow, as if they
have broken free and burnt through

the dark forest within me. And all I want
to know is how did they learn the words.

As they open their mouths to answer
all I can hear is the light.

Sheree Mack is a poet from Newcastle who swims in the North Sea in the dead of winter and blogs at adriftinthewilderness@blogspot.co.uk

Owen Vince – Locked


after Kate Carr’s Fjord

Gauche, the line of a horizon
split from its pasts
and its present. Walking on it to bring

these flowers, this marigold
and rose, their seeds tucked
into a parcel no larger

than my palm. I carried this
to your garden
in Reykjavik so that, with right wind

and rain, and light (and care),
it could bloom, slowly,
from its bed

of mould. The set apart
of palms as if to cup
a ball, falling, the shape

of an iris, the backbone
of a flower. On your window sill
in summer, in winter, as strong

as a succulent
it, too,
will bloom.


Owen is a poet, ambient music journalist, and editor of HARK Magazine. He lives in coastal Suffolk.