Julia Webb – Nightmare


David Cameron waves for the camera
David Cameron on a bed with his ministerial red box
David Cameron in black and white with his wife and children
David Cameron on a beach with his shirt off
David Cameron smiling in a white short-sleeved shirt on a boat
David Cameron looking sporty on a bicycle
David Cameron using his laptop on a train
David Cameron on a plane holding hands with a woman
David Cameron behind the wheel of an expensive car
David Cameron aboard a nuclear submarine
David Cameron climbing over a railing
David Cameron leaning forward
David Cameron looking awkward
David Cameron brow furrowed
David Cameron hands together as if clapping
David Cameron finger in the air
David Cameron with his hand in front of his mouth as if making a snide remark
David Cameron shaking hands with the Queen
David Cameron following the Queen up some stairs
David Cameron kissing a baby
David Cameron feeding a horse
David Cameron holding a glass of water
David Cameron holding a pint of beer
David Cameron holding a glass of champagne
David Cameron drinking a cup of Costa coffee
David Cameron looking at his mobile phone
David Cameron looking puzzled
David Cameron with his eyes glazed over
David Cameron gesticulating
David Cameron doing the election salute

Julia Webb is a graduate of UEA’ s Creative Writing MA. She has had work in various journals including Magma, Poetry Salzburg Review, Poetry News, and The Rialto. Julia is one of the editorial team Lighthouse – a journal for new writing. In 2014 she was shortlisted for the Poetry School/Pighog Pamphlet competition. Her first collection Bird Sisters will be published by Nine Arches Press in 2016.

Ailsa Holland – One Family

One Family

We had to take out out a massive mortgage
to get a house big enough for the eight of us.
But no-one likes living with debt, do they?
We all like to balance the books.
I think we’ve found the perfect solution.

We’ve shortened the repayment term
from twenty years to five. This means
we have to be thrifty. We’ll stop
buying shoes and clothes for the kids
and give them just one meal a day.

We’ll save money on bills,
if we only heat our bedroom.
And no-one needs books
or school trips
or musical instruments, do they?

We’ll carry on having three meals
as usual, but I think that’s ok,
we’ve worked hard, we’ve earned it,
and we’ll only have champagne
on special occasions, say once a week.

What’s that you say? Some of the kids
haven’t had the chance to work yet?
The little ones aren’t strong enough?
Well, we’ve brought them up
with good values

so I’m sure they’ll support each other
and I think being cold and hungry
will be just the thing to motivate them
into self-reliance. Don’t think it’s not hard
for us, having to make these tough choices.

Ailsa Holland is a poet and the founder of Moormaid Press. Her poems have been published in print and online in such places as Under the Radar, Nutshell, Black Light Engine Room, Angle, Ink Sweat & Tears and And Other Poems. She won second prize in the Open Category of the 2014 Hippocrates Award and was commended in the 2014 Café Writers Competition.

website: www.moormaidpress.co.uk

Peter King – Poop-Poop!

(written when Michael Gove was Secretary of State for Education; after Kenneth Grahame)

The world has seen great villains,
And villainous schemes they have wove,
But never a bloke on whose name we choke
Compared with that of Gove!

The clever coves at Oxford
To logic and facts have clove,
Yet they none of them think that they’re half as bright
As talentless Mr Gove!

The MPs sat in the House and lied,
And a palace of lies they wove;
But who’s as dishonest as he is dim?
Egregious Michael Gove!

The teachers sat in their schools and wept
As to finish their marking they strove.
Who was it changed the syllabus?
Guess! It was Mr Gove.

The Goddess of Education
Sits in her library grove .
She cries, ‘Look! who’s that hideous chap?’
We answer: ‘Michael Gove!’

The schools are all dreadfully injured,
For an idiot over them drove
In a car from the 1950s.
‘Poop-poop!’ cries Mr Gove.



Dr Peter J. King
Lecturer in Philosophy, Pembroke College, Oxford OX1 1DW
Lecturer in Philosophy, St Edmund Hall, Oxford OX1 4AR

D A Prince – The news

The news

We heard it. The sunlight stopped, re-starting
in a different key, running its finger
along the new raw edge. A smell of singed wool,
or hair; a search for safe corners.
A cable breaking in one of the mines, perhaps,
though they were closed decades ago.

If we try to talk about it the land will be scorched
and crows crack the sky’s glass dome
summoning support. What comes flocking
depends on the country’s emptied fields.


D A Prince has two full-length collections from HappenStance Press – Nearly the Happy Hour (2008), and Common Ground (2014).

Grant Tarbard – A History of Alarms

A History of Alarms

They have a history
those alarm clocks
beneath pillows,

the morning bells ring
as the killer dressed as air
chimes in dust streaked rays
from Croons Hill down.

They have a routine
those alarm clocks
on dressers,

the flowers of sleep
still in full bloom,
ripe upon eye lids heavy
with midnight’s tilled soil;

keep me pastured
in these unpolished fields
with no novelty C3P0 bleep
or Simpsons catchphrase on repeat
left to protest,

no lens LED, no long, ticking hand
pointing Sistine-like
at your unformed man-

just endless spools of unwound green.



Grant Tarbard is the chief editor at The Screech Owl and co-founder of Resurgant Press.
He has worked as a journalist, a contributor to magazines, a reviewer, an interviewer and a proof reader. He is widely published in magazines, has been a finalist for nomination for the Pushcart prize and won The Poetry Box Dark & Horror Poetry Magazine‘s Sinister Poetry Award May 2014 for the poem ‘Crows Feet’.

His first collection, ‘Yellow Wolf’, is out now, published by WK Press.