Two Poems by Richard Waring


Looking back
at the wreckage.
Sifting through the remains.
Searching for the pieces that make sense,
and setting them aside.
An image forms
as the pile grows.
Blurry, indistinct, formless.
But what I have deemed important
is just more wreckage.
Starting anew.
Two piles now, three piles, four.
The mess I have created in my hunt
worse than before.
But still I sift and search and hope.

Happy Birthday

Pink ribbon snagged on an outstretched branch.
Tethered by accident as you drifted by.
Back and forth in the slightest breeze
you struggle, desperate to be free.
As the days pass your magic fades.
Yet your silver skin continues to shine.
And somewhere, a child still mourns your loss.


Richard Waring has lived in Belfast all his life. He loves his city and like many who live there shows that love by constantly complaining about it. His first poem “To Lie On White On Green” is published in the 2019 CAP anthology “Find”.

One Poem by Martha Landman

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

The Tuft

Composed on a windless day.
The hand unseen, his brushstrokes
a study of green, shaded from light to dark
in waves of passion — an artist’s precise eye.
His mood as laboured as the network of lines,
weed, daisies, fern and grass arrayed.
Their roots sunk in mud, thirsty creepers
drink water from the earth, not knowing
what shapes above them, not wanting
to hang in a gallery scrutinised by curious eyes.
Not a stone seen in this watercolour landscape.
The artist unaware of breeze or bird vibrating in trees.
Soon he will down tools, think moss in crevices
hear the music of life and growth.


Martha Landman lives in Adelaide, South Australia, where she is a member of The Friendly Street Poets. Her work has appeared in online journals and in anthologies in UK, US and Australia.

One Poem by Felix Purat

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Rinascimento (Foliage)

Out of Augsburg and Nürnberg
Green foliage sprouts from the void
Celadon, olivine, smaragdine
The Renaissance arrives
Influencing from on high
But in Augsburg and Nürnberg
Enlightenment emerges from
The ground up, from inky brown soil
Into dainty white flowers
Curving up, twisting south
Leaves veer in every direction and no direction
And in so doing, the potential of
Is realized one leaf at a time


Felix hails from Berkeley, CA but lives and travels abroad wherever possible. In addition to three micro-chapbooks (all published by the Origami Poems Project), Felix has been published in numerous outlets and magazines and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His webpage is:

Two Poems by Colin Dardis

Restless Drummer

Left hand hi-hat,
index finger for drumstick,
a steady tap mistaken
for fidgeting
against keys or coins,
wanting anything metallic.

Right hand, snare
on some hard surface,
bending fingernail
to plastic or tile
for a better sound,
a piccolo pitch.

Aside this makeshift tabor,
bring the left foot down,
a heel forming sound
or toes as talon,
thrumming carpet
for that deep dull beat.

Now combine.
Bring a middle finger in
for fills, trills and rolls,
your right foot stepping
for the odd double bass line.
In rhythm, everything’s fine.

On Asserting First Impressions

Much like the crème brûlée,
with all the sweetness trapped
underneath its burnt offering,
you need to crack the sugarcoat
before tapping into real richness.

Do not think of constituents,
all their cream, milk and sugar
masked with vanilla as attar.
Rather, accept what’s on the plate,
scored ramekin and all.

The blowtorch has not been kind
to some, so go easy with your spoon.


Colin Dardis is a poet, editor, and arts coordinator from Northern Ireland. His debut collection, the x of y, was released in 2018 from Eyewear. A new collection, The Dogs of Humanity, is forthcoming in 2019 from Fly on the Wall Press. His work has been published widely throughout Ireland, the UK and USA.

One Poem by Randal A Burd, Jr.

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Encroaching Weeds

She’d not allow encroaching weeds
Among the flowers raised from seeds
In beds meticulously kept
Beyond the porch so neatly swept
Across from where the light recedes.

But lately there’ve been other needs
Demanding time, and thus proceeds
Her garden to appear unkept.

She’d not allow
The mares of any lesser breeds
To pair with her prize-winning steeds,
But in the dark and shadows crept
The vines and crab grass while she slept
Committing one of many deeds
She’d not allow.


Randal A. Burd, Jr. is a married father of two and an educator working on the site of a residential treatment facility in rural Missouri. Randal’s poems have recently been featured by The Society of Classical Poets, Vita Brevis, and the Amethyst Review among other publications.

One Poem by Jan Steer

To H.G. from Rebecca

The war that will end wars you said
As you lay amongst the literary sheets
The proof if it were needed of your beliefs,
Not mine

A chance for you the self-appointed prophet
To lead the masses with their feet of sand
And take them to some Promised Land,
In time

And what of us, the panther and the jaguar?
Dazzled by your reflected glory
Am I to be banished to the shadows as in a story?
Or put down?

The scent of your success has grown too rich
Too thick the air between us lies
And passion spent my empty heart screams ‘fly’
For recognition

To you my own inconstant sage I leave
The memories of time well spent
In words and loves true conscience bent
By visions hollow.


Explanatory Note:

With this poem I have tried to re-create a moment in 1923 when Rebecca West, the mistress of H.G.Wells, realised that her own creativity was being held to the ground by his outstanding success. She decided to end the affair.

Writer and bookworm Jan Steer lives in the beautiful Pembrokeshire countryside and not really close to anywhere. After a career with the Navy, another in podiatry and an MA from the University of Wales he now has more time to indulge in his passion for the written word. Sometimes he does stop to eat and drink and usually recognises his wife when they meet!

One Poem by Viv Parks

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Set Aside

Those tufts of grass at the edge of the field
grow thickly undisturbed.
They are the lucky ones.

Weed killer sprays have passed them by.
Their growth has not been stunted
by insecticides.

The combine harvester did not behead them
nor were they crushed under heavy machinery.
Spared to seed and regenerate.

Growing strongly they interweave.
Tough Sedges tangled with Rye Grass
alongside odd heads of escaped golden corn.

Strong grasses intermingle with delicate wild flowers.
Red Cuckoo Spittle clash against pink Ragged Robin.
Chickweed so blue all these create a wonderful view.

This delicate understory shaded by tall Cow Parsley
swaying among majestic towers of Thistles.
Dark and thorny they contrast the lower paler soft Cow Thistle.

Morning summer dews reveal glistening cobwebs.
In winter they’ll be covered with diamonds of sparkling frost.
Both beautifully disguising their deadly purpose.

Dried tufts will become raw materials
as birds flock to build nests deep within the hedge.
Home until their young are strong enough to fledge.

Spring and summer nectars feed the bees
so essential for the survival of crops.
Crops needed to feed the human race.

Autumn seed heads will stand proud.
Invite birds to feed and scatter close around.
Once ingested then upon the wing deposit again on distant ground.

Deep within the hummocks tiny dormice feed and play.
Then curl up to hibernate, avoid cold winter days.
Sleep safely protected from the deepest freeze.

These precious Set-Asides are all that remain for nature’s retreat.
Now framing the fields of yellow sterile Rape.
So many many acres stolen from the ancient meadows.


Having retired Viv Parks is enjoying time nurturing her garden and now writes prolifically. She is very proud that several of her poems have recently been accepted for inclusion in three anthologies.

One Poem by Ava Drake

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Green Haven

Light and water, they don’t ask for much.
Perfectly in sync with the rhythm
Of mother nature, flowers flourish
In simplicity, adorned with love,
The little patch, of my creation.
I stand in awe, every morning
As the coffee hits my tongue,
My toes sink into the fresh grass,
I am at peace,
For now.


Ava Drake is a poetess from London, UK. She started writing poetry at a young age and has recently rediscovered her passion for writing. She is currently working on her first poetry collection.

One Poem by B S Dixon


a sky glows marigold—
burning a lake’s surface
and bleeding from the veins
of dark, naked trees.
I wonder—
will she remember her true face
once the sunset embers fade
and her mask of clouds
dissolves to reveal
a sparkling void?

perhaps the flock
of horizon-bound birds
will whisper her
a reminder
before she succumbs
to despair.


B. S. Dixon is a writer and social worker from Boston, MA whose work is inspired by the spirit and will power exemplified by the homeless population with whom he has the privilege to work with. His writing has most recently been printed in The Red Eft Review, Right Hand Pointing, The Eunoia Review and The Mindful Word, and will be published in the upcoming spring issues of the Unbroken Journal and the Front Porch Review.

One Poem by Michael Caines

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Tuft, c. 1514

All that’s left is
leaf. (And petal,
stem, a green blade,
white and deeper
green, under-cast
of joint shadow,
plant life in the
early sixteen-
hundreds, just as
Albrecht Dürer
painted it). So:
not much, really.


Michael Caines lives in London, and has had poems published by Allegro Poetry and Visual Verse.