Tag Archives: Prose poetry

Sam Cooke

By Benjamin Adair Murphy

He stepped in the water
He helped the fishes swim
When he left those fish were singing
So of course they killed him

The wrong kind of voice
The wrong kind of skin
His car was way too pretty
So of course they killed him

So of course they killed him
So of course they killed him

He was calm and patient
The stranger’s twin
He put his hands upon the sick
So of course they killed him

They didn’t know where to start
Or where to begin
They were scared and they were panicked
So of course they killed him

So of course they killed him
So of course they killed him

Well, some don’t get it
Some understand 
And some stand with the soldiers
Who cut off Victor Jara’s hands

So you can blame the timing 
You can blame the luck
But I swear a man can’t speak the truth 
Without his throat getting cut

So of course they killed him
So of course they killed him
So of course they killed him
So of course…

They killed him


Benjamin Adair Murphy writes blues and country songs. His last album, ‘Let’s Make a King,’ was named one of the best albums of 2020 by multiple publications. His poetry and lyrics have been published in Fevers of the Mind, Headline Poetry and Press, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Rabid Oak, Coven Poetry, and others. His plays have been performed in New York, Boston, and Chicago. He lives in Mexico City.

Hello August

By Sarah Robin

Hello August, 
My most productive month of the year
With lots of harvest and preserving to do.

The aroma of vinegar in the kitchen 
Signifies the start of pickling season
When gherkins are stuffed into jars

Then covered in ladel-fulls
Of homemade vinegar and infused
With fresh homegrown herbs and spices.

Weekly harvests of sun-kissed tomatoes
Need turning into sauces and salsa 
Before bottling up.

A summery palette of annual sunflowers 
And sweetpeas fill the plot with colour. 
Perennial flowers keep pollinators busy.

With such good harvests this month,
I know I’ll be grateful in the depths
Of winter when I can provide 

Splashes of summer from the packed 
Store cupboards and freezers,
Creating a sense of warmth and gratitude.


Sarah Robin is a new writer from Bolton, England, starting her writing journey during the coronavirus pandemic. Robin has had several pieces of work published in anthologies and online literary magazines, as well as being a competition winner for both short fiction and poetry. She is also a prose reader for Sepia Journal. Find her on Twitter.

Glass Wall

By Sarah Robin

A naked figure sits hunched over on the floor,
Their arms wrapped around their body.
Surrounded by a wall of thick glass;
Closed off from everyone and everything
But visible to all.

Muffled voices and banging fists
Attack the barrier, desperate to help
But unable to break through;
Unable to touch them or hold them close,
Or provide comfort and love.

Soft, calming voices of reason
Bounce off the glass, instantly rejected.
Ideas of solutions break down,
Unable to withstand the backlash,
Crumbling onto the floor.

The wall stands strong, unharmed,
No scratches, no cracks; unbreakable.
Those on the outside watch on helplessly
And the figure continues to suffer alone;
Willingly.

Outsiders sit by the glass
Unable to help but they stay.
Always there in good faith
That one day the figure may accept help
And take the wall away.


Sarah Robin is a new writer from Bolton, England, starting her writing journey during the coronavirus pandemic. Robin has had several pieces of work published in anthologies and online literary magazines, as well as being a competition winner for both short fiction and poetry. She is also a prose reader for Sepia Journal. Find her on Twitter.

don’t eat the roses

By Jane Ayres

a curl of cloud
a curd
a turd

potency
(im) potency
this shadow pain

the start of the loop
the right truth?
the wrong truth?

don’t eat the roses
or lick the ice 
on the windscreen

a surge of neon peach
severing the vocal chords
your voice wraps me in silence


Jane Ayres is a UK-based neurodivergent writer who completed a Creative Writing MA at the University of Kent in 2019, aged 57. She is fascinated by hybrid poetry/prose experimental forms. She has work in Dissonance, Ink Drinkers Poetry, Lighthouse, Streetcake, The North, The Poetry Village, Door is a Jar, Kissing Dynamite and The Forge.

October

By Sarah Robin

The crunch of leaves underfoot, 
Dew-damp grass in glowing light, 
A tang of woodsmoke and ripening compost
Tell us that the seasons have shifted.

This step into October 
Is every gardeners’ new year
As the natural cycle propels us forward.
Now is the time to turn dreams into reality.

The seasonal shift and dropping 
Temperatures herald a change of pace,
But our gardens remain hives of activity,
Though often underground and out of sight

As plants reset for the year ahead
And wildlife seeks out spaces for hibernation.
It’s a great excuse to get outside
And tune into the season unfurling before us.


Sarah Robin is a new writer from Bolton, England, starting her writing journey during the coronavirus pandemic. Robin has had several pieces of work published in anthologies and online literary magazines, as well as being a competition winner for both short fiction and poetry. She is also a prose reader for Sepia Journal. Find her on Twitter.

War Walked In

By Benjamin Adair Murphy

I was standing in the daytime
When the sun went out of sight
It looked like the whole world 
Had fallen into night
Something bad ‘bout to begin
That’s when war walked in

There were a bunch of young thugs
Looking scared and looking mean
All they wanted was a father
All they wanted was a scene
All they wanted was Berlin
That’s how war walked in

That’s when war walked in

There were bodies full of bullets
Blood dripping down from the trees
Good men and women
Forced to get down on their knees
And pray for their own skins
That’s when war walked in

There were breaks in the supply chain
People looking scared
All your good neighbors 
Going off somewhere
And they’re not coming back again
That’s when war walked in

That’s when war walked in

Some men don’t ever learn
They just fall down on the job
The world don’t ever turn
It just shakes like a dripping dog

We’re shot when we get captured
And pull the trigger when we win
We leave the door wide open
And war comes walking in

There was a man behind a desk
He was running through those numbers
It was a golden opportunity

For the weapons manufacturers
And all their friends
That’s when war walked in

There was a branch that looked like fingers
Hanging down into the mud
The kids all clung to it
And used a car as a makeshift bridge
And then they jumped into the flood
And everyone had to swim

That’s when war walked in
That’s when war walked in
That’s when war walked in


Benjamin Adair Murphy writes blues and country songs. His last album, ‘Let’s Make a King,’ was named one of the best albums of 2020 by multiple publications. His poetry and lyrics have been published in Fevers of the Mind, Headline Poetry and Press, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Rabid Oak, Coven Poetry, and others. His plays have been performed in New York, Boston, and Chicago. He lives in Mexico City.

TRANSITIONS

By Mary Everitt

seasons don’t change all at once
but you can feel the start of them.
the distinct shift in the air.
the leaves against your window dappled with color
vibrant, painted
others spotted so slightly they look diseased.
we obsess over the romance of autumn –
it is ever so
ambient, cozy.

but do we speak of the beauty of decay?
that last leaf 
clinging, quivering
on the tallest branch where the wind is strongest
its edges curled
its color rusty like a forgotten truck with sunken wheels.
it’s easy to distinguish up there
against this crisp October sky.
at some unknown moment, it will drop
floating, soundless
to get tangled in the bushes below
or merge with the rest of its former companions
brown, undistinguishable
mulching the earth for frosts to come.

my guess is tomorrow
that branch will be bare,
a finger reaching up into the clouds beckoning rain.
that leaf was the first of many signs
that what absorbs light and nourishes life
may change, must change
to continue the cycle
to let the roots go deep
to weather the snow and the sleet
with the promise of spring’s new life.
dogwood blossoms that crown the clouds in perfume
and shade the growing grasses of spring.
for now. little leaf, that fluttered
high, free
i see you. 
thank you. 
goodnight.


Mary Everitt writes from the intersections of what she feels, believes, and sees. She writes about beauty and brokenness, the insides and the outsides of the spaces she exists in. Find her on Instagram or on her website.

PRECIPITATING REST

By Mary Everitt

The nighttime jazz of rainfall beats
against the window.
Scoring another shift
into waiting rest.
Stiff-necked movements
Candle lighting
Bent knees evoke prayer
Rituals.

Asking God to 
Take over
Stay over
Sing over
My dreams.

Bodies shift into 
New ways of being
Weariness reaches through my skin
To pull soft fleece closer
Containing, soothing, holding—
The work of love in this world
Acknowledging my fragility
Within and without

Face tilts up to a blessing
Of love that listens and holds
Beyond the shadows growing
Whatever lies around the bend
Waiting, fighting, laboring
With the demons
Within and without

The rain drums on with
fingertips, a lullaby
Too cold to wash in,
Too soft to drown my thoughts
Punctuating murmurs
of tomorrows to come.


Mary Everitt writes from the intersections of what she feels, believes, and sees. She writes about beauty and brokenness, the insides and the outsides of the spaces she exists in. Find her on Instagram or on her website.

The Constant Salesman

By Matthew A O’Shea

Enough.

Enough of the repeated vibrations of a cell phone,
of the lack of vibrations from a cell phone,
of empty inboxes in empty homes,
of full inboxes in empty homes,
of unexpected bills, pouring through doors,
of the unexpected running out of pills,
of the ticking of digital clocks,
Enough of the endless knocking.

Mock the salesman.
Ignore the scratches, find safety in static.
In the low hum of background noise.
In laugh tracks, in old hacks, in new quacks,
in the constant clacks of keys.
Find the mechanical, find routine, find ease.
Fill the chap, fill the chap, fill the chap.
Drown out the chapping.

I click my pen to the tick,
tock, of the clock
and hope the spring
survives.


Matthew A O’Shea is currently having his existential crisis in Scotland. He studies Philosophy and Theology at Glasgow University, which he believes isn’t helping. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.

DNC CROCODILE DUNDEE

By Matthew A O’Shea

My friend felt so sorry for alligators
that she wanted to die. Suicide — 
death by croc. And she tore into me 
about not wanting to come along. 

She said that I had benefited just as 
much as Lincoln and Irwin and the other
privileged few. I said I would attend but
not participate. Gonzo martyrdom.

She leapt up onto the pulpit besides
the enclosure, with a bat that’s never 
seen a ball and a cigarette holder 
that’s all no-smoke and mirrors. 
exclaiming Pluto’s not a planet anymore.


Matthew A O’Shea is currently having his existential crisis in Scotland. He studies Philosophy and Theology at Glasgow University, which he believes isn’t helping. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.