Excerpt for The Fringe Poetry Magazine 2018 by , available in its entirety at Smashwords




Published by SeaQuake Books

Copyright 2018. Individual contributors.

ISBN: 9780463140994

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Cover image; 'Still Life with yellow plant' by Steve Capper.


The Fringe Poetry Magazine 2018 follows the success of The 2017 Magazine and The Fringe Poetry On the Move and The Fringe Poetry Festival series of poetry pamphlets and e-pamphlets and from two books, The Fringe Poetry Cafe and The Fringe Poetry White Book.

'The Fringe' is a poetry collective based in the North West of England.

We received a tremendous response to our call for submissions and used experienced sub editors to initially handle the entries. All submissions received at least four readings and some many more.

The poets selected represent a cross section of experience from those already heavily published, and known nationally and internationally, to emerging writers with something genuine to say.

Our contributors in this issue are again predominantly from the United Kingdom, the USA and the Republic of Ireland.

The Magazine includes varied subject matter, expressive techniques and forms.

We were, principally, looking for integrity of purpose in the submissions and in some cases the strength of feeling is encouragingly raw and emotional.

Some poets have omitted punctuation and, in the pieces we have chosen, we believe this works well.

If you were unsuccessful in gaining inclusion in this issue please do not be discouraged from submitting in the future.

We are grateful to everyone who submitted work and it is refreshing to see such a range of creative output. Please keep it up.

Very Best Wishes,

Phil McNulty


May 2018

Releasing the beast

(Linda Lewis)

Fiery fingers slide

between curtains,

scattering dust motes,

afloat on a pillow of air,

and a child’s trike

scrapes the pavement outside.

There is the bite of a laugh,

like fingernails

on a blackboard,

and the girl in the bed pulls twisted sheets

over her head,

as sweat

trickles down

and sticks to her skin.

Puddles of brightness

splash the walls

and she can’t get away

from the light

of another person’s day.

This will lighten,

this load,

maybe tomorrow,

or in a few days,

perhaps next week -

in a month -

or two -

but she doesn’t know if

or when

her world will turn

from monochrome, back to colour.

She doesn’t know if

or when

she will return

to the exhilaration

of the journey,

the dizzying anticipation

of an ascent to the summit,

and sunshine on her face again.

At first sight…

(Linda Lewis)

Standing at the top of the staircase

he saw her

teetering on tiptoe,

a myriad of male faces

under her scrutiny.

He knew


that she was the one.

Her hair

was burnished copper;


against a sea of brown and blonde,

like a newly minted coin

nestled in sand

and he knew


that she was the one.

He tapped her on the shoulder

and she turned

to look into his eyes,

tumbling into a pool of hazel

and wanting to stay there forever.

She knew


that he was the one.

They danced

all night,

eyes only for each other,

his heart beating

to the rhythm of her breath,


that this was for life.

The Time...

(Ian D. Hall)

The Time

Is not yet passsed where beer and talk are of the past

To drink


Savour the last drop of the chat

And conversations drunken blast, to hear the thoughts of

Men, of women and their bairn, is to hear and there

Belong again.

Leaving Ohio

(Ian D. Hall)

Kate was travelling in a new direction.

Leaving her old life behind with the ghosts of the past.

She hated who she was, she wanted to be different

To breathe in new air, breathe in new life

To not be a child, to be a woman at last.

Other people got on the bus, a man was crying,

I know how you feel my unknown friend.

She smiled to herself and closed her eyes

And wrapped her coat tightly around her petite body.

She dreamed of the flight she was taking to Paris.

A slight cough and she opened her eyes and saw him.

A backpack slung across his broad shoulders.

She melted, so she told herself, as she heard him speak.

The slight accent made her quiver inside.

She heard herself ask, "Would you like to sit next to me?"

They talked to each other until the bus stopped in Pittsburgh.

He got up, kissed her gently and said goodbye.

She glowed, her heart soared higher than ever before.

She had been kissed, after all this time

She had been kissed for the first time.

I bring the words -The Funeral Celebrant

(Hilary Walker)

I bring the words for the departed and the dead

I bring the words to say who he was, what he did, and what he said

I bring the words

with dignity, to signify their worth

words to describe a space in time, a human lifetime from birth

I bring the words

I talk of times when life was new,

reflected in hearts and minds

stories to keep the memories alive

I bring the words

I place them in order, in ways that matter,

to shattered lives, when someone dies

I bring the words

I give them time, words bathed in warmth and laughter,

words to hold onto forever after

I bring the words

Spirituality for the bereaved, bereft

Humility, Humanity, a non-religious Christianity

I bring the words when there is no-one to mourn,

no-one to hear of a past glorified, no life sanctified

I bring the words when there are no words,

no words to heal, no words to feel we make a difference

I bring the words for everyone

the rich, the poor, the old ,the young

words that don’t differentiate, dying doesn’t differentiate

I bring the words to end the journey,

to say farewell, to bid good night

I bring the words for life’s finale,

words for the closing of the light.

Giving the world to Venus

(Hilary Walker)

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