Wile E. Coyote Pauses for Thought

All these unthinking technocratic years
shooting myself from giant rubber bands
and pawing vitamins
–the kind that build your limbs
into flexible hillsides–
down my ravenous throat
and here I still am,
a blurring swarm of legs
scrabbling at molecules of air,
waiting for the river-rush of sun-red stone.

Nature has its favourite ways of saying No:
earthquake; tsunami; volcano.
The acme of That’s all folks!
But I’ve encountered subtler signs.
Now, I am certain
that the cliff face, not the bird,
opens up the tunnels
I can’t run through;
that boulders shift and twitch into my way
as the desert dreams of my defeat.

There is a lesson to be learned,
which does not fit onto the tiny signs
I use to whisper my goodbyes
before becoming yet another
distant puff of canyon smoke.
I must remember that I am a machine,
the pinnacle of pursuit,
must temper my reliance on things other than myself.
No more exploding birdseed, no more backfiring guns.
I must become what I pursue.

This time, as I fall, I’ll yell Meep Meep.



Adam Horovitz is a Gloucestershire-based poet, performer and editor. His first full collection, Turning (Headland, 2011), was followed by Little Metropolis (a CD of poetry and music commissioned by the Stroud Fringe Festival in 2015) and The Soil Never Sleeps in 2018. He is one of Ledbury Poetry Festival’s Versopolis poets, and was poet in residence for Herefordshire and the Pasture-fed Livestock Association. He is one of 10 poets to appear on Cerys Matthews and The Hidden Orchestra’s album We Come From the Sun (2021). His next book, Love and Other Fairy Tales, is coming soon from Indigo Dreams Publications. https://adamhorovitz.co.uk/blog/about-2/




Words of Advice

Don’t slouch.
Don’t touch.
Don’t wear that stupid grin.
Don’t you dare.
Don’t cause a fuss.
Don’t make a song and dance.
Don’t breathe a word.
Don’t be ridiculous.
Don’t tell such lies.
Don’t leave.
Don’t even think about it.

Do give over.
Do your best.
Do better.
Do us all a favour.
Don’t start.



Sibyl Ruth is a Birmingham-based poet. She has published two small press collections and is a former winner of the Mslexia Poetry Competition.




This Was Once a Good Poem

but it has eaten cheese and pickle rolls for a week now
and it can’t work out why the vitamins aren’t working.
It rocks in the chair until its eyes are too tired to see
and has scared itself with thoughts of Autumn spiders
under glasses in the hallway.
It is wondering if it is true that conkers in corners
keep arachnids at bay
and is now standing in the dark
sniffing last year’s horse chestnuts
desperate to find their scent.



Sue Finch lives with her wife in North Wales. She likes all kinds of coasts, peculiar things and the scent of ice-cream freezers. Her first collection Magnifying Glass was published in Autumn 2020 with Black Eyes Publishing UK. Twitter link: @soopoftheday




A dodo tries to get in, then out

I knocked at every door
But they wouldn’t let me in.
Show proper ID they demanded
Said I was dead long ago.

I had a train ticket home
A return ticket without a date
The view was good and that was enough.
I didn’t care to remember the password.

They labelled me among the extinct.
T-Rex stood next to me. He was supposed to be dead.
When I flapped my wing and quacked 
I was only a bird but they still wanted to be sure

If I was really a dodo – or – a hawk 
Entering through the wrong door.
The party ran all night.
Egyptian mummies spoke on the backs of hippos.

Two or three owls scratched their wings.
When I wanted to leave, they screamed Hotel California
I pretended to be dead.
When the lights came on, I moved a little

Just so the art historian would find a flutter and call me home.
He was writing a book about Mauritius. He would ask if I’d like to go there.



Amlanjyoti Goswami‘s recent collection of poems River Wedding (Poetrywala) has been widely reviewed.  His poetry has been published in journals and anthologies around the world. A Best of the Net nominee, his poems have also appeared on street walls in Christchurch, exhibitions in Johannesburg, an e-gallery in Brighton and buses in Philadelphia. He has read in various places, including New York, Delhi and Boston. He grew up in Guwahati, Assam and lives in Delhi.