Simon Robson – 1 poem


                       I’ve learnt to be patient –

                       my paltry, empty existence,

                       a few ex-prostitutes,

                        attempts at debauchery,

                       an animal eating luscious flowers –

                       happy with salted peanuts, bread crumbs,

                       the occasional kipper for breakfast, blue cheese –

                        drawing my curtains when the mood suits,

looking out at clear blue skies,

                       the fading, dismal light,

                       ghosts in the trees opposite, terrible,

                       a wispy cloud over Redan Hill, the cemetery,

                       a BMW convertible, alloy wheels for a fast getaway.

                       Sitting here on Easy Street,

                        gossiping with my neighbours over the back fence,

                       Helen, the lady with the limp,

                        Wurzle, who Hoovers my stairs and landing,

                        waking me up early on a Monday morning,

                       and Kev, a retired bus driver with pointy ears,

                       a teenage boy who sleeps over, skeletal.

                       An alcoholic woman a couple of doors down

                       with dementia who can’t remember if she’s coming

                       or going, choking on her puke, a constant blue siren,

ambulance parked

                        outside her window –

                       my haircut, a fried potato,

                       more indigestible onion rings

that are best alone, my memories,

how I arrived here –

some beavers, hustling chicks with army husbands,

a girl called Susan from Alabama,

how she got here, I don’t know,

doing jig-saw puzzles, reading the Fall of Rome

by Gibbons –

Easy Street, police patrols, up and down my street,

a riot going on, Cheshire cats.

Five quid in the Funky,

money talks, bums, drunken bums –

the content of my possessions I could fit into

the back of a taxi.


Simon Robson


Book shout: Escape Envy by Bindweed contributor, Ace Boggess

Congratulations to Bindweed contributor, Ace Boggess, on his recently published poetry collection, Escape Envy.

Ace has contributed poetry to Bindweed and has been published in Issue 2. You can read more of his work which was published in Bindweed back in September 2016.

We wish you all the best with your book, Ace!


Ivo Drury – 1 poem

The Ship Builders

Is it the earth that’s drying up and shrinking or am I? Tibet in twelve hours but the face I shave goes laggard. The world’s machinery declines routine maintenance and decay accelerates. Viruses carom across continents and seem alone in being adaptive. Predictive text still offers Ivanka when I sign my name to a message. I’m no longer confident those are contrails out over the pacific. I’ve taken to planting fast growing trees to compensate for my heart’s irregularities. Cultivation – books or apples – one wonders why.

On a small Hawaiian island a bearded old man and his young bride are constructing a large wooden ship. I wish to feel more hope from their message of resistance and resilience but instead my sense of futility festers.

A native of Ireland and a lapsed neurologist, Ivo Drury lives along the California Coast. Poetry published recently or pending publication featured in Red Eft Review, Rockvale Review, Avalon Literary Review and Schuylkill Valley Journal among others.


Book shout: Poetry collection by Bindweed contributor, Ken Seide

Congratulations to Bindweed contributor, Ken Seide, on his poetry collection, Tikkun Alef-Bet: Jewish Poems of Love, Loss, Hope, and Holiness & Click Boom: Jewish Stories of Farce 

Ken has contributed fiction to Bindweed and has been published in Issue 2. You can read more of his work which was published in Bindweed back in July 2016.

We wish you all the best with your book, Ken!


John Riley – 2 poems

The Cello


Sometimes he was a cello calling

for a cello has legs and breathes

the tension from above the holes

we all can see even from seats

in the rear of the old auditoriums,

holes shaped like dancing crooked lips,

but he knows now that such thinking

was part of the walk he’d been assigned

and the cello sound only came through

on upright days when the tilt of his throat

quieted the projection of pleas resonant

as the snap of a bridge’s strings,

and now, sitting there, head full of circles,

he hears no pleas, no cello.


Blue Petals


She tends her garden

in a nun’s habit bought

in the second-hand shop,

trims the shrubs, mows

the grass with a push mower,

dreams of a garden

like the one the nuns nourish,

blue flowers blooming

fragile petals,

thin roots slipping

through the soil in need

of watering daily,

such slight plants,

lovelier than the green

sturdy shrubs she trims

with a set of cutters

so heavy her shoulders ache

and her wrists ring

with pain echoing up

her arms at night as she

dresses for bed

in the cotton gown

that sweeps across her feet

when she kneels

beside her bunk.


John Riley has published poetry and fiction in Smokelong Quarterly, Better Than Starbucks, Banyan Review, Connotation Press, Fiction Daily, The Molotov Cocktail, Dead Mule, St. Anne’s Review, and numerous other anthologies and journals both online and in print. He has also written over thirty books of nonfiction for young readers and continues his work in educational publishing.