☛ Submission for October, 2024 issue (Vol. 5, No. 2) is going on. The last date for submission is 30 September, 2024.




- James Sutherland-Smith

In the eyes of the world

you’re now a row of perfect, straight white teeth.

Under the world’s fingertips bespoke tailoring,

so much so it whispers, “Feel the width!”

To the nostrils of the world

Chanel Five or Joy, not Poison or Notorious.

over the world’s tongue purest vintage bubbles.

and should the world play Chinese Whispers

a word goes round untainted by alteration,

“Glorious! Glorious! Glorious!”


The world does not close its eyes nor even blinks

at your opposite, which is also you,

but stares distastefully at blackened stumps in gums,

requires sackcloth and ashes, holds its nose at stinks

neither your best friend nor wife dare mention.

Mouths spit out your name with nausea

and the world’s press scribbles columns of pure spite

after camping on your doorstep day and night.


Better to remain out of or, better still,

beyond the opinion of the world, your smile genuine,

the garments of your soul proof against all weathers.

So what the world might say is neither good nor ill.

Simply be yourself and live from day to day

pure as spring water, fresh as new-mown hay.