LIKE THE BIRDS ON THE WIRES. 3 Poems from Bradford Middleton


As I walked I would occasionally

Look up, up at the sky, up where

The birds ruled, home there to the

Lucky, those who can move in the

Blink of one eye. 

This time though the view was kind

Of different; the birds had all

Congregated, like musical notes on

A line, along the telephone wire that

Keeps us in touch with the outside world.

It was then I thought is that how

Leonard Cohen came up with the

Wonderful lyrics to 'Bird on a Wire'

By looking up, up at the sky, drawing

Inspiration from a natural phenomenon.


There were times when I would live

A life, a wild time, and would often

Find myself falling down those stairs

At the last resort out of my mind,

Always always out of my mind and

Late at night as that was when this

Beautiful gift always got me best

And sometimes it would be 3-15

In the morning and I’d be falling

Down those damn stairs out of

My damn mind feeling like a cat

At the end of his ninth life.

LIKE THOSE OLD DAYS (with my radio on)

I sit here tonight and it

Almost feels like the old-times as

My radio builds up to one of the games of the year

As old footballers talk of teenagers

Turning up to training in brand new

Shiny Mercedes-Benz as I sit here

Writing a life so far removed from

Their gilded existence it just goes to

Show you how capitalism has gone so

Terribly wrong… 


Bradford Middleton was born in south-east London during the summer of 1971 and won his first poetry prize at the age of nine. He then gave up writing poems for nearly twenty-five years and it wasn’t until he landed in Brighton, knowing no one and having no money, that he began again. Ten years later and he’s been lucky enough to have had a few chapbooks published including a new one from Analog Submission Press entitled ‘Flying through this Life like a Bottle Battling Gravity’, his debut from Crisis Chronicles Press (Ohio, USA) and his second effort for Holy & Intoxicated Press (Hastings, UK). He has read around the UK at various bars, venues and festivals and is always keen to get out and read to new crowds. His poetry has also been or will be published shortly in the Chiron Review, Zygote in my Coffee, Section 8, Razur Cuts, Paper & Ink, Grandma Moses ‘Poet to Notice’, Empty Mirror, Midnight Lane Gallery, Bareback Lit and is a Contributing Poet over at the wonderful Mad Swirl. If you like what you’ve read go send a friend request on facebook to bradfordmiddleton1.
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Go Forward & Elephant Riding. Poems by Maki Starfield

Go Forward

The book I got for the first time was the Bible
"In the beginning was the word..."
I was attracted to this word

Adam and Eve met in this world and the human world began
Even if the stories of those two people are over, our life will not end

From yesterday to today
Connected like a horizon
I will move from today to tomorrow

Upon this heaviness…
O wind, go forward!

In the heart,
Let's change the darkness of the Bible
Into sparkling stars

Endlessly flowing, spreading
My words before it

Elephant Riding

I experienced elephant riding in Thailand for the first time
Raising his nose, the elephant opened the sweaty nose widely
Just before I was about to leave
I put the money in the nostrils at once.
The elephant took it and handed it to his master.

Obeying him, the elephant just carried the next customer
and started walking out
Held by the reins by his master
The elephant doesn’t think about running away from him

This is the first time I met him, and I should think I will not meet him again
But I don’t need any kiss from him


Maki Starfield

Poet, painter and translator.Born in Ehime, Japan, 1972. MA from Sophia University, studying International business management and TESOL in Canada. She recently has published in the second poetry collection, In Love A Sound.
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Fever | Indian | Secondary Fundraisers | Poems by Laura Close

Fever Indian Secondary Fundraisers


About this fever I’m not apathetic.
Carrots might help. I need a credible
Complaint. Is there anyone more careful?
He tries to make me upset. Optimistic,
he tries at what he is about. Memento
and relic, a reminder of plumage
from the great Phoenix, our advantage
merely an investment of time. Ratio
between kin to kind. I do not exclaim.
There’s a lot more to it than security,
finding the necessary guards, carefree
and built. I have limits, a user name;
our dreams roll around in the subconscious;
and of others’ dreams we become envious


Native blood
Touches native blood.
Indian, or Itailienne?
All I ask is for some
Language, to distinguish
And not the loveliness of a culture extinguished.
In the end
Not all believing in Mother Earth and Grandfathers,
Everyone only heard of San Martino
Not all lands, only some.


Secondary Fundraisers

“If your old don’t try to change yourself, change your environment.”
~B.F. Skinner
Let’s throw a party to support wildlife. Antennae
headbands will be a requirement. Circles of fine
men and women, environmentalists, will be there.
Clear plastic cups and cutlery made from recycled
materials will inspire us. Eyelashes elongated by
Maybelline, and lids sporting psychedelic, metallic
eye shadow will make all the women look more like
butterflies . Sidling up next to the token CEO, our
prettiest organizer will flash her pearly whites while
holding a glass of champagne demurely.

Shoulder to shoulder, when it is time to dance, we
will step first one direction, then the other, following
the Native American chieftain that we’ve hired for
the occasion. Our decorations must have all to do
endangered species and national parks, etc. Roads
will be a secondary concern for the government.
for a few months. Interpreted signs will be the talk
of the town. Accessories handcrafted by artisans
will be on display or given as party favors. That
will be the party of the year. Older folks will love it.



Laura Close was awarded the MFA degree in Creative Writing from George Mason University.   She is the author of the manuscript Sound and Sense of Leaves (2010)  and T Party (2012), published by iUniverse.  Her poems have also appeared in Raga Zine and Jerry Jazz Musician.