March 2015

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 March 24-28

The Absence of War

Liverpool Playhouse



Because you keep hearing about the pertinence of this play with a General Election looming, it may come as something of a surprise that it was written 22 years ago – even more so, inspired by Neil Kinnock’s failure to lead the Labour Party to victory.

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April 1

The Federation of Writers Scotland Easter Competition 2015

Poetry (any number of poems; maximum 40 lines each);

short stories (up to 2 stories: 1500-2000 words each);

flash fiction/mini-story (up to 500 words)

Entry fees: £3 per poem; £3 per flash fiction piece; £5 per short story.

For full rules and how to enter, email

March 16 -21

The Three Lions



Liverpool Playhouse



As one of the characters says, I know nothing (or next to nothing) about politics and football… the 2018 World Cup bid was won by Russia, not

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Orbis 177



Orbis 177, Autumn

£5 (Overseas: £10/€14/$16); Subs: £18/4 pa (Overseas: £36/€50/$60)

Front cover artwork: ‘Copper Rain’ by Kelly Marie Davidson
back cover, detail from image:

Singing in the Rain, and Walking the Dog; as you may guess
from the cover, plenty here to be making a song and dance about,
rather than having to think about Xxxx…present buying,
unless a copy of the magazine of course, could be Contained,
Alison Chisholm claims, while Jenny Hockey makes the case more strongly:
Why not end your days withoubecause you and Bobbie Sparrow both,
could be awaiting The quiet intercession of Eros,
or savouring the sound of Noctilucence with Noel Williams.
Isn’t that The key (John Brooke)?
Craig Dobson tells us all about Water’s Way,
but the way we do things at Orbis is to ensure
that you continue enjoying the magazine.

Featured Poet

Anna Wigley:The Mysterious and Devastating Library Disease;
The Last Soirée

Poems from:Geoffrey Godbert: The Deaths of Little Things;
Alice Merry: Like one of my skeletons;
Stuart Nunn
: Fugitive dishes of the world #7;
Juliet Wilson
: The Animals Decide to Become Invisible

Prose from: Cristina Haraba: Blindness; David Olsen: Frau Bieber’s Confession;
Rosa Thomas: Dancing Girl

Translation: Pablo Vieytes: Words;
Manu Mangattu:Yuan Hongri:The Song of the UniverseThy Song;
Neither Day nor Night
in the Kingdom of Heaven

Past Master: Stuart Nunn on Alexander Pope

Reviews: Maria Isakova Bennett, Philip Dunkerley, David Harmer,
D. A. Prince, David Troman
and Noel Williams

Orbis 177 contributors also include:

Christopher Allan; James Aitchison; Anne Banks; Stephen Bett;
Jo Burns; Mark Czanik; Adele Fraser; David Harmer; Richard Hughes;
David Lloyd; Michael Loveday; Eamonn Lynskey; James McKee;
Olha Matso; Kathy Miles; Anita Ouellette; Ali Pardoe; Sari Pauloma;
Fred Pollack; Neil Reeder; Marilyn Ricci; Marg Roberts; Davide Trame;
Jay Whittaker; Helen Whitten; Nicky Winder


Orbis 176, Summer

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Front cover artwork: ‘Horizon’ by Peter Leslie Wilks
back cover, detail from image:

Still waiting for the sunshine? Maybe this issue will brighten things up
with Helen Ashley and some Borrowed Light, whether you join
Grahaeme Barrasford Young, Playing, Lorna Sherry up in Edinburgh,
Nicki Griffin, In Carnadoe Waters, or go with Juli Jana on a Bus Ride
Further still: Alec Taylor’s Space Ilimad. And humming along to
Lara’s Theme (John Arnold), you could enjoy Miraculous Kashgar,
a Story told by Li Suo and Liang Yujing, and Watching The Invisible Man
with Patrick Deeley. But fine weather or not, unlike Hilaire, (I make no) Apology,
because to experience anything fully,as Bibhu Padhi tells us,
what’s needed is: Touch, Taste, and Time
all of which you can have with Orbis

Featured Poet

Peter De Ville:
Amoxy and Metro face the Dragon; The Blue Scarf; Protest and Intervention

Poems from: Daniel Roy Connelly: Austerity drives;
Katherine Crocker: Nakwetikyawa’s Well;
Alex Josephy: Misericordia:
Mary O’Donnell: On Reading My Mother’s Sorrow Diary;
Terry Trowbridge: The Raven Puppet; Patricia Walsh: Bruscar

Prose from: Phil Dunkerley: As Red as Rubies;
Oz Hardwick: The Drifter’s Song;
Val Williamson: Escapement

Past Master: Sean Howard on Charles Sorley

Reviews: Maria Isakova Bennett, Philip Dunkerley, David Harmer,
D. A. Prince, 
David Troman and Noel Williams

Orbis 176 contributors also include:

Gary Beck; Jane Blanchard; C M Buckland; Lucinda Carey;
Jim Conwell; 
Stella Davis; Judith Dimond; Frances Galleymore;
Chris Hardy; Ashleigh John; 
Gloria Keeley; Richard Livermore;
Tim Love; Terry Quinn; Chelsea Ruxer;
Caroline Smith; Jean Taylor; F. J. Williams


Orbis 175, Spring

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Front cover artwork: ‘White lacy April in Sussex’ by Gill Bustamante
back cover, detail from image:

Can we tempt you, since Di de Woolfson
is providing a Lure, to accompany us, and Sheri Vandermolen, on Holi Days,
or perhaps observe St. Kevin and the Otter with Mark D. Hart.
Or how about a visit, indeed, a visitation, from David J. Costello’s Angel,
although that may lead to States of emergency, Michael Bartholomew-Biggs,
warns us, in which case, like Anne Rees, you’ll be thinking:
May the Force be with you. But you could take refuge with Luke Palmer,
In the house of lying-in, where Kevin Griffiths is getting Next to the Skin,
because, as Neil McCarthy says, it’s Something of a sign
you do not want to be missing out on this issue.
And then find out from Sean Heslin, maybe, the result of A Courtroom Drama

Featured Poet: 
Jane Spiro: Painting eggs; Half, Whole

Poems from: Terence Brick: Ballade des Dames de Temps Jadis;
Susi Clare
George Moore: Natural Order n the Hands of Thomas Aquinas;
Andrew Pidoux
:The Grammar of the Garden; J. Twm: Fire of The Gods;
Kelley Jean White
: Women Who Refuse to Wear High Heels

Prose from: Kimmy Beach: Nuala: a Fable; Jane Spiro: Special Delivery

Translation: (Latin): Martin Lyon: To Wallace Batchelor, Librarian, on his Retirement

Past Master: Peter De Ville on Sidney Royse Lysaght

Reviews by: Maria Isakova Bennett, Ross Cogan, Angelina d’Roza,
David Harmer, Jennifer A. McGowan, Clairr O’Connor,
D.A. Prince, Andrew Taylor
and Lynne Taylor

Orbis 175 contributors also include:

Ruth Arnison; Prue.Chamberlayne; Kathryn Daszkiewicz; Richard Halperin;
Jenny Hill; V. B. Irons; Tom Kelly; Jenny King; Simon Leonard;
Caroline Maldonado; Lindy Newns; William Oxley; Cedric Picken;
Anne Rees; Roger G. Singer; Sue Spiers;
Rosamund Taylor; Peter Viggers; Lyn White; Howard Wright




Orbis 174, Winter

£5 (Overseas: £9/€12/$16); Subs: £18/4 pa (Overseas: £35/€42/$58)

Front cover artwork: ‘Contemplation’ byChristopher Langley;
back cover, detail from image:

The light is brightening, finally, dawning you could say, with much to contemplate. For example,
Richard Toovey and Thirty-Six-Immortal-Poets-Japanese-Asian-Culture-/360314130089 pt=Art
But keep a very close watch on Colin Sutherill’s Snake Eyes
when accompanying Andy Hickmott andZoology 101. Instead, you could head for the coast
to watch Carolyn Oulton watching the Ebb-Tide, or join Beth Somerford
at Ditchling Beacon, steering clear of The Hound of the Baskervilles (Will Kemp)
and David Greenslade’s Wicker Basket Tank if it comes at you, maybe After a minor medical hiatus
(Elizabeth Birchall)… So, back where we started, and Antony Mair is Thinking of Shelley in the Winter Gales,
John Vickers
pondering The white shadow, while Paul Connolly considers the Night and Stars
Indisputable Truth
(Bogusia Wardein), that’s what you are mostly going to find in this issue –
though maybe best take it easy with Jenny Hamlett and The Enchanted Cakes at Capenhurst

Featured Poet

Michael Coy: Ambrose Clues-Up Augustine; Hitler’s Watercolours

Poems from: Roger Caldwell: John Steed in retirement remembers Mrs Peel;
Jane Housto
n: Piddocks; Eve Jackson: It isn’t easy being sea;
Jules Whiting
: Tucked Between the Pages of a Wordless Glance; Jeremy Young: Metamorphosis

Prose from: Michael Coy: McBurney’s Urn; Jilly Funnell; Dinner Date;
Laura Solomon (with Kya Solomon, Zoe Solomon and Nadia Smith): Castle

Translation: David Ball: François Migeot: Faces

Past Master: Jean O’Brien on Dora Sigerson Shorter

Reviews by David Harmer, Jennifer A. McGowan, Clairr O’Connor, D. A. Prince,
Lynne Taylor, David Troman and Noel Williams

Orbis 174 contributors also include:

Arthur Broomfield, Shane Doheny, Julie Lumsden, Achilleas Katsaros,
Rupert M Loydell, Katherine Noone, Ann Osbourn, Rob Packer,
Donna Pucciani, Adam Rooke, Alexandra Sashe,
K.V. Skene, Sheila Spence, Jean Stevens, Marc Swan, Frank Wood

Orbis 173, Autumn 2015OutsideCover173

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Front cover artwork:
‘Night wolf’ by
Lolita Parekh;
cover, detail from image:

But you’re all right now… as the old joke goes.

And so is Linda Benninghof,
Gas, food, lodging, Patricia Griffin,
despite having to battle

The Wind from the West,and
Pat Farrington,
back From the Underworld.
There, she may well have encountered
That Man (Breda Spaight),
Pete Langley’s Airside Bagatelle Lady
or The Cern Archivist (Julian Turner).
No wonder
Sharon Black enquires Are My God So Different From Yours?
And thank goodness
Maurice Devitt provides a Beginner’s Guide to Escapology.
But if you do go
Astray with Clifton Redmond,
or end up feeling a bit
Lost, like Patrick Moran,
at least you’ll find something good to read in here, all 96 pages of it.
Although of course, as they always say,
Lavinia Kumar points out, It’s Not the Size


Featured Poet: Belinda Rule: Lust; Siren; Letters home

Poems from Chaun Ballard: Phrase Not Found in Search Engine; Simon Fletcher:Yüan; Samuel Prince: Drowned Doll by the Herons;
Catherine Rockwood:
Landtschip: Belmont; Jane Seabourne: Now I Can Make Scones; Charles Wilkinson:The Comedian’s Seabed 

Prose from Jennifer McGowan: How Blackthorn Came to Be;
Anna Geraldine Paret:
If Wishes Were Fishes; Paul Saville: Rajasthan

Article: Venice by Frances Sackett

Past Master: Peter Butler on Robert Bloomfield

Reviews by Ross Cogan, Angelina D’Roza, David Harmer,
D. A. Prince, Lynne Taylor, David Troman
and Noel Williams

Orbis 173 contributors also include:

William Alderson; Tara Ballard; Denise Bennett; David Burridge; Keith Chandler;
Scott Elder; Jonathan Greenhause; Pauline Hawkesworth; Claire Louise Hunt;
Patricia Leighton; James B. Nicola; Ilse Pedler; Tanya.Prudente; Jimmy Rodda



Orbis 172, Summer 2015

£5 (Overseas: £9/€12/$16); Subs: £17/4 pa (Overseas: £35/€42/$58)

Front cover artwork:
‘Heart Angel’ by Garry White;

back cover, detail from image:


Summertime –
that usually means something like
The Zoo in the rain (Brian Daldorph),
and sadly,
it does appear to be raining cats and dogs
Letters and After They Have Gone
by Richard Dinges Jr,
you may prefer Tariq Latif’s view of Dawn by Victoria Parade.
Wondering what a Souvenir of Lowestoft means to Peter Wallis,
or Zen Romance: Reflections, to Michelle R. Disler?
And what would happen if Sheila Wild’s Cassowary at the Court of Louis XIV
got a Foothold (Susan Rouchard)? Well, you can learn about Naming from
Maggie Butt and Tooth Wisdom from Andrew Pollard,
and look forward to many a happy, fairytale ending.
Or maybe not, because according to Yuko Minamikawa Adams –
Mickey Has Chopped off Dumbo’s Left Ear

Featured Poet
: Owain Lewis,
Note to an unknown person; Passing Place; The Lost Connection

Poems from Allen Ashley, Jesus is on the Internet;
John Casson, I feed on insects;Dawn Gorman,The Looker;
Jodie Hollander
, Tomodachi

Brenda Bea Hutchings, For All The Princesses;
Antony Johae, Writing on the Wall;
Chris Raetschus, RevengeJ.S.Watts,Target Setting


Laura Chalar: Fernando Pessoa, A Sonnet Already Old

Peter Boyle and Raymond Farina, NOTES FOR A GHOST: A fanciful portrait

Past Master: Chris Raetschus on Constantine P. Cavafy

Article: Simon Fletcher interviewed by Neil Leadbeater

Maria Isakova Bennett, Angelina D’Roza, David Harmer,
Jennifer A. McGowan, Clairr O’Connor, D.A. Prince,
Andrew Taylor, David Troman
and Noel Williams

Orbis 172 contributors also include:

Veronica Beedham; John Casson; David Crann; John Dixon; Lee Nash;
Jocelyn Page; 
John Perrault; Peter Phillips; Zara Raab;
Gerard Smyth; Angela Topping; Phil Walsh



Orbis171, Spring 2015

£5 (Overseas: £9/€12/$15); Subs: £17/4 pa (Overseas: £35/€42/$58)

Front cover artwork: ‘Birds’ by Tammy Ruggles;
back cover, detail from image:

If there’s one thing we’ve got plenty of, it’s Stories (Bibhu Padhi),
sometimes artful, like The Yellow Cow by Jennie Osborne,
sometimes dark and mysterious, with David Banks Exorcising Gehenna,
or Geraldine Clarkson’s After-woodsand often both,
when you join Robin Thomas and Edward In The Garden.
You’re off on A Strange Journey, as Kathy Miles will tell you.
Spend a Moment with Roxy Dunn, enjoy Michael Henry’s Nocturne in Biarritz,
play Rock, Paper, Scissors with Richard Williams, or discoverKimmeridge, courtesy of Khadija Rouf.
Yes, follow E. Kristin Anderson’s instructions: “A Nearby Fence, Pull” –
then all will be revealed…

Featured Poet: Bethany Pope
Hanging, Among the Oranges; My Mother, Masking; A Taint in the Blood

Poems from: Jean Atkin: Itsuarpok;


Cathy Whittaker, Waiting; Alan Zhukovski, The End of Oblivion

Prose from: Julie Maclean, Animal Rites; Don Mulcahy, Back There;
Bethany Pope, Teamwork; John Short, Nobody Talks Anymore

Translation: Judith Wilkinson: Menno Wigman, Herostratos; Stramien
(with support from the Dutch Foundation for Literature)

Past Master: Helen Ashley on Matthew Arnold

Article: Orbis: Genesis and Exodus by founder Robin Gregory

Reviews: Angelina Ayers, Maria Isakova Bennett, Ross Cogan,
David Harmer, Jennifer A. McGowan, D.A.Prince,
Andrew Taylor, David Troman
and Noel Williams

Orbis 171 contributors also include:

E. Kristin Anderson; Anne Banks; David Banks; Fred Beake;

Geraldine Clarkson; Monica Corish; Dagmar Drabent; Roxy Dunn;

Nausheen Eusuf; David Harmer; Michael Henry; Jenny Hockey;

Kathleen Kummer; Simon Lewis; G. P. Manuell; Kathy Miles;

Caroline Natzler; Jennie Osborne; Bibhu Padhi;

Jeff Phelps; Khadija Rouf; Gerry Stewart; Ginny Sullivan; Declan Sweeny;

Robin Thomas; Olivia Walwyn; Richard Williams; Jim C. Wilson





Orbis170, Winter 2014

£5 (Overseas: £9/€12/$15); Subs: £17/4 pa (Overseas: £35/€42/$58)

Front cover artwork: ‘Church Street’ by Steve Williams;
back cover, detail from image:

Of course you want to know what happened
on the road to Ploubalay with Chrissy Banks,
though admittedly risking a peek over John Paul Davies’s shoulder into
Jack The Ripper’s Bedroom will makes you Perfectly Blue, Faye Boland warns.
Nobody, including Aidan Baker would classify it asThe Finest-Hour Syndrome. –
best stick to the Facts, provided by Fokkina McDonnell
because you never know just what will squeeze out of the Genie’s Bottle (Li C. Tien).
Or do you have an answer for Susan Lindsay:
Shall We Get Swept Away By Lunch-time?
Why not find out? Will you be attracted to the shining lights in this issue of Orbis,
along with a surprising number of moths…

Featured Poet

Mark Carson: Grogan’s Castle;

Incognito, Cumbria; Holy Week, Ronda

Agoraphobics, Cambridge; Night flight, Karachi


Poems from: Sue Burge: Seven Easy Steps to Working with Angels;

Luba Ostashevsky; The Fish; Jonathan Lewis:Walking to The Nutcracker; Benedict Newbery: Film Review by Vlad


Prose from: Ágnes Cserháti: Standing on the Corner; Charlotte Gringras: The Thief of Time; Mark Reece: Forced Exercise

Translation: Anita Marsh; Anthony Costello; Anthony Howell: Alain-Fournier,LaRonde

Past Master: Merryn Williams on W.H. Davies

Article: Reading Poetry Aloud by William Alderson

Reviews: Angelina Ayers, Maria Isakova Bennett, Clairr O’Connor, David Harmer,
Afric McGlinchey, Jennifer A. McGowan, D. A. Prince, David Troman
and Noel Williams

Orbis 170 contributors also include:

John Ashley; Nick Burbridge; Jennie Christian; Annemarie Cooper; Barbara Cumbers; Fiona Donaghy;
Richard George; Alice Harrison; Liz Horrocks; Mary Lee; Jim Lindop; Richard Martin; Jean O’Brien;
Anita Ouellette; 
Edward Ragg; Rachel Spence; John Whitehouse; Alessio Zanelli




Orbis 169

Front cover artwork: ‘When The Forest Calls‘ byTheresa Tahara;
back cover, detail from image:

Featured Poet
Maureen HillBering; Anna Christina; Glass; Bertha – Mrs Rochester

Poems from:Yvonne Baker:The taste of black moss; Simon Fletcher:Landscape;
John HartElation; Kate NorthHematocyte;Paul Stephenson:The Swell Speed of Mrs Jackson’s Knees

Prose from: Gail DendyBreath’s Journey; Ayelet McKenzieBroken Surfaces;
Luke MurphyThe Glass Cage

Translation: Michael SwanPetrarcha Canzoniere 272

Past Master: Dave Troman on Edgar Allan Poe

Article: Enda Coyle-GreeneOne Woman’s Voice – the poems of Sheila Wingfield

Reviews by:Angelina Ayers,Maria Isakova Bennett, Suzannah Evans,
David Harmer, 
Afric McGlinchey, Jennifer McGowan,
Clairr O’Connor, Lynne Taylor, D.A. Prince

Orbis 169 contributors also include:
Niamh Boyce; Séamas Carraher; Ross Cogan; Ian Colville; Stella Davis;
Siobhan Daffy; Eliza Dear; Marianne Dissard; Martin A. Egan; Margaret Gleave;
Cora Greenhill; 
Oz Hardwick; Chris Hardy; Gloria Keeley; Noel King;
Simon Leonard; Luke Palmer; 
Ali Pardoe; Kathleen M Quinlan;
Marilyn Ricci; Marg Roberts; Catherine Rockwood;
Phil Ruthen; Martha Street; Alec Taylor; Linda White