Poetry from Kirsty Niven

Portraits After ‘A Likeness’

I don’t own an image, any proof that you lived: not a poorly drawn sketch or a blurred photograph.

There is no framed canvas in vibrant oil colours, the master of the place. No portrait to take pride in.

There are no stormy eyes glaring above the fireplace, that would judge my every move, every loose strand of hair.

All that’s left are memories, sullied by history. Your face cracked by your words, its art stained with their black tones.

Hearts may ache after leaps, but a canvas can’t be kept in order for one to live. A likeness will never help.


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Poetry by John Robbins

He always was the odd duck. He preferred a good conversation to senseless noise. He read books over choosing to sit endless hours in front of a TV screen. He always spoke like some throwback in the old black and white films. He called all the boys sport. Most didn’t understand him and I simply didn’t care. He drank scotch and would ramble for hours over the taste. The subtle hints of this and that. He was a talker with little to say. I gave him a book I had written . He looked at me as if I had handed him a pile of shit. “You write Sport?” “When not drinking I believe that’s what most people would call it bud.” “What sort of things do you write?” I took a sip of my drink and crunched an ice cube. “Well my friend looks like you will have to read it and find out.” He thanked me and took the book home. I saw him a few days later. He never mentioned the book or said another word to me.  A small sacrifice for art. I was happy either way not to be called sport anymore.

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Poetry from J.J. Campbell


taste of a better life
i can still see
forever in the
eyes of the first
woman i ever
nearly thirty
fucking years
since i had my
first taste of a
better life
i’m not sure
which god i
pissed off
along the
no soul
to be tortured
this much
never have a best friend
battling breast cancer
and mental illness at
the same damn time
it’s exhausting
especially when you
have your own mountain
of shit you have to climb
each day
another glimpse of society
another day
another medical
another glimpse
into a society i
no longer identify
another time to
try to look up the
dress of someone
across the waiting
another angry
another day
where my dirty
soul gets to shine
all the old traps again
i’m falling into all
the old traps again
i always thought
experience would
kill all this shit
fifteen years later
i’ve never wanted
to live
once again
i have a chance
to figure some
shit out again
and maybe have
sex with a beautiful
woman along the
to a dream woman that lives in rome
you drive me crazy
but in the sweetest
ways possible
i can’t wait to taste
you and hold you
on a starry night
on the other side
of the world
lips like a dream
where i have fallen
into an ocean of
how does one get
so lucky to find
the most beautiful
woman in the

Elizabeth Hughes’ Book Periscope

Afflicted by Khris Holt
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Afflicted is the memoir of Khris Holt. It is a heart wrenching account of how a life time of bullying by friends and family can affect a person. It would be a wonderful miracle if, through people reading this compelling book, bullying by children and adults would end. Bullying can have devastating effects on someone. Even if it is stopped, the scars that are left can be devastating. I highly recommend this book. It touched me to my very core.
Great’Ma: A Life by Jacqueline Mallison (Wearing) 
Great’ma: A Life is a tender story of a Grandmother who has been given a very short time left to live. All of her family has been called to say their good-byes. Then Great’ma surprises everyone and miraculously gets better and stronger every day. The story follows Great’ma as she brings up her memories throughout four generations. Her great grandson Jeffrey finds her notebooks and begins reading about the history of their family, as Great’ma lived and wrote everything down. Great’ma is a loving and compelling story that will keep the reader intrigued until the very last page. I loved this book and very highly recommend it.
Colors of the Heart by Vicky-Lyn Ashby
Colors of the Heart is a very heartfelt book of beautiful poems. The poems will uplift you and touch your heart and leave you feeling emotionally happy. My very favorites are Against the Tide, Anytime You Need a Friend, Catch Me, Fantasy, and Infatuation. I loved all of them, but these are the ones that really touched me. If you are a fan of poetry this is a must have for your collection. If you have never read poetry or been a fan this book will definitely make a poetry fan of you. Thank you Ms. Ashby for a book of such beautiful poetry.
Let Us Give Thanks by Robert Perkins
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Let Us Give Thanks is a book of very inspirational poems that will uplift your mind and soul. Although all the poems are wonderful, my favorites are Giving Thanks For A Good Job, Giving Thanks for a Pleasant Day, Giving Thanks for Books to Read, Giving Thanks for Warmth, Giving Thanks for our Physicians, Giving Thanks for the Gift of Prayers. Write a list of things you can give thanks for. I give thanks for a chance to read Let Us Give Thanks. I absolutely loved these uplifting poems.
For Country: My Little Bit Twenty, One Month of Service by Donald G. Bartling
For Country is the memoir of Donald G. Bartling. He writes a wonderfully descriptive account of his time in the army fighting the Korean War. He is one of those rare authors that as you read his book, you feel as if you are there with him. The reader can “see” it as they are reading. This gives the reader a behind the scenes perspective, from his beginning in boot camp to being on the front lines. It will keep the reader interested until the very last page. I highly recommend this book for yourself or for a gift.
Living in Peace while Living in Pieces by Michael J. Washington
Living in Peace While Living In Pieces is the memoir of Mr. Michael J. Washington. He takes the reader through his Christian upbringing and also following his peers and getting into trouble. Yet he still has the presence of mind to pull himself through and choose a life of Christian living. He teaches us how to live a life of peace even if we are living a life that seems to be falling into pieces. Mr. Washington has some very good and sound advice that we can all learn from. his book is very well written and interesting and will keep the reader interested until the very last page. I highly recommend this book.

Essay from Jaylan Salah


Invisible Ghosts from a Scriptwriter’s Present

Mohamed Solaiman Abdelmalek on Plot Twists, Echo Boomers and Naguib Mahfouz


(Mohamed Solaiman Abdelmalek – photo credit: Amr Salama)

(Mohamed Solaiman Abdelmalek – photo credit: Amr Salama)

We need to talk about Ramadan and TV land


Ramadan season is usually the main course for filmmakers, scriptwriters and actors. The biggest production companies in the business fight for time slots, optimal screen time and stars face the greatest exposure to the largest number of audiences. The key gameplayer in Ramadan TV series season is Egypt; however, Arab countries such as Syria, Lebanon and Kuwait make notable contribution to the TV-sphere. Despite that, Arab stars strive to appear in one or two Egyptian TV series. Most of them consider the Egyptian audience to be the major target which they intend to seek exposure to.


Why the long intro? My guest today is a prolific writer; one whose life -apart from the job- has been a series of long-term travels and escapades in the murky waters of writing. He started since he was studying medicine in college by writing series of thriller/suspense YA fiction novels. His aim was to explore himself as a scriptwriter and provoke the sense of security and normalcy that most Arab audiences seek. By writing a historical fantasy series of novel rooted in Pharaonic Egypt, he made his landmark as a literary writer, branching out to writing for TV and enjoying the medium with all the limitations and astrophysical lack of sophistication that it provides.

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Short story by Sheryl Bize-Boutte

Uncle Martina

I don’t know why Daddy brought me with him to Uncle Martin’s house that day or even remember whether it was just he and I, but there we were, standing on the curb edge squinting into the sun, waiting for Uncle Martin to cross the street.  Dressed in an un-tucked flowy white shirt and severely creased beige slacks, Uncle Martin was looking back nervously over his shoulder as he slowly made his way across the yard and on to the sidewalk carrying a small raggedy suitcase containing what he would later tell me were his “essentials.”

Much later, I would understand that Daddy was the logical one to be there that day.  He and Uncle Martin had been close since the day Daddy married his only sister, my mom.  Uncle Martin took one more quick look over his shoulder just before his foot hit the black asphalt of the street.  Standing in a stiff row behind him were the family he was leaving, an angry wife and three children; a girl aged 10 and two boys aged 7 and 5.  The girl stood solidly beside her mother trying her best to mimic her adult fury, while the oldest boy simply looked lost and confused.  The youngest boy, who looked nothing like Uncle Martin, had a look on his face that coincided with his mismatch, that of utter detachment.

In the middle of the street now, car engine running, Daddy called out, “Come on man, let’s go.  It’s hot as hell and I’m wasting gas here!”

With that, Uncle Martin wound his long slender fingers into a tighter grip around the fragile suitcase handle and sauntered in extended elegant strides to mom’s humming, brand new 1962 Chevy “Big Rider.” Daddy grabbed Uncle Martin’s shoulder and squeezed it, which made Uncle Martin lower his head and smile a strange combination of devastation and relief.  We all piled onto the new car smell green leather seats, and with Daddy and Uncle Martin in the front and me in the back, Daddy pulled away from the curb.

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Chimezie Ihekuna’s play The Success Story: Part 3

Please read the first installment of Ihekuna’s drama here and the next here. 

We’re serializing this play one scene per issue.

Chimezie Ihekuna

Chimezie Ihekuna










Chimezie Ihekuna (Mr. Ben)'s newest book, The Poured-Out Thoughts

Chimezie Ihekuna (Mr. Ben)’s newest book, The Poured-Out Thoughts

In Greg’s Room…

It is three days to resumption. Greg, the only one in the house, is pacing back and forth his room, thinking becausehe has just completely read through the last chapter of the 150-page ‘Find Your Way Back’. He then forces himself to lie on the ten-inch-thick bed. But restlessness can’t make Greg take a nap after hours of preparation for school. Greg has his clothes properly placed in his medium-sized traveling bag. It is a tasking situation for the eighteen-year-old, having to select the clothes—from a variety of clothes in his white cupboard—he will be wearing throughout the duration of the session.

Meanwhile, Greg’s radio player, placed on a small white table, with a simple standing fan by the side for some cooling effect, is listening to a program on 88.1 Flash FM. The Program aired is: Return To Your Calling. Greg’s restlessness soon turns to comportment:

Hello, I’m XYZ, your anchor woman for today’s program. Listeners at home, school, work and some other places, how are you doing? Hope you’re enjoying your day? I am enjoying mine…

You’re unto 88.1 Flash FM …the station that has your interest at heart!

Today, the program, Return To Your Calling is a second-chance, never-too-late and decide-for-yourself interest dedicated to those who, by virtue of forced conditions and misplaced priorities, have ventured in various endeavours that they shouldn’t have been.

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