Huge thanks to Parson thru for choosing our Story and Poem for May:


Pick of the month for May 2018



Pick of the month for me has to be Romance Killer by Socialeaf, 3 May 2018.

Wistful thoughts on relationships, framed within an intimate moment on a beach. Stream of consciousness piece with a small child as mediator, distractedly coping with a melting ice-cream (we’ve all been there) and bringing life back into equilibrium. The author draws us into the moment with an open, conversational-narrative style. The image this poem engendered has stayed with me through the intervening weeks. Like a faded family photograph, in fact.

Surasawa Pond, london_calling79, 13 May

The first time I read this poem, I felt it carried a message of wisdom with the quality of Eastern mysticism. A truth was there, but slightly out of reach. Having read the comments and followed the link to read about its inspiration, the poem grew arms and legs. It’s a great poetic reaffirmation of the tale. The aesthetic works well, as does the gentle humour, which I assume it conveys from the original. A great comment on the susceptibility of humans to their own inventions.

South-Central Walthamstow, Alfie Shoyger, 11 May

These punchy 7 stanzas paint the changing London borough as starkly as the graffiti of their opening lines. This poem reminds me that I went to watch the dogs run there years ago – something else displaced by “better” things. The lyrical format works well, and I can imagine how it sounds performed, driving the point home with each final rhyming couplet. Great piece.

Histories of a Small Town in Ontario, agnosticnun, 23 May

There’s an authentic voice in this poem, recounting the hardships of the pioneer era, with its scandals and its exclusions. That voice is given a platform by use of the narrative style. It makes me think that more oral histories ought to be captured in a poetic form. Full of imagery and the lovely idea that winter smells of kerosene. Finishes on a great metaphor.

renewable 2, Di_Hard, 30 May

Beautiful depiction of an early summer scene that places the reader at the “moss furred wall” to take in the scene and share the moment, which ends, hanging, with a cuckoo’s call. Wonderful.



Story of the month for me is And He Called It The Devil (Part 1) by proudwing, 20 May.

Part 1 of a tale with a sinister blight at its core. Placing horror among child characters always seems to heighten the effect – innocence and malevolence tap into every human dungeon – and this is a great example. The setting is well-chosen and rendered in vivid and precise detail. The characters are believable and natural, and the dialogue flows easily. The story seems one of timeless allegory, setting-up an otherness that divides the father’s fears – the blight / the bogeyman – from the children’s innocence. A memorable read.

Lima (before or after the jungle), harveyjones35, 7 May.

Great travel piece that reminds me of Alain de Botton’s point that the difference between the brochure and reality is you: you have brought yourself along. Hence why deeply subjective and reflective pieces like this make such good travel writing. That sense of having “Nothing to do. Nowhere to be.” and the value of finding shade. So authentic. The description of the grocery shop is superb: the “blinding stillness” of the light outside contrasted with the dark interior where no space is left unused. The jungle, too, is wonderfully described as “uncensored” and being “the indigestible violence of nature” - isn’t it just?

The Alien Problem, The Other Terrence Oblong, 13 May.

The first of two of the author’s “Happy Island” tales in this month’s selection. Both are gently amusing and off-the-wall. A distraction containing just enough of what they’re distracting from to give them bite. He has the pace just right, playing the story out between the heroic islander pair. Their visitor, the indecisive alien whose aim is to take over the world if he could only decide how, is a wonderful creation. So, too, the “Empty House”. Take me to your reader.

The Crime Problem, The Other Terrence Oblong, 26 May.

The second of the “Happy Island” pieces. This time an islander-generated policy for mainland crime with superbly-declared interests by the policymaker, Alun. TOTO must surely have worked in government to have crafted this one – ABC Tales’ John le Carré. Win-win situations are always hard to argue against. Great gentle comedy again, with the letters “TRUTH” running through it.


Many thanks for the honourable mentions Parson Thru, have to put my hand up to a decade or so as a political lobbyist, so I've always fully understood why Alun is so completely dismissive of the 'mainland council'.


Great read. It certainly had an authentic ring. :)

Parson Thru