Issue 36


Lots of notable contributions in Dream Catcher 36. It almost feels unfair to mention specific pieces. From Ben Benison, the powerful opening soliloquy of his verse play, Jack Lear; Meredith Andrea’s prizewinning poem from the BBC Proms Poetry Competition; the borders between prose and poetry expertly navigated by Sheila Endersby and Gregory Gilbert Gumbs (prose poetry/poetic prose); a concrete poem from J.Twm. Creative tension, as Ness Al-Shaikhly, Simon Cockle and Maria Stephenson each present a clash between different lives alternating down the page.  Add to this the striking artwork on the cover and within by Elaine Thomas. This issue becomes one of our best yet. Reviews of books by William Alderson, Julie Edgell and Landeg White.

The Oyster Eaters

Hanging at the stall
two oyster eaters
nip, on charcoal tips
of black cigars, and
grinning through the smoke,
finger oysters from
their shells and share a
dirty joke: squeeze of
lemon, lick of salt,
chuck it down your throat,
wipe your mouth off with
your hand and have
another poke. Mange
ici! Six oysters.
Un verre de vin. Cinq
Her back turned from their
bags obedient,
attending at each
ankle, une grande dame
delicately slips
lewd molluscs between
her lips, watched on by
a brown nut boy, who’s
chewing the ooze from
a burst brick of brie.

Scott Butterworth

After The Break Up

She swears to God it was going to pounce,
this massive spider on her bathroom wall.
She got a towel and flicked it to the floor,
and the only spray she could find was that
mould remover, so the scuttling nightmare
got a big burst, and its eight legs waggled
for a bit, then it went still. Job done, girl!
But, to be sure, she stamped on him hard,
and stamped again till he turned to mush,
then she scraped him up with loo paper,
and tossed him in the pan, and flushed.
Her turn to buy the drinks, back in a bit.

The others laugh behind her back at how
that spider became a him instead of it.

Tony Hendry


I was looking for shells,
driftwood, sea urchins,
cuttlebones and shrimp
in the swash zone

when I found you
ambling on pocked sand,
splashing through strands
of glistening foam.

We strolled hand in hand
to the end of the beach
where a jetty fractures
the swell. I left you

behind like a sand castle
for children to knock down,
waves to wash away,
a full moon to freeze.

Although I’ve forgotten
the colour of your eyes,
the sound of your voice
and the scent of your skin,

you’re with me each time
I walk on hard sand,
taste salt on my lips,
feel the tide bathe my eyes.

Gwen Sayers