Three Drops from a Cauldron: Issue One

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Welcome to our new format web journal! Issues will be released fortnightly on Fridays, and include ten poems and/or flash fictions each, on our familiar themes of folklore, mythology, legends, and fairy tales.

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Street Song by Maurice Devitt

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Street Song

Step on a line
you marry the devil –
no longer to savour
the candyfloss of grace –
instead
the check-list of sins,
first confession
an easy choice
between murder and omission,
the craving
to beard the bogeyman,
loosely imprisoned
in an upstairs room,
the curious
keyhole of mascara,
the too-loose clip
of his mother’s shoes
and in the corner
a wireless
playing all the best tunes.


The seventh son of a seventh son, Maurice Devitt was abandoned by his evil stepmother and raised in the forest by a poet.

Red Potion Spotted by Susan Taylor

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Red Potion Spotted

That I appear more real than reality
is a party trick –
take my red hood furred over with white

That hood or veil is a useable asset
to shrink away concealing
the enormity of my magic

That to introduce magic
realises every path diverges
and comes back together presently

That to be pulled over by time
and stopped in our tracks
is the purpose of now

That being to fly
agaric, symbolic, shamanic,
entrancing the fairy ring

That to meet and eat with me –
the mayhem within these spotted bells
changes all perception

That to change proportions
is sure sign our appearances
are deceptive

That I appear more real than reality
is a party trick –
take my red hood furred with white


Susan Taylor has a penchant for scattering sparkles from  other worlds over her audience. She was described at last month’s Poetry island at The Blue Walnut in Torquay as the Fairy Godmother of the South West poetry scene! She recently headlined with her partner, Simon Williams and ace folk singer, Si Barron at Teignmouth Poetry Festival in March.

The Dry Month by Margaret Holbrook

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The Dry Month

Come cut the wood, ready for Solstice.
Light the bonfires, watch the leaping flame
strengthen our sun at its height.
This is our longest day.
The standing still of the sun.
Litha monath,
when the sea is calm and the breezes gentle,
when Midsummer Eve beckons.
A time of ritual and feasting,
when scattered rose petals conjure
up a lover with the dawn,
when any rose picked at sunrise
will have six months of perfect life.
This is June. Sera monath.


Margaret Holbrook grew up in Cheshire where she still lives. She writes poetry, plays and fiction. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and her poetry has appeared in magazines including Orbis, The Journal and The Dawntreader.

Book Review: Four-Legged Girl by Diane Seuss

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A Three Drops Review

Four-Legged Girl by Diane Seuss

[Reviewed by Michelle Anderson]

Diane Seuss’ poetry breaks down the organic matter of emotion, reducing it to it’s original earthy elements and examines facets of desire, spirituality, solitude, and freakishness under a microscope of verse and imagination.  Continue reading

Orchardist by Mary Franklin

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Orchardist

A full blood moon beams on the leafy trail
he walks along, carrying a leather bag
full of seeds collected from cider mills.

He sees a clearing, casts handfuls of them
on fallow ground, continues to a roadway,
barefoot, hatless, his tunic tattered, unhemmed,

in need of a wash. Now he raises his hand
to greet a farmer. Good day, kind sir, he says.
Good day to you, Johnny Appleseed.

No cabin door is closed to this slender man,
wiry, alert, blue-eyed, mild in manner,
the planting of apple trees his main concern.

He has a dream that no one should go hungry.


Mary Franklin has had poems published in various journals including Iota, The Open Mouse, Ink Sweat and Tears, London Grip and Three Drops from a Cauldron, as well as several anthologies, most recently by Three Drops Press.  She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

A First Meeting by Claire Walker

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A First Meeting

His first sight is a flash of red in his eye line.
He darts for the safety of oak –
so often he plays the hunted,
despite the blade of his jaw.

His sharp eyes settle on the slender girl.
She carries her basket tenderly,
protecting the sweetness inside.
Her mother has taught her to be good.

The plumped dough of the bread and rise
of the cake is not his interest. He imagines her cape
lying fleshless on the grass,
how her skin would feel beneath his claws.

He jumps from his cover, unsure how to strike
conversation. He points to wild flowers,
talks of their beauty under morning sun, asks
why don’t you pick them? She follows his gaze.


Claire Walker’s poetry has appeared in magazines, anthologies and websites including The Interpreter’s House, Ink Sweat and Tears, And Other Poems, Clear Poetry and Crystal Voices. Her first pamphlet, The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile, is published by V. Press. Her website is clairewalkerpoetry.com.

One for Sorrow by Alison Lock

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One for sorrow

Black, white,
crossing our path,
a swatch against the grey-green
of leaves, branches, sky.

I worry

––searching for another––
a pairing, a joy.

But today, is a sad day.


Alison Lock‘s poetry and short stories have appeared in anthologies and journals in the UK and internationally. She has published a short story collection, two poetry collections (Indigo Dreams Publishing), and a fantasy novella (Mothers Milk Books). She has an MA and is currently studying for a PhD in Creative Writing. She is a tutor for Transformative Life Writing courses.http://www.alisonlock.com/

The Tylwyth Teg by Susan Taylor

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The Tylwyth Teg

You stand by the rocky wall,
composed as you look
over tree tops to the inlet,
one of a fair haired people
who is able to read change
in the air reflecting water.

You leave more
than a little of self behind.
The swing boats of sea whisper
Remember in an older tongue
than your dark haired mother speaks.

She holds back for a moment
that floods through her time.
Over there
on your invisible island, she senses
the significance of your calm.

When she finds The Tylwyth Teg
in an old book,
she writes this down.
It is in her words
but she hopes you will understand.


Note – Giraldus Cambrensis wrote of the Tylwyth Teg in the 12th century;
These men were of the smallest stature but very well proportioned in their make. They were all of fair complexion, with luxuriant hair falling over their shoulders like that of women.


Susan Taylor has a penchant for scattering sparkles from  other worlds over her audience. She was described at last month’s Poetry island at The Blue Walnut in Torquay as the Fairy Godmother of the South West poetry scene! She recently headlined with her partner, Simon Williams and ace folk singer, Si Barron at Teignmouth Poetry Festival in March.

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