Only Human Issue four brings you poetry, prose and art that detail everything from first love to last love, from sexual affairs to questions of the heart, from loss to longing. Established voices and emerging writers all relate to previous work in the magazine, forming a chain reaction of words, pictures and music. Click on the links to see the incredible connections — and if an idea strikes you then why not be part of it and submit your own response? Thank you for stopping by, enjoy the experience!

— Ruth McKee, editor@spontaneity.org.

Weeds by Zelda Chappel On this new bank weeds sink beneath the soles of us spring back bruised when we look away.   You tell me that you wear me on your lips all afternoon but I see no sign no flushing, no rouge no hint of my strange accent in your words. I wonder if you know the taste of me.   The birds are spies, perched with a perfect view to analyse our tiny theatres. Do you think they count them, our fingers flexing for almost-hand-holds retracting shyly much too soon? I bet they’re laughing at us while we mistake it for … Continued Read more

Rest before beginning by Elizabeth Rose Murray pod okriljem mora ona ceka u plimi   u komesanju valova i bonaci, nosi azurnu, sivoplavu i duboko zelenu   prema njegovom raspolozenju. Vrskom stopala uranja duboko, uspravna   u povuci – guraj – povuci - ritmu valova; ona biva   njene oci uprte ka obzoru, gdje se more odvaja od neba, i pita se   do kud bi dospjela kad bi plivala, zamislja na kojoj tocci bi je noge izdale,   dok je more ljulja i vuce dublje, dublje u tamu   gdje ce slobodno disati u crnom, neprobojnom miru. Controlled by the sea she waits inside its tide … Continued Read more

Sacred Heart by Amanda Mason “It’s perfect, don’t you think?” She hardly knew what to say, he looked so pleased with himself. As he’d driven out of town, up over the moors and down the narrow farm track, he’d refused to let on exactly where they were going. Nina had surreptitiously glanced at her watch now and again, as their time — her lunch hour — stretched to an hour and a half as long as she sweet talked Susannah in the office, making an excuse about a queue in the bank, perhaps, as it just ticked away. And the two of them sitting in … Continued Read more

Where do memories go? by Sophie Hickson I wonder why we do not drown in feelings that have melted away. How do we continue to love, and re-love Shedding life as though it is one layer deep? Read more

Three common faults in photographs by Rosemary Appleton 1. Someone missing from group I would put you – there - in the plastic chair at the bedside where your warm voice would marvel at her tiny hands her heart’s insistent beat.   2. Wrong composition of group All that day I wished you nearer - your body a match I wanted to light I watched your paint-stained fingers work the corkscrew, swirl dark red wine into a thin glass.   3. Group too far away There they are, my family - fading like a hymn’s last refrain while dust motes speckle down shafts of light. As I see them back away, … Continued Read more

To the investigator by Simon Williams   Dear Sir,   We are contacting you re the transcript http://bit.ly/1oHTtqd  of a chat session with our chatbot, Mitsuki. I understand the purpose of your research was to convince our AI of the fruitlessness of life.   While we can see the novelty of this investigation and the rigour of your discourse is impressive, you might not be aware of how our project runs. We honour Turing in our methodology.   Each day, randomly, we pick either a researcher or the application to conduct chats. On that day one of our doctoral students was at the keyboard. You should know … Continued Read more

The Proxigean Spring Tide by Ross McCleary We threw off our socks and shoes and ran along the coast. Portobello in winter is mist and rain and wet sand and cracked shells and rotten wood and seaweed. We stare at the Firth of Forth and goad it to lick our toes, watch it paint the sand with moisture and salt. Portobello at midnight is where monstrous halogen shadows stretch over the pavement and sand, appropriating the space once filled with the lights of puggy machines, arcade games, diners. Out here, staring at the sea, the effect of gravity can be observed and during the new moon the … Continued Read more

The Same Place by Pat Mullen I’ve been coming here for 12 years now – ever since I was 17. Little has changed, but people are getting younger. The three song sets, the dreary country and western beat, the same bands. Tonight it’s Margo. The same women are standing in the same places every week. Male jivers holding their sports jackets firmly closed with their left hand while they vigorously throw their partners around to the rhythm of the music. The glittering globe spinning endlessly, casting colour and shadow on the dancers. Once glamorous and exciting, now worn with lingering residues of cigarette smoke, mothballs and … Continued Read more

Truth by Stephen Shirres Eilidh read over the letter for the final time before she folded it in two and placed it inside the envelope that lay on her bed covers. The dry glue felt rough on her drier tongue. She’d never liked the taste of envelopes. Her mum had once hit her for spitting out the taste when she was young. She picked up the foundation pen from her bedside table and with shaking hands wrote two names on the brown surface: Menzies and Millicent. Out of habit she blew the ink dry and kissed Menzies’ name. Dots of pink lipstick now surrounded … Continued Read more

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