Brutal Poetry

HCE received a lot of high-quality submissions for The Brutal Issue – sadly, too many to fit inside the magazine! So we offered some of our shortlisted contributors the chance to be published on our website.

Keep an eye on our social media for more great writing like this, in the run up to the release of The Brutal Issue…

Things That Were Lost in the Flood

Cliff Burns


old photo albums a wedding
dress letters cards dating back
decades books so many books
bloated with moisture leaking
words a mush of ink plus the
kids’ baby clothes mementos
curios keepsakes priceless to
everyone but the insurance
company which refuses to
process our claim denying
compensation for drowned
treasures a veritable fortune
in gold-encrusted memories
jewels baubles of bygone days

CLIFF BURNS has been a professional author for more than 30 years, with 11 books and well over 100 published short stories to his credit. He draws influences from numerous genres – “fusing them together into daring, original visions, all the more terrifying for their realism and authenticity. I specialize in narratives of psychological suspense and my tales, once absorbed, are seldom forgotten. They leave their mark.” Cliff lives in western Canada with his wife and several thousand books. ‘Things That Were Lost in the Flood’ is from Cliff’s next collection, The Algebra of Inequality & Other Poems, which will be released April, 2018. His previous collection, New & Selected Poems (1984-2011) was shortlisted for an national independent press award in Canada.
For more information, visit Cliff’s blog, “Beautiful Desolation”:“.