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.

Check out our social media, as we’ve posted more great writing like this in the run up to the release of The Brutal Issue…

Seal Cub

Ion Corcos


Off the boat,
waves from a storm, white peaks
turning the shore,
where seals gather, with cubs.
Off the boat, steel rigs and rusted ropes,
thick boots, heavy jacket,
snow wind
pummels his face.
Hard like stone,
and splinters.
He walks onto the ice rock,
club in hand;
his feet still sway from the sea.
Seals scatter, groan and growl,
like they will fight, but they cannot.
A cub is too slow, drags itself
along the rock, into snow.
Boots sink, splattered
red on white,
his club smashes down.
He does not even look at it,
crying, like a dog hit by a car;
he does not even look at it,
blood spilling out of its nose,
gasping for breath,
calling, calling,
to its mother, dead.

ION CORCOS has been published in Grey Sparrow Journal, Clear Poetry, Communion, The High Window and other journals. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Ion is a nature lover and a supporter of animal rights. He is currently travelling indefinitely with his partner, Lisa. Ion’s website is: http://www.ioncorcos.wordpress.com