Samuel Maguire

When Nothing Works

Put head in hands, look down

Lose hope.

Remember when the universe gave you a sign when you asked for it

You sat on the beach and looked at where the blue sky met the blue ocean and waited

There were no ships on the horizon or faces in the clouds

And the wind blew no wise voice to your ears

You put your head in your hands, looked down

Lost hope.

Lights shone in the sand at your feet

There was fire in the rocks you sat on and electricity in the water

Sparks ignited the air

And you thought, in a voice of your own

There is light in everything

No matter what anyone else says

Because I can see it.



Give Me Hope, You Bastard

Or strike me dead

I’m thirsting for it

My heart is aching

My stomach is twisted

Fuck being dry or smart I’m hurting

And I don’t know what to do


It’s hard to have

What you can’t give

Make a life outta giving hope

And what’s left

When it’s just you who is empty

Lost and alone


If it was all just chemicals

And drugs and money and freedom

Were the answers

I’d never be happy again

Sated and not lost

Because there was never a place

To be found


Where are those flashes

Of smiles and drinks and firelight

Where is that sinking sensation of peace

The spiteful humour of resolve

The coughing laughter of a drowning man


I need it now

While this poem is bad

And going nowhere

While I’m failing and cursing


This is my fight

And there is my hope

To make this end of myself


A long and bitter campaign

To grow old a warrior


And maybe all you can do

With your despair


Is to throw it back

At the wall in front of you


Then here it is


A cry to the light at the end of the tunnel


Grasp me


Hold me


Pull me close


And let me take


Anyone I can


With me


Taught and over-responsive

Dizzying, the fall

And so long

This rope before me

I can’t walk it all


Add a unicycle

Some juggling

A hefty dose of

What the fuck

Kiss my head

Push me forward

And most of all

Wish me luck

Author: Samuel Maguire is a Brisbane author and professional bipolar-haver. His debut novel No Point in Stopping was published in 2018, and he has had work published in Stilts Journal, Scum Magazine and currently works as an editor for Tiny Owl Publishing. You can find more of his fiction, poetry and brain-wrongs on his blog.

Artist: SaBelle Pobjoy-Sherriff is a third year visual arts student minoring in film. Her art practice has an in depth focus on ideas of narrative and mythology, and tends to border on the obscure. She utilises illustration and sculpture to create vibrant worlds and creatures. You can find more on her Instagram @SaBelleeee.