Swapping Places With Grandad

By Matilda Houston-Brown

he wants to run again, like the golden man on the top shelf who gathers the dust, stick left behind, feet in the mud, camping and carbolic soap and kissing a young and joyous wife, and walking up stairs without that nagging tug of frustration, because it is beautiful to be young and ready to […]

Rose Garden Lane

By Kyle Liang

December 24th, 2017 This morning, I helped my father remove leaf carcasses from his tenant’s gutter and imagined him slipping off the ladder I was told to hold. A part of me wants to believe that he would scream but I know he wouldn’t. I know his body would strike the earth like a fist. […]

shades of brown

By Fiyinfoluwa Timothy Oladipo

if I could wake up this morning and find five shades of brown nestled under the furry pine leaves of hanged angel wings I would first go to the cathedral and press my brown fingers into the brown paint and my thumbs against all the ceramic cheeks and the stained glass till they all look […]

Ode to Food that is “Too Spicy”

By Michelle Yang

You, who birth accidental tears and coughing storms, plow trails down my throat and remind me of your existence the next morning when I think the worst has passed. You, best cure to a stuffed nose, exorcism of the weak and untrained: an honor badge. You, who make white boys trying to impress their girlfriends […]

Wanting, needing, having

By Jake Street

I want to want to need to do something I need to want to want to need to do something I have to need to want to want to need to do something and the pleasure is in the having. Needing and wanting are just suffering in different winter coats but having is fulfilling and […]

Wish List

By Iona Mandal

I woke up from late afternoon slumber Caught you, hands curled in action Back arched against the Christmas tree Eyes gleaming towards the waning December sun You clutched a Yankee candle that sat stil The leftover wax arresting it To the prison of the windowsill From the last time we had a candlelit dinner I […]

‘I wish to see the man in the moon’

By Cecilia Hornyak

I wish to see the man in the moon, I never knew what it could ruin, when men above hide from my eyes, like Rorsarch blots I can’t disguise. “We’ll tell the moon goodnight,” she said, Her nightgown white beside the bed, my words stick fast before I choke, She cries. I leave. I never […]

Love in the Time of Cold

By Laura Potts

Before the dawn that walks the northern morning from the moors; before the swans sing winter on and cough the fog upon the ponds, we ask that through the Christmas mist and bells that bring December in you pause and long-remember this: ever through the blizzard lives the hospice on the hill, sleeping in the […]

catalogue of lights

By Ella Standage

light of daylight, light of december daytime, 52% of a day not darkened, light of sun, soon sunlight on moon reflected, lightning collected, light of LEDs strung around the fireplace, fireplace light, light playing at light of lightbulb, bulb of light, soon daffodil-light, soon more-light, warm-light, and not these trees in photosynthesis-frozen half-light, street-light-lit night, […]

Dandelion

By Amelia Doherty

My sweet lion’s tooth, The star-flower, the yellow buds That bloom, the wish-granting blossoms, Tap-rooted, northern born and bred, wild. Lobed, rosette, a prize for the lion’s teeth The paddock’s stars, the clock-seeds, We’re running out of time, you’ll wilt soon. Florets, sun rays, wind-walkers, parachutes, Sweet sun of the land, the stars that grow […]

The Adolescent Adventures of the Bold Brunettes

By Katie Kirkpatrick

Start at Dover Cliff house. White and crumbling, it’ll be there for a while. Turn off down Stephen King Lane. The wide tarmac road will smile at you until it’s dark. That’s when people disappear, you know. Cross Great Dane Field. The more dogs you see, the more likely it is you’ve found the way. […]

Canadian bear

By Xanthe McElroy

The snow slowly morphed to a liquid on his heated back His snores were the song that the wildlife danced to As he frolicked in his dreams The snow started falling as he dreamed of the sun The sun started shining as he stirred in his sleep But fell back down the whole of a […]

大曲の花火 (Omagari no Hanabi)

By Abby Meyer

In the black sky, a single plume of grey-white. 大仙 means Daisen means big transcendence 仙: person and mountain. they had climbed to the top and found a heaven there. So the mountain watches over the river here and if I climbed it, could I understand the distance and the lack thereof? I tell myself […]

Naming Girls

By Matilda Houston-Brown

(they chose Lily because lily white, fresh, light like new bedsheets.) Playing outside, she came back mud christened, dirt like a promised tattoo. scraped off her with soap, it still hums on the skin, something that wouldn’t let go. (they chose Bella because beautiful lady, hoped for wide eyed innocence) Then she was two steps […]

Lindfield

By Francesca Weekes

Open land with lime trees, Older than the Romans and their roads, Older than the thin-boned fish in the water, Older than hindsight. Grasped from the claws of giants, Safe haven, the soldiers didn’t come here. Kings hunted when the land was fertile, Drank wine scooped from the crushed grapes Of these fields, slept in […]

blackheath

By Ella Standage

birds pick their way through windswept heather, and feathers tread desire paths through the air. under wingbeats light emulsifies mist, a mistaken ghost, lingering. children talk of plague pits, not here, but everywhere. beneath its centuries london is essentially a grave. black is older than their voices: blæc. i hear bleak, imagine dew on the […]

a sojourn in venice, the “drowning city”

By Weina Jin

it was this: most serene lions pawing at the sky; plaster hands clawing at silk roads on stilts. it was this: underwater houses rusted green in the silt of the river; crumbling stone moss creeping up over the gondola pipes and trinities of elm moorings growing out of the water. it was this: decay preying; […]

call me

By Luca Demetriadi

call me down to Balcombe when the sun licks the reservoir and i can touch Ardingly with a pointy stick. Ardingly, pronounced Arding-lie, is one of West Sussex’s many blades of grass, and the one that i balance on like a ladybird. my home is in Balcombe. no. my house is in Balcombe. my home […]

Globus

By Olivia Todd

How we abuse the globus we dwell on, ripping up terra with such revelry. So we may lay pavimentum strong, Ignoring ossa that we cannot see. Our sun-dried clay rises towards the sky. Chimneys cough fumus; a deathly omen. The V’s we painted as children, farebye. The Power should have made us below them. Unless […]

Bhadrapur

By Sarahana Chemjong

The landscape of a village ensconced in obscurity, Where dwellers come and go. Its inhabitants running Dry like the bottom of an empty well. Lost in a summer Haze of unforgivable heat, the settlers settle like birds of A feather. With crows in their eyes, wrinkles carving their Body like a life lived and long-worn. […]

Where Is Here?

By Annika Cleland-Hura

The vast rolling plains, the mountain chains, the maritime wonderlands of Canada were not of an infant named in the womb History breathed upon it slowly, shaping its identity sans rigidity Permitting time and aberrations not to mar but to mould As a small child my reverence was song – O Canada the true North […]

Swan Hill

By Jennie Howitt

Down this one-way tarmac river the houses are masked by a latticed ebony merged on the banks by bricked dust piles, which steepens to the cloud paved meridian and descends, a trance, a curved water rod; less of a hill than an asphalt fountain the silent swans that once swam through the crisp, pedestrial winds […]

bumblebee

By Emma Reilly

silence seeps from you fog on an asphalt winter’s day you are a place for ghosts buzzing metamorphosed into a creaking tinnitus                                      no one soars from your appendages anymore                 […]

Alan Kurdi

By Muhammad Amin

Alan Kurdi lies on the beach Like autumn’s fallen leaf Seagulls soar in the sky Singing a song of grief His eyes are bright pools Swimming in the deep Are forgotten faces full Of pain, faces that weep Alan Kurdi doesn’t breakfast No sugar puffs or corn flakes Snap, crackle and pop. Bombs Fall like […]

Timothy Winters

By Marlene Agius

Timothy Winters is no school boy now He roams London streets like a mad-cow The world cries he should win one’s spurs Just by living the life of Timothy Winters His stomach is empty, his hair’s falling out, But no one makes a big deal about Living alone with no place to hide Losing teeth […]

Conor McMaster

By Ray Sheridan-Warburton

Conor McMaster drags himself home, With shoe-soles thin as packaging foam. Ears like coalmines, nails crumbling plaster, ‘Jus’ don’t wanna, Miss’, said Conor McMaster. Shoulders stay up until the corner shop, Got pot noodle for tea so he doesn’t quite drop. Back out for the wind to chase through his bones, ‘Coats ain’t cool anyways’ […]

Sword & spine

By Jade Cuttle

He thinks he’s sharp enough to slice the earth in two when he wields the weapon of his body to the wind: all sword and spine, he makes a swipe at the sunlight but misses – the soil spatters out a laugh as it tugs this restless flame back into its place.       Answer: […]

clementine

By Ella Standage

supermarket treasure. find me beneath fluorescent lights. i melt orange, glow incandescent. i could be the 5pm sun, horizon-swallowed, kitchen witchcraft rolling off the dim-lit countertop. i hit the ground and carry on—i don’t know where to stop. it is easy to get under my skin, to examine my earth— space station sights of city […]

Raddle

By Ella Duffy

I bind my catch in heavy folds like a shroud. Use soiled sheets to blind and gag, then dress each scaled and feathered frame with coils of silk; basted black.   Answer: an oil spill