With love from Beryl

By Freya Carter

“That is the trouble: we are in two worlds, and it is probably hardly possible for you in yours to picture mine.” – John Jarmain. You arrived this morning, packed into a bent envelope, once folded to          attention. The blue lines crawl about the margins, looking for ways out and today […]

Anna Akhmatova’s Return to Leningrad

By Sabine Holzman

Leningrad, mother-city, I return to you in the dark with lungs swollen, breaths incapable, your streets no longer skin immaculate as ice. I remember your cold northern nights like the back of my left hand, how I chronicled your alleyways in days I spent waiting for my son in snow that wanted to smother me. […]

Hiding Places

By Jamie Hancock

In the market, fire-flowers bloomed from gun-metal seeds and dazzled the streets into submission as Papa called us back into the house. I remember catching his brittle smile while he wrapped us in his hands and told us everything would stay the same. When the red-arm-bands swept past along the roads, you said that they […]

Sikh Warriors

By Keirit Dosanjh

None of us had left our home country before None of us knew we were going to war (The boat, the boat I’m going to be sick) A country called France full of curious stares Not used to brown skin and turbaned black hair (Eyes forward, eyes forward Don’t look) We left towns behind for […]

Flame Red

By Kutloogh Qureshi

I do swear that I will be faithful She holds my shoulders at arm’s length: Polished boots, hot khaki and She pins on a flower and tells me not To forget. A flame red against my chest. and bear true allegiance I can’t seem to get warm. Cold metal In my arms and ice in […]

somewhere

By Marina McCready

somewhere a son, a lover, a gun (all these three combined in one an unholy trinity) falls beneath the sun. all the world stops. the soldiers still. a final breath and then a chill: how terribly simple it is to kill. embraced by silence, taken to the shade. a man undone, a man unmade coins […]

may 10, 1940

By Erin O’Malley

                              to have and to hold from this day forward dawn breaks and somewhere a radio goes static                  as wedding bells ring. the white noise of our cathedral           […]

The Ghosts of New York Harbor

By Maya Miro Johnson

In A Way,             it is here that i and this country were born and it is here that we will die but       the harbor smelled nicer than I expected (or perhaps my nose was bleeding      with the unlearned memory of seasickness)   a smoggy sunset descended upon the water; her […]

frays

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

fissures in the sand are parted by water, which reminds me of the wizened cheekbones and peachy indents of an old man selling watermelon. mia’s dress is lined with white fish in royal lilac, fluttering in the sea- breeze like icing sugar, her hair erupts in threads as she dives and is already all the […]

Back Home in Winter

By Abby Meyer

Driving back home, familiar sights like the opening credits of a film on every Christmas. I sleep in cold sheets. When I fumble in the dark the lights aren’t where I remember. In town, new shops and old faces, none yours. The compass of my vision swings and keeps swinging. and I am standing, northless. […]

Savelugu Central Mosque

By Beth Davies

Northern Region, Ghana A place of beginnings rises from dust: gold-embellished doors and exposed lightbulbs, gleaming paint, the clear line where bright yellow meets bold red, windows reflecting a jigsaw of building and sky. Rows of archways and pillars extend like a lesson in perspective, the colours more brilliant in each iteration, every corner an […]

My Father’s Home

By Lovena Nawoor

My father tells me of his home – in a land far, far away. I imagine it, like stepping into a painting posing for a postcard. He tells me his memories vast as the deep green sea are not captured by a mere photo. Moments as precious as gold cannot be described by his few […]

how my trampoline gave me commitment issues

By Zuleikha Sayani

blue polyethylene surrounding a black platform home was to jump, jump, jump non-stop jump the rhubarb hues of the scorching desert sun in my eyes the crash of glass and sizzle of oil as my mother prepares dinner the travel of sound in a place too large for my too small eyes the travel of […]

A church on the edge of the world

By Francesca Weekes

There’s this little church, looks a million years old, lying on the edge of a wood which Robin Hood and Marian probably wandered. It’s hodgepodge, patchwork stuff: trunks of trees, drawn from the forest, line its walls blackly, and these are Saxon; the brick is later, Tudor perhaps, and mud-red as if freshly pulled from […]

Camping In The Edgelands With My Cousin

By Amelia Doherty

We never reached higher than the lower branches But I swear our bones were oak and our fingers brushed the sky. We never worried about the wind tearing at our clothes like wild animals, Climbing the hill where the grass reached our thighs. One night we took a tent and pitched it up, huddling around […]

Yarnbury

By Theo Lewis

That place, caught at the edge of sight, ancient and lonely, clinging to the side of the road like a clutch of wool stuck to a barbed wire fence. I too was held there by forces unseen. What kept me from striding headlong back into the world of cars, and people, and warm houses? Perhaps […]

The Stretch

By Maya Little

The uneven rules, and the edges are surplus to requirements. Link fences sway, and pebbles crawl up to shape the path. Boulders, too square and sure to belong here, peer at the sea and squint earthwards, the sky unnervingly bright today. They can’t believe in something so lacking organisation; clouds uncorralled, rain unrestrained, sun defiant. […]

below ground level

By Astra Papachristodoulou

                        neglected                                                        due to health and safety concerns molecular helicopter leaves       in various stages of […]

The Field

By Eilidh Adamson

Between back gardens And a brewery there lies Gorse and dragonflies

The Planets in Love

By Emily Hana

Inspired by Holst’s The Planets   From Mercury to Pluto i. It’s his first time falling for a boy. His heart, scherzando, laughs him breathless. Here, he can almost touch the sun. ii. flushed cheeks in spring rain and silver love songs exchanged on women’s lips. a whisper carried on rose petals and curly hair. iii. Indecisive. […]

On Wholeness

By Annie Fan

Inspired by John Adams’ Harmonium  It takes longer than a human life for plastic to decompose by opening itself within the old bone structures of previous mammals. Our bodies will gather in smaller pieces, the places light can’t escape. How I once found a monarch butterfly and watched it die; stole its wings. I’m not […]

Scheherazade

By Cia Mangat

Inspired by Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade Begin with the lilac frolics in the hem and the pity-silver stranded in her silk night-dress; her thick black hair, coarse between her fingers, running jungle-like, then serene; her eyes little ponds; his pot-bellied fingers; her lips drying out from spinning yarns with her tongue over and over – she’ll sit here […]

Summer Job as Glacier Tour Guide

By Joyce Zhou

In these last years, the glacier had turned a dull, trembling pink             and industry bloomed like soft dough, the city a softly-molded mountain. In these last years of warmer ice, there were rules only we understood.             Rookies must be able to dig road in the amber of dusty lamps because each rock could be a […]

On the Rocks

By Ella Duffy

I’ll have an oil spill on the rocks. Earthshaking. Dirty. I want the works. Nitrous oxide, CO2, give me rolling mist, smoke, smog. Polluted. Can you fill it to the brim? Raise the sea levels? Spray it with acid to give it that kick? I want heat, flames fuelled by fossil. Complex notes. Bitter. Rim […]