Summer Photograph

By Amy Wolstenholme

Bluebells bloom from the refuse heap, Plait a crown for broken pots and leaves. Grass blades weave: in-out. Beetles dart – come in come out! – through the dandelion gridlock. Beating hearts; butterfly eggs on nettle beds. Moth wings. Shining things. Fireflies breed in luminous excess behind the potting shed. Night dark, quick start, bats […]

mynydd y graig

By Eleanor Smith

hill seethes with rain bone festering with moss wind scraping it raw sweated and curled with furze and fern hill is carcass hollowed out ribs holding the sky buried under clouds, only its shadow visible like a whale underwater invasions of plant life: hill is bruised with heather and gorse hill is labour pangs, crystallized […]

dandelion clock

By Ella Standage

held between forefinger and thumb: the stem like a green vein, and balanced above—time as an exploded diagram. see the hours stellated, the minutes anatomised as spokes of a wheel that does not turn, struts to hold up this whispered globe of wishes. between fingernails you pluck one from its earth the way you’d dissect […]

Tree Talk

By Francesca Weekes

We are taller than your most extravagant tales. A drawn-out note on a mellowed cello Describes our skin, Our bark, roughened under wind and sun Ripples more slowly than the eye can follow. We are water, wood, sunlight; We are tree. We sense everything: The languid pop of mushrooms at our roots, The prickle of new […]

The White Wolf

By Amelien Fox

The snowy ground shines with the white moon My silent paws are the only mark in the wilderness The pines tower over the sky further than I can reach In the distance my pack lie together But I am alone I howl to the moon Letting the anger out of me All the past I […]

the writer comes across a hedgehog at midnight or the hedgehog comes across a writer

By Rosa Walling-Wefelmeyer

little wolf in grandma’s bonnet and dress sways at an easy pace across pavement space, a two-step beat for four tiny feet – but then, under sudden lamplight, splits at a stroke, turning into two dancers, each looking to lead: the first is keen to effect a pause to worm for well-earned sustenance; the other, […]

Butterflies

By Alannah Taylor

Until that grand unravelling, along those puckering, pocketed contours, it is all layers of blood and spleen crusted up on one another in crystalline collusions of chaste diffidence, like the sore kinks around the hips and shoulders of a skeleton which has been forced to grow coiled up inside a cupboard. But when you dredge […]

A Woodpigeon

By Tanya Kundu

I tend to avoid large bodies of water But when dehydration decrees That I must visit one such brimming mirror, I am told again that I am ugly. My crooked beak laps and splashes, Distorting that once still surface with circles: Echoes of distaste – Widening, scornful eyes. So I try to make amends For […]

The voice of a nation

By Emily Brown

New life brought into the world We hold within us The power to change a nation A way of thinking Faces hidden behind veils Ingenuity on the wrong side of closed doors Words as old as time tell us that this is how it should be But we do not have to look far To […]

Mind the Gap

By Opefoluwa Sarah Adegbite

i stand on a platform of unidentified faces, and business coats so long they flow over onto the tracks and make a swaddling sea of tweed and leather and polyester. i stand beside a beggar, wearing the night sky as his cloak; broken pieces of glass jabbed savagely into his sides, and the blood stains […]

An equilibrium?

By Jasmine Thom

“Inequality doesn’t exist anymore; If you work hard, you have the same chance as anyone.”   Tell that to the infants Who are still sold before their first breath, Because another mouth is another death.   Tell that to the girls Who are sold on their twelfth birthday, For their brother’s chance to thrive.   Tell that […]

‘We are dying here’

By Emily Reader

She is in an abyss, A vacuum where no thoughts can be voiced, The words cling to chords, Unable to sneak past walls of teeth, Into the dust-choked air. Her story is old news, Dried up and dull, And like toddlers, we have tossed her problems aside, When they lasted too long and got too […]

The secrets of the dominant patriarchal plant

By Faiza Manzoor

Pacing back and forth, 11pm at night, Redrafting and editing my work again, To make sure it is precisely right. The work in which I have become so invested, caffeine filled days and nights, And yet can’t expect to receive the same as Jim from the office, Despite equal pay entailed, in basic human rights. […]

Equals

By Hannah Hodgson

I feel you over my shoulder and I try to remind you that this ring is not a magnet towards pots and pans. This ring does not sew a cleaning cloth to my hand. This ring does not mean I can’t understand maths. This ring is not a band of ownership, like a receipt at […]

United Unit

By Emily Raisin

Our world is a unit, a spherical whole. An entity. An entirety. A wonder to uphold. In defining a ‘unit’, we understand one. This is the problem. It’s where we’ve gone wrong. Our world is not a lone, singular thing, As its heart is laced with infinite strings, Like a robust rope, a weaved tether, […]

Yousafzai

By Deborah Ashfield

The blurry taste of blood / aromatic injury swelling in my lungs, in my mouth, in my throat. Kick me. Kick me again, and again, We are the cement; there is no wall without us. Where are your children? did you kill them all too? Driven to madness. Stripped of their youth. A bullet skims […]

Bed

By Mel Pettitt

My mother taught me to bleed based on the instructions of my grandmother– she made sure I might never forget. My daughters’ birthdays hurt like bee stings. He says I am ugly, which is why he wanted to touch me, my breasts swollen unchristian things, and painful; there was darkness wrapped inside my apology.   […]

Hearth-life

By Annabelle Fuller

First there was the heat. Kiln womb, Suffocated after being dragged up from the ground. Clapped together, clay compressed, Neat brick forms made. The twenty-fifth blackbird roasted, Fed with burning warmth. Dragged out into the cold, cold air. Beside my brothers, weeping in the brightness of the day, Formed into clean-cut lines, Mortar slathered onto […]

Memory

By Fashokun Adeoti

I have seen so many things So many people have roamed through my walls So many changes humans and time have wrought on me But my soul remains the same. Tudor – my fireplace has warmed the hearts of many And my oak clock chimes to remind me What I already know – I am […]

The History House

By Amelia Doherty

I remember the living room, the pale colours of furniture, the blazing fire with the intricacy of a mantlepiece, the booming noise of a grandfather clock the swinging and ticking and tocking I remember the dining room the long table with the small chairs the vase that was cracked the antique mirror to one side […]

Through Marble Eyes

By Eleanor Flowerday

A thick musk of decadence and decay lingers in the air, Its cloying scent invading the noses of whomever dares to break the residual silence. Bent glass that lines the walls like translucent armour, Gives a warped view to the outside world. Cubes of light drench dark floorboards, Who creak in response to a visitor’s […]

Unwritten History

By Emily Garratt

Behind our eyes, are the stories we’ve never told. We lay witness to the past but are silenced by an internal voice. Our voice may be shielded by the longcase clock, whose presence resembles a time once forgotten. But those rhythmic ticks only fulfill our heart-beat, of memories. Yet we remember beneath your prying eyes […]

An Open Letter from Greys Court

By Marina McCready

You’ve walked my halls and blooming gardens fair, Preserved me well across the endless years; It seems like only yesterday when I Was not much more than just a pile of bricks Atop a hill, just gazing down on the world Surveying the land which now I call my own. You fought a war outside […]

From Alice’s Perspective

By April Egan

I have seen it, seen it The blood stains on the dandelions The death, hiding among the daisies Staining the innocence forever Yet, here comes the king! Singing of how pure his brethren are Hand on his breast of gold. We have heard it, heard it From the hilltops over the moor where the sun […]

Bodkin Arrow

By Jake Talbot

Born in the fires of England. From humble birth I come, Bound to poplar by pitch and sinew Together we become one. Across the treacherous sea I travelled, This land seems so far away To fields of Agincourt To face to face the judgement day. Banded together our fellow archers stood Humble at sight of […]

The Difference

By Charlie Lambert

Henry’s arm rises, Henry’s arm rises, My hand is shaking as I touch the quiver, I am standing in the middle of my fear, The thunder of hooves down the hill, The sword sliding in my mind The wave of horses move like the raging sea, The wave of blue upon the hill, Henry’s arm […]

Outcast

By Gilda Hanson

Thank you I have been waiting for this moment For 600 years Alone For me it started With sunshine fingers And soldiers getting ready Like children On their first day at school Morning minds aching with worry About the day ahead The French army stood Like bulls ready to charge Blocking our way We were […]

The Splendid Longbow

By Monica Selzer

You should have seen us at Agincourt Outnumbered but not defeated We dealt a deadly deluge Before our mission was completed. Time and time again my strong archer Drew my smooth string back Endless flurry of arrows cavorted through the air I am proud, I am strong in attack. Strong and sleek, I can fire […]