Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A poem by Richie McCaffery

You measured my depression in pheasants

I know exactly what you did now –
you measured my depression in pheasants
by thinking that taking me from England
to Belgium, all would be better.

You were a realist, you knew pheasants
exist here too, but are much rarer,
only seen on train-tracks in early morning
and usually dead, whereas at home,

in England, every glance out the window
reveals a foppish pheasant cock.
You were lovingly mistaken in thinking
you could control my depression this way

for I do not measure it in pheasants,
I do not know what I measure it by.

Richie McCaffery (b.1986) recently completed a Carnegie Trust funded PhD on the Scottish poets of World War Two, at the University of Glasgow. He now lives in Ostend, Belgium. He is the author of Spinning Plates (2012), the 2014 Callum Macdonald Memorial Pamphlet Award runner-up, Ballast Flint and the book-length collection Cairn from Nine Arches Press, 2014. Another pamphlet, provisionally entitled Arris, is forthcoming in 2017. He is also the editor of Finishing the Picture: The Collected Poems of Ian Abbot (Kennedy and Boyd, 2015). 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A poem by Kate Garrett

I loved you once in silence

Dressed in charity shop velvet,
the girl steadies her hands,

places her right palm beneath
her ribs to guide the notes

up the escape hatch of her throat.
The sounds are her confession –

her teacher says that art
is the control of raw expression.

She stands in this grey church,
and releases the song. Six months ago

she was seventeen; how could she know
about lies and love? You’re gifted, they say,

deaf to her double bluff. Her smile
distracts them, while she remembers

last month, and a door slammed
in the face of the boy who sent her clichés,

by the man who said he loved her,
but she should never tell.

*‘I Loved You Once in Silence’ refers to a song from the musical Camelot, concerning the love affair between Guinevere and Lancelot. It was also first published in Kate's pamphlet "The names of things unseen", as part of the six-poets-in-one collection Caboodle from Prolebooks (2015).

Kate Garrett writes poetry and flash fiction, and edits other people's - she is a senior editor for the independent writers collective Pankhearst, and the founding editor of Three Drops Press / Three Drops from a Cauldron. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her latest pamphlet, The Density of Salt, is forthcoming in 2016 from Indigo Dreams Publishing. She lives in Sheffield with her husband, a cat, and three clever trolls who call her "mum".

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

A poem by Hilda Sheehan


Take DADA, a living wage
stored behind OUR Tescos
lost in lost of ready meals
and saved plastic. Save

the children, enter drastic
boats tied by borders
and wonder WONDER
the empty gardens

and imaginary wealthy
culprits. Can you cry for
the ecstatic arrival of colour
or turn into TINS of sardines?

Hilda Sheehan’s debut collection is, The Night my Sister Went to Hollywood (Cultured Llama Press, 2013). She has also published a stunning chapbook of prose poems, Frances and Martine (Dancing Girl, 2014). ‘Joyously funny whilst simultaneously discussing disability, animal rights, racism, size, the menopause, love, female relationships and other issues … comic writing with bite’ – David Caddy, Tears in the Fence.