Sunday, 8 December 2013

A poem by Richard Skinner


A man sweeps a field
armed with a metal detector,
the plate aching to find
the sternum bone or shield
of some Saxon lord and protector.

My radar reaches three feet
and searches for the band
dropped somewhere long ago
after losing all the heat
and the half-life of your hand.

The eyes of a submariner
lock on the ghostly green ring
as the sonar scans the immensity,
his finger presses on the monitor
and ricochets into the ocean, one long single ping. 

Richard Skinner has published three novels, all with Faber & Faber. His poetry collection, the light user scheme, is published by Smokestack.

Monday, 25 November 2013

A poem by Kathy Greethurst

I go to the weir when the sluices are open
to listen to the white water roar.

In its dark, 
it has the life of every creature in its blood.

It has its charge - its Charge of the Light Brigade,
cannon to the right and cannon to the left,
into the Valley of Death.

It has its honking Toad,
its own piper at the gates of dawn.

It has its blood bank, and its centrifuge.

It has its Laureate reading a sonnet,
a song creating a rhyme of its own.

I go to the weir when the sluices are open 
to listen to the white water roar.

It has its surf over white horses.

It has its lock,
lifts and sinks,
sucks a barge out of slack water.

It has its sports track
where kayaks come to play.

It has its clogged arteries.
It has its varicose veins.

I go to the weir when the sluices are open
to listen to the white water roar.

Kathy Greethurst takes her dog for a walk in the beautiful South Oxfordshire countryside and returns home with poems about the landscape, relationships and death. She has been writing poetry for seven years and has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. She is currently studying for her second MA - in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology and is exploring the relationship between humankind, poetry and the Cosmos. She has just stepped out of the closet to have her work published - by  Interpreter's House, Indigo Dreams and Domestic Cherry.

A poem by Mira Borghs


Dogs barking messages,
through the woods,
woody arms waving,
on forest breath,
showing the light,
on places of spells,
one of many,
legends unfolded,
of ancient times,
lapricorns, migits and faeries,
the wolf howling,
its way,
maybe showing yours,
old witches,
with bubbly skins,
of a witchy time,
voodoo lyar puppets,
tied to human hands,
telling stories,
talking without,
mouths moving,
with the longest noses,
the river always wandering,
sometimes houses,
small and camouflaged,
sitting on the bench,
thoughts drifting away,
carried by the continuous stream,
the sun touching our faces,
warming up our bodies,
as a comfortable cloak,
waking up,
by birds as witches,
that fly by,
dogs start barking again,
from one to the other,
all along the Semois,
stones show tracks,
of the ancient icy times,
when this place,
and the South,
were still one,
many a painter,
put a donkey here,
hairy ones,
and woody ones,
to conjure a canvas,
some by night,
some by day,
some in the never,
where the dogs bark messages,
in every village,
drawings on the walls,
of horses and farmers,
with heads bent down,
passing the fields,
with golden barrels,
while following the Semois,
speaking to the elfs,
of old stories,
up and down,
as every house owns a hill,
while babies sleep like roses,
in layers of curling water,
eating the trout,
that pass us,
while walking,

Mira Borghs was born in the city Sint-Truiden in Belgium. Since childhood she has loved being creative in writing, drawing, painting and performing on stage. At university in Brussels and Leuven she studied Dutch and English Linguistics and has worked as a teacher of these two languages. Under the influence of many various literary works, she has written English and Dutch poems on voyages, art, love and in 2013 her book, a dark romantic story Last Feast has been published by Lapwing Publications.

A poem by Claire Dyer

The Deal

She’d no idea when the deal was done
it would be like this:

when, salt shaken from her hair,
she rose with waters and black lace,

eyes violet, sparked; when she
shed a thousand years

and he’d called her by another name,
he’d called her avatar.


Since then: seconds, minutes build to hours
until it’s been one week, two.

And she keeps busy with small details:
laundry, time at the stove,

journeys here, there and back again
but, the air’s thundered,

he is a hundredweight of gone,
a voice in all rooms, calling.

Claire Dyer has been published in magazines and anthologies and her first full collection, Eleven Rooms, is published by Two Rivers Press. Claire’s debut novel, The Moment, is out now with Quercus and The Perfect Affair is forthcoming from Quercus in March 2014.

She is Chairperson of Reading Writers and is undertaking an MA in Poetry at Royal Holloway, University of London. Claire lives just outside Reading and her website is:

Monday, 18 November 2013

A poem by Jadine Eagle


The kettle leaks
A spider missing two legs
hangs from the ceiling
unable to ascend
Drops, lost
in the migraine carpet

Cells pulse
stretch back to the hollow
nothing before stardust
bursts into bloom
The milk is off and the cake
sunk in the middle

Recycling box chinks empty
wine bottles. Should scare
me. I shrug: dress myself
in grease and old bed
Did the weight of my new skin
crush you?

I drop
ice cream on the kitchen floor
I fold onto the tiles, frozen
with inaction, watch
plain vanilla melt

Monday, 4 November 2013

A poem by Louise Crossley

Wet Woollens
After Denis Jonson - Heat

Lean. Un-fleshed. Pancake thin. 
Not wide-hipped and full-breasted
With fat to spare for Mardi Gras.

Soup clasped tightly
Willing heat to marrow chilled
Battling rain and snow.

Slick twigs blackly drip a back beat,
Match on sandpaper riff,
Snowdrops solo.

Damp dogs, Groundhogs,
Lambs in wet woollens,
Dancing to Pink Floyd’s ‘Animals’.

In grey fleece or waxed jacket,
Relieved with only scarlet slash kisses.
Windows fastened tight.


Do you really have to bring love into it?

Professionally qualified to use a clipboard, Louise Crossley lives in the Cotswolds where she spends her time drinking tea, singing and keeping bantams.  She has served dinner to a Monkee, had breakfast with an Orang Utan and travelled across Bristol on a bus with an armadillo.   But not all at the same time.  After a 25 year break, she came back to writing poetry a year ago – and this time, it’s serious.  

Monday, 28 October 2013

A poem by Chaucer Cameron


I did not spend close evenings crouched up in candlelight, 
sifting through luxury layettes with chocolate picot trim.  
I did not crochet cardigans, sew anything by hand, 
pull draw-strings through hems, check catalogues for cashmere 
with merino woollen blend. I did not dream in sets
of a dozen muslin squares, bleached clean, starched flat, 
stacked tight inside deep drawers.

I did not keep you up at night. A lack of salt, desires for lettuce, 
coal, chalk were just imagination, Braxton Hicks contractions 
nothing more than dehydration, a lyric that repeats in loops 
                                                                                               un-break my heart.  

I filled my days, undistracted by elevated oestrogen 
or constant itching soles and palms, treated these 
as if they were like any other uninvited guest. 
Bribed by dandelion and burdock, yellow dock 
and beetroot, I drank,  
                                                                                               I entered talks,

negotiated landings, spoke fluent body language, 
practised flung back shoulders, uterus up and out
on show for just a moment. Then slow reversion 
to a stoop as daylight filtered into threads of navel pink 
and grey. Nine bands of soft reflection, sheened on skin, 
a glimpse, a thousand bony scutes. 

Chaucer Cameron has been published in a number of anthologies, the Quest Gallery Catalogue, Haigaonline, and had poetry and monologues performed at The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham. Chaucer has worked collaboratively with a film maker to produce a thirty minute poetry film collection, There is Nothing in the Garden, which screened at Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2013 and at Gloucestershire University. Chaucer’s video poem, Sloat Thrit, was screened at the Arnolfini as part of Liberated Words II Poetry Film Festival 2013. More information: