Monday, 24 February 2014

A poem by Stephen Boyce

Painted Lady

Ironic that this butterfly should look 
so moth-eaten, poor raggedy creature

like a scrap of frail lace or cutwork 
from an antique dress, rediscovered 

in a cobwebbed cupboard, tattered, 
fluttering as it sieves the feeble breeze,

and all that I can do, among blood-red 
strawberries and dry clods, is keep 

the cat away whose slightest touch 
would turn these faded wings to dust.

Stephen Boyce is a prize-winning poet and has been published widely in magazines, anthologies and online. His collection Desire Lines (Arrowhead Press 2010) was described by Katherine Gallagher as “intelligent, sophisticated, formally assured… a truly exciting new voice”.  The Sisyphus Dog will be published by Worple Press in 2014.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A poem by Josephine Corcoran

I never thought about you being fit or unfit

Father, we never talked about your disability
unless someone nodded at your legs or sticks or
catheter, your carrier bags of pills, your trembling arms.  We
know little more about it now and laugh, remembering when

you were re-assessed for Benefits and threw a drinks tray
over the people holding clip-boards.  You told them you were
useless, apologised for your shakes, asked them if they thought you’d make a waiter.

And near the end your leg was amputated. You
tipped whiskey in your spill-proof beaker, faced the sun, spilled ash everywhere;
overall, I couldn’t have wished for you to be lovlier;
sorry you’re no longer here, to tell Atos how you feel.

Josephine Corcoran ( was raised in a family entirely dependent on State Benefits for income.  Her father, Basil Patrick Dominic Corcoran, a gas fitter and champion boxer in his army regiment (he served in WW2) became disabled in the late 1950s, waking up one morning and finding he was paralysed from the waist down.  Eventually he re-gained some movement but his condition, which was never fully diagnosed, became more complex.  Josephine wrote this poem in his memory.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A poem by Monica Timms

Three Cowslips

You go past the lake
to the left.
Past where the children play
Along the path
and up the hill
past the green
where grow the red wild roses
that smell of ponds cold cream.
On a little hill, facing south.
There we found three cowslips
In January.  Three cowslips.