Monday, 1 January 2018

2 New Year's Day poems by Melanie Branton & Sharon Larkin

New Year’s Day
by Melanie Branton

Roy Wood has given way to Bono
and no-one wishes it could be this day
every day. This holiday’s
a Christmas gift we’d all take back
if the shops weren’t shut. The buses
have stayed in bed, sleeping off
their Hogmanay hangover. I’m stranded,
working my way through this tub of time
I’ve been given, with even less
enthusiasm than I did
the Quality Street. A hole in the calendar,
a blank page in the diary, a white,
white, white world, without even
the promise of promo video snow.
I yearn for tomorrow, the commute
I cursed, the job I couldn’t wait
to get away from, the colleagues I loved
to bitch about. I will be with you again.

Good Things Jar
by Sharon Larkin

When all that is left of Christmas is a single brazil nut
too hard to crack, and another wet dawn drips in
from the bedroom ceiling, it's time to grip
that coffee jar, recycled in 2014
and re-labelled Good Things.

Some crafty sisters Instagrammed
their optimistic glassware, blinged it
with sequins and plastic rhinestones.
How proud they looked in their selfies
on January the 1st, each one declaring,
card-to-camera, This Is My Year.

Screw you.

My see-through receptacle, embellished
in that same wave of New Year euphoria,
rests with the history books in an Ikea unit,
scowls down at me from three years of dust,
its handful of crumpled post-it notes
demanding to know from inside their prison
why I lost my resolve.

Screw them.

I am ready now to drop my transparent accuser
on quarry tiles in an – oops – onrush
of post-truth reality in my out-dated kitchen.
All that stops me is a determination not to grovel
on the floor with dustpan and brush
sweeping up all the slivers.

Sh*rds, the lot of them.


Melanie Branton has taught English and Drama in Poland, Somerset and North London. Her work has been published in journals including The Interpreter's House, Obsessed With Pipework, Prole and The High Window. She also performs widely on the spoken word circuit and has represented Bristol at the Hammer and Tongue National Slam Final.

Sharon Larkin's poetry has been published in anthologies (Indigo Dreams Publishing, Eyewear Publishing, Cinnamon Press); magazines (Prole, Obsessed with Pipework, Here Comes Everyone) and e-zines (Ink Sweat and Tears, Amaryllis, Clear Poetry, Atrium). She jointly runs Cheltenham Poetry Café – Refreshed, is Chair of Cheltenham’s Arts Council and Poetry Society, and was editor of the Good Dadhood on-line poetry project. She has an MA in creative writing and a passion for Welsh language, literature and history. Website:

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