I arrived at university but found the glass had someone’s lips on the brim.
The wine-list was unreachable. I smuggled the crystal-ware home
and tried to fit a kiss where she had been.
Although I eavesdrop on tables I can’t ask her back for discourse.
My shelves have dusty techno and Dungeons & Dragons figurines.
I should have turned my body through the sharpener
not learned to hold smoke. Asthmatic exhalations
rehash my parents’ rejection of right-to-buy.
I turn to say something with shreds of last year’s set text in my teeth.
Gram Joel Davies is a poet in Devon. His collection Bolt Down This Earth (V. Press) was publihsed in 2017. It’s been a while, but he is getting back into writing after training as a counsellor. A recent poem in The Moth marked his return.
Julia Webb is a writer, poetry mentor/tutor and editor, based in Norwich. Her third collection The Telling was published by Nine Arches Press in May 2022. She is steering editor for Lighthouse – a journal for new writers.
Jon Alex Miller lives in London with his husband and dog. He has poems published in Magma, the Haiku Quarterly and the Hyacinth Review. He works with big businesses on climate change and social justice. @JonMillerXX
My grandmother made things from silver and wool, made biscuits from flour and peanut butter.
My mother made things from clay and glass, from eggs and aubergines, from almonds and words.
I am watching the approaching winter, growing seedlings at the end of summer,
walking barefoot in the woods, cutting my feet on twigs and sharp matter
trying to make something from air and water from rhythms and seasons,
from mornings and evenings, from being a woman, still being a daughter.
Sophia Argyris grew up mainly in Scotland and now lives in Oxfordshire. Her poetry has been published in various places including Magma, Prole, Structo and Under the Radar, and is forthcoming in 7th Quarry in 2023. Her short collection “How Do the Parakeets Stay Green?” was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing in 2014.
Daddy is home from work but something very bad has happened. A bomb in Coleraine. It was close. People are dead. The blast blew his whole car around the corner. His back wind -screen burst intact out of its fitting, ended up in the car.
A policeman said: You should be dead.
23rd January 2022
We are watching a Sunday night drama that begins with a bomb. My father says That’s not entertainment
and starts talking about Coleraine, the story I know about the car blown round the corner, the policeman saying You should be dead but he goes further,
tells how he stepped out of his car that day. It was just like that he says nodding at the television, the dust, the devastation. People were just lying there,
one old woman, they were collecting her up, putting her in an ambulance. I saw her glasses amongst the debris. I picked them up,
gave them to the policewoman. It was just like that, the dust, the devastation.
Gill Barr’s poems have appeared in Bad Lilies, The Honest Ulsterman and The New European. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University, Belfast and appeared at the Ledbury Poetry Festival in July 2022.
Exhumation for the Purposes of Quantifying Love/Not Love
On the anniversary I dig up your spleen intact; the worms refused it but not your heart
My spade separates body from organ I hold it in hand; you glisten like gristle in the 4.30 glow
Lighter than anticipated; I weigh up where you held me and find the density collapsing into an empty centre
The unwrapping is mine; the song at last too I peel your tissue and sing, and sing and pass from hand to hand, hoping when I stop
there will be a sharp red pebble cutting into the flesh secretly deposited when you were feeling a bit drunk examining a copied photograph
your arms an orbit around me my arms hugging a bowl the bowl containing strawberries that made my guts heave.
There is earth and offal staining my palms as you unravel in my lap: rancid swaddling cloth for your child’s children.
KE Morash is a playwright and poet. Her writing has received prizes and been published in Spelt, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Songs of Love & Strength; Live Canon Anthology 2019 and 2018; Room; Understorey; Literary Mama; Sentinel Literary Quarterly; Bare Fiction; amongst others.
She walks backwards into the sea; shingle gives ingress to her feet before removing any word of her.
At her shoulder a scrappy halfmoon of grey seals pause their morning hunt to study this rum spectacle.
Her cotton shift loses a little pigment day-by-day, so the dark blooms are an unreadable cloud below the surface.
From the cliffs, you can see her, if you wish it. And when the wind drops just enough, seal-song will act like a balm.
Go to her now, she will send back your dead, salvage your bedazzling treasures. She can feel you are heartsore.
Helen Ivory is a poet and visual artist. Her fifth Bloodaxe collection is The Anatomical Venus(2019). She is an editor for IS&T and teaches creative writing online for the UEA/NCW. Her New and Selected will appear from MadHat (US) later this year.
Fiona Cartwright (Twitter @sciencegirl73) is a poet and conservation scientist. Her poems have appeared in various magazines, including Magma, Mslexia, Under the Radar, Interpreter’s House and Atrium. Her debut pamphlet, Whalelight, was published by Dempsey and Windle in 2019 (Fiona Cartwright).