On the Third Day of Christmas we bring you Nikhil Nath, John Paul Davies and Maggie Mackay




Growing gifts

A church spire
pricks the dull

sky and it
starts snowing

birds have gone
into hiding,

the flowers
will wait till

spring, the milkman
finds his,

a thankless job
and the snowman

is forced outdoors
while the coniferous

comes indoors
growing gifts

in its branches
on the night of

twenty fourth.


Nikhil  Nath has been writing poetry for eighteen years. He has been published in various magazine in India, the USA and the UK. Nikhil Nath is his pen name. He lives and works from Kolkata, India. “Write rubbish, but write”, said Virginia Woolf. This is Nikhil’s maxim for writing.  Allegro, Aji,  Laughing Dog (Poem of the Month), Ehanom, Ithica Lit, Germ Magazine, Leaves of Ink, Linden Avenue and Pif Magazine have recently accepted his work



A Commuter’s Prayer

In the frosted dark of Market Square,
hours before Supermac’s opens,
the camel-backed Magi spark to life.

Stealthy council workers drape streets
with pearls of light, flashing Santas, sleighs;
star of Bethlehem crowning a twelve foot tree.

Beneath the Chemist’s neon crucifix
a hooded commuter sways,
cradling a polystyrene cup.

Gazing at the electronic display,
he offers up a silent prayer
that ‘Delayed’ might defer to ‘Here’.

Suspended between penitent streetlamps,
a fibreglass angel traipses across
the tinted windows of a bus – not his.

Angel unbound in departing Plexiglass,
the 104 lumbers towards its guiding star.



John Paul Davies was born in Birkenhead and has been published in Crannóg, Manchester Review, The Frogmore Papers, Orbis, Smoke and Grain.  He was runner up in the 2016 Cheshire Prize for Literature, and placed second in the 2017 Waterford Poetry Prize.




Malawi Christmas

Evening meal shared, sun bled beyond the horizon,
the stone step draws you to the shuttered night.

One poor candle emits yellow light. Christmas stars soak it up,
leaves you sightless and as off-balance as a one-year-old.

Generous hands guide you. The air fills with giggles and hyena cackle.
Under Paul Simon’s African skies you squint as the space grows,

falls into your whiteness, close enough to touch,
a blur of radiance, a liberation. You know not what is below your feet.

Above a perigee moon sheds a spotlight, the inky black a backdrop
to silver fury and smoky glow. Flighty besom, stretch out forever

parallel to the heavens, counting stars, drawing constellations,
walking on your back, drunken with possibilities. You long for a star bed




Maggie Mackay, a jazz and whisky lover, has work in Algebra of Owls, Amaryllis, Atrium, Prole, The Everyday Poet, Southlight and Three Drops Press. Her poems have been nominated for The Forward Prize, Best Single Poem and the Pushcart Prize in 2017.

Note: A version of this poem was published on Angela Topping’s blog: Poetry about Hygge, 29/01/2017

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