On the Tenth Day of Christmas we bring you Josephine Corcoran, Grant Tarbard and Rosie Miles




New Year’s Day Pantoum, 3am

When the singing in the street has stopped
I dream the year in fields
Cowbells tip as baubles drop
Each hoof returns me to a kissing gate

I tramp through fields of years
My footprints waiting in the mud
Each thud returns me to a kissing gate
And trees are dragged from fields to streets

My heart is slipping in the mud
My dream is later than the last bus home
There are dying trees in every street
And lovers sleep in moon-bright rooms

The streets are later than the last bus home
Fireworks glittered past our windows
Though babies slept, lit up by moons
Untroubled by love or kissing gates

Years have glittered past my windows
Now town clocks chime as baubles drop
I snagged my heart on a kissing gate
The singing in my house has stopped



Josephine Corcoran is Writer in Residence at St Gregory’s Catholic College, Bath.  She edits And Other Poems and is a Poetry Society Stanza Rep in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.  She has published one pamphlet with tall-lighthouse and a full collection, What Are You After?, will be published by Nine Arches Press in June 2018. Twitter @JosephineCorc  @And_OtherPoems




Smoke Signals

The blessed hiss of silence escorted my lax mouth
full of the feathers of gulls that might be voiceless angels.

I drip the ash of fragrant scripture from my cigarette,
tobacco colour’s the barrels of my lacquered synapses.

A tinker with all his brass has made camp in my breast
forming a tethered yoke moan sung between the sky and a Moravian star.

I’ll gladly throw Christmas morning onto the bonfire as an offering
not to go back — a vibration, a tingling, an ivy taste,

my desires are a reflection of my charlatan gouged flesh —
an assemblage box of lights, tissue paper fibre and cut twine,

a collage containing all the colours of the world,
in the gnarled nooks of priest holes. God was in that box

with just an apple and a rosary, embalmed in lacerations
swallowing churches with a country dance of do-si-dos.

We fed Him up on milk sop, hinted at bodies beneath the land,
suffered His nudity out of politeness as he spoke pandemonium

giving land to the innocent, added wiseness to dizzy love
as a waltzer of telephones rung in the New Year.



Grant Tarbard is an editorial assistant for Three Drops From A Cauldron, a reviewer & the author of Loneliness is the Machine that Drives this World (Platypus Press). His new collection Rosary of Ghosts (Indigo Dreams) is out now.





The woods have been sliced, not coppiced
to make way for road and rail.
The corridors of hedge are gone.

But shy chestle crumb still makes her nest
near the rough common’s edge
near the hazel copse.

Her berry-red blood slows to cold, and yet
she’s safe as leaves here
beneath protective ground.

She is fat as a nut, golden as winter sun
and she sleeps and sleeps
while the earth so darkly turns.



Rosie Miles’s debut pamphlet is CUTS (HappenStance, 2015).  In 2017 she was recipient of an Arts Council/Nine Arches Press Dynamo Poetry Mentoring Award.  She lives in Birmingham.  She really likes radishes.

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