On the Eleventh Day of Christmas we bring you Terry Quinn, Mick Corrigan and Maggie Butt





don’t fly
don’t drive
vacuum regularly

concepts my dog can’t follow
because, well, she’s a dog
and I’m human, capable of reason
even, especially, after three pints
on New Years’ Eve

though sometimes
the harder the resolution
the easier it is
while merely thinking
no more Lemon Drizzle
has me twitching
by January the 2nd

so if I ring Jen
it will only be to ask
how her garden is doing
with all that snow in Scotland
and if she happens to ask
did I enjoy my Christmas Cake
( I don’t do marzipan and icing )
then it would a lie
to say that I didn’t
and if she says
shall I bake you another
it would be rude
wouldn’t it

so isn’t it better
to be truthful and nice
to be able to use reason
to change one’s mind
to make someone happy
even if it does mean
a saturated Lemon Storm
hopefully by the end of the week.



Terry Quinn worked in the NHS as a Medical Engineer. His collection The Amen of Knowledge won the Geoff Steven’s Memorial Prize. His joint collection with Julie Maclean To Have to Follow was published by Indigo Pamphlets in 2016.




Home for Christmas

Never sure whether it will be
a warm welcome or a hot reception
from the ties that bind fiercely.
Your fellow eggs all tiger eyed,
forever fighting for the same breath,
snug claustrophobics wing stretching
in to each other’s face.

Midnight mass on Christmas Eve,
broadsides of boozey breath
and gritted teeth goodwill to all,
with, of course, all the exceptions.

On Christmas morning, a long pensive walk,
then back for your dinner, table groaning,

and all the family
wolf waiting.



Mick Corrigan has been published in a range of periodicals, anthologies, magazines and on-line journals His first collection, Deep Fried Unicorn was released in to the wild in 2014 by Rebel Poetry Ireland. His poem Snowbound has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize 2017/2018 by San Pedro Review/Blue Horse Press USA. He plans to do dangerous things with his hair before it’s too late.




New Year Resolution

Once I dived headlong into-the-year
sure I’d arrowcleanly into tropic water
as lithe boys off-the-cliffs at Acapulco,
aware of jaggedrocks but rush-drunk
twisting to swimhard to the surface,
gasp sweetscented air.

But I became one who dips-a-toe in pewterwaves
tremulous-tentative,  with bluemottled legs,
the chill Januarywind whippingup doubt,
stumbling on pebbles-underfoot.

My new resolve is to gallop-ungainly
into freezingwaves, hallooing-and-gasping
at the shock-of-ice.  Laughing, readyforanything.


Dr Maggie Butt is the Royal Literary Fund Fellow, University of Kent, Canterbury and Associate Professor Creative Writing, Middlesex University.

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