On the Tenth Day of Christmas, we bring you Sarah Watkinson, Ciarán Parkes and Fiona Cartwright










Now the sun knocks off early,
slinks away behind the garage.
You go out to catch the last rays
but he’s gone

so you head up the hill
to the still-sunlit top,
the cart track all mud and stones,
and watch the light turn green,
a star in the corner of your eye.

And the best part is
when you stumble down in the dark,
under a découpage of twigs,
settling hedge birds
and navy sky,

and you push open the door,
kick off your boots on the mat,
and the room is a blaze of light,
the day outside turned shiny black
like a shut-down screen.



Sarah Watkinson’s debut pamphlet Dung Beetles Navigate by Starlight won the 2016 Cinnamon Pamphlet prize. Her work is published in Antiphon, Ink Sweat & Tears, Litmus, The Interpreter’s House, The Rialto, Under the Radar and elsewhere. Her twitter handle is @philonotis.




New Year’s Eve on the Moon

You’ve got telescopes. You can see more
than the Great Wall of China. You can measure
the moving coastlines like someone on a train

watching the landscape gliding by, imagining
themselves a tireless runner, leaping hedges,
trees and houses, or in your case, oceans,

continents. The night reveals much more,
like turning a light on, like x ray. You can choose
a city to focus on. It’s almost New Year’s Day

or it’s already been for hours. For one whole day
you can watch the flare of fireworks in the darkness
as cities come alight and, in the distance,

the brighter sway of sunlight sweeping in
over the horizon. On the moon who knows
what time it is, what day or year or month.

What’s to celebrate. What slow tides are moved
by the earth in all those dried up seas.



Ciarán Parkes lives in Galway, near the ocean, writing and taking photographs. His poems have appeared in The Rialto, The Threepenny Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, and other places. He writes song lyrics for the Galway band, This Lunar Mansion.






The ice in the lake can’t decide
if it will be water. It chessboards

into squares, opaquing the hills
and monochroming them out

of their purples and browns.
They are helpless against the freeze,

Scaup the colour of black ice
wait. They seem unconcerned,

unknowing, perhaps, of their place
on the edge of things.

A decision must be made. Get it wrong
and go, when they should stay, means death.

The ice rings their chests as a woodpecker drums,
a beating heart in a ribcage of bare hawthorn boughs.

There is no way to know when to go,
a confusion of clues. What do you choose?



Fiona Cartwright is a poet, ecological researcher and mother of two young daughters. Her poems have appeared in various places, including Mslexia, Butcher’s Dog, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Interpreter’s House and Envoi. She tweets @sciencegirl73 .

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