On the Fifth Day of Christmas we bring you Derek Adams and Julie Maclean




The Devil Makes Work

The bouncing bomb Superball
missed the enemy Action Man,
the day after Boxing Day, to snap
a scarlet leaf from Mum’s poinsettia.

Sap bubbled from the break
white as PVA adhesive.
Hiding the leaf, I wiped away
the evidence, nobody noticed.

Later, prising a second leaf
from the plant, to check I’d seen
what I’d seen, to see once more
its milk white tear appear.

I returned, again and again,
took a penknife to the stalk,
watched fascinated
as the tiny drops welled out.

I remembered this on a hot
August night, years later,
the first time I drew a red line
across my arm with a Stanley knife.



Derek Adams is a professional photographer. He has an MA from Goldsmiths in Creative and Life Writing, and has published three poetry collections Postcards from Olympus, Everyday Objects, Chance Remarks and unconcerned but not indifferent: the life of Man Ray



Chicken was Golden

There is order here
 between laminate
and wood veneer

 knots in the heart
winding out in this
theatre of roasting pans.

Prepare for the sacrifice and
in the depth of field
acres of embroidered cloth
to keep us pure.

It’s homemade everything.

But this home has settled
in an unsettled place.

Lights are never still
but flick the switch

to a table of nine
clicking knives and forks

clucking tongues and party hats
-ghosts from my past,

now down to one    solitary mother
plus the empty chair
of my never returned nor forgiven.

Julie Maclean s third collection Kiss of the Viking (Poetry Salzburg) was published in 2014. As joint winner of the Geoff Stevens Poetry Prize, (Indigo Dreams Publishing), When I Saw Jimi was published in 2013. Her work appears in places like Poetry (Chicago) and The Best Australian Poetry (UQP). www.juliemacleanwriter.com.


Comments are closed.