On the Ninth Day of Christmas, we bring you Sarah James and Laura McKee




Midnight strikes London’s moon face,
the new year cheered in with a sip
of sparkling wine, and time’s old friends.

Forty years of Auld Lang Syne in our bones,
we dance and laugh as our great-grandparents
danced and laughed, as our children

will come to jig and giggle.
Their youth now pours our fizz then
through faster-flowing veins: ghosts

in every bubble, every bubble
a gasp sharp with life.



Sarah James is a prize-winning poet, fiction writer and journalist. Her latest collections are plenty-fish (Nine Arches Press, 2015) and The Magnetic Diaries (KFS, 2015), highly commended in the Forward Prizes. Her website is www.sarah-james.co.uk and she runs V. Press.




shall I call this waiting for snow

snowflakes formed in clouds
usually take about half an hour
to reach the ground

be ready for them
wear diamond tread soles
spread bicycles out on patios

let them take on another interesting shape
before they melt

if only to soften their fall
know they are coming
offer your tongue




Laura McKee hasn’t put the sprouts on yet. In other news this year, she was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and nominated for Best Single Poem in the Forward Prizes. She also had a poem chosen to be on a bus for the Guernsey Literary Festival.

Comments are closed.