On the Twelfth Day of Christmas we bring you Terry Quinn and Emma Simon




On January 3rd

I will pause
as I usually do
before cracking the hard cover
and checking whether my birthday
falls on a weekend
and then some random stuff
like how many cubic centimetres
equal a cubic inch
or the currency in Sweden

and so meander onto
a blank white page
which is of course
the first day of the year
which will remain blank
as will the second
except for the note
that will read

see previous year

which I hope will be annoying
when I want to check a fact
in decades ahead
when I’ll curse myself
as I usually do
for not buying the damn thing
in mid December
before hibernation settles
like snow in impossible villages
on cards I will soon take down.
It’s Kroner by the way.




Terry Quinn worked in the NHS as a Medical Engineer before retiring in 2012 to concentrate on writing. His collection ‘The Amen of Knowledge’ won the Geoff Steven’s Memorial Prize, he was runner-up in the BBC Poetry Proms 2014.




Christingle Oranges

This is the time of year
we trick ourselves into belief:

a stained glass light
that slants a winter’s afternoon,

a boy holding an orange
which fills the deep belly of the church

with a strange flickering.
My children are old enough to know

it doesn’t snow in December
but they persist in disregarding forecasts

to taste the porous air for signs.
This is the only time of year I sing,

lungfuls of sentiment, like a warm front
driving darkness northwards, for a time.


Emma Simon was selected for this year’s Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring scheme. She’s been published in various magazines. She won the Prole Laureate competition in 2013, and was recently commended in the  Battered Moons poetry competition. She lives in London.

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