Leah Larwood

 

 

 

Alchemy of sleep

When night turns to ice, and where
walls turn to rain turn to sea, after
half light turns to day dark, and where

beds turn to urns and time turns to you,
and sky turns to dust. Where door opens
to field, and wild fear turns to white gold.

Come morning, train times unravel
hairlines yet the day still snores, and
you bear the cold war of your dream.

 

 

Leah Larwood is a freelance writer and trainee hypnotherapist living in Norfolk. She’s working on her debut poetry pamphlet, Awake when sleeping.  She was Runner-Up in the Poetry Society Stanza Competition 2018 (Suffolk) and has been shortlisted several times by various competitions.

 

Read More

Rachel Goodman

 

 

 

Composition 10/ Pier and Ocean – Piet Mondrian

a peeled eye prickling
turned to the outside
I am already here
underknowledge poking through
I itch with the shame of it
follicles exposed
how dare you (paint this)?

clustered struts stand close and closer
hinting at a curve and even softness –
but this is not comfort
each reed stands cold and solitary
white water freezing in between
I crave to throw a coat over it

 

 

Rachel Goodman was formerly a mime artist, actor and BBC presenter. She moved back to her native Norfolk 25 years ago to raise a family and to write. She is a graduate of the UEA Creative Writing MA 2017/18. She is a keen gardener and sea swimmer.

 

Read More

Vivien Thomason

 

 

 
Louche Old Man in Tartan Trousers

Swaggering up Upper St
Denim jacket
Wild grey hair
70 if a day
Heading to the Hope and Anchor?
Dragging on a Soubrani
What have you lived through?
Slick liner eyes
Satin snake drooped round your neck
Slithering on stage in the 70s?
Then pinned and studded
The trousers strap-legged
Hanging with Viv and Malcolm?
Bassist in a dozen bands?
Popping pills sporadically?
Bowery and you always in at Taboo?
First at the Dirtbox?
Beatifically smiley Ibiza parteees?
All night up in Heaven?
Tatted and pierced beneath?
Soho clubs? Muse to Lee McQueen? East end art collective? GQ Stylist? Spoken word rap poet?
And when you were with all
Your lovers, partners, friends
Did your cool always keep you warm at night?
And in the day?
 

 

Vivien Thomason has recently retired and resumed writing poetry after 40 years of having her creativity totally sapped by the fashion industry. She is particularly focused on themes of family, feminism, art and nature. This is her first submission ever.

Read More

Ruth Kelsey

 

 

 

Invigilation

In fifty years there’ll only be the
sanitised versions, adaptations
printed in school text-books, papers
analysed to death by academics;
another chapter of our dubious past
to be studied, scrutinised, peer-reviewed,
no emotion, no regret, no tears.

Hindsight will by then be clear, unbiased,
conclusions coldly logical; exam scripts
marked impartially to strict criteria:
To what extent…
Evaluate…
Contrast, and then compare…

And the memories of those who
actually were there, who voted,
battled, marched, or wish they had,
will then be gone or half-forgotten –
misremembered, some will say –
as hard-won calm and harmony
becomes again the only way to live.
Most young will scarcely recognise
their ancestors’ self-ruin, nor truly grasp
the reasons for the wrath that followed.

Instead, in sterile, silent school halls all
our madness will be written out in
three fast-flowing hours, new futures
now dependent on our past:
What were the causes of…?
What role did politicians play…?

How do we stop seeds of hate
thought dormant to re-germinate;
begin to sprout again like
choking, grotesque weeds.

Discuss.

 

 

Ruth Kelsey studied creative writing at the University of Leeds. She’s often found at spoken word events in the Leeds area, and has recently had work published in Check Hope Remains (125th & Midnight).

Read More

Lee Prosser

 

 

White-Knuckles

In the force of the fall, it’s OK
to call your screams outbursts of joy
as long as they don’t shrill.

You can fool everyone,
if you keep your body still and maintain a grip
on the restraining bar.

You can hang on to your courage
sat next to your 12-year old son if you don’t swear
in the section that flings you upside down.

You can be deceptive,
if you can hold your last meal or tears from spilling
as the twists and turns take their toll.

You can get away with a lot
if you quickly lure them towards the hotdogs,
before your mask of terror belies your stalwart stance

flashing up on the exterior screen.
That photo booth revealing your fear as you leave—
and you praying

once more that your corkscrewed body can deceive.

 

 

 

 

Lee Prosser currently lives in West Wales and graduated with an MA in creative writing from Swansea University in 2018. He initially studied fine art at college but gravitated into writing and performing poetry.

Read More

Lauren Mason

 

 

 

The Woman Hidden in the Forest

 

would tell you

this is not a disappearing act

this is in fact                a transformation

 

to be                so naked

and so wrapped in leaves

that boundaries cannot be determined

in respect to surrounding trees

 

that skin accepts bark as kin to keratin

and each instance of breathing

so expands                  that everything

is rooted                      is body

 

no                    she is not hiding

 

 

Lauren Mason is based in London.  Her poems have been published widely in magazines and anthologies, and she holds an MA in Writing Poetry from Newcastle University/ Poetry School.

Read More