Monday, 31 March 2014


“I am not a toy” said the lion aloud, no doubt startling the family of four stood in front of the painting. It was the 1970s, a pale, sleepy era, and the last thing one would expect to stumble across on a weekend visit to the museum of modern art was a talking two-dimensional winged lion, I think you'll agree. It came as a further shock to the system when said lion broke from the flat painting and began to fly around the gallery, continuing its unexpected and seemingly impossible dialogue.
It was surprisingly rude for such a majestic creature, criticising the art from its aerial position.
“Since when has a dentist chair been considered art?!” it exclaimed.
“Is that Jesus in a Parisian café?! Honestly I can see the art world rotting before my very eyes”
When flying past a sculpture of a polystyrene ship, its only comment was a gruff, “Well, where are the sailors?”

The copyright of this post belongs to Evie Edwards

Sunday, 16 March 2014


Was it once whole?  Tommy couldn’t remember concrete facts anymore.  He carefully focused on the strange crucifix, clutching it tightly, so tightly his fingers blanched white, deathlike.  Remembered the cascade of bullets spilling like rain from their crate, a metallic rainbow arcing into the trench mud. Remembered his commander screaming to PICK THEM UP NOW! I said NOW! I won’t have slovenly behaviour from MY MEN so help me GOD!!  Was this odd thing once whole? He wavered, breath ragged. Who crafted it?  Was it me?  Inside his head, a small spark, a memory snapshot of a rare warm evening, laughing with his mates under the stars, all of them a bit tight on a bottle of whiskey from someone’s care parcel.  There was a joke but all Tommy could remember now was the punch line…’well if he’s solid gold, he must be too heavy to fly!’  which had been followed by hysterical laughter, muscles weak from mirth.  HE didn’t trust his memory much now.  It could all be a figment, like the imagined high tea at the Ritz with his girlfriend, her smiling and sublime in something lilac and floaty.  He looked again at the bullet crucifix and saw it for what it was, something to keep your mind occupied in the endless hours of waiting for the next onslaught; a way to beat the battlefield boredom.  Still, it was nicely made- should he mend it?  Or should he sleep?  Yes, sleep. That was the better choice.

The copyright of this post belongs to Lynn Hillston

Friday, 14 March 2014


I said through clenched teeth, "Will it fit my finger?" An unconscious notion;one tthat brought further rot to my soul. All this, whispered by the captain's wheel under a murderer's moon. Night, 1972, and the sailors lamented, "Where is the anchor?" But I knew and felt faint as we drifted--drifted like a fig leaf cast on the vast seas. We were not at peace. I whispered and dreamed of a horse and carriage in Central Park. I said to my lover, " Who will help me sew this blouse?" as he carelessly unbuttoned me down to my chemise. As the waves pounded the deck, I raged to the wind, " Why do you worship this piece of war?" My finger barely fit the gun's trigger. I looked the barrel in the eye, crying, " Who unearthed this  flash  of metal? Who could praise your gunpowder? You would be better off melted down into an iron on the kitchen table. Press the soldier's uniform! I am no longer your war-monger." I can no longer procrastinate. Only the moon saw me slip over the side into the briny summer of love.

The copyright of this post belongs to Claudia Anne


Who had fashioned our mosaic floor?
When we bought the house the floor was hidden, who would have imagined such a treasure beneath our feet?
We were poor then, back in the sixties, in love and quivering with a desire known only to the hungry of heart. You see, love for us had crept in by the back door of our hearts. It was as unexpected as a frown and as welcome as a dragonfly in summer.
I remember the house was old, cold and full of neglect, but sturdy. We cast off the staleness of our London bedsits as we threw ourselves into restoration. We rejoiced in finding original handprints from sacred unknown craftsmen. We saved the dusty clay pipes, old baccy tins and tiny leather baby shoes, laughingly storing them all away in an old chocolate box. But the mosaic floor! Broken in places but iridescent in green and gold, lying like a memorial garden with a story all of its own. In the centre of the floor, a strange winged creature. Where was it flying to? Who knew then what mystery would unfold as the professionals with their tiny pickaxes, their cameras and their hushed excited jargon moved in on the excavation?
We were naïve then. In a praiseworthy mood our benevolent eyes searched their faces. Pink faces full of winking eyes which relflected back our questions.

The copyright of this post belongs to Valerie Rule


The Lady of Shallot, sitting in her ivory tower.
Celia, bored with the droning voice gazed out of the window and dreamt of being free of school lessons, curriculum and timetables. Tennyson be damned. The reprimand for daydreaming came swiftly, and relieved to be outside the stuffy classroom, Celia stood yet again in the dusty corridor. Staring down other pupils lounging against the buff coloured walls, she took out her jotter.
She enjoyed composing Haiku, her spikey words like wooden sticks, full of venom and a ripening cynicism which she decided would be a good style to cultivate.
In her mind there was a wan awakening, growing like a spreading purple bruise.
Her grandmother’s house was doomed for demolition in an urban blush of town planning and redevelopment. Celia, with a resolve that took her by surprise, began to fray away the wool from her school scarf as she abruptly headed off, down the corridor, leaving a tell tale track.
Intent on grandmother’s house, she needed to rescue certain childhood memories before they were swept away with the bulldozer’s rubble. She knew that the world shimmers under its scarf like a forked tongue of haiku, and it was spreading through her bones like truth.
Awaiting her would be strawberries and cream in the sunshine, she would think of that, and not the sharp and vicious fear that so readily overtakes all joy.

The copyright of this post belongs to Valerie Rule

Monday, 10 March 2014

Psych Ward

You will sleep forever, you will never sleep again,
He said, making it sound simple.
I chewed a thumbtack, I gouged my face
I wept into a thimble.

'When you were born,
Something was sworn
That should never be repeated.
And if you do, we can't help your selves: they'll surely be defeated.'

I swallowed half a yard of spit
But took no opinion on it.
For fathoms deep I'd mislaid sleep,
And sensed I must agree.

'Don't worry we'll find a fortress new:
Slumped on sand and sodden through:
Seeping sores no more in pain; no feeling, no emotion,
Your body dumb, day and night, in neverending motion.'

I swallowed hard, I took the pill
I felt the silence, I heard the chill.
And as I disappeared into my self,
I lost my riches but earned my wealth.

The copyright of this post belongs to Ben Hargreaves