Comment, Prose

Reflection

by Anonymous When I was younger, I preferred to look forward to the future rather than reflect. Every New Year’s Eve I would diligently write my resolutions for the year ahead. Common occurrences included ‘learn how to do the splits’ and ‘get long hair’, their repeated appearances are a testament to my inability to reflect. […]

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Comment, Prose

Reflecting on oak trees

by Harriet Strahl Two old oaks frame the entrance to a graveyard in a village somewhere in Germany. A sign nearby tells visitors about the history of the graveyard, which contains the headstones of the local Jewish family deported during the Third Reich, carefully restored next to a stone commemorating the local dissenter, who was […]

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Poetry

There is a man in the wall

by Monim Wains I’m alone, I think. Or at least, I should be. The door is locked, the window closed. The air is still, quiet. The only noise is the slow, soft, fall of my breath. I am alone, safe. But those eyes, those eyes in the wall. They follow me. Everywhere I look, everything […]

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Humour, Prose

Dear Beary … [9]

by Beary McBearface Beary McBearface, treasured Oriel mascot and JCR staple, is here to help you with your troubles. In this column,  Beary will attempt to find solutions to your little college worries; trust him, he’s seen it all. All you need to do is email thepoorprint@oriel.ox.ac.uk with the subject line ‘Dear Beary’, and if you’re lucky […]

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Comment, Prose

Finding the Rainbow Connection

by Martin Yip ‘Rainbow Connection’ is the opening song of the 1979 film The Muppet Movie, performed by Kermit the Frog. Kermit’s laid-back performance did not prevent his song from inspiring generations of viewers over the years, as it contains a profound message of optimism and empowerment that will resonate for years to come. Why […]

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Poetry

Kota Mimpi

by Dania Kamal Aryf London calling  Its buildings sparkling like starlight by the Thames where the water below me flows like dreams, like tides, ebbing, flowing, ebbing, flowing, floating along on a river of feelings,These streetlamps reigniting embers of attraction for former flames; The coldest months of December and January found happiness and warmth within the dingy corridors of […]

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Humour

by Lily Parmar 1. Do you usually remember your dreams when you wake up? (Y / N) 2. Do you keep a “dream journal”? (Y / N) 3. Do you have a recurring dream? (Y / N) 4. Is it a recurring nightmare? (Y / N) 5. If you have a recurring dream, is it […]

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Prose

You’ll still be happy

by Monim Wains How do people become… great? What do you mean? Someone special, y’know? Someone who’s made a difference to the world. Famous? No, not necessarily. I just… I want to do something different, worthwhile. Like what? … I don’t really know. I don’t think it matters even, as long as it makes a […]

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Artwork

Squirrel Goes Nuts

by The Lone Pencil This squirrel is just opening the last of his winter reserve of nuts, with spring flowers blooming all around. He has recently spied humans chopping wood, taken note of their equipment, and is now feeling very modern and efficient with his new miniature axe. He was drawn using watercolour pencils without […]

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Humour, Prose

‘Dear Beary…’ [8]

by Beary McBearface Beary McBearface, treasured Oriel mascot and JCR staple, is here to help you with your troubles. In this column,  Beary will attempt to find solutions to your little college worries; trust him, he’s seen it all. All you need to do is email thepoorprint@oriel.ox.ac.uk with the subject line ‘Dear Beary’, and if you’re lucky […]

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Poetry

Small Triumphs

by Emma McIntyre [Content warning: suicide] Dear fellow traveller, Here’s to my being long departed by the time you read this. Would you spite me if I told you that I am afraid of change?Not that it matters now, mind you.I ask, for this morning I watched as the last ship moored at the harbourAnd […]

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Poetry

Music to Hear

by David K Asamoah That hour their song, to my own ears, will playAnd I am left alone bound to the mast,By my own will, to hear the words at last –Before to madness I should waste awayI hope to know what seaside muses sayThat’ve pushed so many sailors in the pastTo the deep ocean […]

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Comment, Prose

Commonplace Insanity

by Martin Yip Insanity tends to be more salient in the mind than sanity. After all, being sane seems to be the default and thus unworthy of comment; any significant deviation from this default, however, merits attention. When Taiwanese basketball player Jeremy Lin took the NBA by storm in 2012, the phenomenon was dubbed ‘Linsanity’. […]

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Poetry

Insanity

by Samanwita Sen Is it insanityTo gaze at your own reflectionAnd be met – only –With growing vacancy? To trace the corporealityof your own handsYet feel as if your cells have dissipatedDissolved – Frayed – Scattered –Into the humdrum, the frenzy of absurdity? What happened?Your imprisoned gaze pines.What happenedTo the world where the colours swirledAnd […]

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Poetry

Sonnet-19

by David K Asamoah When my love swears that she did not just coughI do believe her though I know she liesThat she might stay home a quarantined slothAnd spare me of the virus that resides.Though vain, I do not care if I was wrong To stockpile all the tissues, soaps and restSimply in case I’m […]

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Artwork

Mad March Hare

by The Lone Pencil This hare has found the perfect solution to the tedious topic of keeping fit. His new gadget enables him to jump around and burn plenty of calories. He is quite sure that if his peers see him on his new pogo stick, he will become the trendsetter in the meadow. He […]

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Prose

Introspection

by Martin Yip ‘Have I told you about my egg?’ asked my counsellor, in the middle of a session.  “No,” I said.  My counsellor took out a piece of paper and drew an egg-shaped oval. She then drew a horizontal line across the middle of the oval. She wrote the words “reason” and “emotion” in […]

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College

Blades On Ice – A Triumphant Twilight Tournament

by Monim Wains It’s Friday night – midnight that is. The air is cold, the atmosphere tense, the suspense high. A queue stretches along the balcony, eager chatter is rustling through the crowd. The desk at the front screams over them, trying to get some order and calm. Group by group, they file down the […]

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Comment, Prose

Stardust

by Samanwita Sen In the grand scheme of the universe, all we will ever amount to is just that. Stardust. You could have the highest statute of honour attached to your name, or you could be the stranger that meticulously walks down the same alleyway at the same time every morning – regardless, our existences, […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

The End [4/4]

by Leo Gillard Yes, it was the end. But was it a triumph? The whole city was alight, though not literally. That was the fate of cities elsewhere, but not here. The war, that long, seven years of conflict, had come to an end, and the city was full of celebration. Citizens and returning soldiers […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

An Address

by Monim Wains The muddied ground sagged with the weight of weary legs. Dazed bodies stumbled around, groaning and aching, trying not to trip over the lumps in the soup of soil beneath their feet. It was too dark and wet to tell what they were stepping through; the huddle of the melee had left […]

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College

Nigel Robson “ALF” (ORIEL LODGE)

by M. Davies (College Porter) His chalked up notices had a talent for student humor often featuring celestial subjects such as Uranus’s rings. The Provost (Sir Derek) never deviated from calling him Nigel though nearly everybody else called him Alf, and it was only after working with him a couple of years that I got […]

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Poetry

Me, You, the Garden, the Sun, and All of Their Beauty

by Michael Leong Oh my muse, my good friend, how long it has been since we last spoke. What did we talk about when days were grey and when the sun shone through clouded skies?What did we talk about when we watched the willows sway and lay on the grass dreaming of better times?What did we do before I […]

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Poetry

Ithuriel

by David K Asamoah The weather wasn’t favourable that day.The grey sky wore the bitterest of scowlsAnd from above the crowd of ashen clouds Drifted so aimlessly like they were free–Free from the wind’s sure willAnd down below, upon the solid ground, The bustle did not calm, even more loudWere busy roads transporting hurried traffic  And markets […]

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Prose

Difference [3/4]

by Leo Gillard There was, Pan noticed, someone watching them from across the street. Tall, muscular, and probably very slightly over the age for military service. It was almost always people like that who caused trouble, so they weren’t surprised when the call came. ‘Coward!’ the voice called, from over the road, in a position […]

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Comment, Prose

To Infinity and Beyond

by Martin Yip ‘Progress’ is one of those words like ‘peace’. Like peace, virtually everyone agrees that progress is desirable to have. Yet, like peace, there is no clear definition of what progress is, to the extent that many thoughts and actions may be justified on the grounds of a certain convenient definition of ‘progress’. […]

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Comment, Prose

United

by Samanwita Sen One of the memories I look back upon fondly happens to be tucked away in the cozy little enclave of a bus seat, lit by the scintillating bobs that blurred outside as we drove past and the shadows of strangers bouncing off the window. I let myself fade into the lull of […]

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Comment, Prose

Lines Must Be Drawn

by Martin Yip ‘Imagine there’s no countries / It isn’t hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too.’ So passionately sang John Lennon in Imagine. The imagery of peace and harmony was appealing: if only the physical and psychological barriers between people could come down, we would all […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

Split [2/4]

by Leo Gillard On a normal day, Bel woke up when an alarm went off. Sometimes that alarm was just his alarm clock, sometimes it was the gas warning, sometimes a medication alert, sometimes a car on the street below or the house across the road, and sometimes it was an air raid alert. That […]

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Artwork, Poetry

Chimera عجيب الخلقت

منعم وینس دو زبانیں بندھي ہويدو دل دھڑکتے ہوےدو سر ٹکراتے ہوےدو سرحدیں by Monim Wains Two tongues tied togetherTwo hearts beatingTwo heads butting togetherTwo borders

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Poetry

The Perilous Realm

by Gregory Davison Sometimes you can see it When the night is dark,Terror feeding the frightfulVision before your eyes. When reality falls out of sync,And you join the ranksOf a world of dreams, lurking in The forgotten crevices of your mind.It’s a world you know,More familiar than the one you own. So cross the borderBetween […]

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Comment, Prose

Border Maintenance

by Martin Yip Someone (in)famous once said that borders were very important. Millions of people were rushing across the border every day. They were bad, bad people. They commit so many crimes, tremendously many. They are a threat to security. So, he said, we must BUILD A WALL to protect the borders. Across the globe, […]

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Poetry

Waking Moments

by Caitlin Ross The sun, having travelled a great distance,Breaks soft upon one still, rose-tinted cheek.Glowing waking hours of our existence,Pale limbs stir ‘neath their tangled, off white sheets Light dust hovers in the shafts of sunlight,Like birds flitting, basking in morning heat.The old bed creaks, and the young sun highlightsSleepy young eyes, which crack […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

Blurred Crayons

by Monim Wains Old crusted sand baked under the searing sun. Thin cracks stretched along the surface, marking allegiance, marking blood. Shadows loomed over the lines, walking with slow, heavy intent. Links of chain rattled in the quiet air, as they looked over the earth. They, the powerful. They, the inheritors. They, the nations. One […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

One Year On [1/4]

by Leo Gillard Annie woke up to the sound of an emergency alert on her phone – the screen lit up, the ever familiar sound of an alarm played. The proximity of the strike was three miles, enough to justify hurrying everyone into the shelter at five in the morning. Normally those things were accurate, […]

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Poetry

The River Margaret

by Caitlin Ross Riding down the river brown, With feathers in my head, Wearing sunshine like a crown, Fish dart through the riverbed. With feathers in my head, With the wind against my back, Fish dart through the riverbed, We advance down this new track. With the wind against my back, Our paddles flush to […]

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Artwork, Photography

Penumbral Eclipse

by Domenic Peake These images show the earth’s shadow cast on the moon during the penumbral eclipse on the 10th of January, which occurs when the earth blocks some of the light from the sun shining on the moon. It was not very obvious on the night but if you really squinted you could just […]

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College

Anniversary

by The Poor Print Team The blooms at the start of spring may be met with an eclipsing moon, or midnight rolling into view. They are reminders of significant times, both good and bad. For us at The Poor Print, Anniversary marks the 50th issue of our humble corner of Oriel life. Along with the […]

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Poetry, Prose

Midnight

by Monim Wains Midnight pulled their cloak over their head. Smooth black fur slid on slow, draped over shoulders. A resting weight hugged them down whole.  They floated on the grass, wispy tendrils stroked the ground beneath their toes. The grass swooned in slumber at the touch, eyes drooping at Midnight’s caress. Eyes dreamed, staring […]

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Prose

Alive [4/4]

by Leo Gillard Arin realised, now, that things were going to be okay in the end. Maybe they would have always been fine. Maybe Kieran was always going to pull through and come out the other side. Maybe it only seemed like that now, when he had a different perspective. It did seem sort of […]

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