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 […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
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’. […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
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

Read more
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 […]

Read more
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, […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
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, […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
Prose

A Not So Fresh Perspective

by Monim Wains Just last year, I sent in my first nervous attempt at writing for The Poor Print. I wrote about ‘A Fresh Perspective’, a reflection on freshers’ week of first year. Now, as an old and aging second year, I tap away in the library. My age is no longer ‘-teen’, my college […]

Read more
Poetry

Nostalgia

by Caitlin Ross a fuchsia holds a different meaning to you than it does to memy hands shrink down to a child’s hands and i laughdo you remember who you were before the world took its toll on you?and do you know where that person lives on?do they linger by the old green pond teeming […]

Read more
Poetry

Reflected Eyes

by Gregory Davidson I can only see the worldFrom eyes so surely mine,So locked insideOne head,One space,That the way the world appears to me,Is made so by my eyes. And yet myself,I only seeFrom eyes that aren’t quite rightNot the eyes of othersAnd certainly not mine,But the eyes in the mirrorLooking back in self-reflection,Eyes that […]

Read more
Comment, Prose

Pondering Plentiful Perspectives

by Martin Yip History is written by the victors, they say. I spent much of the past summer in two interesting locations – Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, and Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Both countries share a history of communist rule which are, interestingly enough, depicted from […]

Read more
Poetry

Square knows no infinities

by Odessa Ng I don’t want to talk a lifetimeI don’t want to contemplate a futureHe wants a future with herThey want a future with herBut what does she want A future with whomOr a future at allAn existenceA past. Point Is there anyTo start all overShe has nothingTo complain, a lifeWith ups and downs […]

Read more
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 […]

Read more
Creative Writing, Prose

Assist [3/4]

by Leo Gillard Kieran was perfectly aware that his life had… not exactly gone as planned. That he was stuck in something he couldn’t quite see the end of, couldn’t reach the bottom of to push himself back up again. He’d gone down the wrong path, somewhere along the line, and he’d sunk somewhere without […]

Read more
Creative Writing, Prose

Snow

by Iona Cowley The snow came over the night, as we thought it would. Slowly white piled up as duplicate of all, inching its way upward, cruel and faded shadow’s opposition. The sky was unusually light, no doubt the work of the millions of tiny crystals that were diffusing the neon street lamps as they […]

Read more
Poetry

Mulberry Boy

by Caitlin Ross mulberry boy,it was a balmy summer day wheni first saw youi was walking on thewarm pavementwhen yougreeted medangling, swayingfrom the bowed branch ofyour tree. your branch was justin my reach,you looked plumpand juicy and sweetyour deep, lustrous exterioryour mellow, purple scententicing meto takea bite. you were just assweet as i imaginedsucculent and […]

Read more
Poetry

Overcoming Goodbye

by Gregory Davison Nothing gets my tears to start flowingLike people saying goodbye,In film, on TV, in the books that I read,No matter how often, how cheesily it’s done.There’s something about separationA distance, not easily overcome,But with time, and with memoryI think it can be done. I once made a joke with a friendThat I […]

Read more
Poetry

Midnight Musing II

by David K Asamoah We are as planets in the starry domeMoving in unique orbits through the void,Though the same sky, in different heavens we roamAs different hells for us have been employedOften in the late hours of day one findsTheir focus lost in twilight’s bold displayAnd endless thought puts one in many mindsFor many […]

Read more
Humour, Prose

University Survival Guide

by Ruida Ding Time Management Strive to study in a systematic manner, for example by following a schedule to work a fixed amount of time each day. With sufficient advance planning, one can avoid working late into the night and circumvent all-nighters. Career Make use of Michaelmas term to converse with firms which interest you. […]

Read more
Culture, Prose, Reviews

Spring Awakening: A Review

by Raghav Arora and Samanwita Sen Spring Awakening is a bold take on teenage sexuality. It follows the experiences of various adolescents,’ sexuality coming to full bloom, with a major focus on Wendla Bergmann as she forays into the unfamiliar territory of lustful passion in her relationship with Melchior Gabor. The play strikes a fine […]

Read more
Comment, Prose

No Sacrifice Too Small

by Martin Yip On 1 October 2019, the People’s Republic of China celebrated its 70th anniversary. In Beijing, the largest ever military parade was staged. Fifteen thousand troops marched across Tiananmen Square with armaments that were all made in China. ‘Patriotism and pride swelled among the Chinese as they celebrated the country’s seven decades of […]

Read more
Prose

Anxiety [2/4]

by Leo Gillard Laila could see that he was on the edge of something; something she didn’t want to see come to  pass. Actually, they could all see it. Kieran was standing on the edge he’d been standing on for years now. Yet it… it almost wasn’t him she worried for. Everyone knew that Kieran […]

Read more
Prose

To My Parents

by Samanwita Sen Dear dreamer, It must have been a treacherous sail across the world.  I can imagine it – how years before my formless thoughts could fathom the existence of time and a world beyond you and this beautiful thing called growing up, you must’ve arched your back, reaching for the specks of stardust […]

Read more
Prose

Killing Sacrifice

by Monim Wains Those who are selfless, who give to others, in some way or another, are worthy of respect, or so we think. The epitome of such people is those who sacrifice their whole lives to protect something worthwhile. We admire and respect their courage, celebrate their spirit with great monuments and ceremonies. What […]

Read more
Prose

‘Of songs that die not’: A Quiet Hero of the Somme

by Grace Khuri 2019 marks the hundredth anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles (signed 28 June 1919), which officially ended the First World War. At this time of year, and not least during this twilight of the centenary commemorations, we reflect on the subject of sacrifice and its meanings. There are many types of sacrifice, […]

Read more
Poetry

The Personification of Hope

by Dania Kamal Aryf Hope is a ray of sunlight that slips through the windows of a fourteen-hour flight, Hope packaged in a luggage bag, not more than thirty kilograms, because they expect a lot from you but you can never be too much, yet you should never be not enough;  Hope is the faintest flicker […]

Read more
Poetry

On Hope

by David Asamoah The youngest of the last remaining three,Junior to Faith that moves the sun and starsAnd second ranked to Love that endures scarsSo that others may know its riches freeBut if not for Hope’s love which heart would seeBeyond the bleak heavens which Faith moved so?If not with Hope how much would small […]

Read more
Creative Writing, Poetry, Prose

Pandora

by Monim Wains You stood at the bottom of the waterfall, pelted by the deluge, punches of weight pounding down on your bones, thumping a tonne on your shoulders. You had been brought to the forest some time ago; not out of your own volition, but by those who decreed that you should exist. Like […]

Read more