Poetry

An Invitation to Abandon

by Siddiq Islam I Upon my door a little knock.I hardly even hear it, yetSome people whom I’ve barely metAre asking if I’ll join their flock,Accompany their mutual travelsTo where their night unwinds and ravels. But each new tale and anecdoteReminds me of the soft deceaseOf memories I must release,And each fresh lady I devoteSacred […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

The Man in the Hat

by Monim Wains I looked up across the carriage at the man in the hat, swaying from side to side with the travel of the train. The rolling rumble of the wheels on the tracks screeched beneath the city. There was a breeze through the window, but it was stale. Dust and darkness carried through […]

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Poetry

It Has To Do With Silver Nitrate

bi Lily Parmar It began from a notion of object impermanence; it has to do With silver nitrate. It has to do with exposure: A sheet waits quietly in the dark and for becoming Vulnerable for a split second, less—It says it can keep what I saw.  As a machine, it exists solelyOn impermanence.  I took a photo of […]

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Comment, Prose

Familiar Strangers

by Martin Yip Strangers come in many types. The usual understanding of ‘stranger’ refers to people with whom you’ve never interacted. People whose existence don’t matter much to you. There is another type: people whose paths barely have crossed yours, like two straight lines which intersect at one point and go on their separate paths, […]

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Comment, Poetry, Prose

Pondering an Ending Spring

by ‘Siddiq Islam’ Maybe the golden peal of summer flowers,The friends of God and earth, are formed to fall,A fire in some great coming spring of snow. Your dream was but a passionate loneliness,Broken as the sweet noon of morning light.Your fate is closed in a wrathThat flowers upon the fervour of the night. Transcending […]

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Comment, Prose

A Word from the Editors: Strangers

by Monim Wains What is life but a string of fibres tied from you to some stranger, perhaps momentarily intertwined? What is life but the tangling of those threads into the tapestry of your memories? Were we not all strangers to this world on the day when we were born? From that day on, we […]

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College, Prose

Our Name

by M. Davies (‘Oriel’ Lodge Porter) If you look at how we got our name, nowhere does it mention the Porters. We all lose from that if the Porters play an important part in the story. After all, non-academic staff are all part of this institution too. Official college literature says our name “Oriel” (now […]

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Poetry

Insides Torn

by A. M. Wains There is a dissonance in me, A ringing, deep and beating,A bell that sings in my head, clangingloud and overwhelming,Vibrations throbbing through my skull –vision blurred –mind rattled – In the silence. In the quiet calm alone of the dark,In the witching hour before my sleep I am awake. In the […]

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Prose

Captain Kirk’s Dilemma

by Martin Yip Among the many scientific innovations in the Star Trek universe is the transporter. Transporters move people or objects from one place to another in a matter of seconds within a range of thousands of kilometers. How it works is the person (or object) is first ‘dematerialized’ from matter into an energy pattern, […]

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Poetry

Identity Thief

by Siddiq Islam No, officer, I can’t relateTheir stature or their height or weightOr sex or skin or what they woreOr what they used to break the door,But they must have found it satisfyingTo watch their rod or crowbar pryingInto refuge from the winter,To watch the midnight door frame splinter.Through the halls and to my […]

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Poetry

Doctors, Firefighters, Crowns

by Anonymous When I was very young, I didn’t have a dream job.Some people in my class wanted to be firefightersSome doctors, some monarchsI could never see myself running into the fireNor could I see myself prescribing pillsA palace could never be my home. When I was just young, I didn’t have a dream lifestyle.Some […]

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Poetry

Old Friends

by Anonymous we were, if I might say, a match made in hell. fiery passions of youthful ignorance, of grandiose ambition, pure chaos, recklessness the oblivion of nights without ends. we existed, always, solely, on borrowed time. this infatuation comes without warning, fleeting, like a gush of wind, amidst the sweltering summer heat – potential […]

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Prose

No Place Like Home

by Michael Angerer So here we go – after months of staying at home, staying alert, and preferably both, we’re back. Back in our little term-time homes away from home. For some, the change will be less jarring than for others. After all, lockdown is excellent training for the monastic lifestyle that characterises the modern […]

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Poetry

My Absent Fingers

by Siddiq Islam The numb, stale air and the spiders’ feet,Cannot disrupt this human flour,This dead snow, this organic sleetThat softens the shelves where it starts to flower,And my absent fingers cannot sweepThe dust from where the spiders sleep, Nor the dust off the troops who, without bookend,Are made to kneel, by weight shoved down.Their […]

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Comment, Prose

There is a Place for You

by Martin Yip When the coronavirus pandemic first hit the UK in March, I hastily left the country and returned home. My family decided that I should quarantine for fourteen days. During those days, I was confined to one room, where I would eat, work, and sleep, and one bathroom which no one else would […]

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Creative Writing, Poetry

St. Anthony in the Wilderness

by Fanxi Liu I had intended to write about language, twisting together the various strands of my degree and eclectic personal interests into a modern monstrosity that reads as if it had been processed through the digestive system of a very sick cat. Coy, cryptic sideways-glances at complex philosophical concepts with impressive institutional pedigrees, with […]

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College, Prose

Dear Beary … [10]

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

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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