Artwork, Poetry

The Universe Awake

by Monim Wains Silence.No sound, nor light, nor existence at all.The universe idled, in a trance.  It wasn’t still, though, not perfectly so,Growing from the tiniest speck to the size of a room, to size of the sky, and space, and time.It was evolving, and changing, and turning, all the while asleep. Because, for all […]

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Poetry

Eve

by Samuel Skuse I remember.Under the dwindling light of that fading dayI watched my mother, from the window of the room I shouldn’t be in.No one stops me now. She loved her garden. Nestled in Eden, the nurse of nature nourished.My heart would fill to a millpondto see her gentle hands with such willing carebring life […]

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Poetry

These Are the Things that I Tend to Remember

by Siddiq Islam These are the things that I tend to remember.A soft, supple night with a close, quiet air.A little prince clutched by the light’s final ember.The warm, thick-skinned fingers that comb through his hair.He’s safe from all harm. With her lips she dismissesAll nightmares and vampires with silk forehead kisses,Between which she whispers […]

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Poetry

She Was the Blossom

by Siddiq Islam She was the blossom.Her pink, silken smile.And her peach-coloured joy.And her soft, petal style. She was the leavesAnd I couldn’t quite catch her.She dropped in the breezeAnd I just stood and watched her. She was the flowersI mushed in the mud.Her sap ran like tears.And she was the buds. And she was […]

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Poetry, Prose

Small Talk

by Anonymous I wonder who invented British small talk. ‘How’s it going?’ (I woke up this morning and I felt so anxious I couldn’t get out of bed for an hour and a
 half and looking at my phone watching it get later and later made it worse because 
every minute that ticks by is […]

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Poetry

Scared of Beans

by Siddiq Islam Crouched we areAround sturdy pub woodGloved fingers hugging mugsAnd our laughter steaming up the winter eveningWhen on the ebbing end of a wild winding dialogue of sports and plays and eggs with facesYuv turns to us and tells us he knows how Pythagoras died. The people of Greece angered by the weirdo […]

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Poetry

Promise

by Chloe Jacobs Unsubtle metaphor, An image far from original, And yet I know capitalism has teeth; If the coroner casts the bite marks on my skinThey will match the canines,Molars and incisors of Student Finance, And Tory jaws, And the masticating bones of Jeff BezosAnd his space-bound millionaire friendsBurning notes in denominations I have never seen.Polymer smoke, waterproof plastic […]

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Poetry

To My Secret Admirer

by Hamish Dodd To my secret admirerWhose words have hurt me so,You slandered me in The Poor Print;Your name I do not know. Such callous words from callow lips,Your cowardice is clear,To take to print with acid tongueAnd my good name to smear I hope you’re at the bar tonightBut think it shan’t be so,For […]

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Artwork, Comic, Poetry

Afraid Gang

by Noah S. Adhikari The Afraid Gang are kids who are silly and afraid. I have no idea why they are afraid. It’s just how they are. They are even scared of pictures and photos. One day I was walking up to them and said, ‘Why are you afraid?’ And you know what happened? They […]

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Poetry

The Silence of the Tuck

by Anonymous There’s silence from the Tuck Shop,And silence from the sod,Who promised food for Oriel.His name is Hamish Dodd. He made a speech with candied words;He smiled and won the crowd,But then the silence settled in,A monstrous, empty sound. Oh fuck the tuck AND Hamish Dodd,You led us all astray.You promised sweets and tasty […]

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Poetry

a dog named joy

by Siddiq Islam i found a dog, a dog named joy, and she wasthe ugliest misrablest creature i’d ever seenher smiles fell limp like wonky rusty seesaws i told her, ‘all my happy poems are gloomy’i do not think she quite knew what i mean:nought but a wonky smile did seep back to me if […]

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Poetry

Joy

by Josh W. At your finger – tips,held at your arms –Reach – ing, just on the tip –Of your tongue, balancing on the edge – of the cliffAlmost, ever, quiteThere.

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Poetry

Growing Sleepy

by Siddiq Islam Dare I recline?I grow much too sleepyAnd human designIs too weak to keep meFrom downwardly driftingTo dreams buried deep,The loads of life liftingIn velvety sleep. Dare I lie down?My dark eyes are sinkingAnd temptations drownAll weaker-willed thinking.Succumbing to slumber,My soft, calm mistake.I must not plunge under.I must stay awake.

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Cartoon, Poetry

Sleepy Bob

by Noah S. Adhikari The silliest poem I have ever made Wakey wakey, that same routine,‘Oh, wake up Sleepy Bob’He sleeps like a koala…‘No thank you mom’ This is how sleepy Bob takes a shower Isn’t it funny? ‘Get up, Bob,’ she says This is how sleepy Bob eats, He needs a soft seatAnd worst […]

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Artwork, Poetry

Horrid Henry’s Silly Poem

by Noah S. Adhikari Horrid Henry is a silly naughty, silly boy.Perfect Peter is the nice cry baby for real – you will find out later!Moody Margaret is Henry’s worst neighbour everrr! Horrid Henry is silly as a dog.Perfect Peter, nice as a seahorse, cries as a little baby.Moody Margaret is bossy as a cat, […]

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Poetry

The King of Applause

by Siddiq Islam The King needs to hear the extent of his power,So crams to the corners his grand vestibuleWith columns of courtiers, whom every sixth hour,He orders applause from to honour his rule. But crowds often tend to start clapping in tandem,Which lessens the roar of a self-crafted fandom.The cheers must sound full, and […]

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Poetry

F***ing Magic

by Siddiq Islam The whole wide world and all its space,With every land and ocean each,And in between, the brazen beach,The forests green in all their grace,The open fields and hilltops high,And miles and miles of boundless sky. Is this some twisted sorcerer’s scoff,Or are you just here to piss me off?All that space, the […]

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Poetry

On Returning to a Poem Written Several Years Ago

by Joe Lever I find the words in some way different nowTo how I left them – changed, as if one nightA room once known had been rewrought somehow,Familiar but altered. No, not quite: Home stayed as it was left – and I had changedBy increments and instants, now estrangedFrom words I know but do […]

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Poetry

good to be back

by Siddiq Islam turn off the george and there he is,that clumsy git with his smiling gob,and i can’t help mirror my smile to his, the satellite arms of that doughnut duffer,come on mate, don’t be a knob,i bury my hug in his pembroke puffer, and a textless, snapless, three-month vacmelts away. a two-tick job.and […]

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Poetry

The Blue Flowerpot

by Samuel Skuse A stranger lives in the house I grew up in.I don’t know why I didn’t expect thatBut I didn’t. Just like I didn’t expect them to have redecorated,Remodelled,Removed everything I remembered. Except a blue flowerpot,Perched on the windowsill like a patient catWaiting for its owner to come home. I remember my mum […]

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Artwork, Cartoon, Poetry

A New Uniform for the Year

by Monim Wains My adventure began with wet October days.A cap and gown in hand, walking around in a daze. What was I to do at this new place, with all it masses of tradition?After years of hard work, the result of unhealthy ambition? But no, this was mine, to take, to make my own.Off […]

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Poetry

Worms

by Siddiq Islam Caught on the end of the fisherman’s line,Wriggling and tensing and flailing around,Pecked at and flaked by the sharp sharks who dine,Shredding away in the hunting ground, Drying in the sun on the grey, gravel road,Washed from the earth in the heavy storm’s rains,Hearing Death’s calls as the strict heat unloads,Awaiting relief […]

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Poetry

dreaming spires

by Anonymous the sunset yawns its golden arching fingertipsacross the sandstone, and my heart achesfor the sound of church bells in the morning, as the plosive clattering of rush-hour ignitesinto symphony, hubbub, life in the centre of Oxford.the tolls of the bells, spires conspiring, spiralling upwards,the tolls of the bells, in this city of chapels,bird-calls […]

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Poetry

Footsteps

by David A. Light-footed wanderer treading the faint path Of times uncertain, moments force through you  Impatiently like a half-hearted laugh Passing before the poor punchline is due. Determined traveller walking to no end  Left-right left-Right, uneven pulsing steps,  Withdrawing precious hours ahead to spend Then stumbling all too soon on thorny debts. Brave warrior, […]

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Poetry

Kheturus’ Orchards

by Siddiq Islam Each Sunday, in the heat of August,Baba lets me off the farm,So up the hill I disappear.The parching sunbeams keep me calmAnd make the town below look gorgeous. We meet outside Kheturus’ orchards,Climb the wall and ramble through.Everything’s so real, so clear,On August Sundays, there with you.We lock our arms and wander […]

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Poetry

Relocated

by Anonymous I was carried away in a green and grey chariotfaster than lightning at the break of dawn, fasterthan the years that were to age us.  [motorising distance into something fluid, two hundred miles was mobile, a mere matterof eight hours or so with stops in-between, it seemsthat we lost and shed our smog soaked […]

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Poetry

Restriction

by Siddiq Islam Inside the trunk of every tree,Within each rock and each closed shell,Behind the foreheads that I see,Are chambers where I cannot dwell. No skyward path can I sustain,– but neither can I breach the floor.I’m grounded to this surface plane.I’m bounded in by Nature’s law, And in the homestead, bounded still.Built walls, […]

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Poetry

President of the Month

by Siddiq Islam Apparently, I was insensitive.The people shout – they wholly disapprove!A head cannot be representativeOf body parts that will not with it move, And I have been decapitated hence.Detached, disclaimed, denounced, denied and shut.I quit my quarters, only stares to senseUpon the head which has become the butt.

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Poetry

A Broadcast from Earth

by Monim Wains Hello, dear traveller!I come in peace, rest assured,Can you hear me? Can you see me?I have a message for you onboard… We know what it looks like,All the division and despair,Our humble blue marblein a climate of disrepair. Our streets are hauntingly quiet,A pandemic is left unbound,All the questions have no answers;There […]

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Poetry

Pressure

by Anonymous Tick, tock. Tick, tock.Three hours till the deadline. (It’s not really a deadline – you know your tutor won’t look at your sputterings until at least tomorrow morning,but it’s an arbitrary point in time by which you need An unattainable coherenceWith original sophisticationAnd a whole heap of formatting to prove Your fumes aren’t just the thoughts […]

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Poetry

The Butterflies

by Siddiq Islam Close your tired eyes.Listen to the butterfliesTantrumming about. Their great cymbal wingsCrash upon your worryings.Time to let them out. Unscrew your top and see them flitter,Seething, teeming, hateful, bitter.They flounce and fluctuate. But now inhale and watch them pale.They start to fret, and flare and flail.And when you let your held breath […]

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Poetry

Your Virus

by Siddiq Islam all packaged inlike loo rolls on shop shelvesawaiting the death tollsto die out themselvesrunning the streetsis a wild bloodhound viciousto whom human neverdid taste more delicious all packaged inand all packaged outamazon cannotdeliver me nowfrom thirsty impatiencefrom growingly direand blatant desire– i am so desirous all packaged inand too long without youin […]

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Poetry

Three Births

by Kate Whittington She was born in September, attractedButterflies at the end of a damp summer.Could not tolerate drought. The doctor saidThat her bones were radically arranged.This meant stethoscope, or cutting very gently. Without women, bloodWas a ring of ecstasy. The fatherLaboured to black markThe arm, wet the dark scalp, putCold cloth between the legs. […]

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Poetry, Prose

The Itch

by Monim Wains There is a fingernail scratching. Sharp edges carving lines in the back of your skull. Screeching chalk on a blackboard until you press your eyes shut. Not so quick, as it picks and picks at the wound. The scab has been itching from the womb. It is a birthmark, cruel and latching. […]

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Poetry

To Lie in the Dirt and To Slowly Decay

by Siddiq Islam To lie in the dirt and to slowly decay!A prospect more noble than all other things.The righteous career of corroding away,A subject of earthworms, the Underground Kings. I see your grand temples, with such great potentialTo topple and crumble to dust when they fall,But hanker for something more experiential –I too should […]

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Poetry

Shadows of the Evening

by David A Before the numberless starry orbs up highLooked on me, silent prisoner of the hour,Unblinking as if sleep should hold no powerPatiently shielding me from morning nighThe sky was bright, too warm a burning smile,And in that grave minute when the deep blue Gave way to ashen frowns, I wish I knewWhat moved across […]

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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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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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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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