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

Watching from a Distance

by Siddiq Islam Watching from a distance as she trips into a cupboard,Tipsy as a seesaw from her mostly finished cider.Hearing from her lipsticked lips the bastard sentence blabbered,So desperate to relay them to the sorry girl beside her. The whole ensemble and its liquors hear her defamation.Watching from a distance as she screeches out […]

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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 tempting than all other things.The righteous career of corroding away,A subject of earthworms, the Underground Kings. I see your grand temples, with so much 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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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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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

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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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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