Poetry

‘Grey Morning’

by Sophia Smout You left in a grey morning. It’s funny, now, The bits that I remember so precisely: How the faint clouds brushed together In the damp, smoky air; And how the sun hung, palely hovering, Against the granite sky. You left in a threat of storm clouds And hail, in rain and thunder, […]

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Poetry

‘Transmission’

by Max Clements As our eyes touch, my mind elapses. Your intimate complexion is pallid, your radiance extinguished. Your expression is lifeless. Your hands are frigid, your fingers callous. You possessed me. Your departed vitality lay dormant within me; and yet it drained mine. I devoured your beauty; I touched and tasted yet attained no […]

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Poetry

‘Yggdrasil’

by Tom Saer Resurface from your lampshade Watching in dislocation Threshold of earth Plastic tears of a shaman Welded onto my accomplice Decoration on our perspex Hope transported The sand in your smile My dusty Neptune Evolve Cough up your skin like a man and Show them you’re made of blood Out of the whirlwind […]

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Comment, Prose

What You Think Will Happen

by Michael Angerer Every ending is an invitation to look forward. As we move through time, the impenetrable murk ahead, like infinite layers of cobwebs, resolves into wispy strands of memory that trail behind us; and with every new layer we brush aside, we hope to get a glimpse of the next. This, ultimately, is […]

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Poetry

‘Go’

by Angus Forbes STOP. You don’t want this. I said STOP. It’s not worth it. You don’t need to Prove yourself. Every second you Hurt yourself more. You could Stand up. Walk away. They won’t think Less of you. They want to do it Too. Want to STOP. They’re too Scared. You have Other things […]

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Comment, Culture, Prose

Becoming Vulnerable

by Michael Leong It is 3am now. A couple of us had been playing ice hockey; afterwards, JJ and I retired to my room and decided to plan next term’s Oxford Mental Health Support Network launch over a couple of beers. Our conversation returned, as it tends to do, to the people we’re hoping to […]

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Comment, Creative Writing, Prose

Thursday Morning

by Aidan Chivers Written on my year abroad in France, where I am working as an English assistant in the small town of Romorantin. It was 10.30am on an average Thursday morning. I was in class with a group of 12-year-olds, fielding questions about the texture and consistency of Yorkshire puddings. The kids were bright, […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: A Journey to Remember

by Tobias Thornes The representative of the Vietnamese travel company was most apologetic. ‘We could not get your ticket to Beijing,’ she said. ‘Only to Nanning. You can buy the Beijing ticket in Nanning. We will refund your Beijing ticket.’ So that was that. It was nine o’clock at night; the Nanning train would leave […]

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Comment, Prose

The Symbolism of Poppies

by Cora MacGregor Each November fresh controversies arise regarding the Remembrance poppy. These ostensibly emerge out of individual cases or concerns particular to the present day: the expectation for public figures to wear a poppy, how to reconcile this with the demands for neutrality, and fears over the potential for slimy politicians to exploit the […]

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Comment, Creative Writing, Prose

How to Write Yourself a Past 

by Michael Angerer Our memories are the stories that we tell ourselves: to remember is to scribble in faint pencil across the fabric of our lives. When inspiration strikes – a light across the ceiling, the warmth of a bed, a cup of tea – we conjure up an image of the past that neatly […]

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Poetry

‘The Past We See Today’

by Simon Norris   Hello old friend,           Remember me?           You know me not,           But all you see of me                            Is a memory There is no time like […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: Soul of a Nation

by Tobias Thornes Through the green heart of Thailand we had rushed, where the hills erupt like forested thimbles or rounded dice scattered across the plain: a mesmerising memory of a land where Earth still stores some beleaguered secrets amidst her lofty nooks. The train snipped the undergrowth, charging over little-serviced rails. Yet, sluggish seemed […]

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Poetry

‘Train Station Tear Tracks – On Trauma’

by Aaron Cawood Lights up. The bench at the train station; we sit. Only, now, in Act Two, I smile, In spite of the crowd – I feed the first line. And because you are there, I smile throughout the Act. As, because you are there, sirens pass in quiet. And, because you are there, […]

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Poetry

‘Remembrance’

by Simon Norris For your tomorrow        We offered up our own. We lay ourselves down                  Under a torn quilt of poppies                Across the rift of war. We let you walk upon our backs          To peace. We caught the bullets       And shells With our bodies. A wall of resolve        And flesh and blood. The poppies                […]

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Comment, Prose

The Power of Music

by Josh Cottell ‘Music can shine light into places where nothing else can reach.’ James Rhodes seems to sum up my thoughts exactly. A pianist by profession, his 2014 autobiography describes his journey through an abusive childhood leading to a tough relationship with mental health. His journey is certainly an inspiration to anyone, yet it […]

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Artwork, Comic

Sighs

by Joe Gardiner A brief look into the images that burn into the retina from prolonged exposure to Oxford. Detailed from top to bottom are: -My daily walk to the Maths institute for a morning lecture -The weekly walk back from Oxford University CompSoc at some silly time in the morning, having stayed down at […]

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Humour, Prose

Why People Should Not Go On The Grass

by Patrick Hegarty-Morrish We have little left to remember of this city of aquatint. Its morning mists, grey springtime, the rare summer’s day, fleeting like a lovebird’s escape between hedgerows; wafts of pheasant roasting over her gables and cupolas, through cloister and quadrangle, carried to the dreaming student on a weightless breeze to displace smells […]

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Comment, Culture, Prose

Gaps

by Amanda Higgin On the last day of Summer Eights, Oriel’s first crew walks away from the river exhausted and a little disappointed. A couple of promising bumps in the first races were followed by a few uneventful row-overs, leaving them the fourth boat on the river. Close enough to take the headship next year, […]

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Creative Writing, Diary, Prose

Romorantin

by Aidan Chivers The air around me is calm and still as I wake up, but if I keep my eyes closed and breathe slowly, I can still hear the fading echoes of church bells, morning lectures and Latin grace. They have not vanished, but are softly receding into old, fading patterns which hold glimpses […]

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Poetry

‘Circle’

by Tom Saer We saw her near The empty drain She’d lost her pieces In the rain Her ankles wept In morning’s earth She went to sleep In beetles’ birth The flies are here Their tethers sink They filled their cups She did not blink To celebrate We found a wreath Its whispers made A […]

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Culture, Prose, Reviews

The Lieutenant of Inishmore: A Preview

by Teofil Camarasu Upon arriving to watch a dress rehearsal of the The Lieutenant of Inishmore, I was told that I would be watching the first run of the show with genuine fake blood (until then they had used water instead). The first row of seats had provisionally been designated a splash-zone, and was covered in […]

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Poetry

‘Doubt’st Thou the Stars Are Fire?’

by Caroline Ball Those waxen wings Born of a father’s best-laid plans Weaving some ethereal scheme From an old man’s foolery And you – Borne aloft on fragile fancies Revelling in your flight Your freedom As kingdoms and cities and mountains and oceans and temples and tombs Pass beneath you Sky-born Godlike In the twinkling […]

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Poetry

‘Gravity Gone’

by Joel Fraser We beat in time to a rhythmical pulse Attracted to permanence, after all Yet in time will come a rhyme that rings false And the well-built walls of life start to fall Gravity gone, I simply dissipate Innate need for form, now unsatisfied Ground yourselves, cling on, avoid what awaits With gravity […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

It All Drops Down

by Peter Pencewing What you are about to read is absolutely true and, although it happened to me, it could just as easily have happened to you. You see, last weekend – after a frightfully fearsome week spent in the Bodleian cramming for an essay due at the precise time of 2:37 p.m. on Friday […]

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Poetry

‘untitled’

by Tom Saer the spider tells me with the bulb in his hand I am weaker the dust tells me with her tired eyes I am older the jackal tells me with his little finger I am thinner the little knife tells me with her little blade I am worse   I tell you mother […]

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Poetry

‘Grounded in Reality’

by Alexander Walls Grounded in reality we must be. There is scant point in looking to the stars, To the heavens above, no, we must see Only the ground beneath our feet.  It mars Us, that constant force of optimism Which can propel us, call us to action, But this never-ending altruism Can lead to […]

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Poetry

‘As Clear Blue Symbols Dance Before My Eyes’

by Aidan Chivers As clear blue symbols dance before my eyes,   And I lie still, my head upon the ground,   Each part of me, in dappled sunshine crowned, Wants formal shape in selfish compromise, And hides itself in Nature’s rich disguise –   I watch my youthful fragments form a mound   Of […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: Inter-Railing

by Tobias Thornes ‘Hotel,’ said the border official, pointing to the place I’d left blank on the form. I must have looked conspicuously European as I waited amidst the queues of Malaysians to cross into Thailand, for almost at once he had come and beckoned me into a side office. Britons, as I knew, did […]

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News, Prose

Oriel News: Issue #23

by Alex Waygood. I read the minutes, so you don’t have to. Welcome to ‘Oriel News’, The Poor Print’s new fortnightly roundup of everything big that’s going down in college. As the rust has been scraped from the gears of the Oxford machine and Oriel life has restarted, students could be forgiven for thinking that it […]

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Prose

When the Sugar Hits the Fan

by Amanda Higgin Xanda and I sit at a coffee-shop table, making towers out of sugar cubes. I’ve lost two rounds, Xanda’s lost one and we’re currently drawing with four-high towers. Then, as she carefully places the fifth piece on her stack, it wobbles and scatters across the table. ‘A-ha!’ I laugh maniacally. ‘Things fall […]

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Poetry

‘Collapse’

by Shay Vera-Cruz It has a sound: the wide solitude of gravity                in the breath between one star &                              the next. imagine suns,                   scarce     […]

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