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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Comment, Prose

Minimalism: A Remedy for Chaos

by Martin Yip Life can be chaotic. It certainly has been in the past year, not least due to COVID-19. Students and workers alike have faced greater challenges to their mental health as they grapple with the new realities and rules that the virus has necessitated, in addition to their ordinary sources of stress and […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

The Mission

by Monim Wains [CW: mild offensive language] There was a red hatchback on the motorway, almost standing still. It was sticky-hot in the driver’s seat. I had turned on the fan, but there isn’t much that it can do when the air it blows in is even hotter. The traffic wasn’t helping, inching along bit […]

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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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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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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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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

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, 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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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

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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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

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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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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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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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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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

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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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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