Two poems by Chrissy Banks

At Castle Neroche Along by the birches, into the pine forestthe dog going doolally to be free, rounding up the children,minding his flock in that leafy sphere. It was as if we’d packed all our conflicts into a boatand floated them off somewhere, so we could be here,close in the quiet woods. Snowdrops, pine cones and puffballs, sinuous roots,a phallic stinkhorn. Five of us moving … Continue reading Two poems by Chrissy Banks

Two poems by Dan Stathers

    Coconut John I recognise the worn teeth of his rattle-clacker against the Waltzer’s siren. No name in lights or thumping decibels, a row of ugly numbskulls sitting cockeyed on sawdust pedestals. The years have whistled him by, the same shock of silver hair, the puckish smile still spoiling for a dirty joke. Looks like we’ve got a contender he announces, slipping my pound … Continue reading Two poems by Dan Stathers

Two poems by John Wheway

    The Greatcoat My grandmother leaves me a greatcoat made from piano parts – keys stitched in rows like the feathers and wolves’ teeth of a chieftain’s ceremonial mantle. I don’t feel worthy to carry it on my shoulders. Is this Grandma’s reproach for my shirking remote scales and Czerny? But when I fasten the felt-hammer toggles across my chest, late Beethoven cascades from … Continue reading Two poems by John Wheway

‘Standing Up’ by Amlanjyoti Goswami

    Standing Up Head bowed, his ears perked. Eagle-nosed-spectacled, the teacher asks a common class: Was it really the sun that came in through the window? Or was it the sun’s rays? The class sniggers. The sun, he finally lied, defiant About the slanted truth. His failure, reported, circled in red. The long trudge home. And did you have to drink hot tea In … Continue reading ‘Standing Up’ by Amlanjyoti Goswami

‘Three Girls’ by Helen Frame

    Three Girls after the BBC three-part drama series of the same name Her skin is powdered moon and her eyes slate roofs at dawn and she’s free as a bike ride in Provence and she’s fifteen like holidays in the sun and bubble gum in pink and yellow wrappers and she’s hitting puberty like cardamom and pomegranate molasses and she’s complex as smoked … Continue reading ‘Three Girls’ by Helen Frame