Posted on 12th October, 2016


Nature Diary : Fiona Russell




Lines in the Sky


Cirrus graffiti, scrambled white on blue,

delineates air too cold for flight lines,

so the geese make black tacking stitches

in darts across the fabric of the lower skies.


Their song is a non-song, a signal too mobile

for form, too urgent for melody, it summons

strays towards the outside edge of the darthead,

the beats repeating ‘we’ not ‘I.’


We, who note their patterns, throw lines

around their habitual places, lines in the sky

that promise sanctuary, the geese oblivious

to atonement for voracious humanity.


Vivien Jones









Robin : Tom Langlands




Magpies scavenge from the past

Steal our futures, fly in pairs

Appear in ones, bring poor luck than judgement

‘I can’t do with Magpies’

he said. Unsmiling. Deciding 

something must be done

about the pair nesting in the 

bottom meadow in the Elm

by the road. So he took his gun

down from the shelf

in the kitchen and two 

cartridges, their dull orange

and brass shining caps, from the 

box he kept in the dresser. I was eager to see 

what would be done.


I’m left now with nagging

confused images. Sound 

and colour, yellow, green

and the scudding clouds white

against the summer blue sky


A tantalising glimpse 

Of bare flesh, nipple, stomach, thigh.

Lovers belly to belly, thrashing

Like beached fish, their gasping

Soundtracking the carnage


Each memory, a ripple

Like silver in the current

Strips of torn foil cascading

From the Magpies nest, blown apart

chicks and all. Silver foil

Crumpled like the reverberating air. `  


Geoff Smith




Absence prompt




I remember how the  fiddler reeled notes higher than the buzz of voices swinging in waves around the walls of the barn, enveloping the dancers in a hug that wove endlessly through the evening, leaving me; bloated, tired, partnerless, outside its shelter. Not that I minded; I left the place long ago, never a thought to return. But then stirrings to see home again led me a merry dance until I found myself responding to Mair's invitation. She never knew I was coming.  I left as the iceflows crackled and creaked their way to the mouth of the St. Lawrence. Then eastwards, a chill wind to our backs, bellying our sails as my lost baby had bellied me. 


Steph Newham



Apples with Lacewing : Hazel Lowther



Dancing Prompt



Steph Whizzo the Magician looked very pleased with himself as he whisked the invisible trick table cloth away and revealed that Cynthia was not in fact leaning on the bar, but rather on nothing at all. Fortunately for Cynthia she was wearing her new head butting hat which, as she toppled over, was just at the right height to exact vengeance on Whizzo's magic wand.


Chik Duncan


Layers Prompt


Pack up Your Troubles





Mud melds and reforms to crumbly

fertile land

Trenches knit together

when barbed wire stitches are removed

Bones grind down to dust and air

with every ploughing

Gas disperses into a haze of mustard

coloured memory


When the monolithic memorials

are fallen

covered in layer on layer of skeleton grit

will a pack of lucifers

still be waiting to ignite the stupidity

of mankind?


Jane Fuller



Seasons prompt




The days are short and cold. I can see my breath in the cool morning air.


Still cold. Although, I've seen the odd bumble bee buzz past me, sure.


The daffodils are starting to rise up and say hello to the earlier mornings of sun.


Lambs grace the fields surrounding the town and nestle under their mums.


Summer arrives along with hay fever, running noses and streaming eyes.


Now all seasons seem to make an appearance just to mess with our minds and accuse Scottish weather.


The days stand tall, the sun is high and bright, burning a hole in the sky.


Fire in the sky, day by day getting put out with the lashings of rain.


Summer is fading off into the horizon leaving nothing but rain. It's colder, colder.


A witch has come and taken over giving out sweets, apples and nuts in exchange for jokes.


It's getting cold out there. Days are shorter, nights are longer.


Dark when I wake, dark when I work, dark when I get home, it's dark, dark, dark for goodness sake.


Daniel Gillespie







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