Posted on 16th October, 2016




Bareback Rider - Liz Waugh



X Ray prompt




Ice blue perspex, casts 

its chill tone

across your skin

I erase it 

with a wash of 

hot love

a reflection

of my pink

Mothercare nightie.


will our knowledge

of each other be

so transparent 

as in

these first hours

when you, precious 

babe are encased 

in perspex.


Steph Newham






The Big Lottery



Nine months in the washing machine of creation

two million years of recycling...

...and the rest.

Biological cleansing in amniotic fluid

softened with evolutionary conditioner.

The final spin

emptying of water

programme over.

My summoning to being

with a lottery ticket 

in the pocket of my genes.


Prenatal education fixed in social class

a game of chance

dye is caste

am I colourfast or have I run

in this time against race?

Clean, dirty 

white, coloured

will some god bleach the stubborn stains

on the fabric of my soul? 

Wrap me in your beliefs

and let me ring my leper's bell.


Unceremoniously hoisted high

hung to dry

whiter than white

the stainless sterile wealth of good health

or head-wetted in fluke-infested waters?

The first breath 

cool clinical freshness 

or a snort in a crime-infested ghetto?

Two eyes, one nose

better count my fingers and toes

while I still have them.


Sharpening knife in guise of faith 

will tattoos of culture

mutilate my flesh?

Tumble-dried and gently pressed

to milk of love or hungry hatred.

Ingrained memories

a lifetime carried

‘til discarded, misshapen, old and grey.

I will pass to you my unborn dreams

and the lottery ticket 

in my cast-off genes.


Tom Langlands



After Æsop : The Oyster Catcher and The Lark



There was once an oyster catcher who spent all his days hiding his stash of sea food under the mud of the estuary where he lived. He was afraid that other birds would find his treasure and steal it so he cried a warning ‘Pik! Pik!’ all day as he worked. One day as he probed the mud laid bare by the falling tide he saw that the sea had fallen away from the top of a bank, leaving it like an island across the water. He straight away began to dig up his oysters and carry them to the island where the wading birds

did not go. Soon he had a deep hole full of food. He was so proud of his wealth he strode up and down the bank preening himself, showing off his orange beak and legs to the world.

Just then he heard a lark in the sky, ascending towards the sun singing.

‘Why do you waste your time in singing, Lark,’ he asked ‘Are you not hungry?’

The lark flew a littler lower so that the oyster catcher could hear him.

‘I sing in praise of the sun in its golden glory which hatches the bugs I eat – do you not sing to the sea who brings you food?’

The oyster catcher laughed.

‘It was not the sea that fed me. I laboured through the morning to catch my food so I sing for myself.’

And he began to stride up and down the mud again, ignoring the lark, singing only for himself.

The oyster catcher did not notice the tide turning and begin to steal back around his island. Soon it was lapping at his feet and he saw to his horror that his precious hoard was going, going, gone beneath the water. 


Moral : Better to trust your treasures in gold than off-shore banks.


Vivien Jones




Lemons with ladybird - Hazel Lowther



Starlight prompt


Quiet Stars


Tonight everyone is sparkly and special

Shining their light in my eyes

Every one of them pushing  

Their dreams into everyone’s lives


They are becoming like the universe

With so many stars burning so bright

In so many directions

No one knows where to look.


Except … they are not like my universe

Because I have never heard its stars sing

I've never seen them boast how great they are

Or how they will die if they don't get to shine


Its quiet up there among the real stars

Every one equal and the same as all the rest

Their light is endless and eternal but constant. 

I like the universe.

So tonight I’m slipping away.

I'm going to lie down in the dark, October garden

To watch some real stars shoot across the sky

In the heavens, in silence, in blissful peace.


Catherine Graham












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