Posted on 19th October, 2016



Itchy Hare - Liz Waugh



Epithany - Grapefruit Grumbles


Grapefruit came late to me, but once tasted became an essential eye-opener. Its astringency ameliorated by a spoonful of sugar, I eagerly anticipated the burst of juice on my palate, pepping me up for the day to come. Loosening the segments with a knife and watching the sugar dissolve, I was almost salivating. A breakfast minus grapefruit was a dismal affair.


Occasionally I’d dress it up a bit for a fancy dessert, following a recipe in a favourite cookbook. After the segments were loosened and the sugar crystals had melted into the juice, a liberal dose of sweet sherry added a heady aroma. The masterpiece was placed under a hot grill until it bubbled. The warm, now brownish, fruit slid down easily.


A habit so ingrained that I thought I could never break it finally died the death when my doctor and I decided that a daily statin would introduce me to the world of pills. Three weeks into this regime, I was reminded that grapefruit, in all its forms, was now a forbidden fruit. Something to do with it also having the power to reduce cholesterol, presumably in an unquantifiable way. I toyed briefly with the notion that I might eschew the tablets and eat mountains of grapefruit.


Ten years on, my eyes still sometimes stray to the piles of yellow globes stacked invitingly on the supermarket shelves. I imagine the explosion of sharp sweetness on the roof of my mouth and the slow trickle of phlegm-busting nectar down my throat. Somehow a daily orange still doesn’t quite cut it….   


LInda Powell                              



Sound Prompt


The Significance of Sound and Fury 

(written 07.02.94)


Archangel Hooranan removed his halo and wing-pack. 

He could breathe and move with ease now that he was back 

in Heavenmosphere. “You must see this” he urged the Others 

as he switched on the Aardscreen, “they’re talking, Brothers, 

about Church. It’s a televid called ‘Kilroy’ watched by their citizens

in which everyone talks and nobody listens”


“My Church is my place of work where I go each day,

and pray

that I won’t be found out…”


“My Church lies

between the thighs 

of the pursuit of constant pleasure”


“My Church lies…”


“My Church is my business, where I am God,

worshipped and feared in equal measure…”


My Church is my business…”


“My Church is the place where I was baptised, was married,

from which the mortal man is buried…”


“My Church stole my mind…”


“My Church is the street, a street which encircles the world…”


“My Church is my wheelchair from which I scream at my Maker 

my anger and frustration, 

disguised as supplication…” 


“My Church is not represented here…”


“My Church is a Synagogue …”

“…a Mosque…”

“…a Temple…”


“My Church is the

High Church…”


“My Church is better than your church; 

yours is a really poor church…” 



As Hooranan slid the volume down and turned to the Others, 

Gabriel smiled and said “Brothers,

remember that despair is not permitted here.

The situation is not as futile as may first appear.

For these beings the solution is clear; 

they simply must improve their ability to hear.”


Peter Kelly




Peter Kelly



Whispering Prompt


A Greek Holiday


The cool sea air talks 

It's whispering myths of Greece 

Legends never die 


Daniel Gillespie






A pair of squalling gannets scuff the beach.

The sun, a pale balloon is out of reach

and the summer child who had it tight

walks with his mother in the dimming light

towards the safe sea wall.

 ….and beyond the long horizon –

men, massing with their guns.

Fathers, husbands, boyfriends, lovers -

other mother’s sons.


A turn-tail tide runs out and drops her shawl

of froth and weed. A milk-eyed mackerel

lost from a fisher’s evening haul

lolls like a lazy bather in a pool

under the safe sea-wall -


….and beyond the long horizon –

men, massing with their guns.

Fathers, husbands, boyfriends, lovers -

other mother’s sons.


An open page of sand blurs to peach-bloom

scribbled with graffiti of the sand-worm

and the scatty hieroglyphs of feet

of child and seabird on its fading sheet

under the safe sea wall


….and beyond the long horizon –

men, massing with their guns.

Fathers, husbands, boyfriends, lovers -                          

other mother’s sons.



I read in jetsam war’s lunatic symbols -

the shingle’s bone-screed; sucking crab-holes

burying the living, arms of trees,

boat-shard, sheep hull – carnage of savage seas

under the safe sea wall


….and beyond the long horizon

men are massing with their guns.


 Fathers, husbands, boyfriends, lovers,

 fathers, husbands, boyfriends, lovers,

 fathers, husbands, boyfriends, lovers, 


 and other mother’s sons.


Chrys Salt                                                                                                Wren - Leonie Ewing



                                                           Is it me? (The Refugee Befriender)


                                                           Now that she’s here

                                                           only one thing matters.

                                                           Each time we meet

                                                           it changes.


                                                          ‘Why only one hour

                                                          a week?’ she implores.

                                                          Today, learning English

                                                          is the key to secure a


                                                          new life for her family.

                                                          This is logical and I mount

                                                          a campaign matching her 

                                                          indignance with my best


                                                         efforts to unravel the red

                                                         tape preventing it. I teach her

                                                         that phrase inwardly wincing

                                                         at its old-fashioned sense of


                                                         injustice, can almost smell

                                                         a wood-panelled office where

                                                         tight-skirted girls pushed paper.

                                                         She checks her smart-phone


                                                         for a translation and

                                                         suddenly I see this capricious, 

                                                         desperate, singularity of purpose

                                                         in the provincial UK town


                                                         she imagined would be city

                                                         smart might be about me.

                                                         Maybe she thinks we Scots

                                                         can only manage one thing


                                                         at a time. She has a degree,

                                                         contracts with Syrian TV, calls 

                                                         me dear and darling in texts.

                                                         And I’m older than her mother


                                                         Clare Phillips 




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