Posted on 21st October, 2016





Nest - Leonie Ewing


Great Tit


Claws curl into pebbledash,

gravity defied in the search

for an invertebrate meal.

This is the warm up act.

Next up a horizontal flapper

dance right across the too

smooth frame of uPVC.


Gillain Mellor



                                                     Maths prompt


                                                     Grace Hopper's Light-foot Lecture for Leaders


                                                     Grace wouldn't be pigeon-holed as pure 

                                                     Navy. She preferred to be a pirate dying

                                                     to be released. She lectured to Generals

                                                     and Admirals, explained to the forever

                                                     impatient how data took time to arrive

                                                     from space. She gave out wire pieces

                                                     a length of 12 inches: a light-foot - how 

                                                     far light would travel one nanosecond.

                                                     A millisecond was an uncoiled wire

                                                     a thousand feet long, a picosecond  

                                                     pepper grains poured onto palms. 

                                                     They passed the time between them,

                                                     no need of equations since school, more

                                                     used to marking lines on sand and sea,

                                                     they knew when the speed of information

                                                     equalled men's lives, couldn't grasp

                                                     the weight behind the question. 


                                                     Gillian Mellor 




Hanging the Painting


‘You bought it with her?’

‘Yes, we agreed on the one 

we liked best, this happened.’


I want you to hate it

and her and you do! Well

what she did...and didn't…..


but this wide sapphire sea

the dipping hull dissecting it

the taut white sails fully rigged

in a beating wind, these live in 

the golden frame desperate 

hearts aspire to 


I see how you tried 

to marry her into your 

journey. How you'll try

again with me……


‘Put it up here then’ my voice 

sounding small and brave like

a hanky wave from the shore.


Clare Phillips






Goldfinch - Tom Langlands







You’d think I’d be over it by now. I’m used to being on my own, going out to places by myself, eating out solo in cafes, and staying in single rooms when away from home…


… and yet…


You know that phenomenon which strikes you the second you and your man have decided to start a family? When the world is full of pregnant bellies, prams and pushchairs, and young mums and their offspring pop up at every corner to remind you that you haven’t got there yet? It’s a bit like that.


Lately, wherever I am, all I see is couples. Couples wandering along the street, hand in hand, some silent, some in animated conversation. Couples seated opposite each other in restaurants, compionable, complete. Couples in theatres, parks, stately homes, and at sporting events. Couples enjoying their grandchildren, sharing the shopping trips, deliberating on new décor.


Couples, living out a retirement I always thought we’d reach. 


Linda Powell



Seasons prompt


Indian Summer


Sky, clouds its own reflection,

Pours light into every upturned

Flower cup, late summer benison

Before Autumn harvest gathers seeds

For next year’s crop of colour.


Walking in these still, green days

My eyes find rest in small things;

Lingering swallows, tattered butterflies,

Tousled asters, late roses,

Greet me like old friends.


Grey dust clings to boots

Imagination sees snow powder,

A little while, it will arrive,

Until then sunlit warmth still dapples

This old track,  a sheltered bench.


Anne Micklethwaite.





A spring spate

Higher in its course,

Becoming a placid rill

For guddling trout

Supports a clutch of ducks

Who learn to preen

And swim and dive,

Feed on the slippery algae

Greening all the stones,

Nibble with eager beaks

At water-weeded banks,

Content to dwell

In tranquil coolness,

Knowing nothing 

Of the torrent far above


Thelma Hancock





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