Posted on 25th October, 2016



Winter Shepherd - Liz Waugh




Another place and time



As we dove for shell-fish

through the chill and kelp,


wove machair grass into rope

and reeds to a thatch,


as we cut the peat 

and set it to the wind,


as we tilled and sowed

dug and hoped,


shouldered our burdens -

seaweed from the shore,


peat from the moor,

buckets from the well,


as we burned juniper

beneath the still,


offered heads and tails

to the hill,


as we anchored roofs with stone

and settled in for winter,


we did not imagine 

the dark plans hatching


in the bustle of far places ripe

with greed and cruel intentions,


and we could not imagine

the turf uncut on the moor,


the kelp swaying

untouched in the depths.


Peter Kelly



Fever prompt


Casa Nostra - The Disease Mafia



By now, over the years

I have met a number of your extended family

Young cousins of the Ache family

Toddlers, grasping squeaky toy hammers in pudgy fists

Banging heads.


Older siblings who used my knees as bongos  

Playing knock and run

Effecting the odd trip and fall

Tearing a muscl, for fun.


Your girl cousins have also visited

Greasy haired, sallow faced hooded eyed 

The Sicknesses 

Bacteria, Virus, Infection.


They sat coughing in corners

Wiping mucus onto my sleeve

Fingering the open fridge, 

Licking chicken and fish

Introducing jars of flies into dark recesses.


This week I met Fever

Your dark brother to whom 

Against him, I have only a soft ineffectual 

Chemical cosh, some pointless flailing, 

And arias of coloratura screaming.


It just seems to encourage him

Throaty chuckles slather the night air

As he watches my writhing


Hot, twisted, I finally 

Hear him shuffling off, 

Checking out other rooms, 

Marking new victims


Fetid, moist, infected.


Carolyn Richardson




Woodland Walking : Leonie Ewing



The Imperishable


Buried deep

Like hidden thoughts

Your silence hints at

Stillness yet beneath

In the darkening earth's womb

The damp warmth encourages 

Tentacles of still green limbs

To break out from the softening

Husk to find their rootedness

Before reaching up to break through

Announcing new life

Out of embedded life prints 

Echoing what came before

Reflecting what will come next


From the garden centre

To the bedroom

From the wilderness to a lover's embrace             

The energy of natures impulse

Is to renew to replicate

To declare its imperishability

As it dies to be reborn renewed

Echoing as it falls through autumn air

The twisting turns of of Sycamore 

Once carved into love spoons

The living seed implanted

In the passionate embrace

The promiscuity of nature's

Desire to reimagine itself


Geoff Smith 




The Mystery Of Creatures


Where was that butterfly bound

that fluttered across a mile of sand,

straight out to sea ?

At low water, at the sea’s frill,

where were the fish who left

their shapes, like plaster casts

in the soaking sand ?


Where did the herons fly, wing touching wave,

with beats slow as windmill blades ?


Vivien Jones



Enchantment prompt





As I pass through the 

jaws of Dumfries.

Rain water cascades 

off rooftops,

plummeting to the 

streets below.

Splashing on gum 

covered pavements,

seeping through 

the crumbling and 

cracked cobbles -

creating a new

home; making a bed.

As the Lore Burn

grows malevolently

under the town and the

cretins and creatures work

to the pitter-patter of 

footsteps above them,

a place to call its own,

in the depths 

of a forgotten tunnel

that's lost its way.

In a place near to nowhere,

Far south, far west, this town.


Daniel Gillespie







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