ONE POEM – Andrew Button

Everybody called her ‘a character’,
a regular in the library
in her shabby Barbour jacket
and crumpled hat perched
on hair dishevelled as a bird’s nest.

Hoop — Harriet Sandilands

There is an unspoken rule in a therapy group that you are not going to go out for a beer afterwards. It’s the same way that no-one actually tells you that you shouldn’t have sex with someone you just met on the third day of a meditation retreat, but you still know it isn’t a very good idea.

Kaleidoscope — Jenna Clake

The horoscope said: You are a fish. You will come to understand this. She found this funny because it seemed like something more suitable for a fortune cookie, and because she had once had a boyfriend who, during arguments, told her that she kissed like a koi carp.

ONE POEM – Daniel Hinds

Hooves leave a hard imprint, a dark wet mark.

Hoof-clop like the noise your tongue makes

When it leaves the roof of your mouth.

ONE POEM – Siobhan Ward

Its big head, glassy stare
and halting hobble 
from random ewe to ewe 
made me think of you –

TWO POEMS – DS Maolalai

they sit on the bridge. they cluster
as close as the round bulbs
of road-swollen blackberries,
dusty with travel.

ONE POEM – Olivia Heggarty

Cutting my hair with the meat scissors,
being told off for not using a hairdresser,
explaining that if I don’t change something

often I will do something worse

Radio Music Magic – Paul Sasges

Turn it up, turn it up, little bit higher, radio Turn it up, that’s enough, so you know it’s got soul. ‘Caravan’, Van Morrison, 1970 The transistor radio came out between the vacuum tube in the fifties and the Walkman in the seventies. I spent many hours on our braided area rug prone upon my…

My Mother’s Quilt – Clare Reddaway

This is my mother’s quilt, but many other women have had a hand in it. It was started by my mother in the 1950s, and she made it for most of my life, in admittedly rather a desultory fashion. I remember her sitting on a freezing, pebbly beach in Suffolk, with the grey North Sea…

TWO POEMS – Janet McCann

Something Lives Something lives in the crawl spaceAbove my room.  A bird? Maybe a rat?Sometimes it seems to be shaking out its feathers.But then there’s a scrabbling overheadAnd the squares of insulation quiver. I’m not afraid of you, I tell the shaking panels.We all have the right to be.And I will not pursue you with…