John Bolland

John Bolland THIN ICE (For Marc Cornelissen and Philip De Roo, missing presumed drowned 200 kilometres South of Bathurst Island in the Canadian Arctic, 29th April, 2015) We circled for an age to no avail. The place they were, their ‘there’, was not. The sea was flecked with broken pack. The melting ice heaved, shattered […]

Kathleen Thomas

Kathleen Thomas From: “The Prologue” We stumbled backwards to the west and dug ourselves in, Overwhelmed by the ‘not us’ of alien conquests, Voicing our ghost tongues to say:    But we are…yet we remain…   We speak from beneath the soil, our blood whispering under earth, Holding fast to the memory – the glimpse […]

Annie Lamb

Annie Lamb wait a bit he sees her watching him now and againin these last days of school, whenever somebefuddled adult opens with ‘now then,what are you planning for the years to come?’– the years! it hangs unspoken in a glance:are we supposed to want to swap one setof chains for fresh ones? fly into […]

Haseley Hinton

Haseley Hinton Extract from Song of the Seacrow by Haseley Hinton  Kesh is now Mattouk (head) of the Khoulan monastery in Morth. Ahbrem is a monk at the monastery and Kesh’s long-term friend. The king of Morth has invited Ahbrem to dine with him and the queen. “So this protégé of Kesh’s is an engaging […]

Caroline Fowler

Caroline Fowler A THING o’ BEAUTY?Weel, pollyfilla fills the crackso’ wrinkles on ma brooThin silver threids upon ma heidFar gowden hair aince grew.’Ers nithin beats a twa three dabso’ richt strong super glueThe very dunt for keepinShooglie falsers in ma moo!Ah’ve haen tae taen tae shuvin inyon… ‘chicken fillets’ nooFor nature startit heidin Soothn’ gie […]

Emily White

Emily White The Skirt  Where are you going? He lifted his head at her movement from the sofa. ‘Cup of tea’  He was watching her as she carried on moving.  She didn’t turn, but aimed herself at the kitchen door. Her skirt whispered to her as she moved. Bias cut, with a pattern of stylized fern. […]

Leon Stelmach

Leon Stelmach Lassa Pur Dir Let them talk, we the  lovers Star struck, moon mad; What know we, or care, Of creed or colour.   Let them talk, of we the lovers All the long day and night. The gossips dare not cry desist Nor have they the right.   Let them talk, of we […]

Linda Smith

Linda Smith A Year with my Father 1 In the beginning was my father. I never had any trouble believing in God the father, because I always believed utterly in mine. Like a young gosling I was imprinted on him from birth, from the moment when early in the morning of the day I was […]

Margaret Macdonald

Margaret Macdonald About the Author Margaret Macdonald, originally from Sri Lanka, has lived in North-East Scotland since 1985, where she worked as a social worker, mediator and trainer.  In her professional capacity, Margaret co-wrote ADAPT: a training manual for criminal justice social workers https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0264550517728786 Since retiring, Margaret has written a children’s book about a naval hero […]

Maureen Ross

Maureen Ross   Preparatory Purple It’s a quiet occupation – making blackcurrant jelly. The rolling boil of summer topped and tailed slow dripped through muslin, clarified and firmly jelled in safe confine of shining jars all labelled.   Who would have thought the stain of summer could be so deep so intense so fit for […]