Browsing Tag



Locked Doors

Author: Jason Haggerty

Illustration: Mark Smith


I always made sure the door was locked



three times at least

before going to bed


Otherwise the foxes will get in

and eat my only pair of jeans

or piss on my favourite guitar


Or a stranger will try their luck on the door

walk in quietly and watch me

wondering if I’m asleep or dead


I leave the door unlocked now

In case she decides to arrive


I know it’s close to impossible

and I’m not sure her heart beats my name

like mine screams hers

in fact, I don’t even know if she exists


But on the off chance she arrives

I don’t want her stuck out in the cold


I wake up every morning

there’s no sign of her

she must have walked in quietly

and watched me sleep


Maybe one day she’ll wake me up


I’ll leave the door unlocked




The Literature Anteater

Author: Nesbit & Gibley

Illustration: teapotsforelephants

“The bulb has gone in the attic,” he said.
I imagined him sifting through old boxes
For old notes, for old books,
And suddenly being wrapped in cloudy, cold black.
He feels around him, finds his way back
To the ladder
And calls me.

He was a literature anteater. Poor vision, scrappy and quiet,
But with his bookworm tongue, he was able to find the smallest things
In rhymes and prose
That meant the most.
He could roll a quote from any author, from any poet, any philosopher
For any moment, for any person.
The smartest man I ever knew.

When he told me there was no light in the top of the house
I misunderstood.
I was half way out the door to leave for the hardware store
When he stopped me. He spoke slowly, softly, and then repeated himself.
I knew this was now not an errand request but instead, his best, poetic way
Of telling me that things weren’t all okay.
Darkness shrouded membrane.
Termites under milk wood.
He insisted there was nothing I could do
Yet told me not to worry – “There’s no prescription but there’s no pain.”

Henry Oak donated his books, his medievals, his reading light
To the local charity in the silence of midnight.
He left them outside in strong, plastic boxes so that in the morning,
Someone else could have the joy of reading them.

Better that than them collecting dust.
No wood for the burner, no cure for the rust.

The anteater has stopped eating.
The bulb has gone in the attic.


Overlord ( This is England )

Author: Richard Anthony McFerran

Illustration: Chris Hollis

See the soldiers, washed up on the shore…… soaked in the glory of fearlessness ….. decorated in death

A posthumous pardon from behind a desk … of a life that was meant to be led…

Not bled.
Across these sands,

Where families now love , hold hands….

Now today

Some seem exempt

Of vision, of valour.

Close eyes and heart to pray …. that we shall never know the pain.

Or see lost / last seconds through the eyes of boys, so far far away… from thought.

Yet who’s bodies may still remain.
Who’s faces, are still engrained

In the heart of our country,
our land.

For this?

This Is England.


The Tenant

Author/Illustration: Nesbit & Gibley


The students above play Latin Jazz every Tuesday night.
With their partners, they dance on the hardwood floors
And share drinks and cigarettes on the balcony
Where they spout their stories to the city below.

The floor beneath, the television blares gameshow catchphrases
And crowd laughter as the couple, with their faces
Illuminated by the neon blue screen, glug beer and wine
And shake the room with their bellows of laughter.

In between the floors, nestled in an old shoe box
Hidden by a French girl in the 1980’s
Sleeps a tired tenant mouse, who in the same morning
Outran a fox, a cat and Mrs Belinsky’s mallet.


When I grow up

Author: Jason Haggerty

Illustration: Mark Smith


I wanted to be a cowboy

hot-footing it across the plains

burning under the melting sun


But no


I’m a clown

choking on sadness

spitting out smiles


I wanted a horse

saddle packs filled

with beer and beans

riding off in to the sunset


But no


I’ve got a tiny car

filled with tens of dozens of people

none of which have a real nose


and none of us know

where the fuck we are going


I wanted to be a cowboy


I can’t even juggle


Bombed out Church

Author: Richard Anthony McFerran

Illustration: Chris Hollis

How I’d never wish
That winter on you …

When you left,
So bereft

I was empty
And dying

But, like a bombed out church,
I was still pretty.
And I still stood

For something.