FREE DIVING

By: Gillian Horsley   Marionettes of shadow and light from which a single string hangs; a rope that guides my tactile sight, hunger for adventure pangs. Another world on Earth in blurry tech-ni-colour; my underwater birth, light fades, colour becomes duller. A crux to rely on vision, a species designed with precision; more natural than…

LONDON MARATHON

By: Linda Lloyd   Some journeys take you somewhere else, somewhere new forever. When you launch yourself off that starting block, you have no idea whether it’s a sprint or a marathon, or where you’ll end up. In 1981 I was living in the sub-arctic climate of the unemployed North East of England. In the…

A SELF-IMPOSED EXILE

By: Safiyah Ouaguena   I have these intense fantasies of spectating my own funeral; that I would die today and be the object of your melancholic affections tomorrow as I lay in the pathetic fallacy of a dark gothic cathedral in the middle of an unidentified plain. My troubles would be known to you all…

HELLISH DELIGHT

By: Hammama Issa   Every morning after breakfast you always savoured your coffee, One cup was all you needed to see you through the day, ‘You shouldn’t be out alone,’ I heard, A dark, murky lake outstretched before me – still and lifeless, The faint cigarette smell that lingered on your clothes, Faint boomerang scars…

LUCILLE

By: Claudio Fedele   Disturbing silence darkens your sight We’ll cast some light and you’ll be alright We’ll cast some light and you’ll be alright Lucy in the sky with diamonds The maid had left the manor just a bit more than five minutes before. She had given the last, final touch of polishing to…

DISTANT

By: Diego Melita   I am sitting on my bed, looking out the window. It is raining outside and the greyness of the sky makes everything look gloomier. I watch the drops slipping fast as they collide with each other. In the background, a long line of cars advances and stops to allow pedestrians to…

SOCIAL BEINGS

By: Sagal Haji   They say that humans are social beings But I can’t seem to conceptualise The way we have to socialise Vain talk and vapidity Are thrust upon us As if it isn’t toxic To our hearts Our minds Searching for authenticity In world filled with dishonesty     I feel out of…

THROUGH THE EYES OF A PAINTING

By: Leila Vignozzi   I was in the National Gallery the other day, and while I was wandering around I had some sort of deep connection with some of the paintings. I was in the Renaissance section, which is mainly composed of Italian works, the majority of which are from Florence, the city where I…

A TALE OF THE CAT AT DOWNING STREET

By: Melissa Garrett   In large cities and small villages live many cats, as they do in England’s capital. One of these cats lived at number ten downing street with the Prime Minister. This cat’s name was Billy. Billy, like any cat, spent time scratching behind his head, sending fur balls flying all over the…

THOUGHTS ABOUT THE MAN BENEATH THE BRIDGE

By: Abbie Dunn   There is a man who lives beneath a grey, decaying bridge. Of all the days I passed beneath this bridge, always in a rush, I had not once thought to take notice of him. Until one day, when the man beneath the bridge was gone.   I recall walking at my…

WOMAN OF DUST

By Yasmin Rahim Gathering along the sill At dusk Collecting Like fibres of dust Falling, floating silently My figure wrapped In a blanket Of dust My being comes and goes Swells and disperses Swept away, by a soft blow Like dust The city is roaring Outside my window Yet I am here Aggravating dust Silent,…

Spaghetti

by Jennabeth Taliaferro

‘I feel naïve again, as you reach over and grab my hand, as if this were just another date, just another Tuesday night. I hesitated at first when you asked, remembering unsavoury dates in the past. But you insisted, knew a great little place with “amazing Spaghetti.” ‘

Delicacy

by Liv Monaghan

‘I ate but boiled egg brown sandwiches.

From the Sainsbury’s at the end of the line of red bricks.

Because I was sick with sorrow’

The Chill Room

by Jessica E. Wragg

‘The meat fridge is an odd place to find sanctuary here. Loins of beef hang in rows like soldiers, burgundy and black, dry and mouldy. There are always appreciative coos and aahs when they see a girl with a loin of beef on her shoulder, her fingers wrapped around the bones for grip.’

Sacrifice

by Sofia Gershevitskaya

‘“You are not a vegan, are you, Joanne?” He went on talking before I could stop the whirl and say something, “you know what I like about you? You don’t give an impression of a woman obsessed with a healthish lifestyle.” He made finger quotes on the word healthish, casting doubt on the benefits of veganism.’

The Bad Habit

by Rachele Salvini

‘Grandpa would be sick… He would be so angry. And most of all, he’d be bloody disappointed because I work here. In a chippy that looks like a Starbucks.’

Tea

by Franca Duym

‘Her city was darker than his; filled with students and single-parent families, the houses closer together. The buildings at her side of the city had a grandeur that only came with having survived centuries of architectural ideas. Being south of the river calmed her down, oddly enough. She’d expected to be more nervous.’

Where Are All The Happy Cows?

by LaAerial

‘Why do we think so little of insects when they are just as alive as us, only in a different form? They may be tiny, they may even be annoying, but they are alive and isn’t all life precious?’

The Lady of Ravensbourne

by Keith Fuchs

“That was me sitting in a hatchback in the middle of a park in a part of London I had never been to, looking across the woman I loved, whose sapphire eyes could see right through me, but also burnt my world down from the inside out.”

A London Restaurant and You

by Mary Gregson

‘You hate to admit that the food is nice,
Then your drinks arrive,
Your opinion is rising,
Then you remember you’re scared of the price,
That soon the bill is impending.’