Mania from Caoin by Fran Lock

Our final poem chosen by Jane Burn for her 'Surviving Trauma' series is by Fran Lock.  Fran Lock is a sometime itinerant dog-whisperer and the author of seven poetry collections, most recently the pamphlet Raptures and Captures (Culture Matters, 2019) in collaboration with collage artist Steev Burgess, and Contains Mild Peril (Out-Spoken Press, 2019). She is an associate … Continue reading Mania from Caoin by Fran Lock

Splendid Isolation 1 by Sandra Falconer

Continuing with our 'incidental' series of poems written by members of our monthly digital storytelling group, here's the first of some lockdown verse by Sandra Falconer! Splendid Isolation When the command finally came it was hardly unexpected. Indeed, our self incarceration was anxiously desired As he found, at last, the means to sound authoritative, We … Continue reading Splendid Isolation 1 by Sandra Falconer

Outrageous Light by Helen Anderson

"Helen Anderson’s poem ‘Outrageous Light’ is a stark reminder that nothing can really take away the utter devastation of losing someone we love. ‘Gone is Gone’ holds such heartbreaking finality, is an unarguable statement with a dark, epitaph-like feel. The last stanza offers a hollow and terrible contrast - one child is gone from this … Continue reading Outrageous Light by Helen Anderson

Honour by Finola Scott

"Finola Scott’s poem ‘Honour’ brings us the shock of a younger person’s mortality. I feel very strongly the sense of the loss of someone else’s son through the conversation with her own child. Death touches every one of us and in many ways, we never expect it in those younger than us. The poem suggests … Continue reading Honour by Finola Scott

Mercy by E.A. Charlton

"E A Charlton’s poem has hints of the biblical within its small, simple, psalm-like form. ‘Spare the rabbit heart inside/That brittle chest of mine’ carried a lot of emotion within it for me, perfectly summed up the idea of fast-beating fear. The poem ends on a note of quiet sadness that I found very affecting." … Continue reading Mercy by E.A. Charlton

Into The Sea by Dominic Berry

"Dominic Berry’s poem is a baptism for our modern age. The poem is snatched and breathless with a sense of the sea’s danger in phrases like ‘slash/sharp waves.’ The poet conjures an atmosphere of breathlessness and screams. He is fighting against the very elements for his freedom. The sea pulls him inexorably." - Jane Burn, … Continue reading Into The Sea by Dominic Berry

It’s In The Air by Marc Brightside

In this, the final selection in our 'Difference & Defiance' series by our guest editor Jess Green, the planet defies us and the end is nigh... It’s In The Air The world decided it was time to take a dive, reset the code. Our high street was a dead land, people drowning in their iPods, … Continue reading It’s In The Air by Marc Brightside

The Chrysalis by Chris Boyland

Words of advice for all of us hoping to survive and thrive in the days ahead - thank you Chris! The Chrysalis Change. Shift yourself, grow dragon tail, sport feathers. Change. Inherit new ways of thinking, borrow sharp new teeth, gaze cautiously into the shadowy corners of your own capacity. Change. Learn to come back … Continue reading The Chrysalis by Chris Boyland

The Weapon and The Dove by David McVey

The language and imagery in this poem are beautiful - 'a harsh shout raw like mince' and 'breathless latchkey kid'. It's evocative of being a child and the man who's 'tall but hungry thin' is vividly described. The poem successfully puts us in a time and place with the single piece of dialogue and the … Continue reading The Weapon and The Dove by David McVey

Change by Catherine Faulkner

This week we welcome the work of Scotland-based poet Catherine Faulkner. Chosen by guest editor Jess Green for our series on 'Difference & Defiance', Jess Says "I enjoy the power and the confidence of this poem with some beautiful lines and a rare effective use of alliteration - 'scattering it Samson strong' and 'cuticles and … Continue reading Change by Catherine Faulkner

Catholic Girl Ghazal by Rachel Burns

Welcome to the second of thirteen wonderful weeks in the company of poems selected by guest editor Jess Green, who says of this ghazal "The traditional structure of Catholic Girl Ghazal sits brilliantly alongside the references to Madonna both in pop culture and religion. The repetition creates a musicality which is echoed in the reference … Continue reading Catholic Girl Ghazal by Rachel Burns

Two poems by Neil Laurenson

We say thank you and goodbye to our guest editor Kinsman with their final selection of two comedic pieces by Neil Laurenson. For the first poem, they say "I enjoyed this poem because of its humour. As well as satirizing those that want to privatise the NHS, it is also an affectionate parody of the … Continue reading Two poems by Neil Laurenson