All Prepared, Not Prepared by Rob Walton

This poem is very real and raw. It breaks down the barriers of how frightening it can be to actually talk about illness and the inevitable deaths that may come - but talk we must. It runs breathlessly, without punctuation which helps convey the panic and terror hidden behind the ‘gallows humour’. Imagine selecting your … Continue reading All Prepared, Not Prepared by Rob Walton

Disaster by Miriam Calleja

This piece dismantles the actual word ‘disaster’ and manages to subvert the dark moments with an idea of heaven, a sort of afterlife feel. Its deconstruction leaves a lot of room for the reader’s own interpretation. The poem ends upon thoughts of ‘a star’. Perhaps an idea that we do not entirely disappear. - Jane … Continue reading Disaster by Miriam Calleja

Luminol by Pippa Little

Pippa Little’s poem ‘Luminol’ uses the image of the actual crime-scene chemical to great effect - haunts her poem with its visual luminescence and the stains you know are there but can never truly remove. - Jane Burn, guest editor. Luminol reveals the secret you don’t even know you know until years afterwards like an … Continue reading Luminol by Pippa Little

In Situ by Mel Eaton

Mel Eaton’s poem ‘In Situ’ is a poem of snapshots - of trying to make sense of being cast adrift in a world of medical jargon by becoming absorbed in watching raindrops on a window. It is a poem of sinking and sadness, of passing that endless time spent waiting. It is a poem of … Continue reading In Situ by Mel Eaton

Howls by Ann Cuthbert

In Ann Cuthbert’s poem ‘Howls’, we see how terror and tragedy can hide in the utter-ness of the everyday. It is not always loud or visible. This is the crumbling of an individual amongst the mundane and it is so much more effective for that. When she gets a chance to be alone, she howls. … Continue reading Howls by Ann Cuthbert

Birth Trauma (PTSD) by Rachel Bower

I feel that this poem will be one that so many of us will identify with. Nothing can prepare you for the realities of childbirth and none of us can predict its effects upon us. The trauma is real and has lasting consequences. This poem leaves many questions unanswered and throughout maintains a sense of … Continue reading Birth Trauma (PTSD) by Rachel Bower

The Tall God In The Wood by Susannah Violette

"Here is witchery and incantation, a poem of deep and darkness, legend and lore. I found so much to like in this earthy piece full of blood and guts." - Jane Burn, guest editor. The Tall God in the Wood the jack knife flicking of red worms the quickening soup of his mouth the way … Continue reading The Tall God In The Wood by Susannah Violette

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