Laura Besley

Survival  I hear my elderly neighbours arguing. They never argue, and I think about the new pressures people are under.   Humans are adaptable, apparently, yet I’ve known expats to travel across Tokyo to buy baked beans. Rigid, resolute, recreating familiarity against all odds. Change takes time.  Time we don’t have. Rules that keep changing. … More Laura Besley

Zoe Turner

Coming and going  We experience ourselves in comings and goings, tending each contemplation between checkpoints. We are carried by prepositions that make our destinations possible; along the tracks to anywhere, up the stairs to bed. This morning I didn’t break the night’s fast. I trod through the aspects of my life as if it were … More Zoe Turner

Asha Krishna

Exploding the Quiet The silent lounge is blazing bright and busy. It rejoices as its occupants lay claim to the space often neglected before. An impromptu family activity is in progress, felt tips spilling from the pages onto the table, marking the moment. Noisy music in the background banishes the silence, the occasional battlecry surfacing … More Asha Krishna

David Hartley

Array In the town centre there is a gathering of news cameras. They have no crew, no anchors; just each other at a measured distance. A delicate array to advocate emptiness and then, remotely, swerved to slice the streets into new patterns to seek and accuse the ignorant. Soon, they rust to stillness. Left, perhaps, … More David Hartley

Steven Patchett

Essential Items The staggered queue ran the length of the carpark. Admission allowed, once someone had left, by bomber jacket custodians.Droned at by the tannoy to maintain social distancing. Inside, feverish panic could be tasted, a cruel sting within the aroma of fresh baked bread. We began to break the rules, as tins vanished from the shelves, … More Steven Patchett

Rosalind Adam

Unprecedented The word ‘unprecedented’ plays on a loop. The TV screen morphs from supermarket queues to deserted landmarks. You are identified at risk. Alone and self-isolating, your front door has become a no man’s land, a barrier between you and normality. You open a window. The air smells different, fresh. The sky is no longer … More Rosalind Adam