Philip Berry

Owning the city I remember the peak, when I could stand here and look down the platform and see only the curve of the track, there was no one, not a soul, and I, I… liked it, wandering the city, noticing details… I touched walls and dry fountains and empty benches, I brushed the ankles … More Philip Berry

Xandr Holloway

The Walk The walk from my house to the corner shop means so much now. It’s getting a small amount of normality back to my life. On my way I see few people. Some old friends, some strangers. It’s like normality but if you had kaleidoscopic vision. Everything on the verge of being normal. When … More Xandr Holloway

Dave O’Leary

Our COVID-19 Symptoms We used to talk more when drinking. We used to drink less. And less often. It’s been six days in a row, something not done since our early days of romance and bar going and always kissing and not giving a damn about the world. And look, we’re drinking now, again, out … More Dave O’Leary

Katie Isham

Quarantine Confusion “I’ll get you all the sweets you want!” I shout through the letterbox. “Just stay inside!” I hear her shuffling her walker and picture her settling back down into the sofa groove. Disaster averted momentarily. I exhale. I move to the window, aiming my gaze between the vase of sepia-tinged flowers atop the … More Katie Isham

Ian Croasdell

Untitled Advancing outside for the first time, we met upon a narrow path, with nowhere to step back or aside. Glancing up and then down at our shoes, we feigned an air of nonchalance and quickened our nervous pace. On other days, we’d pause to hold the kissing gates; comment on the weather; stop to … More Ian Croasdell

Sue Burge

Glow Alexanders are legion in the hedgerow, girding my shrunken world with lime-green early sweetness; broken stalks leak tangy sap – Roman celery.  The lacy heads are starting to seed, spikier now, and everything this shape – dandelion heads, thistles – anything that hooks and sticks, evokes our invisible enemy – magnified on every screen.  An artist … More Sue Burge

Orson

Downderry Moor is Empty The horizon is a considered slant of birch and gorse. It has been without disruption since the fox and its cubs, active last Monday. Inside, I’m now more aware of movement and my eye is surprised by the flash of freckles that is my arm, shifting from horizontal indolence. I shriek … More Orson

Valerie Griffin

NoShoulder to Cry On Ifell over yesterday. Lying there, on the crazy paving between the veg beds,with nobody to help me up, I had a little cry. It was just the shock. Nothing’sbroken…except my spirit. I didn’t say anything last night when you rang as Icould tell from your voice you were exhausted from another … More Valerie Griffin

James Northern

An Outpouring of Altruism There are eight of them clustered around the main entrance, cigarettes in hand. Barely a metre between them, never mind two. “Excuse me.” Not a flicker. As I squeeze past, a faux cough in my ear, hot breath on my cheek. Laughter. In the warmth of my flat, I put the … More James Northern

Claire Dean

Making dens My youngest came in and asked what I was doing. Den, I said. I’d crawled under the coffee table in my bedroom. Only my self-cut hair and an ankle swollen from homeschool PE escaped its bounds. You have to make it better than that, was his response. He returned with one of my … More Claire Dean