New Writing


Gill Fothergill

The dead that I love have left holes in me

vast   cavernous   sepulchral holes


holes where our entwined stories ended abruptly    startlingly    unexpectedly

The dead that I love have left holes in me

brutal   hollow   merciless holes




holes which persistently     determinedly     refuse to be filled

The dead that I love have left holes in me

burdened   cramped   brimful holes




holes where I rage at the audacity of those who have died

The dead that I love have left holes in me
deep   unsparing   unstinting holes



holes I am grateful for; reminders that I have known you

The dead that I will always love have left holes in me

thankful   loving   heartfelt holes

                                                  slowly   weeping    grieving

Holes that are now a part of me

.                                                                  and of who we once were together.


Anna Ward

Only in the dark behind my eyelids
Is it safe
to carefully lift your hand
Kiss it with salt tears, hold it against my cheek and long
for you.

Memory after memory thrown up involuntary,
I make terrible sounds, of love with nowhere to go.

Of my souls deepest sorrow pushing up

I remove my shoes and walk in the dirt.
I cover me
And carry you recalling the sound of your breath when
you were little,.
And go where I try to take hold of this thing that has

Along and along, past houses and faces
and other small places
Along and along- two pilgrims again.
Along and out past the edge of humanity

Beyond wilderness
Beyond time
To the animus of arrival and departure

Days and nights here, days and nights.

Melting into the sweltering horizon of this desert
I beg to burn black beside you, lie til lips parch and bone
It doesn’t come.

I seethe at every slight you bore.
Until I’m flaming
red-ripped sore

in this vast, hyper-listening, growth-starved place
I become the nothing- just one tiny grain of sand in this
endless desert

But the sigh of the sea reaches even this dry place
It breathes upon me.

I no longer try to stop the last train.
Embracing with heart means letting go of hand.
Instantly, Akaal comes
Gathers momentum,

I hear your sister’s shaking voice,
Your Brother’s trembling whisper
My own croak
“ Akaal”
And a choir of strangers join us, gathering, sweeping up
loud and strong.

Heart, ears, and sky filling with its brilliance -A tremendous Bridge!

a small and dazzling flash of blue, ….
That I know was you.

Gratefulness pouring.
Go well my love


Anna Ward

Leaves gather soggy in corners
Dark clothed figures flap in grey-skied wind

Sounds of hard ground scraping and singing from draughty
Men making noises never heard, like rusty gate hinges

Quiet words are dropped,
Never calling out what we want to know:

What would he say his life had been
Was there love?
What truths were faced, turned from?

Death brings the space to hear and never the answer

Inside , all are stood silently wondering
Of him or themselves?
Clutching at warm hands

Whatever wisdoms settle suddenly and solemnly
Whatever unuttered fears surge.
Everyone is equally small.

Thrown together , propelled by conscience into awkward
guilty speech
Folks nod warily at each other
secretly staving off the day.

Babies sleep through.
Pretty things are placed on coffins,

Alcohol laces life's trickling continuum.
Whilst outside
Wide wide wide under the sky
More leaves gather in corners

one or two
even dance in the light !