5 Feb 2022


5 Feb 2022



Stephen Bone

The heatwaves that would have filled my tubs and cones never came. ‘O sole mio’ falling flat as I drove through my hard fought for patch on the outskirts of Aldershot. The Whitby Morrison will have to go, it won’t fetch much, mouths to feed, another on the way and barely enough to stretch to a penny lick. The collapsed dream of a gelato empire with parlours of chrome and glass, has brought an arctic coldness to my other half, nothing I do or say will thaw her now, it would take an ice pick to reach her heart.

Jamie McKendrick
L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle

From The Years (Arc Publications, £8)     I came to tend – I lie – to visit the grave of a friend and found an ugly shrub with waxy leaves had made the plot its home. Since my last attendance   ten years had passed – doing I can’t think what, except translate a dead man’s words – and now the whole granite headstone was obscured   by brambles and weeds and this excrescence. All overgrown. My friend had somehow ended up in a thicket of Cyrillic, the White Russian sector   who have cared a lot better for their lost ones.

Daniel Hardisty

The place was out beyond an old farmhouse, a path through woods, a clearing, sky; the others gathered close, bounded by what each of us withstood. The limestone scree tumbled down the hillside intermittently, clouds covered the sun. I shook the crushed femur and fibula of peppered ashes, watched them weightless glide like spores, and faintly salt and taint the tongue, slow majesty of bone-dust candelabra. Your half-brothers, behind me, began to sing in harmony – Christian, Bach – joining and gently weaving until they filled the improvised canopy that we, unchurched, brought to the blue hillside.

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