Tanya Nightingale – Two Poems


Rewind to a time when you listened through,
when the human voice was thinner, higher,
and everywhere, that thick white noise.

The mahogany box takes root again,
its brass fixtures beautiful, its long branch
dropping into the rings.

A pause and then
scratchings of Browning, the Light Brigade,
Nurse Nightingale praising her boys.
Shivers of ghosts just caught,
legends pressed into wax,
and too close to put us at our ease,
gods in the machine.


The Wishing Tree

 (Exhibition, Manchester Art Gallery July 20th 2013)

A tinder day.  The brazen sun
licks the tops of tired trees.  Summer leaves
turn brown and drop for thirst.
We seek stone walls and find ourselves
four loud shoes inside a pristine space.
Standing in the centre, a tree,
iron limbs thick with words,
so many luggage tickets:

“Why can’t we be peaceful?”
“I wish fountains flowed with Vimto.”
“I’m being deported tomorrow.”

The Trevi and the Berlin Wall,
every well with a coin,
keeps needs that leave us
despite ourselves,
the make believe we would believe,
the hopes we long to live.

Tanya believes poetry should turn people inside out. She won the Yorkshire Open Poetry Prize in 2008 and the Ryedale Poetry Competition in 2013 and her work has appeared in various journals, including Orbis, Other Poetry and Dream Catcher, for which she is a regular reviewer. She has performed her work at the Galtres Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe (with Rose Drew) and the Keats-Shelley House in Rome.

Tanya has a passion for the northern places: Finland, Norway, Iceland – and believes in a previous life she was a Viking bard. She loves all things theatrical and enjoys the simple things in life, like a well-cut diamond!

Ama Bolton – Two Poems


Patches of new paving
pale as scar-tissue
where the alders stood

Air rearranges itself
empty now of leaf-gossip
catkin and finch

Into the trees’ absence
sunlight and rain
fall and are gone




Boughs bend
yield and spring back
in tension with the wind
dead leaves rattle
on up-curving twigs

Blunt black buds
incubate leaflets
flowers and seeds
braided bark hides
a stain in the sapwood

On a far wharf
cranes unload timber
saplings arrive
swaddled in sacking
for the Chelsea Show


Since 2006 Ama Bolton has had poems in various anthologies and magazines and was a Bridport Prize-winner in 2008. Until retiring this summer she worked as a gardener. She is the convener of a group of poets who meet monthly in Wells, Somerset.


Grant Tarbard – Two poems

Gifts from my Son


under the gallows
of a Belgian battlefield 
he picks a relic

a dagger of wood
laying in its grave so long
resurrection was

a certainty, all
he had to do was prize it
from the bank of soil

wrestle the husk from
the uncertain gale of time’s
russet paroxysm 


under the rock crown
of a Tintagel grotto
lies the magics source

weeping turquoise tears
of departing smoke vapours
sorcery in an 

unmarked grave. The cave 
was flooded when he went there
he had his knights quest

to bring me back a
piece of Arthur, of Merlin
of Britain itself 

Into the Kettle
farewell, my young son
for the boy I knew has gone
into the kettle

into the vapour
into the fog banks with two 
shakes of a lamb’s tail

Grant Tarbard has worked as a computer games journalist, a contributor to football fanzines, an editor, a reviewer and an interviewer. He is now the editor of The Screech Owl.
His work can be seen in such magazines as The Rialto, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Bone Orchard Poetry, BLAZE, The Journal, Southlight, Sarasvati, Earth Love, Mood Swing, Puff Puff Prose Poetry & Prose, Postcards Poetry and Prose, Playerist 2, Lake City Lights, The Open Mouse, Miracle, Poetry Cornwall, I-70, South Florida Review, Zymbol and Decanto.