Spring Showcase – March 2022

Thursday, 3 March 2022

Archive of all previous showcases

Edited by Susan Jane Sims

Photograph : Susan Jane Sims



My fingers tremble 

as I lift her, 

just a whisper 

of shell-bone and feather. 


Her wings are warm and soft, 

folded and still 

in the cup of my hands, 

her eyes, half closed, 

hide their shine. 


I look to the sky, 

filled with wing beats 

and birdsong,

and I curse 

the bright blindness

of glass.


Sonia Goulding



The Tambourine Prayer


When you speak to me…

when your eyes speak to me…


when cymbals spark light

across the sky and the sea

and dunes run bare-toed to grasses disporting

the evening-ebbed warmth of sand


and a curlew loses its tongue from far away

across a flight of bog-lands

as if intervalled mountains were nothing

but resonant chords and sound space

where time pools as lightly as a memory

of a melody heard in childhood


or wings settling to re-found nests

for another day gone

spent breath-lightly enough

to coax sunset-dragons

to pantomime the hill-sighing-day-light

with surplus skins

that ember the shriven colours

to velvet and grey

and so the stars are sown…


When you speak to me…

when your eyes speak to me…



Gareth Alun Roberts



The Secret

In a box, in my room, at the back of the cupboard

lies a secret, I have never seen.

There amongst the badly filed paperwork

and bag of odd socks still waiting to be paired,

a black and white film, 35 mil.

From a second hand shop in a small run down town,

I bought a camera like the one Ansel Adams had.

A minolta, slightly battered, but worked.

In that I found the mystery,

of which I am the guardian.

I've always wondered what’s in that film:

Great landscapes, portraits, family snaps,

intimate photographs, erotica.

Never developed though I had a chance,

I’d prefer to imagine rather than perceive.


Paul Truan




is just a syntax version

failed attempt to fill in what’s not possible,

establish order from how each relates to one another,

pastiche of what was, perhaps – 


airbrushing archives reveal stark facts,

Fathers’ names

if lucky, a date or two 

or indication of how they moved 

through a disappeared landscape, a


trail of poisoned patterned heredity, 

violent rupture of territory 

linked by rivulets of blood.


Women’s absences coil 

through their men’s interweaving pursuits

of power, prestige

and ownership of bodies and land – 


a mother’s love 

suggested only 

by a choice of Christian name – 

a Christmas Rose

or summer Violet.


Julie Sampson





… hedgerow listeners,  

mouths agape 

in top heavy headiness 

yet as fragilely-white 

as fine china.


And, there,

an early-year bee


the freckled throat 

till that pollen-heavy 


zig-zagging away

as if drunk 

on Candlemas sun.



so many winter postulants

with their leaning need.


How they shiver. 

Roger Elkin



100 daffodils


They open

golden mouths,

lick their yellow lips

and purse them

into kisses

for Valentine’s Day.


They glow

lighting up

the morning kitchen,

spill promises on

the breakfast table

with marmalade & toast.


100 daffodils

(or more perhaps?)

such over-the-topness,

such glory

all saying these three

well-worn words.


I love you.  Me too.


Moira Andrew



Free Time

The roar of the swamp

is like the criminal lion

and also like the crimson frilled skirts

of the violin madam

of Vivaldi,

so I sink into a drowse on the sofa

and find my young self

on the city bus,

Monday morning,

late January through the biting cold,

to high school

where the ugly bronze head

of Abraham Lincoln

greets me as I walk through the weather vestibule,

the lobby that separates the frozen elements

from the somber tasks

of education

I know I could let go of

to dissolve like small piles of warm sand

right there

and not be held accountable for being born.

Being me is like being married

to Salvador Dali on a bad hair day,

and so that is why my second hour

creative writing teacher will not kiss me,

but she lets me stroke her breasts

in the locked classroom

as the gods applaud with beams of sunlight,

and when I arrive home

my mother and father smell such luck upon my clothes

and seal me in the freezing garage

to practice upon a pile of trombones.


Rustin Larson, USA



O, Luna!

Surreal moon—

now merely a chipped bauble

suspended over frosted gardens

about to be engulfed

by wintry cloud

so you know,

too, for sure,

all fairytale romances

are long dead.

Galleon moon—

in full white sail across

sky’s choppy ocean

without a captain

at the helm

without a sailor

on the deck…

yet certain to circum-

navigate the globe on time.

Dream moon—

through it you might see

patches of blue:

holes in the silver dust

of moon & sky

where, when you were little,

moon mice rattled in & out

all night searching

for crumbs of cheese.


Lizzie Ballagher


Shaping Water


I altered the world from the kitchen,

a pastry cutter dipping into flour shaping countries

and pouring water around the peninsulas,


inlets made squiggly coastlines.

A breadknife worked on craggy cliffs

so impressed were the seagulls they came to nest


and diving below to catch

fish covered in flour for my tea,

thinking political when I shaped water


I revolutionised to speak about injustice

poverty stricken lands with no tap water,

it is time to harvest the rainclouds and flood


underground reservoirs at the Sahara

wash away all that sand, it gets everywhere

but keep some for the beaches.


My sink is overflowing, ripples of water swirling

around used plates, spoons, teacups, frying pan,

washing-up liquid bubbles and ferments the smell of cooked tea.


Johanna Boal



How to care for a soul made out of sun


Feed her with books and wildflowers

Let her try to find meaning

In meaningless abstract paintings

Shower her in sticky honey once a month

And never forget to play her the song “Vienna” by Billy Joel

Twice a week

Allow her to give the love she was never able to give you

To everything around her

Allow her to run out of that love

And discover that she too can produce it

Take her to the beach on cloudy days

Let her step into the cold water

And try to find where the blue meets the gray

Encourage her love too hard and get hurt

Make her radiate her light too brightly into this earth

And hope that one day she realizes

That she never really needed anybody else

To light up her darkness


Mariana Santana Soares, aged 14, Uruguay