Young Lovers in a Sheffield Cafe

Oh wet black impossible night beware,
As the grimy world flies past their window stare.
Dirty white vans and the Easy Barber
Who’ll cut your hair for under a fiver.
Phone driven humans and human driven cars,
Soaked flat sleeping bags and not even stars.
Swollen steaming buses with grimy cheap adverts
Of weight lost women photo shopped and chest pert.
The normality of ugliness in man-made urbanity.
The industry and ignorance of second term intimacy.
Oh miserable night in January what hope can there be,
Except in the joy of young lovers in a Sheffield cafe.

Mike Pullman


A Monday Night Beer

We arrange to meet up. it’s a spur
of the moment thing, a monday night,
but why not?

Just the one, we can do sensible.
We start to chat, our conversation
is a relay exchange. Words volley
back and forth, each taking our turn
to share our news. It’s been a while.
There’s so much to say.

Go on then, one more won’t hurt.
We get honest, actually, everything isn’t
fine. Our chat becomes unfettered,
more of our insides come out.
You feel that too, I thought it was just me.
I’ll get these.

Hours pass, we’re a bit drunk and
it’s time to go. We hug. Holding onto
the anchoring of best friends.
It’s not just the beer, feeling unsteady,
that is being human.

Ros Ayres


Man On A Mower

In the park,
I walk past a man
on a mower.
I know him, sort of.
I used to work with his missus.
She said that he liked a drink,
he looks drunk now.
She said that for one birthday
he gave her a jar of pickled beetroot.
She’s allergic to the stuff.

As I walk past him
I am hit by the smell of
freshly mown grass.

What a life!
Working in the park
drunk
loved by a woman blind to him
and everyday the smell of freshly mown grass
everyday, spring.

Ian Rollitt

Insert Brain Here

Crumbling Castleford Station;
strangers stealing body heat.
A lonely platform, broken ticket machine.

Station pub filled with regulars,
whose ashes will seep
into classic eighties, floral carpet.

Three blue plastic chairs,
floating like an island in the greyness.
A red paint-peeling off shack.

A bored-out-of-her-mind girl waiting
for the once-an-hour train to Sheffield,
sees written in neon pink -

Insert Brain Here.

She traces a neat line around her skull, imagines
removing the top, scooping her brain out.
But where does it go?

A mystery, [in neon pink].

Kayleigh Campbell


One Breath Barrow

how
I
mean
so
little
and
yet
value
so
much
the
time
spent
on
this
is
a
madness
laid
on
altars
and
steeples
it
just
sounds
and
we
hear it

James Lock