Skip to main content
A Magazine for

Charlotte Ansell / Jonathan Butcher / Chris Baldwin

My sister spent the seventies
in a Wonder Woman costume,
or that mud brown jumpsuit
when she draped herself over
Dad’s Cortina for a photo
tossing hair that cascaded
in glossy waves.

She could have passed,
for a glamorous extra
in Starsky and Hutch
but she held no truck with romance
would snort at adverts for diamonds
‘What bloody use are they?’

When she married,
her wedding present
from her husband Clay
was a binary star,
a promise that he would
eternally orbit her brilliance.

She divorced him.
In another galaxy far away,
a celestial version of him
still circles while she has settled
for her slippers and pj’s
and corny TV detectives.

Charlotte Ansell



|

A softened finger would probe what was left of this freedom. Those runs
we carried out through cornfields, that we often burnt without a sliver
of remorse. The drinks we somehow managed to purchase without
I.D, and which we regurgitated without disgust.

The heat of August amongst the screaming children and barking dogs,
that relentless still air that never promises stable weather. No longer
does this time seem endless, as with the decades previous; it just seems
elongated, without the chance of an end.

Those times we would weave in and out of each other’s heads and
pockets. Bathing upon sun heated concrete, the broken bottles framing
our feet. Each back street and field were marked by our presence;
territories now owned by our touch.

Cool winds offer comfort now, my stomach and back escaping my torso
like weakened armour. No longer are they in any fit state for these kinds
of actions any more. We crawl slowly forward and it's within these times
I once held precious, I feel like a stranger.

Jonathan Butcher


Lucy Laughs At Marek

At the foot of
Shirebrook Road
two ten year old girls sit
on the steps of the house
that once used to be the old
Mini Motorparts Shop

they watch a boy
dancing bad parcour
around the yellow
municipal grit bin

girl two is giggling
at the boys looping
tumbles

girl one says
ok Marek
you made Lucy laugh
you made Lucy laugh
but you'll never make me laugh
Marek
you'll never make me laugh

Lucy in her
leopard skin dress
continues her giggle

and Marek continues
his dance

Chris Baldwin

Next article in issue 88

Nick Taylor: Embracing happy accidents

With the online-only nature of July’s magazine, it seems natural to welcome Nick Taylor, a digital illustrator from Worksop, onto our pages …

With the online-only nature of July’s magazine, it seems natural to welcome Nick Taylor, a digital illustrator from Worksop, onto our pages 

More Wordlife

Helen Mort Behind Every Image is a Person

Violence against women is nothing new, but as new forms emerge, the law must evolve to protect victims. Acclaimed writer Helen Mort shares her experience of ‘deepfakes’ – and the poem she wrote in response.

The Way I Flourish

Poems from Sheffield Flourish’s The Way I Flourish creative writing course, exploring themes of narrative, identity, journey and home.

Sheaf Poetry Festival

Annual celebration of the stage and the page moves online with workshops, talks and readings of world-class poetry.

Okapi Books

A new South Yorkshire imprint want to open up literature for everyone using audio, art and digital experiences.

Desiree Reynolds Writing From The Richest Of Places

Desiree Reynolds has curated the Black Women Write Now strand of this year’s Off The Shelf Festival of Words, which captures the essence of Toni Morrison’s proclamation that being a black woman writer is not a shallow place, but a rich place to write from.

More Wordlife