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Wordlife: Creative Writing: Joe Kriss / Aisling Kerins / Ralph Dartford

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Welcome to August's online edition of Wordlife.

We've got a few silly ones from me from a new series of short pieces I've been working on, and two poems from Aisling Kerins and Ralph Dartford.

We'll be announcing a new series of poetry events for the autumn next month, so watch this space for a selection of the best in poetry and spoken word in the North.

Joe Kriss


Children's TV Programmes Under Tory Austerity

Postman Pat

Postman Pat.

Postman Pat.

Postman Pat.

Couldn't afford to retire.

Fireman Sam The Movie

Fireman Sam's local fire station is closed by the Tory majority local council despite extensive protests from Sam, his colleagues Elvis and Basil and the local Italian cafe owner Bella Lasagne. Despite being a small village the Pontypandy fire service was one of the busiest in the country, with a fire breaking out almost daily. After Sam's fire engine is moved to the neighbouring town, the entire village burns down in a single day. Despite it being a mathematical impossibility that Fireman Sam could have arrived on time, he blames himself and his drinking spirals wildly out of control.

Thomas The Tank Engine

Thomas is running late. He's always late these days. After privatisation, poor old Thomas had to pull twice the amount of carriages and cut journey times by 10%. Thomas is stuck somewhere outside of Leeds. I bloody hate Leeds, thought Thomas. The last time Thomas was stuck outside Leeds he was shepherding a 25-strong stag do with a fondness for strong cider with only one functioning toilet. Thomas shivers. The Fat Controller rebukes Thomas over the radio for running late. Calls him a lazy engine. Tells him if he ever wants his train guard back he'll have to make it to Leeds at his scheduled arrival time. Needless to say, Thomas is voting Corbyn.

Joe Kriss


Red wine

Lip stain




Take out

Black out

Night out

Aisling Kerins

White Poppy

Coming into Sheffield.

The rain so hard and northern

that the coach windows

are pummelled to a rattle.

A city. It's metal, choke and smoke.

A history of saying no to the mean,

yes to those who gamble or wonder.

Us maybe, if we love, throw our dice.

For you are the white poppy woman.

Young enough to grasp a revolution.

Wise to make the unkind flinch,

to cause this rain to question itself.

Ralph Dartford

Taken from Ralph's new collection, Recovery Songs, published by Valley Press.

Next article in issue 137

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Not Really

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Extract from ‘Offcomers’

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