Fires in the North

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Editor's Note The idea for Fires In The North was conceived early in 2013. By this time, my infatuation with the North was a major part of my daily life, and I desperately needed an outlet through which I could share my thoughts, ideas and desires about all things northerly. I also wanted to invite other people to do the same. So I decided to create an on窶人ine community which would celebrate the North in all its forms. With this publication, I can proudly say that is what has been achieved. Fires In The North features new and established writers and artists from across the British Isles, exploring the North through poetry, prose and art. I hope your enjoy your journey, and be sure to let me know of your experience at Katie Metcalfe. February 2014

Carlingford Lough was first published by Every Day Poets, November 2011 Acknowledgements With special thanks to Phil Robinson, Sam Metcalfe, Dorrie Fearnley, Zed and Andrew McCallum. 2

Contents Rosie Garland ‐ Explaining Cold ‐ Northern Gods ‐ Repairing Yorkshire Bob Beagrie ‐Wolfling

‐Death Song for Moses Carpenter ‐Tampere ‐ Jyvaskyla Oz Hardwick ‐Burning the Bush ‐Blade ‐Landscape Maeve Buckenham ‐Winter ‐Legato Shadows ‐Bird Bones in Winter Marion Clarke ‐Carlingford Lough ‐Carlingford Lough from Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland ‐ oil and acrylics Nick Pemberton ‐Once Upon a time in Cumberland ‐Carlisle ‐ Summer‐Foot & Mouth Andy Humphrey ‐Dolphin Season ‐Arctic Terns 3

Andrew McCallum ‐Sumvya ‐Maeshowe ‐Carsluith Faye Wylie ‐Bottle of Notes Christy Hall ‐Bracken ‐We drove out to Anywhere Carol Fenwick ‐Beowulf Chris Robinson ‐Loch Ness 4

Rosie Garland

Explaining Cold No, it’s more like this: a country so far to the north that water turns to stone if left outdoors in winter. You hide your smile behind your hand, embarrassed that I, a friend, could tell such lies. I would show you what I mean if there was the white hulk of a fridge‐freezer and electricity to power it; if there was anything but this heat that pins me down each afternoon squeezing sweat into the mattress while steel hammers steel behind my eyes. Let me try again: it is a hand that can throttle the life out of a man. He must hide indoors at night, wrapped in coats, in shirts, in everything he owns. You shake your head, shrug this evening’s warmth easy from your shoulders. Like this, then. It is a boot kicking a stranger in an alleyway. It is the words spat against your face at a bus stop. This is my home. This is the bite of cold.


Northern gods Commuters on the bus from Armley, fat with carrier bags, know we hate those blokes in London, wielding cuts to our hospitals, our schools, our heating. We might not remember the Harrying of the North � William the Bastard and his thugs slaughtering our fathers, mothers � but we know dark soil, the moors marked out with sheep, daubed red.


Repairing Yorkshire First you have to dismantle it. No point trying to plug holes willy‐nilly. The stones turn green cheeks to the surprise of October sunlight. He bends, shaved head russet from the lifting, sweater snagged at the right wrist and unravelling. He cradles each boulder as you might a baby out of a cot. Over the Calder Valley, the sky changes in the space of moments. The man crinkles his eyes as a cloud shaped like an anvil hammers down the horizon. An unpacked six foot stretch of dry stone wall. Each one laid out, ready to be set right. To each side, the wall collapses in a litter of toppled markers, as far as he can see.

Rosie Garland has always been a cuckoo in the nest. She is an eclectic writer and performer, ranging from singing in Goth band The March Violets, to alter‐ego Rosie Lugosi, twisted cabaret singer. Her latest solo collection of poetry is ‘Everything Must Go’ Holland Park Press . Her award‐winning debut novel ‘The Palace of Curiosities’ HarperCollins is out now. Her second novel, 'Vixen' is due in June 2014. 7

Bob Beagrie

Wolfling (after Angela Carter) in den of wood, no trail out me ringed by skins of trees gagging on reek of two legged ones me thrash, me spit and snarl and shit how they bleat like fear‐flocked sheep ‐ up‐climb out of grasp of claw swipe and bite the wind in me sends me lashing whirl‐quake in storm gusts; me huff and puff and blow and break a fat moon‐wail vomits from me’s lips torn from me’s throat and me keen me’s pack on the high scarp call back, call back! and come‐on‐come closer to here’s dead wood den where hot sun‐tongues breed bad and cackle in black stone hole ‐ me shake all upside down


Death Song for Moses Carpenter Sliding through rapids of light an ocean of trees deep as the seas we crossed to travel these towns to sell our bottled wares to catch our death in smog Slipping through flames of leaves in Fall moccasin silent in this place of flint keeper of the eastern door harvest sunlight grind seed Sweeping through shallows of shadow chaff hunt down the dark bleed it, skin it spread out its carcase bottle its juice, carve out a flying head Breathing through phlegm of a stale lake snow clouds roll from the mountains to fill my ribcage freeze sinew and bone carry me home


Tampere -


Idle machine sitting Mustamakkara fed rucksack cramped suit‐cased tomorrows melodious retentions case ending chatter compact Finn nouns stereo sung Beatles “Let it be, let it be!” striding stone steps of spiralled observation sun spraying pale rays on early wintered woods lake skimming to stake unknowing’s flung edge for tribal slow migration trails glacial melts seal hunters insteps trappers gritted teeth reindeer breath‐quills driven due‐frost North from invading dereliction come seasons thrust the old sausage factory it’s nowhere ladder it’s crawlspace maps it’s urns of spilt dust mother Mary comes out‐heading city limits for night’s elk forests with road‐lulled lids toward weird‐plucked heart home of learning steeped in wild wisdom “Let it be, let it be!” Bob Beagrie is a poet, playwright and senior lecturer in creative writing at Teesside University. He has performed at numerous festivals and venues internationally, as well as collaborating with musicians he has also worked closely with visual artists on public artworks and with theatre company Three Over Eden. His work has been translated into Urdu, Dutch, Finnish, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. His most recent collection is Glass Characters Red Squirrel Press . 10

Oz Hardwick

Burning the Bush The year’s midnight. Cold breath, hard as stones, falls upwards, rattling stars. Before the first steps on polished tiles, listen as old leaves crackle to flame. Hawthorn and mistletoe, twined and tied, bloom bright blood to the coming dawn.


Blade I am sword, the gold of kings or men, generous, with precious stanzas to give away. I come of men whom fame should reconcile with danger: precious matter for my pay. The magnificent king demands iron thought, entrusts his people to a greater strife. But his son is furnished for his brave deeds: royal, generous, and he may speak with Gods. No, he gave a task but I explained that I can serve only one lord. Behold, old farmers fear such undertaking but the defender stands with his back to you. Look at this: your kinsmen wait on the fells with rich rings. I place words frankly among your supporters: Mark the snake’s earth. My oath comes later than I intended. Send them back.



I see you shortly after dawn or perhaps at sunset, your shadow scratched upon ripe fields the colour of old paper, inking lines through soft light. Your still, taut limbs become bole and branches, carved to a semblance of yourself, staring unblinking at the sun. Memory makes statues of us all.

Widely published in journals, Oz Hardwick’s latest poetry collection is An Eschatological Bestiary Dog Horn, 2013 , and he has performed his work, both solo and in collaboration with a variety of musicians, in Europe, the USA, and throughout the UK. By day, Oz is Programme Leader for English and Writing at Leeds Trinity University. 13

Maeve Buckingham


I slip my fingers into your freckles, Embellishing an out breath on your bedside. Winter reduced you to sparsity, But you weathered it. I gesture the spoon towards your lips, Detach in a vacancy, as whispers dissipate on my tongue. Horse teeth, yellowing and elder, chomp on the metal bit, like rock grating Against cement... Apples are majestically decomposing in the walled garden, edible, but ugly. I blink. Soon it will come to pass. The hole will ovulate, Circumnavigate. Wind discredits the ludicrous heat. Water erases seconds... milliseconds, from apocalyptic destinies. Screams dishevel the blackness, evading only your Eyes, like jet diamonds in white spot lights. You are mistrustful, glaring with an insipid vengeance Beneath your feral brows. Tears Leak their willowy rivulets, down to your jaw bones. I know you hurt, but I am raw too. You weren't the only one, carving the narwhal meat. The window encompasses your para�suicidal tendencies, But I am accustomed to your deceit. Besides, you've drowned yourself too many times before, In a virulent sea of torsion. There is nothing left of your former self. I should know that by now, but I still persist. I persist to echo your wilderness, to follow 14

Your shadows imbued by waxen lavender. It will be the full moon tonight, And you still haven't uttered a word. You haven't ingested any of those cigar biscuits that only Granny could caress beyond your moistened tongue. You're already transversing, scraping your talons impatiently Against the stone walls, and howling with a feral Brevity. The door swings on its hinges, thundering With your paradox. There is nothing that can contain it. Can I?


Legato Shadows

Legato Shadows fell across their faces, A residue of moonlight dilating the captive's pupils. Dove hands unfolded, consoling Tuesday. It came too soon, behind the lid of Monday, that Blackened to veil Reykjavik. The sparrow corpse was tucked up in the sock, The colour of milk. She washed the cream from the lining, let the candle whine into her skin, till there was silence. I've owned tomorrow since I was six years old. Comatose in the attic, coalescing with the dawn, daisy chains linger and interlink linger and interlink Pirouette and clink.... Shadows skewered our identities‐ she would not let him open the gate, to the bottom. She buried the sock deeper in her drawer, camouflaging the body with those red and white 'one in a million' Boofle socks. Lily gave her those. Memories, scattered somewhere in the coffee jar, glare at me silken sinister. Hazel eyes. Ebony lashes. Conveyer belts. Out of out‐breaths.... Mascara dribbles down your cheeks. Streams, Like willow branches tiptoeing across the ice. Ice‐skating...we did plenty of that, Flickering as butterflies exfoliate the flaw, the core, sagging melancholy, falling down to be slipped away. Snowflakes. Toast with agave nectar. Bubbles rise to a surface thin. Lanugo hair adorns the frail summer lemon. Dove hands constrict. White. Kleenex tissues. White white white... And waxen tears, nimble ear lobes with holes Too gaping for an epitome of throat, Infinite for a microcosm.


Bird bones in Winter

The flesh was incandescently waning From her weary bird bones Like a commiseration with death. She knew the afterlife already. You could see it in her sunken moon cage parameters. You could see the coarse wrinkle lines of experience, that etched her motherhood across her eunuch womb. The broken silence; that was unfathomable to the outside. Her eyes lulled the echoes from within the shadows, Lurking diabolically on the outskirts. She was unhinged, always Gazing absently into the forlorn distance. The window remained fractionally ajar And you could just about make out the indistinct weeping Of the Autumn rain That seldom ceased its Wafer whispering upon the roof tiles. There was nothing for her Beyond the room she had encased, and, pervasively deconstructed her soul in, The compartments she had so fugitively retained For tears For urine For eyes For bile For blood; And of course her visceral heart, still pulsating gently Like a floundering gauze curtain, Billowing in the hushed breeze. She was broken. There was nothing that could console her convulsing limbs, Her shattered beating� Her convicted rib cage. No one dared address her by name, Or carefully part the Curtains of unkempt black hair That vexed her elf�like features. It was over long ago and she knew it. The glass was fractured within her garnished hands, Yet her steely abstinence evaded scrutiny or derision. She rocked minutely in a distracted state, mulling over the years She had shared with her ego, and none of the other callers. There was violet there once. There was colour amidst the forlorn decadence Of silent sleeping. 17

Maeve Buckenham is a writer, filmmaker and photographer from the South East of England. She graduated with a degree in fine art in June 2013 and has had her writing published in Big Eyes magazine, as well as keeping a regular blog Her work confronts mental illness, in particular Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa, social anxiety, depression and Autistic Spectrum disorders, based on personal experiences. At the moment she is studying part time for an MA in fine art. 18

Marion Clarke

Carlingford Lough

This morning, as I walk along the winter shore, a weak sun dribbles kisses onto the tips of newborn waves. A dullard hulk of freight carrier slices the sea with unexpected grace. Its slate reflection sulks past the stubborn mass of Gannaway Rock, powers up, heads down the lough, stretching towards the first blush and fresh breath of a new horizon. Pifts of smoke soar to copy wisps of pearly cloud, imitations of the mountain outline. Behind, rose�light tears the sky, as the sun gathers strength to warm the growing day.

Marion Clarke is a writer and artist from Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland. Her work has been published in print anthologies and online journals. Her haiku features in Bamboo Dreams – the first national collection of haiku from Ireland and in 2012 Marion received a Sakura award in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. 19

Painting ‐ Carlingford Lough from Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland ‐ oil and acrylics – Marion Clarke


Nick Pemberton

Once Upon A Time In Cumberland He remembers now his memory tense, bunched like a fist, how by the flower stall in the market back in 1956 ‐or was it yesterday‐ the skin of his wrist brushed her cuff and it was enough and how in August out west they lay amongst the fireweed and the foxgloves in the ragged grass across the river from where the clatter and wheeze of the steelworks trucks and the hoarse quacked laughter of the estuary ducks rang in the air and how she kissed him and he kissed her and he kissed her again in August out west and then how because they were young all the rest fell quite perfectly into place ‐the sunlit room adrift in space her words on the mirror her breath on his face the children’s voices in a distant street the creak of a floorboard beneath her feet‐ and he felt then and knows now ‐as he stands by the flower stall in the market ‐today, not yesterday, not 1956‐ that all of these things are one thing ‐fist, flame, flower, hand, heat, heart‐ that folds moments into memories then unfurls them as pictures of the world again.


Carlisle - Summer - Foot & Mouth The dead man’s voice carries on the wind while, outside the city this year’s grass grows this year’s birds sing this year's flowers bloom etcetera but this time round the deal is different. as all around the county sickness and economics empty the fields. Spring passes in a wet waxy paste of smoke and summer burns larger still the hole in our common sense while somewhere always somewhere always somewhere else death rattles down a windpipe like an empty wellington tugged from the sucking mud while here always here always here and now a mother with skin like curdled milk pushes a buggy home from happy hour in the sunshine and a kid who thinks a cow a comic cartoon mystery and not a construct of blood bone and money walks behind her with Spiderman on his t‐shirt and tugs her hand and wails for space dust until she cracks and slaps him as a boy racer's dump valve coughs and Bob Marley repeats the question:

“Is this love? Is this love that I’m feeling?”

At different times Nick has written poems, plays, paperbacks, comic strips, tv annuals and pieces for various newspapers. He used to run a poetry night and a creative writing course, too. He's sixty‐seven now and retired from the latter and spends a lot of time on his boat looking at charts. 22

Andy Humphrey

Arctic Terns Iceland, July 2007

It was fever and ash this wilderness: a place for gargoyles not breathing things, earth spitting globules of sulphur‐mud cracking eggshell bubbles beneath our feet. So thin, this crust of ground. Yet the hot‐cold air shrilled with life: swift white comets of slender wings loud with their feeding, their mating. On that lava‐shell they nurtured eggs nuzzled hatchlings shielded heads from greedy beaks of skuas. In the collision of Arctic air with sea‐spittle and steam they snatched at nourishment the sky thick with the cry of their striving. It seemed obscene, the weight we carried across that splintered field, a heft of skulls bowed to the wind‐lash. 23

They ringed us with motion, a whisker’s touch from our lumps of fingers: sickles of feather�bone plummeting spiralling soaring.


Dolphin Season “Is this a picture of me, Mummy?”

She’s holding something out to me. A piece of crumpled paper, snatched by her

little hand as it skittered across the cobbles, swirled in the eddies of the harbourside breeze. She caught it the way she catches dandelion seeds up on the mountaintop that overlooks the town.

My stomach gives a lurch as I notice the face printed on the flyer. Just another

child, at first glance: the same bobbed brown hair, the same gap‐toothed smile you’d see in any playground. But I know that smile very well, the slight lopsided up‐curl of it, and the cheeky angle of the little round head. It’s Ellie alright.

I try not to show the pallor I’m feeling inside. “It certainly looks like you, darling,”

I smile back, and reach out to ruffle her hair.

She thinks about this for a minute. “But I suppose lots of people look like me,” she

says at last. “Even in Norway.”

“Ah,” I laugh and wink at her, feigning cheeriness, “but they’re not all as cheeky

as you!” She giggles back, and in another moment she’s skipping over the cobbles once more, intent on her latest favourite game. Chase‐the‐Seagulls.

Do you know, I really thought we were safe this time, the two of us. There are a

few other English people here, to be sure; expatriates for the most part, families of fishermen and oil rig workers. Just enough of them for us not to sound too out of place. Apart from them, most English people don’t even know this town exists. But it’s here alright. Here, with its beautiful crisp sea air and its green encircling hills. With its


welcoming tang of frying fish and its bustle of bright‐faced, sea‐burnished, anonymous people. I really thought that if we might have a chance to be happy, it would be here.

I look more closely at the paper in my hand. The print is black, bare and blocky: a

few sparse words in a language that’s still unfamiliar even after all these months. But I don’t need a translation to tell me the meaning of that big, stark heading, or of the telephone number printed at the bottom.

A seagull punctuates my thoughts with a flutter and a sudden Craaak, diving for a

rare morsel of dropped food on the usually pristine street. I’m struck, once again, by how solitary we are here, even amongst the bustle. Cut off, like the town is by its mountains and the sea, invigorated with the taste of salt and the lush aroma of resinous pine. Free like the vapour that curls up from the forests in the early morning sun.

Until today. Until this crumpled piece of paper, and my girl’s face looking out

from it.

“Come here, Ellie. Don’t play too near the edge.”

She slinks back to my side, mocking my over‐protectiveness with an only half

serious frown. She takes my hand, pulling me onwards with that joyous, limitless energy of hers. “Come on, mummy! I want to see the dolphins!”

Then she stops, looking thoughtful, a cloud obscuring the early summer sun.


“Yes, darling?”

“Will we be going home soon?”

“Soon, Ellie, I promise.”

“That’s good. I don’t want my other mummy to be sad I’m not there.”

I don’t know what to say to that, so I say nothing, and we continue our walk,

hand in hand down the cobbles to where the boat is waiting. I curse silently for being 26

made to think about that other couple: the Surrey couple, the strident one and the overfed one, and their little brood crawling over their laps. I watched them on the news, like everybody did, for the first few weeks; but I waited until Ellie was asleep, so as not to give her nightmares or tears. They promised they’d keep looking, keep plastering my little girl’s face in shop windows and bus shelters.

They kept looking, alright; just in all the wrong places.

They’d never have given her dolphins, that other family. Just child minders and

supermarkets, a rat race of high expectations and disappointment. I know what they are like. Besides, they have another three of their own. More than enough for them to cope with.

They don’t really need her. Not the way I do.

The pleasure boats are back on the harbour, bright with fresh paint and promise.

It’s dolphin season, and Ellie has been looking forward to this outing for days.

I stuff the crumpled paper in my pocket. Later, when Ellie’s in bed, I’ll burn it, so

she doesn’t have the chance to ask me about it again. Then, I have to think about where we’ll go next. Further north, I think, always further north; the last place on earth they’ll think to look for us. There is a nice safe, quiet, pretty town further up the coast. A place where you can see reindeer, and Northern Lights.

I know Ellie will love it.

Andy Humphrey’s poetry interweaves the timeless voices of nature, myth and fairy story with contemporary tales of love gained and lost, heartbreak and celebration. His debut collection, A Long Way to Fall, was published in May 2013 by Lapwing Press. 27

Andrew McCallum


blue pods rattle on a green tide moon‐kelp a selkie’s hair washing my ankles voices roll in my breath over the salt of my tongue intoning words I hear as memories from the mouth of the sea a wave scuttles its sea legs in fluorescent foam where sky‐caves hang a lone gull opens its beak herring‐bones of receding surf whisper eternal afterwords mother father stranger you are all here speaking through the creek‐cleft’s throat you who have gone ahead of me to kindle this moon‐glow at the edge of things * ‘sumvya’ is an old Norse word for ‘cleft’ or ‘creek’. It is the word from which the name ‘Smoo Cave’ comes from. Smoo Cave is a wonderful sea‐cavern near Durness, the most north westerly village on mainland Scotland, which is only accessible by boat. Inside is a deep pool, into which after heavy rains a torrent plunges, creating an ear‐splitting roar that has given rise to tales of dragons. According to local folklore, it is an entrance to the Otherword, which can only be unlocked by music.


Maeshowe Then begins the true ceremony of the sun‌ George Mackay Brown, Maeshowe:Midwinter You accompany me by the low road, brothers in stone, hand in hand, fingers entwined, by Stenness and Brodgar, from the yetts of Skara Brae; passing ends of perfection you envisaged as grace threading through each crooked aperture, the faultless line, the perfect circle. Other kings have passed who left remains of their forgotten names, peculiar crowns, shards of skeletons, fish�heads, unpronounceable words, indecipherable runes, commandments, eulogies graven in stone; but wherever your reign sets down live blood in mortal veins you leave us radiant, resplendent. And even though your tomb is empty, its darkness is ablaze with the light of your presence. On the threshold we clink our cups, as you give a last touch to a face that already dreams its resurrection.



Headline in The Galloway Gazette, 18th Feb. 2013 from inside the heartbeats of earthborne mothers an unbroken impulse leads to this blinding mezzanine of sand and sky she thrusts herself one wave at a time out of the deep green fathoms of ocean fall away from her her eyes are dull she lumbers heavily in the gravity of this unused medium on limbs now articulated for deeper flights she explores with her beak the fine circuitry of time inside the shifting silica beneath gull‐shadows and ‐cries she hears only her blood its imprecations not to drown in this fire before her flame can swim Andrew McCallum is a plump, middle‐aged, married man with a dicky ticker and Nietzschean aspirations. When not striking romantic poses on Scottish hilltops, he writes deep into the night sustained by outrageous amounts of caffeine and tobacco. He has recently discovered the joys of mixing and sampling words and music. 30

Faye Wylie

Bottle Of Notes This bottle carries the liqueur of emotions felt by the voyager His adventure is told within the twisting busy white writing You can almost hear the crew singing as they guzzle down the sweet contents The sounds, smells and visions flickering though your mind, as you try to read the entwined words In the heart of the bottle is the secret blue code The flowing writing tells of the love felt by the artist’s wife Bubbling over with pride at his work, his creation Giggling to themselves as only they know what it says The beat, the pulse, the lust, the passion Now we have probably the most important piece Black stopper hat that sits like a proud crown On the head of a dignitary flaunting himself Tightly keeping the encased memories safe Looking like a mysterious bottle washed up on a beach

Faye Wylie was born and bred in Middlesbrough. She's had an interest in poetry and short stories since she was a child. She first had the opportunity to write with a women's Creative Writing group and had some poems published. She enjoys writing about her experiences and other people’s experiences. 31

Christy Hall


I’m brought back to the bank of an ox‐bow lake and doesn’t Bracken, that incessant land dwelling lichen, always fill the valley with cumin? Pushed over the mist and moor. Heavy in the nose, bullying the air. Bracken fronds the pasture, clinging to the hill‐side and rocks, rough, above, under, and maybe adders shudder there.


We Drove out to Anywhere Spitting mandolins of duck breast, sizzling, start to suggest things; the coming together of ramblers, we masqueraded as them, on a May morning, beer‐gardened and pecking at KP or WALKERS. A slurp or two of shandy, flat and warmed over conversation about world‐travel or mutual friends. We could talk the fizz out of coke. The gloopy remains are onions, peppers, orange jus – forked into a corner of the slate. And then on, on to a bull‐field, empty and dog‐legged under a road‐bridge. We blanketed ourselves on tartan, swapped sunglasses, laid back and listened to crows and gulls and far away dogs bark and are walked. Christy Hall is a Northern poet currently residing in the South. He had has poems published in print on both sides of the Atlantic and recently one of his poems was used in a literary pamphlet to secure Hull as European City of Culture for 2017. He has a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. 33

Carol Fenwick

Beowulf Did I come by Beowulf through foreign shores? Folklore exemplified, history personified? Grendel, the evil monster? Was history one‐sided? Were you pure, the other retarded? Or was the answer unclear? You have no issues But your own mind‐set worries Bleeding you in a hurry for early death Though my child from northern shores on southern climbs Simply bide your time Patience is virtue Don’t turn yourself into Grendel when Beowulf beams through you. Tread the road less travelled Working hard will get you far Pursuing dreams like golden eagles Feeding egos Your time will come, wait and see. On the periphery, beyond the horizon A new dawn settles in Waiting for you, no pain but gain and gratitude Thank he who makes the sun rise in the East. Find love, your sentence will be released. Immortality, radiant as a golden cup Beowulf sighs, breathes another day. In England, now, after Seamus Heaney took his final bow His translation, Poetic prowess Beams from the Norton Anthology on my bookshelf Note to self, be grateful for what you have. Geraldine Ward is a full‐time mum and housewife, with a huge passion for writing and publishing. She is currently involved with Copper Beech and Silver Birch Publishing and children’s community publisher, Mucky Pups and China Dolls. She has several credits including Beautiful Scruffiness Eds Katie Metcalfe Blacklightengineroom Eds PA Morbid and has independently published a poetry collection, “Now” currently on Amazon as well as her recent novella 'Caring for the Carer.' 34

Chris Robinson Loch Ness

Chris Robinson is an emerging writer of poetry, prose and short plays and a spoken word artist/performance poet. Her written work has appeared in a number of anthologies and her plays have been performed at ARC, Stockton and during Middlesbrough Literary Festival. She has performed her own poetry at various venues and events throughout the north of England. She has also been placed and short�listed in a good proportion of competitions in recent times. She graduated in 2011 from Teesside University with a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing.