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kiloran : issue #6

W W W. K I L O R A N M A G . O R G . U K Cover art by Elizabeth Corrall

co n t r i b u to rs Editor : Lucy Harbron

Gemma Allison Emily Bashforth Elizabeth Corrall Rachelle Cox Naomi Crisp Jasmin Deans Elizabeth Evans Jakob Grant Tayla Halfacre Holly Haynes Megan Hemsley Karis Hopkinson James Huxtable Lucas Jones Charlotte Knowles-Cutler Mackenzie Lad

Millie Law Pippa Le Grand Bridie Lonsdale Jade Millard Hope Naisbitt Taylor Ogle Fred Ostrovskis Holly Parkinson Mees Peijnenburg Saskia Phokou Alice Redfearn Ashirbad Roy Sophie Wilson Niamh Wishart Declan WoodwardBrown


A letter from the editor

Home is tricky, made out to be so soft and simple by cliché sayings printed on placemats or recited when no other advice comes. But where am I when I say I’m home, where do I travel back to or run from? Is home a synonym for house? Family? Building? Skin? Love? Belonging? Or a place to leave? I hear it said often that ‘our homes are under threat’, struggling under the pressure of fear and politics rattling around a dinner table. But can that even be true, if you decided where to call home can it ever be threatened, they say no one can take a feeling away from you and maybe home is just a sense. In the past two years I have moved many times, but I have lived in the same childhood home since I was one. I have heard myself say ‘I feel at home’ five times, two rooms, two people, one city. I’ve spent hours on end trying to decide whether I have ever felt at home in my skin, taught to believe that home is always comfort, love, and an overwhelming sense of being okay. But to much avail, the feeling of home is fleeting, it passes in moments of lighting a candle, seeing a smile, crossing a road, looking in a mirror some days. If it passes so quick, how am I to settle? In this issue, we explore where home is and isn’t, what shape it takes, leaving, going and more. The ambiguous meaning of a word we may struggle to define but we all seem to be within. And we allow this work to find a home here.

- Lucy

{Issue #6}

H O M E : A P L AY L I S T Bridie Lonsdale

S t a n d B y M e : Ben E. King ( N o O n e K n o w s M e ) L i k e T h e P i a n o : Sampha S u n d a y M o r n i n g : The Velvet Underground & Nico T h i s M u s t B e T h e P l a c e : Talking Heads W h e n Y o u W e r e Y o u n g : The Killers Y o u n g F o l k s : Peter Bjorn and John

T w o F i n g e r s : Jake Bugg S u n r i s e : Norah Jones 5 0 5 : Arctic Monkeys T y r a n t s : Catfish and the Bottlemen S t r a n g e n e s s A n d C h a r m : Florence + The Machine D o n ’ t L o o k B a c k I n t o T h e S u n : The Libertines

T w e n t y N o t h i n g : Spector H a p p y F a c e s : The Maccabees B a b y l o n : David Gray L a n d l i n e : Oberhofer N i g h t s I n W h i t e S a t i n : The Moody Blues H o m e t o w n G l o r y : Adele

H e a r t l i n e s : Florence + The Machine L o v e : Lana Del Rey O n l y O n e s W h o K n o w : Arctic Monkeys L i f e O n M a r s ? : David Bowie A s t r a l W e e k s : Van Morrison S t r a n g e r s I n T h e N i g h t : Frank Sinatra

T w o y e a rs o f T ry i n g o u t homes Ta y l o r O g l e

Midnight violet tinted midnight settles along the shingles the quiet embracing the souls nestled in warm sheets duvets radiating light from sweet dreams past of life and jungles tangled with branches and thick with the entrancing call of the unknown of love and the gentle touch of lips to his cheek of the muffled patter of rain the calm in her bones before the storm brews of coffee and snowflakes pouring into your lungs along the fog stalked streets of London of flowers spread across the worn floor beauty anew sleep finally until dawn kisses your eyelids awake to greet a world of chances and the drifting smell of waffles

If I inked the things I lacked into my skin would I be complete? their chemical names whispered into the chasms left by their absence echoes swirling into a fog dense intertwined with my being are these hollow echoes all I can claim? the misty curvature of their letters slip through my fingers before I can clench them serotonin pounded into my pearly soft skin will this fix me? do I need fixing?




When I have a house, I’d like a little kitchen with a sunny window perched just so behind indigo drapes. I’d like to have a little french press and a pantry filled with ingredients for my own little coffee house from my counter. And an ever-so-slightly dented kettle to hold firm in my mind the idea that even with some dents, we can all boil and whistle when we need to. I’ll fill my closets with thrift store clothes and worn jeans that fit me just right even though they’ve clung to the curves and arches of another body. There’ll be mismatched pillowcases and crumpled, but straightened duvets. Comfort in the mess, I’ll remind myself. It’ll be light and infectiously airy, but with just the right amount of color so when the bad feelings come we can turn their moods around with the funny floral wallpaper. On the walls I’ll hang pictures that I’ve drawn and photos that I’ve taken in my travels. Snapshots of my life strung about before us- the good bits. After all no one wants to be reminded of that first day after the heartbreak when you had 3 pints of ice cream in your freezer, yet you couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed. I’ll have a shelf for poetry books that will never get dusty because I won’t be able to go a day or two without allowing my fingers to graze their spines.

I’ll cook. I’ll fill my little nest with the soft smell of home-brewed espresso and cinnamon rolls, scones, and pot pies made from scratch. My kids will have favorite treats that only their mother can make them. I’ll brew tea in a magical way that tastes like home and feels like love as the hot liquid slides into their stomachs. Every so often I’ll burn incense to make the house smell warm and lovely. We’ll draw the curtains open to let the light wander through or just sit and watch the dark clouds roll in as we wait for rain. We will be library people, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have shelves of our favorite books in the house at all times. I’ll plant an herb garden and flowers. The outside of the house will look welcoming. It’ll be a safe haven. I’ll string fairy lights to keep the bad feelings away. Their soft, warm glows make even the darkest days a bit less gruesome. And we will always have surplus of blankets and oversized sweaters in the house so comfort (in some form) is never out of reach. I’ll paint stars and galaxies on the ceilings of the rooms. Who says our walls have to confine us?

The fireplace will be filled with candles and I’ll have a space to take some quiet time. To think. To contemplate a life with more walks in the countryside, more feminist squabbles, more sleepy Sunday mornings in baggy pajamas and stained coffee pots. I’ll make ivy and little violets grow inside the house. Lovely faces and longing leaves to watch us as we begin and end our days. Sleepy petals to greet us at the door after long days of school or work. In the winter the floor boards will shudder with the cold and we shall braid scarves around our necks, arms, shoulders, and anything else we can manage. Bleary-eyed early morning risers will effortless drift into the kitchen to the wafting smell of my strawberry waffles. Fuzzy socks will scuff along the tiles to the luminescent bathroom light at 3 am to wash a puffy face, I will be waiting with tea and a spoon dripping with a drabble of honey to help the intrusive thoughts find their way to the door. Mousy hair and chipped nail polish afternoons where we will bundle up on the couch watching only the guiltiest of pleasurable tv shows. Perhaps a bigfoot documentary. The walls of the house will soothe us as they speak with purpose, their inflection unmissable. Our little leaking thatched-roofed catastrophe cares. We will love it and it will love us. It is beautiful and lovely and effortless It is tornadic in its love, but in only the best of ways. Stop by when you get a chance.

Caverns I stumble upon caverns of myself I didn’t know existed lightly dusted in curiosity and ashes from passions burned out long ago With a pounding of rain against my face a tangling of echoes weaves itself into my hair. My fingers trace the smattering of freckles branded into my skin. Thoughts flicker past. My ribs flutter beneath my skin as if to cry out for something beyond for the thrill of excavations of past versions of myself. A tempest is brewing. I shall stay and mark the raindrops as they trace their paths along the glass panes. Across the misty way I watch safe inside warmth laced along the curvature of sweaters. I stay for comfort for peace in the storm for myself and the sanctity of the weather.

Happiness is a chunky yellow knit jumper you never want to take off it’s listening to early-morning birds chirp and sing and shout at one another from the cottage window it’s balancing hot tea in piggy mugs up caddywhompus stairs back up to the cozy duvet calling your name it’s climbing out onto the roof to capture the dusk that swaddles all the chimneys in her indigo lullabies it’s realizing you feel happy again.


STEEL Karis Hopkinson

Yo u ca m e o ut screa m i n g a n d a l i v e a n d l o o k at y o u n o w Alice Redfearn

In Olivia Gatwood's poem Ode To My Bitch Face she says “you came out screaming and alive and look at you now!" But I was born blue lifeless and choking, a chord around my neck. When you ask me about home I will tell you about my mother; the comfort of her closeness. Home is the suppression of emotion The silence out of fear Home is the choking on my words Struggling for breath, chord still laced around my neck. Home is my lungs filling with water when I was five I couldn't swim. And all I could see was blue And all I could see was her.

- - Paintings inspired by the breakdown and rebuilding of my insides. Sometimes filled with fire burning passion, sometimes deteriorating in agonising silence. I don't paint very much, only when I'm feeling something so strong that I don't know how to put into words.

Milk and honey Words : Niamh Wishart Photo : Rachelle Cox

I was not made to be a waitress. To carry plates and pull pints and count coins and be able to breathe at the same time. I should have given up. Four years in and my boss was still telling them that it was my first night, not to mention that time someone half-jokingly asked me, a sober seventeen year old with an anxiety disorder in a family owned bistro in white middleclass Hexham, if I was drunk. I was not made for fake confidence and biting back tears, for toilet cubicle walls and breathe in, breathe out, all you had to do was carry the potatoes to table five. I was not made to be a waitress in the same way that I was not made to understand the so-called art of mathematics. The times tables in their white linen shirts stained with my clumsiness, laughing at me as I dropped plates and couldn’t subtract fifty four pence from five pounds seventy two at the till. I wasn’t made for sequence. For questions with definite answers, I was not made for having to be right. I was made for having to be wrong. Over and over, for fucking up a lime and soda, or was it lemon? Four years into a job.

I was made for honesty. For answering you truthfully when you ask me what I am thinking. I was made for chocolate on the hob and strawberries tickled with sugar in hand, for the familiarity of a home friend’s band, I was made for softness. For your lips on my lips and my hands on your hips and the imprint of your freckles on my cheek. I was made for learning that this is not weak. For learning that I was made for me. For dancing badly and laughing loudly and eating messily.

We, on the other hand, were not made for each other the way people appear to be in film, the megabus trips without air-conditioning and the seven inches and 165 miles that fall between us the ever persistent proof. I was not made for you, designed so that our lives would perfectly intertwine but what does it matter when in this moment I think I was made for this. For half-lit, half-fit bliss. For reading poetry to you at three am until you fall asleep, when all that is left is the hum of your breath as my voice echoes milk and honey, making me feel like I could be made for anything, even though we’re apart.

When In Mourning Elizabeth Evans

He lives…

…he takes life…

‌and life is taken.

Girls in clubs Holly Parkinson

I thought we were more than just girls in clubs A pastel pink cigarette I stole from your lips Payment of my candied kiss, blown into smoke curls and pools A picture of want

Want, need The feeling a penny with no shoulders or head, but feathers filigree We were models that night, Feet sticky on the seats of culture Lights and neurones syncopated Beats and thunder, hypnotised. You understood the etiquette and took the catwalk clean, Shook hands with liquor, his woman and hers As if bolted skyward, Polaris in view Skunk, spit and gasoline With only my eyes to breathe The classical, velveteen girl that you are shouldn't fasten your hands to my waist like that, my mind shouted over the waves My mouth wide and silent to let saltwater in. If the lights had been brighter, would you have been kinder? As I'm screaming NO would you falter? Toxic, intoxicated TOXIC

You are inching, inching, bristled Medusa, And I am ITCHING, itching You wanted all I owned Perhaps I needed you, but I didn't want a thing. I thought you were home but you were daggers and needles and disease down my spine and the bruises on my lips.

p.s- I am living now, darling, And I see what you mean. I am mine to adore, and was never yours to keep. Even the most breathtaking building is scuffed at the edges.

1, 2, 3, 4 Lucy Harbron

I have four homes; constantly in migration and always lost in translation between. Each pulls from me a different colour, each equal, each silk, each frayed and lost and rebuilt, regrowing. My post falls through the same door I walked home to as a child, the same door I could see if I got high enough on the swings or climbed the left-most tree in the furthest row that was accidently arranged into a pathway. It’s there, still there, feels like it will always be there, for 3pm coffee and 5:30pm dinner and various shades of warmth; brown, burgundy, and brick. It is the home I feel most connected to when I’m not there, remembered fondly as a place to return to. A place I mourned, itself, two family members and three lost loves, toys and years; slipping further as I grew too tall for the hands that could only stretch to that tree, and can’t stretch further, strain as I go unattended. It is a place that mourns me, each time I leave in a packed car and my parents return in a quiet one, but more so when I return with them smaller and crumpled from my time away. It is a place to which I owe an apology, for painting all red walls grey, taking all the colour away. For the cracks created by my rage, and the secrets I have forced my bedroom walls to keep within their layers. For the insult I throw by wanting to leave early, eager to run back to slow burning shacks, empty warehouses I was trying to call houses for homes. I whisper my sorrys to the walls and door frames I blamed for so long as I return now, rush back for relief like the little girl in uniform at the end of the day. Home is a constant game of coming and going, fleeing and retreating, blaming and blaming until I released a building can’t be the problem.

And then there is here, two rooms in two years, shelters given to me while I figure out how to build my own. New corridors to learn their creaks, green walls and friends on the floor, blood to clean up, fear and hugs; the kind of home you create out of being forced to know each other too well. Some kind of a diamond from the pressure of being each other’s only, and the inability to hide secrets between joining walls and a shared shelf in a cupboard.

The kind of home you build within a question mark, built within him that night he coaxed me out of hiding, build within me when I found him like that, maintained in shit beer, our arguments, our arguments with others, tension, and doors. We left items in each when we moved out, into new buildings and the new task of learning to call them home without music in the space in between. And I, I am a home I’m only just learning how to inhabit, learning how to want to come back to it, and how to want to stay. And learning, also, to be okay with having a home, small and soft, embedding within the one I love, within the folded pile of things I left comfortably in my cupboard in his house, within my photo, my drawing, my words stuck on his wall. Homes in the hands of others have previously been crushed, never given my own space but shrunk to fit into a drawer if I should need to be tidied away temporarily, never given a space in a place I had a key to, a home fucked off and locked behind me. But I will settle again when I feel at home, and leave my jumper at his house, build a home within my love. I have no key, we had no conversation to formalise it, but sometimes a home is a culmination of time and presence, happy presence wanted and welcomed to interrupt a place. Accidental, to host your love and grow your plants. I am learning it okay to move in and out as love changes, leaves and returns to you anew. So for now, I have a home here, in him, in a shared bed and the simple feeling of belonging in the shared task of making it. Maybe I was born to be pulled, certain to be separated and settle partly in each and more, left lingering like items misplaced in a move. Lucky to find places and people in which to settle, lucky to look back at the home I’ve left and to have homes looking forward to seeing me again. All four soft, silk, pulled and pulling me too till I fear they might fray. Trains and cars, hugs hello and kisses goodbye, all four in knots, bandages, tracing skin, I’ll see you soon, if you cry, I’ll cry.

Blunted life’s edge Words : Declan Woodward-Brown Photo : Lizzie Corrall

Verse 1 Away, with the needless self-hate Whose disdained, grievous face oft embraced On a daily basis, the soft plains of My mind frame; it’s okay, to have weight

I satiate myself, With this usefully, uncrude food, for thought That as of late, Strengthens the tensions of my emaciated chest-plate Each day, Although my self-gaze keeps these fears, And ideas shelved inside the scarred bars Of this bard’s rhyming mind, It’s also full, of culled quotes; you see Of TV shows... sometimes, the golden lines of Abysmally Fictional hands that’ll never hold mine. I imbibe these lines I write with breaths Of hope, that although a misanthrope, Despite the lying wishes of my anxiety Ill-advising me to believe so, My lips don’t provide death kisses Under mistletoes

I see through, with a breezy ease of attention The hard, facades my felt depression Dealt me, suggesting, the regressive Wretched lies of me; that I was a Black Ram? You see, in a blink, These grams of insecurity made me forever; Measure my worth on a failed scale The self-made results would never exult, But each day, I’d feel it like braille As it sealed my fate So, I expunged mirth, or worth Internalized stereotypes That gnawed, for sure Inside my mind, were corrosive, Spurred on throes of neurosis Of me; hating where my nose is

Verse 2 These times, I’m Alive and kicking, Despite my blistered waltz, And collisions As an infant with the false saviour Of Mr. Razor, that left me a

Stoically perplexed Emotional wreck, I’m twenty What a blessing, so these weary pennies, are the Sorted, disgorged thoughts That pour, like ichor In this rhyming metre Before such a time As I’ll return to the ether No longer in a side-tracked Circumstance, When this pen of zen interacts With the Autodidact’s pad’s blanks with ease, The hearts on my sleeves suffer a cardiac, That arrests Places me under duress

Although each day, My shrewd, mangled moods will continue to fluctuate Like scramble suits; from clear, to opaque, Pupils will die-late in the assorted, Wallowed halls of the

School of thought that is my mind, Like Columbine, To deter the yearns for a Wesson, I’ll swallow the essence, of mean Fluoxetine, as; These distilled rhymes spill from my mind

Into the quill fast, My glass becomes half full Not negative, you see; the pith herein Of these sentences Have a positive charge, self-libation That creates cations I’ll surmise; Although, I know I’m destined to meet my demise, My drive to survive is so strong, For real, I’ll ride it so long; won’t stop Until the wheels stall Or they fall off

No longer, letting the tinge of depression impinge Upon my mission in life; Not a regular, competitor in the human race, Where I go from this day is up to me; It won’t be a breeze, even though

I’ll always feel woe, it’ll be less like Poe You see; I’m suited and booted in peace and Esteem, so Imhotep’s steps move through my Veins in spades, now endowed With the pride needed for a lifetime; ‘‘Black and proud’’ is what I espouse, From the cracked ground, to the Palatial castles of my astral travel Above the clouds

HOME Mackenzie Lad

I moved three times in the last year. My preconceptions of what a “home” is meant to be seemed to dissolve the longer I spent living on my own. Searching for a sense of home felt like aiming for a moving target, like stumbling around in the dark trying to locate the light switch. I couldn’t find it until I began looking with a camera in my hand. HOME became a study of the things I come from, my point of origin. It became a who, not what or where or when. Home is the intimate relationships with people that raised me, the people I miss when I go away. My family. I’m on my own now, but home gives me something to go back to, once in a while.

Fa i n t Charlotte Knowles-Cutler

I. We pricked our fat, pink fingers, bonded by blood. Still, I search for signs of sisterhood, for white-line ladies who white lie like I. Who grew tired of waiting to shrink away again, who sink in girlhood’s shallow end, who learned so early to pretend they cannot tell where they begin and their illusions swallow them. II. I called my body too many names for ugly and now it doesn't trust me. III. We were not meant to be this thin, this small, this hateful towards all that we are, to see ourselves disjointed parts, hatchling hearts that beat too fast to last. We were not meant to brick ourselves away, make homes of bathroom stalls and pray the hunger wouldn't stay, not meant to crave that empty ache, to fake dirty dishes and skip lunches and perform punishment crunches, pretend to love this cycle of restriction and denial, to face the scale like a trial, to grow familiar with the taste of bile and the feeling of knees upon cold tiles, the cavitied smiles, the rotting teeth, the relief of loosening jeans. IV. My hair fell out and my legs turned blue, veins shining through. How to love a home that can no longer sustain you.

S u r v i va l Words : Gemma Allison Photo : Holly Haynes

My body was a shape shifter

A cruel stranger that obscured, contorted and twisted transforming from ghostly thin to suddenly twice the size a wobbling mess of flesh Hours upon hour spent gazing into unforgiving mirrors Blotchy critical eyes, painting lines where I wish the scalpel would

touch, bless My body was a missed meal, a sick note, a constant reminder A stomach squeezed in tight, blue-purple bruises on fat thighs Tear-stained cheeks, gaunt, vomit-tainted fingers trembling Now, warm, kind hands slowly trace my perfumed skin Soft, soothing and loving it's me, my body becomes mine A long-lost friend returning after years of waiting, of longing A safe home Cloaked in satin, silk, lace, No longer concealed but an object of pride, of bravery Each dimple, ripple, roll A blessing, a story of survival My survival

17:37 Elizabeth Corrall

L e t i t d i e i n Pa r i s Words : Lucas Jones Photo : Mees Peijnenburg

When love is sleeping in the next room and you’re bright clean in the bathroom holding candles facing corners where the life you’ll never live again lives because the moment of introduction was the most beautiful cataclysmic thousand year ice-age erasing meteor volcanic eruption and fire raw ripped holes in the atmosphere rumours and old wives tales of a life before my love quiet moments making noises

whispering of marriage whatever past has happened I'll let it die in Paris


I wondered what had toppled that torso of sturdy oak, crippled, hollow, beneath a frosted cape of white, recalled how high those branches stretched, to sky, to cloud, far from from the humble earth beneath; I was younger than the settling snow, and thought things went forever. Traipsing on, I conjured scenes that showed it, mighty, felled by a tempest’s wailing screams of lightning, spark and smoke,

yet I knew the death was thick and slow, a fog that robs the night; I wallowed in my memories, the crooked bough that

snaked and weaved, it seemed impossible to fold. I thought of it rotting, steady, pulling roots failing to hold, in the saddest of my visions as my skin crawled with the cold.

The Motherland Words : Rachelle Cox Photos : Jakob Grant

The motherland too many dark days and not enough sunlight it really is grim up North My darling years filled with cherry wine and not enough sleep I’m saddened to inform you that my time here has come to an end for now, is my independence day and I am longing for a place to call my own but where exactly is my home? where I belong or where I was born?

C h rys a l i s m Lucy Harbron

There is a reason I say nothing, why I walk on raised toes, pull up on the door handle to hide the whisper of the carpet, lean but never leave my room, listening listening to the rain listening to the final wave of the storm, as if silence is shelter but down there it pours. I am trying to hear their words but the static in my stomach as all the nerves come to ends, signals send, my head is hot, blood too loud to make out any sounds but I know the shape their faces will have fallen into, so I stand down and retreat off toes and back, close the door still feeling them pour but no longer listening, hear the bursting again in the evening, addicting, the outer ring of conflict, I know why wars were raged by old men in office buildings before we had TVs, can’t hear, can’t see, but the feeling, sense without senses, the amniotic tranquillity of understanding perfectly, I’m indoors during a thunderstorm, in awe of the tension release, listening but I can’t hear them, I think they call it chrysalism.

Lands Pippa Le Grand

Lowlands The pressure pops and I’m shocked out of sleep. Up north the heathered hills gave me shelter, But they glowered down like traitorous guards Whose spears would turn if the clouds gathered right. Evening sun lies heavy on the lowlands. These great skies, huge enough to hold old gods Now allow me to gaze from here to her, To see the line of her heart lying flat As the fens do. They never change, come rain, Come sun, come the wind that whips you sideways In winter. They lie damp, concealing dark And deathly secrets, never to reveal -

For there is not one relenting crevice With which the ground could breathe out the horror. She will become one with this green and lush and unforgiving land, returned to worms Who unblinkingly devour her kind face,

kind mouth, her bright and glittering kind and godly eyes.

Tonight, the city flickers in concert. Every light winks invitingly from the soft roll of the valley’s belly below, Blurred by the curtain of drizzle that separates us The gentlest of seductions. The metallic glows of red and orange leave a trail of warmth below the scar on my stomach, but I will not be drawn. If I just brush the cold pane I touch them all a little, Fingers quivering over each one to tease, and then I withdraw. I wonder who sees my own glow, their eyes playing over it like a child’s hands on the strings of an unfamiliar guitar. Tomorrow, a new clear-water light will wash the city clean, In the hollows between the fires of the night will be steel, glinting; Every inch of the valley sprouting startling redbrick and concrete growths.

What lies behind each measured edge, each broken stone? I might run down the road below, still rain-soaked and steaming in the sun And gladly let the maze swallow me whole.

High lands

Change Megan Hemsley

Continents Words : Jasmin Deans Photo : Rachelle Cox

It is time to stretch my arms over the blue

seas & lie in foreign beds again. my tongue yearns for the salted taste of seasides, comfort & home.

I leave again today, pinning myself to opposite ends of this spinning globe, only to watch half of myself being stapled to lands impossible to envision. childhood was always going to wilt, but premature deaths are harder to accept, with fresh memories beginning to rot within the misquoted water of distance & time. home has a half-life; we are all reluctant to watch it decompose, so I returned to say goodbye but all I found were just the ashes & snapped spines of stories that had been forgotten years ago.


It is a slippery word Tumbling so quickly from your lips You don’t have time to figure it out.

A place talked about so much in your present, Yet nearly always referring to the future A place where you will soon be A place where you dream to be A place where you are not. When away, it is romanticised; the place of your true self Somewhere individual to you, Yours to dream of. When you are there, elsewhere is romanticised; to a place of your true self Somewhere individual to you, Yours to dream of.

Your legs weep and your eyes ache On your continuous chase of it, Of a place where there is no sadness but love. No loneliness but company. No harshness but warmth.


It is a space of the present, Not a dream of tomorrow. It doesn’t have to be a destination, always being chased: A house, A street, A bedroom, Old chair, Always a train ride away. It is love, company, warmth, A walk, A favourite drink, A person, Hug, Flowers, Mug, A smell, Blue skies, It is home And home is here.

How the other half live Rachelle Cox

An Ode to my teenage bedroom Sophie Wilson

I never really imagined I’d become as nostalgic for my teenage bedroom as I did. When I moved to uni, I was ready to leave behind any bad memories I had associated with it. To begin with, I forgot how special the space had been to me. It informed my teenage experience, shaped me as much as I shaped it, and reflected my growth. I had been at uni for a couple of months when my mum rang me to tell me that my bedroom was being redecorated. I knew that moving away meant a new beginning. My teenage bedroom would no longer be a reflection of me when I moved home. University was a clean slate, or, in this case, a clean poster-free bedroom wall. My room had been my world as a teenager. It was where I stayed up too late for a school night, writing, crying over my first crushes and listening, almost exclusively, to Morrissey. It was the room where I’d formed all my dreams, ideas and theories about how my life would pan out. The room itself became an outward expression of all this; morphed into a weird coglomeration of collaged walls, Morrissey shrines and growing stacks of fashion magazines. Seriously, my parents told me more than once that they were worried my ceiling would fall in and whoever was sitting downstairs would meet their end beneath a pile of Vogues. (I thought that sounded like quite a glamorous way to go.) I often felt selective about who I would let into my room. My melodramatic teenage self-imagined that my room had become a Wildean reflection of my soul itself. It was bursting with all the passions that I spent some time trying to repress in the hallways of my boring grammar school, where academic success was valued much more highly than expressions of creativity. I remember seeing my room as a sanctuary from all that. My room tended to be most chaotic when my mind was. It was in that room that I first encountered depression, hence the repetitive Morrissey listening, and my bedroom was comforting in this time. Having my idols plastered all over my walls and piled up in my magazines made me feel less alone.

It was not only my own room that interested me. I became fascinated with looking at other people’s bookshelves, CD collections, posters when they invited me round. I embellished all of this with some deeper significance, judging people on these superficial criteria. The importance I placed on this meant that I never viewed changing my room around as a waste of time. Inspired by Tavi Gevinson and other teen bloggers at the time, I saw working on my room as a deeply creative task. Most alterations would inevitably be posted on my blog. My room was like my journal, with less self-absorbed whining and random lists. In one corner, I drew a heart and wrote “The Smiths” inside it with a black Sharpie. I covered this up with another poster. I sometimes felt bad about defacing my room so much. Whenever a picture fell from the wall, it left very visible marks where the paint had come off. So, another picture would replace it. When the time came for me to move to university, I felt ready to leave my teenage bedroom behind. I had stopped redecorating with such fervor and some of the references had begun to feel alien to me, as though they were only relevant in a past life. It needed updating as new people began to influence me. When my mum told me she was redecorating, I felt a dull ache of nostalgia, but I knew it was time to let go. I certainly felt that that room made me more me. I doubt I will ever inhabit a space quite like it again. Without that room, all its mess, obsessions and endless books and magazines, I’m not sure I would be the same person today. Our experiences as teenagers play a large role in defining who we become, and, for me, my bedroom was part of that too.


H O M E WA S N E V E R A H O U S E F O R ME Jade Millard

When I was a little girl, I’d always fantasise about going to the fair Every time I was there, it felt like I was returning home again I’d eagerly await to go on the pretty carousel, so I could feel the wind in my hair, Blowing away the fears of the future, and the pain from the past, or even the present for that matter Then there was the candyfloss, which was my favourite sickeningly sweet treat of all time back then

It tasted like childhood, freedom, innocence, and pleasure, all rolled into one Except my Mum, and my grandparents never wanted me to eat it, because it’s no good for me And they wanted to keep me grounded, away from all of my

fantasies In case I got carried away with myself, and accidentally let loose to other people that my dad was actually the devil in disguise Don’t we all just wish our lives were like those in fairy tales, and our wildest dreams? Something that always brought me back down to reality with a thump was seeing the haunted house, looming threateningly, and dangerously in the distance. The air around it seemed grey, foggy almost, and that was unsettling to me, because surely that meant it should be avoided at all costs, right?

It reminded me way too much of my home situation back then, as that’s where my father’s darkest demons would come out to play,

late at night, when nobody except my mother and I was around in the flat I’d have visions of him being in that haunted house, terrorising children, and teens when he was drunk, cackling away at the fact that he could intimidate them They would all get sucked into the thrill of it, and laugh away, whilst secretly shivering in their seats But little do they know, he didn’t need a mask; my father was already intimidating enough without one Thankfully, bright lights allowed me to remain the carefree child that I should have been all the time, taking me off into another world, one where only the most enchanting fairies, and the most captivating unicorns existed Loud music sends shivers down my spine, and through my entire body, forcing me to forget my fears, and live within the moment, because that’s all that is meant to matter when you’re merely 6 years old Where’s the magician? He should be around here somewhere, Maybe he can help the past vanish from my mind, and my memory I can build a proper home within this fairground, and ride every

rollercoaster a thousand times over Letting go of all the hurt, and all of the uncertainty

I will allow the Ferris wheel to lift me up high, and keep me there, so I can have a few moments of normality, away from the chaos, so for once, I know I am better than, and above all of that

Yet, my home is only temporary, as it only ever comes to town for a few weeks at a time This is simply all a fantasy, a figment of my imagination, and nothing more At 6 years old, I couldn’t possibly escape the chaos for more than a couple of hours a day No matter how much I knew in my heart that I wanted to stay I had to wave goodbye to any hope of happiness, and say hello to the haunted house, once again when all of the magical lights had gone out.

Wa r m t h Ashirbad Roy

Beacon Words : James Huxtable Art : Saskia Phokou

You can see the world from up here. It makes me scared to ever look away. I recall first seeing you in this light, and how the silver darted off your lips into the unexpecting dull of my retina. White flares lit up your face so that you squinted as your gaze spiraled upwards to match mine. The clouds were spitting glass, but you didn’t seem to mind. Maybe if we never left this place again, then everything would be okay. We could pitch up and forget all existence; passive onlookers in a world where nothing else matters. You could reside here in timeless tranquility, while I find a way to make food out of timber. Something like that. I don’t really mind. But away is the sound of porcelain cracking on cold wooden slats. And no more bitten nails, tearing through my back as you try to explain yourself. Never again need I excuse pink stains on white shirts, or hold you soft under cover as your world burns hot lava around you. Because, while it will still get dark and scary, ripping a hole wide through the night will be one sole beam of evangelical light. And with it, will bring a feeling so close to home, that we’d forget we ever left at all.

In-Between Tayla Halfacre

“You’re going on a gap year, where are you travelling to?” This is a popular question that often arose towards the end of my exams to which I always responded “nowhere, I’m staying at home. I just need to learn how to really live before I go and live” only to receive the surprised tone of “Oh… right, okay…” the truth: I was not really ready to leave home yet. There seemed to be something missing. When reaching a certain age, that is the beginning of adulthood but not quite – it can be said that one can feel as though something is missing. It is as though, for me at least, I know that there is a person that I want to become. She is in there somewhere, the person that I ache to feel come out of me. Not often showing herself, but when she does it is a relief because it is proof that she is not this ideal being in my head. This seems to be a phase of being in-between; the lull of ‘not quite there’. Presently I am sitting in my bedroom, we live on a main road, and there is a constant ebb and flow of cars, their lights, red and white with their incessant passing. Watching the cars always reminds me of night drives home from anywhere that I always found comforting as a child, and now really. The back of a car can only be complemented by the night. And especially in winter when it is darker, and colder. I always used to think, the idea that this car, mobile and warm on a cold dark night is to be settled at my home soon, in-between ‘a’ and ‘b’ (much like me), except in this case, there has never been anything more serene. The hum of the engine, the soothing sound of “everything will be okay”. For the most part, this setting is what I have often thought about when thinking about the whole concept of ‘home’, the word ‘home’ itself is associated with family members, or lovers, structure, order, comfort, and dark nights on the way to home. ‘Home’ is something that is supposed to be a constant, much alike the cars that flow outside my window that I have seemed to sit watching these past years. Watching, now I realize, is something that can be done for too long. I realized recently that ‘home’ will not forever be a constant. That family will not always be here; that these four walls that I am currently behind will not always be here either. It has taken a while for this to sink in for me.

Yet, suddenly this is the beginning of my realization that it seems that where growth is concerned, words begin to mean different things as the world becomes more accessible to an extent (when my ambitions transcend my home). ‘Home’, just three months into my year of ‘living’, is a word that now I associate with something that goes beyond a light on a dark night and the faces of people that I love. The definition of the word ‘home’ initially (a place to live, to come to in any form of distress) has almost diminished once the preparation to leave it commences, ironically. In order to free myself from the confines of my own cowardice, disassociating the word ‘home’ with the meaning that it is commonly known to have was something that had to be done. I learned a new definition of ‘home’. It made me feel more in control, and just as safe as the last definition. And it summed up what the remaining months of this year would be dedicated to: becoming solely dependent only on myself, independent. That step closer to her, the she who sits at my core and waiting – the ‘could-be’. One can often forget how healthy it is to not rely on others for anything. To not be attached to anything. In truth, it takes strength, detaching oneself doesn’t it? Having the power to just want and have but not need. Letting go of attachments and just being. A roof and a bed is a home, a foundation - but a body, this shell we’re given is a home; it is a constant until it stops. It is almost as though in light of realizing that my home will be a long drive away, it is myself only that I will have to lean on. As beings aren’t we all singularly our own only security? This question once daunted me, now it is just a challenge. After all, we live in a world that mocks the solitary, the lonesome. Speeches such as: “Why on earth would you want to go there alone? It won’t be fun, how lame” are often accompanied by pitiful sighs and laughter; or at least this is a discovery I have made in this year so far. I’m beginning to think that the world mocks and ostracizes the lone perhaps because the lonesome are intimidating. They are capable of just being themselves, with others or alone.

By becoming your own home, you become your own force. You have no need for anything except surviving and growing, which you can do constantly until you end. Arguably, this is the part where you gain more choices, you can choose to have or to not have attachments. In a sense, once you know that it is safe to stand alone in any situation, individuality becoming a new foundation, you can become free. This is the part where who we’re supposed to be appears.


Artificial Light Words : Naomi Crisp Photo : Hope Naisbitt

Can't go home yet Home is truth Home denies my neverending youth Home knows that I Like trees towards sky Must grow; Home knows

Me. Home is love and Home is feeling But home has four walls and a concrete ceiling That blocks out The everblazing sky. Artificial light pours through the front door I'm here I can't pretend anymore.

Music Is the strongest form of magic Emily Bashforth

“When I was at home I was in a better place,� wrote Shakespeare in act 2 scene 4 of As You Like It. But what is home? Home isn't necessarily defined by the concrete walls of a house. Sometimes, it is the walls of an arena or a stadium. Home isn't necessarily a room filled with blood relatives. Sometimes, it's thousands of strangers with whom you simply share a common interest. Home isn't necessarily dinner table conversations or arguments about what to watch on TV. Sometimes, it's the ear-splitting sound of music fans, screaming along to the songs which their favourite artist is performing in front of them. Sometimes, home is a concert.

But why are concerts home? Why can being inside a venue overflowing with sweaty bodies for two hours make you feel more at home than you have ever felt in your own house? Is it down to the music? The artist? The audience? The songs? Just the general atmosphere? Or maybe it's home because it can't be explained why it's home. Perhaps concerts are home simply because, in a packed stadium of 80,000 fans, 'home' has 80,000 different meanings because being there means something different to everyone who bought a ticket. The energy which overpowers a concert venue as the musician takes to the stage is indescribable. That moment when the lights dim and the curtain falls, millions of emotions are buzzing through the air. Suddenly, the moment feels like an amalgamation of the life stories of every person in that building. You physically feel yourself connecting to those around you, as if you are joined hands and have the same blood flowing through your veins. You feel your heart swell and your knees weaken as, suddenly, everything you have ever wanted is right there in front of you. Suddenly, time freezes and transports you to a place completely outside of reality, a place free from prejudice, anxiety and troubles.

A place which releases any negativity from your mind and allows you the freedom to be nothing and everything at the same time. The next hour or so is surreal. Words could never do the feeling of hearing live music justice. The electricity which rushes through your body as the venue erupts into song, the goose bumps which scatter across your skin as what you're convinced is an angel sings a ballad before you, the excitement which radiates from everyone in the room as the first beat of the biggest hit plays... they are not things which can ever be expressed neither in writing or speech. They are simply things which must be witnessed by the eyes and ears and felt by the heart. Concerts change you as a person. You leave each feeling like a new version of the person you were a mere two hours ago, and you wonder how you have survived your life thus far without that one concert. They ignite a fire within you which never truly goes out. They inspire you to live the rest of your life as the most authentic you. No matter how many concerts you attend, how many different artists you experience live, no matter how big or how small, each one adds value to your life. They fill you with purpose. They remind you that hope is alive in the world. They remind you of the sheer power of music and how, in a world of seven billion, you could never truly be alone so long as music exists. As you walk out of those venue doors, you're hit with a wave of fulfilment, a sense of ‘wow I can conquer anything.’ Your soul feels warm and your head is spinning in the best possible way...and then, once the wave of excitement has washed over you, the tsunami of sadness comes even faster. No matter whether it’s the middle of December or beginning of summer, as you leave a concert and begin your journey to the place you call 'home,' a sudden coldness takes over you. A sudden freezing sensation clogs up your bones because you realise that you aren't going home, you're leaving home. As you leave a concert, you feel homesick. Home has very much become a social construct. The idea no longer need refer to a building made of bricks and mortar. In 2018, home can be anywhere in the world. A place you visit frequently or a place you’ve only been to once.

A place where you’re surrounded by people or a place where you’re totally isolated. A place of deafening silence or a place of roaring noise. A place of serenity or a place of chaos. Home is anything, anywhere or anyone that provides a sense of belonging. A place which fills the heart and empties the mind. Concerts provide safety but also the thrill of knowing something could go wrong at any moment. They act as a vacuum away from society but also fill the greatest voids in our lives. They bring smiles to our faces and tears to our eyes. They touch us in a way that no physical being ever could. They transform our pain into art. They relieve us of the societal pressure placed upon us to fit into a box. They smash that box into smithereens and just give us a chance to truly live as ourselves. No matter the state of our surroundings, the corruptness of our governments, the wreckage we call ‘family’ or the hurt we feel deeply inside our heart, concerts and music are the common denominator. They are the incredible force which, as Bono said, can change the world because they can change people. I conclude with a quote: “Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.” -Hunter S. Thompson


H y g g e : A p l ay l i s t Lucy Harbron

F a l l i n g S h o r t : Lapsley B e a c h B a b y : Bon Iver N a k e d a s W e C a m e : Iron & Wine M y s t e r y o f L o v e : Sufjan Stevens

O l i v e r : Brooke Bentham B l a n k e t : Siv Jakobsen S u p e r 8 E y e s : Benjamin Francis Leftwich A r c h i e , M a r r y M e : Flyte V i n c e n t : James Blake

A m s t e r d a m : Gregory Alan Isakov L o v e N o L e s s W o r t h y : J. Tilman R i v e r s : The Tallest Man On Earth P l a c e s W e W o n ’ t W a l k : Bruno Major W a n n a K n o w : Sabrina Claudio S a y a L i t t l e P r a y e r : Lianne La Havas A l a s k a ( a c o u s t i c ) : Maggie Rogers D o n ’ t B r e a k Y o u r H e a r t O n M e : Gabrielle Aplin

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{ Thank you }


Home is where the ? is