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:
Always a train ride away.
It is love, company, warmth,
A favourite drink,
It is home
And home is here.
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.
Words : Jasmin Deans
Photo : Rachelle Cox
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.
Words : Lucy Harbron
Photo : Elizabeth Corrall
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?
Words : Rachelle Cox
Photos : Jakob Grant
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.
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
Words : Lucas Jones
Photo : Mees Peijnenburg
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
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
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
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
That gnawed, for sure
Inside my mind, were corrosive,
Spurred on throes of neurosis
Of me; hating where my nose is
These times, I’m
Alive and kicking,
Despite my blistered waltz,
As an infant with the false saviour
Of Mr. Razor, that left me a
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
When this pen of zen interacts
Autodidact’s pad’s blanks with ease,
The hearts on my sleeves suffer a cardiac,
Places me under duress
Although each day,
My shrewd, mangled moods will continue
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,
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
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
I’m suited and booted in peace and
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
Words : Declan Woodward-Brown
Photos : Elizabeth Corrall
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.