Keeping it private

To escape disgrace,
outrun the wagging
tongues, she took
a break from home
by going to visit
her cousin.
Such happy days they
spent together there,
two young women
with so much to share.

Then he, shy, loving
and ready to accept
that things weren’t always
what they first appeared to be,
made arrangements for
a protracted visit to
his parents’ home.

The pair were welcomed there.
The aunts who had despaired
that he would ever produce
the longed-for heir to guarantee
the future of their family name,

had at the news, shaken their aged
locks in shame, but wouldn’t dream
of censure, accepted the surprising
gift from God, no questions asked,
shared their contact lists of friends
in far-off places, sent them off
with blessings to explore
lands far away from Bethlehem
or nosy Nazareth.



Alwyn Marriage’s ten books include poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Formerly university lecturer and CEO of two NGOs, she’s Managing Editor of Oversteps Books and research fellow at Surrey University. She gives poetry readings and workshops in Britain and abroad. Website:




Wise men in the city

The Christian preacher is debating with his Muslim brothers about the one true God, while Birmingham’s Christmas market sausage and gluhweins its way towards Black Friday. There are school kids doing surveys, ladies on a jolly and sales staff at pop-up stalls in the arcades earning Oscars for their performances. We keep seeing cute babies today, like their lonely mums only bring them out on wet Thursdays, when coffee shops are quieter and there’s a welcome at the inn. We walk round Selfridge’s for a laugh, only it’s not funny that a gaudy jumper costs eight hundred and fifty quid and a tie ninety five. This is more Three Kings territory and we are just simple shepherds, eyes dazzled by the shiny city. There’s a change of shift at the Christian soapbox and another beggar pockets a quid and mutters. Does any of this matter. Well, just think about it. Shoppers wear their little carrier bags like badges – Hilfiger, Victoria’s Secret, even Primark and we walk through the fruity waft of vapers who think they’re saving themselves from lung cancer. I think it matters a lot.



Pat Edwards is a poet, teacher, reviewer and performer from Mid Wales. Her work has appeared in Magma, Prole, Ink Sweat & Tears, Atrium and others. Pat hosts monthly Verbatim poetry open mic nights and curates Welshpool Poetry Festival.




Snow was an apparition

Snow was an apparition:
reach out to touch,
it disappears.

Snow spread its wings
for one white day:
flew and landed, flew and landed.

Snow gave us its body
built us to stand pure:
you can make your own impression.

The day I took the thrill
in my chest on a walk
to deliver a snowman,

I didn’t expect the cold
to creep into my boots —
a cold that hurt,

held me still, as I struggled
to trace my hollow steps
to the place I began with hope.



K. S. Moore‘s poetry has recently appeared in New Welsh Review, Spontaneity, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Stinging Fly and Southword. Work is upcoming in Atlanta Review. Shortlists have included: Trim Poetry Competition and Americymru West Coast Eisteddfod Poetry Competition.