Sparklen Bottle

Grandma’s sparklen
in the winterdark house where I grew up
loved me the best:
I pushed my nose up close
to see fireflies leap and sputter,
glow-worms climb
and fall in tiny squeezes,
flayed hearts of angels –
I know she whispered
so those wandering would come
curious, too close,
then with a swift oblique
twist she’d have them
in. I like to think
it wasn’t wishing
only but in the black mantle
of that house her sparklen
throbs still with hostage stars
and deep-sea  phosphors,
tinsel glitterings of those
she couldn’t kill.

(‘sparklen’ Middle English: also ‘sparken’, to spark)

 Pippa Little runs reflective writing workshops for students and is working on her third collection.




It’s Christmas

Old lady dragged along in the park
the dogs lead the way
their flashing collars
send sparkles into the dusk.



Ilias Tsagas is a Greek poet living in Greenwich, London. He is a member of two poetry groups (Greenwich Stanza and Lowercase Poets) and he writes poetry primarily in English and sometimes in Greek.





These are the black and broken spokes
of the world. Stopped: not turning.
All wrong-angled in the spacious white.

We have come searching, silent in the snow,
processional: this white bitterness
so hardened we may never awake.

Throat-sore voices of ice-mist, cracked
and petrified, where men have walked
millennia with fur and axes.

“Are we lost or have we been?”
Someone asked, “Are all things
coming to an end? What intervals?”

Not friends these trees but blackened nails.
The white repeats: a chant decayed
to a single note, too bright to see.



Callum James grew up on an Island and still lives by the sea, in the lea of the South Downs. He writes influenced by landscape, folklore and trauma and magic. His poems have appeared in The Wolf, Glitterwolf, and Ambit.