hawk-bait fool of a bird,
top-branch, easy pick-off;
careless busker;

lonely crowd-pleaser,
air-ruffled; one long itch
and riff of song;

leafless pitcher, head-turner,
tuned in to tree-top
maps of competitors;

Mr Tomato-Soup-On-A-Stick,
concentrated rose-hips
against the blitz of blue.



D.A.Prince lives in Leicestershire and London. Her second full-length collection (Common Ground, HappenStance, 2014) won the East Midlands Book Award 2015. Her third collection, The Bigger Picture (also from HappenStance) came out in November 2022.

Note: this poem was first published Snakeskin #279, December 2020





December begins
red & green
reflections on sidewalks
canal water
awaiting gliding time.

blue-sky winters
an intake of breath
could scorch my throat.

In this century, solstice snow stays
a mere day or two
until rain washes it away
the possibility.

Now we know global warming
is not
mint juleps
on a terrace in March
but weeks waiting

for eaves
to yield to the load
of their ice-coats,
and fall.


Frances Boyle is a Canadian writer. She is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Openwork and Limestone (Frontenac House 2022) as well as Seeking Shade (short stories), and Tower (a novella).Visit for more and follow @francesboyle19.




This autumn is my healing time.
Crimson-gold smiles in bursts
and we drown in the sky’s blue.
The pain is gone.

I’ll scatter leaves in peeling woods,
quaff sweet cider shed brew.
Time falls back, an hour of space
to contemplate the New Year
in my new blue suede boots..

Come, Jack Frost and Snow Queen.
I’m ready. I’m ice steady.



Maggie Mackay’s poem How to Distil a Guid Scotch Malt is in the Poetry Archive’s WordView permanent collection. Her second collection The Babel of Human Travel (  ) was published in 2022. She reviews poetry collections at The Friday Poem. Her best downtime moments are spent with her greyhound and a malt whisky. Twitter handle is @Bonniedreamer.