June – Julia Webb


My owl sister mistakes me for a mouse

I let myself go slack in her claws.
Her wings soft the air,

hang us in deep blue brushed with stars,
the village spreads below like a painting.

I try to speak her name
but all I manage is a squeak.

She dives low over the farm,
drops me through a chimney hole

in amongst her needle-beaked children.
She doesn’t pause or look back.

(first published in Obsessed With Pipework, 2015)


My owl sister pays me a visit

She moves restlessly around the room
examining every object, flexes her wings,

lingers by the double-glazed window,
shields her eyes as if the day is to bright.

I know she hates hospitals,
and I have interrupted her schedule,

she has chicks to feed,
important things to do.

She plucks a vole from her breast pocket,
and drops it onto my blanket,

turns on her claw,
her hoot echoes along the ward.

(first published in Obsessed With Pipework, 2015)


(after Dawn Lundy martin)

dear one the sea smells of nostalgia
and I smell of nostalgia
and I smell of the sea
trussed up in nets of wanting you
your hand between my legs
a kind of clamping
when Alice and her mother were here
ripping down the ivy
I thought of you
all that dust
I imagined climbing up
my tubers needling their way
into your brickwork
you would rip me down
no doubt about that
or maybe use your shed poisons
dear one I taste nostalgia
I ache for your hardness
your seaweed smell

(First published in The Bohemyth, 2015)


Billy Yes

I am all about Billy,
and Billy I hope is all about me
he breathes into my hair
my scalp tingles warm
Billy yes yes Billy yes

I aim to please
I do what Billy says
let Billy guide let Billy tease
and dress me in his love of words
and rouse me with his tongue

Billy Billy Billy
the name rolls off my tongue
like autumn leaves scattering
on an empty street rolling and golden
Billy this Billy that Billy in my head

his ideas needling behind my eyes
Billy’s hands everywhere as he talks
as he rolls a cig and lights it
Billy’s hands everywhere
in my hair and underneath my dress

Billy buttons me up against the wind
and I definitely like it
Billy on Billy off Billy inside Billy outside
Billy in my dreams and nightmares
I wake with his letters in my mouth

and spit them out B-I- L-L- Y
Billy rolls over with a what’s up babe?
and reassured by Billy’s presence
I close my Billy Billy eyes
go back to Billy Billy sleep

(first published in Spontaneity Issue 8, 2015)




He, a pocket handkerchief of a man,
me, a giantess grown to over a hundred feet
with cartwheel eyes and a thirst as big as an ocean,
oh yes I opened up to him,
cracked apart like an earthquake,
and he came right inside
with his tiny cravat and his dancing monkeys,
we remade the moon and stars that night,
put out the sun with our drenching,
relit it with our heat,
his eyes sparked like Catherine Wheels,
his tongue was a cowlick of flame
and I melted beneath him.


you are on fire

you have accidently swallowed the sun
you are shining like a midsummer picnic
you are setting and rising at the same time
you talk in solar flares
you want the sun to come out but it stays hidden
you are burning up
you could drink an ocean salt and all
you settle for a double vodka
the sun approves
it sends you to the bar for the bottle
the barman admires your glow
he offers you peanuts a bowl of olives
the sun soon tires of his basking
you grab the vodka and head for the pool
the sun is scared of water it never learned to swim
you choose a sun lounger
two cheerful tourists claim the beds next to you
you burn them up with your smile

(first published in Under the Radar, 2016)


Gin Fox

The bar man sniffs me quietly
sensing something awry.
The glass is always half-full for me,
he later tells me as he unhooks
my bra in a dirty alley.
I smile into the frosty darkness.
I’ve been here before and know
I must keep my sharp teeth
under wraps. But I’m easily bored,
and the gin is wearing off.
I press my paws into his pockets,
rub my muzzle against his face,
try to steal a little warmth.
He is panting now, and he is struggling
with my buttons, biting at my neck,
yanking my skirt a little too high
until it releases
the full glory of my tail.

(first published in Your One Phone Call, 2015)