Take Ten Issue 8


Artwork by Jane Burn

Edited by Catherine Ayres


A document landed
on a nut-brown table,

you in the hall, a raw face
unwrapped from its scarf.

There’ll be a morning
when you let in the light,

a comb through your hair
pulling away loose strands.

Under the trees
mushrooms take shape.

From grain,
bread warm to the table.

By Martin Figura


The heart –
for love, for ease, for aching –
broken, fatigued, still warm and plush,
chambers full of etceteras and forgotten beats,
frissons of blood, breath in, breath out,
flickering like a whisper of moths,
threatening to stop dead in its tracks.
The silver bud beneath the collar bone,
its inconceivable connections, translating lightning,
red flush of arteries, sweet, venal blue.

By Lesley Quayle

Lean in

Lean in

with your bones made black with forgetting
under the bright new leaves, with raffia I will tie your name.
There a pigeon’s fallen feather lies upon your grave.
It’s a wish, a space wide enough to be a following
but you flit from me,
fall off the edges,
one of a thousand faces lost
and no mark really remains, except perhaps
in the way I am, in the still of you,
that still carries on
in blood, in sinew, in black dirt bone.

By Hannah Lavery


Turned, haggard witch,
black haired raven
filled with rough takings,
battered to ice cold.

Turned, screaming harpy in a cage,
to be taken away,
to be leaving you,

(my sweet darling boy)

knees bruised
and bleeding.

By Hannah Lavery


I sew myself into these purple diamonds,
these green bands. With each stitch
I am not thinking about bombs,
thick needle in, thick needle out
broken children, terror. I am calm,
choosing colours, choosing stitches,
making patterns. No patterns of loss,
thick needle in, thick needle out
no generations of hatred. Easy on the eye.
Flowers. Intricate. Innocent.

By Jo Waterworth

Diamond Unplugged

Clarity, cut and color collapse
inside corresponding facets, dispelling
the illusion that Karat is anything
more than a rock wrung from fist
under pressure.

By A.J. Huffman

Sunday with the Moon

I kneel beside you to converse with the moon.
Shoe polish smudges smear its face in lunar eclipse
but your breath stays with me, as you sleep-slip and slide
to the darkness of beaches where slow Sunday ebbs,
and your Monday crouches on taut-hamstring haunches
balled fist at the ready to hammer on our door.

By Janet Philo


She promises to make him a coat.
He promises to beat her carpets.
She kisses his little toe.
He kisses her breakfast bar.
She murmurs into his armpit.
He murmurs into her cellar.
She agrees to heaven on earth.
He agrees to a garage conversion.

By Jo Waterworth
This poem previously published online in Hedgerow (blog/journal) Issue 5

Ten Lies I Wrote About Us

I never loved you.
My heart doesn’t ache when I hear your name.
I don’t ever secretly stalk you via Facebook or Google or Instagram.
In fact, I don’t even miss you.
When you left me, I was happy.
When you left me, every cell in my body relaxed.
I never eat my feelings.
My feelings never taste like chocolate.
Chocolate makes up for you leaving.
You leaving is the best thing that ever happened to me.

By Jocelyn Mosman


I found a set of keys
my sister hid, or lost,
beneath the red settee.
Unlocking doors and drawers
and rusty bronzed cases, all
I find are spider places.
And then upstairs a bee
lands on a children’s book –
Brian, Dougal, Zebedee.
To keep the buzz of her
I thumb the picture pages, all
I find are sticky places.

By Phil Wood










6 thoughts on “Take Ten Issue 8

  1. Pingback: Like buses | Jo'swriting

  2. Pingback: Janet Philo – three poems – Clear Poetry

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