17 January

Poem for a Blind Daughter

by Katrina Naomi

(after Kate Clanchy)


We thought you’d like to know:


that the colour of my eyes, which is also yours,

smells of the sea, pungent 

with bladder wrack, flecked with an approaching storm,


that your father’s hair, which is also yours,

is the sound of a stone lobbed into the deepest well,

splashing, then stilled,


that you’re likely to inherit our height,

which tastes of the cool, peat-laden spring

at the furthest reaches of Loch Maree,


that the shade of your skin

is smooth as the finest sand of Ullapool,

kissed repeatedly by a loving tide,


that you live in a tall, white building,

high above the ocean,

where one day, you will own the brightest eye.


16 January

Galerie legitime

by Robert Filliou

15 January

Job boj

by Bohumila Grögerová and Josef Hirsal

15 January


by Frances Angela

gray winter morning

the oranges in the fruit bowl

scent the room


14 January

Samuel Beckett

by Tom Phillips

13 January

Emmonsails Heath in Winter

by John Clare

12 January

Postcard from Petersburg

by Shanta Acharya

We shall meet again, in Petersburg
                Osip Mandelstam


No map could have illustrated its character,

having survived the schizophrenia of the past century.


Negotiating our way through the crowds,

           we arrive in Palace Square,

unprepared for the treasures of the Hermitage.

A mirror of facades, the majestic Neva

barricading the revolution each day in the heart.


We greet The Bronze Horseman crushing treason,

            haunted by the fate of Pushkin.

As we leave Yusupov's Palace,

            a prayer escapes my lips for Rasputin:

Russia crushed with the weight of its past.


How different from Dostoevsky’s dark world

            the light in Sennaya Ploshchad; its tree-lined

canals a haven for all sorts during the White Nights,

            perfect after Swan Lake at the Mariinskiy.


Strolling down Nevskiy Prospekt, buying caviar

at Yeliseev’s, window-shopping at Gostinyy Dvor

and Passazh Arcade, its glass canopy turning

sky into ceiling, letting the sunshine flood in -


We emerge at the colonnades of the Kazan Cathedral,

taking in the view across the canal with a church

           gleaming in the background, beckoning u

to pray for this paradise built on spilled blood.