Crosslight: a micro-anthology of poetry


Glided bluff of street,

She got out a book of old photographs

& a block of speed.


Taxi cabs fly in the night,

We didn’t sleep for 3 days

Until eventually it was quick on the mattress


Boarded up eyes oozing freedom,

Wrapped up under duvets,

Irn-bru Orange fairy lights


Exhilarate the whole carriage of our bodies.

Your voice now tattooed

Across my chest, rising simply.


Can we leave all this stuff behind?

Unfolding, rolling in bass,

Where we bared our crack-dead skin.


Lovers wait on the pivot

For the drop, waiting,

To see who would survive;


Miles of fairground appear in my mind,

You gripped me like a hamburger wrapper.

But to you, back now


Is impossible; your breathed out

Air stayed on my face

For a moment. Then I sort of understood,


What people meant

When they talked about

Being happy enough.


J.R. Clarke






If your thoughts were skimming stones

Smooth and flat and cold in my palm

Or your hands were a poet’s, wrist deep

Sunk in the buckets of words I keep


If your soul was a wedding ring tarnished

Thrown away in a kitchen sink

Your breath a lake that shrank and swelled

Your promises coins in a wishing well


Your disarranged clothes, my bedsheets

If your dreams were leaves on my forest floor

Or your fingerprints held me like cobwebs

Tightly pinning my arms and legs


If this, or this, or this or that

If a heart could be tamed like a cat


RME Thornhill






Last spikes of slithered ice,

down from slicing din of frozen gale, stumbling

never-to-be-trusted crisp, grip spindrifting away,

snow a hurl of frenzied bunting,

wings enclosing, to terrify, delight ) –


indifferent storm spawns,

seed-snow caresses cove, corrie, cwm,

accumulates: ice births, grows massy,

squats over sea, squashes land, grumbles down,

drags eon-gathered soil from rifts,

grinds it out to plains, retreats,

parents fertility to feed ape, ass, men,

hibernates until next need


–  (cloud thinned, haven,

flirt of grouse. Silence.


Grahaeme Barrasford Young



Not Silver Not Gold



Not silver not gold

Useless things with histories dipped in blood


Give me a ring made from wood

Stolen from oak or willow or ash

So fresh, the sap still dripping

Old and rich with silent wisdom

I want tentacle roots to sink through my skin

To branch out within


Find me a ring made from bone

A vertebra, polished and clean

An ivory O like a mouth in a scream

Or a finger, curled and beckoning

A white brittle stone. Your bone

Rattling next to my own


Make me a ring from your laugh

Delicate tinkling on my hand

Like a thousand bells in a row

Shaking with mirth, making night

Look like day. When I’m lost I want it to show me the way


Bake me a ring made from your words

Knead and ply your yeses, your nos

Sprinkle in your wonderful lies then

Warm the hubbub and babble through

Leave out what you say to the rest.  I want what’s

Whispered under your breath


Of wood or bone or laughter or words

Dirty metals not allowed


Make me proud



RME Thornhill




Listening to our past



Werewolves disturb glens

–  power-line in storm;


orcs clank where they never walked

– clatter of guys against pylon struts;


vindictive chatter of dark elves

– hail slatting through spars;


humming trolls in chorus

– turbines boxed above our heads.


We are clever now, dismissing fears

– but these still interrupt our dark.



Grahaeme Barrasford Young







We will enter heaven

the same way we enter supermarkets

gawked wide eyed & lonely

oh so bloody lonely


when I shop

I feel empty


slowly shuffling pushing trolley


pallbearer for my own coffin


we are all here

making sure aspiration & lifestyles

are reflected in authentic rustic cuisine

a toothless whore smiling for the camera


there’s pretty boy Narcissus buying Casanova scents

single mother doing maths all the way round

atomic veterans stocking up leftovers

shaking heads at

the neo fat man with his fad diet teardrops of doom

crying all the way to the chip shop

middle aged suit still wondering where his youth went

middle aged couple gazing shocked dismay into middle distance

the wedding cake was the bomb!

there’s the little princess stamping

dreaming of luxurious vulgarity

young families besieged by walls of

origami cereal box art & astro-pop sugar treats

misty romantic ex-traveller now teaching comprehensive history

skipping in & out of dreamsville in between

BOGOFS, 50% free and organic something or other

an occasional tabloid philosopher wondering if we have

wasted our entire lives breathing

teenage girls gawping over the golden age of publicity

chasing flavours of the month & supergirl’s shadow

gym freak counting calories so everyone can see

fräulein fishwife for your pleasure

dinnerbreak receptionist with a letter opener in her bra

cold linoleum floor holding elderly couple close in its grasp

steel-tongued pierced starlet snarling at security guards

lauding innocence freedom & laissez-faire vegetarianism

salivating soldiers from the pic ‘n mix generation

the tramp, the broken man, heavy breathing

stalking reduced items, hiding past glory

in cold beard and holding back forgotten

soulmate tears

the modern man, caring & sensitive

rough shaven buying flowers off the forecourt

wearing long coat for the theatre

don’t pose

it’s not sexy

the standard man crucifying himself

for the cult of things

the perfect man

everything perfect

always perfect

reduced now to a moonlight voyeur out of loneliness

all just regretful souls in our new cathedrals


but then there was you

a phosphor crosslight across the crowd

sucking attention with simplicity

walking on unknown draft of salvation

flowery dress mock fur knee-length coat

former Catholic girl knees & a retrozone smile


we catch eyes


I wonder if we can run away together

from this new & improved vision of paradise

explore the origins of love, making snowstorms & huddles

swap stores

split a memory or two


then you walk past

leaving just a trail of what-ifs

hypothetical burning Venice passion evenings

long drawn sessions of debauchery

soul defining moments forged in the flicker of an eye

I guess black holes aren’t for everyone


I wonder if they have an aisle for happy endings

or sell funerals for the ignored spirit

I want to climb into the sky

forget the world

be the man who quit the human race

dance amongst aluminium angels

on top of wilderness clouds

watching hand in hand sunsets for eternity


but I’m back at the checkout

watching time on a conveyor belt

I feel empty again

left with nothing but a trolley full

& no shining light

to guide me

to help me decipher all these symbols

of fake perfection

with her fleeting masterpiece

of imperfection

I once saw.


J.R. Clarke


J.R. Clarke is a poet. Poems he has written have appeared on the internet, anthologies & sewn into the back of bus seats. You may see him reading poems at some of the more joyous festivals across the UK in the summertime. He is working on a poetics essay called I Went To The Edge Of My Mind & All I Got Was This All Consuming Urge To Write Poems Until Something Disappears & in his spare time he is an amateur hermit.



RME Thornhill is a poet and author based in Bristol UK, and has been published in a variety of online and print magazines including Gulper Eel, Magic Cat Press and Dark Lane Quarterly Collaborative. He performs regularly in Bristol at poetry open-mic nights and at festivals throughout the summer.



Grahaeme Barrasford Young, erstwhile editor, publisher and printer, returned to writing ten years ago after being distracted by good works and activism for twenty years. Since then he has been published in over 30 magazines.

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