Ghost In near perfect darkness, she pads through the woods, trying to be dainty, cursed by the snapping of twigs. Reaching the border, holding back the ferns, she stares at the houses, fails to observe the rain. They'll all be inside, laughing and joking. None will remember the freckled child at the inn. She notes the obstructions, calculates the angles, nods in agreement, turns and rejoins the night. Ghost was first published in Dreich 4 Season 2, March 2021. Magpies Don't shine too bright, my errant child, for that's the way the magpies come to latch upon the gleams and glows of overprecious little ones. I used to flirt with books and dolls, I used to have your scabby knees - well, look beneath my locks of hair and witness what they did to me, then run and join the other girls who gather at the matchworks line. Make wood the only thing that burns, be sensible and anodyne. Magpies was first published in Pink Plastic House (in The Haunted Dollhouse), December 2020. Smokey I remember you cowering under Matt's t-shirt two weeks after your rescue - finally out from under the bed. What sights those unblinking eyes had seen we didn't like to guess. I remember you making yourself small when Oscar, in all his jealousy, launched himself from the kitchen side, but I remember you best in the garden, unaware of my gaze, carefully extending a velvet paw to the butterflies as though somewhere in your DNA, a voice said 'Kill' and another behind those unblinking eyes said 'No'. Smokey first appeared in Dreich’s Fire and Water chapbook, July 2021. Picture on the Packet Aware I had no leeway for a tree, I stood up on a jealous afternoon to soften up the earth and press my seed. The ending of the poem follows soon. My sapling stretched its stem towards the sun and strew confetti blossom all around with roots that grew prodigiously and clung, constricting like a snake what life they found. My home began to quiver, then to crack, delivered up a message on the wind. 'These walls would not contain or hold you back. What is it you can never find within?' Don't ask me to explain, I understand. The picture on the packet looked so grand. Pretty Dream We wrestle with foundations reckless fate has foisted on our sacred temple sites. Surveyors show reluctance to proceed. We pay no heed, obliterate the nights with paint and canvas, microphone and tape, with pen and paper, clapperboard and screen, lay 'would have loved' and 'never did' for bricks, mix 'still to be' for mortar in between and if our walls should crumble to the ground, we shan't forget we shared a pretty dream. Pretty Dream first appeared in The Madrigal volume ii: roots, May 2021.