Tag Archives: Charley Barnes

Burnt   bright   blood

Charley Barnes is an author and academic from the West Midlands, UK. At present, she is a Lecturer in Creative and Professional Writing at the University of Wolverhampton. Charley borrows from folklore, plantlore and nature to inform her poetry. However, … Continue reading

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Pyrus   pudding   prickly

Charley Barnes is an author and academic from the West Midlands, UK. At present, she is a Lecturer in Creative and Professional Writing at the University of Wolverhampton. Charley borrows from folklore, plantlore and nature to inform her poetry. However, … Continue reading

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Dahlia | Cut them early

It’s too soon in the day to be loud. There is only an echo of birds talking over garden fences; morning buds, stretching to a wide open yawn. The heat of the day hasn’t stressed the flowers. The sun, also, … Continue reading

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Ranunculus sceleratus | Cursed to quiet

Imagine, assuming this space was one in which to flex his throat muscles; call to hummingbirds and half-asleep flower buds to disturb their natural order. The boy – Ranunculus, they called him – looked gold, green-tinted. He thought himself welcome … Continue reading

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Centaurium | Pedanius Dioscorides*

He prescribed it as an emmenagogue – to bring on the bleeding in a time when physician and botanist was a single profession, and words could always be trusted provided they came from the mouths of men. But I look … Continue reading

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Fortunella japonica | Golden peel*

Palm up, I pass the zest to you, fingertip sprinkle it on your outstretched tongue, like a November frost touching grass. It’s sweet, this peel, either tangerine or golden. But when you bite the innards – “Here,” I say, “taste … Continue reading

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Your Body Is A House

Imagine this: Your body is a house stripped from the pages of Gothic novel. There was a fire once, in the hearth of the home, and it burned through the soft furnishings. It took with it the comfort of crushed … Continue reading

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Who are you waiting to see?

It starts with idle browsing. Michael Stafford is called into the doctor’s office before I am. The waiting room around us both has been empty for nearly twenty minutes, so it’s impossible not to hear his name when it’s called. … Continue reading

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Card: The Lovers

Keywords: union; desire; joy The sandhill crane has a unison calling; the female will call twice with a harsh howl into the open wild and the male will reply with one. The male seahorse, before bearing the child, will entwine … Continue reading

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Card: The Devil

Keywords: addiction; negativity There is a blackboard in the kitchen on which they write the difficult questions. In brilliant white chalk, one will write a note to the other, usually when they’re not in the house to find it. There … Continue reading

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Card: Justice

Keywords: decisions; karma He keeps 7.7 billion wheels spinning at once. They are of different sizes, as are their results, but each one will grow with time. The room around him is striped in light and shade and sometimes grey … Continue reading

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Shame tastes like…

We waited until our parents had left the room before we picked up their words and stuffed them into our cheeks for safekeeping, to regurgitate them later.             “Shit.” Giggles were stifled by hands over mouths to hold in these sounds … Continue reading

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Someone has to be first

You were the first person to quantify ‘forever’. Before you, I had no idea that forever could mean as little as three years – on and off. You were the first person to teach me that planning a future is … Continue reading

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When I think of you, these days

There’s a baby in your profile picture these days. You haven’t claimed ownership in a caption but the way her hair shines red and curls around her ears is a dead giveaway. She looks just like you but with the … Continue reading

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Learn a new language

I’ve decided to sort medications by colour, because my mouth can’t make the shapes I need it to to pronounce their names. My father doesn’t mind, I don’t think, when I count them onto a plastic saucer: ‘One pink one, … Continue reading

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Food for inappropriate thoughts

I am sitting across the dinner table from my sister-in-law when I realise something: I don’t want to be with my husband anymore. The thought comes together innocently enough. It’s one of those background thoughts that play over someone’s conversation. … Continue reading

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