Featured Poet

Phil Wood

Soccer Match

The Healing of Mitchell

He stands in playground blues. His place.

He's sad because his mum has died.

The other boys fear his sad face,

for tears can spread like dustbin flies.

The girls could play at being mum,

but being flirts is far more fun.

By chance, or God, the football rolls

his way. His anger kicks it hard

and scores. Boys pass the ball to him.

He scores. None celebrate. He rules.

Girls smother smiles. He kicks the ball.

And scores. His mum smiles down at him

his new mums say. He kicks the ball.

He stands with playground blues. His space.

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Peter Wakes Up in the Middle of the Night

She slips through a gap,

her tiny grip seeks

wonky teeth. Gently, at first,

she tests and tugs,

but no root lets loose.

No sixpence yet.

He is learning the value of pain.

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Nettled, I walk and breathe the rot,

my winter air, that seedless tune.

Our local path cannot unclot

my rooted gloom. So I assume.


I am outfoxed by simple snowdrops

under the oaks. I hear their clock,

the needling seeding of new crops.

Like happiness insists. Unlocks.


My day began with your burnt toast.

I linger by the kissing gate,

hear strife, our scripted fate. Let trust

unwind that clock, it's getting late.

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Phil Wood was born and lives in Wales. He studied English Literature at Aberystwyth University. He has worked in statistics, education, shipping, and a biscuit factory. He enjoys watercolour painting, bird watching, and chess. His writing can be found in various publications, including: The Ink Pantry, Fevers of the Mind, Autumn Sky Daily, London Grip.