CWI October 2020 Winner

Two Minutes  Ruth Taaffe   Notes fired crack against our ears, fill the air like smoke after gunshot blooming over a field.   He leads our collective stumbling with his solo, shuffles us into respect at the ricochet of his tune.   The young bugler lowers his instrument, approaching the climax of his task. We […]

September 2020 Competition Winner

Sunshower Riley Sutton   If there is peace to be had in this world, it is next to a clear windowpane as a thunderstorm beats its drums in the distance. With water slicing through the sky in a diagonal marching line, unbeknownst to the rules of physics and even gravity, you can watch the sky […]

August 2020 Competition Winner

The Woman Vegetable Vendor Fabiyas MV   She pulls her handcart through her dream-debris. Now her PhD is just an agonizing adornment.   She’s been denied white-collar jobs for religious reasons. Even a name is flammable in the fanatic drought. Here religion doesn’t purify, but petrify.   Yet she surfaces, scuba-diving through her secret sorrows. […]

July 2020 Winner

The House Plant Fabiyas MV   Her possessor won’t let her grow beyond his conservative outlook. Her taproot is chained in the pot.   Even her pale patches are decorations. Living among the plastic plants is choking.   She’s denied sunny kisses. Rain’s romantic whisperings, she’s never exposed to such ecstasies.   Her wound attracts […]

CWI June 2020 Winner

Northern Lights Sue Hoffman   Green-born: a blessing; a child to unite tribes.   Red-born: a gift; a child to bring joy.   Yellow-born: a mystery; who knows the child’s fate?   But I was born when the night was black, when the sky-dancers slept, their coloured capes folded to cushion weary heads,   and […]

CWI May 2020 Winner

Hidden Rachael Barnes-Powell   My father collects model trains   Engines, stations, trees – all miniaturised populate his shed   His own personal paradise over which he is god   Plastic bodies lie cold Waiting for him to bring them to life   I was allowed to watch as he worked in mausoleum-like silence   […]

CWI April 2020 Competition Winner

Machair Tomos Dargie   We came to a meadow by where the sea crept in, where her breath was light with marram and the meadowsweet danced. There was an Island, left on a shell-strewn strand once the tide had ebbed away. There were terns, their shrill cry she carried down the long summer days. She […]

CWI March 2020 Winner

Pineapples Ruth Taaffe   Panic in the aisles. Unmasked together in a queue we breathe discretely in opposite directions no eye contact, ashamed of this synchronised thinking.   Ridiculous whims in the baskets, beans for protein chocolate for morale. The thought of weeks without fruit pinpoints an island of claustrophobia   inside, a notion of scurvy voyages east or west on some wooden clipper. If only they’d had the Piña des Indes back then. ​The tin sits   plucked from the shelf, adopted pet in the […]

CWI February 2020 Winner

An Alabaster Knight Kathryn Ratzko Still as stone, hands on your chest, an alabaster knight; protector, warrior who once slayed dragons. Dawn is here. The ferryman still waits; a bittersweet relief. I stretch. Cramped on a makeshift bed, I ache. I lean in close to hear your barely breath and whisper that I have to […]

Creative Writing Ink December 2019 Winner

Of Righteousness and Sin Ayesha Asad   At dusk, I take my prayers and cradle them to my heart, watching them slip into volant arrows from my papery fingertips and                                                                                  slink up a tree,                                                                                         where they flutter, untethered and groan into the undulating leaves. After they dust grit off their wings, they rise – […]

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