Becoming a hill

Stretched thin and pinned
by rock between my shoulder blades
I lie in darkness in a river under Castleton
my wetsuit ripped and gloves in shreds,
one cheek pressed against the smooth rock stream bed
the other grazed by gritstone from above.

I cannot move my head
and water gurgles in one ear,
drowning thoughts of grass and sunshine.

My mouth’s submerged.
One nostril flares above the surface:
I slow my breathing,
calm my heartbeat.

I smell dead underground.
I have no toes, numb
fingers spread
ahead in search of space or light.

My veins are river.
My cold bones turn to stone.


Margaret Lewis

The Theurgy of Staring

Lady’s Bridge, Wicker

  I sink sleet into darkness
on grit and red bricks, sit

  staring whilst the only voices shiver
with a madness smothered by iron air.

  The Don oozes on; subsuming
spume that fleetingly pirouettes
  whirlpools of tart black water-

ducks with raven throats paddle
  rainbows through oil slicks;

ruined spires reach for storm clouds
  beckoning them to earth.

  A handbag floats
out of reach, prey
  to the constant roar of weirs-

the white strips rushing between
  gloomy ferrous blooms

where eyes fix a psychopomp
  in the packed meanders of


Rush like spilt ink into everything,
  drag seas to the aether
of skies upended by the rippling water.

  Then earth to the beat of a copper conductor.
Shred the gloaming with white light
  and cacophony.

The World’s mass orbits
  eyeballs that shudder
the Law into action-

Move along now
 please sir come on now
 move along.

 The Don
oozes on
 oozes on…


Benjamin Dorey


Calliope Concealed

boy’s drawing
sellotaped on the inside
of his wardrobe door

entrails waxed flat on the paper
clumsy heart coloured outside the line

melting down, trickling onto the carpet
through his visceral knee length socks,
long sleeved tops, flared trousers

weaving back into the anatomy  of that
white rectangle, paraffin smooth
the girl he’ll never have,
concealed figurehead, coloured in
‘bittersweet’ hair, ‘asparagus’ eyes
enhanced with stearic acid,

rubbing off him
puella ludens,

you are crayon.


Veronica Fibisan


Benjamin Dorey and Veronica Fibisan are students at the University of Sheffield.

Margaret Lewis lives in Sheffield but loves the hills – and edits a magazine for long distance cyclists. She is a member of both Cutting Edge Poets and Tuesday Poets, and is currently doing an MA at Sheffield Hallam University.