Issue Five

Autumn 2012



Keep your eyes down, don’t look
at the soil, but what lies below:
sticky clay, fist shaped boulders,
black shale that sounds like coins

when you bore through. Dig
into layers of fireclay, galliard,
the brittle strata of sandstone.
When grit sets your teeth on edge,

don’t give up, even if you hit a layer
of bastard stone or strong blue bind.
Don’t look back at the pinhole
of daylight shining above you

but take a deep breath, swallow
ironstone, fossilized shells,
eat your way through ganister,
toothsome silica, until you reach

the soft coal bed, then lie down,
let the weight of the world settle.


Julie Mellor



silver fractal