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Updated: Feb 10, 2022

by Darren Caffrey -

Now Dr. X wasn't anything to me

Just a professional

With a desk and certificates

And a print by Marc Chagall

Primary blues and reds

A kind of pastoral folklore

And he asks you

Why are you here

And you want to answer

But he's asking you questions

And you don't even know

What his name is yet

So you try to make him look away

By looking away yourself

But it doesn't work

Because he looks down

And you notice the writing pad

All of the writing is illegible

And he scribbles it out

But looks back up to see you

Thinking about animals

And you know he has you

Exactly where he wants you

And he was right

But you were right to lie

When he asked about the voices

No you said to him

I only hear farm animals now


Darren has written critically about public art exhibitions for a number of years, most recently in Circa and the Visual Artists supplement. His creative writing was included in Utopia, the spring issue of Emerge (2021). Thanks to the support of Words Ireland he is working with an acclaimed author and current short story winner with the aim of developing his own project in creative non fiction.

As an artist he received his MA through MAVIS /IADT in 2013 and has exhibited digital and moving image work within an installation context, exploring live art and performance settings in an ad hoc handmade aesthetic built around masculinity, labour and technology. These days he regularly attends Lime Square Poets, a poet's reading night where he says "...a range of voices both local and international give added flavour to my ear."

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

by Cáit O'Neill McCullagh -

We were fourteen when the Gorman boy drowned

feet first & sunk to the tip of his crown in sorghum

that was the way he’d shouldered out his birth too

a footling breech set adrift now in a burying log

& so slight that he had even slipped through seed

you said to me ‘that box would be near empty

… were it not for his mother’s tears’

in the weeping heat & loud silence of the chapel

my eyes remained dry-trained to the back of you

your hair restrained to the tamed lick of a cow

& your nape naked on the penitence of that pew

I had suffered decades of rosaries to be so close

later while the cousins keened, we slipped behind a stone

me fourteen & you lifting the chaff of the day from my lips

it was me who fell then

letting my anchor loose

letting my breath be taken

like I was drowning in sorghum

First published in Issue 4 of Drawn to the Light


Cáit is an ethnologist and curator who writes at home in the Scottish Highlands. She has published in academic journals and books, and writes for online and print journalism, including Bella Caledonia. She started writing poems in December 2020. Since then her work has appeared in journals including Northwords Now, The Banyan Review, Drawn To The Light, Lothlorien Poetry Journal and Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis. Her poems have been exhibited including as part of Scotland’s Book Week 2021, and she has been invited as a featured reader for Lime Square Poets, Word on the Street, and the Federation of Writers of Scotland. A joint winner of the Boyne Writers Festival Poetry Day Ireland 2021 competition, Cáit is now co-coordinating The Wee Gaitherin Festival 2022. She continues to write, read, and share poems in a world that will always need poetry.

For more about Cáit, including links to some of her poems see . She can be found tweeting at @kittyjmac

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

by Kim Ports Parsons -

Hoarfrost blooms at my temples,

hooks around my ears. A cold wind’s

knocking. My body’s forgetting

the steamy hydraulics of those nights,

the lick of eyeliner, the shimmy

and the sweat, the torrent from the amps,

the sassy flip of curls on my shoulders,

how a hungry mouth surfaced near mine,

how I could slide into a drowning kiss.

This December night, I’m warming myself

at the fire you’ve built. I’m watching

embers glow like remembered sighs.

Husband of mine, let’s turn a slow shuffle

about the flickering room. Let’s mingle

our old pajamas and worn out scuffs.

Let’s stoke the laughter at ourselves, but

tenderly. Let my fingers linger for a while

in the silky sparks of your silver-threaded hair.


After thirty years as a teacher and librarian, Kim Ports Parsons now lives next door to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with her husband Doug, hound dog Sadie, and cat Miss Daisy Cooper. She tends garden, hikes, and listens for poems. Her work has appeared in many journals, such as Cider Press Review and The Blue Nib. She volunteers for Cultivating Voices LIVE Poetry.

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