The Oxford Blue Culture team’s creative writing and art project: ‘CREATIVITY IN CRISIS: a writing collective’.
Here are some of our favourites of the work we received, illustrated by Jaime Teo.
Ex Lover — Dot Foster
I remember the person I used to hold hands with in the dark, as we fell down streets like they were stairs and felt the city shake us by the shoulders, parents angry when we got back late. We wore each other, kept ourselves warm by breathing out cold air like cigarette smoke, pretending the park was a forest, the canal an ocean, the multi-storey a flagstone patio looking out on the city with a face like a handsome father. Everything feels more alive at night; people are plants who do most of their growing in the dark. It is daytime now. You’re sat in the garden, the sun stroking your hair, lighting it up like a candlewick; I see you flicker when I close my eyes.
Beautiful World – Daniel Cox
I am a pheasant in headlights, I am a bluebell in the woods, I am an orchid on a windowsill, At the moment of impact, Trampled on the edge of a path Burned under sunlight for days, I am a beautiful world, Crows tie me down and cut me up, And whisper sounds of safety in my ear, This house of cards is a fortress, Made to soak tomorrow’s punches, I am a blast furnace choking on smog, I am poison shrapnel poisoning the earth, I am an animal high on antibiotics, It’s thirty seconds to midnight, And like that dove in the distance, I feel like ascending, Leaving behind an outstretched hand, I have rejected treatment, (I am dreaming) I am a beautiful world.
Bravo, Girls! — Yang-sheng Lin
Face by face under the blue And hand by hand in the dew, They’re one less than the Graces three But one more than Venus, rising from the sea. O Aurora, there’re the twin daughters of thine Please let me praise thy glorious shrine: Where the smiles twinkle without any intent But tell of the sweet summer Goddesses spent. While day-hymn faints and tides of life fall And heavenly roses fade, in the fairest of all; On the empty beach youth’s poetry disperse Leaving a set of footprints to be the last verse: Such purity and beauty dwelt in timeless rhyme That cannot be lined by a worldly song of mine.
The look – Lucie de Gentile
The look Is all it took Alone in the notes Of music and time The pastels melted Of the lime That was floating In my pink wine The look Is all it took A caress Elongated like The bow of a cat When it was Really a soft order Purring for you to react The look Is all it took The giggled whispers Of lips too close Even to kiss Enough to cause A heavy weight Of breath, of space Of silent intent The look Is all it took For your mouth To fall on mine Like a moth Seeking light In a mine The look Is all it took For my hair To parade My white shoulders And breakable neck To shiver at your touch Your fingers Drawing me out The look Is all it took When I give you the signal To meet you in duel The challenge you took on But victory is won If my eyes rolled over No longer Can give you the look
If you would like to be published in the next edition, submit your work to the link below. We welcome writing from everyone, regardless of experience!