TRCH Blood Brothers

Write Lion Poetry: Issue 48

31 August 12 words: Aly Stoneman
Featuring Bee Patience, Katy Carrington, Leo Swarvett and Dori Kirchmair

Illustration: Steve Larder

He Didn’t Want to be a Victim
Bee Patience

What did you carry?

Anything – flick knife, lock knife, butterfly knife

How can something so beautiful share its name with something so...


I didn’t want to be a victim. I’ve seen things, lost things.

The whisper of prison missed my ears beneath the shouting streets.

A slap on the wrist – I can handle that

then he’ll fall back into concrete embraces,
continue to subsist in a vulnerable bubble of kindred pretences

choosing violence, over conversation


Because they live in another postcode?

Their skin’s a different colour to yours?

Or you can’t pronounce their surname?


I didn’t want to be a victim.

I didn’t want to be anybody’s victim.

We can’t harmonise with a handshake.


Peering from my back pocket, hidden in my jacket

the blade
boasts protection, saves face in front of connections

better to arm yourself with a weapon, denote intimidation

than be a victim.


I didn’t want to be a victim.

I didn’t want to be anybody’s victim.

We can’t harmonise with a handshake.

And now all I see are these walls

eats and sleeps a metre away from his toilet –
it disgusts him. The drip



of the sink, syncs with the thud of his heart and the blink of his eye

    as he tries to forget

the encounter of my shank with their skin

puncturing layers of cotton, cells, tissue
flesh tearing
at the point of his knife                  

and the life that taints his iron hand

that can’t be washed away with peroxide.

Erase and Replace
Katy Carrington

All Christmas week there were beasts
in the fire. Mammoth, wolf, north-sea ghosts
crowded the grate, a bear facing west,
the crouching half-burned manuals.
(You think if something’s not forever
it’s not worth having)

We are clearing the decks.
Phone books for the Wash
(later versions might apply)
Our guide to natural death,
five years old, can’t have expired,
flapping its wings to ashes.

But this is the north-sea coast.
Daft at new year we bow
to the unknown tide, the cutting edge.
Storm birds roll in like debris
fronting a surge which screams

at end-of-the-line landscapes,
discontinued hearths.

In an English Country Churchyard
Leo Swarvett

Nothing stirs, the graveyard–
Beyond the faint breeze,
With its rustling of dry leaves.

Nothing stirs, the graveyard–
Beyond misplaced superstitions
And primal make-believes.

Nothing much– stirs the graveyard
Since time and burials immemorial.

Then– the soil stifled, zany tones,
Of the dear departeds' mobile phones.

The Sun and The Moon
Dori Kirchmair

Tonight I celebrate
that the sun and the moon have not come together
for the world needs them
in separate places and at different times

And whilst the moon orchestrates the stars, governs the tides and
casts our shadow as we walk home late
the sun’s rays touch the hearts of all but one of every living being
and growth begins afresh whilst birds resume their song

Tonight I celebrate my independence
for when you long left in a pitch dark night
I – got on with my day

And whilst the night sky evokes my longing
with every single shooting star
the brightness of a rising sun repaints the sky anew
with radiance and joy

Today I recognize
that the sun and the moon could not come together
for the world divides them
into – day and night

But on the rare occasion
when both align
and one eclipses the other
I feel your warm lips touching mine

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