human it is by Reuben Woolley


are most human
………in quiet
where hurt
……………………….tumbling through

& time doesn’t move

we are human
goes labyrinth

……..we are human
on these sands


…………………… tears
we are’s
the water we share


You can get the book through this link. Remember that all the profits go to the refugees through the organisation, CalAid.

My Lungs by Jay Hulme

I do not have the space in my lungs
To combat these words you have said,
My lung tissue is probably dead
But I keep on breathing.


My chest capacity
Is somehow smaller
Than the grave that’s
Already been dug for me,
This symmetry,
Between the giver of life
And my ending,
Is bending time
And leading me back

To where it all began.

I’d say I ran,
But lately
I’ve no capacity
For breathing heavily,
So honestly,
I just walked a little quickly
But he followed me,
And the words that rolled off his tongue
Were an opposing symphony,
An amalgam of “Lesbo!”
And “Gayboy!” and “Tranny!”
I think he was unsure
Of which type of bigotry
Would be fitting to shout at me,
So he just used a bit of L, G, B, and T
And hoped that it would offend me,
But seriously, mate,
I’ve heard it all before,
And seeing as my body is at war
With itself
I can’t be arsed to indulge you –

You dick head.

My lungs bleed red,
More than lungs really should.
I cough up blood sometimes
But I see it as worth it,
The chest that I have
Not given from birth it’s
Bound once around
With a shirt of elastic,
I’m flat, it’s fantastic!
And I’m proud to say
I chose the safest option,

But it’s still fucking killing me.

I can’t imagine a world
Without bigotry,
Cuz this world’s built on prejudice
So engrained
It’s pretended that Trans
Is something feigned,
Like anyone would choose this
I would willingly lose this,
Brothers, Sisters,
People for whom this
Binary system
Just doesn’t fit,
People who fear
And revel in it,

Walk with me.

Down that silent street,
Down every silent street.
Walk with me
Through graveyards filled
With incorrect names,
Walk with me
Though hateful words
With hateful aims,
Walk with me
Through every violent act
Enacted in hate,
Walk with me
Through every day,
Through every fate,
Walk with me
Through those words,
That came from his mouth,
On that street,
My feet,
Chasing the rivers flow

Away from here.

My lungs
Are too small these days
To shout these words
Loud enough
That others can hear them,
My lungs
Cannot contain these words
Beside all the others
They need to say,
My lungs
Are beat into submission,
My lungs
Are as shallow
As the graves that await
The victims of violence
Every day,
My lungs
Are tattered flags
On bone masts,
Calling on armies
That are not yet recruited
To save people
Who are already dead.
My lungs,
Need your lungs,
Need your hearts,
Need your words,
My lungs
Need you,
To tell men,
Like him,
That his words,
His prejudice,
His hate,

Are not welcome here.

My lungs,
Need you,
To speak up,
For people,
Like us.


skins by reuben woolley


i hit the land
with all the light i have
& the wind
comes for leftovers


my shadow slipped off

& here i am


i have no shape
to wrap me in

at the edges


This is a recording of the title poem to my new book, skins. A book of poems for the refugees, all profits from which are going to CalAid, a reputable organisation workinmg with the refugees in Calais and beyond.
The book is to be found here:

Moving Through Walls by Paul Point

Ronald Turner stubbed out a smoke in a plant pot caked in stale

ash. Choked, the cactus that lived there was haggard and greyed

bare by the stash of dog ends and toxic cinders, knowing only a

life of dim light and locked windows.


He was the kind of guy who hadn’t earned his environment – he

inherited it. In the same way an inmate inherits a ball and chain

it clung to him like a picture frame. Call him the product of it –

a victim of impositions – he would call you a fool and drill

down into your decisions that he sees as highlighting his

abandoned ambitions, not as the tools that make bricks, in the

walls of cathedrals.


No plans today; he got up anyway.


He wasn’t without skill recalling odd facts and information at

will, though often strained by tradition, dull and mundane.

Addiction lit another cigarette with a match, since his lighter

was broken and out of gas. That metaphor echoing his feeling

of disdain which amused him – at first – and then meandered

through melancholy even worse, at the start of a stormy



No desire today; he kept smoking anyway.


Amongst others he would often be the butt of all jokes, drawing

the short straw and be labelled both: the blackest of sheep and

the friendliest ghost. He mirrored moons and planets he read in

a few books, the ones he envied for the peace he assumed they

knew – Looks, were exchanged with an old mirror; cracked,

examining dents, cloaked scars facing the fact he’d never wash

them away, flannelling water and scented soap bars.


No one to impress today; he freshened up anyway.


For him life lived on a passing cloud, hopes of grasping he

coped without, tending to touch that empty feeling, the

whispers of thrills that filled traces of breathing. He knew the

world as a place he had no place in and nestled himself in that

negative space within. No one learnt the landscapes better than

he, not even the astronomy he studied solidly when solitude

grappled his mind and strangled his body.




Below is a short film based on this spoken word story:

In The Name Of by Adam Horovitz

Fuck death, and the unforgiving
slighted sightlessness of death
in the name of, in the name of.
In the name of what?
In the name of a god? What
use gods that demand
death in the name of?
Fuck dying. Fuck the relentless
useless ubiquity of dying
in the name of, in the name of.
What name is it this time?
The name of which god?
Whose god truly demands
death in the name of?
Fuck people. Fuck those few
pathetic people who call down death
in the name of, in the name of.
In the name of Kalashnikov?
In the name of oilbombsafetycatch?
In the name of watchoutthey’recomingtogetyou?
Fuck death in the name of.
Praise life, the sweet, extravagant
endless vitalities of life
in the name of, in the name of.
In the name of everything.
In the name of summer mornings.
In the names of allthosethathope.
Life in the name of.
Praise living. Praise growth
and the way that growth accelerates
in the name of, in the name of
everyone. In the name of love.
We may die but new life
will burst from our remains
in the name of, in the name of.
Praise life
in the name
of life.
 Here’s a recording of Adam reading the poem

Commemoration Hour by Adam Horovitz

A moth-cupped flame sputters

out of silence in my kitchen, draws insects

whining through the window’s crack.


They sing like distant bi-planes,

dogfight-dancing at the edge of sight.


I watch red wax spill

over the candle’s battered lip

and think of family, long dead,


the quiet men on unquiet fronts

who let the rituals of their religion


slide away, buoyed up

on propaganda, desperation, hunger,

as they wrote loving letters in the dark


succoured only by a single flame,

by the guttering distances of home.


Oh, how they dreamed of family,

gave thanks to G-d for the minuscule mercies

of the weekly post (when it got through)


but even the gentlest man will break inside

when bombs and snipers dictate their diet,


when all the animals of hell

come crawling out from under mud

on sinews of metal clasping at the bone.




What precisely did they die for,

or limp home wounded with?

My grandfather never said, sitting in silence,

with his memories, in the garden of his weekend home

until he was forced to cross Germany’s borders

and escape into England two decades  on.


Great Uncle Martin could not say.

Splintered in 1915 by enemy fire, only his letters remain

regaling his dearest sister Röschen

with brotherly bravado, detailing requests

for the essentials: paper, food and pens;

whatever news might make it through the lines from home.




The candle’s spitting out its last

one hundred years on

but still the news is limited and grim.


The insect whine of war continues.

Tanks rumble through my kitchen

whenever the fridge fires up.


Commemoration wears an ugly, celebratory mask.

Its eyeholes stare us down like guns

and from its mouth a fine gas seeps.


‘Gas! Quick, boys.’ An ecstasy of fumbling

in the press for ways to not quite say

“We won, we won, we won!”


But we won nothing. The war continues

in fragments, though no one is yet

crazed enough to join the dots,


and all I can see in this quiet hour

is red wax stiffening on the candle

into the faces of all the people that I love.



This poem was previously published on


Adam Horovitz is a poet, journalist and editor. He was born in 1971 in London and raised in Slad, Gloucestershire. He has appeared at numerous festivals and venues around Britain since the early 1990s and his work has appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including 1914: Poetry Remembers (Faber, 2014). He has also been the poet in residence for Glastonbury Festival website (2009) and Borkowski PR company’s website (2005 to 2007).

He has released three pamphlets: Next Year in Jerusalem (2004); The Great Unlearning(2009) and Waiting for the Flame (Yew Tree Press, 2014). His first full collection of poems,Turning, was published by Headland in 2011. He was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2012. His memoir about growing up in Cider with Rosie country, A Thousand Laurie Lees, was published by the History Press in 2014. He was a judge for the Manchester Poetry Prize and the inaugural Bare Fiction poetry prize in 2014.