Martha Lane

A Skein Disrupted

When a goose is injured or sick and needs to leave the skein; the V, like outstretched arms reaching across the sky, another two accompany it. It’s evolution, something hardwired. A way to ensure no goose is ever left alone. If two, not three, return, the flock honk in mourning. As children, hand in hand, …

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Losing Count in KS1

Multiplication. Counting in tens. Ten, 20, 30 times the boys have been told to sit nicely. ‘Come on, like the girls do.’ A nine-sided shape is a nonagon. None of them have shoes with any laces, high ankles, or grips. Girls learn to run away in unsuitable footwear. Eight minus eight makes nothing. No big …

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Summer fete

Three students have accused you of taking it. Hundreds of pounds probably. They say they saw you. Say it wasn’t a surprise. Why wouldn’t someone like you steal that amount of money? Maybe you did. Maybe you were hypnotised by it, winking and flirting with you. Maybe you took it without realising. But you know …

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Competition Two Highly Commended: In an unwashed t-shirt, bought from a charity shop without checking the pattern or condition, a greetings card writer watches nature documentaries

A sharp-tailed grouse tap-dances on the snow, feet working like a drill. Alaskan, purple yellow mask on. He has a task to do. It’s not enough to leer at females from the side lines. The field, an arena. If he wants to mate, he has to play. With steely eyes, hens measure his wingspan. Judging. …

Competition Two Highly Commended: In an unwashed t-shirt, bought from a charity shop without checking the pattern or condition, a greetings card writer watches nature documentaries Read More »

Competition One Shortlisted: The lists this woman could write if her scoundrel dad hadn’t smoked away all her money for pencils

Shopping (if only) Soap that smells of lavender and patchouli, makes skin creamy A satin dress, matching gloves. The colour of crabapple jelly New bedsheets – NOT WHITE! Coal (for burning old sheets, hah) Bread, pillowy soft with crusts so crunchy and chewy your jaw gets stronger from eating it. Fancy crabapple jelly now… Potatoes, …

Competition One Shortlisted: The lists this woman could write if her scoundrel dad hadn’t smoked away all her money for pencils Read More »