If You Spot a Seagull

Written by Niamh Kelly
Art by Engin Akyurt


Skimming along the surf,
Sailing through wind currents,
Agile on the wing,
Sweeping above the waves.

Masters of the ocean air
and wide watery sea,
yet always landing on the ground
with a vibrating thud.

Large wingspans become a hindrance,
rendering the usually graceful clumsy.
Paddling feet that tread through swells
become oversized for sauntering.

Knowing their airborne advantage,
these picnic-crashers dive downwards from above,
Confidently departing with their tasty prizes
and escaping back to sea.

Up and Further Up

Written by Niamh Kelly
Art by Pixabay


Breathless
from a laboured ascent up a mountain slope.
The struggle known by every muscle
Yet still being urged on to climb.
Loose rocks shift underfoot
And could easily tumble in a cascade.
The foothills below are capped with fallen scree.
Eyes fixed on distant pinnacle
of a spring mountain peak.

Breathless
from gazing at the sweeping view of a miniaturised landscape below.
Small houses speckling the valley,
clustered along the river shoreline:
a blue streak carves the green land into halves.
A tilt of a head reveals a cloudless boundless sky.
Spirits rise on air currents,
feeling like a soaring bird,
flying even beyond a mountain’s grasp.

Clockwork

Written by Niamh Kelly
Art by carlos copete


The quiet ticking of the hallway clock
is the underlying pulse of the house.
Unheard over the chaos of life,
of school runs, morning commutes,
of social gatherings, late night returns.
Routine regularity running without pause.
Elements of life turning each other like clogs.
Eventually, a lapse must come in activity,
the heart beat allowed to slow.
The regular tick-tock, tick-tock is
only noticed when everyone is lying still, unable to rest,
and listening to the steadfast rhythm that lulls them to sleep.

Butterfly Bushes

Written by Niamh Kelly
Art by uello


The bright cones of emerging flowers
along the arching stems of summer lilac,
drape over the derelict ruins of old buildings.
The blossoms sway and waver in the air
like a kite trembling on a string,
visible from afar, contrasting purple petals against grey stone.
Roots searching deep into wall fissures
to maintain a hold on the vertical environment.
Laden with nectar, rich with sweetness,
A fragrant beacon promising ambrosia.
Each amethyst flower bejewelled
with the topaz of painted lady butterflies.

If These Walls Could Talk…

Written by Niamh Kelly
Art by Archie Binamira


Centuries of history form the foundations
Of buildings structured under expectations,
The rooves groaning under the weight.
The battles and debates fought, the speeches recited,
The revolutions fantasised about
entrenched into the ground, unmovable, unmissable.

Yet anecdotes are swept into crevices like crumbs
To be nibbled on by mice, too small to sustain larger lives by themselves.
But when thousands of lives converge briefly
And move out radially from the centre again,
Snippets of stories are carelessly tossed into the air, repelled by ears unwilling to hear,
drifting directionless like leaves in the wind,
Falling to the cobblestone paths to be crushed underfoot or blown into web-strewn corners.

Accumulating alongside dust until the windows are eased open,
Restored breaths telling tales from decades ago entwine with the freshening breeze,
Chasing away the stale and static deadened air,
Floating upwards to whisper softly to younger minds, “Look down, look around, look beneath!”
And the forgotten conversations are unearthed.