Written by Niamh Kelly
Art by Ryan McGuire

Twisting ivy vines thread and twine
through ladened leafy boughs
or entrap tree trunks.
Slowly and sneakily cloaking
hedges, walls or trees
until their outlines become consumed by emerald green.
If there is nowhere to climb,
ivy will smother the ground with dark leaves
and tangled roots and stems.
Over any obstacle and rise above any challenge
to grow and thrive, wherever it can.


Writing Stories in the Sand

Written by Niamh Kelly
Art by Pok Rie

Trace names in the sand with driftwood
Or a pencil sketch which the tide will erase.
Leave the bleached skeleton-stick,
The improvised writing instrument
To drift back out to sea like it arrived on the beach.
The temporary communications carved into a grainy canvas
Will wash away and your messages carried
to faraway shores or distant islands.
Your words will be wished upon by starfish
Scattered about in shallow rock pools.
Your drawings may be mirrored in shapes
Flickering, flocking fish shoals.
And everything left unwritten
Will echo in the thundering of an offshore tempest.


Written by Niamh Kelly

Flying above the places where no one could reach on foot,
like the mountain tops or city roofs
accessible by the easy glide and flap of wings.
The sky remains a bird’s domain,
though the dreamers in their thoughts sneak onto the backs of pigeon,
fluttering above the scrum of crowded streets.
The most daring go further, swooping and soaring with raptors
through far-flung valleys and imposing peaks.
Dreaming of flight in an earthbound body,
grounded and weighted, unlike the airborne.
Air-born and winged and flying,
offering the imagination a moment to rise

Holes in the Roof

Written by Niamh Kelly
Art by PublicDomainPictures

Should you see the sky through holes in the roof?
Splinters of sun beams piercing through an outer shell
Into the shade of a dusty loft,
Or glimpse star constellations, not seen in entirety,
Through wherever slates have slipped off.

Should the wind whistle through holes in the roof?
Gusts blowing through any opening
To twirl skeleton leaves and loose bird feathers through the air,
Then these little trinkets are deposited by a breeze
To gather on the floor and never be swept away.

Should daring creatures venture through holes in the roof?
Fork-tailed swallows and gliding house martins swoop through wide gaps
and build mud cup nests under the beams.
Bats creep out after dark from their roosts,
But huddle together on wooden beams during daylight.

Should there be holes in the roof?
If no one shelters beneath as it rains down.

On Seeing Some People You Thought You Recognized

Written by Niamh Kelly
Art by tookapic

We wane to invisible amongst a crowd of thousands.
Our faces blur in the swift-pouring rain,
voices unheard through the constant cacophony.

We disappear like stage magicians.
One-way-mirror- eyes, we can gaze out but you cannot look in.
Low drifting city smog would obscure your line of sight.

We dissipate between pools of streetlight as the evening darkens.
Slipping through the gap of dusk and dawn.
Leaving only fleeting reflections on puddles to remain.

We vanish when heads turn towards us.
Transforming into a stray thought, so soon forgotten.
A gossamer impression that dissolves with a direct stare.

We are an echo, never the sound.

When in the forest

Written by Niamh Kelly
Art by NADExRioTic

A misty sunrise shrouds the forest inhabitants as they wake gradually or drift asleep,
The night shift creatures lulled by an unseen dawn chorus,
Songbirds hidden amongst the dew-drenched leaves.
The rusted orange foxes and stark black and white badgers
Huddle underground after their nightly forage—
All present but unobserved, overlooked, camouflaged.

We could be intruders here amongst the undisturbed wildlife,
Blundering, stumbling, chattering,
Every animal fleeing from the ruckus.
Yet, we learn from them instead, adopting their habits.

A carpet of leaf litter remains un-rustled by our feet as every footstep is gently placed,
The placid breeze carrying our foreign scent upwind, away from grazing deer.
These movements are slowed and stillness is preferred.
The distance between different species shortens as
We become part of the forest,
Wrapped in the morning mist and dappled sunlight.

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

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.

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.


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.