by Chloe Stopa-Hunt



the frost creeps

over our windows again

like sugar

the summer dew

enlivens drooping grasses


a foreword-

we are beginning




cold railings parting

before us the dim

halls closing up

behind beneath

rooms ringing with echoes

stirring our

dust left long intact

the phoenix children




only the dry

paper pale ghosts of

books and broken rulers

light as helium balloons

we wake to their



no no no we are not ready

not ready to leave

this thin light and

the movement

and voices

of our multitude

beyond the gates

i think it is calling


calling to us to come forward

to the horizon’s glow

like an advert winding down

a balloon droops

the air gone somewhere

stand up

to be counted




in three years even our names

will have passed i think

there will be other girls

transitory as us


long live these children


a prayer

the light of striplights on black hair

these hosts

of us flaming

(the sibilance the hiss

of adolescents)

like angels or soldiers

going in

into the dark (Orphée return)

or light as we see fit


we are the

aftermath of fire and ruin

we are the rien we

do not have regrets (but I do)

we are the flowers





we had a reflection in the playground-

personally it was on what Siegfried Sassoon

would have made of those towers

and whether or not we should sing

and how grey the tarmac was

how blue the sky


sometimes i feel that this poem

must be completely original

or else that everyone is writing

it inside their own heads

or has written it

or will do

when the new season comes




is it now really?

the time to shake off

our dark shells

and the acne and exercise books

like a chrysalis

suddenly insignificant

lying discarded


on the changing room floor


and in response we are light fresh

and strong as spiders web

dreamy and

free in the gold air


or will nothing change

only the same anger

with no centre

spiralling outwards like dark blood

or oil paints spilt and spreading

simply something

we might breathe

in the air like anthrax

or bullets to silence




laughter of a voice

i had thought most

wise is the most startling



when all seems twisted

confusion is like

the fractured black branches

in the wobbly

intense charcoal sketches

our ashes

the applause

dying away


can you open windows?

so many did

and hungrily

we devoured the bright air

the courtyard flowers suddenly


i want i hunger

to hold it all within me

cradle each moment like a new child

to kiss each aspect


imprint the lost seconds

each with my self’s shadow