We have now completed the third issue of The Compass. As always we really hope you’ve enjoyed it and that you’ll return to the poems and features at your leisure. This issue also marks the end of the first year of The Compass. We are delighted with what we have achieved so far and look […]
‘the terrible’ by Daniel Sluman, ‘Come to Me’ by Karlis Vērdiņš and ‘A Formula for Night’ by Tamar Yoseloff Review by Helen Mort In her prose memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Jeanette Winterson distinguishes between our inner and outer lives, implying that they rely on different conceptions of […]
Barnacles Us grinding on granite, all nipply, holding fist-force, face down, giant stamp into hollow, our hollow shaped to our feet, our home. Us waiting
All Kinds of Horses Usually, as it ages, the mind, that, younger, was elastic, pushing out in all directions, closes, its borders more rigid, like a circus ring where horses, trained to the crack of a whip,
Children’s Fiction We have to talk, he said, but his lips printed a line on the air of the sort that would follow the last sentence in a children’s novel, often not a straight line, more of a flourish that she thinks of now as like a crooked smile which could mean […]
The dead who have gone down into deep time this small dinosaur skeleton on a shelf in the Museum of Earth Sciences in Cambridge its hands extended blind as if feeling for something as if flicking away little drops of water the head poised about to conduct steadying the orchestra quite […]
‘Alive Alive O’ by Greta Stoddart, ‘Yarn’ by Maitreyabandhu and ‘Careful What You Wish For’ by Peter Sansom Review by Stephen Payne Being at the same time mortal and self-conscious is a tough gig, and if literature evolved to help us cope with life’s challenges, it’s perhaps unsurprising that so much of […]
Counting Stars The smell of ice in the pines. Cold and green, like lungfuls of mint. Your shoulderblades like angelwings cleaving the grass. Moses did that, once, to water. Parted it. It wasn’t as miraculous as this. Us. Your skin, the white of it shining
David after Goliath Giovanni Antonio Galli, David with the Head of Goliath and afterwards why does he keep the head? because there is no point in conquest without memory because he earned it but why sit and cradle it? why carry it like a stone inflicted by the Gods
From: Falling Poems There’s almost no need for a writing desk, writing shoes are enough. BEWARE OF POEMS FALLING
Safety Feature Facebook knows my whereabouts: It looks like you’re in the area affected by the Paris Terror Attacks. I am asked to check-in. I am asked to confirm I’m safe.
‘The Catch’ by Fiona Sampson, ‘All That Falling’ by Tom Weir and ‘Queen, Jewel, Mistress’ by Ruth Stacey Review by Alison Brackenbury ‘Like a singing catch, some are beginning when others are ending.’ These mysterious words by Sir William Cornwallis form the epigraph to Fiona Sampson’s new collection, The Catch. Its first […]
In Art Therapy, They Have Us Sketch Legs Of course the human body is a beautiful thing, strung as it is in these layers of sinewy muscle. It is easy, too, to love their names, especially those that run below the knees: peroneus
Glass We might as well have all been made of glass for when the sun broke through the clouds, we wore rainbows round our necks like scarves and when we held each other, our bodies felt hard
Calcium is the twentieth element in the periodic table, sits at the top of the reactivity series, is what your bones are made of.
From: The House Of Rest A History of Josephine Butler, feminist and social reformer, 1828-1906 Picking Oakum The matron shoves me into one of the ramshackle huts outwith the workhouse and locks me in,
Burial Ground We behold the earth like gods now, or like one mortal gazing at another who is naked – lush, road-scarred, flawed by dry patches, rippled with fat-folds and wrinkles and silvery rivulets of desire. Today this earth
A leopard parses his concern 1. I am concerned about Claudia Cardinale. 2. By ‘concerned’ I mean ‘in lust with’. 3. By ‘in lust with’ I mean ‘I sigh for’.