Gaynor Kane, Snowy Clothes Pegs
Gaynor Kane, Snowy Chair
Tucker Liebarman, Gran Estacion Ceiling — Landscape
Gill McEvoy, Carol-singing
My socks had slipped down inside my wellies; I felt my bare heels start to blister against the rubber inside of my boots but I didn’t dare stop as I was already at the rear of the swaying circle of torch and lantern light. The night sky was filled with chiselled stars. Clear sharp frosty air. Ice glimmered in the tractor-ruts, crunched and splintered under me as I stumbled into them, my boots sucking deep into the mud below. Ahead of me the carol-singers strode, a black forest of legs in high boots, stout shoes and leather gaiters like polished wooden nine-pins.
Trinder’s Farm was the last call for the night: the track dipped, the hedges opened out, and there was the welcoming glow of light from the farmhouse windows. We clustered in a circle to raise out lanterns and sing. Oh, the magic of it, all those voices rising up into the night sky, the deep husky tones and the high clear separate sounds of all those voices mingling. It thrilled me beyond anything, made my heart swell in my rib-cage, my lungs feel crushed, breath harder to draw, my eyes watering from the effort of singing out! I wanted to catch the music in my hands and keep it there. I was happy, I was proud.
The door opened, light spilled out over us. “Come in! Come in!”
We packed the huge kitchen, pressing in towards the great table. We were soon warmed by throat-burning home-made wines and ginger beers. The flames crackled in the black range, the Tilley-lamp hissed quietly to itself as our frost-reddened hands reached out to seize buttery ham sandwiches, mince pies, and slabs of apple pie. Some kindly giant came to my rescue, grabbed me by the coat collar and swung me close to the table.
“Come on now, tiddler, ‘elp ‘unself!”
Scarlet-faced at being singled out I filled my hands and my pockets, then wriggled to one side. And there I was happy, tucking in, and watching the scene before me, trying to fasten it in my memory forever: the faces, the warmth, the talk, the laughter, the jokes I didn’t understand. And the singing. Above all the singing; oh such singing!
Tucker Liebarman, Gran Estacion Ceiling — Outdoor Display
Claire Loader, Christmas at the Abbey
Claire Loader is a writer and photographer, New Zealand-born in, who spent several years in China before moving to County Galway. Recently published in Pidgeonholes, The Bangor Literary Journal and Crossways, she spends her days seeking enchantment in ruins. You can find her work here.
Gaynor Kane lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she is a part-time creative involved in the local arts scene. She writes poetry and is an amateur photographer, and in both is looking to capture moments that might be missed otherwise.
Gill McEvoy lives in Devon and has 2 poetry collections published by Cinnamon Press: The Plucking Shed (2010), Rise (2013); and 3 pamphlets from Happenstance Press, the most recent of which, The First Telling, won the 2015 Michael Marks Award. Gill is a Hawthornden Fellow.
Tucker Lieberman‘s photography has appeared in or is forthcoming from Barren, Royal Rose, and Paper Trains; his art in Burning House; his poems in Neologism, Defenestration, Snakeskin, and Déraciné; and his fiction in Owl Canyon’s No Bars and a Dead Battery (2018) and Elly Blue’s The Great Trans-Universal Bike Ride (expected 2021). His essays have been published widely, and he recently released a book of literary criticism, and was featured on the ‘Stories We Tell Our Robots’ podcast. He lives in Bogotá, Colombia.