‘What is Love? (Baby, don’t hurt me…)’ Writing Prompt

So the next issue of the magazine will be called ‘What is Love? (Baby, don’t hurt me…)’ and is going to be centred around the theme of love.

Here is a  picture prompt to help;

and a written prompt;

  • Describe Love in 13 words

The deadline is the End of March so start writing!

The Stranger – Lucy W 9-4

A frozen snow globe; a diamond landscape,
A world frosted like a delicate cake.
Snowmen call to their neighbours at night,
Snowflakes replace the birds and the kites.
Footsteps break the mumbling silence,
A coat trails patterns into the soft snow hence,
A lantern glimmers in the black
And time whispers at the stranger’s back.
He walks each night – unheard and unseen,
A shrouded figure so tall and so lean,
Constantly wandering under the moon
As others sleep in their soft cocoons.
He has no purpose – no wanderer’s task,
Only to walk under Winter’s mask,
Now watch, look, as he drifts through the lanes;
Next time you look he’ll have gone again.

Translation of a poem by Kitty D 9-2

First, a few words from the translator herself

“the piece with the text in bold is a poem written between  1814 and 1820. It was written by a man who used to travel the country and write songs/poems about the places he visited. This poem is written about a place called Tinker’s or Vaxhaul Gardens. It was a pleasure garden located in Collyhurst in Manchester. This is one of the very few eye-witness accounts of the Gardens. The Gardens no longer remain as other popular pleasure gardens opened (such as Belle Vue) and put Tinker’s Gardens out of business. The poem was written in Lancashire dialect and at a first glance it seems to be undecipherable and I fancied the challenge of translating it. Through research, context, input from someone who is familiar with the dialect and some skills of deduction, I have managed to write a translation. (…) I hope that you consider it for the Greenlight and if it is unsuccessful, I hope you enjoy reading it.”

Kitty, we enjoyed it so much and we hope that everyone else will too!


Scan 2018-2-11 17.34.54




What is Time? – Safiyyah S 9-4

What is time?

Time is change. The only way we, as human beings, know that time exists is because we see things change. And we know ourselves that we are changing. Things are always moving or changing positions or are altering in some way. If nothing ever changed, if all things stood still and remained exactly as they are, there would be no time or anyone to care about anything. Things do change. We change the position of our own body constantly. Every time we breath, parts of our body move. All movement is change. The world around us is in constant motion. Air moves. Even objects that seem like they’re not changing at all are always changing. All things in the physical universe change. Everything on earth is changing, and it’s because of time.

What is time? A progress of our mortal existence. We like to measure time as it passes. We started measuring time by watching the sun, moon and stars. As these bright objects moved through the sky in the same synchronisation each day and night, we were able to figure out time passing. We saw that each day and night, together, were about the same length of time each day. There were times of the year when days grew longer and nights grew shorter.  We recognised these perfect patterns and learned to live by them and rely on them- far more reliant than any of us had ever been.

What is time? A second. A minute. An hour. A second isn’t much longer than the time it takes to snap our fingers. A minute is sixty of those precious seconds. Sixty minutes make a swift hour. And the measurements start to get longer as twenty-four hours make our whole day. Seven days make a week. Fifty-two weeks make a year. Until our whole life is zooming past us till the end.

That is time and time is endless.

Postcard Love Songs – Ellen W 12-2

She met him in the Summer, among the cocktails and the noise and the crowds and the sunlight. He caught her as she tumbled from bar to dazzling bar, and she had the uneasy sense of being swept off her feet. His laughter was a sweet scent, his smile ice-cream on her tongue. She traced his ebony heart and thought, just for a second, with the foolishness of a romantic movie, that she could grasp it between her fingertips and tuck it away with her own. It was a rushed love of late nights and long beaches and headaches, and they danced it away in a flurry of sand and sunsets. And then he left her there, sun-kissed and alone, in the fading light.

Autumn came, tossing its colours across the shifting canvas of the sky. It painted the earth in its molten colours and she found another, somewhere on the edge of the world. This one was lonely, a drifter, and they sat together in their emptiness as the jewels fell, scattering the ground. Their minds drew their hearts into a common beat as words crumbled. Defying the world, they watched as endless lives flitted to and fro across their silent gaze. There was solace in his clenched hands and slow, steady breaths. Long walks bled into the night and days bled into months. But she knew it was but brief. He was too distant, and his life was only ever lived… in moments. He found nothing but comfort in her and she knew it. Autumn was gone too fast, and so was he.

Soon, the orange sky was dragged into a pool at her feet and she stepped out into a new world of white and Winter. Smile painted and eyes glassy, her heart was suddenly tired. The next came as a gust of hot air and the promise of strength. She found herself loving the way his arms looped around her waist and continued on, engulfing her entirely with warmth and shelter, and hope flooded through her veins once again as she breathed, as if for the first time, in his gentle shadow. He was an artist, a musician, and he made music which swelled the drumbeat in her throat and filled her mind with noise and beauty. She curled up between the notes and closed her eyes, just for a moment. It was a sleepy Winter of long talks and love songs, and her heart, hidden from the sun for so long, turned to sugar glass in her chest. They lay under the stars and she marvelled at her insignificance. Then he confirmed it.

Spring was a flash of bright, crystal cold. She was shocked from her trance and as the petals burst from their sun-strung graves, she fell in love with life and uncertainty all over again. As if drawn on the wings of some unknown longing, she stumbled towards a singing smile and found it reflected, unwittingly, on her own weary mouth. He was a child in his very nature and she was suddenly cast back to her home and her heart and her happiness. She never wanted to feel anything but young again. He breathed life into her tired limbs and she flew. The world dizzy in their wake, they ran through childhood games and forgotten years and she wondered, for the first time, why she had ever given them up. They were fools, but she was stolen nonetheless. He lead her to a cool circus of fantasies and she drank them in with awe – but, suddenly wary of a familiar emptiness in his smile, she closed her eyes and turned quickly away.

And now it was summer and she was alone in the bitter sunlight: a vintage beauty tossed, once again, into the folds of her own restless heart.

Time To Fly – Nishi U 8-7

Heavy heart, thumps like a drum,

Tightly clenched; four fingers, one thumb;

Beads of sweat trickle down like falls,

Ominous winds shadow me like walls.


Yet I know I must go on.

To find myself; but I look upon

The winding paths ahead of me.

I shy away, but something tells me


This is the way, I’m soon to see

How this brand new route will help me.

I’ll love, I’ll laugh, and I’ll be proved wrong.

It’s new, it’s a challenge, but I’ll stay strong.


A new beginning is calling to me,

Across seven lands and seven seas.

A life of adventure, but as I depart,

I feel a sadness in my heart.


For deep within me, I’ll always know

When I leave home I will feel sorrow.

But my old life is never lost forever:

So in my new one, I shall endeavour.

Changes – A Poem by Lucy W 9-4

The moon is smudged,
Like a jewel on blotting paper,
And the rushing sky
Riven with cloud so it mirrors the sea,
Is the blood of a fractured pen,
There’s music which soundtracks your departure
But the rippling rhythm is not enough to settle the riff in your stomach.
Phantom headlights ignore you as they pass
And you can’t help but look over your shoulder
at the chasing memories
But they’re fading fast on the unheeding horizon,
The road ahead is unfathomable,
Your parents won’t take your eyes from it,
you begrudge their insolence,
Their torrential downpour,
The view from the windscreen is beautiful,
How rude,
How spiteful of it to be so vivid,
So vibrant,
Compared to the back,
You never see the hopeful looks
Or inspiring countenance of the stage,
The sky is too blue
Though it’s the same as the one you’ve always been under,
The road is too long
Though you had to take it to get to the start,
The front is too big,
Too different,
And it changes.

Until Death Do Us Part – Anisha M 10-7

It was after curfew. I knew they would shoot if they saw me. Knew, but didn’t understand. I only understood one thing: I would save her. Against the wilting world of weeds because she was a blossom worth saving.
Yet, here I am, the walls tightly packed as the alley was when they captured me. Slim body still shrunk and waves of shivers drowning my petals.
A better world, a new beginning, a revolution. It will start today. With me.
Then the inevitable finally arrives. Echoing off the walls like the dreaded shackles of a prisoner. Footsteps.
It has been a while since I had heard the marching that distinctly. That was when I was vulnerable. A coward.
Pain and grief heave my heart, slowing it down.
My world used to fit together like a king and his crown. It didn’t last long…but it was strong. It’s only a matter of time until I tear his world down,too.
Blood red uniformed soldiers were just as I remembered. Motionless machines following orders. My path out becomes barricaded, and this time…I’m ready.
But, as my shoulders square and  I swing out the cell, my heart falters as I look around with scorn. How many times do I have to only look around me to reveal poverty – stricken cobbled alleys. How many times do I have to witness innocents begging their innocence but get dragged away, brutally slaughtered like nothing but a shrimp to a shark? How many times can I stand by and helplessly watch his murderous eyes shine with glee? I can’t.
I won’t.
It’s time to pull the trigger. With the dictator bound between ropes I scowl, focusing all my energy towards him.
These robots, were easy to control. In fact, I didn’t even have to do much. Just…end this. Once and for all.
Searing hatreds, soaring passions, burning secrets, darkest mysteries… Everything I have ever had, everything I have, everything I will have and everyone I have lost. A current, so intense it threatens pull me in, channels towards him. Pulsating, palpitating, pinching yet pacifying. My mind flows with the energy, entangling me in the roaring calmness and I idly drift towards the dictator. Captivating the dictator in this thirst-filled  power. Faster and faster. Tighter and tighter.
I don’t stop until his eyes fade. Despite his brutality, I still feel guilty. It has to be done. I told myself over and over again.
Then she comes in, my mother, her face, still shining but blooming with surprise. She looks towards me, towards the corpse of a  king, dictator, then back again.
My mother  races towards me “Years ago I was in hiding” she gulps, eyes shimmering with tears begging to be released. “I… took you. I thought I was protecting you, but the dictator realised you were missing… he tried to eliminate everyone similar to you. She clears her throat and answers my confused look in a meek, regretful whisper. “You’re the dictator’s daughter”.
Her tears break, becoming shards of broken bottle and my heart’s anger and determination shatters too.
Then I remembered, remembered why he murdered. For me.
I thought it was fueled by my father’s anger, but I was wrong. It’s the dictator’s anger. And the same anger that murdered the innocent. The vulnerable.
He’s no father of mine.
For the second time today, my heart tightens, contracting without beating. Gripping my throat and leaving me breathless.
Cries choke out of my own strangled throat; but the tears don’t come. “I was the first one to know, but I didn’t tell anyone,” she weeps. Now I understood. She’s wasn’t my real mother. But now… I love her more than ever.
I bite my lip and sigh, joining her in a tight embrace: those that are gone, are gone. Those that are here, are here.
So I let go. All my sorrows and hatreds crumble, the wall I built around myself falls. The floor I was trapped under, crashes.
My heart can open.
And I’m free.

Untitled – Anaa M 11-1

There’s something about looking at water that gives you a desire to reflect, and not just because you can see your reflection.
She stood at the edge of a miniature finite ocean – otherwise known as a puddle – and stared down at her gently rippling face in the fallen sky tears. It was strange, she decided, how studying your features on the surface of a liquid could change your perspective.
As she watched her face distort and return to normal once again, she found her mind wandering back to last week, last month, and last year. Each and every time she’d looked into a puddle, she’d been a separate person, whether that was a change in her hair, a different emotion playing on her face, or the reason why she’d chosen water over a mirror in the first place. But in that moment, as she stood over the tiny ocean on a pavement, she decided enough was enough.
She jumped into the puddle, her eyes squeezed shut, and felt the water splashing against gravity.
She didn’t mind the feeling of ice-cold water attempting to soak her clothes but, rather, she relished in it, the cool sensation making a much-needed contrast to the frenzy roaring in her relentlessly whirling mind.
A strange sense of tranquillity flooded her senses as she opened her eyes once again but she turned the calm into adrenaline, not particularly caring whether that should be biologically possible or not. She smiled to herself, brushed tiny droplets of water off her coat, and stepped forward, a newfound spark of confidence clearing her frantic mind. Without even a hint of hesitation, she starting walking, walking along the same path she’d always walked on but walking that path as a different person, as someone new.
As her tired shoes quietly echoed on the tessellated pavement, she let herself embrace her decision. She let herself be free of doubt. She let herself open her mind to new doorways. She let herself change…
Even though most people wouldn’t be able to physically see the change, it would still exist. That’s all that mattered to her as she turned back to check her reflection in the puddle for what she hoped would be the last time. She thought she could see a difference in herself and maybe that was only because she could feel one and subconsciously wanted to see it but, either way, she felt changed and she was more than happy with that.
It was time for a new chapter in her life, a new era of her existence, a new beginning.