A gift is something given, not because the recipient asks for it or because they deserve it – that would make it a special favour, a payment or a reward; rather, gifts are given out of love, for the benefit and well-being of the other, with no expectation of special favour in return. Of course, we don’t always give and receive in the proper spirit, and we can easily overlook the countless gifts in our lives when they don’t come beautifully wrapped and labelled, just in time for Christmas or some other special occasion. Even so, the recognition of life itself as a gift, and the giving and receiving of gifts among friends and neighbours as a way of celebrating and affirming life, is a universal human experience.  

Read a sample selection HERE

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Carver of mountains and soother of wounds; without it, you die, while even a modest excess can leave one lifeless. 71% of the earth is covered in it, while your own body is – so we’re told – nearly two-thirds WATER. At once a powerful symbol of both peace and chaos, permanence and change, we thought Water would make an enticing theme for our second issue. Think of its myriad forms and reflective beauty – a property of its inherent invisibility. Consider its life-giving properties alongside its destructive potential. Water shapes our everyday lives as it has shaped our very planet; yet it is so ubiquitous we hardly miss it, until deprived. For anyone who have known drought or flood, for those who have feared for their lives or found themselves at home in its slippery hold, for all who have contemplated its cosmic significance or simply savoured the pleasure of a thirst quenched on a summer’s day, the theme of Water is bound to arrest the imagination and release a flood of wonderful writing. 

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Let there be light!

Light guides, light blinds, light heals, light burns. Light can reveal the truth and equally deceive the sense; it is our first defence against darkness and ignorance, while the fun and frivolous we also call “light”. Is there any other symbol quite as capable of capturing the full spectrum of human experience? 

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In many ways, time governs our experience of reality – we look to the past through the lens of memory, to the present in light of the past, and very often towards the future in expectation of things that do not yet exist. We also tell stories because we experience life in terms of time – a chronological narrative of events. Yet we are also aware of the Eternal – of great truths and values and a level of being that are not subject to the ravages of time. As spiritual as well as physical beings, we are aware of some spark of the eternal in every human soul; it would seem, then, that we are not fully and finally at home in the temporary realm. What are we to make of this? Time will tell! Submissions are now open for original poetry and prose that in some way speaks to our human experience of Time…