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Dissections logo scissors body by Deena Warner


Dissections logo pterodactyl by Deena Warner





Twin Boys artwork by Will Jacques

Artwork: Twin Boys by Will Jacques


Dragon Poems
1 Reclaim
Gina Wisker

It was on the road to Buckingham, last April, just after
the intersection of the A423 and the A421, avoiding
both Milton Keynes and Bletchley
that I saw the sign: ‘Dragon Reclamation’.
First there was the sign for reclaiming old barns, a lot of rubble
some newly grouted windows with those
fake Tudor bumps in them, with the odd, extra, added cross beams, in black.
Then this – was something different. A renovation, a revelation.
The muddy farm track, and the
long lane overhung with fronds of yew
and hawthorn. Dog roses, ragwort. Rounding the sudden bend
right in the heart of historic Northampton, its Wars of Roses, its fifteenth century bloody
hidden battles, it stood
a bit derelict, like a tithe barn, or an ancient site long lost.
The Dragon Reclamation Centre for the East of England.
Heraldic crests, some rusted knights in armour, all
a bit touristic, maybe, even the odd nick-nack in a farmer’s shop, some goat’s cheese, the odd
bit of damson jam and cowslip soap, some bella donna posset nestling
in a mini gauntlet, two for the price of one. Too twee.
But sure enough, behind the shop, beyond the barn, outside
the tall and pointy arched stables,
refitted, out the back,
being mulched out by a girl in green wellies, jodhpurs, and a helmet,
were the dragons.
Munching, belching fire.
Those green and gold hued, crenellated backs.
The wise, sly eyes.
Those leashed and unleashed, curling tails, each with its forked point.
The claws on these creatures!!!
Some just slumbered on a dragon pile, yawning in the cold spring air,
while others,
more Tolkien than stuffed toys,
swished those heavy, dangerous tails and cast their eyes about.
As of yore.
Defending their lairs, their unknown hordes, they’re
newly energised, reclaimed and
looking for a fight.


2 Dragons, After All
Gina Wisker

After all, it was the shires, what else to expect?
That cold April, passing Bletchley for Buckinghamshire and
heading to Oxford, the medieval spires, the bus lanes, the crypts
the pubs, the shops and cellars, the cobbled streets, that
round the country lane with the red kites suddenly
wheeling overhead and seeking some small scurrying prey, just
stopping for some pickle and a cup of tea I’d find
The Dragon Reclamation Centre. It wasn’t
on any map. Nor were the mounds and caves
the dank and dangerous ancient places, the hobbits, orcs, unspoken living histories
of this much visited, road-hatched, tourist-thronged, this overtaxed and dank
little country. Just as sidelined and secreted,
they’re there though,
some slumbering on a dragon heap, twitching their green-gold eyelids in sleep, remembering
chaotic pasts, while others pace and paw, lurking and alert, recalling bellowing and fire.
They’re calmed for now, not even a tourist attraction, more a well kept secret.
The darkest potential
hidden behind the everyday, they’re reclined and not inclined to
cause a fracas. But given the signal,
after some yawning and a quick snack
at the KFC on the Banbury roundabout
they’d be well ready for some violent theft, some
goblets and gold in the setting sun of England, some rending and chomping,
some furious powerful tail swishing and fire bellowing
some timely


My Favourite Gothic Things

(with apologies to Julie Andrews)

Marie Mulvey-Roberts

Raindrops on coffins and whiskers on griffins,
Gargoyles and gremlins and warm woollen wiccans,
Brown paper poltergeists tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Goths in black dresses with blood satin sashes,
Fangs, hand-cuffed chains, with some lovely whip-lashes,
Dungeons and monsters with clubs, claws and wings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Cream coloured corpses and crisp apple voodoos
Door-bells and sleigh-bells and vomit with noodles,
Dragons that fly with the moon on their wings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

When the bat bites,
Centipede stings,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favourite things,
And then I don't feel so mad.


Dissections logo pterodactyl by Deena Warner
Website maintained by Michelle Bernard - Contact michelle.bernard2@ntlworld.com - last updated March 21, 2013