The morning comes into consciousness
And bathes the blue-throated hummingbird in light. 

They sit, they hold.
They listen. 

For what? 
For whom?

My mind is compounded 

From the sky 
This mother voice hollers
So sickly sour
Through some orifice of heaven

For all we do 
Is dance in the rusting leaves 
Waiting for her to 
Call us inside for sup’ 
As streetlamps buzz 
And the dew and the dust 

Am I to abide by the father’s voice? 

One that does not recognise
Why the hummingbird changes colours 
 If perhaps pink and white take their fancy 

One who is so flippant 
So potently 

At the ferocious ideas that unfold from under The beating wings 
Of patience personified 

Are they to give up on body, 
But not the world? 
I should not think so. 

For if we
Sit, hold, and listen  

The earth will call out, 
Or reach out a hand, 
                     Bathed in light. 

Alex MacPhail 

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3am, Listen

3am, Listen

Perhaps silence is best 
Ill-planned timing 
No words 
Crafted words fall on deaf ears 
Only human 
Like a breath 
Instant heat immediately cooled 
Here then gone 
Leaving emptier words 
Tune out the noise 
Clarity [Perhaps silence is best]
Like a Breath of fresh air 
Softly unnoticed 
Leaving as it came 

Fiyin Fakunle

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I wonder what it would be like to truly see 
Without the bias 
Without the misconceptions and force fed perceptions 

To breathe unfiltered 
To speak unfiltered 

Simply speaking 
To be Honest 
In our words 
Our Actions 
Our lives 

I wonder why we all clamour for the past 

Its dead and us with it 
I chose Life 
Terrifying but real 
Maybe I am just a dreamer 
A lost sheep 
Or maybe 
Some Fresh Air 
Real Fresh Air 
is what we all we need 

Fiyin Fakunle

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Biphobia and Me

Like so many things in life, my sexuality makes so much more sense in retrospect than it did when I was in the stages of “figuring it out”. I now know I have been bisexual all my life. I either just didn’t know it earlier on, or didn’t know what it entailed.

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We Will Not Criminalise Our Way Out of Misogyny

Last month there was a minor kerfuffle in the internet spaces when Boris Johnson said he would not support expanding the definition of hate crime to include misogyny. This was mildly controversial, with some protesting that it was a crucial step to aid women.

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As White Women We Have to Put the Microphone Down

“White women need to learn how and when to follow — not lead.  They need to do their part to uplift, learn from, follow and support Black and Indigenous women in dismantling white supremacy. But again, not lead.” Amanda Svachula.

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An Interview with Living Rent’s Meg Bishop

Living Rent was founded in 2014, as part of ACORN International, and is a mass-membership tenants union serving communities all over Scotland within the private and social rented sector. I was really excited to interview Meg Bishop, the organisation’s national secretary who addresses grassroots activism, organising and housing as integral parts of the feminist struggle.

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When will Black History Month be history?

In the UK, history textbooks often reflect a deep unwillingness to acknowledge the full story of our blood-soaked colonial past.  Consequently, very little is said to challenge the racism and injustice which forms the backdrop to our present day…

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Not Sure I was ‘Born This Way’

I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind for a while now. For many years now, it has been a staple rhetoric of the queer liberation that nobody ‘chooses’ to be gay: a backlash against those who call it a ‘lifestyle’, who try to push conversion therapy and deviant labels on us.

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My Crush, the Far right Troll

As my time at university comes to an end, I look back at moments that changed my education. From relative deprivation to conflict theory to homegrown vs lone wolf terrorism, the first year of university would hold lessons I’ll carry with me all my life as a politics enthusiast. But nothing could prepare me for the lessons of the summer of Roman*. This was my first brush with heartbreak and politics of the real world.

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Paradise Found: Home Lost

Don’t you just hate it when you’re looking at a piece of art in a gallery and there is no writing to explain what on Earth the art means? You just stand there, perplexed, wondering how much of an idiot you are for the kinds of interpretations you’re coming up with.

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“weird girl with gross habits”

“weird girl with gross habits”

i pull, i bite, i stretch, i claw
at the insatiable itch 
knawing at me for 14 years

my cuticles bleed 
my swollen lips pulsate 
i weave a rug with the hair from my scalp
i’m weary from holding the burden of my self-inflicted disgust
yet still, i pull and i bite and i scratch. 

every pore on my face is an endlessly fascinating black hole
examining each follicle on my head makes me feel as if i were a scientist, quietly dissecting myself  
my body is infinite 
a whole universe exists underneath my skin 
an endless garden of eden

until the spell is broken 
and i’m left mourning 
wondering why i willingly drink my own poison    
i bathe my wounds, but i bathe them with salt.

if i make peace with the itch, 
if i write a poem for her,
if i tell her she’s beautiful while i gently stroke her back
then, perhaps she will dissolve into sweet rosewater.
i bathe my wounds, but i bathe them with salt.

if i make peace with the itch, 
if i write a poem for her,
if i tell her she’s beautiful while i gently stroke her back
then, perhaps she will dissolve into sweet rosewater.

Dara Minogue

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Western Countries are Hoarding Vaccinations

Here in the UK, life appears to be returning to at least some semblance of normalcy. Pandemic restrictions in England are gone; in Scotland, whilst masks remain, there are no limits on gatherings. Nightclubs are opening up again. Students are going back to universities.

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Liminal Space

I’m sitting, staring at my emails as the ninth rejection of the week pings into my inbox. There is perhaps no task more tedious and ego-destroying than the relentless post-graduation job-hunting grind. I’m currently in the ether space.

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Non-Binary People Don’t Owe You Androgyny, Fuck Off

first thought that came into my head when I realised I was non-binary was fuck, I don’t want to chop all my hair off. This was swiftly followed by a succession of minor panics: I don’t have the face for short hair, I don’t have the shoulders for androgyny, and everyone knows that my arse is simply too big to pass as anything but a woman. These thoughts accompanied thousands more over the next few months as I embarked on an excruciating – but ultimately liberating – internal journey.

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fire, burning

fire, burning

there’s a fire that makes up my very core; raging and thrumming, it constrains yet consumes, fueling my every reason and it is the life behind my every word. those words that can so easily be laid prettily onto paper. in speaking, it is that fire creates and nurtures the venom that drips from my teeth as my sharp tongue lets loose with a snarl. 

and when i do, i snarl with due respect to that heat: a big “fuck you” to the guy-boy-imbicile that looked (looked, looked? peekedexaminedgapedstaredscrutinized) my body up and down and asked how far my legs could spread. 

it is the same fire that warms my body, and creates the heat my cool fingers slip into as they coax galaxies from my most intimate space. when walls (the sacred-divine-safe inviolable-heat) clench, i am certain it is only my fingers of which they are unwilling to let go. 

and at the end of the day you can call my beautiful words ‘vulgar’ (and maybe they are (oh, they definitely are)), but i find no need to apologize for showing my power. i like the knowledge that when i move my hand between my thighs, it is i who has the ability to touch the universe; something you could never comprehend (nor will you ever learn to understand). the fire burning in my depths does not rage and rise with the purpose to scorn only for me to allow my voice to be meek. so in the inevitable turn of events where i cut you with my words, i will never not remind you that it is those very venom-laced words that are backed by sharp heat fueled by the fire that fuels the very wild- free, heat of my coveted divinity.

Caleb Sa

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Women, Pathologisation and Crime

Have you ever told someone about a problem you’ve been having, and had the always-infuriating response, “Oh, that’s all just in your head”? Have you ever been told that by a doctor?

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Who here is a feminist?

When I was fifteen, a woman from a feminist organisation visited my school to have a discussion with us about equality.  I don’t remember much of what she said, but I do remember that she started the discussion with the question “who here is a feminist?”

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Cancer in the time of Covid

Don’t dare to go outside, my sweet lady

Although we’re just a bubble, ever-ready to burst,

You’re safe with us, I promise

I remember catching a bus a day before we would meet again

Crying, because I thought I was going to kill you,

For I had stepped into a world

Which was trying to live with covid while you have cancer.

And it feels like I can’t breathe knowing you won’t,

Between the grief-stricken gasps, gritting teeth through glaring tears

One might be assuming symptoms of that thing, when they are effects of the other

And I hate how the two interchange,

How our fear is preyed upon by them both.

What is going through your sweet head?

While I usually wear my heart on my sleeve, I stiffen up

When I see that you are guarding yours behind secret chambers,

For you’re a headstrong rationalist, a chin-up kind of woman,

But when the night has been rough to you,

And you wake up vomiting, with words I’ve never heard come from your mouth before,

That proud chin drops in your hands

And what I see before me is a scorned child with a distasteful gaze

As I try to hand you your peeled grapes or spiceless daal.

I’m sorry sad one, I feel like a terrible parent,

When we say the world outside is too big and bad for you right now,

For best intentions look so opposite

When the blue-suited baboons control what comes next.

I felt like I couldn’t offer much at first,

Helplessness hurts the most.

But I’m trying, really hard, to be your doctor,

Your friend, your mother, anything you want and need,

Even if that means at moments I have to stop being your daughter

So that I can get you to keep on being my mother.

It’s selfish, I know. And I’m sorry. 


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