Issue 30: James Coghill



But we have nothing, not even that which we ought to seek

— Amma Syncletica








in swift


rosary, shuttle


the blip (!)


blue lambent, & blaze


in desert




ii (spring)




where rabbits splay


minutest of clearings.


the leaves,


small but perfectly /


bloomed eyelets, fixed


in penitent


rage /


lodged a shrunk,


as if to protest life itself:


Amma Pelagia.




iii (fingered)


slung in


where the sand&turf /




flight from everything leads


to an edgeland




it is


the council estate


that harbours your


rare&rare /


drooped though upright,


faintly fuzzedthoughgrim


stem, the blooms


coming blue


before the blet, a


gasp &


(nod, foliate)




in chlorophyll,






iv (breckland)


wearing hair,


her own hairwith




gawping, summer leans


on the brand, twists


a charr mysticism in / brute


withextremesof /


just look where love


gets you: a small preserve,


a pat of blue,


endless wimples







paciens, purpose. slow over-


turn, or death


in the superheated




of all this stuff


i do not want, or need. that 


it is easier for / i




a passing through


here: the




august return of /


through the veil


St. Veronica








Slimy Waxcap


(Gliophorus irrigatus)





fingers in







from the


deep moss





how the throttled seasons /



& the mycelia  quickens:



                                                    it is late isn’t it?






the tarn of a cap


the tipped load



                                              vital grease)




between thumb


& forefinger /       





or confrere


with my own


spiced sweats


& lipids–






wide pool,


with the sequoia


the oak & the lime


in it. & me














the oily shades

the blenched cap spilling

a peck of spores








excrement of the earth


in this nook


of a nation: always







i jot down /


i put it to a name


without thinking         


the generative










for soon a frost will

scald them clean






dips back


beneath the soil then,




strange &


unguent creature






of pigment though








sticks to skin


& seeps 








           after the life and works of Sir John Clanvowe c.1341 – c.1391




                                           comes in from

                              (slewed — belligerent)

                    knight for   king-kitten,   young Richard

             having charged in at ‘100 years, Harry,’

                                           to a made-man, peace-bleak &


                                                    [ffor we been euery day

                                                    goyng ful faste towardis another place

                                                    and we wyten neuere

                                                    how soone we shuln out of this world]


           the nargh wey   by dint of  

                    the pared-blink, the Jhesu althergretteste

                                              lollard & diplomat when   risking much

                                 on   espying, pilgrimage

                                           (conjectures, thus)—

                                                [‘I love you,




ii (a tomb interval)


                                      — process, down to —


                              twin tomb, Clanvowe + Nevill

                                     of whitish, slightly grey ribboned

                    Proconnesian marble   thought to   by

                                an inexperienced

                                                          (rush-job?) sculptor  


                                — in the northern style —


                      where (‘on pilgrimage to Constantinople’)

                 C. succumbed to the plague 

                          and N. who,

                       was so disconsolate that he took no food

                                 and died two days later,

                                           were put to rest


                            — the tomb slab rare in that —


                           double epitaph   two helms leaning in

                                                                                             as if to 

                              the coats of arms impaled as a single

                        was and remains a way of marshalling

                        the arms of a husband and wife


                                  on a single shield1





gules a saltire argent,

    with a fleur de lys right with a

    paly of six or and azure, on a fess gules

    three mullets [?] pierced of the field





                                           Maye when

                               (ocy   ocy)

                      a choral  

                          birds birds birds   coaxes out our

                              Clanvowe — protagonist &

                unlikely saviour of   not much in particular  

                                                                          [I speke this of felynge trewely,

                                                                          For al thogh I be olde and vnlusty,

                                                                          Yet haue I felt of that sekenes in… ]

                                                          save when he

                             swoons a dream of   (Nightingale vs. Cuckoo)

                                                                                       (fight of the)      

                till the forensic jarrs &

                                            flashpoint: ran and gatte a stone

                          & lobbed it at the latter

                                 who swears to be avenged

                                                    on the both of them or —

                                           explicit liber


With a broad interest in ecology, the early modern era, and theology, James Coghill has had poems published in a range of places including 14 Magazine, Datableed, Pamenar, and a number of anthologies by Sidekick Books. He is a keen amateur field mycologist and currently teaches English at a Social, Emotional Mental Health school. 

Copyright © 2023 by James Coghill, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author