Issue 1: Chris Jones

Cells 1

The ultrasound gleans

rib-light and coral fingers;

your heart a quick fish.

Cells 2

Then I cut my thumb

and the bowl blooms poppy heads

blown with oxygen.

Cells 3

A chrysalis dreams

of yellow petaled sun-flares

arcing through darkness.

Cells 4

We lived on berries,

rabbits, thaw-water, the month

of the explosions.

Cells 5

News of the virus

blew eastwards as starlings swerved

and shimmered at dusk.

Cells 6

Tender to the end,

you squeeze my heart, sopping blood

in a pickling jar.

Cells 7

This diver is breath

and muscle, her hips turn foam,

her fingers ripple.

Cells 8

Last correspondence:

three pitted, friable scabs

in see-through packets.

Cells 9

The x-ray reveals

a fine snow across my lungs.

Catch how my breath rasps.

Cells 10

Dewfall, a morning

of webs quivering clotheslines:

late summer longhand.

Cells 11

Redwoods survive fires

the way we’d like to outlive

pain: old heart, new skin.

Cells 12

This soft, dark planet

spins slower round my body

as I near forty.

The sequence of haikus responds to watercolours painted by Paul Evans. You can read about the exhibition (it was shown at the Cuploa Gallery last year and a version of it will be shown in Scunthorpe's Art Centre later in the year) - on Chris Jones' website (

Chris Jones teaches creative writing at Sheffield Hallam University. His first full-length collection, The Safe House, appeared with Shoestring Press. The sequence, Miniatures, appeared with Longbarrow Press in November 2007.