The Beautiful Game by Kate Woodward

I don’t count, they think I’m a joke,
the only girl with all these blokes.
But I’m listening and I’m learning,
reading everything concerning
the beautiful game.
I follow 5Live and TalkSport
and I know who’s been sold and bought,
who’s on the bench, who’s injured
and who’s the fastest winger in
the beautiful game.
I want to share my opinions.
Was that striker worth his millions?
Should that goal be disallowed?
Was the trouble from the crowd at
the beautiful game?
I’m never gonna get heard:
a girl and football – how absurd!
To think that I could care who wins
or know the rules that underpin
the beautiful game.
And yes, I know the offside rule,
don’t treat me like a bleedin’ fool
‘cos, these days, hear what I’m saying:
us girls are on the pitch and playing
the beautiful game.

Kate Woodward has been an accountant, a farmer and a market trader. Now she writes. She’s just finished a Creative Writing MA with Manchester Metropolitan University and has published in The Ogham Stone, Brittle Star, online and on her own blog.



A New Beginning by Norman Hadley

When the Wilsons judged that they were halfway through the marriage,
they hired a jobbing surgeon-friend
to sever their heads
to sew back on
but swapped around.

They spent their second twenty years
apologising for a million insensitivities
but the sex was fantastic.

Norman Hadley is an engineer and mathematician who writes poetry, short fiction, children’s fiction and cycling-related nonfiction to keep all the hemispheres occupied. He’s produced five poetry collections so far and frenetic participation in Jo Bell’s “52” project has generated sufficient material for five more.



Dressing as a Man for a Day by Rachael Clyne

Licking your lip for a last slick
of sauce, is unappetising
when mixed with bristles,

No baggy tops, let your belly flop,
assume others will be riveted
by what you say, that facts

are love tokens, when words fail.
On no account show weakness,
or gaze at other guys.

Stand wide-legged, claim space.
It really is an issue. A rolled up
sock is no substitute

for a cock, but it might
just get you better pay.

Rachael Clyne‘s work has appeared in Prole, The Interpreter’s House, Tears in the Fence. Anthologies: The Very Best of 52, Book of Love and Loss, Poems for a Liminal Age. Her prizewinning collection, Singing at the Bone Tree, concerns our longing for the wild . She also enjoys humour.