A chill,
A draft through the window,
A clunking heater that doesn’t work,
A patter of rain,
A damp smell.

Winter blues,
Cold, unfriendly darkness,
Slippery pathways,
A helping hand?

Time for family,
Journeys on trains,

A soft, enclosing hug,
The glow of a fireplace,
Hiding under a blanket,
Waiting for warmth again.

By Alaa Jasim


Doom Town, 1954

Once, there was a perfect little town.
A model town.
It was a middle class haven, full of the best:
top of the range autos,
Bakelite radios,
even a microwave oven.
A gift from nuclear physics.
Not much happened in this sleepy model town.
Lethargic figures stood poised in the streets,
as if waiting.
As if they were anticipating the final few seconds,
to hear the whistle
and the final


Shockwaves rippled out,
as if a pebble had been dropped onto that still pond of a town,
that perfect little town out in the Nevada desert.
The paint was blown off the unwitting Chevrolets and Buicks,
the wood panelling of the houses burst into flames,
almost out of shock,
the trees swayed
like grass in the breeze.
The blast was so strong
that it could have woken up
the mannequins in the shop windows,
the mannequins
that populated this town,
who combusted and melted,
as those military men looked on
and celebrated.
Celebrated, and looked up to the moon.

By Fergus Doyle


The Final Bond Ends

The elevator door finally opens and I ascend to the top of hell.
Somewhere in the distance I hear the tolling of that accursed bell.
Scanning my mind I prepare for my destiny, ready to use all my skills to combat the queen of night.
I think back over my choices, what I have lost, my friends, my foes and hope what I have done is right.

The voice of my teacher echoes in my mind, I take a deep breath and walk into her domain.
She descends and even before we begin I understand what she wants just by knowing her name.
Parrying the attacks the best I can, I call upon the lord of mighty thunder to smite her and send her to her end.
But she lives and continues to force me into a corner, mocking me in the voice of a lost friend.

So I call upon the Lord of Demise and Endings, commanding him to slay her with the blade of eternal quiet.
Sparks fly and the tower shakes, the sound wakes the demons of hell from the slumber and they watch, screaming like possessed toddlers making a riot.
I fall to my knees bleeding and weak, until she enters my mind and a brief smile graces my lips, I struggle and eventually once again stand.
I envision all we went through and conjure up your image in my mind, your form shimmers alongside me and I hold your hand.

Your presence is with me as the terror of the night surrounds my limbs, I mutter my final words into your empty shell.
The light of hope emerges from what is left of us and I hear her screaming, begging not to be alone again, but I know she is lying all too well.
I close my eyes for a final time and ensure I will be with her forever, I smile as for one more time I hear that terrible reassuring old bell.

By Alex Dib-Bennett


The Old Mill

Beneath the valley lies a mill
With blossom sweet and water still,
Where fledgling sparrows fill the air
And sing their love songs without care..

But by himself the Miller sees
The moss which covers ancient trees,
And woods which darken with the night
Where scarlet flowers lose their light.

“Long ago I used to roam
On dappled hills which were my home,
And play in youthful, golden streams
In gentle, noble, youthful dreams

But now the waters fade to grey
And plaintive love songs drift away,
My wheel waiting, stagnant, yearning
For some young fool to start it turning.”

By Georgie Tindale


Each week The Student Review publishes a collection of poems about a particular topic or theme. For this week’s theme, or to submit a poem, go here.