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Showing posts from November, 2018

Closing up shop...

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Indeed, we're sad to say that Cafe Aphra is closing its doors from the end of December 2018, at least for a temporary period during Spring 2019 and possibly longer. This is so that the three of us who currently run the blog can have some time to concentrate on other life and writing projects that we have going on. 

We will therefore not be accepting any more submissions from now on.

We'd like to thank all our lovely contributors for sharing their wonderful work with us and for giving us and so many others so much reading pleasure over the years. It's been a fabulous experience!

We hope that we've provided a safe and welcoming online environment for aspiring and established writers to air their work in public, sometimes for the first time.

With all our thanks, yours as ever,

Sara, Barbara and Charlotte - current baristas on duty

... and, of course, all the other Cafe Aphra baristas who have helped us keep this place open over the years! Chad, Yvonne, Dianne, Zoe, and everyone…

Dust by Paul Taylor-McCartney

As it settles

The brilliant darkness

Of your passing

Masks each particle,

Point sharp, end of a needle,

Spliced in half, small.



As if weightless

Through time

I hurtle, hearing

Whispers, stammered breaths,

That dreadful, collective

Mournful slide into silence.



As once removed,

The whole world

Comes at me through fog,

Opaque forms shimmering,

Fizzing, dissolving, retreating,

As was often your way.



And the dust

Of that final touch,

Marks the moment

When all passed from dark to light,

Caught on tips of fingers, lips,

Crown, heart and proof of life.



As if in six months,

April Fool’s Day

Trick of the mind,

I can bring your

Songs, stories, smiles

Back from mere chalk and have them become



Clay in my hands.


by Paul Taylor-McCartney

Night Skating by Alyson Rhodes

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Me and Joe were inseparable as boys. “You could be twins,” me Mum used to say smiling. She’d pack us both brown bags filled with squashed sarnies and an apple each, before ushering us out for the day. Watch less, parent less, we’d explore for hours. In old quarries, up meadows and in the bombed out ruins. Joe’s Mum never packed him a lunch. She struggled to feed the triplets let alone Joe, her eldest child. The triplets had been an “unwanted leaving present from the G. I’s,”I’d heard Mum telling Mrs Jakes, the next door neighbour. There was no holding Joe back. He climbed, ran, jumped the highest, fastest and furthest of us kids at St Edmunds. He’d have been head boy too or so said popular opinion, if it hadn’t been for his family ‘background.’ It was night-times when we had our greatest adventures. After midnight, while our families slept, we’d climb out of our bedroom windows and meet up by Beckett’s Pond. In summer we’d build a tree house in the woods. But winter was our favourite se…