Zone by Sue Burge




Sue Burge is a freelance creative writing and film studies tutor based in North Norfolk.  Her poems have appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.  Sue’s first collection In the Kingdom of Shadows (Live Canon) was published in November 2018 alongside her debut pamphlet Lumiere (Hedgehog Poetry Press).  More information at



















after Irina Mashinski






a week or so before the year pivots

     & December closes, like a coffin lid,

over the unnourished land;

     & hush now, here come

the bootless, the shoeless, the buttonless,

     curling their bony blue toes

over ice, spread like a punched-in

     windscreen over the wide fields;

beyond the treeline is the Border,

     gorgeous where the plumdark sky

sinks below the earth’s ooze;

     there is nothing here

you will recognise, not even this silver birch

     hanging like a smashed limb;

here’s a rusting bike wheel, the torn canopy

     of a fragile and long-ago plane –

others have tried this –

     mud on their soles, their eyelids,

arms outstretched as if a loved one

     were waiting, casting a short, cold

shadow across the shifting Border;

     the moon rises, a brief howl of light,

before clouds trawl a darkness deeper

     than the childhood wells we drank from.



Sue Burge