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Showcase: Asymmetrical + Senses + Clawing + As We Grow Older

Edited by Hannah Rooney

Hello, everyone. Welcome to the third Showcase of April. I hope you’re as eager as I am to continue exploring our current theme of ‘Overcoming’. With each Showcase, I’m optimistic that you’ll find some of the pieces I’ve shared motivating. It’s been my aim throughout this process to construct Showcases that really have an effect, with ideas that you can carry with you into the rest of the year.

Recently, I’ve found myself thinking about the idea that there are many things we all share. Humans are connected through shared experiences. These include relationships, emotions and memories. The pieces I’m showcasing this week display some of these strong themes and experiences, which can, of course, be explored through the context of overcoming. After all, overcoming often requires being in touch with your feelings, as well as the feelings of others. Ideally, you’ll find these pieces extremely heartfelt.

As today is International Haiku Day, it’s only fitting to open the Showcase with a haiku. Haikus can be quite difficult to both write and perfect, but they also have the capability to be very powerful. I wrote this one after a conversation I had with a friend about the immense pressure to be constantly perfect in contemporary society. I hope you like it.


Loves me, loves me not
The beauteous uneven
You are always loved

© Hannah Rooney, 2024

Connect with Hannah on Instagram: @hannahrooney_x


Next up is a piece by Claire Buss, which explores the power of memories and old relationships. It beautifully displays the all-encompassing impact our memories can have upon us. I was moved by the strong descriptions used in this work, which created a raw, intimate feeling, helping to heighten the emotions expressed throughout the piece.


If I were a colour, I’d be blue but I wouldn’t feel depressed. I’d feel calm and serene, tranquil and thoughtful.

If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a saxophone and play the blues.

If I were a taste, I’d be smooth chocolate, tingling the tastebuds.

If I were a scent, I’d be CK One and take you back to teenage crushes.

If I were a texture, I’d be cool satin sliding across your skin.

I tell myself I don’t remember you, but some days everything around me seems to hijack all my senses and render me unable to think of anyone else. Those mornings when I rush to find something, anything to wear, grabbing blue jeans from one drawer and a blue T-shirt from another. When all my fingers can find is a blue jumper, I am reminded of you teasing me for wearing nothing but blue. It’s my favourite colour, I would protest, but today it feels cold and empty. I would fall into despair if I wore so much blue now.

The radio plays in the background. Most of it passes harmlessly into background noise. The thump thump of the latest pop jingle, the low-pitched drone of the DJ, but then, a distinctive sound that cuts through everything. That guitar solo which resonates within the core of my being, stirring up old faces and places I thought I’d left behind.

On an off-guarded moment I join in with a works night out. Where’s the harm? I think. But those tequila slammers and flaming sambucas send me crashing through the years to other nights out, with other pretend friends all vying for attention, all hoping to be the best, all laughing at the unfortunates who litter the edges of the dance floor.

Walking along the High Street on a Saturday afternoon, passing other shoppers, strangers every one, and then I smell that eau de toilette, that scent of my youth and involuntarily my head whips around. I scan the crowd. Searching, looking, heart thumping, hands clammy, but I recognise no one. You’re two hundred miles away. The probability of seeing you, here, in this place, now, is infinitesimally small.

Browsing the shops, I don’t know what I’m looking for but I take comfort in running my hands through the clothes, feeling the soft wools and the light cottons, pausing over silky satins and remembering the days of floor length gowns that slid seductively across my skin. A far cry from today’s dress code.

Some days I don’t think of you at all. Some days you’re all I can remember.

© Claire Buss, 2018

Connect with Claire on Instagram: @grasshopper2407 and find out more about her writing at


After having read Claire’s wonderful piece, I was reminded of a poem that I wrote during a workshop with the Write On! team in February, which I think explores similar themes and topics to Claire’s piece. The beauty of writing is that multiple people can explore a similar concept and create their own, unique piece from it. My poem tackles the idea of overcoming through confronting and accepting your feelings and memories. It’s interesting to look at where the two pieces have similarities and differences in wording, style and form, demonstrating how many of us share similar emotions that can be exhibited in individual ways.


Echolocation in the core of melancholy
Clasping the major prize of
Dandelion kisses
Strutting skies
Fields bladed with cutting cries,
Floating in the wind of pursed lips
You do not want to remember.
It is not what you want so you try
Rigging sentient joysticks, running
Away from dissatisfaction. But clawing
Claws without diversion, never hitting
The spot of instantaneity. It will miss,
Again and again, if your jackpot is
Forgetting (there’s a queue).
So let it claw
Take its time
You might then win a silly prize you thought
You’d never like, and beam at
Tissue boxes and ice-cream tubs and
The swaying of grassy memories
In the two pence machines.

© Hannah Rooney, 2024

Connect with Hannah on Instagram: @hannahrooney_x


I’d like to close with a brilliant poem that encourages people to appreciate life. This piece explores the idea that ageing shouldn’t dim anyone’s love for living, acting as a great reminder that sometimes we need to find happiness in the little things. It’s a lovely message to leave you with this week.

As We Grow Older

Savour each wonderful moment of life.
Relax and stand back from problems and strife
Learn to watch snails and cultivate weeds
Invite someone new to your house to have tea.

Make friends with freedom, flying and fun,
Laugh with young children to see how it’s done.
Swing high in the moonlight when no-one’s about
And don’t worry for once when your music’s too loud.

Be generous, be kind and give things away,
Seize the pleasure in giving. Chances come every day
to do something good and make people smile
Do it for love. Get rid of the piles – and piles of unwanted stuff.

Read every day. Take the dusty books down,
from the shelf in the corner, and wear your best gown.
The one you wore for a dance two decades ago
With the long sweeping skirt and the neck a bit low.

Sit by the window and hear the birds sing
Think of the beauty the next hour will bring.
Enjoy every moment. Make it as full as you can.
Then do something different. Make a strawberry flan.

The world is magic and you are too.
We tended to forget that, when to adults we grew.
Try to look at our world through the eyes of a child.
When everything’s new and even a little bit wild.

Celebrate each wonderful day, for it will never return.
Always remember, it’s never too late to re-learn.

© Josephine Renton, 2024


If you’d like to see your writing appear in the Write On! Showcase, please submit your short stories, poetry or novel extracts to:

Read Issue 20 online here or find it in libraries and other outlets. You can see previous editions of our magazines here

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