Gradual Reduction to Bone probes the animal of us through the exploration of living entities, the repeated looping of time, the dogged wounds we inflict on our environment, and the creation/destruction duality.

Imbued with a contemporary-gothic atmosphere, crows float elegant in rigor mortis; pregnant vegetables strain to burst; mother shifts from deity to monster to mortal; invasive species invoke spectres; plants sooth metamorphic incantations. And bones – be them fractured bed frame/dismembered paw/spine of ancient chestnut/Earth’s ribs cranked open/a child’s snapping as she falls – dwell beneath the flesh of the pamphlet.

Kali Richmond

Kali Richmond is a York-based poet, with much of her writing inspired by the surrounding Dales, Moors and North Sea, and their array of wildlife. She grew up in a council flat in the most densely populated borough of London but spent most school holidays with her grandparents in the North Pennines and the Cotswolds, inspiring a lifelong yearning for vast open spaces.

She came to poetry in her early thirties, first inspired by women such as Fiona Benson and Rachel Bower who wrote of motherhood, and then by brilliant live readings held in York and Leeds from Rebecca Tamás, Roger Robinson, Malika Booker, Rachael Allen, Raymond Antrobus, A. K. Blakemore, Liz Berry, Hollie McNish etc. – predominantly working class voices playing a lead role in contemporary poetry.

She is a lapsed video artist and facilitator of VJ events, and is incorporating those skills into her poetry – adding a visual element to her work and planning collaborative art nights for when restrictions have fully lifted. She has been published in Gutter Magazine, Jaden Magazine, The Babel Tower Noticeboard, Porridge, Green Ink Poetry, Idle Ink and more. In 2020 she won both the Reflex Press and Lucent Dreaming flash fiction competitions.

After the Eruption


there was beauty of a kind that could not be easily

perceived from the ground. Those fissures of terror

were the craquelure glaze on the ancient vase

forged from earth, finished with fire. This land too is fire

kissed. Only nature remains. Not the bucolic green

of over-worked fields, nor their sensible grids

corralled by barbed wire. But the reaching of fault

lines, spider fingers of Mother, the flute of rising

song, the falsetto of combustion, the release of drawing

unconscious, unleashing convulsions. Nature

as in ochre, as in umber, as in charcoal, as in iron,

as in mushroom, as in ossein, as in bark, as in leaf

mulch. Ruination so rich it gifts mouth-

to-mouth nourishment. In the stolid blink of her eye

the embers teem with life, life as even we know it.



Streaks of green have me commenting with graceless

awe. Yes, I’m unsettled by the sheen of emerald birds


against this leaden backdrop, the fug now visible, though

growing up I could not see it. Thirty years in this city


and everything about its rapid psyche whirring was normal.

Three years gone and I’m wading through miasma


of spectres, all those gin-soaked mothers, the debtors’

prison runners. You’ve yet to join the current familial


exodus so betray no surprise. They’re everywhere,

you don’t say, because didn’t we track their haunting


in shared emergence, our feathers salient in brilliant pink.

Under the silence of mourning we watch them cluster


in a plane, the tree clever enough to shed pollution with

its bark, and I think, I used to be able to do that, but now


look at me, wheezing, waxen, aiming my camera like a

tourist. Listen, you say, and they shriek in messianic tones,


reminiscent of parents soaked and running/reminiscent

of bygone twilight walks wedged between canal and zoo.