Guest Poems

We love to read your poetry and, even though we receive over 1,000 poems per month, we always take time to read every single one.

A few of the poems we especially enjoyed and which were selected for publication in our Journal are reprinted below.

For more information, please see our Submissions page.

Guest Poems

Stephen Boyce

Stephen Boyce


I have been looking to the East
where they tell you everything
is illusion, nothing lasts.

The night of the strawberry moon,
though I saw it, I was shuttered
in a windowless room.

I saw you standing in a field
with your back to that glowing moon
among grasses, clovers and orchids.

You were looking in my direction,
the gift of love in your eyes.
It felt like you’d been there forever.

How close you have come in your orbit.
I asked myself what had I done
in my life to deserve this.

And though it was my imagining
I knew everything to be just
as it seemed. I had no doubt of it.

And no wish for it to be otherwise –
the moon’s ancient light, your smile,
the grasses brushing our thighs.

Bridget Khursheed

Bridget Khursheed

Plotting Doggerland

There are farms you reveal as our plane slides
towards Amsterdam. An ex-navy surveyor
of forgotten seafloor, you have seen
this obscure bombscape drilled into neolithic

geography. Using a digital weather-eye,
submersible and deep dive, you sometimes
– you say – rub sludge to pluck bombs
factory fresh if they are German;

sometimes decay. The uncertain degraded explosive
shares the shoal path in mounds
maybe farmstead midden, eggshell,
antler in the missing oak tree.

At the clearing where once grain was cut soon
mills can farm the air again; it is all
a matter of looking and finding spent explosions.
Were we at the academy together?

A rhetorical question just like
where and when does Europe end?
And why can’t another harvest be
threshed in some untraced shortcut alley.

More Guest Poems

Colin Pink

Surveillance I lie awake at nightthe ghost-of-myself paces the citygets on and off buseshurries through turnstilespauses to look in shop windowsgives a beggar a coinjust stands in the street for no reasonraises suspicion from passers-byhurries ahead againenters the...

Jemma L. King

3 Month Scan A bell curve of grey static against black.What new worlds, old suns burn here? This space, hushed, aseptic. We are sidelinerson the brink of history before her instrument as it ploughs the stars,sends galaxies and all of creation tumbling from view....

Duncan Wu

Fired Up Ruthless hot the angry August sun glaresdown upon the slope. Nothing moves. Mydog sleeps in a pool of light while I stareat a gap in the outer wall which Iwill have to fill. But not right now. With luckI can ignore it till the weather cools.This is the...

Louise Walker

Octave/Sestet With each deep breath, the flute will utter prayer,its voice vibrating with the purest noteof G in the first octave. Then you can floatup to the next because you know it’s there.The painter knows how to balance sea and air,concealing rules that have been...

Deborah H. Doolittle

Like Wordsworth in Wales Who doesn’t like ruins? The oldstone shaped to make the landscape wild. The fragmented walls, like thoughts, framethe sky with Gothic windowpanes. Now, blue is the preferred hue forreflection that is wide enough. Ivy climbs the parts of...

Don Rodgers

Magnolias What do we make of magnolias?Like beaks of exotic birds, their budsbreak from bare branches, singingthemselves open into sculpturalpink and white waxworks of flames. You were given a Magnolia Susanone birthday. Not caring for our garden,it managed one clutch...

Richard Schiffman

The Wisdom of Seeds You don’t seed a cloud with another cloud,but with bone dry particles of dust. Sahara dust blown to the Amazonmakes the mineral-poor soils fertile. The Amazon seeds its own rains which blownoff course make the Sertão desert bloom. Hopelessly off...

Myra Schneider

Jungle It’s January but outside the lawns and grassy vergesare very green after months of rain and the palm treesin the frontage at the end of our road are thriving. I love the spread fans of their spiky leavesand the yellowish cacti spears underneath them –they jump...

Janet Dean

Angels in the Air Morning spills sand from its bucket, a clock ticksone Mississippi, two Mississippi. Deserted by an outgoing tide, an afternoonspread flat and dreary, wet with longing. She spent years learning to silence the ticking clock,change her voice, open...

Jock Stein

The First Snowdrop Modest, trembling, they appeared together:why be first when you can burst upon the scenelike mini US cavalry, genes and ethics matched,despatched midwinter on a mission, gently bentto tame the harsher shades of government,calm down showers of...

Ursula Kelly

When I Can Make it to the Pub Again It’s not so much the pain butfear of pain, that makes me hesitate.I am learning to bear my own weight again,with crutches and a moonboot.Every tiny step’s a giant leap of faiththat a rearticulated ankle will still hold,the pins will...

Jayant Kashyap

Child as a Piano During the ultrasound, it lies there,dormant, like a landmine inside you.Later, it erupts – a months-quiet volcanoof its own. Now the constant ticks,the continuous whirring of me, me,me, mommy, me. A four-leggedsinister machine in the...

Isabel Miles

Night Vision At noon the garden’s open as a flower,its beauty fitting to our spectrum and our scale.Green lawn, brown earthand flashing red, black, white,three partridges that sprint across the grass.Plain everyday. The midnight garden’s a dark pool.Upon it strands of...

Michael Tanner

Pavement Poppies A half dozen or solending a delicate beautyto vertical brick,trodden tarmac,swayed by the passageof traffic down to the town. None noticed their green emergencefrom the crack that time digsat the base of walls –big enough to admit dustand water, the...

Lisa Lopresti

Dreary Pavements and Roads In the dusky afternoon trafficof a grey tarmac dayan urban fox stands bya zebra crossing, military still. The fox’s coat isa scotch bonnet spiceto the drone of the daypeppering flavour to the scene. Her brush-tailed rushacross the crossing...