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

Peter Sutton

Peter Sutton

Here I Stand

Here I stand for I can do no other,
tied to my neighbours, my enemies, friends,
cousins and siblings, ancestors, offspring,
pushing and shoving and reaching for light,
building up brawn and strengthening sinews,
bartering messages, crisscrossing limbs,
digging for dead things, minerals, water,
counting the moons and the seasons and years,
watching the passing of fleeting shadows,
mayflies who only consider themselves,
feeling the blows of the cutthroat axes,
rooted, beheaded, defenceless but strong.

A. C. Clarke

A. C. Clarke

Crossing the language divide

We commit to speech as we do to a bridge
in the faith it will bring us to the further shore
without cracking, in the faith
the further shore is where we want to be.
What if our words shape themselves differently
in the listener’s ear, distorted by distance or echo?
I love you, say, or I’m sorry. What if our idioms hale
from opposite points of the compass?

I love you, I mean it. But what do I mean?
I’m truly sorry. Is that truly true?
There’s trust in the word tryst, you can hear it
a vowel shift away; another shift and it’s triste.

More Guest Poems

Charlene Langfur

On the Cusp of Climate Change Days are like thimbles now, full of small needs,whatever works, potluck, making do.I plant aloe in clay pots on the porch, arugula,orange nasturtium, parsley because it matters.I am a woman walking under the fan palmsunderneath the desert...

George Davey

Goldilocks and the three percent inflation rate Three bowls of porridgeall differing in sizes,her silver spoon risesto herrosy red lips.She sips.She gulps.She convulses. Porridge icylike her harsh moral code.Three skinny bears,return to their humble abode. Fur ragged...

Mike McNamara

Writing in Ice It gets harder to claimthe lie of few summers livedwhen so many wintershave taken their toll. The deceiver fools you.More fool you. Writing in ice on frozen bonecontusions of ruptured words,mortality’s woundson the immortal soul. The reaver robs...

Jennifer Horgan

Gap ione birdfor weeks the young boy saw one bird on every wire iiyesterday, it fanned its tail feathersand he felt his growing bones reacta shared balancing act, a mirroron the northside of the citydown as far as the dock bridge iiiwhere yesterday toohe saw an otter...

Peter Lockhart

Winter in these parts We lug paving slabs onto wheelie bins,Coax the smaller animals into the spare room,Sling frayed hawsers over outhouses and hen coops.Glacial swamps appear from underground.We cradle our children from school, weight them downWith rocks, free up...

Liz Adams

apple blossom if I were to disappear from here, beneaththe wing of the day, where the apple blossomsemerge a whitish pink, and the bee hovers mesmerised – where the hellos gather upthen spill open like flowers, and the beeretreats as the light fades, the white petals...

D. A. Hickman

The Dreamer’s Song We wish, we worry, we long to conquer things,but is the world stage ours to impose on like perpetual star gazers, never satisfied or contentwith a spinning planet that needs our care? What is it about the wild storm inside? Fuellingour edginess, we...

Anthony Head

Angels My Angels don’t answer. They never do. Sources disagreeon how many each of us has, but often have I pleadedfor mine to show themselves or leave at least some evidence.Never a whisper or sign, no sudden ruffling air on a windlessday, no bright light at the end...

David Ball

To those who will come after us after Bertolt Brecht who will work longer to pay off the debtswe have accumulated, rememberhow many things we had to buy,how many interesting things there were to do,how many places in the world to visit.The cars, in which we went...

Kim Moore

And As When And as when the houses of Pompeiwere covered in ash, heavy enoughto cause buildings to collapse, and the pyroclastic flows,mixtures of lava blobs and gasran through the city faster than a horse could run,the horses trapped in harnessin the stable, bodies...

Alicia Byrne Keane

Sceach / Uncommon Knowledge The last days of January lap & settlebut, twice now, I have heard birdsat dusk. The skylight that slantson the landing of my parents’ houselooks unfamiliar for a second:some things are seen and seen again.Dust-mauve, that swatheof clear...

Ben Banyard

Car Boot Sale Stall as a Metaphor For Life Do you turn up at 8am, front of the queue,car full of desirable items from an elderly relativewhich savvy buyers peer at through cupped hands,eyes creased, noses fogging the glass,clammy at the thought of bagging a Clarice...

Briege Duffaud

Privilege A school day, normally. He may have thought of that,missed friends and reading books. Or not. (I never knewhis thoughts nor wanted to.) But still. Nine milescutting over frosted fields to the Newtown hiring-fair,to shiver in a hungry street while meat-fed...

David Olsen

Lighthouse i.m. Cathy Young, R.N. (1953-2022) Smooth rounded pebbleschatter in turbulent surf,aspire to perfect spheres. Ribbons of uprooted kelpintertwine. Broken shellsbleach in the sun. Above the shingle,a promontory risesto reveal an obelisk of whitened...

Nick Pearson

Water He spends fifteen minutes bringing stuff in,makes himself at home on the bathroom flooras if he’s arrived at a favourite camp site. I hear him thinking behind the door,his expertise the commodity of silence. He reminds me of a person I’ve seen before,a...