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

Tim Dwyer

Tim Dwyer

After Chang Chi-Ho

These twenty years of banishment
became a gift. Though it is said
I fled from the world, here I found it –

my beloved, the moon,
my friend, the sea,
my shelter, the sky.

I wake to the welcome
of dawn’s open door
and the gull’s spirit call.

I didn’t flee the world,
the world found me.

Chang Chi-Ho, dead for years.
I’m the grey-haired fisherman
of water and mist, who

casts the line empty of bait
into the constant river,
fish swimming free, until

I will join the dust.

Jan FitzGerald

Jan FitzGerald

Sky Goodbye

I didn’t see you at the funeral.
You weren’t there.
I believe you escaped in a shaft of light
streaming through the stained glass window,
before the organist went all stops out
and speakers leant too long on the pulpit —
as far away as possible from all that palaver.

Out into the crunch of snow,
skis over one shoulder,
you tramped to the highest ridge
looking down on the village
as mourners now traipsed towards a hall
for hot scones and a gabfest

and appraising the last slope
before daffodils poked through the thaw,
you adjusted your goggles, took a deep breath
and propelled yourself
                                             into air sweet as heaven.

More Guest Poems

Denise Bennett

Speaking to my Dead Mother What are we doing here in this station tearoom?We’ve slipped back sixty years.You’re wearing your grey pencil-slim skirtqueuing for the buffet. Sipping tea.I’m in my pink cotton frock covered in smuts.You’d told me not to sit facing the...

Terry Quinn

The Doppler Effect is me standing stillthe sound of my heartracingto the sound of her voicecalling my nameas she runs up the pathto hand me an ultrasoundI’d left on her ward is me standingmy heart stillas we talkfor a few minutesabout transducersand the right type of...

Stephen Boyce

Perigee I have been looking to the Eastwhere they tell you everythingis illusion, nothing lasts. The night of the strawberry moon,though I saw it, I was shutteredin a windowless room. I saw you standing in a fieldwith your back to that glowing moonamong grasses,...

Bridget Khursheed

Plotting Doggerland There are farms you reveal as our plane slidestowards Amsterdam. An ex-navy surveyorof forgotten seafloor, you have seenthis obscure bombscape drilled into neolithic geography. Using a digital weather-eye,submersible and deep dive, you sometimes–...

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...