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

Janet Dean

Janet Dean

Angels in the Air

Morning spills sand from its bucket, a clock ticks
one Mississippi, two Mississippi.

Deserted by an outgoing tide, an afternoon
spread flat and dreary, wet with longing.

She spent years learning to silence the ticking clock,
change her voice, open vowels, add an aitch or an ing.

Now her brain cowers in my skull,
her shadow lurks at the edge of who I have become,

makes an imprint of angels in the air
in the space between her there and me here.

Jock Stein

Jock Stein

The First Snowdrop

Modest, trembling, they appeared together:
why be first when you can burst upon the scene
like mini US cavalry, genes and ethics matched,
despatched midwinter on a mission, gently bent
to tame the harsher shades of government,
calm down showers of asteroids,
halt the fighting in Ukraine?

More Guest Poems

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...

Alex Barr

In Praise of Sheds In the glow of a paraffin lamp from ‘Spick and Span’master of my domain long agoin the old rocking chairthat ground the floorboards in a heavy rhythm busy with some childish occupation,humming the ancient hymns I believed inI watched through the...

David Seddon

Return This is a note to say I’ve arrivedin Nowhere-next-the-Sea,I’ve dumped the baggage overboardbut sent you back the key. Hang out the washing on the cliffs,flap and wave the cloth;skiffs will flex their ribs and strakes –embrace the water’s wash. Sun shall rake...

Doreen Hinchliffe

In The Wind’s Singing voices are in the wind’s singingT. S. Eliot The sound of the wind beneath the dooris nothing new, and yet tonightI feel compelled to listen to its music. It sings of a rickety stile, a gate that creaksand fields where blackberries hang in...

Alison Chisholm

Intrusion The house is drifting into moon’s dim light.The television’s off and no lamps glow.I’m listening to sounds that stir the night. The carriage clock ticks quietly, there’s a slightpersistent shush where rustling breezes blow.The house is drifting into moon’s...

Alexander Peplow

Sack and Sugar Let us imagine Falstaff as a cake. He sits there, a great cherry-in-a-chair,and lets us watch him, studying outhis layers. Fruitcake, sure, in allits connotations, thumb-pressed throughwith candied peel or currantsconcealed like other people wouldhave...

Anne Stewart

Walking Home at One I have told you how I love the airat 2:00 a.m. when it’s so clean and clearthe night birds’ warnings not to interfereseem to include me in their reach of care. And, here, I’m walking home alone again.But this is early by comparison. Only 1:00.The...

Piers Cain

The Rooks of Stromness It’s plain the rooks of Stromness own the town.They’re taking over slowly, plot by plot.These black and clever birds have been aroundforever, roosting high in trees. They’ve caughtthe change and flown on it. Some surf the breezethen flap to keep...

Gareth Culshaw

I Will Walk Before it Snows Somewhere in the sky the heavy lightness of snowwaits. I snap my knees again hope my trouser beltkeeps me whole until I reach home. My spine tries to balance on the legs, allow yawnsto grow through my windpipe, then release into the skyas...

Christine McNeill

Alive That wet April evening,so vivid in memory; how we marvelledat the trees’ branches intertwined as things connect when we look back and a mirror dropping off the wallwithout being touched we laughed off and unknowingly each yearpass the date of our deathand stay...

Kenneth Steven

Geese One of the first things I can remember:being lifted by my father high to see the geese.It was late at night in mid-November:the days so short, fields beginning to freeze.Now I live close to the sea in the west –small hills and lochs, and birds on every side;so...